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The favour of the public has made a Second Edition of this 
work necessary within so short a period of its original publication, 
that the Author has not felt it desirable to attempt any large 
additions or alterations. He has confined himself chiefly to the 
amending of such small errors as the sagacity of critics or the 
kindness of friends has pointed out. To such friends and critics 
he begs hereby to express his warm acknowledgments, and at 
the same time to request a continuance of their favours. He 
hopes they will feel, with Aristotle, that "it is the duty of every 
man to help towards the improvement and completion in detail 
of a scheme that has been even tolerably well sketched." In a 
few of the Essays — as Essays YI. and VII. of the First Volume — 
something beyond verbal alteration has been made, in conse- 
quence of the new light thrown on the history by inscriptions 
not decyphered when the First Edition of the work was pub- 
lished. A few illustrations are also new ; but otherwise the 
work will be found little more than a reprint of the edition of 

Oxford, December, 1861. 



Seven years have elapsed since this work was first promised to 
the public. It was then stated that its object would be at once 
to present the English reader with a correct yet free translation, 
and to collect and methodise for the student the chief illustra- 
tions of the author, which modern learning and research had up 
to that time accumulated. The promise thus made might without 
much difficulty have been redeemed within the space of two or 
three years. Parallel, however, with the progress of the work, 
which was commenced at once, a series of fresh discoveries 
continued for several years to be made — more especially on 
points connected with the ethnography of the East, and the 
history, geography, and religion of Babylonia and Assyria — the 
results of which it seemed desirable to incorporate, at whatever 
cost of time and labour. Great portions of the present volume 
had thus, from time to time, to be rewritten. This circumstance, 
and the unavoidable absence of Sir Henry Kawlinson from 
England during three years out of the seven, will, it is hoped, 
be deemed sufficient apology for the delay that has occurred in 
the publication. 

Some apology may also seem to be required for the project of 
a new translation. When this work was designed, Herodotus 
already existed in our language in five or six different versions. 
Besides literal translations intended merely for the use of students, 
Littlebury in 1737, Beloe in 1791, and Mr. Isaac Taylor in 1829, 
had given " the Father of History " an English dress designed 
to recommend him to the general reader. The defects of the 
two former of these works — defects arising in part from the low 
state of Greek scholarship at the time when they were written, 
in part from the incompetency of the writers — precluded of 


necessity tlieir adoption, even as the basis of a new English 
Herodotus. The translation of Mr. Isaac Taylor is of a higher 
order, and had it been more accurate, would have left little to 
desiderate. The present translator was not, however, aware of 
its existence until after he had completed his task, or he would 
have been inclined, if permitted, to have adopted, with certain 
changes, Mr. Taylor's version. It is hoped that the pubKc may 
derive some degree of advantage from this redundancy of labour 
in the same field, and may find the present work a more exact, 
if not a more spirited, representation of the Greek author. 

There are, however, one or two respects in which the present 
translation does not lay claim to strict accuracy. Occasional 
passages offensive to modern delicacy have been retrenched, and 
others have been modified by the alteration of a few phrases. 
In the orthography of names, moreover, and in the rendering of 
the appellations of the Greek deities, the Latinised forms, with 
which our ear is most familiar, have been adopted in preference 
to the closer and more literal representation of the words, which 
has recently obtained the sanction of some very eminent writers. 
In a work intended for general readiug, it was thought that 
unfamiliar forms were to be eschewed ; and that accuracy in such 
matters, although perhaps more scholar-like, would be dearly 
purchased at the expense of harshness and repulsiveness. 

It has not been considered desirable to encumber the text with 
a great multitude of foot-notes. The principal lines of inquiry 
opened up by the historian have been followed out in " Essays," 
which are placed separately at the end of the several "Books " 
into which the history is divided. In the running comment upon 
the text which the foot-notes furnish, while it is hoped that no 
really important illustration of the narrative of Herodotus from 
classical writers of authority has been omitted, the main endea- 
vour has been to confine such comment within reasonable com- 
pass, and to avoid the mistake into which Larcher and Bahr 
have fallen, of overlaying the text with the commentary. If the 
principle here indicated is anywhere infringed, it will be found 
that the infringement arises from a press of modern matter not 
previously brought to bear upon the author, and of a character 
which seemed to require juxtaposition with his statements. 


The Editor cannot lay this instalment of his work before the 
public without at once recording his obligations to the kindness 
of several friends. His grateful acknowledgments are due to 
the Eector and Fellows of Exeter College for the free use of 
their valuable library ; to Dr. Bandinel, librarian of the Bodleian, 
and the Eev. H. 0. Coxe, sub-librarian of the same, for much 
attention and courtesy ; to Professor Lassen of Bonn, for kind 
directions as to German sources of illustration ; to Dr. Scott, 
Master of Balhol, for assistance on difficult points of scholarship ; 
and to Professor Max Miiller, of this University, for many useful 
hints upon subjects connected with ethnology and comparative 
philology. Chiefly, however, he has to thank his two colleagues, 
Sir Henry Eawlinson and Sir Gardner \Yilkinson, for their in- 
valuable assistance. The share which these writers have taken 
in the work is very insufficiently represented by the attachment 
of their initials to the notes and essays actually contributed by 
them. Sir Henry Eawlinson especially has exercised a general 
supervision over the Oriental portion of the comment; and 
although he is, of course, not to be regarded as responsible for 
any statements but those to which his initials are affixed, he has 
in fact lent his aid throughout in all that concerns the geography, 
ethnography, and history of the Eastern nations. It was the 
promise of tliis assistance which alone emboldened the Editor to 
undertake a work of such pretension as the full illustration from 
the best sources, ancient and modern, of so discursive a writer as 
Herodotus. It will be, he feels, the advantage derived from the 
free bestowal of the assistance which will lend to the work itself 
its principal and most permanent interest. 

Oxford f January 1st, 1858. 





Impossibility of writing a complete life of Herodotus. His time, as determined 
from his History. Date of his birth, as fixed by ancient writers, B.C. 484. 
His birthplace — Halicarnassus. His parents, Lyxes and Rhoeo — their means 
and station. A branch of his family settled in Chios, probably. His educa- 
tion, and acquaintance with Greek literature. His travels, their extent and 
completeness. Their probable date and starting-point. Circumstances of his 
life, according to Suidas and other writers. Political adventures — their truth 
questioned. Residence at Samos — doubtful. Removal to Athens. Recita- 
tion of his work 'there. Reward assigned him. Alleged recitations in other 
Greek cities. The pretended recitation at Olympia. Thucydides and Hero- 
dotus. Herodotus and Sophocles. Men of note whom Herodotus would 
meet at Athens. Reasons for his leaving it. Colonisation of Thurium. Men 
of note among the early colonists. The History of Herodotus retouched, but 
not originally composed, at Thurium. Some large portions may have been 
written there ; and his History of Assyria. State of Thurium during his 
residence. Time and place of his death. Herodotus pi'obably unmarried : 
his heir Plesirrhoiis. His great work left unfinished at his decease . . Page 1 



Importance of the question. Historical materials already existing in Greece. 
Works of three kinds : 1. Mythological; 2. Geographical; 3. Strictly historical. 
How far used as materials by Herodotus. Xanthus. Charon. Dionysius. 
The geographers : Hecatseus, Scylax, Aristeas. The poets. Chief source of 
the History of Herodotus, personal observation and inquiry. How far authen- 
ticated by monumental records: 1. In Greece; 2. In foreign countries — 
Egypt, Babylon, Persia. General result 30 




Merits of Herodotus as an historian: 1. Diligence. 2. Honesty — Failure of all 
attacks on his veracity. 3. Impartiality — Charges of prejudice — Remarkable 
instances of candour. 4. Political dispassionateness. 5, Freedom from 

national vanity. Defects as a historian : 1. Credulity — Belief in omens, 

oracles, dreams, &c. ^Theory of Divine Nemesis — Marvels in Nature. 2. 
Spirit of exaggeration — Anecdotes. 3. Want of accuracy — Discrepancies — 
Repetitions — Loose chronology, &c. 4. Want of historical insight — Confu- 
sion of occasions with causes — Defective geography — Absurd meteorology — 

Mythology — Philology. Merits as a writer : 1. Unity — Scope of the work. 

2. Clever management of the episodes — Question of their relevancy. 3. Skill 
in character- drawing — The Persians — The Spartans — The Athenians — 
Persian and Spartan kings : Themistocles — Aristides — Greek Tyrants — 
Croesus — Amasis — Nitocris — Tomyris, &c. 4. Dramatic power. 5. Pathos. 
6. Humour. 7. Variety. 8. Pictorial description. 9. Simplicity. 10. Beauty 
of style. Conclusion Page 59 



Causes of the war between Greece and Persia — 1. Mythic (1-5). 2. Historic — 
Aggressions of Croesus — Previous Lydian History (6-25). Conquests of 
Croesus (26-28). Visit of Solon to the court of Croesus (29-33). Story of 
Adrastus and Atys (34-45). Preparations of Croesus against Cyrus — Con- 
sultation of the oracles (46-55). Croesus seeks a Greek alliance — Hellenes 
and Pelasgi (56-58). State of Athens under Pisistratus (59-64). Early His- 
tory of Sparta (65-68). Alliance of Croesus with Sparta (69-70). Croes]Lis 
warned (71). Croesus invades Cappadocia — His war with Cyrus (72-85). 
Danger and deliverance of Croesus (86-87). His advice to Cyrus (88-89). 
His message to the Delphic oracle (90-91). His offerings (92). Wonders of 
Lydia (93). Manners and customs of the Lydians (94). History of Cyrus — 
Old Assyrian Empire— Revolt of Media (95). Early Median History (96-107). 
Birth and bringing-up of Cyrus (108-122). Incitements to revolt (123-4). 
He sovind3 the feelings of the Persians — their Ten Tribes (125-6). Revolt 
and struggle (127-130). Customs of the Persians (131-140). Cyrus threatens 
the Ionian Gi-eeks (141). Account of the Greek settlements in Asia (142-151). 
Sparta interferes to protect the Greeks (152). Sardis revolts and is reduced 
(153-7). Fate of Pactyas (158-160). Reduction of the Asiatic Greeks 
(161-170). The Carians, Caunians, and Lycians attacked — their customs — 
they submit to the Persians (171-6). Conquests of Cyrus in Upper Asia 
(177). Description of Babylon (178-187). Cyrus marches on Babylon 
(188-190). Fall of Babylon (191). Description of Babylonia (192-3). 
Customs of the Babylonians (194-200) Expedition of Cyrus against the 
Massagetse (201). The River Araxes (202). The Caspian (203-4). 
Tomyris — her offer to Cyrus (205-6). Advice given by Croesus, adopted 
by Cyrus (207-8). Dream of Cyrus (209-210). Two battles with the 
Massagetee — Defeat and death of Cyrus (211-4). Manners and customs of 
the Massagetse (215) ' 121 





1. Date of the taking of Sardis by Cyrus — according to the common account, B.C. 
546. 2. According to Volney and Heeren, B.C. 557. 3. Probable actual date, 
B.C. 554. 4. First or mythic period of Lydian history — dynasty of the Atyadse. 
5. Colonisation of Etruria. 6. Conquest of the Maeonians by the Lydians — 
Torrhebia. 7. Second period — dynasty of the Heraclidse, B.C. 1229 to B.C. 724 
— descent of Agron. 8. Scantiness of the historical data for this period. 
9. Lydiaca of Xanthus. 10. Insignificance of Lydia before Gyges. 11. Third 
period, B.C. 724-554 — legend of Gyges — he obtains the throne by favour of 
the Delphic oracle. 12. Reign of Gyges, B.C. 724-686 — his wars with the 
Greeks of the coast. 13. Reign of Ardys, B.C. 686-637. 14. Invasion of the 
Cimmerians. 15. Reign of Sadyattes, B.C. 637-625. 16. Reign of Alyattes, 
B.C. 625-568 — war with Miletus. 17. Great war between Alyattes and Cyax- 
ares, king of Media — eclipse of Thales, B.C. 610 (?). 18. Peaceful close of his 
reign — employment of the population in the construction of his tomb. 19. 
Supposed association of Croesus in the government by Alyattes. 20. Reign of 
Croesus, B.C. 568-554 — his enormous wealth. 21. Powerful eflfect on the Greek 
mind of his reverse of fortune — his history becomes a favourite theme with 
romance writers, who continually embellish it . . . . Page 284 



Physical Geography of Asia Minor — Shape, dimensions, and boundaries. 
2. Great central Plateau. 3. Division of Plateau — Lake region — Northern 
flat — Rivers which drain the latter — (i.) The Yechil-Irmak, or Iris — (ii.) The 
Kizil-Irmak, or Halys — (iii.) The Sakkariyeh, or Sangarius. 4. Coast tracts 
outside the Plateau: (i.) Southern — (ii.) Northern — (iii.) Western. 5. Its 
rivers. 6. Its general character. 7. Political Geography. 8. Fifteen nations : 
(i.) Phrygians — (ii.) Matieni — (iii.) Cilicians — (iv.) Pamphylians — (v.) 
Lycians — (vi.) Caunians — (vii.) Carians — (viii.) Lydians — (ix.) Greeks — 
(x.) Mysians — (xi.) Thracians — (xii.) Mariandynians — (xiii.) Paphlagomans 
(xiv.) Chalybes — (xv.) Cappadocians. 9. Comparison of Herodotus with 
Ephorus 314 



Arian origin of the Medes. 2. Close connexion with the Persians. 3. Original 
migration from beyond the Sutlej. 4. Medes occupy the tract south of the 
Caspian. 5. First contact between Media and Assyria — Conquest of Sargon. 
6. Media under the Assyrians. 7. Establishment of the independence : (i.) 
Account of Ctesias — (ii.) Account of Herodotus. 8. Cyaxares the real founder 


of the monarchy. 9. Events of his reign : (i.) His war with the Scyths — (ii.) 
Conquest of Assyria — (iii.) Conquest of the tract between Media and the river 
Halys — (iv.) War with Alyattes — (v.) Aid given to Nebuchadnezzar. 10. 
Reign of Astyages — uneventful. 11. His supposed identity with " Darius the 
Mede." 12. Media becomes a Persian satrapy. 13. Median chronology of 
Herodotus — its difficulties. 14. Attempted solution Page 325 



1. Eminence of the Pasargadse — modern parallel. 2. The Maraphians and 

Maspians, 3. The Panthialseans, Derusiseans, and Germanians. 4. The nomade 

^ tribes — the Dahi mentioned in Scripture — the Mardi or "heroes" — the 

Dropici, or Derbices — the Saga rtii 344 



1. Difficulties of the common view. 2. Dualism and elemental worship two 
different systems. 3. Worship of the elements not the original Persian 
religion, 4. Their most ancient belief pure Dualism. 5. Elemental worship 
the religion of the Magi^ w^ho were Scyths. 6. Gradual amalgamation of the 
two religions 346 



1. Obscurity of the subject till a recent date — contradictory accounts of Berosus 
and Ctesias. 2. The progress of Cuneiform discovery confirms Berosus. 3. 
The Babylonian date for the great Ch'aldsean Empire which preceded the 
Assyrian, viz. B.C. 2234, is probably historic. 4. The earliest known kings, 
Urukh and Ilgi. 5. Kadar-mabuk connected with the Chedor-laomer of Scrip- 
ture ? 6. Ismi-dagon extended the Chaldsean power over Assyria. 7. Son and- 
grandson of Ismi-dagon. 8. Uncertainty of the order of succession among the 
later names — Naram-Sin — Sin-shada. 9. Eim-Sin and Zur-Sin. 10. Durri- 
galazu. 11. Purna-puriyas. 12. Khammurdbi and Samshu-iluna. 13. Table of 
kings. Incompleteness of the list. 14. Urukh and Ilgi belong probably to 
the second historical dynasty of Berosus — the other kings to the third. 15. 
General sketch. Rise of the first Cushite dynasty. 16. Cuneiform writing. 
17. Nimrod — Urukh — Ilgi. 18. Babylon conquered by immigrants from 
Susiana. 19. Second dynasty established by Kudur-mabuk, B.C. 1976. 20. 
Activity of Semitic colonisation at this time. Phoenicians — Hebrews —settle- 
ments in Arabia, Assyria, and Syria. 21. Kings of the 2nd dynasty — variety 
in their titles. Condition of Assyria at this period. 22. Condition of Susiana. 
23. Arabian dynasty of Berosus, B.C. 1518-1273 — possible trace in the inscrip- 
tions. Large Arabian element in the population of Mesopotamia .. .. 351 




Chronology of the Empire. Views of Ctesias. 2. Opinion of Herodotus. 
3. Of Berosus. 4. Probable duration, from b.c. 1273 to B.C. 747. 5. Origin 
of Assyrian independence. 6. Earliest kings — Bel-lush, Fudil, Vul-lush, and 
Shalma-sa?'. 7. Series of kings from the Tiglath-Pileser Cylinder. 8. Tiglath- 
Pileser I. 9. His son, Asshv --bani-pal. 10. Break in the line of kings. Later 
monarchs of this dynasty, .Ass/mr-z'c/dm-aMf and his descendants. 11. Sarda- 
napalus the conqueror. 12. His palace and temples. 13. Shalmaneser, the 
Black Obelisk king. 14. General view of the state of Asia between B.C. 900 
and B.C. 860. 15. Syrian campaigns of Shalmaneser I. 16. His palace at 
Nineveh. 17. Shamas-Vul. 18. Campaigns of <S'Aamas-Fi</. 19. Vul-lush III. 
the Pul of Scripture ( ?), married to Semiramis. 20. General table of the kings 
of the upper dynasty. 21. Lower dynasty of Assyria — B.C. 747 to e.g. 625. 

22. Reign of Tiglath-Pileser IL 23. Shalmaneser IL — his siege of Samaria. 
24. Sargon — his extensive conquests. 25. His great palace at Khorsabad. 
26. Reign of Sennacherib — his great palace at Koyunjik. 27. His military 
expeditions. 28. Probable length of his reign. 29. Second expedition of 
Sennacherib into Syria — miraculous destruction of his army. 30. Senna- 
cherib murdered by his sons. 31. Reign of Esar-haddon. 32. His magni- 
ficent palaces. 33. Asshiir-bani-pal II. — his hunting palace. 34. Asshiir- 
emit-ili, the Saracus of Berosus, and Sardanapalus of the Greek writers (?) — his 
character. 35. Fall of Nineveh. 36. Chronological Table of the kings of the 
lower dynasty. 37. Duration and extent of the empire. 38. General nature 
of the dominion. 39. Frequency of disorders — remedies. 40. Assyria the 
best specimen of a kingdom-empire. 41. Peculiar features of the dominion: 
(i.) Religious character of the wars. — (ii.) Incipient centralisation. 42. Cha- 
racter of the civilisation — Literature — Art — Manufactures . . . . Page 369 



Subordinate position of Babylonia from B.C. 1273 to B.C. 747. 2. Era of 
Nabonassar, B.C. 747 — connexion of Nabonassar with Semiramis. 3. Suc- 
cessors of Nabonassar — Merodach-Baladan conquered by Sargon — Arceamis 
— Merodach-Baladan's second reign — invasion of Sennacherib. 4. Reign of 
Belibus. 5. Reigns of Asshur'nadin-adin, Regibelus, and Mesesimordachus — 
obscure period. 6. Esar-haddon assumes the crown of Babylon — his succes- 
sors, Saosduchinus and Ciniladanus. 7. Nabopolassar — his revolt, and alliance 
with Cyaxares. Commencement of the Babylonian empire. 8. Duration of 
the empire — three great monarchs. 9. Nabopolassar — extent of his domi- 
nions. 10. Increase of the population. 11. Chief events of his reign — the 
Lydian war — the Egyptian war. 12. Accession of Nebuchadnezzar — his 
triumphant return from Egypt. 13. His great works. 14, His conquests. 
Final captivity of Judah. Siege and capture of Tyre. 15. Invasion of Egypt 
and war with Apries. 16. His seven years' lycanthropy. 17. Short reign of 
Evil-Merodach. 18. Reign of Neriglissar, the " Rab-Mag." 19. Change in 
the relations of Media and Babylon. 20. Reign of Laborosoarchod. 21. Ac- 
cession of Nabonadius, B.C. 555 — his alliance with Croesus king of Lydia — 
his defensive works, ascribed to Nitocris. 22. Sequel of the Lydian alliance. 

23. Babylon attacked by Cyrus. 24. Siege and fall of Babylon. 25. Conduct 
of Belshazzar during the siege — his death. 26. Surrender and treatment of 
Nabonadius. 27. Revolts of Babylon from Darius. 28. Final decay and 
ruin. Babylonian chronology 41U 




1. Outline of the Physical Geography — Contrast of the plain and the highlands. 
2, Division of the plain — Syrian or Arabian Desert — Great Mesopotamian 
valley. 3. Features of the mountain region — Parallel chains— Salt lakes. 
4. Great plateau of Iran. 5. Mountains enclosing the plateau — Zagros — 
Elburz — Southern or coast chain — Hala and Suliman ranges. 6. Low coun- 
tries outside the plateau: (i.) Southern — (ii.) Northern — (iii.) Eastern. 
7. Eiver-systeni of Western Asia : (i.) Continental rivers — Syhun — Jyhun — 
Helmend, &c. — Kur — Aras — Sefid-Rud — Aji-Su — Jaghetu, &c. — Barada — 
Jordan — (ii.) Oceanic rivers — Euphrates — Tigris — their affluents, viz. 
Greater Zah, Lesser Zah, Diyaleh, Kerkhah, and Karun — Indus — Affluents of 
Indus, Sutlej, Chenab, 8cc. — Eion — Litany and Orontes. 8. Changes in the 
Physical Geography: (i.) in the low country east of the Caspian — (ii.) in the 
valley of the Indus — (iii.) in Lower Mesopotamia. 9. Political Geography — 
Countries of the Mesopotamian plain : (i.) Assyria — position and boundaries 
— Districts — Adiabene, &c. — (ii.) Susiana or Elymais — (iii.) Babylonia — 
Position -^Districts— Chaldsea, &c. — (iv.) Mesopotamia Proper. 10. Coun- 
tries of the mountain region : (i.) Armenia — Divisions — (ii.) Media — (iii.) 
Persia Proper — Parsetacene, Mardyene, &c. — (iv.) Lesser mountain countries 
— Gordisea — Uxia, &c. 11. Countries west of the Mesopotamian plain: (i.) 
Arabia — (ii.) Syria — Divisions — Commagene, Ccele-Syria, Palestine — (iii.) 
Phoenicia — Cities. 12. Conclusion Page 437 



1. General character of the Mythology. 2. Babylonian and Assyrian Pantheons 
not identical. 3. Thirteen chief deities : (i.) Asshur, the supreme God of 
Assyria — the Asshur of Genesis — his emblem the winged circle. — (ii.) Anu, 
first God -of the First Triad — his resemblance to Dis or Hades — his temples 
— gods connected with him. — (iii.) Bel-Nimrod (?), second God of the Triad 
— his wife, Mylitta or Beltis — his right to the name of Nimrod— his titles, 
temples, &c. — (iv.) Hea, third God of the Triad — his correspondence with 
Neptune — his titles — extent of his worship. — (v.) Bilta (Beltis), the Great 
Goddess — confusion between her and Ishtar — her titles, temples, &c. — (vi.) 
Gods of the Second Triad — Vul (or Phul) — uncertainty about his name — 
Lord of the sky or air — an old god in Babylonia — his numerical symbol. — 
(vii.) Shamas or San, the Sun-God — his titles — antiquity of his worship in 
Babylonia — associated with Gula, the Sun-Goddess — their emblems on the 
monuments. — (viii.) Sin, the Moon-God — his titles — his temple at Ur — his 
high rank, at the head of the Second Triad. — (ix.) Ninip or Nin, his various 
titles and emblems — his stellar character doubtful — the Man-Bull his 
emblem — his name of Bar or Bar-shem — Nin, the Assyrian Hercules — his 
temples — his relationship to Bel-Nimrod — Beltis both his mother and his 
wife — his names Barzil and Sanda. — (x.) Bel-Merodach — his worship ori- 
ginally Babylonian — his temple in Babylon called that of Jupiter-Belus — 
his wife, Zirhanit, or Succoth-Benoth. — (xi.) Nergal — his titles — his con- 
nexion with Nin — his special worship at Cutha — his symbol, the Man-Lion 
. — his temples, &c. — (xii.) Ishtar or Astarte — called Nana at Babylon — her 
worship. — (xiii.) Nebo — his temples — the God of Learning — his name, Tir, 
&c. 4. Other gods besides the thirteen — AUata, Bel-Zirpu, &c. 5. Vast number 
of local deities 480 




1. Intermixture of races in Western Asia. 2. Earliest population Turanian. 
3. Development of Hamitism and Semitism, 4. Indo-Eiiropean family. 5, 
Turanian races: (i.) Parthians — (ii.) Asiatic Ethiopians — (iii.) Colchians — 
(iv.) Sapeiri — (v.) Moschi and Tibareni — (vi.) Early Armenians — (vii.) Cap- 
padocians — (viii.) Susianians — (ix.) Chaldseans — (x.) Nations probably 
Turanian. 6. Semitic races: (i.) Cilicians — (ii.) Solymi — (iii.) Lydians not 
Semitic — (iv.) Cappadocians and Himyaritic Arabs not Semitic — (v.) Other 
Semitic races. 7. Division of the Semitic races into groups : (a) Eastern, 
or Assyro-Babylonian group — (6) Western, or Hebrseo-Phoenician group — (c) 
Central, or Arabian group. 8. Small extent of Semitism. 9. Late appearance 
of the Indo-Europeans, historically. 10. Spread of the race from Armenia, 
threefold. 11. Northern migration, into Europe. 12. Nations of the Western 
migration : (i.) Pelasgi — (ii.) Phrygians — (iii.) Lydians — (iv.) Carians— (v.) 
Mysians — (vi.) Lycians and Caunians — (vii.) Matienians (?). 13. Eastern, or 
Arian migration. 14. Nations belonging to it : (i.) Persians — (ii.) Medes — 
(iii.) Carmanians — (iv.) Bactrians — (v.) Sogdians — (vi.) Arians of Herat — 
(vii.) Hyrcanians — (viii.) Sagartians— (ix.) Chorasmians — (x.) Sarangians — 
(xi.) Gandarians, &c. 15. Tabular view Page 528 


Note A. On the various titles of Jupiter — [G. W.] 560 

Note B. On the Invention of Coining and the earliest specimens of Coined 

Money 563 


P. 115, line 13, for " Megacles," i-ead "Alcmgeon." 
P. 323, line 17, for '• West," read " East." 

( XYi ) 


BUST of Herodotus ' ' To/ac^ 1 

Map of Western Asia At the end of the Volume , 


Coin of Tarentum, Arion on the Dolphin ^36, 

Sepulchral Chamber in the Barrow of Alyattes 185 

Ground-plan, showing excavations 

Plan of ruins at Takhti-Suleiman (the northern Ecbatana) 192 

The Birs-Nimrud, or great Temple of Borsippa 193 

Assyrian emblem of the winged circle 216 

Egyptian head-dress 

Persian head-dress at Persepolis 216 

Figure of Mylitta, the " Great Goddess " 217 

Median and Persian figures from Persepolis . ■ 221 

Chart of the coast about Miletus in ancient times 226 

Chart of the same coast at the present day 227 

Plan of Cnidus and chart of the adjoining coast . . .. 228 

Bireme from the palace of Sennacherib 233 

Plan of the Temple of Apollo at Branchidse 236 

Greek warrior with shield • 

Lycian coin showing the Triquetra 

Indian hound, from a Babylonian Tablet 265 

Hand-swipe, from a slab of Sennacherib 266 

Kufa, or wicker boat in use on the Euphrates 268 

Costumes of the Babylonians from the Cylinders 269 

Babylonian Cylinder and seal-impression 

Babylonian Coffin and lid 

Tomb in Lower Chalda;a 

Ditto ditto • 

Tomb of Cyrus at Murg-Aub ^^^ 

Obverse of an early Lydian com 

Lydian and other coins ' 



To face p. 1 . 





Impossibility of writing a complete life of Herodotus. His time, as determined 
from his History. Date of Lis birth, as fixed by ancient writers, B.C. 484. 
His birthplace — Halicarnassus. His parents, Lyxes and Rhoeo — their means 
and station. A branch of his family settled in Chios, probably. His educa- 
tion, and acquaintance with Greek literature. His travels, their extent and 
completeness. Their probable date and starting-point. Circumstances of his 
life, according to Suidas and other writers. Political adventures — their truth 
questioned. Residence at Samos — doubtful. Removal to Athens. Recita- 
tion of his work there. Reward assigned him. Alleged recitations in other 
Greek cities. The pretended recitation at Olympia. Thucydides and Hero- 
dotus. Herodotus and Sophocles. Men ' of note whom Herodotus would 
meet at Athens. Reasons for his leaving it. Colonisation of Thurium. Men 
of note among the early colonists. The History of Herodotus retouched, but 
not originally composed, at Thurium. Some large portions may have been 
written there ; and his History of Assyria. State of Thurium during his 
residence. Time and place of his death. Herodotus probably unmarried : 
his heir Plesirrhoiis. His great work left unfinished at his decease. 

A RECENT writer lias truly observed, that to attempt a complete 
or connected life of Herodotus from tlie insufficient stock of 
materials at our disposal, is merely to indulge tlie imagination, 
and to construct in lieu of history " a pleasant form of bio- 
graphical romance."^ The data are so few — they rest upon 
such late and slight authority; they are so improbable or so 
contradictory, that to compile them into a biography is like 
building a house of cards, which the first breath of criticism will 
blow to the ground. Still certain points may be approximately 
fixed ; and the interest attaching to the person of our author is 
such, that all would feel the present work incomplete, if it 
omitted to bring together the few facts which may be gathered, 

^ See Colonel Mure's Critical His- hassince been written, in two volumes, by 
tory of the Language and Literature of Mr. Wheeler. 
Greece, vol. iv. p. 243. The romance 

VOL. I. :b 


either from the writings of Herodotus himself or from other 
authorities of weight, concerning the individual history of the 
man with whose productions we are about to be engaged. The 
subjoined sketch is therefore given, not as sufficient to satisfy 
the curiosity concerning the author which the work of Hero- 
dotus naturally excites, but as preferable to absolute silence 
upon a subject of so much interest. 

The time at which Herodotus lived and wrote may be deter- 
mined within certain limits from his History. On the one hand 
it appears that he conversed with at least one person who had 
been an eye-witness of some of the great events of the Persian 
war ; ^ on the other, that he outlived the commencement of the 
Peloponnesian struggle, and was acquainted with several cir- 
cumstances which happened in the earlier portion of it.^ He 
must therefore have flourished in the fifth century B.C., and 
must have written portions of his history at least as late as B.C. 
430.* His birth would thus fall naturally into the earlier por- 
tion of the century, and he would have belonged to the genera- 
tion which came next in succession to that of the conquerors of 
Salami s.^ 

These conclusions, drawn from the writings of Herodotus him- 
self, are in close accordance with those more minute and definite 
statements which the earliest and best authorities make with 
regard to the exact time at which he was born. Dionysius of 
Halicarnassus, who as an antiquarian of great research and a 

2 See Book ix. ch. 16. (iii. 160) ; and a cruel deed committed 

^ He mentions the Peloponnesian war by Amestris in her old age (vii. 114). 

by name in two places (vii. 137, ix. 73), He also speaks in one place (vi. 98) of 

and notices distinctly the following the reign of Artaxerxes, who died B.C. 

events in it: — 425, apparently as if it was over. He 

1. The attack on Platsea by the The- may therefore have given touches to 

bans, with which it commenced his history as late as B.C. 424. The 

(vii. 233). passages which have been imagined to 

2. The betrayal of ISTicolalis and Ane- point to a still later date (i. 130, iii. 

ristus, the Spartan ambassadors, 1.5, and ix. 73) have been misunder- 

and of Aristeus, the Corinthian, stood or misapplied. Their true mean- 

into the hands of the Athenians ing is considered in the footnotes upon 

by Sitalces (vii. 137). them. 

3. The ravaging of Attica by the ^ Many incidental notices confirm this. 
, Peloponnesians in one of the Herodotus conversed in Sparta with a 

earlier years of the war (ix. 73). certain Ai'chias, agrandsonof an Archias 

He may also covertly allude to the war who fell in Samos about b.c. 525 (iii. 

in the following places: v. 93, and 55). He was also acquainted with a 

vi. 98. steward of Ariapeithes, the Scythian 

■* Herodotus mentions one or two king, who was a contemporary of Sit- 

evcnts which may have occurred about alces, the ally of Athens in the year B.C. 

B.C. 425, as the desertion of Zopyrus, 430. He travelled in Egypt later than 

son of Megabyzus, to the Athenians B.C. 462 (iii. 12). 

Weitings. his birth-place. 3 

fellow-countryman of our author, is entitled to be heard with 
special attention on such a point, tells us that his birth took 
place " a little before the Persian war." ® Pamphila, the only 
ancient writer who ventures to fix the exact year of his nativity, 
confirms Dionysius, and makes a statement from which it would 
appear that the birth of Herodotus • preceded the invasion of 
Xerxes by four years.' The value of this testimony has been 
called in question; but even those who do not regard it as 
authoritative admit, that it may well be adopted as in harmony 
with all that is known upon the subject, and " at least a near 
approximation to the truth." ^ It may be concluded therefore 
that Herodotus was born in or about the year B.C. 484. 

Concerning the birth-place of the historian no reasonable 
doubt has ever been entertained either in ancient or modern 
times. The Pseudo-Plutarch indeed, in the tract wherein he 
has raked together every charge that malice and folly combined 
could contrive against our author, intimates a suspicion that he 
had falsely claimed the honour of having Halicarnassus for his 
birth-place.^ But Plutarch himself is a witness against the 
writer who has filched his name,^ and his testimony is confirmed 
by Dionysius,^ by Strabo,^ by Lucian,'* and by Suidas.^ The 
testimony of Herodotus, which would of itself be conclusive were 
it certain, is rendered doubtful by the quotation of Aristotle, 
which substitutes at the commencement of the history the word 
"Thtirian" for "Halicarnassian."® Apart, however, from this, 
the all but universal testimony of ancient writers, the harmony 
of their witness with the attention given to Halicarnassus and 
its affairs in the history, and the epitaph which appears to have 

6 Judicium de Thucyd. (c. 5, vol. vi. ''several necessary points of histori- 

p. 820). The words used are — '¥ip6- cal information," (to)?/ icTopiKuu ovk 

doTos y€v6fj.€vos bxiycf izponpov riav oXlya avayKoia. Bibl. Cod. 175, p. 

UepaiKSov. 389.) That Pamphila was a careful and 

' Ap. Aul. Cell. Noct. Attic, xv. 23. laborious student of history seems cer- 

''Hellanicus initio belli Peloponnesiaci tain from her having made an Epitome 

fuisse quinque et sexaginta annos natus of Ctesias (see Suidas). 

videtur ; Herodotus tres et quinquaginta ; '-• De Malign. Herod, vol. ii. p. 868 A. 

Thucydides quadi-aginta." (See Miiller, The writers who, like Duris (Fr. 57), 

Fragm. Hist, Gr. vol. iii. p. 521.) and the Emperor Julian (ap. Suid,), 

8 See Mure, p. 254. Pamphila seems simply call Herodotus " n. Thurian," 

spokenof somewhat too slightingly when need not mean to question his Halicar- 

she is called "an obscure female writer nassian origin. 

of the Roman period." The frequent ^ De Exilio, ii, p. 604 f. 

quotation of her writings by Aulus ^ j^jj^ ^q Thucyd. 1. s. c. 

Gellius and Diogenes Laertius is a proof ^ ^iv. p. 939. ^ Vol, iv. p. 116. 

that she was far from obscure. Photius, ^ S. v. 'Y{p6^oros. 

too, whose extensive reading adds a ^ Rhet. iii. 9. See note * to Book i. 

value to his criticism, speaks favourably ch, 1. 
of her work, and especially as containing 



been engraved upon the historian's tomb at Thurium/ form a 
body of proof the weight of which is irresistible. 

Of the parents and family of Herodotus but little can be said 
to be known. We are here reduced almost entirely to the 
authority of Suidas, a learned but not very careful compiler of 
the eleventh century, to whose unconfirmed assertions the least 
possible weight must be considered to attach. He tells us in 
the brief sketch which he has left of our author, that he was 
born of " illustrious " parents ^ in the city of Halicarnassus, his 
father's name being Lyxes, and his mother's, Dryo, or Khoeo ; ^ 
that he had a brother Theodore ; and that he was cousin or 
nephew of Panyasis, the epic poet. To the last of these state- 
ments very little credit is due, since Suidas confesses that his 
authorities were not agreed through which of the parents of 
Herodotus the connexion was to be traced,^ and the temptation 
to create such a relationship must have been great to the writers 
of fictitious letters and biographies under the empire. But the 
name of his father is confirmed by the epitaph preserved in 
Stephen,^ and the station of his parents by the indications of 
wealth which the high education of our author, and his abundant 
means for frequent and distant travel, manifestly furnish. The 
other statements of Suidas acquire, by their connexion with 
these, some degree of credibility ; and the very obscurity and 
unimportance of the names may induce us to accept them as 
real, since no motive can be assigned for their invention. Hero- 
dotus may therefore be regarded as the son of Lyxes and 
Ehoeo,^ persons of good means and station in the city of Hali- 
carnassus. That he had a bj-other Theodore is also probable. 

' The epitaph, which is given both placed in the third volume of his Ana- 

by Stephen (ad voc. ©ovpios) and by lecta (Epig. 533, p. 263), consists of 

the Scholiast on Aristophanes (Nub. four lines of elegiac verse, and runs as 

831), did not indeed mention Halicar- follows : — 

naSSUS, but implied it by speaking of -HpoSoro,. Av|ea, /cpvTrret k6v.5 ^Se 0a.6vra. 

the historian as '^sprung from a Dorian 'laSos apxa-ir)^ l<Tropiy)<; npvTapiv 

land" — AwpLecou TrdrpriS ^KatXrovr^ &iro. Awpiewv TrdrpT]? ^KacnovT ano, tuiv ap dirXriTOV 

8 'Hpo'SoTOS, Av|ov Kul Apvods, 'AKiKap- ^^'^'^°^ vneKnpo4>vyi>y ©ovpiov eVxe 7r6.Tpr,v. 

vacTffivs, Twv iiri(pavu)v, Kol aSeXcphv ^ It seems certain that the double 

eo-xTjKcbs @e65u}pou. Suidas ad voc. 'Hp6- form of the name arises from a corrup- 

SoTds. tion of the text of Suidas. Bahr (Com- 

9 See Suidas ad voc. Uavvaa-is. ment. de Vita et Scriptis Herod. § 2) 

1 Some said that the father of Panya- proposes to regard the form Dryo as the 
sis, whom they called Polyarchus, was true one. But since Dryo is an unknown 
brother to Lyxes, the father of Hero- name, whereas Rhoeo belonged certainly 
dotus ; others that Khoeo, our author's to the mythic history of the neighbour- 
mother, was the epic poet's sister, hood (see Apoll. Rhod. ap. Parthen. 
(Suid. 1. s. c.) Erot. c. 1), the latter has clearly the 

2 The epitaph, which Brunck has better claim to be preferred. 


It has been thought that Herodotus must have had relations of 
rank and importance settled in the island of Chios/ In speak- 
ing of an embassy sent by a portion of the Chians to the Greeks 
about the time of the battle of Salamis, he mentions, without 
any apparent necessity, and with special emphasis, a single 
name — that of a certain "Herodotus, the son of Basileides." ^ 
This man, it is supposed, must have been a relative, whom 
family affection or family pride induced the historian to com- 
memorate ; and if so, it is certain from his position as one of the 
chiefs of a conspiracy, and afterwards as ambassador from his 
countrymen, that he must have been a personage of distinction — 
a conclusion which is confirmed by the way in which Herodotus 
introduces his name, as if he were previously not unknown to 
his readers.^ 

This is a point, however, of minor consequence, since it is not 
needed to prove what is really important — the wealth and con- 
sideration of the family to which our author belonged. 

The education of Herodotus is to be judged of from his Work. 
No particulars of it have come down to us. Indeed, the whole 
subject of Greek education before the first appearance of the 
Sophists is involved in a good deal of obscurity. That the 
three standard branches of instruction recognised among the 
Athenians of the time of Socrates — grammar, gymnastic train- 
ing, and music — were regarded throughout all Greece, and from 
a very early date, as the essential elements of a liberal educa- 
tion is likely enough ; ^ but it can scarcely be said to have been 
demonstrated. Herodotus, it may, however, be supposed, fol- 
lowed the course common in later times — attended the grammar- 
school where he learnt to read and write, frequented the 
palsestra where he went through the exercises, and received 
instruction from the professional harper or flute-player, who 
conveyed to him the rudiments of music. But these things 

■* Col. Mure accidentally says * ' Samos" Dorian states the first branch {ypd/j-fxara) 

for Chios, and speaks of Herodotus the was wholly, or almost wholly, omitted 

son of Basileides as a Samian (vol, iv. p. (Miiller, Dorians, vol, ii, p. 328, E. T. ; 

253). Grote's Hist, of Greece, vol. ii. p. 526). 

^ Herod, viii. 132. But Colonel Mure has shown that this 

^ Tojj/ Koi 'HpJSoTos 6 Baa-iXrjideoj imputation is unfounded (Remarks on 

^v. When a new character is intro- two Appendices to Grote's History, p. 1 

duced, and Herodotus does not consider et seqq.) . The three branches are 

him already known, he commonly omits recognised by Ephorus as obtaining from 

the article. (See vi. 127, where none an early time in Crete (Fr. d4, Miiller, 

of the suitors of Agarista have the vol. i. p. 251), and Plato seems to regard 

article except Megacles, the son of them as universally agreed upon (Alcib. 

Alcmaeon.) i. p. 106 e; Amat. p. 132; Theag. p. 

^ Some writers have maintained that in 122 ; Protag. pp. 325 e and 326 a.b). 


formed a very slight part of that education, which was necessary 
to place a Greek of the upper ranks on a level, intellectually, 
with those who in Athens and elsewhere gave the tone to 
society, and were regarded as finished gentlemen. A knowledge 
of literature, and especially of poetry — above all an intimate 
acquaintance with the classic writings of Homer, was the one 
great requisite ; ^ to which might be added a familiarity with 
philosophical systems, and a certain amount of rhetorical dex- 
terity. Herodotus, as his writings show, was most thoroughly 
accomplished in the first and most important of these three 
things. He has drunk at the Homeric cistern till his whole 
being is impregnated with the influence thence derived. In 
the scheme and plan of his work, in the arrangement and order 
of its parts, in the tone and character of the thoughts, in ten 
thousand little expressions and words, the Homeric student 
appears ; ^ and it is manifest that the two great poems of ancient 
Greece are at least as familiar to him as Shakspeare to the 
modern educated Englishman. Nor has this intimate know- • 
ledge been gained by the sacrifice of other reading. There is 
scarcely a poet of any eminence anterior to his day with whose 
works he has not shown himself acquainted. Hesiod, Olen, 
Musaeus, Archilochus, the authors of the Cypria and the Epigoni, 
Alcseus, Sappho, Solon, iEsoj), Aristeas, Simonides of Ceos, 
Phrynichus, ^schylus, Pindar,^ are quoted, or referred to, in 
such a way as to indicate that he possessed a close acquaintance 
with their writings. Prose composition had but commenced a 
very short time before the date of his history.^ Yet even here 

8 See Plat. Rep. Books ii. and iii.> from Sophocles (i. 32, ii. 35, and iii. 
Protag. 1. s. c. 119), see notes ad he. The only poets 

9 See Jager, Disp. Herod, p. 5 ; Biihr, of eminence antei'ior to his time, with 
De Vita et Script. Herod. § 3 ; Mure, whom Herodotus does not show any 
vol. iv, pp. 515-6, and especially the acquaintance, are Callinus of Ephesus, 
valuable collection of passages in his Tyrtseus, Simonides of Amorgus, Ste- 
Appendix, pp. 551-2. Dahlmann has, sichorus, Epimenides, and Epicharmus. 
curiously enough, omitted this point. He notices Anacreon (iii. 121) and Lasus 

' Hesiod, ii. 53, iv. 32; Olen, iv. 35; of Hermion^ (vii. 6), but without any 

Musgeus, vii. 6, viii. 96, ix. 43 ; Archi- mention of their writings. Expressions 

lochus, i. 12; the author of the Cypria, like that at the beginning of vi. 52 

ii. 117 (compare i. 155); of the Epigoni, {KaK€MLji6vioL bjxoXoy^ovT^s ov^evl iroi- 

iv. 3*2; Alcseus, v. 95; Sappho, ii. 135; tjttt") indicate the confidence which he 

Solon, V. 113; ^sop, ii. 134; Ariateas, feels in his complete acquaintance at least 

iv, 13 ; Simonides, v. 102, vii. 228 ; with all the cyclic and genealogical 

Phrynichus, vi. 21; ^schylus, ii. 156; poets. (Compare ii. 53 and 120.) 

Pindar, iii. 38. Note also the quota- ^ With Pherecydes of Syros (ab. B.C. 

tions from less well-known poets, as 550), according to the common tradi- 

Bacis, viii. 20, 77, 96, ix. 43, and Lysis- tion; but at any rate not earlier than the 

tratus, viii. 98. With regard to the beginning of the sixth century. (See 

passages supposed to be plagiarisms Mure, vol. iv. p. 51.) 


we find an acquaintance indicated with a number of writers, 
seldom distinctly named, but the contents of whose works are 
well known and familiarly dealt with.^ Hecatseus especially, 
who must be considered as his special predecessor in the literary 
commonwealth, is quoted openly, or tacitly glanced at in several 
passages ; ^ and it may be questioned whether there was a single 
work of importance in the whole range of Greek literature 
accessible to him, with the contents of which he was not fairly 

Such an amount of literary knowledge implies a prolonged 
and careful self-education, and is the more remarkable in the 
case of one whose active and inquisitive turn of mind seems to 
have led him at an early age to engage in travels, the extent of 
which, combined with their leisurely character, clearly shows 
that a long term of years must liave been so occupied. The 
quantum of travel has indeed been generally exaggerated;^ but 
after every deduction is made that judicious criticism suggests 
as proper, there still remains, in the distance between the ex- 
treme limits reached, and in the fulness of the information 
gained, unmistakeable evidence of a vast amount of time spent 
in the occupation. Herodotus undoubtedly visited Babylon,^ 
Ardericca near Susa,^ the remoter parts of Egypt,^ Scythia,^ 
Colchis,^° Thrace,^^ Cyrene,^^ Zante,^^ Dodona,^^ and Magna 
Grsecia ; ^^ — thus covering with his travels a space of thirty-one 
degrees of longitude (above 1700 miles) from east to west, and 
of twenty-four of latitude (1660 miles) from north to south. 

3 See the following passages: — ii. 15, has ventured to in this light 

16, 20, 22, and vi. 55. in every place where it occurs. It has 

■* Openly, ii. 143, and vi. 137; tacitly, never been supposed, for instance, that 

ii. 21, 23, and iv. 36. Herodotus reached the banks of the 

^ It is no doubt difficult to draw a Oarus, and saw the forts, said to have 

distinct line between the manner, of been erected by Darius, ''whose ruins 

speaking which shows Herodotus to were still remaining in his day " (iv. 

have seen what he describes, and that 124). Something more then is required 

which merely indicates that he had than this expression. I have regarded 

heard what he relates from professed as necessary to prove presence either a 

eye-witnesses. Most writers on the sub- distinct assertion to that effect, or the 

ject have accepted as proof of the pre- mention of some little point, which only 

senceof Herodotus on the spot a mention an eye-witness would laave noticed, and 

of anything as " continuing to his time." which one who i^eceived the account 

Hence it has been supposed that he from an eye-witness would, even if told, 

visited Camicus in Sicily (Dahlmann, not be likely to have remembered, — as 

p. 40, E. T. ; Heyse de Herod. Vit. et the position of Ladic^'s statue in the 

Itin. p. 139; Btihr, vol. iv. p. 397); and temple of Venus at Cyrene (ii. 181). 
by some that he reached Bactria (Mure, **' i. 181-3. -^ vi. 119. ^ ii^ 29. 

iv. p. 247; Jiiger, Disput. Herod, p. 20). ^ iv. 81. ^^ ii. 104. " iv. 90. 

But the expression relied on does not '^^ \i. 181. ^^ iv. 195. ^^ ii. 52. 

ia itself imply presence, and no writer ^^ iv. 15, v. 45. 


Witliin these limits moreover his knowledge is for the most part 
close and accurate. He has not merely paid a hasty visit to 
the countries, but has examined them leisurely, and is familiar 
with their scenery, their cities small and large, their various 
wonders, their temjDles and other buildings, and wdth the man- 
ners and customs of their inhabitants. The fulness and minute- 
ness of his .information is even more remarkable than its wide 
range, though it has attracted less observation. In Egypt, for 
instance, he has not contented himself with a single voyage up 
and down the Nile, like the modern tourist, but has evidently 
passed months, if not years, in examining the various objects 
of interest. He has personally inspected, besides the great 
capital cities of Thebes, Memphis, and Heliopolis, where his 
materials for the history of Egypt were chiefly collected,^ the 
comparatively unimportant towns of Sais,^ Bubastis,^ Buto,* 
Papremis,^ Chemmis,*^ Crocodilopolis,"^ and Elephantine.^ He 
has explored the lake Moeris,^ the labyrinth,^^ the line of the 
canal leading into the Arabian Gulf from the Nile,^^ the borders 
of Egypt towards the Sinaitic desert,^^ and portions of the tract, 
which he calls Arabia, between the valley of the Nile and the 
Arabian Gulf or Red Sea.^^ He is completely familiar with the 
various branches into which the Nile divides before reaching the 
sea,^^ and with the course followed by the traveller at different 
seasons.^^ He knows intimately the entire broad region of the 
Delta,^^ as well as the extreme limits of Egypt beyond it, both 
eastward ^^ and westward.^^ Again, in Asia Minor, his native 
country, he knows well, besides Caria,^^ where he was born, 
Lydia, with its rich plains ^^ and great capital city, Sardis ; ^^ 
Mysia,^^ the Troas,^^ the cities upon the Hellespont,^^ Procon- 
nesus,^^ Cyzicus,^^ the mouth of the Thracian Bosphorus,"^ the 
north coast ; ^^ and again, on the south, Cilicia, with its two 
regions, the flat,^^ and the mountainous ; ^° Lycia,^^ Caunus,^^ 
Ephesus,^^ the mouths of the Maeander, Scamander, and Cay- 
strus rivers,^^ and something of the interior, at least along the 

1 ii. 3. 2 II 28, 130, 169, &c. 25 i^. 14. 26 jbid. ^7 iv. 86. 
3 ii. 137. 4 ii. 75, 155. ^ iii. 12. 28 j^id. Comp. i. 76, ii. 104, &c. On 
611. 91. 7 ii. 148. ^ ii. 29. his visit to Colchis, Herodotus would 
9 ii. 149. ^^ ii- 148. necessarily pass along the whole of this 
1^ ii. 158, 159. '2 iii. 5, 12. coast. He appears to have gone ashore 
'^ ii. 75; comp, 8 and 12. ^"^ ii. 17. occasionally — at the mouth of the Par- 
is ii. 97. ^^ ii. 5, 15, 92-98, &c. thenius, ii. 104; at Themiscyra, iv. 86. 
'7 ii. 6, iii. 5. '^ ii. 6, 18. 29 ^i. 95. 30 ^ 34, 31 1 17(5. 
19 i. 171, 172, 174, 175, &c. 20 i. go. 32 1 172. 33 i, 92^ n 10, &c. 
21 i. 80, 84, 93, fee. ^ vii. 42. ' ^4 ^i ^q. 
23 ii. 10. vii. 43. 24 i. 57. 


line of the royal road from Sarclis to Siisa,^ which he most 
probably followed in his journey to and from Babylon. In 
Greece Proper he has visited, besides the great cities of Athens,^ 
Sparta,^ and Thebes,'^ the sanctuaries at Delphi,^ Dodona,^ and 
Ab?e in Phocis ; ^ the battle-fields of Thermopylae,^ Plata^a,^ and 
Marathon;^" Arcadia,^^ Elis,^^ Argolis,^^ the promontory of 
Tsenarum,^^ the isthmus of Corinth,^^ the pass of Tempe,^^ 
Creston in Chalcidico,^^ Byzantium,^^ Athos,^^ and (apparently) 
the entire route followed by the army of Xerxes on its march 
from Sestos to Athens.^'^ In the Levant he has evidently made 
himself acquainted with almost all the more important islands. 
With Samos he is completely familiar ;^^ and he has visited 
besides, Khodes,^^ Cyprus,^^ Delos,^^ Paros,^^ Thasos,^^ Samo- 
thrace,^^ and probably Crete,^^ Cythera,^^ and Egina.^'' Else- 
where his travels have, no doubt, less of this character of 
completeness. He knows little more of Scythia than its coast 
between the mouths of the Danube and Dnieper ; he has not 
penetrated very far into Thrace ; his knowledge of Syria and 
Phoenicia may have been gained from once or twice coasting 
along their shores ; ^^ east of the Halys his observations are con- 
fined to a single route ; in Africa, setting aside Egypt, he shows 
no personal acquaintance with any place but Cyrene ; and west 
of Greece, he can only be proved to have visited the cities of 
Crotona, Thurii, and Metapontum. ^^ 

^ The description of the route (v. 52) iv. p. 396; Dahlmann, p. 43; Mure, iv. 

appears to me that of an eye-witness, p. 246, &c.). 

If Herodotus visited Babylon, which I 21 ji, 182, iii. 47, 54, 60, 142, iv. 88, 

regard as certain, he would naturally 152, vi. 14, &c. 22 jj^ J82^ jji. 47, 

follow it as far as the cross-road which ^3 y_ \\^^ 2-1 jj^ ^70, vi. 98. 

led from Agbatana to that city, issuing 25 yj_ y^^^ 26 jj^ 44^ 27 jj^ 51 _ 
undoubtedly from Mount Zagros by the 28 ^^^^ 59^ 29 i_ iq^^ 30 ^^ 33^ 33^ 
pass of Holwan. The Greeks of his -^^ Landing of course from time to 

time sometimes reached Babylon by time, as at Tyre (ii. 44), at the Nahr 

crossing from the Mediterranean to the el Kelb (ii. 106), and perhaps at Gaza 

Euphrates, and then descending the or Cadytis (iii. 5). 

river in a boat (i. 185), but Herodotus ^2 Heyse is the writer who has exag- 
does not appear to have taken this route, gerated most grossly the extent of our 
2 V. 77. 3 {{{^ 55_ 4 j^ 52, author's travels. He regards him as 
^ i. 14, 19, 25, 50, &c. ^ ii. 52. having visited not only Agbatana (which 
7 viii. 27. ^ viii. 198-200, 218, 225, &c. is a common opinion), but Acarnania 
9 ix. 15, 19, 25, 51, &c. and J^tolia, the Illyrian Apollonia, the 
10 vi. 102, 111, 112. Veneti, Thera, Siphnus, Eubcea, Sicyon, 
^^ i. 66, vi. 74, 127. and most parts of Sicily (see his inau- 
12 iv. 30, vii. 170. ^3 yi, 77. gural dissertation 'De Herodoti Vita et 
"i. 24. 15 yiii_ 121. i6yji_ 129. Itineribus,' Berlin, 1827). The grounds 
17 i. 57. '^ iv. 87. '^ vii. 22. which he deems sufficient are often ab- 
20 This appears from the manner of surdly slight. Bllhr adopts Heyse's 
his descriptions, as well as from their views, except where they are most ex- 
general fidelity. It has been perceived travagant (vol. iv. pp. 391-7). Dahl- 
by almost all the commentators (Bahr, mann is somewhat more moderate. Col. 


It is not possible to determine absolutely the questions, which 
have been mooted, concerning the time when, and the centre, 
or centres, from which these travels were undertaken. An 
opinion, however, has been already expressed that they were 
commenced at an early age. The vigour and freshness of youth 
is the time when travel is best enjoyed and most easily accom- 
plished ; and the only hints derivable from Herodotus himself 
concerning the date of any of his journeys, are in accordance 
with the notion, that at least the more distant and important of 
them belong to his earlier rather than his later years. If any- 
thing is certain with respect to the events of our author's career, 
it is that his home during the first half of his life was in Asia 
Minor, during the last in Magna Grrsecia. Now, the slightest 
glance at the map will show that the former place, and not the 
latter, Halicarnassus (or possibly Samos), and not Thurium, is 
the natural centre whence his various lines of travel radiate. 
One of the most curious facts patent upon the face of his history 
is the absence of any personal acquaintance, or indeed of any 
exact knowledge, of upper Italy, Sardinia, Sicily, Carthage — 
the countries most accessible to a traveller whose starting-point 
was Thurium. It seems as if, on taking up his residence at that 
town in about his fortieth year, the enterprising traveller had 
subsided into the quiet student and rechise writer.^ To descend 
to particulars, it is clear that his visit to Egypt,^ with which 
some of his other journeys are necessarily connected,^ took place 
after the revolt of Inarus (b.c. 460) ; for he states that he saw 
the skulls of those who w^ere slain in the great battle of Papre- 
mis by which Inarus established himself; ^ and yet it could not 
have been long after, or he would scarcely have been received 
with so much cordiality, and allowed such free access to the 
Egyptian temples and records. There is every reason to con- 
clude that his visit fell within the period — six years, from B.C. 

Mure's summary (vol. iv, pp. 246-8) is 2 CqI. Mure supposes (vol. iv. p. 247 

judicious, though scanty. The only that he may have visited Egypt repeat 

points in it from which I should dissent, edly, but of this there is no trace in the 

arethestatementsthat Hei^odotus "peue- History, Rather the perpetual use of 

trated to Ecbatana," and " possibly to the aorist tense (ixQdov — irpairSfx-rju, ii. 

parts of Bactria" (p. 247). 3 ; iSwv, ii. 12; iSwdadriv — iyeuofnjv, ii. 

1 It is not meant that he did not write 19; ihOwu, ii. 29 ; et passim) gives the 

before this time, or travel after it; but contrary impression, 

that after he came to Thurium he ^ Those to Tyre and Thasos, which 

travelled very little, probably only in he undertook in order to investigate the 

Magna Grgecia, and once to Athens, age of Hercules (ii. 44). 

occupying himself almost entirely in •^ iii. 12. 

Writings. TIME OF THE TRAVELS. 11 

460 to B.C. 455y4H^l«sively — during which the Athenian armies 
were in possession of the country,^ when gratitude to their deli- 
verers would have led the Egyptians to receive any Greek who 
visited them with open arms, and to treat him with a friendli- 
ness and familiarity very unlike their ordinary jealousy of 
foreigners. His Egyptian travels would thus fall between his 
twenty-fourth and his twenty-ninth year, occupying perhaps 
nearly the whole of that period ; while his journeys to Tyre and 
Thasos would follow sliortly after. A single touch in the 
Scythian researches indicates a period but little removed from 
this for the visit of our author to Scythia. He speaks of having 
gathered certain facts from the mouth of Timnes, " the steward 
of Ariapeithes." ^ This expression indicates that Ariapeithes 
was then living. But if Ariapeithes immediately succeeded 
Idanthyrsus, as is probable,'^ he can scarcely have outlived B.C. 
450, sixty years at least from the accession of his predecessor. 
Probably therefore Herodotus was in Scythia before that date. 

We may now consider briefly the few facts which have come 
down to us, on better or worse authority, with regard to the | 
vicissitudes of our author's life. Suidas relates^ that he was Jk 
forced to fly from Halicarnassus toHamol^by the tyranny of ^ 
Lygdamis, the grandson of Artemisia, who had put his uncle (or \ 
cousin) Panyasis to death ; that in Samos he adopted the Ionic ^ 
dialect, and wrote his history ; that after a time he returned 
and took the lead in an insurrection whereby Halicarnassus 
obtained her freedom, and Lygdamis was driven out ; that then, 
finding himself disliked by the other citizens, he quitted his 
country, and joined in the Athenian colonisation of Thurium, at 
which place he died and was buried. Of these statements the 
only ones confirmed by other writers are the removal of our 
author to Thurium at the time of its first settlement or soon 
afterwards, and his death and burial at the same place. The 
former is a point on which all are fully agreed ; ^ but the latter 
is much controverted.^ 

With regard to the political episode, which, if true, would be 
the most notable adventure in our author's whole career, the 

5 Thucyd. i. 109: iKpaTovv t?)s Aly{i- ^ Sub voc. 'HpoSoros. 

TTTov 'Ad7]va7oi. There is one passage, '^ See Strab. xiv. p. 939 ; Plut. de 

however (iii. 91), which may seem to Exil. ii. p. 604- f. ; Steph. Byz. ad 

imply that his visit to Egypt was nfte)' voc. Qovpiot ; Plin. H. N. xii. 4 ; 

the Persian authority had been restored. Schol. Aristoph. JSTub. 331. 

^ iv. 76. 1 Vide infra, p. 27. 

7 See note to Book iv. ch. 80. 


slender authority of Suidas cannot be held to establish it against 
the absolute silence on so remarkable a matter of all former 
writers. Undoubtedly it may be true, but this is the utmost 
that can be said in its favour. Probability leans decidedly the 
other way. If Herodotus had been a tyrannicide, it is very 
unlikely that no orator or panegyrist should ever have noticed 
the fact. If he had lived on terms of such deadly hostility Avith 
the royal family of his native town, it is scarcely to be imagined 
that he would have expressed himself quite so warmly ^ towards 
the chief glory of that family, Artemisia. The tale seems blun- 
deringly contrived to account for certain circumstances connected 
with our author which were thought to require explanation, 
namely, why he wrote in the Ionic dialect ; why he treated at 
such disproportionate length of the affairs of Samos ; ^ why he 
spoke so strongly on the advantages of constitutional over 
despotic government ; ^ and why he quitted his native land and 
retired to Thurium. The foundation for the tale was found in 
the last line of his epitaph, and, possibly, in the facts of Hali- 
carnassian history ; but the epitaph was misconstrued, and the 
history garbled by the intrusion into it without warrant of our 
author's name. We may gather from the epitaph, which may 
well be received as genuine,^ that no political motive caused his 
retirement from Halicarnassus, but that he fled from ridicule ^ — 
ridicule drawn down, it may be conjectured, by the over- 
credulous tone of his history, which would little suit the rising 
generation of shrewd and practical free-thinkers. The transfer 
of residence to Samos is most likely a fiction. It is not required 
to account for his adoption of the Ionic dialect, since that was 
the form of language already consecrated to prose composition ; "^ 
and if he wrote at all he could not fail to use the character of 
speech which the prose writers of his day had one and all pre- 
ferred as best adapted to their branch of literature. Neither is 

2 See especially Book vii. ch. 99, and while the traditions respecting his change 
Book viii. chs. 87 and 101. of abode were still fresh in men's 

3 Book iii. chs. 39-59, 120-128, 139- memories. 

149. ^ Mciftos (which is the word used in 

^ v.' 66, 78. the epitaph) is not mere ''ill-will," 

5 By " genuine " I do not mean con- ''dislike," or "envy," but distinctly 

temporary. The expression, 'laSos " ridicule." It is a rare word in the 

a p X a 1 7] s l(fTopi7]s TrpvTuviv, would not early writers, and would not have been 

naturally have been used for some time used where /j-c/xxpis suited the verse 

after the death of Herodotus. But I equally well, unless intended in its 

should suppose the verses to have been peculiar signification, 

actually inscribed upon his tomb within ^ See Mure's Literatm'e of Greece, vol. 

one or two generations of his death, iv. p. 114. 



it implied in anything which he himself says of the island ; for 
his acquaintance with its buildings and localities is not greater 
than might have been acquired by one or two leisurely visits, 
and the length at which he treats the history may be accounted 
for on moral grounds.^ 

Herodotus probably continued to reside at Halicarnassus, 
taking long journeys for the purpose of historical and geogra- 
phical inquiry, till towards the year B.C. 447, when, being about 
thirty-seven years of age, and having brought his work to a 
certain degree of completeness, though one far short of that 
which it reached finally, he removed to Greece Proper, and took 
up his abode at Athens. Halicarnassus, it would appear, had 
shortly before cast off her tyrants and joined the Athenian 
confederacy,^ so that the young author would be welcomed for 
his country's sake no less than for his own. Athens had just 
begun to decline from the zenith of her prosperity. After 
having been for ten years sole mistress of central Greece from 
the isthmus of Corinth to the borders of Thessaly, she had, not 
without certain preliminary disasters, received at Coronea a 
blow, which at once reduced her to her former limits, and 
threatened to have yet more serious consequences. The year 
B.C. 446 was one of gloom and sad expectation. Kevolt 
threatened from various quarters, and in the ensuing spring the 
five years' truce would expire, and a Peloponnesian invasion 
might be expected. It was in this year, if we may believe 
Eusebius,^ that a decree passed the Athenian assembly, whereby 
a reward was assigned to Herodotus on account of his great his- 
torical work, which he had read publicly to the Athenians.^ 
The Pseudo-Plutarch,^ though himself discrediting the story, 
adds some further particulars, which he quotes from Dyillus, an 
Athenian historian of good repute towards the end of the fourth 
century B.C. This writer declared that the decree on the occa- 
sion was moved by Anytus, and that the sum voted as a gift 
was ten talents (above 2400Z.). 

According to the common report, it was not at Athens alone 

8 Vide infrk, ch. iii. p. 78, ^ The reading may have been, as 

9 See Dahlmann's Life of Herodotus, Scaliger (ad Euseb.) suggested, a single 
ch. i. § 3. We are not obliged to reject sustained recitation at the great Pana- 
either the fact or the date of Lygdamis's thenaic festival; but I should rather 
overthrow, because we question the part suppose a series of more private exhibi- 
assigned to Herodotus in the transaction, tions. 

1 Chron. Can. Pars ii. p. 339 ; 01. 3 £)e Malign. Herod, ii. p. 862 a. 


that Herodotus made his work known by recitation. He is 
represented by some writers as a sort of prose rhapsodist travel- 
ling from place to place, and offering to each state at a price a 
niche in the temple of Fame. The Pseudo-Plutarch brings him 
to Thebes,"* and Dio Chrysostom to Corinth,^ in this capacity ; 
but the latter tale is apparently unknown to the great collector 
of slanders. It is scarcely necessary to observe that these calum- 
nious fictions, invented by those whose self-love was wounded by 
our author's candour, deserve no manner of credit. It is cer- 
tainly not impossible that Herodotus may have recited his work 
at other places besides Athens ; but there is no evidence that he 
did so. His work was not one to gain him reward or good-will 
generally; and Thebes, a place fixed upon by the Pseudo- 
Plutarch, was one of the last where he could expect to be 
received with favour. 

In addition to these tales there has come down to us a cir- 
cumstantial account of another and more important recital, 
which Herodotus is supposed to have made before collected 
Greece at the great Olympian festival. This story, which has 
attracted more attention than it merits, rests upon the two low 
authorities of Lucian and Suidas.*^ It is full of inconsistencies 
and improbabilities,'^ was unknown to the earlier writers,^ and is 
even contradicted by another version of the matter which ob- 
tained sufficient currency to give rise to a proverb. According 
to an ancient grammarian, men who failed to accomplish their 
designs were likened in ordinary speech to " Herodotus and his 
shade;" the explanation being that Herodotus had wished to 
recite his history at Olympia, but had delayed from day to day 
in hopes of a cloudy sky, till the assembly dispersed without his 

4 De Malign. Herod, ii. p. 864 d. to their city. (See its conclusion, vol. iv. 

^ Orat. xxxvii. p. 456. Marcellinus p. 123, ed. Hemsterhuis.) 
(Vit. Thucyd. p. x.) has evidently heard ^ Herodotus is represented as coming 

the same story. straight from Caria to Olympia, with his 

^ Lucian, who lived six centuries after Nine Muses all complete, as determining 

Herodotus, and is the first writer that not to recite at Athens or anywhere else 

mentions the Olympian recitation, was a but at the Great Games, as reading his 

freethinking rhetorician and philosopher, entire history at a stretch to the whole 

very ignorant of history, and quite above assemblage, and as carrying o£f unani- 

feeling any scruple about perverting or mous applause ! 

inventing it. His disregard of truth has ^ As Pliny and the Pseudo-Plutarch, 

been copiously exhibited by Dahlmann who both make statements incompatible 

(Life of Herod, ch. ii. § 4) . His piece en- with Lucian's story : Pliny, that the work 

titled Action or Herodotus' was written was first composed at Thurium; the 

for a Macedonian audience, not likely to Pseudo -Plutarch, that its whole object 

be very critical, on whom he might ex- was detraction, and that it was written 

pect to palm easily a tale so turned as to not to gain fame, but to gratify a malig- 

involve a compliment both to them and nant spirit. 


having effected his purpose.^ This version of the story has at 
once more internal probability and more external support than 
the other, for the proverb must certainly have been in common 
use ; but it may well be doubted whether Herodotus can ever 
have seriously contemplated such an exhibition, for the w^hole 
tone of the work — its candour, its calmness, its unsparing expo- 
sure of the weakness, pettiness, and w^ant of patriotism generally 
prevalent through Greece at the time of the Persian war — 
unfitted it for recitation before a mixed audience, like that at 
Olympia, composed of Greeks gathered from all quarters. The 
reasons which render improbable a recitation at Thebes or 
Corinth, tell with tenfold force against an Olympian reading, 
which might have pleased the Athenians, Eginetans, and Pla- 
tseans present, but would have infinitely disgusted all the other 

With the pretended recitation at Olympia is usually^ con- 
nected another story, which need not, however, be discarded 
with it, since it has an independent basis. Olorus, with his 
young son Thucydides, is represented as present on the occa- 
sion, and the latter is said to have been moved to tears by the 
recital. Herodotus, remarking it, turned to Olorus, who was 
standing near his son, and said : " Olorus, thy son's soul yearns 
after knowledge." These details, it is plain, suit better a private 
reading to an audience of friends at Athens than a public reci- 
tation to the vast concourse at Olympia, where the emotion of 
an individual would scarcely have attracted notice. And it is 
remarkable that Marcellinus, who seems to be the original 
source from which later writers drew,^ neither fixes the scene of 
the event at Olympia, nor says anything of the age of Thucy- 
dides. The anecdote may, therefore, without violence be trans- 
ferred to the time when Herodotus was making^ his work known 
at Athens ; and we may accept it, so far at least as to believe 
that Thucydides, then about twenty-four years of age,^ became 
acquainted with our author through his recitations at that place, 
and derived from that circumstance the impulse which led him 
to turn his own thoughts to historical composition. 

9 In Montfaucon's Bibliothec. Coisl. but from his style and from the authors 

Cod. clxx^ii. p. 609, as I learn from a he quotes, I should incline to regard him 

note of Col. Mure's (vol. iv. p. 261). as anterior to Photius. Suidas copies 

1 By Suidas (sub voc. QovKvSiSrjs), Photius, with improvements; Photius, 
Photius (Bibliothec. Cod. Ix. ad fin. p. • I think, drew from Marcellinus. 

59), and Tzetzes (Chil. i. 19). ^ If we accept the statement of Pam- 

2 The date of Marcellinus is uncertain, phila (Frag. 7; . 


It is probable that Herodotus about the same time made the 
acquaintance of the poet Sophocles. Six years later it seems 
certain that the great tragedian wrote a poem in his honour, the 
opening words of which have been preserved by Plutarch ; * and 
three years before he wrote it Herodotus had quitted Athens for 
Thurium. The acquaintance is thus almost necessarily deter- 
mined to the space between B.C. 447, when Herodotus seems to 
have transferred his abode to Athens, and B.C. 443, when he 
removed to Italy. Sophocles was then at the zenith of his 
reputation. He had gained his first tragic prize twenty-one 
years earlier, in B.C. 468 ; and for ten years, since the death of 
^schylus, had been almost without a rival. A little later than 
the departure of Herodotus for Thurium he exhibited his 
tragedy of the Antigone,^ in which a thought occurs which 
seems borrowed from our author;^ and almost immediately 
afterwards he held the highest office in the state, being chosen 
Strategus together with Pericles in the year of the Samian 
expedition (b.c. 440). 

If, then, an intimacy sprang up at this date between the poet 
and the historian, we may conclude that the latter was intro- 
duced during his stay at Athens to that remarkable galaxy of 
intellectual lights which was then assembled in that city. The 
stately Pericles, his clever rival Thucydides, the son of Mele- 
sias, the fascinating Aspasia, the haughty and eloquent Antipho, 
the scientific musician Damon, the divine Phidias, Protagoras 
the subtle disputant, Zeno the inventor of logic, the jovial yet 
bitter Cratinus, the gay Crates, Euripides, the master of pathos, 
Sophocles, the most classic even of the ancients, wdth a host of 
minor worthies, formed a combination ^ which even at Athens 
was rarely, if ever, equalled. The rank of Herodotus in his 

■* See his treatise, ''An seni gerenda (Diog. Laert. ii. 7), before I suppose the 

sit respublica? " — Op., vol. ii. p. 785, b. visit of Herodotus to have commenced. 

The words quoted are : He returned some years afterwards, but 

'OSt)!/ 'HpoSoTO) rev^ev Soc^okAtj? heuiv a>c it is Uncertain when. Gorgias may have 

UevT enl TrevT-qKovTa been in Athens during our author's stay- 
As Sophocles was born in the year B.C. at least if he really conversed with Peri 
495, the poem must have been written cles. (Philostrat. Vit. Sophist, i.ix. §1.^ 
B.C. 440. Ion of Chios, the tragedian Achseiis 

^ Probably in b.c. 441, as his election Euphorion the son of ^schylus, Stesim 

to the office of Strategus in the following brotus the biographer, the architect 

year was considered to have been the Hippodamus, and the artists Alcamenes 

consequence of the admiration which the Agoracritus, Calhmachus, Callicrates, 

play excited. (Aristoph. Byzant. ad Ictinus, Mnesicles, would be among the 

Soph. Ant. praef.) _^^ lesser luminaries of the time and scene. 

^ See note to Herod, iii. 119. Socrates was grown up, but perhaps 

7 Anaxagoras left Athens in B.C. 450 scarcely known. 


own country was perhaps enough to give him free access to the 
liighest society which Athens could furnish ; but if not, as the 
friend of Sophocles and Olorus,^ men of the most exalted posi- 
tion, he would be readily received into the first circles. Ilere, 
then, he would be brought into contact with the most cultivated 
minds, the highest intellects of his age. In Asia Minor he had 
perhaps known Panyasis, the epic poet (his relative, according 
to Suidas) ; Melissus the philosopher, who defended Samos 
against Pericles ; Choerilus,^ who sang of the Persian war ;. and 
possibly Hellanicus, Charon, Xanthus Lydus, and Damastes ; but 
these were in no case minds of the first order, and they v;ere 
scattered among the Asiatic cities from Halicarnassus to Lamp- 
sacus. At Athens he would for the first time find congregated 
an intellectual world, and see genius of the highest kind in all 
its shapes and aspects. The effect would be like that which 
the young American author experiences when he comes with 
good introductions to London. He would feel that here was 
the real heart of the Hellenic body, — the true centre, at least, 
of literary Hellas, — the world whose taste he must consult, 
whose approval was fame, whose censure was condemnation, 
whose contempt was oblivion. He would find his s]3irit roused, 
and his whole nature braced, to strain every nerve, in order to 
maintain his place in the literary plialanx which had admitted 
him into its ranks. He would see imperfections in his work 
unobserved before, and would resolve to make it, so far as his 
powers went, perfect. He would look at the masterpieces in 
every kind which surrounded him, and say, " My work, too, 
shall be in its kind a masterpiece." To this perhaps we owe 
the wonderful elaboration, carried on for twenty years after his 
visit to Athens, which, as much as anything else, lias given to 
the History of Herodotus its surpassing and never-failing charm. 
It is not difficult to imagine the reasons which may have 
induced our author, in spite of the fascinations of its society, to 
quit Athens, and become a settler in one of lier colonial depend- 
encies. At Athens he could have no citizenship ; ^ and to the 
Greek not bent on money-making, or absorbed in pLilosophy, to 
be without political rights, to have no share in what formed the 

s The anecdote concerning Thucydides but to freedmen. (Andoc. de Tied. c. 22, 

implies that Olorus was already known p. 86, 30; Demostli. c. Aristocr. &c.) 

to Herodotus. But the difficulty of obtaining it was f tr 

9 Suidas ad voc. XoLpi\os. greater in the time of Pericles. And ti^e 

* In later times the citizenship was trouble and expense (Demosth. c. Neivr. 

granted lavishly, not only to foreigners p. lol9, 20) would deter many. 

VOL. I. C 


daily life and occupied the constant thoughts of all around him, 
was intolerable. " Man is not a man unless he is a citizen," 
said Aristotle ; ^ and the feeling thus expressed was common to 
the Greek nation. Besides, Athens, like every capital, was an 
expensive place to live in ; and the wealth which had made a 
figure at Halicarnassus would, even if it were not dissipated, have 
scarcely given a living there. The acceptance by Herodotus of 
a sum of money from the Athenian people would seem to indi- 
cate that his means were now low. They may have been ex- 
hausted by the cost of his long journeys, or have suffered from 
his leaving Halicarnassus. At any rate his circumstances may 
well have been such as to lead him gladly to embrace the invi- 
tation which Athens now offered to adventurers from all parts 
of Greece, whereby he would acquire at her hands a parcel of 
land (/cXrjpov), which would place him above want, and a new 
right of citizenship. Accordingly, in the year B.C. 443, when 
he had just passed his fortieth year, Herodotus, according to 
the unanimous testimony of ancient writers,^ joined the colonists 
whom Pericles was now sending out to Italy, and became one of 
the first settlers at Thurium. 

The settlement was made under circumstances which were 
somewhat peculiar. Sybaris, one of the Achaean colonies in 
Magna Grsecia, after attaining to an unexampled pitch of pros- 
perity,'* had been taken and destroyed by the Crotoniats (b.c. 
510). The inhabitants who escaped fled to Laiis and Scidrus,^ 
places previously belonging to them, and made no effort to 
recover their former home. But fifty-eight years afterwards 
(B.C. 452) their children and grandchildren, having obtained 
some foreign assistance, -reoccupied the site of the old city, 
which soon rose from its ruins. Upon this the jealousy of Cro- 
tona was once more aroused, and again she took arms and 
expelled the Sybarites from their town. They did not how- 
ever now^ submit, but sent ambassadors into Greece to beg for 
assistance against their enemies. Pericles received the envoys 
with warmth, procured a decree of the people in their favour, 
and sent out the colony in which Herodotus participated. It 

2 Pol. i. 1. into the field against Crotona 300,000 

3 See Strab. xiv. p. 939. Plutarch de men (vi. p. 378), Scymnus Chius gives 
Exil. vol. ii. p. 604, F. Plin. H. N. xii. the number of her full citizens as U)U,OuO 
4. Suidas ad voc. 'Hp(^5oTos, &c. (ver. 344). Diodorus agrees with Strabo 

"* Strabo says that four of the Italian (xii. 9) . 

nations were subject to Sybaris; that she * See Herod, vi. 21. 
ruled over twenty-five cities, and brought 


was composed of Greeks from all quarters, and placed under 
the direction of a certain Lampon, who was thought to possess 
prophetic powers.^ The new colonists were to unite with the 
old Sybarites, and a single city was to be built, in which all 
were to enjoy equal rights and privileges. The colony left 
Athens in the spring of B.C. 443,^ and established itself without 
any opposition from the Crotoniats. A town was built near, 
but not on, the site of the ancient Sybaris, and was called 
Thurium, from a spring in the neighbourhood ; it seems to have 
been planned by Hippodamus, the architect of the Piraeus, who 
laid it out in a number of straight streets, with others crossing 
them at right angles, a style of building which afterwards went 
by his name.^ It was scarcely finished when dissensions broke 
out between the new-comers and the ancient Sybarites, the 
latter of whom are accused of advancing absurd claims to a pre- 
eminence over the foreign colonists. An appeal was made to 
arms, with a result most disastrous to those whose arrogance 
had provoked it. The Sybarites were worsted, and, if we may 
believe Diodorus, well nigh exterminated ; ^ and the victorious 
foreigners, having strengthened themselves by receiving fresh 
immigrants, proceeded to order their polity on a plan copied 
apparently from the arrangements which prevailed at Athens. 
They divided themselves into ten tribes, named from the prin- 
cipal races of which the colony was composed,^ and while model- 
ling in all probability their political institutions on the Athenian 
type, adopted for the standard of their jurisprudence the legal 
code of Charondas.^ Under these circumstances they became 

^ Schol. Aristoph. Av. 521; Plut.vit. speaks of expulsion rather than extermi- 

Pericl. c. 6 ; Polit. Prseced. vol. ii. p, 81 2, nation. Diodorus allows that a certain 

D. ; Suid, ad voc, QovpioixdvTcis. Diodorus number escaped (xii. 22, sub fin.). These 

(xii, lU) makes Lampon and Xenocritus are perhaps the Sybarites of whom Hei-o- 

joint leaders. dotus speaks (v. 44). 

'^ Diodorus places its establishment in ^ The tribes were as follows : three 

the year B.C. 446 (xii. 9). The date com- Peloponnesian, named Areas, Achais, 

monly given is B.C. 444; but Clinton has Elea ; three from central Greece, Bceotia, 

shown satisfactorily that the colony was Amphictyonis, Doris; and four from 

really sent out in the spring of B.C. 443. Athens and her dependencies, las, Athe- 

(F. H. vol. ii. p. 58, 01. 84. 2.) nais, Euboeis, Nesiotis. An organisation 

8 Cf. Arist. Pol. vii. 10; Hesych. Lex. of this kind, proceeding upon ethnic dif- 
in voc. 'iTTTToSa/uou t/^/xriais, and Photius, ference, was more common in Dorian 
A6|. 'Zvvay. p. 111. For the application than in Ionian states. (See Herod, iv. 
of tiie style to Thurium, see Diod. Sic. 161, and v. 68.) 

xii. 10, ad fin. 2 Diodorus (1. s. c.) imagines that 

9 Diod. Sic. xii. 11. Aristotle in his Charondas actually legislated for the 
brief notice (Pol. v. 2, SuiSapTTat — • Thuriaus, being one of the citizens : 
■jrAeoveKTeTv a^iovuTes ws (Tcp^rfpas ttjs Thv &pi(TT0U rhv (1. twv) eV iraiSeicf. 
Xupas e'leVeo-ov) agrees^ except that he Oavixa^oii^vov (1. Qavjxa^oix^vuv) iroAi- 



rapidly a flourishing people, until in the year B.C. 412, after the 
failure of the Sicilian expedition, they revolted from their 
mother city, and expelled all the Athenian colonists.^ 

Among the settlers who accompanied Herodotus from Athens 
are some names to which a special interest attaches. Hippo- 
damus, the philosopher and the architect of the Piraeus,* Lysias 
the orator, then only in his fifteenth year, with his brother 
Polemarchus,^ the friend of Socrates,*' are the most famous. 
The last two were sons of Cephalus, a native of Syracuse, whom 
Pericles had persuaded to settle at Athens,^ the gentle old man 
in whose house Plato has laid the scene of his great dialogue, 
the Republic. It is not impossible that Protagoras may have \ 
been, if not among the first settlers, yet among the early 
visitants; for some accounts made the Thurians derive their 
laws from him.^ Empedocles, too, the philosopher of Agrigen- 
tum, is stated by a contemporary writer ^ to have visited Thu- 
rium very shortly after its foundation ; and it is not unlikely 
that he made it his abode until his death. Thus the new colony 
had its fair share of the intellect of Greece ; and Herodotus 
would not be without some kindred spirits to admire and appre- 
ciate him. 

At Thurium Herodotus would seem to have devoted himself 
almost entirely to the elaboration of his work. It has been 
asserted in ancient ^ and strongly argued in modern ^ times, that 

Twv Xap(i>vdau. So the Scholiast on ^ Plat. Rep. book i. § 1., et seqq. 

Plato (p. 193, Rvihnk.), and Valerius ' So Lysias himself declares (Orat. c. 

Maximus (vi. 5, § 4). But he was really a Eratosth. p. 12u, 26). 

native of Catana, and lived two centui'ies ^ Heraclid. Pont. ap. Diog. Laert. 

earlier. (See Hermann's Pol. Antiq. of ix. 50. 

Greece, §89.) The Thurians only adopted ^ Glaucus of Rhegium (Fragm. 6), 

his code, as did so many of the Italiot reported by Apollodorus (Fr. 87). The 

and Siceliot towns (Arist. Pol. ii. 9; anonymous life of Thucydides, usually 

Heraclid. Pont, xxv.), and even the re- prefixed to his work, speaks of that 

mote city of Mazaca in Cappadocia writer as having been at Thurium — 

(Strab. xii. p. 782). which is called Sybaris— between its 

3 Dionys. Hal. Lys. sub init. vol. v. foundation and B.C. 422. But this au- 

p. 453, ed. Reiske ; Plutarch, vit. X. thority is of very little weight. Other 

Orat. § 8. (Op. ii. p. 835, D.) celebrities among the early Thurians are 

^ See Photius and Hesychius, ad Tisias, the Syracusan, the inventor of 

voce. 'iTTTToSa/xou vejx-f\(ns, and 'Itttto- rhetoric (Phot. Bibl. loc. s. cit.; 

Sailcla ayopd. For his philosophy, see Invent, ii. 2, &c.), and Cleandridas, the 

Aristotle (Pol. ii. 5) and Stobseus. (Flo- father of Gylippus (Thucyd. vi. 104; 

rilegium, vol. iii. p. 338, T. 103, 26). Antioch. Fr. 12). 

Photius calls Hippodamus "a metereo- ^ Piin. H. N. xii. "Urbis nostrse 

loger." trecentesimo decimo anno .... auctor 

^ Plutarch, vit. X. Orat. (1. s. c); ille (Herodotus) historiam earn condidit 

Phot. Bibl. Cod. 262, p. 1463. Dionysius Thuriis in Italia." 

(1. s. c.) makes him accompanied by two ^ gee Dahlmaun'a Life of Herodotus, 

of his brothers. ch. iii. § 2. 


his history Avas there first composed and published. But the 
assertion, as it stands, is absurd ; ^ and the arguments adduced 
ill support of it are not such as to command assent. It is 
proved that there are portions of the work which seem written 
in southern Italy,^ and that there are others which could not 
have been composed till long after the time when Herodotus is 
said to have settled at Thurium,^ But those who urge these 
places as conclusive omit to remark that from their parenthetic 
character they are exactly such passages as a writer employed 
lor many years in finishing and retouching his composition, 
might conveniently have added to the original text. That 
this is in every case the appearance they present, a glance 
at the passages themselves will show.^ They can always 
be omitted not only without detriment, but sometimes with 
manifest advantage, to the sense and connexion of the sen- 
tences.''' This fact is a strong indication that they are no part 
of the original work, but insertions made by the author as points 
bearing upon his history came to his knowledge. Dahlmann 
indeed rejects altogether the notion of two editions of Herodotus, 
because no ancient writer is found expressly to mention them ; ^ 
but it seems to be the view which best explains all the pheno- 

3 Since it makes Herodotus write his that from Darius Nothus. With regard 

whole history in one year. to the kst two passages he is completely 

* As iv. 15, and 99, and vi. 127. mistaken, as will be shown in the notes 
Dahlmann adds iii. 136-8, and v. 44-5; ad loc. The others are doubtful. Sital- 
but these passages may just as well have ces, who gradually built up a great power 
been written in Asia. It is admitted (Diod. Sic. xii. 50), may have been well 
that Herodotus "may have compre- known to the Greeks long before the 
hended Italy in the plan of his early tra- breaking out of the Peloponnesian war. 
vels," so that "accurate knowledge" of Corinth had suffered considerably at the 
the localities, supposing that it appeared hands of Athens by B.C. 457 (see Thucyd. 

which may be questioned;, would not i. 105-6). In vi. 98, it is not necessarily 

prove the passages to have been written implied that the reign of Artaxerxes is 

ill Italy. past. And the embassy of Callias was 

* The following are the only passages not in B.C. 431, but in B.C. 449. (See 
of which this can be said with any cer- note ad loc.) 

tainty : iii. 160, ad fin.; v. 77, ad fin.; ^ In iii. 160, the parenthetic portion 

vii. 114, ad fin. ; 133-7, and 233, ad fin.; is from Zanrvpov 5e tovtov to the end. 

and ix. 73, ad fin. Dahlmann would add In v. 77, from oaovs 5e koI tovtwp to 

iv. 80, where Sitalces is mentioned as a the end of the inscription. In vii. 

man already known; v. 93, Avhere Hip- 114, from Uepa-iKou to Karopvaaovaav. 

]i'as is made to speak of the calamities In vii. 133-7, from ot: 5e roTcrt 'A^Tji^atotcrt 

which the Corinthians would suffer at to iirduei/xL 8e iirl rhu irpSrepou Xoyov. 

the hands of Athens; vi. 98, where he In vii. 233, from tov rhv Traida to the 

thinks the reign of Artaxerxes is spoken end. And in ix. 73, from ovtco liare to 

of as past ; vii. 151, where there is a re- aTroo-xeV^at. 

ference to the embassy of Callias; iii. 15, "^ This is most striking in the last- 
where Amyrtseus is spoken of as dead; mentioned passage, where the nexus in 
and i. 130, where there is a mention of a peculiarly awkward. 
Median revolt, which he supposes to be ^ Life of Herodotus, page 34, E. T. 


mena.^ In the book itself, besides the indication already men- 
tioned, which is almost tantamount to a proof, there are various 
passages which, either singly or in connexion with those clearly 
written in Italy, imply the existence of two forms of the work, 
an earlier and a later one, and from two of these passages we 
may even gather that the work was published in its earlier 
shape. The enumeration of the Ionian and ^olian cities in 
the first book is such as would be natural to a man writing at 
Halicarnassus, but not to an inhabitant of Italy. ^ The same 
may be said of the enumeration of the Satrapies.^ Again, the 
description of the road between Olympia and Athens,-^ as that 
which led " from Athens to Pisa," and not " from Pisa to 
Athens," is indicative of one who dwells east and not west of 
Greece. Moreover, the declaration in the fourth book — " addi- 
tions are what my work always from the very first affected"* — 
is only intelligible on the hypothesis above adopted. And, 
finally, we have in two passages a plain proof, not only of two 
periods and places of composition, but likewise of a double pub- 
lication. In describing the first expedition of Mardonius against 
Greece, Herodotus turns aside from his narrative to remark 
that at this point he " has a marvel to relate, which will greatly 
surprise those Greeks who cannot believe that Otanes advised 
the seven conspirators to make Persia a commonwealth;"^ 
whereby he shows that, on the first publication of his w^ork, the 
account given in the third book of a debate among the con- 
spirators as to the proper form of government to establish in 
Persia, had provoked criticism, and that many had rejected it 
as incredible. He therefore seeks to remove their scruples by 
noticing a fact, which in his first edition he had probably 
omitted, as not very important, and quite unconnected with his 
main subject in the place (which is the warlike expedition of 
Mardonius), namely, that Mardonius at this time put down the 

^ It is allowed to some extent by Col. Caria; a European Greek would have 

Mure. (Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. p. 258.) commenced with the Hellespont. 

1 Herodotus not only takes the Ionian ^ ii. 7. 

cities in regular order from south to "* Ch. 30. TlpoaBriKai has been generally 

north (i. 142), but proceeds fi^om them translated "digressions," or "episodes." 

to the southern ^olians (ch. 149), and But its most proper sense is "additions, 

from them to the -^olians of the Troas supplements." It may even have this 

(ch. 151). Looking at Asia Minor from meaning in Arist. Khet. i. 1, § 3; a pas- 

the west, a Greek, accustomed to coast- sage which has been considered to justify 

ing voyages, would have followed the the other rendering. (See Liddell and 

reverse order. Scott's Lexicon, ad voc. vpocrdriKr].) 

2 Cf. iii. 90. Herodotus begins with ^ Herod, vi. 43. 
the satrapy which contained louia and 


Greek despots. He also in the third book, on beginning his 
narrative of the debate, makes a reference to the same objectors, 
which he does in a few words, inserted probably in lieu of what 
he had at first written.^ Such is the evidence of the book itself; 
and we may add to it the fact that, while some writers spoke 
confidently of the work as composed in Italy, "^ others as dis- 
tinctly asserted that it was w^ritten in Asia ; ^ and, further — a 
fact to be hereafter noticed ^ — tliat there were from very early 
times ^ two readings of a most important passage in the book, 
namely, its opening sentence, which is best explained by sup- 
posing that both proceeded equally from the pen of the author. 

It is not unlikely that, besides retouching his narrative from 
time to time, and interweaving into it such subsequent events 
as seemed in any way to illustrate its course or tenor, Hero- 
dotus may have composed at Thurium some considerable por- 
tions of his work ; for instance, the second and fourth books, or 
the greater part of them.^ He may likewise have considerably 
enlarged the other books, by the addition of those long paren- 
theses which are for ever occurring, whereby the general line of 
the relation is broken in upon, not always in a manner that is 
quite agreeable. 'It is needless to point out passages of this kind 
which every reader's memory will without difficulty supply ; 
they form in general from one-fourth to one-third of each book, 
and added to the second and fourth books would amount to not 
much less than one-half of the History. 

At the same time he no doubt composed that separate work 
the existence of w^hich it has been the fashion of late years to 
deny ^ — his History of Assyria. The grounds for believing tliat 
this book was written and published will be given in a note 
on the text,* and need not be anticipated here. That it was a 
treatise of some considerable size and pretension is probable 
from the very fact that it was detached from his main history, 

^ Herod, iii. 80. In the first edition I ^ The whole of the second book, with 

should conjecture that the words ran: the exception of the first chapter, may 

Kol eAex^Tjcaj/ ^070: roioiSe. 'Oraj/rjs have been composed at this time, the 

/.tei/ cKeAeue, k.t.A. opening of the third book being remo- 

■^ Plin}", 1. s. e. delled after the second was written. In 

^ Suidas ad voc. 'Hpohoros. Lucian. the fourth book, the account of the ex- 
Herod, vol. iv. p. 116. pedition of Darius Tchs. 1-4; 83-144) may 

^ See note to book i. ch. 1. have been original, and the rest added 

' At least as early as the reign of Tra- at Thurium. 

Jan. See Plutarch, de Exil, (p. 604, F.) : ^ See Dahlmann's Life of Herodotus, 

rh Se 'HpoBoTov 'AXiKapvaarcrews t(rTopir}s pp. 166-8, E. T.; Bahr, Not. ad Herod. 

itTrSSeL^LS 7j5e, iroWol fxeraypdcpovaiyy i. 106; Mure,Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. p. 270. 

'HpodoTov Qovp'iov. ^ See note to book i. ch. 106. 


and published separately.^ It must, one would think, at least 
have exceeded in bulk the account of Egypt, which occupies the 
whole of the second book, or it would naturally have formed an 
episode to the main narrative, in the place where we instinct- 
ively look for it,*^ and where its omission causes a want of 
harmony in the general plan of the History. And it may have 
been very considerably longer than the Egyptian section. With 
these literary labours in hand, it is no wonder if Herodotus, 
having reached the period of middle life, when the fatigues of 
travel begin to be more sensibly felt, and being moreover 
entangled in somewhat difficult domestic politics, laid aside his 
wandering habits, and was contented to remain at Thurium 
without even exploring to any great extent the countries to 
which his new position gave him an easy access/ There is no 
trace of his having journeyed further during these years than 
the neighbouring towns of Metapontum and Crotona, except in a 
single instance. He must have paid a visit to Athens at least 
as late as B.C. 43G, and probably some years later ; for he saw 
the magnificent Propylsea,^ one of the greatest of the construc- 
tions of Pericles, which was not commenced till B.C. 436, nor 
finished till five years afterwards.^ Perhaps this visit was 
delayed till after the breaking out of the Peloponnesian war, 
and it may have been by its means that Herodotus became so 
intimately acquainted with little events belonging to the first 
and second years of the war,^ of which it is unlikely that more 
than vap'ue rumours would have reached him at Thurium. 

. ^ It has been questioned whether the could properly have come into the extant 

Assyrian History was ever intended for work of Herodotus — the absorption of 

a separate work, and suggested that it Assyria by Media, and of Babylonia by 

may have been meant only for ojie of Persia — the reader is referred to the 

the larger episodes in which our author Assyrian History for information. To 

was wont to indulge. (See Dahlmann, me this is conclusive evidence that it 

p. 1G8; Biihr, 1. s. c; Mure, p. 271.) was always intended to have been (as in- 

But if so, where was it to have come in ? deed I believe that in fact it wasj a sepa- 

Biihr (following Jager, Disp. Herod, p. rate work. 

229 ) suggests for its place the end of the ^ The natural place, according to the 

third book, where the revolt and reduc- notions of Assyrian history entertained 

tion of Babylon are related. But this is by our author, would have been book i. 

cuntrnry to the analogy of all the other ch. J 84, where he is forced to speak of 

lengthy episodes, and to the pervading certain persons who doubtless figured in 

ide%of the work. The right by which it conspicuously. He did not make any 

such episodes come in at alh is their con- distinction between Assyrian and Baby- 

nexiou with the increasing greatness of Ionian history. 

the Persian empire; and they therefore ^ Supra, p. 10. ''' Herod, v. 77. 
occur at the point where the Persian em- 9 Harpocrat. ad. voc. TlpoivvKaia ravra. 

pire first absorbs or attempts to absorb Philoch. Fr. 98. 

each country. (See i. 95, 142, 171, 178; ^ As, 1. the attack upon Thebes (vii. 

ii. 2; iii. 20; iv. 5; v. 3.) In the only 233), where he knows the mmiber of tlie 

two places where the Assyrian History assailants, the important part taken by 

Writings. FEUDS AT TIIURIUM. 25 

The state of Thurium, while it was the abode of Herodotus, 
appears to have been one of perpetual trouble and disquiet. 
The first years after the foundation of the colony were spent, as 
has been already shown,^ in a bloody feud between the nevv^ 
comers and the ancient inhabitants — the Sybarites. Soon 
afterwards a war broke out between the Thurians and the people 
of Tarentum, which was carried on both by land and sea, witli 
varied success, and which probably continued during a space of 
several years.^ A little later, as the Peloponnesian struggle 
approached, an internal dispute seems to have arisen among 
the citizens themselves as to the side which they should espouse 
in the approaching coQtest.^ The true controversy was thinly 
veiled under the show of a doubt about the person and state 
entitled to be regarded as the real founders of the city. From 
the first the Peloponnesian element in the population had been 
considerable, and now this section of the inhabitants put forward 
pretensions to the first place in the colony. The horrors of 
civil war were for the present avoided by an appeal to the 
common oracle of both races, which skilfully eluded the diffi- 
culty, and staved off the threatened crisis, by declaring that 
Apollo himself, and none other, was to be accounted the founder. 
But the struggle of parties, in however subdued a form, must 
have continued, and we find marked traces of it about the 
period of the Sicilian expedition, when Thurium first wavers 
between the two belligerents,^ then joins Athens, banishing 
those who oppose the measure,^ and finally, after the Athenian 
disasters, expels three hundred of its citizens for the crime of 
Atticism, and becomes an ally of the opposite side."^ 

It is uncertain whether Herodotus lived to see all these 
vicissitudes. The place and time of his death are matters of 

Eurymaclius, and his fate (compare though not mentioned by him). I should 

Thucyd. ii. 2, and 5, ad fin.); 2. the be- incline also to assign the flight of Zopy- 

trayal of the Peloponnesian ambassadors rus (iii. 160, ad fin.) to the same period 

to the Athenians by Sitalces (vii. 137), (b.c. 431 or 430). No little events are re- 

where he has the names of three, the lated of a later date. 

place where they were seized, and the ^ Page 19. 

fact of their being brought to Athens ' Diod. Sic. xii, 23. The description, 

for punishment: with an allusion also although placed under one year, seems 

to the cause of the exasperation of the applicable to a longer period, {diairo- 

Athenians against them its elAe a\ieas Xeixovures — iiropdovv — iroWas /xcixas 

rovs e/c Tipvueos; comp. Thucyd. ii. 67, Kal aKpo^oXiaixovs.) Compare Antioch. 

ad fin.); and, 3. the sparing of Decelea, Fr. 12. 

when the country between Brilessus and * Ibid. xii. 35. 

Parnes was ravaged by Archidamus (ix. ^ Thucyd. vi. 104. ^ Ibid. vii. 33. 

73; the fact is quite compatible with "^ Dionys. Hal. Lys. iv. p. 453. 

the statements of Thucydides, ii. 23, 


controversy. Some writers of great eminence have thouglit it 
plain from his work that he must not only have been alive, but 
have been still engaged in its composition, at least as late as his 
seventy-seventh year.^ One tradition even prolongs his life to 
the year B.C. 394,^ when his age would have been ninety. Of 
the place of his death three accounts are given ; according to 
one he died at Pella in ]\Iacedonia ; ^ according to another, at 
Athens;^ while a third placed his decease at Thurium.^ When 
the evidence. is so conflicting, it is impossible that the con- 
clusions drawn from it can be more than conjectural. There 
seems, however, to be great reason to doubt whether Herodotus 
really enjoyed the length of life which has been commonly 
assigned to him. There is no passage in his writings of which 
we can say that it must certainly have been written later than 
B.C. 430.^ There are a few which may have been composed 
about B.C. 425 or 424,^ but none which, rightly understood, give 
the slightest indication of any later date.^ The work of Hero- 
dotus, therefore, contains no sign that he outlived his sixtieth 
year, and perhaps it may be said that the balance of evidence is 
in favour of his having died at Thurium when he was about 
sixty.^ His tomb was shown in the market-place of that city ; 

^ See Dahlmann's Life of Herodotus, ad fin.), which was towards the close of 

eh. iii. § 1, ad fin. ; Mure's Literature of the reign of Artaxerxes (Ctes. Exc. 

Greece, vol. iv. App. G. ; and Dr. Schmitz's § 43); and the apparent mention of that 

article in Smith's Biographical Diction- reign as past (vi. 98), which would be 

ary, vol. ii. p. 432. decisive, if it distinctly asserted what it 

^ Suidas (ad voc. 'EKKciviKos) makes is supposed to imply. " 

Herodotus visit the court of Amyntas II., ^ The passages alleged by Dahlmann 

king of Macedon, who only mounted the (i, 130; iii. 15; and ix. 73) are explained 

throne in B.C. 394. (See Clinton, F. H. in the notes ad he. 

vol. ii. App. ch. 4.) ' The negative evidence derived from 

^ Suidas (ad voc. 'HpJSoros) Reports the absence from his great work of 

this tradition, but expresses his disbe- touches clearly marking a later date, is 

lief of it. an argument of great importance, when 

^ Marcellin. in vit. Thuycd. p. ix. it is observed how frequent and con- 

3 This was the view of Suidas, who tinuous such touches are up to a parti - 

says: Ets r}) ®ovpiov, aTcoiKi^oix^vou vwh cular period. The complete silence with 

'A0')7J/a£Ct)j/, e0eAovT7js ■^A0e, KCLKel reXew- regaled to the Sicilian expedition, which, 

T7](ras iirl ttjs ayopas rtOaTrrai. if it had passed before his eyes, must 

< It cannot be proved that any event have appeared to him the most important 

recorded by Herodotus is more recent event of his time, seems to show that at 

than the betrayal of the Spartan and least he did not outlive B.C. 415. Had 

Cof-inthian ambassadors into the hands he witnessed the struggle, he would 

of the Athenians (Herod, vii. 133-7), almost certainly have made some allu- 

which took place in the autumn of B.C. sion to it. Had he seen its close, he 

430. (Thucyd. ii. 67.) could not have made the assertion in 

5 As the cruel deed committed by book vii. ch. 170, that a certain slaughter 

Amestris m A<?r oW cr^^ (vii. 114), which, of Tarentines and Rhegines was the 

however, cannot be determined within greatest which ever befel the Greeks, 

a space of 1 or 15 years ; the desertion Had he been still living when Thurium 

pf Zopyrus to the Athenians (iii. 1(30, joined the Peloponnesian side in B.C. 

Writings. DOMESTIC LIFE. 27 

and there probably was the epitaph quoted by ancient writers. 
The story of his having been buried with Thueydides at Athens 
is absurd upon its face. It might suit the romance writers to 
give the two great historians a single tomb ; but nothing can be 
more unlikely than such a happy conjunction. Thueydides, 
moreover, was buried in the family burial-place of the Cimonidae, 
where "it was not lawful to inter a stranger."^ How then 
should Herodotus have rested within its precincts ? unless it be 
said that he too was of the Cimonian family, which no ancient 
writer asserts. The legend of his death at Pella belongs to the 
very improbable tale of his having enjoyed, in company with 
Hellanicus and Euripides,^ the hospitality of Amyntas II., king 
of Macedon, who ascended the throne B.C. 394, Avhen Herodotus 
would have been ninety ! On the whole it seems most probable 
that the historian died at Thurium (shortly after his return from 
a visit paid to Athens in about the year B.C. 430 or 429), at an 
age little, if at all, exceeding sixty.^ He would thus have 
escaped the troubles which afflicted his adopted country during 
the later portion of the Peloponnesian war, and have been spared 
the pain of seeing the state of which he was a citizen enrol 
herself among the enemies of his loved and admired Athens. 

No author tells us anything of the domestic life of Herodotus. 
If we may be allowed to form a conjecture from this silence, it 
seems fair to suppose that he was unmarried. His estimate of 
the female character is not high ; ^ and his roving propensities in 
his earlier days would have interposed a bar to matrimony at 
the time of life when men commonly enter on it. That he 
died childless seems to be indicated by the position in which he 
is made to stand to a certain PlesirrhoUs, who is said to have 
inherited all his property, and to have brought out his work 

412, lie would have been banished with ciously remarks that the peculiarities 

Lysias, and would then probably never insisted on may " with better reason be 

have been known as "the Thurian." regarded as reflecting the mind of the 

'^ Marcellinus proves the family con- man than the time of life at which he 

nexion of Thueydides with the Cimonidae wrote. The author of a narrative treat - 

by the fact of his tomb being among the ing at similar length, and in equally 

jUJ/Tj/iara Kifiuuia (Vit, Thucyd. p. ix.) : — popular vein, the more interesting vicis- 

^evos yap ouSets, he says, ewe? OdirreTai. situdes of a national history, will usually 

'^ Suidas ad voc. 'EAAaj/iKos. be found," he observes, "where the 

^ It has been argued that the general notices of his life are scanty or fabulous, 

tone and character of our author's work taking his place in the traditions of his 

prove him to have composed it in old country, and in the fancy of his readers, 

age (Dahlmann, p. 37, E. T.; Jager, as an aged man." (Literature of Greece, 

Disp. Herod, p. 16; Biihr, de Vit. et vol. iv. p. 517.) 
Script. Herod. § 4); but Col. Mure judi- 2 Compare i. 4 and 8; ii. Ill, &c. 


after his death.'^ These statements rest, it must be admitted, 
on authority of the least trustworthy kind ; but it seems rash to 
reject them as worthless. They have no internal improbability ; 
and it is in their favour that they are not such as it would have 
been worth any man's while to invent. 

The great work of Herodotus, to which he had devoted so 
many years, was not perhaps regarded by him as altogether 
complete at his decease. He was continually adding touches to 
it, as events came to his knowledge which seemed to him in any 
way to illustrate or confirm his narrative. In one place, itself 
perhaps among the latest additions to the history,"* he promises 
to relate an occurrence, for which we look in vain through the 
remaining pages. This may be a mere inadvertence, parallel to 
that which has permitted the repetition of a foolish tale about 
the priestesses of Pedasa, with a variation in the story which 
reads like a contradiction.^ But it has generally been regarded 
as a trace of incompleteness, which is not unlikely to be the 
true account, the author having designed to introduce the 
sequel of the narrative at a later point in his history, but having 
died before proceeding so far. If his decease occurred when he 
was about sixty, this would be far more probable than if we 
were bound to accept the common notion of his longevity. 
Dahlmann s supposition ^ that Herodotus, writing at the age of 
seventy-seven, was still contemplating not only small improve- 
ments, but a lengthy digression on a most important subject, if 
not an entirely new work, is as unlikely as anything that can 
well be imagined on such a subject. If the History of Hero- 
dotus strikes us as wanting finish, both in some points of detail 
and in the aw^kwardness and abruptness of its close, we may 
fairly ascribe the defect to the untimely death of the writer, 

^ These particulars are reported by said to have occurred three times, in the 

Hephtestion (^ap. Phot, Bibliothec. Cod. last is mentioned as having only been 

190, p. 478 j, a late writer of small autho- witnessed twice. The discrepancy may 

rity, who moreover throws discredit on perhaps be explained by the considera- 

liis own anecdotes by allowing them to tion, that the three closing books were 

contradict one another. The same Pie- written before the others. (See note on 

sirrhoiis, who in two of his tales is made Book vii. 1.) The third occurrence may 

to be our author's heir, in another is have fallen in the interval between the 

said to have committed suicide while composition of Book viii. and Book i., 

Herodotus was still engaged upon his and tlie passage in Book viii. may have 

wcirk. (Ibid. p. 483.) been left as composed by inadvertence. 

^ Book vii. ch. 213. ** Life of Herodotus, ch. ix. § 2. Col. 

^"?ee^"""ir--47'5, and^ viii. 104. The Mure adopts the same view. (Lit. of 

miracle, which in the first passage is Greece, vol. iv. p. 27U-1.) 


who was probably not older than sixty, and perhaps not more 
than fifty-five at his decease. Had his life been lengthened to 
the term ordinarily allotted to man, the little blemishes which 
modern criticism discerns might have been removed, and the 
work have shown thronghout the finished grace whicli the 
master's hand is wont to impart when it consciously gives the 
last touches. 




Importance of the question. Historical materials already existing in Greece. 
Works of three kinds : 1. Mythological; 2. Geographical; 3. Strictly historical. 
How far used as materials by Herodotus. Xanthus. Charon, Dionysius. 
The geographers : Hecatseus, Scylax, Aristeas. The poets. Chief source of 
the History of Herodotus, personal observation and inquiry. How far authen- 
ticated by monumental records: 1. In Greece; 2. In foreign countries — 
Egypt, Babylon, Persia. General result. 

In order to estimate aright, either the historical value of the 
great work of our author, or the credit that is due to him for its 
composition, it is necessary to make some inquiry as to the 
materials which he possessed and the sources from which he 
drew his narrative. " The value of every history, as a work of 
utility, must primarily depend on the copiousness and authen- 
ticity of the materials at the author's disposal."^ And the 
merit of the author as an historian must be judged from the 
sagacity which he shows in the comparative estimate of the 
various sources of his information, and the use which he makes 
of the stock of materials, be it scanty or abundant, to which 
circumstances give him access. To judge, then, either of the 
writer or his work, we must inquire what the sources of informa- 
tion were from which Herodotus had it in his power to draw, 
and to what extent he availed himself of them. 

Now it seems certain that a considerable store of written 
historical information already existed in the native language of 
Herodotus at the time when he commenced his history. His- 
torical composition had not, indeed, begun at a very distant 
date ; but from the middle of the sixth century B.C., there had 
been a rapid succession of writers in this department, more 
especially among the fellow-countrymen of our author in Asiatic 
Greece. Setting aside Cadmus of Miletus as a personage whose 
existence is at least doubtful,^ there may certainly be enume- 

1 See Mure's Literature of Greece, well condensed by Miiller in his second 
vol. iv. pp. 294-5. volume of the Fragmenta Hist. Grgec. 

^ The arguments against Cadmus are pp. 3, 4. 


rated as labourers in tlie historical field during tliis and the first 
lialf of the ensuing century, Euggeon of Samos, Bion and 
Deiochus of Proconnesus, Eudemus of Paros, Amelesagoras of 
Chalcedon, Democles of Phygela, Hecataeus and Dionysius of 
Miletus, Charon of Lampsacus, Damastes of Sigeum, Xanthus of 
Sardis, and Pherecydes of Leros — all natives of As^ Minor, or 
the islands in its immediate vicinity, and the autliors of books 
on historical subjects before or about the time when Herodotus 
read the first draft of his work at Athens. Besides these writers 
there were others of considerable reputation in more distant 
parts of Greece, as Acusilaiis of Argos, Theagenes and Hippys 
of Khegium, Polyzelus of Messenia,^ &c., whose productions 
belong to the same period. The works of these historians, so 
far as can be gathered from the notices of ancient authors,* and 
the fragments we possess of many of them,^ are divisible into 
three classes, of very different importance and authority. The 
earlier writers, who are fairly represented by Acusilaiis, seem to 
have devoted themselves exclusively to the ancient Greek 
legends, belonging to the mythical period before the return of 
the Heracleids. "They wrote works which they called generally 
" Genealogies " or " Theogonies," ^ imitated closely from the old 
genealogical poets, such as Hesiod, whose poem entitled '* Theo- 
gonia" is said to have been the model followed by some of 
them.^ No complete production of the kind by a writer of this 
early age has come . down to us ; but the Bibliotheca of the 
grammarian ApoUodorus ^ is perhaps a tolerable representation 
of their usual character. 

The next subject which engaged the attention of the prose 
writers, and on which works were composed by some of the 
authors above-mentioned, was geography. At all times an 
important element in historical research, this study, in the 

^ For a detailed account of these ^ As the works of Acusilaiis and Heca- 

writers and their productions, see teeus, entitled TeueaXoyiai (Suid. ad voc. 

Miiller's Fr. H. G. vols. i. and ii. Comp. Acusilaiis, Steph. Byz., &c.), and that 

Clinton's Fasti Hellenici, vol. ii. Appen- of Pherecydes, which was called ©eo- 

dix, ch. 21, and Mure, vol. iv. ch. 3. youla (Suid.). 

JIatthise's Manual of the History of ' Clement says of Acusilaiis and Eu- 

Greek and Roman Literature, though melus (Eudemus ?) — ra 'Haiodov fierrjK- 

scanty, is useful. Xa^av els ire(hv \6you (Strom, vi. p. 

4 Particularly from Suidas. 752-6). The fragments of Acusilaiis 

^ Sturz and Creuzer were the first to show the statement to be true, 

begin the collection of these valuable ^ Printed in the first volume of 

remains of antiquity, which has at last Miiller's Fragm. H. Gr., and edited in a 

been accomplished, so as to leave nothing separate form by Tanaquil Faber (Sau- 

to desire, by C. Miiller, in the work mur, 1611), Heyne (Gottingen, 1782^, 

already so often quoted. and Clavier (Paris, 1805;. 



Life A^'D 

earlier period of Greek literature, was scarcely distinguished 
from that nobler science of which it is properly the handmaid. 
Scylax of Caryanda,^ Hecataeus/ Dionysius, according to one 
account,^ Charon/ Damastes,* and perhaps Democles,^ wrote 
treatises on general or special geogTaphy, into which they inter- 
wove occasional notices belonging to the history of the country 
whose features they were engaged in describing. These labours 
led the way to history proper. Dionysius of Miletus, a con- 
temporary and countryman of Hecatseus,^ seems to have set the 
example by the composition of a work entitled Persica, or 
Persian History, which probably traced the progress of that 
nation from the time of Cyrus to a period which cannot be fixed 
in the reicfn of Xerxes.'^ This work would seem to have been 
written in the early part of the fifth century B.c.^ The example 
thus set was soon followed by others. Charon of Lampsacus, 
and Xanthus of Sardis, towards the middle of the century, 
composed treatise^ partly on the special history of their 
own countries, partly on more general subjects. Charon, in 
his Hellenica and Persica, went over most of the ground 
which is traversed by Herodotus,® while in his Prytanes, or 

9 The work which has come down to 
us under the name of this writer is un- 
doubtedly spurious, but still it is a sign 
that a genuine work had once existed. 
There is further evidence in the passages 
quoted by Aristotle (^Polit. vii. 13) and 
others, which do not occur in the ficti- 
tious Scylax. 

* The great work of Hecatseus was 
entitled ' The Circuit of the Earth ' 
{yris Tvepiodos). It contained a descrip- 
tion of the known world, which he 
divided into two paints, Europe and Asia, 
including in the latter Africa. The 
coasts of the Mediterranean were de- 
scribed in detail; but only scanty know- 
ledge was shown of the more inland 
tracts. For a complete account see 
Klausen's Fragments of Hecatseus, and 
Mure's Literature of Greece, vol. iv. pp. 

2 Suidas (ad voc. Aiovva-ios Mi\7]- 
(Tios) ascribes to him a work entitled 
' U€pi7]y7)(Tis olKovjxevns,' or a Descrip- 
tion of the Inhabited World ; but it 
is doubted whether the book intended 
is not that of the Augustan geographer 
commonly known as Dionysius I'erie- 
getes (^Bernhardy ad Dion. Per. p. 489; 
Midler ad Fragm. H. G. vol. ii. p. 6). 

** Charon wrote a Periplus of the parts 

lying beyond the Pillars of Hercules 

'* Damastes is quoted by Strabo on the 
geography of the Troas, and of Cyprus 
(xiii. p, 842, and xiv. p. 973 ), Agathemer 
says (i. 1) that he wrote a Periplus. His 
geography was followed to a considerable 
extent by Eratosthenes fStrab. i. p. 68 .. 

^ Democles treated of the " Volcanic 
phenomena in Asia Minor" (^Strab. i. p. 
85), probably in a geographical work. 

^ Suidas ad voc. 'E/caraTos. 

'^ Since he is said to have written a 
work ' On events subsequent to the reign 
of Darius ' (Suidas). 

^ Suidas says that Dionysius flourished 
contemporaneously with Hecatceus. It 
is not likely, therefore, that he outlived 
Darius many years. Hecatseus seems to 
have died soon after B.C. 480 (Suidas ad 
voc. 'Y.XKa.viKos). 

■' Charon related the dream of Asty- 
ages with regard to his daughter Man- 
dan^; the revolt and flight of Pactyas 
the Lydian, first to Mytilen($, and then 
to Chios, with his final capture by the 
Persians ; the aid lent by Athens to the 
revolted loniaus, the sack of Sardis 
except the citadel, and the retreat fol- 
lowing closely upon it; also the disasters 
which Mardonius experienced about 

Wkitings. legend-writers. 33 

" Chief Killers of Sparta," lie laid perliaps the first foundation 
among the Greeks of a practical system of chronology/ He 
was likewise the author of a work or works ^ on the annals of 
liis native city, Lampsacus, of which several fragments have 
come down to us. Xanthus treated at length of the history of 
Lydia, not only during the recent' dynasty of the Mermnadse,^ 
but also during the remoter times of the Heraclidse, and even 
of the Atyadge. He indulged in ethnological, linguistic, and 
geological dissertations ; * and must have written a history, in 
the general character of its matter not very unlike that of our 
author. A book upon the Magian priest caste is also assigned 
to him ; but it is so seldom quoted ^ that some doubt may be 
considered to attach to it. About the same time probably, 
Hippys of Khegium composed an account of the colonisation of 
Italy and Sicily, and also a chronological work, the exact nature 
of which cannot be determined.^ It is likely that besides these 
authors there may have been many others, who, under the 
general name of Logographers or legend- writers, devoted them- 
selves to historical subjects, and especially to that which could 
not fail to exercise- a particular attraction, the history of the war 
with Persia.' 

This biief review is perhaps enough to indicate the general 
character of the materials which existed in the historical lite- 
rature of his country at the time when Herodotus may be 
presumed to have written.^ It is, however, quite a distinct 

Mount Athos. He likewise noticed the Nicholas of Damascus with his materials 

flight of Themistocles to Asia, which he for the history of the kings in question. Thus "* See his Fragments, Frs. 1, 3, 4, 

his narrative would seem to have come and 8. 

down to a later date than the main ^ Twice only, viz. by Diogenes Laertins 

narrative of Herodotus. ' (Proem. § 2), and by Clemens Alexan- 

^ Suidas, who alone mentions this drinus (Strom, iii. p. 515). The former 

work, notices that it was chronological, passage has been doubted (Miiller, p. 

^ Suidas mentions two books of Cha- 44), but without sufficient reason, 

ron's on this subject, and the extracts ^ Suidas merely calls this work 

from his waitings concerning Lampsacus, XpoviKo.. The few fragments which re- 

which have come down to us, furnish main of it seem to show that its compass 

three distinct titles, but it may be was great and its affectation of accuracy 

doubted whether all the references are remarkable (see Fragments 1, 2, 3, and 

not really to a single treatise, (See 5). Theconjecture that the other works 

Mviller's Frag. H. Gr. vol. i. pp. xix.- ascribed to Hippys were portions of his 

XX.) XpoviKo. (which Col. Mure approves, p. 

3 Col. Mure doubts whether Xanthus 178), is not borne out by the citations, 

treated of this period, because " not one (See Miiller's Fr. H. G. vol. ii. pp. 13- 

of the successors of Gyges is noticed in 15.) 

his Fragments" (Lit. of Greece, vol, iv. 7 That several of the early writers had 

p. 173), but it has with much reason treated this subject is plain from Thucy- 

been conjectured (Miiller, vol. i. p. 40) dides (i. 97). 

that the work of Xanthus furnished ^ Hellanicus of Lesbos, Stesimbrotus 

VOL. I. D 


question how far they may be regarded as raaterials really at 
our author's disposal. Moderns, accustomed to the ready 
multiplication of books which the art of printing has intro- 
duced, and living in times when every writer who makes any 
pretence to learning is the owner of a library, are apt to 
imagine that the facilities of reference common in their own 
day, were enjoyed equally by the ancients ; but such a view 
is altogether mistaken. Books, till long after the time of 
Herodotus, were multiplied wdth difficulty, and were published 
more by being read to audiences than by the tedious and costly 
process of copying. Herodotus, it is probable, possessed but 
few of those cumbrous collections of papyrus-rolls which were 
required in his day to contain a work of even moderate dimen- 
sions.^ The only prose writer from whom he quotes is Hecataeus ; 
and we have no direct evidence that he had it in liis power to 
consult the w^orks of any other Greek historian. No public 
libraries are known to have existed at the time ; ^ and had he 
possessed a familiar knowledge of other authors, it is difficult to 
suppose that his book would not have borne evident traces of it. 
It is not his practice purposely to withhold names, or to avoid 
reference to his authorities ; on the contrary he continually lets 
us see in the most artless manner whence his relations are 
derived ; and nothing is more clear than that he drew them in 
the main, not from the books of writers, but from the lips of 
those whom he thought to have the best information. It is 

of Thasos, and Antiochus of Syracuse, Frag. Hist. Qr. vol. ii. p. 56, Fr. 11), 

who are enumerated by Col. Mure and probably appeared several years 

among the authors ' ' whose works were, later. Antiochus was also a contem- 

or may have been, published before that of porary, but as he continued his Italian 

Herodotus," have been purposely omitted history down to the year B.C. 423, 

from the foregoing review as writers of Herodotus can scarcely have profited 

too late a date to come properly within it. by him. 

Hellanicus was indeed, if we may trust ^ Books consisted of a number of 
Pamphila, some years older than our sheets of papyrus (a coarse material) 
author, but he must be regarded as a pasted together, with writing on one 
later loriter ; since, 1 . in his great w^ork side only, rolled rovmd a thickish staff, 
(the Atthis) he alluded to the battle of So small a work as the Metamorphoses 
Arginusee, which was fought in B.C. of Ovid requii-ed fifteen such cumbrous 
406, nearly 20 years after the time rolls (Ov. Trist. i. 117). 
when Herodotus seems to have died ; ^ Polycrates had formed a public 
and, 2. it is related of him that he library at Samos (Athenseus, i. i. p. 
read (Schol. ad. Soph. Phil. 20.1) and 9, Schw.), and Pisistratus at Athens 
copied Herodotus (Porphyr. ap. Euseb. (ibid.) ; but the latter had certainly 
Pr. Ev. X. p. 466 b). Stesimbrotus been carried to Susa by Xerxes (Aul. 
was as nearly as possible contemporary Gell. vi. 17); and it is very unlikely 
with our author, but his only historical that the former had escaped the gene- 
work, the 'Memoirs of Themistocles, ral ruin consequent iipon the treachery 
Thucydides, and Pericles,' could not of Mseandrius (Herod, iii. 146-9). 
have been written before B.C. 430 (cf. 


possible tliat lie was wholly unacquainted with the compositions 
of those previous authors, who had treated of subjects of real 
history cominf^ within the scope of his work. The fame of such 
persons was often local ; and the very knowledge of their writings 
may in early times have been confined within narrow limits. 
It was the doing of a later age — an age of book-collectors and 
antiquaries— to draw forth these authors from their obscurity, 
and invest them with an importance to which they had little 
claim, except as unread and ancient. 

The authors from whom, if from any, Herodotus might have 
been expected to draw, are three of those most recently men- 
tioned — Dionysius of Miletus, Charon of Lampsacus, and 
Xanthus Lydus. All were, so to speak, his neighbours; and 
while the former two wrote at length upon Persian affairs, the 
last-mentioned composed an elaborate treatise on the history of 
his native country — one of the subjects which Herodotus re- 
garded as coming distinctly within the scope of his great work. 
It is hardly possible that he would have neglected these books, 
especially the last, had they been known to him. Yet, from a 
comparison of the fragments, which- are tolerably extensive, 
both of Charon and of Xanthus, with the work of our author, it 
becomes apparent that, whether he knew the histories of these 
writers or no, at any rate he made no use of them. His Lydian 
history shows not the slightest trace of aiiy acquaintance with 
the labours of Xanthus, whom he not merely ignores,^ but from 
whom he differs in some of the most important points of his 
narrative, as the colonisation of Etruria,^ and the circumstances 
under which the Mermnadse became possessed of the throne.* 
His custom of mentioning different versions of a story when he 
is aware of them, makes it almost certain that he did not know 
the tale which in the Lydian author took the place of his own 
story of Tyrsenus, or the long narrative, probably from the same 
source,^ which traced the hereditary feuds of the Heraclide and 
Mermnade families. Again, his remark tliat the land of Lydia 

2 Dahlmann has remarked (Life of * The certainty of this depends on the 

Herod, p. 91) that the mere omission extent to which it may be regarded as 

of all mention on the part of Herodotus ascertained that Xanthus furnished Ni- 

of the Lydian kings Alcimus, Ascalus, cholas of Damascus with the materials 

Gambles, &c., whom Xanthus celebrated, of his Lydian history. I agree with G. 

is not conclusive ; since " one sees from Miiller, that little doubt can reasonably 

his occasional observations that he knew be entertained on the subject. (Frag. 

more than his connected narrative im- Hist. Gr. vol. i. p. 40, and vol. iii. p. 370; 

plies." Still it is, at least, a suspicious note to Fr. 22.) 

circumstance. 5 ]<^Iq^ Damasc. Fr. 49. 

' See Xanthus, Fr. 1. 



lias few natural phenomena deserving notice,^ is indicative of 
an ignorance of those interesting accounts — so entirely accordant 
with truth and fact' — which the native writer had given of 
certain most peculiar physical appearances in the interior of 
Lydia.^ Herodotus, whom geological phenomena always in- 
terest,^ would certainly not have omitted, had his knowledge 
extended so far, a description of that extraordinary region, the 
Catakecaumene, which even to the modern traveller, with his 
far more extensive knowledge of the earth's surface, appears so 
remarkable. It seems, therefore, to be beyond a doubt that 
Ephorus was mistaken when he talked of Xanthus as " having 
served as a starting-point to Herodotus." ^^ He was an older 
man, having been born B.C. 499,^^ and probably an earlier writer 
(though, as he mentioned an event in the reign of Artaxerxes,^^ 
he could not have been greatly earlier) ; but Herodotus had not 
seen, perhaps had not heard of, his compositions. Apparently, 
they were first brought to the knowledge of the Greeks by 
Ephorus, a native of the neighbouring Cyme, who flourished 
during the reign of Philip of Macedon. It is not even certain 
that they were written at the time w^hen Herodotus first com- 
posed his history. ^^ 

Modern critics have rarely^* failed to see our author's entire 
independence of the works of Xanthus ; but it has sometimes 
been argued that there are unmistakeable traces of his having 
known and used the writings of Charon. ^^ Undoubtedly he 
mentions a variety of matters, some of them matters that may 
be called trivial, which were likewise reported by Charon ; but 
as the two writers went over exactly the same ground, they 
could not but have many points of contact, and therefore, pro- 
bably, of coincidence. The question is, whether the points are 

^ Book i. ch. 93. his work in Asia Minor, about b.c. 450, 

^ See Mr. Hamilton's Travels in Asia he would have composed it at the time 

Minor (vol. i. pp. 136-144), where the when Xanthus was only iifty-one, so 

striking features of this curious volcanic that it is quite possible the Lydian his- 

tract are fully and graphically por- tory of that author may have been pub- 

tr^yed. lished afterwards. Dionysius spoke of 

^ Fragments 3 and 4. Xanthus as only a little earlier than 

» See ii. 10-12; iv. 23 and 191 ; vii. Thucydides. (Jud. de Thuc. p. 818.) 

129. ^^ Creuzer is, I believe, the only 

'^^ Fragment 102. 'HpoSorcfj ras a<pop- modern critic who has maintained that 

jxas he^uK6ros. Herodotus made use of Xanthus. (Creuz. 

" Suiclas ad voc, "Edvdos. ad Xanth. Fragm.) His ai-guments are 

^2 Fz-agment 3. Artaxerxes did not well refuted by Dahlmann (Life of 

ascend the throne till B.C. 4(34, when Herod, p. 91, E. T.). 

Herodotus was twenty years of age. ^^ See Col. Mure's Literature of Greece, 

^■' If Herodotus wrote the first draft of vol. iv. pp. 305-7. 


really so trivial and tlie coincidences at once so numerous and 
so exact and minute, as to indicate the use by one writer of the 
other, or to imply naturally anything more than mere common 
truthfulness. Now, the points of coincidence do not really 
exceed four. Charon and Herodotus alike related : — 1. A cer- 
tain dream of Astyages, concerning his daughter Mandane : 
2. The revolt of Pactyas, and his capture: 3. The taking of 
Sardis by the lonians : and 4. The destruction of the fleet of 
Mardonius off Mount Athos. Of these four events, one only — 
the dream of Astyages — is really trivial ; the others are such as 
every writer who gave an account of the struggle between 
Greece and Persia would have felt himself called upon to men- 
tion, and of which, therefore, both Charon and Herodotus must 
necessarily have given a description. With regard to the dream, 
we do not know in what words Charon related it, or whether his 
relation really coincided closely with the account given by 
Herodotus. TertuUian, who alone reports the agreement, speaks 
of it in general terms ; ^ and if it should be admitted that he 
means a close agreement, still it must be remembered that Ter- 
tuUian, as an historical authority, is weak and of little credit. 
With regard to the other cases of agreement, it is certain that 
they were not either minute or exact. The Pseudo-Plutarch, 
indeed, overstates the difference between the writers when he 
represents Charon as in two of the passages contradicting 
Herodotus.^ There is in neither case any real contradiction,^ 
though the two writers certainly leave a different impression ; 
but what deserves particularly to be remarked is, that Herodotus 
on each occasion furnishes a number of additional details ; so 
that, although the narrative of Charon might (conceivably) have 
been drawn from his, it is impossible that his narrative should 
have been taken from that of Charon. With regard to the 
remaining passage, there is still further indication of disagree- 
ment. Charon must have made pigeons occupy a prominent 
place in his description of the destruction of the Persian arma- 
ment ; for his account of it led him to remark that " then first 
did white pigeons appear in Greece, which had been quite un- 
known previously."^ It is needless to observe that in the 

1 Tertullian, after relating the dream ^ gee the notes on the passages in 
from Herodotus, merely says, " Hoc question, i. 160, and v. 102. 

etiam Charon Lampsacenus, Herodoto '' Fr. 3 — preserved by Athenaeus 

prior, tradit." (De Anim. c. 46.) (Deipn. ix. p. 394 e). Col. Mure 

2 Cf. Plut. de Malign. Herod, p. 859 strangely views this passage as one of 
A, and p. 861 c.d. those which most distinctly prove Hero- 


narrative of Herodotus there is nothing upon which such a 
remark could hang. The circumstance, whatever it was, which 
led Charon to introduce such a notice, would seem to have been 
unknown to our author, whose love of marvels, whether natural 
or supernatural, would have prompted him to seize eagerly on 
an occasion of mentioning so curious a fact of natural history. 
Further, it must be observed, as tending at least to throw doubt 
on the supposed use of the great work of Charon by our author, 
that he was certainly unacquainted with Charon's * Annals of 
Lampsacus ;' for, had he been aware that Pityusa (Fir-town) 
was the ancient name of that city — a fact put forward promi- 
nently by the Lampsacene writer ^ — he could not have failed to 
see the real point of the famous threat against the Lampsacenes 
made by Croesus, " that he would destroy their city like afir^ ^ 
It seems, therefore, to have been concluded on very insufficient 
grounds that Herodotus was indebted for a portion of his mate- 
rials to Charon: he was certainly ignorant of some of that 
author's labours, and most probably had no knowledge of any 
of them.'' It is even possible that Charon, no less than Xanthus, 
may have published his works subsequently to the time when 
Herodotus, with the first draft of his history completed, left 
Asia for Attica.^ 

dotus to have been indebted to Charon, Col, Mure mistranslates Herodotus when 

comparing it with Herod, i. 138, and he represents him as saying " he abstains 

regarding both writers as bearing testi- from tracing in detail the origin or 

mony to the "superstitious aversion of lineage of the Lacedaemonian kings, as 

the Persians to white pigeons." But that had been fully done by others." 

how does Charon's statement that "white What Herodotu.s abstains from tracing 

pigeons first appeared in Greece at the is not " the origin and lineage of the 

time of Mardonius' failure," imply that Lacedaemonian kings," but the estab- 

the Persians looked on them with lishment of the kingdom of Danaiis in 

"superstitious aversion"? the Peloponnese. This was a favourite 

^ See the fragment, preserved by Plu- subject with the mythologers, whether 

tarch (De Virt. Mulier. p. 255 a), which poets or prose writers. See note to 

is placed sixth in the arrangement of Book vi. ch. 55. 

Miiller (Fr. Hist. Gr. vol. i. p. 33). 8 The age of Charon is very uncertain. 

^ " IIiTuos rpSirov." Herod, vi. 37. The passage in Suidas which should fix 

■^ Col. Mure thinks that the work of his birth is corrupt; and we are thus left 

Herodotus contains an allusion (vi. 55) without any exact data for his period of 

to Charon's 'Spartan Magistrates' (Lit. writing. He is generally said to have 

of^ Greece, vol. iv. p. 306). Charon is, been earlier than Herodotus (Dionys. 

he observes, " the only author who is Hal. de Thuc. Jud. p. 769 ; Plut. de 

recorded to have treated of the subjects" Malign. Her. p. 859 a; Tertull. de An. 

which Herodotus there passes over as c. 46); and Suidas makes his acme syn- 

already considered by others. But even chronise with the Persian war. But 

granting — what is not at all certain — there is evidence that he composed his- 

that Charon's work contained an account tory later than B.C. 465, since he spoke 

of the ante-Dorian period, it is clear of the flight of Themistoclea to the 

that he was not the only writer who had court of Artaxerxes in that year. (Plut, 

treated of the subject, since Herodotus Vit. Themistocl. c. 27.) Dionysius (1. 

in the passage itself refers to several, a. c.) couples him with Hellanicus, who 


With regard to Dionysius of Miletus, the remaining author, 
whose works may be supposed to have been used largely by 
Herodotus, it is impossible to come to a conclusion by the aid 
of any such analysis as that which has served to negative the 
claims of Charon and Xanthus, since of Dionysius we do not 
possess any fragments.^ His age is certainly such as to make it 
likely that Herodotus would have known of his writings ; ^ but 
the absolute silence observed by our author with regard to him, 
and the probable bareness and scantiness of his narrative, con- 
travene the notion that his historical works, however great an 
advance upon those of his predecessors, were found by Herodotus 
to be very valuable, either as materials for history or as models 
of style. As the earliest of the prose writers who turned his 
attention to the relation of actual facts, we may be sure that he 
fully shared in that dryness and jejuneness of composition, that 
Laconic curtness of narration, and that preference of the trivial 
over the important, which characterise the productions of the 
period.^ Still Herodotus may have used this writer for the 
events wherewith he was contemporary, especially for those of 
which Ionia was the scene, and of which Dionysius must have 
been an eye-witness ; and there is at any rate more likelihood 
of his having been under important obligations to this author 
than to any of those other historical writers from whom he has 
been thought to have borrowed. 

The only prose works with which Herodotus distinctly shows 
himself familiar are the " Genealogies " and " Geography " of 
Hecataeus, and the treatises of the mythologers. From these 
sources he may undoubtedly have drawn to some considerable 
extent ; but it is remarkable that he refers to Hecatseus chiefly 
in disparagement,^ and to the mythological writers as relieving 
him from the necessity of entering upon a subject which had 
been discussed by them.* It must, therefore, on the whole be 

outlived the battle of Arginusae, B.C. other notices that he made the name of 

406, and according to one account re- Mount Hsemus neuter. (See Miiller's 

sided at the court of Amyntas II., who Fragm. Hist. Gr. vol. ii. p. 5.) Nothing 

ascended the throne in B.C. 394. As is to be gathered from such scanty and 

Hellanicus was certainly a later writer insignificant data. 

than Herodotus, so Charon may have ^ He was contemporary with Heca- 

been. taeus (Suidas ad voc. "E^Karaios), with 

5 Only two references to matters con- whom he is usually coupled, 

tained in the works of Dionysius have 2 ggg ^];^g specimens given below, ch. iii. 

been discovered : one mentions him ad fin. 

among the writers who considered ^ See ii. 21, 23, 143, iv. 36. 

Danaiis to have brought the alphabet ^ Herod, vi. 55. 
to Greece, rather than Cadmus ; and the 


pronounced that he probably owed but little to the historical 
literature of his country, which was indeed in its infancy, and 
can scarcely have contained much information of an authentic 
character which was not accessible to him in another manner. 
With the single exception of Dionysius, the Greek writers of 
history proper were so little removed from his own date, that 
the sources from which they drew were as accessible to him as 
to them. To the geographers he may have been more largely 
indebted. A writer of weak authority ^ accuses him of having 
copied word for word from Hecatseus his long descriptions of 
the phoenix, the hippopotamus, and the mode of taking the 
crocodile. It seems, however, improbable that he should have 
had recourse to another author for descriptions of objects and 
occurrences with which he was likely to have been well ac- 
quainted himself; and, with regard to the phoenix, his own 
words declare that his description is taken from a picture.^ 
Still, the " Geography " of Hecatseus may probably have been 
of use to him in his accounts of places which he had not himself 
visited, as in his enumeration of the tribes inhabiting Northern 
Africa, which may have been drawn to some extent from that 
writer."^ He also, it is evident, knew intimately the works of 
certain other geographers, for whom, however, he does not 
express much respect.^ It has been maintained that the genuine 
work of Scylax was, almost beyond a doubt, among the number f 
if so, Herodotus certainly evinced his judgment in contemptu- 
ously discarding the wonderful tales told by that writer con- 
cerning various strange races of men in remote parts of the 
world, which reduce his credibility below that of almost any 

•' Porphyry, quoted by Eusebius work of that enterprising mariner." I 

(Praep. Ev. x. 3, vol. ii. p. 459). do not understand to what notices he 

^ Herod, ii. 73. alludes. The only passages, so far as I 

■^ Hecatseus mentioned the Psylli, the am aware, which can be referred with 

Mazyes or Maxyes, the Zaueces, and the any degree of probability to the genuine 

Zygantes as nations inhabiting these Scylax, are Arist. Pol. vii. 14; Harpocrat. 

parts (see Fragments 303, 304, 306, and ad voc. vnh yrjs olKodvres ; Philostrat. 

307), all of whom appear in Herodotus Vit. Apoll. Tyan. iii. 47 ; and Tzetzes, 

(iv. 173, 191, 193, and 194). Chil. vii. 144. To one only of these, that 

9 Seeii. 15, 17, iv. 36, 42, 45. in Harpocration (which speaks of Troglo- 

9 See Mure's Literature of Greece, dytes), can Herodotus by any possibility 

vol. iv. p. 309, Col. Mure says, that allude. And even here I should under- 

**as several notices of Southern Africa stand in Scylax, the Troglodytes of the 

and Asia, transmitted by later geogra- Arabian Gulf (cf. Strab. xvi. p. 1103, 

phers on the authority of Scylax, are 1107), in Herodotus (iv. 183) those of 

identical in substance with the accounts the interior (Strab. xvii. p. 1173). From 

given by Herodotus of the same region, the age of Scylax, and the near vici- 

there is the less reason to doubt his nity of his birthplace to Halicarnassus, 

having been acquainted with the original it seems likely that Herodotus would 

Writings. ARISTEAS. 41 

other traveller.^ There is taore direct evidence ^ that Herodotus 
made use of Aristeas, an author who had written, under the 
name of " Arimaspea," a poem containing a good deal of geo- 
graphical information concerning the countries towards the 
north of Europe, partly the result of his own personal observa- 
tion. Undoubtedly he also profited from the maps whose con- 
struction he ridiculed ; ^ but which, rude and incorrect in detail 
as they may have been, could not have failed to be of immense 
service to him in clearing his views, and giving him the true 
notion of geographical description. 

In enumerating the sources from which Herodotus drew the 
materials of his work, it would be wrong to confine ourselves to 
a consideration of the early prose writers. It has been just 
noticed that one of the geographers to whom he was certainly 
beholden — Aristeas, the author of the Arimaspea — was a poet ; 
and there is reason to suspect that considerable portions of his 
historical narrative may have likewise had a poetical origin. 
Not to dwell on the poetic cast of so much that he has written, 
which might perhaps be ascribed to the character of his own 
mind and to the fact that he modelled his style mainly on that 
of the poets, there are distinct grounds for believing that certain 
portions of his history, which are strongly marked by this cha- 
racter, had been previously made the subjects of their poetry by 
writers with whose compositions he was acquainted ; and in such 
cases it is but reasonable to suppose that he drew, to a greater 
or less extent, from them. The mention of Archilochus in con- 
nexion with the poetic legend of Gryges and Candaules cannot 
but raise a suspicion that the whole story, as given in Herodotus, 
may have come from him ; * while the notices of Solon,^ Pindar,^ 

have known his works, if he wrote any. structed by Anaximander (Agathem. i. 
Perhaps it has not yet been quite satis- 1), who lived about B.C. 600-530. He- 
factorily established that the real Scylax catseus greatly improved on it. Hero- 
left behind him any writings. dotus speaks of maps as common in his 

^ Scylax, or the writer upon India who day (1. s. c). 
assumed his name, asserted that there ^ Bahr supposes Herodotus to refer 
dwelt in that country men with feet of only to the single iambic line of Archi- 
so large a size that they were in the habit lochus — ov ixoi ra Tvy^u tov iroXvxpv(rou 
of using them as parasols (Philostr. 1. s. fxeXei — which has come down to us 
c), and spoke of others whose ears were through Aristotle and Plutarch. (See 
like winnowing-fans (Tzetzes, 1. s. c). his note on Book i. ch, 12.) And Drs. 
To the same writer are to be traced the Liddell and Scott assign the same mean- 
fables, repeated afterwards by Daimachus ing to the word "iafi^os in the passage 
and Megasthenes (Strab. i. p. 105), con- (Lexic. p. 630). But it appears to me 
cerning men in India who had only one that Schweighseuser, Larcher, and the 
eye, and others whose ears were so big translators generally are right in giving 
that they slept in them (Tzetz. 1. s. c). the word here the sense — certainly borne 

^ Herod, iv. 13. by it in later times — of an iambic jjoem. 

3 Ibid. iv. 36. The first map known ^ Herod, v. 113. 
to the Greeks is said to have been con- ^ Ibid. iii. 38. 


Alcasiis,'' and Simonides,^ who all celebrated contemporary per- 
sons and events, seem to show that he made some use of their 
writings in compiling his narrative. Further, it may be con- 
jectured that the Persian authors to whom he refers in several 
places as authorities on the subject of their early national his- 
tory,^ were poets, the composers of those national songs of which 
Xenophon,^" Strabo,^^ and other writers ^^. speak, wherein were 
'celebrated the deeds of the ancient kings and heroes, and par- 
ticularly those of the hero-founder of the Empire, Cyrus. 

Upon the whole, however, it must be pronounced that the 
real source of almost all that Herodotus has delivered down to 
us, whether in the shape of historical narrative or geographical 
description, was personal observation and inquiry. His accounts 
of countries are, in the great majority of cases, drawn from his 
own experience, and are full or scanty, according to the time 
which he had spent in the countries, in making acquaintance 
with their general character and special phenomena. Where he 
has not travelled himself, he trusts to the reports of others, but 
only, to all appearance, of eye-witnesses} If in any case he gives 
mere rumours winch have come fo him at second-hand, he is 
careful to distinguish them from his ordinary statements and 
descriptions.^ He seems to have been indefatigable in laying 
under contribution all those with whom his active and varied 
life brought him in contact,^ and deriving from them informa- 
tion concerning any regions unvisited by himself, with which 
they professed themselves acquainted. And as it was by these 
means that he gathered the materials for the geographical por- 
tion of his work, so by a very similar method he obtained the 
facts which he has worked up into his history. Herodotus, it 
must be remembered, lived and wrote within a century of the 
time when his direct narrative may be said to commence, viz., 
the first year of Cyrus. The true subject of his history — the 
Persian War of Invasion — was yet more recent, its commence- 

7 Herod. V. 95. ^ Ibid. v. 102, vii. 228. aai ; compare iv. 45), and his refusal to 

^ ^bid. i. 1-5, 95, 214 ad fin. describe the countries above Scythia (iv. 

'" Cyrop. I. ii. § 1. " Book xv. p. 1041. 16, oi/SeVos auTOTrrew clhivai (pajxivov 

12 As Athenseus, who quotes Dino to Suva^uai irvdicOai), or those above the 

the same effect. (Deipnosoph. xiv. Argippseans (iv. 25), and Issedonians 

p. 633 D.) (ibid.). Certain knowledge (t^ drpe/ces) 

1 This is not always expressed, but seems to mean knowledge thus derived. 

it appears from his refusal to accept of (See iii. 98, 116: iv. 16, 25; v. 9.) 

any statements or descriptions as certain, 2 g^e ii, 32, 33; iv. 16, 24, 26-27, 32. 

unless received from an eye-witness. ^ Marked indications of this practice 

Hence his reluctance to allow of a sea to of inquiry will be found in the following 

the north of Europe (iii. 115, ov^evos passages: ii. 19, 28, 29, 34,104; iii. 115; 

avT Sttt ib) yevofx^yov ov ZivafJ-ai aKov- iv. 16. 


raent falling less tlian fifty years from the time of his writing. 
He would thus stand in regard to his main subject somewhat in 
the position of a writer at the present day who should determine 
to compose an original history of the last war with Napoleon, 
while, in respect of the earlier portion of his direct narrative, he 
would resemble one who should make his starting-point the 
accession of George III. to the throne. Abundant living testi- 
mony would thus, it is plain, be accessible to him for the later 
and more important portion of his history, while for the middle 
portion he would be able to get a certain amount of such evi- 
dence, which would fail him entirely for the early period. Even 
then, however, he might obtain from living persons the accounts 
which they had received from those who took an active part in 
the transactions. This, accordingly, is what Herodotus seems 
to have done. Travelling over Europe and Asia, he everywhere 
made inquiries from the various parties concerned in the matters 
about which he was writing ; and from the accounts which he 
thus received, compared and balanced against each other, he 
composed his narrative. Where contemporary evidence failed 
him, or even where it was scanty, -he extended his inquiries, 
endeavouring in each case to arrive at the truth by sifting and 
compariug the different reports,* and often deriving his inform- 
ation from the sons or grandsons of those who had been per- 
sonally engaged in the transactions. The stories of Thersander ^ 
and of Archias^ are respectively specimens of the manner in 
which he gained his knowledge of the more recent and the 
earlier facts which enter into his narrative. Of course the more 
remote the events the more dependent he became upon mere 
general tradition and belief, which, unless in the bare outline of 
matters of great public concern, or in cases where the popular 
belief is checked and supported by documentary evidence of 
some kind or other, is an authority of the least trustworthy 
description. Before dismissing this subject it will, therefore, be 
desirable to consider what amount of such evidence existed 
among the various nations into whose earlier history Herodotus 
pushed his inquiries, and how far it was accessible to himself or 
to those from whom he derived his information. 

In Greece itself it is certain that there existed monumental 

4 Seei. 1-5, 20, 70, 75, 95, 214; ii. 3, ix. 74. 
147; iii. 1-3,9, 32, 47,56, 120-121; iv. 5- ^ Book ix. clis. 15, 16. 
13, 15U-154; V. 44, 57, 85, 86; vi. 53; ^ Book iii. cli. 55. 
vii. 150, 213, 214; viii. 94, 117-120 ; 


records of two different kinds, containing undoubtedly but few 
details, yet still of great importance, as furnishing fixed points 
about which the national traditions might cluster, and as checks 
upon the inventiveness of fabulists. The earliest were the lists 
of kings, priests, and victors at the games, preserved in some of 
the principal cities and sanctuaries,"^ which formed in after times 
a basis for the labours of chronologers,^ and carried up a skeleton 
of authentic history to the return of the Heraclidae. Besides 
these, there were to be found in the various temples, agorae, and 
other public places throughout Greece, particularly in the great 
national sanctuaries of Delphi and Olympia, a vast number of 
inscribed offerings — many of them of great antiquity — con- 
taining in their dedicatory inscriptions curious and in some in- 
stances detailed notices of historical events, of the utmost value 
to the historian. Of the latter class of monuments Herodotus 
shows himself to have been a diligent observer ; and considerable 
portions of his history are authenticated in this satisfactory 
manner. To instance from a single book — the independence of 
Phrygia under a royal line affecting the names of Midas and 
Gordias, the wealth and order of succession of the last or Merm- 
nade dynasty of Lydian kings, the enormous riches of Croesus, 
the friendly terms on which he stood with Sparta, and his great 
devotion to the Greek shrines ; the escape of Arion from ship- 
wreck, the filial devotion of Cleobis and Bito, and the repulse of 
the Spartans by the Tegeans on their first attempt to conquer 
Arcadia, are all supported by this kind of testimony within the 
space of seventy chapters after the history opens.^ More im- 
portant than any of these instances is that of the two pillars of 

■'' As the public registers (ai/aypacpai) E. T. ; and C. Miiller's Fr. Hist. Gr., vol. i. 

at Sparta (Plut. Vit. Ages, c. 19), con- p. xviii.). Hellanicus in his 'Priestesses 

taining the names of all the kings, and of Juno,' and his ' Carnean Victors/ fol- 

(probably) the number of years they lowed no doubt the authentic catalogues 

i-eigned — the ancient chronicles {apxcua at Sparta and Argos. Timseus compared 

ypajj-fxara) at Elis (Pausan, V. iv. § 4) — the lists of archons at Athens, kings and 

the registers at Sicyon and Argos (Plut. ephors at Sparta, and priestesses at Argos, 

de Mus. p. 1134 A. B.) — the list of the withthecatalogueof the Olympic victors 

Olympian victors from the time of Co- (Polyb. 1. s. c). Eratosthenes and Apol- 

rsebiis, preserved in the sanctuary of lodorus seem to have founded their early 

Jupiter at Olympia (Pausan. V. viii. §3; Greek chronology, first on the list of 

Euseb. Chron. Can. Pars I. c. xxxii.) — Spartan kings, and then on the Olympic 

that of the Carnean victors at Sparta catalogue. (Miiller's Dorians, 1. s. c.) 
(Athen. xiv.p. 635 E.)— and that of the ^ See i. 14, 24, 25, 31, 50-2, 66, 69. 

archons at Athens (Polyb. xii. xii. § 1). Further instances of the careful obser- 

^ Charon's work on the * Chief Rulers vance by Herodotus of such memorials 

of Sparta' was probably taken from the will be found i. 92; ii. 181, 182 ; iii. 47 ; 

ancient registers of the Lacedaemonians iv. 15, 152; v. 59-61, 77; vi. 14; vii. 228; 

(see 0. Miiller's Dorians, vol. i. p. 150, and in the passages noted below. 


Darius, which contained an account, both in Greek and in Per- 
sian, of the forces wherewith that monarch crossed the Bos- 
phorus, and which were seen by Herodotus, in detached pieces, 
at Byzantium.^ Of equal consequence was the famous tripod, 
part gold and part bronze, which the confederate Greeks dedi- 
cated after the victory of Platsea to Apollo at Delphi, whereon 
were inscribed the names of the various states that took part 
against the Persians in the great struggle, from which Herodotus 
was able to authenticate his lists of the combatants.^ Other 
monuments of the same kind are known to have existed,^ and 
in addition to them, historical paintings, whether in the shape 
of votive tablets, as that dedicated by Mandrocles the Samian 
in the temple of Juno at Samos,^ or of mere ornaments, as those 
wherewith Pericles adorned the Poecile,^ would serve as striking 
memorials of particularly important occurrences. From these 
and similar sources of information Herodotus would be able to 
check the accounts orally delivered to him, and in some cases 
to fill them up with accuracy. It has been said that he " was 
by no means so zealous an investigator of this class of monu- 
ments as might have been desired;"^, and undoubtedly it w^ould 
have been highly interesting to ourselves had his work con- 
tained fuller and more exact descriptions of them. But it may 
be questioned whether his history would not have been injured 
as a composition by a larger infusion of the element of antiqua- 
rianism. We are not to conclude that his inquiries were limited 
to the monuments of the contents of which he makes distinct 
mention, since he does not go on the general plan of parading 
the authorities for his statements ; and, with regard to some of 
the most important of the monumental records which he cites, 
it is only casually and as it were by accident that he lets us see 
he was acquainted with them."^ His practice of observing is 
sufficiently apparent; and it is but fair to presume that he 
carried it to a far greater extent than can be exactly proved 

^ Cf. iv. 87. 'If Herodotus had not hapj^ened, in 

^ This inscription has been recently re- speaking of the desertion to the Greek 

covered. See notes on viii. 82, andix. 84. side of a Tenian vessel before the battle 

3 As the colossal statue of Jupiter at of Salaniis (viii. 82), to notice the in- 

Olympia, on the base of which were also scription of the Tenians upon the Delphic 

engraved the names of the Greeks who tripod on that account, it might have 

combated the Persians. See Pausan. V. been doubtful whether he had seen, or 

xxiii. § 1, and compare note to book ix. noticed, that most important monument. 

ch. 28. In his direct account of the dedication of 

■* Herod, iv. 88. = Pausan. I. xv. the tripod (ix. 81) he says nothing of its 

^ Mure's Literature of Greece, vol. iv. having borne any inscription. 

p. 312. 


from Ills writings. It is certain that lie visited all the most im- 
portant of the Greek shrines ; ^ and, when there, his inquisitive 
turn of mind would naturally lead him to make a general 
examination of the offerings. If we view his references to these 
objects, not as intended for an enumeration of all that he had 
seen, but as a set of specimens, indicating the range and general 
character of his inquiries, we shall probably form a far truer 
estimate of his labours in this respect than if we regarded his 
investigations as only extending just so far as we can distinctly 
trace them. So, too, with respect to the other class of monu- 
ments — the public registers, containing the lists of kings, priests, 
archons, &c. — it would be a mistake to suppose that he had not 
seen them because he nowhere quotes them as authorities. It 
is impossible that they should have been unknown to him, or 
when known have failed to attract his attention ; and we might 
therefore conclude, even without any evidence direct or indirect, 
that he must have made use of them to some extent. As the 
case stands, we may go a step further, and regard it as in the 
highest degree probable that in tracing the pedigree of the 
Spartan kings to Hercules,^ Herodotus followed the authority of 
the Lacedaemonian anagraphs ; and if so, we may perhaps refer 
to the same source his general notions of Greek chronology.^ 

The foreign countries whose history Herodotus embraced in 
his general scheme, present in regard to their monumental 
records all possible varieties, from entire defect to the most 
copious abundance. Egypt, Babylonia, and Persia, the most 
important of them, possessed in their inscriptions upon rocks, 
temples, palaces, papyrus-rolls, bricks, and cylinders, a series of 
contemporary documents, extending, in the case of the last- 
mentioned, to the foundation of the monarchy, and in the other 
two going back to a far liigher actual date, though not to a 

^ As Delphi (\. 14, 19, 25, &c.), Do- 204), reckoned according to his own esti- 

dona (ii. 52), Abse (viii. 27), Tsenarum mate of three generations to the century 

(i. 24), Apollo Ismenius at Thebes (i. 52; (ii. 142), would give for the time of the 

V. 59), Juno at Samos (ii. 182; iii. 60), hero little more than 700 years before 

Diana at Ephesus (i. 92), Venus at Cyrene Herodotus, instead of 900, which is his 

(ii. 181), Erechtheus at Athens (viii. 55 ; calciilation (ii. 145). He must therefore 

comp. V. 77), Apollo at Thornax (i. 69), have possessed some more definite chro- 

&c. nological basis, which may have been 

^ Herod, vii. 204 ; viii. 131. furnished by the Spartan registers, if 

1 It is evident that Herodotus did not (as 0. MUller conjectures, Dor. vol. i. 

obtain his dates for the times of Hercules p. 150) they contained not merely the 

and of the Trojan war from a mere com- names of the kings, but the length of 

putation by generations; for the 21 ge- their reigns, 
uerations from Leonidas to Hercules (vii. 

Writings. WKITINGS ON SKINS. 47 

period so early in the lives of tlie nations. The recent dis- 
coveries in Mesopotamia, which have so completely authen- 
ticated the historical sclieme of Berosus both in its outline and 
its details,^ prove that to the Babylonians the history of their 
country as written upon its monuments was open, and could be 
traced back with accuracy for 2000 years before it merged into 
mere myth and fable. In Egypt a still earlier date is said to 
have been reached, and — whatever may be thought of the his- 
torical character of the more ancient kings — at least from the 
time of the eighteenth dynasty, which is anterior to the Exodus 
of the Jews, the monuments contained contemporary records of 
the several monarchs, and abundant materials for an exact and 
copious history.^ In Persia, which, on starting into life, suc- 
ceeded to the inheritance of Assyrian and Babylonian civilisa- 
tion, writing seems to have been in use from the first ; and the 
sculptured memorials, which still exist, of Cyrus, Darius, and 
Xerxes are evidences of the fact witnessed by Herodotus in 
several places,"^ that monumental records were in common use 
under the early Achsemenian kings. These seem to have con- 
sisted not only of grand public inscriptions upon pillars, rocks, 
tombs, and palaces,^ but also of more private and more copious 
documents, preserved in the treasuries of the empire, at Babylon, 
Susa, Ecbatana, &c.,^ and written upon skins or parchment,^ 
which contained a variety of details concerning the court and 
empire, of the greatest interest to the historian.^ In Scythia, 

'■^ See the Essays on Babylonian and others belonging to later kings. Pillar 
Assyrian History, appended to book i. inscriptions are mentioned by Herodotus 

vi. and vii. (iv. 87 and 91); but their more perish- 

3 See the Historical Notice of Egypt able nature has caused them generally 
m the Appendix to book ii. to disappear. 

4 Book iii. 136; book iv. chs. 87 and ^ gee Ezra, v. 17 ; vi. 1-2. These re- 
91 ; book vii. ch. 100 ; book viii. ch. 90. cords or chronicles are frequently men- 

'" Rock inscriptions of Darius remain tioned by the Jewish historians. See, 

at Behistun and at Elwand, near Hama- besides the above passages, Ezra iv. 15, 

dan; similar memorials of Xerxes are 19; Esther ii. 23; vi. 1; Apoc. Esdr. 

found at Elwand, and at Van in Armenia, vi. 23. 

The tomb of Darius at Nakhsh-i-Rustam '' ALcpOepal ^acriKiKoX is the name under 

has one perfect and one imperfect iu scrip- which Ctesias spoke of them (ap. Diod. 

tion — neither however, apparently, that Sic. ii. 32). He says they contained a 

recorded by Strabo (xv. p. 1036). The regular digest of the ancient Persian 

tomb of Cyrus had an inscription, as we history (ras waAaias irpd^ds (rvvTeray- 

learn both from Strabo (1. s. c.) and Ar- /ieVas), and that the keeping of them 

rian (vi. 29 ; see note on book i. ch. 214), was enforced by law. 

and the area which enclosed it is still ^ Among the contents of the Royal 

marked by pillars on which we read the Chronicles may be confidently enume- 

words, "I am Cyrus the king — theAchse- rated all decrees made by any king (Ezr. 

menian." The great palace at Persepolis v. 17 ; vi. 2-3), all signal seiwices of any 

contains no fewer than four inscriptions subject (Esth. vi. 1-2; comp. Herod, viii. 

of Darius and four of Xerxes, as well as 85 and 90), catalogues of the troops 



Life and 

on tlie other hand, and among the rude tribes who inhabited 
Northern Africa, writing of any kind was probably unknown ; 
and the traditions of the natives were altogether destitute of 
confirmation from monumental sources. Other nations occupied 
an intermediate position between these extremes of abundance 
and want. Media from the time of Cyaxares,^ Lydia,^ Phrygia,^ 
and the kingdoms of Western Asia generally,^ were undoubtedly 
acquainted with letters ; but there is no reason to believe that 
they were in possession of any very ancient or very important 
written records. Monumental remains of an early date in these 
countries are either entirely deficient, or at best extremely 
scanty, and such of them as possessed a native literature be- 
trayed, by the absurdity and mythic character of their annals, a 
lamentable want of authentic materials for their early history.* 
Our chief inquiry in the present place will therefore be how far 
Herodotus, or those from whom he derived his information, may 
be presumed to have had access to the monumental stores which 

brought into the field on gi-eat occasions 
(Herod, vii. 100), statements of the amount 
of revenue to be drawn from each of the 
provinces (comp. Herod, iii. 90-94), &c. 
Heeren (As. Nat. i. p. 86) supposes, that 
" all the king's words and actions " were 
placed upon record, and calls the Chro- 
nicles " Diaries," but this view is not 
supported by his authorities. The royal 
scribes {ypafxixariaral) seem certainly to 
have been in constant attendance upon 
the king (see, besides Herod, vii. 100, 
and viii. 90, Esther iii. 12, and viii, 9), 
and were ready to record any remarkable 
occurrence; but it is not probable that 
they were bound to enter the eveMs of 
each day. 

^ No strictly Median records have 
come down to us, nor have we positive 
proof of any acquaintance on the pai't of 
the Medes with letters. The ancient 
portions of the Zendavesta, which be- 
longed to them in common with other 
nations of the Arian stock, were certainly 
handed down by memory. But it can 
hardly be supposed that after the con- 
quest of Assyria by Cyaxares, the Medes 
would remain without an alphabet. Pro- 
bably the Persian alphabet is that framed 
by the Arian Medes on coming in contact 
with the Assyrians. The Persians would 
naturally adopt it from them on their 
conquest of Media. 

* No Lydian inscriptions have been 
as yet discovered, though the tomb of 
Alyattes, which had inscriptions in the 

time of Herodotus (i. 93), has been care- 
fully explored (see note ^ to book i. ch. 
93). The Lydians, however, are likely 
to have used letters at least as early as 
the Asiatic Greeks. 

^ Several Phrygian inscriptions, chiefly 
epitaphs, have been discovered in this 
country. They are all probably more 
ancient than the Persian conquest of Asia 
Minor. The only one of much impor- 
tance is the inscription on the tomb of 
king Midas at Doganlu. (See note ^ on 
book i. ch. 14, and compare Appendix 
to Book i., Essay xi.) 

^ As Lycia, Cilicia, and Armenia. The 
Lycian writing appears on coins and in- 
scriptions, which are abundant, but 
which seem to be none eai-lier than the 
time of Croesus (Fellows's Lycian Coins ; 
Chronolog. Table). Cilician writing is 
found on coins only. Armenia has some 
important rock inscriptions. They are 
found in the neighbourhood of Van, and 
belong to a dynasty of native kings, who 
appear to have reigned during the se- 
venth and eighth centuries b. c. (See 
Col. Kawlinson's Commentary on the 
Cuneiform Inscriptions of Babylonia and 
Assyria, p. 75.) 

'' The fragments of Xanthus Lydus 
prove the Lydian annals to have run up 
into myth at a time not much preceding 
Gyges. The Armenian histories of Moses 
of Chorene' and others, are yet more com- 
pletely fabulous. 


existed in such abundance in Egypt, Babylon, and in various 
parts of the Persian empire, and from which, in two cases out of 
the three, authentic histories were actually composed more than 
a century later by natives of the countries in question.^ 

With regard to Egypt, Herodotus has distinctly stated tliat 
his informants were the priests.^ The sacerdotal body attached 
to the service of the temple of Phtlia at Memphis furnished him 
with the bulk of his early Egyptian history ; and he was further 
at the pains to test the accounts which he received from this 
quarter by seeking information on the same points from the 
priests of Amun at Thebes, and of Ea at Heliopolis. It may 
perhaps be questioned whether he obtained access to the eccle- 
siastics of the highest rank and greatest learning in Egypt, or 
only to certain subordinates and underlings ; but even in the 
latter ca^e he would draw his narrative from persons to whom 
the monumental history of their country was open ; for this his- 
tory was recorded without concealment upon the temples and 
other public edifices. What prevented his Egyptian history 
from having a greater character of authenticity was, not the 
Ignorance, but the dishonesty of his informants, w4io purposely 
exaggerated the glories of their nation, and concealed its dis- 
graces and defeats. It is perhaps on the whole more likely that 
he had his historical information from the highest than from 
any inferior quarter. His own rank and station, the circum- 
stances under which. he visited Egypt,' his entire satisfaction 
with his information,^ and the harmony which he found in the 
accounts given him in remote places,^ all seem to favour the 
supposition that he obtained access to the chief persons in the 
Egyptian hierarchy, who however took advantage of his sim- 
plicity and ignorance of the language, whether spoken or 
written,^ to impose upon him such a history of their country as 

* By Manetho the Sebennyte, and Be- 7 e o v t e s acpia- 1. As this harmony 

rosus the Babylonian, both contempo- was not the natural agreement of truth, 

i-aries of Alexander. it could only be the artificial agreement 

6 Herod, ii. 3, 99, 118, 136, 142, &c. of concerted falsehood. The priests of 

' Supra, p. 11. Memphis must have prepared their bre- 

^ Herodotus calls his informants thren of Thebes and Heliopolis for the 

throughout " the priests "— not " certain inquiries of the curious Greek, and have 

priests." It belongs to his simplicity instructed them as to the answers which 

to use no exaggeration in such a matter, they should give. Such communica- 

Again, he goes to Heliopolis because the tions would most naturally take place 

priests there were AtyviTTiau Xo- between the leading members of the 

yiwraroi, and receives information sacerdotal colleges. 

from those whom he so characterises ^ That Hex-odotus did not understand 

(ii. 3). the written character, is evident from 

^ See ii. 4. wSe eheyov b jjloXo - his mentioning that the inscription ou 

VOL. I. E 


they wished to pass current among the Greeks. Accordingly 
they magnified their antiquity beyond even their own notions of 
it,^ reading him long lists of monarchs whom they represented 
as consecutive, whereas they knew them to have been often 
contemporary. They concealed from him altogether the dark 
period in their history — the time of their oppression under the 
Hyksos, or shepherd-kings — of which he obtained but a single 
dim and indistinct glimpse,^ not furnished him apparently by 
the priests, but by the memory of the people. They knowingly 
falsified their monuments by assigning a late date to the 
pyramid-kings,^ whom they disliked, by which they flattered 
themselves that they degraded them. They distorted the true 
narrative of Sennacherib's miraculous discomfiture, and made it 
tend to the glorification of one of their own body.^ They suc- 
ceeded in concealing all other invasions of their territory by the 
kings of Assyria and Babylon, even when subsequent to the 
settlement of the Greeks in their country.^ Again, they were 
wilKng, in order to flatter their Greek allies, to bend their his- 
tory into accordance with the mythology of the Hellenic race, 
and submitted even to manufacture a monarch for the express 
purpose of accommodating their inquisitive friends.' Thus in 
spite of the abundance of monumental records from which the 
Egyptian informants of our author had it in their power to draw, 

the pyramid of Cheops was translated to with the account received from the 

him by his interpreter (ii. 125). His ig- priests, is ascx-ibedby Herodotus to " the 

norauce of the spoken language appears Egyptians." 

from his mistranslations of particular * Herod, ii. 124-9. The priests seem 

words, as of Piromis, which he renders to have placed the pyramid-kings —who 

'* gentleman" (ko\J)s Kayad6s), whereas it really intervened between Menes and 

meant simply "man "or "human being." Nitocris — as late as they could venture 

^ See Herod, ii. 100 and 142, 143. By to do without incurring a great risk of 

representing their priests as equally nu- detection. As a remarkable inscription 

merous with their kings, and declaring of Asychis (Herod, ii. 136) made express 

the priesthood to have descended in the mention of the stone pyramids, it would 

direct line from father to sou, the Mem- have been rash to state that their builders 

phite iuformants of Herodotus gave him lived later than that monarch, 

the notion that a settled monarchy had * Sethos (Herod, ii. 141). 

endured in Egypt for above 11,000 years. ^ As that of Nebuchadnezzar in the 

Their own records, even making no al- reign of Apries (Joseph. Ant. Jud. x. 10 ; 

lowance for contemporary kings or dy- Beros. Fr. 14 ; compare Jerem. xlvi. 25« 

nasties, gave a total of little more than 6 ; Ezek. xxix. 19 ; xxx. 24-5). Several 

5000 years ; and (according to Syncellus) of the Assyrian monarchs, besides Sen- 

Manetho, making some allowance on both nacherib, attacked or received tribute 

scores, reduced the time between Menes from Egypt, as Sardanapalus L, Sargon, 

and Herodotus to less than 3500 yeai's. Esar-Haddon, and his son. 

2 In the tradition, noticed in book ii. ' Px'oteus, a name which bears no re- 

ch. 128, that the pyramids were the work semblance to any of those in Manetho's 

of " the shepherd Philition " (see note ad lists, 
loc). This tradition, which conflicted 


his Egyptian history is full of error, because they intentionally 
garbled and falsified their own annals, while he, from his 
ignorance of their language, was unable to detect the imposture.^ 
Still, where national vanity or other special causes did not inter- 
fere, the history will be found to be fairly authentic. The kings 
themselves appear, with but one or two exceptions,® in the lists 
of Manetho, and upon the monuments ; the chronological order 
of their reigns is preserved with a single dislocation ; ^ the 
periods of prosperity and oppression are truly marked ; ^ the 
great works are assigned for the most part to their real authors ; 
even the extravagance of the chronology is not without an his- 
toric basis, marking as it does the fact, confirmed by Manetho, 
that the Egyptians could produce a catalogue of several hundred 
persons who had borne the title of king in their country between 
Menes and the Ramesside monarchs.^ Hence, when the monu- 
ments are silent, and the statements of Herodotus are not 
incompatible with those of Manetho, they possess considerable 
weight, and may fairly be accepted as having at least a basis of 
truth. They come from persons who had means of knowing 
the real history "of their country, and who did not falsify it 
wantonly or unless to serve a purpose : they may therefore be 
taken to be correct in their general outline except where they 
subserve national vanity or have otherwise a suspicious appear- 
ance. On these grounds the reign of Sethos in some part of 
Egypt, and the dodecarchy, for- which Herodotus is the sole 
authority, may perhaps be entitled to rank as historic facts, 
though unconfirmed by other writers.^ 

^ It may be doubted whether even the the general poverty in the reign of 

interpreters could read the hieroglyphics. Asychis. 

Most probably they only understood the '^ Manetho has between four and five 

demotic character. hundred kings during this interval. With 

^ Proteus, Anysis, and Sethos are the a deduction on account of two peculiarly 

only monarchs whose names cannot be suspicious cases (Dyn. 7. 70 kings, in 70 

recognised among Manetho's kings. One days; and Dyn. 17. 43 kings, shepherds, 

of these (Anysis) can be otherwise iden- and 43 kings, Thebans), the number re- 

tified. He is certainly Bocchoris. maining is 354, a near approach to the 

^ That of the Pyramid-Kings. See 330 of Herodotus, 

note * on the last page. ^ giuce the first edition of this work 

■■^ The glory of the Ramesside dynasties was published, a discovery has been 

(19th and 2uth of Manetho) is distinctly made, confirming very remarkably one 

indicated by the expeditions of Sesostris of these Herodotean statements. The 

and the wealth of llhampsinitus. The annals of Esar-Haddon's son and suc- 

sufFei'ings at the time of the Exodus seem cessor show that Egypt was actually 

to be mythically expressed by the blind- split up in his time into as many as 

ness of Phero. The oppression endured twenty kingdoms. Herodotus is thus 

under the pyramid builders is undoubt- shown to be quite right as to his general 

edly a fact. The decline of the empire fixct, and only incorrect as to the exact 

under the Tanite kings is marked by number. 

E 2 



Life and 

In Babylon Herodotus appears to have obtained some of liis 
information from the Chaldseans attached to the temple of 
Belus,^ who were persons to whom the real history of their 
native land must undoubtedly have been familiar. It is how- 
ever very doubtful whether he derived much of his information 
from this quarter.^ His Babylonian history may be said to be 
correct in outline J and tolerably exact in certain important par- 
ticulars.^ Still it contains some most remarkable mistakes,^ 
which seem to show either that the persons from whom he 
derived his materials were not well versed in their country's 
annals, or that he misunderstood their communications. The 
mistakes in question, it is w^orthy of special remark, unlike those 
which disfigure his Egyptian history, occur in the most recent 
portion of the narrative, where conscious falsification would 
have been most easy of detection, and therefore least likely to 
have been adventured on. It seems probable that Herodotus 
paid but a single hasty visit to the Mesopotamian capital, and 
when there he may have found a difficulty in obtaining a 
qualified interpreter. ^° He would also, as a Greek, be destitute 
of any particular claim on the attention of the Babylonian 

* See Herod, i. 181, suh fin. and 183. 

^ The only informatiou expressly as- 
cribed to the Chaldseans consists of de- 
tails respecting the temple of Belus. 
Herodotus does not say whence he de- 
rived his historical materials. 

' Carrying back Babylonian history 
for some seven hundred years, he noticed, 
in the first place, two periods ; one — 
the first — during which it was under 
Assyria, yet had sovereigns of its own, 
like Semiramis (i. 184); the other, dur- 
ing which it was independent (i. 106, 
178). The period of independence he 
knew to be little more than two genera- 
tions (compare i. 74 and 188); — that of 
subjection he was aware exceeded six 
centuries. This latter he also divided 
(as Berosus does) into two portions, a 
longer, and a shorter one ; while Assyria 
wg,s a great empire, and while she was 
only a powerful kingdom. This divi- 
sion appears to correspond to the Upper 
and Lower Assyrian dynasties of Berosus. 

8 As in the duration of the first As- 
syrian dynasty — where his 5l'0 years (i. 
95) manifestly represent the (more exact) 
526 years of Berosus (ap. Euseb. Chron. 
Can. pars L cap. iv.) ; in the commence- 
ment of the independence on the de- 
struction of Nineveh (i. 178;; in the 

name of the last king (Labynetus= 
Nabunahit), and the circumstances of the 
capture of Babylon (i. 191); in the time 
of Semiramis (i. 184), &c. 

9 Particularly the following :— 1 . That 
Labynetus [Nabimahit) was the son of a 
former king, and of a queen ( Nitocris) ; 
2. That he immediately succeeded the 
latter; 3. That the Babylonian monarch, 
contemporary with Cyaxares, was also 
named Labynetus; 4. That he was the 
father of the last king; and 5. That 
queens ever ruled at Babylon in their 
own name. 

10 The Greek refugees in Persia would 
study Persian, the official language, 
rather than any other. The Chaldseans 
on the other hand would speak the 
Semitic dialect of the inscriptions, and 
understand the ancient Scythic language 
of their country, but would have little 
knowledge of Persian. The communica- 
tions between Herodotus and the Chal- 
dsean priests would be much like those 
which take place now-a days between 
inquisitive European travellers and 
grave Pekin Mandarins, through the 
intervention of some foreign settler at 
Canton, who has picked up a slight 
smattering of the local colloquial dialect. 


savans, and he would therefore naturally be left to pick up the 
bulk of his information from those who made a living by show- 
ing the town and its remarkable buildings to strangers. The 
quality of the historical information possessed by such inform- 
ants may be judged by the reader's experience of this class of 
persons at the present day. Herodotus no doubt endeavoured 
to penetrate into a more learned circle, but the Babylonians of 
the time would have been destitute of any of those motives, 
whether of gratitude or of self-interest, which induced the 
Egyptian priests to lay aside their reserve, and consent to 
gratify the curiosity of their Greek auxiliaries. It must be con- 
fessed at any rate, that in the Babylonian history of our author 
we find but few traces of that exact and extensive knowledge of 
their past condition which the Chaldsean priest-caste certainly 
possessed, and which enabled Berosus, more than a century 
later, to produce a narrative, extending over a space of above 
fifteen hundred years, which has been lately confirmed in 
numerous instances by contemporary documents, and which 
appears to have been most completely authentic. 

The Persian informants of Herodotus seem to have consisted 
of the soldiers and officials of various ranks, with whom he 
necessarily came in contact at Sardis and other places, where 
strong bodies of the dominant people were maintained con- 
stantly. He was born and bred up a Persian subject ; and 
though in his own city Persians might be rare visitants, every- 
where beyond the limits of the Grecian states they formed the 
official class, and in the great towns they were even a consider- 
able section of the population.^ This would be the case not 
only in Asia Minor, but still more in Babylon and Susa, where 
the court passed the greater portion of the year — both which 
cities Herodotus seems to have visited.^ There is no reason to 

^ See Herod, v. 100-1 ; vi. 4 and 20. '' I did not see it" {eyw ij.4u fxiv ovk elSov), 

"^ The visit of Herodotus to Babylon, which has no force nor fitness except 

although doubted by some, is (I think) in contrast to the other things previously 

certain, not merely from the minuteness described, which he must mean to say 

of his descriptions (i. 178-183), but from that he did see; and 3. The statement 

several little touches ; e. g. 1. The ex- in ch, 193, that he refrained from men- 

pression in ch. 183, " as the Chalda3aus tionmg the size of the millet and sesame 

said" (d>s e A. € 7 J/ ol XaA.5aioL), which plants, because he knew that those v:ho 

can only mean " as they told me when had not visited the country would not be- 

I was there.'' 2. The remark in the same lieve what he had previously related of 

chapter with regard to the colossal statue the produce. The visit to Susa rests 

of Bel, made of solid gold (comp. Dan. mainly on vi. 119; it receives, however, 

iii. 1), which once stood in the sacred someconfirmation from the account of the 

enclosure of the great temple of Belus — royal road as far as that capital in v. 52. 


believe that he ever set foot in Persia Proper, or was in a 
country where the Arian element preponderated. Hence his 
mistakes with regard to the Persian religion,^ which he con- 
founded with the Scythic worship of Susiana, Armenia, and 
Cappadocia. Still he would enjoy abundant opportunities of 
maidng himself acquainted with the views entertained on the 
subject of their previous history by the Persians themselves — 
from his ready access to them in his earlier years, from the 
number of Greeks who understood their language, and, above 
all, from the existence of native historians to whose works he 
had access.* The Persians, from the date of their conquest of 
the Modes, possessed (as has been already shown ^) a variety of 
authentic documents, increasing in number and copiousness with 
the descent to more recent times, and capable of serving as a 
solid basis for history. Moreover, their entire annals at the 
time when Herodotus wrote were comprised within a space of 
little more than a century — about the same distance which 
separates the Englishman of the present day from the rebellion 
of 1745 — a period for which even oral tradition is a tolerably 
safe guide. We might have expected under these circumstances 
a more purely historic narrative of the events in question, and a 
greater correctness, if not a greater amplitude of detail,*^ than 
the work of Herodotus is found in fact to supply. The deficiency 
is traceable to two causes. Among the Persians, then as now, 
the critical judgment was far less developed than the imagina- 
tion ; and their historians, or rather chroniclers (Xoyiot), delighted 
to diversify with all manner of romantic circumstances the his- 
tory of their earlier kings. This was especially the case with 
Cyrus, the hero-founder of the empire, whose adventures were 
narrated with vast exaggeration and immense variety.' Hero- 

3 See the Essay *'Onthe Religion of tions; so probably are the stories of 

the Ancient Persians." SylosonandZopyrus; — the circumstances 

"* See especially book i. ch, 1 ; and of the expedition of Darius against 

compare i. 95, and 214 sub fin. See also Scythia are probably exaggerated. It is 

p. 42 of this chapter. not till the time of the Ionian revolt 

5 ^uprli, p. 47. that the Persian history becomes fully 

^ The early history of Cyrus in Hero- trustworthy. Among the omissions 

dotus is purely romance — his treatment which most surprise us are those of 

of Croesus, and the manner of his own the Sacan and Bactrian wars of Cyrus, 

death, seem to be fabulous ; — in the the reduction of Phoenicia, Cyprus, and 

history of Cambyses and of the Pseuclo- Cilicia by Cambyses; the revolt of the 

Smerciis are several important errors; — Medes from Darius; and his conquest of 

the debate among the conspirators as to a part of India. 

the best form of government, and the ' As Herodotus himself indicates. See 

story of (Ebares, are most certainly fie- i. 95 and 214. 


dotus too was by natural temperament inclined to look with 
favour on the poetical and the marvellous, and where he had to 
choose between a number of conflicting stories would be dis- 
posed to reject the prosaic and commonplace for the romantic 
and extraordinary. Thus he may often have accepted an account 
which to moderns seems palpably untrue when the authentic 
version of the story came actually under his cognisance. In 
other cases he may have pieced together the sober relations of 
writers who drew from the monuments, and the lively inven- 
tions of romancers, not perceiving the superiority of the former.^ 
Thus his narrative, where it can be compared with the Persian 
monumental records, presents the curious contrast of minute 
and exact agreement in some parts with broad and striking 
diversity in others — the diversity being chiefly in those points 
where there is the most of graphic colouring and highly-wrought 
description — the agreement being in names, dates, and the 
general outline of the results attained as distinguished from the 
mode in which they were accomplished.^ Unfortunately a 

^ Hence arise contradictions, as that in 
the Scythian war of Darivis, where the 
time during which the Persians are 
actually in the country, and the time 
which such a march as that assigned 
them must have occupied, are widely at 
variance. See note to book iv. ch. 133. 

^ The period of Persian history for 
which alone this comparison is at pre- 
sent possible, is that intervening between 
the death of Smerdis and the (second) 
recovery of Babylon by Darius, where 
the Behistun inscription furnishes a 
running comment upon the third book 
of Herodotus. Here the name of Smerdis, 
his secret execution by his brother, the 
expedition into Egypt, the bursting out 
of the Magian revolution while he was 
there, the death of Cambyses on hearing 
of the revolt, the quiet enjoyment of 
the crown for a while by the Pseudo- 
Smerdis, his personation of the son of 
Cyrus, the sudden arrival of Darius, his 
six companions, their names with one 
exception, the violent death of the pre- 
tender, the period of trouble which fol- 
lowed, the revolt and reduction of Baby- 
lon within a few yeai-s, are all correctly 
stated by our author, whose principal 
misstatements are the following : — 1. 
The execution of Smerdis (Bardius) after 
the commencement of the Egyptian 
expedition, which he connects with the 
story of his drawing the Ethiopian bow 

(Herod, iii. 30); 2. The attack of the 
conspirators upon the Magi in the palace 
at JSusa, and the struggle there (chs. 
76-9); 3. The debate on the form of 
government, and the question who 
should be king (chs. 80-7); 4. The 
Median character of the revolution ; and 
5. The whole story of the mode in which 
Babylon was recovered. He also mis- 
takes the real name of the Magus, which 
he supposes to have been Smerdis. The 
full value and extent of our author's 
correctness are best estimated by contrast 
with the writer who, having had every 
opportunity of gaining exact informa- 
tion, professed to correct the errors of 
one whom he did not scruple to call "a. 
lying chronicler" (ap. Phot. Bibl. Cod. 
Lxxii. ad init.). Ctesias names the 
brother of Cambyses, Tanyoxarces ; does 
not allow that Cambyses went into 
Egypt ; makes him die at Babylon of an 
accidental hurt which he had given 
himself; places the Magian revolution 
after his death; corrupts the names of 
two out of the six conspirators, and 
entirely changes the names of the other 
four; follows Herodotus in his account 
of the death of the Magus and of the 
mode in which Darius became king ; 
gives the name of the Magus as Sphen- 
dadates; and regards the whole struggle 
as one purely personal. On one point 
only does Ctesias improve upon his pre- 


direct comparison of this kind can but rarely be made, owing to 
the scantiness of the Persian records at present discovered ; but 
we are justified in assuming from the coincidences actually 
observable, that at least some of his authorities drew their his- 
tories from the monuments ; and it even seems as if Herodotus 
had himself had access to certain of the most important of those 
documents which were preserved in the archives of the empire. 
It is not altogether easy to understand how this could have been 
brouglit about, but perhaps it is possible that either at Babylon 
or at Susa he may have obtained Greek transcripts of the 
records in question, or copies may have existed in the satrapial 
treasury of Sardis, in which case his acquaintance with them 
would cease to be surprising. The instances to which reference 
is especially intended are the account of the satrapies of Darius 
and the revenue drawn from them in the third book, and the 
catalogue of the army of Xerxes in the seventh. These are 
exactly such documents as the royal archives would contain ; 
and they have a character of minuteness and completeness 
which makes it evident that they are not the mere result of 
such desultory inquiries as Herodotus might have been able to 
make in the different countries where he travelled. If then 
these are actual Persian documents,^ we may conclude that the 
Persian history of Herodotus, at least from the accession of 
Darius, is based in the main upon authentic national records ; 
and this conclusion is borne out as w^ell by the general pro- 
bability of the narrative as by its agreement in certain minute 
points with monumental and other evidence.^ 

It results from this entire review that in all the countries with 
which the history of Herodotus was at all vitally concerned 
there existed monumental records, accessible to himself or his 

decessor — in denying that the Zopyrus list of provinces in the inscriptions of 
story belongs to the capture of Babylon Behistun and Persepolis — the Scythian 
by Darius. Even here, however, it may expedition by the tomb-inscription at 
be doubted whether, in referring it to the Nakhsh-i-Rustam — the length of Da- 
capture by Xerxes, he does not replace rius's reign by the Canon, and by 
one /able by another. Manetho, It is worthy of notice that 

1 See Heeren's As. Nat. vol. i, pp. 97 Ctesias misstates the length both of this 
and 441. E. T. and the preceding reign, assigning to 

2 The length of the reign of Cambyses Cambyses 18 years, and to Darius 31 
is confirmed by the Canon of Ptolemy (Persic. Exc. §§12 and 19). The order 
—the fact that Darius became king in of the chief events in the reign of Da- 
his father's lifetime (iii. 72), by the Be- rius is confirmed by a compai'ison of the 
histun inscription — the revolt of the three inscriptions above mentioned, of 
Medes from Darius (i. 130), by the same which the Behistun is clearly the earliest, 
document — the conquest of India in the and the tomb-inscription the latest, 
reign of Darius, by a comparison of the 


informants, of an authentic and trustworthy character.^ These 
were of course less plentiful for the earlier times, and in Greece 
especially such records were but scanty ; enough however existed 
everywhere to serve as a considerable check upon the wander- 
ings of mere oral tradition, and prevent it for the most part 
from straying very far from the truth. These documents were 
in the case of foreign countries sealed books to Herodotus, who 
had no power of reading any language but his own ; * his in- 
formants, however, were acquainted with them, and thus a great 
portion of their contents found its way into his pages. Occa- 
sionally he was able to obtain an entire state-paper, and to 
transfer it bodily into his work ; but more commonly he drew 
his information from men, thus deriving liis knowledge of the 
more ancient times at second-hand. Conscious of his absolute 
dependance in such cases on the truthfulness of his authorities, 
he endeavoured everywhere to derive his information from those 
best skilled in the. history of their native land ; ^ but here he was 
met by many difficulties — some received his advances coldly, 
others wdlfuUy naisled him — a few made him welcome to their 
stores, but in those stores the historical and the romantic were 
so blended together, that it was beyond his power to disentangle 
them. The consequence is that in the portion of his history 
which has reference to foreign countries and to more ancient 
times, the most valuable truths and the merest fables lie often 
side by side. He is at the mercy of his informants, and is 
compelled to repeat their statements, even where he does not 
believe them. In Greece itself, and in other countries as he 
comes nearer to his own time, his information is better and more 
abundant ; he is able to sift and compare statements, to balance 
the weight of evidence, and to arrive at conclusions which are 
probably in the main correct. The events related in his last 
Aye books were but little removed from his own day, and with 

3 If any exceptions need to be made, G9, 77, 81, 94, 143; iv. 27, 59, 110, 155, 

they would be those of Lydia and Media. 192; vi. 98, 119; viii. 85, 98; ix. 110), 

The Medes had no history — probably and readily pronounces on similarity or 

no letters — prior to Cyaxares, who led identity of language (i. 57, 172; ii, 105; 

them into Media Magna from beyond iv. 117, &c.). But in the latter case he 

the Caspian. The Lydian traditions ran seems to have trusted to his ear, and in 

up into myth shortly before the time of the former his explanations are often so 

Gyges. bad as to show his complete ignorance 

^ There is an appearance of linguistic rather than his knowledge of the tongues 

knowledge in Herodotus, which may in question. (See notes on Piromis, ii. 

seem to militate against this view. 143; and on the names of the Persian 

He frequently introduces and explains kings, vi. 98.) 

foreign words (i. 110, 192 j ii. 2, 30, 46, ^ Of, i. 1, 95, 181-3; ii. 3, &c. 


regard to these he has almost the authority of a contemporary 
historian ; for his informants must have been chiefly persons 
engaged in the transactions. His own father would most likely 
have witnessed and may have taken part in the Ionian insur- 
rection, which preceded the birth of Herodotus by less than 
fifteen years. The subsequent events must have been familiar 
to all the elder men of his acquaintance, Marathon being no 
further removed from him than Waterloo from ourselves, and 
Salamis being as near as Navarino. He would find then in the 
memory of living men abundant materials for an authentic 
account of those matters on which it w^as his special object to 
write ; and if a want of trustworthy sources from which to draw 
is to be brought forward as detracting from the value of his 
work, it must at any rate be conceded that the objection lies, 
not against the main narrative, but against the introductory 
portion, and even there rather against the episodes wherein he 
ventures to trace the ancient history of some of the chief coun- 
tries brought into contact with Persia, than against the thread 
of narration by which these ambitious efforts are connected with 
the rest of the treatise. The episodes themselves must be 
judged separately, each on its own merits. The traditions of 
the Scyths, of the Modes before Cyaxares, of Lydia before 
Gyges, and of all countries without a literature, must be received 
with the greatest caution, and regarded as having the least 
possible weight. But the accounts of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, 
Persia, and the various states of Greece, having been derived in 
part from monuments and otherwise from those who possessed 
access to monuments, deserve throughout attentive considera- 
tion. They may from various causes often be incorrect in par- 
ticulars ; but they may be expected to be true in outline ; and in 
their details they may not unfrequently embody the contents of 
authentic documents existing at the time when Herodotus 
wrote, but now irrecoverably lost to us. Critical judgment 
must separate in them the probable from the improbable ; but 
whatever comes under the former head, and is not contradicted 
by better authority, may well be received as historical, at least 
until fresh discoveries shall at once disprove their truth, and 
supply us with more authentic details to substitute in their 




Merits of Herodotus as an historian: 1, Diligence. 2, Honesty — Failure of all 
attacks on his veracity. 3. Impartiality — Charges of prejudice — Remarkable 
instances of candour. 4. Political dispassionateness. 5. Freedom from 

national vanity. Defects as an historian: 1. Credulity — Belief in omens, 

oracles, dreams, &c. — Theory of Divine Nemesis — Marvels in Nature. 2. 
Spirit of exaggeration — Anecdotes. 3. Want of accuracy — Discrepancies — 
Repetitions — Loose chronology, &c. 4. Want of historical insight — Confu- 
sion of occasions with causes — Defective geography — Absurd meteorology — 

Mythology — Philology. Merits as a writer : 1. Unity — Scope of the wor-k. 

2. Clever management of the episodes — Question of their relevancy. 3. Skill 
in character-drawing — The Persians — The Spartans — the Athenians — 
Persian and Spartan kings : Themistocles — Aristides — Greek Tyrants : 
Croesus — Amasis — Nitocris — Tomyris, &c. 4. Dramatic power. 5. Pathos. 
6. Humour. 7. Variety. 8. Pictorial description. 9. Simplicity. 10. Beauty 
of style. Conclusion. 

In forming our estimate of an historical writer two things have 
to be considered — the vahie of his work as an authentic exposi- 
tion of the facts with which he deals, and its character as a 
composition. On the former head some remarks have been 
already made while we have been treating of the sources from 
which the history of Herodotus seems to have been derived ; but 
a more prolonged and detailed consideration of it will be now 
entered on, with special reference to the qualifications of the 
writer, which have been very variously estimated by different 
critics. It is plain that however excellent the sources from 
which Herodotus had it in his power to draw^ the character of 
his history for authenticity, and so its real value, will depend 
mainly on his possession or non-possession of certain attributes 
which alone entitle an historian to be listened to as an authority. 
The primary requisites for an historian — given the possession 
of ordinary capacity — are honesty and diligence. The latter of 
these two qualities no one has ever denied to our author. 
Perhaps, however, scarcely suflScient credit has been allowed 
him for that ardent love of knowledge, that unwearied spirit of 
research, which led him in disturbed and perilous times to 
undertake at his own cost a series of joui-neys over almost all 


parts of tlie knoMn world ^ — the aggregate of which cannot have 
amounted to less than from ten to fifteen thousand miles — for 
the sole purpose of deriving, as far as possible, from the foun- 
tain-head, that information concerning men and places which 
he was bent on putting before his readers. Travelling in the 
age of Herodotus had not ceased to be that laborious task, which 
had exalted in primitive times the " much-travelled man " into 
a hero.^ The famous boast of Democritus^ has a moral as well 
as an intellectual bearing, and is a claim upon the respect no 
less than upon the attention of his countrymen. At the period 
of which we are speaking no one journeyed for pleasure ; and it 
required either lust of gain or the strongest thirst for knowledge 
to induce persons to expose themselves to the toils, hardships, 
and dangers which were then attendant upon locomotion, par- 
ticularly in strange countries. We may regret that the journeys 
of Herodotus were sometimes undertaken for objects which do 
not seem to us commensurate with the time and labour which 
they must have cost,* and that in other instances, where the 
object was a worthy one, they were, baulked of the fruit which 
he might fairly have expected them to bear ; ^ but it would be 
unjust to withhold from him the meed of our approval for the 
activity and zeal which could take him from Egypt to Tyre, 
and from Tyre to Thasos, to clear up a point of antiquarianism 
of no importance to his general history ; and which, again, could 
carry him from Memphis to Heliopolis, and then up the Nile, 
nine days' journey, to Thebes, for the mere purpose of testing 
the veracity of his Memphitic informants. We must also 
admire that indefatigable inquisitiveness — not perhaps very 
agreeable to those who were its objects — which was constantly 
drawing from all persons with whom he came into contact what- 
ever inform_ation they possessed concerning the history or pecu- 
liarities of their native land or the countries where they had 
travelled.^ The painstaking laboriousness with which his 

1 Vide suprd, pp. 7-9. ^ Herodotus enumerates among his 

'^ See the opening of the Odyssey ; informants, besides Persians, Egyptians, 

and compare Horat. Ep. I. ii. 19-22; A. and Chaldaans, the Scythians (iv. 5, 

P. 141. See also Virg. ^n. i. 7. 24), the Pontine Greeks riv. 8, 18, 24, 

3 Ap. Clem. Alexandr. (Strom. I. p. &c.), the Tauri (iv. 103), the Colchians 
357.) 'Eycb 8e tSjv kut ^/navThv avQpu- (ii. 104), the Bithynians (vii. 75), the 
Tzoov •yr]v -nKeiffTriv iTrenXavriadixrju, Icrro- Thraciaus (v. 10), the Lydians (iv. 45), 
pe'wv Ttt /x^KLo-ra' Koi depas Koi y^as the Carians (i. 171), the Caunians (i. 
irXeicrras elSov ' K.r.\, 172), the Cyprians (i. 105; vii. 90, &c.), 

4 See book ii. ch. 44. the Phoenicians (i. 5), the Tyrian priests 
s Ibi d. ch. 3. (ii. 44), the Medes (vii. 62), the Arabians 


materials were collected is marked by that term whereby he 
designated its results, viz. 'laroplr) — which is not really equiva- 
lent to our " history," but signifies " investigation " or " re- 
search," and so properly characterises a narrative of which 
diligent inquiry has formed the basis. 

The honesty of Herodotus has not passed unchallenged. 
Several ancient writers,^ among them two of considerable 
repute, Ctesias the court-physician to Artaxerxes Mnemon, and 
Plutarch, or rather an author who has made free with his name, 
have impeached the truthfulness of the historian, and main- 
tained that his narrative is entitled to little credit. Ctesias 
seems to have introduced his own work to the favourable notice 
of his countrymen by a formal attack on the veracity of his 
great predecessor,^ upon the ruins of wdiose reputation he hoped 
to establish his own. He designed his history to supersede that 
of Herodotus ; and feeling it in vain to endeavour to cope with 
him in the charms of composition, he set himself to invalidate 
his authority, presuming upon his own claims to attention as a 
resident for seventeen years at the court of the great king.^ 
Professing to draw his relation of Oriental affairs from a 
laborious examination of the Persian archives,^ he proceeded to 
contradict, wherever he could do so wdthout fear of detection, 
the assertions of his rival ; ^ and he thus acquired to himself a 

(iii. 108), the Ammonians (iii. 26), the }\/ev56fMevov). Laertius notes certain 

Cyrenaeans (iv. 154), the Carthaginians tales which were taxed with falsity 

(iv. 43), the Syracusans (vii. 167), and (Proem. § 9). Theopompus (Fr. 29), 

other Siciliots (vii. 165), the Crotoniats Sti^abo (xi. 740, 771, &c.), Lucian (Ver. 

(v. 44), the Sybarites (ibid.), the Hist. ii. 42), Cicero (De Leg. i. 1 ; De 

priestesses at Dodona (ii. 53), the Corin- Div. ii. 56), and othei"s speak disparag- 

thians (i. 23), the Lacedsemonians (i. ingly of his veracity. Their remarks 

70, &c.), the Argives (v. 87), the Egine- apply chiefly to his marvellous stories. 

tans (v. 86), the Athenians (v. 63, &c.), " The words of Photius concerning 

the Gephyrseans (v. 57), the Thessalia^ns Ctesias (Bibliothec. Cod. LXXii.) are: 

(vii. 129), the Macedonians (viii. 138), crxeS^j/ iv airaaiv auriKfifieua 'RpoSSrco 

the Hellespontine Greeks (iv. 95), the icrropwv, aWa koX ypevarr]v avrhv ano- 

Lesbians (i. 23), the Samians (i. 70), KaAciv iv iro\ko7s. 

the Delians (vi. 98), the lonians (ii. 15), ^ Diod. Sic. ii. 32. For the fact of the 

the Cretans (i. 171), the Therseans (iv. residence of Ctesias in Persia, see Xen. 

150), &c. &c. An. I. viii. § 26-7; Strab. xiv. p. 938; 

"^ Manetho, the Egyptian historian, Tzetz. Chil. i. i. 85. 

is said to have written a book against ^ Diod. Sic. 1. s. c. ovtos olv (prjciv 

Herodotus (Etym. Magn. s. v. Aeoj/ro- i k t u v fiacr iXiku v d L(p 6 € p wv, iv 

k6ijlos). Another was composed by als ol Uepa-ai ras -rraXaLas npa^eis Kara 

Harpocration, ' On the False Statements nva vojxov elxov avvTerayfxivas, tt o A i/- 

made by Herodotus in his History' (Ilept tt p ay fxovrj a ai to. Kud' (Kao-ra Kal 

TOO Karetpevcdai Tr]v 'UpoS6Tov IcTTopiav. avvTa^dfj-evovr^v IffTopiav €lsrovs"E\kri- 

See Suidas ad voc. 'ApTroKpaTLcav.) Jose- vas i^€veyKe7v. 

phus (contr. Ap. i. 3) asserts that all 2 The most important points on which 

Greek writers admitted Herodotus to be the two writers differed were, 1. The date 

generally untruthful (eV to7s ttK^'kttols of the first establishment of a great 



Life and 

degree of fame and of consideration to which his literary merits 
would certainly never have entitled him, and which the course 
of detraction he pursued could alone have enabled him to gain. 
By the most unblushing effrontery he succeeded in palming off 
his narrative upon the ancient world as the true and genuine 
account of the transactions, and his authority was commonly 
followed in preference to that of Herodotus, at least upon all 
points of purely Oriental history.^ There were not wanting 
indeed in ancient times some more critical spirits, e.g. Aristotle* 
and the true Plutarch,^ who refused to accept as indisputable 
the statements of the Cnidian physician, and retorted upon him 
the charge of untruthfulness which he had preferred against our 
author. It was difficult, however, to convict him of systematic 
falsehood until Oriental materials of an authentic character 

Assyrian empire at Nineveh, which 
Ctesias placed almost a thousand years 
before Herodotus; 2. the duration of 
the empire — according to Ctesias, 1306 
years, according to Herodotus, 520 ; 3. 
the date of the Median conquest of 
Assyria, which Ctesias made about B.C. 
876, Herodotus about B.C. 600 ; and, 
4. the duration of the Median kingdom 
— above 300 years in the former, 150 in 
the latter writer. Minor points of dif- 
ference are, the names and number of 
the Median kings, the relationship of 
Cyrus to Astyages, the mode in which 
Sardis was taken, the enemy against 
whom Cyrus made his last expedition, 
the names of the brother of Cambyses 
and of the Magus, the circumstances of 
the invasion of Egypt, the manner of .the 
death of Cambyses and the length of his 
reign, the names of the six conspirators, 
the length of the reign of Darius, the 
time when Babylon was recovered by 
the stratagem ascribed to Zopyrus, the 
number of the army and fleet of Xerxes, 
the order of the great events in the 
Persian War, the time and place of the 
death of Mardonius, the numbers of the 
Greek fleet at Salamis, &c. 

3 The historical work of Ctesias seems 
to have been at once received by his 
countrymen as authoritative concerning 
the East. Even Aristotle, who rejected 
the fables of the Indica, appears to have 
given a certain amount of credit to the 
Assyrian history. (Polit. v. 8; Eth. 
Nic. i. 5.) His disciple, Clearchus, 
followed in the same track (Er. 5), as 
did Duris of Samos, a contemporary (Fr. 
14). Polybius (B.C. 160) appears to have 

adopted from Ctesias the whole outline 
of his Oriental narrative (Fr. 9 ; com- 
pare VIII. xii. § 3, and xxxvii. ii. § 6), 
as did ^milius Sura, Trogus Pompeius, 
and the Augustan writers generally. 
(See Diodorus Siculus, book ii,; Nic. 
Damasc. Frs. 7-10; Strabo, xvi. pp. 
1046-7.) Velleius Paterciilus (i. 6) fol- 
lowed Sura, and Justin (i. 1-3) Trogus 
Pompeius; while Castor (ap. Euseb,), 
Cephalion (Fr. 1), and Clemens of Alex- 
andria (vol. i. p. 379), drew direct from 
Ctesias himself. Eusebius unfortunately 
adopted the views of Ctesias from Dio- 
dorus, Castor, and Cephalion, whence 
they passed to the whole series of eccle- 
siastical writers, as Augustine, Sulpicius 
Severus, Agathias, Eustathius, Syncel- 
lus, &c. They are also found in Moses 
of Chorene, who took them from Cepha- 
lion (i. 17); in Abydenus to a certain 
extent (Fr. 11); in Athenseus, Tzetzes, 
and others. 

* The monstrous fables of the Indica 
were what chiefly moved the indigna- 
tion of Aristotle. (See Gen. Anim. ii. 
2; Hist, Anim, ii. iii. § 10; in. sub 
fin. ; VIII. xxvii. § 3.) But having 
learnt from them the untrustworthy 
character of the wi'iter, he does not 
accept as authoritative his bistoi'ical 
narrations. See Pol. v. 8, where, speak- 
ing of the account which Ctesias gave of 
the effeminate Sardanapalus, Aristotle 
adds, ^l d\r)6r] ravra ol fxv 6 o \o- 
7 C J/ T e s Xiyov(Tiv. 

^ See Plutarch (Vit. Artaxerx. c. 13, 
et alibi). And compare Lucian, De 
Conscribenda Historifl (ii. 42 ; vol. iv. 
p. 202), and Arriau (Exp. Alex. v. 4). 



were obtained by which to tost the conflicting accounts of the 
two writers. A comparison with the Jewish scriptures, and with 
the native history of Berosus, first raised a general suspicion of 
the bad faith of Ctesias,^ whose credit few moderns have been 
bold, enough to maintain against the continually increasing 
evidence of his dishonesty.'^ At last the coup de grace has been 
given to his small remaining reputation by the recent Cuneiform 
discoveries, which convict him of having striven to rise into 
notice by a system of " enormous lying " whereto the history of 
literature scarcely presents a parallel.^ 

The reputation of Herodotus has on the whole suffered but 
little from the attacks of the Pseudo-Plutarch. The unfairness 
and prejudice of that writer is so manifest that perhaps he has 
rather done our author a service than an injury, by showing 
how few real errors could be detected in his narrative even by 
the most lynx-eyed criticism. His charge of " malignity " has 
rebounded on himself; and he has come to be regarded generally 
as a mere retailer of absurd calumnies which the plain dealing 
of Herodotus had caused to be circulated ao^ainst him.^ In no 

^ It is surprising that the ancient 
Christian chrouologers did not at once 
perceive how incompatible the scheme 
of Ctesias is with Scripture, To a man 
they adopt it, and then expend a vast 
amount of ingenuity in the vain endea- 
vour to reconcile what is ii^reconcileable. 
(See Clinton's F. H. vol. ii. p. 373.) 
Scaliger was the first to attack his credi- 
bility. (De Emend. Temp. Not. ad 
Fragm. subj. pp. 39-43.) 

7 Freret is almost the only modern of 
real learning who has ventured to uphold 
the paramovmt authority of Ctesias 
(Memoires de I'Academie des Inscrip- 
tions, vol. V. pp. 351-6). Biihr (Pro- 
legomen. ad Ctes. § 8, pp. 24-60) at- 
tempts but a partial defence, abating 
greatly from the pretensions absurdly 
preferred by H. Stephanus. (See the 
* Disquisitio Historica de Ctesia' in tliis 
writer's edition of Herodotus.) 

^ The great Assyrian empire of Ctesias, 
lasting for 1306 years, is a pure fiction ; 
his list of monarchs fi'om Ninus to Sar- 
danapalus a forgery of the clumsiest 
kind, made up of names in part Arian, 
in part geographic, in part Greek, pre- 
senting but a single analogy to any name 
found on the monuments, and in all 
probability the mere product of his own 
fancy. His Median history is equally 
baseless. (See the Critical Essays, 

Essay iii.) In his Persian history, he 
transfers to the time of Cyrus the cor- 
ruptions prevalent in his own day, forges 
names and numbers at pleasure, and 
distorts with wonderful audacity the 
historical facts best known to the Greeks. 
The montiments convict him of direct 
falsehood in numerous instances, as in 
the name of the brother of Cambyses, 
the circumstances of the Magian revolu- 
tion, the names of the six conspirators, 
the place and manner of Cambyses' 
death, the early supremacy of Assyria, 
the time at which Media rose into im- 
portance, &c. &c. Authentic documents, 
like the Canon of Ptolemy and the dy- 
nastic tables of Manetho, contradict his 
chronological data ; as, c. g., the number 
of years which he assigns to Cambyses 
and Darius Hystaspes, where Herodotus 
and the aforesaid documents are agreed. 
The credibility of his history, where it 
touches the Greeks, may be fairly esti- 
mated by comparing his account of the 
revolt of Inarus (Pers, Ex. § 32, et seq.) 
with the narrative of Thucydides (i. 104, 
109, 110). 

^ See Biihr's Commentatio de Vit. 
et Script. Herod. § 10 ; Dahlmann's 
Life, ch. viii.; Mure's Literature of 
Greece, vol. iv. p. 265. The last-named 
writer observes: "The tract of Plu- 
tarch, ' On the Malignity of Herodotus,' 


instance can lie be said to have proved his case, or convicted 
our author of a misstatement ; in one only has he succeeded in 
throwing any considerable doubt on the view taken by Hero- 
dotus of an important matter.^ 

The writers who have followed in the wake of these two 
assailants of Herodotus can scarcely be said to have succeeded 
any better in their attacks on his veracity. The deliberate 
judgment of modem criticism on the subject is decidedly against 
the assailants, and cannot be better summed up than in the 
words of a recent author : — " There can be no doubt," says Col. 
3Iure, "that Herodotus was, according to the standard of his 
age and country, a sensible and intelligent man, as well as a 
writer of power and genius, and that he possessed an extensive 
knowledge of human life and character. Still less can it reason- 
ably be questioned that Tie was an essentially honest and veracious 
historian. Such he has been admitted to be by the more im- 
partial judges both of his own and subsequent periods of ancient 
literatm'e, and by the all hut unanimous verdict of the modern 
puhlic. Eigid, in fact, as has been the scrutiny to which his 
text has been subjected, no distinct case of wilful misstatement 
or perversion of fact has been substantiated against him. On 
the contrary, the very severity of the ordeal has often been the 
means of eliciting evidence of his truth in cases where, with the 
greatest temptation to falsehood, there was the least apparent 
risk of detection. Every portion indeed of his work is pervaded 
by an air of candour and honest intention, which the discerning 
critic must recognise as reflecting corresponding qualities in the 
author." ^ It is unnecessary to add anything to this testimony, 
which coming from one whose critical knowledge is so great, 
and who is certainly not a blind admirer of Herodotus, must be 
regarded as almost closing the controversy. 

To the two excellencies of diligence in collecting materials 
and honesty in making use of them Herodotus adds a third, less 
common than either of the others, that of the strictest impar- 
tiality. Here again, however, his merit has not been uncon- 
tested. The Pseudo-Plutarch accuses him of nourishing a 

is a condensation of these calumnies; connexion with the battle of Thermo- 

for as such they have been recognised by pylas. See Plut. de Malign. Herod, pp. 

the intelligent public of every age removed 8o5-6, and compare Grote's Greece, vol. 

from the prejudices in which they ori- v. pp. 122-3. See also the foot-notes to 

ginate." book vii. chs. 205 and 222. 

1 The matter to which allusion is here ^ ]^£m.e's Lit. of Greece, voL iv. p. 

made, is the conduct of the Thebans in 351. 


special prejudice against the Thebans because they bad refused 
to gratify his cupidity;^ and another writer brings a similar 
charge against him with respect to the Corinthians.'^ He has 
also been taxed more generally, and in modern no less than 
ancient times/ with showing undue favour towards the 
Athenians. But the charges of prejudice evaporate with the 
calumnies of which they are the complement, and a reference 
to his work shows that he had no unfriendly feeling towards 
either nation. The valour displayed by the entire Boeotian 
cavalry at Platoea is honourably noticed,*^ and the conduct of 
the Thebans on the occasion receives special commemoration ; ^ 
the circumstances, moreover, of the siege of Thebes^ are de- 
cidedly creditable to that people. The Corinthians receive still 
more striking marks of his good- will. The portraiture of their 
conduct from the time that they became a free nation, is almost 
without exception favourable. They brave the displeasure of 
the Spartans by withdrawing their contingent from a joint army 
of Peloponnesians at a most critical moment, purely from a 
sense of justice and a determination not to share in doing a 
wrong.^ Subsequently at a council summoned by Sparta they 
alone have the boldness to oppose the plan of the Lacedae- 
monians for enslaving Athens, and to expose openly before all 
the allies the turpitude of their proposals. ^° On another occa- 
sion they play the part of peace-makers between Athens and 
Thebes. ^^ Somewhat later, they evade an express law of their 
state, which forbade them to give away ships of war, and libe- 
rally make the Athenians a present of twenty triremes ^- — cer- 
tainly a meritorious act in the eyes of Herodotus. In the 
Persian war they act on the whole a strenuous part, only 
inferior to that played by the Athenians and the Eginetans. 
At Artemisium and at Salamis their contingent greatly exceeds 
that of any other state except Athens. ^^ In the fight at the 
latter place their behaviour, according to the version which 
Herodotus manifestly prefers, is such as to place them in the 
first rank for bravery.^^ Their contingent at Plataea far exceeds 
that of any other state except Athens and Sparta ;^^ and though, 
together with the great bulk of the confederates, they were 

3 Quoting Aristophanes of Boeotia as ^ Herod, ix. 68. ^ Ibid. chs. 67 and 69. 
his authority, p. 864 D. s jj^jj^ ^.-^^^ §(3.3^ 9 Ibid. v. 75. 

4 Dio Chrysost. Orat. xxxvii. p. 456. i" Ibid. v. 92. " Ibid. vi. 108. 

5 See Plut. de Malign. Herod, p. 862, 12 ibid. ch. 89. " Ibid. viii. 1 and 43. 
A., where the writer speaks of the charge ^^ 'Ev irpurolai ttjs vau/iax'T/s, viii. 94, 
as one commonly made. i^ Ibid. ix. 2s. 

VOL. I. F 


absent from the battle, they are mentioned among those who 
made all haste to redeem their fault so soon as they heard of 
the engagement.^^ Finally, at Mycale they behave with great 
gallantry, and appear next to the Athenians in the list of those 
who most distinguished themselves.^ ^ The only discredit which 
attaches to the Corinthians in connexion with the war regards 
the conduct of their naval contingent, and especially of Adei- 
mantus, its commander, in the interval between the muster at 
Artemisium and the victory at Salamis.^^ But here is no evi- 
dence of any peculiar prejudice ; for they are merely represented 
as sharing in the feeling common to all the Peloponnesians, and 
their prominency is the result of their eminent position among 
the Spartan naval allies. These charges of prejudice and ill- 
will therefore fall to the ground when tested by a general 
examination of the whole work of Herodotus, and it does not 
appear that he is fairly taxable with "malignity," or even 
harshness in his treatment of any Greek state. 

The accusation of an undue leaning towards Athens is one 
which has prima facie a certain show of justice, and which at 
any rate deserves more attention than these unworthy imputa- 
tions of spite and malice. The open and undisguised admira- 
tion of the Athenians which Herodotus displays throughout his 
work,^ the fact that to Athens he was indebted for a home and 
a new citizenship when expelled from his native country,^ the 
very probable fact of his having received at the hands of the 
Athenians a sum of money on account of his History,^ make it 
not unlikely that he may have allowed his judgment to be 
warped in some degree by his favourable feelings towards those 
to whom he was united by the double bond of gratitude and 
mutual esteem. Again, in one instance, he has certainly made 
an indefensible statement, the effect of which is to add to the 
glory of the Athenians at the expense of other Greeks.* Still a 
careful review of his entire narrative will show that, however 

1^ Herod, ch. 69. ^7 Ibid. ch. 105. sisted Megabazus (v. 2); the lonians 

^\ Ibid, viii. 5, 59, 61. again, assisted by a few Athenians and 

1 See V. 79 ; vi. 112; vii. 139 ; viii. 10, Eretrians, met the Persians in open fight 
109, 143, 144 ; ix, 22, 27-8, 70, &c. at Ephesus (v, 102) ; the Cyprian Greeks 

2 Supra, p. 18, ^ Ibid, p. 13, fought a Persian army near Salamis (v. 
4 Herod, vi. 112, It is certainly van- 110, 113); the Milesians were engaged a- 

true to say of the Athenians at Marathon gainst another in Caria (v, 120); and a 

that they " were the first of the Greeks hard battle was fought between a strong 

who dared to look vipon the Median garb, body of Persians and an army of Ionian 

and to face men clad in that fashion," and -^olian Greeks near Atarneus (vi. 

The Ionian Greeks fought bravely against 28, 29). 
Harpagus (i. 169); the Perinthians re- 


favourably disposed towards tlie Athenians, lie was no blind or 
undis,criminating admirer, but openly criticised their conduct 
where it seemed to him faulty, noticing with the same un- 
sparing freedom which he has used towards others, the errors, 
crimes, and follies of the Athenian people and their greatest 
men. Where he first introduces the Athenians, he speaks of 
the bulk of the nation as " loving tyranny better than freedom," ^ 
and about the same time he notices that they suffered them- 
selves to be imposed upon by '•' one of the silliest devices to be 
found in all history." ^ After the establishment of the demo- 
cracy, he ventures to call in question the wisdom of great 
Demns himself, taxing him with " deceivableness," and declaring 
that he was more easily deluded by fair words than an indi- 
vidual.'^ He describes the general spirit of the Athenian people 
immediately before Marathon as timid and wavering,^ condemns 
openly their treatment of the heralds of Xerxes, which he 
regards as bringing them justly under the divine displeasure,^ 
and passes a still more severe though indirect censure upon 
their conduct towards the Eginetans in the case of their 
hostages. '° He fui'ther exposes their spirit of detraction towards 
their rivals by relating the account which they gave of the 
behaviour of the Corinthians at Salamis, and at the same time 
clearly intimating his own disbelief of it.^^ In the character of 
their great men, with the solitary exception of Aristides, he 
notes flaws, detracting very considerably from the admiration to 
which they would otherwise have been entitled. Besides the 
imputation of mercenary motives to Themistocles,^^ which has 
been generally remarked, Clisthenes is denied the merit of dis- 
interestedness in the policy which formed his special glory,^^ 
and Miltiades is exhibited as engaging in the expedition which 
brought disgrace alike on himself and on his country, to gratify 
a private pique.^'* It cannot, therefore, be said with any truth 
that Herodotus suffered his admiration of the Athenians to de- 
generate into partizanship ; or did more than assign them the 
meed of praise which he felt to be, and which really was, their 
due. A single hyperbolical expression, which his own work 
affords the means of correcting, cannot be allowed to weigh in 
the balance against the general evidence of candour and fairness 
furnished by his narrative. 

* Herod, i. 62. « xbid. ch. 60. ^ Ibid. vii. 133. ^o Ibid. vi. 86. 

7 Ibid. V. 97. " Ibid. viii. 94. ^^ ibid. viii. 4, 1 1 1, 1 1 2. 

8 Ibid. vi. 109: comp. 124. " Ibid. v. 66 and 69. i"* Ibid. vi. 133, 

F 2 


Before taking leave of this subject, it seems riglit to notice 
two special instances, where the candour of Herodotus is very 
remarkably displayed under circumstances of peculiar tempta- 
tion. Born and bred up during the continuance of the struggle 
between Greece and Persia, himself a citizen of a Greek state 
which only succeeded in throwing off the Persian yoke after he 
was grown to manhood, and led by his own opinions to sympa- 
thise most warmly with the patriotic side, he might have been 
pardoned had he felt a little bitterly towards that grasping 
people, which, not content with ruling all Asia from India and 
Bactria on the one hand, to Phoenicia and Lydia on the other, 
envied the independence and sought to extinguish the hberties 
of Greece. In lieu, however, of such a feeling, we find the very 
opposite tone and spirit in all that he tells us of the Persians. 
Their valour,^ their simplicity and hardiness,^ their love of 
truth,^ their devoted loyalty to their princes,* their wise customs 
and laws,^ are spoken of with a strength and sincerity of admi- 
ration which strongly marks his superiority to the narrow spirit 
of national prejudice and partiality too common in every age. 
It is evidently his earnest wish and aim to do justice to the 
enemy no less than to his own countrymen. Hence every occa- 
sion is seized to introduce traits of nobility, generosity, justice, 
or self-devotion on the part of either prince or people.^ The 
personal prowess of the Persians is declared to be not a whit 
inferior to that of the Greeks,^ and constant apologies are made 
for their defeats, which are ascribed to deficiencies in their 
arms, equipment, or discipline,^ not to any want of courage or 
military S23irit. Of course the defects of the nation and its 
chiefs are also recorded; but there is every appearance of an 
honest intention to give them full credit for every merit which 
they possessed, and the portraiture is altogether about the most 

1 Herod, vi. 113 ; viii. 100, 113 ; ix. 62, ol"EX\7]V€s, koI ovk exoj/res TrXT]0€i XP"*)- 
102, &c. aaa-QoLi (vii. 211). 6 Hep^ew (TTparhs virh 

2 Ibid. i. 71 ; ix. 122. ineyddeos re koI Tr\r]9eos avrhs utt' cuvtov 

3 Ibid. i. 136, 138. eirnrre, Tapaa-aofxevewu re twu j/ewy Kol 
-'* Ibid. viii. 99; comp.iii. 128, 154, 155; TrepLimrTova-^ocv ncpl aW-fjAas (viii. 16). 

vii. 107, and viii. 118, where the self- ratu fxlv 'EXX-fjucav crhv Koafx^ vav/^6u- 

devotion, though not regarded as true, tuv Kara rd^iv, rcou de ou T^rayjji^vwv eri 

appears to be considered natural. (viii. 86). ol Uepaai avoirkoi ioures Kal 

^ Ibid. i. 137, 138 ; iii. 154. nphs ap€iriar-f]fxov€s ^(rav (ix. 62.) Com- 

^ Ibid. i. 115; iii. 2, 74, 75, 128, 140, pare v. 49, where the description of the 

154-158, 160; v. 25; vi. 30, 119; vii. Persian equipment prepares us for the 

27-29, 105, 107, 136, 181, 194, 237, &c. coming defeats. v fxdxv avroiv iarl 

' Ibid. ix. 62. XrjixaTi ^eu vvv kol roiTjSe* T(^|a Kal at;t/Li7; ySpax^a, ai^alnpiSus 

pciyUT? OVK €(rcroves ricruv ot Tlepcrai. 5e exoi/res ipxovrai 4s ras fxdxots Kal 

^ A6paai fipaxvTspoiai xpei/-i6rot, ^Trep Kvp^aaias eVl rfjai KscpaAijai. 


favoui-able tliat we possess of any Oriental nation either in 
ancient or modern times.^ 

The other remarkable instance of our author's candour is 
contained in his notices of Artemisia.^ Without assigning any 
particular weight to the statements of Suidas as to the im- 
portant part which Herodotus played personally in the drama 
of Halicarnassian politics, it is certain that if the revolution by 
which the tyranny was put doAvn and the family of Artemisia 
expelled took place in his time, his views and sympathies must 
have been altogether on the popular side. He must undoubtedly 
have felt, even if he did not act, with those who drove out the 
tyrant, and brought Halicarnassus into the Athenian con- 
federacy. The warm praise, therefore, and open admiration 
which he bestows on Artemisia, is indicative of a fair mind, 
which would not allow political partizanship to blind him to 
individual merit. Of course, if the narrative of Suidas, despite 
its weak authority, should be true — which has been admitted to 
be possible ^ — the credit accorded to the Halicarnassian queen 
would be a still more notable proof of candour. 

In connexion with this trait it may be further observed that 
the whole work of Herodotus exhibits very strikingly his poli- 
tical moderation and freedom from party bias. Though de- 
cidedly preferring democratic institutions to any other,^ he is 
fully aware that they are not without their own peculiar evils,^ 
while every form of government he recognises to have certain 
advantages.'^ A consequence of this moderation of feeling is 
that fiiir distribution of praise and blame among persons of dif- 
ferent political sentiments, which might have been imitated 
with advantage by the modern writers who have treated of this 
period of history. Herodotus can see and acknowledge the ex- 
istence of faults in popular leaders,*^ and of virtues in oligarchs, 

9 Colouel Mure justly observes:— ^ Herod, vii. 99; viii. 68, 87, 88, 102, 

** Perhaps the best vindication of the his- 103. 2 Supra, p. 12. 

torian's fairness, in so far as regards the ^ gee v. 78 ; vi. 5, &e. 

Persians, is the fact, that while the most * These are very strongly put in the 

detailed account of that people which speech of Megabyzus (iii. 81), and are 

we possess, and on which we are chiefly glanced at in the following passages : iii. 

accustomed to form our judgment of 142, 143; v. 97 ; vi. 109. 

their character, is that transmitted by ^ See book iii. chs. 80-82, and compare 

Herodotus, there is no nation among the praise given to the evuo/uiia of Ly- 

those who in ancient or modern times curgus (i. 65, 66), to the Milesian aristo- 

have figured on the wide field of Oriental cracy (v. 28, 29), and to the first tyranny 

politics, which for patriotism, valour, of Pisisti'atus (i. 59, ad fin.), 

talent, and generosity, occupies or de- ^ As in Clisthenes (v. ijQ, 69), in The- 

serves to occupy so high a place in our mistocles (viii. 4, 109, 110, 111, 112), and 

estimation." — Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. in Telesarchus, the Samian democrat (^iii, 

p. 435. 142). 


or even despots J He does not regard it as liis duty to white- 
wash the characters of the one,^ or to blacken the memories of 
the other. And the same dispassionateness appears in his 
account of the conduct of states. The democratical Argos is 
shown to have pursued a more selfish policy throughout the 
Persian war than almost any other Greek power.^ The aristo- 
cratic Egina is given the fullest credit for gallant behaviour.^" 
There is no attempt to gloss over faults or failings because those 
to whom they attach agree with the author in political opinions, 
or to exaggerate or imagine defects in those of opposite views.^^ 
Herodotus also is, for a Greek, peculiarly free from the defect 
of national vanity. He does not consider his own nation either 
the oldest,^^ or the wisest,^^ or the greatest, ^^ or even the most 
civilised of all. He loves his country dearly, admires its cli- 
mate,^^ delights in its free institutions, appreciates its spirit and 
intelligence ; but he is quite open to perceive and acknowledge 
the special advantages, whether consisting in superior antiquity, 
in products, discoveries, wise laws, or grand and striking monu- 
ments, of other kingdoms and regions. Egypt and Phrygia are 
the most ancient, India and Thrace the most powerful coun- 
tries; Babylonia is beyond comparison the most fertile in 
grain ;^^ Scythia the most secure against invasion ;^'^ Egypt, 
Babylon, and Lydia possess the most wonderful works ;^^ Ethi- 
opia the handsomest and longest-lived men ;^^ Media the finest 
horses f^ Arabia, and the other " extremities of the earth," the 
strangest and most excellent commodities.^^ Wise laws are 
noted as obtaining in Persia,^^ Babylonia,^^ Egypt,^^ Yenetia f^ 

' Sosicles, the Corinthian noble (v. 92), of Periander (iii. 48-53; v. 92, § 6, 7), 

Pisistratus (i. 59 ), Micandrius (iii. 142), Polycrates (iii. 39, 44, 123), Histiseus 

Crius the Egiaetan (viii. 92, comp. vi. (iv. 137 ; v. 106 ; vi. 3, 26, 29;, C\'pselus 

73), and Darius himself, are specimens. (v. 92, § 5), Aristagoras (v. 37', 124), 

8 It may be thought that the chapters Arcesilaus III. (iv. 164), and Pheretima 
in book vi. which defend the Alcmseo- (iv. 202). But the fact that tyrants are 
nidae from the charge of having been in sometimes praised (i. 59 ; iii. 142; vii. 99, 
league with the Persians at the time of &c.) seems to snow that at least Hero- 
the battle of Marathon (chs. 123-4) form dotus has no intention of dealing unfairly 
an attempt of this kind. But to take by this class of men. 

this View we must presume their guilt, ^^ Herod, ii. 2. ^^ ibid. iii. 38. 

which the arguments of Herodotus show ^^ Ibid. v. 3. 

to be most improbable. ^^ Ibid. iii. 106. Compare i. 142. 

9 Herod, vii. 150—152; ix. 12. 16 Ibid. i. 193. Compare iv. 198. 

10 Ibid. vii. 181 ; viii. 91—93. i7 Ibid. iv. 46. is ibid. i. 93. 

11 If thei-e is any exception to the gene- i^ Ibid. iii. 20 and 22. Compare 114. 
ral practice here noted, it is in the pic- 20 ibid. iii. 106, and vii. 40. 

tures given of Greek tyrants, which have 21 Ibid. iii. 106-114. 

the appean^-nce of being somewhat over- ^ Ibid, i. 136-7. ^ Ibid. i. 196-7. 

drawn. See particularly the characters -^ Ibid. ii. 177. ^^ Ibid. i. 196. 


inventions of importance are attributed to the Lyclians,^ the 
Carians,'^ the Babylonians,^ the Egyptians/ and the wild races 
of northern Africa ;^ the adoption of customs, laws, and inven- 
tions from other countries by the Greeks is freely admitted f 
the inferiority of their great works and buildings to those of 
Egypt receives pointed comment ;^ their skill as workmen, as 
sailors, and as builders of ships, is placed in unfavourable com- 
parison with that of the PhoBnicians, especially those of Sidon.^ 
It is seldom indeed that an author is found so thoroughly 
national, and yet at the same time so entirely devoid of all 
arrogant assumption of superiority on behalf of his nation. His 
liberality in this respect offers a strong contrast to the general 
practice of his countrymen, whose contempt of " barbarians " 
was almost equal to that of the Chinese. 

The merits of Herodotus as a writer have never been denied 
or contested. Before attempting any analysis of the qualities 
in which this excellence consists, it is important to consider 
briefly those faults or blemishes — the " anomalies of his genius," 
as they have been called ^ — which detract from the value of his 
work as a record of facts, and form ' in strictness of speech his 
defects as an historian. These, according to the verdict of modern 
criticism, ^^ are three in number — 1. Credulity, or an undue love 
of the marvellous, whether in religion, in nature, or in the 
habits of men ; 2. An over-striving after effect, leading to exag- 
gerations, contradictions, and an excessive infusion of the anec- 
dotical element into his work ; and, 3. A want of critical judg- 
ment and method, shown in a number of oversights, inaccu- 
racies, and platitudes, which cannot be accounted for by either 
of the other habits of mind, but seem the mere result of the 
absence of the critical faculty. These defects — the existence of 
which it is impossible to deny — require to be separately ex- 
amined and weighed, the main question for determination being 
to what extent they counteract the natural working of his many 
excellencies, and so injure the character of his History. 

It is perhaps not of much importance to inquire how far the 
admitted credulity of Herodotus was the consequence of the age 
in which he lived, and so necessary and excusable. He will not 

1 Herod, i. 94. 2 ibid. i. 171. ' Ibid. ii. 148. 

3 Ibid. ii. 109. 8 Ibid. vii. 23, 44, and 99. 

4 Ibid. ii. 4, 82, 109, &c.; iv. 180. ^ Mure's Literature of Greece, vol.iv. 

5 Ibid. iv. 189. p. 354. 

Ibid. i. 171; ii. 4, 50, 58, 109, &c. ; i" Ibid. pp. 352 and 409, 410. 
iv. 180, 189; and v. 58. 


be the better historian or the safer guide for the fact that his 
contemporaries either generally, or even universally, shared his 
errors. Some injustice seems to have been done him by a late 
critic, who judges him by the standard of an age considerably 
later, and of a country far more advanced than his own.^ But 
this question does not affect the historical value of his work, 
which must be decided on absolute, not on relative grounds. 
The true point for consideration is, how far his work is injured 
by the defect in question — to what extent it has disqualified him 
for the historian's office. 

Now the credulity of Herodotus in matters of religion amounts 
to this. He believes in the prophetic inspiration of the oracles, 
in the fact that warnings are given to men through prodigies 
and dreams, and in the occasional appearance of the gods on 
earth in a human form. He likewise holds strongly the doctrine 
of a divine Nemesis, including therein not only retribution, or 
the visible punishment of presumption and other sins, but also 
jealousy, or the provocation of divine anger by mere gi-eatness 
and prosperous fortune. How do these two lines of belief affect 
his general narrative, and how far do they detract from its 
authenticity ? 

With regard to the former class of supernatural phsenomena, 
it must be observed, in the first place, that they are for the 
most part mere excrescences, the omission of which leaves the 
historic narrative intact, and which may therefore, if we like, be 
simply put aside when we are employed in tracing the course 
of events recorded by our author. The prodigies of Herodotus 
no more interfere with the other facts of his History than those 
which Livy so copiously relates, even in his later books,^ inter- 
fere with his. They may offend the taste of the modern reader 

1 Col. Mure represents Herodotus as Pericles and Anaxagoras are undoubted- 

*'in all essential respects" a coutempo- ly his ''older contemporaries," but their 

rary of Thucydides (p. 361), and even of minds were formed at Athens, not at Ha- 

Aristophanes (p. 353). This is unfair, licarnassus. In the rapid development 

Thucydides probably outlived Herodotus of Greek mental life after the repulse of 

som^e 25 or 30 years, and wrote his His- Xerxes, Athens took the lead, and soon 

tory towards the close of his life — after shot far ahead of every other state ; while 

B.C. 404. (See Thucyd. i. 21-3; ii. 65; Halicarnassus, one of the outlying por- 

sub fin. ; V. 26.) Aristophanes was born tious of the Grecian world, would be 

after Herodotus had recited at Athens, among the last to receive the impidse 

in B.C. 444 probably (Schol. Ar. Ran. propagated from a far-off centre. Hero- 

502, Arg.Eq.), and only began to exhibit dotus, however, was certainly behind, 

about the time of our author's death (in while Pericles and Anaxagoras wei'e be- 

B.c. 427, Herodotus dying probably in fore the age. 

B.C. 425). These writers belong therefore 2 j^^y ^jj^ 3^3. j^j-^^ 2, 20; xliii. 13 

to the generation succcedimj Herodotus, xlv. 15, &c. 

Writings. OKACLES— DREAMS. 73 

by their quaintness and " frivolity," ^ but they are in no way 
interwoven with the narrative, so that it should stand or fall with 
them. Omit the swarming of the snakes in the suburbs of 
Sardis, and the flocking of the horses from their pastures to eat 
them before the capture of that city, and the capture itself — 
nay, even the circumstances of the capture — are untouched by 
the omission. And this remark extends beyond the prodigies 
proper to omens, dreams, and even divine appearances. Sub- 
tract the story of Epizelus from the account of the battle of 
Marathon, or that of Pan and Pheidippides from the circum- 
stances preceding it, and nothing else need be struck out in 
consequence. \This cannot indeed be said of the oracles, or of 
the dreams in some instances ; on them the narrative occa- 
sionally hinges, and we are reduced to the alternative of re- 
jecting large portions of the story as told by our author, or 
accepting his facts and explaining them on our own principles. 
Even if we are sceptical altogether as to the prophetic power of 
the oracles,* or as to any divine warning being given to the 
heathen in dreams,^ we may still believe that events happened 
as he states them, explaining, for instance, the visions of Xerxes 
and Artabanus by a^ plot in the palace, and the oracles con- 
cerning Salamis by the foresight of Themistocles. Cases, how- 
ever, of this kind, where the supposed supernatural circumstance 
forms a leading feature in the chain of events, are rare, amount- 
ing to not more than four or five in the entire work.^ It is also 
worthy of notice that the supernatural circumstances are more 

3 Mure, p. 362. Fathers, that the oracles were inspired. 

^ Col. Mure speaks somewhat con- (See Euseb. Pi-rep. Ev. books v, and vi. : 

temptuously of those "pious persons Clem. Alex. Strom, v. p. 728 ; Theodoret. 
who incline to believe in the reality of Therap. Serm. x. p. 623, &c. ; Augustin. 

a demoniac inspiration having been for de Divin. Da)mon. Op. vi. p. 370, et 

some wise purpose conceded by the ttue seqq. &c.) 

God to the Delphic Apollo " (1. s. c.) ; ^ The dreams of Pharaoh, Abimelech, 
but he brings no ai-gument against them ^Nebuchadnezzar, Pilate's wife, and Cor 

except that certain oracles — or rather a nelius, are indications that the belief of 

single oracle, for his reference to Herod, the Greeks in the occasional inspiration 

ix. 43 is mistaken — which were not ful- of dreams, which was at least as old as 

filled in our author's time, remain unful- Homer — koI yap r ovap e'/c Ai6s iariv. 

filled to the present day. But no one ever II. i. 63 — had a foundation in fact, 

supposed that all the oracles delivered <5 The dream of Astyages concerning his 

at Delphi or other places were inspired, daughter Mandane' — the satisfaction by 

Those who deny any demoniac influence the Delphic oracle of the test offered by 

to the oracular shrines have to explain — Croesus — the visions of Xerxes and Arta- 

1. The passage of the Acts referred to banus — and the famous oracle concern - 

below (note ^ on Book i. ch. 48) ; 2. The ing the wooden wall and Siilamis, are al- 

fact of the defect of oracles soon after most the only points in the supernatural 

the publication of Christianity (Plut. de machinery on which any extent of nai"- 

Defect. Or. vol. ii. pp. 431-2) ; and 3. The rative can be said to turn, 
general conviction of the early Christian 


numerous, more prominent, and more inexplicable on rational 
grounds in the portion of the work which treats of remoter 
times and less well known countries. Without disappearing 
altogether, they become more scanty as we approach nearer to 
Herodotus's own age, and to the events which form the special 
subject of his History. Thus their interference is mainly with 
those parts of the History of which the authority is even other- 
wise the weakest, and becomes trifling when we descend to those 
times concerning which our author had the best means of 
obtaining information. 

The mode, however, in which our author's belief in this 
sort of supernatural agency is supposed to have most seriously 
detracted from his historical value is by the influence it is 
thought to have exercised upon the choice which he often had 
to make among various versions of a story coming to him upon 
tolerably equal authority.^ It is argued that he would be likely 
to prefer the version which dealt most largely in the super- 
natural element, thus reversing the canon of criticism on which 
a modern would be apt to proceed. Nor can it be denied that 
this may sometimes have been the case. . The supernatural, 
especially if removed a little from his own time, did not shock 
him, or seem to him in the least improbable. He would there- 
fore readily accept it, and he would even, it must be allowed, be 
drawn to it as a means of enlivening his narrative. It is how- 
ever unfair to represent him as "a man morbidly intent on 
bringing all the affairs of life into connexion with some special 
display of divine interposition." On more than one occasion he 
rejects a supernatural story or explanation, preferring to it a 
plain matter-of-fact account. He suggests that when after three 
days of violent storm, during which the Magi strove to appease 
the wind by incantations and sacrifices, the tempest at last 
ceased, it was not so much their sacred rites which had the 
desired effect as that the fury of the gale was spent.^ He 
declines to accept the Athenian account of the flight of Adei- 
mantus from Salamis, though it includes the prodigy of a 
phantom ship.^ He refuses credit to the story that Cyrus was 
suckled by a bitch.^ His appetite for the supernatural is there- 
fore not indiscriminate ; and perhaps if we possessed the complete 
works of his contemporaries we should find him far oftener 

' Mure, p. 360. ^ Herod, vii. 191. what might be called a rationalising ten- 
^ Ibid. viii. 94. Comp. v. 86. dency are ii. 57 and vii. 129 ad fin. 

1 Ibid. i. 122. Further instances of 


than has been suspected preferring a less to a more marvellous 

There is one other point of view in which the credulity of 
Herodotus with respect to oracles, prodigies, &c., requires to be 
considered before we absolutely pronounce it a very serious 
defect in him as an historian. Granting that it detracts some- 
what from his value as an authentic narrator of facts, has it not 
a compensatory advantage in placing him more on a level with 
the mass of his countrymen, in enabling him to understand and 
portray them better, and inducing him to put more fully upon 
record a whole class of motives and feelings which did in point 
of fact largely influence their conduct ? Would the cold scep- 
ticism of Thucydides have given us a truer picture of the spirit 
in which the Persian attacks were met, — the hopes that stimu- 
lated, and the belief that sustained a resistance almost without 
a parallel, which may have been mere patriotism in the leaders, 
but in the mass was certainly to a great extent the fruit of 
religious enthusiasm ? Is it not a fact that the Greeks of the 
age immediately preceding Herodotus were greatly influenced 
by oracles, omens, prodigies, and the like, and are we not 
enabled to understand them better from the sympathising pages 
of a writer who participated in the general sentiment, than from 
the disdainful remarks of one who from the height of his philo- 
sophical rationalism looks down with a calm contempt upon the 
weakness and credulity of the multitude ? At any i:ate, is it 
not a happy chance which has given us_, in the persons of the 
two earliest and most eminent of Greek historians, the two 
opposite phases of the Greek mind, religiousness bordering upon 
superstition, and shrewd practical sense verging towards scepti- 
cism ? Without the corrective to be derived from the work of 
Herodotus ordinary students would have formed a very imperfect 
notion of the real state of opinion among the Greeks on reli- 
gious matters, and many passages of their history would have 
been utterly unintelligible.^ It seems therefore not too much 

2 It is not quite clear what sort of wonderful and supernatural pla3'ed a 
"exaggerations "those were which caused more important part than he assigns to 
Herodotus to reject three accounts which them. Instances are, the story of Gyges, 
he had heard of the early history of as told by Plato (Rep. ii. pp. 359, 360), 
Cyrus (i. 95). Probably, however, they the narrative of the Persian retreat con- 
included a number of marvellous details, tained in iEschylus (Pers. 497-5U9 ), and, 
like the suckling by a bitch, which he probably, the history of the first Persian 
expressly discredits. It is certain that expedition under Mardonius, as Charon 
there were often accounts current among gave it. (Fr. 3; cf suprh,, p. 37.) 
tlie Greeks of transactions included with- ^ As the ferment consequent upon the 
in the sphere of his History, wherein the mutilation of the Mercuries, which led 


to say that we of later times gain more than we lose by this 
characteristic of our author, which qualified him in an especial 
way to be the historian of a period anterior to the rise of the 
sceptical spirit, when a tone of mind congenial to his own was 
prevalent throughout the Hellenic world, and a belief in the 
supernatural was among the causes w^hich had the greatest 
weight in shaping events and determining their general course. 

The belief of Herodotus in the pervading influence of the 
divine Nemesis — a belief which, in the form and degree in 
which it is maintained through his History, seems to have been 
peculiar to himself, and not shared in by his compatriots '* — is 
regarded as having worked " even more prejudicially to the 
authenticity of his narrative than his vein of popular super- 
stition." ^ Here again the mode in which his belief affected his 
historic accuracy is thought to have been by influencing his 
choice among different versions of the same story. It is admitted 
that he was too honest to falsify his data f but it is said'^ that 
in " almost every case " there would be several versions of a 
story open to his adoption, and he. would naturally prefer that 
one which would best illustrate his theory of Nemesis. Un- 
doubtedly where the different accounts came to him upon equal 
or nearly equal authority such a leaning might determine his 
choice ; but there is no reason to believe that, where the 
authority was unequal, he allowed himself to be improperly 
biassed by his devotion to the Nemesiac hypothesis. The 
attempts made to prove such an undue bias mostly fail ; ^ and it 

to tlie recall and thereby to the aliena- calamity must be of the nature of a visi- 

tionof Alcibiades — only to be explained tation (vi. 75 ; vii. 133, &c.), and further, 

by the deep religious feeling of the mass he carries the notion of retributive suf- 

of the Athenians. (See Grote's Greece, fering into comparatively insignificant 

vol. vii. pp. 229-232, whei-e this passage cases (vi. 72, 135). 

of history is very properly treated.) ^ Mure, p. 369. 

^ A theory of Divme retribution was ^ Ibid. p. 376. ' Ibid. p. 369. 

common in Greece, but it was limited to ^ Col. Mure has brought forward four 

the punishment in this life of signal acts examples of the distortion of history by 

of impiety or other wickedness, in the Herodotus in furtherance of the Neme- 

person of the oflfender or of his descend- siac theory— viz. : the cases of Croesus, 

ants. , (Cf. Herod, ii. 120, ad fin., and Cambyses, Cleomenes, and the Spartan 

vi. 75, ad fin.) This line of thought is heralds, Nicolas and Aneristus. With 

very strongly marked in ^schylus. The regard to the first, he dwells principally 

peculiarity in the form of the Herodotean upon the supposed anachronism involved 

notion consists in this — that he regards in bringing Solon to the court of Croesus, 

mere greatness and good fortune, apart which is shown below (i. 29, note ^) to 

from any impiety or arrogance, as pro- be quite a possible event. In the case 

voking the wrath of God. (See note ^ of Cambyses, he looks on Herodotus as 

on book i. ch. 32, and compare iii. 40, having preferred the Egyptian to the 

vii. 10, § 5, 6, and 46, ad fin.) He Persian account of his death (which lat- 

also seems to consider that every striking ter he thinks to be the true one, and to 




is doubtful whether there is a producible instance of it.^ More- 
over it is beyond the truth to say that in " almost every case " 
there would be several versions ; and when there were, it should 
be borne in mind tliat it was his general practice to give them.^ 
Further, the theory of Herodotus certainly is not that " every 
act of signal folly or injustice " must have a special Nemesis ; or 
at least it is not his theory that every such act must have a 
visible Nemesis which can be distinctly attached to it by the 
historian ; for he professes himself at a loss to know what 
punishment the Athenians received for their conduct toward 
the heralds of Darius ; ^ and many instances even of flagrant im- 
piety are recorded by him without any notice of their having 
drawn down a special visitation.^ Herodotus is not, therefore, 
under any very strong temptation to warp or bend history in 

be preserved to us in Ctesias), because 
its features, though highly improbable, 
were retributive (pp. 370, 371). But, as 
he confesses in a note, the tale in Ctesias is 
not the Persian, nor the true account, but 
one of that writer's inventions; and the 
narrative of Herodotus is proved by the 
Behistun inscription to be correct, except 
in representing the wound which Cam- 
byses gave himself as accidental, a point 
which does not help the Nemesis. With 
respect to Cleomenes, he thinks that his 
suicide ought to have been ascribed to 
his habits of drinking; but as it is Hero- 
dotus himself who records these habits, 
and the opinion entertained by the Spar- 
tans that the madness of Cleomenes a- 
rose from them, he cannot be said to 
have perverted, or even concealed, 
history, in order to give more likeli- 
hood to his own Nemesiac views. In 
the fourth case, that of the envoys, 
Col. Mure, comparing Thucyd. ii. 67, 
with the narrative of Herodotus, sup- 
poses that there were "two accounts 
of the affair, one describing Nicolas and 
Aneristus as two out of six, or but one- 
third of the mission, the other as two 
out of three," and that Herodotus was 
tempted to prefer the latter number by 
"the broader shadow of plausibility 
which it gave to his own case of retri- 
butive vengeance " (p. 375). But there 
is not the slightest evidence of the exis- 
tence of two stories. Herodotus nowhere 
states the number of the ambassadors. 
He probably knew the details of the 
affair just as well as Thucydides, as ap- 
pears from the minuteness of his account 
(supra, p. 25, note ^). His narrative, 

however, was only concerned with the 
fate of two out of the six — namely, Ni- 
colas and Aneristus — and he need have 
mentioned no others ; it is quite casually, 
and merely on account of his individual 
eminence, that he names Aristeus. In 
such a case the mentio unius cannot be 
taken as implying the exclusio plurinm. 
Again, Col. Mure seems to think that He- 
rodotus purposely concealed the " human 
Nemesis," which was really involved in 
the transaction. So far from this being 
the case, Herodotus adds a particular 
connected with the human Nemesis, 
which is not given by Thucydides — viz. : 
that Aneristus had himself been engaged 
in the cruelties which produced the exe- 
cution of the ambassadors by way of re- 
prisals. In fact Herodotus would not 
feel that a human interfered with a di- 
vine Nemesis. 

^ Of the cases brought forward by 
Col. Mure, that of Ci'oesus seems to be 
the only one where history has really 
been distorted to m.ake the Nemesis 
more complete (see Essay i. sub fin.). 
As gross an instance is the story of 
Polycrates, where the renunciation of 
alliance by Amasis, and the loss and 
recovery of the ring, seem to be pure 
fictions. But in neither case is it quite 
clear that Herodotus had a choice be- 
tween different accounts. 

1 See i. 1-5, 19, 20, 27, 70, 75, &c.; 
ii. 181; iii. 1-3, 9, 30, &c.; iv. 5-11, 
150-4; V. 85-6; vi. 54, 75-84, 121-4; 
vii. 213-4, 230; viii. 94, 117-120; ix. 74. 

2 Herod, vii. 133. 

3 Ibid. i. 60, 159, 160 ; ii. 124-8; v. 63, 
67; vi. 86, 91. 


accordance with the exigences of his Nemesiac theory ; for that 
theory does not oblige him to show that all crimes are punished ; 
and if it requires him, in the case of signal calamities, to assign 
a cause provocative of them, yet as he may find the cause in 
the conduct of ancestors,^ in mere anterior prosperity,^ in fate,^ 
or in an unwitting contravention of fate,''' no less than in the 
moral conduct of the individual, he cannot experience any great 
difficulty in accounting for such calamities without travelling 
beyond the domain of fact into the region of fable and invention. 
It is indeed far more in his choice of facts to record than in his 
choice among different versions of the same facts that our 
author's favourite theory of human life has left its trace upon 
his History. The great moral which he had himself drawn from 
his wide survey of mundane events was that which the word 
" Nemesis," taken in its widest sense, expresses. And this, his 
own predominant conviction, he sought to impress upon the 
world by means of his writings. Perhaps the chief attraction to 
him of his grand theme — the reason that induced him to prefer 
it to any other which the records of his own or of neighbouring 
countries might have offered — was the pointed illustration wliicli 
it furnished of greatness laid low— of a gradual progression to 
the highest pinnacle of glory and prosperous fortune, followed 
by a most calamitous reverse.^ And the principle which may 
be supposed to have determined him in the selection of his 
main subject had the amplest field for exercise when the ques- 
tion was concerning the minor and more ornamental portions — 
the episodes, as they are generally called — which constitute so 
considerable a part and form so remarkable a feature of the 
History. In the choice of the episodes, and still more in the 
length to which they should be pursued, and the elaboration 
which should be bestowed on them, Herodotus appears to have 
been guided to a very great extent, though perhaps uncon- 
sciously, by their fitness to inculcate the moral lesson which he 
was especially anxious to impress on men. Hence the length 
and finish of the legend of Croesus, and of the histories of Gam- 
byses, Polycrates, Cleomenes, Orcetes,^ &c» ; hence the intro- 

'* As in the case of tlie heralds, and in Assyrian Monarchy, would similarly 

that of Croesus to some extent (see i. have comprised the rise of an enormous 

13, 91). power, and a still more complete over- 

5 Herod, i. 32 ; iii. 40, 125 ; vii. 10, § 5. throw. 

6 Ibid. i. 8. 7 Ibid. ii. 133. ^ Herod, iii. 120-128. 
^ His other work, the history of the 

Writings. MARVELS IN NATURE. 79 

duction of such tales as those of Helen/ Glaucns,^ Pythiiis,^ 
Artayctes ;* every occasion is seized to deepen by repetition the 
impression which the main narrative is calculated to produce ; 
and thus a space quite disproportionate to their historical 
interest is assigned to certain matters which properly belong to 
the narrative, while others which scarcely come within tlie 
sphere of the narrative at all, find a j)lace in it owing to their 
moral aspect. 

The credulity of Herodotus in respect of marvels in nature 
and extraordinary customs among the remoter tribes of men 
has undoubtedly had the effect of introducing into his work a 
number of statements which the progress of our knowledge 
shows us to be untrue, and which detract from the value though 
they add to the entertainingness of his pages. But these fictions 
are not nearly so many as they have recently been made to 
appear ;^ and their occurrence is the necessary consequence of 
our author's adoption of a principle which the circumstances of 
the time justified, and to which the modern reader is greatly 
beholden. In dealing with this class of subjects he was obliged 
to lay down for himself some rule concerning the reports which 
he received from others ; and if he did not resolve to suppress 
them entirely — a course of proceeding that all probably would 
agree in regretting — he could only choose between reporting 
all alike, whether they seemed to him credible or incredible, 

1 Herod, ii. 113-120. ^ Ibid, vi. 86. rations, but involve interesting notices 
3 Ibid. vii. 27-29, 38, 39. of real facts (see note on iv. 23). Occa- 
^ Ibid. ix. 116-120. sionally Col, Mure helps his argument 
5 Col. Mure has included among the by a mistranslation, as when he says that 
''incredible or impossible marvels re- Herodotus describes among other curio- 
ported by Herodotus" a considerable sities found at Platsea, "a head, the 
number of statements which there is not skull, jaws, gums, and teeth of which 
the slightest reason to question: — as the were of a single piece of bone " fp. 379;; 
existence of men witliout names in West- Herodotus having m fact mentioned a 
ern Mrica (iv. 184), the two singular skull without sutures, i.e., one in which 
breeds of sheep in Arabia, with the con- the sutures did not appear ; and also, as 
ti'ivance for preserving the long tails of a separate marvel, two jaws, an upper 
the one kind from injury (iii. 113), the and an under, wherein the teeth, inci- 
fact of a race dwelling upon scaffoldings sors, and grinders {yoix(pioi, " grinders," 
in the middle of lakePrasias, and living not "gams " ) were joined together and 
upon fish (v. 16), the existence of a bald formed but a single bone, which is a 
race beyond Scythia (iv. 23), the pecu- possible result of ossification. This is 
liar form of cannibalism ascribed to the perhaps the grossest instance of the kind ; 
Massagetfe (i. 216) and others (iii. 99 ; but the same spirit of undue leaning is 
iv. 26), and the eccentric customs with shown in representing it as unquestion- 
regard to women of the Nasamonians able that Herodotus meant to give his 
(iv. 172), Indians (iii. 101), Caucasians bald men (iv. 23) " unusually long and 
(i. 203), &c. Many of these find close bushy beards," when this is only a pos- 
parallels in the observations of other sible, and not perhaps the most proba- 
travellers (see notes on iv. 184; iii. 113; ble rendering of the passage. (See note 
and V. 15); others are perhaps exagge- ad loo.) 


and making his own notion of their credibility the test of their 
admission or rejection. Had he belonged to an age of large 
experience, and to one when travels as extensive as his own 
were common, it might have been best to pursue the latter 
course, trusting to future travellers to complete from their wider 
observation the blanks which he would thus have left volun- 
tarily in his descriptions. But Herodotus lived when knowledge 
of distant countries was small, and travels such as his very 
uncommon ; he had been the first Greek visitant in many a 
strange land, and knew that there was little likelihood of others 
penetrating further, or even so far as himself. He was also 
conscious that he had beheld in the course of his travels a 
number of marvels which he would have thought quite incredible 
beforehand ;'^ and hence he felt that, however extraordinary the 
reports which reached him of men or countries, they might 
nevertheless be true. He therefore thought it best to give 
them a place in his work, but with the general protest that he 
did not, by recording a thing, intend to declare his own belief 
in if^ Sometimes he takes the liberty of expressing, or by a 
sly innuendo implying, his distinct disbelief;^ sometimes by 
relating the marvel as a fact, and not merely as what is said, he 
lets us see that he gives it credence f but generally he is 
content to reserve his own opinion, or perhaps to keep his judg- 
ment in suspense, and simply to report what he had heard from 
those who professed to have correct information.^ And to this 
judicious resolution on his part the modern reader is greatly 
indebted. Had he decided on recording nothing but what he 

^ As the productiveness of Babylonia, but only reporting what is said — as in 

and the size to which plants grew there iv. 96 — irepl fi\v rovrov ovre aTTio-rew 

[i. 193). 0UT6 S>v iricTTeixa ri \ir\u. iv. 173. K^yco 

' See book vii. ch. 152. Se ravTa to. Xiyovai Aleves, iv. 195. 

8 Asinii. 28, 56, 57, 131; iii. 115, 116; ravra el jxev eVri aX-nOeoos ovk olSa, to, 

iv. 25, 31, 32, 36, 42, 105; v. 10; and de Xeyerai ypd(pw. We are not therefore 

by an innuendo, in iv. 191. entitled to assume, when Herodotus 

^ As in his account of the Phoenix makes a statement without any special 

fii. 73), of the bald men (iv. 23-5), of intimation of a doubt of its accuracy, 

the collection of ladanum from the beards that "he believed it himself and in- 

of goats (iii. 112), of the sweet scent tended it to be believed by others" 

that is wafted from Arabia (iii. 113), of (Mure, p. 380), but only that he did 

the Neuri leaving their country on ac- not actually disbelieve it, and that he 

count of serpents (iv. 105), of the wild thought it worthy of the attention of 

asses which did not drink (iv. 192), his readers. Herodotus does in fact 

and of the extraordinary skull and jaws mark by very nice shades the degree of 

found on the field of Platsea (ix. 83). credence which he claims for his dif- 

1 See i. 140, 202 ; ii. 32, 33, 75 ; iii. 20, ferent statements. Where he believes, 

23, 104-5, 108-9, 111 ; iv. 96, 110, 173, he states the thing as a fact ; where he 

184 ad fin., 195, 196; v. 9. He often doubts, he tells us it was sazc?; where he 

reminds lis in the middle of an account disbelieves, he calls the statement in 

that he is neither affirming nor denying, question. 


positively believed, we should have lost altogether a number of 
the most interesting portions of his History.^ Had he even 
allowed positive disbelief to act as a bar to admission into his 
jmges, we should have been deprived of several of the most im- 
portant notices which his work contains. The circumstance 
which is to us incontrovertible evidence of the fact — intrinsically 
so hard to credit — that Africa was circumnavigated by the 
Phoenicians as early as the seventh century before our era, the 
marvel namely reported by the voyagers, that as they sailed 
they " had the sun on their right," ^ was one which Herodotus 
distinctly rejected as surpassing belief. He also saw no grounds 
for admitting the existence of any islands called the Cassiterides, 
or Tin Islands, whence that commodity was brought to Greece,* 
nor any sufficient evidence of a sea vv'ashing Europe upon the 
north, from which amber was obtained f so that had he adopted 
the canon of exclusion which his critics prefer, we should have 
been without the earliest mention which has come down to us of 
our own country — we should have lost the proof furnished in the 
same place of the antiquity of our tin trade — and we should have 
been unaware that any information had reached the Greeks in 
the time of Herodotus of the existence of the Baltic. It may 
fairly be doubted whether the retrenchment of a certain number 
of traveller's tales, palmed upon the unsuspectingness of our 
author by untruthful persons or humourists,^ would have com- 
pensated for the loss of these important scra23s of knowledge 

'^ As for instance the entire account Hill, the answer might probably be, that 

in the second book of the interior of it recorded the number of quarts of por- 

Africa, containing notices perhaps of the ter and pipes of tobacco consumed by 

Niger and of Timbuctoo (chs. 3-2-3), and the builders of the column: but it is not 

great parts of the description of the north likely that he would put faith in the 

African nations in book iv. (chs. 168-196.) statement. Herodotus however seems, 

3 Herod, iv. 42, €\eyov ifxal fihv ov in the parallel case, to have believed his 

TTLCTTa, &kKcf Se Sirj re^, ws Tr€pLTr\u)ouT€s informants implicitly," &c. Tliis is to 

TTjp Aifiv7]p rhv t]Xlov ecrxoj' is ra h^i^id. argue that what would be unlikely to 

■• Herod, iii. 115. take place in London in the 17th cen- 

^ Ibid. iii. 115, and compare iv. 45. tury a.d. would have been equally un- 

^ Even these have perhaps been un- likely to happen in Egypt in the 2uth or 

duly multiplied. At least to me the 25th century B.C. Probabilities will of 

following comparison appears to be over- course be differently measured by dif- 

strained — ''The translation supplied to ferent minds; but to me, I confess, it 

Herodotus of the inscription on one of does not seem at all out of keeping with 

the larger pyramids represented it as what we know of primitive times, that 

' recording the quantity of onions, leeks, the greatness of a work should be esti- 

and radishes consumed by the labourers mated by the quantity of food consumed 

employed in the erection of the menu- by those engaged on it, or that this es- 

ment.' Were a foreigner, ignorant of timate should be recorded on the work 

the English tongue, to ask the meaning itself. Herodotus, it should be borne 

of the iriscription on the London Monu- in mind, does not say that this was the 

ment, of some humourist of Fish-street only inscription. 

VOL. I. G 


which we only obtain through his habit of reporting even what 
he disbelieved. 

There is another respect also wherein advantage seems to 
arise to the work of our author from his spirit of credulity, 
which may mitigate the severity of our censures on this defect 
of his mental constitution. Credulity is a necessary element in 
a certain cast of mind, the other constituents of which render 
their possessor peculiarly well fitted for the historian's office. 
The simplicity {evriOeia) which Plato requires in the philo- 
sopher ^ is no less admirable in the writer of history, and it is 
this spirit — frank, childlike, guileless, playful, quaint — which 
lends to the work of Herodotus a great portion of its attraction, 
giving it that air of freshness, truth, and naivete which is felt by 
all readers to be its especial merit. We cannot obtain these 
advantages without their accompanying drawback. Writers of 
the tone of Herodotus, such as Froissart, Philip de Comines, Sir 
John Mandeville, and others of our old English travellers, are 
among the most charming within the whole range of literature ; 
but their writings are uniformly tinged with the same credulous 
vein which is regarded as offensive in our author. 

The charge made against Herodotus of an undue love of 
effect finds its most solid ground in that tone of exaggeration 
and hyperbole which often characterises his narrative, especially 
in its more highly wrought and excited portions. His state- 
ments that the Athenians at Marathon were " the first Greeks 
who dared to look upon the Median garb, and to face men clad 
in that fashion,"^ and that the island of Samos appeared to the 
commanders of the combined fleet after Salamis " as distant as the 
Pillars of Hercules," ^ are rhetorical exaggerations of this cha- 
racter, and have been deservedly reprehended.^ Other instances 
of the tendency complained of are, the declaration in the first 
book that Cyrus, by the overthrow of Croesus, became " master 
of the tvhole of Asia,' ^ and that in the sixth, that if the lonians 
had destroyed the Persian fleet at the battle of Lade, Darius 
could have brought against them " another jive times as greats ^ 
To the same quality perhaps may be ascribed the readiness 
with which Herodotus accepts from his informants extravagant 
computations of numbers, size, duration, (fec.,"^ as well as impro- 

7 Eepubl. iii. § 16. 3 chap. 13. 

8 Herod, vi. 112. ^ Ibid. viii. 132. < As the size of the army of Xerxes 
^ Mure's Lit. of Greece, iv. pp. 403-6. (\\\. 184-7 ; see note ad loc.\ the num- 
2 Chap. 130 ad fin. ; cf. ix. 122. her of cities in Egypt in the reign of 




bable statements with regard to regularity^ and completeness, 
tlie latter sometimes contradicted in his own pages.^ His con- 
stant desire is to set matters in the most striking light — to be 
lively, novel, forcible — and to this desire not only accuracy, but 
even at times consistency, is sacrificed. It belongs to his 
romantic and poetic turn of mind to care more for the graphic 
effect of each successive picture than for the accord and har- 
mony of the whole. His colours are throughout more vivid 
than the sober truth of history can be thought to warrant ; and 
the modern critical reader has constantly to supply modifications 
and qualifications in order to bring the general tone of the 
narrative down to the level of actual fact. 

'Whether the anecdotical vein in which Herodotus so freely 
indulges is fairly referred to this head may perhaps admit of a 
doubt. A judicious selection of anecdotes forms a portion of 
the task of the historian, who best portrays both individual 
cliaracter and the general manners of an age by the help of this 
light and graceful embellishment. That the bulk of our author's 
anecdotes serve their proper purpose -in his History — that they 
are characteristic and full of instruction, as well as pointed and 
well told — is what no candid and sensible reader can hesitate to 

Amasis (ii. 177), the height of the walls 
of Babylon (i. 178 ; see note ^ ad loc.) 
and of "the pyramids (ii. 124, 127), the 
duration of the Egyptian monarchy (ii. 
142; compare 100), &c. 

^ Instances of improbable regularity 
are, the unbroken descent of the Lydian 
Heraclide kings in the line of dii^ect suc- 
cession during twenty-two generations 
(i. 8), the exact correspondence in the 
number of Egyptian kings and high- 
priests of Vulcan during a supposed pe- 
riod of 11,340 yeai's fii. 142), and the 
unbroken hereditary descent of the lat- 
ter (ii. 143), the occuiTence of salt-hills 
and springs of water at intervals of exact- 
ly 10 days' journey along the whole sandy 
belt extending from Egyptian Thebes 
to the west coast of Africa (iv. 181), 
tlie wonderful productiveness of all the 
world's extremities (iii, 106-116), &c. 

^ The entire freedom of the Greeks be- 
fore Croesus (i. 6), the complete destruc- 
tion of the Samians by Otanes (iii. 149), 
the total contrast between Greek and 
Egyptian manners (ii. 35-6), the demo- 
lition of the walls of Babylon by Darius 
(iii. 159), the general submission of the 
insular Greeks to Cyrus (i. 169% the 
absolute invincibility of the Scythians 

(iv. 46), and the extreme simplicity of 
the Persians before they conquered the 
Lydians (i. 71), are specimens. The his- 
tory of the four predecessors of Croesus 
upon the throne shows that the encroach- 
ments of the Lydians upon the liberties 
of the Greeks began with Gyges, and 
continued without intermission till the 
complete reduction of the lonians, Co- 
hans, and Doi-ians by Croesus (i. 14-16 ,. 
The prominent part played by the Sa- 
mians in the Ionian revolt (vi. 8-15) is 
incompatible with their extermination 
by Otanes. The non-existence of priest- 
esses in Egypt — one of the points of con- 
trast between that country and Greece — 
is contradicted expressly (i. 182 and ii. 
54). It appears from the description of 
Babylon (i. 178-180) that the great wall, 
though gaps may have been broken in 
it, was still standing when Herodotus 
wrote. That all the islanders did not 
submit to Cyrus is apparent from the 
history of Polycrates (iii. 44 \ The re- 
duction of the Scythians by Sesostris is 
expressly assei'ted in book ii. ^chs. lo3 
and 110). That the Persians began to 
lay aside their simple habits as soon as 
they conquered the Medes is implied in 
book i. ch. 126. 

G 2 


allow. Perhaps the anecdotical element may be justly regarded 
as over largely developed in the work, especially if we compare 
it with other histories ; but we must remember that in the time 
of Herodotus the field of literature had not been partitioned out 
according to our modern notions. History in our sense, bio- 
graphy, travels, memoirs, &c., had not then been recognised as 
distinct from one another, and the term laropia, or " research," 
equally comprehended them all. Nor is it easy to see where 
the knife could have been applied, and the narrative pruned 
down and stripped of anecdotical details, without the suppression 
of something that we could ill have spared — something really 
valuable towards completing the picture of ancient times which 
Herodotus presents to us. Certainly the portions of his work to 
which the chief objection has been made, as consisting of " mere 
local traditions and gossiping stories," ^ the " Corinthian court 
scandal " of the tliird and fifth books,^ the accounts of Cyrene 
and Barca in the fourth,^ the personal history of Solon, ^ and the 
wars between Sparta and Tegea in the first,^ are not wanting in 
interest ; and though undoubtedly we might imagine their loss 
compensated by the introduction of other matters about which 
we should have more cared to hear, yet their mere retrench- 
ment without such compensation, which is all that criticism can 
have any right to demand,^ would have diminished and not 
increased the value of the work as a record of facts,^ and would 
scarcely have improved it even in an artistic point of view. 
The double narrative in the third book is skilfully devised to 

■^ Mure, p. 391. that Herodotus was not ^vritmg the his- 
^ Herod, iii, 49-53 ; v. 92. Comp. tory of Greece, but the history of a 
i. 23-4. particular war. We had no ''right to 
^ Ibid. iv. 14.5-205. expect " anything from him but what 
1 Ibid. i. 30-33, 2 Ibid. i. 66-68. possessed a direct bearing upon the 
3 The substance of Col. Mure's com- struggle between Greece and Persia. As 
plaints against the episodical portion of Niebuhr observes, "the work of Hero- 
Herodotus is, that he has not given us dotus is not an ancient Greek history, 
something more valuable in the place of but has an epic character ; it has a unity 
what he has actually given — as, for in- amid its episodes, which are retarding 
stance, the real history of Corinth under motives," — delaying yet helping the 
the Cypselidie instead of the anecdotes main story. (See Niebuhr's Lectures 
concerning Periander (pp. 292-3), the on Ancient History, vol. i. p. 168. E. T.) 
legislation of Solon in lieu of his dis- ^ '£]^q stories of Periander and Poly- 
course with Croesus (pp. 394-5), the crates give us the portrait of the Greek 
Messeniau wars in the place of the strug- tyrant in his worst, and in his interme- 
gle with Tegea (p. 397, note), (Sec. He diate, as that of Pisistratus does in his 
thinks we had " a right to expect " that best character. Without them the ab- 
Herodotus in his episodical notices of horrence expressed by Herodotus for 
the Greek states, should have embodied rulers of this class would sti^ike the rea- 
all the "more important facts of their der as strange and exaggerated, 
history" (p. 391), But this is to forget 


keep np that amount of attention to Greek affairs which the 
author desires to maintain, in subordination to the main subject 
of the earlier or introductory portion of his work — the rise and 
progress of the Persian empire, and resembles the underplot in 
a play or a novel, which agreeably relieves the chief story. It 
also, as has been already observed,^ reflects and repeats, in the 
histories of Periander and of Polycrates, the main ethical teach- 
ing of the work, thereby at once deepening the moral impression, 
and helping to diffuse a uniform tone throughout the volumes. 
The history of the Greek colonies in Africa is not only interesting 
in itself, and in the light it throws upon the principles of Hel- 
lenic colonisation,^ but it serves to introduce that sketch of the 
neighbouring nations which has always been recognised as one 
of the most valuable of our author's episodes. The fragment of 
the life of Solon is no doubt in some degree legen&ary, but he 
must be a stern critic who would have the heart to desire its re- 
trenchment, seeing that with it must have disappeared almost the 
whole story of Croesus, the most beautiful and touching in the 
entire History. The wars of Sparta with Tegea had an intrinsic 
importance quite sufficient to justify their introduction, and the 
synchronism of the last with the time of the embassy sent by 
Croesus, which forms the sole occasion of the reference in the first 
book to Spartan history, fully explains its occurrence in the place 
assigned to it. Adverse criticism therefore seems to fail in 
pointing out any mere surplusage even in the anecdotical por- 
tion of the work, and the truth appears to be that the episodical 
matter in Herodotus is, on the whole, singularly well chosen 
and effective, being lively, varied, and replete with interest. 

To say that Herodotus has no claim to rank as a critical his- 
torian is simply to note that, having been born before the rise 
of a certain form of the historical science, he did not happen to 
invent it. That in intelligence, sagacity, and practical good 
sense he was greatly in advance of his predecessors and even of 
his contemporaries, is what no one who carefully reads the frag- 
ments left us of the early Greek historians will hesitate to 
allow. But a great gulf separates him from Thucydides, th^ 
real founder of the Critical School. From the judgment of 
Thucydides on obscure points connected with the history of the 
ancient world, the modern critic, if he ventures to dissent at all, 

* See above, page 79. the course of colonisation, and forcing 

•>■ Especially upon the leading pai't the growth of colonies, 
taken by the Delphic oracle in directing 


dissents with the utmost diffidence. The opinions of Herodotus 
have no such weight. They are views which an intelligent man 
living in the fifth century b. c. might entertain, and as such 
they are entitled to attentive consideration, but they have no 
bindino- authority. Herodotus belongs distinctly to the Eomantic 
School : with him the imagination is in the ascendant and not 
the reason ; his mind is poetic, and he is especially disqualified 
to form sound judgments concerning events remote from his own 
day on account of his full belief in the popular mythology, which 
placed gods and heroes upon the earth at no very distant period. 
He does not apply the same canons of credibility to the past 
and present, or, like Thucydides, view human nature and the 
general course of mundane events as always the same.'' Thus 
his history of early times is little more than myth and fable, 
embodying * often important traditions, but delivered as he 
received it, without any exercise upon it of critical discrimina- 
tion. In his history of times near his own the case is different ; 
he there brings his judgment into play, compares and sifts dif- 
ferent accounts, exhibits sense and intelligence, and draws con- 
clusions for the most part just and rational.^ Still even in this 
portion of the history we miss qualities which go to form our 
ideal of the perfect historian, and with which we are familiarised 
through Thucydides and his school ; we miss those habits of 
accuracy which we have learnt to regard as among the primary 
qualifications of the historical writer; we come upon discre- 
pancies, contradictions, suspicious repetitions, and the like ; we 
find an utter carelessness of chronology ; above all, we miss that 
philosophic insight into the real causes of political transactions, 
the moving influences whence great events proceed, which com- 
municates, according to modern notions, its soul to history, 
making it a living and speaking monitor instead of a mere 
pictured image of bygone times and circumstances. 

The principal discrepancies, contradictions, &c. in the Hero- 
dotean narrative have either been already glanced at or will be 
pointed out in the notes on the text. One of the most common 
is a want of harmony in the different portions of any estimate 
that is given of numbers. If both the items and the total of a 
sum are mentioned, they are rather more likely to disagree than 
to agree. Making the most liberal allowance for corruptions of 

' Thucyd. i. 22. Mure's Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. pp. 354 

8 Yor acknowledgments on this head and 410. 
on the part of an adverse critic, see 




the text (to which numbers are specially liable), it "would still 
seem that these frequent disagreements must have arisen from 
some defect in the author : either he was not an adept in arith- 
metic, or he did not take the trouble to go through the calcula- 
tions and see that his statements tallied. Numerical discrepan- 
cies of the kind described occur in his accounts of the duration 
of the Median empire,^ of the trilmte which the Persian king 
drew from the satrapies,^" of the distance from Sardis to Susa,^^ 
and of the sea from Egyptian Thebes,^^ of the number of the 
Greek fleet at Salamis,^^ &c. ; while other errors disfigure his 
computation of the number of days in the full term of human 
life,^^ and of the duration of the monarchy in Egypt.^^ The only 
calculations of any extent w^hich do not contain an arithmetical 
error are the numbers of the Greek fleets at Miletus ^^ and Arte- 
misium," of the fleet ^^ and army of Xerxes,^^ and of the Greek 
army at Platsea.^^ Contradictions connected with his habit of 
exaggeration have been already noticed.^^ Others, arising appa- 

9 Herod, i. 130. See the Critical Es- 
says appended to Book i.. Essay iii. ad fin. 
w Ibid. iii. 9U-95. See note ad loc. 

11 Ibid. V. 52-54. 

12 Ibid. ii. 7-9. From the sea to He- 
liopolis is said to be 1500 stades, from 
Heliopolis to Thebes 4860 stades, but 
from the sea to Thebes only 6120, in- 
stead of 6360, stades. 

13 Ibid. viii. 43-48. See note ad loc. 

14 Ibid. i. 32. The double error — clear- 
ly arising from mere carelessness— where- 
by the solar year is made to average 375 
days, is explained in the note on the 

15 Ibid.ii. 142. The error here is but 
slight, yet it is curious. Having to esti- 
mate the number of years contained in 
341 generations of men, Herodotus first 
lays it down that three generations go 
to the century. He then says, coi'rectly, 
that 300 generations will make 10,000 
years ; but in estimating the odd 41 ge- 
nerations, he has a curious error. Forty- 
one generations, he says, will make 1340 
years; whei-eas they will really make 
1366§ years. If a round number were 
intended, it should have been 1360 or 

16 Herod, vi. 8. " Ibid. viii. 1, 2. 
18 Ibid. vii. 89-95. i^ Ibid. vii. 184-6. 
^ Ibid. ix. 28, 29. 

21 Supra, p. 83. Col. Mure adds to 
these a number of discrepancies which 
are more imaginary than real. (See Ap- 

pendix J. to his 4th volume.) He con- 
siders the statement that Croesus was 
*' the person who first within the know- 
ledge of Herodotus commenced aggres- 
sions on the Greeks" (i. 5), as coutiict- 
ing not only with the narrative in chs. 
14-16, but also with the account of the 
Ionian colonisation of Asia Minor in 
ch. 146. But Herodotus does not say 
that the Greeks colonised at the expense 
of the Lydians, who probably, dwelt 
some way inland at that time. Again, 
Col. Mure objects to the panegyric upon 
the Alcmseonidas for their consistent 
hatred of tyrants (vi. 121), because 
Megacles had on one occasion helped 
Pisistratus to return (i. 61) ; but this is 
at the utmost a slight rlietorical exagge- 
ration. The Alcmseonida), from the time 
when Megacles broke with Pisistratus, 
had been most consistent in their oppo- 
sition. (See i. 64 ; v. 62, 63, 66, kc.) He 
also sees a contradiction between book v. 
ch. 40, where Anaxandrides is said, in 
maintaining two wives and two house- 
holds at the same time, to have "done 
an act very contrary to Spartan feeling," 
and book vi. ch. 61, et seq., where King 
Ariston is said to have had two wives, 
and to have even married a third, with- 
ovit any censure or remark at all. Here 
the flaw is altogether in the critic's spec- 
tacles: the strange and unusual thing 
being, according to Herodotus, not di- 
vorce and remarriage, as in Aristou's 



Life and 

rently from mere carelessness, are the discrepancies between his 
description of the size of Scythia, and his account of the expe- 
dition of Darius ; ^^ between his date for Psammetichus ^^ and his 
estimate of 700 years from Anysis to Amyrtaeus ; ^'^ between his 
two accounts of the Telmessian prodigy of the female beard ; -^ 
his two estimates of the length of the day's journey ; ^^ and his 
two statements of the time that intervened between the first 
and second expeditions directed against Greece by Darius.^^ 
Kepetitions having an awkward and suspicious appearance are — 
the warnings given to Croesus by Sandanis,^ and to Darius and 
Xerxes by Artabanus ; ^ the similar prayers of (Eobazus and of 
Pythius, with their similar result;^ the parallel reproaches 
addressed to Astyages by Harpagus, and to Demaratus by Leo- 
tychides ; ^ and the anecdote, told of Cyrus, of Artaphernes, and 
of Darius, that on hearing of one of the leading Greek nations, 
they asked " who they were ? " ^ 

The want of a standard chronological era cannot be charged 
against Herodotus as a fault,^ since it was a defect of the age in 

case (vi. 63), but the having two wives 
and two households at one and the 
same time. Ariston never had two wives 
at once. 

22 Herod, iv. 101-133. See note on 
book iv. ch. 133. 

23 This date cannot be fixed exactly, 
as Herodotus does not tell us in which 
year of the reign of Cambyses he believes 
him to have invaded Egypt. Assuming 
however the year B.C. 525 for this event, 
and taking the years of the last six kings 
from Herodotus, we obtain B.C. 671 or 
B.C. 672 for the year of the accession of 
Psammetichus — a date accordant with 
the synchronism which made him con- 
temporary with Cyaxares (i. 105), and 
agreeing nearly with the views of Ma- 

24 Herod, ii. 140. According to this 
statement nearly 500 years intervene 
between Anysis and Psammetichus. Yet 
Anysis is contemporary with Sabaco, 
who^ puts to death Neco, the father of 
Psammetichus, and drives Psammeti- 
chus himself into exile! (See Herod, 
ii. 152.) 

25 Herod, i. 175, and viii. 104. Com- 
pare note ^, page 28. 

26 Ibid. iv. 101, and v. 53. This, how- 
ever, may be explained on the supposi- 
tion that in v. 53 Herodotus is speaking 
of the day's march of an army. (See 
note ad loo.) 

27 In ch. 46 of book vi. Herodotus 
makes the destruction of their walls by 
the Thasians at the bidding of Darius 
follow "in the year after" {devTepco 
erei') the loss of the fleet of Mardonius 
at Athos. In ch. 48 he says that after 
the submission of the Thasians (juera 
toGto) Darius sent orders for the col- 
lection of ti^ansports ; and in ch. 95 
these orders are said to have been given 
''the year before" (rtp trpoTipcp ^re'i) 
the expedition of Datis. But towards 
the end of the same chapter the disaster 
at ! Athos is referred to the year iinrno' 
diatclij preceding that expedition. 

1 Herod, i. 71. 

2 Ibid. iv. 83, and vii. 10. 

3 Ibid. iv. 84, and vii. 38, 39. 

4 Ibid. i. 129, and vi. 67. 

5 Ibid. i. 153 ; and v. 73 and 105. 

^ Col. Mure taxes Herodotus with 
being even here ''behind the spirit of 
the age" (p. 417), and refers to the 
chronological works of Hellanicus and 
Charon as having introduced a " frame- 
work on which the course of the national 
history was adjusted." But there is no 
evidence to prove that either Charon or 
Hellanicus made use of their chronolo- 
gical schemes in their histories ; and the 
latter is expressly taxed by Thucydides 
with inexactness in his assignment of 
dates (i. 97). Besides, it has been already 
shown (suprh,, p. 34, note ^j that Heliaui- 


which he lived, and one with which even Thiicydides is equally 
taxable. It was not until Timgeus introduced the reckoning bv 
Olympiads some generations after Herodotus, that Greek 
chronology came to be put on a satisfiictory footing. Hero- 
dotus, however, is unnecessarily loose and inaccurate in his 
chronological statements, and evidently regards the whole sub- 
ject as unimportant. His reckoning events from "his own 
time " '^ is vague and indeterminate, since we do not know 
whether he means from his birth, from his acme, or from the 
time of his last recension, a doubt involving a difference of more 
than half a century. Even when he seems to profess exactness, 
there is always some omission, some unestimated period, which 
precludes us from constructing a complete chronological scheme 
by means of the data Avhich he furnishes.^ His synchronisms are 
on the whole less incorrect than might have been expected f but 
occasional mistakes occur which a very little care might have 
obviated.^ We may conclude from these that he was not in 
the habit of tabulating his dates or determining synchronisms in 
any other way than by means of po2:)ular rumour. 

But the great defect of Herodotus as an historian is his want 
of insight into the causes, bearing, and interconnexion of the 
events which he records. It is not merely that he is deficient 
in political discernment, and so relates with the utmost bald- 
ness, and with striking omissions and misstatements, the con- 

cus wrote later than Herodotus, and that ais kukcov 9iv), it is impossible to fix the 
the works of Charon were probably un- year of Darius' attack, on which the corn- 
known to him (pp. 37, 38). mencement of the Scythian monarchy is 

' See Herod, ii. 53, and 145. A nearer made to depend (iv. 7). The only chro- 

approach to exactness is made Avhen the nolog.y which is exact and continuous is 

time of his visit to a country is assumed the Medo-Persian. We may count back 

as the epoch from which to calculate fi'om the siege of Sestos to the first year 

(see ii. 13, and 44) ; but still even in of Cyrus, and thence to the accession 

these cases there is some uncertainty. of Deioces, which Herodotus placed 229 

^ The Lydian chronology is incom- years before that event, or B.C. 708. 
plete from his omitting to state in which ^ As those of Cyaxares with Alyattes 

year of Cyrus Sardis was taken. The (i. 73-4), and of both with Psamme'tichus 

Assyrian fails fi'om the term of the (i. 105"), of Sennacherib with Sethos the 

anarchy not being specified. The later successor of Sabaco (ii. 141), of Amasis 

Egyptian has the same defect as the Ly- and Labynetus (Nabunahit) with Croesus 

dian: we are not told in which year of (i. 77), &c. 

the reign of Cambyses he led his expe- ^ As the placing the embassy of Croesus 

dition into Egypt. For the early Egyp- to Sparta after the final settlement of 

tian and the Babylonian we have only an Pisistratus on the throne of Athens (i. 

estimate by generations. The Scythian 65), the appai-ently making Periander 

is indefinite, since, from the vague way and Alc?eus contemporaries with Pisis- 

in which the interval between the Thra- tratus and his son Hegesistratus (\. 94-5), 

cian campaign of Megabazus and the the assignment of the legislation of Ly- 

breaking out of the Ionian revolt is curgus to the reign of Labotas in Sparta 

spoken of (ou w oWhu xpovov aue- (i. 6oj, t&c. 


stitutional changes whose occurrence he is led to notice f but 
even with regard to the important historical vicissitudes which 
form the special subject of his narrative, he exhibits the same 
inability to penetrate below the surface, and to appreciate or 
even to conceive aright their true origin and character. Little 
personal tales and anecdotes take the place of those investiga- 
tions into the condition of nations or into the grounds of hostility 
between races on which critical writers of history are wont to 
lay the chief stress in their accounts of wars, rebellions, con- 
quests, and the like. The personal ambition of Cyrus is made 
the sole cause of the revolt of the Persians from the Medes ; ^ 
to the resentment of Harpagus is attributed its success;* the 
attack on Egypt is traced to advice given to Cambyses by an 
eye-doctor ; ^ the Magian revolt is the mere doing of Patizei- 
thes ; ^ Darius is led to form a design against Greece by a 
suggestion of Democedes ; ^ the lonians rebel because Arista- 
^•oras has become involved in difficulties.^ Through the whole 
History there runs a similar vein : if war breaks out between 
Media and Lydia, it is because a band of Scyths have caused 
King Cyaxares to banquet on human flesh and have then fled 
to Alyattes ; ^ if King Darius sends an expedition against Samos, 
it is to reward a man who presented to him a scarlet cloak ; ^^ 
if the Lydians after their conquest by the Persians lose their 
military spirit and grow effeminate, it is owing to Croesus having 
advised Cyrus to give them the breedingVof women ; ^^ every- 
where little reasons are alleged, which, even if they existed, 
would not be the causes of the events traced to them, but only 
the occasions upon which the real causes came into play.^^ The 
tales, however, which take the place of more philosophical 
inquiries are for the most part (it would seem) apocryphal, 
having been invented to account for the occurrences by those 
who failed to trace them to any deeper source. From the 
same defect of insight extreme improbabilities are accepted by 
Herodotus without the slightest objection, and difficulties, from 
being unperceived, are left unexplained. To give a single 
insta'nce of each : — Herodotus reports, apparently without any 

2 See the notes on book i. ch. 65, " Ibid. i. 155. 

book iv. eh. 145, book v. chs. 67-9, and ^2 ^\^q statement of Aristotle concern- 
book vi. chs. 43 and 83. ing internal troubles applies with equal 

3 Herod, i. 126-7. * Ibid, chs, 127-8. or greater force to wars between nations: 
^ Ibid. iii. 1. ^ Ibid. iii. 61. e/c ixiKpwv akk' ov irepl fxiKpwv — yiyvovTUi 
7 Ibid. iii. 134-5. « Ibid. v. 35-6. (Pol. v. 3, § 1. Compare Polyb. iii. 6, 7). 
» Ibid. i. 73-4. « Ibid. iii. 139. • 


hesitation, tlie Persian tale concerning the motive which induced 
Cambyses to invade Egypt — that, having applied to Amasis for 
his daughter in marriage, Amasis pretended to comply, but sent 
him the daughter of Apries, a " young girl " of great personal 
charms, whom. Cambyses received among his wives, and re- 
garded with much favour, till one day he learnt from her lips 
the trick that had been played him, whereupon he declared war 
against the deceiver. Now as Amasis had reigned, according 
to Herodotus, forty-four years from the death of Apries, and the 
discovery of the trick was followed closely by the invasion, 
which Amasis did not live to see, it is plain that this " beautiful 
young girl," who had been palmed off upon Cambyses as the 
reigning king's daughter, must have been a woman of between 
forty and fifty years of age.^ Again — Herodotus tells us, and 
probability fully bears him out, that the Persian army under 
Datis and Artaphernes landed at Marathon because it was the 
most favourable position in all Attica for the manoeuvres of 
cavalry,^ in which arm the Persian strength chiefly lay; yet 
when he comes to describe the battle no mention whatever is 
made of any part taken in it by the Persian horse, nor any 
account given of their absence or inaction.^ A similar inability 
to appreciate difficulties appears in his account of the numbers 
at Thermopylge, where no attempt is made to reconcile the 
apparent discrepancy between the list of the forces, the Spartan 
inscription, and the actual number of the slain,^ nor any ex- 

1 See Herod, iii. 1, and compare ii. 172, bably have been considerably more, as 

and iii. 10. Col.Mure's criticism (Lit. of his father Cheops reigned 50 years, and 

Greece, iv. p. 419) in this instance is so would not be likely to leave behind 

perfectly just. Almost as gross an in- him a very young son. 

stance of the same fault occurs in the his- ^ Herod, vi. 102. 

tory of Mycerinus. Mycerinus succeeds ^ We are left to derive from another 

his uncle, Chephren, v»'ho has reigned writer (Suidas ad voc. Xupls tTnreis) the 

56 years (ii. 127-8). He reigns happily information that Miltiades took advan- 

for a certain indefinite time, during tage of the absence of the Persian ca- 

which he builds a pyramid of no small valry, who had been forced to go to 

size; when, lo! an oracle announces to a distance for forage, to bring on the 

him that he has but six more years to engagement. 

live. Mycerinus is indignant that he '^ According to Herodotus, the entire 

should be cut off in the flower of his number of the troops, exclusive of the 

age — reproaches the oracle — and deter- Helots, was between 4000 and 5000. Of 

' mines to falsify it by living twelve years these there came from the Peloponnese 

in six. So he gives himself up to jollity, 3100 (vii. 202, 203). Yet the inscription 

di'inks and feasts, night as well as day, on the spot, which would certainly not 

during the time left him, and dies as exaggerate the number on the Greek 

the oracle foretold. Herodotus seems side, said 4000 Peloponnesians (vii. 

quite to have forgotten that Mycerinus 228). Again, the number slain in the 

must have been sixty at the least, when last struggle is estimated at 4000 (viii. 

he received the warning, and would pro- 25); but only 300 Spartans and 700 


planation offered of those circumstances connected with the 
conduct of the Thebans in the battle which have provoked hostile 
criticism both in ancient and modern times.^ 

There are certain other respects in which Herodotus has 
been regarded as exhibiting a Avant of critical acumen, viz., in 
his geographical and meteorological disquisitions, in his lin- 
guistic efforts, and in his treatment of the subject of mythology.^ 
These may be touched with the utmost brevity, since liis value 
as an historian is but very slightly affected by the opinion which 
may be formed of his success or failure in such matters. As a 
general geographer it must be allowed that his views were in- 
distinct ; though they can scarcely be said with truth to have 
been " crudely digested." "^ Looking upon geography as an 
experimental science, he did not profess more knowledge with 
regard to it than had been collected by observation up to his 
time. He seems to have formed no distinct opinion on the 
shape of the earth, or the configuration of land and water, since 
he could not find that the land had been explored to its limits, 
either towards the north or towards the east.^ He knew, liow- 
ever, enough of the projection of Arabia and of Africa into the 
southern sea to be aware that the circular plane of Hecatseus 
was a pure fiction, and as such he ridiculed it.^ Within the 
limits of his knowledge he is, for the most part, very clear and 
precise. He divides the known world into three parts, Europe, 
Asia, and Africa. ^° Of these, Asia and Africa lie to the south, 
Europe is to the north, and extends along the other two.^^ The 
boundary line between Europe and Asia runs due east, consist- 
ing of the Phasis, the south coast of the Caspian, the .river 
Araxes, and a line produced thence as far as the land con- 
tinues.^^ The boundary between Asia and Africa is the west 
frontier of Egypt,^^ not the isthmus of Suez, or the Nile, which 
last was commonly made the boundary. ^^ The general contour 

Thespians were previously spoken of as "^ Mure, p. 424. 

remaiiiing (vii. 222). These anomalies ^ jjerod. iii. 315, sub fin.; iv. 40, 45; 

may perhaps admit of explanation; what v. 9. 

is especially remarkable about them is, ^ Ibid. iv. 36. 

that Herodotus seems utterly uncon- ^o Ibid. ii. 16 ; iv. 45. The word used 

scious of any difficulty. by Herodotus is, of course, not Afi-ica, 

^ See Plut. de Malign. Herod, ii. but Libya, 

pp. 865, 866; Grote, Hist, of Greece, v. ii Ibid. iv. 42. 

pp. 122, 123; Mure's Lit. of Greece, iv. ^2 i\y[^^ ^y ^q g^^^j 45^ 

Appendix K., pp. 542-544. i3 ibj^i ^i ^7 . ^^ 39^ ^^ g^^ 

6 See Colonel Mure's remarks, pp. ^^ Jbid. ii. 17, and iv. 45. , 

Writings. METIEOEOLOGY. 93 

of the Mediterranean, tlie Propontis, tlie Black Sea, and the 
Sea of Azof, is well understood by hini,' as is the shape of 
Greece, Italy, Asia Minor, Syria, and the north coast of Africa. 
He knows that the Mediterranean communicates with the ocean, 
and that the ocean extends round Africa to the Arabian Gulf 
and Erythraean Sea.^ He is also aware that the Caspian is a 
sea by itself.^ He has tolerably correct views on the courses of 
the Nile,* Danube,^ Halys,^ Tigris,"'' Euphrates,^ Indus,® Dnieper,^" 
Dniester," and other Scythian rivers. ^^ He is confused, how- 
ever, in his account of the Araxes,^^ incorrect (apparently) in 
his description of the Scythian rivers east of the Dnieper,'* and 
ignorant of many facts which we should have expected him to 
know, as the existence of the Persian Gulf, of the peninsula of 
Hindustan, and of the sea of Aral, the size of the Palus 
Mseotis,^^ &c. In his descriptions of countries that he knows 
he is graphic and striking, ^^ not confining himself to the strictly 
geographical features, but noting also geological jDeculiarities, 
as the increase of land, the quality of soil, and the like.^^ On 
the whole, he will certainly bear comparison as a descriptive 
geographer with any author anterior to Strabo ; and, on some 
important points, as the true character of the Caspian Sea, he 
is better informed than even that writer.^^ 

With regard to meteorology his notions are certainly such as 
seem to us in the highest degree absurd and extraordinary. 
He regards heat and cold as inherent in the winds themselves, 
not as connected with any solar influence. ^^ The winds control 
the sun, whom they drive southwards in winter, only allowing 
him to resume his natural course at the approach of spring.^^ 
The phenomena, however, of evaporation,^' and even of radia- 
tion,^^ seem to be tolerably well understood by Herodotus ; and 
if on the whole his meteorological conceptions must be pro- 
nounced crude and false, we should remember that real physical 
science did not see the light till the time of Aristotle ; and it 
may be questioned whether there is not something more healthy 

1 Herod, iv. 85, 86. (iv. 52), and the Don or Tanais (iv. 57). 
*■* Ibid. i. 202, ad fin. ; iv. 42-44. ^^ See note on book i. ch. 202. 

3 Ibid. i. 203. " Herod, iv. 54-5(3. ^» Ibid. iv. 86. 

* Ibid. ii. 17, 29-31. ^^ Take, for instance, the description 

^ Ibid. ii. 33 ; iv. 47-49. of Thessaly in book vii. (ch. 129,, or that 

6 Ibid. i. 6, 72. of Egvpt in bo jk ii. ''ehs. 6-12). 

7 Ibid. i. 189, 193 ; v. 20. i7 Herod, ii. 7, 10, 12 ; iv. 47, 191, 198. 

8 Ibid.i. 180. « Ibid. iv. 44. ^^ Comp. Strab. ii. p. 160. 

10 Ibid. iv. 53. " Ibid. iv. 51-2. I'J Herod, ii. 24-5. 20 jbid. 1. s. c. 

12 As the Pruth (iv. 48), the Bug 21 Lqc cit. 22 ch. 27. 

94 MYTHOLOGY. Life and 

in the physical speculations of our author, which evince an in- 
quiring mind and one that went to nature itself for arguments 
and analogies/ than in the physico-metaphysical theories of the 
Ionic School, which formed the furthest reach whereto Science 
(falsely so called) had attained in his day. His geological 
speculations in particular are in advance of his age, and not im- 
frequently anticipate lines of thought which are generally re- 
garded as the discoveries of persons living at the present 
time.^ ^^^"^ 

On the subject of mythology Herodotus seems to have held 
the common views of his countrymen : he accepted the myths 
in simple faith, and, where naturally led to do so, reported them 
as he had heard them. He drew, however, a very marked Hue | 
between the mythological age and the historical,^ and confined 1 1 
his narrative almost entirely to the latter, thereby offering all: 
strong contrast to the writers who had preceded him, since inj, P 
their works mythology either took the place of history,* or al| ji 
least was largely intermixed with it.^ ! 

The philological deficiencies of Herodotus have been already, 
admitted.*^ There is no reason to believe that he was a mastein^ 
of any language besides his own. He appears, however, to have 
regarded the languages of other nations with less contempt 
than was felt towards them by the Greeks generally ; and the 
explanations which he gives of foreign words, though not always 
to be depended on,''' are at once indicative of his unwearied 
activity in the pursuit of knowledge of all kinds, and possess an 
absolute value in the eyes of the comparative philologer.^ On 

1 See ii. 20, 22, 23. about the formation of land at the 

2 Herodotus perceives the operation mouthsof great rivers, as at the mouth of 
of the two agencies of fire and water in the Scamander, of the Maander, and of 
V)ringing the earth into its actual condi- the Acheloiis (ii. 10 ; see note ad loc). 
tion (ii. 5, 10; vii. 129, ad fin.). He His notice of the proyt^cifon of the Delta 
regards the changes as having occupied from the general line of the African 
enormous periods of time — tens of thou- coast, as a proof of its recent origin 
sands of years (ii. 11, ad fin.). His (ii. 11), is also sound in principle, 
whole reasoning concerning the forma- ^ gee especially iii. 122; but compare 
tion of the valley of the Nile, although also i. 5, ii. 120, &c.; and note the omis- 
perhaps erroneous in fact, is in perfect sion of the mythological period, of which 
accordance with the principles laid down he was well aware (ii. 43, 46, 144-5, and 
by Sir C. Lyell ; and in his anticipations 156), from the history of Egypt. 

of what would happen if the Nile were ^ Vide supra, p. 31. 

made to empty itself into the head of ^ See Thucyd. i. 21. 

the Eed Sea that geologist would, it is ^ Supr^, p. 57. 

probable, entirely concur. The alluvial "^ As in the case of the word Piromis 

character of the great Thessalian basin, (ii. 143), and of the names of the Persian 

and the disruption of the gorge at Tempe, monarchs (vi. 98). 

would similarly be admitted. Herodo- ^ See the use made by Grimm of He- 

tus again is quite correct in his remarks rodotus's Scythian words in his History 

Wkitings. merits AS A WRITER. 95 

the etymology of Greek words lie very rarely touches ; in such 
cases his criticism seems neither better nor worse than that of 
other Greek writers, anterior to the rise of the Alexandrian 

The merits of Herodotus as a writer have never been ques- 
tioned. Those who make the lowest estimate of his qualifica- 
tions as an historian, are profuse in their acknowledgments of his 
beauties of composition and style, by which they consider that 
other commentators upon his work have been unduly biassed in 
his favour, and led to overrate his historical accuracy.^ Scarcely 
a dissentient voice is to be found on this point among critical; 
authorities, whether ancient or modern, who all agree in up-i 
holding our author as a model of his own peculiar order of com- 
position.^ In the concluding portion of this notice an en- 
deavour will be made to point out the special excellencies which 
justify this universal judgment, while, at the same time, atten- 
tion will be drawn to certain qualifying statements whereby the 
most recent of our author's critics has lessened the effect of 
those general eulogiums which he has passed upon the literary 
merits of the History. 

The most important essential of every literary composition, 
be it poem, treatise, history, tale, or aught else, is unity. Upon 
this depends our power of viewing the composition as a whole, 
and of deriving pleasure from the grasp that we thereby obtain 
of it, as well as from our perception of the harmony and mutual 
adaptation of the parts, the progress and conduct of the argu- 
ment, and the interconnexion of the various portions with one 

of the Germau Language, vol. i. pp. charm of his style, by the truthfulness 

218-237. of intention and amiability of temper 

^ Herodotus derives ©ebs from ri9ri/j.i which beam in every page, and by the 
(ii. 52), which is at least as good as entertainment derived even from the de- 
Plato's derivation from deco (Cratyl. p. fective portions of his narrative, they 
397, C), and is plausible, though proba- are led to place his work and himself, 
bly wrong. (See note ad loc.) His de- in regard to the higher qualifications of 
rivation of alyU from aJ^ (iv. 189), on the historian, on the same level with 
theotherhand. is correct' enough. What that occupied by Thucydides." (Lit. of 
he means by deriving the names of the Greece, vol. iv. p. 355.) 
Greek gods from Egypt (ii. 50) is not ^ cf. Arist. Rhet. iii. 9 ; Dionys. Hal. 
clear. Except in the cases of Themis Ep. ad Cn. Pomp. 3; Jud. de Thuc. 23; 
(the Egyptian Thrnei), and of Athen^ Quinctilian. Inst. Orat. IX. iv. 19, and 
and Hephaestus, which may have been X. i. 73; Lucian. Herod. 1, vol. iv. 
formed from Neith and Phtha, there p. 116; Athen. Deipu. iii. 15, p. 309; 
seems to be no real connexion. Schlegel's Lectures on the Histoiy of 

1 Speaking of the bulk of modern Literature, vol. i. p. 44, E. T. ; Matthicc, 

commentators on Herodotus, Col. Mure Manual of Greek and Roman Literature, 

says : "Dazzled by the rich profusion p. 57, E. T. ; Mure's Literatur^J of Greece, 

of his historical facts,- by 'the grandeur vol. iv. i:)p. 451-51S. 
of his historical combinations, by the 

96 UNITY. Life and 

another. In few subjects is it so difficult to secure this funda- 
mental groundwork of literary excellence as in history. The 
unity furnished by mere identity of country or of race falls 
short of what is required ; and hence most general histories are 
wearisome and deficient in interest. Herodotus, by selecting 
for the subject of his work a special portion of the history of 
Greece and confining himself to the narration of events having 
a bearing, direct or indirect, upon his main topic, has obtained a 
unity of action sufficient to satisfy the most stringent demands 
of art, equal, indeed, to that which cliaracterises the master- 
pieces of the imagination. Instead of undertaking the complex 
and difficult task of writing the history of the Hellenic race 
during a given period, he sits down with the one (primary) ob- 
ject of faithfully recording the events of a particular war. It is 
not, as has been generally said,^ the conflict of races, the anta- 
gonism between Europe and Asia, nor even that antagonism in 
its culminating form — the struggle between Greece and Persia — 
that he puts before him as his proper subject. Had his views 
embraced this whole conflict, the Argonautic expedition, the 
Trojan war, tlie invasion of EurojDe by the Teucrians and 
Mysians,* the frequent incursions into Asia of the Cimmerians 
and the Treres, perhaps even the settlement of the Greeks 
upon the Asiatic shores, ^vould have claimed their place as in- 
tegral portions of his narrative. His absolute renunciation of 
some of these subjects,^ and his cursory notice^ or entire 
omission of others,"^ indicate that he proposed to himself a far 
narrower task than the relation of the 'long course of rivaby 
between the Asiatic and European races. Nor did he even in- 
tend to give us an account of the entire struggle between 
Greece and Persia. His w^ork, though not finished throughout, 
is concluded ; ^ and its termination with the return of the Greek 

^ See Niebulir's Lectures on Ancient ^ It is astonishing to find an author 

History, vol. i. p. 167, E. T. ; Dahl- of Dahlmann's discernment maintaining 

mann's Life of Herodotus, ch. vii. § 1 that the extant work of Herodotus is an 

(p. 1()'2, E. T.) ; Mure's Literature of " vmcompleted performance;" that he 

Gree^ce, vol. iv. pp. 454, 455. *' intended to relate the expedition of 

* Herod, vii. '20, ad fin. Cimon, the great Egyptian war of the 

^ As the Trojan war, and the voyage Athenians, and possibly the interference 

of the Argonauts (i. 5). of the Persians in the Peloponnesian war, 

^ As of the Teucrian and Mysian ex- had his life been extended" (Life,l.s.c.). 

pedition (vii. 20), and of the Ionian co- He admits that the '^uncompleted per- 

lonisation (i. 146; vii. 94). formance " has ''all the value of a work 

' As of the incursions of the Treres, of art, rounded off" in all its parts, audcon- 

and the Cimmerian ravages preceding eluded with thoughtful deliberation;" 

their grand attack. (See the Critical but attempts no account of the happy 

Essays appended to this Book, Essay i.) charfce which has given this perfection 

Wkitings. object OF HIS WORK. 97 

fleet from Sestos, distinctly shows that it was not his object to 
trace the entire history of the Gra^co-Persian struggle, since that 
struggle continued for thirty years afterwards with scarcely any 
intermission, until the arrangement known as the Peace of 
Callias. The real intention of Herodotus was to write the his- 
tory of the Persian War of Invasion — the contest which com- 
menced with the first expedition of Mardonius, and terminated 
with the entire discomfiture of the vast fleet and army collected 
and led against Greece by Xerxes. The portion of his narra- 
tive which is anterior to the expedition of Mardonius is of the 
nature of an introduction, and in this a double design may be 
traced, the main object of the writer being to give an account 
of the rise, growth, and progress of the great Empire which had 
been the antagonist of Greece in the struggle, and his secondary 
aim to note the previous occasions whereon the two races had 
been brought into hostile contact. Both these points are con- 
nected intimately with the principal object of the history, the 
one being necessary in order to a correct apjDreciation of tlie 
greatness of the contest and the glory gained by those with 
whom the victory rested, and the other giving the causes from 
which the quarrel sprang, and throwing important light on the 
course of the invasion and the conduct of the invaders. 

Had Herodotus confined himself rigidly to these three inter- 
connected heads of narration, the growth of the Persian Empire, 
the previous hostilities between Greece and Persia, and the 
actual conduct of the great war, his history would have been 
meagre and deficient in variety. To avoid this consequence, he 
takes every opportunity which presents itself of diverging from 
his main narrative and interweaving with it the vast stores of 
his varied knowledge, w^hether historical, geographical, or anti- 
quarian. He thus contrived to set before his countrymen a 
general picture of the world, of its various races, and of the pre- 
vious history of those nations which possessed one f thereby 

to a mere fragment. Col. Mure, on the Carthage. In the latter case there is 

other hand, has some just remarks (p. sufficient reason for his silence, but his 

468) on the fitness of the point selected omission of any sketch of Phoenician 

by Herodotus for the conclusion of his history is very surprising. He certainly 

narrative, and the appropriateness of his ought to have given an account of the 

winding up the whole by the final return conquest or submission of the great na- 

home of the victorious Athenian fleet val power, in which case a sketch of its 

from the Hellespont. previous history would have been almost 

^ There are two remarkable exceptions necessary. Is it possible that ignorance 

which require notice. Herodotus gives kept him silent? 
us no history either of Phoenicia or of 

VOL. I. H 


giving a grandeur and breadth to his work, which places it in 
the very first rank of historical compositions.^ At the same 
time he took care to diversify his pages by interspersing amid 
his more serious matter tales, anecdotes, and descriptions of a 
lighter character, which are very graceful appendages to the 
main narrative, and happily relieve the gravity of its general 
tone. The variety and richness of the episodical matter in 
Herodotus forms thus one of his most striking and obvious 
characteristics, and is noticed by all critics f but in this very 
profusion there is a fresh peril, or rather a multitude of perils, 
and it may be questioned whether he has altogether escaped 
them. Episodes are dangerous to unity. They may overlay 
the main narrative and oppress it by their mere weight and 
number : they may be awkward and ill-timed, interrupting the 
thread of the narrative at improper places : or they may be in- 
congruous in matter, and so break in upon the harmony which 
ought to characterise a work of art. In Herodotus the amount 
of the episodical matter is so great that these dangers are in- 
creased proportionally. Nearly one-half of the work is of this 
secondary and subsidiary character.^ It is, however, palpable 
to every reader who possesses the mere average amount of taste 
and critical discernment, that at least the great danger has 
been escaped, and that the episodes of Herodotus, notwith- 
standing their extraordinary length and number, do not injure 
the unity of his work, or unduly overcharge his narrative. This 
result, which " surprises " the modern critic,^ has been ascribed 
with reason to "two principal causes — the propriety of the 
occasion and mode in which the episodical matter is intro- 
duced, and the distinctness of form and substance which the 
author has imparted to his principal masses." ^ By the exercise 
of great care and judgment, as well as of a good deal of self- 
restraint® in these two respects, Herodotus has succeeded in 
completely subordinating his episodes to his main subject, and 

1 The only parallels to Herodotus * Mure, p. 459. ^ Ibid. loc. cit. 
in this respect which modern literature ^ This self-restraint is shown both in 
furnishes, are Gibbon's Decline and his abstaining from the introduction of 
Fall of Rome and the recent work of important heads of histoiy, if they were 
Mr. Grote. not connected naturally with his narra- 

2 See, among others, Dahlmann (Life tive, and also in his treatment of the histo- 
of Herod, p. 164), Niebuhr (Lectures ries of countries upon which his subject 
on Ancient History, vol. i. p. 168), and led him to enter. On the latter point, see 
Col. Mure (Lit. of Greece, vol iv. pp. Col. Mure's remarks, vol. iv. pp. 460,461. 
458-462). To the former head may be referred the 

3 Vide supra, p. 23. omission of any history of Carthage. 


has prevented them from entangling, encumbering, or even un- 
pleasantly interrupting the general narrative. 

While, however, the mode in which Herodotus has dealt with 
his episodical matter, is allowed to be in the main admirable, 
and to constitute one of the triumphs of his genius, objection is 
made to a certain number of his episodes as inappropriate, 
while others are regarded as misplaced. The history of the 
Greek colonies of Northern Africa, contained in the fourth 
book,^ and the sketch of the native Libyan races, which forms a 
part of the same digression,^ are thought to be superfluous, the 
connexion between the affairs of the countries described and 
the main narrative being too slight to justify the introduction, 
at any rate, of such lengthy notices.^ The story of Khampsinitus, 
in the second book,^^ is objected to, as beneath the dignity of 
history,^ ^ and the legend of Athamas in the seventh, ^^ as at once 
frivolous and irrelevant.'^ Among the digressions considered to 
be out of place ^* are the " Summary of Universal Geography," 
included in the chapter on Scythia,^^ the account of the river 
Aces in Book III.,^^ the story of the amours of Xerxes,^''' and the 
tale of Artayctes and the fried fish in Book IX., ^^ the letter of 
Demaratus at the close of Book YII.,^*^ and the anecdote of 
Cyrus, with which the work is made to terminate. ^° Much of 
this criticism is too minute to need examination, at any rate in 
this place. The irrelevancy or inconvenient position of occa- 
sional single chapters or parts of chapters, constitutes so slight 
a blemish, that the literary merit of the work is scarcely 
affected thereby, even if every alleged case be allowed to be 
without excuse.^^ In only four or five instances is the charge 
made at all serious, since in no greater number is the "inap- 
propriate " or " misplaced " episode one of any length. The 
longest of all is the digression on Cyrene and Barca, where the 
connexion with the main narrative is thought to be " slight," 

' Chs. 145-167 and 200-205. account of the river Aces, the tale of 

8 Chs. 168-199. ^ Mure, p. 462. Artayctes, the letter of Demaratus, and 

*° Ch. 121. " Mure, p. 464. the anecdote of Cyrus. Something might 

12 Ch. 197. 13 Mure, p. 465. be said in favour of almost all these short 

" Mure, pp. 463, 464 and note; also episodes; but even were it otherwise, the 

pp. 4G8, 469. difficulty (admitted by Col. Mure, p. 464, 

15 Herod, iv. 37 et seq. note i) under which ancient authors lay, 

16 Ibid. ch. 117. from the non-existence in their time of 

17 Ibid. ix. 108-113. i^ Ibid. ch. 120. such inventions as foot-notes and appen- 
19 Ibid. ch. 239. 20 jbi^. ix. 122. dices, would be sufficient to excuse a far 
21 Five cases are of this extreme bre- more numerous list of apparently frivo- 

vity, viz., the legend of Athamas, the lous or ill-placed digressions. 

H 2 


and the subject itself to possess " little historical interest." ^ 
But, if we regard it as one of the especial objects of Herodotus, 
in the introductory portion of his work, to trace the progress of 
hostilities between Persia and Greece, we shall see that an 
account of the expedition of Aryandes was absolutely necessary ; 
and as that expedition was not a mere wanton aggression, but 
was intimately connected with the internal politics of Gyrene, 
some sketch of the previous history of that State was indis- 
pensable. With regard to the intrinsic interest of the episode, 
opinions may vary.^ To the Greeks, however, of his own age, 
for whom Herodotus wrote, the history of an outlying portion of 
the Hellenic world, rarely visited and little known by the mass 
of the nation, especially of one so peculiarly circumstanced as 
Gyrene, alone amid barbarous tribes and the sole independent 
representative of the Greek name in Africa,^ may have been far 
more interesting than it is to us, more interesting than any of 
those omitted histories which, it is thought, Herodotus should 
have put in its place. It has been observed that we cannot 
always perceive the object of Herodotus in introducing his 
episodes ; ^ sometimes, no doubt, he may have intended " to 
supplant incorrect accounts,"'^ but perhaps his design as 
often was to communicate information on obscure points; and 
this object may have led him to treat at so much length the 
history of the African settlements. 

With regard to the digression upon the Libyan nations, it 
must be acknowledged that it is introduced in a somewhat 
forced and artificial manner. Had Aryandes, satrap of Egypt, 
really designed the reduction of these tribes under his master's 
sway, and undertaken an expedition commensurate with that 
grand and magnificent object, Herodotus would have been as 
fully entitled to give an account of them as he is to describe the 
Scythians and their neighbours. But there are grounds for 
disbelieving the statement of Herodotus with regard to Aryandes' 

1 Mure, p, 462. a Pelasgian (ch. 161); the constitution 

2 'To me the narrative appears to pre- which that legislator devised (ibid.); 
sent several points of very great interest, and the transplantation of the captured 
I have elsewhere noticed the important Barcseans to the remote Bactria (ch. 204). 
light that it throws upon the influence 3 rpj^g colony of Naucratis was within 
which the Delphic oracle exercised on the jurisdiction of the rulers of Egypt, 
the course of Greek colonisation. Other and besides was a mere factory, 
interesting features are the original ^ Niebuhr's Lectures on Ancient His- 
friendliness, and subsequent hostility tory, vol. i, p. 168, note, 

of the natives (chs. 158 and 159); the ^ Ibid. loc. cit. 
calling in of a foreign legislator, and him 


designs. As Dahlmann long ago observed, " no such plan ap- 
pears in the actual enterprise." ^ Herodotus seems to have 
ascribed to the Persian governor an intention which he never 
entertained, in order to furnish himself with an ample pretext 
for bringing in a description possessing the features which he 
especially affected — novelty, strangeness, and liveliness. He 
need not, however, have had recourse to this artifice. Apart 
from any such project on the part of the Persian chief, Hero- 
dotus was entitled to describe the nations through whose country 
the troops passed, and the various tribes bordering upon the 
Cyrenaica; after which he might fairly have brought in the 
rest of his information. This information was wanted to com- 
plete the geographic sketch of the known world which he wished 
to set before his readers ; and the right place for it was cer- 
tainly that where the tribes in question were, at least partially, 
brought into hostile collision with Persia, and where an account 
was given of Cyrene and Barca, colonies situated in the midst 
of them, and established in order to open a trade between them 
and the Greeks. 

The episode on universal geography is thought to be at once 
superfluous and out of place. '^ In addition to the detailed 
notices of particular countries which Herodotus so constantly 
supplies, no general description of the earth was, it is said, 
"either necessary or desirable." This criticism ignores what 
its author elsewhere acknowledges — the intimate connexion of 
geography with history when Herodotus wrote — the fact that 
the " accurate division of literary labour which is consequent on 
a general advance of scientific pursuit,"^ was not made till long 
subsequently. As geography and history in this early time 
"went hand in hand,"^ it would seem that in a history which, 
despite the restricted aim of its main narrative, tended to be- 
come so nearly universal by means of digressions and episodes, 
the geographic element required, and naturally obtained, a 
parallel expansion. With respect to the place where the " de- 
scription of the earth," if admitted at all, should have been in- 
serted, which, it is suggested, was " the earlier portion of the 
text," that portion " which treats of the great central nations of 
the world, Assyrians, Egyptians, and Persians,"^ it is at least 
open to question whether a better opportunity could have been 

6 Life of Herodotus, eh. vii. § 6, ' Mure, p. 463. « ibid. p. 456. 

p. 123. ^ Mure, p. 68. ^ Ibid. p. 463. 

102 AMOURS OF XEPtXES. ' Life akd 

found for introducing the description without violence in any of 
the earlier books than is furnished by the inquiry concerning 
the existence of Hyperboreans, to which the account of Scythia 
leads naturally, or whether any position would have been more 
suitable for it than a niche in that compartment of the work 
which is specially and pre-eminently geographic. As the 
general account of the earth is a question concerning boundaries 
and extremities, its occurrence " in connexion with a remote 
and barbarous extremity,"^ is not inappropriate, but the con- 
trary. ' _ 

The story of the amours of Xerxes interrupts, it must be 
allowed, somewhat disagreeably, the course of the principal 
narrative, then rapidly verging to a conclusion, and is objection- 
able in an artistic point of view. It seems, however, to be 
exactly one of those cases in which " the historian of real 
transactions lies under a disadvantage as compared with the 
author in the more imaginative branches of composition."^ 
To have omitted the relation altogether would have been to 
leave incomplete the portraiture of the character of Xerxes, as 
well as to fail in showing the gross corruption, so characteristic 
of an Oriental dynasty, into which the Persian court had sunk, 
within two generations, from the simplicity of Cyrus. And if 
the story was to be inserted, where could it most naturally 
come in ? It belonged in time to the last months of the war,* 
and personally attached to a certain Masistes, whom nothing 
brought upon the scene tiU after Mycale.^ Historic propriety, 
therefore, required its introduction in a place where it would 
detract from artistic beauty ; and Herodotus, wisely preferring 
matter to manner, submitted to an artistic blemish for the sake 
of an historic gain. 

The legend of Khampsinitus, which is correctly said to 
" belong to that primeval common fund of low romance " ^ of 
which traces exist in the nursery stories and other tales of 
nations the most remote and diverse, would certainly offend a 
cultivated taste if it occurred in a history of the Critical School ; 
but in one which belongs so decidedly to the Komantic School 
it may well be borne, since it is not out of keeping with the 
general tone of that style of writing. Standing where it does, 
it serves to relieve the heaviness of a mere catalogue of royal 

2 Mure, loc. cit, SapSeo-i iiov &pa [Eep^rjs] ijpa rrjs Mocri- 

' Ibid. p. 452. (TTeco yvvaiKSs. 

4 Herod, ix. 108. T6t€ 5e eV rpcri ^ Ibid. ch. 107. ^ Mure, p. 464. 


names and deeds, the dullest form in which history ever presents 

On the whole there seems to be reason to acquiesce in the 
judgment of Dahlmann, who expresses his "astonishment" at 
hearing Herodotus censured for his episodes, and maintains that 
they are "almost universally connected with his main object, 
and inserted in their places with a beauty which highly dis- 
tinguishes them.""^ 

Next in order to the two merits of epic unity in plan, and 
rich yet well-arranged and appropriate episode, both of which 
the work of Herodotus seems to possess in a high degree, may 
be mentioned the excellency of his character-drawing, which, 
whether nations or individuals are its object, is remarkably 
successful and effective. His portraiture of the principal 
nations with which his narrative is concerned — the Persians, the 
Athenians, and the Spartans — is most graphic and striking. 
Brave, lively, spirited, capable of sharp sayings and repartees,^ 
but vain, weak, impulsive, and hopelessly servile towards their 
lords,^ the ancient Persians sta'nd out in his pages as completely 
depicted by a few masterly strokes as their modern descendants 
have been by the many touches of a Chardin or a Morier. 
Clearly marked out from other barbarian races by a lightness 
and sprightliness of character, which brought them near to the 
Hellenic type, yet vividly contrasted with the Greeks by their 
passionate abandon^ and slavish submission to the caprices of 
despotic power, they possess in the pages of Herodotus an indi- 
viduality which is a guarantee of truth, and which serves very 
remarkably to connect them with that peculiar Oriental people 
— the " Frenchmen of the East," as they have been called — at 
present inhabiting their country. Active, vivacious, intelligent, 
sparkling, even graceful, but without pride or dignity, supple, 
sycophantic, always either tyrant or slave, the modern Persian 
contrasts strongly with the other races of the East, who are 
either rude, bold, proud, and freedom-loving, like the Kurds and 
Affghans, or listless and apathetic, like the Hindoos. This 
curious continuity of character, which however is not without a 
parallel,^ very strongly confirms the truthfulness of our author, 

' Life of Herodotus, ch. ix. p. 164. an accumulation of the most gi-ievous 

E. T. injuries to goad a Persian into revolt 

8 Herod, i. 127, 141; vi. l;viii. 88, &c. (see ix. 113). 

^ See particularly the story of Prex- ^ Herod, viii. 99 ; ix. 24. 

aspes (iii. 35). Note also their submission ^ a. similar tenacity of character is 

to the whip (vii. 56, 223). It requires observable in the case of the Greeks 


wlio is thus shown, even in what might seem to be the mere 
ornamental portion of his work, to have confined himself to a 
representation of actnal realities. 

To the Persian character that of the Greeks offers, in many- 
points, a strong contrast — a contrast which is most clearly seen 
in that form of the Greek character which distinguished the 
races of the Doric stock, and attained its fullest development 
among the Spartans. Here again the picture drawn by Hero- 
dotus exhibits great power and skill. By a small number of 
carefully-managed touches, by a few well-chosen anecdotes, and 
by occasional terse remarks, he contrives to set the Spartans 
before us, both as individuals and as a nation, more graphically 
than perhaps any other writer. Their pride and independent 
spirit, their entire and willing submission to their laws, their 
firmness and solidity as troops, their stern sententiousness, re- 
lieved by a touch of humour,^ are vividly displayed in his 
narrative. At the same time he does not shrink from showing 
the dark side of their character. The selfishness, backwardness, 
and over-caution of their public policy,'^ their cunning and 
duplicity upon occasion,^ their inability to resist corrupting 
influences and readiness to take bribes,^ their cruelty and entire 
want of compassion, whether towards friend or foe,^ are all dis- 
tinctly noted, and complete a portrait not more striking in its 
features than consonant with all that we know from other 
sources of the leading people of Greece. 

Similar fidelity and descriptive power are shown in the 
picture which he gives us of the Athenians. Like the Spartans, 
they are independent and freedom-loving, brave and skilful in 
war, patriotic, and, from the time that they obtain a form of 
government suited to their wants, fondly attached to it. Like 
them, too, they are cruel and unsjDaring towards their adver- 
saries.^ Unlike them, they are open in their public policy, 
active and enterprising almost to rashness, impulsive and so 
changeable in their conduct,^ vain rather than proud,^ as troops 
possessing more dash than firmness,^ in manners refined and 

themselves, as also in the Germans ' Ibid. vi. 79-80; vii. 133, 231 (cf. 

(comp. Tacit. German.), and the Spa- ix. 71, and i. 82 ad fin.) 

niards. ^ Herod, v. 71 ; vii. 133, 137, ad fin. 

3 Herod, iii. 46; vii. 226 ; ix. 91. » Comp. v. 97, 103, with vi. 21 ; and 

4 Ibid. i. 152; vi. 106; viii. 4, 63; vi. 132 with 136. 
ix. 6-8, 46-7. _ 1 Ibid. i. 143. 

^ Ibid. vi. 79, 108 ; ix. 10. ^ ^he Athenians are rarely successful 

^ Ibid. iii. 148; v. 51; vi. 72; ix. 82. when they act merely on the defensive — 


elegant;^ witty,'^ hospitable,^ magnificent,^ fond of display/ 
capable upon occasion of greater moderation and self-denial 
than most Greeks,^ and even possessing to a certain extent a 
generous spirit of Pan-Hellenism.^ Herodotus, in his admira- 
tion of the services rendered by the Athenians to the common 
cause during the great war, has perhaps over-estimated their 
pretensions to this last quality ; at least it will be found that 
enlightened self-interest sufficiently explains their conduct 
during that struggle ; and circumstances occurring both before 
and after it clearly sliow, that they had no scruples about calling 
in the Persians against their own countrymen when they ex- 
pected to gain by it.^° It ought not to be forgotten in any 
estimate of the Athenian character, that they set the example of 
seeking aid from Persia against their Hellenic enemies. The 
circumstances of the time no doubt were trying, and the resolve 
not to accept aid at the sacrifice of their independence was 
worthy of their high spirit as a nation ; but still the fact remains, 
that the common enemy first learnt through the invitation of 
Athens how much she had to* hope from the internal quarrels 
and mutual jealousies of the Greek states. 

In depicting other nations besides these three — who play the 
principal parts in his story — Herodotus has succeeded best with 
the varieties of barbarism existing upon the 'outskirts of the 
civilised world, and least well with those nations among whom 
refinement and cultivation were at the highest. He seems to 
have experienced a difficulty in appreciating any other phase of 
civilisation than that which had been developed by the Greeks. 
His portraiture of the Egyptians, despite its elaborate finish, is 
singularly ineffective ; while in the case of the Lydians and 
Babylonians, he scarcely presents us with any distinctive national 
features. On the other hand, his pictures of the Scythians, the 
Thracians, and the wild tribes of Northern Africa, are exceed- 
ingly happy, the various forms of barbarism being well con- 
trasted and carefully distinguished from one another. 

they are defeated with great slaughter ^ Ibid. viii. 59, 125. ^ Ibid. vi. 35. 

when attacked by the Eginetaus on one ^ Note the frequent mention of their 

occasion (v. 85-7); they fly before the success in the games, a great sign of 

mixed levies of Pisistratus (i. 63) ; they liberal expenditure (Herod, v. 71 ; vi. 

share in the Ionian defeat at Ephesus 36, 103, 122, 125, &c.) 

(v. 102). On the other hand their vie- '^ Herod, viii. 124. 

tories are gained by the vigour and ^ Ibid. vii. 144; ix. 27. 

gallantry of their attack (vi. 112 ; ix. ^ Ibid. vii. 139; viii. 3 and 144. 

70, 102). 10 Ibid. v. 73; Thucyd. viii. 48 et seq. 
3 Herod, vi. 128-130. 


Among the individuals most effectively portrayed by our 
author, may be mentioned the four Persian monarchs with 
whom his narrative is concerned, the Spartan kings, Cleomenes, 
Leonidas, and Pausanias, the Athenian statesmen and generals, 
Themistocles and Aristides, the tyrants Periander, Polycrates, 
Pisistratus, and Histiseus the Milesian, Amasis the Egyptian 
king, and Croesus of Lydia. The various shades of Oriental 
character and temperament have never been better depicted 
than in the representation given by Herodotus of the first four 
Achsemenian kings — Cyrus, the simple, hardy, vigorous moun- 
tain chief, endowed with a vast ambition and with great military 
genius, changing, as his empire enlarged, into the kind and 
friendly paternal monarch — clement, witty, polite, familiar with 
his people ; Cambyses, the first form of the Eastern tyrant, 
inheriting his father's vigour and much of his talent, but spoilt 
by the circumstances of his birth and breeding, violent, rash, 
headstrong, incapable of self-restraint, furious at opposition, not 
only cruel but brutal ; Darius, the model Oriental prince, brave, 
sagacious, astute, great in the arts .both of war ^ and peace, the 
organiser and consolidator as well as the extender of the empire, 
a man of kind and warm feeling, strongly attached to his 
friends,^ clement and even generous towards conquered foes,^ 
only severe upon system where the well-being of the empire 
required an example to be made ; ^ and Xerxes, the second and 
inferior form of the tyrant, weak and puerile as well as cruel 
and selfish, fickle, timid, licentious, luxurious, easily worked on 
by courtiers and women, superstitious, vainglorious, destitute of 
all real magnanimity, only upon occasion ostentatiously parading 
a generous act when nothing had occurred to ruffle his feelings.^ 
Nor is Herodotus less successful in his Hellenic portraits. 
Themistocles is certainly better drawn by Herodotus than by 
Thucydides. His political wisdom and clearsightedness, his wit 

1 Col. Mvire says that "the general so many revolts (i. 130; iii. 150-160; cf. 

policy of Darius was directed rather to Behist. Ins.), the conqueror of Thrace 

the consolidation than the extension of (iv. 93), and the not unsuccessful con- 

his dominions " (p. 476), and denies his ductor of the Scythian campaign, cannot 

possession of any military genius; but be fairly said to have wanted military 

the king who added to the empire the talent. 

Indian satrapy (Herod, iv. 44), the Cher- "^ Herod, iii. 140, 160 ; iv. 143 ; v. 11; 

sonese (vi. 33), great part of Thrace (iv. vi. 30. 

93; V. 10), Pseonia (v. 15), Macedon ^ Ibid. vi. 20, 119. 

(vi. 44), and the Greek islands (iii. 149; ^ ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^28, 159; iv. 84, 166; 

V. 26-7 ; vi. 49), cannot be considered to v. 25. 

have disregarded the enlargement of his * Ibid. vii. 29, 136. 

empire; and the successful subduer of * 


and ready invention, his fertility in expedients, his strong love 
of intrigue, his curious combination of patriotism with selfish- 
ness, his laxity of principle amounting to positive dishonesty,^ 
are all vividly exhibited, and form a whole which is at once 
more graphic and more complete than the sketch furnished by 
the Attic writer. The character of Aristides presents a new 
point for admiration in the skill with which it is hit off with the 
fewest possible touches. Magnanimous, disinterestedly patriotic, 
transcending all his countrymen in excellence of moral character 
and especially in probity, the simple straightforward statesman 
comes before us on a single occasion,^ and his features are por- 
trayed without effort in a few sentences. In painting the Greek 
tyrants, whom he so much detested, Herodotus has resisted the 
temptation of representing them all in the darkest colours, and 
has carefully graduated his portraits from the atrocious cruelties 
and horrible outrages of Periander to the wise moderation and 
studied mildness of Pisistratus. The Spartan character, again, 
is correctly given under its various aspects, Leonidas being the 
idealized type of perfect Spartan heroism, while Pausanias is a 
more ordinary specimen of their nobler class of mind, brave and 
generous, but easily wrought upon by corrupting influences,^ 
Cleomenes and Eurybiades being representatives of the two 
forms of evil to which Spartans were most prone, — Eurybiades 
weak, timorous, vacillating, and incapable ; Cleomenes cruel, 
false, and violent, — both alike open to take bribes, and ready to 
sacrifice the interests of the state to their own selfish ends. 

It is not often that Herodotus bestows much pains on the 
character of an individual who does not belong to one or other 
of the two nations with which he is principally concerned, viz. 
the Greeks and the Persians. But in the sketches of Croesus 
and Amasis he has departed from his general rule, and has pre- 
sented us with tw^o pictures of Oriental monarchs, offering a 
remarkable contrast to the Persian kings and to each other. 
The character of Croesus is rather Hellenic than barbarian ; he 
is the mildest and most amiable of despots ; a tender and affec- 
tionate parent, a faithful friend, a benevolent man. He loves 
his Lydians even after they have ceased to be his subjects ; ^ 

6 See Herod, viii. 4-5, 58, 108-110, 112. 82), where the first working of the cor- 

' Herod, viii. 78-9. rupting iafluence of wealth and luxury 

'See the anecdote of Pausanias ban- on a Spartan is very cleverly shown, 

queting in the tent of Mardonius (ix. ^ Herod, i. 156. 

108 CROESUS— AMASIS. Life and 

he kindly receives the fugitive Adrastus, who has no claim on 
his protection, and freely forgives him after he has been the 
unhaj)py means of inflicting on him the most grievous of in- 
juries. Besides possessing these soft and gentle qualities, he is 
hospitable and magnificent, lavishly liberal to those from whom 
he has received any benefit,^ religious, and though unduly elated 
by prosperity, yet in the hour of adversity not unduly depressed, 
but capable of profiting by the lessons of experience. Amasis 
is a ruler of almost equal mildness ; like Croesus, he has a lean- 
ing towards the Greeks ; he is also, like him, prosperous, and 
distinguished for liberality and magnificence ;^ Egypt flourishes 
greatly under his government, and both his internal administra- 
tion and his foreign policy are eminently successful.^ Thus far 
there is a remarkable parallelism between the character and cir- 
cumstances of the Egyptian and the Lydian monarch ; but in 
other respects they are made to exhibit a strong and pointed 
contrast. Amasis is a man of low birth and loose habits ; from 
his youth he has lived by his wits an easy, gay, jovial life, win- 
ning the favour both of monarch and people by his free manners 
and ready but coarse humour. When he becomes king, though 
he devotes himself with great zeal to the despatch of business, 
and enacts laws of the utmost severity against such idle and 
unworthy members of society as he had himself been in time 
past, yet he carries with him into his new station the same love 
of good living and delight in low and vulgar pleasantry which 
had signalised the early portion of his career. This last feature, 
which is the leading one of his character, effectually distin- 
guishes him from the elegant and polished Croesus, born in the 
purple, and bred up amid all the refined amenities of a luxurious 
court. In another respect the opposition between the two 
princes is even more striking — so striking, indeed, as almost to 
appear artificial. Amasis, though owing more to fortune than 
even the Lydian monarch, is not dazzled by her favours, or led 
to forget the instability of all things human, and the special 
danger to the over-prosperous man from the "jealousy" of 
Heaven. His letter to Poly crates* strongly marks this fact, 
which in the mind of Herodotus would serve to account for the 
continued and unchequered prosperity of the Egyptian king — 
so different from the terrible reverse which befell the too con- 
fident Lydian. 

1 Herod, i. 50-2, 54; vi. 125. , 3 jbid. ii. 177, 182 ad fin. 

2 Ibid. ii. 175-6, 18U, 182. " Herod, iii. 40. 


The power of Herodotus to portray female character is also 
worthy of notice. Unlike Thucydides, who passes over in con- 
temptuous silence the part played by women in the transactions 
which he undertakes to record,^ Herodotus seizes every oppor- 
tunity of adding variety and zest to his narrative by carefully 
introducing to our notice the females concerned in his events. 
In Nitocris we have the ideal of a great Oriental queen — wise, 
grand, magnificent, ostentatious ; prophetic in her foresight, 
clever in her designs, splendid in the execution of whatever 
works she takes in hand ; the beautifier at once and the skilful 
protector of her capital ; bent on combining utility with orna- 
ment, and in her works of utility having regard to the benefit 
of the great mass of her subjects. With her Tomyris, the other 
female character of the first book, contrasts remarkably. To- 
myris is the perfection of a barbaric, as Nitocris is of a civi- 
lised princess. Bold and warlike rather than sagacious or 
prudent, noble, careless, confident, full of passion, she meets the 
great conqueror of the East wdth a defiant, almost with a 
triumphant, air, .chivalrously -invites him to cross her frontier 
unmolested, only anxious for a fair fight, disdainful of petty 
manoeuvres, and unsuspicious of artifices. When the civilised 
monarch has deluded and entrapped her son, she shows a single 
trait of womanly softness, consenting to waive the vindication 
of her people's honour upon the condition of receiving back her 
captured child. On the failure of her application and the ex- 
tinction of her last hope by the voluntary death of that un- 
happy youth, nothing is left her but an undying grief and a 
fierce and quick revenge. At the head of her troops she en- 
gages and defeats her son's destroyer ; and as he falls in the 
thick of the fight, she vents her wrath on his dead body by 
insult, mutilation, and defilement, in the true spirit of an out- 
raged and infuriated barbarian. The whole character is in ex- 
cellent keeping, and, however unhistoric, is certainly most true 
to nature. 

As the diversities of female character among the non-Hellenic 
races are exhibited to our view in the persons of Tomyris and 
Nitocris, so in the slight sketch of Gorge and the more elaborate 
portraiture of Artemisia Herodotus has given us opposite and 

* The omission of any reference to but three women by name in the whole 

Aspasia, considering her poHtical in- course of his narrative. (See ii. 2, 101; 

fluence and connexion with Pericles is iv. 133 ; vi. 59.) 
very remarkable. Thucydides mentions 

110 GORGO— ARTEMISIA. Life and 

agreeable specimens of female character among the Greeks. 
Gorgo is the noble, Artemisia the clever woman. Gorge's 
sphere is the domestic circle, Artemisia's the world. Artemisia 
leads fleets, advises monarchs, fights battles, governs a king- 
dom — Gorgo saves her father in the hour of temptation, and 
becomes the fitting bride of the gallant and patriotic Leonidas. 
Still neither character is a mere simple one. Gorgo adds sense 
and intelligence to her high moral qualities,^ and Artemisia 
real courage to her prudence and dexterity;"^ but these features 
are subordinate, and do not disturb the general effect of con- 
trast, which is such as above stated. Although both ladies 
belong to races of the Doric stock, Gorgo alone is the true 
model of a Dorian woman ; Artemisia represents female per- 
fection, not according to the Doric, but according to the ordi- 
nary Greek type. The Dorians of Asia seem to have lost most 
of their distinctive features by contact with their Ionian neigh- 
bours, and Artemisia may be almost regarded as an embodiment 
of Ionian excellence. 

It greatly enhances the artistic merit of these portraitures, 
and the pleasure which the reader derives from them, that the 
characters are made to exhibit themselves upon the scene by 
word and action, and are not formally set before him by the 
historian. Herodotus never condescends to describe a character. 
His men and women act and speak for themselves, and thereby 
leave an impression of life and individuality on the reader's 
mind, which the most skilful word-painting would have failed of 
producing. This is one of the advantages arising from that 
large use by Herodotus of the dramatic element in his history, 
in which it is allowed that he " has been far more generally 
successful than any other classical historian." ^ 

To his skill in character-drawing Herodotus adds a power of 
pathos in which few writers, whether historians or others, have 
been his equals. The stories of the wife of Intaphernes weeping 
and lamenting continually at the king's gate,^ of Psammenitus 
sitting in the suburb and seeing his daughter employed in servile 
offices and his son led to death, yet '^showing no sign," but 
bursting into tears when an old friend accosted him and asked 
an alms ; ^ of Lycophron silently and sadly enduring every- 
thing rather than hold converse with a father who had slain his 

6 Herod, vii. ad fin. « Mure, p. 500. ^ Ibid. iii. 14. 

' Ibid. iii. 119. i Ibid. iii. 50-3. 

Writings. TK AGIO POWEE. Ill 

motlier, and himself suffering for his father's cruelties at the 
moment when a prosperous career seemed about to open on 
him, are examples of this excellence within the compass of a 
single book which it would be difficult to parallel from the 
entire writings of any other historical author. But the most 
eminent instance of the merit in question is to be found in the 
story of Crcesus. It has been well observed that *' the volume 
of popular romance contains few more beautifully told tales 
than that of the death of Atys ;" ^ and the praise might be ex- 
tended to the whole narrative of the life of Croesus from the 
visit of Solon to the scene upon the pyre, which is a master- 
piece of pathos, exhibiting tragic power of the highest order. 
The same power is exhibited in a less degree in the stories of 
the siege of Xanthus,^ of Tomyris,^ of CEobazus,^ of Pythius,^ of 
Boges,'^ and of Masistes.^ In the last of these cases, and per- 
haps in one or two others, the horrible has somewhat too large 
a share ; in all, however, the pathetic is an important and well- 
developed element. 

It has been maintained that Herodotus, though excellent in 
tragic scenes, was " deficient in the sense of the comic properly 
so called." ^ His " good stories " and f * clever sayings " are 
thought to be " not only devoid of true wit, but among the most 
insipid of his anecdotical details." The correctness of this judg- 
ment may be questioned, not only on the general ground that 
tragic and comic power go together,^ but by an appeal to fact — 
the experimentum crucis in such a case. It is, of course, not to 
be expected in a grave and serious production like a history, 
that humorous features should be of frequent occurrence : the 
author's possession of the quality of humour will be sufficiently 
shown if even occasionally he diversifies his narrative by anec- 
dotes or remarks of a ludicrous character. Now in the work of 
Herodotus there are several stories of which the predominant 
characteristic is the humorous ; as, very palpably, the tale of 
Alcmgeon's visit to the treasury of Croesus, when, having 
" clothed himself in a loose tunic, which he made to bag greatly 
at the waist, and placed upon his feet the widest buskins that he ^ 
could anywhere find, he followed his guide into the treasure- 
house," where he " fell to upon a heap of gold-dust, and in the 

2 Mure's Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. p. 505. "^ Ibid. vii. 107. « Ibid. ix. 108-113. 

3 Herod., i. 176. " Ibid. i. 212-4. ^ jvi^^i,^, p. 508. 

5 Ibid. iv. 84. 6 ibitj^ yii^ 39-40. ^ See the Symposium of Plato, subfn. 


first place packed as mucli as he could inside liis buskins be- 
tween them and his legs, after which he filled the breast of his 
tunic quite full of gold, and then sprinkling some among his 
hair, and taking some likewise in his mouth, came forth from 
the treasure-house scarcely able to drag his legs along, like any- 
thing rather than a man, with his mouth crammed full, and his 
bulk increased every way."^ The laughter of Croesus at the 
sight is echoed by the reader, who has presented to him a most 
ridiculous image hit off with wonderful effect, and poeticised by 
the touch of imagination, which regards the distorted form as 
having lost all semblance of humanity. It would be impossible 
to deny to Herodotus the possession of a sense of the comic if 
he had confined himself to this single exhibition of it. 

As a specimen of broad humour the instance here adduced is 
probably the most striking that can be brought forward from 
the pages of our author.^ But many anecdotes will be found 
scattered through them, in which the same quality shows itself 
in a more subdued and chastened form. It will be enough to 
refer, without quotation, to the well-known story of Hippoclides,* 
to the fable of Cyrus,^ the retorts of Bias, Gelo, and Themis- 
tocles,^ the quaint remark of Megacreon,^ the cool observation 
of Dieneces, and the two answers given by the Spartans to the 
envoys of Samos.^ Besides these anecdotical displays of a 
humorous vein, Herodotus often shows his sense of the comic in 
his descriptions of the manners and customs of barbarous na- 
tions. A striking example is his account of the Scythian mode 
of sacrificing in the fourth book, where he concludes his notice 
with the remark that " by this plan your ox is made to hoil him- 
self, and other victims also to do the like." ^ The same vein is 
clearly apparent in the enumeration, contained in the same 
book, of the animals said to inhabit the African "wild-beast 
tract," — " this is the tract in which the huge serpents are found, 
and the lions, the elephants, the bears, the aspicks, and the 
horned asses. Here, too, are the dog-faced creatures, and the 
creatures without heads, whom the Libyans declare to have 

2 Herod, vi. 125. story " insipid," but most readers are 

3 Other instances of abroad and some- amused by the lightheartedness which 
what coarse humour are to be found in the could make a joke out of a calamity, 
story of Ai-taphernes' reply to Histia3us The other " good saying " with which 
(vi. 1), and of the message which Amasis he finds fault (that of Megabazus con- 
sent to Apries by Patarbemis (ii. 162). cerning the site of Byzantium, iv. 144) 

Herod, vi. 129. ^ Ibid. i. 141. is not recorded by Herodotus as a witty, 

I ^ Ibid, i. 27; vii. 162 ; and viii. 125. but as a judicious remark. 

^ Ibid. vii. 120. Col. Mure finds this « Herod, vii. 226. ^ Ibid. iv. 61. 


their eyes in tlieir breasts, and also the wild men and the wild 
women, and many other far less fabulous beasts." ^ Touches of 
humour also serve to relieve his accounts of cannibalism, and 
prevent them from being merely horrible, as such subjects are 
ajDt to become in most writers. Of this nature is his remark 
^vhen speaking of the Padaeans, who put persons to death as 
soon as they were attacked by any malady, to prevent their 
liesh from spoiling, that " the man protests he is not ill in the 
least, but his friends will not accept his denial ; in spite of all 
he can say they kill him and feast themselves on his body." ^ 
A very keen sense of the ludicrous is implied by this perception 
of something laughable in scenes of the greatest horror. 

Perhaps the most attractive feature in the whole work of 
Herodotus — that which prevents us from ever feeling weariness 
as we follow him through the nine books of his history — is the 
wonderful variety in which he deals. Not only historian, but 
geographer, traveller, naturalist, mythologer, moralist, anti- 
quarian, he leads us from one subject to another, — 

" From grave to gay, from lively to severe, — " 

never pursuing his main narrative for any long time without 
the introduction of some agreeable episodical matter, rarely 
caiTying an episodical digression to such an extent as to be any 
severe trial to our patience. Even as historian, the respect in 
which he especially excels other writers is the diversity of his 
knowledge. Contriving to bring almost the whole known world 
within the scope of his story, and throwing everywhere a retro- 
spective glance at the earliest beginnings of states and empires, 
he exhibits before our eyes a sort of panoramic view of history, 
in which past and present, near and remote, civilised kingdoms 
and barbarous communities, kings, priests, sages, lawgivers, 
generals, courtiers, common men, have all their place — a place 
at once skilfully assigned and properly apportioned to their re- 
spective claims on our attention. Blended, moreover, with this 
profusion of historic matter are sketches of religions, graphic 
descriptions of countries, elaborate portraitures of the extremes 
of savage and civilised life, striking moral reflections, curious 
antiquarian and philosophical disquisitions, legends, anecdotes, 

1 Ibid. iv. 191, in the last chapter of book i., where the 

2 Ibid. iii. 99. Compare the descrip- humour is far more subdued, but still 
tion of cannibalism among the Massagetse is very perceptible. 

VOL. I. I 


criticisms — not all perhaps equally happy, but all serving the 
purpose of keeping alive the reader's interest, and contributing 
to the general richness of effect by which the work is charac- 
terised. Again, most remarkable is the variety of styles which 
are assumed, with almost equal success, in the descriptions and 
anecdotes. The masterly treatment of pathetic subjects, and 
the occasional indulgence, with good effect, in a comic vein, 
have been already noticed. Equal power is shown in dealing 
with such matters as are tragic without being pathetic, as in the 
legend of Gyges,^ the story of the death of Cyrus,* the descrip- 
tion of the self-destruction of Cleomenes,^ and, above all, in the 
striking scene which portrays the last moments of Prexaspes.*^ 
In this, and in his account of the death of Adrastus,"^ Herodotus 
has, if anywhere, reached the sublime. Where his theme is 
lower, he has a style peculiarly his own, which seems to come 
to him without effort, yet which is most difficult of attainment. 
It is simple without being homely, familiar without being 
vulgar, lively without being forced or affected. Of this, re- 
markable and diversified specimens will be found in the history 
of the birth and early years of Cyrus,^ and in the tale — which 
reads like a story in the Arabian Nights — of the thieves who 
plundered the treasury of Khampsinitus.^ Occasionally he ex- 
hibits another power which is exceedingly rare — that, namely, 
of representing the grotesque. The story of Arion has a touch 
of this quality,^" which is more fully displayed in the account of 
the funeral rites of the Scythian kings. ^^ Still more remark- 
able, and still more important in its bearing on the general 
effect of his work, is the dramatic power, so largely exhibited in 
the abundant dialogues and in the occasional set speeches 
wherewith his narrative is adorned, which by their contrast with 
the ordinary historical form, and their intrinsic excellence 
generally, ^^ tend more perhaps than any other single feature to 
enliven his pages, and to prevent the weariness which is natur- 
ally caused by the uniformity of continued narration. 
, Another excellence of Herodotus is vivid description, or the 

3 Herod, i. 8-12. * Ibid. i. 212-4. 80-2), must be excepted from this com- 

* Ibid. vi. 75. ^ Ibid. iii. 75. mendation. They are not above the 

' Ibid. i. 45. ® Ibid. i. 108-122. average of sophistical themes on the 

^ Ibid. ii. 121. ^^ Ibid. i. 24. subject, and they are wholly unsuited 

1^ Ibid. iv. 71-2. to the characters and circumstances of 

^ The set speeches of the three con- the persons in whose mouths they are 

spirators in favour of democracy, aristo- put. (See the foot-note ad loc.) 

cracy, and monarchy respectively (iii. 


power of setting before us graphically and distinctly that which 
he desires us to see. This faculty however he does not exhibit 
equally in all subjects. Natural scenery, in common with the 
ancients generally, he for the most part neglects; and his 
descriptions of the great works constructed by the labour of 
man,^ although elaborate, fail in conveying to the minds of his 
readers any very distinct impression of their appearance. The 
power in question is shown chiefly in his accounts of remarkable 
events or actions, which portions of his narrative have often all 
the beauty and distinctness of pictures. Gyges in the bed- 
chamber of Candaules,^ Arion on the quarter-deck chanting the 
Orthian,^ Cleobis and Bito arriving at the temple of Juno,^ 
Adrastus delivering himself up to Croesus,^ Megacles coming 
forth from the treasure-house,^ are pictures of the simplest and 
most striking kind, presenting to us at a single glance a scene 
exactly suited to form a subject for a painter. Sometimes how- 
ever the description is more complex and continuous. The 
charge of the Athenians at Marathon,^ the various contests and 
especially the final struggle at Thermopylae,^ the conflict in the 
royal palace at Susa between the Magi and the seven conspi- 
rators,^ the fight between Onesilus and Arty bins, ^'^ the exploits of 
Artemisia at Salamis,^^ the death of Masistius and the conten- 
tion for his body,^^ are specimens of excellent description of the 
more complicated kind, wherein not a single picture, but a suc- 
cession of pictures, is exhibited before the eyes of the reader. 
These descriptions possess all the energy, life, and power of 
Homeric scenes and battles, and are certainly not surpassed in 
the compositions of any prose writer. 

The most obvious merit of our author, and the last which 
seems to require special notice, is his simplicity. The natural 
flow of narrative and sentiment throughout his work, the pre- 
dominant use of common and familiar words, the avoidance of 
all meretricious ornament and rhetorical artifice, have often 
been remarked, and have won the approbation of almost all 
critics. With Herodotus composition is not an art, but a spon- 
taneous outpouring. He does not cultivate graces of style, or 
consciously introduce fine passages. He writes as his subject 

1 As the barrow of Alyattes (i. 93), * Ibid. i. 31. ^ Ibid. i. 45, sub init. 
the temple of Belus at Babylon (i. 181), « j^j^j^ yj^ i25. See the last page, 
the pyramids (ii. 124, 127, 134), the ' Ibid. vi. 112. 
labyrinth (ii. 148), and the bridge of 
Xerxes (vii. 36). 

2 Herod, i. 9-10. 3 Ibid. i. 24. 

8 Ibid. vii. 210-2 ; 

9 Ibid. iii. 78. 
11 Ibid. viii. 87. 

w Ibid. V. 111-2 
12 Ibid. ix. 22.3. 



leads him, rising with it, but never transcending the modesty of 
nature, or approaching to the confines of bombast. Not only 
are his words simple and common, but the structure of his 
sentences is of the least complicated kind. He writes, as 
Aristotle observes,^ not in labom*ed periods, but in sentences 
which have a continuous flow, and which only end when the 
sense is complete. Hence the wonderful clearness and trans- 
parency of his style, which is never involved, never harsh or 
forced, and which rarely allows the shadow of a doubt to rest 
upon his meaning. 

The same spirit, which thus affects his language and mode of 
expi^ession, is apparent in the whole tone and conduct of the 
narrative. Everything is plainly and openly related ; there is 
no affectation of mystery ; we are not tantalised by obscure 
allusions or hints ; ^ the author freely and fully admits us to his 
confidence, is not afraid to mention himself and his own impres- 
sions ; introduces us to his informants ; tells us plainly what he 
saw and what he heard ; allows us to look into his heart, where 
there is nothing that he needs to hide, and to become sharers 
alike in his religious sentiments, his political opinions, and his 
feelings of sympathy or antipathy towards the various persons 
or races that he is led to mention. Hence the strong personal 
impression of the writer which we derive from his work, whereby, 
despite the meagre notices that remain to us of his life, we are 
made to feel towards him as towards an intimate acquaintance, 
and to regard ourselves as fully entitled to canvass and discuss 
all his qualities, moral as well as intellectual. The candour, 
honesty, amiability, piety, and patriotism of Herodotus, his pri- 
mitive cast of mind and habits, his ardent curiosity, his strong 
love of the marvellous, are familiar topics with his com- 
mentators, who find his portrait drawn by himself with as much 
completeness (albeit unconsciously) in his writings, as those of 
other literary men have been by their professed biographers. 
All this is done moreover without the slightest affectation, or 
undue intrusion of his own thoughts and opinions; it is the 
mere result of his not thinking about himself, and is as far 

1 See Arist. Rhet. iii. 9. Aristotle Xey6ix(vov reXuuiQfj^. 

defines the Ki}^is elpoixevr], or " couti- 2 The only excepttion is in the account 

nuous style," as "that which has in of Egypt, where religious scruples oc- 

itself no termination, unless the matter casionally interfere to check his usual 

under narration be terminated"— (^ouSev openness, 
e^fci TCAOS KaO' avTr/V. av fxrj ro 7rpayjj.a 




removed from the ostentatious display of Xenophon ^ as from 
the studied concealment of Thucydides. 

While the language, style, sentiments, and tone of narrative 
in Herodotus are thus characterised, if we compare him with 
later writers, by a natural simplicity and freedom from effort, 
which constitute to a considerable extent the charm of his 
writing, it is important to observe how greatly in all these 
respects he is in advance of former prose authors. Justice is 
not done to his merits unless some attention be given to the 
history of prose composition before his time, and something like 
a comparison instituted between him and his predecessors. 
With Herodotus simplicity never degenerates into baldness, or 
familiarity into what is rude and coarse. His style is full, free, 
and flowing, and offers a most agreeable contrast to the stiff 
conciseness, curt broken sentences, and almost unvaried con- 
struction, of previous historians. If we glance our eye over the 
fragments of the early Greek writers that have come down to 
our times, we shall be surprised to find how rude and primitive, 
how tame, bald, and spiritless the productions appear to have 
been, even of the most celebrated historians anterior to, or con- 
temporary with our author. A few specimens are subjoined * of 

3 See Anab. iii. i. § 4-47, and thence- 
forth passim. 

'* Hecatffius of Miletus commenced his 
liistorical work, the 'Genealogies,' as 
follows: — 

''Thus saith Hecatseus the Milesian: 
Tiiat which I write, I write as the truth 
seems to me. For the stories which the 
Greeks tell are many, and to my mind 

The longest of his extant fragments 
is thus tniuslated by Col. Mure (Lit.. of 
Greece, vol. iv. p. 161): — 

"Orestheus, son of Deucalion, arrived 
in iEtolia in search of a kingdom. Here 
his dog produced him a green plant. 
Upon which he ordered the dog to be 
buried in the earth ; and from its body 
sprang a vine fertile in grapes. Hence 
he called his son Phytius. The son of 
Phytius was Qiueus, so named after the 
vine-plant. For the antieut Greeks called 
the vine CEna. The son of Qilneus was 

The fragments of Xanthus are very 
brief, and of these only one is cited in 
his exact words. It shows no great ad- 
vance on the style of Hecataius : — 

" From Lydus descend the Lydians, 
from Torrhebus the Torrhebians. La 

language these two races differ but little ; 
and to this day they borrow from one 
another no few words, like the lonians 
and the Dorians." 

Another, which is probably very close 
to his phraseology, is the following: — 

" Tlie Magians marry their mothers 
and their daughtex'S. They hold it law- 
ful also to marry their sisters. Their 
wives are common property ; and when 
one wishes to take the wife of another, 
they use no fraud nor violence, but the 
thing is done by consent." 

Of Charon of Lampsacus we possess 
a passage of some length, which may be 
given in the translation of Col. Mure 
(vol. iv. pp. 169-170) :— 

"The Bisaltians waged war against 
the Cardians, and were victorious in a 
battle. The commander of the BisaL 
tians was called Onaris. This man, 
when a youth, had been sold as a slave 
in Cardia, and had been made by his 
master to work at the trade of a barber. 
Now tliere was an oracle curi-ent among 
the Cardians, that about that time they 
should be invaded by the Bisaltians ; and 
this oracle was a frequent subject of con- 
versation among those who frequented 
the barber's shop. Onaris, having ef- 



the style of writing customary in his day, from which the 
modern reader may form a tolerable estimate of the interval 
which separated Herodotus, as a writer, from those who had 
preceded him — an interval so great as to render the style of 
composition which he invented a sort of new art, and to entitle 
him to the honourable appellation, which prescription has made 
indisputably his, of the '' Father of History." 

fected his escape home, persuaded his 
countrymen to invade Cardia, and was 
himself appointed leader of the expedi- 
tion. But the Cardians were accustomed 
to teach their horses to dance to the 
sound of the flute in their festivals ; 
when standing upright on their hind- 
legs, they adapted the motions of their 
fore-feet to the time of the music. Ona- 
ris, being acquainted with this custom, 
procured a female flute-player from Car- 
dia ; and this flute-player, on her arrival 
in Bisaltis ( ? ), intructed many of the 
flute-players of that city ( ? ), whom he 
cavised to accompany him in his march 
against the Cardians. As soon as the 
engagement commenced, he ordered the 
flute -players to strike up those tunes to 
which the Cardian horses were used to 
perform. And no sooner had the horses 
heard the music than they stood up on 
their hind-legs and began to dance. But 
the chief force of the Cardians was in 
cavalry ; and so they lost the battle." 

Even Hellanicus, who outlived Hero- 
dotus, falls sometimes into the cramped 
and bald style of the old logogi*aphers, 
as the subjomed specimens will show: — 

(1.) "From Pelasgus, the king of 
these men, and Menippe, the daughter 
ol" Peneus, was born Phrastor ; from him 
sprang Amyutor; from him, Teutami' 

das; from him, Nanas. In his reign 
the Pelasgians were driven out by the 
Greeks, and having left their ships at 
the river Spines in the Ionian Gulf, they 
built at some distance from the shore 
the city of Croton. From hence they 
proceeded to colonise the land now 
called Tyrrhenia." 

(2.) "When the men came from 
Sparta, the Athenians related to them 
the story of Orestes. At the conclusion, 
when both parties approved the judg- 
ment, the Athenians assigned it to the 
ninth generation after Mars and iSTeptune 
pleaded in the cause of Halirrhothius. 
Then, six generations later, Cephalus, 
the son of De'ioneus,who married Proci'is, 
the daughter of Erechtheus,and slew her, 
was condemned by the court of Areopa- 
gus, and suS'ered banishment. After 
the tinal of Daedalus for the treacherous 
slaughter of his sister's son Talus, and 
his flight from justice in the third gene- 
ration, this Clytemnestra, the daughter 
of Tyndarus, who had killed Agamem- 
non and herself been killed by Orestes, 
caused Orestes to be brought to trial by 
the Eumenides ; he, however, returnecl 
after judgment was given, and became 
king of Argos. Minerva and Mars were 
the judges," 







These are the researches of Herodotus of Halicarnassus/ which 
he publishes, in the hope of thereby preserving from decay the 
remembrance of what men have done, and of preventing the 
great and wonderful actions .of the Greeks and the Barbarians 
from losing their due meed of glory; and withal to put on 
record what were their grounds of feud. 

1. According to the Persians best informed in history, the 
Phcenicians began the quarrel. This people, who had formerly 
dwelt on the shores of the Erythraean Sea,^ having migrated to 

^ This is the reading of all our MSS. 
Yet Aristotle, where he quotes the pas- 
sage (Rhet. iii. 9), has Thurium in the 
place of Halicarnassus ; that is, he cites 
the final residence instead of the birth- 
place of the writer. (See the sketch of 
Herodotus's Life in the Appendix to. the 
last volume.) There is no doubt that 
considerable portions of the work as it 
stands were written at Thurium, and it 
is possible that Herodotus used the ex- 
pression " of Thurium " in his latest 

The mention of the author's name and 
country in the first sentence of his his- 
tory seems to have been usual in the age 
in which Herodotus wrote. The " Genea- 
logies " of Hecatseus commenced with 
the words, 'Y^Karalos MiX^aios wSe yuu- 
delrai. (Mtiller's Fragm. Hist. Gr., vol. i. 
Fr. 332.) And the practice is followed 
by Thucydides. 

2 By the Erythraean Sea Herodotus 
intends, not our Red Sea, which he calls 
the Arabian Gulf (koAttos 'Apd^ios), but 

the Indian Ocean, or rather both the In- 
dian Ocean and the Persian Guif, which 
latter he does not consider distinct from 
the Ocean, being ignorant of its shape. 

"With respect to the migration of the 
Phoenicians from the Persian Gulf, which 
is reasserted book vii, ch. 89, there seems 
to be no room to doubt that a connexion 
existed between the cities of Phoenicia 
Proper and a number of places about 
the Persian Gulf, whose very names have 
been thought to indicate their Phoenician 
origin. The chief of these were Tyrus, 
or Tylus, and Aradus, two islands in the 
Gulf, where, according to Eratosthenes 
(ap. Strabon. xvi. p. 1090, Oxf. ed.), 
there were Phoenician temples, and the 
inhabitants of which claimed the Phoe- 
nician cities on the Mediterranean as 
their colonies. One of these is at the 
present day called Arad. There is also 
a Sidodona, and a Szur, or Tur, which 
recall the names of Sidon and Tyre re- 
spectively. The question commonly dis- 
cussed has been whether the cities about 



Book I. 

the Mediterranean and settled in the parts which they now 
inhabit, began at once, they say, to adventure on long voyages, 
freighting their vessels with the wares of Egypt and Assyria.^ 
They landed at many places on the coast, and among the rest 
at Argos, which was then pre-eminent above all the states in- 
cluded now under the common name of Hellas."^ Here they 
exposed their merchandise, and traded with the natives for five 
or six days ; at the end of which time, when almost everything 
was sold, there came down to the beach a number of women, 
and among them the daughter of the king, who was, they say, 
agreeing in this with the Greeks, lo, the child of Inachus. The 
women were standing by the stern of the ship intent upon their 
purchases, when the Phoenicians, with a general shout, rushed 
upon them. The greater part made their escape, but some 
were seized and carried off. lo herself was among the captives. 
The Phoenicians put the women on board their vessel, and set 
sail for Egypt. Thus did lo pass into Egypt, according to the 
Persian story/ which differs widely from the Phoenician : and 

the Persian Gulf are the mother cities of 
those on the Mediterranean, or colonies 
from them. Seetzen and Heeren incline 
to the latter view (Heeren's As. Nat. 
vol. ii. pp. 231, 415, E. T.). In favour 
of the former, however, is, in the first 
place, the double tradition, that of the 
Phoenicians of Phoenicia Proper men- 
tioned by Herodotus, and that of the 
inhabitants of Tyrus and Aradus, re- 
corded by Eratosthenes, who probably 
follows Androsthenes, the naval officer 
of Alexander ; and secondly, what may 
be called the argument from general 
probability. Lower Babylonia, the coun- 
try about the mouths of the Tigris and 
Euphrates, is the original seat of Semitic 
power, whence it spreads northward and 
westward to the Euxine and to the Me- 
diterranean. (Cf. Appendix, Essay xi. 
§ 3.) Asshur goes forth out of tlie laud 
of Shinar, in the book of Genesis (x. 11); 
Abraham and his family pass from Ur of 
the Chaldees (Mugheir) by Charran into 
Syria ;^ the Aramaeans can be traced in 
the Cuneiform inscriptions ascending the 
course of the Euphrates from the Per- 
sian Gulf towards the Mediterranean. 
Eveiything indicates a spread of the 
Semites from Babylonia westward, while 
nothing appears of any great movement 
in the opposite direction. At the same 
time it is quite possible that the Phoeni- 
cians, in the time of their prosperity, 
may have formed settlements in the 

Persian Gulf, and that the temples seen 
by Androsthenes belonged to this com- 
paratively recent movement. 

The name " Phoenician," which is con- 
nected with ''Erythraean," both mean- 
ing "red," the colour of the Semites, 
confirms the general connexion, but does 
not show in which way the migration 
proceeded. For a more complete dis- 
cussion of the subject see Appendix to 
book vii. Essay ii. 

3 For an account of the trade of the 
Phoenicians, see Heeren's Asiatic Na- 
tions, vol. ii., 'Phoenicians,' chap. iii. 

^ The ancient superiority of Argos is 
indicated by the position of Agamemnon 
at the time of the Trojan war (compare 
Thucyd. i. 9-10), and by the use of the 
word Argive in Homer for Greek gene- 
rally. No other name of a single people 
is used in the same genei'ic way. 

The absence of any general ethnic title 
during the earlier ages is noticed by 
Thucydides (i. 3). He uses the same 
expression as Herodotus— r/ vvv 'EWas 
KaXovjxivr] — previously (i. 2). 

^ It is hardly possible that the Per- 
sians, properly so called, could have had 
any independent knowledge of the myth 
of lo, for at the period of history to 
which the legend refers, the Arian tribes, 
who were the progenitors of the Per- 
sians, were still encamped on the banks 
of the Indus, and were thus entirely 
shut out from any contact with the 

Chap. 2. 



thus commenced, according to their authors, the series of out- 

2. At a later period, certain Greeks, with whose name they 
are unacquainted, but who would probably be Cretans,^ made a 
landing at Tyre, on the Phoenician coast, and bore off the king's 
daughter, Europe. In this they only retaliated ; but after- 
wards the Greeks, they say, were guilty of a second violence. 
They manned a ship of war, and sailed to ^a, a city of Colchis,^ 
on the river Phasis ; from whence, after despatching the rest of 
the business on which they had come, they carried off Medea, 
the daughter of the king of the land. The monarch sent a 
herald into Greece to demand reparation of the wrong, and the 
restitution of his child ; but the Greeks made answer, that 
having received no reparation of the wrong done them in 

Western world. The acquaintance even 
of the Assyrians and Babylonians with 
the Greeks was of a comparatively mo- 
dern date. SargoH, indeed, who iij the 
Cuneiform Inscriptions first mentions 
the Greeks, — having in about B.C. 708 
received tribute in Babylon from the 
Greek colonists of Cyprus, — speaks of 
them as " the seven kings of the Yaha 
tribes of the country of Yavnan (or 
Yunan), who dwelt in an island in the 
midst of the Western sea, at the dis- 
tance of seven days from the coast, and 
the name of whose country had never 
been heard by my ancestors, the kings 
of Assyria and Chaldsea, from the re- 
motest times," &c. &c. &c. It is at the 
same time far from improbable that tliis 
name of Yaha, which the Assyrians ap- 
plied to the piratical Greeks of Cyprus, 
may have suggested the memory of the 
buccaneering stories which the Phoeni- 
cians and the Persians (of Syria?) told 
to Herodotus in illustration of the myth 
of lo. And it is further worthy of re- 
mark, that the name, thus first brov;ght 
before us in its Asiatic form, may per- 
haps furnish an astronomical solution 
for the entire fable ; for as the wander- 
ings of the Greek lo have been often 
compared with the erratic coui-se of the 
■ moon in the heavens, passing in succes- 
sion through all the signs of the zodiac, so 
do we find that in the ante-Semitic period 
there was also an identity of name, the 
Egyptian title of the moon being Yah, 
and the primitive Chaldaean title being 
represented by a Cuneiform sign, which 
is phonetically Ai, as in modern Turk- 
ish.— [H. C. R.] 

6 Since no other Greeks were thought 
to have possessed a navy in these early 
times. Compare Thucyd. i. 4 — Miucos 
iraKairaros oiv aKO^ iCyuei/ vavriKbv c/cttj- 


' The commentators have found some 
difficulty in showing why the Colchians 
should have been held responsible for 
an outrage committed by the Phoeni- 
cians, and have been obliged to suggest 
that it was merely owing to their equally 
belonging to the comity of Asiatic na- 
tions ; but the traditions of mutual res- 
ponsibility are more readily explained 
by our i-emembering that there was per- 
haps an ethnic relationship between the 
two nations, Colchis in the time of the 
Argonauts being peopled by the same 
Cushite or (so called) -Ethiopian race, 
which in the remote age of Inachus, and 
before the arrival of the Semites in Syria, 
held the seaboard of Phoenicia. The pri- 
mitive Medes would seem to have been 
one of the principal divisions of the 
great Cushite or Scythic race, their con- 
nexion with Colchis and Phoenicia being 
marked by the myth of Medea in one 
quarter, and of Andromeda in the other. 
So too all the ancient Scythic monu- 
ments of Northern Media and Armenia 
are referred by Strabo to the Argonauts, 
Jason, as the husband of Medea, being 
the eponymous hero of the race. Indeed 
the famous mountain of Demawend in 
the Elburz above Teheran, where Zohak 
the great antagonist of the Arian race 
was supposed to be imprisoned, was 
known to the Greeks by the name of 
mount Jasonixs as late as the time of 
Ptolemy.--[H. C. B.] 


the seizure of lo the Argive, they should give none in this 

3. In the next generation afterwards, according to the same 
authorities, Alexander the son of Priam, bearing these events 
in mind, resolved to procure himself a wife out of Greece by 
violence, fully persuaded, that as the Greeks had not given 
satisfaction for their outrages, so neither would he be forced to 
make any for his. Accordingly he made prize of Helen ; 
upon which the Greeks decided that, before resorting to other 
measures, they would send envoys to reclaim the princess 
and require reparation of the wrong. Their demands were 
met by a reference to the violence which had been offered 
to Medea, and they were asked with what face they could 
now require satisfaction, when they had formerly rejected 
all demands for either reparation or restitution addressed to 

4. Hitherto the injuries on either side had been mere acts of 
common violence ; but in what followed the Persians consider 
that the Greeks were greatly to blame, since before any attack 
had been made on Europe, they led an army into Asia. Now 
as for the carrying off of women, it is the deed, they say, of a 
rogue ; but to make a stir about such as are carried off, argues 
a man a fool. Men of sense care nothing for such women, since 
it is plain that without their own consent they would never be 
forced. away. The Asiatics, when the Greeks ran off with their 
women, never troubled themselves about the matter ; but the 
Greeks, for the sake of a single Lacedaemonian girl, collected a 
vast armament, invaded Asia, and destroyed the kingdom of 
Priam. Henceforth they ever looked upon the Greeks as their 
open enemies. For Asia, with all the various tribes of bar- 
barians that inhabit it, is regarded by the Persians as their 

^ Aristophanes in the Acharnians (488- " This was nothing, 

494) very wittily parodies the opening Smacking too much of our accustomed niauner 

r Ti A i- ' \ ■). r> f • , ° To give offence. But here, sirs, was the rub : 

of Herodotus s history. Professnig_ to gome sparlis of ours, hot with the gi-ape, had stol'n 

give the causes of the Peloponuesian A mistress ot the game— Simajtha named — 

war he says : — From the Megariaus: her doughty townsmen 

' ^ , , , ^^'*^^ ^^'^ dficd moved no small extent of anger) 

Kal Tavra f^ev fir) (r/uiKpo. Kan-i;(c6pia* lleveng'd the affront upon Aspasia's train, 

TTopi't]!' oe :S.i.fjiaLeav lovre^ MeydpaSe And bore away a brace of her fair damsels. 

v^aviat KKenrovcTL Meevcro/c6TTa^ot, All Greece anon gave note of martial prelude. 

T^, < ,, - .£,, , / And What the cause ot war? marry, three women. 

KaO 01 Meyapr/s oSvuaig ne(})V(rLyy(^txei'Oi — MrrCHELL, p. 70-2. 

ai'T6fe»cAe(//ai/ 'AcrTracn'as iropva Svo' m • • 

KivreiOev apxv tov nokefiov Kareppdyr, This is the earliest indication of a 

"EAArjo-i Trio-ti/ ck rptiyv KaiaadrpiCiv. knowledge^ of the work of Herodotus on 

488-494. the part of any other Greek writer. 



own ; but Europe and the Greek race they look on as dis- 
tinct and separate.^ 

5. Such is the account which the Persians give of these 
matters.^ They trace to the attack upon Troy their ancient 
enmity towards the Greeks. The Phcenicians, however, as 
regards lo, vary from the Persian statements. They deny that 
they used any violence to remove her into Egypt ; she herself, 
they say, having formed an intimacy with the captain, while his 
vessel lay at Argos, and perceiving herself to be with child, of 
her own freewill accompanied the Phoenicians on their leaving 
the shore, to escape the shame of detection and the reproaches 
of her parents. Whether this latter account be true, or whether 
the matter happened otherwise, I shall not discuss further. I 
shall proceed at once to point out the person who first within 
my own knowledge inflicted injury on the Greeks, after which I 
shall go forward with my history, describing equally the greater 
and the lesser cities. For the cities which were formerly great, 
have most of them become insignificant; and such as are at 
present powerful, were weak in th-e olden time.^ I shall there- 

^ The claim made by the Persians to 
the natural lordship of Asia was conve- 
nient as furnishing them with pretexts 
for such wars as it suited their policy to 
engage in with non- Asiatic nations. The 
most remarkable occasion on which they 
availed themselves of such a plea was 
when Darius invaded Scythia. Accord- 
ing to Herodotus he asserted, and the 
Scythians believed, that his invasion was 
designed to punish them for having at- 
tacked the Medes, and held possession 
of Upper Asia for a number of years, at 
a time when Persia was a tributary na- 
tion to Media. (See Herod, iv. I and 

^ It is curious to observe the treat- 
ment which the Greek myths met with 
at the hands of foreigners. The Oriental 
mind, quite unable to appreciate poetry 
of such a character, stripped the legends 
bare of all that beautified them, and 
then treated them, thus vulgarised, as 
matters of simple history. lo, the virgin 
priestess, beloved by Jove, and hated by 
jealous Juno, metamorphosed, Argus- 
watched, and gadfly-driven from land to 
land, resting at last by holy Nile's sweet- 
■ tasting stream, and there becoming mo- 
ther of a race of hero-kings, is changed to 
lo, the paramour of a Phoenician sea-cap- 
tain, flying with him to conceal her preg- 
.nancy, and so carried to Egypt whither 

his ship was bound. The Phoenicians 
and the Persians are equally prosaic in 
their versions of the story, so that it 
seems the Semitic race was as unable to 
enter into the spirit of Greek poesy as the 
Arian. Both indeed appear to have been 
essentially unpoetical, the Semitic race 
only warming into poetry under the ex- 
citement of devotional feeling, the Arian 
never capable of anything beyond spark- 
ling prettiness, and exubei'ant, some- 
times perhaps elegant fancy. 

Herodotus, left to himself, has no 
tendency to treat myths in this coarse 
rationalistic way: witness his legends of 
Croesus, Battus, Labda, &c. His spirit is 
too reverent, and, if we may so say, cre- 
dulous. The supernatui-al never shocks 
or startles him. It is a mistake of Pau- 
sanias (ii. xvi. § 1) to call this story of 
lo's passage into Egypt ''the way in 
which Herodotus says she went there." 
Herodotus is only reporting what was 
alleged by the Pex'sians. 

The legend of lo forms a beautiful 
episode in the Prometheus Vinctus of 
^schylus (572-905). That of Medea is 
introduced into one of the most magni- 
ficent of the Odes of Pindar. (Pyth. iv. 

^ Thucydides remarks on the small 
size to which Mycena) had dwindled 
compared with its former power (i. 10 j. 



Book I. 

fore discourse equally of both, convinced that human happiness 
never continues long in one stay. 

6. Croesus, son of Alyattes, by birth a Lydian, was lord of 
all the nations to the west of the river Halys.^ This stream, 
which separates Syria* from Paphlagonia, runs with a course 
from south to north,^ and finally falls into the Euxine. So far 
as our knowledge goes, he was the first of the barbarians who 
had dealings with the Greeks, forcing some of them to become 
his tributaries, and entering into alliance with others. He con- 
quered the ^olians, lonians, and Dorians of Asia, and made a 
treaty with the Lacedsemonians. Up to that time all Greeks 
had been free. For the Cimmerian attack upon Ionia, which 
was earlier than Croesus, was not a conquest of the cities, but 
only an inroad for plundering. 

7. The sovereignty of Lydia, which had belonged to the 
Heraclides, passed into the family of Croesus, who were called 
the Mermnadse, in the manner which I will now relate. There 

Herodotus would have remarkable ex- 
amples of decline in his own neighbour- 
hood, both when he dwelt in Asia Minor, 
and after he removed to Italy. Phocsea 
in the former counti-y, and Sybaris in 
the latter, near the ruins of which Thu- 
rium rose, would be notable instances. 

^ If the name of the Halys be derived 
from a Semitic source, we may compare 

the roots ?-in in Hebrew, or Xl^^ in 

Arabic, signifying "to be twisted," and 
suppose the epithet to refer to the tor- 
tuous course of the river. There are 
names indeed in the early Cuneiform 
inscriptions, Khula and Khuliya, which 
must either refer to this river or to the 
upper course of the Euphrates. They 
are probably also connected with XoXo- 
^■qr^vy] {Khul of Bitan , the latter term 
being the ancient Assyrian name of Ar- 
menia) and with the Hid of Scripture, 
Gen. X. 23 ; see Bochart's Phaleg. lib. ii. 
c. 9.— [H. C. R.] 

^ By Syria Herodotus here means Cap- 
padocia, the inhabitants of which he 
calls Syrians (i. 72, and vii. 72), or 
Cappadocian Syrians {1,vpiovs KaTnroS*^- 
Kas, i. 72). Strabo called them "white 
/rians " (xii. p. 788, Oxf. ed.). For 
.rguments in favour of their Semitic 
origin, see Prichard's Researches, vol. iv. 
pp. 560, 561. 

Herodotus regards the words Syria 
and Assyria, Syrians and Assyrians, as 

in reality the same (vii. 63) ; in his use 
of them, however, as ethnic appellatives, 
he always carefully distinguishes. Syria 
is the tract bounded on the north by 
the Euxine ; on the west by the Halys, 
Cilicia, and the Mediterranean; on the 
east by Armenia and the desert ; and on 
the south by Egypt. Assyria is the 
upper portion of the Mesopotamian val- 
ley, bounded on the north by Armenia, 
on the west by the desei't, on the south 
by Babylonia, and on the east by the 
Medes and Matieni. [The only true 
word is Assyria,' from Asshur. Syria is 
a Greek corruption of the genuine term. 
-H. C. R.] 

^ It has been thought (Larcher, vol. i. 
p. 173) that Herodotus placed the source 
of the Halys in the range of Taurus, 
near Iconium, the modern Konia, and 
regarded the river as having from its 
source to its embouchure a uniform di- 
rection from south to north ; but from 
the more elaborate description in ch. 72 
of this book it appears that this was not 
his belief. He there places the source 
of the stream in the mountains of Arme- 
nia, and says, that after running through 
Cilicia it passes the Matieni and the 
Phrygians, and then flows with a north 
course between the countries of Paphla- 
gonia and Cappadocia. Thus his state- 
ments are reconcilable with those of 
Arrian (Peripl. Pont. Eux. p. 127), and 
with the real course of the Kizil-Irmak. 

(JHAP. 6, 7. 



was a certain king of Sardis, Candaules by name, whom the 
Greeks called Myrsilus.® He was a descendant of Alcseus, son 
of Hercules. The first king of this dynasty was Agron, son of 
Ninus, grandson of Belus, and great-grandson of AIcsbus ; Can- 
daules, son of Myrsus, was the last.^ The kings who reigned 
before Agron sprang from Lydus, son of Atys, from whom the 
people of the land, called previously Meonians,^ received the 
name of Lydians. The Heraclides, descended from Hercules 
and the slave-girl of Jardanus,^ having been entrusted by these 
princes with the management of affairs, obtained the kingdom 
by an oracle.^ Their rule endured for two and twenty genera- 
tions of men, a space of five hundred and five years ; ^ during 

8 That is son of Myrsus, a patronymic 
of a Latin, or perhaps it should rather 
be said, of an Etruscan, type. [So Lar- 
thial-i-sa, "the wife of the son of Lar- 
thius." This single example, of which 
hardly any notice has been taken, is pro- 
bably the strongest argument we possess 
in favour of the Lydian origin of the 
Etruscans. — H. C. R.] 

7 The best and latest authorities seem 
to be now agreed on the Semitic descent 
of the Lydians (see Movers's ' die Pho- 
uizier,' i. 475 ; and Ottf. Miiller, ' Sandon 
imd Sardanapal,' p. 38, &c.), and the 
near synchronism of the commencement 
and duration of the Assyrian and Lydian 
Empires, together with the introduction 
by Herodotus of the Assyrian names of 
Belus and Ninus in the genealogy of 
Candaules are certainly in favour of his 
belief in the connexion ; but on the other 
hand, there is no trace in the Assyrian 
inscriptions of Semitic names beyond the 
range of Taurus, nor is it easy to believe, 
if the intervening countries of Cilicia 
and Cappadocia were peopled by Scyths, 
that Assyrian colonists could have pene- 
trated beyond them so far to the west- 
ward. Again the remarkable Latinism 
preserved in the form of Myrsilus for 
''the son of Myrsus" is a strong argu- 
ment against the Semitic origin of the 
Lydians, and to whatever race the Hera- 
cleids belonged, among whom are found 
the Assyi'ian names, in a later age, at 
any rate, the language of the Lydians 
was most certainly Indo- Germanic ; for 
the famous Xanthus has left it on record 
that Sardis in the vernacular dialect of 
his day signified " a year " (being given 
as an honorary epithet to the city ^'irphs 
rifx^y 'HXiov" ); and this is pure Arian, 
Sarat or Sard being the word used for 

*'a year" in Sanscrit and Armenian, 
and being retained in old Persian under 
the form of Thrada, and in modern Per- 
sian as Sal. Consult Xanthus apud 
Lyd. de mensibus, iii. 14, p. 112; Ed. 
Roether.— [H. C. R.] 

^ Homer knows only of Meonians, not 
of Lydians (H. ii, 864-6). Xanthus 
spoke of the Lydians as obtaining the 
name at a comparatively late period in 
their history (Fragm. i. ed. Didot). 
Niebuhr (Roman Hist., vol. i. p. 108, 
E. T.) regards the Lydians as a distinct 
people from the Meonians, and as their 
conquerors. (See Appendix, Essay i. 

^ Jardanus was the husband, or, ac- 
cording to some accounts, the father, of 
Omphald. Hercules, while in her ser- 
vice, was said to have formed an intimacy 
with one of her female slaves, by name 
Malis, who bore him a son, Acelus (Hel- 
lanicus, Fragm. 102, ed. Didot). Hero- 
dotus seems to suppose her to have been 
also the mother of Agron. 

^ This would be important, if we could 
depend on it as historical. The Asiatics 
seem to have had no oracles of their 
own. They had modes of divination 
(infra, ch. 78; Dino. Fr. 8; Polycharm. 
Frs. 1, 2), but no places where prophe- 
tic utterances were supposed to be given 
by divine inspiration. Under these cir- 
cumstances they recognised the super- 
natural character of the Greek oracles, 
and consulted them (vide infrk, chaps. 14, 
19, 46, &c.). It would be interesting to 
know that the intercourse had begun in 
the 1 3th century B.C. 

2 Herodotus professes to count three 
generations to the century (ii. 142), thus 
making the generation 33| years. In 
this case the average of the geuei-ations 


the whole of which period, from Agron to Candaules, the crow 
descended in the direct line from father to son. 

8. Now it happened that this Candaules was in love with h^' 
own wife ; and not only so, but thought her the fairest womaji 
in tlie whole world. This fancy had strange consequence^ 
There was in his body-guard a man whom he specially favoured 
Gryges, the son of Dascylus. All affairs of greatest mome^- 
were entrusted by Candaules to this person, and to him he wa^ 
wont to extol the surpassing beauty of his wif§. So matter 
went on for a while. At length, one day, Candaules, wlv3 
was fated to end ill, thus addressed his follower : " I see thou 
dost not credit what I tell thee of my lady's loveliness ; but 
come now, since men's ears are less credulous than their eyes, 
contrive some means whereby thou mayst behold her naked." 
At this the other loudly exclaimed, saying, " What most unwise 
speech is this, master, which thou hast uttered ? Wouldst thou 
have me behold my mistress when she is naked ? Bethink thee 
that a woman, with her clothes, puts off her bashfulness. Our 
fathers, in time past, distinguished right and wrong plainly 
enough, and it is our wisdom to submit to be taught by them. 
There is an old saying, ' Let each look on his own.' I hold thy 
wife for the fairest of all womankind. Only, I beseech thee, ask 
me not to do wickedly." 

9. Gryges thus endeavoured to decline the king's proposal, 
trembling lest some dreadful evil should befall him through it. 
But the king replied to him, " Courage, friend ; suspect me not 
of the design to prove thee by this discourse ; nor dread thy 
mistress, lest mischief befall thee at her hands. Be sure I will 
so manage that she shall not even know that thou hast looked 
upon her. I will place thee behind the open door of the 
(chamber in which we sleep. When I enter to go to rest she will 
follow me. There stands a chair close to the entrance, on which 
she will lay her clothes one by one as she takes them off. Thou 
wilt be able thus at thy leisure to peruse her person. Then, 
when she is moving from the chair toward the bed, and her back 
is ti^'ned on thee, be it thy care that she see thee not a:, thou 
passest through the doorway." 

10. Gyges, unable to escape, could but declare his readiness. 
Then Candaules, when bedtime came, led Gyges into his sleep- 

is but 23 years. There is no need, how- for Herodotus does not here calculate, 
ever, to alter the text as Larcher does, but intends to state facts. 

Chap. 8-12. LEGEND OF GYGES. 129 

ing-chamber, and a moment after the queen followed. She 
intered, and laid her garments on the chair, and Gyges gazed 
on her. After a while she moved toward the bed, and her back 
being then turned, he glided stealthily from the apartment. 
As he was passing out, however, she saw him, and instantly 
'divining what had happened, she neither screamed as her shame 
■mpelled her, nor even appeared to have noticed aught, purposing 
to take vengeance upon the husband who had so affronted her. 
For among fhe Lydians, and indeed among the barbarians 
^•-enerally, it is reckoned a deep disgrace, even to a man, to be 
seen naked.^ 

11. No sound or sign of intelligence escaped lier at the time. 
But in the morning, as soon as day broke, she hastened to choose 
from among her retinue, such as she knew to be most faithful 
to her, and preparing them for what was to ensue, summoned 
Gyges into her presence. Now it had often happened before 
that the queen had desired to confer with him, and he was 
accustomed to come to her at her call. He therefore obeyed 
the summons, not suspecting that, she knew aught of what had 
occurred. Then she addressed these words to him : " Take thy 
choice, Gyges, of two courses wliich are open to thee. Slay 
Candaules, and thereby become my lord, and obtain the Lydian 
throne, or die this moment in his room. So wilt thou not again, 
obeying all behests of thy master, behold what is%ot lawful for 
thee. It must needs be, that either he perish by whose counsel 
this thing was done, or tliou, who sawest me naked, and so didst 
break our usages." At these words Gyges stood aw^hile in mute 
astonishment; recovering after a time, he earnestly besought 
the queen that she would not compel him to so hard a choice. 
But finding he implored in vain, and that necessity was indeed 
laid on him to kill or to be killed, he made choice of life for 
himself, and replied by this inquiry : " If it must be so, and 
thou compellest me against my Avill to put my lord to death, 
come, let me hear how thou wilt have me set on him." " Let 
him be attacked," she answered, " on that spot where I was by 
him ^hown naked to you, and let the assault be made when he 
is asleep." 

12. All was then prepared for the attack, and when night 

3 The contrast between the feelings of (rb TraAot koi iv tw ^OXvfnriaKcS ayuui 

the Gi'eeks and the barbarians on this Sia^wfiara exoi/Tes irept to alSo7a ol a9\r]- 

point is noted by Thucydides (i. tj), where ral riyoivlCovro, Ka\ ov irokXa tr?; 

■vve learn that the exhibition of the naked eiretSajTreTrauTat). 
person was recent, even with the Greeks 

VOL. I. K 


fell, Gyges, seeing that he had no retreat or escape, but must 
absolutely either slay Candaules, or himself be slain, followed 
his mistress into the sleeping-room. She placed a dagger in 
his hand, and hid him carefully behind the self-same door. 
Then Gyges, when the king was fallen asleep, entered privily 
into the chamber and struck him dead. Thus did the wife and 
kingdom of Candaules pass into the posse sion of Gyges, of 
whom Archilochus the Parian, who lived about the same time,* 
made mention in a poem written in Iambic trimeter verse. 

13. Gyges was afterwards confirmed in the possession of the 
throne by an answer of the Delphic oracle. Enraged at the 
murder of their king, the people flew to arms, but after a while 
the partisans of Gyges came to terms with them, and it was 
agreed that if the Delphic oracle declared him king of the 
Lydians, he should reign; if otherwise, he should yield the 
throne to the Heraclides. As the oracle was given in his favour 
he became king. The Pythoness, however, added that, in the 
fifth generation from Gyges, vengeance should come for the 
Heraclides ; a prophecy of which neither the Lydians nor their 
princes took any account till it was fulfilled. Such was the 
way in which the Mermnadse deposed the Heraclides, and 
themselves obtained the sovereignty. 

14. When Gyges was established on the throne, he sent no 
small presents to Delphi, as his many silver offerings at the 
Delphic shrine testify. Besides this silver he gave a vast 
number of vessels of gold, among which the most worthy of 
mention are the goblets, six in number, and weighing altogether 

* The age of Archil oclius is a disputed have outlived Callinus. It seems better 

point. Mr. Clinton places him B.C. 708- to raise our date for the Cimmerian 

665 (F. H. vol. i. 01. 18. 23, 2. &c.). invasion, which (in Mr. Grote's words) 

Mr. Grote is of opinion that this is " appears fixed for some date in the reign 

"a half century too high." (History of of Ardys," but which is not fixed to 

Greece, vol. iii. p. 333, note 2). There any particular part of his long reign of 

are strong grounds for believing that Ar- 49 years, than to disregard all the au- 

chilochus was later than Callinus (Clin- thorities (Hex^odotus, Cicero, Clemens, 

ton, vol. i. 01. 17), who is proved by Tatian, Cyril, ^Elian, Prqclus, &c.) who 

Mi;. Grote to have written after the great place him in the reign of Gyges, or a 

Cimmerian invasion in the reign of Ar- little afterwards. 

dys. But there is nothing to show at A line of Archilochus, in which men- 

what time in the reign of Ardys this tion was made of Gyges, has been pre- 

invasion happened. Archilochus may served — Ov jxoi ra Tvyeco tov Tro\vxpv<rov 

have been contemporai-y both with Gy- /xeAei (Ar. Rhet. iii. 17, Pint. Mor. ii. 

ges and Ardys. The Cimmerian inva- p. 47U, C). If it had been spoken in his 

sion may have been early in the reign of own person, it would have settled the 

the latter prince, say B.C. 675. Archilo- question of his date, but we learn from 

clius may have flourished B.C. 708-6li5, Aristotle that it was put in the mouth 

and yet have witnessed the great invo- of one of his characters, 
sion, and (as Strabo and Clement argue) 

Chap. 12-11 



thirty talents, winch stand in the Corinthian treasury, dedicated 
by him. I call it the Corinthian treasury, tiiongh in strictness 
of speech it is the treasury not of the whole Corinthian people, 
but of Cypselns, son of Eetion.^ Excepting Midas, son of 
Gordias,^ king of Phrygia, Cyges was the first of the barbarians 
whom we know to have sent offerings to Delphi. Midas dedi- 
cated the royal tlijone whereon he was accustomed to sit and 
administer justice, an object well worth looking at. It lies in 
the same place as the goblets presented by Gyges. The Del- 
phians call the whole of the silver and the gold which Gyges 
dedicated, after the name of the donor, Gygian."^ 

As soon as Gyges was king he made an inroad on Miletus 
and Smyrna,'^ and took the city of Colophon. Afterwards, how- 
ever, though he reigned eight and thirty years, he did not per- 
form a single noble exploit. I shall therefore make no further 
mention of him, but pass on to his son and successoi* in the 
kingdom, Ardys. 

15. Ardys took Priene ^ and made war upon Miletus. In his 

^ The offerings of Cypselus to Delphi 
and other shrines are spoken of by seve- 
ral writers. (Pausan. V. ii. 6 4 ; Pint. 
Sept, Sap. Agaclyt. ap. Phot, in KvtpeAi- 
d(vu audd-q/jLa) See note on book ii. eh. 
1(57, ad fin. That the Corinthians in 
later times sought to substitute in the 
titles of the offerings the name of their 
state for that of their quondam king is 
apparent from the story which Pausa- 
uias tells. 

^ In the Royal house of Phrygia, the 
names Midas and Gordias seem to have 
alternated perpetually, as in that of Gy- 
rene the names Battus and ArcesilaiA^. 
Every Phrygian king mentioned in an- 
cient history is either Midas, son of 
Gordias, or Gordias son of Midas. Bou- 
hier (Dissertations, ch. viii.) reckons four 
kings of Phrygia named Midas, each the 
son of a Gordias. Three of these are 
mentioned in Herodotus. (See, besides 
the present passage, i. 35, and viii. 138.) 

The tomb, of which a representation 
is given by Texier, is the burial-place 
apparently of one of these kings. It is 
at Doijanhi, near Katatja (Cotyssum), in 
the ancient Phrygia; and has two in- 
scriptions, which may be read thus : — 

1. Ares Ap/ctaepas a/cei/ai/oyaFot MtSatyaFayraet 

Fai/a/crei eSaes. 

2. Ba|3a Mefxepats IIpoiTaFos <¥<■ yavaFe-yo? 

'^.iK.eixa.v eSae?. 

See Texier 's Asie Mineure, vol. i. p. 155; 
and compare the Essay " On the Ethnic 

Affinities of the Nations of Western 
Asia," Essay xi. § 12, where these and 
some other Phrygian inscriptions are 
considered. [It is quite possible that 
Mita, king of Muski, ("[ti'O) who reigned 
over a people inhabiting the plateau of 
Asia Minor, contemporaneously with 
Sargon, may have been a Midas, king of 
Phrygia.— H. C. P.] 

7 Tneopompus (Fr. 219) and Phanias 
of Eresus (Fr. .12) said that these were 
the first gold and silver offerings which 
had been made to the shrine at Delphi. 

** To this war belongs, apparently, 
the narrative wliich Plutarch quotes 
from Dositheiis (Dosith. Fr. 6}, who 
wrote a Lydian History. The Smyr- 
noeans seem to have been hard pressed, 
but by a stratagem, which tliey com- 
memorated ever afterwards by the fes- 
tival of the Eleutheria, destroyed the 
army which had been sent against them. 
According to one account, Gyges and 
his Lydians had actually seized the 
city, when the Smyrnscans rose up and 
expelled them. (Pausan. iv. xxi. § 3.) 
Mimnermus, the elegiac poet, celebrated 
the event m one of his pieces. (Ibid. 
IX. xxix. § 2.) 

^ Mr. Grote says, " This possession 
cannot have been maintained, for the 
city appears afterwards as autonomous " 
(History of Greece, vol iii. p. 301 ) : but 
I have been unable to find any autho- 
rity for the latter statement. No Ionian 



reign the Cimmerians, driven from their homes by the nomades 
of Scythia, entered Asia and captured Sardis, all but the citadel.^ 
He reigned forty-nine years, and was succeeded by his son, 
Sadyattes, who reigned twelve years. At his death his son 
Alyattes mounted the throne. 

16. This prince waged war with the Modes under Cyaxares, 
the grandson of De'ioces,^ drove the Cimmerians out of Asia, 
conquered Smyrna, the Colophonian colony,^ and invaded Cla- 
zomense. From this last contest he did not come off as he 
could have wished, but met with a sore defeat ; still, however, 
in the course of his reign, he performed other actions very 
worthy of note, of which I wdll now proceed to give an account. 

17. Inheriting from his father a war with the Milesians, he 
pressed the siege against the city by attacking it in the following 
manner. When the harvest was ripe on the ground he marched 
his army into Milesia to the sound of pipes and harps, and flutes 
masculine and feminine.* The buildings that were scattered 
over the country he neither pulled down nor burnt, nor did he 
even tear away the doors, but left them standing as they were. 
He cut down, however, and utterly, destroyed all the trees and 
all the corn throughout the land, and then returned to his own 
dominions. It was idle for his army to sit down before the 
place, as the Milesians were masters of the sea. The reason 
that he did not demolish their buildings was, that the inhabitants 
might be tempted to use them as homesteads from which to go 
forth to sow and till their lands ; and so each time that he in- 
vaded the country he might find something to plunder. 

18. In this way he carried on the war with the Milesians for 
eleven years, in the course of which he inflicted on them two 

city, once conquered by any Lydian was lowei', would be called male; the 

king, recovers its independence. The more treble or shrill-sounding one would 

encroachments were progressive, and be the female. It is possible that the 

were maintained in all cases. two flutes repi-esented respectively the 

1 For an account of this and the other Lydian and Phxygian musical scales, as 
inroads of the Cimmerians, see Appen- Larcher conjectures (note on the pas- 
dix. Essay i. sage, vol. i. p. 192). If this were the case, 

2 Vide infra, chaps. 73-4. however, the male flute would be the 

3 Vide infra, ch. 150. Phrygian, the female flute the Lydian: 
* Anlus Gellius understood the " male for the Lydian musical scale was more 

and female flutes," as flutes played by highly pitched than the Phrygian. Lar- 

men, and flutes played by women (Noct. cher states exactly the reverse of the 

Attic, i. 11). But it is more probable truth when he says, " Les flutes Ly- 

that flutes of different tones or pitches dienes dont le son etoit grave, et les 

are intended. (See the essay of Bottiger, Phrygienes, qui avoient le son aigu." 

' Ueber die Lydische Doppelflote,' in (See the article on Greek Music in 

Wieland's Attisch. Mus. vol. i. part ii. Smith's Dictionary of Antiquities, con- 

p. 334.) The flute, the pitch of which tributed by Professor Donkiu.) 


terrible blows ; one in tlieir own country in the district of Lime- 
neium, the other in the plain of the Mseander. During six of 
these eleven years, Sadyattes, the son of Ardys, who first lighted 
the flames of this war, was king of Lydia, and made the incur- 
sions. Only the five following years belong to the reign of 
Alyattes, son of Sadyattes, who (as I said before) inheriting the 
war from his father, applied himself to it unremittingly. The 
Milesians throughout the contest received no help at all from 
any of the lonians, excepting those of Chios, who lent them troops 
in requital of a like service rendered them in former times, the 
Milesians having fought on the side of the Chians during the 
whole of the war between them and the people of Erythrse. 

19. It was in the twelfth year of the war that the following mis- 
chance occurred from the firing of the harvest-fields. Scarcely 
had the corn been set a -light by the soldiers when a violent 
wind carried the flames against the temple of Minerva Assesia, 
which caught fire and was burnt to the ground. At the time 
no one made any account of the circumstance ; but afterwards. 
on the return of the army to Sardis, Alyattes fell sick. His 
illness continued, whereupon, either advised thereto by some 
friend, or perchance himself conceiving the idea, he sent mes- 
sengers to Delphi to inquire of the god concerning his malady. 
On their arrival the Pythoness declared that no answer should 
be given them until they had rebuilt the temple of Minerva, 
burnt by the Lydians at Assesus in Milesia. 

20. Thus much I know from information given me by the 
Delphians ; the remainder of the story the Milesians add. 

The answer made by the oracle came to the ears of Periander, 
son of Cypselus, who was a very close friend to Thrasybulus, 
tyrant of Miletus at that period. He instantly despatched a 
messenger to report the oracle to him, in order that Thrasy- 
bulus, forewarned of its tenor, might the better adapt his mea- 
sures to the posture of affairs. 

21. vVlyattes, the moment that the words of the oracle were 
reported to him, sent a herald to Miletus in hopes of concluding 
a truce with Thrasybulus and the Milesians for such a time as 
was needed to rebuild the temple. The herald went upon his 
Avay ; but meantime Thrasybulus had been apprised of every- 
thing ; and conjecturing what Alyattes would do, he contrived 
this artifice. He had all the corn that was in the city, whether 
belonging to himself or to private persons, brought into the 
market-place, and issued an order that the Milesians should 


hold themselves in readiness, and, when he gave the signal, 
should, one and all, fall to drinking and revelry. 

22. The purpose for which he gave these orders was the fol- 
lowing. He hoped that the Sardian herald, seeing so great store 
of corn upon the ground, and all the city given up to festivity, 
would inform Alyattes of it, which fell out as he anticipated. 
The herald observed the whole, and when he had delivered his 
message, went back to Sardis. This circumstance alone, as I 
gather, brought about the peace which ensued. Alyattes, who 
had hoped that there was now a great scarcity of corn in Miletus, 
and that the people were worn down to the last pitch of suffering, 
when he heard from the herald on his return from Miletus 
tidings so contrary to those he had expected, made a treaty with 
the enemy by which the two nations became close friends and 
allies. He tlien built at Assesus two temples to Minerva instead 
of one,^ and shortly after recovered from his malady. Such 
were the chief circumstances of the war which Alyattes waged 
with Thrasybulus and the Milesians. 

23. This Periander, who apprised Thrasybulus of the oracle, 
was son of Cypselus, and tyrant of Corinth.'^ In his time a very 
wonderful thing is said to have happened. Tlie Corinthians and 
the Lesbians agree in their account of the matter. They relate 
that Arion of Methymna, who as a player on the harp was 
second to no man living at that time, and who was, so far as we 
know, the first to invent the dithyrambic measure,^ to give it its 

' The feeling that restitution should easily as an individual Tvpavvos. (Com- 
be twofold, when made to the gods, was pare the case of Athens under the Pisis- 
a feature of the religion of Rome (see tratidae.) So long as the king is not 
Niebuhr's History, vol. ii. p. 550, E.T.)- recognised as dejnrc, but only as de facto. 
It was not recognised in Greece. Pericles king, he is rvpdvvos, not fiaaiXevs. This 
proposed that, if necessity required, the was the case at Corinth. Vid. mf. v. 92. 
Athenians should make use of Athene''s ' The invention of the Dithyramb, or 
golden ornaments, and afterwards re- Cyclic choi'us, was ascribed to Arion, not 
place them with ornaments of c'(7wa/ value only by Herodotus, but also by Aris- 
(/j.^ eXdaaoo. Thucyd. ii. 13). Un- totle, by Hellanicus, by Dictearchus, and, 
doubtedly there are points of similarity implicitly, by Pindar (cf» Proclus ap. 
between the Lydian and Italic nations, Phot. Cod. 239, p. 985, and Schol. Pin- 
whicli seem to indicate that the myth of dar. ad Olymp. xiii. 25), who said it was 
Tyrsenus and Lydus has in it some invented at Corinth. Dio (Orat. xxxvii. 
germ of truth. p. 455, A. ) and Suidas agreed with this. 

^ Bahr says, (Not. ad loc.) Periander Clement of Alexandria and others attri- 

was tyrant in the ancient sense of the buted the invention to Lasus of Her- 

word, in which it is simply equivalent to mione. (Strom, i. p. 365, Schol. ad 

the Latin " rex" and the Greek ai/u|, or Aristoph. Av. 1403.) This is undoubt- 

^acTiXevs ; because he inherited the crown edly erroneous. It has been questioned, 

from his father Cypselus. But it would however, if the Dithyramb was not more 

rather seem that the word bears here its ancient than Arion. A fragment ascribed 

usual sense of a king who rules with a to Archilochus is preserved in Athenseus 

usurped and unconstitutional authority. (Deipnosoph. xiv. vi. p. (328), where 

There might be a dynasty of Tvpavvoi as the dithyramb is spoken of, and which 

Chap. 21-24. LEGEND OF AEIOK 13t) 

name, and to recite in it at Corinth, was carried to T?enarum on 
the back of a dolphin. 

24. He had lived for many years at tlie court of Periander, 
when a longing came upon him to sail across to Italy and Sicily. 
Having made rich profits in those parts, he wanted to recross 
the seas to Corinth.^ He therefore hired a vessel, the crew of 
which were Corinthians, thinking that there was no people in 
whom he could more safely confide ; and, going on board, he 
set sail from Tarentum. The sailors, however, when they 
reached the open sea, formed a plot to throw him overboard 
and seize upon his riches. Discovering their design, he fell on 
his knees, beseeching them to spare his life, and making them 
welcome to his money. But they refused; and required him 
either to kill himself outright, if he wished for a grave on the 
dry land, or without loss of time to leap overboard into the sen. 
In this strait Arion begged them, since such was their pleasure, 
to allow him to mount upon the quarter-deck, dressed in his 
full costume, and there to play and sing, promising tliat, as soon 
as his song was ended, he would destroy himself. Deliglited at 
the prospect of hearing the very best harper in the world, they 
consented, and withdrew from the stern to the middle of the 
vessel : while Arion dressed himself in the full costume of his 
calling, took his harp, and standing on the quarter-deck, chanted 
the Orthian.^ His strain ended, he flung himself, fully attired 
as he was, headlong into the sea. The Corinthians then sailed 
on to Corinth. As for Arion, a dolphin, they say, took him 
upon his back and carried him to Taenarum, where he went 

has itself a dithyrambic character. The chorusses, thereby making it an ti-stro- 

Scholiast on Pindar, 01. xiii. 25, informs phic, and substituting the accom^pani- 

nsthat Pindar varied from his statement ment of the harp for that of the flute. 

in that place, and said in one poem that It was danced by a chorus of fifty men 

the dithyramb was invented at Naxos, or boys round an altar, whence it was 

in another at Tliebes. Larcher thinks called kvkXios xopt^s; and Arion was 

the dithyramb was so ancient a form of mythically said to be the son of Cyclou 

composition that its inventor was not or Cycleus. 

known (vol. i. p. 196). Perhaps it is ^ Another version of the story was, 

best to conclude with a recent writer that he grew rich at Corinth, and wished 

that Arion did not invent, but only im- to return to Methymna (Lucian, vol. ii. 

proved the dithyramb (Plehn in Les- p. 109). 

biac. p. 168). ^ The Orthian is mentioned as a 

The dithyramb was originally a mere particular sort of melody by Plutarch 

hymn in honour of Bacchus, with the (De Musica, vol. ii. 1134, D.). Dio 

circumstances of whose birth the word is Chrysostom (De Regno, p. 1, B.), and 

somewhat fancifully connected (Eurip. the Scholiast on Aristophanes (Acharn. 

Bacch. 5'26). It was sung by a kSojxos, 16). According to the last authority, 

or baud of revellers, directed by a leader, it was pitched in a high key, as the 

It is thought that Arion's improvement name would imply, and was a lively 

was to adapt it to the system of Doric spirited air. 



Book I. 

ashore, and thence proceeded to Corinth in his musician's dress, 
and told all that had happened to him. Periander, however, 
disbelieved the story, and put Arion in ward, to prevent his 
leaving Corinth, while he watched anxiously for the return of 
the mariners. On their arrival he summoned them before him 
and asked them if they could give him any tidings of Arion. 
They returned for answer that he was alive and in good health 
in Italy, and that they had left him at Tarentum,^ where he 
was doing well. Thereupon Arion appeared before them, just 
as he was when he jumped from the vessel : the men, astonished 
and detected in falsehood, could no longer deny their guilt. 
Such is the account which the Corinthians and Lesbians give ; 
and there is to this day at Tsenarum, an offering of Arion's at 
the shrine, which is a small figure in bronze, representing a 
man seated upon a dolphin.^ 

25. Having brought the war with the Milesians to a close, 
and reigned over the land of Lydia for fifty-seven years, Alyattes 
died. He was the second prince of his house who made offerings 
at Delphi. His gifts, which he sent on recovering from his 
sickness, were a great bowl of pure silver, with a salver in steel 
curiously inlaid, a work among all the offerings at Delphi the 
best worth looking at. Glaucus, the Chian, made it, the man 
who first invented the art of inlaying steel.^ 

1 In memory of this legend, the Ta- 
rentines were fond of exhibiting Arion, 
astride upon his dolphin, on their coins. 

2 Various attempts have been made to 
rationalize the legend of Arion. Larcher 
conjectures that he swam ashore, and 
afterwards got on board a swift-sailing 
vessel, which happened to have a dolphin 
for its' figure-head, and arrived at Co- 
rinth before the ship from which he liiid 
been ejected came into port (Herodote, 
vol. i. p. 201). Clinton supposes that 
the whole story may have grown out of 
the fact, that Arion was taken by pi- 
rates, and made his escape from them 
(F. H. vol. i. 'p. 217). 

The truth seems to be, that the le- 

gend grew out of the figure at Tsenarum, 
which was known by its inscidption to 
be an ofiering of Arion's (See Creuzer's 
Dissert, de mythis ab artium operibus 
profectis, § 2). It may have had no 
other groundwork. 

The figure itself remained at Tsena- 
rum more than seven hundred years. It 
was seen by ^^lian in the third century 
after Christ, when it bore the following 
inscription : — 

' AOavaTiiiv 7roju,:raicriv 'ApCova,''KvK\ovo? vlov, 
*E/c 2t»ceA.oi) TreAa^ous crwo-ev ox'JM* Tofie. 

3 It is questionable whether by k6\- 
\7](ris is to be understood the inlaying, 
or merely the welding of iron together. 
The only two descriptions which eye- 
witnesses have left us of the salver, lead 
in opposite directions. Pausanias gives 
as its peculiarity that the various por- 
tions were not fastened together by nails 
or rivets, but united by welding (X. xvi. 
§ 1) ; Atheuseus, that it was covered 
with representations of plants and ani- 
mals (Deipnosoph. v. 13, p. 210). Lar- 
cher's rea.soning in favour of inlaying is 

Chap. 24-27. ACCESSION OF CRCESUS. 137 

26. On tlie death of Alyattes, Croesus, liis son, who was 
thirty-five years old, succeeded to the throne. Of the Greek 
cities, Ephesus was the first that he attacked. The EjDhesians, 
when he laid siege to the place, made an offering of their city 
to Diana, by stretching a rope from the town wall to the temple 
of the goddess,*^ which was distant from the ancient city, then 
besieged by Croesus, a space of seven furlongs.^ They were, as 
I said, the first Greeks whom he attacked.^ Afterwards, on 
some pretext or other, he made war in turn upon every Ionian 
and ^olian state, bringing forward, where he could, a substantial 
ground of complaint ; where such failed him, advancing some 
poor excuse. 

27. In this way he made himself master of all the Greek 
cities in Asia, and forced them to become his tributaries ; after 
which he began to think of building ships, and attacking the 
islanders. Everything had been got ready for this purpose, 
when Bias of Priene (or, as some say, Pittacus the Mytilenean) 
put a stop to the project. The king had made inquiry of this 
person, who Avas lately arrived at Sardis, if there were any news 
from Greece ; to which he answered, " Yes, sire, the islanders 
are gathering ten thousand horse, designing an expedition 
against thee and against thy capital." Croesus, thinking he 
spake seriously, broke out, "Ah, might the gods put such a 
thought into their minds as to attack the sons of the Lydians 
with cavalry !" " It seems, oh ! king," rejoined the other, " that 
thou desirest earnestly to catch the islanders on horseback upon 
the mainland, — thou knowest well what would come of it. But 
what thinkest thou the islanders desire better, now that they 

ingenious. The main difficulties are the Apollo, he connected it with Delos by a 

etymological meaning of the word, and chain (Thucyd. iii. 104), 

the description of Pausanias. ^ We learn by this that the site of 

Stephen of Byzantium calls Glaucus a Ephesus had changed between the time 

Samian (in voc. AiOdXri) against the con- of Croesus and that of Herodotus. It 

current testimony of all other ancient is curiovis that, notwithstanding, Xeno- 

writers. He was led into the mistake phon speaks of the temple of Diana (Ar- 

probably by his knowledge of the gene- temis) as still distant exactly seven stades 

ral priority of Samos in mattei's of art. from the city (Ephes. i, 2). Afterwards 

(Vide infr" i. 51; iii. 42 and 60; iv. 88, the temple drew the population to it. 

&c.) The building seen by Herodotus was 

'' An analogous case is mentioned by that burnt by Eratostratus, B.C. 356. 

Plutarch (Solon, c. 12). The fugitives *' The stoiy of Pindarus, which Mr. 

implicated in the insurrection of Cylon Grote interweaves into his history at this 

at Athens connected themselves with the point (vol. iii. p. 347), is far too ques- 

altar by a cord. Thi^ough the breaking tionable in its details, and rests upon too 

of the "cord they lost their sacred cha- little authority (iElian. Hist. Var. iii. 26 ; 

racter. So, too, when Polycrates dedi- Polysen. Strateg. vi. 50) to be entitled 

cated the islandof Rheneia to the Delian to much consideration. 


hear tliou art about to build ships and sail against them, than to 
catch the Lydians at sea, and there revenge on them the wrongs 
of their brothers upon the mainland, whom thou boldest in 
slavery ? " Cro3sus was charmed with the turn of the speech ; 
and thinking there was reason in what was said, gave up his 
ship-building and concluded a league of amity with the lonians 
of the isles. 

28. Croesus afterwards, in the course of many years, brought 
under his sway almost all the nations to the west of the Halys. 
The Lycians and Cilicians alone continued free ; all the other 
tribes he reduced and held in subjection. They were the 
following : the Lydians, Phrygians, Mysians, Mariandynians, 
Chalybians, Paphlagonians, Thynian and Bithynian Thracians, 
Carians, lonians, Dorians, ^olians and Pamphylians."^ 

29. When all these conquests had been added to the Lydian 
empire, and the prosperity of Sardis was now at its height, 
there came thither, one after another, all the sages of Greece 
living at the time, and among them Solon, the Athenian.^ He 
was on his travels, having left Athens to be absent ten years, 
under the pretence of wishing to see the world, but really to 
avoid being forced to repeal any of the laws which, at the 
request of the Athenians, he had made for them. Without his 

' For the position of these several posed to obviate by the hypothesis of 

tribes see the map of Western Asia. It the association of Croesus in the govern- 

is not quite correct to speak of the Cili- ment by his father, some considerable 

cians as dwelling within {i.e., west of) the time before his death. (See Larcher in 

Halys, for the Halys in its upper course loc. ; and Clinton, F. H. vol. ii. p. '665.) 

ran through Cilicia (Sta KiXIkwv, ch. 72), The improbability of this hypothesis is 

and that country lay chiefly south of the shown in the Crit. Essays (Essay i. sub 

river. fin.). There is no necessity for it, in 

Lycia and Cilicia would be likely to cinder to bring Solon and Croesus into 
maintain their independence, beiug both contact during the reign of the latter, 
countries of great natural strength. They Cx'oesus most probably reigned from B.C. 
lie vipon the high mountain range of 568 to B.C. 5.54-. Solon certainly out- 
Taurus, which runs from east to west lived the first usurpation of the govern- 
along the south of Asia Minor, within ment at Athens by Pisistratus, which 

about a degree of the shore, and sends was B.C. 560. Some writers spoke of 
down fi-omthe main chain a series of la- his travels as commencing at that time, 
teral branches or spurs, which extend (Laert. i. 50; Suidas m voc. :S,6kwj/.) It 
to the sea along the whole line of coast is possible that he travelled twice, once 
from the Gulf of Makri, opposite Rhodes, before and once after the commence- 
to the plain of Tarsus. The mountains ment of the tyranny pf Pisistratus. And 
of the interior are in many parts covered what happened on the latter occasion 
with snow during the whole or the great- may have been transferred to the former, 
er part of the year. (See Beaufort's Ka- Or he may have started on his first tra- 
ramania.) vels a few years later than Clinton con- 
^ Solon's visit to Croesus was rejected jectures, B.C. 571, instead of B.C. 575; 
as fabulous before the time of Plutarch and his visit to Croesus may have been 
(Solon, c. 27), on account of chronolo- in the last of the 10 years B.C. 561. 
gical difficulties, which it has been pro- 

Chap. 27-31. LEGEND OF SOLON. 139 

sanction the Athenians could not repeal them, as they had 
bound themselves under a heavy curse to he governed for ten 
years by the laws wliich sliould be imposed on them by Solon.^ 

30. On this account, as well as to see the world, Solon set out 
upon his travels, m the course of which he went to Egypt to the 
court of Amasis,^ and also came on a visit to Croesus at Sardis. 
Crcesus received him as his guest, and lodged him in the royal 
palace. On the third or fourth day after, he bade his servants 
conduct Solon over his treasuries,^ and show him all their 
greatness and magnificence. When he had seen them all, and, 
so far as time allowed, inspected them, Crcesus addressed this 
question to him. " Stranger of Athens, we have heard much of 
thy wisdom and of thy travels through many lands, from love of 
knowledge and a wish to see the world. I am curious therefore 
to inquire of thee, whom, of all the men that thou hast seen, 
thou deemest the most happy?" This he asked because he 
thought himself the happiest of mortals : but Solon answered 
him without flattery, according to his true sentiments, " Tellus 
of Athens, sire." Full of astonishment at what he heard, Croesus 
demanded sharply, "And wherefore dost thou deem Tellus 
happiest?" To which the other replied, "First, because his 
country was flourishing in his days, and he himself had sons 
both beautiful and good, and he lived to see children born to 
each of them, and these children all grew up ; and further 
because, after a life spent in what our people look upon as 
comfort, his end was surpassingly glorious. In a battle between 
the Athenians and their neighbours near Eleusis, he came to 
the assistance of his countrymen, routed the foe, and died upon 
the field most gallantly. The Athenians gave him a public 
funeral on the "spot where he fell, and paid him the highest 


31. Thus did Solon admonish Croesus by the example of 
Tellus, enumerating the manifold particulars of his happiness. 

9 The travels of Solon are attested by Solon might sail from Athens to Egypt, 

Plato (Tim p 'n) and others. Various thence to Cyprus (Herod, v. 113;, and 

motives were assigned for his leaving from Cyprus to Lydia. This is the order 

Athens Laertius and Suidas said it of his travels accordmg to Laertius (i. 

was to escape the tyranny of Pisistratus; 49). Herodotus too, seems to place the 

Plutarch, that it was to avoid the trou- visit to Egypt before that to Lydia, when 

bles into which he foresaw Athens would he says, iKBrifx-naas 6 ^6\cou^ is AU 

be plunged (Solon, c. 25). The view of yv-rrrop a tt : k e t o , Kal 5^ k al is 

HerodoUis has prevailed, notwithstand- 2ap5is. 

ing its intrinsic improbability. ^ yide mfra, vi. 123. 

° Amasis began to reign B.C. 569. 


When he had ended, Croesus inquired a second time, who after 
Tellus seemed to him the happiest, expecting that at any rate, 
he would be given the second place. " Cleobis and Bito," Solon 
answered ; "they were of Argive race ; their fortune was enough 
for their wants, and they were besides endowed with so much 
bodily strength that they had both gained prizes at the Games. 
Also this tale is told of them : — There was a great festival in 
honour of the goddess Juno at Argos, to which their mother 
must needs be taken in a car.^ Now the oxen did not come 
home fi-om the field in time : so the youths, fearful of being too 
late, put the yoke on their own necks, and themselves drew the 
car in which their mother rode. Five and forty furlongs did 
they draw^ her, and stopped before the temple. This deed of 
theirs was witnessed by the whole assembly of worshippers, and 
then their life closed in the best possible way. Herein, too, 
God showed forth most evidently, how much better a thing for 
man death is than life. For the Argive men, who stood around 
the car, extolled the vast strength of the youths ; and the 
Argive women extolled the mother wdio was blessed with such a 
pair of sons ; and the mother herself, overjoyed at the deed and 
at the praises it had won, standing straight before the image, 
besought the goddess to bestow on Cleobis and Bito, the sons 
who had so mightily honoured her, the highest blessing to which 
mortals can attain. Her prayer ended, they offered sacrifice and 
partook of the holy banquet, after which the two youths fell 
asleep in the temple. They never woke more, but so passed 
from the earth. The Argives, looking on them as among the best 
of men* caused statues of them to be made, which they gave to 
the shrine at Delphi." 

32. When Solon had thus assigned these youths the second 
place, Croesus broke in angrily, " What, stranger of Athens, is 
my happiness, then, so utterly set at nought by thee, that thou 
dost not even put me on a level with private men ? " 

" Oh ! Croesus," replied the other, " thou askedst a question 
concerning the condition of man, of one who knows that the 
powder above us is full of jealousy,* and fond of troubling our 

3 Cicero (Tusc, Disp. i. 47) and destroyed the oxen, which contradicts 

others, as Servius (ad Virg. Georg. iii. Herodotus. Otherwise the tale is told 

5:^2) and the author of the Platonic with fewer varieties than most ancient 

dialogue entitled Axiochus ('SG?. C), stories. The Argives had a sculptured 

relate that the ground of the necessity representation of the event in their 

was the circumstance that the youths' temple of Apollo Lycius to the time of 

mother was priestess of Juno at the Pausanias. (^Pausan. ii. xx. § 2.) 

time. Servius says a pestilence had •* In the original, (pd ov e phv ihv rd 

Chap. 31, 32. 



lot. A long life gives one to witness mucli, and experience 
much oneself, that one would not choose. Seventy years I 
regard as the limit of the life of man.^ In these seventy years 
are contained, without reckoning intercalary months, twenty-five 
thousand and two hundred days. Add an intercalary month to 
every other year, that the seasons may come roimd at the right 
time, and there will be, besides the seventy years, thirty-five 
such months, making an addition of one thousand and fifty days. 
The whole number of the days contained in the seventy years 
will thus be twenty-six thousand two hundred and fifty,^ whereof 
not one but will produce events unlike the rest. Hence man is 
wholly accident. For thyself, oh ! Croesus, I see that thou art 
wonderfully rich, and art the lord of many nations ; but with 
respect to that whereon thou questionest me, I have no answer 
to give, until I hear that thou hast closed thy life happily. For 
assuredly he who possesses great store of riches is no nearer 

6e7ov. The (pOSi^os of God is a leading 
feature in Herodotus's conception of the 
Deity, and no doubt is one of the chief 
moral conclusions which he drew from 
his own survey of human events, and 
intended to impress on us by his history. 
(Vide infra, iii. 40, vii. 46, and especially 
vii. 10, §5-6.) Plutarch long ago repre- 
hended this view (De Herod. Malignit. 
Op. ii. p. 857); and notwithstanding the 
ingenious defence of Valckenaer (ad 
Herod, iii. 40), repeated since by Dahl- 
mann (Life of Herodotus, ch. viii. p. 131, 
E. T.) and Biihr (ad Herod, i. 32), it 
cannot be justified. Herodotus's (pOove- 
pbs Beds is not simply the " Deus ultor " 
of religious Komans, much less the 
"jealous God" of Scripture, to which 
Dahlmann compares the expression. 
This last is a completely distinct notion. 
The idea of an avenging God is included 
in the Herodotean conception, but is 
far from being the whole of it. Pros- 
perity, not pride, eminence, not arro- 
gance, provokes him. He does not like 
any one to be great or happy but him- 
self (vii. 46, end). 

What is most remarkable is, that 
with such a conception of the Divine 
Nature, Herodotus could maintain such 
a placid, cheerful, childlike temper. 
Possibly he was serene because he felt 
secure in his mediocrity. 

^ " The days of our years are three- 
score years and ten" (Ps. xc. 10). 

^ No commentator on Herodotus has 
succeeded in explaining the cuiious mis- 


take whereby the solar year is made to 
average 375 days. That Herodotus 
knew the true solar year was not 375, 
but more nearly 365 days, is clear from 
book ii. eh. 4. It is also clear that he 
must be right as to the fact that the 
Greeks were in the habit of intercalating 
a month every other year. This point 
is confirmed by a passage in Censorinus 
(De Die Natal, xviii. p. 91), where it is 
explained that the Greek years were 
alternately of 12 and 13 months, and 
that the biennium was called "annus 
magnus," or rpierripis. 

Two inaccuracies produce the error in 
Herodotus. In the first place he makes 
Solon count his months at 30 days each, 
whereas it is notorious that the Greek 
months, after the system of intercalation 
was introduced, were alternately of 29 
and 30 days. By this error his first 
number is raised from 24,780 to 25,200; 
and also his second number from 1033 
to 1050. Secondly, he omits to men- 
tion that from time to time (every 4th 
TpL€Tr]p\s probably) the intercalary month 
was omitted altogether. (See Dr. 
Schmitz's account of the Greek year, in 
Smith's Dictionary of Antiquities, 2nd 
edit. p. 222; where, however, by an 
accidental slip of the pen, the insertion 
of an additional month every fourth 
year [TpieTripLs ?) is substituted for its 
omission.) These two corrections would 
reduce the number of days to the 
proper amount. 




happiness than he who has what suffices for his daily needs, 
unless it so hap that luck attend ui)on him, and so he con- 
tinue in the enjoyment of all his good things to the end of life. 
For many of the wealthiest men have been unfavoured of 
fortune, and many whose means were moderate have had excel- 
lent luck. Men of the former class excel those of the latter but 
in two respects ; these last excel the former in many. The 
wealthy man is better able to content his desires, and to bear up 
against a sudden buffet of calamity. The other has less ability 
to withstand these evils (from which, however, his good luck 
keeps him clear), but he enjoys all these following blessings : 
he is whole of limb, a stranger to disease, free from misfortune, 
happy in his children, and comely to look upon. If, in addition 
to all this, he end his life well, he is of a truth the man of whom 
thou art in search, the man who may rightly be termed happy. 
Call him, however, until he die, not* happy but fortunate. 
Scarcely, indeed, can any man unite all these advantages : as 
there is no country which contains within it all that it needs, but 
each, while it possesses some things, lacks others, and the best 
country is that which contains tlie most ; so no single human 
being is complete in every respect — something is always lacking. 
He who unites the greatest number of advantages, and retaining 
them to the day of his death, then dies peaceably, that man 
alone, sire, is, in my judgment, entitled to bear the name of 
* happy.' But in every matter it behoves us to mark well the 
end : for oftentimes God gives men a gleam of happiness, and 
then plunges them into ruin." ^ 

33. Such was the speech which Solon addressed to Croesus, a 
speech which brought him neither largess nor honour. The 
king saw him depart with much indiftereuce, since he thought 
that a man must be an arrant fool who made no account of 
pjesent good, but bade men always wait and mark the end. 

34. After Solon had gone away a dreadful vengeance, sent of 

' Larcher says, " Sophocles a para- unknown, and it is uncertain whether 

phrase cette sentence de Solon dans son the passage in Herodotus was part of 

CEdipe Roi" (vol. i. p. 232). But it the original histoi-y, or one of the addi- 

might be argued with quite as much tigns which he made at Thurium, it is 

probability that Herodotus has here impossible to say which writer was the 

borrowed from Sophocles, since Hero- ^plagiarist. Perhaps the yvw/uLT) was 

dotus seems to have continued to make really one of Solon's, as Aristotle be- 

additions to his •history as late perhaps lieved (Eth. Nic. i. x.). It became a 

as B.C. 425 (see the hitroductory Essay, favc»urite t6wos of Greek tragedy. See, 

p. 33), and Sophocles exhibited as early besides the passages in Sophocles (CEd. 

as B.C. 4(58. As the exact date of the T. 1195, and 1528-30), Eurip. Andi-o- 

publication of the CEdipus Tyranuus is mach. 100, Troas, 513, &c. &c. 

Chap. 32-35. SEQUEL TO THE LEGEND. 143 

God, came upon Croesus, to punisli him, it his hkely, for deeming 
himself the happiest of men. First he had a dream in the 
night, which foreshowed him truly the evils that were about to 
befal him in the person of his son. For Croesus had two sons, 
one blasted by a natural defect, being deaf and dumb ; the other, 
distinguished far above all his co-mates in every pursuit. The 
name of the last was Atys. It was this son concerning whom 
he dreamt a dream, that he would die by the blow of an iron 
weapon. When he woke, he considered earnestly with himself, 
and, greatly alarmed at the dream, instantly made his son take 
a wife, and whereas in former years the youth had been wont to 
command the Lydian forces in the field, he now would not 
suffer him to accompany them. All the s[)ears and javelins, and 
weapons used in the wars, he removed out of the male apart- 
ments, and laid them in heaps in the chambers, of the women, 
fearing lest perhaps one of the weapons that hung against the 
wall might fall and strike him. 

35. Now it chanced that while he was making arrangements 
for the wedding, there came to Sardis a man under a misfortune, 
who had upon him the stain of blood. He was by race a 
Phrygian, and belonged to the family of the king. Presenting 
himself at the palace of Croesus, he prayed to be admitted to 
purification according to the customs of the country. Now the 
Lydian method of purifying is very nearly the same as the 
Greek. Croesus granted the request, and went through all the 
customary rites, after which he asked the suppliant of his birth 
and country, addressing him as follows : — " Who art thou, 
strauger, and from wliat part of Phrygia fleddest thou to take 
refuge at my hearth ? And whom, moreover, what man or what 
woman, hast thou slain ? " " Oh ! king," replied the Phrygian, 
" I am the son of Gordias, son of Midas. I am named Adrastus.^ 
The man I unintentionally slew was my own brother. For this 
my father drove me from the land, and I lost all. Then fled I 
here to thee." '• Thou art the offspring," Croesus rejoined, " of 
a house friendly to mine,^ and thou art come to friends. Thou 

* This name, and likewise the name and Adrastus quarrelled about a quail 

of Atys, are thought to be significant. Cap. Phot. Bibl. cod. 190, p. 472); but 

Adrastus is -'the doomed" — "the man the discoveries of Hepheestion in such 

unable to escape." Atys is ''the youth matters are a severe trial to the modern 

under the inHuence of At(^ " — " the man reader's ci'edulity. 

jiidicially blind." ' See Mure's Litera- ^ Here the legend has forgotten tbat 

ture of Greece, vol. iv. p. 326.) Phrygian independence v^'tis at an end. 

Hephfestion gave the name of the We might, indeed, get over the difficulty 

brother as Agathou, and said that he of a Phrygian royal house, and a King 


slialt want for nothing so long as thou abidest in my dominions. 
Bear thy misfortune as easily as thou may est, so will it go best 
with thee." Thenceforth Adrastus lived in the palace of the 

36. It chanced that at this very same time there was in the 
Mysian Olympus a huge monster of a boar, wliich went forth 
often from this mountain-country, and wasted the corn-fields of 
the Mysians. Many a time had the Mysians collected to hunt 
the beast, but instead of doing him any hurt, they came off 
always with some loss to themselves. At length they sent 
ambassadors to Croesus, who delivered their message to him in 
these words : " Oh ! king, a mighty monster of a boar has 
appeared in our parts, and destroys the labour of our hands. 
We do our best to take him, but in vain. Now therefore we 
beseech thee to let thy son accompany us back, with some 
chosen youths and hounds, that we may rid our country of the 
animal." Such was the tenor of their prayer. 

But Croesus bethought him of his dream, and answered, " Say 
no more of my son going w^ith you ; that may not be in any 
wise. He is but just joined in wedlock, and is busy enough 
with that. I will grant you a picked band of Lydians, and all 
my huntsmen and hounds ; and I will charge those whom I send 
to use all zeal in aiding you to rid your country of the brute." 

37. With this reply the Mysians were content ; but the king^s 
son, hearing what the prayer of the Mysians was, came suddenly 
in, and on the refusal of Croesus to let him go with them, thus 
addressed his father : " Formerly, my father, it was deemed the 
noblest and most suitable thing for me to frequent the wars 
and hunting-parties, and win myself glory in them ; but now 
thou keepest me away from both, although thou hast never 
beheld in me either cowardice or lack of spirit. What face 
meanwhile must I wear as I walk to the forum or return from 
it? What must the citizens, w^hat must my young bride 
tliink of me ? What sort of man will she suppose her husband 
to be ? Either, therefore, let me go to the chace of this boar, 
or give me a reason why it is best for me to do according to thy 

Gordias at this time, by supposing, with mine, and thou art come to friends;" 

Larcher (vol^i. p. '237), that Phrygia and the independence of Phrygia .^eerns 

had become tributary while retaining clearly implied in the proviso, ' ' thou 

her kings : but the language of Croesus shalt want for nothing so long as thou 

is not suitable to such a supposition, abidest in my dominions" {fi^vuv eV 

Equality appears in the phrase, "thou rjixer^pov). Phrygia is not under 

art the ofispring of a house friendly to Croesus. 

Chap. 35-42. STORY OF ADRASTUS. 145 

38. Then Croesus answered, *^ My son, it is not because I have 
seen in thee either cowardice or aught else which has displeased 
me that I keep thee back ; but because a vision which came 
before me in a dream as I slept, warned me that thou wert 
doomed to die young, pierced by an iron weapon. It was this 
which first led me to hasten on thy wedding, and now it hinders 
me from sending thee upon this enterprise. Fain would I keep 
watch over thee, if by any means I may cheat fate of thee 
during my own lifetime. For thou art the one and only son 
that I possess ; the other, whose hearing is destroyed, I regard 
as if he were not." 

39. " Ah ! father," returned the youth, " I blame thee not for 
keeping watch over me after a dream so terrible ; but if thou 
mistakest, if thou dost not apprehend the dream aright, 'tis no 
blame for me to show thee wherein thou errest. Now the 
dream, thou saidst thyself, foretold that I should die stricken by 
an iron weapon. But what hands has a boar to strike with? 
What iron weapon does he ^ield ? Yet this is w4iat thou fearest 
for me. Had the dream said that- 1 should die pierced by a 
tusk, then thou hadst done vfell to keep me away ; but it said a 
weapon. Now here we do not combat men, but a wild animal. 
I pray thee, therefore, let me go with them." 

40. " There thou hast me, my son," said Croesus, " thy inter- 
pretation is better than mine. I yield to it, and change my 
mind, and consent to let thee go." 

41. Then the king sent for Adrastus, the Phrygian, and said 
to him, " Adrastus, when thou wert smitten with the rod of 
affliction — no reproach, my friend — I purified thee, and have 
taken thee to live with me in my palace, and have been at every 
charge. Now, therefore, it behoves thee to requite the good 
offices which thou hast received at my hands by consenting to go 
with my son on this hunting party, and to watch over him, if 
perchance you should be attacked upon the road by some band 
of daring robbers. Even apart from this, it were right for thee 
to go where thou mayest make thyself famous by noble deeds. 
They are the heritage of thy family, and thou too art so stalwart 
and strong." 

42. Adrastus answ^ered, " Except for thy request, Oh ! king, 
I wuuld rather have kept away from this hunt ; for methinks it 
ill beseems a man under a misfortune such as mine to consort 
with his happier compeers ; and besides, I have no heart to it.. 
On many grounds I had stayed behind ; but, as thou urgest it, 

VOL. 1. L 

146 DEATH OF ATYS. Book I. 

and I am bound to pleasure thee (for truly it does behove me to 
requite thy good offices), I am content to do as thou wishest. 
For thy son, whom thou givest into my charge, be sure thou 
shalt receive him back safe and sound, so far as depends upon a 
guardian's carefulness." 

43. Thus assured, Croesus let them depart, accompanied by a 
band of picked youths, and well provided with dogs of chace. 
When they reached Olympus, they scattered in quest of the 
animal ; he was soon found, and the hunters, drawing round 
him in a circle, hurled their weapons at him. Then the stranger, 
the man who had been purified of blood, whose name was 
Adrastus, he also hurled his spear at the boar, but missed his 
aim, and struck Atys. Thus was the son of Croesus slain by the 
point of an iron weapon, and the warning of the vision was 
fulfilled. Then one ran to Sardis to bear the tidings to the 
king, and he came and informed him of the combat and of the 
fate that had befallen his son. 

44. If it was a heavy blow to the father to learn that his 
child was dead, it yet more • strongly affected him to think that 
the very man whom he himself- once purified had done the 
deed. In the violence of his grief he called aloud on Jupiter 
Catharsius,^ to be a witness of what he had suffered at the 
stranger's hands. Afterwards he invoked the same god as 
Jupiter Ephistius and Hetsereus — using the one term because 
he had unwittingly harboured in his house the man who had 
now slain his son ; and the other, because the stranger, who 
had been sent as his child's guardian, had turned out his most 
cruel enemy. 

45. Presently the Lydians arrived, bearing the body of the 
youth, and behind them followed the homicide. He took his 
stand in front of the corse, and, stretching forth his hands to 
Croesus, delivered himself into his power with earnest entreaties 
that he would sacrifice him upon the body of his son — " his 
former misfortune was burtlien enough ; now that he had added 
to it a second, and had brought ruin on the man who purified 

1 Jupiter was Catharsius, the god of the purified person contracted an ob- 
purifications, not (as Biihr says) on ligation towards his purifier. Corn- 
account of the resemblance of the rites pare, on the general principle, Eustath. 
of purification with those of Jupiter ad Horn. Od. xvi. 429, " 'Icrreoy 5e on 
MeiAi'xios, but simply in the same way ^aprus \dy€Tai to7$ iKcrais o Zei/s KaOa 
that he was Ephistius and Hetaereiis, koi. tois Iraipois, 'iva ws eu etSws koX 
'god of heai'ths, and of companionship, iTriTifxrjrcop, iroirfriKcos etVetj/, varepov toIs 
because he presided over all occasions of afxapToiuovai yiyvoiro." — See also Note A 
obligation between man and man, and at the end of- this Book. 

CiiAP. 42-46. GRIEF OF CRCESUS. 147 

him, he could not bear to live." Then Croesus, when he heard 
these words, was moved with pity towards Adrastus, notwith- 
standing tlie bitterness of his own calamity ; and so he an- 
swered, " Enough, my friend ; I have all the revenge that I 
require, since thou givest sentence of death against thyself. 
But in sooth it is not thou who hast injured me, except so far 
as thou hast unwittingly dealt the blow. Some god is the 
author of my misfortune, and I was forewarned of it a long time 
ago." Croesus after this buried the body of his son, with such 
honours as befitted the oc(,*asion. Adrastus, son of Gordias, son 
of Midas, the destroyer of his brother in time past, the destroyer 
now of his purifier, regarding himself as the most unfortunate 
wretch whom he had ever known, so soon as all was quiet about 
the place, slew himself upon the tomb. Croesus, bereft of his 
son, gave himself up to mourning for two full years. 

46. At the end of this time the grief of Croesus was inter- 
rupted by intelligence from abroad. He learnt that Cyrus, the 
son of Cambyses, had destroyed the empire of Astyages, the son 
of Cyaxares ; and that the Persians were becoming daily more 
powerful. This led him to consider with himself whether it 
were possible to check the growing power of that people before 
it came to a head. With this design he resolved to make instant 
trial of the several oracles in Creece, and of the one in Libya.^ 
So he sent his messengers in different directions, some to 
Delphi, some to Abse in Phocis, and some to Dodona ; others to 
the oracle of Amphiaraiis ; others to that of Trophonius ; others, 
again, to Branchidai in Milesia.^ These were the Greek oracles 
which he consulted. To Libya he sent another embassy, to 
consult the oracle of Ammon. These messengers were sent to 

2 '' The one in Libya" (Africa) — that Lebadeia, in Boeotia (infra, viii. 134). 

of Aramon, because Egypt was regarded That of Amphiaraiis is generally thouglit 

by Herodotus as in Asia, not in Africa, to have been at Thebes. (Grote's His- 

(See below, ii. 17. 65. iv. 39. 197.) In tory of Greece, vol. iv. p. 253. Bilhr's 

Egypt there were numerous oracles Index, vol. iv, p. 450.) It appears, how- 

(ii. b3). ever, to have been really at, or rather 

^ The oracle at Abfc seems to have near, Oropus (Pans. i. xxxiv. § 2 ; Liv, 

ranked next to that at Delphi. Compare xlv. 27. Dicscarch. Fr. 59. § »)). The 

Sophocl. (Ed. Tyr. 897-899. Ovk in passage of Herodotus which has been 

rhv &diKT0U el/jLi yas eV 6iJ.(()a\6v ffeficau, supposed to fix it to Thebes (viii, 134), 

ov5' 4s Tov 'A^aicL vaov, where the leaves the locality uncertain. It only 

Scholiast has absurdlj^ "AiSai, to'ttos appeal's that Mys visited the shrine 

AuKias. It is again mentioned by Hero- while he was staying at Thebes, which 

dotus, viii. 134. With respect to the he might easily do, as Oropus was but 

oracle of Dodona — " the most ancient of about 20 miles from that city, 

all in Greece" — vide infra, ii. 52. The The Orientals do not appear to have 

oracular shrine of Tx'ophonius was at possessed any indigenous oracles, 



test the knowledge of the oracles, that, if they were found really 
to return true answers, he might send a second time, and inquire 
if he ought to attack the Persians. 

47. The messengers who were despatched to make trial of the 
oracles were given the following instructions : they were to keep 
count of the days from the time of their leaving Sardis, and, 
reckoning from that date, on the hundredth day they were to 
consult the oracles, and to inquire of them what Croesus the son of 
Alyattes, kingof Lydia, was doing at that moment. The answers 
given them were to be taken down in writing, and brought 
back to him. None of the replies remain on record except that 
of the oracle at Delphi. There, the moment that the Lydians 
entered the sanctuary,^ and before they put their questions,^ the 
Pythoness thus answered them in hexameter verse : — 

'' I can count the sands, and I can measure the ocean; 

I have ears for the silent, and know what the dumb man meaneth ; 
Lo ! on my sense there striketh the smell of a shell-covered tortoise, 
Boiling now on a fire, with the flesh of a lamb, in a cauldron, — 
Brass is the vessel below, and brass the cover above it." 

48. These words the Lydians wrote down at the mouth of the 
Pythoness as she prophesied, and then set off on their return to 
Sardis. When all the messengers had come back with the 
answers which they had received, Croesus undid the rolls, and 
read what was written in each. Only one approved itself to 
him, that of the Delphic oracle. This he had no sooner heard 
than he instantly made an act of adoration, and accepted it as 
true, declaring that the Delphic was the only really oracular 
shrine, the only one that had discovered in what way he was in 
fact employed. For on the departure of his messengers he had 
set himself to think what was most impossible for any one to 
conceive of his doing,^ and then, waiting till the day agreed on 

Larcher and Beloe "had asked" this question, he would 

translate — "the temple of Delphi" — have said eVetpcoTTjo-aj/. For a similar 

*'le temple de Delphes" — incorrectly, use of the imperfect, vide infra, i. 68. 
The jxiyapov was the inner shrine, the ^ Whatever explanation is to be given 

sacred chamber where the oracles were of this remarkable oracle, that of Lar- 

given — the "penetrale templi" as cher seems to be precluded, not less by 

Schweighseuser renders the word (cf. these words than by probability. He 

infi-a. ii. 141, 143, 169, &c.). supposes that Croesus had determined 

^ Here Schweighteuser has missed the what he would do before he sent his 

sense equally with Beloe and Larcher. embassies, and had confided his inten- 

All render eVeipwreoj/, " had asked," tion to one of the ambassadors, who 

instead of " wei-e in the act of asking," imparted the secret to the Delphian 

or ''were for asking." Herodotus priests. The same view is taken by De 

changes from the aorist (lariXdnu, to the Quincey, in his Essay on the Pagan 

imperfect iireipiareov, to mark a change Oracles (Works, vol. viii. pp. 196, 197). 

in the action. Had he meant that they If we allow Croesus to have possessed 

Chap. 46-50. GEATITUDE OF CEGESUS. 149 

came, lie acted as he had determined. He took a tortoise and 
a lamb/ and cutting them in pieces with his own hands, boiled 
them both together in a brazen cauldron, covered over with a 
lid which was also of brass. 

49. Such then was the answer returned to Croesus from 
Delphi. What the answer was which the Lydians who w^ent to 
the shrine of Amphiaraiis and performed the customary rites, 
obtained of the oracle there, I have it not in my power to 
mention, for there is no record of it. All that is known is, that 
Croesus believed himself to have found there also an oracle which 
spoke the truth. 

50. After this Croesus, having resolved to propitiate the 
Delphic god with a magnificent sacrifice, offered up three thou- 
sand of every kind of sacrificial beast,^ and besides made a huge 
pile, and placed upon it couches coated with silver and with 
gold, and golden goblets, and robes and vests of purple ; all 
which he burnt in the hope of thereby making himself more 
secure of the favour of the god. Further he issued his orders 
to all the people of the land to offer a sacrifice according to their 
means. When the sacrifice was ended, the king melted down a 
vast quantity of gold, and ran it into ingots, making them six 
palms long, three palms broad, and one palm in thickness. 

ordinary common sense, it is inconceiv- ' Mr. Birch thinks that Croesus chose 

able that he should have been guilty of these two because they were the sacred 

a folly which was so likely to frustrate animals of Apollo and of Ammon; the 

his whole design. The utter incredulity two chief oracles of the day being those 

of Cicero seems better than this — " Cur of Delphi and Ammon; thinking to test 

autem hoc credam unquam editum the power of those gods by killing their 

Croeso ? aut Herodotum cur veraciorem favourite emblems, and by the oddity 

ducam Ennio ?" (De Div. ii. torn. vi. p. of the selection. — [G. W.] 
655, Ernesti.) ^ This is undoubtedly the meaning 

It is impossible to discuss such a of Kr7]vea ra dvai/xa iravra rpiaxi?^t.a. 

question as the nature of the ancient Cf. infra, iv. 88. MaudpoK\4a idccp-nffaro 

oracles, which has had volumes written iraaL SeKa. ix. 70. Uavcrauir) iravra deKa 

upon it, within the limits of a note. I i^aipeOrj. Although Larcher had rightly 

will only observe that in forming our rendered the passage, ''trois mille vic- 

judgment on the subject, two points times de toutes les especes d'animaux 

should be kept steadily in view: 1. qu'ilestpermisd'offrirauxDieux,"Beloe 

the fact that the Pythoness (TratStV/cTj missed the sense, and translated " three 

T£s ^x*^^^"- T^v^vjxa TlvQ oivo s), whom St. thousand chosen victims," The chapter 

Paul met with on his first entrance into is, indeed, one of Beloe's worst. He 

European Greece, was really possessed renders ws 5e ck ttjs dval-qs iyeu^To, 

by an evil spirit, which St. Paul cast out, Karaxedfievos xP^<^ov &ir\eTou, rnxncKiv- 

thereby depriving her masters of all 6ia e| avrov i^-fjXavve, " as at the conclu- 

their hopes of gain (Acts xvi. 16-19): sio7i of the above ceremon?/ a considerable 

and 2. the phenomena of Mesmerism, quantity of gold had rim together, he 

In one or other of these, or in both of formed of it a number of tiles;" and iirl 

them combined, will be found the fi^v ra fxaKpSrepa Troteoji/ ^^airdXaicTTa, 

simplest, and probably the truest ex- iirl Se ra ^paxvrepa, TpiTrdAaia-Ta — ''the 

planation, of all that is really marvellous larger of these were six palms long, the 

in the responses of the oracles. smaller thi^ee." 


The number of ingots was a hundred and seventeen, four being 
of refined gold, in weight two talents and a half ;^ the others of 
pale gold, and in weight two talents. He also caused a statue 
of a lion to be made in refined gold, the weight of which was 
ten talents. At the time when the temple of Delphi was burnt 
to the ground, ^^ this lion fell from the ingots on which it was 
placed ; it now stands in the Corinthian treasury, and weighs 
only six talents and a half, having lost three talents and a half 
by the fire. 

51. On the completion of these works Croesus sent them away 
to Delphi, and with them two bowls of an enormous size, one of 
gold, the other of silver, which used to stand, the latter upon 
the right, the former upon the left, as one entered the temple. 
They too were moved at the time of the fire ; and now the 
golden one is in the Clazomenian treasury, and weighs eight 
talents and forty-two minse ; the silver one stands in the corner 
of the ante-chapel, and holds six hundred amphorse.^^ This is 
known, because the Delphians fill it at the time of the Theo- 
phania.^^ It is said by the Delphians to be a work of Theodore 
the Samian,^^ and I think that they say true, for assuredly it is 
the work of no common artist. Croesus sent also four silver 

^ The reading rpirov 7]!XiTa\avrov sug- " Above 5000 gallons (cf. iv. 81). 
gested by Matthise, and adopted by ^^ There is no need of the correction 
Schweighseuser, Gaisford, and Biihr, of Valckenaer (0eo|ej^ioi(rt for Qeocpa- 
seems to be required instead of the rpia vioiai), since both in Julius Pollux (i. 
T)lJLiTa\avra of the MSS,, not only be- i. 34) and in Philostratus (Vit. Apoll. 
cause Herodotus must have known pure Tyan. iv. 31) there is mention of the Theo- 
gold to be heavier than alloyed, but phania, as a festival celebrated by the 
also because he is not in the habit of Greeks, No particulars are known of it. 
reckoning by half talents. He would ^3 Vide infra, iii. 42. Pausanias as- 
not be more likely to say of a thing, cribed to Theodore of Samos the inven- 
** it weighed three half-talents," than a tion of casting in bronze, and spoke of 
modern to say, ''it weighed three half- him also as an architect (iii. xii. § 8; 
pounds." With respect to the weight viii. xiv. § 5). Pliny agreed with both 
of these ingots, it has been calculated statements (Nat. Hist. xxxv. 12), and 
(Bahr in loc.) from their size, that those described also certain minute works of 
of pure gold weighed 325 lbs. (French), his making. It has been suggested that 
and therefore those of pale or alloyed there were two Theodores, both Sa- 
gold 260 lbs. To this result it is ob- mians; the first, the architect and in- 
jected that it produces a talent not else- ventor of casting in bronze, who flou- 
where heard of, viz. one of 130 lbs. rished before B.C. 600: the second, the 
(French). Herodotus, however, would maker of this bowl, and also of the ring 
be a ""better judge of the size of the of Polycrates (cf. Bahr ad loc). The 
ingots than of their weight. He pro- genealogy of the family is thus given by 
bably measured them with his own K. 0. Miiller — 
hand, but he must have taken the word 
of the Delphians as to what they weighed. Rhcecus (ab. b.c. 640) 

The Delphians are not likely to have • j ! 

understated their value. Theodorus. Telecles (nc 600) 

w Vide infra, ii. 180, v.^ 62. It was ( 

burnt accidentally — avTOfxdrws /careKaTj. Theodorus (b.c. 560) 


casks, which are in the Corinthian treasury, and two histral 
vases, a golden and a silver one. On the former is inscribed the 
name of the Lacedaemonians, and they claim it as a gift of 
theirs, but wrongly, since it was really given by Croesus. The 
inscription upon it was cut by a Delphian, who wished to 
pleasure the Lacedaemonians. His name is knov/ii to me, but I 
forbear to mention it. The boy, through whose hand the water 
runs, is (I confess) a Lacedaemonian gift, but they did not give 
either of the lustral vases. Besides these various offerings, 
Croesus sent to Delphi many others of less account, among the 
rest a number of round silver basins. Also he dedicated a 
female figure in gold, three cubits high, which is said by the 
Delphians to be the statue of his baking-woman ; and further, 
he presented the necklace and the girdles of his wife. 

52. These were the offerings sent by Croesus to Delphi. To 
the shrine of Amphiaraiis, with whose valour and misfortune 
he was acquainted,^ he sent a shield entirely of gold, and a 
spear, also of solid gold, both head and shaft. They were still 
existing in my day at Thebes, laid up in the temple of Ismenian 

53. The messengers who had the charge of conveying these 
treasures to the shrines, received instructions to ask the oracles 
whether Croesus should go to war with the Persians, and if so, 
whether he should strengthen himself by the forces of an ally. 
Accordingly, when they had reached their destinations and pre- 
sented the gifts, they proceeded to consult the oracles in the 
following terms :— " Croesus, king of Lydia and other countries, 
believing that these are the only real oracles in all the world, 
has sent you such presents as your discoveries deserved, and now 
inquires of you whether he shall go to war with the Persians, 
and if so, whether he shall strengthen himself by the forces of 
a confederate." Both the oracles agreed in the tenor of their 
reply, which was in each case a prophecy that if Croesus attacked 
the Persians, he would destroy a mighty empire, and a recom- 

1 For the story of Amphiaraiis, cf. at Thebes but at Oropus. The Thebans, 

Pausan. i. 34, ii. 13, § 6. ^Eschyl. Sept. ere they lost Oropus to Attica, might 

contr. Th. 564 et seqq. The " misfor- have carried away tlie most vahiable of 

tune " is his being engulfed near Oropus, its treasures to their own city. Indeed 

or, (as some said) at Harma in Boeotia. this passage may rather be adduced as 

The fact that the gifts sent to Amphi- proof that the shrine of Amphiaraiis was 

araiis were seen by Hei'odotus at Thebes, not at Thebes. For, had it been, why 

does not mihtate against the position should the shield and spear have been 

maintained in a former note, that the in the temple of Ismenian Apollo, and 

oracular shrine of Amphiaraiis was not not at the shrine itself ? 


mendation to him to look and see who were the most powerful 
of the Greeks, and to make alliance with them. 

54. At the receipt of these oracular replies Croesus was over- 
joyed, and feeling sure now that he would destroy the empire of 
the Persians, he sent once more to Pytho, and presented to the 
Delphians, the number of whom he had ascertained, two gold 
staters apiece.^ In return for this the Delphians granted to 
Croesus and the Lydians the privilege of precedency in con- 
sulting the oracle, exemption from all charges, the most honour- 
able seat at the festivals, and the perpetual right of becoming 
at pleasure citizens of their town. 

55. After sending these presents to the Delphians, Croesus a 
third time consulted the oracle, for having once proved its 
truthfulness, he wished to make constant use of it. The question 
w^hereto he now desired an answer was — " Whether his kingdom 
would be of long duration ? " The following was the reply of 
the Pythoness : — 

*' Wait till the time shall come when a mule is monarch of Media; 
Then, thou delicate Lydian, away to the pebbles of Hermus ; ^ 
Haste, oh ! haste thee away, nor blush to behave like a coward." 

56. Of all the answers that had reached him, this pleased hira 
far the best, for it seemed incredible that a mule should ever 
come to be king of the Medes, and so he concluded that the 
sovereignty would never depart from himself or his seed after 
him. Afterwards he turned his thoughts to the alliance which 
he had been recommended to contract, and sought to ascertain 
by inquiry which was the most powerful of the Grecian states. 
His inquiries pointed out to him two states as pre-eminent above 
the rest. These were the Lacedaemonians and the Athenians, 
the former of Doric the latter of Ionic blood. And indeed these 
two nations had held from very early times the most distin- 
guished place in Greece, the one being a Pelasgic the other a 
Hellenic people, and the one having never quitted its original 
seats, while the other had been excessively migratory; for 
during the reign of Deucalion, Phthiotis was the country in 
whiph the Hellenes dwelt, but under Dorus, the son of Hellen, 

2 For the value of the stater see note clares that there is now no place of the 
on Book vii. ch. 28. name (Asie Mineure, vol. iii. p. 17). It 

3 The Hermus is the modern Kodus or was situated in the valley of the Her- 
Ghiediz Chai, which rises in the Morad mus, at the point where the Pactolus, a 
mountains and runs into the sea near brook descending from Tmolus, joined 
Smyrna. Sardis was till recently a vil- the great stream. 

lage known as Sart; but M. Texier de- 

Chap. 53-57, 



they moved to the tract at the base of Ossa and Olympus, which 
is called Histia36tis ; forced to retire from that region by the 
Cadmeians/ they settled, under the name of Macedni, in the 
chain of Pindus. Hence they once more removed and came to 
Dryopis ; and from Dryopis having entered the Peloponnese ^ in 
this way, they became known as Dorians. 

57. What the language of the Pelasgi was I cannot say with 
any certainty. If, however, we may form a conjecture from the 
tongue spoken by the Pelasgi of the present day, — those, for 
instance, who live at Creston above the Tyrrhenians,^ who for- 
merly dwelt in the district named Thessaliotis, and were neigh- 
bours of the people now called the Dorians, — or those again who 
founded Placia and Scylace upon the Hellespont, who had pre- 
viously dwelt for some time with the Athenians,^ — or those, in 
short, of any other of the cities which have dropped the name 
but are in fact Pelasgian ; if, I say, we are to form a conjecture 
from any of these, we must pronounce that the Pelasgi spoke a 

^ The Cadmeians were the Grseco- 
Phoenician race (their name merely sig- 
nifying "the Easterns"), who in the 
ante-Trojau times, occupied the coun- 
tiy which was afterwards called Boeotia. 
Hence the Greek tragedians, in plays of 
which ancient Thebes is the scene^^sch. 
Sept. c. Theb. Sophocl. (Ed. R. and An- 
tig. Eurip. Phoeniss.), invariably speak 
of the Thebans as Ka5/xe7ot, KaS/j.€7os 
Aew?. The Boeotians of Arne in Thes- 
saly expelled the Cadmeians from the 
region historically known as Boeotia, 
some time (60 years) after the Trojan 
war (Thucyd. i. 12). The Cadmeians 
fled in various directions. They are 
found at Athens (infr. v. 57), at Spaica 
(inf. iv. 147), and in Asia Minor (inf. i. 
146). Some may have fled to Histiieotis, 
the north-western portion of Thessaly, 
a mountain ti-act watered by the head- 
streams of the Peneus. Such regions 
were not so much coveted by the power- 
ful invaders as the more fertile plains. 

^ After many vain attempts to force 
an entrance by way of the isthmus, they 
crossed the strait at Rhium, in conjunc- 
tion with the ^tolians (Pans. v. iii. 5, 
and Apollodorus, ii. viii, § 3). 

^ Niebuhr (Hist, of Rome, i. p. 34, 
note 89) would read KpSrooua for Kprj- 
aroova here, and understand Croton or 
Cortona in Etruria. It is certain that 
Dionysius so read and understood (cf. 
Dionys, Ant. Rom. i. 26, p. 69, Reiske). 
And the best MSS., Niebuhr observes, 

are defective in this portion of Herodo- 
tus, so that the fact that there is no 
variety of reading in the copies is of the 
less importance. Dahlmann (Life of 
Herod, ch. iv. p. 43, E. T.) and Bahr, 
(in loc.) oppose this view, and maintain 
the reading Kp-naricva. There certainly 
were Crestonians, and they dwelling in 
the vicinity of Tyrrhenians too, in the 
tract sometimes called Mygdonia (vide 
Thucyd. iv. 109). But these Tyrrhe- 
nians were themselves Pelasgi, as Thu- 
cydides declares in the passage, and so 
should, have spoken the same language 
with the Crestonians. Niebuhr denies 
that there was any city of Creston in 
these parts, but in this he contradicts 
Stephen (ad voc. KprjaToov). 

An insuperable objection to Niebuhr's 
theory is the assertion of Herodotus 
that the Pelasgic people of whom he is 
speaking ''formerly dwelt in the district 
named Thessaliotis, and were neighbours 
of the Dorians." He could not possibly 
intend to speak so positively of the par- 
ticular part of Greece in which the Pe- 
lasgic population of Etruria lived before 
they occupied Italy, an event probably 
anterior to the names Thessaliotis and 

' Vide infra, vi. 137. Thucyd. iv. 109. 
Pausanias, i. 28. On the migrations of 
the Pelasgi, their language, and ethnic 
character, see the Essay appended to 
book vi. 


barbarous language.^ If this were really so, and the entire 
Pelasgic race spoke tlie same tongue, the Athenians, who were 
certainly Pelasgi, must have changed their language at the 
same time that they passed into the Hellenic body ; for it 
is a certain fact that the people of Creston speak a language 
unlike any of their neighbours, and the same is true of the 
Placianians, while the language spoken by these two people 
is the same; which shows that they both retain the idiom 
which they brought with them into the countries where they are 
now settled. 

58. The Hellenic race has never, since its first origin, changed 
its speech. This at least seems evident to me. It was a branch 
of the Pelasgic, which separated from the main body,^ and at 
first was scanty in numbers and of little power ; but it gradually 
spread and increased to a multitude of nations, chiefly by the 
voluntary entrance into its ranks of numerous tribes of bar- 
barians.^ The Pelasgi, on the other hand, were, as I think, a 
barbarian race which never greatly multiplied. 

59. On inquiring into the condition of these two nations, 
Croesus found that one, the Athenian, was in a state of grievous 
oppression and distraction under Pisistratus, the son of Hippo- 
crates, who was at that time tyrant of Athens. Hippocrates, 
when he was a private citizen, is said to have gone once upon a 
time to Olympia to see the games, when a wonderful prodigy 
happened to him. As he was employed in sacrificing, the 
cauldrons which stood near, full of water and of the flesh of the 
victims, began to boil without the help of fire, so that the water 

® "The Pelasgians were a different or more equal channels, the verb used 

nation from the Hellenes : their language is the simple (TxiC^(Tdai. See ii. 17. 

was peculiar, and not Greek : this asser- o'xiC^''""' TpK^atrms odovs \6 NeiAos]. iv. 

tion, however, must not be stretched to 39. (TxiXerat ra (TTofxara tov "IcTTpov. 

imply a difference like that between the The assertion of Herodotus therefore 

Greek and the lllyrian or Thracian. is, that the Hellenes branched from the 

Nations whose languages were more near- Pelasgi. Neither the "separee des Pe'- 

ly akin than the Latin and Greek, would lasges " of Larcher, nor the *' discretum 

still speak so as not to be mutually un- h, Pelasgico genere " of Schweighseuser 

derstood; and this is what Herodotus sufiiciently express this meaning, 

has in his eye." (Niebuhr's Rom. Hist. ^ Thucydides explains further, that 

vol. i.*^. 27.) the various tribe« of Pelasgi became 

^ h.'K o(yxiGQ\v h.T:h rod UeAacryi- Hellenized by the voluntary placing 

Kov. This is the term which Herodotus of themselves under Hellenic guidance, 

uses when he wishes to express the di- from a conviction of the benefit that 

vergence of a branch sti-eam from the would thereby accrue to them (Thucyd. 

main current of a river. Vide infra, iv. i. 3. eirayoiMivoov avrovs e7r' wcpeXia is 

56. "EfiBofxos Se reppos TroTa/xds aire- ras dWasiroAeis, Ka6^ iKdarovs tjStj ry 

Cxto'Tai /xev aird rod BopvffOtueos, K. ofxiAla /xaWov KaX^ladai. "EWrjvas). 
r. A. When the river divides into two 


overflowed tlie pots. Chilon the Lacedsemonian, who happened 
to be there and to witness the prodigy, advised Hippocrates, if 
he were unmarried, never to take into his house a wife who 
could bear him a child ; if he already had one, to send her back 
to her friends ; if he had a son, to disown him. Chilon's advice 
did not at all please Hippocrates, who disregarded it, and some 
time after became the father of Pisistratus. This Pisistratus, at 
a time when there was civil contention in Attica between the 
party of the Sea-coast headed by Megacles the son of Alcmseon, 
and that of the Plain headed by Lycurgus, one of the Aristolaids, 
formed the project of making himself tyrant, and with this view 
created a third party.^ Gathering together a band of partisans, 
and giving himself out for the protector of the Highlanders, he 
contrived the following stratagem. He wounded himself and 
his mules, and then drove his chariot into the market-place, 
professing to have just escaped an attack of his enemies, who 
had attempted his life as he was on his way into the country. 
He besought the people to assign him a guard to protect his 
person, reminding them of the glory which he had gained when 
he led the attack upon the Megarians, and took the town of 
Nissea,^ at the same time performing many other exploits. The 
Athenians, deceived by his story, appointed him a band of 
citizens to serve as a guard, who were to carry clubs instead 
of spears, and to accompany him wherever he went. Thus 
strengthened, Pisistratus broke into revolt and seized the citadel. 
In this way he acquired the sovereignty of Athens, which he 
continued to hold without disturbing the previously existing 
offices or altering any of the laws. He administered the state 
according to the established usages, and his arrangements were 
wise and salutary. 

2 There can be no doubt that these gislation, i. e. before B.C. 594. Mr. Grote 
local factions must also have been poll- justly observes that distinction gained 
tical parties. Indeed one of them, that five and thirty years before would have 
of the Highlanders (yirepoLKptoi), is iden- availed Pisistratus but little in the party 
tified by Herodotus himself with the conflicts of this period. The objection 
demus or Democratical party. The two that he could not, when so young, be 
others are connected by Plutarch (Solon, said with any propriety to have captured 
0. 13), and on grounds of probability, Nisasa is not so well founded, for a young 
with the Oligarchical and the Moderate ojBBcer may lead a storming party, or 
party. (See the Essays appended to even command at the siege of a town not 
Book V. Essay ii.) ^ the chief object of the war, and in either 

3 Plutarch mentions a war between case would be said to liave captured the 
Athens and Megara, under the conduct place. The chief 'scene of this war was 
of Solon, in which Pisistratus was said Salamis. (See Mr. Grote's history, vol. 
to have distinguished himself (Solon, c. iii. p. 205, note). 

8), as having occurred before Solon's le- 


60. However, after a little time, the partisans of Megacles 
and those of Lyeurgus agreed to forget their differences, and 
united to drive him out. So Pisistratus, having by the means 
described first made himself master of Athens, lost his power 
again before it had time to take root. No sooner, however, was 
he departed than the factions which had driven him out 
quarrelled anew, and at last Megacles, wearied with the struggle, 
sent a herald to Pisistratus, with an offer to re-establish him on 
the throne if he would marry his daughter. Pisistratus con- 
sented, and on these terms an agreement was concluded between 
the two, after which they proceeded to devise the mode of his 
restoration. And here the device on which they hit was the 
silliest that I find on record, more especially considering that 
the Greeks have been from very ancient times distinguished 
from the barbarians by superior sagacity and freedom from 
foohsh simpleness, and remembering that the persons on whom 
this trick was played were not only Greeks but Athenians, who 
have the credit of surpassing all other Greeks in cleverness. 
There was in the Pseanian district a woman named Phya,'^ whose 
height only fell short of four cubits by three fingers' breadth, 
and who was altogether comely to look upon. This woman they 
clothed in complete armour, and, instructing her as to the 
carriage which she was to maintain in order to beseem her part, 
they placed her in a chariot and drove to the city. Heralds had 
been sent forward to precede her, and to make proclamation to 
this effect : " Citizens of Athens, receive again Pisistratus with 
friendly minds. Minerva, who of all men honours him the 
most, herself conducts him back to her own citadel." This 
they proclaimed in all directions, and immediately the rumour 
spread throughout the country districts that Minerva was bring- 
ing back her favourite. They of the city also, fully persuaded 

* It is related that this Phya was the ance of the God Pan to Phidippides a 

daughter of a certain Socrates, and made little before the battle of Marathon, 

a livelihood by selling chaplets, yet that which Herodotus himself states to have 

she was afterwards married by Pisistra- been received as true by the Athenians 

tus to^his son Hipparchus, which seems (vi. 105). He might have compared also 

very improbable. (See Clitodem. Fr. the story of the gigantic phantom-war- 

24.) rior at Marathon who smote Epizelus 

Mr. Grote has seme just remarks upon with blindness as he passed by him to 

the observations with which Herodotus strike the man at his side (Herod, vi. 

accompanies the story of Phya. It seems 117), and that of the appearance of the 

clear that the Greeks of the age of Pisis- two superhuman hoplites in the battle 

tratus fully believed in the occasional with the Persians at Delphi, whom the 

presence upon earth of the Gods. Mr. Delphians recognised for their local he- 

Grote refers to the well-known appear- roes, Phylacus and AntonoUs (viii. ^8-9). 

Cbap. 60-62. HIS SECOND EXPULSION. 157 

that the woman was the veritable goddess, prostrated themselves 
before her, and received Pisistratus back. 

61. Pisistratus, having thus recovered the sovereignty, mar- 
ried, according to agreement, the daughter of Megacles. As, 
however, he had already a family of grown up sons, and the 
Alcmseonidfe were supposed to be under a curse,^ he determined 
that there should be no issue of the marriage. His wife at 
first kept this matter to herself, but after a time, either her 
mother questioned her, or it may be that she told it of her own 
accord. At any rate, she informed her mother, and so it reached 
her father's ears. Megacles, indignant at receiving an affront from 
such a quarter, in his anger instantly made up his differences 
with the opposite faction, on which Pisistratus, aware of what 
was planning against him, took himself out of the country. 
Arrived at Eretria, he held a council with his children to decide 
what was to be done. The opinion of Hippias prevailed, and it 
was agreed to aim at regaining the sovereignty. The first step 
was to obtain advances of money from such states as were under 
obligations to them. By these means they collected large sums 
from several countries, especially from the Thebans, who gave 
them far more than any of the rest. To be brief, time passed, 
and all was at length got ready for their return. A band of 
Argive mercenaries arrived from the Peloponnese, and a certain 
Naxian named Lygdamis, who volunteered his services, was 
particularly zealous in the cause, supplying both men and 

62. In the eleventh year of their exile the family of Pisis- 
tratus set sail from Eretria on their return home. They made 
the coast of Attica, near Marathon, where they encamped, and 
were joined by their partisans from the capital and by numbers 
from the country districts, who loved tyranny better than free- 
dom. At Athens, while Pisistratus was obtaining funds, and 
even after he landed at Marathon, no one paid any attention to 
his proceedings. When, however, it became known that he had 
left Marathon, and was marching upon the city, preparations 
Avere made for resistance, the whole force of the state was levied, 
and led against the returning exiles. Meantime the army of 

* Vide infra, v. 70-1 ; Thucyd. i. 126; with them after he had, by a pledge to 

riut. Solon, c. 12. The curse rested on spare their lives, induced them to leave 

them upon account of their treatment of the sacred precinct of Minerva in the 

the partisans of Cylon. The archon of Acropolis, but also slew a number at 

the time, Megacles, not only broke faith the altar of the Eumenides. 


Pisistratus, which had broken up from Marathon, meeting their 
adversaries near the temple of the Pallenian Minerva,^ pitched 
their camp opposite them. Here a certain soothsayer, Amphi- 
lytus by name, an Acarnanian,^ moved by a divine impulse, 
came into the presence of Pisistratus, and approaching him 
uttered this prophecy in the hexameter measure : — 

*' Now has the cast been made, the net is out -spread in the water, 
Through the moonshiny night the tunnies will enter the meshes." 

63. Such was the prophecy uttered under a divine inspira- 
tion. Pisistratus, apprehending its meaning, declared that he 
accepted the oracle, and instantly led on his army. The 
Athenians from the city had just finished their midday meal, 
after which they had betaken themselves, some to dice, others 
to sleep, when Pisistratus with his troops fell upon them and put 
them to the rout. As soon as the flight began, Pisistratus be- 
thought himself of a most wise contrivance, whereby the 
Athenians might be induced to disperse and not unite in a body 
any more. He mounted his sons on horseback and sent them 
on in front to overtake the fugitives, and exhort them to be of 
good cheer, and return each man to his home. The Athenians 
took the advice, and Pisistratus became for the third time 
master of Athens.^ 

^ Pallene was a village of Attica, near Acai-nania was famous for soothsayers, 

Gargettus, which is the modern Garito especially at this period. It is only ne- 

( Leake, Demi of Attica, p. 45;. It was cessary to mention Megistias, the Acar- 

famous for its temple of Minerva, which nanian soothsayer, at Thermopylae, and 

was of such magnificence as to be made Hippomachus, the Leucadian (Leucas 

the subject of a special treatise by The- was on the coast of Acarnania) at Pla- 

mison, whose book, entitled Palknis, is tsea. (Vide infra, vii.221, and ix. 38.) 

mentioned by Athenseus (vi. 6, p. 235). ^ Mr. Grote is of opinion that ''the 

The exact site of the ancient village proceedings" throughout this struggle 

seems to be a place about 1^ miles " have altogether the air of a concerted 

south-west of Garito^ where there are betrayal " (Hist, of Greece, vol. iv. p. 

extensive remains (Leake, ibid.). 143). Such, however, is clearly not the 

■^ Valckenaer proposed to i-ead 6 'AKap- opinion of Herodotus. And as the Alc- 
v€vs (Ionic form of 'Axapvevs) the Achar- maionidse were undoubtedly at the head 
nian, for 6 'AKapuau, the Acarnanian. Lar- of affairs, and knew that they had no- 
cher argued in favour of this reading, thing to hope, but everything to fear, 
while Gronovius considered that o AKap- from the success of Pisistratus, it seems 
Kav might have the meaning of "the quite inconceivable that they should 
Acharnian." So too Schweighscuser, have voluntarily betrayed the state into 
who renders "Acarnan, sitie/>of«'(s^c/iar- his hands. It is prejudice to suppose 
nensis." The vicinity of Acharnce to that the popular party alone can never 
Pallene is a circamsatnce of some weight lose ground by its own fault, or without 
on this side of the question. And it is a betrayal. The fact seems to have been 
certain that Plato calls Amphilytus a that at this time, before the weight of a 
compatriot (Theag. p. 124), and that tyranny had been felt, many, as Hero- 
Clement calls him an Athenian (Strom, dotus says, " loved tyrauny better than 
I. i. p. 398). But on the other hand freedom," and the mass were indifferent. 

Chap. 62-65. 



64. Upon this lie set himself to root his power more firmly, by 
the aid of a numerous body of mercenaries, and by keeping up 
a full exchequer, partly supplied from native sources, partly from 
the countries about the river Strymon.^ He also demanded host- 
ages from many of the Athenians who had remained at home, and 
not left Athens at his approach ; and these he sent to Naxos, 
which he had conquered by force of arms, and given over into 
the charge of Lygdamis.^ Farther, he purified the island of 
Delos, according to the injunctions of an oracle, after the follow- 
inof fashion. All the dead bodies which had been interred within 
sight of the temple he dug up, and removed to another part of 
the isle.^ Thus was the tyranny of Pisistratus established at 
Athens, many of the Athenians having fallen in the battle, and 
many others having fled the country together with the som of 

65. Such was the condition of the Athenians when Croesus 
made inquiry concerning them.^ Proceeding to seek informa- 

Pisistratus was considered as in 
a great measure the champion of demo- 
cracy, and his return was looked on by 
his countrymen with much the same 
feelings as those wherewith the French 
regarded that of Napoleon from Elba in 

^ The revenues of Pisistratus were 
derived in part from the income-tax of 
five per cent, which he levied from his 
subjects (Thucyd, vi. 54. 'Adr]valovs 
€Iko<TT7}U TTpaaffojx^voi. Tcbv yLyvofJ-evcov), 
in part probably from the silver-mines 
at Laurium, which a little later were so 
remarkably productive (Herod, vii. 144). 
He had also a third source of revenue, of 
which Herodotus here speaks, consisting 
apparently either of lands or mines lying 
near the Strymon, and belonging to him 
probably in his private capacity. That 
part of Thrace was famous for its gold 
and silver mines (infr. v. 17, 23, vi. 46; 
Thucyd. iv. 105; Strab. vii. p. 481). 
Mr. Grote has, I think, mistaken the 
meaning of this passage (vol. iv. p. 145, 
note 1). "Herodotus," he says, ''tells 
us that Pisistratus brought mercenary 
soldiers from the Sti-ymon, but that he 
levied the money to pay them in Attica : 
4pf)i^o}(T^ T^v TvpavviBa eTriKovpoicrl re 
'iroWo7(n, Koi XP''^^^'^'^^^ crvuSSoiai, tuv 
fihv auTodev, rwv 5e ott^ 1,Tpvfj.ovos iro- 
ra/JLov (Tvvi6vTU)v." The arguments by 
which he defends his translation (vol. vii. 
App. pp. 568, 569, 3rd Edition) seem to 
me beside the point. The genitive, rwv . . 

<Tvvi6vro3v, cannot possibly refer to the 
dative iiriKOvpoicn. 

1 It is difficult to reconcile this ac- 
count of the establishment of Lygdamis 
in Naxos with the statements of Aris- 
totl^nthe subject. According to Aris- 
totle, the revolution which placed him 
upon the throne was of home growth, 
and scarcely admitted of the interference 
of a foreigner. Telestagoras, a man be- 
loved by the common people, had been 
grossly injured and insulted by some 
youths belonging to the oligarchy which 
then ruled Naxos. A general outbreak 
was the consequence, and the common 
people under Lygdamis, who though by 
birth an aristocrat, placed himself at 
their head, overcame the oligarchy, and 
made Lygdamis king. (See the Frag- 
ments of Aristotle in Miiller's Frag. Hist. 
Gr. vol. ii. p. 155, Fr. 168, and compare 
Arist. Pol. V. V. § 1.) It is of course 
quite possible that Pisistratus may have 
lent Lygdamis some aid ; but if we ac- 
cept Aristotle's account, which seems 
too circumstantial to be false, we must 
consider Herodotus to have been altoge- 
ther mistaken in his view of the matter. 

2 Compare Thucyd. iii. 104. 

^ The embaf'sy of Croesus cannot pos- 
sibly have been subsequent to the final 
establishment of Pisistratus at Athens, 
which was in B.C. 542 at the earliest. 
(See Clmton's F. H., vol. ii, pp. 252-4.) 
It probably occurred during his first 
term of power. 


tion concerning the Lacedaemonians, he learnt that, after pass- 
ing through a period of great depression, they had lately been 
victorious in a war with the people of Tegea ; for, during the 
joint reign of Leo and Agasicles, kings of Sparta, the Lace- 
daemonians, successful in all their other w^ars, suffered continual 
defeat at the hands of tlie. Tegeans. At a still earlier period 
they had been the very worst governed people in Greece, as 
well in matters of internal management as in their relations 
towards foreigners, from whom they kept entirely aloof. The 
circumstances which led to their being well governed were the 
following : — Lycurgus, a man of distinction among the Spartans, 
had gone to Delphi, to visit the oracle. Scarcely had he entered 
into the inner fane, when the Pythoness exclaimed aloud, 

'' Oh ! thou great Lycurgus, that com'st to my beautiful dwelling, 
Dear to Jove, and to all who sit in the halls of Olympus, 
Whether to hail thee a god I know not, or only a mortal, 
But my hope is strong that a god thou wilt prove, Lycurgus." 

Some report besides, that the Pythoness delivered to him the 
entire system of laws which are still observed by the Spartans. 
The Lacedaemonians, however, themselves assert that Lycurgus, 
when he was guardian of his nephew, Labotas,* king of Sparta, 
and regent in his room, introduced them from Crete ; ^ for as 
soon as he became regent, he altered the whole of the existing 
customs, substituting new ones, which he took care should be 
observed by all. After this he arranged whatever appertained 
to war, establishing the Enomotiae, Triacades, and Syssitia,® 

* Since Labotas was, in all probability, truth seems to be that Herodotus has 

noAvays related to Lycurgus, being of simply made a mistake, 

the other royal hoiise, and Lycurgus is ^ Aristotle was of this opinion (Polit. 

said by Aristotle (Polit. ii. vii. § 2) and li. vii. § 1). Kal yap eoiKe: koI Xeye- 

most ancient writers to have been regent rat 5e ra TrAeto-Ta fxc fxi jxri cr Oai t)]v 

for Charilaiis, it has been proposed (Mar- Kp7]r lktiv iroKiT^iav rj tuv XaKcovtav . . . 

sham, Can. Chron. p. 428) to read — Ai»- koI yap rov Avicovpyov, otc ttju iirirpo- 

Kovpyov i-KLTpoTztvcrauTa ad€\(pid€Ov jxkv ir^iav t)^v X.apiKaov tov ^acriXeoos KaraXt- 

ectivTou, ^aaiXcvouTos 5e 27rapT7jTtwi' vwu aTre^i)/j.7](r€, t6t€ rhv irX^lcxTOv Sto- 

Aeco/3cuTeco. Larcher approves of this rpii/zat XP^''^^^ Trepl rrju KprjTrjv. 

emendation, and translates accordingly, ^ That the ivwixoriai were divisions of 

Clinton also is satisfied with it. (F, H. the Spartan cohort {Xoxos) is proved by 

vol.'!. p. 144, note ^.) But in the first the concurrent testimony of Thucydides 

place the reading in Herodotus is at least (v. 68) and Xenophon (Hellen. vi. iv. 

as old as Pausanias, who says, " Hero- § 12; Rep. Lac. xi. § 4), Thucydides 

dotvis in his discovirse of Croesus asserts says the Xoxos contained four pente- 

that Labotas in his boyhood had for costyes and 512 men, the pentecostys 

guardian Lycurgus the lawgiver," (Pans, four enomoties, and 128 men. Xeno- 

III. ii. § 3.) And secondly, the altera- phon gives but two pentecostyes to the 

tion would not remove the difficulty, Xoxos, and two enomoties to the pente- 

For Labotas was dead seventy years be- costys. It is probable that the Spartans 

fore Charilaiis mounted the throne. The had changed the organization of their 

Chap. 65-66. TEGEAN WAE.. 161 

besides whicli lie instituted the senate,' and the ephoralty.^ 
Such was the way in which the Lacedgemonians became a well- 
governed people. 

66. On the death of Lycurgus they built him a temple, and 
ever since they have worshipped him with the utmost reverence. 
Their soil being good and the population numerous, they sprang 
up rapidly to power, and became a flourishing people. In con- 
sequence they soon ceased to be satisfied to stay quiet ; and, 
regarding the Arcadians as very much their inferiors, they sent 
to consult the oracle about conquering the whole of Arcadia. 
The Pythoness thus answered them : 

*' Gravest thou Arcady ? Bold is thy craving. I shall not content it. 
Many the men that in Arcady dwell, whose food is the acorn — 
They will never allow thee. It is not I that am niggard. 
I will give thee to dance in Tegea, with noisy foot-fall, 
And with the measuring line mete out ;the glorious champaign." 

When the Lacedaemonians received this reply, leaving the rest 
of Arcadia untouched, they marched against the Tegeans, carry- 
ing with them fetters, so confident had this oracle (which was, 
in truth, but of base metal) made them that they would enslave 
the Tegeans. The battle, however,- went against them, and 
many fell into the enemy's hands. Then these persons, wearing 
the fetters which they had themselves brought, and fastened 

army during the interval. The word less than a revolution can recover it., 

^uu/jLorla implies that its members were Compare the history of Rome under the 

bound together by a common oath. Cf. last Tarquin. Lycurgus appears to have 

Hesych. in voc. iyufioria — rd^is ris Sia made scarcely any changes in the consti- 

cr(payiwv ivdo^ioros. tution. What he did was to alter the 

Of the TpL-nKoidcs nothing seems to be customs and habits of the people. With 

known. They may have been also divi- regard to the senate, its institution was 

sions of the army — but divisions con- pinmitive, and we can scarcely imagine 

fined to the camp, not existing in the that it had ever dropped out of use. Af, 

field. however, the whole Spartan constitution 

The word ffvcfflria would seem in this was considered to be the work of Lyciir- 

place not to have its ordinary significa- gus, all its parts came by degrees to be 

tion, "common meals" or "messes," assigned to him. 

but to be applied to the " set of persons ^ The institution of the Ephoralty is 

who were appointed to mess together." ascribed to Lycurgus by Xenophon (De 

In Sparta itself, each "mess" usually Eep. Laced, viii. 3), Satyrus (ap. Diog. 

consisted of 15 persons. This was pro- Laert. i. 68), and the author of the let- 

bably the case also in the camp, civil ters ascribed to Plato (Ep. viii.). Plu- 

and military arrangements in Sparta tarch (Lycurg. c. 7), and Aristotle (Po- 

being mixed up inseparably. If so, the lit. v. 9, § 1 ) assign it to Theopompus. 

TpirjKas may have contained two messes. These conflicting statements are best re- 

' It is quite inconceivable that Lycur- conciled by considering that the ephoi-s 

gus should in any sense have instituted existed as a magistracy at least from 

the senate. If it ever comes to pass in the time of Lycurgus, but obtained an 

a monarchy that the council of the no- entirely new position in the reign of 

bles ceases to be a power in the state, Theopompus. (Cf. Thirlwall's Hist, of 

it does not owe its re-establishuient to Greece, vol, i. p. 354, and see the Essays 

royal, or qmsi-royal authority. Nothing appended to Book V. Essay i.) 

VOL. I. M 


together in a string, measured the Tegean plain as they executed 
their labours. The fetters in which they worked, were still, in 
my day, preserved at Tegea where they hung round the walls of 
the temple of Minerva Alea.^ 

67. Throughout the whole of this early contest with the 
Tegeans, the Lacedaemonians met with nothing but defeats ; but 
in the time of Croesus, under the kings Anaxandrides and Aristo, 
fortune had turned in their favour, in the manner which I will 
now relate. Having been worsted in every engagement by 
their enemy, they sent to Delphi, and inquired of the oracle 
what god they must propitiate to prevail in the war against the 
Tegeans. The answer of the Pythoness was, that before they 
could prevail, they must remove to Sparta the bones of Orestes, 
the son of Agamemnon.^ Unable to discover his burial-place, 
they sent a second time, and asked the god where the body of 
the hero had been laid. The following was the answer they 
received : — 

** Level and smooth is the plain where Arcadian Tegea standeth ; 
There, two winds are ever, by strong necessity, blowing, 
Counter-stroke answers stroke, and evil lies upon evil. 
There all-teeming Earth doth harbour the son of Atrides ; 
Bring thou him to thy city, and then be Tegea's master." 

After this reply, the Lacedaemonians were no nearer discovering 
the burial-place than before, though they continued to search 
for it diligently ; until at last a man named Lichas, one of the 
Spartans called Agathoergi, found it. The Agathoergi are 
citizens who have just served their time among the knights. 
The five eldest of the knights go out every year, and are bound 
during the year after their discharge, to go wherever the State 
sends them, and actively employ themselves in its service.^ 

* Minerva Alea was an Arcadian God- of Alcmena from Haliartus to Sparta 

dess. She was worshipped at Mantinea, (Plut, de Socr. Gen. p. 577, E.). 
Manthyrea, and Alea, as well as at Te- ^ j^ jg difficult to reconcile this pas- 

gea. Her temple at Tegea was particu- sage with the statement of Xenophon 

larly magnificent. See the description concerning the mode of election of the 

in Pausanias (VIII. xlvii. § 1-2). The knights (DeEep. Laced, iv. 3.). Xeno- 

name Alea does not appear to be a local phon says the ephors choose three lir- 

a^pellative, like Assesia (supra, ch. 19), iraypiTai, who each selected a hundred 

Pallenis (ch. 5'2), &c., but rather a title, youths, which seems at first sight to 

signifying ' protectress ' — lit. " she who imply that the whole body of the knights 

gives escupe." was renewed annually. It is impossible 

1 Compare the removal of the bones to suppose that no more than five retired 

of Tisamenus from Helice' to Sparta each year. Such an arrangement would 

(Pausan. vii. i. § 3) ; of Theseus from have soon made the knights a body of 

Scyros to Athens (ib. ill. iii. § 6); of old men. Possibly the Ephors of each 

Rliesus from the plain of Troy to Am- year appointed Hippagretfe who drew 

phipolis (Polysen. Strateg. vi. 53): and out the list of knights afresh, having 


68. Lichtas was one of this body when, partly by good luck, 
partly by his own wisdom, he discovered the burial-place. 
Intercourse between the two States existing just at this time, 
he went to Tegea, and, happening to enter into the workshop of 
a smith, he saw him forging some iron. As he stood marvelling 
at what he beheld,^ he was observed by the smith who, leaving 
off his work, went up to him and said, 

" Certainly, then, you Spartan stranger, you would have been 
wonderfully surprised if you had seen what I have, since you 
make a marvel even of the w^orking in iron. I wanted to make 
myself a well in this room, and began to dig it, when what 
think you? I came upon a coffin seven cubits long. I had 
never believed that men were taller in the olden times than 
they are now, so I opened the coffin. The body inside was of 
the same length : I measured it, and filled up the hole again." 

Such was the man's account of what he had seen. The other, 
on turning the matter over in his mind, conjectured that this 
was the body of Orestes, of which the oracle had spoken. He 
guessed so, because he observed that the smithy had two bellows, 
which he understood to be the two winds, and the hammer and 
anvil would do for the stroke and the counter-stroke, and the 
iron that was being wrought for the evil lying upon evil. This 
he imagined might be so because iron had been discovered to 
the hurt of man. Full of these conjectures, he sped back to 
Sparta and laid the whole matter before his countrymen. Soon 
after, by a concerted plan, they brought a charge against him, 
and began a prosecution. Lichas betook himself to Tegea, and 
on his arrival acquainted tlie smith with his misfortune, and 
proposed to rent his room of him. The smith refused for some 
time ; but at last Lichas persuaded him, and took up his abode 

power to Rcratch off the roll such as they 3 Her-oclotus means to represent that 

thought unworthy, and to place others the forging oiiron was a novelty at the 

upon it, the five senior members only time. Brass was known to the Greeks 

being incapable of re-appointmeut. The before iron, as the Homeric poems suffi- 

greater number of the knights would ciently indicate. Cf. also Hesiod. Op. 

usually be re-appointed, but besides the et Dies, 150-1. 

five eldest who necessarily retired, the ^ , ^. 

Hippagretre would omit anv whom they ^°'^ ^. % XaA«a ^ev reuxea. xaAKcoi 6e T€ o.Koi, 

thought unfit for the service. All ac- '^ aiSr,pos. 

counts agree in representing the knights 

as the picked i/o'dh of Sparta. (Xenoph. and Lucretius, 

1. s. c. Plutarch Lye. c. 25. Eustath. ..p^j^^ ^^..^ ^^^-^^ ,^^^. ^^„^.^^, ^^^.„ ^^, 1292). 

ad II. 0. 2;».) The substitution ot older 

men by Leonidas before Thermopylae _ Hence smithies were termed xa^f f^^a, 

{infra, vii. 205, and note ad loc.) was ex- ' x^-^x^^^^ ^^ i^ ^^^^ instance, — and smiths 

ceptional. X"^"^^*^. , 

M 2 


in it. Then he opened the grave, and collecting the bones, 
returned with them to Sparta. From henceforth, whenever the 
Spartans and the Tegeans made trial of each other's skill in 
arms, the Spartans always had greatly the advantage ; and by 
the time to which we are now come they were masters of most 
of the Peloponnese. 

69. Croesus, informed of all these circumstances, sent mes- 
sengers to Sparta, with gifts in their hands, who were to ask the 
Spartans to enter into alliance with him. They received strict 
injunctions as to what they should say, and on their arrival at 
Sparta spake as follows : — 

" Croesus, king of the Lydians and of other nations, has sent 
us to speak thus to you ; ' Oh ! Lacedaemonians, the god has 
bidden me to make the Greek my friend ; I therefore apply to 
you, in conformity with the oracle, knowing that you hold the 
first rank in Greece, and desire to become your friend and ally 
in all true faith and honesty.' " 

Such was the message which Croesus sent by his heralds. 
The Lacedaemonians, who were aware beforehand of the reply 
given him by the oracle, were full of joy at the coming of the 
messen2:ers, and at once took the oaths of friendship and alliance : 
this they did the more readily as they had previously contracted 
certain obligations towards him. They had sent to Sardis on 
one occasion to purchase some gold, intending to use it on a 
statue of Apollo — the statue, namely, which remains to this 
day at Thorhax in Laconia,* when Croesus, hearing of the matter, 
gave them as a gift the gold which they wanted. 

70. This was one reason why the Lacedaemonians were so 
willing to make the alliance : anotlier was, because Croesus had 
chosen them for his friends in preference to all the other 
Greeks. They therefore held themselves in readiness to come 
at his summons, and not content with so doing, they further 
had a huo^e vase made in bronze, covered with fifjures of animals 

,'' Pausanias declares that the gold ob- explanation cannot be given of the pas-, 

tained of Croesus by the I>acedapmonians sage of Theopompus (Fr. 219.), which 

was used in fact upon a statue of Apollo distinctly asserts that the original object 

at Amyclffi (III. x. § 10). Larcher, and of the Lacedaemonians was to buy gold 

Siebelis (ad Pausan. 1. s. c.) remark that for the Amyclsean statue. One interest- 

this does not in reality contradict Hero- ing fact is learnt from this writer, viz. : 

dotus, since he only states the intention that the gold was used to cover the face 

of the Spartans, which Pausanias reco- of the statue, which was of colossal size, 

gnises, while the latter gives in addition 45 feet high, according to Pausanias (iii. 

their act. ' xix. § 2). 

This is no doubt true. But the same 


all round the outside of tlie rim, and large enough to contain 
three hundred amphorae, which they sent to Croesus as a return 
for his presents to them. The vase, however, never reached 
Sardis. Its miscarriage is accounted for in two quite different 
ways. The Lacedaemonian story is, that when it reached 
Samos, on its way towards Sardis, the Samians having know- 
ledge of it, put to sea in their ships of war and made it their 
prize. But the Samians declare, that the Lacedaemonians who 
had the vase in charge, happening to arrive too late, and learn- 
ing that Sardis had fallen and that Croesus was a prisoner, sold 
it in their island, and the purchasers (who were, they say, pri- 
vate persons) made an offering of it at the shrine of Juno : ^ the 
sellers were very likely on their return to Sparta to have said 
that they had been robbed of it by the Samians. Such, then, 
was the fate of the vase. 

71. Meanwhile Croesus, taking the oracle in a wrong sense, 
led his forces into Cappadocia, fully expecting to defeat Cyrus 
and destroy the empire of the Persians. While he was still 
engaged in making preparations for his attack, a Lydian named 
Sandanis, who had always been looked upon as a wise man, but 
who after this obtained a very great name indeed among his 
countrymen, came forward and counselled the king in these 
words : 

" Thou art about, oh ! king, to make war against men who 
wear leathern trousers, and have all their other garments of 
leather ; ^ who feed not on what they like, but on what they 
can get from a soil that is sterile and unkindly ; who do not 
indulge in wine, but drink water ; who possess no figs nor any- 
thing else that is good to eat. If, then, thou conquerest them, 
what canst thou get from them, seeing that they have nothing 
at all ? But if they conquer thee, consider how much that is 
precious thou wilt lose : if they once get a taste of our pleasant 
things, they will keep such hold of them that we shall never be 
able to make them loose their grasp. For my part, I am thank- 
ful to the gods, that they have not put it into the hearts of the 
Persians to invade Lydia." 

Croesus was not persuaded by this speech, though it was true 
enough ; for before the conquest of Lydia, the Persians pos* 
sessed none of the luxuries or delights of life. 

5 Vide infra, ii. 182. 

* For a description of the Persian dress, see note on oh. 135, 



72. The Cappadocians are known to the Greeks by the name 
of Syrians.^ Before the rise of the Persian power, they had 
been subject to the Medes ; but at the present time they were 
within the empire of Cyrus, for the boundary between the 
Median and the Lydian empires was the river Halys. This 
stream, which rises in the mountain country of Armenia, runs 
fii'st through Cilicia ; afterwards it flows for a while with the 
Matieni on the right, and the Phrygians on the left : then, when 
they are passed, it proceeds with a northern course, separating 
the Cappadocian Syrians from the Paphlagonians, who occupy 
the left bank, thus forming the boundary of almost the whole 
of Lower Asia, from the sea opposite Cyprus to the Euxine, 
Just there is the neck of the peninsula, a journey of five days 
across for an active walker.^ 

' Vide infra, vii. 72. The Cappado- 
cians of Herodotus inhabit the country 
bounded by the Euxine on the north, 
the Halys on the west, the Armenians 
apparently on the east (from whom the 
Cappadocians are clearly distinguished, 
vii. 72-3), and the Matieni on the south. 
It has been usual to consider the fact 
that the Cappadocians were always called 
Syrians by the Greeks (supra, ch. 6, infra, 
vii. 72 ; Strab. xii. p. 788 ; Dionys. Pe- 
rieg. ver. 772; Scylax. p. 80; Ptol. v. 6; 
Apollon. Rhod. ii. 946; Dion. 
Per.) as almost indisputable evidence of 
their being a Semitic race. (Prichard's 
researches into the Phys. Hist, of Man- 
kind, vol. iii. p. 561 ; Bunsen's Philoso- 
phy of Univ. Hist. vol. ii. p. 10.) But 
there are strong grounds for questioning 
this conclusion. See the Critical Essays, 
Essay xi., On the Ethnic Affinities of the 
Nations of Western Asia. 

In the Persian inscriptions Cappado- 
cia is mentioned under the name of Ka- 
tapatuka, and appeared to be assigned 
wider limits than those given in Hero- 
dotus. (See Col. Rawlinson's Memoir 
on the Behistun Inscription. Vol. II. 
p. 95.) No countries are named between 
Armenia and Ionia but Cappadocia and 
Saparda, which together fill up the whole 
of Asia Minor except the western coast. 
See -the three enumerations of the Per- 
sian provinces in the inscriptions of Da- 
rius (pages 197, 280, and 294 of the first 
volume of Col. Rawlinson's Memoir), and 
compare the notes on the Babylonian 
text (vol. iii. p. xix.). 

^ Herodotus tells us in one place (iv. 
101) that he reckons the day's journey 
at 200 stadia, that is at about 23 of our 

miles. If we regard this as the measure 
intended here, we must consider that 
Herodotus imagined the isthmus of Na- 
tolia to be but 115 miles across, 165 miles 
short of the truth. It must be observed, 
however, that the ordinary day's jour- 
ney cannot be intended by the 65os 
eif (civ cfi avSpi. The avi]p ev^couos is not 
the mere common traveller. He ia 
the lightly-equipped pedestrian, and his 
day 's journey must be estimated at some- 
thing considerably above 200 stades. 
Major Rennell, in his comments on the 
passage (Geogr. of Herod, p. 190), made 
an allowance on this account, and reck- 
oned the day's journey of the " active 
walker " at about 30 miles. Even thus, 
however, the error of Herodotus remain- 
ed very considerable — a mistake of 130, 
instead of 165, miles. Dahlmann (Life 
of Herod., pp. 72-3. E. T.) endeavours to 
vindicate Herodotus from having erred 
at all. He remarks that the story of 
Phidippides (Herod, vi. 106) proves that 
the trained runners (rjixepoSpoixoi) of the 
period could travel from 50 to 60 miles 
a day, and supposes Herodotus to allude 
to certain known cases in which the 
isthmus had been traversed in five days. 
But 1. it does not seem correct to regard 
the avTip €v(a)uos as the same with the 
7]iJ.€poSp6/j.os, and 2. Herodotus appears 
to speak not of any particular case or 
cases, but generally of all lightly equip- 
ped pedestrians. He cannot therefore 
be rightly regarded as free from mistake 
in the matter. Probably he considered 
the isthmus at least lOo miles uai'rower 
than it really is. 

It renders such a mistake the less sur- 
prising to find that Pliny, after all the 


Chap. 72, 73. CHIEF MOTIVE OF CROESUS. 167 

73. There were two motives which led Croesus to attack 
Cappadocia : firstly, he coveted the land, which he wished to 
add to his own dominions ; but the chief reason was, that he 
wanted to revenge on Cyrus the wrongs of Astyages, and was 
made confident by the oracle of being able so to do : for the 
Astyages, son of Cyaxares and king of the Medes, who had been 
dethroned by Cyrus, son of Cambyses, was Croesus' brother by 
marriage. This marriage had taken place under circumstances 
which I will now relate. A band of Scythian nomads, who had 
left their own land on occasion of some disturbance, had taken 
refuge in Media. Cyaxares, son of Phraortes, and grandson of 
Deioces, was at that time king of the country. Recognising 
them as suppliants, he began by treating them with kindness, 
and coming presently to esteem them highly, he intrusted to 
their care a number of boys, whom they were to teach their 
language and to instruct in the use of the bow. Time passed, 
and the Scythians employed themselves, day after day, in hunt- 
ing, and always brought home some game ; but at last it chanced 
that one day they took nothing. On their return to Cyaxares 
with empty hands, that monarch, who was hot-tempered, as he 
showed upon the occasion, received them very rudely and in- 
sultingly. In consequence of this treatment, which they did not 
conceive themselves to have deserved, the Scythians determined 
to take one of the boys whom they had in charge, cut him in 
pieces, and then dressing the flesh as they were wont to dress 
that of the wild animals, serve it up to Cyaxares as game : after 
which they resolved to convey tliemselves with all speed to 
Sardis, to the court of Alyattes, the son of Sadyattes. The plan 
was carried out: Cyaxares and his guests ate of the flesh 
prepared by the Scythians, and they themselves, having ac- 
complished their purpose, fled to Alyattes in the guise of 

additional information derived from the hand, is to be compared to the Kdsid, ov 
expedition of Alexander and the Roman foot- messenger of the present day, who, 
occupation, estimated the distance at no in fine weather and over a tolerably easy 
more than 200 Roman, or less than 190 country, ought to accomplish 50 milea 
British miles. (Plin. vi. 2.) per diem. It may be doubted, however, 
[The day's journey of Herodotus, men- considering the rugged character of the 
tioned in iv. 101, refers to the i-egular range of Taux'us and its branches, if the 
caravan stage performed by loaded ca- most active Kasid could pass from Tar- 
mels or mules, and is correctly enough es- sus on the Mediterranean to Samsoon 
timated at 200 Olympic stadia. The on the Euxine — estimated by Erato- 
average length of such a stage at the pre- sthenes (Strab. ii. 1) at 3000 stadia— in 
sent'day is 6/rt/-s«/i/i«, or about 22^ EngHsh less than 10 days. — H.C.R.] 
miles. The 7)ij,€podp6/j,os, on the other 



Book I. 

74. Afterwards, on tlie refusal of Alyattes to give up his 
suppliants when Cyaxares sent to demand them of him, war 
broke out ^ between the Lydians and the Modes, and continued 
for five years, with various success. In the course of it the 
Modes gained many victories over the Lydians, and the Lydians 
also gained many victories over the Modes. Among their other 
battles there was one night engagement. As, however, the 
balance had not inclined in favour of either nation, another 
combat took place in the sixth year, in the course of which, just 
as the battle was growing warm, day was on a sudden changed 
into night. This event had been foretold by Thales, the Mile- 
sian, who forewarned the lonians of it, fixing for it the very 
year in which it actually took place.^ The Medes and Lydians, 
when they observed the change, ceased fighting, and were alike 
anxious to have terms of peace agreed on. Syennesis^ of 

^ Mr. Grote remarks that " the pas- 
sage of nomadic hordes from one govern- 
ment in the East to another has been 
always, and is even down to the present 
day, a frequent cause of dispute between 
the difi'erent governments: they are va- 
luable both as tributaries and as sol- 
diers." And he proceeds to give instances 
(vol. iii. p. 310, note 1). But one cannot 
but suspect the whole story to be either 
pure invention, or a distorted represen- 
tation of the fact, that some of ttie Scy- 
thians whom Cyaxares had expelled from 
Media fled westward and took service 
with the Lydian king. (See the subject 
discussed in the Essay " On the Early 
Chronology and History of Lydia,") 

1 Various years have been assigned as 
the true date of this eclipse. Among 
the ancients, Pliny (ii. xii.) placed it 01. 
48. 4 (B.C. 584^, Clemens Alexandrinus 
(Stromat. i. p. 354) in 01. 50. 1 (B.C. 
579). Of moderns, Volney inclines to 
B.C. 625, Bouhier and Larcher to B.C. 
597, Mr. Clinton to B.C. 603, Ideler and 
Mr. Grote to B.C. 610, Des Vignoles and 
Mr. Bosanquet to B.C. 585. Mr. Grote 
says that "recent calculations made by 
Oltmauns from the newest astronomical 
t<ibles, and moi-e trustworthy than the 
calculations which preceded, have shown 
that the eclipse of 610 B.C. fulfils the 
conditions required, and that the other 
eclipses do not " (Grote's Hist, of Greece, 
vol. iii. p. 312, note). Mr. Bosanquet 
(Fall of Nineveh, p. 14) depends on the 
gtill more recent calculations of Mr. Hind 
and Mr. Air^y. 

That Thales predicted this eclipse was 

asserted by Aristotle's disciple, Eudemus 
(Clem. Alex. J. s. c), as also by Cic. (de 
Div. i. 49) and Pliny (ii. 12). Another 
prediction is ascribed to him by Aristotle 
himself (Polit. i. v.), that of a good olive- 
crop. A third by Nicolas of Damascus 
(p. 68, Orelli). Anaxagoras wa^s said 
to have foretold the fall of an aerolite 
(Arist. Meteorol. i. 7). 

[The prediction of this eclipse by 
Thales may fairly be classed with the 
prediction of a good olive-crop or of the 
fall of an aerolite. Thales, indeed, could 
only have obtained the requisite know- 
ledge for predicting eclipses from the 
Chaldseans, and that the science of these 
astronomers, although sufficient for the : 
investigation of lunar eclipses, did not 
enable them to calculate solar eclipses — 
dependent as such a calculation is, not 
only on the determination of the period 
of recurrence, but on the true projection 
also of the track of the sun's shadow 
along a particular line over the surface 
of the earth — may be infeiTed from our 
finding that in the astronomical canon 
of Ptolemy, which was compiled from 
the Chaldsean registers, the observations 
of the moon's eclipse are alone entered. — 

2 The name Syennesis is common to 
all the kings of Cilicia mentioned in his- 
tory. Vide infra, v. 118; vii. 98; Xe- 

noph. Anab. i. ii. 

^schyl. Pers. 

324. It has been supposed not to be 
really a name, but, like Pharaoh, a title. 
Cf. Bahr in loc. 

[The Cuneiform inscriptions do not 
assist us iu determiuiug whether Syeii- . 

Chap. 74. 



Cilicia,^ and Labynetus"^ of Babylon, were the persons who 
mediated between the parties, who hastened the taking of the 
oaths, and brought about the exchange of espousals. It Avas 

nesis was a title or a proper name. The 
only cuneiform name which has any re- 
semblance' to it is that of ^ieni, who was 
king of Daiidn, a province contiguous to 
Cilicia, under the first Tiglathpileser of 
Assyria, in about B.C. 1120. The kings 
of Cilicia mentioned by the Greeks are of 
a much later date, being the respective 
contemporaries of Cyaxares, Darius, 
Xerxes, and Artaxerxes Mnemon. — 
H. C. R.] 

3 Cilicia had become an independent 
state, either by the destruction of Assy- 
ria, or in the course of her decline after 
the reign of Esarhaddon. Previously, 
she had been included in the dominions 
of the Assyrian kings. 

[Cicilia is first mentioned in the Cu- 
neiform inscriptions about B.C. 711, Sar- 
gon, in the ninth year of his reign, having 
sent an expedition against Ainbris, the 
&on o{ Khxlii/n, who was hereditary chief 
of Ttihal (the southern slopes of Taurus), 
and upon whom the Assyrian monarch 
is said at an earlier period to have be- 
stowed the country of Cilicia (A/a7a/i) as 
the dowry of his daughter MamJi. Ain- 
bris, it appears, regardless of this alliance 
and of the favour with which he was 
treated by Sargon, had cultivated rela- 
tions with the Kings of JLtsak and Vara- 
rat (Meshech and Ararat, or the Moschi 
and Armenia), who were in revolt against 
Assyria, and thus drew on himself the 
hostility of the great king. His chief 
city, Bit-Bandas, was taken and sacked, 
and he himself wa« brought a pi'isoner 
to Nineveh, Assyrian colonists being 
sent to occupy the country. 

In the reign of Sennacherib, about 
B.C. 701, Cilicia again revolted and was 
reduced, a vast number of the inhabitants 
being carried off to Nineveh to assist, in 
concert with Chaldaean, Aramaean, Sy- 
rian, and Armenian captives, in building 
that famous palace of which the ruins 
have lately been excavated at Koyunjik. 

Esarhaddon also again attacked Ci- 
licia in about b.c. 68.5, and took and 
plundered 21 large cities belonging to 
the country. Cilicia is said in this pas- 
sage to be a wooded and mountainous 
region above T<ihnl (Tubal of Sci'ipture). 

When Polyhistor describes as conti- 
nuous events under the reign of Sen- 
nacherib—the repulse by the Assyrians 
of a Greek invasion of Cilicia, the erec- 

tion of a trophy on the spot to comme- 
morate the monarch's exploits, and the 
subsequent building of Tarsus — he is 
probably confounding together three in- 
dependent matters belonging to three 
distinct periods of history ; for the only 
hostile contact of the Greeks and Assy- 
rians recorded in the inscrij^tions, took 
place under Sargon, while Sennacherib's 
trophy on the shore of the Mediterranean 
refers to the conquest of Phoenicia and 
the defeat of the Egyptians, and not to 
any repulse of the Greeks; and Tarsus, 
again, instead of being built by Senna- 
cherib, may be conjectured from a pas- 
sage in the annals of Esarhaddon, to 
have been founded by the latter monarch 
after the conqviest of Sidon. A city at 
any rate named after Esarhaddon, was 
built at this period with the assistance 
of the kings of Phoenicia and the Greek 
kings of Cyprus, on the shores of the 
Mediterranean, and peopled with colo- 
nists from the far East. 

The son of Esarhaddon, about ten 
years later, appears for the fourth time 
to have overrun Cilicia previous to his 
attack on Aradus, but the passage in the 
annals of this king referring to the expe- 
dition in question is too defective to be 
tui^ned to much historical account. 

Bochart supposes the name of Cilicia 
to be derived from the Hebrew root '\>?T], 
and to have been given to the country 
on account of its rugged and stony cha- 
racter ; but the Hebrew Khdak, although 
applied to "stones," signifies properly, 
"to be smooth " or " polished," and is 
thus singularly inapplicable to Cilicia, 
There ax'e, mdeed, no grounds whatever 
for assigning a Semitic etymology to the 
name. The ancient Cilicians in all pro- 
bability belonged to the same Scythic 
family as the neighboui-ing i-aces of Me- 
shech and Tubal.— H.C.R.] 

•^ The Babylonian monarch at this 
time was either Nabopolas.>iar or Nebu- 
chadnezzar. (See the Astronomical Ca- 
non.) Neither of these names is properly 
Hellenized by Labynetus. Labynetus 
is undoubtedly the Nabunahid of the in- 
scriptions, the Nabonadius of the Canon, 
the Nabonuedus of Berosus and Mega- 
sthenes. There was only one king of the 
name between Nabonassar (b c. 747) and 
Cyrus. He reigned 17 years, from b.c. 
555 to B.C. 538. If the name hei'e ba^ 


they who advised that Alyattes should give his daughter 
Aryenis in marriage to Astyages the son of Cyaxares, knowing, 
as they did, that without some sure bond of strong necessity, 
there is wont to be but little security in men's covenants. Oaths 
are taken by these people in the same way as by the Greeks, 
except that they make a slight flesh wound in their arms, 
from which each sucks a portion of the other's blood.^ 

75. Cyrus had captured this Astyages, who was his mother's 
father, and kept him prisoner, for a reason which I shall bring 
forward in another part of my history. This capture formed the 
ground of quarrel between Cyrus and Croesus, in consequence of 
which Croesus sent his servants to ask the oracle if he should 
attack the Persians ; and when an evasive answer came, fancying 
it to be in his favour, carried his arms into the Persian territory. 
When he reached the river Halys, he transported his army 
across it, as I maintain, by the bridges which exist there at the 
present day ; ^ but, according to the general belief of the 
Greeks,^ by the aid of Thales the Milesian. The tale is, that 
Croesus was in doubt how he should get his army across, as the 
bridges were not made at that time, and that Thales, who hap- 
pened to be in the camp, divided the stream and caused it to 
flow on both sides of the army instead of on the left only. This 
he effected thus : — Beginning some distance above the camp, 
he dug a deep channel, which he brought round in a semicircle, 
so that it might pass to rearward of the camp ; and that thus 
the river, diverted from its natural course into the new channel 
at the point where this left the stream, might flow by the station 

not a mistake of our author's, this Laby- are more likely to have been of the mo- 

netus must have been a prince of the dern type. By his use of the plural 

royal house, sent in command of the number in this place we may conclude, 

Babylonian contingent, of whom nothing that on the route to which he refers the 

else is known. He might be a son of river was crossed by two bridges, advan- 

Nabopolassar. tage being taken of its separation into 

^ Vide infra, iv. 70, and Tacit. Annal. two channels. This is the case now at 

xii. 47. Bafra, on the route between Samsunand 

6 The Halys {Kizil Irmak) is fordable Sinope, which is not unlikely to have 

at no very great distance from its mouth been the point at which Crcesus passed 

(Hamilton's Asia Minor, vol. i. p. 327), the river. The fact of the double chan- 

but bridges over it are not unfrequent nel may have given rise to the story 

(ibid.' p. 297, 411). These are of a very about Thales. 

simple construction, consisting of planks ''' Larcher (vol. i. p. 313) remarks that 

laid across a few slender beams, extend- this opinion held its ground notwith- 

iug from bank to bank, without any pa- standing the opposition of Herodotus, 

rapet. Bridges with stone piers have It is spoken of as an indisputable fact 

existed at some former period (ib. p.326), by the Scholiast on Aristophanes (Nubes, 

but they belong probably to Roman, and 18), by Lucian (Hippias, § 2, vol. vii. 

not to any earlier times. The ancient p. 295), and by Diogenes Laertius (i. 

constructions mentioned by Herodotus 38), 


of the army, and afterwards fall again into the ancient bed. In 
this way the river was split into two streams, which were both 
easily fordable. It is said by some that the water was entirely 
drained off from the natural bed of the river. But I am of a 
different opinion ; for I do not see how, in that case, they could 
have crossed it on their return. 

76. Having passed the Halys with the forces under his com- 
mand, Croesus entered the district of Cappadocia which is called 
Pteria.^ It lies in the neighbourhood of the city of 8in6pe ^ upon 
the Euxine, and is the strongest position in the whole country 
thereabouts. Here Croesus pitched his camp, and began to 
ravage the fields of the Syrians. He besieged and took the 
chief city of the Pterians, and reduced the inhabitants to 
slavery : he likewise made himself master of the surrounding 
villages. Thus he brought ruin on the Syrians, who were guilty 
of no offence towards him. Meanwhile, Cyrus had levied an 
army and marched against Croesus, increasing his numbers at 
every step by the forces of the nations that lay in his way. 
Before beginning his march he had sent heralds to the lonians, 
with an invitation to them to revolt from the Lydian king: 
they, however, had refused compliance. Cyrus, notwithstanding, 
marched against the enemy, and encamped opposite them in 
the district of Pteria, where the trial of strength took place 
between the contending powers. The combat was hot and 
bloody, and upon both sides the number of the slain was great ; 
nor had victory declared in favour of either party, when night 
came down upon the battle-field. Thus both armies fought 

77. Croesus laid the blame of his ill success on the number 
of his troops, which fell very short of the enemy ; and as on the 
next day Cyrus did not repeat the attack, he set off on his return 
to Sardis, intending to collect his allies and renew the contest in 

^ Pteria in Herodotus is a district, not Asiatic strongholds, as to a certain Me- 
a city, as Larcher supposes (not. ad loc). dian city, and to the acropolis of Baby- 
Its capital ( "the city of the Pterians " ) Ion. (Steph. Byz. 1. s. c.) 
may have borne the same name, as Ste- ^ Sinope, which recent events have 
phen seems to have thought (ad voc. once more made famous, was a colony 
nrepta), but this is uncertain. The site of the Milesians, founded about B.C. 630 
cannot possibly be 3it Boghdz-Kexi, where (infra, iv. 12). It occupied the neck of 
M. Texier places it (Asie Mineure, vol. i. a small peninsula projecting into the 
pp. 222-4), for the connexion of the name Euxine towards the north-east, in lat. 
with Sinope, both in Herodotus and in 42°, long. 35°, nearly. The ancient 
Stephen, implies that Pteria was near town has been completely ruined, and 
the coast. A name resembling Pteria the modern is built of its fragments 
seems to have been given to several (Hamilton's Asia Minor, vol. i. p. 317-9), 


the spring. He meant to call on the Egyptians to send him 
aid, according to the terms of the alliance which he had con- 
cluded with Amasis/ previously to his league with the Lacedae- 
monians. He intended also to summon to his assistance the 
Babylonians, under their king Labynetus,^ for they too were 
bound to him by treaty : and further, he meant to send Avord to 
Sparta, and appoint a day for the coming of their succours. 
Having got together these forces in addition to his own, he 
w^ould, as soon as the winter was past and springtime come, 
march once more against the Persians. With these intentions 
Croesus, immediately on his return, despatched heralds to his 
various allies, with a request that they would join him at Sardis 
in the course of the fifth month from the time of the departure 
of his messengers. He then disbanded the army — consisting of 
mercenary troops — which had been engaged with the Persians 
and had since accompanied him to his capital, and let them 
depart to their homes, never imagining that Cyrus, after a battle 
in which victory had been so evenly balanced, would venture to 
march upon Sardis. 

78. While Croesus was still in this mind, all the suburbs of 
Sardis were found to swarm with snakes, on the appearance of 
which the horses left feeding in the pasture-grounds, and flocked 
to the suburbs to eat them. The king, who witnessed the 
unusual sight, regarded it very rightly as a prodigy. He there- 
fore instantly sent messengers to the soothsayers of Telmessus,^ 

1 The treaty of Amasis with Croesus this king, however, the last of the Baby- 
wo\ild suffice to account for the hostiUty Ionian monarchs, so far as it has been as 
of the Persians against Egypt. (See note yet recovered from the monuments, is 
on Book ii. ch. 177.) exclusively domestic, and thus does not 

2 Undoubtedly the Nabonadius of the enable us to ascertain what part he took 
Canon, and the Nabunabid of the monu- in the contest between Cyrus and Crce- 
ments. The fact that it was with this sus. — H. C. R.] 

monax'ch that Croesus made his treaty 3 Three distinct cities of Asia Minor are 
helps greatly to fix the date of the fall called by this name. One of them — 
of Sardis ; it proves that that event con- more properly spelt Termessus — was in 
not have happened earlier than B.C. 554. Pisidia. (See Arrian. Exp. Alex. i. 27, 28, 
For Nabunabid did not ascend the throne where the form iised is TeA/itto-os ; and 
till B.C. 555 (Astron. Can.; and a full compare Strab. xiii. p. 952; Ptol. v. 5; 
year must be allowed between the con- Polyb. xxii. 18, § 4.) Another was in 
elusion of the treaty and the taking of Caria, seven miles (60 stades) from Ha- 
the Lydiau capital. licarnassus (Polemon, Fr. 35), to which 
[As Nebuchadnezzar had a few years city it was attached by Alexander (Plin. 
previously carried the Babylonian arms H. N. v. 29). The third and most fa- 
over all Western Asia, reasserting the mous was, properly speaking, in Lycia; 
ancient Assyrian supremacy over the but it was so near the confines of Caria 
countries which touched the Mediter- as to be sometimes assigned to that co un- 
ranean, there is no improbability in the try. (Steph. Byz. ad voc TeA;m(r(r(is; 
existence of political relations between compare Plin. H. N. v. 27 ; Liv. xxxvii. 
Cra3su6 and Nabunabid. The histoi-y of IG; and Pomp. Mel. i. 15.) It has been 

Chap. 77-79. ADVANCE OF CXRUS. 173 

to consult tliem upon tlie matter. His messengers reached the 
city, and obtained from the Telmessians an explanation of what 
the prodigy portended, but fate did not allow them to inform 
their lord ; for ere they entered Sardis on their return, Crcesus 
was a prisoner. What the Telmessians had declared was, that 
Croesus must look for the entry of an army of foreign invaders 
into his country, and that when they came they would subdue 
the native inhabitants ; since the snake, said they, is a child of 
earth, and the horse a warrior and a foreigner. Croesus was 
already a prisoner when the Telmessians thus answered his 
inquiry, but they had no knowledge of what was taking place at 
Sardis, or of the fate of the monarch. 

,79. Cyrus, however, when Croesus broke up so suddenly from 
his quarters after the battle at Pteria, conceiving that he had 
marched away with the intention of disbanding his army, con- 
sidered a little, and soon saw that it was advisable for him to 
advance upon Sardis with all haste, before the Lydians could 
get their forces together a second time. Having thus deter- 
mined, he lost no time in carrying out his plan. He marched 
forward with such speed that he was himself the first to 
announce his coming to the Lydian king. That monarch, 
placed in the utmost difficulty by the turn of events which had 
gone so entirely against all his calculations, nevertheless led 
out the Lydians to battle. In all Asia there was not at that 
time a braver or more warlike people.* Their manner of 

doubted whicli of the last two was the ten Telm(?ssii«!, not Telm/ssus, as in Ar- 

dty famous for its soothsayers. Col. rian. (See Clarke's Travels, vol. ii. p. 222 

Leake decides in favour of the Telmessus et seqq.; Fellows's Asia Minor, p. 243 

near Halicarnassus (Num. Hell. Asia, p. et seqq. ; Leake's Tour, p. 128; and 

64-; Journal of Philology, vol. iv. p.24()), for pictorial representations consult the 

but, as it seems to me, on insufficient magnificent work of M. Texier, vol. iii. 

grounds. The Lexicographers (Photius, plates 166-178.) 

Suidas, Etym. Magn., &c.) are unani- On the celebrity of the Telmiasian di- 

mous in giving the prophetic character viners see Arr. Exp. Al. i. 25; ii. 3; Cic. 

to the Lycian city; and when Cicero De Div. i. 41, 42; Plin. H. N. xxx. 1. 

(De Div. i. 41) and Clement of Alexan- According to Clement of Alexandria, 

dria (Strom, i. p. 400) place the pro- their special power lay in the interpreta- 

phetic Telmessus in Caria, it is quite tion of dreams (Strom, i. 16; p. 361). 

possible that they mean the same city. He speaks as if their reputation still con- 

(See Smith's Diet, of Greek and Roman tinuedin his own day. (Cohort, ad Gent. 

Geography, vol. ii. p. 1122, and Miiller's § 3; p. 40.) 

Fr Hist. Gr. vol. iv. p, 394.) * Mr. Grote has some good observa- 

The Lycian Telmessus lay upon the tions on the contrast between the earlier 

coast occupying the site of the modern and the later national character of the 

village of Makri, where are some curious Lydians and Phrygians (Hist, of Greece, 

remains, especially tombs, partly Greek, vol. iii. pp. 289-291). The Lydians did 

partly native Lycian. In the Greek in- not become a^poSiaiToi (^sch. Pers.40) 

scriptions at this place the name is writ- until after the Persian conquest. 



Book 1. 

fighting was on horseback ; they carried long lances, and were 
(jlever in the management of their steeds. 

80. The two armies met in the plain before Sardis. It is a 
vast flat, bare of trees, watered by the Hyllus and a number of 
other streams, which all flow into one larger than the rest, 
called the Hermus.^ This river rises in the sacred mountain of 
the Dindymenian Mother,^ and falls into the sea near the town 
of Phocsea.'^' 

When Cyrus beheld the Lydians arranging themselves in 

^ Sardis (the modern Sart) stood in 
the broad valley of the Hermus at a 
point where the hills approach each 
other more closely than in any other 
place. Some vestiges of the ancient 
town remain, but, except the ruins of 
the great temple of Cybele (infra, v. 
102), they seem to be of a late date 
(Texier, vol. iii. pp. 17-19). Above Sar- 
dis, to the east, opens out the plain, 
formed by the junction of the Cogamus 
with the Hermus, thus described by 
Chandler : " The plain beside the Her- 
mus which divides it, is well watered by 
rills from the slopes. It is wide, beauti- 
ful, and cultivated." (Travels, vol. i. 
ch. Ixxiv. p. 289.) Strabo appears to 
have intended this by his "plain of 
Cyrus," which adjoined Phnjgia (xiii. p. 
929). See Eennell's Geography of West- 
ern Asia, vol. i. p. 383. 

There is a second more extensive and 
still incher plain below Sardis, of which 
Strabo also speaks [viroKe7raL rrj irSXei 
(Sardis) to re ^apdiavou iredlov, Kal rd 
Tov "Ep/xov, Koi t6 KavcTTpiavdu, avvexv 
re ovra koL it dvr u>v 6.p icrr a ir e - 
8[(t}v). This plain is formed by the 
junction of the Hyllus with the Hermus, 
and reaches from Magnesia, the modern 
Manser, to Sardis. It is thus spoken of 
by Sir C. Fellows: — "From Manser we 
started before nine o'clock, and travelled 
across the valley directly north. At two 
miles distance we crossed the river Her- 
mus by a bridge, and almost immediately 
afterwai-ds its tributary, the Hyllus, by 
a ferry; the latter is larger (?) than the 
main^river, which it joins within a fur- 
long of the ferry. The valley over which 
we continued to ride must be at least 
twelve miles directhj across from Manser. 
. . . The land is excellent, and I scarcely 
saw a stone during the first eighteen 
miles. (Jetton and corn grow laxuriantlij, 
but there are few trees (compare Hero- 
dotus's y\)i\bu) except the willov/ and 
pollard poplar." (Fellows' Asia Minor, 

p. 201 .) This must certainly be the plain 
intended by Herodotus: ro ireUov ro 
TT p 6 rod &(Treos rov 'XapSirjvov . . . S la 
5e avrov nrorapiol peovres koX 'dWoi 
K al "TAAos avppriyuvo'i is r6v fieyi- 
arov, KaKeojxevov 5e "Epfiou. But it is 
scarcely possible that the battle can 
really have taken place on this side of 

^ The Dindymenian mother was Cy- 
bele, the special deity of Phrygia. It is 
impossible to say for certain what moun- 
tain or mountain- range Herodotus in- 
tended b}'^ his ovpos Mrirphs Aivdvij.'f}vif]s. 
The interior of Asia Minor was but very 
little known in his day. Probably, how- 
ever, he meant to place the sources of 
the Hermus in Phrygia, which is correct 
so far as it goes. 

The Hermus rises from two principal 
sources, both in the I'ange of Morad, 
which is a branch from the great chain 
of Taurus, forming the watershed be- 
tween the streams which flow westward 
into the ^gean, and those which run 
northward into the Enxine. The chief 
source of the two is not, as Col. Leake 
thought (Asia Minor, p. 169;, that which 
rises near the modern Ghicdiz or Kodvs 
(the KaSo/ of Strabo j, but the sti-eam 
flowing from the foot of Morad Dagh, 
which has perhaps some claim to be re- 
garded as the Mount Dindymene of 
Strabo (xiii. p. 897) and our author. 
See Hamilton's Asia Minor, vol. i. p. 

' The Hermus (Ghiediz-Chai) now falls 
into the sea very much nearer to Smyrna 
than to Phocsea. Itg course is perpe- 
tually changing (Chandler, vol. i. ch. 
xxi.), and of late years its embouchure 
has been gi-adually approacliing Smyrna, 
whose harbour is seriously threatened by 
the extensive shoals which advance op- 
posite the Sanjiac Kaleh, formed of the 
mud brought down by the Hermus. 
(See Hamilton's Asia Minor, vol. i. p. 

Chap. 79-82. CKCESUS DEFEATED. 175 

order of battle on this plain, fearful of the strength of tlieir 
cavalry, he adopted a device which Harpagus, one of the IMedes, 
suggested to him. He collected together all the camels that 
had come in the train of his army to carry the provisions and 
the baggage, and taking off then' loads, he mounted riders upon 
them accoutred as horsemen. These he commanded to advance 
in front of his other troo]3S against the Lydian horse ; behind 
them were to follow the foot soldiers, and last of all the cavalry. 
When his arrangements were complete, he gave his troops 
orders to slay all the other Lydians who came in their way 
without mercy, but to spare Croesus and not kill him, even if 
he should be seized and offer resistance. The reason why Cyrus 
opposed his camels to the enemy's horse was, because the horse 
has a natural dread of the camel, and cannot abide either the 
sight or the smell of that animal. By this stratagem he hoped 
to make Croesus's horse useless to him,^ the horse being what he 
chiefly depended on for victory. The two armies then joined 
battle, and immediately the Lydian war-horses, seeing and 
smelling the camels, turned round and galloped off; and so it 
came to pass that all Croesus's hopes withered aw^ay. The 
Lydians, however, behaved manfully. As soon as they under- 
stood what was happening, they leaped off their horses, and 
engaged with the Persians on foot. The combat was long ; but 
at last, after a great slaughter on both sides, the Lydians turned 
and fled. They were driven within their walls, and the Persians 
laid siege to Sardis. 

81. Thus the siege began. Meanwhile Croesus, thinking that 
the place would hold out no inconsiderable time, sent off fresh 
heralds to his allies from the beleaguered town. His former 
messengers had been charged to bid them assemble at Sardis in 
the course of the fifth month ; they whom he now sent were to 
say that he was already besieged, and to beseech them to come 
to his aid with all possible speed. Among his other allies Croesus 
did not omit to send to Lacedsemon. 

82. It chanced, however, that the Spartans were themselves 

^ It is said that in one of the ereat that the horses of the enemy might be 

battles between the Servians and the frightened by them." It was, however, 

Turks "a council of war was held in determined on this occasion not to have 

the Turkish camp, and some of the ge- recotirse to stratagem. (Frontier Lands 

nerals proposed that the camels should of the Christian and the Turk, vol. ii. 

be placed in front of the army, in order p. 380.) 


just at this time engaged in a quarrel with the Argives about a 
place called Thyrea,^ which was within the limits of Argolis, 
but had been seized on by the Laceda3monians. Indeed, the 
whole country westward, as far as Cape Malea, belonged once to 
the Argives, and not only that entire tract upon the main- 
land, but also Cythera, and the other islands.^ The Argives 
collected troops to resist the seizure of Thyrea, but before any 
battle was fought, the two parties came to terms, and it was 
agreed that three hundred Spartans and three hundred Argives 
should meet and fight for the place, which should belong to the 
nation with whom the victory rested.^ It was stipulated also 
that the other troops on each side should return home to their 
respective countries, and not remain to witness the combat, 
as there was danger, if the armies stayed, that either the one or 
the other, on seeing their countrymen undergoing defeat, might 
hasten to their assistance. These terms being agreed on, the 
two armies marched off, leaving three hundred picked men on 
each side to fight for the territory. The battle began, and so 
equal were the combatants, that at the close of the day, when 
night put a stop to the fight, of the whole six hundred only 
three men remained alive, two Argives, Alcanor and Chromius, 
and a single Spartan, Othryadas. The two Argives, regarding 
themselves as the victors, hurried to Argos. Othryadas, the 
Spartan, remained upon the field, and, stripping the bodies of 
the Argives who had fallen, carried their armour to the Spartan 
camp. Next day the two armies returned to learn the result. 
At first they disputed, both parties claiming the victory, the 

^ Thyrea was the chief town of the about B.C. 748. See Miiller's Dorians, 

district called Cynuria, the border ter- vol. i. p. 154. Compare the Fragment 

ritory between Laconia and Argolis (cf. of Ephorus (15, ed. l)idot), " (rvfiirpdr- 

Thucyd. v. 41). The Cynurians were reiv Se koI AaKeBai/jLovtovs, elfTe <pBovi]- 

a remnant of the ancient population of aavTas rfj Sia rrfv elprivrjv evrvxia, 

the Peloponnese before the Dorian con- etre koI crvuepyovs €^€iu vo^havras irphs 

quest. They called themselves lonians, ro KaraXvcrai top ^eidwva acpri pr] fx4- 

and claimed to be avr6x^ovss (vide infra, v ov avr ov s t ^ v rjy € /lov iav r cov 

viii. 73). The convent of i/w/^?« seems to UeXoir ou vt) ff iwv , V iKclvot, irpo4- 

mark the site of the ancient town. Here kttjvto." 

on " a tabular hill covered with shrubs 2 Thucydides confirms this fact (v. 

and small trees, and having a gentle de- 41). The Argives, 130 years afterwards, 

sceni; towards the river of Lukn," are proposed the insertion of a clause in a 

extensive remains of a considerable town treaty which they were making with 

(Leake's Morea, vol. ii. p. 487). The Sparta, to the effect that, on due notice 

distance from the sea is greater by a given, Thyrea might again be fought for, 

good deal than in the time of Thiicy- coairep koI Trp6T€p6p ttotc. The Spartans 

dides (iv, 57), as the river has brought thought the proposal /oWy, so much had 

down large deposits. opinion changed in the interval. 

^ In the time of Pheidon the First, 


one, because they had the greater number of survivors; the 
other, because their man remained on the field, and stripped 
the bodies of the slain, whereas the two men of the other side 
ran away ; but at hxst they fell from words to blows, and a battle 
was fought, in which both parties suffered great loss, but at the 
end the Lacedaemonians gained the victory.^ Upon this the 
Argives, who up to that time had worn their hair long, cut it 
off close, and made a law, to which they attached a curse, 
binding themselves never more to let their hair grow, and never 
to allow their women to wear gold, until they should recover 
Thyrea. At the same time the Lacedaemonians made a law 
the very reverse of this, namely, to wear their hair long, though 
they had always before cut it close. Othryadas* himself, it is 
said, the sole survivor of the three hundred, prevented by a 
sense of shame from returning to Sparta after all his comrades 
had fallen, laid violent hands upon himself in Thyrea. 

83. Although the Spartans were engaged with these matters 
when the herald arrived from Sardis to entreat them to come 
to the assistance of the besieged king, yet, notwithstanding, 
they instantly set to work to afford him help. They had com- 
pleted their preparations, and the ships were just ready to start, 
when a second message informed them that the place had already 
fallen, and that Croesus was a prisoner. Deeply grieved at his 
misfortune, the Spartans ceased their efforts. 

84. The following is the way in which Sardis was taken. On 
the fourteenth day of the siege Cyrus bade some horsemen ride 
about his lines, and make proclamation to the whole army that 
he would give a reward to the man who should first mount the 
wall. After this he made an assault, but without success. His 
troops retired, but a certain Mardian, Hyroeades by name, 
resolved to approach the citadel and attempt it at a place where 
no guards were ever set. On this side the roclv was so pre- 

3 Plutarch asserts that there was no gone; he then crawled forth, erected a 

second battle, but that an appeal was trophy, and wrote a superscription with 

made to the Amphictyons, who decided his blood; when he had done this, he 

in favour of Sparta (Moral, ii, p. 306, fell dead (Suidas in voc, '06f)vdBr]s). 

B.). He cites as liis authority a certain According to another story, he survived 

Chrysermus, who had written a book en- the occasion, and was afterwards slain 

titled U€\oTrovvr](rLaKd. by Perilaiis, son of Alcanor, one of the 

^ Various tales were told of Othry- two Argives who escaped (Pausan. ii, 

adas. According to one (Theseus ap. xx. §6). Othryadas was a favourite sub- 

Stob. Flor. vii. 67) he was mortally ject with the epigram writers, (See 

wounded in the fight, upon which he Brunck's Analecta, vol. i. pp. 130, 496; 
hid himself under some of the dead bo- 
dies till the two Argive survivors were 

VOL. I. 

178 FALL OF SAPtDIS. Book L 

cipitous, and the citadel (as it seemed) so impregnable, that no 
fear was entertained of its being carried in this place. Here 
was the only portion of the circuit round which their old king 
Meles^ did not carry the lion which his leman bore to him. 
For when the Telmessians had declared that if the lion were 
taken round the defences, Sardis would be impregnable, and 
Meles, in consequence, carried it round the rest of the fortress 
where the citadel seemed open to attack, he scorned to take it 
round this side, which he looked on as a sheer precipice, and 
therefore absolutely secure. It is on that side of the city which 
faces Mount Tmolus. Hyroeades, however, having the day 
before observed a Lydian soldier descend the rock after a 
helmet that had rolled down from the top, and having seen 
him pick it up and carry it back, thought over what he had 
witnessed, and formed his plan. He climbed the rock himself, 
and other Persians followed in his track, until a large immber 
had mounted to the top. Thus was Sardis taken,*^ and given up 
entirely to pillage. 

85. With respect to Croesus himself, this is what befell him 
at the taking of the town. He had a son, of whom I made 
mention above, a worthy youth, whose only defect was that he 
was deaf and dumb. In the days of his prosperity Croesus had 
done the utmost that he could for him, and among other plans 
which he had devised, had sent to Delphi to consult the oracle 

^ Two Lydian kings of tliis name are made Cyrus take Sardis by the advice 

mentioned by Nicolas of Damascus (Fr. of CEbares, who suggested to him to 

24), who probably follows Xanthus. alarm the inhabitants by placing figures 

One is said to have been a tyrant, and of men on long poles, and elevating 

to have been deposed by a certain Moxus, them to the top of the walls (Persic, 

who succeeded him on the throne. The Excerpt. § 4). — 3. The following, given 

other immediately preceded Myrsus, the also by Polysenus (ib. § 2)— on what 

father of Candaules. He is noticed by authority it is impossible to say, possi- 

Eusebius, who improperly makes him bly that of Xanthus. Cyrus, it was 

the immediate predecessor of Candaules said, assented to a truce, and drew off 

rEuseb. Chron. Can., Part ii. p. 322). his army, but the night following he 

The former of these two kings is pro- returned, and, finding the walls un- 

bably the ''old king Meles " of Hero- guarded, scaled them with ladders. This 

dotus. last seems likely to have been the Ly- 

^ Sardis was taken a second time in dian version, 

almost exactly the same way by Lagoras, Few people will hesitate to pi'efer the 

one of the generals of Antiochus the narrative of Herodotus to the other ac- 

Great (Polyb. vii. 4-7). counts. That of Ctesias is too puerile 

Thi^ee stories were current as to the to deserve a moment's consideration, 

mode in which the capture by Cyrus The other, which rests on no authority 

was effected. — 1. This of Herodotus, but that of Polya^nus, makes Cyrus 

which Xenophon followed in its princi- guilty of a foul piece of treachery, which 

pal features (Cyrop. viii, ii. § 1-13), is comjjletely at variance with the cha- 

— 2. That of Ctesias, reported also by .racter borne by him alike in Oriental 

Polya?nus (Strateg. vii. vi. § 10), which and in Grecian story. 



on his behalf. The answer which he had received from the 
Pythoness ran thus: — 

" Lydian, wide-ruling monarch, thou wondrous simple Croesus, 
Wish not ever to hear in thy palace the voice thou hast prayed for, 
Uttering intelligent sounds. Far better thy son should be silent! 
Ah ! woe worth the day when thine ear shall first list to his accents," 

When the town was taken, one of the Persians was just 
going to kill Croosus, not knowing who he was. Croesus saw 
the man coming, but under the pressure of his affliction, did 
not care to avoid the bloAv, not minding whether or no he died 
beneath the stroke. Then this son of his, who w^as voiceless, 
beholding the Persian as he rushed towards Croesus, in the 
agony of his fear and grief burst into speech, and said, " Man, 
do not kill Croesus." This was the first time that he had ever 
spoken a word, but afterwards he retained the power of speech 
for the remainder of his life. 

86. Thus was Sardis taken by the Persians, and Croesus 
himself fell into their hands, after having reigned fourteen 
years, and been besieged in his capital fourteen days ; thus too 
did Croesus fulfil the oracle, which said that he should destroy a 
mighty empire, — by destroying his own. Then the Persians 
who had made Croesus prisoner brought him before Cyrus. Now 
a vast pile had been raised by his orders, and Croesus, laden 
with fetters, was placed upon it, and with him twice seven of 
the sons of the Lydians. I know not whether Cyrus was 
minded to make an offering of the first-fruits to some god or 
other, or w^hether he had vowed a vow and was performing it, 
or whether, as may well be, he had heard that Croesus was a 
holy man, and so wished to see if any of the heavenly powers 
would appear to save him from being burnt alive. However it 
might be, Cyrus was thus engaged, and Croesus was already on 
the pile, when it entered his mind in the depth of his woe that 
there was a divine warning in the words which had come to 
him from the lips of Solon, '' No one while he lives is happy." 
When this thought smote him he fetched a long breath, and 
breaking his deep silence, groaned out aloud, thrice uttering 
the name of Solon. Cyrus caught the sounds, and bade the 
interpreters inquire of Croesus who it Avas he called on. They 
drew near and asked him, but he held his peace, and for a long 
time made no ans\ver to their questionings, until at length, 
forced to say something, he exclaimed, "One I would give 
much to see converse with every monarch." Not knowiuo- 



what he meant by this reply, the interpreters begged him to 
explain himself; and as they pressed for an answer, and grew 
to be troublesome, he told them how, a long time before, Solon, 
an Athenian, had come and seen all his splendour, and made 
light of it ; and how whatever he had said to him had fallen out 
exactly as he foreshowed, although it was nothing that especially 
concerned him, but applied to all mankind alike, and most to 
those who seemed to themselves happy. Meanwhile, as he thus 
spoke, the pile was lighted, and the outer portion began to 
blaze. Then Cyrus, hearing from the interpreters what Croesus 
had said, relented, betliinking himself that he too was a man, 
and that it was a fellow-man, and one who had once been as 
blessed by fortune as himself, that he was burning alive ; afraid, 
moreover, of retribution, and full of the thought that whatever 
is human is insecure. So he bade them quench the blazing fire 
as quickly as they could, and take down Croesus and the other 
Lydians, which they tried to do, but the flames were not to be 

87. Then, the Lydians say that Croesus, perceiving by the 
efforts made to quench the fire that Cyrus had relented, and 
seeing also that all was in vain, and that the men could not get 
the fire under, called with a loud voice upon the god Apollo, 
and prayed him, if he had ever received at his hands any 
acceptable gift, to come to his aid, and deliver him from his 
present danger. As thus wdth tears he besought the god, 
suddenly, though up to that time the sky had been clear and 
the day without a breath of wind,^ dark clouds gathered, and 
the storm burst over their heads with rain of such violence, that 
the flames were speedily extinguished. Cyrus, convinced by 
this that Croesus was a good man and a favourite of heaven, 
asked him after he was taken off the pile, " Who it was that had 
persuaded him to lead an army into his country, and so become 
his foe rather than continue his friend ? " to which Croesus made 
answer as follows : '' What I did, oh ! king, was to thy advantage 
and to my own loss. If there be blame, it rests with the god of 
the Creeks, who encouraged me to begin the war. No one is so 
foolish as to prefer to peace war, in which, instead of sons 

7 The later romancers regarded this in- Chronology and History of Lydia. The 

cident as over-marvellous, and softened words of the original are, "x^'M^'' 5' 

down the miracle considerably. See the eruxe tV VH-^pav iKelvnv i^ rjovs, ov 

fragment of Nicolaus Damascenus trans- fx^v v€t6s ye." 
lated at the close of the Essay on the 


burying tlieir fathers, fathers hury their sons. But the gods 
willed it so." -^ 

88. Thus did Crcesus speak. Cyrus then ordered his fetters 
to be taken oft', and made him sit down near himself, and paid 
him much respect, looking upon him, as did also the courtiers, 
with a sort of wonder. Croesus, wrapped in thought, uttered no 
word. After a while, happening to turn and perceive the Persian 
soldiers engaged in plundering the town, he said to Cyrus, 
" May I now tell thee, oh ! king, what I have in my mind, or is 
silence best? " Cyrus bade him speak his mind boldly. Then 
he put this question : " What is it, oh ! Cyrus, which those men 
yonder are doing so busily ? " " Plundering thy city," Cyrus 
answered, " and carrying off thy riches." " Not my city," 
rejoined the other, " nor my riches. They are not mine any 
more. It is thy wealth which they are pillaging." 

89. Cyrus, struck by what Croesus had said, bade all the court 
to withdraw, and then asked Croesus what he thought it best for 
him to do as regarded the plundering. Croesus answered, "Now 
that the gods have made me thy slave, oh ! Cyrus, it seems to 
me that it is my part, if I see anything to thy advantage, to 
show it to thee. Thy subjects, the ' Persians, are a poor people 
with a proud spirit. If then thou lettest them pillage and 
possess themselves of great wealth, I will tell thee what thou 
hast to expect at their hands. The man who gets the most, 
look to having him rebel against thee. Now then, if my words 
please thee, do thus, oh ! king : — Let some of thy body-guards 
be placed as sentinels at each of the city gates, and let them 
take their booty from the soldiers as they leave the town, and 
tell them that they do so because the tenths are due to Jupiter. 
So wilt thou escape the hatred they would feel if the plunder 

^ Modern critics seem not to have whole system of Zoroastei'. It may be 
been the first to object to this entire doubted, however, whether the system 
narrative, that the religion of the Per- of Zoroaster was at this time any por- 
siaus did not allow the bmniing of hu- tion of the Persian religion (see the Cri- 
man beings (vide infra, iii. 16). The tical Essays, Essay v.). 
objection had evidently been made be- Ctesias, in his account of the treat- 
fore the time of Nicolas of Damascus, ment of Cyrus, omitted all mention of 
who meets it indirectly in his narrative, the pile and the fire. According to him, 
The Persians (he gives us to understand) thunder and lightning were sent from 
had for some time before this neglected heaven, and the chains of Croesus mira- 
the precepts of Zoroaster, and allowed culously struck off, after which Cyrus 
his ordinances with respect to fire to treated liim with kindness, assigning him 
fall into desuetude. The miracle where- the city of Barene (Barce of Justin, i, 7) 
by Croesus was snatched from the flames for his residence. See the Persica of 
reminded them of their ancient creed, Ctesias (Excerpt. § 4). 
and induced them to re-establish the 


were taken away from tliem by force ; and they, seeing that 
what is proposed is just, will do it willingly." 

90. Cyrus was beyond measure pleased with this advice, so 
excellent did it seem to him. He praised Croesus highly, and 
gave orders to his body-guard to do as he had suggested. Then, 
turning to Croesus, he said, " Oh ! Croesus, T see that thou art 
resolved both in speech and act to show thyself a virtuous prince : 
ask me, therefore, whatever thou wilt as a gift at this moment." 
Croesus replied, " Oh ! my lord, if thou wilt suffer me to send 
these fetters to the god of the Greeks, whom I once honoured 
above all other gods, and ask him if it is his wont to deceive his 
benefactors, — that will be the highest favour thou canst confer 
on me." Cyrus upon this inquired what charge he had to make 
against the god. Then Croesus gave him a full account of all 
his projects, and of the answers of the oracle, and of the offer- 
ings which he had sent, on which he dwelt especially, and told 
him how it was the encouragement given him by the oracle 
which had led him to make war upon Persia. All this he 
related, and at the end again besought permission to reproach 
the god with his behaviour. Cyrus answered with a laugh, 
" This I readily grant thee, and whatever else thou shalt at any 
time ask at my hands." Croesus, finding his request allowed, 
sent certain Lydians to Delphi, enjoining them to lay his fetters 
upon the threshold of the temple, and ask the god, " If he were 
not ashamed of having encouraged him, as the destined destroyer 
of the empire of Cyrus, to begin a w^ar with Persia, of which such 
were the first-fruits ? " As they said this they were to point to 
the fetters ; and further they were to inquire, " if it was the wont 
of the Greek gods to be ungrateful ? " 

91. The Lydians went to Delphi and delivered their message, 
on which the Pythoness is said to have replied — " It is not 
possible even for a god to escape the decree of destiny. Croesus 
has been punished for the sin of his fifth ancestor,^ who, when he 
was one of the body-guard of the Heraclides, joined in a woman's 
fraud, and, slaying his master, wrongfully seized the throne. 
Apollo was anxious that the fall of Sardis should not happen in 
the difetime of Croesus, but be delayed to his son's days ; he 
could not, however, persuade the Fates.^ All that they were 

^ Vide supra, ch. 13. them— are brought into such distinct 

1 Mr. Grote remarks with great truth light and action : usually they are kept 

on this passage— '^ It is rarely that these in the dark, or are left to be iinderstood 

supreme goddesses or hyper-goddesses — as the unseen stumbling-block in cases 

for the gods themselves must submit to of extreme incomprehensibility ; and it 

Chap. 89-92. REPLY OF THE PYTHONESS. 183 

willing to allow he took and gave to Croesus. Let Crajsiis 
know that Apollo delayed the taking of Sardis three full years, 
and that he is tlius a prisoner three years later than was his 
destiny. Moreover it was Apollo who saved him from the 
burning pile. Nor has Croesus any right to complain witli 
respect to the oracular answer which he received. For when 
the god told him that, if he attacked the Persians, he would 
destroy a mighty empire, he ought, if he had been wise, to have 
sent again and inquired which empire was meant, that of Cyrus 
or his own ; but if he neither understood what was said, nor 
took the trouble to seek for enlightenment, he has only himself 
to blame for the result. Besides, he had misunderstood the last 
answer which had been given him about the mule. Cyrus was 
that mule. For the parents of Cyrus were of different races, 
and of different conditions, — his mother a Median princess, 
daughter of King Astyages, and his father a, Persian and a 
subject, who, thougli so far beneath her in all respects, had 
married his royal mistress." 

Such was the answer of the Pythoness. The Lydians re- 
turned to Sardis and communicated it to Croesus, who confessed, 
on hearing it, that the fault was his, not the god's. Sucli was 
the way in which Ionia was first conquered, and so was the 
empire of Croesus brouglit to a close. 

92. Besides the offerings which have been already mentioned, 
there are many others in various parts of Greece presented by 
Croesus ; as at Thebes in Boeotia, where there is a golden tripod, 
dedicated by him to Ismenian Apollo ;^ at Ephesus, where the 
golden heifers, and most of the columns are his gift ; and at 
Delphi, in the temple of Pronaia,^ where there is a huge shield 
in gold, which he gave. All these offerings were still in exist- 
ence in my day ; many others have perished : among them 
those which he dedicated at Branchida3 in Milesia, equal in 
weight, as I am informed, and in all respects like to those at 

is difficult clearly to determine where ^ Tj^g temple of Minerva at Delphi 

the Greeks conceived sovereign power stood in front of the great temple of 

to reside, in respect to the government Apollo. Hence the Delphian Minerva 

of the world. But here the sovereignty of was called Minerva Pronaifi (Sm to it p 6 

the Mcerce, and the subordinate agenci/ of the rov vaov l5pv(r6aL, as Harpocration 

gods, are unequivocally set forth" (IList. oi says). Vide infra, viii. 37. Pausanias 

Greece, vol. iv. p. 262). mentions that the shield was no longer 

2 The I'iver Ismenius washed the foot there in his day. It had been carried 

of the hill on which this temple stood off by Philomelus, the Phocian gene- 

(Paus, ix. 10, 2); hence the phrase "Is- ral in the Sacred War (Pans. x. viii. 

menian Apollo." Compare J'allenian Mi- § 4). 
ncrva (supra, ch. 62). 



Book I. 

Delphi. The Delphian presents, and those sent to Amphi- 
aralis, came from his own private property, being the first-fruits 
of the fortune which he inherited from his father; his other 
offerings came from the riches of an enemy, who, before he 
mounted the throne, headed a party against him, with the view 
of obtaining the crown of Lydia for Pantaleon. This Pantaleon 
was a son of Alyattes, but by a different mother from Croesus ; 
for the mother of Croesus was a Carian woman, but the mother 
of Pantaleon an Ionian. When, by the appointment of his 
father, Croesus obtained the kingly dignity,^ he seized the man 
who had plotted against him, and broke him upon the wheel. 
His property, which he had previously devoted to the service of 
the gods, Croesus applied in the way mentioned above. This is 
all I shall say about his offerings. 

93. Lydia, unhke most other countries, scarcely offers any 
wonders for the historian to describe, except the gold-dust which 
is washed down from the range of Tmolus. It has, however, 
one structure of enormous size, only inferior to the monuments 
of Egypt ^ and Babylon. This is the tomb of Alyattes,^ the 

■* This has been supposed to mean 
that Alyattes associated Croesus with 
him in the government (see Wesseling 
and Biihr in loo. Also Clinton's F. H. 
vol. ii. p. 3(53). But there are no suffi- 
cient grounds for such an opinion. Asso- 
ciation, common enough in Egypt, was 
very I'arely practised in the East until 
the time of the Sassanian princes ; and 
does not seem ever to obtain unless 
where the succession is doubtful. Nor 
would it have been likely that, during 
a joint-reign with his father, Cra3sus 
should have treated the partisan of his 
bi'other with such severity. Herodotus 
undoubtedly intends to speak of the 
nomination of Croesus by Alyattes as his 
successor upon the throne. The verb 
used is the same as that which occurs 
below (ch. 208), where the nomination 
of Cambyses by Cyrus is mentioned. 

^ The colossal size of the monuments 
in Egypt is sufficiently known. They 
increased in size as the power of Egypt 
advaiw^ed. The great importance of pro- 
portion is at once felt in examining them ; 
for though the columns, as in the Great 
Hall of Karnak, are so large — the centre 
avenue of twelve being 69 ft. 5 in. high, 
with the abacus and plinth, and the 
lateral ones (once 122 in number) being 
45 ft. 8 in. high— they have a pleasing 
as well as a grand effect. Without that 

most important feature, proportion (now 
best understood in Italy), they would be 
monstrous and disagreeable. The taste 
for colossal statues is often supposed to 
be peculiarly Egyptian; but the Greeks 
had some as large as, and even larger 
than, any in Egypt, that of Olympian 
Jove being 60 ft. high, and the Colossus 
of Rhodes lu5 ft. (SeeFlaxman, Lect. ix. 
p. 219.) Pausanias (iii. 19) mentions 
one of Apollo 30 cubits (45 feet) high. — 
[G. W.] 

^ The following account of the ex- 
ternal appearance of this monument, 
which still exists on the north bank of 
the Hermus, near the ruins of the an- 
cient Sardis, is given by Mr. Hamilton 
(Asia Minor, vol. i. pp. 145-6): — 

" One mile south of this spot we 
reached the principal tumulus, gene- 
rally designated as the tomb of Haly- 
attes. It took us about ten minutes to 
ride round its base, which would give 
it a circumference of nearly half a mile. 
Towards the north it consists of the na- 
tural rock, a white horizontally-stratified 
earthy limestone, cut away so as to ap- 
pear as part of the structure. The upper 
portion is sand and gravel, apparently 
brought from the bed of the Hermus. 
Several deep ravines have been worn by 
time and weather in its sides, particvi- 
larly on that to the south : we followed 

Chap. 92, 93. 



father of Croesus, the base of which is formed of immense blocks 
of stone, the rest beinp^ a vast mound of earth. It was raised 

Tumli ijf Alyuttes. Sepulchral Chamber. 

Tomb of Alj'-attes. Ground-plan, showing excavations. 

one of these as affording a better footing 
than the smooth grass, as we ascended 
to the summit. Here we found the re- 
mains of a foundation nearly eighteen 
feet square, on the north of which was a 
huge circular stone, ten feet in diameter, 
with a flat bottom and a raised edge or 
lip, evidently placed there as an orna- 
ment ou the apex of the tumulus. Hero- 

dotus says that phalli were erected upon 
the summit of some of these tumuli, of 
which this may be one; but Mr. Strick- 
land supposes that a rude representation 
of the human face might be traced ou 
its weather-beaten surface. In conse- 
quence of the ground sloping to the 
south, this tumulus appears much higher 
when viewed from the side of Sardis 



Book I. 

by the joint labour of the tradesmen, handicl'aftsmen, and 
courtesans of Sardis, and had at the top five stone pillars, which 
remained to my day, with inscriptions cut on them,'^ showing 
how much of the work was done by each class of workpeople. 
It appeared on measurement that the portion of the courtesans 
was the largest. The daughters of the common people in Lydia, 
one and all, pursue this traffic, wishing to collect money for 
their portions. They continue the practice till they marry ; and 
are wont to contract themselves in marriage. The tomb is six 
stades and two plethra in circumference ; its breadth is thirteen 

than from any other. It rises at an 
angle of about 22 '^j and is a conspicuous 
object on all sides." 

Eecently the mound has been more 
exactly measured by M. Spiegenthal, 
Prussian Consul at Smyrna, who has 
also carefully explored the interior. 
His measiu-ements strikingly agree with 
the rough estimate of Mr. Hamilton. 
He gives the average diameter of the 
mound as about 250 metres, or 281 yards, 
which produces a circumference of al- 
most exactly half a mile. In the inte- 
rior, into which he drove a gallery or 
tunnel, he was fortunate enough to dis- 
cover a sepulchral chamber, composed 
of large blocks of white marble, highly 
polished, situated almost exactly in the 
centre of the tumulus. The chamber 
was somewhat more than 11 feet long, 
nearly 8 feet broad, and 7 feet high. It 
was empty, and contained no sign of 
any inscription or sarcophagus. The 
mound outside the chamber showed 
traces of many former excavations. It 
was pierced with galleries, and contained 
a great quantity of bones, partly human, 
partly those of animals ; also a quantity 
of ashes, and abundant fragments of 
urns. No writing was discovered on 
any of these, or indeed in the whole 
mound, nor any fragment of metal with 
the exception of a nail, a relic of former 
explorers. Undoubtedly the chamber 
had been rifled at a remote period, and 
the mound had been used in post-Lydian 
times as a place of general sepulture. 
Hence Jbhe remains of urns, and the 
human bones and ashes. The animal 
bones are more difficult of explanation. 
There can be little doubt that the mar- 
ble chamber was the actual resting-place 
of the Lydian king. Its dimensions agree 
nearly with those of the sepidchral cham- 
ber of Cyrus. (See note to book i. ch. 
214.) The tomb was probably plundered 
for the sake of the gold which it con- 

tained, either by the Greeks, or by some 
one of the many nations who have at dif- 
ferent periods held possession of Asia 
Minor. It is worthy of remark that the 
internal construction of the mound was 
not found by M. Spiegenthal in any way 
to resemble that of the famous tomb of 
Tantalus, near Smyrna, explored by M. 
Texier. (See Texier's Asie Mineure, 
vol. ii. p. 252, et seq.; and for M. Spie- 
genthal's account of his excavations, see 
the Monatsbericht der Konigl. Preus- 
sisch.. Academic der Wissenschaften zu 
Berlin, Dec. 1854, pp. 700-702.) 

Besides the barrow of Alyattes there 
are a vast number of ancient tumuli on 
the shores of the Gygsean lake. Tliree 
or four of these are scarcely inferior in 
size to that of Alyattes (see Chandler's 
Tour in Asia Minor, ch. 78, p. 302). 
These may be the tombs of the other 
Lydian kings. 

[The monument in question, with a 
stone basement, and a mound above, is 
very similar to the constructed tombs 
of Etruria, and to some in Greece, as 
that of Menecrates at Corfu, and others. 
The tomb of Agamemnon at Mycenae is 
also supposed by Canina to have been 
capped with a mound; and he is quite 
right in thinking it could not have been 
a ' treasury' (as it is called of Atreus), 
being outside the city. Indeed in the 
same locality are the remains of other 
similar monuments, not certainly so 
many treasuries, but tombs. The five 
oupoL on that of Alyattes may have been 
like those on the tomb of Aruns at Al- 
bano, miscalled ' of the Horatii.' 

The statement about the Lydian wo- 
men is one of those for which Herodotus 
cannot escape censure. — G, W.] 

■^ This is thought to be a very early 
mention of writing. Alyattes died B.C. 
568; but even the Greeks had letters 
long before that time. — [G. W.] 

Chap. 93, 94. 



plethra. Close to the tomb is a large lake, which the Lydians 
say is never dry.^ • They call it the Lalve Gyga3a. 

94. The Lydians have very nearly the same customs as the 
Greeks, with the exception that these last do not bring up their 
girls in the same way. So far as we have any knowledge, they 
were the first nation to introduce the use of gold and silver 
coin,^ and the first who sold goods by retail. They claim also 
the invention of all the games which are common to them with 
the Greeks. These they declare tliat they invented about the 
time when they colonised Tyrrhenia, an event of which they 
give the following account. In the days of Atys the son of 
Manes, ^ there was great scarcity through the whole land of 
Lydia. For some time the Lydians bore the affliction patiently, 
but finding that it did not pass away, they set to work to devise 
remedies for the evil. Various expedients were discovered by 
various persons ; dice, and huckle-bones, and ball,^ and all such 

^ This lake is still a remarkable fea- 
ture in the scene. (Hamilton's Asia 
Mmor, i. p. 145; Fellows, p. 290.) It 
is mentioned by Homer (11. xx. '392). 

^ This statement was made also by 
Xenophanes of Colophon (Pollux, ix. 
vi. § 83), and is repeated by Eustathius 
(ad Dionys. Perieget. v. 840). Other 
writers ascribed the invention to Phei- 
dou I. king of Argos (Etym. Magn. ad 
voc. ojSeAiV/cos; Pollux, 1. s. c). Ac- 
cording to Plutarch, Theseus coined mo- 
ney at Athens some centuries earlier 
(Thes. c. 25). 

It is probable that the Greeks derived 
their first knowledge of coined money 
from the Asiatics with whom they came 
into contact in Asia Minor, either Ly- 
dians or Pln-ygians (a tradition m.en- 
tioned in Pollux, l.s.c, made the latter 
people the inventors of coming). Phei- 
don, who is also said to have introduced 
the JEginetan standard of weights from 
Asia, may have been the first to strike 
coins in European Greece. The asser- 
tion of Plutarch cannot possibly be re- 
ceived. See Note B. at the end of the 

1 A name resembling that of the King 
of Lydia, Manes, is found in the early 
traditions of many people. In Egypt 
the first king was Menes, of whom Mane- 
ros, the reputed inventor of music, was 
supposed to have been the son. Crete 
had its Minos; India, its Man u ; Germany 
its first Man, Manmis ; and traces of the 
name occur in other early histories. See 

Plut. de Is. s, 24, who mentions the 
Phrygian Manis. — [G. W.] 

" The ball was a very old game, and 
it was doubtless invented in Egypt, as 
Pl'ato says. It is mentioned by Homer 
(Od. viii. 372), and it was known in 
Egypt long before his time, in the 
twelfth dynasty, or about 2000 B.C., as 
were the -weaaol, \p^^oi, latrunculi, calculi, 
or counters, used in a game resembling 
our draughts, with two sets of men, or 
" dogs," of different colours. They are 
also mentioned by Homer (Od. i. 107, 
and Plut. de Isid. s. 12, " TreTTem " ) . 
Athengeus (Deipn. i. 10, p. 19) reproves 
Herodotus for ascribing the invention 
of games to the Lydians. The Greek 
board, 'a^a^, or abacus, had five lines, 
sometimes twelve, like that of the Ro- 
mans, whence duodecim script a w^as the 
name they gave to their alveus, or board, 
and the moves were sometimes decided 
by dice. 

Greek dice, Kvfioiy tesserae, were like 
our own, with six numbers — 6 and 1, 
5 and 2, 4 and 3, being generally on the 
opposite sides. Instead of two, they 
threw three dice, whence rpls e^, *' three 
sizes," and Kvfios was the "ace." They 
were probably at first only numbered 
on four sides, whence the name, cor- 
rupted from TeVo-apa. This was the case 
with some astragali, the 2 and 5 being 
omitted (Jul, Poll. Onom. ix. 7), but 
these were usually without numbers, 
and were simply the original knuckle- 
bones of sheep. They wei-e also called 



Book I. 

games were invented, except tables, the invention of wliich they 
do not claim as theirs. The plan adopted against the famine 
was to engage in games one day so entirely as not to feel any 
craving for food, and the next day to eat and abstain from 
games. In this way they passed eighteen years. Still the 
affliction continued and even became more grievous. So the 
king determined to divide the nation in half, and to make 
the two portions draw lots, the one to stay, the other to leave 
the land. He would continue to reign over those whose lot it 
should be to remain behind ; the emigrants should have his son 
Tyrrhenus for their leader. The lot was cast, and they who had 
to emigrate went down to Smyrna, and built themselves ships,^ 
in which, after they had put on board all needful stores, they 
sailed away in search of new homes and better sustenance. 
After sailing past many countries they came to Umbria,* where 
they built cities for themselves, and fixed their residence. 
Their former name of Lydians they laid aside, and called 

"tali" and in playing were generally 
five (whence tr^vTaXiQiC^iv), a number, 
like the five lines on the old Greek 
abacus, taken from the fingers of the 
hand. Sometimes astragali were made, 
of the same form as the bone, of stone, 
metal, ivory, or glass ; and I have one 
of these last from Athens, which is only 
0| in. long. The game is represented in 
a painting found at Herculaneum, and 
in sculpture; and Pliny (xxxiv. 8) men- 
tions a famous group in bronze by Poly- 
cletus, of two naked boys, called the 
astragalizontes, then in the Atrium of 
Titus, evidently the same subject repre- 
sented in stone at the British Museum, 
the loser biting his companion's arm. 
The games of tali and tessene were chiefly 
confined to children, women, and old 
men (Cic. de Senect. 16, ed Par.). That 
of odd and even, ^' par et impar," was 
thought still more puerile, and is com- 
pared by Horace to riding on a stick, or 
"arundine longa " (Sat. ii, iii. 247.) 
Beans, nuts, almonds, or coins were 
used in playing it; and another game 
is imentioned by J. Pollux (ix. 7) of 
throwing coins or bones within a ring, 
or into a hole, called rp6ira. Odd and 
even, and the modern Italian mora, were 
very ancient Egyptian games. In the 
latter the Romans were said " micare 
digitis." Cicero, de Div. ii. says, " quid 
enim sors est ? idem propemodum quod 

micare, quod talos jacere, quod tesse- 
ras; " and in Off", iii., that one ivith whom 
" in tenebris mices," for an honest man, 
had become a proverb. — [G. W.] 

3 Heeren understands this passage to 
assert that the Lydians obtained vessels 
from the Greeks of Smyrna, and builds 
upon it the conclusion that the Lydians 
were at no time a seafaring people. 
(Asiat. Nat, Vol. i. p. 106. E. T.) But 
liy]X<^va<xQai has never the sense of pro- 
curing from another. Where it means 
procuring at all, it is always procuring 
by one's own skill and enterprise. (Cf. 
Sophocl. Phil. 295. Xen. Cyrop. iii. ii. 
§ 15.) 

•* The Umbria of Herodotus, as Nie- 
buhr observes (Hist, of Rome, vol. i. 
p. 142. E. T.) " is of large and indefinite 
extent." It appears to include almost 
the whole of Northern Italy. It is 
from the region above the Umbrians that 
the Alpis and the Carpis flow into the 
Danube (iv. 49). This would seem to 
assign to them the modern Lombardo- 
Venetian kingdom, and to place them 
on the Adriatic. The arrival of the 
Tyrrhenians on their shores extends 
them to the opposite coast, and makes 
Tuscany also a part of their country. 
Herodotus knows of no Italian nations 
except the Tyrrhenians, the Umbrians, 
the Venetians (Heneti), the (Enotrians, 
and the Messapians. 

Chap. 94-96. RISE OF THE MEDIAN EMPIRE. 189 

themselves after the name of the king's son, who led the colony, 

95. Thus far I have been engaged in showing how the 
Lydians were brought under the Persian yoke. The course of 
my history now compels me to inquire who this Cyrus was by 
whom the Lydian empire was destroyed, and by what means 
the Persians had become the lords paramount of Asia. And 
herein I shall follow those Persian authorities whose object it 
appears to be not to magnify the exploits of Cyrus, but to relate 
the simple truth. I know besides three ways in which the story 
of Cyrus is told, all differing from my own narrative. 

The Assyrians had held the Empire of Upper Asia for the 
space of five hundred and twenty years,^ when the Modes set 
the example of revolt from their authority. They took arms for 
the recovery of their freedom, and fought a battle with the 
Assyrians, in which they behaved with such gallantry as to 
shake off the yoke of servitude, and to become a free people. 
Upon their success the other nations also revolted and regained 
their independence. 

96. Thus the nations over that whole extent of country 
obtained the blessing of self-government, but they fell again 
under the sway of kings, in the manner which I will now relate. 
There was a certain Mode named Deioces, son of Phraortes, a 
man of much wisdom, who had conceived the desire of obtaining 
to himself the sovereign power. In furtherance of his ambition, 
therefore, he formed and carried into execution the following 
scheme. As the Modes at that time dwelt in scattered villages 
without any central authority, and lawlessness in consequence 
prevailed throughout the land, Deioces, who was already a man 
of mark in his own village, applied himself with greater zeal 
and earnestness than ever before to the practice of justice among 
his fellows. It was his conviction that justice and injustice are 
engaged in perpetual war with one another. He therefore 
began this course of conduct, and presently the men of his 
village, observing his integrity, chose him to be the arbiter of 
all their disputes. Bent on obtaining the sovereign power, he 
showed himself an honest and an upright judge, and by these 
means rained such credit with his fellow-citizens as to attract 

•^ The whole story of the Lydian colo- exact) 526 of Berosus. (Fr. 11.) The 

nization of E^truria is considered in the entire subject of Assyrian Chronology 

first Essay appended to this book. is discussed in the Critical Essays, Essay 

^ The 520 years of Herodotus in this vii. 
place undoubtedly represent the (more 

190 DEIOCES. Book I. 

the attention of those who lived in the surrounding villages. 
They had long been suffering from unjust and oppressive 
judgments ; so that, when they heard of the singular uprightness 
of Deioces, and of the equity of his decisions, they joyfully had 
recourse to him in the various quarrels and suits that arose, 
until at last they came to put confidence in no one else. 

97. The number of complaints brought before him continually 
increasing, as people learnt more and more the fairness of his 
judgments, Deioces, feeling himself now all important, announced 
that he did not intend any longer to hear causes, and appeared 
no more in the seat in which he had been accustomed to sit 
and administer justice. " It did not square with his interests," 
he said, " to spend the whole day m regulating other men's affairs 
to the neglect of his own." Hereupon robbery and lawlessness 
broke out afresh, and prevailed through the country even more 
than heretofore; wherefore the Modes assembled from all 
quarters, and held a consultation on the state of affairs. The 
speakers, as I think, were chiefly friends of Deioces. " We 
cannot possibly," they said, "go on living in this country if 
things continue as they now are ; let us therefore set a king 
over us, that so the land may be well governed, and we ourselves 
may be able to attend to our own affairs, and not be forced to 
quit our country on account of anarchy." The assembly was 
persuaded by these arguments, and resolved to appoint a king. 

98. It followed to determine who should be chosen to the 
office. When this debate began the claims of Deioces and his 
praises were at once in every mouth ; so that presently all 
agreed that he should be king. Upon this he required a palace 
to be built for him suitable to his rank, and a guard to be given 
him for his person. The Modes complied, and built him a 
strong and large palace,^ on a spot which he himself pointed 
out, and likewise gave him liberty to choose himself a body- 
guard from the whole nation.^ Thus settled upon the throne, 

' The royal palace at Agbatana is esting narrative of Herodotus presents 

said by Polybius to have been 7 stades to us in all points Grecian society and 

(more than four-fifths of a mile) in cir- ideas, not Oriental : it is like the discus- 

cumfereifce (x- xxvii. 9) ; but his descrip- sion which the historian ascribes to the 

tion refers probably to the capital of seven Persian conspirators, previous to 

Media Mcuma, rather than to the (so- the accession of Darius, whether they 

called) city of Deioces. shall adopt an oligarchical, a democi'a- 

^ I cannot refrain from transcribing tical, or a monarchical form of govern- 

•the excellent comment of Mr. Grote on ment; or it may be compared to the 

this passage. He observes: — "Of the Cyropoedia of Xenophon, who beauti- 

real history of Deioces we cannot be fully and elaborately works out an ideal 

said to know anything; for the inter- which Herodotus exhibits in brief out- 

Chap. 96-98. 



he further required them to build a single great city, and, dis- 
regarding the petty towns in which they had formerly dwelt, 
make the new capital the object of their chief attention. The 
Modes were again obedient, and built the city now called 
Agbatana,^ the walls of which are of great size and strength. 

line. The story of Deioces describes 
what may be called the despot's pro- 
gress, first as candidate, and afterwards 
as fully established . . . Deioces begins 
like a clever Greek among other Greeks, 
equal, free, and disorderly ; he is athirst 
for despotism from the beginning, and 
is forward in manifesting his rectitude 
and ju.stice, ' as beseems a candidate 
for command; ' he passes into a despot 
by the public vote, and receives what to 
the Greeks was the great symbol and 
instrument of such transition, a personal 
body-guard ; he ends by organising both 
the machinery and the etiquette of a 
despotism in the Oriental fashion, like 
the Cyrus of Xenophon ; only that both 
these authors maintain the superiority 
of their Grecian ideal over Oriental rea- 
lity, by ascribing both to Deioces and 
Cyrus a just, systematic, and laborious 
administration, such as their own expe- 
rience did not present to them in Asia." 
(Vol. iii., pp. 307-308. See also Note ^ 
of the latter page.) 

^ I have retained the form Agbatana, 
given by Herodotus, in place of the 
more usual Ecbatana of other authors, 
as being nearer to the Persian original, 
which (in the inscriptions) is Hagma- 
ttina. (Behistun Inscrip. Col. 11. Par. 
13.) It. is curious that the Greeks 
should have caught the orthography so 
nearly, and yet have been so mistaken 
as to the accent of the word. There 
cannot be a doubt that the natives 
called the city Hagmatdn, according to 
the analogy of the modern Isfahan, Te- 
heran, Hamadfin, Behistun, &c. Yet 
the Gi-eeks said Agbatana, as is evident 
both from the quantity and the accent of 
the word. It is written 'Ay^drava, not 
'Ky^ardva, and in the poets the last 
three syllables are short. Cf. ^Esch. 
Pers. IG. Aristoph. Acharn. G4. 

[There is every reason to believe that 
the original form of the name Hellenised 
as ' hyfidrava or ' was Hag- 
matun, and that it was of Arian etymo- 
logy, having been first used by the 
Arian Medes. It would signify in the 
language of the country " the place of 
assemblage," being compounded of lauii 
" with," and ijaina " to go." The Chal- 

dsean form of Akhmatha, 5<npnX which 
occurs in Ezi-a (vi. 2), may thus be 
regarded as a corruption of, the Arian 
name. It may further be of interest to 
note that there is no trace of such a 
name among the Median cities enume- 
rated in the inscriptions of Sargon, or 
in those of his successors, so that it is 
pretty certain the capital described by 
Herodotus could not have been built 
until within a short period of the de- 
struction of Nineveh, — H. C. E.] 

Two descriptions of the town are 
worth comparing with that of Hero- 
dotus. In the second Fargard of the 
Vendidad, Jemshid, it is said, " erected 
a Var or fortress, sufiicientiy large, and 
formed of squared blocks of stone ; he 
assembled in the place a vast population, 
and stocked the surrounding country 
with cattle for their use. He caused 
the water of the great fortress to flow 
forth abundantly. And within the Var, 
or fortress, he erected a lofty palace, 
encompassed with walls, and laid it out 
in many separate divisions, and there 
was no high place, either in front or 
rear, to command and overawe the fort- 
ress." (Zeudavesta. Vendidad. Farg. 

The other description is more exact 
in its details. " Arphaxad," we are 
told in the book of Judith, "built in 
Ecbatana walls round about of stones 
hewn three cubits broad and six cubits 
long, and made the height of the wall 
seventy cubits, and the breadth thereof 
fifty cubits : and set the towers thereof 
upon the gates of it, an hundred cubits 
high, and the breadth thereof in the 
foundation sixty cubits : and he made 
the gates thereof, even gates that were 
raised to the height of seventy cubits, 
and the breadth of theiu was forty 
cubits, for the going forth of his armies, 
and for the setting in array of his foot- 
men." (i. 2-4.) 

Col. Rawlinson long since published 
his opinion that the site of the Agbatana 
ascribed to Deioces was at Takhti-Solei- 
man, in Media Atropatene. The nature 
of the situation, and its geographical 
position, are far more in accordance 
with the notices of Agbatana contained 



Book I, 

rising in circles one within the other. The plan of the 
place is, that each of the walls should out-top the one be- 
yond it by the battlements. The nature of the ground, which 
is a gentle hill, favours this arrangement in some degree, 
but it was mainly effected by art. The number of the circles 
is seven, the royal palace and the treasuries standing within 
the last. The circuit of the outer wall is very nearly the same 
with that of Athens. Of this w^all the battlements are white,^ 

in Herodotus, than those of Hamadan, 
the Agbatana of later times. The coun- 
try to the north of Agbatana towards 
the Euxine, Herodotus says, is very 
mountainous, and covered with forests 
(i. 110). This is true and pertinent if 
said of Takhti-Sole'iman, but either un- 
true or unmeaning if said of Hamadan, 
which is far removed from the Euxine, 
and is in the more level part of the 
ancient Media. Again, the southern 
Ecbatana was situated on the declivity 
of the great mountain of Orontes (the 

modern Elwend) which could not pos- 
sibly be called a KoXoovds, and which 
does not admit of being fortified in the 
mode described by Herodotus : whereas 
the conical hill of Takhti-Soleiman with 
its remains of walls and other ruins, 
very nearly corresponds to the descrip- 
tion of our author, (See the subjoined 
plan.) The whole subject is fully treated 
in a paper communicated by Colonel 
Rawlinson to the Geographical Society, 
and published in their Journal. Vol. x. 
Part i. Art. i. 


Plan of Ecbatana. 

1. Remains of a Fiie-Temple. 5. Cemetery. 

2. Ruined Mosque. 6. Ridge of Roclt called " the Dragon." 

3. Ancient Buildings with shafts and capitals. 7. Hill called '■ Tawilah," or " the Stable." 

4. Ruins of the Palace of Abakai Khan. 8. Ruins of Kalisiah. 

9. Rocky hill of Zindani-Sole'iman. 

[One of the most important argu- 
ments in favour of the identification of 
Takhti-Soleiman with the ancient Agba- 
tana, is the fact that Moses of Chorene, 
in speaking of the city which then occu- 
pied the site in question, and which 
was usually named Ganzac Bhahasckm, 
calls it specifically "the second Ecba- 

tana, or the seven-walled city." Mos. 
Chor. ii. 84.— H. C. E.] 

' "This is manifestly a fable of Sa- 
bscan origin, the seven colours men- 
tioned by Herodotus being precisely 
those employed by the Orientals to de- 
note the seven great heavenly bodies, 
or the seven climates in which they 

Chap. 98. 



of tlio next black, of the third scarlet, of the fourth bhie, of 
the fifth orange ; all these are coloured with paint. The two 

Birs JSiinrud, Babylon. 

revolve. Thus Nizami, in his poem of 
the Heft Peiher, describes a seven-bo- 
died palace, built by Bahram Giir, nearly 
in the same terms as Herodotus. The 
palace dedicated to Saturn, he says, was 
black — that of Jupiter orange, or more 
strictly sandal-wood colour (Sandali)— 
of Mars, scarlet — of the sun, golden— of 
Venus, white— of Mercury, azure— and 
of the moon, green— a hue which is 
applied by the Orientals to silver." 
(Journal of Geogr. Soc. Vol. x. Part. i. 
p. 127.) 

The great temple of Nebuchadnezzar 
at Borsippa (the modern Birs-i-Nhm-ud) 
was a building in seven platforms co- 
loured in a similar way. Herodotus 
has deranged the order of the colours, 
which ought to be either that dependent 
on the planetary distances, " black, 
orange, scarlet, gold, white, blue, sil- 
ver," as at the Birs, or "black, white, 

VOL. I. 

orange, blue, scarlet, silver, gold," if 
the order of the days dedicated to the 
planets were taken. It may be suspected 
that Herodotus had received the num- 
bers in the latter order, and accidentally 
reversed the places of black and white, 
and of scaidet and orange. 

[There is, however, no evidence to 
show that the Medes, or even the Baby- 
lonians, were acquainted with that order 
of the planets which regulated the no- 
menclature of the days of the week. The 
series in question, indeed, must have 
originated with a people who divided 
the day and night into 60 hours instead 
of 24 ; "and, as far as we know at present, 
this system of horary division was pecu- 
liar in ancient times to the Hindoo 
calendar. The method by which the 
order is eliminated is simply as fol- 
lows: — The planets in due succession 
from the Moon to Saturn were supposed 




Book T. 

last have their battlements coated respectively with silver and 

99. All these fortifications Deioces caused to be raised for 
himself and his own palace. The peoj)le were required to build 
their dwellings outside the circuit of the walls. When the 
town was finished, he proceeded to arrange the ceremonial. He 
allowed no one to have direct access to the person of the 
king, but made all communication pass through the hands of 
messengers, and forbade the king to be seen by his subjects. 
He also made it an offence for any one whatsoever to laugh or 
spit in the royal presence. This ceremonial, of which he was 
the first inventor, Deioces established for his own security, 
fearing that his compeers, who were brought up together with 
him, and were of as good family as he, and no whit inferior to 
him in manly qualities, if they saw him frequently would be 
pained at the sight, and would therefore be likely to conspire 
against him ; whereas if they did not see him, they would think 
him quite a different sort of being from themselves. 

100. After completing these arrangements, and firmly settling 
himself upon the throne, Deioces continued to administer justi^*e 
with the same strictness as before. Causes were stated in 

to rule the hours of the day in a re- 
curring series of sevens, and the day 
was named after the planet who hap- 
pened to be the regent of the first hour. 
If we assign then the first hour of the 
first day to the Moon, we find that the 
61st hour, which commenced the second 
day, belonged to the 5th planet, or 
Mars; the 121st hour to the 2nd, or 
Mercury; the 181st to the 6th, or Jupi- 
ter; the 241st to the 3rd, or Venus; 
the 301st to the 7th, or Saturn ; and the 
361st to the 4th, or the Sun. The po- 
pular belief (which first appears in Dion 
Cassius) that the series in question refers 
to a horary division of 24 is incorrect; 
for in that case, although the order is 
the same, the succession is inverted. 
One thing indeed seems to be certain, 
that if the Chaldeans were the inventors 
of the^ hebdomadal nomenclature, they 
must have borrowed their earliest astro- 
nomical science from the same source 
which supplied the Hindoos ; for it could 
not have been by accident that a horary 
division of 60 was adopted by both 
races.— H. C. K.] 

2 There is reason to believe that this 
account, though it may be greatly ex- 
aggerated, is not devoid of a founda- 

tion. The temple at Borsippa (see the 
preceding note) appears to have had 
its fourth and seventh stages actually 
coated with gold and silver respectively. 
And it seems certain that there was 
often in Oriental towns a most lavish 
display of the two precious metals. The 
sober Polybius relates that, at the 
southern Agbatana, the capital of Media 
Magna, the enth'e woodwork of the 
royal palace, including beams, ceilings, 
and pillars, was covered with plates 
either of gold or silver, and that the 
whole building was roofed with silver 
tiles. The temple of Anaitis was adorned 
in a similar way. (Polyb. x. yxvii. 
§ 10-12.) Consequently, though Darius, 
when he retreated before Alexander, 
carried off from Media gold and silver 
to the amount of 7000 talents (more 
than 1,700,000?.), and though the town 
was largely plundered by the soldiers 
of Alexander and of Seleucus Nicator, 
still there remained tiles and plating 
enough to produce to Antiochus the 
Great on his occupation of the place a 
sum of very nearly 40u0 talents, or 
975,000/. sterling! (See Arrian. Exp. 
Alex. iii. 19. Polyb. 1. s. c.) 


writing, and sent in to the king, who passed his judgment upon 
the contents, and transmitted his decisions to the parties con- 
cerned: besides which he had spies and eavesdroppers in all 
parts of his dominions, and if he heard of any act of oppression, 
he sent for the guilty party, and awarded him the punishment 
meet for his offence. 

101. Thus Deioces collected the Modes into a nation, and 
ruled over them alone. Now these are the tribes of which they 
consist : the Busae, the Paretaceni, the Struchates, the Arizanti, 
the Budii, and the Magi."^ 

102. Having reigned three-and-fifty years, Deioces was at his 
death succeeded by his son Phraortes. This prince, not satisfied 
with a dominion which did not extend beyond the single nation 
of the Modes, began by attacking the Persians ; and marching 
an army into their country, brought them under the Median 
yoke before any other people. After this success, being now^ at 
the head of two nations, both of them powerful, he proceeded to 
conquer Asia, overrunning province after province. At last he 
engaged in war with the Assyrians — those Assyrians, I mean, to 
whom Nineveh belonged,'^ who were formerly the lords of Asia. 
At present they stood alone by the revolt and desertion of their 
allies, yet still their internal condition was as flourishing as ever. 
Phraortes attacked them, but perished in the expedition with 
the greater part of his army, after having reigned over the Modes 
two-and-twenty years. 

103. On the death of Phraortes ^ his son Cyaxares ascended 

^ Mr. Grote speaks of the Median said by any historian of repute to have 

tribes as coincidbv.] in number with the been slain in battle with the Assyrians, 

fortified circles in the town of Agbatana, are the sole grounds for this identifica- 

and thence concludes that Herodotus tion. But the Book of Judith is a pure 

conceived the seven circles as intended historical romance, which one is sur- 

each for a distinct tribe (Hist, of Greece, prised to find critical writers at the pre- 

vol. iii. p. 306). But the number of the sent day treating as serious (See Clin- 

Median tribes is not seven but six ; and ton's F. H., vol. i. p, 275; Bosanquet's 

the circles are not in the town, but Fall of Nineveh, p. 16.) The following 

around the palace. Herodotus says ex- are a few of the anomalies which con- 

pressly that the people dwelt outside demn it. 
the outermost circle. The Jews are recently returned from 

4 Herodotus intends here to distin- the captivity (ch. iv. ver. 13, 18-19), 

guish the Assyrians of Assyria Proper Joacim (Joiakim) is the High Priest, 

from the Babylonians, whom he calls He was the son of Jeshuah, and contem- 

also Assyrians (i. 178, 188, &c.). Against porary with Ezra and Nehemiah (Neh. 

the latter he means to say this expedi- xii. 10-26). The date of the events 

tion was not directed. narrated should therefore be about B.C. 

^ Phraortes has been thought by some 450-30, in the reign of Artaxerxes Longi- 

to be the Arphaxad of the Book of man us. Yet, 1. Nineveh is standing, 

Judith. A fanciful resemblance be- and is the capital of Nabuchodonosor's 

tween the names, and the fact that kingdom (i. I). 2. Assyria is the great 

Phraoi^tes is tlie only Median monai'ch monarchy of the time (i. 7-10). 3. Per- 

o 2 



Book I. 

the throne. Of him it is reported that he was still more war- 
like than any of his ancestors, and that he was the first who 
gave organization to an Asiatic army, dividing the troops into 
companies, and forming distinct bodies of the spearmen, the 
archers, and the cavalry, who before his time had been mingled 
in one mass, and confused together. He it was who fought 
against the Lydians on the occasion when the day was changed 
suddenly into night, and who brought under his dominion the 
whole of Asia beyond the Halys.^ This prince, collecting 
together all the nations which owned his sway, marched against 
Nineveh, resolved to avenge his lather, and cherishing a hope 
that he might succeed in taking the town. A battle was fought, 
in which the Assyrians suffered a defeat, and Cyaxares had 
already begun the siege of the place, when a numerous horde of 
Scyths, under their king Madyes,^ son of Protothyes, burst into 
Asia in pursuit of the Cimmerians whom they had driven out of 
Europe, and entered the Median territory. 

104. The distance from the Palus Moeotis to the river Phasis 
and the Colchians is thirty days' journey for a lightly-equipped 
traveller.^ From Colchis to cross into Media does not take long 

sia is subject to Assyria (i. 7). 4. Egypt 
is also subject (i. 9-10). Media, how- 
ever, is an independent kingdom under 
Arphaxad, who as the builder of the 
walls of Ecbatana should be Deioces or 

The book appears to be the work of 
a thoroughly Hellenized Jew, and could 
not therefore have been written before 
the time of Alexander. It is a mere 
romance, and has been assigned with 
much probability to the reign of Anti- 
ochus Epiphanes (Grotius in the Preface 
to his Annotations on the Book of Ju- 
dith ; Works, vol, i. p. 578). It has 
many purely Greek ideas in it, as the 
mention of the Giants, the sons of the 
Titans (ch. xvi. ver. 7), and the crowning 
with a chaplet of olive (ch. xv. ver. 13). 
Probably also the notion of a demand 
for earth and water (ii. 7) came to the 
writer from his acquaintance with Greek 
history. At least there is no trace of 
its having been an Assyrian custom. 

^ Vide supra, chapter 74, 

' According to Strabo, Madys, or 
Madyes, was a Cimmerian prince who 
drove the Treres out of Asia (i, p. 91), 
The true nature of the Scythian war of 
Cyaxares is considered in the Critical 
Essays, Essay iii. § 9. [The Sacte or 
Scythians, who were termed Gimiri {the 

tribes?) by their Semitic neighbours, 
first appear in the Cuneiform inscrip- 
tions as a substantive people under Esar- 
Haddon in about b. c. 684. They were 
at that time in the Kurdish mountains, 
and were ruled over by a king, Tei(sj>u, 
whose name betrays his Arian descent. 
The Gimiii had considerably increased 
in power under the reign of Esar-Had- 
don's sou, (about B.C. 670), and seem 
to have been already threatening the 
Assyrian frontier, — H. C. R.] 

^ From the mouth of the Palus 
Mwotis, or Sea of Azof, to the river 
Hiiyn, (the ancient Phasis) is a distance 
of about 270 geographical miles, or but 
little more than the distance (240 geog, 
miles) from the gulf of Issus to the 
Euxine, which was called (ch, 72) "a. 
journey of five days for a lightly equipped 
traveller," We may learn from this 
that Herodotus did not intend the day's 
journey for a measure of length. He 
related the reports which had reached 
him. He was told that a man might 
cross from Issus to the Black Sea in five 
days, which perhaps was possible, and 
that it would take a month to reach the 
Sea of Azof from Colchis, which, consi- 
dering the enormous difficulties of the 
route, is not improbable. It is ques- 
tionable whether the coast line can ever 

Chap. 103-105 



— there is only a single intervening nation, the Saspirians,^ 
passing whom you find yourself in Media. This however was 
not the road followed by the Scythians, who turned out of the 
straight course, and took the upper route, which is much longer, 
keeping the Caucasus upon their right.^ The Scythians, having 
thus invaded Media, were opposed by the Modes, who gave them 
battle, but, being defeated, lost their empire. The Scythians 
became masters of Asia. 

105. After this they marched forward with the design of 
invading Egypt. When they had reached Palestine, however, 
Psammetichus the Egyptian king^ met them with gifts and 
prayers, and prevailed on them to advance no further. On 
their return, passing through Ascalon, a city of Syria,^ the 

have been practicable at all. If not, 
the communication must have been cir- 
cuitous, and have included the passage 
of the Caucasus, either by the well- 
known Pylse Caucasese between Tiflis 
and Mozdok, or by some unknown pass 
west of that route, of still greater alti- 
tude and difficulty. In either case the 
journey might well occupy 30 days. 

^ The Saspirians are mentioned again 
as lying north of Media (ch. 110), and 
as separating Media from Colchis (iv. 
37). They are joined with the Matieni 
and the Alarodii in the satrapies of 
Darius (iii. 94), with the Alarodii and 
the Colchians in the army of Xerxes 
(vii. 79). They appear to have occupied 
the upper valleys of the Kur (Cyrus) 
and its tributary streams, or nearly the 
modern Russian province of Georgia. 
Ritter (Erdkunde von Asien, vol. vi. 
p. 92) coDJectures their identity with 
the Saparda of the monuments. They 
are perhaps the same as the later Iberi 
with whom their name will connect ety- 
mologically, especially if we consider 
Sapiri to be the true form. (SctTreipot, 
Xi^eipoi, "ifiripoL.) They probably be- 
longed, ethnically, to the same family 
as the ancient Armenians. (See the 
Critical Essays, Essay xi.. On the 
Ethnic Affinities of the Nations of 
Western Asia.) 

1 Herodotus, clearly, conceives the 
Cimmerians to have coasted the Black 
Sea, and appears to have thought that 
the Scythians entered Asia by the route 
of Daghestan, along the shores of the 
Caspian. He does not seem to have 
been aware of the existence of the Pyla3 
Caucasea;, As the eastern shore of the 
Black Sea is certainly impracticable for 

an army, the Cimmerians, if they entered 
Asia by a track west of that said to have 
been followed by the Scythians, can only 
have gained admittance by the Pylse. 

It is always to be borne in mind that 
there are hut two known routes by which 
the Caucasus can be crossed, that of 
Mozdok, traversed by Ker Porter in 
1817, which is kept open by Russian 
military posts, and still forms the regu- 
lar line of communication between Rus- 
sia and the trans-Caucasian provinces, 
and that of Daghestan or Derbend along 
the western shores of the Caspian, which, 
according to De Hell, is ''much more 
impracticable than that by Mozdok." 
(Travels, p. 323, note. Eng. Tr.) This 
latter assertion may, however, be ques- 

2 According to Herodotus, Psamme- 
tichus was engaged for 29 years in the 
siege of Azotus (Ashdod), ii. 157. This 
would account for his meeting the Scy- 
thians in Syria. 

[Justin (ii. 3) speaks of an Egyptian 
king, Vexoris, who retired from before 
the Scythians, when Egypt was only 
saved by its marshes from invasion. The 
name Vexoris must be Bocchoris, though 
the asra assigned to Vexoris does not 
agree with his. — G. W.] 

3 Ascalon was one of the most ancient 
cities of the Philistines (Judges i. 18, 
xiv. 19, &c.). According to Xanthus it 
was founded by a certain Ascalus, the 
general of a Lydian king (Fr. 23); but 
this is very improbable. It lay on the 
coast between Ashdod and Gaza, and 
was distant about 40 miles from Jeru- 
salem (cf. Scyh Peripl. p. 102 ; Strab. 
xvi. p. 1079; Plin., H. N., v. 13, &c.). 
By Strabo's time it had become a place 


greater part of them went their way without doing any damage ; 
but some few who lagged behind pillaged the temple of Celestial 
Venus.* I have inquired and find that the temple at Ascalon is 
the most ancient of all the temples to this goddess ; for the one 
in Cyprus, as the Cyprians themselves admit, was built in imi- 
tation of it ; and that in Cythera was erected by the Phoenicians, 
who belong to this part of Syria. The Scythians who plundered 
the temple were punished by the goddess with the female sick- 
ness, ^^ which still attaches to their posterity. They themselves 
confess that they are afflicted with the disease for this reason, 
and travellers who visit Scythia can see what sort of a disease it 
is. Those who suffer from it are called Enarees.^ 

106. The dominion of the Scythians over Asia lasted eight- 
and-twenty years, during which time their insolence and oppres- 
sion spread ruin on every side. For besides the regular tribute, 
they exacted from the several nations additional imposts, which 
they fixed at pleasure ; and further, they scoured the country 
and plundered every one of whatever they could. At length 
Cyaxares and the Medes invited the greater part of them to a 
banquet, and made them drunk with wine, after which they 
were all massacred. The Medes then recovered their empire, 
and had the same extent of dominion as before. They took 
Nineveh — I will relate how in another history ^ — and conquered 

of small consequence. At the era of the ch. vi. § 108.) This impotency Hippo- 
Crusades it revived, but is now again crates ascribes to venesection, but he 
little more than a village. It retains mentions that the natives believed it to 
its ancient name almost unchanged. be a judgment from the gods. It is 

[Ascalon is first mentioned in cunei- said that traces of the disease are still 

form inscriptions of the time of Sen- foundamong the inhabitants of Southern 

nacherib, liaving been reduced by him Russia. See Potock (Histoire Primitive 

in the famous campaign of his third des Peuples de la Russie, p. 175) and 

year. — H. C. R.] Reineggs (Allgem. topograph. Beschreib. 

'» Herodotus probably intends the Sy- d. Caucas. I. p. 269). 

rian goddess Atergatis or Derceto, who ^ Biihr (in loc.) regards this word as 

was worshipped at Ascalon and else- Greek, and connects it with ipaipo) and 

where in Syria, under the form of a evapa, giving it the sense of " virilitate 

mermaid, or figure half woman half fish spoliati ; " but I "agree with Larcher and 

(cf. Xanth. Fr. 11, Plin. H. N., v. 23, Blakesley that it is in all probability 

Strab. xvi. p. 10G2, 1113, &c.). Her Scythic. 

temple at Ascalon is mentioned by Diod. ^ r^-^Q question whether the 'Aaav- 

Sic. (ii. 4). She may be identified with pioi Xoyoi, promised here, and again in 

Astarte, and therefore with the Venus chapter 184, were ever written or no, 

of the Greeks (cf. Selden, De Diis Syris, has long engaged the attention of the 

Syntagm. II. ch. iii.). learned. Isaac Voss, Des Vignoles, 

5 This malady is thus described by Bouhier (Recherches, ch. i. p. 7), and 

Hippocrates, a younger contemporary Larcher (in loc), have maintained the 

of Herodotus, who himself visited Scy- affirmative ; Bahr, Fabricius, Gerard 

thia: — " evuovxiai yivovrai, Ka\ yvvai- Voss, Dahlmann, and Jager (Disput. 

K^7a ipydCovrai, kol cis at yvvaiKes Sm- Herodot. p. 15) the negative. The 

Keyoi/rai re o/xoicas KaXevuTal re ol tolov- passage of Aristotle (Hist. An. VIII. 

Toi auavbpLe7s." (De Aer. Aq. et Loc. xviii.) wliich affirms that Herodotus, in 

Ghap. 105-107. 



all Assyria except the district of Babylonia. After this Cyaxares 
died, having reigned over the Modes, if we include the time of 
the Scythian rule, forty years. 

107. Astyages, the son of Cyaxares, succeeded to the throne. 
He had a daughter who was named Mandane, concerning whom 
he had a wonderful dream. He dreamt that from her such a 
stream of Avater flowed forth as not only to fill his capital, but to 
flood the whole of Asia.^ This^vision he laid before such of the 
Magi as had the gift of interpreting dreams, who expounded its 
meaning to him in full, whereat he was greatly terrified. On this 
account, when his daughter was now of ripe age, he would not give 

his account of the siege of Nineveh, re- 
presented an eagle as drinking, would 
be decisive of the question if the reading 
were certain. Eut some MSS. have 
" 'Hoiodos r]yp6€i tovto." There are, 
however, several objections to this 
reading. For, 1. Hesiod, according to 
the best authorities, died before the 
siege of Nineveh. 2. Neither he, nor 
any writer of his age, composed poems 
on historical subjects. 3. There is no 
known work of Hesiod in which such a 
subject as the siege of Nineveh could 
well have been mentioned. On the other 
hand the siege of that city is exactly one 
of the events of which Herodotus had 
promised to make mention in his Assy- 
rian annals. These are strong grounds 
for preferring the reading of 'HpodoTos 
to that of 'HaioSos in the disputed pas- 
sage. It is certainly remarkable that 
no other distinct citation from the work 
is to be found among the remains of 
antiquity, and Larcher appears right in 
concluding from this that the woi'k pe- 
rished early, probably, however, not be 
fore the time of Cephalion (b.C. 120), 
who is said. by Syncellus (i, p. 315, ed. 
Dindorf.) to have followed Hellanicus, 
Ctesias, and Herodotxs in his Assyrian 
history. From Cephalion may have 
come those curious notices in John of 
Malala (ed. Dind. p. 20) concerning the 
Scythic character of the dress, language, 
and laws of the Parthians, which are 
expressly ascribed by him to Herodotus, 
but do not appear in the work of Hero- 
dotus which has come down to us. 

Since the first edition of this volume 
was published, another scholar, whose 
opinion possesses great weight, has pro- 
nounced against the reading of 'HpJSoros 
in the passage of Aristotle above quoted. 
Admitting fully that the reading 'Hfrio- 
Sos cannot possibly stand, Sir Cornewall 

Lewis argues that a poet, and not a 
prose writer, must have been quoted. 
(See ' Notes and Queries,' No. 213, -p. 
57.; The entire passage in Ai^istotle 
runs as follows : — aAA.' 'HpoSoros -r^yvo^i 
TOVTO' TreiroirjKe yap tov ttjs fxavTclas 
irpoeSpou aeroj/ eV ttj Sirjyriaei ttj irepl 
T^v TToKiopKiay t)}v Nipov ivivovTa. Sir C. 
Lewis thinks that the word ■nd-KoiriKe^ 
and the expression Thv ttjs /navTelas 
irpoeSpov '"imply a quotation from a 
poet," and he suggests that the poet 
actually named by Aristotle was Choeri- 
lus (XotpiAos'. It is oi course possible 
that the name originally written maj'^ 
have been altogether lost, and that both 
the MS. readings may be wrong; but be- 
fore we cut the Gordian knot in this 
bold way, we ought to be quite sure 
that our objections to both readings are 
valid ones. It does not seem to me at 
all improbable that Aristotle may have 
used the word TreTroiTj/te in this place of 
a prose writer, in the sense of ^'fabled" 
or " represented fabuJously." (See Sca- 
liger's note on the place.) And the ex- 
pression, /jLavTcias TTpdeSpoj/, is certainly 
not more poetical than many which He- 
rodotus uses in his '* Histories," even in 
the plain narrative; besides which it . 
may have occurred in an oracle. It is 
worthy of notice that Aristotle else- 
where takes the trouble to correct a 
mistake made by Herodotus in Natural 
History, (see note on Book iii. ch. 108), 
evidently regarding the assertions of so 
painstaking an observer as worth notice ; 
but he would scarcely make it his busi- 
ness to correct the endless misstate- 
ments of poets upon such matters. 

^ Nicolas of Damascus assigns this 
dream t© Argoste, who, according to 
him, was the mother of Cyrus. (Fragm. 
Hist. Gr. III. p. 399, Fr. 66.) 



Book 1. 

her in marriage to any of the Medes who were of suitable rank, 
lest the dream should be accomplished ; but he married her to a 
Persian of good family indeed,^ but of a quiet temper, whom he 
looked on as much inferior to a Mede of even middle condition. 
108. Thus Cambyses (for so was the Persian called) wedded 
Mandane,^ and took her to his home, after which, in the very 
first year, Astyages saw another vision. He fancied that a vine 
grew from the womb of his daughter, and overshadowed the 
whole of Asia. After this dream, which he submitted also to 
the interpreters, he sent to Persia and fetched away Mandane, 
w4io was now with child, and was not far from her time. On 
her arrival he set a watch over her, intending to destroy the 
child to which she should give birth; for the Magian inter- 
preters had expounded the vision to foreshow that the offspring 
of his daughter would, reign over Asia in his stead. To' guard 
against this, Astyages, as soon as Cyrus was born, sent for Har- 

^ Cambyses, the father of Cyrus, ap- 
pears to have been not only a man of 
good family, but of royal race — the he- 
reditary monarch of his nation, which, 
when it became subject to the Medes, 
still retained its line of native kings, 
the descendants of Achamenes (Hakha- 
manish). In the Behistun Inscription 
(col. 1, par. 4) Darius carries up his ge- 
nealogy to Achsemenes, and asserts that 
' ' eight of his race had been kings before 
himself — he was the ninth." Cambyses, 
the father of Cyrus, Cyrus himself, and 
Cambyses the son of Cyrus, are probably 
included in the eight. Thus Xenophon 
(Cyrop, I. ii. 1) is right, for once, when 
he says, " Tiarphs XeyeraL 6 Kvpos yej/e- 
ffOai KafjL^vaov, U € p cr w v ^aa i\ 4 ci) s." 
[An inscription has been recently 
found upon a brick at Senkereh in lower 
Chaldaea, in which Cyrus the Great calls 
himself ''the son of Cambyses, the pow- 
erful king." This then is decisive as 
to the royalty of the line of Cyrus the 
Great, and is confirmatory of the im- 
pression derived from other evidence, 
that when Darius speaks of eight Acha3- 
menian kings having preceded him, he 
alludes^ to the ancestry of Cyrus the 
Great, and not to his own immediate 
paternal line. See note to the word 
" Achremenidse " inch. 125.— -H.C.R.] 

When^schylus (Pers. 765-785)makes 
Darius the sixth of his line, he counts 
from Cyaxares, the founder of the great 
monarchy co-cxtcnskc icith A sia (f i/' avSp' 
a-n 6.(7 7] s 'A <T I 5 s fxTjAoTpocpou ray^'iv). 

to which Darius had succeeded. The 
first king (MrjSos — 6 irpSoTos rjye/iiojv 
(TTparov) is Cyaxares, the next {eK^ivov 
7ra?y)- Astyages, the third Cyrus, the 
fourth [Kvpov ira7s) Cambyses, the fifth 
Smerdis the Mage (MdpSos — alffx^vq 
irdrpa). There is no discrepancy at all 
(as Mr. Grote appears to imagine, vol. iv. 
p. 248) between the accounts of -^schy- 
lus and Herodotus. 

1 Whether there was really any con- 
nexion of blood between Cyrus and 
Astyages, or whether (as Ctesias as- 
serted, Persic. Excerpt. § 2) they were 
no way related to one another, will per- 
haps never be determined. That Asty- 
ages should marry his daughter to the 
tributary Persian king is in itself pro- 
bable enough; but the Medes would 
be likely to invent such a tale, even 
without any foundation for it, just as the 
Egyptians did with respect to Cambyses 
their conqueror, who was, according to 
them, the son of Cyrus by Nitetis, a 
daughter of Apries (vid. infr. iii. 2); or 
as both the Egyptians and the later Per- 
sians did with regard to Alexander, who 
was called by the former the son of 
Nectanebus (Mos. Chor, ii. 12); and 
who is boldly claimed by the latter, in 
the Shah-Nameh, as the son of Darab, 
king of Persia, by a daughter of Faihikus 
(^lAiTTTTos, ^iXiKKos, Fallakus) king of 
Macedon. The vanity of the conquered 
race is soothed by the belief that the 
conqueror is not altogether a foreigner. 

Chap. 107-110. HAEPAGUS, 201 

pagus, a man of his own house and the most faithful of the 
Modes, to whom he was wont to entrust all his affairs, and 
addressed him thus — " Harpagus, I beseech thee neglect not 
the business with which I am about to charge thee ; neither 
betray thou the interests of tliy lord for others' sake, lest thou 
bring destruction on thine own head at some future time. Take 
the child born of Mandane my daughter ; carry him with thee to 
thy home and slay him there. Then bury him as thou wilt." 
" Oh ! king," replied the other, " never in time past did Har- 
pagus disoblige thee in anything, and be sure tliat through all 
future time he will be careful in nothing to offend. If therefore 
it be thy will that this thing be done, it is for me to serve thee 
with all diligence." 

109. When Harpagus had thus answered, the child was given 
into his liands, clothed in the garb of death, and he hastened 
weeping to his home. There on his arrival he found his wife, 
to whom he told all that Astyages had said. " What then," 
said she, " is it now in thy heart to do ? " " Not what Astyages 
requires," he answered ; " no, he may be madder and more 
frantic still than he is now, but I will not be the man to work 
his will, or lend a helping hand to such a murder as this. 
Many things forbid my slaying him. In the first place the boy 
is my own kith and kin ; and next Astyages is old, and has no 
son.^ If then when he dies the crown should go to his daughter 
— that daughter whose child he now wishes to slay by my hand 
— what remains for me but danger of the fearfullest kind? 
For my own safety, indeed, the child must die ; but some one 
belonging to Astyages must take his life, not I or mine." 

110. So saying he sent off a messenger to fetch a certain 
Mitradates,^ one of the herdsmen of Astyages, whose pasturages 

2 Xenophon (Cyrop. I. iv. § 20) gives certain Atradates, a Mardian, whom po- 
Astyages a son, whom he calls Cyaxares. verty had driven to become a robber, 
The inscriptions tend to confirm Hero- andof Argost^ (qy. Artoste ? ), a woman 
dotus ; for when Frawartish (Phraortes) who kept goats. He took service under 
claims the crown in right of his descent, some of the menials employed about 
it is not as son of Astyages, but as the palace of Astyages, and rose to be 
" descended from Cyaxares." He goes the king's cupbearer. By degrees he 
back to the founder of the monarchy, grew into such favour that Astyages 
as if the line of Astyages had become made his father satrap of Persia, and 
extinct. (SeeBehist. Ins. col. 2,par. 5.) entrusted all matters of importance to 

3 Ctesias seems to have called this himself. 

person Atradates. There can be little [Atradates may fairly be considered 

doubt that the long narrative in Nicolas to be a mere Median synonym for the 

of Damascus (Fragm. Hist. Grcec, vol. Persian Mitradates — the name signi- 

iii. p. 397-406) came from him. Ac- fying " given to the sun," and Atra or 

cording to this, Cyrus was the sou of a Adar (whence Atropatenc) being equi- 


he knew to be tlie fittest for his purpose, lying as they did 
among mountains infested with wild beasts. This man was 
married to one of the king's female slaves, whose Median name 
was Space, which is in Greek Cyno, since in the Median tongue 
the word " Spaca " means a bitch.* The mountains, on the 
skirts of which his cattle grazed, lie to the north of Agbatana, 
towards the Euxine. That part of Media which borders on the 
Saspirians is an elevated tract, very mountainous, and covered 
with forests, while the rest of the Median territory is entirely 
level ground. On the arrival of the herdsman, who came at 
the hasty summons, Harpagus said to him — " Astyages requires 
thee to take this child and lay him in the wildest part of the 
hills, where he will be sure to die speedily. And he bade me 
tell thee, that if thou dost not kill the boy, but anyhow allowest 
him to escape, he will put thee to the most painful of deaths. 
I myself am appointed to see the child exposed." 

111. The herdsman on hearing this took the child in his 
arms, and went back the way he had come till he reached the 
folds. There, providentially, his wife, wdio had been expecting 
daily to be put to bed, had just, during the absence of her hus- 
band, been delivered of a child. Both the herdsman and his 
wife were uneasy on each other's account, the former fearful 
because his wife was so near her time, the woman alarmed 
because it was a new thing for her husband to be sent for by 
Harpagus. When therefore he came into the house upon his 
return, his wife, seeing him arrive so unexpectedly, was the first 
to speak, and begged to know M^hy Harpagus had sent for him 
in such a hurry. " Wife," said he, " when I got to the town I 
saw and heard such things as I would to heaven I had never 
seen — such things as I Avould to heaven had never happened to 
our masters. Every one was weeping in Harpagus's house. It 
quite frightened me, but I went in. The moment I stepped 
inside, what should I see but a baby lying on the floor, panting 
and whimpering, and all covered with gold, and wrapped in 
clothes of such beautiful colours. Harpagus saw me, and di- 
rectly ordered me to take the child in my arms and carry him 

valent in Median, as a title of that lumi- Zend, in Russian under the form of 

nary (or of fire, which was the usual " sabac," and in some parts of modern 

emblem of his worship) to the Persian Persia as "aspaka." The word seems 

Mitni ov Mihr. — H. C.R.] to be an instance of onomatopooia. 

■ "* A root "spak" or *'svak" is com- (Compare the English "bow-wow" and 

mon for "dog" in the Indo-European "bark.") 
languages. It occurs iu Sanscrit and 

Chap. 110-113. SAVED BY THE HERDSMAN'S WIFE. 208 

off, and what was I to do with him, think you? Why, to lay 
him in the mountains, where the wild beasts are most plentiful. 
And he told me it was the king himself that ordered it to be 
done, and he threatened me with such dreadful things if I failed. 
So I took the child up in my arms, and carried him along. 
I thought it might be the son of one of the household slaves. 
I did wonder certainly to see the gold and the beautiful baby- 
clothes, and I could not think why there was such a weeping in 
Harpagus's house. Well, very soon, as I came along, I got at 
the truth. They sent a servant with me to show me the way 
out of the town, and to leave the baby in my hands ; and he told 
me that the child's mother is the king's daughter Mandane, and 
his father Cambyses, the son of Cyrus ; and that the king orders 
him to be killed ; and look, here the child is." 

112. With this the herdsman uncovered the infant, and 
showed him to his wife, who, when she saw him, and observed 
how fine a child and how beautiful he was, burst into tears, and 
clinging to the knees of her husband, besought him on no 
account to expose the babe ; to which he answered, that it was 
not possible for him to do otherwise, as Harpagus would be sure 
to send persons to see and report to him, and he was to suffer a 
most cruel death if he disobeyed. Failing thus in her first 
attempt to persuade her husband, the woman spoke a second 
time, saying, " If then there is no persuading thee, and a child 
must needs be seen exposed upon the mountains, at least do 
thus. The child of which I have just been delivered is still- 
born ; take it and lay it on the hills, and let us bring up as our 
own the child of the daughter of Astyages. So shalt thou not 
be charged with unfaithfulness to thy lord, nor shall we have 
managed badly for ourselves. Our dead babe will have a royal 
funeral, and this living child will not be deprived of life." 

113. It seemed to the herdsman that this advice was the best 
under the circumstances. He therefore followed it without less 
of time. The child which he had intended to put to death he 
gave over to his wife, and his own dead child he put in the 
cradle wherein he had carried the other, clothing it first in all 
the other's costly attire, and taking it in his arms he laid it in 
the wildest place of all the mountain-range. When the child 
had been three days exposed, leaving one of his helpers to watch 
the body, he started off for the city, and going straight to Har- 
pagus's house, declared himself ready to show the corpse of the 
boy. Harpagus sent certain of his body-guard, on whom he had 


the firmest reliance, to view the body for him, and, satisfied with 
their seeing it, gave orders for the funeral. Thus was the 
herdsman's child buried, and the other child, w^ho was afterwards 
known by the name of Cyrus, was taken by the herdsman's wife, 
and brought up under a different name.^ 

114. When the boy was in his tenth year, an accident which 
I will now relate, caused it to be discovered who he was. He 
was at play one day in the village where the folds of the cattle 
were, along with the boys of his own age, in the street. The 
other boys w^ho were playing with him chose the cowherd's son, 
as he was called, to be their king. He then proceeded to order 
them about — some he set to build him houses, others he made 
his guards, one of them was to be the king's eye, another had the 
office of carrying his messages, all had some task or other. 
Among the boys there was one, the son of Artembares, a Mede 
of distinction, who refused to do what Cyrus had set him. 
Cyrus told the other boys to take him into custody, and when 
his orders were obeyed, he chastised him most severely with the 
whip. The son of Artembares, as soon as he was let go, full of 
rage at treatment so little befitting his rank, hastened to the city 
and complained bitterly to his father of what had been done to 
him by Cyrus. He did not, of course, say " Cyrus," by which 
name the boy Vas not yet known, but called him the son of the 
king's cowherd. Artembares, in the heat of his passion, went to 
Astyages, accompanied by his son, and made complaint of the 
gross injury which had been done him. Pointing to the boy's 
shoulders, he exclaimed, " Thus oh ! king, has thy slave, the son 
of a cowherd, heaped insult upon us." 

115. At this sight and these words Astyages, wishing to 
avenge the son of Artembares for his father's sake, sent for the 
cowherd and his boy. When they came together into his 
presence, fixing his eyes on Cyrus, Astyages said, "Hast thou 
then, the son of so mean a fellow as that, dared to behave thus 
rudely to the son of yonder noble, one of the first in my court ?" 
" My lord," replied the boy, " I only treated him as he deserved. 
I Avas chosen king in play by the boys of our village, because 
they thought me the best for it. He himself was one of the 
boys who chose me. All the others did according to my orders ; 
but he refused, and made light of them, until at last he got his 

^ Strabo (xv. p. 1034) says that the corruption ofAtradates, his /a^/je/-'*' name 
original name of Cyrus was Agradates, according to Nic. Damasc. (See the last 
but this would seem to be merely a note but one.) 

Chap. 113-117. ASTYAGES' SUSPICION. 205 

due reward. If for this I deserve to suffer punishment, here I 
am ready to submit to it." 

116. While the boy was yet speaking Astyages was struck 
with a suspicion who he was. He thought he saw something in 
the character of his face hke his own, and there Avas a nobleness 
about the answer he had made ; besides which his age seemed 
to tally with the time when his grandchild was exposed. Asto- 
nished at all this, Astyages could not speak for a while. At 
last, recovering himself with difficulty, and wishing to be quit of 
Artembares, that he might examine the herdsman alone, he said 
to the former, "I promise thee, Artembares, so to settle this 
business that neither thou nor thy son shall have any cause to 
complain." Artembares retired from his presence, and the 
attendants, at the bidding of the king, led Cyrus into an inner 
apartment. Astyages then being left alone with the herdsman, 
inquired of him where he had got the boy, and who had given 
him to him ; to which he made answer that the lad was his own 
child, begotten by himself, and that the mother who bore him was 
still alive, and lived with him in his house. Astyages remarked 
that he was very ill-advised to bring himself into such great 
trouble, and at the same time signed to his body-guard to lay 
hold of him. Then the herdsman, as they were dragging him to 
the rack, began at the beginning, and told the whole story 
exactly as it happened, without concealing anything, ending 
with entreaties and prayers to the king to grant him forgive- 

117. Astyages, having got the truth of the matter from the 
herdsman, was very little further concerned about him, but with 
Harpagus he was exceedingly enraged. The guards were 
bidden to summon him into the presence, and on his appear- 
ance Astyages asked him, "By what death was it, Harpagus, 
that thou slewest the child of my daughter whom I gave into thy 
hands ? " Harpagus, seeing the cowherd in the room, did not 
betake himself to lies, lest he should be confuted and proved 
false, but replied as follows : — " Sire, when thou gavest the child 
into my hands I instantly considered with myself how I could 
contrive to execute thy wishes, and yet, while guiltless of any 
unfaithfulness towards thee, avoid imbruing my hands in blood 
which was in truth thy daughter's and thine own. And this was 
how I contrived it. I sent for this cowherd, and gave the child 
over to him, telling him that by the king's orders it was to be 
put to death. And in this I told no lie, for thou hadst so com- 


manded. Moreover, when I gave him the child, I enjoined him 
to lay it somewhere in the wilds of the mountains, and to stay 
near and watch till it was dead ; and I threatened him with all 
manner of punishment if he failed. Afterwards, when he had 
done according to all that I commanded him, and the child had 
died, I sent some of the most trustworthy of my eunuchs, who 
viewed the body for me, and then I had the child buried. This, 
sire, is the sunple truth, and this is the death by which the child 

118. Thus Harpagus related the whole story in a plain, 
straightforward way ; upon which Astyages, letting no sign 
escape him of the anger that he felt, began by repeating to him 
all that he had just heard from the cowherd, and then concluded 
with saying, " So the boy is alive, and it is best as it is. For the 
child's fate was a great sorrow to me, and the reproaches of my 
daughter went to my heart. Truly fortune has played us a good 
turn in this. Go thou home then, and send thy son to be with 
the new comer, and to-night, as I mean to sacrifice thank- 
offerings for. the child's safety to the gods to whom such honour 
is due, I look to have thee a guest at the banquet." 

119. Harpagus, on hearing this, made obeisance, and went 
home rejoicing to find that his disobedience had turned out so 
fortunately, and that, instead of being punished, he was invited 
to a banquet given in honour of the happy occasion. The 
moment he reached home he called for his son, a youth of about 
thirteen, the only child of his parents, and bade him go to the 
palace, and do whatever Astyages should direct. Then, in the 
gladness of his heart, he went to his wife and told her all that 
had happened. Astyages, meanwhile, took the son of Harpagus, 
and slew him, after which he cut him in pieces, and roasted some 
portions belbre the fire, and boiled others ; and when all were 
duly prepared, he kept them ready for use. The hour for the 
banquet came, and Harpagus appeared, and with him the other 
guests, and all sat down to the feast. Astyages and the rest of 
the guests had joints of meat served up to them ; but on the 

, table of Harpagus, nothing was placed except the flesh of his own 
son. 'This was all put before him, except the hands and feet and 
head, which were laid by themselves in a covered basket. When 
Harpagus seemed to have eaten his fill, Astyages called out to 
him to know how he had enjoyed the repast. On his reply that 
he had enjoyed it excessively, they whose business it was brought 
him the basket, in which were the hands and feet and head of 


liis son, and bade him open it, and take out what he pleased. 
Harpagus accordingly uncovered the basket, and saw within it 
the reaiains of his son. The sight, however, did not scare him, 
or rob him of his self-possession. Being asked by Astyages if he 
knew what beast's llesh it was that he had been eating, he 
answered that he knew very well, and that whatever the king 
did was agreeable. After this reply, he took with him such 
morsels of the flesh as were uneaten, and went home, intending, 
as I conceive, to collect the remains and bury them. 

120. Such was the mode in which Astyages punished Har- 
pagus: afterwards, proceeding to consider what he should do 
with Cyrus, his grandchild, he sent for the Magi, who formerly 
interpreted his dream in the way Avhich alarmed him so much, 
and asked them how they had expounded it. They answered, 
without varying from what they had said before, that " the boy 
must needs be a king if he grew up, and did not die too soon." 
Then Astyages addressed them thus : " The boy has escaped, and 
lives ; he has been brought up in the country, and the lads of 
the village where he lives have made him their king. All that 
kings commonly do he has done. .He has had his guards, and 
his doorkeepers, and his messengers, and all the other usual 
officers. Tell me, then, to what, think you, does all this tend?" 
The Magi answered, " If the boy survives, and has ruled as a 
king without any craft or contrivance, in that case we bid thee 
cheer up, and feel no more alarm on his account. He will -not 
reign a second time. For we have found even oracles sometimes 
fulfilled in an unimportant way ; and dreams, still oftener, have 
wondrously mean accomplishments." " It is what I myself most 
incline to think," Astyages rejoined ; " the boy having been 
already king, the dream is out, and I have nothing more to fear 
from him. Nevertheless, take good heed and counsel me the 
best you can for the safety of my house and your own interests." 
^' Truly," said the Magi in reply, "it very much concerns our 
interests that thy kingdom be firmly established ; for if it went 
to this boy it w-ould pass into foreign hands, since he is a 
Persian: and then we Modes should lose our freedom, and 
be quite despised by the Persians, as being foreigners. But so 
long as thou, our fellow-countryman, art on the throne, all 
manner of honours are ours, and we are even not without some 
share in the government. Much reason therefore have we to 
forecast well for thee and for thy sovereignty. If then we saw 
any cause for present fear, be sure we would not keep it back 


from thee. But truly we are persuaded that the dream has had 
its accomplishment in this harmless way ; and so our own fears 
being at rest, we recommend thee to banish thine. As for the 
boy, our advice is, that thou send him away to Persia, to his 
father and mother." 

121. Astyages heard their answer with pleasure, and calling 
Cyrus into his presence, said to him, " My child, I was led to do 
thee a wrong by a dream which has come to nothing : from that 
wrong thou wert saved by thy own good fortune. Go now with 
a light heart to Persia; I will provide thy escort. Go, and 
when thou gettest to thy journey's end, thou wilt behold thy 
father and thy mother, quite other people from Mitradates the 
cowherd and his wife." 

122. With these words Astyages dismissed his grandchild. 
On his arrival at the house of Cambyses, he was received by his 
parents, who, when they learnt who he was, embraced him 
heartily, having always been convinced that he died almost 
as soon as he was born. So they asked him by what means he 
had chanced to escape ; and he told them how that till lately he 
had known nothing at all about the matter, but had been mis- 
taken — oh! so widely ! — and how that he had learnt his history 
by the way, as he came from Media. He had been quite sure 
that he was the son of the king's cowherd, but on the road the 
king's escort had told him all the truth ; and then he spoke of 
the cowherd's wife who had brought him up, and filled his whole 
talk with her praises; in all that he had to tell them about 
himself, it was always Cyno — Cyno was everything. So it 
happened that his parents, catching the name at his mouth, and 
wishing to persuade the Persians that there was a special provi- 
dence in his preservation, spread the report that Cyrus, when he 
was exposed, was suckled by a bitch. This was the sole origin 
of the rumour.^ 

128. Afterwards, when Cyrus grew to manhood, and became 
known as the bravest and most popular of all his compeers, 

^ Mr. Gi-ote observes with i-eason that which carried Bellerophon was a sliip 

"the miraculous story is the okler of named Pegasus " (vol, iv. p. 246, note), 

the tWo," and that the commonplace A somewhat different mode was found 

version of it preferred by Herodotus is of rationalising the myth of Romulus 

due to certain " rationalising Greeks or and Remus, suckled, according to the 

Persians " at a subsequent period. In old tradition, by a she-wolf, which may 

the same spirit he remarks "the ram be seen in Livy (i. 4): — "Sunt, qui 

which carried Phryxus and Helle across Larentiam, vulgato corpore. lupam inter 

the Hellespont is i-epresented to us as pastores vocatam putent ; inde locum 

having been in reality a man named Krim, fabulae et mu^aculo datum." 
who aided their flight— the winged horse 


Chap. 120-125. REVENGE OF HAnPAGUS. 209 

Harpagus, who was bent on revenging himself upon Astyages, 
began to pay him court by gifts and messages. His own rank 
was too humble for him to hope to obtain vengeance without 
some foreign help. When therefore he saw Cyrus, Avhose 
wrongs were so similar to his own, growing up expressly (as it 
were) to be the avenger whom he needed, lie set to work to 
procure his support and aid in the matter. He had already 
paved the w^ay for his designs, by persuading, severally, the 
great Median nobles, whom the harsh rule of their monarch had 
offended, that the best plan would be to put Cyrus at their 
head, and dethrone Astyages. These preparations made, Har- 
pagus being now ready for revolt, was anxious to make known 
his wishes to Cyrus, who still lived in Persia ; but as the roads 
between Media and Persia were guarded, he had to contrive a 
means of sending word secretly, which he did in the following 
way. He took a hare, and cutting open its belly without 
hurting the fur, he slipped in a letter containing what he wanted 
to say, and then carefully sewing up the paunch, he gave the 
hare to one of his most faithful slaves, disguising him as a 
hunter wath nets, and sent him off t-o Persia to take the game 
as a present to Cyrus, bidding him tell Cyrus, by word of mouth, 
to paunch the animal himself, and let no one be present at the 

124. All was done as he wished, and Cyrus, on cutting the 
hare open, found the letter inside, and read as follows : — " Son 
of Cambyses, the gods assuredly w^atch over thee, or never 
wouldst thou have passed through thy many w^onderful adven- 
tures — now is the time w^hen thou mayst avenge thyself upon 
Astyages, thy murderer. He willed thy death, remember ; to the 
pods and to me thou owest that thou art still alive. I think 
thou art not ignorant of what he did to thee, nor of what I 
suffered at his hands because I committed thee to the cowherd, 
and did not put thee to death. Listen now to me, and obey my 
words, and all the empire of Astyages shall be thine. Raise the 
standard of revolt in Persia, and then march straight on Media. 
Whether Astyages appoint me to command his forces against 
thee, or whether he appoint any other of the princes of the 
Modes, all will go as thou couldst wish. They will be tlie first 
to fall away from him, and joining thy side, exert themselves to 
overturn his power. Be sure that on our part all is ready; 
Avherefore do thou thy part, and that speedily." 

125. Cyrus, on receiving the tidings contained in this letter, 
VOL. I. ' P 



Book I. 

set himself to consider how he miglit best persuade the Persians 
to revolt. After much thought, he hit on the following as the 
most expedient course : he Awote what he thought proper upon 
a roll, and then calling an assembly of the Persians, he unfolded 
the roll, and read out of it that A sty ages appointed him their 
general. "And now," said he, "since it is so, I command you 
to go and bring each man his reaping-hook." With these words 
he dismissed the assembly. 

Now the Persian nation is made up of many tribes.' Those 
which Cyrus assembled and persuaded to revolt from the Medes, 
were the principal ones on which all the others are dejoendent.^ 
These are the Pasargadae,® the Maraphians,^ and the Maspians, of 

■^ Accordiug to Xenophon the number 
of the Persian tribes was twelve (Cyrop. 
I. ii. § 5), according to Herodotus, ten. 
The authority of the former, always 
weak except with respect to his own 
times, is here rendered still more doubt- 
ful by the frequency with which this 
same number twelve occurs in his nar- 
rative. Kot only are the tribes twelve, 
and the supeiuntendents of the educa- 
tion twelve, but the whole number of 
the nation is twelve myriads (i. ii. § 15), 
Cyrus is subject to the Persian discipline 
for twelve years (i. iii. § 1), &c. &c. 

^ The distinction of superior and in- 
ferior tribes is common among nomadic 
and semi-nomadic nations. The Golden 
Horde of the Calmucks is w^ell known. 
Many Arab tribes are looked down 
upon with contempt by the Bedoweens. 
Among the Mongols the dominion of 
superior over inferior tribes is said to 
be carried to the extent of a very cruel 
tyranny (Pallas, Mongol. Volker, vol. ii 
p. 185). The Scythians in the time of 
Herodotus were divided, very nearly as 
the Persians, into three grades, Royal 
Scythians, Husbandmen, and Nomads. 
(Yid. inf. iv. 17-20.) 

^ Pasargada? was not only the name of 
the principal Persian tribe, but also of 
the ancient capital of the countiy (Strab. 
XV. p. 1035.) Stephen of Byzantium 
(in voc. Uaa a apydd at) translates the 
w6rd "the encampment of the Per- 
sians." If we accept this meaning, we 
must regard Pasargada as a corruption of 
Parsagadse, a form which is preserved in 
Quintus Curtius (Y. vi. § 10, X. i. § 22.). 

Accoi'ding to Anaximenes (ap. Steph. 
Byz. 1. s. c.) Cyrus founded Pasargadco ; 
but Ctesias appears to have represented 
it as already a place of importance at 
the time when t'yrus revolted. (See 

the newly-discovered fragment of iSTic. 
Damasc. in the Fragra. Hist. Grac. vol. 
iii. pp. 405-6, ed. Didot.) There seems 
to be no doubt that it -was the Persian 
capital of both Cyrus and Cambyses, 
Persepolis being founded by Darius. 
Cyrus was himself buried there, as w^e 
learn from Ctesias (Pers. Exc. § 9), 
Arrian (vi. 29;, andStrabo (xv. p. lo35). 
It was afterwards the place where the 
kings were inaugurated (Plutarch, Artax. 
c. 3), and was placed under the special 
protection of the Magi. Hence Pliny 
spoke of it as a castle occupied by the 
Magi ("inde ad orientem Magi obtinent 
Pasargadas castellum," vi. 26). 

It seems tolerably certain that the 
modern Murg-aab is the site of the an- 
cient Pasargadse. Its position with res- 
pect to Persepolis, its strong situation 
among the mountains, its remains bearing 
the marks of high antiquit}'', and, above 
all, the name and tomb of Cyrus, which 
have been discovered among the ruins, 
mark it for the capital of that monarch 
beyond all reasonable doubt. The best 
account of the present condition of the 
ruins will be found in Ker Porter's Tra- 
vels (vol. i. pp. 485-51 0). Murg-aub is 
the oiihj place in Persia at which inscrip- 
tions of the age of Cyrus have been 
discovered. The ruined buildings bear 
the following legend: — "Adam Kurush, 
khshayathiya, Hakhamanishiya " — "I 
[am] Cyrus the king, the Acha^menian." 
For an account of the tomb of Cyrus, 
vide infra, note on ch. 214. 

^ Only one instance is found of a 
Maraphian holdmg an important office. 
Amasis, the commander whom Aryandes 
sent to the relief of Pheretima, was av-rjo 
Mapd(f)ios (iv. 167). In general the 
commanders are Achsemenians, now and 
then they are called simply Pasargada\ 

Chap. 125. 



whom tlic Pasargada3 are the noblest. The Achaimeiiidse,^ from 
which spring- all the Pcrseicl kings, is one of their clans. The 
rest of the Persian tribes are the following : ^ the Panthialseans^ 
the Derusiacans, the Germanians^ who are engaged in hus- 
bandry ; the Daans, the Mardians, the Dropicans, and the 
Sagartians, who are Nomads."^ 

^ The Achsemenidse were the royal 
family of Persia, the descendants of 
Achffimenes (Hakhamanish), who was 
probably the leader under whom the 
Persians first settled in the coimtry 
which has ever since borne their name. 
This Achsemenes is mentioned by Hero- 
dotus as the founder of the kingdom 
(iii. 75; vii. 11). His name aj^pears in 
the Behistun inscription twice (col. 1, 
par. 2, and Detached Inscript. A.) In 
each case it is asserted that the name 
Acha3menian attached to the dynasty 
on account of the descent from Achse- 
menes. " Awahya radiya way am Hak- 
hamanishiya thatyamahya" — "Ea ra- 
tione nos Acha;menenses appellamur." 
In all the inscriptions the kings of Persia 
glory in the title. 

[The commencement of the Behistun 
inscription, rightly understood, is of 
great importance for the illustration of 
the history of the Acha}menians. Dai-ius 
in the first paragraph styles himself an 
Achsemenian; in the second, he shows 
his right to this title by tracing his pa- 
ternal ancestry to Acha;menes; in the 
third, he goes on to glorify the Acha}- 
menian family by describing the anti- 
quity of their descent, and the fact of 
their having for a long time past fur- 
nished kings to the Persian nation; and 
in the fourth paragraph he further ex- 
plains that eight of the Achccmenian 
family have thus already filled the 
throne of Persia, and that he is the 
ninth of the line who is called to rule 
over his countrymen. In this statement, 
however, Darius seems to put forward 
no claim whatever to include his imme- 
diate ancestry among the Persian kings ; 
they are mei'ely enumerated in order 
to establish his claim to Aclaa^menian 
descent, and are in no case distinguished 
by the title of khshdijathiya, or " king." 
So clear indeed and fixed was the tradi- 
tion of the royal family in this respect, 
that both Artaxerxes ]\Inemon and Ar- 
taxerxes Ochus (see Journal of the Asiat. 
Soc, vol. X. p. 34-2, and vol. xv. p. 159), 
may be observed, in tracing their pedi- 
gree, to qualify eacli ancestor by the 
title of king vp to Darius, but from that 

time to drop the royal title, and to 
speak of Hystaspes and Arsames as mere 
private individuals. It will be impossi- 
ble, at the same time, to make up from 
Grecian history the list of nine kings, 
extending, according to the inscription, 
from Achsemenes to Darius, without 
including Bardius or the true Smerdis, 
and he appears to have been slain before 
his brother left for Egyj^t. The other 
names will undoubtedly be Cambyses, 
Cyrus the Great, Cambyses his Either, 
Cyrus (Herod, i. Ill), Cambyses (whose 
sister Atossa married Pharnaces of Cap- 
padocia. Phot. Bibl. p. 1158), Teispes 
(Herod, vii. 11); and Achsemenes. In 
preference, perhaps, to inserting Bardius 
at the commencement of this list, I 
would suggest that the ninth king among 
the predecessors of Darius may have 
been the father of Achsemenes named by 
the Greeks J^geus, or Perses, or some- 
times Perseus, being thus confounded 
with the eponymous hero of the Persian 
race. The name Achsemenes, although 
occupying so prominent a position in 
authentic Persian history, is unknown 
either in the antique traditions of the 
Vendidad, or in the romantic legends of 
the so-called Kaianian dynasty, probably 
because Achsemenes lived after the com- 
pilation of the Vendidad, but so long 
before the invention of the romances that 
his name was forgotten. The name signi- 
fies " friendly " or '' possessing friends," 
being formed of a Persian word, hakhd, 

corresponding to the Sanscrit ^ra°T 

sahhd, and an attributive aflfix equivalent 
to the Sanscrit mat, which forms the 
nominative in man. M. Oppert thinks 
that we have another trace of the Per- 
sian word hakhd in the ApraxaiTjs of 
Herodotus (vii. 63). See the Journal 
Asiatique, 4""' seVie, torn, xvii p '?G8 
—H. C.R.J ■^■" ' 

Achsemenes continued to be used as 
a family name in after times. It was 
borne by one of the sons of Darius 
Hystaspes (infra, vii. 7). 

3 See Essay iv., " On the Ten Tribes 
of the Persians." 

* Nomadic hordes must alwaj-s be an 

p 2 


126. When, in obedience to tlie orders which they had 
received, the Persians came with their reaping-hooks, Cyrns led 
them to a tract of ground, about eighteen or twenty furlongs 
each way, covered with thorns, and ordered them to clear it 
before the day was out. They accomplished their task ; upon 
which he issued a second order to them, to take the bath the day 
following, and again come to him. Meanwhile he collected 
together all his father's flocks, both sheep and goats, and all his 
oxen, and slaughtered them, and made ready to give an enter- 
tainment to the entire Persian army. Wine, too, and bread of 
the choicest kinds were prepared for the occasion. When the 
morrow came, and the Persians appeared, he bade them recline 
upon the grass, and enjoy themselves. After the feast was 
over, he requested them to tell him " which tliey liked best, 
to-day's work, or yesterday's?" They answered that "the 
contrast was indeed strong: yesterday brought them nothing 
but what was bad, to-day everything that was good." Cyrus 
instantly seized on their reply, and laid bare his purpose in 
these words: "Ye men of Persia, thus do matters stand with 
you. If you choose to hearken to my words, you may enjoy 
these and ten thousand similar delights, and never condescend 
to any slavish toil ; but if you will not hearken, prepare your- 
selves for unnumbered toils as hard as yesterday's. Now there- 
fore follow my bidding, and be free. For myself I feel that I am 
destined by Providence to undertake your liberation ; and you, 
I am sure, are no whit inferior to the Modes in anything, least 
of all in bravery. Eevolt, therefore, from Astyages, without a 
moment's delay." 

127. The Persians, who had long been impatient of the 
Median dominion, now that they had found a leader, were 
delighted to shake off the yoke. Meanwhile Astyages, in- 
formed of the doings of Cyrus, sent a messenger to summon him 
to his presence. Cyrus replied, "Tell Astyages that I shall 
appear in his presence sooner than he will like." Astyages, 
when he received this message, instantly armed all his subjects, 

important element in the population of great importance in a military point of 
Persia. Large portions of the country view. Of the four nomadic tribes men- 
are only habitable at certain seasons of tioned by Herodotus the Sagartians ap- 
the year. Recently the wandering tribes pear to have been the most powerful. 
(Ilyats) have been calculated at one- They were contained in the 14th Sa- 
half (Kinneir, Persian Empire, p. 44), trapy (iii. 93) and furnished 8000 
or at the least one-fourth (Morier, Jour- horsemen to the army of Xerxes (vii. 
nal of Geograph. Soc, vol. vii. p. 230) 85), who were armed with daggers and 
of the entire population. They are of lassoes. 

Chap. 126-129. ASTYAGES AND HARPAGUS. 213 

and, as if God had deprived him of his senses, appointed liar- 
pagus to be their general, forgetting how greatly he had injured 
liiin. So when the two armies met and engaged, only a few of 
the Modes, who were not in the secret, fought ; others deserted 
openly to the Persians ; while the greater number counterfeited 
fear, and fled. 

128. Astyages, on learning' the shameful fliglit and dispersion 
of his army, broke out into threats against Cyrus, saying, 
" Cyrus shall nevertheless have no reason to rejoice ;" and 
directly he seized the Magian interpreters, who had persuaded 
him to allow Cyrus to escape, and impaled them ; after which, 
he armed all the Modes who had remained in the city, both 
young and old ; and leading them against the Persians, fought 
a battle, in which he was utterly defeated, his army being- 
destroyed, and he himself falling into the enemy's hands.^ 

129. Harpagus then, seeing him a prisoner, came near, and 
exulted over him with many gibes and jeers. Among other 
cutting speeches which he made, he alluded to the supper where 
the flesh of his son was given him to eat, and asked Astyages to 
answer him now, how he enjoyed being a slave instead of a 
king? Astyages looked in his face, and asked him in return, 
why he claimed as his own the achievements of Cyrus? 
"Because," said Harpagus, "it was my letter which made him 
revolt, and so I am entitled to all the credit of the enterprise." 
Then Astyages declared, that " in that case he was at once the 
silliest and the most unjust of men : the silliest, if when it was 

^ According to the fragment of Nico- Strab. xv. p. 1036), for the spoils were 

las of Damascus, to which reference has taken to Pasargada). Astyages fled, 

repeatedly been made, as in all pro- The provinces fell off, and acknow- 

bability containing the account which ledged the sovereignty of Persia. Fi- 

Ctesias gave of the conquest of Astyages nally Cyrus went in pursuit of Astyages, 

by Gyrus, not fewer than five great bat- who had still a small body of adherents, 

ties were fought, all in Persia. In the defeated him, and took him prisoner, 

first and second of these Astyages was This last would seem to be the second 

victorious. In the third, which took battle of Herodotus. Tlie last but one 

place near Pasargadaj, the national is called by Strabo the final struggle, as 

stronghold, where all the women and indeed in one sense it was. It is this 

children of the Persians had been sent, which he says took place near Pasar- 

they succeeded in repulsing their assail- gadse. 

ants. In the fourth, which was fought The narrative of Plutarch (De "^'irtut. 

on the day following the third, and on Mulier. p. 246. A.) belongs to the fourth 

the same battle-ground, they gained a battle, and doubtless came from Ctesias. 
great victory, killing 6U,OuO of the As there is less improbability, and far 

enemy. Still Astyages did not desist less poetry, in the narrative of Nicolaijs 

from his attempt to reconquer them. Damascenus than in that of Herodotus, 

The fifth battle is not contained in the it is perhaps to be preferred, notwith- 

fragment. It evidently, however, took standing the untrustworthiness of Cte- 

place in the same neighbourhood (cf. sias, probably his sole authority. 



in his power to put the crown on his own head, as it must 
assuredly have been, if the revolt was entirely his doing, he had 
placed it on the head of another ; the most unjust, if on account 
of that supper he had brought slavery on the Modes. For, 
supposing that he was obliged to invest another with the kingly 
power, and not retain it himself, yet justice required that a 
Mede, rather than a Persian, should receive the dignity. Now, 
however, the Modes, who had been no parties to the wrong of 
which he complained, were made slaves instead of lords, and 
slaves moreover of those who till recently had been their 

130. Thus after a reign of thirty-five years, Astyages lost his 
crown, and the Medes, in consequence of his cruelty, were 
brought under the rule of the Persians. Their empire over the 
parts of Asia beyond the Halys had lasted one hundred and 
twenty-eight years, except during the time when the Scythians 
had the dominion.^ Afterwards the Medes repented of their 
submission, and revolted from Darius, but were defeated in 
battle, and again reduced to subjection.'^ Now, however, in the 

^ This is a passage of extreme diffi- 
culty. The clause xape| y/ oaou ol Sfcu- 
9ai -^pxov, has been generally under- 
stood to mean, " besides the time that 
the Scythians had the dominion ;" so 
that the entire number of years has 
been supposed to be (r28-f28 = ) 156, 
and Herodotus has thus been considered 
to place the commencement of the Me- 
dian hegemony six years before the ac- 
cession of Deioces. (See the synopsis 
of the opinions on the passage in Clin- 
ton, F. H, vol. i. pp. 257-9 ; and infra. 
Essay iii. § 13.) But Trape^ v) seems 
rightly explained by Valckenaer and 
Clinton as, not " besides," but ^'except." 
" The Medes ruled over Upper Asia 128 
years, except during the time that 
Scythians had the dominion ;" i.e. they 
ruled (128-28 = ) 100 years. (See on 
this point the ' Rerum Assyriarum tem- 
pera emendata ' of Dr. Brandis, pp. fi-8.) 
This would make their rule begin in the 
twenty-third year of Deioces. 

Niebuhr (Denkschrift d. Berl. Ac. d. 
Wissenschaft, 1820-1, pp. 49-50) sus- 
pected that the passage was corrupt, 
and proposed the following reading — 
ap|ai/T6S T^s avui "A\vos iroTa/xuv 'Aairjs 
eV erea irevr iiKOvra koX eKaruv, 
irape^ ^ oaov ol 'S.Kvdai ?ipxov, rpiifKovra 
Svcov Seoura. This would remove some, 
l)ut not all. of the difficulties. It is 

moreover too extensive an alteration to 
be received against the authority of all 
the MSS. 

"^ It has been usual to regard this out- 
break as identical with the revolt re- 
corded by Xenophon (Hell. i. ii. ad 
fin.) in almost the same words. Btihr 
(in loc.) aud Dahlmann (Life of Herod, 
p. 33, Engl. Tr.) have argued from the 
passage that Herodotus was still em- 
ployed upon his history as late as B.C. 
407. Clinton is of the same opinion, 
except that he places the revolt one 
year earlier (F. H. vol. ii. p. 87. 01. 
92, 4). Mr. Grote, with his usual saga- 
city, perceived that Herodotus could 
not intend a revolt 150 years after the 
subjection, or mean by Darius "with- 
out any adjective designation," any 
other Darius than the son of Hystaspes. 
He saw, therefore, that there must have 
been a revolt of the Medes from Darius 
Hystaspes, of which this passage was 
possibly the only record (Hist, of Greece, 
vol. iv. p. 304, note). Apparently he 
was not aware of the great inscription of 
Darius at Behistun, which had been 
published by Col. Eawlinson the year 
before his fourth volume appeared, 
wherein a long and elaborate accovmt is 
given of a Median revolt which occurred 
in the third year of the reign of Darius, 
and was put down with difficulty. Col. 

Chap. 129-131. CUSTOMS OF THE PERSIANS. 215 

time of Astyages, it was tlie Persians who under Cyrus revolted 
from the ]\Iedes, and became thenceforth the rulers of Asia. 
Cyrus kept Astyagcs at his court during the remainder of his 
life, without doing him any further injury. Such then were 
the circumstances of the birth and bringing up of Cyrus, and 
such were the steps by which he mounted the throne. It was 
at a later date that he was attacked by Crossus, and overthrew 
him, as I have related in an earlier portion of this history. The 
overthrow of Croesus made him master of the whole of Asia. 

131. The customs which I know the Persians to observe are 
the following. They have no images of the gods, no temples 
nor altars, and consider the use of them a sign of folly. ^ This 
comes, I think, from their not believing the gods to have the 
same nature with men, as the Greeks imagine. Their Avont, 
however, is to ascend the summits of the loftiest mountains, and 
there to offer sacrifice to Jupiter, which is the name they give to 
the wliole circuit of the firmament. They likewise offer to the 
sun and moon, to the earth, to fire, to water, and to the winds. 
These are the only gods whose worship has come down to them 
from ancient times. At a later period they began the worship 
of Urania, which they borrowed ^ from the Arabians and Assv- 

Rawliuson gives the general outline of Greece, vol. iv, App. G.), but, not I 

the struggle as follows: — think, successfully. 

•' A civil war of a far more formidable * On the general subject of the Eeli- 
character broke out to the northward, gion of the Persians, see the Essays ap- 
Media, Assyria, and Armenia appear to pended to this volume, Essay v. 
have been confederated in a bold attempt ^ The readiness of the Persians to 
to recover their indei)endence. They adopt foi'eigu customs, even in religion, 
elevated to the throne a descendant, real is very remarkable. Perhaps the most 
or supposed, of the ancient line of [Me- striking instance is the adoption from 
dian] kings; and after six actions had the Assyrians of the well-known emblem 
been fought between the jiartisans of figured on next page (Figs. 1, 2, 3), con- 
this powerful chief and the troops which sisting of a winged circle with or with- 
were employed by Darius, under tlie out a human figure rising from the cir- 
command of three of his uiost distin- cular space. This emblem is of Assy- 
guished generals, luifavourably it mvxst rian origin, appearing in the earliest 
be presumed to the latter, or at any sculptures of that country (Layard's 
rate with a very partial and equivocal Nineveh, vol. i. chap. v.). Its exact 
success, the monarch found himself meaning is uncertain, but the conjee- 
compelled to repair in person to the ture is probable, that while in the 
scene of conflict. Darius accordingly, human head we have the symbol of in- 
inthethirdyearof his reign, re-ascended telligence, the wings signify omuipre- 
from liabylon to Media. He brought his sence, and the circle eternity. Thus 
enemy to action without delay, defeated the Persians were able, without the 
and pursued him, and taking him pri- sacrifice of any principle, to admit it as 
soner at Rhages, he slew him in the a religious emblem, which we find them 
citadel of Ecbatana" (Behist. Inscrip. to have done, as early as the time of 
vol. i. pp. 188-9). Darius, nnwcrsnlli/ (see the sculptures at 

Col. Mure, I observe, though aware Persepolis, ISTakhsh-i-Rustam, Behistun, 

of this discover}', maintains tlie view &c.). It is quite a mistake to conclude 

of Biihr and Dahimann (Literature of from this, as Mr. Layard does (Nineveh, 


rians. Mylitta' is the name by which the Assyrians know this 

Fig. 3. 

vol. ii. chap. vii,),tbat they adopted the 
Assyrian religion generally. The monu- 
ments prove the very contrary; for, 
with three exceptions, that of the sym- 
bol in question, that of the four-winged 
genius, and that of the colossal winged 
bulls, the Assyrian religious emblems 
do not re-appear in the early Persian 

A triple figure is sometimes found 
issuing from the cu'cle (Fig. 4), which 

has been supposed to represent a triune 
god, but this mode of representation 
does not occur in the Persian sculptures. 
Some religious emblems seem to have 
been adopted by the Persians from the 
Egyptians ; as, for instance, the curious 
head-dress of the four-winged genius at 
Mifrg-auh (Pasargadse), which closely re- 
sembles a well-known Egyptian form. 
The Persian sculpture is of the time of 
Cyrus. Figs. 5 & 6. 

5, Fgyptian. 

' For a full notice of this goddes,s, ^ee 
below. Essay x. ' On the Religion of the 

6. Persian. 
Assyrians and Babylonians.' The true 
explanation of the Horodotean nomen- 



goddess, whom the Arabians call Alitta," and the Persians 

132. To these aods the Persians offer sacrifice in the follow- 
ing manner : they raise no altar, light no fire, pour no libations ; 
there is no sound of the flute, no putting on of chaplets, no con- 
secrated barley- cake ; but the man who wishes to sacrifice brings 
his victim to a spot of ground which is pure from pollution, and 

clature, which has beeu so much dis- 
cussed, seems to be, that Molis (as Mo. 
Damasc, gives the name, Fi-agm, Hist. 
Gr., vol. iii. p. oGl, note 16) is for Mai, 
which was an old Babylonian word equi- 
valent to Bel or Nin, and merely signify- 
ing "a Lord," and that in Mylitta we 
have the same name with a feminine 
ending. It is possible, however, that Mo- 
lis or Volis may be a coi-ruption of Golis, 
the g andi; being, as is well known, per- 
petually liable to confusion in the Greek 
orthography of proper names, and Quia 
in the primitive language of Babylonia, 
which is now ascertained to be of the 
Hamitic, and not of the Semitic family, 
signified "great," being either identical 
with Gal (the more ordinary term for 
" great" — compare Ner-gal, ©aSyaA, Gal- 
lus, &o.), or a feminine form of that 
word, — answering in fact to the Guda of 
the Galla dialect of Africa. The Gula 
or " great goddess " of the inscriptions is 
the female pi-inciple of the sun, and 
thus nearly answers to the Mithra of 
the Persians ; but the name is never ap- 
plied to the supreme Goddess Beltis, 
who was the Alitta of the Arabians. — 
[H. C. R.] 

Mylitta, the " Great Goddess " of the Assyrians. 
(From Layard.) 

■^ Alitta, or Alilat ;iii. S), is the Se- 

mitic root 7^, "God," with the femi- 
nine suffix, n or ^T\, added. 

3 This identification is altogether a 
mistake. The Persians, like their Vedic 
brethren, worshipped the sun under the 
name of Mithra. This was a portion of 
the religion which they brought with 
them from the Indus, and was not 
adopted from any foreign nation. The 
name of Mithra does not indeed occur 
in the Achsemeniau inscriptions until 
the time of Artaxerxes Mnemon (Jour- 
nal of Asiatic Society, vol. xv. part i., 
p. 160), but there is no reason to ques- 
tion the antiquity of his worship in Per- 
sia. Xenophon is riglit in making it a 
part of the religion of Cyrus (Cyrop. 
VIII. iii. § 12, and vii. § 8). 

The mistake of Herodotus does not 
appear to have been discovered by the 
Greeks before the time of Alexander. 
Xenophon, indeed, mentions Mithras 
(Cyrop. VII. V. § 53 ; (Econ. iv. 24), 
and also the Persian sun-worship (Cy- 
ix)p. VIII. iii. § 12), but he does not in 
any way connect the two. Strabo is the 
first classical writer who distinctly lays 
it down that the Persian Mithras is the 
Sun-god (xv. p. 10;)9). After him Plu- 
tarch shows acquaintance with the fact 
(Vit. Alex. c. 30), which thenceforth 
becomes generally recognised. (See the 
inscriptions on altars, deo soli invicto 
MITHR55, &c., and cf. Suidas, Hesy- 
chius, &c.) 

The real representative of Venus in 
the later Pantheon of Persia was Tanata 
or Anaitis (see Hyde, De Religione Vet. 
Pars. p. 98). Her worship by the Per- 
sians had, no doubt, commenced in the 
time of Herodotus, but it was not till 
the reign of Artaxerxes Mnemon (b.c. 
-105 at the earliest) that her statue was 
set up publicly in the temples of the 
chief cities of the empire (Plut. Ar- 
taxerx. c. 27). The inscription of Mne- 
mon recently discovered at Susa records 
this event (Jour, of As. Society, 1. s. c), 
which seems to have been wrongly as- 
cribed by Berosus to Artaxerxes Ochus 
(Beros. ap. Clem. Alex. Protr. i. 5\ 


there calls upon the name of the god to whom he intends to 
offer. It is usual to have the turban encircled with a wreath, 
most commonly of myrtle. The sacrificer is not allowed to pray 
for blessings on himself alone, but he prays for the welfare of the 
king, and of the whole Persian people, among whom he is of 
necessity included. He cuts the victim in pieces, and having 
boiled the flesh, he lays it out upon the tenderest herbage that 
he can find, trefoil especially. When all is ready, one of the 
Magi comes forward and chants a hymn, which they say recounts 
the origin of the gods. It is not lawful to offer sacrifice unless 
there is a Magus present. After waiting a short time the sacri- 
ficer carries the flesh of the victim away with him, and makes 
whatever use of it he may please."^ 

133. Of all the days in the year, the one which they celebrate 
most is their birthday. It is customary to have the board fur- 
nished on that day with an ampler supply than common. The 
richer Persians cause an ox, a horse, a camel, and an ass to be 
baked whole ^ and so served up to them : the poorer classes use 
instead the smaller kinds of cattle. They eat little solid food 
but abundance of dessert, which is set on table a few dishes at a 
time ; this it is which makes them say that " the Greeks, when 
they eat, leave off hungry, having nothing worth mention served 

* At the secret meetings of the Ali indeed, owing to the precaution which 

Allahis of Persia, which in popular be- the Ali Allahis take to extinguish their 

lief have attained an infamous notoriety, lights on the approach of strauj^ers that 

but which are in reality altogether inuo- they have acquired the name of Cheragh 

cent, are practised many ceremonies that hishan, or "lamp-extinguishers," and 

bear a striking resemblance to the old that orgies have been assigned to them 

Magian sacrifice. which were only suited to darkness. A 

The Peer or holy man who presides disciple, I may add, upon entering the 

carries about him sprigs both of myrtle brotherhood, breaks a nutmeg with the 

and of the musk willow ; he seats his spiritual teacher to whom he attaches 

disciples in a circle upon the grass himself, and wears perpetually about 

usually in one of those sacred groves him in token of his dependence, the 

with which the Kurdish mountains half of the nvit which remains with 

abound; he chaunts mystical lays re- him; he is called sir sKpnrdch, or "he 

garding the nature, the attributes, and who has given over his head," and is 

the manifestations of the Godhead. A bound during his noviciate implicitlj^ to 

sheep is slaughtered as an expiatory follow the behests of his leader. After a 

sacrifice, and the carcase is boiled upon probationaiy discipline of several years, 

the spot ; the bones are carefully ex- never less than three, he is admitted to 

tracted, and the peer then distributes a meeting, resigns his nutmeg, i:)artakes 

the flesh among his disciples, who creep of the sacrifice, and henceforward as- 

up upon their knees from their respec- sumes a place among the initiated. — 

tive places in the circle to receive the [H. C. R.] 

share allotted to them, which is further ^ It is a common custom in the East 

accompanied by a blessing and a prayer, at the present day, to roast sheep whole, 

It is only the initiated who ai-e admitted even for an ordinary repast ; and on 

to these meetings, and care is taken to fete days it is done in Dalmatia and in 

guard against the intrusion of strangers other parts of Europe.— [G. W.] 
and Mohammedans. It is probably, 

Chap. 132-134. 



up to them after the meats ; wliereas, if they had more put 
before them, they would not stop eating." They are very fond 
of wine, and drink it in large quantities.^ To vomit or obey 
natural calls in the presence of another, is forbidden among 
them. Such are their customs in these matters. 

It is also their general practice to deliberate upon affairs 
of weight when they are drunk ; and then on the morrow, when 
they are sober, the decision to which they came the night before 
is put before them by the master of the house in which it was 
made ; and if it is then approved of, they act on it ; if not, they 
set it aside. Sometimes, however, they are sober at their first 
deliberation, but in this case they always reconsider the matter 
under the influence of wine." 

134. When they meet each other in the streets, you may 
know if the persons meeting are of equal rank by the following 
token ; if they are, instead of speaking, they kiss each other on 
the lips. In the case where one is a little inferior to the other, 
the kiss is given on the cheek ; where the difference of rank is 
great, the inferior prostrates himself upon the ground.^ Of 

^ At the present clay, among the 
"bons vivants" of Persia, it is usual to 
sit for hours before dinner drinking 
wine, and eating dried fruits, such as 
filberts, almonds, pistachio-nuts, me- 
lon seeds, &c. A party, indeed, often 
sits down at seven o'clock, and the din- 
ner is not brought in till eleven. The 
dessert dishes, intermingled as they are 
with highly-seasoned delicacies, are sup- 
posed to have the effect of stimulating 
the appetite, but, in reality, the solid 
dishes, which are served up at the end 
of the feast, are rarely tasted. The 
passion, too, for wine-drinking is as 
marked among the Persians of the pre- 
sent day, notwithstanding the probibi- 
tions of the Prophet, as it was in the 
time of Herodotus. It is quite appall- 
ing, indeed, to see the quantity of 
liquor which some of these topers 
habitually consume, and they usually 
prefer spirits to wine.' — [H. C. R.] 

■^ Tacitus asserts that the Germans 
were in the habit of deliberating on 
peace and war under the influence of 
wine, reserving their determination for 
the morrow. He gives tlie reasons for 
the practice, of which he manifestly ap- 
proves: — " De pace deniquc et bello 
plerumque in conviviis consultant, tan- 
quam nullo magis tempore ad maguas 
coj^itationes incalescat aninuis. Gens 

non astuta, nee callida, aperit adhuc se- 
creta pectoris, licentia joci. Ergo de- 
tecta et nuda omnium mens, postera 
die retractatur ; et salva utriusque tem- 
poris ratio est. Deliberant, dum fin- 
gere nesciunt : constituunt, dum errare 
non possunt." — fGerm. 22.) It does 
not appear that the Germans reversed 
the process. 

Plato, in his Laws, mentions the use 
made of drunkenness by the Persians. 
He says, the same practice obtained 
among the Thracians, the Scythians, the 
Celts, the Ibei'ians, and the Carthagi- 
nians (Book I. p. »)37, E). Duris of 
Samos declaimed that once a year, at the 
feast of Mithras, the king of Persia was 
bound to be drunk. (Fr. 13.) 

^ ,Tlie Persians are still notorious for 
their rigid attention to ceremonial and 
etiquette. In all the ordinary pursidts 
of life, paying visits, entering a room, 
seating oneself in company, in epistolary 
address, and even in conversational 
idiom, gradations of rank are defined 
with equal strictness and nicety. With 
regard to the method of salutation, the 
extreme limits are, as Herodotus ob- 
serves, the mutual embrace (the kiss is 
now invariably given on tlie cheek), 
and prostrJi,tion on the ground ; but 
there are also several intermediate 
forms, which he iias not thought it 



nations, they honour most their nearest neighboui-s, whom they 
esteem next to themselves ; those who live beyond these they 
honour in the second degree ; and so with the remainder, the 
further they are removed, the less the esteem in which they hold 
them. The reason is, that they look upon themselves as very 
greatly superior in all respects to the rest of mankind, regarding 
others as approaching to excellence in proportion as they dwell 
nearer to them f whence it comes to pass that those who are the 
farthest off must be the most degraded of mankind.^ Under the 
dominion of the Medes, the several nations of the empire exer- 
cised authority over each other in this order. The Medes were 
lords over all, and governed the nations upon their borders, who 
in their turn governed the States beyond, who likewise bore rule 
over the nations which adjoined on them.^ And this is the order 
which the Persians also follow in their distribution of honour ; 
for that people, like the Medes, has a progressive scale of admi- 
nistration and government. 

■ 135. There is no nation which so readily adopts foreign 
customs as the Persians. Thus, they have taken the dress of 
the Medes,^ considering it superior to their own ; and in war 

worth while to notice, of obeisance, 
kissing hands, &c., by which an expe- 
rienced observer learns the exact rela- 
tion of the parties. — [H. C. R.] 

^ Of late years, since the nations of 
Europe have been brought by their 
commercial and political relations into 
closer connexion with Persia, the ex- 
cessive vanity and self-admiration of 
these Frenchmen of the East has been 
somewhat abated. Their monarch, how- 
ever, still retains the title of ' ' the Cen- 
tre of the Universe," and it is not easy 
to persuade a native of Isfahan that any 
European capital can be superior to his 
native city. — [H. C. R.] 

1 In an early stage of geographical 
knowledge each nation regards itself as 
occupying the centre of the earth. He- 
rodotus tacitly assumes that Greece is 
the centre by his theory' of iax^^'^'-^'- 
or "extremities' (iii. 115). Such was 
the "View commonly entertained among 
the Greeks, and Delphi, as the centre of 
Greece, was called "the navel of the 
world " (7ar ofxcpaKos, Soph. CEd. T. 
898 : Find. Pyth. vi. 3, &c.). Even 
Aristotle expresses himself to the same 
effect, and regards the happy tempera- 
ment of the Greeks as the result of their 
intermediate position (Polit. vii. b). Our 
own use of the terms ^'t/ic East," " the 

West," is a trace of the former exis- 
tence of similar views among ourselves. 

2 It is quite inconceivable that there 
should have been any such sj^stem of 
government either in Media or Persia, as 
Herodotus here indicates. With respect 
to Persia, we know that the most distant 
satrapies were held as directly of the 
crown as the nearest. Compare the 
stories of Oroetes (lii. 126-8) and Ary- 
andes (iv. 166). The utmost that can 
be said with truth is, that in the Per- 
sian and Median, as in the Koman, em- 
pire, there were three grades ; tirst, the 
ruling nation ; secondly, the conquered 
provinces; thirdly, the nations on the 
frontier, governed by their own laws 
and princes, but owning the supremacy of 
the imperial power, and reckoned nmong 
its tributaries. This was the position 
in which the Ethiopians, Colchians, and 
Arabians, stood to Persia (Herod, iii. 

^ It appears from ch. 71 that the old 
national dress of the Persians was a 
close-fitting tvmic and trousers of leather. 
The Median costume, according to Xe- 
nophon (Cjn-op. viii. i. § 40) w-as of a 
nature to conceal the form, and give it 
an appearance of grandeur and elegance. 
It would seem therefore to have been a 
flowing robe. At Persepolis and Behis- 

Chap. 134-136. 



they wear the Egyptian breastplate.'* As soon as they hoar of 
any Inxury, they instantly make it their own : and henee, among 
other novelties, they have learnt nnnatnral lust from the Greeks. 
Each of them has several wives, and a still larger number of 

136. Next to prowess in arms, it is regarded as the greatest 
proof of manly excellence, to be the father of many sons.^ 
Every year the king sends rich gifts to the man who can show 
for they hold that number is strength. 

the largest number 

tun the representations of the monarch 
and his chief attendants have invariably 
a long flowing robe (A), while soldiers 
and persons of minor importance wear 
a close-fitting dress, fastened by a belt, 
and trousers meeting at the ankles a 

A. (Median.) 

■* The Egyptian corslets are noticed 
again (ii. 182, and vii. 89). For a de- 
scription of them, see Sir G. Wilkin- 
son's note to Book ii. ch. 182. 

^ Sheikh Ali Mirza, a son of the well- 
known Futteh Ali Shah, was accounted 
the proudest and happiest man in the 
empire, because, when he rode out on 
state occasions, he was attended by a 
body-guard of sixty of his own sons. 
At the time of Futteh Ali Shah's death 

high shoe (B). It seems probable that 
the costimie (A) is that which Hero- 
dotus and Xenophon call the Median, 
while the close-fitting dress (B) is the 
old Persian garb. 

B. (Persian.) 

his direct descendants amounted to 
nearly three thousand, some of them 
being in the fifth degree, and every 
Persian in consequence felt a pride in 
being the subject of such a king. The 
greatest misfortune, indeed, that can 
befal a man in Persia is to be childless. 
When a chief's " hearthstone" as it was 
said, "was dark," he lost all respect, 
and hence arose the now universal prac- 
tice of adoption.— [H. C. R.l 


Their sons are carefully instructed from their fifth to their 
twentieth year,*^ in three things alone, — to ride, to draw the 
bow, and to speak the truth. '^ Until their fifth year they are 
not allowed to come into the sight of their father, but pass their 
lives with the women. This is done that, if the child die 
young, the father may not be afflicted by its loss. 

137. To my mind it is a Avise rule, as also is the following — 
that the king shall not put any one to death for a single fault, 
and that none of the Persians shall visit a single fault in a slave 
with any extreme penalty ; but in every case the services of 
the offender shall be set against his misdoings ; and, if the 
latter be found to • outweigh the former, the aggrieved party 
shall then proceed to punishment.^ 

138. The Persians maintain that never yet did any one kill 
his own father or mother ; but in all such cases they are quite 
sure that, if matters were sifted to the bottom, it would be found 
that the child was either a changeling or else the fruit of adul- 
tery ; for it is not likely they say that the real father should 
perish by the hands of his child. 

139. They hold it unlawful to talk of anything which it is 
unlawful to do. The most disgraceful thing in the world, they 
think, is to tell a lie ; the next worst, to owe- a debt : because, 
among other reasons, the debtor is obliged to tell lies. If a 
Persian has the leprosy ^ he is not allowed to enter .into a city, 

^ Xenophon, in. his romance (Cyrop. Col. i. Par. 10). ''The Evil One (?) 

I, ii. § 8), makes the first period of edu- invented lies that they should deceive 

cation end with the sixteenth or seven- the state " (Col. iv. Par, 4). Darius is 

teenth year, after which he says there favoured by Ormazd, "because he was 

followed a second period of ten years, not a heretic, nor a liar, nor a tyrant" 

It was not till the completion of this (Col. iv. Par. 13). His successors are 

second period that the Persian became exhorted not to cherish, but to cast into 

a full citizen {reAcios). In all this, it utter perdition, " the man who may be 

is evident, we have only the philosophic a liar, or who may be an evil doer " (ib. 

notions of the Greeks. Perhaps even in Par. 14). His great fear is lest it may 

Herodotus we have Greek speculations be thought that any part of the record 

rather than history. He does not ap- which he has set up has been " falseli/ 

pear to have travelled in Persia Proper, related," and he even abstains from nar- 

■^ The Persian regard for truth has i-ating certain events of his reign "lest 

been questioned by Larcher on the to him who may hereafter peruse the 

strength of the speech of Darius in tablet, the many deeds that have been 

BooS: iii, (chap. 72). This speech, how- done by him may seem to be falsely 

ever, is entirely unhistoric. The special recorded" (ib. Par. 6 and 8). 

estimation in which truth was held ** Vide infra, vii. 194. 

among the Persians is evidenced in a ^ In the original, two kinds of leprosy 

remarkable manner by the inscriptions are mentioned, the Aewpa andthe Aew/cTj. 

of Darius, where lijinij is taken as the There does not appear by the description 

representative of all evil. It is the great which Aristotle gives of the latter (Hist. 

calamit^^of the usurpation of the pseudo- Animal, iii. 11) to have been any essen- 

Smerdis, that " then the lie became tial ditference between them. The Aeu/cr? 

abounding in the land " (Behist. Ins. was merely a mild form of leprosy. 

Chap. 130-140. 

^rilE MAGI. 


or to have any dealings with the other Persians ; he must, tliey 
say, have sinned against the sun. Foreigners attacked by this 
disorder, are forced to leave the country : even white pigeons 
are often driven away, as guilty of the same offence. They 
never defile a river with the secretions of their bodies, nor even 
wash their hands in one ; nor will they allow others toulo so, as 
they have a great reverence for rivers. There is another pecu- 
liarity, which the Persians themselves have never noticed, but 
which has not escaped my observation. Their names, w^hich 
are expressive of some bodily or mental excellence,^ all end 
with the same letter — the letter which is called San by the 
Dorians, and Sigma by the lonians.^ Any one who examines 
will find that the Persian names,, one and all without exception, 
end with this letter.^ 

140. Thus much I can declare of the Persians with entire 
certainty, from my own actual knowledge. There is another 
custom which is spoken of with reserve, and not openly, con- 
cerning their dead. It is said that the body of a male Persian 
is never buried, until it has been torn either by a dog or a bird 
of prey.^ That the Magi have this -custom is beyond a doubt. 

With the Persian isolation of the leper, 
compare the Jewish practice (Lev. xiii. 
46. 2 Kings vii. 3. xv. 5. Luke xvii. 

1 It is apparent from this passage that 
Herodotus had not any very exact ac- 
quaintance with the Persian language ; 
for though it is true enough the Per- 
sian names have all a meaning (as the 
Greek names also have), yet it is rarely 
that the etymology can be traced to 
denote physical or mental qualities. 
They more usually indicate a glorious 
or elevated station, or dependance on 
the gods, or worldly possessions. See 
the list of Persian names occurring in 
Herodotus and other writers in the notes 
appended to Book vi. — [H. C. E.] 

2 The PlioJnician alphabet, from which 
the Greeks adopted tlieirs (infra, v. 58), 
possessed both san (Heb. shin) and sif/ma 
(Heb. samech). The Greeks, not having 
the sound of sh, did not need the two 
sibilants, and therefoi-e soon merged 
them in one, retaining however both 
in their system of numeration, till they 
replaced sii/ina by xi. The Dorians 
called the sibilant which was kept sen, 
the lonians sigina; but the latter use 
prevailed. The letter came to be gene- 
rally known as si/ina, but at the same 
time it held the place of san in the al- 

phabet. (See Bunsen's Philosophy of 
Univ. Hist. vol. i. p. 258.) 

■^ Here Herodotus was again mistaken. 
The Pei-sian names of men which ter- 
minate with a consonant end indeed in- 
variably with the letter s, or rather sh, 
as Kurush (Cyrus), Bdri/avush (Darius), 
Chishpdish (Teispes), Hakhdmaaish, &c. 
(Achpemenes). [The sh in sucli cases is 
the mere nominatival ending of the 2nd 
and 8rd declensions ; i. e. of themes 
ending in i and ^^— H. C. R.] But a large 
number of Persian names of men were 
pronounced with a vowel termination, 
not expressed in writing, and in these 
the last consonant might be almost any 
letter. We find on the monuments 
Vashtdsp {a), Hystaspes — Arshdm {a) 
Arsames — Ari'i/drdman (a) Ariaramnes 
— Bardiij {a) Bardius or Smerdis — Gwr- 
mat{(i) Gomates — Gaubruw{n) Gobryas 
— &c. &c. The sigma in these cases is 
a mere conventional addition of the 

* Agathias (ii. p. 60) and Strabo (xv. 
p. 1042) also mention this strange 
custom, which still prevails among 
the Parsees wherever they are found 
Avhether in Persia or in India. Chardin 
relates that there was in his time a 
cemetery, half a league from Isfahan, 
consisting of a round tower 35 feet hi^h 


for they practise it without any concealment. The dead bodies 
are covered with wax, and then buried in the ground. 

The Magi are a very peculiar race, differing entirely from 
the Egyptian priests, and indeed from all other men whatsoever. 
The Egyptian priests make it a point of religion not to kill any 
live animals except those which they offer in sacrifice. The 
Magi, on the contrary, kill animals of all kinds with their own 
hands, excepting dogs^ and men. They even seem to take a 
delight in the employment, and kill, as readily as they do other 
animals, ants and snakes, and such like flying or creeping 
things. However, since this has always been their custom, let 
them keep to it. I return to my former narrative. 

141. Immediately after the conquest of Lydia by the Per- 
sians, the Ionian and iEolian Greeks sent ambassadors to Cyrus 
at Sardis, and prayed to become his lieges on the footing which 
they had occupied under Croesus. Cyrus listened attentively 
to their proposals, and answered them by a fable. " There was 
a certain piper," he said, " w4io was walking one day by the sea- 
side, w4ien he espied some fish ; so he began to pipe to them, 
imagining they would come out to" him upon the land. But as 
he found at last that his hope was vain, he took a net, and en- 
closing a great draught of fishes, drew them ashore. The fish 
then began to leap and dance ; but the piper said, ' Cease your 
dancing now, as you did not choose to come and dance when I 
piped to you.' " Cyrus gave this answer to the lonians and 
^olians, because, when he urged them by his messengers to 
revolt from Croesus, they refused ; but now, when his work was 
done, they came to offer their allegiance. It was in anger, 
therefore, that he made them this reply. The lonians, on 
hearing it, set to work to fortify their towns, and held meetings 
at the Panionium,*^ which were attended by all excepting the 
Milesians, with whom Cyrus had concluded a separate treaty, 
by which he allowed them the terms they had formerly ob- 

without any doorway or other entrance, where there is an open space left for the 

Here the Guebres deposited their dead purpose. 

by nieans of a ladder, and left them to ^ The dog is represented in the Zen- 
be devoured by the crows, which were davesta as the special animal of Ormazd^ 
to be seen in large numbers about the and is still regarded with peculiar reve- 
place. (Voyage en Perse, tom. ii. p. 186.) rence by the Parsees. On one of the 
Such towers exist throughout India, magnificent tombs at the Chehl-Minar, 
wherever the Par.iees are numerous, of which Chardiu has given an" accurate 
The bodies are laid on iron bars sloping drawing (plate 68), a row of dogs is the 
inwards. When the flesh is gone, the ornament of the entablature, 
bones slip through between the bars, or ^ Infra, ch. 148, note *. 
sliding down them fall in at the centre, 

Chak 110-142. 



tained from Croosus. The other loniaiis resolved, witli one 
accord, to send ambassadors to Sparta to implore assistance. 

142. Now the lonians of Asia, who meet at the Panioninm, 
have bnilt tlvm- cities in a region where the air and climate are 
tlie most beantiful in tlie whole world : for no other region is 
equally blessed with Ionia, neither above it nor below it, nor 
east nor west of it. For in otlier countries eitlier the climate is 
over cold and damp, or else the heat and drought are sorely 
oppressive. The lonians do not all speak the same language, 
but use in different places four different dialects. Towards tlie 
south their first city is Miletus, next to which lie Myus and 
Priene ;' all these three are in Caria and have the same dialect. 
Their cities in Lydia are the following : Epliesus, Colophon, 
Lebedus, Teos, Clazomena), and Plioca^a.^ The inhabitants of 
these towns have none of the peculiarities of speech which 
belong to the three first-named cities, but use a dialect of their 
own. There remain three other Ionian towns, two situate in 
isles, namely, Samos and Chios ; and one upon the mainland 
w^luch IS Erythra^. Of these Chios and Erythr^ have the same 
dialect, whde Samos possesses a language peculiar to itself.^ 
Such are the four varieties of wliich I spoke. 

^ Miletus, Myus, and Priene all lay 
near the niontli of the Ma3ander (the 
modern Mendere). At their original 
colonisation they were all maritime 
cities. Miletus stood at the northern 
extremity of a promontory formed by 
tlie mountain-range called Grius, com- 
manding the entrance of an extensive 
bay which wasbed the hase of the four 
mountains, Grius, Latmus, and Titanus, 
south of tlie Maeander, and Mycale, a 
continuation of the great range of Mes- 
sogis. north of that stream. This bay, 
called the bay of Latmus, was about 
25 miles in its greatest length, from 
near Latmus to Priene'. Its depth, 
from Miletus to Myus, was above 5 
miles. Myus stood nearly in the centre 
of the bay, at the foot of Titanus; 
Priene, at its northern extremity, under 
the hill of Mycale. Into this bay the 
Moeander poured its waters, and the 
consequence was the perpetual forma- 
tion of fresh land. (Vide infr^, ii. 10, 
where Herodotus notes the fact.) 
Priene, by the time of Strabo, was 
40 stadia (4-*- miles) from the sea (xii. 
p. 827). Myus had been rendered un- 
inhabitable by the growth of the allu- 
vium, forming hollows in its vicinity. 

Vol. 1. 

where the stagnant water generated 
swarms of mosquitoes (Strab. xiv p 
912; Pausan. vii. ii. § 7). Since 'the 
time of thes6 geographers the changes 
have been even more astonishing The 
soil brought down by the Meander has 
filled up the whole of the northern 
portion of the gulf, so that Miletus 
Myus, and Priene now stand on the 
outskirts of a great alluvial plain, which 
extends even beyond Miletus, 4 or .") 
miles seawards. Lade, and the other 
islands which lay off the Milesian shore 
are become of the continent, risincr' 
like the rock of Dumbarton, from the" 
marshy soil. The southern portion of 
the gulf of Latmus is become a lake 
the lake of Bafi, which is now 7 or 
8 miles from the sea at the nearest 
point. The difference between the 
ancient and modern geography will be 
best seen by comparing the charts (See 
pp. 226, 227.) ^ 

^ These cities are enumerated in the 
order in which they stood, from south 
to north. Erythra? lay on the coast 
opposite Chios, between Teos and Cla- 
zomenop. ♦^ 

^According to Suidas, Herodotus 
emigrated to Samos from Halicarnas- 



Book T. 

143. Of tlie loniaus at tiiis period, one people, tlie Milesians, 
were in no danger of attack, as Cyrus had received them into 
alliance. The islanders also had as yet nothing to fear, since 
Phoenicia was still independent of Persia, and the Persians 
themselves were not a seafaring people. The Milesians had 
separated from the common cause solely on account of the ex- 
treme weakness of the lonians : for, feeble as the power of the 
entire Hellenic race \^as at that time, of all its tribes the Ionic 
was by far the feeblest and least esteemed, not possessing a 
single State of any mark excepting Athens. The Athenians 
and most of the other Ionic States over the world, went so far 
in their dislike of the name as actually to lay it aside ; and 



sus on account of the tyranny of Lyg- 
clamis, grandson of Artemisia, and there 
exchanged his native Doric for the Ionic 
dialect in which he composed his his- 
tory. If this account be true, we must 
consider that we have in the writings 
of Herodotus the Samian variety of the 
Ionic dialect. But little dependance 
can be placed on Suidas. 

^ The old Pelasgic tribes, when once 
Hellenised, were apt to despise their 

proper ethnic appellations. As with 
the lonians, so it was with the Dryo- 
pians, who generally contemned their 
name, as Pausanias tells us (iv. xxxiv, 
§ 6). Here again, however, there was 
an exception, Asinjeans, unlike other 
Dryopians, glorying in the title (ib.). 

2 The Triopiura was built on a pro- 
montory of the same name within the 
territory of the Cnidians. It has been 
usual to identify the promontory with 

Chap. 143, 144. 



even at the present day the greater number of them seem to me 
to be ashamed of it.^ But the twelve cities in Asia have always 
gloried in tlie appellation ; they gave the temple which they 
built for themselves the name of the Panionium, and decreed 
that it should not be open to any of. the other Ionic States ; no 
State, however, except Smyrna, has craved admission to it. 

144. In the same way the Dorians of the region which is 
now called the Pentapolis, but which was formerly known as 
the Doric Hexapolis, exclude all their Dorian neighbours from 
their temple, the Triopium :^ nay, they have even gone so far 
as to shut out from it certain of their own body who were guilty 
of an offence against the customs of the place. In the games 


the small peninsula (now Cape Krio) 
wliicb, according to Strabo (xiv. p. 938), 
was once an island, and was afterwards 
joined by a causeway to tbe city of 
Cnidus. (See Ionian Antiq. vol. iii. 
p. 2. Beaufort's Karamania, Map, app. 
p. 81. Texier, A.sie Mineure, vol. lii. 
plate 159.) But from the notice con- 
tained in Scylax (Peiipl. ]>. 91), and 
from the narrative in Thucydides (viii. 

35), it is evident that the Triopian cape 
was not Cape Krio, on which stood a 
part of the town of Cnidus (Strab. 
1. s. c.)j but a promontory further to 
the north, probably that immediately 
above Cape Krio. No remains of the 
ancient temple have yet been found, 
but perhaps the coast has not been 
sufficiently explored above*Cuidus. 

Q 2 



"Book I. 

which were anciently celebrated in honour of the Triopian 
Apollo,^ the prizes given to the victors were tripods of brass ; 
and the rule was that these tripods should not be carried away 
from the temple, but should then and there be dedicated to the 
god. Now a man of Halicarnassus, whose name was Agasicles, 
being declared victor in the games, in open contempt of the 
law, took the tripod home to his own house and there hung it 
against the wall. As a punishment for this fault, the five other 
cities, Lindus, lalyssus, Cameirus, Cos, and Cnidus, deprived the 
sixth city, Halicarnassus, of the right of entering the temple.^ 

145. The lonians founded twelve cities in Asia, and refused 
to enlarge the number, on account (as I imagine) of their 
havinp' been divided into twelve States when thev lived in the 

/'/• Ti'ioptnin/ I 


/ Si I hour —=^^^_ 


3 An inscription found at Cnidus 
mentions a ^v\x.v!.ko% a.-yu>v as occurring 
every fifth year. (See Hamilton's Asia 
Minor, vol. ii. p. 460.) The games are 
said to have been celebrated in honour 
of Neptune and the Nymphs, as well as 
of Apollo. (Schol. ad Theocr. Id. xvii. 

"* Lindus, lalyssus, and Cameirus were 
in Rhodes ; Cos was on the island of the 
same name, at the mouth of the Ceramic 
Gulf. Cnidus and Halicarnassus were 
on the mainland, the former near to 
the Triopium, the latter on the north 
shore of the Ceramic Gulf, on the site 

now occupied by Boodroom. These six 
cities formed an Amphictyony, which 
held its meetings at the temple of 
Apollo, called the Triopium, near Cni- 
dus, the most centi'al of the cities. 
(Schol. ad Theocrit. 1. s. c.) 

There were, as Herodotus indicates, 
many other Doric settlements on these 
coasts. The principal appear to have 
been Myndus and lassus to the north, 
and Phaselis to the east, upon the con- 
tinent, Carpathus and Syme', on their 
respective islands. Concerning the site 
of Phaselis, vide infra, ii. 178, note. 


Peloponnese ; '^ just as the AcLaeans, who drove them out, are at 
the present clay. The first city of tlie AchaDans after Sicyon, is 
Pellene, next to which are JEgeiva, Mgse upon the Crathis, a 
stream which is never dry, and from which the Italian Crathis^ 
received its name, — Bura, Helice— where the lonians took re- 
fuge on their defeat by the Achoean invaders, — iEgium, Khypes, 
Patreis, Phareis, Olenus on the Peirus, which is a large river, — 
Dyme and Trita3eis, all sea-port towns except the last two, 
which lie up the country. 

14G. These are the twelve divisions of what is now Achaea, 
and was formerly Ionia ; and it was owing to their coming from 
a country so divided that the lonians, on reaching Asia, founded 
their twelve States : ^ for it is the height of folly to maintain 
that these lonians are more Ionian than the rest, or in any re- 
spect better born, since the truth is that no small portion of 
them were Abantians from Euboea, who are not even lonians in 
name ; and, besides, there were mixed up with the emigration, 
Minyae from Orchomenus, Cadmeians, Dryopians, Phocians from 
the several cities of Pliocis, Molossians, Arcadian Pelasgi, 
Dorians from Epidaurus, and many other distinct tribes.^ 
Even those who came from the Prytaneum of Athens,^ and 
reckon themselves the purest lonians of all, brought no wives 

^ According to the common tradition, (whether they moved northwards or 

the Achxans, expelled by the Dorians southwards) formed their later cou- 

from Argolis, Laconia, and Messenia, fedei-acy of the same number of cities 

at the time of the return of the Hera- as their earlier (Livy, v. 33). 
cleids (B.C. 1104 in the ordinary chro- ^ The Orchomenian Minyse founded 

nology), retired northwards, and ex- Teos (Pausan. vii. iii. § 7), the Pho- 

pelled the lonians from their country, cians Phocsea (ibid.). Abantians from 

which became the Achsea of history. Euboea were mingled with lonians in 

(Vide infra, vii. 94.) Chios (Ion. ap. Pausan. vii. iv. § 6). 

^ The Italian Crathis ran close by Cadmeians formed a large proportion 

our author's adopted city, Thurium of the settlers at Priene, which was 

(infra, v. 45, Strab. vi. p. 378). sometimes called Cadme' (Strab. xiv. 

7 It may be perfectly true, as has p. 912). Attica had served as a refuge 

been argued by Raoul-Kochette (torn, to fugitives from all quarters (see 

iii. p. 83) and Mr. Grote (vol. iii. part Thucyd. i. 2). 

ii. ch. xiii.), that the Ionic colonisation ^ This expression alludes to the so- 

of Asia Minor, instead of being the lemnities which accompanied the send- 

result of a single great impulse, was ing out of a colony. In the Prytaneum, 

the consequence of a long series of or Government-house, of each state was 

distinct and isolated efforts on the part preserved the sacred fire, which was 

of many different states ; and yet there never allowed to go out, whereon the 

may be the connexion which Herodotus life of the State was supposed to depend, 

indicates between the twelve cities of When a colony took its departure, the 

Achrca and the twelve states of Asiatic leaders went in solemn procession to 

lonians. The sacred number of the the Prytaneum of the mother city, and 

lonians may have been twelve, and no took fresh fire from the sacred hearth, 

other number may have been thought which was conveyed to the Prytaneum 

to constitute a perfect Amphictyony. of the new settlement. 
In the same way the Etruscans in Italy 



Book I. 

with them to the new country, but married Carian girls, whose 
fathers they had slain. Hence these women made a law, which 
they bound themselves by an oatli to observe, and which they 
handed down to their claughters after them, " That none shouJd 
ever sit at meat with her husband, or call him by his name ;" 
because the invaders slew their fathers, their husbands, and their 
sons, and then forced them to become their wives. It was at 
Miletus that these events took place. 

147. The kings, too, whom they set over them, were either 
Lycians, of the blood of Glaucus,^ son of Hippolochus, or Pylian 
Caucons ^ of the blood of Codrus, son of Melanthus ; or else from 
both those families. But since these loniaus set more store by 
the name than any of the others, let them pass for the pure- 
bred lonians ; though truly all are lonians who have their origin 
from Athens, and keep the Apaturia.^ This is a festival which 
all the lonians celebrate, except the Ephesians and the Colo- 
phonians, whom a certain act of bloodshed excludes from it. 

148. The Panionium ^ is a place in Mycale, facing the north. 

1 See Horn. II. ii. 876. 

2 The Caucons ai^e reckoned by Strabo 
among the earliest inhabitants of Greece, 
and associated with the Pelasgi, Leleges, 
and Dryopes (vii. p. 465). Like their 
kindred tribes, they were very widely 
spread. Their chief settlements, how- 
evei-, appear to have been on the north 
coast of Asia Minor, between the Marian- 
dynians and the river Parthenius (Strab. 
xii, p. 785), and on the west coast of the 
Peloponuese in Messenia, Elis, and Tri- 
phylia. (Sti'ab. viii. pp. 496-7; Arist. 
Fr. 185.) In this last position they 
are mentioned by Homer (Od. iii. o66) 
and by Herodotus, both here, and in 
Book iv. ch. 148. Homer probably 
alludes to the eastern Caucons in II. x. 
429, and xx. 329. They continued to 
exist under the nanie of Cauconitge, or 
Cauconiatee, in Sti'abo's time, on the 
Parthenius (comp. viii. p. 501, and xii. 
p. 786), and are even mentioned by 
Ptolemy (v. 1) as still inhabiting the 
same region. From the Peloponiiese 
the race had entirely disappeared wlien 
Strabo wrote, but had left their name 
to the river Caucou, a small stream in 
the north-western corner of the penin- 
sula. (Strab. viii. 496.) 

^ The Apaturia (a( = a/xa) -narvpia) 
was the solemn annual meeting of the 
])]n-atries, for the purpose of register- 
ing the children of the pi-oceding year 

whose birth entitled them to citizen- 
ship. It took place in the month 
Pyauepsion (November), and lasted 
three days. On tlie first day, called 
AopTTJo, the members of each phratrj'' 
either dined together at the Phratrium, 
or were feasted at the house of some 
wealthy citizen. On the second day 
{avappvais), solenui sacrifice was offered 
to Jupiter Phratrius. After these pre- 
liminaries, on the third day (KovpecoTis) 
the business of the festival toc^k place. 
Claims were made, objections were 
heard, and the registration was effected. 
(See Larcher's note, vol. i. pp. 42U-2, 
and Smith's Diet, of Antiquities, in voc. 

'' Under the name of Panionium are 
included both a tract of ground and a 
temple. It is the former of Avhich 
Herodotus here speaks particularh% as 
the place in which the great Pan-Ionic 
festival was held. The spot was on the 
north side of the promontory of Mycale', 
at the foot of the hill, three stadia 
(about a third of a mile) from the shore 
(Strab. xiv. p. 916). The modern vil- 
lage of Tclw.ngli is supposed, witli reason, 
to occupy the site. It is the only place 
on that steep and mountainous coast 
where an opening for a temple occurs; 
and liere in a churcli on the sea-shore 
Sir W. Gell found an inscription in 
which tlic word '•'Panionium" occurred 



which .was chosen by the common voice of the lonians and made 
sacred to Heliconian Neptune.*^ Mycale itself is. a promontory 
.of the mainland, stretching out westward towards -Samos, in 
Avhich the lonians assemble from all their States to keep the 
feast of the Panionia.*^ The names of festivals, not only among 
the lonians but among all the Greeks, end, like the Persian 
proper names, in one and the same letter. 

149. The above-mentioned, then, are the twelve towns of the 
lonians. Tlie iEolic cities are the following :— Cyme, called 
also Phriconis, Larissa, Neonteichns, Temnus, Cilia, Notium, 
iEgiroessa, Pitane, ililgiea), Myrina, and Gryneia.' These are 
the eleven ancient cities of the iEolians. Originally, indeed, 
they had twelve cities npon the mainland, like the lonians, but 
the lonians deprived them of Smyrna, one of the number. The 
soil of iEolis is better than that of Ionia, but the climate is less 

150. The folloAving is the way in which the loss of Smyrna 
happened. Certain men of Colophon had been engaged in a 

twice. (Leake's Asia Minor, p. 260.) 
The Paiiiouiuui was in the territory of 
I'l'iene, and consequently under the 
guardianship of that state. 

^ Heliconian Neptune was so called 
from Helice, which is mentioned above 
among the ancient Ionian cities in the 
Pi'lopounese (ch. 145). This had been 
the central point of the old confe- 
deracy, and the temple there had been 
in old times their place of meeting. 
Pavisanias calls it ayidoraTOu (vil. xxiv. 
§ 4). The temple at Mvcale in the 
new Ami)hictyony occupied the place 
of that at Heiice in the old. (Comp. 
Clitophon, Fr. 5.) , 

^ It is remarkable that Thucydides, 
wi'itiiig so shortly after Herodotus, 
should speak of tlie Pan-Ionic festival 
at Mycale as no longer of any im- 
portance, and regard it as practically 
superseded by the festrval of the Ephe- 
sia, held near Ephesus (iii. 104). Still 
the old feast continued, and was cele- 
brated as late as the time of Augustus 
(iStrabo, xiv. p. 916). 

■^ In tliis enumeration Herodotus does 
not observe any regular ordei% Pro- 
ceediug from south to north, the ^olic 
cities (so far as they can be located 
with any certainty) occur in the fol- 
lowing sequence: — Smyrna, Temnus, 
Neonteichns, Larissa, Cyme', ^gse, 
Myrina. Gryneium, Pitane. Five of 

these, Pitane, Gryneium, Myrina, Cyme, 
and Smyrna, were upon the coast. The 
others lay inland. 

^giroessa is not mentioned by any 
author but Herodotus, and Stephen, 
quoting him. Herodotus, on the other 
hand, omits Eliea, near the mouth of 
the Caicus, which Strabo and Stephen 
mention as one of the principal iEolian 
cities. Possibly therefore ^giroessa is 
another name for Elsea. 

-cEolis, according to this view, reached 
from the mouth of the Evenus (the 
modei-n Komh) to the interior recess 
of the bay of Smyrna. There was an 
interruption, however, in the coast line, 
as the Ionic colony of Phoca'a intervened 
between Smyrna and Cyme. Still in all 
probability the territory was continuous 
inland, reaching across the plain of the 
Hermus ; Larissa to the north and Tem- 
nus to the south of the Hermus forming 
the links which connected Smyrna with 
the rest of the Amphictyony. (See 
Kiepert's Supplementary Maps, Berlin, 

The territory was a narrow strip along 
the sljores of the Elreitic Gulf, but ex- 
tended inland considerably up the rich 
valleys of the Hermus and Caicus ; Per- 
gamus in the one valley, and Magnesia 
(under Sipylur?) in the other, being in- 
cluded witliin the limits of ./Eolis. 


sedition there, and being tlie weaker party, were driven by the 
others into banishment. The Smyrnaeans received the fugitives, 
who, after a time, watching their opportunity,- while the inhabi- 
tants were celebrating a feast to Bacchus outside the Avails, shut 
to the gates, and so got possession of the town.^ The ^olians 
of the other States came to their aid, and terms w^ere agreed on 
between the parties, the lonians consenting to give up all the 
moveables, and the ^olians making a surrender of the place. 
The expelled Smyrneeans were distributed among the other 
States of the ^Eolians, and were everyAvhere admitted to citizen- 

151. These, then, were all the ^olic cities upon the main- 
land, with the exception of those about Mount Ida, which made 
no part of this confederacy.'^ As for the islands, Lesbos contains 
five cities.^ Arisba, the sixth, was taken by the Methymnaeans, 
their kinsmen, and the inhabitants reduced to slavery. Tenedos 
contains one city, and there is another which is built on what 
are called the Hundred Isles.^ The ^olians of Lesbos and 
Tenedos, like the Ionian islanders, had at this time nothing to 
fear. The other Cohans decided in their common assembly 
to follow the lonians, whatever course they should pursue. 

1 52. When the deputies of the lonians and iEolians, who had 
journeyed with all speed to Sparta, reached the city, they chose 
one of their number, Pytliermus, a Phocaean, to be their spokes- 
man. In order to draw together as large an audience as pos- 
sible, he clothed himself in a purple garment, and so attired 
stood forth to speak. In a long discourse he besought the 
Spartans to come to the assistance of his countrymen, but they 
were not to be persuaded, and voted against sending any 
succour. The deputies accordingly went their way, while the 
Lacedaemonians, notwithstanding the refusal which they had 

^ Such treachery was not without a a vast nixmber of cities, of which 

parallel in ancient times. Herodotus Assus and Antandrus were the chief, 

relates a similar instance in the conduct This district was mainly colonised from 

of the Samians, who, when invited by Lesbos. (Pausan. vi. iv. § 5; Strabo, 

the Zancla-ansto join them in colouising xiii. pp. 885, 892.) 

Cale Acte, finding Zancle' undefended, ^ The' five Lesbian cities were, Myti- 

seized dt, and took it for their own lene, Methymna, Antissa, Eresus, and 

(infra, vi, 23). Pyrrha. (Scylax. Peripl. p. 87 ; Strabo, 

•'The district here indicated, and xiii. pp. 885-7.) 
commonly called the Troad, extended - These islands lay off the pronion- 

from Adramyttinm on tlie south to tory which separated the bay of Atar- 

Priapus on the north, a city lying on neus from that of Adiamyttium, oppo- 

the Propontis, nearly due north of site to the northern part of the island 

Adramyttinm. Tt was nuich lai-gei" of Lesbos. They are said to be nearly 

than the pi'oper ^olis, and contained forty in number. (F.jihr in loc.) 



given to the prayer of the deputation, despatched a pente- 
conter ^ to the Asiatic coast with certain Spartans on board, for 
the purpose, as I think, of watching Cyrus and Ionia. .These 
men, on their arrival at Phocsea, sent to Sardis Lacrines, the 
most distinguished of their number, to prohibit Cyrus, in the 
name of the Lacedaemonians, from offering molestation to any 
city of Grreece, since they would not allow it. 

153. Cyrus is said, on hearing the speech of the herald, 
to have asked some Greeks who were standing by, " Who these 
LacedaGmonians were, and what was their number, that they 
dared to send him such a notice?"^ When he had received 
their reply, he turned to the Spartan herald and said, " I have 
never yet been afraid of any men, who have a set place in the 
middle of their city, where they come together to cheat each 
other and forswear themselves. If I live, the Spartans shall 
have troubles enough of their own to talk of, without concerning 
themselves about the lonians." Cyrus intended these words as 
a reproach against all the Greeks, because of their having 
market-places where tliey buy and sell, which is a custom 
unknown to the Persians, who never make purchases in open 
marts, and indeed have not in their whole country a single 

3 Penteconters were ships -with fifty representation is from the palace of 
rowers, twenty-five of a side, who sat tliat monarch at Kouyunjik. Triremes 

level, as is customaiy in row- are said to have been invented about 

a century and a half before Cyrus by 

boats at the present day. Biremes 
(diripeLs), triremes {TpL-fjpeis), Sec, were 
ships in which the rowers sat in ranks 

the Corinthians (Thucyd. i. 13), but 
were for a long time verv little used. 

some above the others. Biremes were The navy of Polycrates consisted of 

probably a Phoenician invention. They penteconters, (Vide infra, iii. o9.) 

were certainly known to the Assyrians •* Compare v. 7.{ and 105. 

in the time of Sennacherib, probably '"' Markets in the strict sense of the 

through that people. The subjoined word are istill unknown in the East, 

234 ]IEY0LT OF SARDIS. Book I. 

After this interview Cyrus quitted Sardis, leaving the city 
under the charge of Tabalus, a Persian, but aj)pointing Pactyas, 
a native, to collect the treasure belonging to Crcjesus and the 
other Lydians, and bring it after him.^ Cyrus himself pro- 
ceeded towards Agbatana, carrying Croesus along with him, not 
regarding the lonians as important enough to be his immediate 
object. Larger designs were in his mind. He wished to war in 
person against Babylon, the Bactrians, the Saca?,"^ and Egypt; 
he therefore determined to assign to one of his generals the task 
of conquering the lonians. 

154. No sooner, however, was Cyrus gone from Sardis tlian 
Pactyas induced his countrymen to rise in open revolt against 
him and his deputy Tabalus. With the vast treasures at his 
disposal he then went down to the sea, and employed them in 
hiring mercenary troops, while at the same time he engaged the 
people of the coast to enrol themselves in his army. He then 
marched upon Sardis, where he besieged Tabalus, who shut 
himself up in the citadel. 

155. When Cyrus, on his way to Agbatana, received these 
tidings, he turned to CrcBsus and said, " Where will all this end, 
Croesus, thinkest thou ? It seemeth that these Lydians will not 
cease to cause trouble both to themselves and others. I doubt 

where the bazaars, wliich are collections their subjection as taking place between 

of shops, take their place. The Persiaus the Lydian and the Babylonian wars, 

of the nobler class would neither buy (Vide infra, ch. 177.) Bactria may be 

nor sell at all, since they would be sup- regarded as fairly represented by the 

plied by their dependents and through modern Balkh. The SacaD (Scyths) are 

presents with all that they required for more difficult to locate ; it only appears 

the common purposes of life. (Cf. Strab. that their country bordered upon and 

XV. p. 1042, ayopccs oiix aivTovrai- ovre lay beyond Bactria. Probably the six- 

yap TrwXovaiu ovr couovvrai.) Those of teen years which intervened between 

lower rank would buy at the shops, the capture of Sardis (P..C. 554) and the 

which were not allowed in the Forum, taking of Babylon (B.C. 538) were oceu- 

or public place of meeting ( Xen. Cyrop. pied with those extensive conquests to 

I, ii. § 3). the north and north-east, by which the 

^ Heeren (As. Nat. i. p. 338, E. T.) Hyrcanians, Parthians, Sogdians, Arians 

regards this as the appointment of a of Herat, Sarangians, Chorasmians, Gan- 

native satrap, and dates the division darians, &c. (as well as the Bactrians 

of offices, which (obtained in later times, and the Saca3), were brought under the 

from the very beginning of the con- Persian yoke. At least there is no 

quests of Cyrus, But it does not appear reason to believe these tribes to have 

that Pactyas had any permanent office, formed any part either of the ancient 

He was to collect the treasui'es of Persian kingdom (supra, ch. 125) or of 

the conquered people, and bring them the Median empire, 

{koixIC^lv) with him to Ecbatana. Taba- [Pliny (lib. vi. c. 23) has preserved a 

lus appears to have been left the sole tradition of the destruction of Capissa, 

governor of Sardis. in Capissene, at the foot of the Median 

'' Ctesias placed the conquest of the Caucasus (Kafshdu, in the district of 

Bactrians and the Sacsc before the cap- Koh'stdn, north of Cabiil), by Cyrus iu 

ture of Croesus (Persic. Excerpt. § 2-4). one of his expeditions to the eastward. 

}Ieroilotus appears to have i-egarded — H. C. R.] 

Chap. 153-157. CRCESUS' ADVICE. 235 

me if it were not best to sell them all for slaves. Methinks 
what I have now done is as if a man were to ' kill the father 
and then spare the child.' ^ Thou, who wert something more 
than a father to thy people, I have seized and carried off, and 
to that people I have entrusted their city. Can I then feel 
surprise at their rebellion?" Thus did Cyrus open to Crcesus 
his thoughts ; whereat the latter, full of alarm lest Cyrus should 
lay Sardis in ruins, replied as follows: "Oh! my king, thy 
words are reasonable ; but do not, I beseech thee, give full vent 
to thy anger, nor doom to destruction an ancient city, guiltless 
alike of the past and of the present trouble. I caused the one, 
and in my own person now pay the forfeit. Pactyas has caused 
the other, he to whom thou gavest Sardis in charge ; let him 
bear the punishment. Grant, then, forgiveness to the Lydians, 
and to make sure of their never rebelling against thee, or 
alarming thee more, send and forbid them to keep any weapons 
of war, command them to- wear tunics under their cloaks, and 
to put buskins upon their legs, and make them bring up their 
sons to cithern-playing, harping, and shop-keeping. So wilt 
thou soon see them become women instead of men, and there 
will be no more fear of their revolting from thee." 

156. Crcesus thought the Lydians would even so be better off 
than if they were sold for slaves, and therefore gave the above 
advice to Cyrus, knowing that, unless he brought forward some 
notable suggestion, he would not be able to persuade him to 
alter his mind. He was likewise afraid lest, after escaping the 
dauger which now pressed, the Lydians at some future time 
might revolt from the Persians and so bring themselves to ruin. 
The advice pleased Cyrus, wiio consented to forego his anger 
and do as Croesus had said. Thereupon he summoned to his 
presence a certain Mede, Mazares by name, and charged him to 
issue orders to the Lydians in accordance with the terms of 
Crcjesus' discourse. Further, he commanded him to sell for 
slaves all who had joined the Lydians in their attack upon 
Sardis, and above aught else to be sure that he brought 
Pactyas with him alive on his return. Having given these 
orders Cyrus continued his journey towards the Persian 

157. Pactyas, when news came of the near approach of the 

^ The licence by which Cyrus is made fevred to, see Aristot. Rhet. ii. 21, and 
to (juote the Creek poet Stasiuus is Clem. Al, JStrom. vi. p. 7^7.) 
scarcely defensible. (For tlie line re- 



Book I. 

army sent against him, fled in terror to Cyme. Mazares, 
therefore, the Median general, who had marched on Sardis with 
a detachment of the army of Cyrus, finding on his arrival that 
Tactyas and his troo})s were gone, immediately entered the 
town. And first of all he forced the Lydians to obey the orders 
of his master, and change (as they did from that time) their 
entire manner of living.^ Kext, he despatched messengers to 
Cyme, and required to have Pactyas delivered up to him. On 
this the Cymgeans resolved to send to Branchida3 and ask the 
advice of the god. Branchid88^ is situated in the territory of 
Miletus, above the port of Panormus. There was an oracle 
there, established in very ancient times, w^hich both the lonians 
and zEolians were wont often to consult. 

158. Hither therefore the Cyma3ans sent their deputies to 
make inquiry at *the shrine, " What the gods would like them 
to do with the Lydian, Pactyas?" The oracle told them, in 
reply, to give him up to the Persians. With this answer the 
messengers returned, and the people of Cyme were ready to 

^ Mr. Grote (vol. iv. p. 268) obsei-ves 
with reason, that "the convei-sation 
here reported, and the deUberate plan 
for enervating the Lydian character sup- 
posed to be pursued by Cyrus, is evi- 
dently an hypothesis to explain the con- 
trast between the Lydians whom the 
Greeks saw before them, after two or 
three generations of slavery, and the 
old irresistible horsemen of whom they 
had heard in fame." This is far better 
than, with Heeren (As. Nat. vol. i. p. 
341), to regard such treatment of a con- 
quered people as part of the regular 
system of the Persian despotism. 

1 The temple of Apollo at Branchida) 
and the port Panormus still remain. 
The former is twelve miles from Miletus, 
nearly due south. It lies near the shore, 
about two miles inland from Cape Mono- 
deadri. It is a magnificent ruin of Ionic 
architecture. Dr. Chandler says of it: 
" The memory of the pleasure which 
this spot aflbrded me will not be soon 
or easily erased. The columns yet en- 
tire are so exquisitely fine, the marble 
mass s6 vast and noble, that it is impos- 
sible perhaps to conceive greater beauty 
and majesty of ruin." (Travels, vol. i. 
ch. xliii. p. 174.) A fine view of the 
ruins is given by M. Texier (Asie Mi- 
neure, vol. ii. opp. p. 32G), and a tole- 
rable one in the Ionian antiquities pub- 
lished by the Dilettanti Society (vol. i. 
plate 2). The temple appears to have 

been, next to that of Diana at Ephesus, 
the largest of the Asiatic fanes. (See 
Leake's Asia Minor, Notes, p. 348.) Only 
three of the pillars are now standing. 
(Texier, vol. i. p. 45.) 

«oo oo 

O O O 

O o o 

O O O o 



B O 





o o 

-~ 1 

a o 










O 1 O O 

lOO JO 3S . 

Plan of the Temple. 
Length, 304 feet; breadth, 165 feet. 

The port of Panormus was discovered 
by Dr. Chandler in the vicinity of the 
temple. " In descending fx-om the moun- 
tain toward the gulf," he says, " I had 
remarked in the sea something white, — 
and going afterwards to examine it, 
found the remains of a. circular pier be- 
longing to the port, which was called 
Panormus. The stones, which are mar- 
ble, and about six feet in diameter, extenvi 
from near the shore, where are traces 
of buildings." (ib. p. 173.) 


surrender liim aceordinoly ; lmt as they were preparino; to do so, 
Aristodicus, son of Heraclides, a citizen of distinction"; hindered 
them. He declared that he distrusted the response, and 
believed that the messengers had reported it falsely ; until at 
last another embassy, of which Aristodicus himself made part, 
was despatched, to repeat the former inquiry concerninc^ 
Pactyas. "^ 

159. On their arrival at the shrine of the god, Aristodicus, 
speaking on behalf of the whole body, thus addressed the 
oracle: -'Oli! king, Pactyas the Lydian, threatened by the 
Persians with a violent death, has come to us for sanctuary, and 
lo, they ask him at our hands, calling upon our nation to deliver 
him up. Now, thougli we greatly dread the Persian power, yet 
have we not been bold to give up our suppliant, till we have 
certain knowledge of thy mind, what thou wouldst have us to 
do." l^he oracle thus questioned gave the same answer as 
before, bidding them surrender Pactyas to the Persians; 
Avliereupon Aristodicus, who had come prepared for such an 
answer, proceeded to make the circuit of the temple, and to 
take all tlie nests of young sparrows and other birds that he 
could find about the building. As he was thus employed, 
a voice, it is said, came forth from the inner sanctuary, ad- 
dressing Aristodicus in these words: "Most impious of men, 
what is this thou hast the face to do? Dost thou tear my 
suppliants from my temple?" Aristodicus, at no loss for 
a reply, rejoined, " Oh, king, art thou so ready to protect 
thy suppliants, and dost thou command the Cym^ans to give 
up a suppliant?" "Yes," returned the god, ""l do command 
it, that so for the impiety you may the sooner perish, and not 
come here again to consult my oracle about the surrender of 

160. On the receipt of this answer the Cymseans, unwilling to 
bring the threatened destruction on themselves by giving'' up 
the man, and afraid of having to endure a siege if "^they^'con- 
tinued to harbour him, sent Pactyas away to Mytileni On this 
Mazares despatched envoys to the Mytilenseans to demand the 
fugitive of them, and they were preparing to give him up for a 
reward (I cannot say with certainty how large, as the l^argain 
was not completed), when the Cyma^ans, hearing what^the 
Mytilenaeans were about, sent a vessel to Lesbos, and conveyed 
away Pactyas to Chios. From hence it was that he was 
surrendered. The Chians dragged him from the temple of 


Minerva Poliiiehns^ and gave him up to the Persians, on con- 
dition of receiving the district of Atarneus, a tract of JMysia 
opposite to Lesbos,^ as the price of the surrender/ Thus did 
Pact y as fall into the hands of his pursuers, who kept a strict 
watch upon him, that they might be able to produce him before 
Cyrus. For a long time afterwards none of the Ghians would 
use the barley of Atarneus to place on the heads of victims, or 
make sacrificial cakes of the corn grown there, but the whole 
produce of the land was excluded from all their temples. 

161. Meanwhile Mazares, after he had recovered Pactyas 
from the Chians, made war upon those who had taken part in 
the attack on Tabalus, and in the first place took Priene and 
sold the inhabitants for slaves, after which he overran the 
whole plain of the Mseander and the district of Magnesia,^ both 
of which he gavfe up for pillage to the soldiery. He then sud- 
denly sickened and died. 

162. Upon his death Harpagus was sent down to the coast to 
succeed to his command. He also was of the race of the Medes, 
being the man whom the Median king, Astyages, feasted at the 
unholy banquet, and who lent his aid to place Cyrus upon the 
throne. Appointed by Cyrus to conduct the war in these parts, 
he entered Ionia, and took the cities by means of mounds. 
Forcing the enemy to shut themselves up within their defences, 
he heaped mounds of earth against their walls,^ and thus carried 

2 That is, "Minerva, Guardian of the loc), to dispute the veracity of Charon, 
citadel," which was the ttSMs (/car' Charon wrote — " Pactyas, when he heard 
e|oxV) of each city. Not only at of the apj^roach of the Persian army, fled 
Athens, but among the Ionian cities first to Mytilene, afterwards to Chios, 
generally, there was a temple of Minerva Cyrus however obtained, possession of 
['AB^wq) within the precincts of the him." A man might write so, believing 
Acropolis. Homer even puts one in the all that Herodotus relates. See Mr. 
citadel of Hium. (Iliad, vi. 297.) Grote's note (vol. iv. p. 270). 

3 Atarneus lay to the north of the ^ Kot Magnesia vnder Sipijh's, but 
jEolis of Herodotus, almost exactly op- Magnesia (m the Mxandcr, one of the few 
posite to Mytilene'. There was a town ancient Greek settlements situated far 
of the same name within the territory, inland. Its site is the modern Inek- 
Its vicinity to the river Caicus is indi- bazar (not Guzel-hissar, as Chandler 
cated below (vi. 28), .It continued in supposed, which is Tralles) on the north 
later times to be Chian territory. (See side of the Mseander, about one mile 
the story of Hermotimus, viii. 106, and and a half from it, and thirty miles from 
of. Scylax. Peripl. p. 88.) _ the sea. (Leake, pp. 243-245.) 

4 The Pseudo-Plutarch ascribes the ^ This plan seems not to have been 
whole of this narrative to the ' malig- known to the Lydians. The Persians had 
nity ' of Herodotus (De Malign. Herod,, learnt it, in all probability, from the As- 
p. 859), and quotes Charon of Lampsacus Syrians, by whom it had long been prac- 
as conclusive against its truth. But the tised. (2 Kings xix. 32, Isaiah xxxvii. 33. 
silence of Charon proves nothing, and Layard's Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 73, 
the passage quoted fi'om him is quite con- 149, &c.) A detailed account of this 
sistent with the statements made by He- mode of attack and the way of meeting 
rodotus. There is no need, with Bahr (in it, is given by Thucyd, (ii. 75-6). 


the towns. Plioca3a was the city against which he directed his 
first attack. 

163. Now tlie Phocaeans were the first of the Greeks who 
performed long voyages, and it was they who made the Greeks 
acquanited with the Adriatic and with Tyrrhenia, with Iberia 
and the city of Tartessus.^ The vessel which thev nsed in their 
voyages was not the ronnd-built merchant-ship," but the lono- 
penteconter. On their arrival at Tartessus, the king of the 
country, wliose name was Arganthonius, took a liking to them. 
This monarch reigned over the Tartessians for eighty years;^ 
and lived to be a hundred and twenty years old. He regarded 
the Phocaeans with so much favour as," at first, to beg them to 
quit Ionia and settle in whatever part of his country they liked 
Afterwards, finding that he could not prevail upon them to 
agree to this, and hearing that the Mede was growing great in 
their neighbourhood, he gave them money to build a wall about 
tlieir town, and certainly he must have given it witli a bountiful 
hand, for the town is many furlongs in circuit, and the wall is 
built entirely of great blocks of stone skilfully fitted too-ether^ 
The wall, then, was built by his aid. ^ 

1G4. Harpagus, having advanced 'against the Phocaeans with 
his army, laid siege to their city, first, however, offering them 
terms. "It Avould content him," he said, "if the Phocceans 
would agree to throw down one of their battlements, and 
dedicate one dwelling-house to the king." The Phoc^ans 
sorely vexed at the thought of becoming slaves, asked a single 

' The Iberia of Herodotus is the rate compared to the Illyrian Dando 

Spanish Peninsula. Tartessus was a co- who (Plin. ib.) lived 500 ve^a^r-fG W 1 

lony founded there very early by the Phlegon of Tralles also mentionedThr 

Pbconicians. It was situated beyond 150 years of Ar-antliouiusTn h?.! . ? 

he straits at the mouth of the 4tis concerning longi v 7 p^^^^^^^^ 

(fJuadalqmmr), near the site of the mo- ^laKoofiio^v) Except the F^lfh, ^ 

mitic tong^ie, which probably prevailed meS4 in^J;i; V Fwlm H st Sr vol" 

on the coast of Phoenicia when the fir,«t iii p 610 Fr 29 

colonists sailed for Spain, meant " the ^ It is evident from this that desoite 

r^fow'n C eT^"''^'^^"^"^ .r ^^^^ destructions by Hal^ag^^^^^^^^^ 

« Pbnv?;.-,- 4«?« ^ A ^^^^ generals of Darius (infra, vi. 32) 

, . ^^'"^J. ^^l\^^^ «^y« Anacreon gave tlie old Phoca?a continued to exist in 

him a life of loO years, and mentions the time of Hprr.d >fn« Tf i . 

Gades as Cicero does (de Senect. 19). Pala^a-Fogmi. (Chandler, i p SsT 
In point of ago Arganthonius was mode- ic^nuiei, i. p. ««.; 


day to deliberate on the answer they should return, and 
besought Harpagus during that day to draw off his forces from 
the walls. Harpagus replied, " that he understood well enough 
what they were about to do, but nevertheless he would grant 
their request." Accordingly the troops were withdrawn, and 
the Phocseans forthwith took advantage, of their absence to 
launch their penteconters, and put on board their wives and 
children, their household goods, and even the images of their 
gods, with all the votive offerings from the fanes, except the 
paintings and the works in stone or brass, which were left 
behind. With the rest they embarked, and putting to sea, set 
sail for Chios. The Persians, on their return, took possession of 
an empty town. 

165. Arrived at Chios, the Phocaeans made offers for the 
purchase of the islands called the (Enussse,^ but the Chians 
refused to part with them, fearing lest the Pliocaeans should 
establish a factory there, and exclude their merchants from the 
commerce of those seas. On their refusal, the Phocfeans, as 
Arganthonius was now dead, made up their minds to sail to 
Cyrnus (Corsica), where, twenty years before, following the 
direction of an oracle,^ they had founded a city, which was 
called Alalia. Before they set out, however, on this voyage, 
they sailed once more to Phocsea, and surprising the Persian 
troops appointed by Harpagus to garrison the town, put them 
all to the sword. After this they laid the heaviest curses on 
the man who should draw back and forsake the armament ; and 
having dropped a heavy mass of iron into the sea, swore never 
to return to Phoca^a till that mass reappeared upon the surface. 
Nevertheless, as they were preparing to depart for Cyrnus, more 
than half of their number were seized with such sadness and so 
great a longing to see once more their city and their ancient 

1 The (Enussffilay between Chios and nexionwith this last passage, Herodotus 
the main-land, opposite the northern lets fall a remark which shows that it 
extremity of that island (Lat. o8^ 33' ). was almost the invariable practice to 
They are the modern Spalinadori, five in consult the oracle as to the place to be 
number. One is of, much larger size colonised. Dorieus. he says, on first 
than the rest, which explains the state- leading out his colony from Sparta, 
ment^ of Pliny and Stephen of Byzan- "neither took counsel of the oracle at 
tium, that (EnussBG was an island. There Delphi, as to the place whereto he should 
is an excellent hax'bour. go, nor observed any of the customary 

2 A most important influence was usages." (oi/Ve rw iv AiKcpolcn XPV- 
exercised by the Greek oracles, espe- aTTjpicp xpVf^'^l^^f'os, is '/ivTiva yr}u KTia-wu 
cially that of Delphi, over the course of 'irj, ouVe iToir,(Tas ovdev rwu vo/xi^o- 
Helleniccolonisacion. Further instances /xduwu.) 

occur, iv. 155, 157, 159 ; v. 42. In con- 

Chap. 104-100. PHOC.EANS SAIL TO €OKSICA. 


homes, that they broke the oath by which they had bound 
themselves and sailed back to Plioctea. 

166. The rest of the Phocseans, wlio kept their oath, pro- 
ceeded without sto].)ping upon their voyage, and when they 
came to Cyrnus established themselves along with the earlier 
settlers at Alalia and built temples in the place. For five years 
they annoyed their neighbours by plundering and pillaging on 
all sides, until at length the Carthaginians and Tyrrhenians^ 
leagued against them, and sent each a fleet of sixty ships to 
attack the town. The Phocaeans, on their part, manned all 
their vessels, sixty in number, and met their enemy on the 
Sardinian sea. In the engagement which followed the Phocaeans 
were victorious, but their success was only a sort of Cadmeian 
victory ."^ They lost forty ships in the battle, and the twenty 
which "remained came out of the engagement with beaks so 
bent and blunted as to be no longer serviceable. The Phocaeans 
therefore sailed back again to Alalia, and taking their wives and 
children on board, with such portion of their goods and chattels 
as the vessels could bear, bade adieu to Cyrnus and sailed to 

^ The na^'al power of the Tyrrhe- 
nians was about this time at its height. 
Populonia and Ca3re (or Agylla) were 
the most important of their maritime 
towns. Like the Greeks at a some- 
what earlier period (Thucyd. i. 5), the 
Tyrrhenians at this time and for some 
centuries afterwards were pirates (Strabo, 
V. p. 310 and vi. p. 385. Diod. Sic. xv. 
14; Ephorus 52, ed. Didot ; Aristid. 
Rhod. ii. p. 798). Corsica probably was 
under their dominion before the Pho- 
caeans made their settlement at Alalia. 
Its foundation would be a declaration 
of hostilities. The after-coming of a 
fresh body of emigrants, with a j)ower- 
ful navy, would still further exasperate 
the Tyrrhenians. Hitherto they had 
shared the commei^ce of the Western 
half of the Mediterranean with the Car- 
thaginians. The Phoca3an voyages to 
Tartessus, which had for security's sake 
to be performed in ships of war instead 
of mei'chantmen (supra, ch. 163), cannot 
have interfered much with their mer- 
cantile operations. It was different 
when Phoc?ea attempted to set itself 
up as a third power in the seas, which 
the Tyrrhenians regarded as their own, 
or at least as theirs conjointly with the 
Carthaginicxns. The insignificant set- 
tlement at Massilia, which maintained 

VOL. I. 

itself with difficulty (Liv. v. 34), had 
been perhaps beneath their jealousy. 
It was founded as early as B.C. 600 
(Scymnus Chins, 215-8). Alalia, founded 
about B.C. 572, exactly opposite their 
coast, and on an island which they 
claimed as theirs, and now raised by 
the fresh colonisation to great im- 
portance, was a most dangerous rival. 
Hence the attack of the two great 
maritime powers upon the interloper. 
The Phoca)ans wei^e swept away, and 
the Tyrrhenians resumed their former 
position and conduct, till Hiero of 
Syracuse, provoked by their piracies 
and pillage of Greek cities, broke their 
power in the great battle of which 
Pindar sings (Pyth. i. 137-41). This 
was B.C. 474. (Clinton, F. H. vol. ii. 
p. 36.) 

* A Cadmeian victory was one from 
which the victor received more hurt 
than profit (Suidas in voc. Kadfieia 
viKT]). Plutarch derives the proverb 
from the combat between Polynices 
and Eteocles (De Amor. Frat. p. 488, 
A.); Eustathius from the victory of 
the Thebans over the Seven Chiefs, 
which only produced their after defeat 
by the Epigoni (ad Hom. II. iv. 407). 
Arrian used the phrase in an entirely- 
different sense. (Fr. ^lo?) 



1G7. The Carthaginians and Tyrrhenians, who had got into 
their hands many more than the Phoca3ans from among the 
crews of the forty vessels that were destroyed, landed their 
captives upon the coast after the fight, and stoned them all to 
death. Afterwards, when sheep, or oxen, or even men of the 
district of Agylla passed by the spot where the murdered 
Phocaeans lay, their bodies became distorted, or they were 
seized with palsy, or they lost the use of some of their limbs. 
On this the people of Agylla sent to Delphi to ask the 
oracle how they might expiate their sin.^ The answer of the 
Pythoness required them to institute the custom, which they 
still observe, of honouring the dead Phocaeans with magnificent 
funeral rites, and solemn games, both gymnic and equestrian. 
Such, then, was the fate that befel the Phocaean prisoners. 
The other Phocaean s, who had fled to Khegium, became after a 
while the founders of the city called Yela,^ in the district of 
(Enotria. This city they colonised, upon the showing of a man 
of Posidonia,'^ who suggested that the oracle had not meant to 
bid them set up a town in Cyrnus the island, but set up the 
worship of Cyrnus the hero.^ 

168. Thus fared it with the men of the city of Phocaea in 
Ionia. They of Teos ^ did and suffered almost the same ; for 

^ Niebubr draws two couclusions of Sophist, ad init, Clem. Alex. Strom, i, 

some importance from this uai^ative — p. 301) ; but the time at which he lived 

first, that Agylla had not yet been con- is very uncertain. (Cf. Clinton's F. H. 

quered by the Etruscans, but was purely vol. ii. pp. 15, 35.) 

Tyrrhenian, i. e. (according to his notion) ''' This is the place now known as 

Pelasgic. Otherwise, he says, they would Fccstum, so famous for its beautiful 

have been content with their ownharus- ruins. (See Strab. v, p. 361.) 
pici/, and would not have sent to Delphi. ^ Cyrnus was a son of Hercules 

Secondly, that in this war the Agyllpeans (Servius ad Virg. Eclog. ix. 30). 
were not assisted by any of their neigh- ^ Teos was situated on the south side 

bours, since the divine judgment fell of the isthmus which joined the penin- 

on them alone (Rom. Hist. vol. i. p. sula of Erythrae to the main land, very 

124. E. T.). But if the massacre took nearly opposite Clazomena) (Strab. xiv. 

place on their teiTitory, as it evidently p. 922). It was the birthplace of 

did, the judgment, being attached to Anacreon, and* according to Strabo 

the scene of the slaughter, could only (ibid.) of Hecatseus the chronicler, 

affect to any extent the inhabitants of Considerable remains of it, especially 

the district. a temple of Bacchus and a theatre, still 

6 This is the town more commonly exist near Si>jhcfj if: . (Chandler's Travels, 

called Velia or Elea, where soon after- ch. xxvii. p. Ill ; Leake's Asia Minor, 

wards the great Eleatic school of phi- p. 350.) 

losophy arose. It is conjectured that A certain number of the Teians re- 
the Phocaeans were ' ' j oined by other turned to their native city (Strab . 1. s. c. ), 
exiles from Ionia, in particular by which rose from its ruins and became 
the Colophonian philosopher and poet once more an important place. In the 
Xenophanes." (Grote's Histor}' of Ionian revolt the Teians furnished seven- 
Greece, vol. iv. p. 276.) There seems teen ships to the combined fleet (infra, 
to be no doubt that Xenophanes was vi. 8), when the Phocecans could only 


of the founders of the school (Plat, furnish three. 


they too, when Harpagus had raised his mound to the height of 
their defences, took ship, one and all, and sailing across the sea 
to Thrace, founded there the city of Abdera.^ The site was one 
which Timesius of Clazomenae had previously tried to colonise, but 
without any lasting success, for he was expelled by the Thracians. 
Still the Teians of Abdera worship him to this day as a hero. 

169. Of all the lonians these two states alone, rather than 
submit to slavery, forsook their fatherland. The others (I except 
Miletus) resisted Harpagus no less bravely than those who fled 
their country, and performed many feats of arms, each fighting 
in their own defence, but one after another they suffered defeat ; 
the cities were taken, and the inhabitants submitted, remaining 
in their respective countries, and obeying the behests of their 
new lords. Miletus, as I have already mentioned, had made 
terms with Cyrus, and so continued at peace. Thus was con- 
tinental Ionia once more reduced to servitude ; and when the 
lonians of the islands saw their brethren upon the mainland 
subjugated, they also, dreading the like, gave themselves up to 

170. It was while the lonians were in this distress, but still 
amid it all, held their meetings, as of old, at the Panionium^ 
that Bias of Priene, who was present at the festival, recom- 
mended (as I am informed) a project of the very highest wisdom 
which would, had it been embraced, have enabled the lonians 
to become the happiest and most flourishing of the Greeks. He 
exhorted them "to join in one body, set sail for Sardinia and 
there found a single Pan-Ionic city ; so they would escape from 
slavery and rise to great fortune, being masters of the largest 
island 111 the world,-^ and exercising dominion even beyond its 

vii' fm ^^' "'^^ ""^ '^^'^''^' '''"^^ ^"^''''' ' Herodotus appears to have been 
in;:'.. , entirely convinced that there wa.s no 

This statement appears to be too island in the world so large as Sardink 
general. Samos certainly maintained He puts the assertion iifto the moulh 

her independence till the reign of of Histiceus (v. 1U6), and againTvi 2 

JMrius (vide infra, ni 120). The repeats the sLtemenk withoue^^^^^^^^ 

efforts of the Cnidians to turn their ing any doubt of th; fact. He^thus 

peninsula into an island (in ra, ch. 174) appears to have been entirely igno an 

would how that an insular position of the size of the British Islands (the 

:Z p 'T''^''\ ^^ ^ ^'^^'^^y- P^-"- Cassiterides, with which the Cartha! 

bably Rhodes and Cos continued free, ginians traded, iii. 115), as well as of 

The ground which Herodotus had for Ceylon (the O^Jur of Solomon). It has 

his statement appears to have been the been generall/ said that he also si owed 

tPvL I if -'""li ^^i"' '"^' ^° ignorance in making Sardinia larger tian 

mom ' TW H -^^"'^ ''' ^'''^"" ^t^'' ^'''^^ ' but Admiral Smyth has recently 

mony. Ihey did so to preserve their declared that he is right in so doin^ 

cirTeirSr v .! r""'""^- ^^"P^^' ^^^ ^^^ " ^^^--^- «^ the Mediterranean^' 
cli. IbO , intia, V. 9+.) pp, og-O. On the fluctuations of opinion 

E '2 


bounds ; wliereas if they stayed in Ionia, lie saw no prospect of 
their ever recovering their lost freedom." Such v/as the counsel 
which Bias gave the Ionian s in their affliction. Before their 
misfortunes began, Thales, a man of Miletus, of Phoenician 
descent, had recommended a different plan. He counselled 
them to establish a single seat of government, and pointed out 
Teos as the fittest place for it ; " for that," he said, " was the 
centre of Ionia. Their other cities might still continue to enjoy 
their own laAvs, just as if they were independent states." This 
also was good advice. 

171. After conquering the lonians, Harpagus proceeded to 
attack the Carians, the Caunians, and the Lycians. The lonians 
and Cohans were forced to serve in his army. Now, of the 
above nations the Carians are a race who came into the main- 
land from the islands.^ In ancient times they were subjects of 
king 3Iinos, and went by the name of Leleges,^ dwelling among 
the isles, and, so far as I have been able to push my inquiries, 
never liable to give tribute to any man. They served on board 
the ships of king Minos whenever he required ; and thus, as he 
was a great conqueror and prospered in his wars, the Carians 
were in his day the most famous by far of all the nations of the 
earth. They likewise were the inventors of three things, the 
use of which was borrowed from them by the Greeks ; they were 
the first to fasten crests on helmets® and to put devices on them ia Caria (ib. Fr. 1; Strab. xiv. 

two islands, consult note on Book v. p. 9+5), in Mount Ida (Nymph. Fr. 10), 

ch. 106. in Samos (Menodot. Fr. 1), in Chios 

4 The early occupation of the Cy- (Pherecyd. 1. s. c), in Thessaly (Suid. 

clades by the Carians is asserted by ap. Steph. Byz. ad voc. "Afxvpos), in 

Thucydides (i. 8 ), who adduces as proof Megara (Pausan. iv. xxxvi. § 1), in 

the fact that when the Athenians puri- Boeotia (Arist. Fr. 103), in Locris (ib. 

fied Delos by the removal of all corpses and Fr. 127), in ^tolia (Fr. 127), in 

buried in the island, above half the Laconia (Pausan. in. i. § 1), and in 

bodies disinterred were found to be Leucas (Arist. Fr. 127). That they 

Carian. This was apparent by the formed a portion of the ancient inha- 

manner of their sepulture. bitants of Crete is also not improbable. 

^ Most ancient writers distinguished (See, besides this passage of Herodotus, 
the Carians from the Leleges (Horn. Strab. xiv. p. 9-i:,5.) They seem to have 
II. X. 428-9; Pherecj'd. Fr. Ill ; Phi- approached far more nearly to the Pe- 
lipp. Theaug. Fr. 1 ; Strab. vii. p. 465). lasgic character than the Carians, who 
T\}e latter appear to have been one of belonged rather to the Asiatic type, 
the chief of those kindred races, gene- When the Carians, driven from the 
rally called Pelasgiau, which first peo- islands of the J^gean by the Greeks, 
pled Greece. They ax-e not, however, fell back upon the continent, they found 
so much a tribe of the Pelasgians, as a Leleges still occupying the coast, whom 
sister people. Tradition extends them they conquered and reduced to the con- 
in eai'ly times from Lycia to Acarnania. dition of serfs. (Strab. 1. s. c. ; Philip. 
Besides these two countries, where they Theang. Fr. 1.) 
are placed by Aristotle (Frag. 127) and ^ See note to Book iv. ch. 180. 
Philip of Theangela (Fr. 3), we find 

Chap. 170, 171. 



shields, and tliey also invented handles for shields.^ In the 
earlier times shields were without handles, and their wearers 
managed them by the aid of a leathern thong, by which they 
were slung round the neck and left shoulder.- Long after the 
time of Minos, the Carians were driven from the islands by the 
lonians and Dorians, and so settled upon the mainland. The 
above is the account which the Cretans give of the Carians : 
the Carians themselves say very differently. They maintain 
that they are the aboriginal inhabitants of the part of the main- 
land where they now dwell,^ and never had any other name than 
that which they still bear : and in proof of this they show an 
ancient temple of Carian Jove^ in the country of the Mylasians,'-^ 
in which the Mysians and Lydians have the right of worshipping, 
as brother races to the Carians : for Lydus and Mysus, they say, 
were brothers of Car. These nations, therefore, have the afore- 
said right ; but such as are of a different race, even though they 
have come to use the Carian tongue, are excluded from this 

"> Alcaeus spoke of the \6^os Y^apiKo^ 

and Anacreon of the o^o-vov KapiKoepyes 
(Strab. xiv. p. 945). 

^ Homer generally represents his 
heroes as managing their shields in this 
way (II. ii. 388; iv. 796; xi. ;:;8 ; xii. 
401, &c.). Sometimes, however, he 
speaks of shields with handles to them 
(viii. 193). This may be an anachro- 

The oxai'ov must be distinguished 
from the ir6pira^. The former was a 
bar across the middle of the shield, 
through which the arm was put. The 

latter. was a leathern thong near the 
rim of the shield, which was grasped 
by the hand. The annexed illustration 
shows clearly the difference. 

9 It seems probable that, the Carians, 
who were a kindred nation to the 
Lydians and the Mysians (see the Essay, 
" On the Ethnic Affinities of the Nations 
of Westei-n Asia"), belonged originally 
to the Asiatic continent, and thence 
, spread to the islands. When the Greek 
colonisation of the islands began, the 
native Cai'ian population would natu- 
rally fall back lapon the main mass of 
the nation which had continued in Asia. 
Thus both the Carian and the Greek 
accounts would have truth in them. 

^ Xanthus seems to have spoken of 
this god under the name of Carius, and 
to have distinguished him from Jupiter. 
Carius, he said, was the son of Jupiter 
and Torrhebia; he was taught music 
by the Nymphs, and communicated 
the knowledge to the l;ydians. (Fr. 2.) 
The worship of Carius in the district 
of Lydia called Torrhebia, is mentioned 
by Stephen, (ad voc. ToppvlSo^). 

2 Mylasa was an inland town of Caria, 
about 20 miles from the sea. It was 
the capital of the later Carian kingdom 
(u.o. 385-334). The name still con- 
tinues in the modern Melasso (Chandler, 
vol, i. p. 234; Leake, p. 230), where 
there are extensive remains (Fellows's 
Lycia, pp. 66-75). 


172. The Caunians,^ in my judgment, are aboriginals ; but by 
their own account they came from Crete. In their language, 
either they have approximated to the Carians, or the Carians to 
them — on this point I cannot speak with certainty. In their 
customs, however, they differ greatly from the Carians, and not 
only so, but from all other men. They think it a most honour- 
able practice for friends or persons of the same age, whether 
they be men, women, or children, to meet together in large 
companies, for the pm-pose of drinking wine. Again, on one 
occasion they determined that they would no longer make use 
of the foreign temples which had been long established among 
them, but would worship their own old ancestral gods alone. 
Then their whole youth took arms, and striking the air vnth 
their spears, marched to the Calyndic frontier,'* declaring that 
they were driving out the foreign gods. 

173. The Lycians are in good truth anciently from Crete; 
which island, in former days, was wholly peopled with bar- 
barians. A quarrel arising there between the two sons of 
Europa, Sarpedon, and Minos, as to which of them should be 
king, Minos, whose party prevailed, drove Sarpedon and his 
followers into banishment. The exiles sailed to Asia,^ and 

^ The Caunians occupied a small dis- he had discovered the true site 20 miles 

trict on the coast, which is usually said east of the Calbis, iu a mountainous 

to intervene between Caria and Lycia tract near the gulf of Mahri (Account of 

(Scyl. Peripl. p. 92; Strab. xiv. p. 932). Discoveries, pp. 103, 104). These ruins 

Their coins and architecture show them had a decidedly Lycian character, but 

to have been really Lycians (Fellows's they seem to lie too near the coast. 
Lycian Coins, pp. 5, G). Caunus, their ^ It is doubtful whether there is any 

capital, which has been identified by an truth at all in this tale, which would 

inscription (Geograph. Journal, vol. xii, connect the Greeks with Lycia. One thing 

p. 158), was situated on the right bank is clear, namely, that the real Lycian 

of a small stream (now the Koi-qez), people of history were an entirely dis- 

which carries off the waters of a large tinct race from the Greeks. The Lycian 

lake distant about 10 miles inland, art indeed, with which most persons are 

There are considerable remains, includ- familiar from the specimens in the Bri- 

ing some walls of Cyclopian masonry, tish Museum, bears undoubtedly in its 

The general localities are correctly given general character a considerable resem- 

in Kiepert's Supplementary Maps (Ber- blance to the Greek. But the sculptures 

lin, 1851). which belong to the early or purely Ly- 

■* Calynda was on the borders of cian period have the least resemblance, 

Caria and Lycia. It is sometimes being in many respects more like the 

reckoned in the one, sometimes in the Persepolitan (Fellows's Lycia, p. 173). 

otJher (Strab. xiv. 1. s. c. ; Plin. H. N". And it is not impossible that Greek art 

v. 27 ; Ptol. V, 3; Steph. Byz. ad voc). may have received an impress from Ly- 

Strabo says it was 60 stadia (7 miles) cia, for Lycian artists would naturally 

from the sea. Kiepert, in his Supple- flock to Athens during the government 

mentary Maps, places it on the -Dollotnon of Pericles. Certainly the language of 

Chai, the Indus or Calbis. But no the Lycians, from which their ethnic type 

traces of ruins have been found on that can best be judged, is utterly unlike the 

stream (see the Geograph. Journ. xii. Greek. It is considerably different in 

p. 162). Sir C. Fellows believed that its alphabet, nearly half the letters being 

Chap. 172, 173. THE MILYy?^], ONCE CALLED SOLYML 


landed on the Milyan territory. Milyas was the ancient nanu^ 
of the country now inhabited by the Lycians : '^ the Milyan of the 
present day were, in those times, called Solymi.^ So long as 
Sarpedon reigned, his followers kept the name which they 
brought with them from Crete, and were called Termilse, as the 
Lycians still are by those who live in their neighbourhood.^ 

peculiar. In its general east it is yet 
more unlike, its leading characteristic 
being the number and variety of the 
vowels, and their marked preponderance 
over the consonants. Its roots, where 
they have been satisfactorily made out, 
are, with scarcely a single exception, 
alien from the Greek. While undoubt- 
edly Indo-European in type, the lan- 
guage must be pronounced as remote 
from that of the Greeks as any two 
branches that can be named of the com- 
mon btock. The Indo-European tongue 
to which Lycian approaches most nearly 
is Zend, but it stands to Zend in the 
relation of a sister and not a daughter. 
If then there was any early Greek colo- 
nisation of Lycia it must have been in- 
significant, or at any rate the Greek ele- 
ment must have been soon sunk and 
merged in the Asiatic. (See Mr. D. 
Sharpe's Letter in Sir C. Fellows's Lycia, 
pp. 427 et seqq. ,• and compare Forbes 
and Spratt, vol. ii, App. i.) 

^ Milyas continued to be a district 
of Lycia in the nge of Augustus (Strabo, 
xiii. pp. 904-5). It was then the high 
plain (inclosed by Taurus on the north, 
Climax and Solyma on the east, Mas- 
sicytus on the south-west, and two 
lower ranges, one joining Taui'us and 
Massicytus on the north-west, and the 
other Massicytus and Solyma on the 
south-east) in which stands the modern 
Almall, the largest town in Lycia, and 
almost the largest in Asia Minor. It is 
a table land about 4000 feet above the 
sea-level, and has no exit for its waters, 
which foi-m the lake of Avelan (Fellows's 
Lycia, pp. 227-9). Sir. C. Fellows found 
in this district a curious monument 
(figured p. 233), on which the word 
MiAuos occurred. The remainder of 
the inscription was unfortunately il- 

The Milyans were undoubtedly an 
entirely distinct people from the Ly- 
cians. There 'are no Lycian remains in 
their country. (See Fellows's Lycian 
Coins, Map.) Bochart derives their 
name from '•xbiD, wliich is used by the 
Talmudical writers for "mountainous 
places." (Oeograph. .Sac. p. 3G4, 1. 4.) 

They were probably of Semitic origin. 
(See the next note.) 

■^ The Solymi were mentioned by 
Chserilus, who was contemporary with 
Herodotus and wrote a poem on the 
Persian War, as forming a part of the 
army of Xerxes (ap. Euseb. Praip. Ev. 
ix. 9). He placed them among hills 
of the same name along the shores of 
a broad lake, which Col. Leake conjec- 
tures to have been that of Egerdir 
(Geograph. Journ. xii. p. 165). Their 
language, according to him, was Phoeni- 
cian. Strabo regards both the Milyans 
(xiv. p. 952) and Cabalians (xiii. p. 904) 
as Solymi, and considers that a people 
of this name had once held the heights 
of Taurus from Lycia to Pisidia (i. p. 32). 
That_ the Pisidians were Solymi is as- 
serted by Pliny (v. 27) and Stephen 
(ad voc, riio-tSm). The same people 
left their name in Lycia to Mount 
Solyma. Here we seem to have a trace 
of a Semitic occupation of these coun- 
tries preceding the Indo-European. 
(Comp. Horn. II. vi. 184.) For addi- 
tional particulars of the Solymi see 
Bochart's Geogr. Sacr. part ii. book i. 
ch. 6. 

^ It would seem by the Lycian in- 
scriptions that Termilce (written Tra- 
mele, TPXMEA^; compare the Tpe- 
fj-lXai of Hecatffius, Fr. 364, and the 
Tpe/itAets of Stephen) was not only the 
name by which the Lycians were known 
to their neighbours, but the only name 
by which they (or rather their principal 
tribe) called themselves. Lycia and 
Lycians (written Aiklu and Aikioi) are 
found in the Greek portions of the in- 
scriptions, but in the Lycian there is 
no word at all resembling these. Tra- 
mele, on the other hand, is a name of 
frequent occurrence, and even lingers 
in the country at the present day. 
There is a \illage called Tremili in the 
mountains at the extreme north of the 
ancient Lycia, not far from the lake of 
Ghieul Hissar. (See Geograpli. Journ. 
vol. xii. p. 1 56 ; Spratt and Forbes's 
Lycia, vol. i. p. 266.) 

Sir C. Fellows thinks that the Lycians, 
whose real ethnic title is unknown tu 


But after Lycns, the son of Pandiou, banished from Athens by 
his brother ^geus, had found a refuge with Sarpedon in the 
countiy of these Termila?, they came, in course of time, to be 
called from him Lycians.^ Their customs are partly Cretan, 
partly Carian. They have, however, one singular custom in 
which they differ from every other nation in the world. They 
take the mother's and not the father's name. Ask a Lycian 
who he is, and he answers by giving his own name, that of his 
mother, and so on in the female line. Moreover, if a free woman 
marry a man Avho is a slave, their children are full citizens ; 
but if a free man marry a foreign woman, or live with a con- 
cubine, even though he be the first person in the State, the 
children forfeit all the rights of citizenship. 

174. Of these nations, the Carians submitted to Harpagus 
without performing any brilliant exploits. Nor did the Greeks 
who dwelt in Caria behave with any greater gallantry. Among 
them were the Cnidiaiis, colonists from Lacedsemon, who occupy 
a district facing the sea, which is called Triopium. This region 
adjoins upon the Bybassian Chersonese ; and, except a very 
small space, is surrounded by the sea, being bounded on the 
north by the Ceramic Gulf, and oh the south by the channel 
towards the islands of Syme and Ehodes.^ While Harpagus was 
engaged in the conquest of Ionia, the Cnidians, wishing to make 
their country an island, attempted to cut through this narrow 

us, were divided into three tribes, the name of Triopium to the whole of that 

Tramelai,theTroes,andtheTekkefse (?), long and narrow peninsula which lies 

whom he identifies with the Caunians of between the gulfs of Cos and Syme, 

Herodotus. The Tramela^ were the most projecting westward from the tract 

important tribe occupying all southern called by Herodotus ''the Bybassian 

Lycia from the gulf of Adalia to the Chersonese," which is also a peninsula, 

valley of the Xanthus. Above them on joined to the mainland by an isthmus 

the east were the districts called Milyas not more than 10 miles across from the 

and Cibyratis, inhabited by tribes not Gulf of Cos to that of Marmorice. 

Lycian ; while the upper part of the The isthmus which unites the Ti'iopian 

valley of the Xanthus, and the mountain- peninsula to the continent was found 

tract to the westward as far as the range by Captain Graves to be as narrow as 

which bounds on the east the valley stated by Herodotus, and traces are 

of the Calbis, was inhabited by the even said to have been discovered of 

Troes ; and the region west of that to the attempted canal. (Hamilton's Asia 

the borders of Caria by the Tekkefse. Minor, vol. ii. p. 78.) Most writers 

(See the Essay on the Coins of Lycia, make the Triopium a mere cape or 

London, 1855.) promontory (aKpcoTrjpiov) in this tract. 

'•' This may possibly be so far true (Scylax. p. 91 ; Schol. Theocr. xvii. 69; 

that the Greek fancy to call the Ter- Thuc. viii. 35.) The rendering of the 

milge Lycians may have originated in joassage {a.pyjx4v'r]s e'/c rris Xepaovrjaov 

the emigration of a certain Lycus, at rrjs Bv^ao-ai-ns) proposed by Larcher 

the head of a band of malcontents, into and adopted by Bahr, is quite inad- 

these regions. missible. 

1 Herodotus is singular in giving the 


neck of land, wliicli was no more than five furlongs across from 
sea to sea. Their whole territory lay inside the isthmus ; for 
where Cnidia ends towards the mainland, the isthmus begins 
which they were now seeking to cut through. The work had 
been commenced, and many hands were employed upon it, 
when it was observed that there seemed to be something 
unusual and imnatural in the number of wounds that the work- 
men received, especially about their eyes, from the splintering 
of the rock. The Cnidians, therefore, sent to Delphi, to inquire 
what it was that hindered their efforts ; and received, according 
to their own account, the following answer from the oracle : — 

" Fence not the isthmus off, nor dig it through — 
Jove would have made an island, had he wished." 

So the Cnidians ceased diggings and when Harpagus advanced 
with his army, they gave themselves up to him without striking 
a blow. 

175. Above Halicarnassus, and further from the coast, were 
the Pedasians.^ With this people, when any evil is about to 
befal either themselves or their neighbours, the priestess of 
Minerva grows an ample beard. Three times has this marvel 
happened. They alone, of all the dwellers in Caria, resisted 
Harpagus for a while, and gave him much trouble, maintaining 
themselves in a certain mountain called Lida, which they had 
fortified ; but in course of time they also were forced to submit. 

176. When Harpagus, after these successes, led his forces into 
the Xanthian plain,^ the Lycians of Xanthus * went out to meet 

- Pedasus was reckoned in Caria (in- '' The real name of the city which 

fra, V. 121). Its exact site is uncertain, the Greeks called Xanthus seems to 

Sir C. Fellows suggests Moolah, near have been Arna or Arina. This is 

the source of the Cheena or Mai-syas asserted by Stephen (ad voc. "Apva), 

(Discoveries, p. 2oO, note). But this and confirmed by the monuments of 

seems too far from Halicarnassus. Kie- the country. Arina (APfNA) appears 

pert is probably right in placing Pedasus upon some of the Lycian coins, which 

within the Ceramic peninsula. (Mapxx.) show no word resembling Xanthus till 

Lida i}? the coast range along the north- the purely Greek or Post-Alexandrine 

ern shore of the Ceramic gulf. Aris- period, and the same name occurs more 

totle in his History of Animals (iii. 11) than once on the great inscribed obelisk 

notices the fact (!) that the Cariau from Xanthus, now in the British Mu- 

priestesses grew a beard occasionally seum (north side 1. 13. 20). Xanthus 

(infra, viii. 104). is properly the name of the river. It 

3 The Xanthian plain is to the south is a Greek translation of the original 

of the city, being in fact the alluvial appellation given to the stream probably 

deposit of the river Xanthus. It is by the Solymi, which was Sirbe or 

about 7 miles across from Uzlan to Sirbes (Strab. xiv. p. 951 ; Panyasis ap. 

Patara, and from four to five miles Steph. Byz. ad voc. Tpeixikr]; Eustath, 

deep, from the coast to the foot of the ad Hom, II. xii. p. 907. 30), a Semitic 

mountains. The city stands near its word signifying "yellow" (Bochart, 

upper extremity, on the left bank of Geog. Sacr. Part ii. i. 6). Naming a 

the river. river fi'om its colour is very common 


him in the field : though but a small band against a numerous 
host, they engaged in battle, and performed many glorious 
exploits. Overpowered at last, and forced within their walls, 
they collected into the citadel their wives and children, all their 
treasures, and their slaves ; and having so done, fired the 
building, and burnt it to the ground. After this, they bound 
themselves together by dreadful oaths, and sallying forth against 
the enemy, died sword in hand, not one escaping. Those 
Lycians who now claim to be Xanthians, are foreign immigrants, 
except eighty families, who happened to be absent from the 
country, and so survived the others. Thus was Xanthus taken ^ 
by Harpagus,^ and Caunus fell in like manner into his hands ; 

in the East. Hence the number of 
Kara-Sus, or "Black waters;" theKizil- 
Irmak, "RedEiver;" Kiuk-Su, ''Blue 
River," &c. 

Sir C. Fellows conjectures that the 
name Arina was not given to the city 
till a little before the time of Alexan- 
der, and that previously it was called 
Koprlle (Coins of Lycia, p, 12), a word 
which appears far often er than any other 
on the Lycian coins. But he seems to 
forget that Arina is on the obelisk, 
which is of the time of Artaxerxes 
Longimanus. Perhaps Koprlle (KO- 
rPAAE) was the name of the district 
whose chief city was Arina, ^ (See 
Coin 7, Plate xii. in his series, which 
bears on one side the inscription API, 
and on the reverse KOTPAA.) 

^ Xanthus defended itself on two 
subsequent occasions with equal gal- 
lantry : first, against Alexander ; and 
secondly, against the Romans (Vide 
Appian. de Bello Civil., iv. 80, p. 633). 

^ There is reason to believe that the 
government of Lycia remained in the 
family of Harpagus. The Xanthian 
obelisk in the British Museum, which 
seems to have been erected soon after 
the battle of the Eurymedon (b.c. 466), 
contains a record of Caias (or Caiicas), 
the son of Ilarpcujvs (Greek Inscr., lines 
5 and 12 ; Lycian Inscr. S. W. side, 
line 25), who appears to have been the 
ruler of the country in the time of 
Artaxeyxes Longimanus. The deeds of 
the same prince are represented upon 
the trophy-monument in the Museum, 
where he appears as an Oriental chief, 
aided by Greek mercenaries. It has 
been thought that the curious symbol, 
known as the triquetra, occurring upon 
the Lycian coins, is eniblemntic of the 
name of the conqueror in whose family 

the government was settled (Stewart, in 
Fellows' Lycian Coins, p. 14). The 
essential element of the emblem is a 
crook or grappling hook, the Latin liar- 


2Mgo, the Greek apTn], or apirdyri. Such 
a play upon words is not uncommon in 
a rude age. The crook itself appears 
on the coins of Arpi in Apulia, in 
manifest allusion to the name of the 
town. And oiu- more ancient armorial 
bearings have constantly the same cha- 

The obelisk prince, "Caias, son of 
Harpagus," must not be regarded as 
the actual son, but as a descendant of 
the conqueror. Eighty-seven years in- 
tervene between the conquest and the 
battle of the Eurymedon, to which the 
obelisk is posterior. This would allow 
two generations between the founder of 
the family and the builder of the obelisk, 
which may be filled up thus : — 

Harpagus (tlie con- B.C. B.C. 

queror) 553 to 543 ... 10 years. 

Gaias(.?) his son .... 543 to 510 ... 33 years. 
Haipagus, his son ... 510 to 477 .. . 33 years, 
Caias, his son 477 to 444 .. . 33 years. 

There is one objection to this view. 
The commander of the Lycian ships in 
the navy of Xerxes is not Harpagus, the 
son of Caias, but Cyberniscus, tlie son 
of Sicas (infra, vii. 98;. Cyberniscus 
shoidd certainly represent the chief ruler 

Chap. 176-178. 



for the Caimians in the main followed the example of the 

177. While the lower parts of Asia were in this way brought 
under by Harpagus, Cyrus in person subjected the upper regions, 
conquering every nation, and not suffering one to escape. Of 
these conquests I shall pass by the greater portion, and give an 
account of those only which gaVe him the most trouble, and are 
the worthiest of mention. When he had brought all the rest of 
the continent under his sway, he made war on the Assyrians.^ 

178. Assyria possesses a vast number of great cities,^ whereof 

of Lycia, as Syennesis does of Cilicia, 
and Gorgus of great part of Cyprus. Pos- 
sibly the words "sou of Harpagus" on 
the monument mean only " descendant 
of Harpagus," and the true succession 
may have been — Harpagiis, Sicas, Cyber- 
niscus, Caias. Or there may have been 
an interruption in the line, consequent 
upon the Caunian rebellion, which may 
have brought Harpagus II. into disgx^ace 
(v. 103), since Cavinus was included in 
Lycia (supra, ch. 172, note '^), and if the 
triquetra may be taken for a sign, was 
under the government of the Harpagi. 

■^ Herodotus includes Babylonia in 
Assyria (vide supra, ch. lOG). He seems 
to have conceived the Median conquest 
of Nineveh quite differently from either 
Ctesias or Berosus. He regards Cy- 
axares as conquering a portion only of 
Assyria, and supposes a transfer of the 
seat of government, without (appa- 
rently) any change of dynasty, to Baby- 
lon. This is evident from the next 
chapter. There can be no doubt that 
he was mistaken, and that the native 
historian gave a truer account. See the 
Essays appended to this Book, Essays 
iii. and vii. 

^ The large number of important cities 
in Assyria, especially if we include in it 
Babylonia, is one of the most remarkable 
features of Assyrian greatness. 

[Grouped around Nineveh were Calah 
{JVimnkl), DurSargina {K/wrsabdd }, Tar- 
bisa {Shcrifkhdn), Arbel {Arhil), Khazeh 
(Shaiudniek), and Asshur {Shirf/dt). Lower 
down, the banks of the Tigris exhibit 
an almost unbroken line of ruins from 
Tekrit to Baghdad, while Babjdonia and 
Chaldasa are throughout studded with 
mounds from north to south, the re- 
mains of those great capitals of which 
we read in the inscx'iptions. The prin- 
cipal sites are Sittace (a doubtful posi- 
tion), Opis [Khafdji), Chilmad [Kal- 

wddha), Duraba {Akkerhuf), Cutha {Ibra- 
him), Sippara (the modern Sara near 
Babylon), Babylon and Borsippa (the 
modern Bahel and7><Vs), Calneh (Nijfer), 
Erech — Huruk of the inscriptions — 
( Warka), Larancha {Senkereh), Ur of the 
Chaldees {Mugheir), and many other ci- 
ties of which the ancient names have not 
been yet identified. — H. C. R.] Again, 
in Upper Mesopotamia, between the 
Tigris and the Khabour, an affluent of 
the Euphrates, Mr. Layard found the 
whole country covered with artificial 
mounds, the remnants of cities belonging 
to the . early Assyrian period (Nineveh 
and Babylon, pp. 241, 243, 245, &c.). 
"As the evening crept on," he says, "I 
watched from the highest mound the 
sun as it gradually sunk in unclouded 
splendour below the sea-like expanse 
before me. On all sides, as far as the 
eye could reach, rose the grass-covered 
heaps, marking the site. of ancient habi- 
tations. The great tide of civilisation 
had long since ebbed, leaving these scat- 
tered wrecks on the solitary shore. Are 
those waters to flow again, bearing back 
the seeds of knowledge and of wealth 
that they have wafted to the West ? 
We wanderers were seeking what they 
had left behind, as children gather up 
the coloured shells on tlie deserted 
sands. At my feet there was a busy 
scene, making more lonely the unbroken 
solitude which reigned in the vast plain 
around, w^here the only things having 
life or motion were the shadows of the 
lofty mounds, as they lengthened before 
the declining sun. Above three years 
before, when w^atching the approach of 
night from the old castle of Tel Afer, I 
had counted nearly one hundred ruins; 
now, when in the midst of them, no less 
than double that number 
from Tel Jemal." 

were seen 



Book T. 

the most renowned and strongest at this time was Babylon, 
whither, after the fall of Nineveh, the seat of government had 
been removed. The following is a description of the place : — 
The city stands on a broad plain, and is an exact square, a 
hundred and twenty furlongs in length each way, so that the 
entire circuit is four hundred and eighty furlongs.^ While such 
is its size, in magnificence there is no other city that approaches 
to it. It is surrounded, in the first place, by a broad and deep 
moat, full of water, behind which rises a wall fifty royal cubits 
in width, and two hundred in height.^ (The royal cubit ^ 

^ According to Ctesias Tap. Diod. Sic, 
ii. 7) the circuit was but 360 furlongs 
(stadia). The historians of Alexander 
agreed nearly with this (Diod. Sic, l,s.c.; 
Quint. Curt, V. i, § 26). Clitarchus re- 
ported 365 stadia; Q. Curtius, 368; 
while Strabo, who had access to Aiisto- 
bulus, gave 385. The vast space en- 
closed within the walls of Babylon is 
noticed by Aristotle. (Polit. iii. 1, sub 

[No traces are to be recognised at the 
present day of the ancient enceinte of 
Babylon, nor has any verification as yet 
been discovered, in the native and con- 
temporary records, of the (apparently) 
exaggerated measurements of the Greeks. 
The measure of Nebuchadnezzar's new 
or inner city is given in the India House 
Tablet as 4000 amnias (or cubits; comp. 
the Jewish HSN) each side, which would 
yield a circumference of about 44 stades, 
or no more than 5 English miles. But 
the extent of the old Babylon is nowhere 
recorded,— H.CE.] 

1 This, by far the most surprising 
fact connected with these walls, is to 
some extent confirmed by Ctesias, who 
gives the measure of the height as 
50 fathoms (Diod. Sic. ii. 7), equal to 
200 ordinary cubits. Other writers 
considerably reduce the amount ; Pliny 
(vi. 26) and Solinus (c. 60) to 200 feet, 
Strabo and others to 75 feet. The 
great width and height of the walls 
are noticed in Scripture (Jerem, Ii. 53, 
58), There can be no doubt that the 
Babylonians and Assyrians surrounded 
their cities with walls of a height which, 
to us, is astounding. The sober and 
practical Xenophon (Anab, ii, iv. § 12, 
and III. iv. § 10) reports the height of 
the so-called Median wall at 100 feet, 
and that of the walls of the ruined 
Nineveh at 150 feet, 

[It must be remembered, however, 
that Strabo and the historians of Alex- 

ander substitute 50 for the 200 cubits 
of Herodotus, and it may therefore be 
suspected that the latter author referred 
to hands, four of which were equal to 
the cubit. The measure indeed of 
50 fathoms or 200 royal cubits for the 
walls of a city in a plain is quite pre- 
posterous, and if intended by the authors 
must be put down as a gross exaggera- 
tion. When Xenophon estimates the 
height of the walls of Nineveh opposite 
Mespila at 1 50 feet, he gives the aggre- 
gate of the river bank, the colossal 
mound (modern Koijunjih) on the top of 
the bank, and the wall on the top of 
the mound. My own belief is that the 
height of the walls of Babylon did not 
exceed 60 or 70 English feet.— H, C, E,] 
2 The Greek metrical system was 
closely connected with the Babylonian, 
It is of course more in the divisions and 
general arrangement of the scale than 
in actual measurement that the Baby- 
lonian character of the Greek system is 
exhibited. Thus, the foot being taken 
as the unit for all longer measures, the 
opyvia is found to contain 6 feet, the 
KaXa/jLOs 10, the ^jU/ia 60, the irXeOpov 
100, and the CTaBiov 600 ;— the alterna- 
tion in the series of 6 and 10 occurring 
precisely as in the well-known Babylo- 
nian notation — now abundantly verified 
from the inscriptions — of the Sus, the 
Ner, and the Sar. With regard to the 
po.sitive relationship of the Greek and 
Babylonian measures of length, it is 
difficult as yet to form a decided opinion. 
'Bockh (Clas. Mus. vol. i. p. 4) maintains 
that the Babylonian cubic foot stood to 
the Greek in the ratio of 3 to 2. and 
M. Oppert, from a tolerably extensive 
field of comparison (see Athenaeum 
Frangais, 1854, p. 370), has also valued 
the length of the Babylonian foot at 
315 millimetres, which is, as nearly as 
possible, 12§ English inches, but my 
own researches rather lead me to believe 

Chap. 178, 170. 



is longer by three fingers' breadth than the comraon 


179. And here I may not omit to tell the use to which the 
mould dug out of the great moat was turned, nor the manner 
wherein the wall was wrought. As fast as they dug the moat 
the soil which they got from the cutting was made into bricks, 
and when a sufficient number were completed they baked the 
bricks in kilns. Then they set to building, and began with 
bricking the borders of the moat, after which they proceeded to 
construct the wall itself, using throughout for their cement hot 
bitumen, and interposing a layer of wattled reeds at every 
thirtieth course of the bricks.* On the top, along the edges of 
the wall, they constructed buildings of a single chamber facing 
one another, leaving between them room for a four-horse chariot 
to turn. In the circuit of the wall are a hundred gates, all of 
brass, with brazen lintels and side-posts. The bitumen used in 
the work was brought to Babylon from the Is, a small stream 
which flows into the Euphrates at the point where the city of 
the same name stands,^ eight days' journey from Babylon. 
Lumps of bitumen are found in great abundance in this river. 

the ordinary Babylonian foot to have 
been less tlian the Greek — less even 
than the English foot. It may per- 
haps have been identical with the 
Egyptian or Samian, the exact value 
of which, obtained from the Nilometer, 
is ll-8-28o2o84 English inches, but I 
would prefer comparing the Eoman 
foot, which is only 11-6496 English 
inches, or even a foot of still less value, 
if any authority could be found for it. 
— [H. C. R.] 

^ According to M. Oppert, the Baby- 
lonian cubit was to the foot, not as 
.') : 2, but as 5 : 3. The foot contained 
.Miands of 5 fingers each, or 15 fingers 
(Athenaeum Frangais, 1850, p. 370); the 
cubit 5 such hands, or 25 fingers. If 
then we accept the statement of He- 
rodotus, the Royal Babylonian cubit 
must have contained 28 fingers, or 4 
more than the Greek. The exact value 
of the cubit will, of course, depend on 
the estimate which we form of the real 
length of the foot (see the last note). 
Assuming at present that the Babylonian 
foot nearly equalled the English, the 
common cubit would have been 1 foot 
8 inches, and the Royal cubit 1 foot 
]0'4 inches. The Herodotean height 
of the walls, according to this estimate 
would be ;'.73 ft. 4 in., or 13 ft. 4 in. 

higher than the extreme height of St. 

* Layers of reeds are found in some 
of the remains of brick buildings at 
present existing in Babylonia, but 
usually at much smaller intervals than 
here indicated. At Akkerkuf "they 
bed every ffth or sijcth layer of brick, 
to a thickness of two inches." (See 
Porter's Travels, vol. ii. p. 278.) In the 
Mujelibe', or ancient temple of Belus at 
Babylon, ''the straw line runs its un- 
broken length between the ranges of 
every single brick course" (Ibid. p. 341). 

[I have* never myself observed layers 
of reeds in any building of undoubted 
Babylonian origin. All the ruins, at 
any rate about Babylon, in which reeds 
are met with at short distances between 
the layers of crude brick, are of the 
Parthian age, such as Al Hymar, Ak- 
kerkuf, the upper walls of Rich's Mu- 
jellibeh, Mokhattat, Zibliyeh. Shishobar, 
and the walls of Seleucia and Ctesiphon, 
Impressions of reeds are at the same 
time very common on the burnt bricks 
of Nebuchadnezzar's buildings from the 
bricks having been laid on matting when 
in a soft state. — H. C. R.] 

^ This place seems to be mentioned 
in the tinbute paid to Thothmes III. at 
Karnak, from Nineveh, Shinar, Meso- 



Book I. 

180. The city is divided into two portions by the river which 
runs through the midst of it. This river is the Euphrates, a 
broad, deep, swift stream, which rises in Armenia, and empties 
itself into the Erythraean sea. The city wall is brought down 
on both sides to the edge of the stream : thence, from the 
corners of the wall, there is carried along each bank of the river 
a fence of burnt bricks. The houses are mostly three and four 
stories high ; the streets all run in straight lines, not only those 
parallel to the river, but also the cross streets which lead down 
to the water-side. At the river end of these cross streets are low 
gates in the fence that skirts the stream, whicli are, like the 
great gates in the outer wall, of brass, and open on the water. 

181. The outer wall is the main defence of the city. There 
is, however, a second inner wall, of less thickness than the first, 
but very little inferior to it in strength.*' The centre of each 
division of the town was occupied by a fortress. In the one 
stood the palace of the kings,^ surrounded by a w^all of great 

potamia, and Babel, &c,, under the 
name of "1st,'' the chief of which 
brought 2040 minse of bitumen, which 
is called sift, answering to zifte, its 
modern name in those parts, as Rich 
says. In Egyptian Arabic zifte (like 
the Hebrew zift, Exod. ii. 3) means 
pitch, bitumen (sift), and incense also. 
(See Birch's letter in Otia -^gyptiaca, 
p. 80, etc.).— [G. W.] 

Is is indubitably the modern Hit, 
where the bitumen is still abundant. 
The following quaint description is given 
by an old traveller : — 

" Having spent three days and better, 
from the ruins of Old Babylon we came 
unto a town called Ait, inhabited only 
by Arabians, but very ruinous. Near 
unto which town is a valley of pitch 
very marvellous to behold, and a thing 
almost incredible, wherein are many 
springs throwing out abundantly a kind 
of black substance, like unto tar and 
pitch, which serveth all the countries 
thereabouts to make staunch their barks 
and boats, every one of which springs 
maketh a noise like a smith's forge in 
puffing and blowing out the matter, 
which never ceaseth night nor day, and 
the noise is heard a mile off, swallowing 
up all weighty things that come upon it. 
The Moors call it ' the mouth of hell.' " 
(Collection of Voyages and Travels from 
the Library of the Earl of Oxford. 2 vols. 
London, 1745. Vol. ii. p. 752.) 

[The name of this place was originally 

///*, or, with a distinctive epithet at- 
tached, Ihidakira, meaning " the bitu- 
men spring." In the Is of Herodotus 
we have I hi with a Greek nominatival 
ending. The same place is probably 
indicated in Ezra viii. 15, 21, 31, where 
we have the Hebrew orthography of 
XiriK, or, in the English version, Ahava. 
Isidore of Charax writes the name as 
'AeiTToAis in his Parthian stations (p. 5). 
Ptolemy has 'iSiKcipa (v. 20), and the 
Talmud NT'PlN^n^ {Ihidakira) as the 
most northerly town of Babylonia, 
Zosimus also writes AaKipa (iii. p. 165), 
and Ammianus, Diacira (xxiv. 2). Hit 
is probably the same name with a femi- 
nine ending. — H. C. R.] 

^ The "inner wall" here mentioned 
may have been the wall of Nebuchad- 
nezzar's new city — the " inner city " of 
Berosus (Fr. 14)— which lay entirely 
within the ancient circuit, and had a 
circumference of 16,000 ammas or 44 
stades. — See note ^ on ch. 178. 

' This is the mass or mound still 
called the Kasr or Palace, "a square of 
700 yards in length and breadth." (Rich, 
First Memoir, p. 22.) It is an immense 
pile of brickwork, chiefly of the finest 
kind. On it stand some remarkable 
ruins to which the name AVts/- is specially 
applied. Its single tree which Rich 
thought strange to the country, and a 
remnant of the hanging-gardens of 
Nebuchadnezzar, still grows on one of 
the ridges, but is not found to deserve 



strengtli and size : in the otlier was the sacred precinct of Jupiter 
Belus,^ a square enclosure two furlongs each way, with gates of 
solid brass ; which was also remaining in my time. In the 
middle of the precinct there was a tower of solid masonry, a 
furlong in length and breadth, upon which was raised a second 
tower, and on that a third, and so on up to eight. The ascent 
to the top is on the outside, by a path which winds round all the 
towers. When one is about half-way up, one finds a resting- 
place and seats, where persons are wont to sit some time on 
their way to the summit. On the topmost tower there is a 
spacious temple, and inside the temple stands a couch of unusual 
size, richly adorned, with a golden table by its side. There is 
no statue of any kind set up in the place, nor is the chamber 
occupied of nights by any one but a smgle native woman, who, 
as the Chaldseans, the priests of this god,^ affirm, is cliosen for 
liimself by the deity out of all the women of the land. 

the attention bestowed on it, since it 
is of a kind very common in the valley 
of the Euphrates. 

[There can be no doubt whatever of 
the identity of the ruins of the Kasr 
with the great palace of Babylon noticed 
by Herodotus, and described at more 
length by Josephus from Berosus (contr. 
Ap. i. 19), because several slabs belong- 
ing to the original building have been 
found there which bear inscriptions 
commemorative of the building of the 
palace by Nebuchadnezzar. For a full 
explanation of the subject, see the 
Essay appended to Book iii., " On the 
Topography of Babylon," — H. C. R.] 

^ The Babylonian worship of Bel is 
well known to us from Scripture (Isaiah 
xlvi. 1 ; Jerem. 1. 2 ; Apoc. Dan. xii, 
16). There is little doubt that he was 
(at least in the later times), the re- 
cognised head of the Babylonian Pan- 
theon, and therefore properly identified 
by the Greeks with their Zeus or Jupi- 
ter. (Compare the expressions Jupiter 
Amnion, Jupiter Papias, &c.) It has 
been usual to suppose that Bel and 
Baal are the same woi'd, and there- 
fore that the word Bel means simply 
" Lord." But this is very uncertain. 
Bel is 73 in the original, while Baal is 
7^3. These may he distinct roots. 

[There are some points of consider- 
able difficulty connected with the wor- 
ship of Bel at Babylon. In the inscrip- 
tions of Nebuchadnezzar, for instance, 

the name of Bel, as a distinct divinity, 
hardly ever occurs. The great temple 
of Babylon is consecrated to Merodach, 
and that god is the tutelar divinity of 
the city. In the Assyrian inscriptions, 
however, Bel is associated with Babylon. 
Pul and Tiglath-Pileser both sacrificed 
to him in that city as the supreme local 
deity, and Sargon expressly calls Baby- 
lon "the dwelling-place of Bel." At 
a still earlier period, that is, under the 
old Chaldsean Empire, NifFer was the 
chief seat of the worship of Bel, and 
the city was named after him, an expla- 
nation being thus afforded of the many 
traditions which point to Niffer, or the 
city of Belus (Calneh of Genesis), as 
the primitive capital of Chaldaea. It 
may be presumed from many notices, 
both in sacred and profane history, that 
the worship of Bel again superseded 
that of Merodach at Babylon under the 
Achajmenian princes. See the Essay 
on the Religion of the Assyrians and 
Babylonians.— H. C. R.] 

^ Ctesias appears to have agi-eed with 
Herodotus in this statement. Diodorus, 
whose Assyrian history seems to have 
been entirely taken from Ctesias, com- 
pares the Ohaldicans of Babylonia with 
the priests of Egypt (ii. 29). And it is 
unquestionable that at the time of 
Alexander's conquests the Chaldajans 
were a priest-caste. Yet originally the 
appellation seems to have been ethnic. 

[It is only recently that the darkness 
Avhich has so long enveloped the history 



Book I. 

182. They also declare — but I for my part do not credit it — 
that the god comes down in person into this chamber, and sleeps 
npon the couch. This is like the story told by the Egyptians of 
what takes place in their city of Thebes/ where a woman always 
passes the night in the temple of the Theban Jupiter.^ In each 
case the woman is said to be debarred all intercourse with men. 
It is also like the custom of Patara, in Lycia, where the priestess 
who delivers the oracles, during the time that she is so em- 
ployed — for at Patara there is not always an oracle,^ — is shut up 
in the temple every night. 

of the Chaldseans has been cleared up, 
b\it we are now able to present a tole- 
rably clear account of them. The Chal- 
dseans then appear to have been a branch 
of the great Hamite race of Akkad, which 
inhabited Babylonia from the earliest 
times. With this race originated the 
art of writing, the building of cities, 
the institution of a religious system, 
and the cultivation of all science, and 
of astronomy in particular. The lan- 
guage of these Akkad presents perhaps 
through its vocabulary affinities with 
the African dialects on the one side, 
and through its construction with the 
Turanian, or those of High Asia, on the 
other. It stands indeed somcvhat in 
the same relation as the Egyptian to the 
Semitic languages, belonging as it would 
seem to the great parent stock from 
which the trunk-sti'eam of the Semitic 
tongues also sprung, before there was a 
ramification of Semitic dialects, and 
before Semitism even had become sub- 
ject to its peculiar organisation and 
developments. In this primitive Akka- 
dian tongue, which I have been accus- 
tomed generally to denominate Scythic 
from its near connexion with the Scythic 
dialect of Persia, were preserved all the 
scientific treatises known to the Baby- 
lonians, long after the Semitic element 
had become predominant in the land — 
it was in fact the language of science 
in the East, as the Latin was in Europe 
during the middle ages. When Semitic 
tribes established an empire in Assyria 
in the 13th century B.C. they adopted 
the fflphabet of the Akkad, and with 
certain modifications applied it to their 
own language ; but during the seven 
centuries which followed of Semitic 
dominion at Nineveh and Babylon, tliis 
Assyrian language was merely used for 
historical records and official documents. 
The mythological, astronomical, and 
other scientific tablets found at Nineveh 

are exclusively in the Akkadian lan- 
guage, and are thus shown to belong 
to a priest-class, exactly answering to 
the Chaldseans of profane history and 
of the book of Daniel. We thus see 
how it is that the Chaldeeans (taken 
generally for the Akkad) are spoken of 
in the prophetical books of Scripture 
as composing the armies of the Semitic 
kings of Babylon and as the general 
inhabitants of the country, while in 
other authorities they are distinguished 
as philosophers, astronomers, and magi- 
cians, as, in fact, the special depositaries 
of science. It may further be inferred 
that these Clialdsean Akkad descended 
into Babylonia in very remote times 
from the Kurdish mountains, for in the 
inscriptions of Sargon the geographical 
name of Akkad is sometimes applied to 
the mountains instead of the vernacular 
title of Varamt or Ararat — an excellent 
illustration being thus afforded of the 
notices of Chaldajaus in this quarter by 
so many of the Greek historians and 
geographers. This subject is fui-ther 
examined in Essay iii., appended to 
Book vii. 

1 This fable of the god coming per- 
sonally into his temple was contrary to 
the Egyptian belief in the nature of the 
gods. It was only a figurative expres- 
sion, similar to that of the Jews, who 
speak of God visiting and dwelling in 
his holy hill, and not intended to be 
taken literally. (Of the women in the 
service of Amun, see note on Book ii. 
ch. 35.)— [G. W.] 

2 The Theban Jupiter, or god wor- 
shipped as the Supreme Being in the 
city of Thebes, was Ammcm (Amun). 
Herodotus says the Theban rather than 
the Egyptian Jupiter, because various 
gods were worshipped in various parts of 
Egypt as supreme : Khem at Cliemmis, 
Phtha at Memphis, Pa at Heliopolis, &c. 

^ Patara lay on the shoi-e, a little to 

Chap. 182, 183. 



183. Below, in the same precinct, there is a second temple, in 
which is a sitting figure of Jupiter, all of gold. Before the 
figure stands a large golden table, and the throne whereon it 
sits, and the base on which the throne is placed, are likewise of 
gold. The Chaldfeans told me that all the gold together was 
eight hundred talents' weight. Outside the temple are two 
altars, one of solid gold, on which it is only lawful to offer suck- 
lings ; the other a common altar, but of great size, on which the 
full-grown animals are sacrificed. It is also on the great altar 
that the Chaldseans burn the frankincense, which is offered to 
the amount of a thousand talents' weight, every year, at the 
festival of the God. In the time of Cyrus there was likewise in 
this temple a figure of a man, twelve cubits higli, entirely of 
solid gold. I myself did not see this figure, but I relate what 
the Clialda3ans report concerning it. Darius, the son of Hystas- 
pes, plotted to carry the statue off, but had not the hardihood 
to lay his hands upon it. Xerxes, however, the son of Darius, 
killed the priest who forbade him to move the statue, and took 
it away.'^ Besides the ornaments which I have mentioned, there 
are a large number of private offerings in this holy precinct.^ 

the east of the Xanthiis (Strabo xiv. 
p. 951; Ptol. V. 3). Scylax (Peripl. 
p. 93) seems to place it some distance 
up the stream, but his text is probably 
corrupt in this place. The site is fixed 
with certainty by ruins and inscriptions 
(Beaufort's Karamania, p. 5 ; Ionian 
Antiq. vol. iii. p. 85 ; Fellows's Lycia, 
p. 416 to p. 419), and the name still 
adheres to the place. 

According to Servius (ad ^n. iv. 143) 
Apollo delivered oracles here during the 
six winter months, while during the six 
summer months he gave responses at 
Delos. Compare Hor. Od. iii. 4, 64. 

•* There can be little doubt that this 
was done by Xerxes after the revolt of 
Babylon, of which Ctesias speaks (Exc. 
Pers. § 22). Arrian relates that Xerxes 
not only plundered but destroyed the 
temple on his return from Greece (vii. 
17; comp. Strab. xvi. p. 1049). It is 
likely that the revolt was connected 
with the disasters of the Grecian expe- 
dition, and that Xerxes, on taking the 
city, maltreated the priests, plundered 
the temple, and diminished its strength 
as a fortress, to which purpose it may 
have been turned during the siege. But 
the KaT€aKu\p€u of Arrian is too strong 
a word. It may be remarked that Strabo 
uses the milder term KaT^cnracreu. 

VOL. I. 

^ The great temple of Babylon, re- 
garding which the Greeks have left so 
many notices, is beyond all doubt to be 
identified with the enormous mound 
which is named Mujellibeh by Eich, but 
to which the Arabs imiversally apply 
the title of Bdhil. In the description, 
however, which Herodotus gives of this 
famous building he would seem to have 
blended architectural details which ap- 
plied in reality to two difi'erent sites ; his 
measurement of a stade squai-e answering 
pretty well to the circumference of Babil, 
and his notices also of the chapels and 
altars of the god being in close agree- 
ment with the accounts preserved in the 
inscriptions of N"ebuchadnezzar of the 
high place of Merodach at Babylon ; 
while, on the other hand, the elevation 
of seven stages one above the other, and 
the construction of a shrine for the di- 
vinity at the summit of the pile, must 
necessarily refer to the temple of the 
Planets of the Seven Spheres at Bor- 
sippa, now represented by the ruins of 
Birs-Nimrud. A full account of both of 
these temi^les is given from the Cunei- 
form Inscriptions at the close of Book 
iii., " On the Topography of Babylon," 
to which accordingly the reader is re- 
ferred.— [H. C. P.] 



184. Many sovereigns have ruled over this city of Babylon, 
and lent their aid to the building of its walls and the adornment 
of its temples, of whom I shall make mention in my Assjn-ian 
history. Among them two were women. Of these, the earlier, 
called Semiramis, held the throne five generations before the 
later princess.^ She raised certain embanl?:ments well w^orthy of 
inspection, in the plain near Babylon, to control the river, which, 
till then, used to overflow, and flood the whole country round 

185. The later of the tw^o queens, whose name was Nitocris, a 
wiser princess than her predecessor, not only left behind her, as 
memorials of her occupancy of the throne, the works which I 
shall presently describe, but also, observing the great power and 
restless enterprise of the Modes, who had taken so large a 
number of cities, and among them Mneveh, and expecting to be 
attacked in her turn, made all possible exertions to increase the 
defences of her empire. And first, whereas the river Euphrates, 
which traverses the city, ran formerly with a straight course to 
Babylon, she, by certain excavations which she made at some 
distance up the stream, rendered- it so winding that it comes 
three several times in sight of the same village^ a village in 
Assyria, which is called Ardericca ; ^ and to tliis daj^, they who 
would go from our sea to Babylon, on descending to the river 
touch three times, and on three different days, at this A^ery place. 
She also made an embankment along each side of the Euphrates, 
wonderful both for breadth and height, and dug a basin for a 
lake a great way above Babylon, close alongside of the stream, 
which was sunk everywhere to the point where they came to 
water, and w^as of such breadth that the whole circuit measured 
four hundred and twenty furlongs. The soil dug out of this 
basin was made use of in the embankments along the waterside. 
When the excavation was finished, she had stones brought, and 
bordered with them the entire margin of the reservoir. These 
two things were done, the river made to wind, and the lake 
excavated, that the stream might be slacker by reason of the 

6 Scaliger proposed to read "//i;;/ gene- '^ Ardericca is probably the modern 

rations " instead of " five," Vitringasug- Akkerkuf, which was on the line of the 

gested ''fifteen." Both wished to identify oinginal N'ahr Malcha, or Royal River, 

the Semiramis of Herodotns with that of a canal made for purposes of irrigation. 

Ctesias, But they are two entirely dis- No such cuttings as those here described 

tinct personages. See the Essays ap- by Hei'odotus can ever have existed. — 

pended to this volume, Ess?iy viii., '' On [H. C. R.] 
the History of the later Babylonians." 

Chap. 184-187. NITOCRIS— HER GREAT WORKS. 259 

number of curves, and the voyage be rendered circuitous, and 
that at the end of the voyage it might be necessary to skirt the 
lake and so make a long round. All these works were on that 
side of Babylon where the passes lay, and the roads into Media 
were the straightest, and the aim of the queen in making them 
was to prevent the Modes from holding intercourse with the 
Babylonians, and so to keep them in ignorance of her affairs. 

18G. While the soil from the excavation was being thus used 
for the defence of the city, Mtocris engaged also in another 
undertaking, a mere by-work compared with those we have 
already mentioned. The city, as I said, was divided by the river 
into two distinct portions. Under the former kings, if a man 
wanted to pass from one of these divisions to the other, he had 
to cross in a boat ; which must, it seems to me, have been very 
troublesome. Accordingly, while she was digging the lake, 
Nitocris bethought herself of turning it to a use which should at 
once remove this inconvenience, and enable her to leave another 
monument of her reign over Babylon. She gave orders for the 
hewing of immense blocks of stone, and when they were ready 
and the basin was excavated, she turned the entire stream of 
the Euplirates into the cutting, and thus for a time, while the 
basin was filling, the natural channel of the river was left dry. 
Forthwith she set to w^ork, and in the first place lined the banks 
of the stream within the city with quays of burnt brick, and also 
bricked the landing-places opposite the river-gates, adopting 
throughout the same fashion of brickwork which had been used 
in the town wall ; after which, with the materials which had 
been prepared, she built, as near the middle of the town as 
possible, a stone bridge, the blocks whereof were bound together 
with iron and lead. In the daytime square wooden platforms 
were laid along from pier to pier, on which the inhabitants 
crossed the stream ; but at night they were withdrawn, to pre- 
vent people passing from side to side in the dark to commit 
robberies. When the river had tilled the cutting, and the bridge 
was finished, the Euplirates was turned back again into its ancient 
bed ; and thus the basin, transformed suddenly into a lake, was 
seen to answer the purpose for which it was made, and the inha- 
bitants, by help of the basin, obtained the advantage of a bridge. 

187. It was this same princess by whom a remarkable decep- 
tion was planned. She had her tomb constructed in the upper 
part of one of the principal gateways of the city, high above the 
heads of the passers by, with this inscription cut upon it : — " If 

s 2 


there be one among my successors on the throne of Babylon 
who is in want of treasure, let him open my tomb, and take as 
much as he chooses, — not, however, unless he be truly in want, 
for it will not be for his good." This tomb (continued untouched 
until Darius came to the kingdom. To him it seemed a mon- 
strous thing that he should be unable to use one of the gates of 
the town, and that a sum of money should be lying idle, and 
moreover inviting his grasp, and he not seize upon it. Now he 
could not use the gate because, as he drove through, the dead 
body would have been over his head. Accordingly he opened 
the tomb ; but instead of money, found only the dead body, and 
a writing which said — " Hadst thou not been insatiate of pelf, 
and careless how thou gottest it, thou wouldst not have broken 
open the sepulchres of the dead." 

188. The expedition of Cyrus Avas undertaken against the son 
of this princess, who bore the same name as his father Laby- 
netus,^ and was king of the Assyrians. The Great King, when 
he goes to the wars, is always supplied with provisions carefully 
prepared at home, and with cattle of his own. Water too from 
the river Choaspes, which flows by Susa,^ is taken with him for 
his drink, as that is the only water which the kings of Persia 
taste.^ Wherever he travels, he is attended by a number of 
four-wheeled cars drawn by mules, in which the Choaspes water, 
ready boiled for use, and stored in flagons of silver, is moved 
with him from place to place. 

189. Cyrus on his way to Babylon came to the banks of the 
Gyndes,^ a stream which, rising in the Matienian moun- 

^ Hei'odotus probably regards this mentions both names. But these two 

Labynetus as the son of the king men- writers are probably mistaken in re- 

tioned in chap. 74. garding the Eiileeus and Choaspes as 

9 For a description of the situation different rivers. The term Eulaeus (Ulai 

and present state of Susa, see note on of Daniel) seems to have been applied 

Book iii, ch. 68. There is no doubt to the eastern branch of the Kerkhah, 

that the Choaspes is the modern Kerkhah. which, leaving the main stream at Pai- 

(See Journal of the Geograph. Soc,, vol. Fnl, joined the Shapur, and flowed into 

ix.,part i. pp. 88, 89.) the Karun at Ahivaz. (See Loftus, Chal- 

1 This statement of Herodotus is dsea and Susiana, pp. 424-430.) The 

echoed by vax-ious writers (Plutarch, de water of both the Karun and the Kerlihah 

Extl. vol. ii. p. 601, D; Athenreus, is said at the pi-esent day to be excellent, 

Deipnosoph. ii. 23, p. 171; Solinus, Po- and the natives vaunt the superiority of 

lyhist. xli. p. 83; Eustath. ad Dionys. these two rivers over all other streams or 

Perieg. 1073, &c.). Some add to it, that springs in the world (Journal of Geogr. 

no one but the king (Soliu. 1. s. c), or Society, vol. ix. part i. p. 89). 
no one but the king and his eldest son ^ (plie Gyndes is undoubtedly the 

(Agathocles, Er. .5), might drink the Dvjdlah, since, — firstly, — there is no 

Choaspes water. What most say of the other naim/able stream after the lower 

Choaspes, Strabo reports of the Eulrous Zab on the road between Sardis and 

(xv. p, 1043), and Pliny (H. N. xxxi. 3) Susa (vide infra, v. 52); and secondly, 



tains,^ runs throiigli the country of the Dardanians,^ and emj)ties 
itself mto the river Tigris. The Tigris, after receiving the Gyndes, 
flows on by the city of Opis/ and discharges its waters into tlie 
Erythraean sea. When Cyrus reached this stream, which coukl 
only be passed in boats, one of the sacred white horses accom- 
panying his march, full of spirit and high mettle, walked into 
the water, and tried to cross by himself ; but the current seized 
him, swept him along with it, and drowned him in its depths. 
Cyrus, enraged at the insolence of the river, threatened so to 
break its strength that in future even women should cross it 
easily without wetting their knees. Accordingly he put off for 
a time his attack on Babylon, and, dividing his army into two 

no other river of any consequence could 
have to be crossed between the moun- 
tains and the Tigris on the marcli from 
Agbatana to Babylon. Were it not for 
these circumstances the I'iver Gamjir, 
which is actually divided at Mendaili 
into a nuiltitude of petty streams, and 
completely absorbed in irrigation, might 
seem to have a better claim (Jour, of 
Geogr. Soc. ut sap. p. 4G). 

=* These Matieni are not to be con- 
founded with the Matieni of Asia Minor, 
who may have been of the same race 
(query, Modes ? the d of Mada passing 
into t, as in ^QMXO-m(it(V), but were a 
distinct people. Herodotus seems to 
assign to these Matieni the whole of the 
mountain I'ange from the sources of tlie 
Diyalah near Hamadan to those of the 
Aras (Araxes) near Erzeroum in Upper 
Armenia (vide infra, ch. 202). 

[The term Matieni may perhaps be a 
mere generic word for "people." The 
Babylonian word, at any rate, which is 
used for a country may be read as matu 
in the singular, and nuUii/d or inatein in 
the plural, being in fact identical with 
the Hebrew and Chaldee nO.-H.C.R.] 

* No other writer mentions Darda- 
nians in these parts. It has been pro- 
posed to read Zia Aapaecou, — 5t' 'Ap/xe- 
vicov, — and 5ta Aapvewy. The only va- 
rious reading in tlie MSS. favours the 
last emendation. It is 5iap5av4wv, which 
lias all the letters of 8ia Aapvioiv with a 
siugle dislocation, Tlie ruins of Darnch 
still exist on the banks of the Zamacan 
before it joins the Diyalah, and before 
the united rivers issue from the moun- 
tains into the plain of IShakrizur. 

[It must be confessed, however, that 
Darneh has not been a place of any con- 
sequence either in the ancient or modern 
geography of the country. It was merely 

selected by the Kurdish emirs for their 
residence about five centuries back on 
account of the strength of the position. 
Aap5ai/eot may very well mean " the 
holders of the passes," and thus exactly 
apply to the tribes along the banks of 
the upper Dliidlah.— H.Q.Ji.'] 

^ This is the plain meaning of Hero- 
dotus,- who has therefore been accused 
of ignoi-ance by Rennell (Geography of 
Herod. § 9, p. 202). But the situation 
of Opis is uncertain. Strabo, by calling 
it an emporium (xvi. p. 1051) might 
lead us to imagine that its position was 
low down the river. Xenophon's narra- 
tive (Anab. ii. iv. 13-25), it must be 
granted, makes this impossible. Still, 
however, Opis may have been a little 
below the junction of the Diyalah with 
the Tigris, or at the point of confluence. 

[If we remember that Xenophon's 
Median Wall is the enceinte of Babylon, 
and that the Greeks crossed the Tio-ris 
at Sittace, which was on the road from 
Babylon to Susa, we can hardly fail of 
identifying the Ditjalah with the Physcus 
of Xenophon (Anab. ii. iv. 25), and thus 
recognising Opis in the ruins oiKhafuji, 
near the confluence of the two rivers. 
The name of Physcus probably comes 
from Hiipuska,t\\e title in the inscriptions 
of the district of Sxlimanieh, through 
which the Diyalah flows. In the name 
of Opis we have perhaps a Greek nomi- 
natival ending as in Is, The cuneiform 
orthography is JLipii/a, and I rather 
think that KIwfKji is a mere coiTuption 
of the original name. The name of Sit- 
tace', or, more properly, P.sittace, seems 
to be written in the inscriptions as Pat- 
sita, without the Scythic guttural termi- 
nation. It must have been situated at 
least as low down the Tigris as the mo- 
dern fort of the Zobeid chief.— H.C.R.] 



Book 1. 

parts, he marked out by ropes one hundred and eighty trenches 
on each side of the Gyndes, leading off from it in all directions, 
and setting his army to dig, some on one side of the river, some 
on the other, he accomplished his threat by the aid of so great a 
number of hands, but not without losing thereby the whole 
summer season. 

190. Having, however, thus wreaked his vengeance on the 
Gyndes,^ by dispersing it through three hundred and sixty 
channels, Cyrus, with the first approach of the ensuing spring, 
marched forward against Babylon. The Babylonians, jencamped 

6 Rennell sensibly remarks (p. 202) 
that the stoiy of Cyrus's dividing the 
Gyndes is a very childish one, in the 
manner in which it is told. He supposes 
that the river was swollen, and that the 
sole object of Cyrus was to effect the 
passage. But this explanation is unsa- 
tisfactory. It is not conceivable that 
Cyrus proceeded against Babylon un- 
prepared for the passage of great ri- 
vers. Boats must have abounded on 
the streams, and rafts supported by in- 
flated skins, which were in constant use 
upon them, as the Nimrud sculptures 
show, could have been constructed ra- 
pidly. Even if it had been necessary to 
divide the Gyndes, in order to make it 
fox'dable, there would have been no need 
of entirely dispei'sing it, and so wasting 
a whole summer. And if this vv^as the 
only means by which Cyrus could pass 
the comparatively small stream of the 
Diydtah, how did he get across the 
Tigris ? 

If we accept the fact of the dispersion, 
the true explanation would seem to be, 
that Cyrus had already resolved to at- 
tempt the capture of Babylon by the 
means which he subsequently adopted, 
and thought it necessary to practise his 
army in the art of draining off the waters 
from a stream of moderate size before at- 
tempting the far greater work of making 
the Euphrates fordable. He may not 
have been aware of the artificial reser- 
voir which rendered his task at Babylon 
comparatively easy, or not have antici- 
pated the neglect which converted a 
means of defence to the assailed into a 
convenience to tlie assailing party. 

It is remarkable that Mr. Grote ac- 
cepts the narrative of Herodotus as it 
stands, apparently seeing in it no im- 
probability. At least he offers no ex- 
planation of the conduct of Cyrus (Hist, 
of Greece, vol. iv. pp. 284, 285). 

[I incline to regard the whole story 
as a fable, embodying some popular tra- 
dition with regard to the origin of the 
great hydraulic works on the Dijjdlah 
below the Hamaran hills, where the 
river has been dammed across to raise 
the level of the water, and a perfect net- 
work of canals have been opened out 
from it on either side. The principal of 
these canals to the east, now named 
Beladroz {BapdapoO in Theophanes, and 
Baraz rud, or " hog river," of the 
Arabs), is apparently of extreme anti- 
quity, the stream having worked itself 
a bed in the alluvial soil nearly 50 feet 
below the level of the country. There 
are fully 360 streams of water derived 
from the Diydlah, including all the 
branch cuts from the seven great canals. 
If Cyrus did indeed execute these works, 
his object must have been to furnish 
means of irrigation to the country, and 
such a motive was scarcely likely to 
have influenced him when he was con- 
ducting a hostile expedition against Ba- 
bylon. Moreover, if he marched upon 
Babylon by the high road leading from 
the Persian mountains, he would have 
had no occasion to cross the Diijdlah at 
ali. The direct route must have fol- 
lowed the left bank of the river to 
Opis, near which was the passage of the 

The name of the river Gyndes is pro- 
bably derived from the cuneiform Khu- 
dxn, a city and district on the banks of 
the river adjoining Hnpnska, which is 
mentioned in the annals of Sardana- 
palus. It is at any rate worthy of re- 
mark that all the names by which this 
river has been known in modern times, 
Tainerra, Shirnan, Nahrwan, and Bii/dlah, 
are those of cities on its banks, and the 
same system of nomenclature may very 
well be supposed to have existed in an- 
tiquity.— H. C. R.] 


without their walls, awaited his coming. A battle was fought at 
a short distance from the city, in which the Babylonians were 
defeated by the Persian king, whereupon they withdrew within 
their defences. Here they shut themselves up, and made light 
of his siege, having laid in a store of provisions for many years 
in preparation against this attack; for when they saw Cyrus 
conquering nation after nation, they were convinced that he 
would never stop, and that their turn would come at last. 

191. Cyrus was now reduced to great perplexity, as time went 
on and he made no progress against the place. In this distress 
either some one made the suggestion to him, or he bethought 
himself of a plan, which he proceeded to put in execution. He 
placed a portion of his army at the point where the river enters 
the city, and another body at the back of the place where it 
issues forth, with orders to march into the town by the bed of 
the stream, as soon as the water became shallow enough: he 
then himself drew off with the un warlike portion of his host, and 
made for the place where Nitocris dug the basin for the river, 
where he did exactly what she had done formerly : he turned 
the Euphrates by a canal into the basin,^ which was then a 
marsh, on which the river sank to such an extent that the 
natural bed of the stream became fordable. Hereupon the 
Persians who had been left for the purpose at Babylon by the 
river-side, entered the stream, which had now sunk so as to 
reach about midway up a man's thigh, and thus got into the 
town. Had the Babylonians been apprised of what Cyrus was 
about, or had they noticed their danger, they would never have 
allowed the Persians to enter the city, but would have destroyed 
them utterly ; for they would have made fast all the street-gates 
which gave upon the river, and mounting upon the walls along 
both sides of the stream, would so have caught the enemy as it 
were in a trap. But, as it was, the Persians came upon them 
by surprise and so took the city. Owing to the vast size of the 
place, the inhabitants of the central parts (as the residents at 
Babylon declare) long after the outer portions of the town were 
taken, knew nothing of what had" chanced, but as they were 
engaged in a festival, continued dancing and revelling until they 

"^ Mr. Grote says that Cyrus " caused into the name resei'voir — is r rj y Ai- 
another reservoir and another canal of ixvnv — which was at the time a mai-sh 
communication to be dug, by means — iovaau eAos. And iudeed, had 
of which he drew off the water of the he done otherwise, he would have ex- 
Euphrates " (vol iv. p. 1^85). But He- pended time and labour very uuueces- 
rodotus says that he turned the river sarily. 



Book I. 

learnt the capture but too certainly. . Such, then, were the cir- 
cumstances of the first taking of Babylon.*^ 

192. Among many proofs which I shall bring forward of the 
power and resources of the Babylonians, the following is of 
special account. The whole country under the dominion of the 
Persians, besides paying a fixed tribute, is parcelled out into 
divisions, which have to supply food to the Great King and his 
army during different portions of the year.^ Now out of the 
twelve months which go to a year, the district of Babylon 
furnishes food during four, the otlier regions of Asia during 
eight ; by which it appears that Assyria, in respect of resources, 
is one-third of the whole of Asia. Of all the Persian govern- 
ments, or satrapies as they are called by the natives,^ this is by 
far the best. When Tritantsechmes, son of Artabazus,^ held it 
of the king, it brought him in an artaba of silver every day. 
The artaba is a Persian measure,^ and holds three choenixes 
more than the medimnus of the Athenians. He also had, 

^ Herodotus intends to contrast this 
first capture with the second capture by 
Darius Hystaspes, of which he speaks 
in the latter portion of the third Book. 
We learn, however, by the mode of 
speech used, that he was not aware of 
any former occasion on which the city 
of Babylon had been taken by an enemy. 

^ See the Essay appended to Book iii., 
" On the Persian System of Adminis- 
tration and Govex-nment." 

1 The native orthography of the word, 
which the Greeks wrote aaTpdin^s, is 
'" klishatrapd." It is found twice in the 
Behistun inscription (Col. m. 1. 14 and 
1, 55). The etymology has been much 
disputed (see Gesen. Hebr. Lex. p. 41. 
Eng. ed.); but, as '' khshatram " is used 
throughout the inscriptions for "crown" 
or " empire," we can scarcely be mis- 
taken in regarding " khshatrapa " as 
formed of the two roots " khshatram," 
and " pa." The latter word signifies in 
Sanskrit "to preserve, uphold," whence 
it appears that a Satrap is " one who 
upholds the crown." (Of. Col. RawHu- 
son's Vocabulary of th©- ancient Persian 
language, pp. 116-7.) 

2 We hear of a Tritantaichmes, *' son 
of Artabanus, brother of Darius Hystas- 
pes," in Book vii. ch. 82, from which 
place it might appear that this passage 
should be corrected. But we cannot be 
sure that the same person is intended in 
both instances. Indeed, as Herodotus 
seems to speak of his own personal 

knowledge, it is probable that the Tri- 
tantffichmes here mentioned was Satrap 
ofBabylon at the time of Herodotus's 
visit (about B.C. 450), in which case it is 
scarcely possible that he should have 
been the same person who 30 years be- 
fore was one of the six superior generals 
of the army of Xerxes. 

[The name of Tritantgechmes is of con- 
siderable interest because it points to 
the Vedic traditions, which the Persians 
brought with them from the Indus, and 
of the currency of which in the time of 
Xerxes we have thus distinct evidence. 
The name means '' strong as Tritan" — 
this title, which etymologically means 
"three-bodied," being the Sanscrit and 
Zend form of the famous Feridun of 
Persian romance, who divided the world 
between his three sons, Selm, Tur, and 
Erij.— H. a R.] 

^ This is the same name as the ardcb 
of modern Egypt, and, like the medimnus, 
is a corn measure. The ardeb is nearly 
five English bushels, and contains 8 mcd. 
This, too, is the Latin modins, which last 
was equal to one-sixth of the Greek me- 
dimnus. But the ardeb differs in quan- 
tity from the artaba. 
1 medimnus = 4:8 choenices, or 6 Latin modii 
1 modins = 8 chcenices. 
1 artaba = hi choenices (48 -f 3). 
1 artaba^WiWo. more than 6^ modii. 
1 mo(fi;«s = nearly 1 peck, English. 
1 artaba = about 1^ bushel. — [G.W.] 

Chap. 191-193. STUD OF TRlTANTiECH-MES— EAIN. 


belonging to liis own private stud, besides war-horses, oiglit 
hundred stallions and sixteen thousand mares, twenty to each 
stallion. Besides which he kept so great a number of Indian 
hounds,"^ that four large villages of the plain were exempted from 
all other charges on condition of finding them in food. 

193. But little rain falls in Assyria,^ enough, however, to 
make the corn begin to sprout, after which the plant is nourished 
and the ears formed by means of irrigation from the river.^ 

* Concerning these famous dogs see 
Biihr's Ctesias (Indie. Excerpt. § 5), 
and Arist. Hist. An. viii. 28. 

Mc/dels of favourite dogs are fre- 
quently found in excavating the cities 
of Babylonia. Some may be seen in 
the British Museum, obtained from the 
hunting palace of the son of Esarhaddon 

at Nineveh. They are of small size, 
and are inscribed with the name of the 
dog, which is commonly a word indica- 
tive of their hunting prowess. Tlie sub- 
joined representation of an Indian dog 
is from a tei-ra-cotta fragment found by 
Col. Kawlinson at Babylon. 

Indian HounJ. (From a Babylonian tablet). 

^ Rain is very rare in Babylonia during 
the summer months, and productiveness 
depends entirely on irrigation. Daring 
the spring there are constant showers, 
and at other times of the year rain falls 
frequently, but irregularly, and never in 
great quantities. The heaviest is in 
December. In ancient times, wJien irri- 
gation was carried to a far greater extent 
than it is at present, the meteorology 

of the country may probably have been 
different.— [H. C. R.] 

^ At the present day it is not usual 
to trust even the first sprouting of the 
corn to nature. The lands are laid 
under water for a few days before the 
corn is sown; the water is then with- 
drawn, and the seed scattered upon the 
moistened soil.— [H. C. R.] 



Book I. 

For the river does not, as in Egypt, overflow the corn-lands of 
its own accord, but is spread over them by the hand, or by the 
help of engines.^ The whole of Babylonia is, like Egypt, inter- 
sected with canals. The largest of them all, which runs towards 
the winter sun, and is impassable except in boats,^ is carried 
from the Euphrates into another stream, called the Tigris, the 
river upon which the toAvn of Nineveh formerly stood.^ Of all 
the countries that we know there is none which is so fruitful in 
grain. It makes no pretension indeed of growing the fig, the 
olive, the vine, or any other tree of the kind ; but in grain it is 
so fruitful as to yield commonly two-hundred-fold, and when the 
production is the greatest, even three-hundred-fold. The blade 
of the wheat-plant and barley-plant is often four fingers in 
breadth. As for the millet and the sesame, I shall not say to 
what height they grow, though within my own knowledge ; for 
I am not ignorant that what I have already written concerning 
the fruitfulness of Babylonia must seem incredible to those who 
have never visited the country.^ The only oil they use is made 

7 The engine intended by Herodotus 
seems to have been the common hand- 
swipe, to which alone the name of ktjAco- 
vij'iov would properly apply. The ordi- 
nary method of irrigation at the present ^ 
day is by the help of oxen, which draw 
the water from the river to the top of 
the bank by means of ropes passed over 
a roller working between two upright 
posts. Accounts of this process will be 
found in the works of Col. Chesney 
(Euphrates Expedition, vol, i. p. G5:->), 
and Mr. Layard (Nineveh and its Re- 
mains, Part I. ch. X.). Occasionally, 
hovv-ever, the hand-swipe is used. Col, 
Chesney says : — " When the bank is too 
high to throw vip the water in this man- 
ner" (viz. with a basket) "it is raised 
by another process equally simple. A 
wooden lever, from 13 to 15 feet long, 
is made to revolve freely on the top of 
a post 3 or 4 feet high, about two-thirds 
of the length of the lever projecting 
over the river, with a leather bucket or 
closely made basket of date-branches, 
suspended from the extremity: this is 
balanc^ed when full of water by means 
of a bucket of earth or stones at the 
other end, and this simple machine is so 
well contrived that very slight manual 
exertion will raise the bucket sufficiently 
high to empty its contents into a cistern 
or other kind of receptacle, from whence 
it is dispersed over the fields by means 
of numerous small channels." (Compare 
Layai-d's Nineveh and Babylon, p. 109). 

Representations of hand-swipes have 
been found on the monuments. 

Hand-swipe. (From a slab of Sennacherib.) 

^ This probably refers to the original 
Nahr Malcha, the great work of Nebu- 
chadnezzar, which left the Euphrates at 
the modern Fekigia, and entered the 
Tigris in the vicinity of the emboucliure 
of the Gyndes {Jjiydlah). This canal 
has, however, repeatedly changed its 
course since its original construction, 
and the apcient bed cannot be now con- 
tinuously traced. — [H. C. R.] 

^ Beloe translates eVex^t ^^ '^^^ Tiypiv, 
Trap" hv Ntj/os iroAis o i k ij t o , "is con- 
tinued to that part of the Tigris where 
Nineveh stamls ; " thus placing the canal 
in Assyria, above the alluvium, where 
no canal is possible, and giving the im- 
pression that Nineveh was standing in 
the time of Herodotus ! 

1 The fertility of Babylonia is cele- 
brated by a number of ancient writers. 
Theophrastus, the disciple of Aristotle, 

Chap. 193, 194. 



from the sesame-plant.^ Palm-trees grow in great numbers over 
the whole of the flat country,^ mostly of the kind which bears 
fruit, and this fruit supplies them with bread, wine, and honey. 
They are cultivated like the fig-tree in all respects, among otliers 
in this. The natives tie the fruit of the male-palms, as they are 
called by tlie Greeks, to the branches of the date-bearmg palm, 
to let the gall-fly enter the dates and ripen them, and to prevent 
the fruit Irom falling off. The male-palms, like the wild fig- 
trees, have usually tlie gall-fly in their fruit.^ 

194. But that which surprises me most in the land, after 
the city itself, I will now proceed to mention. The boats 
which come down the river to Babylon are circular, and made of 
skins. The frames, which are of willow, are cut in the country 
of the Armenians above Assyria, and on these, which serve for 

speaks of it in his History of Plants 
(viii. 7). Berosvis (Fr. i) says that the 
hind produced naturally wheat, barley, 
the pulse called ochrys, sesame, edible 
roots named rjonijcp, palms, apples, and 
shelled fruits of various kinds. Strabo, 
apparently following Herodotus, men- 
tions tlie barley as returning often 300 
fold (xvi. p. 1054). Pliny says that the 
wheat is cut twice, and is afterwards 
good keep for beasts (Hist. Nat. xviii. 
17). Moderns, while bearing testimony 
to the general fact, go less into details. 
Kich says: — " The air is salubrious, and 
the soil extremely fertile, producing 
great quantities of rice, dates, and gi-ain 
of different kinds, though it is not culti- 
vated to above half the degree of which 
it is susceptible." (First Memoir, p. 12.) 
Colonel Chesney (Euphrat. Exp. vol. ii. 
pp. 602, 603) remarks, — " Although 
greatly changed by the neglect of man, 
those poi'tions of Mesopotamia which 
are still cultivated, as the country about 
Hillah, show that the region has all the 
fertility ascribed to it by Herodotus; " 
and he anticipates that " the time may 
not be distant when the date-groves of 
the Euphrates may be interspersed with 
flourishing towns, surrounded with fields 
of the finest wheat, and the most pro- 
ductive plantations of indigo, cotton, 
and sugar-cane." 

2 Mr. Layard informs us that this is 
still the case with respect to the people 
of the plains (Nineveh, Part ii. ch. vi.). 
The olive is cultivated on the flanks of 
Mount Zagros, but Babylonia did not 
extend so far. 

"* " As far as the eye can reach from 
the town (Hillah)," says Ker Porter, 

"both up and down the Euphrates the 
banks appear to be thickly shaded with 
groves of date-trees." (Travels, vol. ii. 
p. 335.) There is reason to believe that 
anciently the country was very much 
more thickly wooded than it is at present. 
The palm will grow wherever water is 
brought. In ancient times the whole 
country between the rivers, and the 
greater portion of the tract intervening 
between the Tigris and the mountains, 
was artificially irrigated. At present 
cultivation extends but a short distance 
from the banks of the great streams. 

[The sylvan character and beautiful 
appearance of the country, which after- 
wards so much excited the admiration 
of the Arabs, are particularly noticed 
by Ammianus and Zosimus in their de- 
scriptions of the march of Julian's army 
across Mesopotamia from the Euphrates 
to the Tigris. A forest of verdure, says 
Ammianus, extended from this point as 
far as Mesene and the shores of the sea. 
Compare Amm. Marc. xxiv. 3, v/ith 
Zosim. iii. p. 173-9— H. C. R.] 

'• Theophrastus first pointed out 
the inaccuracy of this statement (Hist. 
Plant, ii. 9). Several writers, among 
them Larcher and Biihr, have endea- 
voured to show that Herodotus is pro- 
bably right and Theophrastus wrong. 
Modern travellers, however, side with 
the naturalist against the historian. All 
that is required for fructification, they 
tell us, is, that the pollen from the 
blossoms of the male palm should come 
into contact with the fruit of the female 
palm or date-tree. To secure this, the 
practice of which Herodotus speaks is 
still observed. 



Book I. 

hulls, a covering of skins is stretcliecl outside, and thus the boats 
are made, without either stem or stern, quite round like a shield. 
Tliey are then entirely filled with straw, and their cargo is put 
on board, after which they are suffered to float down the stream. 
Their chief freight is wine, stored in casks made of the wood of 
the palm-tree.^ They are managed by two men who stand 
upright in them, each plying an oar, one pulHng and the other 
pushing.*^ The boats are of various sizes, some larger, some 
smaller ; the biggest reach as high as five thousand talents' 
burthen. Each vessel has a live ass on board ; those of larger 
size have more than one. When they reach Babylon, the cargo 
is landed and offered for sale ; after wliich the men break up 
their boats, sell the straw and the frames, and loading their asses 
with the skins, set off on their Avay back to Armenia. Tlie 
current is too strong to allow a boat to return up-stream, for 
which reason they make their boats of skins rather than wood. 
On their return to Armenia they build fresh boats for the next 

' Col. Cliesney and Mr. Layard, 
adopting the conjecture of Valla {(poivi- 
K-r]iov for (poiviKr)'iovs), speak of the quan- 
tity of paliit-Lcinc brought to Babylon 
from Armenia. But there are two ob- 
jections to this. Babylonia, the land of 
dates, would not be likely to import 
the spirituous liquor which can be dis- 
tilled from that fruit; and the mountain 
tract of Armenia could not produce it. 
It was no doubt grape-vine that Babylon 
imported from the regions higher up 
the river, though perhaps scarcely from 
Armenia, which is too cold for the 

[Grape wine is now brought to Bagh- 
dad from Kcrkuk, but not from Armenia, 
where the vine does not grow. — H.C.R.] 

^ Boats of this kind, closely resem- 
bling coracles, are represented in the 
Nineveh sculptures, and still ply on 
the Euphrates. " The Kufa," we read 
in Ker Porter, ''is of close willow work, 
well coated with the bituminous sub- 
stance of the country — perfectl;/ circular, 
it resembles a lai'ge bowl on the surface 
of the stream." (Travels, vol. ii. p. 
2G0.) Mr. Layard adds, that these boats 
are ' ' sometimes covered icit/i skins, over 
which the bitumen is smeared." (Nine- 
veh, Part II. ch. V.) Col. Chesney also 
says, (vol. ii. p. 640), "In some in- 
stances, though but rarely in the pre- 
sent day, the basket-work is covered with 
leather . . . but the common metliod is 

to cover the bottom with bitumen." 
(Col. Rawlinson, however, doubts the 
existence of ''kufas covered with skins," 
which he has never seen, and of which 
he has never heard, on eitlier river.) 

Kufa. (From Col. Chesney.) 

The kufas are used chiefly on the lower 
Tigris and Euphrates, and are not ordi- 
narily broken up, being too valuable. 
But the rafts which descend the streams 
from their upper portions, which are 
formed of wood and reeds supported by 
inflated skins, have exactly the same 
fate as the boats of Herodotus. " AVhen 
the rafts have been unloaded they ai^e 
broken up, and the beams, wood, and 
twigs are sold at a considerable profit . . 
The skins are brought back either upon 
the shoulders of the raftmen, or upon 
donkeys, to Mosul or Tekrit, where the 
men employed in the navigation usually 
reside." (Layard's Nineveh, Part i. ch. 

Chap. 194, 195. 



195. The dress of the Babylonians is a linen tunic reaching- to 
the feet, and above it another tunic made in wool, besides whicli 
they have a short white cloak thrown round them, and shoes of 
a peculiar fashion, not unlike those worn by the Boeotians. 
They liave long hair, wear turbans on their heads, and anoint 
their whole body with perfumes.'^ Every one carries a seal,"^ 

' The dress of the Babylonians ap- 
peals on the cylinders to be a species of 
flounced robe, reaching from their neck 
to their feet. In some representations 
there is an appearance of a division into 
two garments; the upper one being a 
sort of short jacket or tippet, flounced 
like the under-robe or petticoat. This 
would seem to be the x-^ai/iSioj/ or short 
cloak of Herodotus. The long petticoat 
would be his klOwv Trodr}ViKr}s \lveos. 
The uppev woollen tunic may be hidden 
by the tippet or X''^«'"'5£ov. 

The long hair of the Babylonians is 

very conspicuous on the cylinders. It 
either depends in lengthy tresses which 
fall over the back and shoulders, or is 
gathered into what seems a club behind. 
There are several varieties of head-dress ; 
tlie most usual are a low cap or turban, 
from which two curved Jiorns branch 
out, and a high crown or mitre, the ap- 
pearance of which is very remarkable. 
It is uncertain which of these is the 
ixirpa of Herodotus. 

The woodcuts annexed will illus- 
trate the above. 

ii '11 .11 

** The Babylonian cylindei-s above 
referred to, of which there are some 
thousands in the Museums of Europe, 
are undoubtedly the ' seals ' of Hero- 
dotus. Many impressions of them have 
been found upon clay-tablets. They 
are round, from half an inch to three 
inches in length (the generality being 
about an inch long), and about one- 
third of their length in diameter. They 
are of various materials. The most 
usual is a composition in which black 
manganese seems to be the principal 

ingredient; but besides this they have 
been found of amethyst, rock-crystal, 
cornelian, agate, blood-stone, chalce- 
dony, onyx, jasper, serpentine, pyi'ites, 
&c. They are hollow, being pierced 
from end to end; either for the purpose 
of being worn strung upon a cord, or 
perhaps to admit a metal axis, by means 
of which they were rolled upon the clay, 
so as to leave their impression on it. 
(See Layard's Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 

[The inscription on the cylinders is 



Book I. 

and a walking-stick, carved at the top into the form of an apple, 
a rose, a lily, an eagle, or something similar ; ^ for it is not their 
habit to use a stick without an ornament. 

196. Of their customs, whereof I shall now proceed to give an 
account, the following (which I understand belongs to them in 
common with the Illyrian tribe of the Eneti^) is the wisest in 
my judgment. Once a year in each village the maidens of age 

usually the name of the owner, with 
that of his father, and an epithet, sig- 
nifying the servant of such or such a 
god, the divinity being named who was 
supposed to have presided over the 
wearer's birth, and to have him under 
his protection. In almost every case — 


even on the cylinders found at Nineveh 
— the language and character are Clial- 
dasan Scythic, and not Assyrian Semitic, 
though when mere names and epithets 
occur it is difficult to distinguish be- 
tween them. — H. C. E.] 

Babylonian Seals. 
1. External view. 2. Section. 

^ Upon the cylinders the Babylonians 
are frequently, but not invariably, re- 
presented with sticks. In the Assyrian 
sculptures the officers of the court have 
always sticks, used apparently as staves 
of office. The heads of these are often 
elafborately wrought. At Persepolis the 
officers of the Persian court bear similar 
Staves. Ornaments of the nature des- 
cribed by Herodotus, which may have 
been the heads of walking-sticks, are 
often found among the ruins of the 
Babylonian cities. 

1 The Eneti or Heneti are the same 
with the Venetians of later times (Liv, 
i. 1). According to one account they 

(From Layard.) 
3. Impression on clay tablet. 

came to Italy with Antenor after the 
fall of Troy, and were Paphlagoniaus. 
Niebuhr thinks they could not have 
been Illyrians, or Polybius would have 
noticed the fact (Hist, of Rome, vol. i. 
p. 164, Engl. Tr.), and conjectures that 
they were Liburnians, quoting Vu'gil as 

" Antenor potuit 

Illyricos penetrare sinus atque intima tutus 
Regna Liburnorum."—^n. i. 243-5. 

But may niot the Liburnians have been 
an Illyrian tribe ? Servius in his com- 
ment on the passage says that the king 
of the Venetians at this time was ffinetus, 
an Ilhjnan. 

Chap. 195-197. TREATMENT OF THE SICK. 271 

to marry wore collected all together into one place ; while the 
men stood round them in a circle. Then a herald called up 
the damsels one by one, and offered them for sale. He began 
with the most beautiful. When she was sold for no small sum 
of money, he offered for sale the one who came next to her in 
beauty. All of them were sold to be wiv es. The richest of the 
Babylonians who wished to wed bid against each other for the 
loveliest maidens, while the humbler wife-seekers, who were in- 
different about beauty, took the more homely damsels with 
marriage-portions. For the custom was that when the herald 
had gone through the whole number of the beautiful damsels, 
he should then call up the ugliest — a cripple, if there chanced 
to be one — and offer her to the men, asking who would agree to 
take her with the smallest marriage-portion. And the man 
who offered to take the smallest sum had her assigned to him. 
The marriage-portions were furnished by the money paid for 
the beautiful damsels, and thus the fairer maidens portioned 
out the uglier. No one was allowed to give his daughter in 
marriage to the man of his choice, nor might any one carry away 
the damsel whom he had purchased without finding bail really 
and truly to make her his wife ; if, however, it turned out that 
they did not agree, the money might be paid back. All who 
liked might come even from distant villages and bid for the 
women. This was the best of all their customs, but it has now 
f^iUen into disuse.^ They have lately hit upon a very different 
plan to save their maidens from violence, and prevent their 
being torn from them and carried to distant cities, which is to 
bring up their daughters to be courtesans. This is now done by 
all the poorer of the common people, who since the conquest 
have been maltreated by their lords, and have had ruin brought 
upon their families. 

197. The following custom seems to me the wisest of their 
institutions next to the one lately praised. They have no phy- 
sicians, but when a man is ill, they lay him in the public 
scpiare, and the passers-by come up to him, and if they have 
ever had his disease themselves or have known any one who 
has suffered from it, they give him advice, recommending 
him to do whatever they found good in their own case, 
or in the case known to them ; and no one is allowed to 

2 Writers of the Augustan age (Strabo, their day. The latter testimony, coming 
xvi.p. 1058; Nic. Damasc.p. 152;Orelli) from a native of Damascus, is particu- 
meution this custom as still existing in larlv valuable. 



Book I. 

pass the sick man in silence witliont asking him what his ail- 
ment is. 

198. They bury their dead in honey,^ and have funeral lamen- 
tations like the Eg-yptians. When a Babylonian has consorted 
with his wife, he sits down before a censer of burning incense, 
and the woman sits opposite to him. At dawn of day they 
wash ; for till they are washed tliey will not touch any of their 
common vessels. This practice is observed also by the Ara- 

199. The Babylonians have one most shameful custom. 
Every woman born in the country must once in her life go and 
sit down in the precinct of Venus, and there consort with a 
stranger. IMany of the wealthier sort, who are too proud to 
mix with the others, drive in covered carriages to the precinct, 

2 Modern researches show two modes 
of burial to have prevailed in ancient 
Babylonia. Ordinarihj the bodies seem 
to have been compressed into urns and 
baked, or burnt. Thousands of fvmeral 
ums are found on the sites of the ancient 
cities. Coffins are also found, but rarely. 
These ai-e occasionally of wood (Rich's 
Fii-st Memoir, pp. 31-2), but in general 

succession of the same cemeteries, that 
there is some difficulty in ascei'taining 
to what particular age and nation the 
various modes of sepulture that have 
been met with belonged. The burial- 
places, however, of the primitive Hamite 
Chftldseans have been carefully examined 
by Mr. Taylor, and well described by 
him in his two papers on Mugheir and 
Abu-Shahrein in the Journal of the 
Asiatic Society (vol. xv. part ii.). In 
these burial-places the skeletons ai'e 
sometimes found laid out in biick 
vaults, but more generally reposing on 
a small brick platform, with a pottery 
cover over them, very like a modern 
dish-cover. Some of these covers are 

Babylouian Coffin and Lid. (Layard.) 

of the same kind of pottery as the urns. 
Specimens brought from Warka may be 
seen in the British Museum; they re- 
semble in shape the Egyptian mummy- 
cases. These coffins might have been 
filled with honey, but they are thought 
to belong to a comparatively recent pe- 

[So many races have successively in- 
habited Babylonia, and made use in 

now in the British Museum. The 
coffins from Warka, of green glazed 
pottery, and shaj^ed like a slipper- 
bath (represented above), belonged pro- 
bably to the Chaldseans of the Par- 
thian age, the figvu-es in relief which 
are stamped upon them being of an 
entirely different character from the 
figures on the antique cylinder-seals. 
The funeral jars, again, which seem to 

Chap. 199. 



followed by a goodly train of attendants, and there take their 
station. But the larger number seat themselves within the 
holy enclosure with wreaths of string about their heads, — and 
here there is always a great crowd, some coming and others 
going ; lines of cor^ mark out paths in all directions among the 
women, and the strangers pass along them to make their 
choice. A woman who has once taken her seat is not allowed 
to return home till one of the strangers throws a silver coin 
into her laj), and takes her with him beyond the holy ground. 
When he throws the coin he says these words—" The goddess 
Mylitta prosper thee." (Venus is called Mylitta by the Assy- 
rians.) The silver coin may be of any size ; it cannot be re- 
fused, for that is forbidden by the law, since once thrown it 
is sacred. The woman goes with the first man who throws her 
money, and rejects no one. When she has gone with him, and 
so satisfied the goddess, she returns home, and from that time 
forth no gift however great will prevail with her. Such of the 
women as are tall and beautiful are soon released, but others 

have been used for ordinary burial, and 
which are to be found in hundreds of 
thousands in every Babylonian ruin, are, 
1 believe, of all ages, from the earliest 
Chaldrean times down to the Arab con- 
quest. Ashes are sometimes found in 
these jars, but it is far more usual to 
meet with a skeleton compressed into a 
small space, but with the bones and 
cranium uncalcined ; and in all such 
cases as have fallen under my personal 

VOI;. I. 

observation, I have found the mouth of 
the jar much too narrow to admit of 
tlie possibility of the cranium passing in 
or out; so that either the clay jar must 
have been moulded over the corpse, and 
then baked, which would account for 
the ashes inside, or the neck of the jar 
must at any rate have been added sub- 
sequently to the other rites of interment. 
In some cases two jars are joined toge- 
ther by bitumen, so as to admit of the 



Book I. 

who are ugly have to stay a long time before they can fulfil the 
law Some have waited three or four years in the precinct 
A custom very much like this is found also m certam parts ot 

the island of Cyprus. . . -o i i • 11 . 

200 Such are the customs of the Babylonians generally. 
There" are likewise three tribes among them who eat nothing 
but fish^ These are caught and dried in the sun, after which 
they are brayed in a mortar, and strained through a Imen sieve. 
Some prefer to make cakes of this material, while others bake 

it into a kind of bread. ..^,-011^ 

201 When Cyrus had achieved the conquest of the Babylo- 
nians he conceived the desire of bringing the Massagetse under 
his dominion. Now the Massageta? are said to be a great and 
warlike nation, dwelling eastward, toward the rismg of the sun, 

corpse being laid at full length instead 
of being compressed into a small com- 
pass, with the knees resting on the 
shoulders. The wooden coffins observed 
by Rich must have been of the Moham- 
medan period.— H. C. R.] 

* This unhallowed custom is men- 
tioned among the abominations of the 
religion of the Babylonians in the book 
of Baruch (vi. 43):— ^' The women also 
with cords about them, sittmg m the 
ways, burn bran for perfume; but it 
any of them, drawn by some that 
passeth by, lie with him, she reproaches 
her fellow, that she not thought 
as worthy as herself, nor her cord 

broken." Strabo also speaks of it (svi. 
p. 1058). 

i The inhabitants of the marshes m 
lower Babylonia, against whom the As- 
syrian kings so often make war (Layard s 
Monuments of Nineveh, 2nd series, 
places 25, 27, 28), are probably intended ; 
but it is difficult to suppose that fish 
formed really at any time their sole 
food The marshes must always Have 
abounded with water-fowl, and they 
now support, besides, vast herds ot 
buffaloes, which form the chief wealth 
of the inhabitants (see Mr. Layard s 
Nineveh and Babylon, ch. xxiv. pp. ooo, 

Chap. 199-202. THE RIVER ARAXES. 275 

beyond the river Araxes, and opposite tlie Issedonians.'^ By 
many tliey are regarded as a Scythian race.'^ 

202. As for the Araxes, it is, according to some accounts, 
larger, according to others smaller than the Ister (Danube). It 
has islands in it, many of which are said to be equal in size to 
Lesbos. The men who inhabit them feed during the summer 
on roots of all kinds, which they dig out of the ground, while 
they store up the fruits, Avhich they gather from the trees at 
the fitting season, to serve them as food in the winter-time. 
Besides the trees whose fruit they gather for this purpose, they 
have also a tree wliich bears the strangest produce. When 
they are met together in companies they throw some of it upon 
the fire round which they are sitting, and presently, by the 
mere smell of- the fumes which it gives out in burning, they 
grow drunk, as the Greeks do wdth wine. More of the fruit is 
then throAvn on the fire, and, their drunkenness increasing, they 
often jump up and begin to dance and sing. Such is the 
account which I have heard of this people. 

The river Ai'axes, like the Gyndes, which Cyrus dispersed 
into three hundred and sixty channels, has its source in the 
country of the Matienians. It has forty mouths, whereof all, 
except one, end in bogs and swamps. These bogs and swamps 
are said to be inhabited by a race of men who feed on raw fish, 
and clothe themselves with the skins of seals. The other 
mouth of the river flows with a clear course into the Caspian 
Sea.^ ________ 

•• The Issedonians are mentioned re- the information which had reached him 

peatedly in Book iv. Their seats are concerning two or three distinct streams. 

not very distinctly marked. They lie The Araxes, which rises in the Matienian 

east of the Argippceans (iv. 25) and mountains, v-hencc the Gyndes flovs, can 

sonth of the Arimaspi (ib. 27). Eennell only be the modern Aras, which has its 

supposes them to have occupied the source in the Armenian mountain-range 

tract which is now inhabited by the near Erzeroum, and running eastward 

Eleuthes or Calinuck Tatars. joins the Kur near its mouth, and falls 

' Herodotus himself admits that the into the Caspian on the west. On the 

dress and mode of life of both nations other hand, the Araxes, which separates 

were the same. Dr. Donaldson brings the country of the Massagetse (who dwelt 

an etymological argument in support to the east of the Caspian, ch, 204) from 

of the identity (Varronianus, p. 29). the empii'e of Cyrus, would seem to be 

According to him the word Scyth is either the Jaxartes (the modern Syhun) 

another form of Goth, and the Massa- or the Oxus (Ji/hnn). The number of 

get£e, Thyssagetae, &c. are branches of mouths and great size of the islands 

the Clothic nation, Massa-Goths, Thyssa- correspond best with the former stream, 

Goths, .kc. while the division into separate channels, 

* The geographical knowledge of He- and the passage of one branch into the 

rodotus seems to be nowhere so much Caspian, agrees strictly with the former 

at fault as in his account of this river, state of the Jyhun river. (Infra, Essay 

He appears to have confused together ix. § 8.) To 

T 2 




Book I. 

203. The Caspian is a sea by itself, having no connexion with 
any other.^ The sea frequented by the Greeks, that beyond 
the Pillars of Hercules, Avhich is called the Atlantic, and also 
the Erythra3an, are all one and the same sea. But the Caspian 
is a distinct sea, lying by itself, in length fifteen days' voyage 
with a row-boat, in breadth, at the broadest part, eight days' 
voyage.^ Along its western shore runs the chain of the Cau- 
casus, the most extensive and loftiest af all mountain-ranges.^ 
Many and various are the tribes by which it is inhabited, most 
of whom live entirely on the wild fruits of the forest. In these 
forests certain trees are said to grow, from the leaves of which, 
pounded and mixed with water, the inhabitants make a dye, 
wherewith they paint upon their clothes the figures of animals ; 
and the figures so impressed never wash out, but last as though 
they had been inwoven in the cloth from the first, and wear as 
long as the garment. 

204. On the west then, as I have said, the Caspian Sea is 
bounded by the range of Caucasus. On the east it is followed 

To inci-ease the perplexity, we are 
told (iv. 11) that when the Massagetae 
dispossessed the Scythians of this tract 
east of the Caspian, the latter people 
" crossed the Araxes, and entered the 
land of Cimmeria," where the Wolga 
seems to be intended. (See Wesseling 
ad loo.) Probably the name Aras (Rha) 
was given by the natives to all, or most, 
of these streams, and Herodotus was not 
sufficiently acquainted with the general 
geography to perceive that different 
rivers must be intended. 

^ Here the geographical knowledge 
of Herodotus was much in advance of 
his age, Eratosthenes, Strabo, Pom- 
ponius Mela, and Pliny all believed 
that the Caspian Sea was connected 
with the Northern Ocean by a long and 
narrow gulf. False information received 
at the time of Alexander's conquests 
seems to have made geographical know- 
ledge retrograde. It was reserved for 
Ptolemy to restore the Caspian to its 
trne position of an inland sea. 

^ It is impossible to make any exact 
comparison between the actual size of 
the Caspian and the estimate of He- 
rodotus, since we do not know what 
distance he intends by the day's voyage 
of a row-boat. No light is thrown on 
this by his estimate of the rate of 
sailin'j vessels (iv. 86). 

It is possible, however, to compare 

the proportions. Let it then be observed 
that Herodotus makes the length a little 
less than double of the (jreatest breadth. 
He is careful to say the (/reatest, not the 
average breadth (rfj evpvrdrr] ecTT/ aur^ 
ewuTTjs). Now in point of fact the 
Caspian is 750 miles long from north 
to south, and about 400 miles across in 
the broadest part from east to west. 
These numbers, which are certainly 
near the truth, are exactly in the pro- 
portion given by Herodotus of 15 to 8. 
There seems to be great reason, there- 
fore, to question the conclusions of 
Bredow and others, who suppose that 
Herodotus measured the length of the 
Caspian from east to west, and its 
breadth from north to south, and was 
right in doing so, since the sea of Aral 
formed a part of the Caspian in ancient 
times. It would be strange indeed if 
the sea had so entirely altered its shape, 
and yet preserved exactly the propor- 
tions of its ancient bed. 

2 This was true within the limits of our 
author's geographical knowledge. Peaks 
in the Caucasus attain the height of 
17,000 feet. Neither in Taurus, nor 
in Zagros, nor in any of the European 
Alps is the elevation so great, Herodotus 
was ignorant of the Himalaya, and even 
of the range south of the Caspian, where 
Mount Demavend rises to a height ex- 
ceeding 20,000 feet. 


by a vast plain, stretching out interminably before the eye," 
the greater portion of which is possessed by those Massage toe, 
against whom Cyrus was now so anxious to make an expedition. 
Many strong motives weighed with him and urged him on — his 
birth especially, which seemed something more than human, 
and his good fortune in all his former wars, wherein he had 
always found, that against what country soever he turned his 
arms, it was impossible for that people to escape. 

205. At this time the Massagetae were ruled by a queen, 
named Tomyris, who at the death of her husband, the late king, 
had mounted the throne. To her Cyrus sent ambassadors, with 
instructions to court her on his part, pretending that he wished 
to take her to wife. Tomyris, however, aware that it was her 
kingdom, and not herself, that he courted, forbade the men to 
approach. Cyrus, therefore, finding that he did not advance 
his designs by this deceit, marched towards the Araxes, and 
openly displaying his hostile intentions, set to work to construct 
a bridge on which his army might cross the river, and began 
building towers upon the boats which were to be used in the 

206. While the Persian leader was occupied in these labours, 
Tomyris sent a herald to liim, who said, " King of the Medes, 
cease to press this enterprise, for thou canst not know if what 
thou art doing Avill be of real advantage to thee. Be content 
to rule in peace thy own kingdom, and bear to see us reign 
over the countries that are ours to govern. As, however, I 
know thou wilt not choose to hearken to this counsel, since 
there is nothing thou less desirest than peace and quietness, 
come now, if thou art so mightily desirons of meeting the 
Massageta3 in arms, leave thy useless toil of bridge-making ; 
let us retire three days' march from the river bank, and do 
thou come across with thy soldiers ; or, if thou likest better to 
give us battle on thy side the stream, retire thyself an equal 
distance." Cyrus, on this offer, called together the chiefs of 
the Persians, and laid the matter before them, requesting them 
to advise him what he should do. All the votes were in favour 
of his letting Tomyris cross the stream, and giving battle on 
Persian ground. 

' 207. But Croesus the Lydian, who was present at the meeting 

3 The deserts of Kharesni, Kizilkoum, &c., the most southern portion of the 
Steppe region. 


of the chiefs, disapproved of this advice ; he therefore rose, and 
thus delivered his sentiments in opposition to it : " Oh ! my 
king ! I promised thee long since, that, as Jove had given me 
into thy hands, I would, to the* best of my power, avert im- 
pending danger from thy house. Alas ! my own sufferings, by 
their very bitterness, have taught me to be keen-sighted of 
dangers. If thou deemest thyself an immortal, and thine army 
an army of immortals, my counsel will doubtless be thrown 
away upon thee. But if thou feelest thyself to be a man, and 
a ruler of men, lay this first to heart, that there is a wheel on 
which the affairs of men revolve, and that its movement forbids 
the same man to be always fortunate. Now concerning the 
matter in hand, my judgment runs counter to the judgment of 
thy other counsellors. For if thou agreest to give the enemy 
entrance into thy country, consider what risk is run ! Lose the 
battle, and therewith thy whole kingdom is lost. For assuredly, 
the Massagetae, if they win the fight, will not return to their 
homes, but will push forward against the states of thy empire. 
Or if thou gainest the battle, why, then thou gainest far less 
than if thou wert across the stream, where thou mightest follow 
up thy victory. For against thy loss, if they defeat thee on 
thine own ground, must be set theirs in like case. Kout their 
army on the other side of the river, and thou may est push at 
once into the heart of their country. Moreover, were it not dis- 
grace intolerable for Cyrus the soil of Cambyses to retire before 
and yield ground to a woman ? My counsel therefore is, that 
we cross the stream, and pushing forward as far as they shall 
fall back, then seek to get the better of them by stratagem. I 
am told they are unacquainted with the good things on which 
the Persians live, and have never tasted the great delights of 
life. Let us then prepare a feast for them in our camp ; let 
sheep be slaughtered without stint, and the winecups be filled 
full of noble liquor, and let all manner of dishes be prepared : 
then leaving behind us our worst troops, let us fall back towards 
the river. Unless I very much mistake, when they see the 
good fare set out, they will forget all else and fall to. Then it 
will remain for us to do our parts manfully." 

208. Cyrus, when the two plans were thus placed in contrast 
before him, changed his mind, and preferring the advice which 
Croesus had given, returned for answer to Tomyris, that she 
should retire, and that he would cross the stream. She there- 
fore retired, as she had engaged ; and Cyrus, giving Crcesus 

Chap. 207-210. CYRUS'S DREAM. 279 

into the care of his son Cambyses (whom he had appointed to 
succeed him on the throne), with strict charge to pay him all 
respect and treat him well, if the expedition failed of success ; 
and sending them both back to Persia, crossed the river with 
his army. 

209. The first night after the passage, as he slept in the 
enemy's country, a vision appeared to him. He seemed to see 
in his sleep the eldest of the sons of Hystaspes, with wings upon 
his shoulders, shadowing with the one wing Asia, and Em-ope 
with the other. Now Hystaspes, the son of Arsames, was of 
the race of the Achsemenidse,'^ and his eldest son, Darius, was 
at that time scarce twenty years old ; wherefore, not being of 
age to go to the wars, he had remained behind in Persia. When 
Cyrus woke from his sleep, and turned the vision over in his 
mind, it seemed to him no light matter. He therefore sent for 
Hystaspes, and taking him aside said, " Hystaspes, thy son is 
discovered to be plotting against me and my crown. I will tell 
thee how I know it so certainly. The gods watch over my 
safety, and warn me beforehand of every danger. Now last 
night, as I lay in my bed, I saw in a vision the eldest of thy 
sons with wings upon his shoulders, shadowing with the one 
wing Asia, and Europe with the other. From this it is certain, 
beyond all possible doubt, that he is engaged in some plot 
against me. Return thou then at once to Persia, and be sure, 
when I come back from conquering the Massage tse, to have thy 
son ready to produce before me, that I may examine him." 

210. Thus Cyrus spoke, in the belief that he was plotted 
against by Darius ; but he missed the true meaning of the 
dream, which was sent by God to forewarn him, that he was 
to die then and there, and that his kingdom was to fall at last 
to ]3arius. 

Hystaspes made answer to Cyrus in these words : — " Heaven 
forbid, sire, that there should be a Persian living who would 
plot against thee ! If such an one there be, may a speedy 
death overtake him ! Thou foundest the Persians a race of 
slaves, thou hast made them free men : thou foundest them 
subject to others, thou hast made them lords of all. If a vision 
has announced that my son is practising against thee, lo, I 

* For the entire genealo.c^y of Darius, son of Hystaspes (Vashtdspa) and grand- 
see note on Book vii. ch. 11. It maybe son of Arsames (Arshamk). He traced 
observed here that the inscriptions con- his descent through four ancestors to 
firm Herodotus thus far. Darius was Achfemenes (Hakhamanish). 


resign him into thy hands to deal with as thou wilt." Hystaspes, 
when he had thus ansAvered, recrossed the Araxes and hastened 
back to Persia, to keep a watch. on his son Darius. 

211. Meanwhile Cyrus, having advanced a day's march from 
the river, did as Cravsus had advised him, and, leaving the 
worthless portion of his army in the camp, drew off with his 
good troops towards the river. Soon afterwards, a detachment 
of the Massagetoe, one-third of their entire army, led by Spar- 
gapises,^ son of the queen Tomyris, coming up, fell upon the 
body which had been left behind by Cyrus, and on their 
resistance put them to the sword. Then, seeing the banquet 
prepared, they sat down and began to feast. When they had 
eaten and drunk their fill, and were now sunk in sleep, the 
Persians under Cyrus arrived, slaughtered a great multitude, 
and made even a larger number prisoners. Among these last 
was Spargapises himself. 

212. When Tomyris heard what had befallen her son and 
her army, she sent a herald to Cyrus, who thus addressed the 
conqueror : — " Thou bloodthirsty Cyrus, pride not thyself on 
this poor success : it was the grape-juice — which, when ye drink 
it, makes you so mad, and as ye swallow it down brings up to 
your lips such bold and wicked words — it was this poison 
wherewith thou didst ensnare my child, and so overcam^est him, 
not in fair open fight. Now hearken what I advise, and be 
sure I advise thee for thy good. Restore my son to me and 
get thee from the land unharmed, triumphant over a third part 
of the host of the Massagetse. Eefuse, and I swear by the sun, 
the sovereign lord of the Massagetse, bloodthirsty as thou art, 
I will give thee thy fill of blood." 

213. To the words of this message Cyrus paid no manner of 
regard. As for Spargapises, the son of the queen, when the 
wine went off, and he saw the extent of his calamity, he made 
request to Cyrus to release him from his bonds ; then, when 
his prayer was granted, and the fetters were taken from his 
limbs, as soon as his hands were free, he destroyed himself. 

•5 The identity of this name with the father" — which would be the meaning 

" Spargapithes," mentioned as a Scy- of the name in Sanscrit— is an unsatis- 

thiaii king in book iv. (ch. 7(3), is of im- factory compound. And, besides, the 

portance towards determining the etlmic sv of the Sanscrit invariably changes to 

family to which the Massagetao are to be an aspirate or guttural in the Zend, 

assigned. The Arian derivation of the Persian, and other cognate dialects — 

word (Svarga, pita) is remarkable. sininjd in fact becoming kheng or gnn;/, as 

[The Arian etymology is perhaps more in the famous (jangdiz or Paradise of 

apparent than real. At least "Heaven Persian romance. — H.C.R.] 

CiiAP. 210-214. BATTLE, AND DEATH OF CYRUS. 281 

214. Tomyris, when she found tliat Cyrus paid no heed to 
her advice, collected all the forces of her kingdom, and gave 
him battle. Of all the combats in Avhich the barbarians have 
en<ra2:ed amomi; themselves, I reckon this to have been the 
fiercest. The following, as I understand, was the manner of 
it :— First, the two armies stood apart and shot their arrows at 
each other ; then, when their quivers were empty, they closed 
and fought hand-to-hand Avith lances and daggers ; and thus 
they continued fighting for a length of time, neither choosing 
to give ground. At length the Massagetse prevailed. The 
greater part of the array of the Persians was destroyed and 
Cyrus himself fell, after reigning nine and twenty years. Search 
was made among the slain by order of the queen for the body 
of Cvrus, and when it was found she took a skin, and, filling it 
full of human blood, she dipped the head of Cyrus in the gore, 
saying, as she thus insulted the corse, '^ I live and have con- 
quered thee in fight, and yet by thee am I ruined, for thou 
tookest my son Avith guile ; but thus I make good my threat, 
and give thee thy fill of blood." Of the many different accounts 
which are given of tlie death of Cyrus, this which I have 
followed appears to me most worthy of credit.^ 

'^ It may be questioned whether the tiou too (" I (un Cyrus, the son of Cam- 
account, ^Yhich out of many seemed to byses, who founded the empire of the 
our autlior most worthy of credit, was Persians^ and ruled over Asia. Grudge 
ever really the most credible. Unwit- me not then this monument ") could 
tingly Herodotus was drawn towards the scarcely have been placed on a cenotaph, 
most romantic and poetic version of each There can be no reasonable doubt that 
story, and what he admired most seemed the body of Cyrus was interred in the 
to him the likeliest true. There tomb described, after Aristobulus, in 
is no insincerity or pretence in this. In Ari'ian. 

real good faith he adopts the most \>ev- According to Xenophon, Cyrus died 

fectly poetic tale or legend. He does peacefully in his bed (Cyrop. viit. vii.); 

not, liiie Livy, knowingly falsify his- according to Ctesias, he was severely 

tory. wounded in a battle which he fought 

With respect to the particular matter with the Derbices, and died in camp of 

of the death of Cyrus, the fact of the his wounds (Persic. Excerpt. § 6-8). Of 

existence of his tomb at Pasargadre, these two authors, Ctesias, perhaps, is 

vouched for by Aristobulus, one of the the less ujitrustworthy. On his autho- 

companions of Alexander (much better rity, conjoined with that of Herodotus, it 

reported by Arrian, vi. 29, than by may be considered certain, 1. That Cyrus 

Strabo, xv. p. 1036), seems conclusive died a violent death; and 2. That he 

against the histoi'ic truth of the narra- received his death-wound in fight ; but 

tive of Herodotus. Larcher's supposi- against what enemy must continue a 

tion that the tomb at Pasargadic was a doubtful point. 

cenotaph (Histoire d'He'rod., vol. i. p. There is much reason to believe that 

.")09) is contradicted by the whole rela- the tomb of Cyrus still exists at Marg- 

tion in Arrian, where we hear not only J^ 7,6, the ancient Pasargadse. On a square 

of the gold sarcophagus, but of the body base, composed of immense blocks of 

also, whereof, after the tomb had been beautiful white marble, rising in steps, 

violated, Aristobulus himself collected stands a structure so closely resembling 

and interred the remains. The inscrip- the description of Arrian, that it seems 


215. In their dress and mode of living tlie Massagetse resemble 
tlie Scythians. They fight both on horseback and on foot, 
neither method is strange to them : they nse bows and lances, 
but their favourite weapon is the battle-axe.^ Their arms are 
all either of gold or brass. For their spear-points, and arrow- 
lieads, and for their battle-axes, they make use of brass ; for 
head-gear, belts, and girdles, of gold. So too with the caparison 
of their horses, they give them breastplates of brass, but employ 
<rold about the reius, the bit, and the cheek-plates. They use 

Tnrnb of Cyrus. 

scarcely possible to doubt its being the 
tomb which in Alexander's time con- 
tained the body of Cyrus. It is a quad- 
rangular house, or rather chamber, built 
of huge blocks of marble, 5 feet thick, 
which are shaped at the top into a sloping 
roof. Internally the chamber is 10 feet 
long, 7 wide, and 8 high. There are 
holes in the marble floor, which seem to 
have admitted the fastenings of a sarco- 
phagus. The tomb stands in an area 
marked out by pillars, whereon occurs 
repeatedly the inscription (written both 
in Persian and in the so-called Median), 
"I am Cyrus the king, the Achseme- 
nian." A full account, with a sketch of 
the structure (from which the accompa- 
nying view is taken), will be foimd in 
Ker Porter's Travels (vol. i. pp. 498- 

506). It. is called by the natives the 
tomb of the Mother of Solomon ! 

7 There is some doubt as to the nature 
of the weapon known to the Greeks as 
the adyapis. It has been taken for a bat- 
tle-axe, a bill-hook, and a short curved 
sword or scymitar. Bahr (ad loc.) re- 
gards it as identical with the aKivaK-qs, 
but this is impossible, since it is men- 
tioned as a distinct weapon in book iv. 
(ch. 70.) The expression, d 1 1 v a s aa- 
ydpLs, in book vii. (ch. 6-I-) seems to point 
to the battle-axe, which is called sacr in 
Armenian. (Compare the Latin securis.) 
[The adyapis is in all probability the 
hhtuijar of modern Persia, a short, curved, 
double-edged dagger, almost universally 
worn. The original form of the word 
was probably svagar. — H.C.R.] 


neither iron nor silver, having none in their country ; but they 
have brass and gokl in abundance.^ 

216. The following are some of their customs ; — Each man 
has but one wife, yet all the wives are held in common ; for 
this is a custom of the Massageta^ and not of the Scythians, as 
the Greeks wrongly say. Human life does not come to its 
natural close with this people ; but when a man grows very old, 
all his kinsfolk collect together and offer him up in sacrifice ; 
offering at the same time some cattle also. After the sa(*rifice 
they boil the flesh and feast on it ; and those who thus end 
their days are reckoned the happiest. If a man dies of disease 
they do not eat him, but bury him in the ground, bewailing his 
ill-fortune that he did not come to be sacrificed. They sow no 
grain, but live on their herds, and on fish, of which there is 
great plenty in the Araxes. Milk is what they chiefly drink. 
The only god they worship is the sun, and to him they offer the 
horse in sacrifice ; under the notion of giving to the swiftest of 
the gods tlie swiftest of all mortal creatures.^ 

*' Botli the Ural and the Altai moun- found in the tumuli which abound 

taius abound in gold. The i-ichness of throughout the sfceppe region. . 

these regions in this metal is indicated '* So Ovid says of the Persians — 
(book iv. ch. 27) by the stories of the 

gold-guavdh,g Grypes and tho Arimaspi '''"'Te^XSSwlS£,a"ffal°C''"'°"' 
who plunder them (book m. cli. lib). 

Altai is said to be derived from a Tatar Xenophon ascribes the custom both to 

word signifying gold (Rennell's Geogr. them (Cyrop. viii. iii. § 24), and to the 

of Herod., p. 1 oG). The present produc- Armenians (Anab. iv. v. § 35). Horse 

tiveness of the Ural mountains is well sacrifices are said to prevail among the 

known, (lold utensils are frequently modern Parsees. 




1. Date of the taking of Sardis by Cyrus — according to the common account, B.C. 
546. 2. According to Vohiey and Heei'en, B.C. 557. 3. Prob ible actual date, 
B.C. 554. 4. First or mythic period of Lydian history — dynasty of the Atyadse. 
5. Colonisation of Etruria. 6. Conquest of the Mseonians by the Lydians — 
Torrhebia. 7. Second period — dynasty of the Heraclidse, B.C. 1'229 to B.C. 724 
— descent of Agron. 8. Scantiness of the historical data for this period. 
9. Lydiaca of Xanthus. 10. Insignificance of Lydia before Gyges. 11. Third 
period, B.C. 724-554 — legend of Gyges — he obtains the throne by favour of 
the Delphic oracle. 12. Eeign of Gyges, B.C. 724-686 — his wars with the 
Greeks of the coast. 13. Reign of Ardys, B.C. 686-637. 14. Invasion of the 
Cimmerians. 15. Reign of Sadyattes, B.C. 637-625. 16. Reign of Alyattes, 
B.C. 625-568 — war with Miletus. 17. Gi^eat war between Alyattes and Cyax- 
ares, king of Media — eclipse of Thales, B.C. 610 (?). 18. Peaceful close of his 
reign — employment of the population in the construction of his tomb. 19. 
Supposed association of Croesus in the government by Alyattes. 20. Reign of 
Croesus, B.C. 568-554 — his enormous wealth. 21. Powerful effect on the Gi-eek 
mind of his reverse of fortune — his history becomes a favourite theme with 
romance writers, who continually embellish it. 

1. Thk early chronology of Lydia depends entirely upon tlie true 
date of the taking of Sardis by Cyrus. Clinton, Grote, Biihr, and 
most recent chrouologers, following the authority of Sosicrates * 
and Solinus, place the capture in the third year of the 58th 
Olympiad, B.C. 546. As Sosicrates flourished in the 2nd century 
B.C., and Solinus in the time of the Antonines, no great value, as 
Mr. Grote allows,'^ can be attached to their evidence. It is cer- 
tainly confirmed, in some degree, by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 

1 Although Sosicrates is referred to by before the death of Croesus ; but it is quite 

Mr. Grote (vol. iv. p. 264, note 2) and by possible that he may have meant to refer to 

Mr. Clinton, under the year B.C. 546, as an his accession. The following synopsis of 

authority for placing the capture of Sardis the dates given in ancient writers for the 

in that year, yet the passage in Diogenes accession of Gyges will show the uncertainty 

Laertius, to which reference is made (i. 95), of the chronology even of the third Lydian 

produces, according to Clinton's own show- dynasty : — 

ing ('Appendix, xvii., vol. ii. p. 361), not the b.c 

vear B.C. 546, but the following year, B.C. ^ionysius Halicaraas. (in one passage) . 718 

Ir^ ./ I, • ^ i. X 1 Certain authors referred to by rimy . 717 

545. It IS, perhaps, more important to ob- Sosicrates (?) . . . . . . . .715 

serve that Sosicrates says nothing at all of Pliny and Clemens A lexaniir 708 

the taking of Sardis, but only affirms tliat J^^usebius 699 

Peiiander^died in the last year of the 48th ^i«"y«i»« H^^li^'^'- ('» ^^^I'^'r passage) G9,s 

Olympiad, forty-one years before Croesus. 2 Histoiy of Greece, part ii. cli. xxxii. 

He can scarcely have meant, as we should (vol. iv. p. 265, note), 
naturally have understood from the passage. 


who, in one passage,^ expresses himself in a way which woukl 
seem to show that he regarded the event as having occurred only 
two years earlier. But it must not be forgotten that from another 
passage of this writer/ it might be gathered that he would have 
placed the capture seventeen years later, in the year B.C. 528. The 
date of Solinus also is confirmed or copied by Eusebius, who gives 
the year b.c. 54G for the end of the Lydian monarch}^^ 

2. Volney,'' on the contrary, maintains, against Solinus and Sosi- 
crates, that the true date of the capture must be many years earlier. 
He proposes b.c. 557 as the most probable year, and his conclusions 
have been adopted by Heeren.'' 

The following objections seem to lie against the date usually 
assigned: — 

The conquest of Astyages by Cyrus is determined by the general 
consent of chronologers to fall within the space B.C. 561-558. This 
event can hardly have preceded the taking of Sardis by from twelve 
to fifteen years ; at least if Herodotus is to be regarded as a toler- 
able authority even for the general connexion of the events of this 
period. For Herodotus says that the defeat of Ast^^ages determined 
Croesus to attack Cj^rus before he became still more powerful ; and 
that he immediately began the consultation of the oracles,^ on which, 
it would seem, the war followed within (at most) a year or two. 
It was the object of Croesus to hurry on the struggle, and two or 
three years (the former is the period .assigned by Volney) would 
probably have been time enough for all the necessary preparations, 
including the negotiations Avith Sparta, Egypt, and Babylon.^ No 
one can read the narrative in Herodotus and imagine that he meant 
to represent more than a very few years as intervening between the 
conquest of the Modes by Cya-us, and Croesus's invasion of Cappa- 
docia. The twelve or thirteen years required by the commonly 
adopted date are contradicted expressly by his narrative. For the 
whole reign of Croesus is but fourteen years ; and if we assign even 
twelve of these to the period of preparation for the Persian war, we 
leave but two years for all the earlier events of his reign, a single 
one of which, the mourning for his son, is stated to have occupied 

^ De Thucyd. Charaut. c. 5. 'HpoSoras " Recherches sur I'Histoire Ancienno, 

— ap|ajuei/os airh rT\s tuv AuScSi/ ^vva- vol. i. pp. 306-9. 

(TT^ias, jxexpi-rovUipaiKov 7roK4fxov ware- ' Manual of Ancient Hist., book i. p. 29 

^i^aae rr]v laropiav, waffas ras iv to7s (Eng. Translation, Talboys), and Appendix. 

Teaa-apaKouTa Ka\ diaKocriois erecri yevo- ^ 'H 'AaTudyeos too Kva^dpeo} vye- 

fxevas Trpd^eis — TreptAa/Swi/. x\s Herodotus /noui-n Karaip^Oela-a vtto Kvpou tov Ka^- 

ooncludos his history with the year B.C. ^vaeco, Koi rd rtov Uepa-ewu Trp-f^y/xara 

479, the commencement of the Lydian av^avofxeva, irevOeos fx€v Kpolaov dire- 

liistory would be, according to this passage, Travae- iuel3r)(Te Se is (ppovrlda, ei kws 

B.C. 718, which would give ( 7 1 8-170) 15.C. Svuairo, trplu fjLeydXovs y € y e a 6 a i 

548 for the end of the monarchy. tov s Us paas, KaraXafielv avrcou av^a- 

* Hpist. ad Cn. I'ompeium, c. 3 (p. pofieurju rriv Zvvajxiv. Mera Siv rrjv 8m- 

773j. 'HpoSoTos Se, ttTT^ T7JS AuSwj/ jSacri- voiav ravTTju avr'tKa aTreTretparo twu 

Aeias ap|auei/oy — Sie^eKdwv re 7rpa|ejs jUaj/TTj/coj/, /c.t.A. ( Ileroil. i. 4(3.) So Strabo 

E\K7]uuu KOL fiap^dpcov irecriv u/jlov dia- says, Uepaai ac/)' ou Kar^Xvaau rd MtjScoj/ 

Koaiois Kol eUoai, k.t.K. evOvs Ka\ Avdu>u iKparrfo-av (xv.p. 1044). 

5 Chronic. Canon. Pars ii. p. 333. 9 Herod, i. G9 and 77. 

286 CHRONOT.OGY OF T.YDTA. Aw. 15ook T. 

that full period of time.* It may be argued, indeed, tliat just as the 
conquests of Croesus and his interview with Solon were (according 
to some writers^) anterior to the fourteen years of his reign as sole 
king, occurring during a period in which he reigned jointly with 
his father, so the dream, the coming of Adrastus, and the marriage 
and death of Atys, may have preceded the decease of Alyattes ; but 
even though the former view should be allowed, the latter suppo- 
sitions are rendered impossible, both by the general tone of the 
narrative, and by the fact that Croesus was but thirty -five at the 
death of his father,^ which would prevent his having a marriageable 
son till some years afterwards. 

The following is the arrangement of the Lydian dynasties accord- 
ing to the ordinary chronology : — 


1st Dynasty .. ,. .. Atyadse anterior to 1221. 

2nd Dynasty Heraclidse .. .. B.C. 1221 to 716 

3rd Dynasty Mermnadse — 

1. Gyses .. B.C. 716 to 678 

2. Ardys .. „ 678 to 629 

3. Sadyattes „ 629 to 617 

4. Alyattes .. ,, 617 to 560 

5. Crcesus .. ,, 560 to 546 

According to the chronology of Yolney, which is adopted by 
Heeren, the several dates will be as follows : — 


1st Dynasty Atyadaj" anterior to 1232 

2nd Dynasty Heraclidse .. .. B.C. 1232 to 727 

3rd Dynasty Mermnado3 — • 

1. Gyges .. B.C. 727 to 689 

2. Ardys .. „ 689 to 640 

3. Sadyattes ,, 640 to 628 

4. Alyattes .. ,, 628 to 571 

5. Croisus .. ,, 571 to 557 

3. The dates assumed in the present w^ork are slightly different 
-from these last. The accession of Croesus is regarded as having 
happened in the year B.C. 568, and the fall of Sardis in B.C. 554. 
This is in part the necessary consequence of an alteration of the 
date of Cyrus's victory over Astyages, which Yolney and Heeren 
place in B.C. 561. As the astronomical canon of Ptolemy fixes the 

^ Ibid i 46 Year of Cronsus. 

IT v, ' \j i^ TJ . 1 ; OT /^ 1 • 1 Continues the war with the Greeks of 

2 Larcher. Note on Herod, i. 2t (vol. u ^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^„j afterwards conquers 

p. 210). Clinton F. H. vol. ii. pp. 362-6. 2-6./ the whole conntry within the Haly; 

It will be proved in its proper place that (chaps. 27, 28). Atys talces part in 

there are no sufficient grounds for believing , ' ViTof 80,^?*™?/*' '"■ 

that Alyattes associated Croesus in the go- i Croesus's dream. Marriage of Atys at the 

veiannent, or that any of the events ascribed 8. ^ age of 18 or 20 (chaps. 34, 35). Atj-s 

bv Herodotus to the fourteen years of I killed by Adrastus (chaps. 36-45). 

/■( 11 i. ii •^.. „^" Ai,T„++^, I Croesus mourns for Atj's (ch. 45, end). 

Croesus belong to the reign of Alyattes. ,,_^oJ ^j^^^.^, ^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^ Astyages 

The following would seem to have been the | (ch. 46). 

view taken by Herodotus of the reign of j^.^^ (Crcesus sends to Delphi and the other 

r"„^^„„ . '^'" I oracles (chaps. 46-56). 

( Alliances concluded with Sparta, Baby- 

Croesus: — 

Year of Croesus. 

• Croesus, at 35 years of age (ch. 26). sue- ^ ^^.^^^^ ^^^^^ ^j^^ jj^^j^^^ ^^^^ ^^^.^^^^ 

Ion, and Egypt (chaps. 69 and 77) 
roesus cro 
Cyrus. ! 

takes Ephesus^ch. 26)7 •* Heiod. i. 26. 

ceedsWsMherT (Hislon Atysmight 14- j ^'•^,!?,VXdVHU'K'LCs 

be 10 or 12 years' old.) Attacks and ^ ^-J^"^- ^^^^^^ *^^'^^" ^^ ^^'^"^- 


death of Cyrus to B.C. 529, and Herodotus ascribes but twenty-nine 
years to the reign of that prince, it has been thought best to regard 
kc. 558 as the first year of Cyrus in Media.'^ In order, therefore, 
to preserve the same interval between the defeat of Astyages and 
the fiill of Sardis, which Volney gathers from the narrative of Hero- 
dotus, the latter event would have to be assigned to the year p..c. 
555. It is here placed one year later on the following grounds : — 
A space of two years does not seem to be sufficient time to allow 
for all (h-oesus's consultations with the oracles, and his negotiations 
with powers so distant as Egypt and Babylonia. Volney 's theory 
crowds the incidents unnecessarily.^ And further, if the fall of 
Sardis were assigned to the year B.C. 555, the negotiations would 
fall into the year B.C. 556. But at this period Labynetus (Nabona- 
dius) did not occupy the throne of Babylon. His accession is fixed 
by the astronomical canon to B.C. 555. Thus the negotiations could 
not bo earlier than b.c. 555, nor the fall of Sardis than B.C. 554. 
This synchronism, which escaped the notice of Volney, seems to be 
conclusive against his scheme, which, starting on sound principles, 
a conviction of the worthlessness of such authorities as Solinus and 
Sosicrates, and a feeling that the ordinary chronology, based upon 
their statements, was irreconcilable with Herodotus, adyanced to 
false conclusions, because the fixed points of contemporary history, 
which alone could determine the true dates, were either forgotten 
or misconceived. By correcting Volney's error and supplying his 
omission, the scheme, adopted in the text, and exhibited synopti- 
cally at the end of this chapter, has been constructed. It places 
the events of Lydian history eight years earlier than the ordinary 
chronology, three years later than the system of Volney and Heeren. 
It is, in brief, as follows : — 


1st Dynasty Atyacloe anterior to 1229 

2nd Dynasty Heraclidse . . . . B.C. 1229 to 724 

;5rd Dynasty .. .. .. Mermuadoe — 

1. Gyges .. B.C. 724 to 686 

2. Ardys .. ,, 686 to 637 

3. Sadyattes „ 637 to 625 

4. Alyattes .. ,, 625 to 568 

5 Croesus .. „ 568 to 554 '^ 

4. With regard to the first period of Lydian history, anterior to 

■* The length of Cyrus's reign is variously p. 497), is a strong argument against its 

stated at 29, 30, and 31 years. I regard being the truth. 

the authority of Herodotus as so much ^ See his Recherches, Chronologic des 

higher than that of the writers who give Rois Lydiens, pp. 307, 308. 

the other numbers — .Justin, Dino (ap. Cio. ^ The Parian marble, in the only date 

Div. i. 23), and Eusebius give 30, Severus bearing on the point which is legible, that 

r.iid the ecclesiastical writers generally, 31 of the embassy sent from Crcesus to Delphi 

years — that I feel no hesitation in preferring (lines 56, 57), very nearly agrees with this 

his statement. Apart, however, from the view. The embassy is placed in what must 

mere consideration of authority, the other clearly be the 292nd year of the Marble, 

numbers would be open to suspicion. Bound which is the first year of the 56th Olym- 

numbers are always suspicious ; and the fact piad, or B.C. 556. The scheme adopted in 

that " the ecclesiastical writers," who were the text would place the first embassy to 

always seeking to bolster up a system, are Delphi in B.C. 557, the last in the year fol- 

the sole authority for the 3 1 years (Syncellus, lowino-. 


the accession of the dynasty called by Herodotus Ileraclidas, it 
seems rightl}^ termed b}^ A'olney and Heeren/ " uncertain and 
fabulous." The royal genealogies of the At^^adas (as it has been 
usual to call them), be^yond which there is scarcely anything be- 
longing to the period that even claims to be history, have the 
appearance, with which the carl}^ Greek legends make us so familiar, 
of artificial arrangements of the heroes eponpni of the nation. The 
Manes, Atys, Lydus, Asies, Tj^-rsenus of Herodotus and Dionysius, 
and even the Torybus (or Torrhebus) and Adramytes of Xanthus 
Lydus, stand in Lydian history where Hellen, Pelasgus, Ion, Dorus, 
Achseus, yEolus, stand in Greek. Only two names are handed down 
in the lists of this period, which are devoid to all appearance of an 
ethnic character, the names of Meles and Cotys. Manes, the first 
king after Zeus, according to the complete genealogy preserved in 
Dionysius,® may fairly be considered, as was long ago observed by 
Freret, the eponymus of the Maeonians.^ A^a's gives his name to 
the royal race of Atyadae, Lydus to the Lydians, Asies to the con- 
tinent of Asia, Tyrrhenus to the distant Tyrrhenians, Torrhebus, 
or Torybus, to the region of Lydia called Torrhebia, or Toi'ybia, 
Adramytes to the town of Adramyttium. And the complete gene- 
alogy referred to above, of which the notices in LTerodotus seem to 
be fragments, is, if not an additional proof of the mythical character 
of these personages, yet a sufiicient indication of the feeling of 
antiquity with respect to them. Manes, the first king, the son of 
Zeus and Terra, marries Callirhoe, a daughter of Oceanus, and 
becomes thereby the father of Cotys. Cotys, removed one step 
further from divinity, is content with an earthly bride, and takes 

7 Heeren's Manual of Ancient Hist., Ap- It is curious that Freret should positively 

pendix, iii. (p. 478, Eng. translation, Tal- assert (Me'raoires de I'Acad. des Inscr., torn, 

boys). V. p. 307), and Grote maintain as probable 

^ Antiq. Rom. i. 28. This genealogy (vol. iii. p. 300, note), that Dionysius gives 

may be thus exhibited in a tabular form : — the complete genealogy /rom Xanthus. Tliis 

Zeus and Terra. 

Manes ^Callirhoe, daughter of Oceanus. 

Cotys = Halie, daughter of Tyllus. 
I , I 

Asies. Atys = Callithea, daughter of Chorfeus. 

I , I 

Lydus. Tyrsenus. 

The three notices in Herodotus (i. 7, i. 94, is quite impossible, since Dionysius contrasts 

and iv. 45) harmonise perfectly with this the opinion of Xanthus with that of the 

genealogy, except in a single point. In persons who put forward this mythical 

book i. ch. 94, Atys is made the son instead genealogy, in which moreover the name of 

of the grandson of Manes. This may be an Tyrsenus occurs (not Torrhebus, as Grote 

inaccuracy on the part of Herodotus, or says, misquoting Dionysius) ; a name of 

possibly he would have drawn out the tree which Xanthus, according to the same 

thus: — writer, made no mention at all. 

*■' Me'moires de I'Academie des Inscrip- 

_ tions, torn. v. p. 308. Perhaps, however, 

^tyg Cotys. ^^ 's rather the equivalent of ]\lenes in 

I 1 I Kgypt, Menu in India, Minos in Crete, 

Lydus. Tyrsenus. Asies. Mannus in Germany, &c,, — a mere first man. 



to wife Halie, daughter of Tyllus, by whom he has two sons, Asies, 
who gives name to Asia, and Atys, his successor upon the throne. 
Atys marries Callithea, daughter of Chorasus, and is father of Tyr- 
senus and Lydus. 

5. The few facts delivered in connexion with these names are, 
for the most part, as mythical as the personages by whom they 
were borne. The legend which has handed down to us the name 
of Meles ' is perhaps scarcely less entitled to rank as history than 
the tradition which ascribed the origin of the great Etruscan nation 
to a colony which Tyrrhenus, son of Atys, led into Italy from the 
far-off land of Lydia. Xanthus, the native historian, it must never 
be forgotten, ignored the existence of Tyrrhenus, and protested 
against the tradition (which he must have known) not merely, as 
is often said,^ by the negative testimony of silence, but by filling 
up the place of Tyrrhenus with a different personage, Torybus or 
Torrhebus, who, instead of leading a colony into Etruria, remained 
at home and gave his name to a district of his native land.^ The 
arguments of Dionysius,'* deemed worthy of the valuable praise of 
Niebuhr,^ have met with no sufficient answer from those who, not- 
withstanding, maintain the Lydian origin of the Etruscans. It 
remains certain, both that the Lydians had no such settled tradition, 
and that even if they had had any such, " it would have deserved 
no credit by the complete difference of the two nations in language, 
usages, and religion."^ All analysis of the Etruscan language leads 
to the conclusion that it is in its non-Pelasgic element altogether 
sai generis/ and quite unconnected, so far as appears, with any of 

1 Herod, i. 84. I regard the Meles of ^ Ibid. ib. p. 109. It has been said 

Herodotus, whose wife gave birth to a lion, (Creuzer, in Symb.) that Xanthus might 

as a very different and far more ancient have concealed intentionally what was dis- 

personage than the Meles of Eusebius who creditable to his countrymen ; but could the 

reigned shortly before Candaules. Both founding of so great a nation as the Etrus- 

kings are noticed by Nicolaus Damascenus can be viewed in that light? Xanthus 

(Frag. Hist. Gr. vol. iii. p. 371 and 382). must have known the story, which Hero- 

^ Larcher, Histoire d'Herodote, note on dolus received from cei'tain Lydians (^acrl 5e 

i. 94 (vol. i. p. 352) : " On pourrait re- avrol Av5o\, i. 94), and understood it, as 

pondre cependant que ce n'est qu'un argu- Herodotus himself undoubtedly did, to assert 

ment negatif, qui n'a aucune force centre the Lydian origin of the existing Etruscan 

un fait positivement enonce par un histo- people. It seems now to be tolerably certain 

rien grave," &c. Creuzer, in Symb. ii. p. that Niebuhr's attempted distinction between 

828, not. Bahr's Herod. Excurs. ii. ad the words Tyrrhenian and Etruscan is ety- 

Herod. i. 94. mologically unsound (Donaldson's Varroni- 

^ Xanthus ap. Dionys. Hal. "Amos 5e anus, ch. i. § 11); and so the tradition, 

TToTSas yev4(T6ai Aeyet Avdhu Kol TSpvfiov, literally taken, could mean nothing but the 

rovTovs Se /xepKraixevovs ttjj/ warpcvav Lydian origin of the ^irwsa. Against this 

cipxV) ^y 'Acrta Kara^JL^^uai dixcporcpovs, I understand Xanthus to protest. He need 

KOI ToTs iQv^aiv mu ?ip^av, eV iKeivuv (pT]a\ not be considered as pronouncing against 

TeOrjuai ras oyof-iaaias, xiyuiv wSe* air)) the connexion, spoken of below, between 

AvZov fikv yivovrai Ai;5ol, d-rrh Se Topv^ov, the Pelasgi whom the Etruscans conquered, 

T6pv^oi. Cf. Steph. By^. in voc. T6pprj^o5. and the Maeonians whom the Lydians drove 

Tjp^TjjSos ir6\is AuStay, dnh To^p-fj^ov tov out. 

"Atvos. 7 The attempt made by Mr. Donaldson, 

* Ant. Rom. lib. i. (vol. i. pp. 21-24, in his Varronianus (pp. 101-136), to con- 

Oxf. Ed.) nect the Etruscan with the other Italic lan- 

^ History of Rome, vol. i. pp. 38-39 guages, is not generally regarded by compa- 

(Engl. translation, edition of 1831). rative philologers as successful. 

VOL. I. U 

290 STORY OF TORRHEBUS. App. Book 1. 

the dialects of Asia Minor. The Lj^dians, on the other hand, who 
were of the same family with the Carians," who are called Leleges,^ 
must have spoken a language closely akin to the Pelasgic ; and the 
connexion of Lydia with Italy, if any, must have been through the 
Pelasgic, not through the Italic element in the population. 

Indeed, if the tradition conceal any fact (and perhaps there never 
yet was a wide-spread tradition that did not), it would seem to be 
this, that a kindred population was spread in early times from the 
shores of Asia Minor to the north-western boundary of Italy. No- 
thing is more unlikely than the sudden movement of a large 
body of men, in times so remote as those to which the tradition 
refers, from Lydia to the Etruscan coast. Nothing, on the other 
hand, is more probable, or more agreeable to the general tenor of 
ancient history,^ than the gradual passage of a kindred people, or 
kindred tribes, from Asia Minor to western Europe, 

It may also well be, as Niebuhr thinks,^ that there is another 
entirely distinct misconception in the story, as commonly narrated. 
The connexion of race, which the original mythus was intended to 
point out, may have been a connexion between the ancient Pelasgic 
population of Italy on the one hand, and the Mceonians, not the 
Lydians, on the other. The Lydians may have been, probably 
were, a distinct race from the Meeonians, whom they conquered ; 
and the mythus ma}^ represent the flight of the Maeonians westward 
on the occupation of their country by the Lydians. But then it 
should be remembered that Tyrrhehus and Lydus are own brothers, 
both sons of Atys and Callithea ; that is, the two tribes, though 
distinct, are closely allied, perhaps as near to each other as the 
Greek tribes of Dorians and lonians, to which Xanthus, in his 
version of the story, compared them.^ For we must not think that 
there is any more of exact historic truth in the tale of Xanthus than 
in that of Herodotus. Xanthus, too, must be expounded mythi- 
cally. He is to be regarded as telling another portion of the truth, 
omitted from the Herodotean mythus, namely, that at the time 
when one part of the Maeonians moved westward, another part re- 
mained in Asia, and, under the name of Torrhebi, continued to 
inhabit a district of their ancient country, as subjects of their 
Lydian conquerors. Here, too, Lydus and Torrhebus are brothers. 
This misconception, therefore, if such it be, would ethnically be of 
very little moment. 

6. One or two facts seem at length to loom forth from the mist 
and darkness of these remote ages ; and these facts appear to com- 

^ Lydus was a brother of Car (Herod, habitants of Italy and their Etruscan con- 

i. 171). querors. I regard all the tribes of the 

^ "Kapes — rh TvaXaihv iSures Mivco re West coast of Asia Minor as akin to the 

KaTr}Kooi Koi KaKco/xevoi A4\eyes. — Herod. Pelasgi. See the chapter on the Pelasgi, in 

ib. Cf. Strabo, vii. p. 495. the Appendix to Book vi., Essay ii. § 2. 

1 See the Appendix to this Book, Essay xi. ^ Xanthus in Dionys. Hal. tovtwv (so. 

§ 12. AuSoJj/ Kul Topvfiwv) 71 yAcoaaa oXiyov 

^ Histoiy of Rome, vol. i. p. 108. Nie- irapa(pepei, koI vvv eTi (TvKoixriv dXKr\\ovs 

buhr seems to consider that the Lydians prifxaTa ovk oXiya, &aTr€p ''iwves koi 

aud the Majonians were races as uncon- Awpiels. 
iiected and opposed, as the old Pelasgic in- 


prise the whole that can be said to be historic in the traditions of 
the first dynasty. First, the country known to the Greeks as Lydia, 
was anciently occupied by a race distinct, and yet not wholly alien 
from the Lydian, who were called Meeonians.^ This people was 
conquered by the Lydians, and either fled westward across the sea, 
or submitted to the conquerors ; or possibly, in part submitted, and 
in part fled the country. Secondly, from the date of this conquest, 
or at any rate, from very early times, Lydia was divided into two 
districts, Lydia Proper and Torrhebia, in which two distinct 
dialects were spoken, differing from each other as much as Doric 
from Ionic Greek, It is highly probable that the Torrhebians were 
a remnant of the more ancient people, standing in the same relation 
to the inhabitants of Lydia Proper as the Welsh to the English, or, 
still more exactly, as the Norwegians to the Swedes. 

7. In entering on Herodotus's second period, with respect to 
which he seems to have believed that he possessed accurate chro- 
nological data, it must be at once confessed that we do not find 
ourselves much nearer the domain of authentic history. The gene- 
alogy, of Agron, first king of the second dynasty, is scarcely less 
mythic than that of Lydus himself. Hercules, Alcseus, Belus, 
Ninus — the four immediate ancestors of Agron — form an aggregate 
of names more contradictory, if less decidedly mythological, than 
the list in which figure Zeus and Terra, Callirhoe, the daughter of 
Ocean, and Asies, who gave name to the Asiatic continent. While 
Hercules, with his son Alcaeus, and the name Heraclidas, applied 
by Herodotus to the dynasty, take our thoughts to Greece, and 
indicate a Greek or Pelasgic origin to this line of monarchs, Belus, 
the Babylonian God-king, and Ninus, the reputed founder of 
Nineveh,^ summon us away to the far regions of Mesopotamia, and 
suggest an Assyrian conquest of the country, or possibly a Semitic 
origin to the Lydian people. Among the wide range of fabulous 
descents with which ancient authors have delighted to fill their 
pages, it would be difficult to find a transition so abrupt and start- 
ling as that from Alcaeus, son of Hercules, to Belus, father of Ninus.® 
It seems necessary absolutely to reject one portion of the genealogy 
or the other, not only as untrue, but as unmeaning ; for the elements 
refuse to amalgamate. Accordingly we find that writers, who, as 
Larcher,^ accept without hesitation the descent from Hercules, pass 
by the names of Ninus and Belus, as though there were nothing 
remarkable in them : while those who are struck, like Niebuhr,^ 

^ The fact, so often noted, that Homer by the Greeks as the first monarch of 

makes no mention of Lydia or Lydians, Assyria. 

while he names Mjeonians in conjunction ^ It does not greatly elucidate this mys- 

with Carians (Iliad, ii. 864-867) is a terious connexion to learn, on the authority 

strong confirmation of the assertion of He- of Julius Pollux, that " Ninus, son of Belus, 

rodotus. gave his own son the name of Agron, be- 

^ It is true that Herodotus nowhere cause he was born in the country" (eV 

makes expi-ess mention of Ninus as founder aypc^). — Larcher on Herod, i. 7, note 21. 
of Nineveh, but we can scarcely be mistaken 7 Histoire d'Hdrodote, vol. i., notes on 

in considering that this name, occun-ing as Book i. ch. vii. 
it does in connexion with that of Belus, in- 8 Kleine Schriften, p. 371. 
dicates that personage, so generally regarded 

u 2 


with the importance of such names in such a position, and from the 
fact of their occurrence conclude the dynasty to be Assyrian, are 
obliged to set aside, as insignificant, the descent from Alcasus and 
Hercules. This portion of the genealogy can certainly in no case 
be regarded as historical, and at most cannot mean more than that 
the dynasty was Pelasgic, or in other words native ; but the other 
part might possibly be very simple history, and if so, it would be 
history of the most important character. It might indicate the 
very simple fact which Yolney has drawn from it, that Ninus, the 
founder of the Assyrian empire, conquered Lydia, and placed his 
son Agron upon the throne.^ And this would derive confirmation 
from the celebrated passage of Ctesias, where Lydia is included 
among the conquests of the great Assyrian.^ But on the whole the 
balance of the evidence seems to be against any Assyrian conquest, 
or indeed any early connexion of Assyria with Lj^dia. Herodotus 
expressly limits the empire of the Ass^aians to Asia above (i. e. 
to the east of) the Halys f and no trustworthy author extends their 
dominion beyond it. Ctesias is a writer whose authority is always 
of the weakest, and in the passage referred to he outdoes himself 
in boldness of invention.* Again : there is nothing Semitic, either 
in the names or in the government of the kings of this djmasty, nor 
indeed are any traces to be found of Semitic conquest or colonisa- 
tion in this region.* Further, the cuneiform inscriptions, so far as 
they have been hitherto decyphered, are silent as to any expeditions 
of the Assyrians beyond the Halys, entirely agreeing with Hero- 
dotus in representing their influence in this quarter as confined to the 
nations immediately bordering upon Armenia.^ Moreover, the 
narrative of Herodotus is inconsistent with the notion founded upon 
it, that Ninus conquered Lydia and placed his son Agron upon the 
throne. For Herodotus represents the Heraclidae as previously 
subjects of the Atyadse, put by them in offices of trust, and so 
seizing the supreme power, like the Mayors of the Palace under 
the Merovingian line of French kings. And they finally obtain the 
kingdom, not by conquest, but by an oracle.^ Herodotus may pos- 
sibly have conceived of Belus and Ninus as going forth from Lydia 
in the might of their divine descent to the conquest of Mesopotamia, 
but he certainly did not conceive of Ninus as coming from Mesopo- 
tamia to the conquest of Lydia, and establishing his son Agron 
there as king in his room. On the whole, it must be concluded 
that the remarkable genealogy — Hercules, Alcaeus, Belus, Ninus, 
Agron — contains no atom of truth or meaning, and was the clumsy 
invention of a Lydian, bent on glorifying the ancient kings of his 

^ Recherches, &c., Chronologie d'Hero- chapter " On the Ethnic Affinities of the 

dote, vol. i. p. 419. Nations of Western Asia," § 6 and § 12. 

1 In Diod. Sic. ii. 2. 2 gook i. ch, 95. ^ See the Commentary on the Cuneifomi 

3 Ctesias includes among the conquests of Inscriptions of Babylonia and Assyria, by 

Ninus, besides Lydia, the whole of Asia Col. Hawlinson, published in 1851. 

Minor, Armenia, Media, Susiana, Persia, " Herod, i. 7. Trapa rovrwv Se 'Hpo- 

Babylonia, Coelesyria, Phoenicia, Egypt, and K\^7hai iTriTpa(p64vT€s eax^^ '^^^ °-pxh^' 

Bactria! 4k deoirpoiriov. Compare ch. 13. 

^ This point is discussed below, in the 


country, by claiming for them a connexion with the mightiest of 
the heroes both of Asia and of Greece. 

8. The meagre accoimt which Herodotus proceeds to give of his 
second Lydian dynasty presents but few opportunities for remark 
or criticism. Agron, according to him, was followed by a series of 
twenty-one kings, each the son of his predecessor, whose names, 
except the last two, he omits to mention, and whose united reigns 
made up a period of five hundred and five years. On what data 
this calculation was based it is impossible to say. The manifest 
inconsistency of the years with the generations has been observed 
by many writers ; '' and Larcher, in his translation, went>o far as 
to change the number of generations from twenty-two to fifteen ; 
but it seems better to leave the discrepancy, one proof among many 
of the extreme uncertainty of this early history. Of Myrsus,^ the 
last king but one, and Candaules, the last king of this dynasty, 
whom the Greeks called Myrsilus,^ Herodotus relates nothing 
except the tale concerning the destruction of the latter, for which 
he appears to have been indebted to the Parian poet Archilochus.* 

9. It is probable that the Lydiaca of Xanthus, had they escaped 
the ravages of time, would have in a great measure filled up the 
blanks left by Herodotus, in this, if not even in the preceding 
period. But it may be questioned whether history would have 
been greatly the gainer, if we may take the fragments of Xanthus 
which remain as fair samples of the general tenor of his narrative. 
Xanthus told of a King Gambles, Cambes, or Camblitas, of so 
ravenous an appetite, that one night, when he was asleep, he ate 
his wife, and in the morning found nothing left of her but her hand, 
which remained in his mouth. Horrified at his own act, he drew 
his sword and slew himself.'^ Xanthus told also of another king, 
Aciamus, who by his general Ascalus, made war in Syria, and 
founded Ascalon ! ^ If such were the staple of his history, we need 
not greatly regret its loss."* 

7 Larcher (note 25 on Herod, book i,), the ^ of the Latin j^/ras was not altogether un- 

Dahlmann (Herod, p. 99), Vohiey (SuppL known to the inhabitants of the western 

d THe'rod. de Larcher), Bahr (Herod. voL i. Asiatic coast. ^ Herod, i. 12, end. 

p. 23). ^ This passage is preserved by Athenaeus 

^ It has not always been observed that (x. 8, p. 17). 
Myrsus must, by the narrative of Herodotus, ^ Xanth. ap. Steph. Byz. in voc. ^AffKoi- 
have been king. Eusebius places Meles im- Xuv. Ascalon, be it remembered, was an 
mediately before Candaules (Chron. Canon, important town at the coming of the Israel- 
part ii. 01. 13, 2). Mr. Grote appears to re- ites into the Holy Land (Judg. i. 18). That 
gard Myrsus as a Greek, not a Lydian, ap- a Lydian army ever proceeded eastward of 
pellative, when he thus expresses himself: — the Halys before the time of Croesus is in 
"The twenty-second prince of this family the highest degree improbable. Ascalon 
was Candaules, called by the Greeks Myr- was undoubtedly one of the most ancient 
nlus, the son of Myrsus.'' (Hist, of Greece, cities of the Philistines. It may be to the 
vol. iii. p. 296). Herodotus says twice account given by Xanthus of this distant 
over, " Candaules was the son of Myrsus;" expedition that we owe the narrative in 
and adds, " by the Greeks he was called Athenseus (viii. 37, p. 277) of the drowning 
Myrsilus." of Atergatis or Derceto, the Syrian Venus, 

^ A curious patronymic, but analogous in a lake near Ascalon by Mopsus, a Lydian. 

in a great measure to the Latin forms, * Nicolas of Damascus, in one of his re- 

Servius, Servilius; Manius, ManiHus; Quinc- cently discovered fragments (Frag. Hist, 

tins, Quinctilius, &c., seeming to show that Gr., vol. iii. pp. 380-6), professes to give 



App. Book I. 

10. One conclusion may be drawn alike from the silence of the 
foreign, and the fictions of the native historian— that the Lydians 
of the fifth century b.c. possessed no authentic information concern- 
ing their ancestors further back than the time of Gyges, the first 
king of the race called Mermnadse. From this we may derive, as a 
corollary, the further consequence of the insignificance of Lydia in 
times anterior to his date. Previously to the accession of the last 
djTiasty, Lydia was, it is probable, but one out of the many petty 
states or kingdoms into which Lower Asia was parcelled out, and 
was far from being the most important of the number. Lycia, which 
gave kings to the Greek colonies upon the coast,* and maintained 
its independence even against Croesus,® must have been at least as 
powerful, and the reall}^ predominant state was the central kingdom 
of the Phrygians, who exercised a greater influence over the Greeks 
of the coast than any other of the Asiatic peoples with whom they 
came in contact,^ and whose kings were the first of all foreigners 
to send offerings to the oracle at DeljDhi.^ Lydia, until the time 
of Gyges, was a petty state which made no conquests, and exercised 
but little influence beyond its borders. 

11. Concerning the destruction of Candaules, the last king of the 
second dynasty, and the accession of Gyges, the first king of the 
third, several very difi'erent legends appear to have been current. 
One is found related at length in Herodotus, another in Nicolas of 
Damascus, a third in Plato.^ In all, amid the greatest diversity of 

something like a complete account of the 
later kings of the second dynasty. He 
traces the line of descent through five 
monarchs to the king slain by Gyges, 
whom, instead of Candaules, he calls Sady- 
attes. These five monarchs are Adyattes, 
Ardys, Arlyattes II., Meles, and Myrsus. 
In the Older, and in the names of four of 
these, Adyattes, Ardys, Adyattes II., and 
Meles, he nearly agrees with Eusebius, v/ho 
gives " Ardysus Alyattee, annis 36 ; Aly- 
attes, annis 14; Meles, annis 12" (Chron. 
Can. part i. c. xv.), as the immediate pre- 
decessors of Candaules. In the fifth name 
he agrees with Herodotus, from whom Euse- 
bius differs, since he entirely omits Myrsus. 
These coincidences seem to entitle the list to 
some consideration. It may possibly have 
come from Xanthus, or from Dionysius of 
Mytilene, who wrote histories in Xanthus's 
name (Athen. xii. xi., p. 415). The follow- 
ing is the genealogical tree according to this 
authority ; — 





Adyattes II. 



Sadyattes = Candaules 

Only a very few facts are narrated of 
these kings in the fragment. It is chiefly 
occupied with an account of the feud be- 
tween the Heraclidse and the Mermnadse, 
which will be spoken of hereafter, and with 
a long story concerning Ardys, how he lost 
his crown and recovered it, and reigned 70 
years, and was the best of all the Lydian 
kings next to Alcimius. 

^ Herod, i. 147. ^ j^id. c. 28. 

' See, for proofs of this, Grote's History 
of Greece, part ii. ch. xvi. (vol. iii. pp. 

8 Herod, i. 14. 

9 Repub. ii. § 3. Mr. Grote well sums 
up this legend : — According to the legend in 
Plato, Gyges is a mere herdsman of the king 
of Lydia: after a terrible storm and earth- 
quake, he sees near him a chasm in the earth, 
into which he descends and finds a vast horse 
of brass, hollow and partly open, wherein 
there lies a gigantic corpse with a golden 
ring. This ring he carries away, and dis- 
covers unexpectedly that it possesses the 
miraculous property of rendering him in- 
visible at pleasure. Being sent on a message 
to* the king, he makes the magic ring avail- 
able to his ambition : he first possesses him- 
self of the pei-son of the queen, then with 
her aid assassinates the king, and finally 
seizes the sceptre." — History of Greece, vol.. 
iii. p. 298. 

Essay I. 



circumstantials, what may be called the historic outline is the same. 
Gyges, a subject of the Lydian king, conspires against him, destroys 
him in his palace, obtains the throne, and becomes the husband of 
the queen, ^ These data seem to have furnished materials to the 
Greek poets of the existing or following times, which they worked 
up into romances, embellishing them according to their fancy. 

The change of dynasty was not effected without a struggle. The 
Heraclidfe had their partisans, who took arms against the usurper, 
and showed themselves ready to maintain in the field the cause of 
their legitimate sovereigns. Gyges was unwilling to trust the 
event to the chance of a battle, and had address enough to obtain 
the consent of the malcontents to a reference, which, while it would 
prevent any effusion of blood, was unlikely to injure his pretensions.^ 
The Delphic oracle, now for the first time heard of in Lydian history, 
but already for some years an object of veneration to the purely 
Asiatic population of the peninsula,^ was chosen to be the arbiter 
of the dispute, and gave the verdict which had, no doubt, been con- 
fidently anticipated by the de facto king, when he consented to the 
reference — in favour of the party in possession. The price of the 
reply was, perhaps, not settled beforehand, but at any rate it was 
paid ungrudgingly. Goblets of gold, and various rich offerings in 

1 The legends of Plato and Herodotus 
agree yet further, that it was with the con- 
nivance of the queen, and by her favour, 
that the assassination took place. Nicolas, 
however, represents the queen as indignant 
at the advances of Oyges, and as complain- 
ing to her husband of his insolence. In 
other respects the narrative of Nicolas is 
more consistent than Plato's with Hero- 
dotus. Gyges is one of the king's body- 
guard, and a special favourite. The pecu- 
liar feature of the tale in Nicolas is, that it 
exhibits the retributive principle as per- 
vading the whole history, and accounts, as 
it were, for the curious declaration of the 
oracle, " Vengeance shall come for the Hera- 
clides in the person of the fifth descendant 
from Gyges." The Mermnadse, we are told, 
were a family of distinction in the days of 
Ardys, son of Adyattes. Dascylus, son of 
Gyges, was then chief favourite of the reign- 
ing king. Jealous of his influence, and fear- 
ing for the succession, Adyattes, son of 
Ardys, secretly contrived the assassination 
of Dascylus. Ardys, ignorant who was the 
murderer, laid heavy cuises on him, who- 
ever he might be, before the public assembly 
of the nation. This was the origin of the 
feud. For this crime, committed in the 
reign of Ardys, and unpunished at the time, 
vengeance came in the person of his fifth 
descendant. During the reigns of Ady- 
attes H., Meles, and Myrsus, the feud con- 
tinued, the descendants of Dascylus living in 
exile. A vain attempt was made by Meles 

to e^cpiate the sin, but it was not accepted 
by the injured party. Meles went for three 
years into voluntary banishment, and Das- 
cylus, the son of the murdered man, was 
invited to return, but he refused. At 
length, in the fifth generation (Ardys, Ady- 
attes, Meles, Myrsus, Sadyattes), the ven- 
geance came. Gyges, about to be put to 
death on account of the insult which he had 
offered to the virgin queen, whom he had 
been sent to conduct from the court of her 
father, Arnossus, king of Mysia, recals the 
memoiy of his ancestral wrongs, and the 
curses of Ardys on his own race, collects a 
band of followers, enters the palace, and 
slays the monarch in his bridal-chamber. 
Then, when the reference is made to the 
oracle, the announcement falls with pecu- 
liar fitness: " Vengeance shall come for the 
Heraclides in the person of the fifth de- 

2 Mr, Grote says, " A civil war ensued, 
which both parties at length consented to 
terminate by reference to the Delphian 
oracle." But Herodotus implies that there 
was no actual war, the convention being 
made befoie the two parties came to blows, 
((ws ol Au5oi deiudu eirotevvTO rd KupSav- 
Afco Trddos, Kul ij/ '6ir\o iff i ^crav, rrvue- 
firjaav oi re rov Vvy^oo crracnwTai Kal ol 
XoiTTol AuSot, i. 13.) That the oracle was 
open to pecuniary influence is evidenced by 
Herodotus himself (v. 63, vi. 66). 

3 Herod, i. 14. 

296 KEIGN OF GYGES. App. Book I. 

the same precious metal, besides silver ornaments, sucli as no other 
individual had presented to the days of Herodotus/ attested the 
gratitude, or the honesty, of the successful adventurer. 

12. The reign of Gyges is despatched by Herodotus in a single 
sentence, valuable alike for what it contains and for what it ex- 
cludes. We learn from it the important fact that this king engaged 
in war with the Greeks of the coast, who had hitherto, so far as we 
can gather from the scanty notices which remain to us, preserved 
friendly relations with the native inhabitants of the country on 
which they had planted their settlements,^ Like the Phoenicians in 
Spain and Africa, and our own countrymen for some considerable 
space of time in India and America, the early Greek settlers in 
Asia, engaged in commerce for the most part, appear to have been 
received with favour by the natives, and, with few exceptions, to 
have maintained with them unbroken amity.^ Gyges was the first 
to introduce a new policy. Jealous of the increasing power of the 
foreigners, who had occupied the whole line of coast, or simply 
ambitious of extending his dominion, he commenced hostilities 
against the lonians, ravaged the lands, and probably laid siege to 
the cities of Smyrna and Miletus, and even succeeded in capturing 
the town of Colophon.^ This, however, as Herodotus tells us in 
the same passage, was the utmost extent of his achievements.^ He 
did not, we may be sure, for the love of Magnes, attack either Mag- 
nesia, much less effect the capture of a second Grecian city, or we 
should never have been told by Herodotus that, " besides taking 
Colophon, and making an inroad on Miletus and Smyrna, he did not 
perform a single noble exploit." ® Neither is it possible that he 

^ i. 14. Vv'yr]s Tvpavvevffas ctTreTre/iv^e of the Greeks to intermix with the Asiatic 

apa07}fMaTa es AeXcpovs ovk oX'iya' dXA.' tribes. 

ocra fiev apyvpov ayadrj/xaTa iari oi tt A e 7- ''I agree with Bahr on the sense of He- 

cra eV AeAc/joTtrr 7rape| h'k tov apyvpov, rodotus in the passage etrejSaAe ixkv vvv 

Xpv (fh V ^TrAero v — Kol KpT]Tr\pes oi (rTparirju es t6 MiXtjtov kuI is 'S.ixvpu7]v, 

apidfjibv e^ XP^'^^^'' avuKearai. kuI KoXo(pcopos rd 6.aTv elAe (i. 14, end). 

5 The Greeks took Lycian kings (Herod, i. The contrast is between the territories of 

147). The Lycians are said to have taken Smyrna and Miletus, and the town itself of 

even their name from a Greek (ibid. 173). Colophon. In the construction iae^aXe 

In most of the Greek towns the population (npaririv is M/Atjtoj/, the word Mi\7]Toi/ 

seems to have been mixed, partly Greek, can only stand for MiKr^airiv. Mr. Grote 

partly Asiatic. The best-evidenced case is seems to prefer the moi'e usual explanation, 

that of Teos (Pausan. Vil. iii. § 3 ; Boeckh's that aarv is the town, 7ninns the citadel 

Corp. Ins., No. 3064). (Hist, of Greece, vol. iii. p. 300). 

^ Of course the colonies were not ori- ^ Herod, i. 14. ciAA' ouSei/ fieya %pyou 

ginally established without bloodshed. (See ott' ovtov &X\o iyevero, fia(Ti\^v(ravros, 

Herod, i. 146 ; Mimnerm. ap. Strabon, xiv. /c.t.A. 

p. 634, where the violence employed at the ^ Mr. Grote (Hist, of Greece, vol. iii. 

founding of Miletus and Colophon is no- p. 300) accepts as something more than 

ticed.") But instances of their being attacked myth the tale found in Nicolas of Damascus, 

afterwards by the natives are exceedingly of the beautiful youth, Magnes, whom Gyges 

rare. The attack of the Carians upon loved, and who turned the heads of all the 

Priene, in which Androclus was slain, is women wherever he went ; whom at last 

perhaps the only recorded exception. This the men of Magnesia resolved to disgrace, 

must be accounted for, partly by the sense and reduce to the level of common humanity, 

which the natives entertained of the ad- by disfiguring his countenance, and depriving 

vantages they derived from the commeice him of his flowing locks: in revenge for 

of the Greek towns, partly by the readiness which outrage on his favourite, the lover 

Essay I. 



could have possessed himself of the whole Troad, as Strabo affirms,' 
or exercised such influence over the Milesians, as to have a voice 
in the establishment of their colonies. After ages delighted to 
magnify the infancy of a dynasty, which attained in the end a 
degree of power and prosperity far beyond aught that had been 
seen before within the limits, or in the neighbourhood of Lower 
Asia, and loved to throw back to the hero-founder of the race the 
actions and the character of the most illustrious among his de- 

13. Of Ardys, the son and successor of Gyges, who reigned, 
according to Herodotus, within a year of half a century,^ the two 
facts which alone are recorded, are important, as showing that he 
inherited fi-om his father that line of aggressive policy which became 
the settled system of the Mermnad princes, and which was parti- 
cularly directed against the Greek cities of the coast. He renewed 
the attack upon Miletus, and took the town of Priene.'^ Probably 

made war upon the offending city, and per- 
severed until he took the place (Nic, Daraasc. 
p. 52 Orell.). But the expression of Hero- 
dotus, quoted above, seems to be conclusive 
against the authenticity of this histoiy. 
Were it otherwise, the authority of Nicolaus 
Damascenus, unsupported by any corrobo- 
rating testimony, is quite insufficient to en- 
title a narrative to belief. It is true that 
he was acquainted with the writings of 
Xanthus, and sometimes follows them with- 
out mentioning his authority, as in his ac- 
count of the voracity and death of Gambles ; 
but it is also evident that in many cases he 
cannot be following Xanthus. A writer 
who makes Sadyattes the son of an Alyattes, 
who brings a Sibyl to the assistance of 
Croesus upon the pyre, and who ascribes 
the Persian respect for Zoroaster, and reli- 
gious regard for the element of tire, to the 
circumstance of this miraculous escape of the 
Lydian king, is not to be quoted as authoi'ity, 
where he stands alone, without the strongest 
expression of distrust. At any rate, 
Mr. Grote seems open to the censure which 
he himself bestows on Ottfried Miiller, that 
he occasionally " gives ' Sagen' too much in 
the style of real facts" (vol. in. p. 240, 

1 Strabo, xiii. p. 590. 

2 This tendency in all legendary history 
to throw back and repeat events and cir- 
cumstances has been noticed by Niebuhr in 
his Roman history, and is certainly one of 
the most striking characteristics of such re- 
cords. As Romulus is an earlier Tullus, 
and Ancus a second Numa, so even in more 
historic times we find the undoubted acts of 
the second Tarquin almost all anticipated in 
the first. As the later sovereign was cer- 
tainly master of Latium, so the earlier must 
"subdue the whole Latin name" (Liv. i. 

38) ; as he built the magnificent temple to 
Jupiter Gapitolinus, so his progenitor and 
prototype must vow it and lay its founda- 
tions (ibid. 38 and 55) ; as the great sewers 
and the massive stone seats in the Gircus 
Maximus were undoubtedly the works of 
the one, so must they also, or works of a 
simUar character, be ascribed to the other 
(ibid. 35 and 38). In the same way is as- 
signed to Ninus the whole series of conquests 
made by subsequent Assyiian kings (Gtesias 
ap. Diod. Sic. ii. 2). Sometimes an entire 
war is repeated, as that with Fidenae in the 
fourth book of Livy (Niebuhr, vol. i. p. 
452). Possibly, the war between Sparta 
and Messenia is a case in point. Almost all 
the events of what is called the first war 
recur in the second. 

3 Eusebius limited his reign to 38 years 
(Ghron. Ganon. Pars Post. p. 325, ed. 

* Herod, i. 15. I know not on what 
grounds Mr. Grote observes that " this pos- 
session cannot have been maintained, for the 
city appears afterwards as autonomous" 
(Hist, of Greece, vol. iii. p. 301), unless it 
be on the expression of Herodotus, that 
" before the sovereignty of Groesus all the 
Greeks were free " (i. 6). But this only 
seems to mean that no Greek country — 
neither Ionia, ^olis, nor Doris — had been 
reduced to subjection. 

Mr. Grote has another mysterious remark 
in the next sentence of his work. " His 
(Ardys') long reign was signaHsed by two 
events, both of considerable moment to the 
Asiatic Greeks, — the invasion of the Cimme- 
rians, and the first approach to collision (at 
least the first of which we have any histo- 
rical knowledge) between the inhabitants of 
Lydia and those of Upper Asia under the 
Median kings." What is this ^^ first ap- 


lie would have signalised his reign bv further successes, but for the 
invasion of the Cimmerians, a terrible visitation, which we shall 
best understand by regarding it as closely parallel to the Gallic 
irruption into Italy in the fourth century B.C., or to the first inva- 
sions of the Roman Emjoire by the Goths and Huns. 

14. AVho the Cimmerians were, whence thej^ came, with what 
races they were ethnically connected, will be considered hereafter, 
in the notes to the Fourth Book. AVith regard to their occupation 
of Asia Minor at this time, it is important to observe, that whereas 
Herodotus, throughout his whole history,^ regards the invasion in 
the reign of Ardys as the first, and indeed the only Cimmerian 
irruption into these countries ; other writers speak of repeated 
attacks, covering a long period of time, in which moreover the 
Cimmerians were accompanied and assisted by Thracian tribes, and 
came into Asia Minor, apparently, from the west rather the east. 
Strabo expressly states that they made several distinct incursions,^ 
and seemingly brings them into Asia across the Thracian Bosphorus. 
To some of these incursions he gives a high antiquity.^ In this he 
is followed or exceeded by Eusebius, who places the first Cimmerian 
invasion of Asia three hundred years before the first Olympiad 
(B.C. 1076).® The silence of Herodotus, and still more the way in 
which he speaks, on first mentioning the subject, of the Cimmerian 
incursion,^ are weighty arguments against those who hold that there 
were a long series of such attacks, covering, without any considerable 
intervals, a space of two hundred and sixty years. ^ Still it would 
be rash to reject altogether the distinct assertions of Strabo, con- 
firmed as they are by the fact, of which there is ample evidence,* 
that in the minds of the Greeks upon the coast, Cimmerians and 
Treres were confounded together, which can only be accounted for 
on the supposition of invasions in which both people took part. 
The Cimmerians, who before their country was wrested from them 
by the Scythian nomads, were neighbours of the Thracians, may 
well have joined with them in plundering expeditions from time to 
time, and may have been in the habit of passing into Asia by the 

proach to collision" in the reign of Ardys ? vecrOui rwv (1. r^v) jx^XP^ ''"^^ AtoAiSos 

The colUsion came, as he notices a few pages Ka\ tt]s 'Iwvia^. 

after ^p. SlOj, in the time of Alyattes, « Chron. Canon. Pars Post. (p. 303, ed. 

grandson of Ardys. What " historical know- Mai). 

ledge" have we of any collision, or " approach ^ Herod, i. 6. irpb Se rris YLpoiaov 

to collision," earlier than this ? o-px^^ iravTes "EWr^ues ^aav eAeu^epot. 

^ Herod, i. 6, 15, 16, 103; iv. 1, 11, t^ yap K i fx /jl e p i co v ar par e v /j-a rh 

12 ; rii. 20. eirl ttji/ 'Icuviau airiKoui^vov — ov kutu- 

^ Strab. i. p. 90 (Oxf. ed.). o" re Kiju.- aTpocpr] iyeuero tuv iroXlwu, dAA' e| ewL- 

fxepioi, ovs Kol Tprjpcovas ovofxaQovcnv, ^ SpojuLris apivayT). 

iKeivwv TL edvos, tt oXAolk l s eTredpafxou ^ Clinton's Fasti Hell. vol. i. p. 21-i. 01. 

ra 5e|ia /xeprj rov Uovrov. Kal to. avuexv 40, 4. 

avTols, TTore ^xkv eVl WacpXayovas, ■nor'k 2 ^he contemporary poet, CaUinus, spoke 

Se KoX ^pvyas e^jSaXovres. both of Treres and of Cimmerians (Strabo, 

7 Strab. i. p. 9 (Oxf. ed.). oi Kifi/jLcpioi xiv. p. 927, Oxf. ed.). Callisthenes said that 

Ka6' "Ofx'npov ^ fiiKphv TTph ait- the Treres and Lycians took Sardis fStrab. xiii. 

Tov ix^xpis 'luvias eiredpafxou r^u yrip rrjy p. 627). Strabo, in a passage quoted above, 

i K B (TTT 6 p ov TTaaav. And again, iii. uses the words, Kijx^epiovs, ovs /cat Tpi\- 

p. 200 : Kaff "Ojx-npov i) Trph avrov /xiKphu ptovas ovofxdCovffiv. Cf. also Eustath. ad 

Xiyovai Ti]U twu Kifxixepiuv tcpo^oy ye- Horn. Od. xi. 14. 


Thracian Bosphorus. But from all tliese occasional incursions, 
which. Herodotus may have regarded as Thracian, not Cimmerian 
ravages, the one great Cimmerian invasion, of which he so often 
speaks, is to be distinguished. In this, if it came, according to the 
undoubting conviction of our author, from the east, no Thracians 
would participate.^ It would have a right to be called " the Cim- 
merian attack." It would be a thing sui generis. The Greeks in 
general, long accustomed to confound Treres and Cimmerians, might 
speak, according to habit, of both as having been concerned in this, 
as well as in other inroads ;* but an accurate writer, like Herodotus, 
whose inquiries had convinced him that these Cimmerians entered 
Asia Minor from the Caucasus, would know that here there was no 
place for Treres, who lay so far out of the route, and that however 
true it might be that Cimmerians had at other times joined in the 
forays of the Treres in Asia, yet on no other occasion had there been 
a real Cimmerian inroad, and he would therefore be perfectly correct 
in speaking of this as " the invasion of the Cimmerians." 

The Cimmerians were fugitives, driven out of their native country 
by the Scythians, but not the less formidable on that account. 
Niebuhr surmises that the Gauls who sacked Rome and overran 
Italy, wei'e fugitives from the Spanish peninsula, retiring before 
the increasing strength of the Iberian race.^ The barbarians who 
destroyed the Western Empire had for the most part been dispos- 
sessed of their own countries by nations of superior strength. On 
their first arrival in Asia Minor the Cimmerians seem to have swept 
before them all resistapce. Like the bands of Gauls," which at a 
later date ravaged these same regions in the same ruthless way, the 
Cimmerian invaders carried ruin and devastation over all the fairest 
regions of Lower Asia. Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Ionia, Phrygia, even 
Cilicia, as well as Lydia, were plundered and laid waste ; in Phrygia, 
Midas, the king, despairing of any effectual resistance, on the 
approach of the dreaded foe, is said to have committed suicide ; ^ in 
Lydia, as we know from Herodotus, they took the capital city, 

3 I cannot accept Niebuhr's theory, that probably that followed by ]\Iithridates when 

the Cimmerians on this occasion came by the he passed through the K\e76pa '2,kvQuiv on 

western side of the Kuxine, and across the his flight from Pompey (Appian. de Bell. 

Thracian Bosphorus, against the distinct and Mithr. p. 400). With respect to the passage 

repeated declarations of Herodotus, It seems of the Cimmerian Bosphorus, it must be re- 

to me impossible that the direction in which membered that waggons could always cross 

the enemy came should have been forgotten in winter upon the ice (Herod, iv. 28). 

by the people of the country, even in the "* Callinus appears to have done so (Strabo, 

of two hundred years; especially as 1. s. c). 

there were contemporary writers, Callinus, ■'' History of Rome, vol. i. pp. 506-509. 

Archilochus, and others, some of whom, we (Engl, transl.) 

know, spoke of the Cimmerian attack. With ^ Livy, xxxviii. 16. It will appear here- 

regard to the alleged difficulties of the route, after that these two great invasions of Asia 

we may grant the impracticability of the Minor proceeded from the same identical 

coast line, between the western edge of the race. (See Appendix to Book iv. ch. i. 

Caucasus and the Euxine ; but why may we " On the Cimmerians of Herodotus and the 

not suppose the Cimmerians to have en- Migrations of the Cymric Race,") 

tered Asia by the Caucasian gates, through "' Eustath, ad Hom. Od, xi. 14. This is 

which the great mihtary road now runs the event alluded to in Euseb, Chron. Can. 

from Mosdok to Tiflis? This must always Pars Post. 01. 21, 2 (p. 324), and by 

have been a A^ery practicable route, and was Strabo, i. p. 90 (Oxf, ed,). 



App. Book I. 

except only the acropolis ; in Ionia they ravaged the valley of the 
Cayster, besieged Ephesus, and, according to some accounts, burnt 
the temple of Diana in its vicinity ; ^ after which they are thought 
to have proceeded southward into the plain of the Maeander, and to 
have sacked the city of Magnesia.^ One body, under a leader whom 
the Greeks called Lygdamis, even penetrated as far as Cilicia, and 
there sustained a terrible reverse at the hands of the hardy moun- 
taineers.^ The Greeks regarded this as the vengeance of Artemis ;^ 
for Lygdamis had been the leader in the attack on Ephesus. Still 
the strength of the invaders was not broken by this defeat. It was 
only in the third generation that the Lydian princes were able to 
expel them from the territories under their dominion. Even then, 
it is a mistake to say that they were driven out of Asia.^ Just as 
the Gallic marauders of later times, when the chances of war turned 
against them, found a refuge in the strong position called thenceforth 
Galatia, so their kindred, the Cimmerians, long after the time of 
their expulsion from Lydia by Alyattes, maintained themselves in 
certain strongholds, as Antandrus, which, according to Aristotle,* 

^ Hesych. in voc. AvySa/xis. Avyda/xis 
ovTos e/caucre rdp vabv ttjs 'ApTe/xidos. 
The well-known passage in Callimachus's 
Hymn to Diana (ver. 251-261) has thrown 
some doubt on this. It seems, however, 
quite conceivable that a poet, whose subject 
was the praise of Diana, should ignore, with- 
out denying, so unpleasant a fact. Calli- 
machus may even be understood in the sense 
adopted by Bouhier : " Calhmaque a pre'- 
tendu que ce fut en punition du sacrilege 
qu'ils avaient commis en mettant le feu au 
temple de Diane." (Dissertations, &c. eh. 
vi. p. 56 ) That the Cimmerians excited the 
hatred of the lonians by the plunder of their 
temples, was attested, according to Eusta- 
thius (Comment, ad Hom. Od. xi. 14) by 
many writers. If they invested Ephesus, as 
we should certainly gather from Callimachus, 
they could scarcely fail to take the temple, 
which was nearly a mile from the city 
(Herod, i. 26). Mr. Grote supposes that 
" the Goddess protected her town and sanc- 
tuary" (Hist, of Greece, vol. iii. p. 335). 
But he rests this only on the passage of Calli- 
machus, which is at least ambiguous. Span- 
heim (Comment, ad Callimach. Hymn. v. 
251-260, in the edition of Ernesti, vol. ii. p. 
354) regards Herod, i. 6 as conclusive 
against Jlesyehius, where he certainly must 
forget the situation of the temple. 

^ It is very doubtful whether this event 
really belongs to the great Cimmerian inva- 
sion. Eustathius appears to have thought 
so. Twv KifJL/xepiwv air ^ixoipa AeyeTai 
TTOTe {Tprjpes Se (paaiv eKuAovPTO) ttoWtjv 
rris 'Acrias /caTaSpa/xeTj/, Ka\ ras 'Xapbeis 
e\e7v Kol rcov MayvfiTwu 8e iroWovs 

aj/eAeli/ tcoj' KaTo. rhv MalauBpou' ijifidX- 
\€iu 5e Koi fcTrl Tla(phay6vas Kal ^pvyas' 
ore Koi MiSas Aeyerai alfia ravpov iridiv 
eis Th XP^^^ air€\de7v. f^ Comment, ad 
Horn.- Od. 1. c. s.) But if CaUinus was con- 
temporary with the taking of Sardis men- 
tioned by Herodotus, as I agree with Mr. 
Grote in considering to be nearly certain 
(Hist, of Greece, vol. iii. p. 333, note 2), the 
fall of ]\Iagnesia must, on the authorities of 
Strabo (xiv. p. 928) and Clemens Alex. 
(Strom, i. p. 333), have been subsequent. 
To me also the fact that the sack of Mag- 
nesia is so uniformly ascribed to the Treres, 
is a strong argument that it does not belong 
to this invasion of the Cimmerians. (C^ 
Eustath. in loc. s. c, and Strab. xiv. p. 927.) 

1 Strabo, i. p. 90. 

2 Callim. Hymn. ad. Dian. 248-260. 

evpv 6efj.€6\ov, 
To) pa Kal rjXaCviav ahawa^efjiev jjireiArjcre 
AvySaiXL<; u^ptcTTTjs, enl Se (npajov iTrmrffiokyitJV 
Hyaye Ktju./aepiajv, xfjaixdOw icrov, o'i pa nap avTOV 
Ke/cAtjaeVoi vaiovaL ^oh<; iropov '\vaxLiljvy\<;. 
^ A. SeiAb? ^aaikiijiv ocrov rjKLTev ov yap efieWev 
OvT avTos 2«v0tT)i'5e TraAijaTrere?, oiire ti? aAAoS 
"Ocrcraji/ ev Aet/xcoi'i, KavcTTpt'o) ecrrav afxa^ai, 
'Noa-rrjo-eLV 'E(^e'<rov yap del red ro'^a npoKeirai. 

^ Ki/uLfxeplovs e/c ttjs 'Aaias e'lTjAocre 
(Herod, i. 15). As Lydia was still confined 
within its original limits, a Lydian prince 
would have neither the wish nor the power 
to do this. There is also distmct proof that 
they continued in possession of parts of Asia. 
See the following notes. 

■* A p. Steph. Byz. in voc. ''Avrav^pos, 
'ApiaTore\7]s (prjal ravrriv oovofxacrOai . . . 
Kiix/xepiSa, Ki/i/iep/wj/ ivoiKovvruv kKarhv 


they occupied for a hundred years, and Sinope, where, Herodotus 
informs us, they made a permanent settlement.^ 

15. The history of Lydia during the time of their supremacy was 
almost a blank. At what period in the long reign of Ardys they 
entered Asia there is indeed nothing positively to show. The syn- 
chronism dependant upon the notion of their having been pursued 
by the Scythians, who are said to have entered Media in the reign 
of Cyaxares, is extremely doubtful from the improbability of the 
supposed fact. The utmost that can be gathered fiom it is that the 
Cimmerian invasion was regarded by Herodotus as only a little 
preceding the accession of Cyaxares (b.c. 633), which would make 
it fall late in the reign of Ardys. At any rate, we may be sure that 
it followed in fact, as it does in the order of the narrative in Hero 
dotus,^ both the capture of Priene by Ardys, and his attack upon 
Miletus. Still its date cannot be fixed within a quarter of a century. 
Sadyattes, the son and successor of Ardys, appears, during the earlier 
portion of his reign, to have remained in the same state of inaction 
which had characterised the latter years of his father's rule. Pro- 
bably it required all the energies of both monarch and people to 
protect the kingdom against the Cimmerian ravages. We may 
gather, however, from what is recorded of this king, that towards 
the close of his reign the power of the Cimmerians began to decline, 
and Lydia became once more free to pursue her policy of aggres- 
sion. Sadyattes renewed the war with Miletus in the seventh year 
of his reign, and carried it on until his death. Whether either of 
the great victories mentioned by Herodotus^ were gained by him, it 
is impossible to determine. All that we know is that he did not 
bring the war to a close, but bequeathed it to his successor upon 
the throne, his son by his own sister,^ Alyattes. 

16. This prince, the most celebrated of his house except Croesus, 
is said by Herodotus to have bent his whole energies to the prose- 
cution of this war during the first six years of his reign. The 
circumstances of the contest, which Herodotus relates at length,^ and 
on which no other ancient writer throws any additional light, need 
not be here repeated. The designs of Alyattes were baffled, and 
Miletus, the foremost city of Asiatic Greece, which had been attacked 
in succession by every monarch of the house of the Mermnadae, suc- 
ceeded in maintaining her independence for half a century longer. 

^ Herod, iv. 12. ^aivovrai 8e ot Kifi- that Sarah was Iscah, as assumed by Clinton, 

fieploL (p€vyovr€s is rrju 'AtrtTjj/ tovs F. H. vol. i, App. ch. v. p. 290, note), 

'^Kvdas, Kol rrjv X€p(r6vr}(Tov KTiVaj/res, of Cambyses (Herod, iii. 31), and Herod 

eV TTJ vvv Sij/wTTTj TToAis 'EAAas otKicrrai. Agrippa (Juv. vi. 157) are well known. 

6 Herod, i. 15. 9 Herod, i. 17-22. Mr. Grote says that 

~t Ibid. 18. rpd^fjLara fieyd^a Sicpdcia Sadyattes cari'ied on this war for seven, and 

MtA.Tjo'iwj/ iyevero. Alyattes for five years ; but Herodotus di- 

8 Here the authority of Nicolas of Da- vides the war as above. eTroAe'yuee erea 

mascus is supported by that of Suidas (in '4i/5€Ka . . . . ra fiev uvv e| ^rea toov 

voc. 'AAuctTTTjs) and Xenophilus (ap. Anon., %vZiKa 2a5uaTT7js o ''Ap^vos ^ri AvSuv 

quoted in the Frag. Hist. Gr., vol. i. p. 42). ■^px^j " 'f«' ia^dWiou T-qviKaxJra ey t^v 

Marriages with /^a(/"-sisters have been fre- MtArjo-iTjj/ Tr^r arpaririv' to Se TreVre rcov 

quent in the East from the days of Abraham erewj/ ra iirSfxeua toIcxl e| 'AAucitttjs 

downwards. The cases of Abraham himself iiroAG/xee . . . . tijJ 5e SivaSe/car^ eVet, 

(Gen. XX. 12; there is no evidence to show /c. t. A. 

302 REIGN OF ALYATTES. App. Book I. 

The order of the other events of the reign of Alyattes cannot be 
determined with any certainty. Besides his war with Miletus, he 
was engaged (we know) in four separate contests. He drove the 
Cimmerians beyond his boundaries, attacked and took Smyrna, made 
an attempt upon Clazomense, but was defeated with great loss, and 
carried on a protracted contest against the combined powers of 
Media and Babylonia. He is also said to have invaded Caria, but 
by a writer who, unless where we have good reason to believe he is 
following Xantlius, is of no authority.^ The last war, if it took 
place at all, happened late in his reigD, after Croesus was grown to 
manhood.^ The date of the struggle with the Medes depends on that 
of the eclipse of Thales, which is still undetermined.^ Perhaps the 
most probable date is that which has been adopted by Mr. Grote and 
others, chiefly on astronomical cousiderations, viz. B.C. 615-GlO. 
The other wars, that which ended in the expulsion of the Cimme- 
rians, and those with the Greeks of the coast, may have taken place 
either before or after the Median contest. 

17. This last event, beyond all question the most important in the 
reign of Alyattes, is regarded by Herodotus as brought about by 
what appears an insignificant cause. A band of Scythians, who had 
been in the service of Cyaxares, the Median king, upon a disgust 
quitted Media, and took refuge with Alyattes. Cyaxares demanded 
the surrender of the fugitives and met with a refusal, upon which he 
declared war against Lydia, and the contest began. Now although 
undoubtedly the passage of nomadic hordes from one government 
in the East to another has frequently been the occasion of war 
between adjoining states,* yet the flight of a mere land of men {tikr} 
avdpu)p) who had been useful as hunters, would scarcely have been 
motive sufficient to produce the invasion of a kingdom not even 
adjoining, but separated from the Median empire by the intervening 
country of Phrygia. It is besides exceedingly improbable that at 
this particular period there were any Scythians on such terms of 
friendly subjection to Cyaxares, as the story supposes. Not long 
before the accession of Alyattes, Cyaxares had, we know, been 
engaged in a fierce struggle with Scythic hordes, and such of them 
as submitted to his sway must have felt themselves under the yoke 
of an oppressor. A portion of his Scythic subjects may no doubt 
have revolted, and when hard pressed by his troops may have fled 

1 Nicolas of Damascus. The question of taken place B.C. 625 (Recherches, &c., vol. i. 

his credibility has been treated above (p. p. 342). Clinton places it B.C. 603 ( F. H. 

296, note ^). vol. i. p. 419). Jdeler considers that no 

^ Croesus in the tale is represented as eclipse about this period fulfils the necessary 

already governor of Thebe' and Adramyt- conditions except that of B.C. 610 (Hand- 

tium. As he was only thirty-five years of buch der Chronologic, vol. i. p. 209). Mr. 

age at his father's death (Herod, i. 26) the Hind and Mr. Airy have recently suggested 

Carian war of Alyattes, if a reality, must the late date of B.C. 585 (Bosanquet, Fall 

belong to the last ten or twelve years of his of Nineveh, p. 14). It may be doubted 

life. Mr. Grote well observes, against whether astronomical science has yet at- 

Clinton, that there is nothing in Nicolaus tained to such exactness as to justify the 

Damascenus to imply that Alyattes con- adoption of its results as the basis of a chi'o- 

quered Caria. (Nic. Dam. p. 54, ed. Orelli ; nological system. 

Clinton's F. H. vol. ii. p. 363 ; Grote's Hist. 4 ^^ ^i^^ Crete's History of Greece, vol. 

vol. ii. p. 343.) iii. p. 310. In a note Mr. Grote brings 

^ Volney considered the eclipse to have forward a number of modern instances. 


for protection to Alyattes, and have offered to take service with him. 
They may have been readily received, and Cyaxares may, on learning 
it, have demanded their surrender, and when the demand was refused, 
have thereupon commenced hostilities. It is however very unlikely 
that this was the cause, although it may possibly have been the 
pretext, of the expedition. The Lydian war of Cyaxares was part 
undoubtedly of that great monarch's system of conquest, which 
carried him at one time to the confines of Babylonia, at another to 
the shores of the Egean. The enterprising prince, who had sub- 
verted the old Assyrian monarchy, and had then by a series of 
victories brought under subjection the whole of Upper Asia as far 
as the banks of the Halys,^ might well conceive the design of adding 
to his empire the further tract of country between the Halys and 
the Egean sea. What alone excites our wonderment in this portion 
of history is his failure. The war continued for six years, and in 
the course of it we are told, " the Medes gained many victories over 
the Lydians, and the Lydians also gained many victories over the Medes'' ^ 
And the advantage remained with neither side. Considering the 
extent and power of the Median empire at this period — that it 
contained, besides Media Magna and Media Atropatene, the exten- 
sive and important countries of Persia, Assyria, Armenia, and Cap- 
padocia — reaching thus from the mouth of the Persian Gulf to the 
shores of the Euxine — it seems extraordinary that the petty kingdom 
of Lydia could so successfully maintain the contest. The wonder 
is increased if we take into consideration the probability, almost 
amounting to a certainty, that the armies of the Babylonians accom- 
panied Cyaxares to the field.^ That Lydia maintained her inde- 
pendence and terminated the war by an honourable peace, can only 
be accounted for by supposing that as the attack menaced the whole 
of Western Asia, the several nations who felt themselves endangered 
made common cause and united under a single head. And an indi- 
cation of this union of the Western Asiatics against the ambition of 
the Medes is found in the fact that the king of the warlike and 
powerful Cilicia, which maintained its independence even against 
Croesus, appears in the narrative standing in the same relation 
towards Alyattes in which Labynetus, the Babylonian monarch, 
stands towards Cyaxares — the relation of subordinate ally. It is 
probable that both Labynetus and the Cilician prince were present 
at the engagement, and took immediate advantage of the religious 
dread inspired by the eclipse to effect a reconciliation of the prin- 
cipals in the contest. The interposition of good offices by great 
powers at a distance from the scene, especially by powers so remote 
and so little connected with one another as Cilicia and Babylonia, 
at this period, is inconceivable under the circumstances of the 
ancient world. Labynetus, at least, must have been upon the spot, 

^ Herod, i. 103. ^ Ibid. i. 74. the modern diplomatic sense of the phrase. 

^ I cannot conceive it possible that a The words of Herodotus (i. 74) are ambi- 

monarch, whose dominions lay a thousand guous, but I conceive we are to understand 

miles off, would have felt himself sufficiently an immediate mediation upon the spot, im- 

interested in the result of a contest in so plying the presence of the two princes, and 

remote a region, to interpose his mediation their participation in the previous strife. 
between the courts of Sardis and Ecbatana in 


and if so, then the presence of Syennesis seems to follow as a matter 
of course ; and his presence would indicate the probable presence of 
the other minor powers of Western Asia, the Pamphylians, the 
Phrygians, the Lycians, the Carians — perhaps also the Paphlagonians 
and Bithynians, whose liberties would certainly have been more 
endangered by the success of the attack than those of the hard}' and 
valiant occupants of the mountainous Cilicia, whom even Cyrus does 
not appear to have reduced to subjection. It seems therefore 
probable that the invasion of Lydia by Cyaxares was but the con- 
tinuation of his long course of aggressions upon his neighbours, and 
that whatever his pretext ma}^ have been, his real object in crossing 
the Halys was to add the whole of Lower Asia to his dominions. 
The warlike inhabitants united to resist him, and maintained for six 
years a doubtful and bloody struggle. At length, when both parties 
were growing weary of the protracted contest, accident afforded an 
opportunity, of which advantage was taken, to bring the war to a 
close. The two armies had once more come to an engagement, when, 
in the midst of the fight, an eclipse of the sun took place. Alarmed 
at the portent, the soldiers suspended the conflict, and manifested an 
inclination for peace. Probably the leaders of both armies partici- 
pated in the general sentiment. Under these circumstances, the 
principal commander of allied troops on either side came forward 
and proposed a reconciliation between the chief contending powers. 
The proposals were favourably entertained, and led not merely to 
the establishment of peace, but to an alliance between Media and 
Lydia, which was cemented by the marriage of a daughter of the 
Lydian prince with the heir-apparent to the Median monarchy. 
Henceforward friendly relations subsisted between the great powers 
of Asia until the ambition of Cyrus, half a century later, rekindled 
the strife. 

18. After the conclusion of this peace, Alyattes reigned, according 
to the chronology which we have preferred, forty-three years. It 
may have been during these years that he drove the Cimmerians 
beyond his borders, and engaged in war with the Greeks of Smyrna 
and Clazomenae. The latter portion of his reign seems, however, to 
have been a period of remarkable tranquillity. The supposition 
that towards the close of his life he conquered -^olis and Caria,^ 
founded upon a single passage in Nicolas of Damascus, which does 
not even bear out the deductions made from it,^ and contradicted by 

^ Clinton's Fasti Hell., vol. ii. p. 363. which is not the fact. They lay within the 

(Appendix, ch. xvii.) limits visually assigned to the province of 

^ Nicolaus Damascenus says that Croesus, Mysia (Rennell's Geography of Western 

who had already been made governor of Asia, vol. i. p. 371), but it seems probable 

Adramyttium and the plain of Thebe, accom- that from a very early date they had formed 

panied his fiither in an expedition into a part of the doininions of the Lydian kings. 

Caria. From this Mr. Clinton makes two The boundaries between the several provinces 

deductions, 1, that iEolis must have been of Asia Minor were at no time very exactly 

already subjected ; and 2, that Caria was determined, and Adramyttium seems to have 

conquered in this campaign. The latter he been one of the most ancient of the Lydian 

calls an assertion of Damascenus, which is towns. At least there were authors who 

untrue (see Nic. Damas. ed. Orelli, pp. 55- ascribed its foundation to an ancient king, 

57). The former proceeds upon the notion Adramys or Hermon, probably the same 

that Adramyttium and Thebe were in iEolis, pei-son as the Adramytes of Xanthus (Frag. 

Essay I. 



the express words of Herodotus, who ascribes these conquests to his 
son/ seems scarcely worth considering. We may grant it possible 
that there was an invasion of Caria about this time ; but even that is 
in the highest degree uncertain. The probability is that Alyattes, 
now an aged man,'^ was chiefly employed in the construction of his 
sepulchre, a work which Herodotus, Avho had seen it, compares for 
magnificence with the constructions of Egypt and Babylon,^ and 
which must therefore, like those massive buildings, have employed 
the labour of the great bulk of the population for a number of years. 
If the measurements of Herodotus are accurate, and modern tra- 
vellers appear to think that they do not greatly overstep the truth,* 
the tomb of Alyattes cannot have fallen far short of the grandest of 
the Egyptian monuments. Its deficiency as respects size must have 
been in height, for the area of the base, which alone our author's 
statements determine, is above one-third greater than that of the 
Pyramid of Cheops.^ As, however, the construction was of earth 
and not of stone, a barrow and not a pyramid, it would undoubtedly 
have required a less amount of servile labour than the great works 

19, Didot.) who must belong to the second, 
if not even to the first dynasty (see Steph. 
Byz. and Hesychius in voc. 'ASpa/xuTreioi/). 
Aristotle certainly spoke of its having been 
founded by an Adramytes, son of Alyattes 
and brother of Crcesus (Fr. 191) ; but of 
this person, who cannot be the ancient King 
of Xanthus, we have no other mention in 
history. The very fact that Adramyttium 
is supposed to have a heros eponymus for its 
founder seems to throw back its founda- 
tion to very early times. 

1 Herod, i. 28. 

^ If we allow Alyattes to have been 
twenty-one years old when he ascended the 
throne, he would be sixty-three in the year 
B.C. 583, the earliest date which the age of 
Croesus will allow us to fix for the expe- 
dition spoken of by Nicolas. 

3 Herod, i. 93. 

^ See Chandler's Travels, vol. i. p. 804. 
" The barrow of Alyattes is much taller and 
handsomer than any I have seen in England. 
The mould which has been washed down 
conceals the stone-work, which, it seems, 
was anciently visible. The apparent alti- 
tude is diminished, and the bottom rendered 
wider and less distinct than b