The Story of Devadatta

Somadeva (Flourished about 1070 A.D.)

Somadeva (Soma with the Brahminical suffix deva) was a poet of Kashmir. His celebrated collection, the Ocean of Streams of Stories, based upon Buddhist stories, traditions, and an earlier collection of tales, is one of the’ most voluminous and interesting of its kind in Sanskrit literature.

The present story, translated by C. H. Tawney, appeared in The Ocean of Story, Vol. I, Book IV, Chap. 21, of the complete edition in ten volumes edited by N. M. Penzer, and published in 1924—25 by Chas. J. Sawyer, Ltd., by whose permission it is here included.

The Story of Devadatta

From the Katha-Sarit-Sagara

In old time there was a certain petty monarch of the name of Jayadatta, and there was born to him a son, named Devadatta. And that wise king, wishing to marry his son, who was grown up, thus reflected: “The prosperity of kings is very unstable, being like a courtesan to be enjoyed by force; but the prosperity of merchants is like a woman of good family; it is steady and does not fly to another’man. Therefore I will take a wife to my son from a merchant`s family, in order that misfortune may not overtake his throne, though it is surrounded with many relations.” Having formed this resolve, that king sought for his son the daughter of a merchant in Pataliputra named Vasudatta. Vasudatta for his part, eager for such a distinguished alliance, gave that daughter of his to the prince, though he dwelt in a remote foreign land.

And he loaded his son-in-law with wealth to such an extent that he no longer felt much respect for his father`s magnificence. Then King Jayadatta dwelt happily with that son of his who had obtained the daughter of that rich merchant. Now one day the merchant Vasudatta came, full of desire to see his daughter, to the palace of his connection by marriage, and took away his daughter to his own home. Shortly after the King Jayadatta suddenly went to heaven, and that kingdom was seized by his relations, who rose in rebellion; through fear of them his son Devadatta was secretly taken away by his mother during the night to another country.

Then that mother, distressed in soul, said to the prince: “Our feudal lord is the emperor who rules the eastern region; repair to him, my son; he will procure you the kingdom.”

When his mother said this to him, the prince answered her: “Who will respect me if I go there without attendants?” When she heard that, his mother went on to say: “Go to the house of your father-in-law, and get money there, and so procure followers; and then repair to the emperor.” Being urged in these words by his mother, the prince, though full of shame, slowly plodded on and reached his father-in-law`s house in the evening. But he could not bear to enter at such an unseasonable hour, for he was afraid of shedding tears, being bereaved of his father and having lost his worldly splendor; besides, shame withheld him.

A traveler

So he remained in the veranda of an almshouse near, and at night he suddenly beheld a woman descending with a rope from his father- in-law`s house, and immediately he recognized her as his wife, for she was so resplendent with jewels that she looked like a meteor fallen from the clouds; and he was much grieved thereat. But she, though she saw him, did not recognize him, as he was emaciated and begrimed, and asked him who he was. When he heard that, he answered: “I am a traveler.” Then the merchant`s daughter entered the almshouse, and the prince followed her secretly to watch her. There she advanced towards a certain man, and he towards her, and asking why she had come so late, he bestowed several kicks on her. Then the passion of the wicked woman was doubled, and she appeased him, and remained with him on the most affectionate terms.

When he saw that, the discreet prince reflected: “This is not the time for me to show anger, for I have other affairs in hand; and how could I employ against these two contemptible creatures, this wife of mine and the man who has done me this wrong, this sword which is to be used against my foes? Or what quarrel have I with this adulteress, for this is the work of malignant desire that showers calamities upon me, showing skill in the game of testing my firmness? It is my marriage with a woman below me in rank that is in fault, not the woman herself; how can a female crow leave the male crow to take pleasure in a cuckoo?”

Thus reflecting, he allowed that wife of his to remain in the society of her paramour; for in the minds of heroes possessed with an ardent desire of victory, of what importance is woman, valueless as a straw? But at the moment when his wife ardendy embraced her paramour there fell from her ear an ornament thickly studded with valuable jewels. And she did not observe this, but at the end of her interview, taking leave of her paramour, returned hurriedly to her house as she came. And that unlawful lover also departed somewhere or other.

Prince immediately

Then the prince saw that jeweled ornament, and took it up; it flashed with many jewel-gleams, dispelling the gathering darkness of despondency, and seemed like a hand-lamp obtained by him to assist him in searching for his lost prosperity. The prince immediately perceived that it was very valuable, and went off, having obtained all he required, to Kanyakubja; there he pledged that ornament for a hun-dred thousand gold pieces, and after buying horses and elephants went into the presence of the emperor. And with the troops which he gave him he marched, and slew his enemies in fight, and recovered his father`s kingdom; and his mother applauded his success.

Then he redeemed from pawn that ornament, and sent it to his father-in-law to reveal that unsuspected secret; his father-in-law, when he saw that earring of his daughter`s, which had come to him in such a way, was confounded, and showed it to her. She looked upon it, lost long ago like her own virtue; and when she heard that it had been sent by her husband she was distracted, and called to mind the whole circumstance: “This is the very ornament which I let fall in the alms-house the night I saw that unknown traveler standing there; so that must undoubtedly have been my husband come to test my virtue, but I did not recognize him, and he picked up this ornament.”

While the merchant`s daughter was going through this train of re-flection, her heart, afflicted by the misfortune of her unchastity having been discovered, in its agony, broke. Then her father artfully questioned a maid of hers who knew all her secrets, and found out the truth, and so ceased to mourn for his daughter; as for the prince, after he recovered the kingdom, he obtained as wife the daughter of the emperor, won by his virtues, and enjoyed the highest prosperity.

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The Matron of Ephesus

Petronius (Died 66 A.D.)

Gaius Petronius Arbiter was born some time early in the First Century of the Christian era, and committed suicide in the year 66. Writer, government official, dilettante and friend of Nero, he “had idled into fame,” as Tacitus tells us. His best-known work, The Satyricon, is a strange straggling sort of satirical novel, into which he introduced this short masterpiece, The Matron of Ephesus. The tale is supposed to be in the manner of one of the so-called lost Milesian Tales, a collection renowned for its cynical oudook on humanity in general and woman in particular. This brief story (in one form or another) is to be found running through all literature, especially the literature written by men. The present version is a revision (by the editors) of two older versions.

The Matron of Ephesus

From The Satyricon

A certain matron of Ephesus was so notably pure that women came from afar to look upon her. When her husband was buried, she was not satisfied with the usual custom of following the body with loosened hair and beating her breast in the presence of the people: she accompanied her dead spouse right into the sepulcher—which was in the Greek style, underground—and there remained to watch and weep by day and by night. Her parents and relations were unable to prevent her from thus torturing herself, and remaining in the sepulcher to die of hunger. The civil officials at last left in despair.

The matron lived through the fifth day without eating, and was grieved for by all as a shining example to all womenkind. A faithful maidservant sat by the wretched woman, shed the appropriate number of tears, and kept the lamp burning.

Word spread through the city, and every one agreed that it was a unique example of conjugal love and fidelity.

Meantime, the provincial governor crucified certain thieves near the sepulcher where the matron was weeping over the body of her late husband, and a soldier was commanded to keep guard over the crosses, to prevent the bodies from being taken down and buried. The following night he perceived a light shining brightly among the trees and heard the moans of the woman. Like all human beings, he was curious, and desired to know who was groaning, and what was the cause of it.

He therefore entered the sepulcher, and on seeing a beautiful woman, stopped short and was as deeply moved as though he had seen an omen or a ghost from the nether world. The moment he set eyes on the body and remarked the matron`s tears, and her face scarred by the marks of fingernails, he understood: she was desperate in her love for the man who was dead. He then brought his frugal supper into the sepulcher, and begged the matron not to give way so to a grief that was useless, nor break her heart in weeping. All men, he said, had the same fate and the same last resting-place.


But she was ill-pleased by such commonplace consolation, and smote her breast more violently than ever, tearing out her hair and throwing it upon the body before her. Still, the young soldier did not leave. He tried to give the woman food. Though she resisted, her maidservant was won over by the smell of the wine, and stretched out her hand for the supper that was offered her. After she was fortified by food and drink, she strove to win over her mistress. “How,” she asked, “will you be benefited, if you starve to death and bury yourself alive, dying before Destiny has demanded your soul? Do you imagine that your mourning can be acceptable to the body or the soul of a man who is dead and buried? Why not rather begin your life anew? Why not forget this misguided fidelity— adhered to only by women—and enjoy the daylight as long as the gods allow? This cold body ought to be a warning to you to enjoy life to the utmost.”

Now, generally, one gives heed when one is asked to eat food or to live, and the matron was both hungry and thirsty after five days` fasting; she allowed her resolution to be broken. She ate as greedily as the maidservant had eaten. Those who are well-fed are easily tempted, and the soldier set about to conquer the matron`s virtue, by the same pleasant and persuasive means he had used before. The chaste matron perceived that he was an attractive young man, and by no means a fool. The maidservant was sympathetic, and quoted the words, “Do you seek to struggle against a passion that is pleasing to you? Do you not remember in whose country you are?”

To make a long story short, having overcome certain of the matron`s scruples, the soldier succeeded in overcoming her remaining scruples.

They were together not only on that first night, but on the second and the third. The gates of the sepulcher were closed, so that if any friend or stranger had come, he would have imagined that the very virtuous woman had died in the presence of her husband`s body. The soldier was greatly pleased by the matron`s charms, and with their uninterrupted love; he bought such delicate viands as his pay would permit, and brought them to the sepulcher when darkness came.

The parents of one of the thieves who had been crucified, perceiving that the soldier was not strictly guarding the crosses, took down the body of their son and buried it. Next morning, seeing the body gone, the soldier knew what his punishment would be, and went and told the woman. He would, he declared, kill himself with his sword rather than be sentenced by a military court, and told her to make room for her lover to lie beside her late husband.

But the lady was as compassionate as she was pure. “May the gods forbid,” said she, “that I should lay eyes at one time on the corpses of the two men who are dearest to me! It were better to hang up a dead body than to kill a breathing man.” And therewith she told the soldier to take the husband`s body from its place and put it upon the cross that was vacant. The soldier at once acted upon the matron`s clever suggestion, and the next day people wondered how the dead man had been able to crucify himself.

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The Dream

Apuleius (Born ca. 125 A.D.)

Lucius Apuleius, author of The Golden Ass, was born and educated in northern Africa. He practised law, was an indefatigable traveller, a ceaseless investigator into religious ceremonies and mysteries, and a writer of considerable skill and imagination. Many stories, including Cupid and Psyche and The Dream, are introduced into the rambling narrative of his celebrated romance. Like many other literary men, he was publicly accused of writing indecent literature. Like Pliny s Haunted House, The Dream is one of those lurid ghost-stories which apparently pleased the readers of the early Christian era. They continue to do so.

The present text is a modernized version of the classic translation by Adlington, which first appeared in 1566. There is no title in the original.

The Dream (From The Golden Ass)

But I could in no wise sleep for the great fear which was in my heart, until it was about midnight, and then I began to slumber. But, alas! behold suddenly the chamber doors broke open, and locks, bolts, and posts fell down, that you would verily have thought that some thieves had presently come to have spoiled and robbed us. An my bed whereon I lay, being a truckle-bed, fashioned in the lorm ol a cradle, and one of the feet broken and rotten, by violence was turned upside down, and I likewise was overwhelmed and covered lying in the same. And while I lay on the ground covered in this sort, I peeped under the bed to see what would happen. And behold there entered m two old women, the one bearing a burning torch, and the other a sponge and a naked sword; and so in this habit they stood about, Socrates being fast asleep. Then she which bare the sword said unto the other, “Behold, sister Panthia, this is my dear and sweet heart, this is he who little regarding my love, doth not only defame me with reproachful words, but also intendeth to run away.” Which said, she pointed toward me that lay under the bed, and showed me to Panthia.

This is he ” quoth she, “which is his counselor, and persuadeth him to lorsake me, and now being at the point of death, he lieth prostrate on the ground covered with his bed, and hath seen all our doings, and hopeth to escape scot-free from my hands; but I will cause that he shall repent himself too late, nay rather forthwith, of his former intemperate language, and his present curiosity.” Which words when I heard, i te into a cold sweat, and my heart trembled with fear, insomuch that the bed over me did likewise rattle and shake. Then spake Panthia unto Meroe and said, “Sister, let us by and by tear him in pieces, then Meroe answered, “Nay, rather let him live, and bury the corpse ol this poor wretch in some hole of the earth”; and therewithal she turned up the head of Socrates on the other side, and thrust her sword up to the hilt into the left part of his neck, and received the blood that gushed out, into a pot, that no drop thereof fell beside: which things I saw with mine own eyes; and as I think to the intent that she might alter nothing that pertained to sacrifice, which she accustomed to make, she thrust her hand down ihto the internals of his body, and searching about at length brought forth the heart of my miserable companion, Socrates, who having his throat cut in such sort, yielded out a dreadful cry and gave up the ghost. Then Panthia stopped the wide wound of his throat with the sponge, and said, “O sponge, sprung and made of the sea, beware that thou pass not by running river.”

Tell any similitude

When this was ended, they went their ways, and the doors closed fast, the posts stood in their old places, and the locks and bolts were shut again. But I that lay upon the ground like one without soul, naked and cold, like to one that were more than half dead, yet reviving myself, and appointed as I thought for the gallows, began to say, “Alas! what shall become of me to-morrow, when my companion shall be found murdered here in the chamber? To whom shall I seem to tell any similitude of truth, whenas I shall tell the truth indeed? They will say, `If thou wert unable to resist the violence of the women, yet shouldst thou have cried for help: wouldst thou suffer the man to be slain before thy face and say nothing? Or why did they not slay thee likewise? Why did they spare thee that stood by and saw them commit that horrible fact? Wherefore although thou hast escaped their hands, yet thou shalt not escape ours.` ” While I pondered these things with myself the night passed on, and so I resolved to take my horse before day, and go forward on my journey.

Howbeit the ways were unknown to me: and thereupon I took up my packet, unlocked and unbarred the doors, but those good and faithful doors, which in the night did open of their own accord, could then scantly be opened with their keys. And when I was out I cried, “O sirrah hostler, where art thou? Open the stable-door, for I will ride away by and by.” The hostler lying behind the stable-door upon a pallet and half asleep, “What (quoth he), do you not know that the ways be very dangerous? what mean you to rise at this time of night? If you, perhaps guilty of some heinous crime, be weary of your life, yet think you not that we are such sots that we will die for you.” Then said I, “It is wellnigh day, and moreover, what can thieves take from him that hath nothing? Dost thou not know, fool as thou art, if thou be naked, if ten giants should assail thee, they could not spoil`or rob thee?” Whereunto the drowsy hostler, half asleep and turning on the other side, answered, “What know I whether you have murdered your companion whom you brought in yesternight or no, and now seek the means to escape away?” O Lord, at that time, I remember, the earth seemed to open, and methought I saw at hellgate the dog.

Cerberus ready to devour me; and then I verily believed that Meroe did not spare my throat moved with pity, but rather cruelly pardoned me to bring me to the gallows. Wherefore I returned to my chamber, and there devised with myself in what sort I should finish my life. And therewithal I pulled out a piece of rope wherewith the bed was corded, and tied one end thereof about a rafter by the window, and with the other end I made a sliding knot, and stood upon my bed, and so put my neck into it, and when I leaped from the bed thinking verily to strangle myself and so die, behold the rope, being old and rotten, burst in the middle, and I fell down tumbling upon Socrates that lay under: and even at that same very time the hostler came in crying with a loud voice and said,

“Where are you that made such haste at midnight, and now lies wallowing abed?” Whereupon (I know not whether it was by my fall, or by the great cry of the hostler) Socrates as waking out of a sleep, did rise up first and said, “It is not without cause that strangers do speak evil of all such hostlers, for this caitiff in his coming in, and with his crying out, I think under a color to steal away something, has waked me out of a sound sleep.` Then I rose up, joyful with a merry countenance, saying, “Behold, good hostler, my friend, my companion and my brother whom thou didst falsely affirm to be slain by me this night.” And therewithal I embraced my friend Socrates and kissed him, and took him by the hand and said, “Why tarry we? Why lose we the pleasure of this fair morning? let us go”: and so I took up my packet, and paid the charges of the house and departed.

And we had not gone a mile out of the town but it was broad day, and then I diligently looked upon Socrates` throat to see if I could espy the place where Meroe thrust in her sword; but when I could not perceive any such thing, I thought with myself, What a madman am I, that being overcome with wine yesternight have dreamed such terrible things! behold, I see Socrates is sound, safe and in health. Where is his wound? where is the sponge? where is his great and new cut? And then I spake to him and said, “Verily it is not without occasion that physicians of experience do affirm, that such as fill their gorges abundantly with meat and drink shall dream of dire and horrible sights: for I myself, not tempering my appetite yesternight from pots of wine, did seem to see this night strange and cruel visions, that even yet I think myself sprinkled and wet with human blood. Whereunto Socrates laughing made answer, “Nay, verily, I myself dreamed this night that my throat was cut, and that I felt the pain of the wound, and that my heart was pulled out of my belly, and the remembrance thereof makes me now to fear, for my knees do so tremble that I can scarce go any further; and therefore I would fain eat somewhat to strengthen and revive my spirits.”

Then said I, “Behold here thy breakfast ; and therewithal I opened my scrip that hanged upon my shoulder, and gave him bread and cheese, and we sat down under a great plane tree, and I ate part with him. And while I beheld him eating greedily, I perceived that he waxed meager and pale, and that his lively color faded away, insomuch that being in great fear, and remembering those terrible furies of whom I lately dreamed, the first morsel of bread that I put in my mouth (which was but very small) did so stick in my jaws, that I could neither swallow it down, nor yet yield it up, and moreover the small time of our being together increased my fear: and what is he that seeing his companion die in the highway before his face, would not greatly lament and be sorry?

But when that Socrates had eaten sufficiently, he waxed very thirsty, for indeed he had well- nigh devoured all a whole cheese: and behold evil fortune! there was behind the plane tree a pleasant running water as clear as crystal, and I said unto him, “Come hither, Socrates, to this water and drink thy fill.” And then he rose and came to the river, and kneeled down upon the side of the bank to drink; but he had scarce touched the water with his lips, whenas behold the wound of his throat opened wide, and the sponge suddenly fell into the water, and after issued out a little remnant of blood, and his body being then without life, had fallen into the river, had I not caught him by the leg and so pulled him up. And after that I had lamented a good space the death of my wretched companion, I buried him in the sands there by the river.

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The Ass in the Lion`s Skin

Ancient India

Sanskrit is the classical language of the Hindus of ancient India. Practically the whole of that extraordinary literature which began with the Vedas and culminated some time before the close of the Middle Ages, was written in Sanskrit.

Our knowledge of the earliest period is vague. The Vedas were composed perhaps before the days of Homer. Beginning perhaps about 500 B.C. and extending to about the time of Christ, is the period of the epics, during which the Mahabharata and Ramayana were probably written. Both these monumental poems are full of episodes containing at least the material for short stories.

But for the purpose of this volume, the outstanding contribution of the ancient Hindus were the fables and tales, most of which are found in large collections. The earliest of these is doubtless the Jataka, or Buddhist “birth-stories,” which were in existence at least as early as the Fourth Century B.C. The Panchatantra may be as old as the Jataka stories; both are rooted in a common source. Many centuries later an unknown author revised certain parts of the Panchatantra and produced the book known as the Hitopadesa, which may be as recent as the Fourteenth Century A.D.

Most of these stories are directly didactic, but for the historian in search of the origin of certain types, the question of the fable and its Indian or Greek origin, is one of the most fascinating in all literature. There are those who claim that the tales in the Panchatantra and the Jataka stories are the source of all the fables in the Occident, and others who believe that it was the Hindus who took the fable form from the ancient Greeks.

Of the other collections of stories the most varied is the famous Katha-sarit-Sagara, or Ocean of Streams of Stories, written about 1070 A.D. by Somadeva. This was based upon a much earlier collection, which is now lost.

The influence of the Sanskrit tales on the art of the story is almost impossible to estimate: translations and revisions of Sanskrit tales and fables were made as early as the Sixth Century B.C., and modern research is demonstrating beyond any doubt the fact that the Ancient Hindus have furnished ideas and literary forms to other nations ever since the dawn of history.

The Ass in the Lion`s Skin (Anonymous: 500 B.C.?—380 B.C.?)

The Jataka or Birth-story` ` is found in one form or another in several collections, one of which was well known as early as the Fourth Century B.C. It is a brief incident, usually in fable form, showing one incarnation of the Buddha, and drawing from the fable a little moral.

The Jataka may actually have influenced the ancient Greeks and given rise to the Jesop legends, but whether or not that is true, they constitute the “oldest, most complete, and most important collection of folk-lore extant.”

Nothing whatsoever is known of the author or authors of the particular collection from which this story is taken. It is reprinted from Buddhist Birth Stories [Nidana-Katha], by T. W. Rhys Davids, London,
1880, by permission of the publishers, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co.

The Ass in the Lion`s Skin

Once upon a time, while Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the future Buddha was born one of a peasant family; and when he grew up, he gained his living by tilling the ground.

At that time a hawker used to go from place to place, trafficking in goods carried by an ass. Now at each place he came to, when he took the pack down from the ass`s back he used to clothe him in a lion`s skin, and turn him loose in the rice and barley-fields, and when the watchmen in the fields saw the ass, they dared not go near him, taking him for a lion. So one day the hawker stopped in a village; and while he was getting his own breakfast cooked, he dressed the ass in a lion`s skin and turned him loose in a barley-field. The watchmen in the field dared not go up to him; but going home, they published the news. Then all the villagers came out with weapons in their hands; and blowing chanks, and beating drums, they went near the field and shouted. Terrified with the fear of death, the ass uttered a cry— the cry of an ass!

And when he knew him then to be an ass, the future Buddha pronounced the first stanza

“This is not a lion`s roaring,

Nor a tiger`s, nor a panther`s;

Dressed in a lion`s skin,

`Tis a wretched ass that roars!”

But when the villagers knew the creature to be an ass, they beat him till his bones broke; and, carrying off the lion`s skin, went away. Then the hawker came, and seeing the ass fallen into so bad a plight, pronounced the second stanza:

“Long might the ass,

Clad in a lion`s skin,

Have fed on barley green,

But he brayed,

And that moment he came to ruin.”

And even while he was yet speaking the ass died on the spot!

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Eumieus` Tale

Ancient Greece

There is no land without its story-tellers, and in the dawn of Hellenic civilization we find the half-legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey telling tales—some of them so long and elaborate as to be called epics, and some of them brief enough to be classed as short stories. Though the actual composition of the earliest Greek stories dates from a thousand or fifteen hundred years after the Egyptian tales, there is no doubt that they were sung or recited centuries before the great epics assumed the form in which they are now known.

The poet Hesiod, somewhat later than Homer, but before the opening of the Golden Age of Greek literature (Fifth Century, B.C.), inserted into his longer mythical and didactic works episodes which are, as a matter of fact, short stories, though they are inferior in workmanship to the ingenious tales with which Herodotus enlivens the pages of his fascinating History. Herodotus was much more of an artist than a mere recorder of facts. He was determined at all costs to make his work readable. Other and later historians strove to imitate him, and their books are full of anecdotes and episodes many of which might be extracted to demonstrate the gradual development of the form. Plutarch, in particular, was fond of relating incidents to illustrate the Lives of his heroes.

Though the fable probably originated in India, it was given a particular form in the so-called Beast Fable of the Greeks. This is a short story told in order to point a moral, in which respect it is not essentially different from most other stories, ancient and modern. It was in Greece that a collection of beast fables accumulated, and was attributed to a certain Tisop, of whom we have no authentic knowledge. That they are short and deal ostensibly with animals instead of human beings in no way prevents their inclusion in a collection of this sort. The best of them are masterpieces in the art of condensed narrative. Though the works attributed to Tlsop are now lost, they have been preserved in translated or adapted form by the Latin fabulist, Phaedrus.

It was after the close of the great epoch of Greek literature that the art of prose fiction arose in Greece. Antonius Diogenes, Xenophon of Ephesus, Achilles Tatius, Lucian, Parthenius, Longus and Hehodorus belong more especially among the writers of pure fiction. There were occasional exceptions, like Apollonius of Rhodes, who sought inspiration in the myths of the past, and developed the more or less crude incidents of the ancients into comely, if occasionally affected, stories. But the romance itself was originated by Xenophon of Ephesus, Lon- gus, and Heliodorus, and later developed by Achilles Tatius and Chariton. Still, the short story as an independent form was apparently not recognized. In The Robbers of Egypt, which is the first chapter of Heliodorus` Ethiopian Romance, we find a complete and unified short story. The Daphnis and Chloe of Longus is an early example of the “long-short” story.

Long before the final extinction of Greek romance the Greek forms had been carried over into the Roman world, where they were to flourish for a time, disappear, and then a thousand years later bloom again under the touch of the Italians.

Homer (About 1000 B.C.)

The first mention of Homer dates from the Seventh Century B.C., but when he lived, or indeed whether he ever lived at all, are questions that have never been solved. The Iliad and The Odyssey were probably composed about a thousand years before the Christian era. The short story, as we know it, was not of course a recognized literary form, but Eumtsus ` Tale, in The Odyssey, happens to be an excellent example. It is told to Odysseus by the old swine-herd.

The present version, purposely reduced by the editors to more or less colloquial prose, is based upon three translations. There is no title in the original.

Eumieus` Tale

There is an island over beyond Ortygia—perchance thou hast -L heard tell of it—where the sun turns. It is a goodly island, though not very vast, with rich herds and flocks, and much grain and wine. There is no dearth, and no illness visits poor mortals. When men grow old there, Apollo of the Silverow, in company with Artemis, comes to them and kills them gendy with his shafts. On the island are two cities, which divide all the land between them. My father was king over all, Ctesius son of Ormenus, a godlike man.

“To this land came the Phoenicians, famous sailors greedy for mer-chandise, bringing many things in their dark ship. There was in my father`s palace a Phoenician woman, tall and lovely, and skilful in making beautiful things with her hands; her the Phoenicians deceived by their guile. As she was washing clothes near the hollow ship, one of them conquered her; love beguiles many women, even the noblest. The Phoenician asked her who she was and from what land, and she straight-way showed him the high palace of my father, and said, `I come from Sidon, rich in bronze, and am the daughter of the wealthy Arybas. The Taphians, who are pirates, seized me as I was coming from the fields, brought me to this land, and sold me for a great price to my present master.` Then he who had conquered her said in answer, `Wouldst thou return once more to thy home with us, to see again the high palace of thy father, and see thy mother? They are yet alive, and are reputed to be wealthy.`

“Then the woman made answer to him and said, `This may be, if you sailors will swear to bring me home safely.` Thus she answered, and the sailors swore as she bade them, and after they had sworn, the woman spake to them: `Say naught now; let none of you speak to me when you see me in the street, or even by the well, lest it be known and told to the old man here, and he suspect me and tie me fast and bring death to you all. But keep in mind the plan, and hasten to bring your freight for the homeward voyage. When your ship is full laden, send a messenger quickly to the palace for me, and I will bring gold, all I can lay hand upon. And there is more, besides, that I would bring with me: I am nursing a child for my master, a darling boy who runs about with me; I would bring him with me on the ship. He should bring a high price, if you sell him among men of other lands and other speech.`

“Then she departed to the fair halls. But the sailors remained among us a whole year, and gathered great wealth for their hollow ship, and when it was laden and ready to sail, a messenger was sent to tell the woman. A crafty man with a golden and amber chain came to the halls of my father. My mother and the maidens in the palace were looking upon the chain and holding it, offering the man a price for it, while he made signs in silence to the woman. Then he betook himself to the hollow ship. The woman then took me by the hand and led me out of the house. At the doorway she found the cups and tables of the guests who had feasted and waited upon my father: they had gone out to the meeting-place where councils were held.

And the woman concealed three cups in her bosom, and carried them away, while I followed her innocently. The sun sank and darkness came. Going quickly, we reached the harbor and the swift ship of the Phoenicians; the sailors went aboard, taking us with them, and sailed over the ocean, Zeus giving us favoring winds. We sailed continuously day and night for six days, but when Zeus, son of Cronos, brought the seventh, Artemis the huntress struck down the woman and she fell like a swallow to the bottom of the ship. The sailors threw her overboard, to the seals and the fishes, and I sorrowed. With the help of wind and wave they came to Ithaca, where Laertes bought me. It was thus that I first beheld this place.”

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Customized tour Bulgaria

After a hardworking month or year, the normal thing is to think of a way to relax. Many and different the ways are but the most common one is to travel. Although the easiest way to do it is by reading a nice book, a magazine or a brochure about a place, you can simply see a commercial on TV. Then travel in your mind to different worlds. That`s how dreams are born. Dreams to visit these worlds in real. The imagination is woken up and takes over. Once it`s up, you cannot stop it easily. It hovers around. It needs information to grow, to realize and to make the dreams for customized tour Bulgaria come true.

Then, there is another way, the actual travelling. However, it is not in your mind but in a car, on the bus or plane, or in your mobile home – camper. This i the travelling that follows the imagination. Then dreams become reality and memories start to fill your mind, your heart. The next best thing to be done is to plan your Bulgaria holidays. And put your customized tour Bulgaria in action.

Visit Bulgaria

Tour bulgaria, Belogradchik Fortress InnerThe laugh, the games, even the songs during a nice journey cannot be replaced for a better thing.

Firstly, Bulgaria is a good place to start with (if you haven`t yet started) or the next good place to visit.

Secondly, there are many things to do and places to visit in Bulgaria. For example, the Bulgarian Black Sea coast is a destination, preferred by many (coastal Bulgaria holidays). And as the climate is good, it can turn out a really relaxing and fun holiday in Bulgaria.

Balkan (mountain) tours are for the ones who need a more peaceful vacation.

Last but not least are the Rose Valley, the valley of the Thracian Kings, the old good Plovdiv. Or Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. The monasteries – The Rozhen Monastery or the Rila Monastery, the Aladzha Monastery, all the festivals…

Please visit for detailed information.

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Private Bulgaria tours Yachting

Private Bulgaria tours yachting in a different yachting way

Close your eyes and think about your dream private Bulgaria tours. Also, think about private Bulgaria tours yachting. And get ready to explore the country and the Black Sea coast in a completely different way.

Yachting in Bulgaria offers opportunities for turning your holiday into beautiful memories. And I promise you can collect memories everywhere in Bulgaria. (Sofia sightseeing)

During the past few years, some of the elite marine complexes and resort towns have built yacht ports. The ports in the resorts Rusalka, Tyulenovo, Balchik, Golden Sands and Varna offer fine opportunities for private Bulgaria tours yachting along the northern Black Sea coast. Options for yacht tourism on the southern Black Sea coast are offered in Burgas. And at the resorts St. Vlas, Nesebar, Sozopol, and Dyuni as well.

Why Bulgaria

Why you should choose Bulgaria? What are the things to do in Bulgaria when sailing on the Black Sea? When on private Bulgaria tours yachting?

Bulgarian nature. Because the country is a piece of heaven – warm sea, sunny beaches and the magnificent peaks of the mountains, in the near distance, covered in snow. It is beautiful mountains and valleys (visit the Rose Valley for Rose Festival tour). It is forests, lakes, waterfalls, rivers and sea as well. You can find anything you want. Climate in Bulgaria is moderate – warm, sunny summers and mild but snowy winters. The sea – quiet, calm, warm sea. Amazing long beaches with incredible sand, picturesque rocky shores. These are ones of the main Bulgaria tourist attractions for Bulgaria private tours.

Bulgaria Boat Trip

Bulgaria is an ancient country with rich history and a lot to show to tourists who decide to visit Bulgaria and enjoy private Bulgaria tours (and private Bulgaria tours yachting). There are numerous historical and architectural sites to be seen. Among them are the Varna Necropolis, where the oldest processed gold in the world is found; Thracian tombs and temples with gold treasures of world appreciation; architectural and historical sites and parks and many others…

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Discover Varna

Private Tours Bulgaria – Varna – an attractive place…

Bulgaria maybe a small country but it has two capitals. And they are Sofia (Sofia city tour) and the sea capital, Varna. Varna is one of the oldest settlements on the Bulgarian lands. It is on the Bulgarian coast and is the third biggest city in Bulgaria. It`s been officially announced a sea resort in 1921. It is also one of Bulgaria destinations that tourists like. It is a lively place which everybody remembers long after. A great place for great private tours in Bulgaria.


`The Museum of History and Arts` will introduce us to the history and culture of Varna from its early centuries to the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.

Private Tours Bulgaria Varna – Park-Museum of the Combat Friendship

`Park-Museum of the Combat Friendship` is a pleasant place for relaxation both for families with children and individual tourists. It offers history monuments as well as nature beauties.

One of the symbols of the sea capital is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin. It is a temple for the ones praying and an attraction for the tourists. This holy place will take us in the world of spirituality.

Our private tours in Bulgaria, around Varna, follow the development of the city during its different stages. The `Museum of National Revival` – the exposition highlights the important moments of Varna`s history during the Revival period.

Varna is considered an important cultural centre. It hosts the Film Festival `Love is Folly`. Also, the Varna Summer International Music Festival. The International Puppet Festival `Golden Dolphin` too and many others.

Varna is not the only place in Bulgaria that hosts festivals, though. Quite many places have their holdays, carnivals. The town of Kazanlak is one of these places. It is famous for its Rose Festival (Bulgaria private tours kazanlak).

The article above is copied from the official website of EnmarBg. For more information, please visit

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Bulgaria Tour Balchik Kaliakra Yailata

Balchik Kaliakra Yailata – to remember your Bulgaria tour

Our offer is for one day Bulgaria tour Balchik. Kaliakra, Yailata and Balchik are not far away from Varna. And they are on the Bulgarian coast as well. As for the capital of Bulgaria, the distance is a little bit too much for one day from Sofia. However, there is a solution. A day in Sofia for sightseeing tour Sofia. Then, from one capital to the other, Varna.

. Kaliakra, Yailata and Balchik are not far away from Varna. And they are on the Bulgarian coast as well. As for the capital of Bulgaria, the distance is a little bit too much for one day from Sofia. However, there is a solution. A day in Sofia for sightseeing tour Sofia. Then, from one capital to the other, Varna.

Stone Forest

So, let the tour begin. We are leaving from Varna in the morning to the town of Balchik (Bulgaria tour Balchik). The town is the third in significance Bulgarian port after Varna and Burgas. One of the main tourist attractions in Balchik is the Architectural Park Complex `Balchik Palace`. It was built between 1926 and 1937 as a summer residence for the Romanian Queen Maria.

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Diego Endara Tour

VIIIth International Meeting Bulgaria 2018

Diego Endara, an eccentric guy from Ecuador. He is passionately in love with Bulgaria and has already written 3 books about it. He managed to gather a group of ex students in Bulgaria and their families from around 11 countries, mostly from middle and South America. And here they are, in Bulgaria, for their excellent Bulgaria tour. Of course, I shouldn’t forget to mention that Diego suggested an itinerary. We forked on different routes for almost a year. Eventually, a little bit tight but good program came as a result.

Some of these students (successful people and professionals today) studied in Bulgaria 30 years ago. Very few of them have come back to Bulgaria once or twice for these 30 years. But 2018 was the year they all met here, in Bulgaria. It was a great and memorable experience for them…
We are looking forward to entertain you again, Diego.

The tour


Meet the guide at Sofia Airport beginning of September, 2018.
Check in into a hotel in Sofia. Dinner in the hotel and overnight. Everybody is tired from their flights.

Sofia – Vitosha Mountain

That was the day devoted to Sofia. A sightseeing tour Sofia – to see if Sofia has changed for the last 30 years.

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and it`s not a big metropolis (just like whole Bulgaria – small and full of beauty and surprises). But it`s a modern, youthful city where churches, synagogues, Ottoman mosques and communist monuments live together peacefully and in harmony. Sofia is an old settlement with the previous name of Serdica. The tour offers a good mixture of traditional and modern Sofia. Well, has Sofia changed? Has Bulgaria changed for the last 30 years?

Some time spent on Vitosha Mountain. When one lives in a big city, where life never seems to stop and the city is at the foot of a mountain, is considered lucky. Vitosha Mountain means relaxation and it`s a great opportunity to slow the pace down a little bit.

You like to learn more then please visit

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