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The History Of Herodotus Volume 1 of 2

Page: 182

129. When the wealth of Oroites had come or had been carried 114 up to Susa, it happened not long after, that king Dareios while engaged in hunting wild beasts twisted his foot in leaping off his horse, and it was twisted, as it seems, rather violently, for the ball of his ankle-joint was put out of the socket. Now he had been accustomed to keep about him those of the Egyptians who were accounted the first in the art of medicine, and he made use of their assistance then: but these by wrenching and forcing the foot made the evil continually greater. For seven days then and seven nights Dareios was sleepless owing to the pain which he suffered; and at last on the eighth day, when he was in a wretched state, some one who had heard talk before while yet at Sardis of the skill of Demokedes of Croton, reported this to Dareios; and he bade them bring him forthwith into his presence. So having found him somewhere unnoticed among the slaves of Oroites, they brought him forth into the midst dragging fetters after him and clothed in rags.

130. When he had been placed in the midst of them, Dareios asked him whether he understood the art; but he would not admit it, fearing lest, if he declared himself to be what he was, he might lose for ever the hope of returning to Hellas: and it was clear to Dareios that he understood that art but was practising another, 115 and he commanded those who had brought him thither to produce scourges and pricks. Accordingly upon that he spoke out, saying that he did not understand it precisely, but that he had kept company with a physician and had some poor knowledge of the art. Then after this, when Dareios had committed the case to him, by using Hellenic drugs and applying mild remedies after the former violent means, he caused him to get sleep, and in a short time made him perfectly well, though he had never hoped to be sound of foot again. Upon this Dareios presented him with two pairs of golden fetters; and he asked him whether it was by design that he had given to him a double share of his suffering, because he had made him well. Being pleased by this saying, Dareios sent him to visit his wives, and the eunuchs in bringing him in said to the women that this was he who had restored to the king his life. Then each one of them plunged a cup into the gold-chest 116 and presented Demokedes with so abundant a gift that his servant, whose name was Skiton, following and gathering up the coins 117 which fell from the cups, collected for himself a very large sum of gold.

131. This Demokedes came from Croton, and became the associate of Polycrates in the following manner:—at Croton he lived in strife with his father, who was of a harsh temper, and when he could no longer endure him, he departed and came to Egina. Being established there he surpassed in the first year all the other physicians, although he was without appliances and had none of the instruments which are used in the art. In the next year the Eginetan State engaged him for a payment of one talent, in the third year he was engaged by the Athenians for a hundred pounds weight of silver, 118 and in the fourth by Polycrates for two talents. Thus he arrived in Samos; and it was by reason of this man more than anything else that the physicians of Croton got their reputation: for this event happened at the time when the physicians of Croton began to be spoken of as the first in Hellas, while the Kyrenians were reputed to have the second place. About this same time also the Argives had the reputation of being the first musicians in Hellas. 119


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