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than they had furnished before, and ships, horses, corn, and transports. When these orders were proclaimed round about, Asia was thrown into agitation during the space of three years, the bravest men being enrolled and prepared for the purpose of invading Greece; but in the fourth year the Egyptians, who had been subdued by Cambyses, revolted from the Persians, whereupon Darius. only became more eager to march against both. 2. When Darius was preparing for his expeditions against Egypt and Athens, a violent dissension arose between his sons concerning the sovereignty; for, by the customs of the Persians, he was obliged to nominate his successor before he marched out on any expedition. Now Darius, even before he became king, had three sons born to him by his former wife, the daughter of Gobryas; and after his accession to the throne, four others by Atossa, daughter of Cyrus. Of the former, Artabazanes was the eldest; of those after born, Xerxes: and these two, not being of the same mother, were at variance. Artabazanes urged that he was the eldest of all the sons, and that it was the established usage among all men that the eldest son should succeed to the sovereignty. On the other hand, Xerxes alleged that he was son of Atossa, daughter of Cyrus, and that it was Cyrus who had acquired freedom for the Persians. 3. When Darius had not yet declared his opinion, at this very conjuncture, Demaratus, son of Ariston, happened to come up to Susa, having been deprived of the kingly office at Sparta,' and having imposed on himself a voluntary exile from Lacedæmon. This man, having heard of the difference between the sons of Darius, went to Xerxes, as report says, and advised him to say, in addition to what he had already said, that "he was born to Darius after he had become a king, and was possessed of the empire of the Persians; whereas Artabazanes was born to Darius while he was yet a private person; wherefore it was not reasonable or just that any other should possess that dignity in preference to himself, since in Sparta, also,” Demaratus continued to suggest, “this custom prevailed, that if some children were born before their father became king, and one was born subsequently when he had now come to the throne, this last-born son should succeed to the kingdom.” Xerxes having availed himself of the suggestion of Demaratus, Da
See B. VI. chap. 70.
rius, acknowledging that he said what was just, declared him king. But it appears to me that even without this suggestion Xerxes would have been made king, for Atossa had unbounded influence. 4. Darius, having appointed Xerxes to be king over the Persians, prepared to march. However, after these things, and in the year after the revolt of Egypt, it happened that Darius himself, while he was making preparations, died, having reigned thirty-six years in all; nor was hé able to avenge himself either on the Egyptians, who had revolted, or on the Athenians. When Darius was dead, the kingdom devolved on his son Xerxes.
5. Xerxes, however, was at first by no means inclined to make war against Greece, but he levied forces for the reduction of Egypt; but Mardonius, son of Gobryas, who was cousin to Xerxes, and son of Darius's sister, being present, and having the greatest influence with him of all the Persians, constantly held the following language, saying, “Sir, it is not right that the Athenians, having already done much mischief to the Persians, should go unpunished for what they have done. However, for the present, finish the enterprise you have in hand, and when you have quelled the insolence of Egypt, lead your army against Athens, that you may acquire a good reputation among men, and any one for the future may be cautious of marching against your territory.” This language was used by him for the purposes of revenge, but he frequently made the following addition to it, that “ Europe was a very beautiful country, and produced all kinds of cultivated trees, and was very fertile, and worthy to be possessed by the king alone of all mortals.” 6. He spake thus, because he was desirous of new enterprises, and wished to be himself governor of Greece: in time he effected his purpose, and persuaded Xerxes to do as he advised, for other things happening favorably assisted him in persuading Xerxes. In the first place, messengers coming from Thessaly on the part
invade Greece: these Aleuadæ were kings of Thessaly; and, in the next place, those of the Pisistratidæ who had gone up to Susa, holding the same language as the Aleuadæ, still more eagerly pressed him, having with them Onomacritus, an Athenian, a soothsayer, and dispenser of the oracles of Musæus ; for they went up to Susa, having first reconciled their former enmity with him ; for Onomacritus had been banished from Athens by Hipparchus, son of Pisistratus, having been de- . tected by Lasus the Hermionian in the very act of interpolating among the oracles of Musæus one importing that the islands lying off Lemnos would disappear beneath the sea : wherefore Hipparchus banished him, although he had before been very familiar with him. But at that time, having gone up with them, whenever he came into the presence of the king, as the Pisistratidæ spoke of him in very high terms, he recited some of the oracles ; if, however, there was among them any that portended misfortune to the barbarians, of these he made no mention; but, selecting such as were most favorable, he said it was fated that the Hellespont should be bridged over by a Persian, describing the march. Thus he continually assailed? the king, rehearsing oracles, as did the Pisistratidæ and Aleuadæ, by declaring their opinions. 7. When Xerxes was persuaded to make war against Greece, he then, in the second year after the death of Darius, first made an expedition against those who had revolted ; and, having subdued them and reduced all Egypt to a worse state of servitude than it was under Darius, he committed the government to Achæmenes, his own brother, and son of Darius. Some time after, Inarus, 3 son of Psammitichus, a Libyan, slew Achæmenes, to whom the government of Egypt was committed.
8. Xerxes, after the reduction of Egypt, when he was about to take in hand the expedition against Athens, convoked an assembly of the principal Persians, that he might both hear their opinions, and himself make known his intentions before them all. When they were assembled Xerxes addressed them as follows: (1.) “ Men of Persia, I shall not be the first to introduce this custom among you, but shall adopt it, having received it from my forefathers; for, as I learn from older men, we have never remained inactive since we wrested the sovereign power from the Medes, and Cyrus overthrew Astyages : but the deity thus leads the way, and to us who follow his guidance many things result to our advantage. What deeds Cyrus, and Cambyses, and my father Darius have achieved, and what nations they have added to our empire, no one need mention to you who know them well ; but I, since I have succeeded to the throne,
have carefully considered this, in what way I may not fall short of my predecessors in this honor, nor acquire less additional power to the Persians. And, on mature consideration, I find that we may at once acquire an increase of glory, and a country not inferior nor poorer, but even more productive than that we now possess; and, at the same time, that satisfaction and vengeance will accrue to us. Wherefore I have now called you together, that I may communicate to you what I purpose to do. (2.) I intend to throw a bridge over the Hellespont, and to march an army through Europe against Greece, that I may punish the Athenians for the injuries they have done to the Persians and to my father. You have already seen Darius preparing to make war against those people; but he died, and had it not in his power to avenge himself. But I, in his cause and that of the other Persians, will not rest till I have taken and burned Athens, for they first began by doing acts of injustice against my father and me. First of all, having come to Sardis with Aristagoras the Milesian, our servant, on their arrival they burned down both the groves and the temples; and, secondly, how they treated us on our making a descent on their territory, when Datis and Artaphernes led our forces, you all know well enough. (3.) For these reasons, therefore, I have resolved to make war upon them ; and, on reflection, I find the following advantages in this course : if we shall subdue them, and their neighbors, who inhabit the country of Pelops the Phrygian, we shall make the Persian territory coextensive with the air of heaven; nor will the sun look down upon any land that borders on ours; but I, with your assistance, will make them all one territory, marching through the whole of Europe; for I am informed that such is the case; and that no city or nation of the world will remain, which will be able to come to a battle with us, when those whom I have mentioned have been brought into subjection. Thus both those who are guilty and those who are not guilty must equally submit to the yoke of servitude. (4.) But you, by doing what I require, will gratify me exceedingly; when I shall have informed you of the time, it will be the duty of each of you to come promptly; and whosoever shall appear with the best-appointed troops, to him I will give such presents as are accounted most honorable in our country. But that I may not appear to follow my own counsel only, I lay the matter be
fore you, bidding any one of you who wishes to declare his opinion.” Having said this, he ceased.
9. After him Mardonius spoke: “Sir, not only are you the most excellent of all the Persians that have yet been, but even of all that ever shall be ; you also, in other respects, have in speaking touched upon the most important topics and the most exact truth, and especially will not suffer the Ionians, who dwell in Europe, to mock us, worthless as they are ; for it would indeed be a great indignity if, having subdued the Sacæ, Indians, Ethiopians, and Assyrians, and other nations, many and powerful, which never did the Persians any wrong, but, in order only to enlarge our dominions, we hold them in servitude, and yet shall not avenge ourselves on the Greeks, who were the first to commit injustice. Having what to fear? what confluence of numbers ? what power of wealth ? (1.) We are acquainted with their manner of fighting; and we are acquainted with their power, that it is weak. We hold their children in subjection, those who dwell within their territories, and are called Ionians, Æolians, and Dorians. I myself have made trial of these men already, marching against them at the command of your father; and when I advanced as far as Macedonia, and was within a short distance of reaching Athens itself, no one opposed me in battle. (2.) And yet the Greeks are accustomed, as I am informed, to undertake wars without deliberation, from obstinacy and folly; for when they have declared war against one another, having found out the fairest and most level spot, they go down to it and fight; so that the conquerors depart with great loss, and of the conquered I say nothing at all, for they are utterly destroyed; whereas, being of the same language, they ought, by the intervention of heralds and embassadors, to adjust their differences, and in any way rather than by fighting; but if they must needs go to war with each other, they ought to find out where they are each least likely to be conquered, and there try the issue of a battle. The Greeks accordingly, adopting a disadvantageous method, when I marched as far as Macedonia, never ventured so far as to come to a battle. (3.) Will any one, then, O king, have recourse to war, and oppose you, when you lead the multitudes of Asia, and all her ships? In my opinion, indeed, the Grecians will never proceed to such a degree of audacity. But if I should happen to be deceived