Aelian, Historical Miscellany

LCL 486: 244-245

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1. Σεμίραμιν τὴν Ἀσσυρίαν ἄλλοι μὲν ἄλλως ᾄδουσιν· ὡραιοτάτη δὲ ἐγένετο γυναικῶν, εἰ καὶ ἀφελέστερον ἐχρῆτο τῷ κάλλει. ἀφικομένη δὲ πρὸς τὸν τῶν Ἀσσυρίων βασιλέα κλητὴ κατὰ κλέος τῆς ὥρας, ὁ δὲ ἐντυχὼν τῇ ἀνθρώπῳ ἠράσθη αὐτῆς. ἡ δὲ ᾔτησεν ἐκ τοῦ βασιλέως τὴν βασίλειον στολὴν λαβεῖν [δῶρον]1 καὶ πέντε ἡμερῶν2 τῆς Ἀσίας ἄρξαι καὶ <πάντας>3 τὰ ὑπ᾿ αὐτῆς4 προσταττόμενα δρᾶσαι. καὶ οὐδὲ τῆς αἰτήσεως ἠτύχησεν. ἐπεὶ δὲ ἐκάθισεν αὐτὴν ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐπὶ τοῦ θρόνου καὶ ἔγνω διὰ χειρὸς καὶ γνώμης ἔχουσα πάντα, προσέταξε τοῖς δορυφόροις αὐτὸν τὸν βασιλέα κτεῖναι· καὶ οὕτω τὴν τῶν Ἀσσυρίων ἀρχὴν κατέσχε. λέγει δὲ ταῦτα Δείνων.

2. Στράτων ὁ Σιδώνιος λέγεται τρυφῇ καὶ πολυτελείᾳ ὑπερβάλλεσθαι5 σπεῦσαι ἀνθρώπους πάντας. καὶ Θεόπομπος ὁ Χῖος παραβάλλει αὐτοῦ τὸν βίον τῇ τῶν Φαιάκων διαίτῃ, ἥνπερ καὶ Ὅμηρος κατὰ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ μεγαλόνοιαν, ὥσπερ εἴθιστο, ἐξετραγῴδησεν. τούτῳ

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Book 7

Book Seven

1. Semiramis of Assyria has been variously celebrated by different authors. She was the most attractive of women, even if she was rather careless of her appearance. When she appeared before the Assyrian king,1 summoned because of her notorious beauty, he fell in love with her at their first encounter. She asked the king for royal dress and five days rule over Asia, with everyone carrying out her orders. She was not refused. When the king placed her on the throne and she realised that everything was in her hands and subject to her will, she instructed the bodyguards to kill the king, and in this way she acquired the kingdom of Assyria. This is the account of Dinon [FGrH 690 F 7].2

2. Straton of Sidon is said to have been intent on outdoing everyone in luxurious and expensive living.3 Theopompus of Chios [FGrH 115 F 114] compares his existence to that of the Phaeacians, which Homer [Odyssey 8.248] celebrated with his customary magnificence.4 But

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aelian-historical_miscellany.1997