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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 58

62. Now Ariston it seems was ever stung by the desire of this woman, and accordingly he contrived as follows:—he made an engagement himself with his comrade, whose wife this woman was, that he would give him as a gift one thing of his own possessions, whatsoever he should choose, and he bade his comrade make return to him in similar fashion. He therefore, fearing nothing for his wife, because he saw that Ariston also had a wife, agreed to this; and on these terms they imposed oaths on one another. After this Ariston on his part gave that which Agetos had chosen from the treasures of Ariston, whatever the thing was; and he himself, seeking to obtain from him the like return, endeavoured then to take away the wife of his comrade from him: and he said that he consented to give anything else except this one thing only, but at length being compelled by the oath and by the treacherous deception, 46 he allowed her to be taken away from him..

63. Thus had Ariston brought into his house the third wife, having dismissed the second: and this wife, not having fulfilled the ten months 47 but in a shorter period of time, bore him that Demaratos of whom we were speaking; and one of his servants reported to him as he was sitting in council 48 with the Ephors, that a son had been born to him. He then, knowing the time when he took to him his wife, and reckoning the months upon his fingers, said, denying with an oath, "The child would not be mine." This the Ephors heard, but they thought it a matter of no importance at the moment; and the child grew up and Ariston repented of that which he had said, for he thought Demaratos was certainly his own son; and he gave him the name "Demaratos" for this reason, namely because before these things took place the Spartan people all in a body 49 had made a vow 50 praying that a son might be born to Ariston, as one who was pre-eminent in renown over all the kings who had ever arisen in Sparta.

64. For this reason the name Demaratos 51 was given to him. And as time went on Ariston died, and Demaratos obtained the kingdom: but it was fated apparently that these things should become known and should cause Demaratos to be deposed from the kingdom; and therefore 52 Demaratos came to be at variance greatly with Cleomenes both at the former time when he withdrew his army from Eleusis, and also now especially, when Cleomenes had crossed over to take those of the Eginetans who had gone over to the Medes..

65. Cleomenes then, being anxious to take vengeance on him, concerted matters with Leotychides the son of Menares, the son of Agis, who was of the same house as Demaratos, under condition that if he should set him up as king instead of Demaratos, he would go with him against the Eginetans. Now Leotychides had become a bitter foe of Demaratos on account of this matter which follows:—Leotychides had betrothed himself to Percalos the daughter of Chilon son of Demarmenos; and Demaratos plotted against him and deprived Leotychides of his marriage, carrying off Percalos himself beforehand, and getting her for his wife. Thus had arisen the enmity of Leotychides against Demaratos; and now by the instigation of Cleomenes Leotychides deposed against Demaratos, saying that he was not rightfully reigning over the Spartans, not being a son of Ariston: and after this deposition he prosecuted a suit against him, recalling the old saying which Ariston uttered at the time when his servant reported to him that a son was born to him, and he reckoning up the months denied with an oath, saying that it was not his. Taking his stand upon this utterance, Leotychides proceeded to prove that Demaratos was not born of Ariston nor was rightfully reigning over Sparta; and he produced as witnesses those Ephors who chanced then to have been sitting with Ariston in council and to have heard him say this..


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