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The History Of Herodotus Volume 1 of 2

Page: 71

208. These were the conflicting opinions; and Cyrus, letting go the former opinion and choosing that of Croesus, gave notice to Tomyris to retire, as he was intending to cross over to her. She then proceeded to retire, as she had at first engaged to do, but Cyrus delivered Croesus into the hands of his son Cambyses, to whom he meant to give the kingdom, and gave him charge earnestly to honour him and to treat him well, if the crossing over to go against the Massagetai should not be prosperous. Having thus charged him and sent these away to the land of the Persians, he crossed over the river both himself and his army.

209. And when he had passed over the Araxes, night having come on he saw a vision in his sleep in the land of the Massagetai, as follows:—in his sleep it seemed to Cyrus that he saw the eldest of the sons of Hystaspes having upon his shoulders wings, and that with the one of these he overshadowed Asia and with the other Europe. Now of Hystaspes the son of Arsames, who was a man of the Achaimenid clan, the eldest son was Dareios, who was then, I suppose, a youth of about twenty years of age, and he had been left behind in the land of the Persians, for he was not yet of full age to go out to the wars. So then when Cyrus awoke he considered with himself concerning the vision: and as the vision seemed to him to be of great import, he called Hystaspes, and having taken him apart by himself he said: "Hystaspes, thy son has been found plotting against me and against my throne: and how I know this for certain I will declare to thee:—The gods have a care of me and show me beforehand all the evils that threaten me. So in the night that is past while sleeping I saw the eldest of thy sons having upon his shoulders wings, and with the one of these he overshadowed Asia and with the other Europe. To judge by this vision then, it cannot be but that he is plotting against me. Do thou therefore go by the quickest way back to Persia and take care that, when I return thither after having subdued these regions, thou set thy son before me to be examined."

210. Cyrus said thus supposing that Dareios was plotting against him; but in fact the divine powers were showing him beforehand that he was destined to find his end there and that his kingdom was coming about to Dareios. To this then Hystaspes replied as follows: "O king, heaven forbid 217 that there should be any man of Persian race who would plot against thee, and if there be any, I pray that he perish as quickly as may be; seeing that thou didst make the Persians to be free instead of slaves, and to rule all nations instead of being ruled by others. And if any vision announces to thee that my son is planning rebellion against thee, I deliver him over to thee to do with him whatsoever thou wilt."


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