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Darius, on his return to Sardis after his unhappy expedition against the Scythians, having learnt for certain, that he owed both his own safety and that of his whole army to Hystiæus, who had persuaded the Ionians not to destroy the bridge on the Danube, sent for that prince to his court, and desired him freely to ask any favour, in recompense of his service. Hystiæus hereupon desired the king to give him Mircina of Edonia, a territory upon the river Strymon in Thrace, together with the liberty of building a city there. His request was readily granted; and he returned to Miletus, where he caused a fleet of ships to be equipped, and then set out for Thrace. Having taken possession of the territory granted him, he immediately set about the execution of his project in building a city.
Megabysus, who was then governor of Thrace for Darius, immediately perceived how prejudicial that undertaking would be to the king's affairs in those quarters. He considered, that this new city stood upon a navigable river; that the country round about it abounded in timber fit for building of ships; that it was inhabited by different nations, both Greeks and Barbarians, that might furnish great numbers of men for land and sea-service; that, if once those people were under the guidance of a leader so skilful and enterprising as Hystiæus, they might become so powerful both by sea and land, that it would be no longer possible for the king to keep them in subjection; especially considering that they had a great many gold and silver mines in that country, which would enable them to carry on any projects they might think fit to form. At his return to Sardis, he represented all these things to the king, who was convinced by his reasons, and therefore sent for Hystiæus to come to him.
Sardis, pretending to have some great designs in view, wherein he wanted the assistance of his counsel. When he had brought him to his court by this means, he carried him to Susa, making him believe, that he set an extraordinary value upon a friend of his fidelity and understanding; two qualifications that rendered him very dear to him,and of which he had given such memorable proofs in the Scythian expedition; and giving him to understand at the same time, that he should be able to find something for him in Persia which would make him ample amends for all that he could leave behind him. Hystiæus, pleased with so honourable a distinction, and finding himself likewise under a necessity of complying, accompanied Darius to Susa, and left Aristagoras to govern at Miletus in his room.
Whilst Megabysus was still in Thrace, he sent several Persian noblemen to Amyntas, king of Macedonia, to re
a Herod. c. 11 & 23.
▸ Ibid. 1. v, c. 23 &*5.
c Ibid i. v. c. 17 & 22.
quire him to give earth and water to Darius his master: this was the usual form of one prince's submitting to another. Amyntas readily complied with that request, and paid all imaginable honours to the envoys. At an entertainment which he made for them, they desired at the latter end of it that the ladies might be brought in, which was a thing contrary to the custom of the country: however, the king would not venture to refuse them. The Persian nobleman being heated with wine, and thinking they might use the same freedom as in their own country, did not observe a due decorum towards those princesses. The king's son, whose name was Alexander, could not see his mother and sisters treated in such a manner, without great resentment and indignation. Wherefore, upon some pretence or other, he contrived to send the ladies out of the room, as if they were to return again presently; and had the precaution to get the king, his father, also out of the company. In this interval he caused some young men to be dressed like women, and to be armed with poniards under their garments. These pretended ladies came into the room instead of the others; and when the Persians began to treat them as they had before. treated the princesses, they drew out their poniards, fell violently upon them, and killed, not only the noblemen, but every one of their attendants. The news of this slaughter soon reached Susa; and the king appointed commissioners to take cognizance of the matter: but Alexander, by the power of bribes and presents, stifled the affair, so that nothing came of it.
a The Scythians, to be revenged of Darius for invading their country, passed the Danube, and ravaged all that part of Thrace that had submitted to the Persians, as far as the Hellespont. Miltiades, to avoid their fury, abandoned the Chersonesus: but after the enemy retired, he returned thither again, and was restored to the same power he had before over the inhabitants of the country.
SECT. V.-Darius's Conquest of India.
About the same time, that is, in the 13th year of Darius's reign, this prince having an ambition to extend his dominion eastwards, first resolved, in order to facilitate his conquests, to get a proper knowledge of the country. To this end, he caused a fleet to be built and fitted out at Caspatyra, a city upon the Indus, and did the same at several other places on the same river, as far as the frontiers of Scythia. The command of this fleet was given toe Scylax, a Grecian of
a Herod. 1. vi. e. 40.
e Herod. l. iv. c. 44.
b A. M. 3496. Ant. J. C. 508.
e There is a geographical treatise, entitled repí Ass, and composed by one Scylax of Caryandia, who is thought to be the same person spoken of in this
Caryandia, a town of Caria, who was perfectly well versed in maritime affairs. His orders were, to sail down that river, and get all the knowledge he possibly could of the country on both sides, quite down to the mouth of the river; to pass from thence into the southern ocean, and to steer his course afterwards to the west, and so return back that way to Persia. Scylax, having exactly observed his instructions, and sailed quite down the river Indus, entered the Red Sea by the Straits of Babelmandel; and after a voyage of 30 months from the time of his setting out from Caspatyra, he arrived in Egypt at the same porta, from whence Nechao, king of Egypt, had formerly sent the Phoenicians, who were in his service, with orders to sail round the coasts of Africa. Very probably this was the same port where now stands the town of Sues, at the farther end of the Red Sea. From thence Scylax returned to Susa, where he gave Darius an account of all his discoveries. Darius afterwards entered India with an army, and subjected all that vast country. The reader will naturally expect to be informed of the particulars of so important a war. But Herodotus says not one word about it he only tells us, that India made the 20th province, or government, of the Persian empire, and that the annual revenue accruing from hence to Darius was 360 talents of gold, which amount to near 11,000,000 of livres French money, something less than 500,0001. sterling.
SECT. VI.-The Revolt of the Ionians.
c Darius, after his return to Susa, from his Scythian expedition, had given his brother Artaphernes the government of Sardis, and made Otanes commander in Thrace, and the adjacent countries along the sea-coast, in the room of Megabysus.
d From a small spark, kindled by a sedition at Naxus, a great flame arose, which gave occasion to a considerable war. Naxus was the most important island of the Cyclades in the Ægean sea, now called the Archipelago. In this sedition the principal inhabitants having been overpowered by the populace, who were the greater number, many of the richest families were banished out of the island. Hereupon they fled to Miletus, and implored the assistance of Aristagoras, to reinstate them in their native place. He was at that time governor of that city, as lieutenant to Hystiæus, to whom he was both nephew and son-in-law, and whom Darius had carried along with him to Susa. Aristagoras promised to give these exiles the assistance they desired.
place. But that opinion is attended with some difficulties, which have given occasion to many learned dissertations. b Lib. iii. c. 94.
a Herod. 1. iv c. 42
c A. M. 3500. Ant. J. C. 504. Herod. 1. v. c. 25.
d Herod. 1. v. c. 28, 34.
But not being powerful enough himself to execute what he had promised, he went to Sardis and communicated the affair to Artaphernes. He represented to him, that this was a very favourable opportunity for reducing Naxus under the power of Darius; that if he were once master of that island, all the rest of the Cyclades would fall of themselves into his hands, one after another; that, in consequence, the isle of Euboea (now Negropont), which was as large as Cyprus, and lay very near them, would be easily conquered, which would give the king a free passage into Greece, and the means of subjecting all that country; and, in short, that 100 ships would be sufficient for the effectual execution of this. enterprise. Artaphernes was so pleased with the project, that instead of 100 vessels, which Aristagoras required, he promised him 200, in case he obtained the king's consent to the expedition.
The king, charmed with the mighty hopes with which he was flattered, very readily approved the enterprise, though at the bottom it was founded only upon injustice and a boundless ambition; as also upon perfidiousness on the part of Aristagoras and Artaphernes. No consideration gave him a moment's pause. The most injurious project is formed and accepted without the least reluctance or scruple: motives of advantage and convenience solely determine. The isle lies convenient for the Persians: this is conceived a sufficient title, and a warrantable ground to reduce it by force of arms. And, indeed, most of the other expeditions of this prince had no better principle.
As soon as Artaphernes had obtained the king's consent to this project, he made the necessary preparations for executing it. The better to conceal his design, and to surprise the people of Naxus, he spread a report that this fleet was going towards the Hellespont; and the spring following he sent the number of ships he had promised to Miletus under the command of Megabates, a Persian nobleman of the royal family of Achæmenes. But being directed in his commission to obey the orders of Aristagoras, the high-spirited Persian could not bear to be under the command of an Ionian, especially one who treated him in a haughty and imperious manner. This pique occasioned a breach between the two generals, which rose so high, that Megabates, to be revenged of Aristagoras, gave the Naxians secret intelligence of the design formed against them. Upon which they made such preparations for their defence, that the Persians, after having spent four months in besieging the capital of the island, and consumed all their provisions, were obliged to res tire.
This project having thus miscarried, Megabates threw all the blame upon Aristagoras, and entirely ruined his credit with Artaphernes. The Ionian instantly foresaw, that this accident would be attended, not only with the loss of his government, but with his utter ruin. The desperate situation to which he was reduced made him think of revolting from the king, as the only expedient whereby he could possibly save himself. No sooner had he formed this design, than a messenger came to him from Hystiæus who gave him the same counsel. Hystiæus, who had now been some years at the Persian court, being disgusted with the manners of that nation, and having an ardent desire to return to his own country, thought this the most likely means of accomplishing his wish, and therefore gave Aristagoras that counsel. He flattered himself, that in case any troubles arose in Ionia, he could prevail with Darius to send him thither to appease them: and, in fact, the thing happened according to his expectation. As soon as Aristagoras found his design seconded by the orders of Hystiæus, he imparted them to the principal persons of Ionia, whom he found extremely well disposed to enter into his views. He therefore deliberated no longer, but being determined to revolt, applied himself wholly in making preparations for it.
The people of Tyre, having been reduced to slavery when their city was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, had groaned under that oppression for the space of 70 years. But after the expiration of that term, they were restored, according to Isaiah's prophecy, to the possession of their ancient privileges, with the liberty of having a king of their own; which liberty they enjoyed till the time of Alexander the Great. It seems probable, that this favour was granted them by Darius, in consideration of the services he expected to receive from that city (which was so powerful by sea), in reducing the Ionians to their ancient subjection. This was in the 19th year of Darius's reign.
The next year, Aristagoras, in order to engage the Ionians to adhere the more closely to him, reinstated them in their liberty, and in all their former privileges. He began with Miletus, where he divested himself of his power, and resigned it into the hand of the people. He then made a journey through all Ionia, where, by his example, his influence, and perhaps by the fear that they would be forced to it whether they would or no, he prevailed upon all the other tyrants to do the same in every city. They complied the
a Herod. I. v c. 35, 36.
c And it shall come to pass after the Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire. d Herod. I. v. c. 37, 38.
b A. M. 3502, Ant. J. C. 502.
end of 70 years, that the Lord will visit Isa. xiii. 17.