Plutarch’s Lives

ὀφθῆναι καὶ μέγας, ὡς οὔποτε πρόσθεν, ὅπλοις δὲ 2λαμπροῖς καὶ φλέγουσι κεκοσμημένος. αὐτὸς μὲν οὖν ἐκπλαγεὶς πρὸς τὴν ὄψιν “Ὦ βασιλεῦ,” φάναι, “τί δὴ παθὼν ἢ διανοηθεὶς ἡμᾶς μὲν ἐν αἰτίαις ἀδίκοις καὶ πονηραῖς, πᾶσαν δὲ τὴν πόλιν ὀρφανὴν ἐν μυρίῳ πένθει προλέλοιπας;” ἐκεῖνον δ᾿ ἀποκρίνασθαι, “Θεοῖς ἔδοξεν, ὦ Πρόκλε, τοσοῦτον ἡμᾶς γενέσθαι μετ᾿ ἀνθρώπων χρόνον, ἐκεῖθεν ὄντας,1 καὶ πόλιν ἐπ᾿ ἀρχῇ καὶ δόξῃ μεγίστῃ κτίσαντας αὖθις οἰκεῖν οὐρανόν. ἀλλὰ χαῖρε, καὶ φράζε Ῥωμαίοις ὅτι σωφροσύνην μετ᾿ ἀνδρείας ἀσκοῦντες ἐπὶ πλεῖστον ἀνθρωπίνης ἀφίξονται δυνάμεως. ἐγὼ δὲ ὑμῖν εὐμενὴς ἔσομαι δαίμων 3Κυρῖνος.” ταῦτα πιστὰ μὲν εἶναι τοῖς Ῥωμαίοις ἐδόκει διὰ τὸν τρόπον τοῦ λέγοντος καὶ διὰ τὸν ὅρκον· οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ δαιμόνιόν τι συνεφάψασθαι πάθος ὅμοιον ἐνθουσιασμῷ· μηδένα γὰρ ἀντειπεῖν, ἀλλὰ πᾶσαν ὑπόνοιαν καὶ διαβολὴν ἀφέντας εὔχεσθαι Κυρίνῳ καὶ θεοκλυτεῖν ἐκεῖνον.

4Ἔοικε μὲν οὖν ταῦτα τοῖς ὑφ᾿ Ἑλλήνων περί τε Ἀριστέου τοῦ Προκοννησίου καὶ Κλεομήδους τοῦ Ἀστυπαλαιέως μυθολογουμένοις. Ἀριστέαν μὲν γὰρ ἔν τινι κναφείῳ τελευτῆσαί φασι, καὶ τὸ σῶμα μετιόντων αὐτοῦ τῶν φίλων ἀφανὲς οἴχεσθαι· λέγειν δέ τινας εὐθὺς ἐξ ἀποδημίας ἥκοντας ἐντυχεῖν Ἀριστέᾳ τὴν ἐπὶ Κρότωνος πορευομένῳ· Κλεομήδη δέ, ῥώμῃ καὶ μεγέθει σώματος ὑπερφυᾶ γενόμενον ἔμπληκτόν τε τῷ τρόπῳ καὶ μανικὸν ὄντα, πολλὰ δρᾶν βίαια, καὶ τέλος ἔν



to meet him, fair and stately to the eye as never before, and arrayed in bright and shining armour. He himself, then, affrighted at the sight, had said: “O King, what possessed thee, or what purpose hadst thou, that thou hast left us patricians a prey to unjust and wicked accusations, and the whole city sorrowing without end at the loss of its father? “Whereupon Romulus had replied: “It was the pleasure of the gods, O Proculus, from whom I came, that I should be with mankind only a short time, and that after founding a city destined to be the greatest on earth for empire and glory, I should dwell again in heaven. So farewell, and tell the Romans that if they practise self-restraint, and add to it valour, they will reach the utmost heights of human power. And I will be your propitious deity, Quirinus.” These things seemed to the Romans worthy of belief, from the character of the man who related them, and from the oath which he had taken; moreover, some influence from heaven also, akin to inspiration, laid hold upon their emotions, for no man contradicted Proculus, but all put aside suspicion and calumny and prayed to Quirinus, and honoured him as a god.

Now this is like the fables which the Greeks tell about Aristeas of Proconnesus1 and Cleomedes of Astypaleia.2 For they say that Aristeas died in a fuller’s shop, and that when his friends came to fetch away his body, it had vanished out of sight; and presently certain travellers returning from abroad said they had met Aristeas journeying towards Croton. Cleomedes also, who was of gigantic strength and stature, of uncontrolled temper, and like a mad man, is said to have done many deeds

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plutarch-lives_romulus.1914