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Having been informed of this, they therefore entreated them to direct their course to Salamis. The rest, therefore, held on to Salamis, but the Athenians to their own country; and on their arrival they caused proclamations to be made that every one should save his children and family by the best means he could. Thereupon the greatest part sent away their families to Træzene, some to Ægina, and others to Salamis. They used all diligence to remove them to a place of safety, both from a desire to obey the oracle, and more particularly for the following reason: the Athenians say that a large serpent used to live in the temple as a guard to the Acropolis: they both say this, and, as if it were really there, they do it honour by placing before it its monthly food; the monthly food consists of a honey-cake: this honey-cake having been in former time always consumed, now remained un
with more readiness abandoned the city, since even the goddess had forsaken the Acropolis. As soon as everything had been deposited in a place of safety, they sailed to the encampment. When those from Artemisium stationed their ships at Salamis, the rest of the naval forces of the Greeks being informed of this joined them from Træzene; for they had been ordered to assemble at Pogon, a harbour of the Træzenians. Many more ships were assembled together than had fought
same admiral commanded them as at Artemisium, Eurybiades, son of Euryclides, a Spartan, though he was not of the royal family: the Athenians, however, furnished by far the most and the best sailing ships.
The following joined the feet: From the Peloponnesus, the Lacedæmonians, furnishing sixteen ships; the Corinthians, furnishing the same number as at Artemisium; the Sicyonians furnished fifteen ships; the Epidaurians, ten; the Træzenians, five; and the Hermionians, three; all these, except the Hermionians, being of Doric and Macedonic extraction, having come from Erineum, and Pindus, and last of all from Dryopis. The Hermionians are Dryopians, driven out by Hercules and the Malians, from the country now called Doris. These, then, of the Peloponnesians served in the fleet. The following were from the outer continent: the Athenians, beyond all the rest, alone furnished one hundred and eighty ships; for at Salamis the Platæans did not join their forces to the Athenians, on account of the following circumstance: when the Greeks retired from Artemisium, and were off Chalcis, the Platæans, having landed on the opposite coast in
Bæotia, set about carrying away their families: they, therefore, while saving them, were left behind. The Athenians, when the Pelasgians possessed that which is now called Greece, were Pelasgians, and went by the name of Cranai: under the reign of Cecrops, they were surnamed Cecropidæ; but when Erectheus succeeded to the government, they changed their name for that of Athenians; and when Ion, son of Xuthus, became their leader, from him they were called Ionians. The Megarenes furnished the same complement as at Artemisium; the Ambraciots assisted with seven ships; and the Leucadians, three, these are of Doric extraction, from Corinth. Of the islanders, the Æginetæ furnished thirty ships; they had also other ships ready manned, but with some they guarded their own country, and with thirty the best sailing vessels, they fought at Salamis. The Æginetæ are Dorians, from Epidaurus, and their island formerly had the name of Enone. Next to the Æginetæ, the Chalcidians furnished the same twenty as at Artemisium, and the Eretrians the same seven: these are Ionians. Next, the Ceians furnished the same; they are of Ionian extraction, from Athens. The Naxians furnished four; though they had been sent by their fellowcitizens to join the Medes, like the rest of the islanders; but disregarding their orders, they went over to the Greeks, at the instigation of Democritus, a man eminent among the citizens, and then commander of a trireme. The Naxians also are Ionians, sprung from Athens. The Styreans furnished the same ships as at Artemisium; the Cythnians one, and a penteconter: both these people are Dryopians. The Seriphians, the Siphnians, and the Malians also joined the fleet; for they only of the islanders refused to give earth and water to the Barbarian. All these nations, situated on this side the Thesprotians and the river Acheron, joined the fleet; for the Thesprotians border on the Ampraciots and Leucadians, who joined the fleet from the most distant countries. Of those that dwell beyond them, the Crotoniatæ were the only people who came to assist Greece in this time of danger, with one ship, which Phayllus, who had thrice been victorious in the Pythian games, commanded. The Crotoniatæ are Achæans by extraction. Now the rest joined the fleet, furnishing triremes, but the Malians, Siphnians, and Seriphians, penteconters. The Malians, who are by extraction from Lacedæmon, furnished two; the Siphnians and the Seriphians, who are Ionians from Athens, one each. So that the whole num. ber of ships, besides the penteconters, amounted to three hun. dred and seventy-eight.
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When the leaders from the above-mentioned cities met together at Salamis, they held a council, in which Eurybiades proposed that any one who chose should deliver his opinion, where he thought it would be most advantageous to come to an engagement by sea, of all the places of which they were still in possession: for Attica was already given up, and he made this proposition concerning the rest. Most of the opinions of those who spoke coincided, that they should sail to the isthmus and fight before Peloponnesus; alleging this reason, that if they should be conquered by sea while they were at Salamis, they should be besieged in the island, where no succour could reach them; but if at the isthmus, they might escape to their own cities.
While the commanders from Peloponnesus were debating these matters, an Athenian arrived with intelligence that the barbarian had entered Attica, and was devastating the whole of it by fire. For the army with Xerxes, having taken its route through Bæotia, after having burned the city of the Thespians, who had departed to Peloponnesus, and likewise the city of the Platæans, had arrived at Athens, and was laying waste every part of it. They set fire to Thespia and Platæa, being informed by the Thebans that they were not on the side of the Medes. From the passage over the Hellespont, thence the barbarians began to march, having spent one month there, including the time they were crossing over into Europe; in three months more they were in Attica, when Calliades was archon of the Athenians. They took the city, deserted of inhabitants, but found some few of the Athenians in the temple, with the treasurers of the temple, and some poor people; who, having fortified the Acropolis with planks and stakes, tried to keep off the invaders : they had not withdrawn to Salamis, partly through want of means, and moreover they thought they had found out the meaning of the oracle which the Pythian delivered to them, that the wooden wall “should be impregnable"; imagining that this was the refuge according to the oracle, and not the ships. The Persians, posting themselves on the hill opposite the Acropolis, which the Athenians call the Areopagus, besieged them in the following manner: when they had wrapped tow round their arrows, and set fire to it, they shot them at the fence. Thereupon those Athenians who were besieged still defended themselves, though driven to the last extremity, and the fence had failed them; nor, when the Pisistratidæ proposed them, would they listen to terms of capitulation ; but still defending themselves, they both contrived other means of defence, and when the barbarians approached the gates, they hurled down large round stones; so that Xerxes was for a long time kept in perplexity, not being able to capture them. At length, in the midst of these difficulties, an entrance was discovered by the barbarians; for it was necessary, according to the oracle, that all Attica, on the continent, should be subdued by the Persians. In front of the Acropolis, then, but behind the gates and the road up, where neither any one kept guard, nor would ever have expected that any man would ascend that way, there some of them ascended near the temple of Cecrops's daughter Aglauros, although the place was precipitous. When the Athenians saw that they had ascended to the Acropolis, some threw themselves down from the wall and perished, and others took refuge in the recess of the temple. But the Persians who had ascended first turned to the gates, and having opened them, put the suppliants to death: and when all were thrown prostrate, having pillaged the temple, they set fire to the whole Acropolis.
Xerxes having entire possession of Athens, despatched a messenger on horseback to Susa, to announce to Artabanus his present success. And on the second day after the despatch of the herald, having summoned the exiled Athenians who attended him, he ordered them to offer sacrifices after their own manner, having ascended to the Acropolis; whether he gave this order from having seen a vision in a dream, or a religious scruple came upon him for having set fire to the temple. The exiles of the Athenians performed what was commanded. Why I have recorded these things I will now mention. There is in this Acropolis a shrine of Erectheus, who is said to be earth-born: in this is an olive tree and a sea; which, as the story goes among the Athenians, Neptune and Minerva, when contending for the country, placed there as testimonies. Now it happened that this olive tree was burned by the barbarians with the rest of the temple; but on the second day after the burning, the Athenians who were ordered by the king to sacrifice, when they went up to the temple, saw a shoot from the stump, sprung up to the height of a cubit. This they affirmed.
The Greeks at Salamis, when intelligence was brought them how matters were with respect to the Acropolis of the
of the generals would not wait until the subject before them was decided on, but rushed to their ships and hoisted sail, as about to hurry away; by such of them as remained it was determined to come to an engagement before the isthmus. Night came on, and they, being dismissed from the council,