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height for that time, to eighteen cubits, when it overflowed the fields, a storm of wind arose, and the river was tossed about in waves ; whereupon they say that the king with great arrogance - Iaid hold of a javelin, and threw it into the midst of the eddies of the river; and that immediately afterwards he was seized with a pain in his eyes, and became blind. He continued blind for ten years ; but in the eleventh year an oracle reached-him from the city of Buto, importing “that the time of his punishment was expired, and he should recover his sight, by washing his eyes with the urine of a woman who had had intercourse with her own husband only, and had known no other man. He therefore made trial of his own wife first, and afterwards, when he did not recover his sight, he made trial of others indifferently ; and at length having recovered his sight, he collected the women of whom he had made trial, except the one by washing with whose urine he had recovered his sight, into one city, which is now called Erythrebolus, and when he had assembled them together he had them all burnt, together with the city ; but the woman, by washing in whose urine he recovered his sight, he took to himself to wife. Having escaped from this calamity in his eyes, he dedicated other offerings throughout all the celebrated temples, and, what is most worthy of mention, he dedicated to the temple of the sun works worthy of admiration, two stone obelisks, each consisting of one stone, and each a hundred cubits in length and eight cubits in breadth.
112. They said that a native of Memphis succeeded bim in the kingdom, whose name in the Grecian language is Proteus : there is to this day an enclosure sacred to him at Memphis, which is very beautiful and richly adorned, situated to the south side of the temple of Vulcan. Tyrian Phænicians dwell round this enclosure, and the whole tract is called the Tyrian camp. In this enclosure of Proteus, is a temple which is called after the foreign Venus ; and I conjecture that this is the temple of Helen the daughter of Tyndarus, both bea cause I have heard that Helen lived with Proteus, and also because it is named from the foreign Venus : for of all the other temples of Venus, none is any where called by the name
8 In chap. 154, we meet with "the camp of the Ionians and Carians."
of foreign. 113. When I inquired about Helen, the priests told me that the case was thus : that when Paris had carried Helen off from Sparta, he sailed away to his own country, and when he was in the Ægean, violent winds drove him out of his course into the Egyptian sea, and from thence (for the gale did not abate) he came to Egypt, and in Egypt to that which is now called the Canopic mouth of the Nile, and to Taricheæ. On that shore stood a temple of Hercules, which remains to this day; in which, if the slave of any person whatsoever takes refüge, and has sacred marks impressed on him, so devoting himself to the god, it is not lawful to lay hands on him. This custom continues the same to my time as it was from the first. The attendants of Paris therefore, when informed of the custom that prevailed respecting the temple, revolted from him, and sitting as suppliants of the god, accused Paris with a view to injure him, relating the whole account, how things stood with regard to Helen, and his injustice towards Menelaus. These accusations were made to the priests, and the governor of that mouth, whose name was Thonis. 114. Thonis having heard this, immediately sends a message to Proteus at Memphis, to the following effect: “A stranger of Trojan race has arrived, after having committed a nefarious deed in Greece ; for having beguiled the wife of his own host, he has brought her with him, and very great treasures, having been driven by winds to this land. Whether then shall we allow him to depart unmolested, or shall we seize what he has brought with him ?” Proteus sends back a messenger with the following answer : 6. Seize this man, whoever he may be, that has acted so wickedly towards his host, and bring him to me, that I may know what he will say for himself.” 115. Thonis, having received this message, seizes Paris, and detains his ships ; and then sent him up to Memphis with Helen and his treasures, and besides the suppliants also. When all were carried up, Proteus asked Paris who he was, and whence he had sailed ; and he gave him an account of his family, and told him the name of his country, and moreover described his voyage and from whence he had set sail. Then Proteus asked him whence he got Helen ; and when Paris prevaricated in his account, and did not speak the truth, they who had become suppliants accused him, relating the whole account of his crime. At last Proteus
pronounced this judgment, saying: “If I did not think it of great moment, not to put any stranger to death who, being prevented by the winds from pursuing his course, has come to my territory, I would take vengeance on you on behalf of the Grecian, you. basest of men, who, after you had met with hospitable treatment, have committed the most nefarious deed : you seduced the wife of your host, and this did not content you, but having excited her passions, you have taken her away by stealth. Nor even did this content you, but you have also robbed the house of your host, and come hither with the spoils : now therefore, since I deem it of great moment not to put a stranger to death, I will not suffer you to carry away this woman, or this treasure, but I will keep them for your Grecian host, until he please to come himself and take them away; as for you and your shipmates, I bid you depart out of my territory to some other within three days ; if not, you shall be treated as enemies."
116. The priests gave this account of the arrival of Helen at the court of Proteus. And Homer appears to me to have heard this relation ; but it was not equally suited to epic poetry as the other which he has made use of, wherefore he has rejected it, though he has plainly shown that he was acquainted with this account also. And this is evident ; since he has described in the Iliad (and has no where else retraced his steps) the wanderings of Paris, how, while he was carrying off Helen, he was driven out of his course, and wandered to other places, and how he arrived at Sidon of Phoenicia : and he has mentioned it in the exploits of Diomede, his verses are as follows: “ Where were the variegated robes, works of Sidonian women, which god-like Paris himself brought from Sidon, sailing over the wide sea, along the course by which he conveyed high-born Helen." I He mentions it also in the Odyssey, in the following lines : “Such well-chosen drugs had the daughter of Jove, of excellent quality, which Polydamna gave her, the Egyptian wife of Thonis, where the fruitful earth produces many drugs, many excellent when mixed, and many noxious.' Menelaus also says the following to Telemachus : “The gods detained me in Egypt,
9 Literally, “having raised the wings." Iliad, vi. 289.
Odyssey, iv, 227.
though anxious to return hither, because I did not offer perfect hecatombs to them." He shows in these verses, that he was acquainted with the wandering of Paris in Egypt ; for Syria borders on Egypt, and the Phænicians, to whom Sidon belongs, inhabit Syria. 117. From these verses, and this first passage especially, it is clear that Homer was not the author of the Cyprian verses, but some other person. For in the Cyprian verses it is said that Paris reached Ilium from Sparta on the third day, when he carried off Helen, having met with a favourable wind and a smooth sea ; whereas Homer in the Iliad says that he wandered far while taking her with him. And now I take my leave of Homer and the Cyprian verses.
118. When I asked the priests whether the Greeks tell an idle story about the Trojan war, or not; they gave me the following answer, saying that they knew it by inquiry from Menelaus himself : That after the rape of Helen, a vast army of Grecians came to the land of Teucria to assist Menelaus; and that when the army had landed and pitched their camp, they sent ambassadors to Ilium, and that Menelaus himself went with them: when they reached the walls, they demanded the restitution of Helen, and the treasures that Paris had stolen from him, and satisfaction for the injuries done : that the Trojans told the same story then and ever after, both when put to the oath and when not swearing, that they had neither Helen nor the treasures about which they were accused, but that they were all in Egypt; and that they could not with justice be answerable for what Proteus the Egyptian king had in his possession: but the Greeks, thinking they were derided by them, therefore besieged them until they took their city. When, however, after they had taken the fortifications, Helen was no where found, but they heard the same story as before, then they gave credit to the first account, and sent Menelaus himself to Proteus. 119. When Menelaus reached Egypt, he sailed up to Memphis, and related the real truth : he both met with very hospitable entertainment, and received back Helen unharmed, and besides all his treasures. Menelaus, however, though he met with this treatment, behaved very iniquitously to the Egyptians : for when he was desirous of sailing away, contrary winds detained him ; and
when this continued the same for a long time, he had recourse to a nefarious expedient; for having taken two children of the people of the country, he sacrificed them ;4 but afterwards, when it was discovered that he had done this deed, he was detested and persecuted by the Egyptians, and fled with his ships to Libya : whither he bent his course from thence, the Egyptians were unable to say ; but of the above particulars they said they knew some by inquiry, and others, having taken place among themselves, they were able from their own knowledge to speak of with certainty. 120. These things the priests of the Egyptians related ; and I myself agree with the account that is given respecting Helen, from the following considerations. If Helen had been in Ilium, she would have been restored to the Grecians, whether Paris were willing or not. For surely Priam could not have been so infatuated, nor the others his relatives, as to be willing to expose their own persons, their children, and the city to danger, in order that Paris might cohabit with Helen. But even if at first they had taken this resolution, yet seeing that many of the other Trojans perished, whenever they engaged with the Greeks, and that on every occasion when a battle took place, two or three or even more of Priam's own sons fell, if we may speak on the authority of the epic poets ;—when such things happened, I think, that if Priam himself were cohabiting with Helen, he would have restored her to the Greeks, in order to be delivered from such present evils. Neither would the kingdom devolve upon Paris, so that when Priam was now old, the administration of affairs should fall upon him ; but Hector, who was both older and more a man than he was, would succeed to the throne on the death of Priam ; nor did it become him to give way to his brother when acting unjustly, and this too when through his means so many evils were falling on himself, and on all the rest of the Trojans. But indeed they had it not in their power to restore Helen, nor, when they spoke the truth, did the Greeks give credit to them: providence ordaining, as I am of opinion, that they, by utterly perishing, should make it clear to all men, that for great crimes great punishments at the hands of the gods are
• Literally, “ he made victims of them :" by žvtoua are meant “victims slain to appease the infernal deities.”