previous next
He is farther manifestly convinced of belying the Lacedaemonians, when he says that, whilst they expected the full moon, they failed of giving their assistance to the Athenians at Marathon. For they not only made a thousand other excursions and fights at the beginning of the month, without staying for the full moon; but wanted so little of being present at this very battle, which was fought the sixth day of the month Boedromion, that at their coming they found the dead still lying in the field. And yet he has written thus of the full moon: ‘It was impossible for them to do these things at that present, being unwilling to break the law; for it was the ninth day of the month, and they said, they could not go forth on the ninth day, the orb of the moon being not yet full. And therefore they stayed for the full moon.’ 1 But thou, O Herodotus, transferest the full moon from the middle to the beginning of [p. 346] the month, and at the same time confoundest the heavens, days, and all things; and yet thou dost pretend to be the historian of Greece!

And professing to write more particularly and carefully of the affairs of Athens, thou dost not so much as say a word of that solemn procession which the Athenians even at this day send to Agrae, celebrating a feast of thanks-giving to Hecate for their victory. But this helps Herodotus to refel the crime with which he is charged, of having flattered the Athenians for a great sum of money he received of them. For if he had rehearsed these things to them, they would not have omitted or neglected to notice that Philippides, when on the ninth he called the Lacedaemonians to the fight, must have come from it himself, since (as Herodotus says) he went in two days from Athens to Sparta; unless the Athenians sent for their allies to the fight after their enemies were overcome. Indeed Diyllus the Athenian, none of the most contemptible as an historian, says, that he received from Athens a present of ten talents, Anytus proposing the decree. Moreover Herodotus, as many say, has in relating the fight at Marathon derogated from the credit of it, by the number he sets down of the slain. For it is said that the Athenians made a vow to sacrifice so many kids to Diana Agrotera, as they should kill barbarians; but that after the fight, the number of the dead appearing infinite, they appeased the Goddess by making a decree to immolate five hundred to her every year.

1 Herod. VI. 106.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1893)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: