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H. is evidently here under the influence of traditions hostile to Themistocles. There is no special reason to suspect him of double dealing in this case; he may quite well have been honestly in favour of breaking down the bridge and stirring up revolt among the Greeks of Asia, and yet have resolved to sacrifice the project rather than make a breach in the alliance with the Peloponnesians. It is, however, hard to believe that he seriously contemplated sending the fleet to the Hellespont while the Persian army was still in Attica. Possibly he proposed the plan when Xerxes had begun his retreat; cf. further § 2 n. With this character of Themistocles cf. ch. 124; Thuc. i. 138.
Σίκιννος. Plutarch (Them. 16; Arist. 9) and Polyaenus (i. 30. 4) substitutes a captive eunuch, Arnaces. Thucydides (i. 137; cf. 109. 5 n.) speaks of this second message as sent from Salamis. A. Bauer (Them. pp. 22, 49) and Wecklein (Ber. der bayer. Akad. (1876) p. 296; with whom Meyer, iii, § 226 n., seems disposed to agree) regard this second message as an invention of the enemies of Themistocles, designed to cloud the glory of the first. But Thucydides (l. c.), rightly construed, implies that some message warning Xerxes to retreat was sent. It may have been, however, as Duncker (vii. 295 f.), following Ephorus (Diod. xi. 19) and Ctesias (26 φεύγει Ξέρξης βούλῃ πάλιν καὶ τέχνῃ Ἀριστείδου καὶ Θεμιστοκλέους), argues, a mere ruse to hasten the departure of Xerxes, although in his letter (ap. Thuc. i. 137) Themistocles later claimed it was a benefit conferred on the king. It is certainly odd that Xerxes should again accept advice from Themistocles when Sicinnus' first message had had such disastrous results.
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