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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 97

41. Thus did Xerxes march forth out of Sardis; and he used to change, whenever he was so disposed, from the chariot to a carriage. And behind him went spearmen, the best and most noble of the Persians, a thousand in number, holding their spear-points in the customary way; 42 and after them another thousand horsemen chosen out from the Persians; and after the horsemen ten thousand men chosen out from the remainder of the Persians. This body went on foot; and of these a thousand had upon their spears pomegranates of gold instead of the spikes at the butt-end, and these enclosed the others round, while the remaining nine thousand were within these and had silver pomegranates. And those also had golden pomegranates who had their spear-points turned towards the earth, while those who followed next after Xerxes had golden apples. Then to follow the ten thousand there was appointed a body of ten thousand Persian cavalry; and after the cavalry there was an interval of as much as two furlongs. Then the rest of the host came marching without distinction.

42. So the army proceeded on its march from Lydia to the river Caïcos and the land of Mysia; and then setting forth from the Caïcos and keeping the mountain of Cane on the left hand, it marched through the region of Atarneus to the city of Carene. From this it went through the plain of Thebe, passing by the cities of Adramytteion and Antandros of the Pelasgians; and taking mount Ida on the left hand, it came on to the land of Ilion. And first, when it had stopped for the night close under mount Ida, thunder and bolts of lightning fell upon it, and destroyed here in this place a very large number of men. 43

43. Then when the army had come to the river Scamander,—which of all rivers to which they had come, since they set forth from Sardis and undertook their march, was the first of which the stream failed and was not sufficient for the drinking of the army and of the animals with it,—when, I say, Xerxes had come to this river, he went up to the Citadel of Priam, 44 having a desire to see it; and having seen it and learnt by inquiry of all those matters severally, he sacrificed a thousand heifers to Athene of Ilion, and the Magians poured libations in honour of the heroes: and after they had done this, a fear fell upon the army in the night. Then at break of day he set forth from thence, keeping on his left hand the cities of Rhoition and Ophryneion and Dardanos, which last borders upon Abydos, and having on the right hand the Gergith Teucrians.

44. When Xerxes had come into the midst of Abydos, 45 he had a desire to see all the army; and there had been made purposely for him beforehand upon a hill in this place a raised seat of white stone, 46 which the people of Abydos had built at the command of the king given beforehand. There he took his seat, and looking down upon the shore he gazed both upon the land-army and the ships; and gazing upon them he had a longing to see a contest take place between the ships; and when it had taken place and the Phenicians of Sidon were victorious, he was delighted both with the contest and with the whole armament.


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