Herodotus English 1.31.3 - 1.31.5 Alfred Denis Godley
Herodotus Greek 1.31.3 - 1.31.5
Herodotus English 1.31.3 - 1.31.5 The Landmark Herodotus
When they had done this and had been seen by the entire gathering , their lives came to an excellent end , and in their case the god made clear that for human beings it is a better thing to die than to live . The Argive men stood around the youths and congratulated them on their strength ; the Argive women congratulated their mother for having borne such children .
She was overjoyed at the feat and at the praise , so she stood before the image and prayed that the goddess might grant the best thing for man to her children Cleobis and Biton , who had given great honor to the goddess .
After this prayer they sacrificed and feasted . The youths then lay down in the temple and went to sleep and never rose again ; death held them there . The Argives made and dedicated at Delphi statues of them as being the best of men . "
ταῦτα δέ σφι ποιήσασι καὶ ὀφθεῖσι ὑπὸ τῆς πανηγύριος τελευτὴ τοῦ βίου ἀρίστη ἐπεγένετο , διέδεξέ τε ἐν τούτοισι ὁ θεὸς ὡς ἄμεινον εἴη ἀνθρώπῳ τεθνάναι μᾶλλον ἢ ζώειν . Ἀργεῖοι μὲν γὰρ περιστάντες ἐμακάριζον τῶν νεηνιέων τὴν ῥώμην , αἱ δὲ Ἀργεῖαι τὴν μητέρα αὐτῶν , οἵων τέκνων ἐκύρησε ·
ἡ δὲ μήτηρ περιχαρής ἐοῦσα τῷ τε ἔργῳ καὶ τῇ φήμῃ , στᾶσα ἀντίον τοῦ ἀγάλματος εὔχετο Κλεόβι τε καὶ Βίτωνι τοῖσι ἑωυτῆς τέκνοισι , οἵ μιν ἐτίμησαν μεγάλως , τὴν θεὸν δοῦναι τὸ ἀνθρώπῳ τυχεῖν ἄριστον ἐστί .
μετὰ ταύτην δὲ τὴν εὐχὴν ὡς ἔθυσάν τε καὶ εὐωχήθησαν , κατακοιμηθέντες ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ ἱρῷ οἱ νεηνίαι οὐκέτι ἀνέστησαν ἀλλʼ ἐν τέλεϊ τούτῳ ἔσχοντο . Ἀργεῖοι δὲ σφέων εἰκόνας ποιησάμενοι ἀνέθεσαν ἐς Δελφοὺς ὡς ἀριστῶν γενομένων .
Everyone who had gathered there for the festival watched them perform this feat ; and then the god granted the young men the best possible departure from this life , showing clearly that it is better for a human being to be dead that to be alive . " The Argive men crowded around them and showered praises on their strength , while the Argive women commended their mother for being blessed with such good sons .
Their mother was simply elated by her sons’ feat and by all the praise . She stood before the statue of the goddess and said a prayer for Cleobis and Biton : that since they had shown her such great honor , let the goddess grant them the best thing a human being could have .
After the prayer , they all sacrificed and had their feast . Then the young men fell asleep in that very sanctuary and never awoke again ; this was the end of their lives . The Argives made statues of them and dedicated them at Delphi to commemorate that they had proven themselves to be the best of men . "