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

Herodotus Book 7: Polymnia [20]

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 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 and marched southwards to the river Peneios. 20. [1] ἀπὸ γὰρ Αἰγύπτου ἁλώσιος ἐπὶ μὲν τέσσερα ἔτεα πλήρεα παραρτέετο στρατιήν τε καὶ τὰ πρόσφορα τῇ στρατιῇ, πέμπτῳ δὲ ἔτεϊ ἀνομένῳ ἐστρατηλάτεε χειρὶ μεγάλῃ πλήθεος. [2] στόλων γὰρ τῶν ἡμεῖς ἴδμεν πολλῷ δὴ μέγιστος οὗτος ἐγένετο, ὥστε μήτε τὸν Δαρείου τὸν ἐπὶ Σκύθας παρὰ τοῦτον μηδένα φαίνεσθαι, μήτε τὸν Σκυθικόν, ὅτε Σκύθαι Κιμμερίους διώκοντες ἐς τὴν Μηδικὴν χώρην ἐσβαλόντες σχεδὸν πάντα τὰ ἄνω τῆς Ἀσίης καταστρεψάμενοι ἐνέμοντο, τῶν εἵνεκεν ὕστερον Δαρεῖος ἐτιμωρέετο, μήτε κατὰ τὰ λεγόμενα τὸν Ἀτρειδέων ἐς Ἴλιον, μήτε τὸν Μυσῶν τε καὶ Τευκρῶν τὸν πρὸ τῶν Τρωικῶν γενόμενον, οἳ διαβάντες ἐς τὴν Εὐρώπην κατὰ Βόσπορον τούς τε Θρήικας κατεστρέψαντο πάντας καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν Ἰόνιον πόντον κατέβησαν, μέχρι τε Πηνειοῦ ποταμοῦ τὸ πρὸς μεσαμβρίης ἤλασαν.

21. All these expeditions put together, with others, if there be any, added to them, 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; others were ordered to furnish ships of war for the bridges, and others again ships with provisions.

21. [1] αὗται αἱ πᾶσαι οὐδ᾽ εἰ ἕτεραι πρὸς ταύτῃσι προσγενόμεναι στρατηλασίαι μιῆς τῆσδε οὐκ ἄξιαι. τί γὰρ οὐκ ἤγαγε ἐκ τῆς Ἀσίης ἔθνος ἐπὶ τὴν Ἑλλάδα Ξέρξης; κοῖον δὲ πινόμενόν μιν ὕδωρ οὐκ ἐπέλιπε, πλὴν τῶν μεγάλων ποταμῶν; [2] οἳ μὲν γὰρ νέας παρείχοντο, οἳ δὲ ἐς πεζὸν ἐτετάχατο, τοῖσι δὲ ἵππος προσετέτακτο, τοῖσι δὲ ἱππαγωγὰ πλοῖα ἅμα στρατευομένοισι, τοῖσι δὲ ἐς τὰς γεφύρας μακρὰς νέας παρέχειν, τοῖσι δὲ σῖτά τε καὶ νέας.

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 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 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. 22. [1] καὶ τοῦτο μέν, ὡς προσπταισάντων τῶν πρώτων περιπλεόντων περὶ τὸν Ἄθων προετοιμάζετο ἐκ τριῶν ἐτέων κου μάλιστα τὰ ἐς τὸν Ἄθων. ἐν γὰρ Ἐλαιοῦντι τῆς Χερσονήσου ὅρμεον τριήρεες· ἐνθεῦτεν δὲ ὁρμώμενοι ὤρυσσον ὑπὸ μαστίγων παντοδαποὶ τῆς στρατιῆς, διάδοχοι δ᾽ ἐφοίτεον· ὤρυσσον δὲ καὶ οἱ περὶ τὸν Ἄθων κατοικημένοι. [2] Βουβάρης δὲ ὁ Μεγαβάζου καὶ Ἀρταχαίης ὁ Ἀρταίου ἄνδρες Πέρσαι ἐπέστασαν τοῦ ἔργου. ὁ γὰρ Ἄθως ἐστὶ ὄρος μέγα τε καὶ ὀνομαστόν, ἐς θάλασσαν κατῆκον, οἰκημένον ὑπὸ ἀνθρώπων. τῇ δὲ τελευτᾷ ἐς τὴν ἤπειρον τὸ ὄρος, χερσονησοειδές τε ἐστὶ καὶ ἰσθμὸς ὡς δυώδεκα σταδίων· πεδίον δὲ τοῦτο καὶ κολωνοὶ οὐ μεγάλοι ἐκ θαλάσσης τῆς Ἀκανθίων ἐπὶ θάλασσαν τὴν ἀντίον Τορώνης. [3] ἐν δὲ τῷ ἰσθμῷ τούτῳ, ἐς τὸν τελευτᾷ ὁ Ἄθως, Σάνη πόλις Ἑλλὰς οἴκηται, αἳ δὲ ἐκτὸς Σάνης, ἔσω δὲ τοῦ Ἄθω οἰκημέναι, τὰς τότε ὁ Πέρσης νησιώτιδας ἀντὶ ἠπειρωτίδων ὅρμητο ποιέειν· εἰσὶ δὲ αἵδε, Δῖον Ὀλόφυξος Ἀκρόθῳον Θύσσος Κλεωναί.

23. These are the cities which occupy Athos: and they dug as follows, the country being divided among the Barbarians by nations for the work:--at the city of Sane they drew a straight line across the isthmus, and when the channel became deep, those who stood lowest dug, while others delivered the earth as it was dug out to other men who stood above, as upon steps, and they again to others when it was received, until they came to those that were highest; and these bore it away and cast it forth. Now the others except the Phenicians had double toil by the breaking down of the steep edges of their excavation; for since they endeavoured to make the opening at the top and that at the bottom both of the same measure, some such thing was likely to result, as they worked: but the Phenicians, who are apt to show ability in their works generally, did so in this work also; for when they had had assigned to them by lot so much as fell to their share, they proceeded to dig, making the opening of the excavation at the top twice as wide as the channel itself was to be; and as the work went forward, they kept contracting the width; so that, when they came to the bottom, their work was made of equal width with that of the others. Now there is a meadow there, in which there was made for them a market and a place for buying and selling; and great quantities of corn came for them regularly from Asia, ready ground. 23. [1] πόλιες μὲν αὗται αἳ τὸν Ἄθων νέμονται, ὤρυσσον δὲ ὧδε δασάμενοι τὸν χῶρον οἱ βάρβαροι κατὰ ἔθνεα· κατὰ Σάνην πόλιν σχοινοτενὲς ποιησάμενοι, ἐπείτε ἐγίνετο βαθέα ἡ διῶρυξ, οἳ μὲν κατώτατα ἑστεῶτες ὤρυσσον, ἕτεροι δὲ παρεδίδοσαν τὸν αἰεὶ ἐξορυσσόμενον χοῦν ἄλλοισι κατύπερθε ἑστεῶσι ἐπὶ βάθρων, οἳ δ᾽ αὖ ἐκδεκόμενοι ἑτέροισι, ἕως ἀπίκοντο ἐς τοὺς ἀνωτάτω· οὗτοι δὲ ἐξεφόρεόν τε καὶ ἐξέβαλλον. [2] τοῖσι μέν νυν ἄλλοισι πλὴν Φοινίκων καταρρηγνύμενοι οἱ κρημνοὶ τοῦ ὀρύγματος πόνον διπλήσιον παρεῖχον· ἅτε γὰρ τοῦ τε ἄνω στόματος καὶ τοῦ κάτω τὰ αὐτὰ μέτρα ποιευμένων, ἔμελλέ σφι τοιοῦτο ἀποβήσεσθαι. [3] οἱ δὲ Φοίνικες σοφίην ἔν τε τοῖσι ἄλλοισι ἔργοισι ἀποδείκνυνται καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐν ἐκείνῳ. ἀπολαχόντες γὰρ μόριον ὅσον αὐτοῖσι ἐπέβαλλε, ὤρυσσον τὸ μὲν ἄνω στόμα τῆς διώρυχος ποιεῦντες διπλήσιον ἢ ὅσον ἔδεε αὐτὴν τὴν διώρυχα γενέσθαι, προβαίνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἔργου συνῆγον αἰεί· κάτω τε δὴ ἐγίνετο καὶ ἐξισοῦτο τοῖσι ἄλλοισι τὸ ἔργον. [4] ἐνθαῦτα λειμών ἐστι, ἵνα σφι ἀγορή τε ἐγίνετο καὶ πρητήριον· σῖτος δέ σφι πολλὸς ἐφοίτα ἐκ τῆς Ἀσίης ἀληλεσμένος.

24. It seems to me, making conjecture of this work, that Xerxes when he ordered this to be dug was moved by a love of magnificence and by a desire to make a display of his power and to leave a memorial behind him; for though they might have drawn the ships across the isthmus with no great labour, he bade them dig a channel for the sea of such breadth that two triremes might sail through, propelled side by side. To these same men to whom the digging had been appointed, it was appointed also to make a bridge over the river Strymon, yoking together the banks.

24. [1] ὡς μὲν ἐμὲ συμβαλλόμενον εὑρίσκειν, μεγαλοφροσύνης εἵνεκεν αὐτὸ Ξέρξης ὀρύσσειν ἐκέλευε, ἐθέλων τε δύναμιν ἀποδείκνυσθαι καὶ μνημόσυνα λιπέσθαι· παρεὸν γὰρ μηδένα πόνον λαβόντας τὸν ἰσθμὸν τὰς νέας διειρύσαι, ὀρύσσειν ἐκέλευε διώρυχα τῇ θαλάσσῃ εὖρος ὡς δύο τριήρεας πλέειν ὁμοῦ ἐλαστρεομένας. τοῖσι δὲ αὐτοῖσι τούτοισι, τοῖσί περ καὶ τὸ ὄρυγμα, προσετέτακτο καὶ τὸν Στρυμόνα ποταμὸν ζεύξαντας γεφυρῶσαι.

25. These things were being done by Xerxes thus; and meanwhile he caused ropes also to be prepared for the bridges, made of papyrus and of white flax, appointing this to the Phenicians and Egyptians; and also he was making preparations to store provisions for his army on the way, that neither the army itself nor the baggage animals might suffer from scarcity, as they made their march against Hellas. Accordingly, when he had learnt by inquiry of the various places, he bade them make stores where it was most convenient, carrying supplies to different parts by merchant ships and ferry-boats from all the countries of Asia. So they conveyed the greater part of the corn to the place which is called Leuke Acte in Thrace, while others conveyed stores to Tyrodiza of the Perinthians, others to Doriscos, others to Eïon on the Strymon, and others to Macedonia, the work being distributed between them.

25. [1] ταῦτα μέν νυν οὕτω ἐποίεε, παρεσκευάζετο δὲ καὶ ὅπλα ἐς τὰς γεφύρας βύβλινά τε καὶ λευκολίνου, ἐπιτάξας Φοίνιξί τε καὶ Αἰγυπτίοισι, καὶ σιτία τῇ στρατιῇ καταβάλλειν, ἵνα μὴ λιμήνειε ἡ στρατιὴ μηδὲ τὰ ὑποζύγια ἐλαυνόμενα ἐπὶ τὴν Ἑλλάδα· [2] ἀναπυθόμενος δὲ τοὺς χώρους καταβάλλειν ἐκέλευε ἵνα ἐπιτηδεότατον εἴη, ἄλλα ἄλλῃ ἀγινέοντας ὁλκάσι τε καὶ πορθμηίοισι ἐκ τῆς Ἀσίης πανταχόθεν. τὸν δὲ ὦν πλεῖστον ἐς Λευκὴν ἀκτὴν καλεομένην τῆς Θρηίκης ἀγίνεον, οἳ δὲ ἐς Τυρόδιζαν τὴν Περινθίων, οἳ δὲ ἐς Δορίσκον, οἳ δὲ ἐς Ἠιόνα τὴν ἐπὶ Στρυμόνι, οἳ δὲ ἐς Μακεδονίην διατεταγμένοι.

26. During the time that these were working at the task which had been proposed to them, the whole land-army had been assembled together and was marching with Xerxes to Sardis, setting forth from Critalla in Cappadokia; for there it had been ordered that the whole army should assemble, which was to go with Xerxes himself by the land: but which of the governors of provinces brought the best equipped force and received from the king the gifts proposed, I am not able to say, for I do not know that they even came to a competition in this matter. Then after they had crossed the river Halys and had entered Phrygia, marching through this land they came to Kelainai, where the springs of the river Maiander come up, and also those of another river not less than the Maiander, whose name is Catarractes; this rises in the market-place itself of Kelainai and runs into the Maiander: and here also is hanging up in the city the skin of Marsyas the Silenos, which is said by the Phrygians to have been flayed off and hung up by Apollo. 26. [1] ἐν ᾧ δὲ οὗτοι τὸν προκείμενον πόνον ἐργάζοντο, ἐν τούτῳ ὁ πεζὸς ἅπας συλλελεγμένος ἅμα Ξέρξῃ ἐπορεύετο ἐς Σάρδις, ἐκ ἐκ Κριτάλλων ὁρμηθεὶς τῶν ἐν Καππαδοκίῃ· ἐνθαῦτα γὰρ εἴρητο συλλέγεσθαι πάντα τὸν κατ᾽ ἤπειρον μέλλοντα ἅμα αὐτῷ Ξέρξῃ πορεύεσθαι στρατόν. [2] ὃς μέν νυν τῶν ὑπάρχων στρατὸν κάλλιστα ἐσταλμένον ἀγαγὼν τὰ προκείμενα παρὰ βασιλέος ἔλαβε δῶρα, οὐκ ἔχω φράσαι· οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀρχὴν ἐς κρίσιν τούτου πέρι ἐλθόντας οἶδα. [3] οἳ δὲ ἐπείτε διαβάντες τὸν Ἅλυν ποταμὸν ὡμίλησαν τῇ Φρυγίῃ, δι᾽ αὐτῆς πορευόμενοι ἀπίκοντο ἐς Κελαινάς, ἵνα πηγαὶ ἀναδιδοῦσι Μαιάνδρου ποταμοῦ καὶ ἑτέρου οὐκ ἐλάσσονος ἢ Μαιάνδρου, τῷ οὔνομα τυγχάνει ἐὸν Καταρρήκτης, ὃς ἐξ αὐτῆς τῆς ἀγορῆς τῆς Κελαινέων ἀνατέλλων ἐς τὸν Μαίανδρον ἐκδιδοῖ· ἐν τῇ καὶ ὁ τοῦ Σιληνοῦ Μαρσύεω ἀσκὸς ἀνακρέμαται, τὸν ὑπὸ Φρυγῶν λόγος ἔχει ὑπὸ Ἀπόλλωνος ἐκδαρέντα ἀνακρεμασθῆναι.

27. In this city Pythios the son of Atys, a Lydian, was waiting for the king and entertained his whole army, as well as Xerxes himself, with the most magnificent hospitality: moreover he professed himself ready to supply money for the war. So when Pythios offered money, Xerxes asked those of the Persians who were present, who Pythios was and how much money he possessed, that he made this offer. They said: "O king, this is he who presented thy father Dareios with the golden plane-tree and the golden vine; and even now he is in wealth the first of all men of whom we know, excepting thee only." 27. [1] ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ πόλι ὑποκατήμενος Πύθιος ὁ Ἄτους ἀνὴρ Λυδὸς ἐξείνισε τὴν βασιλέος στρατιὴν πᾶσαν ξεινίοισι μεγίστοισι καὶ αὐτὸν Ξέρξην, χρήματά τε ἐπαγγέλλετο βουλόμενος ἐς τὸν πόλεμον παρέχειν. [2] ἐπαγγελλομένου δὲ χρήματα Πυθίου, εἴρετο Ξέρξης Περσέων τοὺς παρεόντας τίς τε ἐὼν ἀνδρῶν Πύθιος καὶ κόσα χρήματα ἐκτημένος ἐπαγγέλλοιτο ταῦτα. οἳ δὲ εἶπαν «ὦ βασιλεῦ, οὗτος ἐστὶ ὅς τοι τὸν πατέρα Δαρεῖον ἐδωρήσατο τῇ πλατανίστῳ τῇ χρυσέῃ καὶ τῇ ἀμπέλῳ· ὃς καὶ νῦν ἐστι πρῶτος ἀνθρώπων πλούτῳ τῶν ἡμεῖς ἴδμεν μετὰ σέ.»

28. Marvelling at the conclusion of these words Xerxes himself asked of Pythios then, how much money he had; and he said: "O king, I will not conceal the truth from thee, nor will I allege as an excuse that I do not know my own substance, but I will enumerate it to thee exactly, since I know the truth: for as soon as I heard that thou wert coming down to the Sea of Hellas, desiring to give thee money for the war I ascertained the truth, and calculating I found that I had of silver two thousand talents, and of gold four hundred myriads of daric staters all but seven thousand: and with this money I present thee. For myself I have sufficient livelihood from my slaves and from my estates of land." 28. [1] θωμάσας δὲ τῶν ἐπέων τὸ τελευταῖον Ξέρξης αὐτὸς δεύτερα εἴρετο Πύθιον ὁκόσα οἱ εἴη χρήματα. ὁ δὲ εἶπε «ὦ βασιλεῦ, οὔτε σε ἀποκρύψω οὔτε σκήψομαι τὸ μὴ εἰδέναι τὴν ἐμεωυτοῦ οὐσίην, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπιστάμενός τοι ἀτρεκέως καταλέξω. [2] ἐπείτε γὰρ τάχιστά σε ἐπυθόμην ἐπὶ θάλασσαν καταβαίνοντα τὴν Ἑλληνίδα, βουλόμενός τοι δοῦναι ἐς τὸν πόλεμον χρήματα ἐξεμάνθανον, καὶ εὗρον λογιζόμενος ἀργυρίου μὲν δύο χιλιάδας ἐούσας μοι ταλάντων, χρυσίου δὲ τετρακοσίας μυριάδας στατήρων Δαρεικῶν ἐπιδεούσας ἑπτὰ χιλιάδων. [3] καὶ τούτοισί σε ἐγὼ δωρέομαι, αὐτῷ δέ μοι ἀπὸ ἀνδραπόδων τε καὶ γεωπέδων ἀρκέων ἐστὶ βίος.» ὃ μὲν ταῦτα ἔλεγε, Ξέρξης δὲ ἡσθεὶς τοῖσι εἰρημένοισι εἶπε·

29. Thus he said; and Xerxes was pleased by the things which he had spoken, and replied: "Lydian host, ever since I went forth from the Persian land I have encountered no man up to this time who was desirous to entertain my army, or who came into my presence and made offer of his own free will to contribute money to me for the war, except only thee: and thou not only didst entertain my army magnificently, but also now dost make offer of great sums of money. To thee therefore in return I give these rewards,--I make thee my guest-friend, and I will complete for thee the four hundred myriads of staters by giving from myself the seven thousand, in order that thy four hundred myriads may not fall short by seven thousand, but thou mayest have a full sum in thy reckoning, completed thus by me. Keep possession of that which thou hast got for thyself, and be sure to act always thus; for if thou doest so, thou wilt have no cause to repent either at the time or afterwards."

29. [1] «ξεῖνε Λυδέ, ἐγὼ ἐπείτε ἐξῆλθον τὴν Περσίδα χώρην, οὐδενὶ ἀνδρὶ συνέμιξα ἐς τόδε ὅστις ἠθέλησε ξείνια προθεῖναι στρατῷ τῷ ἐμῷ, οὐδὲ ὅστις ἐς ὄψιν τὴν ἐμὴν καταστὰς αὐτεπάγγελτος ἐς τὸν πόλεμον ἐμοὶ ἠθέλησε συμβαλέσθαι χρήματα, ἔξω σεῦ. σὺ δὲ καὶ ἐξείνισας μεγάλως στρατὸν τὸν ἐμὸν καὶ χρήματα μεγάλα ἐπαγγέλλεαι. [2] σοὶ ὦν ἐγὼ ἀντὶ αὐτῶν γέρεα τοιάδε δίδωμι· ξεῖνόν τέ σε ποιεῦμαι ἐμὸν καὶ τὰς τετρακοσίας μυριάδας τοι τῶν στατήρων ἀποπλήσω παρ᾽ ἐμεωυτοῦ δοὺς τὰς ἑπτὰ χιλιάδας, ἵνα μή τοι ἐπιδεέες ἔωσι αἱ τετρακόσιαι μυριάδες ἑπτὰ χιλιάδων, ἀλλὰ ᾖ τοι ἀπαρτιλογίη ὑπ᾽ ἐμέο πεπληρωμένη. [3] ἔκτησό τε αὐτὸς τά περ αὐτὸς ἐκτήσαο, ἐπίστασό τε εἶναι αἰεὶ τοιοῦτος· οὐ γάρ τοι ταῦτα ποιεῦντι οὔτε ἐς τὸ παρεὸν οὔτε ἐς χρόνον μεταμελήσει.»

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