|1. Herodotus, Histories, 9.36-9.38, 9.41 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)
Tagged with subjects: • Hegesistratus • Hegesistratus of Elis
Found in books: Mikalson (2003), Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars, 93; Naiden (2013), Smoke Signals for the Gods: Ancient Greek Sacrifice from the Archaic through Roman Periods, 342
9.36 οὗτος δὴ τότε τοῖσι Ἕλλησι ὁ Τισαμενός, ἀγόντων τῶν Σπαρτιητέων, ἐμαντεύετο ἐν τῇ Πλαταιίδι. τοῖσι μέν νυν Ἕλλησι καλὰ ἐγίνετο τὰ ἱρὰ ἀμυνομένοισι, διαβᾶσι δὲ τὸν Ἀσωπὸν καὶ μάχης ἄρχουσι οὔ. 9.37 Μαρδονίῳ δὲ προθυμεομένῳ μάχης ἄρχειν οὐκ ἐπιτήδεα ἐγίνετο τὰ ἱρά, ἀμυνομένῳ δὲ καὶ τούτῳ καλά. καὶ γὰρ οὗτος Ἑλληνικοῖσι ἱροῖσι ἐχρᾶτο, μάντιν ἔχων Ἡγησίστρατον ἄνδρα Ἠλεῖόν τε καὶ τῶν Τελλιαδέων ἐόντα λογιμώτατον, τὸν δὴ πρότερον τούτων Σπαρτιῆται λαβόντες ἔδησαν ἐπὶ θανάτῳ ὡς πεπονθότες πολλά τε καὶ ἀνάρσια ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ. ὁ δὲ ἐν τούτῳ τῷ κακῷ ἐχόμενος, ὥστε τρέχων περὶ τῆς ψυχῆς πρό τε τοῦ θανάτου πεισόμενος πολλά τε καὶ λυγρά, ἔργον ἐργάσατο μέζον λόγου. ὡς γὰρ δὴ ἐδέδετο ἐν ξύλῳ σιδηροδέτῳ, ἐσενειχθέντος κως σιδηρίου ἐκράτησε, αὐτίκα δὲ ἐμηχανᾶτο ἀνδρηιότατον ἔργον πάντων τῶν ἡμεῖς ἴδμεν· σταθμησάμενος γὰρ ὅκως ἐξελεύσεταί οἱ τὸ λοιπὸν τοῦ ποδός, ἀπέταμε τὸν ταρσὸν ἑωυτοῦ. ταῦτα δὲ ποιήσας, ὡς φυλασσόμενος ὑπὸ φυλάκων, διορύξας τὸν τοῖχον ἀπέδρη ἐς Τεγέην, τὰς μὲν νύκτας πορευόμενος, τὰς δὲ ἡμέρας καταδύνων ἐς ὕλην καὶ αὐλιζόμενος, οὕτω ὡς Λακεδαιμονίων πανδημεὶ διζημένων τρίτῃ εὐφρόνῃ γενέσθαι ἐν Τεγέη, τοὺς δὲ ἐν θώματι μεγάλῳ ἐνέχεσθαι τῆς τε τόλμης, ὁρῶντας τὸ ἡμίτομον τοῦ ποδὸς κείμενον, κἀκεῖνον οὐ δυναμένους εὑρεῖν. τότε μὲν οὕτω διαφυγὼν Λακεδαιμονίους καταφεύγει ἐς Τεγέην ἐοῦσαν οὐκ ἀρθμίην Λακεδαιμονίοισι τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον· ὑγιὴς δὲ γενόμενος καὶ προσποιησάμενος ξύλινον πόδα κατεστήκεε ἐκ τῆς ἰθέης Λακεδαιμονίοισι πολέμιος. οὐ μέντοι ἔς γε τέλος οἱ συνήνεικε τὸ ἔχθος τὸ ἐς Λακεδαιμονίους συγκεκυρημένον· ἥλω γὰρ μαντευόμενος ἐν Ζακύνθῳ ὑπʼ αὐτῶν καὶ ἀπέθανε. 9.38 ὁ μέντοι θάνατος ὁ Ἡγησιστράτου ὕστερον ἐγένετο τῶν Πλαταιικῶν, τότε δὲ ἐπὶ τῷ Ἀσωπῷ Μαρδονίῳ μεμισθωμένος οὐκ ὀλίγου ἐθύετό τε καὶ προεθυμέετο κατά τε τὸ ἔχθος τὸ Λακεδαιμονίων καὶ κατὰ τὸ κέρδος. ὡς δὲ οὐκ ἐκαλλιέρεε ὥστε μάχεσθαι οὔτε αὐτοῖσι Πέρσῃσι οὔτε τοῖσι μετʼ ἐκείνων ἐοῦσι Ἑλλήνων ʽεἶχον γὰρ καὶ οὗτοι ἐπʼ ἑωυτῶν μάντιν Ἱππόμαχον Λευκάδιον ἄνδρἀ, ἐπιρρεόντων δὲ τῶν Ἑλλήνων καὶ γινομένων πλεύνων, Τιμηγενίδης ὁ Ἕρπυος ἀνὴρ Θηβαῖος συνεβούλευσε Μαρδονίῳ τὰς ἐκβολὰς τοῦ Κιθαιρῶνος φυλάξαι, λέγων ὡς ἐπιρρέουσι οἱ Ἕλληνες αἰεὶ ἀνὰ πᾶσαν ἡμέρην καὶ ὡς ἀπολάμψοιτο συχνούς.
9.41 μέχρι μέν νυν τῶν δέκα ἡμερέων οὐδὲν ἐπὶ πλεῦν ἐγίνετο τούτων· ὡς δὲ ἑνδεκάτη ἐγεγόνεε ἡμέρη ἀντικατημένοισι ἐν Πλαταιῇσι, οἵ τε δὴ Ἕλληνες πολλῷ πλεῦνες ἐγεγόνεσαν καὶ Μαρδόνιος περιημέκτεε τῇ ἕδρῃ, ἐνθαῦτα ἐς λόγους ἦλθον Μαρδόνιός τε ὁ Γοβρύεω καὶ Ἀρτάβαζος ὁ Φαρνάκεος, ὃς ἐν ὀλίγοισι Περσέων ἦν ἀνὴρ δόκιμος παρὰ Ξέρξῃ. βουλευομένων δὲ αἵδε ἦσαν αἱ γνῶμαι, ἣ μὲν Ἀρταβάζου ὡς χρεὸν εἴη ἀναζεύξαντας τὴν ταχίστην πάντα τὸν στρατὸν ἰέναι ἐς τὸ τεῖχος τὸ Θηβαίων, ἔθα σῖτόν τέ σφι ἐσενηνεῖχθαι πολλὸν καὶ χόρτον τοῖσι ὑποζυγίοισι, κατʼ ἡσυχίην τε ἱζομένους διαπρήσσεσθαι ποιεῦντας τάδε· ἔχειν γὰρ χρυσὸν πολλὸν μὲν ἐπίσημον πολλὸν δὲ καὶ ἄσημον, πολλὸν δὲ ἄργυρόν τε καὶ ἐκπώματα· τούτων φειδομένους μηδενὸς διαπέμπειν ἐς τοὺς Ἕλληνας, Ἑλλήνων δὲ μάλιστα ἐς τοὺς προεστεῶτας ἐν τῇσι πόλισι, καὶ ταχέως σφέας παραδώσειν τὴν ἐλευθερίην· μηδὲ ἀνακινδυνεύειν συμβάλλοντας. τούτου μὲν ἡ αὐτὴ ἐγίνετο καὶ Θηβαίων γνώμη, ὡς προειδότος πλεῦν τι καὶ τούτου, Μαρδονίου δὲ ἰσχυροτέρη τε καὶ ἀγνωμονεστέρη καὶ οὐδαμῶς συγγινωσκομένη· δοκέειν τε γὰρ πολλῷ κρέσσονα εἶναι τὴν σφετέρην στρατιὴν τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς, συμβάλλειν τε τὴν ταχίστην μηδὲ περιορᾶν συλλεγομένους ἔτι πλεῦνας τῶν συλλελεγμένων, τά τε σφάγια τὰ Ἡγησιστράτου ἐᾶν μηδὲ βιάζεσθαι, ἀλλὰ νόμῳ τῷ Περσέων χρεωμένους συμβάλλειν.'' None
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. "' None