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Clio   


war with the Persians, and if so, whether he shall strengthen
himself by the forces of a confederate." Both the oracles agreed in
the tenor of their reply, which was in each case a prophecy that if
Croesus attacked the Persians, he would destroy a mighty empire, and a
recommendation to him to look and see who were the most powerful of
the Greeks, and to make alliance with them.
At the receipt of these oracular replies Croesus was overjoyed,
and feeling sure now that he would destroy the empire of the Persians,
he sent once more to Pytho, and presented to the Delphians, the number
of whom he had ascertained, two gold staters apiece. In return for
this the Delphians granted to Croesus and the Lydians the privilege of
precedency in consulting the oracle, exemption from all charges, the
most honourable seat at the festivals, and the perpetual right of
becoming at pleasure citizens of their town.
After sending these presents to the Delphians, Croesus a third
time consulted the oracle, for having once proved its truthfulness, he
wished to make constant use of it. The question whereto he now desired
an answer was- "Whether his kingdom would be of long duration?" The
following was the reply of the Pythoness:-

Wait till the time shall come when a mule is monarch of Media;
Then, thou delicate Lydian, away to the pebbles of Hermus;
Haste, oh! haste thee away, nor blush to behave like a coward.

Of all the answers that had reached him, this pleased him far
the best, for it seemed incredible that a mule should ever come to
be king of the Medes, and so he concluded that the sovereignty would
never depart from himself or his seed after him. Afterwards he
turned his thoughts to the alliance which he had been recommended to
contract, and sought to ascertain by inquiry which was the most
powerful of the Grecian states. His inquiries pointed out to him two
states as pre-eminent above the rest. These were the Lacedaemonians
and the Athenians, the former of Doric, the latter of Ionic blood. And
indeed these two nations had held from very, early times the most
distinguished place in Greece, the being a Pelasgic, the other a
Hellenic people, and the one having never quitted its original
seats, while the other had been excessively migratory; for during
the reign of Deucalion, Phthiotis was the country in which the
Hellenes dwelt, but under Dorus, the son of Hellen, they moved to
the tract at the base of Ossa and Olympus, which is called
Histiaeotis; forced to retire from that region by the Cadmeians,
they settled, under the name of Macedni, in the chain of Pindus. Hence
they once more removed and came to Dryopis; and from Dryopis having
entered the Peloponnese in this way, they became known as Dorians.
What the language of the Pelasgi was I cannot say with any
certainty. If, however, we may form a conjecture from the tongue
spoken by the Pelasgi of the present day- those, for instance, who
live at Creston above the Tyrrhenians, who formerly dwelt in the
district named Thessaliotis, and were neighbours of the people now
called the Dorians- or those again who founded Placia and Scylace upon
the Hellespont, who had previously dwelt for some time with the
Athenians- or those, in short, of any other of the cities which have
dropped the name but are in fact Pelasgian; if, I say, we are to
form a conjecture from any of these, we must pronounce that the
Pelasgi spoke a barbarous language. If this were really so, and the
entire Pelasgic race spoke the same tongue, the Athenians, who were
certainly Pelasgi, must have changed their language at the same time
that they passed into the Hellenic body; for it is a certain fact that
the people of Creston speak a language unlike any of their neighbours,
and the same is true of the Placianians, while the language spoken
by these two people is the same; which shows that they both retain the
idiom which they brought with them into the countries where they are
now settled.
The Hellenic race has never, since its first origin, changed its

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