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 After the completion of the temple, which, he says, was the work of Cheirocrates (the same person who built Alexandria, and also promised Alexander that he would form Mount Athos into a statue of him, which should represent him as pouring a libation into a dish out of an ewer; that he would build two cities, one on the right hand of the mountain, and another on the left, and a river should flow out of the dish from one to the other,)1—after the completion of the temple, he says that the multitude of other sacred offerings were purchased by the Ephesians, at the value set on them by artificers, and that the altar was almost entirely full of the works of Praxiteles. They showed us also some of the performances of Thraso, namely, the Hecatesium, a Penelope,2 and the old woman Eurycleia. The priests were eunuchs, who were called Megabyzi. It was the practice to send to various places for persons worthy of this office, and they were held in high honour. They were obliged to appoint virgins as their colleagues in their priesthood. At present some of their rites and customs are observed, and some are neglected. The temple was formerly, and is at present, a place of refuge, but the limits of the sanctity of this asylum have been frequently altered; Alexander extended them to the distance of a stadium. Mithridates discharged an arrow from the angle of the roof, and supposed that it fell a little beyond the distance of a stadium. Antonius doubled this distance, and included within the range of the sanctuary a certain portion of the city. This was attended with much evil, as it placed the city in the power of criminals and malefactors. On this account Augustus Cesar abolished the privilege.
1 Plutarch says that the artist offered Alexander to make a statue of Mount Athos, which should hold in the left hand a city, capable of containing 10,000 inhabitants, and pouring from the right hand a river falling into the sea.
2 For the word κοͅήνη, a fountain, which occurs in the text before Penelope, and is here unintelligible, Kramer proposes to read κηοͅίνη. The translation of the passage, thus corrected, would be, ‘a figure in wax of Penelope.’ Kramer does not adopt the reading, on the ground that no figures in wax are mentioned by ancient authors.
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