SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE

Galen, Commentary on Hippocrates’ Epidemics (3.2):

“Here is a small example of what Ptolemy Euergetes did to the Athenians, showing how eager he was for the acquisition of ancient books. He gave them a security of fiteen talents of silver in exchange for borrowing the official copies of Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus for the sake of making copies of them and returning them intact to the Athenians. He had copies worked up in exceedingly fine fashion on the most beautiful papyrus, and then kept the copies which the Athenians had sent him, while sending to them the finely-wrought copies and saying that they could keep the fifteen talents and take the new copies in exchange for the old ones. Even if Ptolemy had not sent them the new books, the Athenians could do nothing since they had taken the silver on the understanding that they could keep it if Ptolemy…

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