translated by Shlomo Felberbaum

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

Installment 48

Then, when the omens had been favorable for the Greeks, they were bringing up their ships from Delos to Samos and, after they had come to be in the Samian land off Calamoe, as they brought themselves to anchor at the very spot off the temple of Hera there and were preparing themselves for a naval battle, so the Persians, having learned by inquiry that they were sailing forth, themselves also were bringing up to the mainland the rest of the ships, but those of the Phoenicians they let go to sail away. For to them, when they were taking counsel for themselves, it seemed good not to engage in a naval battle; for accordingly they thought that they were not similar, and they were sailing away to the mainland that they might be under the cover of their foot army that was in Mycale, which, at the bidding of Xerxes, left behind the rest of the army, was guarding Ionia. Its multitude was six myriads, and the general of it was Tigranes, who in beauty and height was excelling the Persians. Under cover of that army indeed having fled down, the generals of the naval force took counsel for themselves to draw up their ships and put round themselves a fence, a protection for their ships and for themselves a refuge.

Having taken that counsel for themselves, they were bringing themselves up. Then, after having come to the shrine of the Potnians in Mycale into Gaeson and Scolopoeis, where’s Eleusinian Demeter’s shrine that Philistus, Pasiclees’ son, had set up when he had followed Neileos, Codrus’ son, up for Miletus’ founding, thereupon they drew up their ships and they put round themselves a fence of both stones and pieces of wood, when they had chopped down cultivated trees, and fixed spikes down round the fence. In fact they had prepared themselves with the intention that they would be besieged and with the intention that they would prevail; for they were taking account of both ends and preparing themselves.

Then the Greeks, when they had learned by inquiry that the barbarians were gone to the mainland, were vexed on the grounds they had fled off and held in the grip of a difficulty about what they should do, whether depart back or sail down toward the Hellespont. Then, finally, it was thought good to do neither one of those things, but sail against the mainland. Accordingly, having prepared themselves for a naval battle ladders for stepping offboard and all else of which there was need, they were sailing toward Mycale. So, when they were coming to be near the army camp and no one manifestly was bringing themselves up against them, but they were seeing that ships were drawn up within the wall and much foot separated out in a line along the beach, thereupon in the first place in a ship was sailing by, after he had come near in the highest degree to dashing against the beach, Leutychides and by herald he was publicly speaking forth to the Ionians and giving account, “Men of Ionia, all of you who in fact overhear, learn what account I give; for the Persians will comprehend absolutely nothing of what I am enjoining on you. Whenever we join battle, everyone must remember freedom of all things first and afterwards the compacted sign of Hera. In fact, let him know this also whoever of you overhears not from the direction of whoever overhears”. Now, that same intention was in fact the matter’s as that of Themistocles on Artemisium; for the utterances were either, having escaped the barbarians’ notice, to persuade the Ionians or thereafter, having been brought back to the barbarians, to make them mistrustful of the Greeks.

Then, when Leutychides made that suggestion for himself, right next the Greeks were doing this: they put in their ships and stepped off onto the beach. As in fact those were being posted, so the Persians, when they had seen that the Greeks were preparing themselves for battle and had made the Ionians recommendation, on the one hand, they suspected that the Samians had the thoughts of the Greeks and took away for themselves their gear—for, accordingly, the Samians, after the Athenians taken by the spear had come in the ships of the barbarians, of whom, as they had been left, throughout the land of Attica Xerxes’ men had taken hold, had those all released with their own resources and sent them away, when they had supplied them for the way, because of which they got suspicion not the least, as they had five hundred heads among the enemies of Xerxes released with their own resources—and, on the other hand, the ways through that lead to the peaks of Mycale they assigned to the Milesians to guard on the grounds that they understood forsooth the country most, whereas they were doing the thing for that following purpose, that they might be outside of the army camp. As against those of the Ionians, in respect to whom in fact they firmly believed they would perform some new deed, should they take hold on power for themselves, in manners like those the Persians were guarding themselves, so they themselves brought together their wicker shields to be a fence for them.

Then, when, after all, preparations had been made by the Greeks, they went forth to the barbarians, and, as they were going, for them a rumor flew into their whole army camp and a herald’s wand manifestly was lying on the place where the billows break, and the rumor went through to them this way, that the Greeks had prevailed over the host of Mardonius when they were battling among the Boeotians. Quite clear by many pieces of evidence are the divine aspects of the affairs, if in fact that time the same day which fell out coincidentally for the blow in Plataeae and the one that was to be in Mycale the rumor came to the Greeks there so as for the host to take courage far more and to be willing more eagerly to run a risk.

Also, this other matter fell out coincidentally to have come about, that sacred precincts of Eleusinian Demeter were alongside both givings of battle; for in fact indeed in the Plataean land alongside the temple of Demeter itself there was waged, as also previously has been said by me, the battle, and in Mycale one was in the same way to be. Moreover, the rumor that there had come about a victory of the Greeks with Pausanies correctly for them went together with event in its going; for, as the matter in Plataeae happened still early in the day, so that in Mycale did round afternoon. Further, that the same day went together the happening and the same month, not much time later for them, when they were acquiring learning thoroughly, was proving clear. Now, there was dread for them before the rumor came in, nothing about themselves so much as about the Greeks, lest Greece stumble round him. However, when that report had flown to them, somewhat more and more quickly they were engaging in their going forth. Indeed the Greeks, for their part, and the barbarians were urgent to the battle, as for them both the islands and the Hellespont were put forth as prizes.

Now, for the Athenians and those posted adjacent to them somewhere up to the middle parts the way was proving down through beach and flat place, while for the Lacedaemonians and those posted next to them it was down through gully and mountains, and, while those latter still were going round, those in the other wing even then were battling. Now, although, as long as the wicker shields of the Persians were upright, they were defending themselves and had no disadvantage in the battle, yet, when the Athenians and those adjacent’s army, that the work might be theirs and not the Lacedaemonians’, after having issued biddings to one another, were setting to work more eagerly, thereafter by then the matter was made of another kind; for those, after having thrust themselves the wicker shields aside, were charging and gathered together fell on the Persians, and they, after having received them and much time defending themselves, finally were fleeing to the wall. Then the Athenians as well as the Corinthians and the Sicyonians and the Troezenians—for thus they were posted next—joined in following in, joined in falling into the wall and, when in fact the wall had been taken, both the barbarians no longer turned themselves to valor and the rest except the Persians were setting off to flight. So, those, coming to be a few at a time, were battling those who on each and every occasion into the wall were falling among the Greeks. In fact, of the Persian generals two fled away and two met their end: Artayntes and Ithamitres, who were generals of the naval force, fled away and Mardontes and the general of the foot Tigranes, battling, met their end.

Then, while the Persians were still battling, came the Lacedaemonians and those with them and they were joined in thoroughly handling the matters left. So, there fell in fact of the Greeks themselves numerous there, others and Sicyonians and their general Perileos. Moreover, those of the Samians that were advancing with the army, who were in the army camp of the Medes and had been taken away from their gear, at the beginning as soon as they had seen that the battle was proving to the advantage of the other side, were performing all the work that they could, because they wished to provide benefit to the Greeks. Then, the rest of the Ionians, when they had seen that the Samians had made a beginning, thus indeed they themselves also stood up from the Persians and applied themselves to the barbarians.

So, although to the Milesians it had been assigned by the Persians to watch the ways through for the purpose of their bringing to safety, that, if, after all, there befell them precisely the kind of thing that did befall, they might have leaders and be brought to safety to the peaks of Mycale, now, although the Milesians had been posted for that matter for that purpose and that they might not be present in the army camp and do anything new, yet they were doing everything contrary to what had been assigned by leading them down other ways in their flight, and they were those that indeed were leading to the enemies, and finally they themselves were proving for them the most hostile killers. Thus indeed for the second time Ionia stood away from the Persians.

Now, in that battle among the Greeks the best were the Athenians and among the Athenians Hermolucus, Euthoenus’ son, a man who had practiced the pancration, and that Hermolucus there befell later than that, when there was war between the Athenians and the Carystians, to die in battle in Cyrnus in the Carystian country and lie on Geraestus. Then after the Athenians the Corinthians and the Troezenians and the Sicyonians were the best.

Now, after the Greeks had worked on the many mortally, some, while they were battling, some also, while they were fleeing, among the barbarians, they burned down their ships and their whole wall jointly, when they had brought out and forth the spoils to the beach, and they found some treasuries of riches; then, having burned the wall and the ships, they were sailing off. So, when they had come to Samos, the Greeks were taking counsel about standing up away those in Ionia and where in Greece they had to put down houses for them, of what they themselves were in possession of mastery, but that Ionia they should let go away to the barbarians; for it was appearing to them to be impossible for themselves to sit down before the Ionians and keep guard the whole of time, and, if they themselves sat not down before them, they had no hope that the Ionians with impunity on the part of the Persians would get off. Thereupon, although among the Peloponessians to those who were in charge it seemed good to make the marts of the Greek nations who had medized stand up and out and give the country to the Ionians to have houses in, yet to the Athenians it seemed good, to begin with, for Ionia not to become stood up away from and the Peloponnesians not to take counsel about their colonies. So, when those kept stretching forth in opposition eagerly, the Peloponnesians yielded. In fact, thus indeed the Samians and the Chians as well as the Lesbians and the rest of the islanders, who in fact joined the Greeks in advancing with the army, they made for themselves into their allied force by taking them utterly by pledge and oaths that they would remain in their word and not stand away. Then, having taken them utterly by oaths, they were sailing to break the bridges; for they thought that they were would find them still stretched tight.

As those indeed were sailing toward the Hellespont, so of the barbarians who had fled and on the tops of Mycale had been cooped up, who were not many, was being performed a conveying to Sardis. Then, while they were making their passage on the way, Masistes, Darius’ son, who had in fact been present at the suffering that had come about, was giving many bad accounts against the general Artayntes by asserting other things and that he was worse than a woman in having performed an office of general like that previous. Now, among the Persians to be spoken of as worse than a woman is the greatest reproach. So, when he had heard it many times, he thought it terrible and drew for himself against Masistes his short sword, because he wanted to kill him, and, as was running forward, Xeinagores, Prexileos’ son, an man of Halicarnassus, after he had pointed him out to himself, who was standing behind Artayntes himself, seized the middle of him, and raised up and smote him to the ground. And in that time the lance-bearers of Masistes stood in front of him. Xeinagores, then, worked that out by way of putting down for himself favors with Masistes himself and Xerxes, because he had completely brought to safety his brother, and on account of that work Xeinagores got the rule of all Cilicia at the giving of the king. Now, while those were making their passage on the way, nothing any longer more than that happened, but they came to Sardis, and in Sardis the king in fact had been from that time when from Athens, after having stumbled in the naval battle, he had fled and come.

That time indeed, while he was in Sardis, he was in love with the woman of Masistes, and that while she was there. So, when, in respect to him, while he kept sending messages forth, she had the power not to be worked on utterly, and he would not bring violence forth out of respect for his brother Masistes, and the same thing was holding for his woman also—for she well knew that she would not obtain violence, thereupon indeed Xerxes, keeping himself from all else, was bringing about that following marriage for his son Darius, of the daughter of that woman and Masistes, because he thought that he would take hold of her more, if he did that. So, having betrothed and performed the deeds that were used according to law, he was driving off to Susa. Then, when he had come thither and brought for himself into his own place for Darius, thus indeed, as he ceased for himself from the woman of Masistes, so he, after having changed himself, was in love and obtaining the woman of Darius, Masistes’ daughter, and that woman’s name was Artaynte.

So, time going forth, it become thoroughly known by inquiry in a manner like this: Amestris, Xerxes’ woman, completely wove a robe, large and embroidered as well as worth beholding, and gave it to Xerxes, and he, having taken pleasure in, cast it round himself and went to Artaynte’s side. Then, having taken pleasure in that one also, he bade her ask for whatever she wanted to become hers in return for services rendered him; for she would obtain, if she asked. So, because for it had to come out badly for her with her whole house, thereupon she said to Xerxes, “Will you give me whatever I ask from you?”, and he, thinking that she would ask for herself anything rather, promised and swore. Then she, when he had sworn without fear, asked for the robe, and Xerxes was coming to be of every kind, because he wanted not to make the gift in accordance with nothing else, but out of fear of Amestris, lest by her who even previously was guessing what was being done he be found out to be doing thus, and rather he was offering cities and abundant gold as well as an army, which no one was to rule other than that that one—and the army’s a very Persian gift. Yet, since he could not produce persuasion, he gave the robe, and she, who was greatly rejoicing at the gift, was wearing and glorying in it.

In fact, Amestris did learn by inquiry that she had it and, after she had learned what was being done, although at that woman she had no indignation, yet she, on the supposition that her mother was the cause and that that one had brought about, was taking counsel for the perishing of the woman of Masistes. So, having kept guard for her man Xerxes’ putting forth the royal dinner—and that dinner is prepared once in the year on the day on which the king was born and that dinner’s name’s in Persian Tycta and in accordance with the Greeks’ tongue Teleion; that time the king both alone soaps his head and makes gifts to the Persians—for that day indeed having kept guard, Amestris requested from Xerxes that there be given her the woman of Masistes. But he was considering terrible and untoward, on the one hand, to give her over, as she was his brother’s woman, and, on the other, not cause of that affair; for he put together for what’s sake she was asking.

However, finally, when that one was persevering and by the law he was constrained, in that for the requester to not receive is not in one’s power for them, when the royal dinner is being put forth, quite very unwillingly he nodded assent and, after having performed the giving over, acted this way: as her he bade do what she wanted, so he sent for his brother and gave this account: “Masistes, you are Darius’ son and my brother and further, in addition to that, you are also a good man. With that woman with whom you now share your house stop sharing your house and, rather, to you instead of her I offer my daughter. With that one share your house and whom you now have, because it seems not good to me, stop having as your woman”. Then Masistes marvelled at the account that was given and gave this account: “O master, what useless account as an account to me have you given in having bidden me my woman, from whom to me are children, young men and daughters, one of whom in fact you have brought for yourself for your own child as a woman—and she herself in fact is very much in accordance with my mind—that one you have bidden me let go and your daughter marry? I, then, king, although I consider it great to be thought worthy of your daughter, yet will do neither of those things of yours, and in no way be you violent in your asking for a matter like this, but, as for your daughter another man will appear nothing less than me, so allow me with my woman to share my house”. The one indeed with a thing like that replied and Xerxes in a spirit of anger gave this account: “Thus by you, Masistes, has been done: Namely, neither to you would I give any longer my daughter to marry nor with that one more time will you share your house that you may learn to receive what is being offered”. The other indeed, when he had heard that, said so much and changed his place to outside, “Master, not indeed yet have you caused a perishing”.

Now, in the time meanwhile, in which Xerxes was exchanging accounts with his brother, Amestris sent for the lance-bearers of Xerxes and thoroughly mutilated the woman of Masistes; her breasts, after she had performed a cutting off, she to dogs cast forth and nose and ears and lips, as well as tongue, after she had performed a cutting out, and sent her off to her house thoroughly mutilated.

Then Masistes, having heard of none of that yet, but supposing that something bad was his, rushed by running into his housings and, having seen that his woman had been destroyed, he immediately after that took counsel for himself with his children and was making his passage to Bactra together with his sons and indeed, I suppose, also some others with the intention that he would make the Bactrian district stand apart and bring about the greatest of evils for the king. Precisely that would have happened, so far as it seems to me, precisely if he had acted seasonably in stepping up to the Bactrians and the Sacians; for in fact they were holding him in affection and he was the subordinate ruler of the Bactrians. But, because Xerxes had learned by inquiry that that one was doing, he sent against him a host and on his way killed that one himself and his children as well as the army of that one.

Now, concerning the love of Xerxes and Masistes’ death that much happened, and the Greeks who had set forth from Mycale to the Hellespont first were lying at anchor round Lectum, because they had been taken hold of and made to go off course by winds, and thereafter they came to Abydus and found that the bridges had been thoroughly unloosed that they thought they would find still stretched tight, and not least because of that they came to the Hellespont. Now, although to those round with Leutychides it seemed good to sail away to Greece, yet to the Athenians and Xanthippus their general to remain behind and make trial of the Chersonese. As the one group indeed sailed away, so the Athenians out of Abydus stepped across to the Chersonese and were besieging Sestus.

Now, to that Sestus, on the grounds that it was the strongest wall of those there, persons went together, when they had heard that the Greeks were present in the Hellespont, from the rest of the lands round that had houses and, in particular, from Cardia, a city, Oeobazus, a man from Persia, who was the conveyor of the gear from the bridges; so, the Aeolians who were in the place had that land, and there were with them the Persians and a numerous crowd of the rest of the allies.

Moreover, the tyrant of that district, Xerxes’ subordinate ruler, was Artayctes, a man of Persia and terrible and reckless, who in fact utterly had deceived the king while he was driving against Athens by taking away underhandedly for himself the wealth of Protesileos, Iphiclus’ son, from Elaeous. For in Elaeous in the Chersonese is Protesileos’ burial-place and a sacred precinct round it, where was much wealth and libation saucers of gold and of silver as well as bronze and apparel and other dedications that Artayctes plundered at the king’s making a gift. So, in giving an account like this he led astray Xerxes: “Master, there is a house of a man of Greece there who, having advanced with an army against your land, got justice and died. Of that one give me the house that in fact everyone may come to learn not to advance with an army against your land”. In giving that account, he easily was to persuade Xerxes to give the man’s house, because he suspected none of the thoughts that that one had. Now, he gave account that Protesileos advanced with an army against the land of the king with a mind like this: all Asia the Persians believe is theirs and his whoever on each and every occasion is king. Then, after the gift had been made, he carried the riches out of Elaeous to Sestus and was sowing and drawing revenues from the sacred precinct; moreover, whenever he himself came to Elaeous, in the place not to be slipped into he had intercourse with women. So, that time he was being besieged by the Athenians without either having prepared himself for besieging or expecting the Greeks, and on him unguarded somehow they fell.

Then, when among them, while they were being besieged, it was coming to be autumn, the Athenians were impatient, because they were away from their people, from their own land, and had not the power to completely take the wall, and were asking of their generals that they might lead them back away, but they asserted not before either they should perform a complete taking or the commonwealth of the Athenians should send for them. Then indeed they were content with the present circumstances.

Now, those within the wall were come to every kind of evil by then thus that they were boiling and eating the cords of their recliners and, when they had not even that any longer, thus indeed under cover of night they sped off and were gone, the Persians and Artayctes and Oeobazus, after having stepped down behind the wall, where it was most bereft of their enemies. Then, when it had come to be day, the Chersonesians indicated from the towers to the Athenians what had happened and opened up their gates, and some of them, the greater number, were giving pursuit and some held the city.

Now, Oeobazus who had fled out to Thrace the Apsinthian Thracians took hold of and sacrificed to Pleistorus, a god in the place, in their manner, and those with him in another manner they slew. Then, those round with Artayctes who had set off to flee later, when they were being overtaken, while they were a little inland of Goat’s Rivers, although they were resisting for much time, some died and some were captured alive. In fact, the Greeks bound together and brought them to Sestus, and with them also Artayctes, himself and his child.

And to one of the guarders, an account is given by the Chersonesians, as he was baking salted fish, a prodigy happened like this: The salted fish, while they were lying on the fire, began shaking and wriggling, precisely like newly caught fish, and some were poured round and marveling and one, Artayctes, when he had seen the prodigy, called the baker of the salted fish and asserted, “Stranger from Athens, fear nothing that prodigy; for it has not come to light for you, but that Protesileos in Elaeous is indicating to me that, though he is both dead and a salted fish, he has power from gods to punish whoever commits injustice. Accordingly, as a ransom on me I am willing to put this, in compensation for the riches that I took hold of from the shrine to put down a hundred talents, while in compensation for myself and my child I will give away two hundred talents to the Athenians, if I become a survivor”. Although he was promising that, he could not persuade the general Xanthippus; for the Elaeousians in trying to take vengeance for Protesileos were asking for him to be used mortally, and of the general himself by this way the mind was going. So, after they had brought him away to the promontory, at which Xerxes had yoked the passage, or, some give account, upon the hill over Madytus, a city, they nailed down to plank and hanged him up, while the child before the eyes of Artayctes they utterly stoned.

Then, having done that, they were sailing away to Greece, who were bringing the rest of the riches and, in particular, the gear of the bridges, with the intention that they would dedicate it in the shrines, and during that year nothing any longer more than that happened.

Now, of that Artayctes who was hanged up a forefather Artembares is he who led forth to the Persians an account that those took up hold of and brought to Cyrus, which gave this account: “Since Zeus the Persians leadership gives and, among men, you, Cyrus, he who has taken down Astyages, come, since we possess little land, and that harsh, let us stand up out of that elsewhere and get hold of another better. Many, then, are near towns and many also farther, of which one get we hold of, to more we will be more marvelous. Moreover, it’s reasonable for men who are ruling to perform a deed like that; for just when in fact will there be furnishing it more beautifully than when, at least, we rule both many human beings and the whole of Asia?”. Then Cyrus, who had heard that and marvelled not at the account, was bidding perform that deed, and thus was recommending them, as he was bidding, prepare themselves on the grounds that no longer shall they rule, but be ruled; for there loves out of soft places soft men come to be—for nothing is it the same land’s to grow marvelous fruit and men good in the things of war. And so, with a share of that knowledge the Persians were gone and stood off, worsted in their judgement by Cyrus, and to rule chose, housed on paining land, rather than, sowers of flat, to be others’ slave.

the end

(Revisions will be posted upon completion.)

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