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The History Of Herodotus Volume 1 of 2

Page: 15

39. The young man made answer thus: "It may well be forgiven in thee, O my father, that thou shouldest have a care of me after having seen such a vision; but that which thou dost not understand, and in which the meaning of the dream has escaped thee, it is right that I should expound to thee. Thou sayest the dream declared that I should end my life by means of a spear-point of iron: but what hands has a boar, or what spear-point of iron, of which thou art afraid? If the dream had told thee that I should end my life by a tusk, or any other thing which resembles that, it would be right for thee doubtless to do as thou art doing; but it said 'by a spear-point.' Since therefore our fight will not be with men, let me now go."

40. Croesus made answer: "My son, thou dost partly prevail with me by declaring thy judgment about the dream; therefore, having been prevailed upon by thee, I change my resolution and allow thee to go to the chase."

41. Having thus said Croesus went to summon Adrastos the Phrygian; and when he came, he addressed him thus: "Adrastos, when thou wast struck with a grievous misfortune (with which I reproach thee not), I cleansed thee, and I have received thee into my house supplying all thy costs. Now therefore, since having first received kindness from me thou art bound to requite me with kindness, I ask of thee to be the protector of my son who goes forth to the chase, lest any evil robbers come upon you by the way to do you harm; and besides this thou too oughtest to go where thou mayest become famous by thy deeds, for it belongs to thee as an inheritance from thy fathers so to do, and moreover thou hast strength for it."

42. Adrastos made answer: "O king, but for this I should not have been going to any such contest of valour; for first it is not fitting that one who is suffering such a great misfortune as mine should seek the company of his fellows who are in prosperity, and secondly I have no desire for it; and for many reasons I should have kept myself away. But now, since thou art urgent with me, and I ought to gratify thee (for I am bound to requite thee with kindness), I am ready to do this: expect therefore that thy son, whom thou commandest me to protect, will return home to thee unhurt, so far as his protector may avail to keep him safe."

43. When he had made answer to Croesus in words like these, they afterwards set forth provided with chosen young men and with dogs. And when they were come to Mount Olympos, they tracked the animal; and having found it and taken their stand round in a circle, they were hurling against it their spears. Then the guest, he who had been cleansed of manslaughter, whose name was Adrastos, hurling a spear at it missed the boar and struck the son of Croesus. So he being struck by the spear-point fulfilled the saying of the dream. And one ran to report to Croesus that which had come to pass, and having come to Sardis he signified to him of the combat and of the fate of his son. And Croesus was very greatly disturbed by the death of his son, and was much the more moved to complaining by this, namely that his son was slain by the man whom he had himself cleansed of manslaughter. And being grievously troubled by the misfortune he called upon Zeus the Cleanser, protesting to him that which he had suffered from his guest, and he called moreover upon the Protector of Suppliants 37 and the Guardian of Friendship, 38 naming still the same god, and calling upon him as the Protector of Suppliants because when he received the guest into his house he had been fostering ignorantly the slayer of his son, and as the Guardian of Friendship because having sent him as a protector he had found him the worst of foes.


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