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[38]

But no trace of the ancient city survives; and naturally so, for while the cities all round it were sacked, but not completely destroyed, yet that city was so utterly demolished that all the stones were taken from it to rebuild the others. At any rate, Archaeanax of Mitylene is said to have built a wall round Sigeium with stones taken from there. Sigeium was seized by Athenians under Phrynon the Olympian victor, although the Lesbians laid claim to almost the whole of the Troad. Most of the settlements in the Troad belong, in fact, to the Lesbians, and some endure to this day, while others have disappeared. Pittacus of Mitylene, one of the Seven Wise Men, as they are called, sailed against Phrynon the general1 and for a time carried on the war, but with poor management and ill consequences. It was at this time that the poet Alcaeus says that he himself, being sorely pressed in a certain battle, threw away his arms. He addresses his account of it to a certain herald, whom he had bidden to report to the people at home that "Alcaeus is safe, but his arms have been hung up as an offering to Ares by the Attic army in the temple of Athena Glaucopis."2 But later, on being challenged to single combat by Phrynon, he took up his fishing-tackle, ran to meet him, entangled him in his fishing net, and stabbed and slew him with trident and dagger. But since the war still went on, Periander was chosen by both sides as arbiter and ended it.

1 The Athenian general.

2 Only this fragment (Bergk.) of Alcaeus' poem, addressed to Melanippus (see Hdt. 5.95), is preserved. But the text has been so badly mutilated by the copyists that none of the conjectural restorations can with certainty be adopted; and hence the translator can give only the general sense of the passage. However, the whole reference to Alcaeus appears to be merely a note that has crept into the text from the margin (Meineke and Leaf omit the whole passage).

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load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
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