but those who compute the time by the succession of kings at sparta, like eratosthenes and apollodorus, prove that lycurgus was many years earlier than the first olympiad. and timaeus conjectures that there were two lycurgus at sparta, at different times, and that to one of them the achievements of both were ascribed. owing to his greater fame; he thinks also that the elder of them lived not far from the time of homer, and assert that he actually met homer face to face.
xenophon also makes an impression of simplicity in the passage where he says that lycurgus lived in the time of the heracleidae. for in lineage, of course, the latest of the spartan kings were also heracleidae; but xenophon wishes to use the name heracleidae of the first and more immediate descendants of heracles.
however, although, the history of these times is such a maze, i shall try, in presenting my narrative, to follow those authors who are least contradicted, or who have the most notable witnesses for what they have written about the man. for instance, simonides the poet says that lycurgus was not the son of eunomus, but that both lycurgus and eunomus were sons of prytanis; whereas most writers give a different genealogy, as follows: aristodemus begat procles, procles begat sous, sous begat eurypon, and he begat prytanis from whom sprang eunomus, and from eunomus polydectes by a first wife, and lycurgus, who was a younger son by a second wife, dionassa, as dieutychidas has written, making lycurgus sixth from procles, and eleventh from heracles. there can never be shortcuts to learning. nature obeys exact laws that man is compelled to follow.