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Athenaeus of Naucratis / Volume I: Books I-VII

Book V,   pp. 287-352


Page 351

have made on people; for,. as the same Plato says, a regular 
crowd of Gorgons and Pegasi, and other monsters, keeps 
flowing in upon me in immense numbers, and of preposterous 
appearance, so that I will keep silence. 
64. When Masurius had said this, and when all* had ad- 
mired his wisdom, after silence was restored Ulpian said,- 
You seem to me, 0 guests, to be overwhelmed with im- 
petuous speeches which come upon you unexpectedly, and to 
be thoroughly soaked in unmixed wine;- 
For a man drinking wine, as a horse does water, 
Speaks like a Scythian, not knowing even koppa, 
But voiceless, lies immersed in a cask, 
And sleeps as if he'd drunk medicinal poppy; 
as says Parmeno the Byzantian. Have you been all turned 
into stone by ithe before-mentioned Gorgons? Concerning 
whom, that there really have been some animals who were 
the causes of men being turned into stone, Alexander the 
Myndian speaks at length, in the second book of his His- 
tory of Beasts, saying-.-"The Nomades in Libya (where it 
is born) call the animal named the Gorgon, 'The Looking- 
down:' and it is as most people say, conjecturing from its 
skin, something like a wild sheep; but as some say, it is like 
a calf. And they say that ib has such a breath that it destroys 
every one who meets it; and that it has a mane let down 
from its forehead over its eyes, and when it has shaken it 
aside, which it does with difficulty by reason of its weight, 
and then looks out through it, it slays the man who is 
beheld by it, not by its breath, but by some natural violence 
which proceeds from its eyes. And it was discovered in this 
way: Some of the soldiers of Marius, in his expedition against 
Jugurtha, having beheld the Gorgon, thought because it held 
its head down, and moved slowly, that it was a wild sheep, 
and in consequence they rushed upon it, intending to kill it 
with the swords which they had about them; but it, being 
disturbed, shaking aside the mane which hung down over its 
eyes, immediately caused the death of those who were rush- 
ing upon it. And when others again and again did the same 
thing, and lost their lives by so doing, and when all who pro- 
ceeded against it were invariably killed, some of the soldiers 
inquired the nature of the animal from the natives; and by 
the command of Marius some Nomad horsemen laid an 
'351 
THE GORGONS. 


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