Aelian, Historical Miscellany

LCL 486: 214-215

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Aelian

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1. Ταχὼς ὁ Αἰγύπτιος ἕως μὲν ἐχρῆτο τῇ ἐπιχωρίῳ διαίτῃ καὶ εὐτελῶς διεβίω, ὑγιεινότατα1 ἀνθρώπων διῆγεν· ἐπεὶ δὲ εἰς Πέρσας ἀφίκετο καὶ εἰς τὴν ἐκείνων τρυφὴν ἐξέπεσε, τὸ ἄηθες τῶν σιτίων οὐκ ἐνεγκών, ὑπὸ δυσεντερίας τὸν βίον κατέστρεψε, τῆς τρυφῆς ἀλλαξάμενος θάνατον.

2. Ὅτι Φερεκύδης <ὁ>2 Πυθαγόρου διδάσκαλος ἐμπεσὼν εἰς τὴν ἀρρωστίαν πρῶτον μὲν ἵδρου ἱδρῶτα θερμὸν ἰξώδη ὅμοιόν πως3 μύξαις, ὕστερον δὲ ἐθηριώθη,4 μετὰ δὲ ἐφθειρίασε. καὶ διαλυομένων τῶν σαρκῶν εἰς τοὺς φθεῖρας ἐπεγένετο τῆξις, καὶ οὕτω τὸν βίον μετήλλαξεν.

3. Ἀριστοτέλης τὰς νῦν Ἡρακλείους στήλας καλουμένας, πρὶν ἢ κληθῆναι τοῦτο, φησὶ Βριάρεω καλεῖσθαι αὐτάς· ἐπεὶ δ᾿ ἐκάθηρε γῆν καὶ θάλατταν Ἡρακλῆς καὶ ἀναμφιλόγως εὐεργέτης ἐγένετο τῶν ἀνθρώπων, τιμῶντες αὐτὸν τὴν μὲν Βριάρεω μνήμην παρ᾿ οὐδὲν ἐποιήσαντο, Ἡρακλείους δὲ προσηγόρευσαν.

  • 1ὑγιεινότατα Her.: -ότατος xΦ (de V non liquet)
  • 2suppl. Her.
  • 3πως Charitonides: ὡς codd.
  • 4ἐθηριώθη J. F. Gronovius: θηριώδη codd.
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Book 5

Book Five

1. The Egyptian Tachos enjoyed the best of health as long as he adhered to the customs of his country and lived modestly.1 But when he moved to Persia and lapsed into its luxurious habits, he could not tolerate the unaccustomed diet and died of dysentery, exchanging luxury for death.

2. Note that Pherecydes the teacher of Pythagoras fell into poor health. At first he suffered from hot viscous sweat like mucus; then he was attacked by malignant sores and eventually by lice. As his flesh dissolved into verminous matter it began to rot, and in this way he ended his days.

3. Aristotle says [fr. 678 R.] that before the pillars of Hercules were so called they were known as the pillars of Briareus. But when Hercules purified both land and sea and became indisputably the benefactor of mankind, men honoured him, named the pillars after Hercules and ceased to honour the memory of Briareus.2

  • 1Tachos, pharaoh 362–360 b.c., was ousted from power and took refuge in Persia.
  • 2The ancients believed that by his labours Heracles had rid the world of various scourges that plagued mankind. Briareus, child of Ge and Uranus, was a monster with 50 heads and 100 hands. He came to be regarded as a typical giant.
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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aelian-historical_miscellany.1997