Site Columns By Caillan
August 10, 2002 - 6:06 PM

Hello World!

...or Star Trek, for that matter. But everything to do with Ancient History.

You see, one of the main reasons I love Ancient History so much is that there are plenty of good stories. Most historical figures seem to be clinically insane, or at the very least, a bit loopy, which makes them very entertaining to read about.

Today I've been studying fragments of the histories of the Greek historian Theopompus, described by my tutor as one of the "bitterest, most twisted people you'll ever come across." Good old Theopompus seemed to make it his mission in life to abuse everyone, and he spent plenty of time chronically personal foibles and recording some great stories.

A Thracian called Cotys set up a bridal chamber for the goddess Athena and waited, drunk, for her to join him. He sent two spear-bearers into the chamber to see if Athena had arrived, and when they reported that she had yet to grace the palace with her presence, they were killed. This was the same man who once decided to cut up his own wife.

There's also the story of the Celts, who thought up a cunning plan to take out their enemies the Ardiaeans, a people who never turned down the chance to eat and be merry. The Celts mixed a diarrhoea-inducing drug through their food, and, according to Theopompus, the Ardiaeans were either "caught by the Celts and destroyed" or "threw themselves into the rivers having no control over their bellies."

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