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Book XI

Contents of the Eleventh Book of Diodorus

—On the crossing of Xerxes into Europe (chaps. 1-4). —On the battle of Thermopylae (chaps. 5-11). —On the naval battle which Xerxes fought against the Greeks (chaps. 12-13). —How Themistocles outgeneralled Xerxes and the Greeks conquered the barbarians in the naval battle of Salamis (chaps. 14-18). —How Xerxes, leaving Mardonius behind as commander, withdrew with a portion of his army to Asia (chap. 19). —How the Carthaginians with great armaments made war upon Sicily (chaps. 20-21). —How Gelon, after outgeneralling the barbarians, slew some of them and took others captive (chaps. 22-23). —How Gelon, when the Carthaginians sued for peace, exacted money of them and then concluded the peace (chaps. 24-26). —Judgement passed on the Greeks who distinguished themselves in the war (chap. 27). —The battle of the Greeks against Mardonius and the Persians about Plataea and the victory of the Greeks (chaps. 27-39). —The war which the Romans waged against the Aequi and the inhabitants of Tusculum (chap. 40). —On the construction of the Peiraeus by Themistocles (chaps. 41-50). —On the aid which king Hiero dispatched to the Cymaeans (chap. 51). —On the war which arose between the Tarantini and the Iapyges (chap. 52). —How Thrasydaeus, the son of Theron and tyrant of the Acragantini, was defeated by the Syracusans and lost his overlordship (chap. 53). —How Themistocles, who had fled for safety to Xerxes and was put on trial for his life, was set at liberty (chaps. 54-59). —How the Athenians freed the Greek cities throughout Asia (chaps. 60-62). —On the earthquake that occurred in Laconia (chap. 63). —On the revolt of the Messenians and Helots against the Lacedaemonians (chaps. 63-64). —How the Argives razed Mycenae to the ground and made the city desolate (chap. 65). —How the Syracusans overthrew the royal line of Gelon (chaps. 67-68). —How Xerxes was slain by treachery and Artaxerxes became king (chap. 69). —On the revolt of the Egyptians against the Persians (chap. 71). —On the civil discords which took place among the Syracusans (chaps. 72-73). —How the Athenians defeated in war the Aeginetans and Corinthians (chaps. 78-79). —How the Phocians made war on the Dorians (chap. 79). —How Myronides the Athenian with a few soldiers defeated the Boeotians who far outnumbered them (chaps. 81-82). —On the campaign of Tolmides against Cephallenia (chap. 84). —On the war in Sicily between the Egestaeans and Lilybaeans (chap. 86). —On the framing of the law of petalism by the Syracusans (chap. 87). —The campaign of Pericles against the Peloponnesus (chap. 88). —The campaign of the Syracusans against Tyrrhenia (chap. 88). —On the Palici, as they are called, in Sicily (chap. 89). —On the defeat of Ducetius and his astounding escape from death (chaps. 91-92).


The preceding Book, which is the tenth of our narrative, closed with the events of the year just before the crossing of Xerxes into Europe and the formal deliberations which the general assembly of the Greeks held in Corinth on the alliance between Gelon and the Greeks; and in this Book we shall supply the further course of the history, beginning with the campaign of Xerxes against the Greeks, and we shall stop with the year which precedes the campaign of the Athenians against Cyprus under the leadership of Cimon.2 [2]

Calliades was archon in Athens, and the Romans made Spurius Cassius and Proculus Verginius Tricostus consuls, and the Eleians celebrated the Seventy-fifth Olympiad, that in which Astylus of Syracuse won the "stadion." It was in this year that king Xerxes made his campaign against Greece, for the following reason. [3] Mardonius the Persian was a cousin of Xerxes and related to him by marriage, and he was also greatly admired by the Persians because of his sagacity and courage. This man, being elated by pride and at the height of his physical vigour, was eager to be the leader of great armaments; consequently he persuaded Xerxes to enslave the Greeks, who had ever been enemies of the Persians. [4] And Xerxes, being won over by him and desiring to drive all the Greeks from their homes, sent an embassy to the Carthaginians to urge them to join him in the undertaking and closed an agreement with them, to the effect that he would wage war upon the Greeks who lived in Greece, while the Carthaginians should at the same time gather great armaments and subdue those Greeks who lived in Sicily and Italy. [5] In accordance, then, with their agreements, the Carthaginians, collecting a great amount of money, gathered mercenaries from both Italy and Liguria and also from Galatia and Iberia3; and in addition to these troops they enrolled men of their own race from the whole of Libya and of Carthage; and in the end, after spending three years in constant preparation, they assembled more than three hundred thousand foot-soldiers and two hundred war vessels.

Xerxes, vying with the zeal displayed by the Carthaginians, surpassed them in all his preparations to the degree that he excelled the Carthaginians in the multitude of peoples at his command. And he began to have ships built throughout all the territory along the sea that was subject to him, both Egypt and Phoenicia and Cyprus, Cilicia and Pamphylia and Pisidia, and also Lycia, Caria, Mysia, the Troad, and the cities on the Hellespont, and Bithynia, and Pontus. Spending a period of three years, as did the Carthaginians, on his preparations, he made ready more than twelve hundred warships. [2] He was aided in this by his father Darius, who before his death had made preparations of great armaments; for Darius, after Datis, his general, had been defeated by the Athenians at Marathon, had continued to be angry with the Athenians for having won that battle. But Darius, when already about to cross over4 against the Greeks, was stopped in his plans by death, whereupon Xerxes, induced both by the design of his father and by the counsel of Mardonius, as we have stated, made up his mind to wage war upon the Greeks. [3]

Now when all preparations for the campaign had been completed, Xerxes commanded his admirals to assemble the ships at Cyme and Phocaea, and he himself collected the foot and cavalry forces from all the satrapies and advanced from Susa. And when he had arrived at Sardis, he dispatched heralds to Greece, commanding them to go to all the states and to demand of the Greeks water and earth.5 [4] Then, dividing his army, he sent in advance a sufficient number of men both to bridge the Hellespont and to dig a canal through Athos6 at the neck of the Cherronesus, in this way not only making the passage safe and short for his forces but also hoping by the magnitude of his exploits to strike the Greeks with terror before his arrival. Now the men who had been sent to make ready these works completed them with dispatch, because so many labourers co-operated in the task. [5] And the Greeks, when they learned of the great size of the Persian armaments, dispatched ten thousand hoplites into Thessaly to seize the passes of Tempe; Synetus7 commanded the Lacedaemonians and Themistocles the Athenians. These commanders dispatched ambassadors to the states and asked them to send soldiers to join in the common defence of the passes; for they eagerly desired that all the Greek states should each have a share in the defence and make common cause in the war against the Persians. [6] But since the larger number of the Thessalians and other Greeks who dwelt near the passes had given the water and earth to the envoys of Xerxes when they arrived, the two generals despaired of the defence at Tempe and returned to their own soil.

And now it will be useful to distinguish those Greeks who chose the side of the barbarians, in order that, incurring our censure here, their example may, by the obloquy visited upon them, deter for the future any who may become traitors to the common freedom. [2] The Aenianians, Dolopians, Melians,8 Perrhaebians, and Magnetans took the side of the barbarians even while the defending force was still at Tempe, and after its departure the Achaeans of Phthia, Locrians, Thessalians, and the majority of the Boeotians went over to the barbarians. [3] But the Greeks who were meeting in congress at the Isthmus9 voted to make the Greeks who voluntarily chose the cause of the Persians pay a tithe to the gods, when they should be successful in the war, and to send ambassadors to those Greeks who were neutral to urge them to join in the struggle for the common freedom. [4] Of the latter, some joined the alliance without reservation, while others postponed any decision for a considerable time, clinging to their own safety alone and anxiously waiting for the outcome of the war; the Argives, however, sending ambassadors to the common congress, promised to join the alliance if the congress would give them a share in the command. [5] To them the representatives declared plainly that, if they thought it a more terrible thing to have a Greek as general than a barbarian as master, they would do well to remain neutral, but if they were ambitious to secure the leadership of the Greeks, they should, it was stated, first have accomplished deeds deserving of this leadership and then strive for such an honour. After these events, when the ambassadors sent by Xerxes came to Greece and demanded both earth and water, all10 the states manifested in their replies the zeal they felt for the common freedom. [6]

When Xerxes learned that the Hellespont had been bridged and the canal11 had been dug through Athos, he left Sardis and made his way toward the Hellespont; and when he had arrived at Abydus, he led his army over the bridge into Europe. And as he advanced through Thrace, he added to his forces many soldiers from both the Thracians and neighbouring Greeks. [7] When he arrived at the city called Doriscus, he ordered his fleet to come there, and so both arms of his forces were gathered into one place. And he held there also the enumeration of the entire army, and the number of his land forces was over eight hundred thousand men, while the sum total of his ships of war exceeded twelve hundred, of which three hundred and twenty were Greek, the Greeks providing the complement of men and the king supplying the vessels. All the remaining ships were listed as barbarian; and of these the Egyptians supplied two hundred, the Phoenicians three hundred, the Cilicians eighty, the Pamphylians forty, the Lycians the same number, also the Carians eighty, and the Cyprians one hundred and fifty. [8] Of the Greeks the Dorians who dwelt off Caria, together with the Rhodians and Coans, sent forty ships, the Ionians, together with the Chians and Samians, one hundred, the Aeolians, together with the Lesbians and Tenedans, forty, the peoples of the region of the

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