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to come with him at once to Colias; the Megarians presently sent off
men in the vessel with him; and Solon, seeing it put off from the
island, commanded the women to be gone, and some beardless youths,
dressed in their clothes, their shoes and caps, and privately armed
with daggers, to dance and play near the shore till the enemies had
landed and the vessel was in their power. Things being thus ordered,
the Megarians were lured with the appearance, and, coming to the shore,
jumped out, eager who should first seize a prize, so that not one
of them escaped; and the Athenians set sail for the island and took
Others say that it was not taken this way, but that he first received
this oracle from Delphi:-
"Those heroes that in fair Asopia rest,
All buried with their faces to the west,
Go and appease with offerings of the best; and that Solon, sailing
by night to the island, sacrificed to the heroes Periphemus and Cychreus,
and then taking five hundred Athenian volunteers (a law having passed
that those that took the island should be highest in the government),
with a number of fisher-boats and one thirty-oared ship, anchored
in a bay of Salamis that looks towards Nisaea; and the Megarians that
were then in the island, hearing only an uncertain report, hurried
to their arms, and sent a ship to reconnoiter the enemies. This ship
Solon took, and, securing the Megarians, manned it with Athenians,
and gave them orders to sail to the island with as much privacy as
possible; meantime he, with the other soldiers, marched against the
Megarians by land, and whilst they were fighting, those from the ship
took the city. And this narrative is confirmed by the following solemnity,
that was afterwards observed: An Athenian ship used to sail silently
at first to the island, then, with noise and a great shout, one leapt
out armed, and with a loud cry ran to the promontory Sciradium to
meet those that approached upon the land. And just by there stands
a temple which Solon dedicated to Mars. For he beat the Megarians,
and as many as were not killed in the battle he sent away upon conditions.
The Megarians, however, still contending, and both sides having received
considerable losses, they chose the Spartans for arbitrators. Now,
many affirm that Homer's authority did Solon a considerable kindness,
and that, introducing a line into the Catalogue of Ships, when the
matter was to be determined, he read the passage as follows:-
"Twelve ships from Salamis stout Ajax brought,
And ranked his men where the Athenians fought." The Athenians, however,
call this but an idle story, and report that Solon made it appear
to the judges, that Philaeus and Eurysaces, the sons of Ajax, being
made citizens of Athens, gave them the island, and that one of them
dwelt at Brauron in Attica, the other at Melite; and they have a township
of Philaidae, to which Pisistratus belonged, deriving its name from
this Philaeus. Solon took a farther argument against the Megarians
from the dead bodies, which, he said, were not buried after their
fashion, but according to the Athenian; for the Megarians turn the
corpse to the east, the Athenians to the west. But Hereas the Megarian
denies this, and affirms that they likewise turn the body to the west,
and also that the Athenians have a separate tomb for everybody, but
the Megarians put two or three into one. However, some of Apollo's
oracles, where he calls Salamis Ionian, made much for Solon. This
matter was determined by five Spartans, Critolaidas, Amompharetus,
Hypsechidas, Anaxilas, and Cleomenes.
For this, Solon grew famed and powerful; but his advice in favour
of defending the oracle at Delphi, to give aid, and not to suffer
the Cirrhaeans to profane it, but to maintain the honour of the god,
got him most repute among the Greeks; for upon his persuasion the
Amphictyons undertook the war, as amongst others, Aristotle affirms,
in his enumeration of the victors at the Pythian games, where he makes
Solon the author of this counsel. Solon, however, was not general
in that expedition, as Hermippus states, out of Evanthes the Samian;
for Aeschines the orator says no such thing, and, in the Delphian

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