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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 132

172. As for the Thessalians, they at first had taken the side of the Persians against their will, and they gave proof that they were not pleased by that which the Aleuadai were designing; for so soon as they heard that the Persian was about to cross over into Europe, they sent envoys to the Isthmus: now at the Isthmus were assembled representatives of Hellas chosen by the cities which had the better mind about Hellas: having come then to these, the envoys of the Thessalians said: "Hellenes, ye must guard the pass by Olympos, in order that both Thessaly and the whole of Hellas may be sheltered from the war. We are prepared to join with you in guarding it, but ye must send a large force as well as we; for if ye shall not send, be assured that we shall make agreement with the Persian; since it is not right that we, standing as outposts so far in advance of the rest of Hellas, should perish alone in your defence: and not being willing 163 to come to our help, ye cannot apply to us any force to compel inability; 164 but we shall endeavour to devise some means of safety for ourselves."

173. Thus spoke the Thessalians; and the Hellenes upon this resolved to send to Thessaly by sea an army of men on foot to guard the pass: and when the army was assembled it set sail through Euripos, and having come to Alos in the Achaian land, it disembarked there and marched into Thessaly leaving the ships behind at Alos, and arrived at Tempe, the pass which leads from lower Macedonia into Thessaly by the river Peneios, going between the mountains of Olympos and Ossa. There the Hellenes encamped, being assembled to the number of about ten thousand hoplites, and to them was added the cavalry of the Thessalians; and the commander of the Lacedemonians was Euainetos the son of Carenos, who had been chosen from the polemarchs, 165 not being of the royal house, and of the Athenians Themistocles the son of Neocles. They remained however but few days here, for envoys came from Alexander the son of Amyntas the Macedonian, who advised them to depart thence and not to remain in the pass and be trodden under foot by the invading host, signifying to them at the same time both the great numbers of the army and the ships which they had. When these gave them this counsel, they followed the advice, for they thought that the counsel was good, and the Macedonian was evidently well-disposed towards them. Also, as I think, it was fear that persuaded them to it, when they were informed that there was another pass besides this to the Thessalian land by upper Macedonia through the Perraibians and by the city of Gonnos, the way by which the army of Xerxes did in fact make its entrance. So the Hellenes went down to their ships again and made their way back to the Isthmus.


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