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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



6465
Herodotus, Histories, 3.61-3.87


Καμβύσῃ δὲ τῷ Κύρου χρονίζοντι περὶ Αἴγυπτον καὶ παραφρονήσαντι ἐπανιστέαται ἄνδρες Μάγοι δύο ἀδελφεοί, τῶν τὸν ἕτερον καταλελοίπεε τῶν οἰκίων μελεδωνὸν ὁ Καμβύσης. οὗτος δὴ ὦν οἱ ἐπανέστη μαθών τε τὸν Σμέρδιος θάνατον ὡς κρύπτοιτο γενόμενος, καὶ ὡς ὀλίγοι εἴησαν οἱ ἐπιστάμενοι αὐτὸν Περσέων, οἱ δὲ πολλοὶ περιεόντα μιν εἰδείησαν. πρὸς ταῦτα βουλεύσας τάδε ἐπεχείρησε τοῖσι βασιληίοισι. ἦν οἱ ἀδελφεός, τὸν εἶπά οἱ συνεπαναστῆναι, οἰκὼς μάλιστα τὸ εἶδος Σμέρδι τῷ Κύρου, τὸν ὁ Καμβύσης ἐόντα ἑωυτοῦ ἀδελφεὸν ἀπέκτεινε· ἦν τε δὴ ὅμοιος εἶδος τῷ Σμέρδι καὶ δὴ καὶ οὔνομα τὠυτὸ εἶχε Σμέρδιν. τοῦτον τὸν ἄνδρα ἀναγνώσας ὁ Μάγος Πατιζείθης ὥς οἱ αὐτὸς πάντα διαπρήξει, εἷσε ἄγων ἐς τὸν βασιλήιον θρόνον. ποιήσας δὲ τοῦτο κήρυκας τῇ τε ἄλλῃ διέπεμπε καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐς Αἴγυπτον προερέοντα τῷ στρατῷ ὡς Σμέρδιος τοῦ Κύρου ἀκουστέα εἴη τοῦ λοιποῦ ἀλλʼ οὐ Καμβύσεω.Now after Cambyses, son of Cyrus, had lost his mind, while he was still in Egypt, two Magus brothers rebelled against him. One of them had been left by Cambyses as steward of his house; this man now revolted from him, perceiving that the death of Smerdis was kept secret, and that few knew of it, most believing him to be still alive. ,Therefore he plotted to gain the royal power: he had a brother, his partner, as I said, in rebellion; this brother was in appearance very like Cyrus' son Smerdis, whom Cambyses, his brother, had killed; nor was he like him in appearance only, but he bore the same name too, Smerdis. ,Patizeithes the Magus persuaded this man that he would manage everything for him; he brought his brother and set him on the royal throne; then he sent heralds to all parts, one of whom was to go to Egypt and proclaim to the army that henceforth they must obey not Cambyses but Smerdis, the son of Cyrus.


οἵ τε δὴ ὦν ἄλλοι κήρυκες προηγόρευον ταῦτα καὶ δὴ καὶ ὁ ἐπʼ Αἴγυπτον ταχθείς, εὕρισκε γὰρ Καμβύσεα καὶ τὸν στρατὸν ἐόντα τῆς Συρίης ἐν Ἀγβατάνοισι, προηγόρευε στὰς ἐς μέσον τὰ ἐντεταλμένα ἐκ τοῦ Μάγου. Καμβύσης δὲ ἀκούσας ταῦτα ἐκ τοῦ κήρυκος καὶ ἐλπίσας μιν λέγειν ἀληθέα αὐτός τε προδεδόσθαι ἐκ Πρηξάσπεος ʽπεμφθέντα γὰρ αὐτὸν ὡς ἀποκτενέοντα Σμέρδιν οὐ ποιῆσαι ταῦτἀ, βλέψας ἐς τὸν Πρηξάσπεα εἶπε “Πρήξασπες, οὕτω μοι διεπρήξαο τό τοι προσέθηκα πρῆγμα;” ὁ δὲ εἶπε “ὦ δέσποτα, οὐκ ἔστι ταῦτα ἀληθέα, ὅκως κοτὲ σοὶ Σμέρδις ἀδελφεὸς σὸς ἐπανέστηκε, οὐδὲ ὅκως τι ἐξ ἐκείνου τοῦ ἀνδρὸς νεῖκός τοι ἔσται ἢ μέγα ἢ σμικρόν· ἐγὼ γὰρ αὐτός, ποιήσας τὰ σύ με ἐκέλευες, ἔθαψά μιν χερσὶ τῇσι ἐμεωυτοῦ. εἰ μέν νυν οἱ τεθνεῶτες ἀνεστᾶσι, προσδέκεό τοι καὶ Ἀστυάγεα τὸν Μῆδον ἐπαναστήσεσθαι· εἰ δʼ ἔστι ὥσπερ πρὸ τοῦ, οὐ μή τί τοι ἔκ γε ἐκείνου νεώτερον ἀναβλάστῃ. νῦν ὦν μοι δοκέει μεταδιώξαντας τὸν κήρυκα ἐξετάζειν εἰρωτεῦντας παρʼ ὅτευ ἥκων προαγορεύει ἡμῖν Σμέρδιος βασιλέος ἀκούειν.”So this proclamation was made everywhere. The herald appointed to go to Egypt, finding Cambyses and his army at Ecbatana in Syria, came out before them all and proclaimed the message given him by the Magus. ,When Cambyses heard what the herald said, he supposed that it was the truth, and that Prexaspes, when sent to kill Smerdis, had not done it but had played Cambyses false; and he said, fixing his eyes on Prexaspes, “Is it thus, Prexaspes, that you carried out my instructions?” ,“No,” said Prexaspes, “this is not true, sire, that your brother Smerdis has rebelled against you; he cannot have any quarrel with you, small or great; I myself did as you instructed, and I buried him with my own hands. ,If then the dead can rise, you may expect to see Astyages the Mede rise up against you; but if things are as usual, assuredly no harm to you will arise from Smerdis. Now then this is my opinion, that we pursue this herald and interrogate him, to learn from whom he comes with his proclamation that we must obey Smerdis as our king.”


ταῦτα εἴπαντος Πρηξάσπεος, ἤρεσε γὰρ Καμβύσῃ, αὐτίκα μεταδίωκτος γενόμενος ὁ κῆρυξ ἧκε· ἀπιγμένον δέ μιν εἴρετο ὁ Πρηξάσπης τάδε. “ὤνθρωπε, φὴς γὰρ ἥκειν παρὰ Σμέρδιος τοῦ Κύρου ἄγγελος· νῦν ὦν εἴπας τὴν ἀληθείην ἄπιθι χαίρων, κότερα αὐτός τοι Σμέρδις φαινόμενος ἐς ὄψιν ἐνετέλλετο ταῦτα ἢ τῶν τις ἐκείνου ὑπηρετέων.” ὅδὲ εἶπε “ἐγὼ Σμέρδιν μὲν τὸν Κύρου, ἐξ ὅτευ βασιλεὺς Καμβύσης ἤλασε ἐς Αἴγυπτον, οὔκω ὄπωπα· ὁ δέ μοι Μάγος τὸν Καμβύσης ἐπίτροπον τῶν οἰκίων ἀπέδεξε, οὗτος ταῦτα ἐνετείλατο, φὰς Σμέρδιν τὸν Κύρου εἶναι τὸν ταῦτα ἐπιθέμενον εἶπαι πρὸς ὑμέας.” ὃ μὲν δή σφι ἔλεγε οὐδὲν ἐπικατεψευσμένος, Καμβύσης δὲ εἶπε “Πρήξασπες, σὺ μὲν οἷα ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς ποιήσας τὸ κελευόμενον αἰτίην ἐκπέφευγας· ἐμοὶ δὲ τίς ἂν εἴη Περσέων ὁ ἐπανεστεὼς ἐπιβατεύων τοῦ Σμέρδιος οὐνόματος;” ὁ δὲ εἶπε “ἐγώ μοι δοκέω συνιέναι τὸ γεγονὸς τοῦτο, ὦ βασιλεῦ· οἱ Μάγοι εἰσί τοι οἱ ἐπανεστεῶτες, τόν τε ἔλιπες μελεδωνὸν τῶν οἰκίων, Πατιζείθης, καὶ ὁ τούτου ἀδελφεὸς Σμέρδις.”Cambyses liked Prexaspes' advice; the herald was pursued at once and brought; and when he came, Prexaspes put this question to him: “Fellow, you say that your message is from Cyrus' son Smerdis; tell me this now, and you may go away unpunished: was it Smerdis who appeared to you and gave you this charge, or was it one of his servants?” ,“Since King Cambyses marched to Egypt,” answered the herald, “I have never seen Smerdis the son of Cyrus; the Magus whom Cambyses made overseer of his house gave me the message, saying that it was the will of Smerdis, son of Cyrus, that I should make it known to you.” ,So spoke the herald, telling the whole truth; and Cambyses said, “Prexaspes, having done what you were told like a good man you are free of blame; but who can this Persian be who rebels against me and usurps the name of Smerdis?” ,Prexaspes replied, “I think, sire, that I understand what has been done here; the rebels are the Magi, Patizeithes whom you left steward of your house, and his brother Smerdis.”


ἐνθαῦτα ἀκούσαντα Καμβύσεα τὸ Σμέρδιος οὔνομα ἔτυψε ἡ ἀληθείη τῶν τε λόγων καὶ τοῦ ἐνυπνίου· ὃς ἐδόκεε ἐν τῷ ὕπνῳ ἀπαγγεῖλαι τινά οἱ ὡς Σμέρδις ἱζόμενος ἐς τὸν βασιλήιον θρόνον ψαύσειε τῇ κεφαλῇ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ. μαθὼν δὲ ὡς μάτην ἀπολωλεκὼς εἴη τὸν ἀδελφεόν, ἀπέκλαιε Σμέρδιν· ἀποκλαύσας δὲ καὶ περιημεκτήσας τῇ ἁπάσῃ συμφορῇ ἀναθρώσκει ἐπὶ τὸν ἵππον, ἐν νόῳ ἔχων τὴν ταχίστην ἐς Σοῦσα στρατεύεσθαι ἐπὶ τὸν Μάγον. καί οἱ ἀναθρώσκοντι ἐπὶ τὸν ἵππον τοῦ κολεοῦ τοῦ ξίφεος ὁ μύκης ἀποπίπτει, γυμνωθὲν δὲ τὸ ξίφος παίει τὸν μηρόν· τρωματισθεὶς δὲ κατὰ τοῦτο τῇ αὐτὸς πρότερον τὸν τῶν Αἰγυπτίων θεὸν Ἆπιν ἔπληξε, ὥς οἱ καιρίῃ ἔδοξε τετύφθαι, εἴρετο ὁ Καμβύσης ὅ τι τῇ πόλι οὔνομα εἴη· οἳ δὲ εἶπαν ὅτι Ἀγβάτανα. τῷ δὲ ἔτι πρότερον ἐκέχρηστο ἐκ Βουτοῦς πόλιος ἐν Ἀγβατάνοισι τελευτήσειν τὸν βίον. ὃ μὲν δὴ ἐν τοῖσι Μηδικοῖσι Ἀγβατάνοισι ἐδόκεε τελευτήσειν γηραιός, ἐν τοῖσί οἱ ἦν τὰ πάντα πρήγματα· τὸ δὲ χρηστήριον ἐν τοῖσι ἐν Συρίῃ Ἀγβατάνοισι ἔλεγε ἄρα. καὶ δὴ ὡς τότε ἐπειρόμενος ἐπύθετο τῆς πόλιος τὸ οὔνομα, ὑπὸ τῆς συμφορῆς τῆς τε ἐκ τοῦ Μάγου ἐκπεπληγμένος καὶ τοῦ τρώματος ἐσωφρόνησε, συλλαβὼν δὲ τὸ θεοπρόπιον εἶπε “ἐνθαῦτα Καμβύσεα τὸν Κύρου ἐστὶ πεπρωμένον τελευτᾶν.”The truth of the words and of a dream struck Cambyses the moment he heard the name Smerdis; for he had dreamt that a message had come to him that Smerdis sitting on the royal throne touched heaven with his head; ,and perceiving that he had killed his brother without cause, he wept bitterly for Smerdis. Having wept, and grieved by all his misfortune, he sprang upon his horse, with intent to march at once to Susa against the Magus. ,As he sprang upon his horse, the cap fell off the sheath of his sword, and the naked blade pierced his thigh, wounding him in the same place where he had once wounded the Egyptian god Apis; and believing the wound to be mortal, Cambyses asked what was the name of the town where he was. ,They told him it was Ecbatana . Now a prophecy had before this come to him from Buto, that he would end his life at Ecbatana ; Cambyses supposed this to signify that he would die in old age at the Median Ecbatana, his capital city; but as the event proved, the oracle prophesied his death at Ecbatana of Syria . ,So when he now inquired and learned the name of the town, the shock of his wound, and of the misfortune that came to him from the Magus, brought him to his senses; he understood the prophecy and said: “Here Cambyses son of Cyrus is to die.”


τότε μὲν τοσαῦτα. ἡμέρῃσι δὲ ὕστερον ὡς εἴκοσι μεταπεμψάμενος Περσέων τῶν παρεόντων τοὺς λογιμωτάτους ἔλεγέ σφι τάδε. “ὦ Πέρσαι, καταλελάβηκέ με, τὸ πάντων μάλιστα ἔκρυπτον πρηγμάτων, τοῦτο ἐς ὑμέας ἐκφῆναι. ἐγὼ γὰρ ἐὼν ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ εἶδον ὄψιν ἐν τῷ ὕπνῳ, τὴν μηδαμὰ ὄφελον ἰδεῖν· ἐδόκεον δέ μοι ἄγγελον ἐλθόντα ἐξ οἴκου ἀγγέλλειν ὡς Σμέρδις ἱζόμενος ἐς τὸν βασιλήιον θρόνον ψαύσειε τῇ κεφαλῇ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ. δείσας δὲ μὴ ἀπαιρεθέω τὴν ἀρχὴν πρὸς τοῦ ἀδελφεοῦ, ἐποίησα ταχύτερα ἢ σοφώτερα· ἐν τῇ γὰρ ἀνθρωπηίῃ φύσι οὐκ ἐνῆν ἄρα τὸ μέλλον γίνεσθαι ἀποτρέπειν. ἐγὼ δὲ ὁ μάταιος Πρηξάσπεα ἀποπέμπω ἐς Σοῦσα ἀποκτενέοντα Σμέρδιν. ἐξεργασθέντος δὲ κακοῦ τοσούτου ἀδεῶς διαιτώμην, οὐδαμὰ ἐπιλεξάμενος μή κοτέ τίς μοι Σμέρδιος ὑπαραιρημένου ἄλλος ἐπανασταίη ἀνθρώπων. παντὸς δὲ τοῦ μέλλοντος ἔσεσθαι ἁμαρτὼν ἀδελφεοκτόνος τε οὐδὲν δέον γέγονα καὶ τῆς βασιληίης οὐδὲν ἧσσον ἐστέρημαι· Σμέρδις γὰρ δὴ ἦν ὁ Μάγος τόν μοι ὁ δαίμων προέφαινε ἐν τῇ ὄψι ἐπαναστήσεσθαι. τὸ μὲν δὴ ἔργον ἐξέργασταί μοι, καὶ Σμέρδιν τὸν Κύρου μηκέτι ὑμῖν ἐόντα λογίζεσθε· οἱ δὲ ὑμῖν Μάγοι κρατέουσι τῶν βασιληίων, τόν τε ἔλιπον ἐπίτροπον τῶν οἰκίων καὶ ὁ ἐκείνου ἀδελφεὸς Σμέρδις. τὸν μέν νυν μάλιστα χρῆν ἐμεῦ αἰσχρὰ πρὸς τῶν Μάγων πεπονθότος τιμωρέειν ἐμοί, οὗτος μὲν ἀνοσίῳ μόρῳ τετελεύτηκε ὑπὸ τῶν ἑωυτοῦ οἰκηιοτάτων· τούτου δὲ μηκέτι ἐόντος, δεύτερα τῶν λοιπῶν ὑμῖν ὦ Πέρσαι γίνεταί μοι ἀναγκαιότατον ἐντέλλεσθαι τὰ θέλω μοι γενέσθαι τελευτῶν τὸν βίον· καὶ δὴ ὑμῖν τάδε ἐπισκήπτω θεοὺς τοὺς βασιληίους ἐπικαλέων καὶ πᾶσι ὑμῖν καὶ μάλιστα Ἀχαιμενιδέων τοῖσι παρεοῦσι, μὴ περιιδεῖν τὴν ἡγεμονίην αὖτις ἐς Μήδους περιελθοῦσαν, ἀλλʼ εἴτε δόλῳ ἔχουσι αὐτὴν κτησάμενοι, δόλῳ ἀπαιρεθῆναι ὑπὸ ὑμέων, εἴτε καὶ σθένεϊ τεῷ κατεργασάμενοι, σθένεϊ κατὰ τὸ καρτερὸν ἀνασώσασθαι. καὶ ταῦτα μὲν ποιεῦσι ὑμῖν γῆ τε καρπὸν ἐκφέροι καὶ γυναῖκές τε καὶ ποῖμναι τίκτοιεν, ἐοῦσι ἐς τὸν ἅπαντα χρόνον ἐλευθέροισι· μὴ δὲ ἀνασωσαμένοισι τὴν ἀρχὴν μηδʼ ἐπιχειρήσασι ἀνασώζειν τὰ ἐναντία τούτοισι ἀρῶμαι ὑμῖν γενέσθαι, καὶ πρὸς ἔτι τούτοισι τὸ τέλος Περσέων ἑκάστῳ ἐπιγενέσθαι οἷον ἐμοὶ ἐπιγέγονε.” ἅμα τε εἴπας ταῦτα ὁ Καμβύσης ἀπέκλαιε πᾶσαν τὴν ἑωυτοῦ πρῆξιν.At this time he said no more. But about twenty days later, he sent for the most prominent of the Persians that were about him, and thus addressed them: “Persians, I have to make known to you something which I kept most strictly concealed. ,When I was in Egypt I had a dream, which I wish I had not had; it seemed to me that a messenger came from home to tell me that Smerdis sitting on the royal throne touched heaven with his head. ,Then I feared that my brother would take away my sovereignty from me, and I acted with more haste than wisdom; for it is not in the power of human nature to run away from what is to be; but I, blind as I was, sent Prexaspes to Susa to kill Smerdis. When that great wrong was done I lived without fear, for I never thought that when Smerdis was removed another man might rise against me. ,But I mistook altogether what was to be; I have killed my brother when there was no need, and I have lost my kingdom none the less; for it was the Magus Smerdis that the divinity forewarned in the dream would revolt. ,Now he has been done for by me, and I would have you believe that Smerdis Cyrus' son no longer lives; the Magi rule the kingdom, the one that I left caretaker of my house, and his brother Smerdis. So then, the man is dead of an unholy destiny at the hands of his relations who ought to have been my avenger for the disgrace I have suffered from the Magi; ,and as he is no longer alive, necessity constrains me to charge you, men of Persia, in his place, with the last desire of my life. In the name of the gods of my royal house I charge all of you, but chiefly those Achaemenids that are here, not to let the sovereignty fall again into Median hands; if they have it after getting it by trickery, take it back through trickery of your own; if they have got it away by force, then by force all the stronger get it back. ,And if you do this, may your land bring forth fruit, and your women and your flocks and herds be blessed with offspring, remaining free for all time; but if you do not get the kingdom back or attempt to get it back, then I pray things turn out the opposite for you, and on top of this, that every Persian meet an end such as mine.” With that Cambyses wept bitterly for all that had happened to him.


πέρσαι δὲ ὡς τὸν βασιλέα εἶδον ἀνακλαύσαντα πάντες τά τε ἐσθῆτος ἐχόμενα εἶχον, ταῦτα κατηρείκοντο καὶ οἰμωγῇ ἀφθόνῳ διεχρέωντο. μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ὡς ἐσφακέλισέ τε τὸ ὀστέον καὶ ὁ μηρὸς τάχιστα ἐσάπη, ἀπήνεικε Καμβύσεα τὸν Κύρου, βασιλεύσαντα μὲν τὰ πάντα ἑπτὰ ἔτεα καὶ πέντε μῆνας, ἄπαιδα δὲ τὸ παράπαν ἐόντα ἔρσενος καὶ θήλεος γόνου. Περσέων δὲ τοῖσι παρεοῦσι ἀπιστίη πολλὴ ὑπεκέχυτο τοὺς Μάγους ἔχειν τὰ πρήγματα, ἀλλʼ ἠπιστέατο ἐπὶ διαβολῇ εἰπεῖν Καμβύσεα τὰ εἶπε περὶ τοῦ Σμέρδιος θανάτου, ἵνα οἱ ἐκπολεμωθῇ πᾶν τὸ Περσικόν.When the Persians saw their king weep, they all tore the clothing which they wore and wailed loud and long. ,But when after this the bone rotted and the thigh rapidly putrefied, it carried off Cambyses son of Cyrus, who had reigned in all seven years and five months, but was altogether childless, without male or female issue. ,To the Persians who were present it was quite incredible that the Magi were masters of the kingdom; they believed that Cambyses' intent was to deceive them with his story of Smerdis' death, so that all Persia might be embroiled in a war against him.


οὗτοι μέν νυν ἠπιστέατο Σμέρδιν τὸν Κύρου βασιλέα ἐνεστεῶτα· δεινῶς γὰρ καὶ ὁ Πρηξάσπης ἔξαρνος ἦν μὴ μὲν ἀποκτεῖναι Σμέρδιν· οὐ γὰρ ἦν οἱ ἀσφαλὲς Καμβύσεω τετελευτηκότος φάναι τὸν Κύρου υἱὸν ἀπολωλεκέναι αὐτοχειρίῃ. ὁ δὲ δὴ Μάγος τελευτήσαντος Καμβύσεω ἀδεῶς ἐβασίλευσε, ἐπιβατεύων τοῦ ὁμωνύμου Σμέρδιος τοῦ Κύρου, μῆνας ἑπτὰ τοὺς ἐπιλοίπους Καμβύσῃ ἐς τὰ ὀκτὼ ἔτεα τῆς πληρώσιος· ἐν τοῖσι ἀπεδέξατο ἐς τοὺς ὑπηκόους πάντας εὐεργεσίας μεγάλας, ὥστε ἀποθανόντος αὐτοῦ πόθον ἔχειν πάντας τοὺς ἐν τῇ Ἀσίῃ πάρεξ αὐτῶν Περσέων. διαπέμψας γὰρ ὁ Μάγος ἐς πᾶν ἔθνος τῶν ἦρχε προεῖπε ἀτελείην εἶναι στρατηίης καὶ φόρου ἐπʼ ἔτεα τρία.So they believed that it was Cyrus' son Smerdis who had been made king. For Prexaspes stoutly denied that he had killed Smerdis, since now that Cambyses was dead, it was not safe for him to say that he had slain the son of Cyrus with his own hands. ,Cambyses being dead, the Magus, pretending to be the Smerdis of like name, Cyrus' son, reigned without fear for the seven months by which Cambyses had fallen short of reigning eight years. ,In this time he benefitted all his subjects to such an extent that after his death all the Asiatics except the Persians wished him back; for he sent to every nation he ruled and proclaimed an exemption for three years from military service and from tribute.


προεῖπε μὲν δὴ ταῦτα αὐτίκα ἐνιστάμενος ἐς τὴν ἀρχήν, ὀγδόῳ δὲ μηνὶ ἐγένετο κατάδηλος τρόπῳ τοιῷδε. Ὀτάνης ἦν Φαρνάσπεω μὲν παῖς, γένεϊ δὲ καὶ χρήμασι ὅμοιος τῷ πρώτῳ Περσέων. οὗτος ὁ Ὀτάνης πρῶτος ὑπώπτευσε τὸν Μάγον ὡς οὐκ εἴη ὁ Κύρου Σμέρδις ἀλλʼ ὅς περ ἦν, τῇδε συμβαλόμενος, ὅτι τε οὐκ ἐξεφοίτα ἐκ τῆς ἀκροπόλιος καὶ ὅτι οὐκ ἐκάλεε ἐς ὄψιν ἑωυτῷ οὐδένα τῶν λογίμων Περσέων· ὑποπτεύσας δέ μιν ἐποίεε τάδε. ἔσχε αὐτοῦ Καμβύσης θυγατέρα, τῇ οὔνομα ἦν Φαιδύμη· τὴν αὐτὴν δὴ ταύτην εἶχε τότε ὁ Μάγος καὶ ταύτῃ τε συνοίκεε καὶ τῇσι ἄλλῃσι πάσῃσι τῇσι τοῦ Καμβύσεω γυναιξί. πέμπων δὴ ὦν ὁ Ὀτάνης παρὰ ταύτην τὴν θυγατέρα ἐπυνθάνετο παρʼ ὅτεῳ ἀνθρώπων κοιμῷτο, εἴτε μετὰ Σμέρδιος τοῦ Κύρου εἴτε μετὰ ἄλλου τευ. ἣ δέ οἱ ἀντέπεμπε φαμένη οὐ γινώσκειν· οὔτε γὰρ τὸν Κύρου Σμέρδιν ἰδέσθαι οὐδαμὰ οὔτε ὅστις εἴη ὁ συνοικέων αὐτῇ εἰδέναι. ἔπεμπε δεύτερα ὁ Ὀτάνης λέγων “εἰ μὴ αὐτὴ Σμέρδιν τὸν Κύρου γινώσκεις, σὺ δὲ παρὰ Ἀτόσσης πύθευ ὅτεῳ τούτῳ συνοικέει αὐτή τε ἐκείνη καὶ σύ· πάντως γὰρ δή κου τόν γε ἑωυτῆς ἀδελφεὸν γινώσκει.” ἀντιπέμπει πρὸς ταῦτα ἡ θυγάτηρ “οὔτε Ἀτόσσῃ δύναμαι ἐς λόγους ἐλθεῖν οὔτε ἄλλην οὐδεμίαν ἰδέσθαι τῶν συγκατημενέων γυναικῶν. ἐπείτε γὰρ τάχιστα οὗτος ὥνθρωπος, ὅστις κοτὲ ἐστί, παρέλαβε τὴν βασιληίην, διέσπειρε ἡμέας ἄλλην ἄλλῃ τάξας.”Such was his proclamation at the beginning of his reign; but in the eighth month he was exposed in the following manner. There was one Otanes, son of Pharnaspes, as well-born and rich a man as any Persian. ,This Otanes was the first to guess that the Magus was not Cyrus' son Smerdis and who, in fact, he was; the reason was, that he never left the acropolis nor summoned any notable Persian into his presence. And having formed this suspicion Otanes did as follows: ,Cambyses had taken his daughter, whose name was Phaedyme; this same girl the Magus had now and he lived with her and with all Cambyses' other wives. Otanes sent to this daughter, asking at what man's side she lay, with Smerdis, Cyrus' son, or with some other? ,She sent back a message that she did not know; for (she said) she had never seen Cyrus' son Smerdis, nor did she know who her bedfellow was. Then Otanes sent a second message, to this effect: “If you do not know Cyrus' son Smerdis yourself, then find out from Atossa who it is that she and you are living with; for surely she knows her own brother.” ,To this his daughter replied: “I cannot communicate with Atossa, nor can I see any other of the women of the household; for no sooner had this man, whoever he is, made himself king, than he sent us to live apart, each in her own appointed place.”


ἀκούοντι δὲ ταῦτα τῷ Ὀτάνῃ μᾶλλον κατεφαίνετο τὸ πρῆγμα. τρίτην δὲ ἀγγελίην ἐσπέμπει παρʼ αὐτὴν λέγουσαν ταῦτα. “ὦ θύγατερ, δεῖ σε γεγονυῖαν εὖ κίνδυνον ἀναλαβέσθαι τὸν ἂν ὁ πατὴρ ὑποδύνειν κελεύῃ. εἰ γὰρ δὴ μή ἐστι ὁ Κύρου Σμέρδις ἀλλὰ τὸν καταδοκέω ἐγώ, οὔτοι μιν σοί τε συγκοιμώμενον καὶ τὸ Περσέων κράτος ἔχοντα δεῖ χαίροντα ἀπαλλάσσειν, ἀλλὰ δοῦναι δίκην. νῦν ὦν ποίησον τάδε· ἐπεὰν σοὶ συνεύδῃ καὶ μάθῃς αὐτὸν κατυπνωμένον, ἄφασον αὐτοῦ τὰ ὦτα· καὶ ἢν μὲν φαίνηται ἔχων ὦτα, νόμιζε σεωυτὴν Σμέρδι τῷ Κύρου συνοικέειν, ἢν δὲ μὴ ἔχων, σὺ δὲ τῷ Μάγῳ Σμέρδι.” ἀντιπέμπει πρὸς ταῦτα ἡ Φαιδύμη φαμένη κινδυνεύσειν μεγάλως, ἢν ποιέῃ ταῦτα· εἰ γὰρ δὴ μὴ τυγχάνει τὰ ὦτα ἔχων, ἐπίλαμπτος δὲ ἀφάσσουσα ἔσται, εὖ εἰδέναι ὡς ἀιστώσει μιν· ὅμως μέντοι ποιήσειν ταῦτα. ἣ μὲν δὴ ὑπεδέξατο ταῦτα τῷ πατρὶ κατεργάσεσθαι. τοῦ δὲ Μάγου τούτου τοῦ Σμέρδιος Κῦρος ὁ Καμβύσεω ἄρχων τὰ ὦτα ἀπέταμε ἐπʼ αἰτίῃ δή τινι οὐ σμικρῇ. ἡ ὦν δὴ Φαιδύμη αὕτη, ἡ τοῦ Ὀτάνεω θυγάτηρ, πάντα ἐπιτελέουσα τὰ ὑπεδέξατο τῷ πατρί, ἐπείτε αὐτῆς μέρος ἐγίνετο τῆς ἀπίξιος παρὰ τὸν Μάγον ʽἐν περιτροπῇ γὰρ δὴ αἱ γυναῖκες φοιτέουσι τοῖσι Πέρσῃσἰ, ἐλθοῦσα παρʼ αὐτὸν ηὗδε, ὑπνωμένου δὲ καρτερῶς τοῦ Μάγου ἤφασε τὰ ὦτα. μαθοῦσα δὲ οὐ χαλεπῶς ἀλλʼ εὐπετέως οὐκ ἔχοντα τὸν ἄνδρα ὦτα, ὡς ἡμέρη τάχιστα ἐγεγόνεε, πέμψασα ἐσήμηνε τῷ πατρὶ τὰ γενόμενα.When Otanes heard that, he saw more clearly how the matter stood; and he sent her this third message: ,“Daughter, your noble birth obliges you to run any risk that your father commands you to face. If this man is not Smerdis son of Cyrus but who I think he is, then he must not get away with sleeping with you and sitting on the throne of Persia, but be punished. ,Now, then, when he lies with you and you see that he is sleeping, feel his ears; if he has ears, rest assured that you are living with Smerdis son of Cyrus; but if he has none, it is Smerdis the Magus.” ,Phaedyme answered by messenger that she would run a very great risk by so doing; for if it should turn out that he had no ears, and she were caught feeling for them, he would surely kill her; nevertheless she would do it. ,So she promised to do this for her father. Cyrus son of Cambyses during his reign cut off the ears of this Magus Smerdis for some grave reason. ,So Phaedyme, daughter of Otanes, performed her promise to her father. When it was her turn to go to the Magus (for their wives go in sequence to the Persians), she came to his bed and felt for the Magus' ears while he slumbered deeply; and having with no great difficulty assured herself that he had no ears, she sent and told this to her father as soon as it was morning.


ὁ δὲ Ὀτάνης παραλαβὼν Ἀσπαθίνην καὶ Γοβρύην, Περσέων τε πρώτους ἐόντας καὶ ἑωυτῷ ἐπιτηδεοτάτους ἐς πίστιν, ἀπηγήσατο πᾶν τὸ πρῆγμα· οἳ δὲ καὶ αὐτοὶ ἄρα ὑπώπτευον οὕτω τοῦτο ἔχειν, ἀνενείκαντος δὲ τοῦ Ὀτάνεω τοὺς λόγους ἐδέξαντο, καὶ ἔδοξέ σφι ἕκαστον ἄνδρα Περσέων προσεταιρίσασθαι τοῦτον ὅτεῳ πιστεύει μάλιστα. Ὀτάνης μέν νυν ἐσάγεται Ἰνταφρένεα, Γοβρύης δὲ Μεγάβυζον, Ἀσπαθίνης δὲ Ὑδάρνεα. γεγονότων δὲ τούτων ἓξ παραγίνεται ἐς τὰ Σοῦσα Δαρεῖος ὁ Ὑστάσπεος ἐκ Περσέων ἥκων· τούτων γὰρ δὴ ἦν οἱ ὁ πατὴρ ὕπαρχος. ἐπεὶ ὦν οὗτος ἀπίκετο, τοῖσι ἓξ τῶν Περσέων ἔδοξε καὶ Δαρεῖον προσεταιρίσασθαι.Otanes then took aside two Persians of the highest rank whom he thought worthiest of trust, Aspathines and Gobryas, and told them the whole story. These, it would seem, had themselves suspected that it was so; and now they readily believed what Otanes revealed to them. ,They resolved that each should take into his confidence that Persian whom he most trusted; Otanes brought in Intaphrenes, Gobryas brought Megabyzus, and Aspathines Hydarnes. ,When they were six, Darius, whose father, Hystaspes, was a subordinate governor of the Persians, arrived at Susa . When he came, then, the six Persians resolved to include Darius too.


συνελθόντες δὲ οὗτοι ἐόντες ἑπτὰ ἐδίδοσαν σφίσι πίστις καὶ λόγους. ἐπείτε δὲ ἐς Δαρεῖον ἀπίκετο γνώμην ἀποφαίνεσθαι, ἔλεγέ σφι τάδε. “ἐγὼ ταῦτα ἐδόκεον μὲν αὐτὸς μοῦνος ἐπίστασθαι, ὅτι τε ὁ Μάγος εἴη ὁ βασιλεύων καὶ Σμέρδις ὁ Κύρου τετελεύτηκε· καὶ αὐτοῦ τούτου εἵνεκεν ἥκω σπουδῇ ὡς συστήσων ἐπὶ τῷ Μάγῳ θάνατον. ἐπείτε δὲ συνήνεικε ὥστε καὶ ὑμέας εἰδέναι καὶ μὴ μοῦνον ἐμέ, ποιέειν αὐτίκα μοι δοκέει καὶ μὴ ὑπερβάλλεσθαι· οὐ γὰρ ἄμεινον.” εἶπε πρὸς ταῦτα ὁ Ὀτάνης “ὦ παῖ Ὑστάσπεος, εἶς τε πατρὸς ἀγαθοῦ καὶ ἐκφαίνειν ἔοικας σεωυτὸν ἐόντα τοῦ πατρὸς οὐδὲν ἥσσω· τὴν μέντοι ἐπιχείρησιν ταύτην μὴ οὕτω συντάχυνε ἀβούλως, ἀλλʼ ἐπὶ τὸ σωφρονέστερον αὐτὴν λάμβανε· δεῖ γὰρ πλεῦνας γενομένους οὕτω ἐπιχειρέειν.” λέγει πρὸς ταῦτα Δαρεῖος “ἄνδρες οἱ παρεόντες, τρόπῳ τῷ εἰρημένῳ ἐξ Ὀτάνεω εἰ χρήσεσθε, ἐπίστασθε ὅτι ἀπολέεσθε κάκιστα· ἐξοίσει γάρ τις πρὸς τὸν Μάγον, ἰδίῃ περιβαλλόμενος ἑωυτῷ κέρδεα. μάλιστα μέν νυν ὠφείλετε ἐπʼ ὑμέων αὐτῶν βαλλόμενοι ποιέειν ταῦτα· ἐπείτε δὲ ὑμῖν ἀναφέρειν ἐς πλεῦνας ἐδόκεε καὶ ἐμοὶ ὑπερέθεσθε, ἢ ποιέωμεν σήμερον ἢ ἴστε ὑμῖν ὅτι ἢν ὑπερπέσῃ ἡ νῦν ἡμέρη, ὡς οὐκ ἄλλος φθὰς ἐμεῦ κατήγορος ἔσται, ἀλλά σφεα αὐτὸς ἐγὼ κατερέω πρὸς τὸν Μάγον.”The seven then met and gave each other tokens of good faith and spoke together; and when it was Darius' turn to declare his mind, he spoke as follows: ,“I thought that I alone knew that it was the Magus who was king and that Smerdis son of Cyrus was dead; and it was for this reason that I made haste to come, that I might effect the Magus' death; but since it turns out that you know too and not only I, I think that we should act at once and not put it off.” ,Otanes replied, “son of Hystaspes, you have a good father and seem likely yourself to be in no way inferior to your father; do not hurry this undertaking without thinking, but take it up more prudently; there must be more of us to try it.” ,To this Darius answered: “You gentlemen who are here, if you do as Otanes says, know that you will die horribly; for someone will inform the Magus, looking to enrich himself alone. ,You ought to have done it by yourselves; but since you decided to confide in others and have included me, let us either act today or else understand that if the present day passes, nobody else will betray you before I do, for I shall myself betray you to the Magus.”


λέγει πρὸς ταῦτα Ὀτάνης, ἐπειδὴ ὥρα σπερχόμενον Δαρεῖον, “ἐπείτε ἡμέας συνταχύνειν ἀναγκάζεις καὶ ὑπερβάλλεσθαι οὐκ ἐᾷς, ἴθι ἐξηγέο αὐτὸς ὅτεῳ τρόπῳ πάριμεν ἐς τὰ βασιλήια καὶ ἐπιχειρήσομεν αὐτοῖσι. φυλακὰς γὰρ δὴ διεστεώσας οἶδάς κου καὶ αὐτός, εἰ μὴ ἰδών, ἀλλʼ ἀκούσας· τὰς τέῳ τρόπῳ περήσομεν;” ἀμείβεται Δαρεῖος τοῖσιδε. “Ὀτάνη, ἦ πολλά ἐστι τὰ λόγῳ μὲν οὐκ οἷά τε δηλῶσαι, ἔργῳ δέ· ἄλλα δʼ ἐστὶ τὰ λόγῳ μὲν οἷά τε, ἔργον δὲ οὐδὲν ἀπʼ αὐτῶν λαμπρὸν γίνεται. ὑμεῖς δὲ ἴστε φυλακὰς τὰς κατεστεώσας ἐούσας οὐδὲν χαλεπὰς παρελθεῖν. τοῦτο μὲν γὰρ ἡμέων ἐόντων τοιῶνδε οὐδεὶς ὅστις οὐ παρήσει, τὰ μέν κου καταιδεόμενος ἡμέας, τὰ δέ κου καὶ δειμαίνων· τοῦτο δὲ ἔχω αὐτὸς σκῆψιν εὐπρεπεστάτην τῇ πάριμεν, φὰς ἄρτι τε ἥκειν ἐκ Περσέων καὶ βούλεσθαί τι ἔπος παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς σημῆναι τῷ βασιλέι. ἔνθα γάρ τι δεῖ ψεῦδος λέγεσθαι, λεγέσθω. τοῦ γὰρ αὐτοῦ γλιχόμεθα οἵ τε ψευδόμενοι καὶ οἱ τῇ ἀληθείῃ διαχρεώμενοι. οἳ μέν γε ψεύδονται τότε ἐπεάν τι μέλλωσι τοῖσι ψεύδεσι πείσαντες κερδήσεσθαι, οἳ δʼ ἀληθίζονται ἵνα τῇ ἀληθείῃ ἐπισπάσωνται κέρδος καί τι μᾶλλόν σφι ἐπιτράπηται. οὕτω οὐ ταὐτὰ ἀσκέοντες τὠυτοῦ περιεχόμεθα. εἰ δὲ μηδὲν κερδήσεσθαι μέλλοιεν, ὁμοίως ἂν ὅ τε ἀληθιζόμενος ψευδὴς εἴη καὶ ὁ ψευδόμενος ἀληθής. ὃς ἂν μέν νυν τῶν πυλουρῶν ἑκὼν παριῇ, αὐτῷ οἱ ἄμεινον ἐς χρόνον ἔσται· ὃς δʼ ἂν ἀντιβαίνειν πειρᾶται, δεικνύσθω ἐνθαῦτα ἐὼν πολέμιος, καὶ ἔπειτα ὠσάμενοι ἔσω ἔργου ἐχώμεθα.”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.”


λέγει Γοβρύης μετὰ ταῦτα “ἄνδρες φίλοι, ἡμῖν κότε κάλλιον παρέξει ἀνασώσασθαι τὴν ἀρχήν, ἢ εἴ γε μὴ οἷοί τε ἐσόμεθα αὐτὴν ἀναλαβεῖν, ἀποθανεῖν; ὅτε γε ἀρχόμεθα μὲν ἐόντες Πέρσαι ὑπὸ Μήδου ἀνδρὸς Μάγου, καὶ τούτου ὦτα οὐκ ἔχοντος. ὅσοι τε ὑμέων Καμβύσῃ νοσέοντι παρεγένοντο, πάντως κου μέμνησθε τὰ ἐπέσκηψε Πέρσῃσι τελευτῶν τὸν βίον μὴ πειρωμένοισι ἀνακτᾶσθαι τὴν ἀρχήν· τὰ τότε οὐκ ἐνεδεκόμεθα, ἀλλʼ ἐπὶ διαβολῇ ἐδοκέομεν εἰπεῖν Καμβύσεα. νῦν ὦν τίθεμαι ψῆφον πείθεσθαι Δαρείῳ καὶ μὴ διαλύεσθαι ἐκ τοῦ συλλόγου τοῦδε ἀλλʼ ἢ ἐπὶ τὸν Μάγον ἰθέως.” ταῦτα εἶπε Γοβρύης, καὶ πάντες ταύτῃ αἴνεον.Then Gobryas said, “Friends, when shall we have a better chance to win back the kingship, or, if we cannot, to die, since we who are Persians are ruled by a Mede, a Magus, and he a man that has no ears? ,Those of you that were with Cambyses at his death-bed of course remember the curse which he pronounced as he died on the Persians if they should not try to get back the kingship, although we did not believe Cambyses then, but thought that he spoke to deceive us. ,Now therefore my vote is that we follow Darius' plan, and not quit this council to do anything else but attack the Magus at once.” So spoke Gobryas; and they all consented to what he said.


ἐν ᾧ δὲ οὗτοι ταῦτα ἐβουλεύοντο, ἐγίνετο κατὰ συντυχίην τάδε. τοῖσι Μάγοισι ἔδοξε βουλευομένοισι Πρηξάσπεα φίλον προσθέσθαι, ὅτι τε ἐπεπόνθεε πρὸς Καμβύσεω ἀνάρσια, ὅς οἱ τὸν παῖδα τοξεύσας ἀπολωλέκεε, καὶ διότι μοῦνος ἠπίστατο τὸν Σμέρδιος τοῦ Κύρου θάνατον αὐτοχειρίῃ μιν ἀπολέσας, πρὸς δʼ ἔτι ἐόντα ἐν αἴνῃ μεγίστῃ τὸν Πρηξάσπεα ἐν Πέρσῃσι. τούτων δή μιν εἵνεκεν καλέσαντες φίλον προσεκτῶντο πίστι τε λαβόντες καὶ ὁρκίοισι, ἦ μὲν ἕξειν παρʼ ἑωυτῷ μηδʼ ἐξοίσειν μηδενὶ ἀνθρώπων τὴν ἀπὸ σφέων ἀπάτην ἐς Πέρσας γεγονυῖαν, ὑπισχνεύμενοι τὰ πάντα οἱ μυρία δώσειν. ὑποσχομένου δὲ τοῦ Πρηξάσπεος ποιήσειν ταῦτα, ὡς ἀνέπεισάν μιν οἱ Μάγοι, δεύτερα προσέφερον, αὐτοὶ μὲν φάμενοι Πέρσας πάντας συγκαλέειν ὑπὸ τὸ βασιλήιον τεῖχος, κεῖνον δʼ ἐκέλευον ἀναβάντα ἐπὶ πύργον ἀγορεῦσαι ὡς ὑπὸ τοῦ Κύρου Σμέρδιος ἄρχονται καὶ ὑπʼ οὐδενὸς ἄλλου. ταῦτα δὲ οὕτω ἐνετέλλοντο ὡς πιστοτάτου δῆθεν ἐόντος αὐτοῦ ἐν Πέρσῃσι καὶ πολλάκις ἀποδεξαμένου γνώμην ὡς περιείη ὁ Κύρου Σμέρδις, καὶ ἐξαρνησαμένου τὸν φόνον αὐτοῦ.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.


φαμένου δὲ καὶ ταῦτα ἑτοίμου εἶναι ποιέειν τοῦ Πρηξάσπεος, συγκαλέσαντες Πέρσας οἱ Μάγοι ἀνεβίβασαν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ πύργον καὶ ἀγορεύειν ἐκέλευον. ὁ δὲ τῶν μὲν ἐκεῖνοι προσεδέοντο αὐτοῦ, τούτων μὲν ἑκὼν ἐπελήθετο, ἀρξάμενος δὲ ἀπʼ Ἀχαιμένεος ἐγενεηλόγησε τὴν πατριὴν τὴν Κύρου, μετὰ δὲ ὡς ἐς τοῦτον κατέβη τελευτῶν ἔλεγε ὅσα ἀγαθὰ Κῦρος Πέρσας πεποιήκοι, διεξελθὼν δὲ ταῦτα ἐξέφαινε τὴν ἀληθείην, φάμενος πρότερον μὲν κρύπτειν ʽοὐ γάρ οἱ εἶναι ἀσφαλὲς λέγειν τὰ γενόμενἀ, ἐν δὲ τῷ παρεόντι, ἀναγκαίην μιν καταλαμβάνειν φαίνειν. καὶ δὴ ἔλεγε τὸν μὲν Κύρου Σμέρδιν ὡς αὐτὸς ὑπὸ Καμβύσεω ἀναγκαζόμενος ἀποκτείνειε, τοὺς Μάγους δὲ βασιλεύειν. Πέρσῃσι δὲ πολλὰ ἐπαρησάμενος εἰ μὴ ἀνακτησαίατο ὀπίσω τὴν ἀρχὴν καὶ τοὺς Μάγους τισαίατο, ἀπῆκε ἑωυτὸν ἐπὶ κεφαλὴν φέρεσθαι ἀπὸ τοῦ πύργου κάτω. Πρηξάσπης μέν νυν ἐὼν τὸν πάντα χρόνον ἀνὴρ δόκιμος οὕτω ἐτελεύτησε.When Prexaspes said that he was ready to do this too, the Magi summoned the Persians together, and brought him up on to a tower and bade him speak. Then, deliberately forgetting all the Magi's instructions, he traced the lineage of Cyrus from Achaemenes downwards; when he came at last to the name of Cyrus, he recounted all the good which that king had done to Persia, ,and after he had narrated this, he revealed the truth, saying that he had concealed it before, as it had not been safe for him to tell what had happened, but at the present time necessity forced him to reveal it: and he said that he himself, forced by Cambyses, had killed Smerdis son of Cyrus, and that the Magi were in power. ,Then, invoking a terrible curse on the Persians if they did not win back the throne and take vengeance on the Magi, he threw himself headlong down from the tower; so Prexaspes, a man who was always well thought of, perished in this way.


οἱ δὲ δὴ ἑπτὰ τῶν Περσέων ὡς ἐβουλεύσαντο αὐτίκα ἐπιχειρέειν τοῖσι Μάγοισι καὶ μὴ ὑπερβάλλεσθαι, ἤισαν εὐξάμενοι τοῖσι θεοῖσι, τῶν περὶ Πρηξάσπεα πρηχθέντων εἰδότες οὐδέν. ἔν τε δὴ τῇ ὁδῷ μέσῃ στείχοντες ἐγίνοντο καὶ τὰ περὶ Πρηξάσπεα γεγονότα ἐπυνθάνοντο. ἐνθαῦτα ἐκστάντες τῆς ὁδοῦ ἐδίδοσαν αὖτις σφίσι λόγους, οἳ μὲν ἀμφὶ τὸν Ὀτάνην πάγχυ κελεύοντες ὑπερβαλέσθαι μηδὲ οἰδεόντων τῶν πρηγμάτων ἐπιτίθεσθαι, οἳ δὲ ἀμφὶ τὸν Δαρεῖον αὐτίκα τε ἰέναι καὶ τὰ δεδογμένα ποιέειν μηδὲ ὑπερβάλλεσθαι. ὠθιζομένων δʼ αὐτῶν ἐφάνη ἰρήκων ἑπτὰ ζεύγεα δύο αἰγυπιῶν ζεύγεα διώκοντα καὶ τίλλοντά τε καὶ ἀμύσσοντα. ἰδόντες δὲ ταῦτα οἱ ἑπτὰ τήν τε Δαρείου πάντες αἴνεον γνώμην καὶ ἔπειτα ἤισαν ἐπὶ τὰ βασιλήια τεθαρσηκότες τοῖσι ὄρνισι.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.


ἐπιστᾶσι δὲ ἐπὶ τὰς πύλας ἐγίνετο οἷόν τι Δαρείῳ ἡ γνώμη ἔφερε· καταιδεόμενοι γὰρ οἱ φύλακοι ἄνδρας τοὺς Περσέων πρώτους καὶ οὐδὲν τοιοῦτο ὑποπτεύοντες ἐξ αὐτῶν ἔσεσθαι, παρίεσαν θείῃ πομπῇ χρεωμένους, οὐδʼ ἐπειρώτα οὐδείς. ἐπείτε δὲ καὶ παρῆλθον ἐς τὴν αὐλήν, ἐνέκυρσαν τοῖσι τὰς ἀγγελίας ἐσφέρουσι εὐνούχοισι· οἵ σφεας ἱστόρεον ὅ τι θέλοντες ἥκοιεν, καὶ ἅμα ἱστορέοντες τούτους τοῖσι πυλουροῖσι ἀπείλεον ὅτι σφέας παρῆκαν, ἶσχόν τε βουλομένους τοὺς ἑπτὰ ἐς τὸ πρόσω παριέναι. οἳ δὲ διακελευσάμενοι καὶ σπασάμενοι τὰ ἐγχειρίδια τούτους μὲν τοὺς ἴσχοντας αὐτοῦ ταύτῃ συγκεντέουσι, αὐτοὶ δὲ ἤισαν δρόμῳ ἐς τὸν ἀνδρεῶνα.When they came to the gate, it turned out as Darius had expected; the guards, out of respect for the leading men in Persia and never suspecting that there would be trouble from them, allowed them to pass, who enjoyed divine guidance, and no one asked any questions. ,And when they came to the court, they met the eunuchs that carry messages, who asked the seven why they had come; and while they were questioning these, they were threatening the watchmen for letting them pass, and restraining the seven who wanted to go on. ,These gave each other the word, drew their knives, and stabbing the eunuchs who barred their way, went forward at a run to the men's apartment.


οἱ δὲ Μάγοι ἔτυχον ἀμφότεροι τηνικαῦτα ἐόντες τε ἔσω καὶ τὰ ἀπὸ Πρηξάσπεος γενόμενα ἐν βουλῇ ἔχοντες. ἐπεὶ ὦν εἶδον τοὺς εὐνούχους τεθορυβημένους τε καὶ βοῶντας, ἀνά τε ἔδραμον πάλιν ἀμφότεροι καὶ ὡς ἔμαθον τὸ ποιεύμενον πρὸς ἀλκὴν ἐτράποντο. ὃ μὲν δὴ αὐτῶν φθάνει τὰ τόξα κατελόμενος, ὁ δὲ πρὸς τὴν αἰχμὴν ἐτράπετο. ἐνθαῦτα δὴ συνέμισγον ἀλλήλοισι. τῷ μὲν δὴ τὰ τόξα ἀναλαβόντι αὐτῶν, ἐόντων τε ἀγχοῦ τῶν πολεμίων καὶ προσκειμένων, ἦν χρηστὰ οὐδέν· ὁ δʼ ἕτερος τῇ αἰχμῇ ἠμύνετο καὶ τοῦτο μὲν Ἀσπαθίνην παίει ἐς τὸν μηρόν, τοῦτο δὲ Ἰνταφρένεα ἐς τὸν ὀφθαλμόν· καὶ ἐστερήθη μὲν τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ ἐκ τοῦ τρώματος ὁ Ἰνταφρένης, οὐ μέντοι ἀπέθανέ γε. τῶν μὲν δὴ Μάγων οὕτερος τρωματίζει τούτους· ὁ δὲ ἕτερος, ἐπείτε οἱ τὰ τόξα οὐδὲν χρηστὰ ἐγίνετο, ἦν γὰρ δὴ θάλαμος ἐσέχων ἐς τὸν ἀνδρεῶνα, ἐς τοῦτον καταφεύγει, θέλων αὐτοῦ προσθεῖναι τὰς θύρας, καί οἱ συνεσπίπτουσι τῶν ἑπτὰ δύο, Δαρεῖός τε καὶ Γοβρύης. συμπλακέντος δὲ Γοβρύεω τῷ Μάγῳ ὁ Δαρεῖος ἐπεστεὼς ἠπόρεε οἷα ἐν σκότεϊ, προμηθεόμενος μὴ πλήξῃ τὸν Γοβρύην. ὁρέων δέ μιν ἀργὸν ἐπεστεῶτα ὁ Γοβρύης εἴρετο ὅ τι οὐ χρᾶται τῇ χειρί· ὁ δὲ εἶπε “Προμηθεόμενος σέο, μὴ πλήξω.” Γοβρύης δὲ ἀμείβετο “ὤθεε τὸ ξίφος καὶ διʼ ἀμφοτέρων.” Δαρεῖος δὲ πειθόμενος ὦσέ τε τὸ ἐγχειρίδιον καὶ ἔτυχέ κως τοῦ Μάγου.Both the Magi were within, deliberating about the consequences of Prexaspes' act. Seeing the eunuchs in confusion and hearing their cries they both sprang up: and when they realized what was happening they turned to defending themselves. ,One rushed to take down a bow, the other went for a spear. Then the fighting started. The one that had caught up the bow found it was no use to him, as the antagonists were close and jostling one another; but the other defended himself with his spear, wounding Aspathines in the thigh and Intaphrenes in the eye; Intaphrenes lost his eye from the wound but was not killed. ,So one of the Magi wounded these; the other, as the bow was no use to him, fled into a chamber adjoining the men's apartment and would have shut its door. ,Two of the seven flung into the room with him, Darius and Gobryas; as Gobryas and the Magus wrestled together, Darius stood helpless in the darkness, afraid of stabbing Gobryas. ,Gobryas, seeing Darius stand helpless, asked why he did not lend a hand; and he said, “Because I am afraid for you, that I might stab you.” And Gobryas answered, “Stick your sword even if it goes through us both.” So Darius complying stabbed with his knife and somehow stuck the Magus.


ἀποκτείναντες δὲ τοὺς Μάγους καὶ ἀποταμόντες αὐτῶν τὰς κεφαλάς, τοὺς μὲν τρωματίας ἑωυτῶν αὐτοῦ λείπουσι καὶ ἀδυνασίης εἵνεκεν καὶ φυλακῆς τῆς ἀκροπόλιος, οἱ δὲ πέντε αὐτῶν ἔχοντες τῶν Μάγων τὰς κεφαλὰς ἔθεον βοῇ τε καὶ πατάγῳ χρεώμενοι, καὶ Πέρσας τοὺς ἄλλους ἐπεκαλέοντο ἐξηγεόμενοί τε τὸ πρῆγμα καὶ δεικνύοντες τὰς κεφαλάς, καὶ ἅμα ἔκτεινον πάντα τινὰ τῶν Μάγων τὸν ἐν ποσὶ γινόμενον. οἱ δὲ Πέρσαι μαθόντες τὸ γεγονὸς ἐκ τῶν ἑπτὰ καὶ τῶν Μάγων τὴν ἀπάτην, ἐδικαίευν καὶ αὐτοὶ ἕτερα τοιαῦτα ποιέειν, σπασάμενοι δὲ τὰ ἐγχειρίδια ἔκτεινον ὅκου τινὰ Μάγον εὕρισκον· εἰ δὲ μὴ νὺξ ἐπελθοῦσα ἔσχε, ἔλιπον ἂν οὐδένα Μάγον. ταύτην τὴν ἡμέρην θεραπεύουσι Πέρσαι κοινῇ μάλιστα τῶν ἡμερέων, καὶ ἐν αὐτῇ ὁρτὴν μεγάλην ἀνάγουσι, ἣ κέκληται ὑπὸ Περσέων μαγοφόνια· ἐν τῇ Μάγον οὐδένα ἔξεστι φανῆναι ἐς τὸ φῶς, ἀλλὰ κατʼ οἴκους ἑωυτοὺς οἱ Μάγοι ἔχουσι τὴν ἡμέρην ταύτην.When they had killed the Magi and cut off their heads, they left their wounded there because of their infirmity and for the sake of guarding the acropolis, while five of them carrying the Magi's heads ran outside with much shouting and commotion, calling all Persians to aid, telling what they had done and showing the heads; at the same time they killed every Magus that came in their way. ,The Persians, when they learned what had been done by the seven and how the Magi had tricked them, resolved to follow the example set, and drew their daggers and killed all the Magi they could find; and if nightfall had not stopped them they would not have left one Magus alive. ,This day is the greatest holy day that all Persians alike keep; they celebrate a great festival on it, which they call the Massacre of the Magi; while the festival lasts no Magus may go outdoors, but during this day the Magi remain in their houses.


ἐπείτε δὲ κατέστη ὁ θόρυβος καὶ ἐκτὸς πέντε ἡμερέων ἐγένετο, ἐβουλεύοντο οἱ ἐπαναστάντες τοῖσι Μάγοισι περὶ τῶν πάντων πρηγμάτων καὶ ἐλέχθησαν λόγοι ἄπιστοι μὲν ἐνίοισι Ἑλλήνων, ἐλέχθησαν δʼ ὦν. Ὀτάνης μὲν ἐκέλευε ἐς μέσον Πέρσῃσι καταθεῖναι τὰ πρήγματα, λέγων τάδε. “ἐμοὶ δοκέει ἕνα μὲν ἡμέων μούναρχον μηκέτι γενέσθαι. οὔτε γὰρ ἡδὺ οὔτε ἀγαθόν. εἴδετε μὲν γὰρ τὴν Καμβύσεω ὕβριν ἐπʼ ὅσον ἐπεξῆλθε, μετεσχήκατε δὲ καὶ τῆς τοῦ Μάγου ὕβριος. κῶς δʼ ἂν εἴη χρῆμα κατηρτημένον μουναρχίη, τῇ ἔξεστι ἀνευθύνῳ ποιέειν τὰ βούλεται; καὶ γὰρ ἂν τὸν ἄριστον ἀνδρῶν πάντων στάντα ἐς ταύτην ἐκτὸς τῶν ἐωθότων νοημάτων στήσειε. ἐγγίνεται μὲν γάρ οἱ ὕβρις ὑπὸ τῶν παρεόντων ἀγαθῶν, φθόνος δὲ ἀρχῆθεν ἐμφύεται ἀνθρώπῳ. δύο δʼ ἔχων ταῦτα ἔχει πᾶσαν κακότητα· τὰ μὲν γὰρ ὕβρι κεκορημένος ἔρδει πολλὰ καὶ ἀτάσθαλα, τὰ δὲ φθόνῳ. καίτοι ἄνδρα γε τύραννον ἄφθονον ἔδει εἶναι, ἔχοντά γε πάντα τὰ ἀγαθά. τὸ δὲ ὑπεναντίον τούτου ἐς τοὺς πολιήτας πέφυκε· φθονέει γὰρ τοῖσι ἀρίστοισι περιεοῦσί τε καὶ ζώουσι, χαίρει δὲ τοῖσι κακίστοισι τῶν ἀστῶν, διαβολὰς δὲ ἄριστος ἐνδέκεσθαι. ἀναρμοστότατον δὲ πάντων· ἤν τε γὰρ αὐτὸν μετρίως θωμάζῃς, ἄχθεται ὅτι οὐ κάρτα θεραπεύεται, ἤν τε θεραπεύῃ τις κάρτα, ἄχθεται ἅτε θωπί. τὰ δὲ δὴ μέγιστα ἔρχομαι ἐρέων· νόμαιά τε κινέει πάτρια καὶ βιᾶται γυναῖκας κτείνει τε ἀκρίτους. πλῆθος δὲ ἄρχον πρῶτα μὲν οὔνομα πάντων κάλλιστον ἔχει, ἰσονομίην, δεύτερα δὲ τούτων τῶν ὁ μούναρχος ποιέει οὐδέν· πάλῳ μὲν ἀρχὰς ἄρχει, ὑπεύθυνον δὲ ἀρχὴν ἔχει, βουλεύματα δὲ πάντα ἐς τὸ κοινὸν ἀναφέρει. τίθεμαι ὦν γνώμην μετέντας ἡμέας μουναρχίην τὸ πλῆθος ἀέξειν· ἐν γὰρ τῷ πολλῷ ἔνι τὰ πάντα.”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.”


Ὀτάνης μὲν δὴ ταύτην γνώμην ἐσέφερε· Μεγάβυζος δὲ ὀλιγαρχίῃ ἐκέλευε ἐπιτρέπειν, λέγων τάδε. “τὰ μὲν Ὀτάνης εἶπε τυραννίδα παύων, λελέχθω κἀμοὶ ταῦτα, τὰ δʼ ἐς τὸ πλῆθος ἄνωγε φέρειν τὸ κράτος, γνώμης τῆς ἀρίστης ἡμάρτηκε· ὁμίλου γὰρ ἀχρηίου οὐδέν ἐστι ἀξυνετώτερον οὐδὲ ὑβριστότερον. καίτοι τυράννου ὕβριν φεύγοντας ἄνδρας ἐς δήμου ἀκολάστου ὕβριν πεσεῖν ἐστὶ οὐδαμῶς ἀνασχετόν. ὃ μὲν γὰρ εἴ τι ποιέει, γινώσκων ποιέει, τῷ δὲ οὐδὲ γινώσκειν ἔνι· κῶς γὰρ ἂν γινώσκοι ὃς οὔτʼ ἐδιδάχθη οὔτε εἶδε καλὸν οὐδὲν οἰκήιον, 1 ὠθέει τε ἐμπεσὼν τὰ πρήγματα ἄνευ νόου, χειμάρρῳ ποταμῷ εἴκελος; δήμῳ μέν νυν, οἳ Πέρσῃσι κακὸν νοέουσι, οὗτοι χράσθων, ἡμεῖς δὲ ἀνδρῶν τῶν ἀρίστων ἐπιλέξαντες ὁμιλίην τούτοισι περιθέωμεν τὸ κράτος· ἐν γὰρ δὴ τούτοισι καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐνεσόμεθα· ἀρίστων δὲ ἀνδρῶν οἰκὸς ἄριστα βουλεύματα γίνεσθαι.”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.”


Μεγάβυζος μὲν δὴ ταύτην γνώμην ἐσέφερε· τρίτος δὲ Δαρεῖος ἀπεδείκνυτο γνώμην, λέγων “ἐμοὶ δὲ τὰ μὲν εἶπε Μεγάβυζος ἐς τὸ πλῆθος ἔχοντα δοκέει ὀρθῶς λέξαι, τὰ δὲ ἐς ὀλιγαρχίην οὐκ ὀρθῶς. τριῶν γὰρ προκειμένων καὶ πάντων τῷ λόγῳ ἀρίστων ἐόντων, δήμου τε ἀρίστου καὶ ὀλιγαρχίης καὶ μουνάρχου, πολλῷ τοῦτο προέχειν λέγω. ἀνδρὸς γὰρ ἑνὸς τοῦ ἀρίστου οὐδὲν ἄμεινον ἂν φανείη· γνώμῃ γὰρ τοιαύτῃ χρεώμενος ἐπιτροπεύοι ἂν ἀμωμήτως τοῦ πλήθεος, σιγῷτό τε ἂν βουλεύματα ἐπὶ δυσμενέας ἄνδρας οὕτω μάλιστα. ἐν δὲ ὀλιγαρχίῃ πολλοῖσι ἀρετὴν ἐπασκέουσι ἐς τὸ κοινὸν ἔχθεα ἴδια ἰσχυρὰ φιλέει ἐγγίνεσθαι· αὐτὸς γὰρ ἕκαστος βουλόμενος κορυφαῖος εἶναι γνώμῃσί τε νικᾶν ἐς ἔχθεα μεγάλα ἀλλήλοισι ἀπικνέονται, ἐξ ὧν στάσιες ἐγγίνονται, ἐκ δὲ τῶν στασίων φόνος· ἐκ δὲ τοῦ φόνου ἀπέβη ἐς μουναρχίην, καὶ ἐν τούτῳ διέδεξε ὅσῳ ἐστὶ τοῦτο ἄριστον. δήμου τε αὖ ἄρχοντος ἀδύνατα μὴ οὐ κακότητα ἐγγίνεσθαι· κακότητος τοίνυν ἐγγινομένης ἐς τὰ κοινὰ ἔχθεα μὲν οὐκ ἐγγίνεται τοῖσι κακοῖσι, φιλίαι δὲ ἰσχυραί· οἱ γὰρ κακοῦντες τὰ κοινὰ συγκύψαντες ποιεῦσι. τοῦτο δὲ τοιοῦτο γίνεται ἐς ὃ ἂν προστάς τις τοῦ δήμου τοὺς τοιούτους παύσῃ. ἐκ δὲ αὐτῶν θωμάζεται οὗτος δὴ ὑπὸ τοῦ δήμου, θωμαζόμενος δὲ ἀνʼ ὦν ἐφάνη μούναρχος ἐών, καὶ ἐν τούτῳ δηλοῖ καὶ οὗτος ὡς ἡ μουναρχίη κράτιστον. ἑνὶ δὲ ἔπεϊ πάντα συλλαβόντα εἰπεῖν, κόθεν ἡμῖν ἡ ἐλευθερίη ἐγένετο καὶ τεῦ δόντος; κότερα παρὰ τοῦ δήμου ἢ ὀλιγαρχίης ἢ μουνάρχου; ἔχω τοίνυν γνώμην ἡμέας ἐλευθερωθέντας διὰ ἕνα ἄνδρα τὸ τοιοῦτο περιστέλλειν, χωρίς τε τούτου πατρίους νόμους μὴ λύειν ἔχοντας εὖ· οὐ γὰρ ἄμεινον.”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.”


γνῶμαι μὲν δὴ τρεῖς αὗται προεκέατο, οἱ δὲ τέσσερες τῶν ἑπτὰ ἀνδρῶν προσέθεντο ταύτῃ. ὡς δὲ ἑσσώθη τῇ γνώμῃ ὁ Ὀτάνης Πέρσῃσι ἰσονομίην σπεύδων ποιῆσαι, ἔλεξε ἐς μέσον αὐτοῖσι τάδε. “ἄνδρες στασιῶται, δῆλα γὰρ δὴ ὅτι δεῖ ἕνα γε τινὰ ἡμέων βασιλέα γενέσθαι, ἤτοι κλήρῳ γε λαχόντα, ἢ ἐπιτρεψάντων τῷ Περσέων πλήθεϊ τὸν ἂν ἐκεῖνο ἕληται, ἢ ἄλλῃ τινὶ μηχανῇ. ἐγὼ μέν νυν ὑμῖν οὐκ ἐναγωνιεῦμαι· οὔτε γὰρ ἄρχειν οὔτε ἄρχεσθαι ἐθέλω· ἐπὶ τούτῳ δὲ ὑπεξίσταμαι τῆς ἀρχῆς, ἐπʼ ᾧ τε ὑπʼ οὐδενὸς ὑμέων ἄρξομαι, οὔτε αὐτὸς ἐγὼ οὔτε οἱ ἀπʼ ἐμεῦ αἰεὶ γινόμενοι.” τούτου εἴπαντος ταῦτα ὡς συνεχώρεον οἱ ἓξ ἐπὶ τούτοισι, οὗτος μὲν δή σφι οὐκ ἐνηγωνίζετο ἀλλʼ ἐκ μέσου κατῆστο, καὶ νῦν αὕτη ἡ οἰκίη διατελέει μούνη ἐλευθέρη ἐοῦσα Περσέων καὶ ἄρχεται τοσαῦτα ὅσα αὐτὴ θέλει, νόμους οὐκ ὑπερβαίνουσα τοὺς Περσέων.Having to choose between these three options, four of the seven men preferred the last. Then Otanes, whose proposal to give the Persians equality was defeated, spoke thus among them all: ,“Fellow partisans, it is plain that one of us must be made king (whether by lot, or entrusted with the office by the choice of the Persians, or in some other way), but I shall not compete with you; I desire neither to rule nor to be ruled; but if I waive my claim to be king, I make this condition, that neither I nor any of my descendants shall be subject to any one of you.” ,To these terms the six others agreed; Otanes took no part in the contest but stood aside; and to this day his house (and no other in Persia ) remains free, and is ruled only so far as it is willing to be, so long as it does not transgress Persian law.


οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ τῶν ἑπτὰ ἐβουλεύοντο ὡς βασιλέα δικαιότατα στήσονται· καί σφι ἔδοξε Ὀτάνῃ μὲν καὶ τοῖσι ἀπὸ Ὀτάνεω αἰεὶ γινομένοισι, ἢν ἐς ἄλλον τινὰ τῶν ἑπτὰ ἔλθῃ ἡ βασιληίη, ἐξαίρετα δίδοσθαι ἐσθῆτά τε Μηδικὴν ἔτεος ἑκάστου καὶ τὴν πᾶσαν δωρεὴν ἣ γίνεται ἐν Πέρσῃσι τιμιωτάτη. τοῦδε δὲ εἵνεκεν ἐβούλευσάν οἱ δίδοσθαι ταῦτα, ὅτι ἐβούλευσέ τε πρῶτος τὸ πρῆγμα καὶ συνέστησε αὐτούς. ταῦτα μὲν δὴ Ὀτάνῃ ἐξαίρετα, τάδε δὲ ἐς τὸ κοινὸν ἐβούλευσαν, παριέναι ἐς τὰ βασιλήια πάντα τὸν βουλόμενον τῶν ἑπτὰ ἄνευ ἐσαγγελέος, ἢν μὴ τυγχάνῃ εὕδων μετὰ γυναικὸς βασιλεύς, γαμέειν δὲ μὴ ἐξεῖναι ἄλλοθεν τῷ βασιλέι ἢ ἐκ τῶν συνεπαναστάντων. περὶ δὲ τῆς βασιληίης ἐβούλευσαν τοιόνδε· ὅτευ ἂν ὁ ἵππος ἡλίου ἐπανατέλλοντος πρῶτος φθέγξηται, ἐν τῷ προαστείῳ αὐτῶν ἐπιβεβηκότων, τοῦτον ἔχειν τὴν βασιληίην.The rest of the seven then considered what was the fairest way of making a king; and they decided that if another of the seven than Otanes should gain the royal power, that Otanes and his descendants should receive a yearly gift of Median clothing and everything else that the Persians hold most valuable. The reason for this decision was that it was he who had first planned the matter and assembled the conspirators. ,For Otanes, then, they choose this particular honor; but with regard to all of them they decreed that any one of the seven should, if he wished, enter the king's palace unannounced, except when the king was sleeping with a woman; and that the king should be forbidden to take a wife except from the households of the conspirators. ,As for the making of a king, they decided that he should be elected whose horse, after they were all in their saddles in the suburb of the city, should first be heard to neigh at sunrise.


Δαρείῳ δὲ ἦν ἱπποκόμος ἀνὴρ σοφός, τῷ οὔνομα ἦν Οἰβάρης. πρὸς τοῦτον τὸν ἄνδρα, ἐπείτε διελύθησαν, ἔλεξε Δαρεῖος τάδε. “Οἴβαρες, ἡμῖν δέδοκται περὶ τῆς βασιληίης ποιέειν κατὰ τάδε· ὅτευ ἂν ὁ ἵππος πρῶτος φθέγξηται ἅμα τῷ ἡλίῳ ἀνιόντι αὐτῶν ἐπαναβεβηκότων, τοῦτον ἔχειν τὴν βασιληίην. νῦν ὦν εἴ τινα ἔχεις σοφίην, μηχανῶ ὡς ἂν ἡμεῖς σχῶμεν τοῦτο τὸ γέρας καὶ μὴ ἄλλος τις.” ἀμείβεται Οἰβάρης τοῖσιδε. “εἰ μὲν δὴ ὦ δέσποτα ἐν τούτῳ τοι ἐστὶ ἢ βασιλέα εἶναι ἢ μή, θάρσεε τούτου εἵνεκεν καὶ θυμὸν ἔχε ἀγαθόν, ὡς βασιλεὺς οὐδεὶς ἄλλος πρὸ σεῦ ἔσται· τοιαῦτα ἔχω φάρμακα.” λέγει Δαρεῖος “εἰ τοίνυν τι τοιοῦτον ἔχεις σόφισμα, ὥρη μηχανᾶσθαι καὶ μὴ ἀναβάλλεσθαι, ὡς τῆς ἐπιούσης ἡμέρης ὁ ἀγὼν ἡμῖν ἐστί.” ἀκούσας ταῦτα ὁ Οἰβάρης ποιέει τοιόνδε· ὡς ἐγίνετο ἡ νύξ, τῶν θηλέων ἵππων μίαν, τὴν ὁ Δαρείου ἵππος ἔστεργε μάλιστα, ταύτην ἀγαγὼν ἐς τὸ προάστειον κατέδησε καὶ ἐπήγαγε τὸν Δαρείου ἵππον, καὶ τὰ μὲν πολλὰ περιῆγε ἀγχοῦ τῇ ἵππῳ ἐγχρίμπτων τῇ θηλέῃ, τέλος δὲ ἐπῆκε ὀχεῦσαι τὸν ἵππον.Now Darius had a clever groom, whose name was Oebares. When the council broke up, Darius said to him: “Oebares, we have resolved to do as follows about the kingship: he shall be elected whose horse, after we are all mounted on our horses in the suburb of the city, neighs first at sunrise. Now if you have any cunning, figure out how we and no one else can win this prize.” ,“Master,” Oebares answered, “if this is to determine whether you become king or not, be confident for this reason and have an easy mind, for no one else shall be king before you, such are the tricks I have.” “Then,” said Darius, “if you have any trick such as you say, use it and don't put it off, for tomorrow is the day of decision.” ,When Oebares heard that, he did as follows. At nightfall he brought one of the mares which Darius' horse particularly favored, and tethered her in the suburb of the city; then bringing Darius' horse, he repeatedly led him near the horse, bumping against the mare, and at last let the horse mount.


ἅμʼ ἡμέρῃ δὲ διαφωσκούσῃ οἱ ἓξ κατὰ συνεθήκαντο παρῆσαν ἐπὶ τῶν ἵππων· διεξελαυνόντων δὲ κατὰ τὸ προάστειον, ὡς κατὰ τοῦτο τὸ χωρίον ἐγίνοντο ἵνα τῆς παροιχομένης νυκτὸς κατεδέδετο ἡ θήλεα ἵππος, ἐνθαῦτα ὁ Δαρείου ἵππος προσδραμὼν ἐχρεμέτισε· ἅμα δὲ τῷ ἵππῳ τοῦτο ποιήσαντι ἀστραπὴ ἐξ αἰθρίης καὶ βροντὴ ἐγένετο. ἐπιγενόμενα δὲ ταῦτα τῷ Δαρείῳ ἐτελέωσέ μιν ὥσπερ ἐκ συνθέτου τευ γενόμενα· οἳ δὲ καταθορόντες ἀπὸ τῶν ἵππων προσεκύνεον τὸν Δαρεῖον.At dawn of day the six came on horseback as they had agreed. As they rode out through the suburb and came to the place where the mare had been tethered in the past night, Darius' horse trotted forward and whinnied; ,and as he so did there came lightning and thunder out of a clear sky. These signs given to Darius were thought to be foreordained and made his election perfect; his companions leapt from their horses and bowed to him.


οἳ μὲν δή φασι τὸν Οἰβάρεα ταῦτα μηχανήσασθαι, οἳ δὲ τοιάδε ʽκαὶ γὰρ ἐπʼ ἀμφότερα λέγεται ὑπὸ Περσέων̓, ὡς τῆς ἵππου ταύτης τῶν ἄρθρων ἐπιψαύσας τῇ χειρὶ ἔχοι αὐτὴν κρύψας ἐν τῇσι ἀναξυρίσι· ὡς δὲ ἅμα τῷ ἡλίῳ ἀνιόντι ἀπίεσθαι μέλλειν τοὺς ἵππους, τὸν Οἰβάρεα τοῦτον ἐξείραντα τὴν χεῖρα πρὸς τοῦ Δαρείου ἵππου τοὺς μυκτῆρας προσενεῖκαι, τὸν δὲ αἰσθόμενον φριμάξασθαί τε καὶ χρεμετίσαι.Some say that this was Oebares' plan; but there is another story in Persia besides this: that he rubbed this mare's vulva with his hand, which he then kept inside his clothing until the six were about to let go their horses at sunrise, when he took his hand out and held it to the nostrils of Darius' horse, which at once snorted and whinnied.


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

5 results
1. Aeschylus, Persians, 774-780, 773 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

773. Κύρου δὲ παῖς τέταρτος ηὔθυνε στρατόν.
2. Herodotus, Histories, 1.90-1.91, 1.107-1.108, 1.120, 1.128, 1.189-1.190, 3.1-3.6, 3.8-3.12, 3.14-3.43, 3.45-3.53, 3.56-3.60, 3.62-3.88, 5.74-5.75, 6.43-6.44, 6.75-6.76, 6.79-6.82, 6.84, 7.37.3, 7.113, 7.191 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.90. When Cyrus heard this, he was exceedingly pleased, for he believed the advice good; and praising him greatly, and telling his guard to act as Croesus had advised, he said: “Croesus, now that you, a king, are determined to act and to speak with integrity, ask me directly for whatever favor you like.” ,“Master,” said Croesus, “you will most gratify me if you will let me send these chains of mine to that god of the Greeks whom I especially honored and to ask him if it is his way to deceive those who serve him well.” When Cyrus asked him what grudge against the god led him to make this request, ,Croesus repeated to him the story of all his own aspirations, and the answers of the oracles, and more particularly his offerings, and how the oracle had encouraged him to attack the Persians; and so saying he once more insistently pled that he be allowed to reproach the god for this. At this Cyrus smiled, and replied, “This I will grant you, Croesus, and whatever other favor you may ever ask me.” ,When Croesus heard this, he sent Lydians to Delphi, telling them to lay his chains on the doorstep of the temple, and to ask the god if he were not ashamed to have persuaded Croesus to attack the Persians, telling him that he would destroy Cyrus' power; of which power (they were to say, showing the chains) these were the first-fruits. They should ask this; and further, if it were the way of the Greek gods to be ungrateful. 1.91. When the Lydians came, and spoke as they had been instructed, the priestess (it is said) made the following reply. “No one may escape his lot, not even a god. Croesus has paid for the sin of his ancestor of the fifth generation before, who was led by the guile of a woman to kill his master, though he was one of the guard of the Heraclidae, and who took to himself the royal state of that master, to which he had no right. ,And it was the wish of Loxias that the evil lot of Sardis fall in the lifetime of Croesus' sons, not in his own; but he could not deflect the Fates. ,Yet as far as they gave in, he did accomplish his wish and favor Croesus: for he delayed the taking of Sardis for three years. And let Croesus know this: that although he is now taken, it is by so many years later than the destined hour. And further, Loxias saved Croesus from burning. ,But as to the oracle that was given to him, Croesus is wrong to complain concerning it. For Loxias declared to him that if he led an army against the Persians, he would destroy a great empire. Therefore he ought, if he had wanted to plan well, to have sent and asked whether the god spoke of Croesus' or of Cyrus' empire. But he did not understood what was spoken, or make further inquiry: for which now let him blame himself. ,When he asked that last question of the oracle and Loxias gave him that answer concerning the mule, even that Croesus did not understand. For that mule was in fact Cyrus, who was the son of two parents not of the same people, of whom the mother was better and the father inferior: ,for she was a Mede and the daughter of Astyages king of the Medes; but he was a Persian and a subject of the Medes and although in all respects her inferior he married this lady of his.” This was the answer of the priestess to the Lydians. They carried it to Sardis and told Croesus, and when he heard it, he confessed that the sin was not the god's, but his. And this is the story of Croesus' rule, and of the first overthrow of Ionia . 1.107. Afterwards, Cyaxares died after a reign of forty years (among which I count the years of the Scythian domination) and his son Astyages inherited the sovereignty. Astyages had a daughter, whom he called Mandane: he dreamed that she urinated so much that she filled his city and flooded all of Asia . He communicated this vision to those of the Magi who interpreted dreams, and when he heard what they told him he was terrified; ,and presently, when Mandane was of marriageable age, he feared the vision too much to give her to any Mede worthy to marry into his family, but married her to a Persian called Cambyses, a man whom he knew to be wellborn and of a quiet temper: for Astyages held Cambyses to be much lower than a Mede of middle rank. 1.108. But during the first year that Mandane was married to Cambyses, Astyages saw a second vision. He dreamed that a vine grew out of the genitals of this daughter, and that the vine covered the whole of Asia . ,Having seen this vision, and communicated it to the interpreters of dreams, he sent to the Persians for his daughter, who was about to give birth, and when she arrived kept her guarded, meaning to kill whatever child she bore: for the interpreters declared that the meaning of his dream was that his daughter's offspring would rule in his place. ,Anxious to prevent this, Astyages, when Cyrus was born, summoned Harpagus, a man of his household who was his most faithful servant among the Medes and was administrator of all that was his, and he said: ,“Harpagus, whatever business I turn over to you, do not mishandle it, and do not leave me out of account and, giving others preference, trip over your own feet afterwards. Take the child that Mandane bore, and carry him to your house, and kill him; and then bury him however you like.” ,“O King,” Harpagus answered, “never yet have you noticed anything displeasing in your man; and I shall be careful in the future, too, not to err in what concerns you. If it is your will that this be done, then my concern ought to be to attend to it scrupulously.” 1.120. Thus Astyages punished Harpagus. But, to help him to decide about Cyrus, he summoned the same Magi who had interpreted his dream as I have said: and when they came, Astyages asked them how they had interpreted his dream. They answered as before, and said that the boy must have been made king had he lived and not died first. ,Then Astyages said, “The boy is safe and alive, and when he was living in the country the boys of his village made him king, and he duly did all that is done by true kings: for he assigned to each individually the roles of bodyguards and sentinels and messengers and everything else, and so ruled. And what do you think is the significance of this?” ,“If the boy is alive,” said the Magi, “and has been made king without premeditation, then be confident on this score and keep an untroubled heart: he will not be made king a second time. Even in our prophecies, it is often but a small thing that has been foretold and the consequences of dreams come to nothing in the end.” ,“I too, Magi,” said Astyages, “am very much of your opinion: that the dream came true when the boy was called king, and that I have no more to fear from him. Nevertheless consider well and advise me what will be safest both for my house and for you.” ,The Magi said, “O King, we too are very anxious that your sovereignty prosper: for otherwise, it passes from your nation to this boy who is a Persian, and so we Medes are enslaved and held of no account by the Persians, as we are of another blood, but while you, our countryman, are established king, we have our share of power, and great honor is shown us by you. ,Thus, then, we ought by all means to watch out for you and for your sovereignty. And if at the present time we saw any danger we would declare everything to you: but now the dream has had a trifling conclusion, and we ourselves are confident and advise you to be so also. As for this boy, send him out of your sight to the Persians and to his parents.” 1.128. Thus the Median army was shamefully scattered. As soon as Astyages heard, he sent a threatening message to Cyrus: “Nevertheless, Cyrus shall not rejoice”; ,and with that he took the Magi who interpreted dreams, who had persuaded him to let Cyrus go free, and impaled them; then he armed the Medes who were left in the city, the very young and very old men. ,Leading these out, and engaging the Persians, he was beaten: Astyages himself was taken prisoner, and lost the Median army which he led. 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. 3.1. Cyrus' son Cambyses was leading an army of his subjects, Ionian and Aeolian Greeks among them, against this Amasis for the following reason. Cambyses had sent a herald to Egypt asking Amasis for his daughter; he asked on the advice of an Egyptian, who advised it out of resentment against Amasis, that out of all the Egyptian physicians Amasis had dragged him away from his wife and children and sent him up to Persia when Cyrus sent to Amasis asking for the best eye-doctor in Egypt . ,Out of resentment, the Egyptian by his advice induced Cambyses to ask Amasis for his daughter, so that Amasis would either be wretched if he gave her, or hated by Cambyses if he did not. Amasis, intimidated by the power of Persia and frightened, could neither give his daughter nor refuse her; for he knew well that Cambyses was not going to take her as his wife but as his concubine. ,After considering the matter, he did as follows. There was a daughter of the former king Apries, all that was left of that family, quite tall and pretty, and her name was Nitetis; this girl Amasis adorned with clothes and gold and sent to Cambyses as his own daughter. ,But after a time, as he embraced her addressing her as the daughter of Amasis, the girl said to him, “O King, you do not understand how you have been made a fool of by Amasis, who dressed me in finery and sent me to you as his own daughter, when I am in fact the daughter of Apries, the ruler Amasis revolted from with the Egyptians and killed.” ,This speech and this crime that occurred turned Cyrus' son Cambyses, furiously angry, against Egypt . So the Persians say. 3.2. But the Egyptians, who say that Cambyses was the son of this daughter of Apries, claim him as one of theirs; they say that it was Cyrus who asked Amasis for his daughter, and not Cambyses. ,But what they say is false. They are certainly not unaware (for if any understand the customs of the Persians the Egyptians do) firstly, that it is not their custom for illegitimate offspring to rule when there are legitimate offspring; and secondly, that Cambyses was the son of Cassandane, the daughter of Pharnaspes, who was an Achaemenid, and not of the Egyptian woman. But they falsify the story, pretending to be related to the house of Cyrus. That is the truth of the matter. 3.3. The following story, incredible to me, is also told: that one of the Persian women who came to visit Cyrus' wives, and saw the tall and attractive children who stood by Cassandane, expressed her admiration in extravagant terms. Then Cassandane, Cyrus' wife, said, ,“Although I am the mother of such children, Cyrus dishonors me and honors his new woman from Egypt .” So she spoke in her bitterness against Nitetis; and Cambyses, the eldest of her sons, said, ,“Then, mother, when I am grown up, I will turn all Egypt upside down.” When he said this, he was about ten years old, and the women were amazed; but he kept it in mind, and it was thus that when he grew up and became king, he made the campaign against Egypt . 3.4. It so happened, too, that something else occurred contributing to this campaign. There was among Amasis' mercenaries a man who was a Halicarnassian by birth, a clever man and a good soldier, whose name was Phanes. ,This Phanes had some grudge against Amasis, and fled from Egypt aboard ship, hoping to talk to Cambyses. Since he was a man much admired among the mercenaries and had an exact knowledge of all Egyptian matters, Amasis was anxious to catch him, and sent a trireme with his most trusted eunuch to pursue him. This eunuch caught him in Lycia but never brought him back to Egypt, for Phanes was too clever for him. ,He made his guards drunk and so escaped to Persia . There he found Cambyses prepared to set out against Egypt, but in doubt as to his march, how he should cross the waterless desert; so Phanes showed him what was Amasis' condition and how he should march; as to this, he advised Cambyses to send and ask the king of the Arabians for a safe passage. 3.5. Now the only apparent way of entry into Egypt is this. The road runs from Phoenicia as far as the borders of the city of Cadytis, which belongs to the so-called Syrians of Palestine . ,From Cadytis (which, as I judge, is a city not much smaller than Sardis ) to the city of Ienysus the seaports belong to the Arabians; then they are Syrian again from Ienysus as far as the Serbonian marsh, beside which the Casian promontory stretches seawards; ,from this Serbonian marsh, where Typho is supposed to have been hidden, the country is Egypt . Now between Ienysus and the Casian mountain and the Serbonian marsh there lies a wide territory for as much as three days' journey, terribly arid. 3.6. I am going to mention something now which few of those who sail to Egypt know. Earthen jars full of wine are brought into Egypt twice a year from all Greece and Phoenicia besides: yet one might safely say there is not a single empty wine jar anywhere in the country. ,What then (one may ask) becomes of them? I shall explain this too. Each governor of a district must gather in all the earthen pots from his own township and take them to Memphis, and the people of Memphis must fill them with water and carry them to those arid lands of Syria ; so the earthen pottery that is brought to Egypt and unloaded or emptied there is carried to Syria to join the stock that has already been taken there. 3.8. There are no men who respect pledges more than the Arabians. This is how they give them: a man stands between the two pledging parties, and with a sharp stone cuts the palms of their hands, near the thumb; then he takes a piece of wood from the cloak of each and smears with their blood seven stones that lie between them, meanwhile calling on Dionysus and the Heavenly Aphrodite; ,after this is done, the one who has given his pledge commends the stranger (or his countryman if the other be one) to his friends, and his friends hold themselves bound to honor the pledge. ,They believe in no other gods except Dionysus and the Heavenly Aphrodite; and they say that they wear their hair as Dionysus does his, cutting it round the head and shaving the temples. They call Dionysus, Orotalt; and Aphrodite, Alilat. 3.9. When, then, the Arabian had made the pledge to the messengers who had come from Cambyses, he devised the following expedient: he filled camel-skins with water and loaded all his camels with these; then he drove them into the waterless land and there awaited Cambyses' army. ,This is the most credible of the stories told; but I must relate the less credible tale also, since they tell it. There is a great river in Arabia called Corys, emptying into the sea called Red. ,From this river (it is said) the king of the Arabians brought water by an aqueduct made of sewn oxhides and other hides and extensive enough to reach to the dry country; and he had great tanks dug in that country to try to receive and keep the water. ,It is a twelve days' journey from the river to that desert. By three aqueducts (they say) he brought the water to three different places. 3.10. Psammenitus, son of Amasis, was encamped by the mouth of the Nile called Pelusian, awaiting Cambyses. ,For when Cambyses marched against Egypt, he found Amasis no longer alive; he had died after reigning forty-four years, during which he had suffered no great misfortune; and being dead he was embalmed and laid in the burial-place built for him in the temple. ,While his son Psammenitus was king of Egypt, the people saw an extraordinary thing, namely, rain at Thebes of Egypt, where, as the Thebans themselves say, there had never been rain before, nor since to my lifetime; for indeed there is no rain at all in the upper parts of Egypt ; but at that time a drizzle of rain fell at Thebes . 3.11. When the Persians had crossed the waterless country and encamped near the Egyptians intending to engage them, the Egyptian mercenaries, Greeks and Carians, devised a plan to punish Phanes, angered at him for leading a foreign army into Egypt . ,Phanes had left sons in Egypt ; these they brought to the camp, into their father's sight, and set a great bowl between the two armies; then they brought the sons one by one and cut their throats over the bowl. ,When all the sons had been slaughtered, they poured wine and water into the bowl, and the mercenaries drank this and then gave battle. The fighting was fierce, and many of both armies fell; but at last the Egyptians were routed. 3.12. I saw a strange thing on the site of the battle, of which the people of the country had told me. The bones of those killed on either side in this fight lying scattered separately (for the Persian bones lay in one place and the Egyptian in another, where the armies had first separately stood), the skulls of the Persians are so brittle that if you throw no more than a pebble it will pierce them, but the Egyptian skulls are so strong that a blow of a stone will hardly crack them. ,And this, the people said (which for my own part I readily believed), is the explanation of it: the Egyptians shave their heads from childhood, and the bone thickens by exposure to the sun. ,This also is the reason why they do not grow bald; for nowhere can one see so few bald heads as in Egypt . ,Their skulls then are strong for this reason; while the Persian skulls are weak because they cover their heads throughout their lives with the felt hats (called tiaras) which they wear. Such is the truth of the matter. I saw too the skulls of those Persians at Papremis who were killed with Darius' son Achaemenes by Inaros the Libyan, and they were like the others. 3.14. On the tenth day after the surrender of the walled city of Memphis, Cambyses took Psammenitus king of Egypt, who had reigned for six months, and confined him in the outer part of the city with other Egyptians, to insult him; having confined him there, he tried Psammenitus' spirit, as I shall show. ,He dressed the daughter of the king as a slave and sent her out with a pitcher to fetch water, together with other girls from the families of the leading men, dressed like the daughter of the king. ,So when the girls went out before their fathers' eyes crying and lamenting, all the rest answered with cries and weeping, seeing their children abused; but Psammenitus, having seen with his own eyes and learned all, bowed himself to the ground. ,After the water-carriers had passed by, Cambyses next made Psammenitus' son go out before him with two thousand Egyptians of the same age, all with ropes bound round their necks and bridle-bits in their mouths; ,they were led out to be punished for those Mytileneans who had perished with their boat at Memphis ; for such was the judgment of the royal judges, that every man's death be paid for by the deaths of ten noble Egyptians. ,When Psammenitus saw them passing and perceived that his son was being led out to die, and all the Egyptians who sat with him wept and showed their affliction, he did as he had done at the sight of his daughter. ,After these too had gone out, it happened that there was one of his companions, a man past his prime, who had lost all his possessions, and had only what a poor man might have, and begged of the army; this man now went out before Psammenitus son of Amasis and the Egyptians confined in the outer part of the city. When Psammenitus saw him, he broke into loud weeping, striking his head and calling on his companion by name. ,Now there were men set to watch Psammenitus, who told Cambyses all that he did as each went forth. Wondering at what the king did, Cambyses made this inquiry of him by a messenger: ,“Psammenitus, Lord Cambyses wants to know why, seeing your daughter abused and your son going to his death, you did not cry out or weep, yet you showed such feeling for the beggar, who (as Cambyses learns from others) is not one of your kindred?” So the messenger inquired. Psammenitus answered: ,0“Son of Cyrus, my private grief was too great for weeping; but the unhappiness of my companion deserves tears—a man fallen from abundance and prosperity to beggary come to the threshold of old age.” When the messenger reported this, Cambyses and his court, it is said, thought the answer good. ,1And, the Egyptians say, Croesus wept (for it happened that he too had come with Cambyses to Egypt ) and the Persians that were there wept; Cambyses himself felt some pity, and he ordered that Psammenitus' son be spared from those that were to be executed, and that Psammenitus himself be brought in from the outer part of the city and brought before him. 3.15. Those that went for him found that the son was no longer alive, but had been the first to be slaughtered; but they brought Psammenitus up and led him to Cambyses; and there he lived, and no violence was done him for the rest of his life. ,And if he had known how to mind his own business, he would have regained Egypt to govern; for the Persians are inclined to honor kings' sons; even though kings revolt from them, they give back to their sons the sovereign power. ,There are many instances showing that it is their custom so to do, and notably the giving back of his father's sovereign power to Thannyras son of Inaros, and also to Pausiris son of Amyrtaeus; yet none ever did the Persians more harm than Inaros and Amyrtaeus. ,But as it was, Psammenitus plotted evil and got his reward; for he was caught raising a revolt among the Egyptians; and when Cambyses heard of it, Psammenitus drank bull's blood and died. Such was his end. 3.16. From Memphis Cambyses went to the city Sais, anxious to do exactly what he did do. Entering the house of Amasis, he had the body of Amasis carried outside from its place of burial; and when this had been done, he gave orders to scourge it and pull out the hair and pierce it with goads, and to desecrate it in every way. ,When they were weary of doing this (for the body, being embalmed, remained whole and did not fall to pieces), Cambyses gave orders to burn it, a sacrilegious command; for the Persians hold fire to be a god; ,therefore neither nation thinks it right to burn the dead, the Persians for the reason given, as they say it is wrong to give the dead body of a man to a god; while the Egyptians believe fire to be a living beast that devours all that it catches, and when sated with its meal dies together with that on which it feeds. ,Now it is by no means their custom to give the dead to beasts; and this is why they embalm the corpse, that it may not lie and feed worms. Thus what Cambyses commanded was contrary to the custom of both peoples. ,The Egyptians say, however, that it was not Amasis to whom this was done, but another Egyptian of the same age as Amasis, whom the Persians abused thinking that they were abusing Amasis. ,For their story is that Amasis learned from an oracle what was to be done to him after his death, and so to escape this fate buried this dead man, the one that was scourged, near the door inside his own vault, and ordered his son that he himself should be laid in the farthest corner of the vault. ,I think that these commands of Amasis, regarding the burial-place and the man, were never given at all, and that the Egyptians believe in them in vain. 3.17. After this Cambyses planned three expeditions, against the Carchedonians, against the Ammonians, and against the “long-lived” Ethiopians, who inhabit that part of Libya that is on the southern sea. ,He decided after consideration to send his fleet against the Carthaginians and a part of his land army against the Ammonians; to Ethiopia he would first send spies, to see what truth there was in the story of a Table of the Sun in that country, and to spy out all else besides, under the pretext of bringing gifts for the Ethiopian king. 3.18. Now the Table of the Sun is said to be something of this kind: there is a meadow outside the city, filled with the boiled flesh of all four-footed things; here during the night the men of authority among the townsmen are careful to set out the meat, and all day whoever wishes comes and feasts on it. These meats, say the people of the country, are ever produced by the earth of itself. Such is the story of the Sun's Table. 3.19. When Cambyses determined to send the spies, he sent for those Fish-eaters from the city of Elephantine who understood the Ethiopian language. ,While they were fetching them, he ordered his fleet to sail against Carthage . But the Phoenicians said they would not do it; for they were bound, they said, by strong oaths, and if they sailed against their own progeny they would be doing an impious thing; and the Phoenicians being unwilling, the rest were inadequate fighters. ,Thus the Carthaginians escaped being enslaved by the Persians; for Cambyses would not use force with the Phoenicians, seeing that they had willingly surrendered to the Persians, and the whole fleet drew its strength from them. The Cyprians too had come of their own accord to aid the Persians against Egypt . 3.20. When the Fish-eaters arrived from Elephantine at Cambyses' summons, he sent them to Ethiopia, with orders what to say, and bearing as gifts a red cloak and a twisted gold necklace and bracelets and an alabaster box of incense and an earthenware jar of palm wine. These Ethiopians, to whom Cambyses sent them, are said to be the tallest and most handsome of all men. ,Their way of choosing kings is different from that of all others, as (it is said) are all their laws; they consider that man worthy to be their king whom they judge to be tallest and to have strength proportional to his stature. 3.21. When the Fish-eaters arrived among these men, they gave the gifts to their king and said: “Cambyses, the king of the Persians, wishing to become your friend and ally, sent us with orders to address ourselves to you; and he offers you as gifts these things which he enjoys using himself.” ,But the Ethiopian, perceiving that they had come as spies, spoke thus to them: “It is not because he values my friendship that the Persian King sends you with gifts, nor do you speak the truth (for you have come to spy on my realm), nor is that man just; for were he just, he would not have coveted a land other than his own, nor would he try to lead into slavery men by whom he has not been injured. Now, give him this bow, and this message: ,‘The King of the Ethiopians advises the King of the Persians to bring overwhelming odds to attack the long-lived Ethiopians when the Persians can draw a bow of this length as easily as I do; but until then, to thank the gods who do not incite the sons of the Ethiopians to add other land to their own.’” 3.22. So speaking he unstrung the bow and gave it to the men who had come. Then, taking the red cloak, he asked what it was and how it was made; and when the Fish-eaters told him the truth about the color and the process of dyeing, he said that both the men and their garments were full of deceit. ,Next he inquired about the twisted gold necklace and the bracelets; and when the Fish-eaters told him how they were made, the king smiled, and, thinking them to be fetters, said: “We have stronger chains than these.” ,Thirdly he inquired about the incense; and when they described making and applying it, he made the same reply as about the cloak. But when he came to the wine and asked about its making, he was vastly pleased with the drink, and asked further what food their king ate, and what was the greatest age to which a Persian lived. ,They told him their king ate bread, showing him how wheat grew; and said that the full age to which a man might hope to live was eighty years. Then, said the Ethiopian, it was no wonder that they lived so few years, if they ate dung; they would not even have been able to live that many unless they were refreshed by the drink—signifying to the Fish-eaters the wine—for in this, he said, the Persians excelled the Ethiopians. 3.23. The Fish-eaters then in turn asking of the Ethiopian length of life and diet, he said that most of them attained to a hundred and twenty years, and some even to more; their food was boiled meat and their drink milk. ,The spies showed wonder at the tale of years; whereupon he led them, it is said, to a spring, by washing in which they grew sleeker, as though it were of oil; and it smelled of violets. ,So light, the spies said, was this water, that nothing would float on it, neither wood nor anything lighter than wood, but all sank to the bottom. If this water is truly such as they say, it is likely that their constant use of it makes the people long-lived. ,When they left the spring, the king led them to a prison where all the men were bound with fetters of gold. Among these Ethiopians there is nothing so scarce and so precious as bronze. Then, having seen the prison, they saw what is called the Table of the Sun. 3.24. Last after this they viewed the Ethiopian coffins; these are said to be made of alabaster, as I shall describe: ,they cause the dead body to shrink, either as the Egyptians do or in some other way, then cover it with gypsum and paint it all as far as possible in the likeness of the living man; ,then they set it within a hollow pillar of alabaster, which they dig in abundance from the ground, and it is easily worked; the body can be seen in the pillar through the alabaster, no evil stench nor anything unpleasant proceeding from it, and showing clearly all its parts, as if it were the man himself. ,The nearest of kin keep the pillar in their house for a year, giving it of the first-fruits and offering it sacrifices; after which they bring the pillars out and set them round about the city. 3.25. Having seen everything, the spies departed again. When they reported all this, Cambyses was angry, and marched at once against the Ethiopians, neither giving directions for any provision of food nor considering that he was about to lead his army to the ends of the earth; ,being not in his right mind but mad, however, he marched at once on hearing from the Fish-eaters, ordering the Greeks who were with him to await him where they were, and taking with him all his land army. ,When he came in his march to Thebes , he detached about fifty thousand men from his army, and directed them to enslave the Ammonians and burn the oracle of Zeus; and he himself went on towards Ethiopia with the rest of his host. ,But before his army had accomplished the fifth part of their journey they had come to an end of all there was in the way of provision, and after the food was gone, they ate the beasts of burden until there was none of these left either. ,Now had Cambyses, when he perceived this, changed his mind and led his army back again, he would have been a wise man at last after his first fault; but as it was, he went ever forward, taking account of nothing. ,While his soldiers could get anything from the earth, they kept themselves alive by eating grass; but when they came to the sandy desert, some did a terrible thing, taking by lot one man out of ten and eating him. ,Hearing this, Cambyses feared their becoming cannibals, and so gave up his expedition against the Ethiopians and marched back to Thebes , with the loss of many of his army; from Thebes he came down to Memphis, and sent the Greeks to sail away. 3.26. So fared the expedition against Ethiopia . As for those who were sent to march against the Ammonians, they set out and journeyed from Thebes with guides; and it is known that they came to the city of Oasis, inhabited by Samians said to be of the Aeschrionian tribe, seven days' march from Thebes across sandy desert; this place is called, in the Greek language, Islands of the Blest. ,Thus far, it is said, the army came; after that, except for the Ammonians themselves and those who heard from them, no man can say anything of them; for they neither reached the Ammonians nor returned back. ,But this is what the Ammonians themselves say: when the Persians were crossing the sand from Oasis to attack them, and were about midway between their country and Oasis, while they were breakfasting a great and violent south wind arose, which buried them in the masses of sand which it bore; and so they disappeared from sight. Such is the Ammonian tale about this army. 3.27. When Cambyses was back at Memphis, there appeared in Egypt that Apis whom the Greeks call Epaphus; at whose epiphany the Egyptians put on their best clothing and held a festival. ,Seeing the Egyptians so doing, Cambyses was fully persuaded that these signs of joy were for his misfortunes, and summoned the rulers of Memphis ; when they came before him, he asked them why the Egyptians behaved so at the moment he returned with so many of his army lost, though they had done nothing like it when he was before at Memphis . ,The rulers told him that a god, wont to appear after long intervals of time, had now appeared to them; and that all Egypt rejoiced and made holiday whenever he so appeared. At this Cambyses said that they lied, and he punished them with death for their lie. 3.28. Having put them to death, he next summoned the priests before him. When they gave him the same account, he said that if a tame god had come to the Egyptians he would know it; and with no more words he bade the priests bring Apis. So they went to fetch and bring him. ,This Apis, or Epaphus, is a calf born of a cow that can never conceive again. By what the Egyptians say, the cow is made pregt by a light from heaven, and thereafter gives birth to Apis. ,The marks of this calf called Apis are these: he is black, and has on his forehead a three-cornered white spot, and the likeness of an eagle on his back; the hairs of the tail are double, and there is a knot under the tongue. 3.29. When the priests led Apis in, Cambyses—for he was all but mad—drew his dagger and, meaning to stab the calf in the belly, stuck the thigh; then laughing he said to the priests: ,“Simpletons, are these your gods, creatures of flesh and blood that can feel weapons of iron? That is a god worthy of the Egyptians. But for you, you shall suffer for making me your laughing-stock.” So saying he bade those, whose business it was, to scourge the priests well, and to kill any other Egyptian whom they found holiday-making. ,So the Egyptian festival ended, and the priests were punished, and Apis lay in the temple and died of the wound in the thigh. When he was dead of the wound, the priests buried him without Cambyses' knowledge. 3.30. But Cambyses, the Egyptians say, owing to this wrongful act immediately went mad, although even before he had not been sensible. His first evil act was to destroy his full brother Smerdis, whom he had sent away from Egypt to Persia out of jealousy, because Smerdis alone could draw the bow brought from the Ethiopian by the Fish-eaters as far as two fingerbreadths, but no other Persian could draw it. ,Smerdis having gone to Persia, Cambyses saw in a dream a vision, in which it seemed to him that a messenger came from Persia and told him that Smerdis sitting on the royal throne touched heaven with his head. ,Fearing therefore for himself, lest his brother might slay him and so be king, he sent Prexaspes, the most trusted of his Persians, to Persia to kill him. Prexaspes went up to Susa and killed Smerdis; some say that he took Smerdis out hunting, others that he brought him to the Red Sea and there drowned him. 3.31. This, they say, was the first of Cambyses' evil acts; next, he destroyed his full sister, who had come with him to Egypt, and whom he had taken to wife. ,He married her in this way (for before this, it had by no means been customary for Persians to marry their sisters): Cambyses was infatuated with one of his sisters and when he wanted to marry her, because his intention was contrary to usage, he summoned the royal judges and inquired whether there were any law enjoining one, that so desired, to marry his sister. ,These royal judges are men chosen out from the Persians to function until they die or are detected in some injustice; it is they who decide suits in Persia and interpret the laws of the land; all matters are referred to them. ,These then replied to Cambyses with an answer which was both just and prudent, namely, that they could find no law enjoining a brother to marry his sister; but that they had found a law permitting the King of Persia to do whatever he liked. ,Thus, although they feared Cambyses they did not break the law, and, to save themselves from death for keeping it, they found another law abetting one who wished to marry sisters. ,So Cambyses married the object of his desire; yet not long afterwards he took another sister as well. It was the younger of these who had come with him to Egypt, and whom he now killed. 3.32. There are two tales of her death, as there are of the death of Smerdis. The Greeks say that Cambyses had set a lion cub to fight a puppy, and that this woman was watching too; and that as the puppy was losing, its brother broke its leash and came to help, and the two dogs together got the better of the cub. ,Cambyses, they say, was pleased with the sight, but the woman wept as she sat by. Cambyses perceiving it asked why she wept, and she said that when she saw the puppy help its brother she had wept, recalling Smerdis and knowing that there would be no avenger for him. ,For saying this, according to the Greek story, she was killed by Cambyses. But the Egyptian tale is that as the two sat at table the woman took a lettuce and plucked off the leaves, then asked her husband whether he preferred the look of it with or without leaves. “With the leaves,” he said; whereupon she answered: ,“Yet you have stripped Cyrus' house as bare as this lettuce.” Angered at this, they say, he sprang upon her, who was great with child, and she miscarried and died of the hurt he gave her. 3.33. Such were Cambyses' mad acts to his own household, whether they were done because of Apis or grew from some of the many troubles that are wont to beset men; for indeed he is said to have been afflicted from his birth with that grievous disease which some call “sacred.” It is not unlikely then that when his body was grievously afflicted his mind too should be diseased. 3.34. I will now relate his mad dealings with the rest of Persia . He said, as they report, to Prexaspes—whom he held in particular honor, who brought him all his messages, whose son held the very honorable office of Cambyses' cup-bearer—thus, I say, he spoke to Prexaspes: ,“What manner of man, Prexaspes, do the Persians think me to be, and how do they speak of me?” “Sire,” said Prexaspes, “for all else they greatly praise you, but they say that you love wine too well.” ,So he reported of the Persians. The king angrily replied: “If the Persians now say that it is my fondness for wine that drives me to frenzy and madness, then it would seem that their former saying also was a lie.” ,For it is said that before this, while some Persians and Croesus were sitting with him, Cambyses asked what manner of man they thought him to be in comparison with Cyrus his father; and they answered, “Cambyses was the better man; for he had all of Cyrus' possessions and had won Egypt and the sea besides.” ,So said the Persians; but Croesus, who was present, and was dissatisfied with their judgment, spoke thus to Cambyses: “To me, son of Cyrus, you do not seem to be the equal of your father; for you have as yet no son such as he left after him in you.” This pleased Cambyses, and he praised Croesus' judgment. 3.35. Remembering this, then, he said to Prexaspes in his anger: “Judge then if the Persians speak the truth, or rather are themselves out of their minds when they speak of me so. ,Yonder stands your son in the porch; now if I shoot and pierce his heart, that will prove the Persians to be wrong; if I miss, then say that they are right and that I am out of my senses.” ,So saying, he strung his bow and hit the boy, and gave orders to open the fallen body and examine the wound: and the arrow being found in the heart, Cambyses laughed in great glee and said to the boy's father: ,“It is plain, Prexaspes, that I am in my right mind and the Persians mad; now tell me: what man in the world did you ever see that shot so true to the mark?” Prexaspes, it is said, replied (for he saw that Cambyses was mad, and he feared for his own life), “Master, I think that not even the god himself could shoot so true.” ,Thus did Cambyses then; at another time he took twelve Persians, equal to the noblest in the land, convicted them of some minor offense, and buried them alive up to the neck. 3.36. For these acts Croesus the Lydian thought fit to take him to task, and addressed him thus: “Sire, do not sacrifice everything to youth and temper, but restrain and control yourself; prudence is a good thing, forethought is wise. But you kill men of your own country whom you have convicted of some minor offense, and you kill boys. ,If you do so often, beware lest the Persians revolt from you. As for me, your father Cyrus earnestly begged me to counsel you and to give you such advice as I think to be good.” Croesus gave him this counsel out of goodwill; but Cambyses answered: ,“It is very well that you should even dare to counsel me; you, who governed your own country so well, and gave fine advice to my father—telling him, when the Massagetae were willing to cross over into our lands, to pass the Araxes and attack them; thus you worked your own ruin by misgoverning your country and Cyrus', who trusted you. But you shall regret it; I have long waited for an occasion to deal with you.” ,With that Cambyses took his bow to shoot him dead; but Croesus leapt up and ran out; and Cambyses, being unable to shoot him, ordered his attendants to catch and kill him. ,They, knowing Cambyses' mood, hid Croesus; intending to reveal him and receive gifts for saving his life, if Cambyses should repent and ask for Croesus, but if he should not repent nor wish Croesus back, then to kill the Lydian. ,Not long after this Cambyses did wish Croesus back, and the attendants, understanding this, told him that Croesus was alive still. Cambyses said that he was glad of it; but that they, who had saved Croesus, should not escape with impunity, but be killed; and this was done. 3.37. Cambyses committed many such mad acts against the Persians and his allies; he stayed at Memphis, and there opened ancient coffins and examined the dead bodies. ,Thus too he entered the temple of Hephaestus and jeered at the image there. This image of Hephaestus is most like the Phoenician Pataici, which the Phoenicians carry on the prows of their triremes. I will describe it for anyone who has not seen these figures: it is the likeness of a dwarf. ,Also he entered the temple of the Cabeiri, into which no one may enter save the priest; the images here he even burnt, with bitter mockery. These also are like the images of Hephaestus, and are said to be his sons. 3.38. I hold it then in every way proved that Cambyses was quite insane; or he would never have set himself to deride religion and custom. For if it were proposed to all nations to choose which seemed best of all customs, each, after examination, would place its own first; so well is each convinced that its own are by far the best. ,It is not therefore to be supposed that anyone, except a madman, would turn such things to ridicule. I will give this one proof among many from which it may be inferred that all men hold this belief about their customs. ,When Darius was king, he summoned the Greeks who were with him and asked them for what price they would eat their fathers' dead bodies. They answered that there was no price for which they would do it. ,Then Darius summoned those Indians who are called Callatiae, who eat their parents, and asked them (the Greeks being present and understanding through interpreters what was said) what would make them willing to burn their fathers at death. The Indians cried aloud, that he should not speak of so horrid an act. So firmly rooted are these beliefs; and it is, I think, rightly said in Pindar's poem that custom is lord of all. 3.39. While Cambyses was attacking Egypt, the Lacedaemonians too were making war upon Samos and upon Aeaces' son Polycrates, who had revolted and won Samos . ,And first, dividing the city into three parts, he gave a share in the government to his brothers Pantagnotus and Syloson; but presently he put one of them to death, banished the younger, Syloson, and so made himself lord of all Samos ; then he made a treaty with Amasis king of Egypt, sending to him and receiving from him gifts. ,Very soon after this, Polycrates grew to such power that he was famous in Ionia and all other Greek lands; for all his military affairs succeeded. He had a hundred fifty-oared ships, and a thousand archers. ,And he pillaged every place, indiscriminately; for he said that he would get more thanks if he gave a friend back what he had taken than if he never took it at all. He had taken many of the islands, and many of the mainland cities. Among others, he conquered the Lesbians; they had brought all their force to aid the Milesians, and Polycrates defeated them in a sea-fight; it was they who, being his captives, dug all the trench around the acropolis of Samos . 3.40. Now Amasis was somehow aware of Polycrates' great good fortune; and as this continued to increase greatly, he wrote this letter and sent it to Samos : “Amasis addresses Polycrates as follows. ,It is pleasant to learn that a friend and ally is doing well. But I do not like these great successes of yours; for I know the gods, how jealous they are, and I desire somehow that both I and those for whom I care succeed in some affairs, fail in others, and thus pass life faring differently by turns, rather than succeed at everything. ,For from all I have heard I know of no man whom continual good fortune did not bring in the end to evil, and utter destruction. Therefore if you will be ruled by me do this regarding your successes: ,consider what you hold most precious and what you will be sorriest to lose, and cast it away so that it shall never again be seen among men; then, if after this the successes that come to you are not mixed with mischances, strive to mend the matter as I have counselled you.” 3.41. Reading this, and perceiving that Amasis' advice was good, Polycrates considered which of his treasures it would most grieve his soul to lose, and came to this conclusion: he wore a seal set in gold, an emerald, crafted by Theodorus son of Telecles of Samos ; ,being resolved to cast this away, he embarked in a fifty-oared ship with its crew, and told them to put out to sea; and when he was far from the island, he took off the seal-ring in sight of all that were on the ship and cast it into the sea. This done, he sailed back and went to his house, where he grieved for the loss. 3.42. But on the fifth or sixth day from this it happened that a fisherman, who had taken a fine and great fish, and desired to make a gift of it to Polycrates, brought it to the door and said that he wished to see Polycrates. This being granted, he gave the fish, saying: ,“O King, when I caught this fish, I thought best not to take it to market, although I am a man who lives by his hands, but it seemed to me worthy of you and your greatness; and so I bring and offer it to you.” Polycrates was pleased with what the fisherman said; “You have done very well,” he answered, “and I give you double thanks, for your words and for the gift; and I invite you to dine with me.” ,Proud of this honor, the fisherman went home; but the servants, cutting up the fish, found in its belly Polycrates' seal-ring. ,As soon as they saw and seized it, they brought it with joy to Polycrates, and giving the ring to him told him how it had been found. Polycrates saw the hand of heaven in this matter; he wrote a letter and sent it to Egypt, telling all that he had done, and what had happened to him. 3.43. When Amasis had read Polycrates' letter, he perceived that no man could save another from his destiny, and that Polycrates, being so continually fortunate that he even found what he cast away, must come to an evil end. ,So he sent a herald to Samos to renounce his friendship, determined that when some great and terrible mischance overtook Polycrates he himself might not have to sadden his heart for a friend. 3.45. Some say that these Samians who were sent never came to Egypt, but that when they had sailed as far as Carpathus discussed the matter among themselves and decided to sail no further; others say that they did come to Egypt and there escaped from the guard that was set over them. ,But as they sailed back to Samos, Polycrates' ships met and engaged them; and the returning Samians were victorious and landed on the island, but were there beaten in a land battle, and so sailed to Lacedaemon . ,There are those who say that the Samians from Egypt defeated Polycrates; but to my thinking this is untrue; for they need not have invited the Lacedaemonians if in fact they had been able to master Polycrates by themselves. Besides, it is not even reasonable to suppose that he, who had a great army of hired soldiers and bowmen of his own, was beaten by a few men like the returning Samians. ,Polycrates took the children and wives of the townsmen who were subject to him and shut them up in the boathouses, with intent to burn them and the boathouses too if their men should desert to the returned Samians. 3.46. When the Samians who were expelled by Polycrates came to Sparta, they came before the ruling men and made a long speech to show the greatness of their need. But the Spartans at their first sitting answered that they had forgotten the beginning of the speech and could not understand its end. ,After this the Samians came a second time with a sack, and said nothing but this: “The sack wants flour.” To this the Spartans replied that they were over-wordy with “the sack”; but they did resolve to help them. 3.47. The Lacedaemonians then equipped and sent an army to Samos, returning a favor, as the Samians say, because they first sent a fleet to help the Lacedaemonians against Messenia ; but the Lacedaemonians say that they sent this army less to aid the Samians in their need than to avenge the robbery of the bowl which they had been carrying to Croesus and the breastplate which Amasis King of Egypt had sent them as a gift. ,This breastplate had been stolen by the Samians in the year before they took the bowl; it was of linen, decked with gold and cotton embroidery, and embroidered with many figures; ,but what makes it worthy of wonder is that each thread of the breastplate, fine as each is, is made up of three hundred and sixty strands, each plainly seen. It is the exact counterpart of that one which Amasis dedicated to Athena in Lindus . 3.48. The Corinthians also enthusiastically helped to further the expedition against Samos . For an outrage had been done them by the Samians a generation before this expedition, about the time of the robbery of the bowl. ,Periander son of Cypselus sent to Alyattes at Sardis three hundred boys, sons of notable men in Corcyra, to be made eunuchs. The Corinthians who brought the boys put in at Samos ; and when the Samians heard why the boys were brought, first they instructed them to take sanctuary in the temple of Artemis, ,then they would not allow the suppliants to be dragged from the temple; and when the Corinthians tried to starve the boys out, the Samians held a festival which they still celebrate in the same fashion; throughout the time that the boys were seeking asylum, they held nightly dances of young men and women to which it was made a custom to bring cakes of sesame and honey, so that the Corcyraean boys might snatch these and have food. ,This continued to be done until the Corinthian guards left their charge and departed; then the Samians took the boys back to Corcyra . 3.49. If after the death of Periander, the Corinthians had been friendly towards the Corcyraeans, they would not have taken part in the expedition against Samos for this reason. But as it was, ever since the island was colonized, they have been at odds with each other, despite their kinship. ,For these reasons then the Corinthians bore a grudge against the Samians. Periander chose the sons of the notable Corcyraeans and sent them to Sardis to be made eunuchs as an act of vengeance; for the Corcyraeans had first begun the quarrel by committing a terrible crime against him. 3.50. For after killing his own wife Melissa, Periander suffered yet another calamity on top of what he had already suffered. He had two sons by Melissa, one seventeen and one eighteen years old. ,Their mother's father, Procles, the sovereign of Epidaurus, sent for the boys and treated them affectionately, as was natural, seeing that they were his own daughter's sons. When they left him, he said as he sent them forth: ,“Do you know, boys, who killed your mother?” The elder of them paid no attention to these words; but the younger, whose name was Lycophron, was struck with such horror when he heard them that when he came to Corinth he would not speak to his father, his mother's murderer, nor would he answer him when addressed nor reply to his questions. At last Periander was so angry that he drove the boy from his house. 3.51. Having driven this one away, he asked the elder son what their grandfather had said to them. The boy told him that Procles had treated them kindly, but did not mention what he had said at parting; for he had paid no attention. Periander said that by no means could Procles not have dropped some hint, and interrogated him persistently; ,until the boy remembered, and told him. And Periander, comprehending, and wishing to show no weakness, sent a message to those with whom his banished son was living and forbade them to keep him. ,So when the boy, driven out, would go to another house, he would be driven from this also, since Periander threatened all who received him and ordered them to shut him out; so when driven forth, he would go to some other house of his friends, and they, although he was the son of Periander, and although they were afraid, nonetheless took him in. 3.52. In the end Periander made a proclamation, that whoever sheltered the boy in his house or spoke to him, would owe a fine to Apollo, and he set the amount. ,In view of this proclamation no one wished to address or receive the boy into his house; and besides, the boy himself did not think it right to attempt what was forbidden, but accepting it slept in the open. ,On the fourth day, when Periander saw him starved and unwashed, he took pity on him, and his anger being softened, he came near and said: “My son, which is preferable—to follow your present way of life, or by being well-disposed toward your father to inherit my power and the goods which I now possess? ,Though my son and a prince of prosperous Corinth, you prefer the life of a vagrant, by opposing and being angry with me with whom you least ought to be. For if something has happened as a result of which you have a suspicion about me, it has happened to my disadvantage and I bear the brunt of it, inasmuch as I am the cause. ,But bearing in mind how much better it is to be envied than to be pitied, and at the same time what sort of thing it is to be angry with your parents and with those that are stronger than you, come back to the house.” ,With these words Periander tried to move his son, but he said nothing else to his father, only told him that because he had conversed with him he owed the fine to Apollo. When Periander saw that his son's stubbornness could not be got around or overcome, he sent him away out of his sight in a ship to Corcyra ; for Corcyra too was subject to him. ,And when he had sent him away, he sent an army against Procles his father-in-law, since he was most to blame for his present troubles; and he took Epidaurus, captured Procles, and imprisoned him. 3.53. As time went on, Periander, now grown past his prime and aware that he could no longer oversee and direct all his affairs, sent to Corcyra inviting Lycophron to be sovereign; for he saw no hope in his eldest son, who seemed to him to be slow-witted. ,Lycophron did not dignify the invitation with a reply. Then Periander, pressing the young man, sent to him (as the next best way) his daughter, the boy's sister, thinking that he would listen to her. ,She came and said, “Child, would you want the power to fall to others, and our father's house destroyed, rather than to return and have it yourself? Come home and stop punishing yourself. ,Pride is an unhappy possession. Do not cure evil by evil. Many place the more becoming thing before the just; and many pursuing their mother's business have lost their father's. Power is a slippery thing; many want it, and our father is now old and past his prime; do not lose what is yours to others.” ,So she spoke communicating their father's inducements. But he answered that he would never come to Corinth as long as he knew his father was alive. ,When she brought this answer back, Periander sent a third messenger, through whom he proposed that he should go to Corcyra, and that the boy should return to Corinth and be the heir of his power. ,The son consented to this; Periander got ready to go to Corcyra and Lycophron to go to Corinth ; but when the Corcyraeans learned of all these matters, they put the young man to death so that Periander would not come to their country. It was for this that Periander desired vengeance on the Corcyraeans. 3.56. So when the Lacedaemonians had besieged Samos for forty days with no success, they went away to the Peloponnesus . ,There is a foolish tale abroad that Polycrates bribed them to depart by making and giving them a great number of gilded lead coins, as a native currency. This was the first expedition to Asia made by Dorians of Lacedaemon . 3.57. When the Lacedaemonians were about to abandon them, the Samians who had brought an army against Polycrates sailed away too, and went to Siphnus; ,for they were in need of money; and the Siphnians were at this time very prosperous and the richest of the islanders, because of the gold and silver mines on the island. They were so wealthy that the treasure dedicated by them at Delphi, which is as rich as any there, was made from a tenth of their income; and they divided among themselves each year's income. ,Now when they were putting together the treasure they inquired of the oracle if their present prosperity was likely to last long; whereupon the priestess gave them this answer: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“When the prytaneum on Siphnus becomes white /l lAnd white-browed the market, then indeed a shrewd man is wanted /l lBeware a wooden force and a red herald.” /l /quote At this time the market-place and town-hall of Siphnus were adorned with Parian marble. 3.58. They could not understand this oracle either when it was spoken or at the time of the Samians' coming. As soon as the Samians put in at Siphnus, they sent ambassadors to the town in one of their ships; ,now in ancient times all ships were painted with vermilion; and this was what was meant by the warning given by the priestess to the Siphnians, to beware a wooden force and a red herald. ,The messengers, then, demanded from the Siphnians a loan of ten talents; when the Siphnians refused them, the Samians set about ravaging their lands. ,Hearing this the Siphnians came out at once to drive them off, but they were defeated in battle, and many of them were cut off from their town by the Samians; who presently exacted from them a hundred talents. 3.59. Then the Samians took from the men of Hermione, instead of money, the island Hydrea which is near to the Peloponnesus, and gave it to men of Troezen for safekeeping; they themselves settled at Cydonia in Crete, though their voyage had been made with no such intent, but rather to drive Zacynthians out of the island. ,Here they stayed and prospered for five years; indeed, the temples now at Cydonia and the shrine of Dictyna are the Samians' work; ,but in the sixth year Aeginetans and Cretans came and defeated them in a sea-fight and made slaves of them; moreover they cut off the ships' prows, that were shaped like boars' heads, and dedicated them in the temple of Athena in Aegina . ,The Aeginetans did this out of a grudge against the Samians; for previously the Samians, in the days when Amphicrates was king of Samos, sailing in force against Aegina, had hurt the Aeginetans and been hurt by them. This was the cause. 3.60. I have written at such length of the Samians, because the three greatest works of all the Greeks were engineered by them. The first of these is the tunnel with a mouth at either end driven through the base of a hill nine hundred feet high; ,the whole tunnel is forty-two hundred feet long, eight feet high and eight feet wide; and throughout the whole of its length there runs a channel thirty feet deep and three feet wide, through which the water coming from an abundant spring is carried by pipes to the city of Samos . ,The designer of this work was Eupalinus son of Naustrophus, a Megarian. This is one of the three works; the second is a breakwater in the sea enclosing the harbor, sunk one hundred and twenty feet, and more than twelve hundred feet in length. ,The third Samian work is the temple, which is the greatest of all the temples of which we know; its first builder was Rhoecus son of Philes, a Samian. It is for this cause that I have expounded at more than ordinary length of Samos . 3.62. So this proclamation was made everywhere. The herald appointed to go to Egypt, finding Cambyses and his army at Ecbatana in Syria, came out before them all and proclaimed the message given him by the Magus. ,When Cambyses heard what the herald said, he supposed that it was the truth, and that Prexaspes, when sent to kill Smerdis, had not done it but had played Cambyses false; and he said, fixing his eyes on Prexaspes, “Is it thus, Prexaspes, that you carried out my instructions?” ,“No,” said Prexaspes, “this is not true, sire, that your brother Smerdis has rebelled against you; he cannot have any quarrel with you, small or great; I myself did as you instructed, and I buried him with my own hands. ,If then the dead can rise, you may expect to see Astyages the Mede rise up against you; but if things are as usual, assuredly no harm to you will arise from Smerdis. Now then this is my opinion, that we pursue this herald and interrogate him, to learn from whom he comes with his proclamation that we must obey Smerdis as our king.” 3.63. Cambyses liked Prexaspes' advice; the herald was pursued at once and brought; and when he came, Prexaspes put this question to him: “Fellow, you say that your message is from Cyrus' son Smerdis; tell me this now, and you may go away unpunished: was it Smerdis who appeared to you and gave you this charge, or was it one of his servants?” ,“Since King Cambyses marched to Egypt,” answered the herald, “I have never seen Smerdis the son of Cyrus; the Magus whom Cambyses made overseer of his house gave me the message, saying that it was the will of Smerdis, son of Cyrus, that I should make it known to you.” ,So spoke the herald, telling the whole truth; and Cambyses said, “Prexaspes, having done what you were told like a good man you are free of blame; but who can this Persian be who rebels against me and usurps the name of Smerdis?” ,Prexaspes replied, “I think, sire, that I understand what has been done here; the rebels are the Magi, Patizeithes whom you left steward of your house, and his brother Smerdis.” 3.64. The truth of the words and of a dream struck Cambyses the moment he heard the name Smerdis; for he had dreamt that a message had come to him that Smerdis sitting on the royal throne touched heaven with his head; ,and perceiving that he had killed his brother without cause, he wept bitterly for Smerdis. Having wept, and grieved by all his misfortune, he sprang upon his horse, with intent to march at once to Susa against the Magus. ,As he sprang upon his horse, the cap fell off the sheath of his sword, and the naked blade pierced his thigh, wounding him in the same place where he had once wounded the Egyptian god Apis; and believing the wound to be mortal, Cambyses asked what was the name of the town where he was. ,They told him it was Ecbatana . Now a prophecy had before this come to him from Buto, that he would end his life at Ecbatana ; Cambyses supposed this to signify that he would die in old age at the Median Ecbatana, his capital city; but as the event proved, the oracle prophesied his death at Ecbatana of Syria . ,So when he now inquired and learned the name of the town, the shock of his wound, and of the misfortune that came to him from the Magus, brought him to his senses; he understood the prophecy and said: “Here Cambyses son of Cyrus is to die.” 3.65. At this time he said no more. But about twenty days later, he sent for the most prominent of the Persians that were about him, and thus addressed them: “Persians, I have to make known to you something which I kept most strictly concealed. ,When I was in Egypt I had a dream, which I wish I had not had; it seemed to me that a messenger came from home to tell me that Smerdis sitting on the royal throne touched heaven with his head. ,Then I feared that my brother would take away my sovereignty from me, and I acted with more haste than wisdom; for it is not in the power of human nature to run away from what is to be; but I, blind as I was, sent Prexaspes to Susa to kill Smerdis. When that great wrong was done I lived without fear, for I never thought that when Smerdis was removed another man might rise against me. ,But I mistook altogether what was to be; I have killed my brother when there was no need, and I have lost my kingdom none the less; for it was the Magus Smerdis that the divinity forewarned in the dream would revolt. ,Now he has been done for by me, and I would have you believe that Smerdis Cyrus' son no longer lives; the Magi rule the kingdom, the one that I left caretaker of my house, and his brother Smerdis. So then, the man is dead of an unholy destiny at the hands of his relations who ought to have been my avenger for the disgrace I have suffered from the Magi; ,and as he is no longer alive, necessity constrains me to charge you, men of Persia, in his place, with the last desire of my life. In the name of the gods of my royal house I charge all of you, but chiefly those Achaemenids that are here, not to let the sovereignty fall again into Median hands; if they have it after getting it by trickery, take it back through trickery of your own; if they have got it away by force, then by force all the stronger get it back. ,And if you do this, may your land bring forth fruit, and your women and your flocks and herds be blessed with offspring, remaining free for all time; but if you do not get the kingdom back or attempt to get it back, then I pray things turn out the opposite for you, and on top of this, that every Persian meet an end such as mine.” With that Cambyses wept bitterly for all that had happened to him. 3.66. When the Persians saw their king weep, they all tore the clothing which they wore and wailed loud and long. ,But when after this the bone rotted and the thigh rapidly putrefied, it carried off Cambyses son of Cyrus, who had reigned in all seven years and five months, but was altogether childless, without male or female issue. ,To the Persians who were present it was quite incredible that the Magi were masters of the kingdom; they believed that Cambyses' intent was to deceive them with his story of Smerdis' death, so that all Persia might be embroiled in a war against him. 3.67. So they believed that it was Cyrus' son Smerdis who had been made king. For Prexaspes stoutly denied that he had killed Smerdis, since now that Cambyses was dead, it was not safe for him to say that he had slain the son of Cyrus with his own hands. ,Cambyses being dead, the Magus, pretending to be the Smerdis of like name, Cyrus' son, reigned without fear for the seven months by which Cambyses had fallen short of reigning eight years. ,In this time he benefitted all his subjects to such an extent that after his death all the Asiatics except the Persians wished him back; for he sent to every nation he ruled and proclaimed an exemption for three years from military service and from tribute. 3.68. Such was his proclamation at the beginning of his reign; but in the eighth month he was exposed in the following manner. There was one Otanes, son of Pharnaspes, as well-born and rich a man as any Persian. ,This Otanes was the first to guess that the Magus was not Cyrus' son Smerdis and who, in fact, he was; the reason was, that he never left the acropolis nor summoned any notable Persian into his presence. And having formed this suspicion Otanes did as follows: ,Cambyses had taken his daughter, whose name was Phaedyme; this same girl the Magus had now and he lived with her and with all Cambyses' other wives. Otanes sent to this daughter, asking at what man's side she lay, with Smerdis, Cyrus' son, or with some other? ,She sent back a message that she did not know; for (she said) she had never seen Cyrus' son Smerdis, nor did she know who her bedfellow was. Then Otanes sent a second message, to this effect: “If you do not know Cyrus' son Smerdis yourself, then find out from Atossa who it is that she and you are living with; for surely she knows her own brother.” ,To this his daughter replied: “I cannot communicate with Atossa, nor can I see any other of the women of the household; for no sooner had this man, whoever he is, made himself king, than he sent us to live apart, each in her own appointed place.” 3.69. When Otanes heard that, he saw more clearly how the matter stood; and he sent her this third message: ,“Daughter, your noble birth obliges you to run any risk that your father commands you to face. If this man is not Smerdis son of Cyrus but who I think he is, then he must not get away with sleeping with you and sitting on the throne of Persia, but be punished. ,Now, then, when he lies with you and you see that he is sleeping, feel his ears; if he has ears, rest assured that you are living with Smerdis son of Cyrus; but if he has none, it is Smerdis the Magus.” ,Phaedyme answered by messenger that she would run a very great risk by so doing; for if it should turn out that he had no ears, and she were caught feeling for them, he would surely kill her; nevertheless she would do it. ,So she promised to do this for her father. Cyrus son of Cambyses during his reign cut off the ears of this Magus Smerdis for some grave reason. ,So Phaedyme, daughter of Otanes, performed her promise to her father. When it was her turn to go to the Magus (for their wives go in sequence to the Persians), she came to his bed and felt for the Magus' ears while he slumbered deeply; and having with no great difficulty assured herself that he had no ears, she sent and told this to her father as soon as it was morning. 3.70. Otanes then took aside two Persians of the highest rank whom he thought worthiest of trust, Aspathines and Gobryas, and told them the whole story. These, it would seem, had themselves suspected that it was so; and now they readily believed what Otanes revealed to them. ,They resolved that each should take into his confidence that Persian whom he most trusted; Otanes brought in Intaphrenes, Gobryas brought Megabyzus, and Aspathines Hydarnes. ,When they were six, Darius, whose father, Hystaspes, was a subordinate governor of the Persians, arrived at Susa . When he came, then, the six Persians resolved to include Darius too. 3.71. The seven then met and gave each other tokens of good faith and spoke together; and when it was Darius' turn to declare his mind, he spoke as follows: ,“I thought that I alone knew that it was the Magus who was king and that Smerdis son of Cyrus was dead; and it was for this reason that I made haste to come, that I might effect the Magus' death; but since it turns out that you know too and not only I, I think that we should act at once and not put it off.” ,Otanes replied, “son of Hystaspes, you have a good father and seem likely yourself to be in no way inferior to your father; do not hurry this undertaking without thinking, but take it up more prudently; there must be more of us to try it.” ,To this Darius answered: “You gentlemen who are here, if you do as Otanes says, know that you will die horribly; for someone will inform the Magus, looking to enrich himself alone. ,You ought to have done it by yourselves; but since you decided to confide in others and have included me, let us either act today or else understand that if the present day passes, nobody else will betray you before I do, for I shall myself betray you to the Magus.” 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.” 3.73. Then Gobryas said, “Friends, when shall we have a better chance to win back the kingship, or, if we cannot, to die, since we who are Persians are ruled by a Mede, a Magus, and he a man that has no ears? ,Those of you that were with Cambyses at his death-bed of course remember the curse which he pronounced as he died on the Persians if they should not try to get back the kingship, although we did not believe Cambyses then, but thought that he spoke to deceive us. ,Now therefore my vote is that we follow Darius' plan, and not quit this council to do anything else but attack the Magus at once.” So spoke Gobryas; and they all consented to what he said. 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. 3.75. When Prexaspes said that he was ready to do this too, the Magi summoned the Persians together, and brought him up on to a tower and bade him speak. Then, deliberately forgetting all the Magi's instructions, he traced the lineage of Cyrus from Achaemenes downwards; when he came at last to the name of Cyrus, he recounted all the good which that king had done to Persia, ,and after he had narrated this, he revealed the truth, saying that he had concealed it before, as it had not been safe for him to tell what had happened, but at the present time necessity forced him to reveal it: and he said that he himself, forced by Cambyses, had killed Smerdis son of Cyrus, and that the Magi were in power. ,Then, invoking a terrible curse on the Persians if they did not win back the throne and take vengeance on the Magi, he threw himself headlong down from the tower; so Prexaspes, a man who was always well thought of, perished in this way. 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. 3.77. When they came to the gate, it turned out as Darius had expected; the guards, out of respect for the leading men in Persia and never suspecting that there would be trouble from them, allowed them to pass, who enjoyed divine guidance, and no one asked any questions. ,And when they came to the court, they met the eunuchs that carry messages, who asked the seven why they had come; and while they were questioning these, they were threatening the watchmen for letting them pass, and restraining the seven who wanted to go on. ,These gave each other the word, drew their knives, and stabbing the eunuchs who barred their way, went forward at a run to the men's apartment. 3.78. Both the Magi were within, deliberating about the consequences of Prexaspes' act. Seeing the eunuchs in confusion and hearing their cries they both sprang up: and when they realized what was happening they turned to defending themselves. ,One rushed to take down a bow, the other went for a spear. Then the fighting started. The one that had caught up the bow found it was no use to him, as the antagonists were close and jostling one another; but the other defended himself with his spear, wounding Aspathines in the thigh and Intaphrenes in the eye; Intaphrenes lost his eye from the wound but was not killed. ,So one of the Magi wounded these; the other, as the bow was no use to him, fled into a chamber adjoining the men's apartment and would have shut its door. ,Two of the seven flung into the room with him, Darius and Gobryas; as Gobryas and the Magus wrestled together, Darius stood helpless in the darkness, afraid of stabbing Gobryas. ,Gobryas, seeing Darius stand helpless, asked why he did not lend a hand; and he said, “Because I am afraid for you, that I might stab you.” And Gobryas answered, “Stick your sword even if it goes through us both.” So Darius complying stabbed with his knife and somehow stuck the Magus. 3.79. When they had killed the Magi and cut off their heads, they left their wounded there because of their infirmity and for the sake of guarding the acropolis, while five of them carrying the Magi's heads ran outside with much shouting and commotion, calling all Persians to aid, telling what they had done and showing the heads; at the same time they killed every Magus that came in their way. ,The Persians, when they learned what had been done by the seven and how the Magi had tricked them, resolved to follow the example set, and drew their daggers and killed all the Magi they could find; and if nightfall had not stopped them they would not have left one Magus alive. ,This day is the greatest holy day that all Persians alike keep; they celebrate a great festival on it, which they call the Massacre of the Magi; while the festival lasts no Magus may go outdoors, but during this day the Magi remain in their houses. 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.” 3.83. Having to choose between these three options, four of the seven men preferred the last. Then Otanes, whose proposal to give the Persians equality was defeated, spoke thus among them all: ,“Fellow partisans, it is plain that one of us must be made king (whether by lot, or entrusted with the office by the choice of the Persians, or in some other way), but I shall not compete with you; I desire neither to rule nor to be ruled; but if I waive my claim to be king, I make this condition, that neither I nor any of my descendants shall be subject to any one of you.” ,To these terms the six others agreed; Otanes took no part in the contest but stood aside; and to this day his house (and no other in Persia ) remains free, and is ruled only so far as it is willing to be, so long as it does not transgress Persian law. 3.84. The rest of the seven then considered what was the fairest way of making a king; and they decided that if another of the seven than Otanes should gain the royal power, that Otanes and his descendants should receive a yearly gift of Median clothing and everything else that the Persians hold most valuable. The reason for this decision was that it was he who had first planned the matter and assembled the conspirators. ,For Otanes, then, they choose this particular honor; but with regard to all of them they decreed that any one of the seven should, if he wished, enter the king's palace unounced, except when the king was sleeping with a woman; and that the king should be forbidden to take a wife except from the households of the conspirators. ,As for the making of a king, they decided that he should be elected whose horse, after they were all in their saddles in the suburb of the city, should first be heard to neigh at sunrise. 3.85. Now Darius had a clever groom, whose name was Oebares. When the council broke up, Darius said to him: “Oebares, we have resolved to do as follows about the kingship: he shall be elected whose horse, after we are all mounted on our horses in the suburb of the city, neighs first at sunrise. Now if you have any cunning, figure out how we and no one else can win this prize.” ,“Master,” Oebares answered, “if this is to determine whether you become king or not, be confident for this reason and have an easy mind, for no one else shall be king before you, such are the tricks I have.” “Then,” said Darius, “if you have any trick such as you say, use it and don't put it off, for tomorrow is the day of decision.” ,When Oebares heard that, he did as follows. At nightfall he brought one of the mares which Darius' horse particularly favored, and tethered her in the suburb of the city; then bringing Darius' horse, he repeatedly led him near the horse, bumping against the mare, and at last let the horse mount. 3.86. At dawn of day the six came on horseback as they had agreed. As they rode out through the suburb and came to the place where the mare had been tethered in the past night, Darius' horse trotted forward and whinnied; ,and as he so did there came lightning and thunder out of a clear sky. These signs given to Darius were thought to be foreordained and made his election perfect; his companions leapt from their horses and bowed to him. 3.87. Some say that this was Oebares' plan; but there is another story in Persia besides this: that he rubbed this mare's vulva with his hand, which he then kept inside his clothing until the six were about to let go their horses at sunrise, when he took his hand out and held it to the nostrils of Darius' horse, which at once snorted and whinnied. 3.88. So Darius son of Hystaspes was made king, and the whole of Asia, which Cyrus first and Cambyses after him had conquered, was subject to him, except the Arabians; these did not yield as of slaves to the Persians, but were united to them by friendship, having given Cambyses passage into Egypt, which the Persians could not enter without the consent of the Arabians. ,Darius took wives from the noblest houses of Persia, marrying Cyrus' daughters Atossa and Artystone; Atossa had been a wife of her brother Cambyses and afterwards of the Magus; Artystone was a virgin. ,He also married a daughter of Cyrus' son Smerdis, whose name was Parmys, and the daughter of Otanes who had discovered the truth about the Magus; and everything was full of his power. First he made and set up a carved stone, upon which was cut the figure of a horseman, with this inscription: “Darius son of Hystaspes, aided by the excellence of his horse” (here followed the horse's name) “and of Oebares his groom, got possession of the kingdom of Persia .” 5.74. Cleomenes, however, fully aware that the Athenians had done him wrong in word and deed, mustered an army from the whole of the Peloponnesus. He did not declare the purpose for which he mustered it, namely to avenge himself on the Athenian people and set up Isagoras, who had come with him out of the acropolis, as tyrant. ,Cleomenes broke in as far as Eleusis with a great host, and the Boeotians, by a concerted plan, took Oenoe and Hysiae, districts on the borders of Attica, while the Chalcidians attacked on another side and raided lands in Attica. The Athenians, who were now caught in a ring of foes, decided to oppose the Spartans at Eleusis and to deal with the Boeotians and Chalcidians later. 5.75. When the armies were about to join battle, the Corinthians, coming to the conclusion that they were acting wrongly, changed their minds and departed. Later Demaratus son of Ariston, the other king of Sparta, did likewise, despite the fact that he had come with Cleomenes from Lacedaemon in joint command of the army and had not till now been at variance with him. ,As a result of this dissension, a law was made at Sparta that when an army was despatched, both kings would not be permitted to go with it. Until that time they had both gone together, but now one of the kings was released from service and one of the sons of Tyndarus too could be left at home. Before that time, both of these also were asked to give aid and went with the army. ,So now at Eleusis, when the rest of the allies saw that the Lacedaemonian kings were not of one mind and that the Corinthians had left their host, they too went off. 6.43. But at the beginning of spring the other generals were deposed by the king from their offices, and Mardonius son of Gobryas, a man young in years and recently married to Darius' daughter Artozostre, came down to the coast at the head of a very great army and fleet. ,When Mardonius reached Cilicia at the head of this army, he himself embarked on shipboard and sailed with the rest of his ships, while other captains led the land army to the Hellespont. ,When Mardonius arrived in Ionia in his voyage along the coast of Asia, he did a thing which I here set down for the wonder of those Greeks who will not believe Otanes to have declared his opinion among the Seven that democracy was best for Persia: Mardonius deposed all the Ionian tyrants and set up democracies in their cities. ,He did this and hurried to the Hellespont. When a great multitude of ships and a great army were assembled, the Persians crossed the Hellespont on shipboard and marched through Europe, with Eretria and Athens as their goal. 6.44. This was the stated end of their expedition, but they intended to subdue as many of the Greek cities as they could. Their fleet subdued the Thasians, who did not so much as lift up their hands against it; their land army added the Macedonians to the slaves that they had already, for all the nations nearer to them than Macedonia had been made subject to the Persians before this. ,Crossing over from Thasos they travelled near the land as far as Acanthus, and putting out from there they tried to round Athos. But a great and irresistible north wind fell upon them as they sailed past and dealt very roughly with them, driving many of their ships upon Athos. ,It is said that about three hundred ships were lost, and more than twenty thousand men. Since the coasts of Athos abound in wild beasts, some men were carried off by beasts and so perished; others were dashed against the rocks; those who could not swim perished because of that, and still others by the cold. 6.75. When the Lacedaemonians learned that Cleomenes was doing this, they took fright and brought him back to Sparta to rule on the same terms as before. Cleomenes had already been not entirely in his right mind, and on his return from exile a mad sickness fell upon him: any Spartan that he happened to meet he would hit in the face with his staff. ,For doing this, and because he was out of his mind, his relatives bound him in the stocks. When he was in the stocks and saw that his guard was left alone, he demanded a dagger; the guard at first refused to give it, but Cleomenes threatened what he would do to him when he was freed, until the guard, who was a helot, was frightened by the threats and gave him the dagger. ,Cleomenes took the weapon and set about slashing himself from his shins upwards; from the shin to the thigh he cut his flesh lengthways, then from the thigh to the hip and the sides, until he reached the belly, and cut it into strips; thus he died, as most of the Greeks say, because he persuaded the Pythian priestess to tell the tale of Demaratus. The Athenians alone say it was because he invaded Eleusis and laid waste the precinct of the gods. The Argives say it was because when Argives had taken refuge after the battle in their temple of Argus he brought them out and cut them down, then paid no heed to the sacred grove and set it on fire. 6.76. As Cleomenes was seeking divination at Delphi, the oracle responded that he would take Argos. When he came with Spartans to the river Erasinus, which is said to flow from the Stymphalian lake (this lake issues into a cleft out of sight and reappears at Argos, and from that place onwards the stream is called by the Argives Erasinus)—when Cleomenes came to this river he offered sacrifices to it. ,The omens were in no way favorable for his crossing, so he said that he honored the Erasinus for not betraying its countrymen, but even so the Argives would not go unscathed. Then he withdrew and led his army seaward to Thyrea, where he sacrificed a bull to the sea and carried his men on shipboard to the region of Tiryns and to Nauplia. 6.79. Then Cleomenes' plan was this: He had with him some deserters from whom he learned the names, then he sent a herald calling by name the Argives that were shut up in the sacred precinct and inviting them to come out, saying that he had their ransom. (Among the Peloponnesians there is a fixed ransom of two minae to be paid for every prisoner.) So Cleomenes invited about fifty Argives to come out one after another and murdered them. ,Somehow the rest of the men in the temple precinct did not know this was happening, for the grove was thick and those inside could not see how those outside were faring, until one of them climbed a tree and saw what was being done. Thereafter they would not come out at the herald's call. 6.80. Then Cleomenes bade all the helots pile wood about the grove; they obeyed, and he burnt the grove. When the fire was now burning, he asked of one of the deserters to what god the grove belonged; the man said it was of Argos. When he heard that, he groaned aloud, “Apollo, god of oracles, you have gravely deceived me by saying that I would take Argos; this, I guess, is the fulfillment of that prophecy.” 6.81. Then Cleomenes sent most of his army back to Sparta, while he himself took a thousand of the best warriors and went to the temple of Hera to sacrifice. When he wished to sacrifice at the altar the priest forbade him, saying that it was not holy for a stranger to sacrifice there. Cleomenes ordered the helots to carry the priest away from the altar and whip him, and he performed the sacrifice. After doing this, he returned to Sparta. 6.82. But after his return his enemies brought him before the ephors, saying that he had been bribed not to take Argos when he might have easily taken it. Cleomenes alleged (whether falsely or truly, I cannot rightly say; but this he alleged in his speech) that he had supposed the god's oracle to be fulfilled by his taking of the temple of Argus; therefore he had thought it best not to make any attempt on the city before he had learned from the sacrifices whether the god would deliver it to him or withstand him; ,when he was taking omens in Hera's temple a flame of fire had shone forth from the breast of the image, and so he learned the truth of the matter, that he would not take Argos. If the flame had come out of the head of the image, he would have taken the city from head to foot utterly; but its coming from the breast signified that he had done as much as the god willed to happen. This plea of his seemed to the Spartans to be credible and reasonable, and he far outdistanced the pursuit of his accusers. 6.84. The Argives say this was the reason Cleomenes went mad and met an evil end; the Spartans themselves say that Cleomenes' madness arose from no divine agent, but that by consorting with Scythians he became a drinker of strong wine, and the madness came from this. ,The nomadic Scythians, after Darius had invaded their land, were eager for revenge, so they sent to Sparta and made an alliance. They agreed that the Scythians would attempt to invade Media by way of the river Phasis, and they urged the Spartans to set out and march inland from Ephesus and meet the Scythians. ,They say that when the Scythians had come for this purpose, Cleomenes kept rather close company with them, and by consorting with them more than was fitting he learned from them to drink strong wine. The Spartans consider him to have gone mad from this. Ever since, as they themselves say, whenever they desire a strong drink they call for “a Scythian cup.” Such is the Spartan story of Cleomenes; but to my thinking it was for what he did to Demaratus that he was punished thus. 7.113. Marching past the Paeonians, Doberes, and Paeoplae, who dwell beyond and northward of the Pangaean mountains, he kept going westwards, until he came to the river Strymon and the city of Eion; its governor was that Boges, then still alive, whom I mentioned just before this. ,All this region about the Pangaean range is called Phyllis; it stretches westwards to the river Angites, which issues into the Strymon, and southwards to the Strymon itself; at this river the Magi sought good omens by sacrificing white horses. 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.
3. Plato, Phaedrus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

258c. Socrates. Well then, when an orator or a king is able to rival the greatness of Lycurgus or Solon or Darius and attain immortality as a writer in the state, does he not while living think himself equal to the gods, and has not posterity the same opinion of him, when they see his writings? Phaedrus. Very true. Socrates. Do you think, then, that any of the statesmen, no matter how ill-disposed toward Lysias, reproaches him for being a writer? Phaedrus. It is not likely, according to what you say; for he would be casting reproach upon that which he himself desires to be.
4. Plato, Timaeus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

22b. and by recounting the number of years occupied by the events mentioned he tried to calculate the periods of time. Whereupon one of the priests, a prodigiously old man, said, O Solon, Solon, you Greeks are always children: there is not such a thing as an old Greek. And on hearing this he asked, What mean you by this saying? And the priest replied, You are young in soul, every one of you. For therein you possess not a single belief that is ancient and derived from old tradition, nor yet one science that is hoary with age.
5. Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 36.42-36.56 (1st cent. CE

36.42.  "These Magi narrate their myth, not in the manner of our prophets of the Muses, who merely present each detail with much plausibility, but rather with stubborn insistence upon its truthfulness. For they assert that the universe is constantly being propelled and driven along a single path, as by a charioteer endowed with highest skill and power, and that this movement goes on unceasingly in unceasing cycles of time. And the coursing of Helius and Selenê, according to their account, is the movement of portions of the whole, and for that reason it is more clearly perceived by mankind. And they add that the movement and revolution of the universe as a whole is not perceptible to the majority of mankind, but that, on the contrary, they are ignorant of the magnitude of this contest. 36.43.  "What follows regarding the horses and their driving I really am ashamed to tell in the manner in which the Magi set it forth in their narrative, since they are not very much concerned to secure consistency at all points in their presentation of the picture. In fact, quite possibly I may appear absurd when, in contrast with Greek lays of grace and charm, I chant one that is barbarian; but still I must make the venture. "According to the Magi, that one of the horses which is the highest in the heavens is immeasurably superior in beauty, size, and speed, since it has the outside track and runs the longest course, a horse sacred to Zeus himself. Furthermore, it is a winged creature, brilliant in colour with the brilliance of the purest flame; and in it Helius and Selenê are to be seen as conspicuous signs or marks — like, I fancy, the marks which horses bear here on earth, some crescent-shaped and some of other patterns. 36.44.  And they say that these 'marks' appear to us to be in close array, as it were great sparks of fire darting about in the midst of brilliant light, and yet that each has its own independent motion. Furthermore, the other stars also which are visible through that Horse of Zeus, one and all being natural parts of it, in some instances revolve along with it and have the same motion, and in others follow different tracks. And they add that among men these stars which are associated with the Horse of Zeus have each its own particular name; whereas the rest are treated collectively in groups, distributed so as to form certain figures or patterns. 36.45.  "Well then, the horse that is most brilliant and most spangled with stars and dearest to Zeus himself, being praised by the Magi in their hymns for some such attributes as these, quite properly stands first in sacrifice and worship as being truly first. Next in order after that, in closest contact with the Horse of Zeus, comes one that bears the name of Hera, a horse obedient to the rein and gentle, but far inferior in strength and speed. In colour this horse is of its own nature black, but that portion which receives the light of Helius is regularly bright, whereas where it is in shadow in its revolution it has its own proper colour. 36.46.  Third comes a horse that is sacred to Poseidon, still slower than the second. Regarding this steed the poets have a myth to the effect that its counterpart appeared among men — he whom they call Pegasus, methinks — and they claim that he caused a fountain to burst forth at Corinth by pawing with his hoof. But the fourth is the strangest conception of them all, a horse both firm and immovable, to say nothing of its having no wings, and it is named after Hestia. However, the Magi do not shrink from its portrayal; on the contrary, they state that this steed also is harnessed to the chariot, and yet it remains immovable, champing its adamantine curb. 36.47.  And from all sides the other horses press close to him with their bodies and the pair that are his neighbours swerve toward him abreast, falling upon him, as it were, and crowding him, yet the horse that is farthest off is ever first to round that stationary steed as horses round the turn in the hippodrome."Now for the most part the horses continue in peace and friendship, unharmed by one another. But on one occasion in the past, in the course of a long space of time and many revolutions of the universe, a mighty blast from the first horse fell from on high, and, as might have been expected from such a fiery-tempered steed, inflamed the others, and more especially the last in order; and the fire encompassed not alone its mane, which formed its personal pride, but the whole universe as well. 36.48.  And the Magi say that the Greeks, recording this experience as an isolated occurrence, connect it with the name of Phaethon, since they are unable to criticize the driving of Zeus and are loath to find fault with the coursings of Helius. And so they relate that a younger driver, a mortal son of Helius, desiring a sport that was to prove grievous and disastrous for all mankind, besought his father to let him mount his car and, plunging along in disorderly fashion, consumed with fire everything, both animals and plants, and finally was himself destroyed, being smitten by too power­ful a flame. 36.49.  "Again, when at intervals of several years the horse that is sacred to Poseidon and the Nymphs rebels, having become panic-stricken and agitated beyond his wont, he overwhelms with copious sweat that same steed, since they two are yoke-mates. Accordingly it meets with fate which is the opposite of the disaster previously mentioned, this time being deluged with a mighty flood. And the Magi state that here again the Greeks, through youthful ignorance and faulty memory, record this flood as a single occurrence and claim that Deucalion, who was then king, saved them from complete destruction. 36.50.  "According to the Magi, these rare occurrences are viewed by mankind as taking place for their destruction, and not in accord with reason or as a part of the order of the universe, being unaware that they occur quite properly and in keeping with the plan of the preserver and governor of the world. For in reality it is comparable with what happens when a charioteer punishes one of his horses, pulling hard upon the rein or pricking with the goad; and then the horse prances and is thrown into a panic but straightway settles down to its proper gait. "Well then, this is one kind of driving of which they tell, attended by violence but not involving the complete destruction of the universe. 36.51.  On the other hand, they tell also of a different kind that involves the movement and change of all four horses, one in which they shift among themselves and interchange their forms until all come together into one being, having been overcome by that one which is superior in power. And yet this movement also the Magi dare to liken to the guidance and driving of a chariot, though to do so they need even stranger imagery. For instance, it is as if some magician were to mould horses out of wax, and then, subtracting and scraping off the wax from each, should add a little now to this one and now to that, until finally, having used up all the horses in constructing one from the four, he should fashion a single horse out of all his material. 36.52.  They state, however, that in reality the process to which they refer is not like that of such iimate images, in which the craftsman operates and shifts the material from without, but that instead the transformation is the work of these creatures themselves, just as if they were striving for victory in a contest that is great and real. And they add that the victory and its crown belong of necessity to that horse which is first and best in speed and prowess and general excellence, I mean to that one which we named in the beginning of our account as the special steed of Zeus. 36.53.  For that one, being most valiant of all and fiery by nature, having speedily used up the others — as if, methinks, they were truly made of wax — in no great span of time (though to us it seems endless according to our reckoning) and having appropriated to itself all the substance of them all, appeared much greater and more brilliant than formerly; not through the aid of any other creature, either mortal or immortal, but by itself and its own efforts proving victor in the greatest contest. And, standing tall and proud, rejoicing in its victory, it not only seized the largest possible region but also needed larger space at that time, so great was its strength and its spirit. 36.54.  "Having arrived at that stage in their myth, the Magi are embarrassed in search of a name to describe the nature of the creature of their own invention. For they say that now by this time it is simply the soul of the charioteer and master; or, let us say, merely the intellect and leadership of that soul. (Those, in fact, are the terms we ourselves employ when we honour and reverence the greatest god by noble deeds and pious words). 36.55.  For indeed, when the mind alone had been left and had filled with itself immeasurable space, since it had poured itself evenly in all directions and nothing in it remained dense but complete porosity prevailed — at which time it becomes most beautiful — having obtained the purest nature of unadulterated light, it immediately longed for the existence that it had at first. Accordingly, becoming enamoured of that control and goverce and concord which it once maintained not only over the three natures of sun and moon and the other stars, but also over absolutely all animals and plants, it became eager to generate and distribute everything and to make the orderly universe then existent once more far better and more resplendent because newer. 36.56.  And emitting a full flash of lightning, not a disorderly or foul one such as in stormy weather often darts forth, when the clouds drive more violently than usual, but rather pure and unmixed with any murk, it worked a transformation easily, with the speed of thought. But recalling Aphroditê and the process of generation, it tamed and relaxed itself and, quenching much of its light, it turned into fiery air of gentle warmth, and uniting with Hera and enjoying the most perfect wedlock, in sweet repose it emitted anew the full supply of seed for the universe. Such is the blessed marriage of Zeus and Hera of which the sons of sages sing in secret rites.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
"king\'s savior, " Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
adultery Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
aeschylus Marincola et al., Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones and Calum Maciver, Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras: History Without Historians (2021) 327
ahura-mazda Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
amasis Torok, Herodotus In Nubia (2014) 94
antonius diogenes the incredible things beyond thule Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
apollontos Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
artaxerxes iii Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
bagoas Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
cambyses Torok, Herodotus In Nubia (2014) 94
cambyses of persia, impieties of Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 208
chariton Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
cleomenes of sparta, impieties of Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 208
cleomenes of sparta, omens to Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 208
ctesias of cindus Marincola et al., Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones and Calum Maciver, Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras: History Without Historians (2021) 327
cyrus ii, the great Marincola et al., Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones and Calum Maciver, Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras: History Without Historians (2021) 327
cyrus of persia, dreams of Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 208
darius i, the great Marincola et al., Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones and Calum Maciver, Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras: History Without Historians (2021) 327
darius of persia Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 208
diet' Huffman, A History of Pythagoreanism (2019) 188
dio chrysostom, zoroastrianism Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 178
dio chrysostom Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 178, 179
ends of the earth Torok, Herodotus In Nubia (2014) 94
eunuchs Marincola et al., Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones and Calum Maciver, Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras: History Without Historians (2021) 327; Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
executioner Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
false appearances Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
harem, persian royal Marincola et al., Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones and Calum Maciver, Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras: History Without Historians (2021) 327
herodotus Marincola et al., Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones and Calum Maciver, Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras: History Without Historians (2021) 327
isias Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
kambyses Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
ktesias Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
kyros Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
long-lived aithiopians x Torok, Herodotus In Nubia (2014) 94
macedon Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
magic Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
magoas Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
magoi Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
new comedy Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
paapis Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
periander of corinth Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 208
persia Marincola et al., Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones and Calum Maciver, Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras: History Without Historians (2021) 327
persians Marincola et al., Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones and Calum Maciver, Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras: History Without Historians (2021) 327
plato Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 179; Marincola et al., Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones and Calum Maciver, Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras: History Without Historians (2021) 327
priests Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
prophets Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
psammenitus Torok, Herodotus In Nubia (2014) 94
psamtek iii Torok, Herodotus In Nubia (2014) 94
slaves Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
smerdis Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
solon Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 179
sosias Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
sphendadates Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
tinouphis Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
trickery Stephens and Winkler, Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (1995) 400
utopia Torok, Herodotus In Nubia (2014) 94
xerxes Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 178, 179