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ἐμάνη. H. records, without accepting, the supernatural explanation of madness; he gives a natural one, c. 33. As to Cleomenes' madness, he, among various explanations (vi. 75 seq.), inclines to the supernatural (c. 84).

Σμέρδιν. His real name was Bardiya; Aesch. (Pers. 774) calls him Mardos. For the change from Bardiya to Mardos cf. Megabates (Mega = the Persian Baga). The initial Σ was added because the name was confused with the real Greek name Σμέρδις (for which cf. Arist. Pol. 1311 b 29), on the supposed analogy of σμικρός and μικρός. Ctesias (8, p. 65), who calls him ‘Tanyoxarces’ (which seems to be a nickname, Maspero, iii. 655), makes him satrap of Bactria and some adjacent districts, but this statement is of little value. For a full analysis of the various versions of his story cf. Duncker, vi. 175 seq.; but his results are very doubtful.

The B. I. (i. 10) puts the murder before the expedition to Egypt. It obviously was kept a secret, for otherwise a pretender would have had no opportunity (cf. Perkin Warbeck's personation of the young Duke of York); this secrecy explains the divergence of traditions. Ctesias (10, p. 67) makes the murderer personate Smerdis for five years, by arrangement of Cambyses, and then seize the throne on his death. This, however, is an impossible solution of what is the real difficulty, i.e. how did the heir apparent disappear unnoticed?


ὄψιν. For a similar dream-warning against a dangerous man cf. i. 209.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Aeschylus, Persians, 774
    • Aristotle, Politics, 5.1311b
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