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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
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Page 42
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Book IX
Page 46
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The History of Herodotus: Page 29

Volume Two - Book V

67. Now in these things it seems to me that this Cleisthenes was imitating his mother's father Cleisthenes the despot of Sikyon: for Cleisthenes when he went to war with Argos first caused to cease in Sikyon the contests of rhapsodists, which were concerned with the poems of Homer, because Argives and Argos are celebrated in them almost everywhere; then secondly, since there was (as still there is) in the market-place itself of the Sikyonians a hero-temple of Adrastos the son of Talaos, Cleisthenes had a desire to cast him forth out of the land, because he was an Argive.

So having come to Delphi he consulted the Oracle as to whether he should cast out Adrastos; and the Pythian prophetess answered him saying that Adrastos was king of the Sikyonians, whereas he was a stoner [55] of them.

So since the god did not permit him to do this, he went away home and considered means by which Adrastos should be brought to depart of his own accord: and when he thought that he had discovered them, he sent to Thebes in Bœotia and said that he desired to introduce into his city Melanippos the son of Astacos, and the Thebans gave him leave.

So Cleisthenes introduced Melanippos into his city, and appointed for him a sacred enclosure within the precincts of the City Hall [56] itself, and established him there in the strongest position.

Now Cleisthenes introduced Melanippos (for I must relate this also) because he was the greatest enemy of Adrastos, seeing that he had killed both his brother Mekisteus and his son-in-law Tydeus: and when he had appointed the sacred enclosure for him, he took away the sacrifices and festivals of Adrastos and gave them to Melanippos.

Now the Sikyonians were accustomed to honour Adrastos with very great honours; for this land was formerly the land of Polybos, and Adrastos was daughter's son to Polybos, and Polybos dying without sons gave his kingdom to Adrastos: the Sikyonians then not only gave other honours to Adrastos, but also with reference to his sufferings they specially honoured him with tragic choruses, not paying the honour to Dionysos but to Adrastos. Cleisthenes however gave back the choruses to Dionysos, and the other rites besides this he gave to Melannipos.

68. Thus he had done to Adrastos; and he also changed the names of the Dorian tribes, in order that the Sikyonians might not have the same tribes as the Argives; in which matter he showed great contempt of the Sikyonians, for the names he gave were taken from the names of a pig and an ass by changing only the endings, except in the case of his own tribe, to which he gave a name from his own rule. These last then were called Archelaoi,[57] while of the rest those of one tribe were called Hyatai,[58] of another Oneatai,[59] and of the remaining tribe Choireatai.[60] These names of tribes were used by the men of Sikyon not only in the reign of Cleisthenes, but also beyond that for sixty years after his death; then however they considered the matter and changed them into Hylleis, Pamphyloi, and Dymanatai, adding to these a fourth, to which they gave the name Aigialeis after Aigialeus the son of Adrastos.

69. Thus had the Cleisthenes of Sikyon done: and the Athenian Cleisthenes, who was his daughter's son and was called after him, despising, as I suppose, the Ionians, as he the Dorians, imitated his namesake Cleisthenes in order that the Athenians might not have the same tribes as the Ionians: for when at the time of which we speak he added to his own party the whole body of the common people of the Athenians, which in former time he had despised,[61] he changed the names of the tribes and made them more in number than they had been; he made in fact ten rulers of tribes instead of four, and by tens also he distributed the demes in the tribes; and having added the common people to his party he was much superior to his opponents.

70. Then Isagoras, as he was being worsted in his turn, contrived a plan in opposition to him, that is to say, he called in Cleomenes the Lacedemonian to help him, who had been a guest-friend to himself since the siege of the sons of Peisistratos; moreover Cleomenes was accused of being intimate with the wife of Isagoras. First then Cleomenes sent a herald to Athens demanding the expulsion of Cleisthenes and with him many others of the Athenians, calling them the men who were under the curse:[62] this message he sent by instruction of Isagoras, for the Alcmaionidai and their party were accused of the murder to which reference was thus made, while he and his friends had no part in it.

71. Now the men of the Athenians who were "under the curse" got this name as follows:--there was one Kylon among the Athenians, a man who had gained the victory at the Olympic games: this man behaved with arrogance, wishing to make himself despot; and having formed for himself an association of men of his own age, he endeavoured to seize the Acropolis: but not being able to get possession of it, he sat down as a suppliant before the image of the goddess.[63] These men were taken from their place as suppliants by the presidents of the naucraries, who then administered affairs at Athens, on the condition that they should be liable to any penalty short of death; and the Alcmaionidai are accused of having put them to death. This had occurred before the time of Peisistratos.

72. Now when Cleomenes sent demanding the expulsion of Cleisthenes and of those under the curse, Cleisthenes himself retired secretly; but after that nevertheless Cleomenes appeared in Athens with no very large force, and having arrived he proceeded to expel as accursed seven hundred Athenian families, of which Isagoras had suggested to him the names. Having done this he next endeavoured to dissolve the Senate, and he put the offices of the State into the hands of three hundred, who were the partisans of Isagoras. The Senate however making opposition, and not being willing to submit, Cleomenes with Isagoras and his partisans seized the Acropolis. Then the rest of the Athenians joined together by common consent and besieged them for two days; and on the third day so many of them as were Lacedemonians departed out of the country under a truce. Thus was accomplished for Cleomenes the ominous saying which was uttered to him: for when he had ascended the Acropolis with the design of taking possession of it, he was going to the sanctuary of the goddess, as to address her in prayer; but the priestess stood up from her seat before he had passed through the door, and said, "Lacedemonian stranger, go back and enter not into the temple, for it is not lawful for Dorians to pass in hither." He said: "Woman, I am not a Dorian, but an Achaian." So then, paying no attention to the ominous speech, he made his attempt and then was expelled again with the Lacedemonians; but the rest of the men the Athenians laid in bonds to be put to death, and among them Timesitheos the Delphian, with regard to whom I might mention very great deeds of strength and courage which he performed.

73. These then having been thus laid in bonds were put to death; and the Athenians after this sent for Cleisthenes to return, and also for the seven hundred families which had been driven out by Cleomenes: and then they sent envoys to Sardis, desiring to make an alliance with the Persians; for they were well assured that the Lacedemonians and Cleomenes had been utterly made their foes. So when these envoys had arrived at Sardis and were saying that which they had been commanded to say, Artaphrenes the son of Hystaspes, the governor of Sardis, asked what men these were who requested to be allies of the Persians, and where upon the earth they dwelt; and having heard this from the envoys, he summed up his answer to them thus, saying that if the Athenians were willing to give earth and water to Dareios, he was willing to make alliance with them, but if not, he bade them begone: and the envoys taking the matter upon themselves said that they were willing to do so, because they desired to make the alliance.

74. These, when they returned to their own land, were highly censured: and Cleomenes meanwhile, conceiving that he had been outrageously dealt with by the Athenians both with words and with deeds, was gathering together an army from the whole of the Peloponnese, not declaring the purpose for which he was gathering it, but desiring to take vengeance on the people of the Athenians, and intending to make Isagoras despot; for he too had come out of the Acropolis together with Cleomenes. Cleomenes then with a large army entered Eleusis, while at the same time the Bœotians by agreement with him captured Oinoe and Hysiai, the demes which lay upon the extreme borders of Attica, and the Chalkidians on the other side invaded and began to ravage various districts of Attica. The Athenians then, though attacked on more sides than one, thought that they would remember the Bœotians and Chalkidians afterwards, and arrayed themselves against the Peloponnesians who were in Eleusis.

75. Then as the armies were just about the join battle, the Corinthians first, considering with themselves that they were not acting rightly, changed their minds and departed; and after that Demaratos the son of Ariston did the same, who was king of the Spartans as well as Cleomenes, though he had joined with him in leading the army out from Lacedemon and had not been before this at variance with Cleomenes. In consequence of this dissension a law was laid down at Sparta that it should not be permitted, when an army went out, that both the kings should go with it, for up to this time both used to go with it, and that as one of the kings was set free from service, so one of the sons of Tyndareus[64] also should be left behind; for before this time both of these two were called upon by them for help and went with the armies.

76. At this time then in Eleusis the rest of the allies, seeing that the kings of the Lacedemonians did not agree and also that the Corinthians had deserted their place in the ranks, themselves too departed and got them away quickly. And this was the fourth time that the Dorians had come to Attica, twice having invaded it to make war against it, and twice to help the mass of the Athenian people,--first when they at the same time colonised Megara (this expedition may rightly be designated as taking place when Codros was king of the Athenians), for the second and third times when they came making expeditions from Sparta to drive out the sons of Peisistratos, and fourthly on this occasion, when Cleomenes at the head of the Peloponnesians invaded Eleusis: thus the Dorians invaded Athens then for the fourth time.

77. This army then having been ingloriously broken up, the Athenians after that, desiring to avenge themselves, made expedition first against the Chalkidians; and the Bœotians came to the Euripos to help the Chalkidians. The Athenians, therefore, seeing those who had come to help,[64a] resolved first to attack the Bœotians before the Chalkidians. Accordingly they engaged battle with the Bœotians, and had much the better of them, and after having slain very many they took seven hundred of them captive. On this very same day the Athenians passed over into Eubœa and engaged battle with the Chalkidians as well; and having conquered these also, they left four thousand holders of allotments in the land belonging to the "Breeders of Horses":[65] now the wealthier of the Chalkidians were called the Breeders of Horses. And as many of them as they took captive, they kept in confinement together with the Bœotians who had been captured, bound with fetters; and then after a time they let them go, having fixed their ransom at two pounds of silver apiece:[66] but their fetters, in which they had been bound, they hung up on the Acropolis; and these were still existing even to my time hanging on walls which had been scorched with fire by the Mede,[67] and just opposite the sanctuary which lies towards the West. The tenth part of the ransom also they dedicated for an offering, and made of it a four-horse chariot of bronze, which stands on the left hand as you enter the Propylaia in the Acropolis, and on it is the following inscription: "Matched in the deeds of war with the tribes of Bœotia and Chalkis The sons of Athens prevailed, conquered and tamed them in fight: In chains of iron and darkness they quenched their insolent spirit; And to Athene present these, of their ransom a tithe."

78. The Athenians accordingly increased in power; and it is evident, not by one instance only but in every way, that Equality[68] is an excellent thing, since the Athenians while they were ruled by despots were not better in war that any of those who dwelt about them, whereas after they had got rid of despots they became far the first. This proves that when they were kept down they were wilfully slack, because they were working for a master, whereas when they had been set free each one was eager to achieve something for himself.

79. These then were faring thus: and the Thebans after this sent to the god, desiring to be avenged on the Athenians; the Pythian prophetess however said that vengeance was not possible for them by their own strength alone, but bade them report the matter to the "many-voiced" and ask help of those who were "nearest" to them. So when those who were sent to consult the Oracle returned, they made a general assembly and reported the oracle; and then the Thebans heard them say that they were to ask help of those who were nearest to them, they said: "Surely those who dwell nearest to us are the men of Tanagra and Coroneia and Thespiai; and these always fight zealously on our side and endure the war with us to the end: what need is there that we ask of these? Rather perhaps that is not the meaning of the oracle."

80. While they commented upon it thus, at length one perceived that which the oracle means to tell us. Asopos is said to have had two daughters born to him, Thebe and Egina; and as these are sisters, I think that the god gave us for answer that we should ask the men of Egina to become our helpers." Then as there seemed to be no opinion expressed which was better than this, they sent forthwith and asked the men of Egina to help them, calling upon them in accordance with the oracle; and they, when these made request, said that they sent with them the sons of Aiacos to help them.

81. After that the Thebans, having made an attempt with the alliance of the sons of Aiacos and having been roughly handled by the Athenians, sent again and gave them back the sons of Aiacos and asked them for men. So the Eginetans, exalted by great prosperity and calling to mind an ancient grudge against the Athenians, then on the request of the Thebans commenced a war against the Athenians without notice: for while the Athenians were intent on the Bœotians, they sailed against them to Attica with ships of war, and they devastated Phaleron and also many demes in the remainder of the coast region, and so doing they deeply stirred the resentment of the Athenians.[69]

82. Now the grudge which was due beforehand from the Eginetans to the Athenians came about from a beginning which was as follows:--The land of the Epidaurians yielded to its inhabitants no fruit; and accordingly with reference to this calamity the Epidaurians went to inquire at Delphi, and the Pythian prophetess bade them set up images of Damia and Auxesia, and said that when they had set up these, they would meet with better fortune. The Epidaurians then asked further whether they should make images of bronze or of stone; and the prophetess bade them not use either of these, but make them of the wood of a cultivated olive-tree. The Epidaurians therefore asked the Athenians to allow them to cut for themselves an olive-tree, since they thought that their olives were the most sacred; nay some say that at that time there were no olives in any part of the earth except at Athens. The Athenians said that they would allow them on condition that they should every year bring due offerings to Athene Polias[70] and to Erechtheus. The Epidaurians, then, having agreed to these terms, obtained that which they asked, and they made images out of these olive-trees and set them up: and their land bore fruit and they continued to fulfil towards the Athenians that which they had agreed to do.

83. Now during this time and also before this the Eginetans were subject to the Epidaurians, and besides other things they were wont to pass over to Epidauros to have their disputes with one another settled by law:[71] but after this time they built for themselves ships and made revolt from the Epidaurians, moved thereto by wilfulness. So as they were at variance with them, they continued to inflict damage on them, since in fact they had command of the sea, and especially they stole away from them these images of Damia and Auxesia, and they brought them and set them up in the inland part of their country at a place called Oia, which is about twenty furlongs distant from their city. Having set them up in this spot they worshipped them with sacrifices and choruses of women accompanied with scurrilous jesting, ten men being appointed for each of the deities to provide the choruses: and the choruses spoke evil of no man, but only of the women of the place. Now the Epidaurians also had the same rites; and they have also rites which may not be divulged.

84. These images then having been stolen, the Epidaurians no longer continued to fulfil towards the Athenians that which they had agreed. The Athenians accordingly sent and expressed displeasure to the Epidaurians; and they declared saying that they were doing no wrong; for during the time when they had the images in their country they continued to fulfil that which they had agreed upon, but since they had been deprived of them, it was not just that they should make the offerings any more; and they bade them demand these from the men of Egina, who had the images. So the Athenians sent to Egina and demanded the images back; but the Eginetans said that they had nothing to do with the Athenians.

85. The Athenians then report that in one single trireme were despatched those of their citizens who were sent by the State after this demand; who having come to Egina, attempted to tear up from off their pedestals the images, (alleging that they were made of wood which belonged to the Athenians), in order to carry them back with them: but not being able to get hold of them in this manner (say the Athenians) they threw ropes round them and were pulling them, when suddenly, as they pulled, thunder came on and an earthquake at the same time with the thunder; and the crew of the trireme who were pulling were made beside themselves by these, and being brought to this condition they killed one another as if they were enemies, until at last but one of the whole number was left; and he returned alone to Phaleron.

86. Thus the Athenians report that it came to pass: but the Eginetans say that it was not with a single ship that the Athenians came; for a single ship, and even a few more than one, they could have easily repelled, even if they had not happened to have ships of their own: but they say that the Athenians sailed upon their country with a large fleet of ships, and they gave way before them and did not fight a sea-battle. They cannot however declare with certainty whether they gave way thus because they admitted that they were not strong enough to fight the battle by sea, or because they intended to do something of the kind which they actually did. The Athenians then, they say, as no one met them in fight, landed from their ships and made for the images; but not being able to tear them up from their pedestals, at last they threw ropes round them and began to pull, until the images, as they were being pulled, did both the same thing (and here they report something which I cannot believe, but some other man may), for they say that the images fell upon their knees to them and that they continue to be in that position ever since this time. The Athenians, they say, were doing thus; and meanwhile they themselves (say the Eginetans), being informed that the Athenians were about to make an expedition against them, got the Argives to help them; and just when the Athenians had disembarked upon the Eginetan land, the Argives had come to their rescue, and not having been perceived when they passed over from Epidauros to the island, they fell upon the Athenians before these had heard anything of the matter, cutting them off secretly from the way to their ships; and at this moment it was that the thunder and the earthquake came upon them.

87. This is the report which is given by the Argives and Eginetans both, and it is admitted by the Athenians also that but one alone of them survived and came back to Attica: only the Argives say that this one remained alive from destruction wrought by them upon the army of Athens, while the Athenians say that the divine power was the destroyer. However, even this one man did not remain alive, but perished, they say, in the following manner:--when he returned to Athens he reported the calamity which had happened; and the wives of the men who had gone on the expedition to Egina, hearing it and being very indignant that he alone of all had survived, came round this man and proceeded to stab him with the brooches of their mantles, each one of them asking of him where her husband was. Thus he was slain; and to the Athenians it seemed that the deed of the women was a much more terrible thing even than the calamity which had happened; and not knowing, it is said, how they should punish the women in any other way, they changed their fashion of dress to that of Ionia,--for before this the women of the Athenians wore Dorian dress, very like that of Corinth,--they changed it therefore to the linen tunic, in order that they might not have use for brooches.

88. In truth however this fashion of dress is not Ionian originally but Carian, for the old Hellenic fashion of dress for women was universally the same as that which we now call Dorian. Moreover it is said that with reference to these events the Argives and Eginetans made it a custom among themselves in both countries[72] to have the brooches made half as large again as the size which was then established in use, and that their women should offer brooches especially in the temple of these goddesses,[73] and also that they should carry neither pottery of Athens nor anything else of Athenian make to the temple, but that it should be the custom for the future to drink there from pitchers made in the lands themselves.

89. The women of the Argives and Eginetans from this time onwards because of the quarrel with the Athenians continued to wear brooches larger than before, and still do so even to my time; and the origin of the enmity of the Athenians towards the Eginetans came in the manner which has been said. So at this time, when the Thebans invaded them, the Eginetans readily came to the assistance of the Bœotians, calling to mind what occurred about the images. The Eginetans then were laying waste, as I have said, the coast regions of Attica; and when the Athenians were resolved to make an expedition against the Eginetans, an oracle came to them from Delphi bidding them stay for thirty years reckoned from the time of the wrong done by the Eginetans, and in the one-and-thirtieth year to appoint a sacred enclosure for Aiacos and then to begin the war against the Eginetans, and they would succeed as they desired; but if they should make an expedition against them at once, they would suffer in the meantime very much evil and also inflict very much, but at last they would subdue them. When the Athenians heard the report of this, they appointed a sacred enclosure for Aiacos, namely that which is now established close to the market- place, but they could not endure to hear that they must stay for thirty years, when they had suffered injuries from the Eginetans.

90. While however they were preparing to take vengeance, a matter arose from the Lacedemonians which provided a hindrance to them: for the Lacedemonians, having learnt that which had been contrived by the Alcmaionidai with respect to the Pythian prophetess, and that which had been contrived by the Pythian prophetess against themselves and the sons of Peisistratos, were doubly grieved, not only because they had driven out into exile men who were their guest-friends, but also because after they had done this no gratitude was shown to them by the Athenians. Moreover in addition to this, they were urged on by the oracles which said that many injuries would be suffered by them from the Athenians; of which oracles they had not been aware of before, but they had come to know them, since Cleomenes had brought them to Sparta. In fact Cleomenes had obtained from the Acropolis of the Athenians those oracles which the sons of Peisistratos possessed before and had left in the temple when they were driven out; and Cleomenes recovered them after they had been left behind.

91. At this time, then, when the Lacedemonians had recovered the oracles and when they saw that the Athenians were increasing in power and were not at all willing to submit to them, observing that the Athenian race now that it was free was becoming [74] a match for their own, whereas when held down by despots it was weak and ready to be ruled,--perceiving, I say, all these things, they sent for Hippias the son of Peisistratos to come from Sigeion on the Hellespont, whither the family of Peisistratos go for refuge;[75] and when Hippias had come upon the summons, the Spartans sent also for envoys to come from their other allies and spoke to them as follows: "Allies, we are conscious within ourselves that we have not acted rightly; for incited by counterfeit oracles we drove out into exile men who were very closely united with us as guest-friends and who undertook the task of rendering Athens submissive to us, and then after having done this we delivered over the State to a thankless populace, which so soon as it had raised its head, having been freed by our means drove out us and our king with wanton outrage; and now exalted with pride[76] it is increasing in power, so that the neighbours of these men first of all, that is the Bœotians and Chalkidians, have already learnt, and perhaps some others also will afterwards learn, that they committed an error.[76a] As however we erred in doing those things of which we have spoken, we will try now to take vengeance on them, going thither together with you;[77] since it was for this very purpose that we sent for Hippias, whom ye see here, and for you also, to come from your cities, in order that with common counsel and a common force we might conduct him to Athens and render back to him that which we formerly took away."

92. Thus they spoke; but the majority of the allies did not approve of their words. The rest however kept silence, but the Corinthian Socles[78] spoke as follows: (a) "Surely now the heaven shall be below the earth, and the earth raised up on high above the heaven, and men shall have their dwelling in the sea, and fishes shall have that habitation which men had before, seeing that ye, Lacedemonians, are doing away with free governments[79] and are preparing to bring back despotism again into our cities, than which there is no more unjust or more murderous thing among men. For if in truth this seems to you to be good, namely that the cities should be ruled by despots, do ye yourselves first set up a despot in your own State, and then endeavour to establish them also for others: but as it is, ye are acting unfairly towards your allies, seeing that ye have had no experience of despots yourselves and provide with the greatest care at Sparta that this may never come to pass. If however ye had had experience of it, as we have had, ye would be able to contribute juster opinions of it than at present. (b) For the established order of the Corinthian State was this:--the government was an oligarchy, and the oligarchs, who were called Bacchiadai, had control over the State and made marriages among themselves.[80] Now one of these men, named Amphion, had a daughter born to him who was lame, and her name was Labda. This daughter, since none of the Bacchiadai wished to marry her, was taken to wife by Aėtion the son of Echecrates, who was of the deme of Petra, but by original descent a Lapith and of the race of Caineus. Neither from this wife nor from another were children born to him, therefore he set out to Delphi to inquire about offspring; and as he entered, forthwith the prophetess addressed him in these lines: "'Much to be honoured art thou, yet none doth render thee honour.[81] Labda conceives, and a rolling rock will she bear, which shall ruin Down on the heads of the kings, and with chastisement visit Corinthos.' This answer given to Aėtion was by some means reported to the Bacchiadai, to whom the oracle which had come to Corinth before this was not intelligible, an oracle which had reference to the same thing as that of Aėtion and said thus: "'An eagle conceives in the rocks[82] and shall bear a ravening lion, Strong and fierce to devour, who the knees of many shall loosen. Ponder this well in your minds, I bid you, Corinthians, whose dwelling Lies about fair Peirene's spring and in craggy Corinthos.' (c) This oracle, I say, having come before to the Bacchiadai was obscure; but afterwards when they heard that which had come to Aėtion, forthwith they understood the former also, that it was in accord with that of Aėtion; and understanding this one also they kept quiet, desiring to destroy the offspring which should be born to Aėtion. Then, so soon as his wife bore a child, they sent ten of their own number to the deme in which Aėtion had his dwelling, to slay the child; and when these had come to Petra and had passed into the court of Aėtion's house, they asked for the child; and Labda, not knowing anything of the purpose for which they had come, and supposing them to be asking for the child on account of friendly feeling towards its father, brought it and placed it in the hands of one of them. Now they, it seems, had resolved by the way that the first of them who received the child should dash it upon the ground. However, when Labda brought and gave it, it happened by divine providence that the child smiled at the man who had received it; and when he perceived this, a feeling of compassion prevented him from killing it, and having this compassion he delivered it to the next man, and he to the third. Thus it passed through the hands of all the ten, delivered from one to another, since none of them could bring himself to destroy its life. So they gave the child back to its mother and went out; and then standing by the doors they abused and found fault with one another, laying blame especially on the one who had first received the child, because he had not done according to that which had been resolved; until at last after some time they determined again to enter and all to take a share in the murder. (d) From the offspring of Aėtion however it was destined that evils should spring up for Corinth: for Labda was listening to all this as she stood close by the door, and fearing lest they should change their mind and take the child a second time and kill it, she carried it and concealed it in the place which seemed to her the least likely to be discovered, that is to say a corn-chest,[84] feeling sure that if they should return and come to a search, they were likely to examine everything: and this in fact happened. So when they had come, and searching had failed to find it, they thought it best to return and say to those who had sent them that they had done all that which they had been charged by them to do. (e) They then having departed said this; and after this the son of Aėtion grew, and because he had escaped this danger, the name of Kypselos was given him as a surname derived from the corn-chest. Then when Kypselos had grown to manhood and was seeking divination, a two-edged[85] answer was given him at Delphi, placing trust in which he made an attempt upon Corinth and obtained possession of it. Now the answer was as follows: "'Happy is this man's lot of a truth, who enters my dwelling, Offspring of Aėtion, he shall rule in famous Corinthos, Kypselos, he and his sons, but his children's children no longer.' Such was the oracle: and Kypselos when he became despot was a man of this character,--many of the Corinthians he drove into exile, many he deprived of their wealth, and very many more of their lives. (f) And when he had reigned for thirty years and had brought his life to a prosperous end, his son Periander became his successor in the despotism. Now Periander at first was milder than his father; but after he had had dealings through messengers with Thrasybulos the despot of Miletos, he became far more murderous even than Kypselos. For he sent a messenger to Thrasybulos and asked what settlement of affairs was the safest for him to make, in order that he might best govern his State: and Thrasybulos led forth the messenger who had come from Periander out of the city, and entered into a field of growing corn; and as he passed through the crop of corn, while inquiring and asking questions repeatedly[86] of the messenger about the occasion of his coming from Corinth, he kept cutting off the heads of those ears of corn which he saw higher than the rest; and as he cut off their heads he cast them away, until he had destroyed in this manner the finest and richest part of the crop. So having passed through the place and having suggested no word of counsel, he dismissed the messenger. When the messenger returned to Corinth, Periander was anxious to hear the counsel which had been given; but he said that Thrasybulos had given him no counsel, and added that he wondered at the deed of Periander in sending him to such a man, for the man was out of his senses and a waster of his own goods,--relating at the same time that which he had seen Thrasybulos do. (g) So Periander, understanding that which had been done and perceiving that Thrasybulos counselled him to put to death those who were eminent among his subjects, began then to display all manner of evil treatment to the citizens of the State; for whatsoever Kypselos had left undone in killing and driving into exile, this Periander completed. And in one day he stripped all the wives of the Corinthians of their clothing on account of his own wife Melissa. For when he had sent messengers to the Thesprotians on the river Acheron to ask the Oracle of the dead about a deposit made with him by a guest-friend, Melissa appeared and said she would not tell in what place the deposit was laid, for she was cold and had no clothes, since those which he had buried with her were of no use to her, not having been burnt; and this, she said, would be an evidence to him that she was speaking the truth, namely that when the oven was cold, Periander had put his loaves into it. When the report of this was brought back to Periander, the token made him believe, because he had had commerce with Melissa after she was dead; and straightway after receiving the message he caused proclamation to be made that all the wives of the Corinthians should come out to the temple of Hera. They accordingly went as to a festival in their fairest adornment; and he having set the spearmen of his guard in ambush, stripped them all alike, both the free women and their attendant; and having gathered together all their clothes in a place dug out, he set fire to them, praying at the same time to Melissa. Then after he had done this and had sent a second time, the apparition of Melissa told him in what spot he had laid the deposit entrusted to him by his guest-friend. "Such a thing, ye must know, Lacedemonians, is despotism, and such are its deeds: and we Corinthians marvelled much at first when we saw that ye were sending for Hippias, and now we marvel even more because ye say these things; and we adjure you, calling upon the gods of Hellas, not to establish despotisms in the cities. If however ye will not cease from your design, but endeavour to restore Hippias contrary to that which is just, know that the Corinthians at least do not give their consent to that which ye do."

93. Socles being the envoy of Corinth thus spoke, and Hippias made answer to him, calling to witness the same gods as he, that assuredly the Corinthians would more than all others regret the loss of the sons of Peisistratos, when the appointed days should have come for them to be troubled by the Athenians. Thus Hippias made answer, being acquainted with the oracles more exactly than any other man: but the rest of the allies, who for a time had restrained themselves and kept silence, when they heard Socles speak freely, gave utterance every one of them to that which they felt, and adopted the opinion of the Corinthian envoy, adjuring the Lacedemonians not to do any violence to a city of Hellas.

94. Thus was this brought to an end: and Hippias being dismissed from thence had Anthemus offered to him by Amyntas king of the Macedonians and Iolcos by the Thessalians. He however accepted neither of these, but retired again to Sigeion; which city Peisistratos had taken by force of arms from the Mytilenians, and having got possession of it, had appointed his own natural son Hegesistratos, born of an Argive woman, to be despot of it: he however did not without a struggle keep possession of that which he received from Peisistratos; for the Mytilenians and Athenians carried on war for a long time, having their strongholds respectively at Achilleion and at Sigeion, the one side demanding that the place be restored to them, and the Athenians on the other hand not admitting this demand, but proving by argument that the Aiolians had no better claim to the territory of Ilion than they and the rest of the Hellenes, as many as joined with Menelaos in exacting vengeance for the rape of Helen.

95. Now while these carried on the war, besides many other things of various kinds which occurred in the battles, once when a fight took place and the Athenians were conquering, Alcaios the poet, taking to flight, escaped indeed himself, but the Athenians retained possession of his arms and hung them up on the walls of the temple of Athene which is at Sigeion. About this matter Alcaios composed a song and sent it to Mytilene, reporting therein his misadventure to one Melanippos, who was his friend. Finally Periander the son of Kypselos made peace between the Athenians and the Mytilenians,[87] for to him they referred the matter as arbitrator; and he made peace between them on the condition that each should continue to occupy that territory which they then possessed.

96. Sigeion then in this matter had come under the rule of the Athenians. And when Hippias had returned to Asia from Lacedemon, he set everything in motion, stirring up enmity between the Athenians and Artaphrenes, and using every means to secure that Athens should come under the rule of himself and of Dareios. Hippias, I say, was thus engaged; and the Athenians meanwhile hearing of these things sent envoys to Sardis, and endeavoured to prevent the Persians from following the suggestions of the exiled Athenians. Artaphrenes however commanded them, if they desired to be preserved from ruin, to receive Hippias back again. This proposal the Athenians were not by any means disposed to accept when it was reported; and as they did not accept this, it became at once a commonly received opinion among them that they were enemies of the Persians.

97. While they had these thoughts and had been set at enmity with the Persians, at this very time Aristagoras the Milesian, ordered away from Sparta by Cleomenes the Lacedemonian, arrived at Athens; for this was the city which had most power of all the rest besides Sparta. And Aristagoras came forward before the assembly of the people and said the same things as he had said at Sparta about the wealth which there was in Asia, and about the Persian manner of making war, how they used neither shield nor spear and were easy to overcome. Thus I say he said, and also he added this, namely that the Milesians were colonists from the Athenians, and that it was reasonable that the Athenians should rescue them, since they had such great power; and there was nothing which he did not promise, being very urgent in his request, until at last he persuaded them: for it would seem that it is easier to deceive many than one, seeing that, though he did not prove able to deceive Cleomenes the Lacedemonian by himself, yet he did this to thirty thousand Athenians. The Athenians then, I say, being persuaded, voted a resolution to despatch twenty ships to help the Ionians, and appointed to command them Melanthios one of their citizens, who was in all things highly reputed. These ships proved to be the beginning of evils for the Hellenes and the Barbarians.

98. Aristagoras however sailed on before and came to Miletos; and then having devised a plan from which no advantage was likely to come for the Ionians (nor indeed was he doing what he did with a view to that, but in order to vex king Dareios), he sent a man to Phrygia to the Piaonians who had been taken captive by Megabazos from the river Strymon, and who were dwelling in a district and village of Phrygia apart by themselves; and when the messenger came to the Paionians he spoke these words: "Paionians, Aristagoras the despot of Miletos sent me to offer to you salvation, if ye shall be willing to do as he says; for now all Ionia has revolted from the king and ye have an opportunity of coming safe to your own land: to reach the sea shall be your concern, and after this it shall be thenceforth ours." The Paionians hearing this received it as a most welcome proposal, and taking with them their children and their women they began a flight to the sea; some of them however were struck with fear and remained in the place where they were. Having come to the coast the Paionians crossed over thence to Chios, and when they were already in Chios there arrived in their track a large body of Persian horsemen pursuing the Paionians. These, as they did not overtake them, sent over to Chios to bid the Paionians return back: the Paionians however did not accept their proposal, but the men of Chios conveyed them from Chios to Lesbos, and the Lesbians brought them to Doriscos, and thence they proceeded by land and came to Paionia.





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