1. Those of the Hellenes who had been appointed to serve in the fleet were these:— the Athenians furnished a hundred and twenty-seven ships, and the Plataians moved by valour and zeal for the service, although they had had no practice in seamanship, yet joined with the Athenians in manning their ships. The Corinthians furnished forty ships, the Megarians twenty; the Chalkidians manned twenty ships with which the Athenians furnished them;1 the Eginetans furnished eighteen ships, the Sikyonians twelve, the Lacedemonians ten, the Epidaurians eight, the Eretrians seven, the Troizenians five, the Styrians two, the Keïans two ships2 and two fifty-oared galleys, while the Locrians of Opus came also to the assistance of the rest with seven fifty-oared galleys.
2. These were those who joined in the expedition to Artemision, and I have mentioned them according to the number3 of the ships which they severally supplied: so the number of the ships which were assembled at Artemision was (apart from the fifty-oared galleys) two hundred and seventy-one: and the commander who had the supreme power was furnished by the Spartans, namely Eurybiades son of Eurycleides, since the allies said that they would not follow the lead of the Athenians, but unless a Lacedemonian were leader they would break up the expedition which was to be made: 3, for it had come to be said at first, even before they sent to Sicily to obtain allies, that the fleet ought to be placed in the charge of the Athenians. So as the allies opposed this, the Athenians yielded, having it much at heart that Hellas should be saved, and perceiving that if they should have disagreement with one another about the leadership, Hellas would perish: and herein they judged rightly, for disagreement between those of the same race is worse than war undertaken with one consent by as much as war is worse than peace. Being assured then of this truth, they did not contend, but gave way for so long time as they were urgently in need of the allies; and that this was so their conduct proved; for when, after repelling the Persian from themselves, they were now contending for his land and no longer for their own, they alleged the insolence of Pausanias as a pretext and took away the leadership from the Lacedemonians. This however took place afterwards. 4. But at this time these Hellenes also who had come to Artemision,4 when they saw that a great number of ships had put in to Aphetai and that everything was filled with their armament, were struck with fear, because the fortunes of the Barbarians had different issue from that which they expected, and they deliberated about retreating from Artemision to the inner parts of Hellas. And the Eubœans perceiving that they were so deliberating, asked Eurybiades to stay there by them for a short time, until they should have removed out of their land their children, and their households; and as they did not persuade him, they went elsewhere and persuaded Themistocles the commander of the Athenians by a payment of thirty talents, the condition being that the fleet should stay and fight the sea-battle in front of Eubœa. 5. Themistocles then caused the Hellenes to stay in the following manner:— to Eurybiades he imparted five talents of the sum with the pretence that he was giving it from himself; and when Eurybiades had been persuaded by him to change his resolution, Adeimantos son of Okytos, the Corinthian commander, was the only one of all the others who still made a struggle, saying that he would sail away from Artemision and would not stay with the others: to him therefore Themistocles said with an oath: “Thou at least shalt not leave us, for I will give thee greater gifts than the king of the Medes would send to thee, if thou shouldest desert thy allies.” Thus he spoke, and at the same time he sent to the ship of Adeimantos three talents of silver. So these all5 had been persuaded by gifts to change their resolution, and at the same time the request of the Eubœans had been gratified and Themistocles himself gained money; and it was not known that he had the rest of the money, but those who received a share of this money were fully persuaded that it had come from the Athenian State for this purpose.
6. Thus they remained in Eubœa and fought a sea-battle; and it came to pass as follows:— when the Barbarians had arrived at Aphetai about the beginning of the afternoon, having been informed even before they came that a few ships of the Hellenes were stationed about Artemision and now seeing them for themselves, they were eager to attack them, to see if they could capture them. Now they did not think it good yet to sail against them directly for this reason — for fear namely that the Hellenes, when they saw them sailing against them, should set forth to take flight and darkness should come upon them in their flight; and so they were likely (thought the Persians)6 to get away; whereas it was right, according to their calculation, that not even the fire- bearer7 should escape and save his life. 7. With a view to this then they contrived as follows:— of the whole number of their ships they parted off two hundred and sent them round to sail by Caphereus and round Geriastos to the Euripos, going outside Skiathos so that they might not be sighted by the enemy as they sailed round Eubœa: and their purpose was that with these coming up by that way, and blocking the enemies’ retreat, and themselves advancing against them directly, they might surround them on all sides. Having formed this plan they proceeded to send off the ships which were appointed for this, and they themselves had no design of attacking the Hellenes on that day nor until the signal agreed upon should be displayed to them by those who were sailing round, to show that they had arrived. These ships, I say, they were sending round, and meanwhile they were numbering the rest at Aphetai.
8. During this time, while these were numbering their ships, it happened thus:— there was in that camp a man of Skione named Skyllias, as a diver the best of all the men of that time, who also in the shipwreck which took place by Pelion had saved for the Persians many of their goods and many of them also he had acquired for himself: this Skyllias it appears had had an intention even before this of deserting to the side of the Hellenes, but it had not been possible for him to do so then. In what manner after this attempt he did actually come to the Hellenes, I am not able to say with certainty, but I marvel if the tale is true which is reported; for it is said that he dived into the sea at Aphetai and did not come up till he reached Artemision, having traversed here somewhere about eighty furlongs through the sea. Now there are told about this man several other tales which seem likely to be false, but some also which are true: about this matter however let it be stated as my opinion that he came to Artemision in a boat. Then when he had come, he forthwith informed the commanders about the shipwreck, how it had come to pass, and of the ships which had been sent away to go round Eubœa. 9. Hearing this the Hellenes considered the matter with one another; and after many things had been spoken, the prevailing opinion was that they should remain there that day and encamp on shore, and then, when midnight was past, they should set forth and go to meet those ships which were sailing round. After this however, as no one sailed out to attack them, they waited for the coming of the late hours of the afternoon and sailed out themselves to attack the Barbarians, desiring to make a trial both of their manner of fighting and of the trick of breaking their line.8 10. And seeing them sailing thus against them with few ships, not only the others in the army of Xerxes but also their commanders judged them to be moved by mere madness, and they themselves also put out their ships to sea, supposing that they would easily capture them: and their expectation was reasonable enough, since they saw that the ships of the Hellenes were few, while theirs were many times as numerous and sailed better. Setting their mind then on this, they came round and enclosed them in the middle. Then so many of the Ionians as were kindly disposed to the Hellenes and were serving in the expedition against their will, counted it a matter of great grief to themselves when they saw them being surrounded and felt assured that not one of them would return home, so feeble did they think the power of the Hellenes to be; while those to whom that which was happening was a source of pleasure, were vying with one another, each one endeavouring to be the first to take an Athenian ship and receive gifts from the king: for in their camps there was more report of the Athenians than of any others. 11. The Hellenes meanwhile, when the signal was given, first set themselves with prows facing the Barbarians and drew the sterns of their ships together in the middle; and when the signal was given a second time, although shut off in a small space and prow against prow,9 they set to work vigorously; and they captured thirty ships of the Barbarians and also Philaon the son of Chersis, the brother of Gorgos kind of the Salaminians, who was a man of great repute in the army. Now the first of the Hellenes who captured a ship of the enemy was an Athenian, Lycomedes the son of Aischraios, and he received the prize for valour. So these, as they were contending in this sea-fight with doubtful result, were parted from one another by the coming on of night. The Hellenes accordingly sailed away to Artemision and the Barbarians to Aphetai, the contest having been widely different from their expectation. In this sea-fight Antidoros of Lemnos alone of the Hellenes who were with the king deserted to the side of the Hellenes, and the Athenians on account of this deed gave him a piece of land in Salamis.
12. When the darkness had come on, although the season was the middle of summer, yet there came on very abundant rain, which lasted through the whole of the night, with crashing thunder10 from Mount Pelion; and the dead bodies and pieces of wreck were cast up at Aphetai and became entangled round the prows of the ships and struck against the blades of the oars: and the men of the army who were there, hearing these things became afraid, expecting that they would certainly perish, to such troubles had they come; for before they had had even breathing space after the shipwreck and the storm which had arisen off Mount Pelion, there had come upon them a hard sea-fight, and after the sea-fight a violent storm of rain and strong streams rushing to the sea and crashing thunder. 13. These then had such a night as I have said; and meanwhile those of them who had been appointed to sail round Eubœa experienced the very same night, but against them it raged much more fiercely, inasmuch as it fell upon them while they were making their course in the open sea. And the end of it proved distressful11 to them; for when the storm and the rain together came upon them as they sailed, being then off the “Hollows” of Eubœa,12 they were borne by the wind not knowing by what way they were carried, and were cast away upon the rocks. And all this was being brought about by God in order that the Persian force might be made more equal to that of the Hellenes and might not be by very much the larger. 14. These then, I say, were perishing about the Hollows of Eubœa, and meanwhile the Barbarians at Aphetai, when day had dawned upon them, of which they were glad, were keeping their ships quiet, and were satisfied in their evil plight to remain still for the present time; but to the Hellenes there came as a reinforcement three-and-fifty Athenian ships. The coming of these gave them more courage, and at the same time they were encouraged also by a report that those of the Barbarians who had been sailing round Eubœa had all been destroyed by the storm that had taken place. They waited then for the same time of day as before, and then they sailed and fell upon some Kilikian ships; and having destroyed these, they sailed away when the darkness came on, and returned to Artemision.
15. On the third day the commanders of the Barbarians, being exceedingly indignant that so small a number of ships should thus do them damage, and fearing what Xerxes might do, did not wait this time for the Hellenes to begin the fight, but passed the word of command and put out their ships to sea about the middle of the day. Now it so happened that these battles at sea and the battles on land at Thermopylai took place on the same days; and for those who fought by sea the whole aim of the fighting was concerned with the channel of Euripos, just as the aim of Leonidas and of his band was to guard the pass: the Hellenes accordingly exhorted one another not to let the Barbarians go by into Hellas; while these cheered one another on to destroy the fleet of the Hellenes and to get possession of the straits. 16. Now while the forces of Xerxes were sailing in order towards them, the Hellenes kept quiet at Artemision; and the Barbarians, having made a crescent of their ships that they might enclose them, were endeavouring to surround them. Then the Hellenes put out to sea and engaged with them; and in this battle the two sides were nearly equal to one another; for the fleet of Xerxes by reason of its great size and numbers suffered damage from itself, since the ships were thrown into confusion and ran into one another: nevertheless it stood out and did not give way, for they disdained to be turned to flight by so few ships. Many ships therefore of the Hellenes were destroyed and many men perished, but many more ships and men of the Barbarians. Thus contending they parted and went each to their own place. 17. In this sea-fight the Egyptians did best of the men who fought for Xerxes; and these, besides other great deeds which they displayed, captured five ships of the Hellenes together with their crews: while of the Hellenes those who did best on this day were the Athenians, and of the Athenians Cleinias the son of Alkibiades, who was serving with two hundred man and a ship of his own, furnishing the expense at his own proper cost.
18. Having parted, both sides gladly hastened to their moorings; and after they had separated and got away out of the sea-fight, although the Hellenes had possession of the bodies of the dead and of the wrecks of the ships, yet having suffered severely13 (and especially the Athenians, of whose ships half had been disabled), they were deliberating now about retreating to the inner parts of Hellas. 19. Themistocles however had conceived that if there should be detached from the force of the Barbarians the Ionian and Carian nations, they would be able to overcome the rest; and when the people of Eubœa were driving their flocks down to that sea,14 he assembled the generals and said to them that he thought he had a device by which he hoped to cause the best of the king’s allies to leave him. This matter he revealed to that extent only; and with regard to their present circumstances, he said that they must do as follows:— every one must slaughter of the flocks of the Eubœans as many as he wanted, for it was better that their army should have them than the enemy; moreover he advised that each one should command his own men to kindle a fire: and as for the time of their departure he would see to it in such wise that they should come safe to Hellas. This they were content to do, and forthwith when they had kindled a fire they turned their attention to the flocks. 20. For in fact the Eubœans, neglecting the oracle of Bakis as if it had no meaning at all, had neither carried away anything from their land nor laid in any store of provisions with a view to war coming upon them, and by their conduct moreover they had brought trouble upon themselves.15 For the oracle uttered by Bakis about these matters runs as follows:
“Mark, when a man, a Barbarian, shall yoke the Sea with papyrus, Then do thou plan to remove the loud-bleating goats from Eubœa.”
In the evils which at this time were either upon them or soon to be expected they might feel not a little sorry that they had paid no attention to these lines.
21. While these were thus engaged, there came to them the scout from Trachis: for there was at Artemision a scout named Polyas, by birth of Antikyra, to whom it had been appointed, if the fleet should be disabled,16 to signify this to those at Thermopylai, and he had a vessel equipped and ready for this purpose; and similarly there was with Leonidas Abronichos son of Lysicles, an Athenian, ready to carry news to those at Artemision with a thirty-oared galley, if any disaster should happen to the land-army. This Abronichos then had arrived, and he proceeded to signify to them that which had come to pass about Leonidas and his army; and then when they were informed of it no longer put off their retreat, but set forth in the order in which they were severally posted, the Corinthians first and the Athenians last. 22. Themistocles however selected those ships of the Athenians which sailed best, and went round to the springs of drinking-water, cutting inscriptions on the stones there, which the Ionians read when they came to Artemision on the following day. These inscriptions ran thus: “Ionians, ye act not rightly in making expedition against the fathers of your race and endeavouring to enslave Hellas. Best of all were it that ye should come and be on our side; but if that may not be done by you, stand aside even now from the combat against us and ask the Carians to do the same as ye. If however neither of these two things is possible to be done, and ye are bound down by too strong compulsion to be able to make revolt, then in the action, when we engage battle, be purposely slack, remember that ye are descended from us and that our quarrel with the Barbarian took its rise at the first from you.” Themistocles wrote thus, having, as I suppose, two things together in his mind, namely that either the inscriptions might elude the notice of the king and cause the Ionians to change and come over to the side on which he was, or that having been reported and denounced to Xerxes they might cause the Ionians to be distrusted by him, and so he might keep them apart from the sea- fights.
Themistocles then had set these inscriptions: and to the Barbarians there came immediately after these things a man of Histaia in a boat bringing word of the retreat of the Hellenes from Artemision. They however, not believing it, kept the messenger under guard and sent swift-sailing ships to look on before. Then these having reported the facts, at last as daylight was spreading over the sky, the whole armament sailed in a body to Artemision; and having stayed at this place till mid-day, after this they sailed to Histaia, and there arrived they took possession of the city of Histaia and overran all the villages which lie along the coast in the region of Ellopia, which is the land of Histaia.
24. While they were there, Xerxes, after he had made his dispositions with regard to the bodies of the dead, sent a herald to the fleet: and the dispositions which he made beforehand were as follows:— for all those of his army who were lying dead at Thermopylai, (and there were as many as twenty thousand in all), with the exception of about a thousand whom he left, he dug trenches and buried them, laying over them leaves and heaping earth upon them, that they might not be seen by the men of the fleet. Then when the herald had gone over to Histaia, he gathered an assembly of the whole force and spoke these words: “Allies, king Xerxes grants permission to any one of you who desires it, to leave his post and to come and see how he fights against those most senseless men who looked to overcome the power of the king.” 25. When the herald had proclaimed this, then boats were of all things most in request, so many were they who desired to see this sight; and when they had passed over they went through the dead bodies and looked at them: and every one supposed that those who were lying there were all Lacedemonians or Thespians, though the Helots also were among those that they saw: however, they who had passed over did not fail to perceive that Xerxes had done that which I mentioned about the bodies of his own dead; for in truth it was a thing to cause laughter even: on the one side there were seen a thousand dead bodies lying, while the others lay all gathered together in the same place, four thousand17 of them. During this day then they busied themselves with looking, and on the day after this they sailed back to the ships at Histaia, while Xerxes and his army set forth upon their march.
26. There had come also to them a few deserters from Arcadia, men in want of livelihood and desiring to be employed. These the Persians brought into the king’s presence and inquired about the Hellenes, what they were doing; and one man it was who asked them this for all the rest. They told them that the Hellenes were keeping the Olympic festival and were looking on at a contest of athletics and horsemanship. He then inquired again, what was the prize proposed to them, for the sake of which they contended; and they told them of the wreath of olive which is given. Then Tigranes18 the son of Artabanos uttered a thought which was most noble, though thereby he incurred from the king the reproach of cowardice: for hearing that the prize was a wreath and not money, he could not endure to keep silence, but in the presence of all he spoke these words: “Ah! Mardonios, what kind of men are these against whom thou hast brought us to fight, who make their contest not for money but for honour!” Thus was it spoken by this man.
27. In the meantime, so soon as the disaster at Thermopylai had come about, the Thessalians sent a herald forthwith to the Phokians, against whom they had a grudge always, but especially because of the latest disaster which they had suffered: for when both the Thessalians themselves and their allies had invaded the Phokian land not many years before this expedition of the king, they had been defeated by the Phokians and handled by them roughly. For the Phokians had been shut up in Mount Parnassos having with them a soothsayer, Tellias the Eleian; and this Tellias contrived for them a device of the following kind:— he took six hundred men, the best of the Phokians, and whitened them over with chalk, both themselves and their armour, and then he attacked the Thessalians by night, telling the Phokians beforehand to slay every man whom they should see not coloured over with white. So not only the sentinels of the Thessalians, who saw these first, were terrified by them, supposing it to be something portentous and other than it was, but also after the sentinels the main body of their army; so that the Phokians remained in possession of four thousand bodies of slain men and shields; of which last they dedicated half at Abai and half at Delphi; and from the tithe of booty got by this battle were made the large statues which are contending for the tripod in front of the temple19 at Delphi, and others similar to these are dedicated as an offering at Abai. 28. Thus had the Phokians done to the Thessalian footmen, when they were besieged by them; and they had done irreparable hurt to their cavalry also, when this had invaded their land: for in the pass which is by Hyampolis they had dug a great trench and laid down in it empty wine-jars; and then having carried earth and laid it on the top and made it like the rest of the ground, they waited for the Thessalians to invade their land. These supposing that they would make short work with the Phokians,20 riding in full course fell upon the wine-jars; and there the legs of their horses were utterly crippled. 29. Bearing then a grudge for both of these things, the Thessalians sent a herald and addressed them thus: “Phokians, we advise you to be more disposed now to change your minds and to admit that ye are not on a level with us: for in former times among the Hellenes, so long as it pleased us to be on that side, we always had the preference over you, and now we have such great power with the Barbarian that it rests with us to cause you to be deprived of your land and to be sold into slavery also. We however, though we have all the power in our hands, do not bear malice, but let there be paid to us fifty talents of silver in return for this, and we will engage to avert the dangers which threaten to come upon your land.” 30. Thus the Thessalians proposed to them; for the Phokians alone of all the people in those parts were not taking the side of the Medes, and this for no other reason, as I conjecture, but only because of their enmity with the Thessalians; and if the Thessalians had supported the cause of the Hellenes, I am of opinion that the Phokians would have been on the side of the Medes. When the Thessalians proposed this, they said that they would not give the money, and that it was open to them to take the Median side just as much as the Thessalians, if they desired it for other reasons; but they would not with their own will be traitors to Hellas.
31. When these words were reported, then the Thessalians, moved with anger against the Phokians, became guides to the Barbarian to show him the way: and from the land of Trachis they entered Doris; for a narrow strip21 of the Dorian territory extends this way, about thirty furlongs in breadth, lying between Malis and Phokis, the region which was in ancient time called Dryopis; this land is the mother-country of the Dorians in Peloponnese. Now the Barbarians did not lay waste this land of Doris when they entered it, for the people of it were taking the side of the Medes, and also the Thessalians did not desire it. 32. When however from Doris they entered Phokis, they did not indeed capture the Phokians themselves; for some of them had gone up to the heights of Parnassos — and that summit of Parnassos is very convenient to receive a large number, which lies by itself near the city of Neon, the name of it being Tithorea — to this, I say, some of them had carried up their goods and gone up themselves; but most of them had conveyed their goods out to the Ozolian Locrians, to the city of Amphissa, which is situated above the Crissaian plain. The Barbarians however overran the whole land of Phokis, for so the Thessalians led their army, and all that they came to as they marched they burned or cut down, and delivered to the flames both the cities and the temples: 33, for they laid everything waste, proceeding this way by the river Kephisos, and they destroyed the city of Drymos by fire, and also the following, namely Charadra, Erochos, Tethronion, Amphikaia, Neon, Pedieis, Triteis, Elateia, Hyampolis, Parapotamioi and Abai, at which last-named place there was a temple of Apollo, wealthy and furnished with treasuries and votive offerings in abundance; and there was then, as there is even now, the seat of an Oracle there: this temple they plundered and burnt. Some also of the Phokians they pursued and captured upon the mountains, and some women they did to death by repeated outrage.
34. Passing by Parapotamioi the Barbarians came to Panopeus, and from this point onwards their army was separated and went different ways. The largest and strongest part of the army, proceeding with Xerxes himself against Athens, entered the land of the Bœotians, coming into the territory of Orchomenos. Now the general body of the Bœotians was taking the side of the Medes, and their cities were being kept by Macedonians appointed for each, who had been sent by Alexander; and they were keeping them this aim, namely in order to make it plain to Xerxes that the Bœotians were disposed to be on the side of the Medes. 35. These, I say, of the Barbarians took their way in this direction; but others of them with guides had set forth to go to the temple at Delphi, keeping Parnassos on their right hand: and all the parts of Phokis over which these marched they ravaged; for they set fire to the towns of Panopeus and Daulis and Aiolis. And for this reason they marched in that direction, parted off from the rest of the army, namely in order that they might plunder the temple at Delphi and deliver over the treasures there to king Xerxes: and Xerxes was well acquainted with all that there was in it of any account, better, I am told, than with the things which he had left in his own house at home, seeing that many constantly reported of them, and especially of the votive offerings of Crœsus the son of Alyattes. 36. Meanwhile the Delphians, having been informed of this, had been brought to extreme fear; and being in great terror they consulted the Oracle about the sacred things, whether they should bury them in the earth or carry them forth to another land; but the god forbade them to meddle with these, saying that he was able by himself to take care of his own. Hearing this they began to take thought for themselves, and they sent their children and women over to Achaia on the other side of the sea, while most of the men themselves ascended up towards the summits of Parnassos and carried their property to the Corykian cave, while others departed for refuge to Amphissa of the Locrians. In short the Delphians had all left the town excepting sixty men and the prophet of the Oracle.22 37. When the Barbarians had come near and could see the temple, then the prophet, whose name was Akeratos, saw before the cell23 arms lying laid out, having been brought forth out of the sanctuary,24 which were sacred and on which it was not permitted to any man to lay hands. He then was going to announce the portent to those of the Delphians who were stil there, but when the Barbarians pressing onwards came opposite the temple of Athene Pronaia, there happened to them in addition portents yet greater than that which had come to pass before: for though that too was a marvel, that arms of war should appear of themselves laid forth outside the cell, yet this, which happened straightway after that, is worthy of marvel even beyond all other prodigies. When the Barbarians in their approach were opposite the temple of Athene Pronaia, at this point of time from the heaven there fell thunderbolts upon them, and from Parnassos two crags were broken away and rushed down upon them with a great crashing noise falling upon many of them, while from the temple of Pronaia there was heard a shout, and a battle-cry was raised. 38. All these things having come together, there fell fear upon the Barbarians; and the Delphians having perceived that they were flying, came down after them and slew a great number of them; and those who survived fled straight to Bœotia. These who returned of the Barbarians reported, as I am informed, that in addition to this which we have said they saw also other miraculous things; for two men (they said) in full armour and of stature more than human followed them slaying and pursuing. 39. These two the Delphians say were the native heroes Phylacos and Autonoös, whose sacred enclosures are about the temple, that of Phylacos being close by the side of the road above the temple of Pronaia and that of Autonoös near Castalia under the peak called Hyampeia. Moreover the rocks which fell from Parnassos were still preserved even to my time, lying in the sacred enclosure of Athene Pronaia, into which they fell when they rushed through the ranks of the Barbarians. Such departure had these men from the temple.
40. Meanwhile the fleet of the Hellenes after leaving Artemision put in to land at Salamis at the request of the Athenians: and for this reason the Athenians requested them to put in to Salamis, namely in order that they might remove out of Attica to a place of safety their children and their wives, and also deliberate what they would have to do; for in their present case they meant to take counsel afresh, because they had been deceived in their expectation. For they had thought to find the Peloponnesians in full force waiting for the Barbarians in Bœotia; they found however nothing of this, but they were informed on the contrary that the Peloponnesians were fortifying the Isthmus with a wall, valuing above all things the safety of the Peloponnese and keeping this in guard; and that they were disposed to let all else go. Being informed of this, the Athenians therefore made request of them to put in to Salamis. 41. The others then put in their ships to land at Salamis, but the Athenians went over to their own land; and after their coming they made a proclamation that every one of the Athenians should endeavour to save his children and household as best he could. So the greater number sent them to Troizen, but others to Egina, and others to Salamis, and they were urgent to put these out of danger, both because they desired to obey the oracle and also especially for another reason, which was this:— the Athenians say that a great serpent lives in the temple25 and guards the Acropolis; and they not only say this, but also they set forth for it monthly offerings, as if it were really there; and the offering consists of a honey-cake. This honey-cake, which before used always to be consumed, was at this time left untouched. When the priestess had signified this, the Athenians left the city much more and with greater eagerness than before, seeing that the goddess also had (as they supposed) left the Acropolis. Then when all their belongings had been removed out of danger, they sailed to the encampment of the fleet.
42. When those who came from Artemision had put their ships in to land at Salamis, the remainder of the naval force of the Hellenes, being informed of this, came over gradually to join them26 from Troizen: for they had been ordered beforehand to assemble at Pogon, which is the harbour of the Troizenians. There were assembled accordingly now many more ships than those which were in the sea-fight at Artemision, and from more cities. Over the whole was set as admiral the same man as at Artemision, namely Eurybiades the son of Eurycleides, a Spartan but not of the royal house; the Athenians however supplied by far the greatest number of ships and those which sailed the best. 43. The following were those who joined the muster:— From Peloponnese the Lacedemonians furnishing sixteen ships, the Corinthians furnishing the same complement as at Artemision, the Sikyonians furnishing fifteen ships, the Epidaurians ten, the Troizenians five, the men of Hermion27 three, these all, except the Hermionians, being of Doric and Makednian28 race and having made their last migration from Erineos and Pindos and the land of Dryopis;29 but the people of Hermion are Dryopians, driven out by Heracles and the Malians from the land which is now called Doris. 44. These were the Peloponnesians who joined the fleet, and those of the mainland outside the Peloponnese were as follows:— the Athenians, furnishing a number larger than all the rest,30 namely one hundred and eighty ships, and serving alone, since the Plataians did not take part with the Athenians in the sea- fight at Salamis, because when the Hellenes were departing from Artemision and come near Chalkis, the Plataians disembarked on the opposite shore of Bœotia and proceeded to the removal of their households. So being engaged in saving these, they had been left behind. As for the Athenians, in the time when the Pelasgians occupied that which is now called Hellas, they were Pelasgians, being named Cranaoi, and in the time of king Kecrops they came to be called Kecropidai; then when Erechtheus had succeeded to his power, they had their name changed to Athenians; and after Ion the son of Xuthos became commander31 of the Athenians, they got the name from him of Ionians. 45. The Megarians furnished the same complement as at Artermision; the Amprakiots came to the assistance of the rest with seven ships, and the Leucadians with three, these being by race Dorians from Corinth. 46. Of the islanders the Eginetans furnished thirty; these had also other ships manned, but with them they were guarding their own land, while with the thirty which sailed best they joined in the sea-fight at Salamis. Now the Eginetans are Dorians from Epidauros, and their island had formerly the name of Oinone. After the Eginetans came the Chalkidians with the twenty ships which were at Artemision, and the Eretrians with their seven: these are Ionians. Next the Keïans, furnishing the same as before and being by race Ionians from Athens. The Naxians furnished four ships, they having been sent out by the citizens of their State to join the Persians, like the other islanders; but neglecting these commands they had come to the Hellenes, urged thereto by Democritos, a man of repute among the citizens and at that time commander of a trireme. Now the Naxians are Ionians coming originally from Athens. The Styrians furnished the same ships as at Artemision, and the men of Kythnos one ship and one fifty-oared galley, these both being Dryopians. Also the Seriphians, the Siphnians and the Melians served with the rest; for they alone of the islanders had not given earth and water to the Barbarian. 47. These all who have been named dwelt inside the land of the Thesprotians and the river Acheron; for the Thesprotians border upon the land of the Amprakiots and Leucadians, and these were they who came from the greatest distance to serve: but of those who dwell outside these limits the men of Croton were the only people who came to the assistance of Hellas in her danger; and these sent one ship, of whom the commander was Phaÿlos, a man who had three times won victories at the Pythian games. Now the men of Croton are by descent Achaians. 48. All the rest who served in the fleet furnished triremes, but the Melians, Siphnian and Seriphians fifty-oared galleys: the Melians, who are by descent from Lacedemon, furnished two, the Siphnians and Seriphians, who are Ionians from Athens, each one. And the whole number of the ships, apart from the fifty-oared galleys, was three hundred and seventy-eight.32
49. When the commanders had assembled at Salamis from the States which have been mentioned, they began to deliberate, Eurybiades having proposed that any one who desired it should declare his opinion as to where he thought it most convenient to fight a sea-battle in those regions of which they had command; for Attica had already been let go, and he was now proposing the question about the other regions. And the opinions of the speakers for the most part agreed that they should sail to the Isthmus and there fight a sea-battle in defence of the Peloponnese, arguing that if they should be defeated in the sea- battle, supposing them to be at Salamis they would be blockaded in an island, where no help would come to them, but at the Isthmus they would be able to land where their own men were. 50. While the commanders from the Peloponnese argued thus, an Athenian had come in reporting that the Barbarians were arrived in Attica and that all the land was being laid waste with fire. For the army which directed its march through Bœotia in company with Xerxes, after it had burnt the city of the Thespians (the inhabitants having left it and gone to the Peloponnese) and that of the Plataians likewise, had now come to Athens and was laying waste everything in those regions. Now he had burnt Thespiai33 and Plataia because he was informed by the Thebans that these were not taking the side of the Medes. 51. So in three months from the crossing of the Hellespont, whence the Barbarians began their march, after having stayed there one month while they crossed over into Europe, they had reached Attica, in the year when Calliades was archon of the Athenians. And they took the lower city, which was deserted, and then they found that there were still a few Athenians left in the temple, either stewards of the temple or needy persons, who had barred the entrance to the Acropolis with doors and with a palisade of timber and endeavoured to defend themselves against the attacks of the enemy, being men who had not gone out to Salamis partly because of their poverty, and also because they thought that they alone had discovered the meaning of the oracle which the Pythian prophetess had uttered to them, namely that the “bulwark of wood” should be impregnable, and supposed that this was in fact the safe refuge according to the oracle, and not the ships. 52. So the Persians taking their post upon the rising ground opposite the Acropolis, which the Athenians call the Hill of Ares,34 proceeded to besiege them in this fashion, that is they put tow round about their arrows and lighted it, and then shot them against the palisade. The Athenians who were besieged continued to defend themselves nevertheless, although they had come to the extremity of distress and their palisade had played them false; nor would they accept proposals for surrender, when the sons of Peisistratos brought them forward: but endeavouring to defend themselves they contrived several contrivances against the enemy, and among the rest they rolled down large stones when the Barbarians approached the gates; so that for a long time Xerxes was in a difficulty, not being able to capture them. 53. In time however there appeared for the Barbarians a way of approach after their difficulties, since by the oracle it was destined that all of Attica which is on the mainland should come to be under the Persians. Thus then it happened that on the front side35 of the Acropolis behind the gates and the way up to the entrance, in a place where no one was keeping guard, nor would one have supposed that any man could ascend by this way, here men ascended by the temple of Aglauros the daughter of Kecrops, although indeed the place is precipitous: and when the Athenians saw that they had ascended up to the Acropolis, some of them threw themselves down from the wall and perished, while others took refuge in the sanctuary36 of the temple. Then those of the Persians who had ascended went first to the gates, and after opening these they proceeded to kill the suppliants; and when all had been slain by them, they plundered the temple and set fire to the whole of the Acropolis.
54. Then Xerxes, having fully taken possession of Athens, sent to Susa a mounted messenger to report to Artabanos the good success which they had. And on the next day after sending the herald he called together the exiles of the Athenians who were accompanying him, and bade them go up to the Acropolis and sacrifice the victims after their own manner; whether it was that he had seen some vision of a dream which caused him to give this command, or whether perchance he had a scruple in his mind because he had set fire to the temple. The Athenian exiles did accordingly that which was commanded them: 55, and the reason why I made mention of this I will here declare:— there is in this Acropolis a temple37 of Erechtheus, who is said to have been born of the Earth, and in this there is an olive-tree and a sea, which (according to the story told by the Athenians) Poseidon and Athene, when they contended for the land, set as witnesses of themselves. Now it happened to this olive-tree to be set on fire with the rest of the temple by the Barbarians; and on the next day after the conflagration those of the Athenians who were commanded by the king to offer sacrifice, saw when they had gone up to the temple that a shoot had run up from the stock of the tree about a cubit in length. These then made report of this.
56. The Hellenes meanwhile at Salamis, when it was announced to them how it had been as regards the Acropolis of the Athenians, were disturbed so greatly that some of the commanders did not even wait for the question to be decided which had been proposed, but began to go hastily to their ships and to put up their sails, meaning to make off with speed; and by those of them who remained behind it was finally decided to fight at sea in defence of the Isthmus. So night came on, and they having been dismissed from the council were going to their ships: 57, and when Themistocles had come to his ship, Mnesiphilos an Athenian asked him what they had resolved; and being informed by him that it had been determined to take out the ships to the Isthmus and fight a battle by sea in defence of the Peloponnese, he said: “Then, if they set sail with the ships from Salamis, thou wilt not fight any more sea-battles at all for the fatherland, for they will all take their way to their several cities and neither Eurybiades nor any other man will be able to detain them or to prevent the fleet from being dispersed: and Hellas will perish by reason of evil counsels. But if there by any means, go thou and try to unsettle that which has been resolved, if perchance thou mayest persuade Eurybiades to change his plans, so as to stay here.” 58. This advice very much commended itself to Themistocles; and without making any answer he went to the ship of Eurybiades. Having come thither he said that he desired to communicate to him a matter which concerned the common good; and Eurybiades bade him come into his ship and speak, if he desired to say anything. Then Themistocles sitting down beside him repeated to him all those things which he had heard Mnesiphilos say, making as if they were his own thoughts, and adding to them many others; until at last by urgent request he persuaded him to come out of his ship and gather the commanders to the council. 59. So when they were gathered together, before Eurybiades proposed the discussion of the things for which he had assembled the commanders, Themistocles spoke with much vehemence38 being very eager to gain his end; and as he was speaking, the Corinthian commander, Adeimantos the son of Okytos, said: “Themistocles, at the games those who stand forth for the contest before the due time are beaten with rods.” He justifying himself said: “Yes, but those who remain behind are not crowned.” 60. At that time he made answer mildly to the Corinthian; and to Eurybiades he said not now any of those things which he had said before, to the effect that if they should set sail from Salamis they would disperse in different directions; for it was not seemly for him to bring charges against the allies in their presence: but he held to another way of reasoning, saying: “Now it is in thy power to save Hellas, if thou wilt follow my advice, which is to stay here and here to fight a sea-battle, and if thou wilt not follow the advice of those among these men who bid thee remove the ships to the Isthmus. For hear both ways, and then set them in comparison. If thou engage battle at the Isthmus, thou wilt fight in an open sea, into which it is by no means convenient for us that we go to fight, seeing that we have ships which are heavier and fewer in number than those of the enemy. Then secondly thou wilt give up to destruction Salamis and Megara and Egina, even if we have success in all else; for with their fleet will come also the land-army, and thus thou wilt thyself lead them to the Peloponnese and wilt risk the safety of all Hellas. If however thou shalt do as I say, thou wilt find therein all the advantages which I shall tell thee of:— in the first place by engaging in a narrow place with few ships against many, if the fighting has that issue which it is reasonable to expect, we shall have very much the better; for to fight a sea-fight in a narrow space is for our advantage, but to fight in a wide open space is for theirs. Then again Salamis will be preserved, whither our children and our wives have been removed for safety; and moreover there is this also secured thereby, to which ye are most of all attached, namely that by remaining here thou wilt fight in defence of the Peloponnese as much as if the fight were at the Isthmus; and thou wilt not lead the enemy to Peloponnese, if thou art wise. Then if that which I expect come to pass and we gain a victory with our ships, the Barbarians will not come to you at the Isthmus nor will they advance further than Attica, but they will retire in disorder; and we shall be the gainers by the preservation of Megara and Egina and Salamis, at which place too an oracle tells us that we shall get the victory over our enemies.39 Now when men take counsel reasonably for themselves, reasonable issues are wont as a rule to come, but if they do not take counsel reasonably, then God is not wont generally to attach himself to the judgment of men.” 61. When Themistocles thus spoke, the Corinthian Adeimantos inveighed against him for the second time, bidding him to be silent because he had no native land, and urging Eurybiades not to put to the vote the proposal of one who was a citizen of no city; for he said that Themistocles might bring opinions before the council if he could show a city belonging to him, but otherwise not. This objection he made against him because Athens had been taken and was held by the enemy. Then Themistocles said many evil things of him and of the Corinthians both, and declared also that he himself and his countrymen had in truth a city and a land larger than that of the Corinthians, so long as they had two hundred ships fully manned; for none of the Hellenes would be able to repel the Athenians if they came to fight against them. 62. Signifying this he turned then to Eurybiades and spoke yet more urgently: “If thou wilt remain here, and remaining here wilt show thyself a good man, well; but if not, thou wilt bring about the overthrow of Hellas, for upon the ships depends all our power in the war. Nay, but do as I advise. If, however, thou shalt not do so, we shall forthwith take up our households and voyage to Siris in Italy, which is ours already of old and the oracles say that it is destined to be colonised by us; and ye, when ye are left alone and deprived of allies such as we are, will remember my words.” 63. When Themistocles thus spoke, Eurybiades was persuaded to change his mind; and, as I think, he changed his mind chiefly from fear lest the Athenians should depart and leave them, if he should take the ships to the Isthmus; for if the Athenians left them and departed, the rest would be no longer able to fight with the enemy. He chose then this counsel, to stay in that place and decide matters there by a sea-fight.
64. Thus those at Salamis, after having skirmished with one another in speech, were making preparations for a sea-fight there, since Eurybiades had so determined: and as day was coming on, at the same time when the sun rose there was an earthquake felt both on the land and on the sea: and they determined to pray to the gods and to call upon the sons of Aiacos to be their helpers. And as they had determined, so also they did; for when they had prayed to all the gods, they called Ajax and Telamon to their help from Salamis, where the fleet was,40 and sent a ship to Egina to bring Aiacos himself and the rest of the sons of Aiacos.
65. Moreover Dicaios the son of Theokydes, an Athenian, who was an exile and had become of great repute among the Medes at this time, declared that when the Attic land was being ravaged by the land-army of Xerxes, having been deserted by the Athenians, he happened then to be in company with Demaratos the Lacedemonian in the Thriasian plain; and he saw a cloud of dust going up from Eleusis, as if made by a company of about thirty thousand men, and they wondered at the cloud of dust, by what men it was caused. Then forthwith they heard a sound of voices, and Dicaios perceived that the sound was the mystic cry Iacchos; but Demaratos, having no knowledge of the sacred rites which are done at Eleusis, asked him what this was that uttered the sound, and he said: “Demaratos, it cannot be but that some great destruction is about to come to the army of the king: for as to this, it is very manifest, seeing that Attica is deserted, that this which utters the sound is of the gods, and that it is going from Eleusis to help the Athenians and their allies: if then it shall come down in the Peloponnese, there is danger for the king himself and for the army which is upon the mainland, but if it shall direct its course towards the ships which are at Salamis, the king will be in danger of losing his fleet. This feast the Athenians celebrate every year to the Mother and the Daughter;41 and he that desires it, both of them and of the other Hellenes, is initiated in the mysteries; and the sound of voices which thou hearest is the cry Iacchos which they utter at this feast.” To this Demaratos said: “Keep silence and tell not this tale to any other man; for if these words of thine be reported to the king, thou wilt surely lose thy head, and neither I nor any other man upon earth will be able to save thee: but keep thou quiet, and about this expedition the gods will provide.” He then thus advised, and after the cloud of dust and the sound of voices there came a mist which was borne aloft and carried towards Salamis to the camp of the Hellenes: and thus they learnt (said he) that the fleet of Xerxes was destined to be destroyed. Such was the report made by Dicaios the son of Theodykes, appealing to Demaratos and others also as witnesses.
66. Meanwhile those who were appointed to serve in the fleet of Xerxes, having gazed in Trachis upon the disaster of the Lacedemonians and having passed over from thence to Histiaia, after staying three days sailed through Euripos, and in other three days they had reached Phaleron. And, as I suppose, they made their attack upon Athens not fewer in number both by land and sea than when they had arrived at Sepias and at Thermopylai: for against those of them who perished by reason of the storm and those who were slain at Thermopylai and in the sea-fights at Artemision, I will set those who at that time were not yet accompanying the king, the Malians, Dorians, Locrians, and Bœotians (who accompanied him in a body, except the Thespians and Plataians), and moreover those of Carystos, Andros, and Tenos, with all the other islanders except the five cities of which I mentioned the names before; for the more the Persian advanced towards the centre of Hellas, the more nations accompanied him.
67. So then, when all these had come to Athens except the Parians (now the Parians had remained behind at Kythnos waiting to see how the war would turn out) — when all the rest, I say, had come to Phaleron, then Xerxes himself came down to the ships desiring to visit them and to learn the opinions of those who sailed in them: and when he had come and was set in a conspicuous place, then those who were despots of their own nations or commanders of divisions being sent for came before him from their ships, and took their seats as the king had assigned rank to each one, first the king of Sidon, then he of Tyre, and after them the rest: and when they were seated in due order, Xerxes sent Mardonios and inquired, making trial of each one, whether he should fight a battle by sea. 68. So when Mardonios went round asking them, beginning with the king of Sidon, the others gave their opinions all to the same effect, advising him to fight a battle by sea, but Artemisia spoke these words:—(a) “Tell the king I pray thee, Mardonios, that I, who have proved myself not to be the worst in the sea-fights which have been fought near Eubœa, and have displayed deeds not inferior to those of others, speak to him thus: Master, it is right that I set forth the opinion which I really have, and say that which I happen to think best for thy cause: and this I say — spare thy ships and do not make a sea-fight; for the men are as much stronger than thy men by sea, as men are stronger than women. And why must thou needs run the risk of sea-battles? Hast thou not Athens in thy possession, for the sake of which thou didst set forth on thy march, and also the rest of Hellas? and no man stands in thy way to resist, but those who did stand against thee came off as it was fitting that they should. (b) Now the manner in which I think the affairs of thy adversaries will have their issue, I will declare. If thou do not hasten to make a sea-fight, but keep thy ships here by the land, either remaining here thyself or even advancing on to the Peloponnese, that which thou hast come to do, O master, will easily be effected; for the Hellenes are not able to hold out against thee for any long time, but thou wilt soon disperse them and they will take flight to their several cities: since neither have they provisions with them in this island, as I am informed, nor is it probable that if thou shalt march thy land-army against the Peloponnese, they who have come from thence will remain still; for these will have no care to fight a battle in defence of Athens. (c) If however thou hasten to fight forthwith, I fear that damage done to the fleet may ruin the land-army also. Moreover, O king, consider also this, that the servants of good men are apt to grow bad, but those of bad men good; and thou, who art of all men the best, hast bad servants, namely those who are reckoned as allies, Egyptians and Cyprians and Kilikians and Pamphylians, in whom there is no profit.” 69. When she thus spoke to Mardonios, those who were friendly to Artemisia were grieved at her words, supposing that she would suffer some evil from the king because she urged him not to fight at sea; while those who had envy and jealousy of her, because she had been honoured above all the allies, were rejoiced at the opposition,42 supposing that she would now be ruined. When however the opinions were reported to Xerxes, he was greatly pleased with the opinion of Artemisia; and whereas even before this he thought her excellent, he commended her now yet more. Nevertheless he gave orders to follow the advice of the greater number, thinking that when they fought by Eubœa they were purposely slack, because he was not himself present with them, whereas now he had made himself ready to look on while they fought a sea-battle.
70. So when they passed the word to put out to sea, they brought their ships out to Salamis and quietly ranged themselves along the shore in their several positions. At that time the daylight was not sufficient for them to engage battle, for night had come on; but they made their preparations to fight on the following day. Meanwhile the Hellenes were possessed by fear and dismay, especially those who were from Peloponnese: and these were dismayed because remaining in Salamis they were to fight a battle on behalf of the land of the Athenians, and being defeated they would be cut off from escape and blockaded in an island, leaving their own land unguarded. And indeed the land-army of the Barbarians was marching forward during that very night towards the Peloponnese. 71. Yet every means had been taken that the Barbarians might not be able to enter Peloponnesus by land: for as soon as the Peloponnesians heard that Leonidas and his company had perished at Thermopylai, they came together quickly from the cities and took post at the Isthmus, and over them was set as commander Cleombrotos, the son of Anaxandrides and brother of Leonidas. These being posted at the Isthmus had destroyed the Skironian way, and after this (having so determined in counsel with one another) they began to build a wall across the Isthmus; and as they were many myriads43 and every man joined in the work, the work proceeded fast; for stones and bricks and pieces of timber and baskets full of sand were carried to it continually, and they who had thus come to help paused not at all in their work either by night or by day. 72. Now those of the Hellenes who came in full force to the Isthmus to help their country were these — the Lacedemonians, the Arcadians of every division, the Eleians, Corinthians, Sikyonians, Epidaurians, Phliasians, Troizenians and Hermionians. These were they who came to the help of Hellas in her danger and who had apprehension for her, while the rest of the Peloponnesians showed no care: and the Olympic and Carneian festivals had by this time gone by. 73. Now Peloponnesus is inhabited by seven races; and of these, two are natives of the soil and are settled now in the place where they dwelt of old, namely the Arcadians and the Kynurians; and one race, that of the Achaians, though it did not remove from the Peloponnese, yet removed in former time from its own land and dwells now in that which was not its own. The remaining races, four in number, have come in from without, namely the Dorians, Aitolians, Dryopians and Lemnians. Of the Dorians there are many cities and of great renown; of the Aitolians, Elis alone; of the Dryopians, Hermion44 and Asine, which latter is opposite Cardamyle in the Laconian land; and of the Lemnians, all the Paroreatai. The Kynurians, who are natives of the soil, seem alone to be Ionians, but they have become Dorians completely because they are subject to the Argives and by lapse of time, being originally citizens of Orneai or the dwellers in the country round Orneai.45 Of these seven nations the remaining cities, except those which I enumerated just now, stood aside and did nothing; and if one may be allowed to speak freely, in thus standing aside they were in fact taking the side of the Medes.
74. Those at the Isthmus were struggling with the labour which I have said, since now they were running a course in which their very being was at stake, and they did not look to have any brilliant success with their ships: while those who were at Salamis, though informed of this work, were yet dismayed, not fearing so much for themselves as for Peloponnesus. For some time then they spoke of it in private, one man standing by another, and they marvelled at the ill-counsel of Eurybiades; but at last it broke out publicly. A meeting accordingly was held, and much was spoken about the same points as before, some saying that they ought to sail away to Peloponnesus and run the risk in defence of that, and not stay and fight for a land which had been captured by the enemy, while the Athenians, Eginetans and Megarians urged that they should stay there and defend themselves. 75. Then Themistocles, when his opinion was like to be defeated by the Peloponnesians, secretly went forth from the assembly, and having gone out he sent a man to the encampment of the Medes in a boat, charging him with that which he must say: this man’s name was Sikinnos, and he was a servant of Themistocles and tutor to his children; and after these events Themistocles entered him as a Thespian citizen, when the Thespians were admitting new citizens, and made him a wealthy man. He at this time came with a boat and said to the commanders of the Barbarians these words: “The commander of the Athenians sent me privately without the knowledge of the other Hellenes (for, as it chances, he is disposed to the cause of the king, and desires rather that your side should gain the victory than that of the Hellenes), to inform you that the Hellenes are planning to take flight, having been struck with dismay; and now it is possible for you to execute a most noble work, if ye do not permit them to flee away: for they are not of one mind with one another and they will not stand against you in fight, but ye shall see them fighting a battle by sea with one another, those who are disposed to your side against those who are not.” 76. He then having signified to them this, departed out of the way; and they, thinking that the message deserved credit, landed first a large number of Persians in the small island of Psyttaleia, which lies between Salamis and the mainland; and then, as midnight came on, they put out the Western wing of their fleet to sea, circling round towards Salamis, and also those stationed about Keos and Kynosura put out their ships to sea; and they occupied all the passage with their ships as far as Munychia. And for this reason they put out their ships, namely in order that the Hellenes might not even be permitted to get away, but being cut off in Salamis might pay the penalty for the contests at Artemision: and they disembarked men of the Persians on the small island called Psyttaleia for this reason, namely that when the fight should take place, these might save the men of one side and destroy those of the other, since there especially it was likely that the men and the wrecks of ships would be cast up on shore, for the island lay in the way of the sea-fight which was to be. These things they did in silence, that the enemy might not have information of them.
77. They then were making their preparations thus in the night without having taken any sleep at all: and with regard to oracles, I am not able to make objections against them that they are not true, for I do not desire to attempt to overthrow the credit of them when they speak clearly, looking at such matters as these which here follow:
“But when with ships they shall join the sacred strand of the goddess, Artemis golden-sword-girded, and thee, wave-washed Kynosura, Urged by a maddening hope,46 having given rich Athens to plunder, Then shall Justice divine quell Riot, of Insolence first-born,47 Longing to overthrow all things48 and terribly panting for bloodhshed: Brass shall encounter with brass, and Ares the sea shall empurple, Tinging its waves with the blood: then a day of freedom for Hellas Cometh from wide-seeing Zeus49 and from Victory, lady and mother.”1281
Looking to such things as this, and when Bakis speaks so clearly, I do not venture myself to make any objections about oracles, nor can I admit them from others.
78. Now between the commanders that were at Salamis there came to be great contention of speech and they did not yet know that the Barbarians were surrounding them with their ships, but they thought that they were still in their place as they saw them disposed in the day. 79. Then while the commanders were engaged in strife, there came over from Egina Aristeides the son of Lysimachos, an Athenian who had been ostracised by the people, a man whom I hold (according to that which I hear of his character) to have been the best and most upright of all Athenians. This man came into the council and called forth Themistocles, who was to him not a friend, but an enemy to the last degree; but because of the greatness of the present troubles he let those matters be forgotten and called him forth, desiring to communicate with him. Now he had heard beforehand that the Peloponnesians were pressing to take the ships away to the Isthmus. So when Themistocles came forth to him, Aristeides spoke these words: “Both at other times when occasion arises, and also especially at this time we ought to carry on rivalry as to which of us shall do more service to our country. And I tell thee now that it is indifferent whether the Peloponnesians say many words or few about sailing away from hence; for having been myself an eye-witness I tell thee that now not even if the Corinthians and Eurybiades himself desire to sail out, will they be able; for we are encompassed round by the enemy. Go thou in then, and signify this to them.” 80. He made answer as follows: “Thou advisest very well,50 and also the news which thou hast brought is good, since thou art come having witnessed with thine own eyes that which I desired might come to pass: for know that this which is being done by the Medes is of my suggestion; because, when the Hellenes would not come to a battle of their own will, it was necessary to bring them over to us against their will. Do thou however, since thou art come bearing good news, thyself report it to them; for if I say these things, I shall be thought to speak that which I have myself invented, and I shall not persuade them, but they will think that the Barbarians are not doing so. Do thou thyself however come forward to speak, and declare to them how things are; and when thou hast declared this, if they are persuaded, that will be the best thing, but if this is not credible to them, it will be the same thing so far as concerns us, for they will no longer be able to take to flight, if we are encompassed on all sides, as thou sayest.” 81. Aristeides accordingly came forward and told them this, saying that he had come from Egina and had with difficulty escaped without being perceived by those who were blockading them; for the whole encampment of the Hellenes was encompassed by the ships of Xerxes; and he counselled them to get ready to defend themselves. He then having thus spoken retired, and among them again there arose dispute, for the greater number of the commanders did not believe that which was reported to them: 83, and while these were doubting, there came a trireme manned by Tenians, deserting from the enemy, of which the commander was Panaitios the son of Sosimenes, which brought them the whole truth. For this deed the Tenians were inscribed at Delphi on the tripod among those who had conquered the Barbarians. With the ship which deserted at Salamis and the Lemnian ship which deserted before and came to Artemision, the naval force of the Hellenes was completed to the number of three hundred and eighty ships, for before this two ships were yet wanting to make up this number.
83. The Hellenes then, since they believed that which was said by the Tenians, were preparing for a sea-fight: and as the dawn appeared, they made an assembly of those who fought on board the ships51 and addressed them, Themistocles making a speech which was eloquent beyond the rest; and the substance of it was to set forth all that is better as opposed to that which is worse, of the several things which arise in the nature and constitution of man; and having exhorted them to choose the better,52 and thus having wound up his speech, he bade them embark in their ships. These then proceeded to embark, and there came in meanwhile the trireme from Egina which had gone away to bring the sons of Aiacos. 84. Then the Hellenes put out all their ships, and while they were putting out from shore, the Barbarians attacked them forthwith. Now the other Hellenes began backing their ships and were about to run them aground, but Ameinias of Pallene, an Athenian, put forth with his ship and charged one of the enemy; and his ship being entangled in combat and the men not being able to get away, the others joined in the fight to assist Ameinias. The Athenians say that the beginning of the battle was made thus, but the Eginetans say that the ship which went away to Egina to bring the sons of Aiacos was that which began the fight. It is also reported that an apparition of a woman was seen by them, and that having appeared she encouraged them to the fight so that the whole of the army of the Hellenes heard it, first having reproached them in these words: “Madmen,53 how far will ye yet back your ships?”
85. Opposite the Athenians had been ranged the Phenicians, for these occupied the wing towards Eleusis and the West, and opposite the Lacedemonians were the Ionians, who occupied the wing which extended to the East and to Piræus. Of them however a few were purposely slack in the fight according to the injunctions of Themistocles,54 but the greater number were not so. I might mention now the names of many captains of ships who destroyed ships of the Hellenes, but I will make no use of their names except in the case of Theomestor, the son of Androdamas and Phylacos the son of Histiaios, of Samos both: and for this reason I make mention of these and not of the rest, because Theomestor on account of this deed became despot of Samos, appointed by the Persians, and Phylacos was recorded as a benefactor of the king and received much land as a reward. Now the benefactors of the king are called in the Persian tongue orosangai. 86. Thus it was with these; but the greater number of their ships were disabled at Salamis, being destroyed some by the Athenians and others by the Eginetans: for since the Hellenes fought in order and ranged in their places, while the Barbarians were no longer ranged in order nor did anything with design, it was likely that there would be some such result as in fact followed. Yet on this day they surpassed themselves much more than when they fought by Eubœa, every one being eager and fearing Xerxes, and each man thinking that the king was looking especially at him. 87. As regards the rest I cannot speak of them separately, or say precisely how the Barbarians or the Hellenes individually contended in the fight; but with regard to Artemisia that which happened was this, whence she gained yet more esteem than before from the king. — When the affairs of the king had come to great confusion, at this crisis a ship of Artemisia was being pursued by an Athenian ship; and as she was not able to escape, for in front of her were other ships of her own side, while her ship, as it chanced, was furthest advanced towards the enemy, she resolved what she would do, and it proved also much to her advantage to have done so. While she was being pursued by the Athenian ship she charged with full career against a ship of her own side manned by Calyndians and in which the king of the Calyndians Damasithymos was embarked. Now, even though it be true that she had had some strife with him before, while they were still about the Hellespont, yet I am not able to say whether she did this by intention, or whether the Calyndian ship happened by chance to fall in her way. Having charged against it however and sunk it, she enjoyed good fortune and got for herself good in two ways; for first the captain of the Athenian ship, when he saw her charge against a ship manned by Barbarians, turned away and went after others, supposing that the ship of Artemisia was either a Hellenic ship or was deserting from the Barbarians and fighting for the Hellenes, 88 — first, I say, it was her fortune to have this, namely to escape and not suffer destruction; and then secondly it happened that though she had done mischief, she yet gained great reputation by this thing with Xerxes. For it is said that the king looking on at the fight perceived that her ship had charged the other; and one of those present said: “Master, dost thou see Artemisia, how well she is fighting, and how she sank even now a ship of the enemy?” He asked whether this was in truth the deed of Artemisia, and they said that it was; for (they declared) they knew very well the sign of her ship: and that which was destroyed they thought surely was one of the enemy; for besides other things which happened fortunately for her, as I have said, there was this also, namely that not one of the crew of the Calyndian ship survived to become her accuser. And Xerxes in answer to that which was said to him is reported to have uttered these words: “My men have become women, and my women men.” Thus it is said that Xerxes spoke. 89. And meanwhile in this struggle there was slain the commander Ariabignes, son of Dareios and brother of Xerxes, and there were slain too many others of note of the Persians and Medes and also of the allies; and of the Hellenes on their part a few; for since they knew how to swim, those whose ships were destroyed and who were not slain in hand-to-hand conflict swam over to Salamis; but of the Barbarians the greater number perished in the sea, not being able to swim. And when the first ships turned to flight, then it was that the largest number perished, for those who were stationed behind, while endeavouring to pass with their ships to the front in order that they also might display some deed of valour for the king to see, ran into the ships of their own side as they fled.
90. It happened also in the course of this confusion that some of the Phenicians, whose ships had been destroyed, came to the king and accused the Ionians, saying that by means of them their ships had been lost, and that they had been traitors to the cause. Now it so came about that not only the commanders of the Ionians did not lose their lives, but the Phenicians who accused them received a reward such as I shall tell. While these men were yet speaking thus, a Samothrakian ship charged against an Athenian ship: and as the Athenian ship was being sunk by it, an Eginetan ship came up against the Samothrakian vessel and ran it down. Then the Samothrakians, being skilful javelin- throwers, by hurling cleared off the fighting-men from the ship which had wrecked theirs and then embarked upon it and took possession of it. This event saved the Ionians from punishment; for when Xerxes saw that they had performed a great exploit, he turned to the Phenicians (for he was exceedingly vexed and disposed to find fault with all) and bade cut off their heads, in order that they might not, after having been cowards themselves, accuse others who were better men than they. For whensoever Xerxes (sitting just under the mountain opposite Salamis, which is called Aigaleos) saw any one of his own side display a deed of valour in the sea-fight, he inquired about him who had done it, and the scribes recorded the name of the ship’s captain with that of his father and the city from whence he came. Moreover also Ariaramnes, a Persian who was present, shared55 the fate of the Phenicians, being their friend. They56 then proceeded to deal with the Phenicians.
91. In the meantime, as the Barbarians turned to flight and were sailing out towards Phaleron, the Eginetans waited for them in the passage and displayed memorable actions: for while the Athenians in the confused tumult were disabling both those ships which resisted and those which were fleeing, the Eginetans were destroying those which attempted to sail away; and whenever any escaped the Athenians, they went in full course and fell among the Eginetans. 92. Then there met one another the ship of Themistocles, which was pursuing a ship of the enemy, and that of Polycritos the son of Crios the Eginetan. This last had charged against a ship of Sidon, the same that had taken the Eginetan vessel which was keeping watch in advance at Skiathos,57 and in which sailed Pytheas the son of Ischenoös, whom the Persians kept in their ship, all cut to pieces as he was, making a marvel of his valour. The Sidonian ship then was captured bearing with it this man as well as the Persians of whom I spoke, so that Pytheas thus came safe to Egina. Now when Polycritos looked at the Athenian vessel he recognised when he saw it the sign of the admiral’s ship, and shouting out he addressed Themistocles with mockery about the accusation brought against the Eginetans of taking the side of the Medes,58 and reproached him. This taunt Polycritos threw out against Themistocles after he had charged against the ship of Sidon. And meanwhile those Barbarians whose ships had escaped destruction fled and came to Phaleron to be under cover of the land-army.
93. In this sea-fight the Eginetans were of all the Hellenes the best reported of, and next to them the Athenians; and of the individual men the Eginetan Polycritos and the Athenians Eumenes of Anagyrus and Ameinias of Pallene, the man who had pursued after Artemisia. Now if he had known that Artemisia was sailing in this ship, he would not have ceased until either he had taken her or had been taken himself; for orders had been given to the Athenian captains, and moreover a prize was offered of ten thousand drachmas for the man who should take her alive; since they thought it intolerable that a woman should make an expedition against Athens. She then, as has been said before, had made her escape; and the others also, whose ships had escaped destruction, were at Phaleron.
94. As regards Adeimantos the commander of the Corinthians, the Athenians say that forthwith at the beginning when the ships were engaging in the fight, being struck with panic and terror he put up his sails and fled away; and the Corinthians, when they saw the admiral’s ship fleeing, departed likewise: and after this, as the story goes, when they came in their flight opposite to the temple of Athene Skiras in the land of Salamis, there fell in with them by divine guidance a light vessel,59 which no one was ever found to have sent, and which approached the Corinthians at a time when they knew nothing of that which was happening with the fleet. And by this it is conjectured60 that the matter was of the Deity; for when they came near to the ships, the men in the light vessel said these words: “Adeimantos, thou hast turned thy ships away and hast set forth to flee, deserting the cause of the Hellenes, while they are in truth gaining a victory and getting the better of their foes as much as they desired.” When they said this, since Adeimantos doubted of it, they spoke a second time and said that they might be taken as hostages and slain, if the Hellenes should prove not to be gaining the victory. Then he turned his ship back, he and the others with him, and they reached the camp when the work was finished. Such is the report spread by the Athenians against these: the Corinthians however do not allow this to be so, but hold that they were among the first in the sea- fight; and the rest of Hellas also bears witness on their side.
95. Aristeides moreover the son of Lysimachos, the Athenian, of whom I made mention also shortly before this as a very good man, he in this tumult which had arisen about Salamis did as follows:— taking with him a number of the hoplites of Athenian race who had been ranged along the shore of the land of Salamis, with them he disembarked on the island of Psyttaleia; and these slew all the Persians who were in this islet.
96. When the sea-fight had been broken off, the Hellenes towed in to Salamis so many of the wrecks as chanced to be still about there, and held themselves ready for another sea-fight, expecting that the king would yet make use of the ships which remained unhurt; but many of the wrecks were taken by the West Wind and borne to that strand in Attica which is called Colias; so as to fulfil61 not only all that other oracle which was spoken about this sea-fight by Bakis and Musaios, but also especially, with reference to the wrecks cast up here, that which had been spoken in an oracle many years before these events by Lysistratos, an Athenian who uttered oracles, and which had not been observed by any of the Hellenes:
“Then shall the Colian women with firewood of oars roast barley.”62
This was destined to come to pass after the king had marched away.
97. When Xerxes perceived the disaster which had come upon him, he feared lest some one of the Ionians should suggest to the Hellenes, or they should themselves form the idea, to sail to the Hellespont and break up the bridges; and so he might be cut off in Europe and run the risk of perishing utterly: therefore he began to consider about taking flight. He desired however that his intention should not be perceived either by the Hellenes or by those of his own side; therefore he attempted to construct a mole going across to Salamis, and he bound together Phenician merchant vessels in order that they might serve him both for a bridge and a wall, and made preparations for fighting as if he were going to have another battle by sea. Seeing him do so, all the rest made sure that he had got himself ready in earnest and intended to stay and fight; but Mardonios did not fail to perceive the true meaning of all these things, being by experience very well versed in his way of thinking.
98. While Xerxes was doing thus, he sent a messenger to the Persians, to announce the calamity which had come upon them. Now there is nothing mortal which accomplishes a journey with more speed than these messengers, so skilfully has this been invented by the Persians: for they say that according to the number of days of which the entire journey consists, so many horses and men are set at intervals, each man and horse appointed for a day’s journey. These neither snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness of night prevents from accomplishing each one the task proposed to him, with the very utmost speed. The first then rides and delivers the message with which he is charged to the second, and the second to the third; and after that it goes through them handed from one to the other,63 as in the torch-race among the Hellenes, which they perform for Hephaistos. This kind of running of their horses the Persians call angareion. 99. The first message then which came to Susa, announcing that Xerxes had Athens in his possession, so greatly rejoiced the Persians who had been left behind, that they strewed all the ways with myrtle boughs and offered incense perpetually, and themselves continued in sacrifices and feasting. The second message however, which came to them after this, so greatly disturbed them that they all tore their garments and gave themselves up to crying and lamentation without stint, laying the blame upon Mardonios: and this the Persians did not so much because they were grieved about the ships, as because they feared for Xerxes himself.
100. As regards the Persians this went on for all the time which intervened, until the coming of Xerxes himself caused them to cease: and Mardonios seeing that Xerxes was greatly troubled by reason of the sea-fight, and suspecting that he was meaning to take flight from Athens, considered with regard to himself that he would have to suffer punishment for having persuaded the king to make an expedition against Hellas, and that it was better for him to run the risk of either subduing Hellas or ending his own life honourably, placing his safety in suspense for a great end,64 though his opinion was rather that he would subdue Hellas; — he reckoned up these things, I say, and addressed his speech to the king as follows: “Master, be not thou grieved, nor feel great trouble on account of this thing which has come to pass; for it is not upon a contest of timbers that all our fortunes depend, but of men and of horses: and none of these who suppose now that all has been achieved by them will attempt to disembark from the ships and stand against thee, nor will any in this mainland do so; but those who did stand against us paid the penalty. If therefore thou thinkest this good to do, let us forthwith attempt the Peloponnese, or if thou thinkest good to hold back, we may do that. Do not despond however, for there is no way of escape for the Hellenes to avoid being thy slaves, after they have first given an account of that which they did to thee both now and at former times. Thus it were best to do; but if thou hast indeed resolved to retire thyself and to withdraw thy army, I have another counsel to offer for that case too. Do not thou, O king, let the Persians be an object of laughter to the Hellenes; for none of thy affairs have suffered by means of the Persians, nor wilt thou be able to mention any place where we proved ourselves cowards: but if Phenicians or Egyptians or Cyprians or Kilikians proved themselves cowards, the calamity which followed does not belong to the Persians in any way. Now therefore, since it is not the Persians who are guilty towards thee, follow my counsel. If thou hast determined not to remain here, retire thou to thine own abode, taking with thee the main body of the army, and it must then be for me to deliver over to thee Hellas reduced to subjection, choosing for this purpose thirty myriads65 from the army.” 101. Hearing this Xerxes was rejoiced and delighted so far as he might be after his misfortunes,66 and to Mardonios he said that when he had taken counsel he would reply and say which of these two things he would do. So when he was taking counsel with those of the Persians who were called to be his advisers,67 it seemed good to him to send for Artemisia also to give him counsel, because at the former time she alone had showed herself to have perception of that which ought to be done. So when Artemisia had come, Xerxes removed from him all the rest, both the Persian councillors and also the spearmen of the guard and spoke to her thus: “Mardonios bids me stay here and make an attempt on the Peloponnese, saying that the Persians and the land- army are not guilty of any share in my calamity, and that they would gladly give me proof of this. He bids me therefore either do this or, if not, he desires himself to choose thirty myriads from the army and to deliver over to me Hellas reduced to subjection; and he bids me withdraw with the rest of the army to my own abode. Do thou therefore, as thou didst well advise about the sea-fight which was fought, urging that we should not bring it on, so also now advise me which of these things I shall do, that I may succeed in determining well.” 102. He thus consulted her, and she spoke these words: “O king, it is hard for me to succeed in saying the best things when one asks me for counsel; yet it seems good to me at the present that thou shouldest retire back and leave Mardonios here, if he desires it and undertakes to do this, together with those whom he desires to have: for on the one hand if he subdue those whom he says that he desires to subdue, and if those matters succeed well which he has in mind when he thus speaks, the deed will after all be thine, master, seeing that thy slaves achieved it: and on the other hand if the opposite shall come to pass of that which Mardonios intends, it will be no great misfortune, seeing that thou wilt thyself remain safe, and also the power in those parts68 which concerns thy house:69 for if thou shalt remain safe with thy house, many contests many times over repeated will the Hellenes have to pass through for their own existence.70 Of Mardonios however, if he suffer any disaster, no account will be made; and if the Hellenes conquer they gain a victory which is no victory, having destroyed one who is but thy slave. Thou however wilt retire having done that for which thou didst make thy march, that is to say, having delivered Athens to the fire.”
103. With this advice Xerxes was greatly delighted, since she succeeded in saying that very thing which he himself was meaning to do: for not even if all the men and all the women in the world had been counselling him to remain, would he have done so, as I think, so much had he been struck with terror. He commended Artemisia therefore and sent her away to conduct his sons to Ephesos, for there were certain bastard sons of his which accompanied him. 104. With these sons he sent Hermotimos to have charge of them, who was by race of Pedasa and was in the estimation of the king second to none of the eunuchs. [Now the Pedasians dwell above Halicarnassos, and at this Pedasa a thing happens as follows:— whenever to the whole number of those who dwell about this city some trouble is about to come within a certain time, then the priestess of Athene in that place gets a long beard; and this has happened to them twice before now. 105. Of these Pedasians was Hermotimos.]71 And this man of all persons whom we know up to this time obtained the greatest revenge for a wrong done to him. For he had been captured by enemies and was being sold, and Panionios a man of Chios bought him, one who had set himself to gain his livelihood by the most impious practices; for whenever he obtained boys who possessed some beauty, he would make eunuchs of them, and then taking them to Sardis or Ephesos sold them for large sums of money, since with the Barbarians eunuchs are held to be of more value for all matters of trust than those who are not eunuchs. Panionios then, I say, made eunuchs of many others, since by this he got his livelihood, and also of this man about whom I speak: and Hermotimos, being not in everything unfortunate, was sent from Sardis to the king with other gifts, and as time went on he came to be honoured more than all the other eunuchs in the sight of Xerxes. 106. And when the king, being at that time in Sardis, was setting the Persian army in motion to march against Athens, then Hermotimos, having gone down for some business to that part of Mysia which the Chians occupy and which is called Atarneus, found there Panionios: and having recognised him he spoke to him many friendly words, first recounting to him all the good things which he had by his means, and next making promises in return for this, and saying how many good things he would do for him, if he would bring his household and dwell in that land; so that Panionios gladly accepting his proposals brought his children and his wife. Then, when he had caught him together with his whole house, Hermotimos spoke as follows: “O thou, who of all men that ever lived up to this time didst gain thy substance by the most impious deeds, what evil did either I myself or any of my forefathers do either to thee or to any of thine, that thou didst make me to be that which is nought instead of a man? Didst thou suppose that thou wouldest escape the notice of the gods for such things as then thou didst devise? They however following the rule of justice delivered72 thee into my hands, since thou hadst done impious deeds; so that thou shalt not have reason to find fault with the penalty which shall be inflicted upon thee by me.” When he had thus reproached him, the man’s sons were brought into his presence and Panionios was compelled to make eunuchs of his own sons, who were four in number, and being compelled he did so; and then when he had so done, the sons were compelled to do the same thing to him. Thus vengeance by the hands of Hermotimos73 overtook Panionios.
107. When Xerxes had entrusted his sons to Artemisia to carry them back to Ephesos, he called Mardonios and bade him choose of the army whom he would, and make his deeds, if possible, correspond to his words. During this day then things went so far; and in the night on the command of the king the leaders of the fleet began to withdraw their ships from Phaleron to the Hellespont, as quickly as they might each one, to guard the bridges for the king to pass over. And when the Barbarians were near Zoster as they sailed, then seeing the small points of rock which stretch out to sea from this part of the mainland, they thought that these were ships and fled for a good distance. In time however, perceiving that they were not ships but points of rock, they assembled together again and continued on their voyage.
108. When day dawned, the Hellenes, seeing that the land-army was staying still in its place, supposed that the ships also were about Phaleron; and thinking that they would fight another sea-battle, they made preparations to repel them. When however they were informed that the ships had departed, forthwith upon this they thought it good to pursue after them. They pursued therefore as far as Andros, but did not get a sight of the fleet of Xerxes; and when they had come to Andros, they deliberated what they should do. Themistocles then declared as his opinion that they should take their course through the islands and pursue after the ships, and afterwards sail straight to the Hellespont to break up the bridges; but Eurybiades expressed the opposite opinion to this, saying that if they should break up the floating-bridges, they would therein do74 the greatest possible evil to Hellas: for if the Persian should be cut off and compelled to remain in Europe, he would endeavour not to remain still, since if he remained still, neither could any of his affairs go forward, nor would any way of returning home appear; but his army would perish of hunger: whereas if he made the attempt and persevered in it, all Europe might be brought over to him, city by city and nation by nation, the inhabitants being either conquered75 or surrendering on terms before they were conquered: moreover they would have for food the crops of the Hellenes which grew year by year. He thought however that conquered in the sea-fight the Persian would not stay in Europe, and therefore he might be allowed to flee until in his flight he came to his own land. Then after that they might begin the contest for the land which belonged to the Persian. To this opinion the commanders of the other Peloponnesians adhered also. 109. When Themistocles perceived that he would not be able to persuade them, or at least the greater number of them, to sail to the Hellespont, he changed his counsel76 and turning to the Athenians (for these were grieved most at the escape of the enemy and were anxious to sail to the Hellespont even by themselves alone,77 if the others were not willing) to them he spoke as follows: “I myself also have been present before now on many occasions, and have heard of many more, on which something of this kind came to pass, namely that men who were forced into great straits, after they had been defeated fought again and repaired their former disaster: and as for us, since we have won as a prize from fortune the existence of ourselves and of Hellas by repelling from our land so great a cloud of men, let us not pursue enemies who flee from us: for of these things not we were the doors, but the gods and heroes, who grudged that one man should become king of both Asia and of Europe, and he a man unholy and presumptuous, one who made no difference between things sacred and things profane,78 burning and casting down the images of the gods, and who also scourged the Sea and let down into it fetters. But as things are at present, it is well that we should now remain in Hellas and look after ourselves and our households; and let each man repair his house, and have a care for sowing his land, after he has completely driven away the Barbarian: and then at the beginning of the spring let us sail down towards the Hellespont and Ionia.” Thus he spoke, intending to lay up for himself a store of gratitude with the Persian, in order that if after all any evil should come upon him at the hands of the Athenians, he might have a place of refuge: and this was in fact that which came to pass.
110. Themistocles then speaking thus endeavoured to deceive them, and the Athenians followed his advice: for he had had the reputation even in former times of being a man of ability79 and he had now proved himself to be in truth both able and of good judgment; therefore they were ready in every way to follow his advice when he spoke. So when these had been persuaded by him, forthwith after this Themistocles sent men with a vessel, whom he trusted to keep silence, to whatever test they might be brought, of that which he himself charged them to tell the king; and of them Sikinnos his servant again was one. When these came to Attica, the rest stayed behind in the ship, while Sikinnos went up to Xerxes and spoke these words: “Themistocles the son of Neocles sent me, who is commander of the Athenians, and of all the allies the best and ablest man, to tell thee that Themistocles the Athenian, desiring to be of service to thee, held back the Hellenes when they were desirous to pursue after thy ships and to destroy the bridges on the Hellespont. Now therefore thou mayest make thy way home quite undisturbed.” They having signified this sailed away again.
111. The Hellenes meanwhile, having resolved not to pursue after the ships of the Barbarians further, nor to sail to the Hellespont to break up the passage, were investing Andros intending to take it: for the Andrians were the first of the islanders who, being asked by Themistocles for money, refused to give it: and when Themistocles made proposals to them and said that the Athenians had come having on their side two great deities, Persuasion and Compulsion, and therefore they must by all means give them money, they replied to this that not without reason, as it now appeared, was Athens great and prosperous, since the Athenians were well supplied with serviceable deities; but as for the Andrians, they were poor,80 having in this respect attained to the greatest eminence, and there were two unprofitable deities which never left their island but always remained attached to the place, Poverty, namely, and Helplessness: and the Andrians being possessed of these deities would not give money; for never could the power of the Athenians get the better of their inability.81 112. These, I say, having thus made answer and having refused to give the money, were being besieged: and Themistocles not ceasing in his desire for gain sent threatening messages to the other islands and asked them for money by the same envoys, employing those whom he had before sent to the king;82 and he said that if they did not give that which was demanded of them, he would bring the fleet of the Hellenes against them to besiege and take them. Thus saying he collected great sums of money from the Carystians and the Parians, who being informed how Andros was being besieged, because it had taken the side of the Medes, and how Themistocles was held in more regard than any of the other commanders, sent money for fear of this. Whether any others of the islanders also gave money I am not able to say, but I think that some others gave and not these alone. Yet to the Carystians at least there was no respite from the evil on this account, but the Parians escaped the attack, because they propitiated Themistocles with money. Thus Themistocles with Andros as his starting-point was acquiring sums of money for himself from the men of the islands without the knowledge of the other commanders.
113. Xerxes meanwhile with his army stayed for a few days after the sea-fight, and then they all began to march forth towards Bœotia by the same way by which they had come: for Mardonios thought both that it was well for him to escort the king on his way, and also that it was now too late in the year to carry on the war; it was better, he thought, to winter in Thessaly and then at the beginning of spring to attempt the Peloponnese. When he came to Thessaly, then Mardonios chose out for himself first all those Persians who are called “Immortals,” except only their commander Hydarnes (for Hydarnes said that he would not be left behind by the king), and after them of the other Persians those who wore cuirasses, and the body of a thousand horse: also the Medes, Sacans, Bactrians and Indians, foot and horsemen both.83 These nations he chose in the mass,1316 but from the other allies he selected by few at a time, choosing whose who had fine appearance of those of whom he knew that they had done good service. From the Persians he chose more than from any other single nation, and these wore collars of twisted metal and bracelets; and after them came the Medes, who in fact were not inferior in number to the Persians, but only in bodily strength. The result was that there were thirty myriads in all, including cavalry.
114. During this time, while Mardonios was selecting his army and Xerxes was in Thessaly, there had come an oracle from Delphi to the Lacedemonians, bidding them ask satisfaction from Xerxes for the murder of Leonidas and accept that which should be given by him. The Spartans therefore sent a herald as quickly as possible, who having found the whole army still in Thessaly came into the presence of Xerxes and spoke these words: “O king of the Medes, the Lacedemonians and the sons of Heracles of Sparta demand of thee satisfaction for murder, because thou didst kill their king, fighting in defence of Hellas.” He laughed and then kept silence some time, and after that pointing to Mardonios, who happened to be standing by him, he said: “Then Mardonios here shall give them satisfaction, such as is fitting for them to have.” 115. The herald accordingly accepted the utterance and departed; and Xerxes leaving Mardonios in Thessaly went on himself in haste to the Hellespont and arrived at the passage where the crossing was in five-and-thirty days, bringing back next to nothing, as one may say,84 of his army: and whithersoever they came on the march and to whatever nation, they seized the crops of that people and used them for provisions; and if they found no crops, then they took the grass which was growing up from the earth, and stripped off the bark from the trees and plucked down the leaves and devoured them, alike of the cultivated trees and of those growing wild; and they left nothing behind them: thus they did by reason of famine. Then plague too seized upon the army and dysentery, which destroyed them by the way, and some of them also who were sick the king left behind, laying charge upon the cities where at the time he chanced to be in his march, to take care of them and support them: of these he left some in Thessaly, and some at Siris in Paionia, and some in Macedonia. In these parts too he had left behind him the sacred chariot of Zeus, when he was marching against Hellas; but on his return he did not receive it back: for the Paionians had given it to the Thracians, and when Xerxes asked for it again, they said that the mares while at pasture had been carried off by the Thracians of the upper country, who dwelt about the source of the Strymon. 116. Here also a Thracian, the king of the Bisaltians and of the Crestonian land, did a deed of surpassing horror; for he had said that he would not himself be subject to Xerxes with his own will and had gone away up to Mount Rhodope, and also he had forbidden his sons to go on the march against Hellas. They however, either because they cared not for his command, or else because a desire came upon them to see the war, went on the march with the Persian: and when they returned all unhurt, being six in number, their father plucked out their eyes for this cause. 117. They then received this reward: and as to the Persians, when passing on from Thrace they came to the passage, they crossed over the Hellespont in haste to Abydos by means of the ships, for they did not find the floating-bridges still stretched across but broken up by a storm. While staying there for a time they had distributed to them an allowance of food more abundant than they had had by the way, and from satisfying their hunger without restraint and also from the changes of water there died many of those in the army who had remained safe till then. The rest arrived with Xerxes at Sardis.
118. There is also another story reported as follows, namely that when Xerxes on his march away from Athens came to Eïon on the Strymon, from that point he did not continue further to make marches by road, but delivered his army to Hydarnes to lead back to the Hellespont, while he himself embarked in a Phenician ship and set forth for Asia; and as he sailed he was seized by a wind from the Strymon,85 violent and raising great waves; and since he was tossed by the storm more and more, the ship being heavily laden (for there were upon the deck great numbers of Persians, those namely who went with Xerxes), the king upon that falling into fear shouted aloud and asked the pilot whether there were for them any means of safety. He said: “Master, there are none, unless some way be found of freeing ourselves of the excessive number of passengers.” Then it is said that Xerxes, when he heard this, spoke thus: “Persians, now let each one of you show that he has care for the king; for my safety, as it seems, depends upon you.” He, they say, thus spoke, and they made obeisance to him and leapt out into the sea; and so the ship being lightened came safe to Asia. As soon as they had landed Xerxes, they say, first presented the pilot with a wreath of gold, because he had saved the life of the king, and then cut off his head, because he had caused the death of many of the Persians. 119. This other story, I say, is reported about the return of Xerxes, but I for my part can by no means believe it, either in other respects or as regards this which is said to have happened to the Persians; for if this which I have related had in truth been said by the pilot to Xerxes, not one person’s opinion in ten thousand will differ from mine that the king would have done some such thing as this, that is to say, he would have caused those who were upon the deck to go down below into the hold, seeing that they were Persians of the highest rank among the Persians; and of the rowers, who were Phenicians, he would have thrown out into the sea a number equal to the number of those. In fact however, as I have said before, he made his return to Asia together with the rest of the army by road. 120. And this also which follows is a strong witness that it was so; for Xerxes is known to have come to Abdera on his way back, and to have made with them a guest-friendship and presented them with a Persian sword of gold and a gold-spangled tiara: and as the men of Abdera themselves say (though I for my part can by no means believe it), he loosed his girdle for the first time during his flight back from Athens, considering himself to be in security. Now Abdera is situated further towards the Hellespont than the river Strymon and Eïon, from which place the story says that he embarked in the ship.
121. The Hellenes meanwhile, when it proved that they were not able to conquer Andros, turned towards Carystos, and having laid waste the land of that people they departed and went to Salamis. First then for the gods they chose out first-fruits of the spoil, and among them three Persian triremes, one to be dedicated as an offering at the Isthmus, which remained there still up to my time, another at Sunion, and the third to Ajax in Salamis where they were. After this they divided the spoil among themselves and sent the first-fruits86 to Delphi, of which was made a statue holding in its hand the beak of a ship and in height measuring twelve cubits. This statue stood in the same place with the golden statue of Alexander the Macedonian. 122. Then when the Hellenes had sent first-fruits to Delphi, they asked the god on behalf of all whether the first-fruits which he had received were fully sufficient and acceptable to him. He said that from the Hellenes he had received enough, but not from the Eginetans, and from them he demanded the offering of their prize of valour for the sea- fight at Salamis. Hearing this the Eginetans dedicated golden stars, three in number, upon a ship’s mast of bronze, which are placed in the corner87 close to the mixing-bowl of Crœsus. 123. After the division of the spoil the Hellenes sailed to the Isthmus, to give the prize of valour to him who of all the Hellenes had proved himself the most worthy during this war: and when they had come thither and the commanders distributed88 their votes at the altar of Poseidon, selecting from the whole number the first and the second in merit, then every one of them gave in his vote for himself, each man thinking that he himself had been the best; but for the second place the greater number of votes came out in agreement, assigning that to Themistocles. They then were left alone in their votes, while Themistocles in regard to the second place surpassed the rest by far: 124, and although the Hellenes would not give decision of this by reason of envy, but sailed away each to their own city without deciding, yet Themistocles was loudly reported of and was esteemed throughout Hellas to be the man who was the ablest89 by far of the Hellenes: and since he had not received honour from those who had fought at Salamis, although he was the first in the voting, he went forthwith after this to Lacedemon, desiring to receive honour there; and the Lacedemonians received him well and gave him great honours. As a prize of valour they gave to Eurybiades a wreath of olive; and for ability and skill they gave to Themistocles also a wreath of olive, and presented him besides with the chariot which was judged to be the best in Sparta. So having much commended him, they escorted him on his departure with three hundred picked men of the Spartans, the same who are called the “horsemen,”90 as far as the boundaries of Tegea: and he is the only man of all we know to whom the Spartans ever gave escort on his way. 125. When however he had come to Athens from Lacedemon, Timodemos of Aphidnai, one of the opponents of Themistocles, but in other respects not among the men of distinction, maddened by envy attacked him, bringing forward against him his going to Lacedemon, and saying that it was on account of Athens that he had those marks of honour which he had from the Lacedemonians, and not on his own account. Then, as Timodemos continued ceaselessly to repeat this, Themistocles said: “I tell thee thus it is:— if I had been a native of Belbina91 I should never have been thus honoured by the Spartans; but neither wouldest thou, my friend, for all that thou art an Athenian.” So far then went these matters.
126. Artabazos meanwhile the son of Pharnakes, a man who was held in esteem among the Persians even before this and came to be so yet more after the events about Plataia, was escorting the king as far as the passage with six myriads92 of that army which Mardonios had selected for himself; and when the king was in Asia and Artabazos on his march back came near to Pallene, finding that Mardonios was wintering in Thessaly and Macedonia and was not at present urgent with him to come and join the rest of the army, he thought it not good to pass by without reducing the Potidaians to slavery, whom he had found in revolt: for the men of Potidaia, when the king had marched by them and when the fleet of the Persians had departed in flight from Salamis, had openly made revolt from the Barbarians; and so also had the others done who occupy Pallene. 127. So upon this Artabazos began to besiege Potidaia, and suspecting that the men of Olynthos also were intending revolt from the king, he began to besiege this city too, which was occupied by Bottiaians who had been driven away from the Thermaian gulf by the Macedonians. So when he had taken these men by siege, he brought them forth to a lake and slew them93 there; and the city he delivered to Critobulos of Torone to have in charge, and to the natives of Chalkidike; and thus it was that the Chalkidians got possession of Olynthos. 128. Having taken this city Artabazos set himself to attack Potidaia with vigour, and as he was setting himself earnestly to this work, Timoxeinos the commander of the troops from Skione concerted with him to give up the town by treachery. Now in what manner he did this at the first, I for my part am not able to say, for this is not reported; at last however it happened as follows. Whenever either Timoxeinos wrote a paper wishing to send it to Artabazos, or Artabazos wishing to send one to Timoxeinos, they wound it round by the finger-notches94 of an arrow, and then, putting feathers over the paper, they shot it to a place agreed upon between them. It came however to be found out that Timoxeinos was attempting by treachery to give up Potidaia; for Artabazos, shooting an arrow at the place agreed upon, missed this spot and struck a man of Potidaia in the shoulder; and when he was struck, a crowd came about him, as is apt to happen when there is fighting, and they forthwith took the arrow and having discovered the paper carried it to the commanders. Now there was present an allied force of the other men of Pallene also. Then when the commanders had read the paper and discovered who was guilty of the treachery, they resolved not openly to convict95 Timoxeinos of treachery, for the sake of the city of Skione, lest the men of Skione should be esteemed traitors for all time to come. 129. He then in such a manner as this had been discovered; and when three months had gone by while Artabazos was besieging the town, there came to be a great ebb of the sea backwards, which lasted for a long time; and the Barbarians, seeing that shallow water had been produced, endeavoured to get by into the peninsula of Pallene,96 but when they had passed through two fifth-parts of the distance, and yet three- fifths remained, which they must pass through before they were within Pallene, then there came upon them a great flood-tide of the sea, higher than ever before, as the natives of the place say, though high tides come often. So those of them who could not swim perished, and those who could were slain by the men of Potidaia who put out to them in boats. The cause of the high tide and flood and of that which befell the Persians was this, as the Potidaians say, namely that these same Persians who perished by means of the sea had committed impiety towards the temple of Poseidon and his image in the suburb of their town; and in saying that this was the cause, in my opinion they say well. The survivors of his army Artabazos led away to Thessaly to join Mardonios. Thus it fared with these who escorted the king on his way.
130. The fleet of Xerxes, so much of it as remained, when it had touched Asia in its flight from Salamis, and had conveyed the king and his army over from the Chersonese to Abydos, passed the winter at Kyme: and when spring dawned upon it, it assembled early at Samos, where some of the ships had even passed the winter; and most of the Persians and Medes still served as fighting-men on board of them.97 To be commanders of them there came Mardontes the son of Bagaios, and Artaÿntes the son of Artachaies, and with them also Ithamitres was in joint command, who was brother’s son to Artaÿntes and had been added by the choice of Artaÿntes himself. They then, since they had suffered a heavy blow, did not advance further up towards the West, nor did any one compel them to do so; but they remained still in Samos and kept watch over Ionia, lest it should revolt, having three hundred ships including those of the Ionians; and they did not expect that the Hellenes on their part would come to Ionia, but thought that it would satisfy them to guard their own land, judging from the fact that they had not pursued after them in their flight from Salamis but were well contented then to depart homewards. As regards the sea then their spirit was broken, but on land they thought that Mardonios would get much the advantage. So they being at Samos were taking counsel to do some damage if they could to their enemies, and at the same time they were listening for news how the affairs of Mardonios would fall out.
131. The Hellenes on their part were roused both by the coming on of spring and by the presence of Mardonios in Thessaly. Their land-army had not yet begun to assemble, when the fleet arrived at Egina, in number one hundred and ten ships, and the commander and admiral was Leotychides, who was the son of Menares, the son of Hegesilaos, the son of Hippocratides, the son of Leotychides, the son of Anaxilaos, the son of Archidemos, the son of Anaxandriddes, the son of Theopompos, the son of Nicander, the son of Charilaos,98 the son of Eunomos, the son of Polydectes, the son of Prytanis, the son of Euryphon,99 the son of Procles, the son of Aristodemos, the son of Aristomachos, the son of Cleodaios, the son of Hyllos, the son of Heracles, being of the other royal house.100 These all, except the two1334 enumerated first after Leotychides, had been kings of Sparta. And of the Athenians the commander was Xanthippos the son of Ariphon. 132. When all the ships had arrived at Egina, there came Ionian envoys to the camp of the Hellenes, who also came a short time before this to Sparta and asked the Lacedemonians to set Ionia free; and of them one was Herodotus the son of Basileides. These had banded themselves together and had plotted to put to death Strattis the despot of Chios, being originally seven in number; but when one of those who took part with them gave information of it and they were discovered to be plotting against him, then the remaining six escaped from Chios and came both to Sparta and also at this time to Egina, asking the Hellenes to sail over to Ionia: but they with difficulty brought them forward as far as Delos; for the parts beyond this were all fearful to the Hellenes, since they were without experience of those regions and everything seemed to them to be filled with armed force, while their persuasion was that it was as long a voyage to Samos as to the Pillars of Heracles. Thus at the same time it so chanced that the Barbarians dared sail no further up towards the West than Samos, being smitten with fear, and the Hellenes no further down towards the East than Delos, when the Chians made request of them. So fear was guard of the space which lay between them.
133. The Hellenes, I say, sailed to Delos; and Mardonios meanwhile had been wintering in Thessaly. From thence he sent round a man, a native of Europos, whose name was Mys, to the various Oracles, charging him to go everywhere to consult,101 wherever they1336 were permitted to make trial of the Oracles. What he desired to find out from the Oracles when he gave this charge, I am not able to say, for that is not reported; but I conceive for my part that he sent to consult about his present affairs and not about other things. 134. This Mys is known to have come to Lebadeia and to have persuaded by payment of money one of the natives of the place to go down to Trophonios, and also he came to the Oracle at Abai of the Phokians; and moreover when he came for the first time to Thebes, he not only consulted the Ismenian Apollo — there one may consult just as at Olympia with victims — but also by payment he persuaded a stranger who was not a Theban, and induced him to lie down to sleep in the temple of Amphiaraos. In this temple no one of the Thebans is permitted to seek divination, and that for the following reason:— Amphiaraos dealing by oracles bade them choose which they would of these two things, either to have him as a diviner or else as an ally in war, abstaining from the other use; and they chose that he should be their ally in war: for this reason it is not permitted to any of the Thebans to lie down to sleep in that temple. 135. After this a thing which to me is a very great marvel is said by the Thebans to have come to pass:— it seems that this man Mys of Europos, as he journeyed round to all the Oracles, came also to the sacred enclosure of the Ptoan Apollo. This temple is called “Ptoon,” and belongs to the Thebans, and it lies above the lake Copaïs at the foot of the mountains, close to the town of Acraiphia. When the man called Mys came to this temple with three men chosen from the citizens102 in his company, who were sent by the public authority to write down that which the god should utter in his divination, forthwith it is said the prophet103 of the god began to give the oracle in a Barbarian tongue; and while those of the Thebans who accompanied him were full of wonder, hearing a Barbarian instead of the Hellenic tongue, and did not know what to make of the matter before them, it is said that the man of Europos, Mys, snatched from them the tablet which they bore and wrote upon it that which was being spoken by the prophet; and he said that the prophet was giving his answer in the Carian tongue: and then when he had written it, he went away and departed to Thessaly.
136. Mardonios having read that which the Oracles uttered, whatever that was, after this sent as an envoy to Athens Alexander the son of Amyntas, the Macedonian, both because the Persians were connected with him by marriage, (for Gygaia the sister of Alexander and daughter of Amyntas had been married to a Persian Bubares,104 and from her had been born to him that Amyntas who lived in Asia, having the name of his mother’s father, to whom the king gave Alabanda,105 a great city of Phrygia, to possess), and also Mardonios was sending him because he was informed that Alexander was a public guest-friend and benefactor of the Athenians; for by this means he thought that he would be most likely to gain over the Athenians to his side, about whom he heard that they were a numerous people and brave in war, and of whom he knew moreover that these were they who more than any others had brought about the disasters which had befallen the Persians by sea. Therefore if these should be added to him, he thought that he should easily have command of the sea (and this in fact would have been the case), while on land he supposed himself to be already much superior in force. Thus he reckoned that his power would be much greater than that of the Hellenes. Perhaps also the Oracles told him this beforehand, counselling him to make the Athenian his ally, and so he was sending in obedience to their advice.
137. Now of this Alexander the seventh ancestor106 was that Perdiccas who first became despot of the Macedonians, and that in the manner which here follows:— From Argos there fled to the Illyrians three brothers of the descendents of Temenos, Gauanes, Aëropos, and Perdiccas; and passing over from the Illyrians into the upper parts of Macedonia they came to the city of Lebaia. There they became farm- servants for pay in the household of the king, one pasturing horses, the second oxen, and the youngest of them, namely Perdiccas, the smaller kinds of cattle; for107 in ancient times even those who were rulers over men1343 were poor in money, and not the common people only; and the wife of the king cooked for them their food herself. And whenever she baked, the loaf of the boy their servant, namely Perdiccas, became double as large as by nature it should be. When this happened constantly in the same manner, she told it to her husband, and he when he heard it conceived forthwith that this was a portent and tended to something great. He summoned the farm-servants therefore, and gave notice to them to depart out of his land; and they said that it was right that before they went forth they should receive the wages which were due. Now it chanced that the sun was shining into the house down through the opening which received the smoke, and the king when he heard about the wages said, being infatuated by a divine power: “I pay you then this for wages, and it is such as ye deserve,” pointing to the sunlight. So then Gauanes and Aëropos the elder brothers stood struck with amazement when they heard this, but the boy, who happened to have in his hand a knife, said these words: “We accept, O king, that which thou dost give;” and he traced a line with his knife round the sunlight on the floor of the house, and having traced the line round he thrice drew of the sunlight into his bosom, and after that he departed both himself and his fellows. 138. They then were going away, and to the king one of those who sat by him at table told what manner of thing the boy had done, and how the youngest of them had taken that which was given with some design: and he hearing this and being moved with anger, sent after them horsemen to slay them. Now there is a river in this land to which the descendents of these men from Argos sacrifice as a saviour. This river, so soon as the sons of Temenos had passed over it, began to flow with such great volume of water that the horsemen became unable to pass over. So the brothers, having come to another region of Macedonia, took up their dwelling near the so-called gardens of Midas the son of Gordias, where roses grow wild which have each one sixty petals and excel all others in perfume. In these gardens too Silenos was captured, as is reported by the Macedonians: and above the gardens is situated a mountain called Bermion, which is inaccessible by reason of the cold. Having taken possession of that region, they made this their starting-point, and proceeded to subdue also the rest of Macedonia. 139. From this Perdiccas the descent of Alexander was as follows:— Alexander was the son of Amyntas, Amyntas was the son of Alketes, the father of Alketes was Aëropos, of him Philip, of Philip Argaios, and of this last the father was Perdiccas, who first obtained the kingdom.
140. Thus then, I say, Alexander the son of Amyntas was descended; and when he came to Athens sent from Mardonios, he spoke as follows: (a) “Athenians, Mardonios speaks these words:— There has come to me a message from the king which speaks in this manner:— To the Athenians I remit all the offences which were committed against me: and now, Mardonios, thus do — first give them back their own land; then let them choose for themselves another in addition to this, whichsoever they desire, remaining independent; and set up for them again all their temples, which I set on fire, provided that they consent to make a treaty with me. This message having come to me, it is necessary for me to do so, unless by your means I am prevented: and thus I speak to you now:— Why are ye so mad as to raise up war against the king? since neither will ye overcome him, nor are ye able to hold out against him for ever: for ye saw the multitude of the host of Xerxes and their deeds, and ye are informed also of the power which is with me at the present time; so that even if ye overcome and conquer us (of which ye can have no hope if ye are rightly minded), another power will come many times as large. Do not ye then desire to match yourselves with the king, and so to be both deprived of your land and for ever running a course for your own lives; but make peace with him: and ye have a most honourable occasion to make peace, since the king has himself set out upon this road: agree to a league with us then without fraud or deceit, and remain free. (b) These things Mardonios charged me to say to you, O Athenians; and as for me, I will say nothing of the goodwill towards you on my part, for ye would not learn that now for the first time; but I ask of you to do as Mardonios says, since I perceive that ye will not be able to war with Xerxes for ever — if I perceived in you ability to do this, I should never have come to you speaking these words — for the power of the king is above that of a man and his arm is very long. If therefore ye do not make an agreement forthwith, when they offer you great things as the terms on which they are willing to make a treaty, I have fear on your behalf, seeing that ye dwell more upon the highway than any of your allies, and are exposed ever to destruction alone, the land which ye possess being parted off from the rest and lying between the armies which are contending together.108 Nay, but be persuaded, for this is a matter of great consequence to you, that to you alone of the Hellenes the great king remits the offences committed and desires to become a friend.”
141. Thus spoke Alexander; and the Lacedemonians having been informed that Alexander had come to Athens to bring the Athenians to make a treaty with the Barbarians, and remembering the oracles, who it was destined that they together with the other Dorians should be driven forth out of the Peloponnese by the Medes and the Athenians combined, had been very greatly afraid lest the Athenians should make a treaty with the Persians; and forthwith they had resolved to send envoys. It happened moreover that they were introduced at the same time with Alexander;109 for the Athenians had waited for them, protracting the time, because they were well assured that the Lacedemonians would hear that an envoy had come from the Barbarians to make a treaty, and that having heard it they would themselves send envoys with all speed. They acted therefore of set purpose, so as to let the Lacedemonians see their inclination. 142. So when Alexander had ceased speaking, the envoys from Sparta followed him forthwith and said: “As for us, the Lacedemonians sent us to ask of you not to make any change in that which concerns Hellas, nor to accept proposals from the Barbarian; since this is not just in any way nor honourable for any of the Hellenes to do, but least of all for you, and that for many reasons. Ye were they who stirred up this war, when we by no means willed it; and the contest came about for your dominion, but now it extends even to the whole of Hellas. Besides this it is by no means to be endured that ye Athenians, who are the authors of all this, should prove to be the cause of slavery to the Hellenes, seeing that ye ever from ancient time also have been known as the liberators of many. We feel sympathy however with you for your sufferings and because ye were deprived of your crops twice and have had your substance ruined now for a long time. In compensation for this the Lacedemonians and their allies make offer to support your wives and all those of your households who are unfitted for war, so long as this war shall last: but let not Alexander the Macedonian persuade you, making smooth the speech of Mardonios; for these things are fitting for him to do, since being himself a despot he is working in league with a despot: for you however they are not fitting to do, if ye chance to be rightly minded; for ye know that in Barbarians there is neither faith nor truth at all.”
Thus spoke the envoys: 143, and to Alexander the Athenians made answer thus: “Even of ourselves we know so much, that the Mede has a power many times as numerous as ours; so that there is no need for thee to cast this up against us. Nevertheless because we long for liberty we shall defend ourselves as we may be able: and do not thou endeavour to persuade us to make a treaty with the Barbarian, for we on our part shall not be persuaded. And now report to Mardonios that the Athenians say thus:— So long as the Sun goes on the same course by which he goes now, we will never make an agreement with Xerxes; but we will go forth to defend ourselves110 against him, trusting in the gods and the heroes as allies, for whom he had no respect when he set fire to their houses and to their sacred images. And in the future do not thou appear before the Athenians with any such proposals as these, nor think that thou art rendering them good service in advising them to do that which is not lawful; for we do not desire that thou shouldest suffer anything unpleasant at the hands of the Athenians, who art their public guest and friend.” 144. To Alexander they thus made answer, but to the envoys from Sparta as follows: “That the Lacedemonians should be afraid lest we should make a treaty with the Barbarian was natural no doubt;111 but it seems to be an unworthy fear for men who know so well the spirit of the Athenians, namely that there is neither so great quantity of gold anywhere upon the earth, nor any land so much excelling in beauty and goodness, that we should be willing to accept it and enslave Hellas by taking the side of the Medes. For many and great are the reasons which hinder us from doing this, even though we should desire it; first and greatest the images and houses of the gods set on fire or reduced to ruin, which we must necessarily avenge to the very utmost rather than make an agreement with him who did these deeds; then secondly there is the bond of Hellenic race, by which we are of one blood and of one speech, the common temples of the gods and the common sacrifices, the manners of life which are the same for all; to these it would not be well that the Athenians should become traitors. And be assured of this, if by any chance ye were not assured of it before, that so long as one of the Athenians remains alive, we will never make an agreement with Xerxes. We admire however the forethought which ye had with regard to us, in that ye took thought for us who have had our substance destroyed, and are willing to support the members of our households; and so far as ye are concerned, the kindness has been fully performed: but we shall continue to endure as we may, and not be a trouble in any way to you. Now therefore, with full conviction this is so, send out an army as speedily as ye may: for, as we conjecture, the Barbarian will be here invading our land at no far distant time but so soon as he shall be informed of the message sent, namely that we shall do none of those things which he desired of us. Therefore before he arrives here in Attica, it is fitting that ye come to our rescue quickly in Bœotia.” Thus the Athenians made answer, and upon that the envoys went away back to Sparta.
1 See v. 77.
2 i.e. triremes.
3 οσ το πλεθοσ εκαστοι τον νεον παρεικηοντο: some read by conjecture οσον το πλεθοσ κ.τ.λ.
4 Perhaps “also” refers to the case of those who had come to Thermopylai, cp. vii. 207. Others translate, “these Hellenes who had come after all to Artemision,” i.e. after all the doubt and delay.
5 παντεσ: some MSS. have πλεγεντεσ, which is adopted by most Editors, “smitten by bribes.”
6 δεθεν, with ironical sense.
7 μεδε πυρφορον: the πυρφοροσ had charge of the fire brought for sacrifices from the altar of Zeus Agetor at Sparta, and ordinarily his person would be regarded as sacred; hence the proverb ουδε πυρφοροσ εσοθε, used of an utter defeat.
8 του διεκπλοου.
9 κατα στομα.
10 σκλεραι βρονται: the adjective means “harsh-sounding.”
12 τα Κοιλα τεσ Ευβοιεσ.
13 “having been roughly handled.”
14 επι τεν θαλασσαν ταυτεν: some MSS. read ταυτε for ταυτεν, which is to be taken with συλλεξασ, “he assembled the generals there.”
15 περιπετεα εποιεσαντο σφισι αυτοισι τα πρεγματα.
16 παλεσειε, a word which does not occur elsewhere, and is explained by Hesychius as equivalent to διαφθαρειν. Various emendations have been proposed, and Valla seems to have had the reading απελασειε, for he says discessisset. Stein explains παλεσειε (as from παλε) “should contend.”
17 Some suppose the number “four thousand” is interpolated by misunderstanding of the inscription in vii. 228; and it seems hardly possible that the dead were so many as four thousand, unless at least half were Helots.
18 Some MSS. have “Tritantaichmes,” which is adopted by many Editors.
20 οσ αναρπασομενοι τουσ Φοκεασ: cp. ix. 60.
21 ποδεον στεινοσ, like the neck of a wineskin; cp. ii. 121, note 102.
22 του προφετεν, the interpreter of the utterances of the προμαντισ.
25 i.e. of Athene Polias, the Erechtheion; so throughout this account.
26 συνερρεε, “kept flowing together.”
27 Or, “Hermione.”
28 See i. 56.
29 See ch. 31.
30 προσ παντασ τουσ αλλουσ, “in comparison with all the rest,” cp. iii. 94.
31 στραταρκηεο: a vague expression, because being introduced after Kecrops he could not have the title of king.
32 The number obtained by adding up the separate contingents is 366. Many Editors suppose that the ships with which the Eginetans were guarding their own coast (ch. 46) are counted here, and quote the authority of Pausanias for the statement that the Eginetans supplied more ships than any others except the Athenians. Stein suggests the insertion of the number twelve in ch. 46.
33 Or, “Thespeia.”
34 i.e. “Areopagus.”
35 i.e. the North side.
38 πολλοσ εν εν τοισ λογοισ: cp. ix. 91.
39 See vii. 141-143.
40 αυτοθεν ικ Σαλαμινοσ.
41 τε Μετρι και τε Κουρε, Demeter and Persephone.
42 τε ανακρισι: cp. ανακρινομενουσ, ix. 56. Some Editors, following inferior MSS., read τε κρισι, “at the judgment expressed.”
43 μυριαδον, “ten thousands.”
44 Or, “Hermione.”
45 οι περιοικοι: some Editors omit the article and translate “and these are the so-called Orneates or dwellers round (Argos),” Orneates being a name for the περιοικοι of Argos, derived from the conquered city of Orneai.
46 ελπιδι μαινομενε, “with a mad hope.”
47 κρατερον Κορον Υβριοσ υιον.
48 δοκευντ ανα παντα τιθεσθαι: the MSS. have also πιθεσθαι. Possibly τιθεσθαι might stand, though ανατιθεσθαι is not found elsewhere in this sense. Stein adopts in his last edition the conjecture πιεσθαι, “swallow up.”
50 ποτνια Νικε.
51 i.e. about rivalry.
52 τον επιβατεον.
53 Many Editors reading οσα δε and παραινεσασ δε, make the stop after αντιτιθεμενα: “and in all that is produced in the nature and constitution of man he exhorted them to choose the better.”
54 ο δαιμονιοι, “strange men.”
55 See ch. 22.
56 προσ δε ετι και προσελαβετο: the MSS. have προσεβαλετο. Most Editors translate, “Moreover Ariamnes . . . contributed to the fate of the Phenicians, being a friend (of the Ionians);” but this does not seem possible unless we read φιλοσ εον Ιοσι (or Ιονον). Valla translates nearly as I have done. (It does not appear that προσβαλλεσθαι is found elsewhere in the sense of συμβαλλεσθαι.)
57 i.e. they who were commanded to execute them.
58 See vii. 179, 181.
59 See vi. 49, etc., and 73.
61 συμβαλλονται: the Athenians apparently are spoken of, for they alone believed the story.
62 αποπλεσαι: this is the reading of the MSS.; but many Editors adopt corrections ( αποπλεσθαι or αποπλεσθεναι). The subject to αποπλεσαι is to be found in the preceding sentence and the connexion with τον τε αλλον παντα κ.τ.λ. is a loose one. This in fact is added as an afterthought, the idea being originally to call attention simply to the fulfilment of the oracle of Lysistratos.
63 φρυξουσι: a conjectural emendation, adopted by most Editors, of φριξουσι, “will shudder (at the sight of oars).”
64 κατ αλλον και αλλον: the MSS. have κατ αλλον, but Valla’s rendering is “alium atque alium.”
65 υπερ μεγαλον αιορεθεντα.
66 i.e. 300,000.
67 οσ εκ κακον: some translate, “thinking that he had escaped from his troubles.”
68 τοισι επικλετοισι, cp. vii. 8 and ix. 42.
69 i.e. Asia, as opposed to “these parts.”
70 Stein would take περι οικον τον σον with ουδεμια συμφορε, but the order of words is against this.
71 πολλουσ πολλακισ αγονασ δραμεονται περι σφεον αυτον.
72 See i. 175. The manner of the repetition and some points in the diction raise suspicion that the passage is interpolated here; and so it is held to be by most Editors. In i. 175 we find τρισ instead of δισ.
73 υπεγαγον, cp. vi. 72, with the idea of bringing before a court for punishment, not “by underhand means,” as it is understood by Larcher and Bähr.
74 “vengeance and Hermotimos.”
75 σφεισ . . . εργασαιατο: the MSS. read σφι (one σφεασ) and εργασαιτο, and this is retained by some Editors.
77 μεταβαλον: others translate, “he turned from them to the Athenians”; but cp. vii. 52. The words προσ τουσ Αθεναιουσ are resumed by σφι with ελεγε.
78 και επι σφεον αυτον βαλομενοι, “even at their own venture,” cp. iii. 71.
79 τα ιδια, “things belonging to private persons.”
81 γεοπεινασ, “poor in land.”
82 It seems necessary to insert αν with ειναι. For the sentiment cp. vii. 172.
83 κηρεομενοσ τοισι και προσ βασιλεα εκηρεσατο. This is the reading of the best MSS.: the rest have κηρεομενοσ λογοισι τοισι και προσ Ανδριουσ εκηρεσατο, “using the same language as he had before used to the Andrians.”
84 και τεν αλλεν ιππον: some MSS. omit αλλεν.
85 ολα, i.e. not the whole number of them, but great masses without individual selection.
86 ουδεν μεροσ οσ ειπειν.
87 ανεμον Στρυμονιεν, “the wind called Strymonias.”
88 τα ακροθινια, i.e. the tithe.
89 i.e. the corner of the entrance-hall, επι του προνειου τεσ γονιεσ, i. 51.
90 διενεμον: some understand this to mean “distributed the voting tablets,” and some MSS. read διενεμοντο, “distributed among themselves,” which is adopted by many Editors.
92 See i. 67.
93 A small island near Attica, taken here as the type of insignificance. To suppose that Timodemos was connected with it is quite unnecessary. The story in Plutarch about the Seriphian is different.
94 i.e. 60,000.
95 κατεσφαξε, “cut their throats.”
96 παρα τασ γλυφιδασ: some Editors read περι τασ γλυφιδασ on the authority of Æneas Tacticus. The γλυφιδεσ are probably notches which give a hold for the fingers as they draw back the string.
97 καταπλεξαι, “strike down” by the charge.
98 The way was shut against them ordinarily by the town of Potidaia, which occupied the isthmus.
99 i.e. most of those who before served as επιβαται (vii. 96) continued to serve still. The sentence is usually translated, “of those who served as fighting-men in them the greater number were Persians or Medes,” and this may be right.
100 The MSS. have “Charilos” or “Charillos.”
101 Some Editors read “Eurypon,” which is the form found elsewhere.
102 Cp. vii. 204.
103 δυον. It seems certain that the number required here is seven and not two, and the emendation επτα for δυον ( ζ for β) is approved by several Editors.
104 κηρεσομενον: the best MSS. read κηρεσαμενον, which is retained by Stein, with the meaning “charging him to consult the Oracles everywhere . . . and then return.”
105 i.e. Mardonios and the Persians.
106 i.e. Theban citizens.
107 προμαντιν: he is afterwards called προφετεσ.
108 Cp. v. 21.
109 Some Editors would read “Alabastra.” Alabanda was a Carian town.
110 Counting Alexander himself as one.
111 εσαν γαρ: this is the reading of the best MSS.: others have εσαν δε. Stein (reading εσαν γαρ) places this clause after the next, “The wife of the king herself baked their bread, for in ancient times, etc.” This transposition is unnecessary; for it would be easy to understand it as a comment on the statement that three members of the royal house of Argos became farm-servants.
112 αι τυραννιδεσ τον ανθροπον.
113 εξαιρετον μεταικημιον τε τεν γυν εκτεμενον: there are variations of reading and punctuation in the MSS.
114 συνεπιπτε οστε ομου σφεον γινεσθαι τεν καταστασιν, i.e. their introduction before the assembly, cp. iii. 46.
115 επεξιμεν αμυνομενοι, which possibly might be translated, “we will continue to defend ourselves.”
116 καρτα ανθροπειον.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:09