aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Herodotus, Histories 2.110

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βασιλεὺς μὲν δὴ οὗτος μοῦνος Αἰγύπτιος Αἰθιοπίης ἦρξε, μνημόσυνα δὲ ἐλίπετο πρὸ τοῦ Ἡφαιστείου ἀνδριάντας λιθίνους, δύο μὲν τριήκοντα πηχέων, ἑωυτόν τε καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα, τοὺς δὲ παῖδας ἐόντας τέσσερας εἴκοσι πηχέων ἕκαστον· τῶν δὴ ὁ ἱρεὺς τοῦ Ἡφαίστου χρόνῳ μετέπειτα πολλῷ Δαρεῖον τὸν Πέρσην οὐ περιεῖδε ἱστάντα ἔμπροσθε ἀνδριάντα, φὰς οὔ οἱ πεποιῆσθαι ἔργα οἷά περ Σεσώστρι τῷ Αἰγυπτίῳ· Σέσωστριν μὲν γὰρ ἄλλα τε καταστρέψασθαι ἔθνεα οὐκ ἐλάσσω ἐκείνου καὶ δὴ καὶ Σκύθας, Δαρεῖον δὲ οὐ δυνασθῆναι Σκύθας ἑλεῖν· οὔκων δίκαιον εἶναι ἱστάναι ἔμπροσθε τῶν ἐκείνου ἀναθημάτων μὴ οὐκ ὑπερβαλλόμενον τοῖσι ἔργοισι. Δαρεῖον μέν νυν λέγουσι πρὸς ταῦτα συγγνώμην ποιήσασθαι.

This king [Sesostris] was the only Egyptian to rule Ethiopia; he left memorials before the temple of Hephaestus, stone statues 32 cubits high of himself and his wife, and 24 cubits high of each of his four sons. A long while afterwards the priest of Hephaestus did not permit Darius the Persian to erect a statue in front of them, saying that the deeds Darius had performed were not as great as those of Sesotris the Egyptian. For (he said) Sesostris had overcome other peoples no less than Darius, but had conquered the Scythians, whom Darius had been unable to conquer; it was not right, therefore, that a man who had not surpassed those achievements should set up a statue in front of Sesostris’ statues. And, as a matter of fact, they say that Darius gave his assent to this view.

Written by aleatorclassicus

August 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Herodotus

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