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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Herodotus, Histories, 3.64

nanThe 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.”

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

8 results
1. Hesiod, Theogony, 905-906, 904 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

904. The sound of whelps was heard, sometimes the ear
2. Aeschylus, Persians, 774-780, 773 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

773. Κύρου δὲ παῖς τέταρτος ηὔθυνε στρατόν.
3. Herodotus, Histories, 1.5.3, 1.12-1.13, 1.26-1.56, 1.69-1.91, 1.107-1.108, 1.120-1.121, 1.128, 1.158-1.159, 1.189-1.190, 1.206-1.214, 1.209.4, 2.47, 2.83, 2.111, 2.133, 2.139, 2.141, 2.144, 2.152, 2.161-2.163, 2.169, 3.1-3.6, 3.8-3.9, 3.11, 3.14, 3.16-3.43, 3.45-3.53, 3.56-3.63, 3.65-3.88, 3.120-3.125, 3.142, 3.149, 4.79, 4.83, 4.134-4.139, 5.33, 5.55-5.56, 5.62, 6.43, 6.61-6.64, 6.75-6.84, 6.86, 6.97, 6.107, 6.118, 6.134-6.136, 7.2-7.3, 7.12-7.19, 7.17.2, 7.35, 7.37, 7.39, 7.54, 7.56-7.57, 7.113-7.114, 7.117, 7.120, 7.133, 7.137, 7.142, 7.191, 8.54, 8.57, 8.77, 8.99, 8.129, 9.42 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.5.3. These are the stories of the Persians and the Phoenicians. For my part, I shall not say that this or that story is true, but I shall identify the one who I myself know did the Greeks unjust deeds, and thus proceed with my history, and speak of small and great cities of men alike. 1.12. When they had prepared this plot, and night had fallen, Gyges followed the woman into the chamber (for Gyges was not released, nor was there any means of deliverance, but either he or Candaules must die). She gave him a dagger and hid him behind the same door; ,and presently he stole out and killed Candaules as he slept. Thus he made himself master of the king's wife and sovereignty. He is mentioned in the iambic verses of Archilochus of Parus who lived about the same time. 1.13. So he took possession of the sovereign power and was confirmed in it by the Delphic oracle. For when the Lydians took exception to what was done to Candaules, and took up arms, the faction of Gyges came to an agreement with the rest of the people that if the oracle should ordain him king of the Lydians, then he would reign; but if not, then he would return the kingship to the Heraclidae. ,The oracle did so ordain, and Gyges thus became king. However, the Pythian priestess declared that the Heraclidae would have vengeance on Gyges' posterity in the fifth generation; an utterance to which the Lydians and their kings paid no regard until it was fulfilled. 1.26. After the death of Alyattes, his son Croesus, then thirty-five years of age, came to the throne. The first Greeks whom he attacked were the Ephesians. ,These, besieged by him, dedicated their city to Artemis; they did this by attaching a rope to the city wall from the temple of the goddess, which stood seven stades away from the ancient city which was then besieged. ,These were the first whom Croesus attacked; afterwards he made war on the Ionian and Aeolian cities in turn, upon different pretexts: he found graver charges where he could, but sometimes alleged very petty grounds of offense. 1.27. Then, when he had subjugated all the Asiatic Greeks of the mainland and made them tributary to him, he planned to build ships and attack the islanders; ,but when his preparations for shipbuilding were underway, either Bias of Priene or Pittacus of Mytilene (the story is told of both) came to Sardis and, asked by Croesus for news about Hellas, put an end to the shipbuilding by giving the following answer: ,“O King, the islanders are buying ten thousand horse, intending to march to Sardis against you.” Croesus, thinking that he spoke the truth, said: “Would that the gods would put this in the heads of the islanders, to come on horseback against the sons of the Lydians!” Then the other answered and said: ,“O King, you appear to me earnestly to wish to catch the islanders riding horses on the mainland, a natural wish. And what else do you suppose the islanders wished, as soon as they heard that you were building ships to attack them, than to catch Lydians on the seas, so as to be revenged on you for the Greeks who dwell on the mainland, whom you enslaved?” ,Croesus was quite pleased with this conclusion, for he thought the man spoke reasonably and, heeding him, stopped building ships. Thus he made friends with the Ionians inhabiting the islands. 1.28. As time went on, Croesus subjugated almost all the nations west of the Halys ; for except the Cilicians and Lycians, all the rest Croesus held subject under him. These were the Lydians, Phrygians, Mysians, Mariandynians, Chalybes, Paphlagonians, the Thracian Thynians and Bithynians, Carians, Ionians, Dorians, Aeolians, and Pamphylians; 1.29. and after these were subdued and subject to Croesus in addition to the Lydians, all the sages from Hellas who were living at that time, coming in different ways, came to Sardis, which was at the height of its property; and among them came Solon the Athenian, who, after making laws for the Athenians at their request, went abroad for ten years, sailing forth to see the world, he said. This he did so as not to be compelled to repeal any of the laws he had made,,since the Athenians themselves could not do that, for they were bound by solemn oaths to abide for ten years by whatever laws Solon should make. 1.30. So for that reason, and to see the world, Solon went to visit Amasis in Egypt and then to Croesus in Sardis . When he got there, Croesus entertained him in the palace, and on the third or fourth day Croesus told his attendants to show Solon around his treasures, and they pointed out all those things that were great and blest. ,After Solon had seen everything and had thought about it, Croesus found the opportunity to say, “My Athenian guest, we have heard a lot about you because of your wisdom and of your wanderings, how as one who loves learning you have traveled much of the world for the sake of seeing it, so now I desire to ask you who is the most fortunate man you have seen.” ,Croesus asked this question believing that he was the most fortunate of men, but Solon, offering no flattery but keeping to the truth, said, “O King, it is Tellus the Athenian.” ,Croesus was amazed at what he had said and replied sharply, “In what way do you judge Tellus to be the most fortunate?” Solon said, “Tellus was from a prosperous city, and his children were good and noble. He saw children born to them all, and all of these survived. His life was prosperous by our standards, and his death was most glorious: ,when the Athenians were fighting their neighbors in Eleusis, he came to help, routed the enemy, and died very finely. The Athenians buried him at public expense on the spot where he fell and gave him much honor.” 1.31. When Solon had provoked him by saying that the affairs of Tellus were so fortunate, Croesus asked who he thought was next, fully expecting to win second prize. Solon answered, “Cleobis and Biton. ,They were of Argive stock, had enough to live on, and on top of this had great bodily strength. Both had won prizes in the athletic contests, and this story is told about them: there was a festival of Hera in Argos, and their mother absolutely had to be conveyed to the temple by a team of oxen. But their oxen had not come back from the fields in time, so the youths took the yoke upon their own shoulders under constraint of time. They drew the wagon, with their mother riding atop it, traveling five miles until they arrived at the temple. ,When they had done this and had been seen by the entire gathering, their lives came to an excellent end, and in their case the god made clear that for human beings it is a better thing to die than to live. The Argive men stood around the youths and congratulated them on their strength; the Argive women congratulated their mother for having borne such children. ,She was overjoyed at the feat and at the praise, so she stood before the image and prayed that the goddess might grant the best thing for man to her children Cleobis and Biton, who had given great honor to the goddess. ,After this prayer they sacrificed and feasted. The youths then lay down in the temple and went to sleep and never rose again; death held them there. The Argives made and dedicated at Delphi statues of them as being the best of men.” 1.32. Thus Solon granted second place in happiness to these men. Croesus was vexed and said, “My Athenian guest, do you so much despise our happiness that you do not even make us worth as much as common men?” Solon replied, “Croesus, you ask me about human affairs, and I know that the divine is entirely grudging and troublesome to us. ,In a long span of time it is possible to see many things that you do not want to, and to suffer them, too. I set the limit of a man's life at seventy years; ,these seventy years have twenty-five thousand, two hundred days, leaving out the intercalary month. But if you make every other year longer by one month, so that the seasons agree opportunely, then there are thirty-five intercalary months during the seventy years, and from these months there are one thousand fifty days. ,Out of all these days in the seventy years, all twenty-six thousand, two hundred and fifty of them, not one brings anything at all like another. So, Croesus, man is entirely chance. ,To me you seem to be very rich and to be king of many people, but I cannot answer your question before I learn that you ended your life well. The very rich man is not more fortunate than the man who has only his daily needs, unless he chances to end his life with all well. Many very rich men are unfortunate, many of moderate means are lucky. ,The man who is very rich but unfortunate surpasses the lucky man in only two ways, while the lucky surpasses the rich but unfortunate in many. The rich man is more capable of fulfilling his appetites and of bearing a great disaster that falls upon him, and it is in these ways that he surpasses the other. The lucky man is not so able to support disaster or appetite as is the rich man, but his luck keeps these things away from him, and he is free from deformity and disease, has no experience of evils, and has fine children and good looks. ,If besides all this he ends his life well, then he is the one whom you seek, the one worthy to be called fortunate. But refrain from calling him fortunate before he dies; call him lucky. ,It is impossible for one who is only human to obtain all these things at the same time, just as no land is self-sufficient in what it produces. Each country has one thing but lacks another; whichever has the most is the best. Just so no human being is self-sufficient; each person has one thing but lacks another. ,Whoever passes through life with the most and then dies agreeably is the one who, in my opinion, O King, deserves to bear this name. It is necessary to see how the end of every affair turns out, for the god promises fortune to many people and then utterly ruins them.” 1.33. By saying this, Solon did not at all please Croesus, who sent him away without regard for him, but thinking him a great fool, because he ignored the present good and told him to look to the end of every affair. 1.34. But after Solon's departure divine retribution fell heavily on Croesus; as I guess, because he supposed himself to be blessed beyond all other men. Directly, as he slept, he had a dream, which showed him the truth of the evil things which were going to happen concerning his son. ,He had two sons, one of whom was ruined, for he was mute, but the other, whose name was Atys, was by far the best in every way of all of his peers. The dream showed this Atys to Croesus, how he would lose him struck and killed by a spear of iron. ,So Croesus, after he awoke and considered, being frightened by the dream, brought in a wife for his son, and although Atys was accustomed to command the Lydian armies, Croesus now would not send him out on any such enterprise, while he took the javelins and spears and all such things that men use for war from the men's apartments and piled them in his store room, lest one should fall on his son from where it hung. 1.35. Now while Croesus was occupied with the marriage of his son, a Phrygian of the royal house came to Sardis, in great distress and with unclean hands. This man came to Croesus' house, and asked to be purified according to the custom of the country; so Croesus purified him ( ,the Lydians have the same manner of purification as the Greeks), and when he had done everything customary, he asked the Phrygian where he came from and who he was: ,“Friend,” he said, “who are you, and from what place in Phrygia do you come as my suppliant? And what man or woman have you killed?” “O King,” the man answered, “I am the son of Gordias the son of Midas, and my name is Adrastus; I killed my brother accidentally, and I come here banished by my father and deprived of all.” ,Croesus answered, “All of your family are my friends, and you have come to friends, where you shall lack nothing, staying in my house. As for your misfortune, bear it as lightly as possible and you will gain most.” 1.36. So Adrastus lived in Croesus' house. About this same time a great monster of a boar appeared on the Mysian Olympus, who would come off that mountain and ravage the fields of the Mysians. The Mysians had gone up against him often; but they never did him any harm but were hurt by him themselves. ,At last they sent messengers to Croesus, with this message: “O King, a great monster of a boar has appeared in the land, who is destroying our fields; for all our attempts, we cannot kill him; so now we ask you to send your son and chosen young men and dogs with us, so that we may drive him out of the country.” ,Such was their request, but Croesus remembered the prophecy of his dream and answered them thus: “Do not mention my son again: I will not send him with you. He is newly married, and that is his present concern. But I will send chosen Lydians, and all the huntsmen, and I will tell those who go to be as eager as possible to help you to drive the beast out of the country.” 1.37. This was his answer, and the Mysians were satisfied with it. But the son of Croesus now entered, having heard what the Mysians had asked for; and when Croesus refused to send his son with them, the young man said, ,“Father, it was once thought very fine and noble for us to go to war and the chase and win renown; but now you have barred me from both of these, although you have seen neither cowardice nor lack of spirit in me. With what face can I now show myself whenever I go to and from the market-place? ,What will the men of the city think of me, and what my newly wedded wife? With what kind of man will she think that she lives? So either let me go to the hunt, or show me by reasoning that what you are doing is best for me.” 1.38. “My son,” answered Croesus, “I do this not because I have seen cowardice or anything unseemly in you, but the vision of a dream stood over me in my sleep, and told me that you would be short-lived, for you would be killed by a spear of iron. ,It is because of that vision that I hurried your marriage and do not send you on any enterprise that I have in hand, but keep guard over you, so that perhaps I may rob death of you during my lifetime. You are my only son: for that other, since he is ruined, he doesn't exist for me.” 1.39. “Father,” the youth replied, “no one can blame you for keeping guard over me, when you have seen such a vision; but it is my right to show you what you do not perceive, and why you mistake the meaning of the dream. ,You say that the dream told you that I should be killed by a spear of iron? But has a boar hands? Has it that iron spear which you dread? Had the dream said I should be killed by a tusk or some other thing proper to a boar, you would be right in acting as you act; but no, it was to be by a spear. Therefore, since it is not against men that we are to fight, let me go.” 1.40. Croesus answered, “My son, your judgment concerning the dream has somewhat reassured me; and being reassured by you, I change my thinking and permit you to go to the chase.” 1.41. Having said this, Croesus sent for Adrastus the Phrygian and when he came addressed him thus: “Adrastus, when you were struck by ugly misfortune, for which I do not blame you, it was I who cleansed you, and received and still keep you in my house, defraying all your keep. ,Now then, as you owe me a return of good service for the good which I have done you, I ask that you watch over my son as he goes out to the chase. See that no thieving criminals meet you on the way, to do you harm. ,Besides, it is only right that you too should go where you can win renown by your deeds. That is fitting for your father's son; and you are strong enough besides.” 1.42. “O King,” Adrastus answered, “I would not otherwise have gone into such an arena. One so unfortunate as I should not associate with the prosperous among his peers; nor have I the wish so to do, and for many reasons I would have held back. ,But now, since you urge it and I must please you (since I owe you a return of good service), I am ready to do this; and as for your son, in so far as I can protect him, look for him to come back unharmed.” 1.43. So when Adrastus had answered Croesus thus, they went out provided with chosen young men and dogs. When they came to Mount Olympus, they hunted for the beast and, finding him, formed a circle and threw their spears at him: ,then the guest called Adrastus, the man who had been cleansed of the deed of blood, missed the boar with his spear and hit the son of Croesus. ,So Atys was struck by the spear and fulfilled the prophecy of the dream. One ran to tell Croesus what had happened, and coming to Sardis told the king of the fight and the fate of his son. 1.44. Distraught by the death of his son, Croesus cried out the more vehemently because the killer was one whom he himself had cleansed of blood, ,and in his great and terrible grief at this mischance he called on Zeus by three names—Zeus the Purifier, Zeus of the Hearth, Zeus of Comrades: the first, because he wanted the god to know what evil his guest had done him; the second, because he had received the guest into his house and thus unwittingly entertained the murderer of his son; and the third, because he had found his worst enemy in the man whom he had sent as a protector. 1.45. Soon the Lydians came, bearing the corpse, with the murderer following after. He then came and stood before the body and gave himself up to Croesus, holding out his hands and telling him to kill him over the corpse, mentioning his former misfortune, and that on top of that he had destroyed the one who purified him, and that he was not fit to live. ,On hearing this, Croesus took pity on Adrastus, though his own sorrow was so great, and said to him, “Friend, I have from you the entire penalty, since you sentence yourself to death. But it is not you that I hold the cause of this evil, except in so far as you were the unwilling doer of it, but one of the gods, the same one who told me long ago what was to be.” ,So Croesus buried his own son in such manner as was fitting. But Adrastus, son of Gordias who was son of Midas, this Adrastus, the destroyer of his own brother and of the man who purified him, when the tomb was undisturbed by the presence of men, killed himself there by the sepulcher, seeing clearly now that he was the most heavily afflicted of all whom he knew. 1.46. After the loss of his son, Croesus remained in deep sorrow for two years. After this time, the destruction by Cyrus son of Cambyses of the sovereignty of Astyages son of Cyaxares, and the growth of the power of the Persians, distracted Croesus from his mourning; and he determined, if he could, to forestall the increase of the Persian power before they became great. ,Having thus determined, he at once made inquiries of the Greek and Libyan oracles, sending messengers separately to Delphi, to Abae in Phocia, and to Dodona, while others were despatched to Amphiaraus and Trophonius, and others to Branchidae in the Milesian country. ,These are the Greek oracles to which Croesus sent for divination: and he told others to go inquire of Ammon in Libya . His intent in sending was to test the knowledge of the oracles, so that, if they were found to know the truth, he might send again and ask if he should undertake an expedition against the Persians. 1.47. And when he sent to test these shrines he gave the Lydians these instructions: they were to keep track of the time from the day they left Sardis, and on the hundredth day inquire of the oracles what Croesus, king of Lydia, son of Alyattes, was doing then; then they were to write down whatever the oracles answered and bring the reports back to him. ,Now none relate what answer was given by the rest of the oracles. But at Delphi, no sooner had the Lydians entered the hall to inquire of the god and asked the question with which they were entrusted, than the Pythian priestess uttered the following hexameter verses: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“I know the number of the grains of sand and the extent of the sea, /l lAnd understand the mute and hear the voiceless. /l lThe smell has come to my senses of a strong-shelled tortoise /l lBoiling in a cauldron together with a lamb's flesh, /l lUnder which is bronze and over which is bronze.” /l /quote 1.48. Having written down this inspired utterance of the Pythian priestess, the Lydians went back to Sardis . When the others as well who had been sent to various places came bringing their oracles, Croesus then unfolded and examined all the writings. Some of them in no way satisfied him. But when he read the Delphian message, he acknowledged it with worship and welcome, considering Delphi as the only true place of divination, because it had discovered what he himself had done. ,For after sending his envoys to the oracles, he had thought up something which no conjecture could discover, and carried it out on the appointed day: namely, he had cut up a tortoise and a lamb, and then boiled them in a cauldron of bronze covered with a lid of the same. 1.49. Such, then, was the answer from Delphi delivered to Croesus. As to the reply which the Lydians received from the oracle of Amphiaraus when they had followed the due custom of the temple, I cannot say what it was, for nothing is recorded of it, except that Croesus believed that from this oracle too he had obtained a true answer. 1.50. After this, he tried to win the favor of the Delphian god with great sacrifices. He offered up three thousand beasts from all the kinds fit for sacrifice, and on a great pyre burnt couches covered with gold and silver, golden goblets, and purple cloaks and tunics; by these means he hoped the better to win the aid of the god, to whom he also commanded that every Lydian sacrifice what he could. ,When the sacrifice was over, he melted down a vast store of gold and made ingots of it, the longer sides of which were of six and the shorter of three palms' length, and the height was one palm. There were a hundred and seventeen of these. Four of them were of refined gold, each weighing two talents and a half; the rest were of gold with silver alloy, each of two talents' weight. ,He also had a figure of a lion made of refined gold, weighing ten talents. When the temple of Delphi was burnt, this lion fell from the ingots which were the base on which it stood; and now it is in the treasury of the Corinthians, but weighs only six talents and a half, for the fire melted away three and a half talents. 1.51. When these offerings were ready, Croesus sent them to Delphi, with other gifts besides: namely, two very large bowls, one of gold and one of silver. The golden bowl stood to the right, the silver to the left of the temple entrance. ,These too were removed about the time of the temple's burning, and now the golden bowl, which weighs eight and a half talents and twelve minae, is in the treasury of the Clazomenians, and the silver bowl at the corner of the forecourt of the temple. This bowl holds six hundred nine-gallon measures: for the Delphians use it for a mixing-bowl at the feast of the Divine Appearance. ,It is said by the Delphians to be the work of Theodorus of Samos, and I agree with them, for it seems to me to be of no common workmanship. Moreover, Croesus sent four silver casks, which stand in the treasury of the Corinthians, and dedicated two sprinkling-vessels, one of gold, one of silver. The golden vessel bears the inscription “Given by the Lacedaemonians,” who claim it as their offering. But they are wrong, ,for this, too, is Croesus' gift. The inscription was made by a certain Delphian, whose name I know but do not mention, out of his desire to please the Lacedaemonians. The figure of a boy, through whose hand the water runs, is indeed a Lacedaemonian gift; but they did not give either of the sprinkling-vessels. ,Along with these Croesus sent, besides many other offerings of no great distinction, certain round basins of silver, and a female figure five feet high, which the Delphians assert to be the statue of the woman who was Croesus' baker. Moreover, he dedicated his own wife's necklaces and girdles. 1.52. Such were the gifts which he sent to Delphi . To Amphiaraus, of whose courage and fate he had heard, he dedicated a shield made entirely of gold and a spear all of solid gold, point and shaft alike. Both of these were until my time at Thebes, in the Theban temple of Ismenian Apollo. 1.53. The Lydians who were to bring these gifts to the temples were instructed by Croesus to inquire of the oracles whether he was to send an army against the Persians and whether he was to add an army of allies. ,When the Lydians came to the places where they were sent, they presented the offerings, and inquired of the oracles, in these words: “Croesus, king of Lydia and other nations, believing that here are the only true places of divination among men, endows you with such gifts as your wisdom deserves. And now he asks you whether he is to send an army against the Persians, and whether he is to add an army of allies.” ,Such was their inquiry; and the judgment given to Croesus by each of the two oracles was the same: namely, that if he should send an army against the Persians he would destroy a great empire. And they advised him to discover the mightiest of the Greeks and make them his friends. 1.54. When the divine answers had been brought back and Croesus learned of them, he was very pleased with the oracles. So, altogether expecting that he would destroy the kingdom of Cyrus, he sent once again to Pytho and endowed the Delphians, whose number he had learned, with two gold staters apiece. ,The Delphians, in return, gave Croesus and all Lydians the right of first consulting the oracle, exemption from all charges, the chief seats at festivals, and perpetual right of Delphian citizenship to whoever should wish it. 1.55. After his gifts to the Delphians, Croesus made a third inquiry of the oracle, for he wanted to use it to the full, having received true answers from it; and the question which he asked was whether his sovereignty would be of long duration. To this the Pythian priestess answered as follows: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“When the Medes have a mule as king, /l lJust then, tender-footed Lydian, by the stone-strewn Hermus /l lFlee and do not stay, and do not be ashamed to be a coward.” /l /quote 1.56. When he heard these verses, Croesus was pleased with them above all, for he thought that a mule would never be king of the Medes instead of a man, and therefore that he and his posterity would never lose his empire. Then he sought very carefully to discover who the mightiest of the Greeks were, whom he should make his friends. ,He found by inquiry that the chief peoples were the Lacedaemonians among those of Doric, and the Athenians among those of Ionic stock. These races, Ionian and Dorian, were the foremost in ancient time, the first a Pelasgian and the second a Hellenic people. The Pelasgian race has never yet left its home; the Hellenic has wandered often and far. ,For in the days of king Deucalion it inhabited the land of Phthia, then the country called Histiaean, under Ossa and Olympus, in the time of Dorus son of Hellen; driven from this Histiaean country by the Cadmeans, it settled about Pindus in the territory called Macedonian; from there again it migrated to Dryopia, and at last came from Dryopia into the Peloponnese, where it took the name of Dorian. 1.69. Croesus, then, aware of all this, sent messengers to Sparta with gifts to ask for an alliance, having instructed them what to say. They came and said: ,“Croesus, King of Lydia and other nations, has sent us with this message: ‘Lacedaemonians, the god has declared that I should make the Greek my friend; now, therefore, since I learn that you are the leaders of Hellas, I invite you, as the oracle bids; I would like to be your friend and ally, without deceit or guile.’” ,Croesus proposed this through his messengers; and the Lacedaemonians, who had already heard of the oracle given to Croesus, welcomed the coming of the Lydians and swore to be his friends and allies; and indeed they were obliged by certain benefits which they had received before from the king. ,For the Lacedaemonians had sent to Sardis to buy gold, intending to use it for the statue of Apollo which now stands on Thornax in Laconia ; and Croesus, when they offered to buy it, made them a free gift of it. 1.70. For this reason, and because he had chosen them as his friends before all the other Greeks, the Lacedaemonians accepted the alliance. So they declared themselves ready to serve him when he should require, and moreover they made a bowl of bronze, engraved around the rim outside with figures, and large enough to hold twenty-seven hundred gallons, and brought it with the intention of making a gift in return to Croesus. ,This bowl never reached Sardis, for which two reasons are given: the Lacedaemonians say that when the bowl was near Samos on its way to Sardis, the Samians descended upon them in warships and carried it off; ,but the Samians themselves say that the Lacedaemonians who were bringing the bowl, coming too late, and learning that Sardis and Croesus were taken, sold it in Samos to certain private men, who set it up in the the temple of Hera. And it may be that the sellers of the bowl, when they returned to Sparta, said that they had been robbed of it by the Samians. Such are the tales about the bowl. 1.71. Croesus, mistaking the meaning of the oracle, invaded Cappadocia, expecting to destroy Cyrus and the Persian power. ,But while he was preparing to march against the Persians, a certain Lydian, who was already held to be a wise man, and who, from the advice which he now gave, won a great name among the Lydians, advised him as follows (his name was Sandanis): “O King, you are getting ready to march against men who wear trousers of leather and whose complete wardrobe is of leather, and who eat not what they like but what they have; for their land is stony. ,Further, they do not use wine, but drink water, have no figs to eat, or anything else that is good. Now if you conquer them, of what will you deprive them, since they have nothing? But if on the other hand you are conquered, then look how many good things you will lose; for once they have tasted of our blessings they will cling so tightly to them that nothing will pry them away. ,For myself, then, I thank the gods that they do not put it in the heads of the Persians to march against the Lydians.” Sandanis spoke thus but he did not persuade Croesus. Indeed, before they conquered the Lydians, the Persians had no luxury and no comforts. 1.72. Now the Cappadocians are called by the Greeks Syrians, and these Syrians before the Persian rule were subjects of the Medes, and, at this time, of Cyrus. ,For the boundary of the Median and Lydian empires was the river Halys, which flows from the Armenian mountains first through Cilicia and afterwards between the Matieni on the right and the Phrygians on the other hand; then, passing these and still flowing north, it separates the Cappadocian Syrians on the right from the Paphlagonians on the left. ,Thus the Halys river cuts off nearly the whole of the lower part of Asia from the Cyprian to the Euxine sea . Here is the narrowest neck of all this land; the length of the journey across for a man traveling unencumbered is five days. 1.73. The reasons for Croesus' expedition against Cappadocia were these: he desired to gain territory in addition to his own, and (these were the chief causes) he trusted the oracle and wished to avenge Astyages on Cyrus; for Cyrus, son of Cambyses, had conquered Astyages and held him in subjection. ,Now Astyages, son of Cyaxares and the king of Media, was Croesus' brother-in-law: and this is how he came to be so. ,A tribe of wandering Scythians separated itself from the rest, and escaped into Median territory. This was then ruled by Cyaxares, son of Phraortes, son of Deioces. Cyaxares at first treated the Scythians kindly, as suppliants for his mercy; and, as he had a high regard for them, he entrusted boys to their tutelage to be taught their language and the skill of archery. ,As time went on, it happened that the Scythians, who were accustomed to go hunting and always to bring something back, once had taken nothing, and when they returned empty-handed, Cyaxares treated them very roughly and contemptuously (being, as appears from this, prone to anger). ,The Scythians, feeling themselves wronged by the treatment they had from Cyaxares, planned to take one of the boys who were their pupils and cut him in pieces; then, dressing the flesh as they were accustomed to dress the animals which they killed, to bring and give it to Cyaxares as if it were the spoils of the hunt; and after that, to make their way with all speed to Alyattes son of Sadyattes at Sardis . All this they did. ,Cyaxares and the guests who ate with him dined on the boy's flesh, and the Scythians, having done as they planned, fled to Alyattes for protection. 1.74. After this, since Alyattes would not give up the Scythians to Cyaxares at his demand, there was war between the Lydians and the Medes for five years; each won many victories over the other, and once they fought a battle by night. ,They were still warring with equal success, when it happened, at an encounter which occurred in the sixth year, that during the battle the day was suddenly turned to night. Thales of Miletus had foretold this loss of daylight to the Ionians, fixing it within the year in which the change did indeed happen. ,So when the Lydians and Medes saw the day turned to night, they stopped fighting, and both were the more eager to make peace. Those who reconciled them were Syennesis the Cilician and Labynetus the Babylonian; ,they brought it about that there should be a sworn agreement and a compact of marriage between them: they judged that Alyattes should give his daughter Aryenis to Astyages, son of Cyaxares; for without strong constraint agreements will not keep their force. ,These nations make sworn compacts as do the Greeks; and besides, when they cut the skin of their arms, they lick each other's blood. 1.75. Cyrus had subjugated this Astyages, then, Cyrus' own mother's father, for the reason which I shall presently disclose. ,Having this reason to quarrel with Cyrus, Croesus sent to ask the oracles if he should march against the Persians; and when a deceptive answer came he thought it to be favorable to him, and so led his army into the Persian territory. ,When he came to the river Halys, he transported his army across it—by the bridges which were there then, as I maintain; but the general belief of the Greeks is that Thales of Miletus got the army across. ,The story is that, as Croesus did not know how his army could pass the river (as the aforesaid bridges did not yet exist then), Thales, who was in the encampment, made the river, which flowed on the left of the army, also flow on the right, in the following way. ,Starting from a point on the river upstream from the camp, he dug a deep semi-circular trench, so that the stream, turned from its ancient course, would flow in the trench to the rear of the camp and, passing it, would issue into its former bed, with the result that as soon as the river was thus divided into two, both channels could be forded. ,Some even say that the ancient channel dried up altogether. But I do not believe this; for in that case, how did they pass the river when they were returning? 1.76. Passing over with his army, Croesus then came to the part of Cappadocia called Pteria (it is the strongest part of this country and lies on the line of the city of Sinope on the Euxine sea ), where he encamped and devastated the farms of the Syrians; ,and he took and enslaved the city of the Pterians, and took all the places around it also, and drove the Syrians from their homes, though they had done him no harm. Cyrus, mustering his army, advanced to oppose Croesus, gathering to him all those who lived along the way. ,But before beginning his march, he sent heralds to the Ionians to try to draw them away from Croesus. The Ionians would not be prevailed on; but when Cyrus arrived and encamped face to face with Croesus, there in the Pterian country the armies had a trial of strength. ,The fighting was fierce, many on both sides fell, and at nightfall they disengaged with neither side victorious. The two sides contended thus. 1.77. Croesus was not content with the size of his force, for his army that had engaged was far smaller than that of Cyrus; therefore, when on the day after the battle Cyrus did not try attacking again, he marched away to Sardis, intending to summon the Egyptians in accordance with their treaty ,(for before making an alliance with the Lacedaemonians he had made one also with Amasis king of Egypt ), and to send for the Babylonians also (for with these too he had made an alliance, Labynetus at this time being their sovereign), ,and to summon the Lacedaemonians to join him at a fixed time. He had in mind to muster all these forces and assemble his own army, then to wait until the winter was over and march against the Persians at the beginning of spring. ,With such an intention, as soon as he returned to Sardis, he sent heralds to all his allies, summoning them to assemble at Sardis in five months' time; and as for the soldiers whom he had with him, who had fought with the Persians, all of them who were mercenaries he discharged, never thinking that after a contest so equal Cyrus would march against Sardis . 1.78. This was how Croesus reasoned. Meanwhile, snakes began to swarm in the outer part of the city; and when they appeared the horses, leaving their accustomed pasture, devoured them. When Croesus saw this he thought it a portent, and so it was. ,He at once sent to the homes of the Telmessian interpreters, to inquire concerning it; but though his messengers came and learned from the Telmessians what the portent meant, they could not bring back word to Croesus, for he was a prisoner before they could make their voyage back to Sardis . ,Nonetheless, this was the judgment of the Telmessians: that Croesus must expect a foreign army to attack his country, and that when it came, it would subjugate the inhabitants of the land: for the snake, they said, was the offspring of the land, but the horse was an enemy and a foreigner. This was the answer which the Telmessians gave Croesus, knowing as yet nothing of the fate of Sardis and of the king himself; but when they gave it, Croesus was already taken. 1.79. When Croesus marched away after the battle in the Pterian country, Cyrus, learning that Croesus had gone intending to disband his army, deliberated and perceived that it would be opportune for him to march quickly against Sardis, before the power of the Lydians could be assembled again. ,This he decided, and this he did immediately; he marched his army into Lydia and so came himself to bring the news of it to Croesus. All had turned out contrary to Croesus' expectation, and he was in a great quandary; nevertheless, he led out the Lydians to battle. ,Now at this time there was no nation in Asia more valiant or warlike than the Lydian. It was their custom to fight on horseback, carrying long spears, and they were skillful at managing horses. 1.80. So the armies met in the plain, wide and bare, that is before the city of Sardis : the Hyllus and other rivers flow across it and run violently together into the greatest of them, which is called Hermus (this flows from the mountain sacred to the Mother Dindymene and empties into the sea near the city of Phocaea ). ,When Cyrus saw the Lydians maneuvering their battle-lines here, he was afraid of their cavalry, and therefore at the urging of one Harpagus, a Mede, he did as I shall describe. Assembling all the camels that followed his army bearing food and baggage, he took off their burdens and mounted men upon them equipped like cavalrymen; having equipped them, he ordered them to advance before his army against Croesus' cavalry; he directed the infantry to follow the camels, and placed all his cavalry behind the infantry. ,When they were all in order, he commanded them to kill all the other Lydians who came in their way, and spare none, but not to kill Croesus himself, even if he should defend himself against capture. ,Such was his command. The reason for his posting the camels to face the cavalry was this: horses fear camels and can endure neither the sight nor the smell of them; this then was the intention of his maneuver, that Croesus' cavalry, on which the Lydian relied to distinguish himself, might be of no use. ,So when battle was joined, as soon as the horses smelled and saw the camels they turned to flight, and all Croesus' hope was lost. ,Nevertheless the Lydians were no cowards; when they saw what was happening, they leaped from their horses and fought the Persians on foot. Many of both armies fell; at length the Lydians were routed and driven within their city wall, where they were besieged by the Persians. 1.81. So then they were besieged. But Croesus, supposing that the siege would last a long time, again sent messengers from the city to his allies; whereas the former envoys had been sent to summon them to muster at Sardis in five months' time, these were to announce that Croesus was besieged and to plead for help as quickly as possible. 1.82. So he sent to the Lacedaemonians as well as to the rest of the allies. Now at this very time the Spartans themselves were feuding with the Argives over the country called Thyrea; ,for this was a part of the Argive territory which the Lacedaemonians had cut off and occupied. (All the land towards the west, as far as Malea, belonged then to the Argives, and not only the mainland, but the island of Cythera and the other islands.) ,The Argives came out to save their territory from being cut off, then after debate the two armies agreed that three hundred of each side should fight, and whichever party won would possess the land. The rest of each army was to go away to its own country and not be present at the battle, since, if the armies remained on the field, the men of either party might render assistance to their comrades if they saw them losing. ,Having agreed, the armies drew off, and picked men of each side remained and fought. Neither could gain advantage in the battle; at last, only three out of the six hundred were left, Alcenor and Chromios of the Argives, Othryades of the Lacedaemonians: these three were left alive at nightfall. ,Then the two Argives, believing themselves victors, ran to Argos ; but Othryades the Lacedaemonian, after stripping the Argive dead and taking the arms to his camp, waited at his position. On the second day both armies came to learn the issue. ,For a while both claimed the victory, the Argives arguing that more of their men had survived, the Lacedaemonians showing that the Argives had fled, while their man had stood his ground and stripped the enemy dead. ,At last from arguing they fell to fighting; many of both sides fell, but the Lacedaemonians gained the victory. The Argives, who before had worn their hair long by fixed custom, shaved their heads ever after and made a law, with a curse added to it, that no Argive grow his hair, and no Argive woman wear gold, until they recovered Thyreae; ,and the Lacedaemonians made a contrary law, that they wear their hair long ever after; for until now they had not worn it so. Othryades, the lone survivor of the three hundred, was ashamed, it is said, to return to Sparta after all the men of his company had been killed, and killed himself on the spot at Thyreae. 1.83. The Sardian herald came after this had happened to the Spartans to ask for their help for Croesus, now besieged; nonetheless, when they heard the herald, they prepared to send help; but when they were already equipped and their ships ready, a second message came that the fortification of the Lydians was taken and Croesus a prisoner. Then, though very sorry indeed, they ceased their efforts. 1.84. This is how Sardis was taken. When Croesus had been besieged for fourteen days, Cyrus sent horsemen around in his army to promise to reward whoever first mounted the wall. ,After this the army made an assault, but with no success. Then, when all the others were stopped, a certain Mardian called Hyroeades attempted to mount by a part of the acropolis where no guard had been set, since no one feared that it could be taken by an attack made here. ,For here the height on which the acropolis stood is sheer and unlikely to be assaulted; this was the only place where Meles the former king of Sardis had not carried the lion which his concubine had borne him, the Telmessians having declared that if this lion were carried around the walls, Sardis could never be taken. Meles then carried the lion around the rest of the wall of the acropolis where it could be assaulted, but neglected this place, because the height was sheer and defied attack. It is on the side of the city which faces towards Tmolus. ,The day before, then, Hyroeades, this Mardian, had seen one of the Lydians come down by this part of the acropolis after a helmet that had fallen down, and fetch it; he took note of this and considered it. ,And now he climbed up himself, and other Persians after him. Many ascended, and thus Sardis was taken and all the city sacked. 1.85. I will now relate what happened to Croesus himself. He had a son, whom I have already mentioned, fine in other respects, but mute. Now in his days of prosperity past Croesus had done all that he could for his son; and besides resorting to other devices he had sent to Delphi to inquire of the oracle concerning him. ,The Pythian priestess answered him thus: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“Lydian, king of many, greatly foolish Croesus, /l lWish not to hear in the palace the voice often prayed for /l lof your son speaking. /l lIt were better for you that he remain mute as before; /l lFor on an unlucky day shall he first speak.” /l /quote ,So at the taking of the fortification a certain Persian, not knowing who Croesus was, came at him meaning to kill him. Croesus saw him coming, but because of the imminent disaster he was past caring, and it made no difference to him whether he were struck and killed. ,But this mute son, when he saw the Persian coming on, in fear and distress broke into speech and cried, “Man, do not kill Croesus!” This was the first word he uttered, and after that for all the rest of his life he had power of speech. 1.86. The Persians gained Sardis and took Croesus prisoner. Croesus had ruled fourteen years and been besieged fourteen days. Fulfilling the oracle, he had destroyed his own great empire. The Persians took him and brought him to Cyrus, ,who erected a pyre and mounted Croesus atop it, bound in chains, with twice seven sons of the Lydians beside him. Cyrus may have intended to sacrifice him as a victory-offering to some god, or he may have wished to fulfill a vow, or perhaps he had heard that Croesus was pious and put him atop the pyre to find out if some divinity would deliver him from being burned alive. ,So Cyrus did this. As Croesus stood on the pyre, even though he was in such a wretched position it occurred to him that Solon had spoken with god's help when he had said that no one among the living is fortunate. When this occurred to him, he heaved a deep sigh and groaned aloud after long silence, calling out three times the name “Solon.” ,Cyrus heard and ordered the interpreters to ask Croesus who he was invoking. They approached and asked, but Croesus kept quiet at their questioning, until finally they forced him and he said, “I would prefer to great wealth his coming into discourse with all despots.” Since what he said was unintelligible, they again asked what he had said, ,persistently harassing him. He explained that first Solon the Athenian had come and seen all his fortune and spoken as if he despised it. Now everything had turned out for him as Solon had said, speaking no more of him than of every human being, especially those who think themselves fortunate. While Croesus was relating all this, the pyre had been lit and the edges were on fire. ,When Cyrus heard from the interpreters what Croesus said, he relented and considered that he, a human being, was burning alive another human being, one his equal in good fortune. In addition, he feared retribution, reflecting how there is nothing stable in human affairs. He ordered that the blazing fire be extinguished as quickly as possible, and that Croesus and those with him be taken down, but despite their efforts they could not master the fire. 1.87. Then the Lydians say that Croesus understood Cyrus' change of heart, and when he saw everyone trying to extinguish the fire but unable to check it, he invoked Apollo, crying out that if Apollo had ever been given any pleasing gift by him, let him offer help and deliver him from the present evil. ,Thus he in tears invoked the god, and suddenly out of a clear and windless sky clouds gathered, a storm broke, and it rained violently, extinguishing the pyre. Thus Cyrus perceived that Croesus was dear to god and a good man. He had him brought down from the pyre and asked, ,“Croesus, what man persuaded you to wage war against my land and become my enemy instead of my friend?” He replied, “O King, I acted thus for your good fortune, but for my own ill fortune. The god of the Hellenes is responsible for these things, inciting me to wage war. ,No one is so foolish as to choose war over peace. In peace sons bury their fathers, in war fathers bury their sons. But I suppose it was dear to the divinity that this be so.” 1.88. Croesus said this, and Cyrus freed him and made him sit near and was very considerate to him, and both he and all that were with him were astonished when they looked at Croesus. He for his part was silent, deep in thought. ,Presently he turned and said (for he saw the Persians sacking the city of the Lydians), “O King, am I to say to you what is in my mind now, or keep silent?” When Cyrus urged him to speak up boldly, Croesus asked, ,“The multitude there, what is it at which they are so busily engaged?” “They are plundering your city,” said Cyrus, “and carrying off your possessions.” “No,” Croesus answered, “not my city, and not my possessions; for I no longer have any share of all this; it is your wealth that they are pillaging.” 1.89. Cyrus thought about what Croesus had said and, telling the rest to withdraw, asked Croesus what fault he saw in what was being done. “Since the gods have made me your slave,” replied the Lydian, “it is right that if I have any further insight I should point it out to you. ,The Persians being by nature violent men are poor; so if you let them seize and hold great possessions, you may expect that he who has got most will revolt against you. Therefore do this, if you like what I say. ,Have men of your guard watch all the gates; let them take the spoil from those who are carrying it out, and say that it must be paid as a tithe to Zeus. Thus you shall not be hated by them for taking their wealth by force, and they, recognizing that you act justly, will give up the spoil willingly.” 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.” 1.121. Hearing this, Astyages was glad, and calling Cyrus, said, “My boy, I did you wrong because of a vision I had in a dream, that meant nothing, but by your own destiny you still live; now therefore, go to the Persians, and good luck go with you; I will send guides with you. When you get there you will find a father and mother unlike the cowherd, Mitradates, and his wife.” 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. 1.158. The men of Cyme, then, sent to Branchidae to inquire of the shrine what they should do in the matter of Pactyes that would be most pleasing to the gods; and the oracle replied that they must surrender Pactyes to the Persians. ,When this answer came back to them, they set about surrendering him. But while the greater part were in favor of doing this, Aristodicus son of Heraclides, a notable man among the citizens, stopped the men of Cyme from doing it; for he did not believe the oracle and thought that those who had inquired of the god spoke falsely; until at last a second band of inquirers was sent to inquire concerning Pactyes, among whom was Aristodicus. 1.159. When they came to Branchidae, Aristodicus, speaking for all, put this question to the oracle: “Lord, Pactyes the Lydian has come to us a suppliant fleeing a violent death at the hands of the Persians; and they demand him of us, telling the men of Cyme to surrender him. ,But we, as much as we fear the Persian power, have not dared give up this suppliant of ours until it is clearly made known to us by you whether we are to do this or not.” Thus Aristodicus inquired; and the god again gave the same answer, that Pactyes should be surrendered to the Persians. ,With that Aristodicus did as he had already decided; he went around the temple, and took away the sparrows and all the families of nesting birds that were in it. But while he was doing so, a voice (they say) came out of the inner shrine calling to Aristodicus, and saying, “Vilest of men, how dare you do this? Will you rob my temple of those that take refuge with me?” ,Then Aristodicus had his answer ready: “Lord,” he said, “will you save your own suppliants, yet tell the men of Cyme to deliver up theirs?” But the god replied, “Yes, I do command them, so that you may perish all the sooner for your impiety, and never again come to inquire of my oracle about giving up those that seek refuge with you.” 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. 1.206. But while he was busy at this, Tomyris sent a herald to him with this message: “O king of the Medes, stop hurrying on what you are hurrying on, for you cannot know whether the completion of this work will be for your advantage. Stop, and be king of your own country; and endure seeing us ruling those whom we rule. ,But if you will not take this advice, and will do anything rather than remain at peace, then if you so greatly desire to try the strength of the Massagetae, stop your present work of bridging the river, and let us withdraw three days' journey from the Araxes; and when that is done, cross into our country. ,Or if you prefer to receive us into your country, then withdraw yourself as I have said.” Hearing this, Cyrus called together the leading Persians and laid the matter before them, asking them to advise him which he should do. They all spoke to the same end, urging him to let Tomyris and her army enter his country. 1.207. But Croesus the Lydian, who was present, was displeased by their advice and spoke against it. “O King,” he said, “you have before now heard from me that since Zeus has given me to you I will turn aside to the best of my ability whatever misadventure I see threatening your house. And disaster has been my teacher. ,Now, if you think that you and the army that you lead are immortal, I have no business giving you advice; but if you know that you and those whom you rule are only men, then I must first teach you this: men's fortunes are on a wheel, which in its turning does not allow the same man to prosper forever. ,So, if that is the case, I am not of the same opinion about the business in hand as these other counsellors of yours. This is the danger if we agree to let the enemy enter your country: if you lose the battle, you lose your empire also, for it is plain that if the Massagetae win they will not retreat but will march against your provinces. ,And if you conquer them, it is a lesser victory than if you crossed into their country and routed the Massagetae and pursued them; for I weigh your chances against theirs, and suppose that when you have beaten your adversaries you will march for the seat of Tomyris' power. ,And besides what I have shown, it would be a shameful thing and not to be endured if Cyrus the son of Cambyses should yield and give ground before a woman. Now then, it occurs to me that we should cross and go forward as far as they draw back, and that then we should endeavor to overcome them by doing as I shall show. ,As I understand, the Massagetae have no experience of the good things of Persia, and have never fared well as to what is greatly desirable. Therefore, I advise you to cut up the meat of many of your sheep and goats into generous portions for these men, and to cook it and serve it as a feast in our camp, providing many bowls of unmixed wine and all kinds of food. ,Then let your army withdraw to the river again, leaving behind that part of it which is of least value. For if I am not mistaken in my judgment, when the Massagetae see so many good things they will give themselves over to feasting on them; and it will be up to us then to accomplish great things.” 1.208. So these opinions clashed; and Cyrus set aside his former plan and chose that of Croesus; consequently, he told Tomyris to draw her army off, for he would cross (he said) and attack her; so she withdrew as she had promised before. Then he entrusted Croesus to the care of his own son Cambyses, to whom he would leave his sovereignty, telling Cambyses to honor Croesus and treat him well if the crossing of the river against the Massagetae should not go well. With these instructions, he sent the two back to Persia, and he and his army crossed the river. 1.209. After he had crossed the Araxes, he dreamed that night while sleeping in the country of the Massagetae that he saw the eldest of Hystapes' sons with wings on his shoulders, the one wing overshadowing Asia and the other Europe . ,Hystaspes son of Arsames was an Achaemenid, and Darius was the eldest of his sons, then about twenty years old; this Darius had been left behind in Persia, not yet being of an age to go on campaign. ,So when Cyrus awoke he considered his vision, and because it seemed to him to be of great importance, he sent for Hystaspes and said to him privately, “Hystaspes, I have caught your son plotting against me and my sovereignty; and I will tell you how I know this for certain. ,The gods care for me and show me beforehand all that is coming. Now then, I have seen in a dream in the past night your eldest son with wings on his shoulders, overshadowing Asia with the one and Europe with the other. ,From this vision, there is no way that he is not plotting against me. Therefore hurry back to Persia, and see that when I come back after subjecting this country you bring your son before me to be questioned about this.” 1.209.4. The gods care for me and show me beforehand all that is coming. Now then, I have seen in a dream in the past night your eldest son with wings on his shoulders, overshadowing Asia with the one and Europe with the other. 1.210. Cyrus said this, thinking that Darius was plotting against him; but in fact, heaven was showing him that he himself was to die in the land where he was and Darius inherit his kingdom. ,So then Hystaspes replied with this: “O King, may there not be any Persian born who would plot against you! But if there is, may he perish suddenly; for you have made the Persians free men instead of slaves and rulers of all instead of subjects of any. ,But if your vision does indeed signify that my son is planning revolution, I give him to you to treat as you like.” 1.211. After having given this answer and crossed the Araxes, Hystaspes went to Persia to watch his son for Cyrus; and Cyrus, advancing a day's journey from the Araxes, acted according to Croesus' advice. ,Cyrus and the sound portion of the Persian army marched back to the Araxes, leaving behind those that were useless; a third of the Massagetae forces attacked those of the army who were left behind and destroyed them despite resistance; then, when they had overcome their enemies, seeing the banquet spread they sat down and feasted, and after they had had their fill of food and wine, they fell asleep. ,Then the Persians attacked them, killing many and taking many more alive, among whom was the son of Tomyris the queen, Spargapises by name, the leader of the Massagetae. 1.212. When Tomyris heard what had happened to her army and her son, she sent a herald to Cyrus with this message: ,“Cyrus who can never get enough blood, do not be elated by what you have done; it is nothing to be proud of if, by the fruit of the vine—with which you Persians fill yourselves and rage so violently that evil words rise in a flood to your lips when the wine enters your bodies—if, by tricking him with this drug, you got the better of my son, and not by force of arms in battle. ,Now, then, take a word of good advice from me: give me back my son and leave this country unpunished, even though you have savaged a third of the Massagetae army. But if you will not, then I swear to you by the sun, lord of the Massagetae, that I shall give even you who can never get enough of it your fill of blood.” 1.213. Cyrus dismissed this warning when it was repeated to him. But Spargapises, the son of the queen Tomyris, after the wine wore off and he recognized his evil plight, asked Cyrus to be freed from his bonds; and this was granted him; but as soon as he was freed and had the use of his hands, he did away with himself. 1.214. Such was the end of Spargapises. Tomyris, when Cyrus would not listen to her, collected all her forces and engaged him. This fight I judge to have been the fiercest ever fought by men that were not Greek; and indeed I have learned that this was so. ,For first (it is said) they shot arrows at each other from a distance; then, when their arrows were all spent, they rushed at each other and fought with their spears and swords; and for a long time they stood fighting and neither would give ground; but at last the Massagetae got the upper hand. ,The greater part of the Persian army was destroyed there on the spot, and Cyrus himself fell there, after having reigned for one year short of thirty years. ,Tomyris filled a skin with human blood, and searched among the Persian dead for Cyrus' body; and when she found it, she pushed his head into the skin, and insulted the dead man in these words: ,“Though I am alive and have defeated you in battle, you have destroyed me, taking my son by guile; but just as I threatened, I give you your fill of blood.” Many stories are told of Cyrus' death; this, that I have told, is the most credible. 2.47. Swine are held by the Egyptians to be unclean beasts. In the first place, if an Egyptian touches a hog in passing, he goes to the river and dips himself in it, clothed as he is; and in the second place, swineherds, though native born Egyptians, are alone of all men forbidden to enter any Egyptian temple; nor will any give a swineherd his daughter in marriage, nor take a wife from their women; but swineherds intermarry among themselves. ,Nor do the Egyptians think it right to sacrifice swine to any god except the Moon and Dionysus; to these, they sacrifice their swine at the same time, in the same season of full moon; then they eat the meat. The Egyptians have an explanation of why they sacrifice swine at this festival, yet abominate them at others; I know it, but it is not fitting that I relate it. ,But this is how they sacrifice swine to the Moon: the sacrificer lays the end of the tail and the spleen and the caul together and covers them up with all the fat that he finds around the belly, then consigns it all to the fire; as for the rest of the flesh, they eat it at the time of full moon when they sacrifice the victim; but they will not taste it on any other day. Poor men, with but slender means, mold swine out of dough, which they then take and sacrifice. 2.83. As to the art of divination among them, it belongs to no man, but to some of the gods; there are in their country oracles of Heracles, Apollo, Athena, Artemis, Ares, and Zeus, and of Leto (the most honored of all) in the town of Buto . Nevertheless, they have several ways of divination, not just one. 2.111. When Sesostris died, he was succeeded in the kingship (the priests said) by his son Pheros . This king waged no wars, and chanced to become blind, for the following reason: the Nile came down in such a flood as there had never been, rising to a height of thirty feet, and the water that flowed over the fields was roughened by a strong wind; ,then, it is said, the king was so audacious as to seize a spear and hurl it into the midst of the river eddies. Right after this, he came down with a disease of the eyes, and became blind. When he had been blind for ten years, an oracle from the city of Buto declared to him that the term of his punishment was drawing to an end, and that he would regain his sight by washing his eyes with the urine of a woman who had never had intercourse with any man but her own husband. ,Pheros tried his own wife first; and, as he remained blind, all women, one after another. When he at last recovered his sight, he took all the women whom he had tried, except the one who had made him see again, and gathered them into one town, the one which is now called “Red Clay”; having concentrated them together there, he burnt them and the town; ,but the woman by whose means he had recovered his sight, he married. Most worthy of mention among the many offerings which he dedicated in all the noteworthy temples for his deliverance from blindness are the two marvellous stone obelisks which he set up in the temple of the Sun. Each of these is made of a single block, and is over one hundred and sixty-six feet high and thirteen feet thick. 2.133. After what happened to his daughter, the following happened next to this king: an oracle came to him from the city of Buto, announcing that he had just six years to live and was to die in the seventh. ,The king took this badly, and sent back to the oracle a message of reproach, blaming the god that his father and his uncle, though they had shut up the temples, and disregarded the gods, and destroyed men, had lived for a long time, but that he who was pious was going to die so soon. ,But a second oracle came announcing that for this very reason his life was hastening to a close: he had done what was contrary to fate; Egypt should have been afflicted for a hundred and fifty years, and the two kings before him knew this, but not he. ,Hearing this, Mycerinus knew that his doom was fixed. Therefore, he had many lamps made, and would light these at nightfall and drink and enjoy himself, not letting up day or night, roaming to the marsh country and the groves and wherever he heard of the likeliest places of pleasure. ,This was his recourse, so that by turning night into day he might make his six years into twelve and so prove the oracle false. 2.139. Now the departure of the Ethiopian (they said) came about in this way. After seeing in a dream one who stood over him and urged him to gather together all the Priests in Egypt and cut them in half, he fled from the country. ,Seeing this vision, he said, he supposed it to be a manifestation sent to him by the gods, so that he might commit sacrilege and so be punished by gods or men; he would not (he said) do so, but otherwise, for the time foretold for his rule over Egypt was now fulfilled, after which he was to depart: ,for when he was still in Ethiopia, the oracles that are consulted by the people of that country told him that he was fated to reign fifty years over Egypt . Seeing that this time was now completed and that he was troubled by what he saw in his dream, Sabacos departed from Egypt of his own volition. 2.141. The next king was the priest of Hephaestus whose name was Sethos. He despised and had no regard for the warrior Egyptians, thinking he would never need them; besides otherwise dishonoring them, he took away the chosen lands which had been given to them, twelve fields to each man, in the reign of former kings. ,So when presently king Sanacharib came against Egypt, with a great force of Arabians and Assyrians, the warrior Egyptians would not march against him. ,The priest, in this quandary, went into the temple shrine and there before the god's image bitterly lamented over what he expected to suffer. Sleep came on him while he was lamenting, and it seemed to him the god stood over him and told him to take heart, that he would come to no harm encountering the power of Arabia : “I shall send you champions,” said the god. ,So he trusted the vision, and together with those Egyptians who would follow him camped at Pelusium, where the road comes into Egypt ; and none of the warriors would go with him, but only merchants and craftsmen and traders. ,Their enemies came there, too, and during the night were overrun by a horde of field mice that gnawed quivers and bows and the handles of shields, with the result that many were killed fleeing unarmed the next day. ,And to this day a stone statue of the Egyptian king stands in Hephaestus' temple, with a mouse in his hand, and an inscription to this effect: “Look at me, and believe.” 2.144. Thus they showed that all those whose statues stood there had been good men, but quite unlike gods. ,Before these men, they said, the rulers of Egypt were gods, but none had been contemporary with the human priests. of these gods one or another had in succession been supreme; the last of them to rule the country was Osiris' son Horus, whom the Greeks call Apollo; he deposed Typhon, and was the last divine king of Egypt . Osiris is, in the Greek language, Dionysus. 2.152. This Psammetichus had formerly been in exile in Syria, where he had fled from Sabacos the Ethiopian, who killed his father Necos; then, when the Ethiopian departed because of what he saw in a dream, the Egyptians of the district of Saïs brought him back from Syria . ,Psammetichus was king for the second time when he found himself driven away into the marshes by the eleven kings because of the helmet. ,Believing, therefore, that he had been abused by them, he meant to be avenged on those who had expelled him. He sent to inquire in the town of Buto, where the most infallible oracle in Egypt is; the oracle answered that he would have vengeance when he saw men of bronze coming from the sea. ,Psammetichus did not in the least believe that men of bronze would come to aid him. But after a short time, Ionians and Carians, voyaging for plunder, were forced to put in on the coast of Egypt, where they disembarked in their armor of bronze; and an Egyptian came into the marsh country and brought news to Psammetichus (for he had never before seen armored men) that men of bronze had come from the sea and were foraging in the plain. ,Psammetichus saw in this the fulfillment of the oracle; he made friends with the Ionians and Carians, and promised them great rewards if they would join him and, having won them over, deposed the eleven kings with these allies and those Egyptians who volunteered. 2.161. Psammis reigned over Egypt for only six years; he invaded Ethiopia, and immediately thereafter died, and Apries the son of Psammis reigned in his place. ,He was more fortunate than any former king (except his great-grandfather Psammetichus) during his rule of twenty-five years, during which he sent an army against Sidon and fought at sea with the king of Tyre . ,But when it was fated that evil should overtake him, the cause of it was something that I will now deal with briefly, and at greater length in the Libyan part of this history. ,Apries sent a great force against Cyrene and suffered a great defeat. The Egyptians blamed him for this and rebelled against him; for they thought that Apries had knowingly sent his men to their doom, so that after their perishing in this way he might be the more secure in his rule over the rest of the Egyptians. Bitterly angered by this, those who returned home and the friends of the slain openly revolted. 2.162. Hearing of this, Apries sent Amasis to dissuade them. When Amasis came up with the Egyptians, he exhorted them to desist; but as he spoke an Egyptian came behind him and put a helmet on his head, saying it was the token of royalty. ,And Amasis showed that this was not displeasing to him, for after being made king by the rebel Egyptians he prepared to march against Apries. ,When Apries heard of it, he sent against Amasis an esteemed Egyptian named Patarbemis, one of his own court, instructing him to take the rebel alive and bring him into his presence. When Patarbemis came and summoned Amasis, Amasis (who was on horseback) rose up and farted, telling the messenger to take that back to Apries. ,But when in spite of this Patarbemis insisted that Amasis obey the king's summons and go to him, Amasis answered that he had long been preparing to do just that, and Apries would find him above reproach, for he would present himself, and bring others. ,Hearing this, Patarbemis could not mistake Amasis; he saw his preparations and hastened to depart, the more quickly to make known to the king what was going on. When Apries saw him return without Amasis, he did not stop to reflect, but in his rage and fury had Patarbemis' ears and nose cut off. ,The rest of the Egyptians, who were until now Apries' friends, seeing this outrage done to the man who was most prominent among them, changed sides without delay and offered themselves to Amasis. 2.163. Learning of this, too, Apries armed his guard and marched against the Egyptians; he had a bodyguard of Carians and Ionians, thirty thousand of them, and his royal palace was in the city of Saïs, a great and marvellous palace. ,Apries' men marched against the Egyptians, and so did Amasis' men against the foreigners. So they both came to Momemphis and were going to make trial of one another. 2.169. When Apries with his guards and Amasis with the whole force of Egyptians came to the town of Momemphis, they engaged; and though the foreigners fought well, they were vastly outnumbered, and therefore were beaten. ,Apries, they say, supposed that not even a god could depose him from his throne, so firmly did he think he was established; and now, defeated in battle and taken captive, he was brought to Saïs, to the royal dwelling which belonged to him once but now belonged to Amasis. ,There, he was kept alive for a while in the palace and well treated by Amasis. But presently the Egyptians complained that there was no justice in keeping alive one who was their own and their king's bitterest enemy; whereupon Amasis gave Apries up to them, and they strangled him and then buried him in the burial-place of his fathers. ,This is in the temple of Athena, very near to the sanctuary, on the left of the entrance. The people of Saïs buried within the temple precinct all kings who were natives of their district. ,The tomb of Amasis is farther from the sanctuary than the tomb of Apries and his ancestors; yet it, too, is within the temple court; it is a great colonnade of stone, richly adorned, the pillars made in the form of palm trees. In this colonnade are two portals, and the place where the coffin lies is within their doors. 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. 3.11. 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. 3.14. 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. 3.16. 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 . 3.61. 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. 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.” 3.65. 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 .” 3.120. While Cambyses was still ill, the following events occurred. The governor of Sardis appointed by Cyrus was Oroetes, a Persian. This man had an impious desire; for although he had not been injured or spoken badly of by Polycrates of Samos, and had in fact never even seen him before, he desired to seize and kill him, for the following reason, most people say. ,As Oroetes and another Persian whose name was Mitrobates, governor of the province at Dascyleium, sat at the king's doors, they fell from talking to quarreling; and as they compared their achievements Mitrobates said to Oroetes, ,“You are not to be reckoned a man; the island of Samos lies close to your province, yet you have not added it to the king's dominion—an island so easy to conquer that some native of it revolted against his rulers with fifteen hoplites, and is now lord of it.” ,Some say that Oroetes, angered by this reproach, did not so much desire to punish the source of it as to destroy Polycrates utterly, the occasion of the reproach. 3.121. A few people, however, say that when Oroetes sent a herald to Samos with some request (it is not said what this was), the herald found Polycrates lying in the men's apartments, in the company of Anacreon of Teos ; ,and, whether on purpose to show contempt for Oroetes, or by mere chance, when Oroetes' herald entered and addressed him, Polycrates, then lying with his face to the wall, never turned or answered him. 3.122. These are the two reasons alleged for Polycrates' death; believe whichever you like. But the consequence was that Oroetes, then at Magnesia which is above the river Maeander, sent Myrsus son of Gyges, a Lydian, with a message to Samos, having learned Polycrates' intention; ,for Polycrates was the first of the Greeks whom we know to aim at the mastery of the sea, leaving out of account Minos of Cnossus and any others who before him may have ruled the sea; of what may be called the human race Polycrates was the first, and he had great hope of ruling Ionia and the Islands. ,Learning then that he had this intention, Oroetes sent him this message: “Oroetes addresses Polycrates as follows: I find that you aim at great things, but that you have not sufficient money for your purpose. Do then as I direct, and you will succeed yourself and will save me. King Cambyses aims at my death; of this I have clear intelligence. ,Now if you will transport me and my money, you may take some yourself and let me keep the rest; thus you shall have wealth enough to rule all Hellas . If you mistrust what I tell you about the money, send someone who is most trusted by you and I will prove it to him.” 3.123. Hearing this, Polycrates was pleased and willing; and since he had a great desire for money he first sent one of his townsmen, Maeandrius, son of Maeandrius, to have a look; this man was his scribe; it was he who not long afterwards dedicated in the Heraeum all the splendid furnishings of the men's apartment in Polycrates' house. ,When Oroetes heard that an inspection was imminent, he filled eight chests with stones, leaving only a very shallow space at the top; then he laid gold on top of the stones, locked the chests, and kept them ready. Maeandrius came and saw, and brought word back to his master. 3.124. Polycrates then prepared to visit Oroetes, despite the strong dissuasion of his diviners and friends, and a vision seen by his daughter in a dream; she dreamt that she saw her father in the air overhead being washed by Zeus and anointed by Helios; ,after this vision she used all means to persuade him not to go on this journey to Oroetes; even as he went to his fifty-oared ship she prophesied evil for him. When Polycrates threatened her that if he came back safe, she would long remain unmarried, she answered with a prayer that his threat might be fulfilled: for she would rather, she said, long remain unmarried than lose her father. 3.125. But Polycrates would listen to no advice. He sailed to meet Oroetes, with a great retinue of followers, among whom was Democedes, son of Calliphon, a man of Croton and the most skillful physician of his time. ,But no sooner had Polycrates come to Magnesia than he was horribly murdered in a way unworthy of him and of his aims; for, except for the sovereigns of Syracuse, no sovereign of Greek race is fit to be compared with Polycrates for magnificence. ,Having killed him in some way not fit to be told, Oroetes then crucified him; as for those who had accompanied him, he let the Samians go, telling them to thank him that they were free; those who were not Samians, or were servants of Polycrates' followers, he kept for slaves. ,And Polycrates hanging in the air fulfilled his daughter's vision in every detail; for he was washed by Zeus when it rained, and he was anointed by Helios as he exuded sweat from his body. 3.142. Now Samos was ruled by Maeandrius, son of Maeandrius, who had authority delegated by Polycrates. He wanted to be the justest of men, but that was impossible. ,For when he learned of Polycrates' death, first he set up an altar to Zeus the Liberator and marked out around it that sacred enclosure which is still to be seen in the suburb of the city; when this had been done, he called an assembly of all the citizens, and addressed them thus: ,“To me, as you know, have come Polycrates' scepter and all of his power, and it is in my power now to rule you. But I, so far as it lies in me, shall not do myself what I blame in my neighbor. I always disliked it that Polycrates or any other man should lord it over men like himself. Polycrates has fulfilled his destiny, and inviting you to share his power I proclaim equality. ,Only I claim for my own privilege that six talents of Polycrates' wealth be set apart for my use, and that I and my descendants keep the priesthood of Zeus the Liberator, whose temple I have founded, and now I give you freedom.” ,Such was Maeandrius' promise to the Samians. But one of them arose and answered: “But you are not even fit to rule us, low-born and vermin, but you had better give an account of the monies that you have handled.” 3.149. As for Samos, the Persians swept it clear and turned it over uninhabited to Syloson. But afterwards Otanes, the Persian general, helped to settle the land, prompted by a dream and a disease that he contracted in his genitals. 4.79. But when things had to turn out badly for him, they did so for this reason: he conceived a desire to be initiated into the rites of the Bacchic Dionysus; and when he was about to begin the sacred mysteries, he saw the greatest vision. ,He had in the city of the Borysthenites a spacious house, grand and costly (the same house I just mentioned), all surrounded by sphinxes and griffins worked in white marble; this house was struck by a thunderbolt. And though the house burnt to the ground, Scyles none the less performed the rite to the end. ,Now the Scythians reproach the Greeks for this Bacchic revelling, saying that it is not reasonable to set up a god who leads men to madness. ,So when Scyles had been initiated into the Bacchic rite, some one of the Borysthenites scoffed at the Scythians: “You laugh at us, Scythians, because we play the Bacchant and the god possesses us; but now this deity has possessed your own king, so that he plays the Bacchant and is maddened by the god. If you will not believe me, follow me now and I will show him to you.” ,The leading men among the Scythians followed him, and the Borysthenite brought them up secretly onto a tower; from which, when Scyles passed by with his company of worshippers, they saw him playing the Bacchant; thinking it a great misfortune, they left the city and told the whole army what they had seen. 4.83. While Darius was making preparations against the Scythians, and sending messengers to direct some to furnish infantry and some to furnish ships, and others again to bridge the Thracian Bosporus, Artabanus, son of Hystaspes and Darius' brother, by no means wanted him to make an expedition against the Scythians, telling him how hard that people were to deal with. ,But when, for all his good advice, he could not deter the king, Artabanus ceased to advise, and Darius, all his preparations made, led his army from Susa. 4.134. But after sending the gifts to Darius, the Scythians who had remained there came out with foot and horse and offered battle to the Persians. But when the Scythian ranks were set in order, a rabbit ran out between the armies; and every Scythian that saw it gave chase. So there was confusion and shouting among the Scythians; Darius asked about the clamor among the enemy; and when he heard that they were chasing a rabbit, he said to those with whom he was accustomed to speak, ,“These men hold us in deep contempt; and I think now that Gobryas' opinion of the Scythian gifts was true. Since, then, my own judgment agrees with his, we need to consider carefully how we shall return safely.” To this Gobryas said : “O King, I understood almost by reason alone how difficult it would be to deal with these Scythians; but when I came here, I understood even better, watching them toying with us. ,Now then, my advice is that at nightfall we kindle our campfires in the usual way, deceive those in our army who are least fit to endure hardship, and tether all our asses here, and ourselves depart, before the Scythians can march straight to the Ister to break up the bridge, or the Ionians take some action by which we may well be ruined.” 4.135. This was Gobryas' advice, and at nightfall Darius followed it. He left the men who were worn out, and those whose loss mattered least to him, there in the camp, and all the asses, too, tethered. ,His reasons for leaving the asses, and the infirm among his soldiers, were the following: the asses, so that they would bray; the men, who were left because of their infirmity, he pretended were to guard the camp while he attacked the Scythians with the fit part of his army. ,Giving this order to those who were left behind, and lighting campfires, Darius made all haste to reach the Ister. When the asses found themselves deserted by the multitude, they brayed the louder for it; and the Scythians heard them and assumed that the Persians were in the place. 4.136. But when it was day, the men left behind perceived that Darius had betrayed them, and they held out their hands to the Scythians and explained the circumstances; they, when they heard this, assembled their power in haste, the two divisions of their horde and the one division that was with the Sauromatae and Budini and Geloni, and made straight for the Ister in pursuit of the Persians. ,And as the Persian army was for the most part infantry and did not know the roads (which were not marked), while the Scythians were horsemen and knew the short cuts, they went wide of each other, and the Scythians reached the bridge long before the Persians. ,There, perceiving that the Persians had not yet come, they said to the Ionians, who were in their ships, “Ionians, the days have exceeded the number, and you are wrong to be here still. ,Since it was fear that kept you here, now break the bridge in haste and go, free and happy men, thanking the gods and the Scythians. The one that was your master we shall impress in such a way that he will never lead an army against anyone again.” 4.137. Then the Ionians held a council. Miltiades the Athenian, general and sovereign of the Chersonesites of the Hellespont, advised that they do as the Scythians said and set Ionia free. ,But Histiaeus of Miletus advised the opposite. He said, “It is owing to Darius that each of us is sovereign of his city; if Darius' power is overthrown, we shall no longer be able to rule, I in Miletus or any of you elsewhere; for all the cities will choose democracy rather than despotism.” ,When Histiaeus explained this, all of them at once inclined to his view, although they had first sided with Miltiades. 4.138. Those high in Darius' favor who gave their vote were Daphnis of Abydos, Hippoclus of Lampsacus, Herophantus of Parium, Metrodorus of Proconnesus, Aristagoras of Cyzicus, Ariston of Byzantium,,all from the Hellespont and sovereigns of cities there; and from Ionia, Strattis of Chios, Aiaces of Samos, Laodamas of Phocaea, and Histiaeus of Miletus who opposed the plan of Miltiades. As for the Aeolians, their only notable man present was Aristagoras of Cymae. 4.139. When these accepted Histiaeus' view, they decided to act upon it in the following way: to break as much of the bridge on the Scythian side as a bowshot from there carried, so that they seem to be doing something when in fact they were doing nothing, and that the Scythians not try to force their way across the bridge over the Ister; and to say while they were breaking the portion of the bridge on the Scythian side, that they would do all that the Scythians desired. ,This was the plan they adopted; and then Histiaeus answered for them all, and said, “You have come with good advice, Scythians, and your urgency is timely: you guide us well and we do you a convenient service; for, as you see, we are breaking the bridge, and will be diligent about it, as we want to be free. ,But while we are breaking the bridge, this is your opportunity to go and find the Persians, and when you have found them, punish them as they deserve on our behalf and on your own.” 5.33. Then Megabates, bringing Aristagoras from Miletus, the Ionian army, and the Naxians, pretended to be sailing to the Hellespont, but when he came to Chios, he put in with his ships at Caucasa so that he might cross with a north wind to Naxos. ,Since it was not fated that the Naxians were to be destroyed by this force, the following things took place. As Megabates was making his rounds among the ships' watches, it chanced that there was no watch on the ship of Myndus. Megabates, very angry at this, ordered his guards to find the captain of this ship, whose name was Scylax, and thrust him partly through an oar-hole of the ship and bound him there so that his head was outside the ship and his body inside. ,When Scylax had been bound, someone brought word to Aristagoras, that his Myndian friend was bound and being disgracefully treated by Megabates. Aristagoras then went and pleaded with the Persian for Scylax, but since he obtained nothing that he requested, he went and released the man himself. When Megabates learned this, he took it very badly and was angry at Aristagoras. ,Aristagoras, however, said, “But you, what have you to do with these matters? Did not Artaphrenes send you to obey me and to sail wherever I bid you? Why are you so meddlesome?” This response on the part of Aristagoras enraged Megabates, who, went night fell, sent men in a boat to Naxos to tell the Naxians of the trouble in store for them. 5.55. When he was forced to leave Sparta, Aristagoras went to Athens, which had been freed from its ruling tyrants in the manner that I will show. First Hipparchus, son of Pisistratus and brother of the tyrant Hippias, had been slain by Aristogiton and Harmodius, men of Gephyraean descent. This was in fact an evil of which he had received a premonition in a dream. After this the Athenians were subject for four years to a tyranny not less but even more absolute than before. 5.56. Now this was the vision which Hipparchus saw in a dream: in the night before the datePanathenaea /date he thought that a tall and handsome man stood over him uttering these riddling verses: quote l met="dact"O lion, endure the unendurable with a lion's heart. /l lNo man on earth does wrong without paying the penalty. /l /quote ,As soon as it was day, he imparted this to the interpreters of dreams, and presently putting the vision from his mind, he led the procession in which he met his death. 5.62. I have told both of the vision of Hipparchus' dream and of the first origin of the Gephyreans, to whom the slayers of Hipparchus belonged. Now I must go further and return to the story which I began to tell, namely how the Athenians were freed from their tyrants. ,Hippias, their tyrant, was growing ever more bitter in enmity against the Athenians because of Hipparchus' death, and the Alcmeonidae, a family of Athenian stock banished by the sons of Pisistratus, attempted with the rest of the exiled Athenians to make their way back by force and free Athens. They were not successful in their return and suffered instead a great reverse. After fortifying Lipsydrium north of Paeonia, they, in their desire to use all devices against the sons of Pisistratus, hired themselves to the Amphictyons for the building of the temple at Delphi which exists now but was not there yet then. ,Since they were wealthy and like their fathers men of reputation, they made the temple more beautiful than the model showed. In particular, whereas they had agreed to build the temple of tufa, they made its front of Parian marble. 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. 6.61. While Cleomenes was in Aegina working for the common good of Hellas, Demaratus slandered him, not out of care for the Aeginetans, but out of jealousy and envy. Once Cleomenes returned home from Aegina, he planned to remove Demaratus from his kingship, using the following affair as a pretext against him: Ariston, king of Sparta, had married twice but had no children. ,He did not admit that he himself was responsible, so he married a third time. This is how it came about: he had among the Spartans a friend to whom he was especially attached. This man's wife was by far the most beautiful woman in Sparta, but she who was now most beautiful had once been the ugliest. ,Her nurse considered her inferior looks and how she was of wealthy people yet unattractive, and, seeing how the parents felt her appearance to be a great misfortune, she contrived to carry the child every day to the sacred precinct of Helen, which is in the place called Therapne, beyond the sacred precinct of Phoebus. Every time the nurse carried the child there, she set her beside the image and beseeched the goddess to release the child from her ugliness. ,Once as she was leaving the sacred precinct, it is said that a woman appeared to her and asked her what she was carrying in her arms. The nurse said she was carrying a child and the woman bade her show it to her, but she refused, saying that the parents had forbidden her to show it to anyone. But the woman strongly bade her show it to her, ,and when the nurse saw how important it was to her, she showed her the child. The woman stroked the child's head and said that she would be the most beautiful woman in all Sparta. From that day her looks changed, and when she reached the time for marriage, Agetus son of Alcidas married her. This man was Ariston's friend. 6.62. So love for this woman pricked Ariston, and he contrived as follows: He promised to give to his comrade any one thing out of all he owned, whatever Agetus might choose, and he bade his comrade make him the same promise. Agetus had no fear about his wife, seeing that Ariston was already married, so he agreed and they took oaths on these terms. ,Ariston gave Agetus whatever it was that he chose out of all his treasures, and then, seeking equal recompense from him, tried to take the wife of his comrade. Agetus said that he had agreed to anything but that, but he was forced by his oath and by the deceitful trick to let his wife be taken. 6.63. In this way Ariston married his third wife, after divorcing the second one. But his new wife gave birth to Demaratus too soon, before ten lunar months had passed. ,When one of his servants announced to him as he sat in council with the ephors that he had a son, Ariston, knowing the time of the marriage, counted up the months on his fingers and swore on oath, “It's not mine.” The ephors heard this but did not make anything of it. When the boy grew up, Ariston regretted having said that, for he firmly believed Demaratus to be his own son. ,He named him Demaratus because before his birth all the Spartan populace had prayed that Ariston, the man most highly esteemed out of all the kings of Sparta, might have a son. Thus he was named Demaratus, which means “answer to the people's prayer.” 6.64. Time passed and Ariston died, so Demaratus held the kingship. But it seems that these matters had to become known and cause Demaratus to lose his kingship. He had already fallen out with Cleomenes when he had brought the army back from Eleusis, and now they were even more at odds when Cleomenes crossed over after the Aeginetans who were Medizing. 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. 6.77. The Argives heard of this and came to the coast to do battle with him. When they had come near Tiryns and were at the place called Hesipeia, they encamped opposite the Lacedaemonians, leaving only a little space between the armies. There the Argives had no fear of fair fighting, but rather of being captured by a trick. ,This was the affair referred to by that oracle which the Pythian priestess gave to the Argives and Milesians in common, which ran thus: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"When the female defeats the male /l lAnd drives him away, winning glory in Argos, /l lShe will make many Argive women tear their cheeks. /l lAs someday one of men to come will say: /l lThe dread thrice-coiled serpent died tamed by the spear. /l /quote ,All these things coming together spread fear among the Argives. Therefore they resolved to defend themselves by making use of the enemies' herald, and they performed their resolve in this way: whenever the Spartan herald signalled anything to the Lacedaemonians, the Argives did the same thing. 6.78. When Cleomenes saw that the Argives did whatever was signalled by his herald, he commanded that when the herald cried the signal for breakfast, they should then put on their armor and attack the Argives. ,The Lacedaemonians performed this command, and when they assaulted the Argives they caught them at breakfast in obedience to the herald's signal; they killed many of them, and far more fled for refuge into the grove of Argus, which the Lacedaemonians encamped around and guarded. 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. 6.83. But Argos was so wholly deprived of men that their slaves took possession of all affairs, ruling and governing until the sons of the slain men grew up. Then they recovered Argos for themselves and cast out the slaves; when they were driven out, the slaves took possession of Tiryns by force. ,For a while they were at peace with each other; but then there came to the slaves a prophet, Cleander, a man of Phigalea in Arcadia by birth; he persuaded the slaves to attack their masters. From that time there was a long-lasting war between them, until with difficulty the Argives got the upper hand. 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. 6.86. When Leutychides came to Athens and demanded back the hostages, the Athenians were unwilling to give them back and made excuses, saying that two kings had given them the trust and they deemed it wrong to restore it to one without the other. ,When the Athenians refused to give them back, Leutychides said to them: “Men of Athens, do whichever thing you desire. If you give them back, you do righteously; if you do not give them back, you do the opposite. But I want to tell you the story of what happened at Sparta in the matter of a trust. ,We Spartans say that three generations ago there was at Lacedaemon one Glaucus, the son of Epicydes. We say that this man added to his other excellences a reputation for justice above all men who at that time dwelt in Lacedaemon. ,But we say that at the fitting time this befell him: There came to Sparta a certain man of Miletus, who desired to have a talk with Glaucus and made him this offer: ‘I am a Milesian, and I have come to have the benefit of your justice, Glaucus. ,Since there is much talk about your justice throughout all the rest of Hellas, and even in Ionia, I considered the fact that Ionia is always in danger while the Peloponnese is securely established, and nowhere in Ionia are the same men seen continuing in possession of wealth. ,Considering and taking counsel concerning these matters, I resolved to turn half of my property into silver and deposit it with you, being well assured that it will lie safe for me in your keeping. Accept the money for me, and take and keep these tokens; restore the money to whoever comes with the same tokens and demands it back.’ ,Thus spoke the stranger who had come from Miletus, and Glaucus received the trust according to the agreement. After a long time had passed, the sons of the man who had deposited the money came to Sparta; they spoke with Glaucus, showing him the tokens and demanding the money back. ,But Glaucus put them off and answered in turn: ‘I do not remember the matter, and nothing of what you say carries my mind back. Let me think; I wish to do all that is just. If I took the money, I will duly restore it; if I never took it at all, I will deal with you according to the customs of the Greeks. I will put off making my decision for you until the fourth month from this day.’ ,So the Milesians went away in sorrow, as men robbed of their possessions; but Glaucus journeyed to Delphi to question the oracle. When he asked the oracle whether he should seize the money under oath, the Pythian priestess threatened him in these verses: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact" Glaucus son of Epicydes, it is more profitable now /l lTo prevail by your oath and seize the money. /l lSwear, for death awaits even the man who swears true. /l lBut Oath has a son, nameless; he is without hands /l lOr feet, but he pursues swiftly, until he catches /l lAnd destroys all the family and the entire house. /l lThe line of a man who swears true is better later on. /l /quote When Glaucus heard this, he entreated the god to pardon him for what he had said. The priestess answered that to tempt the god and to do the deed had the same effect. ,So Glaucus summoned the Milesian strangers and gave them back their money. But hear now, Athenians, why I began to tell you this story: there is today no descendant of Glaucus, nor any household that bears Glaucus' name; he has been utterly rooted out of Sparta. So good is it not even to think anything concerning a trust except giving it back on demand!” 6.97. While they did this, the Delians also left Delos and fled away to Tenos. As his expedition was sailing landwards, Datis went on ahead and bade his fleet anchor not off Delos, but across the water off Rhenaea. Learning where the Delians were, he sent a herald to them with this proclamation: ,“Holy men, why have you fled away, and so misjudged my intent? It is my own desire, and the king's command to me, to do no harm to the land where the two gods were born, neither to the land itself nor to its inhabitants. So return now to your homes and dwell on your island.” He made this proclamation to the Delians, and then piled up three hundred talents of frankincense on the altar and burnt it. 6.107. So they waited for the full moon, while the foreigners were guided to Marathon by Hippias son of Pisistratus. The previous night Hippias had a dream in which he slept with his mother. ,He supposed from the dream that he would return from exile to Athens, recover his rule, and end his days an old man in his own country. Thus he reckoned from the dream. Then as guide he unloaded the slaves from Eretria onto the island of the Styrians called Aegilia, and brought to anchor the ships that had put ashore at Marathon, then marshalled the foreigners who had disembarked onto land. ,As he was tending to this, he happened to sneeze and cough more violently than usual. Since he was an elderly man, most of his teeth were loose, and he lost one of them by the force of his cough. It fell into the sand and he expended much effort in looking for it, but the tooth could not be found. ,He groaned aloud and said to those standing by him: “This land is not ours and we will not be able to subdue it. My tooth holds whatever share of it was mine.” 6.118. Datis journeyed with his army to Asia, and when he arrived at Myconos he saw a vision in his sleep. What that vision was is not told, but as soon as day broke Datis made a search of his ships. He found in a Phoenician ship a gilded image of Apollo, and asked where this plunder had been taken. Learning from what temple it had come, he sailed in his own ship to Delos. ,The Delians had now returned to their island, and Datis set the image in the temple, instructing the Delians to carry it away to Theban Delium, on the coast opposite Chalcis. ,Datis gave this order and sailed away, but the Delians never carried that statue away; twenty years later the Thebans brought it to Delium by command of an oracle. 6.134. All the Greeks tell the same story up to this point; after this the Parians themselves say that the following happened: as Miltiades was in a quandary, a captive woman named Timo, Parian by birth and an under-priestess of the goddesses of the dead, came to talk with him. ,Coming before Miltiades, she advised him, if taking Paros was very important to him, to do whatever she suggested. Then, following her advice, he passed through to the hill in front of the city and jumped over the fence of the precinct of Demeter the Lawgiver, since he was unable to open the door. After leaping over, he went to the shrine, whether to move something that should not be moved, or with some other intention. When he was right at the doors, he was immediately seized with panic and hurried back by the same route; leaping down from the wall he twisted his thigh, but some say he hit his knee. 6.135. So Miltiades sailed back home in a sorry condition, neither bringing money for the Athenians nor having won Paros; he had besieged the town for twenty-six days and ravaged the island. ,The Parians learned that Timo the under-priestess of the goddesses had been Miltiades' guide and desired to punish her for this. Since they now had respite from the siege, they sent messengers to Delphi to ask if they should put the under-priestess to death for guiding their enemies to the capture of her native country, and for revealing to Miltiades the rites that no male should know. ,But the Pythian priestess forbade them, saying that Timo was not responsible: Miltiades was doomed to make a bad end, and an apparition had led him in these evils. 6.136. Such was the priestess' reply to the Parians. The Athenians had much to say about Miltiades on his return from Paros, especially Xanthippus son of Ariphron, who prosecuted Miltiades before the people for deceiving the Athenians and called for the death penalty. ,Miltiades was present but could not speak in his own defense, since his thigh was festering; he was laid before the court on a couch, and his friends spoke for him, often mentioning the fight at Marathon and the conquest of Lemnos: how Miltiades had punished the Pelasgians and taken Lemnos, delivering it to the Athenians. ,The people took his side as far as not condemning him to death, but they fined him fifty talents for his wrongdoing. Miltiades later died of gangrene and rot in his thigh, and the fifty talents were paid by his son Cimon. 7.2. But while Darius was making preparations against Egypt and Athens, a great quarrel arose among his sons concerning the chief power in the land. They held that before his army marched he must declare an heir to the kingship according to Persian law. ,Three sons had been born to Darius before he became king by his first wife, the daughter of Gobryas, and four more after he became king by Atossa daughter of Cyrus. Artobazanes was the oldest of the earlier sons, Xerxes of the later; ,and as sons of different mothers they were rivals. Artobazanes pleaded that he was the oldest of all Darius' offspring and that it was everywhere customary that the eldest should rule; Xerxes argued that he was the son of Cyrus' daughter Atossa and that it was Cyrus who had won the Persians their freedom. 7.3. While Darius delayed making his decision, it chanced that at this time Demaratus son of Ariston had come up to Susa, in voluntary exile from Lacedaemonia after he had lost the kingship of Sparta. ,Learning of the contention between the sons of Darius, this man, as the story goes, came and advised Xerxes to add this to what he said: that he had been born when Darius was already king and ruler of Persia, but Artobazanes when Darius was yet a subject; ,therefore it was neither reasonable nor just that anyone should have the royal privilege before him. At Sparta too (advised Demaratus) it was customary that if sons were born before their father became king, and another son born later when the father was king, the succession to the kingship belongs to the later-born. ,Xerxes followed Demaratus advice, and Darius judged his plea to be just and declared him king. But to my thinking Xerxes would have been made king even without this advice, for Atossa held complete sway. 7.12. The discussion went that far; then night came, and Xerxes was pricked by the advice of Artabanus. Thinking it over at night, he saw clearly that to send an army against Hellas was not his affair. He made this second resolve and fell asleep; then (so the Persians say) in the night he saw this vision: It seemed to Xerxes that a tall and handsome man stood over him and said, ,“Are you then changing your mind, Persian, and will not lead the expedition against Hellas, although you have proclaimed the mustering of the army? It is not good for you to change your mind, and there will be no one here to pardon you for it; let your course be along the path you resolved upon yesterday.” 7.13. So the vision spoke, and seemed to Xerxes to vanish away. When day dawned, the king took no account of this dream, and he assembled the Persians whom he had before gathered together and addressed them thus: ,“Persians, forgive me for turning and twisting in my purpose; I am not yet come to the fullness of my wisdom, and I am never free from people who exhort me to do as I said. It is true that when I heard Artabanus' opinion my youthful spirit immediately boiled up, and I burst out with an unseemly and wrongful answer to one older than myself; but now I see my fault and will follow his judgment. ,Be at peace, since I have changed my mind about marching against Hellas.” 7.14. When the Persians heard that, they rejoiced and made obeisance to him. But when night came on, the same vision stood again over Xerxes as he slept, and said, “Son of Darius, have you then plainly renounced your army's march among the Persians, and made my words of no account, as though you had not heard them? Know for certain that, if you do not lead out your army immediately, this will be the outcome of it: as you became great and mighty in a short time, so in a moment will you be brought low again.” 7.15. Greatly frightened by the vision, Xerxes leapt up from his bed, and sent a messenger to summon Artabanus. When he came, Xerxes said, “Artabanus, for a moment I was of unsound mind, and I answered your good advice with foolish words; but after no long time I repented, and saw that it was right for me to follow your advice. ,Yet, though I desire to, I cannot do it; ever since I turned back and repented, a vision keeps coming to haunt my sight, and it will not allow me to do as you advise; just now it has threatened me and gone. ,Now if a god is sending the vision, and it is his full pleasure that there this expedition against Hellas take place, that same dream will hover about you and give you the same command it gives me. I believe that this is most likely to happen, if you take all my apparel and sit wearing it upon my throne, and then lie down to sleep in my bed.” 7.16. Xerxes said this, but Artabanus would not obey the first command, thinking it was not right for him to sit on the royal throne; at last he was compelled and did as he was bid, saying first: ,“O king, I judge it of equal worth whether a man is wise or is willing to obey good advice; to both of these you have attained, but the company of bad men trips you up; just as they say that sea, of all things the most serviceable to men, is hindered from following its nature by the blasts of winds that fall upon it. ,It was not that I heard harsh words from you that stung me so much as that, when two opinions were laid before the Persians, one tending to the increase of pride, the other to its abatement, showing how evil a thing it is to teach the heart continual desire of more than it has, of these two opinions you preferred that one which was more fraught with danger to yourself and to the Persians. ,Now when you have turned to the better opinion, you say that, while intending to abandon the expedition against the Greeks, you are haunted by a dream sent by some god, which forbids you to disband the expedition. ,But this is none of heaven's working, my son. The roving dreams that visit men are of such nature as I shall teach you, since I am many years older than you. Those visions that rove about us in dreams are for the most part the thoughts of the day; and in these recent days we have been very busy with this expedition. ,But if this is not as I determine and it has something divine to it, then you have spoken the conclusion of the matter; let it appear to me just as it has to you, and utter its command. If it really wishes to appear, it should do so to me no more by virtue of my wearing your dress instead of mine, and my sleeping in your bed rather than in my own. ,Whatever it is that appears to you in your sleep, surely it has not come to such folly as to infer from your dress that I am you when it sees me. We now must learn if it will take no account of me and not deign to appear and haunt me, whether I am wearing your robes or my own, but will come to you; if it comes continually, I myself would say that it is something divine. ,If you are determined that this must be done and there is no averting it, and I must lie down to sleep in your bed, so be it; this duty I will fulfill, and let the vision appear also to me. But until then I will keep my present opinion.” 7.17. So spoke Artabanus and did as he was bid, hoping to prove Xerxes' words vain; he put on Xerxes' robes and sat on the king's throne. Then while he slept there came to him in his sleep the same dream that had haunted Xerxes; it stood over him and spoke thus: ,“Are you the one who dissuades Xerxes from marching against Hellas, because you care for him? Neither in the future nor now will you escape with impunity for striving to turn aside what must be. To Xerxes himself it has been declared what will befall him if he disobeys.” 7.17.2. “Are you the one who dissuades Xerxes from marching against Hellas, because you care for him? Neither in the future nor now will you escape with impunity for striving to turn aside what must be. To Xerxes himself it has been declared what will befall him if he disobeys.” 7.18. With this threat (so it seemed to Artabanus) the vision was about to burn his eyes with hot irons. He leapt up with a loud cry, then sat by Xerxes and told him the whole story of what he had seen in his dream, and next he said: ,“O King, since I have seen, as much as a man may, how the greater has often been brought low by the lesser, I forbade you to always give rein to your youthful spirit, knowing how evil a thing it is to have many desires, and remembering the end of Cyrus' expedition against the Massagetae and of Cambyses' against the Ethiopians, and I myself marched with Darius against the Scythians. ,Knowing this, I judged that you had only to remain in peace for all men to deem you fortunate. But since there is some divine motivation, and it seems that the gods mark Hellas for destruction, I myself change and correct my judgment. Now declare the gods' message to the Persians, and bid them obey your first command for all due preparation. Do this, so that nothing on your part be lacking to the fulfillment of the gods' commission.” ,After this was said, they were incited by the vision, and when daylight came Xerxes imparted all this to the Persians. Artabanus now openly encouraged that course which he alone had before openly discouraged. 7.19. Xerxes was now intent on the expedition and then saw a third vision in his sleep, which the Magi interpreted to refer to the whole earth and to signify that all men should be his slaves. This was the vision: Xerxes thought that he was crowned with an olive bough, of which the shoots spread over the whole earth, and then the crown vanished from off his head where it was set. ,The Magi interpreted it in this way, and immediately every single man of the Persians who had been assembled rode away to his own province and there used all zeal to fulfill the kings command, each desiring to receive the promised gifts. Thus it was that Xerxes mustered his army, searching out every part of the continent. 7.35. When Xerxes heard of this, he was very angry and commanded that the Hellespont be whipped with three hundred lashes, and a pair of fetters be thrown into the sea. I have even heard that he sent branders with them to brand the Hellespont. ,He commanded them while they whipped to utter words outlandish and presumptuous, “Bitter water, our master thus punishes you, because you did him wrong though he had done you none. Xerxes the king will pass over you, whether you want it or not; in accordance with justice no one offers you sacrifice, for you are a turbid and briny river.” ,He commanded that the sea receive these punishments and that the overseers of the bridge over the Hellespont be beheaded. 7.37. When the bridges and the work at Athos were ready, and both the dikes at the canal's entrances, built to prevent the surf from silting up the entrances of the dug passage, and the canal itself were reported to be now completely finished, the army then wintered. At the beginning of spring the army made ready and set forth from Sardis to march to Abydos. ,As it was setting out, the sun left his place in the heaven and was invisible, although the sky was without clouds and very clear, and the day turned into night. When Xerxes saw and took note of that, he was concerned and asked the Magi what the vision might signify. ,They declared to him that the god was showing the Greeks the abandonment of their cities; for the sun (they said) was the prophet of the Greeks, as the moon was their own. Xerxes rejoiced exceedingly to hear that and continued on his march. 7.39. Xerxes became very angry and thus replied: “Villain, you see me marching against Hellas myself, and taking with me my sons and brothers and relations and friends; do you, my slave, who should have followed me with all your household and your very wife, speak to me of your son? Be well assured of this, that a man's spirit dwells in his ears; when it hears good words it fills the whole body with delight, but when it hears the opposite it swells with anger. ,When you did me good service and promised more, you will never boast that you outdid your king in the matter of benefits; and now that you have turned aside to the way of shamelessness, you will receive a lesser requital than you merit. You and four of your sons are saved by your hospitality; but you shall be punished by the life of that one you most desire to keep.” ,With that reply, he immediately ordered those who were assigned to do these things to find the eldest of Pythius sons and cut him in half, then to set one half of his body on the right side of the road and the other on the left, so that the army would pass between them. 7.54. All that day they made preparations for the crossing. On the next they waited until they could see the sun rise, burning all kinds of incense on the bridges and strewing the road with myrtle boughs. ,At sunrise Xerxes poured a libation from a golden phial into the sea, praying to the sun that no accident might befall him which would keep him from subduing Europe before he reached its farthest borders. After the prayer, he cast the phial into the Hellespont, and along with it a golden bowl, and a Persian sword which they call “acinaces.” ,As for these, I cannot rightly determine whether he cast them into the sea for offerings to the sun, or repented having whipped the Hellespont and gave gifts to the sea as atonement. 7.56. When Xerxes had passed over to Europe, he viewed his army crossing under the lash. Seven days and seven nights it was in crossing, with no pause. ,It is said that when Xerxes had now crossed the Hellespont, a man of the Hellespont cried, “O Zeus, why have you taken the likeness of a Persian man and changed your name to Xerxes, leading the whole world with you to remove Hellas from its place? You could have done that without these means.” 7.57. When all had passed over and were ready for the road, a great portent appeared among them. Xerxes took no account of it, although it was easy to interpret: a mare gave birth to a hare. The meaning of it was easy to guess: Xerxes was to march his army to Hellas with great pomp and pride, but to come back to the same place fleeing for his life. ,There was another portent that was shown to him at Sardis: a mule gave birth to a mule that had double genitals, both male and female, the male above the other. But he took no account of either sign and journeyed onward; the land army was with him. 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. 7.114. After using these enchantments and many others besides on the river, they passed over it at the Nine Ways in Edonian country, by the bridges which they found thrown across the Strymon. When they learned that Nine Ways was the name of the place, they buried alive that number of boys and maidens, children of the local people. ,To bury people alive is a Persian custom; I have learned by inquiry that when Xerxes' wife Amestris reached old age, she buried twice seven sons of notable Persians as an offering on her own behalf to the fabled god beneath the earth. 7.117. While Xerxes was at Acanthus, it happened that Artachaees, overseer of the digging of the canal, died of an illness. He was high in Xerxes' favor, an Achaemenid by lineage, and the tallest man in Persia, lacking four finger-breadths of five royal cubits in stature, and his voice was the loudest on earth. For this reason Xerxes mourned him greatly and gave him a funeral and burial of great pomp, and the whole army poured libations on his tomb. ,The Acanthians hold Artachaees a hero, and sacrifice to him, calling upon his name. This they do at the command of an oracle. 7.120. It was then that a very apt saying was uttered by one Megacreon of Abdera. He advised his townsmen, men and women alike, to gather at their temples, and there in all humility to entreat the gods to defend them in the future from half of every threatened ill. They should also, he said, thank the gods heartily for their previous show of favor, for it was Xerxes' custom to take a meal only once a day. Otherwise they would have been commanded to furnish a breakfast similar to the dinner. ,The people of Abdera would then have had no choice but to flee before Xerxes' coming, or to perish most miserably if they awaited him. 7.133. To Athens and Sparta Xerxes sent no heralds to demand earth, and this he did for the following reason. When Darius had previously sent men with this same purpose, those who made the request were cast at the one city into the Pit and at the other into a well, and bidden to obtain their earth and water for the king from these locations. ,What calamity befell the Athenians for dealing in this way with the heralds I cannot say, save that their land and their city were laid waste. I think, however, that there was another reason for this, and not the aforesaid. 7.137. This conduct on the part of the Spartans succeeded for a time in allaying the anger of Talthybius, in spite of the fact that Sperthias and Bulis returned to Sparta. Long after that, however, it rose up again in the war between the Peloponnesians and Athenians, as the Lacedaemonians say. That seems to me to be an indication of something divine. ,It was just that the wrath of Talthybius descended on ambassadors, nor abated until it was satisfied. The venting of it, however, on the sons of those men who went up to the king to appease it, namely on Nicolas son of Bulis and Aneristus son of Sperthias (that Aneristus who landed a merchant ships crew at the Tirynthian settlement of Halia and took it), makes it plain to me that this was the divine result of Talthybius' anger. ,These two had been sent by the Lacedaemonians as ambassadors to Asia, and betrayed by the Thracian king Sitalces son of Tereus and Nymphodorus son of Pytheas of Abdera, they were made captive at Bisanthe on the Hellespont, and carried away to Attica, where the Athenians put them, and with them Aristeas son of Adimantus, a Corinthian, to death. This happened many years after the king's expedition, and I return now to the course of my history. 7.142. This answer seemed to be and really was more merciful than the first, and the envoys, writing it down, departed for Athens. When the messengers had left Delphi and laid the oracle before the people, there was much inquiry concerning its meaning, and among the many opinions which were uttered, two contrary ones were especially worthy of note. Some of the elder men said that the gods answer signified that the acropolis should be saved, for in old time the acropolis of Athens had been fenced by a thorn hedge, ,which, by their interpretation, was the wooden wall. But others supposed that the god was referring to their ships, and they were for doing nothing but equipping these. Those who believed their ships to be the wooden wall were disabled by the two last verses of the oracle: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Divine Salamis, you will bring death to women's sons /l lWhen the corn is scattered, or the harvest gathered in. /l /quote ,These verses confounded the opinion of those who said that their ships were the wooden wall, for the readers of oracles took the verses to mean that they should offer battle by sea near Salamis and be there overthrown. 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. 8.54. So it was that Xerxes took complete possession of Athens, and he sent a horseman to Susa to announce his present success to Artabanus. On the day after the messenger was sent, he called together the Athenian exiles who accompanied him and asked them go up to the acropolis and perform sacrifices in their customary way, an order given because he had been inspired by a dream or because he felt remorse after burning the sacred precinct. The Athenian exiles did as they were commanded. 8.57. When Themistocles returned to his ship, Mnesiphilus, an Athenian, asked him what had been decided. Learning from him that they had resolved to sail to the Isthmus and fight for the Peloponnese, he said, ,“If they depart from Salamis, you will no longer be fighting for one country. Each will make his way to his own city, and neither Eurybiades nor any other man will be able to keep them from disbanding the army. Hellas will be destroyed by bad planning. If there is any way at all that you could persuade Eurybiades to change his decision and remain here, go try to undo this resolution.” 8.77. I cannot say against oracles that they are not true, and I do not wish to try to discredit them when they speak plainly. Look at the following matter: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"When the sacred headland of golden-sworded Artemis and Cynosura by the sea they bridge with ships, /l lAfter sacking shiny Athens in mad hope, /l lDivine Justice will extinguish mighty Greed the son of Insolence /l lLusting terribly, thinking to devour all. /l /quote , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Bronze will come together with bronze, and Ares /l lWill redden the sea with blood. To Hellas the day of freedom /l lFar-seeing Zeus and august Victory will bring. /l /quote Considering this, I dare to say nothing against Bacis concerning oracles when he speaks so plainly, nor will I consent to it by others. 8.99. When the first message came to Susa, saying that Xerxes had taken Athens, it gave such delight to the Persians who were left at home that they strewed all the roads with myrtle boughs and burnt incense and gave themselves up to sacrificial feasts and jollity. ,The second, however, coming on the heels of the first, so confounded them that they all tore their tunics, and cried and lamented without ceasing, holding Mardonius to blame; it was not so much in grief for their ships that they did this as because they feared for Xerxes himself. 8.129. This is how Timoxenus' treachery was brought to light. But when Artabazus had besieged Potidaea for three months, there was a great ebb-tide in the sea which lasted for a long while, and when the foreigners saw that the sea was turned to a marsh, they prepared to pass over it into Pallene. ,When they had made their way over two-fifths of it, however, and three yet remained to cross before they could be in Pallene, there came a great flood-tide, higher, as the people of the place say, than any one of the many that had been before. Some of them who did not know how to swim were drowned, and those who knew were slain by the Potidaeans, who came among them in boats. ,The Potidaeans say that the cause of the high sea and flood and the Persian disaster lay in the fact that those same Persians who now perished in the sea had profaned the temple and the image of Poseidon which was in the suburb of the city. I think that in saying that this was the cause they are correct. Those who escaped alive were led away by Artabazus to Mardonius in Thessaly. This is how the men who had been the king's escort fared. 9.42. No one withstood this argument, and his opinion accordingly prevailed; for it was he and not Artabazus who was commander of the army by the king's commission. He therefore sent for the leaders of the battalions and the generals of those Greeks who were with him and asked them if they knew any oracle which prophesied that the Persians should perish in Hellas. ,Those who were summoned said nothing, some not knowing the prophecies, and some knowing them but thinking it perilous to speak, and then Mardonius himself said: “Since you either have no knowledge or are afraid to declare it, hear what I tell you based on the full knowledge that I have. ,There is an oracle that Persians are fated to come to Hellas and all perish there after they have plundered the temple at Delphi. Since we have knowledge of this same oracle, we will neither approach that temple nor attempt to plunder it; in so far as destruction hinges on that, none awaits us. ,Therefore, as many of you as wish the Persian well may rejoice in that we will overcome the Greeks.” Having spoken in this way, he gave command to have everything prepared and put in good order for the battle which would take place early the next morning.
4. 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.
5. Plato, Timaeus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

6. Xenophon, The Persian Expedition, 3.1.11-3.1.13, 4.3.8, 6.1.22 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

3.1.11. Now when the time of perplexity came, he was distressed as well as everybody else and was unable to sleep; but, getting at length a little sleep, he had a dream. It seemed to him that there was a clap of thunder and a bolt fell on his father’s house, setting the whole house ablaze. 3.1.12. He awoke at once in great fear, and judged the dream in one way an auspicious one, because in the midst of hardships and perils he had seemed to behold a great light from Zeus; but looking at it in another way he was fearful, since the dream came, as he thought, from Zeus the King and the fire appeared to blaze all about, lest he might not be able to escape out of the King’s country, King Zeus in the dream is the Persian King in the interpretation. but might be shut in on all sides by various difficulties. 3.1.13. Now what it really means to have such a dream one may learn from the events which followed the dream—and they were these: Firstly, on the moment of his awakening the thought occurred to him: Why do I lie here? The night is wearing on, and at daybreak it is likely that the enemy will be upon us. And if we fall into the King’s hands, what is there to prevent our living to behold all the most grievous sights and to experience all the most dreadful sufferings, and then being put to death with insult? 4.3.8. That day and night, accordingly, they remained there, in great perplexity. But Xenophon had a dream; he thought that he was bound in fetters, but that the fetters fell off from him of their own accord, so that he was released and could take as long steps διαβαίνειν, which also means to cross a river (see above). Here lay the good omen of the dream. as he pleased. When dawn came, he went to Cheirisophus, told him he had hopes that all would be well, and related to him his dream. 6.1.22. Quite unable as he was to decide the question, it seemed best to him to consult the gods; and he accordingly brought two victims to the altar and proceeded to offer sacrifice to King Zeus, the very god that the oracle at Delphi had prescribed for him; cp. Xen. Anab. 3.1.5 ff. and it was likewise from this god, as he believed, that the dream cp. Xen. Anab. 3.1.11 f. came which he had at the time when he took the first steps toward assuming a share in the charge of the army.
7. Xenophon, The Education of Cyrus, 8.7.21 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

8.7.21. Consider again, he continued, that there is nothing in the world more nearly akin to death than is sleep; and the soul of man at just such times is revealed in its most divine aspect and at such times, too, it looks forward into the future; for then, it seems, it is most untrammelled by the bonds of the flesh.
8. Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 36.55-36.56 (1st cent. CE - missingth cent. CE)

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
"historiography,classical" Hau (2017) 182, 185, 188, 189
"justice,divine" Hau (2017) 185, 188
"king\'s savior," Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
"moralising,digressive" Hau (2017) 188
"punishment,mirroring or apt" Hau (2017) 185
ability to handle good fortune Hau (2017) 182, 185, 188
adultery Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
aeschylus Marincola et al (2021) 327
ahura-mazda Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
amasis Torok (2014) 94
amiclas,hero of carthage Mikalson (2003) 230
antonius diogenes the incredible things beyond thule Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
aphrodite,of delion Mikalson (2003) 158
apis bull Morrison (2020) 196
apollo Lipka (2021) 152
apollontos Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
argos,argives (city) Morrison (2020) 196
aristodicus Lipka (2021) 152
arrogance Hau (2017) 182, 185, 188
artabanus of persia Mikalson (2003) 231
artaxerxes iii Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
artaüctes of persia Mikalson (2003) 158
astyages Lipka (2021) 152, 153
astyages of lydia Mikalson (2003) 158
athens Kirkland (2022) 281
audience Lipka (2021) 153
bacis,salamis Mikalson (2003) 231
bagoas Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
cambyses Hau (2017) 182, 188; Lipka (2021) 152, 153; Morrison (2020) 196; Torok (2014) 94
cambyses of persia,dreams of Mikalson (2003) 158
cambyses of persia,impieties of Mikalson (2003) 208
cambyses of persia,oracles to Mikalson (2003) 158, 230
chariton Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
chians Mikalson (2003) 231
cleomenes Morrison (2020) 196
cleomenes of sparta,impieties of Mikalson (2003) 208
cleomenes of sparta,omens to Mikalson (2003) 208
coincidences,as a sign of divine involvement Hau (2017) 185
croesus Hau (2017) 182, 185; Kirkland (2022) 281; Lipka (2021) 152, 153
croesus of lydia,oracles to Mikalson (2003) 230
croesus of lydia,piety of Mikalson (2003) 158
cruelty Hau (2017) 188, 189
ctesias of cindus Marincola et al (2021) 327
culture Lipka (2021) 153
cumae Lipka (2021) 152
cyrus Lipka (2021) 152, 153
cyrus ii,the great Marincola et al (2021) 327
cyrus of persia,dreams of Mikalson (2003) 158, 208
cyrus of persia,fortune and Mikalson (2003) 230
cyrus the great Hau (2017) 182
darius Hau (2017) 182
darius i,the great Marincola et al (2021) 327
darius of persia Mikalson (2003) 208
dates Lipka (2021) 152
datis,persians general,apollo of delion and Mikalson (2003) 158
datis,persians general,dreams of Mikalson (2003) 158
delos and delians Mikalson (2003) 231
delphi Lipka (2021) 152
delphic oracle,to croesus Mikalson (2003) 230
delphic oracle Mikalson (2003) 230
demaratus Morrison (2020) 196
didyma Lipka (2021) 152
dio chrysostom,zoroastrianism Kirkland (2022) 178
dio chrysostom Kirkland (2022) 178, 179
diodorus siculus Hau (2017) 185
dionysus,of borysthenes Mikalson (2003) 236
dramaturgy Lipka (2021) 153
dream,passim,esp.,epiphany dream Lipka (2021) 152, 153
dream,passim,esp.,sign dream (= episode dream) Lipka (2021) 152, 153
dreams,of astyages Mikalson (2003) 158
dreams,of otanes Mikalson (2003) 158
dreams Mikalson (2003) 158
egypt,egyptians Morrison (2020) 196
ends of the earth Torok (2014) 94
ethiopia Lipka (2021) 152
eunuchs Marincola et al (2021) 327; Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
evaluation,internal Hau (2017) 182
executioner Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
false appearances Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
fate Hau (2017) 185
gender,male Lipka (2021) 152
glaucus Lipka (2021) 152
graeca interpretatio Mikalson (2003) 158
harem,persian royal Marincola et al (2021) 327
hephaestus Lipka (2021) 152, 153
hera Morrison (2020) 196
hero Lipka (2021) 153
herodotus Hau (2017) 182, 185, 188, 189; Marincola et al (2021) 327
heroes and heroines,of athens (eponymous) Mikalson (2003) 230
hesiod Mikalson (2003) 230
hipparchus Lipka (2021) 152
hippias Lipka (2021) 153
homer Kirkland (2022) 281; Mikalson (2003) 230
humanity Hau (2017) 188
humility Hau (2017) 185
immoderation Hau (2017) 188
impiety Hau (2017) 188, 189
isias Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
jealousy of the divine Hau (2017) 185
justice Lipka (2021) 152
juxtaposition,as a means of moralising Hau (2017) 182, 189
kambyses Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
ktesias Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
kyros Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
leto,goddess,of egypt Mikalson (2003) 158, 230
lifeworld,lifeworld experience Lipka (2021) 152
long-lived aithiopians x Torok (2014) 94
lydia Lipka (2021) 152
macedon Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
magic Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
magoas Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
magoi Mikalson (2003) 158; Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
manteis Mikalson (2003) 158
mardonius of persia,oracles to Mikalson (2003) 158
media Lipka (2021) 152
messenger Lipka (2021) 152
miracles,at elaeus Mikalson (2003) 158
moirae Mikalson (2003) 230
monarchy Morrison (2020) 196
new comedy Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
non-greeks' Morrison (2020) 196
omens,to artaüctes Mikalson (2003) 158
omens,to chians Mikalson (2003) 231
omens,to delians Mikalson (2003) 231
omens Hau (2017) 189
oracle (divine message) Lipka (2021) 152
oracles,of egyptian gods Mikalson (2003) 236
oracles Hau (2017) 189; Mikalson (2003) 158
orphics Mikalson (2003) 236
otanes Lipka (2021) 152, 153
otanes of persia Mikalson (2003) 158
overconfidence Hau (2017) 182, 185
overdetermination Hau (2017) 185
paapis Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
patterning Hau (2017) 182, 185
pausanias,role of fortune in Kirkland (2022) 281
pausanias Kirkland (2022) 281
periander of corinth Mikalson (2003) 208
peripeteia Hau (2017) 182
persia,persians Morrison (2020) 196
persia Marincola et al (2021) 327
persians Lipka (2021) 152; Marincola et al (2021) 327
phylarchus Hau (2017) 185
piety Hau (2017) 189
plato Kirkland (2022) 179; Marincola et al (2021) 327
polybius Hau (2017) 188
polycrates of samos Hau (2017) 182
priests Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
prophets Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
psammenitus Torok (2014) 94
psamtek iii Torok (2014) 94
pythia of delphi Mikalson (2003) 230
riddle/ enigma Lipka (2021) 152
royalty Lipka (2021) 152
sabacus Lipka (2021) 153
sacrifices,by persians Mikalson (2003) 158
samians Mikalson (2003) 158
scycles Lipka (2021) 152
scyles of scythia Mikalson (2003) 236
scythia Lipka (2021) 152
scythians Mikalson (2003) 236
sethus Lipka (2021) 153
sign Lipka (2021) 152, 153
siphnians Mikalson (2003) 230
slaves Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
smerdis Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
smerdis of persia Mikalson (2003) 158
solon Kirkland (2022) 179, 281
sosias Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
soul Lipka (2021) 153
sparta Lipka (2021) 152
spartans Mikalson (2003) 158
sphendadates Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
sun,as deity Mikalson (2003) 231
timaeus of tauromenium Hau (2017) 185
tinouphis Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
trickery,divine Hau (2017) 189
trickery Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
tyranny Lipka (2021) 152
uncertainty of human life Hau (2017) 185, 188
utopia Torok (2014) 94
wealth Hau (2017) 185
xerxes Hau (2017) 182; Kirkland (2022) 178, 179; Lipka (2021) 152, 153
xerxes of persia,dreams of Mikalson (2003) 158, 231
xerxes of persia,omens to Mikalson (2003) 158
xerxes of persia,respect for religious conventions Mikalson (2003) 231
zeus,olympios of olympia Mikalson (2003) 236
zopyrus of persia Mikalson (2003) 230