Phlegon, Book of MarvelsPhlegon of Tralles, Book of Marvels, translated by William F. Hansen (1941 - ), University of Exeter Press, 1996, a work under copyright. This text has 104 tagged references to 55 ancient places.
CTS URN: urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0585.tlg001; Wikidata ID: Q87743308; Trismegistos: authorwork/6473 [Open Greek text in new tab]
§ 1.0 [Ghost story of Charito, Machates and Philinnion - omitted.]
§ 2.1 Hieron of Alexandria or of Ephesos relates that a ghost also appeared in Aitolia.
§ 2.2 One of the citizens, a certain Polykritos, was voted Aitolarch for a term of three years by the people, who deemed him worthy among the citizens because of his and his ancestors' nobility. [possibly Polykritos of Kallion, strategos of the Aitolian league ca. 262 BCE?] While in office he took a Lokrian woman as wife, lived with her for three nights, and departed from life on the fourth night. The woman remained at home as a widow. When the time for childbirth came she delivered a child with two sets of genitals, male and female, which differed amazingly in their nature. The upper portion of the genitals was hard and manly, whereas the part around the thighs was womanish and softer. Struck with astonishment the child's relatives took it to the agora where they called an assembly, summoned sacrificers and diviners and deliberated about the child. Of these, some declared that a breach would come about between the Aitolians and the Lokrians, for the infant had been separated from its mother, who was a Lokrian, and its father, an Aitolian. Others thought that they should take the child and the mother away to the countryside beyond the frontiers and burn them.
As they were deliberating, Polykritos, the man who had previously died, appeared in the assembly near the child and wearing black clothing.
§ 2.6 The citizens were stricken with amazement at the apparition and many had begun to flee when he called on them to take courage and not be thrown into confusion at the presence of the ghost.
After he had put a stop to most of the commotion and confusion, he spoke in a soft voice, as follows: 'Citizens, my body is dead, but in the goodwill and kindness I feel towards you I am alive. I am here with you now for your benefit, having appealed to those who are master of things beneath the earth. And so I call on you now, since you are fellow citizens, not to be frightened or repulsed by the unexpected presence of a ghost. I beg all of you, praying by the salvation of each one of you, to hand over to me the child I begot, in order that no violence take place as a result of your reaching some other decision and that your hostility towards me not be the beginning of difficult and harsh troubles. For it is not permitted me to let the child be burnt by you, just because of the madness of the seers who have made proclamations to you.
'Now, I excuse you because as you behold so strange a sight you are at a loss as to what is the right course of action for you to take. If, moreover, you will obey me without fear, you will be released from your present fear as well as the impending catastrophe. But if you come to some other opinion, I fear that because of your distrust of me you will fall into an irremedial calamity. Now because of the goodwill I had when I was alive, I have also now in this my present unexpected appearance foretold what is beneficial to you. So I ask you not to put me off any longer but to deliberate correctly and, obeying what I have said, to give me the child in an auspicious manner. For it is not permitted me to linger long on account of those who rule beneath the earth.'
§ 2.7 After saying this he was quiet for a little while, expectantly awaiting whatever resolution they would bring forth concerning his request. Now, some thought they should hand over the child and make atonement for both the prodigy and the supernatural being that was standing by, but most disagreed, saying that they ought not to deliberate rashly, since the matter was of great importance and the problem was not an ordinary one.
Seeing that they were not heeding him but instead were hindering his desire, he spoke again: 'At all events, citizens, if trouble befalls you on account of your irresolution, blame not me but the fate that thus leads you down the wrong path, a fate that, opposing me also, forces me to act unlawfully against my own child.'
The people had clustered together and were arguing about the portent when the ghost took hold of the child, forced back most of the men, hastily tore the child limb 10 from limb, and began to devour him.
§ 2.10 People began to shout and throw stones at him in an attempt to drive him away. Unharmed by the stones, he consumed the entire body of the boy except for his head, and then suddenly disappeared.
The people, vexed at these happenings and in a state of extraordinary perplexity, wanted to send a delegation to Delphi, but the head of the boy that was lying on the ground began to speak, foretelling the future in an oracle.
O countless folk inhabiting a land famed in song,
Do not go to the sanctuary of Phoibos, to the temple with its incense,
For the hands you hold in the air are unclean from blood,
The journey before your feet is defiled.
Renounce the journey to the tripod, and consider instead what I say,
For I will recount the entire behest of the oracle.
On this day in the course of a year
Death has been ordained for all, but by the will of Athena The souls of Lokrians and Aitolians shall live mixed together. Nor will there be a respite from evil, not even briefly,
For a bloody drizzle is poured on your heads,
Night keeps everything hidden, and a dark sky has spread over it,
At once night causes a darkness to move over the entire earth, At home all the bereaved move their limbs at the threshold,
The woman will not leave off grieving, nor do the children
Leave off grieving for what they weep for in the halls, as they cling to their dear parents.
Such has been the wave that has crashed down upon everyone from above,
Alas, alas, without cease I bewail the terrible sufferings of my land
And my most dread mother, whom death eventually carried away.
All the gods will render inglorious the birth
Of whatever there remains of Aitolian and Locrian seed, Because death has not touched my head, nor has it done away
With all the indistinguishable limbs of my body but has left [me on] the earth.
Come and expose my head to the rising dawn, and
Do not hide it below within the dusky earth.
As for you yourselves, abandon the land and Go to another land, to a people of Athena,
If you choose an escape from death in accordance with fate.
§ 2.12 When the Aitolians heard the oracle they brought their wives, infant children and very elderly to such places of safety as each man was able to arrange. They themselves remained behind, awaiting what would occur and it happened in the following year that the Aitolians and the Akarnanians joined battle, with great destruction on both sides.
§ 3.1 Antisthenes the Peripatetic philosopher relates that the consul Acilius Glabrio along with the legates Porcius Cato and Lucius Valerius Flaccus drew up in battle-order against Antiochos in Thermopylai and fought nobly, forcing Antiochos's men to cast away their weapons and Antiochos himself to flee with five hundred guards, initially to Elateia, after which Acilius compelled him to withdraw to Ephesos.
§ 3.2 <Acilius dispatched Cato to Rome to report his victory while he himself waged war against the Aitolians in Herakleia, which he easily captured.
In the confrontation with Antiochos at Thermopylai, very conspicuous omens occurred to the Romans. In the days following Antiochos's failure and flight, the Romans occupied themselves in removing for burial the bodies of their own fallen and in collecting arms and other spoils as well as prisoners of war.
§ 3.4 There was a certain Bouplagos, a cavalry commander from Syria who had been held in high esteem by King Antiochos and had fallen after fighting nobly. At midday while the Romans were gathering all the enemy's arms, Bouplagos stood up from among the dead, though he had twelve wounds, and went to the Roman camp where he proclaimed in a soft voice the following verses.
Stop despoiling an army gone to the land of Hades,
For already Zeus Kronides is angry beholding your ill deeds,
Wrothful at the slaughter of an army and at your doings, and
Will send a bold-hearted tribe against your land
That will put an end to your rule, and you will pay for what you have wrought.
§ 3.5 Shaken by this utterance the generals quickly convened the multitude and deliberated about the ghost. They decided to cremate and bury Bouplagos (who had expired immediately after his utterance), purify the camp, perform a sacrifice to Zeus Apotropaios and send a delegation to Delphi to ask the god what they should do. When the envoys reached Pytho and asked what to do, the Pythia proclaimed the following oracle.
Restrain yourself now, Roman, and let justice abide with you,
Lest Pallas stir up a much greater Ares against you,
And make desolate your market-places, and you, fool, for all your effort,
Lose much wealth before reaching your land.
§ 3.7 When they had heard this oracle they renounced entirely the idea of waging war upon any of the peoples of Europe.
Breaking camp at the forementioned place they went to Naupaktos in Aitolia where there was a shared sanctuary of the Greeks, and they prepared sacrifices at public expense and first fruits according to custom.
§ 3.8 After the rites had been discharged, General Publius began to rave and behave in a deranged manner, making many utterances in a state of divine possession, of which some were in verse and some in prose. When word of this matter reached the ordinary soldiers, they all rushed to Publius's tent, partly from anxiety and amazement that the best man among them, an experienced leader, had fallen into such a state and partly from a wish to hear what he was saying. As a result some men were pressed together so powerfully that they were suffocated.
The following utterance in verse was made by him while he was still inside his tent.
O my country, what a baneful Ares Athena will bring you,
When you ravage Asia with its great wealth and return to
Italian soil and the garlanded cities Of Thrinakia, lovely isle, which Zeus founded.
For an army, brave and strong of spirit, will come From distant Asia whence are the risings of the sun,
And a king crossing the narrow ford of the Hellespont
Will make a faithful truce with an Epirote ruler.
He will come to Ausonia after gathering an army beyond counting
From every part of Asia and lovely Europe, and
Overpower you, making desolate your homes and walled towns
And enslaving you, taking away your day of freedom,
On account of the wrath of great-hearted Athena.
§ 3.9 After he had proclaimed these verses he darted out of his tent in his tunic and made the following utterance in prose.
'I reveal, soldiers and citizens, that crossing over from Europe to Asia you will overcome King Antiochos in battles at sea and on land, and become master of all the land on this
side of the Tauros and of all the cities established in it, having driven Antiochos into Syria; this land and these cities will be handed over to the sons of Attalos. The Celts dwelling in Asia who face you in battle will be worsted, and you will take possession of their women and children and all their household goods, and convey them to Europe. But European coastal-dwellers, the Thracians of the Propontis and Hellespont, will attack you around the land of the Ainioi as you return from your campaign, killing some of your men and capturing some of your booty. When the others have come safely through and been conveyed to Rome, there will be a treaty with King Antiochos, according to which he will pay money and withdraw from a certain region.'
§ 3.10 When he had made this proclamation he cried out the following in a loud voice.
'I see bronze-chested forces crossing over from Asia, kings gathering together into one place, men of every nation against Europe, and the din of horses, the clashing of spears, gory slaughter, terrible plundering, the fall of towers, the razing of city walls, and the unspeakable desolation of the land.'
§ 3.11 After this he spoke again in verse.
When the glimmering Nesaian horses with their frontlets of gold
Walk onto the illustrious land, leaving behind their pedestal those which once in the sumptuous city of the Syracusans
Eetion wrought in his artistry, strengthening lovely friendship:
Golden, and on it he fitted the son of Hyperion
With rays and eyes gleaming—
At that time, Rome, your harsh sufferings will all be fulfilled.
For a broad host will come that will destroy your entire land,
Make desolate your market-places, waste your cities with fire,
Fill your rivers with blood, fill also Hades,
And bring upon you slavery, piteous, hateful, and obscure.
A wife will not welcome back her husband Returned from war, but Hades clad in black beneath the earth
Will hold him among the deceased along with children robbed from their mothers,
And a foreign Ares will impose slavery's day.
§ 3.12 After he had uttered this he fell silent, and proceeding outside the camp he climbed up a certain oak tree. The crowd followed, and he called to them: 'Romans and other soldiers, it falls to me to die and be devoured by a huge red wolf on this very day, but, as for you, know that everything I have said is going to happen to you: take the imminent appearance of the beast and my own destruction as proof that I have spoken by divine intimation.'
Saying this, he told them to stand aside and not to prevent the approach of the beast, saying that it would not be to their benefit to drive it away. The crowd followed his bidding, and presently the wolf came. When Publius saw it, he came down from the oak tree and fell upon his back, whereupon the wolf ripped him open and devoured him while everyone looked on. Having consumed his body except for his head it turned away to the mountain.
§ 3.14 When the crowd now approached, wishing to take up the remains and give them proper burial, the head, which lay on the ground, proclaimed these verses:
Touch not my head. For it is not right For those in whose hearts Athena has placed wild anger
To take hold of a sacred head. But stop And listen to the prophecy by means of which I shall declare the truth to you.
To this land there will come a great and powerful Ares, 5 Who will dispatch the armed folk to Hades in the darkness below and Shatter the stone towers and the long walls.
Siezing our wealth, our infant children, and our wives He will bring them to Asia, crossing over the waves.
These sure truths Phoibos Apollo has spoken to you,
The Pythian, who sent his powerful servant and
Led me to the abode of the blessed and of Persephone.
When they heard this they were extremely upset. After constructing a temple to Apollo Lykios and an altar at the place where the head lay, they embarked on their ships, and each person sailed to his own land. Everything foretold by Publius came to pass.
§ 4.1 Teiresias:
Hesiod, Dikaiarchos, Klearchos, Kallimachos and certain other authors relate the following incident about Teiresias. They say that Teiresias, son of Eueres, saw some snakes copulating on the mountain in Kyllene in Arkadia, wounded the other of them, and forthwith changed form. He went from being a man to being a woman, and had intercourse with a man. Apollo informed him in an oracle that if he observed the creatures copulating and similarly wounded the one snake, he would be as he was before. Watching for an opportunity Teiresias did what the god had said and thereby recovered his former nature.
§ 4.3 Zeus and Hera had a quarrel, he claiming that in sexual intercourse the woman had a larger share of pleasure than the man did, and she claiming the opposite. They decided to send for Teiresias and ask him, inasmuch as he had experienced both. When they enquired of him he declared that a man enjoyed one-tenth of the pleasure and a woman nine-tenths. Hera angrily gouged out his eyes, making him blind, but Zeus gave him the gift of prophecy and a life-span of seven generations.
§ 5 Kainis: The same authors relate that in the land of the Lapiths a daughter was born to King Elatos and named Kainis. After Poseidon had had sexual intercourse with her and promised to fulfill any wish for her, she asked that he change her into a man and render her invulnerable. Poseidon granted her request, and her name was changed to Kaineus.
§ 6 An Unnamed Maiden: There was also a hermaphrodite in Antioch by the Maeander River when Antipatros was archon [45/6 CE] at Athens and Marcus Vinicius and Titus Statilius Taurus, surnamed Corvinus, were consuls in Rome [45 BC]. A maiden of prominent family, thirteen years of age, was good-looking and had many suitors. She was betrothed to the man whom her parents wished, the day of the wedding was at hand, and she was about to go forth from her house when suddenly she experienced an excruciating pain and cried out. Her relations took charge of her, treating her for stomach pains and colic, but her suffering continued for three days without a break, perplexing everyone about the nature of her illness. Her pains let up neither during the night nor during the day, and although the doctors in the city tried every kind of treatment they were unable to discover the cause of her illness. At around daybreak of the fourth day her pains became stronger, and she cried out with a great wailing. Suddenly male genitals burst forth from her, and the girl became a man. Some time later she was brought to the Emperor Claudius in Rome. Because of the portent he had an altar built on the Capitoline to Jupiter the Averter of Evil.
§ 7 Philotis: There was also a hermaphrodite in Mevania, a town in Italy, in the country house of Agrippina Augusta when Dionysodoros was archon in Athens, and Decimus Iunius Silanus Torquatus and Quintus Haterius Antoninus were consuls in Rome.
A maiden named Philotis, whose family came from Smyrna, was of marriageable age and had been betrothed to a man by her parents when male genitals appeared in her and she became a man.
§ 8 Sympherousa: There was another hermaphrodite at this same time in Epidauros, a child of poor family, who earlier was called Sympherousa but upon becoming a man was named Sympheron. He spent his life as a gardener.
§ 9 Likewise in Syrian Laodikeia there was a woman named Aitete, who underwent a change in form and name even while she was living with her husband. Having become a man Aitete was renamed Aitetos. This happened when Makrinos was archon at Athens, and Lucius Lamia Aelianus and Sextus Carminius Veterus were consuls in Rome [116CE]. I myself have seen this person.
§ 10.1 A hermaphrodite was also begotten in Rome when Jason was archon [125/4 BCE] in Athens and Marcus Plautius Hypsaeus and Marcus Fulvius Flaccus were consuls in Rome [125BCE]. Because of the event the Senate decreed that the priests should read the Sibylline oracles, and they made atonement and narrated the oracles.
§ 10.2a The oracles are as follows.
The fate of mortals, who only afterwards learn what place each person is to go,
And all the prodigies and plagues of the goddess Destiny
This loom of mine will reveal, if you consider these things in your mind,
Trusting in its strength. I declare that one day a woman will bear
A hermaphrodite having all the male parts
And all the parts that infant female women manifest.
I shall no longer conceal but declare to you straightforwardly
Sacrifices for Demeter and holy Persephone,
By means of my loom, sovereign goddess that I am,
[sacrifices that you should perform], if you obey me,
For very august Demeter and holy Persephone.
First gather together a treasure of coin,
Whatever you wish, from the cities with their mingled tribes and from yourselves,
And arrange a sacrifice to be offered to Kore's mother, Demeter.
Thrice nine bulls at public expense I bid you ... (seven lines missing)
To sacrifice bright, fine-horned, white-haired, if They seem to you to be of surpassing beauty.
Bid the same number of girls as I mentioned earlier perform this rite in the Greek manner,
Praying to the deathless queen with offerings
Solemnly and purely. Thereafter let her receive Lasting sacrifices from your wives, and during your lifetime, Trusting in my loom, let persons carry bright light 20 To most holy Demeter. Second, let them take Thrice as many offerings [as earlier], unmixed with wine, and place them into the ravening fire—
This should be done by the old women who are knowledgeable about offerings.
Let all other females zealously make the same number of offerings for Ploutonis,
Girls who have minds fresh-budding in their age,
Children, let them all pray to holy, learned Ploutonis To remain in the land if war prevails,
And for forgetfulness of war and city to enter their hearts. Let youths and maidens bear treasure there ... (three lines missing)
... (many lines missing)
§ 10.2b In my divinely-fashioned loom, and with multicoloured weavings
Let holy Ploutonis be adorned, that there be a check against evils.
That which is most beautiful and wished for on earth For mortals to see, let it be carried zealously To the royal maiden as a gift mixed with the loom.
And when [you pray] to Demeter and pure Persephone 35 To ward off the yoke from your land forever,
[Offer] to Aidoneus Plouton the blood of a dark-haired ox Attired in splendid garments, with the help of a herdsman, who
Trusting in the oracle's purpose will slaughter the ox In the company of all other men in the land who trust [in its purpose].
Let no disbeliever be present at the sacrifices,
But let him rather stand apart where it is customary for disbelievers to be,
And perform a sacrifice that is not eaten.
But whoever comes to it knowing our oracle,
Let him seek out holy lord Phoibos in sacrifices,
Zealously burning rich thigh-bones on his altars,
[Sacrificing] the youngest of the bright goats. And, you know, Let the suppliant garland his head and beseech Phoibos Paieon For a release from the evil that is impending,
And when he returns from this, [let him beseech] royal mistress Hera,
Sacrificing a white cow according to ancestral custom in the land.
To sing a hymn, those females belonging to the foremost families among the people,
... (two verses missing)
When the inhabitants of the islands
Earnestly settle in the Cumaean land of their opponents by force, not deceit,
Let them establish an image of holy Queen Hera
With a house in the ancestral manner.
[The evil] will come — if you [do] all this and trust in my words, Going to the most holy queen with sacrifices and
Performing the wineless rites for as many days as there are in the year,
Long and into the future — but not in your time.
The man who does so will have power forever.
Prepare wineless offerings and sheep, and sacrifice them to the chthonic gods.
When you have great houses of Hera everywhere And when there are xoana and the other things I have said, know well,
On my leaves — at the behest of my shuttle
I covered my lovely eyes with my veil when I picked up the glorious leaves
Of the fruitful grey olive-tree [you will find] a release from evils. When
The time comes for you in which you have other newborn creatures,
Then a Trojan will liberate you from your miseries and from the land of Greece.
But since I have moved to another subject, in what 70 direction do you urge my speaking to go?
... (end missing)
§ 11 Idas: In Messene not many years ago, as Apollonios says, it happened that a storage jar made of stone broke apart in a powerful storm when it was pounded by much water, and there came out of it the triple head of a human body. It had two sets of teeth. They sought to discover whose head it was, and the inscription explained it: 'Idas' was inscribed thereon. So the Messenians prepared another storage jar at public expense, placed the hero in it, and tended him more carefully, since they perceived that he was the man about whom Homer says
And of Idas, who of men on earth at that time
Was the strongest. He drew his bow against lord Phoibos
Apollo for the sake of his lovely-ankled bride.
§ 12 The Cave of Artemis: In Dalmatia in the so-called Cave of Artemis one can see many bodies whose rib-bones exceed eleven cubits.
§ 13 A Giant Tooth: (Apollonios the grammarian reports that in the time of Tiberius Nero there was an earthquake in which many notable cities of Asia Minor utterly disappeared, which Tiberius subsequently rebuilt at his own expense. On account of this the people constructed and dedicated to him a colossus beside the temple of Aphrodite, which is in the Roman forum, and also set up statues in a row next to it from each of the cities.
§ 14 Among the places that suffered from the earthquake were numerous cities in Sicily as well as the regions around Rhegium, and numerous peoples in Pontus were also struck. In the cracks in the earth huge bodies appeared that the local inhabitants were hesitant to move, although as a sample they sent to Rome a tooth of one of the bodies. It was not just a foot long but even greater than this measurement. The delegates showed it to Tiberius and asked him if he wished the hero to be brought to him. Tiberius devised a shrewd plan such that, while not depriving himself of a knowledge of its size, he avoided the sacrilege of the robbing of the dead. He summoned a certain geometer, Pulcher by name, a man of some renown whom he respected for the man's skill, and bade him fashion a face in proportion to the size of the tooth. The geometer estimated how large the entire body as well as the face would be by means of the weight of the tooth, hastily made a construction, and brought it to the emperor. Tiberius, saying that the sight of this was sufficient for him, sent the tooth back to where it had come from.
§ 15 An Exhibit of Bones: One should not disbelieve the foregoing narrative, since in Nitriai in Egypt bodies are exhibited that are no smaller than these and are not concealed in the earth but are unencumbered and plain to see. The bones do not lie mixed together in disorder but are arranged in such a manner that a person viewing them recognizes some as thigh bones others as shin bones and so on with the other limbs. One should not disbelieve in these bones either, considering that in the beginning when nature was in her prime she reared everything near to gods, but just as time is running down, so also the sizes of creatures have been shrinking.
§ 16 Rhodes: I have also heard reports of bones in Rhodes that are so huge that in comparison the human beings of the present day are greatly inferior in size.
§ 17 The Coffin of Makroseiris: The same author says that there was a certain island near Athens that the Athenians wanted to fortify. As they were digging foundations for the walls they found a coffin that was a hundred cubits long and in which there lay a withered body matching the coffin in size. On the coffin was the following inscription:
I, Makroseiris, am buried on a small isle
After living a life of five thousand years.
§ 18 Carthage: Eumachos says in his Geographical Description that when the Carthaginians were surrounding their territory with a trench they found in the course of their digging two withered bodies lying in coffins. One of them was twenty-four cubits in structure, the other twenty-three.
§ 19 Bosporos: Theopompos of Sinope says in his work On Earthquakes that in the Cimmerian Bosporos there was a sudden earthquake, as a result of which one of several ridges in that region was torn open, discharging huge bones. The skeletal structure was found to be of twenty-four cubits. He says the local barbarian inhabitants cast the bones into the Maiotic Lake.
§ 20 A child was brought to Nero that had four heads and a proportionate number of limbs when the archon at Athens was Thrasyllos, and the consuls in Rome were Publius Petronius Turpilianus and Caesennius Paetus.
§ 21 Another child was born with a head growing out of its left shoulder.
§ 22 An extraordinary omen occurred in Rome when the archon at Athens was Deinophilos and the consuls in Rome were Quintus Veranius and Gaius Pompeius Gallus. A highly respected maidservant belonging to the wife of Raecius Taurus, a man of praetorian rank, brought forth a monkey.
§ 23 The wife of Cornelius Gallicanus gave birth near Rome to a child having the head of Anubis, when the archon at Athens was Demostratos and the consuls in Rome were Aulus Licinius Nerva Silianus and Marcus Vestinus Atticus.
§ 24 A woman from the town of Tridentum in Italy brought forth snakes that were curled up into a ball, when the consuls in Rome were Domitian Caesar for the ninth time and Petilius Rufus for the second time and there was no archon in Athens.
§ 25 In Rome a certain woman brought forth a two-headed baby, which on the advice of the sacrificing priests was cast into the River Tiber. This happened when the archon at Athens was Hadrian, who later was emperor, and the consuls at Rome were the Emperor Trajan for the sixth time and Titus Sextius Africanus.
§ 26 The doctor Dorotheos says in his Reminiscences that in Egyptian Alexandria a male homosexual gave birth, and that because of the marvel the newborn infant was embalmed and is still preserved.
§ 27 The same thing occurred in Germany in the Roman army, which was under the command of Titus Curtilius Mancias: a male slave of a soldier gave birth. This happened while Konon was archon in Athens and Quintus Volusius Saturninus and Publius Cornelius Scipio were consuls in Rome.
§ 28 Antigonos reports that in Alexandria a certain woman gave birth to twenty children in the course of four deliveries and that most of them were reared.
§ 29 Another woman from the same city brought forth five children at one time, three of whom were male and two female, whom the Emperor Trajan ordered to be reared at his own expense. In the following year the same woman gave birth to another three.
§ 30 Hippostratos says in his book On Minos that Aigyptos begot fifty sons with one wife Euryrrhoe, daughter of Neilos.
§ 31 Likewise Danaos had fifty daughters with a single wife, Europe, daughter of Neilos.
§ 32 Krateros, the brother of King Antigonos, says he is aware of a person who in the space of seven years was a child, a youth, a man and an old man, and then died, having married and begotten children.
§ 33 Megasthenes says that the women who dwell in Pandaia give birth when they are six years old.
§ 34 A hippocentaur was found in Saune, a city in Arabia, on a very high mountain that teems with a deadly drug. The drug bears the same name as the city and among fatal substances it is extremely quick and effective. The hippocentaur was captured alive by the king, who sent it to Egypt together with other gifts for the emperor. Its sustenance was meat. But it did not tolerate the change of air, and died, so that the prefect of Egypt embalmed it and sent it to Rome. At first it was exhibited in the palace. Its face was fiercer than a human face, its arms and fingers were hairy and its ribs were connected with its front legs and its stomach. It had the firm hooves of a horse and its mane was tawny, although as a result of the embalming its mane along with its skin was becoming dark. In size it did not match the usual representations, though it was not small either.
§ 35 There were also said to have been other hippocentaurs in the city of Saune mentioned above. So far as concerns the one sent to Rome, anyone who is sceptical can examine it for himself, since as I said above it has been embalmed and is kept in the emperor's storehouse.
§ 38.1 Codex Palatinus Gr. 398, Founding of the Olympic Games
I think I should explain how the Olympic Games came to be founded, which is as follows. After Peisos, Pelops and Herakles, the first persons to have established the festival and the contest at Olympia, the Peloponnesians left off the religious observance for a while, namely, for a period of twenty-seven Olympiads, reckoning from Iphitos to Koroibos the Elean; and after they neglected the contest there was an uprising in the Peloponnese.
Lykourgos the Lakedaimonian, son of Prytanis, son of Eurypon, son of Soos, son of Proklees, son of Aristodemos, son of Aristomachos, son of Kleodaios, son of Hyllos, son of Herakles and Deianeira; and Iphitos, son of Haimon (or, as some say, of Praxonides, one of the descendants of Herakles), an Elean; and Kleosthenes, son of Kleonikos, of Pisa, wanting to re-establish concord and peace in the population, decided to restore the Olympic festival to its former customs and to hold a contest for unclothed competitors.
Men were sent to Delphi to inquire of the god whether he approved of their carrying out these projects, and the god, saying that it would be better to do so, ordered them to announce an armistice to the cities that wanted to participate in the contest. After the message had been carried around, the disc was inscribed for the Hellanodikai, in accordance with which they were to conduct the Olympic Games. When the Peloponnesians, disliking the contest, did not give their approval to it at all, a plague came upon them and they suffered harm from a loss of their crops. So they sent Lykourgos and his men back to ask for a cessation of the plague and for healing.
§ 38.2 The Pythia gave the following oracle:
O dwellers in the Pelopian acropolis famed of the whole earth,
Ambassadors and most excellent of all men, Consider the god's oracle that I utter.
Zeus is wrothful towards you because of the rites he revealed by oracle,
Because you are dishonouring the Olympic Games of Zeus, universal ruler—
Peisos was the first to found and institute his worship, and
After him Pelops, when he came to Greek land,
Establishing a festival and contests in honour of the dead
Oinomaos, and third, in addition to these two, the child of Amphitryon,
Herakles, brought about a festival and contest for his perished maternal uncle,
Tantalid Pelops, the contest and rite that you, it seems,
Are abandoning. Angry at this in his heart He has caused a terrible famine among you and a plague, which You can end by re-establishing his festival.
When they had heard this they reported it to the Peloponnesians. But the Peloponnesians did not trust the oracle and by general decree sent them back again to enquire more exactly of the god concerning his response. The Pythia spoke as follows.
O dwellers in the Peloponnese, go and sacrifice
Around an altar, and obey whatever the seers say.
After they had received this oracle the Peloponnesians allowed the Eleans to institute the contest of the Olympic festival and to announce a truce to the cities.
Subsequently the Eleans, wanting to give aid to the Lakedaimonians when they were besieging Helos, sent a delegation to Delphi to consult the oracle. The Pythia gave this oracle:
Ministers of the Eleans, guides of the laws of your forebears,
Guard your own homeland, abstain from war, and Lead the Greeks in a friendship of common right Whenever the kindly fourth year comes.
After they had received this oracle they abstained from war and took charge of the Olympic Games.
§ 38.3 Crowns for the Victors
No one was crowned for the first five Olympiads, but in the sixth they decided to ask the oracle if they should bestow chaplets upon the victors. They sent King Iphitos to the shrine of the god, and the god said the following.
Iphitos, place not the produce of sheep on victory,
But bestow the wild and fruitful olive-tree
That is now enveloped by the fine webs of a spider.
So he went to Olympia where there were many wild olive-trees in the sanctuary, and finding one that was enveloped by spider webs, he built a wall around it. Garlands were given to the winners from this tree. The first person to be crowned was Daikles of Messene, who won the stadium race in the eighth Olympiad.