And the generals of those and the whole foot army together were Mardonius, Gobryes’ son, Tritantaechmes, Artabanus’ son, who had put forth for himself as an opinion that they should not advance with an army against Greece, and Smerdomenes, Otanes’ son—those both as children of Darius’ brothers and as cousins to Xerxes were born—Masistes, Darius and Atossa’s child, Gergis, Ariazus’ son, and Megabyxus, Zopyrus’ son.
Those were generals of the whole foot together except the ten thousand. And of those ten thousand Persians that had been selected out the general was Hydarnes, Hydarnes’ son, and those Persians were called Immortals because of this: if any of them completely left the number either by death done violence or by illness, another man was chosen and they amounted to not at all either more than ten thousand or fewer. And the Persians were furnishing from themselves the greatest adornment above all and they themselves were the best. They had the very dress like that which has been spoken of and besides in having much and unbegrudged gold were conspicuous. And at the same time they were bringing for themselves covered chariots and therein concubines and a large and well-equipped train of servants. Moreover, food for them, apart from all the other soldiers, camels and yoke-animals were bringing.
Now, those nations ride horses, but not all were furnishing from themselves horse; rather, only so many: the Persians, dressed the same as their foot, except that on their heads some of them had beaten out works of both bronze and iron.
Also there are some pastoral human beings, called Sagartians—although they are a Persian nation in fact in language, yet they have dress made between the Persian and the Pactyian—who were furnishing for themselves eight thousand horse and were not accustomed to have gear either of bronze or of iron except daggers and use ropes plaited out of thongs. Relying on those, they go to war and the manner of battle of those men is this: whenever they join battle with their enemies, they throw the ropes that have nooses at the end and, whatever one hits, whether horse or human being, one draws to oneself, while they in coils are entangled and destroyed. Of those that is the manner of battle and they were arranged in addition with the Persians.
Then the Medes had the very dress they did in the foot and the Cissians had theirs in the same way. Then the Indians were furnished with the same dress as they were in the foot and were driving chargers and chariots and under their chariots were horses and wild asses. Then the Bactrians were dressed in the same way as they were in the foot and the Caspians similarly. Then the Libyans too themselves, were precisely according as in the foot and all those also were driving chariots. Then in the same way the Caspians and the Paricanians were furnished similarly as they were in the foot. Then the Arabians had the same dress and they did in the foot and all were driving camels that in quickness were not left behind horses.
Those nations alone were riding horses and the number of the horse amounted to eight myriads besides the camels and the chariots. Now, all the other horseman were drawn up by regiments, but the Arabians last were drawn up at the end. For, seeing that horses in no way would hold themselves up before camels, they were drawn up later, that the cavalry might not fear.
And the rulers of the horse were Harmamithres and Tithaeus, Datis’ children, and the third ruler of horse with them, Pharnouches, was left behind in Sardis, because he was ill. For, when they were setting off from Sardis, he fell into unwanted misfortune. For, while he was making the drive, under the feet of his horse ran a dog, and the horse, since it had not gotten a look beforehand, was afraid and by standing straight shook off Pharnouches; then he, after he had fallen, was vomiting blood and his illness came round to consumption. So to the horse immediately in the beginning his household servants did as he was bidding: in the very place, in which it had thrown down their master, they brought it away and at the knees cut off its legs. Pharnouches thus was discharged from his command.
Now, the triremes’ number amounted to a thousand two hundred and seven and there were furnishing them for themselves these: the Phoenicians with the Syrians in Palaestine did three hundred and were equipped this way: round their heads they had caps made most nearly like in the Greek manner, were donning linen breastplates and had shields without rims and javelins. And those Phoenicians formerly were settled, as they themselves say, by the Red sea, and thence they crossed over and in Syria are settled on what’s along the sea. And in Syria that spot, even what’s up to Egypt, is all called Palaestine. And the Egyptians were furnishing for themselves two hundred ships and those had helmets of meshed work round their heads and hollow shields that had large rims as well as lances for battle with ships and large battle-axes. Moreover, the multitude of them were wearers of a breastplate and had large knives.
Those were dressed thus, and the Cyprians were furnishing for themselves a hundred and fifty ships and were equipped this way: on their heads their kings were wrapped with turbans, while all the others had tunics, but in all the other respects were precisely according as the Greeks. And of those are so many nations: some are from Salamis and Athens, some from Arcadie, some from Cythnus, some from Phoenice and some from Ethiopia, as the Cyprians themselves say. And the Cilicians were furnishing for themselves a hundred ships.
And those again had native helmets round their heads and bucklers made of raw oxhide instead of shields and were donning woollen tunics. Moreover they each had two javelins and a sword, things made most nearly like the Egyptian knives. Those formerly were called Hypachaeians and after Cilix, Agenor’s son, a Phoenician man, they got hold of their appellation. And the Pamphylians were furnishing for themselves thirty ships and were equipped with Greek gear and those Pamphylians are descended from those who had been scattered from Troy together with Amphilochus and Calchas.
And the Lycians furnished for themselves fifty ships and were wearers of a breastplate and wearers of greaves. Moreover, they had bows of cornel-wood, reed unfeathered arrows and javelins, on top of that, goat’s skins that were hanging round their shoulders and round their heads caps crowned round with feathers. And daggers and sickles they had. Now, the Lycians were called Termilians and had originated from Crete; then after Lycus, Pandion’s son, an Athenian man, they got hold of their appellation.
And the Dorians from Asia were furnishing for themselves thirty ships and they had Greek gear and had originated from the Peloponnesus. And the Carians were furnishing from themselves seventy ships and they were dressed in all the other respects precisely according as the Greeks, but had both sickles and daggers. And who those were called earlier in the first of my accounts has been said.
And the Ionians were furnishing for themselves a hundred ships and were equipped as the Greeks. Moreover, the Ionians as long a time as in the Peloponnesus they were settled in the land now called Achaeie and before Danaus and Xouthus came to the Peloponnesus, as the Greeks say, were called Aegialian Pelasgians, then after Ion, Xouthus’ son, Ionians.
And the islanders were furnishing for themselves seventeen ships and were armed as the Greeks and that group was a Pelasgian nation and later was called Ionian in accordance with the same account as the Ionians of the twelve cities from Athens were. And the Aeolians were furnishing for themselves sixty ships and were equipped as the Greeks and anciently were called Pelasgians, as the Greeks’ account is. And the Hellespontians except for the Abydenians—for to the Abydenians it had been commanded by the king to remain in place and be guards of the bridges—those then left who from the Pontus were advancing with the army, were furnishing for themselves a hundred ships and they were equipped as the Greeks. And those were the Ionians’ and the Dorians’ colonists.
Now, the Persians, the Medes and the Sacians were marines on all the ships. And of those above the Phoenicians were furnishing for themselves the ships that were sailing best and of the Phoenicians the Sidonians. Over all those and those appointed to the foot among them were, over each group, native leaders, whom I, because I am not constrained by necessity for the purpose of inquiry’s account, mention not besides. For both of each nation the leaders were not noteworthy and in each nation, precisely as there were cities so many were the leaders too. And they were following not as generals but, just as all the others who were advancing with the army, slaves, since the generals at any rate who had the whole power and ruled each of the nations, all of them who were Persians, have been spoken of by me.
Now, of the naval force the generals were these: Ariabignes, Darius’ son, Prexaspes, Aspathines’ son, Megabazus, Megabates’ son, and Achaemenes, Darius’ son: of the Ionian and Carian host was Ariabignes, the child of Darius and Gobryes’ daughter, of the Egyptians the general was Achaemenes, who was Xerxes’ brother born of both parents of his, and of all the rest of the host the generals were the two. And the triaconters, the penteconters, the light vessels and the horse-bringing boats came together for the number and manifestly were three thousand.
And of those sailing on board, after the generals at any rate, these were the most named: Sidonian Tetramnestus Anysus’ son, Tyrian Matten Siromus’ son, Aradian Merbalus Agbalus’ son, Cilician Syennesis Oromedon’s son, Lycian Cyberniscus Sicas’ son, Cyprian Gorgus the son of Chersis and Timonax the son of Timagores and among the Carians Histiaeus the son of Tymnes, Pigres the son of Hysseldomus and Damasithymus the son of Candaules.
Now, all the other rulers of contingents I mention not besides on the ground that I am not compelled except Artemisie, whose having advanced with the army against Greece as a woman most I consider a marvel, because she, after her husband had died, while she herself had the tyranny and a child belonged to her, a young man, by the agency of courage and manliness was advancing with the army, there being for her no compulsion. Her name indeed was Artemisie and she was Lygdamis’ daughter and in birth originated from Halicarnassus in respect to her origins on her father’s side and in respect to her origins from her mother a Cretan. And she was the leader of the Halicarnassians as well as the Coians, the Nisyrians and the Calydnians and was furnishing for herself five ships; in fact of quite all the host together, after those of the Sidonians at any rate, the most well-esteemed she was furnishing for herself and of all the allies the best opinions to the king she showed forth. And of the cities, of which I described she was leader, the nation I bring forth to light in its entirety is Dorian, the Halicarnassians Troezenian and all the others Epidaurian.
To so far a point the nautical army is spoken of and Xerxes, when the army had been numbered and drawn up, conceived a desire for himself to drive out and through and behold them. Then afterwards he was doing that and, as he was driving out and through on a chariot alongside every single nation, he was making inquiry and his scribes were writing it down, until from ends to ends he had come of both the horse and the foot. So, when that had been done by him, the ships having been drawn down, thereupon Xerxes, having changed his place by stepping out of his chariot into a Sidonian ship, was sitting under a golden awning and sailing along the prows of the ships, while he was asking about each group similarly as he had been about the foot and having it written down for himself. Now, the ships the rulers of the ships brought out approximately four plethra from the beach and were anchoring, after they all had turned their prows to the land in line and armed completely their marines as for war, and he by sailing inside the prows and the beach was beholding them.
Then, when he both had sailed through and out of those and stepped out of the ship, he sent for Demaretus, Ariston’s son, who was joining him in advancing with the army against Greece and, after he had called him, he asked this: “Demaretus, now to me a pleasant thing is to ask you what I wish. You are a Greek and, as I have learned by inquiry from you and all the other Greeks who have come into speeches with me, of a city neither the smallest nor the most lacking in strength. Hence now to me point this out, whether the Greeks will await with a raising of hands against me. For not, as I think, not even if all Greeks and the human beings left who are settled toward the west should be collected, are they battle-worthy to await my going in opposition, if they are not united. However, I wish also about the matter from you, what kind of an account you give about them, to learn by inquiry”. The one was asking that and the other in reply said, “King, which is it? Am I to make use of truth before you or pleasure?”. Then the one was bidding him to make use of truth and asserting it would be nothing more unpleasant to him than it was previously.
So, when Demaretus had heard that, he was saying this: “King, since utterly make use of truth by all means you bid one and give that account in the falsifying of which one later will not be caught by you, for Greece poverty on each and every occasion from time immemorial has been endemic, but excellence is acquired and worked up from wisdom and mighty law, by utterly making use of which Greece wards off from itself poverty and despotism. Now, although I praise all the Greeks settled round those Dorian lands, yet I am not going to give the following accounts about all, but about the Lacedaemonians alone: first there’s that there is no way that they will ever receive your speeches that bring slavery for Greece and in turn that they will oppose you in battle even if all the other Greeks think your thoughts. So about number ask not being a group of how many they are able to do that; for whether they in fact have advanced out with an army as a thousand, those will fight with you, or less than that, or in fact more”.
Having heard that, Xerxes with a laugh asserted, “Demaretus, what kind of a saying you have uttered that a thousand men will fight so large a host! Come, speak to me: you assert you yourself proved the king of those men; will you then be willing quite immediately to fight against ten men? And yet if your citizenry is in its entirety like that that you judge, for you at any rate, the king of those, it is fitting to array yourself in opposition against twice as many in accordance with your laws. For if each of those is worthy in opposition to ten men of my host, you then at any rate I look to be twenty’s worthy in opposition. And thus would be made straight the speech spoken from your side. But if you, being like that and in sizes so large as you and those of the Greeks who constantly come to me into speeches, boast so much, look out lest in vain, as bragging, that speech of yours be spoken; for-come let me see with all that is reasonable—how would a thousand be able or even ten thousand or even fifty thousand, when at any rate they all similarly are free and not ruled by one, stand in opposition to so large an army, since we amount to more than a thousand round each one of yours, those of yours being five thousands? For ruled by one in accordance with our manner they might become in fear of that one in fact better compared with the nature of themselves and go, when they are compelled by a whip, against more, although they are fewer, but let go to what’s free they would not do either of those things. And I on my part think even should they be made entirely equal in multitude, with difficulty the Greeks would fight the Persians alone. Well, among us is that which you are speaking of; however it is at any rate not prevalent but rare; for there are among my Persian spearmen those who will be willing to fight three men among the Greeks together, being without experience of which, you blather many times”.
Thereupon Demaretus said, “O king, from the beginning I knew that in using truth I will not give speeches pleasing to you. But since you made necessary to speak the truest of my speeches, I was speaking of what was on hand regarding the Spartiates. And yet how I in fact in these present times am a holder of affection for those you yourself know most completely; it’s they who took away for themselves from me honor and my father’s privileges and have made me cityless and an exile, while your father received in and gave me livelihood and a house. Therefore it is reasonable for the man of sound mind not to thrust thoroughly from himself good will when it appears, but to have affection for it most. Now, I for my part neither ten men promise to be able to fight nor two and, as far as my being willing, I would not even fight one, but if there should be necessity or a great contest that is urging on, I would fight most pleasantly of all one of those men who each assert he is worth three Greeks. And thus the Lacedaemonians too in fighting one by one are worse than no men and together the best of quite all men. For being free, not in all respects are they free, as over them is as master law, which they fear inwardly still far more than yours you. They do at least whatever that commands and it commands the same on each and every occasion, because it allows no fleeing any multitude of human beings from battle, but their remaining in their contingent and gaining a mastery over or being destroyed. To you then if I appear in speaking that to blather, therefore to be silent I am willing the remaining period, as now compelled I spoke. But may it come to be in accordance with your mind, king”.
He indeed gave that reply and Xerxes to laughter turned and displayed no anger, but gently sent him away from himself. So Xerxes, having come into speeches with that one and as subordinate ruler in that Doriscus established Mascames, Megadostes’ son, while he had deposed the one set up by Darius, was driving his army through Thrace toward Greece.
He left behind then Mascames who proved a man like this: one for whom alone he, Xerxes, kept sending gifts, on the ground that he was the best of all whom he himself or Darius had established as subordinate rulers, and kept sending them in every year. And thus also Artaxerxes, Xerxes’ son, did for Mascames’ descendants. For there were established yet earlier than that drive subordinate rulers in Thrace and everywhere on the Hellespont. Those all then, those from Thrace and the Hellespont, except the one in Doriscus, by the Greeks later than that driving of the army were taken out, while the one in Doriscus none yet were able to take out, many having tried. So on account of that to him the gifts are sent from him who is king on each and every occasion among the Persians.
Now, of those who were taken out by the Greeks none did King Xerxes consider to be a good man except Boges alone, the one from Eion. That one then he would not stop praising and his surviving children among the Persians he was honoring most, since in fact worthy of great praise Boges proved, who, when he was being beseiged by the Athenians and Cimon, Miltiades’ son, it being possible for him to go out under truce and return to Asia, was not willing, lest because of cowardice it seem to the king he survived, but was persevering to the end. So, when nothing of food any longer was within the wall, having piled together a large pyre, he cut the throats of his offspring, his wife, his concubines and his household servants and thereafter threw them into the fire. Then after that all the gold from town and the silver together he was sprinkling from the wall into the Strymon and, having done that, he threw himself into the fire. Thus that one justly is praised still even to this time by the Persians.
Xerxes then from Doriscus was making his way to Greece and those who were coming to be on each and every occasion at his feet he was compelling to join in advancing with the army. For there was enslaved, as also previously has been clear by me, the whole land up to Thessaly and it was tributary under the king, Megabazus having subjected it and later Mardonius. So he was passing by in making his way from Doriscus first the Samothracian walls, at the end of which is built as a city toward the west a city whose name is Mesambria. Then next to that is the Thasians’ city, Stryme, and through their midst flows the Lissus river, that at that time hold not out in furnishing its water to Xerxes’ army, but failed. And that country was formerly called Gallaic, but now is Briantic; however, it is by the most just of the accounts, even that land, the Ciconians’.
Then, having crossed the Lisus river’s channel, after it had been dried up, these Greek cities he was passing by: Maroneia, Dicaea and Abdera. Those lands indeed he went completely by and near those following named lakes: the Ismarid that lies between Maroneia and Stryme and the Bistonid near Dicaea, into which two rivers inject their water, the Trauus and the Compsatus. And near Abdera no lake that is named Xerxes passed by, but the river Nestus as it flows to sea. Then after those countries in his going by the mainland cities he went, in one of which is in fact a lake, of somewhere approximately thirty stades in its circumference, as it were, fishy and very salty; that the yoke-animals alone in being watered dried up. And that city’s name is Pistyrus.
Indeed those cities by the sea and of Greece on his left hand he was skirting and going completely by and the Thracians’ nations, through whose country he was travelling a way, are so many: the Paetians, the Ciconians, the Bistonians, the Sapians, the Dersians, the Edonians and the Satrians. Of those, those settled down alongside the sea in their ships were following while those of them who settled the inland country and have been described by me, all the others except the Satrians, on foot, as they were being compelled, were following.
But the Satrians to no one among human beings yet have proved subject, as far as we know, but they continue the period up to my time on each and every occasion to be free, alone of the Thracians: for they settle high mountains, covered over with forests of all kinds and snow, and are in respect to the things of war excellent. Those are the possessors of Dionysus’ seat of prophecy. That seat of prophecy then is on the highest mountains and the Bessians among the Satrians are the prophets of the shrine. Moreover, she who gives the oracle is a prophetess precisely according as in Delphi and it’s nothing more complicated.
Then, Xerxes, having passed by the said land, after that was passing by the walls of the Pierians, of which one’s name is Phagres and the other’s Pergamus. By that way indeed alongside the very walls he was going his way and on the right hand the Pangaean mountain he was skirting that is large and high and in which are gold and silver mines that the Pierians and the Odomantians as well as especially the Satrians draw revenue from.
Then the settlers beyond the Pangaean spot toward the north wind, the Paeonians, the Doberians and the Paeoplians, he was going completely by and kept going to the west, until he came to the river Strymon and the city of Eion, of which Boges, still being alive, was ruler, the very one of whom a little before that present mention I was giving an account. And that land round the Pangaean mountain is called Phyllis and it stretches down the parts to the west to the river Angites that disembogues into the Strymon and through the parts to the south stretches to the Strymon itself, at which the Magians were seeking omens by cutting the throats of white horses.
Then having performed that rite at the river and many others in addition to that, at the Nine Ways of the Edonians they were making their way along the bridges, as they had found the Strymon bridged. And having learned by inquiry that place was called the Nine Ways, in it so many boys and maidens of the native men alive they were burying below. Now, to bury below persons alive is Persian, since in fact Amestris, Xerxes’ wife, I have learned by inquiry, when she had grown old, on twice seven children of the Persians, of men who were prominent, on her own behalf was gratifying the god said to be under the earth in return by performing a burying below.
Then, when the army was making its way from the Strymon, thereupon toward the sun’s sinkings was the beach, on which it was going completely by Argilus, a settled Greek city. And that land and the land inland of that land are called Bisaltie. And thence with the gulf toward Posideium on his left hand, he was going through the plain called Syleus and passing by Stagirus, a Greek city, and he came to Acanthus and at the same time he was bringing with himself each of those nations and of the ones that settled round the Pangaean mountain, similarly as he had those whom previously I recounted, and had those settled by the sea advancing with the army in ships and those inland from the sea following on foot. Now, that way, on which King Xerxes drove his army, the Thracians neither have broken up nor sown on, but they have reverenced it greatly the period up to my time.
Then when lo! he had come to Acanthus, Xerxes proclaimed foreign friendship to the Acanthians and presented them with Median clothing and he was offering praise, because he saw they were eager for the war and the excavation.
Then, when Xerxes was in Acanthus, it happened that by illness died the one who was in charge of the canal, Artachaees, who was esteemed at Xerxes’ court and in birth an Achaemenid and who in height was the tallest of the Persians (for of five royal cubits he fell short four fingers) and had the loudest voice of human beings, so as for Xerxes, considering it a great misfortune, to bring him out most beautifully and perform burial. And the whole host was piling up a grave-mound. So to that Artachaees the Acanthians sacrifice on the basis of an oracular command, as to a hero, and call by name on his name. King Xerxes indeed, when Artachaees had perished, was considering it a misfortune.
But those of the Greeks who were entertaining the host and providing Xerxes with dinner came to every point of evil so that they became stood up from their houses, inasmuch as at any rate to the Thasians who on behalf of their cities on the mainland had received Xerxes’ army and provided it with dinner Antipatrus, Orgeus’ son, since he had been chosen, among his townsmen a man esteemed similarly to the most, showed forth that for the dinner four hundred talents of silver had been spent.
And thus pretty nearly also in the rest of the cities those who were in charge were showing forth their account. For the dinner was proving something like this, seeing that for a long time it had been spoken forth and they were considering it worth much: in the first place, as soon as they had learned by inquiry from the heralds who were announcing it round, having divided up grain in their cities, the townsmen all were making wheaten flour and barley-meal for numerous months, in the second, they kept feeding cattle and were finding out the most beautiful for a price and they were keeping birds of land and of water in pens and ponds for the army’s entertainments and, in the last, gold and silver drinking-vessels and bowls they were fashioning and all the other things that they put for themselves on a table. That for the king himself and those eating with that one were made, but for the rest of the host was that which was appointed for food alone. Then, whenever the host came, a tent was fixed ready, in which Xerxes himself was setting up a station, while the rest of the host was in the open air. So, whenever it came to be dinner’s hour, those who were making the reception had toil and the others, whenever filled up they spent the night there, the next day, after they had pulled up the tent and taken all the movables, thus drove off and they left nothing, but were performing a carrying off for themselves.
Then indeed of Megacreon, an Abderian man, a well-spoken saying was made, who advised the Abderians with the whole people themselves and the women, after they had gone to their shrines, to sit as suppliants of the gods and beg for also in the future their keeping off them half of the oncoming evils and for what was gone by to have great gratitude to them, in that King Xerxes not twice each day was accustomed to take food; for it would be possible for the Abderians, if in fact breakfast it were spoken forth similarly to the dinner they should prepare, either not to await Xerxes’ going in opposition or to stay behind and in the worst way of all human beings be worn out.
They indeed, although they were being oppressed, nevertheless what was being imposed were bringing to completion and Xerxes from Acanthus enjoined on his generals that the nautical army should wait in Therme and let go from himself his ships to make their way, in Therme then, settled on the Thermean gulf, after which in fact that gulf has its appellation; for by that way he was learning by inquiry was the shortest route. For up to Acanthus having been drawn up this way, the army from Doriscus was going its way: into three parts Xerxes divided up the whole foot and one of them appointed alongside the sea to go together with the fleet. Of that indeed the generals were Mardonius and Masistes and another third part of the army was appointed and went through the inland country, of which the generals were Tritantaechmes and Gergis. And the third of the parts, with which Xerxes himself was making his way, went through the midst of them and as generals was providing for itself Smerdomenes and Megabyxus.
Now, the nautical army, when it had been let go by Xerxes and sailed out through the canal that had been made in Athos and was extending to the gulf, in which the city of Assa, of Pilorus, of Singus, and of Sarte are settled, thereafter, when in fact from those cities a host it had taken over, was sailing, when it was being let go, to the Thermean gulf and it was rounding Ampelus, the Toronian promontory, and passing by these Greek cities, from which it was taking over ships and a host: Torone, Galepsus, Sermyle, Mecyberna and Olynthus. Now, that country is called Sithonie.
Then the nautical army of Xerxes was making a short cut from Ampelus’ promontory to the Canastrian promontory (and it’s that which indeed of all Pallene juts out most) and thereafter ships and a host was taking over from Poteidaea, Aphytis, Neepolis, Aege, Therambo, Scione, Mende and Sane; for those lands are the ones that inhabit what now is Pallene, but previously was called Phlegre. So sailing by that country too, it was sailing to the spot spoken forth and was taking over a host also from the cities adjacent to Pallene and bordering on the Thermean gulf, whose names are these: Lipaxus, Combreia, Lisae, Gigonus, Campsa, Smila and Aeneia. And the country of those places still even to this time is called Crossaee. Moreover, from Aeneia, at which I was ending in recounting the cities, from that, by then to the Thermean gulf came to be for the nautical army the sailing and to the Mygdonian land and in sailing it came to the Therme spoken forth and the city of Sindus and of Chalestre, to the Axius river, which forms the boundary of the Mygdonian and Bottiaean country, whose part alongside the sea, a narrow spot, the cities of Ichnae and Pella have.
The nautical army indeed there round the Axius river, the city of Therme and the cities between those places were awaiting the king and encamping, while Xerxes and the foot army were making their way from Acanthus by cutting through the inland country of the way, because they wanted to come to Therme. And they were making their way through the Paeonian and the Crestonian land to the river Echeidorus, which, beginning from the Crestonians, flows through the Mygdonian country and disembogues alongside the marsh by the Axius river.
So, as he was making his way by this way, lions for him attacked his food-carrying camels; for going down constantly during the nights and leaving their customary abodes, the lions were touching nothing else, neither yoke-animal nor human being, but were working havoc on the camels alone. I marvel then about the cause, which ever it was that was compelling the lions from the others to keep themselves away and attack the camels, which beast neither previously they had seen, nor had they had experience of it.
Now, there are at those spots both many lions and wild oxen, whose horns are the very large ones that come into the Greeks. And the boundary for the lions is the river Nestus that flows through Abdera and the Achelous that flows through Acarnania; for neither in what’s toward the east of the Nestus anywhere in Europe on this side would one see a lion nor toward the west of the Achelous on the remaining mainland, but in the land between those rivers they come to be.