Stories of the East from Herodotus

Material Information

Stories of the East from Herodotus
Church, Alfred John, 1829-1912
Herodotus ( Author )
Seeley Jackson & Halliday ( Publisher )
Unwin Brothers (Firm) ( Printer )
Gresham Press ( Printer )
M.&N. Hanhart Chromo Lith ( Lithographer )
Place of Publication:
Seeley, Jackson & Halliday
Unwin Brothers ; Gresham Press
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
xii, 299 p., [16] leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 19 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
History, Ancient -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Kings and rulers -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
War -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Death -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Birds -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Hunting -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1881
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
England -- Chilworth
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


General Note:
Frontispiece and other illustrations chromolithographed by Hanhart.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Alfred J. Church ; with illustrations from ancient frescoes and sculptures.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026640737 ( ALEPH )
ALG4483 ( NOTIS )
08381578 ( OCLC )

Full Text







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ORACLES ... ... ... ... 20


OF SARDIS IS TAKEN ... ... ... 33



THAT DWELT IN ASIA ... ... ... 47


CYRUS ... ... ... ... 66





GETIE, AND DIETH ... .. 104










XV. THE KINGDOM OF DARIUS ... ... ... 236


AND IS TAKEN ... .. ... 246


SCYTHIANS ... ... ... ... ... 256




DARIUS ... ... ... ... ... ... Frontispiece.




INSPECTION OF CATTLE ... ... .. .. I 8

PURSUING BIRDS .. ... ...... ... ... 126

A FLOCK OF GEESE ... ... .. ... ... 132

OSIRIS ... ... ...... ... ... .. 134

A VICTORY ...... .. ......... 136

AN EGYPTIAN FEAST ... ... .. ... ... 154




A PERSIAN KING ... .. ... ...... ... 194

A LION HUNT ... ... ... ... ..... 240

BESIEGING A CITY ... ... ... ... ... 248











IN these stories I have kept as close to my
original as I could, but I do not profess to have
translated it. Of course, nothing like criticism.
or correction has been attempted.
I should be sorry that readers who are not
acquainted with the work of the Father of
History should carry away from this book the
impression that he is nothing more than a
credulous and gossiping teller of stories. That
he was often deceived, and that he writes with
a simplicity which is quite remote from our
ways of thinking, is manifest; but those who
know him best are aware that he was never-
theless a shrewd and painstaking observer,


whose credit has been distinctly increased by
the discoveries of modern times.
I wish to express my sincere gratitude to my
relative, Miss E. L. Seeley, for the pains which
she has bestowed on the illustrations to this

September 30, 1880.





CRCESUs, the son of Alyattes, began to reign
over Lydia, being thirty and five years old.
This Crcesus made war upon all the Greeks
that dwelt in the western parts of Asia, seeking
some occasion of quarrel with every city. And
if he could find some great matter, he used it
gladly; but if not, a little thing would serve his
turn. Now, the first of all the cities which he
fought against was Ephesus; and when the
Ephesians were besieged by him they offered
their city as an offering to the goddess Artemis,
fastening a rope to the wall from her temple.
(The space between the temple and the wall


was seven furlongs.) All the cities of the
Greeks that are on the mainland did Croesus
subdue, so that they paid tribute to him. And
when he had ended this business, he purposed
in his heart to build ships, and to make war on
the Greeks that dwelt in the islands. But
when all things were now ready for the build-
ing of the ships, there 'came to Sardis a certain
Greek, a man renowned for wisdom. Some
say that this Greek was Bias, the wise man
of Priene, and some that he was Pittacus of
Mitylene. This Greek caused Croesus to cease
from his shipbuilding, for when the King would
know whether he had any news from Greece,
he said to him, O King, the islanders are
buying ten thousand horses, that they may set
riders upon them, and so march against thee
and thy city of Sardis." When Crcesus heard
this he was glad, hoping that the man spake
truth, and said, Now may the Gods put this
into the hearts of the islanders, that they
should make war with horses against the sons
of the Lydians." Then the Greek answered
and said, O King, I see that thou prayest
with all thy heart that thou mayest find the


islanders coming against thee here on the main-
land with horses, and verily thou doest well.
What then dost thou think that the islanders
pray for now that they know thee to be build-
ing ships ? Surely that they may find the
Lydians coming against them on the sea, that
so they may take vengeance on thee for their
brethren on the mainland, whom thou hast
brought into slavery." This saying pleased
King Crcesus mightily; and because the Greek
seemed to him to speak truly, he ceased
straightway from his shipbuilding, and made
alliance with the Greeks that dwelt in the
Now after certain years, when all Asia that
lieth to the westward of the river Halys had
been subdued by Croesus (only Lydia and Cilicia
were not subdued), and his kingdom flourished
with great wealth and honour, there came to
Sardis all the wise men of the Greeks, as many
as there were in those days. But the greatest
of all that came was Solon of Athens. This
Solon had made laws for the Athenians, for
they would have him make them, and after-
wards he dwelt abroad for ten years. And he


said that he did this that he might see foreign
countries; but in truth he departed that he
might not be compelled to change any of the
laws that he had made. For the Athenians
themselves could not change any, having bound
themselves with great oaths to Solon, that they
would live for the space of ten years under the
laws which he had made for them.
Solon therefore came to Sardis, and Crcesus
entertained him in his palace. And on the
third or fourth day after his coming the King
-commanded his servants that they should show
Solon all the royal treasures. So the servants
:showed him all the things that the King
possessed, a very great store of riches. And
when he had seen everything and considered
it, and a fitting time was come, the King said
to him, "Man of Athens, I have heard much
of thee in time past, of thy wisdom and of thy
journeyings to and fro, for they say that thou
wanderest over many lands, seeking for know-
ledge. I have therefore a desire to ask of
thee one question: Whom thinkest thou to be
the happiest of all the men that thou hast
seen ?'" And this he said hoping that Solon


would answer, "Thou, O King, art the happi-
est man that I have seen." But Solon flattered
him not a whit, but spake the truth, saying, O
King, the happiest man that I have seen was
Tellus the Athenian." Then Croesus, mar-
velling much at these words, said, "And why
thinkest thou that Tellus the Athenian was the
happiest of men?" Then Solon answered,
"Tellus saw his country in great prosperity,
and he had children born to him that were fair
and noble, and to each of these also he saw
children born, of whom there died not one.
Thus did all things prosper with him in life, as
we count prosperity, and the end of his days also
was great and glorious; for when the Athe-
nians fought with certain neighbours of theirs in
Eleusis, he came to the help of his countrymen
against their enemies, and put these to flight,
and so died with great honour; and the whole
people of the Athenians buried him in the
same place wherein he fell, and honoured him
But when Solpn had ended speaking to the
King of Tellus, how happy he was, the King
asked him again, Whom, then, hast thou seen


that was next in happiness to this Tellus? For
he thought to himself, Surely now he will give
me the second place." Then Solon said, "I judge
Cleobis and Biton to have been second in
happiness to Tellus."
Cleobis and Biton were youths of the city of
Argos. They had a livelihood such as sufficed
them; and their strength was greater than that
of other men. For not only did they win prizes
of strength, but also they did this thing that
shall now be told. The men of Argos held a
feast to Here, who hath a great and famous
temple in their city; and it must needs be that
the mother of the two young men, being
priestess of Here, should be drawn in a
waggon from the city to the temple; but the
oxen that should have drawn the waggon were
not yet come from the fields. Then, as the time
pressed and the matter was urgent, the young
men harnessed themselves to the waggon and
dragged it, and their mother the priestess sat
upon it. And the space for which they dragged
it was forty and five furlongs; and so they came
to the temple. And when they had done this
in the eyes of all the assembly, there befell


them such a death that nothing could be more
to be desired; the Gods, indeed, making it
manifest that it is far better for a man to die
than to live. For indeed the thing fell out thus.
When all the people of Argos came about the
woman and her sons, and the men praised the
youths for their great strength, and the women
praised the mother that she had borne such
noble sons, the mother in the joy of her heart
stood before the image and prayed that the
goddess would give to her sons, even Cleobis
and Biton, that which the Gods judge it best
for a man to have. And when the priestess
had so prayed, and the young men had offered
sacrifice, and made merry with their companions,
they lay down to sleep in the temple, and woke
not again, but so ended their days. And the
men of Argos commanded the artificers that
they should make statues of the young men,
and these they offered to the god at Delphi.
But when Solon thus gave the second placc
of happiness to these young men, King Crcesus
was very wroth, and said, Man of Athens,
thou contest my happiness as nothing worth,
not deeming me fit to be compared even with


common men." Then Solon made answer, 0
Crcesus, thou askest me about mortal life to say
whether it be happy or no, but I know that the
Gods are jealous and apt to bring trouble upon
men. I know also that if a man's years be
prolonged he shall see many things that he
would fain not see, aye, and suffer many things
also. Now I reckon that the years of a man's
life are threescore and ten, and that in these
years there are twenty and five thousand days
and two hundred. For this is the number, if a
man reckon not the intercalated month. But if
he reckon this, seeing that in threescore and
ten years are thirty and five such months, and
the days of these months are one thousand
and fifty, then the whole sum of the days
of a man's life is twenty and six thousand two
hundred and fifty. Now of these days, being
so many, not one bringeth to a man things like
to those which another hath brought. Where-
fore, O King, the whole life of man is full of
chance. I see indeed that thou hast exceeding
great wealth and art king of many men. But
as to that which thou askest of me, I call thee
not happy, till I shall know that thou hast


ended thy days prosperously. For the man
that hath exceeding great riches is in no wise
happier than he that hath sufficient only for the
day, unless good fortune also remain with him,
and give him all things that are to be desired,
even unto the end of his days. For many men
that are wealthy beyond measure are never-
theless unhappy, and many that have neither
poverty nor riches have yet great happiness, and
he that is exceeding rich and unhappy withal,
excelleth him that hath moderate possessions
with happiness in two things only, but the other
excelleth in many things. For the first hath
the more strength to satisfy the desires of his
soul, and also to bear up against any mis-
fortune that cometh upon him; but the second
hath not this strength; and indeed he needeth
it not, for his good fortune keepeth such things
far from him. Also he is whole in body, and
of good health, neither doth misfortune trouble
him, and he hath good children, and is fair to
look upon. And if, over and above these
things, he also end his life well, then I judge
him to be the happy man whom thou seekest.
But till he die, so long do I hold my judgment,


and call him not happy indeed, but fortunate.
It is impossible also that any man should com-
prehend in his life all things that be good.
For even as a country sufficeth not for itself
nor produceth all things, but hath certain things
of its own and receiveth certain from others,
and as that country which produceth the most
is counted the best, even so is it with men, for
no man's body sufficeth for all things, but hath
one thing and lacketh another. Whosoever, O
King, keepeth ever the greatest store of things,
and so endeth his life in a seemly fashion,
this man deserveth in my judgment to be called
happy. But we must needs regard the end of
all things, how they shall turn out; for the Gods
give to many men some earnest of happiness,
but yet in the end overthrow them utterly."
These were the words of Solon. But they
pleased not King Crcesus by any means. There-
fore the King made no account of him, and dis-
missed him as being a foolish and ignorant
person, seeing that he took no heed of the
blessings that men have in their hands, bid-
ding them always have regard unto their end.
Now it came to pass after Solon had departed


from Sardis that there came great wrath from
the Gods upon King Croesus, and this, doubt-
less, because he judged himself to be the
happiest of all men. And it happened in this
wise. He saw a vision in his sleep, that told
him of the trouble that should come upon him
with respect to his son. For the King had
two sons; but the one was afflicted of the
Gods, being dumb from his birth, but the other
far surpassed his equals of age in all things.
And the name of this son was Atys. Now the
vision that he saw in his sleep showed him that
Atys should be smitten with a spear-point of
iron, and so die. Therefore when he woke
from his sleep and considered the matter, being
much terrified by the dream, he sought how he
might best keep his son from this peril. First,
then, he married him to a wife; and next, he
suffered him not to go forth any more to battle,
though he had been wont aforetirne to be the
captain of the host; and, besides all this, he
took away all javelins and spears, and such
like things that men are wont to use in battle,
from the chambers of the men, and stored them
elsewhere, lest perchance one of them should


fall from its place where it hung upon the wall
and give the youth a hurt.
Now it chanced that while the matter of the
young man's marriage was in hand, there came
to Sardis a certain stranger, upon whom there
had come the great trouble of blood-guiltiness.
The man was a Phrygian by birth, and of the
royal house: and he came into the palace of
Croesus, after the custom of that country, and
sought for one that should cleanse him from.
his guilt; and Crcesus cleansed him. (Now
the manner of cleansing is the same, for the
most part, among the Lydians as it is among
the Greeks.) And when the King had done
for him according to all that was prescribed in
the law, he would fain know who he was, and
whence he had come. Wherefore, he asked
him, saying, My friend, who art thou ? and
from what city of Phrygia-for that thou art a
Phrygian I know-art thou come, taking sanc-
tuary at my hearth ? And what man or woman
didst thou slay ?" And the man answered,
"O King, I am the son of Gordias, the son of
Midas, and my name is Adrastus, and I slew
my own brother, not wittingly. For this cause


am I come to thee, for my father drave me out
from my home, and I am utterly bereft of
all things." To this King Crcesus made reply,
" Thou art the son of friends, and to a friend
art thou come. Verily as long as thou abidest
here thou shalt lack for nothing that I can give
thee. And as for thy trouble, it will be best
for thee to bear it as easily as may be." So
the man lived thenceforth in the King's palace.
Now about this time there was a mighty
wild boar in Olympus, that is a mountain of
Mysia. It had its den in the mountain, and
going out thence did much damage to the
possessions of the Mysians; and the Mysians
had often sought to slay him, but harmed him
not at all, but rather received harm themselves.
At the last they sent messengers to the King;
who stood before him, and said, "0 King,
a mighty monster of a wild boar hath his
abode in our country and destroyeth our
possessions, and though we would fain kill
him we cannot. ,Now therefore we pray thee
that thou wilt send thy son, and chosen youths
with him, and dogs for hunting, that they may
go with us, and that we may drive this great


beast out of our land." But when they made
this request Croesus remembered the dream
which he had dreamed, and said, "As to my
son, talk no more about him, for I will by no
means let him go, seeing that the youth is
newly married to a wife, and careth now for
other things. But chosen youths of the Lydians
shall go. with you, and all the hunting dogs
that I have; and I will bid them do their
utmost to help you, that ye may drive this
wild beast out of your land." This was the
King's answer; and the Mysians were fain to
be content with it. But in the meanwhile the
youth came in, for he had heard what the
Mysians demanded of his father; and he spake
to the King, saying, O my father, I was wont
aforetime to win for myself great credit and
honour going forth to battle and to hunting.
But now thou forbiddest me both the one and
the other, not having seen any cowardice in
me or lack of spirit. Tell me, my father, what
countenance can I show to my fellows when I
go to the market, or when I come from thence ?
What manner of man do I seem to be to my
countrymen ? and what manner of man to


the wife that I have newly married ? What
thinketh she of her husband ? Let me there-
fore go to this hunting, or, if not, prove to
me that it is better for me to live as I am
living this day." To this Croesus made an-
swer, "My son, I have seen no cowardice or
baseness or any such thing in thee; but there
appeared to me a vision in my sleep, and it
stood over me and said that thy days should
be few, for that thou shouldest die being smitten
by a spear-point of iron. For this reason I made
this marriage for thee, and send thee not forth
on such occasions as I was wont to send thee on,
keeping thee under guard, if so be that I may
shield thee from thy fate at the least so long
as I shall live. For thou art now my only son,
for of him whom the Gods have afflicted, making
him dumb, I take no count." To this the
young man made answer, "Thou hast good
reason, my father, to keep guard over me, see-
ing that thou hast had such a dream concerning
me; yet I will tell thee a thing that thou hast
not understood nor comprehended in the dream.
Thou sayest that the vision told thee that I
should perish by a spear-point of iron. Con-


sider now, therefore, what hands hath a wild
boar and what spear-point of iron, that thou
shouldest fear for me ? For if indeed the
vision had said that I should perish by a tooth,
or by any other thing that is like to a tooth,
then thou mightest well do what thou doest;
but seeing that it spake of a spear-point, not so.
Now, therefore, that we have not to do battle
with men, but with beasts, I pray thee that thou
let me go." Then said King Crcesus, It is
well said, my son; as to the dream, thou hast
persuaded me. Therefore I have changed my
purpose, and suffer thee to go to this hunting."
When he had said this, he sent for Adrastus the
Phrygian; and when the man was come into his
presence, he spake, saying, "Adrastus, I took
thee when thou wast afflicted with a grievous
trouble, though indeed with this I upbraid thee
not, and I cleansed thee from thy guilt, and re-
ceived thee into my palace, and sustained thee
without any cost of thine. Now, therefore, it
is well that thou shouldest make me some
return for all these benefits. I would make
thee keeper of my son now that he goeth forth
to this hunting, if it should chance that any


robbers or such folk should be found on the
way to do him hurt. Moreover, it becometh
thee, for thine own sake, to go on an errand
from which thou mayest win renown; for thou
art of a royal house and art besides valiant and
strong." To this Adrastus made answer, "0
King, I had not indeed gone to this sport but
for thy words. For he to whom such trouble
hath come as hath come to me should not com-
pany with happy men; nor indeed hath he the
will to do it. But now, as thou art earnest in
this matter, I must needs yield to thy request.
Therefore I am ready to do as thou wilt; be
sure, therefore, that I will deliver thee thy son,
whom thou biddest me keep, safe and unhurt,
so far as his keeper may so do." So the young
men departed, and chosen youths with them, and
dogs for hunting. And when they were come
to the mountain of Olympus they searched for
the wild boar, and when they had found it, they
stood in a circle about it, and threw their
spears at it. And so it fell out that this
stranger, the same that had been cleansed from
the guilt of manslaying, whose name was Adras-
tus, throwing his spear at the wild boar and


missing his aim, smote the son of Croesus.
And the youth died of the wound, so that the
vision of the King was fulfilled, that he should
die by a spear-point. And straightway there
ran one to tell the thing to Croesus. And when
he had come to Sardis, he told the King how
they had fought with the wild boar, and how
his son had died.
Crcesus was very grievously troubled by the
death of his son; and this the more because he
had been slain by the man whom he had him-
self cleansed from the guilt of blood. And in
his great grief he cried out very vehemently
against the Gods, and specially against Zeus, the
god of cleansing, seeing that he had cleansed
this stranger, and now suffered grievous wrong
at his hands. He reproached him also as the
god of hospitality and of friendship-of hos-
pitality, because he had entertained this man,
and knew not that he was entertaining the
slayer of his own son; and of friendship,
because he had sent him to be a keeper and
friend to his son, yet had found him to be an
enemy and destroyer. And when he had
done speaking there came Lydians bearing the
dead body of the young man, and the slayer


followed behind. So soon, therefore, as the man
was come into the presence of the King, he
gave himself up, stretching forth his hands, and
bidding the King slay him on the dead body.
And he spake of the dreadful deed that he had
done before, and that now he had added to it a
worse thing, bringing destruction on him that had
cleansed him; and he cried out that he was not
fit to live. But when Croesus heard him. speak,
he pitied him, for all that he was in grievous
trouble of his own, and spake to him, I have
had from thee, O my friend, all the vengeance
that I need, seeing that thou hast pronounced
sentence of death against thyself. But indeed
thou art not the cause of this trouble, save only
that thou hast brought it to pass unwittingly;
some god is the cause, the same that long since
foretold to me this very thing that hath now
befallen me." So Crcesus buried his son with all
due rites. But Adrastus the son of Gordias
the son of Midas, that had been the slayer
of his own brother, and had now slain the son
of him that had cleansed him, waited behind
till all men had left the sepulchre, and then slew
himself upon it; for he knew that of all the
men in the world he was the most unhappy.




FOR the space of two years did King Crcesus
sit sorrowing for his son. But in the third year.
his thoughts were turned to other matters. For
he heard that the kingdom of Astyages the son
of Cyaxares had been overthrown by Cyrus
the son of Cambyses, and that the power of the
Persians increased day by day. For which
reason it seemed good to him that he should
prevent this people, if by any means he could,
before they should become too mighty for him.
And so soon as he had conceived this purpose
in his heart, he made trial of all the oracles that
are both in Europe and in Asia, sending mes-
sengers to Delphi, and to Abae that belongeth
to Phocis, and to Dodona. Also he sent to the
oracles of Amphiaratis, and of Trophonius, and
of Branchidae that is in Miletus. These are


the oracles in the land of Greece of which he
sent to enquire, and in Libya he sent to the
oracle of Hammon. First he sent to make
trial of all these whether they should be found
to know the truth about a certain thing, pur-
posing that if they should be so found he would
send to them yet again and enquire whether
he should take it in hand to make war against
the Persians. Now he had given command-
ment to the messengers whom he sent to make
trial of the oracles, that they should reckon the
days diligently from the day whereon they set
out from Sardis, and that on the hundredth
day they should enquire of the oracles, saying,
" What doth Crcesus the son of Alyattes, king
of Lydia, chance to be doing this day ?" and that
they should write down the words of the oracle
and bring them back to him. Now what
the other oracles answered no man knows;
but at Delphi, so soon as the Lydians were
come into the temple to enquire of the god,
the Pythia, for so they call the priestess that
uttereth the mind of the god, spake, saying-
"I know the nuT'nber of the sand,
I know the measures of the sea;


The dumb man's speech I understand,
Though nought he say, 'tis clear to me.
I smell a savour new and sweet;
Strange is the feast the Lydians keep;
Mingled in brazen caldron meet
The tortoise flesh and flesh of sheep;
Around the burning embers glow,
With brass above and brass below."

These words the Lydians wrote down from the
mouth of the Pythia, and so departed, and went
their way to Sardis. The other messengers also
came, bringing with them the oracles that had
been delivered to them. Then the King opened
each and read the writing; and not one of them
pleased him. But when he knew the answer
that had been brought from Delphi, forthwith
he prayed and received it with reverence, for he
judged that there was no true oracle in the world
save that of Delphi only, seeing that it had dis-
covered the very thing that he was doing. For
after that he had sent his messengers to the
oracles, when the appointed day was come, he
devised this device. He imagined something
that could not, he thought, by any means be dis-
covered; for he chopped up together the flesh
of a tortoise and the flesh of a lamb, and cooked


them himself in a brazen caldron, upon which he
had put a lid of brass. This was the answer
that came to Croesus from Delphi; but as to the
oracle of Amphiaratis, the answer that it made
to the messengers when they had duly enquired
of it no man knows, yet did Croesus think that
this also was a true oracle.
Here shall be told the story of Alcmreon of
Athens, to whom Crcesus sent bidding him
come to Sardis, for that he had helped the King's
messengers when they enquired of the god at
Delphi, furthering their business with all dili-
gence. And when Alcmaeon was come, the
King said to him that he should be permitted
to go into his treasury, and take therefrom
for himself all the gold that he could carry
on his body. Then Alcmxeon prepared himself
for this business. First he clothed himself with
a tunic, in which he made a great fold for a
pocket; and next he got him the widest and
biggest boots that he could find, and so went
into the treasury. And lighting on a heap of
dust of gold he filled his boots with it as much
as they would contain, even up to his knees;
and also the fold of his tunic he filled with gold ;


also into his hair he put so much of the dust as
it would contain. Other gold he took into his
mouth, and so made his way out of the treasury,
but scarcely could he drag his boots after him;
and indeed he seemed like to anything rather
than to a man, for his mouth was filled out and
swollen beyond all a man's semblance. And
when Croesus saw him he laughed, and gave
him all that gold and as much more. This was
the beginning of the wealth of the house of
After this King Croesus sought to propitiate
the god that was in Delphi with many and
great sacrifices. For first he sacrificed three
thousand beasts of all such as it is lawful to
offer to the Gods, and next he builded up a
great pile of couches that were covered with
gold and silver, and of cups of gold, and of
purple garments and tunics, and set fire to
the pile, for he thought that by so doing he
should make the god a friend to him. And
he gave commandment to the Lydians that
they should sacrifice in like manner every one
of them such things as they had. And when
this sacrifice was ended, he melted a great store


of gold, and made bricks of it. Of these the
bigger sort were six hand-breadths in length,
and the smaller three hand-breadths, and all of
them a hand-breadth in height. There were
one hundred and sixteen of these bricks in all,
four of them being of pure gold, and weighing
each one talent and half a talent, and the rest
of gold that was mixed with alloy ; these
weighed two talents to the brick. Also he
made the image of a lion of pure gold, ten
talents in weight. This lion, when the temple
of Delphi was burnt, fell down from the bricks
(for it had been set up on them); and now it
lieth in the treasury of the Corinthians, and
weigheth seven talents and half a talent.
When Croesus had finished casting these
bricks, he sent them to Delphi and other things
with them ; to wit, two very great mixing
bowls, of gold the one, and of silver the other.
The bowl of gold lieth now in the treasury of
the Corinthians, being in weight four talents
and half a talent and twelve ounces. And the
silver bowl lieth -in the corner of the ante-
chamber. It holdeth six hundred firkins; and
the Delphians mix wine in it at the feast of the


Showing of the Images. Also he sent four
silver casks, that stand now in the treasury of
the Corinthians, and two vessels for sprinkling
water, of gold the one and of silver the other.
On the gold bowl are written these words:
" This the Lacedaemonians offered to the god."
But these words are not true, for a certain man
of Delphi (whose name, though it be known,
shall not be mentioned in this place) engraved
them, thinking to please the Lacedaemonians.
Yet the boy, through whose hand the water
flows, is an offering of the Lacedaemonians, but
of the vessels themselves neither the one nor
the other. Other offerings of no great account
did Crcesus send to Delphi. Yet of one must
mention be made; to wit, the golden statue of
a woman three cubits in height. This the men
of Delphi affirm to be the likeness of the bread-
cutter of King Croesus. Also the King offered
to the god the necklace of his wife and her
girdles also. He sent gifts likewise to the
temple of Amphiarauis.
Now Croesus gave commandment to the
Lydians that carried these offerings for him to
Delphi and to the temple of Amphiaratis, that


they should enquire of the oracles whether or no
he should make war against the Persians, and
whether he should seek to gain for himself any
allies that should help him. So when the
Lydians that had been sent on this errand
were come, they enquired of the oracles, say-
ing, "Crcesus, king of the Lydians, and of
other nations, holding these to be the only
truth-speaking oracles that are among men,
sendeth to you gifts that are worthy of your
wisdom, and would now enquire of you whether
he shall make war against the Persians, and also
in what nations he shall seek for allies for him-
self." These are the things that the messengers
of Crcesus enquired of the oracles, and the two
agreed together in their answers; for first they
said, "If Crcesus make war against the Per-
sians, he shall bring to the ground a great
empire," and next they counselled him to find
out who of the Greeks were the most powerful
at that season, and to make them his allies.
This answer rejoiced the King exceedingly, for
he made sure that he should bring the empire
of Cyrus and the Persians to the ground.
Wherefore he sent again to Delphi, and gave


to every man two gold pieces, having first
enquired how many men there were in the city;
for which bounty the people of Delphi gave in
return to him and all other Lydians that they
should have first approach to the oracle, and
should be free of tribute, and should have the
chief seat at feasts and games. Also that any
man of Lydia might, if he so willed, be free of
the city of Delphi.
After he had bestowed this bounty on the
men of Delphi, Croesus enquired of the oracle
the third time; for now that he had assured
himself that it spake the truth, he was instant
in using of it. Therefore he enquired of it
again; and this time he would fain know
whether his kingdom should remain for many
years. To this the oracle answered these
Man of Lydia, when the mule
O'er the Medians' land shall rule,
Think of name and fame no more,
Fly by Hermus' stony shore."

And Croesus, when he heard these words, was
yet more exceedingly delighted, for he said to
himself, "Surely now a mule shall never be


king of the Medes in the place of a man.
Wherefore this kingdom shall abide to me and
my children after me for ever." After this he
enquired what city of the Greeks was the most
powerful at that season; and he found that
there were two cities excelling in strength; to
wit, Athens and Sparta, but that of these the
city of Athens was much troubled by strife
within itself, but that Sparta was prosperous
exceedingly, and had of late years subdued unto
itself the greater part of the island of Pelops,
in which island it is. For these causes he sent
messengers to Sparta with gifts, who spake
after this manner, Crcesus, king of Lydia and
of other nations, hath sent us, saying, Men of
Lacedaemon, the god, even Apollo, hath com-
manded me that I should make to myself
friends of the Greeks, whomsoever I should
find to be the strongest. Now, therefore,
seeing that I find you to be the chiefest people
in Greece, I do the bidding of the oracle, and
come to you, and would have you for my
friends and allies in all honesty and good faith."'
These words King Croesus spake by the mouth
of his messengers. And the thing pleased the


Lacedaemonians well, for they also had heard
the words of the oracle; and they made a treaty
with Crcesus, and confirmed their friendship and
alliance with an oath. And indeed there had
been certain kindnesses done to their city by
King Croesus aforetime. For they had sent
messengers to Sardis to buy gold for a certain
statue that they would make; but when they
sought to buy it, Crtesus gave it to them for a
gift. For this cause the Lacedaemonians made
alliance with Crcesus; also they were well
pleased that he had chosen them out of all the
Greeks to be his friends. So they made them-
selves ready to help him when he should call
upon them; and they prepared a mixing bowl
of brass, wrought on the outside of it with
divers figures of beasts about the brim. This
bowl held three hundred firkins; and the Lace-
daemonians thought fit to give it to Crcesus in
return for the things that he had given to
them. Now the bowl came never to Sardis;
but as to why it came not some say one thing and
some say another. The Lacedaemonians say
indeed that when the men that had charge of it
were near to the island of Samos, the Samians


came forth with ships of war, and assailed them,
and took away the bowl from them. But the
men of Samos say that they who had charge of
it, when they found that the time had passed,
Sardis being now taken by Cyrus, sold the
bowl in Samos, and that certain persons bought
it and offered it for an offering in the temple of
Here. Perchance the truth of the matter is
this, that the men sold it indeed, yet affirmed
when they were returned to Sparta that the
Samians had taken it by force. And this is the
story of the bowl.
After these things Cresus marched with a
great army into the land of Cappadocia, not
reading the oracle aright, but hoping that he
should bring to the ground the power of Cyrus
and the Persians. And while he was yet
making preparations for war there came to him
a certain man of Lydia whose name was
Sandanis. The man had been before accounted
wise, but thenceforth had such renown for
wisdom among the Lydians as had none be-
side. The man spake thus, O King, the men
against whom thou art preparing to make war
have tunics of leather, and all their other gar-


ments also are of leather, and for food they
have not what they would but what they can
get, and the country wherein they dwell is rocky
and barren. Also they use not wine, but drink
water only; nor have they figs to eat, nor in-
deed any good thing, If therefore, O King,
thou shalt conquer these men, what wilt thou
take from them, for indeed they have nothing.
But if they should prevail over thee, think
what good things thou wilt lose. For when.
they have once tasted our good things they will
hold fast by them, nor wilt thou drive them
away. As for me, I thank the Gods that they
have not put it into the hearts of the Persians
to march against the land of Lydia." For it
was so that the Persians before they conquered
the Lydians had no good things of their own.
For all that Sandanis prevailed not with King
Crcesus to turn him from his purpose.



KING CRCESUS, being steadfastly purposed to
make war with the Persians, marched into the
land of the Cappadocians, wherein is the
river Halys, being the boundary between his
kingdom and the kingdom of Cyrus. Now the
reasons that King Croesus had for making war
were these. First, he desired to enlarge the
borders of his dominion, adding thereto the
land of the Persians; and next, he had it in
his heart to avenge upon Cyrus his sister's
husband Astyages; for Cyrus had subdued
him, and taken from him his kingdom, as shall
be told hereafter. But how it came to pass that
Croesus was brother-in-law to Astyages shall be
told at this present. Certain families of the wan-
dering Scythians, being at variance with their
own people, fled into the land of the Medes, the


king of the Medes in those days being Cyax-
ares, the son of Phraortes. This Cyaxares at
the first dealt kindly with these Scythians, as
being men who were suppliants for his grace.
And indeed he made so much of them that he
put with them certain children who should learn
their language and the art of shooting with the
bow, in which they excel. Now the Scythians
were wont to go hunting every day, and failed
not to bring home venison; but after a while,
on a certain day it chanced that they brought
home nothing. And when King Cyaxares saw
them returning with empty hands he was wroth
with them, and entreated them shamefully, being
indeed a man of violent temper. Then the Scy-
thians bethought them how they might avenge
themselves for this dishonour; whereupon they
took one of the children whom they were teach-
ing, and cut him into pieces, and dressed the
flesh as they were wont to dress the venison
which they took in hunting, and gave it to the
King as if it were some wild beast which they
had slain. But so soon as they had given it
they fled to Alyattes at Sardis; and Cyaxares
and his guests eat of the meat which had been


prepared in this fashion. Now when the King
heard how the Scythians had dealt with him,
he sent to Alyattes and demanded that they
should be given over to him for punishment,
but Alyattes would not. After this there was
war between the Lydians and the Medes for five
years; and in this war the Lydians oftentimes
had the advantage, and the Medes also often-
times. But when they had fought against each
other with equal fortune for five years, it so
befell that in the sixth year, when they joined
battle for the first time, the day became dark as
the night. And this change of day into night
Thales of Miletus. had foretold, and indeed
had appointed for it the selfsame year wherein
it happened. But when the Lydians and the
Medes saw what had befallen, they were the
more eager to make peace the one with the
other; and they that brought about this agree-
ment were Syennesis of Cilicia, and Labynetus
of Babylon. These caused that the two kings
should make a treaty the one with the other,
and should confirm it with an oath. Moreover,
they made a covenant that Alyattes should give
his daughter Aryenis to the son of Cyaxares to


wife, and this son was Astyages; for they
knew that such treaties stand not firm without
there be some bond by which they that make
them are bound. As for these nations they
make oaths in the same fashion as do the
Greeks; only they add this, that they make a
cutting upon their arms, and they lick up the
blood each man from the arm of the other.
When Croesus with his army was come to the
river Halys, he was in great doubt how he
should cross it. But Thales of Miletus, who
chanced to be in the camp of the King, con-
trived a device by which it was done. For he
caused that the river, which before had flowed
on the left hand of the army, should flow upon
the right hand, And this he did by digging a
deep ditch into which the river was turned
before it came to the place where the army was
encamped; and this, being made of the shape
of a crescent, was carried in the rear of the army,
and so was brought again into the river. Thus
was the stream of the Halys divided between
the river and the ditch; and being divided it
could easily be crossed. Some stories say that
the river was wholly dried up, all the water flow-


ing into the ditch. But this is altogether in-
credible, for if the whole river had been turned
into the ditch, how could King Crcesus with his
army have crossed it when he returned from the
battle with Cyrus to Sardis ? And indeed it is
scarcely to be believed that the river was so
turned, though this story be commonly told
among the Greeks, who say that there were no
bridges over the Halys in those days, but rather
it is to be believed that there were bridges, and
that the King led his army across by them.
When Crcesus had crossed the Halys he
came to a city of Cappadocia that was called
Pterium; and this Pterium was the biggest and
strongest city of those parts, lying as near as
may be over against Sinope, which is on the
Black Sea. This city Croesus took by assault,
and sold all the dwellers therein for slaves, and
took also all the towns thereof, and removed out
of the place where they dwelt all the people,
though indeed they had done him no wrong.
When Cyrus heard that King Crcesus was come
against him, he also gathered his army to-
gether and went to meet him, taking with
him as many as dwelt on the way by which


he marched. But before that he set out he
sent out heralds to the lonians, bidding them
revolt from Croesus, whom indeed they served
unwillingly; but the lonians would not hearken
to him. Cyrus therefore came up and pitched
his camp over against the camp of the Lydians,
which was near to the city of Pterium; and
after a while the two kings joined battle. And
the battle waxed hot, and many were slain on
both sides, but neither gained the advantage;
and when it was night they separated perforce.
But Crcesus was ill content with the number of
his army, for it was less by many thousands
than the army of Cyrus. For which reason on
the next day, seeing that Cyrus came not forth
from his camp to assail him, he departed with
all haste, returning to Sardis, for he had it in
his mind to call the Egyptians to his help,
according to his covenant with them, for he had
made alliance with Amasis king of Egypt
before he made alliance with the Lacedemo-
nians. Also he would send for help to the men
of Babylon, for with these also he had alliance;
and in those days Labynetus was king of
Babylon. Lastly he sent a summons to the

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Lacedaemonians that they should send an army
to him at the appointed time. For his purpose
was that he should gather together all these
his allies, and should also collect as great an
army as might be of his own people, and so,
when the winter was past, and the spring
was come again, should march against the
Persians. Having therefore these thoughts in
his heart, so soon as he came to Sardis he sent
heralds to Babylon, and to Egypt, and to
Sparta, saying that they should send each of
them an army to him at Sardis in the fifth
month from that time; but as for the soldiers
that he had hired with money, these he sent
away, suffering them to be altogether scattered,
for it did not so much as enter his thoughts
that Cyrus, seeing that he had not done more
than fight with him on equal terms, would
march against Sardis. Now while he was
busy considering these things there befell this
marvel, that the whole space before the city
was filled with serpents, and that so soon as the
serpents were seen there the horses, leaving
their accustomed pasture, fell to and devoured
them. This thing Croesus held to be a portent,


as indeed it was; and straightway he sent
messengers to. Telmessus, where there are
those that interpret such things. But these
messengers, though indeed they went to Tel-
messus and heard from the interpreters what
the meaning of this portent might be, were not
able to show the matter to the King; for before
that they came back to Sardis King Crcesus
had been vanquished and taken prisoner. But
the meaning of the portent according to the
interpreters of Telmessus was this, Let Crce-
sus look to see an army of strangers in his
land; and let him know that when this army is
come to his land it will subdue the inhabitants
thereof; for the serpent is a son of the land,
but the horse is a stranger and an enemy."
This was the answer of the interpreters of Tel-
messus; and they made it when Croesus was
already vanquished, but they knew nothing of
that which had befallen Sardis and the king
But so soon as Crcesus had departed after
the battle at Pterium, Cyrus, knowing that he
had it in his thought to scatter his army, judged
that he should do well if he marched straight-


way against Sardis before that the Lydians
could gather themselves together against him a
second time. And this thing he did without
delay. For he marched into the land of Lydia
with all haste; nor did Crcesus receive any
message of his coming before that he saw the
King himself with his army. Then was Crcesus
sorely perplexed, for the matter had turned
out wholly against his expectations. Never-
theless he took heart and led out the Lydians
to battle. And indeed in those days there was
not in the whole land of Asia any nation that
was more stalwart and valiant than the nation
of the Lydians. The people were accustomed
to fight from horseback, carrying long spears,
nor were there any horsemen more skilful. The
Lydians therefore and the Persians were ar-
rayed one against the other in the plain that
lieth before Sardis, and this plain is very great
and wholly bare of trees. But when Cyrus
saw the array of the Lydians he was afraid of
their horsemen, so many and well equipped
were they. Then a certain Mede, Harpagus
by name, counselled him what he should do,
and Cyrus hearkened to him. He took all the


camels that followed his army, carrying victuals
and baggage, and taking their burdens from
them, set riders upon them, arming all of
them as horsemen. And having so furnished
the camels, he commanded that they should go
before his army against the horsemen of Crcesus.
And behind the camels he put the foot soldiers,
and behind the foot soldiers the horsemen.
And when the whole army was drawn up in
battle array, he straightway commanded them
that they should slay all else of the Lydians
who might fall in their way, but that Croesus
himself they should not slay, not even if he
should defend himself when they laid hands
upon him. Now the reason why he set the
camels in array against the horsemen was this.
The horse is sore afraid of the camel,. and
cannot endure to look upon the shape of the
beast or to smell the smell. For this cause
therefore he used this device, that the King of
the Lyd.ians might find no gain from his horse-
men, by whom he hoped that he should win a
great victory. And indeed so soon as ever
the two armies had joined battle, and the
horses smelled the smell of the camels and saw


them, they turned and fled. So was Croesus
utterly disappointed of his hope. Nevertheless
the Lydians bare themselves bravely; for when
they saw what had befallen them, they leapt
from their horses and fought with the Persians
on foot. But after a while, when many had
been slain on both sides, the Lydians were
driven into their city, and were besieged therein
by the Persians.
Now it seemed to Croesus that the siege
would be of many months. Therefore he sent
again other messengers to his allies saying
that, whereas he had before bidden them to
assemble themselves at Sardis in the fifth
month, there was now need that they should
come with all the speed that might be, for that
the King was besieged. Now of the other
allies nothing need be said; but as to the Lace-
daemonians, when the messengers of Croesus
came to them, they were at variance with their
neighbours, the men of Argos. Notwithstand-
ing, they made all haste to come to the help of
the King; and were indeed ready to set forth,
with ships duly furnished, when there came to
them tidings that the city of Sardis was taken


and Croesus led into captivity. When they heard
this they changed their purpose and went not;
nevertheless they thought it a grievous thing.
Now the taking of Sardis was in this wise.
On the fourteenth day after the beginning of
the siege, Cyrus sent horsemen throughout his
army, saying that he would give great gifts to
the man who should first mount upon the wall.
But when the whole army had attacked the
city, and prevailed nothing, a certain Mardian,
whose name was Hyrceades, desisted not as
did the others, but made his attempt on a
certain part of the citadel where no sentinels
were set. And none were set because no man
had any fear that the citadel could be taken
from this quarter, for the place was very steep.
And this indeed was the only part of the citadel
to which Meles, who had been king of Sardis
in old time, had not caused the lion's cub to be
carried. Now the story of the lion's cub is
this. A woman in Sardis brought forth a
young lion, and the interpreters of Telmessus
said, If thou carry the young lion round about
its wall, no man shall take Sardis." So Meles
caused them to carry the cub round about the


wall wherever it could be attacked, but of this
place he took no account, so steep was it and
hard of access. Now Hyrceades had seen on
the day before that a certain Lydian had come
down by this place after a helmet that had
rolled down from the top, and had fetched the
helmet, and so returned. And having seen
this thing he bare it in mind; and the next day
he climbed up the same way, and many Per-
sians after him. So Sardis was taken and all
the city plundered. As to the King himself,
there befell this thing that shall now be told.
He had a son, of whom indeed mention has
been made before. A goodly youth he was in
all other respects, but he was dumb. Now in
the days of his prosperity Croesus, having done
many other things that the youth might be
healed of his infirmity, sent also messengers to
the oracle of Delphi to enquire of the god. To
these the Pythia made answer in these words-
"0 king of many lands, the thought
Thou keepest in thy heart is vain :
The help with many prayers besought
Think not to ask of heaven again;
For ill the day and full of fear
That first thy dumb child's voice shall hear."


Now it came to pass that when the Persians
were taking the citadel, one of them made as if
he would have slain Croesus, not knowing who
he was. And Croesus, though he saw the man
coming against him, heeded him not, so great
was his trouble; for he thought that it would
be well for him to die. But the youth, that had
been dumb all his days, when he saw the
Persian about to strike, by reason of his fear
and of the instant necessity of the thing, cried
out, saying, "Fellow, slay not King Croesus."
Thus did he speak for the first time; but after-
wards, for the rest of his life, he spake even as
other men.



So the Persians gained possession of the city
of Sardis. And Crcesus himself they took
alive, and led him to Cyrus their king; and all
the years that he had reigned were fourteen;
fourteen also was the number of the days for
which his city was besieged. And thus was
the prophecy of the oracle fulfilled, that he
should bring to an end a great empire; to wit,
his own. Then Cyrus commanded that they
should build a great pile of wood, and should
set Croesus thereon bound in chains, and with
him fourteen men of Lydia, and burn them
with fire. But whether in so doing he thought
to offer the first-fruits of his victory to some god,
or was performing a vow which he had made,
or having heard that Crcesus had been a great


worshipper of the Gods, desired now to see
whether any god would come and help him in
his need, cannot certainly be known. But
when Croesus stood upon the pile, and the fire
had now been put to it, there came into his
thoughts, notwithstanding the great strait
wherein he stood, that the saying of Solon was
indeed true, and spoken by inspiration of the
Gods, when he said that none of living men
might be counted happy. And when he
thought of this he cried out with a loud voice,
having before kept silence altogether, "Solon,
Solon, Solon!" which when Cyrus heard, he
bade the interpreters ask of Crcesus who was this
that he called upon. But when the interpreters
asked this thing, for a time Croesus kept silence,
but afterwards, for indeed he was constrained
to speak, made this answer, "He is one with
whom it would be better than many posses-
sions for all rulers to have speech." Then, as
no man could understand these words, they
enquired of him again what they might signify.
And as they were earnest with him, and would
not leave him in peace, he told them how there
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who having seen all his wealth and prosperity,
had made little account of it; and how that
there had befallen him all that this same Solon
had said, though indeed the man spake not of
him in particular but of all mortal men, and
especially of those who judged themselves to
be happy. This was the answer which Crcesus
made; and now the pile had been lighted, and
the extremities were on fire. But when Cyrus
heard from the interpreters the words of Croesus,
he repented him of his purpose, bethinking him
how that he, being but a mortal man, was now
giving another man that had aforetime been
not less prosperous than himself to be burned
with fire, and fearing lest there should come
upon him vengeance for such a deed, and con-
sidering also that there was nothing sure in
human affairs. For which reasons he bade
them that stood by quench the fire and cause
Croesus and the men that were with him to
descend from the pile. But these, with all their
striving, could not prevail over the fire. Then
Crcesus-for this is the story of the Lydians-
when he saw that Cyrus had repented him of
his purpose, and that every one was striving


to quench the fire but could not, cried with a
loud voice to Apollo, beseeching the god that if
he had ever made an offering that was to his
liking, hewould deliver him from his present
peril. This he besought of the god with many
tears, and lo! of a sudden, though the day
before had been fine and calm, there came a
great storm with a most vehement rain, which
quenched the fire. Then Cyrus knew of a
surety that Croesus was a good man and dear
to the Gods. And having caused him to
descend from the pile, he asked him, saying,
" Tell me, Crcesus, what man persuaded thee
to lead thy army against my land, and to make
me thine enemy, having been before thy
friend ?" Then Croesus answered, "This I
did, O King, for thy good fortune, but to my
loss. Nor was it a man that did this, but the
god of the Greeks, who encouraged me to
make war against thee. For surely no man
is so foolish that of his own will he should
choose war instead of peace; for in peace
the children bury their fathers, but in war the
fathers bury their children. But these things
have fallen out as the Gods would have them."


When he had said these things Cyrus bade
them loose his chains, and put him near to
himself, and marvelled when he regarded him,
both he and the Persians that were with him.
And Croesus said nothing, thinking about many
things. But after a while, when he saw the
Persians plundering the city of the Lydians, he
turned him to King Cyrus, and said, "Is it
allowed to me, O King, to speak that which is
in my heart, or shall I be silent?" And Cyrus
bade him be of courage and speak what he
would. Then Croesus asked him, "What is it
that this great multitude is so busy about?"
" They are spoiling thy city," said Cyrus, "and
carrying off thy possessions." Nay," said
Crcesus, "this is not my city that they spoil,
nor my possessions that they carry off; for
I have now no share or lot in these things. But
the things that they plunder are thine." Then
Cyrus took heed of the words which Croesus
had spoken to him; and bidding all others
leave him, he asked him again what he thought
of these matters. Then Croesus made answer,
" The Gods have made me thy servant; where-
fore I count it right to tell thee if I perceive

aught that thou seest not. The Persians are
haughty by nature, but they are poor. And if
thou sufferest them to plunder in this fashion
and to gain for themselves great wealth, be sure
that this will befall thee. That man among
them who shall get the most will be he that
will rebel against thee. If therefore my words
please thee, do according to my bidding. Set
spearmen as guards at all the gates, and let them
take away from all that come out the things
that they carry with them, saying at the same
time, 'We must needs give tithe to Zeus of all
these things.' And they will not hate thee as
if thou didst take the things from them by force,
but will judge thee to do that which is right,
and will give them up willingly." When Cyrus
heard these words he was pleased with them
beyond measure, judging. them to have been
wisely said. So when he had commended
Croesus for his wisdom, and had given com-
mandment to the spearmen according to these
words, he said, Thou hast it in thy heart to
do good deeds and to say good words as be-
fitteth a king; ask therefore some boon of me
which thou wouldest have granted to thee


straightway." Then said Croesus, "0 King,
thou canst not please me more, than if thou
wilt suffer me to send to the god of the Greeks,
whom I have honoured with gifts more than all
Gods beside, and to lay these fetters before him,
and ask him whether it is his custom to deceive
them that do him honour." And when Cyrus
would know why he desired to put this question
accusing the god, Crcesus set before him the
whole matter, both that which he had asked,
and the answer of the god, and the offerings
which he had made, and how he had made war
against the Persians, being encouraged thereto
by the god. And when he had ended this
tale he besought Cyrus again that he would
suffer him to reproach the god with these
things. And Cyrus, when he heard it, laughed
and said, "This request I grant thee, O
Crcesus, as I will grant thee everything that
that thou shalt ask me hereafter." And when
Croesus heard these words he sent certain
Lydians to Delphi, and bade them lay the
fetters on the threshold of the temple and
enquire of the god whether he was not
ashamed to have encouraged Crcesus by his


oracles to march against the Persians, thinking
that he should overthrow the empire of Cyrus,
of which undertaking these, the fetters to wit,
were the first-fruits, and whether it was the
custom of the god of the Greeks to be un-
faithful. And when the Lydians did as had
been commanded them, the Pythia made
this answer, That which is fated it is by no
means possible to avoid, not even to a god.
And Croesus hath suffered for the transgressions
of his forefather in the fifth generation, who,
being a body-guard of the king, slew his master,
a woman helping him with her craft, and took his
honour to himself, though he had no part or
lot in it. And Apollo was very earnest with
the Fates that they should not bring this evil
upon Sardis in the days of Crcesus, but that
they should bring it in his son's days. Yet
could he not prevail. Nevertheless all that the
Fates granted to him that did he for Croesus,
delaying the taking of Sardis for the space of
three years; for let Crcesus be sure of this,
that the taking of Sardis is later by three years
than had been ordained at the first. Also when
he was in peril of being burnt with fire the


god helped him and delivered him. And as
for the oracle, Croesus doth not right to blame
him, for Apollo foretold to him that, if he
should make war against the Persians, he should
bring to the ground a great empire. If there-
fore he had been well advised in this matter, he
should have sent again to enquire of the god
whether his own empire or the empire of Cyrus
were thus signified. But seeing that he under-
stood not the thing which was said, nor enquired
a second time, let him blame himself. And as
to that which Apollo answered him when he
enquired of him the last time, speaking of a
mule, this also Croesus understood not. For
Cyrus was this mule, being born of parents that
were not of the same race, his mother also being
of the more noble stock and his father of the
worse. For she was a woman of the Medes
and the daughter 6f King Astyages, and he was
a Persian and no king, but a servant that
married the daughter of his master." This was
the answer that the priestess gave to the
Lydians; and when Crcesus heard it he con-
fessed that he had erred and not the god.
In this way did the empire of the Lydians


come to an end. These Lydians were the first
that found out the coining of gold and silver.
Also they were the first traders. And they say
of themselves that they first made the games
at which they and the Greeks are used to play.
Also they declare that in the days when these
games were first made by them they colonized
the land of Tyrsenia, which is in Italy. And
their story of this matter is this. In the days of
Atys the son of Manes there was a sore famine
throughout the whole land of Lydia. And for
a while the Lydians were instant in prayers to
the Gods that they would help them; but, as
the famine ceased not, they sought for remedies,
contriving some one thing and some another.
In those days they devised dice-playing and
ball-playing and all other kinds of games that
men use, save chess only, for this the Lydians
say not that they devised.. And their manner
with the games was this. One day they would
play continually, that they might not have any
thought for food, and the next day they would
leave off from their playing and eat. In this
fashion they endured for the space of eighteen
years. But as the evil abated not but rather


grew worse, the King divided the people of
Lydia into two parts, making them cast lots,
that the one part should remain in the land, and
the other part should go forth to some other
country. And that part which drew the lot for
remaining he took to himself, but that part which
should go forth he gave to his son, whose name
was Tyrsenus. These then went down to the
seacoast, to Smyrna, and there built them ships,
into which they put all things that they needed
for a voyage, and so set sail, seeking for liveli-
hood and a country wherein they might dwell;
in which search, having passed by many lands,
they came to the land of the Umbri, and there
built for themselves cities, in the which they
dwell to this day. Also they changed their
name, calling themselves no more Lydians but
Tyrsenians, after the name of the King's son,
Tyrsenus, who had led them forth.
Now the men of Ionia and /Eolia, so soon as
they knew that the Lydians had been subdued
by the Persians, sent messengers to Cyrus, say-
ing that they would fain be his servants after
the same manner in which they had been the
servants of Croesus. But when they had made


their oration to him he spake to them for an
answer this parable. "A certain flute-player,
seeing fishes in the sea, played his flute to them,
thinking that they would come forth from the
sea on to the land at his playing. But when
they would not do as he had hoped, he took a
net, and cast it, and having encompassed there-
with a great multitude of fishes, he drew it to
the land. And when he saw them that they
flapped their tails upon the ground, he said,
'Cease this dancing, for ye would not come out
and dance upon the land when I piped to you.'"
This said Cyrus because in the beginning of the
war he had sent to these men bidding them
rebel against Crcesus, and they would not, but
now when they knew that he had gotten himself
the victory, they were ready to be his servants.
For this cause he was very wroth with them;
and when the men of Ionia and /Eolia heard
his words, they knew -that he purposed evil
against them, and began to prepare themselves
First they sent messengers to Sparta to ask
for help; who, when they were come, chose
Pythermus, a man of Phocaea, to speak for


them. This Pythermus, having clad himself in
purple, which he did that all the Spartans might
come together to see him, stood up in the
assembly, and told his business. But the
Spartans consented not to help; only after that
the messengers had departed they sent certain
men in a ship of fifty oars, who should see
for themselves how things were with Cyrus and
the Ionians. The chief of these men, a certain
Lacrines, went up to Sardis, and declared to
Cyrus the pleasure of the Lacedxemonians, that
he should not harm any city of the Greeks, for
that they would not suffer it. But when Cyrus
heard these words he enquired of certain Greeks
that were with him, what manner of men and
how many in number these Lacedaemonians
might be that they laid such commands upon
him. And when he heard he said to Lacrines,
"I regard not at all the folk who have a set
place in the midst of their city whither they
assemble and forswear themselves and deceive
each other. Surely, if it be well with me, all
that the Ionians have suffered they shall suffer."
Cyrus said this reproaching the Greeks because
they have markets wherein they buy and sell,
for the Persians use not to do any such thing.


After this Cyrus departed, and took Croesus
with him; and over Sardis and the Lydians he
made certain Persian, named Tabalus, governor,
but the charge of the gold he gave to Pactyas,
a man of Lydia. But Pactyas took the gold,
and having hired soldiers besieged Tabalus in
the citadel of Sardis. When tidings of these
things were brought to Cyrus as he journeyed
eastward, he changed not his purpose, having
weightier things in hand, but sent Mazares a
Mede with a part of the army to deal with the
Lydians and Ionians. Of whose coming when
Pactyas heard he escaped from the citadel of
Sardis and fled to Cumae. Whereupon Mazares
sent messengers to Cumae, bidding the inhabi-
tants deliver up the enemy of the King. But
the men of Cumae doubted what they should
do, and sent messengers to enquire of the god
in Branchidae of Miletus; to whom the god
answered that they should deliver up Pactyas.
But when this answer was brought back, and the
people were now ready to deliver him up, the
thing pleased not one of the chief men, Aristo-
dicus by name, who persuaded the men of Cuma
that they should send yet again and enquire of


the god by the hand of other messengers. So
they sent other messengers, among whom was
Aristodicus himself. When they were come to
the oracle, Aristodicus, being spokesman for the
rest, spake, saying, O King, there came to us
a certain Pactyas, a man of Lydia, flying from
the Persians, who were ready to put him to
death. And now these Persians will have us
deliver him to them. But we, though we fear
them, are yet loath to deliver the man to death,
and so are come asking thee what we should
do." To this the god answered again that they
should deliver him up. But when Aristodicus
heard this he went about the temple taking the
young birds out of their nests, for many birds
had built therein. As he did this there came a
voice out of the shrine, What doest thou, thou
wicked man, taking these that have sought
sanctuary with me?" Then Aristodicus an-
swered, "0 King, thou indeed defendest them
that seek sanctuary with thee, but thou biddest
the men of Cumae deliver up this suppliant.
And the god answered, Yea, I bade you do
this thing, that so ye might perish utterly, and
might not ask such ill questions of the god


any more." When the men of Cumae heard
these words they neither were willing to deliver
him up nor to keep him, and so be besieged.
Therefore they sent him to Mitylene. But when
they knew that the men of Mitylene were pre-
paring to deliver him up for a reward, they sent
a ship and took him to Chios; but the Chians
delivered him up to the Persians, receiving for
him a certain place called Atarnes, which is in
Mysia, over against Lesbos. And to this day
Atarnes is accursed, and the Chians use not
any of its fruits for sacrifice.
After this Tabalus, having subdued certain
cities of Ionia, died, and Cyrus sent Harpagus
a Mede, of whom there is much to be said
hereafter, to be captain in his room. And the
first city which Harpagus made ready to attack
was Phocxea. Now the men of Phocaea were
mighty sailors, and were the first of the
Greeks to make long voyages, visiting, besides
other places, Tartessus, which is in Spain.
Now in Tartessus they found a certain king
whose name was Arganthonius. He was 'a
very old man of sixscore years, and he had
reigned in Tartessus fourscore years. This


Arganthonius dealt very kindly with the Pho-
caeans, and when he knew that the power of
the Medes waxed great in Asia, gave them
much money that they might build them a
wall; which wall indeed they built of great
stones well fitted together. Now when Har-
pagus was come to Phocaea, he sent messengers
bidding them submit themselves to Cyrus; and
he said that it would suffice if they would throw
down one battlement on their wall, and set
apart one house in their city. But the men of
Phocaea asked for one day that they might
deliberate, and would have Harpagus take his
army from before their city for so long. Then
said Harpagus, I know well what ye pur-
pose to do, yet shall ye have the day." And he
took his army from before the city. Then the
Phocaeans launched their ships, and put therein
their wives and children and their goods, and
all the images from the temples, and all the
offerings, save such as were of brass or stone,
or pictures; and having done this they sailed
to Chios; and the Persians took Phocaea, being
deserted of its inhabitants.
But the Phocaeans would fain have bought


certain islands of the people of Chios, but these
would not sell them, fearing lest they should
suffer in trading. Then they sailed to Cyrnus,
where twenty years before they had built a city.
But first they sailed back to Phoczea and slew the
garrison which Harpagus had set there to keep
it; and having slain the garrison, they threw an
anvil of iron into the sea, and sware that they
would not return to the city till they should see
the anvil floating on the water. Yet, while
they were voyaging to Cyrnus, half and more
repented them of their purpose, and brake their
oath, and went back to Phocaea, and dwelt
there. But such as kept to their oath sailed
to Cyrnus, where they dwelt for five years.
But at the end of five years the Phoenicians
and the men of Carthage made alliance and
sailed against them, for they plundered all the
neighboring parts. Then was there a great
battle, and the Phocaeans prevailed, yet lost
forty ships out of threescore. Then those that
remained sailed to Rhegium in Italy, and built
a city in those parts.
The men of Tios did as the Phocaeans had
done, for they put all that they had in ships,


and departed, and dwelt in a city of Thrace
called Abdera. But all the other Ionians on
the mainland submitted themselves to Cyrus;
and the islanders did likewise, fearing what
might befall them.
After this Harpagus subdued the other
nations that are in those parts, as the Ca-
rians and the Lycians and others. About
these there is nothing worthy to be told, save
about the Lycians of Xanthus only. For
these first of all fought against the Persians
before their city, and being vanquished for all
their valour, for they were few fighting against
many, and being shut up in their city, yet
would not yield themselves. For first they
gathered together in their citadel their wives
and their children and their slaves and all
their goods, and burnt them with fire. And
having done this, they bound themselves with
dreadful oaths, and fell upon the Persians, and
died fighting all of them.




ASTYAGES king of the Medes had a daughter
whose name was Mandan ; and of this daugh-
ter, when she was but a child, he dreamed such
a dream that he feared exceedingly what might
happen to him and to his kingdom by reason
of her. Therefore when she grew of age to be
married, he gave her not to a man of her own
race, but he gave her to a Persian, whose name
was Cambyses. And this Cambyses was indeed
of a noble house, but of a quiet and peaceable
temper. Only because he was a Persian, As-
tyages held him to be of less account than a
Mede, whether he were noble or no.
But in the first year of the marriage King
Astyages dreamed another dream of his
daughter, which made him yet more afraid than
had the former dream. Therefore he sent for
the woman, who was now about to bring forth


her first-born child, and kept her in the palace,
being minded to put to death that which should
be born of her, for the interpreters of dreams
had signified to him that the son of his daughter
should be king in his stead. When therefore
she bare Cyrus, for they gave this name to the
child, Astyages called to him one Harpagus,
who was of his kindred, and faithful to him
beyond all other of the Medes, and who had
also the care of his household. And when
Harpagus was come to him, the King said,
Harpagus, see thou that in the matter which
I shall now put in thy charge thou in no wise
neglect my commandment, nor prefer others to
me, and so in the end bring great sorrow on
thyself. Now the matter is this. Thou shalt
take this child that Mandan6 my daughter hath
lately borne, and carry it to thy home, and there
slay it; and afterwards thou shalt bury it in
such fashion as thou wilt." To this Harpagus
said, "O King, thou hast never perceived any
transgression in thy servant in time past; and
he will take good heed that he sin not against
thee in time to come. And as for this matter
of which thou speakest, if thou wilt have it so,


it must needs be done." When Harpagus had
said this, they gave him the child into his hands,
the child being dressed as if for death and
burial, and he took it and went to his home
weeping. And when he was come thither he
said to his wife all the words that King Asty-
ages had said to him. Then the woman spake,
saying, "What then art thou minded to do in
this matter ? And he said, Of a surety I shall
not do as the King hath commanded me. For
though he should be turned aside to folly, and
be stricken with madness even more grievously
than he is now stricken, yet why should I be
-the slayer of this child ? And the causes where-
vore I will not do this thing are many. For first
.he is of my own kindred, and next Astyages is
an old man and hath no male offspring. If then
-when he shall die, his kingdom shall go to his
*daughter, whose child he biddeth me to slay,
surely I shall stand in great peril. It must
needs be that the child die; for how else shall
I escape, but the slayer shall be one of the
servants of Astyages, and not I or one of my
own servants." When he had thus spoken, he
sent a messenger straightway to one of the


herdsmen of Astyages, knowing that the man
dwelt in a place well fitted for the purpose, that
is to say, a mountain abounding in wild beasts.
The name of this herdsman was Mitradates,
and his wife was a slavewoman, Spaco by name.
As for the pastures where he pastured his herd,
they lay under the mountains which are north-
wards from Egbatana, towards the Black Sea.
For this region of the land of Media is covered
with woods and mountains, but the country for
the most part is a plain country. The herds-
man therefore being thus called came with all
speed. And when he was come, Harpagus said
to him, Astyages bids thee take this child
and put him in some desert place among the
mountains that he may speedily perish. And
he bids me say that if thou slay him not, but in
any way sufferest him to live, he will destroy
thee most miserably. And I am appointed to
see that this thing be done."
When the herdsman heard these words he
took the child and went on his way to his home,
and came to the stalls of the cattle. Now it
chanced that his wife had been in travail all
that day, and that she bare a child while the


herdsman was at the city. And the two were
much troubled each about the other; for the
husband feared lest haply it should go ill with
his wife in her travail, and the woman was
afraid because Harpagus had sent for her hus-
band in much haste, which thing he had not
been wont to do. When therefore he had
returned, the woman, seeing that he was come
back speedily and beyond her hope, asked of
him, saying, Why did Harpagus send for thee
in such haste ?" Then the man made answer,
" When I was come to the city I saw and heard
such things as I would had never befallen my
masters; for the whole house of Harpagus
was full of weeping and wailing. And when I
went into the house, being sore astonished at
these things, I saw a child lying there and
crying; and the child was adorned with gold
and fine clothing. And Harpagus, so soon as
he saw me, bade me take up the child with all
haste and depart, and put it on such mountain
as I knew to be most haunted by wild beasts.
-And he said that King Astyages had given
commandment that this should be done. And
he added many threats of what should befall


me, if I should not do as he had bidden me.
Wherefore I took the child, and carried it
away, thinking that it was the child of some
one in the household ; for the truth, as it was, I
could not have imagined, yet did I marvel to
see that the child was adorned with gold and
fine apparel, and also that there should be so
great a mourning in the house of Harpagus.
But as I went on my way, one of the servants
of Harpagus, whom he had sent with me,
recounted to me the whole matter, that this
child was the son of Mandane the daughter of
Astyages and Cambyses the son of Cyrus, and
that Astyages had given commandment that it
should be slain. This therefore is the child
whom thou seest." And when the herdsman
had said this he took away the covering, and
showed the child to his wife. And when she
saw the babe, that it was fair and well-favoured,
she wept, and laid hold of her husband by his
knees and besought him that he would not do
this thing, putting forth the child to die. But
the man answered that he could not by any
means do otherwise, for that Harpagus would
send those who would see whether the thing had


been done or no, and that he should perish
miserably if he should be found to have trans-
gressed the commandment. Then the woman,
seeing that she could not prevail with her
husband, spake to him again, saying, If then
I cannot prevail with thee that thou shouldest
not put forth the child, yet listen to me. If the
men must needs see a child put forth, do
thou this thing that I shall tell thee. I was
delivered of a child this day, and the child was
dead when it was born. Take therefore this
dead child and put it forth, and let us rear this
child of the daughter of Astyages as if it were
our own. So thou wilt not be found to trans-
gress the commands of thy masters, and we
shall also have done well for ourselves. For
indeed the dead child shall have a royal burial,
and the living child shall not be slain." And here
the woman seemed to her husband the herds-
man to have spoken very wisely and season-
ably, and he did according to her word. For
the child that he had brought with him that he
might cause him to die, this he gave to his wife
to rear; and his own child, being dead already,
he put into the basket wherein he had carried


the other. With this he put all the ornaments
wherewith the child had been adorned, and
carried it to the most desolate place that he
knew among the mountains, and there laid it
forth. And on the third day after he had done
this, he went again to the city, leaving his herds
in the charge of one of them that were under
him, and entering into the house of Harpagu.,
said he was ready to show the dead body of the
child to any whom he might send. Wherefore
Harpagus sent such of his own body-guard as
he judged to be most faithful, and saw the
thing, not himself indeed, but with their eyes,
and afterwards buried the child that was the
child of the herdsman. As for the child that
had afterwards the name of Cyrus, the wife of
the herdsman took him and reared him, but
called him by some other name. When the
boy was ten years old there befell a thing by
which his birth was discovered. He was wont
to play with other boys that were his equals in
age, in the village wherein were the dwellings
of the herdsman and his fellows. And the boys
in their sport chose him, being, as was sup-
posed, the herdsman's son, to be their king.


And he, being thus chosen, gave to each his
proper work, setting one to build houses, and
others to be his body-guards, and one to be the
"Eye of the King," and others to carry mes-
ages, t6 each his own work. Now one of the
boys that played with him, beingthe son of one
Artembares, a man of renown among the Medes,
would not do the thing which Cyrus had com-
manded him. Wherefore Cyrus bade the other
boys lay hold of him ; and when these had done
his bidding he corrected him for his fault with
many and grievous stripes. But the boy, so
soon as he was let go, thinking that he had suf-
fered a grievous wrong, went in great wrath to
the city and made complaint to his father of
the things which he had suffered at the hands of
Cyrus; only he spake not of Cyrus, for he bare
not as yet that name, but of the herdsman's
son. Then Artembares, being in a great rage,
went straightway to King Astyages, taking with
him his son, as one that had been shamefully
entreated. And he said to the King, See, O
King, how we have been wronged by this
slave who is the son of thy herdsman." And
he showed him the lad's shoulders, where might


be seen the marks of the stripes. When As-
tyages heard and saw these things he was
ready to avenge the lad on him that had done
these things, wishing to do honour to Artem-
bares. Therefore he sent for the herdsman
and the boy. And when they were both come
before him, Astyages looked towards Cyrus,
" How didst thou, being the son of this herds-
man, dare to do such shameful things to the
son of a man who is first of all them that stand
before me ?" To this Cyrus made answer, My
lord, all this that I did, I did with good cause;
for the boys of the village, this also being one
of them, in their play chose me to be their
king, for I seemed to them to be the fittest
for this honour. All the others indeed did the
things which I commanded them; but this
boy was disobedient and paid no heed to me;
for which things he received punishment as was
due. And if thou deemest it fit that I should
suffer for so doing, lo, here I am !" When the
lad spake in this fashion, Astyages, considering
with himself the whole matter, knew him who
he was. For the likeness of his countenance
betrayed him; his speech also was more free


than could be looked for in the son of a herds-
man, and his age also agreed with the time of
putting forth the child of his daughter. And
being beyond measure astonished at these
things, for a while he sat speechless; but at last,
having scarcely come to himself, he said to Ar-
tembares, Artembares, I will so deal with this
matter that neither thou nor thy son shall blame
me," for he would have the man go forth from
his presence, that having the herdsman alone
he might question him more closely concerning
these matters.
Then the King sent Artembares away, and
bade his servants take Cyrus with them into
the house. Being therefore left alone with the
herdsman, he enquired of him, saying, Tell
me whence didst thou receive this child, and
who is he that gave him to thee ? Then said
the herdsman, Surely he is my son, and she
that bare him is my wife, and is yet alive in
my house." But the King answered, Thou
answerest not well for thyself; thou wilt bring
thyself into great peril." And he bade his
guards lay hold upon him. But the man, when
he saw that he was being led away to the tor-


mentors, said that he would tell the whole
truth. And indeed he unfolded the story from
the beginning, and neither changed nor con-
cealed anything. And when he had ended, he
was earnest in prayer to the King that he would
have mercy upon him and pardon him.
As for the herdsman indeed, when he had
thus told the truth, Astyages took little heed of
him; but he had great wrath against Harpagus,
and sent to him by his guards that he should
come forthwith. And when he was come, the
King said to him, Harpagus, how didst thou
slay the boy whom I delivered to thee that was
born of my daughter ?" And Harpagus, seeing
that the herdsman stood before the King,
sought not to hide the matter, for he judged
that he should be easily convicted if he should
speak that which was false. Therefore he
said, 0 King, when I took the child from thy
hands, I considered with myself how I might
best do thy pleasure, so that I might both be
blameless before thee, and also free of blood-
guiltiness as concerning thy daughter. And I
did after this manner. I called this herdsman
to me, and gave the child into his hands, telling


him that thou hadst given commandment that
it should be slain. Then I bade him take the
child, and put it out in some desert place among
the mountains, and watch by it till it should die.
And at the same time I used to him all manner
of threats, if he should not in all things fulfil
my words. And when the man had done
according to my bidding, I sent the most faith-
ful of my servants, and having seen by their
eyes that the child was dead, I buried him.
This is the truth of the matter, 0 King, and in
this manner the child died."
When Harpagus had ended this story,
wherein he spake, as he thought, the whole
truth, Astyages hid his anger in his heart, and
related the whole matter as he had heard it
from the herdsman; and when it was ended, he
said, "The boy yet lives; and it is well; for
indeed I have been much troubled, remember-
ing what had been done to the child; nor did I
count it a light matter that my daughter was
displeased with me. Now, therefore, that the
matter hath turned out so well, first send thine
own son that he may be a companion to this
boy, and next come and dine with me to-day,


for I would have a feast of thanksgiving for this
boy that was dead and is alive again." When
Harpagus heard these words, he bowed him-
self down before the King, rejoicing beyond
measure that his transgression had had so
good an ending, and that he had been called to
the feast of thanksgiving; and he went to his
house. And being come, in the joy of his
heart he told to his wife all that had befallen
him. But the King, so soon as the son of
Harpagus was come into the house, took him
and slew him, and cut him limb from limb;
and of the flesh he roasted some, and some he
boiled; and so, having dressed it with much care,
made it ready against the dinner. And when
the hour of dinner was come, Harpagus and
the other guests sat down to meat; and before
Harpagus was set a dish of the flesh of his
own son, wherein was every part, save only the
head and the tips of the hands and of the feet.
For these lay apart by themselves with a cover-
ing over them. And when Harpagus had
eaten enough, the King asked him, Was this
dish to thy mind." And when the man answered
that it was indeed to his mind, certain men who


had had commandment to do this thing brought
the head and the hands and the feet, covered
with their cover. These stood before Harpa-
gus, and bade him uncover and take what he
would. And when Harpagus so did, he saw
what remained of his son. Yet, seeing it, he
was not amazed, but still commanded himself.
Then the King enquired of him, "Knowest
thou what beast this is, of whom thou hast
eaten?" And Harpagus made answer, "I
know it; and all that the King doeth is well."
Then he took what was left of the flesh and
carried it with him to his house, and buried it.



WHEN King Astyages had punished Harpagus
for his transgression in this fashion, he took
counsel what he should do with Cyrus. Where-
fore he sent for the same Magians who had
interpreted to him his dream concerning his
daughter. And when they were come, Asty-
ages enquired of them how they interpreted
the dream. And they spake again after the
former fashion, saying that it was signified by
this dream that the boy must needs be a king,
if he should live to be of full age. And when
they had so spoken the King spake thus to
them, "The child is yet alive; and it came to
pass that in the village wherein he liveth the
lads his companions made him their king.
And being so made, he did all things that they
who are verily kings are wont to do; for he


made some body-guards, and some porters, and
some bearers of messages; and to others he
gave other offices. Think ye that this hath
aught to do with our matter ?" The Magians
said, If the child is yet alive and was made
king after this fashion, but not of any set pur-
pose of thine, thou mayest be of good courage;
for he will not be a king again. And indeed it
happeneth oftentimes that oracles and dreams
and the like have their fulfilment after this
manner in little things, and so come to nothing."
To this Astyages made answer again, I, too,
O Magians, am myself also greatly inclined to
this opinion of the matter, that the dream
was fulfilled when the boy was called by the
name of a king, and that there is no cause
why I should fear him any more. Never-
theless consider the matter well, and advise me.
how I shall best order these things both for
my own house and also for you." Then the
Magians said again, 0 King, it is not thy gain
only but ours also that thy kingdom should be
established. For verily if it go to this boy, it
will pass away from our nation, seeing he is a
Persian; and if it so pass, then shall we be