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He made himself hateful to the allies also, by sailing round to the islands and trying to exact money from them. When, for instance, he demanded money of the Andrians, Herodotus1 says he made a speech to them and got reply as follows: he said he came escorting two gods, Persuasion and Compulsion; and they replied that they already had two great gods, Penury and Powerlessness, who hindered them from giving him money. [2]

Timocreon, the lyric poet of Rhodes, assailed Themistocles very bitterly in a song, to the effect that for bribes he had secured the restoration of other exiles, but had abandoned him, though a host and a friend, and all for money. The song runs thus:—2

Come, if thou praisest Pausanias, or if Xanthippus,
Or if Leotychidas, then I shall praise Aristides,
The one best man of all
Who came from sacred Athens; since Leto loathes Themistocles, [3]
The liar, cheat, and traitor, who, though Timocreon was his host,
By knavish moneys was induced not to bring him back
Into his native Ialysus,
But took three talents of silver and went cruising off,—to perdition,
Restoring some exiles unjustly, chasing some away, and slaying some,
Gorged with moneys; yet at the
Isthmus he played ridiculous host with the stale meats set before his guests;
Who ate thereof and prayed Heaven 'no happy return of the day for Themistocles!'
[4] Much more wanton and extravagant was the raillery which Timocreon indulged in against Themistocles after the latter's own exile and condemnation. Then he composed the song beginning:—
O Muse grant that this song
Be famed throughout all Hellas,
As it is meet and just.
It is said that Timocreon was sent into exile on a charge of Medizing, and that Themistocles concurred in the vote of condemnation. [5] Accordingly, when Themistocles also was accused of Medizing, Timocreon composed these lines upon him:—
Not Timocreon alone, then, made compacts with the Medes,
But there are other wretches too; not I alone am brushless,
There are other foxes too.

1 Hdt. 8.111

2 No attempt is made in the translations of Timocreon to imitate the meter of the original.

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 296
    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 8.79
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 8.111
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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