Chapter 18: Other Myths
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♠ ApB 2.8.4 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)
When they had made themselves masters of Peloponnese, they set up three altars of Paternal Zeus, and sacrificed upon them, and cast lots for the cities. So the first drawing was for Argos, the second for Lacedaemon, and the third for Messene. And they brought a pitcher of water, and resolved that each should cast in a lot. Now Temenus and the two sons of Aristodemus, Procles and Eurysthenes, threw stones; but Cresphontes, wishing to have Messene allotted to him, threw in a clod of earth. As the clod was dissolved in the water, it could not be but that the other two lots should turn up. The lot of Temenus having been drawn first, and that of the sons of Aristodemus second, Cresphontes got Messene. Greek Text
♠ Pausanias, Description of Greece 4.3.4-5
Aristodemus was now dead, but Cresphontes was vigorously opposed by Theras the son of Autesion, who was of Theban origin and fourth in descent from Polyneices the son of Oedipus. He was at that time guardian of the sons of Aristodemus, being their uncle on the mother’s side, Aristodemus having married a daughter of Autesion, called Argeia. Cresphontes, wishing to obtain Messenia as his portion at all costs, approached Temenus, and having suborned him pretended to leave the decision to the lot.  Temenus put the lots of the children of Aristodemus and of Cresphontes into a jar containing water, the terms being that the party whose lot came up first should be the first to choose a portion of the country. Temenus had caused both lots to be made of clay, but for the sons of Aristodemus sun-dried, for Cresphontes baked with fire. So the lot of the sons of Aristodemus was dissolved, and Cresphontes, winning in this way, chose Messenia. Greek Text
Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, March 2022.
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