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Author
Herodotus

Translated into English by G. C. MACAULAY, M.A. Credits
Gutenberg Project

VOLUME ONE

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


VOLUME TWO

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

Book VIII
Page 42
   Page 43   Page 44   Page 45

Book IX
Page 46
   Page 47   Page 48   Page 49
 

 

The History of Herodotus: Page 39

Volume Two - Book VII

148. The spies then, having thus looked at everything and after that having been dismissed, returned back to Europe: and meanwhile those of the Hellenes who had sworn alliance against the Persian, after the sending forth of the spies proceeded to send envoys next to Argos. Now the Argives report that the matters concerning themselves took place as follows:--They were informed, they say, at the very first of the movement which was being set on foot by the Barbarian against Hellas; and having been informed of this and perceiving that the Hellenes would endeavour to get their alliance against the Persians, they had sent messengers to inquire of the god at Delphi, and to ask how they should act in order that it might be best for themselves: because lately there had been slain of them six thousand men by the Lacedemonians and by Cleomenes the son of Anaxandrides,[134] and this in fact was the reason that they were sending to inquire: and when they inquired, the Pythian prophetess made answer to them as follows: "Thou to thy neighbours a foe, by the gods immortal beloved, Keep thou thy spear[135] within bounds, and sit well-guarded behind it: Guard well the head, and the head shall preserve the limbs and the body." Thus, they say, the Pythian prophetess had replied to them before this; and afterwards when the messengers of the Hellenes came, as I said, to Argos, they entered the Council-chamber and spoke that which had been enjoined to them; and to that which was said the Council replied that the Argives were ready to do as they were requested, on condition that they got peace made with the Lacedemonians for thirty years and that they had half the leadership of the whole confederacy: and yet by strict right (they said) the whole leadership fell to their share, but nevertheless it was sufficient for them to have half.

149. Thus they report that the Council made answer, although the oracle forbade them to make the alliance with the Hellenes; and they were anxious, they say, that a truce from hostilities for thirty years should be made, although they feared the oracle, in order, as they allege, that their sons might grow to manhood in these years; whereas if a truce did not exist, they had fear that, supposing another disaster should come upon them in fighting against the Persian in addition to that which had befallen them already, they might be for all future time subject to the Lacedemonians. To that which was spoken by the Council those of the envoys who were of Sparta replied, that as to the truce they would refer the matter to their public assembly,[136] but as to the leadership they had themselves been commissioned to make reply, and did in fact say this, namely that they had two kings, while the Argives had one; and it was not possible to remove either of the two who were of Sparta from the leadership, but there was nothing to prevent the Argive king from having an equal vote with each of their two. Then, say the Argives, they could not endure the grasping selfishness of the Spartans, but chose to be ruled by the Barbarians rather than to yield at all to the Lacedemonians; and they gave notice to the envoys to depart out of the territory of the Argives before sunset, or, if not, they would be dealt with as enemies.

150. The Argives themselves report so much about these matters: but there is another story reported in Hellas to the effect that Xerxes sent a herald to Argos before he set forth to make an expedition against Hellas, and this herald, they say, when he had come, spoke as follows: "Men of Argos, king Xerxes says to you these things:--We hold that Perses, from whom we are descended, was the son of Perseus, the son of Danae, and was born of the daughter of Kepheus, Andromeda; and according to this it would seem that we are descended from you. It is not fitting then that we should go forth on an expedition against those from whom we trace our descent, nor that ye should set yourselves in opposition to us by rendering assistance to others; but it is fitting that ye keep still and remain by yourselves: for if things happen according to my mind, I shall not esteem any people to be of greater consequence than you." Having heard this the Argives, it is said, considered it a great matter; and therefore at first they made no offer of help nor did they ask for any share; but afterwards, when the Hellenes tried to get them on their side, then, since they knew well that the Lacedemonians would not give them a share in the command, they asked for this merely in order that they might have a pretext for remaining still.

151. Also some of the Hellenes report that the following event, in agreement with this account, came to pass many years after these things:--there happened, they say, to be in Susa the city of Memnon[137] envoys of the Athenians come about some other matter, namely Callias the son of Hipponicos and the others who went up with him; and the Argives at that very time had also sent envoys to Susa, and these asked Artoxerxes the son of Xerxes, whether the friendship which they had formed with Xerxes still remained unbroken, if they themselves desired to maintain it,[138] or whether they were esteemed by him to be enemies; and king Artoxerxes said that it most certainly remained unbroken, and that there was no city which he considered to be more his friend than Argos.

152. Now whether Xerxes did indeed send a herald to Argos saying that which has been reported, and whether envoys of the Argives who had gone up to Susa inquired of Artoxerxes concerning friendship, I am not able to say for certain; nor do I declare any opinion about the matters in question other than that which the Argives themselves report: but I know this much, that if all the nations of men should bring together into one place the evils which they have suffered themselves, desiring to make exchange with their neighbours, each people of them, when they had examined closely the evils suffered by their fellows, would gladly carry away back with them those which they had brought.[139] Thus it is not the Argives who have acted most basely of all. I however am bound to report that which is reported, though I am not bound altogether to believe it; and let this saying be considered to hold good as regards every narrative in the history: for I must add that this also is reported, namely that the Argives were actually those who invited the Persian to invade Hellas, because their war with the Lacedemonians had had an evil issue, being willing to suffer anything whatever rather than the trouble which was then upon them.

153. That which concerns the Argives has now been said: and meanwhile envoys had come to Sicily from the allies, to confer with Gelon, among whom was also Syagros from the Lacedemonians. Now the ancestor of this Gelon, he who was at Gela as a settler,[140] was a native of the island of Telos, which lies off Triopion; and when Gela was founded by the Lindians of Rhodes and by Antiphemos, he was not left behind. Then in course of time his descendants became and continued to be priests of the mysteries of the Earth goddesses,[141] an office which was acquired by Telines one of their ancestors in the following manner:-- certain of the men of Gela, being worsted in a party struggle, had fled to Mactorion, the city which stands above Gela: these men Telines brought back to Gela from exile with no force of men but only with the sacred rites of these goddesses; but from whom he received them, or whether he obtained them for himself,[142] this I am not able to say; trusting in these however, he brought the men back from exile, on the condition that his descendants should be priests of the mysteries of the goddesses. To me it has caused wonder also that Telines should have been able to perform so great a deed, considering that which I am told; for such deeds, I think, are not apt to proceed from every man, but from one who has a brave spirit and manly vigour, whereas Telines is said by the dwellers in Sicily to have been on the contrary a man of effeminate character and rather poor spirit.

154. He then had thus obtained the privilege of which I speak: and when Cleander the son of Pantares brought his life to an end, having been despot of Gela for seven years and being killed at last by Sabyllos a man of Gela, then Hippocrates succeeded to the monarchy, who was brother of Cleander. And while Hippocrates was despot, Gelon, who was a descendant of Telines the priest of the mysteries, was spearman of the guard[143] to Hippocrates with many others and among them Ainesidemos the son of Pataicos. Then after no long time he was appointed by reason of valour to be commander of the whole cavalry; for when Hippocrates besieged successively the cities of Callipolis, Naxos, Zancle, Leontini, and also Syracuse and many towns of the Barbarians, in these wars Gelon showed himself a most brilliant warrior; and of the cities which I just now mentioned, not one except Syracuse escaped being reduced to subjection by Hippocrates: the Syracusans however, after they had been defeated in battle at the river Eloros, were rescued by the Corinthians and Corcyreans; these rescued them and brought the quarrel to a settlement on this condition, namely that the Syracusans should deliver up Camarina to Hippocrates. Now Camarina used in ancient time to belong to the men of Syracuse.

155. Then when it was the fate of Hippocrates also, after having been despot for the same number of years as his brother Cleander, to be killed at the city of Hybla, whither he had gone on an expedition against the Sikelians, then Gelon made a pretence of helping the sons of Hippocrates, Eucleides and Cleander, when the citizens were no longer willing to submit; but actually, when he had been victorious in a battle over the men of Gela, he robbed the sons of Hippocrates of the power and was ruler himself. After this stroke of fortune Gelon restored those of the Syracusans who were called "land-holders,"[144] after they had been driven into exile by the common people and by their own slaves, who were called Kyllyrians,[145] these, I say, he restored from the city of Casmene to Syracuse, and so got possession of this last city also, for the common people of Syracuse, when Gelon came against them, delivered up to him their city and themselves.

156. So after he had received Syracuse into his power, he made less account of Gela, of which he was ruler also in addition, and he gave it in charge to Hieron his brother, while he proceeded to strengthen Syracuse. So forthwith that city rose and shot up to prosperity; for in the first place he brought all those of Camarina to Syracuse and made them citizens, and razed to the ground the city of Camarina; then secondly he did the same to more than half of the men of Gela, as he had done to those of Camarina: and as regards the Megarians of Sicily, when they were besieged and had surrendered by capitulation, the well-to-do men[146] of them, though they had stirred up war with him and expected to be put to death for this reason, he brought to Syracuse and made them citizens, but the common people of the Megarians, who had no share in the guilt of this war and did not expect that they would suffer any evil, these also he brought to Syracuse and sold them as slaves to be carried away from Sicily: and the same thing he did moreover to the men of Euboia in Sicily, making a distinction between them: and he dealt thus with these two cities because he thought that a body of commons was a most unpleasant element in the State.

157. In the manner then which has been described Gelon had become a powerful despot; and at this time when the envoys of the Hellenes had arrived at Syracuse, they came to speech with him and said as follows: "The Lacedemonians and their allies sent us to get thee to be on our side against the Barbarian; for we suppose that thou art certainly informed of him who is about to invade Hellas, namely that a Persian is designing to bridge over the Hellespont, and to make an expedition against Hellas, leading against us out of Asia all the armies of the East, under colour of marching upon Athens, but in fact meaning to bring all Hellas to subjection under him. Do thou therefore, seeing that[147] thou hast attained to a great power and hast no small portion of Hellas for thy share, being the ruler of Sicily, come to the assistance of those who are endeavouring to free Hellas, and join in making her free; for if all Hellas be gathered together in one, it forms a great body, and we are made a match in fight for those who are coming against us; but if some of us go over to the enemy and others are not willing to help, and the sound portion of Hellas is consequently small, there is at once in this a danger that all Hellas may fall to ruin. For do not thou hope that if the Persian shall overcome us in battle he will not come to thee, but guard thyself against this beforehand; for in coming to our assistance thou art helping thyself; and the matter which is wisely planned has for the most part a good issue afterwards."

158. The envoys spoke thus; and Gelon was very vehement with them, speaking to them as follows: "Hellenes, a selfish speech is this, with which ye have ventured to come and invite me to be your ally against the Barbarian; whereas ye yourselves, when I in former time requested of you to join with me in fighting against an army of Barbarians, contention having arisen between me and the Carthaginians, and when I charged you to exact vengeance of the men of Egesta for the death of Dorieos the son of Anaxandrides,[148] while at the same time I offered to help in setting free the trading-places, from which great advantages and gains have been reaped by you,--ye, I say, then neither for my own sake came to my assistance, nor in order to exact vengeance for the death of Dorieos; and, so far as ye are concerned, all these parts are even now under the rule of Barbarians. But since it turned out well for us and came to a better issue, now that the war has come round and reached you, there has at last arisen in your minds a recollection of Gelon. However, though I have met with contempt at your hands, I will not act like you; but I am prepared to come to your assistance, supplying two hundred triremes and twenty thousand hoplites, with two thousand horsemen, two thousand bowmen, two thousand slingers and two thousand light-armed men to run beside the horsemen; and moreover I will undertake to supply corn for the whole army of the Hellenes, until we have finished the war. These things I engage to supply on this condition, namely that I shall be commander and leader of the Hellenes against the Barbarian; but on any other condition I will neither come myself nor will I send others."

159. Hearing this Syagros could not contain himself but spoke these words: "Deeply, I trow, would Agamemnon son of Pelops lament,[149] if he heard that the Spartans had had the leadership taken away from them by Gelon and by the Syracusans. Nay, but make thou no further mention of this condition, namely that we should deliver the leadership to thee; but if thou art desirous to come to the assistance of Hellas, know that thou wilt be under the command of the Lacedemonians; and if thou dost indeed claim not to be under command, come not thou to our help at all."

160. To this Gelon, seeing that the speech of Syagros was adverse, set forth to them his last proposal thus: "Stranger from Sparta, reproaches sinking into the heart of a man are wont to rouse his spirit in anger against them; thou however, though thou hast uttered insults against me in thy speech, wilt not bring me to show myself unseemly in my reply. But whereas ye so strongly lay claim to the leadership, it were fitting that I should lay claim to it more than ye, seeing that I am the leader of an army many times as large and of ships many more. Since however this condition is so distasteful to you,[150] we will recede somewhat from our former proposal. Suppose that ye should be leaders of the land-army and I of the fleet; or if it pleases you to lead the sea-forces, I am willing to be leader of those on land; and either ye must be contented with these terms or go away without the alliance which I have to give."

161. Gelon, I say, made these offers, and the envoy of the Athenians, answering before that of the Lacedemonians, replied to him as follows: "O king of the Syracusans, it was not of a leader that Hellas was in want when it sent us to thee, but of an army. Thou however dost not set before us the hope that thou wilt send an army, except thou have the leadership of Hellas; and thou art striving how thou mayest become commander of the armies of Hellas. So long then as it was thy demand to be leader of the whole army of the Hellenes, it was sufficient for us Athenians to keep silence, knowing that the Lacedemonian would be able to make defence even for us both; but now, since being repulsed from the demand for the whole thou art requesting to be commander of the naval force, we tell that thus it is:--not even if the Lacedemonian shall permit thee to be commander of it, will we permit thee; for this at least is our own, if the Lacedemonians do not themselves desire to have it. With these, if they desire to be the leaders, we do not contend; but none others beside ourselves shall we permit to be in command of the ships: for then to no purpose should we be possessors of a sea-force larger than any other which belongs to the Hellenes, if, being Athenians, we should yield the leadership to Syracusans, we who boast of a race which is the most ancient of all and who are of all the Hellenes the only people who have not changed from one land to another; to whom also belonged a man whom Homer the Epic poet said was the best of all who came to Ilion in drawing up an army and setting it in array.[151] Thus we are not justly to be reproached if we say these things."

162. To this Gelon made answer thus: "Stranger of Athens, it would seem that ye have the commanders, but that ye will not have the men to be commanded. Since then ye will not at all give way, but desire to have the whole, it were well that ye should depart home as quickly as possible and report to the Hellenes that the spring has been taken out of their year." Now this is the meaning of the saying: --evidently the spring is the noblest part of the year; and so he meant to say that his army was the noblest part of the army of the Hellenes: for Hellas therefore, deprived of his alliance, it was, he said, as if the spring had been taken out of the year.[152]

163. The envoys of the Hellenes, having thus had conference with Gelon, sailed away; and Gelon upon this, fearing on the one hand about the Hellenes, lest they should not be able to overcome the Barbarian, and on the other hand considering it monstrous and not to be endured that he should come to Peloponnesus and be under the command of the Lacedemonians, seeing that he was despot of Sicily, gave up the thought of this way and followed another: for so soon as he was informed that the Persian had crossed over the Hellespont, he sent Cadmos the son of Skythes, a man of Cos, with three fifty-oared galleys to Delphi, bearing large sums of money and friendly proposals, to wait there and see how the battle would fall out: and if the Barbarian should be victorious, he was to give him the money and also to offer him earth and water from those over whom Gelon had rule; but if the Hellenes should be victorious, he was bidden to bring it back.

164. Now this Cadmos before these events, having received from his father in a prosperous state the government[153] of the people of Cos, had voluntarily and with no danger threatening, but moved merely by uprightness of nature, placed the government in the hands of the people of Cos[154] and had departed to Sicily, where he took from[155] the Samians and newly colonised the city of Zancle, which had changed its name to Messene. This same Cadmos, having come thither in such manner as I have said, Gelon was now sending, having selected him on account of the integrity which in other matters he had himself found to be in him; and this man, in addition to the other upright acts which had been done by him, left also this to be remembered, which was not the least of them: for having got into his hands that great sum of money which Gelon entrusted to his charge, though he might have taken possession of it himself he did not choose to do so; but when the Hellenes had got the better in the sea-fight and Xerxes had marched away and departed, he also returned to Sicily bringing back with him the whole sum of money.

165. The story which here follows is also reported by those who dwell in Sicily, namely that, even though he was to be under the command of the Lacedemonians, Gelon would have come to the assistance of the Hellenes, but that Terillos, the son of Crinippos and despot of Himera, having been driven out of Himera by Theron the son of Ainesidemos[156] the ruler of the Agrigentines, was just at this very time bringing in an army of Phenicians, Libyans, Iberians, Ligurians, Elisycans, Sardinians and Corsicans, to the number of thirty myriads,[157] with Amilcas the son of Annon king of the Carthaginians as their commander, whom Terillos had persuaded partly by reason of his own guest-friendship, and especially by the zealous assistance of Anaxilaos the son of Cretines, who was despot of Rhegion, and who to help his father-in-law endeavoured to bring in Amilcas to Sicily, and had given him his sons as hostages; for Anaxilaos was married to the daughter of Terillos, whose name was Kydippe. Thus it was, they say, that Gelon was not able to come to the assistance of the Hellenes, and sent therefore the money to Delphi.

166. In addition to this they report also that, as it happened, Gelon and Theron were victorious over Amilcas the Carthaginian on the very same day when the Hellenes were victorious at Salamis over the Persian. And this Amilcas, who was a Carthaginian on the father's side but on the mother's Syracusan, and who had become king of the Carthaginians by merit, when the engagement took place and he was being worsted in the battle, disappeared, as I am informed; for neither alive nor dead did he appear again anywhere upon the earth, though Gelon used all diligence in the search for him.

167. Moreover there is also this story reported by the Carthaginians themselves, who therein relate that which is probable in itself, namely that while the Barbarians fought with the Hellenes in Sicily from the early morning till late in the afternoon (for to such a length the combat is said to have been protracted), during this time Amilcas was remaining in the camp and was making sacrifices to get good omens of success, offering whole bodies of victims upon a great pyre: and when he saw that there was a rout of his own army, he being then, as it chanced, in the act of pouring a libation over the victims, threw himself into the fire, and thus he was burnt up and disappeared. Amilcas then having disappeared, whether it was in such a manner as this, as it is reported by the Phenicians, or in some other way,[159] the Carthaginians both offer sacrifices to him now, and also they made memorials of him then in all the cities of their colonies, and the greatest in Carthage itself.

168. So far of the affairs of Sicily: and as for the Corcyreans, they made answer to the envoys as follows, afterwards acting as I shall tell: for the same men who had gone to Sicily endeavoured also to obtain the help of these, saying the same things which they said to Gelon; and the Corcyreans at the time engaged to send a force and to help in the defence, declaring that they must not permit Hellas to be ruined without an effort on their part, for if it should suffer disaster, they would be reduced to subjection from the very first day; but they must give assistance so far as lay in their power. Thus speciously they made reply; but when the time came to send help, they manned sixty ships, having other intentions in their minds, and after making much difficulty they put out to sea and reached Peloponnese; and then near Pylos and Tainaron in the land of the Lacedemonians they kept their ships at anchor, waiting, as Gelon did, to see how the war would turn out: for they did not expect that the Hellenes would overcome, but thought that the Persian would gain the victory over them with ease and be ruler of all Hellas. Accordingly they were acting of set purpose, in order that they might be able to say to the Persian some such words as these: "O king, when the Hellenes endeavoured to obtain our help for this war, we, who have a power which is not the smallest of all, and could have supplied a contingent of ships in number not the smallest, but after the Athenians the largest, did not choose to oppose thee or to do anything which was not to thy mind." By speaking thus they hoped that they would obtain some advantage over the rest, and so it would have happened, as I am of opinion: while they had for the Hellenes an excuse ready made, that namely of which they actually made use: for when the Hellenes reproached them because they did not come to help, they said that they had manned sixty triremes, but had not been able to get past Malea owing to the Etesian Winds; therefore it was that they had not come to Salamis, nor was it by any want of courage on their part that they had been left of the sea-fight.

169. These then evaded the request of the Hellenes thus: but the Cretans, when those of the Hellenes who had been appointed to deal with these endeavoured to obtain their help, did thus, that is to say, they joined together and sent men to inquire of the god at Delphi whether it would be better for them if they gave assistance to Hellas: and the Pythian prophetess answered: "Ye fools, do ye think those woes too few,[160] which Minos sent upon you in his wrath,[161] because of the assistance that ye gave to Menelaos? seeing that, whereas they did not join with you in taking vengeance for his death in Camicos, ye nevertheless joined with them in taking vengeance for the woman who by a Barbarian was carried off from Sparta." When the Cretans heard this answer reported, they abstained from the giving of assistance.

170. For the story goes that Minos, having come to Sicania, which is now called Sicily, in search of Daidalos, died there by a violent death; and after a time the Cretans, urged thereto by a god, all except the men of Polichne and Praisos, came with a great armament to Sicania and besieged for seven years the city of Camicos, which in my time was occupied by the Agrigentines; and at last not being able either to capture it or to remain before it, because they were hard pressed by famine, they departed and went away. And when, as they sailed, they came to be off the coast of Iapygia, a great storm seized them and cast them away upon the coast; and their vessels being dashed to pieces, they, since they saw no longer any way of coming to Crete, founded there the city of Hyria; and there they stayed and were changed so that they became instead of Cretans, Messapians of Iapygia, and instead of islanders, dwellers on the mainland: then from the city of Hyria they founded those other settlements which the Tarentines long afterwards endeavoured to destroy and suffer great disaster in that enterprise, so that this in fact proved to be the greatest slaughter of Hellenes that is known to us, and not only of the Tarentines themselves but of those citizens of Rhegion who were compelled by Mikythos the son of Choiros to go to the assistance of the Tarentines, and of whom there were slain in this manner three thousand men: of the Tarentines themselves however, who were slain there, there was no numbering made. This Mikythos, who was a servant of Anaxilaos, had been left by him in charge of Rhegion; and he it was who after being driven out of Rhegion took up his abode at Tegea of the Arcadians and dedicated those many statues at Olympia.

171. This of the men of Rhegion and of the Tarentines has been an episode[162] in my narrative: in Crete however, as the men of Praisos report, after it had been thus stripped of inhabitants, settlements were made by various nations, but especially by Hellenes; and in the next generation but one after the death of Minos came the Trojan war, in which the Cretans proved not the most contemptible of those who came to assist Menelaos. Then after this, when they had returned home from Troy, famine and pestilence came upon both the men and their cattle, until at last Crete was stripped of its inhabitants for the second time, and a third population of Cretans now occupy it together with those which were left of the former inhabitants. The Pythian prophetess, I say, by calling these things to their minds stopped them from giving assistance to the Hellenes, though they desired to do so.

172. As for the Thessalians, they at first had taken the side of the Persians against their will, and they gave proof that they were not pleased by that which the Aleuadai were designing; for so soon as they heard that the Persian was about to cross over into Europe, they sent envoys to the Isthmus: now at the Isthmus were assembled representatives of Hellas chosen by the cities which had the better mind about Hellas: having come then to these, the envoys of the Thessalians said: "Hellenes, ye must guard the pass by Olympos, in order that both Thessaly and the whole of Hellas may be sheltered from the war. We are prepared to join with you in guarding it, but ye must send a large force as well as we; for if ye shall not send, be assured that we shall make agreement with the Persian; since it is not right that we, standing as outposts so far in advance of the rest of Hellas, should perish alone in your defence: and not being willing[163] to come to our help, ye cannot apply to us any force to compel inability;[164] but we shall endeavour to devise some means of safety for ourselves."

173. Thus spoke the Thessalians; and the Hellenes upon this resolved to send to Thessaly by sea an army of men on foot to guard the pass: and when the army was assembled it set sail through Euripos, and having come to Alos in the Achaian land, it disembarked there and marched into Thessaly leaving the ships behind at Alos, and arrived at Tempe, the pass which leads from lower Macedonia into Thessaly by the river Peneios, going between the mountains of Olympos and Ossa. There the Hellenes encamped, being assembled to the number of about ten thousand hoplites, and to them was added the cavalry of the Thessalians; and the commander of the Lacedemonians was Euainetos the son of Carenos, who had been chosen from the polemarchs,[165] not being of the royal house, and of the Athenians Themistocles the son of Neocles. They remained however but few days here, for envoys came from Alexander the son of Amyntas the Macedonian, who advised them to depart thence and not to remain in the pass and be trodden under foot by the invading host, signifying to them at the same time both the great numbers of the army and the ships which they had. When these gave them this counsel, they followed the advice, for they thought that the counsel was good, and the Macedonian was evidently well- disposed towards them. Also, as I think, it was fear that persuaded them to it, when they were informed that there was another pass besides this to the Thessalian land by upper Macedonia through the Perraibians and by the city of Gonnos, the way by which the army of Xerxes did in fact make its entrance. So the Hellenes went down to their ships again and made their way back to the Isthmus.

174. Such was the expedition to Thessaly, which took place when the king was about to cross over from Asia to Europe and was already at Abydos. So the Thessalians, being stripped of allies, upon this took the side of the Medes with a good will and no longer half-heartedly, so that in the course of events they proved very serviceable to the king.

175. When the Hellenes had returned to the Isthmus, they deliberated, having regard to that which had been said by Alexander, where and in what regions they should set the war on foot: and the opinion which prevailed was to guard the pass at Thermopylai; for it was seen to be narrower than that leading into Thessaly, and at the same time it was single,[166] and nearer also to their own land; and as for the path by means of which were taken those of the Hellenes who were taken by the enemy at Thermopylai, they did not even know of its existence until they were informed by the people of Trachis after they had come to Thermopylai. This pass then they resolved to guard, and not permit the Barbarian to go by into Hellas; and they resolved that the fleet should sail to Artemision in the territory of Histiaia: for these points are near to one another, so that each division of their forces could have information of what was happening to the other. And the places are so situated as I shall describe.

176. As to Artemision first, coming out of the Thracian Sea the space is contracted from great width to that narrow channel which lies between the island of Skiathos and the mainland of Magnesia; and after the strait there follows at once in Euba the sea-beach called Artemision, upon which there is a temple of Artemis. Then secondly the passage into Hellas by Trechis is, where it is narrowest, but fifty feet wide: it is not here however that the narrowest part of this whole region lies, but in front of Thermopylai and also behind it, consisting of a single wheel- track only[167] both by Alpenoi, which lies behind Thermopylai and again by the river Phoinix near the town of Anthela there is no space but a single wheel-track only: and on the West of Thermopylai there is a mountain which is impassable and precipitous, rising up to a great height and extending towards the range of Oite, while on the East of the road the sea with swampy pools succeeds at once. In this passage there are hot springs, which the natives of the place call the "Pots,"[168] and an altar of Heracles is set up near them. Moreover a wall had once been built at this pass, and in old times there was a gate set in it; which wall was built by the Phokians, who were struck with fear because the Thessalians had come from the land of the Thesprotians to settle in the Aiolian land, the same which they now possess. Since then the Thessalians, as they supposed, were attempting to subdue them, the Phokians guarded themselves against this beforehand; and at that time they let the water of the hot springs run over the passage, that the place might be converted into a ravine, and devised every means that the Thessalians might not make invasion of their land. Now the ancient wall had been built long before, and the greater part of it was by that time in ruins from lapse of time; the Hellenes however resolved to set it up again, and at this spot to repel the Barbarian from Hellas: and very near the road there is a village called Alpenoi, from which the Hellenes counted on getting supplies.

177. These places then the Hellenes perceived to be such as their purpose required; for they considered everything beforehand and calculated that the Barbarians would not be able to take advantage either of superior numbers or of cavalry, and therefore they resolved here to receive the invader of Hellas: and when they were informed that the Persian was in Pieria, they broke up from the Isthmus and set forth for the campaign, some going to Thermopylai by land, and others making for Artemision by sea.

178. The Hellenes, I say, were coming to the rescue with speed, having been appointed to their several places: and meanwhile the men of Delphi consulted the Oracle of the god on behalf of themselves and on behalf of Hellas, being struck with dread; and a reply was given them that they should pray to the Winds, for these would be powerful helpers of Hellas in fight. So the Delphians, having accepted the oracle, first reported the answer which had been given them to those of the Hellenes who desired to be free; and having reported this to them at a time when they were in great dread of the Barbarian, they laid up for themselves an immortal store of gratitude: then after this the men of Delphi established an altar for the Winds in Thuia, where is the sacred enclosure of Thuia the daughter of Kephisos, after whom moreover this place has its name; and also they approached them with sacrifices.


 

 

 

 

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