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The Story of the Greeks by  H. A. Guerber

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The Story of the Greeks
by Helene A. Guerber
Elementary history of Greece, made up principally of stories about persons, giving at the same time a clear idea of the most important events in the ancient world and calculated to enforce the lessons of perseverance, courage, patriotism, and virtue that are taught by the noble lives described. Beginning with the legends of Jason, Theseus, and events surrounding the Trojan War, the narrative moves on to present the contrasting city-states of Sparta and Athens, the war against Persia, their conflicts with each other, the feats of Alexander the Great, and annexation by Rome.  Ages 10-14
365 pages $13.95   

 

 

THE JEALOUS ATHLETE

[83] NEAR the statue of Milo of Croton stood that of Theagenes, another noted athlete, who lived many years after Milo. He too had defeated every rival. He was the winner of many prizes, and all envied him his strength and renown.

One of the men in particular, whom he had defeated in the games, was jealous of him, and of the honors which he had won. This man, instead of trying to overcome these wicked feelings, used to steal daily into the temple to view his rival's statue, and mutter threats and curses against it.

In his anger, he also gave the pedestal an angry shake every night, hoping that some harm would befall the statue. One evening, when this jealous man had jostled the image of Theagenes a little more roughly than usual, the heavy marble toppled and fell, crushing him to death beneath its weight.

When the priests came into the temple the next day, and found the man's dead body under the great statue, they were very much surprised. The judges assembled, as was the custom when a crime of any kind had been committed, to decide what had caused his death.

As it was usual in Greece to hold judgment over lifeless as well as over living things, the statue of Theagenes was brought into court, and accused and found guilty of murder.

The judges then said, that, as the statue had committed a crime, it deserved to be punished, and so they [84] condemned it to be cast into the sea and drowned. This sentence had scarcely been executed, when a plague broke out in Greece; and when the frightened people consulted an oracle to find out how it could be checked, they learned that it would not cease until the statue of Theagenes had been set up on its pedestal again. The superstitious Greeks believed these words, fished the statue up out of the sea, and placed it again in Olympia. As the plague stopped shortly after this, they all felt sure that it was because they had obeyed the oracle, and they ever after looked upon the statue with great awe.





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