DESCRIPTION OF GREECE, TRANS. BY W. H. S. JONES
PROETIDIAN GATE OF THEBES
[9.23.1] XXIII. In front of the Proetidian gate at Thebes is the gymnasium called the Gymnasium of Iolaus and also a race-course, a bank of earth like those at Olympia and Epidaurus. Here there is also shown a hero-shrine of Iolaus. That Iolaus himself died at Sardis along with the Athenians and Thespians who made the crossing with him is admitted even by the Thebans themselves.
[9.23.2] Crossing over the right side of the course you come to a race-course for horses, in which is the tomb of Pindar.
THE POET PINDAR, HISTORY
When Pindar was a young man he was once on his way to Thespiae in the hot season. At about noon he was seized with fatigue and the drowsiness that follows it, so just as he was, he lay down a little way above the road. As he slept bees alighted on him and plastered his lips with their wax.
[9.23.3] Such was the beginning of Pindar's career as a lyric poet. When his reputation had already spread throughout Greece he was raised to a greater height of fame by an order of the Pythian priestess, who bade the Delphians give to Pindar one half of all the first-fruits they offered to Apollo. It is also said that on reaching old age a vision came to him in a dream. As he slept Persephone stood by him and declared that she alone of the deities had not been honored by Pindar with a hymn, but that Pindar would compose an ode to her also when he had come to her.
[9.23.4] Pindar died at once, before ten days had passed since the dream. But there was in Thebes an old woman related by birth to Pindar who had practised singing most of his odes. By her side in a dream stood Pindar, and sang a hymn to Persephone. Immediately on waking out of her sleep she wrote down all she had heard him singing in her dream. In this song, among the epithets he applies to Hades is “golden-reined” – a clear reference to the rape of Persephone.
ACRAEPHNIUM & MT PTOUS
[9.23.5] From this point to Acraephnium is mainly flat. They say that originally the city formed part of the territory belonging to Thebes, and I learned that in later times men of Thebes escaped to it, at the time when Alexander destroyed Thebes. Weak and old, they could not even get safely away to Attica, but made their homes here. The town lies on Mount Ptous, and there are here a temple and image of Dionysus that are worth seeing.
[9.23.6] About fifteen stades away from the city on the right is the sanctuary of Ptoan Apollo. We are told by Asius in his epic that Ptous, who gave a surname to Apollo and the name to the mountain, was a son of Athamas by Themisto. Before the expedition of the Macedonians under Alexander, in which Thebes was destroyed, there was here an oracle that never lied. Once too a mail of Europus, of the name of Mys, who was sent by Mardonius, inquired of the god in his own language, and the god too gave a response, not in Greek but in the Carian speech.
[9.23.7] On crossing Mount Ptous you come to Larymna, a Boeotian city on the coast, said to have been named after Larymna, the daughter of Cynus. Her earlier ancestors I shall give in my account of Locris.23 Of old Larymna belonged to Opus, but when Thebes rose to great power the citizens of their own accord joined the Boeotians. Here there is a temple of Dionysus with a standing image. The town has a harbor with deep water near the shore, and on the mountains commanding the city wild boars can be hunted.
[9.24.1] XXIV. On the straight road from Acraephnium to the Cephisian, or as it is also called, the Copaic Lake, is what is styled the Athamantian Plain, on which, they say, Athamas made his home. Into the lake flows the river Cephisus, which rises at Lilaea in Phocis, and on sailing across it you come to Copae, a town lying on the shore of the lake. Homer24 mentions it in the Catalogue. Here is a sanctuary of Demeter, one of Dionysus and a third of Serapis.
[9.24.2] According to the Boeotians there were once other inhabited towns near the lake, Athens and Eleusis, but there occurred a flood one winter which destroyed them. The fish of the Cephisian Lake are in general no different from those of other lakes, but the eels there are of great size and very pleasant to the palate.
OLMONES & HYETTUS
[9.24.3] On the left of Copae about twelve stades from it is Olmones, and some seven stades distant from Olmones is Hyettus both right from their foundation to the present day have been villages. In my view Hyettus, as well as the Athamantian plain, belongs to the district of Orchomenus. All the stories I heard about Hyettus the Argive and Olmus, the son of Sisyphus, I shall include in my history of Orchomenus.25 In Olmones they did not show me anything that was in the least worth seeing, but in Hyettus is a temple of Heracles, from whom the sick may get cures. There is an image not carefully carved, but of unwrought stone after the ancient fashion.
CYRTONES & CORSEIA
[9.24.4] About twenty stades away from Hyettus is Cyrtones. The ancient name of the town was, they say, Cyrtone. It is built on a high mountain, and here are a temple and grove of Apollo. There are also standing images of Apollo and Artemis. There is here too a cool stream of water rising from a rock. By the spring is a sanctuary of the nymphs, and a small grove, in which all the trees alike are cultivated.
[9.24.5] Going out of Cyrtones, as you cross the mountain you come to Corseia, under which is a grove of trees that are not cultivated, being mostly evergreen oaks. A small image of Hermes stands in the open part of the grove. This is distant from Corseia about half a stade. On descending to the level you reach a river called the Platanius, which flows into the sea. On the right of the river the last of the Boeotians in this part dwell in Halae-on-Sea, which separates the Locrian mainland from Euboea.
NEISTAN GATE OF THEBES
[9.25.1] XXV. Very near to the Neistan gate at Thebes is the tomb of Menoeceus, the son of Creon. He committed suicide in obedience to the oracle from Delphi, at the time when Polyneices and the host with him arrived from Argos. On the tomb of Menoeceus grows a pomegranate-tree. If you break through the outer part of the ripe fruit, you will then find the inside like blood. This pomegranate-tree is still flourishing. The Thebans assert that they were the first men among whom the vine grew, but they have now no memorial of it to show.
[9.25.2] Not far from the grave of Menoeceus is the place where they say the sons of Oedipus killed each other in a duel. The scene of their fight is marked by a pillar, upon which is a stone shield. There is shown a place where according to the Thebans Hera was deceived by Zeus into giving the breast to Heracles when he was a baby. The whole of this place is called the Dragging of Antigone. For when she found that she had not the strength to lift the body of Polyneices, in spite of her eager efforts, a second plan occurred to her, to drag him. So she dragged him right up to the burning pyre of Eteocles and threw him on it.
[9.25.3] There is a river called Dirce after the wife of Lycus. The story goes that Antiope was ill-treated by this Dirce, and therefore the children of Antiope put Dirce to death. Crossing the river you reach the ruins of the house of Pindar, and a sanctuary of the Mother Dindymene. Pindar dedicated the image, and Aristomedes and Socrates, sculptors of Thebes, made it. Their custom is to open the sanctuary on one day in each year, and no more. It was my fortune to arrive on that day, and I saw the image, which, like the throne, is of Pentelic marble.
[9.25.4] Along the road from the Neistan gate are three sanctuaries. There is a sanctuary of Themis, with an image of white marble; adjoining it is a sanctuary of the Fates, while the third is of Zeus of the Market. Zeus is made of stone; the Fates have no images. A little farther off in the open stands Heracles, surnamed Nose-docker; the reason for the name is, as the Thebans say, that Heracles cut off the noses, as an insult, of the heralds who came from Orchomenus to demand the tribute.
[9.25.5] Advancing from here twenty-five stades you come to a grove of Cabeirean Demeter and the Maid. The initiated are permitted to enter it. The sanctuary of the Cabeiri is some seven stades distant from this grove. I must ask the curious to forgive me if I keep silence as to who the Cabeiri are, and what is the nature of the ritual performed in honor of them and of the Mother.
[9.25.6] But there is nothing to prevent my declaring to all what the Thebans say was the origin of the ritual. They say that once there was in this place a city, with inhabitants called Cabeiri; and that Demeter came to know Prometheus, one of the Cabeiri, and Aetnaelis his son, and entrusted something to their keeping. What was entrusted to them, and what happened to it, seemed to me a sin to put into writing, but at any rate the rites are a gift of Demeter to the Cabeiri.
[9.25.7] At the time of the invasion of the Epigoni and the taking of Thebes, the Cabeiri were expelled from their homes by the Argives and the rites for a while ceased to be performed. But they go on to say that afterwards Pelarge, the daughter of Potnieus, and Isthmiades her husband established the mysteries here to begin with, but transferred them to the place called Alexiarus.
[9.25.8] But because Pelarge conducted the initiation outside the ancient borders, Telondes and those who were left of the clan of the Cabeiri returned again to Cabeiraea. Various honors were to be established for Pelarge by Telondes in accordance with an oracle from Dodona, one being the sacrifice of a pregnant victim. The wrath of the Cabeiri no man may placate, as has been proved on many occasions.
[9.25.9] For certain private people dared to perform in Naupactus the ritual just as it was done in Thebes, and soon afterwards justice overtook them. Then, again, certain men of the army of Xerxes left behind with Mardonius in Boeotia entered the sanctuary of the Cabeiri, perhaps in the hope of great wealth, but rather, I suspect, to show their contempt of its gods; all these immediately were struck with madness, and flung themselves to their deaths into the sea or from the tops of precipices.
[9.25.10] Again, when Alexander after his victory wasted with fire all the Thebaid, including Thebes itself, some men from Macedonia entered the sanctuary of the Cabeiri, as it was in enemy territory, and were destroyed by thunder and lightning from heaven.
[9.26.1] XXVI. So sacred this sanctuary has been from the beginning. On the right of the sanctuary is a plain named after Tenerus the seer, whom they hold to be a son of Apollo by Melia; there is also a large sanctuary of Heracles surnamed Hippodetus (Binder of Horses). For they say that the Orchomenians came to this place with an army, and that Heracles by night took their chariot-horses and bound them tight.
[9.26.2] Farther on we come to the mountain from which they say the Sphinx, chanting a riddle, sallied to bring death upon those she caught. Others say that roving with a force of ships on a piratical expedition she put in at Anthedon, seized the mountain I mentioned, and used it for plundering raids until Oedipus overwhelmed her by the superior numbers of the army he had with him on his arrival from Corinth.
[9.26.3] There is another version of the story which makes her the natural daughter of Laius, who, because he was fond of her, told her the oracle delivered to Cadmus from Delphi. No one, they say, except the kings knew the oracle. Now Laius (the story goes on to say) had sons by concubines, and the oracle delivered from Delphi applied only to Epicaste and her sons. So when any of her brothers came in order to claim the throne from the Sphinx, she resorted to trickery in dealing with them, saying that if they were sons of Laius they should know the oracle that came to Cadmus.
[9.26.4] When they could not answer she would punish them with death, on the ground that they had no valid claim to the kingdom or to relationship. But Oedipus came because it appears he had been told the oracle in a dream.
[9.26.5] Distant from this mountain fifteen stades are the ruins of the city Onchestus. They say that here dwelt Onchestus, a son of Poseidon. In my day there remained a temple and image of Onchestian Poseidon, and the grove which Homer too praised.26
[9.26.6] Taking a turn left from the Cabeirian sanctuary, and advancing about fifty stades, you come to Thespiae, built at the foot of Mount Helicon. They say that Thespia was a daughter of Asopus, who gave her name to the city, while others say that Thespius, who was descended from Erechtheus, came from Athens and was the man after whom the city was called.
[9.26.7] In Thespiae is a bronze image of Zeus Saviour. They say about it that when a dragon once was devastating their city, the god commanded that every year one of their youths, upon whom the lot fell, should be offered to the monster. Now the names of those who perished they say that they do not remember. But when the lot fell on Cleostratus, his lover Menestratus, they say, devised a trick.
[9.26.8] He had made a bronze breastplate, with a fish-hook, the point turned outwards, upon each of its plates. Clad in this breastplate he gave himself up, of his own free will, to the dragon, convinced that having done so he would, though destroyed himself, prove the destroyer of the monster. This is why the Zeus has been surnamed Saviour. The image of Dionysus, and also that of Fortune, and in another place that of Health . . . But the Athena Worker, as well as Wealth, who stands beside her, was made by. . . .
[9.27.1] XXVII. Of the gods the Thespians have from the beginning honored Love most, and they have a very ancient image of him, an unwrought stone. Who established among the Thespians the custom of worshipping Love more than any other god I do not know. He is worshipped equally by the people of Parium on the Hellespont, who were originally colonists from Erythrae in Ionia, but to-day are subject to the Romans.
[9.27.2] Most men consider Love to be the youngest of the gods and the son of Aphrodite. But Olen the Lycian, who composed the oldest Greek hymns, says in a hymn to Eileithyia that she was the mother of Love. Later than Olen, both Pamphos and Orpheus wrote hexameter verse, and composed poems on Love, in order that they might be among those sung by the Lycomidae to accompany the ritual. I read them after conversation with a Torchbearer. Of these things I will make no further mention. Hesiod,27 or he who wrote the Theogony fathered on Hesiod, writes, I know, that Chaos was born first, and after Chaos, Earth, Tartarus and Love.
[9.27.3] Sappho of Lesbos wrote many poems about Love, but they are not consistent. Later on Lysippus made a bronze Love for the Thespians, and previously Praxiteles one of Pentelic marble. The story of Phryne and the trick she played on Praxiteles I have related in another place.28 The first to remove the image of Love, it is said, was Gaius the Roman Emperor; Claudius, they say, sent it back to Thespiae, but Nero carried it away a second time.
[9.27.4] At Rome the image perished by fire. Of the pair who sinned against the god, Gaius was killed by a private soldier, just as he was giving the password; he had made the soldier very angry by always giving the same password with a covert sneer. The other, Nero, in addition to his violence to his mother, committed accursed and hateful crimes against his wedded wives. The modern Love at Thespiae was made by the Athenian Menodorus, who copied the work of Praxiteles.
[9.27.5] Here too are statues made by Praxiteles himself, one of Aphrodite and one of Phryne, both Phryne and the goddess being of stone. Elsewhere too is a sanctuary of Black Aphrodite, with a theater and a market-place, well worth seeing. Here is set up Hesiod in bronze. Not far from the market-place is a Victory of bronze and a small temple of the Muses. In it are small images made of stone.
[9.27.6] At Thespiae is also a sanctuary of Heracles. The priestess there is a virgin, who acts as such until she dies. The reason of this is said to be as follows. Heracles, they say, had intercourse with the fifty daughters of Thestius, except one, in a single night. She was the only one who refused to have connection with him. Heracles,thinking that he had been insulted, condemned her to remain a virgin all her life, serving him as his priest.
[9.27.7] I have heard another story, how Heracles had connection with all the virgin daughters of Thestius in one and the same night, and how they all bore him sons, the youngest and the eldest bearing twins. But I cannot think it credible that Heracles would rise to such a pitch of wrath against a daughter of a friend. Moreover, while he was still among men, punishing them for insolence, and especially such as were impious towards the gods, he would not himself have set up a temple and appointed a priestess to himself, just as though he were a god.
[9.27.8] As a matter of fact this sanctuary seemed to me too old to be of the time of Heracles the son of Amphitryon, and to belong to Heracles called one of the Idaean Dactyls, to whom I found the people of Erythrae in Ionia and of Tyre possessed sanctuaries. Nevertheless, the Boeotians were not unacquainted with this name of Heracles, seeing that they themselves say that the sanctuary of Demeter of Mycalessus has been entrusted to Idaean Heracles.
[9.28.1] XXVIII. Helicon is one of the mountains of Greece with the most fertile soil and the greatest number of cultivated trees. The wild-strawberry bushes supply to the goats sweeter fruit than that growing anywhere else. The dwellers around Helicon say that all the grasses too and roots growing on the mountain are not at all poisonous to men. Moreover, the food makes the poison of the snakes too less deadly, so that most of those bitten escape with their lives, should they fall in with a Libyan of the race of the Psyllians, or with any suitable remedies.
[9.28.2] Now the poison of the most venomous snakes is of itself deadly to men and all animals alike, but what they feed on contributes very much to the strength of their poison; for instance, I learnt from a Phoenician that the roots they eat make more venomous the vipers in the highland of Phoenicia. He said that he had himself seen a man trying to escape from the rush of a viper; the man, he said, ran up a tree, but the viper, coming up too late, puffed some of its poison towards the tree, and the man died instantaneously.
[9.28.3] Such was the story I heard from him. Those vipers in Arabia that nest around the balsam trees have, I know, the following peculiarities. The balsams are about as big as a myrtle bush, and their leaves are like those of the herb marjoram. The vipers of Arabia lodge in certain numbers, larger or smaller, under each tree. For the balsam-juice is the food they like most, and moreover they are fond of the shade of the bushes.
[9.28.4] So when the time has come for the Arabians to collect the juice of the balsam, each man takes two sticks to the vipers, and by striking them together they drive the vipers away. Kill them they will not, considering them sacred to the balsam. And even if a man should have the misfortune to be bitten by the vipers, though the wound is like the cut of a knife, nevertheless there is no fear from the poison. For as the vipers feed on the most fragrant of perfumes, their poison is mitigated and less deadly.
THE MUSEUM OF HELICON
[9.29.1] XXIX. Such is the truth about these things. The first to sacrifice on Helicon to the Muses and to call the mountain sacred to the Muses were, they say, Ephialtes and Otus, who also founded Ascra. To this also Hegesinus alludes in his poem Atthis:–
And again with Ascra lay Poseidon Earth-shaker,
Who when the year revolved bore him a son
Oeoclus, who first with the children of Aloeus founded
Ascra, which lies at the foot of Helicon, rich in springs. Hegesinus, Atthis, unknown location.
[9.29.2] This poem of Hegesinus I have not read, for it was no longer extant when I was born. But Callippus of Corinth in his history of Orchomenus uses the verses of Hegesinus as evidence in support of his own views, and I too have done likewise, using the quotation of Callippus himself. Of Ascra in my day nothing memorable was left except one tower. The sons of Aloeus held that the Muses were three in number, and gave them the names of Melete (Practice), Mneme (Memory) and Aoede (Song).
[9.29.3] But they say that afterwards Pierus, a Macedonian, after whom the mountain in Macedonia was named, came to Thespiae and established nine Muses, changing their names to the present ones. Pierus was of this opinion either because it seemed to him wiser, or because an oracle so ordered, or having so learned from one of the Thracians. For the Thracians had the reputation of old of being more clever than the Macedonians, and in particular of being not so careless in religious matters.
[9.29.4] There are some who say that Pierus himself had nine daughters, that their names were the same as those of the goddesses, and that those whom the Greeks called the children of the Muses were sons of the daughters of Pierus. Mimnermus, who composed elegiac verses about the battle between the Smyrnaeans and the Lydians under Gyges, says in the preface that the elder Muses are daughters of Uranus, and that there are other and younger Muses, children of Zeus.
[9.29.5] On Helicon, on the left as you go to the grove of the Muses, is the spring Aganippe; they say that Aganippe was a daughter of the Termessus, which flows round Helicon. As you go along the straight road to the grove is a portrait of Eupheme carved in relief on a stone. She was, they say, the nurse of the Muses.
[9.29.6] So her portrait is here, and after it is Linus on a small rock worked into the shape of a cave. To Linus every year they sacrifice as to a hero before they sacrifice to the Muses. It is said that this Linus was a son of Urania and Amphimarus, a son of Poseidon, that he won a reputation for music greater than that of any contemporary or predecessor, and that Apollo killed him for being his rival in singing.
[9.29.7] On the death of Linus, mourning for him spread, it seems, to all the foreign world, so that even among the Egyptians there came to be a Linus song, in the Egyptian language called Maneros. Of the Greek poets, Homer shows that he knew that the sufferings of Linus were the theme of a Greek song when he says that Hephaestus, among the other scenes he worked upon the shield of Achilles, represented a boy harpist singing the Linus song:–
In the midst of them a boy on a clear-toned lyre
Played with great charm, and to his playing sang of beautiful Linus.29 Hom. Il. 18.569-70
[9.29.8] Pamphos, who composed the oldest Athenian hymns, called him Oetolinus (Linus doomed) at the time when the mourning for Linus was at its height. Sappho of Lesbos, who learnt the name of Oetolinus from the epic poetry of Pamphos, sang of both Adonis and Oetolinus together. The Thebans assert that Linus was buried among them, and that after the Greek defeat at Chaeroneia, Philip the son of Amyntas, in obedience to a vision in a dream, took up the bones of Linus and conveyed them to Macedonia;
[9.29.9] other visions induced him to send the bones of Linus back to Thebes. But all that was over the grave, and whatever marks were on it, vanished, they say, with the lapse of time. Other tales are told by the Thebans, how that later than this Linus there was born another, called the son of Ismenius, a teacher of music, and how Heracles, while still a child, killed him. But hexameter poetry was written neither by Linus the son of Amphimarus nor by the later Linus; or if it was, it has not survived for posterity.
[9.30.1] XXX. The first images of the Muses are of them all, from the hand of Cephisodotus, while a little farther on are three, also from the hand of Cephisodotus, and three more by Strongylion, an excellent artist of oxen and horses. The remaining three were made by Olympiosthenes. There is also on Helicon a bronze Apollo fighting with Hermes for the lyre. There is also a Dionysus by Lysippus; the standing image, however, of Dionysus, that Sulla dedicated, is the most noteworthy of the works of Myron after the Erectheus at Athens. What he dedicated was not his own; he took it away from the Minyae of Orchomenus. This is an illustration of the Greek proverb, “to worship the gods with other people's incense.”
[9.30.2] Of poets or famous musicians they have set up likenesses of the following. There is Thamyris himself, when already blind, with a broken lyre in his hand, and Arion of Methymna upon a dolphin. The sculptor who made the statue of Sacadas of Argos, not understanding the prelude of Pindar about him, has made the flute-player with a body no bigger than his flute.
[9.30.3] Hesiod too sits holding a harp upon his knees, a thing not at all appropriate for Hesiod to carry, for his own verses30 make it clear that he sang holding a laurel wand. As to the age of Hesiod and Homer, I have conducted very careful researches into this matter, but I do not like to write on the subject, as I know the quarrelsome nature of those especially who constitute the modern school of epic criticism.
[9.30.4] By the side of Orpheus the Thracian stands a statue of Telete, and around him are beasts of stone and bronze listening to his singing. There are many untruths believed by the Greeks, one of which is that Orpheus was a son of the Muse Calliope, and not of the daughter of Pierus, that the beasts followed him fascinated by his songs, and that he went down alive to Hades to ask for his wife from the gods below. In my opinion Orpheus excelled his predecessors in the beauty of his verse, and reached a high degree of power because he was believed to have discovered mysteries, purification from sins, cures of diseases and means of averting divine wrath.
[9.30.5] But they say that the women of the Thracians plotted his death, because he had persuaded their husbands to accompany him in his wanderings, but dared not carry out their intention through fear of their husbands. Flushed with wine, however, they dared the deed, and hereafter the custom of their men has been to march to battle drunk. Some say that Orpheus came to his end by being struck by a thunderbolt, hurled at him by the god because he revealed sayings in the mysteries to men who had not heard them before.
[9.30.6] Others have said that his wife died before him, and that for her sake he came to Aornum in Thesprotis, where of old was an oracle of the dead. He thought, they say, that the soul of Eurydice followed him, but turning round he lost her, and committed suicide for grief. The Thracians say that such nightingales as nest on the grave of Orpheus sing more sweetly and louder than others.
[9.30.7] The Macedonians who dwell in the district below Mount Pieria and the city of Dium say that it was here that Orpheus met his end at the hands of the women. Going from Dium along the road to the mountain, and advancing twenty stades, you come to a pillar on the right surmounted by a stone urn, which according to the natives contains the bones of Orpheus.
[9.30.8] There is also a river called Helicon. After a course of seventy-five stades the stream hereupon disappears under the earth. After a gap of about twenty-two stades the water rises again, and under the name of Baphyra instead of Helicon flows into the sea as a navigable river. The people of Dium say that at first this river flowed on land throughout its course. But, they go on to say, the women who killed Orpheus wished to wash off in it the blood-stains, and thereat the river sank underground, so as not to lend its waters to cleanse manslaughter.
[9.30.9] In Larisa I heard another story, how that on Olympus is a city Libethra, where the mountain faces, Macedonia, not far from which city is the tomb of Orpheus. The Libethrians, it is said, received out of Thrace an oracle from Dionysus, stating that when the sun should see the bones of Orpheus, then the city of Libethra would be destroyed by a boar. The citizens paid little regard to the oracle, thinking that no other beast was big or mighty enough to take their city, while a boar was bold rather than powerful.
[9.30.10] But when it seemed good to the god the following events befell the citizens. About midday a shepherd was asleep leaning against the grave of Orpheus, and even as he slept he began to sing poetry of Orpheus in a loud and sweet voice. Those who were pasturing or tilling nearest to him left their several tasks and gathered together to hear the shepherd sing in his sleep. And jostling one another and striving who could get nearest the shepherd they overturned the pillar, the urn fell from it and broke, and the sun saw whatever was left of the bones of Orpheus.
[9.30.11] Immediately when night came the god sent heavy rain, and the river Sys (Boar), one of the torrents about Olympus, on this occasion threw down the walls of Libethra, overturning sanctuaries of gods and houses of men, and drowning the inhabitants and all the animals in the city. When Libethra was now a city of ruin, the Macedonians in Dium, according to my friend of Larisa, carried the bones of Orpheus to their own country.
[9.30.12] Whoever has devoted himself to the study of poetry knows that the hymns of Orpheus are all very short, and that the total number of them is not great. The Lycomidae know them and chant them over the ritual of the mysteries. For poetic beauty they may be said to come next to the hymns of Homer, while they have been even more honored by the gods.
[9.31.1] XXXI. On Helicon there is also a statue of Arsinoe, who married Ptolemy her brother. She is being carried by a bronze ostrich. Ostriches grow wings just like other birds, but their bodies are so heavy and large that the wings cannot lift them into the air.
[9.31.2] Here too is Telephus, the son of Heracles, represented as a baby being suckled by a deer. By his side is an ox, and an image of Priapus worth seeing. This god is worshipped where goats and sheep pasture or there are swarms of bees; but by the people of Lampsacus he is more revered than any other god, being called by them a son of Dionysus and Aphrodite.
[9.31.3] On Helicon tripods have been dedicated, of which the oldest is the one which it is said Hesiod received for winning the prize for song at Chalcis on the Euripus. Men too live round about the grove, and here the Thespians celebrate a festival, and also games called the Museia. They celebrate other games in honor of Love, offering prizes not only for music but also for athletic events. Ascending about twenty stades from this grove is what is called the Horse's Fountain (Hippocrene). It was made, they say, by the horse of Bellerophon striking the ground with his hoof.
[9.31.4] The Boeotians dwelling around Helicon hold the tradition that Hesiod wrote nothing but the Works, and even of this they reject the prelude to the Muses, saying that the poem begins with the account of the Strifes.31 They showed me also a tablet of lead where the spring is, mostly defaced by time, on which is engraved the Works.
[9.31.5] There is another tradition, very different from the first, that Hesiod wrote a great number of poems; the one on women, the one called the Great Eoeae, the Theogony, the poem on the seer Melampus, the one on the descent to Hades of Theseus and Perithous, the Precepts of Chiron, professing to be for the instruction of Achilles, and other poems besides the Works and Days. These same Boeotians say that Hesiod learnt seercraft from the Acarnanians, and there are extant a poem called Mantica (Seercraft), which I myself have read, and interpretations of portents.
[9.31.6] Opposite stories are also told of Hesiod's death. All agree that Ctimenus and Antiphus, the sons of Ganyctor, fled from Naupactus to Molycria because of the murder of Hesiod, that here they sinned against Poseidon, and that in Molycria their punishment was inflicted. The sister of the young men had been ravished; some say the deed was Hesiod's, and others that Hesiod was wrongly thought guilty of another's crime. So widely different are the traditions of Hesiod himself and his poems.
[9.31.7] On the summit of Helicon is a small river called the Lamus.32
In the territory of the Thespians is a place called Donacon (Reed-bed). Here is the spring of Narcissus. They say that Narcissus looked into this water, and not understanding that he saw his own reflection, unconsciously fell in love with himself, and died of love at the spring. But it is utter stupidity to imagine that a man old enough to fall in love was incapable of distinguishing a man from a man's reflection.
[9.31.8] There is another story about Narcissus, less popular indeed than the other, but not without some support. It is said that Narcissus had a twin sister; they were exactly alike in appearance, their hair was the same, they wore similar clothes, and went hunting together. The story goes on that Narcissus fell in love with his sister, and when the girl died, would go to the spring, knowing that it was his reflection that he saw, but in spite of this knowledge finding some relief for his love in imagining that he saw, not his own reflection, but the likeness of his sister.
[9.31.9] The flower narcissus grew, in my opinion, before this, if we are to judge by the verses of Pamphos. This poet was born many years before Narcissus the Thespian, and he says that the Maid, the daughter of Demeter, was carried off when she was playing and gathering flowers, and that the flowers by which she was deceived into being carried off were not violets, but the narcissus.
CREUSIS, THISBE & TIPHA
[9.32.1] XXXII. Creusis, the harbor of Thespiae, has nothing to show publicly, but at the home of a private person I found an image of Dionysus made of gypsum and adorned with painting. The voyage from the Peloponnesus to Creusis is winding and, besides, not a calm one. For capes jut out so that a straight sea-crossing is impossible, and at the same time violent gales blow down from the mountains.
[9.32.2] Sailing from Creusis, not out to sea, but along Boeotia, you reach on the right a city called Thisbe. First there is a mountain by the sea; on crossing it you will come to a plain, and after that to another mountain, at the foot of which is the city. Here there is a sanctuary of Heracles with a standing image of stone, and they hold a festival called the Heracleia.
[9.32.3] Nothing would prevent the plain between the mountains becoming a lake owing to the volume of the water, had they not made a strong dyke right through it. So every other year they divert the water to the farther side of the dyke, and farm the other side. Thisbe, they say, was a nymph of the country, from whom the city has received its name.
[9.32.4] Sailing from here you come to Tipha, a small town by the sea. The townsfolk have a sanctuary of Heracles and hold an annual festival. They claim to have been from of old the best sailors in Boeotia, and remind you that Tiphys, who was chosen to steer the Argo, was a fellow-townsman. They point out also the place before the city where they say Argo anchored on her return from Colchis.
[9.32.5] As you go inland from Thespiae you come to Haliartus. The question who became founder of Haliartus and Coroneia I cannot separate from my account of Orchomenus.33
LYSANDER OF SPARTA, HISTORY
At the Persian invasion the people of Haliartus sided with the Greeks, and so a division of the army of Xerxes overran and burnt both their territory and their city. In Haliartus is the tomb of Lysander the Lacedaemonian. For having attacked the walls of Haliartus, in which were troops from Thebes and Athens, he fell in the fighting that followed a sortie of the enemy.
[9.32.6] Lysander in some ways is worthy of the greatest praise, in others of the sharpest blame. He certainly showed cleverness in the following ways. When in command of the Peloponnesian triremes he waited till Alcibiades was away from the fleet, and then led on Antiochus, the pilot of Alcibiades, to believe that he was a match for the Lacedaemonians at sea, and when in the rashness of vainglory he put out to sea, Lysander overcame him not far from the city of Colophon.
[9.32.7] And when for the second time he arrived from Sparta to take charge of the triremes, he so tamed Cyrus that, whenever he asked for money to pay the fleet, he received it in good time and without stint. When the Athenian fleet of one hundred ships anchored at Aegospotami, waiting until the sailors were scattered to get water and provisions, he thus captured their vessels. He showed the following example of justice.
[9.32.8] Autolycus the pancratiast, whose statue I saw in the Prytaneium of the Athenians, had a dispute about some piece of property with Eteonicus of Sparta. When Eteonicus was convicted of making unjust statements, as the rule of the Thirty was then supreme at Athens, and Lysander had not yet departed, Eteonicus was encouraged to make an unprovoked assault, and when Autolycus resisted, summoned him before Lysander, confidently expecting that judgment would be given in his favour. But Lysander gave judgment against Eteonicus and dismissed him with a reprimand.
[9.32.9] All this redounds to the credit of Lysander, but the following incidents are a reproach. Philocles, the Athenian commander-in-chief at Aegospotami, along with four thousand other Athenian prisoners, were put to death by Lysander, who even refused them burial afterwards, a thing which even the Persians who landed at Marathon received from the Athenians, and the Lacedaemonians themselves who fell at Thermopylae received from King Xerxes. Lysander brought a yet deeper disgrace upon the Lacedaemonians by the Commissions of Ten he set over the cities and by the Laconian governors.
[9.32.10] Again, an oracle had warned the Lacedaemonians that only love of money could destroy Sparta, and so they were not used to acquiring wealth, yet Lysander aroused in the Spartans a strong desire for riches. I for my part follow the Persians, and judge by the Persian law, and decide that Lysander brought on the Lacedaemonians more harm than benefit.
[9.33.1] XXXIII. In Haliartus too there is the tomb of Lysander and a hero-shrine of Cecrops the son of Pandion.
Mount Tilphusius and the spring called Tilphusa are about fifty stades away from Haliartus. The Greeks declare that the Argives, along with the sons of Polyneices, after capturing Thebes, were bringing Teiresias and some other of the spoil to the god at Delphi, when Teiresias, being thirsty, drank by the wayside of the Tilphusa, and forthwith gave up the ghost; his grave is by the spring.
[9.33.2] They say that the daughter of Teiresias was given to Apollo by the Argives, and at the command of the god crossed with ships to the Colophonian land in what is now called Ionia. Manto there married Rhacius, a Cretan. The rest of the history of Teiresias is known to all as a tradition: the number of years it is recorded that he lived, how he changed from a woman to a man, and that Homer in the Odyssey34 represents Teiresias as the only one in Hades endowed with intelligence.
[9.33.3] At Haliartus there is in the open a sanctuary of the goddesses they call Praxidicae (those who exact punishments). Here they swear, but they do not make the oath rashly. The sanctuary of the goddesses is near Mount Tilphusius. In Haliartus are temples, with no images inside, and without roofs. I could not discover either to whom these temples were built.
[9.33.4] In the land of Haliartus there is a river Lophis. It is said that the land was originally arid and without water, so that one of the rulers came to Delphi and asked in what way they would find water in the land. The Pythian priestess, they say, commanded him to kill the man who should first meet him on his return to Haliartus. On his arrival he was met by his son Lophis, and at once smote the youth with his sword. Still living, the lad ran about, and where the blood ran water rose up from the earth. Wherefore the river is called Lophis.
[9.33.5] Alalcomenae is a small village, and it lies at the very foot of a mountain of no great height. Its name, some say, is derived from Alalcomeneus, an aboriginal, by whom Athena was brought up; others declare that Alalcomenia was one of the daughters of Ogygus. At some distance from the village on the level ground has been made a temple of Athena with an ancient image of ivory.
[9.33.6] Sulla's treatment of the Athenians was savage and foreign to the Roman character, but quite consistent with his treatment of Thebes and Orchomenus. But in Alalcomenae he added yet another to his crimes by stealing the image of Athena itself. After these mad outrages against the Greek cities and the gods of the Greeks he was attacked by the most foul of diseases. He broke out into lice, and what was formerly accounted his good fortune came to such an end. The sanctuary at Alalcomenae, deprived of the goddess, was hereafter neglected.
[9.33.7] In my time yet another incident added to the ruin of the temple. A large and strong ivy-tree grew over it, loosening the stones from their joints and tearing them apart. Here too there flows a river, a small torrent. They call it Triton, because the story is that beside a river Triton Athena was reared, the implication being that the Triton was this and not the river in Libya, which flows into the Libyan sea out of lake Tritonis.
[9.34.1] XXXIV. Before reaching Coroneia from Alalcomenae we come to the sanctuary of Itonian Athena. It is named after Itonius the son of Amphictyon, and here the Boeotians gather for their general assembly. In the temple are bronze images of Itonian Athena and Zeus; the artist was Agoracritus, pupil and loved one of Pheidias. In my time they dedicated too images of the Graces.
[9.34.2] The following tale, too, is told. Iodama, who served the goddess as priestess, entered the precinct by night, where there appeared to her Athena, upon whose tunic was worked the head of Medusa the Gorgon. When Iodama saw it, she was turned to stone. For this reason a woman puts fire every day on the altar of Iodama, and as she does this she thrice repeats in the Boeotian dialect that Iodama is living and asking for fire.
[9.34.3] On the market-place of Coroneia I found two remarkable things, an altar of Hermes Epimelius (Keeper of flocks) and an altar of the winds. A little lower down is a sanctuary of Hera with an ancient image, the work of Pythodorus of Thebes; in her hand she carries Sirens. For the story goes that the daughters of Achelous were persuaded by Hera to compete with the Muses in singing. The Muses won, plucked out the Sirens' feathers (so they say) and made crowns for themselves out of them.
MT LIBETHRIUS & MT LAPHYSTIUS
[9.34.4] Some forty stades from Coroneia is Mount Libethrius, on which are images of the Muses and Nymphs surnamed Libethrian. There are springs too, one named Libethrias and the other Rock (Petra), which are shaped like a woman's breasts, and from them rises water like milk.
[9.34.5] The distance from Coroneia to Mount Laphystius and the precinct of Laphystian Zeus is about twenty stades. The image is of stone. They say that when Athamas was about to sacrifice here Phrixus and Helle, a ram with his fleece of gold was sent by Zeus to the children, and that on the back of this ram they made good their escape. Higher up is a Heracles surnamed Charops (With bright eyes). Here, say the Boeotians, Heracles ascended with the hound of Hades. On the way down from Mount Laphystius to the sanctuary of Itonian Athena is the river Phalarus, which runs into the Cephisian lake.
ORCHOMENUS, MYTHICAL HISTORY
[9.34.6] Over against Mount Laphystius is Orchomenus, as famous a city as any in Greece. Once raised to the greatest heights of prosperity, it too was fated to fall almost as low as Mycenae and Delos. Its ancient history is confined to the following traditions. They say that Andreus, son of the river Peneius, was the first to settle here, and after him the land Andreis was named.
[9.34.7] When Athamas joined him, he assigned to him, of his own land, the territory round Mount Laphystius with what are now the territories of Coroneia and Haliartus. Athamas, thinking that none of his male children were left, adopted Haliartus and Coronus, the sons of Thersander, the son of Sisyphus, his brother. For he himself had put to death Learchus and Melicertes; Leucon had fallen sick and died; while as for Phrixus, Athamas did not know if he survived or had descendants surviving.
[9.34.8] When later Phrixus himself, according to some, or Presbon, according to others, returned from Colchis – Presbon was a son of Phrixus by the daughter of Aeetes – the sons of Thersander agreed that the house of Athamas belonged to Athamas and his descendants, while they themselves became founders of Haliartus and Coroneia, for Athamas gave them a part of his land.
[9.34.9] Even before this Andreus took to wife from Athamas Euippe, daughter of Leucon, and had a son, Eteocles. According to the report of the citizens, Eteocles was the son of the river Cephisus, wherefore some of the poets in their verses called him Cephisiades.
[9.34.10] When this Eteocles became king, he let the country be still called after Andreus, but he established two tribes, naming one Cephisias, and the other after himself. When Almus, the son of Sisyphus, came to him, he gave him to dwell in a little of the land, and a village was then called Almones after this Almus. Afterwards the name of the village that was generally adopted was Olmones.
[9.35.1] XXXV. The Boeotians say that Eteocles was the first man to sacrifice to the Graces. Moreover, they are aware that he established three as the number of the Graces, but they have no tradition of the names he gave them. The Lacedaemonians, however, say that the Graces are two, and that they were instituted by Lacedaemon, son of Taygete, who gave them the names of Cleta and Phaenna.
[9.35.2] These are appropriate names for Graces, as are those given by the Athenians, who from of old have worshipped two Graces, Auxo and Hegemone. Carpo is the name, not of a Grace, but of a Season. The other Season is worshipped together with Pandrosus by the Athenians, who call the goddess Thallo.
[9.35.3] It was from Eteocles of Orchomenus that we learned the custom of praying to three Graces. And Angelion and Tectaus, sons of Dionysus,35 who made the image of Apollo for the Delians, set three Graces in his hand. Again, at Athens, before the entrance to the Acropolis, the Graces are three in number; by their side are celebrated mysteries which must not be divulged to the many.
[9.35.4] Pamphos was the first we know of to sing about the Graces, but his poetry contains no information either as to their number or about their names. Homer36 (he too refers to the Graces) makes one the wife of Hephaestus, giving her the name of Grace. He also says that Sleep was a lover of Pasithea, and in the speech of Sleep there is this verse:–
Verily that he would give me one of the younger Graces. Hom. Il. 14.270-276
Hence some have suspected that Homer knew of older Graces as well.
[9.35.5] Hesiod in the Theogony37 (though the authorship is doubtful, this poem is good evidence) says that the Graces are daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, giving them the names of Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Thalia. The poem of Onomacritus agrees with this account. Antimachus, while giving neither the number of the Graces nor their names, says that they are daughters of Aegle and the Sun. The elegiac poet Hermesianax disagrees with his predecessors in that he makes Persuasion also one of the Graces.
[9.35.6] Who it was who first represented the Graces naked, whether in sculpture or in painting, I could not discover. During the earlier period, certainly, sculptors and painters alike represented them draped. At Smyrna, for instance, in the sanctuary of the Nemeses, above the images have been dedicated Graces of gold, the work of Bupalus; and in the Music Hall in the same city there is a portrait of a Grace, painted by Apelles. At Pergamus likewise, in the chamber of Attalus, are other images of Graces made by Bupalus;
[9.35.7] and near what is called the Pythium there is a portrait of Graces, painted by Pythagoras the Parian. Socrates too, son of Sophroniscus, made images of Graces for the Athenians, which are before the entrance to the Acropolis. All these are alike draped; but later artists, I do not know the reason, have changed the way of portraying them. Certainly to-day sculptors and painters represent Graces naked.
[9.36.1] XXXVI. When Eteocles died the kingdom devolved on the family of Almus. Almus himself had daughters born to him, Chrysogeneia and Chryse. Tradition has it that Chryse, daughter of Almus, had by Ares a son Phlegyas, who, as Eteocles died childless, got the throne. To the whole country they gave the name of Phlegyantis instead of Andreis,
[9.36.2] and besides the originally founded city of Andreis, Phlegyas founded another, which he named after himself, collecting into it the best soldiers in Greece. In course of time the foolhardy and reckless Phlegyans seceded from Orchomenus and began to ravage their neighbors. At last they even marched against the sanctuary at Delphi to raid it, when Philammon with picked men of Argos went out to meet them, but he and his picked men perished in the engagement.
[9.36.3] That the Phlegyans took more pleasure in war than any other Greeks is also shown by the lines of the Iliad dealing with Ares and his son Panic:–
They twain were arming themselves for war to go to the Ephyrians,
Or to the great-hearted Phlegyans. Hom. Il. 13.301-2
By Ephyrians in this passage Homer means, I think, those in Thesprotis. The Phlegyan race was completely overthrown by the god with continual thunderbolts and violent earthquakes. The remnant were wasted by an epidemic of plague, but a few of them escaped to Phocis.
[9.36.4] Phlegyas had no sons, and Chryses succeeded to the throne, a son of Poseidon by Chrysogeneia, daughter of Almus. This Chryses had a son called Minyas, and after him the people over whom he ruled are still called Minyans. The revenues that Minyas received were so great that he surpassed his predecessors in wealth, and he was the first man we know of to build a treasury to receive his riches.
[9.36.5] The Greeks appear apt to regard with greater wonder foreign sights than sights at home. For whereas distinguished historians have described the Egyptian pyramids with the minutest detail, they have not made even the briefest mention of the treasury of Minyas and the walls of Tiryns, though these are no less marvellous.
[9.36.6] Minyas had a son Orchomenus, in whose reign the city was called Orchomenus and the men Orchomenians. Nevertheless, they continued to bear the additional name of Minyans, to distinguish them from the Orchomenians in Arcadia. To this Orchomenus during his kingship came Hyettus from Argos, who was an exile because of the slaying of Molurus, son of Arisbas, whom he caught with his wedded wife and killed. Orchomenus assigned to him such of the land as is now around the village Hyettus, and the land adjacent to this.
[9.36.7] Hyettus is also mentioned by the poet who composed the poem called by the Greeks the Great Eoeae:–
And Hyettus killed Molurus, the dear son of Arisbas,
In the halls, because of his wife's bed;
Leaving his home he fled from horse-breeding Argos,
And reached Minyan Orchomenus, and the hero
Welcomed him, and bestowed on him a portion of his possessions, as was fitting.
The Great Eoeae, unknown location.
[9.36.8] This Hyettus was the first man known to have exacted punishment from an adulterer. Later on, when Dracon was legislator for the Athenians, it was enacted in the laws which he drew up for the Athenians that the punishment of an adulterer should be one of the acts condoned by the State. So high did the reputation of the Minyans stand, that even Neleus, son of Cretheus, who was king of Pylus, took a wife from Orchomenus, namely Chloris, daughter of Amphion, son of Iasius.
[9.37.1] XXXVII. But it was destined for the race of Almus too to come to an end. For Orchomenus left no child, and so the kingdom devolved on Clymenus, son of Presbon, son of Phrixus. Sons were born to Clymenus; the eldest was Erginus, the next after him were Stratius, Arrhon and Pyleus, while the youngest was Azeus. Clymenus was murdered at the feast of Onchestian Poseidon by men of Thebes, whom a trivial cause had thrown into a violent passion. So Erginus, the eldest of the sons of Glymenus, received the kingdom.
[9.37.2] Immediately he and his brothers gathered a force and attacked Thebes. Victorious in the battle, they then came to an agreement that the Thebans should pay tribute each year for the murder of Clymenus. But when Heracles had grown to manhood in Thebes, the Thebans were thus relieved of the tribute, and the Minyans suffered a grievous defeat in the war.
[9.37.3] Erginus, as his citizens had been utterly crushed, made peace with Heracles, but in his efforts to restore his former wealth and prosperity neglected everything else, so that unconsciously he came to a wifeless and childless old age. But when he had gathered riches, the desire seized him to have children.
[9.37.4] So going to Delphi he inquired of the oracle about children, and the Pythian priestess gave this reply:–
Erginus, son of Clymenus Presboniades,
Late thou camest seeking offspring, but even now
To the old plough-tree put a new tip.
Obeying the oracle he took to himself a young wife, and had children, Trophonius and Agamedes.
[9.37.5] Trophonius is said to have been a son of Apollo, not of Erginus. This I am inclined to believe, as does everyone who has gone to Trophonius to inquire of his oracle. They say that these, when they grew up, proved clever at building sanctuaries for the gods and palaces for men. For they built the temple for Apollo at Delphi and the treasury for Hyrieus. One of the stones in it they made so that they could take it away from the outside. So they kept on removing something from the store. Hyrieus was dumbfounded when he saw keys and seals untampered with, while the treasure kept on getting less.
[9.37.6] So he set over the vessels, in which were his silver and gold, snares or other contrivance, to arrest any who should enter and lay hands on the treasure. Agamedes entered and was kept fast in the trap, but Trophonius cut off his head, lest when day came his brother should be tortured, and he himself be informed of as being concerned in the crime.
[9.37.7] The earth opened and swallowed up Trophonius at the point in the grove at Lebadeia where is what is called the pit of Agamedes, with a slab beside it. The kingdom of Orchomenus was taken by Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, said to be sons of Ares, while their mother was Astyoche, daughter of Actor, son of Azeus, son of Clymenus. Under the leadership of these the Minyans marched against Troy.
[9.37.8] Orchomenians also joined with the sons of Codrus in the expedition to Ionia. When expelled from their city by the Thebans they were restored again to Orchomenus by Philip the son of Amyntas. But Providence was to drag them ever lower and lower into decay.
[9.38.1] XXXVIII. At Orchomenus is a sanctuary of Dionysus, but the oldest is one of the Graces. They worship the stones most, and say that they fell for Eteocles out of heaven. The artistic images were dedicated in my time, and they too are of stone.
[9.38.2] They have also a fountain worth seeing, and go down to it to fetch water. The treasury of Minyas, a wonder second to none either in Greece itself or elsewhere, has been built in the following way. It is made of stone; its shape is round, rising to a rather blunt apex; they say that the highest stone is the keystone of the whole building.
[9.38.3] There are graves of Minyas and Hesiod. They say that they thus recovered the bones of Hesiod. A pestilence fell on men and beasts, so that they sent envoys to the god. To these, it is said, the Pythian priestess made answer that to bring the bones of Hesiod from the land of Naupactus to the land of Orchomenus was their one and only remedy. Whereupon the envoys asked a further question, where in the land of Naupactus they would find the bones; to which the Pythian priestess answered again that a crow would indicate to them the place.
[9.38.4] So when the envoys landed, they saw, it is said, a rock not far from the road, with the bird upon the rock; the bones of Hesiod they found in a cleft of the rock. Elegiac verses are inscribed on the tomb:–
Ascra rich in corn was his native land, but when Hesiod died,
The land of the horse-striking Minyans holds his bones,
Whose fame will rise very high in Greece
When men are judged by the touchstone of artistry.
[9.38.5] About Actaeon the Orchomenians had the following story. A ghost, they say, carrying a rock38 was ravaging the land. When they inquired at Delphi, the god bade them discover the remains of Actaeon and bury them in the earth. He also bade them make a bronze likeness of the ghost and fasten it to a rock with iron. I have myself seen this image thus fastened. They also sacrifice every year to Actaeon as to a hero.
[9.38.6] Seven stades from Orchomenus is a temple of Heracles with a small image. Here is the source of the river Melas (black), one of the streams running into the Cephisian Lake. The lake at all times covers the greater part of the Orchomenian territory, but in the winter season, after the south-west wind has generally prevailed, the water spreads over a yet greater extent of the territory.
[9.38.7] The Thebans declare that the river Cephisus was diverted into the Orchomenian plain by Heracles, and that for a time it passed under the mountain and entered the sea, until Heracles blocked up the chasm through the mountain. Now Homer too knows that the Cephisian Lake was a lake of itself, and not made by Heracles. Wherefore Homer says:–
Sloping towards the Cephisian Lake. Hom. Il. 5.709
[9.38.8] It is not likely either that the Orchomenians would not have discovered the chasm, and, breaking down the work put up by Heracles, have given back to the Gephisus its ancient passage, since right down to the Trojan war they were a wealthy people. There is evidence in my favour in the passage of Homer where Achilles replies to the envoys from Agamemnon:–
Not even the wealth that comes to Orchomenus, Hom. Il. 9.381
a line that clearly shows that even then the revenues coming to Orchomenus were large.
[9.38.9] They say that Aspledon was left by the inhabitants because of a shortage of water. They say also that the city got its name from Aspledon, who was a son of the nymph Mideia and Poseidon. Their view is confirmed by some verses composed by Chersias, a man of Orchomenus:–
To Poseidon and glorious Mideia was born Aspledon in the spacious city. Chersias of Orchomenus, unknown location.
 The poem of Chersias was no longer extant in my day, but these verses are quoted by Callippus in the same history of Orchomenus. The Orchomenians have a tradition that this Chersias wrote also the inscription on the grave of Hesiod.
LEBADEIA & THE ORACLE OF TROPHONIUS
[9.39.1] XXXIX. On the side towards the mountains the boundary of Orchomenus is Phocis, but on the plain it is Lebadeia. Originally this city stood on high ground, and was called Mideia after the mother of Aspledon. But when Lebadus came to it from Athens, the inhabitants went down to the low ground, and the city was named Lebadeia after him. Who was the father of Lebadus, and why he came, they do not know; they know only that the wife of Lebadus was Laonice.
[9.39.2] The city is no less adorned than the most prosperous of the Greek cities, and it is separated from the grove of Trophonius by the river Hercyna. They say that here Hercyna, when playing with the Maid, the daughter of Demeter, held a goose which against her will she let loose. The bird flew into a hollow cave and hid under a stone; the Maid entered and took the bird as it lay under the stone. The water flowed, they say, from the place where the Maid took up the stone, and hence the river received the name of Hercyna.
[9.39.3] On the bank of the river there is a temple of Hercyna, in which is a maiden holding a goose in her arms. In the cave are the sources of the river and images standing, and serpents are coiled around their scepters. One might conjecture the images to be of Asclepius and Health, but they might be Trophonius and Hercyna, because they think that serpents are just as much sacred to Trophonius as to Asclepius. By the side of the river is the tomb of Arcesilaus, whose bones, they say, were carried back from Troy by Leitus.
[9.39.4] The most famous things in the grove are a temple and image of Trophonius; the image, made by Praxiteles, is after the likeness of Asclepius. There is also a sanctuary of Demeter surnamed Europa, and a Zeus Rain-god in the open. If you go up to the oracle, and thence onwards up the mountain, you come to what is called the Maid's Hunting and a temple of King Zeus. This temple they have left half finished, either because of its size or because of the long succession of the wars. In a second temple are images of Cronus, Hera and Zeus. There is also a sanctuary of Apollo.
[9.39.5] What happens at the oracle is as follows. When a man has made up his mind to descend to the oracle of Trophonius, he first lodges in a certain building for an appointed number of days, this being sacred to the good Spirit and to good Fortune. While he lodges there, among other regulations for purity he abstains from hot baths, bathing only in the river Hercyna. Meat he has in plenty from the sacrifices, for he who descends sacrifices to Trophonius himself and to the children of Trophonius, to Apollo also and Cronus, to Zeus surnamed King, to Hera Charioteer, and to Demeter whom they surname Europa and say was the nurse of Trophonius.
[9.39.6] At each sacrifice a diviner is present, who looks into the entrails of the victim, and after an inspection prophesies to the person descending whether Trophonius will give him a kind and gracious reception. The entrails of the other victims do not declare the mind of Trophonius so much as a ram, which each inquirer sacrifices over a pit on the night he descends, calling upon Agamedes. Even though the previous sacrifices have appeared propitious, no account is taken of them unless the entrails of this ram indicate the same; but if they agree, then the inquirer descends in good hope. The procedure of the descent is this.
[9.39.7] First, during the night he is taken to the river Hercyna by two boys of the citizens about thirteen years old, named Hermae, who after taking him there anoint him with oil and wash him. It is these who wash the descender, and do all the other necessary services as his attendant boys. After this he is taken by the priests, not at once to the oracle, but to fountains of water very near to each other.
[9.39.8] Here he must drink water called the water of Forgetfulness, that he may forget all that he has been thinking of hitherto, and afterwards he drinks of another water, the water of Memory, which causes him to remember what he sees after his descent. After looking at the image which they say was made by Daedalus (it is not shown by the priests save to such as are going to visit Trophonius), having seen it, worshipped it and prayed, he proceeds to the oracle, dressed in a linen tunic, with ribbons girding it, and wearing the boots of the country.
[9.39.9] The oracle is on the mountain, beyond the grove. Round it is a circular basement of white marble, the circumference of which is about that of the smallest threshing floor, while its height is just short of two cubits. On the basement stand spikes, which, like the cross-bars holding them together, are of bronze, while through them has been made a double door. Within the enclosure is a chasm in the earth, not natural, but artificially constructed after the most accurate masonry.
[9.39.10] The shape of this structure is like that of a bread-oven. Its breadth across the middle one might conjecture to be about four cubits, and its depth also could not be estimated to extend to more than eight cubits. They have made no way of descent to the bottom, but when a man comes to Trophonius, they bring him a narrow, light ladder. After going down he finds a hole between the floor and the structure. Its breadth appeared to be two spans, and its height one span.
[9.39.11] The descender lies with his back on the ground, holding barley-cakes kneaded with honey, thrusts his feet into the hole and himself follows, trying hard to get his knees into the hole. After his knees the rest of his body is at once swiftly drawn in, just as the largest and most rapid river will catch a man in its eddy and carry him under. After this those who have entered the shrine learn the future, not in one and the same way in all cases, but by sight sometimes and at other times by hearing. The return upwards is by the same mouth, the feet darting out first.
[9.39.12] They say that no one who has made the descent has been killed, save only one of the bodyguard of Demetrius. But they declare that he performed none of the usual rites in the sanctuary, and that he descended, not to consult the god but in the hope of stealing gold and silver from the shrine. It is said that the body of this man appeared in a different place, and was not cast out at the sacred mouth. Other tales are told about the fellow, but I have given the one most worthy of consideration.
[9.39.13] After his ascent from Trophonius the inquirer is again taken in hand by the priests, who set him upon a chair called the chair of Memory, which stands not far from the shrine, and they ask of him, when seated there, all he has seen or learned. After gaining this information they then entrust him to his relatives. These lift him, paralyzed with terror and unconscious both of himself and of his surroundings, and carry him to the building where he lodged before with Good Fortune and the Good Spirit. Afterwards, however, he will recover all his faculties, and the power to laugh will return to him.
[9.39.14] What I write is not hearsay; I have myself inquired of Trophonius and seen other inquirers. Those who have descended into the shrine of Trophonius are obliged to dedicate a tablet on which is written all that each has heard or seen. The shield also of Aristomenes is still preserved here. Its story I have already given in a former part of my work.39
[9.40.1] XL. This oracle was once unknown to the Boeotians, but they learned of it in the following way. As there had been no rain for a year and more, they sent to Delphi envoys from each city. These asked for a cure for the drought, and were bidden by the Pythian priestess to go to Trophonius at Lebadeia and to discover the remedy from him.
[9.40.2] Coming to Lebadeia they could not find the oracle. Thereupon Saon, one of the envoys from the city Acraephnium and the oldest of all the envoys, saw a swarm of bees. It occurred to him to follow himself wheresoever the bees turned. At once he saw the bees flying into the ground here, and he went with them into the oracle. It is said that Trophonius taught this Saon the customary ritual, and all the observances kept at the oracle.
ART WORKS ATTRIBUTED TO DAEDALUS
[9.40.3] Of the works of Daedalus there are these two in Boeotia, a Heracles in Thebes and the Trophonius at Lebadeia. There are also two wooden images in Crete, a Britomartis at Olus and an Athena at Cnossus, at which latter place is also Ariadne's Dance, mentioned by Homer in the Iliad,40 carved in relief on white marble. At Delos, too, there is a small wooden image of Aphrodite, its right hand defaced by time, and with a square base instead of feet.
[9.40.4] I am of opinion that Ariadne got this image from Daedalus, and when she followed Theseus, took it with her from home. Bereft of Ariadne, say the Delians, Theseus dedicated the wooden image of the goddess to the Delian Apollo, lest by taking it home he should be dragged into remembering Ariadne, and so find the grief for his love ever renewed. I know of no other works of Daedalus still in existence. For the images dedicated by the Argives in the Heraeum and those brought from Omphace to Gela in Sicily have disappeared in course of time.
[9.40.5] Next to Lebadeia comes Chaeroneia. Its name of old was Arne, said to have been a daughter of Aeolus, who gave her name also to a city in Thessaly. The present name of Chaeroneia, they say, is derived from Chaeron, reputed to be a son of Apollo by Thero, a daughter of Phylas. This is confirmed also by the writer of the epic poem, the Great Eoeae:–
Phylas wedded a daughter of famous Iolais,
Leipephilene, like in form to the Olympian goddesses;
She bore him in the halls a son Hippotes,
And lovely Thero, like to the moonbeams.
Thero, falling into the embrace of Apollo,
Bore mighty Chaeron, tamer of horses. The Great Eoeae, unknown location.
Homer, I think, though he knew that Chaeroneia and Lebadeia were already so called, yet uses their ancient names, just as he speaks of the river Aegyptus, not the Nile.41
[9.40.7] In the territory of Chaeroneia are two trophies, which the Romans under Sulla set up to commemorate their victory over the army of Mithridates under Taxilus. But Philip, son of Amyntas, set up no trophy, neither here nor for any other success, whether won over Greeks or non-Greeks, as the Macedonians were not accustomed to raise trophies.
[9.40.8] The Macedonians say that Caranus, king of Macedonia, overcame in battle Cisseus, a chieftain in a bordering country. For his victory Caranus set up a trophy after the Argive fashion, but it is said to have been upset by a lion from Olympus, which then vanished.
[9.40.9] Caranus, they assert, realized that it was a mistaken policy to incur the undying hatred of the non-Greeks dwelling around, and so, they say, the rule was adopted that no king of Macedonia, neither Caranus himself nor any of his successors, should set up trophies, if they were ever to gain the good-will of their neighbors. This story is confirmed by the fact that Alexander set up no trophies, neither for his victory over Dareius nor for those he won in India.
[9.40.10] As you approach the city you see a common grave of the Thebans who were killed in the struggle against Philip. It has no inscription, but is surmounted by a lion, probably a reference to the spirit of the men. That there is no inscription is, in my opinion, because their courage was not favoured by appropriate good fortune.
[9.40.11] Of the gods, the people of Chaeroneia honor most the scepter which Homer says42 Hephaestus made for Zeus, Hermes received from Zeus and gave to Pelops, Pelops left to Atreus, Atreus to Thyestes, and Agamemnon had from Thyestes. This scepter, then, they worship, calling it Spear. That there is something peculiarly divine about this scepter is most clearly shown by the fame it brings to the Chaeroneans.
[9.40.12] They say that it was discovered on the border of their own country and of Panopeus in Phocis, that with it the Phocians discovered gold, and that they were glad themselves to get the scepter instead of the gold. I am of opinion that it was brought to Phocis by Agamemnon's daughter Electra. It has no public temple made for it, but its priest keeps the scepter for one year in a house. Sacrifices are offered to it every day, and by its side stands a table full of meats and cakes of all sorts.
ART WORKS ATTRIBUTED TO HEPHAESTUS
[9.41.1] XLI. Poets have sung, and the tradition of men has followed them, that Hephaestus made many works of art, but none is authentic except only the scepter of Agamemnon. However, the Lycians in Patara show a bronze bowl in their temple of Apollo, saying that Telephus dedicated it and Hephaestus made it, apparently in ignorance of the fact that the first to melt bronze were the Samians Theodorus and Rhoecus.
[9.41.2] The Achaeans of Patrae assert indeed that Hephaestus made the chest brought by Eurypylus from Troy, but they do not actually exhibit it to view. In Cyprus is a city Amathus, in which is an old sanctuary of Adonis and Aphrodite. Here they say is dedicated a necklace given originally to Harmonia, but called the necklace of Eriphyle, because it was the bribe she took to betray her husband. It was dedicated at Delphi by the sons of Phegeus (how they got it I have already related in my history of Arcadia),43 but it was carried off by the tyrants of Phocis.
[9.41.3] However, I do not think that it is in the sanctuary of Adonis at Amathus. For the necklace at Amathus is composed of green stones held together by gold, but the necklace given to Eriphyle was made entirely of gold, according to Homer, who says in the Odyssey:–
Who received precious gold, the price of her own husband. Hom. Od. 11.327
Not that Homer was unaware of necklaces made of various materials.
[9.41.4] For example, in the speech of Eumaeus to Odysseus before Telemachus reaches the court from Pylus, he says:–
There came a cunning man to the home of my father,
With a necklace of gold strung with amber in between. Hom. Od. 15.459
[9.41.5] Again, in the passage called the gifts of Penelope, for he represents the wooers, Eurymachus among them, offering her gifts, he says:–
And Eurymachus straightway brought a necklace of varied materials,
Of gold strung with pieces of amber, like the sun. Hom. Od. 18.295
But Homer does not say that the necklace given to Eriphyle was of gold varied with stones. So probably the scepter is the only work of Hephaestus.
[9.41.6] There is beyond the city a crag called Petrachus. Here they hold that Cronus was deceived, and received from Rhea a stone instead of Zeus, and there is a small image of Zeus on the summit of the mountain.
[9.41.7] Here in Chaeroneia they distil unguents from flowers, namely, the lily, the rose, the narcissus and the iris. These prove to be cures for the pains of men. The unguent from the rose, if it be smeared on wooden images, prevents their decaying. The iris grows in marshes, is in size as large as a lily, but is not white in color, and smells less sweet.
23. See Paus. 10.38.1.
24. Hom. Il. 2.502
25. Paus. 9.34.10 and Paus. 9.36.6.
26. Hom. Il. 2.506; HH 2.186.
27. Hes. Th. 116 foll.
28. See Paus. 1.20.1.
29. Pausanias misquotes.
30. See Hes. Th. 30.
31. See Hes. WD 2 foll.
32. According to some interpreters we should read “Olmius.”
33. See Paus. 9.24.6-7.
34. See Hom. Il. 10.493 foll.
35. The text here is corrupt. The two emendations mentioned in the critical notes would give either (a) “the pair who made . . ."or (b) “who made the statue of Dionysodotus for the Delians. . .”
36. Hom. Il. 18.382 foll.
37. Hes. Th. 907
38. With the proposed emendation “was running about and ravaging.”
39. See Paus. 4.16.7 to Paus. 4.32.6.
40. See Hom. Il. 18.590 foll.
41. See Hom. Il. 2.507 and Hom. Od. 4.477 and Hom. Od. 4.581, Hom. Od. 14.258.
42. Hom. Il. 2.101 foll.
43. See Paus. 8.24.10.