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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



7589
Lycophron, Alexandra, 1207
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1. Herodotus, Histories, 7.1-7.8 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

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. 7.2. But while Darius was making preparations against Egypt and Athens, a great quarrel arose among his sons concerning the chief power in the land. They held that before his army marched he must declare an heir to the kingship according to Persian law. ,Three sons had been born to Darius before he became king by his first wife, the daughter of Gobryas, and four more after he became king by Atossa daughter of Cyrus. Artobazanes was the oldest of the earlier sons, Xerxes of the later; ,and as sons of different mothers they were rivals. Artobazanes pleaded that he was the oldest of all Darius' offspring and that it was everywhere customary that the eldest should rule; Xerxes argued that he was the son of Cyrus' daughter Atossa and that it was Cyrus who had won the Persians their freedom. 7.3. While Darius delayed making his decision, it chanced that at this time Demaratus son of Ariston had come up to Susa, in voluntary exile from Lacedaemonia after he had lost the kingship of Sparta. ,Learning of the contention between the sons of Darius, this man, as the story goes, came and advised Xerxes to add this to what he said: that he had been born when Darius was already king and ruler of Persia, but Artobazanes when Darius was yet a subject; ,therefore it was neither reasonable nor just that anyone should have the royal privilege before him. At Sparta too (advised Demaratus) it was customary that if sons were born before their father became king, and another son born later when the father was king, the succession to the kingship belongs to the later-born. ,Xerxes followed Demaratus advice, and Darius judged his plea to be just and declared him king. But to my thinking Xerxes would have been made king even without this advice, for Atossa held complete sway. 7.4. After declaring Xerxes king, Darius was intent on his expedition. But in the year after this and the revolt of Egypt, death came upon him in the midst of his preparations, after a reign of six and thirty years in all, and it was not granted to him to punish either the revolted Egyptians or the Athenians. 7.5. After Darius' death, the royal power descended to his son Xerxes. Now Xerxes was at first by no means eager to march against Hellas; it was against Egypt that he mustered his army. But Mardonius son of Gobryas, Xerxes cousin and the son of Darius' sister, was with the king and had more influence with him than any Persian. He argued as follows: “Master, it is not fitting that the Athenians should go unpunished for their deeds, after all the evil they have done to the Persians. ,For now you should do what you have in hand; then, when you have tamed the insolence of Egypt, lead your armies against Athens, so that you may have fair fame among men, and others may beware of invading your realm in the future.” ,This argument was for vengeance, but he kept adding that Europe was an extremely beautiful land, one that bore all kinds of orchard trees, a land of highest excellence, worthy of no mortal master but the king. 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. 7.8. After the conquest of Egypt, intending now to take in hand the expedition against Athens, Xerxes held a special assembly of the noblest among the Persians, so he could learn their opinions and declare his will before them all. When they were assembled, Xerxes spoke to them as follows: ,“Men of Persia, I am not bringing in and establishing a new custom, but following one that I have inherited. As I learn from our elders, we have never yet remained at peace ever since Cyrus deposed Astyages and we won this sovereignty from the Medes. It is the will of heaven; and we ourselves win advantage by our many enterprises. No one needs to tell you, who already know them well, which nations Cyrus and Cambyses and Darius my father subdued and added to our realm. ,Ever since I came to this throne, I have considered how I might not fall short of my predecessors in this honor, and not add less power to the Persians; and my considerations persuade me that we may win not only renown, but a land neither less nor worse, and more fertile, than that which we now possess; and we would also gain vengeance and requital. For this cause I have now summoned you together, that I may impart to you what I intend to do. ,It is my intent to bridge the Hellespont and lead my army through Europe to Hellas, so I may punish the Athenians for what they have done to the Persians and to my father. ,You saw that Darius my father was set on making an expedition against these men. But he is dead, and it was not granted him to punish them. On his behalf and that of all the Persians, I will never rest until I have taken Athens and burnt it, for the unprovoked wrong that its people did to my father and me. ,First they came to Sardis with our slave Aristagoras the Milesian and burnt the groves and the temples; next, how they dealt with us when we landed on their shores, when Datis and Artaphrenes were our generals, I suppose you all know. ,For these reasons I am resolved to send an army against them; and I reckon that we will find the following benefits among them: if we subdue those men, and their neighbors who dwell in the land of Pelops the Phrygian, we will make the borders of Persian territory and of the firmament of heaven be the same. ,No land that the sun beholds will border ours, but I will make all into one country, when I have passed over the whole of Europe. ,I learn that this is the situation: no city of men or any human nation which is able to meet us in battle will be left, if those of whom I speak are taken out of our way. Thus the guilty and the innocent will alike bear the yoke of slavery. ,This is how you would best please me: when I declare the time for your coming, every one of you must eagerly appear; and whoever comes with his army best equipped will receive from me such gifts as are reckoned most precious among us. ,Thus it must be done; but so that I not seem to you to have my own way, I lay the matter before you all, and bid whoever wishes to declare his opinion.” So spoke Xerxes and ceased.
2. Lycophron, Alexandra, 1048-1055, 1087-1089, 1109, 1206, 1226-1284, 1291, 1295, 1362-1368, 1372-1373, 139-140, 1451-1460, 178, 216-218, 224-228, 249-257, 307, 31, 361, 379-380, 387-398, 405-408, 455, 52, 550-559, 584-585, 592-632, 69-71, 712-716, 722-725, 738-743, 799-800, 812-813, 856-858, 911-913, 919-930, 984-992, 1047 (4th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

3. Plutarch, Cimon, 8.6 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

4. Plutarch, Theseus, 36.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

5. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 4.32.3 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

4.32.3. There is also the tomb of Aristomenes here. They say that it is not a cenotaph, but when I asked whence and in what manner they recovered the bones of Aristomenes, they said that they sent to Rhodes for them, and that it was the god of Delphi who ordered it. They also instructed me in the nature of the rites carried out at the tomb. The bull which is to be offered to the dead man is brought to the tomb and bound to the pillar which stands upon the grave. Being fierce and unused to bonds he will not stand; and if the pillar is moved by his struggles and bounds, it is a good omen to the Messenians, but if the pillar is not moved the sign portends misfortune.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
alexandra, and rome Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 108
alexandra, dark poem Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 108
alexandra, guard, character of Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 107
alexandra, metre Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 108
alexandra, monodrama Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 107
alexandra, nostoi Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 108
alexandra Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 107, 108
aristomenes Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy, Esther Eidinow, Ancient Divination and Experience (2019) 49
arkas Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy, Esther Eidinow, Ancient Divination and Experience (2019) 49
bones, hero bones Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy, Esther Eidinow, Ancient Divination and Experience (2019) 49
characters, tragic/mythical, aeneas Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 108
characters, tragic/mythical, ajax, locrian Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 107
characters, tragic/mythical, cassandra (alexandra) Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 107
characters, tragic/mythical, diomedes Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 108
characters, tragic/mythical, menelaus Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 108
characters, tragic/mythical, odysseus Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 108
characters, tragic/mythical, priam Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 107
chorostatas (kho-), in postclassical tragic plays/performances Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 108
hektor Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy, Esther Eidinow, Ancient Divination and Experience (2019) 49
metre, tragedy, in the alexandra Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 108
omens, testing of Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy, Esther Eidinow, Ancient Divination and Experience (2019) 49
pindar Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 108
questions, divinatory Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy, Esther Eidinow, Ancient Divination and Experience (2019) 49
questions, multiple Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy, Esther Eidinow, Ancient Divination and Experience (2019) 49
reassurance' Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy, Esther Eidinow, Ancient Divination and Experience (2019) 49
sparta/spartans Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy, Esther Eidinow, Ancient Divination and Experience (2019) 49
sparta Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 107
thucydides Liapis and Petrides, Greek Tragedy After the Fifth Century: A Survey from ca (2019) 108
tisamenos Eidinow and Driediger-Murphy, Esther Eidinow, Ancient Divination and Experience (2019) 49