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MCleombrotus continued saying: "And what is more, it was not alone Empedocles who said that there were evil spirits, hut also Plato, Xenocrates, and Chrysippus. Democritus, too, when he desired and prayed that he might meet fortunate spirits, showed clearly that he believed there were others perverse and evil, having-bad intentions and violent affetions. And as to whether or not they are mortal, I have heard a story related by a personage who is neither a fool nor a liar,--namely Epithersis, father of Æmilianus the orator, whom some of you may have heard declaim. This Epithersis was from the same city as myself, and had been my grammar teacher. He related that he embarked for a voyage to Italy upon a ship loaded with sundry merchandise and a great number of passengers, and he said that toward evening the wind failed them near the Echinades
[paragraph continues] Islands, and their ship drifted so much that it came near the Isles of Paxos, and that the majority of the passengers were awake and many were still drinking after supper, when suddenly a voice was heard proceeding from one of the Paxi Islands, which called Thamus. so loudly that they were all amazed. This Thamus was an Egyptian pilot whom few of those on board knew by name. The two first times that he was called he made no answer, but at the third he replied, and then he who was calling, raising his voice cried out that when he reached the shoals, he should announce that the Great Pan was dead. Epithersis told us that all who heard the cries of that voice were greatly astonished, and forthwith entered into a dispute as to whether it would be better to do what it commanded, or to let things alone and not trouble. Finally, Thamus decided that if there were a good wind when they were passing the place specified, he should sail outside it without saying a word; but if, perchance, there were a calm, and no wind whatever, he should cry aloud what he had heard. When they reached the shoals and flats it chanced there was not a breath of wind, and the sea was exceedingly smooth, wherefore Thamus, looking over the prow towards the land, repeated in a loud voice what he had heard, that the Great Pan was dead. He had scarcely finished speaking when a mighty groaning was heard, not made by a single person but by a great number, who lamented and
were altogether amazed. And inasmuch as many were present, the news of this event was immediately spread throughout the city of Rome in such fashion that the Emperor Tiberius Cæsar sent for Thamus and reposed such great faith in his story that he began to inquire as to who this Pan could be: and the men of letters, of whom there were a goodly number at court, were of the opinion that it must be that Pan who was the son of Penelope and Mercury. Moreover Phillipos had among the company present witnesses who had heard the story from the old man Æmilianus." TRANSLATED FROM PLUTARCH'S "CESSATION OF THE ORACLES," CHAPTER 17.