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number, and found it necessary to send envoys to the different
States for immediate re-enforcements.

The Greek fleet, assembled at Artemisium, was composed
of two hundred and seventy-one triremes and nine pentecon-
ters, commanded by Theinistocles, but furnished T h e Greek
by the different States. A disaster happened to fleet
the Greeks very early ; three triremes were captured by the
Persians, which caused great discouragement, and in a panic
the Greeks abandoned their strong naval position, and sailed
up the Eubcean Strait to Chalcis. This was a great misfor-
tune, since the rear of the army of Leonidas w r as no longer
protected by the fleet. But a destructive storm dispersed
the fleet of the Persians at this imminent crisis, so that it
was impossible to lend aid to their army now arrived at
Thermopylae. Four hundred ships of war, together with a
vast number of transports, w r ere thus destroyed. Disaster to

mi i -ii t k r- -!•-!• tne Persian

lhe storm lasted three days. After this disaster fleet.
to the Persians, the Greek fleet returned to Artemisium.
Xerxes encamped within sight of Thermopylae four days,
without making an attack, on account of the dangers to which
his fleet were exposed. On the fifth day he became wroth
at the impudence and boldness of the petty force which
quietly remained to dispute his passage, for the Spartans

222 The Persian War. [Chap. XVII.

amused themselves with athletic sports and combing their
hair. N~or was it altogether presumption on the part of the
Greeks, for there were four or five thousand heavily-armed
men, the bravest in the land, to defend a passage scarcely
wider than a carriage-road — with a wall and other defenses
in front.

The first attack on the Greeks Avas made "by the Medes —
the bravest of the Persian army, but their arrows and short
Attack on spears were of little avail against the phalanx
by e th e e per- which opposed, armed with long spears, and pro-
tected by shields. For two days the attack con-
tinued, and was constantly repulsed, for only a small detach-
ment of Greeks fought at a time. Even the " Immortals " —
the chosen band of Xerxes — were repulsed with a great loss,
to the agony and shame of Xerxes.

On the third day, a Malian revealed to the Persian king
the fact that a narrow path, leading over the mountains, was
defended only by Phocians, and that this path led to the rear
of the Spartans. A strong detachment of Persians was sent
in the night to secure this path, and the Phocian guardians
fled. The Persians descended the path, and attacked the
Leonid as Greeks in their rear. Leonidas soon became
pasTbut'is apprised of his danger, but in time to send away
Biain. liis army. It was now clear that Thex-mopyla?

could no longer be defended, but the heroic and self-sacrific-
ing general resolved to remain, and sell his life as dearly as
possible, and retard, if he could not resist, the march of the
enemy. Three hundred Spartans, with seven hundred Thes-
pians and four hundred Thebans joined him, while the rest
retired to fight another day. It required all the efforts of
the Persian generals, assisted by the whip, to force the men
to attack this devoted band. The Greeks fought with the
most desperate bravery, till their spears were broken, and
Heroic no weapons remained but their swords and daggers,

three him- At last, exhausted, they died, surrounded by vast
tans. "~ par forces, after having made the most heroic defense
in the history of the war. Only one man, Aristodemus,

Chap. XVII.] Battle of Artemisium. 223

returned to his home of all the three hundred Spartans, but
only to receive scorn and infamy. The Theban band alone
yielded to the Persians, but only at the last hour.

Nothing could exceed the blended anger and admiration
of Xerxes as he beheld this memorable resistance. The (lismajr
He now saw, for the first time, the difficulty of ^f sna "
subduing such a people as the Greeks, resolved to Xerxes -
resist unto death. His mind was perplexed, and he did not
know what course to adopt. Had he accepted the advice
of Demaratus, to make war on the southern coast of Laconia,
and thus distract the Spartans and prevent their co-opera-
tion with Athens, he would have probably succeeded.

But he followed other councils. Meanwhile, the Persian
fleet rallied after the storm, and was still formidable,
in spite of losses. The Greeks were disposed to retire
and leave the strait open to the enemy. The Eubceans,
seeing the evil which would happen to them if their
island was unprotected, sent to Themistocles a present
of thirty talents, if he would keep his position. This
money he spent in bribing the different commanders who
wished to retire, and it Avas resolved to remain. The Persians,
confident of an easy victory, sent round the island of Euboea
a detachment of two hundred ships, to cut off all hopes of
escape to the ships which they expected to capture. A
deserter revealed the intelligence to Themistocles, and
it was resolved to fight the Persians, thus weakened, at
once, but at the close of the day, so that the battle would
not be decisive. The battle of Artemisium was a Naval battle

/> i • • i i ^ 1 i of Artemi-

sort or skirmish, to accustom the Greeks to the sium.
Phoenician mode of fighting. It was, however, successful,
and thirty ships of the Persians were taken or disabled.

But the Greeks derived a greater succor than ships and
men. Another storm overtook the Persians, damaged their
fleet, and destroyed the squadron, sent round the island of
Euboea. Another sea-fight was the result, since Themisto-

xiz-ii 1^-t-i-ii t cles sails for

tne (jreeks were not only aided by the storm, but Saiamis.
new re-enforcements ; but this second fight was indecisive.

224 The Persian War. [Chap. XVII.

Themistocles now felt he could not hold the strait against
superior numbers, and the disaster of Thermopylae being also
now known, he resolved to retreat farther iuto Greece, and
sailed for Salamis.

At this period the Greeks generally were filled with con-
Despair of sternation and disappointment. Neither the Pass
the Greeks. Q; p Thermopylae, nor the strait which connected the
Malicas Gulf with the ^gean, had been successfully de-
fended. The army of Xerxes was advancing through Fhocis
and Boeotia to the Isthmus of Corinth, while the navy sailed
unobstructed through the Euboean Sea. On the part of the
Greeks there had been no preparations commensurate with
the greatness of the crisis, while, had they rallied to Ther-
mopylae, instead of wasting time at the festivals, they would
have saved the pass, and the army of Xerxes, strained for
provisions, would have been compelled to retreat. The
Lacedaemonians, aroused by the death of their king, at last
made vigorous efforts to fortify the Isthmus of Corinth, too
late, however, to defend Boeotia and Attica. The situation
of Athens was now hopeless, and it was seen what a fatal
mistake had been made not to defend, with the whole force
of Greece, the Pass of Thermopylae. There was no help
from the Spartans, for they had all flocked to the Isthmus of
Corinth, as the last chance of protecting the Peloponnesus.
In despair, the Athenians resolved to abandon Athens, with
their families, and take shelter at Salamis. Themistocles
Themisto- alone was undismayed, and souo-ht to encourage

cles revi ves . J ° °

courajrc by his countrymen that the " wooden wall " would

his -'wooden J . . . .„ -,.

wail." still be their salvation. Hie Athenians, it dis-

mayed, did not lose their energies. The recall of the exiles
was decreed by Themistocles' suggestion. With incredible
efforts the whole population of Attica was removed to Sala-
mis, and the hopes of all were centered in the ships. Xerxes
took possession of the deserted city, but found but five hun-
dred captives. He ravaged the country, and a detachment
of Persians even penetrated to Delphi, to rob the shrine, but
were defeated. Athens was, however, sacked.

Chap. XVII] Battle of Salamis. 225

The combined fleet of the Greeks now numbered three
hundred and sixty-six ships, more than half of The hostile

fleets at Sal-

which were Athenian. Many wished to retreat to amis.
the Isthmus of Corinth, and co-operate with the Spartans.
Dissensions came near wrecking the last hopes of Greece,
and Themistocles only prevailed by threatening to withdraw
the Athenian ships unless a battle were at once fought. He
resorted to stratagem to compel the fleet to remain together,
with no outlet of escape if conquered. Aristides came in
the night from JEgina, and informed the Greeks that their
whole fleet was surrounded by the Persians — just what
Themistocles desired. There was nothing then left but to
fight with desperation, for on the issue of the battle de-'
pended the fortunes of Greece. Both fleets were stationed
in the strait between the bay of Eleusis and the Saronic
Gulf, on the west of the island of Salamis.

Xerxes, seated upon a throne upon one of the declivities of
Mount iEgaleos, surveyed the armaments and the seif-eonfi-

, -n i ■ ' f i -in dence of

coming battle. Both parties fought with bravery; Xerxes.
but the space was too narrow for the Persians to engage their
whole fleet, and they had not the discipline of the Greeks,
schooled by severe experience. The Persian fleet became un-
manageable, and the victory was gained by the Greeks. Two
hundred ships fell into the hands of the victors. But a suffi-
cient number remained to the Persians to renew the battle
with better hopes. Xerxes, however, was intimidated, and in a
transport of rage, disappointment, and fear, gave the order to
retreat. He distrusted the fidelity of the allies, and feared for
his own personal safety ; he feared that the victors would sail
to the Hellespont, and destroy the bridges. Themistocles,
on the retreat of the Persians, employed his fleet in levying
fines and contributions upon the islands which had Battle of sa-
supported the Persians, while Xerxes made his retreat of
way back to the Hellespont, and crossed to
Asia, leaving Mardonius in Thessaly, with a large army,
to pursue the conquest on land.

Thus Greece was saved by the battle of Salamis, and the


226 The Persian War. [Chap. XVIL

distinguished services of Themistocles, which can not be too
The import- highly estimated. The terrific cloud was dispersed,
ant results. an( j t ^ e Q ree ^ s abandoned themselves to joy. Un-
paralleled honors were bestowed upon the victor, especially
in Sparta, and his influence, like that of Alcibiades, after
the battle of Marathon, was unbounded. No man ever
merited greater reward.

Though the Persians now abandoned all hopes of any fur-
Marrionius ther maritime attack, yet still great success was an-
iriandofthe ticipated from the immense army which Mardonius
eisians. commanded. The Greeks in the northern parts still
adhered to him, and Thessaly was prostrate at his feet. He
sent Alexander, of Macedon, to Athens to offer honorable
terms of peace, which were nobly rejected, and he was sent
back with this message : "Tell Mardonius that as long as the
sun shall continue in his present path we will never contract
alliance with a foe who has shown no reverence to our gods
and heroes, and who has burned their statues and houses."
The league was renewed with Sparta for mutual defense and
offense, in spite of seductive offers from Mardonius ; but
the Spartans displayed both indifference and selfishness to
any interests outside the Peloponnesus. They fortified the
Isthmus of Corinth, but left Attica undefended. Mardonius
accordingly marched to Athens, and again the city was the
spoil of the Persians. The Athenians again retreated to
Salamis, with bitter feelings against Sparta for her selfishness
and ingratitude. Again Mardonius sought to conciliate the
Athenians, and again his overtures were rejected with wrath
and defiance. The Athenians, distressed, sent envoys to
Sparta to remonstrate against her slackness and selfishness,
not without effect, for, at last, a large Spartan force was col-
He ravishes lected under Pausanias. Meanwhile Mardonius

Attica and .

Boeotia. ravaged Attica and Bceotia, and then fortified his
camp near Platsea, ten furlongs square. Plat sea was a
plain favorable to the action of the cavalry, not far from
Thebes ; but his army was discouraged after so many disas-
ters — in modern military language, demoralized — while Ar-

Chap. XVII.] Preparations for Battle. 227

tabazus, the second in command, was filled with jealousy.
Nor could much be hoped from the Grecian allies, who secretly
were hostile to the invaders. The Thebans and Boeotians
appeared to be zealous, but were governed by fear merely of
a superior power, and hence were unreliable. It can not
be supposed that the Thebans, who sided with the Persians,
by compulsion, preferred their cause to that of their country-
men, great as may have been national jealousy and rivalries.
The total number of Lacedaemonians, Corinthians, Atheni-
ans, and other Greeks, assembled to meet the Per- The Greeks

' ' assemble

sian army, b. c. 4*79, was thirty-eight thousand seven agaiust the

■* ' ' Jo Persians at

hundred men, heavily armed, and seventy-one Piatsea.
thousand three hundred light armed, without defensive ar-
mor ; but most of these were simply in attendance on the
hoplites. The Persians, about three hundred thousand in
number, occupied the line of the river Asopus, on a plain ;
the Greeks stationed themselves on the mountain declivity
near Erythse. The Persian cavalry charged, to dislodge the
Greeks, unwilling to contend on the plain ; but the ground
was unfavorable for cavalry operations, and after a brief suc-
cess, was driven back, while the general, Masistias, who
commanded it, was slain. His death, and the repulse of the
cavalry, so much encouraged Pausauias, the Spartan general,
that he quitted his ground on the mountain declivity, and
took position on the plain beneath. The Lacedaemonians
composed the right wing ; the Athenians, the left ; and various
other allies, the centre. Mardonius then slight- preparations
ly changed his position, crossing the Asopus, nearer or a e "
his own camp, and took post on the left wing, oj:>posite the
right wing of the Greeks, commanded by Pausanias. Both
ai'mies then offered sacrifices to the gods, but Mardonius was
able to give constant annoyance to the Greeks by his caval-
ry, and the Thebans gave great assistance. Ten days were
thus spent by the two armies, without coming into general
action, until Mardonius, on becoming impatient, against the
advice of Artabazus, second in command, resolved to com-
mence the attack. The Greeks were forewarned of his in-

228 The Persian War. [Chap. xvii.

tention, by Alexander of Macedon, who came secretly to the
Greek camp at night — a proof that he, as well as others, were
impatient of the Persian yoke. The Lacedaemonians, posted in
the right wing, against the Persians, changed places with the
Athenians, who were more accustomed to Persian warfare ;
but this manoeuvre being detected, Mardonius made a corre-
sponding change in his own army — upon which Pausanias led
back again his troops to the right wing, and a second move-
ment of Mardonius placed the armies in the original position.

A vigorous attack of the Persian cavalry now followed,
Battle of which so annoyed the Greeks, that Pausanias in
Piataea. ^e flight resolved to change once again his

position, and retreated to the hilly ground, north of Platsea,
about twenty furlongs distant, not without confusion and
mistrust on the part of the Athenians. Mardonius, astonished
at this movement, pursued, and a general engagement fol-
lowed. Both armies fought with desperate courage, but dis-
cipline was on the side of the Greeks, and Mardonius was slain,
fighting gallantly with his guard. Artabazus, with the forty
thousand Persians under his immediate command, had not
taken part, and now gave orders to retreat, and retired from
Greece. The main body, however, of the defeated Persians
retired to their fortified camp. This was attacked by the
Lacedaemonians, and carried with immense slaughter, so that
only three thoiisand men survived out of the army of Mar-
donius, save the forty thousand which Artabazus — a more
able captain — had led away. The defeat of the Persians
was complete, and the spoils which fell to the victors was
immense — gold and silver, arms, carpets, clothing, horses,
camels, and even the rich tent of Xerxes himself, left with
Mardonius. The booty was distributed among the different
contingents of the army. The real victors were the Lace-
daemonians, Athenians, and Tegeans; the Corinthians did
not reach the field till the battle was ended, and thus missed
their share of the spoil.

There was one ally of the Persians which Pausanias re-
solved to punish — the city of Thebes when a merited chas-

Chap, xvil] Battle of My cole. 229

tisement was inflicted, and the customary solemnities were
observed, and honors decreed for the greatest Chastise-
and most decisive victory which the Greeks had Thebes.
ever gained. A confederacy was held at Platasa, in which a
permanent league was made between the leading Grecian
States, not to separate until the common foe was driven back
to Asia.

"While these great events were transpiring in Breotia, the
fleet of the Greeks, after the battle of Salamis, un- Battle of
dertook to rescue Samos from the Persians, and M >' cale -
secure the independence of the Ionian cities in Asia. The
Persian fleet, now disheartened, abandoned Samos and re-
tired to Mycale, in Ionia. The Greek fleet followed, but the
Persians abandoned or dismissed their fleet, and joined their
forces with those of Tigranes, who, with an army of sixty
thousand men, guarded Ionia. The Greeks disembarked,
and prepared to attack the enemy just as the news reached
them of the battle of Platsea. This attack was successful,
partly in consequence of the revolt of the Ionians in the
Persian camp, although the Persians fought with great
bravery. The battle of Mycale was as complete as that of
Platsea and Marathon, and the remnants of the Persian
army retired to Sardis. The Ionian cities were thus, for the
time, delivered of the Persians, as well as Greece itself,
chiefly by means of the Athenians and Corinthians. The
Spartans, with inconceivable narrowness, were reluctant to
receive the continental Ionians as allies, and proposed to
transport them across the ^Egean into Western Greece,
which proposal was most honorably rejected by the Athe-
nians. In every thing, except the defense of Greece Proper,
and especially the Peloponnesus, the Spartans showed them-
selves inferior to the Athenians in magnanimity and enlarged
views. After the capture of Sestos, b. c. 478, which re-
lieved the Thracian Chersonese from the Persians, the fleet of
Athens returned home. The capture of this city concludes
the narration of Herodotus, which ended virtually the Persian
war, although hostilities were continued in Asia. The battle

230 The Persian War. [Chap. XVII.

of Marathon had given the first effective resistance to
Persian conquests, and created confidence among the Greeks.
The battle of Salamis had destroyed the power of Persia on
the sea, and prevented any co-operation of land and naval
forces. The battle of Platsea freed Greece altogether of
the invaders. The battle of Mycale rescued the Ionian cities.
Athens had, on the whole, most distinguished herself in
Rivalry ^' 1S g rea ^ and glorious contest, and now stood
Athen^and f° rt h as the guardian of Hellenic interests on the
Sparta. gea an( j the i ea der of the Ionian race. Sparta con-

tinued to take the lead of the military States, to which Athens
had generously submitted. But a serious rivalry now was
seen between these leading States, chiefly through the
jealousy of Sparta, which ultimately proved fatal to that
supremacy which the Greeks might have maintained over all
the powers of the world. Sparta wished that Athens might
remain unfortified, in common with all the cities of Northern
Greece, while the isthmus should be the centre of all the
works of defense. But Athens, under the sagacious and
crafty management of Themistocles, amused the Spartans
by delays, while the whole population were employed upon
restoring its fortifications.

Although the war against the Persians was virtually con-
cluded by the capture of Sestos, an expedition was fitted
out by Sparta, under Pausanias, the hero of Plataea, to prose-
cute hostilities on the shores of Asia. After liberating most
of the cities of Cyprus, and wresting Byzantium from the
Persians, which thus left the Euxine free to Athenian ships,
from which the Greeks derived their chief supplies of for-
eign corn, Pausanias, giddy with his victories, unaccountably
began a treasonable correspondence with Xerxes, whose
daughter he wished to marry, promising to bring all Greece
again under his sway. He was recalled to Sparta, before
this correspondence was known, having given offense by
Disgrace and adopting the Persian dress, and surrounding him-
saniils!' ' lU ~ self with Persian and Median guards. When his
treason was at last detected, he attempted to raise a rebel-

Chap. XVII.J Corruption of Themistocles. 231

lion among the Helots, but failed, and died miserably by
hunger in the temple in which he had taken sanctuary.

A fall scarcely less melancholy came to the illustrious
Themistocles. In spite of his great services, his popularity
began to decline. He was hated by the Spartans FaiiofThe-
for the part he took in the fortification of the city, mistocles -
who brought all their influence against him. He gave um-
brage to the citizens by his personal vanity, continually boast-
ing of his services. He erected a private chapel in honor of
Artemis. He prostituted his great influence for arbitrary
and corrupt purposes. He accepted bribes without scruple,
to the detriment of the State, and in violation of justice and
right. And as the Persians could offer the highest bribes,
he was suspected of secretly favoring their interests. The
old rivalries between him and Aristides were renewed ; and
as Aristides was no longer opposed to the policy which
Athens adopted, of giving its supreme attention to naval
defenses, and, moreover, constantly had gained the respect
of the city by his integrity and patriotism, especially by his
admirable management at Delos, where he cemented the
confederacy of the maritime States, his influence was per-
haps greater than that of Themistocles, stained with the im-
putation of Medlsm. Cimon, the son of Miltiades,

mi i • i Cimon.

also became a strong opponent. Though acquitted
of accepting bribes from Persia, Themistocles w T as banished
by a vote of ostracism, as Aristides had been before — a kind
of exile which w r as not dishonorable, but resorted to from
regard to public interests, and to which men who became un-
popular were often subjected, whatever may have been their
services or merits. He retired to Argos, and while there the
treason of Pausanias was discovered. Themistocles was in-
volved in it, since the designs of Pausanias were known by
him. Joint envoys from Sparta and Athens were sent to
arrest him, which, when known, he fled to Corcyra, and
thence to Admetus, king of the Molossians. The Epirotic
prince shielded him in spite of his former hostility, and fur-
nished him with guides to Pydna, across the mountains, from

232 The Persian War. [Chap. xvii.

which he succeeded in reaching Ephesus, and then repaired
to the Persian court. At Athens he was proclaimed a
traitor, and his property, amounting to one hundred talents,
accumulated by the war, was confiscated. In Persia, he
represented himself as a deserter, and subsequently acquired
influence with Artaxerxes, and devoted his talents to laying
Death of ou t schemes for the subluxation of Greece. He

Themisto- •' °

c ^'s. received the large sum of fifty talents yearly, and

died at sixty-five years of age, with a blighted reputation,
such as no previous services could redeem from infamy.

Aristides died four years after the ostracism of Themis-
Death of tocles, universally respected, and he died so poor
Anstides. as n0 ^ ^ h ave enough for his funeral expenses.
Nor did any of his descendants ever become rich.

Xerxes himself, the Ahasuerus of the Scriptures, who
commanded the largest expedition ever recorded in human
annals, reached Sarclis, eight months after he had left it, dis-
gusted with active enterprise, and buried himself amid the

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