[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail:
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]
Italiano

[Link to a series of help pages]
Help
[Link to the next level up]
Up
[Link to my homepage]
Home

[image ALT: link to previous section]
XI.20‑40

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Library of History

of
Diodorus Siculus

published in Vol. IV
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1946

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


[image ALT: link to next section]
XI.63‑92

(Vol. IV) Diodorus Siculus
Library of History

(Book XI, continued)

p233 41 1 At the close of the year the archon in Athens was Adeimantus, and in Rome the consuls elected were Marcus Fabius Vibulanus and Lucius Valerius Publius. At this time Themistocles, because of his skill as a general and his sagacity, was held in esteem not only by his fellow citizens but by all Greeks. 2 He was, therefore, elated over his fame and had recourse to many other far more ambitious undertakings which would serve to increase the dominant position of his native state. Thus the Peiraeus, as it is called, was not at that time a harbour, but the Athenians were using as their ship-yard the bay called Phaleric, which was quite small; and so Themistocles conceived the plan of making the Peiraeus into a harbour, since it would require only a small amount of construction and could be made into a harbour, the best and largest in Greece. 3 He also hoped that when this improvement had been added to what the Athenians p235possessed, the city would be able to compete for the hegemony at sea; for the Athenians possessed at that time the largest number of triremes and through an unbroken succession of battles at sea which the city had waged had gained experience and renown in naval conflicts. 4 Furthermore, he reasoned that they would have the Ionians on their side because they were kinsmen, and that with their aid the Athenians would liberate the other Greeks of Asia, who would then turn in goodwill to the Athenians because of this benefaction, and that all the Greeks of the islands, being immensely impressed by the magnitude of their naval strength, would readily align themselves with the people which had the power both to inflict the greatest injury and to bestow the greatest advantages. 5 For he saw that the Lacedaemonians, though excellently equipped so far as their land forces were concerned, had no natural talent for fighting on ships.

42 1 Now as Themistocles pondered these matters, he decided that he should not make public announcement of his plan, knowing with certainty that the Lacedaemonians would endeavour to stop it; and so he announced to the citizens in Assembly that he wished both to advise upon and to introduce important matters which were also to the advantage of the city. But what these matters were, he added, it was not in the public interest to state openly, but it was fitting that a few men should be charged with putting them into effect; and he therefore asked the people to select two men in whom they had the greatest confidence and to entrust to them to pass upon the matter in question. 2 The people acceded to his advice, and the Assembly chose two men, Aristeides and Xanthippus, selecting them not only p237because of their upright character, but also because they saw that these men were in active rivalry with Themistocles for glory and leadership and were therefore opposed to him. 3 These men heard privately from Themistocles about the plan and then declared to the Assembly that what Themistocles had disclosed to them was of great importance, was to the advantage of the state, and was feasible.

4 The people admired the man and at the same time harboured suspicions of him, lest it should be with the purpose of preparing some sort of tyranny for himself that he was embarking upon plans of such magnitude and importance, and they urged him to declare openly what he had decided upon. But he made this reply, that it was not to the interests of the state that there should be a public disclosure of his intentions. 5 Thereupon the people were far the more amazed at the man's shrewdness and greatness of mind, and they urged him to disclose his ideas secretly to the Council, assuring him that, if that body decided that what he said was feasible and advantageous, then they would advise it to carry his plan to completion. 6 Consequently, when the Council learned all the details and decided that what he said was for the advantage of the state and was feasible, the people, without more ado, agreed with the Council, and Themistocles received authority to do whatever he wished. And every man departed from the Assembly in admiration of the high character of the man, being also elated in spirit and expectant of the outcome of the plan.

43 1 Themistocles, having received authority to proceed and enjoying every assistance ready at hand for his undertakings, again conceived a way to deceive p239the Lacedaemonians by a stratagem; for he was fully assured that just as the Lacedaemonians had interfered with the building of the wall about the city, they would in the same manner endeavour to obstruct the plans of the Athenians in the case of the making of the harbour. 2 Accordingly he decided to dispatch ambassadors to the Lacedaemonians to show them how it was to the advantage of the common interests of Greece that it should possess a first-rate harbour in view of the expedition which was to be expected on the part of the Persians. When he had in this way somewhat dulled the impulse of the Spartans to interfere, he devoted himself to that work, and since everybody enthusiastically co‑operated it was speedily done and the harbour was finished before anyone expected. 3 And Themistocles persuaded the people each year to construct and add twenty triremes to the fleet they already possessed, and also to remove the tax upon metics and artisans, in order that great character crowds of people might stream into the city from every quarter and that the Athenians might easily procure labour for a great number of crafts. Both these policies he considered to be most useful in building up the city's naval forces. The Athenians, therefore, were busy over the matters we have described.

44 1 The Lacedaemonians, having appointed Pausanias, who had held the command at Plataea, admiral of their fleet, instructed him to liberate the Greek cities which were still held by barbarian garrisons. 2 And taking fifty triremes from the Peloponnesus and summoning from the Athenians thirty commanded by Aristeides, he first of all sailed to Cyprus and liberated those cities which still had p241Persian garrisons; 3 and after this he sailed to the Hellespont and took Byzantium, which was held by the Persians, and of the other barbarians some he slew and others he expelled, and thus liberated the city, but many important Persians whom he captured in the city he turned over to Gongylus of Eretria to guard. Ostensibly Gongylus was to keep these men for punishment, but actually he was to get them off safe to Xerxes; for Pausanias had secretly made a pact of friendship with the king and was about to marry the daughter of Xerxes, his purpose being to betray the Greeks. 4 The man who was acting as negotiator in this affair was the general Artabazus, and he was quietly supplying Pausanias with large sums of money to be used in corrupting such Greeks as could serve their ends.

The plan of Pausanias, however, was brought to light and he got his punishment in the following manner. 5 For Pausanias emulated the luxurious life of the Persian and dealt with his subordinates in the manner of a tyrant, so that they were all angry with him, and especially those Greeks who had been assigned to some command. 6 Consequently, while many, as they mingled together in the army both by peoples and by cities, were railing at the harshness of Pausanias, some Peloponnesians1 deserted him and sailed back to the Peloponnesus, and dispatching ambassadors to Sparta they lodged an accusation against Pausanias; and Aristeides the Athenian, making wise use of the opportunity, in the course of his public conferences with the states won them over and by his personal intimacy with them made them adherents p243of the Athenians.2 But even more did matters play by mere chance into the hands of the Athenians by reason of the following facts.

45 1 Pausanias had stipulated that the men who carried the messages from him to the king should not return and thus become betrayers of their secret communications; consequently, since they were being put to death by the receivers of the letters, no one of them was ever returning alive. 2 So one of the couriers, reasoning from this fact, opened his letters, and discovering that his inference was correct as to the killing of all who carried the messages, he turned the letters over to the ephors. 3 But when the ephors were loath to believe this, because the letters had been turned over to them already opened, and demanded further and more substantial proof, the man offered to produce Pausanias acknowledging the facts in person. 4 Consequently he went to Taenarum, and seating himself as a suppliant at the shrine of Poseidon he set up a tent with two rooms and concealed the ephors and certain other Spartans; and when Pausanias came to him and asked why he was a suppliant, the man upbraided him for directing in the letter that he should be put to death. 5 Pausanias said that he was sorry and went on to ask the man to forgive the mistake; he even implored him to help keep the matter secret, promising him great gifts, and the two then parted. As for the ephors and the others with them, although they had learned the precise truth, at that time they held their peace, but on a later occasion, when the Lacedaemonians were taking up the matter together with the ephors, Pausanias p245learned of it in advance, acted first, and fled for safety into the temple of Athena of the Brazen House.3 6 And while the Lacedaemonians were hesitating whether to punish him now that he was a suppliant, we are told that the mother of Pausanias, coming to the temple, neither said nor did anything else than to pick up a brick and lay it against the entrance of the temple, and after she had done this she returned to her home. 7 And the Lacedaemonians, falling in with the mother's decision, walled up the entrance and in this manner forced Pausanias to meet his end through starvation.4 Now the body of the dead man was turned over to his relatives for burial; but the divinity showed its displeasure at the violation of the sanctity of suppliants, 8 for once when the Lacedaemonians were consulting the oracle at Delphi about some other matters, the god replied by commanding them to restore her suppliant to the goddess. 9 Consequently the Spartans, thinking the oracle's command to be impracticable, were at a loss for a considerable time, being unable to carry out the injunction of the god. Concluding, however, to do as much as was within their power, they made two bronze statues of Pausanias and set them up in the temple of Athena.

46 1 As for us, since throughout our entire history we have made it our practice in the case of good men to enhance their glory by means of the words of praise we pronounce over them, and in the case of bad men, when they die, to utter the appropriate obloquies, we shall not leave the turpitude and treachery of Pausanias to go uncondemned. 2 For p247who would not be amazed at the folly of this man who, though he had been a benefactor of Greece, had won the battle of Plataea, and had performed many other deeds which won applause, not only failed to safeguard the esteem he enjoyed but by his love of the wealth and luxury of the Persians brought dishonour upon the good name he already possessed? 3 Indeed, elated by his successes he came to abhor the Laconian manner of life and to imitate the licentiousness and luxury of the Persians, he who least of all had reason to emulate the customs of the barbarians; for he had not learned of them from others, but in person by actual contact he had made trial of them and was aware how greatly superior with respect to virtue his ancestors' way of life was to the luxury of the Persians.

4 And in truth because of his own baseness Pausanias not only himself received the punishment he deserved, but he also brought it about that his countrymen lost the supremacy at sea. In comparison, for instance, take the fine tact of Aristeides in dealing with the allies: when they took note of it, both because of his affability toward his subordinates and his uprightness in general, it caused them all as with one impulse to incline toward the Athenian cause. 5 Consequently the allies no longer paid any heed to the commanders who were sent from Sparta, but in their admiration of Aristeides they eagerly submitted to him in every matter and thus brought it about that he received the supreme command by sea without having to fight for it.

47 1 At once, then, Aristeides advised all the allies as they were holding a general assembly to designate p249the island of Delos5 as their common treasury and to deposit there all the money they collected, and towards the war which they suspected would come from the Persians to impose a levy upon all the cities according to their means, so that the entire sum collected would amount to five hundred and sixty talents.6 2 And when he was appointed to allocate the levy, he distributed the sum so accurately and justly that all the cities consented to it. Consequently, since he was considered to have accomplished an impossible thing, he won for himself a very high reputation for justice, and because he excelled in that virtue he was given the epithet of "the Just." 3 Thus at one and the same time the baseness of Pausanias deprived his countrymen of the supremacy on the sea, and the all-round virtue of Aristeides caused Athens to gain the leadership which she had not possessed before.

These, then, were the events of this year.

48 1 When Phaedon was archon in Athens, the Seventy-sixth Olympiad was celebrated, that in which Scamandrus of Mytilenê won the "stadion," and in Rome the consuls were Caeso Fabius and Spurius Furius Menellaeus.7 2 In the course of this year Leotychides, the king of the Lacedaemonians, died after a reign of twenty-two years, and he was succeeded on the throne by Archidamus, who ruled for forty-two years. And there died also Anaxilas, the tyrant of Rhegium and Zanclê,8 after a rule of p251eighteen years, and he was succeeded in the tyranny by Micythus, who was entrusted with the position on the understanding that he would restore it to the sons of Anaxilas, who were not yet of age. 3 And Hieron, who became king of the Syracusans after the death of Gelon, observing how popular his brother Polyzelus was among the Syracusans and believing that he was waiting to seize9 the kingship, was eager to put him out of the way, and so, enlisting foreign soldiers and gathering about his person an organized body of mercenaries, he thought that by these means he could hold the kingship securely. 4 And so, when the Sybarites were being besieged by the Crotoniates and called on Hieron for help, he enrolled many soldiers in the army, which he then put under the command of his brother Polyzelus in the belief that he would be slain by the Crotoniates. 5 When Polyzelus, suspecting what we have mentioned, refused to undertake the campaign, Hieron was enraged at his brother, and when Polyzelus took refuge with Theron, the tyrant of Acragas, he began making preparation for war upon Theron.

6 Subsequently to these events, Thrasydaeus the son of Theron was governing the city of Himera more harshly than was proper, and the result was that the Himerans became altogether alienated from him. 7 Now they rejected the idea of going to his father and entering an accusation with him, since they did not believe they would find in him a fair listener; but they dispatched to Hieron ambassadors, who presented their complaints against Thrasydaeus and offered to hand Himera over to Hieron and join him in his attack upon Theron. 8 Hieron, however, having decided to be at peace with Theron, betrayed the p253Himerans and disclosed to him their secret plans. Consequently Theron, after examining into the reported plan and finding the information to be true, composed his differences with Hieron and restored Polyzelus to the favour he had previously enjoyed, and then he arrested his opponents, who were many, among the Himerans and put them to death.

49 1 Hieron removed the people of Naxos10 and Catana from their cities and sent there settlers of his own choosing, having gathered five thousand from the Peloponnesus and added an equal number of others from Syracuse; and the name of Catana he changed to Aetna, and not only the territory of Catana but also much neighbouring land which he added to it he portioned out in allotments, up to the full sum of ten thousand settlers. 2 This he did out of a desire, not only that he might have a substantial help ready at hand for any need that might arise, but also that from the recently founded state of ten thousand men he might receive the honours accorded to heroes. And the Naxians and Catanians whom he had removed from their native states he transferred to Leontini and commanded them to make their homes in that city along with the native population. 3 And Theron, seeing that after the slaughter of the Himerans the city was in need of settlers, made a mixed multitude there, enrolling as its citizens both Dorians and any others who so wished. 4 These citizens lived together on good terms in the state for fifty-eight years; but at the expiration of this period the city was conquered and razed to the ground by the Carthaginians11 and has remained without inhabitants to this day.

50 1 When Dromocleides was archon in Athens, the p255Romans elected as consuls Marcus Fabius and Gnaeus Manlius. In this year the Lacedaemonians, now that for no good reason they had lost the command of the sea, were resentful; consequently they were incensed at the Greeks who had fallen away from them and continued to threaten them with the appropriate punishment. 2 And when a meeting of the Gerousia12 was convened, they considered making war upon the Athenians for the sake of regaining the command of the sea. 3 Likewise, when the general Assembly was convened, the younger men and the majority of the others were eager to recover the leadership, believing that, if they could secure it, they would enjoy great wealth, Sparta in general would be made greater and more powerful, and the estates of its private citizens would receive a great increase of prosperity. 4 They kept calling to mind also the ancient oracle in which the god commanded them to beware lest their leadership should be a "lame" one, and the oracle, they insisted, meant nothing other than the present; for "lame" indeed their rule would be if, having two leaderships,13 they should lose one of them.

5 Since practically all the citizens had been eager for this course of action and the Gerousia was in session to consider these matters, no one entertained the hope that any man would have the temerity to suggest any other course. 6 But a member of the Gerousia, Hetoemaridas by name, who was a direct descendant of Heracles and enjoyed favour among the citizens by reason of his character, undertook to advise that they leave the Athenians with their leadership, since it was not to Sparta's interest, he declared, to lay claim to the p257sea. He was able to bring pertinent arguments in support of his surprising proposal, so that, against the expectation of all, he won over both the Gerousia and the people. 7 And in the end the Lacedaemonians decided that the opinion of Hetoemaridas was to their advantage and abandoned their zest for the war against the Athenians. 8 As for the Athenians, at first they expected to have a great war with the Lacedaemonians for the command of the sea, and for this reason were building additional triremes, raising a large sum of money, and dealing honourably with their allies; but when they learned of the decision of the Lacedaemonians, they were relieved of their fear of war and set about increasing the power of their city.

51 1 When Acestorides was archon in Athens, in Rome Caeso Fabius and Titus Verginius succeeded to the consulship. And in this year Hieron, the king of the Syracusans, when ambassadors came to him from Cumae in Italy and asked his aid in the war which the Tyrrhenians, who were at that time masters of the sea, were waging against them, he dispatched to their aid a considerable number of triremes. 2 And after the commanders of this fleet had put in at Cumae, joining with the men of that region they fought a naval battle with the Tyrrhenians, and destroying many of their ships and conquering them in a great sea-fight, they humbled the Tyrrhenians and delivered the Cumaeans from their fears, after which they sailed back to Syracuse.

52 1 When Menon was archon in Athens, the Romans chose as consuls Lucius Aemilius Mamercus and Gaius Cornelius Lentulus, and in Italy a war broke out between the Tarantini and the Iapygians. 2 For p259these peoples, disputing with each other over some land on their borders, had been engaging for some years in skirmishings and in raiding each other's territory, and since the difference between them kept constantly increasing and frequently resulted in deaths, they finally went headlong into out-and‑out contention. 3 Now the Iapygians not only made ready the army of their own men but they also joined with them an auxiliary force of more than twenty thousand soldiers; and the Tarantini, on learning of the great size of the army gathered against them, both mustered the soldiers of the state and added to them many more of the Rhegians, who were their allies. 4 A fierce battle took place and many fell on both sides, but in the end the Iapygians were victorious. When the defeated army split in the flight into two bodies, the one retreating to Tarentum and the other fleeing to Rhegium, the Iapygians, following their example, also divided. 5 Those who pursued the Tarantini, the distance being short, slew many of the enemy, but those who were pressing after the Rhegians were so eager that they broke into Rhegium together with the fugitives and took possession of the city.

53 1 The next year Chares was archon in Athens, and in Rome the consuls elected were Titus Menenius and Gaius Horatius Pulvillus, and the Eleians celebrated the Seventy-seventh Olympiad, that in which Dandes of Argos won the "stadion." In this year in Sicily Theron, the despot of Acragas, died after a reign of sixteen years, and his son Thrasydaeus succeeded to the throne. 2 Now Theron, since he had p261administered his office equitably, not only enjoyed great favour among his countrymen during his lifetime, but also upon his death he was accorded the honours which are paid to heroes; but his son, even while his father was still living, was violent and murderous, and after his father's death ruled over his native city without respect for the laws and like a tyrant. 3 Consequently he quickly lost the confidence of his subjects and was the constant object of plots, living a life of execration; and so he soon came to an end befitting his own lawlessness. For Thrasydaeus after the death of his father Theron gathered many mercenary soldiers and enrolled also citizens of Acragas and Himera, and thus got together in all more than twenty thousand cavalry and infantry. 4 And since he was preparing to make war with these troops upon the Syracusans, Hieron the king made ready a formidable army and marched upon Acragas. A fierce battle took place, and a very large number fell, since Greeks were marshalled against Greeks. 5 Now the fight was won by the Syracusans, who lost some two thousand men against more than four thousand for their opponents. Thereupon Thrasydaeus, having been humbled, was expelled from his position, and fleeing to Nisaean Megara,14 as it is called, he was there condemned to death and met his end; and the Acragantini, having now recovered their democratic form of government, sent ambassadors to Hieron and secured peace.

6 In Italy war broke out between the Romans and the Veiians and a great battle was fought at the site called Cremera.15 The Romans were defeated and p263many of them perished, among their number, according to some historians, being the three hundred Fabii, who were of the same gens and hence were included under the single name.16

These, then, were the events of this year.

54 1 When Praxigerus was archon in Athens, the Romans elected as consuls Aulus Verginius Tricostus and Gaius Servilius Structus. At this time the Eleians, who dwelt in many small cities, united to form one state which is known as Elis. 2 And the Lacedaemonians, seeing that Sparta was in a humbled state by reason of the treason of their general Pausanias, whereas the Athenians were in good repute because no one of their citizens had been found guilty of treason, were eager to involve Athens in similar discreditable charges. 3 Consequently, since Themistocles was greatly esteemed by the Athenians and enjoyed high fame for his high character, they accused him of treason, maintaining that he had been a close friend of Pausanias and had agreed with him that together they would betray Greece of the Xerxes. 4 They also carried on conversations with the enemies of Themistocles, inciting them to lodge an accusation against him, and gave them money; and they explained that, when Pausanias decided to betray the Greeks, he disclosed the plan he had to Themistocles and urged him to participate in the project, and that Themistocles neither agreed to the request nor decided that it was his duty to accuse a man who was his friend. 5 At any rate a charge was brought against p265Themistocles, but at the time he was not found guilty of treason. Hence at first after he was absolved he stood high in the opinion of the Athenians; for his fellow citizens were exceedingly fond of him on account of his achievements. But afterwards those who feared the eminence he enjoyed, and others who were envious of his glory forgot his services to the state, and began to exert themselves to diminish his power and to lower his presumption.

55 1 First of all they removed Themistocles from Athens, employing against him what is called ostracism, an institution which was adopted in Athens after the overthrow of the tyranny of Peisistratus and his sons; and the law was as follows.17 2 Each citizen wrote on a piece of pottery (ostracon) the name of the man who in his opinion had the greatest power to destroy the democracy; and the man who got the largest number of ostraca was obliged by the law to go into exile from his native land for a period of five years.18 3 The Athenians, it appears, passed such a law, not for the purpose of punishing wrongdoing, but in order to lower through exile the presumption of men who had risen too high. Now Themistocles, having been ostracized in the manner we have described, fled as an exile from his native city to Argos. p2674 But the Lacedaemonians, learning of this and considering that Fortune had given them a favourable moment to attack Themistocles, again dispatched ambassadors to Athens. These accused Themistocles of complicity in the treason of Pausanias, and asserted that his trial, since his crimes affected all Greece, should not be held privately among the Athenians alone but rather before the General Congress of the Greeks which, according to custom, was to meet at that time.19

5 And Themistocles, seeing that the Lacedaemonians were bent upon defaming and humbling the Athenian state, and that the Athenians were anxious to clear themselves of the charge against them, assumed that he would be turned over to the General Congress. 6 This body, he knew, made its decisions, not on the basis of justice, but out of favour to the Lacedaemonians, inferring this not only from its other actions but also from what it had done in making the awards for valour.20 For in that instance those who controlled the voting showed such jealousy of the Athenians that, although these had contributed more triremes than all the others who took part in the battle, they made them out to be no whit better than the rest of the Greeks. 7 These, then, were the p269reasons why Themistocles distrusted the members of the Congress. Furthermore, it was from the speech in his own defence which Themistocles had made in Athens on the former occasion that the Lacedaemonians had got the basis for the accusation they afterwards made. 8 For in that defence Themistocles had acknowledged that Pausanias had sent letters to him, urging him to share in the act of treason, and using this as the strongest piece of evidence in his behalf, he had established that Pausanias would not have urged him, unless he had opposed his first request.

56 1 It was for these reasons, as we have stated above,21 that Themistocles fled from Argos to Admetus, the king of the Molossians; and taking refuge at Admetus' hearth he became his suppliant. The king at first received him kindly, urged him to be of good courage, and, in general, assured him that he would provide for his safety; 2 but when the Lacedaemonians dispatched some of the most distinguished Spartans as ambassadors to Admetus and demanded the person of Themistocles for punishment, stigmatizing him as the betrayer and destroyer of the whole Greek world, and when they went further and declared that, if Admetus would not turn him over to them, they together with all the Greeks would make war on him, then indeed the king, fearing on the one hand the threats and yet pitying the suppliant and seeking to avoid the disgrace of handing him over, persuaded Themistocles to make his escape with all speed without the knowledge of the Lacedaemonians and gave him a large sum of gold to meet his expenses on the flight. 3 And Themistocles, being persecuted as he was on every side, accepted the gold and fled p271by night out of the territory of the Molossians, the king furthering his flight in every way; and finding two young men, Lyncestians by birth, who were traders and therefore familiar with the roads, he made his escape in their company. 4 By travelling only at night he eluded the Lacedaemonians, and by virtue of the goodwill of the young men and the hardship they endured for him he made his way to Asia. Here Themistocles had a personal friend, Lysitheides by name, who was highly regarded for his fame and wealth, and to him he fled for refuge.

5 Now it so happened that Lysitheides was a friend of Xerxes the king and on the occasion of his passage through Asia Minor had entertained the entire Persian host.22 Consequently, since he enjoyed an intimate acquaintance with the king and yet wished out of mercy to save Themistocles, he promised to co‑operate with him in every way. 6 But when Themistocles asked that he lead him to Xerxes, at first he demurred, explaining that Themistocles would be punished because of his past activities against the Persians; later, however, when he realized that it was for the best, he acceded, and unexpectedly and without harm he got him through safe to Persia. 7 For it was a custom among the Persians that when one conducted a concubine to the king one brought her in a closed wagon, and no man who met it interfered or came face to face with the passenger; and it came about that Lysitheides availed himself of this means of carrying out his undertaking. 8 After preparing the wagon and embellishing it with costly hangings he put Themistocles in it; and when he p273had got him through in entire safety, he came into the presence of the king, and after he had conversed with him cautiously he received pledges from the king that he would do Themistocles no wrong. Then Lysitheides introduced him to the presence of the king, who, when he had allowed Themistocles to speak and learned that he had done the king no wrong, absolved him from punishment.

57 1 But when it seemed that the life of Themistocles had unexpectedly been saved by an enemy, he fell again into even greater dangers for the following reasons. Mandanê was the daughter of the Darius23 who had slain the Magi and the full sister of Xerxes, and she enjoyed high esteem among the Persians. 2 She had lost her sons at the time Themistocles had defeated the Persian fleet in the sea-battle at Salamis and sorely grieved over the death of her children, and because of her great affliction she was the object of the pity of the people. 3 When she learned of the presence of Themistocles, she went to the palace clad in raiment of mourning and with tears entreated her brother to wreak vengeance upon Themistocles. And when the king paid no heed to her, she visited in turn the noblest Persians with her request and, speaking generally, spurred on the people to wreak vengeance upon Themistocles. 4 When the mob rushed to the palace and with loud shouts demanded the person of Themistocles for punishment, the king replied that he would form a jury of the noblest Persians and that its verdict would be carried out. 5 This decision was approved by all, and since a considerable time was given to make the preparations for the trial, Themistocles meanwhile learned the Persian language, and using it in his p275defence he was acquitted of the charges. 6 And the king was overjoyed that Themistocles had been saved and honoured him with great gifts; so, for example, he gave him in marriage a Persian woman, who was of outstanding birth and beauty and, besides, praised for her virtue, and [she brought as her dower] not only a multitude of household slaves for their service but also of drinking-cups of every kind and such other furnishings as comport with a life of pleasure and luxury.24 7 Furthermore, the king made him a present also of three cities which were well suited for his support and enjoyment, Magnesia upon the Maeander River, which had more grain than any city of Asia, for bread, Myus for meat, since the sea there abounded in fish, and Lampsacus, whose territory contained extensive vineyards, for wine.

58 1 Themistocles, being now relieved of the fear which he had felt when among the Greeks, the man who had unexpectedly, on the one hand, been driven into exile by those who had profited most by the benefits he had bestowed and, on the other, had received benefits from those who had suffered the most grievously at his hands, spent his life in the cities we have mentioned, being well supplied with all the good things that conduce to pleasure, and at his death he was given a notable funeral in Magnesia and a monument that stands even to this day. 2 Some historians say that Xerxes, desiring to lead a second expedition to Greece, invited Themistocles to take command of the war, and that he agreed to do so and received from the king guaranties under oath that he would not march against the Greeks without p277Themistocles. 3 And when a bull had been sacrificed and the oaths taken, Themistocles, filling a cup with its blood, drank it down and immediately died. They add that Xerxes thereupon relinquished that plan of his, and that Themistocles by his voluntary death left the best possible defence that he had played the part of a good citizen in all matters affecting the interests of Greece.

4 We have come to the death of one of the greatest of the Greeks, about whom many dispute whether it was because he had wronged his native city and the other Greeks that he fled to the Persians, or whether, on the contrary, his city and all the Greeks, after enjoying great benefits at his hands, forgot to be grateful for them but unjustly plunged him, their benefactor, into the uttermost perils. 5 But if any man, putting envy aside, will estimate closely not only the man's natural gifts but also his achievements, he will find that on both counts Themistocles holds first place among all of whom we have record. Therefore one may well be amazed that the Athenians were willing to rid themselves of a man of such genius.

59 1 What other man, while Sparta still had the superior strength and the Spartan Eurybiades held the supreme command of the fleet, could by his singlehanded efforts have deprived Sparta of that glory? Of what other man have we learned from history that by a single act he caused himself to surpass all the commanders, his city all other Greek states, and the Greeks the barbarians? In whose term as general have the resources been more inferior and the dangers they faced greater? 2 Who, facing the united might of all Asia, has found p279himself at the side of his city when its inhabitants had been driven from their homes,25 and still won the victory? Who in time of peace has made his fatherland powerful by deeds comparable to his? Who, when a gigantic war enveloped his state, brought it safely through and by the one single ruse of the bridge26 reduced land armament of the enemy by half, so that it could be easily vanquished by the Greeks? 3 Consequently, when we survey the magnitude of his deeds and, examining them one by one, find that such a man suffered disgrace at the hands of his city, whereas it was by his deeds that the city rose to greatness, we have good reason to conclude that the city which is reputed to rank highest among all cities in wisdom and fair-dealing acted towards him with great cruelty.

4 Now on the subject of the high merits of Themistocles, even if we have dwelt over-long on the subject in this digression, we believed it not seemly that we should leave his great ability unrecorded.

While these events were taking place, in Italy Micythus, who was ruler of Rhegium and Zanclê, founded the city of Pyxus.

60 1 When Demotion was archon in Athens, the Romans elected as consuls Publius Valerius Publicola and Gaius Nautius Rufus. In this year the Athenians, electing as general Cimon the son of Miltiades and giving him a strong force, sent him to the coast of Asia to give aid to the cities which were allied with them and to liberate those which were still held by Persian garrisons. 2 And Cimon, taking along the fleet p281which was at Byzantium and putting in at the city which is called Eïon,27 took it from the Persians who were holding it and captured by siege Scyros, which was inhabited by Pelasgians and Dolopes; and setting up an Athenian as the founder of a colony he portioned out the land in allotments.28 3 After this, with a mind to begin greater enterprises, he put in at the Peiraeus, and after adding more triremes to his fleet and arranging for general supplies on a notable scale, he at that time put to sea with two hundred triremes; but later, when he had called for additional ships from the Ionians and everyone else, he had in all three hundred. 4 So sailing with the entire fleet to Caria he at once succeeded in persuading the cities on the coast which had been settled from Greece to revolt from the Persians, but as for the cities whose inhabitants spoke two languages29 and still had Persian garrisons, he had recourse to force and laid siege to them; then, after he had brought to his side the cities of Caria, he likewise won over by persuasion those of Lycia. 5 Also, by taking additional ships from the allies, who were continually being added, he still further increased the size of the fleet.

Now the Persians had composed their land forces from their own peoples, but their navy they had gathered from both Phoenicia and Cyprus and Cilicia, and the commander of the Persian armaments was Tithraustes, who was an illegitimate son of Xerxes. 6 And when Cimon learned that the Persian fleet was p283lying off Cyprus, sailing against the barbarians he engaged them in battle, pitting two hundred and fifty ships against three hundred and forty. A sharp struggle took place and both fleets fought brilliantly, but in the end the Athenians were victorious, having destroyed many of the enemy ships and captured more than one hundred together with their crews. 7 The rest of the ships escaped to Cyprus, where their crews left them and took to the land, and the ships, being bare of defenders, fell into the hands of the enemy.

61 1 Thereupon Cimon, not satisfied with a victory of such magnitude, set sail at once with his entire fleet against the Persian land army, which was then encamped on the bank of the Eurymedon River.30 And wishing to overcome the barbarians by a stratagem, he manned the captured Persian ships with his own best men, giving them tiaras for their heads and clothing them in the Persian fashion generally. 2 The barbarians, so soon as the fleet approached them, were deceived by the Persian ships and garb and supposed the triremes to be their own. Consequently they received the Athenians as if they were friends. And Cimon, night having fallen, disembarked his soldiers, and being received by the Persians as a friend, he fell upon their encampment. 3 A great tumult arose among the Persians, and the soldiers of Cimon cut down all who came in their way, and seizing in his tent Pheredates, one of the two generals of the barbarians and a nephew of the king, they slew him; and as for the rest of the Persians, some they cut down and others p285they wounded, and all of them, because of the unexpectedness of the attack, they forced to take flight. In a word, such consternation as well as bewilderment prevailed among the Persians that most of them did not even know who it was that was attacking them. 4 For they had no idea that the Greeks had come against them in force, being persuaded that they had no land army at all; and they assumed that it was the Pisidians, who dwelt in neighbouring territory and were hostile to them, who had come to attack them. Consequently, thinking that the attack of the enemy was coming from the mainland, they fled to their ships in the belief they were in friendly hands. 5 And since it was a dark night without a moon, their bewilderment was increased all the more and not a man was able to discern the true state of affairs. 6 Consequently, after a great slaughter had occurred on account of the disorder among the barbarians, Cimon, who had previously given orders to the soldiers to come running to the torch which would be raised, had the signal raised beside the ships, being anxious lest, if the soldiers should scatter and turn to plundering, some miscarriage of his plans might occur. 7 And when the soldiers had all been gathered at the torch and had stopped plundering, for the time being they set up a trophy and then sailed back to Cyprus, having won two glorious victories, the one on land and the other on the sea; for not to this day has history recorded the occurrence of so unusual and so important actions on the same day by a host that fought both afloat and on land.

62 1 After Cimon had won these great successes by means of his own skill as general and his valour, his p287fame was noised abroad not only among his fellow citizens but among all other Greeks as well. For he had captured three hundred and forty ships, more than twenty thousand men, and a considerable sum of money. 2 But the Persians, having met with so great reverses, built other triremes in greater number, since they feared the growing might of the Athenians. For from this time the Athenian state kept receiving significant enhancement of its power, supplied as it was with an abundance of funds and having attained to great renown for courage and for able leadership in war. 3 And the Athenian people, taking a tenth part of the booty, dedicated it to the god, and the inscription which they wrote upon the dedication they made ran as follows:31

E'en from the day when the sea divided Europe from Asia,

And the impetuous god, Ares, the cities of men

Took for his own, no deed such as this among earth-dwelling mortals

Ever was wrought at one time both upon land and at sea.

These men indeed upon Cyprus sent many a Mede to destruction,

Capturing out on the sea warships a hundred in sum

Filled with Phoenician men; and deeply all Asia grieved o'er them,

Smitten thus with both32 hands, vanquished by war's mighty power.33


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 i.e. the allies of Sparta, who of course supplied all the warships.

2 It was undoubtedly the contacts which Aristeides established at this time and the confidence he aroused which led the Athenians to entrust him with the delicate task of fixing the contribution each city should make to the Confederacy (cp. chap. 47).

3 The famous shrine in Sparta.

4 Thucydides (1.134) says that he was removed from the temple just before death to avoid the pollution of the shrine.

5 That is, the temple of Apollo on that island.

6 According to Thucydides (1.96.2) and Plutarch (Aristeides, 24.3) the first assessment amounted to four hundred and sixty talents. The latest and fullest treatment of this subject is B. D. Meritt, H. T. Wade-Gery, M. F. McGregor, The Athenian Tribute Lists, Vol. 1 (1939).

7 This should probably be Medullinus.

8 The earlier name of Messenê in Sicily.

9 As of a third competitor waiting to fight the victor.

10 The city north of Syracuse on the coast.

11 In 408 B.C.

12 The Spartan Senate, composed of thirty members.

13 i.e. by land and by sea.

14 Megara in Greece as contrasted with Hyblaean Megara in Sicily.

15 The traditional date is 477 B.C.

16 This is one of the most famous of the legends of early Roman history. Diodorus gives the sensible account that this was a battle between the Romans and the Etruscans for the control of the right bank of the Tiber, and many Fabii fell in the struggle. But in some way the Fabian gens dressed up the story so that in later tradition only Fabii and their clients were fighting Rome's battle for "bridgeheads" on the Tiber (cp.  Dionys. Hal. 9.19‑21; Livy, 2.50).

17 The institution of ostracism was incorporated in one of the laws of Cleisthenes, and was passed in 507 B.C. but first used, according to Aristotle (Ath. Pol. 22), twenty years later, "when the people had gained self-confidence." Professor T. Leslie Shear has kindly allowed me to see an as yet unpublished paper of his, "Ostracism and the Ostraka from the Agora," which he prepared in 1941. Whereas Carcopino for the second edition of his L'Ostracisme athénien (1935) had 62 examples of the ballots used in Athenian ostracophoria (the balloting), the collection from the Agora now totals 503, and in 1937 a well on the North Slope yielded an additional 191 pieces. There are names of persons who were never ostracized and of many persons who are otherwise unknown. The accuracy of Aristotle's statement that the institution was first used in 487 B.C. is borne out against Walker's theory (Camb. Anc Hist. 4, p152) that there may well have been instances of its use before the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C.

18 The period was ten years (Diodorus has probably confused the Athenian institution with a similar one of Syracuse where the term of exile was five years (cp. chap. 87.1)), and a total of 6000 votes was required.

19 The ostracism of Themistocles took place in the period 472‑470 B.C. (Walker in the Camb. Anc. Hist. 5, pp62 f.), and this attack on him by the Spartans a year or so later. Thucydides (1.135) states that he was to be recalled to Athens for trial, whether before the Assembly (so E. Meyer) or the Areopagus (Wilamowitz) is not clear. Modern writers generally reject Diodorus' account that his trial was to have been before the General Congress of the Hellenic League. It is not impossible, however, that such a suggestion was first made by the Spartans, but was not pressed when the Athenians offered to recall him to Athens for trial. Plutarch (Aristeides, 21) states that a Hellenic League to prosecute the war against the Persians, meeting annually, was established in 479. It is clear that Diodorus was thinking of the General Congress of this league and not of that of the Peloponnesian League (cp. J. A. O. Larsen in Class. Phil. 28 (1933), pp263‑265).

20 Cp. chap. 27.2.

21 There is no reference for this statement.

22 Plutarch (Themistocles, 26) calls him Nicogenes; the man who entertained Xerxes' army is named Pythius by Herodotus (7.27); Thucydides does not mention him.

23 Darius the Great.

24 This marriage of Themistocles to a noble Persian lady is attested only by Diodorus and is almost certainly fictitious.

25 The Athenians all took refuge on the island of Salamis after the Persians had passed Thermopylae; cp. chap. 13.3 f.

26 Cp. chap. 19.5‑6.

27 In describing the successes of Cimon, Diodorus has compressed the events of some ten years into one; Eïon was taken in 476 B.C. and the battle of the Eurymedon took place in 467 or 466 B.C.

28 This was an Athenian cleruchy, which differed from a colony in that the cleruchists did not lose their Athenian citizenship and did not necessarily reside on their allotments.

29 It is to be presumed that Greek was their second language and so they were non-Greek or at least mixed in race.

30 In Pisidia, at least 125 miles from Cyprus.

31 The inscription is attributed to Simonides (frag. 103 Diehl; 171 Edmonds).

32 "To do a thing with both hands was to do it earnestly and thoroughly; there is a double intention here, the hands being also 'arms' military and naval" (Edmonds).

33 The contents of the three preceding chapters reveal Diodorus in the worst light. The inscription referred to a battle off Cyprus in 449 B.C. and had nothing to do with the battle of the Eurymedon, and Cimon could not have fought at Cyprus in the day and been at the Eurymedon in time to land his men by nightfall. Moreover, great generals do not win battles by such comic-opera stratagems. The reliable description of the battle is in Plutarch, Cimon, 12‑13. See E. Meyer, Forschungen, 2, pp7 ff.; Walker in Camb. Anc. Hist. 5, pp54 ff.


[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 6 Nov 08