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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



6465
Herodotus, Histories, 9.36-9.38


nanThis Tisamenus had now been brought by the Spartans and was the diviner of the Greeks at Plataea. The sacrifices boded good to the Greeks if they would just defend themselves, but evil if they should cross the Asopus and be the first to attack.


nanMardonius' sacrifices also foretold an unfavorable outcome if he should be zealous to attack first, and good if he should but defend himself. He too used the Greek manner of sacrifice, and Hegesistratus of Elis was his diviner, the most notable of the sons of Tellias. This man had been put in prison and condemned to die by the Spartans for the great harm which he had done them. ,Being in such bad shape inasmuch as he was in peril of his life and was likely to be very grievously maltreated before his death, he did something which was almost beyond belief; made fast in iron-bound stocks, he got an iron weapon which was brought in some way into his prison, and straightway conceived a plan of such courage as we have never known; reckoning how best the rest of it might get free, he cut off his own foot at the instep. ,This done, he tunneled through the wall out of the way of the guards who kept watch over him, and so escaped to Tegea. All night he journeyed, and all day he hid and lay hidden in the woods, till on the third night he came to Tegea, while all the people of Lacedaemon sought him. The latter were greatly amazed when they saw the half of his foot which had been cut off and lying there but not were unable to find the man himself. ,This, then, is the way in which he escaped the Lacedaemonians and took refuge in Tegea, which at that time was unfriendly to Lacedaemon. After he was healed and had made himself a foot of wood, he declared himself an open enemy of the Lacedaemonians. Yet the enmity which he bore them brought him no good at the last, for they caught him at his divinations in Zacynthus and killed him.


nanThe death of Hegesistratus, however, took place after the Plataean business. At the present he was by the Asopus, hired by Mardonius for no small wage, where he sacrificed and worked zealously, both for the hatred he bore the Lacedaemonians and for gain. ,When no favorable omens for battle could be won either by the Persians themselves or by the Greeks who were with them (for they too had a diviner of their own, Hippomachus of Leucas), and the Greeks kept flocking in and their army grew, Timagenides son of Herpys, a Theban, advised Mardonius to guard the outlet of the pass over Cithaeron, telling him that the Greeks were coming in daily and that he would thereby cut off many of them.


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

11 results
1. Homer, Odyssey, 17.383-17.385 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

2. Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, 587-588, 1010 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1010. ἰὼ ἰώ, πῆμα πατρὶ πάρευνον. Κῆρυξ 1010. To lie beside their father, a cause for him of sorrow. Enter a Herald. Herald
3. Pindar, Olympian Odes, 6.17 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

4. Aristophanes, Birds, 1118 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1118. τὰ μὲν ἱέρ' ἡμῖν ἐστιν ὦρνιθες καλά:
5. Euripides, Suppliant Women, 156, 155 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

155. Didst consult seers, and gaze into the flame of burnt-offerings? Adrastu
6. Herodotus, Histories, 1.2, 1.14, 1.138, 1.187, 2.83, 2.129, 3.65, 3.76, 3.124-3.125, 6.76, 6.97, 7.1, 7.6-7.7, 7.15-7.18, 7.43, 7.93-7.95, 7.143, 7.191-7.192, 7.197, 7.219, 7.228, 8.54, 8.65, 8.84-8.94, 8.96, 8.133-8.136, 9.1, 9.33-9.35, 9.33.1, 9.33.3, 9.37-9.38, 9.41-9.44, 9.52-9.53, 9.55-9.57, 9.59-9.62, 9.64-9.65, 9.67, 9.69, 9.101, 9.103-9.104, 9.106 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

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. 1.14. Thus the Mermnadae robbed the Heraclidae of the sovereignty and took it for themselves. Having gotten it, Gyges sent many offerings to Delphi : there are very many silver offerings of his there; and besides the silver, he dedicated a hoard of gold, among which six golden bowls are the offerings especially worthy of mention. ,These weigh thirty talents and stand in the treasury of the Corinthians; although in truth it is not the treasury of the Corinthian people but of Cypselus son of Eetion. This Gyges then was the first foreigner whom we know who placed offerings at Delphi after the king of Phrygia, Midas son of Gordias. ,For Midas too made an offering: namely, the royal seat on which he sat to give judgment, and a marvellous seat it is. It is set in the same place as the bowls of Gyges. This gold and the silver offered by Gyges is called by the Delphians “Gygian” after its dedicator. 1.138. 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. 1.187. There was a trick, too, that this same queen contrived. She had a tomb made for herself and set high over the very gate of that entrance of the city which was used most, with writing engraved on the tomb, which read: ,“If any king of Babylon in the future is in need of money, let him open this tomb and take as much as he likes: but let him not open it unless he is in need; for it will be the worse for him.” ,This tomb remained untouched until the kingship fell to Darius. He thought it a very strange thing that he should never use this gate, or take the money when it lay there and the writing itself invited him to. ,The reason he did not use the gate was that the dead body would be over his head as he passed through. ,After opening the tomb, he found no money there, only the dead body, with writing which read: “If you were ever satisfied with what you had and did not disgrace yourself seeking more, you would not have opened the coffins of the dead.” Such a woman, it is recorded, was this queen. 2.83. As to the art of divination among them, it belongs to no man, but to some of the gods; there are in their country oracles of Heracles, Apollo, Athena, Artemis, Ares, and Zeus, and of Leto (the most honored of all) in the town of Buto . Nevertheless, they have several ways of divination, not just one. 2.129. The next king of Egypt, they said, was Kheops' son Mycerinus. Disliking his father's doings, he opened the temples and let the people, ground down to the depth of misery, go to their business and their sacrifices; and he was the most just judge among all the kings. ,This is why he is praised above all the rulers of Egypt ; for not only were his judgments just, but Mycerinus would give any who were not satisfied with the judgment a present out of his own estate to compensate him for his loss. ,Though mild toward his people and conducting himself as he did, yet he suffered calamities, the first of which was the death of his daughter, the only child of his household. Deeply grieved over this misfortune, he wanted to give her a burial somewhat more sumptuous than ordinary; he therefore made a hollow cow's image of gilded wood and placed the body of his dead daughter therein. 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. 3.76. 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. 3.124. Polycrates then prepared to visit Oroetes, despite the strong dissuasion of his diviners and friends, and a vision seen by his daughter in a dream; she dreamt that she saw her father in the air overhead being washed by Zeus and anointed by Helios; ,after this vision she used all means to persuade him not to go on this journey to Oroetes; even as he went to his fifty-oared ship she prophesied evil for him. When Polycrates threatened her that if he came back safe, she would long remain unmarried, she answered with a prayer that his threat might be fulfilled: for she would rather, she said, long remain unmarried than lose her father. 3.125. But Polycrates would listen to no advice. He sailed to meet Oroetes, with a great retinue of followers, among whom was Democedes, son of Calliphon, a man of Croton and the most skillful physician of his time. ,But no sooner had Polycrates come to Magnesia than he was horribly murdered in a way unworthy of him and of his aims; for, except for the sovereigns of Syracuse, no sovereign of Greek race is fit to be compared with Polycrates for magnificence. ,Having killed him in some way not fit to be told, Oroetes then crucified him; as for those who had accompanied him, he let the Samians go, telling them to thank him that they were free; those who were not Samians, or were servants of Polycrates' followers, he kept for slaves. ,And Polycrates hanging in the air fulfilled his daughter's vision in every detail; for he was washed by Zeus when it rained, and he was anointed by Helios as he exuded sweat from his body. 6.76. As Cleomenes was seeking divination at Delphi, the oracle responded that he would take Argos. When he came with Spartans to the river Erasinus, which is said to flow from the Stymphalian lake (this lake issues into a cleft out of sight and reappears at Argos, and from that place onwards the stream is called by the Argives Erasinus)—when Cleomenes came to this river he offered sacrifices to it. ,The omens were in no way favorable for his crossing, so he said that he honored the Erasinus for not betraying its countrymen, but even so the Argives would not go unscathed. Then he withdrew and led his army seaward to Thyrea, where he sacrificed a bull to the sea and carried his men on shipboard to the region of Tiryns and to Nauplia. 6.97. While they did this, the Delians also left Delos and fled away to Tenos. As his expedition was sailing landwards, Datis went on ahead and bade his fleet anchor not off Delos, but across the water off Rhenaea. Learning where the Delians were, he sent a herald to them with this proclamation: ,“Holy men, why have you fled away, and so misjudged my intent? It is my own desire, and the king's command to me, to do no harm to the land where the two gods were born, neither to the land itself nor to its inhabitants. So return now to your homes and dwell on your island.” He made this proclamation to the Delians, and then piled up three hundred talents of frankincense on the altar and burnt it. 7.1. When the message concerning the fight at Marathon came to Darius son of Hystaspes, already greatly angry against the Athenians for their attack upon Sardis, he was now much more angry and eager to send an expedition against Hellas. ,Immediately he sent messengers to all the cities and commanded them to equip an army, instructing each to provide many more ships and horses and provisions and transport vessels than they had before. Asia was in commotion with these messages for three years, as the best men were enrolled for service against Hellas and made preparations. ,In the fourth year the Egyptians, whom Cambyses had enslaved, revolted from the Persians; thereupon Darius was even more eager to send expeditions against both. 7.6. He said this because he desired adventures and wanted to be governor of Hellas. Finally he worked on Xerxes and persuaded him to do this, and other things happened that helped him to persuade Xerxes. ,Messengers came from Thessaly from the Aleuadae (who were princes of Thessaly) and invited the king into Hellas with all earnestness; the Pisistratidae who had come up to Susa used the same pleas as the Aleuadae, offering Xerxes even more than they did. ,They had come up to Sardis with Onomacritus, an Athenian diviner who had set in order the oracles of Musaeus. They had reconciled their previous hostility with him; Onomacritus had been banished from Athens by Pisistratus' son Hipparchus, when he was caught by Lasus of Hermione in the act of interpolating into the writings of Musaeus an oracle showing that the islands off Lemnos would disappear into the sea. ,Because of this Hipparchus banished him, though they had previously been close friends. Now he had arrived at Susa with the Pisistratidae, and whenever he came into the king's presence they used lofty words concerning him and he recited from his oracles; all that portended disaster to the Persian he left unspoken, choosing and reciting such prophecies as were most favorable, telling how the Hellespont must be bridged by a man of Persia and describing the expedition. ,So he brought his oracles to bear, while the Pisistratidae and Aleuadae gave their opinions. 7.7. After being persuaded to send an expedition against Hellas, Xerxes first marched against the rebels in the year after Darius death. He subdued them and laid Egypt under a much harder slavery than in the time of Darius, and he handed it over to Achaemenes, his own brother and Darius' son. While governing Egypt, this Achaemenes was at a later time slain by a Libyan, Inaros son of Psammetichus. 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. 7.43. When the army had come to the river Scamander, which was the first river after the beginning of their march from Sardis that fell short of their needs and was not sufficient for the army and the cattle to drink—arriving at this river, Xerxes ascended to the citadel of Priam, having a desire to see it. ,After he saw it and asked about everything there, he sacrificed a thousand cattle to Athena of Ilium, and the Magi offered libations to the heroes. After they did this, a panic fell upon the camp in the night. When it was day they journeyed on from there, keeping on their left the cities of Rhoetium and Ophryneum and Dardanus, which borders Abydos, and on their right the Teucrian Gergithae. 7.93. The Dorians of Asia furnished thirty ships; their armor was Greek; they are of Peloponnesian descent. The Carians furnished seventy ships; they had scimitars and daggers, but the rest of their equipment was Greek. I have said in the beginning of my history what they were formerly called. 7.94. The Ionians furnished a hundred ships; their equipment was like the Greek. These Ionians, as long as they were in the Peloponnese, dwelt in what is now called Achaia, and before Danaus and Xuthus came to the Peloponnese, as the Greeks say, they were called Aegialian Pelasgians. They were named Ionians after Ion the son of Xuthus. 7.95. The islanders provided seventeen ships and were armed like Greeks; they were also of Pelasgian stock, which was later called Ionian for the same reason as were the Ionians of the twelve cities, who came from Athens. The Aeolians furnished sixty ships and were equipped like Greeks; formerly they were called Pelasgian, as the Greek story goes. ,of the people of the Hellespont, the people of Abydos had been charged by the king to remain at home and guard the bridges; the rest of the people from Pontus who came with the army furnished a hundred ships and were equipped like Greeks. They were settlers from the Ionians and Dorians. 7.143. Now there was a certain Athenian, by name and title Themistocles son of Neocles, who had lately risen to be among their chief men. He claimed that the readers of oracles had incorrectly interpreted the whole of the oracle and reasoned that if the verse really pertained to the Athenians, it would have been formulated in less mild language, calling Salamis “cruel” rather than “divine ” seeing that its inhabitants were to perish. ,Correctly understood, the gods' oracle was spoken not of the Athenians but of their enemies, and his advice was that they should believe their ships to be the wooden wall and so make ready to fight by sea. ,When Themistocles put forward this interpretation, the Athenians judged him to be a better counsellor than the readers of oracles, who would have had them prepare for no sea fight, and, in short, offer no resistance at all, but leave Attica and settle in some other country. 7.191. There was no counting how many grain-ships and other vessels were destroyed. The generals of the fleet were afraid that the Thessalians might attack them now that they had been defeated, so they built a high palisade out of the wreckage. ,The storm lasted three days. Finally the Magi made offerings and cast spells upon the wind, sacrificing also to Thetis and the Nereids. In this way they made the wind stop on the fourth day—or perhaps it died down on its own. They sacrificed to Thetis after hearing from the Ionians the story that it was from this place that Peleus had carried her off and that all the headland of Sepia belonged to her and to the other Nereids. 7.192. The storm, then, ceased on the fourth day. Now the scouts stationed on the headlands of Euboea ran down and told the Hellenes all about the shipwreck on the second day after the storm began. ,After hearing this they prayed to Poseidon as their savior and poured libations. Then they hurried to Artemisium hoping to find few ships opposing them. So they came to Artemisium a second time and made their station there. From that time on they call Poseidon their savior. 7.197. When Xerxes had come to Alus in Achaea, his guides, desiring to inform him of all they knew, told him the story which is related in that country concerning the worship of Laphystian Zeus, namely how Athamas son of Aeolus plotted Phrixus' death with Ino, and further, how the Achaeans by an oracle's bidding compel Phrixus descendants to certain tasks. ,They order the eldest of that family not to enter their town-hall (which the Achaeans call the People's House) and themselves keep watch there. If he should enter, he may not come out, save only to be sacrificed. They say as well that many of those who were to be sacrificed had fled in fear to another country, and that if they returned at a later day and were taken, they were brought into the town-hall. The guides showed Xerxes how the man is sacrificed, namely with fillets covering him all over and a procession to lead him forth. ,It is the descendants of Phrixus' son Cytissorus who are treated in this way, because when the Achaeans by an oracle's bidding made Athamas son of Aeolus a scapegoat for their country and were about to sacrifice him, this Cytissorus came from Aea in Colchis and delivered him, thereby bringing the god's wrath on his own descendants. ,Hearing all this, Xerxes, when he came to the temple grove, refrained from entering it himself and bade all his army do likewise, holding the house and the precinct of Athamas' descendants alike in reverence. 7.219. The seer Megistias, examining the sacrifices, first told the Hellenes at Thermopylae that death was coming to them with the dawn. Then deserters came who announced the circuit made by the Persians. These gave their signals while it was still night; a third report came from the watchers running down from the heights at dawn. ,The Hellenes then took counsel, but their opinions were divided. Some advised not to leave their post, but others spoke against them. They eventually parted, some departing and dispersing each to their own cities, others preparing to remain there with Leonidas. 7.228. There is an inscription written over these men, who were buried where they fell, and over those who died before the others went away, dismissed by Leonidas. It reads as follows: quote type="inscription" l met="dact"Here four thousand from the Peloponnese once fought three million. /l /quote ,That inscription is for them all, but the Spartans have their own: quote type="inscription" l met="dact"Foreigner, go tell the Spartans that we lie here obedient to their commands. /l /quote ,That one is to the Lacedaemonians, this one to the seer: quote type="inscription" l met="dact"This is a monument to the renowned Megistias, /l lSlain by the Medes who crossed the Spercheius river. /l lThe seer knew well his coming doom, /l lBut endured not to abandon the leaders of Sparta. /l /quote ,Except for the seer's inscription, the Amphictyons are the ones who honored them by erecting inscriptions and pillars. That of the seer Megistias was inscribed by Simonides son of Leoprepes because of his tie of guest-friendship with the man. 8.54. So it was that Xerxes took complete possession of Athens, and he sent a horseman to Susa to announce his present success to Artabanus. On the day after the messenger was sent, he called together the Athenian exiles who accompanied him and asked them go up to the acropolis and perform sacrifices in their customary way, an order given because he had been inspired by a dream or because he felt remorse after burning the sacred precinct. The Athenian exiles did as they were commanded. 8.65. Dicaeus son of Theocydes, an Athenian exile who had become important among the Medes, said that at the time when the land of Attica was being laid waste by Xerxes' army and there were no Athenians in the country, he was with Demaratus the Lacedaemonian on the Thriasian plain and saw advancing from Eleusis a cloud of dust as if raised by the feet of about thirty thousand men. They marvelled at what men might be raising such a cloud of dust and immediately heard a cry. The cry seemed to be the “Iacchus” of the mysteries, ,and when Demaratus, ignorant of the rites of Eleusis, asked him what was making this sound, Dicaeus said, “Demaratus, there is no way that some great disaster will not befall the king's army. Since Attica is deserted, it is obvious that this voice is divine and comes from Eleusis to help the Athenians and their allies. ,If it descends upon the Peloponnese, the king himself and his army on the mainland will be endangered. If, however, it turns towards the ships at Salamis, the king will be in danger of losing his fleet. ,Every year the Athenians observe this festival for the Mother and the Maiden, and any Athenian or other Hellene who wishes is initiated. The voice which you hear is the ‘Iacchus’ they cry at this festival.” To this Demaratus replied, “Keep silent and tell this to no one else. ,If these words of yours are reported to the king, you will lose your head, and neither I nor any other man will be able to save you, so be silent. The gods will see to the army.” ,Thus he advised, and after the dust and the cry came a cloud, which rose aloft and floated away towards Salamis to the camp of the Hellenes. In this way they understood that Xerxes' fleet was going to be destroyed. Dicaeus son of Theocydes used to say this, appealing to Demaratus and others as witnesses. 8.84. Then the Hellenes set sail with all their ships, and as they were putting out to sea the barbarians immediately attacked them. The rest of the Hellenes began to back water and tried to beach their ships, but Ameinias of Pallene, an Athenian, charged and rammed a ship. When his ship became entangled and the crew could not free it, the others came to help Ameinias and joined battle. ,The Athenians say that the fighting at sea began this way, but the Aeginetans say that the ship which had been sent to Aegina after the sons of Aeacus was the one that started it. The story is also told that the phantom of a woman appeared to them, who cried commands loud enough for all the Hellenic fleet to hear, reproaching them first with, “Men possessed, how long will you still be backing water?” 8.85. The Phoenicians were marshalled against the Athenians, holding the western wing toward Eleusis. Against the Lacedaemonians were the Ionians, on the eastern wing toward Piraeus, and a few of them fought badly according to Themistocles' instructions, but the majority did not. ,I can list the names of many captains who captured Hellenic ships, but I will mention none except Theomestor son of Androdamas and Phylacus son of Histiaeus, both Samians. ,I mention only these because Theomestor was appointed tyrant of Samos by the Persians for this feat, and Phylacus was recorded as a benefactor of the king and granted much land. The king's benefactors are called “orosangae” in the Persian language. 8.86. Thus it was concerning them. But the majority of the ships at Salamis were sunk, some destroyed by the Athenians, some by the Aeginetans. Since the Hellenes fought in an orderly fashion by line, but the barbarians were no longer in position and did nothing with forethought, it was likely to turn out as it did. Yet they were brave that day, much more brave than they had been at Euboea, for they all showed zeal out of fear of Xerxes, each one thinking that the king was watching him. 8.87. I cannot say exactly how each of the other barbarians or Hellenes fought, but this is what happened to Artemisia, and it gave her still higher esteem with the king: ,When the king's side was all in commotion, at that time Artemisia's ship was pursued by a ship of Attica. She could not escape, for other allied ships were in front of her and hers was the nearest to the enemy. So she resolved to do something which did in fact benefit her: as she was pursued by the Attic ship, she charged and rammed an allied ship, with a Calyndian crew and Damasithymus himself, king of the Calyndians, aboard. ,I cannot say if she had some quarrel with him while they were still at the Hellespont, or whether she did this intentionally or if the ship of the Calyndians fell in her path by chance. ,But when she rammed and sank it, she had the luck of gaining two advantages. When the captain of the Attic ship saw her ram a ship with a barbarian crew, he decided that Artemisia's ship was either Hellenic or a deserter from the barbarians fighting for them, so he turned away to deal with others. 8.88. Thus she happened to escape and not be destroyed, and it also turned out that the harmful thing which she had done won her exceptional esteem from Xerxes. ,It is said that the king, as he watched the battle, saw her ship ram the other, and one of the bystanders said, “Master, do you see how well Artemisia contends in the contest and how she has sunk an enemy ship?” When he asked if the deed was truly Artemisia's, they affirmed it, knowing reliably the marking of her ship, and they supposed that the ruined ship was an enemy. ,As I have said, all this happened to bring her luck, and also that no one from the Calyndian ship survived to accuse her. It is said that Xerxes replied to what was told him, “My men have become women, and my women men.” They say this is what Xerxes said. 8.89. In this struggle the general Ariabignes died, son of Darius and the brother of Xerxes. Many other famous men of the Persians and Medes and other allies also died, but only a few Hellenes, since they knew how to swim. Those whose ships were sunk swam across to Salamis, unless they were killed in action, ,but many of the barbarians drowned in the sea since they did not know how to swim. Most of the ships were sunk when those in the front turned to flee, since those marshalled in the rear, as they tried to go forward with their ships so they too could display some feat to the king, ran afoul of their own side's ships in flight. 8.90. It also happened in this commotion that certain Phoenicians whose ships had been destroyed came to the king and accused the Ionians of treason, saying that it was by their doing that the ships had been lost. It turned out that the Ionian generals were not put to death, and those Phoenicians who slandered them were rewarded as I will show. ,While they were still speaking, a Samothracian ship rammed an Attic ship. The Attic ship sank and an Aeginetan ship bore down and sank the Samothracian ship, but the Samothracians, being javelin-throwers, by pelting them with missiles knocked the fighters off the ship that had sunk theirs and boarded and seized it. ,This saved the Ionians. In his deep vexation Xerxes blamed everyone. When he saw the Ionians performing this great feat, he turned to the Phoenicians and commanded that their heads be cut off, so that they who were base not slander men more noble. ,Whenever Xerxes, as he sat beneath the mountain opposite Salamis which is called Aegaleos, saw one of his own men achieve some feat in the battle, he inquired who did it, and his scribes wrote down the captain's name with his father and city of residence. The presence of Ariaramnes, a Persian and a friend of the Ionians, contributed still more to this calamity of the Phoenicians. Thus they dealt with the Phoenicians. 8.91. The barbarians were routed and tried to flee by sailing out to Phalerum, but the Aeginetans lay in wait for them in the strait and then performed deeds worth telling. The Athenians in the commotion destroyed those ships which either resisted or tried to flee, the Aeginetans those sailing out of the strait. Whoever escaped from the Athenians charged right into the Aeginetans. 8.92. The ships of Themistocles, as he was pursuing a ship, and of Polycritus son of Crius, an Aeginetan, then met. Polycritus had rammed a Sidonian ship, the one which had captured the Aeginetan ship that was on watch off Sciathus, and on it was Pytheas son of Ischenous, the one the Persians marvelled at when severely wounded and kept aboard their ship because of his virtue. This Sidonian ship carrying him with the Persians was now captured, so Pytheas came back safe to Aegina. ,When Polycritus saw the Attic ship, he recognized it by seeing the flagship's marking and shouted to Themistocles, mocking and reproaching him concerning the Medizing of the Aeginetans. After ramming an enemy ship, Polycritus hurled these insults at Themistocles. The barbarians whose ships were still intact fled and reached Phalerum under cover of the land army. 8.93. In this battle the Hellenes with the reputation as most courageous were the Aeginetans, then the Athenians. Among individuals they were Polycritus the Aeginetan and the Athenians Eumenes of Anagyrus and Aminias of Pallene, the one who pursued Artemisia. If he had known she was in that ship, he would not have stopped before either capturing it or being captured himself. ,Such were the orders given to the Athenian captains, and there was a prize offered of ten thousand drachmas to whoever took her alive, since they were indigt that a woman waged war against Athens. But she escaped, as I said earlier, and the others whose ships survived were also in Phalerum. 8.94. The Athenians say that when the ships joined battle, the Corinthian general Adeimantus, struck with bewilderment and terror, hoisted his sails and fled away. When the Corinthians saw their flagship fleeing, they departed in the same way, ,but when in their flight they were opposite the sacred precinct of Athena Sciras on Salamis, by divine guidance a boat encountered them. No one appeared to have sent it, and the Corinthians knew nothing about the affairs of the fleet when it approached. They reckon the affair to involve the gods because when the boat came near the ships, the people on the boat said, ,“Adeimantus, you have turned your ships to flight and betrayed the Hellenes, but they are overcoming their enemies to the fulfillment of their prayers for victory.” Adeimantus did not believe them when they said this, so they spoke again, saying that they could be taken as hostages and killed if the Hellenes were not seen to be victorious. ,So he and the others turned their ships around and came to the fleet, but it was all over. The Athenians spread this rumor about them, but the Corinthians do not agree at all, and they consider themselves to have been among the foremost in the battle. The rest of Hellas bears them witness. 8.96. When the battle was broken off, the Hellenes towed to Salamis as many of the wrecks as were still there and kept ready for another battle, supposing that the king could still make use of his surviving ships. ,A west wind had caught many of the wrecks and carried them to the shore in Attica called Colias. Thus not only was all the rest of the oracle fulfilled which Bacis and Musaeus had spoken about this battle, but also what had been said many years before this in an oracle by Lysistratus, an Athenian soothsayer, concerning the wrecks carried to shore there. Its meaning had eluded all the Hellenes: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"The Colian women will cook with oars. /l lBut this was to happen after the king had marched away. /l /quote 8.133. The Greeks, then, sailed to Delos, and Mardonius wintered in Thessaly. Having his headquarters there he sent a man of Europus called Mys to visit the places of divination, charging him to inquire of all the oracles which he could test. What it was that he desired to learn from the oracles when he gave this charge, I cannot say, for no one tells of it. I suppose that he sent to inquire concerning his present business, and that alone. 8.134. This man Mys is known to have gone to Lebadea and to have bribed a man of the country to go down into the cave of Trophonius and to have gone to the place of divination at Abae in Phocis. He went first to Thebes where he inquired of Ismenian Apollo (sacrifice is there the way of divination, as at Olympia), and moreover he bribed one who was no Theban but a stranger to lie down to sleep in the shrine of Amphiaraus. ,No Theban may seek a prophecy there, for Amphiaraus bade them by an oracle to choose which of the two they wanted and forgo the other, and take him either for their prophet or for their ally. They chose that he should be their ally. Therefore no Theban may lie down to sleep in that place. 8.135. But at this time there happened, as the Thebans say, a thing at which I marvel greatly. It would seem that this man Mys of Europus came in his wanderings among the places of divination to the precinct of Ptoan Apollo. This temple is called Ptoum, and belongs to the Thebans. It lies by a hill, above lake Copais, very near to the town Acraephia. ,When the man called Mys entered into this temple together with three men of the town who were chosen on the state's behalf to write down the oracles that should be given, straightway the diviner prophesied in a foreign tongue. ,The Thebans who followed him were astonished to hear a strange language instead of Greek and knew not what this present matter might be. Mys of Europus, however, snatched from them the tablet which they carried and wrote on it that which was spoken by the prophet, saying that the words of the oracle were Carian. After writing everything down, he went back to Thessaly. 8.136. Mardonius read whatever was said in the oracles, and presently he sent a messenger to Athens, Alexander, a Macedonian, son of Amyntas. Him he sent, partly because the Persians were akin to him; Bubares, a Persian, had taken to wife Gygaea Alexander's sister and Amyntas' daughter, who had borne to him that Amyntas of Asia who was called by the name of his mother's father, and to whom the king gave Alabanda a great city in Phrygia for his dwelling. Partly too he sent him because he learned that Alexander was a protector and benefactor to the Athenians. ,It was thus that he supposed he could best gain the Athenians for his allies, of whom he heard that they were a numerous and valiant people, and knew that they had been the chief authors of the calamities which had befallen the Persians at sea. ,If he gained their friendship he thought he would easily become master of the seas, as truly he would have been. On land he supposed himself to be by much the stronger, and he accordingly reckoned that thus he would have the upper hand of the Greeks. This chanced to be the prediction of the oracles which counseled him to make the Athenians his ally. It was in obedience to this that he sent his messenger. 9.1. When Alexander returned and told him what he had heard from the Athenians, Mardonius set forth from Thessaly and led his army with all zeal against Athens; he also took with him all the people to whose countries he came along the way. The rulers of Thessaly did not repent of what they had already done and were readier than before to further his march. Thorax of Larissa, who had given Xerxes safe-conduct in his flight, now, without any attempt of concealment, opened a passage for Mardonius into Hellas. 9.33. On the second day after they had all been arrayed according to their nations and their battalions, both armies offered sacrifice. It was Tisamenus who sacrificed for the Greeks, for he was with their army as a diviner; he was an Elean by birth, a Clytiad of the Iamid clan, and the Lacedaemonians gave him the freedom of their city. ,This they did, for when Tisamenus was inquiring of the oracle at Delphi concerning offspring, the priestess prophesied to him that he should win five great victories. Not understanding that oracle, he engaged in bodily exercise, thinking that he would then be able to win in similar sports. When he had trained himself for the Five Contests, he came within one wrestling bout of winning the Olympic prize, in a match with Hieronymus of Andros. ,The Lacedaemonians, however, perceived that the oracle given to Tisamenus spoke of the lists not of sport but of war, and they attempted to bribe Tisamenus to be a leader in their wars jointly with their kings of Heracles' line. ,When he saw that the Spartans set great store by his friendship, he set his price higher, and made it known to them that he would do what they wanted only in exchange for the gift of full citizenship and all of the citizen's rights. ,Hearing that, the Spartans at first were angry and completely abandoned their request; but when the dreadful menace of this Persian host hung over them, they consented and granted his demand. When he saw their purpose changed, he said that he would not be content with that alone; his brother Hegias too must be made a Spartan on the same terms as himself. 9.33.1. On the second day after they had all been arrayed according to their nations and their battalions, both armies offered sacrifice. It was Tisamenus who sacrificed for the Greeks, for he was with their army as a diviner; he was an Elean by birth, a Clytiad of the Iamid clan, and the Lacedaemonians gave him the freedom of their city. 9.33.3. The Lacedaemonians, however, perceived that the oracle given to Tisamenus spoke of the lists not of sport but of war, and they attempted to bribe Tisamenus to be a leader in their wars jointly with their kings of Heracles' line. 9.34. By so saying he imitated Melampus, in so far as one may compare demands for kingship with those for citizenship. For when the women of Argos had gone mad, and the Argives wanted him to come from Pylos and heal them of that madness, Melampus demanded half of their kingship for his wages. ,This the Argives would not put up with and departed. When, however, the madness spread among their women, they promised what Melampus demanded and were ready to give it to him. Thereupon, seeing their purpose changed, he demanded yet more and said that he would not do their will except if they gave a third of their kingship to his brother Bias; now driven into dire straits, the Argives consented to that also. 9.35. The Spartans too were so eagerly desirous of winning Tisamenus that they granted everything that he demanded. When they had granted him this also, Tisamenus of Elis, now a Spartan, engaged in divination for them and aided them to win five very great victories. No one on earth save Tisamenus and his brother ever became citizens of Sparta. ,Now the five victories were these: one, the first, this victory at Plataea; next, that which was won at Tegea over the Tegeans and Argives; after that, over all the Arcadians save the Mantineans at Dipaea; next, over the Messenians at Ithome; lastly, the victory at Tanagra over the Athenians and Argives, which was the last won of the five victories. 9.37. Mardonius' sacrifices also foretold an unfavorable outcome if he should be zealous to attack first, and good if he should but defend himself. He too used the Greek manner of sacrifice, and Hegesistratus of Elis was his diviner, the most notable of the sons of Tellias. This man had been put in prison and condemned to die by the Spartans for the great harm which he had done them. ,Being in such bad shape inasmuch as he was in peril of his life and was likely to be very grievously maltreated before his death, he did something which was almost beyond belief; made fast in iron-bound stocks, he got an iron weapon which was brought in some way into his prison, and straightway conceived a plan of such courage as we have never known; reckoning how best the rest of it might get free, he cut off his own foot at the instep. ,This done, he tunneled through the wall out of the way of the guards who kept watch over him, and so escaped to Tegea. All night he journeyed, and all day he hid and lay hidden in the woods, till on the third night he came to Tegea, while all the people of Lacedaemon sought him. The latter were greatly amazed when they saw the half of his foot which had been cut off and lying there but not were unable to find the man himself. ,This, then, is the way in which he escaped the Lacedaemonians and took refuge in Tegea, which at that time was unfriendly to Lacedaemon. After he was healed and had made himself a foot of wood, he declared himself an open enemy of the Lacedaemonians. Yet the enmity which he bore them brought him no good at the last, for they caught him at his divinations in Zacynthus and killed him. 9.38. The death of Hegesistratus, however, took place after the Plataean business. At the present he was by the Asopus, hired by Mardonius for no small wage, where he sacrificed and worked zealously, both for the hatred he bore the Lacedaemonians and for gain. ,When no favorable omens for battle could be won either by the Persians themselves or by the Greeks who were with them (for they too had a diviner of their own, Hippomachus of Leucas), and the Greeks kept flocking in and their army grew, Timagenides son of Herpys, a Theban, advised Mardonius to guard the outlet of the pass over Cithaeron, telling him that the Greeks were coming in daily and that he would thereby cut off many of them. 9.41. Until ten days had passed, no more was done than this. On the eleventh day from their first encampment opposite each other, the Greeks growing greatly in number and Mardonius being greatly vexed by the delay, there was a debate held between Mardonius son of Gobryas and Artabazus son of Pharnaces, who stood as high as only few others in Xerxes' esteem. ,Their opinions in council were as I will show. Artabazus thought it best that they should strike their camp with all speed and lead the whole army within the walls of Thebes. Here there was much food stored and fodder for their beasts of burden; furthermore, they could sit at their ease here and conclude the business by doing as follows: ,they could take the great store they had of gold, minted and other, and silver drinking-cups, and send all this to all places in Hellas without stint, excepting none, but especially to the chief men in the cities of Hellas. Let them do this (he said) and the Greeks would quickly surrender their liberty; but do not let the Persians risk the event of a battle. ,This opinion of his was the same as the Thebans, inasmuch as he too had special foreknowledge. Mardonius' counsel, however, was more vehement and intemperate and not at all leaning to moderation. He said that he thought that their army was much stronger than the Greeks and that they should give battle with all speed so as not to let more Greeks muster than were mustered already. As for the sacrifices of Hegesistratus, let them pay no heed to these, nor seek to wring good from them, but rather give battle after Persian custom. 9.42. No one withstood this argument, and his opinion accordingly prevailed; for it was he and not Artabazus who was commander of the army by the king's commission. He therefore sent for the leaders of the battalions and the generals of those Greeks who were with him and asked them if they knew any oracle which prophesied that the Persians should perish in Hellas. ,Those who were summoned said nothing, some not knowing the prophecies, and some knowing them but thinking it perilous to speak, and then Mardonius himself said: “Since you either have no knowledge or are afraid to declare it, hear what I tell you based on the full knowledge that I have. ,There is an oracle that Persians are fated to come to Hellas and all perish there after they have plundered the temple at Delphi. Since we have knowledge of this same oracle, we will neither approach that temple nor attempt to plunder it; in so far as destruction hinges on that, none awaits us. ,Therefore, as many of you as wish the Persian well may rejoice in that we will overcome the Greeks.” Having spoken in this way, he gave command to have everything prepared and put in good order for the battle which would take place early the next morning. 9.43. Now for this prophecy, which Mardonius said was spoken of the Persians, I know it to have been made concerning not them but the Illyrians and the army of the Enchelees. There is, however, a prophecy made by Bacis concerning this battle: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"By Thermodon's stream and the grass-grown banks of Asopus, /l lWill be a gathering of Greeks for fight and the ring of the barbarian's war-cry; /l lMany a Median archer, by death untimely overtaken will fall /l lThere in the battle when the day of his doom is upon him. /l /quote I know that these verses and others very similar to them from Musaeus referred to the Persians. As for the river Thermodon, it flows between Tanagra and Glisas. 9.44. After this inquiry about oracles and Mardonius' exhortation, night fell, and the armies posted their sentries. Now when the night was far advanced and it seemed that all was still in the camps and the men were sleeping deeply, at that hour Alexander son of Amyntas, the general and king of the Macedonians, rode up to the Athenian outposts and wanted to speak to their generals. ,The greater part of the sentries remained where they were, but the rest ran to their generals and told them that a horseman had ridden in from the Persian camp, imparting no other word save that he desired to speak to the generals and called them by their names. 9.52. Having made this plan, all that day they suffered constant hardship from the cavalry which continually pressed upon them. When the day ended, however, and the horsemen stopped their onslaught, then at that hour of the night at which it was agreed that they should depart, most of them rose and departed, not with intent to go to the place upon which they had agreed. Instead of that, once they were on their way, they joyfully shook off the horsemen and escaped to the town of Plataea. In the course of their flight they came to the temple of Hera which is outside of that town, twenty furlongs distant from the Gargaphian spring and piled their arms in front of the temple. 9.53. So they encamped around the temple of Hera. Pausanias, however, seeing their departure from the camp, gave orders to the Lacedaemonians to take up their arms likewise and follow the others who had gone ahead, supposing that these were making for the place where they had agreed to go. ,Thereupon, all the rest of the captains being ready to obey Pausanias, Amompharetus son of Poliades, the leader of the Pitanate battalion, refused to flee from the barbarians or (save by compulsion) bring shame on Sparta; the whole business seemed strange to him, for he had not been present in the council recently held. ,Pausanias and Euryanax were outraged that Amompharetus disobeyed them. Still more, however, they disliked that his refusing would compel them to abandon the Pitanate battalion, for they feared that if they fulfilled their agreement with the rest of the Greeks and abandoned him, Amompharetus and his men would be left behind to perish. ,Bearing this in mind, they kept the Laconian army where it was and tried to persuade Amompharetus that he was in the wrong. 9.55. When the messenger arrived among the Lacedaemonians, he saw them arrayed where they had been, and their chief men by now in hot dispute. For though Euryanax and Pausanias reasoned with Amompharetus, that the Lacedaemonians should not be endangered by remaining there alone, they could in no way prevail upon him. At last, when the Athenian messenger came among them, angry words began to pass. ,In this wrangling Amompharetus took up a stone with both hands and threw it down before Pausanias' feet, crying that it was the pebble with which he voted against fleeing from the strangers (meaning thereby the barbarians). Pausanias called him a madman; then when the Athenian messenger asked the question with which he had been charged, Pausanias asked the man to tell the Athenians of his present condition, and begged them to join themselves to the Lacedaemonians and, as for departure, to do as they did. 9.56. The messenger then went back to the Athenians. When dawn found the dispute still continuing, Pausanias, who had up to this point kept his army where it was, now gave the word and led all the rest away between the hillocks, the Tegeans following, for he supposed that Amompharetus would not stay behind when the rest of the Lacedaemonians left him; this was in fact exactly what happened. ,The Athenians marshalled themselves and marched, but not by the same way as the Lacedaemonians, who stayed close to the broken ground and the lower slopes of Cithaeron in order to stay clear of the Persian horse. The Athenians marched down into the plain instead. 9.57. Now Amompharetus at first supposed that Pausanias would never have the heart to leave him and his men, and he insisted that they should remain where they were and not leave their post. When Pausanias' men had already proceeded some distance, he thought that they had really left him. He accordingly bade his battalion take up its arms and led it in marching step after the rest of the column, ,which after going a distance of ten furlongs, was waiting for Amompharetus by the stream Molois and the place called Argiopium, where there is a shrine of Eleusinian Demeter. The reason for their waiting was that, if Amompharetus and his battalion should not leave the place where it was posted but remain there, they would then be able to assist him. ,No sooner had Amompharetus' men come up than the barbarians' cavalry attacked the army, for the horsemen acted as they always had. When they saw no enemy on the ground where the Greeks had been on the days before this, they kept riding forward and attacked the Greeks as soon as they overtook them. 9.59. With that, he led the Persians with all speed across the Asopus in pursuit of the Greeks, supposing that they were in flight; it was the army of Lacedaemon and Tegea alone which was his goal, for the Athenians marched another way over the broken ground, and were out of his sight. ,Seeing the Persians setting forth in pursuit of the Greeks, the rest of the barbarian battalions straightway raised their standards and also gave pursuit, each at top speed, no battalion having order in its ranks nor place assigned in the line. 9.60. So they ran pell-mell and shouting, as though they would utterly make an end of the Greeks. Pausanias, however, when the cavalry attacked him, sent a horseman to the Athenians with this message: “Men of Athens, in this great contest which must give freedom or slavery to Hellas, we Lacedaemonians and you Athenians have been betrayed by the flight of our allies in the night that is past. ,I have accordingly now resolved what we must do; we must protect each other by fighting as best we can. If the cavalry had attacked you first, it would have been the duty of both ourselves and the Tegeans, who are faithful to Hellas, to aid you; but now, seeing that the whole brunt of their assault falls on us, it is right that you should come to the aid of that division which is hardest pressed. ,But if, as may be, anything has befallen you which makes it impossible for you to aid us, do us the service of sending us your archers. We are sure that you will obey us, as knowing that you have been by far more zealous than all others in this present war.” 9.61. When the Athenians heard that, they attempted to help the Lacedaemonians and defend them with all their might. But when their march had already begun, they were set upon by the Greeks posted opposite them, who had joined themselves to the king. For this reason, being now under attack by the foe which was closest, they could at the time send no aid. ,The Lacedaemonians and Tegeans accordingly stood alone, men-at-arms and light-armed together; there were of the Lacedaemonians fifty thousand and of the Tegeans, who had never been parted from the Lacedaemonians, three thousand. These offered sacrifice so that they would fare better in battle with Mardonius and the army which was with him. ,They could get no favorable omen from their sacrifices, and in the meanwhile many of them were killed and by far more wounded (for the Persians set up their shields for a fence, and shot showers of arrows). Since the Spartans were being hard-pressed and their sacrifices were of no avail, Pausanias lifted up his eyes to the temple of Hera at Plataea and called on the goddess, praying that they might not be disappointed in their hope. 9.62. While he was still in the act of praying, the men of Tegea leapt out before the rest and charged the barbarians, and immediately after Pausanias' prayer the sacrifices of the Lacedaemonians became favorable. Now they too charged the Persians, and the Persians met them, throwing away their bows. ,First they fought by the fence of shields, and when that was down, there was a fierce and long fight around the temple of Demeter itself, until they came to blows at close quarters. For the barbarians laid hold of the spears and broke them short. ,Now the Persians were neither less valorous nor weaker, but they had no armor; moreover, since they were unskilled and no match for their adversaries in craft, they would rush out singly and in tens or in groups great or small, hurling themselves on the Spartans and so perishing. 9.64. On that day the Spartans, as the oracle had foretold, gained from Mardonius their full measure of vengeance for the slaying of Leonidas, and the most glorious of victories of all which we know was won by Pausanias, the son of Cleombrotus, who was the son of Anaxandrides. ,(I have named the rest of Pausanias' ancestors in the lineage of Leonidas, for they are the same for both.) As for Mardonius, he was killed by Aeimnestus, a Spartan of note who long after the Persian business led three hundred men to battle at Stenyclerus against the whole army of Messenia, and was there killed, he and his three hundred. 9.65. At Plataea, however, the Persians, routed by the Lacedaemonians, fled in disorder to their own camp and inside the wooden walls which they had made in the territory of Thebes. ,It is indeed a marvel that although the battle was right by the grove of Demeter, there was no sign that any Persian had been killed in the precinct or entered into it; most of them fell near the temple in unconsecrated ground. I think—if it is necessary to judge the ways of the gods—that the goddess herself denied them entry, since they had burnt her temple, the shrine at Eleusis. 9.67. So Artabazus and his army turned that way. All the rest of the Greeks who were on the king's side fought badly on purpose, but not so the Boeotians; they fought for a long time against the Athenians. For those Thebans who were on the Persian side had great enthusiasm in the battle, and did not want to fight in a cowardly manner. As a result of this, three hundred of their first and best were killed there by the Athenians. At last, however, the Boeotians too yielded and they fled to Thebes, but not by the way which the Persians had fled and the multitude of the allies which had fought no fight to the end nor achieved any feat of arms. 9.69. So the Greeks, now having the upper hand, followed Xerxes' men, pursuing and slaying. During this steadily growing rout there came a message to the rest of the Greeks, who were by the temple of Hera and had stayed out of the fighting, that there had been a battle and that Pausanias' men were victorious. When they heard this, they set forth in no ordered array, those who were with the Corinthians keeping to the spurs of the mountain and the hill country, by the road that led upward straight to the temple of Demeter, and those who were with the Megarians and Philasians taking the most level route over the plain. ,However, when the Megarians and Philasians had come near the enemy, the Theban horsemen (whose captain was Asopodorus son of Timander) caught sight of them approaching in haste and disorder, and rode at them; in this attack they trampled six hundred of them, and pursued and drove the rest to Cithaeron. 9.101. Moreover, there was the additional coincidence, that there were precincts of Eleusinian Demeter on both battlefields; for at Plataea the fight was near the temple of Demeter, as I have already said, and so it was to be at Mykale also. ,It happened that the rumor of a victory won by the Greeks with Pausanias was true, for the defeat at Plataea happened while it was yet early in the day, and the defeat of Mykale in the afternoon. That the two fell on the same day of the same month was proven to the Greeks when they examined the matter not long afterwards. ,Now before this rumor came they had been faint-hearted, fearing less for themselves than for the Greeks with Pausanias, that Hellas should stumble over Mardonius. But when the report sped among them, they grew stronger and swifter in their onset. So Greeks and barbarians alike were eager for battle, seeing that the islands and the Hellespont were the prizes of victory. 9.103. While the Persians still fought, the Lacedaemonians and their comrades came up and finished what was left of the business. The Greeks too lost many men there, notably the men of Sicyon and their general Perilaus. ,As for the Samians who served in the Median army and had been disarmed, they, seeing from the first that victory hung in the balance, did what they could in their desire to aid the Greeks. When the other Ionians saw the Samians set the example, they also abandoned the Persians and attacked the foreigners. 9.104. The Persians had for their own safety appointed the Milesians to watch the passes, so that if anything should happen to the Persian army such as did happen to it, they might have guides to bring them safely to the heights of Mykale. This was the task to which the Milesians were appointed for the reason mentioned above and so that they might not be present with the army and so turn against it. They acted wholly contrary to the charge laid upon them; they misguided the fleeing Persians by ways that led them among their enemies, and at last they themselves became their worst enemies and killed them. In this way Ionia revolted for the second time from the Persians. 9.106. When the Greeks had made an end of most of the barbarians, either in battle or in flight, they brought out their booty onto the beach, and found certain stores of wealth. Then after burning the ships and the whole of the wall, they sailed away. ,When they had arrived at Samos, they debated in council over the removal of all Greeks from Ionia, and in what Greek lands under their dominion it would be best to plant the Ionians, leaving the country itself to the barbarians; for it seemed impossible to stand on guard between the Ionians and their enemies forever. If, however, they should not so stand, they had no hope that the Persians would permit the Ionians to go unpunished. ,In this matter the Peloponnesians who were in charge were for removing the people from the lands of those Greek nations which had sided with the Persians and giving their land to the Ionians to dwell in. The Athenians disliked the whole plan of removing the Greeks from Ionia, or allowing the Peloponnesians to determine the lot of Athenian colonies, and as they resisted vehemently, the Peloponnesians yielded. ,It accordingly came about that they admitted to their alliance the Samians, Chians, Lesbians, and all other islanders who had served with their forces, and bound them by pledge and oaths to remain faithful and not desert their allies. When the oaths had been sworn, the Greeks set sail to break the bridges, supposing that these still held fast. So they laid their course for the Hellespont.
7. Thucydides, The History of The Peloponnesian War, 8.1.1 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

8.1.1. Such were the events in Sicily . When the news was brought to Athens, for a long while they disbelieved even the most respectable of the soldiers who had themselves escaped from the scene of action and clearly reported the matter, a destruction so complete not being thought credible. When the conviction was forced upon them, they were angry with the orators who had joined in promoting the expedition, just as if they had not themselves voted it, and were enraged also with the reciters of oracles and soothsayers, and all other omenmongers of the time who had encouraged them to hope that they should conquer Sicily .
8. Xenophon, The Persian Expedition, 2.2.3 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

2.2.3. After this, when the sun was already setting, he called together the generals and captains and spoke as follows: When I sacrificed, gentlemen, the omens did not result favourably for proceeding against the King. And with good reason, it proves, they were not favourable; for, as I now ascertain, between us and the King is the Tigris, a navigable river, which we could not cross without boats—and boats we have none. On the other hand, it is not possible for us to stay where we are, for we cannot get provisions; but the omens were extremely favourable for our going to join the friends of Cyrus .
9. Xenophon, Hellenica, 2.4.18-2.4.19 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

2.4.18. After saying these words and turning about to face the enemy, he kept quiet; for the seer bade them not to attack until one of their own number was either killed or wounded. But as soon as that happens, he said, we shall lead on, and to you who follow will come victory, but death, methinks, to me. 2.4.19. And his saying did not prove false, for when they had taken up their shields, he, as though led on by a kind of fate, leaped forth first of all, fell upon the enemy, and was slain, and he lies buried at the ford of the Cephisus; but the others were victorious, and pursued the enemy as far as the level ground. In this battle fell two of the Thirty, Critias and Hippomachus, one of the Ten who ruled in Piraeus, Charmides, the son of Glaucon, and about seventy of the others. And the victors took possession of their arms, but they did not strip off the tunic Worn underneath the breastplate. The victors, then, appropriated the arms and armour of the dead, but not their clothing. of any citizen. When this had been done and while they were giving back the bodies of the dead, many on either side mingled and talked with one another.
10. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 11.29.2 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

11.29.2.  And when the Greek forces were assembled at the Isthmus, all of them agreed that they should swear an oath about the war, one that would make staunch the concord among them and would compel entrenchment nobly to endure the perils of the battle.
11. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.11.6-3.11.10 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

3.11.6. Tisamenus belonged to the family of the Iamidae at Elis, and an oracle was given to him that he should win five most famous contests. So he trained for the pentathlon at Olympia, but came away defeated. And yet he was first in two events, beating Hieronymus of Andros in running and in jumping. But when he lost the wrestling bout to this competitor, and so missed the prize, he understood what the oracle meant, that the god granted him to win five contests in war by his divinations. 3.11.7. The Lacedaemonians, hearing of the oracle the Pythian priestess had given to Tisamenus, persuaded him to migrate from Elis and to be state-diviner at Sparta . And Tisamenus won them five contests in war. 479 B.C. The first was at Plataea against the Persians; the second was at Tegea, when the Lacedaemonians had engaged the Tegeans and Argives; the third was at Dipaea, an Arcadian town in Maenalia, when all the Arcadians except the Mantineans were arrayed against them. 3.11.8. His fourth contest was against the Helots who had rebelled and left the Isthmus for Ithome . 464 B.C. Not all the Helots revolted, only the Messenian element, which separated itself off from the old Helots. These events I shall relate presently. On the occasion I mention the Lacedaemonians allowed the rebels to depart under a truce, in accordance with the advice of Tisamenus and of the oracle at Delphi . The last time Tisamenus divined for them was at Tanagra, an engagement taking place with the Argives and Athenians. 457 B.C. 3.11.9. Such I learned was the history of Tisamenus. On their market-place the Spartans have images of Apollo Pythaeus, of Artemis and of Leto. The whole of this region is called Choros (Dancing), because at the Gymnopaediae, a festival which the Lacedaemonians take more seriously than any other, the lads perform dances in honor of Apollo. Not far from them is a sanctuary of Earth and of Zeus of the Market-place, another of Athena of the Market-place and of Poseidon surnamed Securer, and likewise one of Apollo and of Hera. 3.11.10. There is also dedicated a colossal statue of the Spartan People. The Lacedaemonians have also a sanctuary of the Fates, by which is the grave of Orestes, son of Agamemnon. For when the bones of Orestes were brought from Tegea in accordance with an oracle they were buried here. Beside the grave of Orestes is a statue of Polydorus, son of Alcamenes, a king who rose to such honor that the magistrates seal with his likeness everything that requires sealing.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
achaea Mikalson (2003) 157
adrastus Naiden (2013) 342
aeolians Sweeney (2013) 30
agis Naiden (2013) 342
alliances,hellenic against persia' Sweeney (2013) 30
amphiaraus,hero of thebes Mikalson (2003) 157
amphiaraus Johnston (2008) 117; Naiden (2013) 342
aphrodite,abaios Mikalson (2003) 157
aphrodite,ptoös of ptoön Mikalson (2003) 157
argives Naiden (2013) 342
argos Naiden (2013) 342
artabanus of persia Mikalson (2003) 141
artaüctes of persia Mikalson (2003) 141
athena,ilias of troy Mikalson (2003) 157
cambyses of persia,dreams of Mikalson (2003) 141
chresmologoi Mikalson (2003) 141, 157
chrêsmologos Johnston and Struck (2005) 207
cleomenes Naiden (2013) 342
croesus of lydia,piety of Mikalson (2003) 141
cyprus Sweeney (2013) 30
cyrus of persia,dreams of Mikalson (2003) 141
daimones Mikalson (2003) 141
darius of persia Mikalson (2003) 157
datis,persians general,delos and Mikalson (2003) 157
dead,treatment of Mikalson (2003) 157
dedications Mikalson (2003) 141
delos and delians Mikalson (2003) 157
delphi and delphians Mikalson (2003) 93
delphic oracle,to tisamenus Mikalson (2003) 93
delphic oracle,wooden wall, Mikalson (2003) 141
dillery,john Johnston and Struck (2005) 207
divination,and authority Johnston and Struck (2005) 207
divination,and patronage Johnston and Struck (2005) 207
divination,and war Johnston and Struck (2005) 207
dorians Sweeney (2013) 30
dreams,of polycrates daughter Mikalson (2003) 141
dreams Mikalson (2003) 141
egypt and egyptians Mikalson (2003) 141
graeca interpretatio Mikalson (2003) 157
hagias Johnston and Struck (2005) 207
hegesistratus Naiden (2013) 342
hegesistratus of elis Mikalson (2003) 93
herodotus Johnston and Struck (2005) 207
heroes and heroines,of thebes Mikalson (2003) 157
heroes and heroines,of troy Mikalson (2003) 157
hippomachus of leucas Mikalson (2003) 93
history,historian Faure (2022) 148
lysistratus of athens Mikalson (2003) 141
magoi Mikalson (2003) 157
mania,in warfare Johnston and Struck (2005) 207
mania Johnston and Struck (2005) 207
manteis Mikalson (2003) 93, 141, 157
mantis,battle participation of manteis Johnston (2008) 117
mantis Johnston (2008) 117
mardonius Naiden (2013) 342
mardonius of persia,omens to Mikalson (2003) 93, 157
mardonius of persia,oracles to Mikalson (2003) 93, 157
megistias of acarnania Mikalson (2003) 141
melampus,melampids Johnston (2008) 117
miracles,at athens Mikalson (2003) 141
mykale Sweeney (2013) 30
mys of europus Mikalson (2003) 157
nereids,goddesses Mikalson (2003) 157
oaths,of plataea Mikalson (2003) 93
oaths Mikalson (2003) 93
olympia,oracle and sanctuary of zeus at Johnston (2008) 117
omens,to artaüctes Mikalson (2003) 141
omens,to athenians Mikalson (2003) 141
omens,to greeks Mikalson (2003) 93, 141
omens,to spartans Mikalson (2003) 93
omens Mikalson (2003) 141; Mikalson (2016) 279
onomacritus Mikalson (2003) 141, 157
oracles,of trophonius Mikalson (2003) 157
oracles Mikalson (2003) 157
origine Faure (2022) 148
past Faure (2022) 148
pausanias Naiden (2013) 342
persian wars (hellenic–achaemenid) Sweeney (2013) 30
polycrates of samos Mikalson (2003) 141
prayers,of lydians Mikalson (2003) 141
prayers Mikalson (2003) 141
sacrifice,beauty of Mikalson (2016) 279
sacrifices,before battle Mikalson (2003) 93
sacrifices,by persians Mikalson (2003) 157
sacrifices Mikalson (2003) 141
sicilian expedition Johnston (2008) 117
spartans Mikalson (2003) 93; Sweeney (2013) 30
tellias,telliadae Johnston (2008) 117
thetis,goddess Mikalson (2003) 157
tisamenus Johnston (2008) 117; Naiden (2013) 342
tisamenus of elis Mikalson (2003) 93
trophonius,god of lebadea Mikalson (2003) 157
troy,xerxes at Mikalson (2003) 157
wooden walls,oracle concerning Johnston (2008) 117
xerxes of persia,dreams of Mikalson (2003) 141
xerxes of persia,omens to Mikalson (2003) 157
xerxes of persia,oracles to Mikalson (2003) 141, 157
xerxes of persia,respect for religious conventions Mikalson (2003) 157