Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb. — Benjamin Franklin

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber




Milo of Croton

Among the athletes whose statues were to be seen at Olympia was Milo, a man of Croton, one of the Greek colonies in Italy. This man was remarkable for his great strength, and could carry very heavy weights. In order to develop his muscle and become strong, he had trained himself from a boy, and had practised carrying burdens until he could lift more than any other man of his time.

We are told that he was so earnest in his efforts to become strong, that he daily carried a pet calf, gradually increasing the distance. As the calf grew larger, Milo became stronger, and his muscles became so powerful that he could carry the animal with ease when it became a full-sized ox.

To please his companions and show them what he could do, Milo once carried an ox for several miles, and then, feeling hungry, killed it with one blow of his fist, cooked it, and ate it all at a single meal. On another occasion, Milo was sitting with several companions in a rather tumble-down house. All at once he noticed that the roof was falling in. He stretched up his great arms, spread out his hands, and held the roof up until all his companions had run out of the house.

Milo's hands were so strong that when he seized a chariot, even with one hand only, four horses could not make it stir until he let it go. Of course, Milo was very proud of his great strength, which, however, proved unlucky for him, and caused his death.

One day when he was very old, Milo wandered out alone into a forest where some woodcutters had been at work. The men had gone away, leaving their wedges in an unusually large tree trunk.

Milo, remembering his former strength, gazed for a moment at the tree, and then, feeling sure that he could easily pull it apart, he slipped his fingers into the crack. At his first effort the tree parted a little, and the wedges fell out; but the two halves, instead of splitting apart, suddenly came together again, and Milo found his hands held fast.

In vain he struggled, in vain he called. He could neither wrench himself free nor attract any one's attention. Night came on, and soon the wild beasts of the forest began to creep out of their dens.

They found the captive athlete, and, springing upon him, tore him to pieces, for he could not defend himself, in spite of all his boasted strength.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

Early Inhabitants of Greece
The Deluge of Ogyges
Founding of Important Cities
Story of Deucalion
Daedalus and Icarus
The Adventures of Jason
Theseus Visits the Labyrinth
The Terrible Prophecy
The Sphinx's Riddle
Death of Oedipus
The Brothers' Quarrel
The Taking of Thebes
The Childhood of Paris
Muster of the Troops
Sacrifice of Iphigenia
The Wrath of Achilles
Death of Hector and Achilles
The Burning of Troy
Heroic Death of Codrus
The Blind Poet
The Rise of Sparta
The Spartan Training
The Brave Spartan Boy
Public Tables in Sparta
Laws of Lycurgus
The Messenian War
The Music of Tyrtaeus
Aristomenes' Escape
The Olympic Games
Milo of Croton
The Jealous Athlete
The Girls' Games
The Bloody Laws of Draco
The Laws of Solon
The First Plays
The Tyrant Pisistratus
The Tyrant's Insult
Death of the Conspirators
Hippias Driven out of Athens
The Great King
Hippias Visits Darius
Destruction of the Persian Host
Advance of the Second Host
The Battle of Marathon
Miltiades' Disgrace
Aristides the Just
Two Noble Spartan Youths
The Great Army
Preparations for Defense
Leonidas at Thermopylae
Death of Leonidas
The Burning of Athens
Battles of Salamis and Plataea
The Rebuilding of Athens
Death of Pausanias
Cimon Improves Athens
The Earthquake
The Age of Pericles
Teachings of Anaxagoras
Peloponnesian War Begins
Death of Pericles
The Philosopher Socrates
Socrates' Favorite Pupil
Youth of Alcibiades
Greek Colonies in Italy
Alcibiades in Disgrace
Death of Alcibiades
Overthrow of Thirty Tyrants
Accusation of Socrates
Death of Socrates
The Defeat of Cyrus
Retreat of the Ten Thousand
Agesilaus in Asia
A Strange Interview
The Peace of Antalcidas
The Theban Friends
Thebes Free Once More
The Battle of Leuctra
Death of Pelopidas
The Battle of Mantinea
The Tyrant of Syracuse
Damon and Pythias
The Sword of Damocles
Dion and Dionysius
Civil War in Syracuse
Death of Dion
Philip of Macedon
Philip Begins His Conquests
The Orator Demosthenes
Philip Masters Greece
Birth of Alexander
The Steed Bucephalus
Alexander as King
Alexander and Diogenes
Alexander's Beginning
The Gordian Knot
Alexander's Royal Captives
Alexander at Jerusalem
The African Desert
Death of Darius
Defeat of Porus
Return to Babylon
Death of Alexander
Division of the Realm
Death of Demosthenes
Last of the Athenians
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Battle of Ipsus
Demetrius and the Athenians
The Achaean League
Division in Sparta
Death of Agis
War of the Two Leagues
The Last of the Greeks
Greece a Roman Province