The Histories

Book 9 Page 1

BOOK IX. The Ninth Book Of The Histories, Called Calliope

Paragraph 1 1. Mardonios, when Alexander had returned back and had signified to him that which was said by the Athenians, set forth from Thessaly and began to lead his army with all diligence towards Athens: and to whatever land he came, he took up with him the people of that land. The leaders of Thessaly meanwhile did not repent of all that which had been done already, but on the contrary they urged on the Persian yet much more; and Thorax of Larissa had joined in escorting Xerxes in his flight and at this time he openly offered Mardonios passage to invade Hellas..

Paragraph 2 2. Then when the army in its march came to Boeotia, the Thebans endeavoured to detain Mardonios, and counselled him saying that there was no region more convenient for him to have his encampment than that; and they urged him not to advance further, but to sit down there and endeavour to subdue to himself the whole of Hellas without fighting: for to overcome the Hellenes by open force when they were united, as at the former time they were of one accord together, 1 was a difficult task even for the whole world combined, "but," they proceeded, "if thou wilt do that which we advise, with little labour thou wilt have in thy power all their plans of resistance. 2 Send money to the men who have power in their cities, and thus sending thou wilt divide Hellas into two parties: after that thou wilt with ease subdue by the help of thy party those who are not inclined to thy side.".

Paragraph 3 3. Thus they advised, but he did not follow their counsel; for there had instilled itself into him a great desire to take Athens for the second time, partly from obstinacy 3 and partly because he meant to signify to the king in Sardis that he was in possession of Athens by beacon-fires through the islands. However he did not even at this time find the Athenians there when he came to Attica; but he was informed that the greater number were either in Salamis or in the ships, and he captured the city finding it deserted. Now the capture of the city by the king had taken place ten months before the later expedition of Mardonios against it.

The Histories of Herodotus