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Crazy Court Case

Once upon a time, in the 2nd century A.D. to be exact, the Greek historian Pausanias wrote about Theagenes, a champion boxer and runner from the island of Thasos. Theagenes was so famous that when he died, his fellow citizens made a bronze statue to honor him.

   One man on Thasos, however, was not a Theagenes fan. Every night, he would beat the statue as if it were actually Theagenes. But one night it fell on him and killed him. The dead man's sons were angry. They took the statue of Theagenes to court and accused it of murder. Amazingly, the statue was found guilty and exiled from the city by being thrown into the sea!



   When a famine later hit Thasos, the desperate citizens traveled to Delphi and asked the famous oracle for advice. The oracle told them they should bring back all their exiles. The Thasians obeyed, but the famine continued. They returned to Delphi, where the priestess of the oracle told them, "You have forgotten your great Theagenes." The people hurried home, but didn't recover Theagenes' statue until some fishermen finally pulled it up in their nets. The statue was restored to its place in the city and the famine ended. - Carolyn Swan and Ethan White

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