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Now of the seven sages, whom he calls Sophisters, he affirms Thales to have been a barbarian, descended of the Phoenicians.1 Speaking ill also of the Gods under the person of Solon, he has these words: ‘Thou, O Croesus, askest me concerning human affairs, who know that every one of the Deities is envious and tumultuous.’ 2 Thus attributing to Solon what himself thinks of the Gods, he joins malice to blasphemy. Having made use also of Pittacus in some trivial matters, not worth the mentioning, he has passed over the greatest and gallantest action that was ever done by him. For when the Athenians and [p. 338] Mitylenaeans were at war about Sigaeum, Phrynon, the Athenian general, challenging whoever would come forth to a single combat, Pittacus advanced to meet him, and catching him in a net, slew that stout and giant-like man; for which when the Mitylenaeans offered him great presents, darting his javelin as far as he could out of his hand, he desired only so much ground as he should reach with that throw; and the place is to this day called Pittacium. Now what does Herodotus, when he comes to this? Instead of Pittacus's valiant act, he tells us the fight of Alcaeus the poet, who throwing away his arms ran out of the battle; by thus not writing of honorable deeds and not passing over such as are dishonorable, he gives his testimony to those who say, that from one and the same malice proceed both envy and a rejoicing at other men's harms.3

1 Herod. I. 170.

2 Herod. I. 32.

3 Herod. V. 95.

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