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He waged war in this way for eleven years, and in these years two great disasters overtook the Milesians, one at the battle of Limeneion in their own territory, and the other in the valley of the Maeander. For six of these eleven years Sadyattes son of Ardys was still ruler of Lydia, and it was he who invaded the lands of Miletus, for it was he who had begun the war; for the following five the war was waged by Sadyattes' son Alyattes, who, as I have indicated before, inherited the war from his Maeander. For six of these eleven years Sadyattes son of Ardys was still ruler of Lydia, and it was he who invaded the lands of Miletus, for it was he who had begun the war; for the following five the war was waged by Sadyattes' son Alyattes, who, as I have indicated before, inherited the war from his father and carried it on vigorously. None of the Ionians helped to lighten this war for the Milesians, except the Chians: these lent their aid in return for a similar service done for them; for the Milesians had previously helped the Chians in their war against the Erythraeans.
The greater portion, then, of this country of which I have spoken was land deposited for the Egyptians as the priests told me, and I myself formed the same judgment; all that lies between the ranges of mountains above Memphis to which I have referred seemed to me to have once been a gulf of the sea, just as the country about Ilion and Teuthrania and Ephesus and the plain of the Maeander, to compare these small things with great. For of the rivers that brought down the stuff to make these lands, there is none worthy to be compared for greatness with even one of the mouths of the Nile, and the Nile has five mouths. There are also other rivers, not so great as the Nile, that have had great effects; I could rehearse their names, but principal among them is the Achelous, which, flowing through Acarnania and emptying into the sea, has already made half of the Echinades Islands mainland.
These are the two reasons alleged for Polycrates' death; believe whichever you like. But the consequence was that Oroetes, then at Magnesia which is above the river Maeander, sent Myrsus son of Gyges, a Lydian, with a message to Samos, having learned Polycrates' intention; for Polycrates was the first of the Greeks whom we know to aim at the mastery of the sea, leaving out of account Minos of Cnossus and any others who before him may have ruled the sea; of what may be called the human race Polycrates was the first, and he had great hope of ruling Ionia and the Islands. Learning then that he had this intention, Oroetes sent him this message: “Oroetes addresses Polycrates as follows: I find that you aim at great things, but that you have not sufficient money for your purpose. Do then as I direct, and you will succeed yourself and will save me. King Cambyses aims at my death; of this I have clear intelligence. Now if you will transport me and my money, you may take some yourself and let
Presently, when the Persians had come and had crossed the Maeander, they and the Carians joined battle by the river Marsyas. The Carians fought obstinately and for a long time, but at the last they were overcome by the odds. Of the Persians, as many as two thousand men fell, and of the Carians ten thousand. Those of them who escaped were driven into the precinct of Zeus of Armies at Labraunda,Site of the cult of a war-god, whose emblem was the la/brus or battle-axe. a large and a holy grove of plane-trees. (The Carians are the only people whom we know who offer sacrifices to Zeus by this name.) When they had been driven there, they deliberated how best to save themselves, whether it would be better for them to surrender to the Persians or to depart from Asia.
Xerxes said this and made good his words, then journeyed ever onward. Passing by the Phrygian town called Anaua, and the lake from which salt is obtained, he came to Colossae, a great city in Phrygia; there the river Lycus plunges into a cleft in the earth and disappears,The Lycus here flows in a narrow gorge, but there is no indication of its ever having flowed underground, except for a few yards. until it reappears about five stadia away; this river issues into the Maeander. From Colossae the army held its course for the borders of Phrygia and Lydia, and came to the city of Cydrara, where there stands a pillar set up by Croesus which marks the boundary with an inscription.
Passing from Phrygia into Lydia, he came to the place where the roads part; the road on the left leads to Caria, the one on the right to Sardis; on the latter the traveller must cross the river Maeander and pass by the city of Callatebus, where craftsmen make honey out of wheat and tamarisks. Xerxes went by this road and found a plane-tree, which he adorned with gold because of its beauty, and he assigned one of his immortals to guard it. On the next day he reached the city of the Lydians.