Tales From Herodotus V. Stories of Amasis, who usurped the throne of Egypt

Translated from Greek

a) How, in spite of his low birth, he induced his subjects to respect him.

After Apries was deposed, Amasis became king. At first, the Egyptians despised Amasis and held him in no great respect, since he was formerly a commoner and from an undistinguished house. But Amasis soon won them over, not by bluster, but by skill. He had a golden basin for washing feet, in which he himself and also all his guests always washed their feet, and countless other fine things besides. And so, he cut this into pieces and made from it a statue of a god, and he set it up where it was most useful; and the Egyptians came to and fro before the statue and worshiped it greatly.

When Amasis discovered this, he called the Egyptians together and he revealed it, saying that from the wash-basin, the statue had come to be, into what the Egyptians had previously vomited and washed their feet, they then greatly worshiped. And then he went on to say that he had done himself the same way as with the statue; for if he had previously been a commoner, he was nevertheless at present their king. And he bid them to honour him and show respect for him.

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