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whom I have lately mentioned,” being still alive, was governor. The land itself, which is about Mount Pangaeus, is called Phillis, extending westward to the river Angites, which falls into the Strymon; and on the south, reaching to the Strymon itself, which the magi propitiated by sacrificing white horses to it. 114. Having used these enchantments to the river, and many others besides, they marched by the Nine Ways of the Edonians to the bridges, and found the banks of the Strymon united by a bridge." But being informed that this place was called the Nine Ways, they buried alive in it so many sons and daughters of the inhabitants. It is a Persian custom to bury people alive; for I have heard that Amestris, wife of Xerxes, having grown old, caused fourteen children of the best families in Persia to be buried alive, to show her gratitude to the god who is said to be beneath the earth. 115. When the army marched from the Strymon, there is a shore towards the sun-set on which it passed by a Grecian city called Argilus; this and the country above it is called Bisaltia: from thence keeping the bay near the temple of Neptune on the left hand, it went through what is called the plain of Syleus; and passing by Stagirus, a Grecian city, arrived at Acanthus ; taking with them each of the above nations, and those that dwell round Mount Pangaeus, as well as those which I have before enumerated; having those that dwelt near the sea to serve on shipboard, and those above the sea to follow on foot. This road, along which king Xerxes marched his army, the Thracians neither disturb nor sow, but regard it with great veneration even to my time. 116. When he arrived at Acanthus, the Persian enjoined the Acanthians to show them hospitality, and presented them with a Medic dress, and commended them, seeing them ready for the war, and hearing of the excavation at Mount Athos." 117. While Xerxes was at Acanthus, it happened that Artachaees, who had superintended the canal, died of disease ; he was much esteemed by Xerxes, and was of the race of the Achaemenidae, and in stature the tallest of the Persians, for he wanted only four fingers of five royal cubits; and he had the loudest voice • Chap. 107. 7 See chap. 24.
* See chap. 22. The Acanthians, who bordered on Mount Athos, had, probably, facilitated the work.
of any man, so that Xerxes, considering his loss very great, had him carried to the grave and buried him with great pomp ; and the whole army raised up a mound for his sepulchre. To this Artachaees the Acanthians, in obedience to an oracle, offer sacrifice as to a hero, invoking him by name. King Xerxes therefore, when Artachaees died, considered it a great loss. 118. Those of the Grecians who received the army and entertained Xerxes, were reduced to extreme distress, so that they were obliged to abandon their homes; since Antipater, son of Orges, one of the most distinguished citizens, being selected by the Thasians, who received and entertained the army of Xerxes on behalf of the cities on the continent, showed that four hundred talents of silver had been expended on the banquet. 119. In like manner those who superintended in the other cities gave in their accounts. For the banquet was of the following kind, as being ordered long beforehand, and considered of great importance. In the first place, as soon as they heard the heralds proclaiming it all around, the citizens, having distributed the corn that was in the cities, all made flour and meal for many months; and in the next place, they fatted cattle, finding the best they could for money, and fed land and water fowl in coops and ponds, for the entertainment of the army: moreover, they made gold and silver cups and vessels, and all such things as are placed on a table. But these things were made for the king himself, and those who sat at table with him ; for the rest of the army provisions only were required. Wherever the army arrived, a tent was readily pitched, in which Xerxes himself lodged ; but the rest of the army remained in the open air. When meal time came, those
who received them had all the trouble ; but the guests, when
they had been satisfied and passed the night there, on the fol
lowing day, having torn up the tent and taken all the furniture,
went away, leaving nothing, but carrying away every thing.
120. On this occasion, a clever remark was made by Maga
creon of Abdera, who advised the Abderites “to go in a body,
themselves and their wives, to their own temples, and to seat
themselves as suppliants of the gods, beseeching them also
for the future to avert one half of the evils that were coming
upon them; and to express their hearty thanks for what was
passed, that king Xerxes was not accustomed to take food twice every day: for if they had been ordered to prepare a dinner
as well as a supper, they, the Abderites, would have been compelled either not to await the arrival of Xerxes, or, if they had awaited him, they must have been worn down the most miserably of all men.” They, however, though hard put to it, executed the order imposed on them. 121. At Acanthus Xerxes dismissed the ships from his presence to proceed on their voyage, having given orders to the admirals that the fleet should await his arrival at Therma; at Therma which is situated on the Thermaean gulf, and from which that gulf derives its name; for he had heard that that was the shortest way. As far as Acanthus the army marched from Doriscus in the following order. Xerxes, having divided the whole land forces into three bodies, ordered one of them to accompany the fleet along the coast; of this division Mardonius and Masistes were commanders. Another of the three divisions of the army marched inland, commanded by Trintantaechmes and Gersis. But the third division, with which Xerxes himself went, marched between the other two, and had for generals Smerdomenes and Megabyzus. 122. The fleet accordingly, when it had been dismissed by Xerxes, and had passed through the canal which was at Athos extending to the bay on which the cities of Assa, Pilorus, Singus, and Sarta are situate, after that, when it had taken troops on board from those cities, sailed with all speed to the Thermaean bay. Doubling Ampelus, the Toronaean foreland, it passed by the following Greek cities, from which it took ships and men, Torone, Galepsus, Sermyla, Mecyberna, and Olynthus; all which country is now called Sithonia. 123. Xerxes's fleet, stretching across from the cape of Ampelus to the cape of Canastraeum, which is the most prominent point of all Pallene, thence took ships and men from Potidaea, Aphytis, Neapolis, AEga, Therambus, Scione, Menda, and Sana, for these are the cities that belong to what is now Pallene, but was formerly called Phlegra. Coasting along this country, it sailed to the appointed place, taking with them troops also from the cities near Pallene and bordering on the Thermaean gulf; their names are as follows: Lipaxus, Combrea, Lisae, Gigonus, Campsa, Smila, and AEnea. The country in which these cities are situate, is to the present time called by the name of Crossaea. From AEnea, with which I ended my enumeration of the cities, the course of the fleet was direct to the Thermaean gulf and the Mygdonian territory: and sailing on, it reached the appointed place, Therma, and Sindus and Chalestra, on the river Axius, which divides the territories of Mygdonia and Bottiaeis ; on a narrow tract of which, near the sea, stand the cities of Ichnae and Pella. 124. The naval force encamped there near the river Axius, and the city of Therma, and the intermediate places, awaiting the arrival of the king. But Xerxes and the land army marched from Acanthus, taking the road through the interior, wishing to reach Therma. And he marched through the Paeonian and Crestonian territories towards the river Echidorus, which beginning from the Crestonians, flows through the Mygdonian territory, and discharges itself into the marsh which is above the river Axius. 125. While he was marching in this direction lions fell upon his camels that carried provisions: for the lions coming down by night and leaving their usual haunts, seized nothing else, whether beast of burden or man; but they attacked the camels only. And I wonder what the reason could be, that induced the lions to abstain from all the rest, and set upon the camels; a beast which they had never before seen or made trial of 126. But in those parts lions are numerous, and wild bulls, which have very large horns that are brought into Greece. The boundaries of the lions are the river Nestus, which flows through Abdera, and the Achelous, which flows through Acarnania. For no one would ever see a lion any where eastward of the Nestus, throughout the forepart of Europe, nor to the west of the Achelous, in the rest of the continent, but they breed in the tract between these two rivers. 127. When Xerxes arrived at Therma, he there ordered his army to halt. And his army, when encamped, occupied the following district along the coast ; commencing from the city of Therma, and from Mygdonia, to the rivers Lydias and Haliacmon, which divide the territories of Bottiaeis and Macedonia, uniting their waters into the same channel. In these countries, then, the barbarians encamped. Of the rivers above mentioned, the Echidorus, which flows from the Crestonians, was the only one that was not sufficient for the army, but failed. 128. Xerxes seeing from Therma the Thessalonian mountains, Olympus and Ossa, which are of vast size, and having learnt that there was a narrow pass between them, through
which the river Peneus runs, and hearing that at that spot there was a road leading to Thessaly, very much wished to sail and see the mouth of the Peneus; because he designed to march by the upper road through the country of the Macedonians, who dwell higher up, to the territory of the Perrhaebi, near the city of Gonnus; for he was informed that this was the safest way. Accordingly, as he wished, so he did. Haying gone on board a Sidonian ship, in which he always embarked whenever he wished to do any thing of this kind, he made a signal for all the rest of the fleet to get under weigh, leaving the land forces where they were. When Xerxes arrived, and beheld the mouth of the Peneus, he was struck with great astonishment ; and having called his guides, asked if it would be possible to turn the river and conduct it by another channel into the sea. 129. It is said that Thessaly was anciently a lake, since it is enclosed on all sides by lofty mountains. For the side next the east Mount Pelion and Ossa shut in, mingling their bases with each other ; and the side towards the north Olympus shuts in ; and the west, Pindus; and the side towards the mid-day and the south wind Othrys: the space in the midst of the above-mentioned mountains is Thessaly, which is hollow. Since, then, several other rivers flow into it, and these five most noted ones, the Peneus, the Apidanus, the Onochonus, the Enipeus, and the Pamisus; these that have been named, accordingly, meeting together in this plain from the mountains that enclose Thessaly, discharge themselves into the sea through one channel, and that a narrow one, having all before mingled their waters into the same stream ; but as soon as they have mingled together, from that spot the names of the other rivers merge in that of the Peneus.” It is said, that formerly, when the pass and outlet did not yet exist, these rivers, and besides them the lake Boebeis, were not called by the names they now bear, though they flowed not less than they do now ; but that by their stream they made all Thessaly a lake. However, the Thessalians themselves say, that Neptune made the pass through which the Peneus flows; and their story is probable. For whoever thinks that Neptune shakes the earth, and that rents occasioned by earthquakes are the works of this god, on seeing
* Literally, “the river Peneus gaining the victory as to the name, causes the others to be nameless.” 2 2 G