<<<
>>>

The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 134

177. These places then the Hellenes perceived to be such as their purpose required; for they considered everything beforehand and calculated that the Barbarians would not be able to take advantage either of superior numbers or of cavalry, and therefore they resolved here to receive the invader of Hellas: and when they were informed that the Persian was in Pieria, they broke up from the Isthmus and set forth for the campaign, some going to Thermopylai by land, and others making for Artemision by sea.

178. The Hellenes, I say, were coming to the rescue with speed, having been appointed to their several places: and meanwhile the men of Delphi consulted the Oracle of the god on behalf of themselves and on behalf of Hellas, being struck with dread; and a reply was given them that they should pray to the Winds, for these would be powerful helpers of Hellas in fight. So the Delphians, having accepted the oracle, first reported the answer which had been given them to those of the Hellenes who desired to be free; and having reported this to them at a time when they were in great dread of the Barbarian, they laid up for themselves an immortal store of gratitude: then after this the men of Delphi established an altar for the Winds in Thuia, where is the sacred enclosure of Thuia the daughter of Kephisos, after whom moreover this place has its name; and also they approached them with sacrifices.

179. The Delphians then according to the oracle even to this day make propitiary offerings to the Winds: and meanwhile the fleet of Xerxes setting forth from the city of Therma had passed over with ten of its ships, which were those that sailed best, straight towards Skiathos, where three Hellenic ships, a Troizenian, an Eginetan and an Athenian, were keeping watch in advance. When the crews of these caught sight of the ships of the Barbarians, they set off to make their escape:

180, and the ship of Troizen, of which Prexinos was in command, was pursued and captured at once by the Barbarians; who upon that took the man who was most distinguished by beauty among the fighting-men on board of her, 169 and cut his throat at the prow of the ship, making a good omen for themselves of the first of the Hellenes whom they had captured who was pre-eminent for beauty. The name of this man who was sacrificed was Leon, and perhaps he had also his name to thank in some degree for what befell him.

181. The ship of Egina however, of which Asonides was master, even gave them some trouble to capture it, seeing that Pytheas the son of Ischenoƶs served as a fighting-man on board of her, who proved himself a most valiant man on this day; for when the ship was being taken, he held out fighting until he was hacked all to pieces: and as when he had fallen he did not die, but had still breath in him, the Persians who served as fighting-men on board the ships, because of his valour used all diligence to save his life, both applying unguents of myrrh to heal his wounds and also wrapping him up in bands of the finest linen; and when they came back to their own main body, they showed him to all the army, making a marvel of him and giving him good treatment; but the rest whom they had taken in this ship they treated as slaves.


<<<
>>>