translated by Shlomo Felberbaum

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

Installment 42

So, the Greeks’ naval army from Artemisium at the Athenians’ requesting at Salamis put in their ships, and for the following reasons the Athenians made a request of them to keep to Salamis, that they themselves might lead out secretly for themselves their children and wives from the Attic land and in addition also take counsel for themselves about what would be having to be done by them. For in view of the present situation they were to engage in deliberation on the ground that they were mistaken in opinion. For thinking that they would find the Peloponnesians with the whole people in the Boeotian land was sitting down awaiting the barbarian, they found there was nothing of it, but they were learning by inquiry that that they were walling the Isthmus, because they were considering worth most for the Peloponnese to survive, and that were keeping under guard, and to let go of all else. Having learned that by inquiry, thus indeed they made a request of them to keep to Salamis.

While all the others indeed put in at Salamis, the Athenians did at their own land. And after their coming they had a proclamation made that, whither any of the Athenians was able, he should bring to safety his offspring and the members of his household. Thereupon most dispatched them off to Troezen, some to Aegina and some to Salamis. They were eager then to place those out secretly for themselves, because they wanted to perform a service for the oracle and, what’s more, for this reason: the Athenians say a large serpent as guard of the acropolis lives in the shrine. They say that and, in particular, for it, on the ground that it exists, monthly offerings they bring to completion by performing a putting forth. And the monthly offerings are honey-cake. Now, that honey-cake, although in the former time on each and every occasion was being consumed, then was untouched. So, after the priestess had indicated that, the Athenians somewhat more and more eagerly abandoned their city on the ground that even the god had left behind the acropolis. Then, when by them all had been placed out secretly, they were sailing to the camp.

Then, after those from Artemisium at Salamis had put in their ships, there was flowing in also the naval army of the Greeks left, when it had learned by inquiry, from Troezen; for at Pogon, the Troezenians’ harbor, it had been said beforehand they should be collected. There were collected indeed by far more ships than at Artemisium were fighting the naval battle, and from more cities. Now, as the ruler of the ships precisely the same one was in charge who was at Artemisium, Eurybiades, Eurycleides’ son, a Spartiate man, but who was not of royal birth at any rate, while the most ships by far and that were sailing best the Athenians were providing for themselves.

And there were advancing with the army these: from the Peloponnese, the Lacedaimonians who were providing for themselves sixteen ships, the Corinthians who were providing for themselves the same total number that also they were at Artemisium, while the Sicyonians were providing for themselves fifteen ships, the Epidaurians ten, the Troezenians five and the Hermionians three, and those are except for the Hermionians a Dorian and Macednian nation, who from Erineus and Pindus and the Dryopian land lastly had set off. The Hermionians then are Dryopians, who by Heracles and the Melians out of the country now called Dorian were made to stand up.

Now, those among the Peloponnesians were advancing with the army, and these from the outer mainland: the Athenians who compared with all the others were providing for themselves a hundred and eighty ships alone—for in Salamis the Plataeans joined not with the Athenians in fighting the naval battle on account of a matter like this: while the Greeks were departing from Artemisium, when they were coming to be off Chalcis, the Plataeans, having gone out onto the opposite shore of the Boeotian country, turned themselves to the conveying of the members of their households out. Now, those in bringing those to safety were left—(and the Athenians in the time when the Pelasgians had the land now called Greece were Pelasgians and were named Cranaoi, while in the time of King Cecrops they were called after him Cecropidae, but, when Erechtheus had succeeded to the rule, they were renamed Athenians and, when Ion, Xouthus’ son, had became ruler of the army for the Athenians, they were called after that one Ionians) while the Megarians were providing for themselves the same total number that also they were at Artemisium and the Ampraciotians with seven ships came on to the rescue and the Leucadians with three, and those are a Dorian nation from Corinth.

Then of the islanders the Aeginetians were providing for themselves thirty vessels. Theirs were also other filled up ships, but with those they were guarding their own land and with the thirty that were sailing best in Salamis they fought the naval battle. And the Aeginetians are Dorians from Epidaurus and their island’s name previously was Oenone. Then after the Aeginetians were Chalcidians who were providing for themselves the twenty ships at Artemisium and the Eretrians who were the seven. And those are Ionians. Then afterwards were the Ceans who were providing for themselves the same ships, and it is an Ionian nation from Athens. Then the Naxians were providing for themselves four ships, after they had been sent away to the Medes by their fellow-citizens, precisely according as all the other islanders, but had disregarded their injunctions and had come to the Greeks at Democritus’ being eager, a man esteemed among his fellow-townspeople and who then was ruler of a trireme. And the Naxians are Ionians descended from Athens. Then the Styrians were providing for themselves the same ships that they were also at Artemisium and the Cythnians one and a penteconter, and those both together were Dryopians. Moreover, the Seriphians, the Siphnians and the Melians were advancing with the army; for those alone of the islanders gave the barbarian no earth and water.

All those together, who are settled within the Thesprotians and the Acheron river, were advancing with the army; for the Thesprotians are bordering on the Ampraciotians and the Leucadians, who from the farthest countries were advancing with the army. Of them settled outside those then the Crotonietians were the only one who came to the rescue of Greece in its running the risk with one ship, of whom the ruler was a man thrice a winner at the Pythian games, Phayllus. And the Crotonietians in birth are Achaeans.

Now, all the others were advancing with the army while they were providing for themselves triremes, but the Melians, the Siphnians and the Seriphians were while they were penteconters. The Melians, who in birth were from Lacedaemon, were providing for themselves two, and the Siphnians and the Seriphians, who were Ionians from Athens, one each. So, the whole number of the ships amounted to, apart from the penteconters, three and seventy eight.

Then, when the generals had gone together to Salamis from the said cities, they were taking counsel, when Eurybiades had put forth that whoever wanted should bring forth to light for himself an opinion about where he thought was most suitable to engage in a naval battle in the countries of which they were in control; for the Attic country was let go of by then, and concerning those left he was making his putting forth. So, most opinions of the speakers concurred that, after they had sailed to the Isthmus, they should fight a naval battle in defense of the Peloponnese and they were saying in explanation this speech that, if they were defeated in the naval battle, while they were in Salamis, they would be besieged on on island, where by them no succour would appear, but, while off the Isthmus, to their own people they would be brought ashore.

While that the generals from the Peloponnese were considering, there was come an Athenian man and he was announcing that the barbarian was present at the Attic country and were having it all wasted by fire. For the army that had turned itself through the Boeotians together with Xerxes, after it had burnt down the Thespians’ city, when they themselves had abandoned it for the Peloponnese, and that of the Plataeans similarly, was present at Athens and was devastating all that there. It burned down then Thespeia and Plataea, after it had learned by inquiry from the Thebans that they would not medize.

Now, after the crossing of the Hellespont, whence the barbarians had begun to make their way, they spent one month there, in which they were crossing into Europe, and in another three months came to be in the Attic country, when Calliades was ruler for the Athenians. They both captured the town deserted and a few of the Athenians they found were in the shrine, stewards of the shrine and poor human beings, who, after they had fenced for themselves the acropolis with doors and pieces of wood, were defending themselves against those who were going in opposition, since at the same time because of lack of strength in livelihood they went not out to Salamis and in addition also as they themselves were thinking they had found out the meaning of the prophecy that Pythia had given them as an oracle, that the wooden wall would be impregnable: that itself quite was the refuge in accordance with the prophecy and not the ships.

Then the Persians were seating themselves on the hill opposite the acropolis that the Athenians call Areopagus and were besieging them in a manner like this: whenever tow they put round their arrows and kindled, they shot at the fence. Thereupon those of the Athenians who were being besieged nevertheless were defending themselves, although they had come to the extreme part of evil and the fence had given way. Not even when the sons of Peisistratus were bringing forward speeches about an agreement, would they consent to them, but in defending themselves they were making other contrivances and, in particular, when the barbarians were going to the gates, were letting boulders go forth so as for Xerxes for a long time was in the grip of difficulties, because he was not able to capture them.

Then in time after their difficult situation there appeared indeed a way in for the barbarians; for in accordance with the message from the oracle all the Attic country on the mainland had to come to be under the Persians. Hence before the acropolis and behind the gates and the way up, and it’s the land where indeed neither anyone was on guard nor would have expected that anyone among human beings ever would go up at that place, there some went up by the shrine of Cecrop’s daughter, Aglaurus, although the place was precipitous. Then, when the Athenians had seen that they had gone up, some threw themselves down from the wall and were destroyed and some to the hall fled down. So, those of the Persians who had gone up first turned themselves to the gates and, having opened those up, they were killing the suppliants; then, when by them all persons had been laid low, they plundered the shrine and burnt down the whole acropolis.

Now, having gotten hold of Athens completely, Xerxes sent away to Susa as messenger a horseman to announce to Artabanus the faring well that was on hand for them. Then after the sending of the messenger the next day, having called together the exiles of the Athenians, that is, them who were following him, he bade in their own manner sacrifice the sacred offerings, after they had gone up to the acropolis; either then probably because he had seen a vision of a dream, he was enjoining that or maybe a thing of the spirit had come about for him, since he had burnt down the shrine. So the exiles of the Athenians did what had been enjoined.

Now, for which purpose I mentioned that I will point out. There is in that acropolis of Erechtheus who is said to be earth-born a temple, in which an olive-tree and a sea are, which, there’s an account from the Athenians, Poseidon and Athena, when they disputed about the country, put down as pieces of evidence. Hence that olive-tree together with the rest of the shrine it befell to be burnt down by the barbarians, but the next day after its burning down those of the Athenians bidden sacrifice by the king, when they had gone up to the shrine, saw a shoot from the stump approximately a cubit long had shot up. Now, those that pointed out.

Then the Greeks in Salamis, when to them it had been announced out how the matters concerning Athens’ acropolis were, came to so great a degree of commotion that some of the generals were not even waiting for the proposed matter to be ratified, but were rushing into their ships and raising sails for themselves with the intention that they would run away and by those of them who were left behind it was ratified that they should fight a naval battle in defense of the Isthmus. It came to be night and they were broken up from their sitting together and went into their ships.

Indeed thereupon Themistocles, when he had come to his ship, Mnesiphilus, an Athenian man, asked what counsel by them had been taken. Then, after he had learned by inquiry from him that it had been thought good to lead their ships to the Isthmus and in defense of the Peloponnese to fight a naval battle, he said, “Not, mind you, after all, if they lift off their ships from Salamis, concerning even one fatherland any longer will you fight a naval battle; for to their cities they, each group, will turn themselves and neither Eurybiades will be able to so hold them back nor any other among human beings as for the host not to be dispersed. In short, Greece will be destroyed by instances of lack of counsel. Well, if there is any contrivance, go and try to undo the counsels that have been taken, if in any way you can convince Eurybiades to so change his mind as to remain in the very place”.

The suggestion pleased Themistocles very much and he made no answer thereupon and went to the ship of Eurybiades. Then, when he had come, he asserted that he wished to communicate to him a common matter. So he was bidding him go into his ship and speak, if he wanted anything. Thereupon Themistocles, when he was being seated by him, recited all that that he had heard from Mnesiphilus, while he was making it for himself his own, and many other things by way of adding until he convinced him by his requesting to go out of his ship and collect the generals for their sitting together.

Then, when after all they had been collected, before Eurybiades put forth his speech about the reason for which he had brought together the generals, Themistocles was of great force in his speeches seeing that he was very much in need. So, while he was speaking, the Corinthian general, Adeimantus, Ocytus’ son, said, “O Themistocles, in the contests they who stand up too early are struck with sticks”. And he in trying to acquit himself asserted, “Yes, but they who are left behind in them are not crowned”.

At that time gently to the Corinthian he replied and before Eurybiades, although he was saying no longer anything of that that he had said before, how, whenever they lifted off from Salamis, they would flee away, because, when the allies were at hand, it would not bring forth for him any adornment to make an accusation, yet he was clinging to another speech in saying this: “On you now is to bring to safety Greece, if you obey me in waiting to engage in a naval battle in the very place and in not obeying the speeches of those yoke up and away towards the Isthmus your ships. Put each matter in opposition, after you have heard: if you give battle off the Isthmus, you will fight a naval battle on the spread out open sea, which is least expedient for us, because we have heavier ships and fewer in number, and on the one hand you will lose Salamis and Megara and Aegina, precisely even if in all else you have good fortune, and together with their nautical force will follow also their foot army, and thus them you yourself will lead to the Peloponnese—in short, you will run the risk of all Greece together—but if you do what I say, so many useful matters in it you will find: first, in giving battle in a narrow spot with few ships against many, if what’s reasonable results from the war, we will have a large mastery, because to fight a naval battle in a narrow spot is to our advantage and in broad space to theirs, and in turn Salamis becomes a survivor, on which by us have been put out secretly offspring and wives, and further also this is in it, which you also cling to all round most: you will fight a naval battle in defense of the Peloponnese alike by remaining in the very place and off the Isthmus and them, precisely if you think well, you will not lead to the Peloponnese. Moreover, if at any rate what I expect happens and we prevail with our ships, neither for us at the Isthmus will the barbarians be on hand nor will they go forth farther than the Attic country; both they will go away with no order and we will gain by Megara’s surviving as well as Aegina’s and Salamis’, in which for us in fact there is a prophecy of proving superior to our enemies. Now, if human beings take reasonable counsels on the whole, as it were, for them they are wont to come to be, but if they take not reasonable counsels, for them the god in fact is not wont to assent to their human judgements”.

While Themistocles was saying that, again the Corinthian Adeimantus was bringing himself in opposition, as he was bidding him be silent whose was no fatherland and not allowing Eurybiades to give the matter over to the voting pebbles for a cityless man; for Themistocles, when he was furnishing for himself a city, he was bidding thus to contribute opinions. And he was bringing that reproach forth against him, in that Athens had been captured and was being occupied. At that time indeed Themistocles was speaking about him and the Corinthians many bad words and of their own he was making clear by speech that there was both a city and a land greater than that of those, as long as two hundred filled ships were theirs; for none of the Greeks would repel them, if they went in opposition.

So, with his indicating that, in his speech he was crossing over to Eurybiades and speaking words more turned to him, “You, if you will remain in the very place, in fact by remaining will be a good man, but if not, you will pull up Greece; for the whole matter of the war for us our ships bear. Well, obey me. And if you do not that, we, as we are, after we have taken up the members of our households, will convey ourselves to Siris in Italy, the very land that has been ours ever from of old, and it the prophecies say by us must be founded, while you, left alone without allies like these, will remember my speeches”.

Then, as Themistocles was saying that, Eurybiades was being thoroughly taught and, as far as it seems to me, because he was afraid lest they should abandon them, if to the Isthmus he led up the ships; for, if the Athenians performed an abandoning, no longer would those left prove worthy of battling. That opinion indeed he chose, for them to remain in the very place and fight a naval battle through.

Thus those round Salamis, having skirmished with sayings, when it had seemed good to Eurybiades, in the very place were preparing themselves with the intention that they would fight a naval battle. It was coming to be day and together with the sun’s going up there came to be a quaking on the land and the sea. So it seemed good to them to pray to the gods and to summon the sons of Aeacus as allies. And, when it had seemed good to them, in fact they were doing that; for, after they had prayed to all the gods, from the very place, from Salamis, they were summoning Ajax and Telamon and for Aeacus and all the other sons of Aeacus they were dispatching off a ship to Aegina.

Now, Dicaeus made an assertion, Theocydes’ son, an exile and who had proven one to speak of among the Medes, that during that time, when the Attic country was being cut by the foot army of Xerxes and was bereft of Athenians, he in fact then was together with Demaretus the Lacedaemonian on the Thriasian plain and saw stirred up dust’s going from Eleusis of approximately somewhere round thirty thousand men, and they were marvelling at the stirred up dust, of whom in the world among human beings it was, and straightway were hearing a sound, and to him the sound appeared to be the “Iacchus” of the mysteries. Then Demaretus was ignorant of the sacred rites that were performed in Eleusis, and asked him what that which was making utterance was, and he himself said, “Demaretus, there is no way in which there will not be a great harm for the king’s host. For this is very clear, the Attic land being bereft, that that which is making utterance is divine, as it goes from Eleusis for succour for the Athenians and their allies. And if at any rate it falls down onto the Peloponnese, danger for the king himself and his host on the mainland there will be and, if it turns itself to the ships in Salamis, the nautical army the king will risk losing. That festival then the Athenians hold annually for the Mother and the Maiden, and whoever of them and of all the other Greeks wants is initiated, and the sound that you hear in that festival they make, ‘Iacchus’”. Thereupon Demaretus said, “Keep being silent and to no other that speech speak. For, if for you those sayings are brought back to the king, you will lose your head, and you neither I will be able to deliver nor another among human beings, not even one. Well, be a silent one and concerning the host here to gods it will be a care”. He indeed that was advising, and after the stirred up dust and the sound there came to be a cloud and it, lifted up, was being borne towards Salamis to the camp of the Greeks. Thus indeed they came to learn that the nautical force of Xerxes was to be destroyed. That Dicaeus, Theocydes’ son, was saying and to Demaretus and others as witnesses was appealing.

Now, those appointed to Xerxes’ nautical army, when, after they had beheld the blow against Laconian, they had crossed over from Trechis to Histiaee, having held up three days, were sailing through the Euripus and in another three days came to be in Phalerum. As far as it seems to me for my part, they, being no fewer in number, made an invasion into Athens by the mainland and with their ships than when they had come to Sepias and into Thermopylae. For I will put in opposition to those of them destroyed by the storm and those in Thermopylae and at the naval battles off Artemisium these who at that time were not following the king, the Melians, the Dorians, the Locrians, the Boeotians who were following with their whole host except the Thespians and the Plataeans, and as well the Carystians, the Andrians, the Tenians and all the islanders left except the five cities that whose names I mentioned previously. For the more inward in Greece the Persian was going forth, the more nations were following him.

Hence, after there had come to Athens all those except the Parians (and the Parians, left behind, were watching to see the war, which way it would come out) those left then, when they had come to Phalerum—thereupon Xerxes himself went down to the ships, because he wished to commune with them and to learn by inquiry those sailing on board’s opinions. Then, when he had come and was sitting in the first place, there were on hand sent for the tyrants of their nations and the rulers of contingents from the ships and they were seated as to them each the king had given honor, first the Sidonian, afterwards the Tyrian and on top of that all the others. So, when they were seated in order in a row, Xerxes sent Mardonius and was asking by way of making trial of each whether he should engage in a naval battle.

Then, when Mardonius was going round and doing the asking by beginning from the Sidonian, all the others were bringing forth for themselves an opinion after the same fashion and bidding engage in a naval battle, but Artemisie asserted this: “Say for me before the king, Mardonius, that I say the following, who neither proved the worst in the naval battles off Euboea nor showed forth for myself the smallest deeds: ‘Master, the opinion that is then for me it is just to show forth for myself, what I in fact think best for your affairs. And to you this I say: be sparing of your ships and cease from engaging in naval battle; for their men than your men are stronger by sea so much as men than women. And why by all means must you run up a risk by naval battles? Do you not have Athens, precisely for whose sake you set off to advance with an army, and have the rest of Greece? And in the way of you stands no one, while they who stood in opposition to you got off thus as was fitting for those. Which way then I think the affairs of your opponents in war will come out, that I will point out: if you hasten not in engaging in a naval battle, but hold your ships in the very place and remain off land or maybe go forth to the Peloponnese, easily for you, master, will go that with which in mind you have gone. For the Greeks are not able a long time to hold out in opposition to you, but you will thoroughly scatter them and down to their cities each group will flee. For neither food’s on hand for them on that island, as I have learned by inquiry, nor is it reasonable they, if you drive against the Peloponnese your foot army, will be still, those of them who have come from there, and not to them will it be a care to fight a naval battle in defense of Athens. But if you immediately hasten to fight a naval battle, I fear lest the nautical army, made bad, should harm in addition the foot. In addition, o king, also this lay to heart, that among human beings the good ones’ bad slaves love to become and the bad ones’ good. So yours, who are the best of all men, are bad slaves, who in your allies’ accounting are accounted to be, and they are the Egyptians, the Cyprians, the Cilicians and the Pamphylians, in whom there is no use’”.

While she was saying that before Mardonius, all who well-disposed to Artemisie were considering her speeches a misfortune on the ground that she would suffer some evil at the hands of the king, in that she would not allow engaging in a naval battle, while those who were jealous of and envying her, seeing that among the first she was honored above all the allies, were delighted with her answer on the ground that she would be destroyed. Then, when the opinions had been brought back to Xerxes, he very much took pleasure in the opinion of Artemisie and, while he was considering still earlier that she was excellent, at that time by far more was praising her. But nevertheless he was bidding obey the greater number, since he firmly believed this, that off Euboea they were fighting badly on purpose on the ground that he was not on hand, while at that time he himself had prepared himself to behold their fighting the naval battle.

Then, when they were announcing out that they should sail up, they were leading up their ships to Salamis and were drawn up in a line, thoroughly arranged, at ease. Now, at that time as the day sufficed not for them to engage in a naval battle—for night had come on—so they they were preparing themselves for the morrow. Now, the Greeks fear and dread held, and not least those from the Peloponnese, and they were in dread, in that they themselves, sitting down in Salamis, on behalf of the land of the Athenians were to fight a naval battle and, if they were prevailed over, trapped on the island, they would be besieged, after they had let their own land go off unguarded.

And among the barbarians the foot under cover of the night that was at hand was making its way to the Peloponnese. And yet all possible contrivances had been performed that by the mainland the barbarians might not make an invasion. For, as soon as the Peloponnesians had learned by inquiry that those round with Leonides in Thermopylae had met their end, they ran together from their cities and were seated at the Isthmus, and over them as general was Cleombrotus, Anaxandrides’ son and Leonides’ brother. Then, once they were seated in the Isthmus and had demolished the Sceironian way, after that when it had seemed good to them in their taking counsel, they were building a wall through the Isthmus. And, seeing that they were many myriads and everyone was working, the work was being completed; for in fact stones, bricks, pieces of wood and baskets full of sand were being brought in, and those who had come to the rescue were resting no time from their working at either night or day.

And those of the Greeks who had come to the rescue to the Isthmus with their whole people were these: the Lacedaemonians and all Arcadians as well as the Eleans, the Corinthians, the Sicyonians, the Epidaurians, the Phleiasians, the Troezenians and the Hermionians. Those were they who had come to the rescue and felt dread for Greece in its being in danger, while to all the other Peloponnesians it was no care. But the Olympic games and the Carneia were gone by by now.

Now, there are settled in the Peloponnese seven nations, and of those, two, being autochthonous, are set up now in the place where also formerly they had been settled, the Arcadians and the Cynourians, and one nation, the Achaean, although it has not gone out of the Peloponnese, however has from their own land and is settled in the land of others, while the four nations left of the seven are incomers, the Dorians, the Aetolians, the Dryopians and the Lemnians. Of the Dorians are many esteemed cities, of the Aetolians only Elis, of the Dryopians Hermion and Asine near Laconian Cardamyle, and of the Lemnians all Paroreetians. And the Cynourians, being autochthonous, seem to be the only Ionians, but have been made Dorians thoroughly, because of their being ruled by the Argives, and by the time, and are Orneetians and people settled round. Hence of those seven nations the cities left, except those that I recounted, sat down out of their midst and, if it is permitted to speak freely, by sitting down out of their midst were medizing.

Those indeed on the Isthmus with a toil like that came to grips, seeing that they were running their race concerning the whole by then and in their ships were not expecting to shine, while those in Salamis nevertheless, although they had learned that by inquiry, were experiencing dread, not so afraid about themselves as about the Peloponnese. For a while indeed among them man stood by man and silently was engaging in speech, because they were considering a marvel Eurybiades’ lack of counsel, and finally there was a breaking forth into the midst. A gathering together indeed was made and many accounts were given about the same matters, some saying that to the Peloponnese they must sail away and concerning that land run the risk and not remain and fight in defense of a country captured by the spear, and the Athenians, the Aeginetians and the Megarians that they must remain in the very place and defend themselves.

Thereupon Themistocles, when he was being worsted in his opinion by the Lacedaemonians, escaped notice and went out of the seating together and, after he had gone out, he sent to the camp of the Medes a man by boat and enjoined what he had to say, whose name was Sicinnus, and he was a household servant and pedagogue of Themistocles’ children, and it was he whom indeed later than those affairs Themistocles made a Thespian, when the Thespians were receiving in fellow-citizens, and with money blest. He at that time by boat came and was saying before the general of the barbarians this: “There sent me the general of the Athenians without the notice of all the other Greeks, because he in fact thinks the thoughts of the king and wants to become superior your rather than the Greeks’ affairs, to point out that the Greeks are taking counsel for themselves about flight in a state of utter dread and now it is possible for you to work out the most beautiful work of all, if you do not overlook their fleeing away. For they neither think the same as each other nor any longer will stand in opposition to you; in short, against themselves you will see they are fighting a naval battle, those who think your thoughts and those who do not”. He indicated that to them and was departing out of the way.

And, when to them what had been announced was proving credible, on the one hand, onto the islet of Psyttaleia that lies between Salamis and the mainland many of the Persians they made go out and, on the other, when the middle parts of the night were coming to be, as they were leading up their wing from the west by forming a circle towards Salamis, so they, those stationed around Ceos and Cynosoura, were leading up themselves and were occupying the whole passage up to Mounichie with their ships. For this purpose then they were leading up their ships, that indeed to the Greeks it might not be possible in fact to flee, but they might be caught within, in Salamis, and give payment for their acts of contention off Artemisium. And to the islet called Psyttaleia they were making go out those from among the Persians for this purpose—with the intention that, whenever a naval battle happened, there especially the men and the pieces of the shipwrecks would be carried ashore, because indeed in the passage of the naval battle that was to be the island lay—that some they might make survivors and some destroy. So they were doing that in silence that their opponents might not learn of it by inquiry. They indeed that without having fallen off to any sleep were preparing.

Now, against oracles I am not able to speak that they are not true, because I want not those that speak plainly to try to throw down when I look at matters like this:

Well, when Artemis with gold sword’s sacred headland
With ship they bridge, and Cynosoura by the sea,
After with mad hope they have sacked shining Athens,
Divine Right will quench strong Surfeit, Insolence’s son,
With his awful lust, as he thinks he’ll drink up all.
For bronze with bronze will be mixed, and with blood Ares
The sea will redden. Then Greece’s day of freedom
Wide-eyed Cronos’ son brings on and august Nike.

In view of things like that, that is, when Bacis speaks thus plainly, speeches against him concerning oracles I neither dare to speak myself nor consent to from others.

So, of the generals in Salamis there was coming to be much wrangling in speeches, and they knew not yet that round them the barbarians were forming a circle with their ships, but just as in the day they were seeing they were stationed, they were thinking they were in place.

(to be continued)

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