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[8]

Having taken a Phrygian prisoner, Ulysses compelled him to write a letter of treasonable purport ostensibly sent by Priam to Palamedes; and having buried gold in the quarters of Palamedes, he dropped the letter in the camp. Agamemnon read the letter, found the gold, and delivered up Palamedes to the allies to be stoned as a traitor.1


1 The Machiavellian device by which the crafty Ulysses revenged himself on Palamedes for forcing him to go to the war is related more fully by a Scholiast on Eur. Or. 432 and Hyginus, Fab. 105. According to the Scholiast, a servant of Palamedes was bribed to secrete the forged letter and the gold under his master's bed, where they were discovered and treated as damning evidence of treason. According to Hyginus, Ulysses had recourse to a still more elaborate stratagem in order to bury the gold in the earth under the tent of Palamedes. Compare Serv. Verg. A. 2.81; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Achill. i.93; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 12, 140ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 35; Second Vatican Mythographer 200). An entirely different account of the plot against Palamedes is told by Dictys Cretensis ii.15. He says that Ulysses and Diomede induced him to descend into a well, and then buried him under rocks which they hurled down on the top of him.

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