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The History Of Herodotus Volume 1 of 2

Page: 187

144. So when the Persians arrived at Samos bringing Syloson home from exile, no one raised a hand against them, and moreover the party of Maiandrios and Maiandrios himself said that they were ready to retire out of the island under a truce. Otanes therefore having agreed on these terms and having made a treaty, the most honourable of the Persians had seats placed for them in front of the fortress and were sitting there.

145. Now the despot Maiandrios had a brother who was somewhat mad, and his name was Charilaos. This man for some offence which he had been committed had been confined in an underground dungeon, 128 and at this time of which I speak, having heard what was being done and having put his head through out of the dungeon, when he saw the Persians peacefully sitting there he began to cry out and said that he desired to come to speech with Maiandrios. So Maiandrios hearing his voice bade them loose him and bring him into his presence; and as soon as he was brought he began to abuse and revile him, trying to persuade him to attack the Persians, and saying thus: "Thou basest of men, didst thou put me in bonds and judge me worthy of the dungeon under ground, who am thine own brother and did no wrong worthy of bonds, and when thou seest the Persians casting thee forth from the land and making thee homeless, dost thou not dare to take any revenge, though they are so exceedingly easy to be overcome? Nay, but if in truth thou art afraid of them, give me thy mercenaries and I will take vengeance on them for their coming here; and thyself I am willing to let go out of the island."

146. Thus spoke Charilaos, and Maiandrios accepted that which he said, not, as I think, because he had reached such a height of folly as to suppose that his own power would overcome that of the king, but rather because he grudged Syloson that he should receive from him the State without trouble, and with no injury inflicted upon it. Therefore he desired to provoke the Persians to anger and make the Samian power as feeble as possible before he gave it up to him, being well assured that the Persians, when they had suffered evil, would be likely to be as bitter against the Samians as well as against those who did the wrong, 129 and knowing also that he had a safe way of escape from the island whenever he desired: for he had had a secret passage made under ground, leading from the fortress to the sea. Maiandrios then himself sailed out from Samos; but Charilaos armed all the mercenaries, and opening wide the gates sent them out upon the Persians, who were not expecting any such thing, but supposed that all had been arranged: and the mercenaries falling upon them began to slay those of the Persians who had seats carried for them 130 and were of most account. While these were thus engaged, the rest of the Persian force came to the rescue, and the mercenaries were hard pressed and forced to retire to the fortress.


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