Welcome
   Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Authors
Works by Herodotus
Pages of Clio



Previous | Next
                  

Clio   


cheat each other and forswear themselves. If I live, the Spartans
shall have troubles enough of their own to talk of, without concerning
themselves about the Ionians." Cyrus intended these words as a
reproach against all the Greeks, because of their having market-places
where they buy and sell, which is a custom unknown to the Persians,
who never make purchases in open marts, and indeed have not in their
whole country a single market-place.
After this interview Cyrus quitted Sardis, leaving the city
under the charge of Tabalus, a Persian, but appointing Pactyas, a
native, to collect the treasure belonging to Croesus and the other
Lydians, and bring after him. Cyrus himself proceeded towards
Agbatana, carrying Croesus along with him, not regarding the Ionians
as important enough to be his immediate object. Larger designs were in
his mind. He wished to war in person against Babylon, the Bactrians,
the Sacae, and Egypt; he therefore determined to assign to one of
his generals the task of conquering the Ionians.
No sooner, however, was Cyrus gone from Sardis than Pactyas
induced his countrymen to rise in open revolt against him and his
deputy Tabalus. With the vast treasures at his disposal he then went
down to the sea, and employed them in hiring mercenary troops, while
at the same time he engaged the people of the coast to enrol
themselves in his army. He then marched upon Sardis, where he besieged
Tabalus, who shut himself up in the citadel.
When Cyrus, on his way to Agbatana, received these tidings, he
returned to Croesus and said, "Where will all this end, Croesus,
thinkest thou? It seemeth that these Lydians will not cease to cause
trouble both to themselves and others. I doubt me if it were not
best to sell them all for slaves. Methinks what I have now done is
as if a man were to 'kill the father and then spare the child.'
Thou, who wert something more than a father to thy people, I have
seized and carried off, and to that people I have entrusted their
city. Can I then feel surprise at their rebellion?" Thus did Cyrus open
to Croesus his thoughts; whereat the latter, full of alarm lest
Cyrus should lay Sardis in ruins, replied as follows: "Oh! my king,
thy words are reasonable; but do not, I beseech thee, give full vent
to thy anger, nor doom to destruction an ancient city, guiltless alike
of the past and of the present trouble. I caused the one, and in my
own person now pay the forfeit. Pactyas has caused the other, he to
whom thou gavest Sardis in charge; let him bear the punishment. Grant,
then, forgiveness to the Lydians, and to make sure of their never
rebelling against thee, or alarming thee more, send and forbid them to
keep any weapons of war, command them to wear tunics under their
cloaks, and to put buskins upon their legs, and make them bring up
their sons to cithern-playing, harping, and shop-keeping. So wilt thou
soon see them become women instead of men, and there will be no more
fear of their revolting from thee."
Croesus thought the Lydians would even so be better off than if
they were sold for slaves, and therefore gave the above advice to
Cyrus, knowing that, unless he brought forward some notable
suggestion, he would not be able to persuade him to alter his mind. He
was likewise afraid lest, after escaping the danger which now pressed,
the Lydians at some future time might revolt from the Persians and
so bring themselves to ruin. The advice pleased Cyrus, who consented
to forego his anger and do as Croesus had said. Thereupon he
summoned to his presence a certain Mede, Mazares by name, and
charged him to issue orders to the Lydians in accordance with the
terms of Croesus' discourse. Further, he commanded him to sell for
slaves all who had joined the Lydians in their attack upon Sardis, and
above aught else to be sure that he brought Pactyas with him alive
on his return. Having given these orders Cyrus continued his journey
towards the Persian territory.
Pactyas, when news came of the near approach of the army sent
against him, fled in terror to Cyme. Mazares, therefore, the Median
general, who had marched on Sardis with a detachment of the army of

Previous | Next
Site Search