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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 44

9. These were the ships of the Ionians; and of the Barbarians the number of ships was six hundred. When these too were come to the Milesian coast and their whole land-army was also there, then the commanders of the Persians, being informed of the number of the Ionian ships, were struck with fear lest they should be unable to overcome them, and thus on the one hand should not be able to conquer Miletos from not having command of the sea, and at the same time should run a risk of being punished by Dareios. Reflecting upon these things they gathered together the despots of the Ionians who were exiles with the Medes, having been deposed from their governments by Aristagoras the Milesian, and who chanced to be then joining in the expedition against Miletos,—of these men they called together those who were present and spoke to them as follows: "Ionians, now let each one of you show himself a benefactor of the king's house, that is to say, let each one of you endeavour to detach his own countrymen from the body of the alliance: and make your proposals promising at the same time that they shall suffer nothing unpleasant on account of the revolt, and neither their temples nor their private houses shall be burnt, nor shall they have any worse treatment than they had before this; but if they will not do so, but will by all means enter into a contest with us, threaten them and tell them this, which in truth shall happen to them, namely that if they are worsted in the fight they shall be reduced to slavery, and we shall make their sons eunuchs, and their maidens we shall remove to Bactria, and deliver their land to others.".

10. They thus spoke; and the despots of Ionia sent each one by night to his own people announcing to them this. The Ionians however, that is those to whom these messages came, continued obstinate and would not accept the thought of treason to their cause; and each people thought that to them alone the Persians were sending this message.

11. This happened as soon as the Persians came to Miletos; and after this the Ionians being gathered together at Lade held meetings; and others no doubt also made speeches to them, but especially the Phocaian commander Dionysios, who said as follows: "Seeing that our affairs are set upon the razor's edge, Ionians, whether we shall be free or slaves, and slaves too to be dealt with as runaways, now therefore if ye shall be willing to take upon yourselves hardships, ye will have labour for the time being, but ye will be able to overcome the enemy and be free; whereas if ye continue to be self-indulgent and without discipline, I have no hope for you that ye will not pay the penalty to the king for your revolt. Nay, but do as I say, and deliver yourselves over to me; and I engage, if the gods grant equal conditions, that either the enemy will not fight with us, or that fighting he shall be greatly discomfited.".


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