Basilea

cc947675ce0ac0c98617f27425843c35_XL

Αὐτίκα δὲ προβαλλομένων ὅντινα στήσονται βασιλέα, ὁ Δηιόκης ἦν πολλὸς ὑπὸ παντὸς ἀνδρὸς καὶ προβαλλόμενος καὶ αἰνεόμενος, ἐς ὃ τοῦτον καταινέουσι βασιλέα σφίσι εἶναι. ὁ δ’ ἐκέλευε αὐτοὺς οἰκία τε ἑωυτῷ ἄξια τῆς βασιληίης οἰκοδομῆσαι καὶ κρατῦναι αὐτὸν δορυφόροισι· ποιεῦσι δὴ ταῦτα οἱ Μῆδοι. οἰκοδομέουσί τε γὰρ αὐτῷ οἰκία μεγάλα τε καὶ ἰσχυρά, ἵνα αὐτὸς ἔφρασε τῆς χώρης, καὶ δορυφόρους αὐτῷ ἐπιτρέπουσι ἐκ πάντων Μήδων καταλέξασθαι. ὁ δὲ ὡς ἔσχε τὴν ἀρχήν, τοὺς Μήδους ἠνάγκασε ἓν πόλισμα ποιήσασθαι καὶ τοῦτο περιστέλλοντας τῶν ἄλλων ἧσσον ἐπιμέλεσθαι. πειθομένων δὲ καὶ ταῦτα τῶν Μήδων οἰκοδομέει τείχεα μεγάλα τε καὶ καρτερὰ ταῦτα τὰ νῦν Ἀγβάτανα κέκληται, ἕτερον ἑτέρῳ κύκλῳ ἐνεστεῶτα. μεμηχάνηται δὲ οὕτω τοῦτο τὸ τεῖχος ὥστε ὁ ἕτερος τοῦ ἑτέρου κύκλος τοῖσι προμαχεῶσι μούνοισι ἐστι ὑψηλότερος. τὸ μέν κού τι καὶ τὸ χωρίον συμμαχέει κολωνὸς ἐὼν ὥστε τοιοῦτο εἶναι, τὸ δὲ καὶ μᾶλλόν τι ἐπετηδεύθη. κύκλων δ’ ἐόντων τῶν συναπάντων ἑπτά, ἐν δὴ τῷ τελευταίῳ τὰ βασιλήια ἔνεστι καὶ οἱ θησαυροί. τὸ δ’ αὐτῶν μέγιστόν ἐστι τεῖχος κατὰ τὸν Ἀθηνέων κύκλον μάλιστά κῃ τὸ μέγαθος. τοῦ μὲν δὴ πρώτου κύκλου οἱ προμαχεῶνες εἰσὶ λευκοί, τοῦ δὲ δευτέρου μέλανες, τρίτου δὲ κύκλου φοινίκεοι, τετάρτου δὲ κυάνεοι, πέμπτου δὲ σανδαράκινοι. οὕτω τῶν πέντε κύκλων οἱ προμαχεῶνες ἠνθισμένοι εἰσὶ φαρμάκοισι· δύο δὲ οἱ τελευταῖοί εἰσὶ ὁ μὲν καταργυρωμένους ὁ δὲ κατακεχρυσωμένους ἔχων τοὺς προμαχεῶνας. ταῦτα μὲν δὴ ὁ Δηιόκης ἑωυτῷ τε ἐτείχεε καὶ περὶ τὰ ἑωυτοῦ οἰκία, τὸν δὲ ἄλλον δῆμον πέριξ ἐκέλευε τὸ τεῖχος οἰκέειν. οἰκοδομηθέντων δὲ πάντων κόσμον τόνδε Δηιόκης πρῶτός ἐστι ὁ καταστησάμενος, μήτε ἐσιέναι παρὰ βασιλέα μηδένα, δι’ ἀγγέλων δὲ πάντα χρᾶσθαι, ὁρᾶσθαι τε βασιλέα ὑπὸ μηδενός, πρός τε τούτοισι ἔτι γελᾶν τε καὶ ἀντίον πτύειν καὶ ἅπασι εἶναι τοῦτό γε αἰσχρόν. ταῦτα δὲ περὶ ἑωυτὸν ἐσέμνυνε τῶνδε εἵνεκεν, ὅκως ἂν μὴ ὁρῶντες οἱ ὁμήλικες, ἐόντες σύντροφοί τε ἐκείνῳ καὶ οἰκίης οὐ φλαυροτέρης οὐδὲ ἐς ἀνδραγαθίην λειπόμενοι, λυπεοίατο καὶ ἐπιβουλεύοιεν, ἀλλ’ ἑτεροῖός σφι δοκέοι εἶναι μὴ ὁρῶσι.
(Herodotus, Hist. 1.98-99)

They were immediately faced with the question of whom to appoint as king. Everyone was full of praise for Deioces and wholeheartedly endorsed his nomination, until at length they agreed that he should be their king. He ordered them to build him a palace fit for a king and to assign him personal guards for his protection, and the Medes did so: they built him a large, secure residence in a part of the country he designated, and they let him pick his personal guards from among the whole Median population. Once power was in his hands, Deioces insisted that the Medes build a single city and maintain this one place, which involved caring less for their other communities. The Medes obeyed him in this too; they built the place which is now known as Ecbatana—a huge, impregnable stronghold consisting of concentric circles of defensive walls. This stronghold is designed so that each successive circle is higher than the one below it just by the height of its bastions. This design is helped, of course, to a certain extent by the fact that the place is on a hill, but it was also deliberately made that way. There are seven circles altogether, and the innermost one contains the royal palace and the treasuries. The largest of the walls is approximately the same size as the wall around Athens. The bastions of the outer five circles have all been painted various colours—first white, then black, red, blue, and orange. But as for the bastions of the last two circles, the first are covered in silver and the second in gold. So Deioces had this stronghold built for himself, surrounding his own residence, but he told the whole population to build their houses outside the stronghold. Once the building programme was completed, Deioces was the first to establish the following rules: no one was to enter “into the king’s presence, but all business was to be conducted through messengers; the king was to be seen by no one; and furthermore absolutely no one was to commit the offence of laughing or spitting in the king’s presence. The reason he instituted this grandiose system of how to behave in relation to himself was to prevent any of his peers seeing him. They had been brought up with him, their lineage was no worse than his, and they were just as brave as he was, so he was worried that if they saw him they might get irritated and conspire against him; on the other hand, if they could not see him, they might think that he had changed. (tr. Robin Waterfield)

Katadoulōsai

20120209-Xerxes_I

Πρὸς μὲν Ἀλέξανδρον ταῦτα ὑπεκρίναντο, πρὸς δὲ τοὺς ἀπὸ Σπάρτης ἀγγέλους τάδε· “τὸ μὲν δεῖσαι Λακεδαιμονίους μὴ ὁμολογήσωμεν τῷ βαρβάρῳ, κάρτα ἀνθρωπήϊον ἦν· ἀτὰρ αἰσχρῶς γε οἴκατε ἐξεπιστάμενοι τὸ Ἀθηναίων φρόνημα ἀρρωδῆσαι, ὅτι οὔτε χρυσός ἐστι γῆς οὐδαμόθι τοσοῦτος οὔτε χώρη κάλλεϊ καὶ ἀρετῇ μέγα ὑπερφέρουσα, τὰ ἡμεῖς δεξάμενοι ἐθέλοιμεν ἂν μηδίσαντες καταδουλῶσαι τὴν Ἑλλάδα. πολλά τε γὰρ καὶ μεγάλα ἐστι τὰ διακωλύοντα ταῦτα μὴ ποιέειν μηδ’ ἢν ἐθέλωμεν, πρῶτα μὲν καὶ μέγιστα τῶν θεῶν τὰ ἀγάλματα καὶ τὰ οἰκήματα ἐμπεπρησμένα τε καὶ συγκεχωσμένα, τοῖσι ἡμέας ἀναγκαίως ἔχει τιμωρέειν ἐς τὰ μέγιστα μᾶλλον ἤ περ ὁμολογέειν τῷ ταῦτα ἐργασαμένῳ, αὖτις δὲ τὸ Ἑλληνικὸν ἐὸν ὅμαιμόν τε καὶ ὁμόγλωσσον καὶ θεῶν ἱδρύματά τε κοινὰ καὶ θυσίαι ἤθεά τε ὁμότροπα, τῶν προδότας γενέσθαι Ἀθηναίους οὐκ ἂν εὖ ἔχοι. ἐπίστασθέ τε οὕτω, εἰ μὴ πρότερον ἐτυγχάνετε ἐπιστάμενοι, ἔστ’ ἂν καὶ εἷς περιῇ Ἀθηναίων, μηδαμὰ ὁμολογήσοντας ἡμέας Ξέρξῃ. ὑμέων μέντοι ἀγάμεθα τὴν προνοίην τὴν πρὸς ἡμέας ἐοῦσαν, ὅτι προείδετε ἡμέων οἰκοφθορημένων οὕτω ὥστε ἐπιθρέψαι ἐθέλειν ἡμέων τοὺς οἰκέτας. καὶ ὑμῖν μὲν ἡ χάρις ἐκπεπλήρωται, ἡμεῖς μέντοι λιπαρήσομεν οὕτω ὅκως ἂν ἔχωμεν, οὐδὲν λυπέοντες ὑμέας. νῦν δέ, ὡς οὕτω ἐχόντων, στρατιὴν ὡς τάχιστα ἐκπέμπετε. ὡς γὰρ ἡμεῖς εἰκάζομεν, οὐκ ἑκὰς χρόνου παρέσται ὁ βάρβαρος ἐσβαλὼν ἐς τὴν ἡμετέρην, ἀλλ’ ἐπειδὰν τάχιστα πύθηται τὴν ἀγγελίην ὅτι οὐδὲν ποιήσομεν τῶν ἐκεῖνος ἡμέων προσεδέετο. πρὶν ὦν παρεῖναι ἐκεῖνον ἐς τὴν Ἀττικήν, ἡμέας καιρός ἐστι προβοηθῆσαι ἐς τὴν Βοιωτίην.” οἱ μὲν ταῦτα ὑποκριναμένων Ἀθηναίων ἀπαλλάσσοντο ἐς Σπάρτην.
(Herodotus, Hist. 8.144)

This was the Athenian reply to Alexander. To the messengers from Sparta they spoke as follows: ‘It may have been natural for you to worry in case we came to terms with Xerxes, but we still think your fear reflects badly on you, because you are perfectly well aware of the Athenian temperament. You should have known that there isn’t enough gold on earth, or any land of such outstanding beauty and fertility, that we would accept it in return for collaborating with the enemy and enslaving Greece. Even if we were inclined to do so, there are plenty of important obstacles in the way. First and foremost, there is the burning and destruction of the statues and homes of our gods; rather than entering into a treaty with the perpetrator of these deeds, we are duty-bound to do our utmost to avenge them. Then again, there is the fact that we are all Greeks—one race speaking one language, with temples to the gods and religious rites in common, and with a common way of life. It would not be good for Athens to betray all this shared heritage. So if you didn’t know it before, we can assure you that so long as even a single Athenian remains alive, we will never come to terms with Xerxes. However, we would like to thank you for your thoughtful offer to look after our families during our time of economic ruin. Your kindness leaves nothing to be desired, but we’ll find some way to hold out, without troubling you. So there we are, then; what you must do now is get an army in the field as quickly as possible. It looks as though it won’t be long before the Persian comes and invades our country; he’ll do so just as soon as he receives our message and finds out that we are turning him down flat. It would be a good idea for us† to have an army in Boeotia to pre-empt his attempt to invade Attica.’ After listening to the Athenian reply, the messengers returned to Sparta. (tr. Robin Waterfield)

Paraphroneein

prexaspes
Cambyses and Prexaspes

Τάδε δ’ ἐς τοὺς ἄλλους Πέρσας ἐξεμάνη. λέγεται γὰρ εἰπεῖν αὐτὸν πρὸς Πρηξάσπεα, τὸν ἐτίμα τε μάλιστα καί οἱ τὰς ἀγγελίας ἐφόρεε οὗτος, τούτου τε ὁ παῖς οἰνοχόος ἦν τῷ Καμβύσῃ, τιμὴ δὲ καὶ αὕτη οὐ σμικρή· εἰπεῖν δὲ λέγεται τάδε. “Πρήξασπες, κοῖόν με τινὰ νομίζουσι Πέρσαι εἶναι ἄνδρα τίνας τε λόγους περὶ ἐμέο ποιεῦνται;” τὸν δὲ εἰπεῖν “ὦ δέσποτα, τὰ μὲν ἄλλα πάντα μεγάλως ἐπαινέαι, τῇ δὲ φιλοινίῃ σε φασὶ πλεόνως προσκέεσθαι.” τὸν μὲν δὴ λέγειν ταῦτα περὶ Περσέων, τὸν δὲ θυμωθέντα τοιάδε ἀμείβεσθαι. “νῦν ἄρα με φασὶ Πέρσαι οἴνῳ προσκείμενον παραφρονέειν καὶ οὐκ εἶναι νοήμονα· οὐδ’ ἄρα σφέων οἱ πρότεροι λόγοι ἦσαν ἀληθέες.” πρότερον γὰρ δὴ ἄρα, Περσέων οἱ συνέδρων ἐόντων καὶ Κροίσου, εἴρετο Καμβύσης κοῖός τις δοκέοι ἀνὴρ εἶναι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα τελέσαι Κῦρον, οἳ δὲ ἀμείβοντο ὡς εἴη ἀμείνων τοῦ πατρός· τά τε γὰρ ἐκείνου πάντα ἔχειν αὐτὸν καὶ προσεκτῆσθαι Αἴγυπτόν τε καὶ τὴν θάλασσαν. Πέρσαι μὲν ταῦτα ἔλεγον, Κροῖσος δὲ παρεών τε καὶ οὐκ ἀρεσκόμενος τῇ κρίσι εἶπε πρὸς τὸν Καμβύσεα τάδε. “ἐμοὶ μέν νυν, ὦ παῖ Κύρου, οὐ δοκέεις ὅμοιος εἶναι τῷ πατρί· οὐ γάρ κώ τοι ἐστὶ υἱὸς οἷον σε ἐκεῖνος κατελίπετο.” ἥσθη τε ταῦτα ἀκούσας ὁ Καμβύσης καὶ ἐπαίνεε τὴν Κροίσου κρίσιν. τούτων δὴ ὦν ἐπιμνησθέντα ὀργῇ λέγειν πρὸς τὸν Πρηξάσπεα “σύ νυν μάθε εἰ λέγουσι Πέρσαι ἀληθέα εἴτε αὐτοὶ λέγοντες ταῦτα παραφρονέουσι· εἰ μὲν γὰρ τοῦ παιδὸς τοῦ σοῦ τοῦδε ἑστεῶτος ἐν τοῖσι προθύροισι βαλὼν τύχοιμι μέσης τῆς καρδίης, Πέρσαι φανέονται λέγοντες οὐδέν· ἢν δὲ ἁμάρτω, φάναι Πέρσας τε λέγειν ἀληθέα καί με μὴ σωφρονέειν.” ταῦτα δὲ εἰπόντα καὶ διατείναντα τὸ τόξον βαλεῖν τὸν παῖδα, πεσόντος δὲ τοῦ παιδὸς ἀνασχίζειν αὐτὸν κελεύειν καὶ σκέψασθαι τὸ βλῆμα· ὡς δὲ ἐν τῇ καρδίῃ εὑρεθῆναι ἐνεόντα τὸν ὀιστόν, εἰπεῖν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα τοῦ παιδὸς γελάσαντα καὶ περιχαρέα γενόμενον “Πρήξασπες, ὡς μὲν ἐγὼ τε οὐ μαίνομαι Πέρσαι τε παραφρονέουσι, δῆλά τοι γέγονε. νῦν δέ μοι εἰπέ, τίνα εἶδες ἤδη πάντων ἀνθρώπων οὕτω ἐπίσκοπα τοξεύοντα;” Πρηξάσπεα δὲ ὁρῶντα ἄνδρα οὐ φρενήρεα καὶ περὶ ἑωυτῷ δειμαίνοντα εἰπεῖν “δέσποτα, οὐδ’ ἂν αὐτὸν ἔγωγε δοκέω τὸν θεὸν οὕτω ἂν καλῶς βαλεῖν.”
(Herodotus, Hist. 3.34-35)

He committed mad acts against the rest of the Persians as well. The case of Prexaspes, for instance, is mentioned. Cambyses gave Prexaspes the outstanding honour of bringing messages to him, and Prexaspes’ son was Cambyses’ wine-server, which was also a distinguished position to hold. It is said that Cambyses once asked him, ‘Prexaspes, what sort of man do the Persians think I am? What do they say about me?’ ‘Master,’ Prexaspes replied, ‘they have nothing but good to say about you, except in one respect: they say that you are rather too fond of wine.’ Prexaspes’ news about what the Persians were saying made Cambyses angry, and he retorted, ‘In fact the Persians are saying that my fondness for wine is driving me mad and making me lose my mind. It follows, then, that their earlier statements were false.’ The point is that once before, at a meeting between Cambyses, his Persian advisers, and Croesus, Cambyses asked what sort of man they thought him to be, compared to his father Cyrus. The Persians replied that he was a better man than his father, because he had control over the whole of his father’s possessions, while also adding dominion over Egypt and the sea. Croesus was there, however, and the Persians’ reply did not satisfy him, so he said to Cambyses, ‘In my opinion, my lord, you do not bear comparison with your father, because you do not yet have a son of the calibre of the one he left behind.’ Cambyses was delighted with this reply of Croesus’ and used to mention it with approval. This is what he was remembering when he spoke angrily to Prexaspes. ‘You’ll see whether the Persians are speaking the truth,’ he said, ‘or whether in saying this they are out of their minds. There’s your son, standing on the porch. I’ll shoot at him, and if I hit him right in the heart, that will be proof that the Persians are talking nonsense, whereas if I miss, you can say that the Persians are right and that I am out of my mind.’ With these words, he drew his bow and shot the boy with an arrow. The boy fell to the ground and Cambyses ordered his men to slit him open and examine the wound. When it was found that the arrow had pierced his heart, he turned to the boy’s father with a laugh and said delightedly, ‘So there you have it, Prexaspes! This proves that I am quite sane, and the Persians are out of their minds. Now, tell me: do you know anyone else in the world who can shoot an arrow with such accuracy?’ Prexaspes saw that he was quite mad and was afraid for himself. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I don’t think that even the god could have made such a good shot.’ (tr. Robin Waterfield)

Deipnon

unwell-7_wide

Ἑξῆς δὲ λεκτέον καὶ περὶ τῶν Λακωνικῶν συμποσίων. Ἡρόδοτος μὲν οὖν ἐν τῇ ἐνάτῃ τῶν ἱστοριῶν περὶ τῆς Μαρδονίου παρασκευῆς λέγων καὶ μνημονεύσας Λακωνικῶν συμποσίων φησί· Ξέρξης φεύγων ἐκ τῆς Ἑλλάδος Μαρδονίῳ τὴν παρασκευὴν κατέλιπε τὴν αὑτοῦ. Παυσανίαν οὖν ἰδόντα τὴν τοῦ Μαρδονίου παρασκευὴν χρυσῷ καὶ ἀργύρῳ καὶ παραπετάσμασι ποικίλοις κατεσκευασμένην κελεῦσαι τοὺς ἀρτοποιοὺς καὶ ὀψοποιοὺς κατὰ ταὐτὰ καθὼς Μαρδονίῳ δεῖπνον παρασκευάσαι. ποιησάντων δὲ τούτων τὰ κελευσθέντα τὸν Παυσανίαν ἰδόντα κλίνας χρυσᾶς καὶ ἀργυρᾶς ἐστρωμένας καὶ τραπέζας ἀργυρᾶς καὶ παρασκευὴν μεγαλοπρεπῆ δείπνου ἐκπλαγέντα τὰ προκείμενα κελεῦσαι ἐπὶ γέλωτι τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ διακόνοις παρασκευάσαι Λακωνικὸν δεῖπνον. καὶ παρασκευασθέντος γελάσας ὁ Παυσανίας μετεπέμψατο τῶν Ἑλλήνων τοὺς στρατηγοὺς καὶ ἐλθόντων ἐπιδείξας ἑκατέρου τῶν δείπνων τὴν παρασκευὴν εἶπεν· “ἄνδρες Ἕλληνες, συνήγαγον ὑμᾶς βουλόμενος ἐπιδεῖξαι τοῦ Μήδων ἡγεμόνος τὴν ἀφροσύνην, ὃς τοιαύτην δίαιταν ἔχων ἦλθεν ὡς ἡμᾶς οὕτω ταλαίπωρον ἔχοντας.” φασὶ δέ τινες καὶ ἄνδρα Συβαρίτην ἐπιδημήσαντα τῇ Σπάρτῃ καὶ συνεστιαθέντα ἐν τοῖς φιδιτίοις εἰπεῖν: “εἰκότως ἀνδρειότατοι ἁπάντων εἰσὶ Λακεδαιμόνιοι· ἕλοιτο γὰρ ἄν τις εὖ φρονῶν μυριάκις ἀποθανεῖν ἢ οὕτως εὐτελοῦς διαίτης μεταλαβεῖν.”
(Athenaeus, Deipn. 4.138b-e)

The next topic that requires discussion is Spartan symposia. Now Herodotus in Book IX (82) of his Histories describes Mardonius’ personal property and mentions Spartan symposia, saying: When Xerxes was fleeing Greece, he left his personal property to Mardonius. So when Pausanias saw Mardonius’ property, which was adorned with gold and silver and embroidered tapestries, he ordered the bakers and cooks to prepare a dinner exactly as they did for Mardonius. They did what they were told; and when Pausanias saw the gold and silver couches covered with bed-clothes, the silver tables, and the ostentatious preparations for dinner, he was astonished at what lay before him, and as a joke he ordered his own attendants to prepare a Spartan dinner. When it was ready, Pausanias laughed and sent for the Greek generals. When they arrived, he showed them how each dinner had been prepared and said: “Greeks sirs, I assembled you because I wanted to show you the folly of the Median commander who, although he lives like this, attacked us, who are so poor.” Some authorities also report that a Sybarite who had spent time in Sparta and eaten with them in the public messes said: “It’s no surprise that the Spartans are the bravest men there are; anyone with any sense would rather die a million times than share such a miserable life!” (tr. Stuart Douglas Olson)

Phrontis

hippocleides

Ὡς δὲ ἡ κυρίη ἐγένετο τῶν ἡμερέων τῆς τε κατακλίσιος τοῦ γάμου καὶ ἐκφάσιος αὐτοῦ Κλεισθένεος τὸν κρίνοι ἐκ πάντων, θύσας βοῦς ἑκατὸν ὁ Κλεισθένης εὐώχεε αὐτούς τε τοὺς μνηστῆρας καὶ Σικυωνίους πάντας. ὡς δὲ ἀπὸ δείπνου ἐγίνοντο, οἱ μνηστῆρες ἔριν εἶχον ἀμφί τε μουσικῇ καὶ τῷ λεγομένῳ ἐς τὸ μέσον. προϊούσης δὲ τῆς πόσιος κατέχων πολλὸν τοὺς ἄλλους ὁ Ἱπποκλείδης ἐκέλευσέ οἱ τὸν αὐλητὴν αὐλῆσαι ἐμμελείην, πειθομένου δὲ τοῦ αὐλητέω ὀρχήσατο. καί κως ἑωυτῷ μὲν ἀρεστῶς ὀρχέετο, ὁ Κλεισθένης δὲ ὁρέων ὅλον τὸ πρῆγμα ὑπώπτευε. μετὰ δὲ ἐπισχὼν ὁ Ἱπποκλείδης χρόνον ἐκέλευσε τινὰ τράπεζαν ἐσενεῖκαι, ἐσελθούσης δὲ τῆς τραπέζης πρῶτα μὲν ἐπ᾽ αὐτῆς ὀρχήσατο Λακωνικὰ σχημάτια, μετὰ δὲ ἄλλα Ἀττικά, τὸ τρίτον δὲ τὴν κεφαλὴν ἐρείσας ἐπὶ τὴν τράπεζαν τοῖσι σκέλεσι ἐχειρονόμησε. Κλεισθένης δὲ τὰ μὲν πρῶτα καὶ τὰ δεύτερα ὀρχεομένου, ἀποστυγέων γαμβρὸν ἄν οἱ ἔτι γενέσθαι Ἱπποκλείδεα διὰ τήν τε ὄρχησιν καὶ τὴν ἀναιδείην, κατεῖχε ἑωυτόν, οὐ βουλόμενος ἐκραγῆναι ἐς αὐτόν· ὡς δὲ εἶδε τοῖσι σκέλεσι χειρονομήσαντα, οὐκέτι κατέχειν δυνάμενος εἶπε “ὦ παῖ Τισάνδρου, ἀπορχήσαό γε μὲν τὸν γάμον.” ὁ δὲ Ἱπποκλείδης ὑπολαβὼν εἶπε “οὐ φροντὶς Ἱπποκλείδῃ.” ἀπὸ τούτου μὲν τοῦτο ὀνομάζεται.
(Herodotus, Hist. 6.129)

On the day appointed for the marriage ceremony—the day when Cleisthenes had promised he would make known which one of the suitors he preferred—he sacrificed a hundred cattle and held a feast not just for the suitors themselves, but for the whole city of Sicyon. After the meal, the suitors competed with one another at singing and at public speaking. As the drinking progressed, Hippoclides had a clear lead over the others, but then he told the pipe-player to strike up a tune, and when the musician did so he began to dance. Now, although Hippoclides liked his own dancing a lot, Cleisthenes was beginning to look on the whole business askance. After a while, Hippoclides stopped momentarily and asked for a table to be brought in. When the table arrived there, he first danced a Laconian dance on it, then some Attic figures, and finally stood on his head on the table and waggled his feet around. Hippoclides’ uninhibited dancing of the first and second sets of figures had already put Cleisthenes off having him as a son-in-law, but he kept silent because he did not want to scold him. When he saw him waggling his legs around, however, he could no longer restrain himself. ‘Son of Tisander,’ he said, ‘you have danced away your marriage.’ The young man replied, ‘Hippoclides doesn’t care!’—and that is how the proverb arose. (tr. Robin Waterfield)

Apokruptousi

Arrows blotting out the sun-2

Λακεδαιμονίων δὲ καὶ Θεσπιέων τοιούτων γενομένων ὅμως λέγεται ἀνὴρ ἄριστος γενέσθαι Σπαρτιήτης Διηνέκης· τὸν τόδε φασὶ εἰπεῖν τὸ ἔπος πρὶν ἢ συμμεῖξαί σφεας τοῖσι Μήδοισι, πυθόμενον πρός τευ τῶν Τρηχινίων ὡς ἐπεὰν οἱ βάρβαροι ἀπίωσι τὰ τοξεύματα, τὸν ἥλιον ὑπὸ τοῦ πλήθεος τῶν ὀϊστῶν ἀποκρύπτουσι· τοσοῦτο πλῆθος αὐτῶν εἶναι· τὸν δὲ οὐκ ἐκπλαγέντα τούτοισι εἰπεῖν, ἐν ἀλογίῃ ποιεύμενον τὸ τῶν Μήδων πλῆθος, ὡς πάντα σφι ἀγαθὰ ὁ Τρηχίνιος ξεῖνος ἀγγέλλοι, εἰ ἀποκρυπτόντων τῶν Μήδων τὸν ἥλιον ὑπὸ σκιῇ ἔσοιτο πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἡ μάχη καὶ οὐκ ἐν ἡλίῳ.
(Herodotus, Hist. 7.226)

Such were the proofs of valour given by the Lacedemonians and Thespians; yet the Spartan Dienekes is said to have proved himself the best man of all, the same who, as they report, uttered this saying before they engaged battle with the Medes:—being informed by one of the men of Trachis that when the Barbarians discharged their arrows they obscured the light of the sun by the multitude of the arrows, so great was the number of their host. He was not dismayed by this, but making small account of the number of the Medes, he said that their guest from Trachis brought them very good news, for if the Medes obscured the light of the sun, the battle against them would be in the shade and not in the sun. (tr. George Campbell Macaulay, revised by Donald Lateiner)

Hairesin

gyges1

Ὡς δὲ ὁ Γύγης ἀπίκετο, ἔλεγε ἡ γυνὴ τάδε. “νῦν τοι δυῶν ὁδῶν παρεουσέων, Γύγη, δίδωμι αἵρεσιν, ὁκοτέρην βούλεαι τραπέσθαι. ἢ γὰρ Κανδαύλεα ἀποκτείνας ἐμέ τε καὶ τὴν βασιληΐην ἔχε τὴν Λυδῶν, ἢ αὐτόν σε αὐτίκα οὕτω ἀποθνῄσκειν δεῖ, ὡς ἂν μὴ πάντα πειθόμενος Κανδαύλῃ τοῦ λοιποῦ ἴδῃς τὰ μὴ σε δεῖ. ἀλλ’ ἤτοι κεῖνόν γε τὸν ταῦτα βουλεύσαντα δεῖ ἀπόλλυσθαι, ἢ σε τὸν ἐμὲ γυμνήν θεησάμενον καὶ ποιήσαντα οὐ νομιζόμενα.” ὁ δὲ Γύγης τέως μὲν ἀπεθώμαζε τὰ λεγόμενα, μετὰ δὲ ἱκέτευε μή μιν ἀναγκαίῃ ἐνδέειν διακρῖναι τοιαύτην αἵρεσιν. οὐκ ὦν δὴ ἔπειθε, ἀλλ’ ὥρα ἀναγκαίην ἀληθέως προκειμένην ἢ τὸν δεσπότεα ἀπολλύναι ἢ αὐτὸν ὑπ’ ἄλλων ἀπόλλυσθαι· αἱρέεται αὐτὸς περιεῖναι. ἐπειρώτα δὴ λέγων τάδε. “ἐπεί με ἀναγκάζεις δεσπότεα τὸν ἐμὸν κτείνειν οὐκ ἐθέλοντα, φέρε ἀκούσω τέῳ καὶ τρόπῳ ἐπιχειρήσομεν αὐτῷ.” ἣ δὲ ὑπολαβοῦσα ἔφη “ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ μὲν χωρίου ἡ ὁρμὴ ἔσται ὅθεν περ καὶ ἐκεῖνος ἐμέ ἐπεδέξατο γυμνήν, ὑπνωμένῳ δὲ ἡ ἐπιχείρησις ἔσται.”
(Herodotus, Hist. 1.11.2-5)

When he arrived she said to him: ‘Gyges, there are now two paths before you: I leave it up to you which one you choose to take. Either you can kill Candaules and have me and the kingdom of Lydia for your own, or you must die yourself right now, so that you will never again do exactly what Candaules wants you to do and see what you should not see. Yes, either he or you must die—either the one whose idea this was or the one who saw me naked when he had no right to do so.” At first, Gyges was too astonished to reply, but then he begged her not to force him to make such a choice. She could not be moved, however. He saw that he really was faced with choosing between killing his master or being killed himself by others—and he chose to survive. So he had a question for her. ‘It’s not as if I want to kill my own master,’ he said, ‘but since you’re forcing me to do so, please tell me how we’re going to attack him.’ ‘The place from where he showed me to you naked’, she replied, ‘will be the place from which to launch the attack against him. The attack will happen when he’s asleep. (tr. Robin Waterfield)