|2. Herodotus, Histories, 6.77-6.83, 7.148-7.153 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE) Tagged with subjects: •tiryns, argive exiles in Found in books: Kowalzig (2007), Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece, 163
| 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 l And drives him away, winning glory in Argos, /l l She will make many Argive women tear their cheeks. /l l As someday one of men to come will say: /l l The 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. 6.78. When Cleomenes saw that the Argives did whatever was signalled by his herald, he commanded that when the herald cried the signal for breakfast, they should then put on their armor and attack the Argives. ,The Lacedaemonians performed this command, and when they assaulted the Argives they caught them at breakfast in obedience to the herald's signal; they killed many of them, and far more fled for refuge into the grove of Argus, which the Lacedaemonians encamped around and guarded. 6.79. Then Cleomenes' plan was this: He had with him some deserters from whom he learned the names, then he sent a herald calling by name the Argives that were shut up in the sacred precinct and inviting them to come out, saying that he had their ransom. (Among the Peloponnesians there is a fixed ransom of two minae to be paid for every prisoner.) So Cleomenes invited about fifty Argives to come out one after another and murdered them. ,Somehow the rest of the men in the temple precinct did not know this was happening, for the grove was thick and those inside could not see how those outside were faring, until one of them climbed a tree and saw what was being done. Thereafter they would not come out at the herald's call. 6.80. Then Cleomenes bade all the helots pile wood about the grove; they obeyed, and he burnt the grove. When the fire was now burning, he asked of one of the deserters to what god the grove belonged; the man said it was of Argos. When he heard that, he groaned aloud, “Apollo, god of oracles, you have gravely deceived me by saying that I would take Argos; this, I guess, is the fulfillment of that prophecy.” 6.81. Then Cleomenes sent most of his army back to Sparta, while he himself took a thousand of the best warriors and went to the temple of Hera to sacrifice. When he wished to sacrifice at the altar the priest forbade him, saying that it was not holy for a stranger to sacrifice there. Cleomenes ordered the helots to carry the priest away from the altar and whip him, and he performed the sacrifice. After doing this, he returned to Sparta. 6.82. But after his return his enemies brought him before the ephors, saying that he had been bribed not to take Argos when he might have easily taken it. Cleomenes alleged (whether falsely or truly, I cannot rightly say; but this he alleged in his speech) that he had supposed the god's oracle to be fulfilled by his taking of the temple of Argus; therefore he had thought it best not to make any attempt on the city before he had learned from the sacrifices whether the god would deliver it to him or withstand him; ,when he was taking omens in Hera's temple a flame of fire had shone forth from the breast of the image, and so he learned the truth of the matter, that he would not take Argos. If the flame had come out of the head of the image, he would have taken the city from head to foot utterly; but its coming from the breast signified that he had done as much as the god willed to happen. This plea of his seemed to the Spartans to be credible and reasonable, and he far outdistanced the pursuit of his accusers. 6.83. But Argos was so wholly deprived of men that their slaves took possession of all affairs, ruling and governing until the sons of the slain men grew up. Then they recovered Argos for themselves and cast out the slaves; when they were driven out, the slaves took possession of Tiryns by force. ,For a while they were at peace with each other; but then there came to the slaves a prophet, Cleander, a man of Phigalea in Arcadia by birth; he persuaded the slaves to attack their masters. From that time there was a long-lasting war between them, until with difficulty the Argives got the upper hand. 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 l Crouch with a lance in rest, like a warrior fenced in his armor, /l l Guarding 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. 7.150. Such is the Argives' account of this matter, but there is another story told in Hellas, namely that before Xerxes set forth on his march against Hellas, he sent a herald to Argos, who said on his coming (so the story goes), ,“Men of Argos, this is the message to you from King Xerxes. Perses our forefather had, as we believe, Perseus son of Danae for his father, and Andromeda daughter of Cepheus for his mother; if that is so, then we are descended from your nation. In all right and reason we should therefore neither march against the land of our forefathers, nor should you become our enemies by aiding others or do anything but abide by yourselves in peace. If all goes as I desire, I will hold none in higher esteem than you.” ,The Argives were strongly moved when they heard this, and although they made no promise immediately and demanded no share, they later, when the Greeks were trying to obtain their support, did make the claim, because they knew that the Lacedaemonians would refuse to grant it, and that they would thus have an excuse for taking no part in the war. 7.151. This is borne out, some of the Greeks say, by the tale of a thing which happened many years afterwards. It happened that while Athenian envoys, Callias son of Hipponicus, and the rest who had come up with him, were at Susa, called the Memnonian, about some other business, the Argives also had at this same time sent envoys to Susa, asking of Xerxes' son Artoxerxes whether the friendship which they had forged with Xerxes still held good, as they desired, or whether he considered them as his enemies. Artoxerxes responded to this that it did indeed hold good and that he believed no city to be a better friend to him than Argos.” 7.152. Now, whether it is true that Xerxes sent a herald with such a message to Argos, and that the Argive envoys came up to Susa and questioned Artoxerxes about their friendship, I cannot say with exactness, nor do I now declare that I consider anything true except what the Argives themselves say. ,This, however, I know full well, namely if all men should carry their own private troubles to market for barter with their neighbors, there would not be a single one who, when he had looked into the troubles of other men, would not be glad to carry home again what he had brought. ,The conduct of the Argives was accordingly not utterly shameful. As for myself, although it is my business to set down that which is told me, to believe it is none at all of my business. This I ask the reader to hold true for the whole of my history, for there is another tale current, according to which it would seem that it was the Argives who invited the Persian into Hellas, because the war with the Lacedaemonians was going badly, and they would prefer anything to their present distresses. 7.153. Such is the end of the story of the Argives. As for Sicily, envoys were sent there by the allies to hold converse with Gelon, Syagrus from Lacedaemon among them. The ancestor of this Gelon, who settled at Gela, was from the island of Telos which lies off Triopium. When the founding of Gela by Antiphemus and the Lindians of Rhodes was happening, he would not be left behind. ,His descendants in time became and continue to be priests of the goddesses of the underworld; this office had been won, as I will show, by Telines, one of their forefathers. There were certain Geloans who had been worsted in party strife and had been banished to the town of Mactorium, inland of Gela. ,These men Telines brought to Gela with no force of men but only the holy instruments of the goddesses worship to aid him. From where he got these, and whether or not they were his own invention, I cannot say; however that may be, it was in reliance upon them that he restored the exiles, on the condition that his descendants should be ministering priests of the goddesses. ,Now it makes me marvel that Telines should have achieved such a feat, for I have always supposed that such feats cannot be performed by any man but only by such as have a stout heart and manly strength. Telines, however, is reported by the dwellers in Sicily to have had a soft and effeminate disposition.
|4. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 12.75 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE) Tagged with subjects: •tiryns, argive exiles in Found in books: Kowalzig (2007), Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece, 163
| 12.75. 1. When Aristion was archon in Athens, the Romans elected as consuls Titus Quinctius and Aulus Cornelius Cossus. During this year, although the Peloponnesian War had just come to an end, again tumults and military movements occurred throughout Greece, for the following reasons.,2. Although the Athenians and Lacedaemonians had concluded a truce and cessation of hostilities in company with their allies, they had formed an alliance without consultation with the allied cities. By this act they fell under suspicion of having formed an alliance for their private ends, with the purpose of enslaving the rest of the Greeks.,3. As a consequence the most important of the cities maintained a mutual exchange of embassies and conversations regarding a union of policy and an alliance against the Athenians and Lacedaemonians. The leading states in this undertaking were the four most powerful ones, Argos, Thebes, Corinth, and Elis.,4. There was good reason to suspect that Athens and Lacedaemon had common designs against the rest of Greece, since a clause had been added to the compact which the two had made, namely, that the Athenians and Lacedaemonians had the right, according as these states may deem it best, to add to or subtract from the agreements. Moreover, the Athenians by decree had lodged in ten men the power to take counsel regarding what would be of advantage to the city; and since much the same thing had also been done by the Lacedaemonians, the selfish ambitions of the two states were open for all to see.,5. Many cities answered to the call of their common freedom, and since the Athenians were disdained by reason of the defeat they had suffered at Delium and the Lacedaemonians had had their fame reduced because of the capture of their citizens on the island of Sphacteria, a large number of cities joined together and selected the city of the Argives to hold the position of leader.,6. For this city enjoyed a high position by reason of its achievements in the past, since until the return of the Heracleidae practically all the most important kings had come from the Argolis, and furthermore, since the city had enjoyed peace for a long time, it had received revenues of the greatest size and had a great store not only of money but also of men.,7. The Argives, believing that the entire leadership was to be conceded to them, picked out one thousand of their younger citizens who were at the same time the most vigorous in body and the most wealthy, and freeing them also from every other service to the state and supplying them with sustece at public expense, they had them undergo continuous training and exercise. These young men, therefore, by reason of the expense incurred for them and their continuous training, quickly formed a body of athletes trained to deeds of war.
|6. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.20.8-2.20.10 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE) Tagged with subjects: •tiryns, argive exiles in Found in books: Kowalzig (2007), Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece, 163
| 2.20.8. ὑπὲρ δὲ τὸ θέατρον Ἀφροδίτης ἐστὶν ἱερόν, ἔμπροσθεν δὲ τοῦ ἕδους Τελέσιλλα ἡ ποιήσασα τὰ ᾄσματα ἐπείργασται στήλῃ· καὶ βιβλία μὲν ἐκεῖνα ἔρριπταί οἱ πρὸς τοῖς ποσίν, αὐτὴ δὲ ἐς κράνος ὁρᾷ κατέχουσα τῇ χειρὶ καὶ ἐπιτίθεσθαι τῇ κεφαλῇ μέλλουσα. ἦν δὲ ἡ Τελέσιλλα καὶ ἄλλως ἐν ταῖς γυναιξὶν εὐδόκιμος καὶ μᾶλλον ἐτιμᾶτο ἔτι ἐπὶ τῇ ποιήσει. συμβάντος δὲ Ἀργείοις ἀτυχῆσαι λόγου μειζόνως πρὸς Κλεομένην τὸν Ἀναξανδρίδου καὶ Λακεδαιμονίους, καὶ τῶν μὲν ἐν αὐτῇ πεπτωκότων τῇ μάχῃ, ὅσοι δὲ ἐς τὸ ἄλσος τοῦ Ἄργου κατέφευγον διαφθαρέντων καὶ τούτων, τὰ μὲν πρῶτα ἐξιόντων κατὰ ὁμολογίαν, ὡς δὲ ἔγνωσαν ἀπατώμενοι συγκατακαυθέντων τῷ ἄλσει τῶν λοιπῶν, οὕτω τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίους Κλεομένης ἦγεν ἐπὶ ἔρημον ἀνδρῶν τὸ Ἄργος. 2.20.9. Τελέσιλλα δὲ οἰκέτας μὲν καὶ ὅσοι διὰ νεότητα ἢ γῆρας ὅπλα ἀδύνατοι φέρειν ἦσαν, τούτους μὲν πάντας ἀνεβίβασεν ἐπὶ τὸ τεῖχος, αὐτὴ δὲ ὁπόσα ἐν ταῖς οἰκίαις ὑπελείπετο καὶ τὰ ἐκ τῶν ἱερῶν ὅπλα ἀθροίσασα τὰς ἀκμαζούσας ἡλικίᾳ τῶν γυναικῶν ὥπλιζεν, ὁπλίσασα δὲ ἔτασσε κατὰ τοῦτο ᾗ τοὺς πολεμίους προσιόντας ἠπίστατο. ὡς δὲ ἐγγὺς ἐγίνοντο οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες οὔτε τῷ ἀλαλαγμῷ κατεπλάγησαν δεξάμεναί τε ἐμάχοντο ἐρρωμένως, ἐνταῦθα οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι, φρονήσαντες ὡς καὶ διαφθείρασί σφισι τὰς γυναῖκας ἐπιφθόνως τὸ κατόρθωμα ἕξει καὶ σφαλεῖσι μετὰ ὀνειδῶν γενήσοιτο ἡ συμφορά, ὑπείκουσι ταῖς γυναιξί. 2.20.10. πρότερον δὲ ἔτι τὸν ἀγῶνα τοῦτον προεσήμηνεν ἡ Πυθία, καὶ τὸ λόγιον εἴτε ἄλλως εἴτε καὶ ὡς συνεὶς ἐδήλωσεν Ἡρόδοτος· ἀλλʼ ὅταν ἡ θήλεια τὸν ἄρρενα νικήσασα ἐξελάσῃ καὶ κῦδος ἐν Ἀργείοισιν ἄρηται, πολλὰς Ἀργείων ἀμφιδρυφέας τότε θήσει. Hdt. 6.77 τὰ μὲν ἐς τὸ ἔργον τῶν γυναικῶν ἔχοντα τοῦ χρησμοῦ ταῦτα ἦν·
| 2.20.8. Above the theater is a sanctuary of Aphrodite, and before the image is a slab with a representation wrought on it in relief of Telesilla, the lyric poetess. Her books lie scattered at her feet, and she herself holds in her hand an helmet, which she is looking at and is about to place on her head. Telesilla was a distinguished woman who was especially renowned for her poetry. It happened that the Argives had suffered an awful defeat at the hands of Cleomenes, the son of Anaxandrides, and the Lacedaemonians. Some fell in the actual fighting; others, who had fled to the grove of Argus, also perished. At first they left sanctuary under an agreement, which was treacherously broken, and the survivors, when they realized this, were burnt to death in the grove. So when Cleomenes led his troops to Argos there were no men to defend it. 510 B.C. 2.20.9. But Telesilla mounted on the wall all the slaves and such as were incapable of bearing arms through youth or old age, and she herself, collecting the arms in the sanctuaries and those that were left in the houses, armed the women of vigorous age, and then posted them where she knew the enemy would attack. When the Lacedaemonians came on, the women were not dismayed at their battle-cry, but stood their ground and fought valiantly. Then the Lacedaemonians, realizing that to destroy the women would be an invidious success while defeat would mean a shameful disaster, gave way before the women. 2.20.10. This fight had been foretold by the Pythian priestess in the oracle quoted by Herodotus, who perhaps understood to what it referred and perhaps did not:— But when the time shall come that the female conquers in battle, Driving away the male, and wins great glory in Argos , Many an Argive woman will tear both cheeks in her sorrow. Hdt. 6.77 Such are the words of the oracle referring to the exploit of the women.