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Next follows the mountain Gallesius, and Colophon, an Ionian city, in front of which is the grove of Apollo Clarius, where was once an ancient oracle.1 It is said that the prophet Calchas came hither on foot, on his return from Troy with Amphilochus, the son of Amphiaraus, and that meeting at Clarus with a prophet superior to himself, Mopsus, the son of Mantus, the daughter of Teiresias, he died of vexation.

Hesiod relates the fable somewhat in this manner: Calchas propounds to Mopsus something of this kind: “‘I am surprised to see how large a quantity of figs there is on this small tree; can you tell the number?’

” Mopsus answered: “‘There are ten thousand; they will measure a medimnus, and there is one over, which you cannot comprehend.’” Thus he spoke; the number and measure were exact. Then Calchas closed his eyes in the sleep of death.

But Pherecydes says, that Calchas proposed a question respecting a pregnant sow, and asked how many young she had; the other answered, ‘three, one of which is a sow.’ Upon his giving the true answer, Calchas died of vexation. According to others, Calchas propounded the question of the sow, and Mopsus that of the fig-tree; that Mopsus returned the true answer, and that Calchas was mistaken, who died of vexation, according to some oracular prophecy.

Sophocles, in his ‘Helen Claimed,’ says that he was destined by fate to die when he should meet with a prophet superior to himself. But this writer transfers the scene of the rivalry, and of the death of Calchas, to Cilicia.

These are ancient traditions.

1 It must have been in existence in the time of Strabo.—Tacit. Ann. ii. 54

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