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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 223

78. At Plataia among the troops of the Eginetans was Lampon the son of Pytheas, one of the leading men of the Eginetans, who was moved to go to Pausanias with a most impious proposal, and when he had come with haste, he said as follows: "Son of Cleombrotos, a deed has been done by thee which is of marvellous greatness and glory, and to thee God has permitted by rescuing Hellas to lay up for thyself the greatest renown of all the Hellenes about whom we have any knowledge. Do thou then perform also that which remains to do after these things, in order that yet greater reputation may attach to thee, and also that in future every one of the Barbarians may beware of being the beginner of presumptuous deeds towards the Hellenes. For when Leonidas was slain at Thermopylai, Mardonios and Xerxes cut off his head and crucified him: to him therefore do thou repay like with like, and thou shalt have praise first from all the Spartans and then secondly from the other Hellenes also; for if thou impale the body of Mardonios, thou wilt then have taken vengeance for Leonidas thy father's brother.".

79. He said this thinking to give pleasure; but the other made him answer in these words: "Stranger of Egina, I admire thy friendly spirit and thy forethought for me, but thou hast failed of a good opinion nevertheless: for having exalted me on high and my family and my deed, thou didst then cast me down to nought by advising me to do outrage to a dead body, and by saying that if I do this I shall be better reported of. These things it is more fitting for Barbarians to do than for Hellenes; and even with them we find fault for doing so. However that may be, I do not desire in any such manner as this to please either Eginetans or others who like such things; but it is enough for me that I should keep from unholy deeds, yea and from unholy speech also, and so please the Spartans. As for Leonidas, whom thou biddest me avenge, I declare that he has been greatly avenged already, and by the unnumbered lives which have been taken of these men he has been honoured, and not he only but also the rest who brought their lives to an end at Thermopylai. As for thee however, come not again to me with such a proposal, nor give me such advice; and be thankful moreover that thou hast no punishment for it now."

80. He having heard this went his way; and Pausanias made a proclamation that none should lay hands upon the spoil, and he ordered the Helots to collect the things together. They accordingly dispersed themselves about the camp and found tents furnished with gold and silver, and beds overlaid with gold and overlaid with silver, and mixing-bowls of gold, and cups and other drinking vessels. They found also sacks laid upon waggons, in which there proved to be caldrons both of gold and of silver; and from the dead bodies which lay there they stripped bracelets and collars, and also their swords 89 if they were of gold, for as to embroidered raiment, there was no account made of it. Then the Helots stole many of the things and sold them to the Eginetans, but many things also they delivered up, as many of them as they could not conceal; so that the great wealth of the Eginetans first came from this, that they bought the gold from the Helots making pretence that it was brass..


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