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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Theagenes and the Bull
By Heliodorus of Emesa (Third Century)
 
From ‘Theagenes and Chariclea’: The Tenth Booke: Translation of Thomas Underdowne

AS soone as Hidaspes had in fewe woordes declared to the people his victorie, and what he had done else luckily for the common wealth, he commanded them who had to do with the holy affaires to beginne their sacrifice. There were three altars made: two which appertained to the Sunne and Moon were set together; the third thus was Bacchus, was erected a good way off; to him they sacrificed al manner of living things, because that his power is wel knowen, as I suppose, and pleaseth all. Uppon the other altars to the Sunne were offered young white horses, and to the Moone a yoke of oxen, by reason that they helpe them in their husbandrie. Not farre from thence, while these thinges were in doing, there was a soudaine uncertain voice heard (as is like would be among such a multitude) which cried: Let the sacrifice which our countrie accustometh to do, be now made for all our safeties, then let the first fruits that were gotten in the war be offered.  1
  Hidaspes perceived that they called for humane sacrifices, which are woont to be offered of those that are taken in straung warres; and beckoned with hand, and told them that he would by and by doo what they required; and therewith he commaunded the prisoners appointed for the purpose to be brought foorth, among whom came Theagenes, and Cariclia, not bound, but garded about with men: all the other were heavie,—and good reason why,—saving Theagenes; and Cariclia smiled, and went with a cheerefull countenaunce…. At the altar of the Moone stoode two bullockes; and at the altar of the Sunne foure white horses, to be sacrificed: when the monstrous and strounge beast came in sight, they were as sore troubled, and afraid as if they had sene a sprite; and one of the bulles, which as might be thought sawe the beast alone, and two horses, brake out of their handes that helde them, and ranne about as fast as they could: mary, they could not breake out of the compasse of the army, because the souldiers with their shieldes had made as it were a wall round; but they ranne here and there, and overthrewe all that stoode in their way, were it vessel or anything els; so that there was a great shout, as well of those to whome they came for feare, as also for joy and pleasure that other had to see them overrunne their mates, and tread them under their feete….  2
  Then Theagenes, either moved with his own manly courage or else sturred forwarde with strength sent him of God, when he sawe his keepers that attended uppon him dispersed here and there, with the tumulte start up soudainely (for before he kneeled at the altar, and looked every minute to be slaine) and tooke up a cleft sticke, whereof there lay a great many upon the altar, and leapt uppon one of the horses that was broken loose, and holding him by the mane in steede of a bridle, and with his heeles and the cleft sticke making him to go, folowed the Bull. At the first every man thought that Theagenes would have bene gone, and therefore incouraged one another that they would not let him goe out of compasse of the souldiers. But by that hee did after, they sawe he did it not for feare, not to avoid the sacrificing: for when he had overtaken the Bull, in verie short time, he tooke him by the taile, and drave him forward of purpose to weary him in making him runne faster, which way so ever he went, hee followed after him, and with great skill so tooke heede to his shorte turnes that they hurt him not. After he had acquainted the Bull with this, he rode at his side, so neare that their skinnes touched, and their breathes and sweatte were mingled together, and he made them keepe so equall a course too, that those who were a farre off deemed that they had bene made but one, and commended Theagenes to the heavens, that had so straungly yoked a horse and a Bull together.  3
  And upon this looked all the people; but when Cariclia saw it, shee trembled and quaked, because she knew not what hee meant, and was as sore afraide of his hurte, if he should by ill happe have a fall, as if she should have bene slaine herselfe…. Theagenes, after he had let the horse runne as faste as he coulde, so long till his breast was equall with the Bulles head, he let him go at libertie, and fell upon the Bulles head betweene his hornes, and cast his armes about his head like a garlande, and clasped his fingers on his forhead before, and let the rest of his body hang downe by the right shoulder of him. So that the Bull in going hurt him a little. After Theagenes perceived that he was weary with the great burthen, and his muscles were faint with too much travell, and that hee came before the place where Hydaspes sate, he turned himselfe before and set his feete before the Bull, who beatte upon his hoofes stil, and so tripped him. He being let of his course, and overcome with the strength of the young man, fell downe upon his head and shoulders, so that his hornes stucke so fast in the ground, that he could not move his head, and his feete stoode upward, with which he sprawled in vaine a great while, and by his feeblenes declared that he was overcome. Theagenes lay uppon him, and with his left hand held him downe, but lifted his right hand up to heaven, and looked merrilie upon Hydaspes and all that were there els, who laughed and were much delighted with that sight, and they heard that the Bull with his lowing declared the famousnesse of the victorie, as wel as if it had beene declared with a trumpet. On the other side was a great shoute of the people, that said plainly nothing that one could understand to his praise, but with their wide throates and gaping mouthes (as in like assemblies doeth oft happen) they seemed to extoll him to the heavens with one consent.  4
 
 
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