previous next
Question 39. Why do the Arcadians stone those that go willingly into the Lycaeum, while those that go in ignorantly they carry forth to Eleutherae?

Solution. Is it on the ground that they gained their liberty by being thus absolved, that the story has gained [p. 283] credit? And is this saying ‘to Eleutherae’ the same as ‘into the region of security,’ or ‘thou shalt come to the seat of pleasure’? Or is the reason to be rendered according to that fabulous story, that of all the sons of Lycaon Eleuther and Lebadus alone were free from that conspiracy against Jupiter, and fled into Boeotia, where the Lebadenses use the like civil polity to that of the Arcadians, and therefore they send them to Eleutherae that enter unwittingly into the inaccessible temple of Jupiter? Or is it (as Architimus saith in his remarks on Arcadia) that some that went into the Lycaeum unawares were delivered up to the Phliasians by the Arcadians, and by the Phliasians to the Megarians, and by the Megarians to the Thebans which inhabit about Eleutherae, where they are detained under rain, thunder, and other direful judgments from Heaven; and upon this account some say this place was called Eleutherae. But the report is not true that he that enters into the Lycaeum casts no shadow, though it hath had a firm belief. And what if this be the reason of that report, that the air converted into clouds looks darkly on them that go in? Or that he that goes in falls down dead?—for the Pythagoreans say that the souls of the deceased do neither give a shadow nor wink. Or is it that the sun only makes a shadow, and the law bereaveth him that entereth here of the sight of the sun? Though this they speak enigmatically; for verily he that goes in is called Elaphus, a stag. Hence the Lacedaemonians delivered up to the Arcadians Cantharion the Arcadian, who went over to the Eleans whilst they waged war with the Arcadians, passing with his booty through the inaccessible temple, and fled to Sparta when the war was ended; the oracle requiring them to restore the stag.

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 Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1889)
load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936)
load focus Greek (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: