translated by Shlomo Felberbaum

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Installment 38

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.

So, when Xerxes had come to Therme, he seated there his host. And his army held in its encamping onto so much country alongside the sea: beginning from the city of Therme and the Mygdonian land, it was up to the Lydies river and the Haliacmon, which form the boundary of the Bottiaean and the Macedonian land by mixing together their water in the same channel. There were encamping indeed in those spots the barbarians, and of those rivers recounted, in flowing from the Crestonians the Echeidorus alone sufficed not for the army in its being drunk, but failed.

Then Xerxes, when he was seeing from Therme the Thessalian mountains, Olympus and Ossa, that were in height very large, and he had learned by inquiry that through their midst was a narrow gorge, through which flows the Peneius, and heard that by that way was the road that led to Thessaly, conceived a desire to sail and behold the outlet of the Peneius, in that the upper way he was to drive through the Macedonians settled down inland to the Perrhaebians alongside the city of Gonnus: for by that way he learned by inquiry it was safest. And when he had conceived the desire, in fact that he was doing; having stepped into the very Sidonian ship that on each and every occasion he stepped into whenever he wished to do something like that, he showed indication on high for all the others too to lead themselves out, after he had left behind there his foot army. So, when Xerxes had come and beheld the outlet of the Peneius, he got held in great marvelling and, having called those leading down the way, he asked whether it was possible to divert the river and another way to lead it out to sea.

Now, Thessaly, there is an account, anciently was a lake, seeing that at any rate it was surrounded from all sides by very tall mountains. For its parts that extend toward the east Pelion, a mountain, and Ossa shut in, as they mix together their foothills with one another, those toward the north wind Olympus does, those to the west Pindus and those toward the south and the south wind Othrys, while through the midst of those mountains recounted Thessaly is and is hollow. Hence, seeing that rivers enter into it, in fact numerous others and these five very esteemed, Peneius, Apidanus, Onochonus, Enipeus and Pamisus, now, those, in their being gathered together in that plain from the mountains that enclose Thessaly, are named and through one conduit and that a narrow one have an outlet to the sea, as they all previously mixed together their water into the same spot, and, as soon as they are mixed together, thereafter by then the Peneius prevails in its name and makes all the others to be nameless. So anciently, it is said, there being not yet that conduit and outlet through, those rivers and in addition to those rivers the Boebeian lake both were not named precisely just as they are now and flowed no less than they do now and in their flowing made all Thessaly open sea. Now, the Thessalians themselves assert Poseidon made the conduit through which the Peneius flows and give reasonable accounts; for whoever believes that Poseidon shakes the earth and the things that stand apart in various directions by the agency of shaking is that god’s works, in fact, after having seen that, would assert Poseidon made it. For shaking’s work is, as it appears to me to be, the mountains’ standing apart in various directions.

Then those who were the leaders down, when Xerxes had asked whether there was another way out to sea for the Peneius, since they had complete knowledge exactly, said, “King, for this river there is no other means of going out that extends to sea, but this by itself; for by mountains is all Thessaly crowned”. So Xerxes, it is said, said thereupon, “The Thessalians are wise men. Against that, after all, before long they were guarding themselves when they were changing their mind: both against all else and the fact that, after all, they had a country easily taken and quickly captured; for it would only have been necessary to send the river over their land by making it go out through the conduit by a mound and by diverting it from the streams, through which it now flows, so as for all Thessaly, except for the mountains, to come to be underwater”. That then he was saying was with regard to Aleues’ children, in that they, first among the Greeks, being Thessalians, gave themselves to the king, because he, Xerxes, thought that from the whole nation they were announcing out for themselves friendship. So, having said and beheld that, he was sailing away to Therme.

Now, he indeed round Pierie spent numerous days; for indeed the Macedonian mountain a third part of the host was clearing, that by that way all the host together might go through and out to the Perrhaebians. And indeed the heralds sent off to Greece for earth’s asking came, some empty-handed and some carrying earth and water.

And among those who had given that proved these: the Thessalians, the Dolopians, the Enienians, the Perrhaebians, the Locrians, the Magnesians, the Melians, the Phthian Achaeans as well as the Thebans and all the other Boeotians except for the Thespians and the Plataeans. Against those the Greeks who had raised war for themselves against the barbarian swore an oath. And the oath was this: all those who gave themselves to the Persian, while they were Greeks, and were not compelled, they, when their affairs were established well for them, should take a tithe of for the god in Delphi. Indeed the oath was this for the Greeks.

And Xerxes sent not off heralds to Athens and Sparta for the purpose of asking for earth for this reason: previously, when Darius had sent for that very purpose, one group of them into the pit and one into a well threw those who were asking and were bidding them earth and water from those spots carry to the king. For that reason Xerxes sent not those who would ask. And what for the Athenians, because they had done that to the heralds, happened to come about undesired, I am not able to say, except that their country and city was devastated, but I think that happened not on account of that cause.

Anyhow, down on the Lacedaemonians fell the wrath of Talthybius, Agamemnon’s herald. For in Sparta is Talthybius’ shrine and are also descendants called Talthybiadae, to whom all the offices of herald from Sparta as a privilege have been given. Then after that for the omens to be favorable for the Spartiates when they were making sacrifices for themselves was not possible and that for a long time was theirs. So, the Lacedaemonians being vexed and experiencing misfortune, when an assembly often was being gathered together and they were performing a proclamation through heralding like this, namely whether any of the Lacedaemonians wanted to die for Sparta, Sperthies, Aneristus’ son, and Boulis, Nicoleos’ son, Spartiate men having been born well in nature and having come up in money to the first ranks, voluntarily undertook to pay a penalty to Xerxes for Darius’ heralds who had perished in Sparta. Thus the Spartiates were sending off those with the intention that they would die to the Medes.

That daring of those men was worthy of marvelling and these sayings in addition to that: for making their way to Susa, they came to Hydarnes and Hydarnes was in birth a Persian and general of the human beings alongside the sea in Asia, who them by putting forward from himself entertainments was feasting and, while he was entertaining, asked this: “Lacedaemonian men, just why do you flee becoming the king’s friends? For you see how the king knows how to honor good men, when you look at me and my affairs. And thus also you, if you should give yourselves to the king, because you are reputed by him to be good men, each of you would rule Greek land at the giving of the king”. Thereupon they gave this answer: “Hydarnes, your advice that refers to us is not on an equal footing; for you have offered advice when you have experienced one thing and are without experience of the other. For to be a slave you know how completely, but you have not yet experienced freedom, neither whether it is a sweet thing not whether it’s not. For, if you should experience it, not with lances would you advise us to fight concerning it, but in fact with axes”.

That reply to Hydarnes they gave and thereafter, when they had gone up to Susa and come into the king’s sight, first, when the lance-bearers were bidding and applying compulsion to them to bow down to the king by falling down, they asserted that, if they were thrust by them head first, they would not do that at all; for neither was it in their law to bow down to a human being nor did they come in accordance with that. Then, when they had fought that off, next to them, when they were giving this account or one of the nature of an account like this, “O king of the Medes, the Lacedaemonians sent us in compensation for the herald who had perished in Sparta to pay a penalty for those”, then, when they were speaking that, to them Xerxes through the agency of magnanimity asserted he would not be similar to the Lacedaemonians; for those confounded all human beings’ usages by killing heralds, but he himself would not do that for which he blamed those and not by killing those in revenge would he release the Lacedaemonians from the charge.

Thus and the Spartiates having done that, Talthybius’ wrath stopped in the immediate time, although Sperthies and Boulis had returned back to Sparta. Then a long time thereafter it was stirred up during the Peloponnesians and the Athenians’ war, as the Lacedaemonians say. That to me appears to prove the most divine thing among others. For as to the fact that Talthybius’ wrath had fallen down onto messengers and stopped not until it went out, what was just was providing the lead thus, but as to its falling together onto the children of those men who had gone up to the king on account of the wrath, onto Nicolas, Boulis’ son, and onto Aneristus, Sperthies’ son, who took the Halians from Tiryns, after with a trading vessel full of men he had sailed down, hence it’s clear to me that the matter proved divine; it’s they who, sent by the Lacedaemonians as messengers to Asia and betrayed by Sitacles, Teres’ son, the Thracians’ king, and Nymphodorus, Pythees’ son, an Abderan man, were captured at Bisanthe on the Hellespont. And, after they had been led away to Attica, they died at the hands of the Athenians and with them also Aristeas, Adeimantus’ son, a Corinthian man. Now, that many years later happened than the king’s expedition and I will go back to the earlier account.

The king’s driving of the army then had the name that he drove against Athens, but it was sent down to all Greece. So, having learned that by inquiry long before, the Greeks were not all considering it in a similar manner. For some of them, since they had given earth and water to the Persian, had confidence on the ground that they would suffer nothing unagreeable at the hands of the barbarian and some, since they had not given, in great fear were established, seeing that neither the ships in Greece were in number battleworthy to receive him who was going in opposition nor the many wanted to take up the war vigorously, but rather they were medizing eagerly.

Thereupon by necessity I am constrained to show forth for myself an opinion jealously looked on by the greater number of human beings, but nevertheless, where at any rate to me there appears to be a true matter, I will not hold back. If the Athenians in utter fear of the danger that was going in opposition had abandoned their land or maybe having not abandoned it, but having remained, they had given themselves to Xerxes, on the sea none would have tried to oppose the king. If then on the sea no one had opposed Xerxes, on the mainland at any rate things like this would have happened: if in fact many “tunics made of walls” had been drawn through the Isthmus by the Peloponnesians, the Lacedaemonians, betrayed by their allies not of their own will but through the agency of necessity, when city by city they were captured by the barbarian nautical army, would have been left alone and, having been left alone and having shown forth great deeds, they would have died nobly. Either they would have suffered that or before that, when they were seeing in fact all the other Greeks were medizing, they would have made use of an agreement with Xerxes. And thus in both cases Greece would have come to be under the Persians. For the advantage of the walls drawn through the Isthmus I am not able to learn by inquiry what it would have been, when the king had mastery over the sea. But as it is, someone in saying the Athenians proved the saviors of Greece would not miss the mark of what’s true; for to whichever of the two of the sets of affairs those turned themselves, that was to turn the scale. So those themselves, having chosen Greece to survive free, were those who stirred up all the remaining Greek force that had medized not and who thrust back from themselves the king, at least after the gods. Them not even frightening oracles that had gone from Delphi and had performed a casting into terror persuaded to abandon Greece, but they stayed behind and held themselves up to receive him who was going in opposition to their country.

For the Athenians sent to Delphi messengers to consult the god and were ready to consult the oracle and to them, after they had done round the shrine what was performed customarily, when they had gone into the hall and were sitting, the Pythia proclaimed, whose name was Aristonice, this:

O wretches, why sit you down? Leave and flee to earth’s ends
From houses and a circular city’s extreme tops.
For neither her head stays in place nor her body
Nor lowest feet nor then hands nor part of her midst
Is left, but turn unenviable. For her ruins
Fire, and sharp Ares, who drives Syrian-born car.
Many forts else then will smash and not yours alone, and
Many temples of immortals to fierce fire give,
Which perhaps now stand and with sweat flow on themselves
And with terror quiver. Then down on topmost roofs
Black blood is poured that foresees misery’s tortures.
Well, go, both, from the shrine and on ills spread spirit.

Having heard that, the messengers of the Athenians sent to consult the god were experiencing the greatest misfortune. Then, when they were throwing themselves away under the agency of the evil that had been given as an oracle, Timon, Androboulus’ son, among the Delphians a man esteemed similarly to the most, was advising them, after they had taken suppliant’s wands, a second time again to go and consult for an oracle the oracle as suppliants. So to the Athenians, when they were obeying with that and saying, “O lord, give to us a better oracle about our fatherland and feel shame before these suppliant’s wands that for you we have come carrying or we will not go away from your sanctuary, but right here remain until in fact we should meet our end”, to them then, when they were saying that, the prophetess gave this second oracle:

Pallas hasn’t power Olympus’ Zeus to placate
Although she begs with many words and shrewd counsel.
This word I neared adamant and’ll tell you again:
For, when all else is taken that Cecrops’ border
Inside holds and very divine Cithaeron’s vale,
Wood wall to Tritogenes grants far-seeing Zeus
Alone unsacked to be, which’ll help you and offspring.
Don’t indeed you await horse and coming of foot,
Large army from mainland, quietly, but retreat,
Turn back. Yet, you, once you’ll be in fact face to face.
O divine Salamis, then you’ll ruin women’s young
When either perhaps Demeter’s sown or comes in.

That for themselves, because gentler than the earlier it both was and seemed to be, they wrote up by themselves and departed to Athens. Then, when the messengers sent to consult the god had gone away and were making an announcement to the people, opinions were given of those searching after the oracle both many others and these standing together in opposition most: of the elders some were saying it seemed to them the god had proclaimed the acropolis would survive; for the acropolis of the Athenians formerly with a wattled fence was hedged round. Some indeed were reckoning that that was the wood wall and some in turn were saying that the god was indicating the ships, and those fit out for themselves they were bidding, after they had let go away all else. Hence indeed tripping up those who were saying that the wood wall was the ships were the two last things said by the Pythia:

O divine Salamis, then you’ll ruin women’s young
When either perhaps Demeter’s sown or comes in.

Concerning those epic verses were confounded the opinions of those who were asserting for themselves the wood wall was the ships; for the speakers of oracles were taking that in that following way, that round Salamis they must be worsted after they had prepared for themselves a naval battle.

There was then one among the Athenians, a man who to the rank of first men recently had advanced, whose name was Themistocles, and Neoclees’ child he was called. That man asserted that the speakers of oracles were not reckoning all correctly and he was giving an account like this, that, if to the Athenians what had been said as a saying had pertained really, not thus gently it would have seemed to have been given as an oracle, but this way, “O cruel Salamis...” instead of that “O divine Salamis...”, precisely if at any rate the settlers round it were to meet their end, but it had not, because in regard to the enemies by the god had been spoken the oracle to one who was comprehending it in accordance with what was correct and not in regard to the Athenians. Hence that they should prepare themselves on the ground that they would fight a naval battle he was advising, on the ground that the wood wall was that. When in that way Themistocles was making a showing forth for himself, the Athenians came to know that that was preferable for them rather than the matters of the speakers of oracles, who were allowing them not to make ready for a naval battle and, to speak of everything together, not even to raise hands in opposition, but to abandon the Attic country and settle some other.

And another opinion of Themistocles before that one was best at a right time, when, much money having come to be the Athenians’ in their commonwealth, which had gone in from the mines of Laureium, they were to get as their portion, each one by one, ten drachmas; then Themistocles convinced the Athenians to cease from that distribution and to build two hundred ships for that money for the war and that against the Aeginetians he meant. For that war in having broken out brought to safety then Greece, because it had made necessary for the Athenians to become seamen. Those ships then for that which they had been made were not used, but opportunely thus for Greece came to be. Those ships indeed, having been made before, belonged to the Athenians and they had to build other ships in addition. In short, it seemed good to them after the oracle, when they were taking counsel for themselves, to receive the barbarian as he was going against Greece with their ships with all the people, in obedience to the god, together with those of the Greeks who wanted.

Those oracles indeed for the Athenians had come about and, when the Greeks who had better minds concerning Greece and were giving to themselves speech and a pledge were gathered together into the same spot, thereupon it seemed good to them, when they were taking counsel for themselves, first of all things to reconcile themselves in respect to their enmities and the wars that were among each other—and they were against some others too stirred up, but in any case the greatest was the Athenians and the Aeginetians’—and afterwards, when they were learning by inquiry that Xerxes with his army was in Sardis, they took counsel for themselves to send watchers into Asia of the king’s affairs and messengers to Argos to put together for themselves a martial league against the Persian and to send others to Sicily to Gelon, Deinomenes’ son, and to Cercyra to bid come to the rescue of Greece as well as others to Crete, and they were minded so on the chance that somehow the Greek force should be one and on the chance that all should act in concert and perform the same act, on the ground that awful things were coming on similarly for all Greeks. Now, Gelon’s affairs were said to be great, there being no Greek ones than which they were not far greater.

Then, when that had seemed good to them, having dissolved for themselves their enmities, first they sent as watchers to Asia three men. So they, having come to Sardis and utterly learned about the king’s host, when they had become detected, they were examined by the generals of the foot army and were being led away with the intention that they would be destroyed. In fact against them death had been judged, but Xerxes, when he had learned that by inquiry, having found fault with the generals’ opinion, sent some of his lance-bearers, after he had enjoined that, if they overtook the watchers while they were alive, they should lead them to him. Then, when them, while they were still surviving, they had overtaken and led into the sight of the king, thereafter, having learned by inquiry with a view to what they had gone, he bade his lance-bearers lead them round and show for themselves the whole foot army and the horse and, whenever they were full with beholding that, send them away to whichever country they themselves wished unharmed.

So saying in explanation this speech, he was enjoining that, that, if the watchers had been destroyed, neither his affairs would the Greeks have learned beforehand that they were greater than speech nor their enemies would they have done a great harm by having destroyed three men. Now, after those had returned to Greece, he asserted that he thought, when the Greeks heard of his affairs, before the expedition that was being made they would give over their own freedom and thus they would not in fact have to drive an army against them and have troubles. And that opinion of his resembles this other: for, when Xerxes was in Abydus, he saw boats carrying food were sailing out of the Pontus through the Hellespont that to Aegina and the Peloponnese were being conveyed; those sitting by him indeed, when they had learned by inquiry that the boats were enemy, were ready to take them and were looking to the king when he would make an announcement out, but Xerxes asked about them where they were sailing and they said, “To your enemies, o master, bringing food”; he then in reply asserted, “Hence are not we too sailing there precisely where those are and furnished with all else and food? What injustice then do those do in conveying foodstuffs by us?”.

Now, the watchers, having thus beheld and been sent away, returned to Europe, and the sworn confederates among the Greeks against the Persian after the sending away of the watchers next were sending to Argos messengers. And the Argives say that the matters concerning themselves happened this way, namely that they learned by inquiry immediately at the beginning what was being stirred up by the barbarian against Greece and, when they had learned by inquiry and come to know that the Greeks would try to take them over against the Persian, they sent messengers to consult the god to Delphi to ask of the god if they acted how, for them was it to happen best, because recently of them were dead six thousand by the agency of the Lacedaemonians and Cleomenes, Anaxandrides’ son, because of which indeed they were sending, and the Pythia to them, when they were asking on, answered this:

Enemy to neighbors, friend to immortal gods,
With your javelin inside guarding yourself sit
And guard yourself your head, while head’ll save the body.

That oracle the Pythia gave formerly and afterwards, when the messengers had come to Argos indeed, they went before the council-house and were saying what had been enjoined and the others in view of what was being said answered that they, the Argives, were ready to do that after they had poured libations for themselves for a peace for thirty years with the Lacedaemonians and were leaders over half of the alliance, and yet in accordance with what was just at any rate the leadership proved theirs, but nevertheless it sufficed for them to be leaders over half.

That, they say, the council answered, although the oracle was forbidding them to form the alliance with the Greeks, and they had eagerness for peace treaties of thirty years to be made for them, although they were afraid of the oracle, that indeed for them their children might be made men in those years, and, were there no peace treaties, they considered, if after all there befell them in addition to the evil that had happened another fall with the Persian, that for the future they should be the Lacedaemonians’ subjects. And of the messengers those from Sparta in view of what had been said by the council answered with this, that concerning peace treaties they would refer to the majority and concerning leadership on them it had been enjoined to answer and lo! to say that theirs was two kings and the Argives’ one; hence it was not possible to remove either of those from Sparta from the leadership, but with their two nothing was preventing the Argive from being one who has an equal vote. Thus indeed the Argives assert that they held not themselves up against the Spartiates’ grasping for more, but chose rather to be ruled by the barbarians than to concede anything to the Lacedaemonians, and that they said publicly to the messengers that before the setting of the sun they should depart from the Argives’ country and, if not, they would treat them as enemies.

The Argives themselves say that much about that, but there is another account that is given throughout Greece, that Xerxes sent a herald to Argos before he set off to advance with an army against Greece and, when that one had gone, it is said, he said, “Argive men, King Xerxes says this to you: we believe that it is Perses from whom we have been descended, child of Perseus, son of Danae, born of Cepheus’ daughter, Andromede. Hence thus we would be your descendants. Hence it is reasonable neither for us against our ancestors to advance out with an army nor for you to succour others and become opposed to us, but by yourselves to keep quiet and sit down. For, if it comes to be for me in accordance with my mind, I will hold none greater than you”. Having heard that, the Argives, it is said, considered it a matter and forthwith nothing were announcing out for themselves and demanding a share of and, when the Greeks were trying to take them over, thus indeed knowing that the Lacedaemonians would not give a share of the rule, they demanded a share, that with a pretext they might maintain quiet.

So that there coincides with that in fact this following account, which happened many years later than that, some of the Greeks give an account:: in fact in Memnonian Susa there were for another matter’s sake messengers of the Athenians, Callies, Hipponicus’ son, and those who had gone up with him, and the Argives during that same time sent, even those, messengers to Susa to ask Artoxerxes, Xerxes’ son, whether for them there still remained in place the friendship that with Xerxes they had cemented or they were considered by him to be enemies; then King Artoxerxes asserted that it especially remained in place and he considered no city friendlier than Argos.

Now, whether Xerxes sent away a herald who was saying that to Argos and the Argives’ messengers, having gone up to Susa, were asking in addition Artoxerxes concerning friendship, I am not able to say exactly and am not showing forth for myself any other opinion at any rate about it than precisely that which the Argives themselves say. But I have so much as that following knowledge, that, if all human beings should bring together their own evils into their midst and want to exchange them with their neighbors, having looked into the evils of those near, gladly each group of them would take back away for themselves what they had brought in for themselves. Thus not even by the Argives had the most shameful acts been done. And I for my part ought to say what is said; at any rate now I ought not to be persuaded entirely and let that saying relate to every account for me, since in fact that following account is given, that, after all, the Argives were those who called for themselves the Persian to Greece, when against the Lacedaemonians the spear for them made its stand badly, because they wanted quite all to be theirs in preference to the pain that was at hand.

That about the Argives is said, and to Sicily others came, messengers, from the allies to commune with Gelon and, in particular, from the Lacedaemonians Syagrus. Now, of that Gelon an ancestor, the settler in Gele, was from the island of Telos that is situated off Triopium, who was not left, when Gele was being founded by the Lindians from Rhodes and Antiphemus. So in the course of time his descendants became and continued to be hierophants of the gods below the earth, a Telines, one of their ancestors, having made the acquisition in a manner like this: to Mactorium, a city that was settled inland of Gele, were exiled men among the Gelians, worsted by faction. Those then Telines brought down to Gele with no power of men but those gods’ sacred things. And whence them he took hold of or himself acquired, that then I am not able to say; anyhow, while he was relying on those, he performed the bringing down, on the condition that his descendants would be hierophants of the gods. As a marvel to me that following thing too has come to be with a view to what I have learned by inquiry: Telines’ working out so great a work. For works like that not by every man I have believed to be done, but by a good soul and manly strength, while he is said by Sicily’s settlers contrarily to that to be by nature a womanish and somewhat soft man.

Now, thus he acquired that privilege, and, when Cleandrus, Pantares’ son, had met the end of his life, who was tyrant of Gele seven years and died through the agency of Sabyllus, a Gelian man, thereupon Hippocrates took up the monarchy, who was Cleandrus’ brother. So, while Hippocrates had the tyranny, Gelon, being Telines the Hierophant’s descendant, with many others and Aenesidemus, Pataecus’ son, was a lance-bearer of Hippocrates. Then after not much time on account of virtue he was appointed of all the horse to be the ruler of horse; for, when Hippocrates was besieging the Callipolitians and the Naxians as well as the Zanclians and the Leontinians as well as besides the Syrecosians and among the barbarians numerous, a man manifestly in those wars was Gelon most brilliant. And of all the cities that I spoke of, except the Syrecosians, not one escaped slavery at the hand of Hippocrates, and the Syrecosians the Corinthians and the Cercyrians rescued, when in battle they had been worsted on the river Elorus, and those performed the rescue by performing a reconciliation on this condition, on condition that to Hippocrates Camarina the Syrecosians give over, as the Syrecosians’ was Camarina formerly.

Then, when also dying befell Hippocrates near the city of Hyble, after he had been tyrant years equal to his brother Cleandrus’, when he had advanced with an army against the Sicelians, thus indeed Gelon by his speech was succouring Hippocrates’ sons, Eucleides and Cleandrus, since their fellow-citizens wanted not to be subjects any longer, and by his deed, when he had gained mastery over the Gelians by battle, was ruler himself, as he had performed a deprivation of Hippocrates’ children. So, after that find those who were called landed gentry among the Syrecosians, after they had been banished by the people and those who were their own slaves and were called Cyllyrians-Gelon, having brought those down from Casmene, a city, to Syrecousae, got hold of that too; for the people of the Syrecosians to Gelon, when he was going in opposition, gave over the city and itself.

Then he, when he had taken over Syrecousae, gaining mastery over Gele considered of less account, as he entrusted it to Hieron, his own brother, and he strengthened Syrecousae and to him Syrecousae was all. So straightway it shot up and flourished; for, on the one hand, all Camarinians together to Syrecousae he brought and made fellow-citizens, while Camarina’s town he demolished, and, on the other hand, to over half of the Gelian townspeople he did the same as to the Camarinians, and the Megarians in Sicily, when, while they were being besieged, to an agreement they had come forward, their rich, although they had raised war against him and were expecting to be destroyed on account of that, he brought to Syrecousae and made fellow-citizens and the people among the Megarians, although they were not sharers in the cause of that war and were not in the expectation of suffering any evil, he brought those too to Syrecousae and sold with a view to bringing out of Sicily. Then that same deed also to the Euboeians in Sicily he did after he had made the distinction. And he was doing that to those both, because he considered a people to be a most disagreeable housemate. In a manner like that Gelon had become a great tyrant.

And at that time when the messengers of the Greeks had come to Syrecousae, they went into speeches with him and were saying this: “There sent us the Lacedaemonians and the allies of those to take you over against the barbarian; for of him who is going in opposition to Greece by all means doubtless you have learned by inquiry, that he, a Persian man, having bridged the Hellespont and leading on the whole eastern army from Asia, is to drive the army against Greece, and, although he gives as a pretext that against Athens he is driving, yet he has in mind to subject the whole of Greece under him. Now, you for your part, because you are well off for great power and a part of Greece for you, not the least, is a share, since at any rate you are the ruler of Sicily, come to the rescue of those who are trying to free Greece and join in the freeing. For, having come to be all together, the whole of Greece as a great band is led together and we prove worthy of battle with those who are going in opposition, but if of us some perform a betrayal utterly and some are not willing to offer succour, while that which is healthy of Greece is little, then that by now proves to be feared lest the whole of Greece fall. For expect not, if the Persian subjects us after he has prevailed in battle, that he will not come to you at any rate, but before that guard yourself; for in coming to the rescue of us you succour yourself and on a matter that has been deliberated on well a good end on the whole, as it were, is willing to supervene”.

They were saying that, and Gelon was vehemently attacking by giving a speech like this: “Greek men, with a speech that grasps for more you have dared me as an ally against the barbarian to call near and to go, but you yourselves, I previously having requested a joining to put hands on a barbarian army, when by me against the Carchedonians a quarrel had been engaged in, and I laying on a demanding of satisfaction for the killing of Dorieus, Anaxandrides’ son, by the Egestians and I suggesting a joining in freeing the marts from which for you great advantages and benefits have come about, neither for my sake went to come to the rescue nor to demand satisfaction for Dorieus’ killing, and in respect to what’s concerning you all this under the barbarians is governed. But in fact well for us and for the better it got established. And now, when the war has gone round and come to you, thus indeed Gelon’s remembrance has come about. So, although I have gotten dishonor from you, I will not make myself similar to you, but I am ready to come to the rescue by furnishing from myself two hundred triremes, twenty thousand hoplites, two thousand horse, two thousand bowmen, two thousand slingers and two thousand lightly armed runners among the horse, and food for the Greeks’ whole army together, until we should finish the war, I undertake to furnish. But on a ground like this I promise this, on the condition that general and leader of the Greeks I will be against the barbarian, while on another ground neither I myself would go nor would I sent others”.

Having heard that, Syagrus both held not up against it and said this: “Verily, loudly would wail Pelops’ son Agamemnon, when he had learned by inquiry that the Spartiates were deprived of the leadership by Gelon and the Syrecosians. Rather, that speech no longer mention, how the leadership to you we will give over, but if you want to come to the rescue of Greece, know that you will be ruled by the Lacedaemonians and, if after all you think not just to be ruled, then stop you also coming to the rescue”.

Thereupon Gelon, when he saw the speeches of Syagrus were turned adversely, was bringing out to light for them this last speech: “O foreign friend, Spartiate, reproaches that go down on a human being love to bring up on top anger; however you, although you have shown forth for yourself insolent acts in your speech, persuade me not to become unseemly in my reply. So, inasmuch as you thus cling to the leadership, it’s reasonable for me too more than you to cling, since I am of a host many times larger leader and of far more ships, but since the speech of yours is established so haughty, we will make a concession in our original condition. If the foot you should lead, then the naval force I and, if of yours is the pleasure of being the leader by sea, over the foot I am willing to be. And you must either with that be satisfied or go away bereft of allies like these”.

(to be continued)

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