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

Herodotus Book 9: Calliope [110]

110. And Amestris was informed that she had it; and having learnt that which was being done, she was not angry with the woman, but supposing that her mother was the cause and that she was bringing this about, she planned destruction for the wife of Masistes. She waited then until her husband Xerxes had a royal feast set before him:--this feast is served up once in the year on the day on which the king was born, and the name of this feast is in Persian tycta, which in the tongue of the Hellenes means "complete"; also on this occasion alone the king washes his head, and he makes gifts then to the Persians:--Amestris, I say, waited for this day and then asked of Xerxes that the wife of Masistes might be given to her. And he considered it a strange and untoward thing to deliver over to her his brother's wife, especially since she was innocent of this matter; for he understood why she was making the request. 110. [1] καὶ ἡ Ἄμηστρις πυνθάνεταί μιν ἔχουσαν· μαθοῦσα δὲ τὸ ποιεύμενον τῇ μὲν γυναικὶ ταύτῃ οὐκ εἶχε ἔγκοτον, ἣ δὲ ἐλπίζουσα τὴν μητέρα αὐτῆς εἶναι αἰτίην καὶ ταῦτα ἐκείνην πρήσσειν, τῇ Μασίστεω γυναικὶ ἐβούλευε ὄλεθρον. [2] φυλάξασα δὲ τὸν ἄνδρα τὸν ἑωυτῆς Ξέρξην βασιλήιον δεῖπνον προτιθέμενον· τοῦτο δὲ τὸ δεῖπνον παρασκευάζεται ἅπαξ τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ ἡμέρῃ τῇ ἐγένετο βασιλεύς. οὔνομα δὲ τῷ δείπνῳ τούτῳ Περσιστὶ μὲν τυκτά, κατὰ δὲ τὴν Ἑλλήνων γλῶσσαν τέλειον· τότε καὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν σμᾶται μοῦνον βασιλεὺς καὶ Πέρσας δωρέεται· ταύτην δὴ τὴν ἡμέρην φυλάξασα ἡ Ἄμηστρις χρηίζει τοῦ Ξέρξεω δοθῆναί οἱ τὴν Μασίστεω γυναῖκα. [3] ὁ δὲ δεινόν τε καὶ ἀνάρσιον ἐποιέετο τοῦτο μὲν ἀδελφεοῦ γυναῖκα παραδοῦναι, τοῦτο δὲ ἀναιτίην ἐοῦσαν τοῦ πρήγματος τούτου· συνῆκε γὰρ τοῦ εἵνεκεν ἐδέετο.

111. At last however as she continued to entreat urgently and he was compelled by the rule, namely that it is impossible among them that he who makes request when a royal feast is laid before the king should fail to obtain it, at last very much against his will consented; and in delivering her up he bade Amestris do as she desired, and meanwhile he sent for his brother and said these words: "Masistes, thou art the son of Dareios and my brother, and moreover in addition to this thou art a man of worth. I say to thee, live no longer with this wife with whom thou now livest, but I give thee instead of her my daughter; with her live as thy wife, but the wife whom thou now hast, do not keep; for it does not seem good to me that thou shouldest keep her." Masistes then, marvelling at that which was spoken, said these words: "Master, how unprofitable a speech is this which thou utterest to me, in that thou biddest me send away a wife by whom I have sons who are grown up to be young men, and daughters one of whom even thou thyself didst take as a wife for thy son, and who is herself, as it chances, very much to my mind,--that thou biddest me, I say, send away her and take to wife thy daughter! I, O king, think it a very great matter that I am judged worthy of thy daughter, but nevertheless I will do neither of these things: and do not thou urge me by force to do such a thing as this: but for thy daughter another husband will be found not in any wise inferior to me, and let me, I pray thee, live still with my own wife." He returned answer in some such words as these; and Xerxes being stirred with anger said as follows: "This then, Masistes, is thy case,--I will not give thee my daughter for thy wife, nor yet shalt thou live any longer with that one, in order that thou mayest learn to accept that which is offered thee." He then when he heard this went out, having first said these words: "Master, thou hast not surely brought ruin upon me?" 111. [1] τέλος μέντοι ἐκείνης τε λιπαρεούσης καὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου ἐξεργόμενος, ὅτι ἀτυχῆσαι τὸν χρηίζοντα οὔ σφι δυνατόν ἐστι βασιληίου δείπνου προκειμένου, κάρτα δὴ ἀέκων κατανεύει, καὶ παραδοὺς ποιέει ὧδε· τὴν μὲν κελεύει ποιέειν τὰ βούλεται, ὁ δὲ μεταπεμψάμενος τὸν ἀδελφεὸν λέγει τάδε. [2] «Μασίστα, σὺ εἶς Δαρείου τε παῖς καὶ ἐμὸς ἀδελφεός, πρὸς δ᾽ ἔτι τούτοισι καὶ εἶς ἀνὴρ ἀγαθός· γυναικὶ δὴ ταύτῃ τῇ νῦν συνοικέεις μὴ συνοίκεε, ἀλλά τοι ἀντ᾽ αὐτῆς ἐγὼ δίδωμι θυγατέρα τὴν ἐμήν. ταύτῃ συνοίκεε· τὴν δὲ νῦν ἔχεις, οὐ γὰρ δοκέει ἐμοί, μὴ ἔχε γυναῖκα.» [3] ὁ δὲ Μασίστης ἀποθωμάσας τὰ λεγόμενα λέγει τάδε. «ὦ δέσποτα, τίνα μοι λόγον λέγεις ἄχρηστον, κελεύων με γυναῖκα, ἐκ τῆς μοι παῖδές τε νεηνίαι εἰσὶ καὶ θυγατέρες, τῶν καὶ σὺ μίαν τῷ παιδὶ τῷ σεωυτοῦ ἠγάγεο γυναῖκα, αὐτή τέ μοι κατὰ νόον τυγχάνει κάρτα ἐοῦσα· ταύτην με κελεύεις μετέντα θυγατέρα τὴν σὴν γῆμαι; [4] ἐγὼ δὲ βασιλεῦ μεγάλα μὲν ποιεῦμαι ἀξιεύμενος θυγατρὸς τῆς σῆς, ποιήσω μέντοι τούτων οὐδέτερα. σὺ δὲ μηδαμῶς βιῶ πρήγματος τοιοῦδε δεόμενος· ἀλλὰ τῇ τε σῇ θυγατρὶ ἀνὴρ ἄλλος φανήσεται ἐμεῦ οὐδὲν ἥσσων, ἐμέ τε ἔα γυναικὶ τῇ ἐμῇ συνοικέειν.» [5] ὃ μὲν δὴ τοιούτοισι ἀμείβεται, Ξέρξης δὲ θυμωθεὶς λέγει τάδε. «οὕτω τοι, Μασίστα, πέπρηκται· οὔτε γὰρ ἄν τοι δοίην θυγατέρα τὴν ἐμὴν γῆμαι, οὔτε ἐκείνῃ πλεῦνα χρόνον συνοικήσεις, ὡς μάθῃς τὰ διδόμενα δέκεσθαι.» ὁ δὲ ὡς ταῦτα ἤκουσε, εἴπας τοσόνδε ἐχώρεε ἔξω «δέσποτα, οὐ δὴ κώ με ἀπώλεσας.»

112. During this interval of time, while Xerxes was conversing with his brother, Amestris had sent the spearmen of Xerxes to bring the wife of Masistes, and she was doing to her shameful outrage; for she cut away her breasts and threw them to dogs, and she cut off her nose and ears and lips and tongue, and sent her back home thus outraged. 112. [1] ἐν δὲ τούτῳ διὰ μέσου χρόνῳ, ἐν τῷ Ξέρξης τῷ ἀδελφεῷ διελέγετο, ἡ Ἄμηστρις μεταπεμψαμένη τοὺς δορυφόρους τοῦ Ξέρξεω διαλυμαίνεται τὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ Μασίστεω· τούς τε μαζοὺς ἀποταμοῦσα κυσὶ προέβαλε καὶ ῥῖνα καὶ ὦτα καὶ χείλεα καὶ γλῶσσαν ἐκταμοῦσα ἐς οἶκόν μιν ἀποπέμπει διαλελυμασμένην.

113. Then Masistes, not yet having heard any of these things, but supposing that some evil had fallen upon him, came running to his house; and seeing his wife thus mutilated, forthwith upon this he took counsel with his sons and set forth to go to Bactria together with his sons and doubtless some others also, meaning to make the province of Bactria revolt and to do the greatest possible injury to the king: and this in fact would have come to pass, as I imagine, if he had got up to the land of the Bactrians and Sacans before he was overtaken, for they were much attached to him, and also he was the governor of the Bactrians: but Xerxes being informed that he was doing this, sent after him an army as he was on his way, and slew both him and his sons and his army. So far of that which happened about the passion of Xerxes and the death of Masistes.

113. [1] ὁ δὲ Μασίστης οὐδέν κω ἀκηκοὼς τούτων, ἐλπόμενος δέ τί οἱ κακὸν εἶναι, ἐσπίπτει δρόμῳ ἐς τὰ οἰκία. ἰδὼν δὲ διεφθαρμένην τὴν γυναῖκα, αὐτίκα μετὰ ταῦτα συμβουλευσάμενος τοῖσι παισὶ ἐπορεύετο ἐς Βάκτρα σύν τε τοῖσι ἑωυτοῦ υἱοῖσι καὶ δή κου τισὶ καὶ ἄλλοισι ὡς ἀποστήσων νομὸν τὸν Βάκτριον καὶ ποιήσων τὰ μέγιστα κακῶν βασιλέα· [2] τά περ ἂν καὶ ἐγένετο, ὡς ἐμοὶ δοκέειν, εἴ περ ἔφθη ἀναβὰς ἐς τοὺς Βακτρίους καὶ τοὺς Σάκας· καὶ γὰρ ἔστεργόν μιν καὶ ἦν ὕπαρχος τῶν Βακτρίων. ἀλλὰ γὰρ Ξέρξης πυθόμενος ταῦτα ἐκεῖνον πρήσσοντα, πέμψας ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸν στρατιὴν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ κατέκτεινε αὐτόν τε ἐκεῖνον καὶ τοὺς παῖδας αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν στρατιὴν τὴν ἐκείνου. κατὰ μὲν τὸν ἔρωτα τὸν Ξέρξεω καὶ τὸν Μασίστεω θάνατον τοσαῦτα ἐγένετο.

114. Now the Hellenes who had set forth from Mycale to the Hellespont first moored their ships about Lecton, being stopped from their voyage by winds; and thence they came to Abydos and found that the bridges had been broken up, which they thought to find still stretched across, and on account of which especially they had come to the Hellespont. So the Peloponnesians which Leotychides resolved to sail back to Hellas, while the Athenians and Xanthippos their commander determined to stay behind there and to make an attempt upon the Chersonese. Those then sailed away, and the Athenians passed over from Abydos to the Chersonese and began to besiege Sestos. 114. [1] οἱ δὲ ἐκ Μυκάλης ὁρμηθέντες Ἕλληνες ἐπ᾽ Ἑλλησπόντου πρῶτον μὲν περὶ Λεκτὸν ὅρμεον, ὑπὸ ἀνέμων ἀπολαμφθέντες, ἐνθεῦτεν δὲ ἀπίκοντο ἐς Ἄβυδον καὶ τὰς γεφύρας εὗρον διαλελυμένας, τὰς ἐδόκεον εὑρήσειν ἔτι ἐντεταμένας, καὶ τούτων οὐκ ἥκιστα εἵνεκεν ἐς τὸν Ἑλλήσποντον ἀπίκοντο. [2] τοῖσι μέν νυν ἀμφὶ Λευτυχίδην Πελοποννησίοις ἔδοξε ἀποπλέειν ἐς τὴν Ἑλλάδα, Ἀθηναίοισι δὲ καὶ Ξανθίππῳ τῷ στρατηγῷ αὐτοῦ ὑπομείναντας πειρᾶσθαι τῆς Χερσονήσου. οἳ μὲν δὴ ἀπέπλεον, Ἀθηναῖοι δὲ ἐκ τῆς Ἀβύδου διαβάντες ἐς τὴν Χερσόνησον Σηστὸν ἐπολιόρκεον.

115. To this town of Sestos, since it was the greatest stronghold of those in that region, men had come together from the cities which lay round it, when they heard that the Hellenes had arrived at the Hellespont, and especially there had come from the city of Cardia Oiobazos a Persian, who had brought to Sestos the ropes of the bridges. The inhabitants of the city were Aiolians, natives of the country, but there were living with them a great number of Persians and also of their allies. 115. [1] ἐς δὲ τὴν Σηστὸν ταύτην, ὡς ἐόντος ἰσχυροτάτου τείχεος τῶν ταύτῃ, συνῆλθον, ὡς ἤκουσαν παρεῖναι τοὺς Ἕλληνας ἐς τὸν Ἑλλήσποντον, ἔκ τε τῶν ἀλλέων τῶν περιοικίδων, καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐκ Καρδίης πόλιος Οἰόβαζος ἀνὴρ Πέρσης, ὃς τὰ ἐκ τῶν γεφυρέων ὅπλα ἐνθαῦτα ἦν κεκομικώς. εἶχον δὲ ταύτην ἐπιχώριοι Αἰολέες, συνῆσαν δὲ Πέρσαι τε καὶ τῶν ἄλλων συμμάχων συχνὸς ὅμιλος.

116. And of the province Artaÿctes was despot, as governor under Xerxes, a Persian, but a man of desperate and reckless character, who also had practised deception upon the king on his march against Athens, in taking away from Elaius the things belonging to Protesilaos the son of Iphiclos. For at Elaius in the Chersonese there is the tomb of Protesilaos with a sacred enclosure about it, where there were many treasures, with gold and silver cups and bronze and raiment and other offerings, which things Artaÿctes carried off as plunder, the king having granted them to him. And he deceived Xerxes by saying to him some such words as these: "Master, there is here the house of a man, a Hellene, who made an expedition against thy land and met with his deserts and was slain: this man's house I ask thee to give to me, that every one may learn not to make expeditions against thy land." By saying this it was likely that he would easily enough persuade Xerxes to give him a man's house, not suspecting what was in his mind: and when he said that Protesilaos had made expedition against the land of the king, it must be understood that the Persians consider all Asia to be theirs and to belong to their reigning king. So when the things had been given him, he brought them from Elaius to Sestos, and he sowed the sacred enclosure for crops and occupied it as his own; and he himself, whenever he came to Elaius, had commerce with women in the inner cell of the temple. And now he was being besieged by the Athenians, when he had not made any preparation for a siege nor had been expecting that the Hellenes would come; for they fell upon him, as one may say, inevitably. 116. [1] ἐτυράννευε δὲ τούτου τοῦ νομοῦ Ξέρξεω ὕπαρχος Ἀρταΰκτης, ἀνὴρ μὲν Πέρσης, δεινὸς δὲ καὶ ἀτάσθαλος, ὃς καὶ βασιλέα ἐλαύνοντα ἐπ᾽ Ἀθήνας ἐξηπάτησε, τὰ Πρωτεσίλεω τοῦ Ἰφίκλου χρήματα ἐξ Ἐλαιοῦντος ὑπελόμενος. [2] ἐν γὰρ Ἐλαιοῦντι τῆς Χερσονήσου ἐστὶ Πρωτεσίλεω τάφος τε καὶ τέμενος περὶ αὐτόν, ἔνθα ἦν χρήματα πολλὰ καὶ φιάλαι χρύσεαι καὶ ἀργύρεαι καὶ χαλκὸς καὶ ἐσθὴς καὶ ἄλλα ἀναθήματα, τὰ Ἀρταΰκτης ἐσύλησε βασιλέος δόντος. λέγων δὲ τοιάδε Ξέρξην διεβάλετο. [3] «δέσποτα, ἔστι οἶκος ἀνδρὸς Ἕλληνος ἐνθαῦτα, ὃς ἐπὶ γῆν σὴν στρατευσάμενος δίκης κυρήσας ἀπέθανε· τούτου μοι δὸς τὸν οἶκον, ἵνα καί τις μάθῃ ἐπὶ γῆν τὴν σὴν μὴ στρατεύεσθαι.» ταῦτα λέγων εὐπετέως ἔμελλε ἀναπείσειν Ξέρξην δοῦναι ἀνδρὸς οἶκον, οὐδὲν ὑποτοπηθέντα τῶν ἐκεῖνος ἐφρόνεε. ἐπὶ γῆν δὲ τὴν βασιλέος στρατεύεσθαι Πρωτεσίλεων ἔλεγε νοέων τοιάδε· τὴν Ἀσίην πᾶσαν νομίζουσι ἑωυτῶν εἶναι Πέρσαι καὶ τοῦ αἰεὶ βασιλεύοντος. ἐπεὶ δὲ ἐδόθη, τὰ χρήματα ἐξ Ἐλαιοῦντος ἐς Σηστὸν ἐξεφόρησε, καὶ τὸ τέμενος ἔσπειρε καὶ ἐνέμετο, αὐτός τε ὅκως ἀπίκοιτο ἐς Ἐλαιοῦντα ἐν τῷ ἀδύτῳ γυναιξὶ ἐμίσγετο. τότε δὲ ἐπολιορκέετο ὑπὸ Ἀθηναίων οὔτε παρεσκευασμένος ἐς πολιορκίην οὔτε προσδεκόμενος τοὺς Ἕλληνας, ἀφύκτως δέ κως αὐτῷ ἐπέπεσον.

117. When however autumn came and the siege still went on, the Athenians began to be vexed at being absent from their own land and at the same time not able to conquer the fortress, and they requested their commanders to lead them away home; but these said that they would not do so, until either they had taken the town or the public authority of the Athenians sent for them home: and so they endured their present state. 117. [1] ἐπεὶ δὲ πολιορκεομένοισί σφι φθινόπωρον ἐπεγίνετο, καὶ ἤσχαλλον οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι ἀπό τε τῆς ἑωυτῶν ἀποδημέοντες καὶ οὐ δυνάμενοι ἐξελεῖν τὸ τεῖχος, ἐδέοντό τε τῶν στρατηγῶν ὅκως ἀπάγοιεν σφέας ὀπίσω, οἳ δὲ οὐκ ἔφασαν πρὶν ἢ ἐξέλωσι ἢ τὸ Ἀθηναίων κοινόν σφεας μεταπέμψηται· οὕτω δὴ ἔστεργον τὰ παρεόντα.

118. Those however who were within the walls had now come to the greatest misery, so that they boiled down the girths of their beds and used them for food; and when they no longer had even these, then the Persians and with them Artaÿctes and Oiobazos ran away and departed in the night, climbing down by the back part of the wall, where the place was left most unguarded by the enemy; and when day came, the men of the Chersonese signified to the Athenians from the towers concerning that which had happened, and opened the gates to them. So the greater number of them went in pursuit, and the rest occupied the city. 118. [1] οἱ δὲ ἐν τῷ τείχεϊ ἐς πᾶν ἤδη κακοῦ ἀπιγμένοι ἦσαν, οὕτω ὥστε τοὺς τόνους ἕψοντες τῶν κλινέων ἐσιτέοντο. ἐπείτε δὲ οὐδὲ ταῦτα ἔτι εἶχον, οὕτω δὴ ὑπὸ νύκτα οἴχοντο ἀποδράντες οἵ τε Πέρσαι καὶ ὁ Ἀρταΰκτης καὶ ὁ Οἰόβαζος, ὄπισθε τοῦ τείχεος καταβάντες, τῇ ἦν ἐρημότατον τῶν πολεμίων. [2] ὡς δὲ ἡμέρη ἐγένετο, οἱ Χερσονησῖται ἀπὸ τῶν πύργων ἐσήμηναν τοῖσι Ἀθηναίοισι τὸ γεγονὸς καὶ τὰς πύλας ἄνοιξαν. τῶν δὲ οἱ μὲν πλεῦνες ἐδίωκον, οἳ δὲ τὴν πόλιν εἶχον.

119. Now Oiobazos, as he was escaping into Thrace, was caught by the Apsinthian Thracians and sacrificed to their native god Pleistoros with their rites, and the rest who were with him they slaughtered in another manner: but Artaÿctes with his companions, who started on their flight later and were overtaken at a little distance above Aigospotamoi, defended themselves for a considerable time and were some of them killed and others taken alive: and the Hellenes had bound these and were bringing them to Sestos, and among them Artaÿctes also in bonds together with his son. 119. [1] Οἰόβαζον μέν νυν ἐκφεύγοντα ἐς τὴν Θρηίκην Θρήικες Ἀψίνθιοι λαβόντες ἔθυσαν Πλειστώρῳ ἐπιχωρίῳ θεῷ τρόπῳ τῷ σφετέρῳ, τοὺς δὲ μετ᾽ ἐκείνου ἄλλῳ τρόπῳ ἐφόνευσαν. [2] οἱ δὲ ἀμφὶ τὸν Ἀρταΰκτην ὕστεροι ὁρμηθέντες φεύγειν, καὶ ὡς κατελαμβάνοντο ὀλίγον ἐόντες ὑπὲρ Αἰγὸς ποταμῶν, ἀλεξόμενοι χρόνον ἐπὶ συχνὸν οἳ μὲν ἀπέθανον οἳ δὲ ζῶντες ἐλάμφθησαν. καὶ συνδήσαντες σφέας οἱ Ἕλληνες ἦγον ἐς Σηστόν, μετ᾽ αὐτῶν δὲ καὶ Ἀρταΰκτην δεδεμένον αὐτόν τε καὶ τὸν παῖδα αὐτοῦ.

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