The expedition against the Ethiopians fared thus, while those of them dispatched to advance with an army against the Ammonians, when they had set out from Thebes and were making theIr way with guides, were manifestly come to the city of Oasis, which the Samians, who are said to be of the Aeschrionian tribe, have, and were seven days’ way distant from Thebes through the sand. That place is named in the Greeks’ tongue the Islands of the Blest. To that place indeed it is said the army came, but thereafter, except for the Ammonians themselves and their hearers, no others are able to say anything about them; for they neither came to the Ammonians nor returned back. And this is said by the Ammonians: when they were going from that Oasis through the sand against them and came to be somewhere pretty nearly between them and Oasis, while they were taking themselves breakfast, a great and extraordinary south wind blew on them and, carrying piles of the sand, it heaped it up on them, and in a manner like that they disappeared. The Ammonians say thus it happened concerning that host.
When Cambyses had come to Memphis, Apis appeared to the Egyptians, whom the Greeks call Epaphus, and when he had become manifest, immediately the Egyptians wore their most beautiful garments and were engaged in revelries. Then, having caught sight of the Egyptians’ doing that, in the absolutely firm belief that they were doing that as a feast of joy, because he had fared badly, he called the guardians of Memphis and, after they had come to sight, he asked why the Egyptians did nothing like that previously, when he had been in Memphis, but did then, when he by himself was present after his losing of a multitude of the host. And they pointed out that a god had appeared to them, who was accustomed to be manifest after an interval of much time, and whenever he appeared, then all Egyptians in a state of joy made a festival. Having heard that, Cambyses asserted that they were lying and, on the ground that they were lying, punished them with death.
So, after he had killed those, he next called the priests into sight and, the priests giving an account in the same way, he asserted that it would not escape his notice if a tame god had come to the Egyptians. Then, having said so much, he bade the priests to lead Apis forth. They indeed went after to lead him. Now, Apis, that Epaphus, proves a calf born of a cow who proves no longer able to cast another generation into her womb. And the Egyptians say that a beam of light from the sky bears down on the cow and from that brings forth Apis. That calf that is called Apis has signs like this: although it is black, on its forehead a white quadrangle, on its back the likeness of an eagle, in its tail double hairs and under its tongue a ‘beetle’.
When the priests had led Apis, Cambyses, seeing that he was somewhat a little crazy, drew his dagger and, although he wished to strike the belly of Apis, smote the thigh. Then with a laugh he said to the priests, “O evil persons, do gods prove like that, bloody inside and fleshy and sensitive to iron implements? That god at any rate is worthy at any rate of the Egyptians, but, let me tell you, you at any rate will not make me a laughingstock.” Having said that, he enjoined on those who did that to whip the priests well and to kill any of the rest of the Egyptians whom they got hold of making a festival. The festival indeed was broken up, the priests brought to justice and Apis struck in his thigh wasted away in his shrine as he was lying down. And him, after he had met with his end from the wound, the priests buried without the notice of Cambyses.
Then Cambyses, as the Egyptians say, immediately on account of that injustice went mad, although he had not even previously been sane. And he worked out the first of his evil deeds against the Smerdis who was his brother of the same father and mother, whom he had sent off to the Persians from Egypt out of envy, because he alone of the Persians had drawn the bow approximately over two fingers’ extent, which the Fish-eaters had brought from the Ethiopian, while no one of the rest of the Persians proved able. Accordingly, when Smerdis was gone away to the Persians, Cambyses saw a vision in his sleep like this: it seemed to him a messenger went from the Persians to announce that Smerdis sat in the king’s chair and with his head touched the sky. Hence, in light of that, because of fear concerning himself lest his brother kill him and rule, he sent Prexaspes to the Persians, who was his most loyal man among the Persians, to kill him. And he went down to Susa and killed Smerdis; some say that when he had led him out to the hunt; some that, when he had led him to the Red sea, he threw him down into its open waters.
Indeed they say that was the first beginning of Cambyses’ evils and next he worked one out against his sister, after she had attended him to Egypt, both with whom he cohabited and who was his sister born of both his parents. And he married her the following way (for the Persians were in no way accustomed previously to cohabit with their sisters): Cambyses fell in love with one of his sisters and thereupon, as he wanted to marry her, because he was setting his mind to do the unaccustomed, called the so-called royal judges and asked them whether there was any law that bade whoever wanted cohabit with a sister. (Chosen men among the Persians are made the royal judges until that time, in which they should die or an injustice be found in their midst, and those judge lawsuits for the Persians and are interpreters of their fathers’ statutes and all is referred to those.) Accordingly, when Cambyses had done his asking, those offered both just and safe answers, as they asserted that they could not find out any law that bade a brother marry his sister; however, they had found out another law, that to whoever is king is permitted to do whatever he wants. Thus they both undid no law in fear of Cambyses and, that they themselves might not perish in maintaining the law, found out besides another law as ally to whoever wished to marry sisters. Then indeed Cambyses married his beloved: yet after no long time he took hold of another sister as well and it was the younger of those, who had attended him to Egypt, that he killed.
So regarding her death a double account is given just as concerning Smerdis’. The Greeks say that Cambyses threw a lion’s cub together with a dog’s pup and that woman too was a spectator and, when the pup was being defeated, his brother broke out of the halter and came to be at his side and they, become two, just then gained mastery over the cub. Cambyses indeed took pleasure in his beholding, while she, sitting beside him, shed tears. Then, when Cambyses had learned of that, he asked on what account she shed tears, and she said that, on seeing the pup take vengeance for his brother, she burst into tears, because she had remembered Smerdis and had come to the knowledge that for him there was no one who would take vengeance. The Greeks indeed assert she perished at Cambyses’ hand on account of that word, but the Egyptians that, while they were sitting down at a table, the woman took hold of and plucked a letuce all round and afterward asked the man whether the lettuce was more beautiful, when it was plucked all round or leafy, and he asserted leafy and she said, “Yet you once made an imitation of that lettuce by stripping away Cyrus’ house.” Then he in anger leapt on her, who was with child in her womb, and she miscarried and died.
Cambyses brought to completion those mad acts against the nearest of his house, either probably on account of Apis or maybe because of another reason, in that many evils like those are accustomed to befall human beings; for in fact Cambyses is said to have had a great illness even from birth, which some name “divine”. Now, you know, it would be nothing irregular, the body being ill with a great illness, for the wits too not to be healthy.
He also brought to completion the following mad acts against all the other Persians; for an account is given that he said a speech to Prexaspes, that man whom he honored most and who was bringing in the messages for him—and that man’s son was Cambyses’ wine-pourer and that too was no small honor—and he said, an account is given, this speech: “Prexaspes, what kind of a man do the Persians believe me to be and what speeches do they say about me?” And he said, “O master, although you are greatly praised in all the other respects, yet they assert that you are excessively attached to love of wine”. The one then gave that account about the Persians and the other in anger replied with this: “After all the Persians now assert that I, attached to wine, go out of my wits and am not in my right mind, and after all their previous speeches were not true.” For indeed previously after all, when the Persians and Croesus were sitting in council with him, Cambyses asked what kind of a man he seemed to be compared with his father, Cyrus, and they replied that he was better than his father; for he had all of his things and possessed in addition Egypt and the sea. The Persians gave that account, but Croesus, as he was present and not pleased with the decision, said to Cambyses this: ‘’Now to me, o son of Cyrus, you seem not to be similar to your father; for not yet is yours a son of a kind like you whom he left behind”. Cambyses took pleasure in hearing that and praised Croesus’ decision.
Then indeed having remembered that, angrily he said to Prexaspes, “Learn you now whether the Persians give true accounts or they themselves in saying that go out of their wits; for, if, as your son stands here in the doorways, I shoot and hit the middle of his heart, the Persians will come to light as speakers of nothing, but if I miss, assert that the Persians give true accounts and I am not of sound mind”. Then, after he had said that and drawn the bow, he shot the son and, after the son had fallen, bade slit him open and examine the shot; when the arrow had been found to be in his heart, he said to the father of the child, once he had laughed and become very glad, “Prexaspes, that I am not mad and the Persians go out of their wits has become clear to you, and now tell me whom among all human beings by now have you seen shoot arrows so to the mark?”. So since Prexaspes saw the man was not sane and was afraid for himself, he said, “Master, I for my part think not even the god himself could shoot so beautifully”. Then he worked that out and at another time he took hold of those among the Persians similar to the twelve first men for no serviceable reason and interred them alive over the head.
Since he was doing that, Croesus the Lydian thought just to put a warning in his mind with these words: “O king, stop entrusting all to your age and anger and hold back and restrain yourself; being provident’s good for you and forethought’s wise, but you kill men, your own fellow-citizens, after you have taken hold of them for no serviceable reason and you kill sons. If then you perform many acts like those, see to it that the Persians will not revolt from you. Now, on me your father, Cyrus, enjoined and bade many times put in your mind a warning and suggest whatever I find good.” The one showed good-will and offered that advice to him and the other replied with this: “You dare to advise me too, who guarded your own fatherland beneficially and advised my father well by bidding him walk through the Araxes river and go against the Massagetians, although they wanted to walk through into our land, and so you destroyed yourself utterly, because you were chief of your own fatherland badly, and Cyrus utterly, because he obeyed you; well, not at all with impunity, since, you know, I had quite long been needing to take hold on a pretext against you.” Then, having said that, he was taking hold of his bow and arrows with the intent that he would shoot him down, but Croesus darted up and ran outside, and since he could not shoot, he enjoined on his servants to take hold of and kill him. But the servants, knowing his manner, concealed Croesus on the reasoning that, if it repented Cambyses and he sought after Croesus, then they would bring forth to light and receive gifts for saving the life of Croesus, and if he did not repent and did not long for him, then they would use him mortally. Indeed Cambyses did long for Croesus not much time thereafter and his servants learned of that and announced to him that he survived. So Cambyses asserted that, although he took pleasure with Croesus in his survival, those who had brought it about would not go unpunished, but he would kill them, and he did that.
He indeed kept doing many mad acts like those against the Persians and their allies, while he remained in Memphis and opened ancient tombs and examined their corpses. And thus indeed he went also into Hephaestus’ shrine and laughed many times at the image; for Hephaestus’ image is very similar to the Phoenician Pataici, which the Phoenicians carry round on the prows of their triremes. And for him, who has not seen those, I will make an indication: it is an imitation of a dwarfish man. Then he went into the Cabeiri’s shrine too, into which it is not lawful for one to go other than the priest, and he even burnt down those images, after he had made many jokes about them. And they are similar to Hephaestus’ and they say they are his children.
In every way therefore it is clear to me that Cambyses was greatly mad; for otherwise he would not have set his hand to laugh at sacred matters and customs. For if anyone should propose to and bid all human beings to select the most beautiful laws out of all the laws, after thorough examination each group would choose their own; thus each group believes their own laws to be somewhat far the most beautiful. Hence it is not reasonable for one to make matters like that an object of laughter other than a madman. And that all human beings have that belief in regard to what’s concerning laws, it is possible to form an estimate from many other proofs and moreover indeed from the following: Darius in the time of his rule called those of the Greeks who were present and asked for how much money would they want to devour their fathers, when they die, and they asserted they would not do that for any. Then after that Darius called those of the Indians called Callatians, who consume their begetters, and asked, while the Greeks were present and learning what was being said through an interpreter, for what amount of money they would prefer to burn up their fathers with fire, when they met with their end, and they let out a loud cry and bade him hush. Now thus those beliefs are held and correctly Pindar seems to me to write in his poetry when he asserts that law is king of all.
While Cambyses was advancing with an army against Egypt, the Lacedaemonians also made an expedition against Samos and Polycrates, the son of Aeaces, who had gotten hold of Samos, after he had stood up against it. And at the first he had divided the city three ways and distributed it to his brothers, Pantagnotus and Syloson, and afterward he killed the former of them and drove out the younger, Syloson, and got hold of all Samos and in possession of it he made an agreement of foreign friendship with Amasis, the king of Egypt, by sending gifts and receiving others from him. Then in a short time immediately Polycrates’ affairs grew and were shouted about throughout Ionia and the rest of Greece; for wherever he purposed to advance with an army, all went with good fortune for him. And he possessed a hundred penteconters and a thousand bowmen and he was carrying away and leading off property from all without any exception; for he asserted that he would gratify his friend more by giving back what he had taken than by not even taking it to begin with. Indeed he had taken numerous of the islands and also many towns of the mainland and moreover, when the Lesbians were coming to the Milesians’ rescue with their whole army, he prevailed over and took them, who, bound, dug the ditch all round the wall on Samos.
And somehow Polycrates escaped not the notice of Amasis with his great good fortune, but that was his care. Then, when his good fortune was coming to be still far greater, he wrote on paper the following and dispatched it off to Samos: “Amasis to Polycrates speaks thus. Pleasant is to learn by inquiry that a man who’s a friend and a foreign acquaintance fares well, but your great good fortunes please me not, since I know the divine, that it is jealous. Indeed somehow I want both myself and whomever I care for, on the one hand, to have some good fortune in affairs and, on the other, to stumble and thus for me to pass through life by faring changeably rather than to have good fortune in all things. For I have not yet heard of in speech and know anyone who in the end did not meet with a bad end, torn up by the roots, if he had good fortune in all things. Accordingly obey you me now and do in regard to your good fortunes deeds like this: think of whatever you find is worth most to you and at whose loss you will most pain your soul and throw that away so that it will no longer come to human beings. In short, if by now from that time good fortunes befall you not changeably with sufferings, in the manner laid down by me provide a remedy.”
When Polycrates had read that and grasped in mind that Amasis suggested well to him, he tried to seek out at the loss of which of his laid up valuables he would be grieved in his soul and, seeking that out, he found this: his was a signet ring set in gold, which he wore; it was of emerald stone and was the work of Theodorus, the son of Telecles, a Samian. Accordingly, since it seemed good to him to throw away that, he performed an act like this: he filled a penteconter with men and entered it and afterward he bade set sail into the open sea; then, when he had come to be far from the island, he took off the signet ring and, while all those sailing along saw, cast it into the open sea. So having done that, he sailed away and, having come to his house, he experienced the misfortune.
The fifth or sixth day after that this happened to come about for him: a fisherman caught a large and beautiful fish and thought right that it be given as a gift to Polycrates. Indeed he brought it to the doors and asserted that he wished to come into Polycrates’ sight and, when that man had come to him, he said, as he offered the fish, “O king, I caught this here and thought not just to bring it to the public square, although I am living by my hand, but it seemed to me to be worthy of you and your rule; to you indeed I bring and offer it.” Then he took pleasure in the words and replied with this: “You have done very well and my gratitude’s double, for the expressions and the gift, and we call you to dinner.“ The fisher then, considering that great, went to his house and the servants cut the fish and found in its belly was Polycrates’ signet ring. So, as soon as they had seen and taken hold of it, they brought it in a state of joy to Polycrates and, offering him the signet ring, they gave an account of the manner, in which it had been found. And when it had entered into him that the matter was divine, he wrote on paper all that he had done and the kinds of things that had befallen and, after he had done the writing, he dispatched it to Egypt.
Then, when Amasis had read the paper that had come from Polycrates, he learned that it is impossible for a human being to convey out of that matter which is to come about and that Polycrates was not to meet with a good end, when he had good fortune in all things, who found even what he had thrown away. So he sent him a herald to Samos and asserted that the treaty of foreign friendship was broken off. And he did that for this reason, that, when a terrible and great occurrence befell Polycrates, he himself might not pain his soul as concerning a man who was a foreign friend.
It was that Polycrates then, who had good fortune in all things, against whom the Lacedaemonians advanced with an army, when the Samians, who after the above had founded Cydonia on Crete, had summoned. Then Polycrates sent a herald without the Samians’ notice to Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, when he was gathering together an army against Egypt, and asked that he might also send to Samos to him and ask for an army. And Cambyses heard that and eagerly sent to Samos to ask Polycrates to send a naval army together with him against Egypt. So he picked out those of the townsmen whom he viewed with the most suspicion with regard to rebellion and sent them off with forty triremes, after he had enjoined on Cambyses not to send them off back.
Some indeed say that those of the Samians sent off came not to Egypt, but when they had come to be on Carpathus in their sailing, they deliberated among themselves and it pleased them to sail no longer farther, while others say that, after they had come to Egypt and were under guard, they ran away from there. Then they sailed down to Samos and Polycrates met them with ships and was established for battle. And those who had returned prevailed and went off onto the island and, after they had battled on land, they were worsted and right then sailed to Lacedaemon. And there are those who say that those from Egypt defeated Polycrates, although they speak, as far as it seems to me, not correctly. For they would not have summoned the Lacedaemonians, if in fact they themselves had been sufficient to make Polycrates surrender. Moreover, in addition to that, reason too demands that that man, whose were many mercenary auxiliaries and native bowmen in multitude, not be worsted by those few Samians who had returned. And Polycrates crowded together the offspring and wives of the citizens who were under him into the shiphouses and held them ready, if after all they betrayed him to those who had returned, to set fire to with the shiphouses and all.
Then, when those of the Samians who had been driven out by Polycrates had come to Sparta, they took up a position before the rulers and said many words, seeing that they wanted very much. But they at their first taking up a position answered that what had been said first they had forgotten and what later they could not comprehend. So after that, taking up a position a second time, they said nothing else, but brought a sack and asserted that the sack wanted meal. And they answered them that they had acted superfluously with their “sack”, but anyhow it seemed good to them to come to the rescue.
And thereupon the Lacedaemonians prepared themselves and advanced with an army against Samos; they were repaying benefactions, as the Samians say, because they themselves previously had come to their rescue with ships against the Messenians, or, as the Lacedaemonians say, they advanced with an army, since they wanted not so much to take vengeance for the Samians in their want as to inflict punishment for the seizing of the bowl that they were taking to Croesus and for the breastplate that Amasis, the king of Egypt, had sent as a gift. For in fact the Samians had carried off a breastplate a year earlier than the bowl, which was linen and in which numerous figures had been woven and which was adorned with gold and pieces of wool from wood. And this because of which it’s worth marvelling each thread produces; for, although it is fine, it has three hundred and sixty threads in itself, all visible. There is also another like that which Amasis dedicated in Lindos to Athena.
The Corinthians, too, eagerly joined in taking hold of the campaign against Samos so as for it to come about; for an outrage related to them too, which had been done by the Samians, a generation earlier than that campaign and had happened at the same time as the bowl’s seizing. Periander, Cypselus’ son, sent off the sons of three hundred of the first Cercyrians to Sardis to Alyattes for castration. When the Corinthians who were bringing the sons had touched at Samos, the Samians learned by inquiry the account of the purpose, for which they were being brought to Sardis, and first taught the sons to lay hold of the shrine of Artemis. Then afterwards, since they were not overlooking attempts to drag the suppliants from the shrine and the Corinthians were keeping the sons from food, the Samians celebrated a festival, which they still enjoy even now in the same fashion; for at night’s coming on, all the time that the sons were suppliants, they set up choruses of maidens and unmarried youths and, while they set up the choruses, they established a law to bring themselves eatables of sesame and honey, that the sons of the Cercyrians might seize and have them as sustenance. And this came to that point, where the Corinthian guards of the sons left and were gone and the Samians led the sons away to Cercyra.
Now, if at Periander’s meeting with his end the Corinthians had had friendly relations with the Cercyrians, then they would not have taken part in the campaign against Samos for that reason, but as it was, on each and every occasion since they had founded the city, they were differing with each other among themselves. Therefore because of that the Corinthians were mindful of the evil of the Samians, as Periander picked out and sent off to Sardis the sons of the first Cercyrians for castration, and so was taking vengeance; for previously the Cercyrians made a beginning by doing a presumptuous deed against him.
For when Periander had killed his wife, Melissa, another misfortune like this happened to come about in addition to the one that had come about: two sons were his from Melissa, in age one seventeen years old and one eighteen. Their mother’s father, Procles, being Epidaurus’ tyrant, summoned those to him and treated them kindly, as was reasonable, since they were his daughter’s sons. And when he was sending them away, he said as he sent them forth, “Do you know, o sons, who killed your mother?” That word the older of them considered in no account, but the younger, whose name was Lycophron, felt such pain on hearing it that, after he had come to Corinth, seeing that his father was his mother’s killer, he both did not address him and neither engaged in any coversation with him, when he was trying to converse nor gave any opportunity for speech, when he was making inquiry. Then finally being very angry, Periander drove him from his house.
So having driven that one out, he inquired of the older what conversations their mother’s father had had with them. And he related to him that he had received them kindly, but that word that Procles, as he dispatched them off, had said, seeing that he had not grasped it in mind, he could not remember. Then Periander asserted that there was no way of contriving that he had made no suggestion to them and persisted in making inquiry. So he called back to memory and spoke of that too. Then, since Periander had grasped it in mind and wanted to give in to nothing soft, he sent a messenger to those, where the son driven away by him was dwelling, and forbade receiving him in a house. Hence, whenever he was driven away and came to another home, he was driven away from that one as well, because Periander was threatening those who received him and bade keep him away. So, being constantly driven away, he went to another house of his companions and, seeing that he was Periander’s son, although they were afraid, they nevertheless received him.
Finally Periander had a proclamation made that, whoever entertained him in a house or conversed with him, that one owed a sacred penalty to Apollo, and he said such and such an amount. Indeed it was that proclamation then in light of which no one wished either to converse with him or to receive him in a house and moreover not even he himself thought just to make trial, it being forbidden, but persevering, he roamed in the porticos. The fourth day, when Periander had seen him worn out by want of bathing and want of food, he took pity ; then having abated from his anger, he went nearer and said, “O son, which of those is preferable, that which you now do continually or the tyranny and the goods that I now have—to be well-disposed to your father and inherit those—you who, although you are my son and king of happy Corinth, choose a wandering life by standing in opposition to and being angry at him whom you should have least? For if any misfortune has happened in the past, from which you have suspicion of me, that has happened to me and I am a participant in it more, inasmuch as I myself worked it out. You then learn how much better it is to be envied than to be pitied and at the same time what kind of a thing’s to be angry at one’s begetters and at one’s superiors and go away to my house.” Periander tried to coax him with that, but he made no other reply to his father and only asserted that he owed a sacred penalty to the god, since he had come into speeches with him. So Periander, having learned that the evil of his son was something inaccessible and unconquerable, sent him away from himself out of eye by dispatching a boat to Cercyra; for he was master of that too. Then, having dispatched that one off, Periander advanced with an army against his father in law, Procles, on the ground that he was the greatest cause of his present affairs, and he took Epidaurus and took Procles himself and captured him alive.
When, time going forward, Periander was beyond his prime and admitting to himself that he was no longer able oversee and manage his affairs, he sent to Cercyra and called away Lycophron for the tyranny; for in the older of his sons he could not see anything, but he was clear to him as being duller. Yet Lycophron thought the bearer of the message worthy of not even an answer. So Periander, clinging to the young man, second dispatched his sister and his own daughter, away to him, because he thought he would obey that woman most. That woman came and said, “O child, do you want the tyranny to fall to others and the house of your father, after it has been plundered, rather than for yourself to go away and have them? Go away to your house. Stop punishing youself. Love of honor’s a maladroit possession; stop curing evil with evil. Many put what’s more reasonable before what’s just and many by now, searching for their mother’s part, have lost their father’s. Tyranny’s a perilous thing, many are its lovers and he’s old by now and beyond his prime; give not your own goods to others.” She indeed, taught what was most attractive by her father, spoke it before him, and he in answering asserted that he would in no way come to Corinth, as long as he should learn by inquiry that his father survived. And when that woman had announced that back, third Periander sent a herald and he wanted himself to come to Cercyra, while he bade him to come to Corinth and become successor to the tyranny. After his son had consented on those terms, Periander dispatched himself to Cercyra and his son did to Corinth. But the Cercyrians learned of each of those things and that Periander might not come to their country killed the youngster. In revenge for that Periander attempted to punish the Cercyrians.
When the Lacedaemonians had come with a great force, they began to beseige Samos. Having made an attack on the wall, they set foot on the tower that stood near the sea at the suburb of the city and afterward, when Polycrates himself had come to the rescue with a large band, were driven away. Then at the tower above that was on the ridge of the mountain the auxiliaries and numerous of the Samians themselves went out in opposition and, having received the Lacedaemonians for a short time, they fled back and those who attended them killed them.
Now, if those of the Lacedaemonians who were present had proven that day similar to Archias and Lycopes, Samos would have been taken. For Archias and Lycopes, who were the only to fall in with the Samians as they fled to the wall and to be shut off from the way back, died in the city of the Samians. I myself in Pitane met with a third generation descendant from that Archias, another Archias, the son of Samian, the son of Archias (for he was of that deme), who honored the Samians most of all foreigners and asserted that the name Samian was given to his father because his father, Archias, had been the best and met with his end on Samos. Moreover, he asserted that he honored the Samians on account of the fact that his grandfather had been buried at public expense by the Samians.
The Lacedaemonians, when forty days had passed for them who were beseiging Samos and none of their affairs were progressing farther, departed for the Peloponnessus. Then, as the more idle account has begun to be given, Polycrates struck local coin by gilding a large amount of lead and gave them it and they received it and right then departed. That was the first campaign against Asia the Lacedaemonians, Dorians, conducted.
Those of the Samians who advanced with an army against Polycrates, when the Lacedaemonians were to leave them behind, themselves too sailed away to Siphnos; for they wanted money, while the affairs of Siphnos were at their prime during that time and they were the wealthiest of the islanders, seeing that theirs on their island were gold and silver mines so that from the tithe of the money that came to be from that very spot a treasury at Delphi was dedicated similarly to the wealthiest ones, as they themselves distributed from themselves the money that came to be each year. Hence when they were having the treasury made, they consulted the oracle whether their present goods were able to abide much time and Pythia proclaimed to them this:
Well, whenever town-halls become white in Siphnos
And square white-browed, just then there’s need for a shrewd man
To point out wooden ambush and herald of red.
The public square and the town-hall of the Siphnians was then adorned with Parian stone.
That oracular response they were unable to understand either then immediately or at the Samians’ coming. For, as soon as the Samians were putting in at Siphnos, they sent one of their ships that brought ambassadors to the city. Anciently all their ships were painted with ochre and that was what Pythia proclaimed to the Siphnians, when she bade to guard themselves against the wooden ambush and herald of red. Hence, on coming, the messengers asked the Siphnians to lend them ten talents and, when the Siphnians said they would not make them a loan, the Samians began to plunder their lands. Having learned of it by inquiry, the Siphnians immediately were present as they had come to the rescue and they gave them battle and were worsted. And many of them were shut out of the town by the Samians and after that they exacted a hundred talents from them.
From the Hermionians they took over an island instead of money, Hydrea off the Peloponessus, and deposited it with the Troizenians. Then they themselves founded Cydonia on Crete, athough they were sailing not for that, but to drive out the Zacynthians from the island. And they remained in it and were happy for five years so that those are the makers of the shrines that are now in Cydonia and the temple of Dictyne. The sixth year the Aeginetians, having prevailed over them in a naval battle, captured them for slavery with the Cretans and, their ships having prows that were boar-shaped, cut off their tips and dedicated them in the shrine of Athena in Aegina. The Aeginetians did that because they bore a grudge against the Samians. For earlier the Samians in the time when Amphicrates was king in Samos advanced with an army against Aegina and did great evils against the Aeginetians and suffered them at their hands. That was the cause.
I went on at length about the Samians more because by them the three greatest works among all Greeks have been worked out, of a mountain tall as a hundred and fifty fathoms, of that an excavation that begins from below with mouths at both ends. The length of the excavation is seven stades and its height and breadth are eight feet each. And through it all another excavation of twenty cubits in depth has been dug and its breadth is three feet, through which the water is channelled through pipes and arrives at the city, which is led from a great spring. The master builder of that excavation a Megarian, Eupalinus, Naustrophus’ son, came to be. That indeed is one of the three and the second’s a mound round a harbor in the sea, in depth even twenty fathoms, and the mound’s length is greater than two stades. Third the greatest temple of all temples that we know of has been worked out by them, of which Rhoicus, Phileus’ son, a native, was the first to come to be the master builder. Because of that somewhat more about the Samians I went on at length.