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[31] The Hippothoontidae bore in mind the marriage of Alope, from which Hippothoon was born, and they knew also who their founder was; about these matters—to avoid impropriety on an occasion like this1 I forbear to speak plainly—they thought it was their duty to be seen performing deeds worthy of these ancestors. It did not escape the Aeantidae that Ajax, robbed of the prize of valor, did not consider his own life worth living.2 When, therefore, the god was giving to another the prize of valor, at once they thought they must die trying to repel their foes so as to suffer no disgrace to themselves. The Antiochidae were not unmindful that Antiochus was the son of Heracles.3 They concluded therefore that they must either live worthily of their heritage or die nobly.

1 Alope's son was said to have been twice exposed, and twice rescued and suckled by a mare. The use of mare's milk as a food prevailed among the Scythians, as the Greeks knew well from their colonists in the region of the Black Sea, if not from Hdt. 4.2; Gylon, grandfather of Demosthenes, had lived in the Crimea and was said to have married a Thracian wife. The orator was sometimes twitted by his opponents about his Thracian blood. He may have been sensitive. Consequently the attitude here revealed might be construed as evidence for the genuineness of the speech.

2 Ajax, worsted by Odysseus in a contest for possession of the arms of Achilles, was said to have slain himself: Hom. Od. 11.541-567; the story of his madness and of slaughtering flocks and herds as if they were his enemies is not Homeric: Soph. Aj.

3 The mother of Antiochus was Meda, daughter of Phylas, king of the Dryopes, but the story was unimportant and little known.

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