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Chapter II

A certain great person whose name was Phido, designing to make himself lord of the whole Peloponnesus, and more especially desirous that Argos, being his native country, should be the metropolis of all the rest, resolved to reduce the Corinthians under his subjection. To this purpose he sent to them to demand a levy of a thousand young gentlemen, the most valiant and the chiefest in the [p. 314] prime of their age in the whole city. Accordingly they sent him a thousand young sparks, brisk and gallant, under the leading of Dexander, whom they chose to be their captain. But Phido, designing nothing more than the massacre of these gentlemen, to the end he might the more easily make himself master of Corinth when it should be enfeebled by so great a loss (as being by its situation the chief bulwark to guard the entrance into Peloponnesus), imparted this contrivance of his to several of his confidants, in which number was one whose name was Abro; who, having been formerly acquainted with Dexander, and familiarly entertained by him, discovered the whole conspiracy to his friend in acknowledgment of his kindness. By which means the thousand, before they fell into the ambuscade, retreated and got safe to Corinth. Phido thus disappointed made all the inquiry imaginable, to find out who it was that had betrayed and discovered his design. Which Abro understanding fled to Corinth with his wife and all his family, and settled himself in Melissus, a certain village in the territory of the Corinthians. There he begat a son, whom he named Melissus from the name of the place where he was born. The son of this Melissus was Actaeon, the loveliest and most modest of all the striplings of his age. For which reason there were several that fell in love with him, but none with so much ardor as Archias, being of the race of the Heraclidae, and for wealth and authority the greatest person in all Corinth. This Archias, when he found that no fair means and persuasions would prevail upon the young lad, resolved to ravish him away by force; to which purpose he invited himself to Melissus's house, as it were to make merry, accompanied with a great number of his friends and servants, and by their assistance he made an attempt to carry away the son by violence. But the father and his friends opposing the rape, and the neighbors coming in to the rescue of the child, poor [p. 315] Actaeon, between the one and the other, was pulled and hauled to death; and Archias with his company departed. Upon this, Melissus carried the murdered body of his son into the market-place of Corinth, and there, exposing him to public view, demanded justice to be done upon the murderers. But finding that the Corinthians only pitied his condition, without taking any farther notice of the matter, he returned home, and waited for the grand assembly of the Greeks at the Isthmus. At what time, getting up to the very top of Neptune's temple, he exclaimed against the whole race of the Bacchiadae, and after he had made a public relation of the good service which his father Abro had done the Corinthians, he invoked the vengeance of the Gods, and presently threw himself headlong among the rocks. Soon after the Corinthians being plagued with a most terrible drought, upon which ensued a violent famine, they sent to the oracle, to know by what means they might be delivered from their calamity. To whom the Deity made answer, that it was Neptune's wrath, which would not cease till they had revenged the death of Actaeon. Archias, hearing this (for he was one of those that were sent to the oracle), never returned again to Corinth, but sailing into Sicily, built there the city of Syracuse; where, after he was become the father of two daughters, Ortygia and Syracusa, he was treacherously slain by Telephus, whom he had preternaturally abused in his youth, and who, having the command of a ship, sailed along with him into Sicily.

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load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1892)
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