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THE DEFEAT OF THE PERSIANS.
posed by Aristides to establish a solemn festival for ever, as an anniversary commemoration of that success. It is a delightful thing, in my opinion, to see pagan and idolatrous nations thus publicly confessing and declaring, that all their expectations centre in the Supreme Being ; that they think themselves obliged to ascribe the success of all their undertakings to him ; tbat they look upon him as the author of all their victories and prosperities, as the sovereign ruler and disposer of states and empires, as the source from whence all salutary counsel, wisdom and courage are derived, and as entitled on all these accounts to the first and best part of their spoils, and to their perpetual acknowledginents and thanksgiving for such distinguished favours and benefits. SECTION X.-THE BATTLE NEAR MYCALE.
On the same day that the Greeks fought the battle of Platææ, their naval forces obtained a memorable victory in Asia over the remainder of the Persian fleet. For while that of the Greeks lay at Ægina, under the command of Leotychides, one of the kings of Sparta, and of Xanthippus the Athenian, ambassadors came to those generals from the lonians, to invite them into Asia to deliver the Grecian cities from their subjection to the barbarians. On this invitation they inmediately set sail from Asia, and steered their course by Delos; where, when they arrived, other ambassadors came from Samos, and brought them intelligence, that the Persian fleet, which had passed the winter at Cumæ, was then at Samos, where it would be an easy matter to defeat and destroy it, earnestly pressing them at the same time not to neglect so favourable an opportunity. The Greeks hereupon sailed away directly for Samos. But the Persians, receiving intelligence of their approach, retired to Mycale, a promontory of the continent of Asia, where their land-army consisting of a hundred ihousand men, who were the remainder of those that Xerxes had carried back from Greece the year before, was encamped. Here they drew their vessels ashore, which was a common practice among the ancients, and encompassed them with a strong rampart. The Grecians followed them to the very place, and with the help of the Ionians defeated their land-army, forced their rampart, and burnt all their vessels.*
The battle of Platææ was fought in the morning, and that of Mycale in the afternoon of the same day: and yet all the Greek writers pretend that the victory of Platææ was
known at Mycale before the latter engagement was begun, though the whole Ægean sea, which requires several days sailing to cross it, was between these two places. But Diodorus, the Sicilian, explains this mystery to us. He tells us, that Leotychides, observing his soldiers to be much dejected for fear their countrymen at Platææ should sink under the numbers of Mardonius's army, contrived a stratagem to reanimate them; and that therefore, when he was just upon the point of making the first attack, he caused a rumour to be spread among his troops, that the Persians were defeated at Platææ, though at that time he had no manner of knowledge of the matter.t
Xerxes, hearing the news of these two overthrows, left Sardis with as much haste, as he had before left Athens, after the battle of Salamis, and retired with great precipitation into Persia, in order to put himself, as far as he possibly could, out of the reach of his victorious enemies. But, before he set out, he gave orders that his people should burn and demolish all the temples belonging to the Grecian cities in Asia; which order was so far executed, that not one escaped, except the temple of Diana at Ephesus,g He acted in this manner at the instigation of the Magi, who were professed enemies to temples and images. The second Zoroaster had thoroughly instructed him in their religion, and made him a zealous defender of it. Pliny informs us, that Ostanes, the bead of the magi, and the patriarch of that sect, who maintained its
• Herod, 1. ix. c. 89-105. Diod. 1. xi. p. 26-28. What we are told also of Paulus Æmilius's victory over the Macedonians, which was known at Rome the very day it was obtained, without doubt happened in the same manner. Diod. l. xi. p. 28. Strab. I. xiv. p. 634.
HI Cic. I. ii. de Leg. a. 2
maxims and interests with the greatest violence, attended Xerxes upon this expedition against Greece.* This prince, as he passed through Babylon on his return to Susa, destroyed also all the temples in that city, as he had done those of Greece and "Asia Minor: doubtless through the saine principle, and out of hatred to the sect of the Sabæans, who made use of images in their divine worship, which was a thing extremely detested by the magi. Perhaps, also, the desire of making himself amends for the charges of his Grecian expedition by the spoil and plunder of those temples, might be another motive that induced him to destroy them; for it is certain he found immense riches and treasure in them, which had been amassed together through the superstition of princes and people during a long series of ages.
The Grecian fleet, after the battle of Mycale, set sail towards the Hellespont, in order to possess themselves of the bridges which Xerxes had caused to be thrown over that narrow passage, and which they supposed were still entire. But finding them broken by tempestuous weather, Leotychides and his Peloponnesian forces returned towards their own country. As for Xanthippus, he staid with the Athenians and their Ionian confederates, and they made themselves masters of Sestus and the Thracian Chersonesus, in which places they found great booty, and took a vast number of prisoners. After which, before winter came on, they returned to their own cities.
From this time all the cities of lonia revolted from the Persians, and having formed an alliance with the Grecians, most of them preserved their liberty during the time that empire subsisted. SECTION XI.--THE BARBAROUS AND INHUMAN REVENGE OF AMESTRIS, THE
WIFE OF XERXES. DURING the residence of Xerxes at Sardis, he conceived a violent passion for the wife of his brother Masistus, who was a prince of extraordinary merit, had always served the king with great zeal and fidelity, and had never done any thing to disoblige him. The virtue of this lady, and her great affection and fidelity to her husband, made her inexorable to all the king's solicitations. He however, still flattered himself, that by a profusion of favours and liberalities, he might possibly gain upon her: and among other kind things he did to oblige her, he married his eldest son Darius, whom he intended for his successor, to Ártainta, this lady's daughter, and ordered that the marriage should be consummated as soon as he arrived at Susa. But Xerxes, finding the princess still unyielding to all his temptations and attacks, immediately changed his object, and fell passionately in love with her daughter, who did not imitate the glo ous example of her mother's constancy and virtue. While this intrigue was carrying on, Amestris, wife of Xerxes, made him a present of a rich and magnificent robe of her own making. Xerxes, being extremely pleased with this robe, thought fit to put it on, upon the first visit he afterwards made to Artainta; and in the conversation be bad with her, he mightily pressed her to let himn know what she desired he should do for her, assuring her, at the same time, with an oath, that he would grant her whatever she asked of him. Artainta, upon this, desired him to give her the robe he had on. Xerxes, foreseeing the ill consequence that would necessarily ensue his making her this present, did all that he could to dissuade her from insisting upon it, and offered her any thing in the world instead of it. But, not being able to prevail upon her, and thinking himself bound by the imprudent promise and oath he had pade to her, he gave her the robe. The lady no sooner received it, than she put it on, and wore it publicly by way of trophy. I
Amestris, being confirmed by this action in the suspicions she had enter tained, was enraged to the highest degree. But, instead of taking vengeance upon the daughter, who was the only offender, she resolved to wreak it upon the mother, whom she looked upon as the author of the whole intrigue, though she
Ant. J. C. 479. Herod.
ix. c. 107-112
. Plin. l. xxx. c. i. Vol. II
† Arrian 1. vii.
* A. M 9.
was entirely innocent of the matter. For the better executing of ber purpose, she waited until the grand feast, which was every year celebrated on the King's birth-day, and which was not far off; on which occasion the king, according to the es:ablished custom of the country, granted her whatever she demanded. On the arrival of that day, she desired of his majesty that the wife of Masistus should be delivered into her hands. Xerxes, who apprehended the queen's design, and who was struck with horror at the thoughts of it, as well out of regard to his brother, as on account of the innocence of the lady, against whom he perceived his wife was so violently exasperated, at first refused her request, and endeavoured by all means to dissuade her from it. But unable either to prevail upon her, or to act with steadiness and resolution himself, he at last yielded, and was guilty of the weakest and most cruel piece of complaisance that ever was acted, making the inviolable obligations of justice and humanity give way to the arbitrary laws of a custom, that had only been established to give occasion for the doing of good, and for acts of beneficence and generosity. In consequence, then, of this compliance, the lady, was apprehended by the king's guards, and delivered to Amestris, who caused her breasts, tongue, nose, ears, and lips, to be cut off, ordered them to be cast to the dogs in her own presence, and then sent her home to her husband's house in that mutilated and miserable condition. In the mean time, Xerxes had sent for his brother, in order to prepare him for this melancholy and tragical adventure. He first gave him to understand, that he should be glad he would put away his wife, and to induce him thereto, offered to give him one of his daughters in her stead. But Masistus, who was passionately fond of his wife, could not prevail upon himself to divorce her: whereupon Xerxes in great wrath told him, that since he had refused his daughter, he should neither bave her nor his wife ; and that he would teach him not to reject the offers his master had made him; and with this inhuman reply dismissed him.
This strange proceeding threw Masistus into the greatest anxiety; who, thinking he had reason to apprehend the worst of accidents, hastened home, to see what had passed there during his absence. On his arrival he found bis wife in that deplorable condition we have just been describing. Being enraged thereat to the degree we may naturally imagine, he assembled all his family, his servants and dependents, and set out with all possible expedition for Bactriana, of which he was governor, determined, as soon as he arrived there, to raise an army and make war against the king, in order to avenge himself for his barbarous treatment. But Xerxes being informed of his hasty departure, and from thence suspecting the design he had conceived against him, sent a party of horse in pursuit of him ; which baving overtaken him, cut him in pieces, together with his children and all his retinue. I do not know that a more tragical example of revenge than I have now related, is to be found in history,
There is still another action, no less cruel or impious than the former, related of Amestris. She caused fourteen children of the best families in Persia to be burnt alive as a sacrifice to the infernal gods, in compliance with a supertitious custom practised by the Persians.*
Masislus being dead, Xerxes gave the government of Bactriana to his second son Hystaspes; who, being by that means obliged to live at a distance from the court, gave his younger brother Artaxerxes the opportunity of ascending the throne after the death of their father, as we shall hereafter see.t
Here the history of Herodotus terminates, viz: at the battle of Mycale, and the siege of the city of Sestos by the Athenians. SECTION XII.-THE ATHENIANS REBUILD THE WALLS OF THEIR CITY, NOT
WITHSTANDING THE OPPOSITION OF THE LACEDÆMONIANS. The war, commonly called the war of Media, which had lasted about two years, being terminated in the manner we have mentioned, the Athenians re• Hero.. #vl. c. il to
t Diod. 1. xi, p. 5%.
turned to their own country, and sending for their wives and children whom they had committed to the care of their friends during the war; began to think of rebuilding their city, which was almost entirely destroyed by the Persians, and of surrounding it with strong walls, in order to secure it from farther violence.* The Lacedæmonians having intelligence of this, conceived a jealousy, and began to apprehend that Athens, which was already very powerful by sea, if it should go on to increase its strength by land also, might take upon her in time to give laws to Sparta, and to deprive her of that authority and pre-eminence which she had hitherto exercised over the rest of Greece. They therefore sent an embassy to the Athenians, the purport of which was to represent to them, that the common interest and safety required that there should be no fortified city out of the Peloponnesus, lest, in case of a second invasion, it should fall into the hands of the Persians, who would be sure to settle themselves in it, as they had dorse before at Thebes, and who from thence would be able to infest the whole country, and to make themselves masters of it very speedily. Themistocles, who, since the battle of Salamis was greatly considered and respected at Athens, easily penetrated into the true design of the Lacedæmonians, though it was concealed under the specious pretext of public good; but, as the latter were able with the assistance of their allies, to hinder the Athenians by force from carrying on the work, in case they should positively and absolutely refuse to comply with their demands, he advised the senate to make use of cunning and dissimulation as well as they. The answer, therefore, they made the envoys was, that they would send an embassy to Sparta, to satisfy the commonwealth concerning their jealousies and apprehensions. Themistocles procured bimself to be nominated one of the ambassadors, and persuaded the senate not to let his colleagues set out along with him, but to send them one after another, in order to gain time for carrying on the work. The matter was executed pursuant to his advice: and he accordingly went alone to Lacedæmon, where he let a great many days pass without waiting upon the magistrates, or applying to the senate. And upon their pressing him to do it, and asking the reason why he deferred it so long, he made answer, that he waited for the arrival of his colleagues, that they might all have their audience of the senate together, and seemed to be very much surprised that they were so long coming. At length they arrived, but came singly, and at a considerable distance of time one from another. During all this while, the work was carried on at Athens with the utmost industry and vigour. The women, children, strangers, and slaves, were all employed in it: nor was it interrupted night or day. The Spartans were not ignorant of this matter but made great complaints of it to Themistocles, who positively denied the fact, and pressed them to send other deputies to Athens, in order to inform them: selves better of the fact, desiring them not to give credit to loose and flying reports, without foundation. At the same time he secretly advised the Athenians to detain the Spartan envoys as so many hostages, until he and his colleagues returned from their embassy, fearing, not without good reason, that they themselves might be served in the same manner at Sparta. At last, when all his fellow ambassadors were arrived, he desired an audience, and declared in full senate, that it was really true the Athenians had resolved to fortify their city with strong walls ; that the work was almost completed; that they had judged it to be absolutely necessary for their own security, and for the public good of the allies; telling them at the same time, that, after the great experience they had of the Athenian people's behaviour, they could not well suspect them of being wanting in their zeal for the common interest of their country ; that, as the condition and privileges of all the allies ought to be equal, it was just the Athenians should provide for their own safety by all the means they judged necessary, as well as the other confederates; that they had thought of this expedient, and were ir, a condition to defend their city
* A. M, 3526. Ant. J. C. 478. Thucyd. I. i. p. 59-62. Diod. I. xi. p. 30. 31. Justin 1 ii. c. 15.
against wnoever should presume to attack it; and that as for the Lacedæmo nians, it was not much for their honour, that they should desire to establish their power and superiority rather upon the weak and defenceless condition of their allies than upon their own strength and valour.* The Lacedæmonians, were extremely displeased with this discourse ; but, either out of a sense of gratitude and esteem for the Athenians, who had rendered such important services to the country, or out of a conviction that they were not able to oppose their enterprise, they dissembled their resentments; and the ambassadors on both sides, having all suitable honours paid them, returned to their respective cities.
Themistocles, who always had his thoughts fixed upon raising and aug. menting the power and glory of the Athenian commonwealth, did not confine his views to the walls of the city. He went on with the same vigorous application to finish the building and fortifications of the Piræus ; for, from the time he entered into office, he had commenced that great work. Before this time they had no other port at Athens but that of Phalerus, which was neither very large nor commodious, and consequently not capable of answering the great designs of Themistocles. For this reason he had cast his eye upon the Piræus, which seemed to invite him by its advantageous situation, and by the conveniency of its three spacious havens, which were capable of containing above four hundred vessels. This undertaking was prosecuted with so much diligence and activity, that the work was considerably advanced in a very little time. Themistocles likewise obtained a decree, that every year they should build twenty vessels for the augmentation of their feet: and in order to engage the greater number of workmen and sailors to resort to Athens, he caused particular privileges and immunities to be granted in their favour. His design was, as I have already observed, to make the whole force of Athens maritime; in which be followed a very different course of politics froin what had been pursued by their ancient kings, who, endeavouring all they could to alienate the minds of the citizens from seafaring business and froin war, and to make them apply themselves wholly to agriculture and to peaceable employments, published this fable : that Minerva, disputing with Neptune, to know which of them should be declared patron of Attica, and give their name to the city newly built, gained her cause by showing her judges the branch of an olive-tree, the happy symbol of peace and plenty, which she had planted; whereas Nepa tune had caused a fiery horse, the symbol of war and confusion, to rise out of the earth before them.t SECTION X111.-THE BLACK DESIGN OF THEMISTOCLES REJECTED UNANIMOUSLY
BY THE PEOPLE OF ATHENS.
THEMISTOCLES who conceived the design of supplanting the Lacedæmonians, and of taking the government of Greece out of their hands, in order to pat it into those of the Athenians, kept his eye and his thoughts continually fixed upon that great project. And as he was not very nice or scrupulous in the choice of his measures, whatever tended towards accomplishing the end he had in view, he looked upon as just and lawful. He one day declared, in a full assembly of the people, that he had a very important design tó propose, but that he could not communicate it to the people, because its success required that it sliould be carried on with the greatest secrecy; he therefore desired they would appoint a person to whom he might explain himself upon the matter in question. Aristides was unanimously chosen by the whole assembly, who referred themselves entirely to his opinion of the affair ; so great a confidence had they both in his probity and prudence. Themistocles therefore having taken him aside, told him that the design he had conceived
* Graviter castigat eos, quod non virtute, sed imbecilitate sociorum potentiam quærerept.-Jastine ! jj. c. 15,
+ Thucyd, 1. i. p. 62, 63, Diod. t. xi. p. 32, 33.