translated by George Rawlinson
Such were the means whereby the deposition of Demaratus was brought about; but his flying from Sparta to the Medes was by reason of an affront which was put upon him. On losing his kingdom he had been made a magistrate; and in that office soon afterwards, when the feast of the Gymnopaediae came around, he took his station among the lookers-on; whereupon Leotychides, who was now king in his room, sent a servant to him and asked him, by way of insult and mockery, “how it felt to be a magistrate after one had been a king?” Demaratus, who was hurt at the question, made answer“Tell him I have tried them both, but he has not. Howbeit this speech will be the cause to Sparta of infinite blessings or else of infinite woes.” Having thus spoken he wrapped his head in his robe, and, leaving the theatre, went home to his own house, where he prepared an ox for sacrifice, and offered it to Jupiter, after which he called for his mother.
When she appeared, he took of the entrails, and placing them in her hand, besought her in these words following:
“Dear mother, I beseech you, by all the gods, and chiefly by our own hearth-god Jupiter, tell me the very truth, who was really my father. For Leotychides, in the suit which we had together, declared that when thou becamest Ariston’s wife thou didst already bear in thy womb a child by thy former husband, and others repeat a yet more disgraceful tale, that our groom found favour in thine eyes, and that I am his son. I entreat thee therefore by the gods to tell me the truth. For if thou hast gone astray, thou hast done no more than many a woman; and the Spartans remark it as strange, if I am Ariston’s son, that he had no children by his other wives.”
Thus spake Demaratus; and his mother replied as follows: “Dear son, since thou entreatest so earnestly for the truth, it shall indeed be fully told to thee. When Ariston brought me to his house, on the third night after my coming, there appeared to me one like to Ariston, who, after staying with me a while, rose, and taking the garlands from his own brows placed them upon my head, and so went away. Presently after Ariston entered, and when he saw the garlands which I still wore, asked me who gave them to me. I said, ‘twas he; but this he stoutly denied; whereupon I solemnly swore that it was none other, and told him he did not do well to dissemble when he had so lately risen from my side and left the garlands with me. Then Ariston, when he heard my oath, understood that there was something beyond nature in what had taken place. And indeed it appeared that the garlands had come from the hero-temple which stands by our court gatesthe temple of him they call Astrabacusand the soothsayers, moreover, declared that the apparition was that very person. And now, my son, I have told thee all thou wouldest fain know. Either thou art the son of that heroeither thou mayest call Astrabacus sire; or else Ariston was thy father. As for that matter which they who hate thee urge the most, the words of Ariston, who, when the messenger told him of thy birth, declared before many witnesses that ‘thou wert not his son, forasmuch as the ten months were not fully out,’ it was a random speech, uttered from mere ignorance. The truth is, children are born not only at ten months, but at nine, and even at seven. Thou wert thyself, my son, a seven months’ child. Ariston acknowledged, no long time afterwards, that his speech sprang from thoughtlessness. Hearken not then to other tales concerning thy birth, my son: for be assured thou hast the whole truth. As for grooms, pray Heaven Leotychides and all who speak as he does may suffer wrong from them!” Such was the mother’s answer.
Demaratus, having learnt all that he wished to know, took with him provision for the journey, and went into Elis, pretending that he purposed to proceed to Delphi, and there consult the oracle. The Lacedaemonians, however, suspecting that he meant to fly his country, sent men in pursuit of him; but Demaratus hastened, and leaving Elis before they arrived, sailed across to Zacynthus. The Lacedaemonians followed, and sought to lay hands upon him, and to separate him from his retinue; but the Zacynthians would not give him up to them: so he escaping, made his way afterwards by sea to Asia, and presented himself before King Darius, who received him generously, and gave him both lands and cities. Such was the chance which drove Demaratus to Asia, a man distinguished among the Lacedaemonians for many noble deeds and wise counsels, and who alone of all the Spartan kings brought honour to his country by winning at Olympia the prize in the four-horse chariot-race.
After Demaratus was deposed, Leotychides, the son of Menares, received the kingdom. He had a son, Zeuxidamus, called Cyniscus by many of the Spartans. This Zeuxidamus did not reign at Sparta, but died before his father, leaving a son, Archidamus. Leotychides, when Zeuxidamus was taken from him, married a second wife, named Eurydame, the sister of Menius and daughter of Diactorides. By her he had no male offspring, but only a daughter called Lampito, whom he gave in marriage to Archidamus, Zeuxidamus’ son.
Even Leotychides, however, did not spend his old age in Sparta, but suffered a punishment whereby Demaratus was fully avenged. He commanded the Lacedaemonians when they made war against Thessaly, and might have conquered the whole of it, but was bribed by a large sum of money. It chanced that he was caught in the fact, being found sitting in his tent on a gauntlet, quite full of silver. Upon this he was brought to trial and banished from Sparta; his house was razed to the ground; and he himself fled to Tegea, where he ended his days. But these events took place long afterwards.
At the time of which we are speaking, Cleomenes, having carried his proceedings in the matter of Demaratus to a prosperous issue, forthwith took Leotychides with him, and crossed over to attack the Eginetans; for his anger was hot against them on account of the affront which they had formerly put upon him. Hereupon the Eginetans, seeing that both the kings were come against them, thought it best to make no further resistance. So the two kings picked out from all Egina the ten men who for wealth and birth stood the highest, among whom were Crius, son of Polycritus, and Casambus, son of Aristocrates, who wielded the chief power; and these men they carried with them to Attica, and there deposited them in the hands of the Athenians, the great enemies of the Eginetans.
Afterwards, when it came to be known what evil arts had been used against Demaratus, Cleomenes was seized with fear of his own countrymen, and fled into Thessaly. From thence he passed into Arcadia, where he began to stir up troubles, and endeavoured to unite the Arcadians against Sparta. He bound them by various oaths to follow him whithersoever he should lead, and was even desirous of taking their chief leaders with him to the city of Nonacris, that he might swear them to his cause by the waters of the Styx. For the waters of Styx, as the Arcadians say, are in that city, and this is the appearance they present: you see a little water, dripping from a rock into a basin, which is fenced round by a low wall. Nonacris, where this fountain is to be seen, is a city of Arcadia near Pheneus. When the Lacedaemonians heard how Cleomenes was engaged, they were afraid, and agreed with him that he should come back to Sparta and be king as before. So Cleomenes came back; but had no sooner returned than he, who had never been altogether of sound mind, was smitten with downright madness. This he showed by striking every Spartan he met upon the face with his sceptre. On his behaving thus, and showing that he was gone quite out of his mind, his kindred imprisoned him, and even put his feet in the stocks. While so bound, finding himself left alone with a single keeper, he asked the man for a knife. The keeper at first refused, whereupon Cleomenes began to threaten him, until at last he was afraid, being only a helot, and gave him what he required. Cleomenes had no sooner got the steel than, beginning at his legs, he horribly disfigured himself, cutting gashes in his flesh, along his legs, thighs, hips, and loins, until at last he reached his belly, which he likewise began to gash, whereupon in a little time he died. The Greeks generally think that this fate came upon him because he induced the Pythoness to pronounce against Demaratus; the Athenians differ from all others in saying that it was because he cut down the sacred grove of the goddesses when he made his invasion by Eleusis; while the Argives ascribe it to his having taken from their refuge and cut to pieces certain argives who had fled from battle into a precinct sacred to Argus, where Cleomenes slew them, burning likewise at the same time, through irreverence, the grove itself.
For once, when Cleomenes had sent to Delphi to consult the oracle, it was prophesied to him that he should take Argos; upon which he went out at the head of the Spartans, and led them to the river Erasinus. This stream is reported to flow from the Stymphalian lake, the waters of which empty themselves into a pitch-dark chasm, and then (as they say) reappear in Argos, where the Argives call them the Erasinus. Cleomenes, having arrived upon the banks of this river, proceeded to offer sacrifice to it, but, in spite of all that he could do, the victims were not favourable to his crossing. So he said that he admired the god for refusing to betray his countrymen, but still the Argives should not escape him for all that. He then withdrew his troops, and led them down to Thyrea, where he sacrificed a bull to the sea, and conveyed his men on shipboard to Nauplia in the Tirynthian territory.
The Argives, when they heard of this, marched down to the sea to defend their country; and arriving in the neighbourhood of Tiryns, at the place which bears the name of Sepeia, they pitched their camp opposite to the Lacedaemonians, leaving no great space between the hosts. And now their fear was not so much lest they should be worsted in open fight as lest some trick should be practised on them; for such was the danger which the oracle given to them in common with the Milesians seemed to intimate. The oracle ran as follows:
Time shall be when the female shall conquer the male, and shall chase him
At the coincidence of all these things the Argives were greatly cast down; and so they resolved that they would follow the signals of the enemy’s herald. Having made this resolve, they proceeded to act as follows: whenever the herald of the Lacedaemonians gave an order to the soldiers of his own army, the Argives did the like on their side.
Now when Cleomenes heard that the Argives were acting thus, he commanded his troops that, so soon as the herald gave the word for the soldiers to go to dinner, they should instantly seize their arms and charge the host of the enemy. Which the Lacedaemonians did accordingly, and fell upon the Argives just as, following the signal, they had begun their repast; whereby it came to pass that vast numbers of the Argives were slain, while the rest, who were more than they which died in the fight, were driven to take refuge in the grove of Argus hard by, where they were surrounded, and watch kept upon them.
When things were at this pass Cleomenes acted as follows: Having learnt the names of the Argives who were shut up in the sacred precinct from certain deserters who had come over to him, he sent a herald to summon them one by one, on pretence of having received their ransoms. Now the ransom of prisoners among the Peloponnesians is fixed at two minae the man. So Cleomenes had these persons called forth severally, to the number of fifty, or thereabouts, and massacred them. All this while they who remained in the enclosure knew nothing of what was happening; for the grove was so thick that the people inside were unable to see what was taking place without. But at last one of their number climbed up into a tree and spied the treachery; after which none of those who were summoned would go forth.
Then Cleomenes ordered all the helots to bring brushwood, and heap it around the grove; which was done accordingly; and Cleomenes set the grove on fire. As the flames spread he asked a deserter “Who was the god of the grove?” whereto the other made answer, “Argus.” So he, when he heard that, uttered a loud groan, and said:
“Greatly hast thou deceived me, Apollo, god of prophecy, in saying that I should take Argos. I fear me thy oracle has now got its accomplishment.”
Cleomenes now sent home the greater part of his army, while with a thousand of his best troops he proceeded to the temple of Juno, to offer sacrifice. When however he would have slain the victim on the altar himself, the priest forbade him, as it was not lawful (he said) for a foreigner to sacrifice in that temple. At this Cleomenes ordered his helots to drag the priest from the altar and scourge him, while he performed the sacrifice himself, after which he went back to Sparta.
Thereupon his enemies brought him up before the Ephors, and made it a charge against him that he had allowed himself to be bribed, and on that account had not taken Argos when he might have captured it easily. To this he answeredwhether truly or falsely I cannot say with certaintybut at any rate his answer to the charge was that “so soon as he discovered the sacred precinct which he had taken to belong to Argos, he directly imagined that the oracle had received its accomplishment; he therefore thought it not good to attempt the town, at the least until he had inquired by sacrifice, and ascertained if the god meant to grant him the place, or was determined to oppose his taking it. So he offered in the temple of Juno, and when the omens were propitious, immediately there flashed forth a flame of fire from the breast of the image; whereby he knew of a surety that he was not to take Argos. For if the flash had come from the head, he would have gained the town, citadel and all; but as it shone from the breast, he had done so much as the god intended.” And his words seemed to the Spartans so true and reasonable, that he came clear off from his adversaries.
Argos however was left so bare of men that the slaves managed the state, filled the offices, and administered everything until the sons of those who were slain by Cleomenes grew up. Then these latter cast out the slaves, and got the city back under their own rule; while the slaves who had been driven out fought a battle and won Tiryns. After this for a time there was peace between the two; but a certain man, a soothsayer, named Cleander, who was by race a Phigalean from Arcadia, joined himself to the slaves, and stirred them up to make a fresh attack upon their lords. Then were they at war with one another by the space of many years; but at length the Argives with much trouble gained the upper hand.
The Argives say that Cleomenes lost his senses, and died so miserably, on account of these doings. But his own countrymen declare that his madness proceeded not from any supernatural cause whatever, but only from the habit of drinking wine unmixed with water, which he learnt of the Scyths. These nomads, from the time that Darius made his inroad into their country, had always had a wish for revenge. They therefore sent ambassadors to Sparta to conclude a league, proposing to endeavour themselves to enter Media by the Phasis, while the Spartans should march inland from Ephesus, and then the two armies should join together in one. When the Scyths came to Sparta on this errand Cleomenes was with them continually; and growing somewhat too familiar, learnt of them to drink his wine without water, a practice which is thought by the Spartans to have caused his madness. From this distance of time the Spartans, according to their own account, have been accustomed, when they want to drink purer wine than common, to give the order to fill “Scythian fashion.” The Spartans then speak thus concerning Cleomenes; but for my own part I think his death was a judgment on him for wronging Demaratus.
No sooner did the news of Cleomenes’ death reach Egina than straightway the Eginetans sent ambassadors to Sparta to complain of the conduct of Leotychides in respect of their hostages, who were still kept at Athens. So they of Lacedaemon assembled a court of justice and gave sentence upon Leotychides, that whereas he had grossly affronted the people of Egina, he should be given up to the ambassadors, to be led away in place of the men whom the Athenians had in their keeping. Then the ambassadors were about to lead him away; but Theasides, the son of Leoprepes, who was a man greatly esteemed in Sparta, interfered, and said to them:
“What are ye minded to do, ye men of Egina? To lead away captive the king of the Spartans, whom his countrymen have given into your hands? Though now in their anger they have passed this sentence, yet belike the time will come when they will punish you, if you act thus, by bringing utter destruction upon your country.”
The Eginetans, when they heard this, changed their plan, and, instead of leading Leotychides away captive, agreed with him that he should come with them to Athens, and give them back their men.
When however he reached that city, and demanded the restoration of his pledge, the Athenians, being unwilling to comply, proceeded to make excuses, saying “that two kings had come and left the men with them, and they did not think it right to give them back to the one without the other.” So when the Athenians refused plainly to restore the men, Leotychides said to them:
“Men of Athens, act which way you choosegive me up the hostages, and be righteous, or keep them, and be the contrary. I wish, however, to tell you what happened once in Sparta about a pledge. The story goes among us that three generations back there lived in Lacedaemon one Glaucus, the son of Epicydes, a man who in every other respect was on a par with the first in the kingdom, and whose character for justice was such as to place him above all the other Spartans. Now to this man at the appointed season the following events happened. A certain Milesian came to Sparta and, having desired to speak with him, said‘I am of Miletus, and I have come hither, Glaucus, in the hope of profiting by thy honesty. For when I heard much talk thereof in Ionia and through all the rest of Greece, and when I observed that whereas Ionia is always insecure, the Peloponnese stands firm and unshaken, and noted likewise how wealth is continually changing hands in our country, I took counsel with myself and resolved to turn one-half of my substance into money, and place it in thy hands, since I am well assured that it will be safe in thy keeping. Here then is the silvertake itand take likewise these tallies, and be careful of them; remember thou art to give back the money to the person who shall bring you their fellows.’ Such were the words of the Milesian stranger; and Glaucus took the deposit on the terms expressed to him. Many years had gone by when the sons of the man by whom the money was left came to Sparta, and had an interview with Glaucus, whereat they produced the tallies, and asked to have the money returned to them. But Glaucus sought to refuse, and answered them: ‘I have no recollection of the matter; nor can I bring to mind any of those particulars whereof ye speak. When I remember, I will certainly do what is just. If I had the money, you have a right to receive it back; but if it was never given to me, I shall put the Greek law in force against you. For the present I give you no answer; but four months hence I will settle the business.’ So the Milesians went away sorrowful, considering that their money was utterly lost to them. As for Glaucus, he made a journey to Delphi, and there consulted the oracle. To his question if he should swear, and so make prize of the money, the Pythoness returned for answer these lines following:
Best for the present it were, O Glaucus, to do as thou wishest,
Glaucus when he heard these words earnestly besought the god to pardon his question; but the Pythoness replied that it was as bad to have tempted the god as it would have been to have done the deed. Glaucus, however, sent for the Milesian strangers, and gave them back their money. And now I will tell you, Athenians, what my purpose has been in recounting to you this history. Glaucus at the present time has not a single descendant; nor is there any family known as hisroot and branch has he been removed from Sparta. It is a good thing, therefore, when a pledge has been left with one, not even in thought to doubt about restoring it.”
Thus spake Leotychides; but, as he found that the Athenians would not hearken to him, he left them and went his way.
The Eginetans had never been punished for the wrongs which, to pleasure the Thebans, they had committed upon Athens. Now, however, conceiving that they were themselves wronged, and had a fair ground of complaint against the Athenians, they instantly prepared to revenge themselves. As it chanced that the Athenian theoris, which was a vessel of five banks of oars, lay at Sunium, the Eginetans contrived an ambush, and made themselves masters of the holy vessel, on board of which were a number of Athenians of the highest rank, whom they took and threw into prison.
At this outrage the Athenians no longer delayed, but set to work to scheme their worst against the Eginetans; and, as there was in Egina at that time a man of mark, Nicodromus by name, the son of Cnoethus, who was on ill terms with his countrymen because on a former occasion they had driven him into banishment, they listened to overtures from this man, who had heard how determined they were to do the Eginetans a mischief, and agreed with him that on a certain day he should be ready to betray the island into their hands, and they would come with a body of troops to his assistance. And Nicodromus, some time after, holding to the agreement, made himself master of what is called the old town.
The Athenians, however, did not come to the day; for their own fleet was not of force sufficient to engage the Eginetans, and while they were begging the Corinthians to lend them some ships, the failure of the enterprise took place. In those days the Corinthians were on the best of terms with the Athenians; and accordingly they now yielded to their request, and furnished them with twenty ships; but, as their law did not allow the ships to be given for nothing, they sold them to the Athenians for five drachms apiece. As soon then as the Athenians had obtained this aid, and, by manning also their own ships, had equipped a fleet of seventy sail, they crossed over to Egina, but arrived a day later than the time agreed upon.
Meanwhile Nicodromus, when he found the Athenians did not come to the time appointed, took ship and made his escape from the island. The Eginetans who accompanied him were settled by the Athenians at Sunium, whence they were wont to issue forth and plunder the Eginetans of the island. But this took place at a later date.
When the wealthier Eginetans had thus obtained the victory over the common people who had revolted with Nicodromus, they laid hands on a certain number of them, and led them out to death. But here they were guilty of a sacrilege, which, notwithstanding all their efforts, they were never able to atone, being driven from the island before they had appeased the goddess whom they now provoked. Seven hundred of the common people had fallen alive into their hands; and they were all being led out to death, when one of them escaped from his chains, and flying to the gateway of the temple of Ceres the Lawgiver, laid hold of the doorhandles, and clung to them. The others sought to drag him from his refuge; but, finding themselves unable to tear him away, they cut off his hands, and so took him, leaving the hands still tightly grasping the handles.
Such were the doings of the Eginetans among themselves. When the Athenians arrived, they went out to meet them with seventy ships; and a battle took place, wherein the Eginetans suffered a defeat. Hereupon they had recourse again to their old allies, the Argives; but these latter refused now to lend them any aid, being angry because some Eginetan ships, which Cleomenes had taken by force, accompanied him in his invasion of Argolis, and joined in the disembarkation. The same thing had happened at the same time With certain vessels of the Sicyonians; and the Argives had laid a fine of a thousand talents upon the misdoers, five hundred upon each: whereupon they of Sicyon acknowledged themselves to have sinned, and agreed with the Argives to pay them a hundred talents, and so be quit of the debt; but the Eginetans would make no acknowledgment at all, and showed themselves proud and stiffnecked. For this reason, when they now prayed the Argives for aid, the state refused to send them a single soldier. Notwithstanding, volunteers joined them from Argos to the number of a thousand, under a captain, Eurybates, a man skilled in the pentathlic contests. Of these men the greater part never returned, but were slain by the Athenians in Egina. Eurybates, their captain, fought a number of single combats, and, after killing three men in this way, was himself slain by the fourth, who was a Decelean, named Sophanes.
Afterwards the Eginetans fell upon the Athenian fleet when it was in some disorder and beat it, capturing four ships with their crews.
Thus did war rage between the Eginetans and Athenians. Meantime the Persian pursued his own design, from day to day exhorted by his servant to “remember the Athenians,” and likewise urged continually by the Pisistratidae, who were ever accusing their countrymen. Moreover it pleased him well to have a pretext for carrying war into Greece, that so he might reduce all those who had refused to give him earth and water. As for Mardonius, since his expedition had succeeded so ill, Darius took the command of the troops from him, and appointed other generals in his stead, who were to lead the host against Eretria and Athens; to wit, Datis, who was by descent a Mede, and Artaphernes, the son of Artaphernes, his own nephew. These men received orders to carry Athens and Eretria away captive, and to bring the prisoners into his presence.
So the new commanders took their departure from the court and went down to Cilicia, to the Aleian plain, having with them a numerous and wellappointed land army. Encamping here, they were joined by the sea force which had been required of the several states, and at the same time by the horsetransports which Darius had, the year before, commanded his tributaries to make ready. Aboard these the horses were embarked; and the troops were received by the ships of war; after which the whole fleet, amounting in all to six hundred triremes, made sail for Ionia. Thence, instead of proceeding with a straight course along the shore to the Hellespont and to Thrace, they loosed from Samos and voyaged across the Icarian sea through the midst of the islands; mainly, as I believe, because they feared the danger of doubling Mount Athos, where the year before they had suffered so grievously on their passage; but a constraining cause also was their former failure to take Naxos.
When the Persians, therefore, approaching from the Icarian Sea, cast anchor at Naxos, which, recollecting what there befell them formerly, they had determined to attack before any other state, the Naxians, instead of encountering them, took to flight, and hurried off to the hills. The Persians however succeeded in laying hands on some, and them they carried away captive, while at the same time they burnt all the temples together with the town. This done, they left Naxos, and sailed away to the other islands.
While the Persians were thus employed, the Delians likewise quitted Delos, and took refuge in Tenos. And now the expedition drew near, when Datis sailed forward in advance of the other ships; commanding them, instead of anchoring at Delos, to rendezvous at Rhenea, over against Delos, while he himself proceeded to discover whither the Delians had fled; after which he sent a herald to them with this message:
“Why are ye fled, O holy men? Why have ye judged me so harshly and so wrongfully? I have surely sense enough, even had not the king so ordered, to spare the country which gave birth to the two godsto spare, I say, both the country and its inhabitants. Come back therefore to your dwellings; and once more inhabit your island.”
Such was the message which Datis sent by his herald to the Delians. He likewise placed upon the altar three hundred talents’ weight of frankincense, and offered it.
After this he sailed with his whole host against Eretria, taking with him both Ionians and Aeolians. When he was departed, Delos (as the Delians told me) was shaken by an earthquake, the first and last shock that has been felt to this day. And truly this was a prodigy whereby the god warned men of the evils that were coming upon them. For in the three following generations of Darius the son of Hystaspes, Xerxes the son of Darius, and Artaxerxes the son of Xerxes, more woes befell Greece than in the twenty generations preceding Dariuswoes caused in part by the Persians, but in part arising from the contentions among their own chief men respecting the supreme power. Wherefore it is not surprising that Delos, though it had never before been shaken, should at that time have felt the shock of an earthquake. And indeed there was an oracle, which said of Delos
Delo’s self will I shake, which never yet has been shaken
Of the above names Darius may be rendered “Worker,” Xerxes “Warrior,” and Artaxerxes “Great Warrior.” And so might we call these kings in our own language with propriety.
The barbarians, after loosing from Delos, proceeded to touch at the other islands, and took troops from each, and likewise carried off a number of the children as hostages. Going thus from one to another, they came at last to Carystus; but here the hostages were refused by the Carystians, who said they would neither give any, nor consent to bear arms against the cities of their neighbours, meaning Athens and Eretria. Hereupon the Persians laid siege to Carystus, and wasted the country round, until at length the inhabitants were brought over and agreed to do what was required of them.
Meanwhile the Eretrians, understanding that the Persian armament was coming against them, besought the Athenians for assistance. Nor did the Athenians refuse their aid, but assigned to them as auxiliaries the four thousand landholders to whom they had allotted the estates of the Chalcidean Hippobatae. At Eretria, however, things were in no healthy state; for though they had called in the aid of the Athenians, yet they were not agreed among themselves how they should act; some of them were minded to leave the city and to take refuge in the heights of Euboea, while others, who looked to receiving a reward from the Persians, were making ready to betray their country. So when these things came to the ears of Aeschines, the son of Nothon, one of the first men in Eretria, he made known the whole state of affairs to the Athenians who were already arrived, and besought them to return home to their own land, and not perish with his countrymen. And the Athenians hearkened to his counsel, and, crossing over to Oropus, in this way escaped the danger.
The Persian fleet now drew near and anchored at Tamynae, Choereae, and Aegilia, three places in the territory of Eretria. Once masters of these posts, they proceeded forthwith to disembark their horses, and made ready to attack the enemy. But the Eretrians were not minded to sally forth and offer battle; their only care, after it had been resolved not to quit the city, was, if possible, to defend their walls. And now the fortress was assaulted in good earnest, and for six days there fell on both sides vast numbers, but on the seventh day Euphorbus, the son of Alcimachus, and Philagrus, the son of Cyneas, who were both citizens of good repute, betrayed the place to the Persians. These were no sooner entered within the walls than they plundered and burnt all the temples that there were in the town, in revenge for the burning of their own temples at Sardis; moreover, they did according to the orders of Darius, and carried away captive all the inhabitants.
The Persians, having thus brought Eretria into subjection after waiting a few days, made sail for Attica, greatly straitening the Athenians as they approached, and thinking to deal with them as they had dealt with the people of Eretria. And, because there was no Place in all Attica so convenient for their horse as Marathon, and it lay moreover quite close to Eretria, therefore Hippias, the son of Pisistratus, conducted them thither.
When intelligence of this reached the Athenians, they likewise marched their troops to Marathon, and there stood on the defensive, having at their head ten generals, of whom one was Miltiades.
Now this man’s father, Cimon, the son of Stesagoras, was banished from Athens by Pisistratus, the son of Hippocrates. In his banishment it was his fortune to win the four-horse chariot-race at Olympia, whereby he gained the very same honour which had before been carried off by Miltiades, his half-brother on the mother’s side. At the next Olympiad he won the prize again with the same mares; upon which he caused Pisistratus to be proclaimed the winner, having made an agreement with him that on yielding him this honour he should be allowed to come back to his country. Afterwards, still with the same mares, he won the prize a third time; whereupon he was put to death by the sons of Pisistratus, whose father was no longer living. They set men to lie in wait for him secretly; and these men slew him near the government-house in the night-time. He was buried outside the city, beyond what is called the Valley Road; and right opposite his tomb were buried the mares which had won the three prizes. The same success had likewise been achieved once previously, to wit, by the mares of Evagoras the Lacedaemonian, but never except by them. At the time of Cimon’s death Stesagoras, the elder of his two sons, was in the Chersonese, where he lived with Miltiades his uncle; the younger, who was called Miltiades after the founder of the Chersonesite colony, was with his father in Athens.
It was this Miltiades who now commanded the Athenians, after escaping from the Chersonese, and twice nearly losing his life. First he was chased as far as Imbrus by the Phoenicians, who had a great desire to take him and carry him up to the king; and when he had avoided this danger, and, having reached his own country, thought himself to be altogether in safety, he found his enemies waiting for him, and was cited by them before a court and impeached for his tyranny in the Chersonese. But he came off victorious here likewise, and was thereupon made general of the Athenians by the free choice of the people.
And first, before they left the city, the generals sent off to Sparta a herald, one Pheidippides, who was by birth an Athenian, and by profession and practice a trained runner. This man, according to the account which he gave to the Athenians on his return, when he was near Mount Parthenium, above Tegea, fell in with the god Pan, who called him by his name, and bade him ask the Athenians “wherefore they neglected him so entirely, when he was kindly disposed towards them, and had often helped them in times past, and would do so again in time to come?” The Athenians, entirely believing in the truth of this report, as soon as their affairs were once more in good order, set up a temple to Pan under the Acropolis, and, in return for the message which I have recorded, established in his honour yearly sacrifices and a torch-race.
On the occasion of which we speak when Pheidippides was sent by the Athenian generals, and, according to his own account, saw Pan on his journey, he reached Sparta on the very next day after quitting the city of AthensUpon his arrival he went before the rulers, and said to them:
“Men of Lacedaemon, the Athenians beseech you to hasten to their aid, and not allow that state, which is the most ancient in all Greece, to be enslaved by the barbarians. Eretria, look you, is already carried away captive; and Greece weakened by the loss of no mean city.”
Thus did Pheidippides deliver the message committed to him. And the Spartans wished to help the Athenians, but were unable to give them any present succour, as they did not like to break their established law. It was then the ninth day of the first decade; and they could not march out of Sparta on the ninth, when the moon had not reached the full. So they waited for the full of the moon.
The barbarians were conducted to Marathon by Hippias. the son of Pisistratus, who the night before had seen a strange vision in his sleep. He dreamt of lying in his mother’s arms, and conjectured the dream to mean that he would be restored to Athens, recover the power which he had lost, and afterwards live to a good old age in his native country. Such was the sense in which he interpreted the vision. He now proceeded to act as guide to the Persians; and, in the first place, he landed the prisoners taken from Eretria upon the island that is called Aegileia, a tract belonging to the Styreans, after which he brought the fleet to anchor off Marathon, and marshalled the bands of the barbarians as they disembarked. As he was thus employed it chanced that he sneezed and at the same time coughed with more violence than was his wont. Now, as he was a man advanced in years, and the greater number of his teeth were loose, it so happened that one of them was driven out with the force of the cough, and fell down into the sand. Hippias took all the pains he could to find it; but the tooth was nowhere to be seen: whereupon he fetched a deep sigh, and said to the bystanders:
“After all, the land is not ours; and we shall never be able to bring it under. All my share in it is the portion of which my tooth has possession.”
So Hippias believed that in this way his dream was fulfilled.
The Athenians were drawn up in order of battle in a sacred close belonging to Hercules, when they were joined by the Plataeans, who came in full force to their aid. Some time before, the Plataeans had put themselves under the rule of the Athenians; and these last had already undertaken many labours on their behalf. The occasion of the surrender was the following. The Plataeans suffered grievous things at the hands of the men of Thebes; so, as it chanced that Cleomenes, the son of Anaxandridas, and the Lacedaemonians were in their neighbourhood, they first of all offered to surrender themselves to them. But the Lacedaemonians refused to receive them, and said:
“We dwell too far off from you, and ours would be but chill succour. Ye might oftentimes be carried into slavery before one of us heard of it. We counsel you rather to give yourselves up to the Athenians, who are your next neighbours, and well able to shelter you.”
This they said, not so much out of good will towards the Plataeans as because they wished to involve the Athenians in trouble by engaging them in wars with the Boeotians. The Plataeans, however, when the Lacedaemonians gave them this counsel, complied at once; and when the sacrifice to the Twelve Gods was being offered at Athens, they came and sat as suppliants about the altar, and gave themselves up to the Athenians. The Thebans no sooner learnt what the Plataeans had done than instantly they marched out against them, while the Athenians sent troops to their aid. As the two armies were about to join battle, the Corinthians, who chanced to be at hand, would not allow them to engage; both sides consented to take them for arbitrators, whereupon they made up the quarrel, and fixed the boundary-line between the two states upon this condition: to wit, that if any of the Boeotians wished no longer to belong to Boeotia, the Thebans should allow them to follow their own inclinations. The Corinthians, when they had thus decreed, forthwith departed to their homes: the Athenians likewise set off on their return; but the Boeotians fell upon them during the march, and a battle was fought wherein they were worsted by the Athenians. Hereupon these last would not be bound by the line which the Corinthians had fixed, but advanced beyond those limits, and made the Asopus the boundary-line between the country of the Thebans and that of the Plataeans and Hysians. Under such circumstances did the Plataeans give themselves up to Athens; and now they were come to Marathon to bear the Athenians aid.
The Athenian generals were divided in their opinions; and some advised not to risk a battle, because they were too few to engage such a host as that of the Medes, while others were for fighting at once; and among these last was Miltiades. He therefore, seeing that opinions were thus divided, and that the less worthy counsel appeared likely to prevail, resolved to go to the Polemarch, and have a conference with him. For the man on whom the lot fell to be Polemarch at Athens was entitled to give his vote with the ten generals, since anciently the Athenians allowed him an equal right of voting with them. The Polemarch at this juncture was Callimachus of Aphidnae; to him therefore Miltiades went, and said:
“With thee it rests, Callimachus, either to bring Athens to slavery, or, by securing her freedom, to leave behind thee to all future generations a memory beyond even Harmodius and Aristogeiton. For never since the time that the Athenians became a people were they in so great a danger as now. If they bow their necks beneath the yoke of the Medes, the woes which they will have to suffer when given into the power of Hippias are already determined on; if, on the other hand, they fight and overcome, Athens may rise to be the very first city in Greece. How it comes to pass that these things are likely to happen, and how the determining of them in some sort rests with thee, I will now proceed to make clear. We generals are ten in number, and our votes are divided; half of us wish to engage, half to avoid a combat. Now, if we do not fight, I look to see a great disturbance at Athens which will shake men’s resolutions, and then I fear they will submit themselves; but if we fight the battle before any unsoundness show itself among our citizens, let the gods but give us fair play, and we are well able to overcome the enemy. On thee therefore we depend in this matter, which lies wholly in thine own power. Thou hast only to add thy vote to my side and thy country will be free, and not free only, but the first state in Greece. Or, if thou preferrest to give thy vote to them who would decline the combat, then the reverse will follow.”
Miltiades by these words gained Callimachus; and the addition of the Polemarch’s vote caused the decision to be in favour of fighting. Hereupon all those generals who had been desirous of hazarding a battle, when their turn came to command the army, gave up their right to Miltiades. He however, though he accepted their offers, nevertheless waited, and would not fight until his own day of command arrived in due course.
Then at length, when his own turn was come, the Athenian battle was set in array, and this was the order of it. Callimachus the Polemarch led the right wing; for it was at that time a rule with the Athenians to give the right wing to the Polemarch. After this followed the tribes, according as they were numbered, in an unbroken line; while last of all came the Plataeans, forming the left wing. And ever since that day it has been a custom with the Athenians, in the sacrifices and assemblies held each fifth year at Athens, for the Athenian herald to implore the blessing of the gods on the Plataeans conjointly with the Athenians. Now, as they marshalled the host upon the field of Marathon, in order that the Athenian front might he of equal length with the Median, the ranks of the centre were diminished, and it became the weakest part of the line, while the wings were both made strong with a depth of many ranks.
So when the battle was set in array, and the victims showed themselves favourable, instantly the Athenians, so soon as they were let go, charged the barbarians at a run. Now the distance between the two armies was little short of eight furlongs. The Persians, therefore, when they saw the Greeks coming on at speed, made ready to receive them, although it seemed to them that the Athenians were bereft of their senses, and bent upon their own destruction; for they saw a mere handful of men coming on at a run without either horsemen or archers. Such was the opinion of the barbarians; but the Athenians in close array fell upon them, and fought in a manner worthy of being recorded. They were the first of the Greeks, so far as I know, who introduced the custom of charging the enemy at a run, and they were likewise the first who dared to look upon the Median garb, and to face men clad in that fashion. Until this time the very name of the Medes had been a terror to the Greeks to hear.
The two armies fought together on the plain of Marathon for a length of time; and in the mid battle, where the Persians themselves and the Sacae had their place, the barbarians were victorious, and broke and pursued the Greeks into the inner country; but on the two wings the Athenians and the Plataeans defeated the enemy. Having so done, they suffered the routed barbarians to fly at their ease, and joining the two wings in one, fell upon those who had broken their own centre, and fought and conquered them. These likewise fled, and now the Athenians hung upon the runaways and cut them down, chasing them all the way to the shore, on reaching which they laid hold of the ships and called aloud for fire.
It was in the struggle here that Callimachus the Polemarch, after greatly distinguishing himself, lost his life; Stesilaus too, the son of Thrasilaus, one of the generals, was slain; and Cynaegirus, the son of Euphorion, having seized on a vessel of the enemy’s by the ornament at the stern, had his hand cut off by the blow of an axe, and so perished; as likewise did many other Athenians of note and name.
Nevertheless the Athenians secured in this way seven of the vessels; while with the remainder the barbarians pushed off, and taking aboard their Eretrian prisoners from the island where they had left them, doubled Cape Sunium, hoping to reach Athens before the return of the Athenians. The Alcmaeonidae were accused by their countrymen of suggesting this course to them; they had, it was said, an understanding with the Persians, and made a signal to them, by raising a shield, after they were embarked in their ships.
The Persians accordingly sailed round Sunium. But the Athenians with all possible speed marched away to the defence of their city, and succeeded in reaching Athens before the appearance of the barbarians: and as their camp at Marathon had been pitched in a precinct of Hercules, so now they encamped in another precinct of the same god at Cynosarges. The barbarian fleet arrived, and lay to off Phalerum, which was at that time the haven of Athens; but after resting awhile upon their oars, they departed and sailed away to Asia.
There fell in this battle of Marathon, on the side of the barbarians, about six thousand and four hundred men; on that of the Athenians, one hundred and ninety-two. Such was the number of the slain on the one side and the other. A strange prodigy likewise happened at this fight. Epizelus, the son of Cuphagoras, an Athenian, was in the thick of the fray, and behaving himself as a brave man should, when suddenly he was stricken with blindness, without blow of sword or dart; and this blindness continued thenceforth during the whole of his after life. The following is the account which he himself, as I have heard, gave of the matter: he said that a gigantic warrior, with a huge beard, which shaded all his shield, stood over against him; but the ghostly semblance passed him by, and slew the man at his side. Such, as I understand, was the tale which Epizelus told.
Datis meanwhile was on his way back to Asia, and had reached Myconus, when he saw in his sleep a vision. What it was is not known; but no sooner was day come than he caused strict search to be made throughout the whole fleet, and finding on board a Phoenician vessel an image of Apollo overlaid with gold, he inquired from whence it had been taken, and learning to what temple it belonged, he took it with him in his own ship to Delos, and placed it in the temple there, enjoining the Delians, who had now come back to their island, to restore the image to the Theban Delium, which lies on the coast over against Chalcis. Having left these injunctions, he sailed away; but the Delians failed to restore the statue; and it was not till twenty years afterwards that the Thebans, warned by an oracle, themselves brought it back to Delium.
As for the Eretrians, whom Datis and Artaphernes had carried away captive, when the fleet reached Asia, they were taken up to Susa. Now King Darius, before they were made his prisoners, nourished a fierce anger against these men for having injured him without provocation; but now that he saw them brought into his presence, and become his subjects, he did them no other harm, but only settled them at one of his own stations in Cissiaa place called Ardericeatwo hundred and ten furlongs distant from Susa, and forty from the well which yields produce of three different kinds. For from this well they get bitumen, salt, and oil, procuring it in the way that I will now describe: they draw with a swipe, and instead of a bucket make use of the half of a wine-skin; with this the man dips, and after drawing, pours the liquid into a reservoir, wherefrom it passes into another, and there takes three different shapes. The salt and the bitumen forthwith collect and harden, while the oil is drawn off into casks. It is called by the Persians “rhadinace,” is black, and has an unpleasant smell. Here then King Darius established the Eretrians; and here they continued to my time, and still spoke their old language. So thus it fared with the Eretrians.
After the full of the moon two thousand Lacedaemonians came to Athens. So eager had they been to arrive in time, that they took but three days to reach Attica from Sparta. They came, however, too late for the battle; yet, as they had a longing to behold the Medes, they continued their march to Marathon and there viewed the slain. Then, after giving the Athenians all praise for their achievement, they departed and returned home. But it fills me with wonderment, and I can in no wise believe the report, that the Alcmaeonidae had an understanding with the Persians, and held them up a shield as a signal, wishing Athens to be brought under the yoke of the barbarians and of Hippiasthe Alcmaeonidae, who have shown themselves at least as bitter haters of tyrants as was Callias, the son of Phaenippus, and father of Hipponicus. This Callias was the only person at Athens who, when the Pisistratidae were driven out, and their goods were exposed for sale by the vote of the people, had the courage to make purchases, and likewise in many other ways to display the strongest hostility.
He was a man very worthy to be had in remembrance by all, on several accounts. For not only did he thus distinguish himself beyond others in the cause of his country’s freedom; but likewise, by the honours which he gained at the Olympic Games, where he carried off the prize in the horse-race, and was second in the four-horse chariot-race, and by his victory at an earlier period in the Pythian Games, he showed himself in the eyes of all the Greeks a man most unsparing in his expenditure. He was remarkable too for his conduct in respect of his daughters, three in number; for when they came to be of marriageable age, he gave to each of them a most ample dowry, and placed it at their own disposal, allowing them to choose their husbands from among all the citizens of Athens, and giving each in marriage to the man of her own choice.
Now the Alcmaeonidae fell not a whit short of this person in their hatred of tyrants, so that I am astonished at the charge made against them, and cannot bring myself to believe that they held up a shield; for they were men who had remained in exile during the whole time that the tyranny lasted, and they even contrived the trick by which the Pisistratidae were deprived of their throne. Indeed I look upon them as the persons who in good truth gave Athens her freedom far more than Harmodius and Aristogeiton. For these last did but exasperate the other Pisistratidae by slaying Hipparchus, and were far from doing anything towards putting down the tyranny: whereas the Alcmaeonidae were manifestly the actual deliverers of Athens, if at least it be true that the Pythoness was prevailed upon by them to bid the Lacedaemonians set Athens free, as I have already related.
But perhaps they were offended with the people of Athens; and therefore betrayed their country. Nay, but on the contrary there were none of the Athenians who were held in such general esteem, or who were so laden with honours. So that it is not even reasonable to suppose that a shield was held up by them on this account. A shield was shown, no doubt; that cannot be gainsaid; but who it was that showed it I cannot any further determine.
Now the Alcmaeonidae were, even in days of yore, a family of note at Athens; but from the time of Alcmaeon, and again of Megacles, they rose to special eminence. The former of these two personages, to wit, Alcmaeon, the son of Megacles, when Croesus the Lydian sent men from Sardis to consult the Delphic oracle, gave aid gladly to his messengers, assisted them to accomplish their task. Croesus, informed of Alcmaeon’s kindnesses by the Lydians who from time to time conveyed his messages to the god, sent for him to Sardis, and when he arrived, made him a present of as much gold as he should be able to carry at one time about his person. Finding that this was the gift assigned him, Alcmaeon took his measures, and prepared himself to receive it in the following way. He clothed himself in a loose tunic, which he made to bag greatly at the waist, and placing upon his feet the widest buskins that he could anywhere find, followed his guides into the treasure-house. Here he fell to upon a heap of gold-dust, and in the first place packed as much as he could inside his buskins, between them and his legs; after which he filled the breast of his tunic quite full of gold, and then sprinkling some among his hair, and taking some likewise in his mouth, he came forth from the treasure-house, scarcely able to drag his legs along, like anything rather than a man, with his mouth crammed full, and his bulk increased every way. On seeing him, Croesus burst into a laugh, and not only let him have all that he had taken, but gave him presents besides of fully equal worth. Thus this house became one of great wealth; and Alcmaeon was able to keep horses for the chariot-race, and won the prize at Olympia.
Afterwards, in the generation which followed, Clisthenes, king of Sicyon, raised the family to still greater eminence among the Greeks than even that to which it had attained before. For this Clisthenes, who was the son of Aristonymus, the grandson of Myron, and the great-grandson of Andreas, had a daughter, called Agarista, whom he wished to marry to the best husband that he could find in the whole of Greece. At the Olympic Games, therefore, having gained the prize in the chariot race, he caused public proclamation to be made to the following effect:“Whoever among the Greeks deems himself worthy to become the son-in-law of Clisthenes, let him come, sixty days hence, or, if he will, sooner, to Sicyon; for within a year’s time, counting from the end of the sixty days, Clisthenes will decide on the man to whom he shall contract his daughter.” So all the Greeks who were proud of their own merit or of their country flocked to Sicyon as suitors; and Clisthenes had a foot-course and a wrestling-ground made ready, to try their powers.
From Italy there came Smindyrides, the son of Hippocrates, a native of Sybariswhich city about that time was at the very height of its prosperity. He was a man who in luxuriousness of living exceeded all other persons. Likewise there came Damasus, the son of Amyris, surnamed the Wise, a native of Siris. These two were the only suitors from Italy. From the Ionian Gulf appeared Amphimnestus, the son of Epistrophus, an Epidamnian; from Aetolia, Males, the brother of that Titormus who excelled all the Greeks in strength, and who wishing to avoid his fellow-men, withdrew himself into the remotest parts of the Aetolian territory. From the Peloponnese came severalLeocedes, son of that Pheidon, king of the Argives, who established weights and measures throughout the Peloponnese, and was the most insolent of all the Greciansthe same who drove out the Elean directors of the Games, and himself presided over the contests at OlympiaLeocedes, I say, appeared, this Pheidon’s son; and likewise Amiantus, son of Lycurgus, an Arcadian of the city of Trapezus; Laphanes, an Azenian of Paeus, whose father, Euphorion, as the story goes in Arcadia, entertained the Dioscuri at his residence, and thenceforth kept open house for all comers; and lastly, Onomastus, the son of Agaeus, a native of Elis. These four came from the Peloponnese. From Athens there arrived Megacles, the son of that Alcmaeon who visited Croesus, and Tisander’s son, Hippoclides, the wealthiest and handsomest of the Athenians. There was likewise one Euboean, Lysanias, who came from Eretria, then a flourishing city. From Thessaly came Diactorides, a Cranonian, of the race of the Scopadae; and Alcon arrived from the Molossians. This was the list of the suitors.
Now when they were all come, and the day appointed had arrived, Clisthenes first of all inquired of each concerning his country and his family; after which he kept them with him a year, and made trial of their manly bearing, their temper, their accomplishments, and their disposition, sometimes drawing them apart for converse, sometimes bringing them all together. Such as were still youths he took with him from time to time to the gymnasia; but the greatest trial of all was at the banquettable. During the whole period of their stay he lived with them as I have said; and, further, from first to last he entertained them sumptuously. Somehow or other the suitors who came from Athens pleased him the best of all; and of these Hippoclides, Tisander’s son, was specially in favour, partly on account of his manly bearing, and partly also because his ancestors were of kin to the Corinthian Cypselids.
When at length the day arrived which had been fixed for the espousals, and Clisthenes had to speak out and declare his choice, he first of all made a sacrifice of a hundred oxen, and held a banquet, whereat he entertained all the suitors and the whole people of Sicyon. After the feast was ended, the suitors vied with each other in music and in speaking on a given subject. Presently, as the drinking advanced, Hippoclides, who quite dumbfoundered the rest, called aloud to the flute-player, and bade him strike up a dance; which the man did, and Hippoclides danced to it. And he fancied that he was dancing excellently well; but Clisthenes, who was observing him, began to misdoubt the whole business. Then Hippoclides, after a pause, told an attendant to bring in a table; and when it was brought, he mounted upon it and danced first of all some Laconian figures, then some Attic ones; after which he stood on his head upon the table, and began to toss his legs about. Clisthenes, notwithstanding that he now loathed Hippoclides for a son-in-law, by reason of his dancing and his shamelessness, still, as he wished to avoid an outbreak, had restrained himself during the first and likewise during the second dance; when, however, he saw him tossing his legs in the air, he could no longer contain himself, but cried out, “Son of Tisander, thou hast danced thy wife away!” “What does Hippoclides care?” was the other’s answer. And hence the proverb arose.
Then Clisthenes commanded silence, and spake thus before the assembled company:
“Suitors of my daughter, well pleased am I with you all; and right willingly, if it were possible, would I content you all, and not by making choice of one appear to put a slight upon the rest. But as it is out of my power, seeing that I have but one daughter, to grant to all their wishes, I will present to each of you whom I must needs dismiss a talent of silver, for the honour that you have done me in seeking to ally yourselves with my house, and for your long absence from your homes. But my daughter, Agarista, I betroth to Megacles, the son of Alcmaeon, to be his wife, according to the usage and wont of Athens.”
Then Megacles expressed his readiness; and Clisthenes had the marriage solemnised.
Thus ended the affair of the suitors; and thus the Alcmaeonidae came to be famous throughout the whole of Greece. The issue of this marriage was the Clisthenes named after his grandfather the Sicyonianwho made the tribes at Athens, and set up the popular government. Megacles had likewise another son, called Hippocrates, whose children were a Megacles and an Agarista, the latter named after Agarista the daughter of Clisthenes. She married Xanthippus, the son of Ariphron; and when she was with child by him had a dream, wherein she fancied that she was delivered of a lion; after which, within a few days, she bore Xanthippus a son, to wit, Pericles.
After the blow struck at Marathon, Miltiades, who was previously held in high esteem by his countrymen, increased yet more in influence. Hence, when he told them that he wanted a fleet of seventy ships, with an armed force, and money, without informing them what country he was going to attack, but only promising to enrich them if they would accompany him, seeing that it was a right wealthy land, where they might easily get as much gold as they cared to havewhen he told them this, they were quite carried away, and gave him the whole armament which he required.
So Miltiades, having got the armament, sailed against Paros, with the object, as he alleged, of punishing the Parians for having gone to war with Athens, inasmuch as a trireme of theirs had come with the Persian fleet to Marathon. This, however, was a mere pretence; the truth was, that Miltiades owed the Parians a grudge, because Lysagoras, the son of Tisias, who was a Parian by birth, had told tales against him to Hydarnes the Persian. Arrived before the place against which his expedition was designed, he drove the Parians within their walls, and forthwith laid siege to the city. At the same time he sent a herald to the inhabitants, and required of them a hundred talents, threatening that, if they refused, he would press the siege, and never give it over till the town was taken. But the Parians, without giving his demand a thought, proceeded to use every means that they could devise for the defence of their city, and even invented new plans for the purpose, one of which was, by working at night, to raise such parts of the wall as were likely to be carried by assault to double their former height.
Thus far all the Greeks agree in their accounts of this business; what follows is related upon the testimony of the Parians only. Miltiades had come to his wit’s end, when one of the prisoners, a woman named Timo, who was by birth a Parian, and had held the office of under-priestess in the temple of the infernal goddesses, came and conferred with him. This woman, they say, being introduced into the presence of Miltiades, advised him, if he set great store by the capture of the place, to do something which she could suggest to him. When therefore she had told him what it was she meant, he betook himself to the hill which lies in front of the city, and there leapt the fence enclosing the precinct of Ceres Thesmophorus, since he was not able to open the door. After leaping into the place he went straight to the sanctuary, intending to do something within iteither to remove some of the holy things which it was not lawful to stir, or to perform some act or other, I cannot say whatand had just reached the door, when suddenly a feeling of horror came upon him, and he returned back the way he had come; but in jumping down from the outer wall, he strained his thigh, or, as some say, struck the ground with his knee.
So Miltiades returned home sick, without bringing the Athenians any money, and without conquering Paros, having done no more than to besiege the town for six-and-twenty days, and ravage the remainder of the island. The Parians, however, when it came to their knowledge that Timo, the under-priestess of the goddesses, had advised Miltiades what he should do, were minded to punish her for her crime; they therefore sent messengers to Delphi, as soon as the siege was at an end, and asked the god if they should put the under-priestess to death. “She had discovered,” they said, “to the enemies of her country how they might bring it into subjection, and had exhibited to Miltiades mysteries which it was not lawful for a man to know.” But the Pythoness forbade them, and said, “Timo was not in fault; ‘twas decreed that Miltiades should come to an unhappy end; and she was sent to lure him to his destruction.” Such was the answer given to the Parians by the Pythoness.
The Athenians, upon the return of Miltiades from Paros, had much debate concerning him; and Xanthippus, the son of Ariphron, who spoke more freely against him than all the rest, impleaded him before the people, and brought him to trial for his life, on the charge of having dealt deceitfully with the Athenians. Miltiades, though he was present in court, did not speak in his own defence; for his thigh had begun to mortify, and disabled him from pleading his cause. He was forced to lie on a couch while his defence was made by his friends, who dwelt at most length on the fight at Marathon, while they made mention also of the capture of Lemnos, telling how Miltiades took the island, and, after executing vengeance on the Pelasgians, gave up his conquest to Athens. The judgment of the people was in his favour so far as to spare his life; but for the wrong he had done them they fined him fifty talents. Soon afterwards his thigh completely gangrened and mortified: and so Miltiades died; and the fifty talents were paid by his son Cimon.
Now the way in which Miltiades had made himself master of Lemnos was the following. There were certain Pelasgians whom the Athenians once drove out of Attica; whether they did itjustly or unjustly I cannot say, since I only know what is reported concerning it, which is the following: Hecataeus, the son of Hegesander, says in his History that it was unjustly. “The Athenians,” according to him, “had given to the Pelasgi a tract of land at the foot of Hymettus as payment for the wall with which the Pelasgians had surrounded their citadel. This land was barren, and little worth at the time; but the Pelasgians brought it into good condition; whereupon the Athenians begrudged them the tract, and desired to recover it. And so, without any better excuse, they took arms and drove out the Pelasgians.” But the Athenians maintain that they were justified in what they did. “The Pelasgians,” they say, “while they lived at the foot of Hymettus, were wont to sally forth from that region and commit outrages on their children. For the Athenians used at that time to send their sons and daughters to draw water at the fountain called ‘the Nine Springs,’ inasmuch as neither they nor the other Greeks had any household slaves in those days; and the maidens, whenever they came, were used rudely and insolently by the Pelasgians. Nor were they even content thus; but at the last they laid a plot, and were caught by the Athenians in the act of making an attempt upon their city. Then did the Athenians give a proof how much better men they were than the Pelasgians; for whereas they might justly have killed them all, having caught them in the very act of rebelling, the; spared their lives, and only required that they should leave the country. Hereupon the Pelasgians quitted Attica, and settled in Lemnos and other places.” Such are the accounts respectively of Hecataeus and the Athenians.
These same Pelasgians, after they were settled in Lemnos, conceived the wish to be revenged on the Athenians. So, as they were well acquainted with the Athenian festivals, they manned some penteconters, and having laid an ambush to catch the Athenian women as they kept the festival of Diana at Brauron, they succeeded in carrying off a large number, whom they took to Lemnos and there kept as concubines. After a while the women bore children, whom they taught to speak the language of Attica and observe the manners of the Athenians. These boys refused to have any commerce with the sons of the Pelasgian women; and if a Pelasgian boy struck one of their number, they all made common cause, and joined in avenging their comrade; nay, the Greek boys even set up a claim to exercise lordship over the others, and succeeded in gaining the upper hand. When these things came to the ears of the Pelasgians, they took counsel together, and, on considering the matter, they grew frightened, and said one to another, “If these boys even now are resolved to make common cause against the sons of our lawful wives, and seek to exercise lordship over them, what may we expect when they grow up to be men?” Then it seemed good to the Pelasgians to kill all the sons of the Attic women; which they did accordingly, and at the same time slew likewise their mothers. From this deed, and that former crime of the Lemnian women, when they slew their husbands in the days of Thoas, it has come to be usual throughout Greece to call wicked actions by the name of “Lemnian deeds.”
When the Pelasgians had thus slain their children and their women, the earth refused to bring forth its fruits for them, and their wives bore fewer children, and their flocks and herds increased more slowly than before, till at last, sore pressed by famine and bereavement, they sent men to Delphi, and begged the god to tell them how they might obtain deliverance from their sufferings. The Pythoness answered that “they must give the Athenians whatever satisfaction they might demand.” Then the Pelasgians went to Athens and declared their wish to give the Athenians satisfaction for the wrong which they had done to them. So the Athenians had a couch prepared in their townhall, and adorned it with the fairest coverlets, and set by its side a table laden with all manner of good things, and then told the Pelasgians they must deliver up their country to them in a similar condition. The Pelasgians answered and said, “When a ship comes with a north wind from your country to ours in a single day, then will we give it up to you.” This they said because they knew that what they required was impossible, for Attica lies a long way to the south of Lemnos.
No more passed at that time. But very many years afterwards, when the Hellespontian Chersonese had been brought under the power of Athens, Miltiades, the son of Cimon, sailed, during the prevalence of the Etesian winds, from Elaeus in the Chersonese to Lemnos, and called on the Pelasgians to quit their island, reminding them of the prophecy which they had supposed it impossible to fulfil. The people of Hephaestia obeyed the call; but they of Myrina, not acknowledging the Chersonese to be any part of Attica, refused and were besieged and brought over by force. Thus was Lemnos gained by the Athenians and Miltiades.