Page images

he had conducted the Persians through all Greece, and shown it to them, to return back again ; he also commanded him to take with him all his movables as presents to his father and brothers, promising to give him many times as much instead. Moreover, he said, that for the purpose of transporting the presents he would give a merchant ship, filled with all kinds of precious things, which should accompany him on his voyage. Now Darius, in my opinion, promised him these things without any deceitful intention ; but Democedes, fearing lest Darius was making trial of him, received all that was given, without eagerness, but said that he would leave his own goods where they were, that he might have them on his return ; the merchant ship which Darius promised him to convey the presents to his brothers, he said he would accept of. Darius having given him these instructions, sent them down to the coast.

136. Accordingly, going down to Phænicia and Sidon, a city of Phænicia, they manned two triremes, and with them also a large trading vessel, laden with all kinds of precious things ; and having prepared every thing, they set sail for Greece ; and keeping to the shore, they surveyed the coasts, and made notes in writing ; at length, having inspected the greatest part of it, and whatever was most remarkable, they proceeded to Tarentum in Italy. There, out of kindness towards Democedes, Aristophilides, king of the Tarentines, first took off the rudders of the Median ships, and next shut up the Persians as spies. Whilst they were in this condition Democedes went to Crotona, and when he had reached his own home, Aristophilides set the Persians at liberty, and restored what he had taken from their ships. 137. The Persians sailing from thence, and pursuing Democedes, arrived at Crotona, and having found him in the public market, they laid hands on him. Some of the Crotonians, dreading the Persian power, were ready to deliver him up; but others seized the Persians in turn, and beat them with staves, though they expostulated in these terms: “Men of Crotona, have a care what you do, you are rescuing a man who is a runaway from the king ; how will king Darius endure to be thus insulted ? How can what you do end well, if you force this man from us? What city shall we sooner attack than this ? What sooner shall we endeavour to reduce to slavery?" Saying this, they did not persuade the Crotonians; but being forcibly deprived of Democedes, and having had the trading vessel which they brought with them taken from them, they sailed back to Asia; nor, as they were deprived of their guide, did they attempt to explore Greece any further.

further. At their departure Democedes enjoined them to tell Darius that he had Milo's daughter affianced to him as his wife, for the name of Milo, the wrestler, stood high with the king; and on this account it appears to me that Democedes spared no expense to hasten this marriage, that he might appear to Darius to be a man of consequence in his own country. 138. The Persians, having set sail from Crotona, were driven to Iapygia, and being made slaves there

, Gillus, a Tarentine exile, ransomed them, and conducted them to king Darius ; and he in return for this professed himself ready to give him whatever he should desire. But Gillus, having first related his mis tunes, asked to be restored to Tarentum; but that he might not disturb Greece, if on his account a great fleet should sail to Italy, he said that the Cnidians alone would suffice to effect his restoration ; thinking that by them, as they were on terms of friendship with the Tarentines, his return would be most easily effected. Darius having promised this, performed it; for having despatched a messenger to Cnidus, he bade them restore Gillus to Tarentum ; but the Cnidians, though they obeyed Darius, could not persuade the Tarentines, and were not strong enough to employ force.

Thus these things ended: and these were the first Persians who came from Asia to Greece, and they, on that occasion, were spies.

139. After these things, king Darius took Samos, first of all the cities, either Grecian or barbarian, and he took it for the following reason. When Cambyses, son of Cyrus, invaded Egypt, many Grecians resorted thither ; some, as one may conjecture, on account of trade; others, to serve as soldiers ; others, to view the country. Of these, the last was Syloson, son of Æaces, brother to Polycrates, and an exile from Samos

. The following piece of good luck befel this Syloson : having put on a scarlet cloak, he walked in the streets of Memphis ; and Darius, who was one of Cambyses' guard, and as yet a man of no great account, seeing him, took a fancy to the cloak, and coming up, wished to purchase it. But Syloson, perceiving that Darius was very anxious to have the cloak, impelled by a divine impulse, said, “I will not sell it for any sum, but I will give it you for nothing, if so it must needs be." Darius, having accepted his offer with thanks, took the cloak. 140. Syloson thought afterwards that he had lost it through his good nature, but when, in course of time, Cambyses died, and the seven rose up against the magus, and of the seven, Darius possessed the throne, Syloson heard that the kingdom had devolved on the man to whom he had given his cloak in Egypt on his requesting it; so having gone up to Susa he seated himself at the threshold of the king's palace, and said he had been a benefactor to Darius. The porter, having heard this, reported it to the king ; but he, wondering, said to the man, “What Grecian is my benefactor, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude, having so lately come to the throne ? Scarcely one of them has as yet come up hither; nor can I mention any thing that I owe to a Greek. However, bring him in, that I may know the meaning of what he says.” The porter introduced Syloson, and as he stood in the midst, the interpreters asked him who he was, and what he had done, that he said he had been a benefactor to the king. Then Syloson related all that had passed respecting the cloak, and that he was the person who gave it. To this the king answered, “ Most generous of men! art thou then the man who, when as yet I had no power, made me a present, small as it was ? yet the obligation is the same as if I were now to receive a thing of great value. In return I will give thee abundance of gold and silver, so that thou shalt never repent having conferred a favour on Darius son of Hystaspes.” To this Syloson replied, “O king, give me neither gold nor silver ; but recover and give me back my country, Samos, which now, since


brother Polycrates died by the hands of Oroetes, a slave of ours has possessed himself of. Give me this without bloodshed and bondage. 141. When Darius heard this, he sent an army under the conduct of Otanes, one of the seven, with orders to accomplish whatever Syloson should desire. Whereupon Otanes, going down to the sea, embarked his army.

142. Mæandrius, son of Mæandrius, held the government of Samos, having had the administration intrusted to him by Polycrates : though he wished to prove himself the most just of men, he was unable to effect his purpose. For when the death of Polycrates was made known to him, he did as follows. First he erected an altar to Jupiter Liberator, and marked round it the sacred enclosure, which is now in the suburbs. Afterwards, when he had done this, he summoned an assembly of all the citizens, and spoke as follows : “ To me, as you know, the sceptre and all the power of Polycrates has been intrusted, and I am now able to retain the government. But what I condemn in another, I will myself, to the utmost of my ability, abstain from doing. For neither did Polycrates please me in exercising despotic power over men equal to himself, nor would any other who should do the like. Now Polycrates has accomplished his fate; and I, surrendering the government into your hands, proclaim equality to all. I require, however, that the following remuneration should be granted to myself ; that six talents should be given me out of the treasures of Polycrates ; and in addition, I claim for myself and my descendants for ever, the priesthood of the temple of Jupiter Liberator ; to whom I have erected an altar, and under whose auspices I restore to you your liberties.” He then made these demands of the Samians

; but one of them rising up said, “You forsooth are not worthy to rule over us, being as you are a base and pestilent fellow rather think how you will render'an account of the wealth that you have had the management of.” 143. Thus spoke a man of eminence among the citizens, whose name was Telesarchus. But Mæandrius, perceiving that if he should lay down the power, some other would set himself up as tyrant in his place, no longer thought of laying it down. To which end, when he had withdrawn to the citadel, sending for each one severally, as if about to give an account of the treasures, he seized them and put them in chains. They then were kept in confinement; but after this, disease attacked Mæandrius; and his brother, whose name was Lycaretus, supposing that he would die, in order that he might the more easily possess himself of the government of Samos, put all the prisoners to death ; for, as it seems, they were not willing to be free.

144. When therefore the Persians arrived at Samos, bringing Syloson with them, no one raised a hand against them, and the partisans of Mæandrius, and Mæandrius himself, said they were ready to quit the island under a treaty; and when Otanes had assented to this, and had ratified the agreement, the principal men of the Persians, having had seats placed for


[ocr errors]

them, sat down opposite the citadel. 145. The tyrant Mæandrius had a brother somewhat out of his senses, whose name was Charilaus ; he, for some fault he had committed, was confined in a dungeon ; and having at that time overheard what was doing, and having peeped through his dungeon, when he saw the Persians sitting quietly down, he shouted and said that he wished to speak with Mæandrius ; but Mæandrius, having heard this, commanded him to be released, and brought into his presence ; and as soon as he was brought there, upbraiding and reviling his brother, he urged him to attack the Persians, saying, Me, O vilest of men, who am your own brother, and have done nothing worthy of bonds, you have bound and adjudged to a dungeon ; but when you see the Persians driving you out and making you houseless, you dare not avenge yourself, though they are so easy to be subdued. But if you are in dread of them, lend me your auxiliaries, and I will punish them for coming here, and I am ready also to send you out of the island. 146. Thus spoke Charilaus ; and Mæandrius accepted his offer, as I think, not that he had reached such a pitch of folly as to imagine that his own power could overcome that of the king, but rather out of envy to Syloson, if without a struggle he should possess himself of the city uninjured. Having therefore provoked the Persians, he wished to make the Samian power as weak as possible, and then to give it up: being well assured that the Persians, if they suffered any ill-treatment, would be exasperated against the Samians ; and knowing also that he had for himself a safe retreat from the island, whenever he chose, for he had had a secret passage dug leading from the citadel to the sea. Accordingly Mæandrius himself sailed

away from Samos; but Charilaus, having armed all the auxiliaries, and having thrown open the gates, sallied out upon the Persians, who did not expect any thing of the kind, but thought every thing had been agreed upon; and the auxiliaries, falling on, slew those of the Persians who were seated in chairs, 2 and who were the principal men among them. But the rest of the Persian army came to their assistance, and the auxiliaries, being hard pressed, were shut up again within the

? Alppopopevnévous Baehr thinks refers to those Persians who were before described as seated opposite the citadel; Coray, quoted by Larcher and others, thinks it means “ those who were carried on litters.”

« PreviousContinue »