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THE HISTORY OF HERODOTUS, Volume 1 by Herodotus

Part 1 out of 8

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Etext prepared by John Bickers, jbickers@ihug.co.nz
and Dagny, dagnyj@hotmail.com
[Note: This is Volume 1, we also have Volume 2]
Jan 2001 The History of Herodotus V2, by Macauley [2hofh*.*]2456


Translated into English



{e Herodotou diathesis en apasin epieikes, kai tois men agathois
sunedomene, tois de kakois sunalgousa}.--Dion. Halic.

{monos 'Erodotos 'Omerikhotatos egeneto}.--Longinus.


This text was prepared from an edition dated 1890, published by
MacMillan and Co., London and New York.

Greek text has been transliterated and marked with brackets, as in
the opening citation above.


If a new translation of Herodotus does not justify itself, it will
hardly be justified in a preface; therefore the question whether it
was needed may be left here without discussion. The aim of the
translator has been above all things faithfulness--faithfulness to the
manner of expression and to the structure of sentences, as well as to
the meaning of the Author. At the same time it is conceived that the
freedom and variety of Herodotus is not always best reproduced by such
severe consistency of rendering as is perhaps desirable in the case of
the Epic writers before and the philosophical writers after his time:
nor again must his simplicity of thought and occasional quaintness be
reproduced in the form of archaisms of language; and that not only
because the affectation of an archaic style would necessarily be
offensive to the reader, but also because in language Herodotus is not
archaic. His style is the "best canon of the Ionic speech," marked,
however, not so much by primitive purity as by eclectic variety. At
the same time it is characterised largely by the poetic diction of the
Epic and Tragic writers; and while the translator is free to employ
all the resources of modern English, so far as he has them at his
command, he must carefully retain this poetical colouring and by all
means avoid the courtier phrase by which the style of Herodotus has
too often been made "more noble."[1]

As regards the text from which this translation has been made, it is
based upon that of Stein's critical edition (Berlin, 1869-1871), that
is to say the estimate there made of the comparative value of the
authorities has been on the whole accepted as a just one, rather than
that which depreciates the value of the Medicean MS. and of the class
to which it belongs. On the other hand the conjectural emendations
proposed by Stein have very seldom been adopted, and his text has been
departed from in a large number of other instances also, which will
for the most part be found recorded in the notes.

As it seemed that even after Stein's re-collation of the Medicean MS.
there were doubts felt by some scholars[2] as to the true reading in
some places of this MS., which is very generally acknowledged to be
the most important, I thought it right to examine it myself in all
those passages where questions about text arise which concern a
translator, that is in nearly five hundred places altogether; and the
results, when they are worth observing, are recorded in the notes. At
the same time, by the suggestion of Dr. Stein, I re-collated a large
part of the third book in the MS. which is commonly referred to as F
(i.e. Florentinus), called by Stein C, and I examined this MS. also in
a certain number of other places. It should be understood that
wherever in the notes I mention the reading of any particular MS. by
name, I do so on my own authority.

The notes have been confined to a tolerably small compass. Their
purpose is, first, in cases where the text is doubtful, to indicate
the reading adopted by the translator and any other which may seem to
have reasonable probability, but without discussion of the
authorities; secondly, where the rendering is not quite literal (and
in other cases where it seemed desirable), to quote the words of the
original or to give a more literal version; thirdly, to add an
alternative version in cases where there seems to be a doubt as to the
true meaning; and lastly, to give occasionally a short explanation, or
a reference from one passage of the author to another.

For the orthography of proper names reference may be made to the note
prefixed to the index. No consistent system has been adopted, and the
result will therefore be open to criticism in many details; but the
aim has been to avoid on the one hand the pedantry of seriously
altering the form of those names which are fairly established in the
English language of literature, as distinguished from that of
scholarship, and on the other hand the absurdity of looking to Latin
rather than to Greek for the orthography of the names which are not so
established. There is no intention to put forward any theory about

The index of proper names will, it is hoped, be found more complete
and accurate than those hitherto published. The best with which I was
acquainted I found to have so many errors and omissions[3] that I was
compelled to do the work again from the beginning. In a collection of
more than ten thousand references there must in all probability be
mistakes, but I trust they will be found to be few.

My acknowledgments of obligation are due first to Dr. Stein, both for
his critical work and also for his most excellent commentary, which I
have had always by me. After this I have made most use of the editions
of Krger, Bhr, Abicht, and (in the first two books) Mr. Woods. As to
translations, I have had Rawlinson's before me while revising my own
work, and I have referred also occasionally to the translations of
Littlebury (perhaps the best English version as regards style, but
full of gross errors), Taylor, and Larcher. In the second book I have
also used the version of B. R. reprinted by Mr. Lang: of the first
book of this translation I have access only to a fragment written out
some years ago, when the British Museum was within my reach. Other
particular obligations are acknowledged in the notes.


[1] See the remarks of P.-L. Courier (on Larcher's version) in the
preface to his specimens of a new translation of Herodotus
(/uvres compltes de P.-L. Courier/, Bruxelles, 1828).

[2] Mr. Woods, for example, in his edition of the first book
(published in 1873) gives a list of readings for the first and
second books, in which he almost invariably prefers the authority
of Gronovius to that of Stein, where their reports differ. In so
doing he is wrong in all cases (I think) except one, namely i. 134
{to degomeno}. He is wrong, for examine, in i. 189, where the MS.
has {touto}, i. 196 {an agesthai}, i. 199 {odon}, ii. 15 {te de},
ii. 95 {up auto}, ii. 103 {kai prosotata}, ii. 124 {to addo}
(without {dao}), ii. 181 {no}. Abicht also has made several
inaccurate statements, e.g. i. 185, where the MS. has {es ton
Euphreten}, and vii. 133 {Xerxes}.

[3] For example in the index of proper names attached to Stein's
annotated edition (Berlin, 1882), to which I am under obligation,
having checked my own by it, I find that I have marked upwards of
two hundred mistakes or oversights: no doubt I have been saved by
it from at least as many.




This is the Showing forth of the Inquiry of Herodotus of
Halicarnassos, to the end that[1] neither the deeds of men may be
forgotten by lapse of time, nor the works[2] great and marvellous,
which have been produced some by Hellenes and some by Barbarians, may
lose their renown; and especially that the causes may be remembered
for which these waged war with one another.

1. Those of the Persians who have knowledge of history declare that
the Phenicians first began the quarrel. These, they say, came from
that which is called the Erythraian Sea to this of ours; and having
settled in the land where they continue even now to dwell, set
themselves forthwith to make long voyages by sea. And conveying
merchandise of Egypt and of Assyria they arrived at other places and
also at Argos; now Argos was at that time in all points the first of
the States within that land which is now called Hellas;--the
Phenicians arrived then at this land of Argos, and began to dispose of
their ship's cargo: and on the fifth or sixth day after they had
arrived, when their goods had been almost all sold, there came down to
the sea a great company of women, and among them the daughter of the
king; and her name, as the Hellenes also agree, was Io the daughter of
Inachos. These standing near to the stern of the ship were buying of
the wares such as pleased them most, when of a sudden the Phenicians,
passing the word from one to another, made a rush upon them; and the
greater part of the women escaped by flight, but Io and certain others
were carried off. So they put them on board their ship, and forthwith
departed, sailing away to Egypt. 2. In this manner the Persians report
that Io came to Egypt, not agreeing therein with the Hellenes,[3] and
this they say was the first beginning of wrongs. Then after this, they
say, certain Hellenes (but the name of the people they are not able to
report) put in to the city of Tyre in Phenicia and carried off the
king's daughter Europa;--these would doubtless be Cretans;--and so
they were quits for the former injury. After this however the
Hellenes, they say, were the authors of the second wrong; for they
sailed in to Aia of Colchis and to the river Phasis with a ship of
war, and from thence, after they had done the other business for which
they came, they carried off the king's daughter Medea: and the king of
Colchis sent a herald to the land of Hellas and demanded satisfaction
for the rape[4] and to have his daughter back; but they answered that,
as the Barbarians had given them no satisfaction for the rape of Io
the Argive, so neither would they give satisfaction to the Barbarians
for this.

3. In the next generation after this, they say, Alexander the son of
Priam, having heard of these things, desired to get a wife for himself
by violence[4] from Hellas, being fully assured that he would not be
compelled to give any satisfaction for this wrong, inasmuch as the
Hellenes gave none for theirs. So he carried off Helen, and the
Hellenes resolved to send messengers first and to demand her back with
satisfaction for the rape; and when they put forth this demand, the
others alleged to them the rape of Medea, saying that the Hellenes
were now desiring satisfaction to be given to them by others, though
they had given none themselves nor had surrendered the person when
demand was made.

4. Up to this point, they say, nothing more happened than the carrying
away of women on both sides; but after this the Hellenes were very
greatly to blame; for they set the first example of war, making an
expedition into Asia before the Barbarians made any into Europe. Now
they say that in their judgment, though it is an act of wrong to carry
away women by force, it is a folly to set one's heart on taking
vengeance for their rape, and the wise course is to pay no regard when
they have been carried away; for it is evident that they would never
be carried away if they were not themselves willing to go. And the
Persians say that they, namely the people of Asia, when their women
were carried away by force, had made it a matter of no account, but
the Hellenes on account of a woman of Lacedemon gathered together a
great armament, and then came to Asia and destroyed the dominion of
Priam; and that from this time forward they had always considered the
Hellenic race to be their enemy: for Asia and the Barbarian races
which dwell there the Persians claim as belonging to them; but Europe
and the Hellenic race they consider to be parted off from them.

5. The Persians for their part say that things happened thus; and they
conclude that the beginning of their quarrel with the Hellenes was on
account of the taking of Ilion: but as regards Io the Phenicians do
not agree with the Persians in telling the tale thus; for they deny
that they carried her off to Egypt by violent means, and they say on
the other hand that when they were in Argos she was intimate with the
master of their ship, and perceiving that she was with child, she was
ashamed to confess it to her parents, and therefore sailed away with
the Phenicians of her own will, for fear of being found out. These are
the tales told by the Persians and the Phenicians severally: and
concerning these things I am not going to say that they happened thus
or thus,[4a] but when I have pointed to the man who first within my
own knowledge began to commit wrong against the Hellenes, I shall go
forward further with the story, giving an account of the cities of
men, small as well as great: for those which in old times were great
have for the most part become small, while those that were in my own
time great used in former times to be small: so then, since I know
that human prosperity never continues steadfast, I shall make mention
of both indifferently.


6. Crsus was Lydian by race, the son of Alyattes and ruler of the
nations which dwell on this side of the river Halys; which river,
flowing from the South between the Syrians[5] and the Paphlagonians,
runs out towards the North Wind into that Sea which is called the
Euxine. This Crsus, first of all the Barbarians of whom we have
knowledge, subdued certain of the Hellenes and forced them to pay
tribute, while others he gained over and made them his friends. Those
whom he subdued were the Ionians, the Aiolians, and the Dorians who
dwell in Asia; and those whom he made his friends were the
Lacedemonians. But before the reign of Crsus all the Hellenes were
free; for the expedition of the Kimmerians, which came upon Ionia
before the time of Crsus, was not a conquest of the cities but a
plundering incursion only.[6] 7. Now the supremacy which had belonged
to the Heracleidai came to the family of Crsus, called Mermnadai, in
the following manner:--Candaules, whom the Hellenes call Myrsilos, was
ruler of Sardis and a descendant of Alcaios, son of Heracles: for
Agron, the son of Ninos, the son of Belos, the son of Alcaios, was the
first of the Heracleidai who became king of Sardis, and Candaules the
son of Myrsos was the last; but those who were kings over this land
before Agrond, were descendants of Lydos the son of Atys, whence this
whole nation was called Lydian, having been before called Meonian.
From these the Heracleidai, descended from Heracles and the slave-girl
of Iardanos, obtained the government, being charged with it by reason
of an oracle; and they reigned for two-and-twenty generations of men,
five hundred and five years, handing on the power from father to son,
till the time of Clandaules the son of Myrsos. 8. This Candaules then
of whom I speak had become passionately in love with his own wife; and
having become so, he deemed that his wife was fairer by far than all
other women; and thus deeming, to Gyges the son of Daskylos (for he of
all his spearmen was the most pleasing to him), to this Gyges, I say,
he used to impart as well the more weighty of his affairs as also the
beauty of his wife, praising it above measure: and after no long time,
since it was destined that evil should happen to Candaules, he said to
Gyges as follows: "Gyges, I think that thou dost not believe me when I
tell thee of the beauty of my wife, for it happens that men's ears are
less apt of belief than their eyes: contrive therefore means by which
thou mayest look upon her naked." But he cried aloud and said:
"Master, what word of unwisdom is this which thou dost utter, bidding
me look upon my mistress naked? When a woman puts off her tunic she
puts off her modesty also. Moreover of old time those fair sayings
have been found out by men, from which we ought to learn wisdom; and
of these one is this,--that each man should look on his own: but I
believe indeed that she is of all women the fairest and I entreat thee
not to ask of me that which it is not lawful for me to do." 9. With
such words as these he resisted, fearing lest some evil might come to
him from this; but the king answered him thus: "Be of good courage,
Gyges, and have no fear, either of me, that I am saying these words to
try thee, or of my wife, lest any harm may happen to thee from her.
For I will contrive it so from the first that she shall not even
perceive that she has been seen by thee. I will place thee in the room
where we sleep, behind the open door;[7] and after I have gone in, my
wife also will come to lie down. Now there is a seat near the entrance
of the room, and upon this she will lay her garments as she takes them
off one by one; and so thou wilt be able to gaze upon her at full
leisure. And when she goes from the chair to the bed and thou shalt be
behind her back, then let it be thy part to take care that she sees
thee not as thou goest through the door." 10. He then, since he might
not avoid it, gave consent: and Candaules, when he considered that it
was time to rest, led Gyges to the chamber; and straightway after this
the woman also appeared: and Gyges looked upon her after she came in
and as she laid down her garments; and when she had her back turned
towards him, as she went to the bed, then he slipped away from his
hiding-place and was going forth. And as he went out, the woman caught
sight of him, and perceiving that which had been done by her husband
she did not cry out, though struck with shame,[8] but she made as
though she had not perceived the matter, meaning to avenge herself
upon Candaules: for among the Lydians as also among most other
Barbarians it is a shame even for a man to be seen naked. 11. At the
time then she kept silence, as I say, and made no outward sign; but as
soon as day had dawned, and she made ready those of the servants whom
she perceived to be the most attached to herself, and after that she
sent to summon Gyges. He then, not supposing that anything of that
which had been done was known to her, came upon her summons; for he
had been accustomed before to go[9] whenever the queen summoned him.
And when Gyges was come, the woman said to him these words: "There are
now two ways open to thee, Gyges, and I give thee the choice which of
the two thou wilt prefer to take. Either thou must slay Candaules and
possess both me and the kingdom of Lydia, or thou must thyself here on
the spot be slain, so that thou mayest not in future, by obeying
Candaules in all things, see that which thou shouldest not. Either he
must die who formed this design, or thou who hast looked upon me naked
and done that which is not accounted lawful." For a time then Gyges
was amazed at these words, and afterwards he began to entreat her that
she would not bind him by necessity to make such a choice: then
however, as he could not prevail with her, but saw that necessity was
in truth set before him either to slay his master or to be himself
slain by others, he made the choice to live himself; and he inquired
further as follows: "Since thou dost compel me to take my master's
life against my own will, let me hear from thee also what is the
manner in which we shall lay hands upon him." And she answering said:
"From that same place shall the attempt be, where he displayed me
naked; and we will lay hands upon him as he sleeps." 12. So after they
had prepared the plot, when night came on, (for Gyges was not let go
nor was there any way of escape for him, but he must either be slain
himself or slay Candaules), he followed the woman to the bedchamber;
and she gave him a dagger and concealed him behind that very same
door. Then afterwards, while Candaules was sleeping, Gyges came
privily up to him[10] and slew him, and he obtained both his wife and
his kingdom: of him moreover Archilochos the Parian, who lived about
that time, made mention in a trimeter iambic verse.[11] 13. He
obtained the kingdom however and was strengthened in it by means of
the Oracle at Delphi; for when the Lydians were angry because of the
fate of Candaules, and had risen in arms, a treaty was made between
the followers of Gyges and the other Lydians to this effect, that if
the Oracle should give answer that he was to be king of the Lydians,
he should be king, and if not, he should give back the power to the
sons of Heracles. So the Oracle gave answer, and Gyges accordingly
became king: yet the Pythian prophetess said this also, that vengeance
for the Heracleidai should come upon the descendants of Gyges in the
fifth generation. Of this oracle the Lydians and their kings made no
account until it was in fact fulfilled.

14. Thus the Mermnadai obtained the government having driven out from
it the Heracleidai: and Gyges when he became ruler sent votive
offerings to Delphi not a few, for of all the silver offerings at
Delphi his are more in number than those of any other man; and besides
the silver he offered a vast quantity of gold, and especially one
offering which is more worthy of mention than the rest, namely six
golden mixing-bowls, which are dedicated there as his gift: of these
the weight is thirty talents, and they stand in the treasury of the
Corinthians, (though in truth this treasury does not belong to the
State of the Corinthians, but is that of Kypselos the son of
Ation).[12] This Gyges was the first of the Barbarians within our
knowledge who dedicated votive offerings at Delphi, except only Midas
the son of Gordias king of Phrygia, who dedicated for an offering the
royal throne on which he sat before all to decide causes; and this
throne, a sight worth seeing, stands in the same place with the bowls
of Gyges. This gold and silver which Gyges dedicated is called Gygian
by the people of Delphi, after the name of him who offered it.

Now Gyges also,[13] as soon as he became king, led an army against
Miletos and Smyrna, and he took the lower town of Colophon:[14] but no
other great deed did he do in his reign, which lasted eight-and-thirty
years, therefore we will pass him by with no more mention than has
already been made, 15, and I will speak now of Ardys the son of Gyges,
who became king after Gyges. He took Priene and made an invasion
against Miletos; and while he was ruling over Sardis, the Kimmerians
driven from their abodes by the nomad Scythians came to Asia and took
Sardis except the citadel.

16. Now when Ardys had been king for nine-and-forty years, Sadyattes
his son succeeded to his kingdom, and reigned twelve years; and after
him Alyattes. This last made war against Kyaxares the descendant of
Deokes and against the Medes,[15] and he drove the Kimmerians forth
out of Asia, and he took Smyrna which had been founded from Colophon,
and made an invasion against Clazomenai. From this he returned not as
he desired, but with great loss: during his reign however he performed
other deeds very worthy of mention as follows:--17. He made war with
those of Miletos, having received this war as an inheritance from his
father: for he used to invade their land and besiege Miletos in the
following manner:--whenever there were ripe crops upon the land, then
he led an army into their confines, making his march to the sound of
pipes and harps and flutes both of male and female tone: and when he
came to the Milesian land, he neither pulled down the houses that were
in the fields, nor set fire to them nor tore off their doors, but let
them stand as they were; the trees however and the crops that were
upon the land he destroyed, and then departed by the way he came: for
the men of Miletos had command of the sea, so that it was of no use
for his army to blockade them: and he abstained from pulling down the
houses to the end that the Milesians might have places to dwell in
while they sowed and tilled the land, and by the means of their labour
he might have somewhat to destroy when he made his invasion. 18. Thus
he continued to war with them for eleven years; and in the course of
these years the Milesians suffered two great defeats, once when they
fought a battle in the district of Limenion in their own land, and
again in the plain of Maiander. Now for six of the eleven years
Sadyattes the son of Ardys was still ruler of the Lydians, the same
who was wont to invade the land of Miletos at the times mentioned;[16]
for this Sadyattes was he who first began the war: but for the five
years which followed these first six the war was carried on by
Alyattes the son of Sadyattes, who received it as an inheritance from
his father (as I have already said) and applied himself to it
earnestly. And none of the Ionians helped those of Miletos bear the
burden of this war except only the men of Chios. These came to their
aid to pay back like with like, for the Milesians had formerly
assisted the Chians throughout their war with the people of Erythrai.
19. Then in the twelfth year of the war, when standing corn was being
burnt by the army of the Lydians, it happened as follows:--as soon as
the corn was kindled, it was driven by a violent wind and set fire to
the temple of Athene surnamed of Assessos; and the temple being set on
fire was burnt down to the ground. Of this no account was made then;
but afterwards when the army had returned to Sardis, Alyattes fell
sick, and as his sickness lasted long, he sent messengers to inquire
of the Oracle at Delphi, either being advised to do so by some one, or
because he himself thought it best to send and inquire of the god
concerning his sickness. But when these arrived at Delphi, the Pythian
prophetess said that she would give them no answer, until they should
have built up again the temple of Athene which they had burnt at
Assessos in the land of Miletos. 20. Thus much I know by the report of
the people of Delphi; but the Milesians add to this that Periander the
son of Kypselos, being a special guest-friend of Thrasybulos the then
despot of Miletos, heard of the oracle which had been given to
Alyattes, and sending a messenger told Thrasybulos, in order that he
might have knowledge of it beforehand and take such counsel as the
case required. This is the story told by the Milesians. 21. And
Alyattes, when this answer was reported to him, sent a herald
forthwith to Miletos, desiring to make a truce with Thrasybulos and
the Milesians for so long a time as he should be building the temple.
He then was being sent as envoy to Miletos; and Thrasybulos in the
meantime being informed beforehand of the whole matter and knowing
what Alyattes was meaning to do, contrived this device:--he gathered
together in the market-place all the store of provisions which was
found in the city, both his own and that which belonged to private
persons; and he proclaimed to the Milesians that on a signal given by
him they should all begin to drink and make merry with one another.
22. This Thrasybulos did and thus proclaimed to the end that the
herald from Sardis, seeing a vast quantity of provisions carelessly
piled up, and the people feasting, might report this to Alyattes: and
so on fact it happened; for when the herald returned to Sardis after
seeing this and delivering to Thrasybulos the charge which was given
to him by the king of Lydia, the peace which was made, came about, as
I am informed, merely because of this. For Alyattes, who thought that
there was a great famine in Miletos and that the people had been worn
down to the extreme of misery, heard from the herald, when he returned
from Miletos, the opposite to that which he himself supposed. And
after this the peace was made between them on condition of being
guest-friends and allies to one another, and Alyattes built two
temples to Athene at Assessos in place of one, and himself recovered
from his sickness. With regard then to the war waged by Alyattes with
the Milesians and Thrasybulos things went thus.

23. As for Periander, the man who gave information about the oracle to
Thrasybulos, he was the son of Kypselos, and despot of Corinth. In his
life, say the Corinthians, (and with them agree the Lesbians), there
happened to him a very great marvel, namely that Arion of Methymna was
carried ashore at Tainaron upon a dolphin's back. This man was a
harper second to none of those who then lived, and the first, so far
as we know, who composed a dithyramb, naming it so and teaching it to
a chorus[17] at Corinth. 24. This Arion, they say, who for the most
part of his time stayed with Periander, conceived a desire to sail to
Italy[18] and Sicily; and after he had there acquired large sums of
money, he wished to return again to Corinth. He set forth therefore
from Taras,[19] and as he had faith in Corinthians more than in other
men, he hired a ship with a crew of Corinthians. These, the story
says, when out in open sea, formed a plot to cast Arion overboard and
so possess his wealth; and he having obtained knowledge of this made
entreaties to them, offering them his wealth and asking them to grant
him his life. With this however he did not prevail upon them, but the
men who were conveying him bade him either slay himself there, that he
might receive burial on the land, or leap straightway into the sea. So
Arion being driven to a strait entreated them that, since they were so
minded, they would allow him to take his stand in full minstrel's garb
upon the deck[20] of the ship and sing; and he promised to put himself
to death after he had sung. They then, well pleased to think that they
should hear the best of all minstrels upon earth, drew back from the
stern towards the middle of the ship; and he put on the full
minstrel's garb and took his lyre, and standing on the deck performed
the Orthian measure. Then as the measure ended, he threw himself into
the sea just as he was, in his full minstrel's garb; and they went on
sailing away to Corinth, but him, they say, a dolphin supported on its
back and brought him to shore at Tainaron: and when he had come to
land he proceeded to Corinth with his minstrel's garb. Thither having
arrived he related all that had been done; and Periander doubting of
his story kept Arion in guard and would let him go nowhere, while he
kept careful watch for those who had conveyed him. When these came, he
called them and inquired of them if they had any report to make of
Arion; and when they said that he was safe in Italy and that they had
left him at Taras faring well, Arion suddenly appeared before them in
the same guise as when he made his leap from the ship; and they being
struck with amazement were no longer able to deny when they were
questioned. This is the tale told by the Corinthians and Lesbians
alike, and there is at Tainaron a votive offering of Arion of no great
size,[21] namely a bronze figure of a man upon a dolphin's back.

25. Alyattes the Lydian, when he had thus waged war against the
Milesians, afterwards died, having reigned seven-and-fifty years. This
king, when he recovered from his sickness, dedicated a votive offering
at Delphi (being the second of his house who had so done), namely a
great mixing-bowl of silver with a stand for it of iron welded
together, which last is a sight worth seeing above all the offerings
at Delphi and the work of Glaucos the Chian, who of all men first
found out the art of welding iron.

26. After Alyattes was dead Crsus the son of Alyattes received the
kingdom in succession, being five-and-thirty years of age. He (as I
said) fought against the Hellenes and of them he attacked the
Ephesians first. The Ephesians then, being besieged by him, dedicated
their city to Artemis and tied a rope from the temple to the wall of
the city: now the distance between the ancient city, which was then
being besieged, and the temple is seven furlongs.[22] These, I say,
where the first upon whom Crsus laid hands, but afterwards he did the
same to the other Ionian and Aiolian cities one by one, alleging
against them various causes of complaint, and making serious charges
against those in whose cases he could find serious grounds, while
against others of them he charged merely trifling offences.

27. Then when the Hellenes in Asia had been conquered and forced to
pay tribute, he designed next to build for himself ships and to lay
hands upon those who dwelt in the islands; and when all was prepared
for his building of ships, they say that Bias of Priene (or, according
to another account, Pittacos of Mytilene) came to Sardis, and being
asked by Crsus whether there was any new thing doing in Hellas,
brought to an end his building of ships by this saying: "O king," said
he, "the men of the islands are hiring a troop of ten thousand horse,
and with this they mean to march to Sardis and fight against thee."
And Crsus, supposing that what he reported was true, said: "May the
gods put it into the minds of the dwellers of the islands to come with
horses against the sons of the Lydians!" And he answered and said: "O
king, I perceive that thou dost earnestly desire to catch the men of
the islands on the mainland riding upon horses; and it is not
unreasonable that thou shouldest wish for this: what else however
thinkest thou the men of the islands desire and have been praying for
ever since the time they heard that thou wert about to build ships
against them, than that they might catch the Lydians upon the sea, so
as to take vengeance upon thee for the Hellenes who dwell upon the
mainland, whom thou dost hold enslaved?" Crsus, they say, was greatly
pleased with this conclusion,[23] and obeying his suggestion, for he
judged him to speak suitably, he stopped his building of ships; and
upon that he formed a friendship with the Ionians dwelling in the

28. As time went on, when nearly all those dwelling on this side the
river Halys had been subdued, (for except the Kilikians and Lykians
Crsus subdued and kept under his rule all the nations, that is to say
Lydians, Phrygians, Mysians, Mariandynoi, Chalybians, Paphlagonians,
Thracians both Thynian and Bithynian, Carians, Ionians, Dorians,
Aiolians, and Pamphylians),[24] 29, when these, I say, had been
subdued, and while he was still adding to his Lydian dominions, there
came to Sardis, then at the height of its wealth, all the wise men[25]
of the Hellas who chanced to be alive at that time, brought thither
severally by various occasions; and of them one was Solon the
Athenian, who after he had made laws for the Athenians at their
bidding, left his native country for ten years and sailed away saying
that he desired to visit various lands, in order that he might not be
compelled to repeal any of the laws which he had proposed.[26] For of
themselves the Athenians were not competent to do this, having bound
themselves by solemn oaths to submit for ten years to the laws which
Solon should propose for them.

30. So Solon, having left his native country for this reason and for
the sake of seeing various lands, came to Amasis in Egypt, and also to
Crsus at Sardis. Having there arrived he was entertained as a guest
by Crsus in the king's palace; and afterwards, on the third or fourth
day, at the bidding of Crsus his servants led Solon round to see his
treasuries; and they showed him all things, how great and magnificent
they were: and after he had looked upon them all and examined them as
he had occasion, Crsus asked him as follows: "Athenian guest, much
report of thee has come to us, both in regard to thy wisdom and thy
wanderings, how that in thy search for wisdom thou hast traversed many
lands to see them; now therefore a desire has come upon me to ask thee
whether thou hast seen any whom thou deemest to be of all men the most
happy."[27] This he asked supposing that he himself was the happiest
of men; but Solon, using no flattery but the truth only, said: "Yes, O
king, Tellos the Athenian." And Crsus, marvelling at that which he
said, asked him earnestly: "In what respect dost thou judge Tellos to
be the most happy?" And he said: "Tellos, in the first place, living
while his native State was prosperous, had sons fair and good and saw
from all of them children begotten and living to grow up; and secondly
he had what with us is accounted wealth, and after his life a most
glorious end: for when a battle was fought by the Athenians at Eleusis
against the neighbouring people, he brought up supports and routed the
foe and there died by a most fair death; and the Athenians buried him
publicly where he fell, and honoured him greatly." 31. So when Solon
had moved Crsus to inquire further by the story of Tellos, recounting
how many points of happiness he had, the king asked again whom he had
seen proper to be placed next after this man, supposing that he
himself would certainly obtain at least the second place; but he
replied: "Cleobis and Biton: for these, who were of Argos by race,
possessed a sufficiency of wealth and, in addition to this, strength
of body such as I shall tell. Both equally had won prizes in the
games, and moreover the following tale is told of them:--There was a
feast of Hera among the Argives and it was by all means necessary that
their mother should be borne in a car to the temple. But since their
oxen were not brought up in time from the field, the young men, barred
from all else by lack of time, submitted themselves to the yoke and
drew the wain, their mother being borne by them upon it; and so they
brought it on for five-and-forty furlongs,[28] and came to the temple.
Then after they had done this and had been seen by the assembled
crowd, there came to their life a most excellent ending; and in this
the deity declared that it was better for man to die than to continue
to live. For the Argive men were standing round and extolling the
strength[29] of the young men, while the Argive women were extolling
the mother to whose lot it had fallen to have such sons; and the
mother being exceedingly rejoiced both by the deed itself and by the
report made of it, took her stand in front of the image of the goddess
and prayed that she would give to Cleobis and Biton her sons, who had
honoured her[30] greatly, that gift which is best for man to receive:
and after this prayer, when they had sacrificed and feasted, the young
men lay down to sleep within the temple itself, and never rose again,
but were held bound in this last end.[31] And the Argives made statues
in the likeness of them and dedicated them as offerings at Delphi,
thinking that they had proved themselves most excellent." 32. Thus
Solon assigned the second place in respect of happiness to these: and
Crsus was moved to anger and said: "Athenian guest, hast thou then so
cast aside our prosperous state as worth nothing, that thou dost
prefer to us even men of private station?" And he said: "Crsus, thou
art inquiring about human fortunes of one who well knows that the
Deity is altogether envious and apt to disturb our lot. For in the
course of long time a man may see many things which he would not
desire to see, and suffer also many things which he would not desire
to suffer. The limit of life for a man I lay down at seventy years:
and these seventy years give twenty-five thousand and two hundred
days, not reckoning for any intercalated month. Then if every other
one of these years shall be made longer by one month, that the seasons
may be caused to come round at the due time of the year, the
intercalated months will be in number five-and-thirty besides the
seventy years; and of these months the days will be one thousand and
fifty. Of all these days, being in number twenty-six thousand two
hundred and fifty, which go to the seventy years, one day produces
nothing at all which resembles what another brings with it. Thus then,
O Crsus, man is altogether a creature of accident. As for thee, I
perceive that thou art both great in wealth and king of many men, but
that of which thou didst ask me I cannot call thee yet, until I learn
that thou hast brought thy life to a fair ending: for the very rich
man is not at all to be accounted more happy than he who has but his
subsistence from day to day, unless also the fortune go with him of
ending his life well in possession of all things fair. For many very
wealthy men are not happy,[32] while many who have but a moderate
living are fortunate;[33] and in truth the very rich man who is not
happy has two advantages only as compared with the poor man who is
fortunate, whereas this latter has many as compared with the rich man
who is not happy. The rich man is able better to fulfil his desire,
and also to endure a great calamity if it fall upon him; whereas the
other has advantage over him in these things which follow:--he is not
indeed able equally with the rich man to endure a calamity or to
fulfil his desire, but these his good fortune keeps away from him,
while he is sound of limb,[34] free from disease, untouched by
suffering, the father of fair children and himself of comely form; and
if in addition to this he shall end his life well, he is worthy to be
called that which thou seekest, namely a happy man; but before he
comes to his end it is well to hold back and not to call him yet happy
but only fortunate. Now to possess all these things together is
impossible for one who is mere man, just as no single land suffices to
supply all tings for itself, but one thing it has and another it
lacks, and the land that has the greatest number of things is the
best: so also in the case of a man, no single person is complete in
himself, for one thing he has and another he lacks; but whosoever of
men continues to the end in possession of the greatest number of these
things and then has a gracious ending of his life, he is by me
accounted worthy, O king, to receive this name. But we must of every
thing examine the end and how it will turn out at the last, for to
many God shows but a glimpse of happiness and then plucks them up by
the roots and overturns them." 33. Thus saying he refused to gratify
Crsus, who sent him away from his presence holding him in no esteem,
and thinking him utterly senseless in that he passed over present good
things and bade men look to the end of every matter.

34. After Solon had departed, a great retribution from God came upon
Crsus, probably because he judged himself to be the happiest of all
men. First there came and stood by him a dream, which showed to him
the truth of the evils that were about to come to pass in respect of
his son. Now Crsus had two sons, of whom one was deficient, seeing
that he was deaf and dumb, while the other far surpassed his
companions of the same age in all things: and the name of this last
was Atys. As regards this Atys then, the dream signified to Crsus
that he should lose him by the blow of an iron spear-point:[35] and
when he rose up from sleep and considered the matter with himself, he
was struck with fear on account of the dream; and first he took for
his son a wife; and whereas his son had been wont to lead the armies
of the Lydians, he now no longer sent him forth anywhere on any such
business; and the javelins and lances and all such things which men
use for fighting he conveyed out of the men's apartments and piled
them up in the inner bed-chambers, for fear lest something hanging up
might fall down upon his son. 35. Then while he was engaged about the
marriage of his son, there came to Sardis a man under a misfortune and
with hands not clean, a Phrygian by birth and of the royal house. This
man came to the house of Crsus, and according to the customs which
prevail in that land made request that he might have cleansing; and
Crsus gave him cleansing: now the manner of cleansing among the
Lydians is the same almost as that which the Hellenes use. So when
Crsus had done that which was customary, he asked of him whence he
came and who he was, saying as follows: "Man, who art thou, and from
what region of Phrygia didst thou come to sit upon my hearth? And whom
of men or women didst thou slay?" And he replied: "O king, I am the
son of Gordias, the son of Midas, and I am called Adrastos; and I slew
my own brother against my will, and therefore am I here, having been
driven forth by my father and deprived of all that I had." And Crsus
answered thus: "Thou art, as it chances, the offshoot of men who are
our friends and thou hast come to friends, among whom thou shalt want
of nothing so long as thou shalt remain in our land: and thou wilt
find it most for thy profit to bear this misfortune as lightly as may
be." So he had his abode with Crsus.[36]

36. During this time there was produced in the Mysian Olympos a boar
of monstrous size. This, coming down from the mountain aforesaid,
ravaged the fields of the Mysians, and although the Mysians went out
against it often, yet they could do it no hurt, but rather received
hurt themselves from it; so at length messengers came from the Mysians
to Crsus and said: "O king, there has appeared in our land a boar of
monstrous size, which lays waste our fields; and we, desiring eagerly
to take it, are not able: now therefore we ask of thee to send with us
thy son and also a chosen band of young men with dogs, that we may
destroy it out of our land." Thus they made request, and Crsus
calling to mind the words of the dream spoke to them as follows: "As
touching my son, make no further mention of him in this matter; for I
will not send him with you, seeing that he is newly married and is
concerned now with the affairs of his marriage: but I will send with
you chosen men of the Lydians and the whole number of my hunting dogs,
and I will give command to those who go, to be as zealous as may be in
helping you to destroy the wild beast out of your land."

37. Thus he made reply, and while the Mysians were being contented
with this answer, there came in also the son of Crsus, having heard
of the request made by the Mysians: and when Crsus said that he would
not send his son with them, the young man spoke as follows: "My
father, in times past the fairest and most noble part was allotted to
us, to go out continually to wars and to the chase and so have good
repute; but now thou hast debarred me from both of these, although
thou hast not observed in me any cowardly or faint-hearted spirit. And
now with what face must I appear when I go to and from the market-
place of the city? What kind of a man shall I be esteemed by the
citizens, and what kind of a man shall I be esteemed by my newly-
married wife? With what kind of a husband will she think that she is
mated? Therefore either let me go to the hunt, or persuade me by
reason that these things are better for me done as now they are." 38.
And Crsus made answer thus: "My son, not because I have observed in
thee any spirit of cowardice or any other ungracious thing, do I act
thus; but a vision of a dream came and stood by me in my sleep and
told me that thou shouldest be short-lived, and that thou shouldest
perish by a spear-point of iron. With thought of this vision therefore
I both urged on this marriage for thee, and I refuse now to send thee
upon the matter which is being taken in hand, having a care of thee
that I may steal thee from thy fate at least for the period of my own
life, if by any means possible for me to do so. For thou art, as it
chances, my only son: the other I do not reckon as one, seeing that he
is deficient in hearing." 39. The young man made answer thus: "It may
well be forgiven in thee, O my father, that thou shouldest have a care
of me after having seen such a vision; but that which thou dost not
understand, and in which the meaning of the dream has escaped thee, it
is right that I should expound to thee. Thou sayest the dream declared
that I should end my life by means of a spear-point of iron: but what
hands has a boar, or what spear-point of iron, of which thou art
afraid? If the dream had told thee that I should end my life by a
tusk, or any other thing which resembles that, it would be right for
thee doubtless to do as thou art doing; but it said 'by a spear-
point.' Since therefore our fight will not be with men, let me now
go." 40. Crsus made answer: "My son, thou dost partly prevail with me
by declaring thy judgment about the dream; therefore, having been
prevailed upon by thee, I change my resolution and allow thee to go to
the chase."

41. Having thus said Crsus went to summon Adrastos the Phrygian; and
when he came, he addressed him thus: "Adrastos, when thou wast struck
with a grievous misfortune (with which I reproach thee not), I
cleansed thee, and I have received thee into my house supplying all
thy costs. Now therefore, since having first received kindness from me
thou art bound to requite me with kindness, I ask of thee to be the
protector of my son who goes forth to the chase, lest any evil robbers
come upon you by the way to do you harm; and besides this thou too
oughtest to go where thou mayest become famous by thy deeds, for it
belongs to thee as an inheritance from thy fathers so to do, and
moreover thou hast strength for it." 42. Adrastos made answer: "O
king, but for this I should not have been going to any such contest of
valour; for first it is not fitting that one who is suffering such a
great misfortune as mine should seek the company of his fellows who
are in prosperity, and secondly I have no desire for it; and for many
reasons I should have kept myself away. But now, since thou art urgent
with me, and I ought to gratify thee (for I am bound to requite thee
with kindness), I am ready to do this: expect therefore that thy son,
whom thou commandest me to protect, will return home to thee unhurt,
so far as his protector may avail to keep him safe." 43. When he had
made answer to Crsus in words like these, they afterwards set forth
provided with chosen young men and with dogs. And when they were come
to Mount Olympos, they tracked the animal; and having found it and
taken their stand round in a circle, they were hurling against it
their spears. Then the guest, he who had been cleansed of
manslaughter, whose name was Adrastos, hurling a spear at it missed
the boar and struck the son of Crsus. So he being struck by the
spear-point fulfilled the saying of the dream. And one ran to report
to Crsus that which had come to pass, and having come to Sardis he
signified to him of the combat and of the fate of his son. 44. And
Crsus was very greatly disturbed by the death of his son, and was
much the more moved to complaining by this, namely that his son was
slain by the man whom he had himself cleansed of manslaughter. And
being grievously troubled by the misfortune he called upon Zeus the
Cleanser, protesting to him that which he had suffered from his guest,
and he called moreover upon the Protector of Suppliants[37] and the
Guardian of Friendship,[38] naming still the same god, and calling
upon him as the Protector of Suppliants because when he received the
guest into his house he had been fostering ignorantly the slayer of
his son, and as the Guardian of Friendship because having sent him as
a protector he had found him the worst of foes. 45. After this the
Lydians came bearing the corpse, and behind it followed the slayer:
and he taking his stand before the corpse delivered himself up to
Crsus, holding forth his hands and bidding the king slay him over the
corpse, speaking of his former misfortune and saying that in addition
to this he had now been the destroyer of the man who had cleansed him
of it; and that life for him was no more worth living. But Crsus
hearing this pitied Adrastos, although he was himself suffering so
great an evil of his own, and said to him: "Guest, I have already
received from thee all the satisfaction that is due, seeing that thou
dost condemn thyself to suffer death; and not thou alone art the cause
of this evil, except in so far as thou wert the instrument of it
against thine own will, but some one, as I suppose, of the gods, who
also long ago signified to me that which was about to be." So Crsus
buried his son as was fitting: but Adrastos the son of Gordias, the
son of Midas, he who had been the slayer of his own brother and the
slayer also of the man who had cleansed him, when silence came of all
men round about the tomb, recognising that he was more grievously
burdened by misfortune than all men of whom he knew, slew himself upon
the grave.

46. For two years then Crsus remained quiet in his mourning, because
he was deprived of his son: but after this period of time the
overthrowing of the rule of Astyages the son of Kyaxares by Cyrus the
son of Cambyses, and the growing greatness of the Persians caused
Crsus to cease from his mourning, and led him to a care of cutting
short the power of the Persians, if by any means he might, while yet
it was in growth and before they should have become great.

So having formed this design he began forthwith to make trial of the
Oracles, both those of the Hellenes and that in Libya, sending
messengers some to one place and some to another, some to go to
Delphi, others to Abai of the Phokians, and others to Dodona; and some
were sent to the shrine of Amphiaraos and to that of Trophonios,
others to Branchidai in the land of Miletos: these are the Oracles of
the Hellenes to which Crsus sent messengers to seek divination; and
others he sent to the shrine of Ammon in Libya to inquire there. Now
he was sending the messengers abroad to the end that he might try the
Oracles and find out what knowledge they had, so that if they should
be found to have knowledge of the truth, he might send and ask them
secondly whether he should attempt to march against the Persians. 47.
And to the Lydians whom he sent to make trial of the Oracles he gave
charge as follows,--that from the day on which they set out from
Sardis they should reckon up the number of the days following and on
the hundredth day they should consult the Oracles, asking what Crsus
the son of Alyattes king of the Lydians chanced then to be doing: and
whatever the Oracles severally should prophesy, this they should cause
to be written down[39] and bear it back to him. Now what the other
Oracles prophesied is not by any reported, but at Delphi, so soon as
the Lydians entered the sanctuary of the temple[40] to consult the god
and asked that which they were commanded to ask, the Pythian
prophetess spoke thus in hexameter measure:

"But the number of sand I know,[41] and the measure of drops in the ocean;
The dumb man I understand, and I hear the speech of the speechless:
And there hath come to my soul the smell of a strong-shelled tortoise
Boiling in caldron of bronze, and the flesh of a lamb mingled with it;
Under it bronze is laid, it hath bronze as a clothing upon it."

48. When the Pythian prophetess had uttered this oracle, the Lydians
caused the prophecy to be written down, and went away at once to
Sardis. And when the rest also who had been sent round were there
arrived with the answers of the Oracles, then Crsus unfolded the
writings one by one and looked upon them: and at first none of them
pleased him, but when he heard that from Delphi, forthwith he did
worship to the god and accepted the answer,[42] judging that the
Oracle at Delphi was the only true one, because it had found out what
he himself had done. For when he had sent to the several Oracles his
messengers to consult the gods, keeping well in mind the appointed day
he contrived the following device,--he thought of something which it
would be impossible to discover or to conceive of, and cutting up a
tortoise and a lamb he boiled them together himself in a caldron of
bronze, laying a cover of bronze over them. 49. This then was the
answer given to Crsus from Delphi; and as regards the answer of
Amphiaraos, I cannot tell what he replied to the Lydians after they
had done the things customary in his temple,[43] for there is no
record of this any more than of the others, except only that Crsus
thought that he also[44] possessed a true Oracle.

50. After this with great sacrifices he endeavoured to win the favour
of the god at Delphi: for of all the animals that are fit for
sacrifice he offered three thousand of each kind, and he heaped up
couches overlaid with gold and overlaid with silver, and cups of gold,
and robes of purple, and tunics, making of them a great pyre, and this
he burnt up, hoping by these means the more to win over the god to the
side of the Lydians: and he proclaimed to all the Lydians that every
one of them should make sacrifice with that which each man had. And
when he had finished the sacrifice, he melted down a vast quantity of
gold, and of it he wrought half-plinths[45] making them six palms[46]
in length and three in breadth, and in height one palm; and their
number was one hundred and seventeen. Of these four were of pure
gold[47] weighing two talents and a half[48] each, and others of gold
alloyed with silver[49] weighing two talents. And he caused to be made
also an image of a lion of pure gold weighing ten talents; which lion,
when the temple of Delphi was being burnt down, fell from off the
half-plinths, for upon these it was set,[50] and is placed now in the
treasury of the Corinthians, weighing six talents and a half, for
three talents and a half were melted away from it. 51. So Crsus
having finished all these things sent them to Delphi, and with them
these besides:--two mixing bowls of great size, one of gold and the
other of silver, of which the golden bowl was placed on the right hand
as one enters the temple, and the silver on the left, but the places
of these also were changed after the temple was burnt down, and the
golden bowl is now placed in the treasury of the people of Clazomenai,
weighing eight and a half talents and twelve pounds over,[51] while
the silver one is placed in the corner of the vestibule[52] and holds
six hundred amphors[53] (being filled with wine by the Delphians on
the feast of the Theophania): this the people of Delphi say is the
work of Theodoros the Samian,[54] and, as I think, rightly, for it is
evident to me that the workmanship is of no common kind: moreover
Crsus sent four silver wine-jars, which stand in the treasury of the
Corinthians, and two vessels for lustral water,[55] one of gold and
the other of silver, of which the gold one is inscribed "from the
Lacedemonians," who say that it is their offering: therein however
they do not speak rightly; for this also is from Crsus, but one of
the Delphians wrote the inscription upon it, desiring to gratify the
Lacedemonians; and his name I know but will not make mention of it.
The boy through whose hand the water flows is from the Lacedemonians,
but neither of the vessels for lustral water. And many other votive
offerings Crsus sent with these, not specially distinguished, among
which are certain castings[56] of silver of a round shape, and also a
golden figure of a woman three cubits high, which the Delphians say is
a statue of the baker of Crsus. Moreover Crsus dedicated the
ornaments from his wife's neck and her girdles. 52. These are the
things which he sent to Delphi; and to Amphiaraos, having heard of his
valour and of his evil fate, he dedicated a shield made altogether of
gold throughout, and a spear all of solid gold, the shaft being of
gold also as well as the two points, which offerings were both
remaining even to my time at Thebes in the temple of Ismenian Apollo.

53. To the Lydians who were to carry these gifts to the temples Crsus
gave charge that they should ask the Oracles this question also,--
whether Crsus should march against the Persians, and if so, whether
he should join with himself any army of men as his friends. And when
the Lydians had arrived at the places to which they had been sent and
had dedicated the votive offerings, they inquired of the Oracles and
said: "Crsus, king of the Lydians and of other nations, considering
that these are the only true Oracles among men, presents to you[57]
gifts such as your revelations deserve, and asks you again now whether
he shall march against the Persians, and if so, whether he shall join
with himself any army of men as allies." They inquired thus, and the
answers of both the Oracles agreed in one, declaring to Crsus that if
he should march against the Persians he should destroy a great empire:
and they counselled him to find out the most powerful of the Hellenes
and join these with himself as friends. 54. So when the answers were
brought back and Crsus heard them, he was delighted with the oracles,
and expecting that he would certainly destroy the kingdom of Cyrus, he
sent again to Pytho,[58] and presented to the men of Delphi, having
ascertained the number of them, two staters of gold for each man: and
in return for this the Delphians gave to Crsus and to the Lydians
precedence in consulting the Oracle and freedom from all payments, and
the right to front seats at the games, with this privilege also for
all time, that any one of them who wished should be allowed to become
a citizen of Delphi. 55. And having made presents to the men of
Delphi, Crsus consulted the Oracle the third time; for from the time
when he learnt the truth of the Oracle, he made abundant use of
it.[59] And consulting the Oracle he inquired whether his monarchy
would endure for a long time. And the Pythian prophetess answered him

"But when it cometh to pass that a mule of the Medes shall be monarch
Then by the pebbly Hermos, O Lydian delicate-footed,
Flee and stay not, and be not ashamed to be calld a coward."

56. By these lines when they came to him Crsus was pleased more than
by all the rest, for he supposed that a mule would never be ruler of
the Medes instead of a man, and accordingly that he himself and his
heirs would never cease from their rule. Then after this he gave
thought to inquire which people of the Hellenes he should esteem the
most powerful and gain over to himself as friends. And inquiring he
found that the Lacedemonians and the Athenians had the pre-eminence,
the first of the Dorian and the others of the Ionian race. For these
were the most eminent races in ancient time, the second being a
Pelasgian and the first a Hellenic race: and the one never migrated
from its place in any direction, while the other was very exceedingly
given to wanderings; for in the reign of Deucalion this race dwelt in
Pthiotis, and in the time of Doros the son of Hellen in the land lying
below Ossa and Olympos, which is called Histiaiotis; and when it was
driven from Histiaiotis by the sons of Cadmos, it dwelt in Pindos and
was called Makednian; and thence it moved afterwards to Dryopis, and
from Dryopis it came finally to Peloponnesus, and began to be called

57. What language however the Pelasgians used to speak I am not able
with certainty to say. But if one must pronounce judging by those that
still remain of the Pelasgians who dwelt in the city of Creston[60]
above the Tyrsenians, and who were once neighbours of the race now
called Dorian, dwelling then in the land which is now called
Thessaliotis, and also by those that remain of the Pelasgians who
settled at Plakia and Skylake in the region of the Hellespont, who
before that had been settlers with the Athenians,[61] and of the
natives of the various other towns which are really Pelasgian, though
they have lost the name,--if one must pronounce judging by these, the
Pelasgians used to speak a Barbarian language. If therefore all the
Pelasgian race was such as these, then the Attic race, being
Pelasgian, at the same time when it changed and became Hellenic,
unlearnt also its language. For the people of Creston do not speak the
same language with any of those who dwell about them, nor yet do the
people of Phakia, but they speak the same language one as the other:
and by this it is proved that they still keep unchanged the form of
language which they brought with them when they migrated to these
places. 58. As for the Hellenic race, it has used ever the same
language, as I clearly perceive, since it first took its rise; but
since the time when it parted off feeble at first from the Pelasgian
race, setting forth from a small beginning it has increased to that
great number of races which we see,[62] and chiefly because many
Barbarian races have been added to it besides. Moreover it is true, as
I think,[62a] of the Pelasgian race also,[63] that so far as it
remained Barbarian it never made any great increase.

59. Of these races then Crsus was informed that the Athenian was held
subject and torn with faction by Peisistratos[64] the son of
Hippocrates, who then was despot of the Athenians. For to Hippocrates,
when as a private citizen he went to view the Olympic games, a great
marvel had occurred. After he had offered the sacrifice, the caldrons
which were standing upon the hearth, full of pieces of flesh and of
water, boiled without fire under them and ran over. And Chilon the
Lacedemonian, who chanced to have been present and to have seen the
marvel, advised Hippocrates first not to bring into his house a wife
to bear him children, and secondly, if he happened to have one
already, to dismiss her, and if he chanced to have a son, to disown
him. When Chilon had thus recommended, Hippocrates, they say, was not
willing to be persuaded, and so there was born to him afterwards this
Peisistratos; who, when the Athenians of the shore[65] were at feud
with those of the plain, Megacles the son of Alcmaion being leader of
the first faction, and Lycurgos the son of Aristolades of that of the
plain, aimed at the despotism for himself and gathered a third party.
So then, after having collected supporters and called himself leader
of the men of the mountain-lands,[66] he contrived a device as
follows:--he inflicted wounds upon himself and upon his mules, and
then drove his car into the market-place, as if he had just escaped
from his opponents, who, as he alleged, had desired to kill him when
he was driving into the country: and he asked the commons that he
might obtain some protection from them, for before this he had gained
reputation in his command against the Megarians, during which he took
Nisaia and performed other signal service. And the commons of the
Athenians being deceived gave him those[67] men chosen from the
dwellers in the city who became not indeed the spear-men[68] of
Peisistratos but his club-men; for they followed behind him bearing
wooden clubs. And these made insurrection with Peisistratos and
obtained possession of the Acropolis. Then Peisistratos was ruler of
the Athenians, not having disturbed the existing magistrates nor
changed the ancient laws; but he administered the State under that
constitution of things which was already established, ordering it
fairly and well. 60. However, no long time after this the followers of
Megacles and those of Lycurgos joined together and drove him forth.
Thus Peisistratos had obtained possession of Athens for the first
time, and thus he lost the power before he had it firmly rooted. But
those who had driven out Peisistratos became afterwards at feud with
one another again. And Megacles, harassed by the party strife,[69]
sent a message to Peisistratos asking whether he was willing to have
his daughter to wife on condition of becoming despot. And Peisistratos
having accepted the proposal and made an agreement on these terms,
they contrived with a view to his return a device the most simple by
far, as I think, that ever was practised, considering at least that it
was devised at a time when the Hellenic race had been long marked off
from the Barbarian as more skilful and further removed from foolish
simplicity, and among the Athenians who are accounted the first of the
Hellenes in ability.[70] In the deme of Paiania there was a woman
whose name was Phya, in height four cubits all but three fingers,[71]
and also fair of form. This woman they dressed in full armour and
caused her to ascend a chariot and showed her the bearing in which she
might best beseem her part,[72] and so they drove to the city, having
sent on heralds to run before them, who, when they arrived at the
city, spoke that which had been commanded them, saying as follows: "O
Athenians, receive with favour Peisistratos, whom Athene herself,
honouring him most of all men, brings back to her Acropolis." So the
heralds went about hither and thither saying this, and straightway
there came to the demes in the country round a report that Athene was
bringing Peisistratos back, while at the same time the men of the
city, persuaded that the woman was the very goddess herself, were
paying worship to the human creature and receiving Peisistratos. 61.
So having received back the despotism in the manner which has been
said, Peisistratos according to the agreement made with Megacles
married the daughter of Megacles; but as he had already sons who were
young men, and as the descendants of Alcmaion were said to be under a
curse,[73] therefore not desiring that children should be born to him
from his newly-married wife, he had commerce with her not in the
accustomed manner. And at first the woman kept this secret, but
afterwards she told her mother, whether in answer to her inquiry or
not I cannot tell; and the mother told her husband Megacles. He then
was very indignant that he should be dishonoured by Peisistratos; and
in his anger straightway he proceeded to compose his quarrel with the
men of his faction. And when Peisistratos heard of that which was
being done against himself, he departed wholly from the land and came
to Eretria, where he took counsel together with his sons: and the
advice of Hippias having prevailed, that they should endeavour to win
back the despotism, they began to gather gifts of money from those
States which owed them obligations for favours received: and many
contributed great sums, but the Thebans surpassed the rest in the
giving of money. Then, not to make the story long, time elapsed and at
last everything was prepared for their return. For certain Argives
came as mercenaries from the Peloponnesus, and a man of Naxos had come
to them of his own motion, whose name was Lygdamis, and showed very
great zeal in providing both money and men. 62. So starting from
Eretria after the lapse of ten years[74] they returned back; and in
Attica the first place of which they took possession was Marathon.
While they were encamping here, their partisans from the city came to
them, and also others flowed in from the various demes, to whom
despotic rule was more welcome than freedom. So these were gathering
themselves together; but the Athenians in the city, so long as
Peisistratos was collecting the money, and afterwards when he took
possession of Marathon, made no account of it; but when they heard
that he was marching from Marathon towards the city, then they went to
the rescue against him. These then were going in full force to fight
against the returning exiles, and the forces of Peisistratos, as they
went towards the city starting from Marathon, met them just when they
came to the temple of Athene Pallenis, and there encamped opposite to
them. Then moved by divine guidance[75] there came into the presence
of Peisistratos Amphilytos the Arcarnanian,[76] a soothsayer, who
approaching him uttered an oracle in hexameter verse, saying thus:

"But now the cast hath been made and the net hath been widely extended,
And in the night the tunnies will dart through the moon-lighted waters."

63. This oracle he uttered to him being divinely inspired, and
Peisistratos, having understood the oracle and having said that he
accepted the prophecy which was uttered, led his army against the
enemy. Now the Athenians from the city were just at that time occupied
with the morning meal, and some of them after their meal with games of
dice or with sleep; and the forces of Peisistratos fell upon the
Athenians and put them to flight. Then as they fled, Peisistratos
devised a very skilful counsel, to the end that the Athenians might
not gather again into one body but might remain scattered abroad. He
mounted his sons on horseback and sent them before him; and overtaking
the fugitives they said that which was commanded them by Peisistratos,
bidding them be of good cheer and that each man should depart to his
own home. 64. Thus then the Athenians did, and so Peisistratos for the
third time obtained possession of Athens, and he firmly rooted his
despotism by many foreign mercenaries and by much revenue of money,
coming partly from the land itself and partly from about the river
Strymon, and also by taking as hostages the sons of those Athenians
who had remained in the land and had not at once fled, and placing
them in the hands of Naxos; for this also Peisistratos conquered by
war and delivered into the charge of Lygdamis. Moreover besides this
he cleansed the island of Delos in obedience to the oracles; and his
cleansing was of the following kind:--so far as the view from the
temple extended[77] he dug up all the dead bodies which were buried in
this part and removed them to another part of Delos. So Peisistratos
was despot of the Athenians; but of the Athenians some had fallen in
the battle, and others of them with the sons of Alcmaion were exiles
from their native land.

65. Such was the condition of things which Crsus heard was prevailing
among the Athenians during this time; but as to the Lacedemonians he
heard that they had escaped from great evils and had now got the
better of the Tegeans in the war. For when Leon and Hegesicles were
kings of Sparta, the Lacedemonians, who had good success in all their
other wars, suffered disaster in that alone which they waged against
the men of Tegea. Moreover in the times before this they had the worst
laws of almost all the Hellenes, both in matters which concerned
themselves alone and also in that they had no dealings with strangers.
And they made their change to a good constitution of laws thus:--
Lycurgos, a man of the Spartans who was held in high repute, came to
the Oracle at Delphi, and as he entered the sanctuary of the
temple,[40] straightway the Pythian prophetess said as follows:

"Lo, thou art come, O Lycurgos, to this rich shrine of my temple,
Loved thou by Zeus and by all who possess the abodes of Olympos.
Whether to call thee a god, I doubt, in my voices prophetic,
God or a man, but rather a god I think, O Lycurgos."

Some say in addition to this that the Pythian prophetess also set
forth to him the order of things which is now established for the
Spartans; but the Lacedemonians themselves say that Lycurgos having
become guardian of Leobotes his brother's son, who was king of the
Spartans, brought in these things from Crete. For as soon as he became
guardian, he changed all the prevailing laws, and took measures that
they should not transgress his institutions: and after this Lycurgos
established that which appertained to war, namely /Enomoties/ and
/Triecads/ and Common Meals,[77a] and in addition to this the Ephors
and the Senate. [66] Having changed thus, the Spartans had good laws;
and to Lycurgos after he was dead they erected a temple, and they pay
him great worship. So then, as might be supposed, with a fertile land
and with no small number of men dwelling in it, they straightway shot
up and became prosperous: and it was no longer sufficient for them to
keep still; but presuming that they were superior in strength to the
Arcadians, they consulted the Oracle at Delphi respecting conquest of
the whole of Arcadia; and the Pythian prophetess gave answer thus:

"The land of Arcadia thou askest; thou askest me much; I refuse it;
Many there are in Arcadian land, stout men, eating acorns;
These will prevent thee from this: but I am not grudging towards thee;
Tegea beaten with sounding feet I will give thee to dance in,
And a fair plain I will give thee to measure with line and divide it."

When the Lacedemonians heard report of this, they held off from the
other Arcadians, and marched against the Tegeans with fetters in their
hands, trusting to a deceitful[78] oracle and expecting that they
would make slaves of the men of Tegea. But having been worsted in the
encounter, those of them who were taken alive worked wearing the
fetters which they themselves brought with them and having "measured
with line and divided"[79] the plain of the Tegeans. And these fetters
with which they had been bound were preserved even to my own time at
Tegea, hanging about the temple of Athene Alea.[80] 67. In the former
war then I say they struggled against the Tegeans continually with ill
success; but in the time of Crsus and in the reign of Anaxandrides
and Ariston at Lacedemon the Spartans had at length become victors in
the war; and they became so in the following manner:--As they
continued to be always worsted in the war by the men of Tegea, they
sent messengers to consult the Oracle at Delphi and inquired what god
they should propitiate in order to get the better of the men of Tegea
in the war: and the Pythian prophetess made answer to them that they
should bring into their land the bones of Orestes the son of
Agamemnon. Then as they were not able to find the grave of Orestes,
they sent men again to go to the god and to inquire about the spot
where Orestes was laid: and when the messengers who were sent asked
this, the prophetess said as follows:

"Tegea there is, in Arcadian land, in a smooth place founded;
Where there do blow two blasts by strong compulsion together;
Stroke too there is and stroke in return, and trouble on trouble.
There Agamemnon's son in the life-giving earth is reposing;
Him if thou bring with thee home, of Tegea thou shalt be master."[81]

When the Lacedemonians had heard this they were none the less far from
finding it out, though they searched all places; until the time that
Lichas, one of those Spartans who are called "Well-doers,"[82]
discovered it. Now the "Well-doers" are of the citizens the eldest who
are passing from the ranks of the "Horsemen," in each year five; and
these are bound during that year in which they pass out from the
"Horsemen," to allow themselves to be sent without ceasing to various
places by the Spartan State. 68. Lichas then, being one of these,
discovered it in Tegea by means both of fortune and ability. For as
there were at that time dealings under truce with the men of Tegea, he
had come to a forge there and was looking at iron being wrought; and
he was in wonder as he saw that which was being done. The smith
therefore, perceiving that he marvelled at it, ceased from his work
and said: "Surely, thou stranger of Lacedemon, if thou hadst seen that
which I once saw, thou wouldst have marvelled much, since now it falls
out that thou dost marvel so greatly at the working of this iron; for
I, desiring in this enclosure to make a well, lighted in my digging
upon a coffin of seven cubits in length; and not believing that ever
there had been men larger than those of the present day, I opened it,
and I saw that the dead body was equal in length to the coffin: then
after I had measured it, I filled in the earth over it again." He then
thus told him of that which he had seen; and the other, having thought
upon that which was told, conjectured that this was Orestes according
to the saying of the Oracle, forming his conjecture in the following
manner:--whereas he saw that the smith had two pairs of bellows, he
concluded that these were the winds spoken of, and that the anvil and
the hammer were the stroke and the stroke in return, and that the iron
which was being wrought was the trouble laid upon trouble, making
comparison by the thought that iron has been discovered for the evil
of mankind. Having thus conjectured he came back to Sparta and
declared the whole matter to the Lacedemonians; and they brought a
charge against him on a fictitious pretext and drove him out into
exile.[83] So having come to Tegea, he told the smith of his evil
fortune and endeavoured to hire from him the enclosure, but at first
he would not allow him to have it: at length however Lichas persuaded
him and he took up his abode there; and he dug up the grave and
gathered together the bones and went with them away to Sparta. From
that time, whenever they made trial of one another, the Lacedemonians
had much the advantage in the war; and by now they had subdued to
themselves the greater part of Peloponnesus besides.

69. Crsus accordingly being informed of all these things was sending
messengers to Sparta with gifts in their hands to ask for an alliance,
having commanded them what they ought to say: and they when they came
said: "Crsus king of the Lydians and also of other nations sent us
hither and saith as follows: O Lacedemonians, whereas the god by an
oracle bade me join with myself the Hellene as a friend, therefore,
since I am informed that ye are the chiefs of Hellas, I invite you
according to the oracle, desiring to be your friend and your ally
apart from all guile and deceit." Thus did Crsus announce to the
Lacedemonians through his messengers; and the Lacedemonians, who
themselves also had heard of the oracle given to Crsus, were pleased
at the coming of the Lydians and exchanged oaths of friendship and
alliance: for they were bound to Crsus also by some services rendered
to them even before this time; since the Lacedemonians had sent to
Sardis and were buying gold there with purpose of using it for the
image of Apollo which is now set up on Mount Thornax in the
Lacedemonian land; and Crsus, when they desired to buy it, gave it
them as a gift. 70. For this reason therefore the Lacedemonians
accepted the alliance, and also because he chose them as his friends,
preferring them to all the other Hellenes. And not only were they
ready themselves when he made his offer, but they caused a mixing-bowl
to be made of bronze, covered outside with figures round the rim and
of such a size as to hold three hundred amphors,[84] and this they
conveyed, desiring to give it as a gift in return to Crsus. This bowl
never came to Sardis for reasons of which two accounts are given as
follows:--The Lacedemonians say that when the bowl was on its way to
Sardis and came opposite the land of Samos, the men of Samos having
heard of it sailed out with ships of war and took it away; but the
Samians themselves say that the Lacedemonians who were conveying the
bowl, finding that they were too late and hearing that Sardis had been
taken and Crsus was a prisoner, sold the bowl in Samos, and certain
private persons bought it and dedicated it as a votive offering in the
temple of Hera; and probably those who had sold it would say when they
returned to Sparta that it had been taken from them by the Samians.

71. Thus then it happened about the mixing-bowl: but meanwhile Crsus,
mistaking the meaning of the oracle, was making a march into
Cappadokia, expecting to overthrow Cyrus and the power of the
Persians: and while Crsus was preparing to march against the
Persians, one of the Lydians, who even before this time was thought to
be a wise man but in consequence of this opinion got a very great name
for wisdom among the Lydians, had advised Crsus as follows (the name
of the man was Sandanis):--"O king, thou art preparing to march
against men who wear breeches of leather, and the rest of their
clothing is of leather also; and they eat food not such as they desire
but such as they can obtain, dwelling in a land which is rugged; and
moreover they make no use of wine but drink water; and no figs have
they for dessert, nor any other good thing. On the one hand, if thou
shalt overcome them, what wilt thou take away from them, seeing they
have nothing? and on the other hand, if thou shalt be overcome,
consider how many good things thou wilt lose; for once having tasted
our good things, they will cling to them fast and it will not be
possible to drive them away. I for my own part feel gratitude to the
gods that they do not put it into the minds of the Persians to march
against the Lydians." Thus he spoke not persuading Crsus: for it is
true indeed that the Persians before they subdued the Lydians had no
luxury nor any good thing.

72. Now the Cappadokians are called by the Hellenes Syrians;[85] and
these Syrians, before the Persians had rule, were subjects of the
Medes, but at this time they were subjects of Cyrus. For the boundary
between the Median empire and the Lydian was the river Halys; and this
flows from the mountain-land of Armenia through the Kilikians, and
afterwards, as it flows, it has the Matienians on the right hand and
the Phrygians on the other side; then passing by these and flowing up
towards the North Wind, it bounds on the one side the Cappadokian
Syrians and on the left hand the Paphlagonians. Thus the river Halys
cuts off from the rest almost all the lower parts of Asia by a line
extending from the sea that is opposite Cyprus to the Euxine. And this
tract is the neck of the whole peninsula, the distance of the journey
being such that five days are spent on the way by a man without

73. Now for the following reasons Crsus was marching into Cappadokia:
--first because he desired to acquire the land in addition to his own
possessions, and then especially because he had confidence in the
oracle and wished to take vengeance on Cyrus for Astyages. For Cyrus
the son of Cambyses had conquered Astyages and was keeping him in
captivity, who was brother by marriage to Crsus and king of the
Medes: and he had become the brother by marriage of Crsus in this
manner:--A horde of the nomad Scythians at feud with the rest withdrew
and sought refuge in the land of the Medes: and at this time the ruler
of the Medes was Kyaxares the son of Phraortes, the son of Deokes,
who at first dealt well with these Scythians, being suppliants for his
protection; and esteeming them very highly he delivered boys to them
to learn their speech and the art of shooting with the bow. Then time
went by, and the Scythians used to go out continually to the chase and
always brought back something; till once it happened that they took
nothing, and when they returned with empty hands Kyaxares (being, as
he showed on this occasion, not of an eminently good disposition[87])
dealt with them very harshly and used insult towards them. And they,
when they had received this treatment from Kyaxares, considering that
they had suffered indignity, planned to kill and to cut up one of the
boys who were being instructed among them, and having dressed his
flesh as they had been wont to dress the wild animals, to bear it to
Kyaxares and give it to him, pretending that it was game taken in
hunting; and when they had given it, their design was to make their
way as quickly as possible to Alyattes the son of Sadyattes at Sardis.
This then was done; and Kyaxares with the guests who ate at his table
tasted of that meat, and the Scythians having so done became
suppliants for the protection of Alyattes. 74. After this, seeing that
Alyattes would not give up the Scythians when Kyaxares demanded them,
there had arisen war between the Lydians and the Medes lasting five
years; in which years the Medes often discomfited the Lydians and the
Lydians often discomfited the Medes (and among others they fought also
a battle by night):[88] and as they still carried on the war with
equally balanced fortune, in the sixth year a battle took place in
which it happened, when the fight had begun, that suddenly the day
became night. And this change of the day Thales the Milesian had
foretold to the Ionians laying down as a limit this very year in which
the change took place. The Lydians however and the Medes, when they
saw that it had become night instead of day, ceased from their
fighting and were much more eager both of them that peace should be
made between them. And they who brought about the peace between them
were Syennesis the Kilikian and Labynetos the Babylonian:[89] these
were they who urged also the taking of the oath by them, and they
brought about an interchange of marriages; for they decided that
Alyattes should give his daughter Aryenis to Astyages the son of
Kyaxares, seeing that without the compulsion of a strong tie
agreements are apt not to hold strongly together. Now these nations
observe the same ceremonies in taking oaths as the Hellenes, and in
addition to them they make incision into the skin of their arms, and
then lick up the blood each of the other.

75. This Astyages then, being his mother's father, Cyrus had conquered
and made prisoner for a reason which I shall declare in the history
which comes after.[90] This then was the complaint which Crsus had
against Cyrus when he sent to the Oracles to ask if he should march
against the Persians; and when a deceitful answer had come back to
him, he marched into the dominion of the Persians, supposing that the
answer was favourable to himself. And when Crsus came to the river
Halys, then, according to my account, he passed his army across by the
bridges which there were; but, according to the account which prevails
among the Hellenes, Thales the Milesian enabled him to pass his army
across. For, say they, when Crsus was at a loss how his army should
pass over the river (since, they add, there were not yet at that time
the bridges which now there are), Thales being present in the army
caused the river, which flowed then on the left hand of the army, to
flow partly also on the right; and he did it thus:--beginning above
the camp he proceeded to dig a deep channel, directing it in the form
of a crescent moon, so that the river might take the camp there
pitched in the rear, being turned aside from its ancient course by
this way along the channel, and afterwards passing by the camp might
fall again into its ancient course; so that as soon as the river was
thus parted in two it became fordable by both branches: and some say
even that the ancient course of the river was altogether dried up. But
this tale I do not admit as true, for how then did they pass over the
river as they went back? 76. And Crsus, when he had passed over with
his army, came to that place in Cappadokia which is called Pteria (now
Pteria is the strongest place in this country, and is situated
somewhere about in a line with the city of Sinope[91] on the Euxine).
Here he encamped and ravaged the fields of the Syrians. Moreover he
took the city of the Pterians, and sold the people into slavery, and
he took also all the towns that lay about it; and the Syrians, who
were not guilty of any wrong, he forced to remove from their
homes.[92] Meanwhile Cyrus, having gathered his own forces and having
taken up in addition to them all who dwelt in the region between, was
coming to meet Crsus. Before he began however to lead forth his army,
he had sent heralds to the Ionians and tried to induce them to revolt
from Crsus; but the Ionians would not do as he said. Then when Cyrus
was come and had encamped over against Crsus, they made trial of one
another by force of arms in the land of Pteria: and after hard
fighting, when many had fallen on both sides, at length, night having
come on, they parted from one the other with no victory on either

77. Thus the two armies contended with one another: and Crsus being
ill satisfied with his own army in respect of number (for the army
which he had when he fought was far smaller than that of Cyrus), being
dissatisfied with it I say on this account, as Cyrus did not attempt
to advance against him on the following day, marched back to Sardis,
having it in his mind to call the Egyptians to his help according to
the oath which they had taken (for he had made an alliance with Amasis
king of Egypt before he made the alliance with the Lacedemonians), and
to summon the Babylonians as well (for with these also an alliance had
been concluded by him, Labynetos[93] being at that time ruler of the
Babylonians), and moreover to send a message to the Lacedemonians
bidding them appear at a fixed time: and then after he had got all
these together and had gathered his own army, his design was to let
the winter go by and at the coming of spring to march against the
Persians. So with these thoughts in his mind, as soon as he came to
Sardis he proceeded to send heralds to his several allies to give them
notice that by the fifth month from that time they should assemble at
Sardis: but the army which he had with him and which had fought with
the Persians, an army which consisted of mercenary troops,[94] he let
go and disbanded altogether, never expecting that Cyrus, after having
contended against him with such even fortune, would after all march
upon Sardis.

78. When Crsus had these plans in his mind, the suburb of the city
became of a sudden all full of serpents; and when these had appeared,
the horses leaving off to feed in their pastures came constantly
thither and devoured them. When Crsus saw this he deemed it to be a
portent, as indeed it was: and forthwith he despatched messengers to
the dwelling of the Telmessians, who interpret omens: and the
messengers who were sent to consult arrived there and learnt from the
Telmessians what the portent meant to signify, but they did not
succeed in reporting the answer to Crsus, for before they sailed back
to Sardis Crsus had been taken prisoner. The Telmessians however gave
decision thus: that an army speaking a foreign tongue was to be looked
for by Crsus to invade his land, and that this when it came would
subdue the native inhabitants; for they said that the serpent was born
of the soil, while the horse was an enemy and a stranger. The men of
Telmessos thus made answer to Crsus after he was already taken
prisoner, not knowing as yet anything of the things which had happened
to Sardis and to Crsus himself.

79. Cyrus, however, so soon as Crsus marched away after the battle
which had been fought in Pteria, having learnt that Crsus meant after
he had marched away to disband his army, took counsel with himself and
concluded that it was good for him to march as quickly as possible to
Sardis, before the power of the Lydians should be again gathered
together. So when he had resolved upon this, he did it without delay:
for he marched his army into Lydia with such speed that he was himself
the first to announce his coming to Crsus. Then Crsus, although he
had come to a great strait, since his affairs had fallen out
altogether contrary to his own expectation, yet proceeded to lead
forth the Lydians into battle. Now there was at this time no nation in
Asia more courageous or more stout in battle than the Lydian; and they
fought on horseback carrying long spears, the men being excellent in
horsemanship. 80. So when the armies had met in that plain which is in
front of the city of Sardis,--a plain wide and open, through which
flow rivers (and especially the river Hyllos) all rushing down to join
the largest called Hermos, which flows from the mountain sacred to the
Mother surnamed "of Dindymos"[95] and runs out into the sea by the
city of Phocaia,--then Cyrus, when he saw the Lydians being arrayed
for battle, fearing their horsemen, did on the suggestion of Harpagos
a Mede as follows:--all the camels which were in the train of his army
carrying provisions and baggage he gathered together, and he took off
their burdens and set men upon them provided with the equipment of
cavalry: and having thus furnished them forth he appointed them to go
in front of the rest of the army towards the horsemen of Crsus; and
after the camel-troop he ordered the infantry to follow; and behind
the infantry he placed his whole force of cavalry. Then when all his
men had been placed in their several positions, he charged them to
spare none of the other Lydians, slaying all who might come in their
way, but Crsus himself they were not to slay, not even if he should
make resistance when he was captured. Such was his charge: and he set
the camels opposite the horsemen for this reason,--because the horse
has a fear of the camel and cannot endure either to see his form or to
scent his smell: for this reason then the trick had been devised, in
order that the cavalry of Crsus might be useless, that very force
wherewith the Lydian king was expecting most to shine. And as they
were coming together to the battle, so soon as the horses scented the
camels and saw them they turned away back, and the hopes of Crsus
were at once brought to nought. The Lydians however for their part did
not upon that act as cowards, but when they perceived what was coming
to pass they leapt from their horses and fought with the Persians on
foot. At length, however, when many had fallen on either side, the
Lydians turned to flight; and having been driven within the wall of
their fortress they were besieged by the Persians.

81. By these then a siege had been established: but Crsus, supposing
that the siege would last a long time, proceeded to send from the
fortress other messengers to his allies. For the former messengers
were sent round to give notice that they should assemble at Sardis by
the fifth month, but these he was sending out to ask them to come to
his assistance as quickly as possible, because Crsus was being
besieged. 83. So then in sending to his other allies he sent also to
Lacedemon. But these too, the Spartans I mean, had themselves at this
very time (for so it had fallen out) a quarrel in hand with the
Argives about the district called Thyrea. For this Thyrea, being part
of the Argive possessions, the Lacedemonians had cut off and taken for
themselves. Now the whole region towards the west extending as far
down as Malea[96] was then possessed by the Argives, both the parts
situated on the mainland and also the island of Kythera with the other
islands. And when the Argives had come to the rescue to save their
territory from being cut off from them, then the two sides came to a
parley together and agreed that three hundred should fight of each
side, and whichever side had the better in the fight that nation
should possess the disputed land: they agreed moreover that the main
body of each army should withdraw to their own country, and not stand
by while the contest was fought, for fear lest, if the armies were
present, one side seeing their countrymen suffering defeat should come
up to their support. Having made this agreement they withdrew; and
chosen men of both sides were left behind and engaged in fight with
one another. So they fought and proved themselves to be equally
matched; and there were left at last of six hundred men three, on the
side of the Argives Alkenor and Chromios, and on the side of the
Lacedemonians Othryades: these were left alive when night came on. So
then the two men of the Argives, supposing that they were the victors,
set off to run to Argos, but the Lacedemonian Othryades, after having
stripped the corpses of the Argives and carried their arms to his own
camp, remained in his place. On the next day both the two sides came
thither to inquire about the result; and for some time both claimed
the victory for themselves, the one side saying that of them more had
remained alive, and the others declaring that these had fled away,
whereas their own man had stood his ground and had stripped the
corpses of the other party: and at length by reason of this dispute
they fell upon one another and began to fight; and after many had
fallen on both sides, the Lacedemonians were the victors. The Argives
then cut their hair short, whereas formerly they were compelled by law
to wear it long, and they made a law with a curse attached to it, that
from that time forth no man of the Argives should grow the hair long
nor their women wear ornaments of gold, until they should have won
back Thyrea. The Lacedemonians however laid down for themselves the
opposite law to this, namely that they should wear long hair from that
time forward, whereas before that time they had not their hair long.
And they say that the one man who was left alive of the three hundred,
namely Othryades, being ashamed to return to Sparta when all his
comrades had been slain, slew himself there in Thyrea. 83. Such was
the condition of things at Sparta when the herald from Sardis arrived
asking them to come to the assistance of Crsus, who was being
besieged. And they notwithstanding their own difficulties, as soon as
they heard the news from the herald, were eager to go to his
assistance; but when they had completed their preparations and their
ships were ready, there came another message reporting that the
fortress of the Lydians had been taken and that Crsus had been made
prisoner. Then (and not before) they ceased from their efforts, being
grieved at the event as at a great calamity.

84. Now the taking of Sardis came about as follows:--When the
fourteenth day came after Crsus began to be besieged, Cyrus made
proclamation to his army, sending horsemen round to the several parts
of it, that he would give gifts to the man who should first scale the
wall. After this the army made an attempt; and when it failed, then
after all the rest had ceased from the attack, a certain Mardian whose
name was Hyroiades made an attempt to approach on that side of the
citadel where no guard had been set; for they had no fear that it
would ever be taken from that side, seeing that here the citadel is
precipitous and unassailable. To this part of the wall alone Meles
also, who formerly was king of Sardis, did not carry round the lion
which his concubine bore to him, the Telmessians having given decision
that if the lion should be carried round the wall, Sardis should be
safe from capture: and Meles having carried it round the rest of the
wall, that is to say those parts of the citadel where the fortress was
open to attack, passed over this part as being unassailable and
precipitous: now this is a part of the city which is turned towards
Tmolos. So then this[97] Mardian Hyroiades, having seen on the day
before how one of the Lydians had descended on that side of the
citadel to recover his helmet which had rolled down from above, and
had picked it up, took thought and cast the matter about in his own
mind. Then he himself[98] ascended first, and after him came up others
of the Persians, and many having thus made approach, Sardis was
finally taken and the whole city was given up to plunder. 85.
Meanwhile to Crsus himself it happened thus:--He had a son, of whom I
made mention before, who was of good disposition enough but deprived
of speech. Now in his former time of prosperity Crsus had done
everything that was possible for him, and besides other things which
he devised he had also sent messengers to Delphi to inquire concerning
him. And the Pythian prophetess spoke to him thus:

"Lydian, master of many, much blind to destiny, Crsus,
Do not desire to hear in thy halls that voice which is prayed for,
Voice of thy son; much better if this from thee were removd,
Since he shall first utter speech in an evil day of misfortune."

Now when the fortress was being taken, one of the Persians was about
to slay Crsus taking him for another; and Crsus for his part, seeing
him coming on, cared nothing for it because of the misfortune which
was upon him, and to him it was indifferent that he should be slain by
the stroke; but this voiceless son, when he saw the Persian coming on,
by reason of terror and affliction burst the bonds of his utterance
and said: "Man, slay not Crsus." This son, I say, uttered voice then
first of all, but after this he continued to use speech for the whole
time of his life. 86. The Persians then had obtained possession of
Sardis and had taken Crsus himself prisoner, after he had reigned
fourteen years and had been besieged fourteen days, having fulfilled
the oracle in that he had brought to an end his own great empire. So
the Persians having taken him brought him into the presence of Cyrus:
and he piled up a great pyre and caused Crsus to go up upon it bound
in fetters, and along with him twice seven sons of Lydians, whether it
was that he meant to dedicate this offering as first-fruits of his
victory to some god, or whether he desired to fulfil a vow, or else
had heard that Crsus was a god-fearing man and so caused him to go up
on the pyre because he wished to know if any one of the divine powers
would save him, so that he should not be burnt alive. He, they say,
did this; but to Crsus as he stood upon the pyre there came, although
he was in such evil case, a memory of the saying of Solon, how he had
said with divine inspiration that no one of the living might be called
happy. And when this thought came into his mind, they say that he
sighed deeply[99] and groaned aloud, having been for long silent, and
three times he uttered the name of Solon. Hearing this, Cyrus bade the
interpreters ask Crsus who was this person on whom he called; and
they came near and asked. And Crsus for a time, it is said, kept
silence when he was asked this, but afterwards being pressed he said:
"One whom more than much wealth I should have desired to have speech
with all monarchs." Then, since his words were of doubtful import,
they asked again of that which he said; and as they were urgent with
him and gave him no peace, he told how once Solon an Athenian had
come, and having inspected all his wealth had made light of it, with
such and such words; and how all had turned out for him according as
Solon had said, not speaking at all especially with a view to Crsus
himself, but with a view to the whole human race and especially those
who seem to themselves to be happy men. And while Crsus related these
things, already the pyre was lighted and the edges of it round about
were burning. Then they say that Cyrus, hearing from the interpreters
what Crsus had said, changed his purpose and considered that he
himself also was but a man, and that he was delivering another man,
who had been not inferior to himself in felicity, alive to the fire;
and moreover he feared the requital, and reflected that there was
nothing of that which men possessed which was secure; therefore, they
say, he ordered them to extinguish as quickly as possible the fire
that was burning, and to bring down Crsus and those who were with him
from the pyre; and they using endeavours were not able now to get the
mastery of the flames. 87. Then it is related by the Lydians that
Crsus, having learned how Cyrus had changed his mind, and seeing that
every one was trying to put out the fire but that they were no longer
able to check it, cried aloud entreating Apollo that if any gift had
ever been given by him which had been acceptable to the god, he would
come to his aid and rescue him from the evil which was now upon him.
So he with tears entreated the god, and suddenly, they say, after
clear sky and calm weather clouds gathered and a storm burst, and it
rained with a very violent shower, and the pyre was extinguished. Then
Cyrus, having perceived that Crsus was a lover of the gods and a good
man, caused him to be brought down from the pyre and asked him as
follows: "Crsus, tell me who of all men was it who persuaded thee to
march upon my land and so to become an enemy to me instead of a
friend?" and he said: "O king, I did this to thy felicity and to my
own misfortune, and the causer of this was the god of the Hellenes,
who incited me to march with my army. For no one is so senseless as to
choose of his own will war rather peace, since in peace the sons bury
their fathers, but in war the fathers bury their sons. But it was
pleasing, I suppose, to the divine powers that these things should
come to pass thus."

88. So he spoke, and Cyrus loosed his bonds and caused him to sit near
himself and paid to him much regard, and he marvelled both himself and
all who were about him at the sight of Crsus. And Crsus wrapt in
thought was silent; but after a time, turning round and seeing the
Persians plundering the city of the Lydians, he said: "O king, must I
say to thee that which I chance to have in my thought, or must I keep
silent in this my present fortune?" Then Cyrus bade him say boldly
whatsoever he desired; and he asked him saying: "What is the business
that this great multitude of men is doing with so much eagerness?" and
he said: "They are plundering thy city and carrying away thy wealth."
And Crsus answered: "Neither is it my city that they are plundering
nor my wealth which they are carrying away; for I have no longer any
property in these things: but it is thy wealth that they are carrying
and driving away." 89. And Cyrus was concerned by that which Crsus
had said, and he caused all the rest to withdraw and asked Crsus what
he discerned for his advantage as regards that which was being done;
and he said: "Since the gods gave me to thee as a slave, I think it
right if I discern anything more than others to signify it to thee.
The Persians, who are by nature unruly,[100] are without wealth: if
therefore thou shalt suffer them to carry off in plunder great wealth
and to take possession of it, then it is to be looked for that thou
wilt experience this result, thou must expect namely that whosoever
gets possession of the largest share will make insurrection against
thee. Now therefore, if that which I say is pleasing to thee, do this:
--set spearmen of thy guard to watch at all the gates, and let these
take away the things, and say to the men who were bearing them out of
the city that they must first be tithed for Zeus: and thus thou on the
one hand wilt not be hated by them for taking away the things by
force, and they on the other will willingly let the things go,[101]
acknowledging within themselves that thou art doing that which is
just." 90. Hearing this, Cyrus was above measure pleased, because he
thought that Crsus advised well; and he commended him much and
enjoined the spearmen of his guard to perform that which Crsus had
advised: and after that he spoke to Crsus thus: "Crsus, since thou
art prepared, like a king as thou art, to do good deeds and speak good
words, therefore ask me for a gift, whatsoever thou desirest to be
given thee forthwith." And he said: "Master, thou wilt most do me a
pleasure if thou wilt permit me to send to the god of the Hellenes,
whom I honoured most of all gods, these fetters, and to ask him
whether it is accounted by him right to deceive those who do well to
him." Then Cyrus asked him what accusation he made against the god,
that he thus requested; and Crsus repeated to him all that had been
in his mind, and the answers of the Oracles, and especially the votive
offerings, and how he had been incited by the prophecy to march upon
the Persians: and thus speaking he came back again to the request that
it might be permitted to him to make this reproach[102] against the
god. And Cyrus laughed and said: "Not this only shalt thou obtain from
me, Crsus, but also whatsoever thou mayst desire of me at any time."
Hearing this Crsus sent certain of the Lydians to Delphi, enjoining
them to lay the fetters upon the threshold of the temple and to ask
the god whether he felt no shame that he had incited Crsus by his
prophecies to march upon the Persians, persuading him that he should
bring to an end the empire of Cyrus, seeing that these were the first-
fruits of spoil which he had won from it,--at the same time displaying
the fetters. This they were to ask, and moreover also whether it was
thought right by the gods of the Hellenes to practice ingratitude. 91.
When the Lydians came and repeated that which they were enjoined to
say, it is related that the Pythian prophetess spoke as follows: "The
fated destiny it is impossible even for a god to escape. And Crsus
paid the debt due for the sin of his fifth ancestor, who being one of
the spearmen of the Heracleidai followed the treacherous device of a
woman, and having slain his master took possession of his royal
dignity, which belonged not to him of right. And although Loxias
eagerly desired that the calamity of Sardis might come upon the sons
of Crsus and not upon Crsus himself, it was not possible for him to
draw the Destinies aside from their course; but so much as these
granted he brought to pass, and gave it as a gift to Crsus: for he
put off the taking of Sardis by three years; and let Crsus be assured
that he was taken prisoner later by these years than the fated time:
moreover secondly, he assisted him when he was about to be burnt. And
as to the oracle which was given, Crsus finds fault with good ground:
for Loxias told him beforehand that if he should march upon the
Persians he should destroy a great empire: and he upon hearing this,
if he wished to take counsel well, ought to have sent and asked
further whether the god meant his own empire or that of Cyrus: but as
he did not comprehend that which was uttered and did not ask again,
let him pronounce himself to be the cause of that which followed. To
him also[103] when he consulted the Oracle for the last time Loxias
said that which he said concerning a mule; but this also he failed to
comprehend: for Cyrus was in fact this mule, seeing that he was born
of parents who were of two different races, his mother being of nobler
descent and his father of less noble: for she was a Median woman,
daughter of Astyages and king of the Medes, but he was a Persian, one
of a race subject to the Medes, and being inferior in all respects he
was the husband of one who was his royal mistress." Thus the Pythian
prophetess replied to the Lydians, and they brought the answer back to
Sardis and repeated it to Crsus; and he, when he heard it,
acknowledged that the fault was his own and not that of the god. With
regard then to the empire of Crsus and the first conquest of Ionia,
it happened thus.

92. Now there are in Hellas many other votive offerings made by Crsus
and not only those which have been mentioned: for first at Thebes of
the Botians there is a tripod of gold, which he dedicated to the
Ismenian Apollo; then at Ephesos there are the golden cows and the
greater number of the pillars of the temple; and in the temple of
Athene Pronaia at Delphi a large golden shield. These were still
remaining down to my own time, but others of his votive offerings have
perished: and the votive offerings of Crsus at Branchidai of the
Milesians were, as I am told, equal in weight and similar to those at
Delphi. Now those which he sent to Delphi and to the temple of
Amphiaraos he dedicated of his own goods and as first-fruits of the
wealth inherited from his father; but the other offerings were made of
the substance of a man who was his foe, who before Crsus became king
had been factious against him and had joined in endeavouring to make
Pantaleon ruler of the Lydians. Now Pantaleon was a son of Alyattes
and a brother of Crsus, but not by the same mother, for Crsus was
born to Alyattes of a Carian woman, but Pantaleon of an Ionian. And
when Crsus had gained possession of the kingdom by the gift of his
father, he put to death the man who opposed him, drawing him upon the
carding-comb; and his property, which even before that time he had
vowed to dedicate, he then offered in the manner mentioned to those
shrines which have been named. About his votive offerings let it
suffice to have said so much.

93. Of marvels to be recorded the land of Lydia has no great store as
compared with other lands,[104] excepting the gold-dust which is
carried down from Tmolos; but one work it has to show which is larger
far than any other except only those in Egypt and Babylon: for there
is there the sepulchral monument of Alyattes the father of Crsus, of
which the base is made of larger stones and the rest of the monument
is of earth piled up. And this was built by contributions of those who
practised trade and of the artisans and the girls who plied their
traffic there; and still there existed to my own time boundary-stones
five in number erected upon the monument above, on which were carved
inscriptions telling how much of the work was done by each class; and
upon measurement it was found that the work of the girls was the
greatest in amount. For the daughters of the common people in Lydia
practice prostitution one and all, to gather for themselves dowries,
continuing this until the time when they marry; and the girls give
themselves away in marriage. Now the circuit of the monument is six
furlongs and two hundred feet,[105] and the breadth is thirteen
hundred feet.[106] And adjoining the monument is a great lake, which
the Lydians say has a never-failing supply of water, and it is called
the lake of Gyges.[107] Such is the nature of this monument.

94. Now the Lydians have very nearly the same customs as the Hellenes,
with the exception that they prostitute their female children; and
they were the first of men, so far as we know, who struck and used
coin of gold or silver; and also they were the first retail-traders.
And the Lydians themselves say that the games which are now in use
among them and among the Hellenes were also their invention. These
they say were invented among them at the same time as they colonised
Tyrsenia,[108] and this is the account they give of them:--In the
reign of Atys the son of Manes their king there came to be a grievous
dearth over the whole of Lydia; and the Lydians for a time continued
to endure it, but afterwards, as it did not cease, they sought for
remedies; and one devised one thing and another of them devised
another thing. And then were discovered, they say, the ways of playing
with the dice and the knucklebones and the ball, and all the other
games excepting draughts (for the discovery of this last is not
claimed by the Lydians). These games they invented as a resource
against the famine, and thus they used to do:--on one of the days they
would play games all the time in order that they might not feel the
want of food, and on the next they ceased from their games and had
food: and thus they went on for eighteen years. As however the evil
did not slacken but pressed upon them ever more and more, therefore
their king divided the whole Lydian people into two parts, and he
appointed by lot one part to remain and the other to go forth from the
land; and the king appointed himself to be over that one of the parts
which had the lot to stay in the land, and his son to be over that
which was departing; and the name of his son was Tyrsenos. So the one
party of them, having obtained the lot to go forth from the land, went
down to the sea at Smyrna and built ships for themselves, wherein they
placed all the movable goods which they had and sailed away to seek
for means of living and a land to dwell in; until after passing by
many nations they came at last to the land of the Ombricans,[109] and
there they founded cities and dwell up to the present time: and
changing their name they were called after the king's son who led them
out from home, not Lydians but Tyrsenians, taking the name from him.


The Lydians then had been made subject to the Persians as I say: 95,
and after this our history proceeds to inquire about Cyrus, who he was
that destroyed the empire of Crsus, and about the Persians, in what
manner they obtained the lead of Asia. Following then the report of
some of the Persians,--those I mean who do not desire to glorify the
history of Cyrus but to speak that which is in fact true,--according
to their report, I say, I shall write; but I could set forth also the
other forms of the story in three several ways.

The Assyrians ruled Upper Asia[110] for five hundred and twenty years,
and from them the Medes were the first who made revolt. These having
fought for their freedom with the Assyrians proved themselves good
men, and thus they pushed off the yoke of slavery from themselves and
were set free; and after them the other nations also did the same as
the Medes: and when all on the continent were thus independent, they
returned again to despotic rule as follows:--96. There appeared among
the Medes a man of great ability whose name was Deokes, and this man
was the son of Phraortes. This Deokes, having formed a desire for
despotic power, did thus:--whereas the Medes dwelt in separate
villages, he, being even before that time of great repute in his own
village, set himself to practise just dealing much more and with
greater zeal than before; and this he did although there was much
lawlessness throughout the whole of Media, and although he knew that
injustice is ever at feud with justice. And the Medes of the same
village, seeing his manners, chose him for their judge. So he, since
he was aiming at power, was upright and just, and doing thus he had no
little praise from his fellow-citizens, insomuch that those of the
other villages learning that Deokes was a man who more than all
others gave decision rightly, whereas before this they had been wont
to suffer from unjust judgments, themselves also when they heard it
came gladly to Deokes to have their causes determined, and at last
they trusted the business to no one else. 97. Then, as more and more
continually kept coming to him, because men learnt that his decisions
proved to be according to the truth, Deokes perceiving that
everything was referred to himself would no longer sit in the place
where he used formerly to sit in public to determine causes, and said
that he would determine causes no more, for it was not profitable for
him to neglect his own affairs and to determine causes for his
neighbours all through the day. So then, since robbery and lawlessness
prevailed even much more in the villages than they did before, the
Medes having assembled together in one place considered with one
another and spoke about the state in which they were: and I suppose
the friends of Deokes spoke much to this effect: "Seeing that we are
not able to dwell in the land under the present order of things, let
us set up a king from among ourselves, and thus the land will be well
governed and we ourselves shall turn to labour, and shall not be
ruined by lawlessness." By some such words as these they persuaded
themselves to have a king. 98. And when they straightway proposed the
question whom they should set up to be king, Deokes was much put
forward and commended by every one, until at last they agreed that he
should be their king. And he bade them build for him a palace worthy
of the royal dignity and strengthen him with a guard of spearmen. And
the Medes did so: for they built him a large and strong palace in that
part of the land which he told them, and they allowed him to select
spearmen from all the Medes. And when he had obtained the rule over
them, he compelled the Medes to make one fortified city and pay chief
attention to this, having less regard to the other cities. And as the
Medes obeyed him in this also, he built large and strong walls, those
which are now called Agbatana, standing in circles one within the
other. And this wall is so contrived that one circle is higher than
the next by the height of the battlements alone. And to some extent, I
suppose, the nature of the ground, seeing that it is on a hill,
assists towards this end; but much more was it produced by art, since
the circles are in all seven in number.[111] And within the last
circle are the royal palace and the treasure-houses. The largest of
these walls is in size about equal to the circuit of the wall round
Athens; and of the first circle the battlements are white, of the
second black, of the third crimson, of the fourth blue, of the fifth
red: thus are the battlements of all the circles coloured with various
tints, and the two last have their battlements one of them overlaid
with silver and the other with gold. 99. These walls then Deokes
built for himself and round his own palace, and the people he
commanded to dwell round about the wall. And after all was built,
Deokes established the rule, which he was the first to establish,
ordaining that none should enter into the presence of the king, but
that they deal with him always through messengers; and that the king
should be seen by no one; and moreover that to laugh or to spit in
presence is unseemly, and this last for every one without
exception.[112] Now he surrounded himself with this state[113] to the
end that his fellows, who had been brought up with him and were of no
meaner family nor behind him in manly virtue, might not be grieved by
seeing him and make plots against him, but that being unseen by them
he might be thought to be of different mould. 100. Having set these
things in order and strengthened himself in his despotism, he was
severe in preserving justice; and the people used to write down their
causes and send them in to his presence, and he determined the
questions which were brought in to him and sent them out again. Thus
he used to do about the judgment of causes; and he also took order for
this, that is to say, if he heard that any one was behaving in an
unruly manner, he sent for him and punished him according as each act
of wrong deserved, and he had watchers and listeners about all the
land over which he ruled.

101. Deokes then united the Median race alone, and was ruler of this:
and of the Medes there are the tribes which here follow, namely,
Busai, Paretakenians, Struchates, Arizantians, Budians, Magians: the
tribes of the Medes are so many in number. 102. Now the son of Deokes
was Phraortes, who when Deokes was dead, having been king for three-
and-fifty years, received the power in succession; and having received
it he was not satisfied to be ruler of the Medes alone, but marched
upon the Persians; and attacking them first before others, he made
these first subject to the Medes. After this, being ruler of these two
nations and both of them strong, he proceeded to subdue Asia going
from one nation to another, until at last he marched against the
Assyrians, those Assyrians I mean who dwelt at Nineveh, and who
formerly had been rulers of the whole, but at that time they were left
without support their allies having revolted from them, though at home
they were prosperous enough.[114] Phraortes marched, I say, against
these, and was both himself slain, after he had reigned two-and-twenty
years, and the greater part of his army was destroyed.

103. When Phraortes had brought his life to an end, Kyaxares the son
of Phraortes, the son of Deokes, received the power. This king is
said to have been yet much more warlike than his forefathers; and he
first banded the men of Asia into separate divisions, that is to say,
he first arrayed apart from one another the spearmen and the archers
and the horsemen, for before that time they were all mingled together
without distinction. This was he who fought with the Lydians when the

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