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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 64

85. Now when the Eginetans heard that Cleomenes had met his end, they sent messengers to Sparta to denounce Leotychides for the matter of the hostages which were being kept at Athens: and the Lacedemonians caused a court to assemble and judged that the Eginetans had been dealt with outrageously by Leotychides; and they condemned him to be taken to Egina and delivered up in place of the men who were being kept at Athens. Then when the Eginetans were about to take Leotychides, Theasides the son of Leoprepes, a man of repute in Sparta, said to them: "What are ye proposing 74 to do, men of Egina? Do ye mean to take away the king of the Spartans, thus delivered up to you by his fellow-citizens? If the Spartans now being in anger have decided so, beware lest at some future time, if ye do this, they bring an evil upon your land which may destroy it." Hearing this the Eginetans abstained from taking him; but they came to an agreement that Leotychides should accompany them to Athens and restore the men to the Eginetans.

86. When however Leotychides came to Athens and asked for the deposit back, the Athenians, not being willing to give up the hostages, produced pretexts for refusing, and alleged that two kings had deposited them and they did not think it right to give them back to the one without the other: so since the Athenians said that they would not give them back, Leotychides spoke to them as follows:

(a) "Athenians, do whichever thing ye yourselves desire; for ye know that if ye give them up, ye do that which religion commands, and if ye refuse to give them up, ye do the opposite of this: but I desire to tell you what kind of a thing came to pass once in Sparta about a deposit. We Spartans report that there was in Lacedemon about two generations before my time on Glaucos the son of Epikydes. This man we say attained the highest merit in all things besides, and especially he was well reported of by all who at that time dwelt in Lacedemon for his uprightness: and we relate that in due time 75 it happened to him thus:—a man of Miletos came to Sparta and desired to have speech with him, alleging the reasons which follow: 'I am a Milesian,' he said, 'and I am come hither desiring to have benefit from thy uprightness, Glaucos; for as there was much report of thy uprightness throughout all the rest of Hellas and also in Ionia, I considered with myself that Ionia is ever in danger, whereas Peloponnesus is safely established, and also that we never see wealth continue in the possession of the same persons long;—reflecting, I say, on these things and taking counsel with myself, I resolved to turn into money the half of my possessions, and to place it with thee, being well assured that if it were placed with thee I should have it safe. Do thou therefore, I pray thee, receive the money, and take and keep these tallies; and whosoever shall ask for the money back having the tokens answering to these, to him do thou restore it.' (b) The stranger who had come from Miletos said so much; and Glaucos accepted the deposit on the terms proposed. Then after a long time had gone by, there came to Sparta the sons of him who had deposited the money with Glaucos; and they came to speech with Glaucos, and producing the tokens asked for the money to be given back: but he repulsed them answering them again thus: 'I do not remember the matter, nor does my mind bring back to me any knowledge of those things whereof ye speak; but I desire to recollect and do all that is just; for if I received it, I desire to restore it honestly; and if on the other hand I did not receive it at all, I will act towards you in accordance with the customs of the Hellenes: 76 therefore I defer the settling of the matter with you for three months from now.' (c) The Milesians accordingly went away grieved, for they supposed that they had been robbed of the money; but Glaucos set forth to Delphi to consult the Oracle: and when he inquired of the Oracle whether he should rob them of the money by an oath, the Pythian prophetess rebuked him with these lines:

           

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