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that means caused the destruction of those Greeks who were stationed there. But afterward, fearing the Lacedæmonians, he fled to Thessaly; and when he had fled, a price was set on his head by the Pylagori when the Amphictyons were assembled at Pylæ. But some time after, he went down to Anticyra, and was killed by Athenades, a Trachinian. This Athenades killed him for another reason, which I shall mention in a subsequent part of my history;? he was, however, rewarded none the less by the Lacedæmonians. Another account is given, that Onetes, son of Phanagoras, a Carystian, and Corydallus of Anticyra, were the persons who gave this information to the king, and conducted the Persians round the mountain. But to me this is by no means credible: for in the first place we may draw that inference from this circumstance, that the Pylagori of the Grecians set a price on the head not of Onetes and Corydallus, but of Ephialtes the Trachinian, having surely ascertained the exact truth; and in the next place we know that Ephialtes fled on that account. Onetes, indeed, though he was not a Malian, might be acquainted with this path if he had been much conversant with the country; but it was Ephialtes who conducted them round the mountain by the path, and I charge him as the guilty person. Xerxes, since he was pleased with what Ephialtes promised to perform, being exceedingly delighted, immediately despatched Hydarnes and the troops that Hydarnes commanded; and he started from the camp about the hour of lamp-lighting. The native Malians discovered this pathway; and having discovered it, conducted the Thessalians by it against the Phocians, at the time when the Phocians, having fortified the pass by a wall, were under shelter from an attack. From that time it appeared to have been of no service to the Malians. This path is situated as follows: it begins from the river Asopus, which flows through the cleft; the same name is given both to the mountain and to the path, Anopæa; and this Anopæa extends along the ridge of the mountain, and ends near Alpenus, which is the first city of the Locrians toward the Malians, and by the rock called Melampygus, and by the seats of the Cercopes; and there the path is the narrowest. Along this path, thus situated, the Persians, having crossed the Asopus, marched all night, having on their right the mountains of the Etæans, and on their left those of the Trachinians; morning appeared, and they were on the summit of the mountain. At this part of the
· The promised account is nowhere given in any extant writings of the historian.
mountains, as I have already mentioned, a thousand heavy armed Phocians kept guard, to defend their own country, and to secure the pathway. For the lower pass was guarded by those before mentioned; and the Phocians had voluntarily promised Leonidas to guard the path across the mountain. The Phocians discovered them after they had ascended, in the following manner: for the Persians ascended without being observed, as the whole mountain was covered with oaks; there was a perfect calm, and as was likely, a considerable rustling taking place from the leaves strewn under foot, the Phocians sprang up and put on their arms, and immediately the barbarians made their appearance. But when they saw men clad in armour they were astonished, for, expecting to find nothing to oppose them, they fell in with an army. Thereupon Hydarnes, fearing lest the Phocians might be Lacedæmonians, asked Ephialtes of what nation the troops were; and being accurately informed, he drew up the Persians for battle. The Phocians, when they were hit by many and thick-falling arrows, fled to the summit of the mountain, supposing that they had come expressly to attack them, and prepared to perish. Such was their determination. But the Persians, with Ephialtes and Hydarnes, took no notice of the Phocians, but marched down the mountain with all speed.
To those of the Greeks who were at Thermopylæ, the augur Megistias, having inspected the sacrifices, first made known the death that would befall them in the morning; certain deserters afterward came and brought intelligence of the circuit the Persians were taking; these brought the news while it was yet night, and, thirdly, the scouts running down from the heights, as soon as day dawned, brought the same intelligence. Upon this the Greeks held a consultation, and their opinions were divided. For some would not hear of abandoning their post, and others opposed that view. After this, when the assembly broke up, some of them departed, and being dispersed betook themselves to their several cities; but others of them prepared to remain there with Leonidas. It is said that Leonidas himself sent them away, being anxious that they should not perish; but that he and the Spartans who were there could not honourably desert the post which they originally came to defend. For my own part, I am rather inclined to think that Leonidas, when he perceived that the allies were averse and unwilling to share the danger with him, bade them withdraw; but that he considered it dishonourable for himself to depart: on the other hand, by remaining there, great renown would be left for him, and the pros
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perity of Sparta would not be obliterated. For it had been announced to the Spartans, by the Pythian, when they consulted the oracle concerning this war, as soon as it began, that either Lacedæmon must be overthrown by the barbarians, or their king perish. This answer she gave in hexameter verses to this effect: “ To you, O inhabitants of spacious Lacedæmon, either your vast, glorious city shall be destroyed by men sprung from Perseus, or, if not so, the confines of Lacedæmon mourn a king deceased of the race of Hercules. For neither shall the strength of bulls nor of lions withstand him," with force opposed to force; for he has the strength of Jove; and I say he shall not be restrained, before he has, certainly, obtained one of these for his share." I think, therefore, that Leonidas, considering these things, and being desirous to acquire glory for the Spartans alone, sent away the allies, rather than that those who went away differed in opinion, and went away in such an unbecoming manner. The following in no small degree strengthens my conviction ? on this point: for not only did he send away the others, but it is certain that Leonidas also sent away the augur who followed the army, Megistias, the Acarnanian, who was said to have been originally descended from Melampus, the same who announced from an inspection of the victims what was about to befall them, in order that he might not perish with them. He, however, though dismissed, did not himself depart, but sent away his son, who served with him in the expedition, being his only child. The allies, accordingly, that were dismissed, departed, and obeyed Leonidas; but only the Thespians and the Thebans remained with the Lacedæmonians: the Thebans, indeed, remained unwillingly, and against their inclination, for Leonidas detained them, treating them as hostages; but the Thespians willingly, for they refused to go away and abandon Leonidas and those with him, but remained and died with them. Demophilus, son of Diadromas, commanded them.
Xerxes, after he had poured out libations at sunrise, having waited a short time, began his attack about the time of full market; for he had been so instructed by Ephialtes; for the descent from the mountain is more direct, and the distance much shorter, than the circuit and ascent. The barbarians, therefore, with Xerxes, advanced; and the Greeks with Leonidas, marching out as if for certain death, now advanced much farther than before into the wide part of the defile. For the fortification of the wall had protected them, and they on the
"The Persian king. 9 “Is not the least proof to me."
preceding days, having taken up their position in the narrow part, there fought. But now engaging outside the narrows, great numbers of the barbarians fell. For the officers of the companies from behind, having scourges, flogged every man, constantly urging them forward; in consequence, many of them falling into the sea, perished, and many more were trampled alive under foot by one another; and no regard was paid to any that perished. For the Greeks, knowing that death awaited them at the hands of those who were going round the mountain, being desperate, and regardless of their own lives, displayed the utmost possible valour against the barbarians. Already were most of their javelins broken, and they had begun to despatch the Persians with their swords. In this part of the struggle fell Leonidas, fighting valiantly, and with him other eminent Spartans, whose names, seeing they were deserving men, I have ascertained; indeed, I have ascertained the names of the whole three hundred. On the side of the Persians, also, many other eminent men fell on this occasion, and among them two sons of Darius, Abrocomes and Hyperanthes, born to Darius of Phrataguna, daughter of Artanes; but Artanes was brother to King Darius, and son of Hystaspes, son of Arsames. He, when he gave his daughter to Darius, gave him also all his property, as she was his only child. Accordingly, two brothers of Xerxes fell at this spot, fighting for the body of Leonidas, and there was a violent struggle between the Persians and Lacedæmonians, until at last the Greeks rescued it by their valour, and four times repulsed the enemy. Thus the contest continued until those with Ephialtes came up. When the Greeks heard that they were approaching, from this time the battle was altered. For they retreated to the narrow part of the way, and passing beyond the wall, came and took up their position on the rising ground, all in a compact body, with the exception of the Thebans: the rising ground is at the entrance where the stone lion now stands to the memory of Leonidas. On this spot, while they defended themselves with swords, such as had them still remaining, and their hands and teeth, the barbarians overwhelmed them with missiles, some of them attacking them in front, and having thrown down the wall; and others surrounding and attacking them on every side.
Though the Lacedæmonians and Thespians behaved in this manner, yet Dieneces, a Spartan, is said to have been the bravest man. They relate that he made the following remark, before they engaged with the Medes, having heard a Trachinian say that when the barbarians let fly their arrows they would obscure the sun by the multitude of their shafts, so great were their numbers: but he, not at all alarmed at this, said, holding in contempt the numbers of the Medes, that their Trachinian friend told them everything to their advantage, since if the Medes obscured the sun, they would then have to fight in the shade, and not in the sun. This and other sayings of the same kind they relate that Dieneces, the Lacedæmonian, left as memorials. Next to him, two Lacedæmonian brothers, Alpheus and Maron, sons of Orisiphantus, are said to have distinguished themselves most; and of the Thespians, he obtained the greatest glory whose name was Dithyrambus, son of Harmatides. In honour of the slain, who were buried on the spot where they fell, and of those who died before they who were dismissed by Leonidas went away, the following inscription has been engraved over them: “ Four thousand from Peloponnesus once fought on this spot with three hundred myriads." This inscription was made for all; and for the Spartans in particular: “Stranger, go tell the Lacedæmonians that we lie here, obedient to their commands." This was for the Lacedæmonians; and for the prophet, the following: “This is the monument of the illustrious Megistias, whom once the Medes, having passed the river Sperchius, slew; a prophet, who, at the time well knowing the impending fate, would not abandon the leaders of Sparta.” The Amphictyons are the persons who honoured them with these inscriptions and columns, with the exception of the inscription to the prophet; that of the prophet Megistias, Simonides, son of Leoprepes, caused to be engraved, from personal friendship.
It is said that two of these three hundred, Eurytus and Aristodemus, when it was in the power of both, if they had agreed together, either to return alike safe to Sparta, since they had been dismissed from the camp by Leonidas, and were lying at Alpeni desperately afflicted with a disease of the eyes; or, if they would not return, to have died together with the rest; when it was in their power to do either of these, they could not agree; and being divided in opinion, Eurytus, having heard of the circuit made by the Persians, and having called for and put on his arms, ordered his helot to lead him to the combatants; and when he had led him, the man who led him ran away, but he, rushing into the midst of the throng, perished; but Aristodemus, failing in courage, was left behind. Now if it had happened that Aristodemus alone, being sick, had returned to Sparta, or if both had gone home together, in my opinion the Spartans would not have shown