Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 352: 644-645

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Pliny: Natural History

Ardalus instituit. saltationem armatam Curetes docuere, pyrrichen Pyrrus, utramque in Creta. 205versum heroum Pythio oraculo debemus; de poematum origine magna quaestio; ante Troianum bellum probantur fuisse. prosam orationem condere Pherecydes Syrius instituit Cyri regis aetate, historiam Cadmus Milesius, ludos gymnicos in Arcadia Lycaon, funebres Acastus in Iolco, post eum Theseus in Isthmo, Hercules Olympiae; athleticam Pytheus, pilam lusoriam Gyges Lydus; picturam Aegypti et in Graecia Euchir Daedali cognatus ut Aristoteli placet, ut Theophrasto Polygnotus Atheniensis.

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Nave primus in Graeciam ex Aegypto Danaus advenit; antea ratibus navigabatur inventis in Mari Rubro inter insulas a rege Erythra. reperiuntur qui Mysos et Troianos priores excogitasse in Hellesponto putent cum transirent adversus Thracas. etiamnunc in Britannico oceano vitilis corio circumsutae fiunt, in Nilo ex papyro ac scirpo et harundine. 207longa nave Iasonem primum navigasse Philostephanus auctor est, Hegesias Parhalum, Ctesias Samiramin, Archemachus Aegaeonem, biremem Damastes Erythraeos fecisse, triremem Thucydides Aminoclen

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Book VII

Ardalus of Troezen instituted singing to the flute. The Curetes taught dancing in armour, Pyrrhus the Pyrrhic dance; both of there were in Crete. Hexameter verse we owe to the Pythian oracle, but as to the origin of poetry there is much debate, though it is proved to have existed before the Trojan War. Pherecydes of Syria instituted prose composition in the period of King Cyrus, Cadmus of Miletus history; gymnastic games were started by Lycaon in Arcadia, funeral games by Acastus in Iolcus, and subsequently by Theseus at the Isthmus and by Hercules at Olympia; wrestling by Pytheus, the sport of ball-throwing by Gyges of Lydia; painting by the Egyptians, and in Greece by Euchir the kinsman of Daedalus according to Aristotle, but according to Theophrastus by Polygnotus of Athens.

Danaus first came from Egypt to Greece by ship;Navigation, development of. before that time rafts were used for navigation, having been invented by King Erythras for use between the islands in the Red Sea. Persons are found who think that vessels were devised earlier on the Hellespont by the Mysians and Trojans when they crossed to war against the Thracians. Even now in the British ocean coracles are made of wicker with hide sown round it, and on the Nile canoes are made of papyrus, rushes and reeds. The first voyage made in a long ship is attributed by Philostephanus to Jason, by Hegesias to Parhalus, by Ctesias to Samiramis, and by Archemachus to Aegaeo. Further advances were as follows:—

VesselInventorAuthority
double-banked galley triremethe Erythraeans Aminocles of CorinthDamastes Thucydides
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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938