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both together in a brazen cauldron, covered over with a lid which
was also of brass.
Such then was the answer returned to Croesus from Delphi. What the
answer was which the Lydians who went to the shrine of Amphiarans
and performed the customary rites obtained of the oracle there, I have
it not in my power to mention, for there is no record of it. All
that is known is that Croesus believed himself to have found there
also an oracle which spoke the truth.
After this Croesus, having resolved to propitiate the Delphic
god with a magnificent sacrifice, offered up three thousand of every
kind of sacrificial beast, and besides made a huge pile, and placed
upon it couches coated with silver and with gold, and golden
goblets, and robes and vests of purple; all which he burnt in the hope
of thereby making himself more secure of the favour of the god.
Further he issued his orders to all the people of the land to offer
a sacrifice according to their means. When the sacrifice was ended,
the king melted down a vast quantity of gold, and ran it into
ingots, making them six palms long, three palms broad, and one palm in
thickness. The number of ingots was a hundred and seventeen, four
being of refined gold, in weight two talents and a half; the others of
pale gold, and in weight two talents. He also caused a statue of a
lion to be made in refined gold, the weight of which was ten
talents. At the time when the temple of Delphi was burnt to the
ground, this lion fell from the ingots on which it was placed; it
now stands in the Corinthian treasury, and weighs only six talents and
a half, having lost three talents and a half by the fire.
On the completion of these works Croesus sent them away to Delphi,
and with them two bowls of an enormous size, one of gold, the other of
silver, which used to stand, the latter upon the right, the former
upon the left, as one entered the temple. They too were moved at the
time of the fire; and now the golden one is in the Clazomenian
treasury, and weighs eight talents and forty-two minae; the silver one
stands in the corner of the ante-chapel, and holds six hundred
amphorae. This is known because the Delphians fill it at the time of
the Theophania. It is said by the Delphians to be a work of Theodore
the Samian, and I think that they say true, for assuredly it is the
work of no common artist. Croesus sent also four silver casks, which
are in the Corinthian treasury, and two lustral vases, a golden and
a silver one. On the former is inscribed the name of the
Lacedaemonians, and they claim it as a gift of theirs, but wrongly,
since it was really given by Croesus. The inscription upon it was
cut by a Delphian, who wished to pleasure the Lacedaemonians. His name
is known to me, but I forbear to mention it. The boy, through whose
hand the water runs, is (I confess) a Lacedaemonian gift, but they did
not give either of the lustral vases. Besides these various offerings,
Croesus sent to Delphi many others of less account, among the rest a
number of round silver basins. Also he dedicated a female figure in
gold, three cubits high, which is said by the Delphians to be the
statue of his baking-woman; and further, he presented the necklace and
the girdles of his wife.
These were the offerings sent by Croesus to Delphi. To the
shrine of Amphiaraus, with whose valour and misfortune he was
acquainted, he sent a shield entirely of gold, and a spear, also of
solid gold, both head and shaft. They were still existing in my day at
Thebes, laid up in the temple of Ismenian Apollo.
The messengers who had the charge of conveying these treasures
to the shrines, received instructions to ask the oracles whether
Croesus should go to war with the Persians and if so, whether he
should strengthen himself by the forces of an ally. Accordingly,
when they had reached their destinations and presented the gifts, they
proceeded to consult the oracles in the following terms:- "Croesus, of
Lydia and other countries, believing that these are the only real
oracles in all the world, has sent you such presents as your
discoveries deserved, and now inquires of you whether he shall go to

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