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two hundred ships: these men had about their heads helmets of plaited
work, and they had hollow shields with the rims large, and spears for
sea-fighting, and large axes:[83] the greater number of them wore
corslets, and they had large knives. 90. These men were thus equipped;
and the Cyprians furnished a hundred and fifty ships, being themselves
equipped as follows,--their kings had their heads wound round with
fillets,[84] and the rest had tunics,[85] but in other respects they
were like the Hellenes. Among these there are various races as
follows,--some of them are from Salamis and Athens, others from
Arcadia, others from Kythnos, others again from Phenicia and others
from Ethiopia, as the Cyprians themselves report. 91. The Kilikians
furnished a hundred ships; and these again had about their heads
native helmets, and for shields they carried targets made of raw ox-
hide: they wore tunics[86] of wool and each man had two javelins and a
sword, this last being made very like the Egyptian knives. These in
old time were called Hypachaians, and they got their later name from
Kilix the son of Agenor, a Phenician. The Pamphylians furnished thirty
ships and were equipped in Hellenic arms. These Pamphylians are of
those who were dispersed from Troy together with Amphilochos and
Calchas. 92. The Lykians furnished fifty ships; and they were wearers
of corslets and greaves, and had bows of cornel-wood and arrows of
reeds without feathers and javelins and a goat-skin hanging over their
shoulders, and about their heads felt caps wreathed round with
feathers; also they had daggers and falchions.[87] The Lykians were
formerly called Termilai, being originally of Crete, and they got
their later name from Lycos the son of Pandion, an Athenian. 93. The
Dorians of Asia furnished thirty ships; and these had Hellenic arms
and were originally from the Peloponnese. The Carians supplied seventy
ships; and they were equipped in other respects like Hellenes but they
had also falchions and daggers. What was the former name of these has
been told in the first part of the history.[88] 94. The Ionians
furnished a hundred ships, and were equipped like Hellenes. Now the
Ionians, so long time as they dwelt in the Peloponnese, in the land
which is now called Achaia, and before the time when Danaos and Xuthos
came to the Peloponnese, were called, as the Hellenes report,
Pelasgians of the Coast-land,[89] and then Ionians after Ion the son
of Xuthos. 95. The islanders furnished seventeen ships, and were armed
like Hellenes, this also being a Pelasgian race, though afterwards it
came to be called Ionian by the same rule as the Ionians of the twelve
cities, who came from Athens. The Aiolians supplied sixty ships; and
these were equipped like Hellenes and used to be called Pelasgians in
the old time, as the Hellenes report. The Hellespontians, excepting
those of Abydos (for the men of Abydos had been appointed by the king
to stay in their place and be guards of the bridges), the rest, I say,
of those who served in the expedition from the Pontus furnished a
hundred ships, and were equipped like Hellenes: these are colonists of
the Ionians and Dorians.

96. In all the ships there served as fighting-men Persians, Medes, or
Sacans;: and of the ships, those which sailed best were furnished by
the Phenicians, and of the Phenicians the best by the men of Sidon.
Over all these men and also over those of them who were appointed to
serve in the land-army, there were for each tribe native chieftains,
of whom, since I am not compelled by the course of the inquiry,[89a] I
make no mention by the way; for in the first place the chieftains of
each separate nation were not persons worthy of mention, and then
moreover within each nation there were as many chieftains as there
were cities. These went with the expedition too not as commanders, but
like the others serving as slaves; for the generals who had the
absolute power and commanded the various nations, that is to say those
who were Persians, having already been mentioned by me. 97. Of the
naval force the following were commanders,--Ariabignes the son of
Dareios, Prexaspes the son of Aspathines, Megabazos the son of
Megabates, and Achaimenes the son of Dareios; that is to say, of the
Ionian and Carian force Ariabignes, who was the son of Dareios and of
the daughter of Gobryas; of the Egyptians Achaimenes was commander,
being brother of Xerxes by both parents; and of the rest of the
armament the other two were in command: and galleys of thirty oars and
of fifty oars, and light vessels,[90] and long[91] ships to carry
horses had been assembled together, as it proved, to the number of
three thousand. 98. Of those who sailed in the ships the men of most
note after the commanders were these,--of Sidon, Tetramnestos son of
Anysos; of Tyre, Matten[92] son of Siromos; or Arados, Merbalos son of
Agbalos; of Kilikia, Syennesis son of Oromedon; of Lykia, Kyberniscos
son of Sicas; of Cyprus, Gorgos son of Chersis and Timonax son of
Timagoras; of Caria, Histiaios son of Tymnes, Pigres son of
Hysseldomos,[93] and Damasithymos son of Candaules. 99. Of the rest of
the officers I make no mention by the way (since I am not bound to do
so), but only of Artemisia, at whom I marvel most that she joined the
expedition against Hellas, being a woman; for after her husband died,
she holding the power herself, although she had a son who was a young
man, went on the expedition impelled by high spirit and manly courage,
no necessity being laid upon her. Now her name, as I said, was
Artemisia and she was the daughter of Lygdamis, and by descent she was
of Halicarnassos on the side of her father, but of Crete by her
mother. She was ruler of the men of Halicarnassos and Cos and Nisyros
and Calydna, furnishing five ships; and she furnished ships which were
of all the fleet reputed the best after those of the Sidonians, and of
all his allies she set forth the best counsels to the king. Of the
States of which I said that she was leader I declare the people to be
all of Dorian race, those of Halicarnassos being Troizenians, and the
rest Epidaurians. So far then I have spoken of the naval force.

100. Then when Xerxes had numbered the army, and it had been arranged
in divisions, he had a mind to drive through it himself and inspect
it: and afterwards he proceeded so to do; and driving through in a
chariot by each nation, he inquired about them and his scribes wrote
down the names, until he had gone from end to end both of the horse
and of the foot. When he had done this, the ships were drawn down into
the sea, and Xerxes changing from his chariot to a ship of Sidon sat
down under a golden canopy and sailed along by the prows of the ships,
asking of all just as he had done with the land-army, and having the
answers written down. And the captains had taken their ships out to a
distance of about four hundred feet from the beach and were staying
them there, all having turned the prows of the ships towards the shore
in an even line[94] and having armed all the fighting-men as for war;
and he inspected them sailing within, between the prows of the ships
and the beach.

101. Now when he had sailed through these and had disembarked from his
ship, he sent for Demaratos the son of Ariston, who was marching with
him against Hellas; and having called him he asked as follows:
"Demaratos, now it is my pleasure to ask thee somewhat which I desire
to know. Thou art not only a Hellene, but also, as I am informed both
by thee and by the other Hellenes who come to speech with me, of a
city which is neither the least nor the feeblest of Hellas. Now
therefore declare to me this, namely whether the Hellenes will endure
to raise hands against me: for, as I suppose, even if all the Hellenes
and the remaining nations who dwell towards the West should be
gathered together, they are not strong enough in fight to endure my
attack, supposing them to be my enemies.[95] I desire however to be
informed also of thy opinion, what thou sayest about these matters."
He inquired thus, and the other made answer and said: "O king, shall I
utter the truth in speaking to thee, or that which will give
pleasure?" and he bade him utter the truth, saying that he should
suffer nothing unpleasant in consequence of this, any more than he
suffered before. 102. When Demaratos heard this, he spoke as follows:
"O king, since thou biddest me by all means utter the truth, and so
speak as one who shall not be afterwards convicted by thee of having
spoken falsely, I say this:--with Hellas poverty is ever an inbred
growth, while valour is one that has been brought in, being acquired
by intelligence and the force of law; and of it Hellas makes use ever
to avert from herself not only poverty but also servitude to a master.
Now I commend all the Hellenes who are settled in those Dorian lands,
but this which I am about to say has regard not to tall, but to the
Lacedemonians alone: of these I say, first that it is not possible
that they will ever accept thy terms, which carry with them servitude
for Hellas; and next I say that they will stand against thee in fight,
even if all the other Hellenes shall be of thy party: and as for
numbers, ask now how many they are, that they are able to do this; for
whether it chances that a thousand of them have come out into the
field, these will fight with thee, or if there be less than this, or
again if there be more." 103. Xerxes hearing this laughed, and said:
"Demaratos, what a speech is this which thou hast uttered, saying that
a thousand men will fight with this vast army! Come tell me this:--
thou sayest that thou wert thyself king of these men; wilt thou
therefore consent forthwith to fight with ten men? and yet if your
State is such throughout as thou dost describe it, thou their king
ought by your laws to stand in array against double as many as another
man; that is to say, if each of them is a match for ten men of my
army, I expect of thee that thou shouldest be a match for twenty. Thus
would be confirmed the report which is made by thee: but if ye, who
boast thus greatly are such men and in size so great only as the
Hellenes who come commonly to speech with me, thyself included, then
beware lest this which has been spoken prove but an empty vaunt. For
come, let me examine it by all that is probable: how could a thousand
or ten thousand or even fifty thousand, at least if they were all
equally free and were not ruled by one man, stand against so great an
army? since, as thou knowest, we shall be more than a thousand coming
about each one of them, supposing them to be in number five thousand.
If indeed they were ruled by one man after our fashion, they might
perhaps from fear of him become braver than it was their nature to be,
or they might go compelled by the lash to fight with greater numbers,
being themselves fewer in number; but if left at liberty, they would
do neither of these things: and I for my part suppose that, even if
equally matched in numbers, the Hellenes would hardly dare to fight
with the Persians taken alone. With us however this of which thou
speakest is found in single men,[96] not indeed often, but rarely; for
there are Persians of my spearmen who will consent to fight with three
men of the Hellenes at once: but thou hast had no experience of these
things and therefore thou speakest very much at random." 104. To this
Demaratos replied: "O king, from the first I was sure that if I
uttered the truth I should not speak that which was pleasing to thee;
since however thou didst compel me to speak the very truth, I told
thee of the matters which concern the Spartans. And yet how I am at
this present time attached to them by affection thou knowest better
than any; seeing that first they took away from me the rank and
privileges which came to me from my fathers, and then also they have
caused me to be without native land and an exile; but thy father took
me up and gave me livelihood and a house to dwell in. Surely it is not
to be supposed likely that the prudent man will thrust aside
friendliness which is offered to him, but rather that he will accept
it with full contentment.[97] And I do not profess that I am able to
fight either with ten men or with two, nay, if I had my will, I would
not even fight with one; but if there were necessity or if the cause
which urged me to the combat were a great one, I would fight most
willingly with one of these men who says that he is a match for three
of the Hellenes. So also the Lacedemonians are not inferior to any men
when fighting one by one, and they are the best of all men when
fighting in a body: for though free, yet they are not free in all
things, for over them is set Law as a master, whom they fear much more
even than thy people fear thee. It is certain at least that they do
whatsoever that master commands; and he commands ever the same thing,
that is to say, he bids them not flee out of battle from any multitude
of men, but stay in their post and win the victory or lose their life.
But if when I say these things I seem to thee to be speaking at
random, of other things for the future I prefer to be silent; and at
this time I spake only because I was compelled. May it come to pass
however according to thy mind, O king."

105. He thus made answer, and Xerxes turned the matter to laughter and
felt no anger, but dismissed him with kindness. Then after he had
conversed with him, and had appointed Mascames son of Megadostes to be
governor at this place Doriscos, removing the governor who had been
appointed by Dareios, Xerxes marched forth his army through Thrace to
invade Hellas. 106. And Mascames, whom he left behind here, proved to
be a man of such qualities that to him alone Xerxes used to send
gifts, considering him the best of all the men whom either he himself
or Dareios had appointed to be governors,--he used to send him gifts,
I say, every year, and so also did Artaxerxes the son of Xerxes to the
descendants of Mascames. For even before this march governors had been
appointed in Thrace and everywhere about the Hellespont; and these
all, both those in Thrace and in the Hellespont, were conquered by the
Hellenes after this expedition, except only the one who was at
Doriscos; but Mascames at Doriscos none were ever[98] able to conquer,
though many tried. For this reason the gifts are sent continually for
him from the king who reigns over the Persians. 107. Of those however
who were conquered by the Hellenes Xerxes did not consider any to be a
good man except only Boges, who was at E´on: him he never ceased
commending, and he honoured very highly his children who survived him
in the land of Persia. For in truth Boges proved himself worthy of
great commendation, seeing that when he was besieged by the Athenians
under Kimon the son of Miltiades, though he might have gone forth
under a truce and so returned home to Asia, he preferred not to do
this, for fear that the king should that it was by cowardice that he
survived; and he continued to hold out till the last. Then when there
was no longer any supply of provisions within the wall, he heaped
together a great pyre, and he cut the throats of his children, his
wife, his concubines and his servants, and threw them into the fire;
and after this he scattered all the gold and silver in the city from
the wall into the river Strymon, and having so done he threw himself
into the fire. Thus he is justly commended even to this present time
by the Persians.

108. Xerxes from Doriscos was proceeding onwards to invade Hellas; and
as he went he compelled those who successively came in his way, to
join his march: for the whole country as far as Thessaly had been
reduced to subjection, as has been set forth by me before, and was
tributary under the king, having been subdued by Megabazos and
afterwards by Mardonios. And he passed in his march from Doriscos
first by the Samothrakian strongholds, of which that which is situated
furthest towards the West is a city called Mesambria. Next to this
follows Stryme, a city of the Thasians, and midway between them flows
the river Lisos, which at this time did not suffice when supplying its
water to the army of Xerxes, but the stream failed. This country was
in old time called Galla´ke, but now Briantike; however by strict
justice this also belongs to the Kikonians. 109. Having crossed over
the bed of the river Lisos after it had been dried up, he passed by
these Hellenic cities, namely Maroneia, Dicaia and Abdera. These I say
he passed by, and also the following lakes of note lying near them,--
the Ismarian lake, lying between Maroneia and Stryme; the Bistonian
lake near Dicaia, into which two rivers pour their waters, the
Trauos[99] and the Compsantos;[100] and at Abdera no lake indeed of
any note was passed by Xerxes, but the river Nestos, which flows there
into the sea. Then after passing these places he went by the cities of
the mainland,[101] near one of which there is, as it chances, a lake
of somewhere about thirty furlongs in circumference, abounding in fish
and very brackish; this the baggage-animals alone dried up, being
watered at it: and the name of this city is Pistyros.[102] 110. These
cities, I say, lying by the sea coast and belonging to Hellenes, he
passed by, leaving them on the left hand; and the tribes of Thracians
through whose country he marched were as follows, namely the Paitians,
Kikonians, Bistonians, Sapaians, Dersaians, Edonians, Satrians. Of
these they who were settled along the sea coast accompanied him with
their ships, and those of them who dwelt inland and have been
enumerated by me, were compelled to accompany him on land, except the
Satrians: 111, the Satrians however never yet became obedient to any
man, so far as we know, but they remain up to my time still free,
alone of all the Thracians; for they dwell in lofty mountains, which
are covered with forest of all kinds and with snow, and also they are
very skilful in war. These are they who possess the Oracle of
Dionysos; which Oracle is on their most lofty mountains. Of the
Satrians those who act as prophets[103] of the temple are the
Bessians; it is a prophetess[104] who utters the oracles, as at
Delphi; and beyond this there is nothing further of a remarkable

112. Xerxes having passed over the land which has been spoken of, next
after this passed the strongholds of the Pierians, of which the name
of the one is Phagres and of the other Pergamos. By this way, I say,
he made his march, going close by the walls of these, and keeping
Mount Pangaion on the right hand, which is both great and lofty and in
which are mines both of gold and of silver possessed by the Pierians
and Odomantians, and especially by the Satrians. 113. Thus passing by
the Paionians, Doberians and Paioplians, who dwell beyond Pangaion
towards the North Wind, he went on Westwards, until at last he came to
the river Strymon and the city of E´on, of which, so long as he lived,
Boges was commander, the same about whom I was speaking a short time
back. This country about Mount Pangaion is called Phyllis, and it
extends Westwards to the river Angites, which flows into the Strymon,
and Southwards it stretches to the Strymon itself; and at this river
the Magians sacrificed for good omens, slaying white horses. 114.
Having done this and many other things in addition to this, as charms
for the river, at the Nine Ways[106] in the land of the Edonians, they
proceeded by the bridges, for they had found the Strymon already yoked
with bridges; and being informed that this place was called the Nine
Ways, they buried alive in it that number of boys and maidens,
children of the natives of the place. Now burying alive is a Persian
custom; for I am informed that Amestris also, the wife of Xerxes, when
she had grown old, made return for her own life to the god who is said
to be beneath the earth by burying twice seven children of Persians
who were men of renown.

115. As the army proceeded on its march from the Strymon, it found
after this a sea-beach stretching towards the setting of the sun, and
passed by the Hellenic city, Argilos, which was there placed. This
region and that which lies above it is called Bisaltia. Thence,
keeping on the left hand the gulf which lies of Posideion, he went
through the plain which is called the plain of Syleus, passing by
Stageiros a Hellenic city, and so came to Acanthos, taking with him as
he went each one of these tribes and also of those who dwell about
Mount Pangaion, just as he did those whom I enumerated before, having
the men who dwelt along the sea coast to serve in the ships and those
who dwelt inland to accompany him on foot. This road by which Xerxes
the king marched his army, the Thracians do not disturb nor sow crops
over, but pay very great reverence to it down to my own time. 116.
Then when he had come to Acanthos, Xerxes proclaimed a guest-
friendship with the people of Acanthos and also presented them with
the Median dress[107] and commended them, perceiving that they were
zealous to serve him in the war and hearing of that which had been
dug. 117. And while Xerxes was in Acanthos, it happened that he who
had been set over the making of the channel, Artachaies by name, died
of sickness, a man who was highly esteemed by Xerxes and belonged to
the Achaimenid family; also he was in stature the tallest of all the
Persians, falling short by only four fingers of being five royal
cubits[108] in height, and he had a voice the loudest of all men; so
that Xerxes was greatly grieved at the loss of him, and carried him
forth and buried him with great honour, and the whole army joined in
throwing up a mound for him. To this Artachaies the Acanthians by the
bidding of an oracle do sacrifice as a hero, calling upon his name in

118. King Xerxes, I say, was greatly grieved at the loss of
Artachaies: and meanwhile the Hellenes who were entertaining his army
and providing Xerxes with dinners had been brought to utter ruin, so
that they were being driven from house and home; seeing that when the
Thasians, for example, entertained the army of Xerxes and provided him
with a dinner on behalf of their towns upon the mainland, Antipater
the son of Orgeus, who had been appointed for this purpose, a man of
repute among the citizens equal to the best, reported that four
hundred talents of silver had been spent upon the dinner. 119. Just so
or nearly so in the other cities also those who were set over the
business reported the reckoning to be: for the dinner was given as
follows, having been ordered a long time beforehand, and being counted
by them a matter of great importance:--In the first place, so soon as
they heard of it from the heralds who carried round the proclamation,
the citizens in the various cities distributed corn among their
several households, and all continued to make wheat and barley meal
for many months; then they fed cattle, finding out and obtaining the
finest animals for a high price; and they kept birds both of the land
and of the water, in cages or in pools, all for the entertainment of
the army. Then again they had drinking-cups and mixing-bowls made of
gold and of silver, and all the other things which are placed upon the
table: these were made for the king himself and for those who ate at
his table; but for the rest of the army only the things appointed for
food were provided. Then whenever the army came to any place, there
was a tent pitched ready wherein Xerxes himself made his stay, while
the rest of the army remained out in the open air; and when it came to
be time for dinner, then the entertainers had labour; but the others,
after they had been satiated with food and had spent the night there,
on the next day tore up the tent and taking with them all the movable
furniture proceeded on their march, leaving nothing, but carrying all
away with them. 120. Then was uttered a word well spoken by Megacreon,
a man of Abdera, who advised those of Abdera to go in a body, both
themselves and their wives, to their temples, and to sit down as
suppliants of the gods, entreating them that for the future also they
would ward off from them the half of the evils which threatened; and
he bade them feel great thankfulness to the gods for the past events,
because king Xerxes had not thought good to take food twice in each
day; for if it had been ordered to them beforehand to prepare
breakfast also in like manner as the dinner, it would have remained
for the men of Abdera either not to await the coming of Xerxes, or if
they stayed, to be crushed by misfortune more than any other men upon
the Earth.

121. They then, I say, though hard put to it, yet were performing that
which was appointed to them; and from Acanthos Xerxes, after having
commanded the generals to wait for the fleet at Therma, let the ships
take their course apart from himself, (now this Therma is that which
is situated on the Thermaic gulf, from which also this gulf has its
name); and thus he did because he was informed that this was the
shortest way: for from Doriscos as far as Acanthos the army had been
making its march thus:--Xerxes had divided the whole land-army into
three divisions, and one of them he had set to go along the sea
accompanying the fleet, of which division Mardonios and Masistes were
commanders; another third of the army had been appointed to go by the
inland way, and of this the generals in command were Tritantaichmes
and Gergis; and meanwhile the third of the subdivisions, with which
Xerxes himself went, marched in the middle between them, and
acknowledged as its commanders Smerdomenes and Megabyzos.

122. The fleet, when it was let go by Xerxes and had sailed right
through the channel made in Athos (which went across to the gulf on
which are situated the cities of Assa, Piloros, Singos and Sarte),
having taken up a contingent from these cities also, sailed thence
with a free course to the Therma´c gulf, and turning round Ampelos the
headland of Torone, it left on one side the following Hellenic cities,
from which it took up contingents of ships and men, namely Torone,
Galepsos, Sermyle, Mekyberna, Olynthos: this region is called
Sithonia. 123. And the fleet of Xerxes, cutting across from the
headland of Ampelos to that of Canastron,[108a] which runs out
furthest to sea of all Pallene, took up there contingents of ships and
men from Potidaia, Aphytis, Neapolis, Aige, Therambo, Skione, Mende
and Sane, for these are the cities which occupy the region which now
is called Pallene, but was formerly called Phlegra. Then sailing along
the coast of this country also the fleet continued its course towards
the place which has been mentioned before, taking up contingents also
from the cities which come next after Pallene and border upon the
Therma´c gulf; and the names of them are these,--Lipaxos, Combreia,
Lisai, Gigonos, Campsa, Smila, Aineia; and the region in which these
cities are is called even to the present day Crossaia. Then sailing
from Aineia, with which name I brought to an end the list of the
cities, at once the fleet came into the Therma´c gulf and to the
region of Mygdonia, and so it arrived at the aforesaid Therma and at
the cities of Sindos and Chalestra upon the river Axios. This river is
the boundary between the land of Mygdonia and Bottiaia, of which
district the narrow region which lies on the sea coast is occupied by
the cities of Ichnai and Pella.

124. Now while his naval force was encamped about the river Axios an
the city of Therma and the cities which lie between these two, waiting
for the coming of the king, Xerxes and the land-army were proceeding
from Acanthos, cutting through the middle by the shortest way[109]
with a view to reaching Therma: and he was proceeding through Paionia
and Crestonia to the river Cheidoros,[110] which beginning from the
land of the Crestonians, runs through the region of Mygdonia and comes
out alongside of the marsh which is by the river Axios. 125. As he was
proceeding by this way, lions attacked the camels which carried his
provisions; for the lions used to come down regularly by night,
leaving their own haunts, but they touched nothing else, neither beast
of burden nor man, but killed the camels only: and I marvel what was
the cause, and what was it that impelled the lions to abstain from all
else and to attack the camels only, creatures which they had never
seen before, and of which they had had no experience. 126. Now there
are in these parts both many lions and also wild oxen, those that have
the very large horns which are often brought into Hellas: and the
limit within which these lions are found is on the one side the river
Nestos, which flows through Abdera, and on the other the Achelos,
which flows through Acarnania; for neither do the East of the Nestos,
in any part of Europe before you come to this, would you see a lion,
nor again in the remaining part of the continent to the West of the
Acheloos, but they are produced in the middle space between these

127. When Xerxes had reached Therma he established the army there; and
his army encamping there occupied of the land along by the sea no less
than this,--beginning from the city of Therma and from Mygdonia it
extended as far as the river Lydias and the Haliacmon, which form the
boundary between the lands of Bottiaia and Macedonia, mingling their
waters together in one and the same stream. The Barbarians, I say,
were encamped in these regions; and of the rivers which have been
enumerated, only the river Cheidoros flowing from the Crestonian land
was insufficient for the drinking of the army and failed in its

128. Then Xerxes seeing from Therma the mountains of Thessaly, Olympos
and Ossa, that they were of very great height, and being informed that
in the midst between them there was a narrow channel, through which
flows the Peneios, and hearing also that by this way there was a good
road leading to Thessaly, formed a desire to sail thither and look at
the outlet of the Peneios, because he was meaning to march by the
upper road, through the land of the Macedonians who dwell inland,
until he came to the Perraibians, passing by the city of Gonnos; for
by this way he was informed that it was safest to go. And having
formed this desire, so also he proceeded to do; that is, he embarked
in a Sidonian ship, the same in which he used always to embark when he
wished to do anything of this kind, and he displayed a signal for the
others to put out to sea also, leaving there the land-army. Then when
Xerxes had looked at the outlet of the Peneios, he was possessed by
great wonder, and summoning his guides he asked them whether it was
possible to turn the river aside and bring it out to the sea by
another way. 129. Now it is said that Thessaly was in old time a lake,
being enclosed on all sides by very lofty mountains: for the parts of
it which lie towards the East are shut in by the ranges of Pelion and
Ossa, which join one another in their lower slopes, the parts towards
the North Wind by Olympos, those towards the West by Pindos and those
towards the mid-day and the South Wind by Othrys; and the region in
the midst, between these mountains which have been named, is Thessaly,
forming as it were a hollow. Whereas then many rivers flow into it and
among them these five of most note, namely Peneios, Apidanos,
Onochonos, Enipeus and Pamisos, these, which collect their waters from
the mountains that enclose Thessaly round, and flow into this plain,
with names separate each one, having their outflow into the sea by one
channel and that a narrow one, first mingling their waters all
together in one and the same stream; and so soon as they are mingled
together, from that point onwards the Peneios prevails with its name
over the rest and causes the others to lose their separate names. And
it is said that in ancient time, there not being yet this channel and
outflow between the mountains, these rivers, and besides these rivers
the lake Boibe´s also, had no names as they have now, but by their
waters they made Thessaly to be all sea. The Thessalians themselves
say that Poseidon made the channel through which the Peneios flows;
and reasonably they report it thus, because whosoever believes that it
is Poseidon who shakes the Earth and that the partings asunder
produced by earthquake are the work of this god, would say, if he saw
this, that it was made by Poseidon; for the parting asunder of the
mountains is the work of an earthquake, as is evident to me. 130. So
the guides, when Xerxes asked whether there was any other possible
outlet to the sea for the Peneios, said with exact knowledge of the
truth: "O king, for this river there is no other outgoing which
extends to the sea, but this alone; for all Thessaly is circled about
with mountains as with a crown." To this Xerxes is said to have
replied: "The Thessalians then are prudent men. This it appears was
that which they desired to guard against in good time[111] when they
changed their counsel,[112] reflecting on this especially besides
other things, namely that they had a country which, it appears, is
easy to conquer and may quickly be taken: for it would have been
necessary only to let the river flow over their land by making an
embankment to keep it from going through the narrow channel and so
diverting the course by which now it flows, in order to put all
Thessaly under water except the mountains." This he said in reference
to the sons of Aleuas, because they, being Thessalians, were the first
of the Hellenes who gave themselves over to the king; for Xerxes
thought that they offered him friendship on behalf of their whole
nation. Having said thus and having looked at the place, he sailed
back to Therma.

131. He then was staying in the region of Pieria many days, for the
road over the mountains of Macedonia was being cut meanwhile by a
third part of his army, that all the host might pass over by this way
into the land of the Perraibians: and now the heralds returned who had
been sent to Hellas to demand the gift of earth, some empty-handed and
others bearing earth and water. 132. And among those who gave that
which was demanded were the following, namely the Thessalians,
Dolopians, Enianians,[113] Perraibians, Locrians, Megnesians, Malians,
Achaians of Phthiotis, and Thebans, with the rest of the Bťotians also
excepting the Thespians and Plataians. Against these the Hellenes who
took up war with the Barbarian made an oath; and the oath was this,--
that whosoever being Hellenes had given themselves over to the
Persian, not being compelled, these, if their own affairs should come
to a good conclusion, they would dedicate as an offering[114] to the
god at Delphi. 133. Thus ran the oath which was taken by the Hellenes:
Xerxes however had not sent to Athens or to Sparta heralds to demand
the gift of earth, and for this reason, namely because at the former
time when Dareios had sent for this very purpose, the one people threw
the men who made the demand into the pit[115] and the others into a
well, and bade them take from thence earth and water and bear them to
the king. For this reason Xerxes did not send men to make this demand.
And what evil thing[116] came upon the Athenians for having done this
to the heralds, I am not able to say, except indeed that their land
and city were laid waste; but I do not think that this happened for
that cause: 134, on the Lacedemonians however the wrath fell of
Talthybios, the herald of Agamemnon; for in Sparta there is a temple
of Talthybios, and there are also descendants of Talthybios called
Talthybiads, to whom have been given as a right all the missions of
heralds which go from Sparta; and after this event it was not possible
for the Spartans when they sacrificed to obtain favourable omens. This
was the case with them for a long time; and as the Lacedemonians were
grieved and regarded it as a great misfortune, and general assemblies
were repeatedly gathered together and proclamation made, asking if any
one of the Lacedemonians was willing to die for Sparta, at length
Sperthias the son of Aneristos and Bulis the son of Nicolaos, Spartans
of noble birth and in wealth attaining to the first rank, voluntarily
submitted to pay the penalty to Xerxes for the heralds of Dareios
which had perished at Sparta. Thus the Spartans sent these to the
Medes to be put to death. 135. And not only the courage then shown by
these men is worthy of admiration, but also the following sayings in
addition: for as they were on their way to Susa they came to Hydarnes
(now Hydarnes was a Persian by race and commander of those who dwelt
on the sea coasts of Asia), and he offered them hospitality and
entertained them; and while they were his guests he asked them as
follows: "Lacedemonians, why is it that ye flee from becoming friends
to the king? for ye may see that the king knows how to honour good
men, when ye look at me and at my fortunes. So also ye, Lacedemonians,
if ye gave yourselves to the king, since ye have the reputation with
him already of being good men, would have rule each one of you over
Hellenic land by the gift of the king." To this they made answer thus:
"Hydarnes, thy counsel with regard to us is not equally balanced,[117]
for thou givest counsel having made trial indeed of the one thing, but
being without experience of the other: thou knowest well what it is to
be a slave, but thou hast never yet made trial of freedom, whether it
is pleasant to the taste or no; for if thou shouldest make trial of
it, thou wouldest then counsel us to fight for it not with spears only
but also with axes." 136. Thus they answered Hydarnes; and then, after
they had gone up to Susa and had come into the presence of the king,
first when the spearmen of the guard commanded them and endeavoured to
compel them by force to do obeisance to the king by falling down
before him, they said that they would not do any such deed, though
they should be pushed down by them head foremost; for it was not their
custom to do obeisance to a man, and it was not for this that they had
come. Then when they had resisted this, next they spoke these words or
words to this effect: "O king of the Medes, the Lacedemonians sent us
in place of the heralds who were slain in Sparta, to pay the penalty
for their lives." When they said this, Xerxes moved by a spirit of
magnanimity replied that he would not be like the Lacedemonians; for
they had violated the rules which prevailed among all men by slaying
heralds, but he would not do that himself which he blamed them for
having done, nor would he free the Lacedemonians from their guilt by
slaying these in return. 137. Thus the wrath of Talthybios ceased for
the time being, even though the Spartans had done no more than this
and although Sperthias and Bulis returned back to Sparta; but a long
time after this it was roused again during the war between the
Peloponnesians and Athenians, as the Lacedemonians report. This I
perceive to have been most evidently the act of the Deity: for in that
the wrath of Talthybios fell upon messengers and did not cease until
it had been fully satisfied, so much was but in accordance with
justice; but that it happened to come upon the sons of these men who
went up to the king on account of the wrath, namely upon Nicolaos the
son of Bulis and Aneristos the son of Sperthias (the same who
conquered the men of Halieis, who came from Tiryns, by sailing into
their harbour with a merchant ship filled with fighting men),--by this
it is evident to me that the matter came to pass by the act of the
Deity caused by this wrath. For these men, sent by the Lacedemonians
as envoys to Asia, having been betrayed by Sitalkes the son of Teres
king of the Thracians and by Nymphodoros the son of Pythes a man of
Abdera, were captured at Bisanthe on the Hellespont; and then having
been carried away to Attica they were put to death by the Athenians,
and with them also Aristeas the son of Adeimantos the Corinthian.
These things happened many years after the expedition of the king; and
I return now to the former narrative.

138. Now the march of the king's army was in name against Athens, but
in fact it was going against all Hellas: and the Hellenes being
informed of this long before were not all equally affected by it; for
some of them having given earth and water to the Persian had
confidence, supposing that they would suffer no hurt from the
Barbarian; while others not having given were in great terror, seeing
that there were not ships existing in Hellas which were capable as
regards number of receiving the invader in fight, and seeing that the
greater part of the States were not willing to take up the war, but
adopted readily the side of the Medes. 139. And here I am compelled by
necessity to declare an opinion which in the eyes of most men would
seem to be invidious, but nevertheless I will not abstain from saying
that which I see evidently to be the truth. If the Athenians had been
seized with fear of the danger which threatened them and had left
their land,[118] or again, without leaving their land, had stayed and
given themselves up to Xerxes, none would have made any attempt by sea
to oppose the king. If then none had opposed Xerxes by sea, it would
have happened on the land somewhat thus:--even if many tunics of
walls[119] had been thrown across the Isthmus by the Peloponnesians,
the Lacedemonians would have been deserted by their allies, not
voluntarily but of necessity, since these would have been conquered
city after city by the naval force of the Barbarian, and so they would
have been left alone: and having been left alone and having displayed
great deeds of valour, they would have met their death nobly. Either
they would have suffered this fate, or before this, seeing the other
Hellenes also taking the side of the Medes, they would have made an
agreement with Xerxes; and thus in either case Hellas would have come
to be under the rule of the Persians: for as to the good to be got
from the walls thrown across the Isthmus, I am unable to discover what
it would have been, when the king had command of the sea. As it is
however, if a man should say that the Athenians proved to be the
saviours of Hellas, he would not fail to hit the truth; for to
whichever side these turned, to that the balance was likely to
incline: and these were they who, preferring that Hellas should
continue to exist in freedom, roused up all of Hellas which remained,
so much, that is, as had not gone over to the Medes, and (after the
gods at least) these were they who repelled the king. Nor did fearful
oracles, which came from Delphi and cast them into dread, induce them
to leave Hellas, but they stayed behind and endured to receive the
invader of their land. 140. For the Athenians had sent men to Delphi
to inquire and were preparing to consult the Oracle; and after these
had performed the usual rites in the sacred precincts, when they had
entered the sanctuary[120] and were sitting down there, the Pythian
prophetess, whose name was Aristonike, uttered to them this oracle:

"Why do ye sit, O ye wretched? Flee thou[121] to the uttermost limits,
Leaving thy home and the heights of the wheel-round city behind thee!
Lo, there remaineth now nor the head nor the body in safety,--
Neither the feet below nor the hands nor the middle are left thee,--
All are destroyed[122] together; for fire and the passionate War-god,[123]
Urging the Syrian[124] car to speed, doth hurl them[125] to ruin.
Not thine alone, he shall cause many more great strongholds to perish,
Yes, many temples of gods to the ravening fire shall deliver,--
Temples which stand now surely with sweat of their terror down-streaming,
Quaking with dread; and lo! from the topmost roof to the pavement
Dark blood trickles, forecasting the dire unavoidable evil.
Forth with you, forth from the shrine, and steep your soul in the sorrow![126]

141. Hearing this the men who had been sent by the Athenians to
consult the Oracle were very greatly distressed; and as they were
despairing by reason of the evil which had been prophesied to them,
Timon the son of Androbulos, a man of the Delphians in reputation
equal to the first, counselled them to take a suppliant's bough and to
approach the second time and consult the Oracle as suppliants. The
Athenians did as he advised and said: "Lord,[127] we pray thee utter
to us some better oracle about our native land, having respect to
these suppliant boughs which we have come to thee bearing; otherwise
surely we will not depart away from the sanctuary, but will remain
here where we are now, even until we bring our lives to an end." When
they spoke these words, the prophetess gave them a second oracle as

"Pallas cannot prevail to appease great Zeus in Olympos,
Though she with words very many and wiles close-woven entreat him.
But I will tell thee this more, and will clench it with steel adamantine:
Then when all else shall be taken, whatever the boundary[128] of Kecrops
Holdeth within, and the dark ravines of divinest Kithairon,
A bulwark of wood at the last Zeus grants to the Trito-born goddess
Sole to remain unwasted, which thee and thy children shall profit.
Stay thou not there for the horsemen to come and the footmen unnumbered;
Stay thou not still for the host from the mainland to come, but retire thee,
Turning thy back to the foe, for yet thou shalt face him hereafter.
Salamis, thou the divine, thou shalt cause sons of women to perish,
Or when the grain[129] is scattered or when it is gathered together."

142. This seemed to them to be (as in truth it was) a milder utterance
than the former one; therefore they had it written down and departed
with it to Athens: and when the messengers after their return made
report to the people, many various opinions were expressed by persons
inquiring into the meaning of the oracle, and among them these,
standing most in opposition to one another:--some of the elder men
said they thought that the god had prophesied to them that the
Acropolis should survive; for the Acropolis of the Athenians was in
old time fenced with a thorn hedge; and they conjectured accordingly
that this saying about the "bulwark of wood" referred to the fence:
others on the contrary said that the god meant by this their ships,
and they advised to leave all else and get ready these. Now they who
said that the ships were the bulwark of wood were shaken in their
interpretation by the two last verses which the prophetess uttered:

"Salamis, thou the divine, thou shalt cause sons of women to perish,
Or when the grain is scattered or when it is gathered together."

In reference to these verses the opinions of those who said that the
ships were the bulwark of wood were disturbed; for the interpreters of
oracles took these to mean that it was fated for them, having got
ready for a sea-fight, to suffer defeat round about Salamis. 143. Now
there was one man of the Athenians who had lately been coming forward
to take a place among the first, whose name was Themistocles, called
son of Neocles. This man said that the interpreters of oracles did not
make right conjecture of the whole, and he spoke as follows, saying
that if these words that had been uttered referred really to the
Athenians, he did not think it would have been so mildly expressed in
the oracle, but rather thus, "Salamis, thou the merciless," instead of
"Salamis, thou the divine," at least if its settlers were destined to
perish round about it: but in truth the oracle had been spoken by the
god with reference to the enemy, if one understood it rightly, and not
to the Athenians: therefore he counselled them to get ready to fight a
battle by sea, for in this was their bulwark of wood. When
Themistocles declared his opinion thus, the Athenians judged that this
was to be preferred by them rather than the advice of the interpreters
of oracles, who bade them not make ready for a sea-fight, nor in short
raise their hands at all in opposition, but leave the land of Attica
and settle in some other. 144. Another opinion too of Themistocles
before this one proved the best at the right moment, when the
Athenians, having got large sums of money in the public treasury,
which had come in to them from the mines which are at Laureion, were
intending to share it among themselves, taking each in turn the sum of
ten drachmas. Then Themistocles persuaded the Athenians to give up
this plan of division and to make for themselves with this money two
hundred ships for the war, meaning by that the war with the Eginetans:
for this war having arisen[130] proved in fact the salvation of Hellas
at that time, by compelling the Athenians to become a naval power. And
the ships, not having been used for the purpose for which they had
been made, thus proved of service at need to Hellas. These ships then,
I say, the Athenians had already, having built them beforehand, and it
was necessary in addition to these to construct others. They resolved
then, when they took counsel after the oracle was given, to receive
the Barbarian invading Hellas with their ships in full force,
following the commands of the god, in combination with those of the
Hellenes who were willing to join them.

145. These oracles had been given before to the Athenians: and when
those Hellenes who had the better mind about Hellas[131] came together
to one place, and considered their affairs and interchanged assurances
with one another, then deliberating together they thought it well
first of all things to reconcile the enmities and bring to an end the
wars which they had with one another. Now there were wars engaged[132]
between others also, and especially between the Athenians and the
Eginetans. After this, being informed that Xerxes was with his army at
Sardis, they determined to send spies to Asia to make observation of
the power of the king; and moreover they resolved to send envoys to
Argos to form an alliance against the Persian, and to send others to
Sicily to Gelon the son of Deinomenes and also to Corcyra, to urge
them to come to the assistance of Hellas, and others again to Crete;
for they made it their aim that if possible the Hellenic race might
unite in one, and that they might join all together and act towards
the same end, since dangers were threatening all the Hellenes equally.
Now the power of Gelon was said to be great, far greater than any
other Hellenic power.

146. When they had thus resolved, they reconciled their enmities and
then sent first three men as spies to Asia. These having come to
Sardis and having got knowledge about the king's army, were
discovered, and after having been examined by the generals of the
land-army were being led off to die. For these men, I say, death had
been determined; but Xerxes, being informed of this, found fault with
the decision of the generals and sent some of the spearmen of his
guard, enjoining them, if they should find the spies yet alive, to
bring them to his presence. So having found them yet surviving they
brought them into the presence of the king; and upon that Xerxes,
being informed for what purpose they had come, commanded the spearmen
to lead them round and to show them the whole army both foot and
horse, and when they should have had their fill of looking at these
things, to let them go unhurt to whatsoever land they desired. 147.
Such was the command which he gave, adding at the same time this
saying, namely that if the spies had been put to death, the Hellenes
would not have been informed beforehand of his power, how far beyond
description it was; while on the other hand by putting to death three
men they would not very greatly have damaged the enemy; but when these
returned back to Hellas, he thought it likely that the Hellenes,
hearing of his power, would deliver up their freedom to him
themselves, before the expedition took place which was being set in
motion; and thus there would be no need for them to have the labour of
marching an army against them. This opinion of his is like his manner
of thinking at other times;[133] for when Xerxes was in Abydos, he saw
vessels which carried corn from the Pontus sailing out through the
Hellespont on their way to Egina and the Peloponnese. Those then who
sat by his side, being informed that the ships belonged to the enemy,
were prepared to capture them, and were looking to the king to see
when he would give the word; but Xerxes asked about them whither the
men were sailing, and they replied: "Master, to thy foes, conveying to
them corn": he then made answer and said: "Are we not also sailing to
the same place as these men, furnished with corn as well as with other
things necessary? How then do these wrong us, since they are conveying
provisions for our use?"

148. The spies then, having thus looked at everything and after that
having been dismissed, returned back to Europe: and meanwhile those of
the Hellenes who had sworn alliance against the Persian, after the
sending forth of the spies proceeded to send envoys next to Argos. Now
the Argives report that the matters concerning themselves took place
as follows:--They were informed, they say, at the very first of the
movement which was being set on foot by the Barbarian against Hellas;
and having been informed of this and perceiving that the Hellenes
would endeavour to get their alliance against the Persians, they had
sent messengers to inquire of the god at Delphi, and to ask how they
should act in order that it might be best for themselves: because
lately there had been slain of them six thousand men by the
Lacedemonians and by Cleomenes the son of Anaxandrides,[134] and this
in fact was the reason that they were sending to inquire: and when
they inquired, the Pythian prophetess made answer to them as follows:

"Thou to thy neighbours a foe, by the gods immortal beloved,
Keep thou thy spear[135] within bounds, and sit well-guarded behind it:
Guard well the head, and the head shall preserve the limbs and the body."

Thus, they say, the Pythian prophetess had replied to them before
this; and afterwards when the messengers of the Hellenes came, as I
said, to Argos, they entered the Council-chamber and spoke that which
had been enjoined to them; and to that which was said the Council
replied that the Argives were ready to do as they were requested, on
condition that they got peace made with the Lacedemonians for thirty
years and that they had half the leadership of the whole confederacy:
and yet by strict right (they said) the whole leadership fell to their
share, but nevertheless it was sufficient for them to have half. 149.
Thus they report that the Council made answer, although the oracle
forbade them to make the alliance with the Hellenes; and they were
anxious, they say, that a truce from hostilities for thirty years
should be made, although they feared the oracle, in order, as they
allege, that their sons might grow to manhood in these years; whereas
if a truce did not exist, they had fear that, supposing another
disaster should come upon them in fighting against the Persian in
addition to that which had befallen them already, they might be for
all future time subject to the Lacedemonians. To that which was spoken
by the Council those of the envoys who were of Sparta replied, that as
to the truce they would refer the matter to their public
assembly,[136] but as to the leadership they had themselves been
commissioned to make reply, and did in fact say this, namely that they
had two kings, while the Argives had one; and it was not possible to
remove either of the two who were of Sparta from the leadership, but
there was nothing to prevent the Argive king from having an equal vote
with each of their two. Then, say the Argives, they could not endure
the grasping selfishness of the Spartans, but chose to be ruled by the
Barbarians rather than to yield at all to the Lacedemonians; and they
gave notice to the envoys to depart out of the territory of the
Argives before sunset, or, if not, they would be dealt with as

150. The Argives themselves report so much about these matters: but
there is another story reported in Hellas to the effect that Xerxes
sent a herald to Argos before he set forth to make an expedition
against Hellas, and this herald, they say, when he had come, spoke as
follows: "Men of Argos, king Xerxes says to you these things:--We hold
that Perses, from whom we are descended, was the son of Perseus, the
son of Danae, and was born of the daughter of Kepheus, Andromeda; and
according to this it would seem that we are descended from you. It is
not fitting then that we should go forth on an expedition against
those from whom we trace our descent, nor that ye should set
yourselves in opposition to us by rendering assistance to others; but
it is fitting that ye keep still and remain by yourselves: for if
things happen according to my mind, I shall not esteem any people to
be of greater consequence than you." Having heard this the Argives, it
is said, considered it a great matter; and therefore at first they
made no offer of help nor did they ask for any share; but afterwards,
when the Hellenes tried to get them on their side, then, since they
knew well that the Lacedemonians would not give them a share in the
command, they asked for this merely in order that they might have a
pretext for remaining still. 151. Also some of the Hellenes report
that the following event, in agreement with this account, came to pass
many years after these things:--there happened, they say, to be in
Susa the city of Memnon[137] envoys of the Athenians come about some
other matter, namely Callias the son of Hipponicos and the others who
went up with him; and the Argives at that very time had also sent
envoys to Susa, and these asked Artoxerxes the son of Xerxes, whether
the friendship which they had formed with Xerxes still remained
unbroken, if they themselves desired to maintain it,[138] or whether
they were esteemed by him to be enemies; and king Artoxerxes said that
it most certainly remained unbroken, and that there was no city which
he considered to be more his friend than Argos. 152. Now whether
Xerxes did indeed send a herald to Argos saying that which has been
reported, and whether envoys of the Argives who had gone up to Susa
inquired of Artoxerxes concerning friendship, I am not able to say for
certain; nor do I declare any opinion about the matters in question
other than that which the Argives themselves report: but I know this
much, that if all the nations of men should bring together into one
place the evils which they have suffered themselves, desiring to make
exchange with their neighbours, each people of them, when they had
examined closely the evils suffered by their fellows, would gladly
carry away back with them those which they had brought.[139] Thus it
is not the Argives who have acted most basely of all. I however am
bound to report that which is reported, though I am not bound
altogether to believe it; and let this saying be considered to hold
good as regards every narrative in the history: for I must add that
this also is reported, namely that the Argives were actually those who
invited the Persian to invade Hellas, because their war with the
Lacedemonians had had an evil issue, being willing to suffer anything
whatever rather than the trouble which was then upon them.

153. That which concerns the Argives has now been said: and meanwhile
envoys had come to Sicily from the allies, to confer with Gelon, among
whom was also Syagros from the Lacedemonians. Now the ancestor of this
Gelon, he who was at Gela as a settler,[140] was a native of the
island of Telos, which lies off Triopion; and when Gela was founded by
the Lindians of Rhodes and by Antiphemos, he was not left behind. Then
in course of time his descendants became and continued to be priests
of the mysteries of the Earth goddesses,[141] an office which was
acquired by Telines one of their ancestors in the following manner:--
certain of the men of Gela, being worsted in a party struggle, had
fled to Mactorion, the city which stands above Gela: these men Telines
brought back to Gela from exile with no force of men but only with the
sacred rites of these goddesses; but from whom he received them, or
whether he obtained them for himself,[142] this I am not able to say;
trusting in these however, he brought the men back from exile, on the
condition that his descendants should be priests of the mysteries of
the goddesses. To me it has caused wonder also that Telines should
have been able to perform so great a deed, considering that which I am
told; for such deeds, I think, are not apt to proceed from every man,
but from one who has a brave spirit and manly vigour, whereas Telines
is said by the dwellers in Sicily to have been on the contrary a man
of effeminate character and rather poor spirit. 154. He then had thus
obtained the privilege of which I speak: and when Cleander the son of
Pantares brought his life to an end, having been despot of Gela for
seven years and being killed at last by Sabyllos a man of Gela, then
Hippocrates succeeded to the monarchy, who was brother of Cleander.
And while Hippocrates was despot, Gelon, who was a descendant of
Telines the priest of the mysteries, was spearman of the guard[143] to
Hippocrates with many others and among them Ainesidemos the son of
Pataicos. Then after no long time he was appointed by reason of valour
to be commander of the whole cavalry; for when Hippocrates besieged
successively the cities of Callipolis, Naxos, Zancle, Leontini, and
also Syracuse and many towns of the Barbarians, in these wars Gelon
showed himself a most brilliant warrior; and of the cities which I
just now mentioned, not one except Syracuse escaped being reduced to
subjection by Hippocrates: the Syracusans however, after they had been
defeated in battle at the river Eloros, were rescued by the
Corinthians and Corcyreans; these rescued them and brought the quarrel
to a settlement on this condition, namely that the Syracusans should
deliver up Camarina to Hippocrates. Now Camarina used in ancient time
to belong to the men of Syracuse. 155. Then when it was the fate of
Hippocrates also, after having been despot for the same number of
years as his brother Cleander, to be killed at the city of Hybla,
whither he had gone on an expedition against the Sikelians, then Gelon
made a pretence of helping the sons of Hippocrates, Eucleides and
Cleander, when the citizens were no longer willing to submit; but
actually, when he had been victorious in a battle over the men of
Gela, he robbed the sons of Hippocrates of the power and was ruler
himself. After this stroke of fortune Gelon restored those of the
Syracusans who were called "land-holders,"[144] after they had been
driven into exile by the common people and by their own slaves, who
were called Kyllyrians,[145] these, I say, he restored from the city
of Casmene to Syracuse, and so got possession of this last city also,
for the common people of Syracuse, when Gelon came against them,
delivered up to him their city and themselves. 156. So after he had
received Syracuse into his power, he made less account of Gela, of
which he was ruler also in addition, and he gave it in charge to
Hieron his brother, while he proceeded to strengthen Syracuse. So
forthwith that city rose and shot up to prosperity; for in the first
place he brought all those of Camarina to Syracuse and made them
citizens, and razed to the ground the city of Camarina; then secondly
he did the same to more than half of the men of Gela, as he had done
to those of Camarina: and as regards the Megarians of Sicily, when
they were besieged and had surrendered by capitulation, the well-to-do
men[146] of them, though they had stirred up war with him and expected
to be put to death for this reason, he brought to Syracuse and made
them citizens, but the common people of the Megarians, who had no
share in the guilt of this war and did not expect that they would
suffer any evil, these also he brought to Syracuse and sold them as
slaves to be carried away from Sicily: and the same thing he did
moreover to the men of Euboia in Sicily, making a distinction between
them: and he dealt thus with these two cities because he thought that
a body of commons was a most unpleasant element in the State.

157. In the manner then which has been described Gelon had become a
powerful despot; and at this time when the envoys of the Hellenes had
arrived at Syracuse, they came to speech with him and said as follows:
"The Lacedemonians and their allies sent us to get thee to be on our
side against the Barbarian; for we suppose that thou art certainly
informed of him who is about to invade Hellas, namely that a Persian
is designing to bridge over the Hellespont, and to make an expedition
against Hellas, leading against us out of Asia all the armies of the
East, under colour of marching upon Athens, but in fact meaning to
bring all Hellas to subjection under him. Do thou therefore, seeing
that[147] thou hast attained to a great power and hast no small
portion of Hellas for thy share, being the ruler of Sicily, come to
the assistance of those who are endeavouring to free Hellas, and join
in making her free; for if all Hellas be gathered together in one, it
forms a great body, and we are made a match in fight for those who are
coming against us; but if some of us go over to the enemy and others
are not willing to help, and the sound portion of Hellas is
consequently small, there is at once in this a danger that all Hellas
may fall to ruin. For do not thou hope that if the Persian shall
overcome us in battle he will not come to thee, but guard thyself
against this beforehand; for in coming to our assistance thou art
helping thyself; and the matter which is wisely planned has for the
most part a good issue afterwards." 158. The envoys spoke thus; and
Gelon was very vehement with them, speaking to them as follows:
"Hellenes, a selfish speech is this, with which ye have ventured to
come and invite me to be your ally against the Barbarian; whereas ye
yourselves, when I in former time requested of you to join with me in
fighting against an army of Barbarians, contention having arisen
between me and the Carthaginians, and when I charged you to exact
vengeance of the men of Egesta for the death of Dorieos the son of
Anaxandrides,[148] while at the same time I offered to help in setting
free the trading-places, from which great advantages and gains have
been reaped by you,--ye, I say, then neither for my own sake came to
my assistance, nor in order to exact vengeance for the death of
Dorieos; and, so far as ye are concerned, all these parts are even now
under the rule of Barbarians. But since it turned out well for us and
came to a better issue, now that the war has come round and reached
you, there has at last arisen in your minds a recollection of Gelon.
However, though I have met with contempt at your hands, I will not act
like you; but I am prepared to come to your assistance, supplying two
hundred triremes and twenty thousand hoplites, with two thousand
horsemen, two thousand bowmen, two thousand slingers and two thousand
light-armed men to run beside the horsemen; and moreover I will
undertake to supply corn for the whole army of the Hellenes, until we
have finished the war. These things I engage to supply on this
condition, namely that I shall be commander and leader of the Hellenes
against the Barbarian; but on any other condition I will neither come
myself nor will I send others." 159. Hearing this Syagros could not
contain himself but spoke these words: "Deeply, I trow, would
Agamemnon son of Pelops lament,[149] if he heard that the Spartans had
had the leadership taken away from them by Gelon and by the
Syracusans. Nay, but make thou no further mention of this condition,
namely that we should deliver the leadership to thee; but if thou art
desirous to come to the assistance of Hellas, know that thou wilt be
under the command of the Lacedemonians; and if thou dost indeed claim
not to be under command, come not thou to our help at all."

160. To this Gelon, seeing that the speech of Syagros was adverse, set
forth to them his last proposal thus: "Stranger from Sparta,
reproaches sinking into the heart of a man are wont to rouse his
spirit in anger against them; thou however, though thou hast uttered
insults against me in thy speech, wilt not bring me to show myself
unseemly in my reply. But whereas ye so strongly lay claim to the
leadership, it were fitting that I should lay claim to it more than
ye, seeing that I am the leader of an army many times as large and of
ships many more. Since however this condition is so distasteful to
you,[150] we will recede somewhat from our former proposal. Suppose
that ye should be leaders of the land-army and I of the fleet; or if
it pleases you to lead the sea-forces, I am willing to be leader of
those on land; and either ye must be contented with these terms or go
away without the alliance which I have to give." 161. Gelon, I say,
made these offers, and the envoy of the Athenians, answering before
that of the Lacedemonians, replied to him as follows: "O king of the
Syracusans, it was not of a leader that Hellas was in want when it
sent us to thee, but of an army. Thou however dost not set before us
the hope that thou wilt send an army, except thou have the leadership
of Hellas; and thou art striving how thou mayest become commander of
the armies of Hellas. So long then as it was thy demand to be leader
of the whole army of the Hellenes, it was sufficient for us Athenians
to keep silence, knowing that the Lacedemonian would be able to make
defence even for us both; but now, since being repulsed from the
demand for the whole thou art requesting to be commander of the naval
force, we tell that thus it is:--not even if the Lacedemonian shall
permit thee to be commander of it, will we permit thee; for this at
least is our own, if the Lacedemonians do not themselves desire to
have it. With these, if they desire to be the leaders, we do not
contend; but none others beside ourselves shall we permit to be in
command of the ships: for then to no purpose should we be possessors
of a sea-force larger than any other which belongs to the Hellenes,
if, being Athenians, we should yield the leadership to Syracusans, we
who boast of a race which is the most ancient of all and who are of
all the Hellenes the only people who have not changed from one land to
another; to whom also belonged a man whom Homer the Epic poet said was
the best of all who came to Ilion in drawing up an army and setting it
in array.[151] Thus we are not justly to be reproached if we say these
things." 162. To this Gelon made answer thus: "Stranger of Athens, it
would seem that ye have the commanders, but that ye will not have the
men to be commanded. Since then ye will not at all give way, but
desire to have the whole, it were well that ye should depart home as
quickly as possible and report to the Hellenes that the spring has
been taken out of their year." Now this is the meaning of the saying:
--evidently the spring is the noblest part of the year; and so he
meant to say that his army was the noblest part of the army of the
Hellenes: for Hellas therefore, deprived of his alliance, it was, he
said, as if the spring had been taken out of the year.[152]

163. The envoys of the Hellenes, having thus had conference with
Gelon, sailed away; and Gelon upon this, fearing on the one hand about
the Hellenes, lest they should not be able to overcome the Barbarian,
and on the other hand considering it monstrous and not to be endured
that he should come to Peloponnesus and be under the command of the
Lacedemonians, seeing that he was despot of Sicily, gave up the
thought of this way and followed another: for so soon as he was
informed that the Persian had crossed over the Hellespont, he sent
Cadmos the son of Skythes, a man of Cos, with three fifty-oared
galleys to Delphi, bearing large sums of money and friendly proposals,
to wait there and see how the battle would fall out: and if the
Barbarian should be victorious, he was to give him the money and also
to offer him earth and water from those over whom Gelon had rule; but
if the Hellenes should be victorious, he was bidden to bring it back.
164. Now this Cadmos before these events, having received from his
father in a prosperous state the government[153] of the people of Cos,
had voluntarily and with no danger threatening, but moved merely by
uprightness of nature, placed the government in the hands of the
people of Cos[154] and had departed to Sicily, where he took from[155]
the Samians and newly colonised the city of Zancle, which had changed
its name to Messene. This same Cadmos, having come thither in such
manner as I have said, Gelon was now sending, having selected him on
account of the integrity which in other matters he had himself found
to be in him; and this man, in addition to the other upright acts
which had been done by him, left also this to be remembered, which was
not the least of them: for having got into his hands that great sum of
money which Gelon entrusted to his charge, though he might have taken
possession of it himself he did not choose to do so; but when the
Hellenes had got the better in the sea-fight and Xerxes had marched
away and departed, he also returned to Sicily bringing back with him
the whole sum of money.

165. The story which here follows is also reported by those who dwell
in Sicily, namely that, even though he was to be under the command of
the Lacedemonians, Gelon would have come to the assistance of the
Hellenes, but that Terillos, the son of Crinippos and despot of
Himera, having been driven out of Himera by Theron the son of
Ainesidemos[156] the ruler of the Agrigentines, was just at this very
time bringing in an army of Phenicians, Libyans, Iberians, Ligurians,
Elisycans, Sardinians and Corsicans, to the number of thirty
myriads,[157] with Amilcas the son of Annon king of the Carthaginians
as their commander, whom Terillos had persuaded partly by reason of
his own guest-friendship, and especially by the zealous assistance of
Anaxilaos the son of Cretines, who was despot of Rhegion, and who to
help his father-in-law endeavoured to bring in Amilcas to Sicily, and
had given him his sons as hostages; for Anaxilaos was married to the
daughter of Terillos, whose name was Kydippe. Thus it was, they say,
that Gelon was not able to come to the assistance of the Hellenes, and
sent therefore the money to Delphi. 166. In addition to this they
report also that, as it happened, Gelon and Theron were victorious
over Amilcas the Carthaginian on the very same day when the Hellenes
were victorious at Salamis over the Persian. And this Amilcas, who was
a Carthaginian on the father's side but on the mother's Syracusan, and
who had become king of the Carthaginians by merit, when the engagement
took place and he was being worsted in the battle, disappeared, as I
am informed; for neither alive nor dead did he appear again anywhere
upon the earth, though Gelon used all diligence in the search for him.
167. Moreover there is also this story reported by the Carthaginians
themselves, who therein relate that which is probable in itself,
namely that while the Barbarians fought with the Hellenes in Sicily
from the early morning till late in the afternoon (for to such a
length the combat is said to have been protracted), during this time
Amilcas was remaining in the camp and was making sacrifices to get
good omens of success, offering whole bodies of victims upon a great
pyre: and when he saw that there was a rout of his own army, he being
then, as it chanced, in the act of pouring a libation over the
victims, threw himself into the fire, and thus he was burnt up and
disappeared. Amilcas then having disappeared, whether it was in such a
manner as this, as it is reported by the Phenicians, or in some other
way,[159] the Carthaginians both offer sacrifices to him now, and also
they made memorials of him then in all the cities of their colonies,
and the greatest in Carthage itself.

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

169. These then evaded the request of the Hellenes thus: but the
Cretans, when those of the Hellenes who had been appointed to deal
with these endeavoured to obtain their help, did thus, that is to say,
they joined together and sent men to inquire of the god at Delphi
whether it would be better for them if they gave assistance to Hellas:
and the Pythian prophetess answered: "Ye fools, do ye think those woes
too few,[160] which Minos sent upon you in his wrath,[161] because of
the assistance that ye gave to Menelaos? seeing that, whereas they did
not join with you in taking vengeance for his death in Camicos, ye
nevertheless joined with them in taking vengeance for the woman who by
a Barbarian was carried off from Sparta." When the Cretans heard this
answer reported, they abstained from the giving of assistance. 170.
For the story goes that Minos, having come to Sicania, which is now
called Sicily, in search of Daidalos, died there by a violent death;
and after a time the Cretans, urged thereto by a god, all except the
men of Polichne and Praisos, came with a great armament to Sicania and
besieged for seven years the city of Camicos, which in my time was
occupied by the Agrigentines; and at last not being able either to
capture it or to remain before it, because they were hard pressed by
famine, they departed and went away. And when, as they sailed, they
came to be off the coast of Iapygia, a great storm seized them and
cast them away upon the coast; and their vessels being dashed to
pieces, they, since they saw no longer any way of coming to Crete,
founded there the city of Hyria; and there they stayed and were
changed so that they became instead of Cretans, Messapians of Iapygia,
and instead of islanders, dwellers on the mainland: then from the city
of Hyria they founded those other settlements which the Tarentines
long afterwards endeavoured to destroy and suffer great disaster in
that enterprise, so that this in fact proved to be the greatest
slaughter of Hellenes that is known to us, and not only of the
Tarentines themselves but of those citizens of Rhegion who were
compelled by Mikythos the son of Choiros to go to the assistance of
the Tarentines, and of whom there were slain in this manner three
thousand men: of the Tarentines themselves however, who were slain
there, there was no numbering made. This Mikythos, who was a servant
of Anaxilaos, had been left by him in charge of Rhegion; and he it was
who after being driven out of Rhegion took up his abode at Tegea of
the Arcadians and dedicated those many statues at Olympia. 171. This
of the men of Rhegion and of the Tarentines has been an episode[162]
in my narrative: in Crete however, as the men of Praisos report, after
it had been thus stripped of inhabitants, settlements were made by
various nations, but especially by Hellenes; and in the next
generation but one after the death of Minos came the Trojan war, in
which the Cretans proved not the most contemptible of those who came
to assist Menelaos. Then after this, when they had returned home from
Troy, famine and pestilence came upon both the men and their cattle,
until at last Crete was stripped of its inhabitants for the second
time, and a third population of Cretans now occupy it together with
those which were left of the former inhabitants. The Pythian
prophetess, I say, by calling these things to their minds stopped them
from giving assistance to the Hellenes, though they desired to do so.

172. As for the Thessalians, they at first had taken the side of the
Persians against their will, and they gave proof that they were not
pleased by that which the Aleuadai were designing; for so soon as they
heard that the Persian was about to cross over into Europe, they sent
envoys to the Isthmus: now at the Isthmus were assembled
representatives of Hellas chosen by the cities which had the better
mind about Hellas: having come then to these, the envoys of the
Thessalians said: "Hellenes, ye must guard the pass by Olympos, in
order that both Thessaly and the whole of Hellas may be sheltered from
the war. We are prepared to join with you in guarding it, but ye must
send a large force as well as we; for if ye shall not send, be assured
that we shall make agreement with the Persian; since it is not right
that we, standing as outposts so far in advance of the rest of Hellas,
should perish alone in your defence: and not being willing[163] to
come to our help, ye cannot apply to us any force to compel
inability;[164] but we shall endeavour to devise some means of safety
for ourselves." 173. Thus spoke the Thessalians; and the Hellenes upon
this resolved to send to Thessaly by sea an army of men on foot to
guard the pass: and when the army was assembled it set sail through
Euripos, and having come to Alos in the Achaian land, it disembarked
there and marched into Thessaly leaving the ships behind at Alos, and
arrived at Tempe, the pass which leads from lower Macedonia into
Thessaly by the river Peneios, going between the mountains of Olympos
and Ossa. There the Hellenes encamped, being assembled to the number
of about ten thousand hoplites, and to them was added the cavalry of
the Thessalians; and the commander of the Lacedemonians was Euainetos
the son of Carenos, who had been chosen from the polemarchs,[165] not
being of the royal house, and of the Athenians Themistocles the son of
Neocles. They remained however but few days here, for envoys came from
Alexander the son of Amyntas the Macedonian, who advised them to
depart thence and not to remain in the pass and be trodden under foot
by the invading host, signifying to them at the same time both the
great numbers of the army and the ships which they had. When these
gave them this counsel, they followed the advice, for they thought
that the counsel was good, and the Macedonian was evidently well-
disposed towards them. Also, as I think, it was fear that persuaded
them to it, when they were informed that there was another pass
besides this to the Thessalian land by upper Macedonia through the
Perraibians and by the city of Gonnos, the way by which the army of
Xerxes did in fact make its entrance. So the Hellenes went down to
their ships again and made their way back to the Isthmus.

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

175. When the Hellenes had returned to the Isthmus, they deliberated,
having regard to that which had been said by Alexander, where and in
what regions they should set the war on foot: and the opinion which
prevailed was to guard the pass at Thermopylai; for it was seen to be
narrower than that leading into Thessaly, and at the same time it was
single,[166] and nearer also to their own land; and as for the path by
means of which were taken those of the Hellenes who were taken by the
enemy at Thermopylai, they did not even know of its existence until
they were informed by the people of Trachis after they had come to
Thermopylai. This pass then they resolved to guard, and not permit the
Barbarian to go by into Hellas; and they resolved that the fleet
should sail to Artemision in the territory of Histiaia: for these
points are near to one another, so that each division of their forces
could have information of what was happening to the other. And the
places are so situated as I shall describe. 176. As to Artemision
first, coming out of the Thracian Sea the space is contracted from
great width to that narrow channel which lies between the island of
Skiathos and the mainland of Magnesia; and after the strait there
follows at once in Eubťa the sea-beach called Artemision, upon which
there is a temple of Artemis. Then secondly the passage into Hellas by
Trechis is, where it is narrowest, but fifty feet wide: it is not here
however that the narrowest part of this whole region lies, but in
front of Thermopylai and also behind it, consisting of a single wheel-
track only[167] both by Alpenoi, which lies behind Thermopylai and
again by the river Phoinix near the town of Anthela there is no space
but a single wheel-track only: and on the West of Thermopylai there is
a mountain which is impassable and precipitous, rising up to a great
height and extending towards the range of Oite, while on the East of
the road the sea with swampy pools succeeds at once. In this passage
there are hot springs, which the natives of the place call the
"Pots,"[168] and an altar of Heracles is set up near them. Moreover a
wall had once been built at this pass, and in old times there was a
gate set in it; which wall was built by the Phokians, who were struck
with fear because the Thessalians had come from the land of the
Thesprotians to settle in the Aiolian land, the same which they now
possess. Since then the Thessalians, as they supposed, were attempting
to subdue them, the Phokians guarded themselves against this
beforehand; and at that time they let the water of the hot springs run
over the passage, that the place might be converted into a ravine, and
devised every means that the Thessalians might not make invasion of
their land. Now the ancient wall had been built long before, and the
greater part of it was by that time in ruins from lapse of time; the
Hellenes however resolved to set it up again, and at this spot to
repel the Barbarian from Hellas: and very near the road there is a
village called Alpenoi, from which the Hellenes counted on getting

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

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

179. The Delphians then according to the oracle even to this day make
propitiary offerings to the Winds: and meanwhile the fleet of Xerxes
setting forth from the city of Therma had passed over with ten of its
ships, which were those that sailed best, straight towards Skiathos,
where three Hellenic ships, a Troizenian, an Eginetan and an Athenian,
were keeping watch in advance. When the crews of these caught sight of
the ships of the Barbarians, they set off to make their escape: 180,
and the ship of Troizen, of which Prexinos was in command, was pursued
and captured at once by the Barbarians; who upon that took the man who
was most distinguished by beauty among the fighting-men on board of
her,[169] and cut his throat at the prow of the ship, making a good
omen for themselves of the first of the Hellenes whom they had
captured who was pre-eminent for beauty. The name of this man who was
sacrificed was Leon, and perhaps he had also his name to thank in some
degree for what befell him. 181. The ship of Egina however, of which
Asonides was master, even gave them some trouble to capture it, seeing
that Pytheas the son of Ischeno÷s served as a fighting-man on board of
her, who proved himself a most valiant man on this day; for when the
ship was being taken, he held out fighting until he was hacked all to
pieces: and as when he had fallen he did not die, but had still breath
in him, the Persians who served as fighting-men on board the ships,
because of his valour used all diligence to save his life, both
applying unguents of myrrh to heal his wounds and also wrapping him up
in bands of the finest linen; and when they came back to their own
main body, they showed him to all the army, making a marvel of him and
giving him good treatment; but the rest whom they had taken in this
ship they treated as slaves. 182. Two of the three ships, I say, were
captured thus; but the third, of which Phormos an Athenian was master,
ran ashore in its flight at the mouth of the river Peneios; and the
Barbarians got possession of the vessel but not of the crew; for so
soon as the Athenians had run the ship ashore, they leapt out of her,
and passing through Thessaly made their way to Athens.

183. Of these things the Hellenes who were stationed at Artemision
were informed by fire-signals from Skiathos; and being informed of
them and being struck with fear, they removed their place of anchorage
from Atermision to Chalkis, intending to guard the Euripos, but
leaving at the same time watchers by day[170] on the heights of Eubťa.
Of the ten ships of the Barbarians three sailed up to the reef called
Myrmex,[171] which lies between Skiathos and Magnesia; and when the
Barbarians had there erected a stone pillar, which for that purpose
they brought to the reef, they set forth with their main body[172]
from Therma, the difficulties of the passage having now been cleared
away, and sailed thither with all their ships, having let eleven days
go by since the king set forth on his march from Therma. Now of this
reef lying exactly in the middle of the fairway they were informed by
Pammon of Skyros. Sailing then throughout the day the Barbarians
accomplished the voyage to Sepias in Magnesia and to the sea-beach
which is between the city of Casthanaia and the headland of Sepias.

184. So far as this place and so far as Thermopylai the army was
exempt from calamity; and the number was then still, as I find by
computation, this:--Of the ships which came from Asia, which were one
thousand two hundred and seven, the original number of the crews
supplied by the several nations I find to have been twenty-four
myriads and also in addition to them one thousand four hundred,[173]
if one reckons at the rate of two hundred men to each ship: and on
board of each of these ships there served as fighting-men,[174]
besides the fighting-men belonging to its own nation in each case,
thirty men who were Persians, Medes, or Sacans; and this amounts to
three myriads six thousand two hundred and ten[175] in addition to the
others. I will add also to this and to the former number the crews of
the fifty-oared galleys, assuming that there were eighty men, more or
less,[176] in each one. Of these vessels there were gathered together,
as was before said, three thousand: it would follow therefore that
there were in them four-and-twenty myriads[177] of men. This was the
naval force which came from Asia, amounting in all to fifty-one
myriads and also seven thousand six hundred and ten in addition.[178]
Then of the footmen there had been found to be a hundred and seventy
myriads,[179] and of the horsemen eight myriads:[180] and I will add
also to these the Arabian camel-drivers and the Libyan drivers of
chariots, assuming them to amount to twenty thousand men. The result
is then that the number of the ships' crews combined with that of the
land-army amounts to two hundred and thirty-one myriads and also in
addition seven thousand six hundred and ten.[181] This is the
statement of the Army which was brought up out of Asia itself, without
counting the attendants which accompanied it or the corn-transports
and the men who sailed in these. 185. There is still to be reckoned,
in addition to all this which has been summed up, the force which was
being led from Europe; and of this we must give a probable
estimate.[182] The Hellenes of Thrace and of the islands which lie off
the coast of Thrace supplied a hundred and twenty ships; from which
ships there results a sum of twenty-four thousand men: and as regards
the land-force which was supplied by the Thracians, Paionians,
Eordians, Bottiaians, the race which inhabits Chalkidike, the
Brygians, Pierians, Macedonians, Perraibians, Enianians,[183]
Dolopians, Magnesians, Achaians, and all those who dwell in the coast-
region of Thrace, of these various nations I estimate that there were
thirty myriads.[184] These myriads then added to those from Asia make
a total sum of two hundred and sixty-four myriads of fighting men and
in addition to these sixteen hundred and ten.[185] 186. Such being the
number of this body of fighting-men,[186] the attendants who went with
these and the men who were in the small vessels[187] which carried
corn, and again in the other vessels which sailed with the army, these
I suppose were not less in number but more than the fighting men. I
assume them to be equal in number with these, and neither at all more
nor less; and so, being supposed equal in number with the fighting
body, they make up the same number of myriads as they. Thus five
hundred and twenty-eight myriads three thousand two hundred and
twenty[188] was the number of men whom Xerxes son of Dareios led as
far as Sepias and Thermopylai. 187. This is the number of the whole
army of Xerxes; but of the women who made bread for it, and of the
concubines and eunuchs no man can state any exact number, nor again of
the draught-animals and other beasts of burden or of the Indian
hounds, which accompanied it, could any one state the number by reason
of their multitude: so that it does not occur to me to wonder that the
streams of some rivers should have failed them, but I wonder rather
how the provisions were sufficient to feed so many myriads; for I find
on computation that if each man received a quart[189] of wheat every
day and nothing more, there would be expended every day eleven myriads
of /medimnoi/[190] and three hundred and forty /medimnoi/ besides: and
here I am not reckoning anything for the women, eunuchs, baggage-
animals, or dogs. Of all these men, amounting to so many myriads, not
one was for beauty and stature more worthy than Xerxes himself to
possess this power.

188. The fleet, I say, set forth and sailed: and when it had put in to
land in the region of Magnesia at the beach which is between the city
of Casthanaia and the headland of Sepias, the first of the ships which
came lay moored by the land and the others rode at anchor behind them;
for, as the beach was not large in extent, they lay at anchor with
prows projecting[191] towards the sea in an order which was eight
ships deep. For that night they lay thus; but at early dawn, after
clear sky and windless calm, the sea began to be violently agitated
and a great storm fell upon them with a strong East[192] Wind, that
wind which they who dwell about those parts call Hellespontias. Now as
many of them as perceived that the wind was rising and who were so
moored that it was possible for them to do so, drew up their ships on
land before the storm came, and both they and their ships escaped; but
as for those of the ships which it caught out at sea, some it cast
away at the place called Ipnoi[193] in Pelion and others on the beach,
while some were wrecked on the headland of Sepias itself, others at
the city of Meliboia, and others were thrown up on shore[194] at
Casthanaia: and the violence of the storm could not be resisted. 189.
There is a story reported that the Athenians had called upon Boreas to
aid them, by suggestion of an oracle, because there had come to them
another utterance of the god bidding them call upon their brother by
marriage to be their helper. Now according to the story of the
Hellenes Boreas has a wife who is of Attica, Oreithuia the daughter of
Erechththeus. By reason of this affinity, I say, the Athenians,
according to the tale which has gone abroad, conjectured that their
"brother by marriage" was Boreas, and when they perceived the wind
rising, as they lay with their ships at Chalkis in Eubťa, or even
before that, they offered sacrifices and called upon Boreas and
Oreithuia to assist them and to destroy the ships of the Barbarians,
as they had done before round about mount Athos. Whether it was for
this reason that the wind Boreas fell upon the Barbarians while they
lay at anchor, I am not able to say; but however that may be, the
Athenians report that Boreas had come to their help in former times,
and that at this time he accomplished those things for them of which I
speak; and when they had returned home they set up a temple dedicated
to Boreas by the river Ilissos.

190. In this disaster the number of the ships which were lost was not
less than four hundred, according to the report of those who state the
number which is lowest, with men innumerable and an immense quantity
of valuable things; insomuch that to Ameinocles the son of Cretines, a
Magnesian who held lands about Sepias, this shipwreck proved very
gainful; for he picked up many cups of gold which were thrown up
afterwards on the shore, and many also of silver, and found treasure-
chests[195] which had belonged to the Persians, and made acquisition
of other things of gold[196] more than can be described. This man
however, though he became very wealthy by the things which he found,
yet in other respects was not fortunate; for he too suffered
misfortune, being troubled by the slaying of a child.[197] 191. Of the
corn-transplants and other vessels which perished there was no
numbering made; and so great was the loss that the commanders of the
fleet, being struck with fear lest the Thessalians should attack them
now that they had been brought into an evil plight, threw round their
camp a lofty palisade built of the fragments of wreck. For the storm
continued during three days; but at last the Magians, making sacrifice
of victims and singing incantations to appease the Wind by
enchantments,[198] and in addition to this, offering to Thetis and the
Nere´ds, caused it to cease on the fourth day, or else for some other
reason it abated of its own will. Now they offered sacrifice to
Thetis, being informed by the Ionians of the story that she was
carried off from the place by Peleus, and that the whole headland of
Sepias belonged to her and to the other Nere´ds. 192. The storm then
had ceased on the fourth day; and meanwhile the day-watchers had run
down from the heights of Eubťa on the day after the first storm began,
and were keeping the Hellenes informed of all that had happened as
regards the shipwreck. They then, being informed of it, prayed first
to Poseidon the Saviour and poured libations, and then they hastened
to go back to Artemision, expecting that there would be but a very few
ships of the enemy left to come against them. 193. They, I say, came
for the second time and lay with their ships about Artemision: and
from that time even to this they preserve the use of the surname
"Saviour" for Poseidon. Meanwhile the Barbarians, when the wind had
ceased and the swell of the sea had calmed down, drew their ships into
the sea and sailed on along the shore of the mainland, and having
rounded the extremity of Magnesia they sailed straight into the gulf
which leads towards Pagasai. In this gulf of Magnesia there is a place
where it is said that Heracles was left behind by Jason and his
comrades, having been sent from the Argo to fetch water, at the time
when they were sailing for the fleece to Aia in the land of Colchis:
for from that place they designed, when they had taken in water, to
loose[199] their ship into the open sea; and from this the place has
come to have the name Aphetai. Here then the fleet of Xerxes took up
its moorings.

194. Now it chanced that fifteen of these ships put out to sea a good
deal later than the rest, and they happened to catch sight of the
ships of the Hellenes at Artemision. These ships the Barbarians
supposed to be their own, and they sailed thither accordingly and fell
among the enemy. Of these the commander was Sandokes the son of
Thamasios, the governor of Kyme in Aiolia, whom before this time king
Dareios had taken and crucified (he being one of the Royal Judges) for
this reason,[199a] namely that Sandokes had pronounced judgment
unjustly for money. So then after he was hung up, Dareios reckoned and
found that more good services had been done by him to the royal house
than were equal to his offences; and having found this, and perceived
that he had himself acted with more haste than wisdom, he let him go.
Thus he escaped from king Dareios, and did not perish but survived;
now, however, when he sailed in toward the Hellenes, he was destined
not to escape the second time; for when the Hellenes saw them sailing
up, perceiving the mistake which was being made they put out against
them and captured them without difficulty. 195. Sailing in one of
these ships Aridolis was captured, the despot of Alabanda in Caria,
and in another the Paphian commander Penthylos son of Demono÷s, who
brought twelve ships from Paphos, but had lost eleven of them in the
storm which had come on by Sepias, and now was captured sailing in
towards Artemision with the one which had escaped. These men the
Hellenes sent away in bonds to the Isthmus of the Corinthians, after
having inquired of them that which they desired to learn of the army
of Xerxes.

196. The fleet of the Barbarians then, except the fifteen ships of
which I said that Sandokes was in command, had arrived at Aphetai; and
Xerxes meanwhile with the land-army, having marched through Thessalia
and Achaia, had already entered the land of the Malians two days
before,[200] after having held in Thessaly a contest for his own
horses, making trial also of the Thessalian cavalry, because he was
informed that it was the best of all among the Hellenes; and in this
trial the horses of Hellas were far surpassed by the others. Now of
the rivers in Thessalia the Onochonos alone failed to suffice by its
stream for the drinking of the army; but of the rivers which flow in
Achaia even that which is the largest of them, namely Epidanos, even
this, I say, held out but barely.

197. When Xerxes had reached Alos of Achaia, the guides who gave him
information of the way, wishing to inform him fully of everything,
reported to him a legend of the place, the things, namely, which have
to do with the temple of Zeus Laphystios;[201] how Athamas the son of
Aiolos contrived death for Phrixos, having taken counsel with Ino, and
after this how by command of an oracle the Achaians propose to his
descendants the following tasks to be performed:--whosoever is the
eldest of this race, on him they lay an injunction that he is
forbidden to enter the City Hall,[202] and they themselves keep watch;
now the City Hall is called by the Achaians the "Hall of the
People";[203] and if he enter it, it may not be that he shall come
forth until he is about to be sacrificed. They related moreover in
addition to this, that many of these who were about to be sacrificed
had before now run away and departed to another land, because they
were afraid; and if afterwards in course of time they returned to
their own land and were caught, they were placed[204] in the City
Hall: and they told how the man is sacrificed all thickly covered with
wreaths, and with what form of procession he is brought forth to the
sacrifice. This is done to the descendants of Kytissoros the son of
Phrixos, because, when the Achaians were making of Athamas the son of
Aiolos a victim to purge the sins of the land according to the command
of an oracle, and were just about to sacrifice him, this Kytissoros
coming from Aia of the Colchians rescued him; and having done so he
brought the wrath of the gods upon his own descendants. Having heard
these things, Xerxes, when he came to the sacred grove, both abstained
from entering it himself, and gave the command to his whole army to so
likewise; and he paid reverence both to the house and to the sacred
enclosure of the descendants of Athamas.

198. These then are the things which happened in Thessalia and in
Achaia; and from these regions he proceeded to the Malian land, going
along by a gulf of the sea, in which there is an ebb and flow of the
tide every day. Round about this gulf there is a level space, which in
parts is broad but in other parts very narrow; and mountains lofty and
inaccessible surrounding this place enclose the whole land of Malis
and are called the rocks of Trachis. The first city upon this gulf as
one goes from Achaia is Antikyra, by which the river Spercheios
flowing from the land of the Enianians[205] runs out into the sea. At
a distance of twenty furlongs[206] or thereabouts from this river
there is another, of which the name is Dyras; this is said to have
appeared that it might bring assistance to Heracles when he was
burning: then again at a distance of twenty furlongs from this there
is another river called Melas. 199. From this river Melas the city of
Trachis is distant five furlongs; and here, in the parts where Trachis
is situated, is even the widest portion of all this district, as
regards the space from the mountains to the sea; for the plain has an
extent of twenty-two thousand /plethra/.[207] In the mountain-range
which encloses the land of Trachis there is a cleft to the South of
Trachis itself; and through this cleft the river Asopos flows, and
runs along by the foot of the mountain. 200. There is also another
river called Phoinix, to the South of the Asopos, of no great size,
which flowing from these mountains runs out into the Asopos; and at
the river Phoinix is the narrowest place, for here has been
constructed a road with a single wheel-track only. Then from the river
Phoinix it is a distance of fifteen furlongs to Thermopylai; and in
the space between the river Phoinix and Thermopylai there is a village
called Anthela, by which the river Asopos flows, and so runs out into
the sea; and about this village there is a wide space in which is set
up a temple dedicated to Demeter of the Amphictyons, and there are
seats for the Amphictyonic councillors and a temple dedicated to
Amphictyon himself.

201. King Xerxes, I say, was encamped within the region of Trachis in
the land of the Malians, and the Hellenes within the pass. This place
is called by the Hellenes in general Thermopylai, but by the natives
of the place and those who dwell in the country round it is called
Pylai. Both sides then were encamped hereabout, and the one had
command of all that lies beyond Trachis[208] in the direction of the
North Wind, and the others of that which tends towards the South Wind
and the mid-day on this side of the continent.[209]

202. These were the Hellenes who awaited the attack of the Persian in
this place:--of the Spartans three hundred hoplites; of the men of
Tegea and Mantineia a thousand, half from each place, from Orchomenos
in Arcadia a hundred and twenty, and from the rest of Arcadia a
thousand,--of the Arcadians so many; from Corinth four hundred, from
Phlius two hundred, and of the men of Mykene eighty: these were they
who came from the Peloponnese; and from the Bťotians seven hundred of
the Thespians, and of the Thebans four hundred. 203. In addition to
these the Locrians of Opus had been summoned to come in their full
force, and of the Phokians a thousand: for the Hellenes had of
themselves sent a summons to them, saying by messengers that they had
come as forerunners of the others, that the rest of the allies were to
be expected every day, that their sea was safely guarded, being
watched by the Athenians and the Eginetans and by those who had been
appointed to serve in the fleet, and that they need fear nothing: for
he was not a god, they said, who was coming to attack Hellas, but a
man; and there was no mortal, nor would be any, with those fortunes
evil had not been mingled at his very birth, and the greatest evils
for the greatest men; therefore he also who was marching against them,
being mortal, would be destined to fail of his expectation. They
accordingly, hearing this, came to the assistance of the others at

204. Of these troops, although there were other commanders also
according to the State to which each belonged, yet he who was most
held in regard and who was leader of the whole army was the
Lacedemonian Leonidas son of Anaxandrides, son of Leon, son of
Eurycratides, son of Anaxander, son of Eurycrates, son of Polydoros,
son of Alcamenes, son of Teleclos, son of Archelaos, son of
Hegesilaos, son of Doryssos, son of Leobotes, son of Echestratos, son
of Agis, son of Eurysthenes, son of Aristodemos, son of Aristomachos,
son of Cleodaios, son of Hyllos, son of Heracles; who had obtained the
kingdom of Sparta contrary to expectation. 205. For as he had two
brothers each older than himself, namely Cleomenes and Dorieos, he had
been far removed from the thought of becoming king. Since however
Cleomenes had died without male child, and Dorieos was then no longer
alive, but he also had brought his life to an end in Sicily,[210] thus
the kingdom came to Leonidas, both because was of elder birth than
Cleombrotos (for Cleombrotos was the youngest of the sons of
Anaxandrides) and also because he had in marriage the daughter of
Cleomenes. He then at this time went to Thermopylai, having chosen the
three hundred who were appointed by law[211] and men who chanced to
have sons; and he took with him besides, before he arrived, those
Thebans whom I mentioned when I reckoned them in the number of the
troops, of whom the commander was Leontiades the son of Eurymachos:
and for this reason Leonidas was anxious to take up these with him of
all the Hellenes, namely because accusations had been strongly brought
against them that they were taking the side of the Medes; therefore he
summoned them to the war, desiring to know whether they would send
troops with them or whether they would openly renounce the alliance of
the Hellenes; and they sent men, having other thoughts in their mind
the while.

206. These with Leonidas the Spartans had sent out first, in order
that seeing them the other allies might join in the campaign, and for
fear that they also might take the side of the Medes, if they heard
that the Spartans were putting off their action. Afterwards, however,
when they had kept the festival, (for the festival of the Carneia
stood in their way), they intended then to leave a garrison in Sparta
and to come to help in full force with speed: and just so also the
rest of the allies had thought of doing themselves; for it chanced
that the Olympic festival fell at the same time as these events.
Accordingly, since they did not suppose that the fighting in
Thermopylai would so soon be decided, they sent only the forerunners
of their force. 207. These, I say, had intended to do thus: and
meanwhile the Hellenes at Thermopylai, when the Persian had come near
to the pass, were in dread, and deliberated about making retreat from
their position. To the rest of the Peloponnesians then it seemed best
that they should go to the Peloponnese and hold the Isthmus in guard;
but Leonidas, when the Phokians and Locrians were indignant at this
opinion, gave his vote for remaining there, and for sending at the
same time messengers to the several States bidding them to come up to
help them, since they were but few to repel the army of the Medes.

208. As they were thus deliberating, Xerxes sent a scout on horseback
to see how many they were in number and what they were doing; for he
had heard while he was yet in Thessaly that there had been assembled
in this place a small force, and that the leaders of it were
Lacedemonians together with Leonidas, who was of the race of Heracles.
And when the horseman had ridden up towards their camp, he looked upon
them and had a view not indeed of the whole of their army, for of
those which were posted within the wall, which they had repaired and
were keeping a guard, it was not possible to have a view, but he
observed those who were outside, whose station was in front of the
wall; and it chanced at that time that the Lacedemonians were they who
were posted outside. So then he saw some of the men practising
athletic exercises and some combing their long hair: and as he looked
upon these things he marvelled, and at the same time he observed their
number: and when he had observed all exactly, he rode back unmolested,
for no one attempted to pursue him and he found himself treated with
much indifference. And when he returned he reported to Xerxes all that
which he had seen. 209. Hearing this Xerxes was not able to conjecture
the truth about the matter, namely that they were preparing themselves
to die and to deal death to the enemy so far as they might; but it
seemed to him that they were acting in a manner merely ridiculous; and
therefore he sent for Demaratos the son of Ariston, who was in his
camp, and when he came, Xerxes asked him of these things severally,
desiring to discover what this was which the Lacedemonians were doing:
and he said: "Thou didst hear from my mouth at a former time, when we
were setting forth to go against Hellas, the things concerning these
men; and having heard them thou madest me an object of laughter,
because I told thee of these things which I perceived would come to
pass; for to me it is the greatest of all ends to speak the truth
continually before thee, O king. Hear then now also: these men have
come to fight with us for the passage, and this is it that they are
preparing to do; for they have a custom which is as follows;--whenever
they are about to put their lives in peril, then they attend to the
arrangement of their hair. Be assured however, that if thou shalt
subdue these and the rest of them which remain behind in Sparta, there
is no other race of men which will await thy onset, O king, or will
raise hands against thee: for now thou art about to fight against the
noblest kingdom and city of those which are among the Hellenes, and
the best men." To Xerxes that which was said seemed to be utterly
incredible, and he asked again a second time in what manner being so
few they would fight with his host. He said; "O king, deal with me as
with a liar, if thou find not that these things come to pass as I

210. Thus saying he did not convince Xerxes, who let four days go by,
expecting always that they would take to flight; but on the fifth day,
when they did not depart but remained, being obstinate, as he thought,
in impudence and folly, he was enraged and sent against them the Medes
and the Kissians, charging them to take the men alive and bring them
into his presence. Then when the Medes moved forward and attacked the
Hellenes, there fell many of them, and others kept coming up
continually, and they were not driven back, though suffering great
loss: and they made it evident to every man, and to the king himself
not least of all, that human beings are many but men are few. This
combat went on throughout the day: 211, and when the Medes were being
roughly handled, then these retired from the battle, and the Persians,
those namely whom the king called "Immortals," of whom Hydarnes was
commander, took their place and came to the attack, supposing that
they at least would easily overcome the enemy. When however these also
engaged in combat with the Hellenes, they gained no more success than
the Median troops but the same as they, seeing that they were fighting
in a place with a narrow passage, using shorter spears than the
Hellenes, and not being able to take advantage of their superior
numbers. The Lacedemonians meanwhile were fighting in a memorable
fashion, and besides other things of which they made display, being
men perfectly skilled in fighting opposed to men who were unskilled,
they would turn their backs to the enemy and make a pretence of taking
to flight; and the Barbarians, seeing them thus taking a flight, would
follow after them with shouting and clashing of arms: then the
Lacedemonians, when they were being caught up, turned and faced the
Barbarians; and thus turning round they would slay innumerable
multitudes of the Persians; and there fell also at these times a few
of the Spartans themselves. So, as the Persians were not able to
obtain any success by making trial of the entrance and attacking it by
divisions and every way, they retired back. 212. And during these
onsets it is said that the king, looking on, three times leapt up from
his seat, struck with fear for his army. Thus they contended then: and
on the following day the Barbarians strove with no better success; for
because the men opposed to them were few in number, they engaged in
battle with the expectation that they would be found to be disabled
and would not be capable any longer of raising their hands against
them in fight. The Hellenes however were ordered by companies as well
as by nations, and they fought successively each in turn, excepting
the Phokians, for these were posted upon the mountain to guard the
path. So the Persians, finding nothing different from that which they
had seen on the former day, retired back from the fight.

213. Then when the king was in a strait as to what he should do in the
matter before him, Epialtes the son of Eurydemos, a Malian, came to
speech with him, supposing that he would win a very great reward from
the king; and this man told him of the path which leads over the
mountain to Thermopylai, and brought about the destruction of those
Hellenes who remained in that place. Afterwards from fear of the
Lacedemonians he fled to Thessaly, and when he had fled, a price was
proclaimed for his life by the Deputies,[212] when the Amphictyons met
for their assembly at Pylai.[213] Then some time afterwards having
returned to Antikyra he was slain by Athenades a man of Trachis. Now
this Athenades killed Epialtes for another cause, which I shall set
forth in the following part of the history,[214] but he was honoured
for it none the less by the Lacedemonians. 214. Thus Epialtes after
these events was slain: there is however another tale told, that
Onetes the son of Phanagoras, a man of Carystos, and Corydallos of
Antikyra were those who showed the Persians the way round the
mountain; but this I can by no means accept: for first we must judge
by this fact, namely that the Deputies of the Hellenes did not
proclaim a price for the lives of Onetes and Corydallos, but for that
of Epialtes the Trachinian, having surely obtained the most exact
information of the matter; and secondly we know that Epialtes was an
exile from his country to avoid this charge. True it is indeed that
Onetes might know of this path, even though he were not a Malian, if
he had had much intercourse with the country; but Epialtes it was who
led them round the mountain by the path, and him therefore I write
down as the guilty man.

215. Xerxes accordingly, being pleased by that which Epialtes engaged
to accomplish, at once with great joy proceeded to send Hydarnes and
the men of whom Hydarnes was commander;[215] and they set forth from
the camp about the time when the lamps are lit. This path of which we
speak had been discovered by the Malians who dwell in that land, and
having discovered it they led the Thessalians by it against the
Phokians, at the time when the Phokians had fenced the pass with a
wall and thus were sheltered from the attacks upon them: so long ago
as this had the pass been proved by the Malians to be of no
value.[216] And this path lies as follows:--it begins from the river
Asopos, which flows through the cleft, and the name of this mountain
and of the path is the same, namely Anopaia; and this Anopaia
stretches over the ridge of the mountain and ends by the town of
Alpenos, which is the first town of the Locrians towards Malis, and by
the stone called Black Buttocks[217] and the seats of the Kercopes,
where is the very narrowest part. 217. By this path thus situated the
Persians after crossing over the Asopos proceeded all through the
night, having on their right hand the mountains of the Oitaians and on
the left those of the Trachinians: and when dawn appeared, they had
reached the summit of the mountain. In this part of the mountain there
were, as I have before shown, a thousand hoplites of the Phokians
keeping guard, to protect their own country and to keep the path: for
while the pass below was guarded by those whom I have mentioned, the
path over the mountain was guarded by the Phokians, who had undertaken
the business for Leonidas by their own offer. 218. While the Persians
were ascending they were concealed from these, since all the mountain
was covered with oak-trees; and the Phokians became aware of them
after they had made the ascent as follows:--the day was calm, and not
a little noise was made by the Persians, as was likely when leaves
were lying spread upon the ground under their feet; upon which the
Phokians started up and began to put on their arms, and by this time
the Barbarians were close upon them. These, when they saw men arming
themselves, fell into wonder, for they were expecting that no one
would appear to oppose them, and instead of that they had met with an
armed force. Then Hydarnes, seized with fear lest the Phokians should
be Lacedemonians, asked Epialtes of what people the force was; and
being accurately informed he set the Persians in order for battle. The
Phokians however, when they were hit by the arrows of the enemy, which
flew thickly, fled and got away at once to the topmost peak of the
mountain, fully assured that it was against them that the enemy had
designed to come,[218] and here they were ready to meet death. These,
I say, were in this mind; but the Persians meanwhile with Epialtes and
Hydarnes made no account of the Phokians, but descended the mountain
with all speed.

219. To the Hellenes who were in Thermopylai first the soothsayer
Megistias, after looking into the victims which were sacrificed,
declared the death which was to come to them at dawn of day; and
afterwards deserters brought the report[219] of the Persians having
gone round. These signified it to them while it was yet night, and
thirdly came the day-watchers, who had run down from the heights when
day was already dawning. Then the Hellenes deliberated, and their
opinions were divided; for some urged that they should not desert
their post, while others opposed this counsel. After this they
departed from their assembly,[220] and some went away and dispersed
each to their several cities, while others of them were ready to
remain there together with Leonidas. 220. However it is reported also
that Leonidas himself sent them away, having a care that they might
not perish, but thinking that it was not seemly for himself and for
the Spartans who were present to leave the post to which they had come
at first to keep guard there. I am inclined rather to be of this
latter opinion,[221] namely that because Leonidas perceived that the
allies were out of heart and did not desire to face the danger with
him to the end, he ordered them to depart, but held that for himself
to go away was not honourable, whereas if he remained, a great fame of
him would be left behind, and the prosperity of Sparta would not be
blotted out: for an oracle had been given by the Pythian prophetess to
the Spartans, when they consulted about this war at the time when it
was being first set on foot, to the effect that either Lacedemon must
be destroyed by the Barbarians, or their king must lose his life. This
reply the prophetess gave them in hexameter verses, and it ran thus:

"But as for you, ye men who in wide-spaced Sparta inhabit,
Either your glorious city is sacked by the children of Perses,
Or, if it be not so, then a king of the stock Heracleian
Dead shall be mourned for by all in the boundaries of broad Lacedemon.
Him[222] nor the might of bulls nor the raging of lions shall hinder;
For he hath might as of Zeus; and I say he shall not be restrained,
Till one of the other of these he have utterly torn and divided."[223]

I am of opinion that Leonidas considering these things and desiring to
lay up for himself glory above all the other Spartans,[224] dismissed
the allies, rather than that those who departed did so in such
disorderly fashion, because they were divided in opinion. 221. Of this
the following has been to my mind a proof as convincing as any other,
namely that Leonidas is known to have endeavoured to dismiss the
soothsayer also who accompanied this army, Megistias the Acarnanian,
who was said to be descended from Melampus, that he might not perish
with them after he had declared from the victims that which was about
to come to pass for them. He however when he was bidden to go would
not himself depart, but sent away his son who was with him in the
army, besides whom he had no other child.

222. The allies then who were dismissed departed and went away,
obeying the word of Leonidas, and only the Thespians and the Thebans
remained behind with the Lacedemonians. Of these the Thebans stayed
against their will and not because they desired it, for Leonidas kept
them, counting them as hostages; but the Thespians very willingly, for
they said that they would not depart and leave Leonidas and those with
him, but they stayed behind and died with them. The commander of these
was Demophilos the son of Diadromes.

223. Xerxes meanwhile, having made libations at sunrise, stayed for
some time, until about the hour when the market fills, and then made
an advance upon them; for thus it had been enjoined by Epialtes,
seeing that the descent of the mountain is shorter and the space to be
passed over much less than the going round and the ascent. The
Barbarians accordingly with Xerxes were advancing to the attack; and
the Hellenes with Leonidas, feeling that they were going forth to
death, now advanced out much further than at first into the broader
part of the defile; for when the fence of the wall was being
guarded,[225] they on the former days fought retiring before the enemy
into the narrow part of the pass; but now they engaged with them
outside the narrows, and very many of the Barbarians fell: for behind
them the leaders of the divisions with scourges in their hands were
striking each man, ever urging them on to the front. Many of them then
were driven into the sea and perished, and many more still were
trodden down while yet alive by one another, and there was no
reckoning of the number that perished: for knowing the death which was
about to come upon them by reason of those who were going round the
mountain, they[226] displayed upon the Barbarians all the strength
which they had, to its greatest extent, disregarding danger and acting
as if possessed by a spirit of recklessness. 224. Now by this time the
spears of the greater number of them were broken, so it chanced, in
this combat, and they were slaying the Persians with their swords; and
in this fighting fell Leonidas, having proved himself a very good man,
and others also of the Spartans with him, men of note, of whose names
I was informed as of men who had proved themselves worthy, and indeed
I was told also the names of all the three hundred. Moreover of the
Persians there fell here, besides many others of note, especially two
sons of Dareios, Abrocomes and Hyperanthes, born to Dareios of
Phratagune the daughter of Artanes: now Artanes was the brother of
king Dareios and the son of Hystaspes, the son of Arsames; and he in

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