The Library of History

Page 142

Page 142 at having spoke sussiciently of these, we return to Hercules; who having now finish'd all his Labours, was told by the Oracle that it was a thing very necessary, that before he was translated to the Gods, he should plant a Colony in Sard •nia, and make his Sons of the Stock of the Thespiadae, Governors of the Island. He therefore with his Nephew Iolaus, pass'd over thither with the Boys, because they were yet very Young. Here we think it convenient to premise something concerning the Birth of these young Boys, that we may more clearly give an account of the Colony. Thespis was of the most noble Family among the Athenians, the Son of •r •• theus, and Prince of a Territory so call'd from him. He had of many Wives, Fifty Daughters. This Thespis being desirous that his Daughters should have Issue by Hercules, who was as yet but very Young, but of strength of Body beyond the usual course of Nature at that Age, invited him to a sacred Festival, and there nobly entertain'd him, and sent for his Daughters severally, one after another; Hercules lay with them all, and got them with Child, and so became both a Husband of Fifty Wives, and a Father of Fifty Sons; all which (being call'd by the general Name of Thespiadae in obedience to the Oracle, when they were grown up, he ordered them to be sent away, to plant a Colony in Sardinia; and because Iolaus was Admiral of his whole Fleet, and his Companion in all his Expeditions, he committed the care of the Colony of these Thespians to him. But Two of the Fifty remain'd in Thebes, whose Posterity (they say) continue there in great Honour and Esteem at this Day; and Seven more, whom they call Pe •uchi, resided in the City Thespis, whose Posterity (they say) were the principal Men of the City within the time of Man's Memory. All the rest, and whosoever else would go along with them, Iolaus transported into Sardinia; and having overcome the Inhabitants in Battel, the pleasantest part of the Island, and that which was most Champain, he divided by Lot, which at this day is call'd Iolacion. And he so improv'd the Island, and planted it with Fruit-Trees, that it became afterwards a Bone of Contention: For from that time it grew so Famous for the Riches and Fruitfulness of the Soyl, that the Carthaginiaus growing Rich and Powerful, so coveted this Island, that they fought many Battles to gain it; of which we shall speak hereafter in its proper Place.

After Iolaus had setled his Colony, he sent for Daedalus out of Sicily, and imploy'd him in building many stately Structures, which remain to this Day, and from the name of the Architect, are call'd Daedalus his Works. He built likewise stately and sumptuous Publick Schools for all manner of Exercises, and Courts of Justice, with many other such Works conducing to the happiness and well-being of Man's Life: He call'd also the Inhabitants Iolacians, after his own Name, the Thespiade allowing him that honour as their Father. For upon the Account of his faithful Service to them, they so loved him, that they call'd him Father. Whence it came to pass in After-times, that they who sacrifi'd to this God, call Iolaus Father, as the Persians did Cyrus.

Afterwards Iolaus return'd into Greece, and arriv'd at Sieily, were he staid a considerable time.

About that time some of his Fellow-Travellers (taken with the pleasantness of the Island) th 〈…〉 e seated themselves; and being mixt among the Si •ani, they continu'd there, and are in great esteem with the Inhabitants. But Iolaus is especially honour'd, to whom for the general good, he did in many Cities, Temples and Groves are built, and Divine Worship instituted as to a Demy-God. This Colony is 〈◊〉 upon the account of a remarkable Circumstance; for the Oracle commanded that all Persons of this Colony should be Freemen, and that their Posterity for ever should so continue; which Freedom is effectually injoy'd at this very day: For many Barbarians being mixt with this Colony, in process of time the whole Colony became Barbarous; and removing themselves to the Mountains, inhabited in Places inaccessible; where being us'd to Flesh and Milk (having many Herds and Hocks of Cattel,) they never made use of Bread-Co 〈…〉 ; and being that they live in Caves under Ground, they have easily avoided the Miseries of War; and therefore though both the Carthaginians and Romans have often attempted to subdue them by force of Arms, yet all has been in vain: But let this now suffice that has been said concerning Iolaus and the Thespiadae, and their Colony in Sardinia.

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books