{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

herodotus1.26-56_69-91

herodotus1.26-56_69-91 - 26 On AIyattes death Croesus the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–15. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 2
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 4
Background image of page 5

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 6
Background image of page 7

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 8
Background image of page 9

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 10
Background image of page 11

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 12
Background image of page 13

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 14
Background image of page 15
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: 26. On AIyattes' death, Croesus, the son of Alyattes, succeeded to the kingdom, '3 being then thirty-five years old; and the first of the Greeks he attacked were the people of Ephesus. Then the Ephesians, being besieged by him, dedicated their city to Artemis by fastening a . rope from her temple to their city wall. The distance between the ‘ old city, which is what was then being besieged, and the temple was ‘ ‘ seven stades. ” The Ephesians were the first whom Croesus attacked, ‘ but afterwards he set upon each of‘the Ionian and Aeolian cities in t ' turn, bringing different charges against them. When he was able to find greater grounds of complaint, he brought forward these, but against some of the cities, just the sameI he advanced other offenses, g l though they were indeed very slight. 27. When, then, the Greeks in Asia had been subdued to the A_,,./._.l_.l'., I3. Croesus' reign began in 560 EC. 14. Nearly a mile. 44 (1.27—29) payment of tribute, Croesus thereafter designed to build ships for himself and attack the peOpIe of the islands; but when everything was ready for the shipbuilding, something happened; some say it was Bias of Priene who came to Sardis, others that it was Pittacus of Mitylene; but of one of these, on his coming to Sardis, Croesus made inquiry—“What news in Greece?”—and it was what this man said that stopped the shipbuilding. “Sir,” he answered, “the islanders are buying up ten thousand horses, as they have in mind to make a campaign on Sardis and yourself.” Croesus imagined that he spoke seriously and said, “Would that the gods would put this idea into their heads: that islanders should come against the sons of the Lydi- ans with horses!" Whereat the other answered him, I‘Sir, you seem to me to pray very earnestly that you might catch the islanders riding horses on the mainland, and your hope in this matter is very reason— able. But do you believe that the islanders, since they have heard that you are to build ships against them, have any other matter for prayer than that they will catch the Lydians at sea and so take ven- geance on yourself, in requital for the Greeks that live on the main- land, whom you have made slaves of and hold as such?" Croesus was extraordinarily pleased with the turn of the answer, and since he thought that the man spoke aptly, he hearkened to him and gave over his shipbuilding; and so Croesus made a guestvfriendship with the lonians who live on the islands. 28. As time wore on, almost all Were subdued who lived west of the river Halys; for except for the Cilicians and Lycians, Croesus subdued and held all the rest in his power. These were: Lydians, Phrygians, Mysians, Mariandynians, Chalybes, Paphlagonians, Thynians and Bithynians (these two are Thracians), Carians, lo- nians, Dorians, Aeolians, and Pamphylians. All these were subju— gated, and Croesus annexed them to his own Lydians. So Sardis was at the height of its wealth. 29. To Sardis, then, all the teachers of learning” who lived at that time came from all over Greece; they came to Sardis on their 15. The Greek word here, sophislai, was later to win a derogatory sense. when a “sophist” was one who taught for hire and was given to fallacious arguv ment. Here it has only its earlier meaning, “one who seeks for sophia [wisr dom]”—a kind of self-chosen seeker, from whom one might perhaps. as a favor, learn some of the fruits of that wisdom «\ _-..: is,— -’—_-.s Wigwam...“flawgwrmmwé ;,, (149—31) 45 several occasions; and, of c0urse, there came also Solon of Athens. At the bidding of the Athenians he had made laws for them, and then he went abroad for ten years, saying, indeed, that he traveled for sight—seeing but really that he might not be forced to abrogate any of the laws he had laid down; of themselves, the Athenians could not do so, since they had bound themselves by great oaths that for ten years they would live under whateVer laws Solon would enact.” 30. This, then, was the reason—though of course there was also the sightseeing—that brought Solon to Egypt to the court of Prince Amasis and eventually to Sardis to Croesus. When he came there, he was entertained by Croesus in his palace, and on the third or fourth day after his arrival the servants, on Croesus’ orders, took Solon round the stores of treasures and showed them to him in all their greatness and richness. When he had seen them all and consid- ered them, Croesus, as the opportunity came, put this question to Solon: “My friend from Athens, great talk of you has come to my ears, of your wisdom and your traveling; they say you have traveled over much of the world, for the sake of what you can see in it, in your pursuit of knowledge. 50 now, a longing overcomes me to ask you whether, of all men, there is one you have seen as the most blessed ofall." He put this question never doubting but that he him- self was the most blessed. But Solon flattered not a whit but in his answer followed the very truth. He said, “Sir, Tellus the Athenian.” Croesus was bewildered at this but pursued his question with insis- tence. “And in virtue of what is it that you judge Tellus to be most blessed?" Solon said: “In the first place, Tellus’ city was in good state when he had sons—good and beautiful they were—and he saw chil— dren in turn born to all of them, and all surviving. Secondly, when he himself had come prosperously to a moment of his life—that is, prosperoust as it counts with us—he had, besides, an ending for it that was most gloriOus: in a battle between the Athenians and their neighbors in Eleusis he made a sally, touted the enemy, and died splendidly, and the Athenians gave him a public funeral where he fell and so honored him greatly." 31. Solon led on Croesus by what he said of Tellus when he 16. Solon‘s reforms date from his archonship at Athens in 594~593. 46 (1.31—32) spoke of his many blessings, so Croesus went further in his question- ing and wanted to know whom Solon had seen as second most blessed after the firstI for he certainly thought that he himself would win the second prize at least. But Solon answered him and said: “Cleobis and Biton. They were men of Argive race and had a suffi— ciency of livelihood and, besides, a strength of body such as I shall show; they were both of them prize-winning athletes, and the fol— lowing story is told of them as well. There was a feast of Hera at hand for the Argives, and their mother needs must ride to the temple; but the oxen did not come from the fields at the right mo- ment. The young men, being pressed by lack of time, harnessed themselves beneath the yoke and pulled the wagon with their mother riding on it; forty-five stades they completed on their jour- ney and arrived at the temple. When they had done that and had been seen by all the assembly, there came upon them the best end of a life, and in them the god showed thoroughly how much better it is for a man to be dead than to be alive.” For the Argive men came and stood around the young men, congratulating them on their strength, and the women congratulated the mother on the fine sons she had; and the mother, in her great joy at what was said and done, stood right in front of the statue and there prayed for Cleobis and Biton, her own sons, who had honored her so signally, that the god- dess should give them whatsoever is best for a man to win. After that prayer the young men sacrificed and banqueted and laid them down to sleep in the temple where they were; they never rose more, but that was the end in which they were held. The Argives made statues of them and dedicated them at Delphi, as of two men who were the best of all." 32. So Solon assigned his second prize in happiness to these men; but Croesus was sharply provoked and said: “My Athenian 17. l have translated the two verbs (perfect and present infinitives) as I have (and not as “It is better to die than to live”) because for Herodotus death is not a condition. A Christian might say that our condition after death is better than in this life, but what Solon is after is that, if you are dead, at least the risks of trouble are over. Hence to have the last settlement when you ate lavishly win- ning, with all the assets of youth, beauty, and strength in the moment of triv umph on your side, is the supreme gift, while to go on living is to go on being continually at risk. < 15-) E.- _ ,s (L32) 47 friend, is the happiness that is mine so entirely set at naught by you that you do not make me the equal of even private men?” Solon an' swered: “Croesus, you asked me, who know that the Divine is alto- gether jealous and prone to trouble us, and you asked me about hu’ man matters. In the whole length of time there is much to see that one would rather not see—and much to suffer likewise. 1 put the boundary of human life at seventy years. These seventy years have twenty—five thousand two hundred days, not counting the inter— calary month;'5 but if every other year be lengthened by a month so that the seasons come out right, these intercalary months in seventy years will be thirty'five, and the days for these months ten hundred and fifty. 80 that all the days of a man's life are twenty-six thousand two hundred and fifty; of all those days not one brings to him any— thing exactly the same as another. So, Croesus, man is entirely what befalls him. To me it is clear that you are very rich, and clear that you are the king of many men; but the thing that you asked me I cannot say of you yet, until I hear that you have brought your life to an end well. For he that is greatly rich is not more blessed than he that has enough for the day unless fortune so attend upon him that he ends his life well, having all those fine things still with him. Moreover, many very rich men are unblessed, and many who have a moderate competence are fortunate. Now he that is greatly rich but is unblessed has an advantage over the lucky man in two respects only; but the latter has an advantage over the rich and unblessed in many. The rich and unblessed man is better able to accomplish his every desire and to support such great visitation of evil as shall befall him. But the moderately rich and lucky man wins over the other in these ways: true, he is not equally able to support both the visitation of evil and and his own desire, but his good fortune turns these aside from him; he is uncrippled and healthy, without evils to afflict him, and with good children and good looks. If, in addition to all this, he shall end his life well, he is the man you seek, the one who is worthy to be called blessed; but wait till he is dead to call him so, and till then call him not blessed but lucky. '9 18. The intercalary month was the Greek substitute for our leap year. 19. For the subtle nuances of meaning that Herodotus brings to this discus- sion of “blessedness” or “happiness” (nuances embedded in the Greek terms he employs), see the end note to this passage. Mamas; , m as; “a: A”: .. s. . - , A" . {V 48 (1-32—35) “Of course, it is impossible for one who is human to have all the good things together, just as there is no one country that is sufficient of itself to provide all good things for itself; but it has one thing and not another, and the country that has the most is best. So no single person is self—sufficient; he has one thing and lacks another. But whoso possesses most of them, continuously, and then ends his life gracefully, he, my lord, may justly win this name you seek—at least in my judgment. But one must look always at the end of every- thing—how it will come out finally. For to many the god has shown a glimpse of blessedness only to extirpate them in the end.” 33. That was what Solon said, and he did not please Croesus at all; so the prince sent him away, making no fiirther account of him, thinking him assuredly a stupid man who would let by present goods and bid him look to the end of every matter. 34. After Solon was gone, a great visitation of evil from the god laid hold of Croesus, and one may guess that it was because he thought he was of all mankind the most blessed. L0, as he lay sleep— ing, a dream stood over him and declared to him the vety truth of the evils that were to befall his son. Croesus had two sons, the one of them quite undone, inasmuch as he was deaf and dumb; but the other was far the first young man of his age; his name was Atys. It was concerning this Atys that the dream communicated with Croesus, namely, that he should have him stricken by an iron spear, point. When Croesus woke up and considered with himself the dream's message, he was in terror of it and married his son to a wife, and besides, although the young man had been wont to captain the Lydians, he now would send him nowhere on any such business. And as for the javelins and Spears and all such things as men use in war, he conveyed all these out of the men’s halls and piled them in the chambers lest any of them,» as they hung on the walls, might chance to fall on his son. 35. Now when Croesus had in hand the marriage of his son, there came to Sardis a man in the grip of calamity, his hands full of impurity. He was a Phrygian by race and of the royal family. This man came forward into the house of Croesus and begged to win pu— rification of Croesus after the customs of that country. So Croesus purified him. (The manner of purification is the same for the Lydians and the Greeks.) After he had performed the due rites, Croesus (L35—37) 49 asked him where he came from and who he was, in these words: “Sir, who are you? And from where in Phrygia have you come, that you have become a suppiiant at my hearth? What man or woman have you killed?" He answered him: “King, I am the son of Gordias, the son of Midas, and men call me Adrastus; and it is my brother I have killed, and l did it unwittingly. 1 come before you having been driven out by my father and having had my all taken from me." Croesus answered him and said: “Friends are they from whom you spring, and it is to friends also that you have come. While you remain in my house, you will lack for nothing. As for your calam- ity, that you must beat as lightly as you may, for so it will be best for you.” 36. So he had his daily living in Croesus' house. In that same time, on the Mysian Olympus, there appeared a boat, a great brute indeed. He made his headquarters in that mountain and would issue from it and ravage the tilled fields of the Mysians. Time and again the Mysians went against him but failed to do him hurt; rather, in' deed, the suffering was on their side. So, at last, messengers of the Mysians came to Croesus and said: “King, the greatest brute of a wild boar has appeared in our country, and he is destroying our fields. We have sought to kill him, but we cannot. Now, therefore, we beg of you to send with us your son and bands of chosen young men and hounds, that we may drive the boat out of the land." That was what they asked. But Croesus, being mindful of the dream, spoke to them thus: “As to my son, speak of him no more. I will not send him with you. He is but newly married, and that is all his present care. But for the chosen Lydians and all the hunt establishment, that I will send with you and straitly order those who go to show the utmost zeal in helping you drive the beast out of the land." 37. Those were his words, and the Mysians were content with them. But just then there came in the son of Croesus, having heard what the Mysians requested. When Croesus refused to send the boy with them, he said to him: “Father, before this, the fairest and noblest achievements of our family were going to wars and to hunts and finding renown there. Now you have debarred me from both, though I am sure you cannot detect in me either cowardice or want of spirit. With what eyes can I show myself, going to and from the marketplace? What kind of man will I appear to be to my fellow ( 37 42) (1.42—44) 51 I. — 50 such a calamity as mine should go among his fellows who are fortuv nate. Nor have 1 any such wish myself, and on many grounds 1 would have refused. But since you are eager for it, and I should surely grab ify you—for indeed I owe you good for good—l am ready to do this. As for your son, whom you so urgently would have me guard, you may look to see him come back scatheless as far as this guardian is countrymen? What to my newly married wife? What slort oforpili:C will she think she is living with? Either let me go to the urgt, ” your words convince me that this action of yours is for the est. ' 38. Croesus answered him: “My son, it is not cowardtice tor age thing ugly that l have spied in you that makes me do this ut l.‘ecta on of a dream vision, which stood by me and declared to me t a y would be shortvlived. YOu will die, it said, by an iron spear. S: b; cause of this vision I hastened your marriage and WIllEIOt senl you on this present business, guarding how 1 may polssi y lstfizvey as through, for my lifetime at least. For you are the on 3; son him, as to the other, since his hearing is utterly destroyed, count ' e. bel:§.n?ffi:lyd:rltg man answered and said: “Father, you are not at all to blame for guarding me, since you have seen such a visiorcil. ll13ut itthi: just that I should tell you what you do not understand anl d. m; n dream has escaped you. You say the dream declares'l sha I: yrcam iron spearpoint. What hands has a boat? Where is l't‘her:i til: li) a spearpoint you fear? Now, if the dream had said l s ou u d WIymt tooth or anything else that fits this beast, you might we ofi ht is you are doing. But no, it was a spearpornt. Since, then, our g ‘ me o. n0t4‘dlttClrdzuslednswegred: “My son, somehow you overcome :in judgment in your reading of the dream, and being so Overcom yield to you and will change my resolve. 1 will send you on this hunt." ' I 41. Having said that, Croesus summoned to him the Phrygian, Adrastus; and when he came, he said to him: “Adrastus, l ptrlfirii you when you were smitten by an ugly calamity; but I am noorttesu Du ing you with that. I took you into my house and have sulipmean the altogether. Now then, since you owe me sometliling— d on as returning of good for my good to youT—l would i e tohsen ysome my son‘s guardian when he goes to this hunt, lest on t B: wgy Du villains of robbers set upon you both, to your hurt. si esl,1ythe yourself ought to go to where brave deeds wrll cover you Wiftather brightness of glory. That is “(Pat comes to yréurizognpyour own , ' urse a strong youn . and’zbej‘lil::sfitl)sua::w:cfedz “King, were it not that you asked me, woi4ild not go to any such Sport. It is not fit that someone I l oaded with . concerned." 43. Those were the words with which he answered Croesus. Thereafter they went their way, equipped with the chosen bands of young men and the hounds. Coming to the mountain of Olympus, they searched for the beast, and, having found him, they ringed him round and shot javelins at him. Then the guest-friend, he that had been purified of his bloodguilt, that was called Adrastus, cast his spear at the boar and missed him, but struck the son of Croesus. So the son died, struck by the point of the spear, fulfilling the declara' tion of the dream. And one ran to Croesus to tell him what had happened. This man came to Sardis and told him of the fight and the fate of his son. 44. Croesus was in agony for his son’s death and made the more of it because he that had killed him was the one whom he himself had purified of bloodguilt. In his great sorrow for what had befallen, he cried upon Zeus the Purifier, calling him to witness what he had suffered at the hands of his guest—friend.m He called also on Zeus of the Hearth and Zeus of Comradeship (it was the same god he named 20. 'll'ie Greeks felt very strongly about the relationship between xenoi, or “guest-friends." This was a relationship entered into with a person of another country (xenos means "stranger" or "foreigner" as well as “guest-fr...
View Full Document

{[ snackBarMessage ]}