Tuesday, December 27, 2005

King Philip and the Archer

Reading about Philip of Macedon in Little History of the World reminded me of a tale about him -- and I confirmed it via Google:

An archer named Aster came to him just before he began this war. This man offered his help to the king, and began to boast how well he could shoot.

[He said he could hit a starling at 100 paces -- I'm guessing at the number.]

Philip, who believed only in spears for fighting, sent the man away, after saying that he would call for his help when he began to war against starlings and other birds.

This answer made Aster so angry that he went over to the enemy and enlisted in their ranks. Philip soon came to besiege the city where Aster was stationed; and as soon as the archer heard of it, he got an arrow upon which he wrote, "To Philip's left eye."

Aster then went up on the wall, took careful aim, and actually put out the king's left eye. Philip was so angry when he heard of the writing on the arrow, that he ordered another shot into the city. On this arrow was written, "If Philip takes the city, he will hang Aster."

The city was taken, and the archer [hanged]; for Philip always prided himself upon keeping promises of this kind.

Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Lisa Ripperton. All Rights Reserved.

Lesson: Curb your anger, especially when the object of your anger has a great deal of power.

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