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The History Of Herodotus Volume 1 of 2

Page: 236

146. However, when no very long time had passed, the Minyai forthwith broke out into insolence, asking for a share of the royal power and also doing other impious things: therefore the Lacedemonians resolved to put them to death; and having seized them they cast them into a prison. Now the Lacedemonians put to death by night all those whom they put to death, but no man by day. When therefore they were just about to kill them, the wives of the Minyai, being native Spartans and daughters of the first citizens of Sparta, entreated to be allowed to enter the prison and come to speech every one with her own husband: and they let them pass in, not supposing that any craft would be practised by them. They however, when they had entered, delivered to their husbands all the garments which they were wearing, and themselves received those of their husbands: thus the Minyai having put on the women's clothes went forth out of prison as women, and having escaped in this manner they went again to Taÿgetos and sat down there.

147. Now at this very same time Theras the son of Autesion, the son of Tisamenos, the son of Thersander, the son of Polyneikes, was preparing to set forth from Lacedemon to found a settlement. This Theras, who was of the race of Cadmos, was mother's brother to the sons of Aristodemos, Eurysthenes and Procles; and while these sons were yet children, Theras as their guardian held the royal power in Sparta. When however his nephews were grown and had taken the power into their hands, then Theras, being grieved that he should be ruled by others after he had tasted of rule himself, said that he would not remain in Lacedemon, but would sail away to his kinsmen. Now there were in the island which is now called Thera, but formerly was called Callista, descendants of Membliaros the son of Poikiles, a Phenician: for Cadmos the son of Agenor in his search for Europa put in to land at the island which is now called Thera; and, whether it was that the country pleased him when he had put to land, or whether he chose to do so for any other reason, he left in this island, besides other Phenicians, Membliaros also, of his own kinsmen. These occupied the island called Callista for eight generations of men, before Theras came from Lacedemon.

148. To these then, I say, Theras was preparing to set forth, taking with him people from the tribes, and intending to settle together with those who have been mentioned, not with any design to drive them out, but on the contrary claiming them very strongly as kinfolk. And when the Minyai after having escaped from the prison went and sat down on Taÿgetos, Theras entreated of the Lacedemonians, as they were proposing to put them to death, that no slaughter might take place, and at the same time he engaged himself to take them forth out of the land. The Lacedemonians having agreed to this proposal, he sailed away with three thirty-oared galleys to the descendants of Membliaros, not taking with him by any means all the Minyai, but a few only; for the greater number of them turned towards the land of the Paroreatai and Caucones, and having driven these out of their country, they parted themselves into six divisions and founded in their territory the following towns,—Lepreon, Makistos, Phrixai, Pyrgos, Epion, Nudion; of these the Eleians sacked the greater number within my own lifetime. The island meanwhile got its name of Thera after Theras 130 who led the settlement.


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