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Cyrus, then, marched against Nitocris' son, who inherited the name of his father Labynetus and the sovereignty of Assyria. Now when the Great King campaigns, he marches well provided with food and flocks from home; and water from the Choaspes river that flows past Susa is carried with him, the only river from which the king will drink. This water of the ChoaspesModern Kerkha. is boiled, and very many four-wheeled wagons drawn by mules carry it in silver vessels, following the king wherever he goes at any time.
The truth of the words and of a dream struck Cambyses the moment he heard the name Smerdis; for he had dreamt that a message had come to him that Smerdis sitting on the royal throne touched heaven with his head; and perceiving that he had killed his brother without cause, he wept bitterly for Smerdis. Having wept, and grieved by all his misfortune, he sprang upon his horse, with intent to march at once to Susa against the Magus. As he sprang upon his horse, the cap fell off the sheath of his sword, and the naked blade pierced his thigh, wounding him in the same place where he had once wounded the Egyptian god Apis; and believing the wound to be mortal, Cambyses asked what was the name of the town where he was. They told him it was Ecbatana. Now a prophecy had before this come to him from Buto, that he would end his life at Ecbatana; Cambyses supposed this to signify that he would die in old age at the Median Ecbatana, his capital city; but as the event proved, the oracle prophesied h
Otanes then took aside two Persians of the highest rank whom he thought worthiest of trust, Aspathines and Gobryas, and told them the whole story. These, it would seem, had themselves suspected that it was so; and now they readily believed what Otanes revealed to them. They resolved that each should take into his confidence that Persian whom he most trusted; Otanes brought in Intaphrenes, Gobryas brought Megabyzus, and Aspathines Hydarnes.The names in the Behistun inscription (the trilingual inscription set up by Darius at Behistun, after he had crushed the revolts in his empire) are: Vindapana, Utana, Gaubaruwa, Vidarna, Bagabukhsa, Ardumanis; all but the last corresponding with Herodotus' list. When they were six, Darius, whose father, Hystaspes, was a subordinate governor of the Persians, arrived at Susa. When he came, then, the six Persians resolved to include Darius too.
Oroetes' slaves and other possessions were brought to Susa. Not long after this, it happened that Darius twisted his foot in dismounting from his horse while hunting so violently that the ball of the ankle joint was dislocated from its socket. Darius called in the best physicians of Egypt, whom he had until now kept near his person. But by violently twisting the foot they made the injury worse; and for seven days and nights the king could not sleep because of the pain. On the eighth day, when he was doing poorly, someone who had heard in Sardis of the skill of Democedes of Croton told Darius of him; and he told them to bring him as quickly as possible. When they found him among the slaves of Oroetes, where he was forgotten, they brought him along, dragging his chains and dressed in rags.
So now because he had healed Darius at Susa Democedes had a very grand house and ate at the king's table; he had everything, except permission to return to the Greeks. When the Egyptian physicians who until now had attended the king were about to be impaled for being less skilful than a Greek, Democedes interceded with the king for them and saved them; and he saved an Elean seer, too, who had been a retainer of Polycrates' and was forgotten among the slaves. Democedes was a man of considerable influence with the King.
Syloson supposed that he had lost his cloak out of foolish good nature. But in time Cambyses died, the seven rebelled against the Magus, and Darius of the seven came to the throne; Syloson then learned that the successor to the royal power was the man to whom he had given the garment in Egypt; so he went up to Susa and sat in the king's antechamber, saying that he was one of Darius' benefactors. When the doorkeeper brought word of this to the king, Darius asked “But to what Greek benefactor can I owe thanks? In the little time since I have been king hardly one of that nation has come to us, and I have, I may say, no use for any Greek. Nevertheless bring him in, so that I may know what he means.” The doorkeeper brought Syloson in and the interpreters asked him as he stood there who he was and what he had done to call himself the king's benefactor. Then Syloson told the story of the cloak, and said that it was he who had given it. “Most generous man,” said Darius, “it was you who ga
While Darius was making preparationsThe date of Darius' expedition is uncertain. Grote thinks it probable that it took place before 514 B.C. against the Scythians, and sending messengers to direct some to furnish infantry and some to furnish ships, and others again to bridge the Thracian Bosporus, Artabanus, son of Hystaspes and Darius' brother, by no means wanted him to make an expedition against the Scythians, telling him how hard that people were to deal with. But when, for all his good advice, he could not deter the king, Artabanus ceased to advise, and Darius, all his preparations made, led his army from Susa.