• Histories 1.1-4 •
• Herodotus •
Duration: 6 m 15 s
Price : free
You can follow the original text, recited in reconstructed Ancient Greek pronunciation. A simple translation into English follows:
1. This is the display of the inquiry of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, so that things done by man not be forgotten in time, and that great and marvelous deeds, some displayed by the Hellenes, some by the barbarians, not lose their glory, including among others what was the cause of their waging war on each other.
The Persian learned men say that the Phoenicians were the cause of the dispute. These (they say) came to our seas from the sea which is called Red, and having settled in the country which they still occupy, at once began to make long voyages. Among other places to which they carried Egyptian and Assyrian merchandise, they came to Argos, which was at that time preeminent in every way among the people of what is now called Hellas. The Phoenicians came to Argos, and set out their cargo. On the fifth or sixth day after their arrival, when their wares were almost all sold, many women came to the shore and among them especially the daughter of the king, whose name was Io (according to Persians and Greeks alike), the daughter of Inachus.  As these stood about the stern of the ship bargaining for the wares they liked, the Phoenicians incited one another to set upon them. Most of the women escaped: Io and others were seized and thrown into the ship, which then sailed away for Egypt.
2. In this way, the Persians say (and not as the Greeks), was how Io came to Egypt, and this, according to them, was the first wrong that was done. Next, according to their story, some Greeks (they cannot say who) landed at Tyre in Phoenicia and carried off the king's daughter Europa. These Greeks must, I suppose, have been Cretans. So far, then, the account between them was balanced. But after this (they say), it was the Greeks who were guilty of the second wrong. They sailed in a long ship to Aea, a city of the Colchians, and to the river Phasis: and when they had done the business for which they came, they carried off the king's daughter Medea. When the Colchian king sent a herald to demand reparation for the robbery and restitution of his daughter, the Greeks replied that, as they had been refused reparation for the abduction of the Argive Io, they would not make any to the Colchians.
3. Then (they say), in the second generation after this, Alexandrus, son of Priam, who had heard this tale, decided to get himself a wife from Hellas by capture; for he was confident that he would not suffer punishment. So he carried off Helen. The Greeks first resolved to send messengers demanding that Helen be restored and atonement made for the seizure; but when this proposal was made, the Trojans pleaded the seizure of Medea, and reminded the Greeks that they asked reparation from others, yet made none themselves, nor gave up the booty when asked.
4. So far it was a matter of mere seizure on both sides. But after this (the Persians say), the Greeks were very much to blame; for they invaded Asia before the Persians attacked Europe. “We think,” they say, “that it is unjust to carry women off. But to be anxious to avenge rape is foolish: wise men take no notice of such things. For plainly the women would never have been carried away, had they not wanted it themselves. We of Asia did not deign to notice the seizure of our women; but the Greeks, for the sake of a Lacedaemonian woman, recruited a great armada, came to Asia, and destroyed the power of Priam. Ever since then we have regarded Greeks as our enemies.” For the Persians claim Asia for their own, and the foreign peoples that inhabit it; Europe and the Greek people they consider to be separate from them.
1. Ἡροδότου Ἁλικαρνησσέος ἱστορίης ἀπόδεξις ἥδε, ὡς μήτε τὰ γενόμενα ἐξ ἀνθρώπων τῷ χρόνῳ ἐξίτηλα γένηται, μήτε ἔργα μεγάλα τε καὶ θωμαστά, τὰ μὲν Ἕλλησι τὰ δὲ βαρβάροισι ἀποδεχθέντα, ἀκλεᾶ γένηται, τά τε ἄλλα καὶ δι᾽ ἣν αἰτίην ἐπολέμησαν ἀλλήλοισι.
Περσέων μέν νυν οἱ λόγιοι Φοίνικας αἰτίους φασὶ γενέσθαι τῆς διαφορῆς. τούτους γὰρ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἐρυθρῆς καλεομένης θαλάσσης ἀπικομένους ἐπὶ τήνδε τὴν θάλασσαν, καὶ οἰκήσαντας τοῦτον τὸν χῶρον τὸν καὶ νῦν οἰκέουσι, αὐτίκα ναυτιλίῃσι μακρῇσι ἐπιθέσθαι, ἀπαγινέοντας δὲ φορτία Αἰγύπτιά τε καὶ Ἀσσύρια τῇ τε ἄλλῃ ἐσαπικνέεσθαι καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐς Ἄργος. τὸ δὲ Ἄργος τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον προεῖχε ἅπασι τῶν ἐν τῇ νῦν Ἑλλάδι καλεομένῃ χώρῃ. ἀπικομένους δὲ τούς Φοίνικας ἐς δὴ τὸ Ἄργος τοῦτο διατίθεσθαι τὸν φόρτον. πέμπτῃ δὲ ἢ ἕκτῃ ἡμέρῃ ἀπ᾽ ἧς ἀπίκοντο, ἐξεμπολημένων σφι σχεδόν πάντων, ἐλθεῖν ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν γυναῖκας ἄλλας τε πολλάς καὶ δὴ καὶ τοῦ βασιλέος θυγατέρα: τὸ δέ οἱ οὔνομα εἶναι, κατὰ τὠυτὸ τὸ καὶ Ἕλληνές λέγουσι, Ἰοῦν τὴν Ἰνάχου: ταύτας στάσας κατά πρύμνην τῆς νεὸς ὠνέεσθαι τῶν φορτίων τῶν σφι ἦν θυμός μάλιστα: καὶ τοὺς Φοίνικας διακελευσαμένους ὁρμῆσαι ἐπ᾽ αὐτάς. τὰς μὲν δὴ πλεῦνας τῶν γυναικῶν ἀποφυγεῖν, τὴν δὲ Ἰοῦν σὺν ἄλλῃσι ἁρπασθῆναι. ἐσβαλομένους δὲ ἐς τὴν νέα οἴχεσθαι ἀποπλέοντας ἐπ᾽ Αἰγύπτου.
2. οὕτω μὲν Ἰοῦν ἐς Αἴγυπτον ἀπικέσθαι λέγουσι Πέρσαι, οὐκ ὡς Ἕλληνές, καὶ τῶν ἀδικημάτων πρῶτον τοῦτο ἄρξαι. μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα Ἑλλήνων τινάς （οὐ γὰρ ἔχουσι τοὔνομα ἀπηγήσασθαι） φασὶ τῆς Φοινίκης ἐς Τύρον προσσχόντας ἁρπάσαι τοῦ βασιλέος τὴν θυγατέρα Εὐρώπην. εἴησαν δ᾽ ἄν οὗτοι Κρῆτες. ταῦτα μὲν δὴ ἴσα πρὸς ἴσα σφι γενέσθαι, μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα Ἕλληνας αἰτίους τῆς δευτέρης ἀδικίης γενέσθαι: καταπλώσαντας γὰρ μακρῇ νηί ἐς Αἶαν τε τὴν Κολχίδα καὶ ἐπὶ Φᾶσιν ποταμόν, ἐνθεῦτεν, διαπρηξαμένους καὶ τἄλλα τῶν εἵνεκεν ἀπίκατο, ἁρπάσαι τοῦ βασιλέος τὴν θυγατέρα Μηδείην. πέμψαντά δὲ τὸν Κόλχων βασιλέα ἐς τὴν Ἑλλάδα κήρυκα αἰτέειν τε δίκας τῆς ἁρπαγῆς καὶ ἀπαιτέειν τὴν θυγατέρα. τοὺς δὲ ὑποκρίνασθαι ὡς οὐδὲ ἐκεῖνοι Ἰοῦς τῆς Ἀργείης ἔδοσάν σφι δίκας τῆς ἁρπαγῆς: οὐδὲ ὤν αὐτοὶ δώσειν ἐκείνοισι.
3. δευτέρῃ δὲ λέγουσι γενεῇ μετὰ ταῦτα Ἀλέξανδρον τὸν Πριάμου, ἀκηκοότα ταῦτα, ἐθελῆσαί οἱ ἐκ τῆς Ἑλλάδος δι᾽ ἁρπαγῆς γενέσθαι γυναῖκα, ἐπιστάμενον πάντως ὅτι οὐ δώσει δίκας. οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐκείνους διδόναι. οὕτω δὴ ἁρπάσαντος αὐτοῦ Ἑλένην, τοῖσι Ἕλλησι δόξαι πρῶτὸν πέμψαντας ἀγγέλους ἀπαιτέειν τε Ἑλένην καὶ δίκας τῆς ἁρπαγῆς αἰτέειν. τοὺς δέ, προϊσχομένων ταῦτα, προφέρειν σφι Μηδείης τὴν ἁρπαγήν, ὡς οὐ δόντες αὐτοὶ δίκας οὐδὲ ἐκδόντες ἀπαιτεόντων βουλοίατό σφι παρ᾽ ἄλλων δίκας γίνεσθαι.
4. μέχρι μὲν ὤν τούτου ἁρπαγάς μούνας εἶναι παρ᾽ ἀλλήλων, τὸ δὲ ἀπὸ τούτου Ἕλληνας δὴ μεγάλως αἰτίους γενέσθαι: προτέρους γὰρ ἄρξαι στρατεύεσθαι ἐς τὴν Ἀσίην ἢ σφέας ἐς τὴν Εὐρώπην. τὸ μέν νυν ἁρπάζειν γυναῖκας ἀνδρῶν ἀδίκων νομίζειν ἔργον εἶναι, τὸ δὲ ἁρπασθεισέων σπουδήν ποιήσασθαι τιμωρέειν ἀνοήτων, τὸ δὲ μηδεμίαν ὤρην ἔχειν ἁρπασθεισέων σωφρόνων: δῆλα γὰρ δὴ ὅτι, εἰ μὴ αὐταὶ ἐβούλοντο, οὐκ ἂν ἡρπάζοντο. σφέας μὲν δὴ τοὺς ἐκ τῆς Ἀσίης λέγουσι Πέρσαι ἁρπαζομενέων τῶν γυναικῶν λόγον οὐδένα ποιήσασθαι, Ἕλληνας δὲ Λακεδαιμονίης εἵνεκεν γυναικὸς στόλον μέγαν συναγεῖραι καὶ ἔπειτα ἐλθόντας ἐς τὴν Ἀσίην τὴν Πριάμου δύναμιν κατελεῖν. ἀπὸ τούτου αἰεὶ ἡγήσασθαι τὸ Ἑλληνικὸν σφίσι εἶναι πολέμιον. τὴν γὰρ Ἀσίην καὶ τὰ ἐνοικέοντα ἔθνεα βάρβαρα οἰκηιεῦνται οἱ Πέρσαι, τὴν δὲ Εὐρώπην καὶ τὸ Ἑλληνικόν ἥγηνται κεχωρίσθαι.
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