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The History Of Herodotus Volume 1 of 2

Page: 184

135. Thus he said, and he proceeded to do the deed as he spoke the word: for as soon as day dawned, he summoned fifteen Persians, men of repute, and bade them pass through the coasts of Hellas in company with Demokedes, and take care not to let Demokedes escape from them, but bring him back at all costs. Having thus commanded them, next he summoned Demokedes himself and asked him to act as a guide for the whole of Hellas and show it to the Persians, and then return back: and he bade him take all his movable goods and carry them as gifts to his father and his brothers, saying that he would give him in their place many times as much; and besides this, he said, he would contribute to the gifts a merchant ship filled with all manner of goods, which should sail with him. Dareios, as it seems to me, promised him these things with no crafty design; but Demokedes was afraid that Dareios was making trial of him, and did not make haste to accept all that was offered, but said that he would leave his own things where they were, so that he might have them when he came back; he said however that he accepted the merchant ship which Dareios promised him for the presents to his brothers. Dareios then, having thus given command to him also, sent them away to the sea.

136. So these, when they had gone down to Phenicia and in Phenicia to the city of Sidon, forthwith manned two triremes, and besides them they also filled a large ship of burden with all manner of goods. Then when they had made all things ready they set sail for Hellas, and touching at various places they saw the coast regions of it and wrote down a description, until at last, when they had seen the greater number of the famous places, they came to Taras 120 in Italy. There from complaisance 121 to Demokedes Aristophilides the king of the Tarentines unfastened and removed the steering-oars of the Median ships, and also confined the Persians in prison, because, as he alleged, they came as spies. While they were being thus dealt with, Demokedes went away and reached Croton; and when he had now reached his own native place, Aristophilides set the Persians free and gave back to them those parts of their ships which he had taken away.

137. The Persians then sailing thence and pursuing Demokedes reached Croton, and finding him in the market-place they laid hands upon him; and some of the men of Croton fearing the Persian power were willing to let him go, but others took hold of him and struck with their staves at the Persians, who pleaded for themselves in these words: "Men of Croton, take care what ye are about: ye are rescuing a man who was a slave of king Dareios and who ran away from him. How, think you, will king Dareios be content to receive such an insult; and how shall this which ye do be well for you, if ye take him away from us? Against what city, think you, shall we make expedition sooner than against this, and what city before this shall we endeavour to reduce to slavery?" Thus saying they did not however persuade the men of Croton, but having had Demokedes rescued from them and the ship of burden which they were bringing with them taken away, they set sail to go back to Asia, and did not endeavour to visit any more parts of Hellas or to find out about them, being now deprived of their guide. This much however Demokedes gave them as a charge when they were putting forth to sea, bidding them say to Dareios that Demokedes was betrothed to the daughter of Milon: for the wrestler Milon had a great name at the king's court; and I suppose that Demokedes was urgent for this marriage, spending much money to further it, in order that Dareios might see that he was held in honour also in his own country.


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