“Can you see the sun now?” he asked.”Why, no! master, of course not!” replied the man. “Your thick cloak is between me and the sun; how could I see through it?” “Well, neither can you see through the moon, then,” replied Pericles.

His men, thus warned, showed no fear of the eclipse; but the Spartans, who did not trouble themselves greatly with learning, were terrified. They imagined that the darkening of the sun at midday was the sign of some coming misfortune, and hardly dared to fight against the Athenians.

Thanks to this superstitious fear, Pericles laid waste the fields of the Peloponnesus, and came back to Athens in triumph; for, although much damage had been done to the enemy, the Athenians had lost only a few men. These were buried with great honors. Pericles himself pronounced their funeral oration; and we are told that he was so eloquent that all his hearers were melted to tears.

From: H. A. Guerber, The Story of the Greeks; edited for this online publication, by ELLOPOS BLOG