translated by Shlomo Felberbaum

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


Installment 46

Now, as those posted by the Asopus were encamped as an army, so the barbarians round with Mardonius, when they had finished bewailing Masistius, were present, as they had learned by inquiry that the Greeks were in Plataeae, even themselves, at the Asopus that flows there. Then, after having come, they were being posted in opposition this way by Mardonius: Opposite the Lacedaemonians, in the first instance, he stood the Persians. For in fact lo! the Persians largely survived in multitude; they were arranged over more lines and were extending over the Tegeans also. He then made the post thus: as whatever was the most powerful part of them he picked out in its entirety and stood facing the Lacedaemonians, so the part more lacking in strength he posted in line opposite the Tegeans, and he was doing that by the pointing out and teaching of the Thebans. Then as them who were next to the Persians he posted the Medes, and those extended over the Corinthians and the Poteidaeans as well as the Orchomenians and the Sicyonians. Then as them who were next to the Medes he posted the Bactrians, and those extended over the Epidaurians and the Troezenians and the Lepreans and the Tirynthians as well as the Mycenians and the Phleiasians. Then after the Bactrians he stood the Indians, and those extended over the Hermionians and the Eretrians as well as the Styrians and the Chalcidians. Then as them who were next to the Indians he posted the Sacians, who extended over the Ampraciotians and the Anactorians as well as the Leucadians and the Palians and the Aeginetians. Then as them who were next to the Sacians he posted facing the Athenians and the Plataeans as well as the Megarians the Boeotians and the Locrians as well as the Melians and the Thessalians and the Phocaeans’ thousand; for accordingly not all the Phocaeans jointly were medizing, but some of them were even increasing the ranks of the Greeks, as they were cooped up round Parnassus, and by setting off thence they were committing acts of carrying off and leading away against the host of Mardonius and them among the Greeks who were with him. Then he also posted the Macedonians and those settled round Thessaly opposite the Athenians.

Although those there are named the greatest of the nations of those posted by Mardonius, precisely which were most brought into the light and of most account, yet there were among them also men of other nations mixed up, of the Phrygians and of the Mysians as well as of the Thracians and of the Paeonians and of the rest, and among them also of the Ethiopians and of the Egyptians the Hermotybians and the Calasirians who are called knife-carriers, precisely who are, alone of the Egyptians, fit for battle. Those then, when he was still in Phalerum, he made step off from the ships for himself, since they were steppers on board; for the Egyptians were not drawn up into the foot that had come together with Xerxes to Athens. As indeed of the barbarians were thirty myriads, as also previously has been made clear, so of the Greek allies of Mardonius, although no one knows the number—for accordingly they were not numbered—yet, to make a likely conjecture, that to the sum of five myriads they were gathered together I think likely. Those were the foot posted in line, and the horse was posted apart.

Then, when, after all, all had been posted by him, nation by nation and regiment by regiment, thereupon the next day they were sacrificing for their side, even both groups. For the Greeks, for their part, Teisamenus, Antiochus’ son, was the sacrificer for his side; for indeed that one followed that armed force as prophet, whom, being an Elean and of the family of the Iamidae, the Lacedaemonians had made a member of their own folk. For to Teisamenus, when he was seeking prophecy in Delphi about generation, Pythia answered that he would take up for himself the prize of the five greatest competitions. As he indeed, having missed the mark of the oracle, was attending to gymnastic contests, with the intention that he would take up for himself the prize for gymnastic competitions, so through practicing the pentathlon within one wrestling match he ran of winning a victory in the Olympics, when with Hieronymus the Andrian he had gone into dispute. Then the Lacedaemonians learned that the prophecy of Teisamenus was referring not to gymnastic but to martial competitions and by a fee were trying through persuasion to make for themselves Teisamenus together with the kings of the sons of Heracles leader of their wars, while he was seeing that the Spartiates were considering worth much to gain him over for themselves as a friend and, after having learned that, he was raising his price by indicating to them how, if him they made for themselves their fellow-citizen and gave a share of all, he would do that, but not for another fee. So the Spartiates first, having heard, were thinking it terrible and letting go of their request entirely, but finally, a great fear hanging over of that Persian armed force, they were recommending it and going their way in pursuit, but he, after having come to know that they had turned themselves, he asserted that not even thus any longer was he satisfied with that alone, but further his brother Hegies must be made a Spartiate on the condition of the same accounts as those on condition of which he himself also was being made.

So, in giving that account, that one was imitating Melampous, to compare them who were asking for themselves a kingdom and citizenship. For in fact indeed Melampous also, after the women in Argos had gone mad, when the Argians were attempting to hire him for themselves from Pylos to cause their women to cease from their illness, as a fee he stretched forth for himself half of the kingdom. So, after the Argians held not themselves up under it, but were going away, when more of their women were mad, thus indeed they stood under what Melampous had stretched forth for himself and went to give him that. Then he right thereupon reached for more, when he saw they had turned themselves, by asserting that, if in fact to his brother Bias they gave not as a share the third part of the kingdom, he would not do what they wanted, and the Argians, cooped away in a narrow spot, were recommending that also.

So, thus also the Spartiates, because they needed Teisamenus terribly, anyhow were agreeing to it. Then, the Spartiates having made that agreement also, thus indeed in prophesying for them the five greatest competitions did Teisamenus the Elean, after having become a Spartiate, join in utterly taking the prize for, and quite alone of all human beings those became fellow-citizens of the Spartiates. The five competitions, then, proved these: one and first that in Plataeae, on top of that the one that was held in Tegea against the Tegeans and the Argians, afterwards the one among the Dipaeans against all Arcadians except the Mantinians, on top of that the one with the Messenians near Ithome and last the one that was held in Tanagra against the Athenians and the Argians. That latter, then, was worked out as the last of the five competitions.

Indeed that Teisamenus that time for the Greeks at the leading of the Spartiates was prophesying in the land of Plataeae. Now, as for the Greeks the sacred offerings proved beautiful, when they were defending themselves, but, when they stepped across the Asopus and were attempting to begin battle, not, so for Mardonius, when he was eager to attempt to begin battle, the sacred offerings proved not suitable, but, when that one also was defending himself, beautiful. For in fact that one was making use of Greek sacred offerings and had as a prophet Hegesistratus, who was an Elean man and among the Telliadae one most to give account of, and it was he whom indeed before that the Spartiates had taken hold of and bound for death on the grounds that they had undergone many untoward sufferings through his agency. Then he, when he was held in that evil, seeing that he was running about his soul and before his death would undergo many painful sufferings, worked out a work greater than an account. For, when indeed he was bound in an iron-bound piece of wood, he gained mastery over an iron instrument that had been brought in somehow and immediately was contriving the manliest work of all that we know of; for, having computed how the part of his foot left would go out for him, he cut off his own flat. Then, after having done that, seeing that he was being guarded by guards, he dug through the wall and ran away to Tegea by making his passage the nights and sinking down into woods and taking up his quarters the days thus so as, although the Lacedaemonians with the whole people were searching, the third kindly time to come to be in Tegea and for them to be held in a state of marvel because of his daring, when they were seeing the cut half of his foot was lying and had not the power to find that one. As that time thus he fled from the Lacedaemonians and fled down to Tegea, so, after he had become healthy and made himself as an addition a wooden foot, he was established in a straight way warlike to the Lacedaemonians. However, not, at the end at least, him profited his hatred cemented to the Lacedaemonians; for he was captured while he was prophesying in Zacynthus by them and died.

Now, as the death of Hegesistratus happened later than the Plataean matters, so that time by the Asopus, hired by Mardonius not for little, he was sacrificing for his side and eager in accordance with his hatred of the Lacedaemonians and in accordance with his profit. Then, when the omens were not favorable so as to do battle for either the Persians themselves or them of the Greeks who were with them—for those by themselves also had a prophet, Hippomachus, a Leucadian man—then, as the Greeks were flowing on and becoming more, Timegenides, Herpys’ son, a Theban man, counseled Mardonius to guard the passes out of Cithaeron by giving account how the Greeks were flowing on on each and every occasion on every day and how he would take away numerous.

The days, then, for them who were sitting down in opposition by then had come to eight, when that one gave that counsel to Mardonius, and he learned that the recommendation was good and, when it had become the kindly time, sent his horse to Cithaeron’s passes out that lead toward Plataeae, which the Boeotians call Three Heads and the Athenians Oak’s Heads.

The horsemen, then, sent, came not to no purpose; for they took hold of five hundred yoke-animals as they were throwing into the plain, who were bringing food from the Peloponnese to the army camp, and human beings who were following the carriages drawn by yoked beasts. So, having taken that catch, the Persians were slaying unsparingly, as they were not sparing either yoke-animal or human being. Then, when they were having enough of killing, they were driving those left among them, after having put themselves round them, to Mardonius’ side and into the army camp.

Then, after that work, another two days they spent, because neither wanted to begin battle; for, although up to the Asopus the barbarians went in opposition in making trial of the Greeks, yet neither would step across. However, the horse of Mardonius on each and every occasion was applying itself and paining the Greeks; for the Thebans, inasmuch as they were medizing greatly, eagerly were bearing the war and on each and every occasion leading the way down up to battle, and from that point on the Persians and the Medes, receiving the matter from that side, in their turn were they who were showing forth instances of virtue.

Now, though up to ten days nothing was being done over a larger extent than that, yet, when it had come to be the eleventh day for who were sitting down in opposition in Plataeae, the Greeks indeed had become more by far and Mardonius was incensed at the sitting; thereupon there came in speeches Mardonius, Gobryes’ son, and Artabazus, Pharnaces’ son, who was a man thought good at the king’s court like few of the Persians. So, when they were taking counsel, their judgements were these: the one of Artabazus, on the one hand, that they had to yoke again the quickest way the whole army and go to the wall of the Thebans, where much food was brought in for them and fodder for the yoke-animals, and, while they were being seated at ease, to bring things about for themselves and do this—for they had gold, much with an indication on it and much also lacking an indication, and much silver and vessels for drinking from—without sparing any of that to send it in various directions to the Greeks and among the Greeks especially to them who stand foremost in the cities, and quickly they would give over their freedom, and not to run up the risk of giving battle—that one’s, on the one hand, and the Thebans’ opinion was proving the same, on the grounds that that one also had an advantageous foreknowledge—Mardonius’, on the other, more violent and more lacking judgement and in no way judging itself with help, namely, that they should think that their own host was stronger by far than the Greek and they should give battle the quickest way and not overlook there being gathered together still more than those who had been gathered together and the slain offerings of Hegesistratus they should allow to fare well and not force, but make use of the law of the Persians and give battle.

So, that one thinking it just thus, no one would give account in opposition, so that he was gaining mastery in his opinion; for the mastery over the host that one had from the king, but not Artabazus. Accordingly, having sent for the rulers of the posts of the regiments and those of the Greeks who were with him’s generals, he was asking whether they knew any prophetic account about the Persians how they would be destroyed in Greece. But, when those called in were silent, some because they knew not the oracles, some because, although they knew, yet they considered to give account not in lack of fear’s place, Mardonius himself at any rate was giving account, “Since then you either know nothing or dare not give account, well, I will speak on the grounds that I understand well. There is a prophetic account how the Persians, having come to Greece, must thoroughly seize the shrine in Delphi and after the thorough seizure perish all. We then with that understanding itself will neither go against that shrine nor put hand to thoroughly seize it, and because of that reason we will not perish. And so all of you who in fact are well-disposed to the Persians take pleasure so far as concerns this, how we will survive the Greeks”. Having said that to them, next he was indicating that they should prepare and make for themselves well-arranged all, on the grounds that together with the day that was going forth there would be a joining battle.

Now, I for my part know regarding that oracle that Mardonius said related to the Persians that concerning the Illyrians and the army of the Enchelians it was composed and not rather concerning the Persians. But this composition on its part by Bacis was composed concerning that battle:

…And by Thermodon and grass-bedded Asopus
Greeks’ going together and barbarophone cry,
Where many will fall beyond destiny and doom
Among bow-bearing Medes, when fated day goes forth.

That on its part and other compositions pretty near that of Mousaeus I know relate to the Persians. (The Thermodon river, then, flows between Tanagra and Glisas.)

Then after the questioning on about the oracles and the recommendation of Mardonius it was coming to be night and they were being posted for acts of guarding. So, when far in the night it had been driven forth, and quiet seemed to be throughout the army camps and the human beings to be most in a state of sleep, at that time drove by horse to the guards of the Athenians Alexander, Amyntes’ son, who was general and king of the Macedonians, and was seeking to come into speeches with the generals. So, of the guards, although the greater number were remaining by, yet some were running to the generals and, after having gone, were giving account how a human being had come on horse from the army camp of the Medes, who had laid bare no other saying, but named generals and asserted that he wished to come to speeches.

Then they, when they had heard that, immediately were following to the guards and, after their having come, Alexander was giving them this account: “Men of Athens, as a deposit for you these sayings I put down for myself and make them for myself not to be spoken, for you to give account before no one other than Pausanies, lest me in fact you destroy; for I would not give account, if I were not greatly caring about all Greek together jointly. For I myself am a Greek in birth anciently and would not be willing to see Greece instead of free enslaved. So I give account accordingly that of Mardonius and his host the slain offerings have not the power to prove according to the spirit—for otherwise you would have been battling from of old—and now it has seemed good to him to allow the slain offerings to fare well and together with the day’s showing light through to engage in giving battle; for he is in a state of utter dread lest you be gathered together in greater numbers, as I think likely. Thereupon ready yourselves and, if, after all, Mardonius delays and engages not in giving battle, persevere in remaining; for for them for few days is left food. Then, if this war meets its end in accordance with your mind, everyone must remember in fact me about freedom, who for the Greeks’ sake have worked out so risky a work through the agency of eagerness, because I wished to make clear to you the thinking of Mardonius, that the barbarians might not fall upon you when you were not yet expecting it. I am, then, Alexander the Macedonian”. He, after having said that, was driving off back to the army camp and his post.

And the generals of the Athenians went to the right wing and were giving to Pausanies precisely the account that they had heard from Alexander, and he because of that account in utter dread of the Persians was giving this account: “Since then at dawn the giving battle is coming to be, as you the Athenians must stand opposite the Persians, so we must opposite the Boeotians and them among the Greeks posted opposite you, because of this: You understand the Medes and their way of battle, as you have battled them in Marathon, but we are without experience and without knowledge of those men; for none of the Spartiates has made trial of the Medes, but we are experienced with the Boeotians and the Thessalians. Well, after having taken up our gear, we must go, as you to this wing here, so we to that of good name”. Then thereupon the Athenians said this: “In fact of us ourselves of old from the beginning, when we had seen that the Persians were being posted opposite you, it has come to be in the mind to give precisely that speech that you in having acting first have brought forth, but we did not, because we were dreading lest our accounts prove not pleasant to you. Anyhow, since you yourselves have made mention, both your accounts have been given to us who take pleasure and we are ready to do that”.

So, since that was pleasing to both, dawn was bringing light through and they were altering their posts with one another. Then the Boeotians came to know what was being done and publicly spoke it out to Mardonius, and he, after he had heard, immediately, himself too, was trying to change and stand, by leading by, the Persians opposite the Lacedaemonians. So, when Pausanies had learned that that was being done like that, he, in the knowledge that he had not escaped notice, was leading back the Spartiates back toward the right wing, and in the same way Mardonius also his towards that of good name.

Then, when they had established themselves at their original posts, Mardonius sent a herald to the Spartiates and was giving this account: “O Lacedaemonians, you indeed are given the account of being the best men by the human beings here, as they wonder greatly at how you neither flee from war nor completely leave a post and by remaining either cause your opponents to perish or are caused yourselves to perish, but of that, after all, none is true, as none was all along; for before we joined battle and came to hands’ law, we saw that you were both lo! fleeing and completely leaving a station, as you were both in the Athenians’ spot making forth trial and yourselves being posted facing our slaves. Those in no way are good men’s works and rather quite the most in your case we were played false; for, as we were expecting in accordance with renown that indeed you would send to us a herald by way of calling forth and wanting to battle with the Persians alone, we were prepared to do and found that you were giving no account like that, but cowering rather. Accordingly now, since you have not begun that account, well, we will begin it. Why indeed do not we, on behalf of the Greeks you, since you have been reputed to be best, and on behalf of the barbarians we, equals against equals in number, battle? And if it is thought good also for the rest to battle, then let them accordingly battle later and, also if it should not be thought good, but for us alone to suffice, then let us battle to the end and, whichsoever of us prevails, those should for all their army camp jointly prevail”.

As that one, after having said that and held up a time, when him not anyone anything would answer, was departing back and, after having gone away, indicating to Mardonius what had befallen, so he, after having become overjoyed and elated by cold victory, let his horse go against the Greeks. Then, when his horsemen had driven in opposition, they were harming the whole Greek horse by throwing in spears and by shooting in arrows, seeing that they were bowmen on horses and difficult to advance toward, and the Gargaphian spring, from which was watered the whole Greek army camp, they stirred with disorder and heaped with earth. Now, as near the spring were the Lacedaemonians posted alone, so for the rest of the Greeks, although the spring was proving far, as each group in its own way in fact was posted, yet the Asopus was near, but, when they were being kept from the Asopus, thus indeed to the spring they were resorting; for from the river it was not permitted to them to carry for themselves water through the agency of the horsemen and arrows.

Then, that proving like that, the generals of the Greeks, inasmuch as the host was deprived of water and stirred by the horse, were gathered together about that matter itself and other ones, after having gone to Pausanies’ side to the right wing. For other matters, that being like that, were paining them more; for both they had food no longer and their attendants, after having been sent away to the Peloponnese, with the intention that they would get food, were shut off by the horse without having the power to come to the army camp.

Then, to the generals, when they were taking counsel for themselves, it seemed good, if the Persians delayed that day and engaged not in giving battle, to go to the island (now, that is from the Asopus and the Gargaphian spring, at which they were encamping as an army that time, ten stades distant, in front of the city of the Plataeans—and there would be an island thus on the mainland: a river, being split farther up, flows from Cithaeron down into the plain, while it keeps its streams apart from one another approximately three stades, and thereafter mixes together in the same spot—and its name’s Oeroe and the natives give account that that is the daughter of Asopus). To that place indeed they took counsel for themselves to stand up and change their position, that both they might be able to make use of unbegrudged water and the horsemen might not harm them just as when persons are opposite; moreover, it was thought good to change and move themselves that time whenever in the night was the second guard, that not the Persians might see for themselves that they were setting off out and the horsemen follow and stir them. Then, when they had come to that place, and it was that which indeed the Asopian Oeroe splits itself round in its flowing from Cithaeron, under cover of that night it seemed good to dispatch off half of the army camp to Cithaeron, that they might take up their attendants who had gone for their food; for they were caught away on Cithaeron.

Having taken that counsel for themselves, although the whole of that day, the horse applying itself, they had unabating toil, yet, when the day was ceasing and the horsemen had stopped, it coming to be night indeed and it being the hour, and it was that at which indeed it was compacted by them to depart, thereupon the greater number, raised up, were departing without having in mind to the place to which it was compacted, but they, when they had been moved, were fleeing gladly the horse to the city of the Plataeans and, in fleeing, came to the temple of Hera (that, then, is in front of the city of the Plataeans, twenty stades from the Gargaphian spring distant). Then, having come, they put down for themselves in front of the shrine their gear.

In fact they were encamping as an army round the temple of Hera, and Pausanies, when he saw that they were departing from the army camp, was announcing out also to the Lacedaemonians that they should take up their gear and go after the rest who were going before in his belief that they were going to the place to which they had compacted for themselves. Thereupon, although the rest of the rulers of a post were prepared to obey Pausanies, yet Amompharetus, Poliades’ son, who was the company leader of the Pitanian company asserted that he would not flee the foreigners and not, as far as he was willing, shame Sparta, and he was marveling when he saw what was being done, inasmuch as he had not been present at the earlier account. Then Pausanies and Euryanax considered terrible that one’s not obeying them and more terrible still than that one’s being in that mind leaving out the Pitanian company, lest, if they left them out and did what they had compacted for themselves with the rest of the Greeks, there perish, left over, Amompharetus himself as well as those with him. With that reckoning, they were keeping motionless the Laconian army camp and trying to persuade him how he must not do that.

In fact they kept urging Amompharetus, the only one of the Lacedaemonians and the Tegeans left, and the Athenians were doing deeds like this: They were keeping themselves motionless where they were posted, because they knew the thoughts of the Lacedaemonians on the grounds that they had one thought and gave another account. Then, when the army camp had been moved, they were sending a horseman of theirs both to see whether the Spartiates put their hand to making their passage or they maybe in fact entirely had not a mind to depart and in order to ask in addition Pausanies what they had to do.

Then, when the herald had come to the Lacedaemonians, he saw that they were posted in place and there had come to quarrels the first among them. For, when indeed Euryanax and Pausanies were urging Amompharetus that they should not run a risk by remaining, alone of the Lacedaemonians, they then could not produce persuasion, until they had fallen together and come to quarrels and the herald of the Athenians was standing by them, after having come. Then Amompharetus, in quarrelling, took hold of a rock with both his hands and, putting it in front of the feet of Pausanies, with that as his voting-pebble he cast a voting-pebble he asserted not to flee the foreigners, and, while the other was calling that one mad and not in his understanding, the herald of the Athenians he was bidding ask on what had been enjoined and give account of their present matters and he was requesting of the Athenians to move their place to themselves and to do about the going off precisely what they also would.

In fact the other was departing to the Athenians, and, when dawn was overtaking them while they were arguing with themselves, Pausanies, after he had been sitting down during that time, because he thought Amompharetus would not be left when the rest of the Lacedaemonians were marching off, gave an indication and was leading off through the hills all those left, and the Tegeans also were following. Then the Athenians, posted, went in a way entirely other that in which the Lacedaemonians did; for the latter held themselves close to the banks and the foothills of Cithaeron in their fearing the horse, the Athenians, for their part, having turned themselves down into the plain.

Then, as Amompharetus, because he thought that Pausanies not at all to begin with at any rate would dare to leave them out, was clinging to their remaining in the very place and not leaving off their post, so, when those together with Pausanies were drawing ahead, in the firm belief that they were leaving him out with straightforward art, his company, after it had taken up its gear, he was leading by steps to the other rank. That, for its part, after having gone off approximately four stades, was awaiting the company of Amompharetus, as round the river Moloeis it was set up and a place called Argiopium, where also Eleusinian Demeter’s shrine sits, and awaiting it for this purpose, that, if there left not out of the place in which they had been stationed Amompharetus as well as his company, but remained on the very spot, it might come back to their side to the rescue. In fact, those round with Amompharetus were coming to be by their side and the horse of the barbarians was applying itself in its entirety; for the horsemen were doing the kind of act that in fact they were wont to do on each and every occasion, and they, after having seen the place empty in which the Greeks had been stationed the days earlier, were driving their horses on each and every occasion farther and, at the same time, at their having overtaken, applying themselves to them.

Then Mardonius, when he had learned that the Greeks had gone under cover of night, and seen the place empty, called the Lerisian Thorex and his brothers Eurypylus and Thrasydeius and was giving account, “O children of Aleues, still what account will you give on seeing these spots here empty? For you their neighbors were giving account that the Lacedaemonians would not flee from battle, but are men first in the things of war. They both previously were changing their position by standing away from the post, you saw, and now under cover of the night gone by, we all see also, have fled; in short, they have shown plainly, when they had against the unfalsely best of human beings by battle to be brought to a decision, that, after all, they, who are no ones, among the Greeks, who are nothings, are showing themselves forth, as all along they were. In fact to you, for your part, because you are without experience of the Persians, much pardon was being given, at least by me, because they were commending those, to whose credit you knew something, but of Artabazus I was marveling in fact more at the utter dread of the Lacedaemonians and in his utter dread at the showing forth for himself of a most cowardly opinion, that we had to reyoke the army camp and go to the town of the Thebans to conduct a besieging, which still from me the king will learn by inquiry. As in fact of that an account will be elsewhere, so now we must not allow those just mentioned to do that present act of theirs, but they must be pursued until they, overtaken, will pay us for all that indeed they did the Persians penalties”.

Having said that, he was leading the Persians with running, after they had stepped across the Asopus, after the Greeks’ track on the grounds that indeed they were racing away, and aiming at the Lacedaemonians and the Tegeans alone; for the Athenians, because they had turned themselves to the plain, through the agency of the banks he could not observe. Then, when the saw that the Persians were beginning to pursue the Greeks, the rulers left of the barbarian regiments immediately all raised their signals and were pursuing, as each of feet was, ordered with no either order or post. In fact, those with shouting and confusion were going in opposition with the intention that they would seize up the Greeks.

And Pausanies, when the horse was applying itself, sent to the Athenians a horseman and gave this account: “Men of Athens, although the greatest competition is put forth for Greece to be free or enslaved, we have been given over by the allies, we the Lacedaemonians and you the Athenians, because under cover of the night gone by they have raced away. Accordingly thereafter it has seemed good what has to be done by us, namely, to defend ourselves the way we can best and maintain each other. Now, if the horse had rushed to you, to begin with, we and those with us, the Tegeans, would indeed have had not to give over Greece and to come to your rescue, but, as it is, since it all jointly has moved its place to us, it is just for you, on your part, to that of the parts that is being most oppressed to go to succour. However, if, after all, yourselves any lack of power to come to the rescue has befallen, then for us by sending bowmen put down for yourselves a favor. We know to your credit, then, at the time of this present war that you are far the most eager so as in fact to hearken to that”.

When the Athenians had learned that by inquiry, they were minded to come to the rescue and render aid in battle in the highest degree, and to them, by then when they were marching, those of the Greeks who had come to be with the king posted against them were applying themselves so as in fact for them no longer to have the power to come to the rescue; for that which was applying itself in opposition was paining them. Thus indeed, having become alone, the Lacedaemonians and the Tegeans, who were, including the lightly armed, in number, the former, five times ten thousand and, the Tegean, thrice a thousand—for those not at all were being split away from the Lacedaemonians—were slaughtering sacrifices with the intention that they would give battle to Mardonius and the host present. Because, in fact, the slaughtered sacrifices were not proving useful for them, there, then, were falling among them in that time many and more by far were being wounded; for, after having made a barricade of their wicker shields, the Persians were letting go many of the arrows unsparingly thus so as, the Spartiates being oppressed and their slaughtered sacrifices proving of no avail, for Pausanies to look away to the temple of Hera of the Plataeans and to call on the god for himself and request in no way for them to be played false in their hope.


(to be continued)


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