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1. A noble Median, whose preservation of the infant Cyrus, with the events consequent upon it, are related under CYRUs. He became one of the generals of Cyrus, and suggested the stratagem of opposing camels to the Lydian cavalry. (Hdt. 1.80.) He succeeded MAZACES in the work of reducing the Greek cities of Asia Minor; and he employed against them the ancient oriental mode of attack, which seems to have been new to the Greeks, of casting up a mound against the city. He first attacked Phocaea, demanding of its inhabitants the demolition of only one bulwark, and the dedication of a single house, in token of submission. The Phocaeans demanded a day to deliberate; and Harpagus, perceiving their design, drew off his army. Meanwhile, the Phocaeans took to their ships in a body, with all their movable property, and left the city, which Harpagus garrisoned. Before, however, the Phocaeans quitted the Aegean, on their voyage to Corsica, they returned to their city, and massacred the Persian garrison. The Teians were next assaulted ; and they too, as soon as Harpagus had raised his mound high enough to master their wall, deserted their city. The other Ionian cities were reduced after a brave struggle; but none of their inhabitants proceeded to the same extremity as those of Phocaea and Teos: they stayed at home under the Persian yoke. After the conquest of the cities on the continent, the Ionians of the islands submitted to Cyrus of their own accord. The subjugated Ionians and Aeolians contributed to swell the army of Harpagus, who now proceeded against the Carians, the Carmians, and the Lycians, and the Dorian cities on the coast of Caria. Of the Carians, the strong city of Pedasus alone offered any resistance. The Lacedaemonian colony of Cnidos had commenced preparations for defence while Harpagus was still engaged in Ionia, by digging through the isthmus which joined their territory to the mainland; but they had desisted at the command of a Delphic oracle, which told them that, if it had been the will of Zeus, their isthmus would have been an island by nature. They quietly surrendered to Harpagus.

The Lycians showed far more spirit. The people of Xanthus gave battle to Harpagus before their city; and when they had been defeated by his superior numbers, and were beaten back into the city, they collected all their property, with their wives, children, and servants, into the citadel, which they then burnt, while they themselves sallied out, and fell fighting to a man. The battlescene represented upon one of the sides of a sarcophagus in ancient Xanthus, which was discovered by Mr. Fellows, and is now deposited in the British Museum, is supposed to represent the taking of Xanthus by Harpagus, whose name is also said to occur in an inscription in the Lycian language. (Fellows, Lycia, p. 276, 1841.) We hear nothing more of Harpaguss after the conquest of Asia Minor. (Hdt. 1.162-177.) Diodorus (9.35; Excerpt. Vat. pp. 27-29) relates a story about the answer of Harpagus to an embassy of the Asiatic Greeks to Cyrus, which is identical in substance (though the parable is different) with the story which Herodotus tells of the reply of Cyrus to the same embassy. (1.141; CYRUS, p. 921b.)

hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 9.35
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.162
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.177
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.80
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