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Ξέρξης διεξήιε διὰ τῶν νεκρῶν: cp. διεξιέναι c. 39, διεξήιε c. 40 supra. This inspection of the dead comes in here curiously in view of 8. 24, in connexion with which this passage must be read. The original draft of Hdt.'s work would seem not to have contained the (Athenian) story of the fighting off Artemision at all, or not at all in the form in which we now read it. The previous conversation with Demaratos and Achaimenes completely ignores it. Apparently in the original draft the Hellenes retired from Artemision without, or almost without, striking a blow (this was, perhaps, as the Asianic Greeks liked to tell the story); cp. Introduction, §§ 9, 10.
ἀκηκοώς: from Demaratos? but surely not first after the finding of the body? (Demaratos may have been sorry it was not the other king's; cp. 6. 65 ff.)
ἀποταμόντας τὴν κεφαλὴν ἀνασταυρῶσαι: decapitation was a Persian mode of execution, c. 35 supra, 8. 118, Xenoph. Anab. 2. 6. 1, etc.; but this indignity to the corpse of his gallant foeman is truly barbarous—if truly reported. The report is not quite clear: was only the head of Leonidas impaled? Baehr understands αὐτόν after ἀνασταυρῶσαι, Blakesley, with strictattention to the actual expression, sets ‘it,’ viz. the head, on a pole. One hopes Demaratos had nothing to say to this. Rawlinson adduces parallel cases: the outrages inflicted on the body of Amasis, 3. 16 (by Kambyses); Xenoph. Anab. 3. 1. 17 (Xenoph. loq.) καὶ μὴν εἰ ὑφησόμεθα καὶ ἐπὶ βασιλεῖ γενησόμεθα, τί οἰόμεθα πείσεσθαι; ὃς καὶ τοῦ ὁμομητρίου καὶ ὁμοπατρίου ἀδελφοῦ καὶ τεθνηκότος ἤδη ἀποτεμὼν τὴν κεφαλὴν καὶ τὴν χεῖρα ἀνεσταύρωσεν (that was of course Kyros's body and hand, as expressly recorded, 1. 10. 1. There was more excuse for that, as he was a traitor and rebel). The head and (r.) hand of Crassus were cut off by Surenas and sent into Armenia (to Hyrodas), Plutarch, Crass. 32. What became of the body of Leonidas? Was it buried at Thermopylai? cp. c. 225 supra; and was it there still in Hdt.'s day? Pausanias 3. 14. 1 says that in Sparta, to the west of the Agora, was a kenotaph to Brasidas, and a little further on (opposite the theatre) memorials of Pausanias and Leonidas: τὰ δὲ ὀστᾶ τοῦ Λεωνίδου τεσσαράκοντα †<*> ἔτεσιν ὕστερον ἀνελομένου ἐκ Θερμοπυλῶν τοῦ Παυσανίου κεῖται. The passage is unfor tunately corrupt. ‘Pausanias’ is suspicious, and ‘forty’ years after impossible. Perhaps the bones were brought back to Sparta four years after (476 B.C.). The story in 8. 114 does not well agree with this account of the mutilation of the king's corpse. δῆλά μοι: an asyndeton, very unusual in the case of δῆλα, which, Stein points out, is combined by Hdt. with νυν, ὦν, δέ, δή, τε, ὥστε, and adds: ‘The remark is probably a later addition.’ Optime. Cp. Introduction, § 9. The remark will extend down to τὰ πολέμια. But what were the πολλὰ ἄλλα τεκμήρια which Hdt. might have adduced of the anger (θυμός, cp. cc. 11, 39 supra) of Xerxes against the Spartan king and commander? And even this anger is not brought into any rational motivation; e.g. the supposed Spartan outrage on the Persian heralds, c. 133 supra.
πάντων ... ἀνδρῶν: with Λεωνίδη̣.
οὐ γὰρ ἄν, ‘for, otherwise . .’; here the protasis is easily supplied from the context (εἰ μὴ ἐθυμώθη). παρενόμησε: a barbarous king might break Hellenic law. On a Greek battle-field the corpses would have been returned ὑποσπόνδους.
μάλιστα ... τῶν ἐγὼ οἶδα: a more personal formula than the commoner τῶν ἡμεῖς ἴδμεν. On the point cp. c. 181 supra: this opinion would hardly have pleased the Spartans.
οἳ μὲν δή κτλ. This sentence seems originally to have immediately succeeded the word ἀνασταυρῶσαι above, and to have immediately preceded the words οἱ δὲ Ἕλληνες ἐς τὸν ναυτικὸν στρατὸν ταχθέντες with which Bk. 8 now opens.
τοῖσι ἐπετέτακτο [ποιέειν]: sc. τοιαῦτα, or ταῦτα πρήσσειν, cp. c. 39 supra; and the more elegant formula c. 36, τοῖσι προσέκειτο αὕτη ἡ ἄχαρις τιμή. The pluperfect marks the permanent or official character of the ἐπίταξις (rather than that the order had been issued ad hoc).
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