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Melpomene   


heard, than they quickly joined all their troops in one, and both
portions of the Scythian army- alike that which consisted of a
single division, and that made up of two- accompanied by all their
allies, the Sauromatae, the Budini, and the Geloni, set off in
pursuit, and made straight for the Ister. As, however, the Persian
army was chiefly foot, and had no knowledge of the routes, which are
not cut out in Scythia; while the Scyths were all horsemen and well
acquainted with the shortest way; it so happened that the two armies
missed one another, and the Scythians, getting far ahead of their
adversaries, came first to the bridge. Finding that the Persians
were not yet arrived, they addressed the Ionians, who were aboard
their ships, in these words:- "Men of Ionia, the number of your days
is out, and ye do wrong to remain. Fear doubtless has kept you here
hitherto: now, however, you may safely break the bridge, and hasten
back to your homes, rejoicing that you are free, and thanking for it
the gods and the Scythians. Your former lord and master we undertake
so to handle, that he will never again make war upon any one."
The Ionians now held a council. Miltiades the Athenian, who was
king of the Chersonesites upon the Hellespont, and their commander
at the Ister, recommended the other generals to do as the Scythians
wished, and restore freedom to Ionia. But Histiaeus the Milesian
opposed this advice. "It is through Darius," he said, "that we enjoy
our thrones in our several states. If his power be overturned, I
cannot continue lord of Miletus, nor ye of your cities. For there is
not one of them which will not prefer democracy to kingly rule."
Then the other captains, who, till Histiaeus spoke, were about to vote
with Miltiades, changed their minds, and declared in favour of the
last speaker.
The following were the voters on this occasion- all of them men
who stood high in the esteem of the Persian king: the tyrants of the
Hellespont- Daphnis of Abydos, Hippoclus of Lampsacus, Herophantus
of Parium, Metrodorus of Proconnesus, Aristagoras of Cyzicus, and
Ariston of Byzantium; the Ionian princes- Strattis of Chios, Aeaces of
Samos, Laodamas of Phocaea, and Histiaeus of Miletus, the man who
had opposed Miltiades. Only one Aeolian of note was present, to wit,
Aristagoras of Cyme.
Having resolved to follow the advice of Histiaeus, the Greek
leaders further determined to speak and act as follows. In order to
appear to the Scythians to be doing something, when in fact they
were doing nothing of consequence, and likewise to prevent them from
forcing a passage across the Ister by the bridge, they resolved to
break up the part of the bridge which abutted on Scythia, to the
distance of a bowshot from the river bank; and to assure the
Scythians, while the demolition was proceeding, that there was nothing
which they would not do to pleasure them. Such were the additions made
to the resolution of Histiaeus; and then Histiaeus himself stood forth
and made answer to the Scyths in the name of all the Greeks.- "Good is
the advice which ye have brought us, Scythians, and well have ye
done to come here with such speed. Your efforts have now put us into
the right path; and our efforts shall not be wanting to advance your
cause. Your own eyes see that we are engaged in breaking the bridge;
and, believe us, we will work zealously to procure our own freedom.
Meantime, while we labour here at our task, be it your business to
seek them out, and, when found, for our sakes, as well as your own, to
visit them with the vengeance which they so well deserve."
Again the Scyths put faith in the promises of the Ionian chiefs,
and retraced their steps, hoping to fall in with the Persians. They
missed, however, the enemy's whole line of march; their own former
acts being to blame for it. Had they not ravaged all the pasturages of
that region, and filled in all the wells, they would have easily found
the Persians whenever they chose. But, as it turned out, the
measures which seemed to them so wisely planned were exactly what
caused their failure. They took a route where water was to be found
and fodder could be got for their horses, and on this track sought

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