Now before Psammetichus became king of Egypt, the Egyptians
believed that they were the oldest people on earth. But ever since
Psammetichus became king and wished to find out which people were the
oldest, they have believed that the Phrygians were older than they, and
they than everybody else.
 Psammetichus, when he was in no way able to learn by inquiry which
people had first come into being, devised a plan by which he took two
newborn children of the common people and gave them to a shepherd to
bring up among his flocks. He gave instructions that no one was to
speak a word in their hearing; they were to stay by themselves in a
lonely hut, and in due time the shepherd was to bring goats and give
the children their milk and do everything else necessary.
 Psammetichus did this, and gave these instructions, because he
wanted to hear what speech would first come from the children, when
they were past the age of indistinct babbling. And he had his wish; for
one day, when the shepherd had done as he was told for two years, both
children ran to him stretching out their hands and calling "Bekos!" as
he opened the door and entered.
 When he first heard this, he kept quiet about it; but when, coming
often and paying careful attention, he kept hearing this same word, he
told his master at last and brought the children into the king's
presence as required. Psammetichus then heard them himself, and asked
to what language the word "Bekos" belonged; he found it to be a
Phrygian word, signifying bread.
 Reasoning from this, the Egyptians acknowledged that the Phrygians
were older than they. This is the story which I heard from the priests
of Hephaestus' temple at Memphis; the Greeks say among many foolish
things that Psammetichus had the children reared by women whose tongues
he had cut out.