A Very Loose TranslationLatin Story
There was a big house in Athens, with an unsavory and unhealthy reputation. The silence of the night was interrupted by the sound of weapons and chains. First they came from afar, but then they were heard nearby. Soon there appeared a filthy, emaciated old man with scraggly hair and beard. He had chains on his hands and feet.
The residents didn't sleep very well. Some even died from fear. Eventually the house was empty.
Finally, deserted, it remained quiet. When it was put up for sale no one was interested.
Then one day Athenodorus, the philosopher, came to town. He saw the FOR SALE sign on the house, learned the asking price, and asked a great many other questions.
No one held back on the horrific details, but still the philosopher decided to go ahead and buy the place.
That very evening, his first in the house, Athenodorus took a torch, stylus, and writing tablet to the front of his house. He let the slaves off for the night. Then he determined to keep himself busy writing because, he thought, an idle mind is the devil's playground.
At first, all was still. Then from afar came the rattling of chains. Stoically, Athenodorus didn't even bat an eye, but kept on writing. The sounds grew closer and closer.
Soon they were in the cottage....
Then they were in his very room....
At this Athenodorus laid down his stylus and looked up. There was the ghost. It beckoned him with a finger, but Athenodorus just took up his stylus again. When the philosopher heard the chains rattling above his head, he picked up his torch.
Slowly the ghost ambled to the door with Athenodorus close behind. As it reached an open area in the house, the ghost disappeared. Athenodorus grabbed a handy nearby clump of grass and placed it on the spot where the ghost had vanished.
The next day, Athenodorus called the magistrate. In his official capacity, he dug up the spot that had been marked. There they found chains and inside the chains, the bones of a man.
The magistrate gathered the bones for a proper burial. Never was the ghost heard from again.