Justin, Epitome of Pompeius Trogus (1886). pp. 1-90. Preface, Books 1-10
AFTER many Romans,1 men even of consular dignity, had committed the acts of their countrymen to writing in Greek, a foreign language, 2 Trogus Pompeius, a man of eloquence equal to that of the ancients, 3 whether prompted by a desire to emulate their glory, or charmed by the variety and novelty of the undertaking, composed the history of Greece, and of the whole world, in the Latin tongue, in order that, as our actions might be read in Greek, so those of the Greeks might be read in our language; attempting a work that demanded extraordinary resolution and labour. For when, to most authors who write the history only of particular princes or nations, their task appears an affair of arduous effort, must not Trogus Pompeius, in attempting the whole world, seem to have acted with a boldness like that of Hercules, since in his books are contained the actions of all ages, monarchs, nations, and people? All that the historians of Greece had undertaken separately, according to what was suitable to each, Trogus Pompeius, omitting only what was useless, has put |2 together in one narration, everything being assigned to its proper period, and arranged in the regular order of events. From these forty-four volumes therefore (for such was the number that he published), I have extracted, during the leisure that I enjoyed in the city, whatever was most worthy of being known; and, rejecting such parts as were neither attractive for the pleasure of reading, nor necessary by way of example, have formed, as it were, a small collection of flowers, that those who are acquainted with the history of Greece might have something to refresh their memories, and those who are strangers to it something for their instruction. This work I have sent to you, 4 not so much that it may add to your knowledge, as that it may receive your correction; and that, at the same time, the account of my leisure, of which Cato thinks that an account must be given, may stand fair with you. For your approbation is sufficient for me for the present, with the expectation of receiving from posterity, when the malice of detraction has died away, an ample testimony to my diligence. |3
The monarchy of the Assyrians, Ninus, I.----Semiramis, II. ----Sardanapalus, III.----The monarchy of the Medes; Astyages, IV.----The youth of Cyrus, V.----He becomes king, VI.----His victory over Croesus; Candaules and Gyges, VII.----Expedition of Cyrus against the Scythians; his death, VIII.----Cambyses; the Magi; Otanes, IX.----Darius, the son of Hystaspes, X.
I. ORIGINALLY,5 the government of nations and tribes was in the hands of kings; 6 whom it was not their flattery of the people, but their discretion, as commended by the prudent, that elevated to the height of this dignity. The people were not then bound by any laws; the wills of their princes were instead of laws. It was their custom to defend, rather than advance, 7 the boundaries of their empire. The dominions of each were confined within his own country.
The first of all princes, who, from an extravagant desire of ruling, changed this old and, as it were, hereditary custom, was Ninus, king of the Assyrians. It was he who first made war upon his neighbours, and subdued the nations, as yet too barbarous to resist him, as far as the frontiers of Libya Sesostris,8 king of Egypt, and Tanaus,9 king of Scythia, were indeed prior to him in time; the one of whom advanced into Pontus, and the other as far as Egypt; but these princes engaged in distant wars, not in struggles with their |4 neighbours; they did not seek dominion for themselves, but glory for their people, and, content with victory, declined to govern those whom they subdued. But Ninus established the greatness of his acquired dominion by immediately possessing himself of the conquered countries.10 Overcoming, accordingly, the nearest people, and advancing, fortified with an accession of strength, against others, while each successive victory became the instrument of one to follow, he subjugated the nations of the whole east. His last war was with Zoroaster, 11 king of the Bactrians, who is said to have been the first that invented magic arts, and to have investigated, with great attention, the origin of the world and the motions of the stars. After killing Zoroaster, Ninus himself died, leaving a son called Ninyas, still a minor, and a wife, whose name was Semiramis.12
II. Semiramis, not daring to entrust the government to a youth, or openly to take it upon herself (as so many great, nations would scarcely submit to one man, much less to a woman), pretended that she was the son of Ninus instead of his wife, a male instead of a female. The stature of both mother and son was low, their voice alike weak, and the cast of their features similar. She accordingly clad her arms and legs in long garments, and decked her head with a turban; and, that she might not appear to conceal any thing by this new dress, she ordered her subjects also to wear the same apparel; a fashion which the whole nation has since retained. Having thus dissembled her sex at the commencement of her |5 reign, she was believed to be a male. Sbe afterwards performed many noble actions; and when she thought envy was overcome by the greatness of them, she acknowledged who she was, and whom she had personated. Nor did this confession detract from her authority as a sovereign, but increased the admiration of her, since she, being a woman, surpassed, not only women, but men, in heroism.
It was she that built Babylon,13 and constructed round the city a wall of burnt brick; bitumen, a substance which everywhere oozes from the ground in those parts, being spread between the bricks instead of mortar. 14 Many other famous acts, too, were performed by this queen; for, not content with preserving the territories acquired by her husband, she added Ethiopia also to her empire; and she even made war upon India, into which no prince, 15 except her and Alexander the Great, ever penetrated. At last, conceiving a criminal passion for her son, she was killed by him, after holding the kingdom two and forty years from the death of Ninus.
Her son Ninyas, content with the empire acquired by his parents, laid aside the pursuits of war, and, as if he had changed sexes with his mother, was seldom seen by men, but grew old in the company of his women. His successors too, following his example, gave answers to their people through their ministers. The Assyrians, who were afterwards called Syrians, held their empire thirteen hundred years.
III. The last king that reigned over them was Sardanapalus, a man more effeminate than a woman. One of his satraps, named Arbaces, governor of the Medes, having, with great difficulty and after much solicitation, obtained admission to visit him, found him, among crowds of concubines, and in the dress, of a woman, spinning purple wool with a distaff, and |6 distributing tasks to girls, but surpassing all the women in the effeminacy of his person and the wantonness of his looks. At that sight, feeling indignant that so many men should be subject to one so much of a woman, and that those who bore swords and arms should obey one that handled wool, he proceeded to his companions, and told them what he had seen, protesting that he could not submit to a prince who had rather be a woman than a man. A conspiracy was consequently formed, and war raised against Sardanapalus; who, hearing of what had occurred, and acting, not like a man that would defend his kingdom, but as women are wont to do under fear of death, first looked about for a hiding-place, but afterwards marched into the field with a few ill-disciplined troops. Being conquered in battle, he withdrew into his palace, and, having raised and set fire to a pile of combustibles, threw himself and his riches into the flames, in this respect only acting like a man. After him Arbaces, who was the occasion of his death, and who had been governor of the Medes, was made king, and transferred the empire from the Assyrians to the Medes.
IV. After several kings, the crown, by order of succession, descended to Astyages. This prince, in a dream, saw a vine spring from the womb of his only daughter, with the branches of which all Asia was overshadowed. The soothsayers being consulted concerning the vision, replied, that he would have a grandson by that daughter, whose greatness was foreshown, and the loss of Astyages's kingdom portended. Alarmed at this answer, he gave his daughter in marriage, not to an eminent man, nor to one of his own subjects (lest nobility on the father or mother's side should rouse the spirit of his grandson), but to Cambyses, a man of mean fortune, and of the race of the Persians, which was at that time obscure. But not having, even thus, got rid of his fear of the dream, he sent for his daughter, while she was pregnant, that her child might be put to death under the very eye of his grandfather. The infant, as soon as it was born, was given to Harpagus, a friend of the king's and in his secrets, to be killed. Harpagus, fearing that if the crown, on the death of the king (as Astyages had no male issue), should devolve upon his daughter, she might exact from the agent, for the murder of her child, that revenge which she could not inflict on her |7 father, gave the infant to the herdsman of the king's cattle to be exposed. The herdsman, by chance, had a son born at the same time; and his wife, hearing of the exposure of the royal infant, entreated, with the utmost earnestness, that the child might be brought and shown to her. The herdsman, overcome by her solicitations, went back into the wood, and found a dog by the infant, giving it her teats, and protecting it from the beasts and birds of prey. Being moved with pity, with which he saw even a dog moved, he carried the child to the cattle-folds, the dog vigilantly following him. When the woman took the babe into her hands, it smiled upon her as if it knew her; and there appeared so much vivacity in it, with a certain sweetness in its smile as it clung to her, that the wife at once entreated the herdsman to expose her own child instead of the other, and to allow her to bring up the royal infant, whether to his own fortune or to her hopes.16 Thus the lot of the children being changed, the one was brought up as the shepherd's son, and the other exposed as the king's grandson. The nurse had afterwards the name of Spaco; for so the Persians call a dog.
V. The boy after a time, while he was among the shepherds, received the name of Cyrus. Subsequently, being chosen by lot king among his play-fellows, and having boldly scourged such of them as were disobedient to him, a complaint was made to the king by the parents of the boys, who were angry that free-born youths should be lashed with servile stripes by the king's slave. Astyages having sent for the boy and questioned him, and the boy replying, without any change of countenance, that "he had acted as a king," was struck with his high spirit, and reminded of his dream and its interpretation. In consequence, as both the resemblance of his features, the time of his exposure, and the confession of the herdsman, concurred exactly, he acknowledged him as his grandson. And since he seemed to have had his dream accomplished, by the boy's exercise of rule among the shepherds, he subdued his feelings of animosity; but with regard to him only; for, being incensed with his friend Harpagus, he, in revenge for the preservation of his grandson, killed his son, |8 and gave him to his father to eat. Harpagus, dissembling his resentment for the present, deferred showing his malice towards the king, until a proper time for vengeance should occur.
Some time having elapsed, and Cyrus being grown up, Harpagus, prompted by his resentment for the loss of his child, wrote him an account how he had been banished to the Persians by his grandfather; how his grandfather had ordered him to be killed when he was an infant; how he had been saved by his kindness; how he himself had incurred the king's displeasure, and how he had lost his son. He exhorted him to raise an army, and march directly to seize the throne, promising that the Medes should join him. This letter, because it could not be conveyed openly, as the king's guards occupied all the roads, was enclosed in the body of a hare, of which the bowels had been taken out; and the hare was committed to a trusty slave, to be carried into Persia to Cyrus. Nets were also given him, that the plot might be concealed under the appearance of a hunting expedition.
VI. Cyrus, after reading the letter, was exhorted in a dream to make the same attempt; but was also admonished to take the first man that he should meet on the following day, as a companion in his enterprize. Commencing his journey from the country, accordingly, before it was light, he met a slave named Soebaris, coming from the slave-house of a certain Mede. Having questioned him as to his birth-place, and hearing that he was born in Persia, he knocked off his fetters, took him with him as his companion, and returned to Per-sepolis. Here, having called the people together, he ordered them all to attend him with axes, and to cut down a wood that skirted each side of the road. When they had thoroughly accomplished this, he invited them on the following day to a feast prepared for them. Then, as soon as he saw them exhilarated with the banquet, he asked them, "if an offer were made them, which sort of life they would choose, a life of labour like that of yesterday, or of feasting like the present?" As they all exclaimed, "A life of feasting like the present," he told them that, "as long as they obeyed the Medes, they must lead a life like the drudgery of yesterday; but, if they would follow him, a life like the present entertainment." All expressing their joy, he made war upon the Medes. |9
Astyages, forgetting his treatment of Harpagus, entrusted him with the management of the war. Harpagus immediately delivered up the forces, which he had received from Astyages, to Cyrus, and took revenge for the king's cruelty by a treacherous desertion of him. Astyages, hearing of this occurrence, and collecting troops from all quarters, marched against the Persians in person. Having vigorously renewed the contest, he posted part of his army, while his men were fighting, in their rear, and ordered that those who turned back should be driven on the enemy with the point of the sword; telling them that, "unless they conquered, they would find men in their rear not less stout than those in their front; and they were therefore to consider whether they would penetrate the one body by fleeing, or the other body by fighting." In consequence of this obligation to fight, great spirit and vigour was infused into his army. As the Persian troops, therefore, were driven back, and were gradually retiring, their mothers and wives ran to meet them, and besought them to return to the field. While they hesitated, they took up their garments, and showed them the secret parts of their persons, asking them, "if they would shrink back into the wombs of their mothers or their wives." Checked with this reproach, they returned to the battle, and, making a vigorous assault, compelled those from whom they had fled to flee in their turn. In this battle Astyages was taken prisoner; from whom Cyrus took nothing but his kingdom, and, acting towards him the part rather of a grandson than of a conqueror, made him ruler of the powerful nation of the Hyrcanians; for to the Medes he was unwilling to return. Such was the termination of the empire of the Medes, who had ruled three hundred and fifty years.
VII. In the beginning of his reign, Cyrus appointed Soebaris (his companion in his undertakings, whom, in conformity with his dream, he had released from the slave-house, and made a sharer in all his enterprises), governor of Persia, and gave him his sister in marriage. But several cities, which had been tributary to the Medes, thinking that their condition was changed by this change in the government, revolted from Cyrus; a revolt which was the occasion and source of many wars against him. When he had at length, however, reduced most of them to submission, and was carrying |10 on war against the Babylonians, Croesus, king of Lydia, whose power and riches were at that time extraordinary, came to the aid of that people, but, being soon defeated and abandoned, fled back to his kingdom. Cyrus, after his victory, as soon as he had settled affairs in Babylonia, transferred the war into Lydia, where he easily routed the army of Craesus, already dispirited by the event of the former battle. Croesus himself was taken prisoner. But in proportion to the smallness of the danger in the battle, was the greatness of the clemency shown by Cyrus on his victory. To Croesus was granted his life, part of his hereditary possessions, and the city Barene,17 in. which he lived, though not the life of a king, yet one scarcely inferior to royal dignity. This lenity was of no less advantage to the conqueror than to the conquered; for when it was known that war was made upon Craesus, auxiliaries flocked to him from the whole of Greece, 18 as if to extinguish a conflagration that threatened them all; so popular was Croesus in all the Greek cities; and Cyrus would have incurred a heavy war with Greece, if he had resolved on any severe treatment of Croesus.
Some time after, when Cyrus was engaged in other wars, the Lydians rebelled, and, being a second time conquered, their arms and horses were taken from them, and they were compelled to keep taverns, to turn their thoughts to amusements, and open houses of pleasure. Thus a nation, formerly powerful through its industry, and brave in the field, was rendered effeminate by ease and luxury, and lost its ancient spirit; and those whom their wars had proved invincible till the time of Cyrus, idleness and sloth overpowered when they had fallen into dissoluteness of manners.
The Lydians had many kings before Craesus, remarkable for various turns of fate; but none to be compared, in singularity |11 of fortune, to Candaules. This prince used to speak of his wife, on whom he doated for her extreme beauty, to every body, for he was not content with the quiet consciousness of his happiness, unless he also published the secrets of his married life; just as if silence concerning her beauty had been a detraction from it. At last, to gain credit to his representations, he showed her undressed to his confidant, Gyges; an act by which he both rendered his friend, who was thus tempted to corrupt his wife, his enemy, and alienated his wife from him, by transferring, as it were, her love to another; for, soon after, the murder of Candaules was stipulated as the condition of her marriage with Gyges, and the wife, making her husband's blood her dowry, bestowed at once his kingdom and herself on her paramour.
VIII. Cyrus, after subduing Asia,19 and reducing the whole of the east under his power, made war upon the Scythians. At that time, the Scythians were ruled by a queen named Tomyris, who, not alarmed like a woman at the approach of an enemy, suffered them to pass the river Araxes, though she might have hindered them from passing it; thinking that it would be easier for her to fight within the limits of her kingdom, and that escape would be harder for the enemy from the obstruction of the river. Cyrus accordingly, having carried his troops across, and advanced some distance into Scythia, pitched his camp. On the day following, having quitted his camp in pretended alarm, and as if in full flight, he left behind him abundance of wine, and such things as were proper for a feast. The news of this event being brought to the queen, she despatched her son, a very young man, with a third part of her army, in pursuit of him. When they reached the camp of Cyrus, the youth, inexperienced in military matters, seeming to think he was come to feast and not to fight, paid no attention
to the enemy, but allowed his barbarians, who were unused to wine, to overload themselves with it; so that the Scythians were overcome with wine before they were subdued by the enemy; for Cyrus, learning what had happened, and returning in the night, fell upon them unawares, 20 and killed all the Scythians together with the queen's son. |12
But Tomyris, after losing so great an army, and, what she still more lamented, her only son, did not pour forth her sorrow for her loss in tears, but turned her thoughts to the solace of revenge, and entrapped her enemies, exulting in their recent victory, by a deception and stratagem similar to their own. For, counterfeiting timidity on account of the damage which she had received, and taking to flight, she allured Cyrus into a narrow defile, where, placing an ambush on the hills, she slew two hundred thousand of the Persians with their king himself; a triumph in which this also was remarkable, that not a man to tell of such a massacre survived. The queen ordered the head of Cyrus to be cut off and thrown into a vessel full of human blood, adding this exclamation against his cruelty, "Satiate thyself with blood for which thou hast thirsted, and of which thou hast always been insatiable." Cyrus reigned thirty years, and was a man wonderfully distinguished, not only in the beginning of his reign, but during the whole course of his life.
IX. He was succeeded by his son Cambyses, who added Egypt to his father's dominions, but, disgusted at the superstitions of the Egyptians, ordered the temples of Apis and the other gods to be demolished. He also sent an army to destroy the celebrated temple of Ammon; which army was overwhelmed with tempests and heaps of sand, and utterly annihilated. Afterwards he learned in a dream that his brother Smerdis was to be king. Alarmed at this vision, he did not scruple to add fratricide 21 to sacrilege; nor was it to be expected, indeed, that he, who, in contempt of religion, had braved the gods themselves, would spare his own relations. To execute this cruel service, he selected from his confidants a man named Prexaspes, one of the Magi. But in the mean time, he himself, being severely hurt in the thigh by his sword, which had started out of its sheath,22 died of the wound, and |13 paid the penalty whether of the fratricide which he had intended, or of the sacrilege which he had perpetrated. The Magus, receiving intelligence of this event, despatched his commission before the report of the king's death was spread abroad, and, having killed Smerdis, to whom the kingdom belonged, set up in his room his own brother Orospastes, who closely resembled him in features and person, and, no one suspecting any imposture in the case, Orospastes was declared king instead of Smerdis. This transaction was the more easily kept secret, as, among the Persians, the person of. the king is concealed from public view, under pretext of keeping his majesty inviolate. The Magi,23 to gain the favour of the people, granted a remission of the taxes, and an immunity from military service, for three years, that they might secure by indulgence and bounties the kingdom which they had gained by fraud. The imposition was first suspected by Otanes, a man of noble birth, and extremely happy in forming conjectures. He accordingly, by the aid of certain agents, inquired of his daughter, who was one of the royal concubines, whether the son of king Cyrus was now king. She replied that "she neither knew, nor could learn from any other woman, as all the females were shut up in separate apartments." He then desired her to feel his head while he was asleep; as Cambyses had cut off both the Magus's ears. Being then assured by his daughter that "the king was without ears," he disclosed the affair to some of the Persian noblemen, and, having persuaded them to murder the pretended king, bound them to the commission of the deed by a solemn oath. To this conspiracy seven only were privy, who at once (lest if time were allowed for change of mind, the affair should be made public by any one) proceeded to the palace with swords hidden under their garments. Here, having killed all that they met, they made their way to the Magi, who indeed did not want courage to defend themselves, for they drew their swords and killed two of the conspirators. They were overpowered, however, by numbers. Gobryas, having seized one of them by the waist, and his companions hesitating to use |14 their swords, lest, as the affair was transacted in the dark, they should stab him instead of the Magus, desired them to thrust the weapon into the Magus even through his body; but, as good fortune directed, the Magus was slain, and Gobryas escaped unhurt.
X. The Magi being slain, the glory of the noblemen, in having recovered the kingdom, was indeed great, but proved far greater in this, that when they came to debate about the disposal of it, they were able to act in concert. They were so equal in merit and nobility of birth, that their very equality would have rendered it hard for the people to make a selection from them. They themselves, therefore, contrived a method by which they might refer the judgment respecting them to religion 24 and fortune, and agreed that, on an appointed day, they should all bring their horses early in the morning before the palace, and that he whose horse should neigh first, on the rising of the sun, 25 should be king. For the Persians believe the sun to be the only god, and regard horses as sacred to the god. Among the conspirators was Darius the son of Hystaspes, to whom, when he felt anxious about his chance of the kingdom, his groom said that, "if that matter was the only obstacle to his success, there would not be the least difficulty about it." The groom then took the horse, in the night before the appointed day, to the place agreed upon, and there let him cover a mare, thinking that from the pleasure of the leap would result what actually came to pass. On the next day, accordingly, when they were all met at the appointed hour, the horse of Darius, recognizing the place, set up a neigh from desire for the mare, and, while the other horses were silent, was the first to give a fortunate signal for his master. Such was the moderation of the other nobles, that when they heard the omen, they immediately leaped from their horses, and saluted Darius as king. The whole people too, following the judgment of their chiefs, acknowledged him as their ruler. Thus the kingdom of the Persians, recovered by |15 the valour of seven of its noblest men, was by so easy a mode of decision conferred upon one of them. It is incredible that they should have resigned, with so much patience, their pretensions to a kingdom, for which, in order to recover it from the Magi, they had not hesitated to expose their lives. However, besides possessing gracefulness of person, and merit deserving of such an empire, Darius was related to the preceding kings; and, in the beginning of his reign, he took to wife the daughter of Cyrus, in order to strengthen his kingdom by a royal marriage, so that it might not so much, seem transferred to a stranger, as to be restored to Cyrus's family.
Some time after, when the Assyrians had revolted and seized upon Babylon, and the capture of the city proved difficult, so that the king was in great anxiety about it, Zopyrus, one of the assassins of the Magi, caused himself to be mangled with stripes, in his own house, over his whole body, and his nose, ears, and lips to be cut off, and in this condition presented himself unexpectedly before the king; when he privately informed Darius, who was astonished, and inquired the cause and author of so dire an outrage, with what object he had done it, and, having settled his plan of action for the future, set out for Babylon in the character of a deserter. There he showed the people his lacerated body; complained of the barbarity of the king, by whom, in the competition for the throne, he had been defeated, not by merit but by fortune, not by the judgment of men but by the neighing of a horse; and bade them form an opinion, from his treatment of his friends, what was to be apprehended by his enemies; exhorting them not to trust to their walls more than to their arms, and to allow him, whose resentment was fresher, to carry on the war in common with them. The nobleness and bravery of the man was known to them all; nor did they doubt of his sincerity, of which they had the wounds on his person, and the marks of his ill-usage, as proofs. He was therefore chosen general by the suffrages of all; and, having received a small body of men, and the Persians, once or twice, purposely retreating from the field, he fought some successful battles. At last he betrayed the whole army, with which he had been entrusted, to Darius, and brought the city under his power. Some time after, Darius |16 made war upon the Scythians, as shall be related in the following book.
Account of the Scythians and their actions, I., II., III.----The Amazons, IV.----The war of the Scythians with their slaves; the expeditions of Darius against the Scythians and Ionians, V.----The Athenians, and Solon, VI., VII.----Pisistratus, VIII.----Hippias, being exiled, brings the Persians against Greece; the battle of Marathon; Miltiades, IX.----The sons of Darius; Xerxes invades Greece, X.----Leonidas at Thermopylae, XI.----The battle of Salamis, XII.----Mardonius; the flight of Xerxes, XIII.----The battle of Plataeae, XIV.----The walls of Athens; Pausanias; Aristides; Cimon, XV.
I. IN narrating the acts of the Scythians, which were very great and glorious, we must commence from their origin; for they had a rise not less illustrious than their empire; nor were they more famous for the government of their men than for the brave actions of their women. As the men were founders of the Parthians and Bactrians, the women settled the kingdom of the Amazons; so that to those who compare the deeds of their males and females, it is difficult to decide which of the sexes was more distinguished.
The nation of the Scythians was always regarded as very ancient; though there was long a dispute between them and the Egyptians concerning the antiquity of their respective races; the Egyptians alleging that, "In the beginning of things, when some countries were parched with the excessive heat of the sun, and others frozen with extremity of cold, so that, in their early condition, they were not only unable to produce human beings, but were incapable even of receiving and supporting such as came from other parts (before coverings for the body were found out against heat and cold, or the inconveniences of countries corrected by artificial remedies), Egypt was always so temperate, that neither the cold in winter nor the sun's heat in summer, incommoded its inhabitants; and its soil so fertile, that no land was ever more productive of food for the use of man; and that, consequently, men must |17reasonably be considered to have been first produced in that country,26 where they could most easily be nourished."
The Scythians, on the other hand, thought that the temperateness of the air was no argument of antiquity; "because Nature, when she first distributed to different countries degrees of heat and cold, immediately produced in them animals fitted to endure the several climates, and generated also numerous sorts of trees and herbs, happily varied according to the condition of the places in which they grew; and that, as the Scythians have a sharper air than the Egyptians, so are their bodies and constitutions in proportion more hardy. But that if the world, which is now distinguished into parts of a different nature, was once uniform throughout; whether a deluge of waters originally kept the earth buried under it; or whether fire, which also produced the world, 27 had possession of all the parts of it, the Scythians, under either supposition as to the primordial state of things, had the advantage as to origin. For if fire was at first predominant over all things, and, being gradually extinguished, gave place to the earth, no part of it would be sooner separated from the fire, by the severity of winter cold, than the northern, since even now no part is more frozen with cold; but Egypt and all the east must have been the latest to cool, as being now burnt up with the parching heat of the sun. But if originally all the earth were sunk under water, assuredly the highest parts would be first uncovered when the waters decreased, and the water must have remained longest in the lowest grounds; while the sooner any portion of the earth was dry, the sooner it must have begun to produce animals; but Scythia was so much higher than all other countries, that all the rivers which rise in it run down into the Maeotis, and then into the Pontic and Egyptian seas; whereas Egypt, (which, though it had been fenced by the care and expense of so many princes and generations, and furnished with such strong mounds against the violence of the encroaching waters, and though it had been intersected also by so many canals, the waters being kept out by the one, and retained by the other, was yet |18 uninhabitable, unless the Nile were excluded,28) could not be thought to have been the most anciently peopled; 29 being a land, which, whether from the accessions of soil collected by its kings, or those from the Nile, bringing mud with it, must appear to have been the most recently formed of all lands." The Egyptians being confounded with these arguments, the Scythians were always accounted the more ancient.
II. Scythia, which stretches towards the east, is bounded on one side by the Pontus Euxinus; on the other, by the Rhipaean Mountains; at the back,30 by Asia 31 and the river Phasis. It extends to a vast distance, both in length and breadth. The people have no landmarks, for they neither cultivate the soil, nor have they any house, dwelling, or settled place of abode, but are always engaged in feeding herds and flocks, and wandering through uncultivated deserts. They carry their wives and children with them in waggons, 32 which, as they are covered with hides against the rain and cold, they use instead of houses. Justice is observed among them, more from the temper of the people, than from the influence of laws. No crime in their opinion is more heinous than theft; for, among people that keep their flocks and herds without fence or shelter in the woods, what would be safe, if stealing were permitted? Gold and silver they despise, as much as other men covet them. They live on milk and honey. The use of wool and clothes is unknown among them, although they are pinched by perpetual cold; they wear, however, the skins of wild animals, great and small. 33 Such abstemiousness |19 has caused justice to be observed among them, as they covet nothing belonging to their neighbours; for it is only where riches are of use, that the desire of them prevails. And would that other men had like temperance, and like freedom from desire for the goods of others! There would then assuredly be fewer wars in all ages and countries, and the sword would not destroy more than the natural course of destiny. And it appears extremely wonderful, that nature should grant that to them which the Greeks cannot attain by long instruction from their wise men and the precepts of their philosophers; and that cultivated morals should have the disadvantage in a comparison with those of unpolished barbarians. So much better effect has the ignorance of vice in the one people than the knowledge of virtue in the other.
III. They thrice 34 aspired to the supreme command in Asia; while they themselves remained always either unmolested or unconquered by any foreign power. Darius, king of the Persians, they forced to quit Scythia in disgraceful flight. They slew Cyrus with his whole army. They cut off in like manner Zopyrion, a general of Alexander the Great, with all his forces. Of the arms of the Romans they have heard, but never felt them. They founded the Parthian and Bactrian powers. They are a nation hardy in toils and warfare; their strength of body is extraordinary; they take possession of nothing which they fear to lose, and covet, when they are conquerors, nothing but glory.
The first that proclaimed war against the Scythians was Sesostris, king of Egypt, previously sending messengers 35 to announce conditions on which they might become his subjects. But the Scythians, who were already apprized by their neighbours of the king's approach, made answer to the deputies, that the prince of so rich a people had been foolish in commencing a war with a poor one (for war was more to be dreaded by himself at home), as the result of the contest waa uncertain, prizes of victory there were none, and the ill consequences of defeat were apparent; and that the Scythians, |20 therefore, would not wait till he came to them, since there was so much more to be desired in the hands of the enemy, but would proceed of their own accord to seek the spoil." Nor were their deeds slower than their words; and the king, hearing that they were advancing with such speed, took to flight,36 and leaving behind him his army and all his military stores, returned in consternation to his own kingdom. The morasses prevented the Scythians from invading Egypt; in their retreat from which they subdued Asia, and made it tributary, imposing, however, only a moderate tribute, rather as a token of their power over it, than as a recompence for their victory. After spending fifteen years in the réduction of Asia, they were called home by the importunity of their wives, who sent them word that "unless their husbands returned, they would seek issue from their neighbours, and not suffer the race of the Scythians to fail of posterity through the fault of their women." Asia was tributary to them for fifteen hundred years; and it was Ninus, king of Assyria, that put a stop to the payment of the tribute.
IV. Among the Scythians, in the meantime, two youths 37 of royal extraction, Ylinos and Scolopitus, being driven from their country by a faction of the nobility, took with them a numerous band of young men, and found a settlement on the coast of Cappaclocia, near the river Thermodon, occupying the Themiscyrian plains that border on it. Here, making it their practice for several years to rob their neighbours, they were at last, by a combination of the surrounding people, cut to pieces in an ambuscade. Their wives, when they found that to exile was added the loss of their husbands, took arms themselves, and maintained their position, repelling the attacks of their enemies at first, and afterwards assailing them in return. They relinquished all thoughts of marrying with their neighbours, saying that it would be slavery, not matrimony. Venturing to set an example unimitated through all generations, they established their government without the aid of men, and |21 soon maintained their power in defiance of them. And that none of their females might seem more fortunate than others, they put to death all the men who had remained at home. They also took revenge for their husbands that were killed in war, by a great slaughter of their neighbours.
Having thus secured peace by means of their arms, they proceeded, in order that their race might not fail, to form connexions with the men of the adjacent nations. If any male children were born, they put them to death. The girls they bred up to the same mode of life with themselves, not consigning them to idleness, or working in wool, but training them to arms, the management of horses, and hunting; burning their right breasts in infancy, that their use of the bow might not be obstructed by them; and hence they were called Amazons.38 They had two queens, Marpesia and Lampedo, who, dividing their forces into two bodies (after they were grown famous for their power), conducted their wars, and defended their borders separately and by turns. And that a reason for their success might not be wanting, they spread a report that they were the daughters of Mars.
After subduing the greater part of Europe, they possessed themselves also of some cities in Asia. + Having then founded Ephesus and several other towns there, they sent a detachment of their army home, laden with a vast quantity of spoil. The rest, who remained to secure their power in Asia, were cut to pieces, together with their queen Marpesia, by a combination of the barbarous tribes. Orithya, the daughter oi Marpesia, succeeded to the government in her room, and has attracted extraordinary admiration, not only for her eminent skill in war, but for having preserved her virginity to the end of her life. So much was added by her valour and conduct to the fame and glory of the Amazons, that the king, for whom Hercules was bound to perform twelve labours, ordered him, as if it were a thing impossible, to bring him the arms of the queen of the Amazons. Hercules, accordingly, having proceeded thither with nine ships of war, the principal young men of Greece accompanying him, attacked the Amazons unawares. Two sisters at this time held the government, Antiope and Orithya; but Orithya was engaged in a war |22 abroad. When Hercules, therefore, landed on the coast of the Amazons, there was but a small number of them there with their queen Antiope, free from all apprehension of hostilities. Hence it happened that a few only, roused by the sudden alarm, took up arms, and these afforded an easy conquest to the enemy. Many were slain, and many taken prisoners; among the latter were two sisters of Antiope, Menalippe being taken by Hercules, and Hippolyte by Theseus. Theseus, having received his prisoner as his share of the spoil, took her to wife, and had by her his son Hippolytus. Hercules, after his victory, restored his captive Menalippe to her sister, receiving the arms of the queen as a recompence; and having thus executed what was imposed on him, he returned to the king.
But Orithya, when she found that war had been maae upon her sister, and that the assailant was a chief of the Athenians, exhorted her followers to revenge the affront, saying that the "coast of the Pontus, and Asia, had been conquered in vain, if they were still exposed, not merely to the wars, but to the marauding invasions, of the Greeks." She then solicited aid from Sagillus, king of Scythia; representing to him "their Scythian descent, the loss of their husbands, their obligation to take arms, and their reasons for making war;" adding, "that they had proved by their valour, that the Scythians must be thought to have women not less spirited than their men." Sagillus, alive to the glory of his nation, sent his son Panasagoras, with a numerous body of cavalry, to their aid. But some disagreement having occurred before the battle, they were deserted by their auxiliaries, and worsted in the conflict by the Athenians. They had, however, the camp of their allies as a place of refuge, under whose protection, they returned to their kingdom unmolested by other nations.
After Orithya, Penthesilea occupied the throne, of whose valour there were seen great proofs among the bravest heroes in the Trojan war, when she led an auxiliary force thither against the Greeks. But Penthesilea being at last killed, and her army destroyed, a few only of the Amazons, who had remained at home in their own country, established a power that continued (defending itself with difficulty against its neighbours), to the time of Alexander the Great. Their queen Minithya, or Thalestris, after obtaining from Alexander |23 the enjoyment of his society for thirteen days, in order to have issue by him, returned into her kingdom, and soon after died, together with the whole name of the Amazons.
V. The Scythians, in their Asiatic expedition, having been absent from their wives and children eight years, were met on their return home by a war raised by their slaves. For their wives, weary of waiting so long for their husbands, and thinking that they were not detained by war, but had perished in the field, married their slaves that had been left at home to take care of the cattle; who, taking up arms, repelled their masters, returning with victory, from the borders of their country, as if they had been strangers. Success against them being uncertain, the Scythians were advised to change their method of attack, remembering that they were not to fight with soldiers, but with slaves, who were to be conquered, not by means of arms, but of magisterial authority; that whips, not weapons, were to be used in the field; and that, swords being laid aside, rods and scourges, and other instruments of terror to slaves, were to be provided. This suggestion being approved, and all being equipped as was prescribed, the Scythians, as soon as they drew near the enemy, held out scourges towards them unexpectedly, and struck them such terror, that they conquered with the dread of stripes those whom they could not conquer with the sword, and who took to flight, not as defeated enemies, but as fugitive slaves. As many as could be taken, paid the penalty for their rebellion on the cross. The women too, conscious of their ill conduct, put an end to their lives partly by the sword and partly by hanging.
After this occurrence, there was peace among the Scythians till the time of king Jancyrus, on whom Darius, king of Persia, as was said above, made war, because he could not obtain his daughter in marriage. Darius, having entered Scythia with seven hundred thousand armed men, and the enemy allowing him no opportunity of fighting, dreading lest, if the bridge over the Ister were broken down, his retreat should be cut off, hurried back in alarm, with the loss of eighty thousand men; which loss, however, out of so vast a, number, was scarcely accounted a disaster. Darius afterwards subdued Asia and Macedonia, and defeated the Ionians in a fight at sea. Then, learning that the Athenians had given |24 aid to the Ionians against him, he turned all his warlike fury upon them.
VI. Since we have now come to the wars of the Athenians, which were carried on, not only beyond expectation as to what could be done, but even beyond belief as to what was done, the efforts of that people having been successful beyond their hopes, the origin of their city must be briefly set forth; for they did not, like other nations, rise to eminence from a mean commencement, but are the only people that can boast, not only of their rise, but also of their birth. It was not a concourse of foreigners, or a rabble of people collected from different parts, that raised their city, but men who were born on the same ground which they inhabit; and the country which is their place of abode, was also their birthplace. It was they who first taught 39 the art of working iri wool, and the use of oil and wine. They also showed men, who had previously fed on acorns, how to plough and sow. Literature and eloquence, it is certain, and the state of civil discipline which we enjoy, had Athens as their temple. Before Deucalion's time, they had a king named Cecrops, whom, as all antiquity is full of fables, they represented tc have been of both sexes, because he was the first to join male and female in marriage. To him succeeded Cranaus, whose daughter Atthis gave name to the country. After him reigned Amphictyon, who first consecrated the city to Minerva, and gave it the name of Athens. In his days, a deluge swept away the greater part of the inhabitants of Greece. Those only escaped, whom a refuge on the mountains protected, or who went off in ships to Deucalion, king of Thessaly, by whom, from this circumstance, the human race is said to have been restored. The crown then descended, in the course of succession, to Erectheus, in whose reign the sowing of corn was commenced by Triptolemus at Eleusis; in commemoration of which benefit the nights sacred to the mysteries of Ceres were appointed. Aegeus also, the father of Theseus, was king of Athens, from whom Medea divorcing herself, on account of the adult age of her step-son, returned to Colchis with her son Medus, whom she had had by Aegeus. After Aegeus reigned Theseus, and after Theseus his son |25 Demophoon, who afforded aid to the Greeks against the Trojans. Between the Athenians and Dorians there had been animosities of long standing, which the Dorians, intending to revenge in war, consulted the oracle about the event of the contest. The answer was, that the "Dorians would have the advantage, if they did not kill the king of the Athenians." When they came into the field, the Doric soldiers were charged above all things to take care not to attack the king. At that time the king of the Athenians was Codrus, who, learning the answer of the god and the directions of the enemy,-laid aside his royal dress, and entered the camp of the enemy in rags, with a bundle of sticks on his back. Here, among a crowd of people that stood in his way, he was killed by a soldier whom he had purposely wounded with a pruning knife. His body being recognized as that of the king, the Dorians went off without coming to battle; and thus the Athenians, through the bravery of a prince who submitted to death for the safety of his country, were relieved from war.
VII. After Codrus there was no king at Athens; a cirurn stance which is attributed to the respect paid to his memory. The government of the state was placed in the hands of magistrates elected annually. At this period the people had no laws, for the wills of their princes had always been received instead of laws. Solon, a man of eminent integrity, was in consequence chosen to found the state, as it were afresh, by the establishment of laws. This man acted with such judicious moderation between the commons and the senate (though whatever he proposed in favour of one class, seemed likely to displease the other), that he received equal thanks from both parties. Among many illustrious acts of Solon, the following is eminently worthy of record. A war had been carried on between the Athenians and Megarians, concerning their respective claims to the island of Salamis, almost to the utter destruction of both. After many defeats, it was made a capital offence at Athens to propose a law for the recovery of the island. Solon, anxious lest he should injure his country by keeping silence, or himself by expressing his opinion, pretended to be suddenly seized with madness, under cover of which he might not only say, but do, what was prohibited. In a strange garb, like an insane person, he rushed |26 forth into the public streets, where, having collected a crowd about him, he began, that he might the better conceal his design, to urge the people in verse (which he was unaccustomed to make), to do what was forbidden, and produced such an effect on the minds of all, that war was instantly decreed against the Megarians; and the enemy being defeated, the island became subject to the Athenians.
VIII. After a time, the Megarians, cherishing the remembrance of the war made upon them by the Athenians, and fearing that they might be said to have taken up arms to no purpose, went on board a fleet with a design to seize the Athenian matrons as they were celebrating the Eleusinian mysteries during the night. Their intention becoming known, Pisistratus, the Athenian general, placed a body of young men in ambush to receive them, directing the matrons, at the same time, to continue the celebration of the sacred rites with their usual cries and noise, even while the enemy were approaching, in order that they might not know that their coming was expected; and thus attacking the Megarians unawares, just as they were leaving their ships, he put them all to the sword. Immediately after, having taken some women with his men on board the fleet which he had seized, to appear like captured matrons of the Athenians, he set sail for Megara. The Megarians, seeing ships of their own build approaching, apparently with the desired prey on board, went out to the harbour to meet them. Pisistratus cut them to pieces, and almost succeeded in taking their city. Thus the Megarians, having their own stratagem turned against them, afforded their enemies a triumph.
But Pisistratus, as if he had conquered for himself and not for his country, possessed himself of the sovereign authority by a subtle contrivance. Having undergone a voluntary scourging in his own house, he ran out, with his body lacerated, into the open street, and, having summoned an assembly of the people, showed them his wounds, complaining of the cruelty of the great men of the city, from whom he pretended to have received this treatment. Tears were joined to his words, and the credulous mob was easily inflamed be a calumnious speech, in which he affirmed that he had incurred the hatred of the senate by showing his love for the common people. He thus obtained a guard for the protection |27 of his person, by the aid of which he got the sovereign power into his hands, and reigned thirty-three years.
IX. After his death Diocles,40 one of his sons, having offered violence to a maiden, was slain by her brother. His other son, whose name was Hippias, taking upon him the authority of his father, ordered the murderer of his brother to be apprehended; who, being forced by torture to name those that were privy to the murder, named all the intimate friends of the tyrant. These being put to death, and Hippias asking him "whether any of the guilty still survived," he replied, that "there was no one surviving whom he should more rejoice to see die than the tyrant himself." By which answer he proved himself superior to the tyrant, after having avenged, too, the violated honour of his sister.
The city being animated, through his spirited conduct, with a desire for liberty, Hippias was at last deprived of his power, and driven into exile. Setting out for Persia, he offered himself as a leader to Darius against his own country; Darius being then, as has been said before, ready to make war on the Athenians. The Athenians, hearing of Darius's approach, requested assistance from the Lacedaemonians, who were then in alliance with them. But finding that they delayed at home four days, in consequence of some religious scruple, they did not wait for their help, but, having mustered ten thousand of their own citizens, and a thousand auxiliaries from Plataeae, went out to battle in the plain of Marathon, against six hundred thousand of the enemy. Miltiades was both their general in the field, and the person who advised them not to wait for assistance, being possessed with such confidence of success, that he thought there was more trust to be placed in expedition than in their allies. Great, therefore, was their spirit as they proceeded to battle; so that, though there were a thousand paces between the two armies, they came full speed upon the enemy before their arrows were discharged. Nor did the result fall short of their daring; for such was the courage with which they fought, that you might have supposed there were men on one side and a herd of cattle on the other. The Persians, utterly defeated, fled to their ships, of which many were sunk and many taken. In this battle, the bravery of every individual was such, that it was difficult to determine |28 to whom the highest praise was due. Amongst others, however, the heroism of Themistocles, then a young man, was greatly distinguished; in whom, even then, appeared a genius indicative of his future eminence as a general. The merit of Cynaegirus, too, an Athenian soldier, has met with great commendation from historians; for, after having slain a great number in the battle, and having chased the fleeing enemy to their ships, he seized a crowded vessel with his right hand, and would not let it go till he had lost his hand; and even then, when his right hand was cut off, he took hold of the ship with his left, and having lost this hand also, he at last seized the ship with his teeth. So undaunted was his spirit, that neither being weary with killing so many, nor disheartened with the loss of his hands, he fought to the last maimed as he was, with his teeth, like a wild beast. The Persians lost two thousand men in the battle or by shipwreck. Hippias also, the Athenian tyrant, who was the promoter and encourager of the war, was killed on the occasion; the gods, the avengers of his country, inflicting on him the penalty of his perfidy.
X. Some time after, Darius, when he was going to renew the war, died in the midst of his preparations for it, leaving behind him several sons, some born before his accession to the crown, and others after it. Artemenes, the eldest of them, claimed the kingdom by the law of primogeniture, a law which he said that both order of birth and nature herself had prescribed to all nations. Xerxes, however, alleged, that the dispute was not so much about the order as the good fortune of their birth; for that "Artemenes was born first indeed to Darius, but while he was in a private station; that he himself was born to him first after he was king; and that, consequently, such of his brothers as were born before him might claim, the private estate which Darius then possessed, but could have no claim to the kingdom; he himself being the first-born whom his father, when king, had bred up to succeed him on the throne.41 In addition to this," he said, "Artemenes was sprung, not only from a father but from a mother in a private condition, and from a maternal grandfather of similar station; but he himself was both sprung from a |29 mother who was a queen, and had never known his father except as a king; he had also for his maternal grandfather king Cyrus, not the heir, but the founder of so great an empire; and even if their father had left both brothers with equal claims, yet he himself ought to have the advantage in right of his mother and grandfather." The settlement of the controversy they left, with mutual consent, to their uncle Artaphernes, as the fittest judge of their family differences; who, having heard their pleas in his own house, decided in favour of Xerxes. But the contest was conducted in so brotherly a way, that neither did he who gained the cause show any unseemly triumph, nor did he who lost it express dissatisfaction; and, during the very time of the contention, they sent presents to one another, and gave such entertainments, as showed not only mutual confidence, but pleasure in each other's society. The judgment, too, was pronounced without witnesses, and heard without a murmur. So much more contentedly did brothers then share the greatest kingdoms, than they now divide the smallest estates!
Xerxes then proceeded, during five years, with his preparations for the war against Greece, which his father had commenced. As soon as Demaratus, king of the Lacedaemonians, who was then an exile at the court of Xerxes, understood his intentions, he, feeling more regard for his country, notwithstanding his banishment, than for the king in return for his favours, sent full intelligence of the matter to the magistrates of the Lacedaemonians, that they might not be surprised by an unexpected attack; writing the account on wooden tablets, and hiding the writing with wax spread over it; taking care, however, not merely that writing without a cover might not give proof against him, but that too fresh wax might not betray the contrivance. These tablets he committed to a trusty slave, who was ordered to deliver them into the hands of the authorities at Sparta. When they were received, the object of them was long a matter of inquiry, because the magistrates could see nothing written on them, and yet could not imagine that they were sent to no purpose; and they thought the matter must be momentous in proportion to its mysteriousness. While the men were still engaged in conjecture, the sister of king Leonidas surmised the writer's intention. The wax being accordingly scraped off. the account of the |30 warlike preparations appeared. Xerxes had already armed seven hundred thousand men of his own kingdom, and three hundred thousand of his auxiliaries; so that there was some ground for the assertion that rivers were drunk up by his army, and that all Greece could scarcely contain it. He is also said to have had a fleet of twelve hundred ships. But for this vast army a general was wanting; for if you contemplate its king, you could not commend his capacity as a leader, however you might extol his wealth, of which there was such abundance in his realm, that, while rivers were drained by his forces, his treasury was still unexhausted. He was always seen foremost in flight, and hindmost in battle; he was a coward in danger, and when danger was away, a boaster; and, in fine, before he made trial of war, elated with confidence in his strength (as if he had been lord of nature itself), he levelled mountains, filled up valleys, covered some seas with bridges, and contracted others, for the convenience of navigation, into shorter channels.
XI. In proportion to the terror of his entrance into Greece, was the shame and dishonour of his retreat from it. Leonidas, king of the Spartans, having occupied the straits of Thermopylae with four thousand men, Xerxes, in contempt of so small a number, ordered such of the Persians as had lost relatives in the battle of Marathon, to commence an attack upon them; who, while they endeavoured to avenge their friends, were the first to be slaughtered, and a useless multitude taking their place, the havoc became still greater. For three days was the struggle maintained, to the grief and indignation of the Persians. On the fourth, it being told Leonidas that the summit of the mountain was occupied by twenty thousand of the enemy, he exhorted the allies "to retire, and reserve themselves to their country for better times;" saying, that "he himself would try his fortune with the Spartans; that he ought to care more for his country than for his life, and that others should be preserved for the defence of Greece." On hearing the king's resolution, the rest retired, the Lacedaemonians alone remaining.
At the beginning of the war, when the Spartans consulted the oracle at Delphi, they had received the answer, that "either the king or their city must fall." King Leonidas, accordingly, when he proceeded to battle, had so fixed the |31 resolution of his men, that they felt they must go to the field with minds prepared for death. He had posted himself in a narrow pass, too, that he might either conquer more gloriously with a few, or fall with less damage to his country. The allies being therefore sent away, he exhorted his Spartans "to remember that, however they struggled, they must expect to perish; to take care not to show more resolution to stay than to fight;" adding that, "they must not wait till they were surrounded by the enemy, but when night afforded them opportunity, must surprise them in security and at their ease; as conquerors could die nowhere more honourably than in the camp of the foe." There was no difficulty in stimulating men determined to die. They immediately seized their arms, and six hundred men rushed into the camp of five hundred thousand, making directly for the king's tent, and resolving either to die with him, or, if they should be overpowered, at least in his quarters. An alarm spread through the whole Persian army. The Spartans being unable to find the king, marched uncontrolled through the whole camp, killing and overthrowing all that stood in their way, like men who knew that they fought, not with the hope of victory, but to avenge their own deaths. The contest was protracted from the beginning of the night through the greater part of the following day. At last, not conquered, but exhausted with conquering, they fell amidst vast heaps of slaughtered enemies. Xerxes, having thus met with two defeats by land, resolved next to try his fortune by sea.
XII. Themistocles, the general of the Athenians, having discovered that the lonians, on whose account they had undertaken this war with the Persians, were come to the assistance of the king with a fleet, resolved to draw them over to his own side. Being unable to find any opportunity of speaking with them, he caused placards to be fixed, and inscriptions to be written, on the rocks where they were to land, to the following effect; "What madness possesses you, O Ionians? What evil are you going to do? Do you intend to make war on those who were formerly your founders, and lately your avengers? Did we build your cities that a people might arise from them to destroy ours? Was it not Darius's reason 42 for attacking us before, and is it not now that of |32 Xerxes, that we did not desert you when you rebelled against them? But pass over from your place of confinement 43 to our camp; or, if this course is unsafe, withdraw when the battle begins; keep back your vessels with your oars, and retire from the engagement." Before this encounter at sea, Xerxes had sent four thousand armed men to plunder the temple of Apollo, as if he had been at war, not with the Greeks only, but with the immortal gods; but the whole of this detachment was destroyed by a storm of rain and thunder, that he might be convinced how feeble human strength is against the powers of heaven. Afterwards he burnt Thespiae, Plataeae, and Athens, all abandoned by their inhabitants; venting his rage on the buildings by fire, since he could not destroy the people by the sword. For the Athenians, after the battle of Marathon, because Themistocles forewarned them that their victory would not be the termination of the war, but the cause of a greater one, had built two hundred ships; and when, at the approach of Xerxes, he consulted the oracle at Delphi, they were answered, that "they must provide for their safety with wooden walls." Themistocles, thinking that defence with shipping was meant, persuaded them all, that "the citizens, not the walls, constituted their country; that a city consisted, not of its buildings, but of its inhabitants; that it would be better for them, therefore, to trust their safety to their ships than to their city; and that the god was the adviser of this course." The counsel being approved, they committed their wives and children, with their most valuable property, to certain islands out of the way; 44 while the men went in arms on board the ships. Other cities also followed the example of the Athenians. But when the whole fleet of the allies was assembled, ready for an engagement, |33 and had posted itself in the narrow strait of Salamis, that it might not be overwhelmed by superior numbers, a dissension arose among the leading men of the different cities, who were disposed to relinquish the plan of a general war, and go off each to defend his own country. Themistocles, fearing that, the strength of his countrymen would be too much weakened by such desertion of their allies, sent intimation to Xerxes by a trusty slave, that "he might now easily make himself master of all Greece, when it was collected in one place; but that if the several states which were inclined to go away should once be dispersed, he would have to pursue each of them singly with far greater trouble." By this stratagem he induced the king to give the signal for battle. The Greeks, at the same time, taken by surprise by the enemy's attack, proceeded to oppose them with their united force. The king, meantime, remained on shore as a spectator of the combat, with part of the ships near him; while Artemisia, queen of Halicarnassus, who had come to the assistance of Xerxes, was fighting with the greatest gallantry among the foremost leaders; so that you might have seen womanish fear in a man,45 and manly boldness in a woman. While the result of the battle was still doubtful, the Ionians, according to the admonition of Themistocles, began gradually to withdraw from the contest; and their desertion broke the courage of the rest. The Persians, as they were considering in which direction they might flee, suffered a repulse, and were soon after utterly defeated, and put to flight. In the confusion, many ships were taken, and many sunk; but the greater number, fearing the king's cruelty not less than the enemy, went off to their respective homes.
XIII. While Xerxes was confounded at his disaster, and doubtful what course to pursue, Mardonius addressed him, advising him "to return home to his kingdom, lest fame, carrying the news of his defeat, and exaggerating every thing according to her custom, should occasion any sedition in his absence; and to leave with him three hundred thousand men-at-arms, chosen from the whole army, with which force he would either subdue Greece to the king's glory, or, if the result should prove unfavourable, would retire before the enemy without dishonour to him." Mardonius's suggestion being approved, |34 the force which he requested was given him, and the king prepared to return home with the rest of the army. The Greeks, hearing of his flight, formed a design to hreak down the bridge, which, as conqueror of the sea, he had made at Abydos; so that, his retreat being cut off, he might either be destroyed with his army, or might be forced, by the desperate state of his affairs, to sue for peace. But Themistocles, fearing that the enemy, if they were stopped, might take courage from despair, and open by their swords a passage not to he opened by other means, and observing that "there were * enemies enough left in Greece, and that the number ought not to be increased by preventing their escape," but finding that he was unable to move his countrymen by his admonitions, despatched the same slave as before to Xerxes, acquainting him of the intention of the Greeks to break down the bridge, and urging him to secure a passage by a speedy flight. Xerxes, alarmed at the message, left his army to be conducted by his generals, and hurried away himself, with a few attendants, to Abydos; where, having found the bridge broken down by the winter storms, he crossed in the utmost trepidation in a fishing-boat. It was a sight worth contemplation for judging of the condition of man,46 so wonderful for its vicissitudes, to see him shrinking down in a little boat, whom shortly before the whole ocean could scarcely contain; to behold him wanting servants to attend him, whose armies had burdened the earth with their numbers! Nor had the land-forces, which he had committed to his generals, a more fortunate retreat; for to their daily fatigue (and there is no rest to men in fear) was added the want of provisions. A famine of several days produced also a pestilential distemper; and so dire was the mortality, that the roads were filled with dead bodies; and birds and beasts of prey, allured by the attraction of food, followed close upon the army.
XIV. In Greece, in the meantime, Mardonius took Olynthus by storm. He also invited the Athenians to listen |35 to offers of peace, and of the king's friendship; promising to rebuild their city, which had been burnt, in greater splendour than before. But when he saw that they would not sell their liberty at any rate, he set fire to what they had begun to rebuild, and led off his army into Boeotia. Thither the army of the Greeks, which consisted of a hundred thousand men, followed him, and there a battle was fought. But the fortune of the king was not changed with the general; for Mardonius, being defeated, escaped, as it were from a shipwreck, with but a small number of followers. His camp, which was filled with the king's treasures, was taken; and hence it was, on the division of the Persian gold among them, that the charms of wealth first attracted the Greeks. By chance, on the same day on which the army of Mardonius was defeated, an engagement was fought by sea near the mountain Mycale, on the coast of Asia. Before the encounter began, and whilst the fleets stood opposite one another, a rumour spread through both parties, chat the Greeks had gained a victory, and that the army of Mardonius was utterly destroyed. It is said that so great was the speed of this report, that when the battle was fought in Baeotia in the morning, the news of the victory arrived in Asia by noon, passing over so much sea, and so large a space of ground, in so very short a time. When the war was over, and they proceeded to consider the respective merits of the cities that had been engaged in it, the bravery of the Athenians was praised above that of any other people. Among the leaders too, Themistocles, being pronounced the most meritorious by the judgment of the several states, added greatly to the glory of his country.
XV. The Athenians, then, being enriched by the spoils of war, as well as in glory, applied themselves to rebuild their city. Having enlarged the compass of their walls, they became an object of suspicion to the Lacedaemonians, naturally reflecting how great power a city, when fortified, might secure to a people for whom it had done so much when in a state of ruin. They therefore sent ambassadors to admonish them that "they should not build what might prove a stronghold for the enemy, and a place of shelter for them in a future war." Themistocles seeing that envy was entertained towards the rising hopes of his city, but not thinking it prudent to deal abruptly with the Spartans, made answer to the ambassadors, that "deputies |36 should be sent to Lacedsemon to confer with them about the matter." After thus dismissing the messengers, he exhorted his countrymen "to expedite the work." Allowing some time to elapse, he set out, with some others, as an embassy to Sparta; but sometimes pretending ill health on the road, sometimes complaining of the tardiness of his colleagues, without whom nothing could be properly done, and thus putting off from day to day, he endeavoured to gain time for his countrymen to finish the erection of their walls. In the meanwhile* word was brought to the Spartans that the work was advancing at Athens with great speed; and they accordingly sent ambassadors a second time to ascertain the truth. Themistocles then sent a letter by the hand of a slave, to the magistrates of the Athenians, desiring them "to take the ambassadors into custody, and keep them as hostages, lest any violent measures should be adopted against himself at Sparta." He then went to the public assembly of the Lacedaemonians, and told them that "Athens was now well fortified, and could sustain a war, if any should be made upon it, not only with arms, but with walls; and that their ambassadors were detained by way of hostages at Athens, in case they should on that account resolve on anything injurious towards himself." He then upbraided them severely "for seeking to increase their power, not by their own valour, but by weakening their allies." Being then permitted to depart, he was received by his countrymen as if he had triumphed over Sparta.
After this occurrence, the Spartans, that they might not impair their strength in idleness, and that they might take vengeance for the war which had been twice made upon Greece by the Persians, proceeded to lay waste the Persian territories. They chose Pausanias to be general of their army, and that of their allies, who, coveting, instead of the mere office of general, the entire sovereignty of Greece, treated with Xerxes for a marriage with his daughter, as a reward foi betraying his country, restoring him, at the same time, his prisoners, that the good feeling of the king might be secured by such an obligation. He wrote also to Xerxes, "to put to death whatever messengers he sent to him, lest the négociation should be betrayed by their babbling." But Aristides, the general of the Athenians, and his associate in the command, by traversing the attempts of his colleague, and taking prudent |37 precautions on the occasion, defeated his treasonable designs. Not long after, Pausanias was brought to trial and condemned. Xerxes, when he found that this perfidious scheme was discovered, made fresh preparations for war. The Greeks nominated as their general Cimon the Athenian, the son of Miltiades, under whose command the battle of Marathon was fought; a young man whose future greatness his manifestations of affection towards his father foretold. For he redeemed the body of his father (who had been thrown into prison on a charge of embezzling the public money, and had died there), taking his fetters on himself,47 that it might receive the rites of sepulture. Nor did he, in his conduct of the war, disappoint the opinion of those who chose him; for, not falling in merit below his father, he forced Xerxes, defeated both by land and sea, to retreat in trepidation to his own dominions.
Death of Xerxes; Artaxerxes; Artabanus, I.----Origin of the wars between the Athenians and Lacedaemonians; Lycurgus and the Spartan polity, II. III.----First and second wars between the Spartans and Messenians, IV., V.----Third war; commencement of the Peloponnesian war, VI. ---- Continuation of it, Pericles, VII.
I. XERXES, king of Persia, once the terror of the nations around him, became, after his unsuccessful conduct of the war against Greece, an object of contempt even to his own subjects. Artabanus, his chief officer, conceiving hopes of usurping the throne, as the king's authority was every day declining, entered one evening into the palace (which from his intimacy with Xerxes was always open to him), accompanied by his seven stout sons, and, having put the king to death, proceeded to remove by stratagem such of the king's sons as opposed his wishes. Entertaining little apprehension from Artaxerxes, who was but a boy, he pretended that the king had been slain by Darius, who was of full age, that he might have possession of the throne the sooner, and instigated Artaxerxes to revenge parricide by fratricide. When they came to Darius's house, |38 he was found asleep, and killed as if he merely counterfeited sleep.48 But seeing that one of the king's sons was still uninjured by his villany, and fearing a struggle for the throne on the part of the nobles, he took into his councils a certain Bacabasus, who, content that the government should remain in the present family, disclosed the whole matter to Artaxerxes, acquainting him "by what means his father had been killed, and how his brother had been murdered on a false suspicion of parricide; and, finally, how a plot was laid for himself." On this information, Artaxerxes, fearing the number of Artabanus's sons, gave orders for the troops to be ready under arms on the following day, as if he meant to ascertain their strength, and their respective efficiency for the field. Artabanus, accordingly, presenting himself under arms among the rest, the king, pretending that his corslet was too short for him, desired Artabanus to make an exchange with him, and, while he was disarming himself, and defenceless, ran him through with his sword, ordering his sons, at the same time, to be apprehended. Thus this excellent youth at once took revenge for his father's murder, and saved himself from the machinations of Artabanus.
II. During these transactions in Persia, all Greece, under the leadership of the Lacedaemonians and Athenians, was split into two parties, and turned their arms from foreign wars as it were against their own bowels. Of one people were formed two distinct bodies; and they who had so recently served in the same camp, were divided into two hostile armies. On the one side, the Lacedaemonians drew over to their faction the cities that had before been common auxiliaries to both. On the other side, the Athenians, renowned alike for their antiquity and their exploits, relied on their own strength. Thus the two most powerful people of Greece, made equal by the institutions of Solon and the laws of Lycurgus, rushed into war through envy of each other's power.
When Lycurgus had succeeded 49 Polydectes his brother, king of the Lacedaemonians, and might have secured the |39 kingdom for himself, he restored it, with the noblest integrity, to Charilaus, the posthumous son of Polydectes, as soon as he became of age; that all might see how much more the laws of integrity prevail with good men than all the charms of power. In the meantime, while the child was growing up, and he had the guardianship of him, he composed laws for the Spartans, who previously had had none. Nor was he more celebrated for the making of these laws, than for his exemplary conformity to them; for he imposed nothing by law upon others, of the observation of which he did not first give an example in his own conduct. He trained the people to be obedient to those in authority, and those in authority to be just in the exercise of their government. He enjoined frugality on all, thinking that the toils of war would be made more endurable by a constant observance of it. He ordered all purchases to be made, not with money, but by exchange of commodities. The use of gold and silver he prohibited, as being the origin of all evils.
III. He divided the administration of the government among the several orders; to the kings he gave the power of making war, to the magistrates the seats of justice in yearly succession; to the senate, the guardianship of the laws; to the people, the power of choosing the senate, or of creating what magistrates they pleased. The lands of the whole state he divided equally among all, that equality of possession might leave no one more powerful than another. He ordered all to take their meals in public, that no man might secretly indulge in splendour of luxury. He would not allow the young people to wear more than one dress in a year, nor any one to walk abroad in finer garments than another, or to fare more sumptuously, lest imitation of such practices should lead to general luxury. He ordered boys to be carried, not into the forum, but into the field, that they might spend their early years, not in effeminate employments, but in hard labour and exertion; not suffering them to put any thing under them to sleep upon, or to live on high seasoned food, and forbidding them to return into the city till they arrived at manhood. He caused virgins to be married without portions, that wives, not money, might be sought; and that husbands might govern their wives more strictly, being influenced by no regard to dowry. He ordained that the highest respect should be paid, not to the rich and powerful, but to the old, according to that |40 degrees of seniority; nor had old age, indeed, a more honourable habitation anywhere than at Sparta.
But seeing that such laws would at first be thought severe, as the state of manners had previously been relaxed, he represented that Apollo of Delphi was the author of them, and that he had brought them from thence at the command of the deity, in order that reverence for religion might overbalance the irksorneness of compliance with them. And to secure perpetuity to his laws, he bound the city by an oath "to make no change in them till he should return," pretending that he was going to ask the oracle at Delphi whether any thing seemed necessary to be added to his institutions, or changed in them But he went in reality to Crete, and continued there in voluntary exile; and, when he was dying, ordered his bones to be thrown into the sea, lest, if they were taken back to Lacedaemon, the Spartans might think themselves absolved from their oath respecting alteration in his laws.
IV. Under such a state of manners, the city acquired, in a short time, 50 such a degree of strength, that, on going to war with the Messenians for offering violence to some of their maidens at a solemn sacrifice of that people, they bound themselves under a severe oath not to return till they had taken Messene, promising themselves so much either from their strength or good fortune. This occurrence was the commencement of dissension in Greece, and the origin and cause of a civil war. But being detained in the siege of this city, contrary to their expectation, for ten years, and called on to return by the complaints of their wives after so long a widowhood, and being afraid that by persevering in the war they might hurt themselves more than the Messenians (for, in Messene, whatever men were lost in the war, were replaced by the fruitfulness of their women, while they themselves suffered constant losses in battle, and could have no offspring from their wives in the absence of their husbands), they in consequence selected, out of the soldiers that had come, after the military oath was first taken, 51 as recruits to the army, a |41 number of young men; whom they sent back to Sparta with permission to form promiscuous connexions with all the women of the city, thinking that conception would be more speedy if each of the females made the experiment with several men. Those who sprung from these unions were called Partheniae,52 as a reflection on their mothers' violated chastity; and, when they came to thirty years of age, being alarmed with the fear of want (for not one of them had a father to whose estate he could hope to succeed,) they chose a captain named Phalantus, the son of Aratus, by whose advice the Spartans had sent home the young men to propagate, that, as they had formerly had the father for the author of their birth, they might now have the son as the establisher of their hopes and fortunes. Without taking leave of their mothers, therefore, from whose adultery they thought that they derived dishonour, they set out to seek a place of settlement, and being tossed about a long time, and with various mischances, they at last arrived on the coast of Italy, where, after seizing the citadel of the Tarentines, and expelling the old inhabitants, they fixed their abode. But several years after, their leader Phalantus, being driven into exile by a popular tumult, went to Brundusium, whither the former inhabitants of Tarentum had retreated after they were expelled from their city. When he was at the point of death, he urged the exiles "to have his bones, and last relics, bruised to dust, and privately sprinkled in the forum of Tarentum; for that Apollo at Delphi had signified that by this means they might recover their city." They, thinking that he had revealed the destiny of his countrymen to avenge himself, complied with his directions; but the intention of the oracle was exactly the reverse; for it promised the Spartans, upon the performance of what he had said, not the loss, but the perpetual possession of the city. Thus by the subtlety of their exiled captain, and the agency, of their enemies, the possession of Tarentum was secured to the Partheniae for ever.
V. Meantime the Messenians, who could not be conquered by valour, were reduced by stratagem. For eighty years they bore the severe afflictions of slaves, as frequent stripes, and chains, and other evils of subjugation; and then, after so long an |42 endurance of suffering, they proceeded to resume hostilities, The Lacedaemonians, at the same time, ran to arms with the greater ardour and unanimity, because they seemed to be called upon to fight against their own slaves. While ill-treatment, therefore, on the one side, and indignation on the other, exasperated their feelings, the Lacedaemonians consulted the oracle at Delphi concerning the event of the war, and were directed to ask the Athenians for a leader to conduct it. The Athenians, learning the answer of the oracle, sent, to express their contempt of the Spartans a lame poet, named Tyrtaeus; who, being routed in three battles, reduced the Lacedaemonians to so desperate a condition, that, to recruit their army, they liberated a portion of their slaves, promising that they should marry the widows of those who were slain, and thus fill up, not merely the number of the lost citizens, but their offices. The kings of Sparta, however, lest, by contending against fortune, they should bring greater losses on their city, would have drawn off their army, had not Tyrtaeus interposed, and recited to the soldiers, in a public assembly, some verses of his own composition, in which he had comprised exhortations to courage, consolations for their losses, and counsels concerning the war. By this means he inspired the soldiers with such resolution, that, being no longer concerned for their lives, but merely for the rites of sepulture, they tied on their right arms tickets, inscribed with their names and those of their fathers, that if an unsuccessful battle should cut them off, and their features after a time become indistinct, they might be consigned to burial according to the indication of the inscriptions. When the kings saw the army thus animated, they took care that the state of it should be made known to the enemy; the report, however, raised in the Messenians no alarm, but a correspondent ardour. Both sides accordingly encountered with such fury, that there scarcely ever was a more bloody battle. But at last victory fell to the Lacedaemonians.
VI. Some time after, the Messenians renewed the war a third time, when the Lacedaemonians, among their other allies, called also upon the Athenians for assistance; but afterwards, conceiving some mistrust of them, they prevented them from joining in the war, pretending that they had no need for their services. The Athenians, not liking this |43 proceeding, removed the money, which had been contributed by the whole of Greece to defray the expense of the Persian war, from Del os to Athens, that, if the Lacedaemonians broke their faith as allies, it might not be an object of plunder to them. The Lacedaemonians, on the other hand, did not rest, for though they were engaged in the war with the Messenians, they set the people of the Peloponnesus to make war on the Athenians. The forces of the Athenians at home were at that time inconsiderable, as their fleet had been despatched into Egypt, so that, engaging in battle by sea, they were quickly worsted. Soon after, on the return of their fleet, being strengthened both by sea and land, they renewed the war; when the Lacedaemonians, leaving the Messenians at rest, turned their full force against the Athenians. Victory was long doubtful, and at last both parties gave over with equal loss. The Lacedaemonians being then recalled to the war with the Messenians, but not wishing to leave the Athenians in the meantime unmolested, bargained with the Thebans to restore them the supremacy of Boeotia, which they had lost in the time of the Persian war, if they would but take up arms against the Athenians. Such was the fury of the Spartans, that, though they were involved in two wars, they did not hesitate to occasion a third, if they might but raise up enemies against their enemies. The Athenians, therefore, to meet this storm of war, made choice of two eminent leaders, Pericles, a man of tried courage, and Sophocles, the writer of tragedies; who, dividing their forces, laid waste the lands of the Spartans, and brought many cities of Achaia53 under the power of the Athenians.
VII. The Lacedaemonians, being humbled by these losses, agreed upon a peace for thirty years. But their hostile feelings did not allow of so long a period of repose. Hence, laving broken the treaty before the fifteenth year was ended, they laid waste the territories of Attica in violation of their obligations towards the gods and towards men. And lest they should seem to have desired to plunder rather than to fight, they challenged the enemy to the field. But the Athenians, by the advice of their leader Pericles, deferred |44 revenge for the spoliation of their lands to a fitter time of exacting it, thinking it needless to hazard a battle, when they could avenge themselves on the enemy without risk. Some days afterwards, accordingly, they embarked in their fleet, and, while the Lacedaemonians expected nothing of the kind, laid waste all Sparta,54 carrying off much more than they had lost; so that, in a comparison of their respective sufferings, the retaliation was much greater than the injury at first received. This expedition of Pericles was considered as greatly to his honour; but his disregard of his private property was far more honourable. The enemy, while they wasted the lands of others, had left his uninjured; hoping, by this means, either to bring danger on him by rendering him unpopular, or dishonour by making him suspected of treachery. But Pericles, foreseeing what would happen, had both foretold it to the people, and, to escape the effects of popular odium, had made over his lands to the state as a gift; and thus obtained the greatest honour from that by which his ruin had been intended. Some days afterwards, an engagement took place by sea; and the Lacedaemonians, being worsted, fled. Nevertheless they did not cease from fierce attacks on one another, by sea or land, with various success. At last, exhausted with disasters on both sides, they made peace for fifty years, which however they maintained only for six; for they broke the treaty which they had concluded on their own account, under pretence of assisting their allies; as if they were less guilty of perjury by aiding their dependants, than by engaging in open hostilities themselves.
The war was in consequence transferred into Sicily; but before I relate its progress, it is proper to give some account of the situation of that island. |45
Sicily; Aetna; Scylla and Charybdis, I.----Ancient inhabitants of Sicily, II.----Dissension between Rhegium and Himera; the Athenians successful in Sicily at first, III.----The Syracusans seek aid from the Lacedaemonians; the progress of the war, IV.----Utter defeat of the Athenians, V.
I. IT is said that Sicily was formerly joined to Italy by a narrow pass,55 and was torn off, as it were, from the larger body, by the violence of the upper sea, 56 which impels itself in that direction with the whole force of its waters. The soil itself, too, is light and frangible, and so perforated with caverns and passages, that it is almost everywhere open to blasts of wind; and the very matter of it is naturally adapted for generating and nourishing fire, as it is said to be impregnated with sulphur and bitumen, a circumstance which is the cause that when air contends with fire in the subterraneous parts, the earth frequently, and in several places, sends forth flame, or vapour, or smoke. Hence it is that the fire of Mount Aetna has lasted through so many ages. And when a strong wind passes in through the openings of the cavities, heaps of sand are cast up.
The promontory of Italy on the side nearest to Sicily, is called Rhegium, 57 because things broken off are designated by that term in Greek. Nor is it strange that antiquity should have been full of fables concerning these parts, in which so many extraordinary things are found together. The sea, in the first place, is nowhere so impetuous, pouring on with a current not only rapid but furious, not only frightful to those who feel its effects, but to those who view it from a distance. So fierce is the conflict of the waves as they meet, that you may see some of them, put to flight as it were, sink down into the depths, and others, as if victorious, rising up to the skies. Sometimes, in one part, you may hear the roaring of the sea as it boils |46 up; and again, in another part, the groaning of it as it sinks into a whirlpool. Next are to be observed the adjacent and everlasting fires of Mount Aetna and the Aeolian islands, which burn as if their heat were nourished by the sea itself; nor indeed could such a quantity of fire have endured in such narrow bounds for so many ages unless it were supported by nourishment from the water.58 Hence fables produced Scylla and Charybdis; hence barkings were thought to have been heard; hence the appearances of monsters gained credit, as the sailors, frightened at the vast whirlpools of the subsiding waters, imagined that the waves, which the vortex of the absorbent gulf clashes together, actually barked. The same cause makes the fires of Mount Aetna perpetual; for the shock of the waters forces into the depths a portion of air hurried along with it, and then keeps it confined till, being diffused through the pores of the earth, it kindles the matter which nourishes the fire.
In addition, the proximity of Italy and Sicily is to be noticed, with the heights of their respective promontories, which are so similar, that, whatever wonder they raise in us in the present day, they excited proportionate terror in the ancients, who believed that whole ships were intercepted and destroyed by the promontories closing together and opening. Nor was this invented by the ancients to gratify the hearer with a fabulous wonder, but occasioned by the terror and consternation of those who passed by those parts; for such is the appearance of the coasts to any one beholding them from a distance, that you would take the passage between them for a bay in the sea, and not a strait; and, as you draw nearer, you would think that the promontories, which were before united, part asunder and separate.
II. At first Sicily had the name of Trinacria; 59 afterwards |47 it was called Sicania.60 It was originally the abode of the Cyclops; when they became extinct, Cocalus made himself ruler of the island. After his time the cities fell severally under the dominion of tyrants, of whom no country was more productive. One of them, Anaxilaus, strove to be as just as the others were cruel, and reaped no small advantage from his equity; for having left, at his death, some sons very young, and having committed the guardianship of them to Micythus, a slave of tried fidelity, so great was the respect paid to his memory among all his subjects, that they chose rather to submit to a slave than to abandon the king's children; and the noblemen of the state, forgetful of their dignity, suffered the authority of government to be exercised by a bondman. The Carthaginians, too, attempted to gain the sovereignty of Sicily, and fought against the tyrants for a long time with various success; but at length, after losing their general Hamilcar and his army, they remained quiet for some time in consequence of that defeat.
III. In the meantime, the people of Rhegium being troubled with dissension, and the city being divided by disputes into two factions, a body of veteran soldiers from Himera, who were invited by one of the parties to their assistance, having first expelled from the city those against whom they had been called, and then put to the sword those whom they had come to aid, took the government into their own hands, and made prisoners of the wives and children of their allies; venturing upon an atrocity to which that of no tyrant can be compared; so that it would have been better for the Rhegians to have been conquered than to conquer; 61 for whether they had become slaves to their conquerors by the laws of war, 62 or, withdrawing from their country, had been necessitated to live in exile, yet they would not have been butchered amidst their altars and household gods, and have left their country, with their wives and children, a prey to the most cruel of tyrants. |48
The people of Catana, also, finding themselves oppressed by the Syracusans, and distrusting their own power to withstand them, requested assistance from the Athenians, who, whether from desire of enlarging their dominions, so that they might master all Greece and Asia, or from apprehension of a fleet lately built by the Syracusans, and to prevent such a force from joining the Lacedaemonians, sent Lamponius, as general, with a naval armament into Sicily, that under pretence of assisting the people of Catana, they might endeavour to secure the sovereignty of the whole island. Having succeeded in their first attempts, and made havoc among the enemy on several occasions, they despatched another expedition to Sicily, with a greater fleet and more numerous army, under the command of Laches and Chariades. But the people of Catana, whether from fear of the Athenians, or from being weary of the war, made peace with the Syracusans, and sent back the Athenian force that had come to assist them.
IV. After a lapse of some time, however, as the articles of the peace were not observed by the Syracusans, they sent ambassadors a second time to Athens, who, arriving in a mean dress, with long hair and beards, and every sign of distress adapted to move pity, presented themselves in that wretched plight before the public assembly. To their entreaties were added tears; and the suppliants so moved the people to compassion, that the commanders who had withdrawn the auxiliary force from them received a sentence of condemnation.63 A powerful fleet was then appointed to aid them; Nicias, Alcibiades, and Lamachus were made captains; and Sicily was revisited with such a force as was a terror even to those to whose aid it was sent. In a short time, Alcibiades being recalled to answer certain charges made against him, Nicias and Lamachus fought two successful battles by land, and, drawing lines of circumvallation around Syracuse, cut off all supplies from the enemy by sea, keeping them closely blocked up in the city. The Syracusans, being greatly reduced by these measures, sought assistance from the Lacedaemonians, by whom Gylippus alone was sent; but he was a man equal to whole troops of |49 auxiliaries. He, having heard on his way of the declining state ot the war, and having collected some support partly from Greece and partly from Sicily, took possession of some posts suitable for carrying on the war. He was then conquered in two battles, but engaging in a third, he killed Lamachus, put the enemy to flight, and rescued his allies from the siege. But as the Athenians transferred their warlike efforts from the land to the sea, Gylippus sent for a fleet and army from Lacedaemon; upon intelligence of which the Athenians themselves, too, sent out Demosthenes and Eurymedon, in the room of their late leader, with a reinforcement to their troops. The Peloponnesians again, by a general resolution of their cities, sent powerful assistance to the Syracusans, and, as it the Greek war had been transported into Sicily, the contest was pursued on both sides with the utmost vigour.
V. In the first encounter at sea, the Athenians were worsted, and lost their camp, with all their money, both what was public and what belonged to private individuals. When, in addition to these disasters, they were also beaten in a battle on land, Demosthenes began to advise that "they should quit Sicily, while their condition, though bad, was not yet desperate; and that they should not persist in a war so inauspiciously commenced, as there were more considerable, and perhaps more unhappy wars, to be dreaded at home, for which it was expedient that they should reserve the present force of their city." But Nicias, whether from shame at his ill success, from fear of the resentment of his countrymen for the disappointment of their hopes, or from the impulse of destiny, contended for staying. The war by sea was therefore renewed, and their thoughts turned from reflections on their previous ill-fortune to the hopes of a successful struggle, but, through the unskilfulness of their leaders, who attacked the Syracusans when advantageously posted in a strait, they were easily overcome. Their general, Eurymedon, was the first to fall, fighting bravely in the front of the battle; and thirty ships which he commanded were burnt. Demosthenes and Nicias being also defeated, set their forces on shore, thinking that retreat would be safer by land. Gylippus seized a hundred and thirty ships which they had left, and then, pursuing them as they fled, took some of them prisoners, and put others to death. Demosthenes, after the loss of his troops |50 saved himself from captivity by voluntarily falling on his sword. But Nicias, not induced, even by the example of Demosthenes, to put himself out of the power of fortune, added to the loss of his army the disgrace of being made prisoner.
Alcibiades banished from Athens; joins the Lacedaemonians, I.----Changes sides, defeats the Lacedaemonians, and returns to Athens II.-IV.----Defeated by Lysander, and goes into voluntary exile, V ----Lysander defeats Conon, VI.----Athens surrenders to Lysander who appoints the thirty tyrants; death of Alcibiades, VII. VIII. ----Theramenes, one of the tyrants, killed; Thrasybulus overthrows the tyrants; his act of oblivion, IX. X.----Death of Darius; Expedition of Cyrus, and his death; Artaxerxes established on the throne, XI.
I. WHILST the Athenians, during two years, were carrying on the war in Sicily, with more eagerness than success, Alcibiades, the promoter and leader of it, was accused at Athens in his absence of having divulged the mysteries of Ceres, which were rendered sacred by nothing more than by their secrecy. Being recalled from the war to take his trial, and being unwilling, either from the consciousness of guilt or from the affront put upon him, to obey, he retired, without offering to defend himself, to Elis. From thence, having learned that he was not only condemned, but devoted to destruction with execrations in the religious ceremonies of all the priests, he betook himself to Lacedaemon, where he urged the king 64 of the Lacedaemonians to make war on the Athenians in the midst of their distress at the unfortunate result of the struggle in Sicily. This being done, all the powers of Greece conspired against the Athenians, as if to extinguish a common conflagration; such hatred had they brought upon themselves by their desire of too great power. Darius also, the king of Persia, not forgetting his father's and grandfather's hostility to that city, concluded an alliance with the Lacedaemonians through Tissaphernes, satrap of Lydia, and promised to defray all the expense of the war. Such at least was his pretext for meddling in the affairs of Greece, but in reality he |51 was afraid that the Lacedaemonians, if they conquered the Athenians, should turn their arms against himself. Who then can wonder that the flourishing state of Athens went to ruin, when the whole strength of the east conspired to overwhelm one city? Yet they did not fall with merely a faint struggle, or without bloodshed, but fighting to the last, and sometimes victorious, being rather worn out by changes of fortune than overcome by force of arms. At the commencement of the war, too, all their allies deserted them, according to common practice; for whatever way fortune leans, in the same direction does the favour of mankind turn.
II. Alcibiades also supported tne war raised against his country, not with the services of a common soldier, but with the abilities of a general. Having received a squadron of five ships, he sailed directly to Asia, and, by the authority of his name, prevailed on the cities tributary to the Athenians to revolt from them. They knew his eminence at home; nor did they think his influence weakened by his banishment, but looked on him rather as a leader taken from the Athenians,65 than added to the Lacedaemonians, and balanced the command which he had gained against that which he had lost. But among the Lacedaemonians the abilities of Alcibiades had gained him more envy than favour; and the chief men having formed a plot to kill him, as their rival in glory, Alcibiades, receiving intelligence of their design from the wife of Agis, with whom he had an intrigue, fled to Tissaphernes, the satrap of king Darius, with whom he quickly ingratiated himself by his affability and obligingness of manners. He was then in the flower of youth, and distinguished for personal graces, and not less for oratory, even among the Athenians. But he was better fitted to gain the affections of friends than to keep them; because the vices in his character were thrown into the shade by the splendour of his eloquence. He succeeded in persuading Tissaphernes not to furnish such supplies |52 of money for the Lacedaemonian fleet; "for the Ionians," he said, "should be called upon to pay their share, since it was for their deliverance, when they were paying tribute to the Lacedaemonians, that the war was undertaken. Neither, however," he added, "should the Lacedaemonians be too greatly assisted; for he should remember that he was preparing a way for the supremacy of others, not for his own; and that the war was only so far to be supported, that it might not be broken off for want of supplies, as the king of Persia, while the Greeks were distracted by dissensions, would be the arbiter of peace and war, and would vanquish with their own arms those whom he could not overcome with his own; but that, if the war were brought to a conclusion, he would immediately have to fight with the conquerors. That Greece, therefore, ought to be reduced by civil wars, so that it might have no opportunity to engage in foreign ones; that the strength of its two parties should be kept equal, the weaker being constantly supported; since the Spartans, who professed themselves the defenders of the liberty of Greece, would not remain quiet after their present elevation." Such arguments were very agreeable to Tissaphernes; and he accordingly furnished supplies to the Spartans but sparingly, and did not send the whole of the king's fleet to assist them, lest he should gain them a complete victory, or bring the other party under the necessity of abandoning the war.
III. Meanwhile Alcibiades boasted of this service to his countrymen; and when deputies from the Athenians came to him, he promised to secure them the king's friendship, if the government should be transferred from the hands of the people to those of the senate; in hopes, either that, if the citizens could agree, he should be chosen general unanimously, or that, if dissension arose between the two orders, he should be invited by one of the parties to their assistance. The Athenians, as a dangerous war hung over them, were more solicitous about their safety than their dignity.66 The government, accordingly, was transferred, with the consent of the |53 people, to the senate. But as the nobility, with the pride natural to their order, treated the common people cruelly, and each arrogated to himself the exorbitant power of tyranny, the banished Alcibiades was recalled by the army, and appointed to the command of the fleet. Upon this, he at once sent notice to Athens that, "he would instantly march to the city with his army, and recover the rights of the people from the four hundred, 67 unless they restored them of themselves." The aristocracy, alarmed at this denunciation, at first attempted to betray the city to the Lacedaemonians, but being unable to succeed, went into exile. Alcibiades, having delivered his country from this intestine evil, fitted out his fleet with the utmost care, and proceeded to carry forward the war with the Lacedaemonians.
IV. Mindarus and Pharnabazus, the leaders of the Lacedaemonians, 68 were already waiting at Sestos with their fleet drawn up. A battle being fought, the victory fell to the Athenians. In this engagement, the greater part of the army and almost all the enemy's officers, were killed, and eighty ships taken. Some days after, the Lacedaemonians, transferring the war from the sea to the land, were defeated a second time. Weakened by these disasters, they sued for peace, but were prevented from obtaining it by the efforts of those to whom the war brought private advantage. In the meantime, too, a war made upon Sicily by the Carthaginians called home the aid sent by the Syracusans, and the Lacedaemonians, in consequence, being wholly unsupported, Alcibiades ravaged the coast of Asia with his victorious fleet, fought several battles, and being every where victorious, recovered the cities which had revolted, took some others, and added them to the dominion of the Athenians. Having thus reestablished their ancient glory by sea, and united to it reputation in war by land, he returned to Athens to gratify the longing of his countrymen to behold him. In all these battles two hundred ships of the enemy, and a vast quantity of spoils, were taken.
Upon this triumphant return of the army, the whole multitude from Athens poured forth to meet them, and gazed with |54 admiration on all the soldiers, but especially on Alcibiades; on him the whole city turned their eyes with looks of wonder; they regarded him as sent down from heaven, and as victory in person; they extolled what he had done for his country, nor did they less admire what he had done against it in his exile, excusing his conduct as the result of anger and provocation. Such power indeed, strange to say, was there 69 in that one man, that he was the cause of a great state being subverted and again re-established; victory removed herself to the side on which he stood; and a wonderful change of fortune always attended him. They therefore heaped upon him not only all human, but divine honours; they made it an object of contention, whether the contumely with which they banished him, or the honour with which they recalled him, should be the greater. They, by whose execrations he had been devoted, carried their gods to meet and congratulate him; and him to whom they had lately refused all human aid, they now desired, if they could, to exalt to heaven; they made amends for indignities with praises, for confiscations with gifts, for imprecations with prayers. The unfortunate battle on the coast of Sicily 70 was no longer in their mouths, but their success in Greece; 71 the fleets which he had lost were no more mentioned, but those which he had taken; they did not speak of Syracuse, but of Ionia and the Hellespont. Thus Alcibiades was never received with moderate feelings on the part of his countrymen, either when they were offended, or when they were pleased with him.
V. During these occurrences at Athens, Lysander was appointed by the Lacedaemonians to the command of their fleet and army; and Darius, king of Persia, made, in the room of Tissaphernes, his son Cyrus governor of Ionia and Lydia; who, by his assistance and support, inspired the Lacedemonians with hopes of recovering their former position. Their strength being therefore recruited, the Spartans, when their approach was wholly unexpected, surprised Alcibiades, |55 who had gone with a hundred vessels to Asia, while he was laying waste the country, which was in excellent condition from a long continuance of peace, and while, unapprehensive of any attack, he had allowed his soldiers to disperse themselves under the attractions of plunder; and such was the havoc among the scattered troops, that the Athenians received more injury from that single onslaught, than they had caused the enemy in their previous battles with them. Such, too, was the desperation of the Athenians on the occasion, that they immediately deposed Alcibiades to make room for Conon, thinking that they had been defeated, not by the fortune of war, but by the treachery of their general, on whom their former injuries had had more influence than their recent favours, and that he had conquered in the former part of the war, only to show the enemy what a leader they had despised, and to make his countrymen pay so much the dearer for their previous victory; for his vigour of mind and laxity of morals made everything that was said of Alcibiades credible. Fearing therefore the rage of the people, he went again into voluntary exile.
VI. Conon, being put in the place of Alcibiades, and seeing to what sort of commander he had succeeded, fitted out his fleet with the utmost exertion; but troops were wanting to man the vessels, as the stoutest men had been cut off in the plundering of Asia. Old men, however, and boys under age, were furnished with arms, and the number of an army was completed, but without the strength. But soldiers of an age so unfit for war could not long protract the contest; they were everywhere cut to pieces, or taken prisoners as they fled; and so great was the loss in slain and captured, that not merely the power of the Athenians, but even their very name, seemed to be extinct. Their affairs being ruined and rendered desperate in the contest, they were reduced to such want of men, all of military age being lost, that they gave the freedom of the city to foreigners, liberty to slaves, and pardon to condemned malefactors. With an army raised from such a mixture of human beings, they who had lately been lords of Greece could scarcely preserve their liberty. Yet they resolved once more to try their fortune at sea; and such was their spirit, that though they had recently despaired of safety, they now did not despair even of victory. But it was not such a |56 soldiery that could support the Athenian name; it was not such troops with which they had been used to conquer; nor were there the requisite military accomplishments in those whom prisons, not camps, had confined. All were in consequence either taken prisoners or slain; and the general Conon alone surviving the battle, and dreading the resentment of his countrymen, went off with eight ships to Evagoras, king of Cyprus.
VII. The general of the Lacedaemonians, after managing his affairs so successfully, grew insolent towards his enemies in their evil fortune. He sent the ships which he had taken, laden with spoil, and decorated as in triumph, to Lacedaemon. He received at the same time voluntary tenders of submission. from cities which dread of the doubtful fortune of war had kept in allegiance to the Athenians. Nor did he leave anything in possession of the Athenians but their city itself.
When all this was understood at Athens, the inhabitants, leaving their houses, ran up and down the streets in a frantic manner, asking questions of one another, and inquiring for the author of the news. Neither did incapacity keep the children at home, nor infirmity the old men, nor the weakness of their sex the women: so deeply had the feeling of such calamity affected every age. They met together in the forum, where, through the whole night, they bewailed the public distress. Some wept for their lost brothers, or sons, or parents; somo for other relatives; others for friends dearer than relatives; all mingling their lamentations for their country with plaints for their private sufferings; sometimes regarding themselves, sometimes their city, as on the brink of ruin; and deeming the fate of those who survived more unhappy than that of the slain. Each represented to himself a siege, a famine, and an enemy overbearing and flushed with victory; sometimes contemplating in imagination the desolation and burning of the city, and sometimes the captivity and wretched slavery of all its inhabitants; and thinking the former destruction of Athens, which was attended only with 72 the ruin of their houses, while their children and parents were safe, much less calamitous than what was now to befall them; since there remained no fleet in which, as before, they might find a refuge, and no |57 army by whose valour they might be saved to erect a finer city.
VIII. While the city was thus wept over and almost brought to nothing, the enemy came upon it, pressed the inhabitants with a siege, and distressed them with famine. They knew that little remained of the provisions which they had laid up, and had taken care that no new ones should be imported. The Athenians, exhausted by their sufferings, from long endurance of famine, and daily losses of men, sued for peace; but it was long disputed between the Spartans and their allies whether it should be granted or not. Many gave their opinion that the very name of the Athenians should be blotted out, and the city destroyed by fire; but the Spartans refused "to pluck out one of the two eyes of Greece," and promised the Athenians peace, on condition ''that they should demolish the walls 73 extending down to the Piraeeus, and deliver up the ships which they had left; and that the state should receive from them thirty governors of their own citizens." The city being surrendered on these terms, the Lacedaemonians committed it to Lysander to model the government of it. This year was rendered remarkable, not only for the reduction of Athens, but for the death of Darius, king of Persia, and the banishment of Dionysius, tyrant of Sicily.
When the form of government at Athens was changed, the condition of the citizens was likewise altered. Thirty governors of the state were appointed, who became absolute tyrants; for, at the very first, they organized for themselves a guard of three thousand men, though, after so much slaughter, scarcely as many citizens survived; and as if this force was too small to overawe the city, they received also seven hundred men from the victorious army. They then began to put to death the citizens, intending to commence with Alcibiades, lest he should again seize the government under pretence of delivering the city; and hearing that he was gone to Artaxerxes king of Persia, they despatched men in haste to stop him on his way. By these deputies he was beset, and, as he could not be killed openly, was burnt alive in the apartment in which he slept.
IX. The tyrants, thus freed from the dread of an avenger, wasted the miserable remains of the city with the sword and |58 spoliation; and finding that their proceedings displeased Theramenes, one of their own body, they put him also to death to strike terror into the rest. In consequence a general dispersion of the citizens took place in all directions, and Greece was filled with Athenian fugitives. But the privilege of flight being also taken from them (for the cities were forbidden, by an edict of the Lacedaemonians, to receive the exiles), they all betook themselves to Argos and Thebes,74 where they had not only safe places of refuge, but also conceived hopes of repossessing themselves of their country. There was among the refugees a man named Thrasybulus, a person of great bravery and of noble extraction, who, thinking that something should be attempted, even at the utmost hazard, for their country and the common interest, called together the exiles, and took post at Phyle, a fort on the borders of Attica. Some of the cities, pitying the severity of their misfortunes, afforded them countenance; Ismenias, a leading man among the Thebans, though he could not assist them publicly, yet supported them with his private means; and Lycias, the Syracusan orator, 75 at that time an exile, sent five hundred soldiers, equipped at his own charge, to the aid of the common country of eloquence. A desperate battle ensued; but as those on the one side fought with their utmost efforts to regain their country, and those on the other, with less eagerness, in support of the power of others, the tyrants were overcome. After their defeat they fled back into the city, which, already exhausted by their slaughters, they despoiled also of its arms. Suspecting all the Athenians, too, of disaffection towards them, they ordered them to remove out of the city, and to take up their abode among the ruins of the walls which had been demolished; supporting their own authority with foreign soldiers. Next they endeavoured to corrupt Thrasybulus, by promising him a share in the government; but, not succeeding, they sought assistance from Lacedaemon, on the arrival of which they took the field again. In |59 this encounter Critias and Hippolochus, the two most cruel of the tyrants, were killed.
X. The others being defeated, and their army, of which the greater part consisted of Athenians, running away, Thrasybulus called out to them with a loud voice, asking, "Why they should flee from him in the midst of victory, rather than join him as the assertor of their common liberty?" adding, that "they should reflect that his army was composed of their countrymen, not of enemies; that he had not armed himself to take any thing away from the conquered, but to restore them what they had lost; and that he was making war, not on the city, but on the thirty tyrants." He then reminded them of their ties of relationship, their laws, their common religion, and their long service as fellow soldiers in so many wars. He conjured them, that, "if they themselves could submit patiently to the yoke, they should yet take pity on their exiled countrymen;" he urged them "to restore him to his country, and to accept liberty for themselves." By these exhortations such an effect was produced, that when the army came back into the city, they ordered the thirty tyrants to retire to Eleusis, appointing ten commissioners to govern in their room; who, however, not at all deterred by the fate of the former tyrants, entered on a similar career, of cruelty. During the course of these proceedings, news arrived at Lacedaemon that war had broken out at Athens, and king Pausanias was sent to suppress it, who, touched with compassion for the exiled people, restored the unhappy citizens to their country, and ordered the ten tyrants to leave the city, and go to the rest at Eleusis. Peace was restored by these means; but, after an interval of some days, the tyrants, enraged at the recall of the exiles not less than at their own expulsion (as if liberty to others was slavery to themselves), suddenly resumed hostilities against Athens. As they were proceeding however to a conference,76 apparently with the expectation of recovering their power, they were seized by an ambuscade, and offered as sacrifices to peace. The people, whom they had obliged to leave the city, were recalled; and the state, which had been divided into several members, was |60 at length re-united into one body. And that no dissension might arise in consequence of anything that had gone before, the citizens were all bound by an oath that former discords should be forgotten.
Meanwhile the Thebans and Corinthians sent ambassadors to the Lacedaemonians, to demand a share of the spoil acquired by their common exertions in war, and at their common risk. Their demand being refused, they did not indeed openly resolve on war with the Lacedaemonians, but tacitly conceived such resentment towards them, that it might be seen that war was likely to arise.
XI. About the same time died Darius, king of Persia, leaving two sons, Artaxerxes and Cyrus. He bequeathed the kingdom to Artaxerxes, and to Cyrus the cities over which he had been satrap. But Cyrus thought the will of his father an injustice, and secretly made preparations for war with his brother. News of his intentions being brought to Artaxerxes, he sent for him, and, when he pretended innocence, and denied all thoughts of war, he bound him with golden fetters,77 and would have put him to death, had not his mother interposed. Cyrus, in consequence of her intercession, being allowed to depart, began to prepare for war, no longer secretly, but publicly, not with dissimulation, but with an open avowal of it, and assembled auxiliary troops from all quarters. The Lacedemonians, remembering that they had been vigorously aided by him in the war with Athens, and as if in ignorance against whom hostilities were intended, resolved that "assistance should be sent to Cyrus whenever his necessities should require;" hoping thus to secure favour with Cyrus, and a plea for pardon with Artaxerxes if he should have the advantage, because they had decreed nothing openly against him. But when they came to an encounter, fortune throwing the brothers together in the field, Artaxerxes was first wounded by Cyrus, but being rescued from danger by the speed of his horse, Cyrus was overpowered by the king's battalion, and slain. Thus Artaxerxes being victorious, got possession both of the spoil from the war with his brother, and of his brother's |61 army. In this battle there were ten thousand Greeks on the side of Cyrus, who had the superiority in the wing on which they had been posted, and, after the death of Cyrus, could neither be reduced forcibly by the vast army of their adversaries, nor captured by stratagem, but, returning through so many wild and barbarous nations, and over such vast tracts of land, defended themselves by their valour till they gained the borders of their country.
The Lacedaemonians aspire to conquer Asia; the command of the Persian fleet given to Conon, I.----Agesilaus is general of the Lacedaemonians; acts of Conon, II.----Battle between Conon and Pisander; the Lacedaemonians defeated, III.----Agesilaus supports the declining fortune of the Lacedaemonians, IV.----Iphicrates and Conon; the Athenians repair their city, V.----Peace proclaimed by the king of Persia throughout Greece; the Lacedaemonians break it, VI.----The Thebans attack the Lacedaemonians; the battle of Mantinea, VII.----Epaminondas, VIII.----State of Greece after his death, IX.
THE more the Lacedaemonians got, the more, according to the nature of mankind, they coveted, and, not satisfied at their strength being doubled by the accession of the Athenian power, they began to aspire to the dominion of all Asia. But the greater part of it was under the government of the Persians; and Dercyllidas, being chosen general to conduct the war against them, and seeing that he would be opposed to two satraps of Artaxerxes, Phamabazus and Tissaphernes, supported by the strength of powerful nations, resolved to make peace with one of them. As Tissaphernes seemed the fitter of the two for his purpose, being more attentive to business, and better furnished with troops (having with him those of the late prince Cyrus), he was invited to a conference, and induced to lay down his arms on certain conditions. This transaction Pharnabazus made matter of accusation to their common sovereign, acquainting him that "Tissaphernes had not taken arms to repel the Lacedaemonians on their invasion of Asia, but had maintained them at the king's charge, and bargained with them as to what they should put off doing in |62 the war, and what they should carry into execution, as if every loss did not affect the interest of the one empire in general," adding that "it was disgraceful that war should not he decided by the sword, but bought off, and that the enemy should be induced to retire, not by arms, but by money." When by such charges he had irritated the king against Tissaphernes, he advised him to appoint in his place, as commander by sea, Conon the Athenian, who, having left his country on account of his ill success, was living in exile in Cyprus; "for though the power of the Athenians," he said, "was reduced, their experience at sea was still left them, and that, were a choice to be made from them all, no one could be preferred to Conon." Pharnabazus was accordingly furnished with five hundred talents 78 and directed to set Conon over the fleet.
II. When this arrangement was publicly known, the Lacedaemonians, through their ambassadors, requested aid for their efforts by sea from Hercynio,* king of Egypt, by whom a hundred triremes, and six hundred thousand modii 79 of corn, were despatched to them, while from their other allies a great number of forces were also assembled. But for such an army, and against such a leader, an efficient commander was wanting; and when the auxiliaries desired Agesilaus, then king of the Lacedaemonians, for their general, the Lacedaemonians, in consequence of an answer from the oracle at Delphi, were long in doubt whether they should appoint him to the chiet command, as it was signified to them that "there would be an end of their power when the kingly authority should be lame;" and Agesilaus was lame of one foot. At last they decided that "it was better for the king to halt in his gait than for the kingdom to halt in its power;" and when they afterwards sent Agesilaus, with a large army into Asia, I cannot easily tell what other two generals were ever so well matched; for the age, valour, conduct, and wisdom of both were nearly equal, as was also the fame of their achievements; and fortune, who had given them equal qualifications, had kept the one from being conquered by the other. Great preparations for war, therefore, were made by both, and great deeds |63 were performed. But a mutiny among his soldiers arose to trouble Conon, in consequence of the king's officers making it a practice to defraud them of their pay; and they demanded their arrears the more obstinately, as they anticipated that service under so great a general would be very severe. Conon, having long importuned the king by letters to no purpose, went at last to him in person, but was debarred from any interview or conference with him, because he would not do him homage 80 after the manner of the Persians. He, however, treated with him through his ministers, and complained that "the wars of the richest king in the world ended in nothing through want of pay; and that he who had an army equal to that of the enemy, was defeated by means of money in which he was their superior, and found inferior to them in that article of power in which he had far the advantage of them." He also desired that one paymaster might be appointed for his troops, as it was evidently detrimental to commit that office to several. Money for his soldiers was then given him, and he returned to the fleet. Nor did he delay to enter on action; he executed many undertakings with resolution, many with success; he laid waste the enemy's country, stormed their towns, and bore down everything before him like a hurricane. The Lacedaemonians were so alarmed at his progress, that they resolved on recalling Agesilaus 81 from Asia to the support of his country.
III. In the meantime Pisander, who had been left governor of his country by Agesilaus at his departure, fitted out a powerful fleet with the utmost exertion, determining to try the fortune of war. Conon, too, on the other hand, being then to encounter the enemy's army for the first time, put his troops in order with the greatest care. The emulation between the generals in the contest was not greater than that between the soldiers. Conon himself, in his character of leader, did not so much regard the interest of the Persians as the honour of his own country; and as, when the strength of the Athenians was reduced, he had occasioned the utter loss |64 of their power, so he had a desire to be accounted its restorer, as well as to reinstate himself in his country by a victory from which he had been exiled through being defeated; and this the more remarkably as he was not to fight with the aid of the Athenians themselves, but with that of a foreign state; he was going to contend at the risk of the king, but to conquer to the advantage of his country, acquiring glory by means dissimilar from those by which the former generals of Athens had obtained it, for they had defended their country by defeating the Persians, but he would re-establish his country by making the Persians victorious. Pisander too, from his relationship to Agesilaus,82 was also an emulator of his virtues, and endeavoured not to fall short of his exploits and the brilliancy of his renown, and not to overthrow, by the misconduct of a moment, a power which had been gained by so many wars through so many ages. The anxiety of all the soldiers and sailors was similar, being not so much concerned 83 that they might not lose the power which they had got, as that the Athenians might not recover their former eminence. But the more spirited was the struggle, the more honourable was the victory of Conon. The Lacedaemonians were routed and put to flight; the garrison of the enemy was withdrawn from Athens; the people were restored to their rights, and their bondage was at an end; and several cities were reduced to their former state of obedience.
IV. To the Athenians this event was the beginning of their restoration to power; to the Lacedemonians it was the termination of their authority; for, as if they had lost their spirit with their pre-eminence, they began to be regarded with contempt by their neighbours. The first people that made war upon them, with the aid of the Athenians, were the Thebans; ft state which, by the abilities of its general, Epaminondas, was raised from the most humble condition to the hope of governing Greece. A battle was fought between the two powers by land, with the same fortune on the part of the |65 Lacedaemonians as they had experienced against Conon by sea. In this encounter Lysander, under whose conduct the Athenians had been defeated by the Lacedaemonians, was killed. Pausanias also, the other general of the Lacedaemonians, went into exile in consequence of being accused of treachery.
The Thebans, on gaining the victory, led their whole force against Lacedaemon, expecting that it would be easy to reduce the city, as the Spartans were deserted by all their allies. The Lacedaemonians, dreading the event, sent for their king Agesilaus out of Asia, where he was performing great exploits, to defend his country; for since Lysander was slain, they had no confidence in any other general; but, as he was tardy in coming, they raised an army, and proceeded to meet the enemy. Having been once conquered, however, they had neither spirit nor strength to meet those who had recently vanquished them. They were accordingly routed in the very first onset. But Agesilaus came up just when the forces of his countrymen were overthrown; and, having renewed the contest, he, with his fresh troops, invigorated by long service, snatched the victory from the enemy without difficulty, but was himself severely wounded.
V. The Athenians, receiving intelligence of this event, and fearing that if the Lacedaemonians obtained another victory, they should be reduced to their former state of bondage, assembled an army, and ordered that it should be conducted to the aid of the Boeotians by Iphicrates, a young man only twenty years of age, but of great abilities. The conduct of this youth was above his years, and greatly to be admired; nor had the Athenians ever before him, among so many and so great leaders, a captain of greater promise, or of talents that sooner came to maturity; and he had not only the qualifications of a general, but also those of an orator.
Conon, having heard of the return of Agesilaus, came also himself from Asia to ravage the country of the Lacedaemonians; who, while the terrors of war raged around them, were shut up within their walls, and reduced to the depths of despair. After wasting the enemy's territories, Conon proceeded to Athens, where he was received with great joy on the part of his countrymen; but he felt more sorrow at the state of his native city, which had been burnt and laid in ruins by the Lacedaemonians, than joy at his return to it after |66 so long an absence. He accordingly repaired what had been burnt, and rebuilt what had been demolished, from the price of the spoil which he had taken, and with the help of the Persian troops. Such was the fate of Athens, that having been first burnt by the Persians, it was restored by their labour; and having been afterwards wasted by the Lacedaemonians, it was re-adorned from their spoils; and, the state of things being reversed, it had now for allies those whom it then had for enemies, and those for enemies with whom it had been joined in the closest bonds of alliance.
VI. During the course of these proceedings, Artaxerxes, king of the Persians, sent deputies into Greece, with injunctions, "that they should all lay down their arms," and assurances "that he would treat as enemies those who should act otherwise." He restored to the cities their liberty and all that belonged to them; a course which he did not adopt from concern for the troubles of the Greeks, and for their incessant and deadly enmities displayed in the field, but from unwillingness that, while he was engaged in a war with Egypt (which he had undertaken because the Egyptians had sent aid to the Spartans against his satraps), his troops should be obliged to stay in Greece. The Greeks, exhausted with so much fighting, eagerly obeyed his mandate.
This year was not only remarkable for a peace being suddenly made throughout Greece, but for the taking of the city of Rome at the same time by the Gauls.
But the Lacedaemonians, watching an opportunity of surprising the unguarded, and observing that the Arcadians were absent from their country, stormed one of their fortresses, and, having taken possession of it, placed a garrison in it. The Arcadians in consequence, arming and equipping a body of troops, and calling the Thebans to their assistance, demanded in open war the restitution of what they had lost. In the battle which followed, Archidamus, general of the Lacedaemonians, was wounded, and, seeing his men cut down and apparently defeated, sent a herald to ask the bodies of the slain for burial; this being a sign among the Greeks that the victory is yielded. The Thebans, satisfied with this acknowledgment, made the signal for giving quarter.
VII. After the lapse of a few days, while neither side was offering any hostility, and while, as the Lacedemonians were |67 engaged in other contentions with their neighbours, a truce was observed as it were by tacit consent, the Thebans, under the leadership of Epaminondas, conceived hopes of seizing the city of Sparta. They accordingly proceeded thither secretly, in the early part of the night, but failed to take the inhabitants by surprise; for the old men, and others of an age unfit for war, observing the approach of the enemy, met them in arms at the very entrance of the gates; and not more than a hundred men, enfeebled with years, offered battle to fifteen thousand. So much spirit and vigour does the sight of our country and homes inspire; and so much more confidence is afforded by the presence, than by the remembrance of them; for when they considered where and for what they took their stand, they resolved either to conquer or die. A few old men, in consequence, held out against an army, which, shortly before, the flower of their troops were unable to withstand. In this battle two generals of the enemy were killed, when, on intelligence being received that Agesilaus was approaching, the Thebans retreated. But there was no long cessation of hostilities; for the Spartan youth, incited by the heroism and glorious deeds of the old men, could not be prevented from promptly engaging in the field. Just as victory inclined to the Thebans, Epaminondas, while he was discharging the duty, not only of a general, but of a gallant soldier, was severely wounded. When this was known, fear fell upon one side from, deep concern, and amaze on the other from excess of joy; and both parties, as if by mutual agreement, retired from the field. VIII. A few days after, Epaminondas died, and with him fell the spirit of the Theban state. For as, when you break off the point of a dart, you take from the rest of the steel the power of wounding, so when that general of the Thebans (who was, as it were, the point of their weapon84) was taken off, the strength of their government was so debilitated, that they seemed not so much to have lost him as to have all died with him. They neither carried on any memorable war before he became their leader, nor were they afterwards remarkable for their successes, but for their defeats; so that it is certain that with him the glory of his country both rose and fell. Whether he was more estimable as a man or a general is undecided; for he never sought power for himself, but for his |68 country, and was so far from coveting money, that he did not leave sufficient to pay for his funeral. Nor was he more desirous of distinction than of wealth; for all the appointments that he held were conferred on him against his will, and he filled his posts in such a manner that he seemed to add lustre to his honours rather than to receive it from them. His application to learning, and his knowledge of philosophy, were such, that it seemed wonderful how a man bred up in literature could have so excellent a knowledge of war. The manner of his death, too, was not at variance with his course of life; for when he was carried back half dead into the camp, and had recovered his breath and voice, he asked only this question of those that stood about him, "whether the enemy had taken his shield from him when he fell?" Hearing that it was saved, he kissed it, when it was brought to him, as the sharer of his toils and glory. He afterwards inquired which side had gained the victory, and hearing that the Thebans had got it, observed, "It is well," and so, as it were congratulating his country, expired.
IX. With his death the spirit of the Athenians also declined. For after he whom they were wont to emulate was gone, they sank into sloth and effeminacy, and spent the public income, not, as formerly, upon fleets and armies, but upon festivals, and the celebration of games; frequenting the theatres for the sake of eminent actors and poets, visiting the stage oftener than the camp, and praising men rather for being good versifiers than good generals.85 It was then that the public revenues, from which soldiers and sailors used to be maintained, were distributed 86 among the people of the city. By which means it came to pass, that during the absence of exertion on the part of the Greeks, the name of the Macedonians, previously mean and obscure, rose into notice; and Philip, who had been kept three years as a hostage at Thebes, and had been imbued with the virtues of Epaminondas and Pelopidas, imposed the power of Macedonia, like a yoke of bondage, upon the necks of Greece and Asia. |69
Ancient state of Macedonia, I.----Family of Perdiccas, II.----Persian ambassadors punished at the court of Amyntas; Bubares the Persian, III.----Family of Amyntas, IV.----Youth and education of Philip; commencement of his reign, V. VI.
I. MACEDONIA, was formerly called Emathia, from the name of king Emathion, of whose prowess the earliest proofs are extant in those parts. As the origin of this kingdom was but humble, so its limits were at first extremely narrow. The inhabitants were called Pelasgi,87 the country Paeonia. But in process of time, when, through the ability of their princes and the exertions of their subjects, they had conquered, first of all, the neighbouring tribes, and afterwards other nations and peoples, their dominions extended to the utmost boundaries of the east, 88 In the region of Paeonia, which is now a portion of Macedonia, is said to have reigned Pelegonus,89 the father of Asteropaaus, whose name we find, in the Trojan war, among the most distinguished defenders of the city. On the other side a king named Europus held the sovereignty in a district called Europa.90
But Caranus,91 accompanied by a great multitude of Greeks, having been directed by an oracle to seek a settlement in Macedonia, and having come into Emathia, and followed a flock of goats that were fleeing from a tempest, possessed himself of the city of Edessa, before the inhabitants, on account of the thickness of the rain and mist, were aware of his approach; and being reminded of the oracle, by which he had been ordered "to seek a kingdom with goats for his guides," he made this city the seat of his government, and |70 afterwards religiously took care, whithersoever he led his troops, to keep the same goats before his standards, that he might have those animals as leaders in his enterprises which he had had as guides to the site of his kingdom. He changed the name of the city, in commemoration of his good fortune, from Edessa to Aegeae, 92 and called the inhabitants Aegeatae. Having subsequently expelled Midas 93 (for he also occupied a part of Macedonia), and driven other kings from their territories, he established himself, as sole monarch, in the place of them all, and was the first that, by uniting tribes of different people, formed Macedonia as it were into one body, and laid a solid foundation for the extension of his growing kingdom.
II. After him reigned Perdiccas, whose life was distinguished, and the circumstances of whose death, as if ordered by an oracle, were worthy of record; for when he was old and at the point of death, he made known to his son Argaeus a place in which he wished to be buried, and directed that not only his own bones, but those of the kings that should succeed him, should be deposited in the same spot; signifying that, "as long as the relics of his posterity should be buried there, the crown would remain in his family;" and the people believe, in consequence of this superstitious notion, that the line came to be extinct in Alexander, because he changed the place of sepulture. Argaeus, having governed the kingdom with moderation, and gained the love of his subjects, left his son Philip his successor, who, being carried off by an untimely death, made Aeropus, then quite a boy, his heir.
The Macedonians had perpetual contests with the Thracians and Illyrians, and, being hardened by their arms, as it were by daily exercise, they struck terror into their neighbours by the splendour of their reputation for war. The Illyrians, however, despising the boyhood of a king under age, attacked the Macedonians, who, being worsted in the field, brought out their king with them in his cradle, and, placing him behind the front lines, renewed the fight with greater vigour, as if they had been defeated before, because the fortune of their prince |71 was not with them in the battle, and would now certainly conquer, because, from this superstitious fancy, they had con ceived a confidence of victory; while compassion for the infant, also, moved them, as, if they were overcome, they seemed likely to transform him from a king into a captive. Engaging in battle, therefore, they routed the Illyrians with great slaughter, and showed their enemies, that, in the former encounter, it was a king, and not valour, that was wanting to the Macedonians. To Aeropus succeeded Amyntas, a prince eminently distinguished, both for his own personal valour, and for the excellent abilities of his son Alexander, who had from nature such remarkable talents of every kind,94 that he contended for the prize in various species of exercises at the Olympic games.
III. About this time Darius king of Persia, having been forced to quit Scythia in dishonourable flight, but not wishing to be thought every where contemptible from losses in war, despatched Megabazus, with a portion of his army, to subdue Thrace, and other kingdoms in those parts; to which Macedonia, he thought, would fall as an unimportant addition, Megabazus, speedily executing the king's orders, and sending deputies to Amyntas king of Macedonia, demanded that hostages should be given him. as a pledge of future peace. The deputies, being liberally entertained, asked Amyntas, as their intoxication increased in the progress of a banquet, "to add to the magnificence of his board the privileges of friendship, by sending for his and his sons' wives to the feast; a practice which is deemed, among the Persians, a pledge and bond of hospitality." The women having entered, and the Persians laying hands upon them too freely, Alexander, the son of Amyntas, begged his father, from regard to his age and dignity, to leave the banqueting-room, engaging that he himself would moderate the frolicsome spirit of their guests. Amyntas having withdrawn, Alexander called the women from the apartment for a while, under pretext of having them dressed in better style, and bringing them back with greater attractions. But in their place he put young men, clad in the habit of matrons, and ordered them to chastise the insolence of the deputies with swords which they were to carry under their garments. All of them being thus put to death, Megabazus, not knowing what had happened, but finding |72 that the deputies did not return, sent Bubares to Macedonia with a detachment of his forces, as to an easy and trifling contest; disdaining to go himself, that he might not be disgraced by an encounter with so despicable a people. But Bubares, before he came to an engagement, fell in love with the daughter of Amyntas, when, breaking off hostilities, ha celebrated a marriage, and, all thoughts of war being abandoned, entered into bonds of affinity with the king
IV. Soon after the departure of Bubares from Macedonia, king Amyntas died; but his relationship with Bubares not only secured to his son and successor, Alexander, peace during the reign of Darius, but also such favour with Xerxes, that, when that monarch overspread Greece like a tempest, he conferred upon him the sovereignty of all the country between the mountains of Olympus and Haemus. But Alexander enlarged his dominions not less by his own valour than through the munificence of the Persians. The throne afterwards descended, by the order of succession, to Amyntas, the son of his brother Menelaus. This prince was remarkable for his application to business, and was endowed with all the accomplishments of a great general. By his wife Eurydice he had three sons, Alexander, Perdiccas, and Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, and one daughter, named Eurynoe; he had also by Gygaea Archelaus, Aridaeus, and Menelaus. Subsequently he had formidable contests with the Illyrians and Olynthians. He would have been cut off by a plot of his wife Eurydice, who, having engaged to marry her son-in-law, had undertaken to kill her husband, and to put the government into the hands of her paramour, had not her daughter betrayed the intrigue and atrocious intentions of her mother. Having escaped so many dangers, he died at an advanced age, leaving the throne to Alexander, the eldest of his sons.
V. Alexander, at the very beginning of his reign, purchased peace from the Illyrians with a sum of money, giving his brother Philip to them as a hostage. Some time after, too, he made peace with the Thebans by giving the same hostage; a circumstance which afforded Philip fine opportunities of improving his extraordinary abilities; for, being kept as a hostage at Thebes three years, he received the first rudiments of education 95 in a city distinguished for strictness of |73 discipline, and in the house of Epaminondas, an eminent philosopher, as well as commander. Not long afterwards Alexandei fell by a plot of his mother Eurydice, whom Amyntas, when she was convicted of a conspiracy against him, had spared for the sake of their children, little imagining that she would one day be the destroyer of them. Perdiccas, also, the brother of Alexander, was taken off by similar treachery. Horrible, indeed, was it, that children should have been deprived of life by a mother, to gratify her lust, whom a regard for those very children had saved from the punishment of her crimes. The murder of Perdiccas seemed the more atrocious from the circumstance that not even the prayers of his little son could procure him pity from his mother. Philip, for a long time, acted, not as king, but as guardian to this infant; but, when dangerous wars threatened, and it was too long to wait for the co-operation of a prince who was yet a child, he was forced by the people to take the government upon himself.
VI. When he took possession of the throne, great hopes were formed of him by all, both on account of his abilities, which promised that he would prove a great man, and on account of certain old oracles respecting Macedonia, which had foretold that "when one of the sons of Amyntas should be king, the state of the country would be extremely flourishing:" to fulfil which expectations the wickedness of his mother had left only him. At the commencement of his reign, when, on the one hand, the murder of his brother, so atrociously put to death, and the dread of treachery; on the other, a multitude of enemies, and the poverty of his kingdom, exhausted by a series of wars, bore hard upon the young king's immature age, thinking it proper to make distinct arrangements as to the wars, which, as if by a common conspiracy to crush Macedonia, rose around him from different nations and several quarters at the same time, to all of which he could not at once make resistance, he put an end to some by offers of peace, and bought off others, but attacked such of his enemies as seemed easiest to be subdued, that, by a victory over them, he might confirm the wavering minds of his soldiers, and alter any feelings of contempt with which his adversaries might regard |74 him. His first conflict was with the Athenians,96 whom he surprised by a stratagem, but, though he might have put them all to the sword, he yet, from dread of a more formidable war, allowed them to depart uninjured and without ransom. After wards, leading his army against the Illyrians, he killed several thousand of his enemies, and took the famous city of Larissa. He then fell suddenly on Thessaly (when it apprehended any thing rather than war), not from desire of spoil, but because he wished to add the strength of the Thessalian cavalry to his own troops; and he thus incorporated a force of horse and foot in one invincible army. His undertakings having been thus far successful, he married Olympias, daughter of Neoptolemus, afterwards king of the Molossians, her cousin-german Arrybas, then king of that nation, who had brought up the young princess, and had married her sister Troas, promoting the union; a proceeding which proved the cause of his ruin, and the beginning of all the evils that afterwards befell him; for while he hoped to strengthen his kingdom by this affinity with Philip, he was by that monarch deprived of his crown, and spent his old age in exile.
After these proceedings, Philip, no longer satisfied with acting on the defensive, boldly attacked even those who gave him no molestation. While he was besieging Methone, an arrow, shot from the walls at him as he was passing by, struck out his right eye; but by this wound he was neither rendered less active in the siege, nor more resentful towards the enemy; so that, some days after, he granted them peace on their application for it, and was not only not severe, but even merciful, to the conquered. |75
War between the Thebans and Phocians, I.----The Thebans bring Philip against the Phocians; the Athenians take precautions for their defence, II.----Philip harasses Greece, takes possession of Cappadocia, destroys Olynthus; his acts in Thrace, III.----He deceives the Athenians, Boeotians, Thessalians, and Phocians, IV. ---- Oppresses the Phocians and other Greeks, V.----His machinations to strengthen his power, VI.
I. THE states of Greece, while each sought to gain the sovereignty of the country for itself, lost it as a body. Striving intemperately to ruin one another, they did not perceive, till they were oppressed by another power, that what each lost was a common loss to all; for Philip, king of Macedonia, looking, as from a watch-tower, for an opportunity to attack their liberties, and fomenting their contentions by assisting the weaker, obliged victors and vanquished alike to submit to his royal yoke. The Thebans were the cause and origin of this calamity, who, obtaining power, and having no steadiness of mind to bear prosperity, insolently accused the Lacedaemonians and Phocians, when they had conquered them in the field, before the common council of Greece,97 as if they had not been sufficiently punished by the slaughters and depredations that they had suffered. It was laid to the charge of the Lacedaemonians, that they had seized the citadel of Thebes during a time of truce, and to that of the Phocians, that they had laid waste Boeotia, as if the Thebans themselves, after their conduct in the field, had left themselves any ground for resorting to law. But as the cause was conducted according to the will of the more powerful, the Phocians were sentenced to pay such a fine as it was impossible for them to raise, and in consequence, despoiled of their lands, children. and wives, and reduced to desperation, they seized, under the leadership of one Philomelus, on the temple of Apollo at Delphi, as if they were enraged at the god. Being hence enriched with gold and treasure, and hiring mercenary troops, they made war upon the Thebans. This proceeding of the Phocians, though all expressed detestation at the sacrilege, brought more odium upon the Thebans, by whom they had been reduced to such necessity, than on the Phocians |76 themselves; and aid was in consequence despatched to them both by the Athenians and Lacedaemonians. In the first engagement, Philomelus drove the Thebans from their camp; but in the next he was killed, fighting in front among the thickest of the enemy, and paid the penalty of his sacrilege by the effusion of his impious blood. Onomarchus was made general in his stead.
II. To oppose Onomarchus, the Thebans and Thessalians chose as general, not one of their own people, lest they should not be able to endure his rule if he should conquer, but Philip, king of Macedonia, voluntarily submitting to that power from a foreigner which they dreaded in the hands of their own countrymen. Philip, as if he were the avenger of the sacrilege, not the defender of the Thebans, ordered all his soldiers to assume crowns of laurel, and proceeded to battle as if under the leadership of the god. The Phocians, seeing these ensigns of the deity, and frighted with the consciousness of guilt, threw down their arms and fled, receiving punishment for their violation of religion by the bloodshed and slaughter that they suffered. This affair brought incredibly great glory to Philip in the opinion of all people, who called him "the avenger of the god, and the defender of religion," and said that "he alone had arisen to require satisfaction for what ought to have been punished by the combined force of the world, and was conseqtiently worthy to be ranked next to the gods, as by him the majesty of the gods had been vindicated."
The Athenians, hearing the result of the conflict, and fearing that Philip would march into Greece, took possession of the straits of Thermopylae, as they had done on the invasion of the Persians, but by no means with like spirit, or in a similar cause; for then they fought in behalf of the liberty of Greece, now, in behalf of public sacrilege;98 then to defend the temples of the gods from the ravages of an enemy, now, to defend the plunderers of temples against the avengers of their guilt, acting as advocates of a crime of which it was dishonourable to them that others should have been the punishers, and utterly unmindful that, in their dangers, they had often had recourse to this deity as a counsellor; that, under his guidance, |77 they had entered on so many wars with success, had founded bo many cities auspiciously, and had acquired so extensive a dominion by sea and land: and that they had never done any thing, either of a public or private nature, without the sanction of his authority. Strange that a people of such ability, improved by every kind of learning, and formed by the most excellent laws and institutions, should have brought such guilt upon themselves as to leave nothing with which they could afterwards justly upbraid barbarians.
III. Nor did Philip distinguish himself by more honourable conduct towards his allies; for, as if he was afraid of being surpassed by his opponents in the guilt of sacrilege, he seized and plundered, like an enemy, cities of which he had just before been captain, which had fought under his auspices, and which had congratulated him and themselves on their victories; he sold the wives and children of the inhabitants for slaves; he spared neither the temples of the gods, nor other sacred structures, nor the tutelar gods, public or private, before whom he had recently presented himself as a guest; so that he seemed not so much to avenge sacrilege as to seek a license for committing it.
In the next place, as if he had done every thing well, he crossed over into Chalcidice,99 where, conducting his wars with equal perfidy,100 and treacherously capturing or killing the neighbouring princes, he united the whole of the province to the kingdom of Macedonia. Afterwards, to throw a veil over his character for dishonesty, for which he was now deemed remarkable above other men, he sent persons through the kingdoms and the richest of the cities, to spread a report that king Philip was ready to contract, at a vast sum, for the re-building of the walls, temples, and sacred edifices, in the several towns, and to invite contractors by public criers; but when those who were willing to undertake these works went to Macedonia, they found themselves put off with various excuses, and, from dread of the king's power, returned quietly to their |78 homes. Soon after he fell upon the Olynthians, hecause, after the death of one of his brothers, they had, from pity, afforded a refuge to two others, whom, being the sons of his step-mother, Philip would gladly have cut off, as pretenders to a share in the throne. For this reason he destroyed an ancient and noble city, consigning his brothers to the death long before destined for them, and delighting himself at the same time with a vast quantity of booty, and the gratification of his fratricidal inclinations. Next, as if every thing that he meditated was. lawful for him to do, he seized upon the gold mines in Thessaly, and the silver ones in Thrace, and, to leave no law or right unviolated, proceeded to engage in piracy. While such was his conduct, it happened that two brothers, princes of Thrace, chose him as arbitrator in their disputes, not, indeed, from respect for his justice, but because each dreaded that he would unite his strength to that of the other. Philip, in accordance with his practice and disposition, came unexpectedly upon the brothers with an army in full array, not apparently to try a cause, but to fight a battle, and spoiled them both of their dominions, not like a judge, but with the perfidy and baseness of a robber.
IV. During the course of these transactions, ambassadors came to him from the Athenians to ask for peace. Having listened to their request, he despatched ambassadors to Athens with terms, and a peace was concluded there to the advan tage of both parties. Embassies came to him also from other states of Greece, not from inclination for peace, but for fear of war; for the Thessalians and Baeotians, with reviving wrath, entreated that he would prove himself the leader of Greece, as he had professed to be, against the Phocians; such being the hatred with which they were inflamed towards that people, that they chose rather to perish themselves, than not to destroy them, and to submit to the known cruelty of Philip, rather than spare their enemies. On the other hand, ambassadors from the Phocians (the Lacedaemonians and Athenians joining with them) endeavoured to avert the war, forbearance from which they had thrice before purchased from Philip. It was a shameful and miserable sight, to behold Greece, even then the most distinguished country in the world for power and dignity, a country that had constantly been the conqueror of kings and nations, and was still mistress of many cities, |79 waiting at a foreign court to ask or deprecate war; that the champions of the world should place all their hopes on assistance from another, and should be reduced, by their discords and civil feuds, to such a condition as to flatter a power which had lately been a humble portion of their dependencies; and that the Thebans and Lacedaemonians should especially do this, who were formerly rivals for sovereignty, but now for the favour of a sovereign. Philip, to show his importance, assumed an air of disdain for these great cities, and deliberated to which of the two he should vouchsafe his favour. Having heard both embassies privately, he promised to the one security from war, binding them by an oath to reveal his. answer to nobody; to the other he engaged himself to come and bring them assistance. He charged them both neither to prepare for war, nor to fear it. Different replies being thus given to each, he seized, while they were all free from apprehension, on the pass of Thermopylae.
V. The Phocians in consequence, finding themselves overreached by the cunning of Philip, were the first, in great trepidation, to take arms. But there was no time to make due preparation for war, or to collect auxiliaries, and Philip, unless a surrender should be made, threatened their destruction. Overcome, accordingly, by necessity, they submitted, stipulating only for their lives. But this stipulation was just as faithfully observed by Philip as his promises had been respecting the war which they had deprecated. They were every where put to the sword, or made prisoners; children were not left to their parents, nor wives to their husbands, nor the statues of the gods in the temples. The sole comfort of the wretched people was, that as Philip had defrauded his allies of their share of the spoil, they saw none of their property in the hands of their enemies.
On his return to his kingdom, as shepherds drive their flocks sometimes into winter, sometimes into summer pastures, so he transplanted people and cities hither and thither, according to his caprice, as places appeared to him proper to be peopled or left desolate. The aspect of things was every where wretched, like that of a country ravaged by an enemy. There was not, indeed, that terror of a foe, or hurrying of troops through the cities, or seizure of property and prisoners, which are seen during a hostile invasion; but there prevailed a sorrow |80 and sadness not expressed in words, the people fearing that even their very tears would he thought signs of discontent Their grief was augmented by the very concealment of it, sinking the deeper the less they were permitted to utter it. At one time they contemplated the sepulchres of their ancestors, at another their old household gods, at another the homes in which they had been born, and in which they had had families; lamenting sometimes their own fate, that they had lived to that day, and sometimes that of their children, that they were not born after it.
VI. Some people he planted upon the frontiers of his kingdom to oppose his enemies; others he settled at the extremities of it. Some, whom he had taken prisoners in war, he distributed among certain cities to fill up the number of inhabitants; and thus, out of various tribes and nations, he formed one kingdom and people. When he had settled and put in order the affairs of Macedonia, he reduced the Dardanians and others of his neighbours, who were overreached by his treacherous dealings. Nor did he keep his hands even from his own relations; for he resolved on expelling Arrybas, king of Epirus, who was nearly related to his wife Olympias, out of his kingdom; and he invited Alexander, a step-son of Arrybas, and brother of his wife Olympias (a youth of remarkable beauty), into Macedonia, in. his sister's name, and engaged him, after earnestly tempting him with hopes of his father's throne, and pretending violent love for him, in a criminal intercourse, thinking to find greater submission from him, whether through shame on account of his guilt, or through obligation for a kingdom conferred upon him. When he was twenty years of age, accordingly, he took the kingdom from Arrybas, and gave it to the youth, acting a base part towards both, for he disregarded the claims of consanguinity in him from whom he took the kingdom, and corrupted him to whom he gave it before he made him a king. |81
Philip besieges Byzantium, I.----His transactions with the Scythians; he defeats them, II.----Robbed of spoil by the Triballi; Defeats the Thebans and Athenians, III.----His treatment of them, IV.----Settles the affairs of Greece, in order to an invasion of Persia, V. ----Is killed by Pausanias, with the knowledge, as is supposed, of Olympias and Alexander, VI. VII.----His character, VIII.
I. WHEN Philip had once come into Greece, allured by the plunder of a few cities, and had formed an opinion, from the spoil of such towns as were of less note, how great must be the riches of all its cities put together, he resolved to make war upon the whole of Greece. Thinking that it would greatly conduce to the promotion of his design, if he could get possession of Byzantium, a noble city and seaport, which would be a station for his forces by land and sea, he proceeded, as it shut its gates against him, to lay close siege to it. This city had been founded by Pausanias, king of Sparta, and held by him for seven years, but afterwards, as the fortune of war varied, it was regarded as at one time belonging to the Athenians, and at another to the Lacedaemoniaus; and this uncertainty of possession was the cause that, while neither party supported it as its own, it maintained its liberty with the greater determination. Philip, exhausted by the length of the siege, had recourse to piracy for a supply of money, and having captured a hundred and seventy ships, and sold off the cargoes, he was enabled for a while to relieve his craving wants. But that so great an army might not be wasted in the siege of a single city, he marched away with his best troops, and stormed some towns of the Chersonese. He also sent for his son Alexander, who was then eighteen years of age, to join him, and learn the rudiments of war in the camp of his father. He made an expedition, too, into Scythia, to get plunder, that, after the practice of traders, he might make up for the expenses of one war by the profits of another.
II. The king of the Scythians at that time was Atheas, who, being distressed by a war with the Istrians, sought aid from Philip through the people of Apollonia, on the under standing that he would adopt him for his successor on the throne of Scythia. But in the mean time, the king of the Istrians |82 died, and relieved the Scythians both from the fear of war and the want of assistance. Atheas, therefore, sending away the Macedonians, ordered a message to be sent to Philip, that "he had neither sought his aid, nor proposed his adoption; 101 for the Scythians needed no protection from the Macedonians, to whom they were superior in the field, nor did he himself want an heir, as he had a son living." When Philip heard this, he sent ambassadors to Atheas to ask him to defray at least a portion of the expense of the siege, 102 that he might not be forced to raise it for want of money; "a request," he said, "with which he ought the more readily to comply, as, when he sent soldiers to his assistance, he had not even paid their expenses on the march, to say nothing of remuneration for their service." Atheas, alluding to the rigour of their climate and the barrenness of their soil, which, far from enriching the Scythians with wealth, scarcely afforded them sustenance, replied, that "he had no treasury to satisfy so great a king, and that he thought it less honourable to do little than to refuse altogether; but that the Scythians were to be estimated by their valour and hardiness of body, not by their possessions." Philip, mocked by this message, broke up the siege of Byzantium, and entered upon a war with the Scythians, first sending ambassadors to lull them into security, by telling Atheas that "while he was besieging Byzantium, he had vowed a statue to Hercules, which he was going to erect at the mouth of the Ister, requesting an unobstructed passage to pay his vow to the god, since he was coming as a friend to the Scythians." Atheas desired him, "if his object was ' merely to fulfil his vow, to let the statue be sent to him," promising that "it should not only be erected, but should remain uninjured," but refusing "to allow an army to enter his territories," and adding that, "if he should set up the statue in spite of the Scythians, he would take it down when he was gone, and turn the brass of it into heads for arrows." With feelings thus irritated on both sides, a battle was fought. Though the Scythians were superior in courage and numbers, they were defeated by the subtlety of Philip. Twenty |83 thousand young men and women were taken, and a vast number of cattle, but no gold or silver. This was the first proof which they had of the poverty of Scythia. Twenty thousand fine mares were sent into Macedonia to raise a breed.
III. But as Philip was returning from Scythia, the Triballi met him, and refused to allow him a passage, unless they received a share of the spoil. Hence arose a dispute, and afterwards a battle, in which Philip received so severe a wound through the thigh, that his horse was killed by it; and while it was generally supposed that he was dead, the booty was lost. Thus the Scythian spoil, as if attended with a curse, had almost proved fatal to the Macedonians.
But as soon as he recovered from his wound, he made war upon the Athenians, of which he had long dissembled his intention. The Thebans espoused their cause, fearing that if the Athenians were conquered, the war, like a fire in the neighbourhood, would spread to them. An alliance being accordingly made between the two cities, which were just before 103 at violent enmity with each other, they wearied Greece with embassies, stating that "they thought the common enemy should be repelled by their common strength, for that Philip would not rest, if his first attempts succeeded, until he had subjugated all Greece." Some of the cities were moved by these arguments, and joined themselves to the Athenians; but the dread of a war induced some to go over to Philip. A battle being brought on, 104 though the Athenians were far superior in number of soldiers, they were conquered by the valour of the Macedonians, which was invigorated by constant service in the field. They were not, however, in defeat, unmindful of their ancient valour; for, falling with wounds in front, they all covered the places which they had been charged by their leaders to defend, with their dead bodies. This day put an end to the glorious sovereignty and ancient liberty of all Greece.
IV. Philip's joy for this victory was artfully concealed. He abstained from offering the usual sacrifices 105 on that day; he did not smile at table, or mingle any diversions with the |84 entertainment; he had no chaplets or perfumes; and, as far as was in his power, he so managed his conquest that none might think of him as a conqueror. He desired that he should not be called king, but general of Greece; and conducted himself with such prudence, between his own secret joy on the one hand and the grief of the enemy on the other, that he neither appeared to his own subjects to rejoice, nor to the vanquished to insult them. To the Athenians, whom he had found to be his bitterest enemies, he both sent back their prisoners without ransom, and gave up the bodies of the slain for burial; exhorting them to convey the relics of their dead to the sepulchres of their ancestors. He also sent Alexander his son with his friend Antipater to Athens, to establish peace and friendship with them. The Thebans, however, he compelled to purchase their prisoners, as well as the liberty of burying their dead. Some of the chief men of their city, too, he put to death; others he banished, seizing upon the property of them all. Afterwards, he reinstated in their country those that had been unjustly banished, of whom he made three hundred judges and governors of the city, before whom when the most eminent citizens were arraigned on this very charge, that of having banished them unjustly, they had such spirit that they all acknowledged their participation in the fact, and affirmed that it was better with the state when they were condemned than when they were restored. A wonderful instance of courage! They passed sentence, as far as they could, on those who had the disposal of them for life or death, and set. at nought the pardon which their enemies could give them; and, as they could not avenge themselves 106 by deeds, they manifested their boldness of spirit by words.
V. War being at an end in Greece, Philip directed deputies from all the states to be summoned to Corinth, to settle the condition of affairs. Here he fixed terms of peace for the whole of Greece, according to the merits of each city; and chose from them all a council, to form a senate as it were for the country. But the Lacedaemonians, standing alone, showed |85 contempt alike for the terms and the king; regarding the state of things, which had not been agreed upon by the cities themselves, but forced upon them by a conqueror, as a state, not of peace, but of slavery. The number of troops to be furnished by each state was then determined, whether the king, in case of being attacked, was to be supported by their united force, or whether war was to be made on any other power under him as their general. In all these preparations for war it was not to be doubted that the kingdom of Persia was the object in view. The sum of the force was two hundred thousand infantry and fifteen thousand cavalry. Exclusive of this number there was also the army of Macedonia, and the adjacent barbarians of the conquered nations.
In the beginning of the next spring, he sent forward three of his generals into that part of Asia which was under the power of the Persians, Parmenio, Amyntas, and Attalus, whose sister he had recently married, having divorced Olympias, the mother of Alexander, on suspicion of adultery.
VI. In the meantime, while the troops were assembling from Greece, he celebrated the marriage of his daughter Cleopatra with Alexander, whom he had made king of Epirus. The day was remarkable for the pomp displayed on it, suitable to the magnificence of the two princes, him that gave his daughter in marriage, and him that married her. Magnificent games were also celebrated, and as Philip was going to view them, unattended by his guards, walking between the two Alexanders, his son and son-in-law, Pausanias, a noble Macedonian youth, without being suspected by any one, posting himself in a narrow passage, killed him as he was going through it, and caused a day appointed for joy to be overclouded with mourning for a death. Pausanias, in the early part of his youth, had suffered gross violence at the hands of Attalus, to the indignity of which was added this further affront, that Attalus had exposed him, after bringing him to a banquet and making him drunk, not only to insults from himself, but also to those of the company, as if he had been a common object for ill-treatment, and rendered him the laughing-stock of those of his own age. Being impatient under this ignominy, Pausanias had often made complaints to Philip, but being put off with various excuses, not unattended with ridicule, and seeing his adversary also honoured with a |86 general's commission, he turned his rage against Philip himself, and inflicted on him, as an unjust judge, that revenge which he could not inflict on him as an adversary.107
VII. It is even believed that he was instigated to the act by Olympias, Alexander's mother, and that Alexander himself was not ignorant that his father was to be killed; as Olympias had felt no less resentment at her divorce, and the preferment of Cleopatra to herself, than Pausanias had felt at the insults which he had received. As for Alexander, it is said that he feared his brother by his step-mother as a rival for the throne; and hence it happened that he had previously quarrelled at a, banquet, first with Attalus, and afterwards with his father himself, insomuch that Philip pursued him even with his drawn sword, and was hardly prevented from killing him by the entreaties of his friends. Alexander had in consequence retired with his mother into Epirus, to take refuge with his uncle, and from thence to the king of the Illyrians, and was with difficulty reconciled to his father when he recalled him, and not easily induced by the prayers of his relations to return. Olympias, too, was instigating her brother, the king of Epirus, to go to war with Philip, and would have prevailed upon him to do so, had not Philip, by giving him his daughter in marriage, disarmed him as a son-in-law. With these provocations to resentment, both of them are thought to have encouraged Pausanias, when complaining of his insults being left unpunished, to so atrocious a deed. Olympias, it is certain, had horses prepared for the escape of the assassin; and, when she heard that the king was dead, hastening to the funeral under the appearance of respect, she put a crown of gold, the same night that she arrived, on the head of Pausanias, 108 as he was hanging on a cross; an act which no one but she would have dared to do, as long as the son of Philip was alive. A few days after, she burnt the body of the assassin, when it had been taken down, upon the remains of her husband, and made him a tomb in the same place; she also provided that yearly sacrifices should beper-formed to his manes, possessing the people with a superstitious notion for the purpose. Next she forced Cleopatra, for whose sake she had been divorced from Philip, to hang herself, |87 having first killed her daughter in her lap, and enjoyed the sight of her suffering this vengeance, to which she had hastened by procuring the death of her husband.109 Last of all she consecrated the sword, with which the king had been killed, to Apollo, under the name of Myrtale, 110 which was Olympias's own name when a child. And all these things were done so publicly, that she seems to have been afraid lest it should not be evident enough that the deed was promoted by her.
VIII. Philip died at the age of forty-seven, after having reigned twenty-five years. He had, by a dancing girl of Larissa, a son named Aridaeus, who reigned after Alexander. He had also many others by several wives,111 as is not unusual with princes, some of whom died a natural death, and others by the sword. As a king, he was more inclined to display in war, than in entertainments; and his greatest riches were means for military operations. He was better at getting wealth than keeping it, and, in consequence, was always poor amidst his daily spoliations. Clemency and perfidy were equally valued by him; and no road to victory was, in his opinion, dishonourable. He was equally pleasing and treacherous in his address, promising more than he could perform, He was well qualified either for serious conversation or for jesting. He maintained friendships more with a view to interest than good faith. It was a common practice with him to pretend kindness where he hated, and to counterfeit dislike where he loved; to sow dissension among friends, and try to gain favour from both sides. With such a disposition, his eloquence was very great, his language full of point and studied effect; so that neither did his facility fall short of his art, nor his invention of his facility, nor his art of his invention.
To Philip succeeded his son Alexander, a prince greater than his father, both in his virtues and his vices. Each of the two had a different mode of conquering; the one prosecuted his wars with open force, the other with subtlety; the one delighted in deceiving his enemies, the other in boldly repulsing them. The one was more prudent in council, the other more noble in feeling. The father would dissemble his resentment |88 and often:subdue it; when the son was provoked, there was neither delay nor bounds to his vengeance. They were both too fond of wine, but the ill effects of their intoxication were totally different; the father would rush from a banquet to face the enemy, cope with him, and rashly expose himself to dangers; the son vented his rage, not upon his enemies, but his friends. A battle often sent away Philip wounded; Alexander often left a banquet 112 stained with the blood of his companions. The one wished to reign with his friends, the other to reign over them. The one preferred to be loved, the other to be feared. To literature both gave equal attention. The father had more cunning, the son more honour. Philip was more staid in his words, Alexander in his actions. The son felt readier and nobler impulses to spare the conquered; the father showed no mercy even to his allies. The father was more inclined to frugality, the son to luxury. By the same course by which the father laid the foundations of the empire of the world, the son consummated the glory of conquering the whole world.
The sons of Artaxerxes conspire against him, and are put to death, I.----Causes of the conspiracy, II.----Darius Ochus; Darius Codomannus; end of the Persian monarchy, III.
I. ARTAXERXES, 113 king of Persia, had a hundred and fifteen sons by his concubines, but only three begotten in lawful wedlock, Darius, Ariarathes, and Ochus. Of these the father, from paternal fondness, made Darius king during his own lifetime, contrary to the usage of the Persians, among whom the king is changed only by death; for he thought nothing taken from himself that he conferred upon his son, and expected greater enjoyment from having progeny, if he saw the insignia of royalty adorning his son while he lived. But Darius, after such an extraordinary proof of his father's affection, conceived the design of killing him. He would have been bad enough, if he had meditated the parricide alone, but he became so |89 much the worse, by enticing fifty of his brothers to a participation in his crime, and making them parricides in intention as well as himself. It was certainly a kind of prodigy, that, among so great a number, the assassination should not only have been plotted, but concealed, and that of fifty children there should not have been found one, whom either respect for their father's dignity, or reverence for an old man, or gratitude for paternal kindness, could deter from so horrible a purpose. Was the name of father so contemptible among so many sons, that he who should have been secured even against enemies by their protection, should be beset by their treason, and find it easier to defend himself against his foes than his children?
II. The cause of the intended parricide was even more atrocious than the crime itself; for after Cyrus was killed in the war against his brother, of which mention has been previously 114 made, Artaxerxes had married Aspasia, 115 the concubine of Cyrus; and Darius had required that his father should resign her to him as he had resigned the kingdom. Artaxerxes, from fondness from his children, said at first that he would do so, but afterwards, from a change of mind, and in order plausibly to refuse what he had inconsiderately promised, made her a priestess of the sun, an office which obliged her to perpetual chastity. The young Darius, being incensed at this proceeding, broke out at first into reproaches against his father, and subsequently entered into this conspiracy with his brothers. But while he was meditating destruction for his father, he was discovered and apprehended with his associates, and paid the penalty of his guilt to the gods who avenge paternal authority. The wives of them all, too, together with their children, were put to death, that no memorial of such execrable wickedness might be left. Soon after Artaxerxes died of a disease contracted by grief, having been happier as a king than as a father.
III. Possession of the throne was given to Ochus, who, dreading a similar conspiracy, filled the palace with the blood and dead bodies of his kinsmen and the nobility, being touched with compassion neither for consanguinity, nor sex, nor age, lest, apparently, he should be thought less wicked than his brothers that had meditated parricide. |90
Having thus, as it were, purified his kingdom, he made war upon the Cardusii; in the course of which one Codomannus,116 followed by applause from all the Persians, engaged with one of the enemy that offered himself for single combat, and, having killed his antagonist, regained the victory for his fellow soldiers, as well as the glory which they had almost lost. For this honourable service Codomannus was made governor of Armenia. Some time after, on the death of Ochus, he was chosen king by the people from regard to his former merits, and, that nothing might be wanting to his royal dignity, honoured with the name of Darius. He maintained a long war, with various success, but with great efforts, against Alexander the Great. But being at last overcome by Alexander, and slain 117 by his relations, he terminated his life and the kingdom of the Persians together.
[Footnotes moved to end and numbered]
1. * Among these were Aulus Albinus, consul A.U.C. 602, Cic. Brut. c. 21; Aul. Gell. xi. 8; Lucius Cincius, mentioned by Dionys. Halicarn. i. 6; Caius Julius a senator, Liv. Epit. liii.; Lucius Lucullus, consul A.U.C. 679, Cic. Acad. ii. l; and Cicero, who sent an account of his consulship (A.U.C. 690) written in Greek to his friend Atticus; Ep. ad Att.i. 19.---- Wetzel
2. + Graeco peregrinoque sermone.] Greek, and therefore foreign, not Latin.---- Wetzel.
3. + Vir priscae eloquenticae.] More literally, "A man of ancient eloquence."
4. * Ad te.] In the editions before that of Bongarsius, 1581, the words Marce Antonine followed te, but as they did not appear in the manuscripts which Bongarsius consulted, he omitted them. They are generally supposed to have been inserted by some editor or editors, who confounded Justin the historian with Justin Martyr, who lived in the reign of Antoninus. At what time Justin the historian lived is uncertain. See the biographical notice prefixed. But Pontanus and Isaac Vossius argued for the words being retained; and Scheffer, observing that the oldest editions, and that of Bongarsius himself, based on at least eight manuscripts, have Quod ad te non cognoscendi magis quam emendandi causa transmisi, would read, Quod ad te non tam cognoscendi, Marce Antonine Caesar, quam emendandi, &c., supposing magis to be a corruption of M. A. C., the first letters of the emperor's names.
5. * Principio rerum.] "In the beginning of things," i. e., as soon as there was any government at all.
6. + Penes reges.] See Sallust, Cat. i. 2; Cig. Leg. 2, 11, de Off. ii. 12; Arist. Polit, i.
7. ++ See Sall. Cat. 2; Tacit. Ann. iii. 26; Ov. Met. i. 89.
8. § Justin, ii. 3, makes Sesostris fifteen hundred years older than Ninus; but the truth is that his age and actions are equally involved in obscurity, though Usher says that he was the son of the Amenophis who perished in the Red Sea, and that, consequently, he began his reign A.M. 2513. But Reitz, on Herod, ii. 102, fixes his death in A.M. 2713, eighty-seven years before the taking of Troy. Marsham, again, in his Can. Chr. p. 22, follows Josephus (Ant. viii. 4) in placing him much later, and in making him the same with Shishak, who took Jerusalem and plundered the temple, A.M. 3013, two hundred and thirteen years after Troy was taken. Diodorus Siculus, who speaks of his actions, i. 53----58, settles nothing certain concerning his age.----Wetzel.
9. || Herodotus, iv. 5, calls the first king of Scythia Targitaus.
10. * Continua possessione.] His establishment of his power over the countries was immediately consequent on his subjugation of them.
11. + By Diodorus, ii. 6, he is called Oxyartes. See also Plin. H. N. xxx. 1; August. De Civ. Dei. xxi. 14.---- Wetzel. Concerning the age of Zoroaster all is uncertainty; such is the difference of opinions about it. Agathias and others think that he must have lived at a later date, about the commencement of the Persian empire. See Marsham in Canon. Aegypt. ad Sec. ix.----Gronovius. It has not yet been shown that Zoroaster the king and Zoroaster the Magus were the same person.
12. ++ See Diodorus, xi. 4; Plutarch in Amator.; Aelian. Var. Hist. vii. 1; Polyaen. Stratag. vii. "Conon apud Photium, Narr. ix. states, that Semiramis was not the wife but the daughter of Ninus or Ninyas, and says, eam ignaram cum filio concubuisse, and afterwards, re cognita, married him; after which occurrence it was lawful among the Persians for sons commisceri matribus."----Vossius. To the concubitus cum equo Pliny alludes, H. N. viii. 64.
13. * Concerning the real builder of Babylon, see Strab. xvi. init.; Diod. Sic. ii. 17; Q. Curt. v. 1, 42; Euseb. Chron. init.; Jerome on Hos. c. xi.; Herod. i. 184.; Amm. Marcell. xxii. 20.---- Lemaire.
14. + Arenae vice.] Understand sand mixed with lime.----Berneccerus But the signification of arena is not always confined to that of sand; it sometimes means earth or mud. Thus Virgil, Georg. i. 105, has male pinguis arenae; and, speaking of the Nile, says, Viridem, Aegyptum nigra faecundat arena. Dübner's edition has arenati vice, I know not on what authority.
15. ++ Nemo.] Justin has forgotten the expeditions of Hercules and Bacchus.----Lemaire.
16. * Sive fortunae ipsius sive spei suae puerum nutrire.] She hoped that the child would be restored to the regal station or fortune in which it had been born.----Lemaire.
17. * This word has been received into the text instead of the old Barce (which was a city of Cyrene, into which country the arms of Cyrus had not yet penetrated), on the conjecture of Bongarsius and authority of Ctesias, who states that this city, situated near Ecbatana, wag given to Craesus.---- Wetzel.
18. + Ex universâ Graeciâ.] This is not true. Craesus having asked aid of the Athenians and Lacedaemonians by advice of the Delphic oracle, the Lacedaemonians were proceeding to assist him. but having heard, at the commencement of their march, of his defeat, they went back. Herod, i. 53, 69, 70, 77, 82, 152. -Wetzel.
19. * That is, the kingdom of Lydia, which included almost all Asia Minor. Herod. i. 28. ---- Wetzel.
20. + Securos.] I have adopted securos from Aldus, instead of the other reading saucios, for which Freinshemius happily conjectured sopitos. Though it should be observed that Justin, xxiv. 8, has mero saucius.---- Wetzel.
21. * Parricidium.] See Festus in voce Parrici, and note on Sall. Cat. c. 14, Bonn's Cl. Library.
22. + Sponte evaginato.] Justin seems to think that there was something miraculous in the unsheathing of the sword. Herodotus, iii. 64, says the sword fell from the sheath by accident, the cap at the end of the sheath having dropped off; observing, however, that the occurrence took place on the spot where Cambyses had previously wounded the god Apis.
23. * The rest of the Magi conspired to support the one who was made king.
24. * Religioni.] To the gods, who might signify their will by omens. ---- Wetzel.
25. + Inter solis ortum.] The old editions have ante solis ortum, but inter, which Bongarsius took from his manuscripts, agrees better with the account of Herodotus, who has h(li/ou a)nate/llontoj, and a#ma tw| h(li/w| a)ni/onti. Inter ortum solis is equivalent to dum sol oritur. -- Vorstius.
26. * On the supposition that men sprung out of the ground. See Lucretius, v. 803; Ovid. Met. i. 80; Diod. Sic. i. 10.
27. + Ignis, qui et mundum genuit.] This was the opinion of Heraclitus and some other philosophers. See Lucretius, i. 636.
28. * Nisi excluso Nilo.] Excluded from the land, or confined to its channel.---- Wetzel.
29. + Hominum vetustate ultimam.] The farthest back in the antiquity of its inhabitants."
30. ++ A tergo.] i. e. towards the west.
31. § Asia Minor.---- Wetzel.
32. || In plaustris.] See Hor. Od. iii. 24, 9.
33. +++ Ferinis aut murinis.] By mures is to be understood small animals in general, as cats, weasels, badgers, rabbits, hares, foxes. Thus Hesychius says that the si/mwr is a muo_j a)gri/on ei]doj among the Parthians, the skin of which they use for garments. So Ammianus Marcellinus, xxxi. 2, says of the Huns, that they wear garments ex pellibus silvestrium, murium consarcinatis.---- Wetzel. By mus Ponticus, Plin. H. N. x. 73, is generally understood the ermine or squirrel. Seneca, Ep. 90, says, that the Scythians wear skins vulpium ac murium. See also Plin. H. N. xxx. 6.
34. * One expedition only is mentioned by Herodotus.---- Wetzel.
35. + Lenonibus.] Messenger, mediator, or conciliator, seems to have been the primary meaning of the word leno. Priscian derives it from lento. Maxima lena mora est, says Ovid; and vox sua lena fuit, A. Am. iii. 316.
36. * Herodotus, on the contrary, with Diodorus Siculus, and Dicaearchus, say, that the Scythians were put to flight by Sesostris, who conquered every nation that he attacked.---- Wetzel.
37. + Herodotus, iv. 110, 117, gives a different account; and another is given by Diod. Siculus, ii. 45. Compare Orosius, i. 15; Ammian. Marcellinus, lib. xxii.; Eustath. on Dionysius; Strabo, lib. ii. says much on this subject, deeming all the accounts fabulous.----Lemaire.
38. * From a) privative, and mazo&j, + Asia Minor.
39. * See, on the praise of Athens, Lucret, vi. 1; Aelian. Var. Hist, iii 38; Strabo, lib. xix.; Thucyd. lib. i.; Diod. Sic. lib. i.
40. * All other historians call him Hipparchus. See Thucyd i. 20.
41. * In regnum.] Wetzel, with most editors, has in regno but in regnum is much more to the purpose.
42. * Quid? si non haec et Dario prius, et nunc Xerxes, belli causa nobiscum, foret, &c.] I have not attempted to translate the commencement of this sentence literally. Some editions have a note of interrogation after quid, and others not, and some have quod si; but, as Scheffer says, no one of these readings is satisfactory. Lemaire plausibly conjectures Quasi non haec, &c.
43. * Ex istâ obsidione.] They being hemmed in by the Persian fleet like enemies.---- Wetzel.
44. + Abditis insulis.] He calls the islands abditae because they were situated in the innermost recess of the [Saronic] gulf.---- Vossius. We may suppose Salamis and Aegina to be meant.---- Vorstius. See Corn. Nep. Them. 2, 8; Herod. viii. 41.
45. * Xerxes himself.
46. * Erat res spectaculo digna, et aestimatione sortis humanae, rerum varietate mirandae.] Such is the reading of Wetzel and Gronovius. Some editions omit the et. Wetzel gives this comment: "It was a spectacle deserving of attentive contemplation, and one from which you might judge of the lot of man; of the wonderful changeableness of which Xerxes was an example."
47. * Translatis in se vinculis.] Whether this act was altogether voluntary is discussed by J. A. Bos on Corn. Nep. Cim. c. 1.
48. * Quasi somnum fingeret.] As if, being guilty, he had counterfeited himself to be asleep on purpose.----Codrington's Translation.
49. + Successisset.] That is, the Spartans would have accepted him as successor to his brother, had he not preferred to give the throne to his brother's son.
50. * Brevi ] Not in so very short a time, for Lycurgus published hia laws 130 years before the foundation of Rome, and this war commenced eleven years after its foundation, i.e. 141 years after the promulgation of the laws.---- Wetzel.
51. + Post jusjurandum.] That is, after the enrolment of the army, when the soldiers took the oath of service.
52. * From parqe/noj, virgo.] It answers exactly to the German ein Jungfraukind.----Berneccerus.
53. * Achaiae.] So the northern coast of the Peloponnesus was called, Tauchnitz's edition and Dübner's have Asiae instead of Achaiae; but I know not whence they took it. Gronovius, and I believe all the older editors, read Achaiae.
54. * Totam Spartam.] That is, all the neighbourhood of Sparta, all the lands of the Spartans; as in xii. 2, we find in Troja for in agri Trojano. Concerning this expedition, see Thucyd. ii. 19----46; Diod. Sic. ii. 42
55. * Angustis faucibus.] It was supposed that the two countries had formed one tract of land, with merely "a narrow valley or defile between them, and that the sea rushed into this valley and split them asunder.
56. + Superi maris.] The Adriatic.
57. ++ From r(h&gvumi, to break.
58. * Nisi humoris nutrimentis aleretur.] Justin seems to mean nothing more than what he expresses below, that the water carried down with it into the earth a certain portion of air, which kindled, or at least excited, the subterraneous fires. I make this observation lest any one should suppose that he had an idea like that of Sir Humphrey Davy, that water, by coming in contact with certain substances beneath the earth, might be decomposed into gases.
59. + From having tri/a a!kra, three promontories, or three great angular points.
60. * From the Sicani, an Iberian tribe, according to Dionysius Halicarnassensis, lib. i. The Siculi, from whom it was called Sicilia, are said to have come into the island from Italy.---- Wetzel.
61. + A remark scarcely applicable to the subject. Part of the Rhegians were conquered by the other part with the aid of the people of Himera.
62. ++ Jure captivitatis.
63. * It is not easy to see on what ground such a sentence was pronounced; for it is stated at the end of the third chapter that the Catanians themselves sent back their Athenian auxiliaries.
64. * Agis.
65. * They did not so much regard him as a leader deprived of his command by the Athenians, as one who had been entrusted with a similar command by the Lacedaemonians. "Although he had lost his appointment with the Athenians, they considered that he was advanced to equal dignity among the Lacedaemonians."----Berneccerus. "The office of general, which he had lost on the one side, he had recovered on the other."----Graevius.
66. * Major salutis, quam dignitatis, cura fuit.] The Athenians submitted to the condition imposed by the king of Persia, viz., that of transferring the government to the senate, though they might lower their dignity by the submission.
67. * These four hundred composed the senate. See Thucyd. viii. 67, 68.
68. + Lacedaemoniorum duces.] Not strictly; Mindarus was captain of the Lacedaemonians: Pharnabazus, a Persian satrap.
69. * Enimvero tantum in uno viro fuisse momenti, ut, &c.] In such constructions, says Wetzel, we must understand mirandum est, or some thing similar. See ii. 14: Tantam famae velocitatem fuisse; viii. 2, sut fin.; xiv. 5, med.
70. + See iv. 5, init,
71. ++ In Greece, Euboea, Thrace, and Asia Minor.---- Wetzel.
72. * Taxatae sint.] Was at the expense of.
73. * Muri brachia.] The arms of the wall.
74. * These cities had not obeyed the edict of the Lacedaemonians, but had resolved to receive the exiles.
75. + Lysias Syracusanus orator.] He was born at Athens, but is called a Syracusan, because he was the son of a native of Syracuse. He had left Athens at the age of fifteen, among the colonists that went to Thurii in Italy and did not return to Athens till the age of forty-seven, after the defeat of the Athenians in Sicily.
76. * The original stands thus: bellum Atheniensibus inferunt; sed ad colloquium, veluti dominationem recepturi, progressi, &c. Justin seems here to have abridged his author a little too much.
77. * That proper respect might be paid to him as one of the royal family. So Darius, when seized by Bessus, was bound with golden chains, as is stated by Q. Curtius, v. 12, and by Justin, xi. 15.----Berneccerus.
78. * Called Psammitichus by Diodorus Siculus, xiv. 35.----Wetzel.
79. + The modius was not quite half a peck. Its exact content was 1 gall. 7.8576 pints. See Fragments of the Hist. of Sallust; Bohn's Class. Library, Sallust p. 234.
80. * Adorare.] See C. Nepos, Life of Conon, c. 9.
81. + Justin is here in error; for it was not the proceedings of Conon in Asia, but the war raised by the Corinthians, Athenians, and Argives in Europe, that caused the recall of Agesilaus, as indeed Justin himself says, c. 4, med.---- Wetzel.
82. * Pro conjunctione Agesilai.] He was Agesilaus's wife's brother. See Xen. Hell. iii. 4, 29.
83. + The text stands thus: Quos major sollicitudo cruciabat, non tam, ne ipsi quaesitas opes amitterent, quàm lui pristinus Athenienses reciperent. So no alteration is necessary, as Berneccerus remarks, unless, as Vorstius improbably supposes, major may be taken for magna.
84. * Velut mucrone teli.] Faber and Lemaire think these words spurious.
85. * Versificatoresque meliores, quàm duces laudantes.] An obscure mode of expression; but it seems to be equivalent to laudantes magis bonos versificatores quàm bonos duces.
86. + This was not first done at the period of which Justin is speaking, but had previously been done by Pericles, to whom Aristophanes attributes it in more than one passage.---- Wetzel.
87. * See Herod. i. 56; Muller's Dorians, vol. i. Append. i.; Dr. Smith's Classical Dict.; Mannert, vol. vii.; Barker's Lempriere.
88. + Viz. by Alexander the Great.
89. ++ Hom. Il. xxi. 141.
90. § Europa is a part of Thrace by Mount Haemus, but has nothing to do with this passage, in which Justin is speaking only of Macedonia. In my opinion we should read Europia, which is a portion of Macedonia, in which stood the town of Europus, and where it said that Europus, the son of Macedo, reigned.----Is. Vossius. Tanaquil Faber agrees with him.
91. || He came from Argos. See Vell. Pat. i. 6; Diod. Sic. vii. 17, p. 318, ed. Didot.
92. * Sometimes written Aegae, or in the singular Aegea or from ai1c, a goat.
93. + Justin speaks otherwise of him, xi. 7. Photius, in an extract from Conon, (n. 186, p. 423) says, that he was instructed by Orpheus on Mount Pieria, and thence crossed over into Mysia.
94. * Tanta omnium virtutum ornamenta.
95. * Prima puerotiae rudimenta deposuit.] He went through of (experienced, got over) the earliest instruction of his boyhood." Comp. ix. 1. tirocinii rudimenta deponeret. Ponere is used in the same sense, Liv. xxxi. 11.
96. * Who had sent a fleet to Macedonia under Manteias, with the intention of placing on the throne Argaeus the rival of Philip. Diod. Sic. xvi. 2
97. * The Amphictyonic council.
98. * Pro sacrilegio publico.] This is not just. The Athenians did not fight in defence of sacrilege, but merely took the side of the Phocians to stop Philip's progress into Greece.
99. * Wetzel retains Cappadociam, the old reading, in his text, though he condemns it in his note, observing that it is well known Philip never went to Cappadocia. Gronovius suggested Chalcidice. and Tanaquil Faber approved it.
100. + Pari perfidiâ.] Justin, or Trogus, represents Philip's character, through all this account of his wars, in far too unfavourable a light.
101. * Meaning that he had given no such commission to the people of Apollonia, who must therefore have taken it upon themselves both to mention the adoption, as well as to request the auxiliary troops.
102. + Of Byzantium.
103. * Paullo ante.] In the Phocian war. See viii. 1, 8.---- Wetzel.
104. + At Chaeronea in Boeotia, the leaders opposed to Philip being Chares and Lysicles. See Diodor. xvi. 85.---- Wetzel.
105. ++ Solita sacra.] For having obtained a victory.
106. * Wetzel's text has, et quam rebus nequeunt ulcisci, verbis usurpant libertatem. I follow Gronovius, who reads quoniam instead of quam. Faber would retain quam and omit ulcisci. Wetzel's reading cannot be right; nor does he himself attempt to explain or justify it, but remarks only how it may be corrected
107. * He could not call Philip to account in single combat.
108. + He had been apprehended, as he was making his escape, by Perdiccas, and killed. Diod. Sic. xvi. 94.
109. * Parricidio.] See note on Sall. Cat. c. 14.
110. + Sub nomine Myrtalae.] Putting an inscription on it, "Myrta (dedicates this) to Apollo,"
111. ++ Ex variis matrimoniis.
112. * Convivio frequenter excessit.] "As in the cases of Clitus, Parmenio, Philotas."---- Wetzel. But of. these only Clitus was killed at a banquet; frequenter is an absurd exaggeration.
113. + Artaxerxes Mnemon.
114. * Book v. c. 11.
115. + Concerning whom see Aelian. Var. Hist. xii. 1.
116. * Codomannus quidam.] Codomannus was not so obscure, that it was necessary to speak of him as quidam, for his father was Arsames, and his mother Sisygambis, the brother and sister of king Ochus.----Wetzel.
117. + See Book xi. c. 15.
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