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A war arose between the Naxians and Milesians on account of Neaera the wife of Hypsicreon of Miletus. It was because she fell in love with Promedon of Naxos and sailed away with him. He was a friend and guest of Hypsicreon, but yielded to Neaera's ardent advances, and then, as she was in fear of her husband, he took her away to Naxos, and placed her as a suppliant at the shrine of Hestia. [p. 535] When the Naxians, as a favour to Promedon, refused to give her up, though they advanced another excuse, her position as suppliant, the war arose. Besides the many others who fought on the side of the Milesians the Erythraeans were the most zealous among the lonians; and the war dragged on and on, and brought great calamities. Then it came to an end through a woman's bravery, as it had arisen through a woman's badness.

Diognetus, the general of the Erythraeans, entrusted with the command of a stronghold, its natural advantages reinforced by fortification to menace the city of the Naxians, gathered much spoil from the Naxians, and captured some free women and maidens; with one of these, Polycrite, he fell in love and kept her, not as a captive, but in the status of a wedded wife. Now when a festival which the Milesians celebrate came due in the army, and all turned to drinking and social gatherings, Polycrite asked Diognetus if there were any reason why she should not send some bits of pastry to her brothers. And when he not only gave her permission but urged her to do so, she slipped into a cake a note written on a sheet of lead, and bade the bearer tell her brothers that they themselves and no others should consume what she had sent. The brothers came upon the piece of lead and read the words of Polycrite, advising them to attack the enemy that night, as they were all in a state of carelessness from drink on account of the festival. Her brothers took this message to their generals and strongly urged them to set forth with themselves. When the place had been taken and many slain, Polycrite begged for the life of Diognetus from her citizens, and saved him. When [p. 537] she herself arrived at the gates, and found herself confronting the citizens who came to meet her, welcoming her with joy and garlands and giving expression to their admiration for her, she could not bear the immensity of her joy, but fell down dead beside the gate; and there she is buried, and her tomb is called the Tomb of Envy, as though by some envious fortune Polycrite was begrudged the enjoyment of her honours.

This is the story which the Naxian writers record. Aristotle,2 however, says that Polycrite was not taken captive, but that Diognetus, in some other way, saw her and fell in love with her, and stood ready to give or to do anything; and she agreed to come to him, if she might obtain just one thing, for which, as the philosopher asserts, she required an oath of Diognetus. And when he had given the required oath, she demanded in fulfilment that Delium be given to her (the place was called by this name), otherwise she would have nothing to do with him. He, because of his love and his oath, was carried quite away, and handed over the spot to Polycrite, and she in turn to the citizens. Following this, the Naxians were again put on an equal footing, and effected a reconciliation with the Milesians on such terms as they desired.

1 Cf. Polyaenus, Strategemata, viii. 36; Parthenius, Love Stories, nos. 9 and 18.

2 Frag. 559 (ed. Rose) = Aulus Gellius, iii. 15.

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