Part 15 out of 17
the famous speeches and sentences of such worthy men as have
managed public affairs, so will it be useful to us, where we find
any things in them of civil and profitable import, to improve and
strengthen them by testimonies and proofs taken from philosophers,
withal giving these the credit of being the first inventors of
them. For this is both just and profitable to be done, seeing by
this means such sayings receive an additional strength and esteem,
when it appears that what is spoken on the stage or sung to the
harp or occurs in a scholar's lesson is agreeable to the doctrines
of Pythagoras and Plato, and that the sentences of Chile and Bias
tend to the same issue with those that are found in the authors
which children read. Therefore must we industriously show them
that these poetical sentences,
Not these, O daughter, are thy proper cares,
Thee milder arts befit, and softer wars;
Sweet smiles are thine, and kind endearing charms;
To Mars and Pallas leave the deeds of arms;
Jove's angry with thee, when thy unmanaged rage
With those that overmatch thee doth engage;
("Iliad," v. 248; xi. 543.)
differ not in substance but bear plainly the same sense with that
philosophical sentence, Know thyself, And these
Fools, who by wrong seek to augment their store,
And know not how much half than all is more;
Of counsel giv'n to mischievous intents,
The man that gives it most of all repents;
(Hesiod, "Works and Days," 40 and 266.)
are of near kin to what we find in the determination of Plato, in
his books entitled Gorgias and Concerning the Commonwealth, to wit,
that it is worse to do than to suffer injury, and that a man more
endamageth himself when he hurts another, than he would be
damnified if he were the sufferer. And that of Aeschylus,
Cheer up, friend; sorrows, when they highest climb,
What they exceed in measure want in time,
we must inform them, is but the same famous sentence which is so
much admired in Epicurus, that great griefs are but short, and
those that are of long continuance are but small. The former
clause whereof is that which Aeschylus here saith expressly, and
the latter but the consequent of that. For if a great and intense
sorrow do not last, then that which doth last is not great nor hard
to be borne. And those words of Thespis,
Seest not how Jove,--because he cannot lie
Nor vaunt nor laugh at impious drollery,
And pleasure's charms are things to him unknown,--
Among the gods wears the imperial crown?
wherein differ they from what Plato says, that the divine nature
is remote from both joy and grief? And that saying
Virtue alone doth lasting honor gain,
But men of basest souls oft wealth attain;
and those of Euripides much of the same import,
Hence temperance in my esteem excels,
Because it constantly with good men dwells;
However you may strive for honor
And you may seem to have secured by wealth virtue,
Good men will place you among the miserable;
do they not evidently confirm to us what the philosophers say of
riches and other external good things, that without virtue they are
fruitless and unprofitable enjoyments?
Now thus to accommodate and reconcile poetry to the doctrines of
philosophy strips it of its fabulous and personated parts, and
makes those things which it delivers usefully to acquire also the
reputation of gravity; and over and above, it inclines the soul of
a young man to receive the impressions of philosophical precepts.
For he will hereby be enabled to come to them not altogether
destitute of some sort of relish of them, not as to things that he
has heard nothing of before, nor with an head confusedly full of
the false notions which he hath sucked in from the daily tattle of
his mother and nurse,--yea, sometimes too of his father and
pedant,--who have been wont to speak of rich men as the happy men
and mention them always with honor, and to express themselves
concerning death and pain with horror, and to look on virtue
without riches and glory as a thing of nought and not to be
desired. Whence it comes to pass, that when such youths first do
hear things of a quite contrary nature from philosophers, they are
surprised with a kind of amazement, trouble, and stupid
astonishment, which makes them afraid to entertain or endure them,
except they be dealt with as those who come out of very great
darkness into the light of the bright sun, that is, be first
accustomed for a while to behold those doctrines in fabulous
authors, as in a kind of false light, which hath but a moderate
brightness and is easy to be looked on and borne without
disturbance to the weak sight. For having before heard or read
from poets such things as these are,--
Mourn one's birth, as the entrance of all ills;
But joy at death, as that which finishes misery;
Of worldly things a mortal needs but two;
A drink of water and the gift of Ceres:
O tyranny, to barbarous nations dear!
This in all human happiness is chief,
To know as little as we can of grief;
they are the less disturbed and offended when they hear from
philosophers that no man ought to be overconcerned about death;
that riches are limited to the necessities of nature; that the happiness of man's life doth not consist in the abundance of wealth
or vastness of employments or height of authority and power, but in
freedom from sorrow, in moderation of passions, and in such a
temper of mind as measures all things by the use of Nature.
Wherefore, upon all these accounts, as well as for all the reasons before mentioned, youth stands in need of good government to manage it in the reading of poetry, that being free from all prejudicate opinions, and rather instructed beforehand in conformity thereunto, it may with more calmness, friendliness, and familiarity pass from thence to the study of philosophy.
END OF FOURTEEN------------
ABSTRACT OF A COMPARISON BETWEEN ARISTOPHANE AND MENANDER
To speak in sum and in general, he prefers Menander by far; and as
to particulars, he adds what here ensues. Aristophanes, he saith,
is importune, theatric, and sordid in his expression; but Menander
not so at all. For the rude and vulgar person is taken with the
things the former speaketh; but the well-bred man will be quite out
of humor with them. I mean, his opposed terms, his words of one
cadence, and his derivatives. For the one makes use of these with
due observance and but seldom, and bestows care upon them; but the
other frequently, unseasonably, and frigidly. "For he is much
commended," said he, "for ducking the chamberlains, they being
indeed not chamberlains [Greek omitted] but witches [Greek
omitted]. And again,--"This rascal breathes out nothing but
roguery and sycophanty"; and "Smite him well in his belly with the
entrails and the guts"; and, "By laughing I shall get to
Laughington [Greek omitted]"; and, "Thou poor sharded ostracized
pot, what shall I do with thee?" and, "To you women surely he is a
mad plague, for he was brought up among these mad worts";--and,
"Look here, how the moths have eaten away my crest"; and, "Bring me
hither the gorgon-backed circle of my shield"; "Give me the round-
backed circle of a cheese-cake";--and much more of the same kind.
(See Aristophanes, "Knights," 437, 455; "Thesmophoriazusae," 455;
Acharnians," 1109, 1124.) There is then in the structure of his
words something tragic and something comic, something blustering
and something low, an obscurity, a vulgarness, a turgidness, and a
strutting, with a nauseous prattling and fooling. And as his style
has so great varieties and dissonances in it, so neither doth he
give to his persons what is fitting and proper to each,--as state
(for instance) to a prince, force to an orator, innocence to a
woman, meanness of language to a poor man, and sauciness to a
tradesman,--but he deals out to every person, as it were by lot,
such words as come next to his hand, and you would scarce discern
whether he be a son a father, a peasant, a god, an old woman, or a
hero that is talking.
But now Menander's phrase is so well turned and contempered with
itself, and so everywhere conspiring, that, while it traverses many
passions and humors and is accommodated to all sorts of persons, it
still shows the same, and retains its semblance even in trite,
familiar, and everyday expressions. And if his master do now and
then require something of rant and noise, he doth but (like a
skilful flutist) set open all the holes of his pipe, and their
presently stop them again with good decorum and restore the tune to
its natural state. And though there be a great number of excellent
artists of all professions, yet never did any shoemaker make the
same sort of shoe, or tireman the same sort of visor, or tailor the
same sort of garment, to fit a man, a woman, a child, an old man,
and a slave. But Menander hath so addressed his style, as to
proportion it to every sex, condition, and age; and this, though he
took the business in hand when he was very young, and died in the
vigor of his composition and action, when, as Aristotle tells us,
authors receive most and greatest improvement in their styles.
If a man shall then compare the middle and last with the first of
Menander's plays, he will by them easily conceive what others he
would have added to them, had he had but longer life.
He adds further, that of dramatic exhibitors, some address
themselves to the crowd and populace, and others again to a few;
but it is a hard matter to say which of them all knew what was
befitting in both the kinds. But Aristophanes is neither grateful
to the vulgar, nor tolerable to the wise; but it fares with his
poesy as it doth with a courtesan who, when she finds she is now
stricken and past her prime, counterfeits a sober matron, and then
the vulgar cannot endure her affectation, and the better sort
abominate her lewdness and wicked nature. But Menander hath with
his charms shown himself every way sufficient for satisfaction,
being the sole lecture, argument, and dispute at theatres, schools,
and at tables; hereby rendering his poesy the most universal
ornament that was ever produced by Greece, and showing what and how
extraordinary his ability in language was, while he passes every
way with an irresistible persuasion, and gains every man's ear and
understanding who has any knowledge of the Greek tongue. And for
what other reason in truth should a man of parts and erudition be
at the pains to frequent the theatre, but for the sake of Menander
only? And when are the playhouses better filled with men of
letters, than when his comic mask is exhibited? And at private
entertainments among friends, for whom doth the table more justly
make room or Bacchus give place than for Menander? To philosophers
also and hard students (as painters are wont, when they have tired
out their eyes at their work, to divert them to certain florid and
green colors) Menander is a repose from their auditors and intense
thinkings, and entertains their minds with gay shady meadows
refreshed with cool and gentle breezes.
He adds, moreover, that though this city breeds at this time very
many and excellent representers of comedy, Menander's plays
participate of a plenteous and divine salt, as though they were
made of the very sea out of which Venus herself sprang. But that
of Aristophanes is harsh and coarse, and hath in it an angry and
biting sharpness. And for my part I cannot tell where his so much
boasted ability lies, whether in his style or persons. The parts
he acts I am sure are quite overacted and depraved. His knave (for
instance) is not fine, but dirty; his peasant is not assured, but
stupid; his droll is not jocose, but ridiculous; and his lover is
not gay, but lewd. So that to me the man seems not to have written
his poesy for any temperate person, but to have intended his smut
and obscenity for the debauched and lewd, his invective and satire
for the malicious and ill-humored.
END OF FIFTEEN------
THE MALICE OF HERODOTUS.
The style, O Alexander, of Herodotus, as being simple, free, and
easily suiting itself to its subject, has deceived many; but more,
a persuasion of his dispositions being equally sincere. For it is
not only (as Plato says) an extreme injustice, to make a show of
being just when one is not so; but it is also the highest
malignity, to pretend to simplicity and mildness and be in the
meantime really most malicious. Now since he principally exerts
his malice against the Boeotians and Corinthians, though without
sparing any other, I think myself obliged to defend our ancestors
and the truth against this part of his writings, since those who
would detect all his other lies and fictions would have need of
many books. But, as Sophocles has it, the face of persuasion, is
prevalent, especially when delivered in the good language, and such
as has power to conceal both the other absurdities and the
ill-nature of the writer. King Philip told the Greeks who revolted
from him to Titus Quinctius that they had got a more polished, but
a longer lasting yoke. So the malice of Herodotus is indeed more
polite and delicate than that of Theopompus, yet it pinches closer,
and makes a more severe impression,--not unlike to those winds
which, blowing secretly through narrow chinks, are sharper than
those that are more diffused. Now it seems to me very convenient
to delineate, as it were, in the rough draught, those signs and
marks that distinguish a malicious narration from a candid and
unbiassed one, applying afterwards every point we shall examine to
such as appertain to them.
First then, whoever in relating a story shall use the odious terms
when gentler expressions might do as well, is it not to be esteemed
impartial, but an enjoyer of his own fancy, in putting the worst
construction on things; as if any one, instead of saying Nicias is
too superstitious, should call him fanatic, or should accuse Cleon
of presumption and madness rather than of inconsiderateness
Secondly, when a writer, catching hold of a fault which has no
reference to his story, shall draw it into the relation of such
affairs as need it not, extending his narrative with
cicumlocutions, only that he may insert a man's misfortune,
offence, or discommendable action, it is manifest that he delights
in speaking evil. Therefore Thucydides would not clearly relate
the faults of Cleon, which were very numerous; and as for
Hyperbolus the orator, having touched at him in a word and called
him an ill man, he let him go. Philistus also passed over all
those outrages committed by Dionysius on the barbarians which had
no connection with the Grecian affairs. For the excursions and
digressions of history are principally allowed for fables and
antiquities, and sometimes also for encomiums. But he who makes
reproaches and detractions an addition to his discourse seems to
incur the tragedian's curse on the "collector of men's calamities."
Now the opposite to this is known to every one, as the omitting to
relate some good and laudable action, which, though it may seem not
to be reprehensible, yet is then done maliciously when the omission
happens in a place that is pertinent to the history. For to praise
unwillingly is so far from being more civil than to dispraise
willingly, that it is perhaps rather more uncivil.
The fourth sign of a partial disposition in writing of history I
take to be this: When a matter is related in two or more several
manners, and the historian shall embrace the worst.
Sophisters indeed are permitted, for the obtaining either of profit
or reputation, to undertake the defence of the worst cause;
for they neither create any firm belief of the matter, nor yet do
they deny that they are often pleased in maintaining paradoxes and
making incredible things appear probable. But an historian is then
just, when he asserts such things as he knows to be true, and of
those that are uncertain reports rather the better than the worse.
Nay, there are many writers who wholly omit the worse.
Thus Ephorus writes of Themistocles, that he was acquainted with
the treason of Pausanias and his negotiations with the King's
lieutenants, but that he neither consented to it, nor hearkened to
Pausanias's proffers of making him partaker of his hopes;
and Thucydides left the whole matter out of his story, as judging
it to be false.
Moreover, in things confessed to have been done, but for doing
which the cause and intention is unknown, he who casts his
conjectures on the worst side is partial and malicious. Thus do
the comedians, who affirm the Peloponnesian war to have been
kindled by Pericles for the love of Aspasia or the sake of Phidias,
and not through any desire of honor, or ambition of pulling down
the Peloponnesian pride and giving place in nothing to the
Lacedaemonians. For those who suppose a bad cause for laudable
works and commendable actions, endeavoring by calumnies to
insinuate sinister suspicions of the actor when they cannot openly
discommend the act,--as they that impute the killing of Alexander
the tyrant by Theba not to any magnanimity or hatred of vice, but
to a certain feminine jealousy and passion, and those that say Cato
slew himself for fear Caesar should put him to a more shameful
death,--such as these are manifestly in the highest degree envious
An historical narration is also more or less guilty of malice,
according as it relates the manner of the action; as if one should
be said to have performed an exploit rather by money than bravery,
as some affirm of Philip; or else easily and without any labor, as
it is said of Alexander; or else not by prudence, but by Fortune,
as the enemies of Timotheus painted cities falling into his nets as
he lay sleeping. For they undoubtedly diminish the greatness and
beauty of the actions, who deny the performer of them to have done
them generously, industriously, virtuously, and by themselves.
Moreover, those who will directly speak ill of any one incur the
reproach of moroseness, rashness, and madness, unless they keep
within measure. But they who send forth calumnies obliquely, as if
they were shooting arrows out of corners, and then stepping back
think to conceal themselves by saying they do not believe what they
most earnestly desire to have believed, whilst they disclaim all
malice, condemn themselves also of farther disingenuity.
Next to these are they who with their reproaches intermix some
praises, as did Aristoxenus, who, having termed Socrates unlearned,
ignorant, and libidinous, added, Yet was he free from injustice.
For, as they who flatter artificially and craftily sometimes mingle
light reprehensions with their many and great praises, joining this
liberty of speech as a sauce to their flattery; so malice, that it
may gain belief to its accusations, adds also praise.
We might here also reckon up more notes; but these are sufficient
to let us understand the nature and manners of Herodotus.
First therefore,--beginning, as the proverb is, with
Vesta,--whereas all the Grecians affirm Io, daughter to Inachus, to
have been worshipped with divine honor by the barbarians, and by
her glory to have left her name to many seas and principal ports,
and to have given a source and original to most noble and royal
families; this famous author says of her, that she gave herself to
certain Phoenician merchants, having been not unwillingly
deflowered by a mariner, and fearing lest she should be found by
her friends to be with child (Herodotus, i. 5.) And he belies the
Phoenicians as having delivered these things of her, and says that
the Persian stories testify of her being carried away by the
Phoenicians with other women. (Ibid. i. 1.) Presently after, he
gives sentence on the bravest and greatest exploits of Greece,
saying that the Trojan war was foolishly undertaken for an ill
woman. For it is manifest, says he, that had they not been willing
they had never been ravished. (Ibid. i. 4.) Let us then say, that
the gods also acted foolishly, in inflicting their indignation on
the Spartans for abusing the daughters of Scedasus the Leuctrian,
and in punishing Ajax for the violation of Cassandra. For it is
manifest, if we believe Herodotus, that if they had not been
willing they had never been defiled. And yet he himself said that
Aristomenes was taken alive by the Spartans; and the same
afterwards happened to Philopoemen, general of the Achaeans;
and the Carthaginians took Regulus, the consul of the Romans;
than whom there are not easily to be found more valiant and warlike
men. Nor is it to be wondered, since even leopards and tigers are
taken alive by men. But Herodotus blames the poor women that have
been abused by violence, and patronizes their ravishers.
Nay, he is so favorable to the barbarians, that, acquitting Busiris
of those human sacrifices and that slaughter of his guests for
which he is accused, and attributing by his testimony to the
Egyptians much religion and justice, he endeavors to cast that
abominable wickedness and those impious murders on the Grecians.
For in his Second Book he says, that Menelaus, having received
Helen from Proteus and having been honored by him with many
presents, showed himself a most unjust and wicked man; for wanting
a favorable wind to set sail, he found out an impious device, and
having taken two of the inhabitants' boys, consulted their
entrails; for which villany being hated and persecuted, he fled
with his ships directly into Libya. (See Herodotus, ii. 45.)
From what Egyptian this story proceeds, I know not. For, on the
contrary, many honors are even at this day given by the Egyptians
to Helen and Menelaus.
The same Herodotus, that he may still be like himself, says that
the Persians learned the defiling of the male sex from the Greeks.
(Ibid, i. 135.) And yet how could the Greeks have taught this
impurity to the Persians, amongst whom, as is confessed by many,
boys had been castrated before ever they arrived in the Grecian
seas? He writes also, that the Greeks were instructed by the
Egyptians in their pomps, solemn festivals, and worship of the
twelve gods; that Melampus also learned of the Egyptians the name
of Dionysus (or Bacchus) and taught it the other Greeks; that the
mysteries likewise and rites of Ceres were brought out of Egypt by
the daughters of Danaus; and that the Egyptians were wont to beat
themselves and make great lamentation, but yet he himself refused
to tell the names of their deities, but concealed them in silence.
As to Hercules and Bacchus, whom the Egyptians named gods, and the
Greeks very aged men, he nowhere has such scruples and hesitation;
although he places also the Egyptian Hercules amongst the gods of
the second rank, and Bacchus amongst those of the third, as having
had some beginning of their being and not being eternal, and yet he
pronounces those to be gods; but to the gods Bacchus and Hercules,
as having been mortal and being now demi-gods, he thinks we ought
to perform anniversary solemnities, but not to sacrifice to them as
to gods. The same also he said of Pan, overthrowing the most
venerable and purest sacrifices of the Greeks by the proud vanities
and mythologies of the Egyptians. (For the passages referred to in
this chapter, see Herodotus, ii. 48, 51, 145, 146, 171.)
Nor is this impious enough; but moreover, deriving the pedigree of
Hercules from Perseus, he says that Perseus was an Assyrian, as the
Persians affirm. "But the leaders," says he, "of the Dorians may
appear to be descended in a right line from the Egyptians,
reckoning their ancestors from before Danae and Acrisius."
(Herodotus, vi. 53, 54.) Here he has wholly passed by Epaphus, Io,
Iasus, and Argus, being ambitious not only to make the other
Herculeses Egyptians and Phoenicians but to carry this also, whom
himself declares to have been the third, out of Greece to the
barbarians. But of the ancient learned writers, neither Homer, nor
Hesiod, nor Archilochus, nor Pisander, nor Stesichorus, nor Alcman,
nor Pindar, makes any mention of the Egyptian or the Phoenician
Hercules, but all acknowledge this our own Boeotian and
Now of the seven sages, whom he calls Sophisters, he affirms Thales
to have been a barbarian, descended of the Phoenicians. (Ibid, i.
170.) Speaking ill also of the gods under the person of Solon, he
has these words: "Thou, O Croesus, askest me concerning human
affairs, who know that every one of the deities envious and
tumultuous." (Ibid, i. 32.) Thus attributing to Solon what himself
thinks of the gods, he joins malice to blasphemy. Having made use
also of Pittacus in some trivial matters, not worth the mentioning,
he has passed over the greatest and gallantest action that was ever
done by him. For when the Athenians and Mitylenaeans were at war
about Sigaeum, Phrynon, the Athenian general, challenging whoever
would come forth to a single combat, Pittacus advanced to meet him,
and catching him in a net, slew that stout and giant-like man;
for which when the Mitylaenans offered him great presents, darting
his javelin as far as he could out of his hand, he desired only so
much ground as he should reach with that throw; and the place is to
this day called Pittacium. Now what does Herodotus, when he comes
to this? Instead of Pittacus's valiant act, he tells us the fight
of Alcaeus the poet, who throwing away his arms ran out of the
battle; by thus not writing of honorable deeds and not passing over
such as are dishonorable, he offers his testimony to those who say,
that from one and the same malice proceed both envy and a rejoicing
at other men's harms. (Herodotus v. 95.)
After this, he accuses of treason the Alcmaeonidae who showed
themselves generous men, and delivered their country from tyranny.
(Ibid. i. 61.) He says, that they received Pisistratus after his
banishment and got him called home, on condition he should marry
the daughter of Megacles; but the damsel saying to her mother, Do
you see, mother, how I am known by Pisistratus contrary to nature?
The Alcmaeonidae were so offended at this villany, that they
expelled the tyrant.
Now that the Lacedaemonians might have no less share of his malice
than the Athenians, behold how he bespatters Othryadas, the man
most admired and honored by them. "He only," says Herodotus,
"remaining alive of the three hundred, and ashamed to return to
Sparta, his companions being lost, slew himself on the spot at
Thyreae." (Ibid. i. 82.) For having before said the victory was
doubtful on both sides, he here, by making Othryadas ashamed,
witnesses that the Lacedaemonians were vanquished. For it was
shameful for him to survive, if conquered; but glorious,
I pass by now, that having, represented Croesus as foolish,
vainglorious, and ridiculous in all things, he makes him, when a
prisoner, to have taught and instructed Cyrus, who seems to have
excelled all other kings in prudence, virtue, and magnanimity.
(Ibid. i. 155, 156, 207, 208.) Having testified of the same
Croesus nothing else that was commendable but his honoring the gods
with many and great oblations, he shows that very act of his to
have been the most impious of all. For he says, that he and his
brother Pantoleon contended for the kingdom while their father was
yet alive; and that Croesus, having obtained the crown, caused a
companion and familiar friend of Pantoleon's to be torn in pieces
in a fulling-mill, and sent presents to the gods from his property.
(Ibid. i. 92.) Of Deioces also, the Median, who by virtue and
justice obtained the government, he says that he got it not by real
but pretended justice. (Ibid. i. 96.)
But I let pass the barbarian examples, since he has offered us
plenty enough in the Grecian affairs. He says, that the Athenians
and many other Ionians were so ashamed of that name that they
wholly refused to be called Ionians; and that those who esteemed
themselves the noblest among them, and who had come forth from the
very Prytaneum of Athens, begat children on barbarian wives whose
parents, husbands, and former children they had slain; that the
women had therefore made a law among themselves, confirmed it by
oath, and delivered it to be kept by their daughters, never to eat
with their husbands, nor to call any of them by his name; and that
the present Milesians are descended from these women.
Having afterwards added that those are true Ionians who celebrate
the feast called Apaturia; they all, says he, keep it except the
Ephesians and Colophonians. (Herodotus, i. 143-148.) In this
manner does he deprive these two states of their nobility.
He says moreover, that the Cumaeans and Mitylenaeans agreed with
Cyrus to deliver up to him for a price Pactyas, who had revolted
from him. I know not indeed, says he, for how much; since it is
not certain what it was. Bravo!--not to know what it was, and yet
to cast such an infamy on a Grecian city, without an assured
knowledge! He says farther, that the Chians took Pactyas, who was
brought to them out of the temple of Minerva Poliuchus (or
Guardianess of the city), and delivered him up, having received the
city Atarneus for their recompense. And yet Charon the
Lampsacenian, a more ancient writer, relating this matter
concerning Pactyas, charges neither the Mitylenaeans nor the Chians
with any such action. These are his very words: "Pactyas, hearing
that the Persian army drew near, fled first to Mitylene, then to
Chios, and there fell into the hands of Cyrus." (See Herodotus, i.
Our author in his Third Book, relating the expedition of the
Lacedaemonians against the tyrant Polycrates, affirms, that the
Samians think and say that the Spartans, to recompense them for
their former assistance against the Messenians, both brought back
the Samians that were banished, and made war on the tyrant;
but that the Lacedaemonians deny this, and say, they undertook this
design not to help or deliver the Samians, but to punish them for
having taken away a cup sent by them to Croesus, and besides, a
breastplate sent them by Amasis. (Ibid. iii. 47, 48.) And yet we
know that there was not at that time any city so desirous of honor,
or such an enemy to tyrants, as Sparta. For what breastplate or
cup was the cause of their driving the Cypselidae out of Corinth
and Ambracia, Lygdamis out of Naxos, the children of Pisistratus
out of Athens, Aeschines out of Sicyon, Symmachus out of Thasus,
Aulis out of Phocis, and Aristogenes out of Miletus; and of their
overturning the domineering powers of Thessaly, pulling down
Aristomedes and Angelus by the help of King Leotychides?--which
facts are elsewhere more largely described. Now, if Herodotus says
true, they were in the highest degree guilty both of malice and
folly, when, denying a most honorable and most just cause of their
expedition, they confessed that in remembrance of a former injury,
and too highly valuing an inconsiderable matter, they invaded a
miserable and afflicted people.
Now perhaps he gave the Lacedaemonians this stroke, as directly
falling under his pen; but the city of Corinth, which was wholly
out of the course of his story, he has brought in--going out of his
way (as they say) to fasten upon it--and has bespattered it with a
most filthy crime and most shameful calumny. "The Corinthians,"
says he, "studiously helped this expedition of the Lacedaemonians
to Samos, as having themselves also been formerly affronted by the
Samians." The matter was this. Periander tyrant of Corinth sent
three hundred boys, sons to the principal men of Corcyra, to King
Alyattes, to be gelt. These, going ashore in the island of Samos,
were by the Samians taught to sit as suppliants in the temple of
Diana, where they preserved them, setting before them for their
food sesame mingled with honey. This our author calls an affront
put by the Samians on the Corinthians, who therefore instigated the
Lacedaemonians against them, to wit, because the Samians had saved
three hundred children of the Greeks from being unmanned.
By attributing this villany to the Corinthians, he makes the city
more wicked than the tyrant. He indeed was revenging himself on
those of Corcyra who had slain his son; but what had the
Corinthians suffered, that they should punish the Samians for
putting an obstacle to so great a cruelty and wickedness?--and
this, after three generations, reviving the memory of an old
quarrel for the sake of that tyranny, which they found so grievous
and intolerable that they are still endlessly abolishing all the
monuments and marks of it, though long since extinct. Such then
was the injury done by the Samians to the Corinthians. Now what a
kind of punishment was it the Corinthians would have inflicted on
them? Had they been indeed angry with the Samians, they should not
have incited the Lacedaemonians, but rather diverted them from
their war against Polycrates, that the Samians might not by the
tyrant's overthrow recover liberty, and be freed from their
slavery. But (what is most to be observed) why were the
Corinthians so offended with the Samians, that desired indeed but
were not able to save the Corcyraeans children, and yet were not
displeased with the Cnidians, who both preserved them and restored
them to their friends? Nor indeed have the Corcyraeans any great
esteem for the Samians on this account; but of the Cnidians they
preserve a grateful recollection, having granted them several
honors and privileges, and made decrees in their favor. For these,
sailing to Samos, drove away Periander's guards from the temple,
and taking the children aboard their ships, carried them safe to
Corcyra; as it is recorded by Antenor the Cretan, and by Dionysius
the Chalcidian in his foundations. Now that the Spartans undertook
not this war on any design of punishing the Samians, but to save
them by delivering them from the tyrant, we have the testimony of
the Samians themselves. For they affirm that there is in Samos a
monument erected at the public charge, and honors there done to
Archias a Spartan, who fell fighting valiantly in that quarrel;
for which cause also his posterity still keep a familiar and
friendly correspondence with the Samians, as Herodotus
In his Fifth Book, he says, that Clisthenes, one of the best and
noblest men in Athens, persuaded the priestess Pythia to be a false
prophetess, and always to exhort the Lacedaemonians to free Athens
from the tyrants; calumniating this most excellent and just action
by the imputation of so great a wickedness and imposture, and
taking from Apollo the credit of that true and good prophecy,
beseeming even Themis herself, who is also said to have joined with
him. He says farther, that Isagoras prostituted his wife to
Cleomenes, who came to her. (Herodotus, v. 63, 70.) Then, as his
manner is, to gain credit by mixing some praises with his
reproaches, he says: Isagoras the son of Tisander was of a noble
family, but I cannot tell the original of it; his kinsmen, however,
sacrifice to the Carian Jupiter. (Herodotus, v. 66.) O this
pleasant and cunning scoffer of a writer, who thus disgracefully
sends Isagoras to the Carians, as it were to the ravens. As for
Aristogiton, he puts him not forth at the back door, but thrusts
him directly out of the gate into Phoenicia, saying that he had his
original from the Gephyraeans, and that the Gephyraeans were not,
as some think, Euboeans or Eretrians, but Phoenicians, as himself
has heard by report. (Ibid, v. 58.) And since he cannot altogether
take from the Lacedaemonians the glory of having delivered the
Athenians from the tyrants, he endeavors to cloud and disgrace that
most honorable act by as foul a passion. For he says, they
presently repented of it, as not having done well, in that they had
been persuaded by spurious and deceitful oracles to drive the
tyrants, who were their allies and had promised to put Athens into
their hands, out of their country, and had restored the city to an
ungrateful people. He adds, that they were about to send for
Hippias from Sigeum, and bring him back to Athens; but that they
were opposed by the Corinthians, Sosicles telling them how much the
city of Corinth had suffered under the tyranny of Cypselus and
Periander. (Ibid, v. 90, 91.) And yet there was no outrage of
Periander's more abominable and cruel than his sending the three
hundred children to be emasculated, for the delivering and saying
of whom from that contumely the Corinthians, he says, were angry
and bore a grudge against the Samians, as having put an affront
upon them. With so much repugnance and contradiction is that
malice of his discourse filled, which on every occasion insinuates
itself into his narrations.
After this, relating the action of Sardis, he, as much as in him
lies, diminishes and discredits the matter; being so audacious as
to call the ships which the Athenians sent to the assistance of the
Ionians, who had revolted from the King the beginning of evils,
because they endeavored to deliver so many and so great Grecian
cities from the barbarians. (Ibid, v. 97.) As to the Eretrians,
making mention of them only by the way, he passes over in silence a
great, gallant, and memorable action of theirs. For when all Ionia
was in a confusion and uproar, and the King's fleet drew nigh,
they, going forth to meet him, overcame in a sea-fight the Cyprians
in the Pamphylian Sea. Then turning back and leaving their ships
at Ephesus, they invaded Sardis and besieged Artaphernes, who was
fled into the castle, that so they might raise the siege of
Miletus. And this indeed they effected, causing the enemies to
break up their camp and remove thence in a wonderful fright, and
then seeing themselves in danger to be oppressed by a multitude,
retired. This not only others, but Lysanias of Mallus also in his
history of Eretria relates, thinking it convenient, if for no other
reason, yet after the taking and destruction of the city, to add
this valiant and heroic act. But this writer of ours says, they
were defeated, and pursued even to their ships by the barbarians;
though Charon the Lampsacenian has no such thing, but writes thus,
word for word: "The Athenians set forth with twenty galleys to the
assistance of the Ionians, and going to Sardis, took all
thereabouts, except the King's wall; which having done, they
returned to Miletus."
In his Sixth Book, our author, discoursing of the Plataeans,--how
they gave themselves to the Lacedaemonians, who exhorted them
rather to have recourse to the Athenians, who were nearer to them
and no bad defenders,--adds, not as a matter of suspicion or
opinion, but as a thing certainly known by him, that the
Lacedaemonians gave the Plataeans this advice, not so much for any
goodwill, as through a desire to find work for the Athenians by
engaging them with the Boeotians. (Herodotus, vi. 108.) If then
Herodotus is not malicious, the Lacedaemonians must have been both
fraudulent and spiteful; and the Athenians fools, in suffering
themselves to be thus imposed on; and the Plataeans were brought
into play, not for any good-will or respect, but as an occasion
He is farther manifestly convinced of belying the Lacedaemonians,
when he says that, whilst they expected the full moon, they failed
of giving their assistance to the Athenians at Marathon. For they
not only made a thousand other excursions and fights at the
beginning of the month, without staying for the full moon;
but wanted so little of being present at this very battle, which
was fought the sixth day of the month Boedromion, that at their
coming they found the dead still lying in the field. And yet he
has written thus of the full moon: "It was impossible for them to
do these things at that present, being unwilling to break the law;
for it was the ninth of the month, and they said, they could not go
forth on the ninth day, the orb of the moon being not yet full.
And therefore they stayed for the full moon." (Herodotus, vi. 106.)
But thou, O Herodotus, transferest the full moon from the middle to
the beginning of the month, and at the same time confoundest the
heavens, days, and all things; and yet thou dost claim to be the
historian of Greece!
And professing to write more particularly and carefully of the
affairs of Athens, thou dost not so much as say a word of that
solemn procession which the Athenians even at this day send to
Agrae, celebrating a feast of thanksgiving to Hecate for their
victory. But this helps Herodotus to refel the crime with which he
is charged, of having flattered the Athenians for a great sum of
money he received of them. For if he had rehearsed these things to
them, they would not have omitted or neglected to remark that
Philippides, when on the ninth he summoned the Lacedaemonians to
the fight, must have come from it himself, since (as Herodotus
says) he went in two days from Athens to Sparta; unless the
Athenians sent for their allies to the fight after their enemies
were overcome. Indeed Diyllus the Athenian, none of the most
contemptible as an historian, says, that he received from Athens a
present of ten talents, Anytus proposing the decree.
Moreover Herodotus, as many say, has in relating the fight at
Marathon derogated from the credit of it, by the number he sets
down of the slain. For it is said that the Athenians made a vow to
sacrifice so many kids to Diana Agrotera, as they should kill
barbarians; but that after the fight, the number of the dead
appearing infinite, they appeased the goddess by making a decree to
immolate five hundred to her every year.
But letting this pass, let us see what was done after the fight.
"The barbarians," say he, "retiring back with the rest of their
ships, and taking the Eretrian slaves out of the island, where they
had left them, doubled the point of Sunium, desiring to prevent the
Athenians before they could gain the city. The Athenians suspected
this to have been done by a plot of the Alcmaeonidae, who by
agreement showed a shield to the Persians when they were got into
their ships. They therefore doubled the cape of Sunium."
(Herodotus, vi. 115, 121-124.) Let us in this place take no notice
of his calling the Eretrians slaves, who showed as much courage and
gallantry in this war as any other of the Grecians, and suffered
things unworthy their virtue. Nor let us insist much on the
calumny with which he defames the Alcmaeonidae, some of whom were
both the greatest families and noblest men of the city. But the
greatness of the victory itself is overthrown, and the end of that
so celebrated action comes to nothing, nor does it seem to have
been a fight or any great exploit, but only a light skirmish with
the barbarians, as the envious and ill-willers affirm, if they did
not after the battle fly away, cutting their cables and giving
themselves to the wind, to carry them as far as might be from the
Attic coast, but having a shield lifted up to them as a signal of
treason, made straight with their fleet for Athens, in hope to
surprise it, and having at leisure doubled the point of Sunium,
were discovered above the port Phalerum, so that the chief and most
illustrious men, despairing to save the city would have betrayed
it. For a little after, acquitting the Alcmaeonidae, he charges
others with the treason. "For the shield indeed was shown, nor can
it be denied," says he, as if he had seen it himself. But this
could no way be, since the Athenians obtained a solid victory;
and if it had been done, it could not have been seen by the
barbarians, flying in a hurry amidst wounds and arrows into their
ships, and leaving every one the place with all possible speed.
But when he again pretends to excuse the Alcmaeonidae of those
crimes which he first of all men objected against them, and speaks
thus: "I cannot credit the report that the Alcmaeonidae by
agreement would ever have lifted up a shield to the Persians, and
have brought the Athenians under the power of the barbarians and
Hippias"; it reminds me of a certain proverbial saving,--Stay and
be caught, crab, and I'll let you go. For why art thou so eager to
catch him, if thou wilt let him go when he is caught? Thus you
first accuse, then apologize; and you write calumnies against
illustrious men, which again you refute. And you discredit
yourself; for you heard no one else but yourself say that the
Alcmaeonidae lifted up a shield to the vanquished and flying
barbarians. And in those very things which you allege for the
Alcmaeonidae, you show yourself a sycophant. For if, as here you
write, the Alcmaeonidae were more or no less enemies to tyrants
than Callias, the son of Phaenippus and father of Hipponicus, where
will you place their conspiracy, of which you write in your First
Book, that assisting Pisistratus they brought him back from exile
to the tyranny and did not drive him away till he was accused of
unnaturally abusing his wife? Such then are the repugnances of
these things; and by his intermixing the praises of Callias, the
son of Phaenippus, amidst the crimes and suspicions of the
Alcmaeonidae, and joining to him his son Hipponicus, who was (as
Herodotus himself says) one of the richest men in Athens, he
confesses that he brought in Callias not for any necessity of the
story, but to ingratiate himself and gain favor with Hipponicus.
Now, whereas all know that the Argives denied not to enter into the
common league of the Grecians, though they thought not fit to
follow and be under the command of the Lacedaemonians, who were
their mortal enemies, and that this was no otherways, our author
subjoins a most malicious cause for it, writing thus: "When they
saw they were comprised by the Greeks, knowing that the
Lacedaemonians would not admit them into a share of the command,
they requested it, that they might have a pretence to lie still."
"And of this," he says, "the Argive ambassadors afterwards put
Artaxerxes in mind, when they attended him at Susa, and the King
said, he esteemed no city more his friend than Argos."
Then adding, as his manner is, to cover the matter, he says:
"Of these things I know nothing certainly; but this I know, that
all men have faults, and that the worst things were not done by the
Argives; but I must tell such things as are reported, though I am
not bound to believe them all; and let this be understood of all my
narrations. For it is farther said that the Argives, when they
were not able to sustain the war against the Lacedaemonians, called
the Persians into Greece, willing to suffer anything rather than
the present trouble." (Herodotus, vii. 148-152.) Therefore, as
himself reports the Ethiopian to have said of the ointment and
purple, "Deceitful are the beauties, deceitful the garments of the
Persians," (Herodotus, iii. 22.) may not any one say also of him,
Deceitful are the phrases, deceitful the figures of Herodotus's
speeches; as being perplexed, unsound, and full of ambiguities?
For as painters set off and render more eminent the luminous part
of their pictures by adding shadows, so he by his denials extends
his calumnies, and by his dubious speeches makes his suspicions
take deeper impression. If the Argives joined not with the other
Greeks, but stood out through an emulation of the Lacedaemonians
command and valor, it cannot be denied but that they acted in a
manner not beseeming their nobility and descent from Hercules.
For it had been more honorable for the Argives under the leadership
of Siphnians and Cythnians to have defended the Grecian liberty,
than contending with the Spartans for superiority to have avoided
so many and such signal combats. And if it was they who brought
the Persians into Greece, because their war against the
Lacedaemonians succeeded ill, how came it to pass, that they did
not at the coming of Xerxes openly join themselves to the Medes?
Or if they would not fight under the King, why did they not, being
left at home, make incursions into Laconia or again attempt Thyreae
or by some other way disturb and infest the Lacedaemonians?
For they might have greatly damaged the Grecians, by hindering the
Spartans from going with so great an army to Plataea.
But in this place indeed he has highly magnified the Athenians and
pronounced them the saviours of Greece, doing herein rightly and
justly, if he had not intermixed many reproaches with their
praises. But now, when he says (Ibid. vii. 139.) that (but for the
Athenians) the Lacedaemonians would have been betrayed by the other
Greeks, and then, being left alone and having performed great
exploits, they would have died generously; or else, having before
seen that the Greeks were favoring the Medes, they would have made
terms with Xerxes; it is manifest, he speaks not these things to
the commendation of the Athenians, but he praises the Athenians
that he may speak ill of all the rest. For how can any one now be
angry with him for so bitterly and intemperately upbraiding the
Thebans and Phocians at every turn, when he charges even those who
exposed themselves to all perils for Greece with a treason which
was never acted, but which (as he thinks) might have been. Nay, of
the Lacedaemonians themselves, he makes it doubtful whether they
might have fallen in the battle or have yielded to the enemy,
minimizing the proofs of their valor which were shown at
Thermopylae;--and these indeed were small!
After this, when he declares the shipwreck that befell the King's
fleet, and how, an infinite mass of wealth being cast away,
Aminocles the Magnesian, son of Cresines, was greatly enriched by
it, having gotten an immense quantity of gold and silver; he could
not so much as let this pass without snarling at it. "For this
man," say she, "who had till then been none of the most fortunate,
by wrecks became exceeding rich; for the misfortune he had in
killing his son much afflicted his mind." (Herodotus, vii. 190.)
This indeed is manifest to every one, that he brought this golden
treasure and this wealth cast up by the sea into his history, that
he might make way for the inserting Aminocles's killing his son.
Now Aristophanes the Boeotian wrote, that Herodotus demanded money
of the Thebans but received none and that going about to discourse
and reason with the young men, he was prohibited by the magistrates
through their clownishness and hatred of learning; of which there
is no other argument. But Herodotus bears witness to Aristophanes,
whilst he charges the Thebans with some things falsely, with others
ignorantly, and with others as hating them and having a quarrel
with them. For he affirms that the Thessalians at first upon
necessity inclined to the Persians, (Ibid, vii. 172.) in which he
says the truth; and prophesying of the other Grecians that they
would betray the Lacedaemonians, he added, that they would not do
it willingly, but upon necessity, one city being taken after
another. But he does not allow the Thebans the same plea of
necessity, although they sent to Tempe five hundred men under the
command of Mnamias, and to Thermopylae as many as Leonidas desired,
who also alone with the Thespians stood by him, the rest leaving
him after he was surrounded. But when the barbarian, having
possessed himself of the avenues, was got into their confines, and
Demaratus the Spartan, favoring in right of hospitality Attaginus,
the chief of the oligarchy, had so wrought that he became the
King's friend and familiar, whilst the other Greeks were in their
ships, and none came on by land; then at last being forsaken did
they accept conditions of peace, to which they were compelled by
great necessity. For they had neither the sea and ships at hand,
as had the Athenians; nor did they dwell far off, as the Spartans,
who inhabited the most remote parts of Greece; but were not above a
day and half's journey from the Persian army, whom they had already
with the Spartans and Thespians alone resisted at the entrance of
the straits, and were defeated.
But this writer is so equitable, that having said, "The
Lacedaemonians, being alone and deserted by their allies, would
perhaps have made a composition with Xerxes," he yet blames the
Thebans, who were forced to the same act by the same necessity.
But when he could not wholly obliterate this most great and
glorious act of the Thebans, yet went he about to deface it with a
most vile imputation and suspicion, writing thus: "The confederates
who had been sent returned back, obeying the commands of Leonidas;
there remained only with the Lacedaemonians the Thespians and the
Thebans: of these, the Thebans stayed against their wills, for
Leonidas retained them as hostages; but the Thespians most
willingly, as they said they would never depart from Leonidas and
those that were with him." (Herodotus, vii. 222.) Does he not
here manifestly discover himself to have a peculiar pique and
hatred against the Thebans, by the impulse of which he not only
falsely and unjustly calumniated the city, but did not so much as
take care to render his contradiction probable, or to conceal, at
least from a few men, his being conscious of having knowingly
contradicted himself? For having before said that Leonidas,
perceiving his confederates not to be in good heart nor prepared to
undergo danger, wished them to depart, he a little after adds that
the Thebans were against their wills detained by him; whereas, if
he had believed them inclined to the Persians, he should have
driven them away though they had been willing to tarry. For if he
thought that those who were not brisk would be useless, to what
purpose was it to mix among his soldiers those that were suspected?
Nor was the king of the Spartans and general of all Greece so
senseless as to think that four hundred armed Thebans could be
detained as hostages by his three hundred, especially the enemy
being both in his front and rear. For though at first he might
have taken them along with him as hostages; it is certainly
probable that at last, having no regard for him, they would have
gone away from him, and that Leonidas would have more feared his
being encompassed by them than by the enemy. Furthermore, would
not Leonidas have been ridiculous, to have sent away the other
Greeks, as if by staying they should soon after have died, and to
have detained the Thebans, that being himself about to die, he
might keep them for the Greeks? For if he had indeed carried them
along with him for hostages, or rather for slaves, he should not
have kept them with those that were at the point of perishing, but
have delivered them to the Greeks that went away. There remained
but one cause that might be alleged for Leonidas's unwillingness to
let them go, to wit, that they might die with him; and this our
historian himself has taken away, writing thus of Leonidas's
ambition: "Leonidas, considering these things, and desirous that
this glory might redound to the Spartans alone, sent away his
confederates rather for this than because they differed in their
opinions." (Herodotus, vii. 220.) For it had certainly been the
height of folly to keep his enemies against their wills, to be
partakers of that glory from which he drove away his confederates.
But it is manifest from the effects, that Leonidas suspected not
the Thebans of insincerity, but esteemed them to be his steadfast
friends. For he marched with his army into Thebes, and at his
request obtained that which was never granted to any other, to
sleep within the temple of Hercules; and the next morning he
related to the Thebans the vision that had appeared to him. For he
imagined that he saw the most illustrious and greatest cities of
Greece irregularly tossed and floating up and down on a very stormy
and tempestuous sea; that Thebes, being carried above all the rest,
was lifted up on high to heaven, and suddenly after disappeared.
And this indeed had a resemblance of those things which long after
befell that city.
Now Herodotus, in his narration of that fight, hath obscured also
the bravest act of Leonidas, saying that they all fell in the
straits near the hill. (Herodotus, vii. 225.) But the affair was
otherwise managed. For when they perceived by night that they were
encompassed by the barbarians, they marched straight to the
enemies' camp, and got very near the King's pavilion, with a
resolution to kill him and leave their lives about him. They came
then to his tent, killing or putting to flight all they met;
but when Xerxes was not found there, seeking him in that vast camp
and wandering about, they were at last with much difficulty slain
by the barbarians, who surrounded them on every side. What other
acts and sayings of the Spartans Herodotus has omitted, we will
write in the Life of Leonidas; yet that hinders not but we may here
set down also some few. Before Leonidas went forth to that war,
the Spartans exhibited to him funeral spectacles, at which the
fathers and mothers of those that went along with him were
spectators. Leonidas himself, when one said to him, You lead very
few with you to the battle, answered, There are many to die there.
When his wife, at his departure, asked him what commands he had for
her; he, turning to her, said, I command you to marry a good man,
and bring him good children. After he was enclosed by the enemy at
Thermopylae, desiring to save two that were related to him, he gave
one of them a letter and sent him away; but he rejected it, saying
angrily, I followed you as a soldier, not as a postman. The other
he commanded to go on a message to the magistrates of Sparta;
but he, answering, that is a messenger's business, took his shield,
and stood up in his rank. Who would not have blamed another that
should have omitted these things? But he who has collected and
recorded the fart of Amasis, the coming of the thief's asses, and
the giving of bottles, and many such like things, cannot seem to
have omitted these gallant acts and these remarkable sayings by
negligence and oversight, but as bearing ill-will and being unjust
He says that the Thebans, being at the first with the Greeks,
fought compelled by necessity. (Ibid, vii. 233.) For belike not
only Xerxes, but Leonidas also, had whipsters following his camp,
by whom the Thebans were scourged and forced against their wills to
fight. And what more ruthless libeller could there be than
Herodotus, when he says that they fought upon necessity, who might
have gone away and fled, and that they inclined to the Persians,
whereas not one came in to help them. After this, he writes that,
the rest making to the hill, the Thebans separated themselves from
them, lifted up their hands to the barbarian, and coming near,
cried with a most true voice, that they had favored the Persians,
had given earth and water to the King, that now being forced by
necessity they were come to Thermopylae, and that they were
innocent of the King's wound. Having said these things, they
obtained quarter; for they had the Thessalians for witnesses of all
they said. Behold, how amidst the barbarians, exclamations,
tumults of all sorts, flights and pursuits, their apology was
heard, the witnesses examined; and the Thessalians, in the midst of
those that were slain and trodden under foot, all being done in a
very narrow passage, patronized the Thebans, to wit, because the
Thebans had but a little before driven away them, who were
possessed of all Greece as far as, Thespiae, having conquered them
in a battle, and slain their leader Lattamyas! For thus at that
time stood matters between the Boeotians and the Thessalians,
without any friendship or good-will. But yet how did the Thebans
escape, the Thessalians helping them with their testimonies?
Some of them, says he, were slain by the barbarians; many of them
were by command of Xerxes marked with the royal mark, beginning
with their leader Leontiades. Now the captain of the Thebans at
Thermopylae was not Leontiades, but Anaxander, as both
Aristophanes, out of the Commentaries of the Magistrates, and
Nicander the Colophonian have taught us. Nor did any man before
Herodotus know that the Thebans were stigmatized by Xerxes; for
otherwise this would have been an excellent plea for them against
his calumny, and this city might well have gloried in these marks,
that Xerxes had punished Leonidas and Leontiades as his greatest
enemies, having outraged the body of the one when he was dead, and
caused the other to be tormented whilst living. But as to a writer
who makes the barbarian's cruelty against Leonidas when dead a sign
that he hated him most of all men when living, (Herodotus, vii.
238.) and yet says that the Thebans, though favoring the Persians,
were stigmatized by them at Thermopylae, and having been thus
stigmatized, again cheerfully took their parts at Plataea, it seems
to me that such a man--like that Hippoclides (See Herodotus, vi.
126-130.) who gesticulating with his limbs by standing on his head
on a table--would dance away the truth and say, It makes no
difference to Herodotus.
In the Eighth Book our author says, that the Greeks being frighted
designed to fly from Artemisium into Greece, and that, being
requested by the Euboeans to stay a little till they could dispose
of their wives and families, they regarded them not, till such time
as Themistocles, having taken money of them, divided it between
Eurybiades and Adimantus, the captain of the Corinthians, and that
then they stayed and had a sea-fight with the barbarians (Ibid.
viii. 4.) Yet Pindar, who was not a citizen of any of the
confederate cities, but of one that was suspected to take part with
the Medians, having made mention of Artemisium, brake forth into
this exclamation: "This is the place where the sons of the
Athenians laid the glorious foundation of liberty." But Herodotus,
by whom, as some will have it, Greece is honored, makes that
victory a work of bribery and theft, saying that the Greeks,
deceived by their captains, who had to that end taken money, fought
against their wills. Nor does he here put an end to his malice.
All men in a manner confess that, although the Greeks got the
better at sea, they nevertheless abandoned Artemisium to the
barbarians after they had received the news of the overthrow at
Thermopylae. For it was to no purpose for them to stay there and
keep the sea, the war being already within Thermopylae, and Xerxes
having possessed himself of the avenues. But Herodotus makes the
Greeks contriving to fly before they heard anything of Leonidas's
death. For thus he says: "But they having been ill-treated, and
especially the Athenians, half of whose ships were sorely
shattered, consulted to take their flight into Greece." (Ibid.
viii. 18.) But let him be permitted so to name (or rather
reproach) this retreat of theirs before the fight; but having
before called it a flight, he both now styles it a flight, and will
again a little after term it a flight; so bitterly does he adhere
to this word "flight." "Presently after this," says he, "there
came to the barbarians in the pinnace a man of Hestiaea, who
acquainted them with the flight of the Grecians from Artemisium.
They, because the thing seemed incredible, kept the messenger in
custody, and sent forth some light galleys to discover the truth."
(Herodotus, viii. 23.) But what is this you say? That they fled
as conquered, whom the enemies after the fight could not believe to
have fled, as having got much the better? Is then this a fellow
fit to be believed when he writes of any man or city, who in one
word deprives Greece of the victory, throws down the trophy, and
pronounces the inscriptions they had set up to Diana Proseoa
(EASTWARD-FACING) to be nothing but pride and vain boasting?
The tenor of the inscription was as follows:--
When Athens youth had in a naval fight
All Asia's forces on this sea o'verthrown,
And all the Persian army put to flight,
Than which a greater scare was ever known,
To show how much Diana they respected,
This trophy to her honor they erected.
Moreover, not having described any order of the Greeks, nor told us what place every city of theirs held during the sea-fight, he says that in this retreat, which he calls their flight, the Corinthians sailed first and the Athenians last. (Ibid. viii, 21.)
He indeed ought not to have too much insulted over the Greeks that
took part with the Persians, who, being by others thought a
Thurian, reckons himself among the Halicarnassians, who, being
Dorians by descent, went with their wives and children to the war
against the Greeks. But he is so far from giving first an account
of the straits they were in who revolted to the Persians, that,
having related how the Thessalians sent to the Phocians, who were
their mortal enemies, and promised to preserve their country free
from all damage if they might receive from them a reward of fifty
talents, he writ thus of the Phocians: "For the Phocians were the
only people in these quarters who inclined not to the Persians, and
that, as far as I upon due consideration can find, for no other
reason but because they hated the Thessalians; for if the
Thessalians had been affected to the Grecian affairs, I suppose the
Phocians would have joined themselves to the Persians." And yet, a
little after he would say that thirteen cities of the Phocians were
burned by the barbarians, their country laid waste, and the temple
which was in Abae set on fire, and all of both sexes put to the
sword, except those that by flight escaped to Parnassus.
(Herodotus, viii. 30-33. Compare ix. 17.) Nevertheless, he puts
those who suffered all extremities rather than lose their honesty
in the same rank with those who most affectionately sided with the
Persians. And when he could not blame the Phocians actions,
writing at his desk invented false causes and got up suspicions
against them, and bids us judge them not by what they did, but by
what they would have done if the Thessalians had not taken the same
side, as if they had been prevented from treason because they found
the place already occupied by others! Now if any one, going about
to excuse the revolt of the Thessalians to the Persians, should say
that they would not have done it but for the hatred they bare the
Phocians,--whom when they saw joined to the Greeks, they against
their inclinations followed the party of the Persians,--would not
such a one be thought most shamefully to flatter, and for the sake
of others to pervert the truth, by reigning good causes for evil
actions? Indeed, I think, he would. Why then would not he be
thought openly to calumniate, who says that the Phocians chose the
best, not for the love of virtue, but because they saw the
Thessalians on the contrary side? For neither does he refer this
device to other authors, as he is elsewhere wont to do, but says
that himself found it out by conjecture. He should therefore have
produced certain arguments, by which he was persuaded that they,
who did things like the best, followed the same counsels with the
worst. For what he alleges of their hatreds is ridiculous.
For neither did the difference between the Aeginetans and the
Athenians, nor that between the Chalcidians and the Eretrians, nor
yet that between the Corinthians and the Megarians, hinder them
from fighting together for Greece. Nor did the Macedonians, their
most bitter enemies, turn the Thessalians from their friendship
with the barbarians, by joining the Persian party themselves.
For the common danger did so bury their private grudges, that
banishing their other passions, they applied their minds either to
honesty for the sake of virtue, or to profit through the impulse of
necessity. And indeed, after that necessity which compelled them
to obey the Persians was over, they returned again to the Greeks,
as Lacrates the Spartan has openly testified of them.
And Herodotus, as constrained to it, in his relation of the affairs
at Plataea, confessed that the Phocians took part with the Greeks.
(Herodotus, ix. 31.)
Neither ought it to seem strange to any, if he thus bitterly
inveighs against the unfortunate; since he reckons amongst enemies
and traitors those who were present at the engagement, and together
with the other Greeks hazarded their safety. For the Naxians, says
he, sent three ships to the assistance of the barbarians;
but Democritus, one of their captains, persuaded the others to take
the party of the Greeks. (Ibid. viii. 46.) So unable he is to
praise without dispraising, that if he commends one man he must
condemn a whole city or people. But in this there give testimony
against him, of the more ancient writers Hellanicus, and of the
later Ephorus, one of which says that the Naxians came with six
ships to aid the Greeks, and the other with five. And Herodotus
convinces himself of having feigned these things. For the writers
of the Naxian annals say, that they had before beaten back
Megabates, who came to their island with two hundred ships, and
after that had put to flight the general Datis who had set their
city on fire. Now if, as Herodotus has elsewhere said, the
barbarians burned their city so that the men were glad to save
themselves by flying into the mountains, had they not just cause
rather to send aid to the destroyers of their country than to help
the protectors of the common liberty? But that he framed this lie
not so much to honor Democritus, as to cast infamy on the Naxians,
is manifest from his omitting and wholly passing over in silence
the valiant acts then performed by Democritus, of which Simonides
gives us an account in this epigram:--
When as the Greeks at sea the Medes did meet,
And had near Salamis a naval fight,
Democritus as third led up the fleet,
Charging the enemy with all his might;
He took five of their ships, and did another,
Which they had taken from the Greeks, recover.
But why should any one be angry with him about the Naxians? If we
have, as some say, antipodes inhabiting the other hemisphere, I
believe that they also have heard of Themistocles and his counsel,
which he gave to the Greeks, to fight a naval battle before
Salamis, on which, the barbarian being overcome, he built in Melite
a temple to Diana the Counsellor. This gentle writer, endeavoring,
as much as in him lies, to deprive Themistocles of the glory of
this, and transfer it to another, writes thus word for word:
"Whilst things were thus, Mnesiphilus, an Athenian, asked
Themistocles, as he was going aboard his ship, what had been
resolved on in council. And being answered, that it was decreed
the ships should be brought back to Isthmus, and a battle fought at
sea before Peloponnesus; he said, If then they remove the navy from
Salamis, you will no longer be fighting for one country for they
will return every one to his own city. Wherefore, if there be any
way left, go and endeavor to break this resolution; and, if it be
possible, persuade Eurybiades to change his mind and stay here."
Then adding that this advice pleased Themistocles, who, without
making any reply, went straight to Eurybiades, he has these very
expressions: "And sitting by him he related what he had heard from
Mnesiphilus, feigning as if it came from himself, and adding other
things." (Herodotus, viii. 57, 58.) You see how he accuses
Themistocles of disingenuity in arrogating to himself the counsel
And deriding the Greeks still further, he says, that Themistocles,
who was called another Ulysses for his wisdom, was so blind that he
could not foresee what was fit to be done; but that Artemisia, who
was of the same city with Herodotus, without being taught by any
one, but by her own consideration, said thus to Xerxes: "The Greeks
will not long be able to hold out against you, but you will put
them to flight, and they will retire to their own cities; nor is it
probable, if you march your army by land to Peloponnesus, that they
will sit still, or take care to fight at sea for the Athenians.
But if you make haste to give them a naval battle, I fear lest your
fleets receiving damage may prove also very prejudicial to your
land-forces." (Ibid. viii. 68.) Certainly Herodotus wanted nothing
but verses to make Artemisia another Sibyl, so exactly prophesying
of things to come. Therefore Xerxes also delivered his sons to her
to be carried to Ephesus for he had (it seems) forgot to bring
women with him from Susa, if indeed the children wanted a train of
But it is not our design to search into the lies of Herodotus;
we only make inquiry into those which he invented to detract from
the glory of others. He says: "It is reported by the Athenians
that Adimantus, captain of the Corinthians, when the enemies were
now ready to join battle, was struck with such fear and
astonishment that he fled; not thrusting his ship backward by the
stern, or leisurely retreating through those that were engaged, but
openly hoisting up his sails, and turning the heads of all his
vessels. And about the farther part of the Salaminian coast, he
was met by a pinnace, out of which one spake thus to him:
Thou indeed, Adimantus, fliest, having betrayed the Grecians;
yet they overcome, and according to their desires have the better
of their enemies." (Herodotus, viii. 94.) This pinnace was
certainly let down from heaven. For what should hinder him from
erecting a tragical machine, who by his boasting excelled the
tragedians in all other things? Adimantus then crediting him (he
adds) "returned to the fleet, when the business was already done."
"This report," says he, "is believed by the Athenians; but the
Corinthians deny it, and say, they were the first at the sea-fight,
for which they have the testimony of all the other Greeks."
Such is this man in many other places. He spreads different
calumnies and accusations of different men, that he may not fail of
making some one appear altogether wicked. And it has succeeded
well with him in this place; for if the calumny is believed, the
Corinthians--if it is not, the Athenians--are rendered infamous.
But in reality the Athenians did not belie the Corinthians, but he
hath belied them both. Certainly Thucydides, bringing in an
Athenian ambassador contesting with a Corinthian at Sparta, and
gloriously boasting of many things about the Persian war and the
sea-fight at Salamis, charges not the Corinthians with any crime of
treachery or leaving their station. Nor was it likely the
Athenians should object any such thing against Corinth, when they
saw her engraven in the third place after the Lacedaemonians and
themselves on those spoils which, being taken from the barbarians,
were consecrated to the gods. And in Salamis they had permitted
them to bury the dead near the city, as being men who had behaved
themselves gallantly, and to write over them this elegy:--
Well-watered Corinth, stranger, was our home;
Salamis, Ajax's isle, is now our grave;
Here Medes and Persians and Phoenician ships
We fought and routed, sacred Greece to save.
And their honorary sepulchre at the Isthmus has on it
When Greece upon the point of danger stood,
We fell, defending her with our life-blood.
Moreover, on the offerings of Diodorus, one of the Corinthian
sea-captains, reserved in the temple of Latona, there is
Diodorus's seamen to Latona sent
These arms, of hostile Medes the monument
And as for Adimantus himself, against whom Herodotus frequently
inveighs,--saying, that he was the only captain who went about to
fly from Artemisium, and would not stay the fight,--behold in how
great honor he is:--
Here Adimantus rests: the same was he,
Whose counsels won for Greece the crown of liberty.
For neither is it probable, that such honor would have been shown
to a coward and a traitor after his decease; nor would he have
dared to give his daughters the names of Nausinica, Acrothinius,
and Alexibia, and his son that of Aristeas, if he had not performed
some illustrious and memorable action in that fight. Nor is it
credible that Herodotus was ignorant of that which could not be
unknown even to the meanest Carian, that the Corinthian women alone
made that glorious and divine prayer, by which they besought the
Goddess Venus to inspire their husbands with a love of fighting
against the barbarians. For it was a thing divulged abroad,
concerning which Simonides made an epigram to be inscribed on the
brazen image set up in that temple of Venus which is said to have
been founded by Medea, when she desired the goddess, as some
affirm, to deliver her from loving her husband Jason, or, as others
say, to free him from loving Thetis. The tenor of the
For those who, fighting on their country's side,
Opposed th' imperial Mede's advancing tide,
We, votaresses, to Cythera pray'd;
Th' indulgent power vouchsafed her timely aid,
And kept the citadel of Hellas free
From rude assaults of Persia's archery.
These things he should rather have written and recorded, than have
inserted Aminocles's killing of his son.
After he had abundantly satisfied himself with the accusations
brought against Themistocles,--of whom he says that, unknown to the
other captains, he incessantly robbed and spoiled the islands,--
(Herodotus, viii. 112.) he at length openly takes away the crown of
victory from the Athenians, and sets it on the head of the
Aeginetans, writing thus: "The Greeks having sent the first-fruits
of their spoils to Delphi, asked in general of the god, whether he
had a sufficient part of the booty and were contented with it.
He answered, that he had enough of all the other Greeks, but not of
the Aeginetans for he expected a donary of them, as having won the
greatest honor in the battle at Salamis." (Ibid. viii. 122.)
See here how he attributes not his fictions to the Scythians, to
the Persians, or to the Egyptians, as Aesop did his to the ravens
and apes; but using the very person of the Pythian Apollo, he takes
from Athens the chief honor of the battle at Salamis. And the
second place in honor being given to Themistocles at the Isthmus by
all the other captains,--every one of which attributed to himself
the first degree of valor, but give the next to Themistocles,--and
the judgment not coming to a determination, when he should have
reprehended the ambition of the captains, he said, that all the
Greeks weighed anchor from thence through envy, not being willing
to give the chief honor of the victory to Themistocles. (Ibid.
viii. 123, 124.)
In his ninth and last book, having nothing left to vent his malice
on but the Lacedaemonians and their glorious action against the
barbarians at Plataea, he writes, that the Spartans at first feared
lest the Athenians should suffer themselves to be persuaded by
Mardonius to forsake the other Greeks; but that now, the Isthmus
being fortified, they, supposing all to be safe at Peloponnesus,
slighted the rest, feasting and making merry at home, and deluding
and delaying the Athenian ambassadors. (Herodotus, ix. 8. See also
viii. 141.) How then did there go forth from Sparta to Plataea a
thousand and five men, having every one of them with him seven
Helots? Or how came it that, exposing themselves to so many
dangers, they vanquished and overthrew so many thousand barbarians?
Hear now his probable cause of it. "It happened," says he, "that
there was then at Sparta a certain stranger of Tegea, named
Chileus, who had some friends amongst the Ephori, between whom and
him there was mutual hospitality. He then persuaded them to send
forth the army, telling them that the fortification on the Isthmus,
by which they had fenced in Peloponnesus, would be of no avail if
the Athenians joined themselves with Mardonius." (Ibid. ix. 9.)
This counsel then drew Pausanias with his army to Plataea; but if
any private business had kept that Chileus at Tegea, Greece had
never been victorious.
Again, not knowing what to do with the Athenians, he tosses to and
fro that city, sometimes extolling it, and sometimes debasing it.
He says that, contending for the second place with the Tegeatans
they made mention of the Heraclidae, alleged their acts against the
Amazons, and the sepulchres of the Peloponnesians that died under
the walls of Cadmea, and at last brought down their discourse to
the battle of Marathon, saying, however, that they would be
satisfied with the command of the left wing. (Ibid. ix. 26, 27.)
A little after, he says, Pausanias and the Spartans yielded them
the first place, desiring them to fight in the right wing against
the Persians and give them the left, who excused themselves as not
skilled in fighting against the barbarians. (Ibid. ix. 46.) Now it
is a ridiculous thing, to be unwilling to fight against an enemy
unless one has been used to him. But he says farther, that the
other Greeks being led by their captains to encamp in another
place, as soon as they were moved, the horse fled with joy towards
Plataea, and in their flight came as far as Juno's temple. (Ibid.
ix. 52.) In which place indeed he charges them all in general with
disobedience, cowardice, and treason. At last he says, that only
the Lacedaemonians and the Tegeates fought with the barbarians, and
the Athenians with the Thebans; equally defrauding all the other
cities of their part in the honor of the victory, whilst he affirms
that none of them joined in the fight, but that all of them,
sitting still hard by in their arms, betrayed and forsook those who
fought for them; that the Phliasians and Megarians indeed, when
they heard Pausanias had got the better, came in later, and falling
on the Theban horse, were all cut off; that the Corinthians were
not at the battle, and that after the victory, by hastening on over
the hills, they escaped the Theban cavalry. (See the account of the
battle of Plataea, Herodotus, ix, 59-70.) For the Thebans, after
the barbarians were overthrown, going before with their horse,
affectionately assisted them in their flight; to return them thanks
(forsooth) for the marks they had stigmatized them with at
Thermopylae! Now what rank the Corinthians had in the fight at
Plataea against the barbarians, and how they performed their duty,
you may hear from Simonides in these verses:
I' th' midst were men, in warlike feats excelling,
Who Ephyre full of springs, inhabited,
And who in Corinth, Glaucus' city, dwelling,
Great praise by their great valor merited;
Of which they to perpetuate the fame,
To th' gods of well-wrought gold did offerings frame.
For he wrote not these things, as one that taught at Corinth or
that made verses in honor of the city, but only as recording these
actions in elegiac verses. But Herodotus, whilst he desires to
prevent that objection by which those might convince him of lying
who should ask, Whence then are so many mounts, tombs, and
monuments of the dead, at which the Plataeans, even to this day,
celebrate funeral solemnities in the presence of the Greeks?--has
charged, unless I am mistaken, a fouler crime than that of treason
on their posterity. For these are his words: "As for the other
sepulchres that are seen in Plataea, I have heard that their
successors, being ashamed of their progenitors' absence from this
battle, erected every man a monument for posterity's sake."
(Herodotus, ix. 85.) Of this treacherous deserting the battle
Herodotus was the only man that ever heard. For if any Greeks
withdrew themselves from the battle, they must have deceived
Pausanias, Aristides, the Lacedaemonians, and the Athenians.
Neither yet did the Athenians exclude the Aeginetans who were their
adversaries from the inscription, nor convince the Corinthians of
having fled from Salamis before the victory, Greece bearing witness
to the contrary. Indeed Cleadas, a Plataean, ten years after the
Persian war, to gratify, as Herodotus says, the Aeginetans, erected
a mount bearing their name. Now came it then to pass that the
Athenians and Lacedaemonians, who were so jealous of each other
that they were presently after the war ready to go together by the
ears about the setting up a trophy, did not yet repel those Greeks
who fled in a fear from the battle from having a share in the honor
of those that behaved themselves valiantly, but inscribed their
names on the trophies and colossuses, and granted them part of the
spoils? Lastly they set up an altar, on which was engraven
The Greeks, by valor having put to flight
The Persians and preserved their country's right,
Erected here this altar which you see,
To Jove, preserver of their liberty.
Did Cleadas, O Herodotus, or some other, write this also, to oblige
the cities by flattery? What need had they then to employ
fruitless labor in digging up the earth, to make tombs and erect
monuments for posterity's sake, when they saw their glory
consecrated in the most illustrious and greatest donaries?
Pausanias, indeed, when he was aspiring to the tyranny, set up this
inscription in Delphi:--
Pausanias, of Greeks the general
When he the Medes in fight had overthrown,
Offered to Phoebus a memorial
Of victory, this monumental stone.
In which he gave the glory to the Greeks, whose general he
professed himself to be. Yet the Greeks not enduring but utterly
misliking it, the Lacedaemonians, sending to Delphi, caused this to
be cut out, and the names of the cities, as it was fit, to be
engraven instead of it. Now how is it possible that the Greeks
should have been offended that there was no mention made of them in
the inscription, if they had been conscious to themselves of
deserting the fight? or that the Lacedaemonians would have erased
the name of their leader and general, to insert deserters and such
as withdrew themselves from the common danger? For it would have
been a great indignity, that Sophanes, Aeimnestus, and all the rest
who showed their valor in that fight, should calmly suffer even the
Cythnians and Melians to be inscribed on the trophies; and that
Herodotus, attributing that fight only to three cities, should raze
all the rest out of those and other sacred monuments and donaries.
There having been then four fights with the barbarians; he says,
that the Greeks fled from Artemisium; that, whilst their king and
general exposed himself to danger at Thermopylae, the
Lacedaemonians sat negligent at home, celebrating the Olympian and
Carnean feasts; and discoursing of the action at Salamis, he uses
more words about Artemisia than he does in his whole narrative of
the naval battle. Lastly, he says, that the Greeks sat still at
Plataea, knowing no more of the fight, till it was over, than if it
had been a skirmish between mice and frogs (like that which Pigres,
Artemisia's fellow countryman, merrily and scoffingly related in a
poem), and it had been agreed to fight silently, lest they should
be heard by others; and that the Lacedaemonians excelled not the
barbarians in valor, but only got the better, as fighting against
naked and unarmed men. To wit, when Xerxes himself was present,
the barbarians were with much difficulty compelled by scourges to
fight with the Greeks; but at Plataea, having taken other
resolutions, as Herodotus says, "they were no way inferior in
courage and strength; but their garments being without armor was
prejudicial to them, since being naked they fought against a
completely armed enemy." What then is there left great and
memorable to the Grecians of those fights, if the Lacedaemonians
fought with unarmed men, and the other Greeks, though present, were
ignorant of the battle; if empty monuments are set up everywhere,
and tripods and altars full of lying inscriptions are placed before
the gods; if, lastly, Herodotus only knows the truth, and all
others that give any account of the Greeks have been deceived by
the fame of those glorious actions, as the effect of an admirable
prowess? But he is an acute writer, his style is pleasant, there is
a certain grace, force, and elegancy in his narrations; and he has,
like a musician, elaborated his discourse, though not knowingly,
still clearly and elegantly. These things delight, please, and
affect all men. But as in roses we must beware of the venomous
flies called cantharides; so must we take heed of the calumnies and
envy lying hid under smooth and well-couched phrases and
expressions, lest we imprudently entertain absurd and false
opinions of the most excellent and greatest cities and men
END OF SIXTEEN-----------
Abuse of and by one's enemies.
Achelous, myths of the.
Achilles, Homer's lessons from.
Acrotatus, saying of.
Actaeon, tragic history of.
Actors, tragic vs. comic.
Administration, caution about.
Admonitions, on hearing.
Adrastea, root of madness.
Adultery and curiosity compared.
Advantage from enemies.
Aeantis, chorus of tribe.
Aegyptus, Nile formerly called.
Aemilii, tyrants called.
Aeschines the Academic, Life of; quoted.
Aeschylus, verses of; quoted; paraphrase of Homer by.
Aesculapius, temple of.
Aesop, at Delphi; at banquet of seven Wise Men.
Agasicles, Spartan king.
Agathocles, king of Sicily.
Age, cause of old.
Aged, the part of the, in state affairs; love of pure wine by;
intoxication among the.
Agenor, grove of.
Agesilaus, sayings of.
Agesipolis, son of Cleombrotus.
Agesipolis, son of Pausanias.
Agis, King; example of; story of.
Agis the Younger.
Air, an element.
Ajax, parents of; place of soul of.
Alalcomenae, city called.
Alcamenes, son of Teleclus.
Alcibiades, stories about.
Alcippus, wife and daughters of.
Alexander the Great, sayings and stories of; and Timoclea; orations
on; remark of Theocritus about; Diogenes and; in India; as a great
Alexander, tyrant of Pheraeans.
Alexandridas, son of Laid to.
Allegory in Homer.
Almonds for drinkers.
Alpha, position of, in alphabet.
Alpheus, history of.
Altar of ashes at Olympia.
"Alter ego" of Pythagoras, parallel saying in Homer.
Amasis, Herodotus relates a detail concerning.
Ambassadors, recording names of.
Ambition, accompaniments of.
America, a hint of.
Ammon, Egyptian name for Jupiter; temple of.
Ammonius the philosopher.
Amphilochus, oracle of.
Amplification in Homer.
Anaxagoras, story of.
Anaxander, son of Eurycrates.
Anaxilas, saying of.
Anchus compared with Curtius.
Ancients, council of.
Andocides, Greek orator.
Androclidas, saying of.
Anger, nature of; the restraint of; Homer on.
Animals, human beings born of; self-cures by wild; craftiness of
water and of land; amours of, with human beings; reason in;
generation of; embryos of; method of nutrition and growth of;
appetites and pleasures in; vision of, in the dark.
Answers to questions.
Antalcidas, sayings of.
Anthedon, explanation of.
Anticyra, cure of madness from.
Antigonus the First.
Antigonus the Second.
Antiochus; surnamed the Falcon.
Antiochus the third.
Antipater, nickname of.
Antiphon, Greek orator.
Antiphrasis in Homer.
Antithesis, Homer's use of.
Ants, intelligence of.
Apelles and Megabyzus.
Aphrodite, epithets of; statue of, at Elis; called "fruitful
Cytherea."; charmed girdle of.
Aphrodite the Murderess, temple of.
Apollo, place of birth; temple of, at Delphi; derivation from
[Greek] and [Greek]; titles of; an oracle delivered by; a flatterer
the enemy of; motto in temple of; inventor of music; causes of
common diseases are from.
Apollonius, consolation to, on death of son.
Apoplexy produced by fumes of lamp-wick.
Apostrophe, figure of speech called.
Apothegms, of kings and great commanders; Roman; Laconic or
Spartan; in Homer.
Appetites in animals.
Apples and apple-trees.
Araenus, sea shore of.
Arar, river, derivation of name.
Aratus, paraphrase of sayings of Homer by.
Archimedes, story of.
Aregeus, sayings of.
Ares, varying opinions of.
Aretaphila, Cyrenaean woman.
Argive women, the.
Argives, images called; customs of.
Argyllus, mountain in Egypt.
Aristarchus, arrangement of Iliad and Odyssey by.
Aristides the Just.
Aristippus, rebuke of a father by.
Aristo, punishment of.
Aristoclia of Haliartus.
Aristodemus, tyrant of Cumae.
Ariston, sayings of.
Aristophanes, and Socrates; comparison between Menander and.
Aristotimus, tyrant of Elis; daughters of.
Aristotle; on talkativeness; on use and abuse of wealth; on music;
conception of God; views on indignation and mercy held in common
Arithmetic of Pythagoras and in Homer.
Arrangement, Homer's skill in.
Arrhippe, virgin ravished by Tmolus.
Artaxerxes Longimanus, sayings of.
Artaxerxes Mnemon, sayings of.
Artemis, temple of, at Ehpesus.
Asbestos produced by ancients.
Asparagus for brides.
Ass, connection of Typhon with; musical instruments made from bones
Aster, stone called.
Astronomy, observations concerning; goats show knowledge of;
ancient; Homer's knowledge of.
Asyndeton in Homer.
Ateas, sayings of.
Atheism and superstition.
Atheists, beliefs of.
Athene Chalcioecus, temple of.
Athenians, decrees proposed to; question of renown of.
Athenodorus and Xeno.
Atoms the final cause.
attention, directions concerning.
Augurs, tenure of office of.
Augustus Caesar, in his later years.
Aurea, cause of the.
Auspices, prohibition of use of, after August.
Autoglyphus, stone called.
Autonamasia in Homer.
Autumn, men's stomachs in; least credit to dreams in.
Axioms, complications of ten.
Bacchus, called Liber Pater; called Bull-begot; Greek and Roman
punished by; identity of Osiris and; feast of; Mithridates called,
on account of great drinking; Adonis identified with; called the
good counsellor; Herodotus' estimate of.
Banishment, essay on.
Banquets, philosophising at; arranging guests at; consular place
at; position of director of; suitability of chaplets of flowers at;
inviting many guests to; flute-girls at.
Barbers, talkativeness of.
Barley, soil for growing.
Barrenness, in women; of mules.
Bathing after exercise.
Baths, hot vs. cold; former compared with present; Homer on.
Bears, paws of, as food.
Bees, Simonides' allusion to; illustrations drawn from; effect of
smoke on; tendency of, to sting the impure; craftiness of Cretan.
Beggars' flesh among Aenianes.
Bellerophon, continence of.
Berecyntus, mountain and priest named.
Bessus, punishment of.
Bias, Spartan leader.
Bird or egg, which was first?
Birds, in soothsaying; wisdom shown by; tree which is a natural
Birth, value of good.
Birthdays of famous men.
Biton and Cleobis.
Boar, characteristics of the.
Boars, trees, sweet.
Bodies, division and mixture of.
Body, definition of a.
Boeotians, sullenness of.
Boeotus, son of Neptune.
Bona, temple of.
Borrowers, treatment of.
Boys, Sepulchre of the; love of; Herodotus on defiling of.
Brasidas, sayings of; stories of.
Breathing, theory about.
Bridal customs, Roman.
Brides, food for.
Britain, fountain-head of religion; longevity of inhabitants of.
Bronze, weapons of.
Brothers and sisters, Greek and Roman parallels concerning.
Bucephalus, intelligence of.
Bulimy, greedy disease.
Bullae, boys' necklaces.
Bundle of sticks story.
burial, among Lacedaemonians.
Bysius, the month.
Caesar, Augustus, sayings of.
Caesar, Julius, stories and sayings of.
Caicus, river of Mysia.
Callicratidas, Spartan admiral.
Callipides, Greek actor.
Camma, story of.
Candles, matter of extinguishing.
Carbonate of soda, ancient use of.
Carmenta, temple of.
Carmina, verses called.
Cases, changes of, in Homer.
Castor and Pollux, statues of; stars called.
Catechresis in Homer.
Cato the Elder, at Utica.
Cats, Egyptian views on; the young of; madness of; caused by
Cattle, salt used for.
Caucasus, mountain, story of.
Caudine Forks, Roman hero at.
Causes, definition and division of.
Celtic women, the.
Censors, inauguration ceremonies of.
Ceres, feast in honour of.
Chabrias, sayings of.