As a young man I set out from Miletus to the Olympic games since I also wanted to visit the places of this famous province, after wandering through all of Thessaly I reached Larissa.
And while wandering through the city with a diminished travelling allowance I seek remedies for my poverty, in the middle of the forum I notice an old man.
He was standing on a stone and in a loud voice he was proclaiming, if anyone wished to guard a dead man he would receive a big reward. And to a certain passer by I say "What's this I hear? Do the dead here usually run away?"
"Be silent" he replied. "for you are a boy and a mere foreigner, and naturally you don't know that you are in Thessaly. Where witches always bite pieces out of the face of the dead, which are extra ingredients for them in the art of magic"
In reply I say "what sort of protection is needed?" "To begin with" he replied "you must stay fully awake for the whole night with open and unclosing eyes always intent on the corpse, nor must your gaze be turned away anywhere, since those evil witches secretly creep up with their shape changed into any animal.
For they can take the form of both birds and dogs and mice and indeed even flies.
With these things known I strengthen my mind and at once approaching the old man I say "Now stop shouting. A guard is read here". Barely had I finished and at once he leads me to some home, where he shows (me) a woman weeping wrapped in dark clothing.
She got up and led me into the bedroom. There she uncovered by hand a body wrapped in shining white sheets. When she anxiously showed (me) the individual features, she left.
The weasel turns its back and immediately leaves from the bedroom. Without delay, a sleep suddenly overwhelms me so deep that not even the Delphic god himself could easily decide from the two of us lying there who was the more dead.
At last awoken at first light and in a big panic terrified I ran up to the corpse, and with the lamp brought near and its face uncovered, I carefully inspect everything: nothing is missing. Look the wretched weeping wife bursts in: with the corpse inspected she pays the reward without delay
"by your honour" he said "citizens and by public duty help a murdered citizen and severely avenge the vilest crime of that wicked and evil woman. For she and not any other killed by poison the poor young man, the son of my sister, to please a lover and for the sake of inherited profit"
she, with tears poured out and as piously as she could, swearing by all the gods was denying so great a crime. Therefore that old man (said) "let us place judgement of the truth into divine providence.
Zatchlas the very famous Egyptian prophet is here, who promised me that for a big reward he would, in a short while, bring back the spirit of that corpse from the dead and would reanimate the corpse."
I push myself into the crowd, and behind the bier itself, standing on a stone I was watching everything with curious eyes. Now the chest of the corpse was raised by swelling, now the body was filled with breath.
And the corpse gets up and speaks out: "why I beg do you lead me back after drinking now from the waters of Lethe and swimming on the Stygian marsh to the duties of a short lived life? Stop now, I pray, stop and release me to my rest".
This speech was heard from the body, but the prophet somewhat more forcefully said: "Why not tell the people everything about your death?" He replies from the bier, and with a deep groan thus addresses the people: "stolen by the evil skills of a new bride and sentenced to the poisoned cup, I returned to a bed warm with adultery.
I will give you very clear proofs of the truth and what absolutely no one else shall have discovered or shall have predicted, I will reveal."
Then pointing me out with a finger he said: "for when this very keen witted guard of my body was holding an intensive vigil for me, certain witches being eager for my remains appeared in changed shape.
When they had not been able to deceive his determined diligence, at last with a cloud of sleep thrown in they buried him in a deep sleep. Then they began to wake me by my name and they didn't stop until my sluggish joints and cold limbs obedient to their magic arts slowly struggle. But he who was alive and was only dead with sleep by chance has the same name as me.
"in response to his name therefore he unwittingly gets up and, proceeding mechanically in the manner of a lifeless ghost he approaches the door.
Although the doors of the bedroom had been carefully locked, through a certain hole with his nose cut off first and soon his ears he suffered mutilation instead of me. Then the witches attached to him wax shaped in the manner of the cut off ears and they fit on a nose like the cut off nose.
And now the poor man stands here having earned a reward not for hard work, but for mutilation".
Terrified by these words I begin to examine my shape. I grasp my nose by hand: it comes off. I touch the ears: they fall off. And while the crowd identifies me with pointed fingers and nods, among the feet of the bystanders dripping with a cold sweat, I run away.
Nor afterwards thus maimed and thus ludicrous could I return to my homeland, but with hair grown long on both sides I hid the wounds of my ears, truly I concealed the disgrace of my nose with this patch for decency's sake.