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have no account remaining; but the Lydians had no sooner entered the temple of Delphi, and proposed their questions, than the Pythian + answered thus, in heroic verse:
I count the sand, I measure out the sea;
of mankind. “ As for Apollo,” says he," he has undertaken a troublesome office: he is obliged to be at Delphi this minute, at Colophon the next, here at Delos, there at Branchidæ, just as his ministers choose to require him: not to mention the tricks which are played to make trial of his sagacity, when people boil together the flesh of a lamb and a tortoise; so that if he had not had a very acute nose, Croesus would have gone away, and abused him.”—T.
Pythian.]—The Pythian Apollo, if we may credit the Greeks themselves, was not always upon the best terms with the Muses.- Lowth on the poetry of the Hebrews.
Van Dale, in his book de Oraculis, observes, that at Delphi the priestess had priests, prophets, and poets, to take down and explain and mend her gibberish : which served to justify Apollo from the imputation of making bad verses; for, if they were defective, the fault was laid upon the amanuensis.-Jortin.
In the notes of Hemsterhusius, editor of Lucian, the Lydian is interpreted Midas, but it evidently alludes to this anecdote, and to Cræsus. See Tertullian also, Apolog. c. 22.
* In oraculis autem quo ingenio ambiguitates temperent in eventus sciunt Cræsi, sciunt Pyrrhi. Cæterum testitudinem decoqui cum carnibus pecudis Pythius eo modo renuntiavit quo supra diximus; momento apud Lydiam fuerat.
XLVIII. They wrote down the communication of the Pythian, and returned to Sardis. Of the answers which his other messengers brought on their return, Croesus found none which were satisfactory. But a fervour of gratitude and piety was excited in him, as soon as he was informed of the reply of the Pythian; and he exclaimed, without reserve, that there was no true oracle but at Delphi, for this alone had explained his employment at the stipulated time. It seems, that on the day appointed for his servants to consult the different oracles, determining to do what it would be equally difficult to discover or explain, he had cut in pieces a tortoise and a lamb, and boiled them together in a covered vessel of brass.
XLIX. I have before related what was the answer of the Delphic oracle to Creesus: what reply the Lydians received from Amphiaraus, after the usual religious ceremonies, I am not able to affirm; of this it is only asserted, that its answer was satisfactory to Cresus.
L. Cresus, after these things, determined to conciliate the divinity of Delphi, by a great and magnificent sacrifice. He offered up three thousand chosen victimsós; he collected a great num
65 Three thousand chosen victims.]—This appears to be a prodigious number; but, as Larcher observes, Theodoret
ber of couches decorated with gold and silver", many goblets of gold, and vests of purple; all these he consumed together upon one immense pile, thinking by these means to render the deity more auspicious to his hopes: he persuaded his subjects also to offer up, in like manner, the proper objects for sacrifice they respectively possessed. As, at the conclusion of the above ceremony, a considerable quantity of gold had run together, he formed of it a number of * tiles. The larger of these were
reproaches the Greeks with their sacrifices of hundreds of thousands.
See the account of Solomon's Sacrifice. 2 Chron. vii. 5. the magnificence of which is beyond all parallel.
Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord.
And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep.
66 Couches decorated with gold and silver.] --Prodigal as the munificence of Cræsus appears to have been on this occasion, the funeral pile of the Emperor Severus, as described by Herodian, was neither less splendid nor less costly. He tells us, that there was not a province, city, or grandee throughout the wide circuit of the Roman empire, that did not contribute to decorate this superb edifice. When the whole was completed, after many days of preparatory ceremonies, the next successor to the empire, with a torch, set fire to the pile, and in a little time every thing was consumed. --T.
* In the Book of Numbers ch, xvi, we find that in the rebellion of Korah, two hundred and fifty men who were in the act of offering incense were consumed by fire. Aaron was ordered to take the censers of these inen, and make of them a broad plate for the covering of the altar.
six palms long, the smaller three, but none of them were less than a palm in thickness, and they were one hundred and seventeen in number: four were of the purest gold, weighing each one talent and a half; the rest were of inferior quality, but of the weight of two talents. He constructed also a lion of pure gold Ø7, which weighed ten talents. It was originally placed in the Delphian temple, on the above gold tiles; but when this edifice was burned, it fell from its place, and now stands in the Corinthian treasury: it lost, however, by the fire, three talents and a half of its former weight.
LI. Cræsus, moreover, sent to Delphi two large cisterns, one of gold, and one of silver: that of gold was placed on the right hand, in the vestibule of the temple; the silver one was placed on the left. These also were removed when the temple was consumed by fire: the golden goblet weighed
Speak unto Eleazer, the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the censers out of the burning, and scatter thou the fire yonder; for they are hallowed.
The censers of the sinners against their own souls, let them make them broad plates for a covering of the altar.
The censers had probably run together, and the similarity is very striking.
67 Lion of pure gold.]— These tiles, this lion, and the statue of the breadmaker of Cresus, were of them, at a subsequent period, seized by the Phocians, to defray the expençes of the holy war.--Larcher.
eight talents and a half and twelve minæ, and was afterwards placed in the Clazomenian treasury: that of silver is capable of holding six hundred amphoræ; it is placed at the entrance of the temple, and used by the inhabitants of Delphi in their Theophanian festival: they assert it to have been the work of Theodorus of Samos68; to which opinion, as it is evidently the production of no mean artist, I am inclined to accede. The Corinthian treasury also possesses four silver casks, which were sent by Cræsus, in addition to the above, to Delphi. His munificence did not yet cease: he presented also two basons, one of gold, another of silver. An inscription on that of gold, asserts it to have been the gift of the Lacedæmonians; but it is not true, for this also was the gift of Cræsus. To gratify the Lacedæmonians, a certain Delphian wrote this inscription: I know his name, but forbear to disclose it. The boy through whose hand the water flows, was given by the La
68 Theodorus of Samos.]—He was the first statuary on record. The following mention is made of him by Pliny :Theodorus, who constructed the labyrinth at Samos, made a cast of himself in brass, which, independent of its being a perfect likeness, was an extraordinary effort of genius. He had in his right hand a file; with three fingers of his left he held a carriage drawn by four horses; the carriage, the horses, and the driver, were so minute, that the whole was covered by the wings of a fly.-T.
69. I know his name, but forbear to disclose it.]-If Ptolemæus in Photiùs may be credited, his name was Æthus.-T,