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Polyaenus: Stratagems

    - BOOK 7

Adapted from the translation by R.Shepherd (1793). See key to translations for an explanation of the format.

The Greek text of Book 7 is available in archive.org.


CONTENTS:   1 Deïoces ; 2 Alyattes ; 3 Psammeticus ; 4 Amasis ; 5 Midas ; 6 Cyrus ; 7 Harpagus ; 8 Croesus ; 9 Cambyses ; 10 Oebares ; 11 Dareius ; 12 Siraces ; 13 Zopyrus ; 14 Orontes ; 15 Xerxes ; 16 Artaxerxes ; 17 Ochus ; 18 Tisaphernes ; 19 Pharnabazus ; 20 Glos ; 21 Datames ; 22 Cosingas ; 23 Mausolus ; 24 Borges ; 25 Dromichaetes ; 26 Ariobarzanes ; 27 Autophradates ; 28 Arsames ; 29 Mithridates ; 30 Mempsis ; 31 Cersobleptes ; 32 Seuthes ; 33 Artabazus ; 34 Aryandes ; 35 Brennus ; 36 Mygdonius ; 37 Paerisades ; 38 Seuthes ; 39 Cheiles ; 40 Oborzus ; 41 Surenas ; 42 The Celts ; 43 The Thracians ; 44 The Scythians ; 45 The Persians ; 46 The Taurians ; 47 The Trojan Women ; 48 The Women of Salmatis ; 49 The Tyrrhenian Women ; 50 The Celtic Women


[Preface]   I address this seventh book of Stratagems to your most sacred majesties, Antoninus and Verus. In this book you will observe that even the minds of barbarians are capable of military stratagems, deceptions, and tricks. And therefore you will see that you yourselves should not hold them in too great contempt, and your generals must be similarly cautious. For there is nothing against which they should guard more carefully than tricks, cunning and deception; the barbarians excel much more in these devices, than in military prowess. And nothing will protect them more effectively from the tricks of the barbarians, than a constant distrust of their promises and claims. By uniting this distrust with typical Roman valour, we can be still more superior to them, if we also add a knowledge of the stratagems which they have sometimes employed.

[1]   Deïoces.

Deïoces the Mede seized power over the Medes in the following way. They were a nomadic people, and had no settled homes; they had no cities, no laws, knew no principles of justice; but plundered each other of whatever one wanted, and the other possessed. Deïoces gave laws to his neighbours, and tried to establish the principles of justice in their minds. They were delighted with his regulations, and obeyed his decrees. His name soon became famous among the Medes; and many of them used to turn to him, to settle their disputes, as a most just and upright judge. As soon as his eminence and reputation had won him universal esteem, he obtained guards to protect him from the injuries, which his decisions might provoke. By the assistance of these guards, he filled his little house with stones during the night. He showed the stones to the Medes the next day, and claimed that they had been thrown at him, putting his life in danger, by those against whom he had adjudicated. The people were outraged at this treatment, which he had so undeservedly suffered. For his personal safety, they authorised him to live on the citadel at Agbatana. They gave him a bodyguard of his own choice, and they ordered his necessary expenses to be paid out of the sacred funds. He continually increased his guards, until eventually instead of a judge he became their king.

[2]   Alyattes.

The Cimmerians, a people of great bodily size, made war on Alyattes. He marched against them, and ordered his men to take into battle with them a number of large fierce dogs. When the dogs were released, they fell on the barbarians, as they would on a herd of wild beasts. They injured many of them, so as to disable them from action, and put the others to flight.

2   To weaken the cavalry of the Colophonians, in which they were very powerful, Alyattes entered into an alliance with them. And when they served under him, he always particularly favoured the cavalry in the distribution of gifts. At last, when he was at Sardis, he gave them sumptuous provisions and doubled their pay. As soon as the cavalry, who were encamped outside the city, heard that their pay had been doubled, they put their horses in the care of their grooms, and rushed off to the city, in great eagerness to receive their doubled pay. Alyattes suddenly ordered the gates to be shut, and he surrounded the Colophonians with a body of armed men, who cut them to pieces. Then he mounted his own men on the Colophonian horses.

[3]   Psammetichus.

Psammetichus overthrew Tementhes, king of Egypt, in the following way. Tementhes consulted the oracle of Ammon about the kingship, and the oracle told him to beware of cocks. Psammetichus was informed by Pigres the Carian, who was his close friend, that the Carians were the first people who wore plumes of feathers on their helmets. He immediately understood the meaning of the oracle, and took into his service a large number of Carians, with whom he advanced against Memphis. Psammetichus defeated Tementhes in a battle near the temple of Isis, which is about five stades away from the palace. A part of Memphis is called Caromemphitae, taking its name these Carians.

[4]   Amasis.

When Amasis was fighting against the Arabs, he placed behind the Egyptians the statues of the gods which they held in most honour and veneration. This induced them to face danger more readily, because they supposed that they were in the immediate sight of their gods, who would not betray them, or leave them in the hands of their enemies.

[5]   Midas.

Midas, pretending that he was going to perform a solemn sacrifice to the great gods, led out the Phrygians by night as if in a procession, with flutes, and timbrels, and cymbals; but each of them at the same time secretly carried swords. The citizens all left their houses to watch the procession; but the musical performers drew their swords, slew the spectators as they came out into the streets, took possession of their houses, and set up Midas as their ruler.

[6]   Cyrus.

Cyrus was defeated in three different battles with the Medes. He decided to risk a fourth battle with them at Pasargadae, where the Persians had left their wives and children. He was defeated again, but when the Persians fled to the city, and saw their wives and children there, they were struck by the thought of what would happen to them if they fell into the hands of the victorious enemy. Upon this, they rallied and attacked the Medes, who had lost all order in their eager pursuit. The Persians gained a victory which was so decisive, that the Medes never again ventured to face Cyrus in battle.

2   Cyrus led his forces away from Sardis, in accordance with a treaty which he had agreed with Croesus. But as soon as night came, he returned, applied ladders to the walls which were unprepared for a siege, and took Sardis by storm.

3   After Cyrus had captured Sardis, Croesus still held out in the citadel, hoping for assistance from the Greeks. Cyrus ordered the prisoners from Sardis, who were the friends and relations of the besieged, to be bound up and paraded in front of them. At the same time, a herald proclaimed that, if the besieged surrendered the citadel to Cyrus, they would receive their friends and relations safe and without ransom; but if they persisted in holding out against him, he would hang every man before their eyes. The besieged chose to save their friends, rather than wait for the outcome of the precarious hopes, which Croesus had of assistance from the Greek states; and so they surrendered the citadel.

4   After Croesus had been defeated and captured, the Lydians revolted again. Cyrus, who was himself planning an expedition against Babylon, sent Mazares the Mede against Lydia. He ordered him, as soon as he had reduced the country into subjection, to take from them their weapons and horses; to force them to wear women's clothes; to forbid them to take part in hurling the javelin, or horse-riding, or any martial exercises; and to force them to take up female pastimes, such as spinning and singing. By these means he made their minds so effeminate, that the Lydians, who were once a very warlike people, became the most feeble of all the barbarians. [see also: Herodotus, 1.155]

5   When Cyrus was besieging Babylon, he dug a channel, through which he intended to turn away the river Euphrates, which ran through the city. When he had completed the channel, he marched his army a considerable distance away. The Babylonian were induced by this to believe that he had given up all hope of capturing their city, and therefore they became more careless in their defence of it. But Cyrus suddenly diverted the course of the river, and secretly marched his army through the old channel. In this way, while the Babylonian thought themselves perfectly safe, he made himself master of the place. [see also: Herodotus, 1.191]

6   In a battle with Croesus, Cyrus observed that the Lydian depended greatly on his cavalry. To render them useless, in front of his hopliteshe placed a number of camels; the nature of these animals is such, that horses can bear neither the sight nor the smell of them. The horses therefore became ungovernable, and fled away. They cast down the Lydians in their flight, and broke their ranks, so that Cyrus had won the victory, even before he had come to grips with the enemy. [see also: Herodotus, 1.80]

7   To persuade the Persians to throw off their subservience to the Medes, Cyrus used the following device. He pointed out to them a barren, thorny spot, and ordered them to clear and cultivate it. When with great labour and fatigue they had completed this task, the next day he ordered them to bathe and clean themselves, and come to a sumptuous feast which he had prepared for them. After they had spent the day in such luxury, he asked them which of the two days they preferred. They replied that the present day was as much preferable to the former, as happiness is to misery. "It is in your power then," said Cyrus, "to obtain happiness. Free yourselves from your slavery under the Medes." The Persians, struck by the greatness of this proposal, revolted and appointed Cyrus to be their king. Under his rule, they not only crushed the power of the Medes, but acquired for themselves the empire of all Asia. [see also: Herodotus, 1.126]

8   When Cyrus was besieging Babylon, the Babylonians, who had plenty of provisions of all kinds within the city, derided his efforts. But he soon discovered the means by which to attack them; he turned the river Euphrates, whose natural course ran through the city, into a neighbouring lake. Because their supplies were thus cut off, they had no alternative, but to surrender to Cyrus, or die of thirst. [see also: Herodotus, 1.190]

9   Cyrus, after having been defeated by the Medes, retreated to Pasargadae, and found that many of the Persian were deserting to the enemy. He informed his army that the next day he would receive from allied powers, who were hostile to the Medes, reinforcements amounting to a hundred thousand men. He told them all, therefore, to take a bundle of wood to welcome their allies. The Persian deserters informed the Medes about the expected reinforcements. As soon as night came on, Cyrus ordered every man to light his bundle of wood. The Medes, seeing the great number of fires burning, assumed that the reinforcements had arrived; and instead of pursuing the defeated foe, thought it better to retreat.

10   At the siege of Sardis, Cyrus constructed machines of wood which were as high as the walls. He placed statues on them, in Persian clothes, with beards, quivers on their shoulders, and bows in their hands. He moved these machines forwards at night, until they were so close to the walls, that they seemed to be above the citadel. Early in the morning, Cyrus began his attack in a different quarter; and the whole force that Croesus had in the town was immediately directed against this attack. But when some of then looked round and saw the statues on the opposite side of the city, a general panic took hold of the besieged, as if the citadel was already captured by the enemy. Throwing open the gates, each made his escape in the best manner he could; and Cyrus captured Sardis by storm. [see also: Frontinus, Str.3.8.3]

[7]   Harpagus.

Harpagus, in order to convey a letter to Cyrus in secret, gutted a hare, and sewed up the letter in its belly. The bearer, equipped with hunter's nets, passed the guards of the roads without suspicion, and delivered the letter safely.[see also: Herodotus, 1.123]

[8]   Croesus.

Croesus, finding that his Greek allies were slow in coming to his aid, chose out some of the ablest and stoutest of the Lydians, and armed them in the Greek manner. Cyrus' men, who were unaccustomed to Greek weapons, were at a loss how either to attack, or to guard against them. The clang of the spears upon the shields struck them with terror; and the splendour of the bronze shields so terrified the horses, that they could not be brought to charge. Cyrus was defeated by this stratagem, and made a truce with Croesus for three months.

2   Croesus, after having been defeated by Cyrus in Cappadocia, in order to make good his retreat, ordered his men to carry with them as much wood as they possibly could. They deposited this wood in a narrow defile, through which Croesus led his forces, and continued his march throughout the night with all possible speed. He left some of his light horse, to set fire to the wood, as soon as day appeared. By this means Croesus achieved his retreat, because Cyrus was greatly hindered in his pursuit by the fire.

[9]   Cambyses.

When Cambyses attacked Pelusium, which guarded the entrance into Egypt, the Egyptians defended it with great resolution. They advanced formidable engines against the besiegers, and hurled missiles, stones, and fire at them from their catapults. To counter this destructive barrage, Cambyses ranged before his front line dogs, sheep, cats, ibises, and whatever other animals the Egyptians hold sacred. The Egyptians immediately stopped their operations, out of fear of hurting the animals, which they hold in great veneration. Cambyses captured Pelusium, and thereby opened up for himself the route into Egypt.

[10]   Oebares.

After killing the Magi, who had usurped the government of Persia, Dareius and his seven colleagues consulted about who was to become king. They decided, at a specified time, to meet on horseback at a place fixed for the purpose outside the city; and that the man, whose horse neighed first, should be king. Oebares, the groom of Dareius, as soon as he heard what they had decided, brought his horse to the appointed place the day before the contest was due to take place. There he introduced him to a mare, and then he took the horse back to the stable. The next morning, they all mounted their horses and met at the place as had been agreed. Dareius' horse remembered the place, and the pleasure he had enjoyed there, and instantly neighed for his mare. The rest of the seven immediately dismounted, and did homage to Dareius, saluting him as king of Persia. [see also: Herodotus, 3.85]

[11]   Dareius.

When Dareius was confronting the Scythians in battle, and both armies were ready to fight, a hare rose from its seat and ran close to the Scythian line. Several of the Scythians started to pursue it. Dareius saw what was happening, and concluded that it was the wrong time to fight, if the Scythians were so confident in their superiority, that they could pursue a hare in front of the Persian army. Accordingly he ordered his trumpets to sound a retreat. [see also: Herodotus, 4.134]

2   When Dareius and the seven other Persians agreed to attack the Magi by night, he suggested that they wore the button, that usually fastens the tiara behind, on their forehead; so that by feeling the button, they might recognise their friends.

3   Dareius was the first king, who imposed taxes on the people. To remove the odium of such a measure from himself, he ordered the satraps to raise the taxes in each of their provinces. In accordance with their ordered, they collected large amounts of money, which they handed over to Dareius. But Dareius kept only half of it for himself, and gave back the other half to the people. [see also: Plut:Mor_172'F]

4   Dareius undertook an expedition into Scythia, but he was unable to gain any advantages there, and when his provisions ran short, he began to think of a retreat. In order to conceal his intentions from the enemy, and thereby to retreat with the least loss, he directed his tents to be left standing, just as they had been for some time before. In the tents there were many wounded soldiers, asses, mules and dogs; and a great many fires were lighted, which those who were left behind were ordered to keep burning constantly throughout the night. The Scythians, seeing the fires and the tents, and hearing the confused noise of the animals, assumed that the Persians were still encamped; whereas they had in fact secured their retreat. As soon as Dareius' movements were known to the Scythians, they pursued him as quickly as they could; but he was too far ahead, to be overtaken by them. [see also: Herodotus, 4.135]

5   When Dareius besieged Chalcedon, the Chalcedonians neglected to make the exertions, which so formidable an enemy required, because they relied on the strength of their walls, and their great store of provisions. Nor did Dareius on the other hand make any attack upon the walls. He contented himself with ravaging a large part of the country around, pretending that he was waiting for reinforcements, before he attempted to attack the city directly. But while the whole attention of the Chalcedonians was directed towards their walls, the Persians dug a mine from a hill called Aphasium, which was about fifteen stades distant from the city, and continued digging as far as the market-place. As soon as they reached that spot, which they identified from the roots of olive trees, which grew there, they waited for the approach of night. Then they entered the forum, and took possession of the city without the loss of a man, while the Chalcedonians were still wholly intent on the defence of their walls.

6   When Dareius made an expedition against the Sacae, he found himself in danger of being surrounded by three armies. Therefore he advanced with all possible speed against the army which was nearest to him, and defeated it in battle. Then he dressed his men in the clothes and weapons of the Sacae, and marched against another army of the Sacae, slowly and confidently as if to meet their friends. But as soon as they came within a spear's length of them, the Persians, according to their orders, instead of friendly greetings, fell upon the enemy, and cut them to pieces. After having defeated two divisions of the enemy in this way, Dareius advanced against the third, but they had already heard about the fate of the other two armies, and surrendered to him without risking a battle.

7   The Egyptians revolted, on account of the cruelties inflicted on them by Aryandes, their satrap. In order to reduce them to obedience, Dareius himself marched through the Arabian desert and arrived at Memphis, at the very time when the Egyptians were commemorating the death of Apis. Dareius immediately made a proclamation, that he would give a hundred talents of gold to the man who could produce Apis. The Egyptians were so impressed by the piety of the king, that they took decisive action against the rebels, and entirely devoted themselves to support of Dareius.

[12]   Siraces.

When Dareius attacked the Sacae, their three kings - Sacesphares, Amorges and Thamyris - retired to consult about the measures which they should take to face this emergency. A certain stable-keeper, called Siraces, was introduced to them, and he promised to destroy the Persian force by himself, if they pledged themselves by oath, to give to his children and family all the horses and treasure, which would fall into their hands as a result of the destruction of the enemy. After this had been agreed, he drew out his knife and cut off his nose and ears, and maimed himself also in other parts of his body. Thus disfigured, he deserted to Dareius, who believed his complaints about the cruel treatment which he had received from the king of the Sacae. "But", added Siraces, "by the eternal fire, and the sacred water, I swear that I will have my revenge, with the help of the Persians. And it is in your power to give the glorious revenge which I ask for, as I will explain to you. Tomorrow night the Sacae intend to move their camp to a spot, which I know; and I can lead you to it by a more direct way, than the one they will take, so that you can trap them as in a net. I am a horse-keeper, and know every step of the country for many miles around. But it will be necessary for us to take with us water and provisions for seven days; order preparations to be made for this, because there is no time to lose." Accordingly, he led the army in a march of seven days, into the most barren and sandy part of Media. When both their water and their provisions began to run out, the chiliarch Rhanosbates, suspecting his treachery, took him aside and rebuked him. "What could induce you," he said, "to deceive so powerful a monarch, and so numerous an army? You have brought us to a place destitute of every necessity of life. Neither beast, nor bird inhabits it; nor do we know whither to proceed, or how to return." Siraces clapped his hands, and answered him with a laugh, "I have gained a noble victory. I have saved my country from impending danger, and I have consigned the Persian army to destruction by famine and thirst." In his anger, the chiliarch immediately struck off his head. Dareius fixed his sceptre in the ground, and tied around it his tiara and the royal diadem. Then he climbed up a hill, and implored Apollo in this moment of distress to save his army by giving them water. The god heard his prayers, and there followed a plentiful shower of rain, which the army collected on hides, and in vases. They survived on the water, until they reached the river Bactrum, where they acknowledged that they owed their preservation to the favour of the gods. But though the ruse of the horse-keeper failed in this instance, Zopyrus later copied it with success against the Babylonians.

[13]   Zopyrus.

Dareius besieged Babylon for a long time, without being able to capture it. Then Zopyrus, one of his satraps, mangled his face horribly and fled to the enemy, in the guise of a deserter. He pretended that the had been cruelly treated by Dareius, and the Babylonians believed his complaints, which were so clearly supported by his appearance. They took him under their protection, and their confidence in him increased by degrees, until at last they entrusted him with the government of the city. After he had been invested with this power, he soon found the means to throw open the gates by night, and allowed Dareius to take possession of Babylon. Dareius expressed himself on that occasion in a manner worthy of a great and generous a king. "I would not," said he, "even for twenty Babylons, wish to see Zopyrus so disfigured as he is." [see also: Herodotus, 3.153, Frontinus, Str_3.3'4]

[14]   Orontes.

Artaxerxes ordered Orontes to send to him Teribazus, the satrap of Cyprus. Orontes was afraid of Teribazus, and did not dare to attack him by force, but he captured him by the following trick. Under one of the rooms in his house there was a dungeon. He ordered a couch to be placed over the mouth of the dungeon. The couch was covered with an embroidered tapestry, and was not fastened down. He invited Teribazus to this spot, on the pretence of having some private business to conduct with him. When Teribazus threw himself onto the couch that was prepared for him, the couch fell down into the dungeon with him on it. In this way he was captured, and sent in chains to the king. [see also: Diodorus, 15.8]

2   After rising in revolt, Orontes fought against king's generals. He was driven to mount Tmolus, where he strongly entrenched himself. As soon as the enemy caught up with him, and encamped against him, he dug a very deep ditch, and ordered the guard to be doubled on all the paths leading to his camp. Then he sallied out in the night with a picked body of cavalry. He took the road towards Sardis, and found a large supply of provisions, which were intended for the enemy's camp. He seized the provisions, along with a considerable amount of booty from the inhabitants of Sardis. He sent news of these events to his camp, and ordered his army to come out on the next day and advance against the enemy. His army marched out with great confidence, and as soon as they had come to battle, Orontes with his cavalry fell upon the enemy' rear. In this way he gained a complete victory with little loss. The enemy left many dead on the field, and many others were taken prisoner.

3   Orontes, with ten thousand Greek hoplites, fought at Cyme against Autophradates, who advanced against him with the same number of cavalry. Orontes ordered his men to look around, and observe the extensiveness of the plain. He told them that, if they loosened their ranks, it would be impossible to withstand the charge of the enemy's cavalry. Accordingly, they kept their ranks compact and close, and received the cavalry upon their spears. When the cavalry found that they could make no impression on them, they retreated. Orontes ordered the Greeks, when the cavalry made a second attack upon them, to advance three paces forward to meet them. The cavalry supposed that they meant to charge them, and fled away from the battlefield.

4   After losing a great number of his allies, who had been cut off in an ambush by Autophradates, Orontes spread a report that a group of mercenaries were on the march to join him. He took care that this message, with every mark of confirmation that he could give it, was communicated to Autophradates. By night he armed the strongest of the barbarians in Greek armour; and as soon as it was day, he posted them in his army amongst the rest of the Greeks, along with interpreters who knew both languages and could repeat the Greek commands in the barbarian language. Autophradates, seeing such a large number of men in Greek armour, assumed that Orontes had received the reinforcements, of which he had been informed. Not wishing to risk a battle at so great a disadvantage, he broke up his camp and retreated.

[15]   Xerxes.

When Xerxes undertook an expedition against Greece, he persuaded a number of nations to join in the enterprise, by spreading a report that he had gained the support of some of the principal Greeks, who were willing to betray the country to him. The others supposed that they would be marching not to subdue a country, but to take possession of it. Therefore they were easily persuaded to join the confederacy, and many of the barbarian states voluntarily offered themselves as allies.

2   When some Greek spies were caught in his camp, Xerxes, instead of punishing them, ordered them to be taken through every part of it, and shown all his forces. Then he ordered them to go back and tell the Greeks everything which he had allowed them to seen. [see also: Herodotus, 7.146]

3   While Xerxes lay at anchor at Abydus, waiting to intercept the Greek fleet, he captured a fleet of store-ships, laden with provisions. The barbarians wanted to sink the ships, with all the men who were on board them. Xerxes would not agree to this, but summoned the men and asked where they were heading. "For Greece," they replied. "So are we," said Xerxes, "and therefore the ships belong to us. Now go away." As soon as the men reached Greece, they spread universal terror there with their reports of Xerxes' invasion. [see also: Herodotus, 7.147]

4   To conceal the great numbers of the barbarians, who had been killed at Thermopylae, Xerxes ordered the relatives of those who had been to lost, to go out by night and bury them in secret.

5   Xerxes could not bring all of his numerous army into action at Thermopylae, because of the narrowness of the pass, and many Persians were killed there. But Ephialtes of Trachis revealed to him a secret way across the mountains, and Xerxes sent a hundred thousand men along that route. These men went round in a circuit and fell upon the rear of the Greeks. They cut down Leonidas himself, and every man of the little force he commanded.

[16]   Artaxerxes.

Artaxerxes sent Tithraustes to seize Tisaphernes. He gave him two letters, one to Tisaphernes himself, appointing him to command an expedition against the Greeks, and another to Ariaeus, ordering him to assist Tithraustes in capturing Tisaphernes. As soon as Ariaeus, who was then staying at Colossae in Phrygia, read the letter, he sent to Tisaphernes asking to meet him about some importance business, in particular concerning Greece. Tisaphernes entertained no suspicion of any plot against him. He left his bodyguard behind in Sardis, and immediately went to meet Ariaeus, accompanied by a body of three hundred Arcadians and Milesians. When he arrived, he laid aside his sword, and went into a bath. Ariaeus and his attendants suddenly rushed upon him, and seized him. Then they put him in a covered carriage and delivered him to Tithraustes. Tithraustes took him to Celaenae, and there struck off his head, which he carried to the king. Artaxerxes sent it to his mother Parysatis, who long wished to see Tisaphernes suffer in revenge for the death of Cyrus. And the mothers and wives of all the Greeks, who had followed Cyrus, expressed equal satisfaction at the punishment of a man, who had used such great treachery towards their sons and husbands. [see also: Diodorus, 14.80]

2   Artaxerxes tried by all possible means to stir up wars between the Greeks. He was always willing to help the conquered side; for by giving assistance to the weaker power, he placed them nearer to equality, and thereby he exhausted the victors' strength.

[17]   Ochus.

After the death of Artaxerxes, his son Ochus realised that he would not immediately have the same authority over his subjects, which his father had. Therefore he prevailed upon the eunuchs, the stewards, and the captain of the guard, to conceal the death of his father for a period of ten months. In the meantime, he wrote letters in his father's name, and sealed them with the royal signet, commanding his subjects to acknowledge Ochus as their king, and to pay homage to him. When this decree had been obeyed by all his subjects, Ochus announced the death of his father, and ordered a general mourning for him, according to the custom of the Persians.

[18]   Tisaphernes.

Tisaphernes entered into a close alliance with Clearchus, and placed his concubines at his service. He said that he wished to have a similar relationship with the other Greek generals. His invitation was accepted by Proxenus of Boeotia, Menon of Thessaly, Agis of Arcadia, and Socrates of Achaea. They were introduced to Tisaphernes, accompanied by twenty officers and two hundred soldiers. Tisaphernes seized the generals and sent them in chains to the king; the other men were massacred. [see also: Xenophon, Anab_2.5'31]

2   Tisaphernes planned to attack Miletus, and seize all the deserters, who had taken refuge there. Although he had not at the time made any preparations for such an expedition, he carefully spread a report of his plan, so that the Milesians removed all their property from the country into the city. As soon as he was really prepared for the expedition, he pretended to change his mind, and dismissed his army, with secret orders that no soldier should travel far away. As soon as the Milesians heard that his army had been disbanded, they relaxed their guard and ventured out into the county. Then Tisaphernes suddenly collected his forces, and seized all the Milesians who were dispersed outside the city.

[19]   Pharnabazus.

The Lacedaemonians recalled Lysander from Asia, because Pharnabazus had accused him of misdemeanours. When Lysander urged him to be less severe in the condemnation of his conduct, Pharnabazus promised that he would, and he wrote a letter to the Lacedaemonians, containing the message which Lysander wanted. But at the same time, he secretly wrote another letter, which gave a very different account. When he sealed the letter, he contrived to replace the letter which Lysander had seen with the secret letter, which was of exactly the same appearance. Lysander took this letter, and on his return to Lacedaemon, he delivered it to the ephors, as was customary. As soon as they had read the letter, they showed it to him, and they remarked that there was no room for any defence, because he was condemned by the very letter, which he himself had produced. [see also: Plutarch, Lys_19]

[20]   Glos.

Glos, while on an expedition against Cyprus, suspected that the Greeks who were in his service were trying to stir up the Greeks in Ionia against him. To discover the culprits, he ordered a trireme to sail for Ionia. The master delayed sailing for several days, on pretence of gathering a crew and provisions, but in reality to give a chance for anyone who wished to put letters on board for their friends. As soon as the ship was out of the harbour, the master put to land at a particular point, as Glos had instructed. Glos met him there, and took possession of all the letters, which had been given to him to take to Ionia. From these letters, he discovered who were his enemies. He did not punish them immediately, but he took the earliest available opportunity to get rid of them.

[21]   Datames.

When Datames was being pressed by his men for their arrears of pay, he assembled them and assured them that he had great treasures available, at a place which was only three days' march away from them. "Therefore," he said, "let us march there as quickly as possible." From the confidence with which he said this, the army believed him, and immediately began their march. When they came within one day's march of the place, he ordered them to halt, and rest themselves. Meanwhile he took some mules and camels, and went to a temple, which was adorned with the wealth of the country. From there he seized thirty talents of silver, with which he filled a few vases. He carried the vases back to the army on the camels and mules, along with a great number of other vases of the same shape and size, which he pretended to be full. Upon his return, he showed the full vases to the soldiers, who in their delight at the sight believed what he said about the other vases. But he told them that, before he could distribute the money to each of them, he need to go to Amisus to have the bullion turned into coins. Amisus was many days' march distant from there, and was very bleak place in which to spend the winter. The troops showed no disposition to march there, and did not trouble him for the rest of the winter about their arrears.

2   Datames intended to attack Sinope; but the city had a very strong fleet, while he had none, nor any carpenters to build one for him. Therefore he entered into an alliance with them, and promised to lay siege to Sestus, which was most hostile to them, and put it into their hands. The inhabitants of Sinope were delighted with the proposal; and offered to assist him in the enterprise in whatever way he might want. He told them that he had plenty of money and men, but what he needed was siege engines, catapults, battering rams and testudos. He had none of these things, which would be essential for carrying out a siege. The inhabitants of Sinope immediately provided him with all the builders and carpenters that they had. He employed these men in building ships, as well as siege engines; and in this way he created a fleet, with which he attacked Sinope instead of Sestus.

3   Datames crossed the river Euphrates, to make war on the great king [of the Persians] and invade his territories. The king marched against him with a large force, but because his army was poorly supplied with provisions, he was much delayed in his march. Meanwhile Damates was obliged, by the difficulty of procuring forage for so numerous a body of troops, to retreat hastily before the formidable force, that was advancing against him. After marching to the nearest point of the river which he could reach, he fastened two carriages abreast, and then fastened two more onto them. On the bottom of the circumference of the wheels he nailed broad boards, to stop them sinking into the mud. He then ordered some of the strongest men in his army to swim over the river, and to lead after them a number of the strongest horses that could be picked out. The carriages, on which he placed his baggage, were fastened to the horses by ropes. His men thrust the carriages into the river, where they were pulled forwards by the men who had gone ahead, and by the horses. In this way he crossed the river without loss; and gained ten days' march ahead of the king, by which he achieved a safe retreat.

4   Shortly before a battle [on the plain of] Aspendus, Datames received intelligence that some of his own soldiers were plotting against him. He changed armour with one of his officers, who wore his armour, while Datames went into battle with borrowed clothes. The plotters, mistaking the person who wore the royal armour for the king, were discovered in their attack on him, and captured. [see also: Cornelius Nepos, Dat_9]

5   While he was besieging Sinope, Datames received a letter from the king, ordering him to raise the siege immediately. Datames did not want it to be thought, that he had been ordered to do this. As soon as he had read the letter, he offered homage to it, and made a sacrifice for the occasion, as if he had received an especial favour from the king. Then by night he embarked on a ship and sailed away.

6   When Datames was being closely pursued by Autophradates, he reached a river. He did not dare to attempt to cross the river in the face of the enemy, but he pretended to encamp by the side of it. He fixed very large and high tents in the sight of the enemy, and concealed the cavalry and the baggage behind them. He ordered his men not to unharness the horses, or to take off their bridles; and he told the soldiers to keep hold of their weapons. When they saw Datames encamped, the enemy halted and encamped against him. They took their horses away from the carriages, and put them out to fodder; and they began to prepare their meals. Datames had his horses, his men, and everything else in readiness for crossing the river. As soon as he saw that the enemy were relaxed, he began the crossing. While the enemy were still collecting their scattered troops, forming their line, preparing their horses, and arming themselves, he was able to cross over in safety.

7   In the middle of a battle, an officer on the left wing deserted to the enemy with a body of cavalry, and threw the infantry into consternation. Datames ran up to the dispirited troops, and told them to keep to their ranks, so that they could make an attack. He said that the cavalry had made that movement on his orders, in order to take the opportunity of supporting the attack of the infantry. The infantry believed him, and in their eagerness to snatch the victory from the cavalry, they vigorously attacked the enemy in a compact body. It was only after they had defeated the enemy, that they learned the truth about the treachery of the cavalry. [see also: Cornelius Nepos, Dat_6]

[22]   Cosingas.

The generals of the Cebrenii and Sycaeboae, two Thracian tribes, were chosen from among the priests of Hera. Cosingas, according to the tradition of the country, was elected to be their priest and general; but the army took some objection to him, and refused to obey him. To suppress the rebelliousness that had taken hold of the troops, Cosingas built a number of long ladders, and fastened them one to another. He then put out a report, that he had decided to climb up to heaven, in order to inform Hera of the disobedience of the Thracians. The Thracians, who are notoriously stupid and ridiculous, were terrified by the idea of their general's intended journey, and the resulting wrath of heaven. They implored him not to carry out his plan, and they promised with an oath to obey all of his future commands.

[23]   Mausolus.

When Mausolus, king of Caria, had need of more money than he could raise from his subjects, he assembled his friends, and pretended that he was afraid that the great king would strip him of all his dominions. He showed them his treasures, gold and silver, his horses, jewels, and whatever else he had of value. He said that he intended to send it all to the king, with a request to allow him to continue in his hereditary territories. His friends believed that the situation really was as he described; and the same day, they sent him an immense amount of treasure.

2   In order to gain control of Latmus, a strongly fortified city, Mausolus pretended that he wanted to form a close alliance with the Latmians. For that purpose, he restored to them the hostages, whom Hidrieus had taken; and he appointed Latmians to be his bodyguard, as if they were men on whose loyalty he could trust. He made a point of obliging them, in whatever they wished; and after winning their support in this way, he asked them to send him three hundred men as guards for his person. He pretended that he had business, that required him to go to Pygela, and that he was afraid of the sinister schemes of Herophytus of Ephesus. The men whom he asked for were immediately sent to him, and they accompanied him, along with other forces he had in readiness, as he marched to Latmus, on his route to Pygela. When the citizens all came out, to see the army pass, a body of troops, whom he had placed in ambush during the night, sallied out, and occupied the city, which had been deserted by its inhabitants, with the gates left wide open. Mausolus then turned round and entered Latmus with all his forces, and made himself master of the city. [see also: Polyaenus, 8.53'4]

[24]   Borges.

Borges was appointed by the great king to be governor of Eion, a city situated on the river Strymon. When the city was closely besieged by the Greeks, Borges bravely held out to the last extremity, and finding that he could not longer defend the city, he determined not to surrender to the enemy the place, which the king had sent him to hold. Instead, he set fire to it, and perished in the flames, along with his wife and children. [see also: Herodotus, 7.107]

[25]   Dromichaetes.

Dromichaetes was king of Thrace, and Lysimachus was king of Macedonia. When Lysimachus made war on Thrace, Dromichaetes used the following stratagem against him. Seuthes, his general, pretended to resent some insult which he had received from the Thracian king, and deserted to Lysimachus. Lysimachus trusted his loyalty, and followed his directions. But Seuthes brought the Macedonian army into such a situation, that they had to contend at the same time with famine, thirst and a powerful enemy. Dromichaetes took the opportunity to attack them when they were in this situation. Although the Macedonian army is reported to have amounted to a hundred thousand men, he defeated them with great slaughter, and took Lysimachus prisoner.

[26]   Ariobarzanes.

Ariobarzanes was blocked up by Autophradates at Adramyttium, by land and sea. He lacked a supply of both provisions and men, which he was unable to bring in, because the enemy watched him so closely. He ordered the commander of the garrison in Pteleūs, the neighbouring island, to contact Autophradates, and pretend to be ready to betray the island to him. In accordance with this proposal, Autophradates ordered his fleet to sail and take possession of the island. While the fleet was away, Ariobarzanes brought an ample supply of provisions and men into Adramyttium.

[27]   Autophradates.

Autophradates, in an expedition into Pisidia, marched into a defile with his army; but he discovered that the enemy had secured the defile, and that he would be unable to pass through it without great loss. He therefore retreated for a distance of about 90 stades. As soon as night came on, the Pisidians, who had observed his retreat, left their position; but Autophradates quickly marched back with his light-armed troops and passed through the defile. The rest of his army followed him and penetrated into Pisidia, which he ravaged thoroughly. [see also: Frontinus, Str_1.4'5]

2   Autophradates observed that the Ephesians, who were encamped opposite him, were walking around in a leisurely fashion, and relaxing. He proposed a conference with the Ephesian leaders, which they accepted. While he was thus engaged with them, the generals of his cavalry and hoplites, according to the orders which he had given them, suddenly attacked the Ephesians, who were dispersed in straggling groups, and unprepared for action. Some of them were cut down, and the rest were made prisoners.

3   In order to persuade the mercenaries to follow him, Autophradates arranged for a report to be spread around, that his expedition was in reality no more than a general muster of his troops, with the purpose of docking the pay of all who did not appear in arms. The men therefore all armed themselves, and took their positions, claiming to be ready for action. Autophradates immediately marched them out, informing them that the review, which they had been expecting, would be against a real enemy on the battlefield.

[28]   Arsames.

When Arsames was besieging Barce, the inhabitants of the city sent envoys to him with proposals of peace. He agreed to their terms, and in confirmation of it, he gave them his hand, as is the Persian custom. After raising the siege, he recommended that they make a close alliance with the king against the Greeks, and proposed that they should furnish him with a number of carriages, which he needed for his Greek expedition. They agreed with this proposal, and sent some of their leaders to him to arrange measures for the expedition. Arsames received these men courteously, and held a magnificent banquet for them. He also opened up a market for all the inhabitants of Barce, where a vast profusion of all kinds of things were put up for sale. Accordingly the inhabitants came out in great numbers to make purchases, but on a given signal the Persians took possession of the gates and rushed into the city. They plundered the city, and put to the sword anyone who attempted to resist them.

2   After Arsames had revolted from the king, he took control of Greater Phrygia, and made war against the king's generals. He received intelligence that his own cavalry commander was collaborating with the enemy, and had promised to desert to them, as soon as they met in battle. He went to the commander's tent by night, and ordered him to be examined under torture. As soon as a full confession of the fact had been made, he ordered the arms and uniform of the cavalry, who had joined in the plot, to be taken away from them; and others, in whom he trusted, to wear them instead. He ordered these men, as soon as they saw the enemy give the signal for desertion, to pretend to ride over to them, and then fall on their rear. After giving these orders, Arsames vigorously attacked the front of the enemy; at the same time, his cavalry obeyed the signal, but instead of assisting the enemy, fell upon their rear. Their ranks were immediately broken, and most of them were cut down as they fled.

[29]   Mithridates.

After Datames had revolted, the king order Mithridates to capture him, either dead or alive. Mithridates pretended to join in the revolt, and offered to join Datames. But that cautious general wanted to see some proof of his revolt, by commencing hostilities against the king, before he trusted his claims. Mithridates accordingly began to ravage the countryside; he levelled his forts to the ground, burned his own villages, extorted money, and plundered his subjects. After Mithridates had taken such decisive action against the king, the two generals agreed on a conference, at which they were to meet unarmed. But Mithridates had secretly concealed a number of daggers around the spot, which was chosen for their meeting; he hid them in the ground, and marked the places where he had concealed them. After they had walked about together, and had spent a considerable time in conversation, Datames took his leave, and they parted. But Mithridates hastily dug up one of the daggers, which he concealed under his left arm, and called back Datames, on the pretence that he had forgotten something else, which he needed to say. Datames accordingly returned, and Mithridates pointed at a mountain, which he said they ought to secure. While Datames was looking at the mountain intently, Mithridates plunged the dagger into his breast. [see also: Cornelius Nepos, Dat_10]

2   Mithridates was closely pursued to a city in Paphlagonia, where he took refuge. In the night, he stripped the houses of their furniture, vases, and other valuables, and scattered them indiscriminately around the streets. He then left the city as quickly as possible. When his pursuers entered the city the next morning, and saw vases and other valuables scattered around the streets, they immediately fell to plundering. Although their generals ordered them to carry on the pursuit without delay, they refused to forgo the profit which was before their eyes. In this way Mithridates was able to leave them far behind, and completed his escape.

[30]   Mempsis.

Mempsis was forced to retreat before Aribaeus, who had made war on him, but he decided not to be blocked up in his city. For this reason, he brought out everything that was most valuable - his wives, his children, and all his treasures. He placed them outside the walls, and destroyed the gates. Aribaeus saw marks of desperation in his conduct, and drew away his army. He considered it unwise to fight with an enemy, who was so determined to achieve either death, or victory.

[31]   Cersobleptes.

Some of the relatives of Cersobleptes revolted from him, after embezzling large sums of money. He afterwards however found a way of recalling them to their duty; and, to separate them from each other, he gave them the command of different cities. After some time had passed, he sent orders for them to be seized, on account of the money which they had embezzled. He expelled them from their cities, and confiscated their estates.

[32]   Seuthes.

When Seuthes, the second-in-command of Cersobleptes, was very short of money, he sent orders to every farmer, to sow as much land as would require five medimni of seed. He carried the great quantity of corn, which was produced by this increase in tillage, down to the sea. There he sold it at somewhat less than the market price; which immediately brought into the treasury a very considerable sum of money.

[33]   Artabazus.

Timoxenus of Scione promised to betray Potidaea, which Artabazus was besieging. Their correspondence was carried on by a letter fixed to an arrow, which was shot at a particular place; and the answer was returned by another arrow. [see also: Herodotus, 8.128]

2   Artabazus instructed Pammenes, who was suspected of communicating with the enemy, to go to make payments, and distribute corn to the troops. But as soon as Pammenes entered the camp, he ordered him to be seized, and handed him over to his brothers Oxythres and Dibictus. [see also: Diodorus, 16.34]

3   Artabazus, the son of Pharnaces, escaped from Plataea, and came to Thessaly. When the Thessalians questioned him about the battle, he was afraid to admit the defeat which the Persians had suffered, and he replied, that he was on his way to Thrace, to deliver a secret message from the king, but Mardonius would soon follow after him, with the news of the victory which he had obtained. By this pretence, Artabazus escaped from Thessaly, before the news of the Persians' defeat became known. [see also: Herodotus, 9.89]

[34]   Aryandes.

When Aryandes was besieging Barce, he dug a ditch by night in front of the walls; over the ditch he placed some beams of wood, and covered them with a little earth. Some time later, he proposed terms of peace to the Barcaeans; and he concluded a treaty with them on the site of the ditch which he had dug, where he swore to adhere to the conditions of the treaty, as long as the ground he stood on continued. When the treaty had been concluded, the Barcaeans opened their gates. But the soldiers of Aryandes broke open the ditch, and made themselves masters of the city, on the pretext that the ground, on which the two sides stood when they made the treaty, no longer existed. [see also: Herodotus, 4.201]

[35]   Brennus.

Brennus, king of the Gauls, in order to persuade the Gauls to undertake an expedition against Greece, convened an assembly of men and women, and ordered some Greek prisoners to be displayed there, who were poor and feeble, with their heads shaven and shabbily dressed. Next to them he placed some Gauls, who were stout handsome men, equipped with Gallic armour. Then he addressed the assembly: "Such as these," he said, "are the men who march with us into battle; and such, as those you see, are the enemies with which we have to contend. " By these means, the Gauls were brought to conceive such a contempt for the Greeks, that they readily offered to serve in an expedition against them.

2   When the Gallic army marched into Greece, Brennus saw some gold statues at Delphi. He sent for some Delphian captives, and asked them through an interpreter, if the statues were of solid gold. When they informed him that they were only brass, covered with a thin layer of gold, he told them that he would certainly execute any of them, who gave out such a report. He ordered them therefore, whenever they were asked about the statues, to say the opposite, that they were made of solid gold. Then he sent for some of his generals, and in their presence he again asked the prisoners the same question, that he had already put to them. They, as they had been instructed, replied that they were all real gold. He ordered the generals to communicate this message to the army; in order that the prospect of so much wealth might encourage them to obtain it through conquest.

[36]   Mygdonius.

When Mygdonius was closely besieged, and suffering from a severe shortage of provisions, he ordered heaps of stone and earth to be brought into the market place. He bundled them together with clay, and covered them with corn, some with wheat, and others with barley. He also ordered some of the largest and fattest mules, that could be picked out, to be turned out of the city. Then he dispatched a herald into the enemy's camp, and asked them to send some envoys to negotiate a ransom for the mules, and whatever other property the citizens might have lost. As soon as the envoys arrives, they were brought into the market-place, where Mygdonius met them. There they saw vast heaps of wheat, and barley, and heard orders given to servants to measure out great quantities of corn in other places also. On their return, the envoys reported that the town was provided with large stores. The enemy believed that this was confirmed by the fatness of the mules. They concluded that there was little prospect of reducing the town by starvation, and therefore they raised the siege.

[37]   Paerisades.

Paerisades, king of Pontus, used three distinct outfits of clothing on different occasions: one when he reviewed his troops, another in time of battle, and a third when he was forced to take flight. The reasons he gave for this custom were as follows: at a review, he wished to be known by every individual in his army; in battle, he wished not to be known by the enemy; and when he was forced to take flight, he wished to be known by no-one.

[38]   Seuthes.

When the Athenians were raiding and ravaging the coastal districts of Chersonesus, Seuthes hired two thousand light-armed Getae. He ordered them to ravage the country in full view of the enemy, destroying it with fire, and attacking the people on the walls with missiles and arrows. The Athenians assumed from these hostile actions, that the Getae were enemies of the Thracians. They disembarked in order to join them, and marched boldly up to the walls. Seuthes immediately sallied out of the city against them; and the Getae, advancing as if to their assistance, fell on their rear. Thus the Athenians, attacked on one side by the Thracians, and by the Getae on the other, were all cut to pieces.

[39]   Cheiles.

In order to rid himself of three thousand Persians, who had been involved in a revolt, Cheiles pretended to have received a threatening letter from Seleucus. He told them that, by their assistance, he hoped to bring Seleucus to reason. For this purpose, he instructed them to assemble at Randa, a town not far distant, and he promised to meet them there. In a deep and sheltered valley nearby, Cheiles posted three hundred Macedonian and Thracian cavalrymen, along with three thousand heavy-armed troops. He ordered them, as soon as they saw an iron shield raised up, to charge out and cut the Persians to pieces. The Persians assembled as they had been instructed; and Cheiles' plan was executed so effectively, that all three thousand were massacred.

[40]   Oborzus.

When Oborzus was informed that a conspiracy had been formed against him by three thousand Persians, he discharged them, and banished them to a place in Persia, called Comastus, to which they were escorted by a strong guard. The country abounded with villages; it was very populous, and the roads were well accommodated with inns. In the towns, where they were lodged, they were dispersed in several inns; and the inn-keepers were ordered by the guards, who escorted them, and who surrounded the towns, each to kill his lodgers. Accordingly they made their lodgers drunk, and then killed them. In this way, the three thousand Persians were murdered in the night, and buried, without any tumult or confusion.

[41]   Surenas.

Crassus, when he had been ignominiously defeated by the Parthians, retreated into the mountains. Surenas, the general of the Parthians, was afraid that he would rally his forces, and renew the fight in desperation. Therefore he sent a herald to inform Crassus, that the great king was ready to enter into a treaty of peace with him, and that, after convincing the Romans of the Parthians' courage, he was now ready to convince them of their generosity. Crassus suspected a plot, and he was unwilling to meet with them. But his soldiers, whose spirits were depressed and broken, clashed their weapons, and insisted that he comply with the barbarians' request. In silent sorrow, Crassus set out for the Parthian camp on foot, but Surenas, who pretended to treat him with great respect, sent a richly ornamented horse, for him to ride. Then the barbarian groom pricked the horse and made him spring forwards. The horse would have carried Crassus, as was intended, into the middle of the Parthian army, had not Octavius, one of his legates, perceived the danger and caught hold of the reins; and Petronius, a tribune, did the same. Octavius immediately drew his sword, and killed the groom on the spot, but he himself was slain by a Parthian. Exathres the Parthian attacked Crassus, cut off his head and right hand, and carried them to Hyrodes, the great king of the Parthians. The king was at the time engaged in a banquet, where Jason of Tralles was performing the Bacchae of Euripides. The actor had just uttered this verse:
  A new-skinned calf we from the mountains bring,
  Blest spoil -
when they arrived with the head of Crassus, and brought it in to the king. While everyone immediately clapped and cheered, Exathres jumped up and observed, that the verse was most appropriate for the occasion. This incident gave a new zest to the royal banquet; the king rewarded the bearer with a handsome present, and gave the actor a talent.

[42]   The Celts.

The Celts, who were engaged in a long and indecisive war against the Autoriatae, poisoned their own food and wine with noxious herbs, and suddenly left their camp by night in pretended confusion. The Autoriatae supposed that the enemy had admitted their inferiority and made a precipitate retreat. They took possession of their camp, and feasted on the provisions which they found there. But soon they were seized with a violent sickness, and while they were in that condition, the Celts attacked them, and slew them.

[43]   The Thracians.

The Thracians fought against the Boeotians by lake Copais, and were defeated; then they retreated to Helicon, and made a truce with the Boeotians for a certain number of days, to give time for agreeing the terms of peace. The Boeotians, who were confident because of their recent victory and the truce that followed it, celebrated a sacrifice in honour of Athene Itonia. But at night while they still were intent on the ceremony, and engaged in festivities, the Thracians armed, and attacked them; they cut many of them to pieces, and took a great number prisoners. When the Boeotians afterwards charged them with a breach of the truce, the Thracians replied that the terms of the truce expressed a certain number of days, but said nothing concerning the nights. [see also: Strabo, 9.401 (9.2.4)]

[44]   The Scythians.

The Scythians, when they were about to go into battle against the Triballi, ordered their farmers and horse-keepers, as soon as they saw them engaged in fighting the enemy, to show themselves at a distance with as great a number of horses as they could collect. The Triballi on a distant view of such a number of men and horses, and the dust they raised, supposed them to be a fresh body of Scythians advancing to the assistance of their countrymen; and so they took fright, and fled away. [see also: Frontinus, Str_2.4'20]

2   While the Scythians were fighting in Asia, the Scythian women, thinking that they had been deserted by their husbands, had children by their slaves. When their masters returned, the slaves decided to resist them by force. They accordingly took the field; and advanced in arms, to give them battle. One of the Scythians, fearing that, once the fighting started, desperation might make the slaves brave, advised that the Scythians should lay down their arms and bows, and advance against their slaves with whips in their hands. Accordingly the Scythians took up their whips; and the slaves, suddenly made conscious of their own servitude, immediately threw down their arms, and fled. [see also: Herodotus, 4.3]

[45]   The Persians.

The Persians, suspecting the Samians and Milesians of treachery, posted them alone on the heights of Mycale, supposedly because they were well acquainted with the country; but in reality, to prevent them from corrupting the rest of the Ionians. [see also: Herodotus, 9.99]

2   When the Persians under Cyrus were fighting against the Medes; Oebares the satrap fled from the battlefield, and all the Persians under his command followed him. The Persian women marched out in a body, and met the fugitives; lifting up their skirts, they called out to the men, "Where are you running? Will you hide yourselves here, from where you came?" The women's reproof struck the Persians with shame. They returned to the battle, and defeated the enemy. [see also: Plutarch, Mor_246'A]

[46]   The Taurians.

When preparing for battle, the Taurians, a Scythian people, always used to dig ditches, throw up mounds, and make the ground behind them impassable. Because their means of retreat had been cut off in this way, they knew they had no alternative, but to conquer or die.

[47]   The Trojan Women.

During their journey back home from Troy, the Pallenians landed at Phlegra. While the men made raids into the interior, the captive Trojan women, who were tired with the voyage, and apprehensive of the ill treatment which they might receive from the Greek women, set fire to the fleet, at the instigation of Aethia, the sister of Priamus. After they had been thus deprived of their ships, the Greeks occupied the region of Scione, in which they built a city, and instead of Phlegra they called it Pallene.

[48]   The Women of Salmatis.

When Hannibal was besieging Salmatis, a great and wealthy city in Spain, he agreed with the inhabitants to raise the siege, on payment of three hundred talents of silver, and the delivery of three hundred hostages. The inhabitants of Salmatis afterwards refused to carry out the terms of their agreement. As a result, Hannibal detached a body of troops to plunder the town. The barbarians then begged him for permission to leave the city with their wives, and only the clothes which they wore; they promised to leave behind their slaves, weapons, and other belongings. The women according marched out with their husbands, each carrying a dagger concealed in her bosom. The soldiers immediately entered the town, and started plundering it. Then the women gave the daggers to their husbands, who re-entered the city and attacked the plunderers, while some of the women accompanied them with drawn swords. They captured some of the enemy, and drove the rest out of the city. Out of respect for the bravery of the women, Hannibal restored to them their hostages, their country, and their property.

[49]   The Tyrrhenian Women.

The Tyrrhenians, who inhabited Lemnos and Imbros, were expelled from their homes by the Athenians, and landed at Taenarus. There they served as auxiliaries to the Spartans in the war against the Helots. As a reward for this service, they were presented with the freedom of the state, and they were allowed to intermarry with the Spartans. But they were suspected of being disaffected, because they were excluded from the council and all positions of trust. Afterwards they were accused of plotting against the state, and the Lacedaemonians threw them into prison. Their wives went to the prison, and asked the guards for permission to visit their husbands and talk with them. When the guards let them in, they exchanged clothes with their husbands; and in the evening the men escaped, disguised in the women's clothes, while the women remained in prison, dressed in their husbands' clothes, and prepared for whatever sufferings might ensue. The men did not forget or desert their wives; they took possession of Taygetus, and encouraged the Helots to revolt. The Lacedaemonians were afraid that there might be serious consequences; so they sent an embassy to settle the controversy, and gave them back their wives. They also supplied them with money and ships; and sent them out as Lacedaemonian colonists. [see also: Herodotus, 4.146]

[50]   The Celtic Women.

The Celts, who had long been troubled by civil wars, had taken up arms against each other, and were just advancing to battle, when their wives rushed into the battlefield, threw themselves between the two armies, and begged them to lay aside their differences. By the insistence of the women, the battle was postponed; and in the end the disputes of the different parties were happily and amicably resolved. Ever since then, throughout the towns and villages of the Celts, whenever there is a debate about peace, or war, concerning either themselves or their allies, the women are always consulted. And in their treaties with Hannibal it was specified, that if the Celts should have any accusation to make against any of the Carthaginians, the dispute should be referred to the generals and commanders of the cavalry; but if the Carthaginians had any accusation to make against any of the Celts, it should be referred to the judgement of the Celtic women.


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