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The History Of Herodotus Volume 1 of 2

Page: 60

173. The Lykians however have sprung originally from Crete (for in old time the whole of Crete was possessed by Barbarians): and when the sons of Europa, Sarpedon and Minos, came to be at variance in Crete about the kingdom, Minos having got the better in the strife of parties drove out both Sarpedon himself and those of his party: and they having been expelled came to the land of Milyas in Asia, for the land which now the Lykians inhabit was anciently called Milyas, and the Milyans were then called Solymoi. Now while Sarpedon reigned over them, they were called by the name which they had when they came thither, and by which the Lykians are even now called by the neighbouring tribes, namely Termilai; but when from Athens Lycos the son of Pandion came to the land of the Termilai and to Sarpedon, he too having been driven out by his brother namely Aigeus, then by the name taken from Lycos they were called after a time Lykians. The customs which these have are partly Cretan and partly Carian; but one custom they have which is peculiar to them, and in which they agree with no other people, that is they call themselves by their mothers and not by their fathers; and if one asks his neighbour who he is, he will state his parentage on the mother's side and enumerate his mother's female ascendants: and if a woman who is a citizen marry a slave, the children are accounted to be of gentle birth; but if a man who is a citizen, though he were the first man among them, have a slave for wife or concubine, the children are without civil rights.

174. Now the Carians were reduced to subjection by Harpagos without any brilliant deed displayed either by the Carians themselves or by those of the Hellenes who dwell in this land. Of these last there are besides others the men of Cnidos, settlers from Lacedemon, whose land runs out into the sea, 173 being in fact the region which is called Triopion, beginning from the peninsula of Bybassos: and since all the land of Cnidos except a small part is washed by the sea (for the part of it which looks towards the North is bounded by the Gulf of Keramos, and that which looks to the South by the sea off Syme and Rhodes), therefore the men of Cnidos began to dig through this small part, which is about five furlongs across, while Harpagos was subduing Ionia, desiring to make their land an island: and within the isthmus all was theirs, 174 for where the territory of Cnidos ends in the direction of the mainland, here is the isthmus which they were digging across. And while the Cnidians were working at it with a great number of men, it was perceived that the men who worked suffered injury much more than might have been expected and in a more supernatural manner, both in other parts of their bodies and especially in their eyes, when the rock was being broken up; so they sent men to ask the Oracle at Delphi what the cause of the difficulty was. And the Pythian prophetess, as the men of Cnidos themselves report, gave them this reply in trimeter verse:—

          

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