Tales From Herodotus III. How crocodiles are worshipped by some Egyptians, captured and eaten by others

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Translated from Greek.

To some of the Egyptians crocodiles are sacred, and to others they are not, treating them, instead, like opponents. Those who live around Thebes and Lake Moeris consider them very holy. Each one raises a crocodile, taught to be tame; they treat them like the noblest of all living things, inserting ornaments into their ears and bracelets around their front claws, and giving them specially prepared food and sacrifices; and when they die, they bury them embalmed in holy tombs.

But those who live around the city Elephantine eat them, and they do not consider them holy. They have established many and various ways of catching them; and here I write what strikes me as the best part of the story. Whenever the back of a hog is used as bait on hook, it is cast out into the middle of the river. And he having a living sow on the riverbank strikes her. The crocodile, hearing the noise, hastens toward the sound; and coming upon the pork, swallows it, and they drag it in. Then, when it is dragged out onto land, the first hunter of all of them spreads mud over its eyes; once this is done, the rest subdue it much more easily; otherwise it would be done with a struggle.

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