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But if you are in dread of them, lend me your auxiliaries, and I will punish them for coming here, and I am ready also to send you out of the island.” Thus spoke Charilaus; and Mæandrius accepted his offer, as I think, not that he had reached such a pitch of folly as to imagine that his own power could overcome that of the king, but rather out of envy to Syloson, if without a struggle he should possess himself of the city uninjured. Having therefore provoked the Persians, he wished to make the Samian power as weak as possible, and then to give it up: being well assured that the Persians, if they suffered any ill treatment, would be exasperated against the Samians; and knowing also that he had for himself a safe retreat from the island, whenever he chose, for he had had a secret passage dug leading from the citadel to the sea. Accordingly, Mæandrius himself sailed away from Samos; but Charilaus, having armed all the auxiliaries, and having thrown open the gates, sallied out upon the Persians, who did not expect anything of the kind, but thought everything had been agreed upon; and the auxiliaries, falling on, slew those of the Persians who were seated in chairs, and who were the principal men among them. But the rest of the Persian army came to their assistance, and the auxiliaries, being hard pressed, were shut up again within the citadel. But Otanes, the general, when he saw that the Persians had suffered great loss, purposely neglected to obey the orders which Darius had given him at his departure, that he should neither kill nor take prisoner any of the Samians, but deliver the island to Syloson without damage; on the contrary, he commanded his army to put to death every one they met with, both man and child alike. Whereupon one part of the army besieged the citadel, and the rest killed every one that came in their way, all they met, as well within the temples as without. Mæandrius, having escaped from Samos, sailed to Lacedæmon; and having arrived there, and carried with him all the treasures that he had when he set out, he did as follows: When he had set out his silver and golden cups, his servants began to clean them; and he, at the same time, holding a conversation with Cleomenes, son of Anaxandrides, then King of Sparta, led him on to his house. When the king saw the cups, he was struck with wonder and astonishment; upon which Mæandrius bade him take away whatever he pleased, and when Mæandrius had repeated his offer two or three times, Cleomenes showed himself a man of the highest integrity, who refused to accept what was offered ; and being informed that by giving to other citizens he would gain their support, he went to the Ephori, and said that it would be better for Sparta that this Samian stranger should quit the Peloponnesus, lest he should persuade him or some other of the Spartans to become base. And they, having assented, banished Mæandrius by public proclamation. The Persians having drawn Samos as with a net, delivered it to Syloson, utterly destitute of inhabitants. Afterward, however, Otanes, the general, repeopled it, in consequence of a vision in a dream, X
While the naval armament was on its way to Samos, the Babylonians revolted, having very well prepared themselves. For while the magus reigned, and the seven rose up against him, during all that time, and in the confusion, they had made preparations for a siege, and somehow in doing this had escaped observation. But when they openly revolted they did as follows: Having excepted their mothers, each man selected one woman besides, whomsoever he chose, from his own family, but all the rest they assembled together and strangled : the one woman each man selected to cook his food. They strangled them, that they might not consume their provisions. Darius, being informed of this, and having collected all his forces, marched against them; and having advanced to Babylon, he besieged them, who were not at all solicitous about the event, for the Babylonians, mounting on the ramparts of the wall, danced, and derided Darius and his army, and one of them spoke as follows: “Why sit ye there, 0 Persians ? will ye not be off? for ye will take us when mules bring forth young." One of the Babylonians said this, who never expected that a mule would breed. When a year and seven months had now passed, Darius was vexed, and all his army, that they were not able to take the Babylonians; though Darius had recourse to every kind of stratagem and artifice against them. But even so he could not take them; and having tried other stratagems, he made trial of that also by which Cyrus had taken them. However, the Babylonians kept strict guard, and he was not able to surprise them.
Thereupon, in the twentieth month, to Zopyrus, son of that Megabyzus who was one of the seven who dethroned the magus-to this Zopyrus, son of Megabyzus, the following prodigy happened: One of his sumpter mules brought forth young: but when the news was told him, Zopyrus himself, not believing it, went to see the foal, and having strictly charged his servants not to tell any one what had happened, he considered on it: and in consequence of the words of the Babylonian, who at the beginning said, “When even mules bring forth young, then would the city be taken"-in conse
quence of this omen, he thought that Babylon could now be taken; for that the man had spoken under divine influence, and that his own mule had brought forth young. When he thought that it was fated for Babylon to be now taken, he went to Darius, and asked him whether he deemed the taking of Babylon as of very great importance; and having learned that he valued it at a high price, he next considered how he might be the person to take it, and the work might be his own; for among the Persians great achievements are honoured in the highest degree. Now, he concluded that he should not be able to reduce it in any other way than if he should mutilate himself, and desert to the enemy. Thereupon, considering that as a light matter, he inflicted on himself an irremediable mutilation, for having cut off his nose and ears, and having cut his hair in a disgraceful manner, and having scourged himself, he presented himself before Darius. Darius was very much grieved when he beheld a man of high rank so mutilated, and having started from his throne, he shouted aloud and asked who had mutilated him, and for what cause. He answered: “O king, there is no man except yourself who could have power to treat me thus; no stranger has done this, O king, but I have done it to myself, deeming it a great indignity that the Assyrians should deride the Persians." He replied: “ Most wretched of men, you have given the fairest name to the foulest deed, in saying that you have injured yourself thus incurably on account of those who are besieged. How, foolish man, because you are mutilated, will the enemy sooner submit? Have you lost your senses, that you have thus ruined yourself?” He said in answer: “If I had communicated to you what I was about to do, you would not have permitted me, but now, having deliberated with myself, I have done it; now, therefore, if you are not wanting to your own interests, we shall take Babylon. For I, as I am, will desert to the city, and will tell them that I have been thus treated by you; and I think that when I have persuaded them that such is the case, I shall obtain the command of their army. Do you, then, on the tenth day after I shall have entered the city, of that part of your army whose loss you would least regret, station a thousand men over against the gates called after Semiramis ; again after that, on the seventh day after the tenth, station two thousand more against the gate called from Nineveh; and from the seventh day let an interval of twenty days elapse, and then place four thousand more against the gate called from the Chaldæans; but let neither the first nor these carry any defensive arms except swords,
but let them have these. After the twentieth day, straightway command the rest of the army to invest the wall on all sides, but station the Persians for me at those called the Belidian and Cissian gates; for as I think, when I have performed great exploits, the Babylonians will intrust everything to me, and, moreover, the keys of the gates, and then it will be mine and the Persians' care to do what remains to be done."
Having given these injunctions, he went to the gates, turning round as if he were really a deserter. But those who were stationed in that quarter, seeing him from the turrets, ran down, and having opened one door of the gate a little, asked him who he was, and for what purpose he came. He told them that he was Zopyrus, and had deserted to them: the doorkeepers, therefore, when they heard this, conducted him to the assembly of the Babylonians, and standing before them he deplored his condition, saying that he had suffered from Darius the injuries he had inflicted on himself, and that he was so treated because he had advised to raise the siege, since there appeared no means of taking the city. “Now, therefore," he said, “I come to you, O Babylonians, the greatest blessing; and to Darius, his army, and the Persians, the greatest mischief; for he shall not escape with impunity, having thus mutilated me; and I am acquainted with all his designs.” Thus he spoke: and the Babylonians, seeing a man of distinction among the Persians deprived of his ears and nose, and covered with stripes and blood, thoroughly believing that he spoke the truth, and that he had come as an ally to them, were ready to intrust him with whatever he should ask; and he asked the command of the forces. But he, having obtained this from them, acted as he had preconcerted with Darius; for on the tenth day, leading out the army of the Babylonians, and having surrounded the thousand, whom he had instructed Darius to station there first, he cut them all in pieces. The Babylonians therefore perceiving that he performed deeds suitable to his promises, were exceedingly rejoiced, and were ready to obey him in everything. He, therefore, having suffered the appointed number of days to elapse, and again having selected a body of Babylonians, led them out and slaughtered the two thousand of Darius's soldiers. But the Babylonians witnessing this action also, all had the praises of Zopyrus on their tongues. Then he again, having suffered the appointed number of days to elapse, led out his troops according to the settled plan, and having surrounded the four thousand, he cut them in pieces. And when he had accomplished this, Zopyrus was everything to the Babylonians, and he was appointed commander-in-chief, and guardian of the walls. But when Darius, according to agreement, invested the wall all round, then Zopyrus discovered his whole treachery; for the Babylonians, mounting on the wall, repelled the army of Darius that was attacking them; but Zopyrus, having opened the Cissian and Belidian gates, led the Persians within the wall. Those of the Babylonians who saw what was done fled into the Temple of Jupiter Belus; and those who did not see it remained each at his post, until they also discovered that they had been betrayed.
Thus Babylon was taken a second time. And when Darius had made himself master of the Babylonians, first of all he demolished the walls and bore away all the gates, for when Cyrus had taken Babylon before, he did neither of these things; and, secondly, Darius impaled about three thousand of the principal citizens, and allowed the rest of the Babylonians to inhabit the city. And that the Babylonians might have wives, in order that offspring might grow up from them, Darius made the following provision; for the Babylonians had strangled their wives, as already has been mentioned, to prevent the consumption of their provisions; and to that end he enjoined the neighbouring provinces to send women to Babylon, taxing each at a certain number, so that a total of fifty thousand women came together; and from these the Babylonians of our time are descended. No Persian, in the opinion of Darius, either of those who came after, or lived before, surpassed Zopyrus in great achievements, Cyrus only excepted; for with him no Persian ever ventured to compare himself. It is also reported that Darius frequently expressed this opinion, that he would rather Zopyrus had not suffered ignominious treatment than acquire twenty Babylons in addition to that he had. And he honoured him exceedingly; for he every year presented him with those gifts which are most prized by the Persians, and he assigned him Babylon to hold free from taxes during his life, and gave him many other things in addition. From this Zopyrus sprung Megabyzus, who commanded the army in Egypt against the Athenians and their allies; and from this Megabyzus sprung Zopy. rus, who deserted to the Athenians from the Persians.