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"And all the monarchs who have at any time reigned in Cyprus have encouraged a race of nobly-born flatterers as useful to them; for they are a possession very appropriate to tyrants. And no one ever knows them (any more the they do the judges of the Areopagus), either how many they are, or who they are, except that perhaps some of the most [p. 402] eminent may be known or suspected. And the flatterers at Salamis are divided into two classes with reference to their families; and it is from the flatterers in Salamis that all the rest of the flatterers in the other parts of Cyprus are derived; and one of these two classes is called the Gergini, and the other the Promalanges. Of which, the Gergini mingle with the people in the city, and go about as eavesdroppers and spies in the workshops and the market-places; and whatever they hear, they report every day to those who are called their Principals. But the Promalanges, being a sort of superior investigators, inquire more particularly into all that is reported by the Gergini which appears worthy of being investigated; and the way in which they conduct themselves to- wards every one is so artificial and gentle, that, as it seems to me, and as they themselves allege, the very seed of notable flatterers has been spread by them over all the places at a distance. Nor do they pride themselves slightly on their skill, because they are greatly honoured by the kings; but they say that one of the Gergini, being a descendant of those Trojans whom Teucer took as slaves, having selected them from the captives, and then brought and settled in Cyprus, going along-the sea-coast with a few companions, sailed towards Aeolis, in order to seek out and re-establish the country of his ancestors; and that he, taking some Mysians to himself, inhabited a city near the Trojan Ida, which was formerly called Gergina, from the name of the inhabitants, but is now called Gergitha. For some of the party being, as it seems, separated from this expedition, stopped in Cymæa, being by birth a Cretan race, and not from the Thessalian Tricca, as some have affirmed,—men whose ignorance I take to be beyond the skill of all the descendants of Aesculapius to cure.
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