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Assassinations in History
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Justin - Epitome
Here follows an excerpt from:
Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus.
translated, with notes, by the Rev. John Selby Watson.
London: Henry G. Bohn, York Street, Convent Garden (1853).
Go here for more about the author
Justin (Marcus Junianus
Hippias, being exiled, brings the
Persians against Greece;
the battle of Marathon; Miltiades
9 After his death Diocles, one of his
sons, having offered violence to a maiden, was slain by her brother.
His other son, whose name was Hippias, taking upon him the authority
of his father, ordered the murderer of his brother to be
apprehended; who, being forced by torture to name those that were
privy to the murder, named all the intimate friends of the tyrant.
These being put to death, and Hippias asking him “whether any of the
guilty still survived,” he replied, that “there was no one surviving
whom he should more rejoice to see die than the tyrant himself.” By
which answer he proved himself superior to the tyrant, after having
avenged, too, the violated honour of his sister.
The city being animated, through his spirited conduct, with a desire
for liberty, Hippias
was at last deprived of his power, and driven
into exile. Setting out for Persia, he offered himself as a leader
to Darius against his own country; Darius being then, as has been
said before, ready to make war on the Athenians.
The Athenians, hearing of Darius’s
approach, requested assistance from the Lacedaemonians, who were
then in alliance with them. But finding that they delayed at home
four days, in consequence of some religious scruple, they did not
wait for their help, but, having mustered ten thousand of their own
citizens, and a thousand auxiliaries from Plataeae, went out to
battle in the plain of Marathon, against six hundred thousand of the
Miltiades was both their general in the
field, and the person who advised them not to wait for assistance,
being possessed with such confidence of success, that he thought
there was more trust to be placed in expedition than in their
allies. Great, therefore, was their spirit as they proceeded to
battle; so that, though there were a thousand paces between the two
armies, they came full speed upon the enemy before their arrows were
discharged. Nor did the result fall short of their daring; for such
was the courage with which they fought, that you might have supposed
there were men on one side and a herd of cattle on the other.
The Persians, utterly defeated, fled to
their ships, of which many were sunk and many taken. In this battle,
the bravery of every individual was such, that it was difficult to
determine to whom the highest praise was due. Amongst others,
however, the heroism of Themistocles, then a young man, was greatly
distinguished; in whom, even then, appeared a genius indicative of
his future eminence as a general.
The merit of Cynaegirus, too, an
Athenian soldier, has met with great commendation from historians;
for, after having slain a great number in the battle, and having
chased the fleeing enemy to their ships, he seized a crowded vessel
with his right hand, and would not let it go till he had lost his
hand; and even then, when his right hand was cut off, he took hold
of the ship with his left, and having lost this hand also, he at
last seized the ship with his teeth. So undaunted was his spirit,
that neither being weary with killing so many, nor disheartened with
the loss of his hands, he fought to the last, maimed as he was, with
his teeth, like a wild beast.
The Persians lost two thousand men in
the battle or by shipwreck. Hippias also, the Athenian tyrant, who
was the promoter and encourager of the war, was killed on the
occasion; the gods, the avengers of his country, inflicting on him
the penalty of his perfidy.