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Then, when he had subjugated all the Asiatic Greeks of the mainland and made them tributary to him, he planned to build ships and attack the islanders; but when his preparations for shipbuilding were underway, either Bias of Priene or Pittacus of Mytilene (the story is told of both) came to Sardis and, asked by Croesus for news about Hellas, put an end to the shipbuilding by giving the following answer: “O King, the islanders are buying ten thousand horse, intending to march to Sardis againstPriene or Pittacus of Mytilene (the story is told of both) came to Sardis and, asked by Croesus for news about Hellas, put an end to the shipbuilding by giving the following answer: “O King, the islanders are buying ten thousand horse, intending to march to Sardis against you.” Croesus, thinking that he spoke the truth, said: “Would that the gods would put this in the heads of the islanders, to come on horseback against the sons of the Lydians!” Then the other answered and said: “O King, you appear to me earnestly to wish to catch the islanders riding horses on the mainland, a natural wish. And what else do you suppose the islanders wished, as soon as they heard that you were building ships to attack them, than to catch Lydians on the seas, so as to be rev
Now these Ionians possessed the Panionion, and of all men whom we know, they happened to found their cities in places with the loveliest of climate and seasons. For neither to the north of them nor to the south does the land effect the same thing as in Ionia [nor to the east nor to the west], affected here by the cold and wet, there by the heat and drought. They do not all have the same speech but four different dialects. Miletus lies farthest south among them, and next to it come Myus and Priene; these are settlements in Caria, and they have a common language; Ephesus, Colophon, Lebedos, Teos, Clazomenae, Phocaea, all of them in Lydia, have a language in common which is wholly different from the speech of the three former cities. There are yet three Ionian cities, two of them situated on the islands of Samos and Chios, and one, Erythrae, on the mainland; the Chians and Erythraeans speak alike, but the Samians have a language which is their own and no one else's. It is thus seen that
The Chians, then, surrendered Pactyes, and afterwards Mazares led his army against those who had helped to besiege Tabalus, and he enslaved the people of Priene, and overran the plain of the Maeandrus, giving it to his army to pillage and Magnesia likewise. Immediately after this he died of an illness.
When the Ionians, despite their evil plight, nonetheless assembled at the Panionion, Bias of Priene, I have learned, gave them very useful advice, and had they followed it they might have been the most prosperous of all Greeks: for he advised them to put out to sea and sail all together to Sardo and then found one city for all Ionians: thus, possessing the greatest island in the world and ruling others, they would be rid of slavery and have prosperity; but if they stayed in Ionia he could see lavery and have prosperity; but if they stayed in Ionia he could see (he said) no hope of freedom for them. This was the advice which Bias of Priene gave after the destruction of the Ionians; and that given before the destruction by Thales of Miletus, a Phoenician by descent, was good too; he advised that the Ionians have one place of deliberation, and that it be in Teos (for that was the center of Ionia), and that the other cities be considered no more than demes.Thus Bias and Thales advised.