§ i A version of the Greek text is on-line (3/2016) at remacle.org, digitized by Marc Szwajcer together with an 18th century French rendering by Abbe Gedoyn. Conon's dedication of his text to Archelaos, the last king of Cappadocia, places the text somewhere between 36 BCE and 17 CE. Conon's versions of the myths are sometimes unique, with an effort to explain away miraculous events. For a scholarly treatment, consult Malcolm Brown, The Narratives of Konon: Text, Translation and Commentary of the Diegeseis (Beitrage Zur Altertumskunde, 2003).
§ 1 In the first, about Midas and the Brigans, how chancing on a treasure he came into great wealth and having become an auditor of Orpheus at the Pierian mountain he reigned over the Brigans with many arts. And how Seilenos was sighted, while Midas was king, near Bremion mountain, at the foot of which his very numerous people were dwelling. And how the animal was brought to him, transformed to human appearance. And how everything, even the food put before him, became gold; and how on account of this he persuaded his subject people to cross the Hellespont from Europe to beyond Mysia and settled the Phrygians, instead of Brigans, renaming them with a small change of the word. Midas had many people reporting to him what was being said and done by his subjects, keeping his kingdom safe from conspiracies and reaching old age. For this reason, he was said to have long ears, and little by little rumor changed long ears into ass's ears, and from mockery in the beginning the story came to be believed as fact.
§ 2 Second the account of Byblis, a child of Miletos, who had a brother Kaunos. They lived in Miletos of Asia, which later the Ionians and those who came with Neleos attacked and settled, but then was occupied by Carians, a large ethnos settled in villages. Helpless love sprang up in Kaunos for his sister Byblis. How, having failed in many efforts he left that land. And when he disappeared, Byblis was seized with infinite grief and she herself left her paternal home. Having wandered through a vast wasteland, she renounced her vain longings, fastened her belt as a noose to a chestnut tree and hanged herself. Where she wept her flowing tears opened a fountain, called Byblis by the locals. Kaunos arrives in Lycia during his wanderings and Pronoe (she was a Naiad) rises from her river and tells him what happened to Byblis, as Eros the judge had foretold, and persuades him to settle down with her on condition of taking up the rule of the country (for he has the hots for her too). Kaunos has a child with Pronoe, Aigialos, who takes over the kingdom when his father dies. He assembled the people, who were living scattered, and built a great and prosperous city on the river, called Kaunos after his father.
§ 3 Third, the island Scheria in the Ionian sea, not far from the mainland and the Keraunian mountains, had the Phaiakians as the first settlers, autochthones, a people who got their name from some king of the locals. Later a segment of the Corinthians settled it and changed the name to Kerkyra, and ruled over the sea around. When Phaiax, who reigned on the island, died, his sons Alkinous and Lokros after quarreling came together again on the basis that Alkinous would be king of Phaiakis, and Lokros would take the heirlooms and part of the ethnos to make a colony. He sailed for Italy and was hosted by Latinus the king of the Italians, who gave him his daughter Laurine in marriage. For this reason the Phaiakians claim the Lokrians in Italy as relatives. Herakles at about that time was driving Geryon's beautiful cows from Erytheia. He arrived and was hosted kindly by Lokros. Latinus came to visit his daughter, saw and fancied the cows and drove them away. Discovering this, Herakles shot with his bow and killed him, and brought back the cows. Lokros, fearing Herakles might suffer something terrible at the hands of Latinus, who was strong in body and spirit, had hastened to the aid of his guest, having put on military gear. Herakles seeing him running and thinking he was someone rushing to support Latinus, loosed a shaft and killed him. After he learned he mourned loudly and conducted the rites for him. And when he had passed from among men he appeared to the people as a ghost and ordered them to establish a city by the tomb of Lokros. And the city keeps the name in honor of Lokros. So this is the third narrative. But why should I recopy these things almost, when much more weighty matters impend?
§ 4 Now then, the fourth narrative talks about Olynthos the city and Strymon, who ruled the Thracians and gave his name to the river formerly known as Eioneus. He had three sons, Brangas and Ressos and Olynthos. Ressos went to fight alongside Priam at Troy and was killed by Diomedes. Olynthos confronted a lion in a hunt and died. Brangas his brother mourned the misfortune greatly and buried Olynthos where he fell. Then coming to Sithonia he built a great and prosperous city which he named Olynthos after the boy.
§ 5 In the fifth he tells the story about Reginos and Eunomos the son of Lokros, the cithara players, and how they were coming to Delphi, the Regians and Lokrians are separated by a river (Alex is the river's name), and though the cicadas of the former are voiceless, Lokris has cicadas that sing. And how Eunomos, when he was competing with Reginos, prevailed over his adversary with the song of a cicada. At that time, harmony was seven-stringed, and when one of the strings broke, a cicada landed on the kithara and filled in the missing part of the music.
§ 6 Sixth, how Mopsos the seer, the son of Apollo, when his mother died inherited the oracle of Apollon in Klaros. Kalchas arrived in Kolophon, wandering after the fall of Troy, just when Mopsos had take over the oracle. They contended with one another for a long time, and Amphimachos king of the Lycians ended their strife. For Mopsos would prevent him from going to war by foretelling his defeat. Kalchas permitted him, indicating victory. He was defeated, and while Mopsos was honored greatly, Kalchas did away with himself.
§ 7 The seventh narrates how Philammon was the son of Philonis, who was born from Heosphoros and Kleoboia in Thorikos of Attica. This Philammon was unnaturally beautiful. One of the nymphs seduced the youth and became pregnant. Ashamed she leaves the Peloponnese and comes to the Akte (shore) where she gives birth to a boy, Thamyris, who when he reached puberty became so accomplished in singing to the cithara that the Scythians made him their king even though he was an interloper. When he competed with the Muses in singing, and prizes were set for the victor, his prize would be marriages with the Muses, whereas if they won they could take whatever they wanted of his. He was defeated and slashed out his eyes.
§ 8 The eighth tells about Proteus the Egyptian seer, whose daughter Theonoe fell in love with Kanobos (the steersman of Menelaus from Troy), unrequited. And how Kanobos, who was handsome and young, was bitten by a viper and his leg rotted when Menelaus was taking Helen away from Egypt and they landed their ship. After a little he died and Menelaus and Helen buried him in Egypt where the city named for him now stands. And the last mouth of the Nile, Kanobos or Kanobic, takes its name from the steersman.
§ 9 The ninth talks about Semiramis, not the wife of Ninos as others say but the daughter. And for one reason, that what others write about Atossa the Assyrian, he ascribes to Semiramis, I cannot say whether he thinks the same woman was called by two names or the things about Semiramis were mistaken. He says that Semiramis having slept with her son whether secretly and unaware or else knowingly, took him openly as her husband and from that, what was disgusting before, having sex with your mother, became good and legal for the Medes and Persians.
§ 10 The tenth, how Sithon the son of Poseidon and Ossa, was king of the Thracian Cherronesos. He had a daughter Pallene with the nymph Mendeis. Since she had many suitors, he made his daughter and his kingdom the prize to the victor in battle against him. So Merops the king of Anthemousia and Periphetes of Mygdonia are killed contending for the marriage. So then Sithon decrees that the suitors will not fight him but each other, with the same prize to the victor. Now Dryas and Klitos compete, and Dryas falls through Pallene's cheating. When this was detected, Sithon was about to condemn Pallene to death, had not Aphrodite by consorting with all the citizens snatched the girl from death. And when the father died Pallene and Klitos inherited the kingdom, and from her the country took the name Pallene.
§ 11 The eleventh tells about the sacrifice for Herakles, which the Lindians make to him with imprecations, and how it began from some Lindian plowman. When Herakles asked for food for his son Hyllos, who, quite young, was accompanying him on the road, he insulted them instead of providing food. Herakles took it badly. Slaughtering one of the oxen he had a feast and gave some to the child. The plowman cursed from afar. And Herakles laughed off the curses, and loudly opined that he had never enjoyed a pleasanter feast then the one with imprecations.
§ 12 The twelfth, about Troos the son of Erichthonios the Dardanian, who reigned over the villages around Ida. With Kallirroe the daughter of Skamandros he had Ilos (whence the name Ilion), Asarakos, and Ganymede, the one Zeus snatched. Asarakos ruled Dardania together with his father, and this was the realm of the Trojans. Ilos, who founded Ilion, defeated in battle the king of the Bebrykes, named Byzos, and raised Ilion up greatly.
§ 13 The 13th recounts the tale of Aithilla, who was the daughter of Laomedon and sister of Priam. Protesilaos took her away from Ilion in his ships along with other captives. After many storms they just landed between Mende and Skione and Protesilaos and all his men went up from the shore to get water. Aithilla told her fellow captives various things, and that if they came with the Greeks to Greece, the ills of Troy would seem like gold to them. She persuaded them to set fire to the ships. So the Greece remained with them in the country, though against their will, and founded a city Skione and lived together.
§ 14 The 14th tells the history of Endymion, how he was the child of Aethnos the son of Zeus and of Protogeneia the daughter of Deukalion. He had two children Eurypyle and Aitolos. The latter left his ancestral rule in the Peloponnese and crossed to the land opposite followed by part of his people. He threw out the Kouretes, settled the land, and caused the land to be called Aitolis rather than Kouretis. Elis, the child of Eurypyle and Poseidon, succeeded to the kingdom when Endymion, his mother's father, died. He gave his name to Elis, the city founded by Endymion.
§ 15 The 15th, about the Pheneates and Demeter and Kore, whom Plouton kidnapped and, evading her mother, took to his underground domain. And how, because the Pheneates showed Demeter the place where the descent took place (a certain chasm in Kyllene), she granted them other good things and never to permit the death of one hundred men of Pheneos in war.
§ 16 The 16th about Promachos and Leukokomas the Knossians (Knossos is a city of Crete). Promachos yearned for the handsome youth Leukokomas, and offered to perform great trials for him full of risk. Promachos undertakes all these in hopes of success, but doesn't win the boy, so he spites Leukokomas by putting the last prize (a celebrated helmet) on another handsome young man while Leukokomas is watching. Unable to bear his jealousy he took a sword and did away with himself.
§ 17 The 17th, how the brothers Dikaios and Syleus, sons of Poseidon, lived near Mt. Pelion in Thessaly. And one of them was indeed just [dikaios], as he was named, while the other was a transgressor and Herakles killed him. Herakles was being hosted by Dikaios, and he fell in love with the daughter of Syleus when he saw her being brought up there, and he took her to wife. When Herakles departed, she died, overcome by love and yearning for him. Herakles returned just in time for the funeral and would have burned himself with her on the pyre, had the others present not managed to prevent him with consoling words. After Herakles went away the locals the locals built up her tomb but called it a shrine of Herakles instead of a funerary monument.
§ 18 The 18th; when the Lokrians fought, since Ajax was a relative of theirs, they used to leave an empty space in the formation, in which Ajax supposedly stationed himself. When they were arrayed in battle against the Krotoniats, Autoleon of Kroton advised that they burst through the gap and surround the enemy. Tormented by a ghost he turned his thigh and was becoming gangrenous, until, in accordance with an oracle, he showed up at the island of Achilles in the Pontus (reached by sailing past the Ister river beyond the Tauric peninsula) and appeased the other heroes and particularly the soul of Ajax the Lokrian. He was healed, and returning from there he conveyed to Stesichoros Helen's command that he sing her a retraction if sight was dear to him. Stesichoros straightaway composed hymns to Helen and recovered his vision.
§ 19 The 19th, how Psamathe the daughter of Krotopos got pregnant by Apollo and because she feared her father she exposed the child, whom she named Linos. The shepherd who received him raised him as his own, and one day the sheepdogs tore him apart. Deeply grieving, she was detected by her father, who sentenced her to death, assuming she had been a harlot and lied about Apollo. Apollo, however, is incensed at the killing of his lover and punishes the Argives with plague. To those consulting the oracle on how to be freed of it he responds that they must appease Psamathe and Linos. They honored them in other ways and sent women and girls to mourn Linos. They mixed the laments with entreaties and wept for his fate and their own. And thus the mourning over Linos was distinguished. And from this, by later poets Linos is sung as a counterpoint of any pathos. They named the month Arneion (lamb-month) because Linos was raised together with lambs. And they conduct a sacrifice and Arnis festival, on that day killing all the dogs they find. But not even in this way did the evil abate, until Krotopos in accordance with an oracle left Argos and founded a city in the Megarid. He called it Tripodiskion, and settled there.
§ 20 The 20th, how Theoklos the Chalcidian, taken captive by the Bisaltians (a Thracian ethnos, living across from Pallene), sent secretly to the Chalcidians to betray the Bisaltians. And first they harassed the Bisaltians with a surprise attack, then walled them off. Through the treachery of a cowherd they captured they took the city and expelled the Bisaltians. Violating their treaty they killed the traitor cowherd, which provoked the wrath of the gods. So in accordance with an oracle they heaped up a beautiful tomb for the cowherd and by sacrificing to him as a hero they freed themselves of the evil.
§ 21 The 21st; Dardanos and Iason were the sons of Zeus with Electra the daughter of Atlantis, and they lived on the island of Samothrace. But Iason was struck by lightning while attempting to dishonor a phantasm of Demeter. Dardanos distraught at what happened to his brother crossed over by a raft (there was not yet any use of ships) to the opposite shore, where there was much flat land and Mt. Ida. Then the country was ruled by Teukros the son of a nymph and the river Scamandros, whence the Teukrian inhabitants and Teukria the country. Dardanos comes to terms with him, by which he takes half of it and builds a city Dardania where he disembarked from the raft. Later when Teukros died all the land came under his rule.
§ 22 The 22nd; the lover of a Cretan youth gives him the offspring of a serpent. He nursed and cared for it until the serpent grew large and inspired fear in the locals. They in turn forced the young man to abandon the beast in the desert, and he did so with much weeping. Later, when the young man went out hunting and fell into the hands of pirates, the serpent recognized his voice when he was calling for help and destroyed the pirates, coiling around each of them, while indicating his old feeling for the boy, and was freed of suspicion.
§ 23 The 23rd, how the boy Korythos was born to Alexandros of Paris and Oinone, whom he married before kidnapping Helen. He excelled his father in beauty. His mother sent him to Helen, arousing the jealousy of Alexandros and plotting something bad against Helen. As usual, Korythos went to Helen, and Alexandros passing into the room and seeing Korythos sitting beside Helen, was inflamed by suspicion and killed him straightaway. After this outrage to her and killing of her son Oinone cursed Alexandros, and prayed (for she was inspired with prophecy and the knowledge of preparing potions) that he would be wounded by the Achaeans and, unable to find treatment, would ask for her. And she went home. Later Alexandros was wounded by Philoctetes in the battle for Troy with the Achaeans. Suffering terribly, he was taken to Mt. Ida in a wagon, and sending ahead a herald asked for Oinone. She insultingly rejected the herald, saying Alexandros should go to Helen instead. And Alexandros died of his wound on the road. She meanwhile, not knowing of his end, had repented and was feeling terrible. Having harvested herbs she was hastening to reach him. How she learned from the herald that he had died and that she killed him, and she killed the herald, smashing his head with a stone for the insult. After draping herself over the dead Alexandros and reproaching their shared daimon, she hanged herself with her belt.
§ 24 The 24th; in Thespeia of Boeotia (a city not far from Helikon) a child was born, Narcissus, very handsome and dismissive of both Eros and lovers. While all the other lovers tried and gave up, Ameinias kept insisting and beseeching. Narcissus did not yield and sent him a sword instead. He did away with himself at Narcissus' doorway, after beseeching the god to avenge him. Narcissus saw his own image and shape reflected in the water of a spring and becomes his own first and only true love, an unnatural one. Finally, at a loss and thinking he was suffering justly for having insulted the love of Ameinias, he did himself in. And from that the Thespians honor and reverence Eros especially, and learned to sacrifice to him both in the common rituals and privately. The locals believe that the narcissus flower first sprang up on that ground where the blood of Narcissus was spilt.
§ 25 The 25th, how Minos the son of Zeus and Europa, who ruled Crete, sailed to Sikania (now called Sicily) with his fleet to search for Daidalos and was killed by the daughters of Kokalos (who reigned over the Sicels). The Cretan force goes to war with the Sicels on account of their king, and is defeated. Retreating, they are driven by a storm to Iapygia, where they settle, become Iapygians instead of Cretans. After a time a certain part of them is driven out of the country during an internal dispute. They get an oracular response that they should settle wherever someone holds out earth and water to them. So they settled Bottiaia, because some children there were playing with figures of bread and other foods they had formed out of clay, and when they asked for bread they gave them the clay loaves instead. Believing the oracle had been fulfilled they asked the king of the Macedonians and got permission to live in the land of the Bottiaians, and though the Bottiaians are Cretans by race they changed their lot and now are Macedonians.
§ 26 The 26th tells how a spectral appearance [phasma, other writers say lover] of Apollo named Karnos was following the Dorians, and Hippotes one of the descendants of Herakles killed it when the Herakleidai were going down into the Peloponnese. When a plague fell upon them in consequence, they consulted the oracle and expelled Hippotes from the camp. The spectre was a seer for the Dorians. The Herakleidai made their descent into the Peloponnese. The outcast Ippotes has a son whom he calls Aletes (vagabond) from the circumstances who grows up and collects a detachment of Dorians and expels the Sisyphids who were kings of Corinth, and the Ionians with them, and resettles the city. And he attacks Attica, when he gets an oracle that he will conquer if keeps his hands off of the Athenian king. When the Athenians learn of the oracle, they persuade Kodros, now 70 years old, to voluntarily sacrifice himself for the fatherland. So changing his gear, to appear as one of the wood-carriers, he gets killed by one of the Dorians. The Dorians afterwards learn this and despairing of victory made peace with the Athenians.
§ 27 The 27th tells about Deukalion, who was ruling Phthiotis, and the great flood in Greece during his time. And about Hellen his son, whom some say was the child of Zeus, who succeeded to the kingdom when Deukalion died, and had three children, of whom Aiolos the first claimed by right to reign over the land, delimiting his realm by two rivers, Asopos and Enipeos, whence the Aiolic race is descended. Doros, the second, took part of the people from his father to emigrate, and built cities under Mt. Parnassos, Boion, Kytinion, Erineos, whence the Dorians. The youngest came to Athens and built the so-called Attic Tetrapolis, and wedded Kreousa the daughter of Erechtheus, and had Achaios and Ion with her. And Achaios having committed involuntary homicide was driven out and came to the Peloponnese, where he built a tetrapolis, whence the Achaians. Ion, when his mother's father died, because of his manly virtue and merit was chosen to rule the Athenians, from which the Athenians began to be called Ionians and all the rest Ionic.
§ 28 The 28th, how Tennes and Hemithea were children of Kyknos, king of the Troad, and Kyknos, when his wife died brought in another woman. She becomes infatuated with Tennes and not getting her way falsely denounces the child, and the father without trial locks Tennes in a chest, along with Hemithea who is grieving for her brother, and throws it in the sea. It floats to an island, and the locals carry off the chest. Tennes and Hemithea take over control of the land, which is renamed Tenedos instead of Leukophrys. Kyknos repents and anchors by the island, and from the ship asks his son to forgive and forget. But he, in order that his father not land on the island, grabs an axe and cuts the anchor ropes of the ship. And from this people invoke the axe of Tennes for any sudden act.
§ 29 The 29th, how the Magnetes, who now inhabit the Magnesia in Asia, first lived around the Peneios river and Mt. Pelion and joined the expedition with the Achaians against Troy, led by Prothoos, and they were called Magnetes. Then the Magnesians who were bringing a tithe from Troy settled at Delphi in accordance with a vow. After time they rose up from the sanctuary and going down to the sea crossed over to Crete. Later they were force to leave Crete. They sailed to Asia and rescued from their plight the newly settled Ionia and Aiolis, fighting alongside them against the attackers. From there they came to where they now are, and built a city which they named Magnesia from their ancient homeland.
§ 30 The 40th about Peithenios the Apolloniate who pastured the sacred flocks of the sun and when sixty wolves tore them to pieces, thinking he had been neglectful, the citizens cut out his eyes. Then the land ceased to bear fruit for the Apolloniates because the god was angry at them, until they propitiated Peithenios by craft, and by two suburbs and a house he picked out, and they escaped the blight. Peithenios was one of the notables, and so were the others with hereditary oversight of the sacred flocks. And Apollonia is a Greek city in Illyria; it lies on the sea and the river Aoos runs through it and flows into the Ionian Sea.
§ 31 The 31st, how Tereus, king of the Thracians near Daulia and the rest of Phokis, took Prokne to wife, the daughter of Pandion who ruled Athens, and how in a mad passion he had sex with Philomela the sister of Prokne against her will, and cut out her tongue fearing the triumph (sic) of her words. She wove a peplos with her sufferings written into the knots. And Prokne learned and retaliated by serving his own offspring for dinner. Tereus learning her defilement of the dinner drove her away and killed her sister with a sword as her accomplice. From there the myth makes Prokne a nightingale and Philomela a swallow, and they sing perpetually of their misfortune. But Tereus as well gets turned into a hoopoe in the myth, and they say these birds never gave up their anger, but hoopoes always chase nightingales and swallows.
§ 32 The 32nd, about Europa the daughter of Phoinix who disappears, and so the father sent his sons to look for their sister, one of whom was Kadmos, and Proteus of Egypt goes with him, fearing the reign of Bousiris. And how, after much wandering and finding nothing they end up in Pallene, and how Proteus hosted Klitos and became his friend (Klitos was a wise and just king of the Sithonians, a Thracian ethnos). Proteus married his daughter Chrysonoe. And when the Bisaltians were driven out of their land by the war Klitos and Proteus fought against them, Proteus ruled over the country. But he had children not like himself but instead crude lawbreakers, whom Herakles, who hated evildoers, killed. And the father heaped a mound of dirt over them and cleansed Herakles (who was polluted by this bloodshed) of the murder.
§ 33 The 33rd, how Demoklos the Delphian had a handsome son named Smikros. He sailed to Miletos in accordance with an oracle, his adolescent son with him. And in his haste to sail away he unknowingly left the thirteen-year-old behind. A goatherd, the son of Eritharses, noticed the despairing Smikros and took him to his father. Eritharses, no less than his son, when he learned Smikros's lineage and misfortune, treated him kindly. How a swan was caught by both of the boys and their strife, and how the spectre of Leukothea told the boys to tell the Milesians to honor her and hold a boys' athletic contest for her, since she delighted in boys' strife. How Smikros married the daughter of a distinguished Milesian and she, when giving birth, saw an image of the sun coming in through her mouth, passing through her stomach, and emerging from her genitals. To the seers the vision was a fine one. She had a son, and called him Branchos because the sun had passed through her bronchia. And this boy was the handsomest of men. Apollo found him working as a shepherd, fell in love, and kissed him, and an altar of Apollo of the Kiss was established there. And Branchos, having had the gift of prophecy breathed into him by Apollo, established himself in the hamlet of Didyma. And up to the present day the oracle of the Branchidai is recognized as the best, after Delphi, of all the Greek oracular sites we know.
§ 34 The 34th, how after the end of Alexandros the son of Paris the children of Priam Helenos and Deiphobos quarreled over who would wed Helen, and Deiphobos prevailed by force and by paying court to the powerful, despite being younger than Helenos. Helenos was unable to bear this outrage and went away to Ida where he calmed down. By the advice of Kalchas the Greeks besieging Troy captured Helenos in an ambush. And partly by threats and partly with gifts, but more because of his anger at the Trojan, Helenos disclosed to them that it was Ilion's destiny to be taken with a Wooden Horse, and last, when the Achaians took the Palladion of Athena, which fell from Zeus and was the smallest of many. Diomedes and Odysseus are sent to steal the Palladion, and Diomedes climbs on the wall, standing on the shoulders of Odysseus. But he doesn't pull up Odysseus although he reaches up his hands; he goes to the Palladion and takes it and turns back toward Odysseus. And as they go down through the plain, when Odysseus questions him Diomedes knows the cunning of the man and answers that he didn't take the Palladion Helenos had said but a different one. Then the Palladion moved, by some daimon, and Odysseus understood it was that one, and a little later draws his sword, wanting to kill Diomedes and bring the Palladion to the Achaians himself. But as he is about to strike (there was a moon), Diomedes saw the glint of the sword. Odysseus was prevented from killing him, since he too drew his sword, and reproaching him for cowardice for not wanting to go in front, Diomedes drove him along striking his back with the flat of his sword. From this comes the proverb "Diomedean Necessity" used for everything done unwillingly.
§ 35 The 35th introduces two shepherds grazing under Mt. Lysson in the Ephesian territory who spot a swarm of bees in some deep and inaccessible cave. However, one of them gets into a basket to go down, and well tethered he descends. The one who descends finds honey and also much gold, and filling up the basket three times he called for it to be drawn up. When the gold was finished he shouted that he himself was going to get in, but as he said it the idea of treachery came to him, so he put a stone in the basket instead of himself, and called for it to be drawn up. When it was near the crown, the lifter let go. Then, thinking he had killed the other he went away to some gorge and buried the gold. He then crafted plausible excuses to use with those who asked about the disappeared shepherd. Completely at a loss how to save himself, the shepherd in the cave was commanded by Apollo in a dream to slash his body with a sharp rock and to lie quiet. When he does what is commanded, vultures grabbed onto him as to a corpse with their claws; some to his cloak, others fixing onto his clothing, they lifted up and bore him safe to the hollow below. He came to the archive and told everything. And the Ephesians questioned the plotter and punished him after making him divulge the buried gold. Half the gold they gave to the wronged man, and the other half they allotted to Artemis and Apollo. The rescued shepherd, now very rich, installed an altar of Apollo at the summit of the mountain, and he called it Gypaieus (Vulturian) as a memorial of those who lifted him up together.
§ 36 The 36th, how Philonomos the Spartiate betrayed Lakedaimon to the Dorians and took Amyklai as a gift, which he settles from Imbros and Lemnos. In the third generation there is an uprising against the Dorians in which Amyklai takes part, and collecting some of the Spartiates, with Polis and Delphos as their leaders they sail to Crete. When the fleet sails by, Apodasmos settles Melos, and the race of the Melians here claims the Spartiates as kinsmen. All the rest took Gortyn, no one hindering them, and settled it together with the Cretans living nearby.
§ 37 The 37th, how the island of Thasos got its name from Thasos the brother of Kadmos. For his brother left him there, giving him part of the army. Also how Kadmos, himself very powerful among the Phoenicians, was sent by the king of the Phoenicians after Europa. The Phoenicians were then (the story says) very strong and had destroyed much of Asia and seized the kingship in Egyptian Thebes. Kadmos was sent, not as the Greeks say to look for Europa, who was a child of Phoinix kidnapped by Zeus in the shape of a bull, but plotting domination in Europe, so he contrived the story of searching for a kidnapped sister. The myth of Europa reached the Greeks from this. Sailing around Europe he left his brother Thasos, as mentioned, on the island, and he himself sailed to Boiotia and went inland to what is now called Thebes, which he named from his own fatherland. When the Boiotians united in battle against them, the Phoenicians were defeated. But then they prevailed by means of surprises and ambushes and by the unaccustomed form of their weapons. For helmet and shield were as yet unknown to the Greeks. And Kadmos conquered the land of the Boiotians. Once the survivors fled to their own cities he settled Phoenicians in Thebes and married Harmonia the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite. Due to the surprise of their weapons and ambushes and surprise attacks, they gained the reputation among the Boiotians, of springing up from the ground with their weapons, and they called them Spartous (sown men) from their seeming to sprout up from the place. This is the true account of Kadmos and the founding of Thebes. The other is a myth to charm the hearer.
§ 38 The 38th, how a certain Milesian, when his homeland was threatened by Harpagos the son of Cyrus, went to Tauromenion in Sicily and deposited his gold with a friend there, a banker. He sailed home. Miletos was then subjugated by Cyrus, but suffered nothing else terrible of the things he had suspected. The Milesian came to Tauromenion to take back his deposit. The recipient, however, admitted having taken it but claimed he had given it back. So after much strife and shouting the Milesian challenged the unjust man to swear an oath. The banker devised the following. He hollowed out a fennel stalk like a flute and melting the deposit he poured it into the fennel and sealed it. Going to the oath-taking, he brought it and leaned on it as if it were a cane, on the pretext of a weakness in the legs. As he was about to swear he handed the fennel to the Milesian, who was standing next to him, as if he were going to take it back again immediately after. As he lifted his hands and swore that he had given back the deposit to the depositor, the Milesian in outrage threw down the fennel stalk to leave in disgust, while denouncing human faithlessness. But the fennel broke open, and the sight of the gold made the cunning of the perjury evident to all. So the Milesian got his property back, and the banker, out of shame and the abuse showered upon him by everyone, ended his life with a noose.
§ 39 The 39th; Melanthos was by descent one of the Neleids who ruled in Pylos and Messene from Poseidon. The Herakleidai rose up in war and took the land. He in accordance with an oracle came to Athens and became a citizen, and was among those honored. War arose between the Athenians and Boiotians over Oinoe and it was decided to settle the issue by single combat of the kings. Thymoites who was king of the Athenians feared the struggle, and he gave over the kingdom to anyone willing to run the risk against Xanthos, who ruled the Boiotians. And Melanthos, to gain the kingdom as his prize, undertakes the contest, and the agreement goes foreward. When they come into battle, Melanthos sees the likeness of a beardless man following behind Xanthos. So he shouts that Xanthos is behaving unjustly in violation of the agreement by bringing a helper. Xanthos turns, startled by the accusation, and just then Melanthos launches his spear and kills him, so in one contest the Athenians gain Oinoe and he gains the kingdom. The lineage of the Erechtheids yields to the Melanthids, of whom Kodros was one, from this. The Athenians later in accordance with an oracle founded a sanctuary of Melanthid Dionysos and sacrifice every year, and they make offerings to Zeus Apatourios because the victorious outcome was the result of deception (apate).
§ 40 The 40th story tells the history of Andromeda quite differently from the myth of the Greeks. Two brothers were born, Kepheus and Phineas, and the kingdom of Kefeus is what is later renamed Phoenicia but at the time was called Ioppa, taking its name from Ioppe the seaside city. And the borders of his realm ran from our sea [the Mediterranean] up to the Arabs who live on the Red Sea. Kepheus has a very fair daughter Andromeda, and Phoinix woos her and so does Phineas the brother of Kepheus. Kepheus decides after much calculation on both sides to give her to Phoinix but, by having the suitor kidnap her, conceal that it was intentional. Andromeda was snatched from a desert islet where she was accustomed to go and sacrifice to Aphrodite. When Phoinix kidnapped her in a ship (which was called Ketos [sea monster], whether by chance or because it had a likeness to the animal), Andromeda began screaming, assuming she was being kidnapped without her father's knowledge, and called for help with groans. Perseus the son of Danae by some daimonic chance was sailing by, and at first sight of the girl, was overcome by pity and love. He destroyed the ship Sea Monster and killed those aboard, who were only surprised, not actually turned to stone. And for the Greeks this became the sea monster of the myth and the people turned to stone by the Gorgon's head. So he makes Andromeda his wife and she sails with Perseus to Greece and they live in Argos where he becomes king.
§ 41 The 41st, how the Pelasgians settled Antandros; some say Askanios gave it to them as ransom when he was captured by them in an ambush, and released, hence the name Antandros, because they took the city in exchange for a man (anti andros). Askanios was the son of Aineias, and after the sack of Troy he ruled over Ida. Others say the Pelasgians settled Antandros from the following: Anios was the son of Apollo and Kreousa, and his son was Andros, who settled one of the islands and left it his name. Driven out of there in an revolution, and seeing a place under Ida very similar to Andros, he builds a city there and names it Antandros from the similarity. Since Andros was deserted, people of the Pelasgians settled in it. Also Kyzikos had Pelasgian settlers. For Kyzikos the son of Apollo, who ruled the Pelasgians in Thessaly, and being deposed by the Aiolians along with the Pelasgians, builds cities in the peninsula of Asia giving his name to it. And the realm of Kyzikos, modest at first, grew great, after he married Kleite the daughter of Meropos, who ruled the lands around the Rhyndakos. Iason and his crew tied up the Argo at Kyzikos as they went for the Fleece. When the Pelasgians learned that the ship was Thessalian, still angry at their expulsion they attacked the Argo at night. Iason accidentally killed Kyzikos who was intervening to stop the battle, and other Pelasgians fell. And the Argo sailed for Kolchis. But the Pelasgians were excessively grieved at the death of the king, and entrusted affairs of the city to the powerful among them (there was no child of Kyzikos to succeed him). Later they were removed by the Tyrrhenians, and Tyrrhenians held the peninsula. These were defeated in battle by a group of Milesians, who settled Kyzikos.
§ 42 The 42nd, how Gelon the Sicilian intending to impose a tyranny flattered the commonwealth [demos] of the Himerans and fought on their behalf as much as possible, and the crowd loved him and hastened to give him a bodyguard when he requested it. Stesichoros the Himeran poet suspected that he would attempt a tyranny, and stood up to tell the crowd a parable, a picture of its future plight. A horse in pasture, he said, used to drink from a spring. A deer used to run through the plain trampling the grass and disrupting the flow of water. And the horse, yearning to punish the offender but lacking the speed of foot necessary, called a hunter for help, who readily promised to defend the horse if it would accept a bit and rider. And so it happened, and the deer lay dead, pierced by javelins, and the horse felt enslaved by the hunter. This, he said, he himself feared, O Himerans, lest while still a commonwealth you use Gelon to overcome your enemies and later you end up slaves to Gelon. For the recipient enjoys all power over the giver whenever the giver can no long take it back in the same way he handed it over.
§ 43 The 43rd; the craters of Aitna gushed forth once with a river of fire descending on the country, and the Katanaians (Katane is a Greek city in Sicily) thought their city would be completely destroyed and left as quickly as they could, some of them carrying gold and silver, others whatever would help them in their flight. But Anapias and Amphinomos fled carrying their aged parents on their shoulders instead. The flame caught up with and destroyed all the others, but the fire parted on either side of these ones and the space around them formed an island in the flames. Because of this the Sicilians called that space the land of the pious and set up statues of them there, a memorial of divine and human deeds.
§ 44 The 44th story tells how Leodamas and Phitres quarreled over the kingship of the Milesians, both being of royal lineage. The people being harmed by their conflict after much suffering from their rivalry, judged that he would rule who brought about the greatest benefits for the Milesians. They had two wars then, with the Karystians and the Melians. And Phitres led an army against Melos [or Melia] (for drawing lots that was the war he picked) but came back without results. Leodamas behaved with brilliant courage against the Karystians and took the city by storm and enslaved them. He returned to Miletos and reigned in accordance with the decision. In accordance with an oracle he sent a captive Karystian woman, carrying an infant she was nursing, up to Branchidai along with many other offerings, which made up the tenth of the spoils. Branchos himself then presided over the sanctuary and the oracle that dealt with the captive woman and her son. The boy grew not in the ordinary way but by some divine fortune and took on wisdom beyond his years. Branchos made him the messenger of the oracular pronouncements, naming him Euangelos. When he came to adulthood he inherited the oracle from Branchos and became the beginning of the lineage of the Euangelids among the Milesians.
§ 45 The 45th, how Orpheus, the son of Oiagros and Kalliope, one of the Muses, ruled over the Macedonians and Odrysians and practiced music and particularly singing to the kithara. And (for the Thracians and Macedonians are a muse-loving race) he pleased the crowd outstandingly. He had the repute of having gone into Hades for love of his wife Eurydike, and how he charmed Plouton and Kore with his songs and took his wife as a gift. But he did not benefit from the favor of having her brought back to life, because he forgot his instructions regarding her. He was so wise in charming and enchanting with his songs that beasts and birds and even sticks and stones followed along out of pleasure. He died when the Thracian and Macedonian women tore him apart because he did not give them a share in his rites (orgia), and perhaps for other reasons too. He says that having been made unhappy by a woman he became the enemy of the whole race of women. On fixed days he used to gather with a crowd of armed Thracians and Macedonians in Libethra, in a large building well built for ceremonies. Whenever they went in to conduct their rites they left their weapons outside the doors. The women observed this and seizing the weapons fell upon them in rage at his disrespect, defeating them utterly. They dismembered Orpheus and scattered his limbs in the sea. The country was then hit by a plague, because the women did not pay a penalty, and they received an oracle that they must find and bury the head of Orpheus to obtain relief. And it was found by a fisherman at the outflow of the Melas river, still singing and having suffered nothing from the sea, nor any of the other disfigurements dead bodies suffer, but in the bloom of health and still with living blood despite the long time. They took it and buried it under a great tomb, fencing it around, and it was formerly a hero shrine but then it prevailed as a holy place. For it is honored with the same sacrifices and other rites with which the gods are honored. Entry is completely barred to women.
§ 46 The 46th, how when Troy was besieged Priam sent two sons of Hektor, Oxynios and Skamandros, to Lydia for safety. When Ilion was taken, Aineias the son of Anchises and Aphrodite, escaping the Achaians, first settled Ida, but when Oxynios and Skamandros came from Lydia and claimed the lands around Ilion as their ancestral portion, he took his father Anchises and as many of his fellow refugees as he could and set out toward the sunset in accordance with the injunction of Aphrodite. So he crossed the Hellespont and when he came to the Thermaic gulf Anchises died and he buried him, and he, when the locals asked him to be their king, did not accept. Then he came to the land of Brousias. He charmed everyone he met thanks to the favor of Aphrodite. There, when the cow that had followed him from Ida bellowed (for this was what Aphrodite ordained) he took command of the land the locals gave him and sacrificed the cow to Aphrodite and built the city which then was Aineia from the founder but later by alteration of the name was called Ainos. So this is one account told by the Greeks among many others. The other, which makes him the origin of the Roman race and the founder of Alba, where the oracle permits him to settle when he and his companions have sacrificed and after eating the food then eat the tables, this one is very old and stale.
§ 47 The 47th, how Althaimenes of the lineage of the Herakleidai, the third generation from Temenos, rebelled against his brothers (he was the youngest) and emigrated from the Peloponnese, taking an army of Dorians and some of the Pelasgians. The Athenians were then sending a colony with Neleus and the Kodrides. Similarly the Lakedaimonians were sending out the people of Philonomos, led by Delphos and Polis. Each group asked Althaimenes to join with them, the Dorians to sail to Crete, since it was also Dorian, the Ionians to cross over to Asia with their own kind. It seemed best to him to sail with neither side but, in accordance with an oracle he had been given, to attend to Zeus and the Sun, and from them to ask land to settle. Crete belongs to Zeus, and Rhodes to Helios. Setting forth from the Peloponnese he approached Crete, and he left behind part of his people, the ones who wanted to settle there. He himself with most of the Dorians sailed to Rhodes. In ancient times an autochthonous people dwelt on Rhodes, ruled by the lineage of the Heliads. The Phoenicians forced them out and held the island. Expelling the Phoenicians, the Carians held it, when they also settled the other islands around the Aegean. The Dorians sailed against them and destroyed the Carian force in a war. They built three cities, Lindos, Ialysos, and Kameiros. So the Dorians who began from Althaimenes ended up here. But the three cities, closing up into one large and prosperous one, gave it the same name as the island, Rhodes.
§ 48 The 48th tells about Romos and Romylos, diverging from other accounts in some things. He says that Amolios plotted to kill his brother Nemetor and made his daughter Ilia the priestess of Hestia so she would not have a child or husband. Ares had sex with her and when their intercourse was over he declared who he was and that she would bear two sons from him and she should be brave. But Amolios put her in prison as she was giving birth, and gave the newborns to a certain shepherd he trusted to kill them. But he who took them did not accept having the pollution on his own hands and cast them loose in a boat to be carried down the Tiber. After a long journey it was caught in the roots of a huge wild fig tree that grew where the bank jutted out. And there the boat dumped the children on the soft, sandy earth of the bank. A wolf that had just given birth came across the boys and straddling them offered her teats when they wailed and reached out their hands. She nursed them, and they relieved the wolf's distress. Phaistylos a shepherd saw this and thought it supernatural. He took the children and raised them as his own. At a later time he meets the shepherd who was to expose them and learns all about the children, and he tells them, now adolescents already, that they are of royal lineage and offspring of Ares, and what their mother and grandfather had suffered. They (both were handsome of appearance and of indomitable strength and brave in daring) immediately grabbed and concealed their daggers and left for Alba. Meeting Amolios, they exacted their punishment, killing him with swords, since it was unexpected and he took no precaution against a plot. They freed their mother from her bonds and were accepted by the crowd and reigned in Alba and the lands around it. When a great crowd of people came to join them, they emigrate from Alba and built a city naming it Rome, meaning having dominance over humanity. There is on display among the Romans as witness of what happened then a sacred wild fig tree by the forum, fenced round by the bronze latticework of the council house, and a hut in the sanctuary of Zeus, a testament to the way of life of Phaistylos, which they preserve by incorporating new sticks and scraps.
§ 49 The 49th, how in Anaphe island (which is beyond Thera island not far from the Lakedaimonians) a sanctuary of Aigletan Apollo has been established in which the locals sacrifice with taunts for the following reason. When Iason was sailing home from the Kolchians after kidnapping Medeia, a blinding storm surrounded them and they were at a loss. After those in the Argo had vowed many things and beseeched him, Apollo lifted his bow over them and dispelled all the fearful things, and a ray of light darted across, and the earth raised up an island from the depths. They came to shore there, and since it was seen by the sun then for the first time, they called it Anaphe from the circumstances. They founded a shrine of Aigletan Apollo, and they celebrated their unexpected escape from evils with other feasting. Medeia and the women with her, who were a wedding present from Iason, were playing drunkenly, and they mocked the heroes during the all-night feast. The heroes mocked the women in turn. From this, accordingly, the people of Anaphe (for the island became settled) every year have a festival to Aigletan Apollo where they taunt each other in imitation of them.
§ 50 The 50th, how Alexandros the tyrant is killed by Thebe his own wife. She was the daughter of Iason, who was then tyrant of Thessaly, and had three brothers, Tisiphonos, Lykophron, and Pytholaos, by the same mother but their father was Eualkes. This Alexandros of Pherai held them in suspicion and planned to kill them. Knowing that Thebe could not ignore the murder of her half-brothers, he decided to kill her too. While he was sober he hid the plot, but getting drunk (wine was his weakness) he let slip and uncovered it. Thebe learned of the plot. Giving her brothers daggers she urged them to ready themselves for the slaughter. Drowning Alexandros with much wine and putting him to bed she sent the guards from the bedroom on the pretext of using the bath. And she summoned her brothers for the deed. They were losing their nerve, particularly the youngest of them. She made various threats, including that she would wake up Alexandros right there and accuse them of murder, and blackmailed them to take courage. They killed Alexandros as he slept. Thebe called in the chiefs of the guards and partly by threats, partly wooing them with promises, she persuaded them to be complicit in her tyranny. So they permitted her, and she took the power while giving the name and prestige of the tyranny to Tisiphonos the oldest of her brothers.