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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 173

39 and he that desires it, both of them and of the other Hellenes, is initiated in the mysteries; and the sound of voices which thou hearest is the cry Iacchos which they utter at this feast." To this Demaratos said: "Keep silence and tell not this tale to any other man; for if these words of thine be reported to the king, thou wilt surely lose thy head, and neither I nor any other man upon earth will be able to save thee: but keep thou quiet, and about this expedition the gods will provide." He then thus advised, and after the cloud of dust and the sound of voices there came a mist which was borne aloft and carried towards Salamis to the camp of the Hellenes: and thus they learnt (said he) that the fleet of Xerxes was destined to be destroyed. Such was the report made by Dicaios the son of Theodykes, appealing to Demaratos and others also as witnesses.

66. Meanwhile those who were appointed to serve in the fleet of Xerxes, having gazed in Trachis upon the disaster of the Lacedemonians and having passed over from thence to Histiaia, after staying three days sailed through Euripos, and in other three days they had reached Phaleron. And, as I suppose, they made their attack upon Athens not fewer in number both by land and sea than when they had arrived at Sepias and at Thermopylai: for against those of them who perished by reason of the storm and those who were slain at Thermopylai and in the sea-fights at Artemision, I will set those who at that time were not yet accompanying the king, the Malians, Dorians, Locrians, and Boeotians (who accompanied him in a body, except the Thespians and Plataians), and moreover those of Carystos, Andros, and Tenos, with all the other islanders except the five cities of which I mentioned the names before; for the more the Persian advanced towards the centre of Hellas, the more nations accompanied him.

67. So then, when all these had come to Athens except the Parians (now the Parians had remained behind at Kythnos waiting to see how the war would turn out),—when all the rest, I say, had come to Phaleron, then Xerxes himself came down to the ships desiring to visit them and to learn the opinions of those who sailed in them: and when he had come and was set in a conspicuous place, then those who were despots of their own nations or commanders of divisions being sent for came before him from their ships, and took their seats as the king had assigned rank to each one, first the king of Sidon, then he of Tyre, and after them the rest: and when they were seated in due order, Xerxes sent Mardonios and inquired, making trial of each one, whether he should fight a battle by sea.

68. So when Mardonios went round asking them, beginning with the king of Sidon, the others gave their opinions all to the same effect, advising him to fight a battle by sea, but Artemisia spoke these words:—(a) "Tell the king I pray thee, Mardonios, that I, who have proved myself not to be the worst in the sea-fights which have been fought near Euboea, and have displayed deeds not inferior to those of others, speak to him thus: Master, it is right that I set forth the opinion which I really have, and say that which I happen to think best for thy cause: and this I say,—spare thy ships and do not make a sea-fight; for the men are as much stronger than thy men by sea, as men are stronger than women. And why must thou needs run the risk of sea-battles? Hast thou not Athens in thy possession, for the sake of which thou didst set forth on thy march, and also the rest of Hellas? and no man stands in thy way to resist, but those who did stand against thee came off as it was fitting that they should. (b) Now the manner in which I think the affairs of thy adversaries will have their issue, I will declare. If thou do not hasten to make a sea-fight, but keep thy ships here by the land, either remaining here thyself or even advancing on to the Peloponnese, that which thou hast come to do, O master, will easily be effected; for the Hellenes are not able to hold out against thee for any long time, but thou wilt soon disperse them and they will take flight to their several cities: since neither have they provisions with them in this island, as I am informed, nor is it probable that if thou shalt march thy land-army against the Peloponnese, they who have come from thence will remain still; for these will have no care to fight a battle in defence of Athens. (c) If however thou hasten to fight forthwith, I fear that damage done to the fleet may ruin the land-army also. Moreover, O king, consider also this, that the servants of good men are apt to grow bad, but those of bad men good; and thou, who art of all men the best, hast bad servants, namely those who are reckoned as allies, Egyptians and Cyprians and Kilikians and Pamphylians, in whom there is no profit."


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