Diodorus Siculus

BOOK XII - The Library of History

Page 264 their Dominion that by their own strength without the help of the Lacedemonians, and them of Peloponesus, they routed the mighty Armies of the Persians, both by Sea and Land; and did so weaken that great Empire, that they compell'd it upon Treaties to set free all the Grecian Cities in Asia: The particulars whereof are distinctly and at large related in the former Book, and in this we have at present in hand. And now we are come to the Matters design'd to be treated of, endeavouring (as near as we can) to fix the time when things were done. We began the Book next before this with the Passage of Xerxes into Greece, and continued it with an account of affairs every where happening from that time to the Year next before the Expedition of the Athenians against Cyprus under Cymon their General. In this we shall begin with that Expedition, and proceed to the VVar decreed by the Athenians against the Syracusians.


Cymon the Athenian Admiral. his Expedition into Cyprus. Peace concluded between the Persians and Athenians. Cymon dyes in Cyprus.

E∆≤thydemus being chief Governor of Athens, Lucius Quintus Cinnatius and Marcus Fabius Vibulanus Roman Consuls, Fortune frown'd upon the Athenians; for in assisting the Egyptians against the Persians, they lost all their Ships in the Island Prosopis; but not long after a new War was Determin'd against the Persians for the Liberties of the Grecian Cities in Asia.

For this purpose the Athenians rigg'd out a Navy of Two Hundred Gallies, and made Cymon the Son of Miltiades Admiral, and order'd him to make streight for Cyprus, and there invade the Persians. Accordingly he forthwith Sail'd thither with a brave Fleet, well'd Man'd and Victual'd, and in all other things in every respect sufficiently provided. Artabasus was then Admiral of the Persian Fleet, and lay with Three Hundred Ships at Cyprus: And Megabyzus was General of the Persian Land Forces, and incamp'd with an Army of Three Hundred Thousand Men in Cilicia.

Cymon being Master at Sea, landed his Men at Cyprus, and forc'd Citium and Malus, but used his Victory with great Moderation and Humanity; having receiv'd Intelligence that Fleets were come from Phenicia and Celicia to the assistance of the Islanders, he hois'd up Sail, Fought with them, sunk many of their Vessels, and took an Hundred, together with their Men, and pursued the rest even to Phenicia. The Persians with the remnant of the Fleet that was left fled to Megabyzus, where he lay incamp'd. But the Athenians without delay pursued them, and landed their Men and set upon the Enemy, but lost in this Fight Anaxicrates, Vice Admiral of the Athenian Fleet, who Fought with much Gallantry, and there fell with Honour. However the Athenians got the Day, and after they had made a great Slaughter of their Enemies, return'd to their Ships, and Sail'd back to Cyprus. These were the things done in the first Year of the Cyprian War.

After this, when Pedieus was Archon of Athens, the Romans bestow'd the Consular Dignity upon Marcus Valerius Lactuca and Sporius Virginius Tricostus. In the time of their Government Cymon continuing Master at Sea, brought most of the Cities of Cyprus under the power of the Athenians: But Salamis the Metropolis was a very strong Persian Garrison, well stor'd with Arms, Ammunition and Provision of all sorts; therefore he judg'd it of mighty consequence and Advantage if he could gain this Place; for he conceiv'd if this were done that the whole Island would easily fall into his Hands, and the Persians would be altogether discourag'd, and not being able to relieve Salamis (the Athenians being Masters at Sea) would be deserted and despised by all their Confederats. Lastly, he concluded,

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