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Klǽovis and Víton (Kleobis and Biton or Kleops and Bitias or Cleobis and Bito; Gr. Κλέοβις και Βίτων)  

The story of Klǽovis and Víton, two noble young men living in virtue, has been preserved for our benefit in the work of Iródotos (Herodotos; Gr. Ἡρόδοτος) the historian. Because of the valor of these youths, the Gods deified them: they are Kouri (Gr. Κούροι, plural of Κούρος). As testimony to their Arætí (Arete; Gr. Ἀρετή), statues were created by the Argive sculptor Polymídis (Polymides; Gr. Πολυμήδης) and presented as a gift from the people of Árgos (Gr. Ἄργος) to the sanctuary of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων) at Dælphí (Delphi; Gr. Δελφοί). Those sculptures are extant in the archaeological museum and can be viewed to this day. 


Iródotos tells us that the rich King Krísos (Croesus; Gr. Κροῖσος) of Lydía (Lydia; Gr. Λυδία) asked Sólohn (Solon; Gr. Σόλων, c. 638 BC–558 BC), one of the Seven Sages of ancient Ællás (Hellas; Gr. Ἑλλάς), to tell him who in the world was the happiest, believing himself to be this man, because of his considerable wealth and power. To the great irritation of Krísos, Sólohn replied that he believed the Athenian statesman, Tǽllos (Tellus; Gr. Τέλλος), was the happiest, for he had beautiful and good children who gave him grandchildren. These grandchildren grew to adulthood. Tǽllos spent his life in happy circumstances and died defending his pólis (city-state; Gr. πόλις), being buried with great honor. This answer was very annoying to Krísos, so he asked again, "Who, then, would be second to Tǽllos in happiness?" Sólohn replied that the two brothers, Klǽovis and Víton, would be, in his mind, the happiest, and he then went on to tell their story:

"Cleobis and Bito," Sólohn answered; "they were of Argive race; their fortune was enough for their wants, and they were besides endowed with so much bodily strength that they had both gained prizes at the (ed. Olympic) Games. Also this tale is told of them:--There was a great festival in honour of the Goddess Hera (ed. Íra) at Argos, to which their mother (ed. Kydíppi; Gr. Κυδίππη, her name according to Ploutarkhos [Plutarch; Gr. Πλούταρχος] from a fragment [133]) must needs be taken in a car. Now the oxen did not come home from the field in time: so the youths, fearful of being too late, put the yoke on their own necks, and themselves drew the car in which their mother rode. Five and forty furlongs did they draw her, and stopped before the temple. This deed of theirs was witnessed by the whole assembly of worshippers, and then their life closed in the best possible way. Herein, too, God showed forth most evidently, how much better a thing for man death is than life. For the Argive men, who stood around the car, extolled the vast strength of the youths; and the Argive women extolled the mother who was blessed with such a pair of sons; and the mother herself, overjoyed at the deed and at the praises it had won, standing straight before the image, besought the Goddess to bestow on Cleobis and Bito, the sons who had so mightily honoured her, the highest blessing to which mortals can attain. Her prayer ended, they offered sacrifice and partook of the holy banquet, after which the two youths fell asleep in the temple. They never woke more, but so passed from the earth. The Argives, looking on them as among the best of men, caused statues of them to be made, which they gave to the shrine at Delphi." 

(Iródotos Istoríai [Histories; Gr. Ἱστορίαι], Book I, Chapter 31, translated by George Rawlinson in 1910, found in the 1997 Everyman's Library edition, Alfred A. Knopf, New York NY USA and Toronto Canada, entitled Herodotus: The Histories, on pp. 19-20)

Sólohn continued saying that the happiness of a life cannot be evaluated until one sees its end, and he went on making many other comments. We learn later in Iródotos' book that wealthy King Krísos was nearly burnt alive and that he lost his fortune and kingdom. Of course, the tale of King Krísos is not the subject of our essay, but rather it has provided the means by which we know the story of the admirable brothers, Klǽovis and Víton.

Also visit this page: KOUROS - ΚΟΥΡΟΣ. 

The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.
How do we know there are Gods? Experiencing Gods.

The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The Pætilía (Petelia, Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase (Γῆς παῖς εἰμί καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος) are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kozmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara, κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo, Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus, Ὀρφεύς). 

PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as 

, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.

The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING: uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 

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