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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 11

35. And so Aristagoras was not able to fulfil his promise to Artaphrenes; and at the same time he was hard pressed by the demand made to him for the expenses of the expedition, and had fears because of the ill success of the armament and because he had become an enemy of Megabates; and he supposed that he would be deprived of his rule over Miletos. Having all these various fears he began to make plans of revolt: for it happened also that just at this time the man who had been marked upon the head had come from Hisiaios who was at Susa, signifying that Aristagoras should revolt from the king. For Histiaios, desiring to signify to Aristagoras that he should revolt, was not able to do it safely in any other way, because the roads were guarded, but shaved off the hair of the most faithful of his slaves, and having marked his head by pricking it, waited till the hair had grown again; and as soon as it was grown, he sent him away to Miletos, giving him no other charge but this, namely that when he should have arrived at Miletos he should bid Aristagoras shave his hair and look at his head: and the marks, as I have said before, signified revolt. This thing Histiaios was doing, because he was greatly vexed by being detained at Susa. He had great hopes then that if a revolt occurred he would be let go to the sea-coast; but if no change was made at Miletos 2001 he had no expectation of ever returning thither again.

36. Accordingly Hisiaios with this intention was sending the messenger; and it chanced that all these things happened to Aristagoras together at the same time. He took counsel therefore with his partisans, declaring to them both his own opinion and the message from Hisiaios; and while all the rest expressed an opinion to the same effect, urging him namely to make revolt, Hecataios the historian urged first that they should not undertake war with the king of the Persians, enumerating all the nations over whom Dareios was ruler, and his power: and when he did not succeed in persuading him, he counselled next that they should manage to make themselves masters of the sea. Now this, he continued, could not come to pass in any other way, so far as he could see, for he knew that the force of the Milesians was weak, but if the treasures should be taken 21 which were in the temple at Branchidai, which Croesus the Lydian dedicated as offerings, he had great hopes that they might become masters of the sea; and by this means they would not only themselves have wealth at their disposal, but the enemy would not be able to carry the things off as plunder. Now these treasures were of great value, as I have shown in the first part of the history. 22 This opinion did not prevail; but nevertheless it was resolved to make revolt, and that one of them should sail to Myus, to make the force which had returned from Naxos and was then there, and endeavour to seize the commanders who sailed in the ships..


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