TZETZES, CHILIADES 10
CHILIADES BOOK 10, TRANSLATED BY JONATHAN ALEXANDER
10.1 CONCERNING THE IDIOM: “OVERFLOWING EVEN THE OCEAN” (STORY 302)
This phrase seems to me hyperbolic,
And not just hyperbolic, but not even a simple hyperbole.
For the Ocean surrounds the entire inhabited world,
Full of seas and lakes.
 And who could possibly overflow it?
No one, unless you cited Homer, or the great Orpheus,
Or Phanneno, or the Sibyl, or someone of the sort.
10.2 ON WHY UNLUCKY DAYS ARE CALLED “UNMENTIONABLE”, AND CONCERNING THE WORD EKPHYLLOS FOR “FOREIGNER” (STORY 303)
“The hated unlucky day, which everyone hates to mention.“
The ancients, too, had their unlucky days,
In which setbacks and cruel twists of fate were wont to occur.
For instance, as befell the Romans of old,
Who, going out to war and battle,
Lost three hundred of the Fabian clan.
Then they closed the gate from which those men had left,
 And no longer counted that day with the other days of the year.
Other nations, too, suffering at fate’s hands,
Would not account those days with the rest.
They would speak of the days before them, and those after,
But those days themselves they would not count.
Instead, they would say: “The third day, the day after that,
The fifth day, the sixth”, and so on, then beginning the cycle again.
So they would not at all speak of the unmentioned days,
But rather speak of “the day before” or “the day after”.
Now you know why unlucky days are called “unmentionable.”
 The word ekphylon or ekphyllon can be defined as:
Of another nation, a foreigner, an enemy, barbarian,
Or an expelled ekphylon, who must be pursued.
For the ancients, when they wished to expel someone from the land,
Would write that person’s name on leaves (phylla) or ostraca.
Then they would be collected in an agreed-upon place.
If the leaves or ostraca amounted to a thousand,
The man would be expelled from here on out.
But if not, he would allowed to return home.
This process was called of old
 Both ekphylophoresis and exostrakismos.
10.3 CONCERNING THE TYPHONIAN BREATH (STORY 304)
Seven-headed Typhon is an ancient mythological creature,
Whom Zeus is said to have struck down with his lightning.
This is why any exceptionally strong wind can be called a Typhon.
10.4 CONCERNING THE WORDS EPISKYNION AND EMBRONTETOS (STORY 305)
The episkynion is the place of the eyebrows,
Which, if they are as low as the eyelids,
Give one an uncivilized and wild look.
This term owes its origin to the wildness of cubs (skymnoi) and beasts,
Or perhaps from the verb “tear” (skyzo).
Now the word embrontetos is chiefly applied to those who lose their senses
 Because of the rattling of extremely heavy thunder.
Other words for this are katachrestikos and ekpeplegmenos.
10.5 CONCERNING THE HEIFER AND BASHAAN (STORY 306)
The song has this to say about Herodias:
“Now, O such madness of Mainas,
O you, proceeding out of the bitter heifer of Bashaan!”
It uses the word heifer from the prophet,
As once the Empress Eudocia did,
The very wise daughter of great Leontius,
She who studied grammar with Hyperechius,
Who picked up a little from Orion as well,
 And some rhetoric and philosophy from others,
Said in her translation:
“Trees of Bashaan, listen, as it is written:
I do not have much to say, just as in Zacharia
Or the translation of Daniel.”
For, I have not yet had the chance
To see and read her eight-volume work or her other writings,
And to bless that golden Empress.
And thanks to her writing of the golden days,
Whenever such a lady writes,
 It is most skilfully, allowing no spots.
Now those who write the thirty six books of the ignorant beasts,
Which are barbaric and thrice-barbaric,
And they do not write anything with skill, nor even with the appearance of it.
They have been nurtured by the dung of Circe's non-skill.
Not only do they not wish to allow the dung to be chewed,
But even if Odysseus brings his Hermes-granted magic herb,
Forming words and measurements, which give order to life,
They only want to make their skills pig-like
 As the lizard does among them, and filth stands in the way
Of he who wishes to make them human!
All they want is to lazily dwell in the dung, and be fed better,
Than the bread of angels which they would have eaten if they had worked.
But we have gotten off track with these pollutions.
Let us take up our story again and link up with it.
He who sang of the young cow of Basaan,
Was quoting from the prophets, as I said before.
Queen Eudocia, daughter of Leo,
Spoke of the trees of Basaan in verse
 I have read her two commentaries in verse,
Both the one on Zacharia and on Daniel.
I have also read her writings, the Homerocentra,
Both speak of the young cow and of Basaan.
Now Hosea talked about those things himself, in his own words:
"Israel has madly gone away, as a young cow driven mad by stings.
Also Ephraim, as a young cow, has been given over to strife."
Also Amos (listen to him!), says:
"Young cows of Moab, mountains of Samaria!
Poor labourers will rule, and the destitute will trample."
 Though according to some, Basaan is a Scythian city.
Here you have everything there is to know about the young cow of Basaan.
10.7 CONCERNING: “HOWLING LIONS, AND WOLVES NOT OF ARABIA” (STORY 307)
Zephaniah said in his book:
“For her rulers are like howling lions,
And her judges as Arabian wolves.”
And the prophet Habakkuk said of the Chaldeans:
“For their horses leap higher than leopards,
Sharper even than the wolves of Arabia themselves.”
These prophecies appear to me
To have been taken from an abridgement of the book of prophets.
 For who could lie and deceive them?
10.8 CONCERNING: “ON WHICH MAY NO DEW FALL, THAT IS, THE MOUNTAINS OF GILBOAH” (STORY 308)
When battle was joined around the Gilboah mountains,
Saul was killed together with Jonathan.
When David heard, he lamented greatly.
He cursed the mountains with these words:
“On you, mountains of Gilboah, may no dew fall!”
As the book of Kings records of these events.
10.9 CONCERNING DATHAN AND ABIRAM (STORY 309)
Dathan, Abiram, and Annan together with them
Arose to debate with Moses and Aaron.
Saying: “Are not all holy, and the Lord in all?
 How dare you rule them? Are you not ruler of the Hebrews?
You brought us out of a land flowing with milk and honey,
And caused us to die in the desert!”
With those words they challenged Moses,
And the land split open, swallowing Dathan and Abiram,
With their tents and all their possessions.
10.10 CONCERNING: “DON’T SAY: ‘OVERLOOK THIS SIN OF THEIRS’” (STORY 310)
The holy words of the Evangelists teach us,
That Christ prayed for those who crucified him,
Saying: “Father, forgive them this sin.”
As later did Stephen, for those who stoned him,
 That is, Stephen the Deacon, the first martyr.
10.11 CONCERNING: “BUT I PRAY TO THE AVENGING SPIRITS” (STORY 311)
I pray those prayers against whom I have cursed,
For them to be made thin, to scatter, to be led away into a waterless land.
May evil be brought against them, while I revel and play my flute,
And all good which I have cursed against them.
10.12 CONCERNING: “NAKED CAME I OUT OF MY MOTHER’S WOMB” (STORY 312)
The famous Job, who suffered so many trials,
Thefts, loss of wealth and property,
And barbarian raids, and fire from heaven,
Said: “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb.”
And after his home had been knocked over by a violent wind,
 And all his children killed on high,
“The Lord,” he said, “gave, and again he took away from me.
As it seemed good to the Lord, such has befallen me.”
10.13 CONCERNING: “BETTER DAYS, JOB, WILL BEFALL YOU.” (STORY 313)
After all those many trials, after the tests,
With which God tested the aforementioned Job,
With thefts, loss of wealth and property,
Destruction of home and murder of children,
And even unbearable leprosy, and poverty to finish it all off,
He gave him back his former, clean health,
And double the amount of children, houses, flocks, and the rest.
10.14 CONCERNING: “LEAVING THE UNDERWORLD OF THE DEAD AND THE GATES OF DARKNESS” (STORY 314)
 Polydorus, son of Hecuba and Priam,
Was killed by Polymestor, lord of the Thracians
Once Polymestor learned that the Greeks had sacked Troy.
He killed Polydorus and threw him into the nearby sea,
Although he had received ransom from Polydorus’ father to keep him alive.
Now when Hecuba was prisoner in the Chersonese,
(for the Greek army was there at the time),
Polydorus appeared in a dream to his mother Hecuba,
Telling her how Polymestor had killed him,
And told her a short version of the whole story.
 This story has been told in Euripides’ work:
“I have come, leaving the underworld of the dead and the gates of darkness”.
Because of this, we tell those who flee out of cowardly weakness,
That they will rise from the dead.
This we write to the ignorant, not to the lettered.
10.15 CONCERNING: “ARE THERE NO GRAVES IN EGYPT?” (STORY 315)
When much of the Hebrew people died in the desert,
The survivors said, suffering much:
“Are there no graves in Egypt, Moses,
That you have brought us to the desert to kill us?”
Then, as it is written, of those complainers,
 Fourteen thousands of men died at once.
Whether all the death befell the complainers,
Or whether some died, and then came the complaint,
Leading to the death of others, only God knows.
10.16 CONCERNING: “YOU RAN OUT FROM THE MOUNTAINS OF THESSALONICA AND PAEONIA” (STORY 316)
What is now the glorious city of Thessalonica,
Was once but a village, getting its name from thermos.
And even now the bay of Thessalonica
Is called the warm bosom (thermaios kolpos), because of the warm village (therme kome) it neighbours.
Cassander was the one who built the city, Phillip’s father-in-law,
Who named the city for his spouse, Thessalonica,
 Since her name was Thessalonica, daughter of Philip.
He also built Cassandreia, naming it after himself.
Others say that it was Philip. who built Thessalonica,
Out of love for his daughter, whose name was, as we have just said, Thessalonica.
Yet others say the name originates from his victory against the Thessalians.
Now the Bulgarians are the same as the Paeonians, but don’t be fooled by those buffoons.
They think the river Axeios is not the same as the Bardares,
Or “Axios” without the diphthong ei,
As if they had never heard what Homer said:
 “Yet Pyraichmes led the bent-bowed Paeonians,
Whom he had selected from far away, rushing down from the Axios.”
Of old they held sway from Mount Pindos, parts of Larissa,
And from Dyrrachium,
Almost all the way to the city of Constantine itself.
Until the reign of the great emperor Basil,
Who completely subjugated their narrow territory,
And made them all subservient to Roman power.
10.17 CONCERNING HERODOTUS LISTENING TO ENCOMIUMS (STORY 317)
Herodotus says concerning Pigres and Mantues,
Who were chieftains of the Paeonians, and most hateful of them,
 That once they had taken control of the Paeonians,
They went to Sardis with their sister,
While Darius was also staying there.
(But I think it’s more likely that it was his son Xerxes).
Now they camped nearby, and sent their sister,
With a horse to carry back water and drink.
She loaded up the horse of whom I spoke with drink,
Filled up with water the vessel attached to it,
And put it on her head, and with her hand she carried it.
Then, holding the horse’s reins with her bent arm,
 She returned to her brothers’ tent.
All the Persians saw her, as well as their satrap,
And they marvelled at the young woman, and asked where she was from.
When her brothers felt it was the right time, they said:
“O Persians, and king of all Persia,
All Paeonian women are like this.”
10.18 CONCERNING THE PYGOSTOLOS PAEONIAN WOMEN (STORY 318)
Hesiod wrote to his brother Perses:
“Don’t let a pygostolos woman deceive your mind.”
Now the word pygostolos can be interpreted in two ways:
 Either it comes from the decorations the woman puts on her arms
And legs, or from decorating the pygas, that is, the parts around a seat,
With wide fringes and belts.
And the Paeonian daughter were of this sort,
And even now, in their recent servitude,
Which the great and powerful Basil
Enslaved the entire Paeonian race.
For their women still decorate their behinds
With wide belts, tails, and many fringes.
Their legs are similarly decorated,
 With bracelets of iron, copper, and crystal.
Sometimes they use little ankle bones,
And other such-like as bracelets,
To bind their legs with.
10.19 WHAT ARE, ACCORDING TO GOLDEN-TONGUED HOMER, PRIZE-WINNING AND STRONG, WHICH BRING IN THE PRIZES THROUGH THE GATES (STORY 319)
Homer, in Book 9 of the Iliad, has Agamemnon
Trying to make amends to Achilles,
Bringing him many various gifts:
“Twenty smouldering cauldrons, and twelve strong horses,
Prize-winning, which bring the prize using their feet”
When Homer says strong (pegos), he means well fed,
 And says that they used their feet to win the prizes.
But I, jesting, say he meant behind (pygos),
So they used their behinds, not feet in order to win.
Now listen what you should call them.
I have changed pegos to pyrgos,
And that the horses used their pyrgoses, not their feet.
Again, this is a parody which I made with my artful mind,
Which should be read in jest,
Knowing that it is a comedy,
Just as I, ignorant of the Emperor, write to you.
10.20 CONCERNING THE BONES WHICH EZEKIEL SAW (STORY 320)
 Long ago, the great prophet Ezekiel
Beheld a field full of dead men’s bones.
“O son of man” said a dreadful voice,
“Prophesy, if indeed these bones will live.”
Afterwards, the spirit of God descended upon them,
And bone was bound again to bone in harmony,
And flesh, skin, and living spirit was given
To those dry bones, and immediately they lived again.
And those latter-day people rose all,
Becoming very many, a great camp,
 A sign of faith in the last resurrection, which we await.
10.21 CONCERNING THE CUMAEAN LION (STORY 321)
An ass born in Cumae, which is larger than the other asses,
Even though it seems to be a lion, can be distinguished by its voice.
You’ll find this also in the twelfth volume.
10.22 CONCERNING THE JOURNEYS OF ALEXANDER AND LYSIPPOS’ STATUE (STORY 322)
The story lies in a letter,
About which we will speak in a short while.
Alexander the Macedonian, the great king,
Was vexed at having spent more time than expected.
Then Lysippos the sculptor came,
And sculpted Time with wise forethought,
 Light, bald in the back of his head, wing-footed.
In the front of the figure he put a dagger
Regarding everyone who saw it, warning them not to exceed their time.
This is also the twentieth story in the second volume,
Where you can learn more about this.
10.23 CONCERNING THE NONSENSE THAT THE STATUE OF TIME IS A STATUE OF LIFETIME ONLY (STORY 323)
Very learned men, philosophers,
Who have learned with tiaras, practice, and high priesthood,
And have reached a not insignificant level of learning
Named it the stele of Life, twisting and corrupting things.
For they could not conceive of an image of Time,
 Which, as I said, Lysippos made.
I, mocking their feverish foolishness,
Have already shown and guided in writing their foolishness,
Which they displayed earlier.
For also the Uzzite Job, in his eponymous book,
Said: “Who could put me once more in the preceding months and days?”
He was not speaking about his station and wealth in life,
For even he found a better life in the end.
But time gone by no one can reclaim.
And Demosthenes writes that
 Lysippos wrote with lightness and fallacious thinking
No one has appeared till now who could make an image of Life.
Now I would recommend to those writing lives
To write lives of great men, of thrones, kingdoms, praises,
And of storms of deep shadow, hiding and darkening all.
10.24 CONCERNING: “BUT EVEN GOD CANNOT CHANGE THINGS GONE BY” (STORY 324)
God is all-powerful, but even He is not powerful enough
To do one thing: to render as to have never happened or gone by
Past time, and things already done.
God forbid that this should be,
What Sophocles and myriad others have written.
10.25 CONCERNING: “O PORTION OF THE GOLDEN RACE!” (STORY 325)
 Hesiod says in the Works and Days
“The first race of mortal men was golden,
Made by the immortals, whose homes are in Olympus.”
And Aratus, in the Phaeonomena:
“So it was, when he who had nourished the golden race,
Now nourished one of silver, lesser, and not at all alike.”
The golden race was of men who had no mixing with evil at all.
Because of that race of gold we give the name men
To those who do something great in their lives.
10.26 THAT: “THE KERKAURIAN PHAEACANS WERE REPORTED TO BE THE GREATEST SAILORS OF ALL MEN” (STORY 326)
The Kerkaurian Phaeacans, in the Odyssey,
 Are reported by Homer to be the greatest sailors of all men
For they bent their minds and hearts solely to the art of ship craft,
And all their cities, places and fields, seas and harbours
Stood alone, with no one captain.
10.27 CONCERNING: “OF THE PHAEACAN WOMEN, SKILLED IN WEAVING, LIKE THE LEAVES OF THE TALL BLACK POPLAR” (STORY 327)
Homer, in the Odyssey, as I have previously stated,
Declared that the Phaeacans were the greatest sailors of all men,
And he desired to show that their women were greater than all others
In the art of weaving.
As the Phaecan men, he says, were best of all
In the governing of the ship and its captaining at sea,
 So the Phaeacan women were the greatest of all women
In the skill of weaving in the places of weaving.
To quote him: “They sit, like leaves of the tall black poplar,
Their kairosis linen watered by wet olive oil.”
Thus far of history. But it falls to me to interpret the word
So that you will not be foolish, as others have been.
Kairosis is the joining of the high linen,
The closeness, the putting together of thread and warp,
From which great closeness the best is composed,
 As a web of shining bright light.
Such is the brightness and shining of the olive oil.
10.28 CONCERNING: “TO OUTDO THE MAEONIAN WOMEN’S WONDER-WORKING DYE” (STORY 328)
Homer says, in Book 4 of the Iliad
That when Menelaus took Pandarus’ bow
And dipped the string in a flow of blood,
Homer declaims, jesting at the pain of others,
“As when a Meonian or Kaeran woman uses red dye on ivory
To decorate the jaws of horses”
But I should write everything to the last, in order to speak to satisfaction
(For neither do I trust those who simply quote off the tops of their heads):
 “So were your blood stained strings, Menelaus,
Well made, with your shanks and ankles underneath.”
Now you, having heard of “Meonian” and “Kaerean” women,
You should know and not be ignorant of who those are.
The Kareans were women of Caria,
And the Meonian, inhabitants of Lydia,
Which earlier were ruled by Sardis.
10.29 “THEY DECORATE ME WITH MILESIAN FLEECES, CERDICIAN WORK, MOVING ON THE RIGHT” (STORY 329)
There is an old story about fleeces in Miletus:
“Milesian wool is the best of all,
Though the Coraxian runs a close second.”
 So when Themistocles fled from Athens to the Persians
(For he had been condemned by the Athenians
For being an insider in Persians circles and acquainted with Xerxes)
He received from Artaxerxes, the aforementioned Xerxes’ son,
Three cities as a gift:
Myra, Myous, and with them Miletus, of which I spoke.
Miletus he took for the fleeces, and the others for the wine and fish.
Others say that he was given five cities:
Myra, Myous, Miletus, Lampsacus, and Magnesia.
For wine, fish, fleeces, bread, and for footwear.
 Yet others say there were seven cities given to him,
The aforementioned ones, plus Palaeskepsa, and another one,
Please forgive us if it escapes me at the moment.
“I have a silver divinity which can predict anything”
Those who see me know and keep beyond me,
If we write from books, or with great care,
And if that book is not already written,
And if it would not be quicker to write something of the sort,
Even more if I have copied from some other book.
The fact that Miletus had such beautiful fleeces,
 Many others mention, as does Aristophanes,
When he has Dionysus in the Frogs
Speak thus to his servant Xanthias:
“It would be funny, if you, Xanthias the servant,
Were to recline on a bed made from a fleece of Miletian wool,
Screwing a dancing girl, while I, as if I was your servant,
Were to bring you a chamber pot to piss in.”
Many have spoken about the Milesian wool,
And about the Coraxian variety
Hipponax in his first iambic said in trochaic metre:
 “Clad in a robe of Coraxian wool”
You should know that Coraxians are a nation of makers of fine cloth.
10.30 CONCERNING: “AND I BLAME THE ORACLE, BECAUSE IT DID NOT ATTRIBUTE THE FIRST RANK TO THEBES” (STORY 330)
Above, I have cited the oracle, and now I will quote the beginning:
“Of all the earth Pelasgian Argos is best,
Of horses the Thracians, of women the Lacedaemonians.
But the men who drink the water of fair Arethusa.”
This story lies also in an earlier place of my stories,
You will find it first in the two hundred and ninetieth one.
Turning to which you will learn all accurately and in detail.
10.31 CONCERNING THE FLOWING OF THE ISMENUS RIVER (STORY 331)
The Ismenus, the river of seven-gated Thebes,
 And Dirce, the natural spring of its waters,
Gift the webs which are found in the Theban countryside,
With translucency, shining, and much smoothness.
But the artificial spring was made by working hands.
10.32 CONCERNING: “WHAT KIND OF THING AGAIN IS IT, NOT TO GROW GOLDEN-HELMED CORN, TO TAKE HOLD OF YOU AS WELL, THE SECOND ISMENUS?” (STORY 332)
The stories tell us that Cadmus, that famous man of old,
Received an oracle instructing him to buy a cow from a farmer,
A man by the name of Pelagontos.
Because the cow was a sign of such and such things,
And was to be his guide on the road.
For wherever the cow might crouch down and fall,
 Cadmus was to slaughter it and sacrifice it on that very ground,
And to found a city, giving it whatever name he pleased.
So he obeyed the oracle, and slaughtered the cow,
Then sent two of his friends, whose names were as follows:
One was Deioleon, and the other, Seriphus.
Their mission was to bring water from the spring of Ares for the sacrifice.
But both were killed by the dragon which guarded the spring.
So Cadmus killed the dragon by stoning it,
And built only Cadmeia, not Thebes.
For Thebes outside the walls (of the Cadmeia) was first built
 Later on, by famous Zethus, and Amphion of song.
That Thebes was destroyed still later by Alexander the Great,
With flutes, when the Ismenus river played.
Thebes was rebuilt by a certain athlete,
Whose name, however, escapes my memory.
But all that was later. For now, Cadmus,
After he built the Cadmeia, not Thebes,
Following the wise advice of Athena, or perhaps his own cleverness,
Sowed the teeth of the aforementioned dragon,
From which the golden-helmed warriors grew,
 And began fighting and warring amongst themselves.
Now the story which I have told briefly is to be expanded upon,
And now I must interpret allegorically the dragon and its teeth.
You should not listen to tales of ivory teeth,
Grounds made with secret grinders, or the Stoic physician Palaephatus’
Account, but rather to Tzetzes’ wise one:
Dracon was a bandit leader, or a local chief.
He killed Deioleon and Seriphus,
So Cadmus killed him in revenge for his friends.
He took Dracon's teeth, his accomplices in robbery,
 His murdering chompers, which inflamed the people,
And “sowed” them, so to speak, dispersing them to various places:
Colchis, and other places, including Thebes itself,
And married into some of the more sensible families,
From which he grew a “corn-stalk of golden-helmed giants”,
That is, the inter-related golden-weaponed youth of Thebes,
Who, descended from a line and race of kings,
Fought for their homeland and people:
From which “seed of teeth” came these five:
Pelor, Oudaius, Chthonius, Echion, and Hyperenor.
 So I have told you the story and given you its allegorical interpretation.
All this so that you can learn, that the Greek alphabet
Was not invented by Palamedes, neither by Phoenix, nor by Cadmus,
As some of the more credulous ancients claimed,
As well as what Tzetzes has been accused of writing,
And of thinking that they made calculations and wrote down all.
For they did not write down anything, neither opinions nor facts.
Therefore, listen carefully to the beginning of the oracle that Cadmus received,
And use it to convince those credulous ones,
Who say that Cadmus invented writing.
 Say: O credulous ones, Tzetzes says these things now:
If Cadmus discovered writing and brought it to Greece,
Tell me, before he came anywhere near Greece,
How could this oracle have been uttered:
“Speak then the story of Agenor, oh Cadmus descendant,
And waking up at dawn, leave, and go to the divine Pythia,
Wearing these loose-fitting clothes”.
And the rest of the oracle, since it is already written
In so many letters on the columns of memory,
Tzetzes does not wish to repeat it here,
 Lest he fill up the scrolls with extraneous detail.
That would leave many tales in lack of a wine pourer
Many stories with broken promises of being written,
Robbed of their place on the writing-table,
If this book of scrolls be overfilled.
I think you and everyone else already know,
Judging from the other part of the oracle,
That even before Cadmus, the Greeks had letters and calculations.
If before Cadmus, that is, before there had been seven generations of Greeks,
And already very ancient before Palamedes’ time
 And even before Phoenix, those of whom the credulous ones spoke
Although they deceived everyone into thinking that Tzetzes had written thus,
That misbegotten credulousness, made by evildoers thrice over,
Is a lie that to a thinking man is equal to death.
10.33 CONCERNING THE FLAME COLOURED CHLANIS GARMENT THAT SYLOSON GAVE DARIUS (STORY 333)
When Darius was a hypaspist soldier, not yet king,
He received a gift from Syloson: a flame coloured chlanis.
Later, after he became king of Persia,
He made Syloson king of Samos.
You can find this story among my earlier ones,
Written in the ninety-fourth place.
10.34 CONCERNING: “WHEN MANY DECADES HAVE GONE” (STORY 334)
 Oppian, in his book on fishing,
Does not say that among fish, justice is administered by religious awe,
But rather that the stronger eat the offspring of the weaker.
Then he says: “This was on land too, not long ago,
When there was no justice at all, but wars and skirmishes.”
What he meant by this is that life, too, was just as harsh,
Until the Roman race took hold of the sceptre of rule,
And of the Romans, chiefly Severus and Antoninus.
Then he says to the gods, concerning both of them:
“May you draw them to me and straighten this stumbling-block,
 When many decades have gone by.”
10.35 CONCERNING THE PROVERB: “I RECEIVED PYRKAIA, ANEPHAISTON, AND AXYLON” (STORY 335)
There was an Egyptian in Noah’s time, named Hephaestus,
Who was also called Noah, Dionysius, and Osiris.
He discovered fire, technology, and all that comes from fire.
The Greeks adopted this Hephaestus as one of their own,
With many other Egyptian names,
And claimed the Egyptian gods as their own,
Seeing as the Greek poets were educated in Egypt,
And taught this knowledge to the ancestors of Greece.
It is because of this Hephaestus’ discovery of it
 That we call fire pyr, after its discoverer,
And for the same reason we call forest-fires enephaestoi and enxyloi.
There are other kinds of fires called enephastoi,
Such as wood-less (axyloi) fires, caused by lightning or hurricanes,
And the ignition of fire for mourning, and the seething of grief,
Are called pyrkaia, anephaiston, and axylon.
10.36 CONCERNING: “WHAT SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED” (STORY 336)
The Greeks say, that when Patroclus fell to Hector in the war,
Nestor’s son Antilochus was tasked with informing Achilles
Of what had befallen his favourite.
 When he reached Achilles, the poem has him say this:
“Woe is me! O warlike Achilles, breaker of horses,
Be informed from this message, of what should never have happened.
Patroclus lies dead. Now there is fighting around his
Stripped corpse. For now shining-helmed Hector has his armour.”
10.37 CONCERNING: “AND GRACES OF MANIFOLD BEAUTY” (STORY 337)
Hesiod, in the Theogony, says there are three Graces:
Aglaea and Thaleia, together with Euphrosyne.
I, on the other, say anything pleasurable is a Grace.
Musaeus, in his tale of Hero and Leander,
Speaks poetically about Hero’s beauty in these words:
 “From many parts did Graces flow. Now the ancients
Lied when they said that there are three Graces. For but one of Hero’s
Laughing eyes contained within it a hundred Graces.”
10.38 CONCERNING THE CHALYBIAN IRON (STORY 338)
The Chalybians are a people that lives near Trapezus.
They are said to have been the first to discover iron.
So now they call bronze Chalybon bronze as well,
As though the Chalybians had discovered that too.
10.39 CONCERNING: “AND IF IT WAS CREATED, ON WHAT DOES IT REST, DRIVEN TOWARDS IMMORTALITY” (STORY 339)
There are four schools of thought among philosophers concerning the beginning of the world.
One says that it has no beginning, so this school teaches immortality of the world.
Another holds that it has a beginning and an end.
 Yet another that it has no beginning, and yet has an end.
And the last that it was in fact created, but by the design of God,
And in the fullness of time will become infinite, and completely timeless.
This, I believe, is the position of Plato and Pythagoras.
But Meton, the astrologer, son of Pausanias,
Tells me it has both a beginning and an end.
He says that the end of the world will be
When the seven planets align,
And come into the constellation Aquarius, which is the home of Cronus.
He says that every long-lived person’s time
 Will be counted over in this time,
When this alignment takes place,
And the end of the world comes.
10.40 CONCERNING THE WORD ANXINOUS. FOR INTELLECT (NOUS) AND THE CAPACITY OF REASONING DIFFER (STORY 340)
Nouses and nous are attributed to God and the angels,
But no one usually attributes it to humans.
We call humans exephron (sensible) or anxinous (shrewd).
The most metaphorical we can get is nouneches (he who has nous).
For we never attribute nous to humans, not even to Plato.
I tell you that very few people indeed have nous.
For I’ve already proven this earlier, very clearly:
 Instead of saying logismon (capacity of reasoning), we often say nous.
For the logismon is the training-place of reasoning.
But the nous is refined and thinks faster than reasoning can reason.
But you will find this
In the one hundred forty third of my second histories,
To which you can turn, look, and learn all in detail.
10.41 TZETZES’ POVERTY, WHICH CALLS THIS LIFE A “FIELD OF WEEPING AND CHANCE, AN UNSTOPPABLE GLOBE MOVEMENT, ALWAYS TURNING, NO BETTER THAN A FEVER DREAM” (STORY 341)
Consider, my child, Tzetzes’ poverty in reasoning.
For I call this life on Earth a field of weeping,
And chance, and an unstoppable movement of a globe,
And moreover wheeling about in motions of all kinds.
 In addition, also “nothing” and feverish,
And I call it a field of weeping because,
It is full of pain, disaster, abuse, and tears.
And because it acts erratically and in contradictions,
I call it “chance”. For, just as in games of chance,
In different times it yields different results, so in life
In different times different events of all types may occur.
And I call it an ever-turning globe, because it cannot stay still,
For it always turns and cannot be tamed.
And again, I add the title of “no better than a fever dream”,
 Because in the darkness and smoke of life
There is empty glory in all places and all types of delusions,
Which none of us reckons of any account,
Since honour and glory and all fame in this life
Is smoke, and quickly dissolves into the air.
Gold is no more than pale clay, and woven robes are dust,
And one by one our ashes are scattered all.
10.42 THE PROVERB: “FOR YOU WERE NOT THE FIRST OR ALONE IN SUFFERING THAT WHICH YOU DID” (STORY 342)
For those whose lot it is to suffer something first or alone,
There is exceedingly great pain. But pain shared with others is easier to bear.
The bitter terror of suffering alone, as well as that of suffering alone,
 Is testified to by Sophocles, in these words:
“For suffering at home, with no one
To help, bears within it great pain. “
Sophocles showed how bitter it is
To suffer alone. Democrates,
On the other hand, shows how within reason pain is when shared with another.
For he said that, when Darius mourned his wife,
And ordered a magus priest to raise her,
The priest said that if he could find
The names of three men with no sorrow,
He should write them on his wife’s tomb.
 Darius found none, so Democritus replied:
“O King Darius! In all eternity no one has been
Without sorrow in this life. So how is it
That you wish to live this life without sorrow?
Bear your sorrows with others, and you will bear them within reason.“
Which thing Darius did immediately,
And managed to limit his immeasurable pain.
10.43 TO THOSE WHO PRACTICE THE PHILOSOPHY OF BEING (STORY 343)
There is a false and verbose philosophy,
Practised by monks, called the “Philosophy of Being”.
It is the study of death and the passing of the flesh,
 And knowledge of what can truly be said to be.
It concerns itself also with the likeness of God, so far as it is possible for man,
And loves more than God and wisdom
(The craft of crafts and the science of sciences,
And, I dare say, a great music, a healer of souls),
As well as any other boundaries that may exist for philosophy.
Since for the other there is not one that fits the borders.
10.44 CONCERNING THE LYDIAN BASANOS STONE (STORY 344)
The basanos is a Lydian stone used to judge gold,
Whether it is pure or adulterated, or something in between.
But you have this story already contained
 In the one hundred twenty-seventh of my stories.
10.45 ALTHOUGH HOMER SPEAKS OF “WINGED WORDS”, HE IS STILL NOT THE ONLY ONE TO HAVE THOUGHT OF THIS (STORY 345)
Homer speaks of “winged words”,
Because, perhaps, their sound is a percussion of air,
Similar to the way wings fly.
Or, perhaps, because they fly quickly.
For there is nothing faster or a better flier than a word.
“I will go to Gadeira, and even further on.”
In a split second, the words are out of my mouth,
How many days, on the other hand, would it take a bird to fly to Gadeira?
10.46 CONCERNING EPAMEINONDAS THE THEBAN GENERAL (STORY 346)
Epameinondas, who was a Theban general,
 Was the most incorruptible of all free souled men.
When someone once brought him money,
Not only did Epameinondas refuse, but said:
“Find a crook-footed cripple, or one driven out of his mind,
And such a bribe would befit him.
But it can never befit Epameinondas, general of the Thebans.”
This general once noticed a household soldier
Demanding gold from a prisoner.
He immediately expelled his own soldier,
And told him: “Give me my own shield back,
 And as for you, go buy yourself a merchant’s stall.”
10.47 CONCERNING CATO THE ROMAN (STORY 347)
This Cato, who served as a Roman general,
Was a contemporary of Antiochus, successor of Alexander.
He was so humble and incorruptible,
That he used to work his lands himself with his household slaves,
And was often seen eating with them at the same table,
Chewing and drinking and doing other such things with them.
So much so, that he once became ill, and was told by his doctor,
That if he did not eat a thrush, he would never recover.
 So Cato asked where in the world he was supposed to get a thrush in summer.
He was told to go look for some in Lucillus’ gardens.
(For he was the proudest of all the Romans).
But Cato did not want to eat the thrush,
Making the famous quip which I will now relate:
“If Lucillus was not proud, Cato could not live?”
Now you know just how humble Cato was.
So now I will show you how incorruptible he was.
His fame reached even far Britain,
For which reason the British kings wished to meet him.
 So they sent emissaries and boxes of gold to him.
But the emissaries could not identify Cato,
So they went around asking for someone to notify Cato of their arrival.
They found him boiling his own turnips,
So they thought he was a simple cook.
They asked him if he he could tell Cato they had arrived,
That they were emissaries from Britain come to meet him.
“If you’re looking for Cato,” he said, “that’s me.”
At first they thought he was joking,
But when they realized he was indeed Cato, they paid him the proper respect,
 And said: “Cato, general of the Romans, descendants of Aeneas,
The kings of Britain, wishing for your friendship,
Have sent you these golden boxes.”
He replied: “Do they wish for my friendship or my slavery?”
The emissaries answered: “Friendship.”, and he said: “Go away, and take this gold with you!
For only slavery can be bought with money, not friendship.
I can be their friend even without gifts.
Also, you British emissaries, if one is a general,
And yet cooks for himself, and is satisfied with turnips,
 Do you think he needs money and possessions?”
I have quoted Cato verbatim.
If you wish to turn this one story about Cato
Into two, turn to earlier scrolls,
And in the earlier stories you will find
This very story of Cato, and another one.
But the version given here differs from the one given there.
And if you wish, I can tell you
Ten similar stories of Cato and the rest.
 For Tzetzes knows each book of histories
Accurately, not missing even a verse or two.
10.48 CONCERNING MEGISTIAS THE ACARNIAN, THE SPARTAN SEER (STORY 348)
Megistas was by race an Acarnian,
But he served as a seer to the Spartans.
His first act was one night
He went out with some armed Spartans, well able to fight,
And whitened their equipment with chalk.
Thus clad, they entered Xerxes’ camp,
And caused great fear and much murder,
For the Persians thought the Spartans were an army of demons.
 This was Megistias’ first act in the Persian camp.
His second act was when Leonidas went out with thousands of Spartans
Intending to bring all the barbarians to heel.
They were, I think, in the neighbourhood of Euboean Artimesion,
When Megistias forbade all from going to fight,
“For as many of you go to fight at Artimesion
Will all die at the hands of the barbarians.”
But Leonidas heard this, and said:
“Go then, don’t attack with us,
You can be the remnant of Greece.”
 So Leonidas went with only his three hundred
And killed many barbarians in the battle.
But in the end he too fell with the three hundred,
Overcome by the barbarians’ sheer numbers.
Megistias the renowned, too, was killed with them
When they saw that they were doomed to die.
For at the war council earlier,
When someone asked where they were going,
Leonidas spoke of going to battle,
But in fact intended to die for all Greece.
10.49 CONCERNING THE PROFESSION OF THE ASCLEPIADES (STORY 349)
 Asclepius, son of Apollo, is a doctor by profession,
Who learned medicine from Chiron the centaur.
His birth name was Hepius, but received the name Asclepius,
When he cured Ascles, the ruler of Epidaurus,
Who suffered an incurable ailment in his eyes.
Others say that Asclepius is called that
Because he does not allow men to scellesthai, that is, to die.
That word comes from sceleton, which means a dead man’s skin and bones.
As the greatest of doctors, he cures the most terrible diseases,
And even made some dead men to live again,
 Such as Tyndareus, Hippolytus, and some others.
Now Asclepiades is the name given literally
To those who trace their descent from the same clan
(Whether they are doctors or of some other profession),
As did Hippocrates, and myriad others.
But metaphorically, doctors are also called Asclepiades, because of their similar profession,
For example Nicomachus, Aristotle’s father.
10.50 CONCERNING THE SENATE OF THE EYE (STORY 350)
The ancients called “eyes” those who were
Kings’ chief men, first in council,
 Such as Alpistus, son of Batanochus,
Whom Aeschylus called Xerxes’ “eye”. Also Pindar
Claims that when Adrastus beheld at Thebes
Seven hosts of dead men gathered,
And their generals lying on top of each host,
Then he saw Amphiaraus, who was not with the hosts,
For the earth had taken him and his chariot both.
He said: “I mourn Amphiaraus and Oekledes,
The ‘eye’ of the army which I command.”
Since both a seer and a brave fighter was called an ‘eye’.
 So far-seeing men were called ‘eyes’,
As well by the Persian kings were doers of good,
Seers, doctors, and delightful men thus named.
Now drawing even greater need,
They were fond of giving nicknames, but in Persian.
For doers of good are called orosangs by the Persians.
But we, drawing inspiration both from the Persians and the ancient Greeks,
Call anyone famous for something an “eye”.
10.51 CONCERNING THE NECTAR (STORY 351)
According to mythology ambrosia is a food of the gods,
Thus named because it is “a-brotos”, not for mortals to eat,
 And the m was inserted in the middle, in the Aeolic fashion.
Now the drink of the gods is called nectar,
From ne the negative particle, and kto which means “to kill”,
So “nectar” is the drink of those who cannot be killed.
This, therefore, is the original meaning of nectar,
But we use it as a metaphor for anything sweet.
10.52 CONCERNING THE FOX WHICH CHEATED THE CROW OF A CHEESE (STORY 352)
There is a story by Aesop, of a crow that was eating a cheese.
The fox wanted to take the cheese away from it,
So it said: “How wise you are, crow!
You’re big and beautiful and have what it takes
 To be king of all the birds,
But all you lack is one song in order to become king.”
The crow answered this flattery
By opening his beak, and leaving the cheese.
So the fox got the cheese by devious tricks,
And left the crow to brag and craw.
10.53 WHO ENGLOTOGASTOR, NOSOGASTOR, CHEIROGASTOR, AND CHEIRONAX ARE (STORY 353)
Anyone who speaks in tongues is called englotogastor,
As if he is teaching his stomach (gaster) to speak,
Like others teach singing or musical instruments,
Or acting or flattery, or speaking wittily,
 And indeed rhetoric in legal defence and suchlike arts,
Although most say that that rhetoric is the only way to give a defence.
You now have learned and know who englotgasters are.
Now a nosogastor (metaphorically) is
Someone who arranges text with reason,
Into commentaries, verses, and poems, and teaches it (the mind or nous) with them.
A cheirogastor is also called a cheironax,
Which is someone who works with his hands
And can teach this work, like any manual labourer.
 I count writers with this sort.
We call anyone of this kind a cheirogastor,
Who has been educated with his hands. A cheironax, on the other hand,
Is one who owns his hands and nothing else.
For the word anax has three meanings, listen to them:
A god, a king, or an owner.
10.54 CONCERNING THE SILVER MUSE (STORY 354)
All the early poets wrote for free,
The first to write for money being Simonides.
You’ll find this story told well
In the two hundred twenty-eighth story of the present volume.
10.55 CONCERNING PLATO’S SALE OF HIS DIALOGUES TO SICILY (STORY 355)
 Plato sold his dialogues,
That is, the written versions, which he made himself,
In which were questions and answers,
To Dio and Dionysius,
As well as other interested parties from Sicily.
Nobody received them as a free gift,
Not even Dio, who was his benefactor.
Dio also bought a book by Philolaus the Pythagorean
From a group of impoverished widows.
For the Pythagoreans swore to give out books for free.
 So that no one should have to buy Pythagorean books.
But Dio appreciated Plato so much
He bought him the book from those women
For a hundred minas, not light on the scales.
This pleased Plato very much, since he wanted that book,
And inspired by them he wrote the Timaeus and his other works.
Dio bought some mimes as well, Sophron’s book.
Sophron was a wise man of Syracuse.
This too he gave to Plato who wanted them.
Inspired by these mimes, he wrote his philosophy in the form of dialogues.
 (Since the character Timon in the mime Silloi is depicted drawing).
So therefore, the very wise Plato received some favours from Dio
And did not give him his wise words for free.
10.56 CONCERNING PLATO’S COOKING PRACTICE (STORY 356)
Plato the philosopher was wont to sit on the left
While eating off Sicilian tables,
According to his writings on cooking.
Sarabus, I believe, and Thearion,
And some others, were those from whom Plato
Learned and later perfected the art of cooking.
 For there was nothing in which that wise man was inexperienced,
Including serving at the tables of rich and powerful men.
10.57 CONCERNING PLATO’S FLATTERY OF RULERS (STORY 357)
That Plato used to flatter rich and powerful men
We have already noted. For when he came to Sicily
He sailed to visit Dio and Dionysius.
He lived with them, as one of their hired workers,
And occasionally said pleasing things to them
More than a free philosopher needs to.
10.58 CONCERNING PHILISTUS THE HISTORIAN AND PHILOXENUS, THE CYTHERIAN DITHYRAMBIC POET, WHO EDUCATED PLATO (STORY 358)
This Philistus was a history writer,
Whom Dionysius held in high esteem,
 Since he was supposed to have lain with Dionysius’ mother.
He was also lame, and when the people rebelled
He was captured and taken away from his charges
Dragged by his lame foot in the middle of the city streets.
I think Timaeus the Sicilian wrote about this,
Andromachus’ son aroused ill will,
As one Sicilian to another, as an inglorious man to a glorious one.
But this talk of Philistus is for later.
During his lifetime, he was highly honoured by Dionysius.
Philoxenus then, the writer of dithyrambs,
 Was of the Kytherian people, but born free.
Him too Dionysius loved much.
Once, Dionysius gave him a tragedy, a personal one,
Which he had written himself. It was earmarked for a great
Performance in Athens. Dionysius said to him: “Philoxenus,
Look at this tragedy, and if you find bad lines, cross them out.”
Philoxenus went over the play from start to finish,
And crossed it all out.
Dionysius sent him away to the quarries,
But immediately recalled him with a letter.
 Philoxenus wrote back in such a manner,
Writing repetitively around the issues,
Writing the same thing ten times and more,
Which was: “No worries, I don’t care”, and so on.
Now when he had just been brought back to Dionysius,
He heard Dionysius say something again.
Philoxenus refused to flatter Dionysius,
And said: “Take me back to the quarry!
Neither I nor Tzetzes practice flattery. “
Then Plato and all the other servants came in a small boat.
 So Plato was defeated both by Philistus and this Philoxenus,
Bringing Dionysius much for a second time.
10.59 HOW PLATO, CAUGHT SPEAKING OUT AGAINST A RULER, WAS GIVEN TO DIO BUT SOLD TO POLIS (STORY 359)
The philosophers say that Plato was sold by Dionysius
And given to Polis.
Some say that Dionysius asked Plato:
“Which type of copper is the best, Plato?”
Plato answered: “Dionysius, the best of all copper
Are the steles fashioned by Aristogeiton and Harmodius.”
This is the one silly falsehood that philosophers have.
Others say that he was defeated by Plato’s writings,
 And for this reason he was sold as a slave by Polis.
But this is the foolishness of truth-hating people.
For Plato was sold by a ship captain named Polis,
To whom he was either sold and given as a gift by Dionysius,
Because he was caught conspiring against the ruler Dio.
Now Dio was Dionysius’ cousin,
And his wife’s brother. Now tell me,
What would you not tell your fraternal cousin?
Thus Plato was sold, according to the ruler’s custom.
However, if the ruler then had been new to power,
 Plato would never have been sold.
Instead, I believe, he would have been murdered ten thousand times over,
Since that is the custom of new rulers in Sicily.
Whether his punishment was to serve in Persian and Artaean galleys,
Or to suffer some more cruel fate,
He certainly came to know the terrible custom of rulers.
10.60 HOW THE AEGINETANS, INTRUDING ON THE LAESTRYGONIANS’S SHORES, ALMOST STONED PLATO BECAUSE OF THEIR HATRED FOR ATHENIANS (STORY 360)
In the Odyssey, Homer says that Odysseus,
After six of his friends were devoured by the Cyclops,
Antiphus, Euryleon, Apheidas, Menetus,
As well as Cepheus and Stratius, with his six remaining friends,
 Whose names were Amphidamas, Amphialus, Lykaon,
Antilochus and Alcimus, together with Eurylochus,
Blinded the Cyclops when he was drunk and asleep,
Then took many of his sheep and sailed away.
Then they came to the Laestrygonans, and beached their ships
On the shore, because the inhabitants were cannibals.
Odysseus then left his leading ship
Off the shore, while the other eleven
He beached on the shore.
He sent three men to spy out the country,
 Who its inhabitants were and what were their customs.
So the three men went, and chanced upon a girl carrying water.
She was the daughter of Antiphatus, ruler of the Laestrygonans.
She told them all about the country, and its ruler.
They followed her, and saw her mother,
Who was as tall as a mountain top, a sight which terrified them.
She was calling for Antiphatus to come from the agora.
Then the Laestrygonans, who are not like humans,
But rather giants, chased Odysseus’ men.
They fled as fast as they could back to their ships.
 The Laestrygonans threw olive-press stones that could crush a man at them.
Immediately a terrible din arose among the ships,
“Of men being annihilated and ships breaking.”
The Laestrygans’ attack was so fierce,
That they killed all the eleven who were on the vessels.
While the massacre was going on on the shore,
Even though they saw that the Laestrygans murder to eat,
Odysseus cut his vessel’s cables,
And was saved by fleeing into the sea.
But the storied devouring of the Cyclops was actually human work,
 That is murder and slaying which they practised.
For the Sicilians were, in the far past, called Cyclopses,
When they were ignorant of sea-going vessels,
And would kill out of fear those strangers who arrived in their territory by ship,
Lest the strangers take over their country.
Therefore when Odysseus arrived in his ships,
They threatened him and killed them and his companions.
This is the devouring spoken of by the writers of stories.
Now this is how the Cyclops was blinded with a fire-brand:
The Sicilians intended to kill Odysseus by hemming him in.
 Odysseus gave the Cyclops money and got him drunk,
Which was an empty trick to kill them.
So he actually got them “drunk” on money,
And when it’s said that he and his friends blinded the Cyclops with a fire-brand and fled the island,
The fire meant is that of desire for Elpe, his daughter,
Who had attractive eyes. So they stole her
(since one of Odysseus’s men desired her)
And fled all, but not before she had woken the guards.
So it became clear to all in the area,
That Elpe, the Cyclops’ daughter, had been stolen.
 So when the Cyclopses attacked their neighbours the Laestrygonans,
The Laestrygonans, as I said, killed all of them,
Except for the one vessel, of which I spoke, Odysseus’.
They took away Elpe the Cyclops’ daughter,
And gave her back to him. This is what happened,
Even though Homer does not reveal this part of the story.
Now later, when against these same Laestrygonans,
The Aegnetes charged on the shores, through hatred for the Athenians,
They almost stoned Plato to death.
For the Aegnetes were friends of the Megarans,
 Whom Pericles banned completely,
From all markets and ports in Athens.
This decree was written on a board and put up in the middle of the agora.
On it Pericles wrote the reason for the ban:
The Megarans had cut the god’s orgas,
(the orgas was a holy garden that was not to be touched).
This was the reason Pericles gave the Megarans.
I, Tzetzes, tell you, but you should investigate yourself:
Pericles lied, but now he unwillingly tells the truth:
Aspasia, the Megaran courtesan,
 Used to be Pericles’ lawful wife.
Once, when she was walking around the suburbs,
With honour and a procession and many servants,
The Megarans knew, as before, that she was a goddess’ orgas,
Of Aphrodite, that is, not of Athena,
So they laughingly recounted what she used to be.
If they had cut the orgas, Pericles would have known,
And because of this, Pericles wrote that decree,
Because of which Plato almost died in Aegina.
10.61 HOW PLATO MEASURED THE SICILIAN CHARYBDIS THREE TIMES (STORY 361)
Scylla and Charybdis are in Sicily.
 But Scylla is made of promontories,
Terrible and awful with its reefs and rocks,
And sea creatures growing up everyone without measure.
Charybdis, on the other hand, is a terrible flowing stream,
Flowing and bubbling like a cauldron.
The Senon and Hadrian rivers are responsible
For this terrible flow, when they flow into the Ionian sea.
Other say that there are three seas, of which I will speak,
That make Charybdis so terrible, augmenting the flow:
 From the west comes the narrow Tyrrhenian,
And from the south the Sicilian, together with that of Crete.
The Cretan sea is the eastern part.
Then from the north the Hadrian river,
Which flows into the sea called Ionian,
Named for Ionos the Illyrian,
Who ruled that place and its inhabitants.
It is not, as some claim, named for Io daughter of Inachus.
For the Tyrrhensian is named for its narrowness,
Pushed by the wind from the others seas,
 With no rest, it whirls terribly,
Murmuring terribly like a fire-heated cauldron.
The wise Plato sailed it three times,
For he was thrice expelled from Sicily,
Due to the enmity he had earned with Dio and Dionysius.
10.62 HOW PLATO, SOLD BY POLIS TO THE PYTHAGOREAN ARCHYTAS THE TARENTINE, MADE USE OF HIS PYTHAGOREAN MASTER AND TEACHER (STORY 362)
Archytas bought Plato the philosopher
From the sea-captain Polis, who was a Spartiate.
Archytas, too, was a philosopher, but of the Pythagorean school.
He taught his newly-acquired slave Pythagorean philosophy. For Plato had
 In his possession, Philolaus the Pythagorean’s book,
 As well as the mime of Sophron the Syracusan,
Which he had bought previously from Dio.
Philolaus’ book cost him a hundred minas,
But I don’t know how much Sophron’s did, since I wasn’t there.
And Plato stole everything concerning the soul,
And myriad other things, from Philolaus,
And wrote the Timaeus and other dialogues,
While the dialogue format was miming Sophron’s mimes.
For Sophron’s writings are repetitive:
 Consisting all of questions and answers in turn.