Tales From Herodotus IV: Story of Mycerinus

Translated from Greek

In this case I went with a looser translation. Changing participles to indicative English comprises most of my changes.

The deeds of his father displeased Mycerinus; so he opened up the temples and sent forth the people, worn down to the extremity of hardship, against their doings and sacrifices; and for the people he made the fairest judgments of all the kings. But although Mycerinus was kind toward his citizens and attended to these things, his daughter experienced the foremost of hardships, dying, she who was the only child born to him in his household. And after the suffering of his daughter, a second thing happened to this king as follows. An oracle came to him from the city, Buto, that after living six years, he was destined to die on the seventh. He took it badly, and sent to the oracle a reproach for the god, casting blame in turn, “My father and uncle, not only did they close off the temples and forget the gods, but they also ruined the people, yet they lived for many years; I, on the other hand, despite being pious, I am destined soon to die.”

From the shrine there came to him a second [oracle], saying, “For this very reason, your life hastens to an end. For you have not done that which was necessary to do. For Egypt must be afflicted for fifty years and one hundred. The two kings who came before you learned this, but not you.”

When Mycerinus heard this, since some of his punishments had already been assigned, he had many lamps made for himself, and lit them whenever night fell, and he drank and made merry, never relaxing, neither day nor night, [often] wandering into the marshes and groves, wherever in the world he had learned were places most suitable to pleasure. He contrived these things, wishing to prove the oracle fooled, so that he might have twelve years instead of six years by making days of the nights.

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