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The greater portion, then, of this country of which I have spoken was land deposited for the Egyptians as the priests told me, and I myself formed the same judgment; all that lies between the ranges of mountains above Memphis to which I have referred seemed to me to have once been a gulf of the sea, just as the country about Ilion and Teuthrania and Ephesus and the plain of the Maeander, to compare these small things with great. For of the rivers that brought down the stuff to make these lands, there is none worthy to be compared for greatness with even one of the mouths of the Nile, and the Nile has five mouths. There are also other rivers, not so great as the Nile, that have had great effects; I could rehearse their names, but principal among them is the Achelous, which, flowing through Acarnania and emptying into the sea, has already made half of the Echinades Islands mainland.
These verses and this passage prove most clearly that the Cyprian poems are not the work of Homer but of someone else. For the Cyprian poems relate that Alexandrus reached Ilion with Helen in three days from Sparta, having a fair wind and a smooth sea; but according to the Iliad, he wandered from his course in bringing her.
Enough, then, of Homer and the Cyprian poems. But, when I asked the priests whether the Greek account of what happened at Troy were idle or not, they gave me the following answer, saying that they had inquired and knew from Menelaus himself. After the rape of Helen, a great force of Greeks came to the Trojan land on Menelaus' behalf. After disembarking and disposing their forces, they sent messengers to Ilion, one of whom was Menelaus himself. When these were let inside the city walls, they demanded the restitution of Helen and of the property which Alexandrus had stolen from Menelaus and carried off, and they demanded reparation for the wrongs; but the Trojans gave the same testimony then and later, sworn and unsworn: that they did not have Helen or the property claimed, but all of that was in Egypt, and they could not justly make reparation for what Proteus the Egyptian had. But the Greeks, thinking that the Trojans were mocking them, laid siege to the city, until they took it; but
The Egyptians' priests said this, and I myself believe their story about Helen, for I reason thus: had Helen been in Ilion, then with or without the will of Alexandrus she would have been given back to the Greeks. For surely Priam was not so mad, or those nearest to him, as to consent to risk their own persons and their children and their city so that Alexandrus might cohabit with Helen. Even if it were conceded that they were so inclined in the first days, yet when not only many of the Trojans were slain in fighting against the Greeks, but Priam himself lost to death two or three or even more of his sons in every battle (if the poets are to be believed), in this turn of events, had Helen been Priam's own wife, I cannot but think that he would have restored her to the Greeks, if by so doing he could escape from the evils besetting him. Alexandrus was not even heir to the throne, in which case matters might have been in his hands since Priam was old, but Hector, who was an older and
This, then, is how these Persians perished. Hymaees, who had been one of those who went in pursuit of the Ionians who marched on Sardis, now turned towards the Propontis, and there took Cius in Mysia. When he had taken this place and heard that Daurises had left the Hellespont and was marching towards Caria, he left the Propontis and led his army to the Hellespont, making himself master of all the Aeolians who dwell in the territory of Ilium, and of the Gergithae, a remnant of the ancient Trojans. While he was conquering these nations, however, Hymaees himself died of a sickness in the Troad.
From Lydia the army took its course to the river Caicus and the land of Mysia; leaving the Caicus, they went through Atarneus to the city of Carene, keeping the mountain of CaneModern Kara Dagh. on the left. From there they journeyed over the plain of Thebe, passing the city of Adramytteum and the Pelasgian city of Antandrus. Then they came into the territory of Ilium, with Ida on their left. When they had halted for the night at the foot of Ida, a storm of thunder and lightning fell upon them, killing a great crowd of them there.
When the army had come to the river Scamander, which was the first river after the beginning of their march from Sardis that fell short of their needs and was not sufficient for the army and the cattle to drink—arriving at this river, Xerxes ascended to the citadel of Priam, having a desire to see it. After he saw it and asked about everything there, he sacrificed a thousand cattle to Athena of Ilium, and the Magi offered libations to the heroes. After they did this, a panic fell upon the camp in the night. When it was day they journeyed on from there, keeping on their left the cities of Rhoetium and Ophryneum and Dardanus, which borders Abydos,It was about nine miles from Abydos. and on their right the Teucrian Gergithae.