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Diodorus of Sicily

κατακαύσειν· ἐπεὶ δὲ αὐτὸν ἑώρα προθυμούμενον καὶ εἰς τὴν τοῦ τετελευτηκότος τιμὴν τὸ ζῆν ἐπιδιδόντα, τὸ τηνικαῦτα λήξας τῆς ὀργῆς ἀπέλυσε τῆς τιμωρίας τὸν ἀνελόντα, τὴν ἰδίαν τύχην, ἀλλ᾿ οὐ τὴν ἐκείνου προαίρεσιν αἰτιώμενος. ὁ δὲ Ἄδραστος οὐδὲν ἧττον κατ᾿ ἰδίαν ἐπὶ τὸν Ἄτυος τάφον πορευθεὶς ἑαυτὸν κατέσφαξεν.

(Const. Exc. 2 (1), pp. 219–220.)

30. Ὅτι ὁ Φάλαρις ἰδὼν περιστερῶν πλῆθος ὑφ᾿ ἑνὸς ἱέρακος διωκόμενον ἔφη, Ὁρᾶτε, ὦ ἄνδρες, τοσοῦτο πλῆθος ὑφ᾿ ἑνὸς διωκόμενον διὰ δειλίαν; ἐπείτοι γε εἰ τολμήσειαν ἐπιστρέψαι, ῥᾳδίως τοῦ διώκοντος ἂν περιγένοιντο. (αὐτὸς δὲ πεπλασμένως ἔλεγεν· τὴν μὲν γὰρ νίκην ἀρετῇ καὶ οὐ πολυπληθίᾳ χειρῶν περιγίνεσθαι.)1 καὶ ἐκ τούτου τοῦ λόγου ἀπέβαλε τὴν δυναστείαν, ὡς γέγραπται ἐν τῷ περὶ διαδοχῆς βασιλέων.

31. Ὅτι Κροῖσος ἐπὶ Κῦρον τὸν Πέρσην ἐκστρατεύων ἐπύθετο τοῦ μαντείου. ὁ δὲ χρησμός,

Κροῖσος Ἅλυν διαβὰς μεγάλην ἀρχὴν καταλύσει.

ὁ δὲ τὸ ἀμφίβολον τοῦ χρησμοῦ κατὰ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ προαίρεσιν ἐκδεξάμενος ἐδυστύχησεν.

2Ὅτι πάλιν ἐπηρώτησεν, εἰ πολὺν χρόνον ἕξει τὴν δυναστείαν. εἶπε δὲ τὰ ἔπη ταῦτα,

ἀλλ᾿ ὅταν ἡμίονος βασιλεὺς Μήδοισι γένηται,

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Fragments of Book IX

alive; but when he saw that Adrastus was ready and willing to give his life in punishment for the dead boy, he thereupon abandoned his anger and gave up his thought of punishing the slayer, laying the blame upon his own fortune and not upon the intent of Adrastus. Nevertheless Adrastus, on his own initiative, went to the tomb of Atys and slew himself upon it.

30. Phalaris, seeing a multitude of doves being pursued by a single hawk, remarked, “Do you observe, sirs, how fear will make so great a multitude flee before a single pursuer? And yet if they should summon the courage to turn about, they would easily overcome their pursuer.” (But it was Phalaris himself who was falsifying; for the victory was won by courage and not by superiority of numbers.)1 And as a result of this speech Phalaris lost his dominion, as it is recorded in the section “On the Succession of Kings.”

31. When Croesus was taking the field2 against Cyrus the Persian, he made inquiry of the oracle. And the answer ran:

If Croesus crosses Halys, a mighty realm Will he destroy.

He received and interpreted the ambiguous answer of the oracle in the light of his own purpose and so came to grief.

Croesus inquired a second time whether he was to enjoy a rule of long duration. And the oracle spoke the following verses:

The day a mule becomes the king of Medes,

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.diodorus_siculus-library_history.1933