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Facts such as these induce us to give some credit to what Democritus relates, who says that a man, called Thoas, was preserved in Arcadia by a dragon.1 When a boy, he had become much attached to it, and had reared it very tenderly; but his father, being alarmed at the nature and monstrous size of the reptile, had taken and left it in the desert. Thoas being here attacked by some robbers who lay in ambush, he was delivered from them by the dragon, which recognized his voice and came to his assistance. But as to what has been said respecting infants that have been exposed and nourished by the milk of wild beasts,2 as in the case of the founders of our city by a wolf, I am disposed to attribute such cases as these rather to the greatness of the destinies which have to be fulfilled, than to any peculiarity in the nature of the animals themselves.

1 This word here signifies, simply, a "serpent."

2 Ælian, Var. Hist. B. xiii. c. i., relates an occurrence of this kind, about Atalanta, and Justin. B. xliv. c. 4, about Habis, a king of Spain. As to the account of Romulus having been suckled by a wolf, it was generally regarded as a legendary tale by the Romans themselves. See Livy, B. i. c. 4, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Antiq. Rom. B. i.—B.

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