Your Cicadas Don’t Sing

Antigonus, Collection of Unbelievable Things 1-2

“Timaeus, who wrote Sicilian history in Rhegium says that although only the river Alecis divided the Locrians and the Rhegians, the cicadas in Locria would sing, but those in Rhegium made no sounds. Something which smacks even more of legend is related: when Ariston, the lyre-player from Rhegium, and Eunomus, the one from Locria, came to Delphi and entered a contest about the lot assigned to themselves, Ariston thought it improper to be beaten out, because the entire colony of Rhegium sprang from Delphi, and was moreover of divine origin. But Eunomus leveled the criticism that it was not right for Ariston to even play the lyre, because among the Locrians not even cicadas can sing. Although Ariston was doing well, Eunomus won the contest for this reason: while he was playing, a cicada landed upon his lyre and began to sing, and the assembled crowd then cried out at what had happened and conceded victory to Eunomus.

Another thing equally fabulous is related among the people of Rhegium. They say that Heracles, sleeping in a part of that country and becoming annoyed by cicadas, prayed that they would lose the power of making sound.”

 

rhegium

 

Τίμαιος ὁ τὰς Σικελικὰς ἱστορίας συγγεγραφὼς ἐν †῾Ρηγίῳ† φησὶ τοὺς Λοκροὺς καὶ τοὺς ῾Ρηγίνους ὁρίζοντος ῎Αληκος καλουμένου ποταμοῦ τῶν τεττίγων τοὺς μὲν ἐν τῇ Λοκρικῇ ᾄδειν, τοὺς δὲ ἐν τῇ ῾Ρηγίνων ἀφώνους εἶναι.  λέγεται δέ τι τούτου μυθωδέστερον· ἀφικομένων γὰρ εἰς Δελφοὺς ιθαρῳδῶν ᾿Αρίστωνος μὲν ἐκ ῾Ρηγίου, παρὰ δὲ Λοκρῶν Εὐνόμου, καὶ περὶ τοῦ κλήρου πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς εἰς ἀντιλογίαν ἐλθόντων, ὁ μὲν οὐκ ᾤετο δεῖν ἐλαττοῦσθαι, τῆς ὅλης ῾Ρηγίνων ἀποικίας ἐκ Δελφῶν καὶ παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ γεγενημένης, ὁ δὲ κατέτρεχεν, ὅτι τὸ παράπαν οὐδὲ κιθαρῳδεῖν καθήκει, παρ’ οἷς οὐδ’ οἱ τέττιγες ᾄδουσιν. εὐημερήσαντος δ’ οὖν τοῦ ῾Ρηγίνου ἐν τῷ ἀγῶνι ἐνίκησεν Εὔνομος ὁ Λοκρὸς παρὰ τοιαύτην αἰτίαν· ᾄδοντος αὐτοῦ μεταξὺ τέττιξ ἐπὶ τὴν λύραν ἐπιπτὰς ᾖδεν, ἡ δὲ πανήγυρις ἀνεβόησεν ἐπὶ τῷ γεγονότι καὶ ἐκέλευσεν ἐᾶν.

Καὶ ἄλλο δὲ παρὰ τοῖς ῾Ρηγίνοις τοιοῦτον ὡς μυθικὸν ἱστορεῖται, ὅτι ῾Ηρακλῆς ἔν τινι τόπῳ τῆς χώρας κατακοιμηθεὶς καὶ ἐνοχλούμενος ὑπὸ τῶν τεττίγων ηὔξατο αὐτοὺς ἀφώνους γενέσθαι.

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