[6.21] And now the Sybarites, who after the loss of their city occupied Laus and Scidrus, failed duly to return the former kindness of the Milesians. For these last, when Sybaris was taken by the Crotoniats, made a great mourning, all of them, youths as well as men, shaving their heads; since Miletus and Sybaris were, of all the cities whereof we have any knowledge, the two most closely united to one another. The Athenians, on the other hand, showed themselves beyond measure afflicted at the fall of Miletus, in many ways expressing their sympathy, and especially by their treatment of Phrynichus. For when this poet brought out upon the stage his drama of the Capture of Miletus, the whole theatre burst into tears; and the people sentenced him to pay a fine of a thousand drachmas, for recalling to them their own misfortunes. They likewise made a law that no one should ever again exhibit that piece.
[6.22] Thus was Miletus bereft of its inhabitants. In Samos the people of the richer sort were much displeased with the doings of the captains, and the dealings they had had the Medes; they therefore held a council, very shortly after the sea-fight, and resolved that they would not remain to become the slaves of Aeaces and the Persians, but before the tyrant set foot in their country, would sail away and found a colony in another land. Now it chanced that about this time the Zanclaeans of Sicily had sent ambassadors to the Ionians, and invited them to Kale-Acte where they wished an Ionian city to be founded. This place, Kale-Acte (or the Fair Strand) as it is called, is in the country of the Sicilians, and is situated in the part of Sicily which looks towards Tyrrhenia. The offer thus made to all the Ionians was embraced only by the Samians, and by such of the Milesians as had contrived to effect their escape.
[6.23] Hereupon this is what ensued. The Samians on their voyage reached the country of the Epizephyrian Locrians, at a time when the Zanclaeans and their king Scythas were engaged in the siege of a Sicilian town which they hoped to take. Anaxilaus, tyrant of Rhegium, who was on ill terms with the Zanclaeans knowing how matters stood, made application to the Samians, and persuaded them to give up the thought of Kale-Acte the place to which they were bound, and to seize Zancle itself, which was left without men. The Samians followed this counsel and possessed themselves of the town; which the Zanclaeans no sooner heard than they hurried to the rescue, calling to their aid Hippocrates, tyrant of Gela, who was one of their allies. Hippocrates came with his army to their assistance; but on his arrival he seized Scythas, the Zanclaean king, who had just lost his city, and sent him away in chains, together with his brother Pythogenes, to the town of Inycus; after which he came to an understanding with the Samians, exchanged oaths with them, and agreed to betray the people of Zancle. The reward of his treachery was to be one-half of the goods and chattels, including slaves, which the town contained, and all that he could find in the open country. Upon this Hippocrates seized and bound the greater number of the Zanclaeans as slaves; delivering, however, into the hands of the Samians three hundred of the principal citizens, to be slaughtered; but the Samians spared the lives of these persons.
[6.24] Scythas, the king of the Zanclaeans, made his escape from Inycus, and fled to Himera; whence he passed into Asia, and went up to the court of Darius. Darius thought him the most upright of all the Greeks to whom he afforded a refuge; for with the king's leave he paid a visit to Sicily, and thence returned back to Persia, where he lived in great comfort, and died by a natural death at an advanced age.
[6.25] Thus did the Samians escape the yoke of the Medes, and possess themselves without any trouble of Zancle, a most beautiful city. At Samos itself the Phoenicians, after the fight which had Miletus for its prize was over, re-established Aeaces, the son of Syloson, upon his throne. This they did by the command of the Persians, who looked upon Aeaces as one who had rendered them a high service and therefore deserved well at their hands. They likewise spared the Samians, on account of the desertion of their vessels, and did not burn either their city or their temples, as they did those of the other rebels. Immediately after the fall of Miletus the Persians recovered Caria, bringing some of the cities over by force, while others submitted of their own accord.
[6.26] Meanwhile tidings of what had befallen Miletus reached Histiaeus the Milesian, who was still at Byzantium, employed in intercepting the Ionian merchantmen as they issued from the Euxine. Histiaeus had no sooner heard the news than he gave the Hellespont in charge to Bisaltes, son of Apollophanes, a native of Abydos, and himself, at the head of his Lesbians, set sail for Chios. One of the Chian garrisons which opposed him he engaged at a place called "The Hollows," situated in the Chian territory, and of these he slaughtered a vast number; afterwards, by the help of his Lesbians, he reduced all the rest of the Chians, who were weakened by their losses in the sea-fight, Polichne, a city of Chios, serving him as head-quarters.
[6.27] It mostly happens that there is some warning when great misfortunes are about to befall a state or nation; and so it was in this instance, for the Chians had previously had some strange tokens sent to them. A choir of a hundred of their youths had been despatched to Delphi; and of these only two had returned; the remaining ninety-eight having been carried off by a pestilence. Likewise, about the same time, and very shortly before the sea-fight, the roof of a school-house had fallen in upon a number of their boys, who were at lessons; and out of a hundred and twenty children there was but one left alive. Such were the signs which God sent to warn them. It was very shortly afterwards that the sea-fight happened, which brought the city down upon its knees; and after the sea-fight came the attack of Histiaeus and his Lesbians, to whom the Chians, weakened as they were, furnished an easy conquest.
[6.28] Histiaeus now led a numerous army, composed of Ionians and Aelians, against Thasos, and had laid siege to the place when news arrived that the Phoenicians were about to quit Miletus and attack the other cities of Ionia. On hearing this, Histiaeus raised the siege of Thasos, and hastened to Lesbos with all his forces. There his army was in great straits for want of food; whereupon Histiaeus left Lesbos and went across to the mainland, intending to cut the crops which were growing in the Atarnean territory, and likewise in the plain of the Caicus, which belonged to Mysia. Now it chanced that a certain Persian named Harpagus was in these regions at the head of an army of no little strength. He, when Histiaeus landed, marched out to meet him, and engaging with his forces destroyed the greater number of them, and took Histiaeus himself prisoner.
[6.29] Histiaeus fell into the hands of the Persians in the following manner. The Greeks and Persians engaged at Malena, in the region of Atarneus; and the battle was for a long time stoutly contested, till at length the cavalry came up, and, charging the Greeks, decided the conflict. The Greeks fled; and Histiaeus, who thought that Darius would not punish his fault with death, showed how he loved his life by the following conduct. Overtaken in his flight by one of the Persians, who was about to run him through, he cried aloud in the Persian tongue that he was Histiaeus the Milesian.
[6.30] Now, had he been taken straightway before King Darius, I verily believe that he would have received no hurt, but the king would have freely forgiven him. Artaphernes, however, satrap of Sardis, and his captor Harpagus, on this very account - because they were afraid that, if he escaped, he would be again received into high favour by the king - put him to death as soon as he arrived at Sardis. His body they impaled at that place, while they embalmed his head and sent it up to Susa to the king. Darius, when he learnt what had taken place, found great fault with the men engaged in this business for not bringing Histiaeus alive into his presence, and commanded his servants to wash and dress the head with all care, and then bury it, as the head of a man who had been a great benefactor to himself and the Persians. Such was the sequel of the history of Histiaeus.
[6.31] The naval armament of the Persians wintered at Miletus, and in the following year proceeded to attack the islands off the coast, Chios, Lesbos, and Tenedos, which were reduced without difficulty. Whenever they became masters of an island, the barbarians, in every single instance, netted the inhabitants. Now the mode in which they practise this netting is the following. Men join hands, so as to form a line across from the north coast to the south, and then march through the island from end to end and hunt out the inhabitants. In like manner the Persians took also the Ionian towns upon the mainland, not however netting the inhabitants, as it was not possible.
[6.32] And now their generals made good all the threats wherewith they had menaced the Ionians before the battle. For no sooner did they get possession of the towns than they choose out all the best favoured boys and made them eunuchs, while the most beautiful of the girls they tore from their homes and sent as presents to the king, at the same time burning the cities themselves, with their temples. Thus were the Ionians for the third time reduced to slavery; once by the Lydians, and a second, and now a third time, by the Persians.
[6.33] The sea force, after quitting Ionia, proceeded to the Hellespont, and took all the towns which lie on the left shore as one sails into the straits. For the cities on the right bank had already been reduced by the land force of the Persians. Now these are the places which border the Hellespont on the European side; the Chersonese, which contains a number of cities, Perinthus, the forts in Thrace, Selybria, and Byzantium. The Byzantines at this time, and their opposite neighbours, the Chalcedonians, instead of awaiting the coming of the Phoenicians, quitted their country, and sailing into the Euxine, took up their abode at the city of Mesembria. The Phoenicians, after burning all the places above mentioned, proceeded to Proconnresus and Artaca, which they likewise delivered to the flames; this done, they returned to the Chersonese, being minded to reduce those cities which they had not ravaged in their former cruise. Upon Cyzicus they made no attack at all, as before their coming the inhabitants had made terms with Oebares, the son of Megabazus, and satrap of Dascyleium, and had submitted themselves to the king. In the Chersonese the Phoenicians subdued all the cities, excepting Cardia.
[6.34] Up to this time the cities of the Chersonese had been under the government of Miltiades, the son of Cimon, and grandson of Stesagoras, to whom they had descended from Miltiades, the son of Cypselus, who obtained possession of them in the following manner. The Dolonci, a Thracian tribe, to whom the Chersonese at that time belonged, being harassed by a war in which they were engaged with the Apsinthians, sent their princes to Delphi to consult the oracle about the matter. The reply of the Pythoness bade them "take back with them as a colonist into their country the man who should first offer them hospitality after they quitted the temple." The Dolonci, following the Sacred Road, passed through the regions of Phocis and Boeotia; after which, as still no one invited them in, they turned aside, and travelled to Athens.
[6.35] Now Pisistratus was at this time sole lord of Athens; but Miltiades, the son of Cypselus, was likewise a person of much distinction. He belonged to a family which was wont to contend in the four-horse-chariot races, and traced its descent to Aeacus and Egina, but which, from the time of Philaeas, the son of Ajax, who was the first Athenian citizen of the house, had been naturalised at Athens. It happened that as the Dolonci passed his door Miltiades was sitting in his vestibule, which caused him to remark them, dressed as they were in outlandish garments, and armed moreover with lances. He therefore called to them, and, on their approach, invited them in, offering them lodging and entertainment. The strangers accepted his hospitality, and, after the banquet was over, they laid before him in full the directions of the oracle and besought him on their own part to yield obedience to the god. Miltiades was persuaded ere they had done speaking; for the government of Pisistratus was irksome to him, and he wanted to be beyond the tyrant's reach. He therefore went straightway to Delphi, and inquired of the oracle whether he should do as the Dolonci desired.
[6.36] As the Pythoness backed their request, Miltiades, son of Cypselus who had already won the four-horse chariot-race at Olympia, left Athens, taking with him as many of the Athenians as liked to join in the enterprise, and sailed away with the Dolonci. On his arrival at the Chersonese, he was made king by those who had invited him. After this his first act was to build a wall across the neck of the Chersonese from the city of Cardia to Pactya, to protect the country from the incursions and ravages of the Apsinthians. The breadth of the isthmus at this part is thirty-six furlongs, the whole length of the peninsula within the isthmus being four hundred and twenty furlongs.
[6.37] When he had finished carrying the wall across the isthmus, and had thus secured the Chersonese against the Apsinthians, Miltiades proceeded to engage in other wars, and first of all attacked the Lampsacenians; but falling into an ambush which they had laid he had the misfortune to be taken prisoner. Now it happened that Miltiades stood high in the favour of Croesus, king of Lydia. When Croesus therefore heard of his calamity, he sent and commanded the men of Lampsacus to give Miltiades his freedom; "if they refused," he said, "he would destroy them like a fir." Then the Lampsacenians were somewhile in doubt about this speech of Croesus, and could not tell how to construe his threat "that he would destroy them like a fir"; but at last one of their elders divined the true sense, and told them that the fir is the only tree which, when cut down, makes no fresh shoots, but forthwith dies outright. So the Lampsacenians, being greatly afraid of Croesus, released Miltiades, and let him go free.
[6.38] Thus did Miltiades, by the help of Croesus, escape this danger. Some time afterwards he died childless, leaving his kingdom and his riches to Stesagoras, who was the son of Cimon, his half-brother. Ever since his death the people of the Chersonese have offered him the customary sacrifices of a founder; and they have further established in his honour a gymnic contest and a chariot-race, in neither of which is it lawful for any Lampsacenian to contend. Before the war with Lampsacus was ended Stesagoras too died childless: he was sitting in the hall of justice when he was struck upon the head with a hatchet by a man who pretended to be a deserter, but was in good sooth an enemy, and a bitter one.
[6.39] Thus died Stesagoras; and upon his death the Pisistratidae fitted out a trireme, and sent Miltiades, the son of Cimon, and brother of the deceased, to the Chersonese, that he might undertake the management of affairs in that quarter. They had already shown him much favour at Athens, as if, forsooth, they had been no parties to the death of his father Cimon - a matter whereof I will give an account in another place. He upon his arrival remained shut up within the house, pretending to do honour to the memory of his dead brother; whereupon the chief people of the Chersonese gathered themselves together from all the cities of the land, and came in a procession to the place where Miltiades was, to condole with him upon his misfortune. Miltiades commanded them to be seized and thrown into prison; after which he made himself master of the Chersonese, maintained a body of five hundred mercenaries, and married Hegesipyla, daughter of the Thracian king Olorus.