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ἐν πρώτοισι: among the first of the Greeks: for the phrase cf. viii. 94. 4; ix. 86. 1, for the facts ch. 132. 1 n.
ἔστιξαν ... βασιλήια. For branding cf. ch. 35. 1 n. It is clear that the Thebans here are branded in the forehead with the king's mark as slaves (cf. “δραπέτης ἐστιγμένος,” Arist. Av. 760), the idea that they are, as it were, dedicated to a god (for which cf. ii. 113. 2) being here far-fetched. Cf. Gal. vi. 17 ἐγὼ γὰρ τὰ στίγματα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐν τῷ σώματί μου βαστάζω, and Curt. v. 5 ‘Captivi Graeci . . . quos Persae . . . inustis barbarorum litterarum notis’, and for the placing of the arms or crest of the city on captives enslaved: Plut. Per. 26 “οἱ δὲ Σάμιοι τοὺς αἰχμαλώτους τῶν Ἀθηναίων ἀνθυβρίζοντες ἔστιζον εἰς τὸ μέτωπον γλαῦκας: καὶ γὰρ ἐκείνους οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι σάμαιναν”, Plut. Nic. 29 “τούτους ὡς οἰκέτας ἐπώλουν στίζοντες ἵππον ἐς τὸ μέτωπον”. We find the Samaena or galley-prow figuring on coins of Samos about the date of its capture by Athens (440 B. C.), and the free horses on a Syracusan coin, struck soon after the Athenian expedition to Sicily, while the owl is the regular arms or crest of Athens. It would seem, however, that the Athenians would brand with an owl, the Samians with the galley (so Aelian, V. H. ii. 9; Duris, fr. 59; F. H. G. ii. 483). Thucydides (ii. 2-6) gives us a fuller and more correct account of the Theban surprise of Plataea in the spring of 431 B. C. (March or April). He corrects H. on the following points. (1) The number of the Thebans was not 400, but rather more than 300, of whom 180 were taken captive and executed. (2) Eurymachus was not in command (though he planned the coup) but two Boeotarchs, Pythangelus and Diemporus. For the animus of this passage cf. Introd. § 30 a, and ch. 222 n. A later Leontiades betrayed the Cadmea to Phoebidas and was slain by the conspirators who freed Thebes, 379 B. C. (Xen. Hell. v. 2. 25, 4. 7).
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