The Library of History

Page 170

Page 170 by Three or Four Men. Therefore Cocalus here built a Palace, and treasur'd up all his Wealth, as a Place (through this Architect's ingenious Contrivance) wonderfully secure. In the Third Place, he made a Cave in the Territory of Selementa, in which by Fire there under Ground, a warm Steam was so artificially rais'd, that by it's moderate heat, it caus'd a gentle Sweat, and gradually cur'd many that resorted thither of their Distempers, with a great deal of Pleasure, without any uneasiness from the Heat. And whereas there was a high and craggy Rock in the Country of Eryx, and no room to build but upon the highest and craggiest part of it, by reason of the strait and narrow Passages about the Temple of Venus, he drew a Wall round the very Top, and plain'd and inlarg'd it in a wonderful manner. They say, he likewise made a Golden Honey-Comb (dedicated to Venus Erycina) with such exquisite Art, and so like to a true and real one, that none could ever be comparable to it. He wrought many other excellent Pieces in Sicily, which length of Time has worn out, and consum'd.

But Minos King of Crete, who had the Dominion at Sea, hearing that Daedalus was fled into Sicily, proclaim'd War against that Island. Having therefore rigg'd out a mighty Fleet, he set Sail, and arriv'd upon the Coasts of Agrigentum, which was from him call'd Minoa, where he landed his Men, and sent Messengers to Cocalus, to demand the delivery up of Daedalus to Justice. Hereupon Minos and Cocalus came to an interview, and Cocalus promis'd to do all that Minos requir'd, and entertain'd him with all honourable Respect: But when he was in a Bath, Cocalus kept him there so long, that he was stiffl'd with the steam and heat. Afterwards he deliver'd his Body to the Cretians that came along with him, pretending he came to his Death, by slipping accidentally into the Hot and Scalding Baths. His Souldiers bury'd him with great Pomp, and built him a double Sepulcher, in the lower part whereof, in a Vault, they deposited his Bones, and near to the higher Part that was open to the view, they erected a Temple to Venus, which for many Ages after was so ador'd by the Inhabitants, that they offer'd Sacrifices there, as in a Temple peculiarly consecrated to her.

In later Times, when Agrigentum was built, it being then discover'd that the Bones were there bury'd, the Sepulcher was wholly ruin'd, and the Bones sent to the Cretians, at the time when Thero was Sovereign Lord of Agrigentum. The Cretians that were thus brought over into Sicily, after the Death of Minos, having then no King, fell at odds one with another, and rais'd a great Tumult. But their Ships being all burnt by the Sicilians, Cocalus his Subjects, they were out of all hope ever to return into their own Country; and therefore resolv'd to settle themselves in Sicily. To that end, some of them built a City, which from the Name of their King they call'd Minoa. Another part of them went up into the heart of the Country, and possessing themselves of a Place naturally very strong, there built Engium, a City so call'd from a Fountain there.

After the Destruction of Troy, they receiv'd Merion, with other Cretians that were cast upon Sicily; and because they were of the same Nation, they made them Members of their City. Afterwards making frequent Inroads into the Neighbouring Country, from so strong a Fort, they subdu'd many of the Borderers, and got some small Territory; afterwards being grown wealthy, they built a Temple to the Curetes or Corybantes, and most religiously ador'd those Goddesses and adorn'd their Temple with many rich Gifts. They say, these Goddesses came into Cicily out of Crete, where they were most especially ador'd and honour'd. It's reported that they privatly bred up and conceal'd Jupiter from his Father Saturn. In reward of which Kindness, they were taken up into the Heavens and plac'd among the Stars, where they make the Constellation call'd Arctos. Of whom Aratus (agreeable hereunto) in his Poem of the Stars, speaks thus—

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Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books