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128. The Athenians retaliated by demanding that the Lacedaemonians should drive away the1 curse of Taenarus. They referred to the murder of certain Helots who had taken refuge in the temple of Poseidon at Taenarus; these the Lacedaemonians, having first raised by the hand, had then led away and slain. The Lacedaemonians themselves believe this act of theirs to have been the cause of the great earthquake which visited Sparta2. [2] The Athenians also bade them drive out the curse of Athenè of the Brazen House. The story is3 as follows:— [3] When Pausanias the Lacedaemonian was originally summoned by the Spartans to give an account of his command at the Hellespont4, and had been tried and acquitted, he was no longer sent out in a public capacity, but he hired a trireme of Hermionè on his own account and sailed to the Hellespont, pretending that he had gone thither to fight in the cause of the Hellenes. In reality he wanted to prosecute an intrigue with the King, by which he hoped to obtain the empire of Hellas. [5] He had already taken the first steps after the return from Cyprus, when he captured Byzantium5. The city was at6 that time held by the Persians and by certain relatives and kinsmen of the King, who were taken prisoners. These he restored to the King without the knowledge of the allies, to whom he declared that they had made their escape. [4] This act was the beginning of the whole affair, and thereby he originally placed the King under an obligation to him. [6] His accomplice was Gongylus the Eretrian, to whose care he had entrusted Byzantium and the captives. To this same Gongylus he also gave a letter addressed to the King, of which, as was afterwards discovered, the terms were as follows:—

[7] Pausanias, the Spartan commander, desiring to do you a service, sends you back these captives of his spear. And I propose, if you have no objection, to marry your daughter, and to bring Sparta and the rest of Hellas under your sway. I think that I can accomplish this if you and I take counsel together. Should you approve of my proposal, send a trusty person to the sea and through him we will negotiate.

1 The Athenians retaliate by desiring the Lacedaemonians to purge away other curses. The curse of the Goddess explained to be the murder of certain suppliant Helots; the curse of Athenè of the Brazen House was caused by the death of Pausanias in the precincts of her temple.

2 Cp. 1.101, 102.

3 B.C. 477.

4 Cp. 1.95.

5 Cp. 1.94.

6 B.C. 478 or 477.

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