), or MACI'STIUS, a Persian, of fine and commanding presence, was leader of the cavalry in the army which Xerxes left behind in Greece under MARDONIUS. When the Persian force, having entered Boeotia, was drawn up on the right bank of the Asopus, with the Greeks opposite them along the skirts of Cithaeron, Mardonius, having waited impatiently and to no purpose for the enemy to descend and fight him in the plain, sent Masistius and the cavalry against them.
In the combat which ensued, the horse of Masistius, being wounded in the side with an arrow, reared and threw him. The Athenians rushed upon him immediately, but he was cased in complete armour, which for a time protected him, till at last he was slain by the thrust of a spear in his eye through the visor of his helmet. The Persians tried desperately, but in vain, to rescue his body, which was afterwards placed in a cart and led along the Grecian lines, while the men gazed on it with admiration. His countrymen mourned for him as the most illustrious man in the army next to Mardonius. They shaved their own heads, as well as their horses and their beasts of burden, and they raised a wailing, which, according to Herodotus, was heard over the whole of Boeotia. (Hdt. 9.20
; Plut. Arist. 14
.) This Masistius seems to have been a different person from the son of Siromitres, who commanded the Alarodians and Saspeirians in the army of Xerxes. (Hdt. 7.79
The breastplate of Masistius was dedicated, as a trophy, in the temple of Athena Polias at Athens. (Paus. 1.27