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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 230

100. Then when the Hellenes had made all their preparations, they proceeded to the attack of the Barbarians; and as they went, a rumour came suddenly 110 to their whole army, and at the same time a herald's staff was found lying upon the beach; and the rumour went through their army to this effect, namely that the Hellenes were fighting in Boeotia and conquering the army of Mardonios. Now by many signs is the divine power seen in earthly things, and by this among others, namely that now, when the day of the defeat at Plataia and of that which was about to take place at Mycale happened to be the same, a rumour came to the Hellenes here, so that the army was encouraged much more and was more eagerly desirous to face the danger..

101. Moreover this other thing by coincidence happened besides, namely that there was a sacred enclosure of the Eleusinian Demeter close by the side of both the battle-fields; for not only in the Plataian land did the fight take place close by the side of the temple of Demeter, as I have before said, but also in Mycale it was to be so likewise. And whereas the rumour which came to them said that a victory had been already gained by the Hellenes with Pausanias, this proved to be a true report; for that which was done at Plataia came about while it was yet early morning, but the fighting at Mycale took place in the afternoon; and that it happened on the same day of the same month as the other became evident to them not long afterwards, when they inquired into the matter. Now they had been afraid before the rumour arrived, not for themselves so much as for the Hellenes generally, lest Hellas should stumble and fall over Mardonios; but when this report had come suddenly to them, they advanced on the enemy much more vigorously and swiftly than before. The Hellenes then and the Barbarians were going with eagerness into the battle, since both the islands and the Hellespont were placed before them as prizes of the contest.

102. Now for the Athenians and those who were ranged next to them, to the number perhaps of half the whole army, the road lay along the sea-beach and over level ground, while the Lacedemonians and those ranged in order by these were compelled to go by a ravine and along the mountain side: so while the Lacedemonians were yet going round, those upon the other wing were already beginning the fight; and as long as the wicker-work shields of the Persians still remained upright, they continued to defend themselves and had rather the advantage in the fight; but when the troops of the Athenians and of those ranged next to them, desiring that the achievement should belong to them and not to the Lacedemonians, with exhortations to one another set themselves more vigorously to the work, then from that time forth the fortune of the fight was changed; for these pushed aside the wicker-work shields and fell upon the Persians with a rush all in one body, and the Persians sustained their first attack and continued to defend themselves for a long time, but at last they fled to the wall; and the Athenians, Corinthians, Sikyonians and Troizenians, for that was the order in which they were ranged, followed close after them and rushed in together with them to the space within the wall: and when the wall too had been captured, then the Barbarians no longer betook themselves to resistance, but began at once to take flight, excepting only the Persians, who formed into small groups and continued to fight with the Hellenes as they rushed in within the wall. Of the commanders of the Persians two made their escape and two were slain; Arta├┐ntes and Ithamitres commanders of the fleet escaped, while Mardontes and the commander of the land-army, Tigranes, were slain..


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