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appointed to conduct the march, lashing the poor soldiers all the while with whips, in order to quicken their speed, according to the custom of that nation, which properly speaking was only a huge assembly of slaves.
SECT. III. Enumeration of Xerxes' Forces. Demaratus delivers his
Sentiments freely upon that Prince's Enterprise. a XERXES directing his march across the Thracian Chersonesus, arrived at Boriscus, a city standing at the mouth of the Hebrus in Thrace; where having encamped his army, and given orders for his fleet to follow him along the shore, he reviewed them both.
He found the land-army, which he had brought out of Asia, consisted of 1,700,000 foot, and 80,000 horse', which, with 20,000 men that were absolutely necessary at least for conducting and taking care of the carriages and the camels, made in all 1,800,000 men. When he had passed the Hellespont, the nations that submitted to him, made an addition to his army of 300,000 men; which made all his landforces together amount to 2,100,000 men.
His feet, when it set out from Asia, consisted of 1,207 Vessels of war, all of three banks of oars. Each vessel carried 200 men, natives of the country that fitted them out, besides 30 more, that were either Persians or Medes, or of the Sacæ; which made in all 277,610 men.
The European nations augmented his fleet with 120 vessels, each of which carried 200 men, in all 24,000; these added to the other, amounted together to 301, 610 men.
Besides this fleet, which consisted all of large vessels, the small gallies of 30 and 50 oars, the transport ships, the vessels that carried the provisions, and that were employed in other uses, amounted to 3,000. If we reckon but 80 men in each of these vessels, one with another, that made in the whole 240,000 men.
Thus when Xerxes arrived at Thermopylæ, his land and sea forces together made up the number of 2,641,610, without including servants, eunuchs, women, sutlers, and other people of that sort, which usually follow an army, and of which the number at this time was equal to that of the forces: so that the whole number of those that followed Xerxes in this expedition, amounted to 5,283,220. This is the computation which Herodotus makes of them, and in which Plutarch and Isocrates agree with him. 6 Diodorus Siculus, Pliny, Ælian, and others, fall very short of this number in their calculation : but their accounts of the matter appear to be less authentic than that of Herodotus, who lived in the same age in which this expedition was made, and who repeats the inscription engraved, by the order of the Amphictyons, upon the monument of those Grecians who were killed at Thermopylæ, which expressed that they fought against 3,000,000 of men.
a Herod. I. vii. c. 56-99, & 184-187. D Diod. 1. xi. p. 3. Plin. l. xxxiij. c. 10. Æliani I. siil, c. 3.
. For the sustenance of all these persons there must be every day consumed, according to Herodotus's computation, above 110,340 medimni of flour, (the medimnus was a measure, which, according to Budæus, was equivalent to six of our bushels) allowing for every head the quantity of a chænix, which was the daily allowance that masters gave their slaves among the Grecians. We have no account in history of any other army so numerous as this. And amongst all these millions of men, there was not one that could vie with Xerxes in point of beauty, either for the comeliness of his face, or the tallness of his person. But this is a poor merit or pre-eminence for a prince when at-. tended with no other. Accordingly Justin after he has mentioned the number of these troops, adds, that this vast body of forces wanted a chief: Huic tanto agmini dux defuit.
We shall hardly be able to conceive how it was possible to find a sufficient quantity of provisions for such an immense number of persons, if the historian had not informed us, that Xerxes had employed four whole years in making preparations for this expedition. We have seen already how many vessels of burthen there were, that coasted along continually to attend upon and supply the land-army: and, doubtless there were fresh ones arriving every day, that furnished the camp with a sufficient plenty of all things necessary.
Herodotus acquaints us with the method of which they made use to calculate these forces, which were almost innumerable. They assembled 10,000 men in a particular place, and ranked them as close together as was possible; after which they described a circle quite round them, and erected a little wall upon that circle about half the height of a man's body; when this was done, they made the whole army successively pass through this space, and thereby knew to what number it amounted.
Herodotus gives us also a particular account of the different armour of all the nations that constituted this army. Besides the generals of every nation, who each of them com
Herod. 1. vit. c. 187.
b Ibid. I. vii. c, 20,
c Ibid. l. vii, c. 6.
manded the troops of their respective country, the land-army was under the command of six Persian generals; viz. Mardonius, the son of Gobryas; Tirintatechmes, the son of Artabanes, and Smerdones, son to Otanes, both near relations to the king; Masistes, son of Darius and Atossa; Gergis, son of Ariazes; and Megabyzus, son of Zopyrus. The 10,000 Persians, who were called the Immortal Band, were commanded by Hydarnes. The cavalry had its particular commanders.
There were likewise four Persian generals who commanded the fleet. In a Herodotus we have a particular account of all the nations by which it was fitted out. Artemisia, queen of Halicarnassus, who since the death of her husband governed the kingdom for her son, that was still a minor, brought but five vessels along with her; but they were the best equipped, and the lightest ships in the whole fleet, next to those of the Sidonians. This princess distinguished herself in this war by her singular courage, and still more by her prudence and conduct. Herodotus observes, that among all the commanders in the army, there was not one who gave Xerxes so good advice and such wise counsel as this queen: but he was not prudent enough to profit by it. When Xerxes had numbered his whole forces by land and sea, he asked Demaratus, if he thought the Grecians would dare to wait for him. I have already taken notice, that this Demaratus was one of the two kings of Sparta, who, being exiled by the faction of his enemies, had taken refuge at the Persian court, where he was entertained with the greatest marks of honour and beneficence. b As the courtiers were one day expressing their surprise that a king should suffer himself to be banished, and desired him to acquaint them with the reason of it: “ It is,” says he," because at Sparta * the law is more powerful than the kings.” This prince was very much esteemed in Persia: but neither the injustice of the Spartan citizens, nor the kind treatment of the Persian king, could make him forget his country. As soon as he knew that Xerxes, was making preparations for the war, he found means to give the Grecians secret intelligence of it. And now being obliged on this occasion to speak his sentiments, he did it with such a noble freedom and dignity, as became a Spartan, and a king of Sparta.
d Demaratus, before he answered the king's question, de sired to know whether it was his pleasure that he should Hatter him, or that he should speak his thoughts to him freely and sincerely. Xerxes having declared that he desire
a Herod. l. vii. c. 89. 99
6 Plut in Apoph Lacon. p. 870. c Amicior patriæ post fugam, quam regi post beneficja. Jiscin.
Herod. 1. vii. c. 101, 105, VOL, III,
ed hiin to act with the utmost sincerity ; “Great prince," says Demaratus,“ since it is agreeable to your pleasure and " commands, I shall deliver my sentiments to you with the “utmost truth and sincerity. It must be confessed, that “ from the beginning of time, Greece has been trained up, “and accustomed to poverty : but then she has introduced “ and established virtue within her territories, which wisdom “ cultivates, and the vigour of her laws maintains. And it “ is by the use which Greece knows how to make of this
virtue, that she defends herself equally against the incon"veniences of poverty, and the yoke of servitude. But, to
speak only of the Lacedæmonians, my particular country,
men, you may assure yourself, that as they are born and “ bred up in liberty, they will never hearken to any propo“ sals that tend to slavery. Though they were deserted “ and abandoned by all the other Grecians, and reduced to
band of a thousand men, or even to a more inconsider“ able number, they will still come out to meet you, and not “ refuse to give you battle.” Xerxes upon hearing this discourse fell a laughing; and as he could not comprehend how men in such a state of liberty and independence, as the Lacedæmonians were described to enjoy, who had no master to force and compel them to it, could be capable of exposing themselves in such a manner to danger, and death; Demaratus replied: «“ The Spartans indeed are free, and under “no subjection to the will of any man ; but at the same “ time they have laws, to which they are subject, and of “ which they stand in greater awe than your subjects do of “your majesty: Now by these laws they are forbidden
ever to fly in battle, let the number of their enemies be “never so superior; and are commanded, by abiding firm 4 in their post, either to conquer or to die."
Xerxes was not offended at the liberty wherewith Demaratus spoke to him, and continued his march.
SECT. IV. The Lacedæmonians and Athenians send to their allies ül
vain to require Succours from them. The Command of the Fleet given to the Lacedæmonians.
OLACEDÆMON and Athens, which were the two most powerful cities of Greece, and those against which Xerxes was most exasperated, were not indolent or asleep, whilst so formidable an enemy was approaching. Having received intelligence long before of the designs of this prince, they had sent spies to Sardis, in order to gain more exact inforHerod. I. vii. c. 104.
b Ibido e, 145, 146.
mation of the number' and quality of his forces. These spies were seized, and as they were just going to be put to death, Xerxes countermanded it, and gave orders that they should be conducted through his army, and then sent back without any harm being done to them. At their return the Grecians understood what they had to apprehend from so potent an enemy.
They sent deputies at the same time to Argos, into Sicily to Gelon, tyrant of Syracuse, to the isles of Corcyra and Crete, to desire succours from them, and to form a league against the common enemy:
a The people of Argos offered a very considerable succour, on condition that they should have an equal share of the authority and command with the Lacedæmonians. The latter consented, that the king of Argos should have the same authority as either of the two kings of Sparta. This was granting them a great deal : but into what errors and mischiefs are not men led by a mistaken point of honour, and a foolish jealousy of command! the Argives were not contented with this offer, and refused to assist the allied Grecians, without considering, that if they suffered them to be destroyed, their own ruin must inevitably follow that of Greece.
6 The deputies proceeded from Argos to Sicily, and addressed themselves to Gelon, who was the most potent prince at that time among the Greeks. He promised to assist them with 200 vessels of three benches of oars, with an army of 20,000 foot and 2,000 horse, 2,000 light-armed soldiers, and the same number of bow men and slingers, and to supply the Grecian army with provisions during the whole war, on condition they would make him generalissimo of all the forces both by land and sea. The Lacedæmonians were highly offended at such a proposal. Gelon then abated somewhat in his demands and promised
the same, provided he had at least the command either of the fleet or of the army. This proposal was strenuously opposed by the Athenians, who made answer, that they alone had a right to command the fleet, in case the Lacedæmonians were willing to give it up. Gelon had a more substantial reason for not leaving Sicily unprovided of troops, which was the approach of the formidable army of the Carthaginians, commanded by Amilcar, that consisted of 300,000 men.
c The inhabitants of Corcyra, now called Corfu, gave the envoys a more favourable answer, and immediately put to sea with a fleet of 60 vessels. But they advanced no farther than the coasts of Laconia, pretending they were hindered by contrary winds, but in reality waiting to see the success a Herod. l. vij. c. 148, 152.
. Ibid. I. vii. c. 153-162. c Ibid 1. vii. c. 168.