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

Herodotus Book 3: Thaleia [40]

40. Now Amasis, as may be supposed, did not fail to perceive that Polycrates was very greatly fortunate, and it was to him an object of concern; and as much more good fortune yet continued to come to Polycrates, he wrote upon a paper these words and sent them to Samos: "Amasis to Polycrates thus saith:--It is a pleasant thing indeed to hear that one who is a friend and guest is faring well; yet to me thy great good fortune is not pleasing, since I know that the Divinity is jealous; and I think that I desire, both for myself and for those about whom I have care, that in some of our affairs we should be prosperous and in others should fail, and thus go through life alternately faring well and ill, rather than that we should be prosperous in all things: for never yet did I hear tell of any one who was prosperous in all things and did not come to an utterly evil end at the last. Now therefore do thou follow my counsel and act as I shall say with respect to thy prosperous fortunes. Take thought and consider, and that which thou findest to be the most valued by thee, and for the loss of which thou wilt most be vexed in thy soul, that take and cast away in such a manner that it shall never again come to the sight of men; and if in future from that time forward good fortune does not befall thee in alternation with calamities, apply remedies in the manner by me suggested." 40. [1] καί κως τὸν Ἄμασιν εὐτυχέων μεγάλως ὁ Πολυκράτης οὐκ ἐλάνθανε, ἀλλά οἱ τοῦτ᾽ ἦν ἐπιμελές. πολλῷ δὲ ἔτι πλεῦνός οἱ εὐτυχίης γινομένης γράψας ἐς βυβλίον τάδε ἐπέστειλε ἐς Σάμον. «Ἄμασις Πολυκράτεϊ ὧδε λέγει. [2] ἡδὺ μὲν πυνθάνεσθαι ἄνδρα φίλον καὶ ξεῖνον εὖ πρήσσοντα· ἐμοὶ δὲ αἱ σαὶ μεγάλαι εὐτυχίαι οὐκ ἀρέσκουσι, τὸ θεῖον ἐπισταμένῳ ὡς ἔστι φθονερόν· καί κως βούλομαι καὶ αὐτὸς καὶ τῶν ἂν κήδωμαι τὸ μέν τι εὐτυχέειν τῶν πρηγμάτων τὸ δὲ προσπταίειν, καὶ οὕτω διαφέρειν τὸν αἰῶνα ἐναλλὰξ πρήσσων ἢ εὐτυχέειν τὰ πάντα. [3] οὐδένα γάρ κω λόγῳ οἶδα ἀκούσας ὅστις ἐς τέλος οὐ κακῶς ἐτελεύτησε πρόρριζος, εὐτυχέων τὰ πάντα. σύ νυν ἐμοὶ πειθόμενος ποίησον πρὸς τὰς εὐτυχίας τοιάδε· [4] φροντίσας τὸ ἂν εὕρῃς ἐόν τοι πλείστου ἄξιον καὶ ἐπ᾽ ᾧ σὺ ἀπολομένῳ μάλιστα τὴν ψυχὴν ἀλγήσεις, τοῦτο ἀπόβαλε οὕτω ὅκως μηκέτι ἥξει ἐς ἀνθρώπους· ἤν τε μὴ ἐναλλὰξ ἤδη τὠπὸ τούτου αἱ εὐτυχίαι τοι τῇσι πάθῃσι προσπίπτωσι, τρόπῳ τῷ ἐξ ἐμεῦ ὑποκειμένῳ ἀκέο.» 

41. Polycrates, having read this and having perceived by reflection that Amasis suggested to him good counsel, sought to find which one of his treasures he would be most afflicted in his soul to lose; and seeking he found this which I shall say:--he had a signet which he used to wear, enchased in gold and made of an emerald stone; and it was the work of Theodoros the son of Telecles of Samos. Seeing then that he thought it good to cast this away, he did thus:-- he manned a fifty-oared galley with sailors and went on board of it himself; and then he bade them put out into the deep sea. And when he had got to a distance from the island, he took off the signet-ring, and in the sight of all who were with him in the ship he threw it into the sea. Thus having done he sailed home; and when he came to his house he mourned for his loss. 41. [1] ταῦτα ἐπιλεξάμενος ὁ Πολυκράτης καὶ νόῳ λαβὼν ὥς οἱ εὖ ὑπετίθετο Ἄμασις, ἐδίζητο ἐπ᾽ ᾧ ἂν μάλιστα τὴν ψυχὴν ἀσηθείη ἀπολομένῳ τῶν κειμηλίων, διζήμενος δὲ εὕρισκε τόδε. ἦν οἱ σφρηγὶς τὴν ἐφόρεε χρυσόδετος, σμαράγδου μὲν λίθου ἐοῦσα, ἔργον δὲ ἦν Θεοδώρου τοῦ Τηλεκλέος Σαμίου. [2] ἐπεὶ ὦν ταύτην οἱ ἐδόκεε ἀποβαλεῖν, ἐποίεε τοιάδε· πεντηκόντερον πληρώσας ἀνδρῶν ἐσέβη ἐς αὐτήν, μετὰ δὲ ἀναγαγεῖν ἐκέλευε ἐς τὸ πέλαγος· ὡς δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς νήσου ἑκὰς ἐγένετο, περιελόμενος τὴν σφρηγῖδα πάντων ὁρώντων τῶν συμπλόων ῥίπτει ἐς τὸ πέλαγος. τοῦτο δὲ ποιήσας ἀπέπλεε, ἀπικόμενος δὲ ἐς τὰ οἰκία συμφορῇ ἐχρᾶτο. 

42. But on the fifth or sixth day after these things it happened to him as follows:--a fisherman having caught a large and beautiful fish, thought it right that this should be given as a gift to Polycrates. He bore it therefore to the door of the palace and said that he desired to come into the presence of Polycrates, and when he had obtained this he gave him the fish, saying: "O king, having taken this fish I did not think fit to bear it to the market, although I am one who lives by the labour of his hands; but it seemed to me that it was worthy of thee and of thy monarchy: therefore I bring it and present it to thee." He then, being pleased at the words spoken, answered thus: "Thou didst exceedingly well, and double thanks are due to thee, for thy words and also for thy gift; and we invite thee to come to dinner." The fisherman then, thinking this a great thing, went away to this house; and the servants as they were cutting up the fish found in its belly the signet-ring of Polycrates. Then as soon as they had seen it and taken it up, they bore it rejoicing to Polycrates, and giving him the signet-ring they told him in what manner it had been found: and he perceiving that the matter was of God, wrote upon paper all that he had done and all that had happened to him, and having written he despatched it to Egypt. 42. [1] πέμπτῃ δὲ ἢ ἕκτῃ ἡμέρῃ ἀπὸ τούτων τάδε οἱ συνήνεικε γενέσθαι. ἀνὴρ ἁλιεὺς λαβὼν ἰχθὺν μέγαν τε καὶ καλὸν ἠξίου μιν Πολυκράτεϊ δῶρον δοθῆναι· φέρων δὴ ἐπὶ τὰς θύρας Πολυκράτεϊ ἔφη ἐθέλειν ἐλθεῖν ἐς ὄψιν, χωρήσαντος δέ οἱ τούτου ἔλεγε διδοὺς τὸν ἰχθύν [2] «ὦ βασιλεῦ, ἐγὼ τόνδε ἑλὼν οὐκ ἐδικαίωσα φέρειν ἐς ἀγορήν, καίπερ ἐὼν ἀποχειροβίοτος, ἀλλά μοι ἐδόκεε σεῦ τε εἶναι ἄξιος καὶ τῆς σῆς ἀρχῆς· σοὶ δή μιν φέρων δίδωμι.» ὁ δὲ ἡσθεὶς τοῖσι ἔπεσι ἀμείβεται τοῖσιδε. «κάρτα τε εὖ ἐποίησας καὶ χάρις διπλῆ τῶν τε λόγων καὶ τοῦ δώρου, καί σε ἐπὶ δεῖπνον καλέομεν.» [3] ὃ μὲν δὴ ἁλιεὺς μέγα ποιεύμενος ταῦτα ἤιε ἐς τὰ οἰκία, τὸν δὲ ἰχθὺν τάμνοντες οἱ θεράποντες εὑρίσκουσι ἐν τῇ νηδύι αὐτοῦ ἐνεοῦσαν τὴν Πολυκράτεος σφρηγῖδα. [4] ὡς δὲ εἶδόν τε καὶ ἔλαβον τάχιστα, ἔφερον κεχαρηκότες παρὰ τὸν Πολυκράτεα, διδόντες δέ οἱ τὴν σφρηγῖδα ἔλεγον ὅτεῳ τρόπῳ εὑρέθη. τὸν δὲ ὡς ἐσῆλθε θεῖον εἶναι τὸ πρῆγμα, γράφει ἐς βυβλίον πάντα τὰ ποιήσαντά μιν οἷα καταλελάβηκε, γράψας δὲ ἐς Αἴγυπτον ἐπέθηκε. 

43. Then Amasis, when he had read the paper which had come from Polycrates, perceived that it was impossible for man to rescue man from the event which was to come to pass, and that Polycrates was destined not to have a good end, being prosperous in all things, seeing that he found again even that which he cast away. Therefore he sent an envoy to him in Samos and said that he broke off the guest- friendship; and this he did lest when a fearful and great mishap befell Polycrates, he might himself be grieved in his soul as for a man who was his guest.

43. [1] ἐπιλεξάμενος δὲ ὁ Ἄμασις τὸ βυβλίον τὸ παρὰ τοῦ Πολυκράτεος ἧκον, ἔμαθε ὅτι ἐκκομίσαι τε ἀδύνατον εἴη ἀνθρώπῳ ἄνθρωπον ἐκ τοῦ μέλλοντος γίνεσθαι πρήγματος, καὶ ὅτι οὐκ εὖ τελευτήσειν μέλλοι Πολυκράτης εὐτυχέων τὰ πάντα, ὃς καὶ τὰ ἀποβάλλει εὑρίσκει. [2] πέμψας δέ οἱ κήρυκα ἐς Σάμον διαλύεσθαι ἔφη τὴν ξεινίην. τοῦδε δὲ εἵνεκεν ταῦτα ἐποίεε, ἵνα μὴ συντυχίης δεινῆς τε καὶ μεγάλης Πολυκράτεα καταλαβούσης αὐτὸς ἀλγήσειε τὴν ψυχὴν ὡς περὶ ξείνου ἀνδρός. 

44. It was this Polycrates then, prosperous in all things, against whom the Lacedemonians were making an expedition, being invited by those Samians who afterwards settled at Kydonia in Crete, to come to their assistance. Now Polycrates had sent an envoy to Cambyses the son of Cyrus without the knowledge of the Samians, as he was gathering an army to go against Egypt, and had asked him to send to him in Samos and to ask for an armed force. So Cambyses hearing this very readily sent to Samos to ask Polycrates to send a naval force with him against Egypt: and Polycrates selected of the citizens those whom he most suspected of desiring to rise against him and sent them away in forty triremes, charging Cambyses not to send them back. 44. [1] ἐπὶ τοῦτον δὴ ὦν τὸν Πολυκράτεα εὐτυχέοντα τὰ πάντα ἐστρατεύοντο Λακεδαιμόνιοι, ἐπικαλεσαμένων τῶν μετὰ ταῦτα Κυδωνίην τὴν ἐν Κρήτῃ κτισάντων Σαμίων. πέμψας δὲ κήρυκα λάθρῃ Σαμίων Πολυκράτης παρὰ Καμβύσεα τὸν Κύρου συλλέγοντα στρατὸν ἐπ᾽ Αἴγυπτον, ἐδεήθη ὅκως ἂν καὶ παρ᾽ ἑωυτὸν πέμψας ἐς Σάμον δέοιτο στρατοῦ. [2] Καμβύσης δὲ ἀκούσας τούτων προθύμως ἔπεμψε ἐς Σάμον δεόμενος Πολυκράτεος στρατὸν ναυτικὸν ἅμα πέμψαι ἑωυτῷ ἐπ᾽ Αἴγυπτον. ὁ δὲ ἐπιλέξας τῶν ἀστῶν τοὺς ὑπώπτευε μάλιστα ἐς ἐπανάστασιν ἀπέπεμπε τεσσεράκοντα τριήρεσι, ἐντειλάμενος Καμβύσῃ ὀπίσω τούτους μὴ ἀποπέμπειν. 

45. Now some say that those of the Samians who were sent away by Polycrates never reached Egypt, but when they arrived on their voyage at Carpathos, they considered with themselves, and resolved not to sail on any further: others say that they reached Egypt and being kept under guard there, they made their escape from thence. Then, as they were sailing in to Samos, Polycrates encountered them with ships and engaged battle with them; and those who were returning home had the better and landed in the island; but having fought a land-battle in the island, they were worsted, and so sailed to Lacedemon. Some however say that those from Egypt defeated Polycrates in the battle; but this in my opinion is not correct, for there would have been no need for them to invite the assistance of the Lacedemonians if they had been able by themselves to bring Polycrates to terms. Moreover, it is not reasonable either, seeing that he had foreign mercenaries and native archers very many in number, to suppose that he was worsted by the returning Samians, who were but few. Then Polycrates gathered together the children and wives of his subjects and confined them in the ship- sheds, keeping them ready so that, if it should prove that his subjects deserted to the side of the returning exiles, he might burn them with the sheds.

45. [1] οἳ μὲν δὴ λέγουσι τοὺς ἀποπεμφθέντας Σαμίων ὑπὸ Πολυκράτεος οὐκ ἀπικέσθαι ἐς Αἴγυπτον, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπείτε ἐγένοντο ἐν Καρπάθῳ πλέοντες, δοῦναι σφίσι λόγον, καί σφι ἁδεῖν τὸ προσωτέρω μηκέτι πλέειν· οἳ δὲ λέγουσι ἀπικομένους τε ἐς Αἴγυπτον καὶ φυλασσομένους ἐνθεῦτεν αὐτοὺς ἀποδρῆναι. [2] καταπλέουσι δὲ ἐς τὴν Σάμον Πολυκράτης νηυσὶ ἀντιάσας ἐς μάχην κατέστη· νικήσαντες δὲ οἱ κατιόντες ἀπέβησαν ἐς τὴν νῆσον, πεζομαχήσαντες δὲ ἐν αὐτῇ ἑσσώθησαν, καὶ οὕτω δὴ ἔπλεον ἐς Λακεδαίμονα. [3] εἰσὶ δὲ οἳ λέγουσι τοὺς ἀπ᾽ Αἰγύπτου νικῆσαι Πολυκράτεα, λέγοντες ἐμοὶ δοκέειν οὐκ ὀρθῶς· οὐδὲν γὰρ ἔδει σφέας Λακεδαιμονίους ἐπικαλέεσθαι, εἴ περ αὐτοὶ ἦσαν ἱκανοὶ Πολυκράτεα παραστήσασθαι. πρὸς δὲ τούτοισι οὐδὲ λόγος αἱρέει, τῷ ἐπίκουροί τε μισθωτοὶ καὶ τοξόται οἰκήιοι ἦσαν πλήθεϊ πολλοί, τοῦτον ὑπὸ τῶν κατιόντων Σαμίων ἐόντων ὀλίγων ἑσσωθῆναι. [4] τῶν δ᾽ ὑπ᾽ ἑωυτῷ ἐόντων πολιητέων τὰ τέκνα καὶ τὰς γυναῖκας ὁ Πολυκράτης ἐς τοὺς νεωσοίκους συνειλήσας εἶχε ἑτοίμους, ἢν ἄρα προδιδῶσι οὗτοι πρὸς τοὺς κατιόντας, ὑποπρῆσαι αὐτοῖσι τοῖσι νεωσοίκοισι. 

46. When those of the Samians who had been driven out by Polycrates reached Sparta, they were introduced before the magistrates and spoke at length, being urgent in their request. The magistrates however at the first introduction replied that they had forgotten the things which had been spoken at the beginning, and did not understand those which were spoken at the end. After this they were introduced a second time, and bringing with them a bag they said nothing else but this, namely that the bag was in want of meal; to which the others replied that they had overdone it with the bag. However, they resolved to help them. 46. [1] ἐπείτε δὲ οἱ ἐξελασθέντες Σαμίων ὑπὸ Πολυκράτεος ἀπίκοντο ἐς τὴν Σπάρτην, καταστάντες ἐπὶ τοὺς ἄρχοντας ἔλεγον πολλὰ οἷα κάρτα δεόμενοι· οἳ δέ σφι τῇ πρώτῃ καταστάσι ὑπεκρίναντο τὰ μὲν πρῶτα λεχθέντα ἐπιλελῆσθαι, τὰ δὲ ὕστατα οὐ συνιέναι. [2] μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα δεύτερα καταστάντες ἄλλο μὲν εἶπον οὐδέν, θύλακον δὲ φέροντες ἔφασαν τὸν θύλακον ἀλφίτων δέεσθαι. οἳ δέ σφι ὑπεκρίναντο τῷ θυλάκῳ περιεργάσθαι· βοηθέειν δ᾽ ὦν ἔδοξε αὐτοῖσι. 

47. Then the Lacedemonians prepared a force and made expedition to Samos, in repayment of former services, as the Samians say, because the Samians had first helped them with ships against the Messenians; but the Lacedemonians say that they made the expedition not so much from desire to help the Samians at their request, as to take vengeance on their own behalf for the robbery of the mixing-bowl which they had been bearing as a gift to Crœsus, and of the corslet which Amasis the king of Egypt had sent as a gift to them; for the Samians had carried off the corslet also in the year before they took the bowl; and it was of linen with many figures woven into it and embroidered with gold and with cotton; and each thread of this corslet is worthy of admiration, for that being itself fine it has in it three hundred and sixty fibres, all plain to view. Such another as this moreover is that which Amasis dedicated as an offering to Athene at Lindos.

47. [1] καὶ ἔπειτα παρασκευασάμενοι ἐστρατεύοντο Λακεδαιμόνιοι ἐπὶ Σάμον, ὡς μὲν Σάμιοι λέγουσι, εὐεργεσίας ἐκτίνοντες, ὅτι σφι πρότεροι αὐτοὶ νηυσὶ ἐβοήθησαν ἐπὶ Μεσσηνίους· ὡς δὲ Λακεδαιμόνιοι λέγουσι, οὐκ οὕτω τιμωρῆσαι δεομένοισι Σαμίοισι ἐστρατεύοντο ὡς τίσασθαι βουλόμενοι τοῦ κρητῆρος τῆς ἁρπαγῆς, τὸν ἦγον Κροίσῳ, καὶ τοῦ θώρηκος, τὸν αὐτοῖσι Ἄμασις ὁ Αἰγύπτου βασιλεὺς ἔπεμψε δῶρον. [2] καὶ γὰρ θώρηκα ἐληίσαντο τῷ προτέρῳ ἔτεϊ ἢ τὸν κρητῆρα οἱ Σάμιοι, ἐόντα μὲν λίνεον καὶ ζῴων ἐνυφασμένων συχνῶν, κεκοσμημένον δὲ χρυσῷ καὶ εἰρίοισι ἀπὸ ξύλου· [3] τῶν δὲ εἵνεκα θωμάσαι ἄξιον, ἁρπεδόνη ἑκάστη τοῦ θώρηκος ποιέει· ἐοῦσα γὰρ λεπτὴ ἔχει ἁρπεδόνας ἐν ἑωυτῇ τριηκοσίας καὶ ἑξήκοντα, πάσας φανεράς. τοιοῦτος ἕτερος ἐστὶ καὶ τὸν ἐν Λίνδῳ ἀνέθηκε τῇ Ἀθηναίῃ Ἄμασις. 

48. The Corinthians also took part with zeal in this expedition against Samos, that it might be carried out; for there had been an offence perpetrated against them also by the Samians a generation before the time of this expedition and about the same time as the robbery of the bowl. Periander the son of Kypselos had despatched three hundred sons of the chief men of Corcyra to Alyattes at Sardis to be made eunuchs; and when the Corinthians who were conducting the boys had put in to Samos, the Samians, being informed of the story and for what purpose they were being conducted to Sardis, first instructed the boys to lay hold of the temple of Artemis, and then they refused to permit the Corinthians to drag the suppliants away from the temple: and as the Corinthians cut the boys off from supplies of food, the Samians made a festival, which they celebrate even to the present time in the same manner: for when night came on, as long as the boys were suppliants they arranged dances of maidens and youths, and in arranging the dances they made it a rule of the festival that sweet cakes of sesame and honey should be carried, in order that the Corcyrean boys might snatch them and so have support; and this went on so long that at last the Corinthians who had charge of the boys departed and went away; and as for the boys, the Samians carried them back to Corcyra. 48. [1] συνεπελάβοντο δὲ τοῦ στρατεύματος τοῦ ἐπὶ Σάμον ὥστε γενέσθαι καὶ Κορίνθιοι προθύμως· ὕβρισμα γὰρ καὶ ἐς τούτους εἶχε ἐκ τῶν Σαμίων γενόμενον γενεῇ πρότερον τοῦ στρατεύματος τούτου, κατὰ δὲ τὸν αὐτὸν χρόνον τοῦ κρητῆρος τῇ ἁρπαγῇ γεγονός. [2] Κερκυραίων γὰρ παῖδας τριηκοσίους ἀνδρῶν τῶν πρώτων Περίανδρος ὁ Κυψέλου ἐς Σάρδις ἀπέπεμψε παρὰ Ἀλυάττεα ἐπ᾽ ἐκτομῇ· προσσχόντων δὲ ἐς τὴν Σάμον τῶν ἀγόντων τοὺς παῖδας Κορινθίων, πυθόμενοι οἱ Σάμιοι τὸν λόγον, ἐπ᾽ οἷσι ἀγοίατο ἐς Σάρδις, πρῶτα μὲν τοὺς παῖδας ἐδίδαξαν ἱροῦ ἅψασθαι Ἀρτέμιδος· [3] μετὰ δὲ οὐ περιορῶντες ἀπέλκειν τοὺς ἱκέτας ἐκ τοῦ ἱροῦ, σιτίων δὲ τοὺς παῖδας ἐργόντων Κορινθίων, ἐποιήσαντο οἱ Σάμιοι ὁρτήν, τῇ καὶ νῦν ἔτι χρέωνται κατὰ ταὐτά. νυκτὸς γὰρ ἐπιγενομένης, ὅσον χρόνον ἱκέτευον οἱ παῖδες, ἵστασαν χοροὺς παρθένων τε καὶ ἠιθέων, ἱστάντες δὲ τοὺς χοροὺς τρωκτὰ σησάμου τε καὶ μέλιτος ἐποιήσαντο νόμον φέρεσθαι, ἵνα ἁρπάζοντες οἱ τῶν Κερκυραίων παῖδες ἔχοιεν τροφήν. [4] ἐς τοῦτο δὲ τόδε ἐγίνετο, ἐς ὃ οἱ Κορίνθιοι τῶν παίδων οἱ φύλακοι οἴχοντο ἀπολιπόντες· τοὺς δὲ παῖδας ἀπήγαγον ἐς Κέρκυραν οἱ Σάμιοι. 

49. Now, if after the death of Periander the Corinthians had been on friendly terms with the Corcyreans, they would not have joined in the expedition against Samos for the cause which has been mentioned; but as it is, they have been ever at variance with one another since they first colonised the island. This then was the cause why the Corinthians had a grudge against the Samians.

49. [1] εἰ μέν νυν Περιάνδρου τελευτήσαντος τοῖσι Κορινθίοισι φίλα ἦν πρὸς τοὺς Κερκυραίους, οἳ δὲ οὐκ ἂν συνελάβοντο τοῦ στρατεύματος τοῦ ἐπὶ Σάμον ταύτης εἵνεκεν τῆς αἰτίης. νῦν δὲ αἰεὶ ἐπείτε ἔκτισαν τὴν νῆσον εἰσὶ ἀλλήλοισι διάφοροι, ἐόντες ἑωυτοῖσι ... [2] τούτων ὦν εἵνεκεν ἀπεμνησικάκεον τοῖσι Σαμίοισι οἱ Κορίνθιοι. ἀπέπεμπε δὲ ἐς Σάρδις ἐπ᾽ ἐκτομῇ Περίανδρος τῶν πρώτων Κερκυραίων ἐπιλέξας τοὺς παῖδας τιμωρεύμενος· πρότεροι γὰρ οἱ Κερκυραῖοι ἦρξαν ἐς αὐτὸν πρῆγμα ἀτάσθαλον ποιήσαντες.

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