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At Haliartus, in Boeotia, there was a girl of remarkable beauty, named Aristocleia, the daughter of Theophanes. She was wooed by Strato of Orchomenus and Callisthenes of Haliartus. Strato was the richer and was rather the more violently in love with the maiden ; for he had seen her in Lebadeia bathing at the fountain called Hercynê in preparation for carrying a basket1 in a sacred procession in honour of Zeus the King. But Callisthenes had the advantage, for he was a blood-relation of the girl. Theophanes was much perplexed about the matter, for he was afraid of Strato, who excelled nearly all the Boeotians in wealth and in family connexions, and he wished to submit the choice to Trophonius2 but Strato had been persuaded by the maiden's servants that she was more inclined towards him, so he asked that the choice be left to the bride-to-be herself. But when Theophanes in the presence of everyone asked the maiden, and she chose Callisthenes, it was plain at once that Strato found the [p. 7] slight hard to bear. But he let two days go by and came to Theophanes and Callisthenes asking that the friendship between him and them be preserved, even though he had been deprived of the marriage by some jealous divinity. And they approved of what he said, so that they even invited him to the wedding-feast. But before he came he got ready a crowd of his friends and a considerable number of servants, who were scattered among the others present and were not noticed ; but when the girl went, according to the ancestral custom, to the spring called Cissoessa to make the preliminary sacrifice to the nymphs, then his men who were in ambush all rushed out at once and seized her. Strato also had hold of the maiden ; and naturally Callisthenes and his supporters in turn took hold of her and held on until, although they did not know it at the time, she died in their hands as they pulled against each other. Callisthenes immediately disappeared, whether by committing suicide or by going away as an exile from Boeotia ; at any rate nobody could tell what had happened to him. But Strato slew himself in sight of all upon the body of the maiden.

1 Processions were common in Greek worship, and often young women, chosen usually for their good birth and their beauty, formed part of them, carrying baskets in which were offerings or utensils for use in sacrifices.

2 A hero whose oracular shrine was at Lebadeia.

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