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The History of Herodotus, parallel English/Greek, tr. G. C. Macaulay, [1890], at

Herodotus Book 1: Clio




This is the Showing forth of the Inquiry of Herodotus of Halicarnassos, to the end that neither the deeds of men may be forgotten by lapse of time, nor the works great and marvellous, which have been produced some by Hellenes and some by Barbarians, may lose their renown; and especially that the causes may be remembered for which these waged war with one another.

Κλέοβις καὶ Βίτων


Ἡροδότου Ἁλικαρνησσέος ἱστορίης ἀπόδεξις ἥδε, ὡς μήτε τὰ γενόμενα ἐξ ἀνθρώπων τῷ χρόνῳ ἐξίτηλα γένηται, μήτε ἔργα μεγάλα τε καὶ θωμαστά, τὰ μὲν Ἕλλησι τὰ δὲ βαρβάροισι ἀποδεχθέντα, ἀκλεᾶ γένηται, τά τε ἄλλα καὶ δι᾽ ἣν αἰτίην ἐπολέμησαν ἀλλήλοισι. 

1. Those of the Persians who have knowledge of history declare that the Phenicians first began the quarrel. These, they say, came from that which is called the Erythraian Sea to this of ours; and having settled in the land where they continue even now to dwell, set themselves forthwith to make long voyages by sea. And conveying merchandise of Egypt and of Assyria they arrived at other places and also at Argos; now Argos was at that time in all points the first of the States within that land which is now called Hellas;--the Phenicians arrived then at this land of Argos, and began to dispose of their ship's cargo: and on the fifth or sixth day after they had arrived, when their goods had been almost all sold, there came down to the sea a great company of women, and among them the daughter of the king; and her name, as the Hellenes also agree, was Io the daughter of Inachos. These standing near to the stern of the ship were buying of the wares such as pleased them most, when of a sudden the Phenicians, passing the word from one to another, made a rush upon them; and the greater part of the women escaped by flight, but Io and certain others were carried off. So they put them on board their ship, and forthwith departed, sailing away to Egypt. 1. [1] Περσέων μέν νυν οἱ λόγιοι Φοίνικας αἰτίους φασί γενέσθαι τῆς διαφορῆς. τούτους γὰρ ἀπό τῆς Ἐρυθρῆς καλεομένης θαλάσσης ἀπικομένους ἐπὶ τήνδε τὴν θάλασσαν, καὶ οἰκήσαντας τοῦτον τὸν χῶρον τὸν καὶ νῦν οἰκέουσι, αὐτίκα ναυτιλίῃσι μακρῇσι ἐπιθέσθαι, ἀπαγινέοντας δὲ φορτία Αἰγύπτιά τε καὶ Ἀσσύρια τῇ τε ἄλλῃ ἐσαπικνέεσθαι καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐς Ἄργος. [2] τὸ δὲ Ἄργος τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον προεῖχε ἅπασι τῶν ἐν τῇ νῦν Ἑλλάδι καλεομένῃ χωρῇ. ἀπικομένους δὲ τούς Φοίνικας ἐς δὴ τὸ Ἄργος τοῦτο διατίθεσθαι τὸν φόρτον. [3] πέμπτῃ δὲ ἢ ἕκτῃ ἡμέρῃ ἀπ᾽ ἧς ἀπίκοντο, ἐξεμπολημένων σφι σχεδόν πάντων, ἐλθεῖν ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν γυναῖκας ἄλλας τε πολλάς καὶ δὴ καὶ τοῦ βασιλέος θυγατέρα· τὸ δέ οἱ οὔνομα εἶναι, κατὰ τὠυτὸ τὸ καὶ Ἕλληνές λέγουσι, Ἰοῦν τὴν Ἰνάχου· [4] ταύτας στάσας κατά πρύμνην τῆς νεὸς ὠνέεσθαι τῶν φορτίων τῶν σφι ἦν θυμός μάλιστα· καὶ τοὺς Φοίνικας διακελευσαμένους ὁρμῆσαι ἐπ᾽ αὐτάς. τὰς μὲν δὴ πλεῦνας τῶν γυναικῶν ἀποφυγεῖν, τὴν δὲ Ἰοῦν σὺν ἄλλῃσι ἁρπασθῆναι. ἐσβαλομένους δὲ ἐς τὴν νέα οἴχεσθαι ἀποπλέοντας ἐπ᾽ Αἰγύπτου. 

2. In this manner the Persians report that Io came to Egypt, not agreeing therein with the Hellenes, and this they say was the first beginning of wrongs. Then after this, they say, certain Hellenes (but the name of the people they are not able to report) put in to the city of Tyre in Phenicia and carried off the king's daughter Europa;--these would doubtless be Cretans;--and so they were quits for the former injury. After this however the Hellenes, they say, were the authors of the second wrong; for they sailed in to Aia of Colchis and to the river Phasis with a ship of war, and from thence, after they had done the other business for which they came, they carried off the king's daughter Medea: and the king of Colchis sent a herald to the land of Hellas and demanded satisfaction for the rape and to have his daughter back; but they answered that, as the Barbarians had given them no satisfaction for the rape of Io the Argive, so neither would they give satisfaction to the Barbarians for this.

2. [1] οὕτω μὲν Ἰοῦν ἐς Αἴγυπτον ἀπικέσθαι λέγουσι Πέρσαι, οὐκ ὡς Ἕλληνές, καὶ τῶν ἀδικημάτων πρῶτον τοῦτο ἄρξαι. μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα Ἑλλήνων τινάς (οὐ γὰρ ἔχουσι τοὔνομα ἀπηγήσασθαι) φασὶ τῆς Φοινίκης ἐς Τύρον προσσχόντας ἁρπάσαι τοῦ βασιλέος τὴν θυγατέρα Εὐρώπην. εἴησαν δ᾽ ἄν οὗτοι Κρῆτες. ταῦτα μὲν δὴ ἴσα πρὸς ἴσα σφι γενέσθαι, μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα Ἕλληνας αἰτίους τῆς δευτέρης ἀδικίης γενέσθαι· [2] καταπλώσαντας γὰρ μακρῇ νηί ἐς Αἶαν τε τὴν Κολχίδα καὶ ἐπὶ Φᾶσιν ποταμόν, ἐνθεῦτεν, διαπρηξαμένους καὶ τἄλλα τῶν εἵνεκεν ἀπίκατο, ἁρπάσαι τοῦ βασιλέος τὴν θυγατέρα Μηδείην. [3] πέμψαντά δὲ τὸν Κόλχων βασιλέα ἐς τὴν Ἑλλάδα κήρυκα αἰτέειν τε δίκας τῆς ἁρπαγῆς καὶ ἀπαιτέειν τὴν θυγατέρα. τοὺς δὲ ὑποκρίνασθαι ὡς οὐδὲ ἐκεῖνοι Ἰοῦς τῆς Ἀργείης ἔδοσάν σφι δίκας τῆς ἁρπαγῆς· οὐδὲ ὤν αὐτοὶ δώσειν ἐκείνοισι. 

3. In the next generation after this, they say, Alexander the son of Priam, having heard of these things, desired to get a wife for himself by violence from Hellas, being fully assured that he would not be compelled to give any satisfaction for this wrong, inasmuch as the Hellenes gave none for theirs. So he carried off Helen, and the Hellenes resolved to send messengers first and to demand her back with satisfaction for the rape; and when they put forth this demand, the others alleged to them the rape of Medea, saying that the Hellenes were now desiring satisfaction to be given to them by others, though they had given none themselves nor had surrendered the person when demand was made.

3. [1] δευτέρῃ δὲ λέγουσι γενεῇ μετὰ ταῦτα Ἀλέξανδρον τὸν Πριάμου, ἀκηκοότα ταῦτα, ἐθελῆσαί οἱ ἐκ τῆς Ἑλλάδος δι᾽ ἁρπαγῆς γενέσθαι γυναῖκα, ἐπιστάμενον πάντως ὅτι οὐ δώσει δίκας. οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐκείνους διδόναι. [2] οὕτω δὴ ἁρπάσαντος αὐτοῦ Ἑλένην, τοῖσι Ἕλλησι δόξαι πρῶτὸν πέμψαντας ἀγγέλους ἀπαιτέειν τε Ἑλένην καὶ δίκας τῆς ἁρπαγῆς αἰτέειν. τοὺς δέ, προϊσχομένων ταῦτα, προφέρειν σφι Μηδείης τὴν ἁρπαγήν, ὡς οὐ δόντες αὐτοὶ δίκας οὐδὲ ἐκδόντες ἀπαιτεόντων βουλοίατό σφι παρ᾽ ἄλλων δίκας γίνεσθαι. 

4. Up to this point, they say, nothing more happened than the carrying away of women on both sides; but after this the Hellenes were very greatly to blame; for they set the first example of war, making an expedition into Asia before the Barbarians made any into Europe. Now they say that in their judgment, though it is an act of wrong to carry away women by force, it is a folly to set one's heart on taking vengeance for their rape, and the wise course is to pay no regard when they have been carried away; for it is evident that they would never be carried away if they were not themselves willing to go. And the Persians say that they, namely the people of Asia, when their women were carried away by force, had made it a matter of no account, but the Hellenes on account of a woman of Lacedemon gathered together a great armament, and then came to Asia and destroyed the dominion of Priam; and that from this time forward they had always considered the Hellenic race to be their enemy: for Asia and the Barbarian races which dwell there the Persians claim as belonging to them; but Europe and the Hellenic race they consider to be parted off from them.

4. [1] μέχρι μὲν ὤν τούτου ἁρπαγάς μούνας εἶναι παρ᾽ ἀλλήλων, τὸ δὲ ἀπὸ τούτου Ἕλληνας δὴ μεγάλως αἰτίους γενέσθαι· προτέρους γὰρ ἄρξαι στρατεύεσθαι ἐς τὴν Ἀσίην ἢ σφέας ἐς τὴν Εὐρώπην. [2] τὸ μέν νυν ἁρπάζειν γυναῖκας ἀνδρῶν ἀδίκων νομίζειν ἔργον εἶναι, τὸ δὲ ἁρπασθεισέων σπουδήν ποιήσασθαι τιμωρέειν ἀνοήτων, τὸ δὲ μηδεμίαν ὤρην ἔχειν ἁρπασθεισέων σωφρόνων· δῆλα γὰρ δὴ ὅτι, εἰ μὴ αὐταὶ ἐβούλοντο, οὐκ ἂν ἡρπάζοντο. [3] σφέας μὲν δὴ τοὺς ἐκ τῆς Ἀσίης λέγουσι Πέρσαι ἁρπαζομενέων τῶν γυναικῶν λόγον οὐδένα ποιήσασθαι, Ἕλληνας δὲ Λακεδαιμονίης εἵνεκεν γυναικὸς στόλον μέγαν συναγεῖραι καὶ ἔπειτα ἐλθόντας ἐς τὴν Ἀσίην τὴν Πριάμου δύναμιν κατελεῖν. [4] ἀπὸ τούτου αἰεὶ ἡγήσασθαι τὸ Ἑλληνικὸν σφίσι εἶναι πολέμιον. τὴν γὰρ Ἀσίην καὶ τὰ ἐνοικέοντα ἔθνεα βάρβαρα οἰκηιεῦνται οἱ Πέρσαι, τὴν δὲ Εὐρώπην καὶ τὸ Ἑλληνικόν ἥγηνται κεχωρίσθαι. 

5. The Persians for their part say that things happened thus; and they conclude that the beginning of their quarrel with the Hellenes was on account of the taking of Ilion: but as regards Io the Phenicians do not agree with the Persians in telling the tale thus; for they deny that they carried her off to Egypt by violent means, and they say on the other hand that when they were in Argos she was intimate with the master of their ship, and perceiving that she was with child, she was ashamed to confess it to her parents, and therefore sailed away with the Phenicians of her own will, for fear of being found out. These are the tales told by the Persians and the Phenicians severally: and concerning these things I am not going to say that they happened thus or thus, but when I have pointed to the man who first within my own knowledge began to commit wrong against the Hellenes, I shall go forward further with the story, giving an account of the cities of men, small as well as great: for those which in old times were great have for the most part become small, while those that were in my own time great used in former times to be small: so then, since I know that human prosperity never continues steadfast, I shall make mention of both indifferently.

5. [1] οὕτω μὲν Πέρσαι λέγουσι γενέσθαι, καὶ διὰ τὴν Ἰλίου ἅλωσιν εὑρίσκουσι σφίσι ἐοῦσαν τὴν ἀρχήν τῆς ἔχθρης τῆς ἐς τοὺς Ἕλληνας. [2] περὶ δὲ τῆς Ἰοῦς οὐκ ὁμολογέουσι Πέρσῃσι οὕτω Φοίνικες· οὐ γὰρ ἁρπαγῇ σφέας χρησαμένους λέγουσι ἀγαγεῖν αὐτήν ἐς Αἴγυπτον, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἐν τῷ Ἄργεϊ ἐμίσγετο τῷ ναυκλήρῳ τῆς νέος· ἐπεὶ δ᾽ ἔμαθε ἔγκυος ἐοῦσα, αἰδεομένη τοὺς τοκέας οὕτω δὴ ἐθελοντήν αὐτήν τοῖσι Φοίνιξι συνεκπλῶσαι, ὡς ἂν μὴ κατάδηλος γένηται. [3] ταῦτα μέν νυν Πέρσαι τε καὶ Φοίνικες λέγουσι· ἐγὼ δὲ περὶ μὲν τούτων οὐκ ἔρχομαι ἐρέων ὡς οὕτω ἢ ἄλλως κως ταῦτα ἐγένετο, τὸν δὲ οἶδα αὐτὸς πρῶτον ὑπάρξαντα ἀδίκων ἔργων ἐς τοὺς Ἕλληνας, τοῦτον σημήνας προβήσομαι ἐς τὸ πρόσω τοῦ λόγου, ὁμοίως σμικρὰ καὶ μεγάλα ἄστεα ἀνθρώπων ἐπεξιών. [4] τὰ γὰρ τὸ πάλαι μεγάλα ἦν, τὰ πολλὰ σμικρὰ αὐτῶν γέγονε· τὰ δὲ ἐπ᾽ ἐμεῦ ἦν μεγάλα, πρότερον ἦν σμικρά. τὴν ἀνθρωπηίην ὤν ἐπιστάμενος εὐδαιμονίην οὐδαμὰ ἐν τὠυτῷ μένουσαν, ἐπιμνήσομαι ἀμφοτέρων ὁμοίως. 

6. Crœsus was Lydian by race, the son of Alyattes and ruler of the nations which dwell on this side of the river Halys; which river, flowing from the South between the Syrians and the Paphlagonians, runs out towards the North Wind into that Sea which is called the Euxine. This Crœsus, first of all the Barbarians of whom we have knowledge, subdued certain of the Hellenes and forced them to pay tribute, while others he gained over and made them his friends. Those whom he subdued were the Ionians, the Aiolians, and the Dorians who dwell in Asia; and those whom he made his friends were the Lacedemonians. But before the reign of Crœsus all the Hellenes were free; for the expedition of the Kimmerians, which came upon Ionia before the time of Crœsus, was not a conquest of the cities but a plundering incursion only. 6. [1] Κροῖσος ἦν Λυδὸς μὲν γένος, παῖς δὲ Ἀλυάττεω, τύραννος δὲ ἐθνέων τῶν ἐντός Ἅλυος ποταμοῦ, ὃς ῥέων ἀπὸ μεσαμβρίης μεταξὺ Συρίων τε καὶ Παφλαγόνων ἐξιεῖ πρὸς βορέην ἄνεμον ἐς τὸν Εὔξεινον καλεόμενον πόντον. [2] οὗτος ὁ Κροῖσος βαρβάρων πρῶτος τῶν ἡμεῖς ἴδμεν τοὺς μὲν κατεστρέψατο Ἑλλήνων ἐς φόρου ἀπαγωγήν, τοὺς δὲ φίλους προσεποιήσατο. κατεστρέψατο μὲν Ἴωνάς τε καὶ Αἰολέας καὶ Δωριέας τοὺς ἐν τῇ Ἀσίῃ, φίλους δὲ προσεποιήσατο Λακεδαιμονίους. [3] πρὸ δὲ τῆς Κροίσου ἀρχῆς πάντες Ἕλληνες ἦσαν ἐλεύθεροι· τὸ γὰρ Κιμμερίων στράτευμα τὸ ἐπὶ τὴν Ἰωνίην ἀπικόμενον Κροίσου ἐὸν πρεσβύτερον οὐ καταστροφὴ ἐγένετο τῶν πολίων ἀλλ᾽ ἐξ ἐπιδρομῆς ἁρπαγή. 

7. Now the supremacy which had belonged to the Heracleidai came to the family of Crœsus, called Mermnadai, in the following manner:--Candaules, whom the Hellenes call Myrsilos, was ruler of Sardis and a descendant of Alcaios, son of Heracles: for Agron, the son of Ninos, the son of Belos, the son of Alcaios, was the first of the Heracleidai who became king of Sardis, and Candaules the son of Myrsos was the last; but those who were kings over this land before Agrond, were descendants of Lydos the son of Atys, whence this whole nation was called Lydian, having been before called Meonian. From these the Heracleidai, descended from Heracles and the slave-girl of Iardanos, obtained the government, being charged with it by reason of an oracle; and they reigned for two-and-twenty generations of men, five hundred and five years, handing on the power from father to son, till the time of Clandaules the son of Myrsos. 7. [1] ἡ δὲ ἡγεμονίη οὕτω περιῆλθε, ἐοῦσα Ἡρακλειδέων ἐς τὸ γένος τὸ Κροίσου, καλεομένους δὲ Μερμνάδας. [2] ἦν Κανδαύλης, τὸν οἱ Ἕλληνές Μυρσίλον ὀνομάζουσι, τύραννος Σαρδίων, ἀπόγονος δὲ Ἀλκαίου τοῦ Ἡρακλέος. Ἄγρων μὲν γὰρ ὁ Νίνου τοῦ Βήλου τοῦ Ἀλκαίου πρῶτος Ἡρακλειδέων βασιλεὺς ἐγένετο Σαρδίων, Κανδαύλης δὲ ὁ Μύρσου ὕστατος. [3] οἱ δὲ πρότερον Ἄγρωνος βασιλεύσαντες ταύτης τῆς χώρης ἦσαν ἀπόγονοὶ Λυδοῦ τοῦ Ἄτυος, ἀπ᾽ ὅτευ ὁ δῆμος Λύδιος ἐκλήθη ὁ πᾶς οὗτος, πρότερον Μηίων καλεόμενος. [4] παρὰ τούτων Ἡρακλεῖδαι ἐπιτραφθέντες ἔσχον τὴν ἀρχήν ἐκ θεοπροπίου, ἐκ δούλης τε τῆς Ἰαρδάνου γεγονότες καὶ Ἡρακλέος, ἄρξαντες μὲν ἐπὶ δύο τε καὶ εἴκοσι γενεᾶς ἀνδρῶν ἔτεα πέντε τε καὶ πεντακόσια, παῖς παρὰ πατρὸς ἐκδεκόμενος τὴν ἀρχήν, μέχρι Κανδαύλεω τοῦ Μύρσου. 

8. This Candaules then of whom I speak had become passionately in love with his own wife; and having become so, he deemed that his wife was fairer by far than all other women; and thus deeming, to Gyges the son of Daskylos (for he of all his spearmen was the most pleasing to him), to this Gyges, I say, he used to impart as well the more weighty of his affairs as also the beauty of his wife, praising it above measure: and after no long time, since it was destined that evil should happen to Candaules, he said to Gyges as follows: "Gyges, I think that thou dost not believe me when I tell thee of the beauty of my wife, for it happens that men's ears are less apt of belief than their eyes: contrive therefore means by which thou mayest look upon her naked." But he cried aloud and said: "Master, what word of unwisdom is this which thou dost utter, bidding me look upon my mistress naked? When a woman puts off her tunic she puts off her modesty also. Moreover of old time those fair sayings have been found out by men, from which we ought to learn wisdom; and of these one is this,--that each man should look on his own: but I believe indeed that she is of all women the fairest and I entreat thee not to ask of me that which it is not lawful for me to do." 8. [1] οὗτος δὴ ὦν ὁ Κανδαύλης ἠράσθη τῆς ἑωυτοῦ γυναικός, ἐρασθεὶς δὲ ἐνόμιζέ οἱ εἶναι γυναῖκα πολλὸν πασέων καλλίστην. ὥστε δὲ ταῦτα νομίζων, ἦν γάρ οἱ τῶν αἰχμοφόρων Γύγης ὁ Δασκύλου ἀρεσκόμενος μάλιστα, τούτῳ τῷ Γύγῃ καὶ τὰ σπουδαιέστερα τῶν πρηγμάτων ὑπερετίθετο ὁ Κανδαύλης καὶ δὴ καὶ τὸ εἶδος τῆς γυναικὸς ὑπερεπαινέων. [2] χρόνου δὲ οὐ πολλοῦ διελθόντος (χρῆν γὰρ Κανδαύλῃ γενέσθαι κακῶς) ἔλεγε πρὸς τὸν Γύγην τοιάδε. «Γύγη, οὐ γὰρ σε δοκέω πείθεσθαι μοι λέγοντι περὶ τοῦ εἴδεος τῆς γυναικός (ὦτα γὰρ τυγχάνει ἀνθρώποισι ἐόντα ἀπιστότερα ὀφθαλμῶν), ποίεε ὅκως ἐκείνην θεήσεαι γυμνήν.» [3] ὃ δ᾽ ἀμβώσας εἶπε «δέσποτα, τίνα λέγεις λόγον οὐκ ὑγιέα, κελεύων με δέσποιναν τὴν ἐμὴν θεήσασθαι γυμνήν; ἅμα δὲ κιθῶνι ἐκδυομένῳ συνεκδύεται καὶ τὴν αἰδῶ γυνή. [4] πάλαι δὲ τὰ καλὰ ἀνθρώποισι ἐξεύρηται, ἐκ τῶν μανθάνειν δεῖ· ἐν τοῖσι ἓν τόδε ἐστί, σκοπέειν τινὰ τὰ ἑωυτοῦ. ἐγὼ δὲ πείθομαι ἐκείνην εἶναι πασέων γυναικῶν καλλίστην, καὶ σέο δέομαι μὴ δέεσθαι ἀνόμων.» 

9. With such words as these he resisted, fearing lest some evil might come to him from this; but the king answered him thus: "Be of good courage, Gyges, and have no fear, either of me, that I am saying these words to try thee, or of my wife, lest any harm may happen to thee from her. For I will contrive it so from the first that she shall not even perceive that she has been seen by thee. I will place thee in the room where we sleep, behind the open door; and after I have gone in, my wife also will come to lie down. Now there is a seat near the entrance of the room, and upon this she will lay her garments as she takes them off one by one; and so thou wilt be able to gaze upon her at full leisure. And when she goes from the chair to the bed and thou shalt be behind her back, then let it be thy part to take care that she sees thee not as thou goest through the door." 9. [1] ὃ μὲν δὴ λέγων τοιαῦτα ἀπεμάχετο, ἀρρωδέων μὴ τί οἱ ἐξ αὐτῶν γένηται κακόν, ὃ δ᾽ ἀμείβετο τοῖσιδε. «θάρσεε, Γύγη, καὶ μὴ φοβεῦ μήτε ἐμέ, ὡς σέο πειρώμενος λέγω λόγον τόνδε, μήτε γυναῖκα τὴν ἐμήν, μὴ τὶ τοι ἐξ αὐτῆς γένηται βλάβος. ἀρχήν γὰρ ἐγὼ μηχανήσομαι οὕτω ὥστε μηδέ μαθεῖν μιν ὀφθεῖσαν ὑπὸ σεῦ. [2] ἐγὼ γάρ σε ἐς τὸ οἴκημα ἐν τῷ κοιμώμεθα ὄπισθε τῆς ἀνοιγομένης θύρης στήσω. μετὰ δ᾽ ἐμὲ ἐσελθόντα παρέσται καὶ ἡ γυνὴ ἡ ἐμὴ ἐς κοῖτον. κεῖται δὲ ἀγχοῦ τῆς ἐσόδου θρόνος· ἐπὶ τοῦτον τῶν ἱματίων κατὰ ἕν ἕκαστον ἐκδύνουσα θήσει, καὶ κατ᾽ ἡσυχίην πολλὴν παρέξει τοι θεήσασθαι. [3] ἐπεὰν δέ ἀπὸ τοῦ θρόνου στείχῃ ἐπὶ τὴν εὐνήν κατὰ νώτου τε αὐτῆς γένῃ, σοὶ μελέτω τὸ ἐνθεῦτεν ὅκως μὴ σε ὄψεται ἰόντα διὰ θυρέων.» 

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