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Herodotus' HISTORY BOOK 4 (MELPOMENE) Complete

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14. As to Aristeas who composed [15] this, I have said already whence he was; and I will tell also the tale which I heard about him in Proconnesos and Kyzicos. They say that Aristeas, who was in birth inferior to none of the citizens, entered into a fuller's shop in Proconnesos and there died; and the fuller closed his workshop and went away to report the matter to those who were related to the dead man. And when the news had been spread abroad about the city that Aristeas was dead, a man of Kyzicos who had come from the town of Artake entered into controversy with those who said so, and declared that he had met him going towards Kyzicos and had spoken with him: and while he was vehement in dispute, those who were related to the dead man came to the fuller's shop with the things proper in order to take up the corpse for burial; and when the house was opened, Aristeas was not found there either dead or alive. In the seventh year after this he appeared at Proconnesos and composed those verses which are now called by the Hellenes the Arimaspeia, and having composed them he disappeared the second time. 15. So much is told by these cities; and what follows I know happened to the people of Metapontion in Italy [16] two hundred [17] and forty years after the second disappearance of Aristeas, as I found by putting together the evidence at Proconnesos and Metapontion. The people of Metapontion say that Aristeas himself appeared in their land and bade them set up an altar of Apollo and place by its side a statue bearing the name of Aristeas of Proconnesos; for he told them that to their land alone of all the Italiotes [18] Apollo had come, and he, who now was Aristeas, was accompanying him, being then a raven when he accompanied the god. Having said this he disappeared; and the Metapontines say that they sent to Delphi and asked the god what the apparition of the man meant: and the Pythian prophetess bade them obey the command of the apparition, and told them that if they obeyed, it would be the better for them. They therefore accepted this answer and performed the commands; and there stands a statue now bearing the name of Aristeas close by the side of the altar dedicated to Apollo, [19] and round it stand laurel trees; and the altar is set up in the market-place. Let this suffice which has been said about Aristeas.

[15] {poiesas}: some authorities have {eipas}.

[16] Italy means for Herodotus only the Southern part of the peninsula.

[17] {diekosioisi}: so the best authorities; others have {priekosioisi}.

[18] {'Italioteon}, i.e. Hellenic settlers in Italy.

[19] {to agalmati to 'Apollonos}: {agalma} is used for anything dedicated to a god, most commonly the sacred image.

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