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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 221

72. These obtained the most renown of those who fought at Plataia, for as for Callicrates, the most beautiful who came to the camp, not of the Lacedemonians alone, but also of all the Hellenes of his time, he was not killed in the battle itself; but when Pausanias was offering sacrifice, he was wounded by an arrow in the side, as he was sitting down in his place in the ranks; and while the others were fighting, he having been carried out of the ranks was dying a lingering death: and he said to Arimnestos 82 a Plataian that it did not grieve him to die for Hellas, but it grieved him only that he had not proved his strength of hand, and that no deed of valour had been displayed by him worthy of the spirit which he had in him to perform great deeds. 83

73. Of the Athenians the man who gained most glory is said to have been Sophanes the son of Eutychides of the deme of Dekeleia,—a deme of which the inhabitants formerly did a deed that was of service to them for all time, as the Athenians themselves report. For when of old the sons of Tyndareus invaded the Attic land with a great host, in order to bring home Helen, and were laying waste the demes, not knowing to what place of hiding Helen had been removed, then they say that the men of Dekeleia, or as some say Dekelos himself, being aggrieved by the insolence of Theseus and fearing for all the land of the Athenians, told them the whole matter and led them to Aphidnai, which Titakos who was sprung from the soil delivered up by treachery to the sons of Tyndareus. In consequence of this deed the Dekeleians have had continually freedom from dues in Sparta and front seats at the games, 84 privileges which exist still to this day; insomuch that even in the war which many years after these events arose between the Athenians and the Peloponnesians, when the Lacedemonians laid waste all the rest of Attica, they abstained from injury to Dekeleia..

74. To this deme belonged Sophanes, who showed himself the best of all the Athenians in this battle; and of him there are two different stories told: one that he carried an anchor of iron bound by chains of bronze to the belt of his corslet; and this he threw whensoever he came up with the enemy, in order, they say, that the enemy when they came forth out of their ranks might not be able to move him from his place; and when a flight of his opponents took place, his plan was to take up the anchor first and then pursue after them. This story is reported thus; but the other of the stories, disputing the truth of that which has been told above, is reported as follows, namely that upon his shield, which was ever moving about and never remaining still, he bore an anchor as a device, and not one of iron bound to his corslet.


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