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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 189

120. And this also which follows is a strong witness that it was so; for Xerxes is known to have come to Abdera on his way back, and to have made with them a guest-friendship and presented them with a Persian sword of gold and a gold-spangled tiara: and as the men of Abdera themselves say (though I for my part can by no means believe it), he loosed his girdle for the first time during his flight back from Athens, considering himself to be in security. Now Abdera is situated further towards the Hellespont than the river Strymon and Eïon, from which place the story says that he embarked in the ship.

121. The Hellenes meanwhile, when it proved that they were not able to conquer Andros, turned towards Carystos, and having laid waste the land of that people they departed and went to Salamis. First then for the gods they chose out first-fruits of the spoil, and among them three Persian triremes, one to be dedicated as an offering at the Isthmus, which remained there still up to my time, another at Sunion, and the third to Ajax in Salamis where they were. After this they divided the spoil among themselves and sent the first-fruits 86 to Delphi, of which was made a statue holding in its hand the beak of a ship and in height measuring twelve cubits. This statue stood in the same place with the golden statue of Alexander the Macedonian.

122. Then when the Hellenes had sent first-fruits to Delphi, they asked the god on behalf of all whether the first-fruits which he had received were fully sufficient and acceptable to him. He said that from the Hellenes he had received enough, but not from the Eginetans, and from them he demanded the offering of their prize of valour for the sea-fight at Salamis. Hearing this the Eginetans dedicated golden stars, three in number, upon a ship's mast of bronze, which are placed in the corner 87 close to the mixing-bowl of Croesus.

123. After the division of the spoil the Hellenes sailed to the Isthmus, to give the prize of valour to him who of all the Hellenes had proved himself the most worthy during this war: and when they had come thither and the commanders distributed 88 their votes at the altar of Poseidon, selecting from the whole number the first and the second in merit, then every one of them gave in his vote for himself, each man thinking that he himself had been the best; but for the second place the greater number of votes came out in agreement, assigning that to Themistocles. They then were left alone in their votes, while Themistocles in regard to the second place surpassed the rest by far:

124, and although the Hellenes would not give decision of this by reason of envy, but sailed away each to their own city without deciding, yet Themistocles was loudly reported of and was esteemed throughout Hellas to be the man who was the ablest 89 by far of the Hellenes: and since he had not received honour from those who had fought at Salamis, although he was the first in the voting, he went forthwith after this to Lacedemon, desiring to receive honour there; and the Lacedemonians received him well and gave him great honours. As a prize of valour they gave to Eurybiades a wreath of olive; and for ability and skill they gave to Themistocles also a wreath of olive, and presented him besides with the chariot which was judged to be the best in Sparta. So having much commended him, they escorted him on his departure with three hundred picked men of the Spartans, the same who are called the "horsemen," 90 as far as the boundaries of Tegea: and he is the only man of all we know to whom the Spartans ever gave escort on his way.


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