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THE HISTORY OF HERODOTUS, Volume 1 by Herodotus

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day became night as they fought, and who also united under his rule
the whole of Asia above the river Halys.[115] And having gathered
together all his subjects he marched upon Nineveh to avenge his
father, and also because he desired to conquer that city. And when he
had fought a battle with the Assyrians and had defeated them, while he
was sitting down before Nineveh there came upon him a great army of
Scythians,[116] and the leader of them was Madyas the son of
Protohyas, king of the Scythians. These had invaded Asia after driving
the Kimmerians out of Europe, and in pursuit of them as they fled they
had come to the land of Media. 104. Now from the Maiotian lake to the
river Phasis and to the land of the Colchians is a journey of thirty
days for one without encumbrance;[117] and from Colchis it is not far
to pass over to Media, for there is only one nation between them, the
Saspeirians, and passing by this nation you are in Media. However the
Scythians did not make their invasion by this way, but turned aside
from it to go by the upper road[118] which is much longer, keeping
Mount Caucasus on their right hand. Then the Medes fought with the
Scythians, and having been worsted in the battle they lost their
power, and the Scythians obtained rule over all Asia. 105. Thence they
went on to invade Egypt; and when they were in Syria which is called
Palestine, Psammetichos king of Egypt met them; and by gifts and
entreaties he turned them from their purpose, so that they should not
advance any further: and as they retreated, when they came to the city
of Ascalon in Syria, most of the Scythians passed through without
doing any damage, but a few of them who had stayed behind plundered
the temple of Aphrodite Urania. Now this temple, as I find by inquiry,
is the most ancient of all the temples which belong to this goddess;
for the temple in Cyprus was founded from this, as the people of
Cyprus themselves report, and it was the Phenicians who founded the
temple in Kythera, coming from this land of Syria. So these Scythians
who had plundered the temple at Ascalon, and their descendants for
ever, were smitten by the divinity[119] with a disease which made them
women instead of men: and the Scythians say that it was for this
reason that they were diseased, and that for this reason travellers
who visit Scythia now, see among them the affection of those who by
the Scythians are called /Enares/.

106. For eight-and-twenty years then the Scythians were rulers of
Asia, and by their unruliness and reckless behaviour everything was
ruined; for on the one hand they exacted that in tribute from each
people which they laid upon them,[120] and apart from the tribute they
rode about and carried off by force the possessions of each tribe.
Then Kyaxares with the Medes, having invited the greater number of
them to a banquet, made them drunk and slew them; and thus the Medes
recovered their power, and had rule over the same nations as before;
and they also took Nineveh,--the manner how it was taken I shall set
forth in another history,[121]--and made the Assyrians subject to them
excepting only the land of Babylon.

107. After this Kyaxares died, having reigned forty years including
those years during which the Scythians had rule, and Astyages son of
Kyaxares received from him the kingdom. To him was born a daughter
whom he named Mandane; and in his sleep it seemed to him that there
passed from her so much water as to fill his city and also to flood
the whole of Asia. This dream he delivered over[122] to the Magian
interpreters of dreams, and when he heard from them the truth at each
point he became afraid. And afterwards when this Mandane was of an age
to have a husband, he did not give her in marriage to any one of the
Medes who were his peers, because he feared the vision; but he gave
her to a Persian named Cambyses, whom he found to be of a good descent
and of a quiet disposition, counting him to be in station much below a
Mede of middle rank. 108. And when Mandane was married to Cambyses, in
the first year Astyages saw another vision. It seemed to him that from
the womb of this daughter a vine grew, and this vine overspread the
whole of Asia. Having seen this vision and delivered it to the
interpreters of dreams, he sent for his daughter, being then with
child, to come from the land of the Persians. And when she had come he
kept watch over her, desiring to destroy that which should be born of
her; for the Magian interpreters of dreams signified to him that the
offspring of his daughter should be king in his room. Astyages then
desiring to guard against this, when Cyrus was born, called Harpagos,
a man who was of kin near him and whom he trusted above all the other
Medes, and had made him manager of all his affairs; and to him he said
as follows: "Neglect not by any means, Harpagos, the matter which I
shall lay upon thee to do, and beware lest thou set me aside,[123] and
choosing the advantage of others instead, bring thyself afterwards to
destruction. Take the child which Mandane bore, and carry it to thy
house and slay it; and afterwards bury it in whatsoever manner thou
thyself desirest." To this he made answer: "O king, never yet in any
past time didst thou discern in me an offence against thee, and I keep
watch over myself also with a view to the time that comes after, that
I may not commit any error towards thee. If it is indeed thy pleasure
that this should so be done, my service at least must be fitly
rendered." 109. Thus he made answer, and when the child had been
delivered to him adorned as for death, Harpagos went weeping to his
wife all the words which had been spoken by Astyages. And she said to
him: "Now, therefore, what is it in thy mind to do?" and he made
answer: "Not according as Astyages enjoined: for not even if he shall
come to be yet more out of his senses and more mad than he now is,
will I agree to his will or serve him in such a murder as this. And
for many reasons I will not slay the child; first because he is a kin
to me, and then because Astyages is old and without male issue, and if
after he is dead the power shall come through me, does not the
greatest of dangers then await me? To secure me, this child must die;
but one of the servants of Astyages must be the slayer of it, and not
one of mine." 110. Thus he spoke, and straightway sent a messenger to
that one of the herdsmen of Astyages who he knew fed his herds on the
pastures which were most suitable for his purpose, and on the
mountains most haunted by wild beasts. The name of this man was
Mitradates, and he was married to one who was his fellow-slave; and
the name of the woman to whom he was married was Kyno in the tongue of
the Hellenes and in the Median tongue Spaco, for what the Hellenes
call /kyna/ (bitch) the Medes call /spaca/. Now, it was on the skirts
of the mountains that this herdsman had his cattle-pastures, from
Agbatana towards the North Wind and towards the Euxine Sea. For here
in the direction of the Saspeirians the Median land is very
mountainous and lofty and thickly covered with forests; but the rest
of the land of Media is all level plain. So when this herdsman came,
being summoned with much urgency, Harpagos said these words: "Astyages
bids thee take this child and place it on the most desolate part of
the mountains, so that it may perish as quickly as possible. And he
bade me to say that if thou do not kill it, but in any way shalt
preserve it from death, he will slay thee by the most evil kind of
destruction:[124] and I have been appointed to see that the child is
laid forth." 111. Having heard this and having taken up the child, the
herdsman went back by the way he came, and arrived at his dwelling.
And his wife also, as it seems, having been every day on the point of
bearing a child, by a providential chance brought her child to birth
just at that time, when the herdsman was gone to the city. And both
were in anxiety, each for the other, the man having fear about the
child-bearing of his wife, and the woman about the cause why Harpagos
had sent to summon her husband, not having been wont to do so
aforetime. So as soon as he returned and stood before her, the woman
seeing him again beyond her hopes was the first to speak, and asked
him for what purpose Harpagos had sent for him so urgently. And he
said: "Wife, when I came to the city I saw and heard that which I
would I had not seen, and which I should wish had never chanced to
those whom we serve. For the house of Harpagos was all full of
mourning, and I being astonished thereat went within: and as soon as I
entered I saw laid out to view an infant child gasping for breath and
screaming, which was adorned with gold ornaments and embroidered
clothing: and when Harpagos saw me he bade me forthwith to take up the
child and carry it away and lay it on that part of the mountains which
is most haunted by wild beasts, saying that it was Astyages who laid
this task upon me, and using to me many threats, if I should fail to
do this. And I took it up and bore it away, supposing that it was the
child of some one of the servants of the house, for never could I have
supposed whence it really was; but I marvelled to see it adorned with
gold and raiment, and I marvelled also because mourning was made for
it openly in the house of Harpagos. And straightway as we went by the
road, I learnt the whole of the matter from the servant who went with
me out of the city and placed in my hands the babe, namely that it was
in truth the son of Mandane the daughter of Astyages, and of Cambyses
the son of Cyrus, and that Astyages bade slay it. And now here it is."
112. And as he said this the herdsman uncovered it and showed it to
her. And she, seeing that the child was large and of fair form, wept
and clung to the knees of her husband, beseeching him by no means to
lay it forth. But he said that he could not do otherwise than so, for
watchers would come backwards and forwards sent by Harpagos to see
that this was done, and he would perish by a miserable death if he
should fail to do this. And as she could not after all persuade her
husband, the wife next said as follows: "Since then I am unable to
persuade thee not to lay it forth, do thou this which I shall tell
thee, if indeed it needs must be seen laid forth. I also have borne a
child, but I have borne it dead. Take this and expose it, and let us
rear the child of the daughter of Astyages as if it were our own. Thus
thou wilt not be found out doing a wrong to those whom we serve, nor
shall we have taken ill counsel for ourselves; for the dead child will
obtain a royal burial and the surviving one will not lose his life."
113. To the herdsman it seemed that, the case standing thus, his wife
spoke well, and forthwith he did so. The child which he was bearing to
put to death, this he delivered to his wife, and his own, which was
dead, he took and placed in the chest in which he had been bearing the
other; and having adorned it with all the adornment of the other
child, he bore it to the most desolate part of the mountains and
placed it there. And when the third day came after the child had been
laid forth, the herdsman went to the city, leaving one of his under-
herdsmen to watch there, and when he came to the house of Harpagos he
said that he was ready to display the dead body of the child; and
Harpagos sent the most trusted of his spearmen, and through them he
saw and buried the herdsman's child. This then had had burial, but him
who was afterwards called Cyrus the wife of the herdsman had received,
and was bringing him up, giving him no doubt some other name, not

114. And when the boy was ten years old, it happened with regard to
him as follows, and this made him known. He was playing in the village
in which were stalls for oxen, he was playing there, I say, with other
boys of his age in the road. And the boys in their play chose as their
king this one who was called the son of the herdsman: and he set some
of them to build palaces and others to be spearmen of his guard, and
one of them no doubt he appointed to be the eye of the king, and to
one he gave the office of bearing the messages,[124a] appointing a
work for each one severally. Now one of these boys who was playing
with the rest, the son of Artembares a man of repute among the Medes,
did not do that which Cyrus appointed him to do; therefore Cyrus bade
the other boys seize him hand and foot,[125] and when they obeyed his
command he dealt with the boy very roughly, scourging him. But he, so
soon as he was let go, being made much more angry because he
considered that he had been treated with indignity, went down to the
city and complained to his father of the treatment which he had met
with from Cyrus, calling him not Cyrus, for this was not yet his name,
but the son of the herdsman of Astyages. And Artembares in the anger
of the moment went at once to Astyages, taking the boy with him, and
he declared that he had suffered things that were unfitting and said:
"O king, by thy slave, the son of a herdsman, we have been thus
outraged," showing him the shoulders of his son. 115. And Astyages
having heard and seen this, wishing to punish the boy to avenge the
honour of Artembares, sent for both the herdsman and his son. And when
both were present, Astyages looked at Cyrus and said: "Didst thou
dare, being the son of so mean a father as this, to treat with such
unseemly insult the son of this man who is first in my favour?" And he
replied thus: "Master, I did so to him with right. For the boys of the
village, of whom he also was one, in their play set me up as king over
them, for I appeared to them most fitted for this place. Now the other
boys did what I commanded them, but this one disobeyed and paid no
regard, until at last he received the punishment due. If therefore for
this I am worthy to suffer any evil, here I stand before thee." 116.
While the boy thus spoke, there came upon Astyages a sense of
recognition of him and the lineaments of his face seemed to him to
resemble his own, and his answer appeared to be somewhat over free for
his station, while the time of the laying forth seemed to agree with
the age of the boy. Being struck with amazement by these things, for a
time he was speechless; and having at length with difficulty recovered
himself, he said, desiring to dismiss Artembares, in order that he
might get the herdsman by himself alone and examine him: "Artembares,
I will so order these things that thou and thy son shall have no cause
to find fault"; and so he dismissed Artembares, and the servants upon
the command of Astyages led Cyrus within. And when the herdsman was
left alone with the king, Astyages being alone with him asked whence
he had received the boy, and who it was who had delivered the boy to
him. And the herdsman said that he was his own son, and that the
mother was living with him still as his wife. But Astyages said that
he was not well advised in desiring to be brought to extreme
necessity, and as he said this he made a sign to the spearmen of his
guard to seize him. So he, as he was being led away to the
torture,[126] then declared the story as it really was; and beginning
from the beginning he went through the whole, telling the truth about
it, and finally ended with entreaties, asking that he would grant him

117. So when the herdsman had made known the truth, Astyages now cared
less about him, but with Harpagos he was very greatly displeased and
bade his spearmen summon him. And when Harpagos came, Astyages asked
him thus: "By what death, Harpagos, didst thou destroy the child whom
I delivered to thee, born of my daughter?" and Harpagos, seeing that
the herdsman was in the king's palace, turned not to any false way of
speech, lest he should be convicted and found out, but said as
follows: "O king, so soon as I received the child, I took counsel and
considered how I should do according to thy mind, and how without
offence to thy command I might not be guilty of murder against thy
daughter and against thyself. I did therefore thus:--I called this
herdsman and delivered the child to him, saying first that thou wert
he who bade him slay it--and in this at least I did not lie, for thou
didst so command. I delivered it, I say, to this man commanding him to
place it upon a desolate mountain, and to stay by it and watch it
until it should die, threatening him with all kinds of punishment if
he should fail to accomplish this. And when he had done that which was
ordered and the child was dead, I sent the most trusted of my eunuchs
and through them I saw and buried the child. Thus, O king, it happened
about this matter, and the child had this death which I say." 118. So
Harpagos declared the truth, and Astyages concealed the anger which he
kept against him for that which had come to pass, and first he related
the matter over again to Harpagos according as he had been told it by
the herdsman, and afterwards, when it had been thus repeated by him,
he ended by saying that the child was alive and that that which had
come to pass was well, "for," continued he, "I was greatly troubled by
that which had been done to this child, and I thought it no light
thing that I had been made at variance with my daughter. Therefore
consider that this is a happy change of fortune, and first send thy
son to be with the boy who is newly come, and then, seeing that I
intend to make a sacrifice of thanksgiving for the preservation of the
boy to those gods to whom that honour belongs, be here thyself to dine
with me." 119. When Harpagos heard this, he did reverence and thought
it a great matter that his offence had turned out for his profit and
moreover that he had been invited to dinner with happy augury;[127]
and so he went to his house. And having entered it straightway, he
sent forth his son, for he had one only son of about thirteen years
old, bidding him go to the palace of Astyages and do whatsoever the
king should command; and he himself being overjoyed told his wife that
which had befallen him. But Astyages, when the son of Harpagos
arrived, cut his throat and divided him limb from limb, and having
roasted some pieces of the flesh and boiled others he caused them to
be dressed for eating and kept them ready. And when the time arrived
for dinner and the other guests were present and also Harpagos, then
before the other guests and before Astyages himself were placed tables
covered with flesh of sheep; but before Harpagos was placed the flesh
of his own son, all but the head and the hands and the feet,[128] and
these were laid aside covered up in a basket. Then when it seemed that
Harpagos was satisfied with food, Astyages asked him whether he had
been pleased with the banquet; and when Harpagos said that he had been
very greatly pleased, they who had been commanded to do this brought
to him the head of his son covered up, together with the hands and the
feet; and standing near they bade Harpagos uncover and take of them
that which he desired. So when Harpagos obeyed and uncovered, he saw
the remains of his son; and seeing them he was not overcome with
amazement but contained himself: and Astyages asked him whether he
perceived of what animal he had been eating the flesh: and he said
that he perceived, and that whatsoever the king might do was well
pleasing to him. Thus having made answer and taking up the parts of
the flesh which still remained he went to his house; and after that, I
suppose, he would gather all the parts together and bury them.

120. On Harpagos Astyages laid this penalty; and about Cyrus he took
thought, and summoned the same men of the Magians who had given
judgment about his dream in the manner which has been said: and when
they came, Astyages asked how they had given judgment about his
vision; and they spoke according to the same manner, saying that the
child must have become king if he had lived on and had not died
before. He made answer to them thus: "The child is alive and not
dead:[129] and while he was dwelling in the country, the boys of the
village appointed him king; and he performed completely all those
things which they do who are really kings; for he exercised rule,[130]
appointed to their places spearmen of the guard and doorkeepers and
bearers of messages and all else. Now therefore, to what does it seem
to you that these things tend?" The Magians said: "If the child is
still alive and became king without any arrangement, be thou confident
concerning him and have good courage, for he shall not be ruler again
the second time; since some even of our oracles have had but small
results,[131] and that at least which has to do with dreams comes
often in the end to a feeble accomplishment." Astyages made answer in
these words: "I myself also, O Magians, am most disposed to believe
that this is so, namely that since the boy was named king the dream
has had its fulfilment and that this boy is no longer a source of
danger to me. Nevertheless give counsel to me, having well considered
what is likely to be most safe both for my house and for you."
Replying to this the Magians said: "To us also, O king, it is of great
consequence that thy rule should stand firm; for in the other case it
is transferred to strangers, coming round to this boy who is a
Persian, and we being Medes are made slaves and become of no account
in the eyes of the Persians, seeing that we are of different race; but
while thou art established as our king, who art one of our own nation,
we both have our share of rule and receive great honours from thee.
Thus then we must by all means have a care of thee and of thy rule.
And now, if we saw in this anything to cause fear, we would declare
all to thee beforehand: but as the dream has had its issue in a
trifling manner, both we ourselves are of good cheer and we exhort
thee to be so likewise: and as for this boy, send him away from before
thine eyes to the Persians and to his parents." 121. When he heard
this Astyages rejoiced, and calling Cyrus spoke to him thus: "My son,
I did thee wrong by reason of a vision of a dream which has not come
to pass, but thou art yet alive by thine own destiny; now therefore go
in peace to the land of the Persians, and I will send with thee men to
conduct thee: and when thou art come thither, thou shalt find a father
and a mother not after the fashion of Mitradates the herdsman and his
wife." 122. Thus having spoken Astyages sent Cyrus away; and when he
had returned and come to the house of Cambyses, his parents received
him; and after that, when they learnt who he was, they welcomed him
not a little, for they had supposed without doubt that their son had
perished straightway after his birth; and they inquired in what manner
he had survived. And he told them, saying that before this he had not
known but had been utterly in error; on the way, however, he had
learnt all his own fortunes: for he had supposed without doubt that he
was the son of the herdsman of Astyages, but since his journey from
the city began he had learnt the whole story from those who conducted
him. And he said that he had been brought up by the wife of the
herdsman, and continued to praise her throughout, so that Kyno was the
chief person in his tale. And his parents took up this name from him,
and in order that their son might be thought by the Persians to have
been preserved in a more supernatural manner, they set on foot a
report that Cyrus when he was exposed had been reared by a bitch:[132]
and from that source has come this report.

123. Then as Cyrus grew to be a man, being of all those of his age the
most courageous and the best beloved, Harpagos sought to become his
friend and sent him gifts, because he desired to take vengeance on
Astyages. For he saw not how from himself, who was in a private
station, punishment should come upon Astyages; but when he saw Cyrus
growing up, he endeavoured to make him an ally, finding a likeness
between the fortunes of Cyrus and his own. And even before that time
he had effected something: for Astyages being harsh towards the Medes,
Harpagos communicated severally with the chief men of the Medes, and
persuaded them that they must make Cyrus their leader and cause
Astyages to cease from being king. When he had effected this and when
all was ready, then Harpagos wishing to make known his design to
Cyrus, who lived among the Persians, could do it no other way, seeing
that the roads were watched, but devised a scheme as follows:--he made
ready a hare, and having cut open its belly but without pulling off
any of the fur, he put into it, just as it was, a piece of paper,
having written upon it that which he thought good; and then he sewed
up again the belly of the hare, and giving nets as if he were a hunter
to that one of his servants whom he trusted most, he sent him away to
the land of the Persians, enjoining him by word of mouth to give the
hare to Cyrus, and to tell him at the same time to open it with his
own hands and let no one else be present when he did so. 124. This
then was accomplished, and Cyrus having received from him the hare,
cut it open; and having found within it the paper he took and read it
over. And the writing said this: "Son of Cambyses, over thee the gods
keep guard, for otherwise thou wouldst never have come to so much good
fortune. Do thou therefore[133] take vengeance on Astyages who is thy
murderer, for so far as his will is concerned thou art dead, but by
the care of the gods and of me thou art still alive; and this I think
thou hast long ago learnt from first to last, both how it happened
about thyself, and also what things I have suffered from Astyages,
because I did not slay thee but gave thee to the herdsman. If
therefore thou wilt be guided by me, thou shalt be ruler of all that
land over which now Astyages is ruler. Persuade the Persians to
revolt, and march any army against the Medes: and whether I shall be
appointed leader of the army against thee, or any other of the Medes
who are in repute, thou hast what thou desirest; for these will be the
first to attempt to destroy Astyages, revolting from him and coming
over to thy party. Consider then that here at least all is ready, and
therefore do this and do it with speed." 125. Cyrus having heard this
began to consider in what manner he might most skilfully persuade the
Persians to revolt, and on consideration he found that this was the
most convenient way, and so in fact he did:--He wrote first on a paper
that which he desired to write, and he made an assembly of the
Persians. Then he unfolded the paper and reading from it said that
Astyages appointed him commander of the Persians; "and now, O
Persians," he continued, "I give you command to come to me each one
with a reaping-hook." Cyrus then proclaimed this command. (Now there
are of the Persians many tribes, and some of them Cyrus gathered
together and persuaded to revolt from the Medes, namely those, upon
which all the other Persians depend, the Pasargadai, the Maraphians
and the Maspians, and of these the Pasargadai are the most noble, of
whom also the Achaimenidai are a clan, whence are sprung the
Persed[134] kings. But other Persian tribes there are, as follows:--
the Panthaliaians, the Derusiaians and the Germanians, these are all
tillers of the soil; and the rest are nomad tribes, namely the Daoi,
Mardians, Dropicans and Sagartians.) 126. Now there was a certain
region of the Persian land which was overgrown with thorns, extending
some eighteen or twenty furlongs in each direction; and when all had
come with that which they had been before commanded to bring, Cyrus
bade them clear this region for cultivation within one day: and when
the Persians had achieved the task proposed, then he bade them come to
him on the next day bathed and clean. Meanwhile Cyrus, having gathered
together in one place all the flocks of goats and sheep and the herds
of cattle belonging to his father, slaughtered them and prepared with
them to entertain the host of the Persians, and moreover with wine and
other provisions of the most agreeable kind. So when the Persians came
on the next day, he made them recline in a meadow and feasted them.
And when they had finished dinner, Cyrus asked them whether that which
they had on the former day or that which they had now seemed to them
preferable. They said that the difference between them was great, for
the former day had for them nothing but evil, and the present day
nothing but good. Taking up this saying Cyrus proceeded to lay bare
his whole design, saying: "Men of the Persians, thus it is with you.
If ye will do as I say, ye have these and ten thousand other good
things, with no servile labour; but if ye will not do as I say, ye
have labours like that of yesterday innumerable. Now therefore do as I
say and make yourselves free: for I seem to myself to have been born
by providential fortune to take these matters in hand; and I think
that ye are not worse men than the Medes, either in other matters or
in those which have to do with war. Consider then that this is so, and
make revolt from Astyages forthwith."

127. So the Persians having obtained a leader willingly attempted to
set themselves free, since they had already for a long time been
indignant to be ruled by the Medes: but when Astyages heard that Cyrus
was acting thus, he sent a messenger and summoned him; and Cyrus bade
the messenger report to Astyages that he would be with him sooner than
he would himself desire. So Astyages hearing this armed all the Medes,
and blinded by divine providence he appointed Harpagos to be the
leader of the army, forgetting what he had done to him. Then when the
Medes had marched out and began to fight with the Persians, some of
them continued the battle, namely those who had not been made
partakers in the design, while others went over to the Persians; but
the greater number were wilfully slack and fled. 128. So when the
Median army had been shamefully dispersed, so soon as Astyages heard
of it he said, threatening Cyrus: "But not even so shall Cyrus at
least escape punishment." Thus having spoken he first impaled the
Magian interpreters of dreams who had persuaded him to let Cyrus go,
and then he armed those of the Medes, youths and old men, who had been
left behind in the city. These he led out and having engaged battle
with the Persians he was worsted, and Astyages himself was taken
alive, and he lost also those of the Medes whom he had led forth. 129.
Then when Astyages was a prisoner, Harpagos came and stood near him
and rejoiced over him and insulted him; and besides other things which
he said to grieve him, he asked him especially how it pleased him to
be a slave instead of a king, making reference to that dinner at which
Astyages had feasted him with the flesh of his own son.[135] He
looking at him asked him in return whether he claimed the work of
Cyrus as his own deed: and Harpagos said that since he had written the
letter, the deed was justly his. Then Astyages declared him to be at
the same time the most unskilful and the most unjust of men; the most
unskilful because, when it was in his power to become king (as it was,
if that which had now been done was really brought about by him), he
had conferred the chief power on another, and the most unjust, because
on account of that dinner he had reduced the Medes to slavery. For if
he must needs confer the kingdom on some other and not keep it
himself, it was more just to give this good thing to one of the Medes
rather than to one of the Persians; whereas now the Medes, who were
guiltless of this, had become slaves instead of masters, and the
Persians who formerly were slaves of the Medes had now become their
masters. 130. Astyages then, having been king for five-and-thirty
years, was thus caused to cease from being king; and the Medes stooped
under the yoke of the Persians because of his cruelty, after they had
ruled Asia above the river Halys for one hundred and twenty-eight
years, except during that period for which the Scythians had
rule.[136] Afterwards however it repented them that they had done
this, and they revolved from Dareios, and having revolted they were
subdued again, being conquered in a battle. At this time then, I say,
in the reign of Astyages, the Persians with Cyrus rose up against the
Medes and from that time forth were rulers of Asia: but as for
Astyages, Cyrus did no harm to him besides, but kept him with himself
until he died. Thus born and bred Cyrus became king; and after this he
subdued Crsus, who was the first to begin the quarrel, as I have
before said; and having subdued him he then became ruler of all Asia.


131. These are the customs, so far as I know, which the Persians
practise:--Images and temples and altars they do not account it lawful
to erect, nay they even charge with folly those who do these things;
and this, as it seems to me, because they do not account the gods to
be in the likeness of men, as do the Hellenes. But it is their wont to
perform sacrifices to Zeus going up to the most lofty of the
mountains, and the whole circle of the heavens they call Zeus: and
they sacrifice to the Sun and the Moon and the Earth, to Fire and to
Water and to the Winds: these are the only gods to whom they have
sacrificed ever from the first; but they have learnt also to sacrifice
to Aphrodite Urania, having learnt it both from the Assyrians and the
Arabians; and the Assyrians call Aphrodite Mylitta, the Arabians
Alitta,[136a] and the Persians Mitra. 132. Now this is the manner of
sacrifice for the gods aforesaid which is established among the
Persians:--they make no altars neither do they kindle fire; and when
they mean to sacrifice they use no libation nor music of the pipe nor
chaplets[137] nor meal for sprinkling;[138] but when a man wishes to
sacrifice to any one of the gods, he leads the animal for sacrifice to
an unpolluted place and calls upon the god, having his /tiara/[138a]
wreathed round generally with a branch of myrtle. For himself alone
separately the man who sacrifices may not request good things in his
prayer, but he prays that it may be well with all the Persians and
with the king; for he himself also is included of course in the whole
body of Persians. And when he has cut up the victim into pieces and
boiled the flesh, he spreads a layer of the freshest grass and
especially clover, upon which he places forthwith all the pieces of
flesh; and when he has placed them in order, a Magian man stands by
them and chants over them a theogony (for of this nature they say that
their incantation is), seeing that without a Magian it is not lawful
for them to make sacrifices. Then after waiting a short time the
sacrificer carries away the flesh and uses it for whatever purpose he
pleases. 133. And of all days their wont is to honour most that on
which they were born, each one: on this they think it right to set out
a feast more liberal than on other days; and in this feast the
wealthier of them set upon the table an ox or a horse or a camel or an
ass, roasted whole in an oven, and the poor among them set out small
animals in the same way. They have few solid dishes,[139] but many
served up after as dessert, and these not in a single course; and for
this reason the Persians say that the Hellenes leave off dinner
hungry, because after dinner they have nothing worth mentioning served
up as dessert, whereas if any good dessert were served up they would
not stop eating so soon. To wine-drinking they are very much given,
and it is not permitted for a man to vomit or to make water in
presence of another. Thus do they provide against these things; and
they are wont to deliberate when drinking hard about the most
important of their affairs, and whatsoever conclusion has pleased them
in their deliberation, this on the next day, when they are sober, the
master of the house in which they happen to be when they deliberate
lays before them for discussion: and if it pleases them when they are
sober also, they adopt it, but if it does not please them, they let it
go: and that on which they have had the first deliberation when they
are sober, they consider again when they are drinking. 134. When they
meet one another in the roads, by this you may discern whether those
who meet are of equal rank,--for instead of greeting by words they
kiss one another on the mouth; but if one of them is a little inferior
to the other, they kiss one another on the cheeks, and if one is of
much less noble rank than the other, he falls down before him and does
worship to him.[140] And they honour of all most after themselves
those nations which dwell nearest to them, and next those which dwell
next nearest, and so they go on giving honour in proportion to
distance; and they hold least in honour those who dwell furthest off
from themselves, esteeming themselves to be by far the best of all the
human race on every point, and thinking that others possess merit
according to the proportion which is here stated,[141] and that those
who dwell furthest from themselves are the worst. And under the
supremacy of the Medes the various nations used also to govern one
another according to the same rule as the Persians observe in giving
honour,[142] the Medes governing the whole and in particular those who
dwelt nearest to themselves, and these having rule over those who
bordered upon them, and those again over the nations that were next to
them: for the race went forward thus ever from government by
themselves to government through others. 135. The Persians more than
any other men admit foreign usages; for they both wear the Median
dress judging it to be more comely than their own, and also for
fighting the Egyptian corslet: moreover they adopt all kinds of
luxuries when they hear of them, and in particular they have learnt
from the Hellenes to have commerce with boys. They marry each one
several lawful wives, and they get also a much larger number of
concubines. 136. It is established as a sign of manly excellence next
after excellence in fight, to be able to show many sons; and to those
who have most the king sends gifts every year: for they consider
number to be a source of strength. And they educate their children,
beginning at five years old and going on till twenty, in three things
only, in riding, in shooting, and in speaking the truth: but before
the boy is five years old he does not come into the presence of his
father, but lives with the women; and it is so done for this reason,
that if the child should die while he is being bred up, he may not be
the cause of any grief to his father. 137. I commend this custom of
theirs, and also the one which is next to be mentioned, namely that
neither the king himself shall put any to death for one cause alone,
nor any of the other Persians for one cause alone shall do hurt that
is irremediable to any of his own servants; but if after reckoning he
finds that the wrongs done are more in number and greater than the
services rendered,[143] then only he gives vent to his anger. Moreover
they say that no one ever killed his own father or mother, but
whatever deeds have been done which seemed to be of this nature, if
examined must necessarily, they say, be found to be due either to
changelings or to children of adulterous birth; for, say they, it is
not reasonable to suppose that the true parent would be killed by his
own son. 138. Whatever things it is not lawful for them to do, these
it is not lawful for them even to speak of: and the most disgraceful
thing in their estimation is to tell an lie, and next to this to owe
money, this last for many other reasons, but especially because it is
necessary, they say, for him who owes money, also sometimes to tell
lies: and whosoever of the men of the city has leprosy or whiteness of
skin, he does not come into a city nor mingle with the other Persians;
and they say that he has these diseases because he has offended in
some way against the Sun: but a stranger who is taken by these
diseases, in many regions[144] they drive out of the country
altogether, and also white doves, alleging against them the same
cause. And into a river they neither make water nor spit, neither do
they wash their hands in it, nor allow any other to do these things,
but they reverence rivers very greatly. 139. This moreover also has
chanced to them, which the Persians have themselves failed to notice
but I have not failed to do so:--their names, which are formed to
correspond with their bodily shapes or their magnificence of station,
end all with the same letter, that letter which the Dorians call /san/
and the Ionians /sigma/; with this you will find, if you examine the
matter, that all the Persian names end, not some with this and others
with other letters, but all alike.

140. So much I am able to say for certain from my own knowledge about
them: but what follows is reported about their dead as a secret
mystery and not with clearness, namely that the body of a Persian man
is not buried until it has been torn by a bird or a dog. (The Magians
I know for a certainty have this practice, for they do it openly.)
However that may be, the Persians cover the body with wax and then
bury it in the earth. Now the Magians are distinguished in many ways
from other men, as also from the priests in Egypt: for these last
esteem it a matter of purity to kill no living creature except the
animals which they sacrifice; but the Magians kill with their own
hands all creatures except dogs and men, and they even make this a
great end to aim at, killing both ants and serpents and all other
creeping and flying things. About this custom then be it as it was
from the first established; and I return now to the former


141. The Ionians and Aiolians, as soon as the Lydians had been subdued
by the Persians, sent messengers to Cyrus at Sardis, desiring to be
his subjects on the same terms as they had been subjects of Crsus.
And when he heard that which they proposed to him, he spoke to them a
fable, saying that a certain player on the pipe saw fishes in the sea
and played on his pipe, supposing that they would come out to land;
but being deceived in his expectation, he took a casting-net and
enclosed a great multitude of the fishes and drew them forth from the
water: and when he saw them leaping about, he said to the fishes:
"Stop dancing I pray you now, seeing that ye would not come out and
dance before when I piped." Cyrus spoke this fable to the Ionians and
Aiolians for this reason, because the Ionians had refused to comply
before, when Cyrus himself by a messenger requested them to revolt
from Crsus, while now when the conquest had been made they were ready
to submit to Cyrus. Thus he said to them in anger, and the Ionians,
when they heard this answer brought back to their cities, put walls
round about them severally, and gathered together to the Panionion,
all except the men of Miletos, for with these alone Cyrus had sworn an
agreement on the same terms as the Lydians had granted. The rest of
the Ionians resolved by common consent to send messengers to Sparta,
to ask the Spartans to help the Ionians.

142. These Ionians to whom belongs the Panionion had the fortune to
build their cities in the most favourable position for climate and
seasons of any men whom we know: for neither the regions above Ionia
nor those below, neither those towards the East nor those towards the
West,[146] produce the same results as Ionia itself, the regions in
the one direction being oppressed by cold and moisture, and those in
the other by heat and drought. And these do not use all the same
speech, but have four different variations of language.[147] First of
their cities on the side of the South lies Miletos, and next to it
Myus and Priene. These are settlements made in Caria, and speak the
same language with one another; and the following are in Lydia,--
Ephesos, Colophon, Lebedos, Teos, Clazomenai, Phocaia: these cities
resemble not at all those mentioned before in the speech which they
use, but they agree one with another. There remain besides three
Ionian cities, of which two are established in the islands of Samos
and Chios, and one is built upon the mainland, namely Erythrai: now
the men of Chios and of Erythrai use the same form of language, but
the Samians have one for themselves alone. Thus there result four
separate forms of language.

143. Of these Ionians then those of Miletos were sheltered from
danger, since they had sworn an agreement; and those of them who lived
in islands had no cause for fear, for the Phenicians were not yet
subjects of the Persians and the Persians themselves were not sea-men.
Now these[148] were parted off from the other Ionians for no other
reason than this:--The whole Hellenic nation was at that time weak,
but of all its races the Ionian was much the weakest and of least
account: except Athens, indeed, it had no considerable city. Now the
other Ionians, and among them the Athenians, avoided the name, not
wishing to be called Ionians, nay even now I perceive that the greater
number of them are ashamed of the name: but these twelve cities not
only prided themselves on the name but established a temple of their
own, to which they gave the name of Panionion, and they made
resolution not to grant a share in it to any other Ionians (nor indeed
did any ask to share it except those of Smyrna); 144, just as the
Dorians of that district which is now called the Five Cities[149] but
was formerly called the Six Cities,[150] take care not to admit any of
the neighbouring Dorians to the temple of Triopion, and even exclude
from sharing in it those of their own body who commit any offence as
regards the temple. For example, in the games of the Triopian Apollo
they used formerly to set bronze tripods as prizes for the victors,
and the rule was that those who received them should not carry them
out of the temple but dedicate them then and there to the god. There
was a man then of Halicarnassos, whose name was Agasicles, who being a
victor paid no regard to this rule, but carried away the tripod to his
own house and hung it up there upon a nail. On this ground the other
five cities, Lindos, Ialysos and Cameiros, Cos and Cnidos, excluded
the sixth city Halicarnassos from sharing in the temple. 145. Upon
these they laid this penalty: but as for the Ionians, I think that the
reason why they made of themselves twelve cities and would not receive
any more into their body, was because when they dwelt in Peloponnesus
there were of them twelve divisions, just as now there are twelve
divisions of the Achaians who drove the Ionians out: for first,
(beginning from the side of Sikyon) comes Pellene, then Aigeira and
Aigai, in which last is the river Crathis with a perpetual flow
(whence the river of the same name in Italy received its name), and
Bura and Helike, to which the Ionians fled for refuge when they were
worsted by the Achaians in fight, and Aigion and Rhypes and Patreis
and Phareis and Olenos, where is the great river Peiros, and Dyme and
Tritaieis, of which the last alone has an inland position.[151] These
form now twelve divisions of the Achaians, and in former times they
were divisions of the Ionians. 146. For this reason then the Ionians
also made for themselves twelve cities; for at any rate to say that
these are any more Ionians than the other Ionians, or have at all a
nobler descent, is mere folly, considering that a large part of them
are Abantians from Euba, who have no share even in the name of Ionia,
and Minyai of Orchomenos have been mingled with them, and Cadmeians
and Dryopians and Phokians who seceded from their native State and
Molossians and Pelasgians of Arcadia and Dorians of Epidauros and many
other races have been mingled with them; and those of them who set
forth to their settlements from the City Hall of Athens and who esteem
themselves the most noble by descent of the Ionians, these, I say,
brought no women with them to their settlement, but took Carian women,
whose parents they slew: and on account of this slaughter these women
laid down for themselves a rule, imposing oaths on one another, and
handed it on to their daughters, that they should never eat with their
husbands, nor should a wife call her own husband by name, for this
reason, because the Ionians had slain their fathers and husbands and
children and then having done this had them to wife. This happened at
Miletos. 147. Moreover some of them set Lykian kings over them,
descendants of Glaucos and Hippolochos, while others were ruled by
Cauconians of Pylos, descendants of Codros the son of Melanthos, and
others again by princes of the two races combined. Since however these
hold on to the name more than the other Ionians, let them be called,
if they will, the Ionians of truly pure descent; but in fact all are
Ionians who have their descent from Athens and who keep the feast of
Apaturia; and this all keep except the men of Ephesos and Colophon:
for these alone of all the Ionians do not keep the Apaturia, and that
on the ground of some murder committed. 148. Now the Panionion is a
sacred place on the north side of Mycale, set apart by common
agreement of the Ionians for Poseidon of Helike[152]; and this Mycale
is a promontory of the mainland running out Westwards towards Samos,
where the Ionians gathering together from their cities used to hold a
festival which they called the Panionia. (And not only the feasts of
the Ionians but also those of all the Hellenes equally are subject to
this rule, that their names all end in the same letter, just like the
names of the Persians.)[153]

These then are the Ionian cities: 149, and those of Aiolia are as
follows:--Kyme, which is called Phriconis, Larisai, Neon-teichos,
Temnos, Killa, Notion, Aigirossa, Pitane, Aigaiai, Myrina, Gryneia;
these are the ancient cities of the Aiolians, eleven in number, since
one, Smyrna, was severed from them by the Ionians; for these cities,
that is those on the mainland, used also formerly to be twelve in
number. And these Aiolians had the fortune to settle in a land which
is more fertile than that of the Ionians but in respect of climate
less favoured.[154] 150. Now the Aiolians lost Smyrna in the following
manner:--certain men of Colophon, who had been worsted in party strife
and had been driven from their native city, were received there for
refuge: and after this the Colophonian exiles watched for a time when
the men of Smyrna were celebrating a festival to Dionysos outside the
walls, and then they closed the gates against them and got possession
of the city. After this, when the whole body of Aiolians came to the
rescue, they made an agreement that the Ionians should give up the
movable goods, and that on this condition the Aiolians should abandon
Smyrna. When the men of Smyrna had done this, the remaining eleven
cities divided them amongst themselves and made them their own
citizens. 151. These then are the Aiolian cities upon the mainland,
with the exception of those situated on Mount Ida, for these are
separate from the rest. And of those which are in the islands, there
are five in Lesbos, for the sixth which was situated in Lesbos, namely
Arisba, was enslaved by the men of Methymna, though its citizens were
of the same race as they; and in Tenedos there is one city, and
another in what are called the "Hundred Isles." Now the Lesbians and
the men of Tenedos, like those Ionians who dwelt in the islands, had
no cause for fear; but the remaining cities came to a common agreement
to follow the Ionians whithersoever they should lead.

152. Now when the messengers from the Ionians and Aiolians came to
Sparta (for this business was carried out with speed), they chose
before all others to speak for them the Phocaian, whose name was
Pythermos. He then put upon him a purple cloak, in order that as many
as possible of the Spartans might hear of it and come together, and
having been introduced before the assembly[155] he spoke at length,
asking the Spartans to help them. The Lacedemonians however would not
listen to him, but resolved on the contrary not to help the Ionians.
So they departed, and the Lacedemonians, having dismissed the
messengers of the Ionians, sent men notwithstanding in a ship of fifty
oars, to find out, as I imagine, about the affairs of Cyrus and about
Ionia. These when they came to Phocaia sent to Sardis the man of most
repute among them, whose name was Lacrines, to report to Cyrus the
saying of the Lacedemonians, bidding him do hurt to no city of the
Hellas, since they would not permit it. 153. When the herald had
spoken thus, Cyrus is said to have asked those of the Hellenes whom he
had with him, what men the Lacedemonians were and how many in number,
that they made this proclamation to him; and hearing their answer he
said to the Spartan herald: "Never yet did I fear men such as these,
who have a place appointed in the midst of their city where they
gather together and deceive one another by false oaths: and if I
continue in good health, not the misfortunes of the Ionians will be
for them a subject of talk, but rather their own." These words Cyrus
threw out scornfully with reference to the Hellenes in general,
because they have got for themselves[156] markets and practise buying
and selling there; for the Persians themselves are not wont to use
markets nor have they any market-place at all. After this he
entrusted Sardis to Tabalos a Persian, and the gold both of Crsus and
of the other Lydians he gave to Pactyas a Lydian to take charge of,
and himself marched away to Agbatana, taking with him Crsus and
making for the present no account of the Ionians. For Babylon stood in
his way still, as also the Bactrian nation and the Sacans and the
Egyptians; and against these he meant to make expeditions himself,
while sending some other commander about the Ionians.

154. But when Cyrus had marched away from Sardis, Pactyas caused the
Lydians to revolt from Tabalos and from Cyrus. This man went down to
the sea, and having in his possession all the gold that there had been
in Sardis, he hired for himself mercenaries and persuaded the men of
the sea-coast to join his expedition. So he marched on Sardis and
besieged Tabalos, having shut himself up in the citadel. 155. Hearing
this on his way, Cyrus said to Crsus as follows: "Crsus, what end
shall I find of these things which are coming to pass? The Lydians
will not cease as it seems, from giving trouble to me and from having
it themselves. I doubt me if it were not best[157] to sell them all as
slaves; for as it is, I see that I have done in like manner as if one
should slay the father and then spare his sons: just so I took
prisoner and am carrying away thee, who wert much more than the father
of the Lydians, while to the Lydians themselves I delivered up their
city; and can I feel surprise after this that they have revolted from
me?" Thus he said what was in his mind, but Crsus answered him as
follows, fearing lest he should destroy Sardis: "O king, that which
thou hast said is not without reason; but do not thou altogether give
vent to thy wrath, nor destroy an ancient city which is guiltless both
of the former things and also of those which have come to pass now:
for as to the former things it was I who did them and I bear the
consequences heaped upon my head;[158] and as for what is now being
done, since the wrongdoer is Pactyas to whom thou didst entrust the
charge of Sardis, let him pay the penalty. But the Lydians I pray thee
pardon, and lay upon them commands as follows, in order that they may
not revolt nor be a cause of danger to thee:--send to them and forbid
them to possess weapons of war, but bid them on the other hand put on
tunics under their outer garments and be shod with buskins, and
proclaim to them that they train their sons to play the lyre and the
harp and to be retail-dealers; and soon thou shalt see, O king, that
they have become women instead of men, so that there will be no fear
that they will revolt from thee." 156. Crsus, I say, suggested to him
this, perceiving that this was better for the Lydians than to be
reduced to slavery and sold; for he knew that if he did not offer a
sufficient reason, he would not persuade Cyrus to change his mind, and
he feared lest at some future time, if they should escape the present
danger, the Lydians might revolt from the Persians and be destroyed.
And Cyrus was greatly pleased with the suggestion made and slackened
from his wrath, saying that he agreed with his advice. Then he called
Mazares a Mede, and laid charge upon him to proclaim to the Lydians
that which Crsus suggested, and moreover to sell into slavery all the
rest who had joined with the Lydians in the expedition to Sardis, and
finally by all means to bring Pactyas himself alive to Cyrus.

157. Having given this charge upon the road, he continued his march to
the native land of the Persians; but Pactyas hearing that an army was
approaching to fight against him was struck with fear and fled away
forthwith to Kyme. Then Mazares the Mede marched upon Sardis with a
certain portion of the army of Cyrus, and as he did not find Pactyas
or his followers any longer at Sardis, he first compelled the Lydians
to perform the commands of Cyrus, and by his commands the Lydians
changed the whole manner of their life. After this Mazares proceeded
to send messengers to Kyme bidding them give up Pactyas: and the men
of Kyme resolved to refer to the god at Branchidai the question what
counsel they should follow. For there was there an Oracle established
of old time, which all the Ionians and Aiolians were wont to consult;
and this place is in the territory of Miletos above the port of
Panormos. 158. So the men of Kyme sent messengers to the
Branchidai[159] to inquire of the god, and they asked what course they
should take about Pactyas so as to do that which was pleasing to the
gods. When they thus inquired, the answer was given them that they
should deliver up Pactyas to the Persians: and the men of Kyme, having
heard this answer reported, were disposed to give him up. Then when
the mass of the people were thus disposed, Aristodicos the son of
Heracleides, a man of repute among the citizens, stopped the men of
Kyme from doing so, having distrust of the answer and thinking that
those sent to inquire were not speaking the truth; until at last other
messengers were sent to the Oracle to ask a second time about Pactyas,
and of them Aristodicos was one. 159. When these came to Branchidai,
Aristodicos stood forth from the rest and consulted the Oracle, asking
as follows: Lord,[160] there came to us a suppliant for protection
Pactyas the Lydian, flying from a violent death at the hands of the
Persians, and they demand him from us, bidding the men of Kyme give
him up. But we, though we fear the power of the Persians, yet have not
ventured up to this time to deliver to them the suppliant, until thy
counsel shall be clearly manifested to us, saying which of the two
things we ought to do." He thus inquired, but the god again declared
to them the same answer, bidding them deliver up Pactyas to the
Persians. Upon this Aristodicos with deliberate purpose did as
follows:--he went all round the temple destroying the nests of the
sparrows[161] and of all the other kinds of birds which had been
hatched on the temple: and while he was doing this, it is said that a
voice came from the inner shrine directed to Aristodicos and speaking
thus: "Thou most impious of men, why dost thou dare to do this? Dost
thou carry away by force from my temple the suppliants for my
protection?" And Aristodicos, it is said, not being at all at a loss
replied to this: "Lord, dost thou thus come to the assistance of thy
suppliants, and yet biddest the men of Kyme deliver up theirs?" and
the god answered him again thus: "Yea, I bid you do so, that ye may
perish the more quickly for your impiety; so that ye may not at any
future time come to the Oracle to ask about delivering up of
suppliants." 160. When the men of Kyme heard this saying reported, not
wishing either to be destroyed by giving him up or to be besieged by
keeping him with them, they sent him away to Mytilene. Those of
Mytilene however, when Mazares sent messages to them, were preparing
to deliver up Pactyas for a price, but what the price was I cannot say
for certain, since the bargain was never completed; for the men of
Kyme, when they learnt that this was being done by the Mytilenians,
sent a vessel to Lesbos and conveyed away Pactyas to Chios. After this
he was dragged forcibly from the temple of Athene Poliuchos by the
Chians and delivered up: and the Chians delivered him up receiving
Atarneus in return, (now this Atarneus is a region of Mysia[162]
opposition Lesbos). So the Persians having received Pactyas kept him
under guard, meaning to produce him before Cyrus. And a long time
elapsed during which none of the Chians either used barley-meal grown
in this region of Atarneus, for pouring out in sacrifice to any god,
or baked cakes for offering of the corn which grew there, but all the
produce of this land was excluded from every kind of sacred service.

161. The men of Chios had then delivered up Pactyas; and after this
Mazares made expedition against those who had joined in besieging
Tabalos: and first he reduced to slavery those of Priene, then he
overran the whole plain of the Maiander making spoil of it for his
army, and Magnesia in the same manner: and straightway after this he
fell sick and died. 162. After he was dead, Harpagos came down to take
his place in command, being also a Mede by race (this was the man whom
the king of the Medes Astyages feasted with the unlawful banquet, and
who helped to give the kingdom to Cyrus). This man, being appointed
commander then by Cyrus, came to Ionia and proceeded to take the
cities by throwing up mounds against them: for when he had enclosed
any people within their walls, then he threw up mounds against the
walls and took their city by storm; and the first city of Ionia upon
which he made an attempt was Phocaia.

163. Now these Phocaians were the first of the Hellenes who made long
voyages, and these are they who discovered the Adriatic and Tyrsenia
and Iberia and Tartessos: and they made voyages not in round ships,
but in vessels of fifty oars. These came to Tartessos and became
friends with the king of the Tartessians whose name was Arganthonios:
he was ruler of the Tartessians for eighty years and lived in all one
hundred and twenty. With this man, I say, the Phocaians became so
exceedingly friendly, that first he bade them leave Ionia and dwell
wherever they desired in his own land; and as he did not prevail upon
the Phocaians to do this, afterwards, hearing from them of the Mede
how his power was increasing, he gave them money to build a wall about
their city: and he did this without sparing, for the circuit of the
wall is many furlongs[163] in extent, and it is built all of large
stones closely fitted together.

164. The wall of the Phocaians was made in this manner: and Harpagos
having marched his army against them began to besiege them, at the
same time holding forth to them proposals and saying that it was
enough to satisfy him if the Phocaians were willing to throw down one
battlement of their wall and dedicate one single house.[164] But the
Phocaians, being very greatly grieved at the thought of subjection,
said that they wished to deliberate about the matter for one day and
after that they would give their answer; and they asked him to
withdraw his army from the wall while they were deliberating. Harpagos
said that he knew very well what they were meaning to do, nevertheless
he was willing to allow them to deliberate. So in the time that
followed, when Harpagos had withdrawn his army from the wall, the
Phocaians drew down their fifty-oared galleys to the sea, put into
them their children and women and all their movable goods, and besides
them the images out of the temples and the other votive offerings
except such as were made of bronze or stone or consisted of paintings,
all the rest, I say, they put into the ships, and having embarked
themselves they sailed towards Chios; and the Persians obtained
possession of Phocaia, the city being deserted of the inhabitants.
165. But as for the Phocaians, since the men of Chios would not sell
them at their request the islands called Oinussai, from the fear lest
these islands might be made a seat of trade and their island might be
shut out, therefore they set out for Kyrnos:[165] for in Kyrnos twenty
years before this they had established a city named Alalia, in
accordance with an oracle, (now Arganthonios by that time was dead).
And when they were setting out for Kyrnos they first sailed to Phocaia
and slaughtered the Persian garrison, to whose charge Harpagos had
delivered the city; then after they had achieved this they made solemn
imprecations on any one of them who should be left behind from their
voyage, and moreover they sank a mass of iron in the sea and swore
that not until that mass should appear again on the surface[166] would
they return to Phocaia. However as they were setting forth to Kyrnos,
more than half of the citizens were seized with yearning and regret
for their city and for their native land, and they proved false to
their oath and sailed back to Phocaia. But those of them who kept the
oath still, weighed anchor from the islands of Oinussai and sailed.
166. When these came to Kyrnos, for five years they dwelt together
with those who had come thither before, and they founded temples
there. Then, since they plundered the property of all their
neighbours, the Tyrsenians and Carthaginians[167] made expedition
against them by agreement with one another, each with sixty ships. And
the Phocaians also manned their vessels, sixty in number, and came to
meet the enemy in that which is called the Sardinian sea: and when
they encountered one another in the sea-fight the Phocaians won a kind
of Cadmean victory, for forty of their ships were destroyed and the
remaining twenty were disabled, having had their prows bent aside. So
they sailed in to Alalia and took up their children and their women
and their other possessions as much as their ships proved capable of
carrying, and then they left Kyrnos behind them and sailed to Rhegion.
167. But as for the crews of the ships that were destroyed, the
Carthaginians and Tyrsenians obtained much the greater number of
them,[168] and these they brought to land and killed by stoning. After
this the men of Agylla found that everything which passed by the spot
where the Phocaians were laid after being stoned, became either
distorted, or crippled, or paralysed, both small cattle and beasts of
burden and human creatures: so the men of Agylla sent to Delphi
desiring to purge themselves of the offence; and the Pythian
prophetess bade them do that which the men of Agylla still continue to
perform, that is to say, they make great sacrifices in honour of the
dead, and hold at the place a contest of athletics and horse-racing.
These then of the Phocaians had the fate which I have said; but those
of them who took refuge at Rhegion started from thence and took
possession of that city in the land of Oinotria which now is called
Hyele. This they founded having learnt from a man of Poseidonia that
the Pythian prophetess by her answer meant them to found a temple to
Kyrnos, who was a hero, and not to found a settlement in the island of

168. About Phocaia in Ionia it happened thus, and nearly the same
thing also was done by the men of Teos: for as soon as Harpagos took
their wall with a mound, they embarked in their ships and sailed
straightway for Thrace; and there they founded the city of Abdera,
which before them Timesios of Clazomenai founded and had no profit
therefrom, but was driven out by the Thracians; and now he is honoured
as a hero by the Teans in Abdera.

169. These alone of all the Ionians left their native cities because
they would not endure subjection: but the other Ionians except the
Milesians did indeed contend in arms with Harpagos like those who left
their homes, and proved themselves brave men, fighting each for his
own native city; but when they were defeated and captured they
remained all in their own place and performed that which was laid upon
them: but the Milesians, as I have also said before, had made a sworn
agreement with Cyrus himself and kept still. Thus for the second time
Ionia had been reduced to subjection. And when Harpagos had conquered
the Ionians on the mainland, then the Ionians who dwelt in the
islands, being struck with fear by these things, gave themselves over
to Cyrus.

170. When the Ionians had been thus evilly entreated but were
continuing still to hold their gatherings as before at the Panionion,
Bias a man of Priene set forth to the Ionians, as I am informed, a
most profitable counsel, by following which they might have been the
most prosperous of all the Hellenes. He urged that the Ionians should
set forth in one common expedition and sail to Sardinia, and after
that found a single city for all the Ionians: and thus they would
escape subjection and would be prosperous, inhabiting the largest of
all islands and being rulers over others; whereas, if they remained in
Ionia, he did not perceive, he said, that freedom would any longer
exist for them. This was the counsel given by Bias of Priene after the
Ionians had been ruined; but a good counsel too was given before the
ruin of Ionia by Thales a man of Miletos, who was by descent of
Phenician race. He advised the Ionians to have one single seat of
government,[170] and that this should be at Teos (for Teos, he said,
was in the centre of Ionia), and that the other cities should be
inhabited as before, but accounted just as if they were demes.

These men[171] set forth to them counsels of the kind which I have
said: 171, but Harpagos, after subduing Ionia, proceeded to march
against the Carians and Caunians and Lykians, taking also Ionians and
Aiolians to help him. Of these the Carians came to the mainland from
the islands; for being of old time subjects of Minos and being called
Leleges, they used to dwell in the islands, paying no tribute, so far
back as I am able to arrive by hearsay, but whenever Minos required
it, they used to supply his ships with seamen: and as Minos subdued
much land and was fortunate in his fighting, the Carian nation was of
all nations by much the most famous at that time together with him.
And they produced three inventions of which the Hellenes adopted the
use; that is to say, the Carians were those who first set the fashion
of fastening crests on helmets, and of making the devices which are
put onto shields, and these also were the first who made handles for
their shields, whereas up to that time all who were wont to use
shields carried them without handles and with leathern straps to guide
them, having them hung about their necks and their left shoulders.
Then after the lapse of a long time the Dorians and Ionians drove the
Carians out of the islands, and so they came to the mainland. With
respect to the Carians the Cretans relate that it happened thus; the
Carians themselves however do not agree with this account, but suppose
that they are dwellers on the mainland from the beginning,[172] and
that they went always by the same name which they have now: and they
point as evidence of this to an ancient temple of Carian Zeus at
Mylasa, in which the Mysians and Lydians share as being brother races
of the Carians, for they say that Lydos and Mysos were brothers of
Car; these share in it, but those who being of another race have come
to speak the same language as the Carians, these have no share in it.
172. It seems to me however that the Caunians are dwellers there from
the beginning, though they say themselves that they came from Crete:
but they have been assimilated to the Carian race in language, or else
the Carians to the Caunian race, I cannot with certainty determine
which. They have customs however in which they differ very much from
all other men as well as from the Carians; for example the fairest
thing in their estimation is to meet together in numbers for drinking,
according to equality of age or friendship, both men, women, and
children; and again when they had founded temples for foreign deities,
afterwards they changed their purpose and resolved to worship only
their own native gods, and the whole body of Caunian young men put on
their armour and made pursuit as far as the borders of the Calyndians,
beating the air with their spears; and they said that they were
casting the foreign gods out of the land. Such are the customs which
these have. 173. The Lykians however have sprung originally from Crete
(for in old time the whole of Crete was possessed by Barbarians): and
when the sons of Europa, Sarpedon and Minos, came to be at variance in
Crete about the kingdom, Minos having got the better in the strife of
parties drove out both Sarpedon himself and those of his party: and
they having been expelled came to the land of Milyas in Asia, for the
land which now the Lykians inhabit was anciently called Milyas, and
the Milyans were then called Solymoi. Now while Sarpedon reigned over
them, they were called by the name which they had when they came
thither, and by which the Lykians are even now called by the
neighbouring tribes, namely Termilai; but when from Athens Lycos the
son of Pandion came to the land of the Termilai and to Sarpedon, he
too having been driven out by his brother namely Aigeus, then by the
name taken from Lycos they were called after a time Lykians. The
customs which these have are partly Cretan and partly Carian; but one
custom they have which is peculiar to them, and in which they agree
with no other people, that is they call themselves by their mothers
and not by their fathers; and if one asks his neighbour who he is, he
will state his parentage on the mother's side and enumerate his
mother's female ascendants: and if a woman who is a citizen marry a
slave, the children are accounted to be of gentle birth; but if a man
who is a citizen, though he were the first man among them, have a
slave for wife or concubine, the children are without civil rights.

174. Now the Carians were reduced to subjection by Harpagos without
any brilliant deed displayed either by the Carians themselves or by
those of the Hellenes who dwell in this land. Of these last there are
besides others the men of Cnidos, settlers from Lacedemon, whose land
runs out into the sea,[173] being in fact the region which is called
Triopion, beginning from the peninsula of Bybassos: and since all the
land of Cnidos except a small part is washed by the sea (for the part
of it which looks towards the North is bounded by the Gulf of Keramos,
and that which looks to the South by the sea off Syme and Rhodes),
therefore the men of Cnidos began to dig through this small part,
which is about five furlongs across, while Harpagos was subduing
Ionia, desiring to make their land an island: and within the isthmus
all was theirs,[174] for where the territory of Cnidos ends in the
direction of the mainland, here is the isthmus which they were digging
across. And while the Cnidians were working at it with a great number
of men, it was perceived that the men who worked suffered injury much
more than might have been expected and in a more supernatural manner,
both in other parts of their bodies and especially in their eyes, when
the rock was being broken up; so they sent men to ask the Oracle at
Delphi what the cause of the difficulty was. And the Pythian
prophetess, as the men of Cnidos themselves report, gave them this
reply in trimeter verse:--

"Fence not the place with towers, nor dig the isthmus through;
Zeus would have made your land an island, had he willed."

When the Pythian prophetess had given this oracle, the men of Cnidos
not only ceased from their digging but delivered themselves to
Harpagos without resistance, when he came against them with his army.

175. There were also the Pedasians, who dwelt in the inland country
above Halicarnassos; and among these, whenever anything hurtful is
about to happen either to themselves or to their neighbours, the
priestess of Athene has a great beard: this befell them three times.
These of all about Caria were the only men who held out for any time
against Harpagos, and they gave him trouble more than any other
people, having fortified a mountain called Lide.

176. After a time the Pedasians were conquered; and the Lykians, when
Harpagos marched his army into the plain of Xanthos, came out against
him[175] and fought, few against many, and displayed proofs of valour;
but being defeated and confined within their city, they gathered
together into the citadel their wives and their children, their
property and their servants, and after that they set fire to this
citadel, so that it was all in flames, and having done so and sworn
terrible oaths with one another, they went forth against the
enemy[176] and were slain in fight, that is to say all the men of
Xanthos: and of the Xanthians who now claim to be Lykians the greater
number have come in from abroad, except only eighty households; but
these eighty households happened at that time to be away from their
native place, and so they escaped destruction. Thus Harpagos obtained
possession of Caunos, for the men of Caunos imitated in most respects
the behaviour of the Lykians.

177. So Harpagos was conquering the coast regions of Asia; and Cyrus
himself meanwhile was doing the same in the upper parts of it,
subduing every nation and passing over none. Now most of these actions
I shall pass over in silence, but the undertakings which gave him
trouble more than the rest and which are the most worthy of note, of
these I shall make mention.


178. Cyrus, so soon as he had made subject to himself all other parts
of the mainland, proceeded to attack the Assyrians. Now Assyria has
doubtless many other great cities, but the most famous and the
strongest, and the place where the seat of their monarchy had been
established after Nineveh was destroyed, was Babylon; which was a city
such as I shall say.--It lies in a great plain, and in size it is such
that each face measures one hundred and twenty furlongs,[177] the
shape of the whole being square; thus the furlongs of the circuit of
the city amount in all to four hundred and eighty. Such is the size of
the city of Babylon, and it had a magnificence greater than all other
cities of which we have knowledge. First there runs round it a trench
deep and broad and full of water; then a wall fifty royal cubits in
thickness and two hundred cubits in height: now the royal cubit is
larger by three fingers than the common cubit.[178] 179. I must also
tell in addition to this for what purpose the earth was used, which
was taken out of the trench, and in what manner the wall was made. As
they dug the trench they made the earth which was carried out of the
excavation into bricks, and having moulded enough bricks they baked
them in kilns; and then afterwards, using hot asphalt for mortar and
inserting reed mats at every thirty courses of brickwork, they built
up first the edges of the trench and then the wall itself in the same
manner: and at the top of the wall along the edges they built chambers
of one story facing one another; and between the rows of chambers they
left space to drive a four-horse chariot. In the circuit of the wall
there are set a hundred gates made of bronze throughout, and the gate-
posts and lintels likewise. Now there is another city distant from
Babylon a space of eight days' journey, of which the name is Is; and
there is a river there of no great size, and the name of the river is
also Is, and it sends its stream into the river Euphrates. This river
Is throws up together with its water lumps of asphalt in great
abundance, and thence was brought the asphalt for the wall of Babylon.
180. Babylon then was walled in this manner; and there are two
divisions of the city; for a river whose name is Euphrates parts it in
the middle. This flows from the land of the Armenians and is large and
deep and swift, and it flows out into the Erythraian sea. The wall
then on each side has its bends[179] carried down to the river, and
from this point the return walls stretch along each bank of the stream
in the form of a rampart of baked bricks: and the city itself is full
of houses of three and four stories, and the roads by which it is cut
up run in straight lines, including the cross roads which lead to the
river; and opposite to each road there were set gates in the rampart
which ran along the river, in many in number as the ways,[180] and
these also were of bronze and led like the ways[181] to the river
itself. 181. This wall then which I have mentioned is as it were a
cuirass[182] for the town, and another wall runs round within it, not
much weaker for defence than the first but enclosing a smaller
space.[183] And in each division of the city was a building in the
midst, in the one the king's palace of great extent and strongly
fortified round, and in the other the temple of Zeus Belos with bronze
gates, and this exists still up to my time and measures two furlongs
each way,[184] being of a square shape: and in the midst of the
temple[185] is built a solid tower measuring a furlong both in length
and in breadth, and on this tower another tower has been erected, and
another again upon this, and so on up to the number of eight towers.
An ascent to these has been built running outside round about all the
towers; and when one reaches about the middle of the ascent one finds
a stopping-place and seats to rest upon, on which those who ascend sit
down and rest: and on the top of the last tower there is a large
cell,[186] and in the cell a large couch is laid, well covered, and by
it is placed a golden table: and there is no image there set up nor
does any human being spend the night there except only one woman of
the natives of the place, whomsoever the god shall choose from all the
woman, as say the Chaldeans who are the priests of this god. 182.
These same men say also, but I do not believe them, that the god
himself comes often to the cell and rests upon the couch, as happens
likewise in the Egyptian Thebes according to the report of the
Egyptians, for there also a woman sleeps in the temple of the Theban
Zeus (and both these women are said to abstain from commerce with
men), and as happens also with the prophetess[187] of the god in
Patara of Lykia, whenever there is one, for there is not always an
Oracle there, but whenever there is one, then she is shut up during
the nights in the temple within the cell. 183. There is moreover in
the temple at Babylon another cell below, wherein is a great image of
Zeus sitting, made of gold, and by it is placed a large table of gold,
and his footstool and seat are of gold also; and, as the Chaldeans
reported, the weight of the gold of which these things are made is
eight hundred talents. Outside this cell is an altar of gold; and
there is also another altar of great size, where full-grown
animals[188] are sacrificed, whereas on the golden altar it is not
lawful to sacrifice any but young sucklings only: and also on the
larger altar the Chaldeans offer one thousand talents of frankincense
every year at the time when they celebrate the feast in honour of this
god. There was moreover in these precincts still remaining at the time
of Cyrus,[189] a statue twelve cubits high, of gold and solid. This I
did not myself see, but that which is related by the Chaldeans I
relate. Against this statue Dareios the son of Hystaspes formed a
design, but he did not venture to take it: it was taken however by
Xerxes the son of Dareios, who also killed the priest when he forbade
him to meddle with the statue. This temple, then, is thus adorned with
magnificence, and there are also many private votive-offerings.

184. Of this Babylon, besides many other rulers, of whom I shall make
mention in the Assyrian history, and who added improvement to the
walls and temples, there were also two who were women. Of these, the
one who ruled first, named Semiramis, who lived five generations
before the other, produced banks of earth in the plain which are a
sight worth seeing; and before this the river used to flood like a sea
over the whole plain. 185. The queen who lived after her time, named
Nitocris, was wiser than she who had reigned before; and in the first
place she left behind her monuments which I shall tell of; then
secondly, seeing that the monarchy of the Medes was great and not apt
to remain still, but that besides other cities even Nineveh had been
captured by it, she made provision against it in so far as she was
able. First, as regards the river Euphrates which flows through the
midst of their city, whereas before this it flowed straight, she by
digging channels above made it so winding that it actually comes three
times in its course to one of the villages in Assyria; and the name of
the village to which the Euphrates comes is Ardericca; and at this day
those who travel from this Sea of ours to Babylon, in their voyage
down the river Euphrates[189a] arrive three times at this same village
and on three separate days. This she did thus; and she also piled up a
mound along each bank of the river, which is worthy to cause wonder
for its size and height: and at a great distance above Babylon, she
dug a basin for a lake, which she caused to extend along at a very
small distance from the river,[190] excavating it everywhere of such
depth as to come to water, and making the extent such that the circuit
of it measured four hundred and twenty furlongs: and the earth which
was dug out of this excavation she used up by piling it in mounds
along the banks of the river: and when this had been dug by her she
brought stones and set them all round it as a facing wall. Both these
two things she did, that is she made the river to have a winding
course, and she made the place which was dug out all into a swamp, in
order that the river might run more slowly, having its force broken by
going round many bends, and that the voyages might be winding to
Babylon, and after the voyages there might succeed a long circuit of
the pool. These works she carried out in that part where the entrance
to the country was, and the shortest way to it from Media, so that the
Medes might not have dealings with her kingdom and learn of her

186. These defences she cast round her city from the depth; and she
made the following addition which was dependent upon them:--The city
was in two divisions, and the river occupied the space between; and in
the time of the former rulers, when any one wished to pass over from
the one division to the other, he had to pass over in a boat, and
that, as I imagine, was troublesome: she however made provision also
for this; for when she was digging the basin for the lake she left
this other monument of herself derived from the same work, that is,
she caused stones to be cut of very great length, and when the stones
were prepared for her and the place had been dug out, she turned aside
the whole stream of the river into the place which she had been
digging; and while this was being filled with water, the ancient bed
of the river being dried up in the meantime, she both built up with
baked bricks after the same fashion as the wall the edges of the
river, where it flows through the city, and the places of descent
leading from the small gateways to the river; and also about the
middle of the city, as I judge, with the stones which she had caused
to be dug out she proceeded to build a bridge, binding together the
stones with iron and lead: and upon the top she laid squared timbers
across, to remain there while it was daytime, over which the people of
Babylon made the passage across; but at night they used to take away
these timbers for this reason, namely that they might not go backwards
and forwards by night and steal from one another: and when the place
dug out had been made into a lake full of water by the river, and at
the same time the bridge had been completed, then she conducted the
Euphrates back into its ancient channel from the lake, and so the
place dug out being made into a swamp was thought to have served a
good purpose, and there had been a bridge set up for the men of the

187. This same queen also contrived a snare of the following kind:--
Over that gate of the city through which the greatest number of people
passed she set up for herself a tomb above the very gate itself. And
on the tomb she engraved writing which said thus: "If any of the kings
of Babylon who come after me shall be in want of wealth, let him open
my tomb and take as much as he desires; but let him not open it for
any other cause, if he be not in want; for that will not be
well."[191] This tomb was undisturbed until the kingdom came to
Dareios; but to Dareios it seemed that it was a monstrous thing not to
make any use of this gate, and also, when there was money lying there,
not to take it, considering that the money itself invited him to do
so. Now the reason why he would not make any use of this gate was
because the corpse would have been above his head as he drove through.
He then, I say, opened the tomb and found not indeed money but the
corpse, with writing which said thus: "If thou hadst not been
insatiable of wealth and basely covetous, thou wouldest not have
opened the resting-places of the dead."

188. This queen then is reported to have been such as I have
described: and it was the son of this woman, bearing the same name as
his father, Labynetos, and being ruler over the Assyrians, against
whom Cyrus was marching. Now the great king makes his marches not only
well furnished[192] from home with provisions for his table and with
cattle, but also taking with him water from the river Choaspes, which
flows by Susa, of which alone and of no other river the king drinks:
and of this water of the Choaspes boiled, a very great number of
waggons, four-wheeled and drawn by mules, carry a supply in silver
vessels, and go with him wherever he may march at any time. 189. Now
when Cyrus on his way towards Babylon arrived at the river Gyndes,--of
which river the springs are in the mountains of the Matienians, and it
flows through the Dardanians and runs into another river, the Tigris,
which flowing by the city of Opis runs out into the Erythraian Sea,--
when Cyrus, I say, was endeavouring to cross this river Gyndes, which
is a navigable stream, then one of his sacred white horses in high
spirit and wantonness went into the river and endeavoured to cross,
but the stream swept it under water and carried it off forthwith. And
Cyrus was greatly moved with anger against the river for having done
thus insolently, and he threatened to make it so feeble that for the
future even women could cross it easily without wetting the knee. So
after this threat he ceased from his march against Babylon and divided
his army into two parts; and having divided it he stretched lines and
marked out straight channels,[193] one hundred and eighty on each bank
of the Gyndes, directed every way, and having disposed his army along
them he commanded them to dig: so, as a great multitude was working,
the work was completed indeed, but they spent the whole summer season
at this spot working.

190. When Cyrus had taken vengeance on the river Gyndes by dividing it
into three hundred and sixty channels, and when the next spring was
just beginning, then at length he continued his advance upon Babylon:
and the men of Babylon had marched forth out of their city and were
awaiting him. So when in his advance he came near to the city, the
Babylonians joined battle with him, and having been worsted in the
fight they were shut up close within their city. But knowing well even
before this that Cyrus was not apt to remain still, and seeing him lay
hands on every nation equally, they had brought in provisions
beforehand[194] for very many years. So while these made no account of
the siege, Cyrus was in straits what to do, for much time went by and
his affairs made no progress onwards. 191. Therefore, whether it was
some other man who suggested it to him when he was in a strait what to
do, or whether he of himself perceived what he ought to do, he did as
follows:--The main body of his army[195] he posted at the place where
the river runs into the city, and then again behind the city he set
others, where the river issues forth from the city; and he proclaimed
to his army that so soon as they should see that the stream had become
passable, they should enter by this way into the city. Having thus set
them in their places and in this manner exhorted them he marched away
himself with that part of his army which was not fit for fighting: and
when he came to the lake, Cyrus also did the same things which the
queen of the Babylonians had done as regards the river and the lake;
that is to say, he conducted the river by a channel into the lake,
which was at that time a swamp, and so made the former course of the
river passable by the sinking of the stream. When this had been done
in such a manner, the Persians who had been posted for this very
purpose entered by the bed of the river Euphrates into Babylon, the
stream having sunk so far that it reached about to the middle of a
man's thigh. Now if the Babylonians had had knowledge of it beforehand
or had perceived that which was being done by Cyrus, they would have
allowed[196] the Persians to enter the city and then destroyed them
miserably; for if they had closed all the gates that led to the river
and mounted themselves upon the ramparts which were carried along the
banks of the stream, they would have caught them as it were in a fish-
wheal: but as it was, the Persians came upon them unexpectedly; and
owing to the size of the city (so it is said by those who dwell there)
after those about the extremities of the city had suffered capture,
those Babylonians who dwelt in the middle did not know that they had
been captured; but as they chanced to be holding a festival, they went
on dancing and rejoicing during this time until they learnt the truth
only too well.

Babylon then had thus been taken for the first time: 192, and as to
the resources of the Babylonians how great they are, I shall show by
many other proofs and among them also by this:--For the support of the
great king and his army, apart from the regular tribute the whole land
of which he is ruler has been distributed into portions. Now whereas
twelve months go to make up the year, for four of these he has his
support from the territory of Babylon, and for the remaining eight
months from the whole of the rest of Asia; thus the Assyrian land is
in regard to resources the third part of all Asia: and the government,
or satrapy as it is called by the Persians, of this territory is of
all the governments by far the best; seeing that when Tritantaichmes
son of Artabazos had this province from the king, there came in to him
every day an /artab/ full of silver coin (now the /artab/ is a Persian
measure and holds more than the /medimnos/ of Attica[197] by three
Attic /choinikes/); and of horses he had in this province as his
private property, apart from the horses for use in war, eight hundred
stallions and sixteen thousand mares, for each of these stallions
served twenty mares: of Indian hounds moreover such a vast number were
kept that four large villages in the plain, being free from other
contributions, had been appointed to provide food for the hounds. 193.
Such was the wealth which belonged to the ruler of Babylon. Now the
land of the Assyrians has but little rain; and this little gives
nourishment to the root of the corn, but the crop is ripened and the
ear comes on by the help of watering from the river, not as in Egypt
by the coming up of the river itself over the fields, but the crop is
watered by hand or with swing-buckets. For the whole Babylonian
territory like the Egyptian is cut up into channels, and the largest
of the channels is navigable for ships and runs in the direction of
the sunrising in winter from the Euphrates to another river, namely
the Tigris, along the bank of which lay the city of Nineveh. This
territory is of all that we know the best by far for producing
corn:[198] as to trees,[199] it does not even attempt to bear them,
either fig or vine or olive, but for producing corn it is so good that
it returns as much as two-hundred-fold for the average, and when it
bears at its best it produces three-hundred-fold. The leaves of the
wheat and barley there grow to be full four fingers broad; and from
millet and sesame seed how large a tree grows, I know myself but shall
not record, being well aware that even what has already been said
relating to the crops produced has been enough to cause disbelief in
those who have not visited the Babylonian land. They use no oil of
olives, but only that which they make of sesame seed; and they have
date-palms growing over all the plain, most of them fruit-bearing, of
which they make both solid food and wine and honey; and to these they
attend in the same manner as to fig-trees, and in particular they take
the fruit of those palms which the Hellenes call male-palms, and tie
them upon the date-bearing palms, so that their gall-fly may enter
into the date and ripen it and that the fruit of the palm may not fall
off: for the male-palm produces gall-flies in its fruit just as the
wild-fig does.

194. But the greatest marvel of all the things in the land after the
city itself, to my mind is this which I am about to tell: Their boats,
those I mean which go down the river to Babylon, are round and all of
leather: for they make ribs for them of willow which they cut in the
land of the Armenians who dwell above the Assyrians, and round these
they stretch hides which serve as a covering outside by way of hull,
not making broad the stern nor gathering in the prow to a point, but
making the boats round like a shield: and after that they stow the
whole boat with straw and suffer it to be carried down the stream full
of cargo; and for the most part these boats bring down casks of palm-
wood[200] filled with wine. The boat is kept straight by two steering-
oars and two men standing upright, and the man inside pulls his oar
while the man outside pushes.[201] These vessels are made both of very
large size and also smaller, the largest of them having a burden of as
much as five thousand talents' weight;[202] and in each one there is a
live ass, and in those of larger size several. So when they have
arrived at Babylon in their voyage and have disposed of their cargo,
they sell by auction the ribs of the boat and all the straw, but they
pack the hides upon their asses and drive them off to Armenia: for up
the stream of the river it is not possible by any means to sail, owing
to the swiftness of the current; and for this reason they make their
boats not of timber but of hides. Then when they have come back to the
land of the Armenians, driving their asses with them, they make other
boats in the same manner. 195. Such are their boats; and the following
is the manner of dress which they use, namely a linen tunic reaching
to the feet, and over this they put on another of wool, and then a
white mantle thrown round, while they have shoes of a native fashion
rather like the Botian slippers. They wear their hair long and bind
their heads round with fillets,[203] and they are anointed over the
whole of their body with perfumes. Each man has a seal and a staff
carved by hand, and on each staff is carved either an apple or a rose
or a lily or an eagle or some other device, for it is not their custom
to have a staff without a device upon it.

196. Such is the equipment of their bodies: and the customs which are
established among them are as follows, the wisest in our opinion being
this, which I am informed that the Enetoi in Illyria also have. In
every village once in each year it was done as follows:--When the
maidens[204] grew to the age for marriage, they gathered these all
together and brought them in a body to one place, and round them stood
a company of men: and the crier caused each one severally to stand up,
and proceeded to sell them, first the most comely of all, and
afterwards, when she had been sold and had fetched a large sum of
money, he would put up another who was the most comely after her: and
they were sold for marriage. Now all the wealthy men of the
Babylonians who were ready to marry vied with one another in bidding
for the most beautiful maidens; those however of the common sort who
were ready to marry did not require a fine form, but they would accept
money together with less comely maidens. For when the crier had made
an end of selling the most comely of the maidens, then he would cause
to stand up that one who was least shapely, or any one of them who
might be crippled in any way, and he would make proclamation of her,
asking who was willing for least gold to have her in marriage, until
she was assigned to him who was willing to accept least: and the gold
would be got from the sale of the comely maidens, and so those of
beautiful form provided dowries for those which were unshapely or
crippled; but to give in marriage one's own daughter to whomsoever
each man would, was not allowed, nor to carry off the maiden after
buying her without a surety; for it was necessary for the man to
provide sureties that he would marry her, before he took her away; and
if they did not agree well together, the law was laid down that he
should pay back the money. It was allowed also for any one who wished
it to come from another village and buy. This then was their most
honourable custom; it does not however still exist at the present
time, but they have found out of late another way, in order that the
men may not ill-treat them or take them to another city:[205] for
since the time when being conquered they were oppressed and ruined,
each one of the common people when he is in want of livelihood
prostitutes his female children.

197. Next in wisdom to that, is this other custom which was
established[206] among them:--they bear out the sick into the market-
place; for of physicians they make no use. So people come up to the
sick man and give advice about his disease, if any one himself has
ever suffered anything like that which the sick man has, or saw any
other who had suffered it; and coming near they advise and recommend
those means by which they themselves got rid of a like disease or seen
some other get rid of it: and to pass by the sick man in silence is
not permitted to them, nor until one has asked what disease he has.

198. They bury their dead in honey, and their modes of lamentation are
similar to those used in Egypt. And whenever a Babylonian man has
intercourse with his wife, he sits by incense offered, and his wife
does the same on the other side, and when it is morning they wash
themselves, both of them, for they will touch no vessel until they
have washed themselves: and the Arabians do likewise in this matter.

199. Now the most shameful of the customs of the Babylonians is as
follows: every woman of the country must sit down in the
precincts[207] of Aphrodite once in her life and have commerce with a
man who is a stranger: and many women who do not deign to mingle with
the rest, because they are made arrogant by wealth, drive to the
temple with pairs of horses in covered carriages, and so take their
place, and a large number of attendants follow after them; but the
greater number do thus,--in the sacred enclosure of Aphrodite sit
great numbers of women with a wreath of cord about their heads; some
come and others go; and there are passages in straight lines going
between the women in every direction,[208] through which the strangers
pass by and make their choice. Here when a woman takes her seat she
does not depart again to her house until one of the strangers has
thrown a silver coin into her lap and has had commerce with her
outside the temple, and after throwing it he must say these words
only: "I demand thee in the name of the goddess Mylitta":[209] now
Mylitta is the name given by the Assyrians to Aphrodite: and the
silver coin may be of any value; whatever it is she will not refuse
it, for that is not lawful for her, seeing that this coin is made
sacred by the act: and she follows the man who has first thrown and
does not reject any: and after that she departs to her house, having
acquitted herself of her duty to the goddess[210], nor will you be
able thenceforth to give any gift so great as to win her. So then as
many as have attained to beauty and stature[211] are speedily
released, but those of them who are unshapely remain there much time,
not being able to fulfil the law; for some of them remain even as much
as three or four years: and in some parts of Cyprus too there is a
custom similar to this.

200. These customs then are established among the Babylonians: and
there are of them three tribes[212] which eat nothing but fish only:
and when they have caught them and dried them in the sun they do thus,
--they throw them into brine, and then pound them with pestles and
strain them through muslin; and they have them for food either kneaded
into a soft cake, or baked like bread, according to their liking.

201. When this nation also had been subdued by Cyrus, he had a desire
to bring the Massagetai into subjection to himself. This nation is
reputed to be both great and warlike, and to dwell towards the East
and the sunrising, beyond the river Araxes and over against[213] the
Issedonians: and some also say that this nation is of Scythian race.
202. Now the Araxes is said by some to be larger and by others to be
smaller than the Ister: and they say that there are many islands in it
about equal in size to Lesbos, and in them people dwelling who feed in
the summer upon roots of all kinds which they dig up and certain
fruits from trees, which have been discovered by them for food, they
store up, it is said, in the season when they are ripe and feed upon
them in the winter. Moreover it is said that other trees have been
discovered by them which yield fruit of such a kind that when they
have assembled together in companies in the same place and lighted a
fire, they sit round in a circle and throw some of it into the fire,
and they smell the fruit which is thrown on, as it burns, and are
intoxicated by the scent as the Hellenes are with wine, and when more
of the fruit is thrown on they become more intoxicated, until at last
they rise up to dance and begin to sing. This is said to be their
manner of living: and as to the river Araxes, it flows from the land
of the Matienians, whence flows the Gyndes which Cyrus divided into
the three hundred and sixty channels, and it discharges itself by
forty branches, of which all except one end in swamps and shallow
pools; and among them they say that men dwell who feed on fish eaten
raw, and who are wont to use as clothing the skins of seals: but the
one remaining branch of the Araxes flows with unimpeded course into
the Caspian Sea.

203. Now the Caspian Sea is apart by itself, not having connection
with the other Sea: for all that Sea which the Hellenes navigate, and
the Sea beyond the Pillars, which is called Atlantis, and the
Erythraian Sea are in fact all one, but the Caspian is separate and
lies apart by itself. In length it is a voyage of fifteen days if one
uses oars,[214] and in breadth, where it is broadest, a voyage of
eight days. On the side towards the West of this Sea the Caucasus runs
along by it, which is of all mountain-ranges both the greatest in
extent and the loftiest: and the Caucasus has many various races of
men dwelling in it, living for the most part on the wild produce of
the forests; and among them there are said to be trees which produce
leaves of such a kind that by pounding them and mixing water with them
they paint figures upon their garments, and the figures do not wash
out, but grow old with the woollen stuff as if they had been woven
into it at the first: and men say that the sexual intercourse of these
people is open like that of cattle. 204. On the West then of this Sea
which is called Caspian the Caucasus is the boundary, while towards
the East and the rising sun a plain succeeds which is of limitless
extent to the view. Of this great plain then the Massagetai occupy a
large part, against whom Cyrus had become eager to march; for there
were many strong reasons which incited him to it and urged him
onwards,--first the manner of his birth, that is to say the opinion
held of him that he was more than a mere mortal man, and next the
success which he had met with[215] in his wars, for whithersoever
Cyrus directed his march, it was impossible for that nation to escape.
205. Now the ruler of the Massagetai was a woman, who was queen after
the death of her husband, and her name was Tomyris. To her Cyrus sent
and wooed her, pretending that he desired to have her for his wife:
but Tomyris understanding that he was wooing not herself but rather
the kingdom of the Massagetai, rejected his approaches: and Cyrus
after this, as he made no progress by craft, marched to the Araxes,
and proceeded to make an expedition openly against the Massagetai,
forming bridges of boats over the river for his army to cross, and
building towers upon the vessels which gave them passage across the

206. While he was busied about this labour, Tomyris sent a herald and
said thus: "O king of the Medes, cease to press forward the work which
thou art now pressing forward; for thou canst not tell whether these
things will be in the end for thy advantage or no; cease to do so, I
say, and be king over thine own people, and endure to see us ruling
those whom we rule. Since however I know that thou wilt not be willing
to receive this counsel, but dost choose anything rather than to be at
rest, therefore if thou art greatly anxious to make trial of the
Massagetai in fight, come now, leave that labour which thou hast in
yoking together the banks of the river, and cross over into our land,
when we have first withdrawn three days' journey from the river: or if
thou desirest rather to receive us into your land, do thou this same
thing thyself." Having heard this Cyrus called together the first men
among the Persians, and having gathered these together he laid the
matter before them for discussion, asking their advice as to which of
the two things he should do: and their opinions all agreed in one,
bidding him receive Tomyris and her army into his country. 207. But
Crsus the Lydian, being present and finding fault with this opinion,
declared an opinion opposite to that which had been set forth, saying
as follows: "O king, I told thee in former time also, that since Zeus
had given me over to thee, I would avert according to my power
whatever occasion of falling I might see coming near thy house: and
now my sufferings, which have been bitter,[216] have proved to be
lessons of wisdom to me. If thou dost suppose that thou art immortal
and that thou dost command an army which is also immortal, it will be
of no use for me to declare to thee my judgment; but if thou hast
perceived that thou art a mortal man thyself and dost command others
who are so likewise, then learn this first, that for the affairs of
men there is a revolving wheel, and that this in its revolution
suffers not the same persons always to have good fortune. I therefore
now have an opinion about the matter laid before us, which is opposite
to that of these men: for if we shall consent to receive the enemy
into our land, there is for thee this danger in so doing:--if thou
shalt be worsted thou wilt lose in addition all thy realm, for it is
evident that if the Massagetai are victors they will not turn back and
fly, but will march upon the provinces of thy realm; and on the other
hand if thou shalt be the victor, thou wilt not be victor so fully as
if thou shouldest overcome the Massagetai after crossing over into
their land and shouldest pursue them when they fled. For against that
which I said before I will set the same again here, and say that thou,
when thou hast conquered, wilt march straight against the realm of
Tomyris. Moreover besides that which has been said, it is a disgrace
and not to be endured that Cyrus the son of Cambyses should yield to a
woman and so withdraw from her land. Now therefore it seems good to me
that we should cross over and go forward from the crossing as far as
they go in their retreat, and endeavour to get the better of them by
doing as follows:--The Massagetai, as I am informed, are without
experience of Persian good things, and have never enjoyed any great
luxuries. Cut up therefore cattle without stint and dress the meat and
set out for these men a banquet in our camp: moreover also provide
without stint bowls of unmixed wine and provisions of every kind; and
having so done, leave behind the most worthless part of thy army and
let the rest begin to retreat from the camp towards the river: for if
I am not mistaken in my judgment, they when they see a quantity of
good things will fall to the feast, and after that it remains for us
to display great deeds."

208. These were the conflicting opinions; and Cyrus, letting go the
former opinion and choosing that of Crsus, gave notice to Tomyris to
retire, as he was intending to cross over to her. She then proceeded
to retire, as she had at first engaged to do, but Cyrus delivered
Crsus into the hands of his son Cambyses, to whom he meant to give
the kingdom, and gave him charge earnestly to honour him and to treat
him well, if the crossing over to go against the Massagetai should not
be prosperous. Having thus charged him and sent these away to the land
of the Persians, he crossed over the river both himself and his army.
209. And when he had passed over the Araxes, night having come on he
saw a vision in his sleep in the land of the Massagetai, as follows:--
in his sleep it seemed to Cyrus that he saw the eldest of the sons of
Hystaspes having upon his shoulders wings, and that with the one of
these he overshadowed Asia and with the other Europe. Now of Hystaspes
the son of Arsames, who was a man of the Achaimenid clan, the eldest
son was Dareios, who was then, I suppose, a youth of about twenty
years of age, and he had been left behind in the land of the Persians,
for he was not yet of full age to go out to the wars. So then when
Cyrus awoke he considered with himself concerning the vision: and as
the vision seemed to him to be of great import, he called Hystaspes,
and having taken him apart by himself he said: "Hystaspes, thy son has
been found plotting against me and against my throne: and how I know
this for certain I will declare to thee:--The gods have a care of me
and show me beforehand all the evils that threaten me. So in the night
that is past while sleeping I saw the eldest of thy sons having upon
his shoulders wings, and with the one of these he overshadowed Asia
and with the other Europe. To judge by this vision then, it cannot be
but that he is plotting against me. Do thou therefore go by the
quickest way back to Persia and take care that, when I return thither
after having subdued these regions, thou set thy son before me to be
examined." 210. Cyrus said thus supposing that Dareios was plotting
against him; but in fact the divine powers were showing him beforehand
that he was destined to find his end there and that his kingdom was
coming about to Dareios. To this then Hystaspes replied as follows: "O
king, heaven forbid[217] that there should be any man of Persian race
who would plot against thee, and if there be any, I pray that he
perish as quickly as may be; seeing that thou didst make the Persians
to be free instead of slaves, and to rule all nations instead of being
ruled by others. And if any vision announces to thee that my son is
planning rebellion against thee, I deliver him over to thee to do with
him whatsoever thou wilt. 211. Hystaspes then, having made answer with
these words and having crossed over the Araxes, was going his way to
the Persian land to keep watch over his son Dareios for Cyrus; and
Cyrus meanwhile went forward and made a march of one day from the
Araxes according to the suggestion of Crsus. After this when Cyrus
and the best part of the army[218] of the Persians had marched back to
the Araxes, and those who were unfit for fighting had been left
behind, then a third part of the army of the Massagetai came to the
attack and proceeded to slay, not without resistance,[219] those who
were left behind of the army of Cyrus; and seeing the feast that was
set forth, when they had overcome their enemies they lay down and
feasted, and being satiated with food and wine they went to sleep.
Then the Persians came upon them and slew many of them, and took alive
many more even than they slew, and among these the son of the queen
Tomyris, who was leading the army of the Massagetai; and his name was
Spargapises. 212. She then, when she heard that which had come to pass
concerning the army and also the things concerning her son, sent a
herald to Cyrus and said as follows: "Cyrus, insatiable of blood, be
not elated with pride by this which has come to pass, namely because
with that fruit of the vine, with which ye fill yourselves and become
so mad that as the wine descends into your bodies, evil words float up
upon its stream,--because setting a snare, I say, with such a drug as
this thou didst overcome my son, and not by valour in fight. Now
therefore receive the word which I utter, giving thee good advice:--
Restore to me my son and depart from this land without penalty,
triumphant over a third part of the army of the Massagetai: but if
thou shalt not do so, I swear to thee by the Sun, who is lord of the
Massagetai, that surely I will give thee thy fill of blood, insatiable
as thou art." 213. When these words were reported to him Cyrus made no
account of them; and the son of the queen Tomyris, Spargapises, when
the wine left him and he learnt in what evil case he was, entreated
Cyrus that he might be loosed from his chains and gained his request,
and then so soon as he was loosed and had got power over his hands he
put himself to death. 214. He then ended his life in this manner; but
Tomyris, as Cyrus did not listen to her, gathered together all her
power and joined battle with Cyrus. This battle of all the battles
fought by Barbarians I judge to have been the fiercest, and I am
informed that it happened thus:--first, it is said, they stood apart
and shot at one another, and afterwards when their arrows were all
shot away, they fell upon one another and engaged in close combat with
their spears and daggers; and so they continued to be in conflict with
one another for a long time, and neither side would flee; but at last
the Massagetai got the better in the fight: and the greater part of
the Persian army was destroyed there on the spot, and Cyrus himself
brought his life to an end there, after he had reigned in all thirty
years wanting one. Then Tomyris filled a skin with human blood and had
search made among the Persian dead for the corpse of Cyrus: and when
she found it, she let his head down into the skin and doing outrage to
the corpse she said at the same time this: "Though I yet live and have
overcome thee in fight, nevertheless thou didst undo me by taking my
son with craft: but I according to my threat will give thee thy fill
of blood." Now as regards the end of the life of Cyrus there are many
tales told, but this which I have related is to my mind the most
worthy of belief.

215. As to the Massagetai, they wear a dress which is similar to that
of the Scythians, and they have a manner of life which is also like
theirs; and there are of them horsemen and also men who do not ride on
horses (for they have both fashions), and moreover there are both
archers and spearmen, and their custom it is to carry battle-
axes;[220] and for everything they use either gold or bronze, for in
all that has to do with spear-points or arrow-heads or battle-axes
they use bronze, but for head-dresses and girdles and belts round the
arm-pits[221] they employ gold as ornament: and in like manner as
regards their horses, they put breast-plates of bronze about their
chests, but on their bridles and bits and cheek-pieces they employ
gold. Iron however and silver they use not at all, for they have them
not in their land, but gold and bronze in abundance. 216. These are
the customs which they have:--Each marries a wife, but they have their
wives in common; for that which the Hellenes say that the Scythians
do, is not in fact done by the Scythians but by the Massagetai, that
is to say, whatever woman a man of the Massagetai may desire he hangs
up his quiver in front of the waggon and has commerce with her freely.
They have no precise limit of age laid down for their life, but when a
man becomes very old, his nearest of kin come together and slaughter
him solemnly[222] and cattle also with him; and then after that they
boil the flesh and banquet upon it. This is considered by them the
happiest lot; but him who has ended his life by disease they do not
eat, but cover him up in the earth, counting it a misfortune that he
did not attain to being slaughtered. They sow no crops but live on
cattle and on fish, which last they get in abundance from the river
Araxes; moreover they are drinkers of milk. Of gods they reverence the
Sun alone, and to him they sacrifice horses: and the rule[223] of the
sacrifice is this:--to the swiftest of the gods they assign the
swiftest of all mortal things.


[1] {'Erodotou 'Alikarnesseos istories apodexis ede, os k.t.l.} The
meaning of the word {istorie} passes gradually from "research" or
"inquiry" to "narrative," "history"; cp. vii. 96. Aristotle in
quoting these words writes {Thouriou} for {'Alikarnesseos}
("Herodotus of Thurii"), and we know from Plutarch that this
reading existed in his time as a variation.

[2] Probably {erga} may here mean enduring monuments like the pyramids
and the works at Samos, cp. i. 93, ii. 35, etc.; in that case {ta
te alla} refers back to {ta genomena}, though the verb
{epolemesan} derives its subject from the mention of Hellenes and
Barbarians in the preceding clause.

[3] Many Editors have "with the Phenicians," on the authority of some
inferior MSS. and of the Aldine edition.

[4] {arpages}.

[4a] "thus or in some other particular way."

[5] {Surion}, see ch. 72. Herodotus perhaps meant to distinguish
{Surioi} from {Suroi}, and to use the first name for the
Cappadokians and the second for the people of Palestine, cp. ii.
104; but they are naturally confused in the MSS.

[6] {ex epidromes arpage}.

[7] {tes anoigomenes thures}, "the door that is opened."

[8] Or "because she was ashamed."

[9] {phoitan}.

[10] {upeisdus}: Stein adopts the conjecture {upekdus}, "slipping out
of his hiding-place.

[11] This last sentence is by many regarded as an interpolation. The
line referred to is {Ou moi ta Gugeo tou polukhrosou melei}.

[12] See v. 92.

[13] i.e. like other kings of Lydia who came after him.

[14] {Kolophonos to astu}, as opposed apparently to the acropolis, cp.
viii. 51.

[15] See ch. 73.

[16] {o kai esballon tenikauta es ten Milesien ten stratien}: an
allusion apparently to the invasions of the Milesian land at
harvest time, which are described above. All the operations
mentioned in the last chapter have been loosely described to
Alyattes, and a correction is here added to inform the reader that
they belong equally to his father. It will hardly mend matters
much if we take {o Audos} in ch. 17 to include both father and

[17] {didaxanta}.

[18] This name is applied by Herodotus to the southern part of the
peninsula only.

[19] Tarentum.

[20] {en toisi edolioisi}: properly "benches," but probably here the
raised deck at the stern.

[21] {ou mega}: many of the MSS. have {mega}.

[22] {stadioi}: furlongs of about 606 English feet.

[23] {to epilogo}.

[24] This list of nations is by some suspected as an interpolation;
see Stein's note on the passage.

[25] {sophistai}: cp. ii. 49, and iv. 95.

[26] {etheto}.

[27] {olbiotaton}.

[28] {stadious}.

[29] {romen}: many of the MSS. have {gnomen}, "good disposition."

[30] i.e. their mother: but some understand it to mean the goddess.

[31] {en telei touto eskhonto}.

[32] {anolbioi}.

[33] {eutukhees}.

[34] {aperos}: the MSS. have {apeiros}.

[35] {aikhme sideree blethenta}.

[36] "in the house of Crsus."

[37] {'Epistion}.

[38] {'Etaireion}.

[39] {suggrapsamenous}, i.e. have it written down by the {propsetes}
(see vii. 111 and viii. 37), who interpreted and put into regular
verse the inspired utterances of the prophetess {promantis}.

[40] {es to megaron}.

[41] {oida d' ego}: oracles often have a word of connection such as
{de} or {alla} at the beginning (cp. ch. 55, 174, etc.), which may
indicate that they are part of a larger connected utterance.

[42] Cp. vii. 178 and ix. 91 ("I accept the omen.")

[43] See viii. 134.

[44] {kai touton}, i.e. Amphiaraos: many Editors retain the readings
of the Aldine edition, {kai touto}, "that in this too he had found
a true Oracle."

[45] {emiplinthia}, the plinth being supposed to be square.

[46] {exapalaiota}, the palm being about three inches, cp. ii. 149.

[47] {apephthou khrusou}, "refined gold."

[48] {triton emitalanton}: the MSS. have {tria emitalanta}, which has
been corrected partly on the authority of Valla's translation.

[49] "white gold."

[50] Arranged evidently in stages, of which the highest consisted of
the 4 half-plinths of pure gold, the second of 15 half-plinths,
the third of 35, the fourth of 63, making 117 in all: see Stein's

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