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[4]

When they had made themselves masters of Peloponnese, they set up three altars of Paternal Zeus, and sacrificed upon them, and cast lots for the cities. So the first drawing was for Argos, the second for Lacedaemon, and the third for Messene. And they brought a pitcher of water, and resolved that each should cast in a lot. Now Temenus and the two sons of Aristodemus, Procles and Eurysthenes, threw stones; but Cresphontes, wishing to have Messene allotted to him, threw in a clod of earth. As the clod was dissolved in the water, it could not be but that the other two lots should turn up. The lot of Temenus having been drawn first, and that of the sons of Aristodemus second, Cresphontes got Messene.1


1 As to the drawing of the lots, and the stratagem by which Cresphontes secured Messenia for himself, see Polyaenus, Strateg. i.6; Paus. 4.3.4ff. Sophocles alludes to the stratagem (Soph. Aj. 1283ff., with the Scholiast on Soph. Aj. 1285).

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • John Conington, Commentary on Vergil's Aeneid, Volume 1, 5.498
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 1285
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