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The greater men's fondness for learning about things that are famous and the greater the number of men who have talked about them, the greater the censure, if one is not master of the historical facts. For example, in his Collection of the Rivers, Callimachus says that it makes him laugh if anyone makes bold to write that the Athenian virgins "draw pure liquid from the Eridanus,"1 from which even cattle would hold aloof. Its sources are indeed existent now, with pure and potable water, as they say, outside the Gates of Diochares, as they are called, near the Lyceium;2 but in earlier times there was also a fountain near by which was constructed by man, with abundant and excellent water; and even if the water is not so now, why should it be a thing to wonder at, if in early times the water was abundant and pure, and therefore also potable, but in later times underwent a change? However, it is not permitted me to linger over details, since they are so numerous, nor yet, on the other hand, to pass by them all in silence without even mentioning one or another of them in a summary way.

1 Authorship unknown (see Callimachus Fr. 100e (Schneider)

2 On the different views as to the position and course of the Eridanus at Athens, see Frazer, note on Paus. 1.19.5

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load focus Greek (1877)
load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
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