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(5.58-61) from Herodotus, The Histories, transl. Audrey de Selincourt,
Penguin Books, 1972. ISBN 0-14-044034-8
Repulsed from Sparta, Aristagoras went on to Athens, which had been liberated from autocratic government in the way which I will now describe. Hipparchus, the son of Pisistratus and brother of the despot Hippias, in spite of a vivid dream which warned him of his danger, was murdered by Harmodius and Aristogiton, two men belonging to the family of the Gephyraei; the murder, however, did the Athenians no good, for the oppression they suffered during the four succeeding years was worse than before. Hipparchus had dreamt, on the night before the Panathenaic festival, that the tall and beautiful figure of a man stood over his bed and spoke to him these obscure and riddling words:
At dawn next morning he was seen communicating his dream to the interpreters; but later he put it out of his mind and took part in the procession, during which he was killed.
The Gephyraei, to whom the two men who killed Hipparchus belonged, came, by their own account, originally from Eretria; but I have myself looked into the matter and find that they were really Phoenicians, descendants of those who came with Cadmus to what is now Boeotia where they were allotted the district of Tanagra to make their homes in. After the expulsion of the Cadmeans by the Argiva, the Gephyraei were expelled by the Boeotians and took refuge in Athens, where they were received into the community on certain stated terms, which excluded them from a few privileges not worth mentioning here. The Phoenicians who came with Cadmus - amongst whom were the Gephyraei - introduced into Greece, after their settlement in the country, a number of accomplishments, of which the most important was writing, an art till then, I think, unknown to the Greeks. At first they used the same characters as all the other Phoenicians, but as time went on, and they changed their language, they also changed the shape of their letters. At that period most of the Greeks in the neighbourhood were Ionians; they were taught these letters by the Phoenicians and adopted them, with a few alterations, for their own use, continuing to refer to them as the Phoenician characters - as was only right, as the Phoenicians had introduced them. The Ionians also call paper 'skins' - a survival from antiquity when paper was hard to get, and they did actually use goat and sheep skins to write on. Indeed, even today many foreign peoples use this material. In the temple of Ismenian Apollo at Theba in Boeotia I have myself seen cauldrons with inscriptions cut on them in Cadmean characters - most of them not very different from the Ionian. There were three of these cauldrons; one was inscribed: 'Amphityron dedicated me from the spoils of the Teleboae' and would date from about the time of Laius, son of Labdacus, grandson of Polydorus and great-grandson of Cadmus. Another had an inscription of two hexameter verses:
This might be Scaeus the son of Hippocoon; and the bowl, if it was dedicated by him and not by someone else of the same name, would be contemporary with Laius' son Oedipus. The third was also inscribed in hexameters:
It was during the reign of this Laodamas, the son of Eteocles, that the Cadmeans were expelled by the Argives and took refuge with the Encheles. The Gephyraei remained in the country, but were later forced by the Boeoeians to withdraw to Athens, where they have certain temples set apart for their own special use, which the other Athenians are forbidden to enter; one of them is the temple of Demeter Achaeia, in which secret rites are performed.
The analytical graphical chart which can be accessed from the link on the right, makes a comparative study of SINIATTATIC or DEMOTIC hieroglyphic -- the short hand form of ceremonial hieroglyphic of ancient Egypt -- and what word representation they contained; and the form of the Phoenician alphabet as it evolved from picture writing to letters.