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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 186

110. Themistocles then speaking thus endeavoured to deceive them, and the Athenians followed his advice: for he had had the reputation even in former times of being a man of ability 78 and he had now proved himself to be in truth both able and of good judgment; therefore they were ready in every way to follow his advice when he spoke. So when these had been persuaded by him, forthwith after this Themistocles sent men with a vessel, whom he trusted to keep silence, to whatever test they might be brought, of that which he himself charged them to tell the king; and of them Sikinnos his servant again was one. When these came to Attica, the rest stayed behind in the ship, while Sikinnos went up to Xerxes and spoke these words: "Themistocles the son of Neocles sent me, who is commander of the Athenians, and of all the allies the best and ablest man, to tell thee that Themistocles the Athenian, desiring to be of service to thee, held back the Hellenes when they were desirous to pursue after thy ships and to destroy the bridges on the Hellespont. Now therefore thou mayest make thy way home quite undisturbed." They having signified this sailed away again.

111. The Hellenes meanwhile, having resolved not to pursue after the ships of the Barbarians further, nor to sail to the Hellespont to break up the passage, were investing Andros intending to take it: for the Andrians were the first of the islanders who, being asked by Themistocles for money, refused to give it: and when Themistocles made proposals to them and said that the Athenians had come having on their side two great deities, Persuasion and Compulsion, and therefore they must by all means give them money, they replied to this that not without reason, as it now appeared, was Athens great and prosperous, since the Athenians were well supplied with serviceable deities; but as for the Andrians, they were poor, 79 having in this respect attained to the greatest eminence, and there were two unprofitable deities which never left their island but always remained attached to the place, Poverty, namely, and Helplessness: and the Andrians being possessed of these deities would not give money; for never could the power of the Athenians get the better of their inability. 80

112. These, I say, having thus made answer and having refused to give the money, were being besieged: and Themistocles not ceasing in his desire for gain sent threatening messages to the other islands and asked them for money by the same envoys, employing those whom he had before sent to the king; 81 and he said that if they did not give that which was demanded of them, he would bring the fleet of the Hellenes against them to besiege and take them. Thus saying he collected great sums of money from the Carystians and the Parians, who being informed how Andros was being besieged, because it had taken the side of the Medes, and how Themistocles was held in more regard than any of the other commanders, sent money for fear of this. Whether any others of the islanders also gave money I am not able to say, but I think that some others gave and not these alone. Yet to the Carystians at least there was no respite from the evil on this account, but the Parians escaped the attack, because they propitiated Themistocles with money. Thus Themistocles with Andros as his starting-point was acquiring sums of money for himself from the men of the islands without the knowledge of the other commanders.


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