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Headword: Ἀρχίας
Adler number: alpha,4104
Translated headword: Archias
Vetting Status: high
[Archias], a Syracusan,[1] and Myskellos, an Achaian,[2] had come to Delphi[3] at the same time and they were asking to receive a good prophecy for the cities they were about to colonize, [about] what the life was that was fated to themselves and to their cities.[4] And the Pythia[5] said, "Since you have a people that inhabits the country and the city, you came to ask Phoebus [Apollo] what land to go to. But come now, tell me which boon you prefer, to have a wealth of possessions or most agreeable health?" Now when they heard this, Archias, since he was a lover of wealth, chooses the amplification of wealth, nor was he beguiled of his hope; at any rate Syracuse became a very rich city, in accordance with the Pythian oracle.[6] Myskellos, though, chooses for himself and his city to have good health, and he got what he asked for. As proof, at any rate, of the good health in Croton,[7] the inhabitants are of strong body, and the city became the mother of many fine athletes. Wealth and health are both gifts, then. The stout choice and healthy thought chooses the better things, and these men are evidence, the one that was wiser, and the other that was not altogether a gentleman. For, of the good things of mankind, one is greater and one is second, as Plato says[8] and the song goes.[9]
Greek Original:
Ἀρχίας, Συρακούσιος καὶ Μύσκελλος Ἀχαιὸς ἧκον ἐς Δελφοὺς ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ τοῦ χρόνου καὶ ᾔτουν ἄρα ὑπὲρ ὧν ἔμελλον οἰκίζειν πόλεων φήμην ἀγαθὴν λαβεῖν, τὸν ἐπινησθέντα αὐτοῖς τε καὶ ταῖς πόλεσιν αὐτῶν βίον. λέγει δὲ ἡ Πυθία: χώρας καὶ πόλεως οἰκήτορα λαὸν ἔχοντες ἤλθετ' ἐρησόμενοι Φοῖβον, τίνα γαῖαν ἵκησθε: ἀλλ' ἄγε δὴ φράζεσθ' ἀγαθῶν πότερόν κεν ἕλοισθε, πλοῦτον ἔχειν κτεάνων ἢ τερπνοτάτην ὑγίειαν. ἐπεὶ τοίνυν ταῦτα ἠκουσάτην, Ἀρχίας ὢν φιλοχρήματος πλούτου περιβολὴν αἱρεῖται, οὐδὲ ἐψεύσθη τῆς ἐλπίδος: παμπλούσιος γοῦν Συράκουσα ἡ πόλις κατὰ τὴν φήμην τὴν Πυθιάδα ἐγένετο. Μύσκελλος δὲ αἱρεῖται αὐτός τε ὑγιαίνειν καὶ ἡ πόλις: καὶ ἀπώνητο ὧν ᾔτησε. δεῖγμα γοὖν τῆς ἐν Κρότωνι ὑγιείας ῥωμαλέοι τέ εἰσιν οἱ οἰκήτορες, καὶ ἀθλητῶν ἡ πόλις πολλῶν καὶ ἀγαθῶν μήτηρ ἐγένετο. πλοῦτος ἄρα καὶ ὑγίεια δῶρα ἄμφω ἐστόν: αἵρεσις δὲ ἐρρωμένη καὶ διάνοια ὑγιαίνουσα αἱρεῖται τὰ βελτίω, καὶ ἀπέφηναν καὶ οὗτοι, ὁ μὲν συνετώτερος ὢν, ὁ δὲ οὐ πάντῃ ἐλευθέριος. τῶν γὰρ οὖν ἀγαθῶν τῶν ἀνθρωπικῶν τὸ μὲν πρεσβύτερον, τὸ δὲ δεύτερον, ὡς καὶ Πλάτων φησὶ καὶ τὸ σκολιὸν ᾄδει.
Source: Aelian fr. 346 Hercher (343 Domingo-Forasté); cf. Strabo 6.2.4; the scholia to Aristophanes, Knights 1091; and mu 1473.
[1] More exactly, a Corinthian who became the oikist (founder) of Syracuse, c.734 BCE.
[2] Achaia was a large region of the N. Peloponnese, west of Corinth. Myskellos actually came from the city of Rhypes.
[3] See generally delta 210.
[4] cf. epsilon 2490.
[5] See generally pi 3127.
[6] cf. sigma 1659.
[7] cf. kappa 2482.
[8] Plato, Gorgias 451E (web address 1 below): good health is best, beauty second, riches -- fairly acquired -- third.
[9] cf. sigma 644.
J. Fontenrose, The Delphic Oracle: its Responses and Operations, with a Catalogue of Responses (Berkeley & Los Angeles 1978) 279, Q31; see also QQ28, 29, 30, 36.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: aetiology; athletics; biography; economics; ethics; geography; medicine; meter and music; mythology; philosophy; religion
Translated by: John Henkel on 1 May 2002@16:33:37.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; added bibliography; cosmetics) on 2 May 2002@05:21:31.
David Whitehead (another keyword; cosmetics) on 4 December 2005@08:47:48.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link, added keyword) on 30 May 2011@13:41:39.
Catharine Roth (a small typo) on 26 January 2012@17:41:33.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 23 April 2012@10:12:56.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 24 January 2014@09:09:00.


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