<<<
>>>

The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 25

82. Now the grudge which was due beforehand from the Eginetans to the Athenians came about from a beginning which was as follows:—The land of the Epidaurians yielded to its inhabitants no fruit; and accordingly with reference to this calamity the Epidaurians went to inquire at Delphi, and the Pythian prophetess bade them set up images of Damia and Auxesia, and said that when they had set up these, they would meet with better fortune. The Epidaurians then asked further whether they should make images of bronze or of stone; and the prophetess bade them not use either of these, but make them of the wood of a cultivated olive-tree. The Epidaurians therefore asked the Athenians to allow them to cut for themselves an olive-tree, since they thought that their olives were the most sacred; nay some say that at that time there were no olives in any part of the earth except at Athens. The Athenians said that they would allow them on condition that they should every year bring due offerings to Athene Polias 70 and to Erechtheus. The Epidaurians, then, having agreed to these terms, obtained that which they asked, and they made images out of these olive-trees and set them up: and their land bore fruit and they continued to fulfil towards the Athenians that which they had agreed to do..

83. Now during this time and also before this the Eginetans were subject to the Epidaurians, and besides other things they were wont to pass over to Epidauros to have their disputes with one another settled by law: 71 but after this time they built for themselves ships and made revolt from the Epidaurians, moved thereto by wilfulness. So as they were at variance with them, they continued to inflict damage on them, since in fact they had command of the sea, and especially they stole away from them these images of Damia and Auxesia, and they brought them and set them up in the inland part of their country at a place called Oia, which is about twenty furlongs distant from their city. Having set them up in this spot they worshipped them with sacrifices and choruses of women accompanied with scurrilous jesting, ten men being appointed for each of the deities to provide the choruses: and the choruses spoke evil of no man, but only of the women of the place. Now the Epidaurians also had the same rites; and they have also rites which may not be divulged..

84. These images then having been stolen, the Epidaurians no longer continued to fulfil towards the Athenians that which they had agreed. The Athenians accordingly sent and expressed displeasure to the Epidaurians; and they declared saying that they were doing no wrong; for during the time when they had the images in their country they continued to fulfil that which they had agreed upon, but since they had been deprived of them, it was not just that they should make the offerings any more; and they bade them demand these from the men of Egina, who had the images. So the Athenians sent to Egina and demanded the images back; but the Eginetans said that they had nothing to do with the Athenians.


<<<
>>>