land, or without loss of time to leap overboard into the sea. In
this strait Arion begged them, since such was their pleasure, to allow
him to mount upon the quarter-deck, dressed in his full costume, and
there to play and sing, and promising that, as soon as his song was
ended, he would destroy himself. Delighted at the prospect of
hearing the very best harper in the world, they consented, and
withdrew from the stern to the middle of the vessel: while Arion
dressed himself in the full costume of his calling, took his harp, and
standing on the quarter-deck, chanted the Orthian. His strain ended,
he flung himself, fully attired as he was, headlong into the sea.
The Corinthians then sailed on to Corinth. As for Arion, a dolphin,
they say, took him upon his back and carried him to Taenarum, where he
went ashore, and thence proceeded to Corinth in his musician's
dress, and told all that had happened to him. Periander, however,
disbelieved the story, and put Arion in ward, to prevent his leaving
Corinth, while he watched anxiously for the return of the mariners. On
their arrival he summoned them before him and asked them if they could
give him any tiding of Arion. They returned for answer that he was
alive and in good health in Italy, and that they had left him at
Tarentum, where he was doing well. Thereupon Arion appeared before
them, just as he was when he jumped from the vessel: the men,
astonished and detected in falsehood, could no longer deny their
guilt. Such is the account which the Corinthians and Lesbians give;
and there is to this day at Taenarum, an offering of Arion's at the
shrine, which is a small figure in bronze, representing a man seated
upon a dolphin.
Having brought the war with the Milesians to a close, and
reigned over the land of Lydia for fifty-seven years, Alyattes died.
He was the second prince of his house who made offerings at Delphi.
His gifts, which he sent on recovering from his sickness, were a great
bowl of pure silver, with a salver in steel curiously inlaid, a work
among all the offerings at Delphi the best worth looking at.
Glaucus, the Chian, made it, the man who first invented the art of
On the death of Alyattes, Croesus, his son, who was thirty-five
years old, succeeded to the throne. Of the Greek cities, Ephesus was
the first that he attacked. The Ephesians, when he laid siege to the
place, made an offering of their city to Diana, by stretching a rope
from the town wall to the temple of the goddess, which was distant
from the ancient city, then besieged by Croesus, a space of seven
furlongs. They were, as I said, the first Greeks whom he attacked.
Afterwards, on some pretext or other, he made war in turn upon every
Ionian and Aeolian state, bringing forward, where he could, a
substantial ground of complaint; where such failed him, advancing some
In this way he made himself master of all the Greek cities in
Asia, and forced them to become his tributaries; after which he
began to think of building ships, and attacking the islanders.
Everything had been got ready for this purpose, when Bias of Priene
(or, as some say, Pittacus the Mytilenean) put a stop to the
project. The king had made inquiry of this person, who was lately
arrived at Sardis, if there were any news from Greece; to which he
answered, "Yes, sire, the islanders are gathering ten thousand
horse, designing an expedition against thee and against thy
capital." Croesus, thinking he spake seriously, broke out, "Ah,
might the gods put such a thought into their minds as to attack the
sons of the Lydians with cavalry!" "It seems, oh! king," rejoined
the other, "that thou desirest earnestly to catch the islanders on
horseback upon the mainland,- thou knowest well what would come of it.
But what thinkest thou the islanders desire better, now that they hear
thou art about to build ships and sail against them, than to catch the
Lydians at sea, and there revenge on them the wrongs of their brothers
upon the mainland, whom thou holdest in slavery?" Croesus was
charmed with the turn of the speech; and thinking there was reason