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besides, he knew that the Athenians had been the principal cause of the late disaster of the Persians at sea. If these were won over, he hoped that he should easily become master at sea, which indeed would have been the case; and on land he imagined that he was much superior: thus he calculated that his power would get the upper hand of the Grecian. Perhaps also the oracles had given him this warning, advising him to make Athens his ally; accordingly, relying on them, he sent.
The seventh ancestor of this Alexander was Perdiccas, who obtained the sovereignty of the Macedonians in the following manner: Gauanes, Aëropus, and Perdiccas, three brothers, of the descendants of Temenus, fed from Argos to the Illyrians, and crossing over from the Illyrians into upper Macedonia, they arrived at the city of Lebæa; there they entered into the king's service for wages. One of them had the care of his horses; another, of his oxen; and the youngest of them, Perdiccas, of the lesser cattle. Formerly, even monarchs were poor in wealth, and not only the people; so that the wife of the king was accustomed to cook their food. Whenever the bread of the hireling lad Perdiccas was baked, it became twice as large as at first: and when this always happened, she told it to her husband. It immediately occurred to him, when he heard it, that it was a prodigy, and boded something of importance. Having, therefore, summoned the hirelings, he commanded them to depart out of his territories. They answered that they were entitled to receive their wages, and then they would go. Thereupon the king, hearing about wages, as the rays of the sun reached into the house down the chimney, said, being deprived of his senses by the deity, “I give you this, as your wages equal to your services," pointing to the sun. Gauanes and Aëropus, the elder, stood amazed when they heard this. But the lad, for he happened to have a knife, saying thus, “We accept thy offer, O king,” traced a circle on the floor of the house round the sun's rays, and having so traced the circle, and having drawn the sun's rays three times on his bosom, departed, and the others with him. They accordingly went away; but one of those who were sitting by him informed the king what the lad had done, and how the youngest of them accepted the offer with some design. He, on hearing this, being in a rage, despatched after them some horsemen to kill them. In this country is a river, to which the descendants of these men from Argos sacrifice as their deliverer. It, when the Temenidæ had crossed over, swelled to such a height that the horesmen were
thrawn the Tays, anded a circle, saying this.
himptas of Alceded. AlexanFrom this phistract, th
unable to cross it. They, then, coming to another district of Macedonia, settled near the gardens that are said to have belonged to Midas, son of Gordias; in which wild roses grow, each one having sixty leaves, and surpassing all others in fragrance. In these gardens Silenus was taken, as is related by the Macedonians. Above the gardens is a mountain, called Bermion, inaccessible from the cold. Issuing from thence, when they had possessed themselves of this tract, they subdued the rest of Macedonia. From this Perdiccas, Alexander was thus descended. Alexander was the son of Amyntas, Amyntas of Alcetes, the father of Alcetes was Aëropus, of him Philip, of Philip, Argæus, and of him, Perdiccas, who acquired the sovereignty. Thus, then, was Alexander, son of Amyntas, descended.
When he arrived at Athens, being sent by Mardonius, he spoke as follows: “Men of Athens, Mardonius says thus: A message has come to me from the king, conceived in these terms: 'I forgive the Athenians all the injuries committed by them against me; therefore, Mardonius, do thus: First, restore to them their territory; and next, let them choose, in addition to it, another country, whatever they please, and live under their own laws; and rebuild all their temples which I have burned, if they are willing to come to terms with me.' These orders having come to me, I must of necessity execute them, unless you on your part oppose. And now I say this to you. Why are you so mad as to levy war against the king ? for neither can you get the better of him, nor can you resist him forever. You are acquainted with the multitude of Xerxes's army, and their achievements; you have heard of the force that is even now with me; so that even if you should get the better of us and conquer (of which, however, you can have no hope, if you think soberly), another much more numerous will come against you. Suffer not yourselves, then, to be deprived of your country, and to be continually running a risk for your existence, by equalling yourselves with the king, but be reconciled to him; and it is in your power to be reconciled honourably, since the king is so disposed. Be free, having contracted an alliance with us, without guile or deceit. This, O Athenians, Mardonius charged me to say to you. But I, for my own part, will say nothing of the goodwill I bear toward you; for you would not learn it for the first time. But I entreat you, listen to Mardonius, for I see that you will not always be able to carry on war against Xerxes. For if I had seen this power in you, I would never have come to you bringing such a proposal. For the power of the king is more than human, and his arm exceeding long. If, then, you do not immediately come to terms, when they offer such favourable conditions on which they are willing to agree, I greatly fear for you, who of all the allies dwell in the most beaten road, and who must continually be the only people destroyed, since ye possess a territory exposed, as being between both armies. Be persuaded, then; for this is a high honour to you that the great king, forgiving your offences alone among all the Greeks, is willing to become your friend.” Thus spoke Alexander. But the Lacedæmonians, having been informed that Alexander had arrived at Athens, in order to induce the Athenians to an agreement with the Barbarian; and remembering the oracles, how it was fated that they, with the rest of the Dorians, should be driven out of Peloponnesus by the Medes and Athenians, were very much afraid lest the Athenians should make terms with the Persian, and therefore resolved forthwith to send ambassadors. It so happened that the introduction of both took place at the same time. For the Athenians had purposely delayed the time, well knowing that the Lacedæmonians would hear that an ambassador had come from the Barbarian to negotiate a treaty, and that when they did hear of it, they would send ambassadors with all speed. They therefore designedly so contrived as to show their intentions to the Lacedæmonians. When Alexander had ceased speaking, the ambassadors from Sparta, speaking next, said: “ The Lacedæmonians have sent us to entreat you not to adopt any new measures with respect to Greece, nor to listen to proposals from the barbarians; for neither would it be by any means just nor honourable either in any others of the Greeks, and least of all in you, for many reasons. For you raised this war, against our wish, and the contest arose about your sovereignty; but it now relates to the whole of Greece. Besides, that the Athenians, who are the authors of all these things, should prove the occasion of slavery to Greece, is on no account to be borne; you, who always, and from of old, have been seen to assert the freedom of many nations. We, however, sympathize with you in your difficulties, and that you have already been deprived of two harvests, and that your property has been so long involved in ruin. But in compensation for this, the Lacedæmonians and the allies promise to support your wives and all the rest of your families which are useless in war as long as the war shall continue. Therefore, let not Alexander the Macedonian persuade you, by glossing over the proposal of Mardonius; for this is what he would naturally do; for being himself a tyrant, he aids a tyrant's cause. But you should not so act, if indeed you think rightly; because you know that with barbarians there is neither faith nor truth.” Thus spoke the ambassadors. The Athenians gave the following answer to Alexander: “We ourselves are aware of this, that the power of the Medes is far greater than ours; so that there was no need to insult us with that. But, nevertheless, being ardent for liberty, we will defend ourselves in such manner as we are able. But do not you attempt to persuade us to come to terms with the Barbarian, for we will not be persuaded. Go, then, and tell Mardonius that the Athenians say, so long as the sun shall continue in the same course as now, we will never make terms with Xerxes: but we will go out to oppose him, trusting in the gods, who fight for us, and in the heroes, whose temples and images he, holding them in no reverence, has burned. And do you appear no more in the presence of the Athenians, bringing such proposals; nor, imagining that you do us good service, urge us to do wicked deeds. For we are unwilling that you, who are our guest and friend, should meet with any ungracious treatment at the hands of the Athenians.”
To Alexander they gave this answer; and to the ambassadors from Sparta the following: “That the Lacedæmonians should fear lest we should make terms with the Barbarian was very natural; yet, knowing as you do the mind of the Athenians, you appear to entertain an unworthy dread; for there is neither so much gold anywhere in the world, nor a country so pre-eminent in beauty and fertility, by receiving which we should be willing to side with the Mede and enslave Greece. For there are many and powerful considerations that forbid us to do so, even if we were inclined. First and chief, the images and dwellings of the gods, burned and laid in ruins : this we must needs avenge to the utmost of our power, rather than make terms with the man who has perpetrated such deeds, Secondly, the Grecian race being of the same blood and the same language, and the temples of the gods and sacrifices in common; and our similar customs; for the Athenians to become betrayers of these would not be well. Know, therefore, if you did not know it before, that so long as one Athenian is left alive we will never make terms with Xerxes. Your forethought, however, which you manifest toward us, we admire, in that you provide for us whose property is thus ruined, so as to be willing to support our families; and you have fulfilled the duty of benevolence; we, however, will continue thus in the state we are, without being burdensome to you. Now, since matters stand as they do, send out an army with all possible expedition; for, as we conjecture, the barbarian will in no long time be here to invade our territories, as soon as he shall hear our message that we will do none of the things he required of us. Therefore, before he has reached Attica, it is fitting that we go out to meet him in Bæotia." When the Athenians had given this answer, the ambassadors returned to Sparta.