Monday, April 25, 2005


Fishers of Men

Matthew 4.19 (cf. Mark 1.17):
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Plutarch, in his Life of Brutus (30, tr. Ian Scott-Kilvert), tells a curious story about an incident in which some men were literally caught like fish:
Next he captured their strongholds and villages, but released all his prisoners without ransom in the hope of winning the people over by moderation. But the Lycians were obstinate and chose to nurse their resentment at their injuries and to despise Brutus's humanity and kindness, until he forced the most warlike of them to take refuge in the city of Xanthus, and then besieged it.

The people tried to escape by swimming under the surface of the river which flowed past the city. But they were caught by nets which had been stretched across the channel and fastened to the bottom, while the tops had bells attached to them, which gave the alarm as soon as anyone became entangled.

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