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Menelaus went with Ulysses and Talthybius to Cinyras in Cyprus and tried to persuade him to join the allies. He made a present of breastplates to the absent Agamemnon,1 and swore he would send fifty ships, but he sent only one, commanded by the son of Mygdalion, and the rest he moulded out of earth and launched them in the sea.2

1 Compare Hom. Il. 11.19ff., who describes only one richly decorated breastplate.

2 Compare Eustathius on Hom. Il. 11.20, p. 827, who says that, according to some people, Cinyras “swore to Menelaus at Paphos that he would send fifty ships, but he despatched only one, and the rest he fashioned of earth and sent them with earthen men in them; thus he cunningly evaded his oath by keeping it with an earthenware fleet.” Compare the Townley Scholiast on Hom. Il. 11.20, ed. E. Maass (Oxford, 1887), vol. i. p. 378. Wagner may be right in supposing that this ruse of the Cyprian king was recorded in the epic Cypria, though it is not mentioned in the brief summary of the poem compiled by Proclus. See R. Wagner, Epitoma Vaticana ex Apollodori Bibliotheca, pp. 181ff. A different account of the Greek embassy to Cinyras is given by Alcidamas, Od. 20ff., pp. 181ff., ed. Blass. He says that Cinyras bribed the Greek envoy Palamedes to relieve him from military service, and that, though he promised to send a hundred ships, he sent none at all.

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