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dom? to which the Pythian gave this answer: “ When a mule shall become king of the Medes, then, tender-footed Lydian, flee over pebbly Hermus, nor tarry, nor blush to be a coward.” 56. With this answer, when reported to him, Creesus was more than ever delighted, thinking that a mule should never be king of the Medes instead of a man, and consequently that neither he nor his posterity should ever be deprived of the kingdom. In the next place he began to inquire carefully who were the most powerful of the Greeks whom he might gain over as allies ; and on inquiry found that the Lacedæmonians and Athenians excelled the rest, the former being of Dorian, the latter of Ionic descent : for these were in ancient time the most distinguished, the latter being a Pelasgian, the other an Hellenic nation ; the latter had never emigrated, but the former had very often changed their seat ; for under the reign of Deucalion they inhabited the country of Phthiotis ; and in the time of Dorus, the son of Hellen, the country at the foot of Ossa and Olympus, called Histiæotis : when they were driven out of Histiæotis by the Cadmæans, they settled on Mount Pidnus, at a place called Macednum ; thence they again removed to Dryopis ; and at length coming into Peloponnesus, were called Dorians.
57. What language the Pelasgians used I cannot with certainty affirm ; but if I may form a conjecture from those Pelasgians who now exist, and who now inhabit the town of Crestona above the Tyrrhenians, and who were formerly neighbours to those now called Dorians, and at that time occupied the country at present called Thessaliotis ; and if I may conjecture from those Pelasgians settled at Placia and Scylace on the Hellespont, and who once dwelt with the Athenians, and whatever other cities, which, though really Pelasgian, have changed their name ; if, I say, I may be permitted to conjecture from these, the Pelasgians spoke a barbarous language. And if the whole Pelasgian body did so, the Attic race, being Pelasgic, must at the time they changed into Hellenes have altered their language. For neither do the Crestonians use the same language with any of their neighbours, nor do the people of Placia, but both use the same language ; by which it appears they have taken care to pre
5 For the reason of their separation, see VI. 137.
serve the character of the language they brought with them into those places. 58. The Hellenic race, however, as appears to me, from the time they became a people have used the same language: though, when separated from the Pelasgians, they were at first insignificant, yet from a small beginning they have increased to a multitude of nations, chiefly by a union with many other barbarous nations. Wherefore it appears to me, that the Pelasgic race, being barbarous, never increased to any great extent.
59. Of these nations then Crosus learnt that the Attic was oppressed and distracted by Pisistratus son of Hippocrates, then reigning in Athens : to this Hippocrates, who was at the time a private person, and a spectator at the Olympian games, a great prodigy occurred. For having killed a victim, the caldrons, which were full of flesh and water, bubbled up without
fire and boiled over. Chilon the Lacedæmonian, who was accidentally there, and saw the prodigy, advised Hippocrates, first of all, not to marry any woman by whom he might have children ; or, if he was already married, then to put away his wife ; and if he happened to have a son, to disown him. However, Hippocrates, when Chilon gave this advice, would not be persuaded ; and had afterwards this same Pisistratus ; who, when a quarrel happened between those who dwelt on the sea-coast and the Athenians, the former headed by Megacles son of Alcmæon, the latter by Lycurgus son of Aristolaides, aiming at the sovereign power, formed a third party; and having assembled his partisans under colour of protecting those of the mountains, he contrived this stratagem. Having wounded himself and his mules, he drove his chariot into the public square, as if he had escaped from enemies that designed to murder him in his way to the country ; and besought the people to grant him a guard, having before acquired renown in the expedition against Megara, by taking Nisæa, and displaying other illustrious deeds. The people of Athens, being deceived by this, gave him such of the citizens as he selected, who were not to be his javelin men, but club-bearers, for they attended him with clubs of wood. These men, therefore, joining in revolt with Pisistratus, seized the Acropolis, and thereupon Pisistratus assumed the government of the Atheni
• Nisæa was the port of the Megarians, about two miles from the city.
ans, neither disturbing the existing magistracies, nor altering the laws ; but he administered the government according to the established institutions, ordering
it liberally and well. 60. Not long after, the partisans of Megacles and Lycurgus, being reconciled, drove him out. In this manner Pisistratus first made himself master of Athens, and, his power not being very firmly rooted, lost it. But those who expelled Pisistratus quarrelled anew with one another ; and Megacles, harassed by the sedition, sent a herald to Pisistratus to ask if he was willing to marry his daughter, on condition of having the sovereignty. Pisistratus having accepted the proposal and agreed to his terms, in order to his restitution, they contrive the most ridiculous project that, I think, was ever imagined ; especially if we consider, that the Greeks have from old been distinguished from the barbarians as being more acute and free from all foolish simplicity, and more particularly as they played this trick upon the Athenians, who are esteemed among the wisest of the Grecians. In the Pæanean tribe was a woman named Phya, four cubits high, wanting three fingers, and in other respects handsome ; having dressed this woman in a complete suit of armour, and placed her on a chariot, and having shown her beforehand how to assume the most becoming demeanour, they drove her to the city, having sent heralds before, who, on their arrival in the city, proclaimed what was ordered in these terms: “O Athenians, receive with kind wishes Pisistratus, whom Minerva herself, honouring above all men, now conducts back to her own citadel." They then went about proclaiming this ; and a report was presently spread among the people that Minerva was bringing back Pisistratus ; and the people in the city believing this woman to be the goddess, both adored a human being, and received Pisistratus.
61. Pisistratus having recovered the sovereignty in the manner above described, married the daughter of Megacles in accordance with his agreement. But as he already had grownup sons, and as the Alcmæonidæ were said to be under a curse, he, wishing not to have any children by his newly-married wife, had intercourse with her unnaturally. The woman at first kept the thing a secret, but afterwards, whether ques
7 See the cause of this, B. V. 71.
tioned by her mother or not, she discovered it to her, and she to her husband. He felt highly indignant at being dishonoured by Pisistratus, and in his rage instantly reconciled himself to those of the opposite faction ; 8 but Pisistratus hearing of the designs that were being formed against him, withdrew entirely out of the country, and arriving in Eretria, consulted with his sons. The opinion of Hippias prevailing, to recover the kingdom, they immediately began to collect contributions from those cities which felt any gratitude to them for benefits received ; and though many gave large sums, the Thebans surpassed the rest in liberality. At length (not to give a detailed account) time passed, and every thing was ready for their return, for Argive mercenaries arrived from Peloponnesus; and a man of Naxos, named Lygdamis, who had come as a volunteer, and brought both men and money, showed great zeal in the cause. 62. Having set out from Eretria, they came back in the eleventh year of their exile, and first of all possessed themselves of Marathon. While they lay encamped in this place, both their partisans from the city joined them, and others from the various districts, to whom a tyranny was more welcome than liberty, crowded to them; thus they were collected together. The Athenians of the city, on the other hand, had shown very little concern all the time Pisistratus was collecting money, or even when he took possession of Marathon. But when they heard that he was marching from Marathon against the city, they at length went out to resist him ; so they marched with their whole force against the invaders. In the mean time Pisistratus's party, having set out from Marathon, advanced towards the city, and arrived in a body at the temple of the Pallenian? Minerva, and there took up their position. Here Amphilytus, a prophet of Acarnania, moved by divine impulse, approached Pisistratus, and pronounced this oracle in hexameter verse : “ The cast is thrown, and the net is spread; by the moonlight the tunnies will rush in." 63. He, inspired by the god, uttered this prophecy ; and Pisistratus, comprehending the oracle, and saying he accepted the omen, led on his army. The Athenians of the city were then engaged at their breakfast, and some of them after breakfast had betaken themselves to dice, others to sleep ; so that the army of Pisistratus, falling upon them by surprise, soon put them to flight ; and as they were flying, Pisistratus contrived a clever stratagem to prevent their rallying again, and that they might be thoroughly dispersed. He mounted his sons on horseback and sent them forward ; and they, having overtaken the fugitives, spoke as they were ordered by Pisistratus, bidding them be of good cheer, and to depart every man to his own home. 64. The Athenians yielded a ready obedience, and thus Pisistratus, having a third time possessed himself of Athens, secured his power more firmly both by the aid of auxiliary forces, and by revenues partly collected at home and partly drawn from the river Strymon.2 He also seized as hostages the sons of the Athenians who had held out against him, and had not immediately fled, and settled them at Naxos ; which island Pisistratus had formerly subdued, and given in charge to Lygdamis : he, moreover, purified the island of Delos, in obedience to an oracle. And he purified it in the following manner : having dug up the dead bodies, as far as the prospect from the temple reached, he removed them to another part of Delos. Thus Pisistratus ruled despotically over the Athenians ; but of them, some had fallen in the battle, and others fled from their homes with the son of Alcmæon.3
8 Schweighæuser translates it “to his former partisans.” See Cary's Lexicon to Herodotus.
9 There were two places of this name, one in Thessaly and another in Eubea. Pisistratus retired to this last. Larcher.
1 Pallene was the name of one of the boroughs of Attica, belonging to the tribe Antiochides, on the road from Marathon to Athens.
65. Crosus, therefore, was informed that such was, at that time, the condition of the Athenians; and that the Lacedæmonians, having extricated themselves out of great difficulties, had first gained the mastery over the Tegeans in war. For during the reign of Leo and Hegesicles, kings of Sparta, the Lacedæmonians were successful in all other wars, and were worsted by the Tegeans only. And long before their reign they had been governed by the worst laws of almost any people in Greece, both as regarded their dealings with one another, and in holding no intercourse with strangers.
2 The country between the Strymon and the Nessus was celebrated for its mines. Larcher.