When the armament was in Aulis, after a sacrifice to Apollo, a serpent darted from the altar beside the neighboring plane-tree, in which there was a nest; and having consumed the eight sparrows in the nest, together with the mother bird, which made the ninth, it was turned to stone. Calchas said that this sign was given them by the will of Zeus, and he inferred from what had happened that Troy was destined to be taken in a period of ten years.1 And they made ready to sail against Troy.
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