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The History of Herodotus, parallel English/Greek, tr. G. C. Macaulay, [1890], at

Herodotus Book 1: Clio [120]

120. On Harpagos Astyages laid this penalty; and about Cyrus he took thought, and summoned the same men of the Magians who had given judgment about his dream in the manner which has been said: and when they came, Astyages asked how they had given judgment about his vision; and they spoke according to the same manner, saying that the child must have become king if he had lived on and had not died before. He made answer to them thus: "The child is alive and not dead: and while he was dwelling in the country, the boys of the village appointed him king; and he performed completely all those things which they do who are really kings; for he exercised rule, appointed to their places spearmen of the guard and doorkeepers and bearers of messages and all else. Now therefore, to what does it seem to you that these things tend?" The Magians said: "If the child is still alive and became king without any arrangement, be thou confident concerning him and have good courage, for he shall not be ruler again the second time; since some even of our oracles have had but small results, and that at least which has to do with dreams comes often in the end to a feeble accomplishment." Astyages made answer in these words: "I myself also, O Magians, am most disposed to believe that this is so, namely that since the boy was named king the dream has had its fulfilment and that this boy is no longer a source of danger to me. Nevertheless give counsel to me, having well considered what is likely to be most safe both for my house and for you." Replying to this the Magians said: "To us also, O king, it is of great consequence that thy rule should stand firm; for in the other case it is transferred to strangers, coming round to this boy who is a Persian, and we being Medes are made slaves and become of no account in the eyes of the Persians, seeing that we are of different race; but while thou art established as our king, who art one of our own nation, we both have our share of rule and receive great honours from thee. Thus then we must by all means have a care of thee and of thy rule. And now, if we saw in this anything to cause fear, we would declare all to thee beforehand: but as the dream has had its issue in a trifling manner, both we ourselves are of good cheer and we exhort thee to be so likewise: and as for this boy, send him away from before thine eyes to the Persians and to his parents." 120. [1] Ἁρπάγῳ μὲν Ἀστυάγης δίκην ταύτην ἐπέθηκε, Κύπου δὲ πέρι βουλεύων ἐκάλεε τοὺς αὐτοὺς τῶν Μάγων οἳ τὸ ἐνύπνιὸν οἱ ταύτῃ ἔκριναν. ἀπικομένους δὲ εἴρετο ὁ Ἁστυάγης τῇ ἔκρινάν οἱ τὴν ὄψιν. οἳ δὲ κατὰ ταὐτὰ εἶπαν λέγοντες ὡς βασιλεῦσαι χρῆν τὸν παῖδα, εἰ ἐπέζωσε καὶ μὴ ἀπέθανε πρότερον. [2] ὁ δὲ ἀμείβεται αὐτοὺς τοῖσιδε. «ἔστι τε ὁ παῖς καὶ περίεστι, καί μιν ἐπ᾽ ἀγροῦ διαιτώμενον οἱ ἐκ τῆς κώμης παῖδες ἐστήσαντο βασιλέα. ὁ δὲ πάντα ὅσα περ οἱ ἀληθέι λόγῳ βασιλέες ἐτελέωσε ποιήσας· καὶ γὰρ δορυφόρους καὶ θυρωροὺς καὶ ἀγγελιηφόρους καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ πάντα διατάξας ἦρχε. [3] καὶ νῦν ἐς τί ὑμῖν ταῦτα φαίνεται φέρειν;» εἶπαν οἱ Μάγοι «εἰ μὲν περίεστί τε καὶ ἐβασίλευσε ὁ παῖς μὴ ἐκ προνοίης τινός, θάρσεέ τε τούτου εἵνεκα καὶ θυμὸν ἔχε ἀγαθόν· οὐ γὰρ ἔτι τὸ δεύτερον ἄρχει. παρὰ σμικρὰ γὰρ καὶ τῶν λογίων ἡμῖν ἔνια κεχώρηκε, καὶ τά γε τῶν ὀνειράτων ἐχόμενα τελέως ἐς ἀσθενὲς ἔρχεται.» [4] ἀμείβεται ὁ Ἀστυάγης τοῖσιδε. «καὶ αὐτὸς ὦ Μάγοι ταύτῃ πλεῖστος γνώμην εἰμί, βασιλέος ὀνομασθέντος τοῦ παιδὸς ἐξήκειν τε τὸν ὄνειρον καί μοι τὸν παῖδα τοῦτον εἶναι δεινὸν ἔτι οὐδέν. ὅμως μέν γέ τοι συμβουλεύσατέ μοι εὖ περισκεψάμενοι τὰ μέλλει ἀσφαλέστατα εἶναι οἴκῳ τε τῷ ἐμῷ καὶ ὑμῖν.» [5] εἶπαν πρὸς ταῦτα οἱ Μάγοι «ὦ βασιλεῦ, καὶ αὐτοῖσι ἡμῖν περὶ πολλοῦ ἐστι κατορθοῦσθαι ἀρχὴν τὴν σήν. κείνως μὲν γὰρ ἀλλοτριοῦται ἐς τὸν παῖδα τοῦτον περιιοῦσα ἐόντα Πέρσην, καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐόντες Μῆδοι δουλούμεθά τε καὶ λόγου οὐδενὸς γινόμεθα πρὸς Περσέων, ἐόντες ξεῖνοι· σέο δ᾽ ἐνεστεῶτος βασιλέος, ἐόντος πολιήτεω, καὶ ἄρχομεν τὸ μέρος καὶ τιμὰς πρὸς σέο μεγάλας ἔχομεν. [6] οὕτω ὦν πάντως ἡμῖν σέο καὶ τῆς σῆς ἀρχῆς προοπτέον ἐστί. καὶ νῦν εἰ φοβερόν τι ἐνωρῶμεν, πᾶν ἂν σοὶ προεφράζομεν. νῦν δὲ ἀποσκήψαντος τοῦ ἐνυπνίου ἐς φαῦλον, αὐτοί τε θαρσέομεν καὶ σοὶ ἕτερα τοιαῦτα παρακελευόμεθα. τὸν δὲ παῖδα τοῦτον ἐξ ὀφθαλμῶν ἀπόπεμψαι ἐς Πέρσας τε καὶ τοὺς γειναμένους.» 

121. When he heard this Astyages rejoiced, and calling Cyrus spoke to him thus: "My son, I did thee wrong by reason of a vision of a dream which has not come to pass, but thou art yet alive by thine own destiny; now therefore go in peace to the land of the Persians, and I will send with thee men to conduct thee: and when thou art come thither, thou shalt find a father and a mother not after the fashion of Mitradates the herdsman and his wife." 121. [1] ἀκούσας ταῦτα ὁ Ἀστυάγης ἐχάρη τε καὶ καλέσας τὸν Κῦρον ἔλεγέ οἱ τάδε. «ὦ παῖ, σὲ γὰρ ἐγὼ δι᾽ ὄψιν ὀνείρου οὐ τελέην ἠδίκεον, τῇ σεωυτοῦ δὲ μοίρῃ περίεις· νῦν ὦν ἴθι χαίρων ἐς Πέρσας, πομποὺς δὲ ἐγὼ ἅμα πέμψω. ἐλθὼν δὲ ἐκεῖ πατέρα τε καὶ μητέρα εὑρήσεις οὐ κατὰ Μιτραδάτην τε τὸν βουκόλον καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ.» 

122. Thus having spoken Astyages sent Cyrus away; and when he had returned and come to the house of Cambyses, his parents received him; and after that, when they learnt who he was, they welcomed him not a little, for they had supposed without doubt that their son had perished straightway after his birth; and they inquired in what manner he had survived. And he told them, saying that before this he had not known but had been utterly in error; on the way, however, he had learnt all his own fortunes: for he had supposed without doubt that he was the son of the herdsman of Astyages, but since his journey from the city began he had learnt the whole story from those who conducted him. And he said that he had been brought up by the wife of the herdsman, and continued to praise her throughout, so that Kyno was the chief person in his tale. And his parents took up this name from him, and in order that their son might be thought by the Persians to have been preserved in a more supernatural manner, they set on foot a report that Cyrus when he was exposed had been reared by a bitch: and from that source has come this report.

122. [1] ταῦτα εἶπας ὁ Ἀστυάγης ἀποπέμπει τὸν Κῦρον. νοστήσαντα δέ μιν ἐς τοῦ Καμβύσεω τὰ οἰκία ἐδέξαντο οἱ γεινάμενοι, καὶ δεξάμενοι ὡς ἐπύθοντο, μεγάλως ἀσπάζοντο οἷα δὴ ἐπιστάμενοι αὐτίκα τότε τελευτῆσαι, ἱστόρεόν τε ὅτεῳ τρόπῳ περιγένοιτο. [2] ὁ δέ σφι ἔλεγε, φὰς πρὸ τοῦ μὲν οὐκ εἰδέναι ἀλλ᾽ ἡμαρτηκέναι πλεῖστον, κατ᾽ ὁδὸν δὲ πυθέσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν ἑωυτοῦ πάθην· ἐπίστασθαι μὲν γὰρ ὡς βουκόλου τοῦ Ἀστυάγεος εἴη παῖς, ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς κεῖθεν ὁδοῦ τὸν πάντα λόγον τῶν πομπῶν πυθέσθαι. [3] τραφῆναι δὲ ἔλεγε ὑπὸ τῆς τοῦ βουκόλου γυναικός, ἤιέ τε ταύτην αἰνέων διὰ παντός, ἦν τέ οἱ ἐν τῷ λόγῳ τὰ πάντα ἡ Κυνώ. οἱ δὲ τοκέες παραλαβόντες τὸ οὔνομα τοῦτο, ἵνα θειοτέρως δοκέῃ τοῖσι Πέρσῃσι περιεῖναί σφι ὁ παῖς, κατέβαλον φάτιν ὡς ἐκκείμενον Κῦρον κύων ἐξέθρεψε. ἐνθεῦτεν μὲν ἡ φάτις αὕτη κεχώρηκε.

123. Then as Cyrus grew to be a man, being of all those of his age the most courageous and the best beloved, Harpagos sought to become his friend and sent him gifts, because he desired to take vengeance on Astyages. For he saw not how from himself, who was in a private station, punishment should come upon Astyages; but when he saw Cyrus growing up, he endeavoured to make him an ally, finding a likeness between the fortunes of Cyrus and his own. And even before that time he had effected something: for Astyages being harsh towards the Medes, Harpagos communicated severally with the chief men of the Medes, and persuaded them that they must make Cyrus their leader and cause Astyages to cease from being king. When he had effected this and when all was ready, then Harpagos wishing to make known his design to Cyrus, who lived among the Persians, could do it no other way, seeing that the roads were watched, but devised a scheme as follows:--he made ready a hare, and having cut open its belly but without pulling off any of the fur, he put into it, just as it was, a piece of paper, having written upon it that which he thought good; and then he sewed up again the belly of the hare, and giving nets as if he were a hunter to that one of his servants whom he trusted most, he sent him away to the land of the Persians, enjoining him by word of mouth to give the hare to Cyrus, and to tell him at the same time to open it with his own hands and let no one else be present when he did so. 123. [1] Κύρῳ δὲ ἀνδρευμένῳ καὶ ἐόντι τῶν ἡλίκων ἀνδρηιοτάτῳ καὶ προσφιλεστάτῳ προσέκειτο ὁ Ἅρπαγος δῶρα πέμπων, τίσασθαι Ἀστυάγεα ἐπιθυμέων· ἀπ᾽ ἑωυτοῦ γὰρ ἐόντος ἰδιώτεω οὐκ ἐνώρα τιμωρίην ἐσομένην ἐς Ἀστυάγεα, Κῦρον δὲ ὁρέων ἐπιτρεφόμενον ἐποιέετο σύμμαχον, τὰς πάθας τὰς Κύρου τῇσι ἑωυτοῦ ὁμοιούμενος. [2] πρὸ δ᾽ ἔτι τούτου τάδε οἱ κατέργαστο· ἐόντος τοῦ Ἀστυάγεος πικροῦ ἐς τοὺς Μήδους, συμμίσγων ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ ὁ Ἅρπαγος τῶν πρώτων Μήδων ἀνέπειθε ὡς χρὴ Κῦρον προστησαμένους Ἀστυάγεα παῦσαι τῆς βασιληίης. [3] κατεργασμένου δέ οἱ τούτου καὶ ἐόντος ἑτοίμου, οὕτω δὴ τῷ Κύρῳ διαιτωμένῳ ἐν Πέρσῃσι βουλόμενος Ἅρπαγος δηλῶσαι τὴν ἑωυτοῦ γνώμην ἄλλως μὲν οὐδαμῶς εἶχε ἅτε τῶν ὁδῶν φυλασσομενέων, ὁ δὲ ἐπιτεχνᾶται τοιόνδε· [4] λαγὸν μηχανησάμενος, καὶ ἀνασχίσας τούτου τὴν γαστέρα καὶ οὐδὲν ἀποτίλας, ὡς δὲ εἶχε οὕτω ἐσέθηκε βυβλίον, γράψας τά οἱ ἐδόκεε· ἀπορράψας δὲ τοῦ λαγοῦ τὴν γαστέρα, καὶ δίκτυα δοὺς ἅτε θηρευτῇ τῶν οἰκετέων τῷ πιστοτάτῳ, ἀπέστελλε ἐς τοὺς Πέρσας, ἐντειλάμενὸς οἱ ἀπὸ γλώσσης διδόντα τὸν λαγὸν Κύρῳ ἐπειπεῖν αὐτοχειρίῃ μιν διελεῖν καὶ μηδένα οἱ ταῦτα ποιεῦντι παρεῖναι. 

124. This then was accomplished, and Cyrus having received from him the hare, cut it open; and having found within it the paper he took and read it over. And the writing said this: "Son of Cambyses, over thee the gods keep guard, for otherwise thou wouldst never have come to so much good fortune. Do thou therefore take vengeance on Astyages who is thy murderer, for so far as his will is concerned thou art dead, but by the care of the gods and of me thou art still alive; and this I think thou hast long ago learnt from first to last, both how it happened about thyself, and also what things I have suffered from Astyages, because I did not slay thee but gave thee to the herdsman. If therefore thou wilt be guided by me, thou shalt be ruler of all that land over which now Astyages is ruler. Persuade the Persians to revolt, and march any army against the Medes: and whether I shall be appointed leader of the army against thee, or any other of the Medes who are in repute, thou hast what thou desirest; for these will be the first to attempt to destroy Astyages, revolting from him and coming over to thy party. Consider then that here at least all is ready, and therefore do this and do it with speed." 124. [1] ταῦτά τε δὴ ὦν ἐπιτελέα ἐγίνετο καὶ ὁ Κῦρος παραλαβὼν τὸν λαγὸν ἀνέσχισε· εὑρὼν δὲ ἐν αὐτῷ τὸ βυβλίον ἐνεὸν λαβὼν ἐπελέγετο, τὰ δὲ γράμματα ἔλεγε τάδε. «ὦ παῖ Καμβύσεω, σὲ γὰρ θεοὶ ἐπορῶσι· οὐ γὰρ ἂν κοτὲ ἐς τοσοῦτο τύχης ἀπίκευ· σύ νυν Ἀστυάγεα τὸν σεωυτοῦ φονέα τῖσαι. [2] κατὰ μὲν γὰρ τὴν τούτου προθυμίην τέθνηκας, τὸ δὲ κατὰ θεούς τε καὶ ἐμὲ περίεις· τά σε καὶ πάλαι δοκέω πάντα ἐκμεμαθηκέναι, σέο τε αὐτοῦ περὶ ὡς ἐπρήχθη, καὶ οἷα ἐγὼ ὑπὸ Ἀστυάγεος πέπονθα, ὅτι σε οὐκ ἀπέκτεινα ἀλλὰ ἔδωκα τῷ βουκόλῳ. σύ νυν, ἢν βούλῃ ἐμοὶ πείθεσθαι, τῆς περ Ἀστυάγης ἄρχει χώρης, ταύτης ἁπάσης ἄρξεις. Πέρσας γὰρ ἀναπείσας ἀπίστασθαι στρατηλάτεε ἐπὶ Μήδους· [3] καὶ ἤν τε ἐγὼ ὑπὸ Ἀστυάγεος ἀποδεχθέω στρατηγὸς ἀντία σεῦ, ἔστι τοι τὰ σὺ βούλεαι, ἤν τε τῶν τις δοκίμων ἄλλος Μήδων· πρῶτοι γὰρ οὗτοι ἀποστάντες ἀπ᾽ ἐκείνου καὶ γενόμενοι πρὸς σέο Ἀστυάγεα καταιρέειν πειρήσονται. ὡς ὦν ἑτοίμου τοῦ γε ἐνθάδε ἐόντος, ποίεε ταῦτα καὶ ποίεε κατὰ τάχος.» 

125. Cyrus having heard this began to consider in what manner he might most skilfully persuade the Persians to revolt, and on consideration he found that this was the most convenient way, and so in fact he did:--He wrote first on a paper that which he desired to write, and he made an assembly of the Persians. Then he unfolded the paper and reading from it said that Astyages appointed him commander of the Persians; "and now, O Persians," he continued, "I give you command to come to me each one with a reaping-hook." Cyrus then proclaimed this command. (Now there are of the Persians many tribes, and some of them Cyrus gathered together and persuaded to revolt from the Medes, namely those, upon which all the other Persians depend, the Pasargadai, the Maraphians and the Maspians, and of these the Pasargadai are the most noble, of whom also the Achaimenidai are a clan, whence are sprung the Perseïd kings. But other Persian tribes there are, as follows:-- the Panthaliaians, the Derusiaians and the Germanians, these are all tillers of the soil; and the rest are nomad tribes, namely the Daoi, Mardians, Dropicans and Sagartians.) 125. [1] ἀκούσας ταῦτα ὁ Κῦρος ἐφρόντιζε ὅτεῳ τρόπῳ σοφωτάτῳ Πέρσας ἀναπείσει ἀπίστασθαι, φροντίζων δὲ εὑρίσκεται ταῦτα καιριώτατα εἶναι· ἐποίεε δὴ ταῦτα. [2] γράψας ἐς βυβλίον τὰ ἐβούλετο, ἁλίην τῶν Περσέων ἐποιήσατο, μετὰ δὲ ἀναπτύξας τὸ βυβλίον καὶ ἐπιλεγόμενος ἔφη Ἀστυάγεά μιν στρατηγὸν Περσέων ἀποδεικνύναι. «νῦν τε,» ἔφη λέγων, «ὦ Πέρσαι, προαγορεύω ὑμῖν παρεῖναι ἕκαστον ἔχοντα δρέπανον. Κῦρος μὲν ταῦτα προηγόρευσε. ἔστι δὲ Πέρσεων συχνὰ γένεα, καὶ τὰ μὲν αὐτῶν ὁ Κῦρος συνάλισε καὶ ἀνέπεισε ἀπίστασθαι ἀπὸ Μήδων. [3] ἔστι δὲ τάδε, ἐξ ὧν ὧλλοι πάντες ἀρτέαται Πέρσαι, Πασαργάδαι Μαράφιοι Μάσπιοι. τούτων Πασαργάδαι εἰσὶ ἄριστοι, ἐν τοῖσι καὶ Ἀχαιμενίδαι εἰσὶ φρήτρη, ἔνθεν οἱ βασιλέες οἱ Περσεῖδαι γεγόνασι. [4] ἄλλοι δὲ Πέρσαι εἰσὶ οἵδε, Πανθιαλαῖοι Δηρουσιαῖοι Γερμάνιοι. οὗτοι μὲν πάντες ἀροτῆρες εἰσί, οἱ δὲ ἄλλοι νομάδες, Δάοι Μάρδοι Δροπικοὶ Σαγάρτιοι. 

126. Now there was a certain region of the Persian land which was overgrown with thorns, extending some eighteen or twenty furlongs in each direction; and when all had come with that which they had been before commanded to bring, Cyrus bade them clear this region for cultivation within one day: and when the Persians had achieved the task proposed, then he bade them come to him on the next day bathed and clean. Meanwhile Cyrus, having gathered together in one place all the flocks of goats and sheep and the herds of cattle belonging to his father, slaughtered them and prepared with them to entertain the host of the Persians, and moreover with wine and other provisions of the most agreeable kind. So when the Persians came on the next day, he made them recline in a meadow and feasted them. And when they had finished dinner, Cyrus asked them whether that which they had on the former day or that which they had now seemed to them preferable. They said that the difference between them was great, for the former day had for them nothing but evil, and the present day nothing but good. Taking up this saying Cyrus proceeded to lay bare his whole design, saying: "Men of the Persians, thus it is with you. If ye will do as I say, ye have these and ten thousand other good things, with no servile labour; but if ye will not do as I say, ye have labours like that of yesterday innumerable. Now therefore do as I say and make yourselves free: for I seem to myself to have been born by providential fortune to take these matters in hand; and I think that ye are not worse men than the Medes, either in other matters or in those which have to do with war. Consider then that this is so, and make revolt from Astyages forthwith."

126. [1] ὡς δὲ παρῆσαν ἅπαντες ἔχοντες τὸ προειρημένον, ἐνθαῦτα ὁ Κῦρος, ἦν γάρ τις χῶρος τῆς Περσικῆς ἀκανθώδης ὅσον τε ἐπὶ ὀκτωκαίδεκα σταδίους ἢ εἴκοσι πάντῃ, τοῦτον σφι τὸν χῶρον προεῖπε ἐξημερῶσαι ἐν ἡμέρῃ. [2] ἐπιτελεσάντων δὲ τῶν Περσέων τὸν προκείμενον ἄεθλον, δεύτερα σφι προεῖπε ἐς τὴν ὑστεραίην παρεῖναι λελουμένους. ἐν δὲ τούτῳ τά τε αἰπόλια καὶ τὰς ποίμνας καὶ τὰ βουκόλια ὁ Κῦρος πάντα τοῦ πατρὸς συναλίσας ἐς τὠυτὸ ἔθυσε καὶ παρεσκεύαζε ὡς δεξόμενος τὸν Περσέων στρατόν, πρὸς δὲ οἴνῳ τε καὶ σιτίοισι ὡς ἐπιτηδεοτάτοισι. [3] ἀπικομένους δὲ τῇ ὑστεραίῃ τοὺς Πέρσας κατακλίνας ἐς λειμῶνα εὐώχεε. ἐπείτε δὲ ἀπὸ δείπνου ἦσαν, εἴρετο σφέας ὁ Κῦρος κότερα τὰ τῇ προτεραίῃ εἶχον ἢ τὰ παρεόντα σφι εἴη αἱρετώτερα. [4] οἳ δὲ ἔφασαν πολλὸν εἶναι αὐτῶν τὸ μέσον· τὴν μὲν γὰρ προτέρην ἡμέρην πάντα σφι κακὰ ἔχειν, τὴν δὲ τότε παρεοῦσαν πάντα ἀγαθά. παραλαβὼν δὲ τοῦτο τὸ ἔπος ὁ Κῦρος παρεγύμνου τὸν πάντα λόγον, λέγων [5] «ἄνδρες Πέρσαι, οὕτω ὑμῖν ἔχει. βουλομένοισι μὲν ἐμέο πείθεσθαί ἔστι τάδε τε καὶ ἄλλα μυρία ἀγαθά, οὐδένα πόνον δουλοπρεπέα ἔχουσι, μὴ βουλομένοισι δὲ ἐμέο πείθεσθαι εἰσὶ ὑμῖν πόνοι τῷ χθιζῷ παραπλήσιοι ἀναρίθμητοι. [6] νῦν ὦν ἐμέο πειθόμενοι γίνεσθε ἐλεύθεροι. αὐτός τε γὰρ δοκέω θείῃ τύχῃ γεγονὼς τάδε ἐς χεῖρας ἄγεσθαι, καὶ ὑμέας ἥγημαι ἄνδρας Μήδων εἶναι οὐ φαυλοτέρους οὔτε τἄλλα οὔτε τὰ πολέμια. ὡς ὦν ἐχόντων ὧδε, ἀπίστασθε ἀπ᾽ Ἀστυάγεος τὴν ταχίστην.» 

127. So the Persians having obtained a leader willingly attempted to set themselves free, since they had already for a long time been indignant to be ruled by the Medes: but when Astyages heard that Cyrus was acting thus, he sent a messenger and summoned him; and Cyrus bade the messenger report to Astyages that he would be with him sooner than he would himself desire. So Astyages hearing this armed all the Medes, and blinded by divine providence he appointed Harpagos to be the leader of the army, forgetting what he had done to him. Then when the Medes had marched out and began to fight with the Persians, some of them continued the battle, namely those who had not been made partakers in the design, while others went over to the Persians; but the greater number were wilfully slack and fled. 127. [1] Πέρσαι μέν νυν προστάτεω ἐπιλαβόμενοι ἄσμενοὶ ἐλευθεροῦντο, καὶ πάλαι δεινὸν ποιεύμενοι ὑπὸ Μήδων ἄρχεσθαι. Ἀστυάγης δὲ ὡς ἐπύθετο Κῦρον ταῦτα πρήσσοντα, πέμψας ἄγγελον ἐκάλεε αὐτόν. [2] ὁ δὲ Κῦρος ἐκέλευε τὸν ἄγγελον ἀπαγγέλλειν ὅτι πρότερον ἥξοι παρ᾽ ἐκεῖνον ἢ Ἀστυάγης αὐτὸς βουλήσεται. ἀκούσας δὲ ταῦτα ὁ Ἀστυάγης Μήδους τε ὥπλισε πάντας, καὶ στρατηγὸν αὐτῶν ὥστε θεοβλαβὴς ἐὼν Ἅρπαγον ἀπέδεξε, λήθην ποιεύμενος τά μιν ἐόργεε. [3] ὡς δὲ οἱ Μῆδοι στρατευσάμενοι τοῖσι Πέρσῃσι συνέμισγον, οἳ μέν τινὲς αὐτῶν ἐμάχοντο, ὅσοι μὴ τοῦ λόγου μετέσχον, οἳ δὲ αὐτομόλεον πρὸς τοὺς Πέρσας, οἱ δὲ πλεῖστοι ἐθελοκάκεόν τε καὶ ἔφευγον. 

128. So when the Median army had been shamefully dispersed, so soon as Astyages heard of it he said, threatening Cyrus: "But not even so shall Cyrus at least escape punishment." Thus having spoken he first impaled the Magian interpreters of dreams who had persuaded him to let Cyrus go, and then he armed those of the Medes, youths and old men, who had been left behind in the city. These he led out and having engaged battle with the Persians he was worsted, and Astyages himself was taken alive, and he lost also those of the Medes whom he had led forth. 128. [1] διαλυθέντος δὲ τοῦ Μηδικοῦ. στρατεύματος αἰσχρῶς, ὡς ἐπύθετο τάχιστα ὁ Ἀστυάγης, ἔφη ἀπειλέων τῷ Κύρῳ «ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ὣς Κῦρός γε χαιρήσει.» [2] τοσαῦτα εἶπας πρῶτον μὲν τῶν Μάγων τοὺς ὀνειροπόλους, οἵ μιν ἀνέγνωσαν μετεῖναι τὸν Κῦρον, τούτους ἀνεσκολόπισε, μετὰ δὲ ὥπλισε τοὺς ὑπολειφθέντας ἐν τῷ ἄστεϊ τῶν Μήδων, νέους τε καὶ πρεσβύτας ἄνδρας. [3] ἐξαγαγὼν δὲ τούτους καὶ συμβαλὼν τοῖσι Πέρῃσι ἑσσώθη, καὶ αὐτός τε Ἀστυάγης ἐζωγρήθη καὶ τοὺς ἐξήγαγε τῶν Μήδων ἀπέβαλε. 

129. Then when Astyages was a prisoner, Harpagos came and stood near him and rejoiced over him and insulted him; and besides other things which he said to grieve him, he asked him especially how it pleased him to be a slave instead of a king, making reference to that dinner at which Astyages had feasted him with the flesh of his own son. He looking at him asked him in return whether he claimed the work of Cyrus as his own deed: and Harpagos said that since he had written the letter, the deed was justly his. Then Astyages declared him to be at the same time the most unskilful and the most unjust of men; the most unskilful because, when it was in his power to become king (as it was, if that which had now been done was really brought about by him), he had conferred the chief power on another, and the most unjust, because on account of that dinner he had reduced the Medes to slavery. For if he must needs confer the kingdom on some other and not keep it himself, it was more just to give this good thing to one of the Medes rather than to one of the Persians; whereas now the Medes, who were guiltless of this, had become slaves instead of masters, and the Persians who formerly were slaves of the Medes had now become their masters. 129. [1] ἐόντι δὲ αἰχμαλώτῳ τῷ Ἀστυάγεϊ προσστὰς ὁ Ἅρπαγος κατέχαιρέ τε καὶ κατεκερτόμεε, καὶ ἄλλα λέγων ἐς αὐτὸν θυμαλγέα ἔπεα, καὶ δὴ καὶ εἴρετό μιν πρὸς τὸ ἑωυτοῦ δεῖπνον, τὸ μιν ἐκεῖνος σαρξὶ τοῦ παιδὸς ἐθοίνησε, ὅ τι εἴη ἡ ἐκείνου δουλοσύνη ἀντὶ τῆς βασιληίης. [2] ὁ δέ μιν προσιδὼν ἀντείρετο εἰ ἑωυτοῦ ποιέεται τὸ Κύρου ἔργον. Ἅρπαγος δὲ ἔφη, αὐτὸς γὰρ γράψαι, τὸ πρῆγμα ἑωυτοῦ δὴ δικαίως εἶναι. [3] Ἀστυάγης δέ μιν ἀπέφαινε τῷ λόγῳ σκαιότατόν τε καὶ ἀδικώτατον ἐόντα πάντων ἀνθρώπων, σκαιότατον μέν γε, εἰ παρεὸν αὐτῷ βασιλέα γενέσθαι, εἰ δὴ δι᾽ ἑωυτοῦ γε ἐπρήχθη τὰ παρεόντα, ἄλλῳ περιέθηκε τὸ κράτος, ἀδικώτατον δέ, ὅτι τοῦ δείπνου εἵνεκεν Μήδους κατεδούλωσε. [4] εἰ γὰρ δὴ δεῖν πάντως περιθεῖναι ἄλλῳ τεῷ τὴν βασιληίην καὶ μὴ αὐτὸν ἔχειν, δικαιότερον εἶναι Μήδων τεῷ περιβαλεῖν τοῦτο τὸ ἀγαθὸν ἢ Περσέων. νῦν δὲ Μήδους μὲν ἀναιτίους τούτου ἐόντας δούλους ἀντὶ δεσποτέων γεγονέναι, Πέρσας δὲ δούλους ἐόντας τὸ πρὶν Μήδων νῦν γεγονέναι δεσπότας. 

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