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Melpomene   


their way they came to Cyrene; and the Cyrenaeans, out of regard for
an oracle, let them pass through the town. During the passage,
Bares, the commander of the fleet, advised to seize the place; but
Amasis, the leader of the land-force, would not consent; "because," he
said, "they had only been charged to attack the one Greek city of
Barca." When, however, they had passed through the town, and were
encamped upon the hill of Lycaean Jove, it repented them that they had
not seized Cyrene, and they endeavoured to enter it a second time. The
Cyrenaeans, however, would not suffer this; whereupon, though no one
appeared to offer them battle, yet a panic came upon the Persians, and
they ran a distance of full sixty furlongs before they pitched their
camp. Here as they lay, a messenger came to them from Aryandes,
ordering them home. Then the Persians besought the men of Cyrene to
give them provisions for the way, and, these consenting, they set
off on their return to Egypt. But the Libyans now beset them, and, for
the sake of their clothes and harness, slew all who dropped behind and
straggled, during the whole march homewards.
The furthest point of Libya reached by this Persian host was the
city of Euesperides. The Barcaeans carried into slavery were sent from
Egypt to the king; and Darius assigned them a village in Bactria for
their dwelling-place. To this village they gave the name of Barca, and
it was to my time an inhabited place in Bactria.
Nor did Pheretima herself end her days happily. For on her
return to Egypt from Libya, directly after taking vengeance on the
people of Barca, she was overtaken by a most horrid death. Her body
swarmed with worms, which ate her flesh while she was still alive.
Thus do men, by over-harsh punishments, draw down upon themselves
the anger of the gods. Such then, and so fierce, was the vengeance
which Pheretima, daughter of Battus, took upon the Barcaeans.

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