previous next
[115] 56. "But now I come to you,
Apollo, sacred guard of earth's true core,
Whence first came frenzied, wild prophetic words.
Chrysippus filled a whole volume with your oracles2 ; of these some, as I think, were false; some came true by chance, as happens very often even in ordinary speech; some were so intricate and obscure that their interpreter needs an interpreter and the oracles themselves must be referred back to the oracle; and some so equivocal that they require a dialectician to construe them. For example, when the following oracular response was made to Asia's richest king:
When Croesus o'er the river Halys goes
He will a mighty kingdom overthrow,
Croesus thought that he would overthrow his enemy's kingdom, whereas he overthrew his own.

1 The author of these lines is unknown; umbilicus terrarum (ὀμφαλὸς γῆς), because it was supposed to be the centre of the earth.

2 Cf. i. 3. 6, i. 19. 37, i. 50. 115.

3 In Greek Κροῖσος Ἅλυν διαβὰς μεγάλην ἀρχὴν καταλύσει.

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 Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (C. F. W. Müller, 1915)
load focus Latin (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: