The History of Herodotus Vol. II
Category: History
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Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian and geographer from the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He is known for having written the Histories – a detailed account of the Greco-Persian Wars.

The History of Herodotus


Translated into English by
G. C. Macaulay

In Two Volumes

Vol. II

The History of Herodotus Vol. II

Book V. The Fifth Book of the Histories, Called Terpsichore

1. In the meantime those of the Persians who had been left behind in Europe by Dareios, of whom Megabazos was the commander, had subdued the people of Perinthos first of the Hellespontians, since they refused to be subject to Dareios. These had in former times also been hardly dealt with by the Paionians: for the Paionians from the Strymon had been commanded by an oracle of their god to march against the Perinthians; and if the Perinthians, when encamped opposite to them, should shout aloud and call to them by their name, they were to attack them; but if they should not shout to them, they were not to attack them: and thus the Paionians proceeded to do. Now when the Perinthians were encamped opposite to them in the suburb of their city, a challenge was made and a single combat took place in three different forms; for they matched a man against a man, and a horse against a horse, and a dog against a dog. Then, as the Perinthians were getting the better in two of the three, in their exultation they raised a shout of paion, and the Paionians conjectured that this was the very thing which was spoken of in the oracle, and said doubtless to one another, “Now surely the oracle is being accomplished for us, now it is time for us to act.” So the Paionians attacked the Perinthians when they had raised the shout of paion, and they had much the better in the fight, and left but few of them alive.

2. Thus it happened with respect to those things which had been done to them in former times by the Paionians; and at this time, although the Perinthians proved themselves brave men in defence of their freedom, the Persians and Megabazos got the better of them by numbers. Then after Perinthos had been conquered, Megabazos marched his army through the length of Thracia, forcing every city and every race of those who dwell there to submit to the king, for so it had been commanded him by Dareios, to subdue Thracia.

3. Now the Thracian race is the most numerous, except the Indians, in all the world: and if it should come to be ruled over by one man, or to agree together in one, it would be irresistible in fight and the strongest by far of all nations, in my opinion. Since however this is impossible for them and cannot ever come to pass among them, they are in fact weak for that reason. They have many names, belonging to their various tribes in different places; but they all follow customs which are nearly the same in all respects, except the Getai and Trausians and those who dwell above the Crestonians.

4. Of these the practices of the Getai, who believe themselves to be immortal, have been spoken of by me already: and the Trausians perform everything else in the same manner as the other Thracians, but in regard to those who are born and die among them they do as follows: — when a child has been born, the nearest of kin sit round it and make lamentation for all the evils of which he must fulfil the measure, now that he is born, enumerating the whole number of human ills; but when a man is dead, they cover him up in the earth with sport and rejoicing, saying at the same time from what great evils he has escaped and is now in perfect bliss.

5. Those who dwell above the Crestonians do as follows: — each man has many wives, and when any man of them is dead, a great competition takes place among his wives, with much exertion on the part of their friends, about the question of which of them was most loved by their husband; and she who is preferred by the decision and so honoured, is first praised by both men and women, then her throat is cut over the tomb by her nearest of kin, and afterwards she is buried together with her husband; and the others are exceedingly grieved at it, for this is counted as the greatest reproach to them.

6. Of the other Thracians the custom is to sell their children to be carried away out of the country; and over their maidens they do not keep watch, but allow them to have commerce with whatever men they please, but over their wives they keep very great watch; and they buy their wives for great sums of money from their parents. To be pricked with figures is accounted a mark of noble rank, and not to be so marked is a sign of low birth. Not to work is counted most honourable, and to be a worker of the soil is above all things dishonourable: to live on war and plunder is the most honourable thing.

7. These are their most remarkable customs; and of the gods they worship only Ares and Dionysos and Artemis. Their kings, however, apart from the rest of the people, worship Hermes more than all gods, and swear by him alone; and they say that they are descended from Hermes.

8. The manner of burial for the rich among them is this: — for three days they expose the corpse to view, and they slay all kinds of victims and feast, having first made lamentation. Then they perform the burial rites, either consuming the body with fire or covering it up in the earth without burning; and afterwards when they have heaped up a mound they celebrate games with every kind of contest, in which reasonably the greatest prizes are assigned for single combat. This is the manner of burial among the Thracians.

9. Of the region lying further on towards the North of this country no one can declare accurately who the men are who dwell in it; but the parts which lie immediately beyond the Ister are known to be uninhabited and vast in extent. The only men of whom I can hear who dwell beyond the Ister are those who are said to be called Sigynnai, and who use the Median fashion of dress. Their horses, it is said, have shaggy hair all over their bodies, as much as five fingers long; and these are small and flat-nosed and too weak to carry men, but when yoked in chariots they are very high-spirited; therefore the natives of the country drive chariots. The boundaries of this people extend, it is said, to the parts near the Enetoi, who live on the Adriatic; and people say that they are colonists from the Medes. In what way however these have come to be colonists from the Medes I am not able for my part to conceive, but everything is possible in the long course of ages. However that may be, the Ligurians who dwell in the region inland above Massalia call traders sigynnai, and the men of Cyprus give the same name to spears.

10. Now the Thracians say that the other side of the Ister is occupied by bees, and that by reason of them it is not possible to pass through and proceed further: but to me it seems that when they so speak, they say that which is not probable; for these creatures are known to be intolerant of cold, and to me it seems that the regions which go up towards the pole are uninhabitable by reason of the cold climate. These then are the tales reported about this country; and however that may be, Megabazos was then making the coast-regions of it subject to the Persians.

11. Meanwhile Dareios, so soon as he had crossed over the Hellespont and come to Sardis, called to mind the service rendered to him by Histiaios the Milesian and also the advice of the Mytilenian Coës, and having sent for them to come to Sardis he offered them a choice of rewards. Histiaios then, being despot of Miletos, did not make request for any government in addition to that, but he asked for the district of Myrkinos which belonged to the Edonians, desiring there to found a city. Histiaios chose this for himself; but Coës, not being a despot but a man of the people, asked to be made despot of Mitylene.

12. After the desires of both had been fulfilled, they betook themselves to that which they had chosen: and at this same time it chanced that Dareios saw a certain thing which made him desire to command Megabazos to conquer the Paionians and remove them forcibly from Europe into Asia: and the thing was this: — There were certain Paionians named Pigres and Mantyas, who when Dareios had crossed over into Asia, came to Sardis, because they desired themselves to have rule over the Paionians, and with them they brought their sister, who was tall and comely. Then having watched for a time when Dareios took his seat publicly in the suburb of the Lydian city, they dressed up their sister in the best way they could, and sent her to fetch water, having a water-jar upon her head and leading a horse after her by a bridle round her arm, and at the same time spinning flax. Now when the woman passed out of the city by him, Dareios paid attention to the matter, for that which was done by the woman was not of Persian nor yet of Lydian fashion, nor indeed after the manner of any people of Asia. He sent therefore some of his spearmen, bidding them watch what the woman would do with the horse. They accordingly followed after her; and she having arrived at the river watered the horse, and having watered him and filled her jar with the water, she passed along by the same way, bearing the water upon her head, leading the horse after her by a bridle round her arm, and at the same time turning the spindle.

13. Then Dareios, marvelling both at that which he heard from those who went to observe and also at that which he saw himself, bade them bring her into his presence: and when she was brought, her brothers also came, who had been watching these things at no great distance off. So then when Dareios asked of what country she was, the young men said that they were Paionians and that she was their sister; and he replied: “Who then are these Paionians, and where upon the earth do they dwell?” and he asked them also what they desired, that they had come to Sardis. They declared to him that they had come to give themselves up to him, and that Paionia was a country situated upon the river Strymon, and that the Strymon was not far from the Hellespont, and finally that they were colonists from the Teucrians of Troy. All these things severally they told him; and he asked whether all the women of that land were as industrious as their sister; and they very readily replied to this also, saying that it was so, for it was with a view to that very thing that they had been doing this.

14. Then Dareios wrote a letter to Megabazos, whom he had left to command his army in Thrace, bidding him remove the Paionians from their place of habitation and bring them to the king, both themselves and their children and their wives. Then forthwith a horseman set forth to ride in haste bearing the message to the Hellespont, and having passed over to the other side he gave the paper to Megabazos. So he having read it and having obtained guides from Thrace, set forth to march upon Paionia:

15. and the Paionians, being informed that the Persians were coming against them, gathered all their powers together and marched out in the direction of the sea, supposing that the Persians when they invaded them would make their attack on that side. The Paionians then were prepared, as I say, to drive off the army of Megabazos when it came against them; but the Persians hearing that the Paionians had gathered their powers and were guarding the entrance which lay towards the sea, directed their course with guides along the upper road; and passing unperceived by the Paionians they fell upon their cities, which were left without men, and finding them without defenders they easily took possession of them. The Paionians when they heard that their cities were in the hands of the enemy, at once dispersed, each tribe to its own place of abode, and proceeded to deliver themselves up to the Persians. Thus then it happened that these tribes of the Paionians, namely the Siropaionians, the Paioplians and all up to the lake Prasias, were removed from their place of habitation and brought to Asia;

16. but those who dwell about mount Pangaion, and about the Doberians and Agrianians and Odomantians, and about the lake Prasias itself, were not conquered at all by Megabazos. He tried however to remove even those who lived in the lake and who had their dwellings in the following manner: — a platform fastened together and resting upon lofty piles stood in the middle of the water of the lake, with a narrow approach to it from the mainland by a single bridge. The piles which supported the platform were no doubt originally set there by all the members of the community working together, but since that time they continue to set them by observance of this rule, that is to say, every man who marries brings from the mountain called Orbelos three piles for each wife and sets them as supports; and each man takes to himself many wives. And they have their dwelling thus, that is each man has possession of a hut upon the platform in which he lives and of a trap-door leading through the platform down to the lake: and their infant children they tie with a rope by the foot, for fear that they should roll into the water. To their horses and beasts of burden they give fish for fodder; and of fish there is so great quantity that if a man open the trap-door and let down an empty basket by a cord into the lake, after waiting quite a short time he draws it up again full of fish. Of the fish there are two kinds, and they call them paprax and tilon.

17. So then those of the Paionians who had been conquered were being brought to Asia: and Megabazos meanwhile, after he had conquered the Paionians, sent as envoys to Macedonia seven Persians, who after himself were the men of most repute in the army. These were being sent to Amyntas to demand of him earth and water for Dareios the king. Now from lake Prasias there is a very short way into Macedonia; for first, quite close to the lake, there is the mine from which after this time there came in regularly a talent of silver every day to Alexander; and after the mine, when you have passed over the mountain called Dysoron, you are in Macedonia.

18. These Persians then, who had been sent to Amyntas, having arrived came into the presence of Amyntas and proceeded to demand earth and water for king Dareios. This he was willing to give, and also he invited them to be his guests; and he prepared a magnificent dinner and received the Persians with friendly hospitality. Then when dinner was over, the Persians while drinking pledges to one another said thus: “Macedonian guest-friend, it is the custom among us Persians, when we set forth a great dinner, then to bring in also our concubines and lawful wives to sit beside us. Do thou then, since thou didst readily receive us and dost now entertain us magnificently as thy guests, and since thou art willing to give to king Dareios earth and water, consent to follow our custom.” To this Amyntas replied: “Persians, among us the custom is not so, but that men should be separate from women. Since however ye being our masters make this request in addition, this also shall be given you.” Having so said Amyntas proceeded to send for the women; and when they came being summoned, they sat down in order opposite to the Persians. Then the Persians, seeing women of comely form, spoke to Amyntas and said that this which had been done was by no means well devised; for it was better that the women should not come at all, than that they should come and should not seat themselves by their side, but sit opposite and be a pain to their eyes. So Amyntas being compelled bade them sit by the side of the Persians; and when the women obeyed, forthwith the Persians, being much intoxicated, began to touch their breasts, and some no doubt also tried to kiss them.

19. Amyntas seeing this kept quiet, notwithstanding that he felt anger, because he excessively feared the Persians; but Alexander the son of Amyntas, who was present and saw this, being young and without experience of calamity was not able to endure any longer; but being impatient of it he said to Amyntas: “My father, do thou grant that which thy age demands, and go away to rest, nor persevere longer in the drinking; but I will remain here and give to our guests all that is convenient.” On this Amyntas, understanding that Alexander was intending to do some violence, said: “My son, I think that I understand thy words, as the heat of anger moves thee, namely that thou desirest to send me away and then do some deed of violence: therefore I ask of thee not to do violence to these men, that it may not be our ruin, but endure to see that which is being done: as to my departure, however, in that I will do as thou sayest.”

20. When Amyntas after having made of him this request had departed, Alexander said to the Persians: “With these women ye have perfect freedom, guests, to have commerce with all, if ye so desire, or with as many of them as ye will. About this matter ye shall be they who give the word; but now, since already the hour is approaching for you to go to bed and I see that ye have well drunk, let these women go away, if so it is pleasing to you, to bathe themselves; and when they have bathed, then receive them back into your company.” Having so said, since the Persians readily agreed, he dismissed the women, when they had gone out, to the women’s chambers; and Alexander himself equipped men equal in number to the women and smooth-faced, in the dress of the women, and giving them daggers he led them into the banqueting-room; and as he led them in, he said thus to the Persians: “Persians, it seems to me that ye have been entertained with a feast to which nothing was wanting; for other things, as many as we had, and moreover such as we were able to find out and furnish, are all supplied to you, and there is this especially besides, which is the chief thing of all, that is, we give you freely in addition our mothers and our sisters, in order that ye may perceive fully that ye are honoured by us with that treatment which ye deserve, and also in order that ye may report to the king who sent you that a man of Hellas, ruler under him of the Macedonians, entertained you well at board and bed.” Having thus said Alexander caused a Macedonian man in the guise of a woman to sit by each Persian, and they, when the Persians attempted to lay hands on them, slew them.

21. So these perished by this fate, both they themselves and their company of servants; for there came with them carriages and servants and all the usual pomp of equipage, and this was all made away with at the same time as they. Afterwards in no long time a great search was made by the Persians for these men, and Alexander stopped them with cunning by giving large sums of money and his own sister, whose name was Gygaia; — by giving, I say, these things to Bubares a Persian, commander of those who were searching for the men who had been killed, Alexander stopped their search.

22. Thus the death of these Persians was kept concealed. And that these descendants of Perdiccas are Hellenes, as they themselves say, I happen to know myself, and not only so, but I will prove in the succeeding history that they are Hellenes. Moreover the Hellanodicai, who manage the games at Olympia, decided that they were so: for when Alexander wished to contend in the games and had descended for this purpose into the arena, the Hellenes who were to run against him tried to exclude him, saying that the contest was not for Barbarians to contend in but for Hellenes: since however Alexander proved that he was of Argos, he was judged to be a Hellene, and when he entered the contest of the foot-race his lot came out with that of the first.

23. Thus then it happened with regard to these things: and at the same time Megabazos had arrived at the Hellespont bringing with him the Paionians; and thence after passing over the straits he came to Sardis. Then, since Histiaios the Milesian was already engaged in fortifying with a wall the place which he had asked and obtained from Dareios as a reward for keeping safe the bridge of boats (this place being that which is called Myrkinos, lying along the bank of the river Strymon), Megabazos, having perceived that which was being done by Histiaios, as soon as he came to Sardis bringing the Paionians, said thus to Dareios: “O king, what a thing is this that thou hast done, granting permission to a Hellene who is skilful and cunning to found a city in Thracia in a place where there is forest for shipbuilding in abundance and great quantity of wood for oars and mines of silver and great numbers both of Hellenes and Barbarians living round, who when they have obtained a leader will do that which he shall command them both by day and by night. Therefore stop this man from doing so, that thou be not involved in a domestic war: and stop him by sending for him in a courteous manner; but when thou hast got him in thy hands, then cause that he shall never again return to the land of the Hellenes.”

24. Thus saying Megabazos easily persuaded Dareios, who thought that he was a true prophet of that which was likely to come to pass: and upon that Dareios sent a messenger to Myrkinos and said as follows: “Hisiaios, king Dareios saith these things: — By taking thought I find that there is no one more sincerely well disposed than thou art to me and to my power; and this I know having learnt by deeds not words. Now therefore, since I have it in my mind to accomplish great matters, come hither to me by all means, that I may communicate them to thee.” Histiaios therefore, trusting to these sayings and at the same time accounting it a great thing to become a counsellor of the king, came to Sardis; and when he had come Dareios spoke to him as follows: “Histiaios, I sent for thee for this reason, namely because when I had returned from the Scythians and thou wert gone away out of the sight of my eyes, never did I desire to see anything again within so short a time as I desired then both to see thee and that thou shouldst come to speech with me; since I perceived that the most valuable of all possessions is a friend who is a man of understanding and also sincerely well-disposed, both which qualities I know exist in thee, and I am able to bear witness of them in regard to my affairs. Now therefore (for thou didst well in that thou camest hither) this is that which I propose to thee: — leave Miletos alone and also thy newly-founded city in Thracia, and coming with me to Susa, have whatsoever things I have, eating at my table and being my counseller.”

25. Thus said Dareios, and having appointed Artaphrenes his own brother and the son of his father to be governor of Sardis, he marched away to Susa taking with him Histiaios, after he had first named Otanes to be commander of those who dwelt along the sea coasts. This man’s father Sisamnes, who had been made one of the Royal Judges, king Cambyses slew, because he had judged a cause unjustly for money, and flayed off all his skin: then after he had torn away the skin he cut leathern thongs out of it and stretched them across the seat where Sisamnes had been wont to sit to give judgment; and having stretched them in the seat, Cambyses appointed the son of that Sisamnes whom he had slain and flayed, to be judge instead of his father, enjoining him to remember in what seat he was sitting to give judgment.

26. This Otanes then, who was made to sit in that seat, had now become the successor of Megabazos in the command: and he conquered the Byzantians and Calchedonians, and he conquered Antandros in the land of Troas, and Lamponion; and having received ships from the Lesbians he conquered Lemnos and Imbros, which were both at that time still inhabited by Pelasgians.

27. Of these the Lemnians fought well, and defending themselves for a long time were at length brought to ruin; and over those of them who survived the Persians set as governor Lycaretos the brother of that Maiandrios who had been king of Samos. This Lycaretos ruled in Lemnos till his death. And the cause of it was this: — he continued to reduce all to slavery and subdue them, accusing some of desertion to the Scythians and others of doing damage to the army of Dareios as it was coming back from Scythia.

28. Otanes then effected so much when he was made commander: and after this for a short time there was an abatement of evils; and then again evils began a second time to fall upon the Ionians, arising from Naxos and Miletos. For Naxos was superior to all the other islands in wealth, and Miletos at the same time had just then come to the very height of its prosperity and was the ornament of Ionia; but before these events for two generations of men it had been afflicted most violently by faction until the Parians reformed it; for these the Milesians chose of all the Hellenes to be reformers of their State.

29. Now the Parians thus reconciled their factions: — the best men of them came to Miletos, and seeing that the Milesians were in a grievously ruined state, they said that they desired to go over their land: and while doing this and passing through the whole territory of Miletos, whenever they saw in the desolation of the land any field that was well cultivated, they wrote down the name of the owner of that field. Then when they had passed through the whole land and had found but few of such men, as soon as they returned to the city they called a general gathering and appointed these men to manage the State, whose fields they had found well cultivated; for they said that they thought these men would take care of the public affairs as they had taken care of their own: and the rest of the Milesians, who before had been divided by factions, they commanded to be obedient to these men.

30. The Parians then had thus reformed the Milesians; but at the time of which I speak evils began to come to Ionia from these States in the following manner: — From Naxos certain men of the wealthier class were driven into exile by the people, and having gone into exile they arrived at Miletos. Now of Miletos it happened that Aristagoras son of Molpagoras was ruler in charge, being both a son-in-law and also a cousin of Histiaios the son of Lysagoras, whom Dareios was keeping at Susa: for Histiaios was despot of Miletos, and it happened that he was at Susa at this time when the Naxians came, who had been in former times guest-friends of Histiaios. So when the Naxians arrived, they made request of Aristagoras, to see if perchance he would supply them with a force, and so they might return from exile to their own land: and he, thinking that if by his means they should return to their own State, he would be ruler of Naxos, but at the same time making a pretext of the guest-friendship of Histiaios, made proposal to them thus: “I am not able to engage that I can supply you with sufficient force to bring you back from exile against the will of those Naxians who have control of the State; for I hear that the Naxians have an army which is eight thousand shields strong and many ships of war: but I will use every endeavour to devise a means; and my plan is this: — it chances that Artaphrenes is my friend: now Artaphrenes, ye must know, is a son of Hystaspes and brother of Dareios the king; and he is ruler of all the people of the sea-coasts in Asia, with a great army and many ships. This man then I think will do whatsoever we shall request of him.” Hearing this the Naxians gave over the matter to Aristagoras to manage as best he could, and they bade him promise gifts and the expenses of the expedition, saying that they would pay them; for they had full expectation that when they should appear at Naxos, the Naxians would do all their bidding, and likewise also the other islanders. For of these islands, that is the Cyclades, not one was as yet subject to Dareios.

31. Aristagoras accordingly having arrived at Sardis, said to Artaphrenes that Naxos was an island not indeed large in size, but fair nevertheless and of fertile soil, as well as near to Ionia, and that there was in it much wealth and many slaves: “Do thou therefore send an expedition against this land, and restore it to those who are now exiles from it: and if thou shalt do this, first I have ready for thee large sums of money apart from the expenses incurred for the expedition (which it is fair that we who conduct it should supply), and next thou wilt gain for the king not only Naxos itself but also the islands which are dependent upon it, Paros and Andros and the others which are called Cyclades; and setting out from these thou wilt easily attack Euboea, an island which is large and wealth, as large indeed as Cyprus, and very easy to conquer. To subdue all these a hundred ships are sufficient.” He made answer in these words: “Thou makest thyself a reporter of good things to the house of the king; and in all these things thou advisest well, except as to the number of the ships: for instead of one hundred there shall be prepared for thee two hundred by the beginning of the spring. And it is right that the king himself also should join in approving this matter.”

32. So Aristagoras hearing this went back to Miletos greatly rejoiced; and Artaphrenes meanwhile, when he had sent to Susa and communicated that which was said by Aristagoras, and Dareios himself also had joined in approving it, made ready two hundred triremes and a very great multitude both of Persians and their allies, and appointed to be commander of these Megabates a Persian, one of the Achaimenidai and a cousin to himself and to Dareios, to whose daughter afterwards Pausanias the son of Cleombrotus the Lacedaemonian (at least if the story be true) betrothed himself, having formed a desire to become a despot of Hellas. Having appointed Megabates, I say, to be commander, Artaphrenes sent away the armament to Aristagoras.

33. So when Megabates had taken force together with the Naxians, he sailed with the pretence of going to the Hellespont; but when he came to Chios, he directed his ships to Caucasa, in order that he might from thence pass them over to Naxos with a North Wind. Then, since it was not fated that the Naxians should be destroyed by this expedition, there happened an event which I shall narrate. As Megabates was going round to visit the guards set in the several ships, it chanced that in a ship of Myndos there was no one on guard; and he being very angry bade his spearmen find out the commander of the ship, whose name was Skylax, and bind him in an oar-hole of his ship in such a manner that his head should be outside and his body within. When Skylax was thus bound, some one reported to Aristagoras that Megabates had bound his guest-friend of Myndos and was doing to him shameful outrage. He accordingly came and asked the Persian for his release, and as he did not obtain anything of that which he requested, he went himself and let him loose. Being informed of this Megabates was exceedingly angry and broke out in rage against Aristagoras; and he replied: “What hast thou to do with these matters? Did not Artaphrenes send thee to obey me, and to sail whithersoever I should order? Why dost thou meddle with things which concern thee not?” Thus said Aristagoras; and the other being enraged at this, when night came on sent men in a ship to Naxos to declare to the Naxians all the danger that threatened them.

34. For the Naxians were not at all expecting that this expedition would be against them: but when they were informed of it, forthwith they brought within the wall the property which was in the fields, and provided for themselves food and drink as for a siege, and strengthened their wall. These then were making preparations as for war to come upon them; and the others meanwhile having passed their ships over from Chios to Naxos, found them well defended when they made their attack, and besieged them for four months. Then when the money which the Persians had brought with them had all been consumed by them, and not only that, but Aristagoras himself had spent much in addition, and the siege demanded ever more and more, they built walls for the Naxian exiles and departed to the mainland again with ill success.

35. And so Aristagoras was not able to fulfil his promise to Artaphrenes; and at the same time he was hard pressed by the demand made to him for the expenses of the expedition, and had fears because of the ill success of the armament and because he had become an enemy of Megabates; and he supposed that he would be deprived of his rule over Miletos. Having all these various fears he began to make plans of revolt: for it happened also that just at this time the man who had been marked upon the head had come from Hisiaios who was at Susa, signifying that Aristagoras should revolt from the king. For Histiaios, desiring to signify to Aristagoras that he should revolt, was not able to do it safely in any other way, because the roads were guarded, but shaved off the hair of the most faithful of his slaves, and having marked his head by pricking it, waited till the hair had grown again; and as soon as it was grown, he sent him away to Miletos, giving him no other charge but this, namely that when he should have arrived at Miletos he should bid Aristagoras shave his hair and look at his head: and the marks, as I have said before, signified revolt. This thing Histiaios was doing, because he was greatly vexed by being detained at Susa. He had great hopes then that if a revolt occurred he would be let go to the sea-coast; but if no change was made at Miletos he had no expectation of ever returning thither again.

36. Accordingly Hisiaios with this intention was sending the messenger; and it chanced that all these things happened to Aristagoras together at the same time. He took counsel therefore with his partisans, declaring to them both his own opinion and the message from Hisiaios; and while all the rest expressed an opinion to the same effect, urging him namely to make revolt, Hecataios the historian urged first that they should not undertake war with the king of the Persians, enumerating all the nations over whom Dareios was ruler, and his power: and when he did not succeed in persuading him, he counselled next that they should manage to make themselves masters of the sea. Now this, he continued, could not come to pass in any other way, so far as he could see, for he knew that the force of the Milesians was weak, but if the treasures should be taken which were in the temple at Branchidai, which Croesus the Lydian dedicated as offerings, he had great hopes that they might become masters of the sea; and by this means they would not only themselves have wealth at their disposal, but the enemy would not be able to carry the things off as plunder. Now these treasures were of great value, as I have shown in the first part of the history. This opinion did not prevail; but nevertheless it was resolved to make revolt, and that one of them should sail to Myus, to make the force which had returned from Naxos and was then there, and endeavour to seize the commanders who sailed in the ships.

37. So Iatragoras was sent for this purpose and seized by craft Oliatos the son of Ibanollis of Mylasa, and Histiaios the son of Tymnes of Termera, and Coës the son of Erxander, to whom Dareios had given Mytilene as a gift, and Aristagoras the son of Heracleides of Kyme, and many others; and then Aristagoras openly made revolt and devised all that he could to the hurt of Dareios. And first he pretended to resign the despotic power and give to Miletos equality, in order that the Milesians might be willing to revolt with him: then afterwards he proceeded to do this same thing in the rest of Ionia also; and some of the despots he drove out, but those whom he had taken from the ships which had sailed with him to Naxis, these he surrendered, because he desired to do a pleasure to their cities, delivering them over severally to that city from which each one came.

38. Now the men of Mitylene, so soon as they received Coës into their hands, brought him out and stoned him to death; but the men of Kyme let their despot go, and so also most of the others let them go. Thus then the despots were deposed in the various cities; and Aristagoras the Milesian, after having deposed the despots, bade each people appoint commanders in their several cities, and then himself set forth as an envoy to Lacedemon; for in truth it was necessary that he should find out some powerful alliance.

39. Now at Sparta Anaxandrides the son of Leon was no longer surviving as king, but had brought his life to an end; and Cleomenes the son of Anaxandrides was holding the royal power, not having obtained it by merit but by right of birth. For Anaxandrides had to wife his own sister’s daughter and she was by him much beloved, but no children were born to him by her. This being so, the Ephors summoned him before them and said: “If thou dost not for thyself take thought in time, yet we cannot suffer this to happen, that the race of Eurysthenes should become extinct. Do thou therefore put away from thee the wife whom thou now hast, since, as thou knowest, she bears thee no children, and marry another: and in doing so thou wilt please the Spartans.” He made answer saying that he would do neither of these two things, and that they did not give him honourable counsel, in that they advised him to send away the wife whom he had, though she had done him no wrong, and to take to his house another; and in short he would not follow their advice.

40. Upon this the Ephors and the Senators deliberated together and proposed to Anaxandrides as follows: “Since then we perceive that thou art firmly attached to the wife whom thou now hast, consent to do this, and set not thyself against it, lest the Spartans take some counsel about thee other than might be wished. We do not ask of thee the putting away of the wife whom thou hast; but do thou give to her all that thou givest now and at the same time take to thy house another wife in addition to this one, to bear thee children.” When they spoke to him after this manner, Anaxandrides consented, having two wives, a thing which was not by any means after the Spartan fashion.

41. Then when no long time had elapsed, the wife who had come in afterwards bore this Cleomenes of whom we spoke; and just when she was bringing to the light an heir to the kingdom of the Spartans, the former wife, who had during the time before been childless, then by some means conceived, chancing to do so just at that time: and though she was in truth with child, the kinsfolk of the wife who had come in afterwards, when they heard of it cried out against her and said that she was making a vain boast, and that she meant to pass off another child as her own. Since then they made a great show of indignation, as the time was fast drawing near, the Ephors being incredulous sat round and watched the woman during the birth of her child: and she bore Dorieos and then straightway conceived Leonidas and after him at once Cleombrotos, — nay, some even say that Cleombrotos and Leonidas were twins. The wife however who had born Cleomenes and had come in after the first wife, being the daughter of Primetades the son of Demarmenos, did not bear a child again.

42. Now Cleomenes, it is said, was not quite in his right senses but on the verge of madness, while Dorieos was of all his equals in age the first, and felt assured that he would obtain the kingdom by merit. Seeing then that he had this opinion, when Anaxandrides died and the Lacedemonians followed the usual custom established the eldest, namely Cleomenes, upon the throne, Dorieos being indignant and not thinking it fit that he should be a subject of Cleomenes, asked the Spartans to give him a company of followers and led them out to found a colony, without either inquiring of the Oracle at Delphi to what land he should go to make a settlement, or doing any of the things which are usually done; but being vexed he sailed away with his ships to Libya, and the Theraians were his guides thither. Then having come to Kinyps he made a settlement in the fairest spot of all Libya, along the banks of the river; but afterwards in the third year he was driven out from thence by the Macai and the Libyans and the Carthaginians, and returned to Peloponnesus.

43. Then Antichares a man of Eleon gave him counsel out of the oracles of Laïos to make a settlement at Heracleia in Sicily, saying that the whole land of Eryx belonged to the Heracleidai, since Heracles himself had won it: and hearing this he went forthwith to Delphi to inquire of the Oracle whether he would be able to conquer the land to which he was setting forth; and the Pythian prophetess replied to him that he would conquer it. Dorieos therefore took with him the armament which he conducted before to Libya, and voyaged along the coast of Italy.

44. Now at this time, the men of Sybaris say that they and their king Telys were about to make an expedition against Croton, and the men of Croton being exceedingly alarmed asked Dorieos to help them and obtained their request. So Dorieos joined them in an expedition against Sybaris and helped them to conquer Sybaris. This is what the men of Sybaris say of the doings of Dorieos and his followers; but those of Croton say that no stranger helped them in the war against the Sybarites except Callias alone, a diviner of Elis and one of the descendants of Iamos, and he in the following manner: — he ran away, they say, from Telys the despot of the Sybarites, when the sacrifices did not prove favourable, as he was sacrificing for the expedition against Croton, and so he came to them.

45. Such, I say, are the tales which these tell, and they severally produce as evidence of them the following facts: — the Sybarites point to a sacred enclosure and temple by the side of the dried-up bed of the Crathis, which they say that Dorieos, after he had joined in the capture of the city, set up to Athene surnamed “of the Crathis”; and besides they consider the death of Dorieos himself to be a very strong evidence, thinking that he perished because he acted contrary to the oracle which was given to him; for if he had not done anything by the way but had continued to do that for which he was sent, he would have conquered the land of Eryx and having conquered it would have become possessor of it, and he and his army would not have perished. On the other hand the men of Croton declare that many things were granted in the territory of Croton as special gifts to Callias the Eleisan, of which the descendants of Callias were still in possession down to my time, and that nothing was granted to Dorieos or the descendants of Dorieos: but if Dorieos had in fact helped them in the way with Sybaris, many times as much, they say, would have been given to him as to Callias. These then are the evidences which the two sides produce, and we may assent to whichever of them we think credible.

46. Now there sailed with Dorieos others also of the Spartans, to be joint-founders with him of the colony, namely Thessalos and Paraibates and Keleas and Euryleon; and these when they had reached Sicily with all their armament, were slain, being defeated in battle by the Phenicians and the men of Egesta; and Euryleon only of the joint-founders survived this disaster. This man then having collected the survivors of the expedition, took possession of Minoa the colony of Selinus, and he helped to free the men of Selinus from their despot Peithagoras. Afterwards, when he had deposed him, he laid hands himself upon the despotism in Selinus and became sole ruler there, though but for a short time; for the men of Selinus rose in revolt against him and slew him, notwithstanding that he had fled for refuge to the altar of Zeus Agoraios.

47. There had accompanied Dorieos also and died with him Philip the son of Butakides, a man of Croton, who having betrothed himself to the daughter of Telys the Sybarite, became an exile from Croton; and then being disappointed of this marriage he sailed away to Kyrene, whence he set forth and accompanied Dorieos with a trireme of his own, himself supplying the expenses of the crew. Now this man had been a victor at the Olympic games, and he was the most beautiful of the Hellenes who lived in his time; and on account of his beauty he obtained from the men of Egesta that which none else ever obtained from them, for they established a hero-temple over his tomb, and they propitiate him still with sacrifices.

48. In this manner Dorieos ended his life: but if he had endured to be a subject of Cleomenes and had remained in Sparta, he would have been king of Lacedemon; for Cleomenes reigned no very long time, and died leaving no son to succeed him but a daughter only, whose name was Gorgo.

49. However, Aristagoras the despot of Miletos arrived at Sparta while Cleomenes was reigning: and accordingly with him he came to speech, having, as the Lacedemonians say, a tablet of bronze, on which was engraved a map of the whole Earth, with all the sea and all the rivers. And when he came to speech with Cleomenes he said to him as follows: “Marvel not, Cleomenes, at my earnestness in coming hither, for the case is this. — That the sons of the Ionians should be slaves instead of free is a reproach and a grief most of all indeed to ourselves, but of all others most to you, inasmuch as ye are the leaders of Hellas. Now therefore I entreat you by the gods of Hellas to rescue from slavery the Ionians, who are your own kinsmen: and ye may easily achieve this, for the Barbarians are not valiant in fight, whereas ye have attained to the highest point of valour in that which relates to war: and their fighting is of this fashion, namely with bows and arrows and a short spear, and they go into battle wearing trousers and with caps on their heads. Thus they are easily conquered. Then again they who occupy that continent have good things in such quantity as not all the other nations of the world together possess; first gold, then silver and bronze and embroidered garments and beasts of burden and slaves; all which ye might have for yourselves, if ye so desired. And the nations moreover dwell in such order one after the other as I shall declare: — the Ionians here; and next to them the Lydians, who not only dwell in a fertile land, but are also exceedingly rich in gold and silver,”and as he said this he pointed to the map of the Earth, which he carried with him engraved upon the tablet, — “and here next to the Lydians,” continued Aristagoras, “are the Eastern Phrygians, who have both the greatest number of sheep and cattle of any people that I know, and also the most abundant crops. Next to the Phrygians are the Cappadokians, whom we call Syrians; and bordering upon them are the Kilikians, coming down to this sea, in which lies the island of Cyprus here; and these pay five hundred talents to the king for their yearly tribute. Next to these Kilikians are the Armenians, whom thou mayest see here, and these also have great numbers of sheep and cattle. Next to the Armenians are the Matienians occupying this country here; and next to them is the land of Kissia here, in which land by the banks of this river Choaspes is situated that city of Susa where the great king has his residence, and where the money is laid up in treasuries. After ye have taken this city ye may then with good courage enter into a contest with Zeus in the matter of wealth. Nay, but can it be that ye feel yourselves bound to take upon you the risk of battles against Messenians and Arcadians and Argives, who are equally matched against you, for the sake of land which is not much in extent nor very fertile, and for confines which are but small, though these peoples have neither gold nor silver at all, for the sake of which desire incites one to fight and to die, — can this be, I say, and will ye choose some other way now, when it is possible for you easily to have the rule over all Asia?” Aristagoras spoke thus, and Cleomenes answered him saying: “Guest-friend from Miletos, I defer my answer to thee until the day after to-morrow.”

50. Thus far then they advanced at that time; and when the appointed day arrived for the answer, and they had come to the place agreed upon, Cleomenes asked Aristagoras how many days’ journey it was from the sea of the Ionians to the residence of the king. Now Aristagoras, who in other respects acted cleverly and imposed upon him well, in this point made a mistake: for whereas he ought not to have told him the truth, at least if he desired to bring the Spartans out to Asia, he said in fact that it was a journey up from the sea of three months: and the other cutting short the rest of the account which Aristagoras had begun to give of the way, said: “Guest-friend from Miletos, get thee away from Sparta before the sun has set; for thou speakest a word which sounds not well in the ears of the Lacedemonians, desiring to take them a journey of three months from the sea.”

51. Cleomenes accordingly having so said went away to his house: but Aristagoras took the suppliant’s branch and went to the house of Cleomenes; and having entered in as a suppliant, he bade Cleomenes send away the child and listen to him; for the daughter of Cleomenes was standing by him, whose name was Gorgo, and this as it chanced was his only child, being of the age now of eight or nine years. Cleomenes however bade him say that which he desired to say, and not to stop on account of the child. Then Aristagoras proceeded to promise him money, beginning with ten talents, if he would accomplish for him that for which he was asking; and when Cleomenes refused, Aristagoras went on increasing the sums of money offered, until at last he had promised fifty talents, and at that moment the child cried out: “Father, the stranger will do thee hurt, if thou do not leave him and go.” Cleomenes, then, pleased by the counsel of the child, departed into another room, and Aristagoras went away from Sparta altogether, and had no opportunity of explaining any further about the way up from the sea to the residence of the king.

52. As regards this road the truth is as follows. — Everywhere there are royal stages and excellent resting-places, and the whole road runs through country which is inhabited and safe. Through Lydia and Phrygia there extend twenty stages, amounting to ninety-four and a half leagues; and after Phrygia succeeds the river Halys, at which there is a gate which one must needs pass through in order to cross the river, and a strong guard-post is established there. Then after crossing over into Cappadokia it is twenty-eight stages, being a hundred and four leagues, by this way to the borders of Kilikia; and on the borders of the Kilikians you will pass through two several gates and go by two several guard-posts: then after passing through these it is three stages, amounting to fifteen and a half leagues, to journey through Kilikia; and the boundary of Kilikia and Armenia is a navigable river called Euphrates. In Armenia the number of stages with resting-places is fifteen, and of leagues fifty-six and a half, and there is a guard-post on the way: then from Armenia, when one enters the land of Matiene, there are thirty-four stages, amounting to a hundred and thirty-seven leagues; and through this land flow four navigable rivers, which cannot be crossed but by ferries, first the Tigris, then a second and third called both by the same name, though they are not the same river nor do they flow from the same region (for the first-mentioned of them flows from the Armenian land and the other from that of the Matienians), and the fourth of the rivers is called Gyndes, the same which once Cyrus divided into three hundred and sixty channels. Passing thence into the Kissian land, there are eleven stages, forty-two and a half leagues, to the river Choaspes, which is also a navigable stream; and upon this is built the city of Susa. The number of these stages amounts in all to one hundred and eleven.

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