translated by Shlomo Felberbaum

bust of Leonidas
photographs by Shane Solow

Text and photographs Copyright © 1999—2003 Lost Trails
all rights reserved

Installment 28

Now, Coes the Mytilenians, as soon as they had taken him over, led out and stoned down, but the Cymians let their own man go and likewise also the greater part of the others were performing a letting go. Now, deposition of tyrants was being made throughout the cities and Aristagores the Milesian, when he had deposed the tyrants, bade each group establish generals in each of the cities and, second, he himself was made one dispatched to Lacedemon by trireme; for indeed there was need for him of a great alliance to be found out.

So of Sparta Anaxandrides, the son of Leon, no longer was around and was king, but had met his end, and Cleomenes, the son of Anaxandrides, was holding the kingdom and held it not in accordance with manly goodness, but in accordance with birth. For to Anaxandrides, while he had as wife his own sister’s daughter and that woman was satisfactory to him, children were not born and, that being like that, the ephors said after they had called for him, “If, mind you, you provide not for yourself, well by us that must not be overlooked, for the family of Eurysthenes to become extinct. Now, you the wife that you have, since she brings forth not, send away for youself and another marry, and by doing that you will please the Spartiates”. Then he replied by asserting that he would do neither of those things and they were counselling and advising not beautifully that that wife that he had, although she was without fault to him, he should let go away and another bring back home and that he would not obey them.

Thereupon the ephors and the elders, having taken counsel, brought forward for Anaxandrides this: “Since then we see that you are holding yourself to the wife that you have, you then keep doing that and refuse to take a step against that, that not any counsel of another kind concerning you the Spartiates may take. Of the wife that you have we ask not from you the sending away, but you to that one all that now you are furnishing keep furnishing and another in addition to that one bring in as a wife for producing children.” They saying that in some way, Anaxandrides went along and afterwards with two wives he was settled at two hearths and doing in no way Spartan things.

Then, no long time having gone by, the wife who had gone afterwards at a later moment brought forth that very Cleomenes. Indeed that one was bringing out to light a king sitting by for the Spartiates and the previous wife, the previous time being without offspring, then somehow became pregnant and enjoyed that as chance. So that she was bearing by a true account the relatives of the wife who had gone after learned by inquiry and bothered her and they asserted for themselves that she was merely boasting, because she wanted to bring in another’s child. And, they performing terrible acts, when the time was becoming short, through lack of belief’s agency the ephors, sitting around, guarded over the woman while she was bringing forth. Then she, when she had brought forth Dorieus, immediately conceived Leonides and after that one immediately conceived Cleombrotus and some indeed say that as twins Cleombrotus and Leonides were born. And she who had brought forth Cleomenes and had gone after in the second place, who was the daughter of Prinetades, the son of Demarmenus, no longer was bringing forth the second time.

Cleomenes indeed, as is said, was not sound of mind and at the point of madness, while Dorieus was among all his contemporaries the first and knew well that in accordance with manly goodness he himself would get hold of the kingdom. Therefore, seeing that thus he was minded, when Anaxandrides had died and the Lacedemonians, using their law, had established for themselves as king the oldest, Cleomenes, Dorieus, considering terrible and thinking not worthy to be ruled as king by Cleomenes, asked for a band from the Spartiates and led it for colonization without either consulting the oracle in Delphi about to which land he should go to found or doing any of the things practiced customarily, but inasmuch as he was bearing it heavily, he let go to Libya his boats, and Therian men were leading him down. Having come to Cinyps, he colonized the most beautiful place of the Libyans alongside the river and, driven out thence in the third year by the Macians, the Libyans and the Carchedonians, he came to the Peloponnesus.

So thereupon him Antichares, an Eleonian man, advised on the basis of Laius’ oracles to found Heracleia in Sicily and asserted that the whole country of Eryx was the sons of Heracles’ because Heracles himself had gotten its possession. Then he, having heard that, was gone to Delphi to consult the oracle about whether he was to take the country against which he was dispatching himself, and Pythia proclaimed to him he would take it. So Dorieus took over the expedition that also to Libya he was leading and conveyed himself to Italy.

Further, during that time, as the Sybaritians say, it was that they themselves and Telys, their king, were to advance with an army against Croton and the Crotonians, having become very afraid, asked Dorieus to succour them and hit the mark when they had asked; indeed Dorieus joined in advancing with an army against Sybaris and joined in taking Sybaris. Now, that the Sybaritians say Dorieus and those with him did, but the Crotonians assert that no foreigner with them in addition took hold for themselves on the war against the Sybaritians except Callies alone, an Elean prophet of the Iamids, and that one did in a manner like this: from Telys, the Sybaritians’ tyrant, he ran away and came to them, since for him the sacrifices were not turning out good, when he was sacrificing for himself against Croton. Those accounts again those give.

And as pieces of evidence each group shows forth these: the Sybaritians a sacred precinct and a temple that is alongside the dry Crathis, which they say Dorieus set up for himself, after he had joined in taking the city, for Athena called Crathian, and that, Dorieus himself’s death, they consider the greatest proof, in that by performing acts in addition to what had been prophesied he had been been destroyed—for if indeed he had not done anything in addition, but was doing that, for which he had been dispatched, he would have taken the Erycian country and, having taken it, he would have occupied it and he himself as well as his army would not have been destroyed—while again the Crotonians show forth many perquisites given to Callies the Elean in the Crotonian land, which even up to my time still Callies’ descendants were enjoying, but not one to Dorieus and Dorieus’ descendants; now, if Dorieus had joined in taking hold on the Sybaritian war for himself, many times more would have been given to him than to Callies. Now, that each group of them as pieces of evidence bring forth to light for themselves and it is possible to that group, whichever of them one is persuaded by, to assent.

So there sailed with Dorieus also other co-founders among the Spartiates, Thessalus, Paraibates, Celees and Euryleon, who, when they had come with the whole expedition to Sicily, died worsted by the Phoenicians and Egestians, except that Euryleon alone among the co-founders survived that suffering. Then that one, having rallied those of his army that had survived, got hold of Minoe, the Selinousians’ colony, and joined in freeing the Selinousians from the monarch Peithagores. But afterwards, when he had taken down that one, he himself laid his hand to the tyranny of Selinous and was monarch for a short time; for him the Selinousians stood up against and killed when he had fled down to Zeus of the public square’s altar.

Further, there joined in following Dorieus and joined in dying Philippus, the son of Boutacides, a Crotonian man, who had had Telys the Sybaritian’s daughter betrothed to him and been banished from Croton, and he, played false in his marriage, sailed to Cyrene and was gone. So from that land he set forth and joined in following with his own trireme and his own expenses for men and he was an Olympic victor and the most beautiful of the Greeks in his time. On account of his beauty then he won from the Egestians what no one else; for on his grave having set up a hero’s shrine, with sacrifices they propitiate him.

Now, Dorieus in a manner like that met his end, but if he had held himself up under being ruled by Cleomenes as king and remained behind in Sparta, he would have become king of Lacedemon; for not a long time Cleomenes ruled and he died without a son and left only a daughter, whose name was Gorgo.

Anyhow, there came Aristagores, the tyrant of Miletus, to Sparta when Cleomenes had the rule and it was that man with whom indeed he went to speeches, as the Lacedemonians say, with a bronze tablet, on which all the earth together’s circumference had been cut and all the sea and all rivers. So Aristagores came into speeches and said to him this: “Cleomenes, at my eagerness for coming hither marvel not; for the present situation is like that following kind: for the Ionians’ children to be slaves instead of free is a reproach and a pain most great to ourselves and besides of those left to you, inasmuch as you are the chiefs of Greece. Therefore now in the name of the Greek gods rescue the Ionians from slavery, men of the same blood. And easily for you it is possible for that to succeed; for both the barbarians are not valorous and you in respect what’s in reference to war to the greatest things have come up concerning virtue. Further, their manner of fighting is like this: bows and short spear, and with trousers they go to the battles and with turbans on their heads. Thus easy to be worsted they are. Moreover, also the goods of those who inhabit that mainland are as many as not even to all the others together (as they begin with gold): silver, bronze, embroidered clothing, yoke-animals and slaves, which, should you want them in spirit, you yourselves would have. And they have a settlement down and are next to each other, as I will point out: to the Ionians here the Lydians here, who are settled in a good land and are most rich in silver”—and he said that while he made a showing on the earth’s circumference, which he was bringing with himself cut in the tablet—”and next to the Lydians,” asserted in speech Aristagores, “here are the Phrygians toward the east, who are most rich in flocks of all that I know and most rich in fruit. Then next to the Phrygians are the Cappadocians, whom we call Syrians and bordering on those are the Cilicians and they extend down to the sea here, in which Cyprus here, an island, is situated, who pay five hundred talents to the king as their yearly tribute, Then next to Cilicians here are the Armenians here, those too being rich in flocks, and next to the Armenians the Matienians with the land here. And there is next to those the Cissian land here and it’s this in which indeed alongside the river here, the Choaspes, is situated that Susa, where the great king makes his dwelling, and his wealth’s treasuries are there. So, after you have taken that city, take courage by then and with Zeus concerning wealth contend. Well, concerning a country not large and not so good and of small boundaries must you delay in battles, against Messenians, who are equally matched, and Arcadians and Argives, whose is neither anything of the nature of gold nor silver, concerning which eagerness in fact induces one to fight and die, and, it being possible to rule all Asia easily, will you choose something else?” Aristagores said that and Cleomenes replied with this: “O Milesian foreigner, I am delaying in giving an answer to you until the third day”.

At that time so great a drive they made, but when it had come to be the appointed day for the answer and they had gone to the place agreed on, Cleomenes asked Aristagores how many days’ way it was from the sea of the Ionians to the king. Then Aristagores, although he was wise in all other respects and one who had deceived that one well, was tripped up in that thing; for although he had to say not what was, at least if he wanted to lead the Spartiates away to Asia, anyhow he spoke and asserted that the way up was three months’. So the other snatched away the remaining speech that Aristagores had begun to speak about the way and said, “O Milesian foreigner, depart from Sparta before the sinking of the sun; for you are speaking no well spoken speech for the Lacedemonians, because you desire to lead them three months’ way from the sea”.

Cleomenes indeed said that and went to his house and Aristagores took hold of a suppliant’s wand and went to Cleomenes’. Then after he had gone in to the inside, seeing that he was a suppliant, he bade Cleomenes listen, after he had sent away the small child—for indeed there was standing by Cleomenes his daughter, whose name was Gorgo, and that one, an only offspring actually, was in fact eight or nine years of age—and Cleomenes bade him say what he wanted and not hold back for the small child’s sake. Thereupon indeed Aristagores began with ten talents making promises, if he brought to completion for him what he asked and, Cleomenes throwing his head back in refusal, Aristagores went on progressively going higher with his money, until he had promised fifty talents and the small child made utterance: “Father, the foreigner will destroy you, if you don’t stand away and go”. Cleomenes indeed, having taken pleasure in the small child’s advice, went to another room and Aristagores departed entirely from Sparta and to him was granted no longer over a greater extent to make an indication concerning the way up to the king.

Now, it is concerning that way thus: there are royal stations everywhere and most beautiful resting-places and all the way together’s through a settled and safe land, as in fact through Lydia and Phrygia twenty stations are stretching and ninety-four and a half parasangs. And there follows after Phrygia the Halys river, on which are gates that there’s every necessity to drive through and out and thus pass through and out, and there’s a large guard-house on it. Then for one who has stepped through into Cappadocia and by that way is making his way up to the boundaries of the Cilicans are thirty stations but two and a hundred and four parasangs. And on their borders you will drive through and out two gates and pass by two guard-houses. Then for one who has driven through and out that and is going his way through Cilicia are three stations and fifteen and a half parasangs. And the border of Cilicia and Armenia is a navigable river, whose name’s Euphrates. Then in Armenia are fifteen stations for resting areas and fifty six and a half parasangs and there’s a guard-house among them. Then four navigable rivers flow through that land that there’s every necessity to ferry across, first the Tigris and afterwards a second and third named Zabatus, although it is not the same river and flows not from the same source—for the first of them recounted flows from the Armenians and the later from the Matienians; then the fourth of the rivers has as a name “Gyndes”, which Cyrus once had divided into three hundred and sixty channels. So from that Armenia for one who is throwing oneself into the Matienian land are thirty four stations and a hundred and thirty seven parasangs. Then from that land for one changing one’s place and stepping into the Cissian country are eleven stations and forty two and a half parasangs to the river Choaspes, that too being navigable, on which Susa, a city, has been built. All those stations are a hundred and eleven. Now, the resting areas of the stations are so many for one stepping up from Sardis to Susa.

And if the royal way has been measured correctly in its parasangs and the parasang amounts to thirty stades, just as indeed that does amount to that, from Sardis the stades to the royal palace that is called Memnonian are thirteen thousand five hundred, the parasangs being four hundred fifty. So for those going through and out of a hundred fifty stades on each day ninety days precisely are used up.

Thus by the Milesian Aristagores who had said to Cleomenes the Lacedemonian that it was three months’ way up to the king it had been spoken correctly. But if one looks for what’s still more exact than that, I will indicate that too; for the way from Ephesus to Sardis one must add to that way. And indeed I say all the stades from the Greek sea up to Susa—for that is called the Memnonian town—are fourteen thousand forty, because the stades from Ephesus to Sardis are five hundred and forty, and thus by three days is lengthened the way of three months.

Now, Aristagores was driven from Sparta and went to Athens after it had been made free of tyrants thus: when Hipparchus, the son of Peisistratus and Hippies the tyrant’s brother, after he had seen a most vivid vision of a dream, Aristogeiton and Harmodius, being in family by descent Gephyrians, after that the Athenians were ruled by a tyranny for four years nothing less but even more than before that.

Now, the vision of Hipparchus’ dream was this: on the night before the Panathenaea Hipparchus thought a tall and good looking man stood over him and spoke these riddling words:

Bear, lion done unbearables, with bearing heart;
No human being, unjust, won’t pay a payment.

And that, as soon as it had become day, he was manifest in communicating for himself to the oneirocritics and afterwards, when he had renounced for himself the vision, he sent his procession and it was that, in which indeed he met his end.

Now, the Gephyrians, of whom were the killers of Hipparchus, as they themselves say, had descended from Eretria in the beginning, but, as I in inquiring round have found, were Phoenicians among the Phoenicians who had come with Cadmus to the land now called Boeotia and were settled in that land after they had taken their share of the Tanagrician portion. Then, the Cadmians earlier having been made to stand up away thence, those Gephyrians second were made to stand up away by the Boeotians and turned themselves to Athens. And the Athenians received them on stated terms to be their fellow-citizens and made an imposition that they should keep themselves away from some not many things not worth description.

Then those Phoenicians who had come with Cadmus, of whom were the Gephyrians, having settled in that country, brought in many other teachings to the Greeks and, in particular, letters, which were not previously the Greeks’ as far as seems to me, first those which in fact all the Phoenicians together use, and afterward, as time went forward, together with the sound they changed also the shape of the letters. And there were settled round them in the greater number of the places during that time among the Greeks the Ionians, who took over by learning from the Phoenicians the letters and, after they had changed the shape of a few of them, used them: then in their using them they uttered, just as also what was just was providing the lead, because the Phoenicians had performed the leading of them into Greece, that they were called Phoenician. Moreover, the Ionians have been calling pieces of papyrus hides from of old, because once in a lack of pieces of papyrus they used goat and sheep hides, and still even in what’s in my time many of the barbarians write on hides like that.

Further, I, even myself, saw Cadmian letters in the shrine of Ismenian Apollo in the Thebes of the Boeotians engraved on three tripods, the greater number similar to the Ionic. One of the tripods indeed has an inscription:

Amphitryon set me who’s from Teleboai.

That would be in age from in the time of Laius, the son of Labdacus, the son of Polydorus, the son of Cadmus.

And another tripod in hexametric measure says:

Boxer Scaius me for far-shooting Apollo,
He a winner, set, for you a quite fair image.

Scaius, the son of Hippocoon, would be if indeed that one at any rate is the dedicator and not another with the same name as the son of Hippocoon, in age from in the time of Oedipus, son of Laius.

And a third tripod, that too in hexameter, says:

Laodamas’ self tripod for good shot Apollo,
He a monarch, set, for you a quite fair image.

Indeed in the time of that Laodamas, the son of Eteoclees, when he was monarch, the Cadmians were made to stand up and away by the Argives and turned themselves to the Enchelians and the Gephyrians, left behind, later by the Boeotians’ agency went up to Athens and by them shrines were set up in Athens, of which there’s no share for the remaining Athenians, other ones separated from all the other shrines and, in particular, Achaean Demeter’s shrine and rites.

Indeed the vision of Hipparchus’ dream and the Gephyrians whence they had originated, of whom were Hipparchus’ killers, has been described by me, but one must in addition to that further take up the account that at the beginning I was going to say, how of tyrants the Athenians were freed. Hippies, being tyrant and being embittered with the Athenians on account of Hipparchus’ death, the Alcmeonidae, in birth being Athenians and exiles from the sons of Peisistratus, when for them together with all the other exiles among the Athenians in their attempts in accordance with force success was not occurring, but they stumbled greatly in their attempts to go back and free Athens, after they had walled Leipsydrium over Paeonia, the Alcmeonidae thereupon in contriving everything against the sons of Peisistratus had themselves hired by the Amphictyonians the temple in Delphi, which exists now, but did not then yet, to build completely. And seeing that they were well off for money and were esteemed men by descent still, they completely made the temple by working more beautiful than its model in all other respects and, although tufaceous stone had been agreed on by them to make the temple, of Parian they made the front parts of it completely.

Indeed therefore, as the Athenians say, those men sat down in Delphi and were convincing Pythia with money that, whenever men from among the Spartiates came with either a private expedition or a public to consult the oracle, she should propose to them that they should free Athens. Then the Lacedemonians, when for them on each and every occasion the same prophecy was being made, sent Anchimolius, who was an esteemed man from among their townsmen, with an army to drive out the sons of Peisistratus from Athens, even though nevertheless they were foreign friends of theirs in the highest degree; for the things of the god there were considering more important than those of men. And they sent those by sea with boats and he indeed, having touched at Phalerum, disembarked his host, while the sons of Peisistratus, having learned that by inquiry previously, called to themselves from Thessaly help; for an alliance had been made by them with them. Then the Thessalians, at their request, used a common opinion and sent off a thousand horse and their own king, Cinees, a Condian man. When the sons of Peisistratus had gotten hold of them as allies, they contrived like this: having cleared the Phalerians’ plain and made that place suitable for horse, they let go upon the camp the horse; then having fallen on them, it was destroying many others among the Lacedemonians and, in particular, Anchimolius, and those of them who had survived into their ships they penned. Indeed the first expedition from Lacedemon thus got off and Anchimolius’ burial grounds are in Attic land in Alopecae, near the temple of Heracles in Cynosarges.

Then afterwards the Lacedemonians, having equipped a larger expedition, sent it off against Athens, after as general of the host they had appointed King Cleomenes, the son of Anaxandrides, and they dispatched it no longer by sea, but by mainland. When they had thrown into the Attic country, the horse of the Thessalians was the first to mix with them and after no long time got turned back and of them fell over forty men. So the survivors departed as they were straightway toward Thessaly. Then Cleomenes, having come to the town together with those of the Athenians who wanted to be free, was beseiging the tyrants enclosed within the Pelargic wall.

In fact by all means in no way at all the Lacedemonians would have taken the sons of Peisistratus completely; for both they had not in mind to perform a blockade and the sons of Peisistratus with foods and drinks were well prepared; in short, they would have made a seige a few days and departed to Sparta, but, as it was, a fortune supervened, bad for the one group, while that same was an ally for the other; for, as they were being put out of the country secretly, the sons of the sons of Peisistratus were captured. And when that had happened, all their affairs were disturbed together and they surrendered for their offspring as a fee, on the conditions that the Athenians wanted, so as for them in five days to go out from the Attic land. Then afterwards they went out to Sigeium on the Scamander, after they had ruled the Athenians for thirty six years, and they were, even those, by descent Pylians and Neleidians, as they had been born of the same men as those of the circle of Codrus and Melanthus, who previously were incomers and had become the Athenians’ kings. So after that fact Hippocrates as an act of remembrance gave for himself the same name to his son, Peisistratus; after the son of Nestor, Peisistratus, he assigned the appellation. Thus the Athenians were rid of tyrants and as to all that, after they had been freed, they worked out and suffered worthy of the need of description before Ionia stood apart from Darius and Aristagores the Milesian came to Athens and requested of them to come to the rescue, that first I will point out.

Athens, which had been even previously great, then, having been rid of tyrants, became greater. And in it two men had power, Cleisthenes, an Alcmeonid man, the very one who indeed was subject of an account that he had convinced Pythia, and Isagores, son of Teisandrus, who was of an esteemed house—I am not able point out what’s his by descent (but his relations sacrifice to Carian Zeus). Those men became factious about power and Cleisthenes, when he was being worsted, was taking for himself as a companion the people. Then afterwards the Athenians, who had been of four tribes, he made of ten tribes, after of the sons of Ion—Geleon, Aegicores, Argades and Hoples—he had gotten rid of the appellations and found out other heroes’ appellations, native ones’s, except for Ajax’. And that one, because a neighbor and ally, although he was a foreigner, he added for himself.

Now, in that, as far as it seems to me, that Cleisthenes was imitating his mother’s father, Cleisthenes, Sicyon’s tyrant. For Cleisthenes, after having begun to war with the Argives, on the one hand made rhapsodes cease in Sicyon from competing in contests for the Homeric epics’ sake, because Argives and Argos for the greater part entirely are celebrated in hymns, and on the other hand, because there was (and is) a hero’s shrine in the very public square of Sicyonians of Adrastus, the son of Talaus, Cleisthenes conceived a desire to banish that one, since he was an Argive, from the country. Then having gone to Delphi, he consulted the oracle about whether he should banish Adrastus and Pythia proclaimed to him and asserted that Adrastus was king of the Sicyonians and he a stone thrower. So since the god refused to give in to that at any rate, he went away back and was thinking of a contrivance, by which Adrastus would depart and, when he thought it had been found out by him, he sent to Boeotian Thebes and asserted that he desired to bring in for himself Melanippus, the son of Astacus, and the Thebans performed the giving. Then Cleisthenes brought in for himself Melanippus and appointed a scared precinct for him in the very town hall and set him in the strongest place. And Cleisthenes brought in for himself Melanippus—for in fact one must describe that—on the ground that he was most hateful to Adrastus, who had killed his brother, Mecisteus, and his son-in-law, Tydeus. So when he had appointed the sacred precinct, he took away for himself the sacrifices and festivals of Adrastus and gave them to Melanippus. Now, the Sicyonians were honoring Adrastus very grandly; for that country was Polybus’ and Adrastus was Polybus’ daughter’s son and Polybus without a son on meeting his end gave Adrastus the rule. Indeed in all other respects the Sicyonians were honoring Adrastus and indeed in addition to his sufferings with tragic choruses were giving dignity and honoring not Dionysus, but Adrastus. However, Cleisthenes gave back choruses to Dionysus and the rest of the sacrificing to Melanippus.

That was done in respect to Adrastus and the tribes of the Dorians, that indeed the Sicyonians’ might not be the same as the Argives’, he changed to other name. In that in fact the greatest derision he displayed for Sicyonians; for after the pig, the ass and the porker their appellations by changing their endings alone he assigned, except for his own tribe, and to that the name derived from his “arche”, rule, he gave for himself. Those latter are called Archelaoi, “rulers of people”, and one other group Pigites, another Assites and one other Porkites. Those names of their tribes the Sicyonians used both in the time when Cleisthenes was ruling and after he had been dead for sixty years. Thereafter, however, they gave speech to themselves and changed into Hyllians, Pamphylians and Dymanatians, and a fourth group to them they added for themselves named after Adrastus’ son, Aegialeus, and assigned their appellation for their being called Aegialians.

(to be continued)

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