Herodotus, The Persian Wars

LCL 117: 452-453

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Herodotus

145. Ἐν Ἕλλησι μέν νυν νεώτατοι τῶν θεῶν νομίζονται εἶναι Ἡρακλέης τε καὶ Διόνυσος καὶ Πάν, παρ᾿ Αἰγυπτίοισι δὲ Πὰν μὲν ἀρχαιότατος καὶ τῶν ὀκτὼ τῶν πρώτων λεγομένων θεῶν, Ἡρακλέης δὲ τῶν δευτέρων τῶν δυώδεκα λεγομένων εἶναι, Διόνυσος δὲ τῶν τρίτων, οἳ ἐκ τῶν δυώδεκα θεῶν ἐγένοντο. Ἡρακλέι μὲν δὴ ὅσα αὐτοὶ Αἰγύπτιοι φασὶ εἶναι ἔτεα ἐς Ἄμασιν βασιλέα, δεδήλωταί μοι πρόσθε· Πανὶ δὲ ἔτι τούτων πλέονα λέγεται εἶναι, Διονύσῳ δ᾿ ἐλάχιστα τούτων, καὶ τούτῳ πεντακισχίλια καὶ μύρια λογίζονται εἶναι ἐς Ἄμασιν βασιλέα. καὶ ταῦτα Αἰγύπτιοι ἀτρεκέως φασὶ ἐπίστασθαι, αἰεί τε λογιζόμενοι καὶ αἰεὶ ἀπογραφόμενοι τὰ ἔτεα. Διονύσῳ μέν νυν τῷ ἐκ Σεμέλης τῆς Κάδμου λεγομένῳ γενέσθαι κατὰ ἑξακόσια ἔτεα καὶ χίλια μάλιστα ἐστὶ ἐς ἐμέ, Ἡρακλέι δὲ τῷ Ἀλκμήνης κατὰ εἰνακόσια ἔτεα· Πανὶ δὲ τῷ ἐκ Πηνελόπης (ἐκ ταύτης γὰρ καὶ Ἑρμέω λέγεται γενέσθαι ὑπὸ Ἑλλήνων ὁ Πάν) ἐλάσσω ἔτεα ἐστὶ τῶν Τρωικῶν, κατὰ ὀκτακόσια μάλιστα ἐς ἐμέ.

146. Τούτων ὦν ἀμφοτέρων πάρεστι χρᾶσθαι τοῖσί τις πείσεται λεγομένοισι μᾶλλον· ἐμοὶ δ᾿ ὦν ἡ περὶ αὐτῶν γνώμη ἀποδέδεκται. εἰ μὲν γὰρ φανεροί τε ἐγένοντο καὶ κατεγήρασαν καὶ οὗτοι ἐν τῇ Ἑλλάδι, κατά περ Ἡρακλέης ὁ ἐξ Ἀμφιτρύωνος γενόμενος, καὶ δὴ καὶ Διόνυσος ὁ ἐκ Σεμέλης καὶ Πὰν ὁ ἐκ Πηνελόπης γενόμενος, ἔφη ἄν τις καὶ τούτους ἄλλους ἄνδρας γενομένους ἔχειν τὰ ἐκείνων οὐνόματα τῶν προγεγονότων θεῶν. νῦν δὲ Διόνυσόν τε λέγουσι οἱ Ἕλληνες ὡς αὐτίκα γενόμενον ἐς τὸν μηρὸν ἐνερράψατο Ζεὺς καὶ

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Book II

145. Among the Greeks, Heracles, Dionysus, and Pan are held to be the youngest of the gods. But in Egypt Pan1 is the most ancient of these and is one of the eight gods who are said to be the first of all, Heracles belongs to the second dynasty (that of the so-called twelve gods), and Dionysus to the third, which came after the twelve. How many years there were between Heracles and the reign of Amasis, I have already shown; Pan is said to be earlier still; the years between Dionysus and Amasis are the fewest, and they are reckoned by the Egyptians at fifteen thousand. Of all this the Egyptians claim to have certain knowledge, seeing that they had always reckoned the years and chronicled them in writing. Now the Dionysus who was called the son of Semele, daughter of Cadmus, was about sixteen hundred years before my time, and Heracles son of Alcmene about nine hundred years; and Pan the son of Penelope (for according to the Greeks Penelope and Hermes were the parents of Pan) was about eight hundred years before me, and thus of a later date than the Trojan war.

146. With regard to these two, Pan and Dionysus, a man may follow whatsoever story he deems most credible; but I here declare my own opinion concerning them:—Had Dionysus son of Semele and Pan son of Penelope been made manifest in Hellas and lived there to old age, like Heracles the son of Amphitryon, it might have been said that they too (like Heracles) were but men, named after the older Pan and Dionysus, the gods of antiquity; but as it is, the Greek story has it that no sooner was Dionysus born than Zeus sewed him up in his thigh and carried

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.herodotus-persian_wars.1920