The CBd
Herodotus II 73
῎Εστι δὲ καὶ ἄλλος ὄρνις ἱρός, τῷ οὔνομα φοῖνιξ. ᾿Εγὼ μέν μιν οὐκ εἶδον εἰ μὴ ὅσον γραφῇ· καὶ γὰρ δὴ καὶ σπάνιος ἐπιφοιτᾷ σφι δι' ἐτέων, ὡς ῾Ηλιοπολῖται λέγουσι, πεντακοσίων· φοιτᾶν δὲ τότε φασὶ ἐπεάν οἱ ἀποθάνῃ ὁ πατήρ. ῎Εστι δέ, εἰ τῇ γραφῇ παρόμοιος, τοσόσδε καὶ τοιόσδε· τὰ μὲν αὐτοῦ χρυσόκομα τῶν πτερῶν, τὰ δὲ ἐρυθρά· ἐς τὰ μάλιστα αἰετῷ περιήγησιν ὁμοιότατος καὶ τὸ μέγαθος. Τοῦτον δὲ λέγουσι μηχανᾶσθαι τάδε, ἐμοὶ μὲν οὐ πιστὰ λέγοντες, ἐξ ᾿Αραβίης ὁρμώμενον ἐς τὸ ἱρὸν τοῦ ῾Ηλίου κομίζειν τὸν πατέρα ἐν σμύρνῃ ἐμπλάσαντα καὶ θάπτειν ἐν τοῦ ῾Ηλίου τῷ ἱρῷ. Κομίζειν δὲ οὕτω· πρῶτον τῆς σμύρνης ᾠὸν πλάσσειν ὅσον τε δυνατός ἐστι φέρειν, μετὰ δὲ πειρᾶσθαι αὐτὸ φορέοντα, ἐπεὰν δὲ ἀποπειρηθῇ, οὕτω δὴ κοιλήναντα τὸ ᾠὸν τὸν πατέρα ἐς αὐτὸ ἐντιθέναι, σμύρνῃ δὲ ἄλλῃ ἐμπλάσσειν τοῦτο κατ' ὅ τι τοῦ ᾠοῦ ἐκκοιλήνας ἐνέθηκε τὸν πατέρα, ἐγκειμένου δὲ τοῦ πατρὸς γίνεσθαι τὠυτὸ βάρος, ἐμπλάσαντα δὲ κομίζειν μιν ἐπ' Αἰγύπτου ἐς τοῦ ῾Ηλίου τὸ ἱρόν. Ταῦτα μὲν τοῦτον τὸν ὄρνιν λέγουσι ποιέειν.
Another bird also is sacred; it is called the phoenix. I myself have never seen it, but only pictures of it; for the bird comes but seldom into Egypt, once in five hundred years, as the people of Heliopolis say. It is said that the phoenix comes when his father dies. If the picture truly shows his size and appearance, his plumage is partly golden but mostly red. He is most like an eagle in shape and bigness. The Egyptians tell a tale of this bird's devices which I do not believe. He comes, they say, from Arabia bringing his father to the Sun's temple enclosed in myrrh, and there buries him. His manner of bringing is this: first he moulds an egg of myrrh as heavy as he can carry, and when he has proved its weight by lifting it he then hollows out the egg and puts his father in it, covering over with more myrrh the hollow in which the body lies; so the egg being with his father in it of the same weight as before, the phoenix, after enclosing him, carries him to the temple of the Sun in Egypt. Such is the tale of what is done by this bird.
Translation by A. D. Godley. From Loeb Classical Library, 19201.
Last modified: 2012-05-17 13:08:57

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