He Gets No Respect

(Chapter 172, part 1 of 2) Amasis becomes Pharaoh, but his humble origins do not inspire public respect. He intends to teach the people that privileges come with the job through an object lesson. He takes a golden footbath from his dining room and beats it into the image of a minor god. This he sets up in the busy center of Sais and waits to see what will happen.


[Vocabulary] Lots of interesting stuff in this selection. It begins with a genitive absolute, then we see a common idiom, in which the English idiom hold is expressed by lead, as with the Latin ducere. There is an example of a privative, then en standing without a case. Note oi used twice for emphasis, but in the first sentence it was a genitive pronoun. We see Herodotus' habit of putting wn between prefix and verb in the aorist active participle, somewhat like abso-bloody-lutely.

Apries in this manner being deposed, Amasis ruled, being of the nome of Sais, in which he was of a town whose name was Siouf. At first, the Egyptians slighted him and held him in no great regard, seeing that formerly he was a common man and of no prominent family. By intelligence, Amasis won them over to him without unfeeling arrogance. For there was among his myriad treasures a golden footbath, in which he himself as well as all his dinner guests always washed their feet. Hammering this therefore down, he made an image of a god, and set it in the city in the most appropriate place.

Return to Pharaoh

Composed by J. B. Calvert
Last revised 8 July 1999