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This webpage reproduces a section of
published in Vol. II
of the Loeb Classical Library edition,

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!


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(Vol. II) Herodotus

 p145  Book III: chapters 118‑149

The flags in the text are links to the Greek as printed on facing pages in the Loeb edition.
In the left margin, links to Rawlinson's translation (Vol. II, with valuable notes),
and to the running commentary by How and Wells.
Cartouches are links to in‑depth articles at Livius.Org or LacusCurtius.

[link to original Greek text] 118 Rawlinson p507 H & W So much for these matters. But Intaphrenes, one of the seven rebels against the Magian, was brought to his death by a deed of violence immediately after the rebellion. He desired to enter the palace and speak with the king; for this was the law, that the rebels should come into the king's presence without announcement given, if the king were not with one of his wives. Intaphrenes then claimed his right to enter unannounced, as one of the seven; but the gate-warden and the messenger forbade him, the king being, they said, with one of his wives. Intaphrenes thought they spoke falsely; drawing his scimitar he cut off their noses and ears, then strung these on his horse's bridle and bound it round the men's necks, and so let them go.

 p147  [link to original Greek text] 119 Rawlinson p508 They showed themselves to the king and told him the reason why they had been so treated. Darius, fearing that this might be a conspiracy of the six, sent for each severally and questioned him, to know if they approved the deed; and being assured that they had no part in it, he seized Intaphrenes with his sons and all his household — for he much suspected that the man was plotting a rebellion with his kinsfolk — and imprisoned them with intent to put them to death. Then Intaphrenes' wife came ever and anon to the palace gates, weeping and lamenting; and at last her continual so doing moved Darius to compassion; and he sent a messenger to tell her that Darius would grant her the life of one of her imprisoned kinsfolk, whomsoever she chose. She, after counsel taken, answered that if this were the king's boon she chose the life of her brother. Darius was astonished when he heard her answer, and sent one who said to her: "Woman, the king would know for what reason you pass over your husband and your children and choose rather to save the life of your brother, who is less close to you than your children and less dear than your husband." "O King," she answered, "another husband I may get, if heaven so will, and other children, if I lose these; but my father and mother are dead, and so I can by no means get another brother; that is why I have thus spoken." Darius was pleased, and thought the reason good; he delivered to the woman him for  p149 whose life she had asked, and the eldest of her sons besides; all the rest he put to death. Thus immediately perished one of the seven.

[link to original Greek text] 120 H & W What I will now relate happened about the time of Cambyses' sickness. The viceroy of Sardis appointed by Cyrus was Oroetes, a Persian. This man purposed to do a great wrong; for though he had received no hurt by word or deed from Polycrates of Samos, nor had even seen him, he formed the desire of seizing and killing him. The reason alleged by most was this: — As Oroetes and another Persian, Mitrobates by name, governor of the province of Dascyleium, sat by the king's door, they fell from talk to wrangling and comparing of their several achievements: and Mitrobates taunted Oroetes, saying, "You are not to be accounted a man; the island of Samos lies close to your province, yet you have not added it to the king's dominion — an island so easy to conquer that some native of it rose against his rulers with fifteen men at arms, and is now lord of it."1 Some say that Oroetes, angered by this taunt, was less desirous of punishing the utterer of it than of by all means destroying the reason of the reproach, namely Polycrates.

[link to original Greek text] 121 Rawlinson p510 Others (but fewer) say that when Oroetes sent a herald to Samos with some request (it is not said what this was), the herald found Polycrates lying in the men's apartments, in the company of Anacreon of Teos; and, whether by design to show contempt for Oroetes, or by mere chance, when Oroetes' herald  p151 entered and addressed him, Polycrates, then lying with his face to the wall, never turned nor answered him.

[link to original Greek text] 122 These are the two reasons alleged for Polycrates' death; believe which you will. But the upshot was that Oroetes, being then at Magnesia which stands above the river Maeander, sent Myrsus, son of Gyges, a Lydian, with a message to Samos, having learnt Polycrates' purpose; for Polycrates was the first Greek, of whom I have knowledge, to aim at the mastery of the sea, leaving out of account Minos of Cnossus and any others who before him held maritime dominion; of such as may be called men Polycrates was the first so to do, and he had great hope of making himself master of Ionia and the Islands. Learning then that such was his intent, Oroetes sent him this message: "These from Oroetes to Polycrates: — I learn that you plan great enterprises, and that you have not money sufficient for your purpose. Do then as I counsel and you will make yourself to prosper and me to be safe. King Cambyses designs my death; of this I have clear intelligence. Now if you will bring me away with my money, you may take part of it for yourself and leave the rest with me; thus shall you have wealth enough to rule all Hellas. If you mistrust what I tell you of the money, send your trustiest minister and I will prove it to him."

[link to original Greek text] 123 Rawlinson p512 Hearing this, Polycrates liked the plan and consented; and, as it chanced that he had a great desire for money, he first sent one of his townsmen,  p153 Maeandrius, son of Maeandrius, to look into the matter; this man was his scribe; it was he who not long afterwards dedicated in the Heraeum all the splendid adornment of the men's apartment in Polycrates' house. When Oroetes heard that an inspection was to be looked for, he filled eight chests with stones, saving only a very shallow layer at the top; then he laid gold on the surface of the stones, made the chests fast and kept them ready. Maeandrius came and saw, and brought word back to his master.

[link to original Greek text] 124 Polycrates then prepared to visit Oroetes, despite the strong dissuasion of his diviners and friends, and a vision seen by his daughter in a dream; she dreamt that she saw her father aloft in the air, washed by Zeus and anointed by the sun; after this vision she used all means to persuade him not to go on this journey to Oroetes; even as he went to his fifty-oared ship she prophesied evil for him. When Polycrates threatened her that if he came back safe, she should long remain a virgin, she answered with a prayer that his threat might be fulfilled: for she would rather, she said, be long left a virgin than lose her father.

[link to original Greek text] 125 But Polycrates would listen to no counsel. He sailed to meet Oroetes, with a great retinue of followers, among whom was Democedes, son of Calliphon, a man of Crotona and the most skilful physician of his time. But no sooner had Polycrates come to Magnesia than he was foully murdered, making an end which ill beseemed himself and his pride; for,  p155 saving only the despots of Syracuse,a there is no despot of Greek race to be compared with Polycrates for magnificence. Having killed him (in some way not worth the telling) Oroetes then crucified him; as for the Samians in his retinue he let them go, bidding them thank Oroetes for their freedom; those who were not Samians, or were servants of Polycrates' followers, he kept for slaves. So Polycrates was hanged aloft, and thereby his daughter's dream came true; for he was washed by Zeus when it rained, and the moisture from his body was his anointment by the sun.

[link to original Greek text] 126 This was the end of Polycrates' many successes, as Amasis king of Egypt had forewarned him. But not long after, Oroetes was overtaken by the powers that avenged Polycrates. After Cambyses had died and the Magians won the kingship, Oroetes stayed in Sardis, where he in no way helped the Persians to regain the power taken from them by the Medes, but contrariwise; for in this confusion he slew two notable Persians, Mitrobates, the governor from Dascyleium, who had taunted him concerning Polycrates, and Mitrobates' son Cranaspes; and besides many other violent deeds, when a messenger from Darius came with a message which displeased him, he set an ambush by the way and killed that messenger on his journey homewards, and made away with the man's body and horse.

 p157  [link to original Greek text] 127 Rawlinson p514 H & W So when Darius became king he was minded to punish Oroetes for all his wrongdoing, and chiefly for the killing of Mitrobates and his son. But he thought it best not to send an army openly against the satrap, seeing that all was still in ferment and he himself was still new to the royal power; moreover he heard that Oroetes was very strong, having a guard of a thousand Persian spearmen and being governor of the Phrygian and Lydian and Ionian province. Resorting therefore to a device to help him, he summoned an assembly of the most notable Persians, whom he thus addressed: "Who is there among you, men of Persia, that will undertake and achieve a thing for me not with force and numbers, but by cunning? Force has no place where cunning is needful. But to the matter in hand — which of you will bring me Oroetes alive, or kill him? for he has done the Persians no good, but much harm; two of us he has slain, Mitrobates and his son; nay, and he slays my messengers who are sent to recall him; so unbearable is the insolence of his acts. Therefore death must stay him from doing the Persians some yet worse evil."

[link to original Greek text] 128 At this question thirty thousand men promised that they were ready each for himself to do the king's will. Darius bade them not contend but draw lots; they all did so, and the lot fell on Bagaeus, son of Artontes. He, thus chosen, got written many letters concerning many matters; then sealing them with Darius' seal he went with them to Sardis. Coming there into Oroetes' presence he took out each letter severally and gave it to one of the royal scribes who attend all  p159 governors, for him to read; giving the letters with intent to try the spearmen and learn if they would consent to revolt against Oroetes. Seeing that they paid great regard to the rollsb and yet more to what was written therein, he gave another, wherein were these words: "Persians! King Darius forbids you to be Oroetes' guard," which when the guard heard they threw down their spears. When Bagaeus saw that they obeyed the letter thus far, he took heart and gave the last roll to the scribe, wherein were these words: "King Darius charges the Persians in Sardis to kill Oroetes." Hearing this the spearmen drew their scimitars and killed Oroetes forthwith. Thus was the Oroetes the Persian overtaken by the powers that avenged Polycrates of Samos.

[link to original Greek text] 129 Rawlinson p516 Oroetes' slaves and other possessions were brought to Susa. Not long after this, it happened that Darius, one morning, while hunting, twisted his foot in dismounting from his horse, so violently that the ball of the ankle joint was dislocated from its socket. Darius called in the first physicians of Egypt,α whom he had till now kept near his person; who, by their forcible wrenching of the foot, did but make the hurt worse; and seven days and nights the king could get no sleep for the pain. On the eighth day he was in very evil case; then someone, who had heard in Sardis of the skill of Democedes of Croton, told the  p161 king of him. Darius bade Democedes be brought to him without delay. Finding the physician somewhere all unregarded and forgotten among Oroetes' slaves, they brought him into view, dragging his chains and clad in rags.

[link to original Greek text] 130 When he came before the king, Darius asked him if he had knowledge of his art. Democedes denied it, for he feared that by revealing truth about himself he would wholly be cut off from Hellas. Darius saw clearly that he was using craft to hide his knowledge,2 and bade those who led him to bring out scourges and goads for him. Then Democedes confessed, in so far as to say that his knowledge was not exact: but he had consorted (he said) with a physician and thereby gained some poor acquaintance with the art. Darius then entrusting the matter to him, Democedes applied Greek remedies and used gentleness instead of the Egyptians' violence; whereby he made the king able to sleep and in a little while recovered him of his hurt, though Darius had had no hope of regaining the use of his foot. After this, Darius rewarded him with a gift of two pairs of golden fetters. "Is it then your purpose," Democedes asked, "to double my pains for my making you whole?" Darius, pleased by his wit, sent him to the king's wives. The eunuchs brought him to the women, saying, "This is he who saved the king's life"; whereupon each of them took a vessel and, scooping with it from a chest full of gold, so richly rewarded the physician that the servant, whose name was Sciton, collected a very great sum of gold by following and gleaning the staters that fell from the vessels.

 p163  [link to original Greek text] 131 Now this is how Democedes had come from Croton to live with Polycrates: he was troubled with a harsh-tempered father at Croton, whom being unable to bear, he left him and went to Aegina. Settled there, before a year was out, he excelled all other physicians, although he had no equipment nor any of the implements of his calling. In his second year the Aeginetans3 paid him a talent to be their public physician; in the next the Athenians hired him for an hundred minae, and Polycrates in the next again for two talents. Thus he came to Samos; and the fame of the Crotoniat physicians was chiefly owing to him; for at that time the best physicians in Greek countries were those of Croton, and next to them those of Cyrene. About the same time the Argives had the name of being the best musicians.

[link to original Greek text] 132 Rawlinson p518 So now for having healed Darius at Susa Democedes had a very great house and ate at the king's table; all was his, except only permission to return to his Greek home. When the Egyptian chirurgeons who had till now attended on the king were about to be impaled for being less skilful than a Greek, Democedes begged their lives of the king and saved them; and he saved besides an Elean diviner, who had been of Polycrates' retinue and was left neglected among the slaves. Mightily in favour with the king was Democedes.

[link to original Greek text] 133 Not long after this, Atossa, Cyrus' daughter  p165 and Darius's wife, found a swelling growing on her breast, which broke and spread further. As long as it was but a small matter, she said nothing of it but hid it for shame; but presently growing worse, she sent for Democedes and showed it to him. He promised to cure her, but made her to swear that she would requite him by granting her whatsoever he requested of her; saying, that he would ask nothing shameful.

[link to original Greek text] 134 His remedies having made her whole, Atossa at Democedes' prompting thus addressed Darius in their chamber: "Sire, you are a mighty ruler; why sit you idle, winning neither new dominions nor new power for your Persians? If you would have them know that they have a man for their king, it is right and fitting for one of your youth and your wealth to let them see you achieving some great enterprise. Thereby will you gain a double advantage: the Persians will know that their king is truly a man; and in the stress of war they will have no leisure for conspiring against you. Now is your time for achieving great deeds, while you are still young: for as a man's mind grows with his body's growth, so as the body ages the mind too grows older and duller for all uses." Thus she spoke, being so prompted. "Lady," said Darius, "what you say I am already minded to do. I am resolved to make a bridge from this to the other continent and so lead an army against the Scythians; and in a little while we will set about accomplishing this." "See now," Atossa answered, "forbear for the nonce to attack the  p167 Scythians; you will find them whenever you so desire; nay, rather, I pray you, march against Hellas. I have heard of Laconian and Argive and Attic and Corinthian women, and would fain have them for handmaidens. There is a man by you who is fitter than any other to instruct and guide you in all matters concerning Hellas: I mean the physician who healed your foot." "Lady," answered Darius, "since it is your desire that we should first try conclusions with Hellas, methinks it is best that we send Persians with the man of whom you speak to spy out the land and bring us news of all that they have seen in it; thus shall I have full knowledge to help my adventure against Hellas."

[link to original Greek text] 135 Rawlinson p520 So said Darius, and it was no sooner said than done. For the next day at dawn he called to him fifteen notable Persians, and bade them go with Democedes and pass along the seaboard of Hellas; charging them, too, by all means to bring the physician back and not suffer him to escape. Having thus charged them he next sent for Democedes himself, and required of him that when he had shown and made clear all Hellas to the Persians, he should come back; "And take," said he, "all your movable goods to give your father and your brethren; I will give you many times as much in return; and I will send to sail with you a ship of burden with a cargo of all things desirable." Darius, I think, made this promise in all honesty. But Democedes feared lest the king should  p169 be but trying him; therefore he made no haste to accept all that was offered, but answered that he would leave his own possessions where they were, that he might have them at his return; as for the ship which Darius promised him to carry the gifts for his brethren, that he accepted. Having laid this same charge on Democedes also, Darius sent all the company to the coast.

[link to original Greek text] 136 They came down to the city of Sidon in Phoenice, and there chartered two triremes, as well as a great galleon laden with all things desirable; and when all was ready they set sail for Hellas, where they surveyed and described the coasts to which they came; until having viewed the greater and most famous parts they reached Taras in Italy. There Aristophilides, king of the Tarentines, willing to do Democedes a kindness, took off the steering gear from the Median ships, and put the Persians under a guard, calling them spies. While they were in this plight Democedes made his way to Croton; nor did Aristophilides set the Persians free and restore to them what he had taken from their ships, till the physician was by now in his own country.

[image ALT: zzz. It is part of today's beach at the site of Sidon (Lebanon), further captioned in the text of this webpage.]

Seen above, a Persian quay with some buildings can still be seen in the harbor of Sidon, mentioned by Herodotus as a port of the Persian fleet. Archaeologists have also found several Persian objects there, among which the colossal capital in the National Museum, Beirut, seen below.

Photos © Livius.Org | Jona Lendering, by kind permission.

[image ALT: zzz. It is an ancient Persian column capital found at Sidon (Lebanon), further captioned in the text of this webpage.]

[link to original Greek text] 137 Rawlinson p522 H & W The Persians sailed from Taras and pursued Democedes to Croton, where they found him buying in the town and were for seizing him. Some Crotoniats, who feared the Persian power, would have given him up; but others held him against the king's men and beat them with their staves. "Nay," said the Persians, "look well, men of Croton, what you  p171 do; you are taking from us an escaped slave of the great king; think you that King Darius will rest content under this insolence? Think you that the deed will profit you if you drive us forth? Your city will then be the first that we will attack and essay to enslave." But the men of Croton paid no heed to them; so the Persians lost Democedes and the galleon that had been their consort, and sailed back for Asia, making no endeavour to visit and learn of the further parts of Hellas now that their guide was taken from them. But Democedes gave them a message as they were setting sail; they should tell Darius, he said, that Democedes was betrothed to the daughter of Milon. For Darius held the name of Milon the wrestler in great honour; and, to my thinking, the reason of Democedes' seeking this match and paying a great sum for it was to show Darius that he was a man of estimation in his own country as well as Persia.

[link to original Greek text] 138 The Persians then put out from Croton; but their ships were wrecked on the Iapygian coast, and they themselves made slaves in the country, until one Gillus, a banished man of Taras, released and restored them to Darius. In return for this the king offered Gillus any reward that he might desire; Gillus told the story of his misfortune, and asked above all to be restored to Taras; but, not willing that a great armament should for his cause sail to Italy and thereby he should help to trouble Hellas, it was enough, he said, that the Cnidians alone should be his escort; for he supposed that thus the Tarentines would be the readier to receive him back, the Cnidians being their friends. Darius kept his word,  p173 and sent a message to the men of Cnidos, bidding them bring Gillus back to Taras. They obeyed Darius; but they could not persuade the Tarentines to their will, and were not able to compel them. This is the whole story. These Persians were the first who came from Asia into Hellas; and they came to view the country for the reason aforesaid.

[link to original Greek text] 139 After this, Darius conquered Samos, the greatest of all city states, Greek or other, the reason of his conquest being this: — When Cambyses, son of Cyrus, invaded Egypt, many Greeks came with the army to that country, some to trade, as was natural, and some to see the country itself; among whom was Syloson, son of Aeaces, Polycrates' brother, and now banished from Samos. This Syloson had a stroke of good luck. He was in the market at Memphis wearing a red cloak, when Darius, at that time one of Cambyses' guard and as yet a man of no great account, saw him, and coveting the cloak came and offered to buy it. When Syloson saw Darius' eagerness, by good luck he was moved to say, "I will not sell you my cloak; but if it must be so, and no help for it, you can have it for nothing." To this Darius agreed and took the garment.

[link to original Greek text] 140 Rawlinson p524 Syloson supposed that he had lost his cloak out of foolish good nature. But in time Cambyses died, the seven rebelled against the Magian, and of the seven Darius came to the throne; Syloson then learned that the successor to the royal power was  p175 the man to whom he had given at request the garment in Egypt; so he went up to Susa and sat at the king's porch, saying that he was one of Darius' benefactors. When the gate-ward brought word of this to the king, "But to what Greek benefactor," Darius asked, "can I owe thanks? In the little time since I have been king hardly one of that nation has come to us, and I have, so to say, no need of any Greek. Nevertheless let him be brought in, that I may know his meaning." The gate-ward brought Syloson and set him before them; and the interpreters asked him who he was, and what he had done to call himself the king's benefactor. Then Syloson told the story of the cloak, and said that it was he who had given it. "Most good man," said Darius, "you are he who made me a present when I had as yet no power; if it was but a little thing, yet it was as thankworthy as if someone now gave me a great gift. Take in requital abundance of gold and silver, that you may never repent of the service you did Darius son of Hystaspes." "Nay, Syloson answered, "I ask neither gold, O king, not silver; only win me back my fatherland of Samos, where my brother Polycrates has been done to death by Oroetes, and our slave now rules; give me back Samos, but so that there be no bloodshed nor enslaving."

[link to original Greek text] 141 Hearing this Darius sent an army, and Otanes, one of the seven, to command it, charging him to perform all Syloson's will. So Otanes came down to the coast and made his army ready.

 p177  [link to original Greek text] 142 Now Samos was ruled by Maeandrius, son of Maeandrius, whom Polycrates had made his vice-gerent. This Maeandrius desired to act with all justice, but could not. For when he had news of Polycrates' death, first he set up an altar to Zeus the Liberator and marked out round it that sacred enclosure which is still to be seen in the suburb of the city; when this was done, he called an assembly of all the townsfolk, and thus addressed them: "It is known to you that I have sole charge of Polycrates' sceptre and dominion; and it is in my power to be your ruler. But, so far as in me lies, I will not myself do that which I account blameworthy in my neighbour. I ever misliked that Polycrates or any other man should lord it over men like to himself. Polycrates has fulfilled his destiny; for myself, I call you to share all power, and I proclaim equality; only claiming as my own such privilege that six talents of Polycrates' wealth be set apart for my use, and that I and my descendants have besides the priesthood of Zeus the Liberator, whose temple I have founded, and I now give you freedom." Such was Maeandrius' promise to the Samians. But one of them arose and answered: "Nay, but who are you? You are not worthy to reign over us, being a low‑born knave and a rascal. See to it rather that you give an account of the monies that you have handled."

[link to original Greek text] 143 Rawlinson p526 These were the words of Telesarchus, a man of note among the townsfolk. But Maeandrius, perceiving that if he let the sovereignty slip someone else would make himself despot instead, resolved  p179 not to give it up. Withdrawing into the citadel, he sent for each man severally, as though to render an account of the money; then he seized and bound them. So they being in prison, Maeandrius presently fell sick. His brother Lycaretus thought him like to die, and, that so he might the more easily make himself master of Samos, put all the prisoners to death. They had, it would seem, no desire for freedom.

[link to original Greek text] 144 So when the Persians brought Syloson back to Samos, none resisted them, but Maeandrius and those of his faction offered to depart from the island under a flag of truce; Otanes agreed to this, and the treaty being made, the Persians of highest rank sat them down on seats that they had set over against the citadel.

[link to original Greek text] 145 Now Maeandrius the despot had a crazy brother named Charilaus, who lay bound in the dungeon for some offence; this man heard what was afoot, and by peering through the dungeon window saw the Persians sitting there peaceably; whereupon he cried with a loud voice that he desired to have speech with Maeandrius. His brother, hearing him, bade Charilaus be loosed and brought before him. No sooner had he been brought than he essayed with much reviling and abuse to persuade Maeandrius to attack the Persians. "Villain," he cried, "you have bound and imprisoned me, your own brother, who had done nothing to deserve it; and when you see the Persians casting you out of house and home, have you no courage to avenge yourself, though you could so easily master them? If you are yourself  p181 afraid of them, give me your foreign guards, and I will punish them for their coming hither; as for you, I will give you safe conduct out of the island."

[link to original Greek text] 146 So said Charilaus. Maeandrius took his advice. This he did, to my thinking, not that he was so foolish as to suppose that he would be strong enough to vanquish the king, but because he grudged that Syloson should recover Samos safe and whole with no trouble. He desired therefore to anger the Persians and thereby to weaken Samos as much as he might before surrendering it, for he was well aware that if the Persians were harmed they would be bitterly wroth with the Samians. Moreover he knew that he could get himself safe out of the island whenever he would, having made a secret passage leading from the citadel to the sea. Maeandrius then set sail himself from Samos; but Charilaus armed all the guards, opened the citadel gates, and threw the guard upon the Persians. These supposed that a full agreement had now been made, and were taken at unawares; the guard fell upon them and slew the Persians of highest rank, those who were carried in litters. At this the rest of the Persian force came up and pressed the guards hard, driving them into the citadel.

[link to original Greek text] 147 Rawlinson p528 The Persian captain Otanes, seeing the great harm done to the Persians, of set purpose put away from his memory the command given him at his departure by Darius to kill or enslave no Samian  p183 but deliver the island unharmed to Syloson; and he commanded his army to kill all they took, men and boys alike. Then, while some of the Persians laid siege to the citadel, the rest slew all they met, whether in temples or without.

[link to original Greek text] 148 Maeandrius, escaping from Samos, sailed to Lacedaemon; and when he had come thither and brought the possessions with which he had left his country, it was his custom to make a display of silver and gold drinking cups; while his servants were cleaning these, he would converse with the king of Sparta, Cleomenes son of Anaxandrides, and would bring him to his house. Cleomenes, whenever he saw the cups, marvelling greatly at them, Maeandrius would bid him take away as many of them as he wished. Maeandrius made this offer two or three times; Cleomenes herein showed his great honesty, that he would not accept it; but, perceiving that there were others in Lacedaemon from whom Maeandrius would get help by offering them the cups, he went to the ephors and told them it were best for Sparta that this Samian stranger should quit the country, lest he should persuade Cleomenes himself or some other Spartan to do evil. The ephors listened to his counsel and banished Maeandrius by proclamation.

[link to original Greek text] 149 As for Samos, the Persians swept it clear and delivered it over uninhabited to Syloson. But  p185 afterwards Otanes, the Persian general, gave his aid to settle the land, being moved thereto by a dream, and a sickness which attacked his secret parts.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 See ch. 39.

2 Or, that he knew how to practise his art?

3 The Aeginetan talent = about 82 Attic minae (60 of which composed the Attic talent).

Thayer's Notes:

a In addition to the seven thorough pages at Livius on the ancient history of the city, with their photographs and maps, the atmospheric account (in the context of the siege of the city by the Athenians in 415 B.C.) by Crawford, The Rulers of the South, p119 ff. is also worth reading.

b Not "rolls", which is an artefact of the English translation. The Greek has βυβλία, "books". In the Greek world, this meant rolls, but not in the Persian world.

[image ALT: zzz. It is ancient Persian clay tablet from Persepolis, further captioned in the text of this webpage.]

A clay tablet from Persepolis: a Persian administrative document like those delivered by Bagaeus.

Photo © Livius.Org | Jona Lendering, by kind permission.

Lendering's Note:

α We know one of these men by name: Wedjahor‑Resne, physician to the pharaoh Amasis.

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Page updated: 5 Dec 18