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Melpomene   


notwithstanding they had colonised Libya, they prospered as poorly
as before. Hereon the Pythoness made them the following answer:-

Knowest thou better than I, fair Libya abounding in fleeces?
Better the stranger than he who has trod it? Oh! clever
Theraeans!

Battus and his friends, when they heard this, sailed back to Platea:
it was plain the god would not hold them acquitted of the colony
till they were absolutely in Libya. So, taking with them the man
whom they had left upon the island, they made a settlement on the
mainland directly opposite Platea, fixing themselves at a place called
Aziris, which is closed in on both sides by the most beautiful
hills, and on one side is washed by a river.
Here they remained six years, at the end of which time the Libyans
induced them to move, promising that they would lead them to a
better situation. So the Greeks left Aziris and were conducted by
the Libyans towards the west, their journey being so arranged, by
the calculation of their guides, that they passed in the night the
most beautiful district of that whole country, which is the region
called Irasa. The Libyans brought them to a spring, which goes by
the name of Apollo's fountain, and told them- "Here, Grecians, is
the proper place for you to settle; for here the sky leaks."
During the lifetime of Battus, the founder of the colony, who
reigned forty years, and during that of his son Arcesilaus, who
reigned sixteen, the Cyrenaeans continued at the same level, neither
more nor fewer in number than they were at the first. But in the reign
of the third king, Battus, surnamed the Happy, the advice of the
Pythoness brought Greeks from every quarter into Libya, to join the
settlement. The Cyrenaeans had offered to all comers a share in
their lands; and the oracle had spoken as follows:-

He that is backward to share in the pleasant Libyan acres,
Sooner or later, I warn him, will feel regret at his folly.

Thus a great multitude were collected together to Cyrene, and the
Libyans of the neighbourhood found themselves stripped of large
portions of their lands. So they, and their king Adicran, being robbed
and insulted by the Cyrenaeans, sent messengers to Egypt, and put
themselves under the rule of Apries, the Egyptian monarch; who, upon
this, levied a vast army of Egyptians, and sent them against Cyrene.
The inhabitants of that place left their walls and marched out in
force to the district of Irasa, where, near the spring called
Theste, they engaged the Egyptian host, and defeated it. The
Egyptians, who had never before made trial of the prowess of the
Greeks, and so thought but meanly of them, were routed with such
slaughter that but a very few of them ever got back home. For this
reason, the subjects of Apries, who laid the blame of the defeat on
him, revolted from his authority.
This Battus left a son called Arcesilaus, who, when he came to the
throne, had dissensions with his brothers, which ended in their
quitting him and departing to another region of Libya, where, after
consulting among themselves, they founded the city, which is still
called by the name then given to it, Barca. At the same time they
endeavoured to induce the Libyans to revolt from Cyrene. Not long
afterwards Arcesilaus made an expedition against the Libyans who had
received his brothers and been prevailed upon to revolt; and they,
fearing his power, fled to their countrymen who dwelt towards the
east. Arcesilaus pursued, and chased them to a place called Leucon,
which is in Libya, where the Libyans resolved to risk a battle.
Accordingly they engaged the Cyrenaeans, and defeated them so entirely
that as many as seven thousand of their heavy-armed were slain in
the fight. Arcesilaus, after this blow, fell sick, and, whilst he
was under the influence of a draught which he had taken, was strangled

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