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Among those who paid that tribute were the Thessalians,Not all the inhabitants of Thessaly, here, but the tribe of that name which had settled in the Peneus valley and given its name to the surrounding peoples. Dolopes, Enienes, Perrhaebians, Locrians, Magnesians, Melians, Achaeans of Phthia, Thebans, and all the Boeotians except the men of Thespiae and Plataea. Against all of these the Greeks who declared war with the foreigner entered into a sworn agreement, which was this: that if they should be victorious, they would dedicate to the god of Delphi the possessions of all Greeks who had of free will surrendered themselves to the Persians. Such was the agreement sworn by the Greeks.
Thereupon the Greeks resolved that they would send a land army to Thessaly by sea to guard the pass. When the forces had assembled, they passed through the Euripus and came to Alus in Achaea, where they disembarked and took the road for Thessaly, leaving their ships where they were. They then came to the pass of Tempe, which runs from the lowerAs opposed to the hill country further inland. Macedonia into Thessaly along the river Peneus, between the mountains Olympus and Ossa. There the Greeks were encamped, about ten thousand men-at-arms altogether, and the cavalry was there as well. The gene
what persuaded them was fear, since they had found out that there was another pass leading into Thessaly by the hill country of Macedonia through the country of the Perrhaebi, near the town of Gonnus;f the Perrhaebi, near the town of Gonnus; this was indeed the way by which Xerxes' army descended on Thessaly. The Greeks accordingly went down to their ships and made their way back to the Isthmus.
This was the course of their expedition into Thessaly, while the king was planning to cross into Europe from Asia and was already at Abydos. The Thessalians, now bereft of their allies, sided with the Persian wholeheartedly and unequivocally. As a result of this they, in their acts, proved themselves to be most useful to the king.
When they had come to the Isthmus, the Greeks, taking into account what was said by Alexander, deliberated as a body how and where they should stand to fight. It was decided that they should guard the pass of Thermopylae, for they saw that it was narrower than the pass into Thessaly and nearer home. The pass, then, which brought about the fall of those Greeks who fell at Thermopylae, was unknown to them until they came to Thermopylae and learned of it from the men of Trachis. This pass they were resolved to guard and so stay the barbarian's passage into Hellas, while their fleet should sail to Artemisium in the territory of Histiaea. These places are near to each other, and each force could therefore be informed of the other's doings. As for the places themselves, their nature is as follows.
Artemisium is where the wide Thracian sea contracts until the passage between the island of Sciathus and the mainland of Magnesia is but narrow. This strait leads next to Artemisium, which is a beach on the coast of Euboea, on which stands a temple of Artemis. The pass through Trachis into HellasHellas in the narrower sense, not including Thessaly. is fifty feet wide at its narrowest point. It is not here, however, but elsewhere that the way is narrowest, namely, in front of Thermopylae and behind it; at Alpeni, which lies behind, it is only the breadth of a cart-way, and it is the same at the Phoenix stream, near the town of Anthele. To the westHerodotus' points of the compass are wrong throughout in his description of Thermopylae; the road runs east and west, not north and south as he supposes; so “west” here should be “south” and “east” “north.” “In front” and “behind” are equivalent to “west” and “east” respectively. of Thermopylae rises a high mountain, i
Two of the ships, then, were made captive, and the third trireme, of which Phormus an Athenian was captain, ran aground in her flight at the mouth of the Peneus; the barbarians took her hull but not the crew, for the Athenians, as soon as they had run their craft aground, leapt out and made their way through Thessaly to Athens.
So the foreign fleet, of which, with the exception of fifteen ships Sandoces was captain, came to Aphetae. Xerxes and his land army marched through Thessaly and Achaea, and it was three days since he had entered Malis. In Thessaly he held a race for his own cavalry; this was also a test of the Thessalian horsemen, whom he had heard were the best in Hellas. The Greek horses were far outpaced in this contest. Of the Thessalian rivers, the Onochonus was the only one which could not provide enough Thessaly he held a race for his own cavalry; this was also a test of the Thessalian horsemen, whom he had heard were the best in Hellas. The Greek horses were far outpaced in this contest. Of the Thessalian rivers, the Onochonus was the only one which could not provide enough water for his army to drink. In Achaea, however, even the greatest river there, the Apidanus,The Apidanus and Enipeus unite; the whole stream, a tributary of the Peneus, is sometimes called Apidanus and sometimes Enipeus. gave out, remaining but a sorry trickle.
These were Xerxes' actions in Thessaly and Achaea. From here he came into Malis along a gulf of the sea, in which the tide ebbs and flows daily.Tidal movement is rare in the Mediterranean. But there is a strong ebb and flood in the Euripus, which is not far from the Malian gulf. There is low-lying ground about this gulf, sometimes wide and sometimes very narrow, and around it stand high and inaccessible mountains which enclose the whole of Malis and are called the Rocks of Trachis. Now the first town by the gulf on the way from Achaea is Anticyra, near to which the river Spercheus flows from the country of the Enieni and issues into the sea. About twenty furlongs from that river is another named Dyras, which is said to have risen from the ground to aid Heracles against the fire that consumed him and twenty furlongs again from that there is another river called the Black river.