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The Lydians, too, went to such a pitch of luxury, that they were the first to castrate women, as Xanthus the Lydian tells us, or whoever else it was who wrote the History which is attributed to him, whom Artemon of Cassandra, in his treatise on the Collection of Books, states to have been Pionysius who was surnamed Leather-armed; but Artemon was not aware that Ephorus the historian mentions him as being an older man than the other, and as having been the man who supplied Herodotus with some of his materials. Xanthus, then, in the second book of his Affairs of Lydia, says that Adramyttes, the king of the Lydians, was the first man who ever castrated women, and used female eunuchs instead of male eunuchs. But Clearchus, in the fourth book of his Lives, says—“The Lydians, out of luxury, made parks; and having planted them like gardens, made them very shady, thinking it a refinement in luxury if the sun never touched them with its rays at all; and at last they carried [p. 827] their insolence to such a height, that they used to collect other men's wives and maidens into a place that, from this conduct, got the name of Hagneon, and there ravished them. And at last, having become utterly effeminate, they lived wholly like women instead of like men; on which account their age produced even a female tyrant, in the person of one of those who had been ravished in this way, by name Omphale. And she was the first to inflict on the Lydians the punishment that they deserved. For to be governed and insulted by a woman is a sufficient proof of the severity with which they were treated. Accordingly she, being a very intemperate woman herself, and meaning to revenge the insults to which she herself had been subjected, gave the maiden daughters of the masters to their slaves, in the very same place in which she herself had been ravished. And then having forcibly collected them all in this place, she shut up the mistresses with their slaves.

On which account the Lydians, wishing to soften the bitterness of the transaction, call the place the Woman's Contest —the Sweet Embrace. And not only were the wives of the Lydians exposed to all comers, but those also of the Epizephyrian Locrians, and also those of the Cyprians—and, in fact, those of all the nations who devote their daughters to the lives of prostitutes; and it appears to be, in truth, a sort of reminding of, and revenge for, some ancient insult. So against her a Lydian man of noble birth rose up, one who had been previously offended at the government of Midas; while Midas lay in effeminacy, and luxury, and a purple robe, working in the company of the women at the loom. But as Omphale slew all the strangers whom she admitted to her embraces, he chastised both-the one, being a stupid and illiterate man, he dragged out by his ears; a man who, for want of sense, had the surname of the most stupid of all animals: but the woman . . . . .

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