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So the armies met in the plain, wide and bare, that is before the city of Sardis: the Hyllus and other rivers flow across it and run violently together into the greatest of them, which is called Hermus (this flows from the mountain sacred to the Mother DindymeneIdentified with the Phrygian and Lydian goddess Cybele. and empties into the sea near the city of Phocaea). When Cyrus saw the Lydians maneuvering their battle-lines here, he was afraid of their cavalry, and therefore at the urging of one Harpagus, a Mede, he did as I shall describe. Assembling all the camels that followed his army bearing food and baggage, he took off their burdens and mounted men upon them equipped like cavalrymen; having equipped them, he ordered them to advance before his army against Croesus' cavalry; he directed the infantry to follow the camels, and placed all his cavalry behind the infantry. When they were all in order, he commanded them to kill all the other Lydians who came in their way, and spare no
So when the envoys of the Ionians and Aeolians came to Sparta (for they set about this in haste) they chose a Phocaean, whose name was Pythennos, to speak for all. He then put on a purple cloak, so that as many Spartans as possible might assemble to hear him, and stood up and made a long speech asking aid for his people. But the Lacedaemonians would not listen to him and refused to help the Ionians. So the Ionians departed; but the Lacedaemonians, though they had rejected their envoys, did nevertheless send men in a ship of fifty oars to see (as I suppose) the situation with Cyrus and Ionia. These, after coming to Phocaea, sent Lacrines, who was the most esteemed among them, to Sardis, to repeat there to Cyrus a proclamation of the Lacedaemonians, that he was to harm no city on Greek territory, or else the Lacedaemonians would punish him.
Phocaea was the first Ionian town that he attacked. These Phocaeans were the earliest of the Greeks to make long sea-voyages, and it was they who discovered the Adriatic Sea, and Tyrrhenia, and Iberia, and Tartessus,The lower valley of the Guadalquivir. Later Tartessus was identified with Gades (Cadiz), which Herodotus (Hdt. 4.8) calls Gadira. not sailing in round freightships but in fifty-oared vessels. When they came to Tartessus they made friends with the king of the Tartessians, whose name was Arganthonius; he ruled Tartessus for eighty years and lived a hundred and twenty.A common Greek tradition, apparently; Anacreon (Fr. 8) says “I would not... rule Tartessus for an hundred and fifty years. The Phocaeans won this man's friendship to such a degree that he invited them to leave Ionia and settle in his country wherever they liked; and then, when he could not persuade them to, and learned from them how the Median power was increasing, he gave them money to build a wall around the
In such a manner the Phocaeans' wall was built. Harpagus marched against the city and besieged it, but he made overtures, and said that it would suffice him if the Phocaeans would demolish one rampart of the wall and dedicate one house. But the Phocaeans, very indignant at the thought of slavery, said they wanted to deliberate for a day, and then they would answer; but while they were deliberating, Harpagus must withdraw his army from the walls, they said. Harpagus said that he well knew what they intended to do, but that nevertheless he would allow them to deliberate. So when Harpagus withdrew his army from the walls, the Phocaeans launched their fifty-oared ships, embarked their children and women and all their movable goods, besides the statues from the temples and everything dedicated in them except bronze or stonework or painting, and then embarked themselves and set sail for Chios; and the Persians took Phocaea, left thus uninhabited.