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any anger against them. But now, since one of them perished, and the other, who had only the same excuse, refused to die, it was necessary for them to be exceedingly angry with Aristodemus. Some say that Aristodemus thus got safe to Sparta, and on such a pretext; but others, that being sent as a messenger from the army, though he might have arrived while the battle was going on, he would not, but having lingered on the road, survived; while his fellow-messenger, arriving in time for the battle, died. Aristodemus having returned to Lacedæmon, met with insults and infamy. He was declared infamous by being treated as follows: not one of the Spartans would either give him fire or converse with him; and he met with insult, being called Aristodemus the coward. However, in the battle of Platæa, he removed all the disgrace that attached to him. It is also said that another of the three hundred, whose name was Pantites, having been sent as a messenger to Thessaly, survived; and that he, on his return to Sparta, finding himself held in dishonour, hung himself. The Thebans, whom Leontiades commanded, as long as they were with the Greeks, being constrained by necessity, fought against the king's army; but when they saw the forces of the Persians gaining the upper hand, as the Greeks with Leonidas were hastening to the hill, having separated from them, they held out their hands and went near the barbarians, saying the truest thing they could say, that they were both on the side of the Medes, and were among the first who gave earth and water to the king, and that they came to Thermopylæ from compulsion, and were guiltless of the blow that had been inflicted on the king. So that, by saying this, they saved their lives; for they had the Thessalians as witnesses to what they said; they were not, however, fortunate in every respect; for when the barbarians seized them as they up, some they slew, and the greater number of them, by the command of Xerxes, they branded with the royal mark, beginning with the general Leontiades; whose son, Eurymachus, some time afterward, the Platæans slew, when he was commanding four hundred Thebans, and had got possession of the citadel of the Platæans. Thus the Greeks fought at Thermopylæ. And Xerxes, having sent for Demaratus, questioned him, beginning as follows: “ Demaratus, you are an honest man; I judge so from experience; for whatever you said has turned out accordingly. Now tell me how many the rest of the Lacedæmonians may be; and how many them, or whether all, are such as these in war?” He answered: “O king, the number of all the Lacedæmonians is
great, and their cities are many; but I shall inform you of that which you desire to know. In Laconia is Sparta, a city containing about eight thousand men; all these are equal to those who have fought here; the rest of the Lacedæmonians, however, are not equal to these, though brave." To this Xerxes said: “ Demaratus, in what way can we conquer these men with the least trouble, come tell me; for you must be acquainted with the course of their counsels, since you have been their king."
He replied: "O king, since you ask my advice so earnestly, it is right that I should tell you what is best. You should, then, despatch three hundred ships of your naval force to the Laconian coast. Off that coast there lies an island called Cythera, which Chilon, the wisest man among us, said would be more advantageous to the Spartans if sunk to the bottom of the sea than if it remained above water; always apprehending that some such thing would come from it, as I am going to propose; not that he foresaw the arrival of your fleet, but fearing equally every naval force. Sallying from this island, then, let them alarm the Lacedæmonians; and when they have a war of their own near home, they will no longer give you cause to fear, lest they should succour the rest of Greece, while it is being taken by your land forces. But when the rest of Greece is subdued, the Laconian territory, being left alone, will be feeble. If you will not act in this manner, you may expect that this will happen: There is in Peloponnesus a narrow isthmus; in this place, all the Peloponnesians being combined against you, expect to meet more violent struggles than the past; whereas, if you do as I advise, both this isthmus and the cities will submit to you without a battle.” After him spoke Achæmenes, who was brother of Xerxes, and commander of the naval forces, having been present at the conversation, and fearing lest Xerxes might be induced to adopt that plan: “O king, I perceive you listening to the suggestions of a man who envies your prosperity, or would betray your cause.
For the Greeks are commonly of that character; they envy success, and hate superior power. If, therefore, in the present state of our affairs, after four hundred ships have been wrecked, you should detach three hundred more from the fleet to sail round Peloponnesus, our enemies may fight us upon equal terms; but if our fleet is kept together, it becomes invincible, and they will be unable to fight with us at all : moreover, the whole fleet will assist the land forces, and the land forces the fleet, by advancing together; but if you separate them, neither will they be useful
to you, nor you to them. Having, therefore, ordered your own matters well, resolve to pay no attention to what your enemies are doing, how they will carry on the war, what they will do, or how many their numbers are. For they are able to think about themselves, and we in like manner about ourselves. But the Lacedæmonians, if they venture a battle against the Persians, will not cure this one present wound." To this Xerxes answered: “ Achæmenes, you appear to me to speak well, and I will act accordingly. But Demaratus said what he thought was best for me, though he is surpassed by you in judgment. For that I will not admit that Demaratus is not well disposed to my interests, forming my conclusion from what was before said by him, and from the fact that a citizen envies a fellow-citizen who is prosperous, and hates him in silence; nor, when a citizen asks for advice, will a fellow-citizen suggest what seems to him to be best, unless he has reached a high degree of virtue: such persons, however, are rare. But a friend bears the greatest regard for his friend in prosperity; and, when he asks his advice, gives him the best advice he can. I therefore enjoin all men for the future to abstain from calumny concerning Demaratus, since he is my friend.” Xerxes having spoken thus, passed through the dead; and having heard that Leonidas was king and general of the Lacedæmonians, he commanded them to cut off his head and fix it upon a pole. It is clear to me from many other proofs, and not least of all from this, that King Xerxes was more highly incensed against Leonidas during his life than against any other man; for otherwise he would never have violated the respect due to his dead body; since the Persians, most of all men with whom I am acquainted, are wont to honour men who are brave in war. They, however, to whom the order was given to do this did it.
But I return to that part of my narration where I before left it incomplete. The Lacedæmonians first had information that the king was preparing to invade Greece; and accordingly they sent to the oracle at Delphi, whereupon the answer was given them which I lately mentioned. But they obtained their information in a remarkable manner. For Demaratus, son of Ariston, being in exile among the Medes, as I conjecture, and appearances support my opinion, was not well affected to the Lacedæmonians. However, it is a question whether he acted as he did from a motive of benevolence or by way of exultation. For when Xerxes had determined to invade Greece, Demaratus, who was then at Susa, and had heard of his intention, communicated it to the Lacedæmonlans, But he was unable to make it known by any other means, for there was great danger of being detected; he therefore had recourse to the following contrivance: having taken a folding tablet, he scraped off the wax, and then wrote the king's intention on the wood of the tablet; and having done this, he melted the wax again over the writing, in order that the tablet, being carried with nothing written on it, might occasion him no trouble from the guards upon the road. When it arrived at Sparta, the Lacedæmonians were unable to comprehend it; until, as I am informed, Gorgo, daughter of Cleomenes, and wife to Leonidas, made a suggestion, having considered the matter with herself, and bade them scrape off the wax, and they would find letters written on the wood. They, having obeyed, found and read the contents, and forwarded them to the rest of the Greeks. These things are reported to have happened in this manner,
HE Greeks who were assigned to the navy were these:
the Athenians, who furnished one hundred and twentyseven ships; but the Platæans, from a spirit of valour
and zeal, though inexperienced in the sea service, assisted the Athenians in manning the ships. The Corinthians furnished forty ships; the Megureans twenty; the Chalcidians manned twenty, the Athenians having furnished them with ships; the Æginetæ, eighteen; the Sicyonians, twelve; the Lacedæmonians, ten; the Epidaurians, eight; the Eretrians, seven; the Træzenians, five; the Styreans, two; and the Ceians, two ships and two penteconters; the Opuntian Locrians also came to their assistance with seven penteconters. These, then, were they who were engaged in the war at Artemisium, and I have mentioned how each contributed to the number of the ships. The total of the ships assembled at Artemisium, besides the penteconters, was two hundred and seventy-one. The admiral, who had the chief power, the Spartans supplied, Eurybiades, son of Euryclides, for the allies had refused, if the Lacedæmonians did not command, to follow Athenian leaders, but said they would break up the intended fleet. For from the first there was a talk, even before they sent to Sicily to solicit an alliance, that it would be proper to intrust the navy to the Athenians. But as the allies opposed, the Athenians gave way, deeming it of high importance that Greece should be saved, and knowing that if they should quarrel about the command Greece would be lost; herein thinking justly. For intestine discord is as much worse than war carried on in concert, as war is than peace. Being, therefore, convinced of this, they did not resist, but yielded as long as they had need of their assistance, as they clearly showed. For when, having repulsed the Persian, they were now contending for his country, they put forward as a pretext the arrogance of Pausanius, and deprived the Lacedæmonians of the chief command. But these things occurred