Diodorus Siculus

BOOK XI - The Library of History

Page 247


Cymon the Athenian General, gains many Places for the Athenians; routs the Persians by a Stratagem at Eurymedentum.

DEmotion or Dromodides being Archon at Athens, the Romans chose P. ValeriusPublicola, and Naulius Rufus Consuls.

During the Government of Demotion, the Athenians chose Cymon, the Son of Miltiades, to be their General, and with a great Army commanded him to pass over into Asia, to aid the Confederate Cities, and to free them that were as yet garrison'd by the Persians. He came with a Fleet to Bizantium, and took the City Eion from the Persians; and forced Scyrus, where the Pelasgi and Delopes inhabited; and appointing one amongst the Athenians to see the Repair of it, he divided the Country by Lot.

From hence (with his Mind and Thoughts full of great Projects) he sail'd back to the Pyreum, and being furnished with more Ships and sufficient Provision, he puts forth again with a Navy of two hundred Sail.

At length with the Ionians, and other Confederates, he got together a Fleet of three hundred Sail, and made for Caria. And when he came there, all the Grecian Cities upon the Sea-Coast, immediately revolted from the Persians. The rest (which were filled with the natural Inhabitants, and with Persian Garrisons) Cymon took by Storm. All being thus brought under his Power in Caria, Lycia wholly submitted and came under his Protection. By those that came in to the Athenians the Fleet was greatly encreased. Hereupon the Persians prepared Land-Forces of their own Country, but their Seamen were of Phenicia and Cilicia: Tithraustes, Xerexs his Bastard Son, was General of the Persian Army.

Cymon having Intelligence, that the Persian Fleet lay at Cyprus, makes straight thither, and joyns Battle with his Two hundred and fifty Ships, against Three hundred and forty of the Persians. It was fought stoutly and bravely on both sides; at length the Victory fell to the Athenians, who (besides many that were sunk and destroyed) took above a Hundred Ships with their Men. The rest flying to Cyprus, the Souldiers left their Ships and ran ashore, and the empty Vessels afterwards came into the Hands of the Enemy.

Cymon being not yet satisfied with this Victory, forthwith sail'd away with his whole Fleet, with a Design to fall upon the Land-Army of the Persians, who were then encamp'd at Eurymedon, contriving to delude them by a Stratagem; he fill'd the Ships he had taken with the stoutest of his Men, with Turbans and other Ornaments attired like the Persians, who deceiv'd by the Make and Furniture of the Persian Ships, took them for a fresh Supply, and received the Athenians as Friends.

Cymon when Night came, landed his Men, and being taken as a Friend, he rushed into the Camp of the Barbarians, now fill'd with Confusion and Terror, (his Soldiers killing all before 'em, and amongst the rest, Pheredates in his Tent, the King's Nephew on his Brother's side, another General of the Persians Army.) At length the whole Army through the sudden and unexpected Assault, were totally routed and put to flight; and such a Fear and Consternation surprized the Persians, that many of 'em knew not by whom they were broken; for they could not in the least imagine, that they were assaulted by the Grecians, who had no Land-Army as they were verily perswaded; but thought that the Pisideans their Neighbours, who had been a little before provoked, had risen in Arms against them. Supposing therefore this Impression upon them, to be made from the Land, they fled to their Ships as to their Friends; and because the Night was very dark, the Mistake was the greater, and more mischievous, none knowing certainly what to do. When the Persians in this Confusion were slaughtered on every side, Cymon having before directed his Soldiers, that as soon as he should lift up a burning Torch, they should all repair thither, gave the Sign near to the Fleet, fearing some Disaster might happen by his Men being scatter'd and dispers'd in seeking after the Pillage of the Field; at the Sight of the Torch they left off pillaging, and all return'd to their Ships.

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