Herodotus_477-482_514-518_541-552

Herodotus_477-482_514-518_541-552 - Today we conclude our...

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Unformatted text preview: Today we conclude our reading of the History of Herodotus with selections from book 7. This book focuses on the expedition of Xerxes into Greece and it concludes with the famous battle at Thermopylae where a small Greek contingent, led by the Spartans. held off the entire Persian force for 2 days before being defeated. The first section (7.20— 35) describes Xerxes’ efforts to build a canal through the promontory of Athos and his crossing of the Hellespont. The second section (7. 138-145) concentrates on the oracles that the Athenians received from the oracle at Delphi and how Themistocles interpreted them. Finally (7201—228), we read the account of the battle at Thermopylae, a place where the road south into Greece was confined quite narrowly between the sea on one side and high mountains on the other. 476 (7-16—18) haunting you, sent by some god or other, that will not suffer you to abandon your warlike preparation. But these things have nothing of the god in them, my son. The dreams that wander about among men are such as I shall tell you now, and I am a man a great deal older than you. Mostly the visions that are wont to flit about us in dreams are the things that we have had to do with by day; and in the days before the dream we have had this matter of the expedition very much in our hands. But if indeed this is not as I judge it to be, and there is something of the divine in it, in your speech to me you have summed it up altogether. Let the vision appear to me with the same orders. But there is no necessity that it should rather appear to me because I am wearing your clothes rather than my Own or sleep in your bed rather than my own—that is, if it is minded to appear at all. The vision that appears to you in your sleep, whatever it is, has hardly attained such a degree of simplicity that it will think me to be you when it sees me, drawing its evidence solely from your clothes. If it shall disdain rne altogether and shall not choose to appear, whether I wear your clothes or my own—that is what we now have to find out. For if it is persistent in its haunting, I would myself say that this is something of a divine kind. But if you are determined to do the matter thus and cannot be persuaded otherwise, and I must sleep in your bed, let me do it that way, and let the vision come to me too. Till then I cling to the opinion I have given you.” 17. So spoke Artabanus, and, hoping to prove that Xerxes had been deluded, he did as the King bade him. He put on Xerxes' rai- merit and sat upon the royal throne and afterwards went to bed, and in his sleep the same dream vision came to him as it had to Xerxes, and standing above Artabanus it said, “You are the man who turns Xerxes from making war upon Greece, because you are so concerned for him! But neither hereafter nor for the present will you escape scot free for trying to reverse fate. What Xerxes shall suffer if he dis- obeys has already been told him." 18. It seemed to Artabanus that with these words the apparition threatened him and made as if to burn out his eyes with hot irons. He gave a great cry and jumped Out of bed, and sitting by Xerxes he narrated all that he had seen in his dream and the vision in it, and then he said, “My lord, as a man who had seen many great fall under the assault of lesser ones, I would not have had you yield altogether (7218—20) to the impulse of youth; I knew how bad it was to desire many things; I remembered Cyrus' expedition against the Massagetae and how it fared; I remembered Cambyses' attack on the Ethiopians; and I myself served with your father, Darius, against the Scythians. I knew all this, and so I formed the opinion that, if you could remain inactive, in the eyes of all mankind you would be happiest. But since there is some divine impulse afoot here, and, as it seems, there is some divine destruction that seizes on the Greeks, I of myself change and retract my judgment. Do you convey to the Persians what the god has sent to you as a message, and bid them follow out your first instructions—to make preparations; and so act that, with the god handing all over to you, nothing shall be lacking on your side.” That was what was said; and then, uplifted by the vision, when day dawned, Xerxes entrusted the matter to the Persians; and Artabanus, who had before been the sole voice openly dissuading, was now manifestly urging on the war. 19. Xerxes was now set on making war; and in his sleep there came yet a third vision, which the Magi heard and pronounced upon: that it referred to all the earth and that all mankind should be slaves to Xerxes. The vision was this: Xerxes thought that he was crowned with an olive branch, and from the olive there were shoots that overshadowed all the earth, but that afterwards the crown, which was set upon his head, vanished. When the Magi had made their interpretation, at once every man of the assembled Persians went off to his seat of rule and sh0wed the greatest zeal in carrying out his instructions, because everyone sought to win the offered gifts of the King; so Xerxes collected his army, searching every part of the continent. 20. After the subduing of Egypt, for four full years” he made ready his host and all that they must have, and at the beginning of the fifth year he started his campaign with a huge force of men. This was far the greatest host of any we have heard of; Darius' expedition against the Scythians was as nothing in comparison, nor that of the Scythians when, in pursuit of the Cimmerians, they invaded the land of Media '0 and subdued and occupied nearly all the upper lands 9. 4847481 B.C. Io. Cf. 1.103; 4.1. 478 (7-20—23) of Asia—for which acts Darius organized his punishing campaign against them—nor as great was the expedition of the Atreidae against Troy, in the account given. not yet that of the Teucrians and Mysians (which happened before the Trojan War) when they crossed over into Europe by way of the Bosporus and subjugated all the Thracians and came down to the Ionian Sea ” and as far to the south as the rivet Peneus. 2!. All these forces, and whatsoever others might be added to them, could not together equal this single one. For what nation did Xerxes not bring out of Asia against the Greeks? What water did not fail their drinking—save for the great rivers only? These peoples fur— nished ships of war; those matched with the army; to others still the provision of horsemen was assigned. and to others that of horse transports, though they themselves were marching with the rest; others, still, must furnish warships for the bridges, and others corn and boats. 22. In the first place, since the first expedition had come to grief as they sailed around Athos, for about the last three years early preparations had been made to deal with Athos. Triremes were an- chored off Elaeus in the Chersonese; and men from these. composed of all nations in the army, were set to work digging a channel. which they did under the lash, and they went to the task in relays. Those who lived around Athos also dug. The overseers of the task were Bubates, the son of Megabazus, and Artachaees, son of Artaeus. both Persians. Athos is a great and renowned mountain that runs down to the sea and is inhabited. Where it ends on the mainland, it is in the shape of a peninsula, and there is an isthmus there some twelve furlongs wide. This part is level. or with only small hills. from the sea of the Acanthians to the one opposite Torone. On this isthmus. in which Athos ends, is the settled Greek city of Sane; other cities. seaward of Sane but still within Athos, the Persian was determined to turn from mainland into island cities. These were Dium, Olophyxus, Acrothoi, Thyssus, and Cleonae. 23. These, then, are the cities of Athos, and this is how the bar— barians dug the place, dividing the ground among their nations. They drew a straight line near the city of Sane; and, when the Chan, :1. The sea we call the Adriatic. (7.23e26) 479 nel grew deep, some of the men Stood at the bottom and dug, and others handed over the spoil, as it was dug out, to others. who stood higher, on steps, and they, receiving it. to others higher still, until they came to those at the top. And these men carried it out and cast it away. Now all the other peoples, except for the Phoenicians, found that the steep sides of their trench broke and so made double work for them; this was bound to happen, because they made it as wide at the top as at the bottom. But the Phoenicians showed their usual cunning in this too. Taking the portion of the task assigned to them, they dug the top part of the trench twice as wide as the chan- nel itself needed to be, and, as the work went on, they contracted the width continually. At the bottom, their channel was the same width as that made by the rest of the workmen. There is a meadow near there where they held a market to buy and sell in. A great deal of their corn was brought them from Asia ready—ground. 24. As far as my guess goes, it was out of mere arrogance that Xerxes made them dig the channel, because he wanted to show his power and leave a memorial behind him. For with no trouble at all it was possible to draw the ships acress the isthmus; but instead he bade his men dig a channel for the sea of a width for two triremes to sail together through it under oars. The same men as had their in— structions for the digging of the channel were also ordered to build a bridge of ships over the river Strymon. 25. So he did all this and prepared, also, gear for the bridges: ropes of papyrus and of white flax, the provision of which he as; signed to the Phoenicians and Egyptians and, also to these, the stor— age of corn for the army, that neither the men should starve not the pack animals on their drive to Greece. Making inquiry about the regions, he ordered them to deposit the stores where it was most suitable, carrying them here and there in merchantmen and trans- ports from everywhere in Asia. The most of it they gathered to a place in Thrace that is called the White Shore, though there were others who brought the goods to Tyrodiza in the Perinthian landI and others to Doriscus. and others to Hon on the Strymon, and others to Macedonia. 26. While these people were working at their appointed tasks, the whole land army was marching, along with Xerxes, to Sardis, having started from Critalla in Cappadocia. For to this place had 480 (7.26A29) been ordered to assemble all the army that was to march with Xerxes himself by land. Now which of the viceroys brought the most splen— didly equipped army to win the rewards of the King, I cannot say. For I do not even know whether this came to decision. But when they crossed the Halys, they went into Phrygia, and marching through this country they came to Celaenae, where the springs of the river Maeander issue forth and also those of another river, no less than the Maeander, the name of which is Cataractes, which rises in the very marketplace of Celaenae and empties into the Maeandet. In this marketplace also hangs the skin of the Silenus Marsyas, which the Phrygian story would have as being flayed off him by Apollo and hung up there. 27. In this city there lay, awaiting the King, one Pythius, the son of Atys, a Lydian, who entertained the entire army of the King with every sort of hospitality, and Xerxes as well. This man also declared that he wished to contribute money to the war. When Pythius made this offer, Xerxes asked the Persians who were near him who on earth was this fellow Pythius and what money he possessed that he should make such an offer. They told him: “My lord, this is the man who gave your father Darius the golden plane tree and vine, and he is now the first of men for his wealth—after yourself—of any we know. " 28. Xerxes was surprised at this final comment, and so he in turn asked Pythius how much he possessed. He said, “NLy lord, I will not conceal anything from you, nor will I pretend not to know exactly my possessions. I know them and will tell you exactly; for as soon as I heard you were coming down to the coast, to the Greek sea, I made my inquiries because I wanted to give you money for the war; and on my reckoning I find that l have two thousand talents of silver, and, of Daric staters in gold, I have four million, lacking some seven thousand. All of these now I give you; for me the livelihood from my slaves and my estates will suffice." 29. Thus he spoke. Xerxes was delighted with his words and in answer to them said, “My Lydian host, since coming from the land of Persia I have till this day never met with a man who would offer hospitality to my army, not one who stood before me and of his own will was willing to contribute money to my war except yourself. You have entertained my army magnificently, and magnificent is the (7-29—33) 48: offer of money you have made me. So-I will give you rewards to an- swer your gifts. I will make you my friend, and I will fill up your four million staters, giving you the seven thousand from my purse, that your four millions may nor be lacking thOse seven thousands but that, thanks to me, you will have the full tale made up. POSSess, then, that of which you stand possessed; know h0w to be ever such a one as now you are; for, if you do so, you shall neither new nor for all time to come repent it.” 30. That is what he said, and made the four million complete, and on he went, forward always. He passed by the city of the Phry— gians called Anaua and the lake from which salt comes and came to a great city in Phrygia called Colossae. In it the river Lycus descends into a pit in the ground and vanishes, and afterwards, reappearing some five stades further on, it issues, too, into the Maeander. From Colossae the army set out toward the bounds of Phrygia and Lydia and came to the city of Cydrara, where there stands a pillar set up by Croesus, declaring, in its inscription, the boundary. 31. From Phrygia he passed on into Lydia. Here the road splits, the left hand going toward Caria and the right to Sardis, by the latter of which the traveler must cross the river Maeander and must needs also go by the city of Callatebus, where men who are craftsmen at the task make honey of tamarisk and wheat. By this road went Xerxes and found a plane tree which, for its beauty. he adorned with gold and then entrusted it to a steward who was one of the Immor- tals; the day after, he came to the chief city of the Lydians. 32. When he came to Sardis, he first of all sent off heralds to Greece to demand earth and water and to give orders in advance for the preparation of meals for the King. Only to Athens and Sparta he sent no messengers for the demand of earth; everywhere else he sent them. The reason he sent for earth and water this second time was that he was very sure that those who had not given them before, on the sending of Darius, would certainly do so now, out of feat. 80, because he wished to be accurately informed of this, he sent. 3 3. After that he made ready to march to Abydos. Meanwhile, his men were building the bridge over the I-lellespont, connecting Asia and Europe. Now, there is in the Hellespontine Chersonese, midway between the cities of Sestos and Madytus, a broad headland running out into the sea opposite Abydos. There, not so long afterwards, the 482 (733—36) Athenians, commanded by Xanthippus, son of Atiphron, took Arta'yctes, a Persian, Viceroy of Sestos, and crucified him alive. This man had been collecting women even into the temple of Protesilaus at Elaeus and had perpetrated deeds of lawlessness upon them. 34. To this headland, then, starting from Abydos, they built the bridge, those who were instructed so to do, the Phoenicians making the one bridge of white flax, the Egyptians the other. of papyrus. It is seven stades from Abydos to the land opposite. But when the strait had been bridged, there came a great storm upon it and smashed it and broke it all to pieces. 35. On learning this, Xerxes was furious and bade his men lay three hundred lashes on the Hellespont and lower into the sea a yoke of fetters. Indeed, I have heard that he sent also branders to brand the Hellespont. He told those who laid on the lashes to say these words, of violent arrogance, worthy of a barbarian: “You bitter water, out master lays this punishment upon you because you have wronged him, though he never did you any wrong. King Xerxes will cross you, whether you will or not; it is with justice that no one sac— rifices to you, who are a muddy and a briny river.” So he commanded that the sea be punished, and he ordered the beheading of the super— visors of the building of the bridge. 36. They did that, those who were set Over that thankless office; and other builders constructed the bridge anew. This is h0w they built the bridge: they set together both penteconters and triremes, three hundred and sixty to bear the bridge on the side nearest the Euxine and three hundred and fourteen for the other bridge,” all at an oblique angle to the Pontus but parallel with the current of the Hellespont. This was done to lighten the strain on the cables. Having so laid the boats together, they let d0wn great anchors, both at the end of the ship that faced t0ward the Pontus, against the winds blowing from inside that sea, and at the other end, toward the west and the Aegean, to deal with the winds from the west and south. They left a narrow opening among the penteconters and tri- remes to permit to sail through anyone with small boats who wanted to sail into the Pontus or out again. Having done that, they stretched cables from the land, which they twisted with wooden windlasses; 12. The one nearest to the Aegean. (736*38) 483 these cables were no longer used separately; instead, for each bridge there were now two cables of white flax and four of papyrus. There I was the same thickness and beauty in these, but the flaxen ones were heavier in proportion, a cubit weighing a talent. When the strait was bridged, they sawed logs of wood, making them equal to the width of the floating raft, and set these logs on the stretched cables, and then, having laid them together alongside, they fastened them together again on top.” Having done this, they strewed brushwood over it, and, having laid the brushwood in order, they carried earth on the top of that; they stamped down the earth and then put up a barrier on either side so that the baggage animals and horses might not see the sea beneath them and take fright. 37. When the bridges had been seen to, and also the digging in Athos, and the moles at the mouth of the channel, which were made there as a breakwater, that the mouths of the channel might not be filled up, and when the channel itself was reported as entirely finished, the army wintered there; and in spring,” with their prepa' rations made, they marched out of Sardis for Abydos. But as they went off, the sun left his place in the heaven and was no more seen, even though there were no clouds and the sky was particularly clear; and it became night instead of day. Xerxes saw and noted this and was troubled; he asked the Magi what such an appearance could mean. The Magi told him that the god was declaring to the Greeks the eclipse of their cities; for, they said, the sun was the prophet of the Greeks, whereas their own was the moon. When Xerxes heard that, he was very pleased and marched on. 38. As Xerxes marched away, Pythius the Lydian, because he had been terrified by the appearance of the heavens and had been encouraged by the gifts the King had given him, came before Xerxes and said, “Master, I have a request for you, which I would greatly wish you could grant me; it is easy for you to do me this kindness. but for me it is a great matter.” Xerxes thought that he would ask for anything rather than what he did, and said, yes, he would do him the kindness, and only bade him tell him what it was that he needed. When Pythius heard that, he took heart and said, “Master, 13. Presumably he means with Cross—pieces. r4. Probably in April, 480 B.c. 514 (7-137—39) Nicolas, the son of Bulis, and on Aneristus, the son of Sperthias (this is the Aneristus who captured Halieis, a settlement from Tiryns, when he landed there with a merchantman manned with a crew)— that is what makes it clear to me that it was a matter of divine con— trivance because ofTalthybius' wrath. For these two men were sent by the Lacedaemonians as envoys into Asia, were betrayed by Sitalces, son of Tereus, king of Thrace, and by Nymphodorus, son of Pytheas of Abdera, were taken prisoner at Bisanthe on the Hellespont, and, being shipped to Attica, were executed by the Athenians and, along with them, Aristeas, son of Adimantus, a Corinthian. This hap— pened many years after the King's expedition.” I now resume the track of my former story. 138. The King’s expedition was in name directed against Athens, but it was sent against all Greece. Though the Greeks knew this far in advance, they did not all take it in the same way. Some of them gave earth and water to the Persian and were confident that they would suffer nothing unpleasant at the hand of the barbarian; but others, who had not given these symbols. were reduced to great fear, inasmuch as there were not enough ships in Greece to meet the in— vader, nor were many of these people willing to prosecute the war seriously but were turning eagerly to the Persian interest. 139. At this point I am forced to declare an opinion that most people will find offensive; yet, because I think it true, I will not hold back. If the Athenians had taken fright at the approaching danger and had left their own country, or even if they had not left it but had remained and surrendered to Xerxes, no one would have tried to op- pose the King at sea. If there had been no opposition to Xerxes at sea, what happened on land would have been this: even if the Pelo- ponnesians had drawn many walls across the Isthmus for their de' fense, the Lacedaemonians would have been betrayed by their allies, not because the allies chose so to do but out of necessity as they were taken, city by city, by the fleet of the barbarian; thus the Lacedae' monians would have been isolated and, though isolated, would have done deeds of the greatest valor and died nobly. That would have been what happened; or else they would, before this end, have seen that all the other Greeks had Medized and so themselves would have 39. It occurred in 430 (it is the latest event reported by Herodotus). (7-139—4I) 515 come to an agreement with Xerxes. In both these cases, all of Greece would have been subdued by the Persians. For I cannot see what value those walls drawn across the Isthmus would be, once the King was master by sea. So, as it stands now, a man who declares that the Athenians were the saviors of Greece would hit the very truth. For to whichever side they inclined, that was where the scale would come down. They chose that Greece should survive free, and it was they who awakened all the part of Greece that had not Med— ized, and it was they who, under Heaven, touted the King. Not even the dreadful oracles that came from Delphi, terrifying though they were, persuaded them to desert Greece; they stood their ground and withstood the invader when he came against their own country. [40. For the Athenians had sent envoys to Delphi and stood ready to consult the god; and when they had performed the usual rites about the shrine and had entered the inner hall and sat d0wn there, the Pythia, whose name was Aristonice, gave utterance as follows: Wretched ones, why sit you here? Flee and begone to remotest Ends of earth, leaving your homes, high places in circular CIEY; For neither the head abides sound, no more than the feet or the body; Fire pulls all down, and sharp Ares, driving his Syrian'bred horses. Many a fortress besides, and not yours alone shall he ruin. Many the temples of God to devouring flames he shall give them. There they stand now, the sweat of terror streaming down from them. They shake with fear; from the rooftops black blood in deluging torrents. They have seen the forthcoming destruction, and evil sheerly constraining. Get you gone out of the shrinel Blanket your soul with your sorrows. 141. When the Athenian envoys heard this, they were in ex: treme distress. They were prostrated by their calamity, foretold by 516 (7.141—42) the oracle; but Timon, son of Androbulus, who was as notable a Delphian as any, counseled them to take suppliant boughs and con— sult the oracle a second time. as Suppliants. The Athenians followed his advice and said to the god: “My Lord, give us a better oracle about our fatherland; be moved to pity the suppliant boughs with which we come before you, or we will never go away from your shrine but remain right here till we die." When they said this, the priestess gave them this second answer: No: Athena cannot appease great Zeus of Olympus With many eloquent words and all her cunning counsel. To you I declare again this word, and make it as iron: All shall be taken by foemen. whatever within his border Cecrops contains, and whatever the glades of sacred Cithaeron. Yet to Tritogeneia shall Zeus, loud-voiced, give a present, A wall of wood, which alone shall abide unsacked by the foemen; . Well shall it serve yourselves and your children in days that shall be. Do not abide the charge of horse and foot that come on you, A mighty host from the landward side, but withdraw before it. Turn your back in retreat; on another day you shall face them. Salamis, isle divine, you shall slay many children of women, Either when seed is sown or again when the harvest is gathered. 142. This oracle seemed to be kinder than the earlier, and indeed it was so. So the envoys wrote it down and went home to Athens. When they had left Delphi and made their report to the people at home, there were many judgments on the part of those who sought what the meaning of the oracle might be, but there were two that clashed more than all the others. Some of the elder men said that they thought that the god predicted that the Acropolis would be saved. For in the old days the Acropolis of Athens had been fenced in with a thorn hedge. Some, therefore, construed this thorn hedge to be the wooden wall. But there were others who said that the god signified the ships, and they urged the abandonment of all else and (7-142—44) 517 the preparation of the fleet. But these who claimed that the wooden wall was the ships were baffled by the last two verses of the Pythia's oracle, “Salamis. isle divine, you shall slay many children of women, Either when seed is sown or again when the harvest is gathered.” In respect of these lines of verse, the opinion of those who construed the ships as the wooden wall was confounded. For the interpreters of the oracles took the verses in this sense: that the Athenians must prepare themselves for a sea battle at Salamis. which they would cer— tainly lose. 143. Now there was a man among the Athenians who at this mo- ment was but lately come into their front ranks. His name was The— mistocles, and he was called the son of Neocles. This man said that the oracle’interpreters construed the whole matter wrongly. For if the verses had been really directed against the Athenians, then the oracle would have been given much less mildly; it would have run “0 cruel Salamis" instead of “Salamis, isle divine." if its inhabitants were going to die there. No, he said, to anyone who interpreted the oracle of the god rightly, it was given against the enemy and not the Athenians. So he counseled them to prepare for a fight at sea, since the ships were their wooden wall. This was Themistocles' explana— tion, and the Athenians decided that it was preferable to that of the oracle—interpreters; for the latter would not have them prepare for a sea fight or indeed, to tell the truth, put up a hand’s-worth of resis- tance at all; they should just leave Attica and settle in some other country. 144. Before this, Themistocles’ judgment had proved the best at an important moment; it was when the commonalty of Athens had received great sums that came to them from the mines at Laurium, and they were disposed to share them out, with each citizen getting ten drachmas apiece. It was then that Themistocles persuaded the Athenians to abandon this distribution and make instead, with this money, two hundred ships “for the war," he said. naming the war against the Aeginetans.4D It was indeed their engagement in this war, just then, that saved Greece. for it compelled the Athenians to be— come men of the sea. These ships were not used for the purpose for 4o. The probable dates of Athens’ war with Aegina are 488—486 B.C. Ac— cording to How and Wells, Themistocles’ proposal came later than the war with Aegma but was inspired by Athens' shortage of ships at that time (see 6.89). 513 (7-144—46) which they were built, but they were there for Greece at the mo- ment of her need. They were at the disposal of the Athenians, al— ready made, and then it behooved the Athenians to make more of them to boot. For in the debate following the discussion of the oracle they determined to resist the onset of the barbarians as they invaded Greece. to receive them with their fleet as a whole nation, feeling confident in the god, and with the aid of such Greeks as were willing to help. 145. This, then, was the story of the oracles given to the Athe- nians. When all the Greeks who were of the better persuasion as: sembled together and exchanged their judgments and their pledges with one another, their first resolution was that they would utterly do away with all enmities and wars with one another. There were certain such in existence, and the greatest was that between the Athenians and the Aeginetans. Next, when they learned that Xerxes was with his army in Sardis, they determined to send spies into Asia, to learn of the King's power, and messengers to Argos, to forrn an alliance against the Persian, and other messengers, again, to Sicily, to Gelon, son of Dinomenes, and to Corcyra, and others, still, to Crete, all asking for help for Greece. The thought behind all this sending was that the entire Greek people might somehow unite and take common action, since the invaders threatened all Greeks alike. The power of Gelon was said to be very great—far greater than any- thing else that was Greek. 146. When they came to this resolution and had reconciled their mutual enmities, they started by sending three men into Asia as spies. These men came to Sardis and took note of the King’s hOst. They were discovered, and after being tortured by the commanders of the land army, they were led away for execution. Their sentence of death was determined; but Xerxes, on hearing of it, faulted the judgment of the commanders and sent to them certain of his body, guards with orders, if they should find the men still alive, to bring them before himself. They found them still alive and brought them into the presence of the King. He inquired of them for what purpose they had come and then ordered his bodyguards to take them about and show them everything—all the infantry and cavalry—and, when they were satisfied with such sightseeing, to send them away unharmed to whatever country they wished. (1147748) 519 147. He gave these orders and added this explanation: he said that. if these spies had been killed, neither would the Greeks have had any advance information as to the unspeakable greatness of his power, not would he have injured his enemies to any important ex— tent by killing three of their men; if the men went back to Greece, he said, the Greeks, when they learned of the power that was his— now, before the expedition—would themselves surrender their pet culiar freedom, and so there would be no need to go to the trouble of campaigning against them. This judgment of his is much like an- other he gave on another occasion. When he was in Abydos, Xerxes saw com-carrying ships sailing from the Pontus on their way through the Hellespont, conveying corn to Aegina and the Peloponnese. Xerxes’ fellow generals, once they understood that these were enemy vessels, were ready to capture them and glanced at the King for him to give the order. Xerxes asked them where the ships were sailing to; they said, “My lord, they are bringing corn to your enemies." But he answered them and said, “Are we not ourselves sailing to where they are, and, among the other things we carry, is there not also corn? What wrong are they doing us by carrying corn thither for us?" [48. So the spies, having seen everything, as l have said, and having been released, went home to Europe. Next after sending the spies, those of the Greeks who had sworn an alliance against the Per- sians sent messengers to Argos. The Argives tell their own story of what happened, as follows: they had information. they said, from the very beginning, of the stirring of the Persian preparation against Greece, and with this information they came to know that the Greeks would try to enlist them against the Persian. So they sent messengers to Delphi to ask the god what would be the best thing for them to do. They had, they said, just had six thousand of their best fellow countrymen killed by the Lacedaemonians“l and Cleomenes, son of Anaxandrideswéthat, indeed, was why they were now send: ing to Delphi. In answer to their question, the Pythia declared: Hated you are of your neighbors. but dear to the gods immortal. I Keep still yOur spear at rest, and stay in your seat well guarded. 41. In 494 ac. Cf. 6.77 if. 540 (7.197—200) They forbid whoever is eldest of the family to enter their town hall, which they call the People's Assembly, and they themselves see to the guarding of this. If the eldest does enter. he may not come out again, save to be sacrificed. The guides said, further, that many who were going to be sacrificed took fright and went away to another country; but if they returned and were caught, they were sent into the town hall. The guides showed Xerxes how the man is sacrificed, all covered up with fillets and led out with a procession. That is the fate of the descendants of Cytissorus, son of Phrixus, because the Achaeans, on instruction of an oracle, had made Athamas, son of Aeolus, a scapegoat for their country and were about to sacrifice him when this Cytissorus came from Aea in Colchis and protected him and, by doing so, brought the wrath of the god upon his own descenv dants. Xerxes, when he heard all that had happened, when he came to the grove, kept away from it himself and bade his whole army do so, and treated with reverence both the house and the precinct of the descendants of Athamas. 198. That is what happened in Thessaly and Achaea. From there, Xerxes marched into Malis along the gulf of the sea, where there is ebb tide and flood tide every day; and around this gulf is level ground, sometimes wide and sometimes very narrow, and the mountains around it are high and trackless and shut in the whole Malian country. They are called the Rocks of Trachis. The first city on this gulf as one comes from Achaea is Anticyra, beside which the river Spercheus flows from the country of the Enienes into the sea. At a distance of nearly twenty stades from this river there is another, called the Dyras. This is the river of which the story tells that it ap- peared and came to the rescue of Heracles when he was burning. Another twenty stades from there, there is yet another river, called the Black River. 199. Trachis is a city five stades distant from this Black River. This is the part of all this land that is widest between the sea and the mountains, on which the city of Trachis is built. The plain is about five thousand acres in extent. South of Trachis there is a ravine in the mountains that shut in the land of Trachis, and through this ravine the river Asopus flows along the lower foothills of the mountains. 200. South of the Asopus there is another river, not a large one, the Phoenix, which flows from these mountains into the Asopus river, and near this river—the Phoenix—is the narrowest place. (7.2oor204) 541 Here there-is built only a wagon-track. From the river Phoenix it is fifteen stades to Thermopylae. In the country in between the river Phoenix and Thermopylae there is a village, the name of which is Anthele, past which the Asopus flows as it empties into the sea, and there is a wide space near the village in which there is a shrine of Amphictyonid Demeter and seats within for the Amphictyons and a temple of Amphictyon himself. 201. King Xerxes camped in the part of Malis that belongs to Trachis, and the Greeks camped in the pass itself. This place is called 'I'hermopylae,“l though the local inhabitants and neighbors call it The Gates. So each camped in these places, Xerxes being master of all the country to the north of Trachis, and the Greeks in control of the south and west, toward this part of the mainland. 202. Those of the Greeks who awaited the Persian in this place were: three hundred men—of—war who were Spattiates, and one thou- sand from Tegea and Mantineafifive hundred from each; from 01— chomenus in Arcadia, one hundred and twenty, and, from the rest of Arcadia, one thousand; besides these Arcadians, from Corinth, four hundred, and, from Phlius, two hundred, and, of the Mycenaeans, eighty. These all came from the Peloponnese, and, besides, there were, from Boeotia, seven hundred Thespians and four hundred from Thebes. A 203. Besides these there were Opuntian Locrians, in full force, and a thOusand Phocians; these had been expressly summoned, for the Greeks had so called them, alleging through messengers that they themselves were but an advance guard of the rest, that the other allies were every day expected, and that the sea was under the strong guard of the Athenians and Aeginetans and those who had been assigned to the naval duty, and so these people who were so summoned need fear no danger; for, said the messengers, this in- vader of Greece was no god but a human being, and everyone that is mortal and everyone that shall be so has evil blended in his lot at his birth, and the greatest evil for the greatest of mortals. So the invader too, since he was mortal, must surely fall from his high hopes. When they heard this message, the Locrians and Phocians marched into Trachis. 204. These all had commanders, each city its own, but the one 61. The name means Warm (thermofi) Gates (pylae). 542 (1204-5) who commanded the whole army and was the most admired was the Lacedaemonian, Leonidas, he that was the son of Anaxandrides, the son of Leon, the son of Eurycratides, the son of Anaxandrus, the son of Eurycrates, the son of Polydorus, the son of Alcamenes, the son of Teleclus, the son of Archelaus, the son of Hegesilaus, the son of Doryssus, the son of Lebotes, the son of Echestratus, the son of Agis, the son of Eurysthenes, the son of Aristodemus, the son of Aristomachus, the son of Cleodaeus, the son of Hyllus, the son of Heracles."2 This man Leonidas became king of Sparta, though quite unexpectedly. 205. For there were two elder brothers of his, Cleomenes and Dorieus, and so Leonidas had been very far from any thought of the kingship. But when Cleomenes had died childless of male issue, and when Dorieus was already also gone, having met his end in Sicily, the kingship devolved upon Leonidas, both because he was older than Cleombrotus, who was the youngest son of Anaxandrides, and because he had married Cleomenes’ daughter.“ He, then, it was who came to Thermopylae, having picked the usual force of three hundred, selecting those Spartans who had childrenf‘“ he also came bringing those Thebans whom I have already enumerated, whose commander was Leontiades, son of Eurymachus. Leonidas made a particular issue of bringing these with him, more than any other Greeks, because they were very seriously accused of Medism. He 62. Here again the rolling list of patronymics marks the solemnity of the occasion, just as the single patronyrnic of Xerxes did when he was cited as the Persian leader in 7.186 (see also 7.11). I think one must also associate this trea mendous list of names, connecting the existing Spartan king with Heracles, so far in the past, with the euphonic effect that the reading would produce. And here again one should notice that much of this writing is based on the idea of “publication” through public readings. 63,. Cleomenes was Leonidas' half—brother. For Anaxandrides’ two wives and two sets of Children, see 5.39— 48. 64. It is not clear whether “those who had children" are, in addition to the regular three hundred, a special regiment of the Spartan king or whether the three hundred themselves were selected on the criterion of having children. But there is no mistaking the reason for the criterion. Thucydides, in Pericles' Fu— neral Speech, speaks of how those who were parents and had sons to lose could not debate issues of war and peace on the same terms as those who had none. These selected Spaniates were committed both by their social position and by their parenthood to be those for whom the survival of Sparta would mean most. (1205‘8) 543 urged them to the war to find out whether they would in fact send their men with him or would cry off from such a clear support of the Greek alliance. The Thebans sent them indeed, but their mind was not the same as the sending implied. 206. The Spartiates sent Leonidas and his men first, so that the other allies, seeing them there, would serve and not Medize, which they would do if they saw the Spartans hanging back. Afterwards— since the celebration of the Camean month was presently a bin drance t0 themwthe Spartans intended, after they had performed the ceremony and left guards in Sparta, to go to the war speedily and in full force. The rest of the allies had similar thoughts and were minded to do just the same themselves. For in their case there was the Olympic festival, which fell in at just the same time as this out- break of war. They never dreamed that the war at Thermopylae would be decided so quickly, and so they sent off their advance guards. 207. That was what they intended to do. But the Greeks at Thermopylae, when the Persian came near the pass itself, were in sheer terror and debated whether to stay or go. The other Pelopon— nesians were for going to the Isthmus to guard it; but Leonidas, when the Phocians and Locrians buzzed angrily around him against this plan, gave his vote to remain where they were and to send mes: sengers to the cities, bidding them come to their help, on the grounds that they that were there were too few to drive off the Medes. 208. While they were debating so, Xerxes sent off a mounted spy to discover how many the Greeks were and what were they doing. He had heard, when he was still in Thessaly, that there were small forces gathered here and that the leaders were Lacedaemonians and, among them, Leonidas, of the stock of Heracles. The horseman ap' proached the camp and watched and surveyed—not, indeed, the whole camp, for it was impossible to see those of the Greeks who were stationed inside the wall, which they had restored and were now guarding. But he saw those who were outside, whose arms were stacked outside the wall, and it happened that at this time it was Lacedaemonians who were stationed Outside. Some of these men he saw exercising and some combing their hair. When he saw that, he was amazed and noted their numbers; and having learned everything accurately, he rode back at his leisure, for no one pursued him; what (7.208—II) 545 he encountered was indeed total indifference. So he went back to Xerxes and told him all he had seen. 209. When Xerxes heard his story, he could not conjecture from it the actual truth: that these men were making their preparations for being killed or killing others, so far as in them lay; he thought that what they were doing was something absurd. and so he sent for Demaratus, son of Ariston, who was in the camp. When he arrived, Xerxes asked him about all the details, for he wanted to know what it was that the Lacedaernonians were doing. Demaratus said: “You heard from me before about these men, when we were setting off for Greece; and when you heard what I had to say, you mocked me for telling you how I saw these matters would turn out; for my greatest endeavor, my lord, is, in your presence, to practice truth. So listen to me now: these men have come here to fight us for that pass; that is what they are making their preparations for. This is their custom: that when they are going to risk their lives, they make their heads beautiful. Know, then, that if you beat these, and those of them who are still in Sparta, there is no other nation in the world, my lord, that will withstand you and lift a hand against you. For now you are making your attack on the fairest kingship and fairest city among the Greeks, aye, and the bravest men. " Xerxes thought what he said was past belief and asked him again how so few men as these would fight his. Xerxes’. army. Demaratus said: “My lord, use me as a liar if things do not turn out as I say.” 210. But his words did not convince Xerxes, who let four days go by, assuming that the men would run away. But on the fifth day, as they were not gone, and their standing there seemed to come of their shamelessness and folly, he sent against them Medes and Cis— sians; he was very angry and bade them capture the Greeks alive and bring them to his presence. The Medes charged the Greeks full tilt and had many of their own men killed. Others replaced them, and their attack did not cease, although they were very sorely mauled; but they made it quite clear to everyone, and especially to the King himself, that, though they had many men there, there were few men. The encounter lasted all day. 21 1. The Medes, after their rough handling, withdrew, and those Persians whom the King called the Immortals succeeded to the at, tack. Their commander was Hydarnes, and they assumed that they would do the task easily. But when they tangled with the Greeks, Copyright. George Philip & Son. Ltd., London §~Sj \ '1“ \\\ ‘ ‘\\ 546 (7.211—13) they came off no whit better than the Medes had done but just the same. For they were fighting in a confined space and used spears shorter than those of the Greeks, and they could not avail of their superior numbers. The Lacedaemonians fought notably; all their performance was that of skilled soldiers against unskilled, and, in particular, they would at times turn their backs and give the impres- sion of mass flight; but when the barbarians saw them fleeing and attacked them with war cries and all the din of battle, the Greeks turned round and destroyed tremendous numbers of the pursuing Persians; some few of the Spartans themselves were also killed at that time. As the Persians failed in their attempts to gain control of the pass, by their attacks in regiments or in all other ways, they fie nally withdrew. 212. During these encounters in the battle, the King, it is said, as he looked on, leaped thrice from his throne in fear for his army. This was the way the fight went that day, and on the next the bar— barians had no better fortune. For the Greeks were so few that their enemies thought that they must all be wounded and so would be un— able to lift their hands against them, and so they charged again. But the Greeks were ordered by regiments and nations, and each fought in turn, except for the Phocians. These were posted on the moun- tain, to guard the path. So when the Persians found the Greeks just the same as they had been the day before, they withdrew. 213. The King did not know what to do with this difficulty, and then Ephialtes, son of Eurydemus, a man of Malis, came to speak with him. Thinking that he would get a great reward from the King, he told him of the path that led over the mountain to Thermopylae, and so he destroyed the Greeks who stood firm there in the pass. Afterwards. this man, out of his fear of the Lacedaemonians, took refuge in Thessaly, and when he was in exile there, the Pylagori,"5 at the meeting of the Amphictyons at Thermopylae, proclaimed a price on his head. A long time later, he returned to Anticyra and there was killed by a Trachinian called Athenades. Athenades killed Ephialtes for some other reason (which I shall relate later 011),“ but he was no less honored by the Lacedaemonians for his deed on that account. 65. Representatives sent by the various states to the Amphictyonic council. 66. An unkept promise. (7214717) 547 214. Ephialtes died, then, long after all these events; but there is another story told, that Onetes, son of Phanagoras, a Carystian, and Cotydallus, from Anticyra, were the ones who spoke with the King and led the Persians around the mountain. I do not at all believe this. One must draw one’s conclusions from the action of the Pylagori, on the Greek side, who put a price on the head of Ephialtes of Trachis and not on Onetes and Corydallus; surely they must have inquired out the truth of the matter; and we know that this was the reason why Ephialtes was banished. It is true, of course, that, even without being a Malian, Onetes might have known of that path if he had been very constantly in the locality; but no, it was Ephialtes who led the Persians round the mountain by the path.| And that is the man I declare is the guilty one. 215. Xerxes, well satisfied with what Ephialtes promised to ac— complish, was delighted and immediately sent Hydames and his men. They started out from the camp about the time the lamps were lit. This path had been found by the local Malians. and, when they found it, they had guided the Thessalians by it into Phocis at a time when, having barricaded the pass with a wall, the Phocians were safe from the war. From so long ahead, the deadliness of this path had been shown by the Malians. 216. This is how the path is: it begins from the river Asopus as it flows through the ravine, and the names of the mountain there and the path are the same: Anopaea. This Anopaea stretches along the ridge of the mountain and ends at the city of Alpenus, which is the Locrian town nearest to Malis, and at the rock that is called Black: buttock and the place of the Cercopes,“T where it is at its narrowest. 217. Along this path (which is as l have said) marched the Per- sians all that night, having crossed the river Asopus; they kept on their right the mountains of Oeta and, on their left, those of Tra- chis. The dawn was showing when they were on the summit of the pass. One thousand hoplites of the Phocians kept guard at this part of the mountain. as i said before, protecting their own country and guarding the path. For the lower pass was held by those I have spoken of, but the path over the mountain was guarded by volun- teers of the Phocians, who had given their undertaking so to do to Leonidas. 67. Dwarfs with whom Heracles tried to deal. 548 (7.218—20) 218. This is how the Phocians realized that the enemy had climbed up the mountain: while the Persians were actually Climbing, the Phocians had not noticed them at all, since the mountain was full of oak trees. But there was no wind, and finally. as was natural, the leaves under the feet of the Persians made a great sound, and so the Phocians jumped up and began to arm; immediately the barbar- ians were upon them. When the Persians saw men putting on their arms, they were amazed, for they thought that there was no one here to oppose them, and now they encountered an army. Hydarnes was afraid that the Phocians were Lacedaemonians and so asked Ephialtes what countrymen these were. When he was correctly informed, he drew up the Persians in battle order. But the Phocians, under the fire of many arrows that fell thick on them, fled to the top of the moun' tain. being convinced that the Persian attack had been mounted against themselves in the first place; and so they prepared to die. That was the feeling on the Phocian side; but the Persians with Ephialtes and Hydames paid no heed to the Phocians"6 but hurried down the mountain as speedily as they might. 219. For those of the Greeks who were in the pass at Therrnopy- lae, it was the prophet Megistias who, as he looked at his holy offer— ings, first predicted that their death would come upon them with the dawn; after him, there were deserters, who came and told them that the Persians had made their way around them. This news came while it was still night; but the third informants were the day—watchers, who ran down from the peaks as the dawn was breaking. Thereupon the Greeks bethought them of what they ought to do, and their opinions were divided; for some were not in favor of leaving their post of battle, but there were also those of the contrary opinion. After— wards, these split up. and some ran away and scattered, each to his own city; but there were others of them who made their preparations to stand where they were, with Leonidas. 220. It is said that Leonidas himself sent them away. out of care that they should not die there; but for himself and his Spartiates he thought it disgraceful to quit the post they had come to guard in the first place. I am myself strongly of this opinion: that when Leonidas saw that the allies were fainthearted and unwilling to run the risk in 68. Once Hydames knew that they were Phocians, not Lacedaemonians. (7.220—22) 549 his companyI he bade them be off home, but for himself it would be dishonorable to leave. If he stood his ground, he would leave a great name after him. and the prosperity of Sparta would not be blotted out. For there was a prophecy that had been given to the Spartiates by the Pythia when they consulted her about the war, just at its be ginning. The prophecy said that either Sparta would be destroyed by the barbarians or the king of Sparta would be destroyed. This was the prophecy that the Pythia uttered in hexameters: For all of you people who dwell in Sparta, the city of broad roads, your city is great and glorious. but by the manhood of Persia she shall be sacked—or she shall not, but then Lacedaemon‘s watcher shall mourn for a king that shall die, from Heracles' race descended. Neither the fury of bulls nor of lions shall stem the foeman, though force matches force; the power of Zeus in himself he possesses; and none, I dare say, shall restrain him, until the one or the other utterly shall be undone and utterly rent asunder. I believe that Leonidas thought this over and wanted to store up the glory for the Spartiares alone; and so he sent off the allies rather than that those who went away should do so after a disorderly split in their counsels. 221. There is one more piece of evidence, and that a great one in my judgment of what happened; it is that the prophet who followed the army, this Megistias the Acamanian (who is said to have been descended originally from Melampus), the man who predicted from his holy offerings the outcome of the event, was very openly ordered by Leonidas to go away, so that he might not share in the death of his comrades. But though so sent away, he would not go but sent home his only son, who was serving in the army. 222. So the allies who were sent away went off. and, in their going, obeyed the orders of Leonidas; but the Thespians and Thebans remained, the only ones to do so alongside of the Lacedaemonians. Of these, the Thebans did so unwillingly and against their own choice. For Leonidas kept them as a kind of hostages. But the Thespians were 550 (7222-25) right willing to remain; they said that going home was not for them. leaving Leonidas and his friends; they stayed and died with him. Their commander was Demophilus. the son of Diadromes. 223. At sunrise. Xerxes made his libations and. waiting till it was the time of the greatest crowd in the marketplace."9 made his attack; this was how Ephialtes bade him do it. For the descent from the mountain was more direct and much shorter than the way round and the ascent. Now Xerxes’ men attacked. and Leonidas' Greeks ad— vanced far more than at the first to the broader part of the pass. making this outbreak as men who were going to their death. For it was the protection of the wall they had guarded. and on the previous days the Greeks had withdrawn into the narrow part and fought there. But now they joined battle outside of the narrows, and many of the barbarians fell; for behind their regiments their captains with whips in their hands flogged on every man of them, pressing them ever forward. Many of them. too. fell into the sea and were drowned. and even more were trampled to death by their comrades; for there was no heed of who it was that was dying. For the Greeks. knowing that their own death was coming to them from the men who had circled the mountain, put forth their very utmost strength against the barbarians; they fought in a frenzy. with no regard to their lives. 224. Most of them had already had their spears broken by now. and they were butchering Persians with their Swords. And in this struggle fell Leonidas. having proved himself a right good man. and with him other famous Spartiates. of whom I know the names, as men worthy of the record; I have learned indeed the names of all the three hundred. On the Persian side, too. there fell. among many other distinguished men, two sons of Darius, Abrocomes and Hyper— anthes. who were born to Darius by Phratagune. daughter of Ar tanes. Artanes was brother of King Darius and son of Hystaspes. son of Arsames. He it was who had married his daughter to Darius and gave her all the wealth of his house. since she was his only child. 22 5. 80 two brothers of Xerxes fell there. fighting; and over the dead body of Leonidas there was a fierce jostle of Persians and Lace, daemonians until the Greeks. by sheer bravery. dragged him away 69. This is simply a Greek expression for a certain hour of the morning. No reference is being made to an actual marketplace on the scene. (7125—28) 55I and four ‘times routed their enemy. The battle was closely joined un- til the soldiers with Ephialtes arrived. But as soon as the Greeks real— ized that these had come. the fight changed its character; the Greeks retreated into the narrow part of the road. and. passing behind the wall, took up their position on the little hill. all massed together except the Thebans. This little hill is in the entrance of the pass, where now there is a stone lion in honor of Leonidas. In that spot the Greeks defended themselves with daggers—those who had any of them left—yes. and with their hands and their teeth. and the bar— barians buried them in missiles, some attacking them from in front and throwing down their wall of defense. while those who had come round the mountain completed the circle of their attackers. 226. Of the Lacedaemonians and Thespians, for all that there were so many brave men among them. he that was said to be the bravest was a Spartiate. Dieneces. Of him there is a saying recorded, one that he uttered before the battle was joined: when he heard a Malian saying that. when the barbarians shot their arrows. the very sun was darkened by their multitude. so great was the number of them, Dieneces was not a whit abashed. but in his contempt for the numbers of the Medes said. “Why. my Trachinian friend brings us good news. For if the Medes hide the Sun. we shall fight them in the shade and not in the sun." 227. This and other sayings of the same sort are recorded as having been the memorials of Dieneces the Lacedaemonian. After him. they say two Lacedaemonian brothers were the bravest. Al— pheus and Maron. two sons of Orsiphantus. The most famous name among the Thespians was that of Dithyrambus. son of Harmatides. 228. They were buried there where they fell, and over them. as over those who had died earlier. before Leonidas had sent any troops home. was an inscription which said: Here is the place that they fought. four thousand from Peloponnesus. And here. on the other side. three hundred ten thousands against. That was the inscription over them all; but over the Spattiates there was a particular one: 552 (7-228—31) Go tell the Spartans. stranger passing by, that here obedient to their words we lie. This was for the Lacedaemonians; but for the seer there was this one: Here lies Megistias; think on him, a brave man whom once the Persians Killed when they crOssed the Spercheus and came to the other side. He was a prophet who knew, right clearly, the doom coming on him, But he had not in his heart to desert the leader of Sparta. It was the Amphictyons who set up these epitaphs and pillars in honor of the fallen, except for that for the prophet; this one, for the seer Megistias, was made for him, as a Friend's tribute, by Simonides, son of Leoprepes. 229. There is a story about two of the Three Hundred, Eurytus and Aristodemus. They could both have used a shared excuse for going off safe to Sparta, having been released by Leonidas as they lay, severely in pain with their eyes, in Alpeni; or, if they had not wanted to go home, they could have died there with the others. But though they could have done either of these things, they could not agree between them, but they were minded to take different courses. Eurytus, when he heard of the Persians making their roundabout at— tack, asked for his arms and bade his helot take him into the thick of the fighting; when he did so, the helot who led him ran away, and Eurytus was killed in the crowd when he charged. Aristodemus was left behind, half'conscious. Now, if Aristodemus alone had been sick and so had come home to Sparta, or if they had made the rerum ' together, I do not think the Spartiates would have shown such an, get. As it was, when one of them had died, who had the same ex- cuse, but the other had refused to die, necessarily the Spartans were extremely angry with Aristodemus. 2 30. There are some who say that Aristodernus came safe to Sparta with the above excuse; but others say that he was sent as a messenger from the army and might have come back in time for the battle but would not do so; he dallied on the road and so saved his life, while his fellow messenger came in time for the battle and died. 2 31. When Aristodemus came home to Lacedaemon, he met (7-231 —34) 553 with insults and degradation. The form of the degradation was this, that no Spartiate would give him spark of fire or would speak to him, and his insult was that they called him “Aristodemus the Coward." 232. But at the battle of Plataea he set right all of the dishonor that had been laid upon him. It is said, too, that another of the Three Hundred was sent into Thessaly as a messenger and survived. His name was Pantites, and when he came back to Sparta he was so dishonored that be hanged himself. 233,. The Thebans, whom Leontiades commanded, fought on as long as they were with the Greeks; but they fought under constraint against the King’s army, and, when they saw that the Persians had the upper hand and that the Greeks who were with Leonidas were hurrying to the little hill, at that moment they broke off from them, and, stretching out their hands in surrender, they approached the barbarians, telling the absolute truth, which was that they were on the Persian side and had been among the first to offer earth and water to the King, but that under constraint they had come to Ther— mopylae and were innocent of any harm to the King. That was their plea, and they saved their lives; for they had the Thessalians as wit— messes to the truth of what they said. They were not entirely suc— cessful, however, because, when the barbarians caught some of them approaching them, they killed them, and most of them, on Xerxes' orders, were branded with the royal brand, beginning with their general, Leontiades, whose son, Eurymachus, long afterwards was killed by the Plataeans when he led an army of four hundred Thebans and took possession of the city of Plataea. 23,4. Such was the fight of the Greeks at Thermopylae. Then Xerxes sent for Demaratus and asked him questions, saying, first of all: "Demaratus, you are a good man. It is the truth that has convinced me of that, for everything that you told me has come out your way. So now, tell me: How many are the Lacedaemonians that are left? And how many of them are soldiers like these men, or are they all so?” He answered: “My lord, the number of all the Lacedaemonians is great, and their cities are many; but what you want to know, you shall have knowledge of. There is in Lacedaemon a city, Sparta, with about eight thousand men in it, and these are all like the men who fought here. The rest of the Lacedaemonians are not the equals of these, but they are good men, all the same." Xerxes then said to him, ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course PHY 200 taught by Professor Any during the Spring '08 term at Gustavus.

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Herodotus_477-482_514-518_541-552 - Today we conclude our...

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