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manner about ourselves. But the Lacedæmonians, if they venture a battle against the Persians, will not cure this one present wound.” 237. 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. 238. 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
They, however, to whom the order was given to do this, did it.
239. 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.8 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
8 Chap. 220.
heard of his intention, communicated it to the Lacedæmonians. 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.
THE Greeks who were assigned to the navy, were these. The Athenians, who furnished one hundred and twenty-seven 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 Megareans 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 Troezenians, five; the Styrea
two ; and the Ceians, two ships, and two penteconters ; the Opuntian Locrians also came to their assistance, with seven penteconters. 2. 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 Lacedæmonian did not command, to follow Athenian leaders, but said they would break up the intended fleet.” 3. 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 Pausanias, and deprived the Lacedæmonians of the chief command. But these things occurred afterwards. 4. But at that time, those Greeks who had arrived at Artemisium, when they saw a vast number of ships drawn up at Aphetæ, and all parts full of troops, since the affairs of the barbarian turned out contrary to their expectation, in great consternation, deliberated about retiring from Artemisium to the inner parts of Greece. The Eubeans, knowing that they were deliberating on this matter, entreated Eurybiades to remain a short time longer, until they could remove their children and domestics to a place of safety. But finding they could not persuade him, they then went over to the Athenian general, and prevailed on Themistocles, by a bribe of thirty talents, to promise that they would stay and engage the enemy by sea before Eubea. 5. Themistocles, to retain the Greeks, did as follows. Of this money he gave five talents to Eurybiades, as if indeed he gave it from himself; and when he had gained him over, as Adimantus, son of Ocytus, the Corinthian commander, was the only person who resisted, affirming that he would sail away from Artemisium, and not stay, to him Themistocles said with an oath : “You shall not abandon us ; for I will make you a greater present than the king of the Medes would send you for abandoning the allies." He at the same time said this and sent three talents of silver on
board the ship of Adimantus. They therefore, being swayed by the present, were gained over, and complied with the wishes of the Eubeans, but Themistocles himself was a considerable gainer, as he secretly kept the rest ; but those who took part of this money, thought it came from the Athenians, on that condition.
6. They accordingly remained in Euboea, and came to an engagement by sea. It happened in this manner. When the barbarians arrived at Aphetæ, in the afternoon, having been already informed that a few Grecian ships were stationed, and then descrying them at Artemisium, they were eager to attack, in the hope of taking them. However, they did not think it advisable to sail directly upon them, for the following reasons, lest the Greeks, seeing them sailing towards them, should betake themselves to flight, and the night should cover their retreat, by which means they would escape ; but, according to their saying, they thought that not even the torch-bearer would escape alive. 7. For this purpose, then, they had recourse to the following plan : having detached two hundred ships from the whole fleet, they sent them round, outside Sciathus, that they might not be seen by the enemy sailing round Eubea, by Caphareus and round Gerästus to the Euripus ; that so they might surround them, the one party arriving at the place appointed in that way, and intercepting their retreat, and themselves attacking them in front. Having determined on this, they despatched the ships appointed for this service, themselves not intending to attack the Greeks that day, nor before the agreed signal should be seen, given by those who sailed round, announcing their arrival. These, then, they sent round, and set about taking the number of the rest of the ships at Aphetæ. 8. At this time, while they were taking the number of their ships, there was in this camp Scyllias of Scyone, the best diver of his time ; he, in the shipwreck that happened off Pelion, had saved much of their treasure for the Persians, and had acquired a good deal for himself. This Scyllias had long before entertained the design of deserting to the Greeks, but had had no opportunity of doing so until that time. In what way he at length made his escape to the Grecians I cannot certainly affirm, and I wonder whether the account given is true. For it is said, that having plunged into the sea at Aphetæ, he never rose until he reached Artemisium, having passed this distance through the sea, as near as can be, eighty stadia. Many other things are related of this man that are very like falsehood, and some that are true. If, however, I may give my opinion of this matter, it is, that he came to Artemisium in a boat. On his arrival, he immedia ately informed the commanders of the shipwreck, how it had occurred, and of the ships that were sent round Eubea. 9. The Greeks, having heard this, held a conference among themselves ; and, after much debate, it was resolved, that remaining there and continuing in their station during that day, then, when midnight was passed, they should proceed, and meet the ships that were sailing round. But after this, when no ship sailed against them, having waited for the evening of the day, they sailed of themselves against the barbarians, being desirous to make trial of their manner of fighting, and of breaking through the line. 10. The other soldiers of Xerxes, and the commanders, seeing them sailing towards them with so few ships, attributed their conduct to madness, and on their part got their ships under weigh, expecting that they should easily take them; and their expectations were very reasonable, when they saw that the Grecian ships were few, and their own many more in number, and better sailers : taking these things into consideration, they enclosed them in the middle of a circle. Now, such of the Ionians as were well-affected to the Greeks, and joined the expedition unwillingly, regarded it as a great calamity, when they saw them surrounded, feeling convinced that not one of them would return ; so weak did the Grecian forces appear to them to be. But such as were pleased with what was going on, vied with each other how each might be the first to take an Athenian ship, and receive a reward from the king. For throughout the fleet they had the highest opinion of the Athenians. 11. When the signal was given to the Greeks, first of all turning their prows against the barbarians, they contracted their sterns inwardly to the middle ; and when the second signal was given, they commenced the attack, though enclosed in a narrow space, and that prow to prow. On this occasion they took thirty ships of the barbarians, and Philaon, son of Chersis, the brother of Gorgus, king of the Salaminians, a man highly esteemed in their army. Lycomedes, son of Æschreus, an Athenian, was the first of the Greeks who took a