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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 74

120. Of the Lacedemonians there came to Athens two thousand after the full moon, making great haste to be in time, so that they arrived in Attica on the third day after leaving Sparta: and though they had come too late for the battle, yet they desired to behold the Medes; and accordingly they went out to Marathon and looked at the bodies of the slain: then afterwards they departed home, commending the Athenians and the work which they had done.

121. Now it is a cause of wonder to me, and I do not accept the report, that the Alcmaionidai could ever have displayed to the Persians a shield by a previous understanding, with the desire that the Athenians should be under the Barbarians and under Hippias; seeing that they are evidently proved to have been haters of despots as much or more than Callias the son of Phainippos and father of Hipponicos, while Callias for his part was the only man of all the Athenians who dared, when Peisistratos was driven out of Athens, to buy his goods offered for sale by the State, and in other ways also he contrived against him everything that was most hostile:

122. Of this Callias it is fitting that every one should have remembrance for many reasons: first because of that which has been before said, namely that he was a man of excellence in freeing his country; and then also for that which he did at the Olympic games, wherein he gained a victory in the horse-race and was second in the chariot-race, and he had before this been a victor at the Pythian games, so that he was distinguished in the sight of all Hellenes by the sums which he expended; and finally because he showed himself a man of such liberality towards his daughters, who were three in number; for when they came to be of ripe age for marriage, he gave them a most magnificent dowry and also indulged their inclinations; for whomsoever of all the Athenians each one of them desired to choose as a husband for herself, to that man he gave her.] 109.

123, and similarly, 110 the Alcmaionidai were haters of despots equally or more 111 than he. Therefore this is a cause of wonder to me, and I do not admit the accusation that these they were who displayed the shield; seeing that they were in exile from the despots during their whole time, and that by their contrivance the sons of Peisistratos gave up their rule. Thus it follows that they were the men who set Athens free much more than Harmodios and Aristogeiton, as I judge: for these my slaying Hipparchos exasperated the rest of the family of Peisistratos, and did not at all cause the others to cease from their despotism; but the Alcmaionidai did evidently set Athens free, at least if these were in truth the men who persuaded the Pythian prophetess to signify to the Lacedemonians that they should set Athens free, as I have set forth before..


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