2. Another king of the Scythians, probably a descendant of the above.
He was a son of Saulius, the brother and slayer of Anacharsis. When Dareius Hystaspis invaded Scythia, about B. C. 508, and the Scythians retreated before him, he sent a message to Idanthyrsus, calling upon him either to fight or submit. The Scythian king answered that, in flying before the Persians, he was not urged by fear, but was merely living the wandering life to which he was accustomed--that there was no reason why he should fight the Persians, as he had neither cities for them to take nor lands for them to ravage; but that if they would attempt to disturb the Scythian tombs where their fathers lay, they should see whether they would fight with them or not--that, as for submission, he paid that to none but the gods of Scythia, and that, instead of the required gifts of earth and water, he would send the invader such gifts as befitted him.
A herald afterwards came to Dareius with the present of a bird, a mouse, a frog, and five arrows, the explanation whereof exercised Persian ingenuity considerably. (Hdt. 4.76
; Plut. Reg. et Imp. Apophth.,
p. 8, ed. Tauchn.; Justin, 2.3
; Oros. 2.8