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[7] But he, not wishing to go to the war, feigned madness. However, Palamedes, son of Nauplius, proved his madness to be fictitious; and when Ulysses pretended to rave, Palamedes followed him, and snatching Telemachus from Penelope's bosom, drew his sword as if he would kill him. And in his fear for the child Ulysses confessed that his madness was pretended, and he went to the war.1


1 As to the madness which Ulysses feigned in order to escape going to the Trojan war, see Proclus in Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. G. Kinkel, p. 18; Lucian, De domo 30; Philostratus, Her. xi.2; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 818; Cicero, De officiis iii.26.97; Hyginus, Fab. 95; Serv. Verg. A. 2.81; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Achill. i.93; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 12, 140ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 35; Second Vatican Mythographer 200). The usual story seems to have been that to support his pretence of insanity Ulysses yoked an ox and a horse or an ass to the plough and sowed salt. While he was busy fertilizing the fields in this fashion, the Greek envoys arrived, and Palamedes, seeing through the deception, laid the infant son of Ulysses in front of the plough, whereupon the father at once checked the plough and betrayed his sanity. However, Lucian agrees with Apollodorus in saying that Palamedes threatened the child with his sword, though at the same time, by mentioning the unlike animals yoked together, he shows that he had the scene of the ploughing in his mind. His description purports to be based on a picture, probably a famous picture of the scene which was still exhibited at Ephesus in the time of Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxxv.129. Sophocles wrote a play on the subject, called The Mad Ulysses. See The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. ii. pp. 115ff.

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