After this, the Athenians would not grant the Spartans the highest meed of valor, nor allow them to erect a general trophy, and the cause of the Hellenes had certainly gone at once to destruction from their armed contention, had not Aristides, by abundant exhortation and admonition, checked his fellow-generals, especially Leocrates and Myronides, and persuaded them to submit the case to the Hellenes for decision.
Thereupon, in the council of the Hellenes, Theogeiton the Megarian said that the meed of valor must be given to some third city, unless they desired the confusion of a civil war. At this point Cleocritus the Corinthian rose to speak. Every one thought he would demand the meed of valor for the Corinthians, since Corinth was held in greatest estimation after Sparta and Athens. But to the astonishment and delight of all, he made a proposition in behalf of the Plataeans, and counselled to take away contention by giving them the meed of valor, since at their honor neither claimant could take offence.
To this proposal Aristides was first to agree on behalf of the Athenians, then Pausanias on behalf of the Lacedaemonians. Thus reconciled, they chose out eighty talents of the booty for the Plataeans, with which they rebuilt the sanctuary of Athena, and set up the shrine, and adorned the temple with frescoes, which continue in perfect condition to the present day; then the Lacedaemonians set up a trophy on their own account, and the Athenians also for themselves.
When they consulted the oracle regarding the sacrifice to be made, the Pythian god made answer that they were to erect an altar of Zeus the Deliverer, but were not to sacrifice upon it until they had extinguished the fire throughout the land, which he said had been polluted by the Barbarians, and kindled it fresh and pure from the public hearth at Delphi. Accordingly the commanders of the Hellenes went about straightway and compelled all who were using fire to extinguish it, while Euchidas, who promised to bring the sacred fire with all conceivable speed, went from Plataea to Delphi.
There he purified his person by sprinkling himself with the holy water, and crowned himself with laurel. Then he took from the altar the sacred fire and started to run back to Plataea. He reached the place before the sun had set, accomplishing thus a thousand furlongs in one and the same day. He greeted his countrymen, handed them the sacred fire, and straightway fell down, and after a little expired. In admiration of him the Plataeans gave him burial in the sanctuary of Artemis Eucleia, and inscribed upon his tomb this tetrameter verse:—
Euchidas, to Pytho running, came back here
the selfsame day.
Now Eucleia is regarded by most as Artemis, and is so addressed; but some say she was a daughter of Heracles and of that Myrto who was daughter of Menoetius and sister of Patroclus, and that, dying in virginity, she received divine honors among the Boeotians and Locrians. For she has an altar and an image built in every market place, and receives preliminary sacrifices from would-be brides and bridegrooms.