previous next
There was a terrible earthquake, with a wonderful eruption of water, at Celaenae, a city of Phrygia, that swallowed up a great many houses, people and all. Midas upon this consults the oracle, which gave him for answer, that if he would cast into that gulf the most precious thing that he had in the world, the earth should close again. Whereupon he threw in a mass of gold and silver; but never the better. This put it in the head of Anchurus, the son of Midas, to consider, that the most precious thing in Nature is the life and soul of a man; so that he went presently and embraced his father and his wife Timothea, mounted his horse, and leaped into the abyss. The earth closed upon it, and Midas raised a golden altar in the place, laid his hand upon it, and dedicated it TO JUPITER IDAEUS. This altar becomes stone at that time of the year when it was usual to have these eruptions; and after that season was over, it is turned to gold again.— My author is Callisthenes, in his Second Book of Transformations.

The River Tiber, in its course over the Forum, opened a huge cavity in the ground, so that a great many houses were buried in it. This was looked upon as a judgment upon the place, from Jupiter Tarsius; who, as the oracle told them, was not to be appeased without throwing into it what they held most valuable. So they threw a quantity of gold and silver into it. But Curtius, one of the bravest young men they had, gave a better guess at the mind of the oracle; and reflecting upon it, that the life of a man was much more excellent than treasure, took his horse and plunged himself into the gulf, and so redeemed his country.—Aristides, in the Fortieth Book of his Italian History.

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