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

Herodotus Book 2: Euterpe [150]

150. The natives of the place moreover said that this lake had an outlet under ground to the Syrtis which is in Libya, turning towards the interior of the continent upon the Western side and running along by the mountain which is above Memphis. Now since I did not see anywhere existing the earth dug out of this excavation (for that was a matter which drew my attention), I asked those who dwelt nearest to the lake where the earth was which had been dug out. These told me to what place it had been carried away; and I readily believed them, for I knew by report that a similar thing had been done at Nineveh, the city of the Assyrians. There certain thieves formed a design once to carry away the wealth of Sardanapallos son of Ninos, the king, which wealth was very great and was kept in treasure-houses under the earth. Accordingly they began from their own dwelling, and making estimate of their direction they dug under ground towards the king's palace; and the earth which was brought out of the excavation they used to carry away, when night came on, to the river Tigris which flows by the city of Nineveh, until at last they accomplished that which they desired. Similarly, as I heard, the digging of the lake in Egypt was effected, except that it was done not by night but during the day; for as they dug the Egyptians carried to the Nile the earth which was dug out; and the river, when it received it, would naturally bear it away and disperse it. Thus is this lake said to have been dug out.

150. [1] ἔλεγον δὲ οἱ ἐπιχώριοι καὶ ὡς ἐς τὴν Σύρτιν τὴν ἐς Λιβύην ἐκδιδοῖ ἡ λίμνη αὕτη ὑπὸ γῆν, τετραμμένη τὸ πρὸς ἑσπέρην ἐς τὴν μεσόγαιαν παρὰ τὸ ὄρος τὸ ὑπὲρ Μέμφιος. [2] ἐπείτε δὲ τοῦ ὀρύγματος τούτου οὐκ ὥρων τὸν χοῦν οὐδαμοῦ ἐόντα, ἐπιμελὲς γὰρ δή μοι ἦν, εἰρόμην τοὺς ἄγχιστα οἰκέοντας τῆς λίμνης ὅκου εἴη ὁ χοῦς ὁ ἐξορυχθείς. οἳ δὲ ἔφρασάν μοι ἵνα ἐξεφορήθη, καὶ εὐπετέως ἔπειθον· ᾔδεα γὰρ λόγῳ καὶ ἐν Νίνῳ τῇ Ἀσσυρίων πόλι γενόμενον ἕτερον τοιοῦτον. [3] τὰ γὰρ Σαρδαναπάλλου τοῦ Νίνου βασιλέος ἐόντα μεγάλα χρήματα καὶ φυλασσόμενα ἐν θησαυροῖσι καταγαίοισι ἐπενόησαν κλῶπες ἐκφορῆσαι. ἐκ δὴ ὦν τῶν σφετέρων οἰκίων ἀρξάμενοι οἱ κλῶπες ὑπὸ γῆν σταθμεόμενοι ἐς τὰ βασιλήια οἰκία ὤρυσσον, τὸν δὲ χοῦν τὸν ἐκφορεόμενον ἐκ τοῦ ὀρύγματος, ὅκως γένοιτο νύξ, ἐς τὸν Τίγρην ποταμὸν παραρρέοντα τὴν Νίνον ἐξεφόρεον, ἐς ὃ κατεργάσαντο ὅ τι ἐβούλοντο. [4] τοιοῦτον ἕτερον ἤκουσα καὶ κατὰ τὸ τῆς ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ λίμνης ὄρυγμα γενέσθαι, πλὴν οὐ νυκτὸς ἀλλὰ μετ᾽ ἡμέρην ποιεύμενον· ὀρύσσοντας γὰρ τὸν χοῦν τοὺς Αἰγυπτίους ἐς τὸν Νεῖλον φορέειν· ὁ δὲ ὑπολαμβάνων ἔμελλε διαχέειν. ἡ μέν νυν λίμνη αὕτη οὕτω λέγεται ὀρυχθῆναι· 

151. Now the twelve kings continued to rule justly, but in course of time it happened thus:--After sacrifice in the temple of Hephaistos they were about to make libation on the last day of the feast, and the chief-priest, in bringing out for them the golden cups with which they had been wont to pour libations, missed his reckoning and brought eleven only for the twelve kings. Then that one of them who was standing last in order, namely Psammetichos, since he had no cup took off from his head his helmet, which was of bronze, and having held it out to receive the wine he proceeded to make libation: likewise all the other kings were wont to wear helmets and they happened to have them then. Now Psammetichos held out his helmet with no treacherous meaning; but they taking note of that which had been done by Psammetichos and of the oracle, namely how it had been declared to them that whosoever of them should make libation with a bronze cup should be sole king of Egypt, recollecting, I say, the saying of the Oracle, they did not indeed deem it right to slay Psammetichos, since they found by examination that he had not done it with any forethought, but they determined to strip him of almost all his power and to drive him away into the fen-country, and that from the fen- country he should not hold any dealings with the rest of Egypt. 151. [1] τῶν δὲ δυώδεκα βασιλέων δικαιοσύνῃ χρεωμένων, ἀνὰ χρόνον ὡς ἔθυσαν ἐν τῷ ἱρῷ τοῦ Ἡφαίστου, τῇ ὑστάτῃ τῆς ὁρτῆς, μελλόντων κατασπείσειν, ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς ἐξήνεικέ σφι φιάλας χρυσέας, τῇσί περ ἐώθεσαν σπένδειν, ἁμαρτὼν τοῦ ἀριθμοῦ, ἕνδεκα δυώδεκα ἐοῦσι. [2] ἐνθαῦτα ὡς οὐκ εἶχε φιάλην ὁ ἔσχατος ἑστεὼς αὐτῶν Ψαμμήτιχος, περιελόμενος τὴν κυνέην ἐοῦσαν χαλκέην ὑπέσχε τε καὶ ἔσπενδε. κυνέας δὲ καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι ἅπαντες ἐφόρεόν τε βασιλέες καὶ ἐτύγχανον τότε ἔχοντες. [3] Ψαμμήτιχος μέν νυν οὐδενὶ δολερῷ νόῳ χρεώμενος ὑπέσχε τὴν κυνέην· οἳ δὲ ἐν φρενὶ λαβόντες τό τε ποιηθὲν ἐκ Ψαμμητίχου καὶ τὸ χρηστήριον, ὅτι ἐκέχρηστό σφι τὸν χαλκέῃ σπείσαντα αὐτῶν φιάλῃ τοῦτον βασιλέα ἔσεσθαι μοῦνον Αἰγύπτου, ἀναμνησθέντες τοῦ χρησμοῦ κτεῖναι μὲν οὐκ ἐδικαίωσαν Ψαμμήτιχον, ὡς ἀνεύρισκον βασανίζοντες ἐξ οὐδεμιῆς προνοίης αὐτὸν ποιήσαντα, ἐς δὲ τὰ ἕλεα ἔδοξέ σφι διῶξαι ψιλώσαντας τὰ πλεῖστα τῆς δυνάμιος, ἐκ δὲ τῶν ἑλέων ὁρμώμενον μὴ ἐπιμίσγεσθαι τῇ ἄλλῃ Αἰγύπτῳ. 

152. This Psammetichos had formerly been a fugitive from the Ethiopian Sabacos who had killed his father Necos, from him, I say, he had then been a fugitive in Syria; and when the Ethiopian had departed in consequence of the vision of the dream, the Egyptians who were of the district of Saïs brought him back to his own country. Then afterwards, when he was king, it was his fate to be a fugitive a second time on account of the helmet, being driven by the eleven kings into the fen- country. So then holding that he had been grievously wronged by them, he thought how he might take vengeance on those who had driven him out: and when he had sent to the Oracle of Leto in the city of Buto, where the Egyptians have their most truthful Oracle, there was given to him the reply that vengeance would come when men of bronze appeared from the sea. And he was strongly disposed not to believe that bronze men would come to help him; but after no long time had passed, certain Ionians and Carians who had sailed forth for plunder were compelled to come to shore in Egypt, and they having landed and being clad in bronze armour, one of the Egyptians, not having before seen men clad in bronze armour, came to the fen-land and brought a report to Psammetichos that bronze men had come from the sea and were plundering the plain. So he, perceiving that the saying of the Oracle was coming to pass, dealt in a friendly manner with the Ionians and Carians, and with large promises he persuaded them to take his part. Then when he had persuaded them, with the help of those Egyptians who favoured his cause and of these foreign mercenaries he overthrew the kings. 152. [1] τὸν δὲ Ψαμμήτιχον τοῦτον πρότερον φεύγοντα τὸν Αἰθίοπα Σαβακῶν, ὅς οἱ τὸν πατέρα Νεκῶν ἀπέκτεινε, τοῦτον φεύγοντα τότε ἐς Συρίην, ὡς ἀπαλλάχθη ἐκ τῆς ὄψιος τοῦ ὀνείρου ὁ Αἰθίοψ, κατήγαγον Αἰγυπτίων οὗτοι οἳ ἐκ νομοῦ τοῦ Σαΐτεω εἰσί. [2] μετὰ δὲ βασιλεύοντα τὸ δεύτερον πρὸς τῶν ἕνδεκα βασιλέων καταλαμβάνει μιν διὰ τὴν κυνέην φεύγειν ἐς τὰ ἕλεα. [3] ἐπιστάμενος ὦν ὡς περιυβρισμένος εἴη πρὸς αὐτῶν, ἐπενόεε τίσασθαι τοὺς διώξαντας. πέμψαντι δέ οἱ ἐς Βουτοῦν πόλιν ἐς τὸ χρηστήριον τῆς Λητοῦς, ἔνθα δὴ Αἰγυπτίοισι ἐστὶ μαντήιον ἀψευδέστατον, ἦλθε χρησμὸς ὡς τίσις ἥξει ἀπὸ θαλάσσης χαλκέων ἀνδρῶν ἐπιφανέντων. [4] καὶ τῷ μὲν δὴ ἀπιστίη μεγάλη ὑπεκέχυτο χαλκέους οἱ ἄνδρας ἥξειν ἐπικούρους. χρόνου δὲ οὐ πολλοῦ διελθόντος ἀναγκαίη κατέλαβε Ἴωνάς τε καὶ Κᾶρας ἄνδρας κατὰ ληίην ἐκπλώσαντας ἀπενειχθῆναι ἐς Αἴγυπτον, ἐκβάντας δὲ ἐς γῆν καὶ ὁπλισθέντας χαλκῷ ἀγγέλλει τῶν τις Αἰγυπτίων ἐς τὰ ἕλεα ἀπικόμενος τῷ Ψαμμητίχῳ, ὡς οὐκ ἰδὼν πρότερον χαλκῷ ἄνδρας ὁπλισθέντας, ὡς χάλκεοι ἄνδρες ἀπιγμένοι ἀπὸ θαλάσσης λεηλατεῦσι τὸ πεδίον. [5] ὁ δὲ μαθὼν τὸ χρηστήριον ἐπιτελεύμενον φίλα τε τοῖσι Ἴωσι καὶ Καρσὶ ποιέεται καί σφεας μεγάλα ὑπισχνεύμενος πείθει μετ᾽ ἑωυτοῦ γενέσθαι. ὡς δὲ ἔπεισε, οὕτω ἅμα τοῖσι τὰ ἑωυτοῦ βουλομένοισι Αἰγυπτίοισι καὶ τοῖσι ἐπικούροισι καταιρέει τοὺς βασιλέας. 

153. Having thus got power over all Egypt, Psammetichos made for Hephaistos that gateway of the temple at Memphis which is turned towards the South Wind; and he built a court for Apis, in which Apis is kept when he appears, opposite to the gateway of the temple, surrounded all with pillars and covered with figures; and instead of columns there stand to support the roof of the court colossal statues twelve cubits high. Now Apis is in the tongue of the Hellenes Epaphos. 153. [1] κρατήσας δὲ Αἰγύπτου πάσης ὁ Ψαμμήτιχος ἐποίησε τῷ Ἡφαίστῳ προπύλαια ἐν Μέμφι τὰ πρὸς νότον ἄνεμον τετραμμένα, αὐλήν τε τῷ Ἄπι, ἐν τῇ τρέφεται ἐπεὰν φανῇ ὁ Ἆπις, οἰκοδόμησε ἐναντίον τῶν προπυλαίων, πᾶσάν τε περίστυλον ἐοῦσαν καὶ τύπων πλέην· ἀντὶ δὲ κιόνων ὑπεστᾶσι κολοσσοὶ δυωδεκαπήχεες τῇ αὐλῇ. ὁ δὲ Ἆπις κατὰ τὴν Ἑλλήνων γλῶσσαν ἐστὶ Ἔπαφος. 

154. To the Ionians and to the Carians who had helped him Psammetichos granted portions of land to dwell in, opposite to one another with the river Nile between, and these were called "Encampments": these portions of land he gave them, and he paid them besides all that he had promised: moreover he placed with them Egyptian boys to have them taught the Hellenic tongue; and from these, who learnt the language thoroughly, are descended the present class of interpreters in Egypt. Now the Ionians and Carians occupied these portions of land for a long time, and they are towards the sea a little below the city of Bubastis, on that which is called the Pelusian mouth of the Nile. These men king Amasis afterwards removed from thence and established them at Memphis, making them into a guard for himself against the Egyptians: and they being settled in Egypt, we who are Hellenes know by intercourse with them the certainty of all that which happened in Egypt beginning from king Psammetichos and afterwards; for these were the first men of foreign tongue who settled in Egypt: and in the land from which they were removed there still remained down to my time the sheds where their ships were drawn up and the ruins of their houses.

Thus then Psammetichos obtained Egypt:

154. [1] τοῖσι δὲ Ἴωσι καὶ τοῖσι Καρσὶ τοῖσι συγκατεργασαμένοισι αὐτῷ ὁ Ψαμμήτιχος δίδωσι χώρους ἐνοικῆσαι ἀντίους ἀλλήλων, τοῦ Νείλου τὸ μέσον ἔχοντος, τοῖσι οὐνόματα ἐτέθη Στρατόπεδα· τούτους τε δή σφι τοὺς χώρους δίδωσι καὶ τὰ ἄλλα τὰ ὑπέσχετο πάντα ἀπέδωκε. [2] καὶ δὴ καὶ παῖδας παρέβαλε αὐτοῖσι Αἰγυπτίους τὴν Ἑλλάδα γλῶσσαν ἐκδιδάσκεσθαι. ἀπὸ δὲ τούτων ἐκμαθόντων τὴν γλῶσσαν οἱ νῦν ἑρμηνέες ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ γεγόνασι. [3] οἱ δὲ Ἴωνές τε καὶ οἱ Κᾶρες τούτους τοὺς χώρους οἴκησαν χρόνον ἐπὶ πολλόν· εἰσὶ δὲ οὗτοι οἱ χῶροι πρὸς θαλάσσης ὀλίγον ἔνερθε Βουβάστιος πόλιος, ἐπὶ τῷ Πηλουσίῳ καλεομένῳ στόματι τοῦ Νείλου. τούτους μὲν δὴ χρόνῳ ὕστερον βασιλεὺς Ἄμασις ἐξαναστήσας ἐνθεῦτεν κατοίκισε ἐς Μέμφιν, φυλακὴν ἑωυτοῦ ποιεύμενος πρὸς Αἰγυπτίων. [4] τούτων δὲ οἰκισθέντων ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ, οἱ Ἕλληνες οὕτω ἐπιμισγόμενοι τούτοισι τὰ περὶ Αἴγυπτον γινόμενα ἀπὸ Ψαμμητίχου βασιλέος ἀρξάμενοι πάντα καὶ τὰ ὕστερον ἐπιστάμεθα ἀτρεκέως· πρῶτοι γὰρ οὗτοι ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ ἀλλόγλωσσοι κατοικίσθησαν. [5] ἐξ ὧν δὲ ἐξανέστησαν χώρων, ἐν τούτοισι δὲ οἵ τε ὁλκοὶ τῶν νεῶν καὶ τὰ ἐρείπια τῶν οἰκημάτων τὸ μέχρι ἐμεῦ ἦσαν. Ψαμμήτιχος μέν νυν οὕτω ἔσχε Αἴγυπτον.

155. and of the Oracle which is in Egypt I have made mention often before this, and now I will give an account of it, seeing that it is worthy to be described. This Oracle which is in Egypt is sacred to Leto, and it is established in a great city near that mouth of the Nile which is called Sebennytic, as one sails up the river from the sea; and the name of this city where the Oracle is found is Buto, as I have said before in mentioning it. In this Buto there is a temple of Apollo and Artemis; and the temple- house of Leto, in which the Oracle is, is both great in itself and has a gateway of the height of ten fathoms: but that which caused me most to marvel of the things to be seen there, I will now tell. There is in this sacred enclosure a house of Leto made of one single stone as regards both height and length, and of which all the walls are in these two directions equal, each being forty cubits; and for the covering in of the roof there lies another stone upon the top, the cornice measuring four cubits. 155. [1] τοῦ δὲ χρηστηρίου τοῦ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ πολλὰ ἐπεμνήσθην ἤδη, καὶ δὴ λόγον περὶ αὐτοῦ ὡς ἀξίου ἐόντος ποιήσομαι. τὸ γὰρ χρηστήριον τοῦτο τὸ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ ἐστὶ μὲν Λητοῦς ἱρόν, ἐν πόλι δὲ μεγάλῃ ἱδρυμένον κατὰ τὸ Σεβεννυτικὸν καλεόμενον στόμα τοῦ Νείλου, ἀναπλέοντι ἀπὸ θαλάσσης ἄνω. [2] οὔνομα δὲ τῇ πόλι ταύτῃ ὅκου τὸ χρηστήριον ἐστὶ Βουτώ, ὡς καὶ πρότερον ὠνόμασταί μοι. ἱρὸν δὲ ἐστὶ ἐν τῇ Βουτοῖ ταύτῃ Ἀπόλλωνος καὶ Ἀρτέμιδος, καὶ ὅ γε νηὸς τῆς Λητοῦς, ἐν τῷ δὴ τὸ χρηστήριον ἔνι, αὐτός τε τυγχάνει ἐὼν μέγας καὶ τὰ προπύλαια ἔχει ἐς ὕψος δέκα ὀργυιέων. [3] τὸ δέ μοι τῶν φανερῶν ἦν θῶμα μέγιστον παρεχόμενον, φράσω· ἔστι ἐν τῷ τεμένεϊ τούτῳ Λητοῦς νηὸς ἐξ ἑνὸς λίθου πεποιημένος ἔς τε ὕψος καὶ ἐς μῆκος καὶ τοῖχος ἕκαστος τούτοισι ἴσος τεσσεράκοντα πηχέων τούτων ἕκαστον ἐστί, τὸ δὲ καταστέγασμα τῆς ὀροφῆς ἄλλος ἐπίκειται λίθος, ἔχων τὴν παρωροφίδα τετράπηχυν. 

156. This house then of all the things that were to be seen by me in that temple is the most marvellous, and among those which come next is the island called Chemmis. This is situated in a deep and broad lake by the side of the temple at Buto, and it is said by the Egyptians that this island is a floating island. I myself did not see it either floating about or moved from its place, and I feel surprise at hearing of it, wondering if it be indeed a floating island. In this island of which I speak there is a great temple-house of Apollo, and three several altars are set up within, and there are planted in the island many palm-trees and other trees, both bearing fruit and not bearing fruit. And the Egyptians, when they say that it is floating, add this story, namely that in this island, which formerly was not floating, Leto, being one of the eight gods who came into existence first, and dwelling in the city of Buto where she has this Oracle, received Apollo from Isis as a charge and preserved him, concealing him in the island which is said now to be a floating island, at that time when Typhon came after him seeking everywhere and desiring to find the son of Osiris. Now they say that Apollo and Artemis are children of Dionysos and of Isis, and that Leto became their nurse and preserver; and in the Egyptian tongue Apollo is Oros, Demeter is Isis, and Artemis is Bubastis. From this story and from no other Æschylus the son of Euphorion took this which I shall say, wherein he differs from all the preceding poets; he represented namely that Artemis was the daughter of Demeter. For this reason then, they say, it became a floating island.

Such is the story which they tell;

156. [1] οὕτω μέν νυν ὁ νηὸς τῶν φανερῶν μοι τῶν περὶ τοῦτο τὸ ἱρὸν ἐστὶ θωμαστότατον, τῶν δὲ δευτέρων νῆσος ἡ Χέμμις καλευμένη· [2] ἔστι μὲν ἐν λίμνῃ βαθέῃ καὶ πλατέῃ κειμένη παρὰ τὸ ἐν Βουτοῖ ἱρόν, λέγεται δὲ ὑπ᾽ Αἰγυπτίων εἶναι αὕτη ἡ νῆσος πλωτή. αὐτὸς μὲν ἔγωγε οὔτε πλέουσαν οὔτε κινηθεῖσαν εἶδον, τέθηπα δὲ ἀκούων εἰ νῆσος ἀληθέως ἐστὶ πλωτή. [3] ἐν δὲ ὦν ταύτῃ νηός τε Ἀπόλλωνος μέγας ἔνι καὶ βωμοὶ τριφάσιοι ἐνιδρύαται, ἐμπεφύκασι δ᾽ ἐν αὐτῇ φοίνικες συχνοὶ καὶ ἄλλα δένδρεα καὶ καρποφόρα καὶ ἄφορα πολλά. [4] λόγον δὲ τόνδε ἐπιλέγοντες οἱ Αἰγύπτιοι φασὶ εἶναι αὐτὴν πλωτήν, ὡς ἐν τῇ νήσῳ ταύτῃ οὐκ ἐούσῃ πρότερον πλωτῇ Λητώ, ἐοῦσα τῶν ὀκτὼ θεῶν τῶν πρώτων γενομένων, οἰκέουσα δὲ ἐν Βουτοῖ πόλι, ἵνα δή οἱ τὸ χρηστήριον τοῦτο ἐστί, Ἀπόλλωνα παρ᾽ Ἴσιος παρακαταθήκην δεξαμένη διέσωσε κατακρύψασα ἐν τῇ νῦν πλωτῇ λεγομένῃ νήσῳ, ὅτε τὸ πᾶν διζήμενος ὁ Τυφῶν ἐπῆλθε, θέλων ἐξευρεῖν τοῦ Ὀσίριος τὸν παῖδα. [5] Ἀπόλλωνα δὲ καὶ Ἄρτεμιν Διονύσου καὶ Ἴσιος λέγουσι εἶναι παῖδας, Λητοῦν δὲ τροφὸν αὐτοῖσι καὶ σώτειραν γενέσθαι. Αἰγυπτιστὶ δὲ Ἀπόλλων μὲν Ὦρος, Δημήτηρ δὲ Ἶσις, Ἄρτεμις δὲ Βούβαστις. [6] ἐκ τούτου δὲ τοῦ λόγου καὶ οὐδενὸς ἄλλου Αἰσχύλος ὁ Εὐφορίωνος ἥρπασε τὸ ἐγὼ φράσω, μοῦνος δὴ ποιητέων τῶν προγενομένων· ἐποίησε γὰρ Ἄρτεμιν εἶναι θυγατέρα Δήμητρος. τὴν δὲ νῆσον διὰ τοῦτο γενέσθαι πλωτήν. ταῦτα μὲν οὕτω λέγουσι. 

157. but as for Psammetichos, he was king over Egypt for four-and-fifty years, of which for thirty years save one he was sitting before Azotos, a great city of Syria, besieging it, until at last he took it: and this Azotos of all cities about which we have knowledge held out for the longest time under a siege.

157. [1] Ψαμμήτιχος δὲ ἐβασίλευσε Αἰγύπτου τέσσερα καὶ πεντήκοντα ἔτεα, τῶν τὰ ἑνὸς δέοντα τριήκοντα Ἄζωτον τῆς Συρίης μεγάλην πόλιν προσκατήμενος ἐπολιόρκεε, ἐς ὃ ἐξεῖλε. αὕτη δὲ ἡ Ἄζωτος ἁπασέων πολίων ἐπὶ πλεῖστον χρόνον πολιορκεομένη ἀντέσχε τῶν ἡμεῖς ἴδμεν. 

158. The son of Psammetichos was Necos, and he became king of Egypt. This man was the first who attempted the channel leading to the Erythraian Sea, which Dareios the Persian afterwards completed: the length of this is a voyage of four days, and in breadth it was so dug that two triremes could go side by side driven by oars; and the water is brought into it from the Nile. The channel is conducted a little above the city of Bubastis by Patumos the Arabian city, and runs into the Erythraian Sea: and it is dug first along those parts of the plain of Egypt which lie towards Arabia, just above which run the mountains which extend opposite Memphis, where are the stone-quarries,--along the base of these mountains the channel is conducted from West to East for a great way; and after that it is directed towards a break in the hills and tends from these mountains towards the noon-day and the South Wind to the Arabian gulf. Now in the place where the journey is least and shortest from the Northern to the Southern Sea (which is also called Erythraian), that is from Mount Casion, which is the boundary between Egypt and Syria, the distance is exactly a thousand furlongs to the Arabian gulf; but the channel is much longer, since it is more winding; and in the reign of Necos there perished while digging it twelve myriads of the Egyptians. Now Necos ceased in the midst of his digging, because the utterance of an Oracle impeded him, which was to the effect that he was working for the Barbarian: and the Egyptians call all men Barbarians who do not agree with them in speech. 158. [1] Ψαμμητίχου δὲ Νεκῶς παῖς ἐγένετο καὶ ἐβασίλευσε Αἰγύπτου, ὃς τῇ διώρυχι ἐπεχείρησε πρῶτος τῇ ἐς τὴν Ἐρυθρὴν θάλασσαν φερούσῃ, τὴν Δαρεῖος ὁ Πέρσης δεύτερα διώρυξε· τῆς μῆκος ἐστὶ πλόος ἡμέραι τέσσερες, εὖρος δὲ ὠρύχθη ὥστε τριήρεας δύο πλέειν ὁμοῦ ἐλαστρευμένας. [2] ἦκται δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ Νείλου τὸ ὕδωρ ἐς αὐτήν· ἦκται δὲ κατύπερθε ὀλίγον Βουβάστιος πόλιος παρὰ Πάτουμον τὴν Ἀραβίην πόλιν, ἐσέχει δὲ ἐς τὴν Ἐρυθρὴν θάλασσαν. ὀρώρυκται δὲ πρῶτον μὲν τοῦ πεδίου τοῦ Αἰγυπτίου τὰ πρὸς Ἀραβίην ἔχοντα· ἔχεται δὲ κατύπερθε τοῦ πεδίου τὸ κατὰ Μέμφιν τεῖνον ὄρος, ἐν τῷ αἱ λιθοτομίαι ἔνεισι· [3] τοῦ ὦν δὴ ὄρεος τούτου παρὰ τὴν ὑπώρεαν ἦκται ἡ διῶρυξ ἀπ᾽ ἑσπέρης μακρὴ πρὸς τὴν ἠῶ, καὶ ἔπειτα τείνει ἐς διασφάγας, φέρουσα ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρεος πρὸς μεσαμβρίην τε καὶ νότον ἄνεμον ἐς τὸν κόλπον τὸν Ἀράβιον. [4] τῇ δὲ ἐλάχιστον ἐστὶ καὶ συντομώτατον ἐκ τῆς βορηίης θαλάσσης ὑπερβῆναι ἐς τὴν νοτίην καὶ Ἐρυθρὴν τὴν αὐτὴν ταύτην καλεομένην, ἀπὸ τοῦ Κασίου ὄρεος τοῦ οὐρίζοντος Αἴγυπτόν τε καὶ Συρίην, ἀπὸ τούτου εἰσὶ στάδιοι ἀπαρτὶ χίλιοι ἐς τὸν Ἀράβιον κόλπον. [5] τοῦτο μὲν τὸ συντομώτατον, ἡ δὲ διῶρυξ πολλῷ μακροτέρη, ὅσῳ σκολιωτέρη ἐστί· τὴν ἐπὶ Νεκῶ βασιλέος ὀρύσσοντες Αἰγυπτίων ἀπώλοντο δυώδεκα μυριάδες. Νεκῶς μέν νυν μεταξὺ ὀρύσσων ἐπαύσατο μαντηίου ἐμποδίου γενομένου τοιοῦδε, τῷ βαρβάρῳ αὐτὸν προεργάζεσθαι. βαρβάρους δὲ πάντας οἱ Αἰγύπτιοι καλέουσι τοὺς μὴ σφίσι ὁμογλώσσους. 

159. Thus having ceased from the work of the channel, Necos betook himself to waging wars, and triremes were built by him, some for the Northern Sea and others in the Arabian gulf for the Erythraian Sea; and of these the sheds are still to be seen. These ships he used when he needed them; and also on land Necos engaged battle at Magdolos with the Syrians, and conquered them; and after this he took Cadytis, which is a great city of Syria: and the dress which he wore when he made these conquests he dedicated to Apollo, sending it to Branchidai of the Milesians. After this, having reigned in all sixteen years, he brought his life to an end, and handed on the kingdom to Psammis his son.

159. [1] παυσάμενος δὲ τῆς διώρυχος ὁ Νεκῶς ἐτράπετο πρὸς στρατηίας, καὶ τριήρεες αἳ μὲν ἐπὶ τῇ βορηίῃ θαλάσσῃ ἐποιήθησαν, αἳ δ᾽ ἐν τῷ Ἀραβίῳ κόλπῳ ἐπὶ τῇ Ἐρυθρῇ θαλάσσῃ, τῶν ἔτι οἱ ὁλκοὶ ἐπίδηλοι. [2] καὶ ταύτῃσί τε ἐχρᾶτο ἐν τῷ δέοντι καὶ Σύροισι πεζῇ ὁ Νεκῶς συμβαλὼν ἐν Μαγδώλῳ ἐνίκησε, μετὰ δὲ τὴν μάχην Κάδυτιν πόλιν τῆς Συρίης ἐοῦσαν μεγάλην εἷλε. [3] ἐν τῇ δὲ ἐσθῆτι ἔτυχε ταῦτα κατεργασάμενος, ἀνέθηκε τῷ Ἀπόλλωνι πέμψας ἐς Βραγχίδας τὰς Μιλησίων. μετὰ δέ, ἑκκαίδεκα ἔτεα τὰ πάντα ἄρξας, τελευτᾷ, τῷ παιδὶ Ψάμμι παραδοὺς τὴν ἀρχήν. 

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