Herodotus, The Persian Wars

LCL 117: 274-275

Go To Section
Go To Section
Tools

Herodotus

Β

1. Τελευτησαντος δὲ Κύρου παρέλαβε τὴν βασιληίην Καμβύσης, Κύρου ἐὼν παῖς καὶ Κασσανδάνης τῆς Φαρνάσπεω θυγατρός, τῆς προαποθανούσης Κῦρος αὐτός τε μέγα πένθος ἐποιήσατο καὶ τοῖσι ἄλλοισι προεῖπε πᾶσι τῶν ἦρχε πένθος ποιέεσθαι. ταύτης δὴ τῆς γυναικὸς ἐὼν παῖς καὶ Κύρου Καμβύσης Ἴωνας μὲν καὶ Αἰολέας ὡς δούλους πατρωίους ἐόντας ἐνόμιζε, ἐπὶ δὲ Αἴγυπτον ἐποιέετο στρατηλασίην ἄλλους τε παραλαβὼν τῶν ἦρχε καὶ δὴ καὶ Ἑλλήνων τῶν ἐπεκράτεε.

2. Οἱ δὲ Αἰγύπτιοι, πρὶν μὲν ἢ Ψαμμήτιχον σφέων βασιλεῦσαι, ἐνόμιζον ἑωυτοὺς πρώτους γενέσθαι πάντων ἀνθρώπων· ἐπειδὴ δὲ Ψαμμήτιχος βασιλεύσας ἠθέλησε εἰδέναι οἵτινες γενοίατο πρῶτοι, ἀπὸ τούτου νομίζουσι Φρύγας προτέρους γενέσθαι ἑωυτῶν, τῶν δὲ ἄλλων ἑωυτούς. Ψαμμήτιχος δὲ ὡς οὐκ ἐδύνατο πυνθανόμενος πόρον οὐδένα τούτου ἀνευρεῖν, οἳ γενοίατο πρῶτοι ἀνθρώπων, ἐπιτεχνᾶται τοιόνδε. παιδία δύο νεογνὰ ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἐπιτυχόντων δίδωσι ποιμένι τρέφειν ἐς τὰ ποίμνια τροφήν τινα τοιήνδε, ἐντειλάμενος μηδένα ἀντίον αὐτῶν μηδεμίαν φωνὴν ἱέναι, ἐν στέγῃ δὲ ἐρήμῃ ἐπ᾿ ἑωυτῶν κέεσθαι αὐτά, καὶ τὴν ὥρην ἐπαγινέειν σφι αἶγας, πλήσαντα δὲ γάλακτος τἆλλα διαπρήσσεσθαι· ταῦτα δὲ ἐποίεέ τε καὶ ἐνετέλλετο Ψαμμήτιχος θέλων ἀκοῦσαι

274

Book II

Book II

1. After the death of Cyrus Cambyses inherited his throne. He was the son of Cyrus and Cassandane daughter of Pharnaspes, for whom, when she died before him, Cyrus himself mourned deeply and bade all his subjects mourn also. Cambyses was the son of this woman and Cyrus. He considered the Ionians and Aeolians as slaves inherited from his father, and prepared an expedition against Egypt, taking with him, with others subject to him, some of the Greeks over whom he held sway.

2. Now before Psammetichus became king of Egypt,1 the Egyptians deemed themselves to be the oldest nation on earth. But ever since he desired to learn, on becoming king, what nation was oldest, they have considered that, though they came before all other nations, the Phrygians are older still. Psammetichus, being nowise able to discover by inquiry what men had first come into being, devised a plan whereby he took two newborn children of common men and gave them to a shepherd to bring up among his flocks. He gave charge that none should speak any word in their hearing; they were to lie by themselves in a lonely hut, and in due season the shepherd was to bring goats and give the children their milk and do all else needful. Psammetichus did this, and gave this charge, because he desired to hear what speech

275
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.herodotus-persian_wars.1920