Pausanias, Description of Greece (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Paus.].
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1.42.5

The ancient temple of Apollo was of brick, but the emperor Hadrian afterwards built it of white marble. The Apollo called Pythian and the one called Decatephorus (Bringer of Tithes) are very like the Egyptian wooden images, but the one surnamed Archegetes (Founder) resembles Aeginetan works. They are all alike made of ebony. I have heard a man of Cyprus, who was skilled at sorting herbs for medicinal purposes, say that the ebony does not grow leaves or bear fruit, or even appear in the sunlight at all, but consists of underground roots which are dug up by the Aethiopians, who have men skilled at finding ebony.

1.42.6

There is also a sanctuary of Demeter Thesmophorus (Lawgiver). On going down from it you see the tomb of Callipolis, son of Alcathous. Alcathous had also an elder son, Ischepolis, whom his father sent to help Meleager to destroy the wild beast in Aetolia. There he died, and Callipolis was the first to hear of his death. Running up to the citadel, at the moment when his father was preparing a fire to sacrifice to Apollo, he flung the logs from the altar. Alcathous, who had not yet heard of the fate of Ischepolis, judged that Callipolis was guilty of impiety, and forthwith, angry as he was, killed him by striking his head with one of the logs that had been flung from the altar.

1.42.7

On the road to the Town-hall is the shrine of the heroine Ino, about which is a fencing of stones, and beside it grow olives. The Megarians are the only Greeks who say that the corpse of Ino was cast up on their coast, that Cleso and Tauropolis, the daughters of Cleson, son of Lelex, found and buried it, and they say that among them first was she named Leucothea, and that every year they offer her sacrifice.

ch. 43 1.43.1

They say that there is also a shrine of the heroine Iphigenia; for she too according to them died in Megara. Now I have heard another account of Iphigenia that is given by Arcadians and I know that Hesiod, in his poem A Catalogue of Women, says that Iphigenia did not die, but by the will of Artemis is Hecate. With this agrees the account of Herodotus, that the Tauri near Scythia sacrifice castaways to a maiden who they say is Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon. Adrastus also is honored among the Megarians, who say that he too died among them when he was leading back his army after taking Thebes, and that his death was caused by old age and the fate of Aegialeus. A sanctuary of Artemis was made by Agamemnon when he came to persuade Calchas, who dwelt in Megara, to accompany him to Troy.

1.43.2

In the Town-hall are buried, they say, Euippus the son of Megareus and Ischepolis the son of Alcathous. Near the Town-hall is a rock. They name it Anaclethris (Recall), because Demeter (if the story be credible) here too called her daughter back when she was wandering in search of her. Even in our day the Megarian women hold a performance that is a mimic representation of the legend.

1.43.3

In the city are graves of Megarians. They made one for those who died in the Persian invasion, and what is called the Aesymnium (Shrine of Aesymnus) was also a tomb of heroes. When Agamemnon's son Hyperion, the last king of Megara, was killed by Sandion for his greed and violence, they resolved no longer to be ruled by one king, but to have elected magistrates and to obey one another in turn. Then Aesymnus, who had a reputation second to none among the Megarians, came to the god in Delphi and asked in what way they could be prosperous. The oracle in its reply said that they would fare well if they took counsel with the majority. This utterance they took to refer to the dead, and built a council chamber in this place in order that the grave of their heroes might be within it.

1.43.4

Between this and the hero-shrine of Alcathous, which in my day the Megarians used as a record office, was the tomb, they said, of Pyrgo, the wife of Alcathous before he married Euaechme, the daughter of Megareus, and the tomb of Iphinoe, the daughter of Alcathous; she died, they say, a maid. It is customary for the girls to bring libations to the tomb of Iphiaoe and to offer a lock of their hair before their wedding, just as the daughters of the Delians once cut their hair for Hecaerge and Opis.

1.43.5

Beside the entrance to the sanctuary of Dionysus is the grave of Astycratea and Manto. They were daughters of Polyidus, son of Coeranus, son of Abas, son of Melampus, who came to Megara to purify Alcathous when he had killed his son Callipolis. Polyidus also built the sanctuary of Dionysus, and dedicated a wooden image that in our day is covered up except the face, which alone is exposed. By the side of it is a Satyr of Parian marble made by Praxiteles. This Dionysus they call Patrous (Paternal); but the image of another, that they surname Dasyllius, they say was dedicated by Euchenor, son of Coeranus, son of Polyidus.



Pausanias, Description of Greece (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Paus.].
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