| Famous Men of Greece|
|by John H. Haaren|
|Attractive biographical sketches of thirty-five of the most prominent characters in the history of ancient Greece, from legendary times to its fall in 146 B.C. Each story is told in a clear, simple manner, and is well calculated to awaken and stimulate the youthful imagination. Ages 9-12 |
CADMUS AND THE DRAGON'S TEETH
 IN a land of Asia, named
Phœnicia, lived King Agenor with his queen. They had four
children—three sons and a beautiful daughter named
morning, as the young people were
playing in a meadow near the seashore, a snow-white bull
came toward them. Europa and her
brothers thought it would be a fine frolic to take a ride on
the back of the bull; and the brothers
agreed that Europa should have the first ride. In a moment
she was on the bull's back, and the
bull was capering over the meadow. Then, suddenly, he ran
down to the shore and plunged into
the sea. For a little while he could be seen swimming
through the water, with Europa clinging to
his horns. Then both disappeared, and Europa never saw her
brothers or her father or her mother
again. Still, her fate was not a sad one. At the end of
a long ride on the back of the bull she
reached that part of the world which to this day is called
Europe in her honor. There she married
a king, and was queen for all the rest of her life.
EUROPA ON THE BULL'S BACK
 But in her old home there was great distress. Agenor sent
his sons to look for her and told them
not to return until they had found their sister. Their
mother went with them. After a long time
the two elder sons gave up the search and settled in a
strange land. The mother and the youngest
son, Cadmus, wandered on until her death. With her last
breath she made him promise to go to
Mount Parnassus and ask the oracle where he might find
Europa. As soon as she was dead
Cadmus made haste to Parnassus. When he arrived at the
mountain, he found the cleft in the
rocks from which long before the oracle had come to
Deucalion. Cadmus stood before the stream
of gas which poured from it and asked for advice.
From the cleft came a deep roaring sound. Then he heard the
puzzling words, "Follow the cow;
and build a city where she lies down."
Cadmus saw a cow nibbling tufts of grass by the roadside,
not far from where he was standing.
He decided to follow her and, with some companions, set out
on his unknown journey.
For a long time it seemed as though the cow would not lie
down at all, but, finally, she began to
double her knees under her, as cows do, and in a second more
she was at rest on the ground.
Cadmus and his men decided to camp on the spot for the
 They looked about for some water and found a spring bubbling
out from under a rock.
Now this was really an enchanted spring. It was guarded by
a dragon that had the claws of a lion,
the wings of an eagle and the jaws of a serpent. When
Cadmus and his men came near, the
dragon sprang from behind the rock and killed all but
Luckily, Cadmus had his sword with him, and so, when the
dragon, with wide-open jaws, flew at
him, he thrust his sword down the fiery throat and into the
creature's heart. The monster fell
dead, and through the air rang the words, "Sow the teeth of
the dragon, O Cadmus!"
Though he saw that it would be hard work to break the great
teeth out of the dragon's jaws,
Cadmus at once set about the task, When it was finished, he
dug the soil with the point of his
sword as best he could and planted half of the monster's
Never had grown such a wonderful crop. For every tooth that
was planted a warrior, armed and
eager to fight, sprang up. Cadmus gazed in amazement, until
a voice in the air commanded,
"Throw a stone among the warriors."
Cadmus obeyed, and immediately every warrior drew his sword
and attacked one of his
 The woods rang with the din of the battle. One by one the
warriors fell, until only five were left.
Cadmus now shouted loudly to them, "Be at peace!" When they
stopped fighting, he added,
"Building is better than killing."
And every man of the five immediately repeated the words,
"Building is better than killing."
"Then let us build a city here!" cried Cadmus; for they were
standing where the cow had lain
The warriors agreed, and all set to work to build a city.
They called the city Thebes; and in later
days it became very famous.
The land around Thebes was rich and covered with grass. So
Cadmus and his friends raised
cattle. But there were many robbers in Greece, who often
made raids upon the cattle and stole
some of the finest animals.
For protection against the robbers a wall was built. It was
not a wall laid by masons, but a magic
wall built by a strange musician called Amphion. He struck
such sweet music from his lyre that
the stones danced about and took their proper places in the
When Cadmus was a boy at his father's palace in Phœnicia, he
and his brothers and the lost
Europa had been taught to read and write; and now that peace
and plenty filled his land, he
 teach his people the arts of reading and writing. So the
men of Thebes learned their a-b-c's, and
Cadmus' school was the first in Europe where people were
taught to read.
But Cadmus was not happy. He was condemned to eight years
of punishment for killing the
dragon. After the punishment was over, Jupiter gave him
Harmony, the daughter of Venus, for a
wife, and all the gods came to the wedding feast. One of
the wedding presents was a necklace
that brought bad luck to any one who wore it, and Harmony
had great misfortunes. Bowed with
grief, she and Cadmus left Thebes and settled in the
western part of Greece. Finally, Jupiter
pitied them in their trouble, turned them into serpents, and
carried them to the realm of the
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