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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 91

20. During four full years from the conquest of Egypt he was preparing the army and the things that were of service for the army, and in the course of the fifth year 20 he began his campaign with a host of great multitude. For of all the armies of which we have knowledge this proved to be by far the greatest; so that neither that led by Dareios against the Scythians appears anything as compared with it, nor the Scythian host, when the Scythians pursuing the Kimmerians made invasion of the Median land and subdued and occupied nearly all the upper parts of Asia, for which invasion afterwards Dareios attempted to take vengeance, nor that led by the sons of Atreus to Ilion, to judge by that which is reported of their expedition, nor that of the Mysians and Teucrians, before the Trojan war, who passed over into Europe by the Bosphorus and not only subdued all the Thracians, but came down also as far as the Ionian Sea 21 and marched southwards to the river Peneios.

21. All these expeditions put together, with others, if there be any, added to them, 22 are not equal to this one alone. For what nation did Xerxes not lead out of Asia against Hellas? and what water was not exhausted, being drunk by his host, except only the great rivers? For some supplied ships, and others were appointed to serve in the land-army; to some it was appointed to furnish cavalry, and to others vessels to carry horses, while they served in the expedition themselves also; 23 others were ordered to furnish ships of war for the bridges, and others again ships with provisions.

22. Then in the first place, since the former fleet had suffered disaster in sailing round Athos, preparations had been going on for about three years past with regard to Athos: for triremes lay at anchor at Elaius in the Chersonese, and with this for their starting point men of all nations belonging to the army worked at digging, compelled by the lash; and the men went to the work regularly in succession: moreover those who dwelt round about Athos worked also at the digging: and Bubares the son of Megabazos and Artachaies the son of Artaios, Persians both, were set over the work. Now Athos is a mountain great and famous, running down to the sea and inhabited by men: and where the mountain ends on the side of the mainland the place is like a peninsula with an isthmus about twelve furlongs 24 across. Here it is plain land or hills of no great size, extending from the sea of the Acanthians to that which lies off Torone; and on this isthmus, where Athos ends, is situated a Hellenic city called Sane: moreover there are others beyond Sane 25 and within the peninsula of Athos, all which at this time the Persian had resolved to make into cities of an island and no longer of the mainland; these are, Dion, Olophyxos, Acrothoon, Thyssos, Cleonai.


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