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50. During the ensuing winter Aristides the son of Archippus, one of the commanders of the Athenian vessels which collected tribute from the allies, captured, at Eion upon the Strymon, Artaphernes a Persian, who was on his way from the King to Sparta. [2] He was brought to Athens, and the Athenians had the1 despatches which he was carrying and which were written in the Assyrian character translated, and read them; there were many matters contained in them, but the chief point was a remonstrance addressed to the Lacedaemonians by the King, who said that he could not understand what they wanted; for, although many envoys had come to him, no two of them agreed. If they meant to make themselves intelligible, he desired them to send to him another embassy with the Persian envoy. [3] Shortly afterwards the Athenians sent Artaphernes in a trireme to Ephesus, and with him an embassy of their own, but they found that Artaxerxes the son of Xerxes had recently died; for the embassy arrived just at that time. Whereupon they returned home.

1 Seizure of a Persian envoy bearing despatches from the King, in which he complains of the Spartans. The Athenians send him back with an envoy of their own, but, arriving at the time of Artaxerxes' death, the embassy returns.

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