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deputies, on their return, reported it to the people, many different opinions were given by persons endeavouring to discover the meaning of the oracle, and amongst them the two following most opposed each other. Some of the old men said, they thought the god foretold, that the Acropolis should be saved ; for formerly the Acropolis was defended by a hedge; they therefore on account of the hedge conjectured that this was the wooden wall. Others, on the other hand, said, that the god alluded to their ships, and therefore advised, that, abandoning every thing else, they should get them ready. However, the two last lines uttered by the Pythian perplexed those who said that the wooden wall meant the ships: “O divine Salamis, thou shalt cause the sons of women to perish, whether Ceres is scattered or gathered in.” By these words the opinions of those who said that the ships were the wooden wall, were disturbed : for the interpreters of oracles took them in this sense, that they should be defeated off Salamis, if they prepared for a sea-fight. 143. There was a certain Athenian who had lately risen to eminence, whose name was Themistocles, but he was commonly called the son of Neocles; this man maintained, that the interpreters had not rightly understood the whole, saying thus: “If the word that had been uttered really did refer to the Athenians, he did not think that it would have been expressed so mildly, but thus, “O unhappy Salamis,’ instead of ‘O divine Salamis,’ if the inhabitants were about to perish on its shores; therefore whoever understood them rightly would conclude, that the oracle was pronounced by the god against their enemies, and not against the Athenians.” He advised them, therefore, to make preparations for fighting by sea, since that was the wooden wall. When Themistocles thus declared his opinion, the Athenians considered it preferable to that of the interpreters who dissuaded them from making preparations for a sea-fight, and in short advised them not to make any resistance at all, but to abandon the Attic territory, and settle in some other. 144. Another opinion of Themistocles had before this opportunely . prevailed. When the Athenians, having great riches in the treasury, which came in from the mines of Laureum, were about to share them man by man, to each ten drachmas ; then Themistocles persuaded them to refrain from this distribution, and to build two hundred ships with this money,

meaning for the war with the AEginetae. For that war springing up, at this time saved Greece, by compelling the Athenians to apply themselves to maritime affairs. The ships, however, were used for the purpose for which they were built, but were thus very serviceable to Greece. These, therefore, were already built for the Athenians, and it was necessary to construct others besides. And it was resolved on their consulting after the receipt of the oracle, to await the barbarian, who was invading Greece, with their whole people on shipboard, in obedience to the god, together with such Greeks as would join them. Such, then, were the oracles delivered to the Athenians. 145. When the Greeks who were better affected towards Greece were assembled together, and consulted with each other, and gave pledges of mutual fidelity, it was thereupon determined, on deliberation, that, before all things, they should reconcile all existing enmities and wars with each other. For there were wars in hand between several others, but the most considerable was that between the Athenians and AEginetae. After this, being informed that Xerxes was with his army at Sardis, they determined to send spies into Asia, in order to discover the true state of the king's affairs; and to send ambassadors to Argos to conclude an alliance against the Persians, and others to Sicily, to Gelon, son of Dinomenes, and to Corcyra, and others to Crete, begging them to come to the assistance of Greece; purposing, if possible, that Greece should be united, and that all should combine in adopting the same plan, in dangers which threatened all the Greeks alike; but the power of Gelon was said to be very great, being far superior to that of any other Grecian states. 146. When these things were determined on by them, having reconciled their enmities, they first of all sent three men as spies into Asia; and they having arrived at Sardis, and endeavoured to get intelligence of the king's forces, when they were discovered, were examined by the generals of the land-army, and led out to execution, for sentence of death had been passed upon them. But when Xerxes heard of this, disapproving of the decision of the generals, he sent some of his guards, with orders to bring the spies to him, if they should find them still alive. And when they found them yet living, and brought them into the king's presence, he thereupon, having inquired for what purpose they came,

commanded the guards to conduct them round, and show them all the infantry and cavalry, and when they should be satisfied with seeing them, to send them away unharmed, to whatever country they should choose. 147. He issued these orders, alleging the following reason, that “if the spies were put to death, the Greeks would neither be informed beforehand of his power, that it was greater than could be described; nor would he do any great harm to his enemies, by putting three men to death; whereas, if they returned to Greece, it was his opinion,” he said, “that the Greeks, having heard of his power, would, of their own accord, surrender their liberty, before the expedition should take place, and so it would not be necessary to have the trouble of marching against them.” This opinion of his was like this other one. When Xerxes was at Abydos, he saw certain ships laden with corn from the Pontus, sailing through the Hellespont, on their way to Ægina and the Peloponnesus. Those who sat near him, having heard that the ships belonged to the enemy, were ready to capture them, and fixing their eyes on the king, watched when he would give the order. But Xerxes asked his attendants where they were sailing; they answered, “To your enemies, sire, carrying corn.” He answering, said, “Are not we also sailing to the same place to which these men are, and provided with other things, and with corn? What hurt, then, can they do us by carrying corn thither for us?” The spies, accordingly, having seen the army, and being sent away, returned to Europe. 148. But the Greeks who had engaged in a confederacy against the Persian, after the despatch of the spies, next sent ambassadors to Argos. But the Argives say, that what concerned them occurred as follows; that they heard from the very first of the design of the barbarian against Greece, and having heard of it, and learnt that the Greeks would endeavour to obtain their assistance against the Persian, they sent persons to consult the oracle of Delphi, and inquire of the god “what course it would be best for them to adopt; for six thousand of their number had recently been slain by the Lacedaemonians, and by Cleomenes, son of Anaxandrides:” for this reason they sent, and the Pythian gave the following answer to their inquiries: “Hated by your neighbours, beloved by the immortal gods, holding your lance at rest, keep

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on the watch, and guard your head; the head shall save the body.” They say, that the Pythian gave this answer first, and afterwards, when the ambassadors came to Argos, they were introduced to the council, and delivered their message; and they answered to what was said, that “the Argives were ready to comply, having first made a thirty years' truce with the Lacedaemonians, and provided they might have an equal share of the command of the allied forces; though in justice the whole command belonged to them, yet they would be content with the command over half.” 149. This, they say, was the answer of their senate, although the oracle had forbidden them to enter into any alliance with the Grecians; and that they were anxious to make a thirty years' truce, although they feared the oracle, in order that their children might become men during that time; but if a truce was not made, they were apprehensive lest, if in addition to their present calamity, another failure should befal them in the Persian war, they might in future become subject to the Lacedaemonians. Those of the ambassadors who came from Sparta gave the following answer to what was said by the council: “that with respect to a truce, it should be referred to the people; but with respect to the command, they were instructed to answer, and say, that they had two kings, but the Argives only one; and therefore it was not possible to deprive either of their kings of his command; but that there was nothing to hinder the Argive king from having an equal vote with their two.” Thus the Argives say, that they could not put up with the arrogance of the Spartans, but that they rather chose to be subject to the barbarians, than to yield to the Lacedaemonians; and that they ordered the ambassadors to quit the territories of the Argives before sun-set, otherwise they would treat them as enemies. 150. Such is the account which the Argives themselves give of this affair. But another report is prevalent throughout Greece, that Xerxes sent a herald to Argos, before he set out on his expedition against Greece; and it is related that he, on his arrival, said: “Men of Argos, king Xerxes speaks thus to you. We are of opinion that Perses, from whom we are sprung, was son of Perseus, son of Danae, born of Andromeda, daughter of Cepheus. Thus, then, we must be your descendants: it is, therefore, neither right that we should lead an army against our progenitors, nor that you should assist others, and be opposed to us; but should remain quiet by yourselves: and if I succeed according to my wish, I shall esteem none greater than you.” It is said that the Argives, when they heard this, considered it a great thing, and at once determined neither to promise any thing nor demand any thing in return; but when the Greeks wished to take them into the confederacy, they then, knowing that the Lacedaemonians would not share the command with them, made the demand in order that they might have a pretext for remaining quiet. 151. Some of the Greeks also say that the following circumstance, which occurred many years after, accords with this: Callias, son of Hipponicus, and those who went up with him as ambassadors of the Athenians, happened to be at the Memnonian Susa on some other business; and the Argives at the same time having sent ambassadors to Susa, asked Artaxerxes, son of Xerxes, “whether the alliance which they had formed with Xerxes still subsisted, or whether they were considered by him as enemies.” King Artaxerxes answered, “that it certainly subsisted, and that he considered no city more friendly than Argos.” 152. Now whether Xerxes did send a herald to Argos with such a message, and whether ambassadors of the Argives, having gone up to Susa, asked Artaxerxes about the alliance, I cannot affirm with certainty; nor do I declare any other opinion on the subject than what the Argives themselves say. But this much I know, that if all men were to bring together their own faults into one place, for the purpose of making an exchange with their neighbours, when they had looked closely into their neighbours' faults, each would gladly take back those which they brought with them. Thus, the conduct of the Argives was not the most base. But I am bound to relate what is said, though I am not by any means bound to believe every thing : and let this remark apply to the whole history. For even this is reported, that the Argives were the people who invited the Persian to invade Greece, since their war with the Lacedaemonians went on badly, wishing that any thing might happen to them rather than continue in their present troubles. This is sufficient concerning the Argives. 153. Other ambassadors went from the allies to Sicily, to confer with Gelon ; and amongst them Syagrus on the part of the Lacedaemonians. An ancestor of this Gelon, who was an inhabit

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