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

Herodotus Book 1: Clio [100]

100. Having set these things in order and strengthened himself in his despotism, he was severe in preserving justice; and the people used to write down their causes and send them in to his presence, and he determined the questions which were brought in to him and sent them out again. Thus he used to do about the judgment of causes; and he also took order for this, that is to say, if he heard that any one was behaving in an unruly manner, he sent for him and punished him according as each act of wrong deserved, and he had watchers and listeners about all the land over which he ruled.

100. [1] ἐπείτε δὲ ταῦτα διεκόσμησε καὶ ἐκράτυνε ἑωυτὸν τῇ τυραννίδι, ἦν τὸ δίκαιον φυλάσσων χαλεπός· καὶ τάς τε δίκας γράφοντες ἔσω παρ᾽ ἐκεῖνον ἐσπέμπεσκον, καὶ ἐκεῖνος διακρίνων τὰς ἐσφερομένας ἐκπέμπεσκε. [2] ταῦτα μὲν κατὰ τὰς δίκας ἐποίεε, τάδε δὲ ἄλλα ἐκεκοσμέατὸ οἱ· εἴ τινα πυνθάνοιτο ὑβρίζοντα, τοῦτον ὅκως μεταπέμψαιτο κατ᾽ ἀξίην ἑκάστου ἀδικήματος ἐδικαίευ, καὶ οἱ κατάσκοποί τε καὶ κατήκοοι ἦσαν ἀνὰ πᾶσαν τὴν χώρην τῆς ἦρχε. 

101. Deïokes then united the Median race alone, and was ruler of this: and of the Medes there are the tribes which here follow, namely, Busai, Paretakenians, Struchates, Arizantians, Budians, Magians: the tribes of the Medes are so many in number. 101. [1] Δηιόκης μέν νυν τὸ Μηδικὸν ἔθνος συνέστρεψε μοῦνον καὶ τοῦτον ἦρξε· ἔστι δὲ Μήδων τοσάδε γένεα, Βοῦσαι Παρητακηνοὶ Στρούχατες Ἀριζαντοὶ Βούδιοι Μάγοι. γένεα μὲν δὴ Μήδων ἐστὶ τοσάδε. 

102. Now the son of Deïokes was Phraortes, who when Deïokes was dead, having been king for three- and-fifty years, received the power in succession; and having received it he was not satisfied to be ruler of the Medes alone, but marched upon the Persians; and attacking them first before others, he made these first subject to the Medes. After this, being ruler of these two nations and both of them strong, he proceeded to subdue Asia going from one nation to another, until at last he marched against the Assyrians, those Assyrians I mean who dwelt at Nineveh, and who formerly had been rulers of the whole, but at that time they were left without support their allies having revolted from them, though at home they were prosperous enough. Phraortes marched, I say, against these, and was both himself slain, after he had reigned two-and-twenty years, and the greater part of his army was destroyed.

102. [1] Δηιόκεω δὲ παῖς γίνεται Φραόρτης, ὃς τελευτήσαντος Δηιόκεω, βασιλεύσαντος τρία καὶ πεντήκοντα ἔτεα, παρεδέξατο τὴν ἀρχήν, παραδεξάμενος δὲ οὐκ ἀπεχρᾶτο μούνων Μήδων ἄρχειν, ἀλλὰ στρατευσάμενος ἐπὶ τοὺς Πέρσας πρώτοισί τε τούτοισι ἐπεθήκατο καὶ πρώτους Μήδων ὑπηκόους ἐποίησε. [2] μετὰ δὲ ἔχων δύο ταῦτα ἔθνεα καὶ ἀμφότερα ἰσχυρά, κατεστρέφετο τὴν Ἀσίην ἀπ᾽ ἄλλου ἐπ᾽ ἄλλο ἰὼν ἔθνος, ἐς ὃ στρατευσάμενος ἐπὶ τοὺς Ἀσσυρίους καὶ Ἀσσυρίων, τούτους οἳ Νίνον εἶχον καὶ ἦρχον πρότερον πάντων, τότε δὲ ἦσαν μεμουνωμένοι μὲν συμμάχων ἅτε ἀπεστεώτων, ἄλλως μέντοι ἑωυτῶν εὖ ἥκοντες, ἐπὶ τούτους δὴ στρατευσάμενος ὁ Φραόρτης αὐτός τε διεφθάρη, ἄρξας δύο καὶ εἴκοσι ἔτεα, καὶ ὁ στρατὸς αὐτοῦ ὁ πολλός. 

103. When Phraortes had brought his life to an end, Kyaxares the son of Phraortes, the son of Deïokes, received the power. This king is said to have been yet much more warlike than his forefathers; and he first banded the men of Asia into separate divisions, that is to say, he first arrayed apart from one another the spearmen and the archers and the horsemen, for before that time they were all mingled together without distinction. This was he who fought with the Lydians when the day became night as they fought, and who also united under his rule the whole of Asia above the river Halys. And having gathered together all his subjects he marched upon Nineveh to avenge his father, and also because he desired to conquer that city. And when he had fought a battle with the Assyrians and had defeated them, while he was sitting down before Nineveh there came upon him a great army of Scythians, and the leader of them was Madyas the son of Protohyas, king of the Scythians. These had invaded Asia after driving the Kimmerians out of Europe, and in pursuit of them as they fled they had come to the land of Media. 103. [1] Φραόρτεω δὲ τελευτήσαντος ἐξεδέξατο Κυαξάρης ὁ Φραόρτεω τοῦ Δηιόκεω παῖς. οὗτος λέγεται πολλὸν ἔτι γενέσθαι ἀλκιμώτερος τῶν προγόνων, καὶ πρῶτός τε ἐλόχισε κατὰ τέλεα τοὺς ἐν τῇ, Ἀσίῃ καὶ πρῶτος διέταξε χωρὶς ἑκάστους εἶναι, τούς τε αἰχμοφόρους καὶ τοὺς τοξοφόρους καὶ τοὺς ἱππέας· πρὸ τοῦ δὲ ἀναμὶξ ἦν πάντα ὁμοίως ἀναπεφυρμένα. [2] οὗτος ὁ τοῖσι Λυδοῖσι ἐστὶ μαχεσάμενος ὅτε νὺξ ἡ ἡμέρη ἐγένετό σφι μαχομένοισι, καὶ ὁ τὴν Ἅλυος ποταμοῦ ἄνω Ἀσίην πᾶσαν συστήσας ἑωυτῷ. συλλέξας δὲ τοὺς ὑπ᾽ ἑωυτῷ ἀρχομένους πάντας ἐστρατεύετο ἐπὶ τὴν Νίνον, τιμωρέων τε τῷ πατρὶ καὶ τὴν πόλιν ταύτην θέλων ἐξελεῖν. [3] καί οἱ, ὡς συμβαλὼν ἐνίκησε τοὺς Ἀσσυρίους, περικατημένῳ τὴν Νίνον ἐπῆλθε Σκυθέων στρατὸς μέγας, ἦγε δὲ αὐτοὺς βασιλεὺς ὁ Σκυθέων Μαδύης Προτοθύεω παῖς· οἳ ἐσέβαλον μὲν ἐς τὴν Ἀσίην Κιμμερίους ἐκβαλόντες ἐκ τῆς Εὐρώπης, τούτοισι δὲ ἐπισπόμενοι φεύγουσι οὕτω ἐς τὴν Μηδικὴν χώρην ἀπίκοντο. 

104. Now from the Maiotian lake to the river Phasis and to the land of the Colchians is a journey of thirty days for one without encumbrance; and from Colchis it is not far to pass over to Media, for there is only one nation between them, the Saspeirians, and passing by this nation you are in Media. However the Scythians did not make their invasion by this way, but turned aside from it to go by the upper road which is much longer, keeping Mount Caucasus on their right hand. Then the Medes fought with the Scythians, and having been worsted in the battle they lost their power, and the Scythians obtained rule over all Asia. 104. [1] ἔστι δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς λίμνης τῆς Μαιήτιδος ἐπὶ Φᾶσιν ποταμὸν καὶ ἐς Κόλχους τριήκοντα ἡμερέων εὐζώνῳ ὁδός, ἐκ δὲ τῆς Κολχίδος οὐ πολλὸν ὑπερβῆναι ἐς τὴν Μηδικήν, ἀλλ᾽ ἓν τὸ διὰ μέσου ἔθνος αὐτῶν ἐστι, Σάσπειρες, τοῦτο δὲ παραμειβομένοισι εἶναι ἐν τῇ Μηδικῇ. [2] οὐ μέντοι οἵ γε Σκύθαι ταύτῃ ἐσέβαλον, ἀλλὰ τὴν κατύπερθε ὁδὸν πολλῷ μακροτέρην ἐκτραπόμενοι, ἐν δεξιῇ ἔχοντες τὸ Καυκάσιον ὄρος. ἐνθαῦτα οἱ μὲν Μῆδοι συμβαλόντες τοῖσι Σκύθῃσι καὶ ἑσσωθέντες τῇ μάχῃ τῆς ἀρχῆς κατελύθησαν. οἱ δὲ Σκύθαι τὴν Ἀσίην πᾶσαν ἐπέσχον. 

105. Thence they went on to invade Egypt; and when they were in Syria which is called Palestine, Psammetichos king of Egypt met them; and by gifts and entreaties he turned them from their purpose, so that they should not advance any further: and as they retreated, when they came to the city of Ascalon in Syria, most of the Scythians passed through without doing any damage, but a few of them who had stayed behind plundered the temple of Aphrodite Urania. Now this temple, as I find by inquiry, is the most ancient of all the temples which belong to this goddess; for the temple in Cyprus was founded from this, as the people of Cyprus themselves report, and it was the Phenicians who founded the temple in Kythera, coming from this land of Syria. So these Scythians who had plundered the temple at Ascalon, and their descendants for ever, were smitten by the divinity with a disease which made them women instead of men: and the Scythians say that it was for this reason that they were diseased, and that for this reason travellers who visit Scythia now, see among them the affection of those who by the Scythians are called Enareës.

105. [1] ἐνθεῦτεν δὲ ἤισαν ἐπ᾽ Αἴγυπτον. καὶ ἐπείτε ἐγένοντο ἐν τῇ Παλαιστίνῃ Συρίῃ, Ψαμμήτιχος σφέας Αἰγύπτου βασιλεὺς ἀντιάσας δώροισί τε καὶ λιτῇσι ἀποτράπει τὸ προσωτέρω μὴ πορεύεσθαι. [2] οἳ δὲ ἐπείτε ἀναχωρέοντες ὀπίσω ἐγένοντο τῆς Συρίης ἐν Ἀσκάλωνι πόλι, τῶν πλεόνων Σκυθέων παρεξελθόντων ἀσινέων, ὀλίγοι τινὲς αὐτῶν ὑπολειφθέντες ἐσύλησαν τῆς οὐρανίης Ἀφροδίτης τὸ ἱρόν. [3] ἔστι δὲ τοῦτο τὸ ἱρόν, ὡς ἐγὼ πυνθανόμενος εὑρίσκω, πάντων ἀρχαιότατον ἱρῶν ὅσα ταύτης τῆς θεοῦ· καὶ γὰρ τὸ ἐν Κύπρῳ ἱρὸν ἐνθεῦτεν ἐγένετο, ὡς αὐτοὶ Κύπριοι λέγουσι, καὶ τὸ ἐν Κυθήροισι Φοίνικές εἰσὶ οἱ ἱδρυσάμενοι ἐκ ταύτης τῆς Συρίης ἐόντες. [4] τοῖσι δὲ τῶν Σκυθέων συλήσασι τὸ ἱρὸν τὸ ἐν Ἀσκάλωνι καὶ τοῖσι τούτων αἰεὶ ἐκγόνοισι ἐνέσκηψε ὁ θεὸς θήλεαν νοῦσον· ὥστε ἅμα λέγουσί τε οἱ Σκύθαι διὰ τοῦτο σφέας νοσέειν, καὶ ὁρᾶν παρ᾽ ἑωυτοῖσι τοὺς ἀπικνεομένους ἐς τὴν Σκυθικὴν χώρην ὡς διακέαται τοὺς καλέουσι Ἐνάρεας οἱ Σκύθαι. 

106. For eight-and-twenty years then the Scythians were rulers of Asia, and by their unruliness and reckless behaviour everything was ruined; for on the one hand they exacted that in tribute from each people which they laid upon them, and apart from the tribute they rode about and carried off by force the possessions of each tribe. Then Kyaxares with the Medes, having invited the greater number of them to a banquet, made them drunk and slew them; and thus the Medes recovered their power, and had rule over the same nations as before; and they also took Nineveh,--the manner how it was taken I shall set forth in another history,--and made the Assyrians subject to them excepting only the land of Babylon.

106. [1] ἐπὶ μέν νυν ὀκτὼ καὶ εἴκοσι ἔτεα ἦρχον τῆς Ἀσίης οἱ Σκύθαι, καὶ τὰ πάντα σφι ὑπό τε ὕβριος καὶ ὀλιγωρίης ἀνάστατα ἦν· χωρὶς μὲν γὰρ φόρον ἔπρησσον παρ᾽ ἑκάστων τὸν ἑκάστοισι ἐπέβαλλον, χωρὶς δὲ τοῦ φόρου ἥρπαζον περιελαύνοντες τοῦτο ὅ τι ἔχοιεν ἕκαστοι. [2] καὶ τούτων μὲν τοὺς πλεῦνας Κυαξάρης τε καὶ Μῆδοι ξεινίσαντες καὶ καταμεθύσαντες κατεφόνευσαν, καὶ οὕτω ἀνεσώσαντο τὴν ἀρχὴν Μῆδοι καὶ ἐπεκράτεον τῶν περ καὶ πρότερον, καὶ τήν τε Νίνον εἷλον (ὡς δὲ εἷλον ἐν ἑτέροισι λόγοισι δηλώσω) καὶ τοὺς Ἀσσυρίους ὑποχειρίους ἐποιήσαντο πλὴν τῆς Βαβυλωνίης μοίρης. [3] μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα Κυαξάρης μέν, βασιλεύσας τεσσεράκοντα ἔτεα σὺν τοῖσι Σκύθαι ἦρξαν, τελευτᾷ.

107. After this Kyaxares died, having reigned forty years including those years during which the Scythians had rule, and Astyages son of Kyaxares received from him the kingdom. To him was born a daughter whom he named Mandane; and in his sleep it seemed to him that there passed from her so much water as to fill his city and also to flood the whole of Asia. This dream he delivered over to the Magian interpreters of dreams, and when he heard from them the truth at each point he became afraid. And afterwards when this Mandane was of an age to have a husband, he did not give her in marriage to any one of the Medes who were his peers, because he feared the vision; but he gave her to a Persian named Cambyses, whom he found to be of a good descent and of a quiet disposition, counting him to be in station much below a Mede of middle rank. 107. [1] ἐκδέκεται δὲ Ἀστυάγης Κυαξάρεω παῖς τὴν βασιληίην. καὶ οἱ ἐγένετο θυγάτηρ τῇ οὔνομα ἔθετο Μανδάνην· τὴν ἐδόκεε Ἀστυάγης ἐν τῷ ὕπνῳ οὐρῆσαι τοσοῦτον ὥστε πλῆσαι μὲν τὴν ἑωυτοῦ πόλιν, ἐπικατακλύσαι δὲ καὶ τὴν Ἀσίην πᾶσαν. ὑπερθέμενος δὲ τῶν Μάγων τοῖσι ὀνειροπόλοισι τὸ ἐνύπνιον, ἐφοβήθη παρ᾽ αὐτῶν αὐτὰ ἕκαστα μαθών. [2] μετὰ δὲ τὴν Μανδάνην ταύτην ἐοῦσαν ἤδη ἀνδρὸς ὡραίην Μήδων μὲν τῶν ἑωυτοῦ ἀξίων οὐδενὶ διδοῖ γυναῖκα, δεδοικὼς τὴν ὄψιν· ὁ δὲ Πέρσῃ διδοῖ τῷ οὔνομα ἦν Καμβύσης, τὸν εὕρισκε οἰκίης μὲν ἐόντα ἀγαθῆς τρόπου δὲ ἡσυχίου, πολλῷ ἔνερθε ἄγων αὐτὸν μέσου ἀνδρὸς Μήδου. 

108. And when Mandane was married to Cambyses, in the first year Astyages saw another vision. It seemed to him that from the womb of this daughter a vine grew, and this vine overspread the whole of Asia. Having seen this vision and delivered it to the interpreters of dreams, he sent for his daughter, being then with child, to come from the land of the Persians. And when she had come he kept watch over her, desiring to destroy that which should be born of her; for the Magian interpreters of dreams signified to him that the offspring of his daughter should be king in his room. Astyages then desiring to guard against this, when Cyrus was born, called Harpagos, a man who was of kin near him and whom he trusted above all the other Medes, and had made him manager of all his affairs; and to him he said as follows: "Neglect not by any means, Harpagos, the matter which I shall lay upon thee to do, and beware lest thou set me aside, and choosing the advantage of others instead, bring thyself afterwards to destruction. Take the child which Mandane bore, and carry it to thy house and slay it; and afterwards bury it in whatsoever manner thou thyself desirest." To this he made answer: "O king, never yet in any past time didst thou discern in me an offence against thee, and I keep watch over myself also with a view to the time that comes after, that I may not commit any error towards thee. If it is indeed thy pleasure that this should so be done, my service at least must be fitly rendered." 108. [1] συνοικεούσης δὲ τῷ Καμβύσῃ τῆς Μανδάνης, ὁ Ἀστυάγης τῷ πρώτῳ ἔτεϊ εἶδε ἄλλην ὄψιν, ἐδόκεε δέ οἱ ἐκ τῶν αἰδοίων τῆς θυγατρὸς ταύτης φῦναι ἄμπελον, τὴν δὲ ἄμπελον ἐπισχεῖν τὴν Ἀσίην πᾶσαν. [2] ἰδὼν δὲ τοῦτο καὶ ὑπερθέμενος τοῖσι ὀνειροπόλοισι, μετεπέμψατο ἐκ τῶν Περσέων τὴν θυγατέρα ἐπίτεκα ἐοῦσαν, ἀπικομένην δὲ ἐφύλασσε βουλόμενος τὸ γενόμενον ἐξ αὐτῆς διαφθεῖραι· ἐκ γάρ οἱ τῆς ὄψιος οἱ τῶν Μάγων ὀνειροπόλοι ἐσήμαινον ὅτι μέλλοι ὁ τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτοῦ γόνος βασιλεύσειν ἀντὶ ἐκείνου. [3] ταῦτα δὴ ὦν φυλασσόμενος ὁ Ἀστυάγης, ὡς ἐγένετο ὁ Κῦρος, καλέσας Ἅρπαγον ἄνδρα οἰκήιον καὶ πιστότατόν τε Μήδων καὶ πάντων ἐπίτροπον τῶν ἑωυτοῦ, ἔλεγὲ οἱ τοιάδε. [4] «Ἅρπαγε, πρῆγμα τὸ ἄν τοι προσθέω, μηδαμῶς παραχρήσῃ, μηδὲ ἐμέ τε παραβάλῃ καὶ ἄλλους ἑλόμενος ἐξ ὑστέρης σοὶ αὐτῷ περιπέσῃς· λάβε τὸν Μανδάνη ἔτεκε παῖδα, φέρων δὲ ἐς σεωυτοῦ ἀπόκτεινον, μετὰ δὲ θάψον τρόπῳ ὅτεῳ αὐτὸς βούλεαι.» [5] ὁ δὲ ἀμείβεται «ὦ βασιλεῦ, οὔτε ἄλλοτε κω παρεῖδες ἀνδρὶ τῷδε ἄχαρι οὐδέν, φυλασσόμεθα δὲ ἐς σὲ καὶ ἐς τὸν μετέπειτα χρόνον μηδὲν ἐξαμαρτεῖν. ἀλλ᾽ εἲ τοι φίλον τοῦτο οὕτω γίνεσθαι, χρὴ δὴ τό γε ἐμὸν ὑπηρετέεσθαι ἐπιτηδέως.» 

109. Thus he made answer, and when the child had been delivered to him adorned as for death, Harpagos went weeping to his wife all the words which had been spoken by Astyages. And she said to him: "Now, therefore, what is it in thy mind to do?" and he made answer: "Not according as Astyages enjoined: for not even if he shall come to be yet more out of his senses and more mad than he now is, will I agree to his will or serve him in such a murder as this. And for many reasons I will not slay the child; first because he is a kin to me, and then because Astyages is old and without male issue, and if after he is dead the power shall come through me, does not the greatest of dangers then await me? To secure me, this child must die; but one of the servants of Astyages must be the slayer of it, and not one of mine." 109. [1] τούτοισι ἀμειψάμενος ὁ Ἅρπαγος, ὥς οἱ παρεδόθη τὸ παιδίον κεκοσμημένον τὴν ἐπὶ θανάτῳ ἤιε κλαίων ἐς τὰ οἰκία· παρελθὼν δὲ ἔφραζε τῇ ἑωυτοῦ γυναικὶ τὸν πάντα Ἀστυάγεος ῥηθέντα λόγον. [2] ἣ δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν λέγει «νῦν ὦν τί σοὶ ἐν νόῳ ἐστὶ ποιέειν;» ὁ δὲ ἀμείβεται «οὐ τῇ ἐνετέλλετο Ἀστυάγης, οὐδ᾽ εἰ παραφρονήσει τε καὶ μανέεται κάκιον ἢ νῦν μαίνεται, οὔ οἱ ἔγωγε προσθήσομαι τῇ γνώμῃ οὐδὲ ἐς φόνον τοιοῦτον ὑπηρετήσω. [3] πολλῶν δὲ εἵνεκα οὐ φονεύσω μιν, καὶ ὅτι αὐτῷ μοι συγγενής ἐστὶ ὁ παῖς, καὶ ὅτι Ἀστυάγης μὲν ἐστὶ γέρων καὶ ἅπαις ἔρσενος γόνου· [4] εἰ δ᾽ ἐθελήσει τούτου τελευτήσαντος ἐς τὴν θυγατέρα ταύτην ἀναβῆναι ἡ τυραννίς, τῆς νῦν τὸν υἱὸν κτείνει δι᾽ ἐμεῦ, ἄλλο τι ἢ λείπεται τὸ ἐνθεῦτεν ἐμοὶ κινδύνων ὁ μέγιστος; ἀλλὰ τοῦ μὲν ἀσφαλέος εἵνεκα ἐμοὶ δεῖ τοῦτον τελευτᾶν τὸν παῖδα, δεῖ μέντοι τῶν τινα Ἀστυάγεος αὐτοῦ φονέα γενέσθαι καὶ μὴ τῶν ἐμῶν.» 

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