translated by Shlomo Felberbaum

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all rights reserved

Installment 18

Then having done that among the Persians, he established himself twenty dominions, which they themselves call satrapies and, once he had established the dominions and put rulers in charge, he imposed the coming in of tributes for him on each of the nations and arranged their neighbors with the nations and, passing over those adjacent, he apportioned the farther nations variously to various ones. And he distributed dominions and the annual income of tributes after the following fashion; to those of them who were bringing away silver it was said to bring away a Babylonian talent in weight and to those who were bringing away gold a Euboean. And the Babylonian talent amounts to seventy eight minae of Euboea. For in the time when Cyrus was ruling and thereafter Cambyses nothing was established concerning tribute, but people were bringing gifts, and on account of that imposition of tribute and other things pretty near to that the Persians say that Darius was a retailer, Cambyses a lord and Cyrus a father, in that the first made all his affairs retailing, in that the next was difficult and belittling and in that the last was gentle and contrived all goods for them.

Indeed from the Ionians, the Magnetians in Asia, the Aeolians, the Carians, the Lycians, the Milyians and the Pamphylians, as that was one tribute imposed by him, there came in four hundred talents of silver; that indeed was the first district to be established by him and from the Mysians, the Lydians, the Lasonians, the Cabalians and the Hytennians five hundred talents; that was the second district. Next from the Hellespontians on the right for one sailing in, the Phrygians, the Thracians in Asia, the Paphlagonians, the Mariandynians and the Syrians the tribute was three hundred sixty talents; that was the third district and from the Cilicians three hundred sixty white horses that amounted to one each day and five hundred talents of silver. And of them a hundred forty were used up on the horse that guarded the Cilician country and the three hundred sixty came in for Darius; that was the fourth district.

From the city of Posideium, which Amphiloxus the son of Amphiareus had founded on the boundaries of the Cilicians and the Syrians, from its beginning at that country up to Egypt, except for the portion of the Arabians as that was free of tax, the tribute was three hundred fifty talents and there is in that district all Phoenicia, the Syria that is called Palaestinian and Cyprus; that was the fifth district. And from Egypt and the Libyans adjacent to Egypt, Cyrene and Barce, as those were ordered with the Egyptian district, seven hundred talents came in, except for the silver that came to be from the lake of Moiris, which came to be from the fish. Indeed apart from that silver and the grain that was measured besides there came in the seven hundred talents; for they measured out twelve myriads of grain to those of the Persians settled down within the white wall in Memphis and to their auxiliaries: that was the sixth district. And the Sattagydians, the Gandarians, the Dadicians and the Aparytians, put together for the same purpose, brought in a hundred seventy talents—that was the seventh district—and from the Susians and the rest of the country of the Cissians were three hundred—that was the eighth district.

Next from Babylon and the remaining part of Assyria a thousand talents of silver came in for him and five hundred castrated boys—that was the ninth district—and from the Agbatanians, the rest of the Median country, the Paricanians and the Orthocorybantians three hundred fifty talents—that was the tenth district. The Caspians, the Pausicians, the Pantimathians and the Dareitians for the same purpose carried together and brought away two hundred talents; that was the the eleventh district. And from the Bactrianians up to the Aeglians the tribute was three hundred sixty talents—that was the twelfth district—and from the Pactyician country, the Armenians and the adjacent up to the Euxine sea four hundred talents—that was the thirteenth district. Next from the Sagartians, the Sarangians, the Thamanians, the Outians, the Mycians and those settled on the islands in the Red sea, on which the king had settled down those called “the drawn up”, from all those, the tribute was six hundred talents; that was the fourteenth district. And the Sacians and the Caspians brought away two hundred fifty talents—that was the fifteenth district—and the Parthians, the Chorasmians, the Sogdians and the Areians three hundred talents—that was the sixteenth district.

Next the Paricanians and the Ethiopians from Asia brought away four hundred talents; that was the seventeenth district. And on the Matienians, the Saspeirians and the Alarodians two hundred talents had been imposed; that was the eighteenth district. Next for the Moschians, the Tibarenians, the Macronians, the Mossynoecians and the Marians three hundred talents had been proclaimed; that was the nineteenth district. Finally the Indians’ multitude is far the greatest of all the human beings that we know and compared with all the rest they brought away a tribute of three hundred fifty talents of gold dust; that was the twentieth district.

The Babylonian silver, when it is compared to the Euboean talent, amounts to nine thousand eight hundred eighty talents and, the gold, being reckoned at thirteen times more in value, the gold dust is found to be four thousand six hundred eighty Euboean talents. Accordingly, when all those are put together, the multitude, as Euboean talents, are for Darius’ annual tribute a myriad, four thousands, five hundreds, and six tens gathered together, and I let go and speak not of the grouping still less than those.

That came in for Darius as tribute from Asia and from a few places in Libya. But, as time went forward, both from islands came in other tribute and from those who were in settlements in Europe up to Thessaly.That tribute the king stored in treasuries in a manner like this: he melted and poured it down into earthen jars and, after he had filled the vessel, he took the earthenware off. Then, whenever he needed money, he chopped up however so much as he needed on each occasion.

Now. those were the dominions and the impositions of tributes and the Persian land alone has not been spoken of by me as tributary; for the Persians inhabit a country free from tax. But the following, although they were appointed to carry no tribute, yet were bringing gifts: the Ethiopians bordering on Egypt, whom Cambyses in driving against the long-lived Ethiopians had subjected, who are settled down round the sacred Nyse and conduct their festivals for Dionysus. Those Ethiopians and their neighbors have the use of the same seed that the Callantian Indians do too and possess underground buildings. Both of those together were bringing at intervals of three years and were bringing also the period up to my time two choenixesof unsmelted gold, two hundred logs of ebony, five Ethiopian children and twenty large elephant tusks. And what the Colchians and those adjacent up to Mount Caucasus had undertaken to pay for a present—for rule was extended under the Persians to that mountain, but what’s in the direction of the North wind from the Caucasus no longer had thought of the Persians—the gifts that they had undertaken to pay then those were bringing still even to my time every fifth year, a hundred boys and a hundred maidens. And the Arabians were bringing a thousand talents of frankincense every year. Those were conveying that as gifts for the king apart from their tribute.

That large amount of gold, from which they conveyed the said gold dust for the king, the Indians acquired in a manner like this: there is in the Indian country, in what’s at the sun’s going up, sand; for of those whom we know, even concerning which anything exact is said, the first to be settled to the east and the sun’s rising of the human beings in Asia are the Indians, as what’s to the east of the Indians is desert on account of the sand. Moreover, many nations of Indians exist and they’re not speaking the same as each other. Some of them indeed are pastoral and some not and some are settled in the marshes of the river and eat fish raw, which they take by making a base from reed boats; one ‘knee’ of reed makes each boat. Indeed those of the Indians wear clothing of rush; whenever they reap rush from the river and cut it, thereafter in a basket’s manner they plait it together and put it on like a breastplate.

Moreover, others of the Indians, who are settled to the east of those, are pastoral, eaters of raw pieces of meat, and they are called Padaeans. They then are said to practice customs like this: whoever falls ill among their townspeople, whether woman or man, the man the men who consorted with him most kill, since they assert that he, if melted by his illness, is destroyed for them as meat (and, although he is a denier of being ill, yet they, making no admission themselves, kill off and and feast on him), while whichever woman falls ill, in the same way the women who associated with her most do the same as the men. For indeed him who comes to old age they sacrifice and feast on, but some, not many of them, come to an estimation of that, as before it everyone who falls to illness they kill.

And of other Indians is this other manner: they neither kill anything inanimate nor sow anything nor are accustomed to possess homes, but eat grass and theirs is a thing as large as a millet seed in its size that in a calix comes to be of its own from the earth, which they, gathering it together with the calyx and all, boil and eat. And whoever of them falls to illness, comes to the desert land and lies down, while no one has a thought for him neither when he dies nor while he is ill.

Also the intercourse of all those Indians, of whom I have given a relation, is in the open, just according as the cattle’s, and they have a complexion similar or pretty near to the Ethiopians. Their genital fluid too that they discharge into their women is not white, just according as all the other human beings’, but black, just according as their complexions, and the Ethiopians also discharge a seminal stream like that. Those of the Indians are settled farther than the Persians and toward the South wind and were not at all subject to King Darius.

Others of the Indians too are bordering on the city of Caspatyrus and the Pactyan country in settlements toward the Bear and the North wind relative to all the other Indians, who have a way of life pretty near to the Bactrians; both those are the most fit for battle of the Indians and they who are sent for the gold are those, since at that spot is the desert on account of the sand. In that desert then and the sand it is, in which ants come to be with sizes less than dogs, but larger than foxes; for there are of them even at the king of the Persians’ court thence ones caught by hunting. Those ants then build under the earth and bring up the sand, just according as the ants among the Greeks, according to the same manner, and are also most similar in their looks, while the sand that is being brought up is gold-bearing. To that sand indeed the Indians are sent into the desert land, after each has yoked himself three camels, a male on each side that carries a cord to draw near and a female in the middle; on her indeed he himself mounts up, when he has sought out how he will draw away from offspring as young as possible and yoke her, because their camels are not inferior to horses in speed and besides are far more capable of carrying burdens. Indeed what kind of a look the camel has, for the Greeks, since they know, I do not record, but that aspect of it which they know not I will point out. A camel in its hind legs has four thighs and four knees as well as its pudenda turned through its hind legs toward its tail.

The Indians use a manner like that and a way of yoking like that and drive to the gold with the calculation that, when the hottest burning heats are, they will be involved in the seizure; for by the burning heat’s agency the ants become invisible under the earth. The sun then is hottest for those human beings in the early morning, not just according as for all the others at midday, but rather when it rises above until the dispersal of the public square. And during that time it burns far more than it does Greece in the midday so that there is an account that they wet themselves in water at that time and the day, when it is in its middle, burns pretty nearly almost all the other human beings as the Indians. So, at the declining of midday, the sun becomes for them just according as it’s in the early morning for all the others and from then on it departs over a greater extent and is cold, until it is at its setting points and is very cold.

So, whenever the Indians come to the place with little sacks, they fill those up with the sand and the quickest way drive back; for immediately the ants because of an odor, just as is said by the Persians, learn of and pursue them and their quickness is similar to nothing else so that, if the Indians do not get a start on the way in the time when the ants are gathering themselves together, none of them would be brought away to safety. Now, the males among the camels, as they are inferior in running to the females, are detached, because they are drawn behind, not both together, but the females, since they remember the offspring that they left, give in to nothing soft. Indeed the greater part of the gold thus the Indians acquire, as the Persians say, and there is other rarer that is dug up in the country.

Now, the extremities of the inhabited earth somehow obtained by lot the most beautiful things, just according as Greece obtained by lot the seasons that were blended somewhat far most beautifully. For on the one hand the Indian country is the last of the inhabited countries toward the east, just as I have said a little earlier—in that land on the one hand the animate, quadrupeds and the winged, are far larger than in all the other places, except for the horses (those are worsted by the Median, the horses that are called Nesaean) and on the other hand there is abundant gold in that very spot, some that is dug up, some that is brought down by rivers and some, just as I have indicated, that is seized, and the wild trees in that very spot bear as fruit wool that excels in beautiful quality and virtue that from the sheep and the Indians use clothing made from those trees—and in turn toward the south Arabia is the farthest of the inhabited countries and in that alone of all countries is growing frankincense, myrrh, cassia, cinnamon and gum-resin. All that except the myrrh the Arabians acquire with difficulty. The frankincense they collect by burning as incense the storax gum that the Phoenicians export to the Greeks; by burning that as incense they take it, since those trees that bring forth frankincense winged serpents, small in their sizes, many-colored in their looks, guard, many in multitude round each tree, those very ones that advance as an army against Egypt, and they are driven away from the trees by nothing other than the storax gum’s smoke.

And the Arabians say this too, that all earth would be filled with those serpents, if there were not coming about concerning them a thing like I knew came about concerning the vipers too. Indeed somehow the divine’s forethought, just as is in fact reasonable, since it is wise, has made all those that are timid in soul and edible prolific, that they may not become extinct by being eaten up, and that are cruel and noxious unprolific. On the one hand, because the hare is hunted by every beast, bird and human being, thus indeed somewhat it is prolific—alone of all beasts it becomes pregnant at one pregnancy’s end and one of its offspring’s furred in its belly and one’s hairless, as one is just then being moulded in its womb and one is being conceived; that indeed is like that—but on the other, the lioness indeed, being the strongest and boldest animal, brings forth a single offspring once in her life; for as it brings forth, together with her offspring she casts out her womb. And the reason for that is this: whenever the cub, while its in its mother, begins moving about, then it with far the sharpest claws of all beasts scratches the womb and finally indeed, growing far greater, it enters into and utterly tears it and finally indeed the bringing forth is near and absolutely none of it is left sound.

So, thus both regarding the vipers and the winged serpents among the Arabians, if they were being born as nature belongs to them, it would not be livable for human beings, but as it is, whenever they perform mounting in pairs and the male is engaged in procreation itself, as he discharges his generative fluid, the female lays hands on his neck and, clinging like a growth, does not let go until she should gnaw through it. The male indeed dies in the said manner and the female pays retribution like this to the male: in their taking revenge for their parent, while they are still in the belly, the offspring eat through their mother and, after they have gnawed through her stomach, thus they slip out. All the other serpents however, since they are not harmful to human beings, bring forth eggs and hatch a large quantity of their offspring. Now, the vipers are throughout all earth, but the winged ones, being gathered together, are in Arabia and nowhere else. Because of that they are thought to be many.

That frankincense the Arabians acquire thus and the cassia this way: whenever they bind up with oxhides and other skins their whole body and their face except for the eyes themselves, they go after the cassia, as it grows in no deep lake and round it and in it here and there lodge feathered beasts, very much like the bats, and they squeal awfully and are valorous in valor. They must keep them away from their eyes and thus pluck the cassia.

And the cinnamon indeed they collect still more marvellously than those things; for where it comes about and what is the earth that nurtures it they are not able to say, except that speaking reasonably, some say it grows in these places, in which Dionysus was nurtured. And they say large birds carry those sticks that we learned of from the Phoenicians and call cinnamon and the birds carry them to nests stuck with mud against precipitous mountains, where there is no way of approach for a human being. Then thereupon indeed the Arabians devise this wise course: after they have cut through the limbs as large as possible of cattle and asses that have passed away as well as of all the other yoke-animals, they convey them to those places and, after they have put them near the nests, they depart far from them. Then the birds fly down and carry up the limbs of the yoke-animals to the nests, they, not able to bear them, become broken and fall down to earth and the men go after and collect them. Thus indeed the cinnamon is collected by those and comes to all the other countries.

And the gum-resin, “ledanon”, which the Arabians call “ladanon”, comes into being still more marvellously than that; for, although it comes into being in the most foul smelling place, it is most good smelling, as it is found coming into being in he-goats’ beards like gum from the wood. Moreover, it is useful for many of the perfumes and the Arabians burn that as incense most.

Let so much be said concerning incenses and how pleasant is the divine smell in the Arabian country. Further, two kinds of sheep are theirs worth marvelling at that are nowhere else. One of them has their tails long, no shorter than three cubits, on which, if one should permit them to drag them after, they would have wounds as the tails are worn down near by the earth, but as it is, every one of the shepherds know how to work wood to that great a degree: namely, they make little wagons and bind them under the tails by binding down the tail of each animal singly to each little wagon; the other kind among the sheep carry their tails broad and the breadth’s over a cubit.

Then, at noon’s declining, extends to the sun’s setting the Ethiopian country as the farthest of the inhabited ones and that bears much gold, abundant elephants, all wild trees, ebony and the tallest, most beautiful and most long-lived men.

Now, those are the extremities in Asia and in Libya, but concerning the extremities in Europe toward the west I am able to speak not exactly, as neither do I for my part take in that a river is called Eridanus by the barbarians that discharges into the sea in the direction of the north wind, from which there is an account that amber comes, nor do I know that the Tin islands exist, from which tin comes for us. For on the one hand, Eridanus, the name itself, declares that it is Greek and not barbarian and made up by a poet and, on the other hand, from no one who proves an eyewitness am I able to hear, although I have a care for that, how a sea exists on the other side of Europe. Anyhow, from the farthest land tin and amber come for us.

Further, toward the Bear in Europe manifestly is somewhat far the most gold. Although, as to how it was coming into being, I am not able to say exactly even that, yet it is said that one-eyed Arimaspian men seize it out from under the griffins. And I am persuaded not of that too, how one-eyed men grow with all the rest of their nature similar to all the other human beings. So the extremities then are likely, since they enclose the rest of the country and keep it within, to have the things that seem to us most beautiful and most rare themselves.

There is a plain in Asia enclosed by a mountain from all sides and the chasms of the mountain are five. Although that plain was once the Chorasmians’, since it is in the boundaries of the Chorasmians themselves, the Hyrcanians, the Parthians, the Sarangians and the Thamanians, yet, since the Persians have had the power, it is the king’s. From that enclosing mountain then it is indeed, from which flows a great river and its name is Aces. Although it previously, divided into five ways, was watering the countries of those said by being led through each chasm to each group, yet, since they have been under the Persian, they have undergone a suffering like this: after the king had walled in the chasms of the mountains, he set gates on each chasm and, the water shut off from a way through and out, the plain within the mountains became open sea, because the river discharged and had nowhere a way of going out. Hence the very ones who before were wont to use the water, are not able to use it and meet with great misfortune. For during the winter the god rains for them just as also for all the other human beings, but in the summer they sow millet and sesame-seed and have need of the water. Accordingly, whenever none of the water is given over to them, they go to the Persians, themselves and wives, and, standing near the doors of the king, they shout and howl, and the king on the ones who have the greatest need enjoins to open the gates that lead to those. And whenever their earth becomes satiated by drinking the water, those gates are shut off and others he enjoins to open on all the others among the remaining who have the greatest need. So, as I know by hearing, after exacting much money apart from the tribute he has the opening done. That indeed is thus.

It befell one of the seven men who had stood up against the Magian, Intaphrenes, because he had done the following insolent deed, to die immediately after the standing up against: he wished to go into the royal palace and negotiate with the king; for in fact the law too indeed was thus, that for those who had stood up against the Magian there should be a way in to the king without a messenger, if the king in fact was not having intercourse with a wife. Accordingly Intaphrenes indeed thought just for no one to announce him in, but because he was of the seven, he wished to go in. However, the gatekeeper and the bearer of messages would not overlook it and asserted the king was having intercourse with a wife. Then Intaphrenes, thinking they spoke falsehoods, acted like this: he drew a short sword and cut off their ears and noses and then, after he had threaded them round the bridle of his horse, he tied it round their necks and let them go forth.

Then they showed themselves to the king and said the reason on account of which they had suffered. And Darius, afraid lest by common consent the six had done that, sent for each one and made trial of their opinion about whether they were joint praisers of what had been done and, when he had thoroughly learned that he had not done that with them, he took hold of Intaphrenes himself, his children and all those of his house, since he had great expectations that he would plot a standing up against him with his kindred, and after he had arrested them, he bound them for the way to death. So the wife of Intaphrenes, going constantly to the doors of the king, wept and lamented and by performing that same action on each and every occasion she persuaded Darius to pity her and he sent a messenger and said this: “O woman, King Darius grants you to rescue one of those of your house who have been bound, whom you want from among all”. And she took counsel and answered this: “If indeed the king grants me the soul of one, I choose from among all my brother”. Then, after Darius had learned that by inquiry and marvelled at her speech, he sent and said publicly, “O woman, the king asks you with what opinion did you abandon within your husband and your offspring and chose your brother to survive for you, who ls both more distant to you than your children and less pleasing than your husband”. And she replied with this: “O king, another would become a husband, if a divinity should wish, and others offspring, if I should lose those, but since my father and mother live no longer, another would become a brother in no manner. Opining thus, I said that.” Indeed the woman seemed to Darius to speak well and he let go forth to her that man whom she was begging for and the oldest of her children, because he took pleasure in her, and all the others he killed. Indeed one of the seven immediately in the said manner had perished.

Now, somewhere near the time of Cambyses’ illness this was happening: appointed by Cyrus, Oroetes, a Persian man, was a subordinate ruler of the Sardians. That man conceived a desire for no holy deed; for, although he had neither suffered anything nor heard a foolish word from Polycrates the Samian—he had not even seen him previously—he was desiring to take hold of and destroy him, as the greater number say, on account of a reason like this: sitting down at the king’s doors, Oroetes and another Persian, whose name was Mithrobates, ruler of the district in Dascyleium, those men from words fell together into quarrels and, when they were wrangling, Mithrobates spoke and was reproaching Oroetes, “For it’s you in men’s estimation, who for the king the island of Samos that lies near your district acquired not, although it was somewhat indeed so very easy to be worsted, which one of the natives with fifteen hoplites stood up against and got hold of, and now he is tyrant of it”. Some indeed assert that, after he had heard that and felt pain at the rebuke, he conceived a desire not so much to punish its speaker as to destroy Polycrates by all means, on whose account he was spoken ill of.

The lesser number say Oroetes sent a herald to Samos to request some thing or other (for indeed now that at any rate is not said) and Polycrates in fact was lying down in the men’s apartment, while Anacreon the Teian too was pesent with him, and somehow either with forethought he despised Oroetes’ affairs or maybe a chance like that following supervened: namely, the herald of Oroetes entered and was trying to converse and Polycrates, since he was in fact turned away to the wall, neither turned around nor answered anything.

Those indeed are said to prove the two conflicting causes of the death of Polycrates and it is permitted to be persuaded by whichever of them one wants. And hence Oroetes, while he had his seat in Magnesia that has its settlements over the river Meander, sent Myrsus, the son of Gyges, a Lydian man, to Samos with a message, after he had learned Polycrates’ mind. For Polycrates is the first of the Greeks, whom we know of, who put his mind to gain power over the sea, except Minos the Cnossian and any other, if indeed before that man he got the rule of the sea, as Polycrates is the first of the age that is spoken of as the human with great expectations to rule Ionia and the islands. Accordingly, when Oroetes had learned that he had that in mind, he sent a message and said this: “Oroetes speaks to Polycrates this way: I have learned by inquiry that you are forming a plot for great matters and money is not yours in accordance with your thoughts. Now, if you act this way, you will raise yourself and bring me as well to safety, since King Cambyses plots death against me and that is announced out to me distinctly. Now, convey you out me myself and money and have some of it you yourself and allow me to have some. But if you put no faith in me in respect to what concerns my money, send whoever is in fact most faithful to you, to whom I will show it forth”.

Having heard that, Polycrates took pleasure and wanted that and, because somehow he was greatly desirous of money, he sent off at first Meandrius, son of Meandrius, a man of his townspeople, to spy, who was his scribe, him who not much time later than that dedicated all the adornment of the men’s apartment of Polycrates, since it was worth beholding, to the temple of Hera. Then, when Oroetes had learned that the spy was expected, he acted like this: he filled eight chests with stones except for a very shallow part round the very lips, cast on top of the stones gold and, after he had fastened up the chests, kept them ready. So, Meandrius, having come and beheld, announced back to Polycrates.

Then he, although his prophets forbade many times and his friends many times, set forth to go away by himself, and in addition even though his daughter had seen a vision of a dream like this: it seemed to her that her father, while he was raised up in the air, was washed by Zeus and anointed by the Sun. Having seen that vision, she used all her devices to stop Polycrates’ going abroad to Oroetes and in particular, when he went to the penteconter, she spoke ill-omened words. Then he threatened her that, if he returned back safe and sound, she would be a maid a long time and she prayed that that become brought to completion; for she wanted to be a maid a longer time than to be bereft of her father.

Polycrates, disregarding all advice, set sail to Oroetes and at the same time brought with him many others of his companions and indeed moreover also Democedes, the son of Calliphon, a Crotonian man, who was a physician and practiced the art best of those in his time. Then, having come to Magnesia, Polycrates was destroyed evilly, in a manner worthy neither of himself or his thoughts; for except for those who became tyrants of the Syracusians, not even one of all the other Greek tyrants is worthy to be compared to Polycrates in magnificence. And having killed him in a manner not worthy of description, Oroetes impaled him and let all of his followers who were Samians go away and bade them acknowledge gratitude to him, since they were free, but considered and kept in the accounting of prisoners of war all who were foreigners and slaves of the followers. So Polycrates, hanging, brought to completion the whole vision of his daughter, as he was washed by Zeus, whenever he rained, and anointed by the Sun by giving off himself moisture from his body. Of Polycrates indeed the many good fortunes came to that end.

Then, not a long time later, after Oroetes too came retributions for Polycrates. For after Cambyses death and the Magians’ kingdom, while Oroetes remained in Sardis, he performed no benefit for the Persians, who had been removed by the Medes from the rule, but he in that disturbance killed Mitrobates, the subordinate ruler from Dascyleium, who had reproached him in respect to what related to Polycrates, and killed Mitrobates’ son, Cranaspes, esteemed men among the Persians, and he broke out into other insolent acts of all kinds and regarding even a courier of Darius’, since what was announced was not for his pleasure, he killed him, while he was conveying himself back by setting men in ambush for him in the way and, after he had killed him off, he made him disappear horse and all.

So, when Darius had gotten hold of the rule, he was desiring to punish Oroetes for all his injustices and especially Mitrobates and his son. Indeed in the open he thought not good to send an army against him, seeing that his affairs were in a ferment still and he had the rule recently and had learned by inquiry that he had great strength, of whom a thousand of the Persians were lance-bearers and who had the Phrygian district as well as the Lydian and Ionic. Then indeed thereupon Darius contrived this: he called together the greatest of the Persians to speak of and said to them this: “O Persians, who of you for me would undertake and bring to completion that with wisdom and not violence and confusion? For, where there is required wisdom, of violence is no need. Of you indeed then who for me would either bring back alive or kill off Oroetes, who performed no benefit for the Persians yet, but has done great evils; bringing to light an intolerable insolence, on the one hand he made unseen two of us, Mitrobates and his son, and on the other hand he killed those who called him up and were sent by me? Hence, before he works out a greater evil against the Persians, he must be taken down by us through death.”

(to be continued)

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