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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



6465
Herodotus, Histories, 9.43


τοῦτον δʼ ἔγωγε τὸν χρησμόν, τὸν Μαρδόνιος εἶπε ἐς Πέρσας ἔχειν, ἐς Ἰλλυριούς τε καὶ τὸν Ἐγχελέων στρατὸν οἶδα πεποιημένον, ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἐς Πέρσας. ἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν Βάκιδι ἐς ταύτην τὴν μάχην ἐστὶ πεποιημένα, τὴν δʼ ἐπὶ Θερμώδοντι καὶ Ἀσωπῷ λεχεποίῃ Ἑλλήνων σύνοδον καὶ βαρβαρόφωνον ἰυγήν, τῇ πολλοὶ πεσέονται ὑπὲρ λάχεσίν τε μόρον τε τοξοφόρων Μήδων, ὅταν αἴσιμον ἦμαρ ἐπέλθῃ, ταῦτα μὲν καὶ παραπλήσια τούτοισι ἄλλα Μουσαίῳ ἔχοντα οἶδα ἐς Πέρσας. ὁ δὲ Θερμώδων ποταμὸς ῥέει μεταξὺ Τανάγρης τε καὶ Γλίσαντος.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: ,


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

16 results
1. Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 1113, 1112 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1112. οὔπω ξυνῆκα· νῦν γὰρ ἐξ αἰνιγμάτων 1112. Nor yet I’ve gone with thee! for — after riddles —
2. Aristophanes, Birds, 958-991, 955 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

955. τὰ κρυερὰ τονδὶ τὸν χιτωνίσκον λαβών.
3. Aristophanes, Knights, 1001-1089, 110-149, 167, 177, 181, 185-186, 193-222, 960-1000 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1000. καὶ νὴ Δί' ἔτι γέ μοὔστι κιβωτὸς πλέα.
4. Aristophanes, Peace, 1071-1110, 1070 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1070. εἰ γὰρ μὴ νύμφαι γε θεαὶ Βάκιν ἐξαπάτασκον
5. Herodotus, Histories, 1.7, 1.14, 1.47, 1.52-1.53, 1.55, 1.57-1.58, 1.62-1.63, 1.65-1.67, 1.85, 1.91, 1.138, 1.172, 1.174, 2.12, 2.42-2.45, 2.51-2.52, 2.54-2.57, 2.104, 2.114, 2.116-2.120, 2.133, 2.145-2.146, 3.57-3.58, 3.76, 3.124-3.125, 4.155, 4.157, 4.159, 4.163-4.164, 4.179, 5.57, 5.67, 5.70-5.71, 5.76, 5.79, 5.90.2, 5.92, 6.19, 6.27, 6.52, 6.57.4, 6.75, 6.77, 6.84, 6.86, 6.97-6.98, 6.140, 7.1, 7.6-7.7, 7.43, 7.93-7.95, 7.140-7.144, 7.148-7.149, 7.169, 7.178, 7.191-7.192, 7.197, 7.220, 8.13, 8.20, 8.26, 8.77, 8.84-8.94, 8.96, 8.133-8.136, 9.33-9.38, 9.41-9.42, 9.44, 9.52-9.53, 9.55-9.57, 9.59-9.65, 9.67, 9.69-9.71, 9.100-9.101, 9.103-9.106 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.7. Now the sovereign power that belonged to the descendants of Heracles fell to the family of Croesus, called the Mermnadae, in the following way. ,Candaules, whom the Greeks call Myrsilus, was the ruler of Sardis ; he was descended from Alcaeus, son of Heracles; Agron son of Ninus, son of Belus, son of Alcaeus, was the first Heraclid king of Sardis and Candaules son of Myrsus was the last. ,The kings of this country before Agron were descendants of Lydus, son of Atys, from whom this whole Lydian district got its name; before that it was called the land of the Meii. ,The Heraclidae, descendants of Heracles and a female slave of Iardanus, received the sovereignty from these and held it, because of an oracle; and they ruled for twenty-two generations, or five hundred and five years, son succeeding father, down to Candaules son of Myrsus. 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. 1.47. And when he sent to test these shrines he gave the Lydians these instructions: they were to keep track of the time from the day they left Sardis, and on the hundredth day inquire of the oracles what Croesus, king of Lydia, son of Alyattes, was doing then; then they were to write down whatever the oracles answered and bring the reports back to him. ,Now none relate what answer was given by the rest of the oracles. But at Delphi, no sooner had the Lydians entered the hall to inquire of the god and asked the question with which they were entrusted, than the Pythian priestess uttered the following hexameter verses: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“I know the number of the grains of sand and the extent of the sea, /l lAnd understand the mute and hear the voiceless. /l lThe smell has come to my senses of a strong-shelled tortoise /l lBoiling in a cauldron together with a lamb's flesh, /l lUnder which is bronze and over which is bronze.” /l /quote 1.52. Such were the gifts which he sent to Delphi . To Amphiaraus, of whose courage and fate he had heard, he dedicated a shield made entirely of gold and a spear all of solid gold, point and shaft alike. Both of these were until my time at Thebes, in the Theban temple of Ismenian Apollo. 1.53. The Lydians who were to bring these gifts to the temples were instructed by Croesus to inquire of the oracles whether he was to send an army against the Persians and whether he was to add an army of allies. ,When the Lydians came to the places where they were sent, they presented the offerings, and inquired of the oracles, in these words: “Croesus, king of Lydia and other nations, believing that here are the only true places of divination among men, endows you with such gifts as your wisdom deserves. And now he asks you whether he is to send an army against the Persians, and whether he is to add an army of allies.” ,Such was their inquiry; and the judgment given to Croesus by each of the two oracles was the same: namely, that if he should send an army against the Persians he would destroy a great empire. And they advised him to discover the mightiest of the Greeks and make them his friends. 1.55. After his gifts to the Delphians, Croesus made a third inquiry of the oracle, for he wanted to use it to the full, having received true answers from it; and the question which he asked was whether his sovereignty would be of long duration. To this the Pythian priestess answered as follows: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“When the Medes have a mule as king, /l lJust then, tender-footed Lydian, by the stone-strewn Hermus /l lFlee and do not stay, and do not be ashamed to be a coward.” /l /quote 1.57. What language the Pelasgians spoke I cannot say definitely. But if one may judge by those that still remain of the Pelasgians who live above the Tyrrheni in the city of Creston —who were once neighbors of the people now called Dorians, and at that time inhabited the country which now is called Thessalian— ,and of the Pelasgians who inhabited Placia and Scylace on the Hellespont, who came to live among the Athenians, and by other towns too which were once Pelasgian and afterwards took a different name: if, as I said, one may judge by these, the Pelasgians spoke a language which was not Greek. ,If, then, all the Pelasgian stock spoke so, then the Attic nation, being of Pelasgian blood, must have changed its language too at the time when it became part of the Hellenes. For the people of Creston and Placia have a language of their own in common, which is not the language of their neighbors; and it is plain that they still preserve the manner of speech which they brought with them in their migration into the places where they live. 1.58. But the Hellenic stock, it seems clear to me, has always had the same language since its beginning; yet being, when separated from the Pelasgians, few in number, they have grown from a small beginning to comprise a multitude of nations, chiefly because the Pelasgians and many other foreign peoples united themselves with them. Before that, I think, the Pelasgic stock nowhere increased much in number while it was of foreign speech. 1.62. So after ten years they set out from Eretria and returned home. The first place in Attica which they took and held was Marathon: and while encamped there they were joined by their partisans from the city, and by others who flocked to them from the country—demesmen who loved the rule of one more than freedom. These, then, assembled; ,but the Athenians in the city, who while Pisistratus was collecting money and afterwards when he had taken Marathon took no notice of it, did now, and when they learned that he was marching from Marathon against Athens, they set out to attack him. ,They came out with all their force to meet the returning exiles. Pisistratus' men encountered the enemy when they had reached the temple of Pallenian Athena in their march from Marathon towards the city, and encamped face to face with them. ,There (by the providence of heaven) Pisistratus met Amphilytus the Acarian, a diviner, who came to him and prophesied as follows in hexameter verses: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“The cast is made, the net spread, /l lThe tunny-fish shall flash in the moonlit night.” /l /quote 1.63. So Amphilytus spoke, being inspired; Pisistratus understood him and, saying that he accepted the prophecy, led his army against the enemy. The Athenians of the city had by this time had breakfast, and after breakfast some were dicing and some were sleeping: they were attacked by Pisistratus' men and put to flight. ,So they fled, and Pisistratus devised a very subtle plan to keep them scattered and prevent them assembling again: he had his sons mount and ride forward: they overtook the fugitives and spoke to them as they were instructed by Pisistratus, telling them to take heart and each to depart to his home. 1.65. So Croesus learned that at that time such problems were oppressing the Athenians, but that the Lacedaemonians had escaped from the great evils and had mastered the Tegeans in war. In the kingship of Leon and Hegesicles at Sparta, the Lacedaemonians were successful in all their other wars but met disaster only against the Tegeans. ,Before this they had been the worst-governed of nearly all the Hellenes and had had no dealings with strangers, but they changed to good government in this way: Lycurgus, a man of reputation among the Spartans, went to the oracle at Delphi . As soon as he entered the hall, the priestess said in hexameter: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"You have come to my rich temple, Lycurgus, /l lA man dear to Zeus and to all who have Olympian homes. /l lI am in doubt whether to pronounce you man or god, /l lBut I think rather you are a god, Lycurgus. /l /quote ,Some say that the Pythia also declared to him the constitution that now exists at Sparta, but the Lacedaemonians themselves say that Lycurgus brought it from Crete when he was guardian of his nephew Leobetes, the Spartan king. ,Once he became guardian, he changed all the laws and took care that no one transgressed the new ones. Lycurgus afterwards established their affairs of war: the sworn divisions, the bands of thirty, the common meals; also the ephors and the council of elders. 1.66. Thus they changed their bad laws to good ones, and when Lycurgus died they built him a temple and now worship him greatly. Since they had good land and many men, they immediately flourished and prospered. They were not content to live in peace, but, confident that they were stronger than the Arcadians, asked the oracle at Delphi about gaining all the Arcadian land. ,She replied in hexameter: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"You ask me for Arcadia ? You ask too much; I grant it not. /l lThere are many men in Arcadia, eaters of acorns, /l lWho will hinder you. But I grudge you not. /l lI will give you Tegea to beat with your feet in dancing, /l lAnd its fair plain to measure with a rope. /l /quote ,When the Lacedaemonians heard the oracle reported, they left the other Arcadians alone and marched on Tegea carrying chains, relying on the deceptive oracle. They were confident they would enslave the Tegeans, but they were defeated in battle. ,Those taken alive were bound in the very chains they had brought with them, and they measured the Tegean plain with a rope by working the fields. The chains in which they were bound were still preserved in my day, hanging up at the temple of Athena Alea. 1.67. In the previous war the Lacedaemonians continually fought unsuccessfully against the Tegeans, but in the time of Croesus and the kingship of Anaxandrides and Ariston in Lacedaemon the Spartans had gained the upper hand. This is how: ,when they kept being defeated by the Tegeans, they sent ambassadors to Delphi to ask which god they should propitiate to prevail against the Tegeans in war. The Pythia responded that they should bring back the bones of Orestes, son of Agamemnon. ,When they were unable to discover Orestes' tomb, they sent once more to the god to ask where he was buried. The Pythia responded in hexameter to the messengers: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"There is a place Tegea in the smooth plain of Arcadia, /l lWhere two winds blow under strong compulsion. /l lBlow lies upon blow, woe upon woe. /l lThere the life-giving earth covers the son of Agamemnon. /l lBring him back, and you shall be lord of Tegea . /l /quote ,When the Lacedaemonians heard this, they were no closer to discovery, though they looked everywhere. Finally it was found by Lichas, who was one of the Spartans who are called “doers of good deeds.”. These men are those citizens who retire from the knights, the five oldest each year. They have to spend the year in which they retire from the knights being sent here and there by the Spartan state, never resting in their efforts. 1.85. I will now relate what happened to Croesus himself. He had a son, whom I have already mentioned, fine in other respects, but mute. Now in his days of prosperity past Croesus had done all that he could for his son; and besides resorting to other devices he had sent to Delphi to inquire of the oracle concerning him. ,The Pythian priestess answered him thus: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“Lydian, king of many, greatly foolish Croesus, /l lWish not to hear in the palace the voice often prayed for /l lof your son speaking. /l lIt were better for you that he remain mute as before; /l lFor on an unlucky day shall he first speak.” /l /quote ,So at the taking of the fortification a certain Persian, not knowing who Croesus was, came at him meaning to kill him. Croesus saw him coming, but because of the imminent disaster he was past caring, and it made no difference to him whether he were struck and killed. ,But this mute son, when he saw the Persian coming on, in fear and distress broke into speech and cried, “Man, do not kill Croesus!” This was the first word he uttered, and after that for all the rest of his life he had power of speech. 1.91. When the Lydians came, and spoke as they had been instructed, the priestess (it is said) made the following reply. “No one may escape his lot, not even a god. Croesus has paid for the sin of his ancestor of the fifth generation before, who was led by the guile of a woman to kill his master, though he was one of the guard of the Heraclidae, and who took to himself the royal state of that master, to which he had no right. ,And it was the wish of Loxias that the evil lot of Sardis fall in the lifetime of Croesus' sons, not in his own; but he could not deflect the Fates. ,Yet as far as they gave in, he did accomplish his wish and favor Croesus: for he delayed the taking of Sardis for three years. And let Croesus know this: that although he is now taken, it is by so many years later than the destined hour. And further, Loxias saved Croesus from burning. ,But as to the oracle that was given to him, Croesus is wrong to complain concerning it. For Loxias declared to him that if he led an army against the Persians, he would destroy a great empire. Therefore he ought, if he had wanted to plan well, to have sent and asked whether the god spoke of Croesus' or of Cyrus' empire. But he did not understood what was spoken, or make further inquiry: for which now let him blame himself. ,When he asked that last question of the oracle and Loxias gave him that answer concerning the mule, even that Croesus did not understand. For that mule was in fact Cyrus, who was the son of two parents not of the same people, of whom the mother was better and the father inferior: ,for she was a Mede and the daughter of Astyages king of the Medes; but he was a Persian and a subject of the Medes and although in all respects her inferior he married this lady of his.” This was the answer of the priestess to the Lydians. They carried it to Sardis and told Croesus, and when he heard it, he confessed that the sin was not the god's, but his. And this is the story of Croesus' rule, and of the first overthrow of Ionia . 1.138. 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. 1.172. I think the Caunians are aborigines of the soil, but they say that they came from Crete . Their speech has become like the Carian, or the Carian like theirs (for I cannot clearly decide), but in their customs they diverge widely from the Carians, as from all other men. Their chief pleasure is to assemble for drinking-bouts in groups according to their ages and friendships: men, women, and children. ,Certain foreign rites of worship were established among them; but afterwards, when they were inclined otherwise, and wanted to worship only the gods of their fathers, all Caunian men of full age put on their armor and went together as far as the boundaries of Calynda, striking the air with their spears and saying that they were casting out the alien gods. 1.174. Neither the Carians nor any Greeks who dwell in this country did any thing notable before they were all enslaved by Harpagus. ,Among those who inhabit it are certain Cnidians, colonists from Lacedaemon . Their country (it is called the Triopion) lies between the sea and that part of the peninsula which belongs to Bubassus, and all but a small part of the Cnidian territory is washed by the sea ,(for it is bounded on the north by the gulf of Ceramicus, and on the south by the sea off Syme and Rhodes ). Now while Harpagus was conquering Ionia, the Cnidians dug a trench across this little space, which is about two-thirds of a mile wide, in order that their country might be an island. So they brought it all within the entrenchment; for the frontier between the Cnidian country and the mainland is on the isthmus across which they dug. ,Many of them were at this work; and seeing that the workers were injured when breaking stones more often and less naturally than usual, some in other ways, but most in the eyes, the Cnidians sent envoys to Delphi to inquire what it was that opposed them. ,Then, as they themselves say, the priestess gave them this answer in iambic verse: quote type="oracle" l met="iamb"“Do not wall or trench the isthmus: /l l Zeus would have given you an island, if he had wanted to.” /l /quote ,At this answer from the priestess, the Cnidians stopped their digging, and when Harpagus came against them with his army they surrendered to him without resistance. 2.12. As for Egypt, then, I credit those who say it, and myself very much believe it to be the case; for I have seen that Egypt projects into the sea beyond the neighboring land, and shells are exposed to view on the mountains, and things are coated with salt, so that even the pyramids show it, and the only sandy mountain in Egypt is that which is above Memphis ; ,besides, Egypt is like neither the neighboring land of Arabia nor Libya, not even like Syria (for Syrians inhabit the seaboard of Arabia ); it is a land of black and crumbling earth, as if it were alluvial deposit carried down the river from Aethiopia; ,but we know that the soil of Libya is redder and somewhat sandy, and Arabia and Syria are lands of clay and stones. 2.42. All that have a temple of Zeus of Thebes or are of the Theban district sacrifice goats, but will not touch sheep. ,For no gods are worshipped by all Egyptians in common except Isis and Osiris, who they say is Dionysus; these are worshipped by all alike. Those who have a temple of Mendes or are of the Mendesian district sacrifice sheep, but will not touch goats. ,The Thebans, and those who by the Theban example will not touch sheep, give the following reason for their ordice: they say that Heracles wanted very much to see Zeus and that Zeus did not want to be seen by him, but that finally, when Heracles prayed, Zeus contrived ,to show himself displaying the head and wearing the fleece of a ram which he had flayed and beheaded. It is from this that the Egyptian images of Zeus have a ram's head; and in this, the Egyptians are imitated by the Ammonians, who are colonists from Egypt and Ethiopia and speak a language compounded of the tongues of both countries. ,It was from this, I think, that the Ammonians got their name, too; for the Egyptians call Zeus “Amon”. The Thebans, then, consider rams sacred for this reason, and do not sacrifice them. ,But one day a year, at the festival of Zeus, they cut in pieces and flay a single ram and put the fleece on the image of Zeus, as in the story; then they bring an image of Heracles near it. Having done this, all that are at the temple mourn for the ram, and then bury it in a sacred coffin. 2.43. Concerning Heracles, I heard it said that he was one of the twelve gods. But nowhere in Egypt could I hear anything about the other Heracles, whom the Greeks know. ,I have indeed a lot of other evidence that the name of Heracles did not come from Hellas to Egypt, but from Egypt to Hellas (and in Hellas to those Greeks who gave the name Heracles to the son of Amphitryon), besides this: that Amphitryon and Alcmene, the parents of this Heracles, were both Egyptian by descent ; and that the Egyptians deny knowing the names Poseidon and the Dioscuri, nor are these gods reckoned among the gods of Egypt . ,Yet if they got the name of any deity from the Greeks, of these not least but in particular would they preserve a recollection, if indeed they were already making sea voyages and some Greeks, too, were seafaring men, as I expect and judge; so that the names of these gods would have been even better known to the Egyptians than the name of Heracles. ,But Heracles is a very ancient god in Egypt ; as the Egyptians themselves say, the change of the eight gods to the twelve, one of whom they acknowledge Heracles to be, was made seventeen thousand years before the reign of Amasis. 2.44. Moreover, wishing to get clear information about this matter where it was possible so to do, I took ship for Tyre in Phoenicia, where I had learned by inquiry that there was a holy temple of Heracles. ,There I saw it, richly equipped with many other offerings, besides two pillars, one of refined gold, one of emerald: a great pillar that shone at night; and in conversation with the priests, I asked how long it was since their temple was built. ,I found that their account did not tally with the belief of the Greeks, either; for they said that the temple of the god was founded when Tyre first became a city, and that was two thousand three hundred years ago. At Tyre I saw yet another temple of the so-called Thasian Heracles. ,Then I went to Thasos, too, where I found a temple of Heracles built by the Phoenicians, who made a settlement there when they voyaged in search of Europe ; now they did so as much as five generations before the birth of Heracles the son of Amphitryon in Hellas . ,Therefore, what I have discovered by inquiry plainly shows that Heracles is an ancient god. And furthermore, those Greeks, I think, are most in the right, who have established and practise two worships of Heracles, sacrificing to one Heracles as to an immortal, and calling him the Olympian, but to the other bringing offerings as to a dead hero. 2.45. And the Greeks say many other ill-considered things, too; among them, this is a silly story which they tell about Heracles: that when he came to Egypt, the Egyptians crowned him and led him out in a procession to sacrifice him to Zeus; and for a while (they say) he followed quietly, but when they started in on him at the altar, he resisted and killed them all. ,Now it seems to me that by this story the Greeks show themselves altogether ignorant of the character and customs of the Egyptians; for how should they sacrifice men when they are forbidden to sacrifice even beasts, except swine and bulls and bull-calves, if they are unblemished, and geese? ,And furthermore, as Heracles was alone, and, still, only a man, as they say, how is it natural that he should kill many myriads? In talking so much about this, may I keep the goodwill of gods and heroes! 2.51. These customs, then, and others besides, which I shall indicate, were taken by the Greeks from the Egyptians. It was not so with the ithyphallic images of Hermes; the production of these came from the Pelasgians, from whom the Athenians were the first Greeks to take it, and then handed it on to others. ,For the Athenians were then already counted as Greeks when the Pelasgians came to live in the land with them and thereby began to be considered as Greeks. Whoever has been initiated into the rites of the Cabeiri, which the Samothracians learned from the Pelasgians and now practice, understands what my meaning is. ,Samothrace was formerly inhabited by those Pelasgians who came to live among the Athenians, and it is from them that the Samothracians take their rites. ,The Athenians, then, were the first Greeks to make ithyphallic images of Hermes, and they did this because the Pelasgians taught them. The Pelasgians told a certain sacred tale about this, which is set forth in the Samothracian mysteries. 2.52. Formerly, in all their sacrifices, the Pelasgians called upon gods without giving name or appellation to any (I know this, because I was told at Dodona ); for as yet they had not heard of such. They called them gods from the fact that, besides setting everything in order, they maintained all the dispositions. ,Then, after a long while, first they learned the names of the rest of the gods, which came to them from Egypt, and, much later, the name of Dionysus; and presently they asked the oracle at Dodona about the names; for this place of divination, held to be the most ancient in Hellas, was at that time the only one. ,When the Pelasgians, then, asked at Dodona whether they should adopt the names that had come from foreign parts, the oracle told them to use the names. From that time onwards they used the names of the gods in their sacrifices; and the Greeks received these later from the Pelasgians. 2.54. But about the oracles in Hellas, and that one which is in Libya, the Egyptians give the following account. The priests of Zeus of Thebes told me that two priestesses had been carried away from Thebes by Phoenicians; one, they said they had heard was taken away and sold in Libya, the other in Hellas ; these women, they said, were the first founders of places of divination in the aforesaid countries. ,When I asked them how it was that they could speak with such certain knowledge, they said in reply that their people had sought diligently for these women, and had never been able to find them, but had learned later the story which they were telling me. 2.55. That, then, I heard from the Theban priests; and what follows, the prophetesses of Dodona say: that two black doves had come flying from Thebes in Egypt, one to Libya and one to Dodona ; ,the latter settled on an oak tree, and there uttered human speech, declaring that a place of divination from Zeus must be made there; the people of Dodona understood that the message was divine, and therefore established the oracular shrine. ,The dove which came to Libya told the Libyans (they say) to make an oracle of Ammon; this also is sacred to Zeus. Such was the story told by the Dodonaean priestesses, the eldest of whom was Promeneia and the next Timarete and the youngest Nicandra; and the rest of the servants of the temple at Dodona similarly held it true. 2.56. But my own belief about it is this. If the Phoenicians did in fact carry away the sacred women and sell one in Libya and one in Hellas, then, in my opinion, the place where this woman was sold in what is now Hellas, but was formerly called Pelasgia, was Thesprotia ; ,and then, being a slave there, she established a shrine of Zeus under an oak that was growing there; for it was reasonable that, as she had been a handmaid of the temple of Zeus at Thebes , she would remember that temple in the land to which she had come. ,After this, as soon as she understood the Greek language, she taught divination; and she said that her sister had been sold in Libya by the same Phoenicians who sold her. 2.57. I expect that these women were called “doves” by the people of Dodona because they spoke a strange language, and the people thought it like the cries of birds; ,then the woman spoke what they could understand, and that is why they say that the dove uttered human speech; as long as she spoke in a foreign tongue, they thought her voice was like the voice of a bird. For how could a dove utter the speech of men? The tale that the dove was black signifies that the woman was Egyptian . ,The fashions of divination at Thebes of Egypt and at Dodona are like one another; moreover, the practice of divining from the sacrificed victim has also come from Egypt . 2.104. For it is plain to see that the Colchians are Egyptians; and what I say, I myself noted before I heard it from others. When it occurred to me, I inquired of both peoples; and the Colchians remembered the Egyptians better than the Egyptians remembered the Colchians; ,the Egyptians said that they considered the Colchians part of Sesostris' army. I myself guessed it, partly because they are dark-skinned and woolly-haired; though that indeed counts for nothing, since other peoples are, too; but my better proof was that the Colchians and Egyptians and Ethiopians are the only nations that have from the first practised circumcision. ,The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine acknowledge that they learned the custom from the Egyptians, and the Syrians of the valleys of the Thermodon and the Parthenius, as well as their neighbors the Macrones, say that they learned it lately from the Colchians. These are the only nations that circumcise, and it is seen that they do just as the Egyptians. ,But as to the Egyptians and Ethiopians themselves, I cannot say which nation learned it from the other; for it is evidently a very ancient custom. That the others learned it through traffic with Egypt, I consider clearly proved by this: that Phoenicians who traffic with Hellas cease to imitate the Egyptians in this matter and do not circumcise their children. 2.114. When Thonis heard it, he sent this message the quickest way to Proteus at Memphis : ,“A stranger has come, a Trojan, who has committed an impiety in Hellas . After defrauding his guest-friend, he has come bringing the man's wife and a very great deal of wealth, driven to your country by the wind. Are we to let him sail away untouched, or are we to take away what he has come with?” ,Proteus sent back this message: “Whoever this is who has acted impiously against his guest-friend, seize him and bring him to me, that I may know what he will say.” 2.116. This, the priests said, was how Helen came to Proteus. And, in my opinion, Homer knew this story, too; but seeing that it was not so well suited to epic poetry as the tale of which he made use, he rejected it, showing that he knew it. ,This is apparent from the passage in the titleIliad /title (and nowhere else does he return to the story) where he relates the wanderings of Alexander, and shows how he and Helen were carried off course, and wandered to, among other places, Sidon in Phoenicia . ,This is in the story of the Prowess of Diomedes, where the verses run as follows: cit quote l met="dact"There were the robes, all embroidered, /l lThe work of women of Sidon, whom godlike Alexandrus himself /l lBrought from Sidon, crossing the broad sea, /l lThe same voyage on which he brought back Helen of noble descent. /l /quote biblHom. Il. 6.289-92 /bibl /cit ,[He mentions it in the titleOdyssey /title also: cit quote l met="dact"The daughter of Zeus had such ingenious drugs, /l lGood ones, which she had from Thon's wife, Polydamna, an Egyptian, /l lWhose country's fertile plains bear the most drugs, /l lMany mixed for good, many for harm: /l /quote biblHom. Od. 4.227-30 /bibl /cit ] ,and again Menelaus says to Telemachus: cit quote l met="dact"I was eager to return here, but the gods still held me in Egypt, /l lSince I had not sacrificed entire hecatombs to them. /l /quote biblHom. Od. 4. 351-2 /bibl /cit ,In these verses the poet shows that he knew of Alexander's wanderings to Egypt ; for Syria borders on Egypt, and the Phoenicians, to whom Sidon belongs, dwell in Syria . 2.117. These verses and this passage prove most clearly that the Cyprian poems are not the work of Homer but of someone else. For the Cyprian poems relate that Alexandrus reached Ilion with Helen in three days from Sparta, having a fair wind and a smooth sea; but according to the titleIliad /title, he wandered from his course in bringing her. 2.118. Enough, then, of Homer and the Cyprian poems. But, when I asked the priests whether the Greek account of what happened at Troy were idle or not, they gave me the following answer, saying that they had inquired and knew from Menelaus himself. ,After the rape of Helen, a great force of Greeks came to the Trojan land on Menelaus' behalf. After disembarking and disposing their forces, they sent messengers to Ilion, one of whom was Menelaus himself. ,When these were let inside the city walls, they demanded the restitution of Helen and of the property which Alexandrus had stolen from Menelaus and carried off, and they demanded reparation for the wrongs; but the Trojans gave the same testimony then and later, sworn and unsworn: that they did not have Helen or the property claimed, but all of that was in Egypt, and they could not justly make reparation for what Proteus the Egyptian had. ,But the Greeks, thinking that the Trojans were mocking them, laid siege to the city, until they took it; but there was no Helen there when they breached the wall, but they heard the same account as before; so, crediting the original testimony, they sent Menelaus himself to Proteus. 2.119. Menelaus then went to Egypt and up the river to Memphis ; there, relating the truth of the matter, he met with great hospitality and got back Helen, who had not been harmed, and also all his wealth, besides. ,Yet, although getting this, Menelaus was guilty of injustice toward the Egyptians. For adverse weather detained him when he tried to sail away; after this continued for some time, he carried out something impious, ,taking two native children and sacrificing them. When it became known that he had done this, he fled with his ships straight to Libya, hated and hunted; and where he went from there, the Egyptians could not say. The priests told me that they had learned some of this by inquiry, but that they were sure of what had happened in their own country. 2.120. The Egyptians' priests said this, and I myself believe their story about Helen, for I reason thus: had Helen been in Ilion, then with or without the will of Alexandrus she would have been given back to the Greeks. ,For surely Priam was not so mad, or those nearest to him, as to consent to risk their own persons and their children and their city so that Alexandrus might cohabit with Helen. ,Even if it were conceded that they were so inclined in the first days, yet when not only many of the Trojans were slain in fighting against the Greeks, but Priam himself lost to death two or three or even more of his sons in every battle (if the poets are to be believed), in this turn of events, had Helen been Priam's own wife, I cannot but think that he would have restored her to the Greeks, if by so doing he could escape from the evils besetting him. ,Alexandrus was not even heir to the throne, in which case matters might have been in his hands since Priam was old, but Hector, who was an older and a better man than Alexandrus, was going to receive the royal power at Priam's death, and ought not have acquiesced in his brother's wrongdoing, especially when that brother was the cause of great calamity to Hector himself and all the rest of the Trojans. ,But since they did not have Helen there to give back, and since the Greeks would not believe them although they spoke the truth—I am convinced and declare—the divine powers provided that the Trojans, perishing in utter destruction, should make this clear to all mankind: that retribution from the gods for terrible wrongdoing is also terrible. This is what I think, and I state it. 2.133. After what happened to his daughter, the following happened next to this king: an oracle came to him from the city of Buto, announcing that he had just six years to live and was to die in the seventh. ,The king took this badly, and sent back to the oracle a message of reproach, blaming the god that his father and his uncle, though they had shut up the temples, and disregarded the gods, and destroyed men, had lived for a long time, but that he who was pious was going to die so soon. ,But a second oracle came announcing that for this very reason his life was hastening to a close: he had done what was contrary to fate; Egypt should have been afflicted for a hundred and fifty years, and the two kings before him knew this, but not he. ,Hearing this, Mycerinus knew that his doom was fixed. Therefore, he had many lamps made, and would light these at nightfall and drink and enjoy himself, not letting up day or night, roaming to the marsh country and the groves and wherever he heard of the likeliest places of pleasure. ,This was his recourse, so that by turning night into day he might make his six years into twelve and so prove the oracle false. 2.145. Among the Greeks, Heracles, Dionysus, and Pan are held to be the youngest of the gods. But in Egypt, Pan is the most ancient of these and is one of the eight gods who are said to be the earliest of all; Heracles belongs to the second dynasty (that of the so-called twelve gods); and Dionysus to the third, which came after the twelve. ,How many years there were between Heracles and the reign of Amasis, I have already shown; Pan is said to be earlier still; the years between Dionysus and Amasis are the fewest, and they are reckoned by the Egyptians at fifteen thousand. ,The Egyptians claim to be sure of all this, since they have reckoned the years and chronicled them in writing. ,Now the Dionysus who was called the son of Semele, daughter of Cadmus, was about sixteen hundred years before my time, and Heracles son of Alcmene about nine hundred years; and Pan the son of Penelope (for according to the Greeks Penelope and Hermes were the parents of Pan) was about eight hundred years before me, and thus of a later date than the Trojan war. 2.146. With regard to these two, Pan and Dionysus, one may follow whatever story one thinks most credible; but I give my own opinion concerning them here. Had Dionysus son of Semele and Pan son of Penelope appeared in Hellas and lived there to old age, like Heracles the son of Amphitryon, it might have been said that they too (like Heracles) were but men, named after the older Pan and Dionysus, the gods of antiquity; ,but as it is, the Greek story has it that no sooner was Dionysus born than Zeus sewed him up in his thigh and carried him away to Nysa in Ethiopia beyond Egypt ; and as for Pan, the Greeks do not know what became of him after his birth. It is therefore plain to me that the Greeks learned the names of these two gods later than the names of all the others, and trace the birth of both to the time when they gained the knowledge. 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. 3.76. 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. 4.155. There Polymnestus, a notable Theraean, took Phronime and made her his concubine. In time, a son of weak and stammering speech was born to him, to whom he gave the name Battus, as the Theraeans and Cyrenaeans say; but in my opinion the boy was given some other name, ,and changed it to Battus on his coming to Libya, taking this new name because of the oracle given to him at Delphi and the honorable office which he received. For the Libyan word for king is “Battus,” and this (I believe) is why the Pythian priestess called him so in her prophecy, using a Libyan name because she knew that he was to be king in Libya. ,For when he grew to adulthood, he went to Delphi to inquire about his voice; and the priestess in answer gave him this: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“Battus, you have come for a voice; but Lord Phoebus Apollo /l lSends you to found a city in Libya, nurse of sheep,” /l /quote just as if she addressed him using the Greek word for “king,” “Basileus, you have come for a voice,” et cetera. ,But he answered: “Lord, I came to you to ask about my speech; but you talk of other matters, things impossible to do; you tell me to plant a colony in Libya; where shall I get the power or strength of hand for it?” Battus spoke thus, but as the god would not give him another oracle and kept answering as before, he departed while the priestess was still speaking, and went away to Thera. 4.157. Here they lived for two years; but as everything went wrong, the rest sailed to Delphi leaving one behind, and on their arrival questioned the oracle, and said that they were living in Libya, but that they were no better off for that. ,Then the priestess gave them this reply: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“If you know Libya nurse of sheep better than I, /l lThough I have been there and you have not, then I am very much astonished at your knowledge.” /l /quote Hearing this, Battus and his men sailed back again; for the god would not let them do anything short of colonizing Libya itself; ,and having come to the island and taken aboard the one whom they had left there, they made a settlement at a place in Libya itself, opposite the island which was called Aziris. This is a place enclosed on both sides by the fairest of groves, with a river flowing along one side of it. 4.159. Now in the time of Battus the founder of the colony, who ruled for forty years, and of his son Arcesilaus who ruled for sixteen, the inhabitants of Cyrene were no more in number than when they had first gone out to the colony. ,But in the time of the third ruler, Battus, who was called the Fortunate, the Pythian priestess warned all Greeks by an oracle to cross the sea and live in Libya with the Cyrenaeans; for the Cyrenaeans invited them, promising a distribution of land; ,and this was the oracle: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"“Whoever goes to beloved Libya after /l lThe fields are divided, I say shall be sorry afterward.” /l /quote ,So a great multitude gathered at Cyrene, and cut out great tracts of land from the territory of the neighboring Libyans. Robbed of their lands and treated violently by the Cyrenaeans, these then sent to Egypt together with their king, whose name was Adicran, and put their affairs in the hands of Apries, the king of that country. ,Apries mustered a great force of Egyptians and sent it against Cyrene; the Cyrenaeans marched out to Irasa and the Thestes spring, and there fought with the Egyptians and beat them; ,for the Egyptians had as yet had no experience of Greeks, and despised their enemy; as a result of which, they were so utterly destroyed that few of them returned to Egypt. Because of this misfortune, and because they blamed him for it, the Egyptians revolted from Apries. 4.163. Meanwhile Arcesilaus was in Samos, collecting all the men that he could and promising them a new division of land; and while a great army was thus gathering, he made a journey to Delphi, to ask the oracle about his return. ,The priestess gave him this answer: quote type="oracle"“For the lifetimes of four Battuses and four Arcesilauses, eight generations of men, Loxias grants to your house the kingship of Cyrene; more than this he advises you not even to try. /quote , quoteBut you, return to your country and live there in peace. But if you find the oven full of amphora, do not bake the amphora, but let them go unscathed. And if you bake them in the oven, do not go into the tidal place; for if you do, then you shall be killed yourself, and also the bull that is fairest of the herd.” /quote This was the oracle given by the priestess to Arcesilaus. 4.164. But he returned to Cyrene with the men from Samos, and having made himself master of it he forgot the oracle, and demanded justice upon his enemies for his banishment. ,Some of these left the country altogether; others, Arcesilaus seized and sent away to Cyprus to be killed there. These were carried off their course to Cnidus, where the Cnidians saved them and sent them to Thera. Others of the Cyrenaeans fled for refuge into a great tower that belonged to one Aglomachus, a private man, and Arcesilaus piled wood around it and burnt them there. ,Then, perceiving too late that this was the meaning of the Delphic oracle which forbade him to bake the amphora if he found them in the oven, he deliberately refrained from going into the city of the Cyrenaeans, fearing the death prophesied and supposing the tidal place to be Cyrene. ,Now he had a wife who was a relation of his, a daughter of Alazir king of the Barcaeans, and Arcesilaus went to Alazir; but men of Barce and some of the exiles from Cyrene were aware of him and killed him as he walked in the town, and Alazir his father-in-law too. So Arcesilaus whether with or without meaning to missed the meaning of the oracle and fulfilled his destiny. 4.179. The following story is also told: it is said that Jason, when the Argo had been built at the foot of Pelion, put aboard besides a hecatomb a bronze tripod, and set out to sail around the Peloponnese, to go to Delphi. ,But when he was off Malea, a north wind caught and carried him away to Libya; and before he saw land, he came into the shallows of the Tritonian lake. There, while he could find no way out yet, Triton (the story goes) appeared to him and told Jason to give him the tripod, promising to show the sailors the channel and send them on their way unharmed. ,Jason did, and Triton then showed them the channel out of the shallows and set the tripod in his own temple; but first he prophesied over it, declaring the whole matter to Jason's comrades: namely, that should any descendant of the Argo's crew take away the tripod, then a hundred Greek cities would be founded on the shores of the Tritonian lake. Hearing this (it is said) the Libyan people of the country hid the tripod. 5.57. Now the Gephyraean clan, of which the slayers of Hipparchus were members, claim to have come at first from Eretria, but my own enquiry shows that they were among the Phoenicians who came with Cadmus to the country now called Boeotia. In that country the lands of Tanagra were allotted to them, and this is where they settled. ,The Cadmeans had first been expelled from there by the Argives, and these Gephyraeans were forced to go to Athens after being expelled in turn by the Boeotians. The Athenians received them as citizens of their own on set terms, debarring them from many practices not deserving of mention here. 5.67. In doing this, to my thinking, this Cleisthenes was imitating his own mother's father, Cleisthenes the tyrant of Sicyon, for Cleisthenes, after going to war with the Argives, made an end of minstrels' contests at Sicyon by reason of the Homeric poems, in which it is the Argives and Argos which are primarily the theme of the songs. Furthermore, he conceived the desire to cast out from the land Adrastus son of Talaus, the hero whose shrine stood then as now in the very marketplace of Sicyon because he was an Argive. ,He went then to Delphi, and asked the oracle if he should cast Adrastus out, but the priestess said in response: “Adrastus is king of Sicyon, and you but a stone thrower.” When the god would not permit him to do as he wished in this matter, he returned home and attempted to devise some plan which might rid him of Adrastus. When he thought he had found one, he sent to Boeotian Thebes saying that he would gladly bring Melanippus son of Astacus into his country, and the Thebans handed him over. ,When Cleisthenes had brought him in, he consecrated a sanctuary for him in the government house itself, where he was established in the greatest possible security. Now the reason why Cleisthenes brought in Melanippus, a thing which I must relate, was that Melanippus was Adrastus' deadliest enemy, for Adrastus had slain his brother Mecisteus and his son-in-law Tydeus. ,Having then designated the precinct for him, Cleisthenes took away all Adrastus' sacrifices and festivals and gave them to Melanippus. The Sicyonians had been accustomed to pay very great honor to Adrastus because the country had once belonged to Polybus, his maternal grandfather, who died without an heir and bequeathed the kingship to him. ,Besides other honors paid to Adrastus by the Sicyonians, they celebrated his lamentable fate with tragic choruses in honor not of Dionysus but of Adrastus. Cleisthenes, however, gave the choruses back to Dionysus and the rest of the worship to Melanippus. 5.70. Isagoras, who was on the losing side, devised a counter-plot, and invited the aid of Cleomenes, who had been his friend since the besieging of the Pisistratidae. It was even said of Cleomenes that he regularly went to see Isagoras' wife. ,Then Cleomenes first sent a herald to Athens demanding the banishment of Cleisthenes and many other Athenians with him, the Accursed, as he called them. This he said in his message by Isagoras' instruction, for the Alcmeonidae and their faction were held to be guilty of that bloody deed while Isagoras and his friends had no part in it. 5.71. How the Accursed at Athens had received their name, I will now relate. There was an Athenian named Cylon, who had been a winner at Olympia. This man put on the air of one who aimed at tyranny, and gathering a company of men of like age, he attempted to seize the citadel. When he could not win it, he took sanctuary by the goddess' statue. ,He and his men were then removed from their position by the presidents of the naval boards, the rulers of Athens at that time. Although they were subject to any penalty save death, they were slain, and their death was attributed to the Alcmaeonidae. All this took place before the time of Pisistratus. 5.76. This was the fourth time that Dorians had come into Attica. They had come twice as invaders in war and twice as helpers of the Athenian people. The first time was when they planted a settlement at Megara (this expedition may rightly be said to have been in the reign of Codrus), the second and third when they set out from Sparta to drive out the sons of Pisistratus, and the fourth was now, when Cleomenes broke in as far as Eleusis with his following of Peloponnesians. This was accordingly the fourth Dorian invasion of Athens. 5.79. This, then, is the course of action which the Athenians took, and the Thebans, desiring vengeance on Athens, afterwards appealed to Delphi for advice. The Pythian priestess said that the Thebans themselves would not be able to obtain the vengeance they wanted and that they should lay the matter before the “many-voiced” and entreat their “nearest.” ,Upon the return of the envoys, an assembly was called and the oracle put before it. When the Thebans heard that they must entreat their “nearest,” they said, “If this is so, our nearest neighbors are the men of Tanagra and Coronea and Thespiae. These are always our comrades in battle and zealously wage our wars. What need, then, is there to entreat them? Perhaps this is the meaning of the oracle.” 5.90.2. Furthermore, they were spurred on by the oracles which foretold that many deeds of enmity would be perpetrated against them by the Athenians. Previously they had had no knowledge of these oracles but now Cleomenes brought them to Sparta, and the Lacedaemonians learned their contents. It was from the Athenian acropolis that Cleomenes took the oracles, which had been in the possession of the Pisistratidae earlier. When they were exiled, they left them in the temple from where they were retrieved by Cleomenes. 5.92. These were the words of the Lacedaemonians, but their words were ill-received by the greater part of their allies. The rest then keeping silence, Socles, a Corinthian, said, ,“In truth heaven will be beneath the earth and the earth aloft above the heaven, and men will dwell in the sea and fishes where men dwelt before, now that you, Lacedaemonians, are destroying the rule of equals and making ready to bring back tyranny into the cities, tyranny, a thing more unrighteous and bloodthirsty than anything else on this earth. ,If indeed it seems to you to be a good thing that the cities be ruled by tyrants, set up a tyrant among yourselves first and then seek to set up such for the rest. As it is, however, you, who have never made trial of tyrants and take the greatest precautions that none will arise at Sparta, deal wrongfully with your allies. If you had such experience of that thing as we have, you would be more prudent advisers concerning it than you are now.” ,The Corinthian state was ordered in such manner as I will show.There was an oligarchy, and this group of men, called the Bacchiadae, held sway in the city, marrying and giving in marriage among themselves. Now Amphion, one of these men, had a crippled daughter, whose name was Labda. Since none of the Bacchiadae would marry her, she was wedded to Eetion son of Echecrates, of the township of Petra, a Lapith by lineage and of the posterity of Caeneus. ,When no sons were born to him by this wife or any other, he set out to Delphi to enquire concerning the matter of acquiring offspring. As soon as he entered, the Pythian priestess spoke these verses to him: quote type="oracle" l met="dact" Eetion,worthy of honor, no man honors you. /l l Labda is with child, and her child will be a millstone /l lWhich will fall upon the rulers and will bring justice to Corinth. /l /quote ,This oracle which was given to Eetion was in some way made known to the Bacchiadae. The earlier oracle sent to Corinth had not been understood by them, despite the fact that its meaning was the same as the meaning of the oracle of Eetion, and it read as follows: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"An eagle in the rocks has conceived, and will bring forth a lion, /l lStrong and fierce. The knees of many will it loose. /l lThis consider well, Corinthians, /l lYou who dwell by lovely Pirene and the overhanging heights of Corinth. /l /quote ,This earlier prophecy had been unintelligible to the Bacchiadae, but as soon as they heard the one which was given to Eetion, they understood it at once, recognizing its similarity with the oracle of Eetion. Now understanding both oracles, they kept quiet but resolved to do away with the offspring of Eetion. Then, as soon as his wife had given birth, they sent ten men of their clan to the township where Eetion dwelt to kill the child. ,These men came to Petra and passing into Eetion's courtyard, asked for the child. Labda, knowing nothing of the purpose of their coming and thinking that they wished to see the baby out of affection for its father, brought it and placed it into the hands of one of them. Now they had planned on their way that the first of them who received the child should dash it to the ground. ,When, however, Labda brought and handed over the child, by divine chance it smiled at the man who took it. This he saw, and compassion prevented him from killing it. Filled with pity, he handed it to a second, and this man again to a third.In fact it passed from hand to hand to each of the ten, for none would make an end of it. ,They then gave the child back to its mother, and after going out, they stood before the door reproaching and upbraiding one another, but chiefly him who had first received it since he had not acted in accordance with their agreement. Finally they resolved to go in again and all have a hand in the killing. ,Fate, however, had decreed that Eetion's offspring should be the source of ills for Corinth, for Labda, standing close to this door, heard all this. Fearing that they would change their minds and that they would take and actually kill the child, she took it away and hid it where she thought it would be hardest to find, in a chest, for she knew that if they returned and set about searching they would seek in every place—which in fact they did. ,They came and searched, but when they did not find it, they resolved to go off and say to those who had sent them that they had carried out their orders. They then went away and said this. ,Eetion's son, however, grew up, and because of his escape from that danger, he was called Cypselus, after the chest. When he had reached manhood and was seeking a divination, an oracle of double meaning was given him at Delphi. Putting faith in this, he made an attempt on Corinth and won it. ,The oracle was as follows: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"That man is fortunate who steps into my house, /l l Cypselus, son of Eetion, the king of noble Corinth, /l lHe himself and his children, but not the sons of his sons. /l /quote Such was the oracle. Cypselus, however, when he had gained the tyranny, conducted himself in this way: many of the Corinthians he drove into exile, many he deprived of their wealth, and by far the most he had killed. ,After a reign of thirty years, he died in the height of prosperity, and was succeeded by his son Periander. Now Periander was to begin with milder than his father, but after he had held converse by messenger with Thrasybulus the tyrant of Miletus, he became much more bloodthirsty than Cypselus. ,He had sent a herald to Thrasybulus and inquired in what way he would best and most safely govern his city. Thrasybulus led the man who had come from Periander outside the town, and entered into a sown field. As he walked through the corn, continually asking why the messenger had come to him from Corinth, he kept cutting off all the tallest ears of wheat which he could see, and throwing them away, until he had destroyed the best and richest part of the crop. ,Then, after passing through the place and speaking no word of counsel, he sent the herald away. When the herald returned to Corinth, Periander desired to hear what counsel he brought, but the man said that Thrasybulus had given him none. The herald added that it was a strange man to whom he had been sent, a madman and a destroyer of his own possessions, telling Periander what he had seen Thrasybulus do. ,Periander, however, understood what had been done, and perceived that Thrasybulus had counselled him to slay those of his townsmen who were outstanding in influence or ability; with that he began to deal with his citizens in an evil manner. Whatever act of slaughter or banishment Cypselus had left undone, that Periander brought to accomplishment. In a single day he stripped all the women of Corinth naked, because of his own wife Melissa. ,Periander had sent messengers to the Oracle of the Dead on the river Acheron in Thesprotia to enquire concerning a deposit that a friend had left, but Melissa, in an apparition, said that she would tell him nothing, nor reveal where the deposit lay, for she was cold and naked. The garments, she said, with which Periander had buried with her had never been burnt, and were of no use to her. Then, as evidence for her husband that she spoke the truth, she added that Periander had put his loaves into a cold oven. ,When this message was brought back to Periander (for he had had intercourse with the dead body of Melissa and knew her token for true), immediately after the message he made a proclamation that all the Corinthian women should come out into the temple of Hera. They then came out as to a festival, wearing their most beautiful garments, and Periander set his guards there and stripped them all alike, ladies and serving-women, and heaped all the clothes in a pit, where, as he prayed to Melissa, he burnt them. ,When he had done this and sent a second message, the ghost of Melissa told him where the deposit of the friend had been laid. “This, then, Lacedaimonians, is the nature of tyranny, and such are its deeds. ,We Corinthians marvelled greatly when we saw that you were sending for Hippias, and now we marvel yet more at your words to us. We entreat you earnestly in the name of the gods of Hellas not to establish tyranny in the cities, but if you do not cease from so doing and unrighteously attempt to bring Hippias back, be assured that you are proceeding without the Corinthians' consent.” 6.19. When the Argives inquired at Delphi about the safety of their city, a common response was given, one part regarding the Argives themselves, but there was an additional response for the Milesians. ,I will mention the part concerning the Argives when I come to that part of my history; this was the prophecy given to the Milesians in their absence: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Then, Miletus, contriver of evil deeds, /l lFor many will you become a banquet and glorious gifts; /l lYour wives will wash the feet of many long-haired men; /l lOther ministers will tend my Didyman shrine! /l /quote ,All this now came upon the Milesians, since most of their men were slain by the Persians, who wore long hair, and their women and children were accounted as slaves, and the temple at Didyma with its shrine and place of divination was plundered and burnt. of the wealth that was in this temple I have often spoken elsewhere in my history. 6.27. It is common for some sign to be given when great ills threaten cities or nations; for before all this plain signs had been sent to the Chians. ,of a band of a hundred youths whom they had sent to Delphi only two returned, ninety-eight being caught and carried off by pestilence; moreover, at about this same time, a little before the sea-fight, the roof fell in on boys learning their letters: of one hundred and twenty of them one alone escaped. ,These signs a god showed to them; then the sea-fight broke upon them and beat the city to its knees; on top of the sea-fight came Histiaeus and the Lesbians. Since the Chians were in such a bad state, he easily subdued them. 6.52. The Lacedaemonians say (but no poet agrees) that it was Aristodemus son of Aristomachus son of Cleodaeus son of Hyllus, and not his sons, who led them to that land which they now possess. ,After no long time Aristodemus' wife, whose name was Argeia, bore him offspring; they say she was daughter of Autesion son of Tisamenus son of Thersander son of Polynices; she bore him twins; Aristodemus lived to see the children, then died of a sickness. ,The Lacedaemonians of that day planned to follow their custom and make the eldest of the children king. But the children were identical in all respects, so the Lacedaemonians did not know which to choose; when they could not judge between them, or perhaps even before this, they asked the mother. ,She said she knew no better than the Lacedaemonians which was the elder; she knew perfectly well, but she said this because she desired that by some means both might be made kings. The Lacedaemonians were at a loss, so they sent to Delphi to inquire how they should deal with the matter. ,The priestess bade them make both children kings but give greater honor to the elder. When the priestess gave this response, the Lacedaemonians knew no better than before how to discover the elder child, and a man of Messenia, whose name was Panites, gave them advice: ,he advised them to watch the mother and see which of the children she washed and fed before the other; if she was seen to do this always in the same order, they would then have all that they sought and desired to discover; but if she changed her practice haphazardly, then it would be manifest to the Lacedaemonians that she know no more than they did, and they must have recourse to some other means. ,Then the Spartans did as the Messenian advised; as they watched the mother of Aristodemus' children, they found her always preferring the elder when she fed and washed them, since she did not know why she was being watched. So they took the child that was preferred by its mother and brought it up at public expense as the first-born; and they called it Eurysthenes, and the other Procles. ,They say that when these two brothers grew to manhood, they feuded with each other as long as they lived, and their descendants continued to do likewise. 6.57.4. They keep all oracles that are given, though the Pythians also know them. The kings alone judge cases concerning the rightful possessor of an unwedded heiress, if her father has not betrothed her, and cases concerning public roads. 6.75. When the Lacedaemonians learned that Cleomenes was doing this, they took fright and brought him back to Sparta to rule on the same terms as before. Cleomenes had already been not entirely in his right mind, and on his return from exile a mad sickness fell upon him: any Spartan that he happened to meet he would hit in the face with his staff. ,For doing this, and because he was out of his mind, his relatives bound him in the stocks. When he was in the stocks and saw that his guard was left alone, he demanded a dagger; the guard at first refused to give it, but Cleomenes threatened what he would do to him when he was freed, until the guard, who was a helot, was frightened by the threats and gave him the dagger. ,Cleomenes took the weapon and set about slashing himself from his shins upwards; from the shin to the thigh he cut his flesh lengthways, then from the thigh to the hip and the sides, until he reached the belly, and cut it into strips; thus he died, as most of the Greeks say, because he persuaded the Pythian priestess to tell the tale of Demaratus. The Athenians alone say it was because he invaded Eleusis and laid waste the precinct of the gods. The Argives say it was because when Argives had taken refuge after the battle in their temple of Argus he brought them out and cut them down, then paid no heed to the sacred grove and set it on fire. 6.77. The Argives heard of this and came to the coast to do battle with him. When they had come near Tiryns and were at the place called Hesipeia, they encamped opposite the Lacedaemonians, leaving only a little space between the armies. There the Argives had no fear of fair fighting, but rather of being captured by a trick. ,This was the affair referred to by that oracle which the Pythian priestess gave to the Argives and Milesians in common, which ran thus: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"When the female defeats the male /l lAnd drives him away, winning glory in Argos, /l lShe will make many Argive women tear their cheeks. /l lAs someday one of men to come will say: /l lThe dread thrice-coiled serpent died tamed by the spear. /l /quote ,All these things coming together spread fear among the Argives. Therefore they resolved to defend themselves by making use of the enemies' herald, and they performed their resolve in this way: whenever the Spartan herald signalled anything to the Lacedaemonians, the Argives did the same thing. 6.84. The Argives say this was the reason Cleomenes went mad and met an evil end; the Spartans themselves say that Cleomenes' madness arose from no divine agent, but that by consorting with Scythians he became a drinker of strong wine, and the madness came from this. ,The nomadic Scythians, after Darius had invaded their land, were eager for revenge, so they sent to Sparta and made an alliance. They agreed that the Scythians would attempt to invade Media by way of the river Phasis, and they urged the Spartans to set out and march inland from Ephesus and meet the Scythians. ,They say that when the Scythians had come for this purpose, Cleomenes kept rather close company with them, and by consorting with them more than was fitting he learned from them to drink strong wine. The Spartans consider him to have gone mad from this. Ever since, as they themselves say, whenever they desire a strong drink they call for “a Scythian cup.” Such is the Spartan story of Cleomenes; but to my thinking it was for what he did to Demaratus that he was punished thus. 6.86. When Leutychides came to Athens and demanded back the hostages, the Athenians were unwilling to give them back and made excuses, saying that two kings had given them the trust and they deemed it wrong to restore it to one without the other. ,When the Athenians refused to give them back, Leutychides said to them: “Men of Athens, do whichever thing you desire. If you give them back, you do righteously; if you do not give them back, you do the opposite. But I want to tell you the story of what happened at Sparta in the matter of a trust. ,We Spartans say that three generations ago there was at Lacedaemon one Glaucus, the son of Epicydes. We say that this man added to his other excellences a reputation for justice above all men who at that time dwelt in Lacedaemon. ,But we say that at the fitting time this befell him: There came to Sparta a certain man of Miletus, who desired to have a talk with Glaucus and made him this offer: ‘I am a Milesian, and I have come to have the benefit of your justice, Glaucus. ,Since there is much talk about your justice throughout all the rest of Hellas, and even in Ionia, I considered the fact that Ionia is always in danger while the Peloponnese is securely established, and nowhere in Ionia are the same men seen continuing in possession of wealth. ,Considering and taking counsel concerning these matters, I resolved to turn half of my property into silver and deposit it with you, being well assured that it will lie safe for me in your keeping. Accept the money for me, and take and keep these tokens; restore the money to whoever comes with the same tokens and demands it back.’ ,Thus spoke the stranger who had come from Miletus, and Glaucus received the trust according to the agreement. After a long time had passed, the sons of the man who had deposited the money came to Sparta; they spoke with Glaucus, showing him the tokens and demanding the money back. ,But Glaucus put them off and answered in turn: ‘I do not remember the matter, and nothing of what you say carries my mind back. Let me think; I wish to do all that is just. If I took the money, I will duly restore it; if I never took it at all, I will deal with you according to the customs of the Greeks. I will put off making my decision for you until the fourth month from this day.’ ,So the Milesians went away in sorrow, as men robbed of their possessions; but Glaucus journeyed to Delphi to question the oracle. When he asked the oracle whether he should seize the money under oath, the Pythian priestess threatened him in these verses: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact" Glaucus son of Epicydes, it is more profitable now /l lTo prevail by your oath and seize the money. /l lSwear, for death awaits even the man who swears true. /l lBut Oath has a son, nameless; he is without hands /l lOr feet, but he pursues swiftly, until he catches /l lAnd destroys all the family and the entire house. /l lThe line of a man who swears true is better later on. /l /quote When Glaucus heard this, he entreated the god to pardon him for what he had said. The priestess answered that to tempt the god and to do the deed had the same effect. ,So Glaucus summoned the Milesian strangers and gave them back their money. But hear now, Athenians, why I began to tell you this story: there is today no descendant of Glaucus, nor any household that bears Glaucus' name; he has been utterly rooted out of Sparta. So good is it not even to think anything concerning a trust except giving it back on demand!” 6.97. While they did this, the Delians also left Delos and fled away to Tenos. As his expedition was sailing landwards, Datis went on ahead and bade his fleet anchor not off Delos, but across the water off Rhenaea. Learning where the Delians were, he sent a herald to them with this proclamation: ,“Holy men, why have you fled away, and so misjudged my intent? It is my own desire, and the king's command to me, to do no harm to the land where the two gods were born, neither to the land itself nor to its inhabitants. So return now to your homes and dwell on your island.” He made this proclamation to the Delians, and then piled up three hundred talents of frankincense on the altar and burnt it. 6.98. After doing this, Datis sailed with his army against Eretria first, taking with him Ionians and Aeolians; and after he had put out from there, Delos was shaken by an earthquake, the first and last, as the Delians say, before my time. This portent was sent by heaven, as I suppose, to be an omen of the ills that were coming on the world. ,For in three generations, that is, in the time of Darius son of Hystaspes and Xerxes son of Darius and Artaxerxes son of Xerxes, more ills happened to Hellas than in twenty generations before Darius; some coming from the Persians, some from the wars for preeminence among the chief of the nations themselves. ,Thus it was no marvel that there should be an earthquake in Delos when there had been none before. Also there was an oracle concerning Delos, where it was written: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"I will shake Delos, though unshaken before. /l /quote In the Greek language these names have the following meanings: Darius is the Doer, Xerxes the Warrior, Artaxerxes the Great Warrior. The Greeks would rightly call the kings thus in their language. 6.140. At the time that was all. But a great many years later, when the Chersonese on the Hellespont was made subject to Athens, Miltiades son of Cimon accomplished the voyage from Elaeus on the Chersonese to Lemnos with the Etesian winds then constantly blowing; he proclaimed that the Pelasgians must leave their island, reminding them of the oracle which the Pelasgians thought would never be fulfilled. ,The Hephaestians obeyed, but the Myrinaeans would not agree that the Chersonese was Attica and were besieged, until they too submitted. Thus did Miltiades and the Athenians take possession of Lemnos. 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. 7.43. 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. 7.140. The Athenians had sent messages to Delphi asking that an oracle be given them, and when they had performed all due rites at the temple and sat down in the inner hall, the priestess, whose name was Aristonice, gave them this answer: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Wretches, why do you linger here? Rather flee from your houses and city, /l lFlee to the ends of the earth from the circle embattled of Athens! /l lThe head will not remain in its place, nor in the body, /l lNor the feet beneath, nor the hands, nor the parts between; /l lBut all is ruined, for fire and the headlong god of war speeding in a Syrian chariot will bring you low. /l /quote , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Many a fortress too, not yours alone, will he shatter; /l lMany a shrine of the gods will he give to the flame for devouring; /l lSweating for fear they stand, and quaking for dread of the enemy, /l lRunning with gore are their roofs, foreseeing the stress of their sorrow; /l lTherefore I bid you depart from the sanctuary. /l lHave courage to lighten your evil. /l /quote 7.141. When the Athenian messengers heard that, they were very greatly dismayed, and gave themselves up for lost by reason of the evil foretold. Then Timon son of Androbulus, as notable a man as any Delphian, advised them to take boughs of supplication and in the guise of suppliants, approach the oracle a second time. ,The Athenians did exactly this; “Lord,” they said, “regard mercifully these suppliant boughs which we bring to you, and give us some better answer concerning our country. Otherwise we will not depart from your temple, but remain here until we die.” Thereupon the priestess gave them this second oracle: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Vainly does Pallas strive to appease great Zeus of Olympus; /l lWords of entreaty are vain, and so too cunning counsels of wisdom. /l lNevertheless I will speak to you again of strength adamantine. /l lAll will be taken and lost that the sacred border of Cecrops /l lHolds in keeping today, and the dales divine of Cithaeron; /l lYet a wood-built wall will by Zeus all-seeing be granted /l lTo the Trito-born, a stronghold for you and your children. /l /quote , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Await not the host of horse and foot coming from Asia, /l lNor be still, but turn your back and withdraw from the foe. /l lTruly a day will come when you will meet him face to face. /l lDivine Salamis, you will bring death to women's sons /l lWhen the corn is scattered, or the harvest gathered in. /l /quote 7.142. This answer seemed to be and really was more merciful than the first, and the envoys, writing it down, departed for Athens. When the messengers had left Delphi and laid the oracle before the people, there was much inquiry concerning its meaning, and among the many opinions which were uttered, two contrary ones were especially worthy of note. Some of the elder men said that the gods answer signified that the acropolis should be saved, for in old time the acropolis of Athens had been fenced by a thorn hedge, ,which, by their interpretation, was the wooden wall. But others supposed that the god was referring to their ships, and they were for doing nothing but equipping these. Those who believed their ships to be the wooden wall were disabled by the two last verses of the oracle: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Divine Salamis, you will bring death to women's sons /l lWhen the corn is scattered, or the harvest gathered in. /l /quote ,These verses confounded the opinion of those who said that their ships were the wooden wall, for the readers of oracles took the verses to mean that they should offer battle by sea near Salamis and be there overthrown. 7.143. 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. 7.144. The advice of Themistocles had prevailed on a previous occasion. The revenues from the mines at Laurium had brought great wealth into the Athenians' treasury, and when each man was to receive ten drachmae for his share, Themistocles persuaded the Athenians to make no such division but to use the money to build two hundred ships for the war, that is, for the war with Aegina. ,This was in fact the war the outbreak of which saved Hellas by compelling the Athenians to become seamen. The ships were not used for the purpose for which they were built, but later came to serve Hellas in her need. These ships, then, had been made and were already there for the Athenians' service, and now they had to build yet others. ,In their debate after the giving of the oracle they accordingly resolved that they would put their trust in the god and meet the foreign invader of Hellas with the whole power of their fleet, ships and men, and with all other Greeks who were so minded. 7.148. So the spies were sent back after they had seen all and returned to Europe. After sending the spies, those of the Greeks who had sworn alliance against the Persian next sent messengers to Argos. ,Now this is what the Argives say of their own part in the matter. They were informed from the first that the foreigner was stirring up war against Hellas. When they learned that the Greeks would attempt to gain their aid against the Persian, they sent messengers to Delphi to inquire of the god how it would be best for them to act, for six thousand of them had been lately slain by a Lacedaemonian army and Cleomenes son of Anaxandrides its general. For this reason, they said, the messengers were sent. ,The priestess gave this answer to their question: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Hated by your neighbors, dear to the immortals, /l lCrouch with a lance in rest, like a warrior fenced in his armor, /l lGuarding your head from the blow, and the head will shelter the body. /l /quote This answer had already been uttered by the priestess when the envoys arrived in Argos and entered the council chamber to speak as they were charged. ,Then the Argives answered to what had been said that they would do as was asked of them if they might first make a thirty years peace with Lacedaemonia and if the command of half the allied power were theirs. It was their right to have the full command, but they would nevertheless be content with half. 7.149. This, they say, was the answer of their council, although the oracle forbade them to make the alliance with the Greeks; furthermore, they, despite their fear of the oracle, were eager to secure a thirty years treaty so that their children might have time in those years to grow to be men. If there were to be no such treaty—so they reasoned—then, if after the evil that had befallen them the Persian should deal them yet another blow, it was to be feared that they would be at the Lacedaemonians' mercy. ,Then those of the envoys who were Spartans replied to the demands of the council, saying that they would refer the question of the truce to their own government at home; as for the command, however, they themselves had been commissioned to say that the Spartans had two kings, and the Argives but one. Now it was impossible to deprive either Spartan of his command, but there was nothing to prevent the Argive from having the same right of voting as their two had. ,At that, say the Argives, they decided that the Spartans' covetousness was past all bearing and that it was better to be ruled by the foreigners than give way to the Lacedaemonians. They then bade the envoys depart from the land of Argos before sunset, for they would otherwise be treated as enemies. 7.169. But the Cretans, when the Greeks appointed to deal with them were trying to gain their aid, acted as I will show. They sent messengers to Delphi, inquiring if it would be to their advantage to help the Greeks. ,The Pythia answered them, “Foolish men, was not the grief enough which Minos sent upon your people for the help given to Menelaus, out of anger that those others would not help to avenge his death at Camicus, while you helped them to avenge the stealing of that woman from Sparta by a barbarian?” When this was brought to the ears of the Cretans, they would have nothing to do with aiding the Greeks. 7.178. So with all speed the Greeks went their several ways to meet the enemy. In the meantime, the Delphians, who were afraid for themselves and for Hellas, consulted the god. They were advised to pray to the winds, for these would be potent allies for Hellas. ,When they had received the oracle, the Delphians first sent word of it to those Greeks who desired to be free; because of their dread of the barbarian, they were forever grateful. Subsequently they erected an altar to the winds at Thyia, the present location of the precinct of Thyia the daughter of Cephisus, and they offered sacrifices to them. This, then, is the reason why the Delphians to this day offer the winds sacrifice of propitiation. 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. 7.220. It is said that Leonidas himself sent them away because he was concerned that they would be killed, but felt it not fitting for himself and the Spartans to desert that post which they had come to defend at the beginning. ,I, however, tend to believe that when Leonidas perceived that the allies were dispirited and unwilling to run all risks with him, he told then to depart. For himself, however, it was not good to leave; if he remained, he would leave a name of great fame, and the prosperity of Sparta would not be blotted out. ,When the Spartans asked the oracle about this war when it broke out, the Pythia had foretold that either Lacedaemon would be destroyed by the barbarians or their king would be killed. She gave them this answer in hexameter verses running as follows: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"For you, inhabitants of wide-wayed Sparta, /l lEither your great and glorious city must be wasted by Persian men, /l lOr if not that, then the bound of Lacedaemon must mourn a dead king, from Heracles' line. /l lThe might of bulls or lions will not restrain him with opposing strength; for he has the might of Zeus. /l lI declare that he will not be restrained until he utterly tears apart one of these. /l /quote Considering this and wishing to win distinction for the Spartans alone, he sent away the allies rather than have them leave in disorder because of a difference of opinion. 8.13. This is how the night dealt with them. To those who were appointed to sail round Euboea, however, that same night was still more cruel since it caught them on the open sea. Their end was a terrible one, for when the storm and the rain came on them in their course off the Hollows of Euboea, they were driven by the wind in an unknown direction and were driven onto the rocks. All this was done by the god so that the Persian power might be more equally matched with the Greek, and not much greater than it. 8.20. Now the Euboeans had neglected the oracle of Bacis, believing it to be empty of meaning, and neither by carrying away nor by bringing in anything had they shown that they feared an enemy's coming. In so doing they were the cause of their own destruction, ,for Bacis' oracle concerning this matter runs as follows quote type="oracle" l met="dact"When a strange-tongued man casts a yoke of papyrus on the waves, /l lThen take care to keep bleating goats far from the coasts of Euboea /l /quote To these verses the Euboeans gave no heed; but in the evils then present and soon to come they suffered the greatest calamity. 8.26. There had come to them a few deserters, men of Arcadia, lacking a livelihood and desirous to find some service. Bringing these men into the king's presence, the Persians inquired of them what the Greeks were doing, there being one who put this question in the name of all. ,When the Arcadians told them that the Greeks were holding the Olympic festival and viewing sports and horseraces, the Persian asked what was the prize offered, for which they contended. They told him of the crown of olive that was given to the victor. Then Tigranes son of Artabanus uttered a most noble saying (but the king deemed him a coward for it); ,when he heard that the prize was not money but a crown, he could not hold his peace, but cried, “Good heavens, Mardonius, what kind of men are these that you have pitted us against? It is not for money they contend but for glory of achievement!” Such was Tigranes' saying. 8.77. I cannot say against oracles that they are not true, and I do not wish to try to discredit them when they speak plainly. Look at the following matter: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"When the sacred headland of golden-sworded Artemis and Cynosura by the sea they bridge with ships, /l lAfter sacking shiny Athens in mad hope, /l lDivine Justice will extinguish mighty Greed the son of Insolence /l lLusting terribly, thinking to devour all. /l /quote , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Bronze will come together with bronze, and Ares /l lWill redden the sea with blood. To Hellas the day of freedom /l lFar-seeing Zeus and august Victory will bring. /l /quote Considering this, I dare to say nothing against Bacis concerning oracles when he speaks so plainly, nor will I consent to it by others. 8.84. 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. 9.33. 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. 9.34. 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. 9.36. This Tisamenus had now been brought by the Spartans and was the diviner of the Greeks at Plataea. The sacrifices boded good to the Greeks if they would just defend themselves, but evil if they should cross the Asopus and be the first to attack. 9.37. Mardonius' sacrifices also foretold an unfavorable outcome if he should be zealous to attack first, and good if he should but defend himself. He too used the Greek manner of sacrifice, and Hegesistratus of Elis was his diviner, the most notable of the sons of Tellias. This man had been put in prison and condemned to die by the Spartans for the great harm which he had done them. ,Being in such bad shape inasmuch as he was in peril of his life and was likely to be very grievously maltreated before his death, he did something which was almost beyond belief; made fast in iron-bound stocks, he got an iron weapon which was brought in some way into his prison, and straightway conceived a plan of such courage as we have never known; reckoning how best the rest of it might get free, he cut off his own foot at the instep. ,This done, he tunneled through the wall out of the way of the guards who kept watch over him, and so escaped to Tegea. All night he journeyed, and all day he hid and lay hidden in the woods, till on the third night he came to Tegea, while all the people of Lacedaemon sought him. The latter were greatly amazed when they saw the half of his foot which had been cut off and lying there but not were unable to find the man himself. ,This, then, is the way in which he escaped the Lacedaemonians and took refuge in Tegea, which at that time was unfriendly to Lacedaemon. After he was healed and had made himself a foot of wood, he declared himself an open enemy of the Lacedaemonians. Yet the enmity which he bore them brought him no good at the last, for they caught him at his divinations in Zacynthus and killed him. 9.38. The death of Hegesistratus, however, took place after the Plataean business. At the present he was by the Asopus, hired by Mardonius for no small wage, where he sacrificed and worked zealously, both for the hatred he bore the Lacedaemonians and for gain. ,When no favorable omens for battle could be won either by the Persians themselves or by the Greeks who were with them (for they too had a diviner of their own, Hippomachus of Leucas), and the Greeks kept flocking in and their army grew, Timagenides son of Herpys, a Theban, advised Mardonius to guard the outlet of the pass over Cithaeron, telling him that the Greeks were coming in daily and that he would thereby cut off many of them. 9.41. Until ten days had passed, no more was done than this. On the eleventh day from their first encampment opposite each other, the Greeks growing greatly in number and Mardonius being greatly vexed by the delay, there was a debate held between Mardonius son of Gobryas and Artabazus son of Pharnaces, who stood as high as only few others in Xerxes' esteem. ,Their opinions in council were as I will show. Artabazus thought it best that they should strike their camp with all speed and lead the whole army within the walls of Thebes. Here there was much food stored and fodder for their beasts of burden; furthermore, they could sit at their ease here and conclude the business by doing as follows: ,they could take the great store they had of gold, minted and other, and silver drinking-cups, and send all this to all places in Hellas without stint, excepting none, but especially to the chief men in the cities of Hellas. Let them do this (he said) and the Greeks would quickly surrender their liberty; but do not let the Persians risk the event of a battle. ,This opinion of his was the same as the Thebans, inasmuch as he too had special foreknowledge. Mardonius' counsel, however, was more vehement and intemperate and not at all leaning to moderation. He said that he thought that their army was much stronger than the Greeks and that they should give battle with all speed so as not to let more Greeks muster than were mustered already. As for the sacrifices of Hegesistratus, let them pay no heed to these, nor seek to wring good from them, but rather give battle after Persian custom. 9.42. No one withstood this argument, and his opinion accordingly prevailed; for it was he and not Artabazus who was commander of the army by the king's commission. He therefore sent for the leaders of the battalions and the generals of those Greeks who were with him and asked them if they knew any oracle which prophesied that the Persians should perish in Hellas. ,Those who were summoned said nothing, some not knowing the prophecies, and some knowing them but thinking it perilous to speak, and then Mardonius himself said: “Since you either have no knowledge or are afraid to declare it, hear what I tell you based on the full knowledge that I have. ,There is an oracle that Persians are fated to come to Hellas and all perish there after they have plundered the temple at Delphi. Since we have knowledge of this same oracle, we will neither approach that temple nor attempt to plunder it; in so far as destruction hinges on that, none awaits us. ,Therefore, as many of you as wish the Persian well may rejoice in that we will overcome the Greeks.” Having spoken in this way, he gave command to have everything prepared and put in good order for the battle which would take place early the next morning. 9.44. 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. 9.63. Where Mardonius was himself, riding a white horse in the battle and surrounded by a thousand picked men who were the flower of the Persians, there they pressed their adversaries hardest. So long as Mardonius was alive the Persians stood their ground and defended themselves, overthrowing many Lacedaemonians. ,When, however, Mardonius was killed and his guards, who were the strongest part of the army, had also fallen, then the rest too yielded and gave ground before the men of Lacedaemon. For what harmed them the most was the fact that they wore no armor over their clothes and fought, as it were, naked against men fully armed. 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. 9.70. So these perished without anyone noticing. But when the Persians and the rest of the multitude had fled within the wooden wall, they managed to get up on the towers before the coming of the Lacedaemonians; then they strengthened the wall as best they could. When the Athenians arrived, an intense battle for the wall began. ,For as long as the Athenians were not there, the barbarians defended themselves and had a great advantage over the Lacedaemonians who had no skill in the assault of walls. When the Athenians came up, however, the fight for the wall became intense and lasted for a long time. In the end the Athenians, by valor and constant effort, scaled the wall and breached it. The Greeks poured in through the opening they had made; ,the first to enter were the Tegeans, and it was they who plundered the tent of Mardonius, taking from it besides everything else the feeding trough of his horses which was all of bronze and a thing well worth looking at. The Tegeans dedicated this feeding trough of Mardonius in the temple of Athena Alea. Everything else which they took they brought into the common pool, as did the rest of the Greeks. ,As for the barbarians, they did not form a unified body again once the wall was down, nor did anyone think of defense because the terrified men in the tiny space and the many myriads herded together were in great distress. ,Such a slaughter were the Greeks able to make, that of two hundred and sixty thousand who remained after Artabazus had fled with his forty thousand, scarcely three thousand were left alive. of the Lacedaemonians from Sparta ninety-one all together were killed in battle; of the Tegeans, seventeen and of the Athenians, fifty-two. 9.71. Among the barbarians, the best fighters were the Persian infantry and the cavalry of the Sacae, and of men, it is said, the bravest was Mardonius. Among the Greeks, the Tegeans and Athenians conducted themselves nobly, but the Lacedaemonians excelled all in valor. ,of this my only clear proof is (for all these conquered the foes opposed to them) the fact that the Lacedaemonians fought with the strongest part of the army, and overcame it. According to my judgment, the bravest man by far was Aristodemus, who had been reviled and dishonored for being the only man of the three hundred that came alive from Thermopylae; next after him in valor were Posidonius, Philocyon, and Amompharetus. ,Nevertheless, when there was a general discussion about who had borne himself most bravely, those Spartans who were there judged that Aristodemus, who plainly wished to die because of the reproach hanging over him and so rushed out and left the battle column behind, had achieved great deeds, but that Posidonius, who had no wish to die, proved himself a courageous fighter, and so in this way he was the better man. ,This they may have said merely out of jealousy, but all the aforesaid who were killed in that fight received honor, save Aristodemus; he, because he desired death because of the reproach previously mentioned, received none. 9.100. The Greeks, having made all their preparations advanced their line against the barbarians. As they went, a rumor spread through the army, and a herald's wand was seen lying by the water-line. The rumor that ran was to the effect that the Greeks were victors over Mardonius' army at a battle in Boeotia. ,Now there are many clear indications of the divine ordering of things, seeing that a message, which greatly heartened the army and made it ready to face danger, arrived amongst the Greeks the very day on which the Persians' disaster at Plataea and that other which was to befall them at Mykale took place. 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. 9.105. In that battle those of the Greeks who fought best were the Athenians, and the Athenian who fought best was one who practised the pancratium, Hermolycus son of Euthoenus. This Hermolycus on a later day met his death in a battle at Cyrnus in Carystus during a war between the Athenians and Carystians, and lay dead on Geraestus. Those who fought best after the Athenians were the men of Corinth and Troezen and Sicyon. 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.
6. Cicero, On Divination, 1.34 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.34. Iis igitur adsentior, qui duo genera divinationum esse dixerunt, unum, quod particeps esset artis, alterum, quod arte careret. Est enim ars in iis, qui novas res coniectura persequuntur, veteres observatione didicerunt. Carent autem arte ii, qui non ratione aut coniectura observatis ac notatis signis, sed concitatione quadam animi aut soluto liberoque motu futura praesentiunt, quod et somniantibus saepe contingit et non numquam vaticitibus per furorem, ut Bacis Boeotius, ut Epimenides Cres, ut Sibylla Erythraea. Cuius generis oracla etiam habenda sunt, non ea, quae aequatis sortibus ducuntur, sed illa, quae instinctu divino adflatuque funduntur; etsi ipsa sors contemnenda non est, si et auctoritatem habet vetustatis, ut eae sunt sortes, quas e terra editas accepimus; quae tamen ductae ut in rem apte cadant, fieri credo posse divinitus. Quorum omnium interpretes, ut grammatici poe+tarum, proxime ad eorum, quos interpretantur, divinationem videntur accedere. 1.34. I agree, therefore, with those who have said that there are two kinds of divination: one, which is allied with art; the other, which is devoid of art. Those diviners employ art, who, having learned the known by observation, seek the unknown by deduction. On the other hand those do without art who, unaided by reason or deduction or by signs which have been observed and recorded, forecast the future while under the influence of mental excitement, or of some free and unrestrained emotion. This condition often occurs to men while dreaming and sometimes to persons who prophesy while in a frenzy — like Bacis of Boeotia, Epimenides of Crete and the Sibyl of Erythraea. In this latter class must be placed oracles — not oracles given by means of equalized lots — but those uttered under the impulse of divine inspiration; although divination by lot is not in itself to be despised, if it has the sanction of antiquity, as in the case of those lots which, according to tradition, sprang out of the earth; for in spite of everything, I am inclined to think that they may, under the power of God, be so drawn as to give an appropriate response. Men capable of correctly interpreting all these signs of the future seem to approach very near to the divine spirit of the gods whose wills they interpret, just as scholars do when they interpret the poets.
7. Dionysius of Halycarnassus, Roman Antiquities, 4.62 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

4.62. 1.  It is said that during the reign of Tarquinius another very wonderful piece of good luck also came to the Roman state, conferred upon it by the favour of some god or other divinity; and this good fortune was not of short duration, but throughout the whole existence of the country it has often saved it from great calamities.,2.  A certain woman who was not a native of the country came to the tyrant wishing to sell him nine books filled with Sibylline oracles; but when Tarquinius refused to purchase the books at the price she asked, she went away and burned three of them. And not long afterwards, bringing the remaining six books, she offered to sell them for the same price. But when they thought her a fool and mocked at her for asking the same price for the smaller number of books that she had been unable to get for even the larger number, she again went away and burned half of those that were left; then, bringing the remaining books, she asked the same amount of money for these.,3.  Tarquinius, wondering at the woman's purpose, sent for the augurs and acquainting them with the matter, asked them what he should do. These, knowing by certain signs that he had rejected a god-sent blessing, and declaring it to be a great misfortune that he had not purchased all the books, directed him to pay the woman all the money she asked and to get the oracles that were left.,4.  The woman, after delivering the books and bidding him take great care of them, disappeared from among men. Tarquinius chose two men of distinction from among the citizens and appointing two public slaves to assist them, entrusted to them the guarding of the books; and when one of these men, named Marcus Atilius, seemed to have been faithless to his trust and was informed upon by one of the public slaves, he ordered him to be sewed up in a leather bag and thrown into the sea as a parricide.,5.  Since the expulsion of the kings, the commonwealth, taking upon itself the guarding of these oracles, entrusts the care of them to persons of the greatest distinction, who hold this office for life, being exempt from military service and from all civil employments, and it assigns public slaves to assist them, in whose absence the others are not permitted to inspect the oracles. In short, there is no possession of the Romans, sacred or profane, which they guard so carefully as they do the Sibylline oracles. They consult them, by order of the senate, when the state is in the grip of party strife or some great misfortune has happened to them in war, or some important prodigies and apparitions have been seen which are difficult of interpretation, as has often happened. These oracles till the time of the Marsian War, as it was called, were kept underground in the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus in a stone chest under the guard of ten men.,6.  But when the temple was burned after the close of the one hundred and seventy-third Olympiad, either purposely, as some think, or by accident, these oracles together with all the offerings consecrated to the god were destroyed by the fire. Those which are now extant have been scraped together from many places, some from the cities of Italy, others from Erythrae in Asia (whither three envoys were sent by vote of the senate to copy them), and others were brought from other cities, transcribed by private persons. Some of these are found to be interpolations among the genuine Sibylline oracles, being recognized as such by means of the so‑called acrostics. In all this I am following the account given by Terentius Varro in his work on religion.
8. Ovid, Fasti, 4.649-4.672 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

4.649. There was an ancient wood, long untouched by the axe 4.650. Still sacred to Pan, the god of Maenalus: 4.651. He gave answers, to calm minds, in night silence. 4.652. Here Numa sacrificed twin ewes. 4.653. The first fell to Faunus, the second to gentle Sleep: 4.654. Both the fleeces were spread on the hard soil. 4.655. Twice the king’s unshorn head was sprinkled with spring water 4.656. Twice he pressed the beech leaves to his forehead. 4.657. He abstained from sex: no meat might be served 4.658. At table, nor could he wear a ring on any finger. 4.659. Dressed in rough clothes he lay down on fresh fleeces 4.660. Having worshipped the god with appropriate words. 4.661. Meanwhile Night arrived, her calm brow wreathed 4.662. With poppies: bringing with her shadowy dreams. 4.663. Faunus appeared, and pressing the fleece with a hard hoof 4.664. From the right side of the bed, he uttered these words: 4.665. ‘King, you must appease Earth, with the death of two cows: 4.666. Let one heifer give two lives, in sacrifice.’ 4.667. Fear banished sleep: Numa pondered the vision 4.668. And considered the ambiguous and dark command. 4.669. His wife, Egeria, most dear to the grove, eased his doubt 4.670. Saying: ‘What’s needed are the innards of a pregt cow,’ 4.671. The innards of a pregt cow were offered: the year proved 4.672. More fruitful, and earth and cattle bore their increase.
9. Vergil, Aeneis, 6.98-6.100, 7.85-7.101 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

6.98. I there will keep, to be my people's law; 6.99. And thee, benigt Sibyl for all time 6.100. A company of chosen priests shall serve. 7.85. on the proud, pointing crest, where the swift swarm 7.86. with interlacement of close-clinging feet 7.87. wung from the leafy bough. “Behold, there comes,” 7.88. the prophet cried, “a husband from afar! 7.89. To the same region by the self-same path 7.90. behold an arm'd host taking lordly sway 7.91. upon our city's crown!” Soon after this 7.92. when, coming to the shrine with torches pure 7.93. Lavinia kindled at her father's side 7.94. the sacrifice, swift seemed the flame to burn 7.95. along her flowing hair—O sight of woe! 7.96. Over her broidered snood it sparkling flew 7.97. lighting her queenly tresses and her crown 7.98. of jewels rare: then, wrapt in flaming cloud 7.99. from hall to hall the fire-god's gift she flung. 7.100. This omen dread and wonder terrible 7.101. was rumored far: for prophet-voices told
10. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 13.88 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

11. Plutarch, Aristides, 11.3-11.8 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

12. Plutarch, On The Obsolescence of Oracles, 45 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

45. I do not know, said Demetrius, the state of affairs there at present; for as you all know, I have been out of the country for a long time now. But, when I was there, both the oracle of Mopsus and that of Amphilochus were still flourishing. I have a most amazing thing to tell as the result of my visit to the oracle of Mopsus. The ruler of Cilicia was himself still of two minds towards religious matters. This, I think, was because his scepticism lacked conviction, for in all else he was an arrogant and contemptible man. Since he kept about him certain Epicureans, who, because of their admirable naturestudies, forsooth, have an arrogant contempt, as they themselves aver, Frag. 395 Usener; Diogenes Laertius, x. 135. for all such things as oracles, he sent in a freedman, like a spy into the enemy’s territory, arranging that he should have a sealed tablet, on the inside of which was written the inquiry without anyone’s knowing what it was. The man accordingly, as is the custom, passed the night in the sacred precinct and went to sleep, and in the morning reported a dream in this fashion: it seemed to him that a handsome man stood beside him who uttered just one word Black and nothing more, and was gone immediately. The thing seemed passing strange to us, and raised much inquiry, but the ruler was astounded and fell down and worshipped; then opening the tablet he showed written there the question: Shall I sacrifice to you a white bull or a black? The result was that the Epicureans were put to confusion, and the ruler himself not only duly performed the sacrifice, but ever after revered Mopsus. 45. I do not know," said Demetrius, "the state of affairs there at present; for as you all know, I have been out of the country for a long time now. But, when I was there, both the oracle of Mopsus and that of Amphilochus were still flourishing. I have a most amazing thing to tell as the result of my visit to the oracle of Mopsus. The ruler of Cilicia was himself still of two minds towards religious matters. This, I think, was because his skepticism lacked conviction, for in all else he was an arrogant and contemptible man. Since he kept about him certain Epicureans, who, because of their admirable nature-studies, forsooth, have an arrogant contempt, as they themselves aver, for all such things as oracles, he sent in a freedman, like a spy into the enemy's territory, arranging that he should have a sealed tablet, on the inside of which was written the inquiry without anyone's knowing what it was. The man accordingly, as is the custom, passed the night in the sacred precinct and went to sleep, and in the morning reported a dream in this fashion: it seemed to him that a handsome man stood beside him who uttered just one word 'Black' and nothing more, and was gone immediately. The thing seemed passing strange to us, and raised much inquiry, but the ruler was astounded and fell down and worshipped; then opening the tablet he shoed written there the question: 'Shall I sacrifice to you a white bull or a black?' The result was that the Epicureans were put to confusion, and the ruler himself not only duly performed the sacrifice, but ever after revered Mopsus.
13. Aelius Aristides, Orations, 50.5 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

14. Lucian, Alexander The False Prophet, 22, 10 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10. This difference of opinion did not last long, and Alexander prevailed. Discovering, however, that a use might, after all, be made of Chalcedon, they went there first, and in the temple of Apollo, the oldest in the place, they buried some brazen tablets, on which was the statement that very shortly Asclepius, with his father Apollo[1], would pay a visit to Pontus, and take up his abode at Abonoteichos[2]. The discovery of the tablets took place as arranged, and the news flew through Bithynia and Pontus[3], first of all, naturally, to Abonoteichos. The people of that place at once resolved to raise a temple and lost no time in digging the foundations. Cocconas was now left at Chalcedon, engaged in composing certain ambiguous crabbed oracles. He shortly afterward died, I believe, of a viper’s bite. [1] Asclepius and Apollo | Asclepius is a hero and god of medicine in ancient Greek religion and mythology. He is the son of Apollo. [2] Abonoteichos | A coin that was struck during the reign of Antoninus Pius for the Abonoteichiteans has the figure of the Emperor on one side and on the reverse two serpents, the one seeming to whisper something in the ear of the other. It is a possibility that this coin was struck to perpetuate the arrival of these two divinities at Abonoteichos. To indicate by the symbol on the coin, that the new Aesculapius had received his prophetic gift immediately from his father Apollo.25) [3] Bithynia and Pontus | Bithynia, Paphlagonia, and Pontus were the three northern provinces of Lesser Asia, or those bordering on Euxine Sea. Sometimes the two latter together are called Pontus. In Lucian's time, they were all three under one sole governor general or proconsul. [4] Map of Bithynia and Pontus |
15. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.34.5, 4.27.4, 10.12.11, 10.14.6 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.34.5. My opinion is that Amphiaraus devoted him self most to the exposition of dreams. It is manifest that, when his divinity was established, it was a dream oracle that he set up. One who has come to consult Amphiaraus is wont first to purify himself. The mode of purification is to sacrifice to the god, and they sacrifice not only to him but also to all those whose names are on the altar. And when all these things have been first done, they sacrifice a ram, and, spreading the skin under them, go to sleep and await enlightenment in a dream. 4.27.4. Epaminondas was most strongly drawn to the foundation by the oracles of Bacis, who was inspired by the Nymphs and left prophecies regarding others of the Greeks as well as the return of the Messenians: Then indeed shall the bright bloom of Sparta perish and Messene again shall be inhabited for all time. I have discovered that Bacis also told in what manner Eira would be captured, and this too is one of his oracles: The men of Messene o'ercome by the thunder's roll and spouting rain. 10.12.11. It is said that the men who uttered oracles were Euclus of Cyprus, the Athenians Musaeus, son of Antiophemus, and Lycus, son of Pandion, and also Bacis, a Boeotian who was possessed by nymphs. I have read the oracles of all these except those of Lycus. These are the women and men who, down to the present day, are said to have been the mouthpiece by which a god prophesied. But time is long, and perhaps similar things may occur again. 10.14.6. Now I greatly marveled that it was from Themistocles alone that the priestess refused to accept Persian spoils. Some thought that the god would have rejected alike all offerings from Persian spoils, if like Themistocles the others had inquired of Apollo before making their dedication. Others said that the god knew that Themistocles would become a suppliant of the Persian king, and refused to take the gifts so that Themistocles might not by a dedication render the Persian's enmity unappeasable. The expedition of the barbarian against Greece we find foretold in the oracles of Bacis, and Euclus wrote his verses about it at an even earlier date.
16. Lactantius, Divine Institutes, 1.6.9-1.6.12 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
achaea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
actaeon, hero of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
aeolians Sweeney, Foundation Myths and Politics in Ancient Ionia (2013) 30
alexander of troy Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
alliances, hellenic against persia' Sweeney, Foundation Myths and Politics in Ancient Ionia (2013) 30
amphiaraus, hero of thebes Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
androcrates, hero of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
aphrodite, abaios Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
aphrodite, ptoös of ptoön Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
appeal of the sibyl Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 61
archaic greek (sibyl) Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 62
arimnestus of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
aristides of athens Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
aristophanes Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
athena, ilias of troy Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
athenians, impieties of Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
athens Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
bacis, oracles about euboea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 68
bacis, plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
bacis Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 68
bakis Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 61, 62; Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
chians Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
chresmologoi Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 68, 157
christianity Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
cleomenes of sparta, impieties of Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
cylon of athens Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
cyprus Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216; Sweeney, Foundation Myths and Politics in Ancient Ionia (2013) 30
darius of persia Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
datis, persians general, delos and Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
dead, treatment of Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
delos and delians Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
delphi Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 61; Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
delphic oracle, to aristides Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
demeter, eleusinia of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
democrates, hero of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
dionysus Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
divination, incubation Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221
divination Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
divine speech, enigmatic Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221
dodona Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
dorians Sweeney, Foundation Myths and Politics in Ancient Ionia (2013) 30
dreams, of arminestus Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
dreams, of polycrates daughter Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
dreams and visions, incubation, oracular Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221
dreams and visions, riddling Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221
egypt and egyptians Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
eleusis Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
enigmatic speech, graeco-roman oracular and prophetic Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221
enigmatic speech, in dreams Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221
enigmatic speech, modes Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221
euboeans Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 68
festivals, olympic games Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 68
graeca interpretatio Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
hera, cithaironia of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
heracles Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
herodotus, spatium mythicum and spatium historicum Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 79
herodotus Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
heroes and heroines, of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
heroes and heroines, of thebes Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
heroes and heroines, of troy Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
hexameter verse Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 61, 62
hypsion, hero of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
impiety, of maltreating xenoi Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
impiety Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
judaism Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
kleomenes Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
kore, goddess, of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
lapis lazuli Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
leonidas of sparta Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 68
leucon, hero of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
magoi Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
manteis Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94, 157
mardonius of persia, omens to Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94, 157
mardonius of persia, oracles to Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94, 146, 157
musaeus Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216; Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
mykale Sweeney, Foundation Myths and Politics in Ancient Ionia (2013) 30
mys of europus Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146, 157
nereids, goddesses Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
nymphs Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
omens, to chians Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
omens, to greeks Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94, 146
omens Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
onomacritus Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
oracles, of trophonius Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
oracles, reports, herodotus Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 455
oracles, riddling Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221
oracles Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216; Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157; Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221
pan, god, egyptian Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
pan, god, greek Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94, 146
pausanias Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
persian wars (hellenic–achaemenid) Sweeney, Foundation Myths and Politics in Ancient Ionia (2013) 30
pisander, hero of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
pisistratids Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
pollution Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
polycrates of samos Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
polyidus, hero of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
prophecy, enigmatic Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221
prophecy, prophetic dreams and visions Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221
prophecy, sibylline Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221
prophecy, unsolicited oracles Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221, 455
roman imperial period Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
roman libri sibyllini Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 62
roman sibylline books Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
sacred law Moxon, Peter's Halakhic Nightmare: The 'Animal' Vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective (2017) 221
sacrifices, before battle Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
sacrifices, by persians Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
sacrifices Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
salvation Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
sibyl Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
simonides of ceos Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 219
sparta Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
spartans Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94; Sweeney, Foundation Myths and Politics in Ancient Ionia (2013) 30
spatium historicum Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 79
spatium mythicum Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 79
sphragitid nymphs of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
themistocles of athens Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 68
thetis, goddess Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
time Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 79
tradition, local Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 79
tradition, poetic Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 79
tritantaechmes of persia Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 68
trojan war Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
trophonius, god of lebadea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
troy, xerxes at Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
women Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 216
xenia Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 146
xerxes of persia, omens to Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
xerxes of persia, oracles to Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
xerxes of persia, respect for religious conventions Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 157
zeus, eleutherios of plataea Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94
zeus, soter Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (2003) 94