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Translated into English by G. C. MACAULAY, M.A. Credits
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Book I
Page 01
   Page 02   Page 03   Page 04   Page 05   Page 06   Page 07   Page 08   Page 09

Book II
Page 10
   Page 11   Page 12   Page 13   Page 14   Page 15

Book III
Book 16
   Page 17   Page 18   Page 19   Page 20

Book IV
Page 21
   Page 22   Page 23   Page 24   Page 25   Page 26


Book V
Page 27
   Page 28   Page 29   Page 30

Book VI
Page 31
   Page 32   Page 33   Page 34

Book VII
Page 35
   Page 36   Page 37   Page 38   Page 39   Page 40   Page 41

Page 42
   Page 43   Page 44   Page 45

Book IX
Page 46
   Page 47   Page 48   Page 49


The History of Herodotus: Page 28

Volume Two - Book V

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[21] which were in the temple at Branchidai, which Crœsus 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.[22] 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 Coės 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,[23] 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 Coės 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,[24] 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[25] 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[26] and the Carthaginians, and returned to Peloponnesus.

43. Then Antichares a man of Eleon gave him counsel out of the oracles of Laļos to make a settlement at Heracleia[27] 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.[28]

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,[29] 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.[30]

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[31] 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[32] 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,"[33]--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[34] 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[35] 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[36] 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."[37]

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,[38] 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[39] 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;[40] and after Phrygia succeeds the river Halys, at which there is a gate[40a] 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,[41] 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,[42] 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[43] 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.[44] 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.

53. This is the number of stages with resting-places, as one goes up from Sardis to Susa: and if the royal road has been rightly measured as regards leagues, and if the league[45] is equal to thirty furlongs,[46] (as undoubtedly it is), the number of furlongs from Sardis to that which is called the palace of Memnon is thirteen thousand five hundred, the number of leagues being four hundred and fifty. So if one travels a hundred and fifty furlongs each day, just ninety days are spent on the journey.[47]

54. Thus the Milesian Aristagoras, when he told Cleomenes the Lacedemonian that the journey up from the sea to the residence of the king was one of three months, spoke correctly: but if any one demands a more exact statement yet than this, I will give him that also: for we ought to reckon in addition to this the length of the road from Ephesos to Sardis; and I say accordingly that the whole number of furlongs from the sea of Hellas to Susa (for by that name the city of Memnon is known) is fourteen thousand and forty; for the number of furlongs from Ephesos to Sardis is five hundred and forty: thus the three months' journey is lengthened by three days added.

55. Aristagoras then being driven out of Sparta proceeded to Athens; which had been set free from the rule of despots in the way which I shall tell.--When Hipparchos the son of Peisistratos and brother of the despot Hippias, after seeing a vision of a dream which signified it to him plainly,[48] had been slain by Aristogeiton and Harmodios, who were originally by descent Gephyraians, the Athenians continued for four years after this to be despotically governed no less than formerly,--nay, even more.

56. Now the vision of a dream which Hipparchos had was this:--in the night before the Panathenaia it seemed to Hipparchos that a man came and stood by him, tall and of fair form, and riddling spoke to him these verses: "With enduring soul as a lion endure unendurable evil: No one of men who doth wrong shall escape from the judgment appointed." These verses, as soon as it was day, he publicly communicated to the interpreters of dreams; but afterwards he put away thought of the vision[49] and began to take part in that procession during which he lost his life.

57. Now the Gephyraians, of whom were those who murdered Hipparchos, according to their own account were originally descended from Eretria; but as I find by carrying inquiries back, they were Phenicians of those who came with Cadmos to the land which is now called Bœotia, and they dwelt in the district of Tanagra, which they had had allotted to them in that land. Then after the Cadmeians had first been driven out by the Argives, these Gephyraians next were driven out by the Bœotians and turned then towards Athens: and the Athenians received them on certain fixed conditions to be citizens of their State, laying down rules that they should be excluded from a number of things not worth mentioning here.

58. Now these Phenicians who came with Cadmos, of whom were the Gephyraians, brought in among the Hellenes many arts when they settled in this land of Bœotia, and especially letters, which did not exist, as it appears to me, among the Hellenes before this time; and at first they brought in those which are used by the Phenician race generally, but afterwards, as time went on, they changed with their speech the form of the letters also. During this time the Ionians were the race of Hellenes who dwelt near them in most of the places where they were; and these, having received letters by instruction of the Phenicians, changed their form slightly and so made use of them, and in doing so they declared them to be called "phenicians," as was just, seeing that the Phenicians had introduced them into Hellas. Also the Ionians from ancient time call paper "skins," because formerly, paper being scarce, they used skins of goat and sheep; nay, even in my own time many of the Barbarians write on such skins.

59. I myself too once saw Cadmeian characters in the temple of Ismenian Apollo at Thebes of the Bœotians, engraved on certain[49a] tripods, and in most respects resembling the Ionic letters: one of these tripods has the inscription, "Me Amphitryon offered from land Teleboian returning:"[50] this inscription would be of an age contemporary with Laļos the son of Labdacos, the son of Polydoros, the son of Cadmos.

60. Another tripod says thus in hexameter rhythm: "Me did Scaios offer to thee, far-darting Apollo, Victor in contest of boxing, a gift most fair in thine honour:" now Scaios would be the son of Hippocoön (at least if it were really he who offered it, and not another with the same name as the son of Hippocoön), being of an age contemporary with Œdipus the son of Laļos: 61, and the third tripod, also in hexameter rhythm, says: "Me Laodamas offered to thee, fair-aiming Apollo, He, of his wealth,[51] being king, as a gift most fair in thine honor:" now it was in the reign of this very Laodamas the son of Eteocles that the Cadmeians were driven out by the Argives and turned to go to the Enchelians; and the Gephyraians being then left behind were afterwards forced by the Bœotians to retire to Athens. Moreover they have temples established in Athens, in which the other Athenians have no part, and besides others which are different from the rest, there is especially a temple of Demeter Achaia and a celebration of her mysteries.

62. I have told now of the vision of a dream seen by Hipparchos, and also whence the Gephrynians were descended, of which race were the murderers of Hipparchos; and in addition to this I must resume and continue the story which I was about to tell at first, how the Athenians were freed from despots. When Hippias was despot and was dealing harshly with the Athenians because of the death of Hipparchos, the Alcmaionidai, who were of Athenian race and were fugitives from the sons of Peisistratos,[52] as they did not succeed in their attempt made together with the other Athenian exiles to return by force, but met with great disaster when they attempted to return and set Athens free, after they had fortified Leipsydrion which is above Paionia,-- these Alomaionidai after that, still devising every means against the sons of Peisistratos, accepted the contract to build and complete the temple at Delphi, that namely which now exists but then did not as yet: and being wealthy and men of repute already from ancient time, they completed the temple in a manner more beautiful than the plan required, and especially in this respect, that having agreed to make the temple of common limestone,[53] they built the front parts of it in Parian marble.

63. So then, as the Athenians say, these men being settled at Delphi persuaded the Pythian prophetess by gifts of money, that whenever men of the Spartans should come to inquire of the Oracle, either privately or publicly sent, she should propose to them to set Athens free. The Lacedemonians therefore, since the same utterance was delivered to them on all occasions, sent Anchimolios the son of Aster, who was of repute among their citizens, with an army to drive out the sons of Peisistratos from Athens, although these were very closely connected with them by guest-friendship; for they held that the concerns of the god[53a] should be preferred to those of men: and this force they sent by sea in ships. He therefore, having put in to shore at Phaleron, disembarked his army; but the sons of Peisistratos being informed of this beforehand called in to their aid an auxiliary force from Thessaly, for they had made an alliance with the Thessalians; and the Thessalians at their request sent by public resolution a body of a thousand horse and also their king Kineas, a man of Conion.[54] So having obtained these as allies, the sons of Peisistratos contrived as follows:--they cut down the trees in the plain of Phaleron and made this district fit for horsemen to ride over, and after that they sent the cavalry to attack the enemy's camp, who falling upon it slew (besides many others of the Lacedemonians) Anchimolios himself also: and the survivors of them they shut up in their ships. Such was the issue of the first expedition from Lacedemon: and the burial-place of Anchimolios is at Alopecai in Attica, near the temple of Heracles which is at Kynosarges.

64. After this the Lacedemonians equipped a larger expedition and sent it forth against Athens; and they appointed to be commander of the army their king Cleomenes the son of Anaxandrides, and sent it this time not by sea but by land. With these, when they had invaded the land of Attica, first the Thessalian horse engaged battle; and in no long time they were routed and there fell of them more than forty men; so the survivors departed without more ado and went straight back to Thessaly. Then Cleomenes came to the city together with those of the Athenians who desired to be free, and began to besiege the despots shut up in the Pelasgian wall.

65. And the Lacedemonians would never have captured the sons of Peisistratos at all; for they on their side had no design to make a long blockade, and the others were well provided with food and drink; so that they would have gone away back to Sparta after besieging them for a few days only: but as it was, a thing happened just at this time which was unfortunate for those, and at the same time of assistance to these; for the children of the sons of Peisistratos were captured, while being secretly removed out of the country: and when this happened, all their matters were thereby cast into confusion, and they surrendered receiving back their children on the terms which the Athenians desired, namely that they should depart out of Attica within five days. After this they departed out of the country and went to Sigeion on the Scamander, after their family had ruled over the Athenians for six-and-thirty years. These also[54a] were originally Pylians and sons of Neleus, descended from the same ancestors as the family of Codros and Melanthos, who had formerly become kings of Athens being settlers from abroad. Hence too Hippocrates had given to his son the name of Peisistratos as a memorial, calling him after Peisistratos the son of Nestor. Thus the Athenians were freed from despots; and the things worthy to be narrated which they did or suffered after they were liberated, up to the time when Ionia revolted from Dareios and Aristagoras the Milesian came to Athens and asked them to help him, these I will set forth first before I proceed further.

66. Athens, which even before that time was great, then, after having been freed from despots, became gradually yet greater; and in it two men exercised power, namely Cleisthenes a descendant of Alcmaion, the same who is reported to have bribed the Pythian prophetess, and Isagoras, the son of Tisander, of a family which was highly reputed, but of his original descent I am not able to declare; his kinsmen however offer sacrifices to the Carian Zeus. These men came to party strife for power; and then Cleisthenes was being worsted in the struggle, he made common cause with the people. After this he caused the Athenians to be in ten tribes, who were formerly in four; and he changed the names by which they were called after the sons of Ion, namely Geleon, Aigicoreus, Argades, and Hoples, and invented for them names taken from other heroes, all native Athenians except Ajax, whom he added as a neighbour and ally, although he was no Athenian.





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