Tales From Herodotus II. How the Egyptian king Psammeticus discovered the oldest race on Earth.

I love this story. Psammeticus is a ruthless scientist!

The Egyptians, when Psammeticus was king of them, considered themselves to have been first of all peoples. But when Psammeticus became king, he wished to know who were the first [peoples], [and] from then on they knew that the Phrygians were the first before them, but that were before all others. And so when Psammeticus, by inquiring, was unable to discover anything of this matter, who were the first of peoples, he contrived as follows. He gave two newborn children of ordinary people to a shepherd to raise, commanded that he never utter any sound before them, and to lay them by themselves in a lonely house, and at the time that the shepherd leads his goats to them, to accomplish filling them with milk and every other thing necessary. and Psammeticus considered this and he also ordered that he wished to hear whatever noise the children first voice, once their inarticulate babbling had ended. And so those very things happened; for once two years had passed, when the shepherd opened the door and entered, both children begging at his knees were saying, “Bekos,” stretching out their hands. And having heard the first [words], the shepherd kept quiet; But as this word was frequently heard by him, visiting often and taking care, he thus gave word to his master and led the children into the sight of that man. And when Psammeticus himself heard, he sought out whichever peoples called what, “Bekos.” And, inquiring, he discovered that the Phrygians called bread this. Thus the Egyptians agreed, having measured by these events that the Phrygians were older than they.

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