Tiresias was a blind, darkseeing prophet（先知） of Thebes. He was struck with blindness in his youth, because he had spied unwittingly on the goddess Athena. He was wandering in the woods one day when quite unexpectedly he saw anaked maiden bathing in a placid lake. Little did he know that he had offended the virgin goddess. Taken unaware and scarlet with wrath（愤怒） , the goddess exclaimed that whoever had the boldness to steal a glance at her naked body was doomed to perpetual（永久的） blindness. But when she learned later that the offence was unintentional, it was too late for her to take back what she had said. Taking pity on the poor youth for the loss of his sight, she obtained from Zeus an exceptional long life for him, and from Apollo a divine（神圣的） power of prophecy. Besides, she provided him with a marvellous sharpness of ear, so that he could understand the voices of all birds. And she filled his mind with mystic knowledge of things past and of things to come. In short she gave him quite an amount of her own wisdom. He was the first to recognise and welcome Dionysus, god of feast and wine, on the The ban land. When the infant Heracles caught Hera's two serpents（巨蛇） in its hands, it was Tiresias who cast the child's fortune and revealed the divine origin and destiny of the boy. When Oedipus abused Tiresias as having had a hand in the murder of Laius, Tiresias had the fearless courage to tell the truth that Oedipus was the murderer. Even in the lower world he continued to prophesy. There he helped Odysseus when the hero came to him for advice. Alive, he was highly respected by all；dead, he enjoyed the generous air and rosy light in the land of the Blest.
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