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a All these actions, which passed near Artemisium, were not absolutely decisive, but contributed very much to animate the Athenians, as they were convinced, by their own experience, that there was nothing really formidable, either in the number and magnificent ornaments of vessels, or in the Barbarians' insolent shouts and songs of victory, to men that know how to come to close engagement, and that have the courage to fight with steadiness and resolution; and that the best way of dealing with such an enemy, is to despise all that vain appearance, to advance boldly up to them, and to charge them briskly and vigorously without ever giving ground.
The Grecian fleet having at this time had intelligence of what had passed at Thermopylæ, resolved upon the course they were to take without any further deliberation. They immediately sailed away from Artemisium, and advancing toward the heart of Greece, they stopped at Salamis, a little isle very near and over against Attica. Whilst the fleet was retreating, Themistocles passed through all the places where the enemies must necessarily land, in order to take in fresh water or other provisions, and in large character engraved upon the rocks and the stones the following words, which he addressed to the Ionians : “Be of our side, ye people of ** Ionia: come over to the party of your fathers, who expose as their own lives for no other end than to maintain your li
berty: or, if you cannot possibly do that, at least do the “ Persians all the mischief you can, when we are engaged “ with them, and put their army into disorder and confusion."
By this means Themistocles hoped either to bring the Ionians really over to their party, or at least to render them suspected to the Barbarians. We see this general had his thoughts always intent upon his business, and neglected nething that could contribute to the success of his designs.
The Athenians abandon their City, which is taken and burrit
Xerxes in the meantime had entered into the country of Phocis by the upper part of Doris, and was burning and plundering the cities of the Phocians. The inhabitants of Peloponnesus having no thoughts but to save their own country, had resolved to abandon all the rest, and to bring all the Grecian forces together within the isthmus, the entrance of which they intended to secure by a strong wall from one sea to the other a space of near five miles English. The a Plut. in Themist. p. 115, 117. Herod. 1, viii. c. 21, 22b Herod, I. viii. e. 40, 41.
$ Athenians were highly provoked at so base a desertion, as they saw themselves ready to fall into the hands of the Persians, and likely to bear the whole weight of their fury and vengeance. Some time before they had consulted the oracle of Delphos, which had given them for answer, a that there would be no way of saving the city but by wooden walls. The sentiments of the people were much divided about this ambiguous expression : some thought it was to be understood to mean the citadel, because heretofore it had been surrounded with wooden palisades. But Themistocles gave another sense to the words, which was much more natural, understanding it to mean shipping; and demonstrated that the only plan they had to adopt was to leave the city empty, and to embark all the inhabitants. But this was a resolution the people would not at all give ear to, as thinking they thereby relinquished every hope of victory, and seeing no method of saving themselves, when once they had abandoned the temples of their gods and the tombs of their ancestors. Here Themistocles had occasion for all his address and all his eloquence to work upon the people. After he had represented to them, that Athens did not consist either of its walls or its houses but of its citizens, and that the saving of these was the preservation of the city, he endeavoured to persuade them by the argument most capable of making an impression upon them in the unhappy, afflicted, and dangerrous condition they were then in, I mean that of the divine authority ; giving them to understand by the very words of the oracle, and by the prodigies which had happened, that their removing for a time from Athens was manifestly the will of the gods.
6 A decree was therefore passed, by which, in order to soften what appeared so hard in the resolution of deserting the city, it was ordained,“ that Athens should be given up “in trust into the hands, and committed to the keeping and
protection of Minerva, patroness of the Athenian people ; " that all such inhabitants as were able to bear arms, should go on ship-board; and that every citizen should provide, as well as he could, for the safety and security of his wife, children, and slaves."
c The extraordinary behaviour of Cimon, who was at this time very young, was of great weight on this singular occasion. Followed by his companions, with a gay and cheerful Countenance, he went publicly along the street of the Ceramicus to the citadel, in order to consecrate a bit of a bridle, which he carried in his hand, in the temple of Minerva, designing a Herod i vii c..39–143.
Ibid 1. viij. c. 51-54. Plut. in Themisto p.117. c Phut. in Cim. p. 481,
to make the people understand by this religious and affecting ceremony, that they had no farther business with landforces, and that it behoved them now to betake themselves entirely to the sea. After he had made an offering of this bit, he took one of the shields that hung upon the wall of the temple, paid his devotions to the goddess, went down to the water-side, and was the first, who by his example inspired the generality of the people with confidence and resolution, and encouraged them to embark.
The greater part of them sent their fathers and mothers, that were old, together with their wives and children, to the city of a Trezene, the inhabitants of which received them with great humanity and generosity. For they made an ordinance, that they should be maintained at the expense of the public, and assigned for each person's subsistence two oboli a day, which were worth about twopence English money. Besides this, they permitted the children to gather fruit wherever they pleased, or wherever they came, and settled a fund for the payment of the masters who had the care of their education. What a beautiful thing it is to see a city, exposed as this was to the greatest dangers and calamities, extend her care and generosity, in the very midst of such alarms, even to the education of other people's children !
When the whole city came to embark, so moving and melancholy a spectacle drew tears from the eyes of all that were present, and at the same time occasioned great admiration with regard to the steadiness and courage of those men, who sent their fathers and mothers another way and to other places, and who, without being moved either at their grief or lamentations, or at the tender embraces of their wives and children, passed over with so much firmness and resolution to Salamis. But that which extremely raised and augmented the general compassion, was the great number of old men whom they were forced to leave in the city on account of their age and infirmities, and of whom many voluntarily remained there, through religious motives, believing the citadel to be the thing meant by the oracle in the forementioned ambiguous expression of wooden walls. There was no creature, (for history has judged this circumstance worthy of being remembered ;) there was no creature, I say, to the very domestic animals, but what took part in this public mourning, nor was it possible for a man to see those poor creatures run howling and crying after their masters, who were going a ship-board, without being touched and affected. Among all the rest of these animals, particular notice is taken of a dog belonging to Xanthippus, the father of
a This was a small city situate upon the sca-side, in that part of the Pelo. ponnesus callod Argolts.
Pericles, which, not being able to endure to see himself abandoned by his master, jumped into the sea after him, and continued swimming as near as he could to the vessel his master was on board of, till he landed quite spent at Salamis, and died the moment after upon the shore. In the same place, even in Plutarch's time, they used to show the spot wherein this faithful animal was said to be buried, which was called the dog's burying place.
Whilst Xerxes was continuing his march, some deserters from Arcadia came and joined his army. The king having asked them what the Grecians were then doing, was extremely surprised when he was told, that they were employed in seeing the games and combats then celebrating at Olympia ; and his surprise was still increased, when he understood that the victor's reward in those engagements was only a crown of olive. What men must they be, cried one of the Persian nobles, with great wonder and astonishment, who are influenced only by honour, and not by money!
6 Xerxes had sent off, a considerable detachment of his army to plunder the temple at Delphos, in which he knew there were inimense treasures ; being resolved to treat Apollu with no more favour than the other gods, whose temples he had pillaged. If we may ieve Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, as soon as ever this detachment advanced near the temple of Minerva, surnamed the Provident, the atmosphere grew dark on a sudden, and a violent tempest arose, accompanied with impetuous winds, thunder and lightning; and two huge rocks having severed themselves from the mountain, feil upon the Persian troups, and crushed the greatest
c The other part of the army marched towards the city of Athens, which had been deserted by all its inhabitants, except a small number of citizens who had retired into the citadel, where they defended themselves with incredible bravery, till they were all killed, and would hearken to no terms of accommodation whatsoever. Xerxes having stormed the citadel, reduced it to ashes. He immediately dispatched a courier to Susa, to carry the agreeable news of his success to Artabanes his uncle ; and at the same time sent him a great number of pictures and statues. Those of Harmodius and Aristogiton, the ancient deliverers of Athens, were sent with the rest. One of the Antiochuses, king of Syria, (I do not know which of them, nor at what time it was) returned them to the Athenians, being persuaded he could not possibly make them a more acceptable present.
part of them.
a Herod. 1. viii. c. 26. c Ibid. c. 50-54.
6 Herod. I viji. C. 35-39. Diod. I. xi, p. 12, d Pausan. I i, p. 14.
The Battle of Salamis. Precipitate Return of Xerxes into
Asia. Panegyric of Themistocles and Aristides. The Defeat of the Carthaginians in Sicily.
a At this time a division arose among the commanders of the Grecian fleet; and the confederates, in a council of war which was held for that purpose, were of very different sentiments concerning the place for engaging the enemy. Some of them, and indeed the greater part, at the head of whom was Eurybiades, the generalissimo of the fleet, were for having them advance near the isthmus of Corinth, that they might be nearer the land-army, which was posted there to guard that pass under the command of Cleombrotus, Leonidas's brother, and more ready for the defence of Peloponnesus. Others, at the head of whom was Themistocles, alleged, that it would be betraying of their country to abandon so advantageous a post as that of Salamis. And as he supported his opinion with abundance of warmth, Eurybiades lifted up his cane in a menacing manner. “Strike," says the Athenian, unmoved at the insult, “but hear me:" and continuing his discourse, he proceeded to show of what importance it was to the fleet of the Grecians, whose vessels were lighter and much fewer in number than those of the Persians, to engage in such a strait as that of Salamis, which would render the enemy incapable of using a great part of their forces. Eurybiades, who could not help being surprised at the moderation of Themistocles, acquiesced in his reasons, or at least complied with his opinion, for fear the Athenians, whose ships made up above one half of the fleet, should separate themselves from the allies, as their general had taken occasion to insinuate.
6 A council of war was also held on the side of the Persians, in order to determine whether they should hazard a naval engagement; Xerxes himself was come to the fleet to take the
advice of his captains and officers, who were all unanimous for the battle, because they knew it was agreeable to the king's inclination. Queen Artemisia was the only person who opposed that resolution. She represented the dangerous consequences of coming to blows with people much more conversant and more expert in maritime affairs than the Persians; alleging, that the loss of a battle at sea would be attended with the ruin of their land-army; whereas, by protracting the war, and approaching Pelopomesus,
a Herod. I. viii. 0. 56–65. Plut in Thewtat. p. 117. b Herod. I. viii. G. 67-70..