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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 111

104. To this Demaratos replied: "O king, from the first I was sure that if I uttered the truth I should not speak that which was pleasing to thee; since however thou didst compel me to speak the very truth, I told thee of the matters which concern the Spartans. And yet how I am at this present time attached to them by affection thou knowest better than any; seeing that first they took away from me the rank and privileges which came to me from my fathers, and then also they have caused me to be without native land and an exile; but thy father took me up and gave me livelihood and a house to dwell in. Surely it is not to be supposed likely that the prudent man will thrust aside friendliness which is offered to him, but rather that he will accept it with full contentment. 97 And I do not profess that I am able to fight either with ten men or with two, nay, if I had my will, I would not even fight with one; but if there were necessity or if the cause which urged me to the combat were a great one, I would fight most willingly with one of these men who says that he is a match for three of the Hellenes. So also the Lacedemonians are not inferior to any men when fighting one by one, and they are the best of all men when fighting in a body: for though free, yet they are not free in all things, for over them is set Law as a master, whom they fear much more even than thy people fear thee. It is certain at least that they do whatsoever that master commands; and he commands ever the same thing, that is to say, he bids them not flee out of battle from any multitude of men, but stay in their post and win the victory or lose their life. But if when I say these things I seem to thee to be speaking at random, of other things for the future I prefer to be silent; and at this time I spake only because I was compelled. May it come to pass however according to thy mind, O king."

105. He thus made answer, and Xerxes turned the matter to laughter and felt no anger, but dismissed him with kindness. Then after he had conversed with him, and had appointed Mascames son of Megadostes to be governor at this place Doriscos, removing the governor who had been appointed by Dareios, Xerxes marched forth his army through Thrace to invade Hellas.

106. And Mascames, whom he left behind here, proved to be a man of such qualities that to him alone Xerxes used to send gifts, considering him the best of all the men whom either he himself or Dareios had appointed to be governors,—he used to send him gifts, I say, every year, and so also did Artaxerxes the son of Xerxes to the descendants of Mascames. For even before this march governors had been appointed in Thrace and everywhere about the Hellespont; and these all, both those in Thrace and in the Hellespont, were conquered by the Hellenes after this expedition, except only the one who was at Doriscos; but Mascames at Doriscos none were ever 98 able to conquer, though many tried. For this reason the gifts are sent continually for him from the king who reigns over the Persians.


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