Page images


the mountain close to him on the one side, and little band; but at length, oppressed by numbers, the bog on the other; and a few brave troops they all fell, except one man, who escaped to might, therefore, intercept the march of the Sparta, where he was treated as a coward and mightiest army ever mustered.

traitor to his country. The brave Leonidas was It was at this situation that Xerxes found one of the first that fell on this memorable ocLeonidas waiting for him, with a band of only casion. On the barrow, or tomb of this devoted 6200 men. The haughty monarch was surprised band, an appropriate epitaph was inscribed, which to find that they were determined to dispute his reads thus : passage. He had flattered himself that, on his

“The Lacedæmonians, O stranger, tell, approach, the Grecians would betake themselves

That here, obeying their sacred laws, we fell." to flight. Perceiving that this was not their disposition, he sent out a spy to view the enemy.

Herodotus records that Xerxes lost on this This spy brought him word that he found the occasion above 20,000 men, which probably is Lacedæmonians out of their entrenchments, and an exaggeration. It appears, however, that he that they were diverting themselves with mili- was dismayed at the valour of the Lacedæmonitary exercises, and combing their hair. Such ans; for he interrogated Demaratus, if they had was the Spartan manner of preparing themselves yet many such soldiers ; to wbich he replied, that for battle, and it indicated that they were fully they numbered about 8000 equal in valour to determined to conquer or die.

those who had fallen. Herodotus also says, that such effect Demaratus informed Xerxes; he caused great numbers to be buried secretly, but the monarch was still incredulous, and main

lest the remainder of his troops should be distained his position for four days, in expectation

mayed. Thus lightly could he sport with human of seeing them retreat.

life. Surely, in all ages of the world, During this interval, Xerxes used his utmost

War is a game, which, were their subjects wise, endeavours to corrupt Leonidas, promising to Kings would not play at. Nations would do well make him master of all Greece if he would join

To' extort their truncheons from the puny hands

Of heroes, whose infirm and baby minds his party. Leonidas rejected his proposals with

Are gratified with mischief; and who spoil contempt; and when Xerxes afterwards sum

Because men suffer it-their toy the world.” moned him to surrender up his arms, he returned this laconic reply : “Come and take The same day on which the action at Thermothem."

pylæ occurred, the two fleets engaged at ArteOn the fifth day, Xerxes, enraged at the per- misium, a promontory of Eubæa. The fleet of tinacity of the Greeks in retaining the pass, the Grecians consisted of 271 vessels, exclusive sent a detachment of Medes, with a command to

of galleys and small boats: that of the enemy bring them alive to his presence. These were was much more numerous, notwithstanding its defeated with great slaughter; and the Immortal

recent losses by the storm. The Persians sent Band, which were next sent against them, shared

200 ships with orders to sail round the island of the same fate. After successive efforts, indeed,

Eubea, and encompass the Grecian fleet, that made with large bodies of their troops, to gain none of their ships might escape. The Greeks the pass, the Persians were obliged to desist from

had intelligence of this design, and set sail in the attempt.

the night, in order to attack them by day-break. Xerxes was perplexed; but in the midst of his They missed this squadron, and advanced to perplexity, treachery pointed out his path to Aphetæ, where the bulk of the Persian fleet lay, Greece. One Epialtes, a Melian, in the hope of and after several brief encounters, they came to a great reward, discovered a secret passage to

a considerable engagement, which was long and the top of the hill, and which led to the rear of obstinately maintained, and resulted in nearly the Grecian camp. This point is beyond the equal success. hot springs, in the north, and it is still used by

Though the Persians suffered very severely, the inhabitants of the country in their journeys yet the Grecians suffered also, and half of their to Salona, the ancient Amphissa. Xerxes de- ships were disabled. Such being the case, they spatched a detachment thither, which, marching deemed it expedient to retire to some safer place all night, possessed themselves of that advanta

to refit; and, accordingly, they sailed to Salamis, geous post at day-break.

an island in the Saronic Bay, nearly midway Leonidas saw his danger, and convinced that between Athens and Corinth. Herodotus justly it was impossible to oppose successfully so over- observes, that though the engagement at Artewhelming a force, with so small a number of misium did not bring matters to an absolute detroops, he obliged his allies to retire; but he cision, yet it contributed greatly, to encourage remained himself with his 300 Lacedæmonians, the Greeks, who were now convinced that the resolving to die in their country's cause; in obe enemy, notwithstanding their great number, was dience to an oracle, which foretold that “either

not invincible. The struggle for liberty is Sparta or her king must fall.” Glover makes Leonidas exclaim, on hearing that the enemy had

Not often unsuccessful: power usurp'd circumvented him :

Is weakness when opposed: conscious of wrong, “I now behold the oracle fulfill'd.

'Tis pusillanimous and prone to flight. Then art thou near, thou glorious sacred hour

But slaves, that once conceive the glowing thought Which shall my country's liberty secure!

Of freedom, in that hope itself possess Thrice hail, thou solemn period thee the tongues

All that the contest calls for-spirit, strength, Of virtue fame, and freedom shall proclaim,

The scorn of danger, and united hearts, Shall celebrate in ages yet unborn.”

The surest presage of the good they seek.”—COWPER. Prodigies of valour were performed by this After his inglorious victory over the brave

A cause

Leonidas and his devoted companions, Xerxes, whose hands he had left the government during passed through the country of Phocis, by the his absence. upper part of Doris, burning and plundering the Demosthenes has preserved a curious trait of cities of the Phocians. The inhabitants of Pelo- the Athenian spirit on this occasion. One Cyrponnesus, intent only upon saying their own silus, a citizen, advised the people to remain in country, resolved to abandon the rest, and to the city, and receive Xerxes. The citizens inbring all the Grecian forces together within the dignantly stoned him to death, and the women isthmus, the entrance of which they purposed his wife, as traitors to their country. securing by a strong wall, from one sea to the The affairs of Xerxes had hitherto been prosother, a space of nearly five English miles. The perous, notwithstanding his severe losses: they Athenians were provoked at this desertion, and were now about to suffer a reverse. While he seeing themselves ready to fall into the hands of was triumphing over Athens, the Grecian fleet, the enraged Xerxes, consulted upon the best being reinforced by a great many ships from semeans of escape. Some time before, they had veral parts of Greece, Eurybiades, commander in consulted the oracle of Delphi, the replies of chief of all the naval forces, summoned a council. which, Dr. Hales observes, were truly remark- Many contended, and among them was Euryable. The burden of them was, that their city biades, that it would be better to retire to the should be destroyed, and that they should escape isthmus of Corinth, that they might be nearer only by taking refuge within wooden walls. the army which guarded that passage, under Themistocles interpreted this to denote their the command of Cleombrotus, brother of Leofleet, and, accordingly, the Athenian squadron nidas. Others, at the head of whom was Thetook on board their families and effects, and de- mistocles, who commanded the Athenian fleet, serted their city. Plutarch suspects (and this contended that Salamis, where they were, was may form the key to these otherwise mysterious the most advantageous place they could choose replies of the Pythian) that the oracle was in- to engage the numerous fleet of the enemies. doctrinated by Themistocles, on this occasion, Eurybiades and the other commanders came wishing to revive the drooping spirits of his over to his opinion, and it was unanimously recountrymen. His sagacity, also, would foresee solved to wait for the Persian fleet in the straits that this was the only

means by which his coun- of Salamis. trymen could escape destruction.

Xerxes, on his part, also held a council of his Xerxes, arriving in the neighbourhood of principal naval commanders, placing them acAthens, wasted the whole country, putting all to cording to their rank; the king of Šidon first,* fire and sword. A detachment was sent to plun- the king of Tyre next, and the rest in order. der the temple of Apollo, at Delphi, in which The general opinion was in favour of the enthere were immense treasures.

gagement; but queen Artemisia advised, either Herodotus relates a romantic tale concerning to remain in their present station, which would the escape of this temple from the violence of force the Grecian fleet, confined at Salamis, to Xerxes. Thunder-bolts from heaven, he says, separate soon for want of provisions, and retire fell upon them; and two huge fragments from to their respective homes, or else to sail towards the tops of Parnassus rolled down with a great Peloponnesus, in which case it was not to be crash among them, and destroyed multitudes, imagined that the confederates would remain bewhile a shouting and clamour issued from the hind, or risk a battle for the sake of the Athetemple of the god. Depriving this tale of the nians, when their own country was threatened : preternatural machinery, it may be, that the whereas, from the superior seamanship of the priests planned a bold and uncommon stratagem, Grecians, the Persian fleet would be in great which they executed with equal prudence and danger of a defeat. This wise counsel was uncourage, thereby delivering their temple from heeded. the spoiler. This will obtain more ample notice The same night on which the resolution for in the History of the Grecians.

an engagement was taken, Xerxes made his The following lines, descriptive of the ad- army proceed towards the Isthmus of Corinth. vance of Xerxes to Athens, are very appro- Alarmed at this movement, the Peloponnesians priate:

at Salamis held a second council, in which they

overruled the Athenians, Æginetes, and MegareHer olive groves now Attica displayed;

ans, and resolved to sail to the succour of the The fields where Ceres first her gifts bestowed ;

Peninsula. But it was too late.
The rocks, whose marble crevices the bees
With sweetness stored : unparallel'd in art,
Rose structures growing on the stranger's eye

“Dissensions past, as puerile and vain, Where'er it roam’d delighted. On like Death

Now to forget, and nobly strive who best From his pale courser, scattering waste around,

Shall serve his ancient country, Aristides warns The regal homicide of nations pass'd,

His ancient foe, Themistocles. I hear Unchaining all the furies of revenge

Thou giv'st the best of counsels, which the Greeks On this devoted country."-GLOVER'S ATHENAID.

Reject, through mean solicitude to fly.
Weak men! throughout these narrow seas the foe

Is stationed now, preventing all escape.”-GLOVBR. Arriving at Athens, Xerxes found it deserted by all its inhabitants, except a small number of This was the effect of artifice. Themistocles, citizens, who had retired into the citadel, there foreseeing the result of a division of the Greek to await death. That death was too soon found. forces, sent a trusty friend by night to Xerxes, They fell, fighting for their liberties, and Xerxes reduced the city to ashes. Exulting over the

* Dr. Hales says this precedence was due to the king

of Sidon, because “ Sidon was the eldest son of Ham, city, he despatched a messenger to Susa with the

Gen. x. 15; profane history thereby according with sacred tidings of his success to his uncle Artabanus, in in this place, in a remarkable manner.

to apprise him of their design, and advise him women, and the women men." To a reflective not to let slip this favourable opportunity of mind, the sight would have been a pitiful one. attacking the Grecians when they were divided To woman belongs only the offices of love and among themselves, and incapable of resistance. tender affection. These are her prerogatives; Xerxes credited the report, and ordered the Per- and when they are laid aside for the savage din sian fleet to range themselves in three divisions, of war, the corruption of the human heart is and stretch across the bay, so as to cut off the exhibited in its most fearful forms. Many such, retreat of the Greeks, and in that array to however, are instanced in the annals of profane advance towards Salamis.

history; and it may be safely asserted, that this Imputing the ill success of his former engage- was one of the bitter fruits of paganism. In the ments at sea to his own absence, Xerxes resolved school of Christianity, woman is taught to walk to witness this from the top of an eminence, the earth as an angel of mercy, to soothe the where he caused a throne to be erected. Around rugged path of human life. him were several scribes, after the manner of the Such was the battle of Salamis, one of the Persian monarchs, who were to write down the most memorable actions recorded in ancient names of such as should signalize themselves in history. According to Plutarch, it was fought the conflict. This was, no doubt, a wise arrange- on the 20th of the Attic month Boedromion, ment, inasmuch as it tended to animate his hosts ; corresponding to the 15th of September, B. c. rewards and honours being the only motives they 480, which was the sixth day of the Eleusinian had to incite them to deeds of arms.

rites,* on which the procession of the mystic

Iacchus was held by the Greeks.
Xerxes, who enthroned
High on Ægaleos anxious state to view
A scene which nature never yet display'd,

“ A king sate on a rocky brow,

Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
Nor fancy feigned. The theatre was Greece,
Mankind spectators, equal to that stage,

And ships by thousands lay below,

And men in nations ;-all were his! Themistocles, great actor.”—GLOVER.

He counted them at break of day,

But when the sun set, where were they?” When the Peloponnesians found themselves encompassed by the Persian armament, they

Themistocles, taking advantage of the alarm prepared to share the same dangers with their of Xerxes caused by his defeat, contrived, in allies.

Both sides prepared for battle. The order to hasten his departure from Greece, to Grecian fleet consisted of 380 sail ; that of the inform him that it was the intention of the Greeks Persians, upwards of 2000. Themistocles avoided

to break down the bridge over the Hellespont. the engagement till a certain wind began to blow, Xerxes immediately sent the remainder of his as was the case each day about the same time, fleet thither to protect it, and to secure his knowing that it would be unfavourable to the

retreat. This he commenced under cover of the enemy. As soon as he found himself favoured night, leaving Mardonius, with an army of by this wind, he gave the signal for battle, which

300,000 men, to subdue Greece. is thus finely described by Æschylus, who fought

The Grecians, who expected that Xerxes in this battle himself :

would have renewed the combat the next day,

having learned that the fleet had departed, purAdvance, ye sons of Greece, from thraldom save

Your country, save your wives, your children save, sued it as fast as they could. But it was to no The temples of your gods, the sacred tombs

purpose. They had destroyed 200 of the enemy's Where rest your honoured ancestors : this day

ships, besides those which they had captured : The common cause of all demands your valour.”

the rest, having suffered by the winds in their The engagement was desperate. The Per- passage, retired towards the coast of Asia, and sians, knowing that they fought under the mon- finally entered into the port of Cumæ, a city of arch's eye, advanced with great resolution ; but Ætolia, where they passed the winter. They the wind blowing directly in their faces, and the returned no more into Greece. size and number of their ships embarrassing

Xerxes marched with a portion of his army them in a place so narrow, their courage soon

towards the Hellespont. As no victuals had abated. The Greeks noted this circumstance, been provided for them, they underwent great and rushed onwards

hardships during their whole march, which lasted

forty-five days. After having consumed all the Amidst the ruins of the fleet, fruits they could find, the soldiers were obliged As through a shoal of fish caught in the net, Spreading destruction."-Æschylus.

to live upon herbs, and even upon the bark and

leaves of trees. This occasioned a great sickThe Ionians were the first that betook them- ness in the army, and great numbers died, so selves to flight. Queen Artemisia had a narrow

that he arrived at the Hellespont with “ scarcely escape. Her galley was pursued by an Athenian a pittance of his army." vessel, commanded by the brother of the poet

When Xerxes reached the Hellespont, he Æschylus, and would have been captured had found the bridge already broken down and deshe not turned suddenly upon one of her own

stroyed by storms. His fleet, however, conveyed side, a Calyndian vessel, with the commander of him and the shattered remains of his host from which she was on ill terms, attacked, and sunk the Chersonese to Abydos, on the coast of Asia, it, with all the crew. Deceived by this stratagem, the Grecian, conceiving that she had now de- * So called, it is said, from Eleusis, son of Mercury. serted the barbarians, quitted the pursuit. In

The Eleusinians submitted to the dominion of Athens, on the battle, she had behaved with such intrepidity,

condition of having the exclusive privilege of celebrating

these mysteries, which proved to them a source of great that Xerxes exclaimed, “My men are become wealth.



whence he returned to Sardis, where he remained “ Not all the gold in the world, nor the greatest, during the continuance of the war.*

richest, and most beautiful country, shall ever The earliest care of the Grecians after the tempt us to enslave Greece. Many and cogent battle of Salamis was to send the first-fruits of reasons forbid us to do this, even if we were so their victory to Delphi, where they enriched the disposed : the first and greatest is, the temples temple with the spoils of those who not long be- and statues of the gods, burned and reduced to fore sought to pillage it. Their next thought was ashes, which we are bound to avenge to the to reward those who had signalized themselves uttermost, rather than compromise with the perabove the rest, and by universal consent this petrator ; in the next place the Grecian comhonour was bestowed upon Themistocles. monwealth, all of the same blood and same But the liberty of the Greeks was not yet language, having common altars and sacrifices of

Xerxes had commenced this unjust war the gods, and similar customs, which it would by the advice of Mardonius; hence it was that not well become Athenians to betray. Know, when the monarch was defeated at Salamis, therefore, now, if ye knew it not before, that Mardonius, for fear he should feel the royal whilst one of the Athenians shall survive, we vengeance, deemed it better to propose the subju- never will compromise with Xerxes. We admire gation of Greece by his means, or in some great your forethought with respect to us, now that effort to meet death. His counsel to Xerxes, our houses and harvests are destroyed, in offering as narrated by Herodotus, is graphically given to entertain our families, and we thank you by Glover in his Athenaid :

abundantly; but we shall seek to procure sub

sistence without burdening you. In the present “Be not discourag'd, sovereign of the world!

posture of affairs, be it your care to bring your Not oars, not sails and timber can decide

forces into the field with as much expedition as Thy enterprise sublime. In shifting strife,

possible; for the barbarian* will not fail to invade By winds and hillows governed, may contend The sons of traffic. On the solid plain

our territories, so soon as he shall hear the The generous steed and soldier; they alone

account of our utter refusal to comply with his Thy glory must establish, where no swell

proposals. Before he shall be able to penetrate of fickle floods, nor breath of casual gales Assist the skilful coward, and control

into Attica, it becomes us to march into Bæotia, By nature's wanton, but resistless might,

and divert his attention to that quarter.” The brave man's arm.

As the Greeks foresaw, so it happened. As

soon as Mardonius heard from Alexander the Mardonius concluded with offering himself for fixed resolutions of the Athenians, he led his the enterprise, which was accepted. The haughty troops from Thessaly into Attica, wasting and monarch had not yet been taught wisdom by the destroying the whole country over which he lesson of adversity,—had not yet learned the passed, and collecting troops from every quarter, lesson of mercy from a sight of suffering hu- On his way through Bæotiā, the Thebans advised manity.

him to halt and encamp in their country, as the On the approach of spring, B. C. 479, Mar- most convenient; and by so doing, he might donius made an attempt to gain over the Athen- reduce all Greece, by bribing the leading men in ians, and draw them off from the confederacy. the several states. With this view, he sent Alexander, the son of Had Mardonius listened to this treacherous Amyntas, king of Macedon, with very advan-counsel, it is possible Greece would have been tageous offers. . These offers were, to rebuild, at conquered. It was overruled, however, by his the king's charge, their city, and every other desire to take Athens a second time, and his edifice demolished the year before in Attica; to vanity; for he wished to show the king at Sardis, suffer them to live according to their own laws; by fire signals, stationed throughout the islands, to reinstate them in all their former possessions ; that he was in possession of that city. Mardoand to bestow on them what other dominions nius entered Athens, which he found deserted, they might desire.

in the tenth month after it had been taken by Steady to the common cause, the Athenians Xerxes, and he demolished whatever had escaped replied, “ Tell Mardonius, Thus say the Athen the monarch's fury. ians, Whilst the sun holds its course, we will Not being able to withstand such a torrent never compromise with Xerxes; but relying on alone, the Athenians again retired to Salamis. the aid of the gods and heroes, whose temples Mardonius still entertained hopes of bringing and statues he has contemptuously burned, we them to some terms of accommodation, and sent resolve to resist him to the last extremity. And another deputy to renew the former proposals. as for you, Alexander, appear no more among Lycidas, a member of the council of five hunthe Athenians with such messages ; nor, under dred, either approving the proposals, or bribed colour of rendering us good offices, exhort us to by Mardonius, recommended that they should do what is abominable. For we wish not that be referred to the people. Fired with indignayou should suffer any unpleasant treatment on tion, the Athenians gathered round him, and the part of the Athenians, as being a guest as stoned him to death ; and the women, following well as a friend.” Then turning to the Spartan their example, rushed to his house, and stoned deputies, who were fearful lest they should come his wife and children. By this second tragedy, to an accommodation with Xerxes, they said, Mardonius perceived they were obstinately debe expelled, or they buried in the ruins of their Æschylus, with powerful effect, has put a sicountry.

termined to carry on the war till either he should • By some historians Xerxes is said to have passed over the Hellespont in a fishing boat. Herodotus rejects this • The term "barbarians” was used by the ancients in a story; and the whole of the narration of this event does much milder sense than we use it: generally it imports appear to be introduced to calumniate Xerxes, whence it strangers, occasionally an enemy, in which sense it is is rejected in these pages.

here used.

milar prediction in the mouth of the ghost of In the mean time, the Athenians had sent de- Darius, when evoked by Atossa and the chorus : puties to Sparta, to complain of their tardiness, their breach of promise, and desertion of the

In Platæa's plains, common cause, in not opposing the enemy in

Beneath the Doric spear, the clotted mass

Of carnage shall arise: that the high mounds, Bæotia ; and next to require that they would Piled o'er the dead, to late posterity send an army to their assistance, in order that Shall give this silent record to men's eyes : they might oppose him in Attica, recommending That proud aspiring thoughts but ill beseem the Thracian plain as the fittest to give him

Weak mortals! For oppression, where it springs,

Puts forth the blades of vengeance, and its fruit battle. Freed from immediate danger, the Pe- Yields a ripe harvest of repentant woe.” loponnesians seemed careless about the matter; but at length, fearing that the Athenians, who Shortly before the battle of Platæa, Mardonius were exasperated at their conduct, would realize was furnished with a striking specimen of their threat of quitting the confederacy, making Grecian spirit. Among his auxiliaries, he was peace with the king, and becoming his allies, joined by a body of a thousand Phocians, who they sent off hastily a force of 5000 troops to were driven to his ranks from necessity. Either their assistance, toward the isthmus.

suspecting their fidelity, or to prove their courage, Mardonius, discovering this, and fearing to be Mardonius menaced them with destruction by attacked by the confederates in Attica, which his cavalry, which surrounded them on all sides. was disadvantageous for his cavalry, and if de- The Phocian commander exhorted his men to feated by them,

to be intercepted in the narrow “die like heroes,” and to show that they were passes, retired into Bæotia. "When he reached

Grecians : upon which they faced about every the Theban territory, which was convenient for way, and closed their ranks in column. The his cavalry, in which his chief strength consisted, Persian cavalry retired, as Mardonius had dihe fortified a large camp near the river Asopus, rected, and he sent a herald to inform them that for a place of refuge should he be defeated. he only meant to test their courage, and exhort

The disposition which prevailed among the ed them to act with alacrity in the war, at the Persians at this time, and the fear that possessed same time holding out large promises of reward them respecting the issue of the campaign, is for their services. well illustrated by an anecdote related by Hero- Roused by the example of the Lacedæmonians, dotus : “ Whilst the barbarians were employed the rest of the Peloponnesians prepared to proon this work, Attaginus, a Theban, prepared a secute the war with vigour. They raised their magnificent entertainment, to which Mardonius

quotas, and joined the Lacedæmonians and Athenand fifty Persians were invited. At table, they ians at the isthmus. From thence they marchchequered, a Persian and a Theban reclining on ed into Bæotia, to Mount Cithæron, in the neighevery couch. *

After supper, as they were bourhood of the Persian army. Their army drinking freely, the Persian who was the asso- was under the conduct of Pausanias, king of ciate of Thersander, a man of the first considera- Sparta, and of Aristides, commander in chief of tion at Orchomenos, asked him in Greek what the Athenians. Mardonius, in order to try the countryman he was; and when he answered,

courage of the Greeks, sent out his cavalry to • An Orchomenian,' the Persian proceeded thus: skirmish with the enemy. This led to a fierce

Since you and I share the same table, and the engagement, wherein the Persians were routed, same libations, I wish to leave you a memorial and their leader, Masistius, who was next in of my sentiments, that being forewarned, you consideration to Mardonius himself, slain ; an may have an opportunity of consulting your own event which caused great dismay and sorrow in interest. Do you see those Persians at supper, the Persian army. To denote their grief for the and the army which we left encamped on the loss of Masistius, they cut off their hair, and the banks of the river? Of all these, in a very short manes of their horses, and all Bæotia resounded space of time, you will see very few surviving !' with their cries and lamentations. After this Saying this, the Persian shed many tears. Ther- conflict, the Grecians removed to Platæa, not far sander, astonished at the remark, replied, “Does from Thebes. it not become you to communicate this to Mar- The army of the Greeks consisted of 110,000 donius, and to those next him in dignity?? ‘My men, the flower of which were the Lacedæmofriend,' returned the Persian, “it is not for man nians, Tegeatæ, and Athenians, who numbered to counteract the decisions of Providence. None in the whole 19,500 men.

Thé Persian army, of them are willing to hearken to faithful ad- it is said, amounted to 300,000 men, besides visers, A multitude of Persians share the same 50,000 Grecians who joined them voluntarily, as sentiments with me; but, like me, they follow the Thebans, or by compulsion, as the Phocians, on from necessity. Nothing in human life is Thessalians, and others. more deeply to be regretted, than that the wise From superstitious motives,* the two armies man's voice should be disregarded.”” This," says Herodotus, “ I heard from Thersander, the * The soothsayers, upon inspecting the entrails of the Orchomenian, who also told me that he had com

victims, according to Herodotus, foretold to both parties municated the same to many before the battle of defensive; and threatened them with an utter overthrow

that they should be victorious if they acted only upon the Platæa.”

if they made the first attack.

Potter gives a particular account of the mode of divina* In more remote times, the ancients sat round a table tion by inspecting he entrails. If they were whole and as we do, as we read in Homer. This passage shows, sound, had their natural place, colour, and proportion, all however, that the custom of reclining on a couch at meals was well: if any thing was out of order, or wanting, evil was of a very early date.

was portended. The palpitation of the entrails was un


« EelmineJätka »