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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Herodotus, Histories, 3.80

nanAfter 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.”

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

31 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Deuteronomy, 4.2 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

4.2. וְאֶתְכֶם לָקַח יְהוָה וַיּוֹצִא אֶתְכֶם מִכּוּר הַבַּרְזֶל מִמִּצְרָיִם לִהְיוֹת לוֹ לְעַם נַחֲלָה כַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה׃ 4.2. לֹא תֹסִפוּ עַל־הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם וְלֹא תִגְרְעוּ מִמֶּנּוּ לִשְׁמֹר אֶת־מִצְוֺת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם׃ 4.2. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you."
2. Archilochus, Fragments, 95, 94 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

3. Archilochus, Fragments, 95, 94 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

4. Hesiod, Theogony, 209 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

5. Homer, Odyssey, 23.67 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

6. Aeschylus, Persians, 177-199, 773-780, 176 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

176. πολλοῖς μὲν αἰεὶ νυκτέροις ὀνείρασιν 176. I have been haunted by a multitude of dreams at night since the time when my son, having despatched his army, departed with intent to lay waste the land of the Ionians. But never yet have I beheld so distinct a vision
7. Euripides, Children of Heracles, 112-113, 111 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

111. οὔκουν τυράννοις τῆσδε γῆς φράσαντά σε 111. rend= Copreus 111. Thou then, shouldst have told the monarch of this land thy errand before being so bold, out of regard to his country’s freedom, instead of trying to drag strangers by force from the altars of the gods. Copreu
8. Euripides, Suppliant Women, 340-358, 726-730, 339 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

9. Herodotus, Histories, 1.1-1.5, 1.30-1.32, 1.86-1.87, 1.96-1.100, 1.131, 1.138, 1.141, 1.143, 1.153, 1.169, 1.189-1.190, 2.111, 3.1-3.6, 3.8-3.9, 3.11, 3.14, 3.16-3.43, 3.23.4, 3.45-3.53, 3.56-3.79, 3.81-3.88, 3.133, 3.144, 5.3, 6.62-6.63, 7.12-7.18, 7.27-7.29, 7.39, 7.54, 7.101-7.105, 7.117, 7.133-7.137, 7.157-7.162, 7.223, 7.238, 8.99, 8.109, 9.78-9.79, 9.109, 9.116-9.120 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.1. The Persian learned men say that the Phoenicians were the cause of the dispute. These (they say) came to our seas from the sea which is called Red, and having settled in the country which they still occupy, at once began to make long voyages. Among other places to which they carried Egyptian and Assyrian merchandise, they came to Argos, ,which was at that time preeminent in every way among the people of what is now called Hellas . The Phoenicians came to Argos, and set out their cargo. ,On the fifth or sixth day after their arrival, when their wares were almost all sold, many women came to the shore and among them especially the daughter of the king, whose name was Io (according to Persians and Greeks alike), the daughter of Inachus. ,As these stood about the stern of the ship bargaining for the wares they liked, the Phoenicians incited one another to set upon them. Most of the women escaped: Io and others were seized and thrown into the ship, which then sailed away for Egypt . 1.2. In this way, the Persians say (and not as the Greeks), was how Io came to Egypt, and this, according to them, was the first wrong that was done. Next, according to their story, some Greeks (they cannot say who) landed at Tyre in Phoenicia and carried off the king's daughter Europa. These Greeks must, I suppose, have been Cretans. So far, then, the account between them was balanced. But after this (they say), it was the Greeks who were guilty of the second wrong. ,They sailed in a long ship to Aea, a city of the Colchians, and to the river Phasis : and when they had done the business for which they came, they carried off the king's daughter Medea. ,When the Colchian king sent a herald to demand reparation for the robbery and restitution of his daughter, the Greeks replied that, as they had been refused reparation for the abduction of the Argive Io, they would not make any to the Colchians. 1.3. Then (they say), in the second generation after this, Alexandrus, son of Priam, who had heard this tale, decided to get himself a wife from Hellas by capture; for he was confident that he would not suffer punishment. ,So he carried off Helen. The Greeks first resolved to send messengers demanding that Helen be restored and atonement made for the seizure; but when this proposal was made, the Trojans pleaded the seizure of Medea, and reminded the Greeks that they asked reparation from others, yet made none themselves, nor gave up the booty when asked. 1.4. So far it was a matter of mere seizure on both sides. But after this (the Persians say), the Greeks were very much to blame; for they invaded Asia before the Persians attacked Europe . ,“We think,” they say, “that it is unjust to carry women off. But to be anxious to avenge rape is foolish: wise men take no notice of such things. For plainly the women would never have been carried away, had they not wanted it themselves. ,We of Asia did not deign to notice the seizure of our women; but the Greeks, for the sake of a Lacedaemonian woman, recruited a great armada, came to Asia, and destroyed the power of Priam. ,Ever since then we have regarded Greeks as our enemies.” For the Persians claim Asia for their own, and the foreign peoples that inhabit it; Europe and the Greek people they consider to be separate from them. 1.5. Such is the Persian account; in their opinion, it was the taking of Troy which began their hatred of the Greeks. ,But the Phoenicians do not tell the same story about Io as the Persians. They say that they did not carry her off to Egypt by force. She had intercourse in Argos with the captain of the ship. Then, finding herself pregt, she was ashamed to have her parents know it, and so, lest they discover her condition, she sailed away with the Phoenicians of her own accord. ,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. ,For many states that were once great have now become small; and those that were great in my time were small before. Knowing therefore that human prosperity never continues in the same place, I shall mention both alike. 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.” 1.86. 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.” 1.96. All of those on the mainland were now free men; but they came to be ruled by monarchs again, as I will now relate. There was among the Medes a clever man called Deioces: he was the son of Phraortes. ,Deioces was infatuated with sovereignty, and so he set about gaining it. Already a notable man in his own town (one of the many towns into which Media was divided), he began to profess and practice justice more constantly and zealously than ever, and he did this even though there was much lawlessness throughout the land of Media, and though he knew that injustice is always the enemy of justice. Then the Medes of the same town, seeing his behavior, chose him to be their judge, and he (for he coveted sovereign power) was honest and just. ,By acting so, he won no small praise from his fellow townsmen, to such an extent that when the men of the other towns learned that Deioces alone gave fair judgments (having before suffered from unjust decisions), they came often and gladly to plead before Deioces; and at last they would submit to no arbitration but his. 1.97. The number of those who came grew ever greater, for they heard that each case turned out in accord with the truth. Then Deioces, seeing that everything now depended on him, would not sit in his former seat of judgment, and said he would give no more decisions; for it was of no advantage to him (he said) to leave his own business and spend all day judging the cases of his neighbors. ,This caused robbery and lawlessness to increase greatly in the towns; and, gathering together, the Medes conferred about their present affairs, and said (here, as I suppose, the main speakers were Deioces' friends), ,“Since we cannot go on living in the present way in the land, come, let us set up a king over us; in this way the land will be well governed, and we ourselves shall attend to our business and not be routed by lawlessness.” With such words they persuaded themselves to be ruled by a king. 1.98. The question was at once propounded: Whom should they make king? Then every man was loud in putting Deioces forward and praising Deioces, until they agreed that he should be their king. ,He ordered them to build him houses worthy of his royal power, and strengthen him with a bodyguard. The Medes did so. They built him a big and strong house wherever in the land he indicated to them, and let him choose a bodyguard out of all the Medes. ,And having obtained power, he forced the Medes to build him one city and to fortify and care for this more strongly than all the rest. The Medes did this for him, too. So he built the big and strong walls, one standing inside the next in circles, which are now called Ecbatana . ,This fortress is so designed that each circle of walls is higher than the next outer circle by no more than the height of its battlements; to which plan the site itself, on a hill in the plain, contributes somewhat, but chiefly it was accomplished by skill. ,There are seven circles in all; within the innermost circle are the palace and the treasuries; and the longest wall is about the length of the wall that surrounds the city of Athens . The battlements of the first circle are white, of the second black, of the third circle purple, of the fourth blue, and of the fifth orange: ,thus the battlements of five circles are painted with colors; and the battlements of the last two circles are coated, the one with silver and the other with gold. 1.99. Deioces built these walls for himself and around his own quarters, and he ordered the people to dwell outside the wall. And when it was all built, Deioces was first to establish the rule that no one should come into the presence of the king, but everything should be done by means of messengers; that the king should be seen by no one; and moreover that it should be a disgrace for anyone to laugh or to spit in his presence. ,He was careful to hedge himself with all this so that the men of his own age (who had been brought up with him and were as nobly born as he and his equals in courage), instead of seeing him and being upset and perhaps moved to plot against him, might by reason of not seeing him believe him to be different. 1.100. When he had made these arrangements and strengthened himself with sovereign power, he was a hard man in the protection of justice. They would write down their pleas and send them in to him; then he would pass judgment on what was brought to him and send his decisions out. ,This was his manner of deciding cases at law, and he had other arrangements too; for when he heard that a man was doing violence he would send for him and punish him as each offense deserved: and he had spies and eavesdroppers everywhere in his domain. 1.131. As to the customs of the Persians, I know them to be these. It is not their custom to make and set up statues and temples and altars, but those who do such things they think foolish, because, I suppose, they have never believed the gods to be like men, as the Greeks do; ,but they call the whole circuit of heaven Zeus, and to him they sacrifice on the highest peaks of the mountains; they sacrifice also to the sun and moon and earth and fire and water and winds. ,From the beginning, these are the only gods to whom they have ever sacrificed; they learned later to sacrifice to the “heavenly” Aphrodite from the Assyrians and Arabians. She is called by the Assyrians Mylitta, by the Arabians Alilat, by the Persians Mitra. 1.138. Furthermore, of what they may not do, they may not speak, either. They hold lying to be the most disgraceful thing of all and next to that debt; for which they have many other reasons, but this in particular: it is inevitable (so they say) that the debtor also speak some falsehood. The citizen who has leprosy or the white sickness may not come into town or mingle with other Persians. They say that he is so afflicted because he has sinned in some way against the sun. ,Every stranger who gets such a disease, many drive out of the country; and they do the same to white doves, for the reason given. Rivers they especially revere; they will neither urinate nor spit nor wash their hands in them, nor let anyone else do so. 1.141. As soon as the Lydians had been subjugated by the Persians, the Ionians and Aeolians sent messengers to Cyrus, offering to be his subjects on the same terms as those which they had under Croesus. After hearing what they proposed, Cyrus told them a story. Once, he said, there was a flute-player who saw fish in the sea and played upon his flute, thinking that they would come out on to the land. ,Disappointed of his hope, he cast a net and gathered it in and took out a great multitude of fish; and seeing them leaping, “You had best,” he said, “stop your dancing now; you would not come out and dance before, when I played to you.” ,The reason why Cyrus told the story to the Ionians and Aeolians was that the Ionians, who were ready to obey him when the victory was won, had before refused when he sent a message asking them to revolt from Croesus. ,So he answered them in anger. But when the message came to the Ionians in their cities, they fortified themselves with walls, and assembled in the Panionion, all except the Milesians, with whom alone Cyrus made a treaty on the same terms as that which they had with the Lydians. The rest of the Ionians resolved to send envoys in the name of them all to Sparta, to ask help for the Ionians. 1.143. Among these Ionians, the Milesians were safe from the danger (for they had made a treaty), and the islanders among them had nothing to fear: for the Phoenicians were not yet subjects of the Persians, nor were the Persians themselves mariners. ,But those of Asia were cut off from the rest of the Ionians only in the way that I shall show. The whole Hellenic stock was then small, and the last of all its branches and the least regarded was the Ionian; for it had no considerable city except Athens . ,Now the Athenians and the rest would not be called Ionians, but spurned the name; even now the greater number of them seem to me to be ashamed of it; but the twelve cities aforesaid gloried in this name, and founded a holy place for themselves which they called the Panionion, and agreed among themselves to allow no other Ionians to use it (nor in fact did any except the men of Smyrna ask to be admitted); 1.153. When the herald had proclaimed this, Cyrus is said to have asked the Greeks who were present who and how many in number these Lacedaemonians were who made this declaration. When he was told, he said to the Spartan herald, “I never yet feared men who set apart a place in the middle of their city where they perjure themselves and deceive each other. They, if I keep my health, shall talk of their own misfortunes, not those of the Ionians.” ,He uttered this threat against all the Greeks, because they have markets and buy and sell there; for the Persians themselves were not used to resorting to markets at all, nor do they even have a market of any kind. ,Presently, entrusting Sardis to a Persian called Tabalus, and instructing Pactyes, a Lydian, to take charge of the gold of Croesus and the Lydians, he himself marched away to Ecbatana, taking Croesus with him, and at first taking no notice of the Ionians. ,For he had Babylon on his hands and the Bactrian nation and the Sacae and Egyptians; he meant to lead the army against these himself, and to send another commander against the Ionians. 1.169. These were the only Ionians who left their native lands, unable to endure slavery. The rest of the Ionians, except the Milesians, though they faced Harpagus in battle as did the exiles, and conducted themselves well, each fighting for his own country, yet, when they were defeated and their cities taken, they remained where they were and did as they were told. ,The Milesians, as I have already said, made a treaty with Cyrus himself and struck no blow. Thus Ionia was enslaved for the second time: and when Harpagus had conquered the Ionians of the mainland, the Ionians of the islands, fearing the same fate, surrendered to Cyrus. 1.189. When Cyrus reached the Gyndes river on his march to Babylon, which rises in the mountains of the Matieni and flows through the Dardanean country into another river, the Tigris, that again passes the city of Opis and empties into the Red Sea —when, I say, Cyrus tried to cross the Gyndes, which was navigable there, one of his sacred white horses dashed recklessly into the river trying to get through it, but the current overwhelmed him and swept him under and away. ,At this violence of the river Cyrus was very angry, and he threatened to make it so feeble that women could ever after cross it easily without wetting their knees. ,After uttering this threat, he paused in his march against Babylon, and, dividing his army into two parts, drew lines planning out a hundred and eighty canals running every way from either bank of the Gyndes; then he organized his army along the lines and made them dig. ,Since a great multitude was at work, it went quickly; but they spent the whole summer there before it was finished. 1.190. Then at the beginning of the following spring, when Cyrus had punished the Gyndes by dividing it among the three hundred and sixty canals, he marched against Babylon at last. The Babylonians sallied out and awaited him; and when he came near their city in his march, they engaged him, but they were beaten and driven inside the city. ,There they had stored provisions enough for very many years, because they knew already that Cyrus was not a man of no ambitition, and saw that he attacked all nations alike; so now they were indifferent to the siege; and Cyrus did not know what to do, being so long delayed and gaining no advantage. 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. 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. 3.23.4. 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.” 3.64. The truth of the words and of a dream struck Cambyses the moment he heard the name Smerdis; for he had dreamt that a message had come to him that Smerdis sitting on the royal throne touched heaven with his head; ,and perceiving that he had killed his brother without cause, he wept bitterly for Smerdis. Having wept, and grieved by all his misfortune, he sprang upon his horse, with intent to march at once to Susa against the Magus. ,As he sprang upon his horse, the cap fell off the sheath of his sword, and the naked blade pierced his thigh, wounding him in the same place where he had once wounded the Egyptian god Apis; and believing the wound to be mortal, Cambyses asked what was the name of the town where he was. ,They told him it was Ecbatana . Now a prophecy had before this come to him from Buto, that he would end his life at Ecbatana ; Cambyses supposed this to signify that he would die in old age at the Median Ecbatana, his capital city; but as the event proved, the oracle prophesied his death at Ecbatana of Syria . ,So when he now inquired and learned the name of the town, the shock of his wound, and of the misfortune that came to him from the Magus, brought him to his senses; he understood the prophecy and said: “Here Cambyses son of Cyrus is to die.” 3.65. At this time he said no more. But about twenty days later, he sent for the most prominent of the Persians that were about him, and thus addressed them: “Persians, I have to make known to you something which I kept most strictly concealed. ,When I was in Egypt I had a dream, which I wish I had not had; it seemed to me that a messenger came from home to tell me that Smerdis sitting on the royal throne touched heaven with his head. ,Then I feared that my brother would take away my sovereignty from me, and I acted with more haste than wisdom; for it is not in the power of human nature to run away from what is to be; but I, blind as I was, sent Prexaspes to Susa to kill Smerdis. When that great wrong was done I lived without fear, for I never thought that when Smerdis was removed another man might rise against me. ,But I mistook altogether what was to be; I have killed my brother when there was no need, and I have lost my kingdom none the less; for it was the Magus Smerdis that the divinity forewarned in the dream would revolt. ,Now he has been done for by me, and I would have you believe that Smerdis Cyrus' son no longer lives; the Magi rule the kingdom, the one that I left caretaker of my house, and his brother Smerdis. So then, the man is dead of an unholy destiny at the hands of his relations who ought to have been my avenger for the disgrace I have suffered from the Magi; ,and as he is no longer alive, necessity constrains me to charge you, men of Persia, in his place, with the last desire of my life. In the name of the gods of my royal house I charge all of you, but chiefly those Achaemenids that are here, not to let the sovereignty fall again into Median hands; if they have it after getting it by trickery, take it back through trickery of your own; if they have got it away by force, then by force all the stronger get it back. ,And if you do this, may your land bring forth fruit, and your women and your flocks and herds be blessed with offspring, remaining free for all time; but if you do not get the kingdom back or attempt to get it back, then I pray things turn out the opposite for you, and on top of this, that every Persian meet an end such as mine.” With that Cambyses wept bitterly for all that had happened to him. 3.66. When the Persians saw their king weep, they all tore the clothing which they wore and wailed loud and long. ,But when after this the bone rotted and the thigh rapidly putrefied, it carried off Cambyses son of Cyrus, who had reigned in all seven years and five months, but was altogether childless, without male or female issue. ,To the Persians who were present it was quite incredible that the Magi were masters of the kingdom; they believed that Cambyses' intent was to deceive them with his story of Smerdis' death, so that all Persia might be embroiled in a war against him. 3.67. So they believed that it was Cyrus' son Smerdis who had been made king. For Prexaspes stoutly denied that he had killed Smerdis, since now that Cambyses was dead, it was not safe for him to say that he had slain the son of Cyrus with his own hands. ,Cambyses being dead, the Magus, pretending to be the Smerdis of like name, Cyrus' son, reigned without fear for the seven months by which Cambyses had fallen short of reigning eight years. ,In this time he benefitted all his subjects to such an extent that after his death all the Asiatics except the Persians wished him back; for he sent to every nation he ruled and proclaimed an exemption for three years from military service and from tribute. 3.68. Such was his proclamation at the beginning of his reign; but in the eighth month he was exposed in the following manner. There was one Otanes, son of Pharnaspes, as well-born and rich a man as any Persian. ,This Otanes was the first to guess that the Magus was not Cyrus' son Smerdis and who, in fact, he was; the reason was, that he never left the acropolis nor summoned any notable Persian into his presence. And having formed this suspicion Otanes did as follows: ,Cambyses had taken his daughter, whose name was Phaedyme; this same girl the Magus had now and he lived with her and with all Cambyses' other wives. Otanes sent to this daughter, asking at what man's side she lay, with Smerdis, Cyrus' son, or with some other? ,She sent back a message that she did not know; for (she said) she had never seen Cyrus' son Smerdis, nor did she know who her bedfellow was. Then Otanes sent a second message, to this effect: “If you do not know Cyrus' son Smerdis yourself, then find out from Atossa who it is that she and you are living with; for surely she knows her own brother.” ,To this his daughter replied: “I cannot communicate with Atossa, nor can I see any other of the women of the household; for no sooner had this man, whoever he is, made himself king, than he sent us to live apart, each in her own appointed place.” 3.69. When Otanes heard that, he saw more clearly how the matter stood; and he sent her this third message: ,“Daughter, your noble birth obliges you to run any risk that your father commands you to face. If this man is not Smerdis son of Cyrus but who I think he is, then he must not get away with sleeping with you and sitting on the throne of Persia, but be punished. ,Now, then, when he lies with you and you see that he is sleeping, feel his ears; if he has ears, rest assured that you are living with Smerdis son of Cyrus; but if he has none, it is Smerdis the Magus.” ,Phaedyme answered by messenger that she would run a very great risk by so doing; for if it should turn out that he had no ears, and she were caught feeling for them, he would surely kill her; nevertheless she would do it. ,So she promised to do this for her father. Cyrus son of Cambyses during his reign cut off the ears of this Magus Smerdis for some grave reason. ,So Phaedyme, daughter of Otanes, performed her promise to her father. When it was her turn to go to the Magus (for their wives go in sequence to the Persians), she came to his bed and felt for the Magus' ears while he slumbered deeply; and having with no great difficulty assured herself that he had no ears, she sent and told this to her father as soon as it was morning. 3.70. Otanes then took aside two Persians of the highest rank whom he thought worthiest of trust, Aspathines and Gobryas, and told them the whole story. These, it would seem, had themselves suspected that it was so; and now they readily believed what Otanes revealed to them. ,They resolved that each should take into his confidence that Persian whom he most trusted; Otanes brought in Intaphrenes, Gobryas brought Megabyzus, and Aspathines Hydarnes. ,When they were six, Darius, whose father, Hystaspes, was a subordinate governor of the Persians, arrived at Susa . When he came, then, the six Persians resolved to include Darius too. 3.71. The seven then met and gave each other tokens of good faith and spoke together; and when it was Darius' turn to declare his mind, he spoke as follows: ,“I thought that I alone knew that it was the Magus who was king and that Smerdis son of Cyrus was dead; and it was for this reason that I made haste to come, that I might effect the Magus' death; but since it turns out that you know too and not only I, I think that we should act at once and not put it off.” ,Otanes replied, “son of Hystaspes, you have a good father and seem likely yourself to be in no way inferior to your father; do not hurry this undertaking without thinking, but take it up more prudently; there must be more of us to try it.” ,To this Darius answered: “You gentlemen who are here, if you do as Otanes says, know that you will die horribly; for someone will inform the Magus, looking to enrich himself alone. ,You ought to have done it by yourselves; but since you decided to confide in others and have included me, let us either act today or else understand that if the present day passes, nobody else will betray you before I do, for I shall myself betray you to the Magus.” 3.72. To this Otanes replied, seeing Darius' vehemence, “Since you force us to hurry and will tolerate no delay, tell us now yourself how we shall pass into the palace and attack them. For you know yourself, I suppose, if not because you have seen them then you have heard, that guards are stationed all around; how shall we go past the guards?” ,“Otanes,” answered Darius, “there are many things that cannot be described in words, but in deed; and there are other things that can be described in words, but nothing illustrious comes of them. You know well that the guards who are set are easy to go by. ,There is no one who will not allow us to pass, from respect or from fear, because of who we are; and further, I have myself the best pretext for entering, for I shall say that I have just arrived from Persia and have a message for the king from my father. ,When it is necessary to lie, lie. For we want the same thing, liars and those who tell the truth; some lie to win credence and advantage by lies, while others tell the truth in order to obtain some advantage by the truth and to be more trusted; thus we approach the same ends by different means. ,If the hope of advantage were taken away, the truth-teller would be as ready to lie as the liar to tell the truth. Now if any of the watchmen willingly let us pass, it will be better for him later. But if any tries to withstand us, let us note him as an enemy, and so thrust ourselves in and begin our work.” 3.73. Then Gobryas said, “Friends, when shall we have a better chance to win back the kingship, or, if we cannot, to die, since we who are Persians are ruled by a Mede, a Magus, and he a man that has no ears? ,Those of you that were with Cambyses at his death-bed of course remember the curse which he pronounced as he died on the Persians if they should not try to get back the kingship, although we did not believe Cambyses then, but thought that he spoke to deceive us. ,Now therefore my vote is that we follow Darius' plan, and not quit this council to do anything else but attack the Magus at once.” So spoke Gobryas; and they all consented to what he said. 3.74. While they were making these plans, by coincidence the following happened. The Magi had resolved after consideration to make a friend of Prexaspes, because he had been wronged by Cambyses (who had killed his son with an arrow) and because he alone knew of the death of Cyrus' son Smerdis, having himself been the slayer; but besides this, because he was in great repute among the Persians. ,For these reasons they summoned him and tried to make him a friend, having bound him by tokens of good faith and oaths to keep to himself and betray to no one their deception of the Persians, and promising to give him all things in great abundance. ,When Prexaspes agreed to do this, since the Magi importuned him, the Magi made this second proposal to him, that they should call an assembly of all the Persians before the palace wall, and he should go up on to a tower and declare that it was Smerdis son of Cyrus and no other who was king of Persia . ,They gave him this charge, because they thought him to be the man most trusted by the Persians, and because he had often asserted that Cyrus' son Smerdis was alive, and had denied the murder. 3.75. When Prexaspes said that he was ready to do this too, the Magi summoned the Persians together, and brought him up on to a tower and bade him speak. Then, deliberately forgetting all the Magi's instructions, he traced the lineage of Cyrus from Achaemenes downwards; when he came at last to the name of Cyrus, he recounted all the good which that king had done to Persia, ,and after he had narrated this, he revealed the truth, saying that he had concealed it before, as it had not been safe for him to tell what had happened, but at the present time necessity forced him to reveal it: and he said that he himself, forced by Cambyses, had killed Smerdis son of Cyrus, and that the Magi were in power. ,Then, invoking a terrible curse on the Persians if they did not win back the throne and take vengeance on the Magi, he threw himself headlong down from the tower; so Prexaspes, a man who was always well thought of, perished in this way. 3.76. The seven Persians, when they had decided to attack the Magi at once and not delay, prayed to the gods and set forth, knowing nothing of what had happened to Prexaspes. ,But when they had gone half way they learned what had happened to Prexaspes. Then they argued there, standing beside the road, Otanes' party demanding that they delay and not attack while events were in flux, and Darius' party that they go directly and do what they had decided and not put it off. ,While they were arguing, they saw seven pairs of hawks chase and slash and tear to bits two pairs of vultures. And seeing this all seven consented to Darius' opinion, and went on to the palace, encouraged by the birds. 3.77. When they came to the gate, it turned out as Darius had expected; the guards, out of respect for the leading men in Persia and never suspecting that there would be trouble from them, allowed them to pass, who enjoyed divine guidance, and no one asked any questions. ,And when they came to the court, they met the eunuchs that carry messages, who asked the seven why they had come; and while they were questioning these, they were threatening the watchmen for letting them pass, and restraining the seven who wanted to go on. ,These gave each other the word, drew their knives, and stabbing the eunuchs who barred their way, went forward at a run to the men's apartment. 3.78. Both the Magi were within, deliberating about the consequences of Prexaspes' act. Seeing the eunuchs in confusion and hearing their cries they both sprang up: and when they realized what was happening they turned to defending themselves. ,One rushed to take down a bow, the other went for a spear. Then the fighting started. The one that had caught up the bow found it was no use to him, as the antagonists were close and jostling one another; but the other defended himself with his spear, wounding Aspathines in the thigh and Intaphrenes in the eye; Intaphrenes lost his eye from the wound but was not killed. ,So one of the Magi wounded these; the other, as the bow was no use to him, fled into a chamber adjoining the men's apartment and would have shut its door. ,Two of the seven flung into the room with him, Darius and Gobryas; as Gobryas and the Magus wrestled together, Darius stood helpless in the darkness, afraid of stabbing Gobryas. ,Gobryas, seeing Darius stand helpless, asked why he did not lend a hand; and he said, “Because I am afraid for you, that I might stab you.” And Gobryas answered, “Stick your sword even if it goes through us both.” So Darius complying stabbed with his knife and somehow stuck the Magus. 3.79. When they had killed the Magi and cut off their heads, they left their wounded there because of their infirmity and for the sake of guarding the acropolis, while five of them carrying the Magi's heads ran outside with much shouting and commotion, calling all Persians to aid, telling what they had done and showing the heads; at the same time they killed every Magus that came in their way. ,The Persians, when they learned what had been done by the seven and how the Magi had tricked them, resolved to follow the example set, and drew their daggers and killed all the Magi they could find; and if nightfall had not stopped them they would not have left one Magus alive. ,This day is the greatest holy day that all Persians alike keep; they celebrate a great festival on it, which they call the Massacre of the Magi; while the festival lasts no Magus may go outdoors, but during this day the Magi remain in their houses. 3.81. 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 .” 3.133. A short time after this, something else occurred; there was a swelling on the breast of Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus and wife of Darius, which broke and spread further. As long as it was small, she hid it out of shame and told no one; but when it got bad, she sent for Democedes and showed it to him. ,He said he would cure her, but made her swear that she would repay him by granting whatever he asked of her, and said that he would ask nothing shameful. 3.144. So when the Persians brought Syloson back to Samos, no one raised a hand against them, but Maeandrius and those of his faction offered to evacuate the island under a flag of truce; Otanes agreed to this, and after the treaty was made, the Persians of highest rank sat down on seats facing the acropolis. 5.3. The Thracians are the biggest nation in the world, next to the Indians. If they were under one ruler, or united, they would, in my judgment, be invincible and the strongest nation on earth. Since, however, there is no way or means to bring this about, they are weak. ,The Thracians have many names, each tribe according to its region, but they are very similar in all their customs, save the Getae, the Trausi, and those who dwell above the Crestonaeans. 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.” 7.12. The discussion went that far; then night came, and Xerxes was pricked by the advice of Artabanus. Thinking it over at night, he saw clearly that to send an army against Hellas was not his affair. He made this second resolve and fell asleep; then (so the Persians say) in the night he saw this vision: It seemed to Xerxes that a tall and handsome man stood over him and said, ,“Are you then changing your mind, Persian, and will not lead the expedition against Hellas, although you have proclaimed the mustering of the army? It is not good for you to change your mind, and there will be no one here to pardon you for it; let your course be along the path you resolved upon yesterday.” 7.13. So the vision spoke, and seemed to Xerxes to vanish away. When day dawned, the king took no account of this dream, and he assembled the Persians whom he had before gathered together and addressed them thus: ,“Persians, forgive me for turning and twisting in my purpose; I am not yet come to the fullness of my wisdom, and I am never free from people who exhort me to do as I said. It is true that when I heard Artabanus' opinion my youthful spirit immediately boiled up, and I burst out with an unseemly and wrongful answer to one older than myself; but now I see my fault and will follow his judgment. ,Be at peace, since I have changed my mind about marching against Hellas.” 7.14. When the Persians heard that, they rejoiced and made obeisance to him. But when night came on, the same vision stood again over Xerxes as he slept, and said, “Son of Darius, have you then plainly renounced your army's march among the Persians, and made my words of no account, as though you had not heard them? Know for certain that, if you do not lead out your army immediately, this will be the outcome of it: as you became great and mighty in a short time, so in a moment will you be brought low again.” 7.15. Greatly frightened by the vision, Xerxes leapt up from his bed, and sent a messenger to summon Artabanus. When he came, Xerxes said, “Artabanus, for a moment I was of unsound mind, and I answered your good advice with foolish words; but after no long time I repented, and saw that it was right for me to follow your advice. ,Yet, though I desire to, I cannot do it; ever since I turned back and repented, a vision keeps coming to haunt my sight, and it will not allow me to do as you advise; just now it has threatened me and gone. ,Now if a god is sending the vision, and it is his full pleasure that there this expedition against Hellas take place, that same dream will hover about you and give you the same command it gives me. I believe that this is most likely to happen, if you take all my apparel and sit wearing it upon my throne, and then lie down to sleep in my bed.” 7.16. Xerxes said this, but Artabanus would not obey the first command, thinking it was not right for him to sit on the royal throne; at last he was compelled and did as he was bid, saying first: ,“O king, I judge it of equal worth whether a man is wise or is willing to obey good advice; to both of these you have attained, but the company of bad men trips you up; just as they say that sea, of all things the most serviceable to men, is hindered from following its nature by the blasts of winds that fall upon it. ,It was not that I heard harsh words from you that stung me so much as that, when two opinions were laid before the Persians, one tending to the increase of pride, the other to its abatement, showing how evil a thing it is to teach the heart continual desire of more than it has, of these two opinions you preferred that one which was more fraught with danger to yourself and to the Persians. ,Now when you have turned to the better opinion, you say that, while intending to abandon the expedition against the Greeks, you are haunted by a dream sent by some god, which forbids you to disband the expedition. ,But this is none of heaven's working, my son. The roving dreams that visit men are of such nature as I shall teach you, since I am many years older than you. Those visions that rove about us in dreams are for the most part the thoughts of the day; and in these recent days we have been very busy with this expedition. ,But if this is not as I determine and it has something divine to it, then you have spoken the conclusion of the matter; let it appear to me just as it has to you, and utter its command. If it really wishes to appear, it should do so to me no more by virtue of my wearing your dress instead of mine, and my sleeping in your bed rather than in my own. ,Whatever it is that appears to you in your sleep, surely it has not come to such folly as to infer from your dress that I am you when it sees me. We now must learn if it will take no account of me and not deign to appear and haunt me, whether I am wearing your robes or my own, but will come to you; if it comes continually, I myself would say that it is something divine. ,If you are determined that this must be done and there is no averting it, and I must lie down to sleep in your bed, so be it; this duty I will fulfill, and let the vision appear also to me. But until then I will keep my present opinion.” 7.17. So spoke Artabanus and did as he was bid, hoping to prove Xerxes' words vain; he put on Xerxes' robes and sat on the king's throne. Then while he slept there came to him in his sleep the same dream that had haunted Xerxes; it stood over him and spoke thus: ,“Are you the one who dissuades Xerxes from marching against Hellas, because you care for him? Neither in the future nor now will you escape with impunity for striving to turn aside what must be. To Xerxes himself it has been declared what will befall him if he disobeys.” 7.18. With this threat (so it seemed to Artabanus) the vision was about to burn his eyes with hot irons. He leapt up with a loud cry, then sat by Xerxes and told him the whole story of what he had seen in his dream, and next he said: ,“O King, since I have seen, as much as a man may, how the greater has often been brought low by the lesser, I forbade you to always give rein to your youthful spirit, knowing how evil a thing it is to have many desires, and remembering the end of Cyrus' expedition against the Massagetae and of Cambyses' against the Ethiopians, and I myself marched with Darius against the Scythians. ,Knowing this, I judged that you had only to remain in peace for all men to deem you fortunate. But since there is some divine motivation, and it seems that the gods mark Hellas for destruction, I myself change and correct my judgment. Now declare the gods' message to the Persians, and bid them obey your first command for all due preparation. Do this, so that nothing on your part be lacking to the fulfillment of the gods' commission.” ,After this was said, they were incited by the vision, and when daylight came Xerxes imparted all this to the Persians. Artabanus now openly encouraged that course which he alone had before openly discouraged. 7.27. In this city Pythius son of Atys, a Lydian, sat awaiting them; he entertained Xerxes himself and all the king's army with the greatest hospitality, and declared himself willing to provide money for the war. ,When Pythius offered the money, Xerxes asked the Persians present who this Pythius was and how much wealth he possessed in making the offer. They said, “O king, this is the one who gave your father Darius the gift of a golden plane-tree and vine; he is now the richest man we know of after you.” 7.28. Xerxes marvelled at this last saying and next himself asked Pythius how much wealth he had. “O king,” said Pythius, “I will not conceal the quantity of my property from you, nor pretend that I do not know; I know and will tell you the exact truth. ,As soon as I learned that you were coming down to the Greek sea, I wanted to give you money for the war, so I inquired into the matter, and my reckoning showed me that I had two thousand talents of silver, and four million Daric staters of gold, lacking seven thousand. ,All this I freely give to you; for myself, I have a sufficient livelihood from my slaves and my farms.” 7.29. Thus he spoke. Xerxes was pleased with what he said and replied: “My Lydian friend, since I came out of Persia I have so far met with no man who was willing to give hospitality to my army, nor who came into my presence unsummoned and offered to furnish money for the war, besides you. ,But you have entertained my army nobly and offer me great sums. In return for this I give you these privileges: I make you my friend, and out of my own wealth I give you the seven thousand staters which will complete your total of four million, so that your four million not lack the seven thousand and the even number be reached by my completing it. ,Remain in possession of what you now possess, and be mindful to be always such as you are; neither for the present nor in time will you regret what you now do.” 7.39. 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. 7.101. After he passed by all his fleet and disembarked from the ship, he sent for Demaratus son of Ariston, who was on the expedition with him against Hellas. He summoned him and said, “Demaratus, it is now my pleasure to ask you what I wish to know. You are a Greek, and, as I am told both by you and by the other Greeks whom I have talked to, a man from neither the least nor the weakest of Greek cities. ,So tell me: will the Greeks offer battle and oppose me? I think that even if all the Greeks and all the men of the western lands were assembled together, they are not powerful enough to withstand my attack, unless they are united. ,Still I want to hear from you what you say of them.” To this question Demaratus answered, “O king, should I speak the truth or try to please you?” Xerxes bade him speak the truth and said that it would be no more unpleasant for him than before. 7.102. Demaratus heard this and said, “O King, since you bid me by all means to speak the whole truth, and to say what you will not later prove to be false, in Hellas poverty is always endemic, but courage is acquired as the fruit of wisdom and strong law; by use of this courage Hellas defends herself from poverty and tyranny. ,Now I praise all the Greeks who dwell in those Dorian lands, yet I am not going to speak these words about all of them, but only about the Lacedaemonians. First, they will never accept conditions from you that bring slavery upon Hellas; and second, they will meet you in battle even if all the other Greeks are on your side. ,Do not ask me how many these men are who can do this; they will fight with you whether they have an army of a thousand men, or more than that, or less.” 7.103. When he heard this, Xerxes smiled and said, “What a strange thing to say, Demaratus, that a thousand men would fight with so great an army! Come now, tell me this: you say that you were king of these men. Are you willing right now to fight with ten men? Yet if your state is entirely as you define it, you as their king should by right encounter twice as many according to your laws. ,If each of them is a match for ten men of my army, then it is plain to me that you must be a match for twenty; in this way you would prove that what you say is true. But if you Greeks who so exalt yourselves are just like you and the others who come to speak with me, and are also the same size, then beware lest the words you have spoken be only idle boasting. ,Let us look at it with all reasonableness: how could a thousand, or ten thousand, or even fifty thousand men, if they are all equally free and not under the rule of one man, withstand so great an army as mine? If you Greeks are five thousand, we still would be more than a thousand to one. ,If they were under the rule of one man according to our custom, they might out of fear of him become better than they naturally are, and under compulsion of the lash they might go against greater numbers of inferior men; but if they are allowed to go free they would do neither. I myself think that even if they were equal in numbers it would be hard for the Greeks to fight just against the Persians. ,What you are talking about is found among us alone, and even then it is not common but rare; there are some among my Persian spearmen who will gladly fight with three Greeks at once. You have no knowledge of this and are spouting a lot of nonsense.” 7.104. To this Demaratus answered, “O king I knew from the first that the truth would be unwelcome to you. But since you compelled me to speak as truly as I could, I have told you how it stands with the Spartans. ,You yourself best know what love I bear them: they have robbed me of my office and the privileges of my house, and made me a cityless exile; your father received me and gave me a house and the means to live on. It is not reasonable for a sensible man to reject goodwill when it appears; rather he will hold it in great affection. ,I myself do not promise that I can fight with ten men or with two, and I would not even willingly fight with one; yet if it were necessary, or if some great contest spurred me, I would most gladly fight with one of those men who claim to be each a match for three Greeks. ,So is it with the Lacedaemonians; fighting singly they are as brave as any man living, and together they are the best warriors on earth. They are free, yet not wholly free: law is their master, whom they fear much more than your men fear you. ,They do whatever it bids; and its bidding is always the same, that they must never flee from the battle before any multitude of men, but must abide at their post and there conquer or die. If I seem to you to speak foolishness when I say this, then let me hereafter hold my peace; it is under constraint that I have now spoken. But may your wish be fulfilled, King.” 7.105. Thus Demaratus answered. Xerxes made a joke of the matter and showed no anger, but sent him away kindly. After he had conversed with Demaratus, and appointed Mascames son of Megadostes governor of this Doriscus, deposing the governor Darius had appointed, Xerxes marched his army through Thrace towards Hellas. 7.117. While Xerxes was at Acanthus, it happened that Artachaees, overseer of the digging of the canal, died of an illness. He was high in Xerxes' favor, an Achaemenid by lineage, and the tallest man in Persia, lacking four finger-breadths of five royal cubits in stature, and his voice was the loudest on earth. For this reason Xerxes mourned him greatly and gave him a funeral and burial of great pomp, and the whole army poured libations on his tomb. ,The Acanthians hold Artachaees a hero, and sacrifice to him, calling upon his name. This they do at the command of an oracle. 7.133. To Athens and Sparta Xerxes sent no heralds to demand earth, and this he did for the following reason. When Darius had previously sent men with this same purpose, those who made the request were cast at the one city into the Pit and at the other into a well, and bidden to obtain their earth and water for the king from these locations. ,What calamity befell the Athenians for dealing in this way with the heralds I cannot say, save that their land and their city were laid waste. I think, however, that there was another reason for this, and not the aforesaid. 7.134. Be that as it may, the anger of Talthybius, Agamemnon's herald, fell upon the Lacedaemonians. At Sparta there is a shrine of Talthybius and descendants of Talthybius called Talthybiadae, who have the special privilege of conducting all embassies from Sparta. ,Now there was a long period after the incident I have mentioned above during which the Spartans were unable to obtain good omens from sacrifice. The Lacedaemonians were grieved and dismayed by this and frequently called assemblies, making a proclamation inviting some Lacedaemonian to give his life for Sparta. Then two Spartans of noble birth and great wealth, Sperthias son of Aneristus and Bulis son of Nicolaus, undertook of their own free will to make atonement to Xerxes for Darius' heralds who had been killed at Sparta. ,Thereupon the Spartans sent these men to Media for execution. 7.135. Worthy of admiration was these men's deed of daring, and so also were their sayings. On their way to Susa, they came to Hydarnes, a Persian, who was general of the coast of Asia. He entertained and feasted them as his guests, and as they sat at his board, he asked: ,“Lacedaemonians, why do you shun the king's friendship? You can judge from what you see of me and my condition how well the king can honor men of worth. So might it be with you if you would but put yourselves in the king's hands, being as you are of proven worth in his eyes, and every one of you might by his commission be a ruler of Hellas.” ,To this the Spartans answered: “Your advice to us, Hydarnes, is not completely sound; one half of it rests on knowledge, but the other on ignorance. You know well how to be a slave, but you, who have never tasted freedom, do not know whether it is sweet or not. Were you to taste of it, not with spears you would counsel us to fight for it, no, but with axes.” 7.136. This was their answer to Hydarnes. From there they came to Susa, into the king's presence, and when the guards commanded and would have compelled them to fall down and bow to the king, they said they would never do that. This they would refuse even if they were thrust down headlong, for it was not their custom, said they, to bow to mortal men, nor was that the purpose of their coming. Having averted that, they next said, ,“The Lacedaemonians have sent us, O king of the Medes, in requital for the slaying of your heralds at Sparta, to make atonement for their death,” and more to that effect. To this Xerxes, with great magimity, replied that he would not imitate the Lacedaemonians. “You,” said he, “made havoc of all human law by slaying heralds, but I will not do that for which I censure you, nor by putting you in turn to death will I set the Lacedaemonians free from this guilt.” 7.137. This conduct on the part of the Spartans succeeded for a time in allaying the anger of Talthybius, in spite of the fact that Sperthias and Bulis returned to Sparta. Long after that, however, it rose up again in the war between the Peloponnesians and Athenians, as the Lacedaemonians say. That seems to me to be an indication of something divine. ,It was just that the wrath of Talthybius descended on ambassadors, nor abated until it was satisfied. The venting of it, however, on the sons of those men who went up to the king to appease it, namely on Nicolas son of Bulis and Aneristus son of Sperthias (that Aneristus who landed a merchant ships crew at the Tirynthian settlement of Halia and took it), makes it plain to me that this was the divine result of Talthybius' anger. ,These two had been sent by the Lacedaemonians as ambassadors to Asia, and betrayed by the Thracian king Sitalces son of Tereus and Nymphodorus son of Pytheas of Abdera, they were made captive at Bisanthe on the Hellespont, and carried away to Attica, where the Athenians put them, and with them Aristeas son of Adimantus, a Corinthian, to death. This happened many years after the king's expedition, and I return now to the course of my history. 7.157. By these means Gelon had grown to greatness as a tyrant, and now, when the Greek envoys had come to Syracuse, they had audience with him and spoke as follows: “The Lacedaemonians and their allies have sent us to win your aid against the foreigner, for it cannot be, we think, that you have no knowledge of the Persian invader of Hellas, how he proposes to bridge the Hellespont and lead all the hosts of the east from Asia against us, making an open show of marching against Athens, but actually with intent to subdue all Hellas to his will. ,Now you are rich in power, and as lord of Sicily you rule what is not the least part of Hellas; therefore, we beg of you, send help to those who are going to free Hellas, and aid them in so doing. The uniting of all those of Greek stock entails the mustering of a mighty host able to meet our invaders in the field. If, however, some of us play false and others will not come to our aid, while the sound part of Hellas is but small, then it is to be feared that all Greek lands alike will be destroyed. ,Do not for a moment think that if the Persian defeats us in battle and subdues us, he will leave you unassailed, but rather look well to yourself before that day comes. Aid us, and you champion your own cause; in general a well-laid plan leads to a happy issue.” 7.158. This is what they said, and Gelon, speaking very vehemently, said in response to this: “Men of Hellas, it is with a self-seeking plea that you have dared to come here and invite me to be your ally against the foreigners; yet what of yourselves? ,When I was at odds with the Carchedonians, and asked you to be my comrades against a foreign army, and when I desired that you should avenge the slaying of Dorieus son of Anaxandrides on the men of Egesta, and when I promised to free those trading ports from which great advantage and profit have accrued to you,—then neither for my sake would you come to aid nor to avenge the slaying of Dorieus. Because of your position in these matters, all these lands lie beneath the foreigners' feet. ,Let that be; for all ended well, and our state was improved. But now that the war has come round to you in your turn, it is time for remembering Gelon! ,Despite the fact that you slighted me, I will not make an example of you; I am ready to send to your aid two hundred triremes, twenty thousand men-at-arms, two thousand horsemen, two thousand archers, two thousand slingers, and two thousand light-armed men to run with horsemen. I also pledge to furnish provisions for the whole Greek army until we have made an end of the war. ,All this, however, I promise on one condition, that I shall be general and leader of the Greeks against the foreigner. On no other condition will I come myself or send others.” 7.159. When Syagrus heard that, he could not contain himself; “In truth,” he cried, “loudly would Agamemnon son of Pelops lament, when hearing that the Spartans had been bereft of their command by Gelon and his Syracusans! No, rather, put the thought out of your minds that we will give up the command to you. If it is your will to aid Hellas, know that you must obey the Lacedaemonians; but if, as I think, you are too proud to obey, then send no aid.” 7.160. Thereupon Gelon, seeing how unfriendly Syagrus' words were, for the last time declared his opinion to them: “My Spartan friend, the hard words that a man hears are likely to arouse his anger; but for all the arrogant tenor of your speech you will not move me to make an unseemly answer. ,When you set such store by the command, it is but reasonable that it should be still more important to me since I am the leader of an army many times greater than yours and more ships by far. But seeing that your response to me is so haughty, we will make some concession in our original condition. It might be that you should command the army, and I the fleet; or if it is your pleasure to lead by sea, then I am ready to take charge of the army. With that you will surely be content, unless you want depart from here without such allies as we are.” 7.161. Such was Gelon's offer, and the Athenian envoy answered him before the Lacedaemonian could speak. “King of the Syracusans,” he said, “Hellas sends us to you to ask not for a leader but for an army. You however, say no word of sending an army without the condition of your being the leader of Hellas; it is the command alone that you desire. ,Now as long as you sought the leadership of the whole force, we Athenians were content to hold our peace, knowing that the Laconian was well able to answer for both of us; but since, failing to win the whole, you would gladly command the fleet, we want to let you know how the matter stands. Even if the Laconian should permit you to command it, we would not do so, for the command of the fleet, which the Lacedaemonians do not desire for themselves, is ours. If they should desire to lead it, we will not withstand them, but we will not allow anyone else to be admiral. ,It would be for nothing, then, that we possess the greatest number of seafaring men in Hellas, if we Athenians yield our command to Syracusans,—we who can demonstrate the longest lineage of all and who alone among the Greeks have never changed our place of habitation; of our stock too was the man of whom the poet Homer says that of all who came to Ilion, he was the best man in ordering and marshalling armies. We accordingly cannot be reproached for what we now say. ” 7.162. “My Athenian friend,” Gelon answered, “it would seem that you have many who lead, but none who will follow. Since, then, you will waive no claim but must have the whole, it is high time that you hasten home and tell your Hellas that her year has lost its spring.” ,The significance of this statement was that Gelon's army was the most notable part of the Greek army, just as the spring is the best part of the year. He accordingly compared Hellas deprived of alliance with him to a year bereft of its spring. 7.223. Xerxes made libations at sunrise and waiting till about mid-morning, made his assault. Epialtes had advised this, for the descent from the mountain is more direct, and the way is much shorter than the circuit and ascent. ,Xerxes and his barbarians attacked, but Leonidas and his Hellenes, knowing they were going to their deaths, advanced now much farther than before into the wider part of the pass. In all the previous days they had sallied out into the narrow way and fought there, guarding the defensive wall. ,Now, however, they joined battle outside the narrows and many of the barbarians fell, for the leaders of the companies beat everyone with whips from behind, urging them ever forward. Many of them were pushed into the sea and drowned; far more were trampled alive by each other, with no regard for who perished. ,Since the Hellenes knew that they must die at the hands of those who had come around the mountain, they displayed the greatest strength they had against the barbarians, fighting recklessly and desperately. 7.238. Having spoken in this way, Xerxes passed over the place where the dead lay and hearing that Leonidas had been king and general of the Lacedaemonians, he gave orders to cut off his head and impale it. ,It is plain to me by this piece of evidence among many others, that while Leonidas lived, king Xerxes was more incensed against him than against all others; otherwise he would never have dealt so outrageously with his dead body, for the Persians are beyond all men known in the habit of honoring valiant warriors. They, then, who received these orders did as I have said. 8.99. When the first message came to Susa, saying that Xerxes had taken Athens, it gave such delight to the Persians who were left at home that they strewed all the roads with myrtle boughs and burnt incense and gave themselves up to sacrificial feasts and jollity. ,The second, however, coming on the heels of the first, so confounded them that they all tore their tunics, and cried and lamented without ceasing, holding Mardonius to blame; it was not so much in grief for their ships that they did this as because they feared for Xerxes himself. 8.109. When Themistocles perceived that he could not persuade the greater part of them to sail to the Hellespont, he turned to the Athenians (for they were the angriest at the Persians' escape, and they were minded to sail to the Hellespont even by themselves, if the rest would not) and addressed them as follows: ,“This I have often seen with my eyes and heard yet more often, namely that beaten men, when they be driven to bay, will rally and retrieve their former mishap. Therefore I say to you,—as it is to a fortunate chance that we owe ourselves and Hellas, and have driven away so mighty a band of enemies—let us not pursue men who flee, ,for it is not we who have won this victory, but the gods and the heroes, who deemed Asia and Europe too great a realm for one man to rule, and that a wicked man and an impious one who dealt alike with temples and bones, burning and overthrowing the images of the gods,—yes, and one who scourged the sea and threw fetters into it. ,But as it is well with us for the moment, let us abide now in Hellas and take thought for ourselves and our households. Let us build our houses again and be diligent in sowing, when we have driven the foreigner completely away. Then when the next spring comes, let us set sail for the Hellespont and Ionia.” ,This he said with intent to have something to his credit with the Persian, so that he might have a place of refuge if ever (as might chance) he should suffer anything at the hands of the Athenians—and just that did in fact happen. 9.78. There was at Plataea in the army of the Aeginetans one Lampon, son of Pytheas, a leading man of Aegina. He hastened to Pausanias with really outrageous counsel and coming upon him, said to him: ,“son of Cleombrotus, you have done a deed of surpassing greatness and glory; the god has granted to you in saving Hellas to have won greater renown than any Greek whom we know. But now you must finish what remains for the rest, so that your fame may be greater still and so that no barbarian will hereafter begin doing reckless deeds against the Greeks. ,When Leonidas was killed at Thermopylae, Mardonius and Xerxes cut off his head and set it on a pole; make them a like return, and you will win praise from all Spartans and the rest of Hellas besides. For if you impale Mardonius, you will be avenged for your father's brother Leonidas.” 9.79. This is what Lampon, thinking to please, said. Pausanias, however, answered him as follows: “Aeginetan, I thank you for your goodwill and forethought, but you have missed the mark of right judgment. First you exalt me and my fatherland and my deeds, yet next you cast me down to mere nothingness when you advise me to insult the dead, and say that I shall win more praise if I do so. That would be an act more proper for barbarians than for Greeks and one that we consider worthy of censure even in barbarians. ,No, as for myself, I would prefer to find no favor either with the people of Aegina or anyone else who is pleased by such acts. It is enough for me if I please the Spartans by righteous deeds and speech. As for Leonidas, whom you would have me avenge, I think that he has received a full measure of vengeance; the uncounted souls of these that you see have done honor to him and the rest of those who died at Thermopylae. But to you this is my warning: do not come again to me with words like these nor give me such counsel. Be thankful now that you go unpunished.” 9.109. As time went on, however, the truth came to light, and in such manner as I will show. Xerxes' wife, Amestris, wove and gave to him a great gaily-colored mantle, marvellous to see. Xerxes was pleased with it, and went to Artaynte wearing it. ,Being pleased with her too, he asked her what she wanted in return for her favors, for he would deny nothing at her asking. Thereupon—for she and all her house were doomed to evil—she said to Xerxes, “Will you give me whatever I ask of you?” He promised this, supposing that she would ask anything but that; when he had sworn, she asked boldly for his mantle. ,Xerxes tried to refuse her, for no reason except that he feared that Amestris might have clear proof of his doing what she already guessed. He accordingly offered her cities instead and gold in abundance and an army for none but herself to command. Armies are the most suitable of gifts in Persia. But as he could not move her, he gave her the mantle; and she, rejoicing greatly in the gift, went flaunting her finery. 9.116. This province was ruled by Xerxes' viceroy Artayctes, a cunning man and a wicked one; witness the deceit that he practised on the king in his march to Athens, how he stole away from Elaeus the treasure of Protesilaus son of Iphiclus. ,This was the way of it; there is at Elaeus in the Chersonesus the tomb of Protesilaus, and a precinct around it, which contained much treasure: vessels of gold and silver, bronze, clothing, and other dedications; all of which Artayctes carried off by the king's gift. ,“Sire,” he said deceitfully to Xerxes, “there is here the house of a certain Greek, who met a just death for invading your territory with an army; give me this man's house, so that all may be taught not to invade your territory.” One would think that this plea would easily persuade Xerxes to give him a man's house, since the latter had no suspicion of Artayctes' meaning. His reason for saying that Protesilaus had invaded the king's territory was that the Persians believe all Asia to belong to themselves and whoever is their king. So when the treasure was given to him, he carried it away from Elaeus to Sestus, and planted and farmed the precinct. He would also come from Elaeus and have intercourse with women in the shrine. Now, when the Athenians laid siege to him, he had made no preparation for it; he did not think that the Greeks would come, and he had no way of escaping from their attack. 9.117. Since the siege continued into the late autumn, the Athenians grew weary of their absence from home and their lack of success at taking the fortress. They accordingly entreated their generals to lead them away again, but the generals refused to do that till they should take the place or be recalled by the Athenian state. At that the men endured their plight patiently. 9.118. But those who were within the walls were by now reduced to the last extremity, so much so that they boiled the thongs of their beds for food. At last, however, even these failed them, and Artayctes and Oeobazus and all the Persians made their way down from the back part of the fortress, where the fewest of their enemies were, and fled at nightfall. ,When morning came, the people of the Chersonese signified from their towers to the Athenians what had happened, and opened their gates. The greater part of the Athenians then went in pursuit, while the rest stayed to hold the town. 9.119. As Oeobazus was making his escape into Thrace, the Apsinthians of that country caught and sacrificed him in their customary manner to Plistorus the god of their land; as for his companions, they did away with them by other means. ,Artayctes and his company had begun their flight later, and were overtaken a little way beyond the Goat's Rivers, where after they had defended themselves a long time, some of them were killed and the rest taken alive. The Greeks bound them and carried them to Sestus, and together with them Artayctes and his son also in bonds. 9.120. It is related by the people of the Chersonese that a marvellous thing happened one of those who guarded Artayctes. He was frying dried fish, and these as they lay over the fire began to leap and writhe as though they had just been caught. ,The rest gathered around, amazed at the sight, but when Artayctes saw this strange thing, he called the one who was frying the fish and said to him: “Athenian, do not be afraid of this portent, for it is not to you that it has been sent; it is to me that Protesilaus of Elaeus is trying to signify that although he is dead and dry, he has power given him by the god to take vengeance on me, the one who wronged him. ,Now therefore I offer a ransom, the sum of one hundred talents to the god for the treasure that I took from his temple. I will also pay to the Athenians two hundred talents for myself and my son, if they spare us.” ,But Xanthippus the general was unmoved by this promise, for the people of Elaeus desired that Artayctes should be put to death in revenge for Protesilaus, and the general himself was so inclined. So they carried Artayctes away to the headland where Xerxes had bridged the strait (or, by another story, to the hill above the town of Madytus), and there nailed him to boards and hanged him. As for his son, they stoned him to death before his father's eyes.
10. Isocrates, Orations, 15.13 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

11. Plato, Menexenus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

239b. deeming it their duty to fight in the cause of freedom alike with Greeks on behalf of Greeks and with barbarians on behalf of the whole of Greece . The story of how they repulsed Eumolpus and the Amazons, and still earlier invaders, when they marched upon our country, and how they defended the Argives against the Cadmeians and the Heracleidae against the Argives, is a story which our time is too short to relate as it deserves, and already their valor has been adequately celebrated in song by poets who have made it known throughout the world;
12. 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.
13. Plato, Protagoras, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

320c. do not grudge us your demonstration.
14. Plato, Timaeus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

29e. constructed Becoming and the All. He was good, and in him that is good no envy ariseth ever concerning anything; and being devoid of envy He desired that all should be, so far as possible, like unto Himself. Tim. This principle, then, we shall be wholly right in accepting from men of wisdom as being above all the supreme originating principle of Becoming and the Cosmos.
15. Sophocles, Antigone, 176-177, 175 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

16. Thucydides, The History of The Peloponnesian War, 1.1-1.22, 2.37.1, 2.45, 2.65 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

2.37.1. Our constitution does not copy the laws of neighboring states; we are rather a pattern to others than imitators ourselves. Its administration favors the many instead of the few; this is why it is called a democracy. If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences; if to social standing, advancement in public life falls to reputation for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit; nor again does poverty bar the way, if a man is able to serve the state, he is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition.
17. Aristotle, Politics, None (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

18. Callimachus, Hymn To Jove Or Zeus, 3 (4th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

19. Polybius, Histories, 6.3.7-6.3.8 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

6.3.7.  for in either case my opinion is that they are wrong. For it is evident that we must regard as the best constitution a combination of all these three varieties, since we have had proof of this not only theoretically but by actual experience, Lycurgus having been the first to draw up a constitution — that of Sparta — on this principle.
20. Horace, Letters, 1.2.59 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

21. Ovid, Metamorphoses, 2.779-2.782, 6.466-6.474, 6.549-6.550 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

22. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 4.143 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

4.143. The lawgiver also gives this most admirable injunction, that one must not add anything to, or take anything away from the law, but that it is a duty to keep all the ordices as originally established in an equal and similar state to that in which they were at first delivered without alteration; for, as it seems, there might otherwise be an addition of what is injust; for there is nothing which has been omitted by the wise lawgiver which can enable a man to partake of entire and perfect justice.
23. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 1.17, 4.196-4.198, 4.223, 6.35-6.36, 6.38-6.39, 6.42, 10.218, 11.111, 12.109, 14.41, 14.91, 20.229, 20.251, 20.261 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.17. As I proceed, therefore, I shall accurately describe what is contained in our records, in the order of time that belongs to them; for I have already promised so to do throughout this undertaking; and this without adding any thing to what is therein contained, or taking away any thing therefrom. 1.17. and he took himself what the other left, which were the lower grounds at the foot of the mountains; and he himself dwelt in Hebron, which is a city seven years more ancient than Tanis of Egypt. But Lot possessed the land of the plain, and the river Jordan, not far from the city of Sodom, which was then a fine city, but is now destroyed, by the will and wrath of God, the cause of which I shall show in its proper place hereafter. 4.196. 4. Accordingly, I shall now first describe this form of government which was agreeable to the dignity and virtue of Moses; and shall thereby inform those that read these Antiquities, what our original settlements were, and shall then proceed to the remaining histories. Now those settlements are all still in writing, as he left them; and we shall add nothing by way of ornament, nor any thing besides what Moses left us; 4.197. only we shall so far innovate, as to digest the several kinds of laws into a regular system; for they were by him left in writing as they were accidentally scattered in their delivery, and as he upon inquiry had learned them of God. On which account I have thought it necessary to premise this observation beforehand, lest any of my own countrymen should blame me, as having been guilty of an offense herein. 4.198. Now part of our constitution will include the laws that belong to our political state. As for those laws which Moses left concerning our common conversation and intercourse one with another, I have reserved that for a discourse concerning our manner of life, and the occasions of those laws; which I propose to myself, with God’s assistance, to write, after I have finished the work I am now upon. 4.223. 17. Aristocracy, and the way of living under it, is the best constitution: and may you never have any inclination to any other form of government; and may you always love that form, and have the laws for your governors, and govern all your actions according to them; for you need no supreme governor but God. But if you shall desire a king, let him be one of your own nation; let him be always careful of justice and other virtues perpetually; 6.35. 3. But the people, upon these injuries offered to their former constitution and government by the prophet’s sons, were very uneasy at their actions, and came running to the prophet, who then lived at the city Ramah, and informed him of the transgressions of his sons; and said, That as he was himself old already, and too infirm by that age of his to oversee their affairs in the manner he used to do 6.35. I could say more than this about Saul and his courage, the subject affording matter sufficient; but that I may not appear to run out improperly in his commendation, I return again to that history from which I made this digression. 6.36. o they begged of him, and entreated him, to appoint some person to be king over them, who might rule over the nation, and avenge them of the Philistines, who ought to be punished for their former oppressions. These words greatly afflicted Samuel, on account of his innate love of justice, and his hatred to kingly government, for he was very fond of an aristocracy, as what made the men that used it of a divine and happy disposition; 6.36. And when the high priest bade him to pursue after them, he marched apace, with his four hundred men, after the enemy; and when he was come to a certain brook called Besor, and had lighted upon one that was wandering about, an Egyptian by birth, who was almost dead with want and famine, (for he had continued wandering about without food in the wilderness three days,) he first of all gave him sustece, both meat and drink, and thereby refreshed him. He then asked him to whom he belonged, and whence he came. 6.38. 4. While he was thus disposed, God appeared to him, and comforted him, saying, That he ought not to be uneasy at what the multitude desired, because it was not he, but Himself whom they so insolently despised, and would not have to be alone their king; that they had been contriving these things from the very day that they came out of Egypt; that however in no long time they would sorely repent of what they did, which repentance yet could not undo what was thus done for futurity; that they would be sufficiently rebuked for their contempt, and the ungrateful conduct they have used towards me, and towards thy prophetic office. 6.39. “So I command thee to ordain them such a one as I shall name beforehand to be their king, when thou hast first described what mischiefs kingly government will bring upon them, and openly testified before them into what a great change of affairs they are hasting.” 6.42. and to say briefly all at once, you, and all that is yours, will be servants to your king, and will become no way superior to his slaves; and when you suffer thus, you will thereby be put in mind of what I now say. And when you repent of what you have done, you will beseech God to have mercy upon you, and to grant you a quick deliverance from your kings; but he will not accept your prayers, but will neglect you, and permit you to suffer the punishment your evil conduct has deserved.” 10.218. But let no one blame me for writing down every thing of this nature, as I find it in our ancient books; for as to that matter, I have plainly assured those that think me defective in any such point, or complain of my management, and have told them in the beginning of this history, that I intended to do no more than translate the Hebrew books into the Greek language, and promised them to explain those facts, without adding any thing to them of my own, or taking any thing away from there. 11.111. So these men offered the largest sacrifices on these accounts, and used great magnificence in the worship of God, and dwelt in Jerusalem, and made use of a form of government that was aristocratical, but mixed with an oligarchy, for the high priests were at the head of their affairs, until the posterity of the Asamoneans set up kingly government; 12.109. And when they all commended that determination of theirs, they enjoined, that if any one observed either any thing superfluous, or any thing omitted, that he would take a view of it again, and have it laid before them, and corrected; which was a wise action of theirs, that when the thing was judged to have been well done, it might continue for ever. 14.41. and there it was that he heard the causes of the Jews, and of their governors Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, who were at difference one with another, as also of the nation against them both, which did not desire to be under kingly’ government, because the form of government they received from their forefathers was that of subjection to the priests of that God whom they worshipped; and [they complained], that though these two were the posterity of priests, yet did they seek to change the government of their nation to another form, in order to enslave them. 14.41. However, Herod was not idle in the mean time, for he took ten bands of soldiers, of whom five were of the Romans, and five of the Jews, with some mercenaries among them, and with some few horsemen, and came to Jericho; and as they found the city deserted, but that five hundred of them had settled themselves on the tops of the hills, with their wives and children, those he took and sent away; but the Romans fell upon the city, and plundered it, and found the houses full of all sorts of good things. 14.91. and when he had settled matters with her, he brought Hyrcanus to Jerusalem, and committed the care of the temple to him. And when he had ordained five councils, he distributed the nation into the same number of parts. So these councils governed the people; the first was at Jerusalem, the second at Gadara, the third at Amathus, the fourth at Jericho, and the fifth at Sepphoris in Galilee. So the Jews were now freed from monarchic authority, and were governed by an aristocracy. 20.229. for at the first they held the high priesthood till the end of their life, although afterward they had successors while they were alive. Now these thirteen, who were the descendants of two of the sons of Aaron, received this dignity by succession, one after another; for their form of government was an aristocracy, and after that a monarchy, and in the third place the government was regal. 20.251. Some of these were the political governors of the people under the reign of Herod, and under the reign of Archelaus his son, although, after their death, the government became an aristocracy, and the high priests were intrusted with a dominion over the nation. And thus much may suffice to be said concerning our high priests. 20.261. I have attempted to enumerate those high priests that we have had during the interval of two thousand years; I have also carried down the succession of our kings, and related their actions, and political administration, without [considerable] errors, as also the power of our monarchs; and all according to what is written in our sacred books; for this it was that I promised to do in the beginning of this history.
24. Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 1.169-1.170 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.169. After this Gabinius brought Hyrcanus to Jerusalem, and committed the care of the temple to him; but ordained the other political government to be by an aristocracy.
25. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 1.42, 2.164-2.165, 2.184-2.188 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.42. and how firmly we have given credit to those books of our own nation, is evident by what we do; for during so many ages as have already passed, no one has been so bold as either to add any thing to them, to take any thing from them, or to make any change in them; but it becomes natural to all Jews, immediately and from their very birth, to esteem those books to contain divine doctrines, and to persist in them, and, if occasion be, willingly to die for them. 2.164. Now there are innumerable differences in the particular customs and laws that are among all mankind, which a man may briefly reduce under the following heads:—Some legislators have permitted their governments to be under monarchies, others put them under oligarchies, and others under a republican form; 2.165. but our legislator had no regard to any of these forms, but he ordained our government to be what, by a strained expression, may be termed a Theocracy, by ascribing the authority and the power to God 2.184. 22. But while we are ourselves persuaded that our law was made agreeably to the will of God, it would be impious for us not to observe the same, for what is there in it that any body would change! and what can be invented that is better! or what can we take out of other people’s laws that will exceed it? Perhaps some would have the entire settlement of our government altered. 2.185. And where shall we find a better or more righteous constitution than ours, while this makes us esteem God to be the governor of the universe, and permits the priests in general to be the administrators of the principal affairs, and withal intrusts the government over the other priests to the chief high priest himself! 2.186. which priests our legislator, at their first appointment, did not advance to that dignity for their riches, or any abundance of other possessions, or any plenty they had as the gifts of fortune; but he intrusted the principal management of divine worship to those that exceeded others in an ability to persuade men, and in prudence of conduct. 2.187. These men had the main care of the law and of the other parts of the people’s conduct committed to them; for they were the priests who were ordained to be the inspectors of all, and the judges in doubtful cases, and the punishers of those that were condemned to suffer punishment. /p 2.188. 23. What form of government then can be more holy than this! what more worthy kind of worship can be paid to God than we pay, where the entire body of the people are prepared for religion, where an extraordinary degree of care is required in the priests, and where the whole polity is so ordered as if it were a certain religious solemnity!
26. Lucan, Pharsalia, 2.322, 7.432-7.434, 7.444-7.455 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

27. Seneca The Younger, Letters, 13.4 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

28. Seneca The Younger, Oedipus, 706 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

29. Suetonius, Caligula, 34 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

30. Suetonius, Nero, 34 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

31. Anon., Letter of Aristeas, 311

311. alteration should be made in it. And when the whole company expressed their approval, they bade them pronounce a curse in accordance with their custom upon any one who should make any alteration either by adding anything or changing in any way whatever any of the words which had been written or making any omission. This was a very wise precaution to ensure that the book might be preserved for all the future time unchanged.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
"king\'s savior," Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
adam,james Wolfsdorf (2020) 269
adrastus (hero) Csapo (2022) 186
adultery Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
aeneas,as tyrannus Agri (2022) 38
aeschylus Marincola et al (2021) 327
agetus of sparta Mikalson (2003) 159
ahura-mazda Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
alexander Spatharas (2019) 168
anonymus iamblichi,authorship Wolfsdorf (2020) 269
anonymus iamblichi,iamblichus framing of Wolfsdorf (2020) 290
anonymus iamblichi,importance of Wolfsdorf (2020) 290
anonymus iamblichi,intellectual context of production Wolfsdorf (2020) 269
antigone,vs. creon Jouanna (2018) 334
antigone (sophocles),political heroes in Jouanna (2018) 334
antipater Amendola (2022) 303
antonius diogenes the incredible things beyond thule Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
apollonius rhodius Agri (2022) 52
apollontos Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
ares Bowie (2021) 196
aristomenes Amendola (2022) 57
ariston of sparta Mikalson (2003) 159
aristotle Liddel (2020) 35
artabanus of persia Mikalson (2003) 159
artaxerxes iii Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
artaüctes of persia Mikalson (2003) 47
artemisium Bowie (2021) 196
atasthalia Mikalson (2003) 47
athena Bowie (2021) 196
athenians,impieties of Mikalson (2003) 159
athens Csapo (2022) 186; Papadodima (2022) 19
atreus Agri (2022) 52
bagoas Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
barbarian/barbarian,repertoire Papadodima (2022) 19
basileia (βαϲιλεία) vii Amendola (2022) 89, 303
belief/s,as traits of character Agri (2022) 52
belief/s,role in emotion Agri (2022) 52
boedeker,deborah Bowie (2021) 196
caesar,c. julius,lucan Agri (2022) 38
calaïs Bowie (2021) 196
cambyses of persia,dreams of Mikalson (2003) 159
cato,the younger Agri (2022) 38
characters Jouanna (2018) 334
chariton Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
chronology Bowie (2021) 196
cicero,fear Agri (2022) 52
cleonnis Amendola (2022) 57
consistency Marincola et al (2021) 362
creon,as a political hero Jouanna (2018) 334
creon,sen. king oedipus Agri (2022) 52
croesus Amendola (2022) 57
croesus of lydia,piety of Mikalson (2003) 159
crönert,wilhelm Amendola (2022) 89
ctesias of cindus Marincola et al (2021) 327
cyrus ii,the great Marincola et al (2021) 327
cyrus of persia,oaths and Mikalson (2003) 159
darius Papadodima (2022) 19, 123
darius i,the great Marincola et al (2021) 327
darius of persia Mikalson (2003) 159
dead,treatment of Mikalson (2003) 47, 159
deioces Marincola et al (2021) 362
demagogues Liddel (2020) 35
demaratus,king of sparta Amendola (2022) 57
democracy,democratic Papadodima (2022) 123
democracy,extreme Liddel (2020) 35
democracy,in athens,vs. tyranny Jouanna (2018) 334
democracy,in tragedy Csapo (2022) 186
democracy Papadodima (2022) 19, 123
democracy vii Amendola (2022) 89
dioscuri Bowie (2021) 196
diplomacy Liddel (2020) 35
dreams Mikalson (2003) 159
edwards,walter Amendola (2022) 89
emotions,stoic views Agri (2022) 52
envy Wilson (2010) 353
epic,i Bowie (2021) 196
eteocles,and creon Jouanna (2018) 334
eteocles,theb. Agri (2022) 52
eunuchs Marincola et al (2021) 327; Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
euripides,dramas by\n,suppliant women Csapo (2022) 186
executioner Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
false appearances Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
fear,and envy as causes for hatred ( odium ) Agri (2022) 52
fear,stoic division of emotions Agri (2022) 52
fear,tyrants psychology Agri (2022) 38, 52
firstfruits Mikalson (2003) 159
foreign,rulers Papadodima (2022) 19
foster Spatharas (2019) 168
freedom Isaac (2004) 269
gelon Amendola (2022) 57
graeca interpretatio Mikalson (2003) 159
greed Wilson (2010) 353
greek,authors Papadodima (2022) 19
greek,theogonic Papadodima (2022) 19
greek historiography Amendola (2022) 57
halakhah/halakhot,and aggadah; law and narrative Fraade (2011) 24
harem,persian royal Marincola et al (2021) 327
harmony Wilson (2010) 353
hasmonean rule/rulers Fraade (2011) 342
hellenistic ideology of kingship Amendola (2022) 89
hellenistic oratory Amendola (2022) 89
heralds,sanctity of Mikalson (2003) 159
hermes Bowie (2021) 196
herodotus,,and greek anxieties concerning wealth Bosak-Schroeder (2020) 107
herodotus,on athenian origins,constitutional debate Isaac (2004) 268
herodotus,on athenian origins,his views on persia Isaac (2004) 268
herodotus,on athenian origins,on persians Isaac (2004) 268, 269
herodotus,on athenian origins,persian conquest Isaac (2004) 268, 269
herodotus Agri (2022) 52; Amendola (2022) 57; Marincola et al (2021) 327
heroes,political Jouanna (2018) 334
heroes and heroines,of elaeus Mikalson (2003) 47
hesiod Marincola et al (2021) 362
historiography,i Bowie (2021) 196
homer Bowie (2021) 196
honor Fraade (2011) 342
humanity Wilson (2010) 353
hybris Mikalson (2003) 47
hybris (excess) Isaac (2004) 268
identity,identity and morality Papadodima (2022) 19
image of god Wilson (2010) 353
impiety,of abusing rivers Mikalson (2003) 47
impiety,of maltreating dead Mikalson (2003) 47
impiety,of violating and destroying sanctuaries Mikalson (2003) 47
impiety Mikalson (2003) 47
injustice Wolfsdorf (2020) 269
interpretation—see also midrash Fraade (2011) 24, 342
isias Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
ismene,and creon Jouanna (2018) 334
isocrates Amendola (2022) 89
jacoby,felix Amendola (2022) 57
jason Agri (2022) 52
jupiter,aen. Agri (2022) 38
jupiter,met. Agri (2022) 38
justice (dikē),in platos republic Wolfsdorf (2020) 269
juturna Agri (2022) 38
kairos Spatharas (2019) 168
kambyses Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
kerferd,g. b. Wolfsdorf (2020) 269
king,cotys Papadodima (2022) 19
kings,as political heroes Jouanna (2018) 334
kings,biblical Fraade (2011) 24, 342
ktesias Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
kunst,karl v Amendola (2022) 89
kyros Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
körte,alfred Amendola (2022) 89
law,biblical/rabbinic—see also,halakhah Fraade (2011) 24
leonidas of sparta Mikalson (2003) 47
levene,david Marincola et al (2021) 362
livy Marincola et al (2021) 362
lucian of samosata Amendola (2022) 57
luxury,problem of in greek literature Bosak-Schroeder (2020) 107
lycians Papadodima (2022) 19
macedon Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
magic Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
magoas Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
magoi Mikalson (2003) 159; Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
mai,angelo Amendola (2022) 303
megara Liddel (2020) 35
menelaus Bowie (2021) 196
messenia Bowie (2021) 196
milesians Mikalson (2003) 159
mimnermus Bowie (2021) 196
mixed constitution Amendola (2022) 303
monarchy Papadodima (2022) 19
moses Fraade (2011) 24
myron of priene Amendola (2022) 57
nature,of creon Jouanna (2018) 334
nero Agri (2022) 38, 52
new comedy Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
nomos Fraade (2011) 24
oaths Mikalson (2003) 159
ochlocracy Amendola (2022) 303
oedipus,as a political hero Jouanna (2018) 334
oedipus the king (sophocles),political heroes in Jouanna (2018) 334
oligarchy Amendola (2022) 89, 303
otanes of persia Mikalson (2003) 159
paapis Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
patriarchs Fraade (2011) 342
pelias,and/as atreus Agri (2022) 52
pelias Agri (2022) 52
periautologia Spatharas (2019) 168
pericles Spatharas (2019) 168
pericles (politician) Csapo (2022) 186
persia,persian Bowie (2021) 196
persia Marincola et al (2021) 327
persian,conspirators Papadodima (2022) 123
persian,crisis Papadodima (2022) 19
persian,customs Papadodima (2022) 123
persian,ethnography Papadodima (2022) 123
persian,grandees Papadodima (2022) 19
persian,noble otanes Papadodima (2022) 123
persian,notables Papadodima (2022) 19
persian,satraps Papadodima (2022) 19
persians Marincola et al (2021) 327; Papadodima (2022) 19, 123
phero of egypt Mikalson (2003) 47
philo of alexandria Amendola (2022) 57
photius Amendola (2022) 303
phthonos Mikalson (2003) 47
phthonos (φθόνος) Spatharas (2019) 168
plataea Bowie (2021) 196
plato Amendola (2022) 57, 303; Marincola et al (2021) 327, 362
plutarch Amendola (2022) 89; Marincola et al (2021) 362
pluto,ov. met. Agri (2022) 38
polity Fraade (2011) 24
polybius v–vi Amendola (2022) 303
polynices (oedipuss son),and creon Jouanna (2018) 334
pompey Agri (2022) 38
practice (askēsis,meletē),in ionian thought Wolfsdorf (2020) 290
prayer Fraade (2011) 342
prayers,of persians Mikalson (2003) 47
presbeutikoi logoi Amendola (2022) 57
pretentiousness Wilson (2010) 353
priests/priesthood Fraade (2011) 342
priests Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
prophets Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
prose Bowie (2021) 196
protagoras,and anonymus iamblichi Wolfsdorf (2020) 269
protesilaus,hero of elaeus Mikalson (2003) 47
ptolemaic royal ideology vi Amendola (2022) 89
rhetorical history Amendola (2022) 57
romans Papadodima (2022) 19
sacrifices Papadodima (2022) 123
samians Mikalson (2003) 159
seneca Amendola (2022) 57
simonides Bowie (2021) 196
sinai,mount Fraade (2011) 24
slaves Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
smerdis Amendola (2022) 57; Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
social contract Wolfsdorf (2020) 269
solon of athens Amendola (2022) 57
sosias Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
spartans,impieties of Mikalson (2003) 159
spartans Mikalson (2003) 159
speech Bowie (2021) 196
sphendadates Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
suetonius Agri (2022) 52
sun,as deity Mikalson (2003) 47
tereus Agri (2022) 38
themistocles of athens Mikalson (2003) 47
theopompus Bowie (2021) 196
thirty,the Liddel (2020) 35
thracian,king cotys Papadodima (2022) 19
thucydides Bowie (2021) 196
thyestes Agri (2022) 52
tiberius Agri (2022) 52
tinouphis Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
torah Fraade (2011) 24
tragic history Amendola (2022) 57
trickery Stephens and Winkler (1995) 400
troy Bowie (2021) 196
truthfulness Marincola et al (2021) 362
turnus,as tyrannus Agri (2022) 38
turnus Agri (2022) 38
tyranny' Liddel (2020) 35
tyrant,creon as Jouanna (2018) 334
tyrant,epic tradition Agri (2022) 38
tyrant,psychology of Agri (2022) 38
tyrtaeus Bowie (2021) 196
universal Papadodima (2022) 19
virtus,pelias attitude to Agri (2022) 52
vows Mikalson (2003) 159
war,peloponnesian Bowie (2021) 196
warfare,as a means of acquiring slaves,and the constitution Isaac (2004) 268
wisdom,odysseus Jouanna (2018) 334
wisdom,vs. cleverness Jouanna (2018) 334
wisdom Fraade (2011) 342
xenia Mikalson (2003) 159
xenophon Amendola (2022) 57
xerxes Amendola (2022) 57
xerxes of persia,dreams of Mikalson (2003) 159
xerxes of persia,hybris and Mikalson (2003) 47
xerxes of persia,impieties of Mikalson (2003) 47
xerxes of persia,respect for religious conventions Mikalson (2003) 47, 159
zetes Bowie (2021) 196
zeus Amendola (2022) 89