previous next
[6] Another fallacy is derived from accident; for instance, when Polycrates says of the mice, that, they rendered great service by gnawing the bowstrings.1 Or if one were to say that nothing is more honorable than to be invited to a dinner, for because he was not invited Achilles was angry with the Achaeans at Tenedos; whereas he was really angry because he had been treated with disrespect, but this was an accident due to his not having been invited.2

1 Hdt. 2.141. The story was that, when Sennacherib invaded Egypt, a host of field-mice devoured all the quivers, bowstrings and leather shield-holders of the Assyrians. Apollo was called Smintheus ( σμίνθος, mouse) and was represented on coins with a mouse in his hand, either as the mouse-slayer and protector of crops, or because the animal was sacred to him. The story, alluded to elsewhere, was of Greek, not of Egyptian origin. Similar panegyrics on ridiculous things or animals included pots, counters, salt, flies, bees, and such subjects as death, sleep, and food.

2 Sophocles, The Gathering of the GreeksT.G.F. p. 161), a satyric drama. His not being invited was a mere accident of the disrespect.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Notes (E. M. Cope, 1877)
load focus Greek (W. D. Ross, 1959)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Tenedos (1)
Egypt (Egypt) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: