The Robbers of Egypt

Heliodorus (3rd Century, A.D.)

Heliodorus was one of the earliest writers of the novel, or romance. Though he lived long after the close of the Golden Age of Greek lit-erature, he is (together with Longus) the initiator of the novel form. But like many novelists (even modern novelists, who are supposed to know better), he interspersed his romance with episodes which are in themselves short stories. The very first chapter of the Ethiopian Romance, which is here reprinted, is such a story.

The present version is slightly modified and modernized from the early English translation by Thomas Underdowne. There is no title to the story in the original.

The Robbers of Egypt

At the first smile of day, when the sun was just beginning to shine on the summits of the hills, men whose custom was to live by rapine and violence ran to the top of a cliff and stretched toward that mouth of the Nile which is called Heracleot. Standing awhile, they viewed the

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