Building the World

December 25, 2012
by zoequinn001
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Herotodus and Cyrene

Herodotus, from The University of Adelaide, at adelaide.edu.au.

Herotodus was arguably the first historian. His only work, The Histories provide accounts of sixth and fifth century BCE life in his homeland (modern Turkey, under Greek rule at the time), as well as places he visited.  In total there are nine books, but book six has some interesting discussion of the founding of the city of Cyrene: “Grinus (they say), the son of Aesanius, a descendant of Theras, and king of the island of Thera, went to Delphi to offer a hecatomb on behalf of his native city. On Grinus consulting the oracle about sundry matters, the Pythoness gave him for answer, “that he should found a city in Libya.” When the embassy returned to Thera, small account was taken of the oracle, as the Therans were quite ignorant where Libya was. Seven years passed from the utterance of the oracle, and not a drop of rain fell in Thera: all the trees in the island, except one, were killed with the drought. After a while, everything began to go wrong. Ignorant of the cause of their sufferings, they again sent to Delphi to inquire for what reason they were afflicted. The Pythoness in reply reminded them reproachfully “that if they and Battus would make a settlement at Cyrene in Libya, things would go better with them.”

For more of the translated work regarding Cyrene and more please visit: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/630cyrene.asp

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Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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