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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 33

99. Aristagoras meanwhile, when the Athenians had arrived with twenty ships, bringing with them also five triremes of the Eretrians, he joined the expedition not for the sake of the Athenians but of the Milesians themselves, to repay them a debt which they owed (for the Milesians in former times had borne with the Eretrians the burden of all that war which they had with the Chalkidians at the time when the Chalkidians on their side were helped by the Samians against the Eretrians and Milesians),—when these, I say, had arrived and the other allies were on the spot, Aristagoras proceeded to make a march upon Sardis. On this march he did not go himself, but remained at Miletos and appointed others to be in command of the Milesians, namely his brother Charopinos and of the other citizens one Hermophantos. 8701

100. With this force then the Ionians came to Ephesos, and leaving their ships at Coresos in the land of Ephesos, went up themselves in a large body, taking Ephesians to guide them in their march. So they marched along by the river Caÿster, and then when they arrived after crossing the range of Tmolos, they took Sardis without any resistance, all except the citadel, but the citadel Artaphrenes himself saved from capture, having with him a considerable force of men..

101. From plundering this city after they had taken it they were prevented by this:—the houses in Sardis were mostly built of reeds, and even those of them which were of brick had their roofs thatched with reeds: of these houses one was set on fire by a soldier, and forthwith the fire going on from house to house began to spread over the whole town. So then as the town was on fire, the Lydians and all the Persians who were in the city being cut off from escape, since the fire was prevailing in the extremities round about them, and not having any way out of the town, flowed together to the market-place and to the river Pactolos, which brings down gold-dust for them from Tmolos, flowing through the middle of their market-place, and then runs out into the river Hermos, and this into the sea;—to this Pactolos, I say, and to the market-place the Lydians and Persians gathered themselves together, and were compelled to defend themselves. The Ionians then, seeing some of the enemy standing on their defence and others in great numbers coming on to the attack, were struck with fear and retired to the mountain called Tmolos, and after that at nightfall departed to go to their ships.

102. Sardis was then destroyed by fire, and in it also the temple of the native goddess Hybebe; which the Persians alleged afterwards as a reason for setting on fire in return the temples in the land of the Hellenes. However at the time of which I speak the Persians who occupied districts within the river Halys, informed beforehand of this movement, were gathering together and coming to the help of the Lydians; and, as it chanced, they found when they came that the Ionians no longer were in Sardis; but they followed closely in their track and came up with them at Ephesos: and the Ionians stood indeed against them in array, but when they joined battle they had very much the worse; and besides other persons of note whom the Persians slaughtered, there fell also Eualkides commander of the Eretrians, a man who had won wreaths in contests of the games and who was much celebrated by Simonides of Keos: and those of them who survived the battle dispersed to their various cities.


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