translated by Shlomo Felberbaum

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Installment 44

They indicated that and were sailing away back, while the Greeks, when it had seemed far from good to them both to pursue still farther the barbarians’ ships and to sail to the Hellespont to break the means of passage, were sitting round Andros, because they wished to utterly take it. For the Andrians, the first of the islanders to be demanded money of by Themistocles, gave it not, but, when Themistocles was putting forward this speech, that the Athenians were present with round themselves two great gods, Persuasion and Necessity, and thus they had very much to give money, they answered thereupon by saying that in proportion Athens was, after all, great and happy, that also was well off for useful gods; since the Andrians at any rate were poor in land in having come to their greatest attainments, and two useless gods would not abandon their island but on each and every occasion love the place, Poverty and Impotence, in fact being in possession of those gods, the Andrians would give no money; for in fact never than their lack of power would the Athenians’ power be stronger. Those indeed, having answered that and given no money, were being besieged.

Then Themistocles, because he was not ceasing from being greedy, sending off to all the other islands threatening speeches, was demanding money through the same messengers which he had also used with the king and saying that, if they would not give what was being demanded, he would lead in opposition the host of the Greeks and by besieging would perform an utter taking. Saying that, he was collecting much money from the Carystians and the Parians, who, having learned by inquiry of Andros, that it was being besieged, on account of that fact that it had medized, and of Themistocles, that he was in the greatest repute among the generals, in fear of that were sending money. Now, whether indeed any others also among the islanders gave, I am not able to say, but I think some others too gave and not those alone. And yet for the Carystians at any rate in no way because of that a delay of bad came to be, while the Parians, having propitiated Themistocles with money, escaped from the armed force. Now, Themistocles was setting off from Andros and acquiring money from the islanders without the notice of all the other generals.

Then those round with Xerxes, having held up a few days after the naval battle, were driving out to the Boeotians the same way. For it seemed to Mardonius that partly he should send forth the king and that partly an unseasonableness of the year for waging war existed, in short, that it was better to winter in Thessaly and thereafter together with spring to make trial of the Peloponnese. So, when they had come to Thessaly, thereupon Mardonius was picking out for himself first all the Persians who were called “Immortals”, except Hydarnes the general, because that one was asserting that he would not leave the king behind, and afterwards among all the other Persians the wearers of a breastplate and the thousand horse as well as the Medes and the Sacians and the Bactrians and the Indians, both their foot and their horse. Those as whole nations he chose, and from all the other allies he was picking out for himself groups of a few by selecting those to whom kinds of looks were belonging and any if by them any useful deed he was aware had been done. And as one largest nation the Persians he was choosing, men wearing torques and wearing bangles, and on top of them the Medes; those then in respect to multitude were not less than the Persians, but in strength weaker, so as for all together to amount to thirty myriads together with horsemen.

Then in that time, in which Mardonius was dividing up his host and Xerxes was round Thessalie, an oracle was come from Delphi to the Lacedaemonians that from Xerxes they should demand acts of justice for Leonides’ killing and what was being offered by that one they should receive. The Spartiates sent indeed a herald the quickest way, who, after he had overtaken the whole host when it was still in Thessaly, went into the sight of Xerxes and was saying this: “O king of the Medes, the Lacedaemonians and the sons of Heracles from Sparta demand from you acts of justice for killing, in that you killed their king while he was trying to deliver Greece”. Then the other, when he had laughed and held himself back a long time, since by him in fact was standing Mardonius, was pointing to that one and said, “Therefore to them Mardonius here will pay penalties like those that to them it is fitting”.

The one indeed, having received what had been said, was departing, and Xerxes, having left Mardonius behind in Thessaly, by himself was making his way with speed to the Hellespont and came to the passage of crossing in forty five days, while he was leading away no part of his host, to exaggerate. Then, wherever in making their way they came to be and among whichever human beings, the produce of those there they seized and ate and, if they found no produce, they then the grass growing up out of the earth, and of the trees the bark, when they were peeling it off, and the leaves, when they were plucking them down, ate up, similarly of the cultivated and of the wild, and left nothing. And that they were doing through the agency of famine. Further, pestilence, having taken hold on the army, as well as dysentery, on the way was destroying it, and those of them who were in fact sick he was leaving behind and imposing on the cities where on each occasion he came to be in his driving to care for and to nourish, some in Thessaly and in Siris in Paeonie and in Macedonie. There in fact having left behind the sacred chariot of Zeus, when he was driving against Greece, in his going back he took it not back; rather, the Paeonians, having given it to the Thracians, when Xerxes was demanding it back, were asserting that, while the mares were grazing, they were seized by the inland Thracians who were settled round the springs of the Strymon.

On that occasion in fact the king of the Bisaltians and the Crestonian land, a Thracian, worked out an extraordinary work, he who both was asserting he himself to Xerxes, as far as he was willing, would not be a slave, but was gone up to the mountain, Rhodope, and was publicly saying to his children that they should not advance with an army against Greece. But they took no account—or for another reason for them a desire came about to behold the war—and were advancing with the army together with the Persian. Then, after they had gone back, all unharmed, who were six, their father dug out their eyes on account of that reason.

In fact those took hold of that wage, and the Persians, when making their way from Thrace they had come to the passage, hastening over the Hellespont with their ships crossed to Abydos; for the pontoons they found were no longer strung tight but by a storm thoroughly untied. There then they, being held back, were obtaining by lot more food than on the way. Because of their filling themselves with no order and their changing waters, there were dying of the army that was surviving many. And those left with Xerxes came to Sardis.

Now, there is also this other account that is given, that, after Xerxes in driving away out of Athens had come to Eion by the Strymon, thereafter no longer was he thoroughly using roads, but the host to Hydarnes he entrusted to lead away to the Hellespont, while he himself, having gone on a Phoenician ship, was being conveyed to Asia. Then him, while he was sailing, a wind, the Strymonian, overtook, a great and stormy one. And lo!, because he was being driven by the storm somewhat more, since the ship was loaded up, seeing that on the deck were numerous Persians who were being conveyed together with Xerxes, thereupon, having fallen into fear, the king asked by shouting the pilot whether there was any means of salvation for them. And he said, “Master, there is no, unless there comes about a riddance of those many who have gone on board”. And Xerxes it is said, when he had heard that, said, “Persian men, now let everyone of you thoroughly show that he cares about the king; for in your power the means of salvation for me looks like it is”. He was saying that, and they were bowing to him and leaping out into the sea, and the ship, lightened up, thus indeed was brought away to safety to Asia. Then, as soon as Xerxes had gone out on land, he acted like this: in that he had brought to safety the king’s soul, he presented with a gold crown the pilot, but in that many of the Persians he had destroyed, he cut off his head.

So that is given as another account about Xerxes’ return, although in no way to me at any rate it’s credible, neither otherwise nor in respect to that suffering of the Persians. For if indeed that thus had been said by the pilot before Xerxes, among ten thousand opinions I have not one opposed to the thought that the king would have acted like this—some from the deck he would have caused to go down into the hollow part of the ship, who were Persians and of the Persians the first—and about the oarsmen who were Phoenicians to the thought how a multitude equal to the Persians he would have thrown out into the sea. Rather, he, as also previously has been said by me, making use of a way, together with all the rest of the army returned back to Asia.

Moreover, this too is a great piece of evidence: namely, manifestly Xerxes came to Abdera in his being conveyed back and he agreed on friendly relations with them and presented them with a gold acinaces and a gold-sprinkled tiara. And, as the Abderians say, although they give to me at any rate in no way credible accounts, for the first time he untied his girdle in his fleeing back from Athens on the ground that he was in a state of lack of fear. Now, Abdera is settled more towards the Hellespont than the Strymon and the Eion and it is there from which indeed they assert that he went onto the ship.

Then the Greeks, since they had proven not able to completely take Andros, after they had turned themselves to Carystus and devastated the country of those their, were departing to Salamis. Now, first for the gods they took out other first fruits and three Phoenician triremes, one to dedicate at the Isthmus, precisely which still even to my time had existed, one upon Sunium and one for Aias there at Salamis. Then after that they divided up the booty and the first fruits sent away to Delphi, from which was made a statue with a ship’s extremity in its hand which in magnitude was of twelve cubits, and that stands precisely where does the gold Macedonian Alexander.

So the Greeks, having sent first fruits to Delphi, were in addition asking the god jointly whether he had taken hold of the first fruits as full and pleasing, and he asserted that from all the other Greeks he had that, but not from the Aeginetians; rather, he was demanding from them the best’s prizes for the naval battle in Salamis. Then the Aeginetians, having learned that by inquiry, dedicated gold stars that upon a bronze mast stand, three in the corner nearest Croesus’ bowl.

So, after the dividing up of the booty the Greeks were sailing to the Isthmus to give the best’s prizes to who had proved most worthy among the Greeks during that war. Then, when the generals had come and were casting their pebbles differently on Poseidon’s altar in their judging the first and the second out of all, thereupon everyone of them was putting forward by himself a pebble for himself, as each himself thought he had proven best, and, second, the greater number were concurring in their judging Themistocles. They indeed were made alone, and Themistocles in second prizes was far excelling.

So, although the Greeks wanted not to make that judgement because of envy and rather each group was sailing off to its own land without having judged, nevertheless Themistocles was shouted about and was reputed to be far the wisest man among the Greeks throughout Greece, but in that, although he was winning, he had not been honored at the hands of those who had fought the naval battle in Salamis, immediately after that to Lacedaemon he came, because he wished to be honored, and him the Lacedaemonians received in beautifully and honored greatly. Now, the best’s prizes they gave: to Eurybiades of an olive-tree a crown, and for wisdom and cleverness to Themistocles, even to that one, a crown of an olive-tree. And they presented him with a chariot that was the most beautiful in Sparta. Then having bestowed many praises, they sent him forth when he was going away, three hundred picked ones among the Spartiates, precisely those who are called horsemen, up to the Tegean boundaries. That one quite alone of all human beings of whom we know the Spartiates sent forth.

So, when from Lacedaemon he had come to Athens, thereupon Timodemus an Aphidnian, who was among the enemies of Themistocles but in other respects not among the distinguished men, was utterly mad because of envy and railing at Themistocles by bringing forward his coming to Lacedaemon, how on account of Athens he had the honors from the Lacedaemonians but not on account of himself. Then he, since Timodemus would not stop giving that account, said, “Thus it is, mind you: neither would have I, being a Belbinian, been honored thus at the hands of the Spartiates nor would have you, o human being, being an Athenian”.

Now, that happened to that great a point, and Artabazus, Pharnaces’ son, who had been a man to speak of among the Persians even formerly and after the Plataean events came to be even more still, with six myriads of the army that Mardonius had picked out was sending forth the king up to the passage. Then, when the one was in Asia and the other in his making his way back was coming to be off Pallene, seeing that Mardonius was wintering round Thessalie and Macedonie and he himself was not yet at all pressing on to be present at the camp, he was not thinking just, when he had fallen in with the Poteidaeans who were standing apart, not to lead them out for himself into captivity. For the Poteidaeans, when the king had driven out nearby and the naval force of the Persians had gone in its fleeing from Salamis, in the open were standing apart from the barbarians and thus also all the others that had Pallene.

Thereupon indeed Artabazus was besieging Poteidaea and, because he suspected that the Olynthians also were trying to revolt from the king, also that land he was besieging. And the Bottiaeans who had been expelled from the Thermean gulf by the Macedonians had it. Then, after he had captured them by his besieging, he killed them utterly by cutting their throats, when he had performed a leading away to a lake, and their city he gave over to Critoboulus, a Toronian, to be its guardian and to the Chalcidian race, and thus of Olynthus the Chalcidians got hold.

Then, having completely captured that land, Artabazus was devoting himself vigorously to Poteidaea, and with him who was devoting himself eagerly there compacted a betrayal Timoxeinus, the Scionians’ general; although in what manner in the beginning I at any rate am not able to say (for, in fact, it is not said), nevertheless in the end a thing like this was done: whenever one wrote a paper, either Timoxeinus wishing to send to Artabazus or Artabazus to Timoxeinus, after alongside the slots of an arrow they had wrapped round and feathered the paper, they shot the arrow to an agreed on spot. And Timoxeinus became detected in his betraying Poteidaea; for Artabazus in trying to shoot an arrow to the agreed on space missed the spot and hit a Poteidaean man’s shoulder, and round him who had been hit a crowd ran, like loves to happen in war, who immediately took hold of the arrow and, when they had learned of the paper, were bringing it to the generals. Moreover, there was present also of all the other Pallenians an alliance. So, to the generals, when they had read the paper and learned the cause of the betrayal, it seemed good not to strike him down with his betrayal for the sake of the Scionians’ city, lest the Scionians should be considered to be during the time thereafter on each and every occasion traitors.

He indeed in a manner like that had become detected, while for Artabazus, when for him in his besieging it had come to be three months, there came to be a great ebb in the sea and for a long time. Then the barbarians, having seen there had come to be a shallows, tried to go by to Pallene, but when they had made their passage by the way through two parts, and three were still left over, which they had to go through and be inside, in Pallene, there went over as great flood-tide in the sea as in no way yet, as the natives say, in comparison with the one that was coming to be often. Some of them, indeed, who knew not how to swim were being destroyed, while some who knew how the Poteidaeans sailed against with boats and killed. And the cause, say the Poteidaeans, of the flow and the Persian suffering proved this, that against Poseidon’s temple and his image in the suburb acted impiously precisely those among the Persians who in fact were destroyed by the sea, and in giving an account of that as cause to me at any rate they seem to speak well. And those who had become survivors Artabazus was leading away to Thessalie to Mardonius.

Those who had sent forth the king fared thus, and the naval force of Xerxes that had become a survivor, when it had reached Asia in its fleeing from Salamis and ferried the king and his host through from the Chersonese to Abydos, was wintering in Cyme. Then, spring having shone forth, early it was being gathered together at Samos. Moreover, some of the ships in fact had wintered in the very place and they of the Persians and Medes were the greater number to be marines. Now, as generals to them went Mardontes, Bagaeus’ son, and Artayntes, Artachaees’ son, and joining those in ruling also was the son of the brother of Artayntes himself, who had chosen him as an associate, Ithamitres. Then, seeing that they were greatly struck, they were not going forth farther over what was towards the west and not even one person was compelling them on, but, sitting down in Samos, they were guarding Ionia, that it should stand not apart, with three hundred ships together with the Ionian. Yet no, they were not expecting that the Greeks would go to Ionia, but that it would suffice for them to guard their own land, and they were making their judgement by the fact that they had not pursued them in their fleeing from Salamis, but gladly were departing. Now, at the sea they were worsted in their spirit, but on foot they thought that Mardonius would gain mastery by far. So, being in Samos, partly they were taking counsel for themselves whether they were able to do any bad to their enemies and partly they were also listening by ear to how the affairs of Mardonius would fall out.

Then the spring’s coming to be as well as Mardonius’ being in Thessaly was waking up the Greeks. Although their foot indeed was not yet being collected, yet their naval army came to Aegina, a hundred and ten ships in number. And the general and ruler of ships was Leutychides, Menares’ son, Hegesileos’ son, Hippocratides’ son, Leutychides’ son, Anaxileos’ son, Archidemus’ son, Anaxandrides’ son, Theopompus’ son, Nicandrus’ son, Charileos’ son, Eunomus’ son, Polydectes’ son, Prytanis’ son, Euryphon’s son, Proclees’ son, Aristodemus’ son, Aristomachus’ son, Cleodaeus’ son, Hyllus’ son, Heraclees’ son, and he was of the other house of the kings. All those, except the seven who were first to be recounted after Leutychides, all the others, had become kings of Sparta. And of the Athenians the general was Xanthippus, Ariphron’s son.

Then, when all the ships had come along to be in Aegina, there came messengers of the Ionians to the camp of the Greeks, they who also to Sparta a little before that had come and were asking of the Lacedaemonians to free Ionia, they among whom in fact was Herodotus, Basileides’ son, they who, having become men of faction among themselves, were taking counsel on death for Strattis, Chios’ tyrant, and were seven in the beginning, but, when they had become manifest in their taking counsel on that, after one of those who were having a share had brought forth the laying on of hands, thus indeed—those left, being six-secretly got out of Chios and came to Sparta and, in particular, at that time to Aegina in their asking of the Greeks to sail down to Ionia, of them who led them forth with difficulty up to Delos, because what was farther was in its entirety awful to the Greeks, both because they were not acquainted with the places, and all seemed to be full of a host; moreover, they “knew” in opinion that Samos and the Pillars of Heracles were an equal distance away. And there fell out by coincidence a thing like that following, namely, so as for the barbarians not to dare to sail up over what’s towards the west higher than Samos in their state of utter dread and for the Greeks at Chians’ requesting not to dare to do so over what’s toward the east lower than Delos. Thus fear was guarding the space between them.

The Greeks indeed were sailing to Delos, and Mardonius was wintering round Thessaly. Then, making his base there, he was sending round through the oracles a man, one from Europus in birth, whose name was Mys, after his having given the injunction that he should go everywhere to consult the oracles that it was possible for them to make trial of. Because he wanted to learn completely what from the oracles he was giving that injunction I am not able to point out—for in fact it is not said—but I for my part think that about the affairs that were on hand and not about other things he sent.

That Mys manifestly came to Lebadeia and by means of a wage persuaded among the natives a man to go down to Trophonius and came to Abae of the Phocaeans to the oracle. And, in particular, to Thebes first, when he had come, he, on the one hand, consulted Ismenian Apollo (and consulting the oracle is, precisely according as in Olympia, by sacred offerings in that very place) and, on the other, after he had persuaded a stranger and no Theban with money, he put him to sleep in Amphiareus’ place. Now, to none of the Thebans it is permitted to prophesy in that very place on account of this: Amphiareus bade them by dealing through oracles choose whichever of the two of those following things they wanted—make use of him either just as a prophet or just as an ally and keep themselves from the other thing—and they chose him to be an ally. On account of that it is permitted to none of the Thebans in that very place to go to sleep within.

At that time then the greatest marvel to me is said by the Thebans to have happened, that there came, after all, the one from Europus, Mys, in his turning himself round to all the oracles, also to Ptoan Apollo’s sacred precinct. And that shrine is called Ptoan and is the Thebans’ and lies above the Copaian lake close by a mountain nearest to Acraephie, a city. To that shrine, when there had gone inside that one who was called Mys, there were following him of the townsmen three chosen men from the commonwealth with the intention that they would write down for themselves what one was to speak divinely and straightway the mantic by means of a barbarian tongue was giving an oracle. And those of the Thebans who were following were held in a state of marvel when they were hearing a barbarian tongue instead of a Greek and knew not what use they were to make of the matter that was at hand, but the one from Europus, Mys, after he had seized away from them the tablet that they were bringing with themselves, what was being said by the prophet he was writing on it and was asserting that he by means of a Carian tongue was giving the oracle and, when he had performed a composing for himself, he was gone and went away to Thessaly.

Then Mardonius, when he had read for himself just what the oracles were the speakers of, after that sent as a messenger to Athens Alexander, Amyntes’ son, a Macedonian man, partly in that the Persians were kin to him, because Alexander’s sister and Amyntes’ daughter, Gygaee, Boubares, a Persian man, had had in marriage, of whom to him was born the Amyntes in Asia, who had the name of his maternal grandfather, and it was he to whom indeed by the king had been given in Phrygia Alabanda, a large city, to draw revenue from, and partly Mardonius, because he had learned by inquiry that Alexander was a public host and benefactor, was performing the sending. For the Athenians thus he thought he most would acquire over, when he was hearing that after all they were a large and valorous folk and that the sufferings that had met with them at the sea the Athenians had worked out especially he knew. So, those added, he was utterly expecting that easily over the sea he would gain mastery, precisely what in fact would have been, and on foot he was thinking that he was by far stronger; in short, thus he was reckoning the affairs of him would be superior to the Greeks’. And perhaps also the oracles might have been predicting that for him and advising that he should make for himself as an ally the Athenian and it was they in obeying whom indeed he was performing the sending.

Of that Alexander, then, the seventh ancestor, Perdicces, is the one who acquired the Macedonians’ tyranny in a manner like this: from Argos fled to the Illyrians of Temenus’ descendants three brothers, Gauanes, Aeropus and Perdicces, and, when they had crossed over from the Illyrians to upper Macedonia, they came to Lebaee, a city. So there they were laborers for a fee at the king’s court, one pasturing horses, one cows and one, the youngest of them, Perdicces, the small ones among the cattle. Now, formerly even the members of the tyrannies among human beings were lacking in strength in respect to money, not only the people, and the wife of the king herself was cooking their food for them. And, whenever she baked, the loaf of the child, the laborer, Perdicces, itself became twice as large as itself. So, when on each and every occasion that same thing was happening, she spoke to her husband, and into him, when he had heard, it went immediately that it was a portent and was leading to something large. Then, having called his laborers, he was publicly saying forth to them that they should depart from his land, and they were asserting that it was just for them to take away their fee and thus go away. Thereupon the king, when he had heard about the fee, as the sun was getting in down through the smoke-vent into the house, said, since he had been stricken by a god, “And as a fee to you worthy of you I am offering away this”, and he showed the sun. Gauanes and Aeropus, the older ones, stood struck out of themselves, when they had heard that, while the child, as in fact he had a knife, said this, “We receive, o king, what you are offering”, and inscribed round with the knife into the ground of the house the sun. And, when he had performed the inscribing round, after into his bosom thrice he had drawn for himself some of the sun, he departed, himself as well as those with him.

They indeed went away, and to the king one among the sitting by indicated what kind of a thing the child had done and that with mind the youngest of those had taken hold of what was being offered. Then he, having heard that and brought to a point of anger, sent against them horsemen to perform a destroying. Now, there is a river in that country, to whom the descendants of those men from Argos sacrifice as to a savior. That, when the sons of Temenus had stepped through, flowed so large as for the horsemen not to prove able to step through. So they, having come to another land in Macedonia, settled near the gardens said to be Mides the son of Gordies’, in which grow on their own roses, each one with sixty petals, and in smell are excelling all the others. In those gardens also Silenus was captured, as is said by the Macedonians. And over those gardens lies a mountain, Bermius in name, impassable through the agency of wintry weather. Then, they were setting off thence, when they had gotten hold of that land, and were subjecting also all the rest of Macedonia.

From that Perdicces indeed Alexander this way was descended: of Amyntes Alexander was a child and Amyntes of Alcetes, while of Alcetes Aeropus was the father, of him Philippus, of Philippus Argaeus and of him Perdicces the one who had acquired the rule.

There was descended indeed this way Alexander the son of Amyntes and, when he had come to Athens after he had been sent away by Mardonius, he was saying this: “Men of Athens, Mardonius says this: ‘For me a message has come from the king that speaks thus: ‘For the Athenians all the offences that were done to me by them I let go of. In short, now this way, Mardonius, act: on the one hand, their land to them give back and, on the other, another in addition to that let them choose themselves, whichever they wish at all, and be autonomous. And all shrines for them, if indeed they want at any rate to make an agreement with me, put upright again, which I burned down’. And, that having come, it is necessary for me to do that, if what’s yours proves not a cause for blame. So I say to you this: Why now are you mad in raising for yourself in opposition war with the king? For you neither would produce an excelling over nor are able to hold out in opposition the whole time. For you saw Xerxes’ expedition’s multitude and works and are learning by inquiry also the power that now is with me so that, even if you excel over us and prevail, precisely which for you there’s no hope of, precisely if you think well, another one will be at hand many times greater. Accordingly, stop wanting by trying to make yourself equal to the king to deprive yourself of your country and to run on each and every occasion out of concern for yourselves, but rather make terms. And it is possible for you most beautifully to make terms, the king minded that way. Be free, after with us you have agreed on a martial league without treachery and deception’. Mardonius that, o Athenians, enjoined on me to say to you, and I for my part, although concerning the good inclination of me towards you I will say nothing, as not now first you would completely perform a learning, yet ask on of you to obey Mardonius. For I see not in you those who will be able the whole time to wage war with Xerxes—for if I had been seeing that in you, never to you would I have gone with these speeches—for in fact power beyond a human being is the king’s and a very long hand. Accordingly, if not immediately you make an agreement, when they are stretching forth great conditions on which they wish to make an agreement, I am afraid about you, since you are settled most on the beaten path of all the allies and on each and every occasion are being destroyed alone, possessors of the land chosen out and a space between armies. Well, obey; for that’s worth much for you, if the great king at any rate for you alone among the Greeks lets go away the offences and wishes to become a friend”.

Alexander said that, and the Lacedaemonians, having learned by inquiry that Alexander was present at Athens to bring the Athenians into agreement with the barbarian, when they had remembered the spoken oracles, that they had together with all the other Dorians to be thrown out of the Peloponnese by the Medes and the Athenians, both feared very much lest the Athenians make an agreement with the Persian and immediately to them it seemed good to send messengers. And lo! it fell out coincidentally so as for their taking up a position to come to be together; for the Athenians waited on up and were passing time, since they knew well that the Lacedaemonians were to learn by inquiry that there was present from the barbarian a messenger with a view to an agreement and, when they had learned by inquiry, to send with speed messengers. Accordingly, purposely they were acting in their trying to display for themselves to the Lacedaemonians their opinion.

So, when Alexander had stopped speaking, the messengers from Sparta received their turn and were saying, “And us the Lacedaemonians sent to ask of you to neither do anything newer concerning Greece nor receive with consent speeches from the barbarian. For it’s neither just nor bringing forth an adornment, neither at any rate for any others among the Greeks—and for you indeed in fact above all least for many reasons; for you stirred up this war when we wanted it not at all and concerning your land at the beginning the competition came about, but now it refers also to all Greece. And besides, without quite all that, to prove the causes of the slavery to the Greeks’ disadvantage for the Athenians is in no way endurable, who on each and every occasion in fact formerly manifestly freed many among human beings. However, together with you, when you are being oppressed, we are being troubled, both in that you are deprived of two crops of fruit by now and in that you are destroyed in your household much time by now. And in return for that to you the Lacedaemonians and their allies promise from themselves that women and all the things useless for war that are of the nature of members of a household they will maintain as long as this war should be broken out. But you let Alexander the Macedonian not convince by smoothing Mardonius’ speech. For that one must do that—for, being a tyrant, with a tyrant he works together entirely—but you at any rate must not do it, precisely if in fact you are thinking well, since you know that barbarians’ is nothing either reliable or truth”. That the messengers said.

Then the Athenians to Alexander on the one hand answered this: “We ourselves also that at any rate know, that the Mede’s is a power many times larger than ours precisely so that not at all must you cast that reproach at any rate, but all the same in striving after freedom we will defend ourselves thus howsoever in fact we can, and to make an agreement with the barbarian neither try you to persuade us strongly nor will we be persuaded. Both announce off to Mardonius that the Athenians say that, as long as the sun the same way should go precisely by which in fact now it goes, never will we make an agreement with Xerxes, but we will go out against him in defending ourselves relying on allied gods and the heroes, with no respect for whom that one burned down their houses and their images, and, as for you, the remaining time with speeches like this stop appearing out to the Athenians and stop in thinking you are working out useful service advising the performing of lawless works. For we want you to suffer nothing unagreeable at the Athenians’ hands, since you are a public host and a friend”.

To Alexander on the one hand that they answered, and to the messengers from Sparta on the other this: “For the Lacedaemonians to be afraid lest we make an agreement with the barbarian was very human, but shamefully at any rate you look like, since you have your complete knowledge of the Athenians’ thought, you are frightened, in that neither is there so much gold anywhere on earth nor a country that in beauty and virtue excels greatly, should we receive which, we would be willing by medizing to utterly enslave Greece. For many and great are the things that thoroughly prevent doing that even if we are willing: first and greatest, the gods’ images and housings’ being burned down and demolished, for which it is necessary for us to take vengeance to the greatest degree rather than precisely to make an agreement with the one who worked that out, and afterwards the Greek people, because it is of the same blood and of the same tongue, and both the gods’ common seats and sacrificings and customs of the same manner, betrayers of which for the Athenians to prove would not be good. In short, know thus, if in fact previously you in fact were not knowing, that, as long as even one of the Athenians should be surviving, not at all will we make an agreement with Xerxes. However, of you we admire the forethought that relates to us, in that you so foresaw our being destroyed in our household as to be willing to maintain the members of the household of us. And, although for you our gratitude is completely filled, we however will persevere thus howsoever we are able without at all paining you. But now, on the ground that it is thus, a host as quickly as possible send out. For, as we conjecture, not far in time will be present the barbarian in his throwing in to our land, but as soon as whenever he learns by inquiry of our message that nothing will we do of what that one of us requests. Accordingly, before that one is present in the Attic land, for you it is the right time to come to the rescue previously to Boeotia”. They then, when that the Athenians had answered, were departing to Sparta.

end of Book 8

(to be continued)

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