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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 200

3. Thus they advised, but he did not follow their counsel; for there had instilled itself into him a great desire to take Athens for the second time, partly from obstinacy 3 and partly because he meant to signify to the king in Sardis that he was in possession of Athens by beacon-fires through the islands. However he did not even at this time find the Athenians there when he came to Attica; but he was informed that the greater number were either in Salamis or in the ships, and he captured the city finding it deserted. Now the capture of the city by the king had taken place ten months before the later expedition of Mardonios against it.

4. When Mardonios had come to Athens, he sent to Salamis Morychides a man of the Hellespont, bearing the same proposals as Alexander the Macedonian had brought over to the Athenians. These he sent for the second time, being aware beforehand that the dispositions of the Athenians were not friendly, but hoping that they would give way and leave their obstinacy, since the Attic land had been captured by the enemy and was in his power..

5. For this reason he sent Morychides to Salamis; and he came before the Council 4 and reported the words of Mardonios. Then one of the Councillors, Lykidas, expressed the opinion that it was better to receive the proposal which Morychides brought before them and refer it to the assembly of the people. 5 He, I say, uttered this opinion, whether because he had received money from Mardonios, or because this was his own inclination: however the Athenians forthwith, both those of the Council and those outside, when they heard of it, were very indignant, and they came about Lykidas and stoned him to death; but the Hellespontian Morychides they dismissed unhurt. Then when there had arisen much uproar in Salamis about Lykidas, the women of the Athenians heard of that which was being done, and one woman passing the word to another and one taking another with her, they went of their own accord to the house of Lykidas and stoned his wife and his children to death.

6. The Athenians had passed over to Salamis as follows:—So long as they were looking that an army should come from the Peloponnese to help them, they remained in Attica; but as those in Peloponnesus acted very slowly and with much delay, while the invader was said to be already in Boeotia, they accordingly removed everything out of danger, and themselves passed over to Salamis; and at the same time they sent envoys to Lacedemon to reproach the Lacedemonians for having permitted the Barbarian to invade Attica and for not having gone to Boeotia to meet him in company with them, and also to remind them how many things the Persian had promised to give the Athenians if they changed sides; bidding the envoys warn them that if they did not help the Athenians, the Athenians would find some shelter 6 for themselves..


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