), a Mede, who, together with Artaphernes, had the command of the forces which were sent by Dareius Ilystaspis against Eretria and Athens, and which were finally defeated at Marathon in B. C. 490. (Hdt. 6.94
, &c.) [ARTAPHERNES, No. 2.] When the armament was on its way to Greece through the Aegean sea, the Delians fled in alarm from their island to Tenos; but Datis re-assured them, professing that his own feelings, as well as the commands of the king, would lead him to spare and respect the birthplace of " the two gods."
The obvious explanation of this conduct, as arising from a notion of the correspondence of Apollo and Artemis with the sun and moon, is rejected by Müller in favour of a far less probable hypothesis. (Hdt. 6.97
; Müller, Dor.
ii 5.6, 6.10; Thirlwall's Greece,
vol. ii. p. 231; Spanheim, ad Callim. Hymn. in Del.
The religious reverence of Datis is further illustrated by the anecdote of his restoring the statue of Apollo which some Phoenicians in his army had stolen from Delium in Boeotia. (Hdt. 6.118
; Paus. 10.28
; Suid. s. v. Δ̔ᾶτις
). His two sons, Armamithres and Tithaeus, commanded the cavalry of Xerxes in his expedition against Greece. (Hdt. 7.88
He admired the Greek language, and tried hard to speak it; failing in which, he thereby at any rate unwittingly enriched it with a new word--*Datismo/s. (Suid. l.c.
; Aristoph. Peace 289
; Schol. ad loc.