<<<
>>>

The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 234

112. During this interval of time, while Xerxes was conversing with his brother, Amestris had sent the spearmen of Xerxes to bring the wife of Masistes, and she was doing to her shameful outrage; for she cut away her breasts and threw them to dogs, and she cut off her nose and ears and lips and tongue, and sent her back home thus outraged.

113. Then Masistes, not yet having heard any of these things, but supposing that some evil had fallen upon him, came running to his house; and seeing his wife thus mutilated, forthwith upon this he took counsel with his sons and set forth to go to Bactria together with his sons and doubtless some others also, meaning to make the province of Bactria revolt and to do the greatest possible injury to the king: and this in fact would have come to pass, as I imagine, if he had got up to the land of the Bactrians and Sacans before he was overtaken, for they were much attached to him, and also he was the governor of the Bactrians: but Xerxes being informed that he was doing this, sent after him an army as he was on his way, and slew both him and his sons and his army. So far of that which happened about the passion of Xerxes and the death of Masistes.

114. Now the Hellenes who had set forth from Mycale to the Hellespont first moored their ships about Lecton, being stopped from their voyage by winds; and thence they came to Abydos and found that the bridges had been broken up, which they thought to find still stretched across, and on account of which especially they had come to the Hellespont. So the Peloponnesians which Leotychides resolved to sail back to Hellas, while the Athenians and Xanthippos their commander determined to stay behind there and to make an attempt upon the Chersonese. Those then sailed away, and the Athenians passed over from Abydos to the Chersonese and began to besiege Sestos..

115. To this town of Sestos, since it was the greatest stronghold of those in that region, men had come together from the cities which lay round it, when they heard that the Hellenes had arrived at the Hellespont, and especially there had come from the city of Cardia Oiobazos a Persian, who had brought to Sestos the ropes of the bridges. The inhabitants of the city were Aiolians, natives of the country, but there were living with them a great number of Persians and also of their allies..

116. And of the province Arta├┐ctes was despot, as governor under Xerxes, a Persian, but a man of desperate and reckless character, who also had practised deception upon the king on his march against Athens, in taking away from Elaius the things belonging to Protesilaos the son of Iphiclos. For at Elaius in the Chersonese there is the tomb of Protesilaos with a sacred enclosure about it, where there were many treasures, with gold and silver cups and bronze and raiment and other offerings, which things Arta├┐ctes carried off as plunder, the king having granted them to him. And he deceived Xerxes by saying to him some such words as these: "Master, there is here the house of a man, a Hellene, who made an expedition against thy land and met with his deserts and was slain: this man's house I ask thee to give to me, that every one may learn not to make expeditions against thy land." By saying this it was likely that he would easily enough persuade Xerxes to give him a man's house, not suspecting what was in his mind: and when he said that Protesilaos had made expedition against the land of the king, it must be understood that the Persians consider all Asia to be theirs and to belong to their reigning king. So when the things had been given him, he brought them from Elaius to Sestos, and he sowed the sacred enclosure for crops and occupied it as his own; and he himself, whenever he came to Elaius, had commerce with women in the inner cell of the temple. 116 And now he was being besieged by the Athenians, when he had not made any preparation for a siege nor had been expecting that the Hellenes would come; for they fell upon him, as one may say, inevitably. 117.


<<<
>>>