This myth mirrors the Roman myth of Marcus Curtius.
Celebratum etiam est Cratini factum Atheniensis: qui cum formosus esset adolescentulus, quo tempore Epimenides Atticam humano sanguine lustravit ob vetusta quaeda piacula, ut tradit Neanthes Cyzicenus secundo libro DE Initiationibus, ulto se ipsum pro patria obtulit: cuius post mortem Aristodemus etiam, amator eius, sponte vitam finivit, & cessavit malum
διαβόητα δ᾽ ἐστὶν καὶ τὰ ἐπὶ Κρατίνῳ τῷ Ἀθηναίῳ γενόμενα: ὃς μειράκιον ὢν εὔμορφον, Ἐπιμενίδου καθαίροντος τὴν Ἀττικὴν ἀνθρωπείῳ αἵματι διά τινα μύση παλαιά, ὡς ἱστορεῖ Νεάνθης ὁ Κυζικηνὸς ἐν β᾽ περὶ Τελετῶν, ἑκὼν αὑτὸν ἐπέδωκεν ὁ Κρατῖνος ὑπὲρ τῆς θρεψαμένης: ᾧ καὶ ἐπαπέθανεν ὁ ἐραστὴς Ἀριστόδημος, λύσιν τ᾽ ἔλαβε τὸ δεινόν
--Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae XIII.78; Translated in to Latin by Iohannes Schweighaeuser (1805)
The story of Athenian Cratinus is also famous. According to Neanthes of Cyzicus’ second book of On Sacrifical Rites, when Epimenides was using human blood to expiate Athens, Cratinus was a stunning young man who sacrificed himself in order to save the one who raised him [Athens]. After he died, his lover Aristodemus also died, and the sacrifice was fulfilled.
Date: 2nd c. CE
Athenaeus was a scholar who lived in Naucratis (modern Egypt) during the reign of the Antonines. His fifteen volume work, the Deipnosophists, are invaluable for the amount of quotations they preserve of otherwise lost authors, including the poetry of Sappho.
ROMAN GREEK LITERATURE