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 Ephorus relates that the Thracians, after making treaty with the Bœotians, attacked them by night, when encamped in a careless manner during a time of peace. The Thracians when reproached, and accused of breaking the treaty, replied, that they had not broken it, for the conditions were ‘by day,’ whereas they had made the attack by night, whence the common proverb, ‘a Thracian shuffle.’ The Pelasgi and the Bœotians also went during the war to consult the oracle. He cannot tell, he says, what answer was given to the Pelasgi, but the prophetess replied to the Bœotians that they would prosper by committing some act of impiety. The messengers sent to consult the oracle suspecting the prophetess of favouring the Pelasgi on account of their relationship, (for the temple had originally belonged to the Pelasgi,) seized the woman, and threw her upon a burning pile, considering, that whether her conduct bad been right or wrong, in either case they were right; for if she had uttered a deceitful answer she was duly punished; but if not, they had only complied with the command of the oracle. Those in charge of the temple did not like to put to death, particularly in the temple, the perpetrators of this act without a formal judgment, and therefore subjected them to a trial. They were summoned before the priestesses, who were also the prophetesses, being the two survivors out of the three. The Bœotians alleged that there was no law permitting women to act as judges; an equal number of men were therefore chosen. The men acquitted; the women condemned. As the votes were equal, those for acquittal prevailed. Hence at Dodona it is to the Bœotians only that men deliver oracles. The prophetesses however give a different meaning to the answer of the oracle, and say, that the god enjoins the Bœotians to steal the tripods used at home, and to send them annually to Dodona. This they did, for they were in the habit of carrying away by night some of the dedicated tripods, which they concealed in their clothes, in order to convey them clandestinely as offerings to Dodona.
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