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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



6465
Herodotus, Histories, 1.138


nanFurthermore, of what they may not do, they may not speak, either. They hold lying to be the most disgraceful thing of all and next to that debt; for which they have many other reasons, but this in particular: it is inevitable (so they say) that the debtor also speak some falsehood. The citizen who has leprosy or the white sickness may not come into town or mingle with other Persians. They say that he is so afflicted because he has sinned in some way against the sun. ,Every stranger who gets such a disease, many drive out of the country; and they do the same to white doves, for the reason given. Rivers they especially revere; they will neither urinate nor spit nor wash their hands in them, nor let anyone else do so.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

11 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Deuteronomy, 32.1 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

32.1. יִמְצָאֵהוּ בְּאֶרֶץ מִדְבָּר וּבְתֹהוּ יְלֵל יְשִׁמֹן יְסֹבְבֶנְהוּ יְבוֹנְנֵהוּ יִצְּרֶנְהוּ כְּאִישׁוֹן עֵינוֹ׃ 32.1. הַאֲזִינוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וַאֲדַבֵּרָה וְתִשְׁמַע הָאָרֶץ אִמְרֵי־פִי׃ 32.1. Give ear, ye heavens, and I will speak; And let the earth hear the words of my mouth."
2. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 18.30 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

18.30. And he said: ‘Oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Peradventure there shall thirty be found there.’ And He said: ‘I will not do it, if I find thirty there.’"
3. Hebrew Bible, 1 Kings, 8.28-8.30 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

8.28. וּפָנִיתָ אֶל־תְּפִלַּת עַבְדְּךָ וְאֶל־תְּחִנָּתוֹ יְהוָה אֱלֹהָי לִשְׁמֹעַ אֶל־הָרִנָּה וְאֶל־הַתְּפִלָּה אֲשֶׁר עַבְדְּךָ מִתְפַּלֵּל לְפָנֶיךָ הַיּוֹם׃ 8.29. לִהְיוֹת עֵינֶךָ פְתֻחוֹת אֶל־הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה לַיְלָה וָיוֹם אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַרְתָּ יִהְיֶה שְׁמִי שָׁם לִשְׁמֹעַ אֶל־הַתְּפִלָּה אֲשֶׁר יִתְפַּלֵּל עַבְדְּךָ אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה׃ 8.28. Yet have Thou respect unto the prayer of Thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer which Thy servant prayeth before Thee this day;" 8.29. that Thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place whereof Thou hast said: My name shall be there; to hearken unto the prayer which Thy servant shall pray toward this place." 8.30. And hearken Thou to the supplication of Thy servant, and of Thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place; yea, hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling-place; and when Thou hearest, forgive."
4. Hebrew Bible, 1 Samuel, 25.24, 28.22 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

25.24. וַתִּפֹּל עַל־רַגְלָיו וַתֹּאמֶר בִּי־אֲנִי אֲדֹנִי הֶעָוֺן וּתְדַבֶּר־נָא אֲמָתְךָ בְּאָזְנֶיךָ וּשְׁמַע אֵת דִּבְרֵי אֲמָתֶךָ׃ 28.22. וְעַתָּה שְׁמַע־נָא גַם־אַתָּה בְּקוֹל שִׁפְחָתֶךָ וְאָשִׂמָה לְפָנֶיךָ פַּת־לֶחֶם וֶאֱכוֹל וִיהִי בְךָ כֹּחַ כִּי תֵלֵךְ בַּדָּרֶךְ׃ 25.24. and fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thy handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thy ears, and hear the words of thy handmaid." 28.22. Now therefore, I pray thee, hearken thou also to the voice of thy handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before thee; and eat, that thou mayst have strength, when thou goest on thy way."
5. Hebrew Bible, 2 Samuel, 14.12 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

14.12. וַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה תְּדַבֶּר־נָא שִׁפְחָתְךָ אֶל־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּבָר וַיֹּאמֶר דַּבֵּרִי׃ 14.12. Then the woman said, Let thy handmaid, I pray thee, speak one word to my lord the king. And he said, Say on."
6. Aeschylus, Persians, 177-199, 176 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

176. πολλοῖς μὲν αἰεὶ νυκτέροις ὀνείρασιν 176. I have been haunted by a multitude of dreams at night since the time when my son, having despatched his army, departed with intent to lay waste the land of the Ionians. But never yet have I beheld so distinct a vision
7. Herodotus, Histories, 1.14, 1.86-1.87, 1.141, 1.143, 1.153, 1.169, 1.189-1.190, 3.72, 3.74, 3.76, 3.80-3.82, 3.133, 3.144, 6.62-6.63, 6.97, 7.6, 7.12-7.19, 7.27-7.29, 7.34-7.35, 7.39, 7.43, 7.54, 7.101-7.104, 7.117, 7.133-7.137, 7.191-7.192, 7.197, 7.209-7.210, 7.223, 8.99, 8.109, 8.133-8.136, 9.36-9.38, 9.41-9.43, 9.109 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.14. Thus the Mermnadae robbed the Heraclidae of the sovereignty and took it for themselves. Having gotten it, Gyges sent many offerings to Delphi : there are very many silver offerings of his there; and besides the silver, he dedicated a hoard of gold, among which six golden bowls are the offerings especially worthy of mention. ,These weigh thirty talents and stand in the treasury of the Corinthians; although in truth it is not the treasury of the Corinthian people but of Cypselus son of Eetion. This Gyges then was the first foreigner whom we know who placed offerings at Delphi after the king of Phrygia, Midas son of Gordias. ,For Midas too made an offering: namely, the royal seat on which he sat to give judgment, and a marvellous seat it is. It is set in the same place as the bowls of Gyges. This gold and the silver offered by Gyges is called by the Delphians “Gygian” after its dedicator. 1.86. The Persians gained Sardis and took Croesus prisoner. Croesus had ruled fourteen years and been besieged fourteen days. Fulfilling the oracle, he had destroyed his own great empire. The Persians took him and brought him to Cyrus, ,who erected a pyre and mounted Croesus atop it, bound in chains, with twice seven sons of the Lydians beside him. Cyrus may have intended to sacrifice him as a victory-offering to some god, or he may have wished to fulfill a vow, or perhaps he had heard that Croesus was pious and put him atop the pyre to find out if some divinity would deliver him from being burned alive. ,So Cyrus did this. As Croesus stood on the pyre, even though he was in such a wretched position it occurred to him that Solon had spoken with god's help when he had said that no one among the living is fortunate. When this occurred to him, he heaved a deep sigh and groaned aloud after long silence, calling out three times the name “Solon.” ,Cyrus heard and ordered the interpreters to ask Croesus who he was invoking. They approached and asked, but Croesus kept quiet at their questioning, until finally they forced him and he said, “I would prefer to great wealth his coming into discourse with all despots.” Since what he said was unintelligible, they again asked what he had said, ,persistently harassing him. He explained that first Solon the Athenian had come and seen all his fortune and spoken as if he despised it. Now everything had turned out for him as Solon had said, speaking no more of him than of every human being, especially those who think themselves fortunate. While Croesus was relating all this, the pyre had been lit and the edges were on fire. ,When Cyrus heard from the interpreters what Croesus said, he relented and considered that he, a human being, was burning alive another human being, one his equal in good fortune. In addition, he feared retribution, reflecting how there is nothing stable in human affairs. He ordered that the blazing fire be extinguished as quickly as possible, and that Croesus and those with him be taken down, but despite their efforts they could not master the fire. 1.87. Then the Lydians say that Croesus understood Cyrus' change of heart, and when he saw everyone trying to extinguish the fire but unable to check it, he invoked Apollo, crying out that if Apollo had ever been given any pleasing gift by him, let him offer help and deliver him from the present evil. ,Thus he in tears invoked the god, and suddenly out of a clear and windless sky clouds gathered, a storm broke, and it rained violently, extinguishing the pyre. Thus Cyrus perceived that Croesus was dear to god and a good man. He had him brought down from the pyre and asked, ,“Croesus, what man persuaded you to wage war against my land and become my enemy instead of my friend?” He replied, “O King, I acted thus for your good fortune, but for my own ill fortune. The god of the Hellenes is responsible for these things, inciting me to wage war. ,No one is so foolish as to choose war over peace. In peace sons bury their fathers, in war fathers bury their sons. But I suppose it was dear to the divinity that this be so.” 1.141. As soon as the Lydians had been subjugated by the Persians, the Ionians and Aeolians sent messengers to Cyrus, offering to be his subjects on the same terms as those which they had under Croesus. After hearing what they proposed, Cyrus told them a story. Once, he said, there was a flute-player who saw fish in the sea and played upon his flute, thinking that they would come out on to the land. ,Disappointed of his hope, he cast a net and gathered it in and took out a great multitude of fish; and seeing them leaping, “You had best,” he said, “stop your dancing now; you would not come out and dance before, when I played to you.” ,The reason why Cyrus told the story to the Ionians and Aeolians was that the Ionians, who were ready to obey him when the victory was won, had before refused when he sent a message asking them to revolt from Croesus. ,So he answered them in anger. But when the message came to the Ionians in their cities, they fortified themselves with walls, and assembled in the Panionion, all except the Milesians, with whom alone Cyrus made a treaty on the same terms as that which they had with the Lydians. The rest of the Ionians resolved to send envoys in the name of them all to Sparta, to ask help for the Ionians. 1.143. Among these Ionians, the Milesians were safe from the danger (for they had made a treaty), and the islanders among them had nothing to fear: for the Phoenicians were not yet subjects of the Persians, nor were the Persians themselves mariners. ,But those of Asia were cut off from the rest of the Ionians only in the way that I shall show. The whole Hellenic stock was then small, and the last of all its branches and the least regarded was the Ionian; for it had no considerable city except Athens . ,Now the Athenians and the rest would not be called Ionians, but spurned the name; even now the greater number of them seem to me to be ashamed of it; but the twelve cities aforesaid gloried in this name, and founded a holy place for themselves which they called the Panionion, and agreed among themselves to allow no other Ionians to use it (nor in fact did any except the men of Smyrna ask to be admitted); 1.153. When the herald had proclaimed this, Cyrus is said to have asked the Greeks who were present who and how many in number these Lacedaemonians were who made this declaration. When he was told, he said to the Spartan herald, “I never yet feared men who set apart a place in the middle of their city where they perjure themselves and deceive each other. They, if I keep my health, shall talk of their own misfortunes, not those of the Ionians.” ,He uttered this threat against all the Greeks, because they have markets and buy and sell there; for the Persians themselves were not used to resorting to markets at all, nor do they even have a market of any kind. ,Presently, entrusting Sardis to a Persian called Tabalus, and instructing Pactyes, a Lydian, to take charge of the gold of Croesus and the Lydians, he himself marched away to Ecbatana, taking Croesus with him, and at first taking no notice of the Ionians. ,For he had Babylon on his hands and the Bactrian nation and the Sacae and Egyptians; he meant to lead the army against these himself, and to send another commander against the Ionians. 1.169. These were the only Ionians who left their native lands, unable to endure slavery. The rest of the Ionians, except the Milesians, though they faced Harpagus in battle as did the exiles, and conducted themselves well, each fighting for his own country, yet, when they were defeated and their cities taken, they remained where they were and did as they were told. ,The Milesians, as I have already said, made a treaty with Cyrus himself and struck no blow. Thus Ionia was enslaved for the second time: and when Harpagus had conquered the Ionians of the mainland, the Ionians of the islands, fearing the same fate, surrendered to Cyrus. 1.189. When Cyrus reached the Gyndes river on his march to Babylon, which rises in the mountains of the Matieni and flows through the Dardanean country into another river, the Tigris, that again passes the city of Opis and empties into the Red Sea —when, I say, Cyrus tried to cross the Gyndes, which was navigable there, one of his sacred white horses dashed recklessly into the river trying to get through it, but the current overwhelmed him and swept him under and away. ,At this violence of the river Cyrus was very angry, and he threatened to make it so feeble that women could ever after cross it easily without wetting their knees. ,After uttering this threat, he paused in his march against Babylon, and, dividing his army into two parts, drew lines planning out a hundred and eighty canals running every way from either bank of the Gyndes; then he organized his army along the lines and made them dig. ,Since a great multitude was at work, it went quickly; but they spent the whole summer there before it was finished. 1.190. Then at the beginning of the following spring, when Cyrus had punished the Gyndes by dividing it among the three hundred and sixty canals, he marched against Babylon at last. The Babylonians sallied out and awaited him; and when he came near their city in his march, they engaged him, but they were beaten and driven inside the city. ,There they had stored provisions enough for very many years, because they knew already that Cyrus was not a man of no ambitition, and saw that he attacked all nations alike; so now they were indifferent to the siege; and Cyrus did not know what to do, being so long delayed and gaining no advantage. 3.72. To this Otanes replied, seeing Darius' vehemence, “Since you force us to hurry and will tolerate no delay, tell us now yourself how we shall pass into the palace and attack them. For you know yourself, I suppose, if not because you have seen them then you have heard, that guards are stationed all around; how shall we go past the guards?” ,“Otanes,” answered Darius, “there are many things that cannot be described in words, but in deed; and there are other things that can be described in words, but nothing illustrious comes of them. You know well that the guards who are set are easy to go by. ,There is no one who will not allow us to pass, from respect or from fear, because of who we are; and further, I have myself the best pretext for entering, for I shall say that I have just arrived from Persia and have a message for the king from my father. ,When it is necessary to lie, lie. For we want the same thing, liars and those who tell the truth; some lie to win credence and advantage by lies, while others tell the truth in order to obtain some advantage by the truth and to be more trusted; thus we approach the same ends by different means. ,If the hope of advantage were taken away, the truth-teller would be as ready to lie as the liar to tell the truth. Now if any of the watchmen willingly let us pass, it will be better for him later. But if any tries to withstand us, let us note him as an enemy, and so thrust ourselves in and begin our work.” 3.74. While they were making these plans, by coincidence the following happened. The Magi had resolved after consideration to make a friend of Prexaspes, because he had been wronged by Cambyses (who had killed his son with an arrow) and because he alone knew of the death of Cyrus' son Smerdis, having himself been the slayer; but besides this, because he was in great repute among the Persians. ,For these reasons they summoned him and tried to make him a friend, having bound him by tokens of good faith and oaths to keep to himself and betray to no one their deception of the Persians, and promising to give him all things in great abundance. ,When Prexaspes agreed to do this, since the Magi importuned him, the Magi made this second proposal to him, that they should call an assembly of all the Persians before the palace wall, and he should go up on to a tower and declare that it was Smerdis son of Cyrus and no other who was king of Persia . ,They gave him this charge, because they thought him to be the man most trusted by the Persians, and because he had often asserted that Cyrus' son Smerdis was alive, and had denied the murder. 3.76. The seven Persians, when they had decided to attack the Magi at once and not delay, prayed to the gods and set forth, knowing nothing of what had happened to Prexaspes. ,But when they had gone half way they learned what had happened to Prexaspes. Then they argued there, standing beside the road, Otanes' party demanding that they delay and not attack while events were in flux, and Darius' party that they go directly and do what they had decided and not put it off. ,While they were arguing, they saw seven pairs of hawks chase and slash and tear to bits two pairs of vultures. And seeing this all seven consented to Darius' opinion, and went on to the palace, encouraged by the birds. 3.80. After the tumult quieted down, and five days passed, the rebels against the Magi held a council on the whole state of affairs, at which sentiments were uttered which to some Greeks seem incredible, but there is no doubt that they were spoken. ,Otanes was for turning the government over to the Persian people: “It seems to me,” he said, “that there can no longer be a single sovereign over us, for that is not pleasant or good. You saw the insolence of Cambyses, how far it went, and you had your share of the insolence of the Magus. ,How can monarchy be a fit thing, when the ruler can do what he wants with impunity? Give this power to the best man on earth, and it would stir him to unaccustomed thoughts. Insolence is created in him by the good things to hand, while from birth envy is rooted in man. ,Acquiring the two he possesses complete evil; for being satiated he does many reckless things, some from insolence, some from envy. And yet an absolute ruler ought to be free of envy, having all good things; but he becomes the opposite of this towards his citizens; he envies the best who thrive and live, and is pleased by the worst of his fellows; and he is the best confidant of slander. ,of all men he is the most inconsistent; for if you admire him modestly he is angry that you do not give him excessive attention, but if one gives him excessive attention he is angry because one is a flatter. But I have yet worse to say of him than that; he upsets the ancestral ways and rapes women and kills indiscriminately. ,But the rule of the multitude has in the first place the loveliest name of all, equality, and does in the second place none of the things that a monarch does. It determines offices by lot, and holds power accountable, and conducts all deliberating publicly. Therefore I give my opinion that we make an end of monarchy and exalt the multitude, for all things are possible for the majority.” 3.81. Such was the judgment of Otanes: but Megabyzus urged that they resort to an oligarchy. “I agree,” said he, “with all that Otanes says against the rule of one; but when he tells you to give the power to the multitude, his judgment strays from the best. Nothing is more foolish and violent than a useless mob; ,for men fleeing the insolence of a tyrant to fall victim to the insolence of the unguided populace is by no means to be tolerated. Whatever the one does, he does with knowledge, but for the other knowledge is impossible; how can they have knowledge who have not learned or seen for themselves what is best, but always rush headlong and drive blindly onward, like a river in flood? ,Let those like democracy who wish ill to Persia ; but let us choose a group of the best men and invest these with the power. For we ourselves shall be among them, and among the best men it is likely that there will be the best counsels.” 3.82. Such was the judgment of Megabyzus. Darius was the third to express his opinion. “It seems to me,” he said, “that Megabyzus speaks well concerning democracy but not concerning oligarchy. For if the three are proposed and all are at their best for the sake of argument, the best democracy and oligarchy and monarchy, I hold that monarchy is by far the most excellent. ,One could describe nothing better than the rule of the one best man; using the best judgment, he will govern the multitude with perfect wisdom, and best conceal plans made for the defeat of enemies. ,But in an oligarchy, the desire of many to do the state good service often produces bitter hate among them; for because each one wishes to be first and to make his opinions prevail, violent hate is the outcome, from which comes faction and from faction killing, and from killing it reverts to monarchy, and by this is shown how much better monarchy is. ,Then again, when the people rule it is impossible that wickedness will not occur; and when wickedness towards the state occurs, hatred does not result among the wicked, but strong alliances; for those that want to do the state harm conspire to do it together. This goes on until one of the people rises to stop such men. He therefore becomes the people's idol, and being their idol is made their monarch; and thus he also proves that monarchy is best. ,But (to conclude the whole matter in one word) tell me, where did freedom come from for us and who gave it, from the people or an oligarchy or a single ruler? I believe, therefore, that we who were liberated through one man should maintain such a government, and, besides this, that we should not alter our ancestral ways that are good; that would not be better.” 3.133. A short time after this, something else occurred; there was a swelling on the breast of Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus and wife of Darius, which broke and spread further. As long as it was small, she hid it out of shame and told no one; but when it got bad, she sent for Democedes and showed it to him. ,He said he would cure her, but made her swear that she would repay him by granting whatever he asked of her, and said that he would ask nothing shameful. 3.144. So when the Persians brought Syloson back to Samos, no one raised a hand against them, but Maeandrius and those of his faction offered to evacuate the island under a flag of truce; Otanes agreed to this, and after the treaty was made, the Persians of highest rank sat down on seats facing the acropolis. 6.62. So love for this woman pricked Ariston, and he contrived as follows: He promised to give to his comrade any one thing out of all he owned, whatever Agetus might choose, and he bade his comrade make him the same promise. Agetus had no fear about his wife, seeing that Ariston was already married, so he agreed and they took oaths on these terms. ,Ariston gave Agetus whatever it was that he chose out of all his treasures, and then, seeking equal recompense from him, tried to take the wife of his comrade. Agetus said that he had agreed to anything but that, but he was forced by his oath and by the deceitful trick to let his wife be taken. 6.63. In this way Ariston married his third wife, after divorcing the second one. But his new wife gave birth to Demaratus too soon, before ten lunar months had passed. ,When one of his servants announced to him as he sat in council with the ephors that he had a son, Ariston, knowing the time of the marriage, counted up the months on his fingers and swore on oath, “It's not mine.” The ephors heard this but did not make anything of it. When the boy grew up, Ariston regretted having said that, for he firmly believed Demaratus to be his own son. ,He named him Demaratus because before his birth all the Spartan populace had prayed that Ariston, the man most highly esteemed out of all the kings of Sparta, might have a son. Thus he was named Demaratus, which means “answer to the people's prayer.” 6.97. While they did this, the Delians also left Delos and fled away to Tenos. As his expedition was sailing landwards, Datis went on ahead and bade his fleet anchor not off Delos, but across the water off Rhenaea. Learning where the Delians were, he sent a herald to them with this proclamation: ,“Holy men, why have you fled away, and so misjudged my intent? It is my own desire, and the king's command to me, to do no harm to the land where the two gods were born, neither to the land itself nor to its inhabitants. So return now to your homes and dwell on your island.” He made this proclamation to the Delians, and then piled up three hundred talents of frankincense on the altar and burnt it. 7.6. He said this because he desired adventures and wanted to be governor of Hellas. Finally he worked on Xerxes and persuaded him to do this, and other things happened that helped him to persuade Xerxes. ,Messengers came from Thessaly from the Aleuadae (who were princes of Thessaly) and invited the king into Hellas with all earnestness; the Pisistratidae who had come up to Susa used the same pleas as the Aleuadae, offering Xerxes even more than they did. ,They had come up to Sardis with Onomacritus, an Athenian diviner who had set in order the oracles of Musaeus. They had reconciled their previous hostility with him; Onomacritus had been banished from Athens by Pisistratus' son Hipparchus, when he was caught by Lasus of Hermione in the act of interpolating into the writings of Musaeus an oracle showing that the islands off Lemnos would disappear into the sea. ,Because of this Hipparchus banished him, though they had previously been close friends. Now he had arrived at Susa with the Pisistratidae, and whenever he came into the king's presence they used lofty words concerning him and he recited from his oracles; all that portended disaster to the Persian he left unspoken, choosing and reciting such prophecies as were most favorable, telling how the Hellespont must be bridged by a man of Persia and describing the expedition. ,So he brought his oracles to bear, while the Pisistratidae and Aleuadae gave their opinions. 7.12. The discussion went that far; then night came, and Xerxes was pricked by the advice of Artabanus. Thinking it over at night, he saw clearly that to send an army against Hellas was not his affair. He made this second resolve and fell asleep; then (so the Persians say) in the night he saw this vision: It seemed to Xerxes that a tall and handsome man stood over him and said, ,“Are you then changing your mind, Persian, and will not lead the expedition against Hellas, although you have proclaimed the mustering of the army? It is not good for you to change your mind, and there will be no one here to pardon you for it; let your course be along the path you resolved upon yesterday.” 7.13. So the vision spoke, and seemed to Xerxes to vanish away. When day dawned, the king took no account of this dream, and he assembled the Persians whom he had before gathered together and addressed them thus: ,“Persians, forgive me for turning and twisting in my purpose; I am not yet come to the fullness of my wisdom, and I am never free from people who exhort me to do as I said. It is true that when I heard Artabanus' opinion my youthful spirit immediately boiled up, and I burst out with an unseemly and wrongful answer to one older than myself; but now I see my fault and will follow his judgment. ,Be at peace, since I have changed my mind about marching against Hellas.” 7.14. When the Persians heard that, they rejoiced and made obeisance to him. But when night came on, the same vision stood again over Xerxes as he slept, and said, “Son of Darius, have you then plainly renounced your army's march among the Persians, and made my words of no account, as though you had not heard them? Know for certain that, if you do not lead out your army immediately, this will be the outcome of it: as you became great and mighty in a short time, so in a moment will you be brought low again.” 7.15. Greatly frightened by the vision, Xerxes leapt up from his bed, and sent a messenger to summon Artabanus. When he came, Xerxes said, “Artabanus, for a moment I was of unsound mind, and I answered your good advice with foolish words; but after no long time I repented, and saw that it was right for me to follow your advice. ,Yet, though I desire to, I cannot do it; ever since I turned back and repented, a vision keeps coming to haunt my sight, and it will not allow me to do as you advise; just now it has threatened me and gone. ,Now if a god is sending the vision, and it is his full pleasure that there this expedition against Hellas take place, that same dream will hover about you and give you the same command it gives me. I believe that this is most likely to happen, if you take all my apparel and sit wearing it upon my throne, and then lie down to sleep in my bed.” 7.16. Xerxes said this, but Artabanus would not obey the first command, thinking it was not right for him to sit on the royal throne; at last he was compelled and did as he was bid, saying first: ,“O king, I judge it of equal worth whether a man is wise or is willing to obey good advice; to both of these you have attained, but the company of bad men trips you up; just as they say that sea, of all things the most serviceable to men, is hindered from following its nature by the blasts of winds that fall upon it. ,It was not that I heard harsh words from you that stung me so much as that, when two opinions were laid before the Persians, one tending to the increase of pride, the other to its abatement, showing how evil a thing it is to teach the heart continual desire of more than it has, of these two opinions you preferred that one which was more fraught with danger to yourself and to the Persians. ,Now when you have turned to the better opinion, you say that, while intending to abandon the expedition against the Greeks, you are haunted by a dream sent by some god, which forbids you to disband the expedition. ,But this is none of heaven's working, my son. The roving dreams that visit men are of such nature as I shall teach you, since I am many years older than you. Those visions that rove about us in dreams are for the most part the thoughts of the day; and in these recent days we have been very busy with this expedition. ,But if this is not as I determine and it has something divine to it, then you have spoken the conclusion of the matter; let it appear to me just as it has to you, and utter its command. If it really wishes to appear, it should do so to me no more by virtue of my wearing your dress instead of mine, and my sleeping in your bed rather than in my own. ,Whatever it is that appears to you in your sleep, surely it has not come to such folly as to infer from your dress that I am you when it sees me. We now must learn if it will take no account of me and not deign to appear and haunt me, whether I am wearing your robes or my own, but will come to you; if it comes continually, I myself would say that it is something divine. ,If you are determined that this must be done and there is no averting it, and I must lie down to sleep in your bed, so be it; this duty I will fulfill, and let the vision appear also to me. But until then I will keep my present opinion.” 7.17. So spoke Artabanus and did as he was bid, hoping to prove Xerxes' words vain; he put on Xerxes' robes and sat on the king's throne. Then while he slept there came to him in his sleep the same dream that had haunted Xerxes; it stood over him and spoke thus: ,“Are you the one who dissuades Xerxes from marching against Hellas, because you care for him? Neither in the future nor now will you escape with impunity for striving to turn aside what must be. To Xerxes himself it has been declared what will befall him if he disobeys.” 7.18. With this threat (so it seemed to Artabanus) the vision was about to burn his eyes with hot irons. He leapt up with a loud cry, then sat by Xerxes and told him the whole story of what he had seen in his dream, and next he said: ,“O King, since I have seen, as much as a man may, how the greater has often been brought low by the lesser, I forbade you to always give rein to your youthful spirit, knowing how evil a thing it is to have many desires, and remembering the end of Cyrus' expedition against the Massagetae and of Cambyses' against the Ethiopians, and I myself marched with Darius against the Scythians. ,Knowing this, I judged that you had only to remain in peace for all men to deem you fortunate. But since there is some divine motivation, and it seems that the gods mark Hellas for destruction, I myself change and correct my judgment. Now declare the gods' message to the Persians, and bid them obey your first command for all due preparation. Do this, so that nothing on your part be lacking to the fulfillment of the gods' commission.” ,After this was said, they were incited by the vision, and when daylight came Xerxes imparted all this to the Persians. Artabanus now openly encouraged that course which he alone had before openly discouraged. 7.19. Xerxes was now intent on the expedition and then saw a third vision in his sleep, which the Magi interpreted to refer to the whole earth and to signify that all men should be his slaves. This was the vision: Xerxes thought that he was crowned with an olive bough, of which the shoots spread over the whole earth, and then the crown vanished from off his head where it was set. ,The Magi interpreted it in this way, and immediately every single man of the Persians who had been assembled rode away to his own province and there used all zeal to fulfill the kings command, each desiring to receive the promised gifts. Thus it was that Xerxes mustered his army, searching out every part of the continent. 7.27. In this city Pythius son of Atys, a Lydian, sat awaiting them; he entertained Xerxes himself and all the king's army with the greatest hospitality, and declared himself willing to provide money for the war. ,When Pythius offered the money, Xerxes asked the Persians present who this Pythius was and how much wealth he possessed in making the offer. They said, “O king, this is the one who gave your father Darius the gift of a golden plane-tree and vine; he is now the richest man we know of after you.” 7.28. Xerxes marvelled at this last saying and next himself asked Pythius how much wealth he had. “O king,” said Pythius, “I will not conceal the quantity of my property from you, nor pretend that I do not know; I know and will tell you the exact truth. ,As soon as I learned that you were coming down to the Greek sea, I wanted to give you money for the war, so I inquired into the matter, and my reckoning showed me that I had two thousand talents of silver, and four million Daric staters of gold, lacking seven thousand. ,All this I freely give to you; for myself, I have a sufficient livelihood from my slaves and my farms.” 7.29. Thus he spoke. Xerxes was pleased with what he said and replied: “My Lydian friend, since I came out of Persia I have so far met with no man who was willing to give hospitality to my army, nor who came into my presence unsummoned and offered to furnish money for the war, besides you. ,But you have entertained my army nobly and offer me great sums. In return for this I give you these privileges: I make you my friend, and out of my own wealth I give you the seven thousand staters which will complete your total of four million, so that your four million not lack the seven thousand and the even number be reached by my completing it. ,Remain in possession of what you now possess, and be mindful to be always such as you are; neither for the present nor in time will you regret what you now do.” 7.34. The men who had been given this assignment made bridges starting from Abydos across to that headland; the Phoenicians one of flaxen cables, and the Egyptians a papyrus one. From Abydos to the opposite shore it is a distance of seven stadia. But no sooner had the strait been bridged than a great storm swept down, breaking and scattering everything. 7.35. When Xerxes heard of this, he was very angry and commanded that the Hellespont be whipped with three hundred lashes, and a pair of fetters be thrown into the sea. I have even heard that he sent branders with them to brand the Hellespont. ,He commanded them while they whipped to utter words outlandish and presumptuous, “Bitter water, our master thus punishes you, because you did him wrong though he had done you none. Xerxes the king will pass over you, whether you want it or not; in accordance with justice no one offers you sacrifice, for you are a turbid and briny river.” ,He commanded that the sea receive these punishments and that the overseers of the bridge over the Hellespont be beheaded. 7.39. Xerxes became very angry and thus replied: “Villain, you see me marching against Hellas myself, and taking with me my sons and brothers and relations and friends; do you, my slave, who should have followed me with all your household and your very wife, speak to me of your son? Be well assured of this, that a man's spirit dwells in his ears; when it hears good words it fills the whole body with delight, but when it hears the opposite it swells with anger. ,When you did me good service and promised more, you will never boast that you outdid your king in the matter of benefits; and now that you have turned aside to the way of shamelessness, you will receive a lesser requital than you merit. You and four of your sons are saved by your hospitality; but you shall be punished by the life of that one you most desire to keep.” ,With that reply, he immediately ordered those who were assigned to do these things to find the eldest of Pythius sons and cut him in half, then to set one half of his body on the right side of the road and the other on the left, so that the army would pass between them. 7.43. When the army had come to the river Scamander, which was the first river after the beginning of their march from Sardis that fell short of their needs and was not sufficient for the army and the cattle to drink—arriving at this river, Xerxes ascended to the citadel of Priam, having a desire to see it. ,After he saw it and asked about everything there, he sacrificed a thousand cattle to Athena of Ilium, and the Magi offered libations to the heroes. After they did this, a panic fell upon the camp in the night. When it was day they journeyed on from there, keeping on their left the cities of Rhoetium and Ophryneum and Dardanus, which borders Abydos, and on their right the Teucrian Gergithae. 7.54. All that day they made preparations for the crossing. On the next they waited until they could see the sun rise, burning all kinds of incense on the bridges and strewing the road with myrtle boughs. ,At sunrise Xerxes poured a libation from a golden phial into the sea, praying to the sun that no accident might befall him which would keep him from subduing Europe before he reached its farthest borders. After the prayer, he cast the phial into the Hellespont, and along with it a golden bowl, and a Persian sword which they call “acinaces.” ,As for these, I cannot rightly determine whether he cast them into the sea for offerings to the sun, or repented having whipped the Hellespont and gave gifts to the sea as atonement. 7.101. After he passed by all his fleet and disembarked from the ship, he sent for Demaratus son of Ariston, who was on the expedition with him against Hellas. He summoned him and said, “Demaratus, it is now my pleasure to ask you what I wish to know. You are a Greek, and, as I am told both by you and by the other Greeks whom I have talked to, a man from neither the least nor the weakest of Greek cities. ,So tell me: will the Greeks offer battle and oppose me? I think that even if all the Greeks and all the men of the western lands were assembled together, they are not powerful enough to withstand my attack, unless they are united. ,Still I want to hear from you what you say of them.” To this question Demaratus answered, “O king, should I speak the truth or try to please you?” Xerxes bade him speak the truth and said that it would be no more unpleasant for him than before. 7.102. Demaratus heard this and said, “O King, since you bid me by all means to speak the whole truth, and to say what you will not later prove to be false, in Hellas poverty is always endemic, but courage is acquired as the fruit of wisdom and strong law; by use of this courage Hellas defends herself from poverty and tyranny. ,Now I praise all the Greeks who dwell in those Dorian lands, yet I am not going to speak these words about all of them, but only about the Lacedaemonians. First, they will never accept conditions from you that bring slavery upon Hellas; and second, they will meet you in battle even if all the other Greeks are on your side. ,Do not ask me how many these men are who can do this; they will fight with you whether they have an army of a thousand men, or more than that, or less.” 7.103. When he heard this, Xerxes smiled and said, “What a strange thing to say, Demaratus, that a thousand men would fight with so great an army! Come now, tell me this: you say that you were king of these men. Are you willing right now to fight with ten men? Yet if your state is entirely as you define it, you as their king should by right encounter twice as many according to your laws. ,If each of them is a match for ten men of my army, then it is plain to me that you must be a match for twenty; in this way you would prove that what you say is true. But if you Greeks who so exalt yourselves are just like you and the others who come to speak with me, and are also the same size, then beware lest the words you have spoken be only idle boasting. ,Let us look at it with all reasonableness: how could a thousand, or ten thousand, or even fifty thousand men, if they are all equally free and not under the rule of one man, withstand so great an army as mine? If you Greeks are five thousand, we still would be more than a thousand to one. ,If they were under the rule of one man according to our custom, they might out of fear of him become better than they naturally are, and under compulsion of the lash they might go against greater numbers of inferior men; but if they are allowed to go free they would do neither. I myself think that even if they were equal in numbers it would be hard for the Greeks to fight just against the Persians. ,What you are talking about is found among us alone, and even then it is not common but rare; there are some among my Persian spearmen who will gladly fight with three Greeks at once. You have no knowledge of this and are spouting a lot of nonsense.” 7.104. To this Demaratus answered, “O king I knew from the first that the truth would be unwelcome to you. But since you compelled me to speak as truly as I could, I have told you how it stands with the Spartans. ,You yourself best know what love I bear them: they have robbed me of my office and the privileges of my house, and made me a cityless exile; your father received me and gave me a house and the means to live on. It is not reasonable for a sensible man to reject goodwill when it appears; rather he will hold it in great affection. ,I myself do not promise that I can fight with ten men or with two, and I would not even willingly fight with one; yet if it were necessary, or if some great contest spurred me, I would most gladly fight with one of those men who claim to be each a match for three Greeks. ,So is it with the Lacedaemonians; fighting singly they are as brave as any man living, and together they are the best warriors on earth. They are free, yet not wholly free: law is their master, whom they fear much more than your men fear you. ,They do whatever it bids; and its bidding is always the same, that they must never flee from the battle before any multitude of men, but must abide at their post and there conquer or die. If I seem to you to speak foolishness when I say this, then let me hereafter hold my peace; it is under constraint that I have now spoken. But may your wish be fulfilled, King.” 7.117. While Xerxes was at Acanthus, it happened that Artachaees, overseer of the digging of the canal, died of an illness. He was high in Xerxes' favor, an Achaemenid by lineage, and the tallest man in Persia, lacking four finger-breadths of five royal cubits in stature, and his voice was the loudest on earth. For this reason Xerxes mourned him greatly and gave him a funeral and burial of great pomp, and the whole army poured libations on his tomb. ,The Acanthians hold Artachaees a hero, and sacrifice to him, calling upon his name. This they do at the command of an oracle. 7.133. To Athens and Sparta Xerxes sent no heralds to demand earth, and this he did for the following reason. When Darius had previously sent men with this same purpose, those who made the request were cast at the one city into the Pit and at the other into a well, and bidden to obtain their earth and water for the king from these locations. ,What calamity befell the Athenians for dealing in this way with the heralds I cannot say, save that their land and their city were laid waste. I think, however, that there was another reason for this, and not the aforesaid. 7.134. Be that as it may, the anger of Talthybius, Agamemnon's herald, fell upon the Lacedaemonians. At Sparta there is a shrine of Talthybius and descendants of Talthybius called Talthybiadae, who have the special privilege of conducting all embassies from Sparta. ,Now there was a long period after the incident I have mentioned above during which the Spartans were unable to obtain good omens from sacrifice. The Lacedaemonians were grieved and dismayed by this and frequently called assemblies, making a proclamation inviting some Lacedaemonian to give his life for Sparta. Then two Spartans of noble birth and great wealth, Sperthias son of Aneristus and Bulis son of Nicolaus, undertook of their own free will to make atonement to Xerxes for Darius' heralds who had been killed at Sparta. ,Thereupon the Spartans sent these men to Media for execution. 7.135. Worthy of admiration was these men's deed of daring, and so also were their sayings. On their way to Susa, they came to Hydarnes, a Persian, who was general of the coast of Asia. He entertained and feasted them as his guests, and as they sat at his board, he asked: ,“Lacedaemonians, why do you shun the king's friendship? You can judge from what you see of me and my condition how well the king can honor men of worth. So might it be with you if you would but put yourselves in the king's hands, being as you are of proven worth in his eyes, and every one of you might by his commission be a ruler of Hellas.” ,To this the Spartans answered: “Your advice to us, Hydarnes, is not completely sound; one half of it rests on knowledge, but the other on ignorance. You know well how to be a slave, but you, who have never tasted freedom, do not know whether it is sweet or not. Were you to taste of it, not with spears you would counsel us to fight for it, no, but with axes.” 7.136. This was their answer to Hydarnes. From there they came to Susa, into the king's presence, and when the guards commanded and would have compelled them to fall down and bow to the king, they said they would never do that. This they would refuse even if they were thrust down headlong, for it was not their custom, said they, to bow to mortal men, nor was that the purpose of their coming. Having averted that, they next said, ,“The Lacedaemonians have sent us, O king of the Medes, in requital for the slaying of your heralds at Sparta, to make atonement for their death,” and more to that effect. To this Xerxes, with great magimity, replied that he would not imitate the Lacedaemonians. “You,” said he, “made havoc of all human law by slaying heralds, but I will not do that for which I censure you, nor by putting you in turn to death will I set the Lacedaemonians free from this guilt.” 7.137. This conduct on the part of the Spartans succeeded for a time in allaying the anger of Talthybius, in spite of the fact that Sperthias and Bulis returned to Sparta. Long after that, however, it rose up again in the war between the Peloponnesians and Athenians, as the Lacedaemonians say. That seems to me to be an indication of something divine. ,It was just that the wrath of Talthybius descended on ambassadors, nor abated until it was satisfied. The venting of it, however, on the sons of those men who went up to the king to appease it, namely on Nicolas son of Bulis and Aneristus son of Sperthias (that Aneristus who landed a merchant ships crew at the Tirynthian settlement of Halia and took it), makes it plain to me that this was the divine result of Talthybius' anger. ,These two had been sent by the Lacedaemonians as ambassadors to Asia, and betrayed by the Thracian king Sitalces son of Tereus and Nymphodorus son of Pytheas of Abdera, they were made captive at Bisanthe on the Hellespont, and carried away to Attica, where the Athenians put them, and with them Aristeas son of Adimantus, a Corinthian, to death. This happened many years after the king's expedition, and I return now to the course of my history. 7.191. There was no counting how many grain-ships and other vessels were destroyed. The generals of the fleet were afraid that the Thessalians might attack them now that they had been defeated, so they built a high palisade out of the wreckage. ,The storm lasted three days. Finally the Magi made offerings and cast spells upon the wind, sacrificing also to Thetis and the Nereids. In this way they made the wind stop on the fourth day—or perhaps it died down on its own. They sacrificed to Thetis after hearing from the Ionians the story that it was from this place that Peleus had carried her off and that all the headland of Sepia belonged to her and to the other Nereids. 7.192. The storm, then, ceased on the fourth day. Now the scouts stationed on the headlands of Euboea ran down and told the Hellenes all about the shipwreck on the second day after the storm began. ,After hearing this they prayed to Poseidon as their savior and poured libations. Then they hurried to Artemisium hoping to find few ships opposing them. So they came to Artemisium a second time and made their station there. From that time on they call Poseidon their savior. 7.197. When Xerxes had come to Alus in Achaea, his guides, desiring to inform him of all they knew, told him the story which is related in that country concerning the worship of Laphystian Zeus, namely how Athamas son of Aeolus plotted Phrixus' death with Ino, and further, how the Achaeans by an oracle's bidding compel Phrixus descendants to certain tasks. ,They order the eldest of that family not to enter their town-hall (which the Achaeans call the People's House) and themselves keep watch there. If he should enter, he may not come out, save only to be sacrificed. They say as well that many of those who were to be sacrificed had fled in fear to another country, and that if they returned at a later day and were taken, they were brought into the town-hall. The guides showed Xerxes how the man is sacrificed, namely with fillets covering him all over and a procession to lead him forth. ,It is the descendants of Phrixus' son Cytissorus who are treated in this way, because when the Achaeans by an oracle's bidding made Athamas son of Aeolus a scapegoat for their country and were about to sacrifice him, this Cytissorus came from Aea in Colchis and delivered him, thereby bringing the god's wrath on his own descendants. ,Hearing all this, Xerxes, when he came to the temple grove, refrained from entering it himself and bade all his army do likewise, holding the house and the precinct of Athamas' descendants alike in reverence. 7.209. When Xerxes heard that, he could not comprehend the fact that the Lacedaemonians were actually, to the best of their ability, preparing to kill or be killed. What they did appeared laughable to him, so he sent for Demaratus the son of Ariston, who was in his camp. ,When this man arrived, he asked him about each of these matters, wanting to understand what it was that the Lacedaemonians were doing. Demaratus said, “You have already heard about these men from me, when we were setting out for Hellas, but when you heard, you mocked me, although I told you how I expected things to turn out. It is my greatest aim, O King, to be truthful in your presence. ,So hear me now. These men have come to fight us for the pass, and it for this that they are preparing. This is their custom: when they are about to risk their lives, they arrange their hair. ,Rest assured that if you overcome these men and those remaining behind at Sparta, there is no one else on earth who will raise his hands to withstand you, my King. You are now attacking the fairest kingdom in Hellas and men who are the very best.” ,What he said seemed completely incredible to Xerxes, so he then asked how they, who were so few in number, would fight against his army. Demaratus answered, “My King, take me for a liar if this does not turn out as I say.” So he spoke, but he did not persuade Xerxes. 7.210. He let four days go by, expecting them to run away at any minute. They did not leave, and it seemed to him that they stayed out of folly and lack of due respect. On the fifth day he became angry and sent the Medes and Cissians against them, bidding them take them prisoner and bring them into his presence. ,The Medes bore down upon the Hellenes and attacked. Many fell, but others attacked in turn, and they made it clear to everyone, especially to the king himself, that among so many people there were few real men. The battle lasted all day. 7.223. Xerxes made libations at sunrise and waiting till about mid-morning, made his assault. Epialtes had advised this, for the descent from the mountain is more direct, and the way is much shorter than the circuit and ascent. ,Xerxes and his barbarians attacked, but Leonidas and his Hellenes, knowing they were going to their deaths, advanced now much farther than before into the wider part of the pass. In all the previous days they had sallied out into the narrow way and fought there, guarding the defensive wall. ,Now, however, they joined battle outside the narrows and many of the barbarians fell, for the leaders of the companies beat everyone with whips from behind, urging them ever forward. Many of them were pushed into the sea and drowned; far more were trampled alive by each other, with no regard for who perished. ,Since the Hellenes knew that they must die at the hands of those who had come around the mountain, they displayed the greatest strength they had against the barbarians, fighting recklessly and desperately. 8.99. When the first message came to Susa, saying that Xerxes had taken Athens, it gave such delight to the Persians who were left at home that they strewed all the roads with myrtle boughs and burnt incense and gave themselves up to sacrificial feasts and jollity. ,The second, however, coming on the heels of the first, so confounded them that they all tore their tunics, and cried and lamented without ceasing, holding Mardonius to blame; it was not so much in grief for their ships that they did this as because they feared for Xerxes himself. 8.109. When Themistocles perceived that he could not persuade the greater part of them to sail to the Hellespont, he turned to the Athenians (for they were the angriest at the Persians' escape, and they were minded to sail to the Hellespont even by themselves, if the rest would not) and addressed them as follows: ,“This I have often seen with my eyes and heard yet more often, namely that beaten men, when they be driven to bay, will rally and retrieve their former mishap. Therefore I say to you,—as it is to a fortunate chance that we owe ourselves and Hellas, and have driven away so mighty a band of enemies—let us not pursue men who flee, ,for it is not we who have won this victory, but the gods and the heroes, who deemed Asia and Europe too great a realm for one man to rule, and that a wicked man and an impious one who dealt alike with temples and bones, burning and overthrowing the images of the gods,—yes, and one who scourged the sea and threw fetters into it. ,But as it is well with us for the moment, let us abide now in Hellas and take thought for ourselves and our households. Let us build our houses again and be diligent in sowing, when we have driven the foreigner completely away. Then when the next spring comes, let us set sail for the Hellespont and Ionia.” ,This he said with intent to have something to his credit with the Persian, so that he might have a place of refuge if ever (as might chance) he should suffer anything at the hands of the Athenians—and just that did in fact happen. 8.133. The Greeks, then, sailed to Delos, and Mardonius wintered in Thessaly. Having his headquarters there he sent a man of Europus called Mys to visit the places of divination, charging him to inquire of all the oracles which he could test. What it was that he desired to learn from the oracles when he gave this charge, I cannot say, for no one tells of it. I suppose that he sent to inquire concerning his present business, and that alone. 8.134. This man Mys is known to have gone to Lebadea and to have bribed a man of the country to go down into the cave of Trophonius and to have gone to the place of divination at Abae in Phocis. He went first to Thebes where he inquired of Ismenian Apollo (sacrifice is there the way of divination, as at Olympia), and moreover he bribed one who was no Theban but a stranger to lie down to sleep in the shrine of Amphiaraus. ,No Theban may seek a prophecy there, for Amphiaraus bade them by an oracle to choose which of the two they wanted and forgo the other, and take him either for their prophet or for their ally. They chose that he should be their ally. Therefore no Theban may lie down to sleep in that place. 8.135. But at this time there happened, as the Thebans say, a thing at which I marvel greatly. It would seem that this man Mys of Europus came in his wanderings among the places of divination to the precinct of Ptoan Apollo. This temple is called Ptoum, and belongs to the Thebans. It lies by a hill, above lake Copais, very near to the town Acraephia. ,When the man called Mys entered into this temple together with three men of the town who were chosen on the state's behalf to write down the oracles that should be given, straightway the diviner prophesied in a foreign tongue. ,The Thebans who followed him were astonished to hear a strange language instead of Greek and knew not what this present matter might be. Mys of Europus, however, snatched from them the tablet which they carried and wrote on it that which was spoken by the prophet, saying that the words of the oracle were Carian. After writing everything down, he went back to Thessaly. 8.136. Mardonius read whatever was said in the oracles, and presently he sent a messenger to Athens, Alexander, a Macedonian, son of Amyntas. Him he sent, partly because the Persians were akin to him; Bubares, a Persian, had taken to wife Gygaea Alexander's sister and Amyntas' daughter, who had borne to him that Amyntas of Asia who was called by the name of his mother's father, and to whom the king gave Alabanda a great city in Phrygia for his dwelling. Partly too he sent him because he learned that Alexander was a protector and benefactor to the Athenians. ,It was thus that he supposed he could best gain the Athenians for his allies, of whom he heard that they were a numerous and valiant people, and knew that they had been the chief authors of the calamities which had befallen the Persians at sea. ,If he gained their friendship he thought he would easily become master of the seas, as truly he would have been. On land he supposed himself to be by much the stronger, and he accordingly reckoned that thus he would have the upper hand of the Greeks. This chanced to be the prediction of the oracles which counseled him to make the Athenians his ally. It was in obedience to this that he sent his messenger. 9.36. This Tisamenus had now been brought by the Spartans and was the diviner of the Greeks at Plataea. The sacrifices boded good to the Greeks if they would just defend themselves, but evil if they should cross the Asopus and be the first to attack. 9.37. Mardonius' sacrifices also foretold an unfavorable outcome if he should be zealous to attack first, and good if he should but defend himself. He too used the Greek manner of sacrifice, and Hegesistratus of Elis was his diviner, the most notable of the sons of Tellias. This man had been put in prison and condemned to die by the Spartans for the great harm which he had done them. ,Being in such bad shape inasmuch as he was in peril of his life and was likely to be very grievously maltreated before his death, he did something which was almost beyond belief; made fast in iron-bound stocks, he got an iron weapon which was brought in some way into his prison, and straightway conceived a plan of such courage as we have never known; reckoning how best the rest of it might get free, he cut off his own foot at the instep. ,This done, he tunneled through the wall out of the way of the guards who kept watch over him, and so escaped to Tegea. All night he journeyed, and all day he hid and lay hidden in the woods, till on the third night he came to Tegea, while all the people of Lacedaemon sought him. The latter were greatly amazed when they saw the half of his foot which had been cut off and lying there but not were unable to find the man himself. ,This, then, is the way in which he escaped the Lacedaemonians and took refuge in Tegea, which at that time was unfriendly to Lacedaemon. After he was healed and had made himself a foot of wood, he declared himself an open enemy of the Lacedaemonians. Yet the enmity which he bore them brought him no good at the last, for they caught him at his divinations in Zacynthus and killed him. 9.38. The death of Hegesistratus, however, took place after the Plataean business. At the present he was by the Asopus, hired by Mardonius for no small wage, where he sacrificed and worked zealously, both for the hatred he bore the Lacedaemonians and for gain. ,When no favorable omens for battle could be won either by the Persians themselves or by the Greeks who were with them (for they too had a diviner of their own, Hippomachus of Leucas), and the Greeks kept flocking in and their army grew, Timagenides son of Herpys, a Theban, advised Mardonius to guard the outlet of the pass over Cithaeron, telling him that the Greeks were coming in daily and that he would thereby cut off many of them. 9.41. Until ten days had passed, no more was done than this. On the eleventh day from their first encampment opposite each other, the Greeks growing greatly in number and Mardonius being greatly vexed by the delay, there was a debate held between Mardonius son of Gobryas and Artabazus son of Pharnaces, who stood as high as only few others in Xerxes' esteem. ,Their opinions in council were as I will show. Artabazus thought it best that they should strike their camp with all speed and lead the whole army within the walls of Thebes. Here there was much food stored and fodder for their beasts of burden; furthermore, they could sit at their ease here and conclude the business by doing as follows: ,they could take the great store they had of gold, minted and other, and silver drinking-cups, and send all this to all places in Hellas without stint, excepting none, but especially to the chief men in the cities of Hellas. Let them do this (he said) and the Greeks would quickly surrender their liberty; but do not let the Persians risk the event of a battle. ,This opinion of his was the same as the Thebans, inasmuch as he too had special foreknowledge. Mardonius' counsel, however, was more vehement and intemperate and not at all leaning to moderation. He said that he thought that their army was much stronger than the Greeks and that they should give battle with all speed so as not to let more Greeks muster than were mustered already. As for the sacrifices of Hegesistratus, let them pay no heed to these, nor seek to wring good from them, but rather give battle after Persian custom. 9.42. No one withstood this argument, and his opinion accordingly prevailed; for it was he and not Artabazus who was commander of the army by the king's commission. He therefore sent for the leaders of the battalions and the generals of those Greeks who were with him and asked them if they knew any oracle which prophesied that the Persians should perish in Hellas. ,Those who were summoned said nothing, some not knowing the prophecies, and some knowing them but thinking it perilous to speak, and then Mardonius himself said: “Since you either have no knowledge or are afraid to declare it, hear what I tell you based on the full knowledge that I have. ,There is an oracle that Persians are fated to come to Hellas and all perish there after they have plundered the temple at Delphi. Since we have knowledge of this same oracle, we will neither approach that temple nor attempt to plunder it; in so far as destruction hinges on that, none awaits us. ,Therefore, as many of you as wish the Persian well may rejoice in that we will overcome the Greeks.” Having spoken in this way, he gave command to have everything prepared and put in good order for the battle which would take place early the next morning. 9.43. Now for this prophecy, which Mardonius said was spoken of the Persians, I know it to have been made concerning not them but the Illyrians and the army of the Enchelees. There is, however, a prophecy made by Bacis concerning this battle: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"By Thermodon's stream and the grass-grown banks of Asopus, /l lWill be a gathering of Greeks for fight and the ring of the barbarian's war-cry; /l lMany a Median archer, by death untimely overtaken will fall /l lThere in the battle when the day of his doom is upon him. /l /quote I know that these verses and others very similar to them from Musaeus referred to the Persians. As for the river Thermodon, it flows between Tanagra and Glisas. 9.109. As time went on, however, the truth came to light, and in such manner as I will show. Xerxes' wife, Amestris, wove and gave to him a great gaily-colored mantle, marvellous to see. Xerxes was pleased with it, and went to Artaynte wearing it. ,Being pleased with her too, he asked her what she wanted in return for her favors, for he would deny nothing at her asking. Thereupon—for she and all her house were doomed to evil—she said to Xerxes, “Will you give me whatever I ask of you?” He promised this, supposing that she would ask anything but that; when he had sworn, she asked boldly for his mantle. ,Xerxes tried to refuse her, for no reason except that he feared that Amestris might have clear proof of his doing what she already guessed. He accordingly offered her cities instead and gold in abundance and an army for none but herself to command. Armies are the most suitable of gifts in Persia. But as he could not move her, he gave her the mantle; and she, rejoicing greatly in the gift, went flaunting her finery.
8. Thucydides, The History of The Peloponnesian War, 1.130 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

9. Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica, 4.1779-4.1780 (3rd cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

4.1779. γαῖαν Κεκροπίην παρά τʼ Αὐλίδα μετρήσαντες 4.1780. Εὐβοίης ἔντοσθεν Ὀπούντιά τʼ ἄστεα Λοκρῶν
10. Septuagint, Judith, 10.13 (2nd cent. BCE - 0th cent. CE)

10.13. I am on my way to the presence of Holofernes the commander of your army, to give him a true report; and I will show him a way by which he can go and capture all the hill country without losing one of his men, captured or slain.
11. Juvenal, Satires, 2.111-2.116 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abigail Gera (2014) 203
achaea Mikalson (2003) 157
achior,talks to holophernes Gera (2014) 203
achior Gera (2014) 203
aegina Morrison (2020) 177
agetus of sparta Mikalson (2003) 159
ahab Gera (2014) 203
amorites Gera (2014) 203
amphiaraus,hero of thebes Mikalson (2003) 157
antithesis Wolfsdorf (2020) 509
aphrodite,abaios Mikalson (2003) 157
aphrodite,ptoös of ptoön Mikalson (2003) 157
apsyrtus Morrison (2020) 177
argo Morrison (2020) 177
ariston of sparta Mikalson (2003) 159
artabanus of persia Mikalson (2003) 159
athena,ilias of troy Mikalson (2003) 157
athenians,impieties of Mikalson (2003) 159
behistun inscription Gera (2014) 203
book of judith,original language Gera (2014) 203
burial customs Morrison (2020) 177
caligula Isaac (2004) 264
cambyses of persia,dreams of Mikalson (2003) 159
canaan and canaanites Gera (2014) 203
chaldeans Gera (2014) 203
chresmologoi Mikalson (2003) 157
claudius,roman emperor,expulsion of jews from rome by Feldman (2006) 748
colchis,colchians Morrison (2020) 177
councils and conferences Gera (2014) 203
croesus of lydia,piety of Mikalson (2003) 159
cyrus of persia,oaths and Mikalson (2003) 159
darius Morrison (2020) 177
darius of persia Mikalson (2003) 157, 159
datis,persians general,delos and Mikalson (2003) 157
david,and abigail Gera (2014) 203
dead,treatment of Mikalson (2003) 157, 159
delos and delians Mikalson (2003) 157
demaratus,his debate with xerxes Isaac (2004) 264
demaratus Gera (2014) 203
dreams Mikalson (2003) 159
effeminacy,of easterners Isaac (2004) 340
egypt,egyptians Morrison (2020) 177
egypt and egyptians Gera (2014) 203
ethnography Morrison (2020) 177; Wolfsdorf (2020) 509
euboea Morrison (2020) 177
firstfruits Mikalson (2003) 159
fornara,c. w. Wolfsdorf (2020) 509
gorgias Wolfsdorf (2020) 509
graeca interpretatio Mikalson (2003) 157, 159
greek identity Wolfsdorf (2020) 509
heralds,sanctity of Mikalson (2003) 159
herodotus,on athenian origins,his views on persia Isaac (2004) 264
herodotus,on athenian origins,on persians Isaac (2004) 264
herodotus Wolfsdorf (2020) 509
heroes and heroines,of thebes Mikalson (2003) 157
heroes and heroines,of troy Mikalson (2003) 157
historical surveys,biblical Gera (2014) 203
impiety,of abusing rivers Mikalson (2003) 45
impiety Mikalson (2003) 45
jason Morrison (2020) 177
joseph Gera (2014) 203
judah Gera (2014) 203
juvenal,on eastern greeks in rome Isaac (2004) 340
language and style,book of judith,calques and hebraicisms Gera (2014) 203
language and style,book of judith,key words and internal echoes Gera (2014) 203
language and style,book of judith,varied language Gera (2014) 203
lord,as master of servants Gera (2014) 203
magi Morrison (2020) 177
magnesia Morrison (2020) 177
magoi Mikalson (2003) 157, 159
manteis Mikalson (2003) 157
mardonius of persia,omens to Mikalson (2003) 157
mardonius of persia,oracles to Mikalson (2003) 157
medea Morrison (2020) 177
mesopotamia Gera (2014) 203
micaiah Gera (2014) 203
milesians Mikalson (2003) 159
modello-esemplare,herodotus as Morrison (2020) 177
mys of europus Mikalson (2003) 157
nereids,goddesses Mikalson (2003) 157
nestle,wilhelm Wolfsdorf (2020) 509
nomoi Morrison (2020) 177
non-greeks' Morrison (2020) 177
oaths Mikalson (2003) 159
onomacritus Mikalson (2003) 157
oracles,of trophonius Mikalson (2003) 157
oracles Mikalson (2003) 157
otanes of persia Mikalson (2003) 159
pausanias,spartan leader Isaac (2004) 264
persia,persians Morrison (2020) 177
persian traces in judith Gera (2014) 203
pierced ears Isaac (2004) 340
prayers Mikalson (2003) 45
prayers and praying,in bible Gera (2014) 203
primitive peoples\r\n,human sacrifice offered by Isaac (2004) 340
rhodes,salamis,battle of Morrison (2020) 177
sacrifices,by persians Mikalson (2003) 45, 157
samians Mikalson (2003) 159
saul Gera (2014) 203
self-castration Isaac (2004) 340
self-proclaimed Gera (2014) 203
smerdis Morrison (2020) 177
spartans,impieties of Mikalson (2003) 159
spartans Gera (2014) 203; Mikalson (2003) 159
syrians,effeminate,eunuchs Isaac (2004) 340
syrians Isaac (2004) 340
syrophoenicians Isaac (2004) 340
themistocles of athens Mikalson (2003) 45
thetis,goddess Mikalson (2003) 157
trophonius,god of lebadea Mikalson (2003) 157
troy,xerxes at Mikalson (2003) 157
vows Mikalson (2003) 159
warfare,as a means of acquiring slaves,and the constitution Isaac (2004) 264
woman of endor Gera (2014) 203
woman of tekoa Gera (2014) 203
xenia Mikalson (2003) 159
xerxes Gera (2014) 203; Isaac (2004) 264; Morrison (2020) 177
xerxes of persia,dreams of Mikalson (2003) 159
xerxes of persia,impieties of Mikalson (2003) 45
xerxes of persia,omens to Mikalson (2003) 157
xerxes of persia,oracles to Mikalson (2003) 157
xerxes of persia,respect for religious conventions Mikalson (2003) 157, 159