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 The present Ilienses affirm that the city was not entirely demolished when it was taken by the Achæans, nor at any time deserted. The Locrian virgins began to be sent there, as was the custom every year, a short time afterwards. This however is not told by Homer. Nor was Homer acquainted with the violation of Cassandra,1 but says that she was a virgin about that time: “‘He slew Othryoneus, who had lately come to the war from Cabesus, induced by the glory of the contest, and who sought in marriage the most beautiful of the daughters of Priam, Cassandra, without a dower.’2” He does not mention any force having been used, nor does he attribute the death of Ajax by shipwreck to the wrath of Minerva, nor to any similar cause, but says, in general terms, that he was an object of hatred to Minerva, (for she was incensed against all who had profaned her temple,) and that Ajax died by the agency of Neptune for his boasting speeches. The Locrian virgins were sent there when the Persians were masters of the country.
1 Poets and mythologists subsequent to Homer supposed Cassandra, the daughter of Priam, to have been violated by Ajax, the Locrian; that as a punishment for his crime this hero perished by shipwreck on his return from Troy, and that three years afterwards Locris was visited by a famine, which occasioned great destruction to the inhabitants. The oracle consulted on the occasion of this calamity advised the Locrians to send annually to Minerva of Ilium two young women chosen by lot. They obeyed and continued to send them for 1000 years, until the time of the sacred war.
2 Il. xiii. 363.
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