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ἀπὸ τῆς κυψέλης. Cf. Paus. v. 17. 5τῆς μὲν δὴ σωτηρίας ἕνεκα τοῦ Κυψέλου τὸ ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ γένος οἱ ὀνομαζόμενοι Κυψελίδαι τὴν λάρνακα ἐς Ὀλυμπίαν ἀνέθεσαν, τὰς δὲ λάρνακας οἱ τότε ἐκάλουν Κορίνθιοι κυψέλας: ἀπὸ τούτου δὲ καὶ ὄνομα Κύψελον τῷ παιδὶ θέσθαι λέγουσι”. Pausanias saw in the Heraeum at Olympia a chest (λάρναξ) of cedar, whose carvings and decorations he describes in full, believing it to be the hiding-place of Cypselus. This seems impossible, as a κυψέλη, to judge from the coins of Cypsela in Thrace, is a cylindrical jar, and the chest seems, from the account of its carvings and inscriptions, not to be earlier than 600 B. C. Probably the legend here given arose out of the name Cypselus, but the magnificent coffer seen by Pausanias may well have been, like the golden image of Zeus (Paus. v. 2. 3), a gift of the Corinthian tyrants. On the reconstructions of this famous monument of archaic art cf. Stuart Jones, J. H. S. xiv. 30, 80, and the summary of his (and other) views in Frazer, Paus. iii. 600 f.

ἀμφιδέξιον. Since the oracle is in no sense ambiguous this is best taken as two-handed, that is, two-edged (cf. ἀμφήκης), in the sense that while promising success to Cypselus and his sons, the oracle also prophesies the deposition of his grandsons. Nevertheless, since δεξιός is used of favourable omens, Stein (following Erotian, voc. Hippoc. p. 43, Klein δὲ Ἱπποκράτης οὐκ ἐπὶ τοῦ ἀμφήκους, ἀλλ̓ ἐπὶ τοῦ εὐχρήστου τίθεται κατὰ ἀμφότερα τὰ μέρη) construes ‘doubly favourable’.


Periander's sons died before him; his successor was Psammetichus, son of his brother Gorgus, who only reigned three years (Ar. Pol. v. 12. 1315 b 26; Nic. Dam. fr. 60, F. H. G. iii. 393). The precision of this prophecy shows it was made after the event.

This is the conventional picture of the tyrant (cf. iii. 80 f.). Aristotle (Pol. v. 10. 12) and Nic. Damasc. (fr. 58), F. H. G. iii. 391 make Cypselus the popular leader (δημαγωγός), gaining and keeping power by the arts of a demagogue, unlike his harsher successor. See Appendix XVI. 3.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Aristotle, Politics, 5.1315b
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.17.5
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.2.3
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