All Things Nixon

Explorers, Scientists & Inventors

Musicians, Painters & Artists

Poets, Writers & Philosophers

Native Americans & The Wild West

First Ladies





Royal Families

Tribes & Peoples


Assassinations in History
Who got slain, almost slain, when, how, why, and by whom?

Go to the Assassination Archive


Online History Dictionary A - Z

Online History Dictionary A - Z


King John of England 1167-1216


Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible 1530 - 1584


Adolf Hitler 1889 - 1945


Voyages in History
When did what vessel arrive with whom onboard and where did it sink if it didn't?

Go to the Passage-Chart


Wars, Battles & Revolutions in History


About Mata Hari


The Divine Almanac
Who all roamed the heavens in olden times? The Who's Who of ancient gods.

Check out the Divine Almanac



The Ancient Greeks in a Nutshell


Gilgamesh - His City, His People, His Epic






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


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 49

Volume Two - Book IX

98. The Hellenes however, when they were informed that the Barbarians had gone away to the mainland, were vexed because they thought that they had escaped; and they were in a difficulty what they should do, whether they should go back home, or sail down towards the Hellespont. At last they resolved to do neither of these two things, but to sail on to the mainland. Therefore when they had prepared as for a sea- fight both boarding-bridges and all other things that were required, they sailed towards Mycale; and when they came near to the camp and no one was seen to put out against them, but they perceived ships drawn up within the wall and a large land-army ranged along the shore, then first Leotychides, sailing along in his ship and coming as near to the shore as he could, made proclamation by a herald to the Ionians, saying: "Ionians, those of you who chance to be within hearing of me, attend to this which I say: for the Persians will not understand anything at all of that which I enjoin to you. When we join battle, each one of you must remember first the freedom of all, and then the watchword 'Hebe'; and this let him also who has not heard know from him who has heard." The design in this act was the same as that of Themistocles at Artemision; for it was meant that either the words uttered should escape the knowledge of the Barbarians and persuade the Ionians, or that they should be reported to the Barbarians and make them distrustful of the Hellenes.[108]

99. After Leotychides had thus suggested, then next the Hellenes proceeded to bring their ships up to land, and they disembarked upon the shore. These then were ranging themselves for fight; and the Persians, when they saw the Hellenes preparing for battle and also that they had given exhortation to the Ionians, in the first place deprived the Samians of their arms, suspecting that they were inclined to the side of the Hellenes;

for when the Athenian prisoners, the men whom the army of Xerxes had found left behind in Attica, had come in the ships of the Barbarians, the Samians had ransomed these and sent them back to Athens, supplying them with means for their journey; and for this reason especially they were suspected, since they had ransomed five hundred persons of the enemies of Xerxes. Then secondly the Persians appointed the Milesians to guard the passes which lead to the summits of Mycale, on the pretext that they knew the country best, but their true reason for doing this was that they might be out of the camp. Against these of the Ionians, who, as they suspected, would make some hostile move[109] if they found the occasion, the Persians sought to secure themselves in the manner mentioned; and they themselves then brought together their wicker-work shields to serve them as a fence.

100. Then when the Hellenes had made all their preparations, they proceeded to the attack of the Barbarians; and as they went, a rumour came suddenly[110] to their whole army, and at the same time a herald's staff was found lying upon the beach; and the rumour went through their army to this effect, namely that the Hellenes were fighting in Bœotia and conquering the army of Mardonios. Now by many signs is the divine power seen in earthly things, and by this among others, namely that now, when the day of the defeat at Plataia and of that which was about to take place at Mycale happened to be the same, a rumour came to the Hellenes here, so that the army was encouraged much more and was more eagerly desirous to face the danger.

101. Moreover this other thing by coincidence happened besides, namely that there was a sacred enclosure of the Eleusinian Demeter close by the side of both the battle-fields; for not only in the Plataian land did the fight take place close by the side of the temple of Demeter, as I have before said, but also in Mycale it was to be so likewise. And whereas the rumour which came to them said that a victory had been already gained by the Hellenes with Pausanias, this proved to be a true report; for that which was done at Plataia came about while it was yet early morning, but the fighting at Mycale took place in the afternoon; and that it happened on the same day of the same month as the other became evident to them not long afterwards, when they inquired into the matter. Now they had been afraid before the rumour arrived, not for themselves so much as for the Hellenes generally, lest Hellas should stumble and fall over Mardonios; but when this report had come suddenly to them, they advanced on the enemy much more vigorously and swiftly than before. The Hellenes then and the Barbarians were going with eagerness into the battle, since both the islands and the Hellespont were placed before them as prizes of the contest.

102. Now for the Athenians and those who were ranged next to them, to the number perhaps of half the whole army, the road lay along the sea- beach and over level ground, while the Lacedemonians and those ranged in order by these were compelled to go by a ravine and along the mountain side: so while the Lacedemonians were yet going round, those upon the other wing were already beginning the fight; and as long as the wicker-work shields of the Persians still remained upright, they continued to defend themselves and had rather the advantage in the fight; but when the troops of the Athenians and of those ranged next to them, desiring that the achievement should belong to them and not to the Lacedemonians, with exhortations to one another set themselves more vigorously to the work, then from that time forth the fortune of the fight was changed; for these pushed aside the wicker-work shields and fell upon the Persians with a rush all in one body, and the Persians sustained their first attack and continued to defend themselves for a long time, but at last they fled to the wall; and the Athenians, Corinthians, Sikyonians and Troizenians, for that was the order in which they were ranged, followed close after them and rushed in together with them to the space within the wall: and when the wall too had been captured, then the Barbarians no longer betook themselves to resistance, but began at once to take flight, excepting only the Persians, who formed into small groups and continued to fight with the Hellenes as they rushed in within the wall. Of the commanders of the Persians two made their escape and two were slain; Arta˙ntes and Ithamitres commanders of the fleet escaped, while Mardontes and the commander of the land-army, Tigranes, were slain.

103. Now while the Persians were still fighting, the Lacedemonians and those with them arrived, and joined in carrying through the rest of the work; and of the Hellenes themselves many fell there and especially many of the Sikyonians, together with their commander Perilaos. And those of the Samians who were serving in the army, being in the camp of the Medes and having been deprived of their arms, when they saw that from the very first the battle began to be doubtful,[111] did as much as they could, endeavouring to give assistance to the Hellenes; and the other Ionians seeing that the Samians had set the example, themselves also upon that made revolt from the Persians and attacked the Barbarians.

104. The Milesians too had been appointed to watch the passes of the Persians[112] in order to secure their safety, so that if that should after all come upon them which actually came, they might have guides and so get safe away to the summits of Mycale,--the Milesians, I say, had been appointed to do this, not only for that end but also for fear that, if they were present in the camp, they might make some hostile move:[113] but they did in fact the opposite of that which they were appointed to do; for they not only directed them in the flight by other than the right paths, by paths indeed which led towards the enemy, but also at last they themselves became their worst foes and began to slay them. Thus then for the second time Ionia revolted from the Persians.

105. In this battle, of the Hellenes the Athenians were the best men, and of the Athenians Hermolycos the son of Euthoinos, a man who had trained for the /pancration/. This Hermolycos after these events, when there was war between the Athenians and the Carystians, was killed in battle at Kyrnos in the Carystian land near Geraistos, and there was buried. After the Athenians the Corinthians, Troizenians and Sikyonians were the best.

106. When the Hellenes had slain the greater number of the Barbarians, some in the battle and others in their flight, they set fire to the ships and to the whole of the wall, having first brought out the spoil to the sea-shore; and among the rest they found some stores of money. So having set fire to the wall and to the ships they sailed away; and when they came to Samos, the Hellenes deliberated about removing the inhabitants of Ionia, and considered where they ought to settle them in those parts of Hellas of which they had command, leaving Ionia to the Barbarians: for it was evident to them that it was impossible on the one hand for them to be always stationed as guards to protect the Ionians, and on the other hand, if they were not stationed to protect them, they had no hope that the Ionians would escape with impunity from the Persians. Therefore it seemed good to those of the Peloponnesians that were in authority that they should remove the inhabitants of the trading ports which belonged to those peoples of Hellas who had taken the side of the Medes, and give that land to the Ionians to dwell in; but the Athenians did not think it good that the inhabitants of Ionia should be removed at all, nor that the Peloponnesians should consult about Athenian colonies; and as these vehemently resisted the proposal, the Peloponnesians gave way. So the end was that they joined as allies to their league the Samians, Chians, Lesbians, and the other islanders who chanced to be serving with the Hellenes, binding them by assurance and by oaths to remain faithful and not withdraw from the league: and having bound these by oaths they sailed to break up the bridges, for they supposed they would find them still stretched over the straits. These then were sailing towards the Hellespont; 107, and meanwhile those Barbarians who had escaped and had been driven to the heights of Mycale, being not many in number, were making their way to Sardis: and as they went by the way, Masistes the son of Dareios, who had been present at the disaster which had befallen them, was saying many evil things of the commander Arta˙ntes, and among other things he said that in respect of the generalship which he had shown he was worse than a woman, and that he deserved every kind of evil for having brought evil on the house of the king. Now with the Persians to be called worse than a woman is the greatest possible reproach. So he, after he had been much reviled, at length became angry and drew his sword upon Masistes, meaning to kill him; and as he was running upon him, Xeinagoras the son of Prexilaos, a man of Halicarnassos, perceived it, who was standing just behind Arta˙ntes; and this man seized him by the middle and lifting him up dashed him upon the ground; and meanwhile the spearmen of Masistes came in front to protect him. Thus did Xeinagoras, and thus he laid up thanks for himself both with Masistes and also with Xerxes for saving the life of his brother; and for this deed Xeinagoras became ruler of all Kilikia by the gift of the king. Nothing further happened than this as they went on their way, but they arrived at Sardis. Now at Sardis, as it chanced, king Xerxes had been staying ever since that time when he came thither in flight from Athens, after suffering defeat in the sea-fight.

108. At that time, while he was in Sardis, he had a passionate desire, as it seems, for the wife of Masistes, who was also there: and as she could not be bent to his will by his messages to her, and he did not wish to employ force because he had regard for his brother Masistes and the same consideration withheld the woman also, for she well knew that force would not be used towards her), then Xerxes abstained from all else, and endeavoured to bring about the marriage of his own son Dareios with the daughter of this woman and of Masistes, supposing that if he should do so he would obtain her more easily. Then having made the betrothal and done all the customary rites, he went away to Susa; and when he had arrived there and had brought the woman into his own house for Dareios, then he ceased from attempting the wife of Masistes and changing his inclination he conceived a desire for the wife of Dareios, who was daughter of Masistes, and obtained her: now the name of this woman was Arta˙nte.

109. However as time went on, this became known in the following manner:--Amestris the wife of Xerxes had woven a mantle, large and of various work and a sight worthy to be seen, and this she gave to Xerxes. He then being greatly pleased put it on and went to Arta˙nte; and being greatly pleased with her too, he bade her ask what she would to be given to her in return for the favours which she had granted to him, for she should obtain, he said, whatsoever she asked: and she, since it was destined that she should perish miserably with her whole house, said to Xerxes upon this: "Wilt thou give me whatsoever I ask thee for?" and he, supposing that she would ask anything rather than that which she did, promised this and swore to it. Then when he had sworn, she boldly asked for the mantle; and Xerxes tried every means of persuasion, not being willing to give it to her, and that for no other reason but only because he feared Amestris, lest by her, who even before this had some inkling of the truth, he should thus be discovered in the act; and he offered her cities and gold in any quantity, and an army which no one else should command except herself. Now this of an army is a thoroughly Persian gift. Since however he did not persuade her, he gave her the mantle; and she being overjoyed by the gift wore it and prided herself upon it.

110. And Amestris was informed that she had it; and having learnt that which was being done, she was not angry with the woman, but supposing that her mother was the cause and that she was bringing this about, she planned destruction for the wife of Masistes. She waited then until her husband Xerxes had a royal feast set before him:--this feast is served up once in the year on the day on which the king was born, and the name of this feast is in Persian /tycta/, which in the tongue of the Hellenes means "complete"; also on this occasion alone the king washes his head,[114] and he makes gifts then to the Persians:--Amestris, I say, waited for this day and then asked of Xerxes that the wife of Masistes might be given to her. And he considered it a strange and untoward thing to deliver over to her his brother's wife, especially since she was innocent of this matter; for he understood why she was making the request.

111. At last however as she continued to entreat urgently and he was compelled by the rule, namely that it is impossible among them that he who makes request when a royal feast is laid before the king should fail to obtain it, at last very much against his will consented; and in delivering her up he bade Amestris do as she desired, and meanwhile he sent for his brother and said these words: "Masistes, thou art the son of Dareios and my brother, and moreover in addition to this thou art a man of worth. I say to thee, live no longer with this wife with whom thou now livest, but I give thee instead of her my daughter; with her live as thy wife, but the wife whom thou now hast, do not keep; for it does not seem good to me that thou shouldest keep her." Masistes then, marvelling at that which was spoken, said these words: "Master, how unprofitable a speech is this which thou utterest to me, in that thou biddest me send away a wife by whom I have sons who are grown up to be young men, and daughters one of whom even thou thyself didst take as a wife for thy son, and who is herself, as it chances, very much to my mind,--that thou biddest me, I say, send away her and take to wife thy daughter! I, O king, think it a very great matter that I am judged worthy of thy daughter, but nevertheless I will do neither of these things: and do not thou urge me by force to do such a thing as this: but for thy daughter another husband will be found not in any wise inferior to me, and let me, I pray thee, live still with my own wife." He returned answer in some such words as these; and Xerxes being stirred with anger said as follows: "This then, Masistes, is thy case,--I will not give thee my daughter for thy wife, nor yet shalt thou live any longer with that one, in order that thou mayest learn to accept that which is offered thee." He then when he heard this went out, having first said these words: "Master, thou hast not surely brought ruin upon me?"[115]

112. During this interval of time, while Xerxes was conversing with his brother, Amestris had sent the spearmen of Xerxes to bring the wife of Masistes, and she was doing to her shameful outrage; for she cut away her breasts and threw them to dogs, and she cut off her nose and ears and lips and tongue, and sent her back home thus outraged.

113. Then Masistes, not yet having heard any of these things, but supposing that some evil had fallen upon him, came running to his house; and seeing his wife thus mutilated, forthwith upon this he took counsel with his sons and set forth to go to Bactria together with his sons and doubtless some others also, meaning to make the province of Bactria revolt and to do the greatest possible injury to the king: and this in fact would have come to pass, as I imagine, if he had got up to the land of the Bactrians and Sacans before he was overtaken, for they were much attached to him, and also he was the governor of the Bactrians: but Xerxes being informed that he was doing this, sent after him an army as he was on his way, and slew both him and his sons and his army. So far of that which happened about the passion of Xerxes and the death of Masistes.

114. Now the Hellenes who had set forth from Mycale to the Hellespont first moored their ships about Lecton, being stopped from their voyage by winds; and thence they came to Abydos and found that the bridges had been broken up, which they thought to find still stretched across, and on account of which especially they had come to the Hellespont. So the Peloponnesians which Leotychides resolved to sail back to Hellas, while the Athenians and Xanthippos their commander determined to stay behind there and to make an attempt upon the Chersonese. Those then sailed away, and the Athenians passed over from Abydos to the Chersonese and began to besiege Sestos.

115. To this town of Sestos, since it was the greatest stronghold of those in that region, men had come together from the cities which lay round it, when they heard that the Hellenes had arrived at the Hellespont, and especially there had come from the city of Cardia Oiobazos a Persian, who had brought to Sestos the ropes of the bridges. The inhabitants of the city were Aiolians, natives of the country, but there were living with them a great number of Persians and also of their allies.

116. And of the province Arta˙ctes was despot, as governor under Xerxes, a Persian, but a man of desperate and reckless character, who also had practised deception upon the king on his march against Athens, in taking away from Elaius the things belonging to Protesilaos the son of Iphiclos. For at Elaius in the Chersonese there is the tomb of Protesilaos with a sacred enclosure about it, where there were many treasures, with gold and silver cups and bronze and raiment and other offerings, which things Arta˙ctes carried off as plunder, the king having granted them to him. And he deceived Xerxes by saying to him some such words as these: "Master, there is here the house of a man, a Hellene, who made an expedition against thy land and met with his deserts and was slain: this man's house I ask thee to give to me, that every one may learn not to make expeditions against thy land." By saying this it was likely that he would easily enough persuade Xerxes to give him a man's house, not suspecting what was in his mind: and when he said that Protesilaos had made expedition against the land of the king, it must be understood that the Persians consider all Asia to be theirs and to belong to their reigning king. So when the things had been given him, he brought them from Elaius to Sestos, and he sowed the sacred enclosure for crops and occupied it as his own; and he himself, whenever he came to Elaius, had commerce with women in the inner cell of the temple.[116] And now he was being besieged by the Athenians, when he had not made any preparation for a siege nor had been expecting that the Hellenes would come; for they fell upon him, as one may say, inevitably.[117]

117. When however autumn came and the siege still went on, the Athenians began to be vexed at being absent from their own land and at the same time not able to conquer the fortress, and they requested their commanders to lead them away home; but these said that they would not do so, until either they had taken the town or the public authority of the Athenians sent for them home: and so they endured their present state.[118]

118. Those however who were within the walls had now come to the greatest misery, so that they boiled down the girths of their beds and used them for food; and when they no longer had even these, then the Persians and with them Arta˙ctes and Oiobazos ran away and departed in the night, climbing down by the back part of the wall, where the place was left most unguarded by the enemy; and when day came, the men of the Chersonese signified to the Athenians from the towers concerning that which had happened, and opened the gates to them. So the greater number of them went in pursuit, and the rest occupied the city.

119. Now Oiobazos, as he was escaping[119] into Thrace, was caught by the Apsinthian Thracians and sacrificed to their native god Pleistoros with their rites, and the rest who were with him they slaughtered in another manner: but Arta˙ctes with his companions, who started on their flight later and were overtaken at a little distance above Aigospotamoi, defended themselves for a considerable time and were some of them killed and others taken alive: and the Hellenes had bound these and were bringing them to Sestos, and among them Arta˙ctes also in bonds together with his son.

120. Then, it is said by the men of the Chersonese, as one of those who guarded them was frying dried fish, a portent occurred as follows,--the dried fish when laid upon the fire began to leap and struggle just as if they were fish newly caught: and the others gathered round and were marvelling at the portent, but Arta˙ctes seeing it called to the man who was frying the fish and said: "Stranger of Athens, be not at all afraid of this portent, seeing that it has not appeared for thee but for me. Protesilaos who dwells at Elaius signifies thereby that though he is dead and his body is dried like those fish,[120] yet he has power given him by the gods to exact vengeance from the man who does him wrong. Now therefore I desire to impose this penalty for him,[121]--that in place of the things which I took from the temple I should pay down a hundred talents to the god, and moreover as ransom for myself and my son I will pay two hundred talents to the Athenians, if my life be spared." Thus he engaged to do, but he did not prevail upon the commander Xanthippos; for the people of Elaius desiring to take vengeance for Protesilaos asked that he might be put to death, and the inclination of the commander himself tended to the same conclusion. They brought him therefore to that headland to which Xerxes made the passage across, or as some say to the hill which is over the town of Madytos, and there they nailed him to boards[122] and hung him up; and they stoned his son to death before the eyes of Arta˙ctes himself.

121. Having so done, they sailed away to Hellas, taking with them, besides other things, the ropes also of the bridges, in order to dedicate them as offerings in the temples: and for that year nothing happened further than this.

122. Now a forefather of this Arta˙ctes who was hung up, was that Artembares who set forth to the Persians a proposal which they took up and brought before Cyrus, being to this effect: "Seeing that Zeus grants to the Persians leadership, and of all men to thee, O Cyrus, by destroying Astyages, come, since the land we possess is small and also rugged, let us change from it and inhabit another which is better: and there are many near at hand, and many also at a greater distance, of which if we take one, we shall have greater reverence and from more men. It is reasonable too that men who are rulers should do such things; for when will there ever be a fairer occasion than now, when we are rulers of many nations and of the whole of Asia?" Cyrus, hearing this and not being surprised at the proposal,[123] bade them do so if they would; but he exhorted them and bade them prepare in that case to be no longer rulers but subjects; "For," said he, "from lands which are not rugged men who are not rugged are apt to come forth, since it does not belong to the same land to bring forth fruits of the earth which are admirable and also men who are good in war." So the Persians acknowledged that he was right and departed from his presence, having their opinion defeated by that of Cyrus; and they chose rather to dwell on poor land and be rulers, than to sow crops in a level plain and be slaves to others.







More History

Previous Page

Page 48


Back to

First Page

Back to
Source Text - Main Page


Next Page

Page 01




The American Revolution - Its Casualties, Its Battles, Its Impact


People in History

People in History A

People in History B

People in History Ca - Char

People in History Chas - Cz

People in History D

People in History E

People in History F

People in History G

People in History H

People in History I

People in History J - K

People in History L

People in History M

People in History N - O

People in History P - Q

People in History R

People in History S

People in History T

People in History U - Z

Explorers, Scientists & Inventors

Musicians, Painters & Artists

Poets, Writers & Philosophers

Native Americans & The Wild West

First Ladies





Royal Families

Tribes & Peoples


Wars, Battles & Revolutions

Wars & Revolutions A

Wars & Revolutions B - E

Wars & Revolutions F - G

Wars & Revolutions H - J

Wars & Revolutions K - O

Wars & Revolutions P - R

Wars & Revolutions S - Z

Wars & Revolutions Chronological

Battles A - C

Battles D - G

Battles H - L

Battles M - P

Battles Q - Z

Battles Ancient Times - 1499

Battles 1500 - 1699

Battles 1700 - 1799

Battles 1800 - 1899

Battles 1900 - Today

Picture Archive

History Pictures A - C

History Pictures D - M

History Pictures N - Z


Speech Archive

Speeches by Topic

Speeches by Speaker

Speeches by Date

Speeches by Women

Speeches by African-Americans

Speeches by U.S. Presidents


History Dictionary A - F

History Dictionary G - Z

Source Text - By Title

Source Text - By Author

Historic Documents A - K

Historic Documents L - Z

Historic Documents Chronological

Assassinations in History

Voyages in History

Castles & Palaces

Music in History

History Movies



Kids & History


About Us

Write Me



Sitemap 01   Sitemap 02   Sitemap 03    Sitemap 04   Sitemap 05   Sitemap 06  
Sitemap 07   Sitemap 08   Sitemap 09    Sitemap 10   Sitemap 11   Sitemap 12
Sitemap 13   Sitemap 14   Sitemap 15    Sitemap 16   Sitemap 17   Sitemap 18
Sitemap 19   Sitemap 20   Sitemap 21    Sitemap 22   Sitemap 23   Sitemap 24

Site Search














© 2016 Emerson Kent