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present distresses. But the Pythian bade them give such satisfaction to the Athenians as the Athenians themselves should impose. The Pelasgians, therefore, went to Athens, and professed themselves ready to give satisfaction for the whole injury. But the Athenians, having spread a couch in the Prytaneum in the handsomest way they were able, and having placed by it a table full of all sorts of good things, commanded the Pelasgians to surrender their country to them, in such a condition. But the Pelasgians said, in answer, “When a ship shall perform the voyage in one day by the north wind from your country to ours, we will then deliver it up.” This they said, supposing that it was impossible the thing should happen, because Attica lies far to the south of Lemnos. 140. This took place at that time. But very many years after this, when the Chersonese in the Hellespont became subject to the Athenians, Miltiades, son of Cimon, at a time when the Etesian winds prevailed, having performed the voyage in a ship from Elæus, on the Hellespont, to Lemnos, required the Pelasgians to quit the island, reminding them of the oracle, which the Pelasgians expected could never be accomplished. The Hephæstians accordingly obeyed; but the Myrinæans, not acknowledging the Chersonese to be Attica, were besieged until they also surrendered. Thus the Athenians and Miltiades got possession of Lemnos.
When the news of the battle fought at Marathon reached Darius, son of Hystaspes, who was before much exasperated with the Athenians on account of the attack upon Sardis, he then became much more incensed, and was still more eager to prosecute the war against Greece. Having therefore immediately sent messengers to the several cities, he enjoined them to prepare an army, imposing on each a much greater number 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 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 dig. nity 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, Darius, 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 he 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
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 favourably assisted him in persuading Xerxes. In the first place messengers coming from Thessaly on the part of the Aleuadæ, invited the king, with earnest importunity, to 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 detected 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 amongst them any that portended misfortune to the barbarians, of these he made no mention ; but selecting such as were most favourable, 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.
was a very
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,
? Or “conducted himself."
3 See B. III. chap. 12.
have carefully considered this, in what way I may not fall short of my predecessors in this honour, 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 burnt 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 burnt 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 neighbours, who inhabit the country of Pelops the Phrygian, we shall make the Persian territory co-extensive 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 honourable in our country. But that I may not appear to follow my own counsel only,