Persian King, accounting it a matter of great importance, in view of his former defeat,1
to overthrow Egypt,
dispatched envoys to the greatest cities of Greece requesting them to join the Persians in the
campaign against the Egyptians.2
Now the Athenians and the Lacedaemonians replied that they continued to observe
their friendship for the Persians, but were opposed to sending troops as allies.
But the Thebans, choosing Lacrates as general, dispatched him with a
thousand hoplites. And the Argives sent three thousand men; they did not, however, choose a
general themselves, but when the King requested Nicostratus specifically as general, they
Now Nicostratus was good both in action and in
counsel, but there was madness mingled with his intelligence; for since he excelled in bodily
strength, he would imitate Heracles when on a campaign by wearing a lion's skin and carrying a
club in battle.
Following the example of these states, the
Greeks who inhabited the sea-coast of Asia Minor dispatched six thousand men, making the total
number of Greeks who served as allies ten thousand. Before their arrival the Persian King,
after he had traversed Syria and reached Phoenicia, encamped not far from Sidon.
As for the Sidonians, while the King had been slow to move, they
attended assiduously to the preparation of food, armour, and missiles. Likewise they had
encompassed their city with huge triple ditches and constructions of lofty walls.
They had also an ample number of citizen soldiers well trained in
exercises and hard work and of superior bodily condition and strength. In wealth and in other
resources the city far excelled the other cities of Phoenicia and, most important of all, it
had more than a hundred triremes and quinqueremes.