An Account Of Egypt By Herodotus














































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Now the Egyptians, before the time when Psammetichos became king over
them, were wont to suppose that they had come - Page 4
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Now The Egyptians, Before The Time When Psammetichos Became King Over Them, Were Wont To Suppose That They Had Come

Into being first of all men; but since the time when Psammetichos having become king desired to know what men

Had come into being first, they suppose that the Phrygians came into being before themselves, but they themselves before all other men. Now Psammetichos, when he was not able by inquiry to find out any means of knowing who had come into being first of all men, contrived a device of the following kind: - Taking two new- born children belonging to persons of the common sort he gave them to a shepherd to bring up at the place where his flocks were, with a manner of bringing up such as I shall say, charging him namely that no man should utter any word in their presence, and that they should be placed by themselves in a room where none might come, and at the proper time he should bring them she-goats, and when he had satisfied them with milk he should do for them whatever else was needed. These things Psammetichos did and gave him this charge wishing to hear what word the children would let break forth first after they had ceased from wailings without sense. And accordingly it came to pass; for after a space of two years had gone by, during which the shepherd went on acting so, at length, when he opened the door and entered, both children fell before him in entreaty and uttered the word /bekos/, stretching forth their hands.

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