[5.101] Though, however, they took the city, they did not succeed in plundering it; for, as the houses in Sardis were most of them built of reeds, and even the few which were of brick had a reed thatching for their roof, one of them was no sooner fired by a soldier than the flames ran speedily from house to house, and spread over the whole place. As the fire raged, the Lydians and such Persians as were in the city, inclosed on every side by the flames, which had seized all the skirts of the town, and finding themselves unable to get out, came in crowds into the market-place, and gathered themselves upon the banks of the Pactolus This stream, which comes down from Mount Tmolus, and brings the Sardians a quantity of gold-dust, runs directly through the market place of Sardis, and joins the Hermus, before that river reaches the sea. So the Lydians and Persians, brought together in this way in the market-place and about the Pactolus, were forced to stand on their defence; and the Ionians, when they saw the enemy in part resisting, in part pouring towards them in dense crowds, took fright, and drawing off to the ridge which is called Tmolus when night came, went back to their ships.
[5.102] Sardis however was burnt, and, among other buildings, a temple of the native goddess Cybele was destroyed; which was the reason afterwards alleged by the Persians for setting on fire the temples of the Greeks. As soon as what had happened was known, all the Persians who were stationed on this side the Halys drew together, and brought help to the Lydians. Finding however, when they arrived, that the Ionians had already withdrawn from Sardis, they set off, and, following close upon their track, came up with them at Ephesus. The Ionians drew out against them in battle array; and a fight ensued, wherein the Greeks had very greatly the worse. Vast numbers were slain by the Persians: among other men of note, they killed the captain of the Eretrians, a certain Eualcidas, a man who had gained crowns at the Games, and received much praise from Simonides the Cean. Such as made their escape from the battle, dispersed among the several cities.
[5.103] So ended this encounter. Afterwards the Athenians quite forsook the Ionians, and, though Aristagoras besought them much by his ambassadors, refused to give him any further help. Still the Ionians, notwithstanding this desertion, continued unceasingly their preparations to carry on the war against the Persian king, which their late conduct towards him had rendered unavoidable. Sailing into the Hellespont, they brought Byzantium, and all the other cities in that quarter, under their sway. Again, quitting the Hellespont, they went to Caria, and won the greater part of the Carians to their side; while Caunus, which had formerly refused to join with them, after the burning of Sardis, came over likewise.
[5.104] All the Cyprians too, excepting those of Amathus, of their own proper motion espoused the Ionian cause. The occasion of their revolting from the Medes was the following. There was a certain Onesilus, younger brother of Gorgus, king of Salamis, and son of Chersis, who was son of Siromus, and grandson of Evelthon. This man had often in former times entreated Gorgus to rebel against the king; but, when he heard of the revolt of the Ionians, he left him no peace with his importunity. As, however, Gorgus would not hearken to him, he watched his occasion, and when his brother had gone outside the town, he with his partisans closed the gates upon him. Gorgus, thus deprived of his city, fled to the Medes; and Onesilus, being now king of Salamis, sought to bring about a revolt of the whole of Cyprus. All were prevailed on except the Amathusians, who refused to listen to him; whereupon Onesilus sate down before Amathus, and laid siege to it.
[5.105] While Onesilus was engaged in the siege of Amathus, King Darius received tidings of the taking and burning of Sardis by the Athenians and Ionians; and at the same time he learnt that the author of the league, the man by whom the whole matter had been Planned and contrived, was Aristagoras the Milesian. It is said that he no sooner understood what had happened, than, laying aside all thought concerning the Ionians, who would, he was sure, pay dear for their rebellion, he asked, "Who the Athenians were?" and, being informed, called for his bow, and placing an arrow on the string, shot upward into the sky, saying, as he let fly the shaft - "Grant me, Jupiter, to revenge myself on the Athenians!" After this speech, he bade one of his servants every day, when his dinner was spread, three times repeat these words to him - "Master, remember the Athenians."
[5.106] Then he summoned into his presence Histiaeus if Miletus, whom he had kept at his court for so long a time; and on his appearance addressed him thus "I am told, O Histiaeus, that thy lieutenant, to whom thou hast given Miletus in charge, has raised a rebellion against me. He has brought men from the other continent to contend with me, and, prevailing on the Ionians - whose conduct I shall know how to recompense - to join with this force, he has robbed me of Sardis! Is this as it should be, thinkest thou Or can it have been done without thy knowledge and advice? Beware lest it be found hereafter that the blame of these acts is thine."
Histiaeus answered - "What words are these, O king, to which thou hast given utterance? I advise aught from which unpleasantness of any kind, little or great, should come to thee! What could I gain by so doing? Or what is there that I lack now? Have I not all that thou hast, and am I not thought worthy to partake all thy counsels? If my lieutenant has indeed done as thou sayest, be sure he has done it all of his own head. For my part, I do not think it can really be that the Milesians and my lieutenant have raised a rebellion against thee. But if they have indeed committed aught to thy hurt, and the tidings are true which have come to thee, judge thou how ill-advised thou wert to remove me from the sea-coast. The Ionians, it seems, have waited till I was no longer in sight, and then sought to execute that which they long ago desired; whereas, if I had been there, not a single city would have stirred. Suffer me then to hasten at my best speed to Ionia, that I may place matters there upon their former footing, and deliver up to thee the deputy of Miletus, who has caused all the troubles. Having managed this business to thy heart's content, I swear by all the gods of thy royal house, I will not put off the clothes in which I reach Ionia till I have made Sardinia, the biggest island in the world, thy tributary."
[5.107] Histiaeus spoke thus, wishing to deceive the king; and Darius, persuaded by his words, let him go; only bidding him be sure to do as he had promised, and afterwards come back to Susa.
[5.108] In the meantime - while the tidings of the burning of Sardis were reaching the king, and Darius was shooting the arrow and having the conference with Histiaeus, and the latter, by permission of Darius, was hastening down to the sea - in Cyprus the following events took place. Tidings came to Onesilus, the Salaminian, who was still besieging Amathus, that a certain Artybius, a Persian, was looked for to arrive in Cyprus with a great Persian armament. So Onesilus, when the news reached him, sent off heralds to all parts of Ionia, and besought the Ionians to give him aid. After brief deliberation, these last in full force passed over into the island; and the Persians about the same time crossed in their ships from Cilicia, and proceeded by land to attack Salamis; while the Phoenicians, with the fleet, sailed round the promontory which goes by the name of "the Keys of Cyprus."
[5.109] In this posture of affairs the princes of Cyprus called together the captains of the Ionians, and thus addressed them:-
"Men of Ionia, we Cyprians leave it to you to choose whether you will fight with the Persians or with the Phoenicians. If it be your pleasure to try your strength on land against the Persians, come on shore at once, and array yourselves for the battle; we will then embark aboard your ships and engage the Phoenicians by sea. If, on the other hand, ye prefer to encounter the Phoenicians, let that be your task: only be sure, whichever part you choose, to acquit yourselves so that Ionia and Cyprus, so far as depends on you, may preserve their freedom."
The Ionians made answer - "The commonwealth of Ionia sent us here to guard the sea, not to make over our ships to you, and engage with the Persians on shore. We will therefore keep the post which has been assigned to us, and seek therein to be of some service. Do you, remembering what you suffered when you were the slaves of the Medes, behave like brave warriors."
[5.110] Such was the reply of the Ionians. Not long afterwards the Persians advanced into the plain before Salamis, and the Cyprian kings ranged their troops in order of battle against them, placing them so that while the rest of the Cyprians were drawn up against the auxiliaries of the enemy, the choicest troops of the Salaminians and the Solians were set to oppose the Persians. At the same time Onesilus, of his own accord, took post opposite to Artybius, the Persian general.
[5.111] Now Artybius rode a horse which had been trained to rear up against a foot-soldier. Onesilus, informed of this, called to him his shield-bearer, who was a Carian by nation, a man well skilled in war, and of daring courage; and thus addressed him:- "I hear," he said, "that the horse which Artybius rides, rears up and attacks with his fore legs and teeth the man against whom his rider urges him. Consider quickly therefore and tell me which wilt thou undertake to encounter, the steed or the rider?" Then the squire answered him, "Both, my liege, or either, am I ready to undertake, and there is nothing that I will shrink from at thy bidding. But I will tell thee what seems to me to make most for thy interests. As thou art a prince and a general, I think thou shouldest engage with one who is himself both a prince and also a general. For then, if thou slayest thine adversary, 'twill redound to thine honour, and if he slays thee (which may Heaven forefend!), yet to fall by the hand of a worthy foe makes death lose half its horror. To us, thy followers, leave his war-horse and his retinue. And have thou no fear of the horse's tricks. I warrant that this is the last time he will stand up against any one."
[5.112] Thus spake the Carian; and shortly after, the two hosts joined battle both by sea and land. And here it chanced that by sea the Ionians, who that day fought as they have never done either before or since, defeated the Phoenicians, the Samians especially distinguishing themselves. Meanwhile the combat had begun on land, and the two armies were engaged in a sharp struggle, when thus it fell out in the matter of the generals. Artybius, astride upon his horse, charged down upon Onesilus, who, as he had agreed with his shield-bearer, aimed his blow at the rider; the horse reared and placed his fore feet upon the shield of Onesilus, when the Carian cut at him with a reaping-hook, and severed the two legs from the body. The horse fell upon the spot, and Artybius, the Persian general, with him.
[5.113] In the thick of the fight, Stesanor, tyrant of Curium, who commanded no inconsiderable body of troops, went over with them to the enemy. On this desertion of the Curians - Argive colonists, if report says true - forthwith the war-chariots of the Salaminians followed the example set them, and went over likewise; whereupon victory declared in favour of the Persians; and the army of the Cyprians being routed, vast numbers were slain, and among them Onesilus, the son of Chersis, who was the author of the revolt, and Aristocyprus, king of the Solians. This Aristocyprus was son of Philocyprus, whom Solon the Athenian, when he visited Cyprus, praised in his poems beyond all other sovereigns.
[5.114] The Amathusians, because Onesilus had laid siege to their town, cut the head off his corpse, and took it with them to Amathus, where it was set up over the gates. Here it hung till it became hollow; whereupon a swarm of bees took possession of it, and filled it with a honeycomb. On seeing this the Amathusians consulted the oracle, and were commanded "to take down the head and bury it, and thenceforth to regard Onesilus as a hero, and offer sacrifice to him year by year; so it would go the better with them." And to this day the Amathusians do as they were then bidden.
[5.115] As for the Ionians who had gained the sea-fight, when they found that the affairs of Onesilus were utterly lost and ruined, and that siege was laid to all the cities of Cyprus excepting Salamis, which the inhabitants had surrendered to Gorgus, the former king, forthwith they left Cyprus, and sailed away home. Of the cities which were besieged, Soli held out the longest: the Persians took it by undermining the wall in the fifth month from the beginning of the siege.
[5.116] Thus, after enjoying a year of freedom, the Cyprians were enslaved for the second time. Meanwhile Daurises, who was married to one of the daughters of Darius, together with Hymeas, Otanes, and other Persian captains, who were likewise married to daughters of the king, after pursuing the Ionians who had fought at Sardis, defeating them, and driving them to their ships, divided their efforts against the different cities, and proceeded in succession to take and sack each one of them.
[5.117] Daurises attacked the towns upon the Hellespont, and took in as many days the five cities of Dardanus, Abydos, Percote, Lampsacus, and Paesus. From Paesus he marched against Parium; but on his way receiving intelligence that the Carians had made common cause with the Ionians, and thrown off the Persian yoke, he turned round, and, leaving the Hellespont, marched away towards Caria.
[5.118] The Carians by some chance got information of this movement before Daurises arrived, and drew together their strength to a place called "the White Columns," which is on the river Marsyas, a stream running from the Idrian country, and emptying itself into the Maeander. Here when they were met, many plans were put forth; but the best, in my judgment, was that of Pixodarus, the son of Mausolus, a Cindyan, who was married to a daughter of Syennesis, the Cilician king. His advice was that the Carians should cross the Maeander, and fight with the river at their back; that so, all chance of flight being cut off, they might be forced to stand their ground, and have their natural courage raised to a still higher pitch. His opinion, however, did not prevail; it was thought best to make the enemy have the Maeander behind them; that so, if they were defeated in the battle and put to flight, they might have no retreat open, but be driven headlong into the river.
[5.119] The Persians soon afterwards approached, and, crossing the Maeander, engaged the Carians upon the banks of the Marsyas; where for a long time the battle was stoutly contested, but at last the Carians were defeated, being overpowered by numbers. On the side of the Persians there fell 2000, while the Carians had not fewer than 10,000 slain. Such as escaped from the field of battle collected together at Labranda, in the vast precinct of Jupiter Stratius - a deity worshipped only by the Carians - and in the sacred grove of plane-trees. Here they deliberated as to the best means of saving themselves, doubting whether they would fare better if they gave themselves up to the Persians, or if they abandoned Asia for ever.
[5.120] As they were debating these matters a body of Milesians and allies came to their assistance; whereupon the Carians, dismissing their former thoughts, prepared themselves afresh for war, and on the approach of the Persians gave them battle a second time. They were defeated, however, with still greater loss than before; and while all the troops engaged suffered severely, the blow fell with most force on the Milesians.
[5.121] The Carians, some while after, repaired their ill fortune in another action. Understanding that the Persians were about to attack their cities, they laid an ambush for them on the road which leads to Pedasus; the Persians, who were making a night-march, fell into the trap, and the whole army was destroyed, together with the generals, Daurises, Amorges, and Sisimaces: Myrsus too, the son of Gyges, was killed at the same time. The leader of the ambush was Heraclides, the son of Ibanolis, a man of Mylasa. Such was the way in which these Persians perished.
[5.122] In the meantime Hymeas, who was likewise one of those by whom the Ionians were pursued after their attack on Sardis, directing his course towards the Propontis, took Cius, a city of Mysia. Learning, however, that Daurises had left the Hellespont, and was gone into Caria, he in his turn quitted the Propontis, and marching with the army under his command to the Hellespont, reduced all the Aeolians of the Troad, and likewise conquered the Gergithae, a remnant of the ancient Teucrians. He did not, however, quit the Troad, but, after gaining these successes, was himself carried off by disease.
[5.123] After his death, which happened as have related, Artaphernes, the satrap of Sardis, and Otanes, the third general, were directed to undertake the conduct of the war against Ionia and the neighbouring Aeolis. By them Clazomenae in the former, and Cyme in the latter, were recovered.
[5.124] As the cities fell one after another, Aristagoras the Milesian (who was in truth, as he now plainly showed, a man of but little courage), notwithstanding that it was he who had caused the disturbances in Ionia and made so great a commotion, began, seeing his danger, to look about for means of escape. Being convinced that it was in vain to endeavour to overcome King Darius, he called his brothers-in-arms together, and laid before them the following project:- "'Twould be well," he said, "to have some place of refuge, in case they were driven out of Miletus. Should he go out at the head of a colony to Sardinia, or should he sail to Myrcinus in Edonia, which Histiaeus had received as a gift from King Darius, and had begun to fortify?"
[5.125] To this question of Aristagoras, Hecataeus, the historian, son of Hegesander, made answer that in his judgement neither place was suitable. "Aristagoras should build a fort," he said, "in the island of Leros, and, if driven from Miletus, should go there and bide his time; from Leros attacks might readily be made, and he might re-establish himself in Miletus." Such was the advice given by Hecataeus.