DESCRIPTION OF GREECE, TRANS. BY W. H. S. JONES
VOTIVE OFFERINGS AT DELPHI CONT.
[10.17.1] XVII. Of the non-Greeks in the west, the people of Sardinia have sent a bronze statue of him after whom they are called. In size and prosperity Sardinia is the equal of the most celebrated islands. What the ancient name was that the natives give it I do not know, but those of the Greeks who sailed there to trade called it Ichnussa, because the shape of the island is very like a man's footprint (ichnos). Its length is one thousand one hundred and twenty stades, and its breadth extends to four hundred and twenty.
SARDINIA, MYTHICAL HISTORY
[10.17.2] The first sailors to cross to the island are said to have been Libyans. Their leader was Sardus, son of Maceris, the Maceris surnamed Heracles by the Egyptians and Libyans. Maceris himself was celebrated chiefly for his journey to Delphi, but Sardus it was who led the Libyans to Ichnussa, and after him the island was renamed. However, the Libyan army did not expel the aboriginals, who received the invaders as settlers through compulsion rather than in goodwill. Neither the Libyans nor the native population knew how to build cities. They dwelt in scattered groups, where chance found them a home in cabins or caves.
[10.17.3] Years after the Libyans, there came to the island from Greece Aristaeus and his followers. Aristaeus is said to have been a son of Apollo and Cyrene, and they say that, deeply grieved by the fate of Actaeon, and vexed alike with Boeotia and the whole of Greece, he migrated to Sardinia.
[10.17.4] Others think that Daedalus too ran away from Camicus on this occasion, because of the invasion of the Cretans, and took a part in the colony that Aristaeus led to Sardinia. But it is nonsense to think that Daedalus, a contemporary of Oedipus, king of Thebes, had a part in a colony or anything else along with Aristaeus, who married Autonoe, the daughter of Cadmus. At any rate, these colonists too founded no city, the reason being, I think, that neither in numbers nor in strength were they capable of the task.
[10.17.5] After Aristaeus the Iberians crossed to Sardinia, under Norax as leader of the expedition, and they founded the city of Nora. The tradition is that this was the first city in the island, and they say that Norax was a son of Erytheia, the daughter of Geryones, with Hermes for his father. A fourth component part of the population was the army of Iolaus, consisting of Thespians and men from Attica, which put in at Sardinia and founded Olbia; by themselves the Athenians founded Ogryle, either in commemoration of one of their parishes in the home-land, or else because one Ogrylus himself took part in the expedition. Be this as it may, there are still today places in Sardinia called Iolaia, and Iolaus is worshipped by the inhabitants.
[10.17.6] When Troy was taken, among those Trojans who fled were those who escaped with Aeneas. A part of them, carried from their course by winds, reached Sardinia and intermarried with the Greeks already settled there. But the non-Greek element were prevented from coming to blows with the Greeks and Trojans, for the two enemies were evenly matched in all warlike equipment, while the river Thorsus, flowing between their territories, made both equally afraid to cross it.
[10.17.7] However, many years afterwards the Libyans crossed again to the island with a stronger army, and began a war against the Greeks. The Greeks were utterly destroyed, or only a few of them survived. The Trojans made their escape to the high parts of the island, and occupied mountains difficult to climb, being precipitous and protected by stakes. Even at the present day they are called Ilians, but in figure, in the fashion of their arms, and in their mode of living generally, they are like the Libyans.
[10.17.8] Not far distant from Sardinia is an island, called Cyrnus by the Greeks, but Corsica by the Libyans who inhabit it. A large part of the population, oppressed by civil strife, left it and came to Sardinia; there they took up their abode, confining themselves to the highlands. The Sardinians, however, call them by the name of Corsicans, which they brought with them from home.
[10.17.9] When the Carthaginians were at the height of their sea power, they overcame all in Sardinia except the Ilians and Corsicans, who were kept from slavery by the strength of the mountains. These Carthaginians, like those who preceded them, founded cities in the island, namely, Caralis and Sulci. Some of the Carthaginian mercenaries, either Libyans or Iberians, quarrelled about the booty, mutinied in a passion, and added to the number of the highland settlers. Their name in the Cyrnian language is Balari, which is the Cyrnian word for fugitives.
[10.17.10] These are the races that dwell in Sardinia, and such was the method of their settlement. The northern part of the island and that towards the mainland of Italy consist of an unbroken chain of impassable mountains. And if you sail along the coast you will find no anchorage on this side of the island, while violent but irregular gusts of wind sweep down to the sea from the tops of the mountains.
[10.17.11] Across the middle of the island runs another chain of mountains, but lower in height. The atmosphere here is on the whole heavy and unwholesome. The reason is partly the salt that crystallizes here, partly the oppressive, violent south wind, and partly the fact that, because of the height of the mountains on the side towards Italy, the north winds are prevented, when they blow in summer, from cooling the atmosphere and the ground here. Others say that the cause is Cyrnus, which is separated from Sardinia by no more than eight stades of sea, and is hilly and high all over. So they think that Cyrnus prevents the west wind and the north wind from reaching as far as Sardinia.
[10.17.12] Neither poisonous nor harmless snakes can live in Sardinia, nor yet wolves. The he-goats are no bigger than those found elsewhere, but their shape is that of the wild ram which an artist would carve in Aeginetan style, except that their breasts are too shaggy to liken them to Aeginetan art. Their horns do not stand out away from the head, but curl straight beside the ears. In speed they are the swiftest of all beasts.
[10.17.13] Except for one plant the island is free from poisons. This deadly herb is like celery, and they say that those who eat it die laughing. Wherefore Homer,29 and men after him, call unwholesome laughter sardonic. The herb grows mostly around springs, but does not impart any of its poison to the water.
I have introduced into my history of Phocis this account of Sardinia, because it is an island about which the Greeks are very ignorant.
VOTIVE OFFERINGS AT DELPHI CONT.
[10.18.1] XVIII. The horse next to the statue of Sardus was dedicated, says the Athenian Callias son of Lysimachides, in the inscription, by Callias himself from spoils he had taken in the Persian war. The Achaeans dedicated an image of Athena after reducing by siege one of the cities of Aetolia, the name of which was Phana. They say that the siege was not a short one, and being unable to take the city, they sent envoys to Delphi, to whom was given the following response:–
Dwellers in the land of Pelops and in Achaia, who to Pytho
Have come to inquire how ye shall take a city,
Come, consider what daily ration,
Drunk by the folk, saves the city which has so drunk.
For so ye may take the towered village of Phana.
[10.18.3] So not understanding what was the meaning of the oracle, they were minded to raise the siege and sail away, while the defenders paid no attention to them, one of their women coming from behind the walls to fetch water from the spring just under them. Some of the besiegers ran up and took the woman prisoner, who informed the Achaeans that the scanty water from the spring, that was fetched each night, was rationed among the besieged, who had nothing else to quench their thirst. So the Achaeans, by filling up the spring, captured the town.
[10.18.4] By the side of this Athena the Rhodians of Lindus set up their image of Apollo. The Ambraciots dedicated also a bronze ass, having conquered the Molossians in a night battle. The Molossians had prepared an ambush for them by night. It chanced that an ass, being driven back from the fields, was chasing a she-ass with harsh braying and wanton gait, while the driver of the ass increased the din by his horrible, inarticulate yells. So the men in the Molossian ambush rushed out affrighted, and the Ambraciots, detecting the trap prepared for them, attacked in the night and overcame the Molossians in battle.
[10.18.5] The men of Orneae in Argolis, when hard pressed in war by the Sicyonians, vowed to Apollo that, if they should drive the host of the Sicyonians out of their native land, they would organize a daily procession in his honor at Delphi, and sacrifice victims of a certain kind and of a certain number. Well, they conquered the Sicyonians in battle. But finding the daily fulfillment of their vow a great expense and a still greater trouble, they devised the trick of dedicating to the god bronze figures representing a sacrifice and a procession.
[10.18.6] There is here one of the labours of Heracles, namely, his fight with the hydra. Tisagoras not only dedicated the offering, but also made it. Both the hydra and Heracles are of iron. To make images of iron is a very difficult task, involving great labour. So the work of Tisagoras, whoever he was, is marvellous. Very marvellous too are the heads of a lion and wild boar at Pergamus, also of iron, which were made as offerings to Dionysus.
[10.18.7] The Phocians who live at Elateia, who held their city, with the help of Olympiodorus from Athens, when besieged by Cassander, sent to Apollo at Delphi a bronze lion. The Apollo, very near to the lion, was dedicated by the Massiliots as firstfruits of their naval victory over the Carthaginians. The Aetolians have made a trophy and the image of an armed woman, supposed to represent Aetolia. These were dedicated by the Aetolians when they had punished the Gauls for their cruelty to the Callians. A gilt statue, offered by Gorgias of Leontini, is a portrait of Gorgias himself.
[10.19.1] XIX. Beside the Gorgias is a votive offering of the Amphictyons, representing Scyllis of Scione, who, tradition says, dived into the very deepest parts of every sea. He also taught his daughter Hydna to dive.
[10.19.2] When the fleet of Xerxes was attacked by a violent storm off Mount Pelion, father and daughter completed its destruction by dragging away under the sea the anchors and any other security the triremes had. In return for this deed the Amphictyons dedicated statues of Scyllis and his daughter. The statue of Hydna completed the number of the statues that Nero carried off from Delphi. Only those of the female sex who are pure virgins may dive into the sea.30
[10.19.3] I am going on to tell a Lesbian story. Certain fishermen of Methymna found that their nets dragged up to the surface of the sea a face made of olive-wood. Its appearance suggested a touch of divinity, but it was outlandish, and unlike the normal features of Greek gods. So the people of Methymna asked the Pythian priestess of what god or hero the figure was a likeness, and she bade them worship Dionysus Phallen. Whereupon the people of Methymna kept for themselves the wooden image out of the sea, worshipping it with sacrifices and prayers, but sent a bronze copy to Delphi.
TEMPLE OF APOLLON AT DELPHI
[10.19.4] The carvings in the pediments are: Artemis, Leto, Apollo, Muses, a setting Sun, and Dionysus together with the Thyiad women. The first of them are the work of Praxias, an Athenian and a pupil of Calamis, but the temple took some time to build, during which Praxias died. So the rest of the ornament in the pediments was carved by Androsthenes, like Praxias an Athenian by birth, but a pupil of Eucadmus. There are arms of gold on the architraves; the Athenians dedicated the shields from spoils taken at the battle of Marathon, and the Aetolians the arms, supposed to be Gallic, behind and on the left. Their shape is very like that of Persian wicker shields.
INVASION OF THE GAULS, HISTORY
[10.19.5] I have made some mention of the Gallic invasion of Greece in my description of the Athenian Council Chamber.31 But I have resolved to give a more detailed account of the Gauls in my description of Delphi, because the greatest of the Greek exploits against the barbarians took place there. The Celts conducted their first foreign expedition under the leadership of Cambaules. Advancing as far as Thrace they lost heart and broke off their march, realizing that they were too few in number to be a match for the Greeks.
[10.19.6] But when they decided to invade foreign territory a second time, so great was the influence of Cambaules' veterans, who had tasted the joy of plunder and acquired a passion for robbery and plunder, that a large force of infantry and no small number of mounted men attended the muster. So the army was split up into three divisions by the chieftains, to each of whom was assigned a separate land to invade.
[10.19.7] Cerethrius was to be leader against the Thracians and the nation of the Triballi. The invaders of Paeonia were under the command of Brennus and Acichorius. Bolgius attacked the Macedonians and Illyrians, and engaged in a struggle with Ptolemy, king of the Macedonians at that time. It was this Ptolemy who, though he had taken refuge as a suppliant with Seleucus, the son of Antiochus, treacherously murdered him, and was surnamed Thunderbolt because of his recklessness. Ptolemy himself perished in the fighting, and the Macedonian losses were heavy. But once more the Celts lacked courage to advance against Greece, and so the second expedition returned home.
[10.19.8] It was then that Brennus, both in public meetings and also in personal talks with individual Gallic officers, strongly urged a campaign against Greece, enlarging on the weakness of Greece at the time, on the wealth of the Greek states, and on the even greater wealth in sanctuaries, including votive offerings and coined silver and gold. So he induced the Gauls to march against Greece. Among the officers he chose to be his colleagues was Acichorius.
[10.19.9] The muster of foot amounted to one hundred and fifty-two thousand, with twenty thousand four hundred horse. This was the number of horsemen in action at any one time, but the real number was sixty-one thousand two hundred. For to each horseman were attached two servants, who were themselves skilled riders and, like their masters, had a horse.
[10.19.10] When the Gallic horsemen were engaged, the servants remained behind the ranks and proved useful in the following way. Should a horseman or his horse fall, the slave brought him a horse to mount; if the rider was killed, the slave mounted the horse in his master's place; if both rider and horse were killed, there was a mounted man ready. When a rider was wounded, one slave brought back to camp the wounded man, while the other took his vacant place in the ranks.
[10.19.11] I believe that the Gauls in adopting these methods copied the Persian regiment of the Ten Thousand, who were called the Immortals. There was, however, this difference. The Persians used to wait until the battle was over before replacing casualties, while the Gauls kept reinforcing the horsemen to their full number during the height of the action. This organization is called in their native speech trimarcisia, for I would have you know that marca is the Celtic name for a horse.
[10.19.12] This was the size of the army, and such was the intention of Brennus, when he attacked Greece. The spirit of the Greeks was utterly broken, but the extremity of their terror forced them to defend Greece. They realized that the struggle that faced them would not be one for liberty, as it was when they fought the Persian, and that giving water and earth would not bring them safety. They still remembered the fate of Macedonia, Thrace and Paeonia during the former incursion of the Gauls, and reports were coming in of enormities committed at that very time on the Thessalians. So every man, as well as every state, was convinced that they must either conquer or perish.
[10.20.1] XX. Any one who so wishes can compare the number of those who mustered to meet king Xerxes at Thermopylae with those who now mustered to oppose the Gauls. To meet the Persians there came Greek contingents of the following strength. Lacedaemonians with Leonidas not more than three hundred; Tegeans five hundred, and five hundred from Mantineia; from Orchomenus in Arcadia a hundred and twenty; from the other cities in Arcadia one thousand; from Mycenae eighty; from Phlius two hundred, and from Corinth twice this number; of the Boeotians there mustered seven hundred from Thespiae and four hundred from Thebes. A thousand Phocians guarded the path on Mount Oeta, and the number of these should be added to the Greek total.
[10.20.2] Herodotus32 does not give the number of the Locrians under Mount Cnemis, but he does say that each of their cities sent a contingent. It is possible, however, to make an estimate of these also that comes very near to the truth. For not more than nine thousand Athenians marched to Marathon, even if we include those who were too old for active service and slaves; so the number of Locrian fighting men who marched to Thermopylae cannot have exceeded six thousand. So the whole army would amount to eleven thousand two hundred. But it is well known that not even these remained all the time guarding the pass; for if we except the Lacedaemonians, Thespians and Mycenaeans, the rest left the field before the conclusion of the fighting.
[10.20.3] To meet the barbarians who came from the Ocean the following Greek forces came to Thermopylae. Of the Boeotians ten thousand hoplites and five hundred cavalry, the Boeotarchs being Cephisodotus, Thearidas, Diogenes and Lysander. From Phocis came five hundred cavalry with footmen three thousand in number. The generals of the Phocians were Critobulus and Antiochus.
[10.20.4] The Locrians over against the island of Atalanta were under the command of Meidias; they numbered seven hundred, and no cavalry was with them. Of the Megarians came four hundred hoplites commanded by Hipponicus of Megara. The Aetolians sent a large contingent, including every class of fighting men; the number of cavalry is not given, but the light-armed were seven hundred and ninety, and their hoplites numbered more than seven thousand. Their leaders were Polyarchus, Polyphron and Lacrates.
[10.20.5] The Athenian general was Callippus, the son of Moerocles, as I have said in an earlier part of my work,33 and their forces consisted of all their seaworthy triremes, five hundred horse and one thousand foot. Because of their ancient reputation the Athenians held the chief command. The king of Macedonia sent five hundred mercenaries, and the king of Asia a like number; the leader of those sent by Antigonus was Aristodemus, a Macedonian, and Telesarchus, one of the Syrians on the Orontes, commanded the forces that Antiochus sent from Asia.
[10.20.6] When the Greeks assembled at Thermopylae34 learned that the army of the Gauls was already in the neighborhood of Magnesia and Phthiotis, they resolved to detach the cavalry and a thousand light armed troops and to send them to the Spercheius, so that even the crossing of the river could not be effected by the barbarians without a struggle and risks. On their arrival these forces broke down the bridges and by themselves encamped along the bank. But Brennus himself was not utterly stupid, nor inexperienced, for a barbarian, in devising tricks of strategy.
[10.20.7] So on that very night he despatched some troops to the Spercheius, not to the places where the old bridges had stood, but lower down, where the Greeks would not notice the crossing, and just where the river spread over the plain and made a marsh and lake instead of a narrow, violent stream. Hither Brennus sent some ten thousand Gauls, picking out the swimmers and the tallest men; and the Celts as a race are far taller than any other people.
[10.20.8] So these crossed in the night, swimming over the river where it expands into a lake; each man used his shield, his national buckler, as a raft, and the tallest of them were able to cross the water by wading. The Greeks on the Spercheius, as soon as they learned that a detachment of the barbarians had crossed by the marsh, forthwith retreated to the main army. Brennus ordered the dwellers round the Malian gulf to build bridges across the Spercheius, and they proceeded to accomplish their task with a will, for they were frightened of Brennus, and anxious for the barbarians to go away out of their country instead of staying to devastate it further.
[10.20.9] Brennus brought his army across over the bridges and proceeded to Heracleia. The Gauls plundered the country, and massacred those whom they caught in the fields, but did not capture the city. For a year previous to this the Aetolians had forced Heracleia to join the Aetolian League; so now they defended a city which they considered to belong to them just as much as to the Heracleots.
Brennus did not trouble himself much about Heracleia, but directed his efforts to driving away those opposed to him at the pass, in order to invade Greece south of Thermopylae.
[10.21.1] XXI. Deserters kept Brennus informed about the forces from each city mustered at Thermopylae. So despising the Greek army he advanced from Heracleia, and began the battle at sun-rise on the next day. He had no Greek soothsayer, and made no use of his own country's sacrifices, if indeed the Celts have any art of divination. Whereupon the Greeks attacked silently and in good order. When they came to close quarters, the infantry did not rush out of their line far enough to disturb their proper formation, while the light-armed troops remained in position, throwing javelins, shooting arrows or slinging bullets.
[10.21.2] The cavalry on both sides proved useless, as the ground at the Pass is not only narrow, but also smooth because of the natural rock, while most of it is slippery owing to its being covered with streams. The Gauls were worse armed than the Greeks, having no other defensive armour than their national shields, while they were still more inferior in war experience.
[10.21.3] On they marched against their enemies with the unreasoning fury and passion of brutes. Slashed with axe or sword they kept their desperation while they still breathed; pierced by arrow or javelin, they did not abate of their passion so long as life remained. Some drew out from their wounds the spears, by which they had been hit, and threw them at the Greeks or used them in close fighting.
[10.21.4] Meanwhile the Athenians on the triremes, with difficulty and with danger, nevertheless coasted along through the mud that extends far out to sea, brought their ships as close to the barbarians as possible, and raked them with arrows and every other kind of missile. The Celts were in unspeakable distress, and as in the confined space they inflicted few losses but suffered twice or four times as many, their captains gave the signal to retire to their camp. Retreating in confusion and without any order, many were crushed beneath the feet of their friends, and many others fell into the swamp and disappeared under the mud. Their loss in the retreat was no less than the loss that occurred while the battle raged.
[10.21.5] On this day the Attic contingent surpassed the other Greeks in courage. Of the Athenians themselves the bravest was Cydias, a young man who had never before been in battle. He was killed by the Gauls, but his relatives dedicated his shield to Zeus God of Freedom, and the inscription ran:–
Here hang I, yearning for the still youthful bloom of Cydias,
The shield of a glorious man, an offering to Zeus.
I was the very first through which at this battle he thrust his left arm,
When the battle raged furiously against the Gaul.
[10.21.6] This inscription remained until Sulla and his army took away, among other Athenian treasures, the shields in the porch of Zeus, God of Freedom. After this battle at Thermopylae the Greeks buried their own dead and spoiled the barbarians, but the Gauls sent no herald to ask leave to take up the bodies, and were indifferent whether the earth received them or whether they were devoured by wild beasts or carrion birds.
[10.21.7] There were in my opinion two reasons that made them careless about the burial of their dead: they wished to strike terror into their enemies, and through habit they have no tender feeling for those who have gone. In the battle there fell forty of the Greeks; the losses of the barbarians it was impossible to discover exactly. For the number of them that disappeared beneath the mud was great.
[10.22.1] XXII. On the seventh day after the battle a regiment of Gauls attempted to go up to Oeta by way of Heracleia. Here too a narrow path rises just past the ruins of Trachis. There was also at that time a sanctuary of Athena above the Trachinian territory, and in it were votive offerings. So they hoped to ascend Oeta by this path and at the same time to get possession of the offerings in the temple in passing. <This path was defended by the Phocians under Telesarchus.> They overcame the barbarians in the engagement, but Telesarchus himself fell, a man devoted, if ever a man was, to the Greek cause.
[10.22.2] All the leaders of the barbarians except Brennus were terrified of the Greeks, and at the same time were despondent of the future, seeing that their present condition showed no signs of improvement. But Brennus reasoned that if he could compel the Aetolians to return home to Aetolia, he would find the war against Greece prove easier hereafter. So he detached from his army forty thousand foot and about eight hundred horse. Over these he set in command Orestorius and Combutis,
[10.22.3] who, making their way back by way of the bridges over the Spercheius and across Thessaly again, invaded Aetolia. The fate of the Callians at the hands of Combutis and Orestorius is the most wicked ever heard of, and is without a parallel in the crimes of men. Every male they put to the sword, and there were butchered old men equally with children at their mothers' breasts. The more plump of these sucking babes the Gauls killed, drinking their blood and eating their flesh.
[10.22.4] Women and adult maidens, if they had any spirit at all in them, anticipated their end when the city was captured. Those who survived suffered under imperious violence every form of outrage at the hands of men equally void of pity or of love. Every woman who chanced to find a Gallic sword committed suicide. The others were soon to die of hunger and want of sleep, the incontinent barbarians outraging them by turns, and sating their lust even on the dying and the dead.
[10.22.5] The Aetolians had been informed by messengers what disasters had befallen them, and at once with all speed removed their forces from Thermopylae and hastened to Aetolia, being exasperated at the sufferings of the Callians, and still more fired with determination to save the cities not yet captured. From all the cities at home were mobilized the men of military age; and even those too old for service, their fighting spirit roused by the crisis, were in the ranks, and their very women gladly served with them, being even more enraged against the Gauls than were the men.
[10.22.6] When the barbarians, having pillaged houses and sanctuaries, and having fired Callium, were returning by the same way, they were met by the Patraeans, who alone of the Achaeans were helping the Aetolians. Being trained as hoplites they made a frontal attack on the barbarians, but suffered severely owing to the number and desperation of the Gauls. But the Aetolians, men and women, drawn up all along the road, kept shooting at the barbarians, and few shots failed to find a mark among enemies protected by nothing but their national shields. Pursued by the Gauls they easily escaped, renewing their attack with vigor when their enemies returned from the pursuit.
[10.22.7] Although the Callians suffered so terribly that even Homer's account of the Laestrygones and the Cyclops35 does not seem outside the truth, yet they were duly and fully avenged. For out of their number of forty thousand eight hundred, there escaped of the barbarians to the camp at Thermopylae less than one half.
[10.22.8] Meantime the Greeks at Thermopylae were faring as follows. There are two paths across Mount Oeta: the one above Trachis is very steep, and for the most part precipitous; the other, through the territory of the Aenianians, is easier for an army to cross. It was through this that on a former occasion Hydarnes the Persian passed to attack in the rear the Greeks under Leonidas.36
[10.22.9] By this road the Heracleots and the Aenianians promised to lead Brennus, not that they were ill-disposed to the Greek cause, but because they were anxious for the Celts to go away from their country, and not to establish themselves in it to its ruin. I think that Pindar37 spoke the truth again when he said that every one is crushed by his own misfortunes but is untouched by the woes of others.
[10.22.10] Brennus was encouraged by the promise made by the Aenianians and Heracleots. Leaving Acichorius behind in charge of the main army, with instructions that it was to attack only when the enveloping movement was complete, Brennus himself, with a detachment of forty thousand, began his march along the pass.
[10.22.11] It so happened on that day that the mist rolled thick down the mountain, darkening the sun, so that the Phocians who were guarding the path found the barbarians upon them before they were aware of their approach. Thereupon the Gauls attacked. The Phocians resisted manfully, but at last were forced to retreat from the path. However, they succeeded in running down to their friends with a report of what was happening before the envelopment of the Greek army was quite complete on all sides.
[10.22.12] Whereupon the Athenians with the fleet succeeded in withdrawing in time the Greek forces from Thermopylae, which disbanded and returned to their several homes. Brennus, without delaying any longer, began his march against Delphi without waiting for the army with Acichorius to join up. In terror the Delphians took refuge in the oracle. The god bade them not to be afraid, and promised that he would himself defend his own.
[10.22.13] The Greeks who came in defence of the god were as follow: the Phocians, who came from all their cities; from Amphissa four hundred hoplites; from the Aetolians a few came at once on hearing of the advance of the barbarians, and later on Philomelus brought one thousand two hundred. The flower of the Aetolians turned against the army of Acichorius, and without offering battle attacked continuously the rear of their line of march, plundering the baggage and putting the carriers to the sword. It was chiefly for this reason that their march proved slow. Futhermore, at Heracleia Acichorius had left a part of his army, who were to guard the baggage of the camp.
[10.23.1] XXIII. Brennus and his army were now faced by the Greeks who had mustered at Delphi, and soon portents boding no good to the barbarians were sent by the god, the clearest recorded in history. For the whole ground occupied by the Gallic army was shaken violently most of the day, with continuous thunder and lightning.
[10.23.2] The thunder both terrified the Gauls and prevented them hearing their orders, while the bolts from heaven set on fire not only those whom they struck but also their neighbors, themselves and their armour alike. Then there were seen by them ghosts of the heroes Hyperochus, Laodocus and Pyrrhus; according to some a fourth appeared, Phylacus, a local hero of Delphi.
[10.23.3] Among the many Phocians who were killed in the action was Aleximachus, who in this battle excelled all the other Greeks in devoting youth, physical strength, and a stout heart, to slaying the barbarians. The Phocians made a statue of Aleximachus and sent it to Delphi as an offering to Apollo.
[10.23.4] All the day the barbarians were beset by calamities and terrors of this kind. But the night was to bring upon them experiences far more painful. For there came on a severe frost, and snow with it; and great rocks slipping from Parnassus, and crags breaking away, made the barbarians their target, the crash of which brought destruction, not on one or two at a time, but on thirty or even more, as they chanced to be gathered in groups, keeping guard or taking rest.
[10.23.5] At sunrise the Greeks came on from Delphi, making a frontal attack with the exception of the Phocians, who, being more familiar with the district, descended through the snow down the precipitous parts of Parnassus, and surprised the Celts in their rear, shooting them down with arrows and javelins without anything to fear from the barbarians.
[10.23.6] At the beginning of the fight the Gauls offered a spirited resistance, especially the company attached to Brennus, which was composed of the tallest and bravest of the Gauls, and that though they were shot at from all sides, and no less distressed by the frost, especially the wounded men. But when Brennus himself was wounded, he was carried fainting from the battle, and the barbarians, harassed on all sides by the Greeks, fell back reluctantly, putting to the sword those who, disabled by wounds or sickness, could not go with them.
[10.23.7] They encamped where night overtook them in their retreat, and during the night there fell on them a “panic.” For causeless terrors are said to come from the god Pan. It was when evening was turning to night that the confusion fell on the army, and at first only a few became mad, and these imagined that they heard the trampling of horses at a gallop, and the attack of advancing enemies; but after a little time the delusion spread to all.
[10.23.8] So rushing to arms they divided into two parties, killing and being killed, neither understanding their mother tongue nor recognizing one another's forms or the shape of their shields. Both parties alike under the present delusion thought that their opponents were Greek, men and armour, and that the language they spoke was Greek, so that a great mutual slaughter was wrought among the Gauls by the madness sent by the god.
[10.23.9] Those Phocians who had been left behind in the fields to guard the flocks were the first to perceive and report to the Greeks the panic that had seized the barbarians in the night. The Phocians were thus encouraged to attack the Celts with yet greater spirit, keeping a more careful watch on their encampments, and not letting them take from the country the necessities of life without a struggle, so that the whole Gallic army suffered at once from a pressing shortage of corn and other food.
[10.23.10] Their losses in Phocis were these: in the battles were killed close on six thousand; those who perished in the wintry storm at night and afterwards in the panic terror amounted to over ten thousand, as likewise did those who were starved to death.
[10.23.11] Athenian scouts arrived at Delphi to gather information, after which they returned and reported what had happened to the barbarians, and all that the god had inflicted upon them. Whereupon the Athenians took the field, and as they marched through Boeotia they were joined by the Boeotians. Thus the combined armies followed the barbarians, lying in wait and killing those who happened to be the last.
[10.23.12] Those who fled with Brennus had been joined by the army under Acichorius only on the previous night. For the Aetolians had delayed their march, hurling at them a merciless shower of javelins and anything else they could lay hands on, so that only a small part of them escaped to the camp at Heracleia. There was still a hope of saving the life of Brennus, so far as his wounds were concerned; but, they say, partly because he feared his fellow-countrymen, and still more because he was conscience-stricken at the calamities he had brought on Greece, he took his own life by drinking neat wine.
[10.23.13] After this the barbarians proceeded with difficulty as far as the Spercheius, pressed hotly by the Aetolians. But after their arrival at the Spercheius, during the rest of the retreat the Thessalians and Malians kept lying in wait for them, and so took their fill of slaughter that not a Gaul returned home in safety.
[10.23.14] The expedition of the Celts against Greece, and their destruction, took place when Anaxicrates was archon at Athens, in the second year of the hundred and twenty-fifth Olympiad, when Ladas of Aegium was victor in the footrace. In the following year, when Democles was archon at Athens, the Celts crossed back again to Asia.
TEMPLE OF APOLLON AT DELPHI CONT.
[10.24.1] XXIV. Such was the course of the war. In the fore-temple at Delphi are written maxims useful for the life of men, inscribed by those whom the Greeks say were sages. These were: from Ionia, Thales of Miletus and Bias of Priene; of the Aeolians in Lesbos, Pittacus of Mitylene; of the Dorians in Asia, Cleobulus of Lindus; Solon of Athens and Chilon of Sparta; the seventh sage, according to the list of Plato,38 the son of Ariston, is not Periander, the son of Cypselus, but Myson of Chenae, a village on Mount Oeta. These sages, then, came to Delphi and dedicated to Apollo the celebrated maxims, “Know thyself,” and “Nothing in excess.”
[10.24.2] So these men wrote what I have said, and you can see a bronze statue of Homer on a slab, and read the oracle that they say Homer received:–
Blessed and unhappy, for to be both wast thou born.
Thou seekest thy father-land; but no father-land hast thou, only a mother-land.
The island of Ios is the father-land of thy mother, which will receive thee
When thou hast died; but be on thy guard against the riddle of the young children.
The inhabitants of Ios point to Homer's tomb in the island, and in another part to that of Clymene, who was, they say, the mother of Homer.
[10.24.3] But the Cyprians, who also claim Homer as their own, say that Themisto, one of their native women, was the mother of Homer, and that Euclus foretold the birth of Homer in the following verses:–
And then in sea-girt Cyprus there will be a mighty singer,
Whom Themisto, lady fair, shall bear in the fields, A man of renown, far from rich Salamis.
Leaving Cyprus, tossed and wetted by the waves,
The first and only poet to sing of the woes of spacious Greece,
For ever shall he be deathless and ageless.
These things I have heard, and I have read the oracles, but express no private opinion about either the age or date of Homer.
[10.24.4] In the temple has been built an altar of Poseidon, because Poseidon too possessed in part the most ancient oracle. There are also images of two Fates; but in place of the third Fate there stand by their side Zeus, Guide of Fate, and Apollo, Guide of Fate. Here you may behold the hearth on which the priest of Apollo killed Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles. The story of the end of Neoptolemus I have told elsewhere.39
[10.24.5] Not far from the hearth has been dedicated a chair of Pindar. The chair is of iron, and on it they say Pindar sat whenever he came to Delphi, and there composed his songs to Apollo. Into the innermost part of the temple there pass but few, but there is dedicated in it another image of Apollo, made of gold.
GRAVE OF NEOPTOLEMUS AT DELPHI
[10.24.6] Leaving the temple and turning to the left you will come to an enclosure in which is the grave of Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles. Every year the Delphians sacrifice to him as to a hero. Ascending from the tomb you come to a stone of no large size. Over it every day they pour olive oil, and at each feast they place on it unworked wool. There is also an opinion about this stone, that it was given to Cronus instead of his child, and that Cronus vomited it up again.
SPRING OF CASSOTIS AT DELPHI
[10.24.7] Coming back to the temple after seeing the stone, you come to the spring called Cassotis. By it is a wall of no great size, and the ascent to the spring is through the wall. It is said that the water of this Cassotis sinks under the ground, and inspires the women in the shrine of the god. She who gave her name to the spring is said to have been a nymph of Parnassus.
PAINTINGS BY POLYGNOTUS AT DELPHI
[10.25.1] XXV. Beyond the Cassotis stands a building with paintings of Polygnotus. It was dedicated by the Cnidians, and is called by the Delphians Lesche (Place of Talk, Club Room), because here in days of old they used to meet and chat about the more serious matters and legendary history. That there used to be many such places all over Greece is shown by Homer's words in the passage where Melantho abuses Odysseus:–
And you will not go to the smith's house to sleep,
Nor yet to the place of talk, but you make long speeches here. Hom. Od. 18.328
[10.25.2] Inside this building the whole of the painting on the right depicts Troy taken and the Greeks sailing away. On the ship of Menelaus they are preparing to put to sea. The ship is painted with children among the grown-up sailors; amidships is Phrontis the steersman holding two boat-hooks. Homer40 represents Nestor as speaking about Phrontis in his conversation with Telemachus, saying that he was the son of Onetor and the steersman of Menelaus, of very high repute in his craft, and how he came to his end when he was already rounding Sunium in Attica. Up to this point Menelaus had been sailing along with Nestor, but now he was left behind to build Phrontis a tomb, and to pay him the due rites of burial.
[10.25.3] Phrontis then is in the painting of Polygnotus, and beneath him is one Ithaemenes carrying clothes, and Echoeax is going down the gangway, carrying a bronze urn. Polites, Strophius and Alphius are pulling down the hut of Menelaus, which is not far from the ship. Another hut is being pulled down by Amphialus, at whose feet is seated a boy. There is no inscription on the boy, and Phrontis is the only one with a beard. His too is the only name that Polygnotus took from the Odyssey; the names of the others he invented, I think, himself.
[10.25.4] Briseis is standing with Diomeda above her and Iphis in front of both; they appear to be examining the form of Helen. Helen herself is sitting, and so is Eurybates near her. We inferred that he was the herald of Odysseus, although he had yet no beard. One handmaid, Panthalis, is standing beside Helen; another, Electra, is fastening her mistress' sandals. These names too are different from those given by Homer in the Iliad,41 where he tells of Helen going to the wall with her slave women.
[10.25.5] Beyond Helen, a man wrapped in a purple cloak is sitting in an attitude of the deepest dejection; one might conjecture that he was Helenus, the son of Priam, even before reading the inscription. Near Helenus is Meges, who is wounded in the arm, as Lescheos of Pyrrha, son of Aeschylinus, describes in the Sack of Troy. For he says that he was wounded by Admetus, son of Augeias, in the battle that the Trojans fought in the night.
[10.25.6] Beside Meges is also painted Lycomedes the son of Creon, who has a wound in the wrist; Lescheos says he was so wounded by Agenor. So it is plain that Polygnotus would not have represented them so wounded, if he had not read the poem of Lescheos. However, he has painted Lycomedes as wounded also in the ankle, and yet again in the head. Euryalus the son of Mecisteus has also received a wound in the head and another in the wrist.
[10.25.7] These are painted higher up than Helen in the picture. Next to Helen comes the mother of Theseus with her head shaved, and Demophon, one of the sons of Theseus, is considering, to judge from his attitude, whether it will be possible for him to rescue Aethra. The Argives say that Theseus had also a son Melanippus by the daughter of Sinis, and that Melanippus won a running-race when the Epigoni, as they are called, held the second celebration of the Nemean games, that of Adrastus being the first.
[10.25.8] Lescheos says of Aethra that, when Troy was taken, she came stealthily to the Greek camp. She was recognized by the sons of Theseus, and Demophon asked for her from Agamemnon. He was ready to grant Demophon the favour, but said that Helen must first give her consent. He sent a herald, and Helen granted him the favour. So in the painting Eurybates appears to have come to Helen to ask about Aethra, and to be saying what he had been told to say by Agamemnon.
[10.25.9] The Trojan women are represented as already captives and lamenting. Andromache is in the painting, and near stands her boy grasping her breast; this child Lescheos says was put to death by being flung from the tower, not that the Greeks had so decreed, but Neoptolemus, of his own accord, was minded to murder him. In the painting is also Medesicaste, another of Priam's illegitimate daughters, who according to Homer42 left her home and went to the city of Pedaeum to be the wife of Imbrius, the son of Mentor.
[10.25.10] Andromache and Medesicaste are wearing hoods, but the hair of Polyxena is braided after the custom of maidens. Poets sing of her death at the tomb of Achilles, and both at Athens and at Pergamus on the Calcus I have seen the tragedy of Polyxena depicted in paintings.
[10.25.11] The artist has painted Nestor with a cap on his head and a spear in his hand. There is also a horse, in the attitude of one about to roll in the dust. Right up to the horse there is a beach with what appear to be pebbles, but beyond the horse the sea-scene breaks off.
[10.26.1] XXVI. Above the women between Aethra and Nestor are other captive women, Clymene, Creusa, Aristomache and Xenodice. Now Stesichorus, in the Sack of Troy, includes Clymene in the number of the captives; and similarly, in the Returns, he speaks of Aristomache as the daughter of Priam and the wife of Critolaus, son of Hicetaon. But I know of no poet, and of no prose-writer, who makes mention of Xenodice. About Creusa the story is told that the mother of the gods and Aphrodite rescued her from slavery among the Greeks, as she was, of course, the wife of Aeneas. But Lescheos and the writer of the epic poem Cypria make Eurydice the wife of Aeneas.
[10.26.2] Beyond these are painted on a couch Deinome, Metioche, Peisis and Cleodice. Deinome is the only one of these names to occur in what is called the Little Iliad; Polygnotus, I think, invented the names of the others. Epeius is painted naked; he is razing to the ground the Trojan wall. Above the wall rises the head only of the Wooden Horse. There is Polypoetes, the son of Peirithous, his head bound with a fillet; by his side is Acamas, the son of Theseus, wearing on his head a helmet with a crest on it.
[10.26.3] There is also Odysseus . . . and Odysseus has put on his corselet. Ajax, the son of Oileus, holding a shield, stands by an altar, taking an oath about the outrage on Cassandra. Cassandra is sitting on the ground, and holds the image of Athena, for she had knocked over the wooden image from its stand when Ajax was dragging her away from sanctuary. In the painting are also the sons of Atreus, wearing helmets like the others; Menelaus carries a shield, on which is wrought a serpent as a memorial of the prodigy that appeared on the victims at Aulis.
[10.26.4] Under those who are administering the oath to Ajax, and in a line with the horse by Nestor, is Neoptolemus, who has killed Elasus, whoever Elasus may be. Elasus is represented as a man only just alive. Astynous, who is also mentioned by Lescheos, has fallen to his knees, and Neoptolemus is striking him with a sword. Neoptolemus is the only one of the Greek army represented by Polygnotus as still killing the Trojans, the reason being that he intended the whole painting to be placed over the grave of Neoptolemus. The son of Achilles is named Neoptolemus by Homer in all his poetry. The epic poem, however, called Cypria says that Lycomedes named him Pyrrhus, but Phoenix gave him the name of Neoptolemus (young soldier) because Achilles was but young when he first went to war.
[10.26.5] In the picture is an altar, to which a small boy clings in terror. On the altar lies a bronze corselet. At the present day corselets of this form are rare, but they used to be worn in days of old. They were made of two bronze pieces, one fitting the chest and the parts about the belly, the other intended to protect the back. They were called gyala. One was put on in front, and the other behind; then they were fastened together by buckles.
[10.26.6] They were thought to afford sufficient safety even without a shield. Wherefore Homer43 speaks of Phorcys the Phrygian as without a shield, because he wore a two-piece corselet. Not only have I seen this armour depicted by Polygnotus, but in the temple of Ephesian Artemis Calliphon of Samos has painted women fitting on the gyala of the corselet of Patroclus.
[10.26.7] Beyond the altar he has painted Laodice standing, whom I do not find among the Trojan captive women enumerated by any poet, so I think that the only probable conclusion is that she was set free by the Greeks. Homer in the Iliad speaks of the hospitality given to Menelaus and Odysseus by Antenor, and how Laodice was wife to Helicaon, Antenor's son.44
[10.26.8] Lescheos says that Helicaon, wounded in the night battle, was recognized by Odysseus and carried alive out of the fighting. So the tie binding Menelaus and Odysseus to the house of Antenor makes it unlikely that Agamemnon and Menelaus committed any spiteful act against the wife of Helicaon. The account of Laodice given by the Chalcidian poet Euphorion is entirely unlikely.
[10.26.9] Next to Laodice is a stone stand with a bronze washing-basin upon it. Medusa is sitting on the ground, holding the stand in both hands. If we are to believe the ode of the poet of Himera, Medusa should be reckoned as one of the daughters of Priam. Beside Medusa is a shaved old woman or eunuch, holding on the knees a naked child. It is represented as holding its hand before its eyes in terror.
[10.27.1] XXVII. There are also corpses: the naked man, Pelis by name, lies thrown on his back, and under Pelis lie Eioneus and Admetus, still clad in their corselets. Of these Lescheos says that Eioneus was killed by Neoptolemus, and Admetus by Philoctetes. Above these are others: under the washing-basin is Leocritus, the son of Pulydamas, killed by Odysseus; beyond Eioneus and Admetus is Coroebus, the son of Mygdon. Of Mygdon there is a notable tomb on the borders of the Phrygians of Stectorium, and after him poets are wont to call Phrygians by the name of Mygdones. Coroebus came to marry Cassandra, and was killed, according to the more popular account, by Neoptolemus, but according to the poet Lescheos, by Diomedes.
[10.27.2] Higher up than Coroebus are Priam, Axion and Agenor. Lescheos says that Priam was not killed at the hearth of the Courtyard God, but that he was dragged away from the altar and fell an easy prey to Neoptolemus at the gate of his own palace. As to Hecuba, Stesichorus says in the Sack of Troy that she was brought by Apollo to Lycia. Lescheos says that Axion was a son of Priam, killed by Eurypylus, the son of Euaemon. According to the same poet Agenor was slain by Neoptolemus. So it would appear that Echeclus the son of Agenor was slaughtered by Achilles, and Agenor himself by Neoptolemus.
[10.27.3] The body of Laomedon is being carried off by Sinon, a comrade of Odysseus, and Anchialus. There is also in the painting another corpse, that of Eresus. The tale of Eresus and Laomedon, so far as we know, no poet has sung. There is the house of Antenor, with a leopard's skin hanging over the entrance, as a sign to the Greeks to keep their hands off the home of Antenor. There are painted Theano and her sons, Glaucus sitting on a corselet fitted with the two pieces, and Eurymachus upon a rock.
[10.27.4] By the latter stands Antenor, and next to him Crino, a daughter of Antenor. Crino is carrying a baby. The look upon their faces is that of those on whom a calamity has fallen. Servants are lading an ass with a chest and other furniture. There is also sitting on the ass a small child. At this part of the painting there is also an elegiac couplet of Simonides:–
Polygnotus, a Thasian by birth, son of Aglaophon,
Painted a picture of Troy's citadel being sacked. Simonides, unknown location.
[10.28.1] XXVIII. The other part of the picture, the one on the left, shows Odysseus, who has descended into what is called Hades to inquire of the soul of Teiresias about his safe return home. The objects depicted are as follow. There is water like a river, clearly intended for Acheron, with reeds growing in it; the forms of the fishes appear so dim that you will take them to be shadows rather than fish. On the river is a boat, with the ferryman at the oars.
[10.28.2] Polygnotus followed, I think, the poem called the Minyad. For in this poem occur lines referring to Theseus and Peirithous:–
Then the boat on which embark the dead, that the old ferryman, Charon, used to steer, they found not within its moorings. The Minyad, an unknown work.
For this reason then Polygnotus too painted Charon as a man well stricken in years.
[10.28.3] Those on board the boat are not altogether distinguished. Tellis appears as a youth in years, and Cleoboea as still a maiden, holding on her knees a chest such as they are wont to make for Demeter. All I heard about Tellis was that Archilochus the poet was his grandson, while as for Cleoboea, they say that she was the first to bring the orgies of Demeter to Thasos from Paros.
[10.28.4] On the bank of Acheron there is a notable group under the boat of Charon, consisting of a man who had been undutiful to his father and is now being throttled by him. For the men of old held their parents in the greatest respect, as we may infer, among other instances, from those in Catana called the Pious, who, when the fire flowed down on Catana from Aetna, held of no account gold or silver, but when they fled took up, one his mother and another his father. As they struggled on, the fire rushed up and caught them in the flames. Not even so would they put down their parents, and it is said that the stream of lava divided itself in two, and the fire passed on, doing no hurt to either young men or their parents. These Catanians even at the present day receive honors from their fellow countrymen.
[10.28.5] Near to the man in Polygnotus' picture who maltreated his father and for this drinks his cup of woe in Hades, is a man who paid the penalty for sacrilege. The woman who is punishing him is skilled in poisonous and other drugs.
[10.28.6] So it appears that in those days men laid the greatest stress on piety to the gods, as the Athenians showed when they took the sanctuary of Olympian Zeus at Syracuse; they moved none of the offerings, but left the Syracusan priest as their keeper. Datis the Persian too showed his piety in his address to the Delians, and in this act as well, when having found an image of Apollo in a Phoenician ship he restored it to the Tanagraeans at Delium. So at that time all men held the divine in reverence, and this is why Polygnotus has depicted the punishment of him who committed sacrilege.
[10.28.7] Higher up than the figures I have enumerated comes Eurynomus, said by the Delphian guides to be one of the demons in Hades, who eats off all the flesh of the corpses, leaving only their bones. But Homer's Odyssey, the poem called the Minyad, and the Returns, although they tell of Hades, and its horrors, know of no demon called Eurynomus. However, I will describe what he is like and his attitude in the painting. He is of a color between blue and black, like that of meat flies; he is showing his teeth and is seated, and under him is spread a vulture's skin.
[10.28.8] Next after Eurynomus are Auge of Arcadia and Iphimedeia. Auge visited the house of Teuthras in Mysia, and of all the women with whom Heracles is said to have mated, none gave birth to a son more like his father than she did. Great honors are paid to Iphimedeia by the Carians in Mylasa.
[10.29.1] XXIX. Higher up than the figures I have already enumerated are Perimedes and Eurylochus, the companions of Odysseus, carrying victims for sacrifice; these are black -rams. After them is a man seated, said by the inscription to be Ocnus (Sloth). He is depicted as plaiting a cord, and by him stands a she-ass, eating up the cord as quickly as it is plaited. They say that this Ocnus was a diligent man with an extravagant wife. Everything he earned by working was quickly spent by his wife.
[10.29.2] So they will have it that Polygnotus has painted a parable about the wife of Ocnus. I know also that the Ionians, whenever they see a man labouring at nothing profitable, say that such an one is plaiting the cord of Ocnus. Ocnus too is the name given to a bird by the seers who observe birds that are ominous. This Ocnus is the largest and most beautiful of the herons, a rare bird if ever there was one.
[10.29.3] Tityos too is in the picture; he is no longer being punished, but has been reduced to nothing by continuous torture, an indistinct and mutilated phantom.
Going on to the next part of the picture, you see very near to the man who is twisting the rope a painting of Ariadne. Seated on a rock she is looking at her sister Phaedra, who is on a swing grasping in either hand the rope on each side. The attitude, though quite gracefully drawn, makes us infer the manner of Phaedra's death.
[10.29.4] Ariadne was taken away from Theseus by Dionysus, who sailed against him with superior forces, and either fell in with Ariadne by chance or else set an ambush to catch her. This Dionysus was, in my opinion, none other than he who was the first to invade India, and the first to bridge the river Euphrates. Zeugma (Bridge) was the name given to that part of the country where the Euphrates was bridged, and at the present day the cable is still preserved with which he spanned the river; it is plaited with branches of the vine and ivy.
[10.29.5] Both the Greeks and the Egyptians have many legends about Dionysus. Underneath Phaedra is Chloris leaning against the knees of Thyia. He will not be mistaken who says that all during the lives of these women they remained friends. For Chloris came from Orchomenus in Boeotia, and the other was a daughter of Castalius from Parnassus. Other authorities have told their history, how that Thyia had connection with Poseidon, and how Chloris wedded Neleus, son of Poseidon.
[10.29.6] Beside Thyia stands Procris, the daughter of Erechtheus, and after her Clymene, who is turning her back to Chloris. The poem the Returns says that Clymene was a daughter of Minyas, that she married Cephalus the son of Deion, and that a son Iphiclus was born to them. The story of Procris is told by all men, how she had married Cephalus before Clymene, and in what way she was put to death by her husband.
[10.29.7] Farther within from Clymene you will see Megara from Thebes. This Megara married Heracles, but was divorced by him in course of time, on the ground that he had lost the children he had by her, and so thought that his marriage with her was unlucky.
Above the heads of the women I have enumerated is the daughter of Salmoneus sitting on a rock, beside whom is standing Eriphyle, who is holding up the ends of her fingers along her neck through her tunic, and you will conjecture that in the folds of her tunic she is holding in one of her hands the famous necklace.
[10.29.8] Beyond Eriphyle have been painted Elpenor and Odysseus. The latter is squatting on his feet, and holding his sword over the trench, towards which the seer Teiresias is advancing. After Teiresias is Anticleia, the mother of Odysseus, upon a rock. Elpenor has on instead of clothes a mat, such as is usual for sailors to wear.
[10.29.9] Lower down than Odysseus are Theseus and Peirithous sitting upon chairs. The former is holding in his hands the sword of Peirithous and his own. Peirithous is looking at the swords, and you might conjecture that he is angry with them for having been useless and of no help in their daring adventures. Panyassis the poet says that Theseus and Peirithous did not sit chained to their chairs, but that the rock grew to their flesh and so served as chains.
[10.29.10] The proverbial friendship of Theseus and Peirithous has been mentioned by Homer in both his poems. In the Odyssey Odysseus says to the Phaeacians:–
And now I should have seen more men of former days, whom I wished very much to see,
Theseus and Peirithous, renowned children of gods. Hom. Od. 11.631 foll.
And in the Iliad he has made Nestor give advice to Agamemnon and Achilles, and speaking among others the following verses:–
I have never yet seen such men, and I am never likely to see
As were Peirithous, Dryas, shepherd of the folk,
Caeneus, Exadius, god-like Polyphemus,
And Theseus, son of Aegeus, like to the immortals. Hom. Il. 1.262 foll.
[10.30.1] XXX. Next Polygnotus has painted the daughters of Pandareos. Homer makes Penelope say in a speech45 that the parents of the maidens died because of the wrath of the gods, that they were reared as orphans by Aphrodite and received gifts from other goddesses: from Hera wisdom and beauty of form, from Artemis high stature, from Athena schooling in the works that befit women.
[10.30.2] He goes on to say that Aphrodite ascended into heaven, wishing to secure for the girls a happy marriage, and in her absence they were carried off by the Harpies and given by them to the Furies. This is the story as given by Homer. Polygnotus has painted them as girls crowned with flowers and playing with dice, and gives them the names of Cameiro and Clytie. I must tell you that Pandareos was a Milesian from Miletus in Crete, and implicated in the theft of Tantalus and in the trick of the oath.
[10.30.3] After the daughters of Pandareos is Antilochus, with one foot upon a rock and his face and head resting upon both hands, while after Antilochus is Agamemnon, leaning on a scepter beneath his left armpit, and holding up a staff in his hands. Protesilaus is seated with his gaze fixed on Achilles. Such is the posture of Protesilaus, and beyond Achilles is Patroclus standing. With the exception of Agamemnon these figures have no beard.
[10.30.4] Beyond them has been painted Phocus as a stripling, and Iaseus, well bearded, is taking off a ring from the left hand of Phocus. The story about this is as follows. When Phocus, the son of Aeacus, had crossed from Aegina into what is now called Phocis, and wished to gain the rule over the men living on that part of the mainland, and to settle there himself, Iaseus conceived a great friendship for him. Among the gifts that Iaseus gave (as friends will) was a seal-ring, a stone set in gold. But when Phocus returned, not long afterwards, to Aegina, Peleus at once plotted to kill him. This is the reason why in the painting, as a reminder of their great friendship, Iaseus is anxious to look at the ring and Phocus has let him take it.
[10.30.5] Beyond these is Maera sitting on a rock. About her the poem Returns says that she was still a maid when she departed this life, being the daughter of Proetus, son of Thersander, who was a son of Sisyphus. Next to Maera is Actaeon, son of Aristaeus, together with the mother of Actaeon; they hold in their hands a young deer, and are sitting on a deer's skin. A hunting dog lies stretched out beside them, an allusion to Actaeon's mode of life, and to the manner of his death.
[10.30.6] Turning our gaze again to the lower part of the picture we see, next after Patroclus, Orpheus sitting on what seems to be a sort of hill; he grasps with his left hand a harp, and with his right he touches a willow. It is the branches that he touches, and he is leaning against the tree. The grove seems to be that of Persephone, where grow, as Homer thought,46 black poplars and willows. The appearance of Orpheus is Greek, and neither his garb nor his head-gear is Thracian.
[10.30.7] On the other side of the willow-tree Promedon is leaning against it. Some there are who think that the name Promedon is as it were a poetic invention of Polygnotus; others have said that Promedon was a Greek who was fond of listening to all kinds of music, especially to the singing of Orpheus.
[10.30.8] In this part of the painting is Schedius, who led the Phocians to Troy, and after him is Pelias, sitting on a chair, with grey hair and grey beard, and looking at Orpheus. Schedius holds a dagger and is crowned with grass. Thamyris is sitting near Pelias. He has lost the sight of his eyes; his attitude is one of utter dejection; his hair and beard are long; at his feet lies thrown a lyre with its horns and strings broken.
[10.30.9] Above him is Marsyas, sitting on a rock, and by his side is Olympus, with the appearance of a boy in the bloom of youth learning to play the flute. The Phrygians in Celaenae hold that the river passing through the city was once this great flute-player, and they also hold that the Song of the Mother, an air for the flute, was composed by Marsyas. They say too that they repelled the army of the Gauls by the aid of Marsyas, who defended them against the barbarians by the water from the river and by the music of his flute.
[10.31.1] XXXI. If you turn your gaze again to the upper part of the painting, you see, next to Actaeon, Ajax of Salamis, and also Palamedes and Thersites playing with dice, the invention of Palamedes; the other Ajax is looking at them as they play. The color of the latter Ajax is like that of a shipwrecked sailor with the brine still rough on the surface of his skin.
[10.31.2] Polygnotus has intentionally gathered into one group the enemies of Odysseus. Ajax, son of Oileus, conceived a hatred of Odysseus, because Odysseus urged the Greeks to stone him for the outrage on Cassandra. Palamedes, as I know from reading the epic poem Cypria, was drowned when he put out to catch fish, and his murderers were Diomedes and Odysseus.
[10.31.3] Meleager, the son of Oeneus, is higher up in the picture than Ajax, the son of Oileus, and he seems to be looking at Ajax. Palamedes has no beard, but the others have. As to the death of Meleager, Homer47 says that the Fury heard the curses of Althaea, and that this was the cause of Meleager's death. But the poem Eoeae, as it is called, and the Minyad agree in giving a different account. For these poems say that Apollo helped the Curetes against the Aetolians, and that Meleager was killed by Apollo.
[10.31.4] The story about the brand, how it was given by the Fates to Althaea, how Meleager was not to die before the brand was consumed by fire, and how Althaea burnt it up in a passion – this story was first made the subject of a drama by Phrynichus, the son of Polyphradmon, in his Pleuronian Women:–
For chill doom he escaped not, but a swift flame consumed him, as the brand was destroyed by his terrible mother, contriver of evil. Phrynichus, Pleuronian Women, unknown location.
However, it appears that Phrynichus did not elaborate the story as a man would his own invention, but only touched on it as one already in the mouths of everybody in Greece.
[10.31.5] In the lower part of the picture, after the Thracian Thamyris, comes Hector, who is sitting with both hands clasped about his left knee, in an attitude of deep grief. After him is Memnon, sitting on a rock, and Sarpedon next to Memnon. Sarpedon has his face buried in both hands, and one of Memnon's hands lies on Sarpedon's shoulder.
[10.31.6] All are bearded; and on the cloak of Memnon are embroidered birds. Their name is Memnonides, and the people of the Hellespont say that on stated days every year they go to the grave of Memnon, and sweep all that part of the tomb that is bare of trees or grass, and sprinkle it with the water of the Aesepus from their wet wings.
[10.31.7] Beside Memnon is depicted a naked Ethiopian boy, because Memnon was king of the Ethiopian nation. He came to Troy, however, not from Ethiopia, but from Susa in Persia and from the river Choaspes, having subdued all the peoples that lived between these and Troy. The Phrygians still point out the road through which he led his army, picking out the shortest routes. The road is divided up by halting-places.48
[10.31.8] Beyond Sarpedon and Memnon is Paris, as yet beardless. He is clapping his hands like a boor, and you will say that it is as though Paris were calling Penthesileia to him by the noise of his hands. Penthesileia too is there, looking at Paris, but by the toss of her head she seems to show her disdain and contempt. In appearance Penthesileia is a maiden, carrying a bow like Scythian bows, and wearing a leopard's skin on her shoulders.
[10.31.9] The women beyond Penthesileia are carrying water in broken pitchers; one is depicted as in the bloom of youth, the other is already advanced in years. There is no separate inscription on either woman, but there is one common to the pair, which states that they are of the number of the uninitiated.
[10.31.10] Higher up than these is Callisto, daughter of Lycaon, Nomia, and Pero, daughter of Neleus. As her bride-price Neleus asked for the oxen of Iphiclus. Instead of a mattress, Callisto has a bearskin, and her feet are lying on Nomia's knees. I have already mentioned that the Arcadians say that Nomia49 is a nymph native to their country. The poets say that the nymphs live for a great number of years, but are not altogether exempt from death.
After Callisto and the women with her is the form of a cliff, and Sisyphus, the son of Aeolus, is trying his hardest to push the rock up it.
[10.31.11] There is also in the painting a jar, and an old man, with a boy and two women. One of these, who is young, is under the rock; the other is beside the old man and of a like age to his. The others are carrying water, but you will guess that the old woman's water-jar is broken. All that remains of the water in the sherd she is pouring out again into the jar. We inferred that these people too were of those who had held of no account the rites at Eleusis. For the Greeks of an earlier period looked upon the Eleusinian mysteries as being as much higher than all other religious acts as gods are higher than heroes.
[10.31.12] Under this jar is Tantalus, enduring all the pains that Homer50 speaks of, and in addition the terror of the stone that hangs over him. Polygnotus has plainly followed the account of Archilochus, but I do not know whether Archilochus borrowed from others the story of the stone or whether it was an invention of his that he introduced into his poem.
So great is the number of the figures and so many are their beauties, in this painting of the Thasian artist.
29. Hom. Od. 20.300 foll.
30. This sentence is probably a marginal note which has crept into the text.
31. Paus. 1.3.4
32. See Hdt. 7.203
33. Paus. 1.3.9 and Paus. 1.4.2.
34. 279 B.C
35. See Hom. Od. 9.166-542
36. See Hdt. 7.213-218
37. Pind. N. 1.53
38. See Plat. Prot. 343a.
39. See Paus. 4.17.4.
40. Hom. Od. 3.278 foll.
41. Hom. Il. 3.144
42. Hom. Il. 13.171
43. Hom. Il. 17.312
44. See Hom. Il. 3.205 and Hom. 3.123.
45. Hom. Od. 20.66-78
46. Hom. Od. 10.510
47. Hom. Il. 1.566
48. With the suggested emendations: “is cut through the mountains” or “is cut through the territory of the people of Meros.”
49. See Paus. 8.38.11.
50. Hom. Od. 11.582