Setting: Habrocomes and his lover
Anthia are on a ship that docks at the port at the island of Rhodes.
Some pirates had been moored next to them in Rhodes. They were from
Phoenicia, and they were tough.
There were lots of them in a large trireme
(they were anchored there under the pretense of carrying cargo).
These men had learned that the ship was full of gold, silver, and
slaves, plentiful and valuable. So they
decided to attack, kill anyone who resisted (though they really didn't
think they'd put up much of a fight),
and take the rest to Phoenicia to sell along with the property. The
leader of the pirates was named Corymbos.
He was a young man, tall, and had a fierce look in his eye, and his
hair was long and grimy. After coming
up with this plan, at first the pirates sailed nonchalantly on the ship
was lying down from boredom or drink,
some sleeping, some lazing about--Corymbos and his men attacked them,
rowing their ship with great speed.
When they drew alongside, they leapt up onto the other ship. They were
wearing armor and their swords
were unsheathed. Some of the passengers threw themselves overboard in
terror and died, while others were
slaughtered trying to mount a defense. Habrocomes and Anthia ran to
Corymbos the pirate, took hold of his
knees, and said: "Take all our money, and keep us as slaves! Spare our
lives and don't kill those who submit
to you of their own free will. We beg you! Take us wherever you want.
Sell us--we're your slaves. Just have
pity on us and sell us to the same master." When Corymbos heard this,
he immediately gave orders to his men
to stop the killing. He transferred over to his trireme the most
valuable of the cargo, along with Habrocomes
and Anthia and a few of their slaves. Then he set the other ship on
fire, and all the rest of its passengers were
consumed by the flames.
Xenophon of Ephesus, An Ephesian Story 13