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Now perhaps he gave the Lacedaemonians this stroke, as directly falling under his pen; but the city of Corinth, which was wholly out of the course of his story, he has dragged in—going out of his way (as they say) to seize upon it—and has bespattered it with a most filthy crime and most shameful calumny. ‘The Corinthians,’ says he, “studiously forwarded this expedition of the Lacedaemonians to Samos, as having themselves also been formerly affronted by the Samians. The matter was this. Periander tyrant of Corinth sent three hundred boys, sons to the principal men of Corcyra, to King Alyattes, to be gelt. These, going ashore in the island of Samos, were by the Samians taught to sit as suppliants in the temple of Diana, where they preserved them, setting before them for their food sesame mixed with honey. This our author calls an affront put by the Samians on the Corinthians, who therefore instigated the Lacedaemonians against them, to wit, because the Samians had saved three hundred children of the Greeks from being unmanned. By attributing this villany to the Corinthians, he makes the city more wicked than the tyrant. He indeed was revenging himself on those of Corcyra who had slain his son; but what had the Corinthians suffered, that they should punish the Samians [p. 342] for putting an obstacle to so great a cruelty and wickedness?—and this, after three generations, reviving the memory of an old quarrel for the sake of that tyranny, which they found so grievous and intolerable that they are still endlessly abolishing all the monuments and marks of it, though long since extinct. Such then was the injury done by the Samians to the Corinthians. Now what a kind of punishment was it the Corinthians would have inflicted on them? Had they been indeed angry with the Samians, they should not have incited the Lacedaemonians, but rather diverted them from their war against Polycrates, that the Samians might not by the tyrant's overthrow recover liberty, and be feed from their slavery. But (what is most to be observed) why were the Corinthians so offended with the Samians, that desired indeed but were not able to save the Corcyraeans' children, and yet were not displeased with the Cnidians, who both preserved them and restored them to their friends? Nor indeed have the Corcyraeans any great esteem for the Samians on this account; but of the Cnidians they preserve a grateful memory, having granted them several honors and privileges, and made decrees in their favor. For these, sailing to Samos, drove away Periander's guards from the temple, and taking the children aboard their ships, carried them safe to Corcyra; as it is recorded by Antenor the Cretan, and by Dionysius the Chalcidian in his foundations. Now that the Spartans undertook not this war on any design of punishing the Samians, but to save them by delivering them from the tyrant, we have the testimony of the Samians themselves. For they affirm that there is in Samos a monument erected at the public charge, and honors there done to Archias a Spartan, who fell fighting valiantly in that quarrel; for which cause also his posterity still keep a familiar and friendly correspondence with the Samians, as Herodotus himself witnesses.

[p. 343]

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