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Dorimachus Leaves Messene

Even while he was actually in Messene, the pirates came close to the city walls in the night, and by means of scaling-ladders broke into a country-house called Chiron's villa; killed all the slaves who resisted them; and having bound the others, took them and the cattle away with them.
Dorimachus leaves Messene.
The Messenian Ephors had long been much annoyed by what was going on, and by the presence of Dorimachus in their town; but this they thought was too insolent: and they accordingly summoned him to appear before the assembled magistrates. There Sciron, who happened to be an Ephor at the time, and enjoyed a high reputation for integrity among his fellow-citizens, advised that they should not allow Dorimachus to leave the city, until he had made good all the losses sustained by the Messenians, and had given up the guilty persons to be punished for the murders committed. This suggestion being received with unanimous approval, as but just, Dorimachus passionately exclaimed that "they were fools if they imagined that they were now insulting only Dorimachus, and not the Aetolian league." In fact he expressed the greatest indignation at the whole affair, and said that "they would meet with a public punishment, which would serve them well right." Now there was at that time in Messene a man of disgraceful and effeminate character named Babyrtas, who was so exactly like Dorimachus in voice and person, that, when he was dressed in Dorimachus's sun-hat and cloak, it was impossible to tell them apart; and of this Dorimachus was perfectly aware. When therefore he was speaking in these threatening and insolent tones to the Messenian magistrates, Sciron lost his temper and said: "Do you think we care for you or your threats, Babyrtas?" After this Dorimachus was compelled for the present to yield to circumstances, and to give satisfaction for the injuries inflicted upon the Messenians: but when he returned to Aetolia, he nursed such a bitter and furious feeling of anger at this taunt, that, without any other reasonable pretext, but for this cause and this alone, he got up a war against the Messenians.

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load focus Greek (Theodorus Büttner-Wobst after L. Dindorf, 1893)
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hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), CAU´SIA
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), E´PHORI
    • Smith's Bio, Sciron
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