Now as he was going down to the sea on his commission to deal with Hellenic affairs, a Persian, Epixyes by name, satrap of Upper Phrygia, plotted against his life, having for a long time kept certain Pisidians in readiness to slay him whenever he should reach the village called Lion's Head, and take up his night's quarters there. But while Themistocles was asleep at midday before, it is said that the Mother of the Gods1
appeared to him in a dream and said:
‘O Themistocles, shun a head of lions, that thou mayest not encounter a lion. And for this service to thee, I demand of thee Mnesiptolema to be my handmaid.’
Much disturbed, of course, Themistocles, with a prayer of acknowledgment to the goddess, forsook the highway, made a circuit by another route, and passing by that place, at last, as night came on, took up his quarters.
Now, since one of the beasts of burden which carried the equipage of his tent had fallen into the river, the servants of Themistocles hung up the curtains which had got wet, and were drying them out. The Pisidians, at this juncture, sword in hand, made their approach, and since they could not see distinctly by the light of the moon what it was that was being dried, they thought it was the tent of Themistocles, and that they would find him reposing inside.
But when they drew near and lifted up the hanging, they were fallen upon by the guards and apprehended. Thus Themistocles escaped the peril, and because he was amazed at the epiphany of the goddess, he built a temple in Magnesia in honor of Dindymene, and made his daughter Mnesiptolema her priestess.