Page images
PDF
EPUB

fish, which they call papraces and tilones. Those of the Pæonians, then, who were subdued were taken to Asia.

17. When Megabazus had subdued the Pæonians, he sent into Macedonia seven Persians as ambassadors, who next to himself were the most illustrious in the army. They were sent to Amyntas to demand earth and water for king Darius. From the lake Prasias the distance to Macedonia is

very

short. For near adjoining the lake is a mine, from which in later times a talent of silver came in daily to Alexander : beyond the mine, when one has passed the mountain called Dysorum, one is in Macedonia. 18. When therefore the Persians who were sent arrived at the court of Amyntas, on going into the presence of Amyntas, they demanded earth and water for king Darius. He both promised to give these, and invited them to partake of his hospitality; and having prepared a magnificent feast, he entertained the Persians with great courtesy. But after supper, the Persians, who were drinking freely, spoke as follows: “ Macedonian host, it is a custom with us Persians, when we have given a great feast, to introduce our concubines and lawful wives to sit by our side: since therefore

you

have received us kindly, and have entertained us magnificently, and promise to give earth and water to king Darius, do you

follow our custom. To this Amyntas answered, “O Persians, we have no such custom, but that the men should be separated from the women; yet since you, who are our masters, require this also, this shall also be granted to you.” Amyntas, having spoken thus, sent for the women; and they, when they had come, being summoned, sat down in order opposite to the Persians. Thereupon the Persians, seeing the women were beautiful, spoke to Amyntas, saying, “ that what had been done was not at all wise, for that it were better that the women should not have come at all, than that, when they had come, they should not be placed beside them, but sit opposite to them as a torment to their eyes.' Upon this Amyntas, compelled by necessity, ordered them to sit down by the men; and when the women obeyed, the Persians, as being very full of wine, began to feel their breasts ; and some one even attempted to kiss them. 19. Amyntas, when he beheld this, though very indignant, remained quiet, through excessive fear of the Persians. But Alexander, son of Amyntas, who was present, and witnessed this behaviour, being a young man

and inexperienced in misfortune, was no longer able to restrain himself ; so that, bearing it with difficulty, he addressed Amyntas as follows: "Father, yield to your years ; and retire to rest, nor persist in drinking. I will stay here, and furnish the guests with all things necessary.” Amyntas, perceiving that Alexander was about to put some new design in execution, said, “Son, I pretty well discern by your words, that you are burning with rage, and that you wish to dismiss me that you may attempt some new design. I charge you therefore to plan nothing new against these men, lest you cause our ruin, but endure to behold what is being done ; with respect to my retiring, I will comply with your wishes." 20. When Amyntas, having made this request, had retired, Alexander said to the Persians : “Friends, these women are entirely at your service ; and whether you desire to have intercourse with them all, or with any of them, on this point make known your own wishes : but now, as the time for retiring is fast approaching, and I perceive that you have had abundance to drink, let these women, if that is agreeable to you, go and bathe, and when they have bathed, expect their return. Having spoken thus, as the Persians approved his proposal, he sent away the women, as they came out, to their own apartment; and Alexander himself, having dressed a like number of smoothfaced young men in the dress of the women, and having furnished them with daggers, led them in; and as he led them in, he addressed the Persians as follows : “Persians, you appear to have been entertained with a sumptuous feast ; for we have given you not only all we had, but whatever we could procure ; and, which is more than all the rest, we now freely give up to you our mothers and sisters, that you may perceive that you are thoroughly honoured by us with whatever you deserve ; and also that you may report to the king who sent you, that a Greek, the prince of the Macedonians, gave you a good reception both at table and bed." Having thus spoken, Alexander placed by the side of each Persian a Macedonian man, as if a woman ; but they, when the Persians attempted to touch them, put them to death. 21. By this death these perished, both they and their attendants, for they were followed by carriages, and attendants, and all kinds of baggage ; but all these, with the whole of the men, disappeared. But after no long time, a great search was made by the Persians for these men ; but Alexander by his prudence checked their inquiry, by giving a considerable sum of money, and his own sister, whose name was Gygæa, to Bubares a Persian, the chief of those sent to search for those who were lost : thus the inquiry into the death of these Persians being suppressed, was hushed up. 22. That these princes, who are sprung from Perdiccas, are Greeks, as they themselves affirm, I myself happen to know; and in a future part of my historyI will prove that they are Greeks. Moreover, the judges presiding at the games of the Grecians in Olympia have determined that they are so ; for when Alexander wished to enter the lists, and went down there for that very purpose, his Grecian competitors wished to exclude him, alleging, that the games were not instituted for barbarian combatants, but Grecians. But Alexander, after he had proved himself to be an Argive, was pronounced to be a Greek, and when he was to contend in the stadium, his lot fell out with that of the first combatant. In this manner were these things transacted.

23. Megabazus, leading with him the Pæonians, arrived at the Hellespont; and having crossed over from thence, came to Sardis. In the mean time, Histiæus the Milesian was building a wall round the place, which, at his own request, he had received from Darius as a reward for his services in preserving the bridge: this place was near the river Strymon, and its name was Myrcinus. But Megabazus, having heard what was being done by Histiæus, as soon as he reached Sardis, bringing the Pæonians with him, addressed Darius as follows: “O king, what have you done, in allowing a crafty and subtle Greek to possess a city in Thrace, where there is abundance of timber fit for building ships, and plenty of wood for oars, and silver mines? A great multitude of Greeks and barbarians dwell around, who, when they have obtained him as a leader, will do whatever he may command both by day and by night. Put a stop therefore to the proceedings of this man, that you may not be harassed by a domestic war ; but, having sent for him in a gentle manner, stop him : and when you have got him in your power, take care that he never returns to the Greeks." 24. Megabazus, speaking thus, easily persuaded Darius, since he wisely foresaw what was likely to happen. Thereupon, Darius, having sent a messenger to Myrcinus, spoke as follows : “ Histiæus, king Darius says thus : I find on consideration that there is no man better affected to me and my affairs than thyself; and this I have learnt, not by words, but actions ; now therefore, since I have great designs to put in execution, come to me by all means, that I may communicate them to thee.” Histiæus, giving credit to these words, and at the same time considering it a great honour to become a counsellor of the king, went to Sardis : when he arrived, Darius addressed him as follows: “ Histiæus, I have sent for you on this occasion. As soon as I returned from Scythia, and you were out of my sight, I have wished for nothing so much as to see you and converse with you again ; being persuaded that a friend who is both intelligent and well affected, is the most valuable of all possessions ; both of which I am able to testify from my own knowledge concur in you, as regards my affairs. Now then, for you have done well in coming, I make you this offer. Think no more of Miletus, nor of the new-founded city in Thrace; but follow me to Susa, have the same that I have, and be the partner of my table and counsels.” 25. Darius having spoken thus, and having appointed Artaphernes, his brother by the same father, to be governor of Sardis, departed for Susa, taking Histiæus with him; and having nominated Otanes to be general of the forces on the coast, whose father Sisamnes, one of the royal judges, king Cambyses had put to death and flayed, 4 because he had given an unjust judgment for a sum of money. And having had his skin torn off, he had it cut into thongs, and extended it on the bench on which he used to sit when he pronounced judgment: and Cambyses, having so extended it, appointed as judge in the room of Sisamnes, whom he had slain and flayed, the son of Sisamnes, admonishing him to remember on what seat he sat to administer justice. 26. This Otanes, then, who had been placed on this seat, being now appointed successor to Megabazus in the command of the army, subdued the Byzantians and Chalcedonians, and took Antandros, which belongs to the territory of Troas, and Lamponium ; and having obtained ships from the Lesbians, he took Lemnos and Imbrus, both of which were then inhabited by Pelasgians. 27. (Now the Lemnians fought valiantly, and having defended themselves

3 See B. VIII. chap. 137.

Literally “ he cut off all his human skin."

4

for some time, were at length overcome; and over those who survived, the Persians set up Lycaretus as governor, the brother of Mæandrius who had reigned in Samos. This Lycaretus died while governor of Lemnos.) Otanes enslaved and subdued them all ; his reasons for doing so were as follows : some he charged of desertion to the Scythians ; others, of having harassed Darius's army in their return home from the Scythians. Such was his conduct while general of the forces.

28. Afterwards, for the intermission from misfortune was not of long duration, evils arose a second time to the Ionians from Naxos and Miletus. For, on the one hand, Naxos surpassed all the islands in opulence; and on the other hand, Miletus at the same time had attained the summit of its prosperity, and was accounted the ornament of Ionia ; though before this period, it had for two generations suffered excessively from seditions, until the Parians reconciled them; for the Milesians had chosen them out of all the Greeks to settle their differences. 29. The Parians reconciled them in the following manner. When their most eminent men arrived at Miletus, as they saw their private affairs in a dreadful state, they said that they wished to go through their whole country; and, in doing this and going through all Milesia, wheresoever they saw in the devastated country any land well cultivated, they wrote down the name of the proprietor. And having traversed the whole country and found but few such, as soon as they came down to the city, they called an assembly, and appointed to govern the city those persons whose lands they had found well cultivated ; for they said they thought they would administer the public affairs as well as they had done their own. The rest of the Milesians, who before had been split into factions, they ordered to obey them. Thus the Parians reconciled the Milesians. 30. From these two cities at that time misfortunes began to befal Ionia in the following manner.

Some of the opulent men were exiled from Naxos by the people, and being exiled, went to Miletus : the governor of Miletus happened to be Aristagoras, son of Molpagoras, son-in-law and cousin of Histiæus, son of Lysagoras, whom Darius detained at Susa. For Histiæus was tyrant of Miletus, and happened to be at that time at Susa, when the Naxians came, who were before on terms of friendship with Histiæus. The Naxians then, having arrived at Miletus, entreated Aristagoras if he could

« PreviousContinue »