Page images

round the precinct in unconsecrated ground. I am of opinion, if it is allowable to form an opinion concerning divine things, that the goddess would not receive them, because they had burnt her royal temple at Eleusis. Such was the issue of this battle.

66. Artabazus, son of Pharnaces, from the very first had disapproved of Mardonius being left by the king, and at that time, though he strongly dissuaded him, he could not prevail, urging him not to engage. He therefore acted as follows, being displeased with the conduct of Mardonius. Those whom Artabazus commanded, (and he had no small force, but to the number of forty thousand men with him,) these, as soon as the action commenced, well knowing what the result of the battle would be, he drew up in order and advanced, having ordered them to go where he should lead, whenever they should see him advancing at a quick pace; having given this order, he led his forces as if to join in the engagement: but being in advance of his troops, he discovered the Persians flying ; whereupon, he no longer led his forces in the same order, but fed with all possible speed ; neither towards the wooden fortification nor the walls of Thebes, but to the Phocians, wishing to reach the Hellespont as soon as he could. These, then, took that direction. 67. Although the rest of the Greeks in the king's army behaved themselves ill on purpose, the Baotians fought with the Athenians for a considerable time. For those Thebans who sided with the Mede displayed no little zeal, fighting and not willingly behaving ill, so that three hundred of them, the first and most valiant, fell there by the hands of the Athenians : but when they also were put to flight, they fled to Thebes, not as the Persians fled, and the whole throng of the other allies, without having fought at all, or performed any thing considerable. 68. And it is manifest to me that on the side of the barbarians all depended on the Persians, since the others, before they engaged with the enemy, fled at once, because they saw the Persians flying. Accordingly all fled, except the rest of the cavalry and especially the Bæotian : they so far assisted the fugitives, keeping constantly close to them against the enemy, and separating their friends who were flying, from the Greeks. 69. The victors however followed, pursuing and slaying the soldiers of Xerxes. In the midst of this rout news came to the rest of the Greeks who were drawn

up about the Heræum, and were absent from the battle, that a battle had been fought, and Pausanias's party were victorious. When they heard this, without observing any kind of order, the Corinthians took the road that leads by the base of the mountain and the hills direct to the temple of Ceres, and the Megarians and the Phliasians the most level of the roads across the plain. But when the Megarians and Phliasians were near the enemy, the Theban cavalry seeing them hurrying on without any order, charged them with the horse, which Asopodorus, son of Timander, commanded ; and having fallen on them they threw down and killed six hundred of them, and pursuing the rest, drove them headlong to Mount Cithæron. Thus they perished ingloriously.

70. The Persians and the rest of the throng, when they arrived in their flight at the wooden wall, mounted the towers before the Lacedæmonians came up, and having mounted it, defended the wall in the best way they could; so that when the Lacedæmonians arrived, a vigorous battle took place before the walls. For so long as the Athenians were absent, the barbarians defended themselves, and had much the advantage over the Lacedæmonians, as they were not skilled in attacking fortifications; but when the Athenians came up, then a vehement fight at the walls took place, and continued for a long time. But at length the Athenians, by their valour and constancy, surmounted the wall, and made a breach; there at length the Greeks poured in. The Tegeans entered first within the wall; and these were they who plundered the tent of Mardonius, and among other things took away the manger for the horses, all of brass, and well worth seeing: this manger of Mardonius the Tegeans placed in the temple of the Alean Minerva ; but all the other things they took, they carried to the same place as the rest of the Greeks. The barbarians, when the wall had fallen, no longer kept in close order, nor did any one think of valour; but they were in a state of consternation, as so many myriads of men were enclosed within a small space; and the Greeks had such an easy opportunity of slaughtering them, that of an army of three hundred thousand men, except the forty thousand with which Artabazus fled, not three thousand survived. Of Lacedæmonians from Sparta, all that died in the engagement were ninety-one ; of Tegeans, sixteen ; and of Athenians, fifty-two.

71. Of the barbarians, the infantry of the Persians and the cavalry of the Sacæ most distinguished themselves; and Mardonius is said to have shown himself the bravest man. Of the Greeks, though the Tegeans and Athenians showed great bravery, the Lacedæmonians exceeded in valour. I can prove this in no other way, (for all these conquered those opposed to them,) except that they were engaged with the strongest part of the enemy's army, and conquered them. And in my opinion Aristodemus proved himself by far the bravest : he being the only one of the three hundred saved from Thermopylæ, was held in disgrace and dishonour. After him, Posidonius, Philocyon, and Amompharetus the Spartan, most distinguished themselves. However, when it was debated which of them had been the bravest, the Spartans who were present decided, that Aristodemus, evidently wishing to die on account of the disgrace attached to him, and acting like a madman, and leaving the ranks, had performed great deeds ; but that Posidonius, not wishing to die, had shown himself a brave man ; and therefore that he was the better. Perhaps, however, they may have said this through envy. All these that I have mentioned, except Aristodemus, of those that died in this battle, were honoured, but Aristodemus, wishing to die on account of the before-mentioned guilt, was not honoured. 72. These, then, were they who acquired the greatest renown at Platæa. For Callicratides died out of the battle, who came to the army the handsomest man of the Greeks of that day, not only of the Lacedæmonians themselves, but also of the other Greeks; he, when Pausanias was sacrificing, was wounded in the side by an arrow; and then they fought, but he being carried off, regretted his death, and said to Arimnestus a Platæan, that he did not grieve at dying for Greece, but at not having used his arm, and at not having performed any deed worthy of himself, though he desired to perform it. 73. Of the Athenians, Sophanes, son of Eutychides, of the borough of Decelea, is said to have acquired great renown; of the Deceleans, who had once performed an action that was beneficial for all future time, as the Athenians themselves say. For in ancient time, when the Tyndaridæ entered the Attic territory with a numerous army in search of Helen, and drove out the people, not knowing where Helen had been carried to, then they say that the Deceleans, but some say that Decelus himself, being in

dignant at the insolence of Theseus, and alarmed for the whole country of the Athenians, discovered the whole matter to them, and conducted them to Aphidnæ, which Titacus, a native of the place, delivered up to the Tyndaridæ. In consequence of that action, the Deceleans in Sparta continue to enjoy immunity from tribute and precedence up to the present time, so that in the war that occurred many years after these events between the Athenians and Peloponnesians, when the Lacedæmonians ravaged the rest of Attica, they abstained from Decelea. 74. Of this borough was Sophanes, and having at that time distinguished himself above all the Athenians, he has two different accounts given of him. One, that he carried an iron anchor fastened by a brass chain from the girdle of his cuirass ; which, when he approached the enemy, he used to throw out, in order that the enemy, rushing from their ranks, might not be able to move him from his position ; and when the flight of his adversaries took place, he determined to take up the anchor and so pursue. Thus this account is given. But the other account, varying from that before given, relates, that on his shield, which constantly turned round and was never at rest, he wore an anchor as a device, and not one of iron fastened from his cuirass. 75. There is also another splendid feat done by Sophanes, for that when the Athenians invested Ægina, he challenged and slew Eurybates of Argos, who had been victor in the pentathlum. But some time after these events it befel this Sophanes, who proved himself a brave man, as he was commanding the Athenians jointly with Leagrus, son of Glaucon, to die at the hands of the Edoni at Datus, as he was fighting for the gold mines.

76. When the barbarians were overthrown by the Greeks at Platæa, thereupon a woman came voluntarily over to them ; who, when she learnt that the Persians had perished, and that the Greeks were victorious, being a concubine of Pharandates, son of Theaspes, a Persian, having decked herself and her attendants in much gold, and in the richest attire she had, alighted from her carriage, and advanced towards the Lacedæmonians, who were still employed in slaughter, and when she observed that Pausanias directed every thing, having before become acquainted with his name and country, since she had often heard of them, she knew it must be Pausanias, and embracing his knees, spoke as follows: "King of Sparta, de

liver me, your suppliant, from captive servitude ; for you have thus far benefited me, by destroying these men, who pay no regard either to gods or heroes. I am by birth a Coan, daughter to Hegetorides, son of Antagoras. The Persian having taken me away by force at Cos, kept me.” He answered as follows: “Lady, be of good heart, both as a suppliant, and moreover, if you have spoken the truth, and are indeed the daughter of Hegetorides the Coan, who is the best friend I have of all who dwell in those parts.” Having thus spoken, he committed her to the care of the ephori, who were present; and afterwards sent her to Ægina, where she herself wished to go. 77. Presently after the arrival of the lady, the Mantineans came up when all was over ; and finding they were come too late for the engagement, they considered it a great calamity, and confessed that they deserved to be punished.

But being informed that the Medes with Artabazus had fled, they wished to pursue them as far as Thessaly ; but the Lacedæmonians dissuaded them from pursuing the fugitives. They therefore, having returned to their own country, banished the generals of their army from the land. After the Mantineans came the Eleans: and the Eleans, in the same manner as the Mantineans, considering it a calamity, marched away ; and they also on their return home banished their generals. Such were the events relating to the Mantineans and Eleans.

78. In the camp of the Æginetæ at Platæa, was Lampon, son of Pytheas, one of the most eminent of the Æginetæ : he having a most iniquitous proposal to make, went to Pausanias; and having come into his presence, spoke with earnestness as follows: “Son of Cleombrotus, a superhuman feat has been achieved by you, both on account of its greatness and splendour ; and God has granted to you, by delivering Greece, to acquire the greatest renown of all the Greeks whom we know of. But do you complete what remains to be done after this, in order that still greater fame may attend you, and henceforth every barbarian may beware of attempting to do wicked deeds against the Greeks. For when Leonidas died at Thermopylæ, Mardonius and Xerxes, having cut off his head, fixed it on a pole. By requiting him in the same manner, you will have praise first from all the Spartans, and then from the rest of the Greeks. For by impaling Mardonius, you will avenge your uncle Leonidas.” He spoke thus,

« PreviousContinue »