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Upon his death Harpagus was sent down to the coast to succeed to
his command. He also was of the race of the Medes, being the man
whom the Median king, Astyages, feasted at the unholy banquet, and who
lent his aid to Place Cyrus upon the throne. Appointed by Cyrus to
conduct the war in these parts, he entered Ionia, and took the
cities by means of mounds. Forcing the enemy to shut themselves up
within their defences, he heaped mounds of earth against their
walls, and thus carried the towns. Phocaea was the city against
which he directed his first attack.
Now the Phocaeans were the first of the Greeks who performed
long voyages, and it was they who made the Greeks acquainted with
the Adriatic and with Tyrrhenia, with Iberia, and the city of
Tartessus. The vessel which they used in their voyages was not the
round-built merchant-ship, but the long penteconter. On their
arrival at Tartessus, the king of the country, whose name was
Arganthonius, took a liking to them. This monarch reigned over the
Tartessians for eighty years, and lived to be a hundred and twenty
years old. He regarded the Phocaeans with so much favour as, at first,
to beg them to quit Ionia and settle in whatever part of his country
they liked. Afterwards, finding that he could not prevail upon them to
agree to this, and hearing that the Mede was growing great in their
neighbourhood, he gave them money to build a wall about their town,
and certainly he must have given it with a bountiful hand, for the
town is many furlongs in circuit, and the wall is built entirely of
great blocks of stone skilfully fitted together. The wall, then, was
built by his aid.
Harpagus, having advanced against the Phocaeans with his army,
laid siege to their city, first, however, offering them terms. "It
would content him," he said, "if the Phocaeans would agree to throw
down one of their battlements, and dedicate one dwelling-house to
the king." The Phocaeans, sorely vexed at the thought of becoming
slaves, asked a single day to deliberate on the answer they should
return, and besought Harpagus during that day to draw off his forces
from the walls. Harpagus replied, "that he understood well enough what
they were about to do, but nevertheless he would grant their request."
Accordingly the troops were withdrawn, and the Phocaeans forthwith
took advantage of their absence to launch their penteconters, and
put on board their wives and children, their household goods, and even
the images of their gods, with all the votive offerings from the fanes
except the paintings and the works in stone or brass, which were
left behind. With the rest they embarked, and putting to sea, set sail
for Chios. The Persians, on their return, took possession of an
empty town.
Arrived at Chios, the Phocaeans made offers for the purchase of
the islands called the Oenussae, but the Chians refused to part with
them, fearing lest the Phocaeans should establish a factory there, and
exclude their merchants from the commerce of those seas. On their
refusal, the Phocaeans, as Arganthonius was now dead, made up their
minds to sail to Cyrnus (Corsica), where, twenty years before,
following the direction of an oracle, they had founded a city, which
was called Alalia. Before they set out, however, on this voyage,
they sailed once more to Phocaea, and surprising the Persian troops
appointed by Harpagus to garrison town, put them all to the sword.
After this laid the heaviest curses on the man who should draw back
and forsake the armament; and having dropped a heavy mass of iron into
the sea, swore never to return to Phocaea till that mass reappeared
upon the surface. Nevertheless, as they were preparing to depart for
Cyrnus, more than half of their number were seized with such sadness
and so great a longing to see once more their city and their ancient
homes, that they broke the oath by which they had bound themselves and
sailed back to Phocaea.
The rest of the Phocaeans who kept their oath, proceeded without
stopping upon their voyage, and when they came to Cyrnus established
themselves along with the earlier settlers at Alalia and built temples

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