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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 55

50. In consequence of this accusation Cleomenes the son of Anaxandrides, king of the Spartans, crossed over to Egina meaning to seize those of the Eginetans who were the most guilty; but as he was attempting to seize them, certain of the Eginetans opposed him, and among them especially Crios the son of Polycritos, who said that he should not with impunity carry off a single Eginetan, for he was doing this (said he) without authority from the Spartan State, having been persuaded to it by the Athenians with money; otherwise he would have come and seized them in company with the other king: and this he said by reason of a message received from Demaratos. Cleomenes then as he departed from Egina, asked Crios 33 what was his name, and he told him the truth; and Cleomenes said to him: "Surely now, O Ram, thou must cover over thy horns with bronze for thou wilt shortly have a great trouble to contend with."

51. Meanwhile Demaratos the son of Ariston was staying behind in Sparta and bringing charges against Cleomenes, he also being king of the Spartans but of the inferior house; which however is inferior in no other way (for it is descended from the same ancestor), but the house of Eurysthenes has always been honoured more, apparently because he was the elder brother..

52. For the Lacedemonians, who herein agree with none of the poets, say that Aristodemos the son of Aristomachos, the son of Cleodaios, the son of Hyllos, being their king, led them himself (and not the sons of Aristodemos) to this land which they now possess. Then after no long time the wife of Aristodemos, whose name was Argeia,—she was the daughter, they say, of Autesion, the son of Tisamenes, the son of Thersander, the son of Polyneikes,—she, it is said, brought forth twins; and Aristodemos lived but to see his children and then ended his life by sickness. So the Lacedemonians of that time resolved according to established custom to make the elder of the children their king; but they did not know which of them they should take, because they were like one another and of equal size; and when they were not able to make out, or even before this, they inquired of their mother; and she said that even she herself did not know one from the other. She said this, although she knew in truth very well, because she desired that by some means both might be made kings. The Lacedemonians then were in a strait; and being in a strait they sent to Delphi to inquire what they should do in the matter. And the Pythian prophetess bade them regard both children as their kings, but honour most the first in age. 34 The prophetess, they say, thus gave answer to them; and when the Lacedemonians were at a loss none the less how to find out the elder of them, a Messenian whose name was Panites made a suggestion to them: this Panites, I say, suggested to the Lacedemonians that they should watch the mother and see which of the children she washed and fed before the other; and if she was seen to do this always in the same order, then they would have all that they were seeking and desiring to find out, but if she too was uncertain and did it in a different order at different times, it would be plain to them that even she had no more knowledge than any other, and they must turn to some other way. Then the Spartans following the suggestion of the Messenian watched the mother of the sons of Aristodemos and found that she gave honour thus to the first-born both in feeding and in washing; for she did not know with that design she was being watched. They took therefore the child which was honoured by its mother and brought it up as the first-born in the public hall, 35 and to it was given the name of Eurysthenes, while the other was called Procles. These, when they had grown up, both themselves were at variance, they say, with one another, though they were brothers, throughout the whole time of their lives, and their descendants also continued after the same manner.


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