HERODOTUS Herodotus of Halicarnassus, his Researches are here set down to preserve the memory of the past by putting on record the astonishing achievements both of our own (i.e. Greeks) and of other peoples (i.e. Barbaroi); and more particularly, to show how they came into conflict. CROESUS: Well, my Athenian friend, I have heard a great deal about your wisdom, and how widely you have travelled in the pursuit of knowledge. I cannot resist my desire to ask you a question. Who is the happiest man you have ever seen? [The Argives had statues made of them, which they sent to Delphi, as a mark of their particular respect.] CROESUS: That’s all very well, my Athenian friend, but what of my own happiness? Is it so utterly contemptible that you won’t evencompare me with mere common-folk like those you have mentioned? SOLON: I know God is envious of human prosperity and likes to trouble us, yet you question me about the lot of man. Listen then: as the year lengthens out, there is much both to see and to suffer which one would wish otherwise.
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Meaning of life, Core issues in ethics, Halicarnassus, Artemisia I of Caria