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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 184

104. With these sons he sent Hermotimos to have charge of them, who was by race of Pedasa and was in the estimation of the king second to none of the eunuchs. [Now the Pedasians dwell above Halicarnassos, and at this Pedasa a thing happens as follows:—whenever to the whole number of those who dwell about this city some trouble is about to come within a certain time, then the priestess of [Athene] in that place gets a long beard; and this has happened to them twice before now.

105. Of these Pedasians was Hermotimos.] 70 And this man of all persons whom we know up to this time obtained the greatest revenge for a wrong done to him. For he had been captured by enemies and was being sold, and Panionios a man of Chios bought him, one who had set himself to gain his livelihood by the most impious practices; for whenever he obtained boys who possessed some beauty, he would make eunuchs of them, and then taking them to Sardis or Ephesos sold them for large sums of money, since with the Barbarians eunuchs are held to be of more value for all matters of trust than those who are not eunuchs. Panionios then, I say, made eunuchs of many others, since by this he got his livelihood, and also of this man about whom I speak: and Hermotimos, being not in everything unfortunate, was sent from Sardis to the king with other gifts, and as time went on he came to be honoured more than all the other eunuchs in the sight of Xerxes.

106. And when the king, being at that time in Sardis, was setting the Persian army in motion to march against Athens, then Hermotimos, having gone down for some business to that part of Mysia which the Chians occupy and which is called Atarneus, found there Panionios: and having recognised him he spoke to him many friendly words, first recounting to him all the good things which he had by his means, and next making promises in return for this, and saying how many good things he would do for him, if he would bring his household and dwell in that land; so that Panionios gladly accepting his proposals brought his children and his wife. Then, when he had caught him together with his whole house, Hermotimos spoke as follows: "O thou, who of all men that ever lived up to this time didst gain thy substance by the most impious deeds, what evil did either I myself or any of my forefathers do either to thee or to any of thine, that thou didst make me to be that which is nought instead of a man? Didst thou suppose that thou wouldest escape the notice of the gods for such things as then thou didst devise? They however following the rule of justice delivered 71 thee into my hands, since thou hadst done impious deeds; so that thou shalt not have reason to find fault with the penalty which shall be inflicted upon thee by me." When he had thus reproached him, the man's sons were brought into his presence and Panionios was compelled to make eunuchs of his own sons, who were four in number, and being compelled he did so; and then when he had so done, the sons were compelled to do the same thing to him. Thus vengeance by the hands of Hermotimos 72 overtook Panionios.


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