Herodotus: Histories (Books V-VII) [3] 0674991338, 9780674991330

Herodotus the great Greek historian was born about 484 BCE, at Halicarnassus in Caria, Asia Minor, when it was subject t

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Herodotus: Histories (Books V-VII) [3]
 0674991338, 9780674991330

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tT. E. PAGE, E.


PH.D., rx.D.


W. H.

















First Printed, 1922. Reprinted, 1928, 1938.





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To face



INTRODUCTION In Books V and VI, the constant intermixture of references to earlier history with the actual narrative makes chronology obscure and difficult. I have endeavoured to make the sequence of events clearer by giving dates here and there in the notes. Book V describes, with a great many digressions, the events leading to, and the beginning of, the The following is a Ionian revolt against Darius. brief analysis of its contents, based on the summary in Stein's edition: Ch. 1—16. Megabazus' conquests in Euro])e. embassy to Ch. 17—22. Story of a Persian

Macedonia, and

its fate.

Ch. 23-27. Histiaeus of Miletus at the Persian court; Otanes' conquests in N.W. Asia Minor and the neighbourhood. Ch. 28-38. Troubles at Miletus and Naxos Aristagoras' temporary alliance with Artaphrenes, and its breach; Aristagoras instigated by Histiaeus to revolt.

Ch. 39-48. Story of Anaxandrides king of Sparta Dorieus' Dorieus. his sons Cleomenes and death in Sicily Cleomenes king of Sparta. Ch. 49-51. Aristagoras' unsuccessful attempt to his map of Asia. obtain a Spartan alliance Ch. 52-54. Description of the " Royal Road from Ephesus to Susa.




INTRODUCTION Ch. 55-96. Aristagoras' visit to Athens ; a long digression on Athenian history. [Ch. 55-61. The death of Hipparchus ; origin of

the Gephyraei by whom he was killed. Ch. 62-65. P^xpulsion of the Pisistratidae, by

Lacedaemonian help. Ch. 66—69. Reforms of Cleisthenes at Athens, on the model of those effected by an elder Cleisthenes at Sioyon.

Ch. 70—73. Counter-revolution organised by IsaLacedaemonian help its failure goras with ;

Athenian embassy to

Persia, without result.

Ch. 74—78. Joint attack on Athens by Lacedaemonians, Boeotians, and Ciialcidians its repulse. ;

Ch. 79—89. Alliance of Thebes and Aegina against Athens former feud between Athens and Aegina, arising out of relations between Athens and Epidaurus. Ch. 90, 9L Debate among the Spartans and their allies, as to restoring Hippias at Athens. Ch. 92. Protest of the Corinthians against this story of the Cypselid dynasty at Corinth, Ch. 93—96. Hippias' retirement to Sigeum story of how Sigeum had originally been occupied by the Athenians Hippias' appeal to Persia for protection, leading to a final breach between Persia and Athens.] Ch. 97, 98. Aristagoras' success in obtaining Athenian help. Escape of the Paeonians from Asia, ;



at his instigation.

and burnt by Sardis attacked Ch. 99-102. Athenians and lonians their subsequent retreat. Ch. 103, 104. Spread of the revolt in Caria and ;


INTRODUCTION Ch. 105-107. Histiaeus' mission from Susa to on pretence of dealing with the revolt. Ch. 108-115. War in Cyprus battles by sea and land Cyprus reduced by the Persians. Ch. 116—123. Persian victories in western Asia Minor. Ch. 124-126. Flight and death of Aristagoras. Ionia,



Book VI continues in its earlier chapters the story of the next phase of the Ionian revolts. Ch, 1-5. Histiaeus' return from Susa to the west, and the ill-success of his enterprises there. Ch. 5—10. Preparation of the opposing forces of Persians and lonians at Miletus; Persian attempts to tamper with the lonians. Ch. 11-17. Dionysius' attempt to train the lonians for battle. Sea-fight off Lade, Samian treachery, and complete victory of the Persians. Bravery and misfortunes of the Chians. Ch. 18-21. Fall of Miletus. Ch. 22-24. Flight of certain Samians to Sicily, and their treacherous occupation of Zancle. Ch. 25-32. Further Persian successes capture and death of Histiaeus complete suppression of tiie Ionian revolt. Ch. 33—41. Persian conquest of the Thracian Cliersonese and the towns of the Hellespont. Story of the rule there of the elder Miltiades escape from the Persians of Miltiades the younger. Ch. 42. Persian administration of Ionia. Ch. 43-45. First expedition of Mardonius against Greece (492) wreck of his fleet off Athos ; his return to Asia. Ch. 46, 47. Subjection of Thasos to Persia. ;




INTRODUCTION Ch. 48-50. Darius' demand of " earth and water " from Greek states, Aeginetans accused as traitors for submitting to it. Ch. 51-60. Digression on Spartan kingship. Origin of dual system ; position and privileges of kings.

Ch. 61-70. Story of Demaratus his birth his quarrel with and deposition by Cleomenes, the other king. Succession of Leutyehides, Ch. 71-84:. Subsequent career of Cleomenes and Leutyehides. Cleomenes' war with Argos, and his death (491, probably). Ch. 85, 86. Quarrel between Leutyehides and Aegina Leutyehides' demand for the restoration by the Athenians of Aeginetan hostages story ot Glaucus. Ch. 87-93. Incidents in war between Athens and ;




Aegina. Ch. 94-101.





Greece under Datis and Artaphrenes. Conquest of Naxos, Delos, and Eretria. Ch. 102—108. Persian landing at Marathon in Attica, with Hippias Athenian force sent thither, Miltiades one of their generals. His recent history. Athenian messenger despatched to Sparta for help. Reinforcement sent by Plataea. Ch. 109-117. Battle at Marathon and complete ;

victory of the Athenians. Ch. 118-120. Persian retreat; fortunes of the Eretrians taken prisoners by the Persians arrival of Lacedaemonian reinforcements at Athens. Ch. 121—131. Herodotus' argument against the accusation of treason brought against tlie Alcmaeonid family at Athens. Story of the family. Success ;

INTRODUCTION one of its members in being chosen as the husband of Agariste, daughter of Cleisthenes of of

Sicyon. Ch. 132-136. Unsuccessful expedition of Miltiades against Paros his condemnation by the Athenians, and his death. Ch. 137-140. Story of the Pelasgian settlements in Attica and subsequently in Lemnos, and the ultimate reduction of Lemnos by Miltiades. ;




in are

Book VII



easier to

fewer digressions from the course of the story, and events are described in their chronological order for the most part. Ch. 1—4. New Persian preparation against Greece. Dispute about the succession to the throne among death of Darius and accession of Darius' sons Xerxes (485). Ch. 5, 6. Influence at the Persian court in favour follow.


of war. Ch. 7—11. Suppression of the Egyptian revolt. Xerxes' deliberation on invasion of Greece speeches of Xerxes, Mardonius, and Artabanus. Ch. 12-18. Xerxes' doubts his and Artabanus' eventual decision for war. visions Ch. 19—25. Preparation for tlie expedition ; its magnitude construction of a canal across the promontory of Athos. Ch. 26-32. March of Xerxes' army from Critalla in Cappadocia to Sardis. Story of Pythius' offer of ;




money. Ch. 33—36. Construction of bridges across the Hellespont. Ch. 37-43. Route of the army from Sardis to xi

INTRODUCTION Abydos Pythius' request, and its punishment the order of march. Ch. 44-56. Review of the fleet and army at Abydos, Xerxes' conversation with Artabanus. Passage of the Hellespont. Ch. 57-60. From the Hellespont to Doriscus; the numbering of the army. Ch. 61—99. Catalogue and description of the national contingents composing Xerxes' army and ;


Ch. 100-107. Xerxes' review of his forces at Doriscus his conversation with Demaratus ; notice of some of the governors left by Xerxes in charge of Thracian towns. Ch. 108—121. Route of the army and fleet from How the army was fed. Doriscus to Acanthus. Ch. 122-126. From Acanthus to Therma. Ch. 127-131. Xerxes' excursion to Tempe in Thessaly. Ch. 132-137. Reception in Greece of pro|>osals sent by Xerxes to Greek states. Vengeance alleged to be taken by Talthybius on the Lacedaemonians for their killing of ambassadors ; story of Sperthias ;



138-144. Athens' services in the cause of Oracles given to the Athenians decision to increase their fleet, on the advice of Themistocles. General reconciliation Ch. 145-147. among Greeks their despatch of spies to Sardis ; Xerxes' generosity in dealing with these. Ch. 148-152. Dubious attitude of Argos and Herodotus' reflections thereon. Ch. 153-167. Greek mission to Sicily. History of


Greek freedom.


INTRODUCTION the rise of Gelon. His negotiations with the Greek envoys. Despatch of Cadmus. Victory of Gelon and Theron over the Carthaginians in Sicily. Ch. 168. Dubious attitude of Corcyra. Ch. 169-171. Greek mission to Crete Delphian advice to Cretans to be warned by the fate of Minos, and the Trojan war. Ch. 172-174. Greek forces in Thessaly their withdrawal attitude of the Thessalians. Ch. 175-178. Greek occupation of Thermopylae and Description of Artemisium. localities. Delphian advice to the Greeks to pray to the winds. Ch. 179—187. First encounter of Greek and Persian ships Greek fleet at Chalcis, Persian at Sepias. Herodotus' estimate of total Persian ;




numbers. Ch. 188-195. Heavy losses of Persian fleet in a storm. Persians at Aphetae, Greeks at Artemisium. Greeks capture Persian ships. Ch. 196, 197. March of Xerxes' army through Thessaly and Achaia. Description of religious custom at Alus. Ch. 198-201. Further description of Thermopylae

and neighbourhood. Ch. with

202—207. Leonidas


Composition of the Greek force remain his decision to at

Thermopylae. Ch. 208, 209. Persian scouts and the Greeks Xerxes' conversation with Demaratus. Ch. 210-212. Fights at Thermopylae and repulse of the Persians. Ch. 213-218. Flank movement of a Persian force over the hills, guided by Epialtes.

INTRODUCTION Ch. 219-225. Withdrawal of part of the Greek force by Leonidas* order. Final battle ; anniliilation of the Lacedaemonians and Thespians. Ch. 226-233. Individual instances of bravery ; the commemorative inscriptions fortunes of the few survivors Theban surrender to Xerxes. Ch. Opinions of 234—238. Demaratus and Achaemenes as to Xerxes' future policy. Mutilation of Leonidas' body. Ch. 239. Digression as to Demaratus' secret message to Sparta about Xerxes' proposed expedition. ;



the highly miscellaneous data for internal history of which Books V and VI are composed, those portions are especially interesting which


give an account of governmental changes in the Hellenic world. Here we have the first beginnings of constitutional history. The period to which Herodotus' narrative generally refers was a time of transition. Tiiose old vague kingships which existed in the Homeric age had passed away the powers of ruling ^daiX^c? had passed mostly into the hands of some sort of oligarchy, whether based on wealth or birth. The relations between these and the unprivileged weaker population })roduced the economic disorders of the seventh century and different states solved their problems in different ways. Sometimes the fall of an unpopular oligarchy or group of privileged families was brought about by the establishment of "despotism," some member of the hitherto powerful caste making himself master of the situation by a coup d'elal, with or without the thus the rule of the support of the unprivileged Battiadae at Corinth gave place to the "tyranny" ;



INTRODUCTION But despotism was for of the Cypselid dynasty. the most part at least in Greece Proper only an Judged by its works, it became more interlude. unpopular than the oligarchical rule which it had the general estimate of it was that an displaced irresponsible ruler was probably a criminal, and that unchecked power meant the gratification of It is true that the worst passions of humanity. as despotism decayed in Greece Proper, it took a fresh leave of life in the west, where it was


by its practical utility. Tlie benevolent despotism of Gelo in Sicily was praised as much as the malevolent despotism of Periander at Corinth in neither case was there any was condemned theoretical objection to an unconstitutional usurper the system was not judged on any a priori grounds, but simply on the record of the particular TvpavvosPeriander was a mere oppressor, Gelo was an Augustus of Syracuse, whose magnificence impressed even the sternest champions of " freedom," and whose services to the Hellenic world against the Semites of Africa, and the wild tribes of the west, were of proved efficacy. Thus despotism endured in Sicily but in Greece on the whole it gave place to some form of conNow, therefore, for the stitutional government. first time we begin to hear of that strange thing the name of which has played so vast a iXevOepta part in the history of the world, and will continue to play it so long as men are the slaves of names. What "freedom" meant to Herodotus and to the simply Hellas of which he writes is clear enough freedom from the personal caprice of a single despotic ruler. It is worth pointing out to those who appeal justified




when they

claim a traditional connection

between "liberty" and democracy, that they will find in the histoiy of the fifth century no warrant for their peculiar theory. Arj/xoKpaTta, of course, was not at all like Democracy, and would in fact have seemed to modern democrats to be a singularly close and oppressive form of oligarchy but leaving this ;

patent fact out of consideration we may see that Herodotus at least did not connect freedom with popular government. Athens, the stock instance of a democratic state par excellence, achieved eXevOepua not by giving power to the 8T7/Aos,but by ridding herself of her despots; that was the "liberating" act; had she established an oligarchy, as she well might have done, on the ruins of despotism, she would have equally gained her " liberty," iXev6 epia, or la-qyopCa,

simply means the absence of That to Herodotus democracy has no prescriptive right to " liberty," is sufficiently shown by the fact that Sparta with her close and tyrannous It is a oligarchy is the typically "free" state.





Spartan who points out to a Persian the blessings Herodotus, seeing alternative forms of government, and admiring iXevOepui (always on the

of freedom.

its higlier efficiency), has no particular When he mentions it, he liking for democracy. does so without respect. Gelon of Sicily is made

ground of

In the disto call the Srj/xos a " thankless crew." cussion of various constitutions in Book III the Persian debaters condemn democracy even more than oligarchy. The Athens which Herodotus lived in and admired was the Periclean city-state of which Thucydides says that " it was a nominal democracy, but in reality the rule of the first man." xvi

INTRODUCTION These digressions on constitutional changes and conditions occupy considerable parts of Books V and VI, while the main story works its way to the With Marathon, the drama reaches its denouement. climax. From this moment we are amidst the great scenes of history and nothing can detract from the compelling interest of the narrative. Herodotus' marvellous skill heightens the dramatic appeal throughout by a constantly interwoven personal are made to see the scale of the element. conflict, and judge of the issues involved, from the particular standpoint of individuals we see through the eyes of a present witness. Herodotus does not only describe the greatness of Xerxes' fleet; he describes it as seen by Xerxes; just as Homer's most admired similes are those where the imagined scene is presented to us as viewed by a At most of the critical moments, the spectator. various reflections which might occur to a thoughtful mind, or the alternative courses of action which might naturally be suggested, are presented to us in a dramatised form by debate or dialogue after the illustrating the diverse points of view manner later made familiar by Euripides and ;



Thucydides. So much of fiction there is, obviously but the trustworthiness of the narrative, apart from these Very additamenta, has not been seriously assailed. many details in this part of Herodotus' history lend themselves to speculation and controversy. He may exaggerate to the Persian numbers it is natural He may lend too ready an ear to that he should. But modern research has not detracted legend. from his general credibility. It is not too much to ;


INTRODUCTION say that where Herodotus gives most local detail is least assailable. The story of Marathon is


very briefly told, and it has been left for moderns to fill in what was lacking or explain what brevity makes obscure but the full and detailed description of Thermopylae is verifiable to-day. Of course one cannot argue with certainty from such instances to the credibility of everything. But they are at least and make any candid reader, in encouraging respect of those parts of the narrative wliere Herodotus is the sole witness, incline rather to belief in the first of historians than in those who would reconstruct history on the precarious basis of a priori probability. ;







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