Herodotus – The Histories, Book 9, “Calliopé” [90-113] – Liberation of Asia Minor

  1. On the same day as the Battle of Plataea, the Persians lost a battle at Mycale in Ionia. The Greek fleet was still in Delos & its admiral Leotychides received a messenger from Samos in secret. They wanted a Greek presence to spark another Ionian revolt against the Persians.
  2. Leotychides wanted a sign that it was the right thing to do & asked the man his name – Hegesistratus (“army leader”). It seemed like a good sign & he said the Greeks would be Samos’s allies.
  3. He sped up with the business & oaths of alliance were exchanged. The Greeks set sail the next day with favorable omens by Soothsayer Deiphones from Apollonia.
  4. Deiphonus’s father, Evenius, had strange things happen to him. The Apolloniats have a flock of sheep sacred to the sun. The sheep grazed on the river near Mt. Lacmon. Each citizen must serve as shepherd for 1 year. They are kept in a cavern far from town at night. He’d been chosen to guard them one night & wolves at 60 sheep while he was asleep. He tried to keep silent about, even buying replacement sheep. But the Apolloniats found out & blinded him. But since his blinding, the sheep didn’t have offspring & the land wouldn’t grow crops. The Apolloniats consulted with the Oracles. The answer came back that Apollonia had to atone to him with a gift for blinding him.
  5. The Apolloniats kept these messages secret but tried to make it up to Evenius. A messenger sat next to him on a bench asking him what atonement he thought was adequate. He hadn’t heard the Oracle. He named a few men & he’d like their land & homes. The messengers acquired what he had wanted, & told him that that was their atonement to him. Later, Evenius had the gift of prophecy.
  6. Deiphonus went with the Corinthians as soothsayer to the Greek army. One account said he wasn’t Evenius’s son & just used his name to make money.
  7. The Greeks sailed from Delos to Samos. They brought the fleet to the Temple of Juno off Calami, ready to fight the Persians. The Persians didn’t want to fight, so they boarded their ships & went to the mainland to avoid a fight, & to be protected by the Persian army. They built a wall around the ships to protect the ships they brought ashore. They had 60000 troops.
  8. Persian commanders bring their ships out to sea, passing the temple of the Eumenides into the territory of Mycale. There they pulled their ships ashore behind a stone wall. Here they prepared a battle to win or to undergo a siege.
  9. The Greeks found out the Persians ran off to the mainland. They didn’t know exactly what to do – go home or go on to the Hellespont. In the end, they sailed to Mycale to fight Persians. They spoke to the Ionians: “We’re about to fight the Persians & make sure you tell everyone.” Leontychides used Themistocles’s trick. Either the Persians wouldn’t have hear what was said, or they would have heard & would mistrust the Ionians.
  10. Afterwards, the Greeks brought their ships to land & prepared for battle. When the Persians saw & thought of the Ionian advice given to them. First, disarm the Samians who’d they suspected of plotting with the enemy. Some Athenians had been taken back in Xerxes’s army returning from war. Second, the Persians sent the Milesians to the heights of Mycale to avoid any sabotage from them.
  11. Once the Greeks were prepared, they moved on the barbarians. It was the same say as the Battle of Plataea, yet a rumor was spreading the Greeks had defeated the Persians & Mardonius at Plataea.
  12. This Battle of Mycale also took place near a temple of Ceres like at Plataea. The rumor about Plataea charged up the troops. They had a fear about Greece & the outcome of the war but the rumor calmed their nerves. The battle began.
  13. The Athenians, who were ½ the army, marched along the shore while the Spartans marched along the hills, working to enclose the enemy. The Persians made a wall of wicker shield. The Greeks psyched themselves up & broke through the wall & ran at the Persians. They stormed the fortress & the barbarians gave up any resistance & ran, except the Persians who continued to fight.
  14. The Persians were still holding on when the Spartans arrived at the battle. The Greek losses, especially Sicyonians, were substantial. Samians, who served with the Medes saw the battle wasn’t going their way & switched to the Greek side.
  15. The Persians had ordered the Milesians to protect the mountain pass but they sabotaged the Persians by sending them down wrong routes, right into the hands of the enemy, making a 2nd Ionian revolt official.
  16. The Athenians were the bravest, esp. Hermolycus, winner of the Panonatium. He was later killed in a war between Athens & the Carystians. After the Athenians were the Corinthians, Troezenians & Sicyonians.
  17. When the Greeks had killed most of the Persians, they turned their attention to setting fire to their ships. Before, they removed all the booty, including loads of money. After burning the walls & the ships, the Greeks went back to Samos to figure out what to do with the Ionians. They thought about leaving the area since it seemed impossible to protect it against the barbarians. But there’s no way the Persians wouldn’t punish the Ionians for the revolt. The Spartans proposed that those who sided with the Medes ought to be dealt with by the Ionians. The Athenians didn’t like the idea leaving the area. They did agree to allow the Samians, Chians, Lesbians & others into the Greek alliance. The Greeks sailed to their Hellespont to break up the Persian bridges.
  18. The Barbarians who’d escaped the battle alive went to the heights of Mycale & then on to Sardis. Masistes, Darius’s son, laid into the general, Artayntes, calling him a woman & a terrible leader. After he went on a littler too far, Artayantes took out his sword threatening to kill Masistes. A Halicarnassian held him back preventing him from following through with it. They found Xerxes in Sardis.
  19. Xerxes had fallen in love with Masistes’s wife but failed to win her over & he wouldn’t fight his brother over his wife. So, he set up an arranged marriage between his son, Darius, & a daughter of hers. He was about to set off for Susa when he fell in love with the daughter, Artaynta, who returned the love.
  20. The affair was discovered by Xerxes’s wife, Amestris. She wove him a long, multi-colored robe. He liked & wore it when he went to visit Artaynta. He told her she could have one theing she wanted & she asked for the robe. He tried to avoid this because he didn’t want his wife to know about their little affair. He offered her anything but the robe but she refused. He gave it to her & she wore it everywhere.
  21. Amestris learned of this. She wasn’t angry with Artaynta, she was upset with her mother whom she blamed for the whole fuss. She was going to kill her. She waited until Xerxes held a big banquet where he gave all the guests gifts. Amestris asked for Masistes’s wife as a present. He refused to give his brother’s wife up to her. He suspected what she was up to.
  22. She pressed that the king wasn’t allowed to refuse a request. So, he relented, giving the woman to her. He had to break the news to Masistes who protested being deprived of his wife & the mother of his 3 children, especially because it was all because of Xerxes’s fling with her daughter, Artaynta. He begged him not to do it but he insisted.
  23. While this discussion between Xerxes & Masistes was going on Amestris sent the royal bodyguard to mutilate Masistes’s wife, cutting off her breasts, nose, ears, lips & tongue.
  24. Masistes found his wife at home. He was so angry, that he took off to Bactria to cause revolt against Xerxes. Xerxes heard of this & sent soldiers to put down the revolt & kill Masistes.

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