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The History of Herodotus, parallel English/Greek, tr. G. C. Macaulay, [1890], at

Herodotus Book 1: Clio [70]

70. For this reason therefore the Lacedemonians accepted the alliance, and also because he chose them as his friends, preferring them to all the other Hellenes. And not only were they ready themselves when he made his offer, but they caused a mixing-bowl to be made of bronze, covered outside with figures round the rim and of such a size as to hold three hundred amphors, and this they conveyed, desiring to give it as a gift in return to Crœsus. This bowl never came to Sardis for reasons of which two accounts are given as follows:--The Lacedemonians say that when the bowl was on its way to Sardis and came opposite the land of Samos, the men of Samos having heard of it sailed out with ships of war and took it away; but the Samians themselves say that the Lacedemonians who were conveying the bowl, finding that they were too late and hearing that Sardis had been taken and Crœsus was a prisoner, sold the bowl in Samos, and certain private persons bought it and dedicated it as a votive offering in the temple of Hera; and probably those who had sold it would say when they returned to Sparta that it had been taken from them by the Samians.

70. [1] τούτων τε ὦν εἵνεκεν οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι τὴν συμμαχίην ἐδέξαντο, καὶ ὅτι ἐκ πάντων σφέας προκρίνας Ἑλλήνων αἱρέετο φίλους. καὶ τοῦτο μὲν αὐτοὶ ἦσαν ἕτοιμοι ἐπαγγείλαντι, τοῦτο δὲ ποιησάμενοι κρητῆρα χάλκεον ζῳδίων τε ἔξωθεν πλήσαντες περὶ τὸ χεῖλος καὶ μεγάθεϊ τριηκοσίους ἀμφορέας χωρέοντα ἦγον, δῶρον βουλόμενοι ἀντιδοῦναι Κροίσῳ. [2] οὗτος ὁ κρητὴρ οὐκ ἀπίκετο ἐς Σάρδις δι᾽ αἰτίας διφασίας λεγομένας τάσδε· οἱ μὲν Λακεδαιμόνιοι λέγουσι ὡς ἐπείτε ἀγόμενος ἐς τὰς Σάρδις ὁ κρητὴρ ἐγίνετο κατὰ τὴν Σαμίην, πυθόμενοι Σάμιοι ἀπελοίατο αὐτὸν νηυσὶ μακρῇσι ἐπιπλώσαντες· [3] αὐτοὶ δὲ Σάμιοι λέγουσι ὡς ἐπείτε ὑστέρησαν οἱ ἄγοντες τῶν Λακεδαιμονίων τὸν κρητῆρα, ἐπυνθάνοντο δὲ Σάρδις τε καὶ Κροῖσον ἡλωκέναι, ἀπέδοντο τὸν κρητῆρα ἐν Σάμῳ, ἰδιώτας δὲ ἄνδρας πριαμένους ἀναθεῖναί μιν ἐς τὸ Ἥραιον. τάχα δὲ ἂν καὶ οἱ ἀποδόμενοι λέγοιεν ἀπικόμενοι ἐς Σπάρτην ὡς ἀπαιρεθείησαν ὑπὸ Σαμίων.

71. Thus then it happened about the mixing-bowl: but meanwhile Crœsus, mistaking the meaning of the oracle, was making a march into Cappadokia, expecting to overthrow Cyrus and the power of the Persians: and while Crœsus was preparing to march against the Persians, one of the Lydians, who even before this time was thought to be a wise man but in consequence of this opinion got a very great name for wisdom among the Lydians, had advised Crœsus as follows (the name of the man was Sandanis):--"O king, thou art preparing to march against men who wear breeches of leather, and the rest of their clothing is of leather also; and they eat food not such as they desire but such as they can obtain, dwelling in a land which is rugged; and moreover they make no use of wine but drink water; and no figs have they for dessert, nor any other good thing. On the one hand, if thou shalt overcome them, what wilt thou take away from them, seeing they have nothing? and on the other hand, if thou shalt be overcome, consider how many good things thou wilt lose; for once having tasted our good things, they will cling to them fast and it will not be possible to drive them away. I for my own part feel gratitude to the gods that they do not put it into the minds of the Persians to march against the Lydians." Thus he spoke not persuading Crœsus: for it is true indeed that the Persians before they subdued the Lydians had no luxury nor any good thing.

71. [1] κατὰ μέν νυν τὸν κρητῆρα οὕτω ἔσχε, Κροῖσος δὲ ἁμαρτὼν τοῦ χρησμοῦ ἐποιέετο στρατηίην ἐς Καππαδοκίην, ἐλπίσας καταιρήσειν Κῦρόν τε καὶ τὴν Περσέων δύναμιν. [2] παρασκευαζομένου δὲ Κροίσου στρατεύεσθαι ἐπὶ Πέρσας, τῶν τις Λυδῶν νομιζόμενος καὶ πρόσθε εἶναι σοφός, ἀπὸ δὲ ταύτης τῆς γνώμης καὶ τὸ κάρτα οὔνομα ἐν Λυδοῖσι ἔχων, συνεβούλευσε Κροίσῳ τάδε· οὔνομά οἱ ἦν Σάνδανις. «ὦ βασιλεῦ, ἐπ᾽ ἄνδρας τοιούτους στρατεύεσθαι παρασκευάζεαι, οἳ σκυτίνας μὲν ἀναξυρίδας σκυτίνην δὲ τὴν ἄλλην ἐσθῆτα φορέουσι, σιτέονται δὲ οὐκ ὅσα ἐθέλουσι ἀλλ᾽ ὅσα ἔχουσι, χώρην ἔχοντες τρηχέαν. [3] πρὸς δὲ οὐκ οἴνῳ διαχρέωνται ἀλλὰ ὑδροποτέουσι, οὐ σῦκα δὲ ἔχουσι τρώγειν, οὐκ ἄλλο ἀγαθὸν οὐδέν. τοῦτο μὲν δή, εἰ νικήσεις, τί σφέας ἀπαιρήσεαι, τοῖσί γε μὴ ἔστι μηδέν; τοῦτο δέ, ἢν νικηθῇς, μάθε ὅσα ἀγαθὰ ἀποβαλέεις· γευσάμενοι γὰρ τῶν ἡμετέρων ἀγαθῶν περιέξονται οὐδὲ ἀπωστοὶ ἔσονται. [4] ἐγὼ μέν νυν θεοῖσι ἔχω χάριν, οἳ οὐκ ἐπὶ νόον ποιέουσι Πέρσῃσι στρατεύεσθαι ἐπὶ Λυδούς.» ταῦτα λέγων οὐκ ἔπειθε τὸν Κροῖσον. Πέρσῃσι γάρ, πρὶν Λυδοὺς καταστρέψασθαι, ἦν οὔτε ἁβρὸν οὔτε ἀγαθὸν οὐδέν. 

72. Now the Cappadokians are called by the Hellenes Syrians; and these Syrians, before the Persians had rule, were subjects of the Medes, but at this time they were subjects of Cyrus. For the boundary between the Median empire and the Lydian was the river Halys; and this flows from the mountain-land of Armenia through the Kilikians, and afterwards, as it flows, it has the Matienians on the right hand and the Phrygians on the other side; then passing by these and flowing up towards the North Wind, it bounds on the one side the Cappadokian Syrians and on the left hand the Paphlagonians. Thus the river Halys cuts off from the rest almost all the lower parts of Asia by a line extending from the sea that is opposite Cyprus to the Euxine. And this tract is the neck of the whole peninsula, the distance of the journey being such that five days are spent on the way by a man without encumbrance.

72. [1] οἱ δὲ Καππαδόκαι ὑπὸ Ἑλλήνων Σύριοι ὀνομάζονται· ἦσαν δὲ οἱ Σύριοι οὗτοι τὸ μὲν πρότερον ἢ Πέρσας ἄρξαι Μήδων κατήκοοι, τότε δὲ Κύρου. [2] ὁ γὰρ οὖρος ἦν τῆς τε Μηδικῆς ἀρχῆς καὶ τῆς Λυδικῆς ὁ Ἅλυς ποταμός, ὃς ῥέει ἐξ Ἀρμενίου ὄρεος διὰ Κιλίκων, μετὰ δὲ Ματιηνοὺς μὲν ἐν δεξιῇ ἔχει ῥέων, ἐκ δὲ τοῦ ἑτέρου Φρύγας· παραμειβόμενος δὲ τούτους καὶ ῥέων ἄνω πρὸς βορέην ἄνεμον ἔνθεν μὲν Συρίους Καππαδόκας ἀπέργει, ἐξ εὐωνύμου δὲ Παφλαγόνας. [3] οὕτω ὁ Ἅλυς ποταμὸς ἀποτάμνει σχεδὸν πάντα τῆς Ἀσίης τὰ κάτω ἐκ θαλάσσης τῆς ἀντίον Κύπρου ἐς τὸν Εὔξεινον πόντον. ἔστι δὲ αὐχὴν οὗτος τῆς χώρης ταύτης ἁπάσης· μῆκος ὁδοῦ εὐζώνῳ ἀνδρὶ πέντε ἡμέραι ἀναισιμοῦνται. 

73. Now for the following reasons Crœsus was marching into Cappadokia: --first because he desired to acquire the land in addition to his own possessions, and then especially because he had confidence in the oracle and wished to take vengeance on Cyrus for Astyages. For Cyrus the son of Cambyses had conquered Astyages and was keeping him in captivity, who was brother by marriage to Crœsus and king of the Medes: and he had become the brother by marriage of Crœsus in this manner:--A horde of the nomad Scythians at feud with the rest withdrew and sought refuge in the land of the Medes: and at this time the ruler of the Medes was Kyaxares the son of Phraortes, the son of Deïokes, who at first dealt well with these Scythians, being suppliants for his protection; and esteeming them very highly he delivered boys to them to learn their speech and the art of shooting with the bow. Then time went by, and the Scythians used to go out continually to the chase and always brought back something; till once it happened that they took nothing, and when they returned with empty hands Kyaxares (being, as he showed on this occasion, not of an eminently good disposition) dealt with them very harshly and used insult towards them. And they, when they had received this treatment from Kyaxares, considering that they had suffered indignity, planned to kill and to cut up one of the boys who were being instructed among them, and having dressed his flesh as they had been wont to dress the wild animals, to bear it to Kyaxares and give it to him, pretending that it was game taken in hunting; and when they had given it, their design was to make their way as quickly as possible to Alyattes the son of Sadyattes at Sardis. This then was done; and Kyaxares with the guests who ate at his table tasted of that meat, and the Scythians having so done became suppliants for the protection of Alyattes. 73. [1] ἐστρατεύετο δὲ ὁ Κροῖσος ἐπὶ τὴν Καππαδοκίην τῶνδε εἵνεκα, καὶ γῆς ἱμέρῳ προσκτήσασθαι πρὸς τὴν ἑωυτοῦ μοῖραν βουλόμενος, καὶ μάλιστα τῷ χρηστηρίῳ πίσυνος ἐὼν καὶ τίσασθαι θέλων ὑπὲρ Ἀστυάγεος Κῦρον. [2] Ἀστυάγεα γὰρ τὸν Κυαξάρεω, ἐόντα Κροίσου μὲν γαμβρὸν Μήδων δὲ βασιλέα, Κῦρος ὁ Καμβύσεω καταστρεψάμενος εἶχε, γενόμενον γαμβρὸν Κροίσῳ ὧδε. [3] Σκυθέων τῶν νομάδων εἴλῃ ἀνδρῶν στασιάσασα ὑπεξῆλθε ἐς γῆν τὴν Μηδικήν· ἐτυράννευε δὲ τὸν χρόνον τοῦτον Μήδων Κυαξάρης ὁ Φραόρτεω τοῦ Δηιόκεω, ὃς τοὺς Σκύθας τούτους τὸ μὲν πρῶτον περιεῖπε εὖ ὡς ἐόντας ἱκέτας· ὥστε δὲ περὶ πολλοῦ ποιεόμενος αὐτούς, παῖδάς σφι παρέδωκε τὴν γλῶσσάν τε ἐκμαθεῖν καὶ τὴν τέχνην τῶν τόξων. [4] χρόνου δὲ γενομένου, καὶ αἰεὶ φοιτεόντων τῶν Σκυθέων ἐπ᾽ ἄγρην καὶ αἰεί τι φερόντων, καὶ κοτε συνήνεικε ἑλεῖν σφεας μηδέν· νοστήσαντας δὲ αὐτοὺς κεινῇσι χερσὶ ὁ Κυαξάρης (ἦν γάρ, ὡς διέδεξε, ὀργὴν ἄκρος) τρηχέως κάρτα περιέσπε ἀεικείῃ. [5] οἳ δὲ ταῦτα πρὸς Κυαξάρεω παθόντες, ὥστε ἀνάξια σφέων αὐτῶν πεπονθότες, ἐβούλευσαν τῶν παρὰ σφίσι διδασκομένων παίδων ἕνα κατακόψαι, σκευάσαντες δὲ αὐτὸν ὥσπερ ἐώθεσαν καὶ τὰ θηρία σκευάζειν, Κυαξάρῃ δοῦναι φέροντες ὡς ἄγρην δῆθεν, δόντες δὲ τὴν ταχίστην κομίζεσθαι παρὰ Ἀλυάττεα τὸν Σαδυάττεω ἐς Σάρδις. [6] ταῦτα καὶ ἐγένετο. καὶ γὰρ Κυαξάρης καὶ οἱ παρεόντες δαιτυμόνες τῶν κρεῶν τούτων ἐπάσαντο, καὶ οἱ Σκύθαι ταῦτα ποιήσαντες Ἀλυάττεω ἱκέται ἐγένοντο. 

74. After this, seeing that Alyattes would not give up the Scythians when Kyaxares demanded them, there had arisen war between the Lydians and the Medes lasting five years; in which years the Medes often discomfited the Lydians and the Lydians often discomfited the Medes (and among others they fought also a battle by night): and as they still carried on the war with equally balanced fortune, in the sixth year a battle took place in which it happened, when the fight had begun, that suddenly the day became night. And this change of the day Thales the Milesian had foretold to the Ionians laying down as a limit this very year in which the change took place. The Lydians however and the Medes, when they saw that it had become night instead of day, ceased from their fighting and were much more eager both of them that peace should be made between them. And they who brought about the peace between them were Syennesis the Kilikian and Labynetos the Babylonian: these were they who urged also the taking of the oath by them, and they brought about an interchange of marriages; for they decided that Alyattes should give his daughter Aryenis to Astyages the son of Kyaxares, seeing that without the compulsion of a strong tie agreements are apt not to hold strongly together. Now these nations observe the same ceremonies in taking oaths as the Hellenes, and in addition to them they make incision into the skin of their arms, and then lick up the blood each of the other.

74. [1] μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα, οὐ γὰρ δὴ ὁ Ἀλυάττης ἐξεδίδου τοὺς Σκύθας ἐξαιτέοντι Κυαξάρῃ, πόλεμος τοῖσι Λυδοῖσι καὶ τοῖσι Μήδοισι ἐγεγόνεε ἐπ᾽ ἔτεα πέντε, ἐν τοῖσι πολλάκις μὲν οἱ Μῆδοι τοὺς Λυδοὺς ἐνίκησαν, πολλάκις δὲ οἱ Λυδοὶ τοὺς Μήδους, ἐν δὲ καὶ νυκτομαχίην τινὰ ἐποιήσαντο· [2] διαφέρουσι δέ σφι ἐπὶ ἴσης τὸν πόλεμον τῷ ἕκτῳ ἔτεϊ συμβολῆς γενομένης συνήνεικε ὥστε τῆς μάχης συνεστεώσης τὴν ἡμέρην ἐξαπίνης νύκτα γενέσθαι. τὴν δὲ μεταλλαγὴν ταύτην τῇ ἡμέρης Θαλῆς ὁ Μιλήσιος τοῖσι Ἴωσι προηγόρευσε ἔσεσθαι, οὖρον προθέμενος ἐνιαυτὸν τοῦτον ἐν τῷ δὴ καὶ ἐγένετο ἡ μεταβολή. [3] οἱ δὲ Λυδοί τε καὶ οἱ Μῆδοι ἐπείτε εἶδον νύκτα ἀντὶ ἡμέρης γενομένην, τῆς μάχης τε ἐπαύσαντο καὶ μᾶλλόν τι ἔσπευσαν καὶ ἀμφότεροι εἰρήνην ἑωυτοῖσι γενέσθαι. οἱ δὲ συμβιβάσαντες αὐτοὺς ἦσαν οἵδε, Συέννεσίς τε ὁ Κίλιξ καὶ Λαβύνητος ὁ Βαβυλώνιος. [4] οὗτοί σφι καὶ τὸ ὅρκιον οἱ σπεύσαντες γενέσθαι ἦσαν καὶ γάμων ἐπαλλαγὴν ἐποίησαν· Ἀλυάττεα γὰρ ἔγνωσαν δοῦναι τὴν θυγατέρα Ἀρύηνιν Ἀστυάγεϊ τῷ Κυαξάρεω παιδί· ἄνευ γὰρ ἀναγκαίης ἰσχυρῆς συμβάσιες ἰσχυραὶ οὐκ ἐθέλουσι συμμένειν. [5] ὅρκια δὲ ποιέεται ταῦτα τὰ ἔθνεα τὰ πέρ τε Ἕλληνες, καὶ πρὸς τούτοισι, ἐπεὰν τοὺς βραχίονας ἐπιτάμωνται ἐς τὴν ὁμοχροίην, τὸ αἷμα ἀναλείχουσι ἀλλήλων. 

75. This Astyages then, being his mother's father, Cyrus had conquered and made prisoner for a reason which I shall declare in the history which comes after. This then was the complaint which Crœsus had against Cyrus when he sent to the Oracles to ask if he should march against the Persians; and when a deceitful answer had come back to him, he marched into the dominion of the Persians, supposing that the answer was favourable to himself. And when Crœsus came to the river Halys, then, according to my account, he passed his army across by the bridges which there were; but, according to the account which prevails among the Hellenes, Thales the Milesian enabled him to pass his army across. For, say they, when Crœsus was at a loss how his army should pass over the river (since, they add, there were not yet at that time the bridges which now there are), Thales being present in the army caused the river, which flowed then on the left hand of the army, to flow partly also on the right; and he did it thus:--beginning above the camp he proceeded to dig a deep channel, directing it in the form of a crescent moon, so that the river might take the camp there pitched in the rear, being turned aside from its ancient course by this way along the channel, and afterwards passing by the camp might fall again into its ancient course; so that as soon as the river was thus parted in two it became fordable by both branches: and some say even that the ancient course of the river was altogether dried up. But this tale I do not admit as true, for how then did they pass over the river as they went back? 75. [1] τοῦτον δὴ ὦν τὸν Ἀστυάγεα Κῦρος ἐόντα ἑωυτοῦ μητροπάτορα καταστρεψάμενος ἔσχε δι᾽ αἰτίην τὴν ἐγὼ ἐν τοῖσι ὀπίσω λόγοισι σημανέω· [2] τὰ Κροῖσος ἐπιμεμφόμενος τῷ Κύρῳ ἔς τε τὰ χρηστήρια ἔπεμπε εἰ στρατεύηται ἐπὶ Πέρσας, καὶ δὴ καὶ ἀπικομένου χρησμοῦ κιβδήλου, ἐλπίσας πρὸς ἑωυτοῦ τὸν χρησμὸν εἶναι, ἐστρατεύετο ἐς τὴν Περσέων μοῖραν. [3] ὡς δὲ ἀπίκετο ἐπὶ τὸν Ἅλυν ποταμὸν ὁ Κροῖσος, τὸ ἐνθεῦτεν, ὡς μὲν ἐγὼ λέγω, κατὰ τὰς ἐούσας γεφύρας διεβίβασε τὸν στρατόν, ὡς δὲ ὁ πολλὸς λόγος Ἑλλήνων, Θαλῆς οἱ ὁ Μιλήσιος διεβίβασε. [4] ἀπορέοντος γὰρ Κροίσου ὅκως οἱ διαβήσεται τὸν ποταμὸν ὁ στρατός (οὐ γὰρ δὴ εἶναι κω τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον τὰς γεφύρας ταύτας) λέγεται παρεόντα τὸν Θαλῆν ἐν τῷ στρατοπέδῳ ποιῆσαι αὐτῷ τὸν ποταμὸν ἐξ ἀριστερῆς χειρὸς ῥέοντα τοῦ στρατοῦ καὶ ἐκ δεξιῆς ῥέειν, ποιῆσαι δὲ ὧδε· [5] ἄνωθεν τοῦ στρατοπέδου ἀρξάμενον διώρυχα βαθέαν ὀρύσσειν, ἄγοντα μηνοειδέα, ὅκως ἂν τὸ στρατόπεδον ἱδρυμένον κατὰ νώτου λάβοι, ταύτῃ κατὰ τὴν διώρυχα ἐκτραπόμενος ἐκ τῶν ἀρχαίων ῥεέθρων, καὶ αὖτις παραμειβόμενος τὸ στρατόπεδον ἐς τὰ ἀρχαῖα ἐσβάλλοι· ὥστε ἐπείτε καὶ ἐσχίσθη τάχιστα ὁ ποταμός, ἀμφοτέρῃ διαβατὸς ἐγένετο, [6] οἳ δὲ καὶ τὸ παράπαν λέγουσι καὶ τὸ ἀρχαῖον ῥέεθρον ἀποξηρανθῆναι. ἀλλὰ τοῦτο μὲν οὐ προσίεμαι· κῶς γὰρ ὀπίσω πορευόμενοι διέβησαν αὐτόν; 

76. And Crœsus, when he had passed over with his army, came to that place in Cappadokia which is called Pteria (now Pteria is the strongest place in this country, and is situated somewhere about in a line with the city of Sinope on the Euxine). Here he encamped and ravaged the fields of the Syrians. Moreover he took the city of the Pterians, and sold the people into slavery, and he took also all the towns that lay about it; and the Syrians, who were not guilty of any wrong, he forced to remove from their homes. Meanwhile Cyrus, having gathered his own forces and having taken up in addition to them all who dwelt in the region between, was coming to meet Crœsus. Before he began however to lead forth his army, he had sent heralds to the Ionians and tried to induce them to revolt from Crœsus; but the Ionians would not do as he said. Then when Cyrus was come and had encamped over against Crœsus, they made trial of one another by force of arms in the land of Pteria: and after hard fighting, when many had fallen on both sides, at length, night having come on, they parted from one the other with no victory on either side.

76. [1] Κροῖσος δὲ ἐπείτε διαβὰς σὺν τῷ στρατῷ ἀπίκετο τῆς Καππαδοκίης ἐς τὴν Πτερίην καλεομένην (ἡ δὲ Πτερίη ἐστὶ τῆς χώρης ταύτης τὸ ἰσχυρότατον, κατὰ Σινώπην πόλιν τὴν ἐν Εὐξείνῳ πόντῳ μάλιστά κῃ κειμένη), ἐνθαῦτα ἐστρατοπεδεύετο φθείρων τῶν Συρίων τοὺς κλήρους· [2] καὶ εἷλε μὲν τῶν Πτερίων τὴν πόλιν καὶ ἠνδραποδίσατο, εἷλε δὲ τὰς περιοικίδας αὐτῆς πάσας, Συρίους τε οὐδὲν ἐόντας αἰτίους ἀναστάτους ἐποίησε. Κῦρος δὲ ἀγείρας τὸν ἑωυτοῦ στρατὸν καὶ παραλαβὼν τοὺς μεταξὺ οἰκέοντας πάντας ἠντιοῦτο Κροίσῳ. [3] πρὶν δὲ ἐξελαύνειν ὁρμῆσαι τὸν στρατόν, πέμψας κήρυκας ἐς τοὺς Ἴωνας ἐπειρᾶτο σφέας ἀπὸ Κροίσου ἀπιστάναι. Ἴωνες μέν νυν οὐκ ἐπείθοντο. Κῦρος δὲ ὡς ἀπίκετο καὶ ἀντεστρατοπεδεύσατο Κροίσῳ, ἐνθαῦτα ἐν τῇ Πτερίῃ χωρῇ ἐπειρῶντο κατὰ τὸ ἰσχυρὸν ἀλλήλων. [4] μάχης δὲ καρτερῆς γενομένης καὶ πεσόντων ἀμφοτέρων πολλῶν, τέλος οὐδέτεροι νικήσαντες διέστησαν νυκτὸς ἐπελθούσης.

77. Thus the two armies contended with one another: and Crœsus being ill satisfied with his own army in respect of number (for the army which he had when he fought was far smaller than that of Cyrus), being dissatisfied with it I say on this account, as Cyrus did not attempt to advance against him on the following day, marched back to Sardis, having it in his mind to call the Egyptians to his help according to the oath which they had taken (for he had made an alliance with Amasis king of Egypt before he made the alliance with the Lacedemonians), and to summon the Babylonians as well (for with these also an alliance had been concluded by him, Labynetos being at that time ruler of the Babylonians), and moreover to send a message to the Lacedemonians bidding them appear at a fixed time: and then after he had got all these together and had gathered his own army, his design was to let the winter go by and at the coming of spring to march against the Persians. So with these thoughts in his mind, as soon as he came to Sardis he proceeded to send heralds to his several allies to give them notice that by the fifth month from that time they should assemble at Sardis: but the army which he had with him and which had fought with the Persians, an army which consisted of mercenary troops, he let go and disbanded altogether, never expecting that Cyrus, after having contended against him with such even fortune, would after all march upon Sardis.

77. [1] καὶ τὰ μὲν στρατόπεδα ἀμφότερα οὕτω ἠγωνίσατο. Κροῖσος δὲ μεμφθεὶς κατὰ τὸ πλῆθος τὸ ἑωυτοῦ στράτευμα (ἦν γάρ οἱ ὁ συμβαλὼν στρατὸς πολλὸν ἐλάσσων ἢ ὁ Κύρου), τοῦτο μεμφθείς, ὡς τῇ ὑστεραίῃ οὐκ ἐπειρᾶτο ἐπιὼν ὁ Κῦρος, ἀπήλαυνε ἐς τὰς Σάρδις ἐν νόῳ ἔχων παρακαλέσας μὲν Αἰγυπτίους κατὰ τὸ ὅρκιον [2] (ἐποιήσατο γὰρ καὶ πρὸς Ἄμασιν βασιλεύοντα Αἰγύπτου συμμαχίην πρότερον ἤ περ πρὸς Λακεδαιμονίους), μεταπεμψάμενος δὲ καὶ Βαβυλωνίους (καὶ γὰρ πρὸς τούτους αὐτῷ ἐπεποίητο συμμαχίη, ἐτυράννευε δὲ τὸν χρόνον τοῦτον τῶν Βαβυλωνίων Λαβύνητος), [3] ἐπαγγείλας δὲ καὶ Λακεδαιμονίοισι παρεῖναι ἐς χρόνον ῥητόν ἁλίσας τε δὴ τούτους καὶ τὴν ἑωυτοῦ συλλέξας στρατιὴν ἐνένωτο τὸν χειμῶνα παρείς, ἅμα τῷ ἔαρι στρατεύειν ἐπὶ τοὺς Πέρσας. [4] καὶ ὃ μὲν ταῦτα φρονέων, ὡς ἀπίκετο ἐς τὰς Σάρδις, ἔπεμπε κήρυκας κατὰ τὰς συμμαχίας προερέοντας ἐς πέμπτον μῆνα συλλέγεσθαι ἐς Σάρδις· τὸν δὲ παρεόντα καὶ μαχεσάμενον στρατὸν Πέρσῃσι, ὃς ἦν αὐτοῦ ξεινικός, πάντα ἀπεὶς διεσκέδασε οὐδαμὰ ἐλπίσας μὴ κοτε ἄρα ἀγωνισάμενος οὕτω παραπλησίως Κῦρος ἐλάσῃ ἐπὶ Σάρδις. 

78. When Crœsus had these plans in his mind, the suburb of the city became of a sudden all full of serpents; and when these had appeared, the horses leaving off to feed in their pastures came constantly thither and devoured them. When Crœsus saw this he deemed it to be a portent, as indeed it was: and forthwith he despatched messengers to the dwelling of the Telmessians, who interpret omens: and the messengers who were sent to consult arrived there and learnt from the Telmessians what the portent meant to signify, but they did not succeed in reporting the answer to Crœsus, for before they sailed back to Sardis Crœsus had been taken prisoner. The Telmessians however gave decision thus: that an army speaking a foreign tongue was to be looked for by Crœsus to invade his land, and that this when it came would subdue the native inhabitants; for they said that the serpent was born of the soil, while the horse was an enemy and a stranger. The men of Telmessos thus made answer to Crœsus after he was already taken prisoner, not knowing as yet anything of the things which had happened to Sardis and to Crœsus himself.

78. [1] ταῦτα ἐπιλεγομένῳ Κροίσῳ τὸ προάστειον πᾶν ὀφίων ἐνεπλήσθη· φανέντων δὲ αὐτῶν οἱ ἵπποι μετιέντες τὰς νομὰς νέμεσθαι φοιτέοντες κατήσθιον. ἰδόντι δὲ τοῦτο Κροίσῳ, ὥσπερ καὶ ἦν ἔδοξε τέρας εἶναι· [2] αὐτίκα δὲ ἔπεμπε θεοπρόπους ἐς τῶν ἐξηγητέων Τελμησσέων. ἀπικομένοισι δὲ τοῖσι θεοπρόποισι καὶ μαθοῦσι πρὸς Τελμησσέων τὸ θέλει σημαίνειν τὸ τέρας, οὐκ ἐξεγένετο Κροίσῳ ἀπαγγεῖλαι· πρὶν γὰρ ἢ ὀπίσω σφέας ἀναπλῶσαι ἐς τὰς Σάρδις ἥλω ὁ Κροῖσος. [3] Τελμησσέες μέντοι τάδε ἔγνωσαν, στρατὸν ἀλλόθροον προσδόκιμον εἶναι Κροίσῳ ἐπὶ τὴν χώρην, ἀπικόμενον δὲ τοῦτον καταστρέψεσθαι τοὺς ἐπιχωρίους, λέγοντες ὄφιν εἶναι γῆς παῖδα, ἵππον δὲ πολέμιόν τε καὶ ἐπήλυδα. Τελμησσέες μέν νυν ταῦτα ὑπεκρίναντο Κροίσῳ ἤδη ἡλωκότι, οὐδὲν κω εἰδότες τῶν ἦν περὶ Σάρδις τε καὶ αὐτὸν Κροῖσον. 

79. Cyrus, however, so soon as Crœsus marched away after the battle which had been fought in Pteria, having learnt that Crœsus meant after he had marched away to disband his army, took counsel with himself and concluded that it was good for him to march as quickly as possible to Sardis, before the power of the Lydians should be again gathered together. So when he had resolved upon this, he did it without delay: for he marched his army into Lydia with such speed that he was himself the first to announce his coming to Crœsus. Then Crœsus, although he had come to a great strait, since his affairs had fallen out altogether contrary to his own expectation, yet proceeded to lead forth the Lydians into battle. Now there was at this time no nation in Asia more courageous or more stout in battle than the Lydian; and they fought on horseback carrying long spears, the men being excellent in horsemanship. 79. [1] Κῦρος δὲ αὐτίκα ἀπελαύνοντος Κροίσου μετὰ τὴν μάχην τὴν γενομένην ἐν τῇ Πτερίῃ, μαθὼν ὡς ἀπελάσας μέλλοι Κροῖσος διασκεδᾶν τὸν στρατόν, βουλευόμενος εὕρισκε πρῆγμά οἷ εἶναι ἐλαύνειν ὡς δύναιτο τάχιστα ἐπὶ τὰς Σάρδις, πρὶν ἢ τὸ δεύτερον ἁλισθῆναι τῶν Λυδῶν τὴν δύναμιν. [2] ὡς δέ οἱ ταῦτα ἔδοξε, καὶ ἐποίεε κατὰ τάχος· ἐλάσας γὰρ τὸν στρατὸν ἐς τὴν Λυδίην αὐτὸς ἄγγελος Κροίσῳ ἐληλύθεε. ἐνθαῦτα Κροῖσος ἐς ἀπορίην πολλὴν ἀπιγμένος, ὥς οἱ παρὰ δόξαν ἔσχε τὰ πρήγματα ἢ ὡς αὐτὸς κατεδόκεε, ὅμως τοὺς Λυδοὺς ἐξῆγε ἐς μάχην. [3] ἦν δὲ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον ἔθνος οὐδὲν ἐν τῇ Ἀσίῃ οὔτε ἀνδρηιότερον οὔτε ἀλκιμώτερον τοῦ Λυδίου. ἡ δὲ μάχη σφέων ἦν ἀπ᾽ ἵππων, δόρατά τε ἐφόρεον μεγάλα, καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦσαν ἱππεύεσθαι ἀγαθοί. 

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