How To Know True Gods

(Chapter 174) Before Amasis became Pharaoh, he was something of a swinger, drinking and joking. When his funds grew short, he replenished them by stealing here and there. His victims dragged him to the nearest oracle to establish his guilt. Many times he was acquitted, as often convicted. When he came to power, he neglected those gods who had found him innocent, and cultivated those who had correctly found him guilty.



This selection features the imperfect tense, describing customary behavior, and using the particle an . It has some entertaining words, and as usual is full of participles. Note the perfect tense used for possession, with the omission of the initial kappa.

They say that when he was a private person, Amasis was a drinker and a joker, and by no means a sober man. When, while drinking and having fun, his means failed, he went around stealing. Those who said he had their possessions led him denying guilt to the nearest oracle. Often he was convicted by the oracles, often acquitted. When he ruled, he did this: whichever of the gods had acquitted him of being a thief, their temples he never took care of, nor gave a thing for repairs, nor sacrificed regularly, since they were unworthy and had false oracles. Of those [temples] of the gods who had declared him a thief, being true gods and furnishing true oracles, he took the best of care.

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Composed by J. B. Calvert
Last revised 10 July 1999