translated by Shlomo Felberbaum

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Installment 41

Now, those of the Greeks appointed to the nautical army were these: the Athenians who were furnishing from themselves a hundred and twenty seven ships, while because of virtue and eagerness the Plataeans, although they were without experience of the nautical art, joined with the Athenians in filling the ships. And the Corinthians were furnishing from themselves forty ships and the Megarians twenty. Moreover, the Chalcidians were filling twenty, the Athenians furnishing for them the ships, the Aeginetians eighteen, the Sicyonians twelve, the Lacedaemonians ten, the Epidaurians eight, the Eretrians seven and the Troezenians five, while the Styrians were two and the Ceians two ships and two penteconters. The Opuntian Locrians then were coming on to the rescue of them with seven penteconters.

Now then those were they who were advancing with the army to Artemisium, and there has been said by me also how each group was furnishing from itself the multitude of the ships. And the number of the ships that had been gathered together to Artemisium was, apart from the penteconters, two hundred seventy one. Now, the general who had the greatest power the Spartiates were furnishing from themselves, Eurybiades, Eurycleides’ child; for the allies asserted that, if the Laconian was not the leader, they would not follow the Athenians, while they were leading, but would break up the armed force that was to be.

For there was made in the beginning a speech, before even to Sicily they were sending for an alliance, that the nautical force to the Athenians they had to entrust, but when the allies stood in opposition, the Athenians were giving way, because they were considering great for Greece to survive and had come to know, if they would be factious about the leadership, that Greece would be destroyed, and they were having correct thought in mind; for faction among tribes is worse than war that has similar thinking is worse by that much by which war is than peace. Hence knowing that very thing, they would not object, but were giving way, for as long as they were very much needing them, as they plainly showed; for, when they had thrust the Persian aside for themselves and concerning that one’s land by then were having a competition, by putting forth for themselves as a pretext Pausanies’ insolence they took away for themselves the leadership from the Lacedaemonians. But that happened later.

At that time however those of the Greeks who had come also to Artemisium, when they had seen that many ships had been brought down to Aphetae and all together was full of a host, since for them the affairs of the barbarians were coming out contrary to the belief that they themselves firmly believed, in utter fear were counselling flight from Artemisium in, into Greece. Then the Euboeans, having come to know they were taking that counsel for themselves, was requesting of Eurybiades to remain on a little time, until they themselves should put out for themselves secretly offspring and the members of their household. But when they could not produce persuasion, they changed their position and persuaded the Athenians’ general, Themistocles, for a fee of thirty talents on condition that, having remained behind, they would fight the naval battle in defense of Euboea.

Then Themistocles made the Greeks hold up this way: to Eurybiades of that money he gave as a share five talents as if from his own forsooth he were making the gift. And when by him that one had been convinced, because Adeimantus, Ocytus’ son, the Corinthian general, alone of those left was wriggling and asserting for himself that he would sail away from Artemisium and not remain near, to that one indeed Themistocles said with the swearing of an oath in addition, “Not you at any rate will abandon us, since to you I will give greater gifts than the king of the Medes to you would send, should you abandon the allies”. At the same time he was publicly saying that and sent to the ship of Adeimantus three talents of silver. Those indeed, struck by gifts, were convinced and for the Euboeans gratification had been produced, and Themistocles himself gained and was escaping notice for having what was left; rather they who had taken a share of that money “knew” that it had come from Athens for that purpose.

Thus indeed they remained behind in Euboea and fought a naval battle. And it happened this way: when indeed to Aphetae round early afternoon’s coming to be the barbarians had come, after they had learned by inquiry still even before that round Artemisium a few Greek ships were lying in wait in the ships and then themselves had caught their sight, they were eager to lay on hands on the chance that somehow they could take hold of them. From the opposite ground indeed to sail forward not yet to them it seemed good for this reason, lest somehow the Greeks should see that they were sailing forward and rush to flight and when they were fleeing the kindly time should overtake them; in fact they were forsooth to flee away and not even a fire-bearer had by their accounting to flee away and become a survivor.

Thereupon therefore they were making this contrivance: of all the ships having judged out two hundred, they were sending them round outside of Sciathus that they might not be seen by their enemies while they were sailing round Euboea and by way of Caphereus and round Geraestus to the Euripus, that indeed they might take a hold all round, the one group having come by that way and having fenced the way that was leading back for them and they themselves having performed attendance on from opposite ground. Having taken that counsel for themselves, they were sending away the appointed ones among the ships, since they themselves were having in mind not that day that they would apply themselves to the Greeks and not before the compacted sign for them was to appear from those who were sailing round on the ground that they were present. Those ships indeed they were sending round, and of the ships left in Aphetae they were counting the number.

So in that time in which those were counting the number of the ships, as there was in that camp Scyllies, a Scionian, the best diver of the human beings then, who in fact in the shipwreck that had happened off Pelion had brought to safety many of their things for the Persians and many also he himself acquired for himself, that Scyllies had in mind after all even before that he would desert to the Greeks, but didn’t, because it was not possible for him until then. In which manner indeed thereafter yet he came to the Greeks, I am not able to say exactly, but I marvel whether what is said is true; for it is said that from Aphetae he dived into the sea and not previously performed a rising up until he came to Artemisium, after stades, those approximately somewhere to the number of eighty, he had gone out and through the sea. Now there are given also other accounts similar to false ones about that man and some other true ones; however, about that above let an opinion by me be shown forth that by boat he came to Artemisium. Then, when he had come, immediately he indicated to the generals about the shipwreck how it had happened and about those of the ships that had been sent round Euboea.

So, having heard that, the Greeks were giving speeches to themselves and, many having been spoken, there was prevailing that, when that day in the very place they had remained and lodged, thereafter, having let the middle of the night go by, they should make their way and meet those of the ships that were sailing round. Then after that, when no one was sailing against them, having awaited the late afternoon of the day’s coming to be, they themselves sailed up against the barbarians, because they wanted to put off to the trial their way of fighting and sailing through and out.

So, all the other soldiers of Xerxes and the generals, because they saw that they were sailing in opposition with few ships, imputed madness completely to them and were leading up, even themselves, their ships in the expectation that they would take them easily, of very reasonable things in the expectation, since they saw that the ships of the Greeks at any rate were few, while those of themselves were many times more in multitude and sailing better. Having thought that contemptuously, they were forming a circle with them in the midst. Now, all of the Ionians who were well-inclined to the Greeks, unwillingly were advancing with the army and considering a great misfortune when they were seeing that they were being surrounded and they “knew” that no one of them would return back; thus lacking in strength to them appeared to be the Greeks’ affairs. But all, for whom what was being done was in fact for taking pleasure, were contesting how each himself would be first to take an Attic ship and from the king take hold of gifts: for of the Athenians for them was the most talk in the camps.

But, when one had given an indication to the Greeks, first they came to be with prows opposite the barbarians and brought their sterns together into the midst and next, one having given an indication, they set to work, although they were trapped in a little spot and face-to-face. Thereupon thirty ships they took as well as Gorgus the Salaminians’ king’s brother, Philaon Chersis’ son, who was one to speak of in the camp. And first of the Greeks a ship of the enemies to take was an Athenian man, Lycomedes Aeschraeus’ child, and the prize for excellence that one took hold of. Then them who in that naval battle indecisively were competing, night, having come on, broke up. The Greeks indeed were sailing away to Artemisium, and the barbarians to Aphetae, after they had competed far contrary to their belief. In that naval battle Antidorus, a Lemnian, alone of the Greeks who were together with the king deserted to the Greeks, and the Athenians on account of that deed made a gift of a place in Salamis.

So, when it had come to be the kindly time, although it was in the season the middle of summer, yet there came to be abundant rain through the whole night and harsh thunderings from Pelion, and the corpses and the pieces of the shipwrecks were being carried away to Aphetae and round the prows of the ships they were clustered and were troubling the blades of the oars. Then the soldiers there, hearing that, were established in fear and were expecting completely that they would be destroyed, in that to evils like those they had come; for before they even breathed again after the shipwreck and the storm that had come about off Pelion, a fierce naval battle overtook them and after the naval battle both a violent shower and strong flowings set off to sea and harsh thunderings.

In fact for those the night proved like that, and for the appointed among them to sail round Euboea, although the night was the same, it was still far more wild insomuch as on them while they were being borne on the open sea it was falling, and the end for them proved unagreeable; for, when indeed on them, while they were sailing, a storm and the water had come, borne by the blowing and not knowing where they were being borne, they were thrown out to the rocks. In short all was being done by the god that there might be made equal to the Greek force the Persian and it might not be by far larger.

Now, those round the hollows of Euboea were being destroyed, and the barbarians in Aphetae, when on them glad day had shone forth, kept still their ships and it sufficed them who were faring badly to maintain quiet in the present situation. But of the Greeks there came on to the rescue fifty three Attic ships. Those indeed added strength to them by their having come and at the same time a message by its having gone, that of the barbarians those sailing round Euboea were all destroyed by the storm that had come about. Indeed having awaited the same hour, they were sailing and fell on Cilician ships and, having destroyed those, when it was coming to be the kindly time, they were sailing away back to Artemisium.

Then the third day the generals of the barbarians, having considered something awful for so few ships to maltreat them and dreading the act from Xerxes’ side, no longer waited for the Greeks to begin fighting, but prepared themselves and at the middle part of the day were leading forth their ships. And it so fell out by coincidence as for those same days those naval battles to be fought and the foot battles in Thermopylae, and the whole competition for those at sea was concerning the Euripus just as for those round with Leonides it was to guard the pass. The members of the one group indeed were issuing orders on to each other about how they would not let go by into Greece the barbarians, and those of the other about how, after they had destroyed the Greek armed force, they would gain mastery over the passage.

Then, when, having drawn up themselves, Xerxes’ men were sailing in opposition, the Greeks kept still off Artemisium. So the barbarians, having made a moon-shaped figure out of their ships, were performing an encircling that they might take hold of them all round. Thereafter the Greeks were sailing up in opposition and joining battle. In that naval battle they came to be nearly resembling each other; for Xerxes’ army through the agency of its magnitude and multitude alone by itself was falling, because its ships were being troubled and falling all round into each other. However nevertheless they were holding out in opposition and would not give way; for they were considering an awful thing by few ships to get turned to flight. Many ships indeed of the Greeks were being destroyed and many men, and by far still more ships of the barbarians and men. So, after thus they were competing, there stood apart separately each group.

In that naval battle the Egyptians of Xerxes’ soldiers were the best, who showed forth for themselves other great deeds and captured five Greek ships with men and all, and of the Greeks during that day the best were the Athenians and of the Athenians Cleinies, Alcibiades’ son, who, furnishing for himself the expense from his house, was advancing with the army with two hundred men and a ship from his house.

So, when they had stood apart, gladly each group hastened to anchorage. Then the Greeks, when they had been divided away from the naval battle and had departed, although they were gaining mastery of the corpses and the pieces of the shipwrecks, yet were treated harshly, and not least the Athenians, half of whose ships were damaged, and flight indeed were counselling inward, into Greece.

So Themistocles, having grasped with his mind that, if there were broken from the barbarian the Ionic race and the Caric, they were able to become superior to those left, when the Euboeans were driving their cattle to the sea, there collected the generals and was saying to them that he thought he had a device by which he expected of the king’s allies he would cause to stand apart the best. Now, that to so great a degree he was laying bare, but in view of the present situation he was saying that this must be done by them, both a sacrificing utterly all of the Euboean cattle that anyone wished, because it was better for the host to have them than their enemies, and, he was advising, a speaking publicly to their own men that each group should kindle a fire, while concerning conveyance the hour would so be a care to him as for them unharmed to come to Greece. That it pleased them to do and immediately, after they had kindled themselves fires, they turned themselves to the cattle.

For the Euboeans, having treated indifferently Bacis’ prophecy on the ground that it was saying nothing, neither conveyed out for themselves nor stored up in advance for themselves anything at all on the ground that war would be on hand for them; in short, they caused for themselves their own affairs to be fallen out to a reversal. For of Bacis this way is the oracle concerning that matter then:

Point out, when barbarophone on salt sea casts yoke
Of papyr, from Euboea to keep bleating goats.

Since they had made no use of those epic verses, in the evils then being on hand and expected there was on hand for them to make use of misfortune to the greatest degree.

They indeed were doing those deeds and there was on hand the watcher from Trachis. For there was on Artemisium a watcher, Polyas, in birth an Anticyrian, to whom it had been assigned (in fact he had a fitted out boat ready) that, if the naval army was disabled, he should give an indication to those who were in Thermopylae. And likewise was Abronichus, Lysiclees’ son, an Athenian, in fact with Leonides, ready to those who were on Artemisium to make an announcement by triaconter, if any newer matter befell the foot. Hence that Abronichus, having come, to them gave an indication of what had happened concerning Leonides and his army. Then they, when they had learned that by inquiry, no longer matter for delays were considering their retreat, but they were conveying themselves as each group had been drawn up, the Corinthians first and last the Athenians.

Now, after of the Athenians the ships that were sailing best Themistocles had picked out for himself, he was making his way round the drinkable waters and cutting in the stones letters that the Ionians, when they had gone the next day to Artemisium, read. And the letters were saying this: “Men of Ionia, you are not doing just acts by advancing with an army against your fathers and utterly making Greece a slave for yourselves. Rather, best of all, come to be on our side and, if for you that is not possible to do, then still even now out of the midst for us sit you both yourselves and of the Carians request that the same as you they do and, if for neither of those things it is possible to be done, but you are yoked down by a greater necessity than such as for you to stand apart, then engaged in the deed, whenever we join battle, fight you badly on purpose and remember that from us you are descended and that from the beginning our enmity against the barbarian from you for us has been originating”. Themistocles then wrote that, as far as it seems to me, because he had in mind thought on both outcomes, that either the letters, having escaped the notice of the king, might make the Ionians undergo a change and come to be on their side or, whenever they were brought back and given as slander to Xerxes, might make the Ionians untrusted and keep them away from the naval battles.

Themistocles inscribed that, and to the barbarians immediately after that by boat went an Histiaean man and was announcing the flight from Artemisium of the Greeks. Then they through the agency of lack of belief held the messenger under guard and dispatched away swift ships to reconnoitre and, when those had announced back what was, thus indeed together with the sun’s being scattered the whole host was sailing gathered together to Artemisium. So, having held on in that place up to the middle part of the day, from then on they were sailing to Histiaee and, having come, they got hold of the city of the Histiaeans, and of the Ellopian portion, that is, of the Histiaean land, all the villages by the sea they overran.

Then, while those were there, Xerxes, after he had had made ready the matters concerning the corpses, was sending to the naval army a herald. And he had made ready beforehand this: of all those of his army that were corpses in Thermopylae (and in fact there were two myriads), he had left behind approximately a thousand, and those left, after he had had dug ditches, he buried with a casting on of foliage and a scraping together on top for himself of earth that they might not be seen by the naval army. So, when the herald had crossed over into Histiaea, having brought about a gathering together of the whole camp, he was saying this: “Allied men, King Xerxes to whoever of you wants gives over, after he has left behind his post, to go and behold how he fights against the unintelligent among human beings who expected the king’s power they would overthrow”.

When he had announced that out for himself, after that nothing than boats proved rarer; so many wished to behold. And, after they had been conveyed across, they were beholding, by going out and through, the corpses, and all “knew” that those lying out were all Lacedaemonians and Thespians, although they were seeing also the helots. But no, Xerxes also was not escaping notice of those who had crossed over by having done that above act concerning his own corpses. For in fact indeed it was really laughable; of the members of the one group a thousand manifestly were lying as corpses, while all those of the other were lying gathered together and there had been conveyed together to the same spot four thousand. That day to beholding they turned themselves, and the next some were sailing away to Histiaea to the ships and some round with Xerxes were setting off for the way.

Now, there had come to them deserters, a few men from Arcadie, who needed a livelihood and wanted to be engaged in work. So, after they were leading those into the sight of the king, the Persians were trying to learn by inquiry about the Greeks what they were doing, and some one before all was he who was asking them that. Then they were saying to them that they were holding the Olympic games and were spectators of a contest of gymnasts and horse. So, he asked on what was put up concerning which they competed and they said the crown that was given was of the olive-tree. Thereupon, having spoken a most noble opinion, Tritantaechmes, Artabanus’ son, incurred a charge of cowardice at the hand of the king. For, when he had learned by inquiry that the prize was a crown but not money, he both held not up under being silent and said this to all: “My my! Mardonius, against what kind of men have you brought us to fight who engage in a contest not concerning money but concerning virtue?”

By that one indeed that had been said, and in the time meanwhile, after the blow in Thermopylae had come about, immediately the Thessalians sent a herald to the Phocaeans, seeing that they had on each and every occasion wrath for them and in consequence of their last blow quite very much. For, after there had made an invasion with their whole host the Thessalians themselves and their allies against the Phocaeans not many years before that driving of the army of the king, they were worsted by the Phocaeans and treated harshly. For, when there had been trapped on Parnassus the Phocaeans with a prophet, Tellies the Elean, thereupon that Tellies devised for them a wise course like this: having chalked the six hundred best men among the Phocaeans, themselves and their gear, at night he applied himself to the Thessalians, after he had said publicly to those of his that that one, whoever they saw for themselves was not colored white, they should kill. Hence of those the guards of the Thessalians, having been the first to catch sight, were afraid, because they thought that they were something else, a portent, and after the guards the host itself so as for the Phocaeans to get mastery over four thousand corpses and shields, half of which they dedicated at Abae and the others at Delphi, while the tithe of the wealth from that battle was made the large statues that stand together round the tripod before the temple in Delphi, and others like those in Abae are dedications.

Now, that against the foot of the Thessalians the Phocaeans worked out, when they were besieging them and, when their horse had made an invasion into their country, they maltreated it incurably. For in the pass that is near Hyampolis, in that land, they dug a large ditch and put empty jars down into it and, after they had placed a heap on top and made it similar to the rest of the place, they were receiving the Thessalians in their invading. Then they, with the intention that they would snatch the Phocaeans up for themselves, in their charging fell into the jars. Thereupon their horses in their legs were destroyed.

Since because of both those matters indeed against them the Thessalians were having a grudge, they sent a herald and were publicly saying this: “O Phocaeans, by now in some way more admit you are not similar to us. For both formerly among the Greeks, all the time that those affairs of them were pleasing to us, more from time immemorial than you we were winning and now with the barbarian we have so much power that it is in our strength for you to be bereaved of your land and, in addition, sold into slavery. However, we, although we have the whole, are not mindful of evils; rather, ours let become in compensation for those acts of yours fifty talents of silver, and to you we promise to turn away what is going against your country”. That to them the Thessalians were announcing out for themselves.

For the Phocaeans alone of the human beings there were not medizing, in accordance with nothing else, as I in reckoning have found, but in accordance with their enmity toward the Thessalians. If then the Thessalians had increased the affairs of the Greeks, as far as it seems to me, the Phocaeans would have medized, who, when the Thessalians were announcing out for themselves that above, asserted both they would not give money and it was possible for them to medize similarly as the Thessalians, if on other grounds they wanted, but they would not be, as far as they were willing, traitors to Greece.

And when those speeches had been brought back, thus indeed the Thessalians in a state of anger at the Phocaeans became leaders for the barbarian of the way. Indeed from the Trechinian land into the Dorian they made an invasion; for of the Dorian country a narrow strip there stretches down of somewhere approximately about thirty stades in breadth precisely which was anciently Dryopian, and that country is the mother-city of the Dorians in the Peloponnese. Hence that Dorian land the barbarians would not harm in their invading; for they were medizing and it seemed not good to the Thessalians.

Then, when from the Dorian land into the Phocaean they had made an invasion, although they captured not the Phocaeans themselves—for some of the Phocaeans went up to the heights of Parnassus (and in fact suitable to receive a crowd is Parnassus’ peak that near Neon, a city, is situated by itself, Tithorea its name, and it’s that land to which indeed they carried up their things and themselves went up) and the greater number of them conveyed themselves out to the Ozolian Locrians, to Amphissa, a city that is settled above the Crisaean plain—yet the barbarians overran the whole Phocaean country; for the Thessalians thus were leading the army. And, however so many spots they occupied, they were setting fire to and clearing all, as they were letting fire go inward, both into the cities and into the shrines.

For, as they were making their way by that way alongside the Cephisus river, they were devastating all, and utterly they burned Drymus, a city, and utterly Charadra, Erochus, Tethronium, Amphicaea, Neon, Pediees,Tritees, Elateia, Hyampolis, Parapotamioe and Abae, where there was a rich shrine of Apollo, which with many treasuries and offerings was adorned (and both then there was and now there is an oracle on the very spot), and they plundered and set on fire the shrine. Both in pursuing they captured some of the Phocaeans by the mountains and destroyed some women by having intercourse because of their multitude.

So the barbarians were passing by Parapotamioe and came to Panopeus. So thereafter by then their host was being divided up and split. The greater and more powerful part of the army together with Xerxes himself in making its way to Athens made an invasion into the Boeotians, into the land of the Orchomenians. Now, the Boeotians’ whole multitude was medizing, and their cities Macedonian men, as they had been appointed throughout, were bringing to safety, after they had been sent away by Alexander. And they were performing the bringing to safety for this end, because they wanted to make clear to Xerxes that concerning the affairs of the Medes the Boeotians were minded.

Those indeed of the barbarians by that way turned themselves and others of them with leaders set off to the shrine in Delphi and on their right were skirting Parnassus. And of the spots that those too occupied in the Phocaean land, they were ravaging all; for in fact they set on fire the Panopeans’ city as well as the Daulians’ and the Aeolidians’. Now, they were making their way by that way split off from the rest of the host for this purpose, that, after they had plundered the shrine in Delphi, to King Xerxes they might show forth its wealth. And Xerxes knew of all in the shrine that was worthy of account, as I have learned by inquiry, better than of what in his house he had left, since many on each and every occasion were giving an account, and especially of the offerings of Croesus, Alyattes’ son.

So, the Delphians, having learned of that by inquiry, were come into every kind of terror and, established in great fear, they were consulting the prophet concerning the sacred wealth about whether it they were to bury under the earth or were to convey out to another country. Then the god allowed them to perform no movement and asserted that he himself was sufficient to sit down as a guard of his own things, and the Delphians, having heard that, concerning themselves were taking thought. Now, their offspring and wives across to Achaiie they sent over, and of them most went up to Parnassus’ peaks and to the Corycian cave carried up their things and others to Locrian Anphissa went out and off. And hence all the Delphians abandoned their city except sixty men and the prophet.

Then, when the barbarians were near in their going in opposition and were seeing at a distance the shrine, in that time the prophet, whose name was Aceratus, saw that in front of the temple sacred gear was lying that from inside, from the hall, had been carried out, which it was not holy to touch for anyone among human beings. He indeed went to indicate to those of the Delphians who were at hand the portent, and the barbarians, when they were coming to be in their hastening by the Shrine of Athena before the Temple—there came on to be for them portents still greater than the portent that had come to be previously. For a marvel in fact is that very much, for martial gear of its own manifestly to lie in front outside of the temple, but what indeed next after that came to be was in fact above all apparitions worthy to marvel at most. For, when indeed the barbarians were in their going in opposition by the Shrine of Her before the Temple, in that time out of the sky thunderbolts fell on them, from Parnassus two peaks were broken off and borne with much noise among them and they took down numerous of them and out of the Shrine of Her before the Temple shouting and crying were being made.

So, all that having been mixed together, fear was fallen on the barbarians, and the Delphians, having learned that they were fleeing, went down in opposition and killed a multitude of them. Then those who were survivors straight to the Boeotians were fleeing. Now, those of the barbarians who had returned back were saying, as I have learned by inquiry, that in addition to those above they were seeing also other divine matters, as two hoplites taller than in accordance with human beings’ nature there were and they were following them in their killing and pursuing.

Now, those two, the Delphians say, were native heroes, Phylacus and Autonous, whose sacred precincts are round the shrine, Phylacus’ alongside the way itself above the Shrine of Her before the Temple and Autonous’ near Castalie underneath the Hyampeian peak. And the stones that fell from Parnassus still even to our time were safe and sound and were lying in the sacred precinct of Her before the Temple, into which they darted in their being borne through the barbarians. Now, of those men that proved the departure from the shrine.


(to be continued)


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