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300, 120 of whom were Spartans, that is, inhabitants of the city of Sparta. The siege of the island, (to compute from the beginning of it, including the time employed in the truce) had lasted 72 days. They all now left Pylus; and Cleon's promise, though so vain and rash, was found literally fulfilled. But the most surprising circumstance was, the ca pitulation that had been made; for it was believed that the Lacedæmonians, so far from surrendering their arms, would die sword in hand.
Being come to Athens, it was decreed that they should remain prisoners till a peace was concluded, provided the Lacedæmonians did not make any incursions into their country, for that then they should all be put to death. They left a garrison in Pylus. The Messenians of Naupactus, who had formerly possessed it, sent thither the flower of their youth, who very much infested the Lacedæmonians by their incursions; and as these Messenians spoke the language of the country, they prevailed with a great number of slaves to join them. The Lacedæmonians, dreading a greater evil, sent several deputations to Athens, but to no purpose; the Athenians being too much elated with their prosperity, and especially their late success, to listen to any terms.
In the seventh year of the Peloponnesian war, Artaxerxes sent to the Lacedæmonians an ambassador named Artaphernes, with a letter written in the Assyrian language, in which he said, that he had received many embassies from them, but the purport of them all differed so widely, that he could not comprehend in any manner what it was they requested: that in this uncertainty, he had thought proper to send a Persian, to acquaint them, that if they had any proposal to make, they should send a person in whom they could confide along with him, from whom he might be exactly informed in what they desired. This ambassador, arriving at Eion on the river Strymon in Thrace, was there taken prisoner, about the close of this year, by one of the admirals of the Athenian fleet, who sent him to Athens. He was treated with the utmost civility and respect; the Athenians being extremely desirous of recovering the favour of the king his master.
The year following, as soon as the season would permit the Athenians to put to sea, they sent the ambassador back in one of their ships at the public expense: and appointed some of their citizens to wait upon him to the court of Persia, in quality of ambassadors. Upon landing at Ephesus, they were informed that Artaxerxes was dead; whereupon the Athenian ambassadors, thinking it not advisable to proceed farther after this news, took leave of Artaphernes, and returned to their own country.
a Thucyd. liv. p. 285, 285.
THIS chapter contains the history of thirteen years of the Peloponnesian war, to the nineteenth inclusively.
The very short Reigns of Xerxes II. and Sogdianus. They are succeeded by Darius Nothus. He puts a stop to the Insurrection of Egypt and that of Media. He bestows on Cyrus, his youngest Son, the supreme Command of all Asia Minor.
• Artaxerxes died about the beginning of the forty-ninth year of his reign. Xerxes, who succeeded him, was the only son which the queen his wife brought him: but he cad 17 others by his concubines, among whom was Sogdianus, (who is called Secondianus by Ctesias) Ochus and Arsites.
Sogdianus, in concert with Pharnacias, one of Xerxes's eunuchs, came insidiously, one festival day, to the new king, who, after drinking too immoderately, was retired to his chamber, in order to give the fumes of the wine he had drunk time to evaporate; where he killed him without any difficulty, after he had reigned but 45 days; and was declared king in his stead.
He was scarce on the throne, than he put to death Bagorazus, the most faithful of all his father's eunuchs. It was he who had been appointed to superintend the funeral obsequies of Artaxerxes, and of the queen, Xerxes's mother, who died the same day with her royal consort. After hav ing deposited the two bodies in the mausoleum, where the kings of Persia were interred, he found, at his return, Sogdianus on the throne, who did not receive him favourably, upon account of some difference with him during the lifetime of his father. But the new king did not stop here:
a A. M. 3579. Ant. J. G. 425. Ctes. c, xlvii-li. Diod. b xii. p. 115,
hot long after he took an opportunity to quarrel with him, on some trifling circumstance, relating to the obsequies of his father, and caused him to be stoned.
By these two murders, that of his brother Xerxes and of Bagorazus, he became the horror of the army and nobility, so that he did not think himself safe on a throne, to which he had forced his way by such enormous crimes. He suspected that his brothers harboured the like design; and Ochus, to whom his father had left the government of Hyrcania, was the chief object of his suspicion. Accordingly he sent for him, with the intention of getting him murdered as soon as he arrived. However, Ochus, who saw through his design, delayed coming, upon various pretences; which he continued till he advanced at the head of a strong army, which he openly declared he would employ to revenge the death of his brother Xerxes. This declaration brought over to him a great number of the nobility, and several governors of the provinces, who were justly dissatisfied at Sogdianus's cruelty and ill conduct. They put the tiara on Ochus's head, and proclaimed him king. Sogdianus, seeing himself abandoned in this manner, was as mean and cowardly in the slight defence he made to maintain his crown, as he had before been unjust and barbarous in usurping it. Contrary to the advice of his best friends, and the wisest of those who still adhered to him, he concluded a treaty with his brother, who, getting him into his hands, caused him to be thrown into ashes, where he died a cruel death. "This was a kind of punishment peculiar to the Persians, and exercised only on great criminals. One of the largest towers was filled to a certain height with ashes. The criminal then was thrown headlong from the top of the tower into them; after which, the ashes were by a wheel turned perpetually round him, till he was suffocated. Thus this wicked prince lost his life and empire, which he enjoyed only six months and fifteen days.
Ochus, by the death of Sogdianus, now saw himself pos sessed of the empire. As soon as he was well settled in it, he changed his name from Ochus to that of Darius. To distinguish him, historians add the epithet No, signifying bastard. He reigned nineteen years.
Arsites, seeing in what manner Sogdianus had supplanted Xerxes, and had himself been dethroned by Ochus, meditat ed to serve the latter in the same manner. Though he was his brother by the father's as well as the mother's side, he openly revolted against him, and was assisted in it by Arty. phius, son of Megabyzus. Ochus, whom hereafter we shal always call Darius, sent Artasyras, one of his generals,
a Val. Max. 1. ix, . 9. 8 Maccab. c. xlii.
A. M. 3581. Ant. J C. 423
against Artyphius; and himself, at the head of another army, marched against Arsites. Artyphius with the Grecian
troops in his pay, twice defeated the general sent against him. But engaging a third time, the Greeks were corrupted, and he himself was beaten, and forced to surrender, upon his being flattered with hopes that a pardon would be granted him. The king would have had him put to death, but was diverted from that resolution by queen Parysatis, Darius's sister and queen. She was also the daughter of Artaxerxes, but not by the same mother as Darius: she was an intriguing, artful woman, and the king her husband was governed by her on most occasions. The counsel she now gave was perfidious to the last degree. She advised him to exercise his clemency towards Artyphius, and show him kind usage, in order that his brother might hope, when he heard of his treating a rebellious servant with so much generosity, that he himself should meet, at least, with as mild treatment, and thereby be prompted to lay down his arms. She added, that when once he should have seized that prince, he might dispose of him and Artyphius as he pleased. Darius followed her counsel, which proved successful. Arsites being informed of the gentle usage which Artyphius met with, concluded that, as he was the king's brother, he should consequently meet with still more indulgent treatment; and with this hope he concluded a treaty and surrendered himself. Darius was very much inclined to save his life: but Parysatis, by inculcating to him, that it was necessary to punish this rebel, in order to secure himself, at last prevailed with him to put his brother to death, and accordingly he was suffocated in ashes with Artyphius. However, Darius had a violent struggle with himself, before he could consent to this sacrifice; having a very tender affection for his brother. He afterwards put some other persons to death, which executions did not procure him the tranquillity he had expected from them; for his reign was afterwards disturbed with such violent commotions, that he enjoyed but little repose.
"One of the most dangerous was occasioned by the rebellion of Pisuthnes, who, being governor of Lydia, wanted to throw off his allegiance to the Persian empire, and make himself king in his province. What flattered him with the hopes of succeeding in this attempt, was his having raised a considerable body of Greciar troops, under the command of Lycon the Athenian. Darius sent Tissaphernes against this rebel, and gave him, with a considerable army, the commission of governor of Lydia, of which he was to dispossess Pisuthnes. Tissaphernes, who was an artful man, and capable of acting in all characters, found means of tampering with the Greeks under Pisuthnes; and by dint of presents and
a A. M. 3590 Ant. J. C. 414. Ctes. o. li.
promises, brought over the troops with their general to his party. Pisuthnes, who, by this desertion, was unable to carry on his designs, surrendered, upon his being flattered with the hopes of obtaining his pardon; but the instant he was brought before the king, he was sentenced to be suffocated in ashes, and accordingly met with the same fate as the rest of the rebels who had preceded him. But his death did not entirely put an end to all troubles; for Amorges his son, with the remainder of his army, still made head against Tissaphernes; and for two years laid waste the maritime provinces of Asia Minor, till he at last was taken by the Greeks, of Peloponnesus, in Iasus, a city of Ionia, and delivered up by the inhabitants to Tissaphernes, who put him to death.
Darius was involved in fresh troubles by one of his eunuchs. This kind of officers had, for many years, engrossed all power in the court of Persia; and we shall find, by the sequel of this history, that they always governed absolutely We may form an idea of their character, and the danger to which they expose princes, by the picture which Dioclesian, after he had resigned the empire, and reduced himself to a private station of life, drew of freedmen, who had gained a like ascendant over the Roman emperors. "Four or five persons," says he, "who are closely united, "and resolutely determined to impose on a prince, may do "it very easily. They never show things to him but in such « a light as they are sure will please. They conceal what<s ever would contribute to enlighten him: and as they alone "beset him continually, he cannot be informed of any thing "but through their channel, and does nothing but what they "think fit to suggest to him. Hence it is, that he bestows employments on those whom he ought to exclude from "them; and, on the other side, removes from offices such «‹ persons as are most worthy of filling them. In a word, "the best prince is often sold by these men, though he be ever so vigilant, and in despite of his distrust and suspicion "of them." Quid multa? Ut Diocletianus ipse dicebat, bonus, cautus, optimus venditur imperator.
In this manner was Darius's court governed. Three eunuchs had usurped all power in it; "an infallible mark that a government is bad, and the prince of little merit. But one of those three eunuchs, whose name was Artoxares, presided over, and governed the rest. He had found Darius's weak side, by which he insinuated himself into his confidence.
a Thucyd. 1. viii. p. 554-567, 568.
b Ctes. c. lii.
c Vopis in vit Aurelian. In per
d Scis præcipuum esse indicium non magni principis, magnos libertos. Plin ad Trajan.