translated by Shlomo Felberbaum

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all rights reserved


Installment 39

Gelon indeed was proposing for himself that, and the Athenians’ messenger anticipated the Lacedaemonians’ and was answering him with this: “O King of the Syrecosians, not a leader requesting, has Greece sent us away to you, but a host. Yet you, how you will send a host, if you lead not Greece, bring not forth to light, but the way you will be general of it, you strive after. Now, as long as the whole army of the Greeks you were requesting to lead, it was completely satisfying us the Athenians to maintain quiet, because we knew that the Laconian was to be capable for you of speaking a defense even on behalf of both, but since, because you were driven off from it all together, you are requesting to rule the naval host, thus it is for you: not even if the Laconian lets go out to you to rule it, will we let it go out. For that at any rate is ours, if the Lacedaemonians themselves want it not. Hence those, if they want to lead it, we oppose not, but near no other will we let go to rule the ships. For in vain this way the greatest army by the salt sea of the Greeks we would possess, if to the Syrecosians, being Athenians, we will yield the leadership, we who furnish from ourselves the most ancient nation and are the only ones who did not stand up and change their place among the Greeks, we from among whom in fact Homer the epic poet said came to Ilion the best man at marshalling and thoroughly ordering an army. Thus no reproach to us is there in saying those prior statements”.

Gelon answered with this: “Athenian foreign friend, you seem to have those who rule, but not to be going to have those who will be ruled. Since then you let go down nothing and wish the whole, you could not be too soon in departing back the quickest way and announcing to Greece that from the year the spring of hers has been taken out”. [And that following’s the meaning of the statement, what it wants to say, that, because it’s clear that in the year the spring is the most esteemed part, then of the Greeks’ host his own host is; hence, Greece deprived of his alliance he was making like as if the spring from the year should be taken out.]

The Greeks’ messengers indeed, having negotiated like that with Gelon, were sailing away, and Gelon thereupon, being afraid concerning the Greeks lest they not be able to overthrow for themselves the barbarian and considering it awful and not tolerable to go to the Peloponnese and be ruled by the Lacedaimonians, because he was Sicily’s tyrant, took no care of that way, but he was clinging to another; for, as soon as he had learned by inquiry that the Persian had gone across the Hellespont, he sent with three penteconters Cadmus, Scythes’ son, a Coian man, to Delphi, with much money and friendly speeches, to watch to see the battle in what way it will fall out, and if the barbarian won, the money to him to give and earth and water of that of which Gelon was the ruler, but, if the Greeks, back to perform a bringing away.

Now, that Cadmus earlier than that, having inherited from his father the well established tyranny over the Coians, as he was willing and nothing awful going in opposition but through the agency of justice, in the midst of Coians put down the rule and was gone to Sicily, where from the Samians he got hold of and settled down in the city of Zancle which to Messene had changed its name. That Cadmus indeed and in a manner like that come, Gelon on account of his justice, another instance which he himself was aware was his, was sending, him who on top of all the other just works done by him also this he left behind for himself as not the least of those: having gained mastery over much money, which to him Gelon had entrusted for himself, it being possible for himself to get hold of it utterly, he was not willing, but when the Greeks had gained a mastery in the naval battle and Xerxes was gone by driving away, in fact indeed he also came to Sicily and all the money together he was bringing.

And there is said also this by those settled in Sicily, that nevertheless, even though Gelon was to be ruled by the Lacedaemonians, he would have come to the rescue of the Greeks, if, having been driven out by Theron, Aenesidemus’ son, the Acragantinians’ monarch from Himere, Terillus, Crinippus’ son, who was tyrant of Himere, had not led in opposition during that very time from among the Phoenicians, the Libyans, the Iberians, the Ligyians, the Elisycians, the Sardonians and the Cyrnians thirty myriads and their general, Amilcas, Annon’s son, who was the Carchedonians’ king, and in accordance with the foreign friendship with himself he, Terillus, produced conviction and especially on account of the eagerness of Anaxileus, Cretines’ son, who, being Rhegium’s tyrant, his own offspring gave as hostages to Amilcas and was performing a leading in opposition to Sicily in succouring his father-in-law; for Terillus’ daughter Anaxileus had as wife, whose name was Cydippe. Thus indeed having proven not able to come to the rescue of the Greeks, Gelon was sending away the money to Delphi.

And besides also they say this, that there occurred on the same day in Sicily Gelon and Theron’s prevailing over Amilcas the Carchedonian and in Salamis the Greeks’ over the Persian. And Amilcas, who was Carchedonian on his father’s side and from his mother’s side Syrecosian and had become king of the Carchedonians because of manly goodness, when the engagement was happening and when he was being worsted in the battle, was made to disappear I have learned by inquiry; for neither living nor dead did he appear anywhere on earth; for the whole Gelon went out over and was searching.

And there is by the Carchedonians themselves this account given, and they are making use of a reasonable one, that the barbarians with the Greeks in Sicily were fighting, after having begun from dawn, up to late afternoon (for over that great an extent, it is said, the conflict dragged on) and Amilcas in that time, remaining in the camp, was sacrificing for himself and was seeking omens for himself by burning as offerings on a large pyre whole bodies and, having seen that a rout of those of his was being made, when in fact he was pouring libations on the sacred victims, he thrust himself into the fire. Thus indeed he was burned utterly and made to disappear. So, for Amilcas, when he had been made to disappear in a manner either like that that the Phoenicians say or in the other that the Carchedonians and the Syrecosians do, for him, on the one hand , they sacrifice and, on the other, made monuments in all the cities of their colonies, and the largest in Carchedon itself . What was from Sicily was that much.

Now, the Cercyrians, having given to the messengers the following answers, performed acts like the following; for in fact those there were trying to take over precisely the same persons who had come to Sicily and they were speaking the same speeches that they also were speaking to Gelon: they then straightway were promising that they would send and help and they were pointing out that by them Greece’s being destroyed had not to be overlooked, because, if it was tripped up, they at any rate would do nothing other than be slaves on the first of the days, but they must provide succour to the greatest possible degree. They gave thus specious answers, but when they had to come to the rescue, having other thoughts in mind, they filled sixty ships and with difficulty they were led out and reached the Peloponnese. And round Pylos and Taenarus in the land of the Lacedaemonians they were anchoring their ships and those too were watching to see the war, how it would fall out, as they were not expecting that the Greeks would overcome, but were thinking that the Persian, having gained utter mastery by far, would rule the whole of Greece. Hence they were performing their act purposely, that they might be able to the Persian to speak like this: “O king, we, when the Greeks were trying to take us over for that war, who have not the least power and would have furnished not the least number of ships but the largest after at any rate the Athenians, were willing not to oppose you and not to do any disfavor”. In speaking like that, they were expecting to win something more than all the others; precisely that would actually have happened, as it seems to me. And in reference to the Greeks by them was made the excuse precisely which indeed they actually used; for, when the Greeks were making the accusation that they resisted coming to the rescue, they were asserting that they had filled sixty ships, but through the agency of the etesian winds they had proven not able to round Malee; thus they had not come to Salamis and because of no badness were left out of the naval battle. Those thus knocked off themselves the Greeks.

And the Cretans, when those of the Greeks who had been appointed in charge of those were trying to take them over, acted like this: having sent jointly messengers to consult the god to Delphi, they were asking the god whether for them it proved better, if they succoured Greece. So the Pythia answered, “O infants, you are finding fault with all the causes for tears that for you in consequence of your acts of succour for Menalaus Minos sent in his being angry, in that they joined with him in making an exaction for his death in Camicus, when it had happened, not, but you did with those in doing so for the woman from Sparta seized by a barbarian man”. The Cretans, when that that had been bought away they had heard, held themselves off from their succour.

For, it is said, Minos in seeking for Daedalus came to Sicania, which is now called Sicily, and died by a violent death. Then in the course of time the Cretans, because a god had urged them on, all except the Polichnitians and the Praesians, came with a large expedition to Sicania and were besieging for five years the city of Camicus, which in my time the Acragantinians were inhabiting. And finally, because they were able neither to perform a taking nor remain by, since with hunger they were come to grips, they performed an abandonment and were gone. So, when off Iepygie they had come to be in their sailing, them a great storm overtook and cast out onto the land and, their boats smashed, since for them no means of conveying themselves any longer appeared, thereupon, having founded Hyrie, a city, they remained behind and, having changed, instead of Cretans they became Iepygian Messapians and instead of being islanders mainlanders. Now, from Hyrie, a city, they settled all the other lands that indeed the Tarantinians a long time later in trying to make stand up and out stumbled greatly, so that the largest killing of Greeks that indeed proved of all that we know of, of theTarantinians themselves and the Rheginians, who, men from among the townspeople, being compelled by Micythus, Choerus’ son, and having come as succourers for the Tarantinians, died, three thousand of those, while of the Tarantinians themselves there was no number in addition. And Micythus, who was a household servant of Anaxileus, as the guardian of Rhegium was left behind, precisely that one who, having been banished from Rhegium and having settled in the Tegea of the Arcadians, dedicated in Olympia those many statues.

Well, what’s concerning the Rheginians and theTarantinians of the account of mine has proven an addition. Now, it’s that in Crete, when it had been made empty, as the Praesians say, were settled other human beings and especially Greeks and the third generation after Minos’ having met his end happened the Trojan matters, in which not the most cowardly manifestly were the Cretans as succourers to Menelaus. In revenge for that, then, for them, when they had returned back from Troy, hunger and plague came about, both for themselves and their cattle, until, for the second time Crete made empty, with those left behind a third group now inhabits it as Cretans. The Pythia indeed, having called that to mind, restrained them, who wanted to succour the Greeks.

Now, the Thessalians through the agency of necessity at the first medized, as they showed plainly, in that to them was not pleasing what the Aleuadians were contriving. For, as soon as they had learned by inquiry that the Persian was to cross over into Europe, they sent to the Isthmus messengers. And in the Isthmus were gathered delegates of Greece taken from the cities that were better minded concerning Greece. Then, having coming to those, the Thessalians’ messengers were saying, “Greek men, the Olympian pass must be guarded, that Thessaly and the whole of Greece together may be in a shelter from the war. Now, we are ready to join in the guarding, but you too must send a large host, because, if you will not perform a sending, we, know, will make an agreement with the Persian; for, mind you, we, not sitting down so great a guard for the rest of Greece alone, for you must be destroyed. So, when you want not to come to the rescue, you are able to apply no necessity to us; for necessity grows not at all stronger than inability. We then will try ourselves some kind of salvation to contrive”. That said the Thessalians.

Now, the Greeks thereupon took counsel for themselves that to Thessaly they should send by sea a foot army to guard the pass. And, when the army had been gathered together, it was sailing through Euripus and, having come in Achaea to Alus, it disembarked and was making its way to Thessaly, after it had left its ships behind, and it came to Tempea to precisely the pass that from lower Macedonia to Thessaly leads alongside the river Peneius, which is between Olympus the mountain and Ossa. There they were camping, about ten thousand hoplites of the Greeks, gathered together and in addition to them was the Thessalians’ horse. And general of the Lacedaemonians was Euaenetus, Carenus’ son, who was chosen from the rulers of war but who was not of the royal family, and of the Athenians Themistocles, Neocles’ son. So, they remained a few days there; for messengers came from Alexander, Amyntes’ son, a Macedonian man, and were advising them to depart and to not remain in the pass and be trampled by the army that was going in opposition, while they were indicating the host’s multitude and their ships and, when those were giving them that advice, because they were thinking that they were giving useful advice and to them the Macedonian manifestly was well-disposed, they were persuaded. But, as far as it seems to me, what was persuading was fear, when they had learned by inquiry that there was also another pass to the Thessalians by upper Macedonia through the Perrhaebians, by Gonnus, a city, precisely the one by which indeed the host of Xerxes actually threw itself in. Then the Greeks went down to their ships and were making their way back to the Isthmus.

The expedition to Thessaly proved that, while the king was to cross over to Europe from Asia and was by then in Abydos. The Thessalians then, made empty of allies, thus indeed medized eagerly and not any longer equivocally, so that in their acts manifestly to the king they were most useful men.

Then the Greeks, when they had come to the Isthmus, were taking counsel in view of what had been said by Alexander in what way they would set up for themselves the war and in what kinds of places, and the prevailing opinion was proving that they should guard the pass in Thermopylae; for it manifestly was narrower than that into Thessaly as well as one and nearer their own land, and the path, through which were taken those of the Greeks who were taken in Thermopylae, they did not even know was, precisely before they came to Thermopylae and learned of it by inquiry from the Trechinians. Hence they took counsel that by guarding that pass they should not let the barbarian go by into Greece and that the naval army should sail in the Histiaean land to Artemisium. For both those spots are so near each other as for one to learn by inquiry the affairs that are concerned with each and the places are thus: on the one hand, Artemisium—from the open Thracian sea from a broad spot a drawing close is made to the passage between the island of Sciathus and the mainland of Magnesia—from the narrow spot then in Euboea by now Artemisium follows, a beach, and therein Artemis’ shrine, and, in turn, the way through Trechis into Greece is, where it’s narrowest, half a plethron. Not, however, at that point at any rate is the narrowest part in all the rest of the country, but in front of Thermopylae and behind, since at Alpenoi, which is behind, it is only a road of a cart’s breadth and in front at the Phoenix river near Anthele, a city, only another road of a cart’s breadth. Of Thermopylae what’s towards the west’s a mountain, impassable and precipitous, a high one, that stretches up to Oete and what’s towards the east of the way sea follows on and shallows. Moreover, there is in that way in hot baths that the natives call the Earthenware Vessels, and an altar of Heracles is set up by them. Further, there had been built a wall at those passes and formerly at any rate gates were on, and the Phocaeans built the wall in fear, when the Thessalians had gone from the Thesprotians to settle in the Aeolian land, precisely which they now possess. Seeing that the Thessalians were trying to subject them, that precaution the Phocaeans took for themselves and the hot water at that time let go onto the way in, that the place might be cleft by gullies, because they were contriving everything that the Thessalians might not throw into the country of theirs. Now, the ancient wall from of old had been built and the greater part of it by then through the agency of time was fallen down, and to those then it seemed good to make it straight again and there to keep off from Greece the barbarian. And there is a village most near the way, Alpenoi in name, and from that the Greeks were reckoning that they would furnish themselves with food.

Now then, those places to the Greeks appeared to be suitable; for they, having previously considered all things together and having reckoned over that the barbarians would be able to use neither multitude nor horse—there to them it seemed good to receive him who was going in opposition to Greece. And when they had learned by inquiry that the Persian was in Pierie, they were parted from the Isthmus and were advancing with the army, some of them to Thermopylae on foot and others by sea to Artemisium.

The Greeks indeed with speed were coming to the rescue, after they had given their appointments, while the Delphians during that time were having a consultation at the oracle with the god in a state of dread on behalf of themselves and Greece and to them there was given as an oracle that they should pray to the winds, because those would be to Greece great allies. Then the Delphians, having received the prophecy, first to those of the Greeks who wanted to be free announced out what had been given as an oracle to them and, because they were awfully dreading the barbarian, after they had announced it out, they laid up for themselves an undying gratitude. Then after that the Delphians to the winds dedicated an altar in Thyie, precisely where the precinct of Thyie, Cephisus’ daughter, is, after whom that place too has its appellation, and with sacrifices went after them. The Delphians indeed in accordance with the oracle still even now propitiate the winds.

Then the naval army of Xerxes, having set off from Therme, a city, cast themselves across by means of the ten ships that were sailing best straight to Sciathus, where three Greek ships were keeping guard already, a Troezenian, an Aeginian and an Attic. So those, having seen the ships of the barbarians beforehand, rushed to flight.

The Troezenian indeed, the ruler of which was Prexinus, immediately the barbarians took, after they had followed after it, and thereafter him of its marines who was most beautiful they brought to the prow of the ship and cut the throat of, because they were considering of good omen him of the Greeks whom they took as the first and as the most beautiful. And the one who was cut at his throat’s name was Leon, Lion, and perhaps in some way in fact he might have gotten the fruit of his name.

And the Aeginian, a trireme the ruler of which was Asonides, in fact furnished some confusion for them as Pythees, Ischenous’ son, was a marine, who proved a good man that day, he who, when the ship was being taken, was holding out in fighting to that point until he was all together made mincemeat of. Then, when, having fallen, he was not dead but was breathing, the Persians, precisely those who were marines on the ships, on account of his virtue considered worth the most to cause him to survive and with myrrh they were trying to heal his wounds and with bands of flaxen linen cloth were making a wrapping. And him, when they had come back to their own camp, they were showing off with their wondering greatly to the host and were treating well, while all the others whom they had taken in that ship they were treating as slaves of war.

Two of the ships indeed thus were worsted, and the third, a trireme the ruler of which was Phormus, an Athenian man, in fleeing was completely ran aground at the outlets of the Peneius and over its hull the barbarians gained mastery, but over its men not. For, as soon as indeed the Athenians had run on aground their ship, they leapt off and, making their way through Thessaly, they were conveyed to Athens.

That the Greeks who were camping at Artemisium learned by inquiry through beacons from Sciathus. Then, having learned it by inquiry and having conceived a dread, from Artemisium they were changing their anchorage to Chalcis; they were going to guard the Euripus and were leaving day-watchers round the high spots of Euboea. And of the ten barbarian ships three drove aground round the reef that is between Sciathus and Magnesia and is called the Ant. Thereupon the barbarians, after they had put a pillar of stone, when they had conveyed it, on the reef, they themselves set off from Therme, when what was in way of them had become cleared off, and were sailing on with all their ships, once they had let go past eleven days after the king’s driving out from Therme. And concerning the reef for them, when it was most in the passage, Pammon the Scyrian led the way. So all day the barbarians were sailing and arrived on Sepias in Magnesia and the beach that is between Casthanaee, a city, and the Sepian promontory.

Now, up to that place and Thermopylae the army was without experience of evils and a multitude was at that time still, as I in reckoning have found: it was that that of the ships from Asia, being a thousand two hundred and seven, the original crowd that was of each of the nations, was twenty four myriads and besides a thousand and four hundred, as far as it is for those who are reckoning at a rate of two hundred men in each ship. And marines on those ships, apart from the native marines, were of the Persians and the Medes as well as of the Sacians thirty men. That other crowd amounts to thirty myriads and six thousand and besides two hundred and ten. Now, I will add further to that and the first number those from the penteconters, after I have made them be within, something which was more than them or less, at a rate of eighty man. So those boats were gathered together, as was said previously too, as three thousand. By now then the men in them would be twenty four myriads. That indeed was the nautical force from Asia, which all together was fifty one myriads, and the thousands on top of those were seven and besides there were six hundreds and a ten. And of the foot they amounted to a hundred and seventy myriads and of the horsemen eight myriads. Now, I will add further to those the Arabians who were driving the camels and the Libyans who were doing so to chariots, after I have made the multitude twenty thousand men. And lo! the multitude from the ships and the foot, when it is put together, amounts to two hundred thirty one myriads and besides seven thousands and six hundreds and a ten. That as that which was led up and out as an armed force from Asia itself is spoken of, without the train of servants that was following and the food-carrying boats and all who were sailing on those.

Now, the armed force that was being led from Europe indeed one must further reckon in addition to all that that has been numbered out and one has to speak a seeming. Now, as to ships the Greeks from Thrace and out of the islands that lie off Thrace were furnishing from themselves one hundred and twenty. Now, from those ships the men amount to two myriads and four thousand. And of the foot that there were furnishing from themselves the Thracians, the Paeonians, the Eordians, the Bottiians, the Chalcidian people, the Brygians, the Pierians, the Macedonians, the Perrhaebians, the Enienians, the Dolopians, the Magnetians, the Achaeans and all who inhabit the sea-coast of Thrace, of those nations thirty myriads I think they amounted to. Hence those myriads, when they are added to those from Asia, amount to, all the fighting ones of men, two hundred sixty four myriads, and there are on top of those sixteen hundreds and a ten.

So, that fighting force being in number that large, the train of servants that was following those and those who were on the food-carrying small vessels and again in all the other boats that were sailing together with the host, those I think were not fewer than the fighting men but more. And lo! I make them to be equal to those and neither more nor fewer in any way and those, being made equal to the fighting force, fill up a number of myriads equal to those. Thus five hundred twenty eight myriads, three thousands, two hundreds and two tens of men Xerxes, Darius’ son, led up to Sepias and Thermopylae.

That’s indeed the whole armed force of Xerxes together’s number, but of food-making women, concubines and eunuchs no one could speak an exact number and not again of yoke-animals and all the other load-carrying beasts and Indian dogs that were following, not even of those, by the agency of the mulititude could someone speak a number. Consequently no wonder stands by me that the streams of some rivers gave out, but rather how the foodstuffs sufficed is a wonder for me for that many myriads. For I have found by reckoning that, if a choenix of wheat each in the day was taking and nothing more, eleven myriads of medimnuses were spent on each day and besides three hundred and forty other medimnuses. And of women, eunuchs, yoke-animals and dogs I have not made a reckoning. And, of the men, being that many myriads, because of beauty and stature of them no one was more worthy than Xerxes himself of winning the having of that mastery.

Now indeed, the nautical army, when, having set off, it was sailing and had landed in the Magnesian country at the beach that is between Casthanaee, a city, and the Sepian promontory, the first of the ships indeed were moored off land, while others after those were at anchors; for, seeing that the beach was not large, they were moored ranged in rows the space into the sea and over the extent of eight ships. That kindly time it was thus, but together with dawn out of clearness and windlessness, the sea having come to a boil, there fell on them a great storm and much east wind, which indeed those who are settled in those spots call Hellespontian. Now, all of them who had learned that the wind was growing and those who were thus for anchorage, they then anticipated the storm and dragged their ships up on shore and they themselves survived as well as their ships, but all of the ships it had taken hold of on the high sea, some it was carrying out to the so-called Ovens on Pelion and some to the beach, while some round Sepias itself were cast out and some into Meliboea, a city, and some were shaken out into Casthanaee. In short, the storm’s matter was intolerable.

And an account is given that the Athenians called for themselves on the north wind on the basis of a message given by a god, since another oracle had gone to them that they should call for themselves their son-in-law as a helper. And the north wind in accordance with the Greeks’ account had an Attic wife, Oreithyia, Erechtheus’ daughter. In accordance with that kinship the Athenians, as the report is minded, reckoning that the north wind was a son-in-law of theirs, while they were lying in wait in ships in Euboea in Chalcis, when they had learned the storm was growing or maybe before that, were offering sacrifices for themselves to and calling for themselves on the north wind and Oreithyia to succour them and to destroy the barbarians’ ships, as also previously round Athos. Now, whether on account of that on the barbarians, while they were moored, the north wind fell, I am not able to say; anyhow, the Athenians say that the north wind, having previously come to their rescue, also then worked that out, and, having gone away, they set up for themselves a shrine of the north wind alongside the river Ilissus.

In that toil as to the ships they say, who do the fewest, that there were destroyed no fewer than four hundred and both innumerable men and an ungrudging multitude of wealth. Consequently, for Ameinoclees, Cretines’ son, a Magnetian man, who had land round Sepias, that shipwreck proved greatly useful, for him who many gold drinking-vessels at a later time, after they were shaken out on shore, took up for himself and many silver and both found the Persians’ treasuries and acquired for himself other untold wealth. But he in all else was not of good fortune, although because of his finds he had become greatly rich; for there was an unagreeable misfortune that was paining that one too of a child’s killing.

Now, of the food-carrying trading vessels and all the other boats that were destroyed there was no numbering in addition, so that the generals of the nautical army, in fear lest the Thessalians lay hands on them in their state of having being done evil, put round themselves a high fence out of the pieces of the shipwrecks. For three days indeed it was storming and finally the Magi, by making offerings cut in pieces and singing incantations by means of shouts to the wind and in addition to that by sacrificing to both Thetis and the Nereids, accomplished a stopping on the fourth day or for some other reason it on its own willingly abated. And to Thetis they were sacrificing, after they had learned by inquiry from the Ionians the account that from that place she was seized by Peleus and all the Sepian promontory together was that one and all the other Nereids’.

The storm indeed was at a stop on the fourth day, and to the Greeks the day-watchers, having run down from the Euboean hill-tops, the second day after that on which the first storm had happened were indicating all that had happened concerning the shipwreck. Then they, when they had learned of it by inquiry, having prayed to Poseidon the savior and poured forth libations, the quickest way were hastening back to Artemisium in the expectation that a few ships would be in opposition to them. They indeed the second time went to Artemisium and were lying in wait with ships and the appellation of Poseidon the savior from that time still even to this time they have been using customarily.

Now, the barbarians, when the wind had stopped and the waves were flat, having dragged down their ships, were sailing alongside the mainland and, having bent round the promontory of Magnesia, they were sailing straight to the gulf that leads towards Pagasae. And there is a place in that gulf in Magnesia, where it is said Heracles was left behind by Jason and his fellow companions from the Argo, after he had been sent for water, when they were sailing for the fleece to Colchian Aea; for thence they were, when they had gotten water for themselves, aphesein, to perform a letting go out, into the open sea, and after that the place’s name has become Aphetae. In that spot then Xerxes’ men were making anchorage.

Now, fifteen of those ships in fact were by far the last to have been led up and out to sea and somehow caught sight of the Greeks’ ships off Artemisium. The barbarians thought indeed they were their own and in sailing fell on their enemies. The general of them was the subordinate ruler from Aeolian Cyme, Sandoces, Thamasius’ son, and it was that very one indeed whom, when he was one of the royal judges, before that present matter King Darius because of a charge like the following had taken hold of and impaled: Sandoces for money judged an unjust judgement. Then, when he had been hung up, Darius found that by him more good deeds had been done than offenses to the royal house and Darius, having found that and having come to know that he himself had performed works more swift than wise, performed a release. From King Darius indeed thus he escaped, from being destroyed, and was surviving, but at that time, having sailed down to the Greeks, he was not to be one who escaped the second time; for, when the Greeks had seen that they were sailing towards them, having learned of their error that was happening, they were led up to sea again and easily took hold of them.

In one of those ships Aridolis was sailing and was captured, the tyrant of the Alabanda in Caria, and in another the Paphian general Penthylus, Demonous’ son, who was the leader of twelve ships from Paphos and, after he had lost eleven of them because of the storm that had happened off Sepias, with the one that had become a survivor in sailing down to Artemisium was captured. Of those the Greeks inquired about what they wanted to learn by inquiry of Xerxes’ host and sent them away bound to the Corinthians’ isthmus.

Indeed the nautical army of the barbarians, apart from the fifteen ships of which I have said Sandoces was general, came to Aphetae. And Xerxes and the foot, having made their way through Thessaly and Achaea, had thrown in fact by then on the third day into the Melians, after in Thessaly he had had made a competition of his own horses, while he was making a trial of the Thessalian horse too, because he had learned by inquiry that it was the best of those among the Greeks. Then indeed the Greek horses were being left far behind. Now, of the rivers in Thessaly the Onochonus alone sufficed not for the host in its stream in its being drunk, while of the rivers in Achaea in their flowing not even that which is the largest of them, the Epidanus, not even that one held out except poorly.


(to be continued)


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