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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 232

These then were sailing towards the Hellespont;.

107, and meanwhile those Barbarians who had escaped and had been driven to the heights of Mycale, being not many in number, were making their way to Sardis: and as they went by the way, Masistes the son of Dareios, who had been present at the disaster which had befallen them, was saying many evil things of the commander Artaÿntes, and among other things he said that in respect of the generalship which he had shown he was worse than a woman, and that he deserved every kind of evil for having brought evil on the house of the king. Now with the Persians to be called worse than a woman is the greatest possible reproach. So he, after he had been much reviled, at length became angry and drew his sword upon Masistes, meaning to kill him; and as he was running upon him, Xeinagoras the son of Prexilaos, a man of Halicarnassos, perceived it, who was standing just behind Artaÿntes; and this man seized him by the middle and lifting him up dashed him upon the ground; and meanwhile the spearmen of Masistes came in front to protect him. Thus did Xeinagoras, and thus he laid up thanks for himself both with Masistes and also with Xerxes for saving the life of his brother; and for this deed Xeinagoras became ruler of all Kilikia by the gift of the king. Nothing further happened than this as they went on their way, but they arrived at Sardis.

Now at Sardis, as it chanced, king Xerxes had been staying ever since that time when he came thither in flight from Athens, after suffering defeat in the sea-fight..

108. At that time, while he was in Sardis, he had a passionate desire, as it seems, for the wife of Masistes, who was also there: and as she could not be bent to his will by his messages to her, and he did not wish to employ force because he had regard for his brother Masistes and the same consideration withheld the woman also, for she well knew that force would not be used towards her, then Xerxes abstained from all else, and endeavoured to bring about the marriage of his own son Dareios with the daughter of this woman and of Masistes, supposing that if he should do so he would obtain her more easily. Then having made the betrothal and done all the customary rites, he went away to Susa; and when he had arrived there and had brought the woman into his own house for Dareios, then he ceased from attempting the wife of Masistes and changing his inclination he conceived a desire for the wife of Dareios, who was daughter of Masistes, and obtained her: now the name of this woman was Artaÿnte..

109. However as time went on, this became known in the following manner:—Amestris the wife of Xerxes had woven a mantle, large and of various work and a sight worthy to be seen, and this she gave to Xerxes. He then being greatly pleased put it on and went to Artaÿnte; and being greatly pleased with her too, he bade her ask what she would to be given to her in return for the favours which she had granted to him, for she should obtain, he said, whatsoever she asked: and she, since it was destined that she should perish miserably with her whole house, said to Xerxes upon this: "Wilt thou give me whatsoever I ask thee for?" and he, supposing that she would ask anything rather than that which she did, promised this and swore to it. Then when he had sworn, she boldly asked for the mantle; and Xerxes tried every means of persuasion, not being willing to give it to her, and that for no other reason but only because he feared Amestris, lest by her, who even before this had some inkling of the truth, he should thus be discovered in the act; and he offered her cities and gold in any quantity, and an army which no one else should command except herself. Now this of an army is a thoroughly Persian gift. Since however he did not persuade her, he gave her the mantle; and she being overjoyed by the gift wore it and prided herself upon it..


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