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how the exceeding good fortune of Polycrates did not escape the notice of Amasis, but was the cause of uneasiness to him ; and when his successes continued to increase, having written a letter in the following terms, he dispatched it to Samos: “ Amasis to Polycrates says thus: It is pleasant to hear of the successes of a friend and ally. But your too great good fortune does not please me, knowing, as I do, that the divinity, is jealous. As for me, I would rather choose that both I and those for whom I am solicitous should be partly successful in our undertakings, and partly suffer reverses ; and so pass life, meeting with vicissitudes of fortune, than being prosperous in all things; for I can not remember that I ever heard of any man, who, having been constantly successful, did not at last utterly perish. Be advised, therefore, by me, and act thus with regard to your good fortune. Having considered what you can find that you value most, and the loss of which would most pain your soul, this so cast away that it may never more be seen of man; and if, after this, successes are not mingled interchangeably with reverses, again have recourse to the remedy I have suggested.” 41. Polycrates, having read this letter, and conceived that Amasis had given him good advice, inquired of himself by the loss of which of his valuables he should most afflict his soul; and, on inquiry, he discovered the following: he had a seal which he wore, set in gold, made of an emerald, and it was the workmanship of Theodorus, the son of Telecles, a Samian ; when, therefore, he had determined to cast this away, he did as follows. Having
ordered to put out to sea; and when he was a considerable distance from the island, he took off the seal, and in the sight of all on board, threw it into the sea. This done, he sailed back again; and having reached his palace, he mourned it as a great misfortune. 42. But on the fifth or sixth day after this, the following circumstance occurred: a fisherman, having caught a large and beautiful fish, thought it a present worthy to be given to Polycrates; he accordingly carried it to the gates, and said that he wished to be admitted to the presence of Polycrates; and when this was granted, he presented the fish, and said, “O king, having caught this, I did not think it right to take it to market, although I get my living by hard labor; but it seemed to me worthy of you and your em.
pire : I bring it therefore, and present it to you.” He, · pleased with these words, replied, “You have done well, and I give you double thanks for your speech and your present, and I invite you to supper.” The fisherman, thinking a great deal of this, went away to his own home; but the servants, opening the fish, found the seal of Polycrates in its belly; and as soon as they had seen it and taken it out, they carried it with great joy to Polycrates, and as they gave him the seal, they acquainted him in what manner it had been found. But when it occurred to him that the event was superhuman, he wrote an account of what he had done and of what had happened, and having written, he dispatched the account to Egypt. 43. But Amasis, having read the letter that came from Polycrates, felt persuaded that it was impossible for man to rescue
not come to a good end, since he was fortunate in every thing, and even found what he had thrown away. Having, therefore, sent a herald to Samos, he said that he must renounce his friendship. He did this for the following reason, lest, if some dreadful and great calamity befell Polycrates, he might himself be grieved for him as for a friend.
44. Against this Polycrates, then, who was so universally prosperous, the Lacedæmonians made war, at the solicitation of those Samians who afterward founded Cydonia in Crete.8 Polycrates, having sent to Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, as he was collecting an army for the invasion of Egypt, begged that he would send to him at Samos and demand some troops. When Cambyses heard this, he readily sent to Samos, requesting Polycrates to furnish a naval force to attend him in his invasion of Egypt; whereupon he, having selected those citizens whom he most suspected of seditious designs, sent them away in forty galleys, enjoining Cambyses not to send them home again. 45. Now some say that these Samians who were sent out by Polycrates never reached Egypt, but, when they were off Carpathius, they conferred together, and resolved to sail no farther. Others say that, having arrived in Egypt, and finding themselves watched, they made their escape from thence; and as they were sailing back to Samos, Polycrates met them with a fleet, and came to an
8 See chap. 59.
engagement; and they who were returning gained the victory and landed on the island, and there having fought on land, they were worsted, and so set sail for Lacedæmon. There are some who say that the party from Egypt conquered Polycrates; in my opinion, giving an erroneous account; for there would have been no need of their calling in the Lacedæmonians if they were themselves able to get the better of Polycrates. Besides, it is not at all probable that one who had a numerous body of foreign mercenaries and of native archers should be beaten by the Samians who returned, who were few in number. Moreover, Polycrates, having shut up together in the arsenal the children and wives of the citizens who were subject to him, had them ready to burn, together with the arsenals themselves, in case they should go over to those who were returning. 46. When the Samians expelled by Polycrates arrived at Sparta, having presented themselves before the magistrates, they made a long harangue, as people very much in earnest; but they, at this first audience, answered them that they had forgotten the first part of their speech, and did not understand the last. After this, having presented themselves a second time, they brought a sack, and said nothing else than “the sack wants meal ;" but the Lacedæmonians replied that the word “sack” was superfluous: it was, however, decreed that they should assist them. 47. Then the Lacedæmonians, having made preparations, set out with an army against Samos; as the Samians say, requiting a former kindness, because they had formerly assisted them with some ships against the Messenians; but as the Lacedæmonians say, they undertook this expedition, not so much for the purpose of assisting the Samians who entreated them, as from a desire to revenge the seizure of the bowl9 which they sent to Crosus, and the corslet which Amasis, king of Egypt, had sent to them as a present; for the Samians had robbed them of the corslet the year before they took the bowl. This corslet was made of linen, with many figures of animals inwrought, and adorned with gold and cotton-wool; and on this account each thread of the corslet makes it worthy of admiration ; for though it is fine, it contains three hundred and sixty threads, all distinct. Such another is that which Amasis dedicated to Minerva at Lindus. See Book I. ch. 70.
* See Book II. ch. 182.
48. The Corinthians readily assisted in abetting the expedition against Samos, because an injury had been also done to them by the Samians in the age preceding this expedition, done about the same time as the seizure of the bowl; for · Periander, son of Cypselus, had sent three hundred youths, of the noblest families of the Corcyræans, to Alyattes at Sardis, for the purpose of emasculation; but when the Corinthians who were conducting the youths touched at Samos, the Samians, having ascertained for what purpose they were being conducted to Sardis, first of all instructed the youths to touch the temple of Diana, and afterward would not suffer the Corinthians to remove the suppliants from the sanctuary; and when the Corinthians denied the youths any sustenance, the Samians instituted a festival, which they still observe in the same way; for when night came on, as long as the youths continued suppliants, they instituted choruses of virgins and young men, and made a law that they should carry cakes of sesame and honey, in order that the Corcyræan youths might seize them and have food. This was continued until the Corinthians, who had charge of the youths, went away and left them; then the Samians sent home the youths to Corcyra. 49. Now if, after the death of Periander, the Corinthians had been on friendly terms with the Corcyræans, they would not have assisted in the expedition against Samos for the above-mentioned cause ; but, in fact, from the first colonization of the island, they have always been at variance with one another; for this reason, therefore, the Corinthians remembered their grudge against the Samians. But Periander had selected the sons of the Corcyraan nobles, and sent them to Sardis to be emasculated, in revenge of an insult offered him; for the Corcyræans had first committed an outrageous deed against him. 50. When Periander had killed his own wife Melissa, it happened that another calamity succeeded the former. He had two sons by Melissa, one seventeen, the other eighteen years of age. These their maternal grandfather, Procles, who was tyrant of Epidaurus, sent for, and treated affectionately, as was natural, they being the sons of his own daughter; but when he sent them home, as he escorted them on their way, he said, "Do you know, my sons, who killed your mother ?" The elder of them took no notice of these words; but the younger, whose name was Lycophron, when he heard it, was so grieved at hearing this, that on his return to Corinth, he neither addressed his father, regarding him as the murderer of his mother, nor entered into conversation with him, nor answered a word to his questions. At last Periander, being exceedingly angry, drove him from the palace. 51. Having driven him out, he inquired of the elder one what their grandfather had said to them. He related to him how kindly he had received them, but he did not mention the words Procles said as he was escorting them, for he had paid no attention to them ; but Periander affirmed that it was impossible but that he had suggested something to them; and he persevered in his inquiries, till the young man recovered his memory, and mentioned this also. Periander, reflecting on this, and resolving not to show any indulgence, sent a messenger to the persons by whom the son who was driven out was entertained, and forbade them to receive him in their houses ; but he, when being driven out from one house he came to another, was driven from this also, since Periander threatened all that received him, and required them to expel him. Being thus driven about, he went to some other of his friends; and they, though in dread, yet received him as the son of Periander. 52. At last Periander made a proclamation, that whoever should either receive him in his house, or converse with him, should pay a sacred fine to Apollo, mentioning the amount. In consequence of this proclamation, therefore, no one would either converse with him, or receive him into their houses ; besides, he himself did not think it right to attempt what was forbidden, but persisting in his purpose, strayed among the porticoes. On the fourth day, Periander, seeing him reduced to a state of filth and starvation, felt compassion, and relaxing, his anger, approached him, and said, “My son, which of these is preferable, your present mode of life, or, by accommodating yourself to your father's wishes, to succeed to the power and riches which I now possess? You, who are my son, and a prince of wealthy Corinth, have chosen a vagabond life, by opposing and showing anger toward him, whom; least of all, you ought so to treat; for if any calamity has occurred in our family on account of which you have conceived any suspicion of me, it has fallen upon me, and I bear the chief burden of it, inasmuch as I murdered her. Do you, therefore, having learned how much better it is to be envied than pitied, and at the same time what it is to be angry with parents