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which extends a great way into the Archipelago, in the form of a PeninsuIa. It is joined to the land only by an isthmus of about half a league over. We have already taken notice, that the sea in this place was very tempestuous, and occasioned frequent shipwrecks. Xerxes made this his pretext for the orders he gave for cutting through the mountain ; but the true reason was the vanity of signalizing himself by an extraordinary enterprize, and by doing a thing that was extremely difficult: as Tacitus says of Nero, Erat incredibilium cupitor. Accordingly, Herodotus observes, that this undertaking was more vain-glorious than useful, since he might, with less trouble and expence, have had his vessels carried over the isthmus, as was the practice in those days. The passage he caused to be cut through the mountain was broad enough to let two gallies with three banks of oars each pass through it abreast. * This prince who was extravagant enough to believe, that all nature, and the very elements, were under his command, in consequence of that opinion, writ a letter to mount Athos, in the following terms: “ Athos, thou proud and aspiring mountain, that liftest up thy head “ unto the heavens, I advise thee not to be so audacious, as to put rocks " and stones, which cannot be cut, in the way of my workmen. If thou “ givest them that opposition, I shall cut thee entirely down, and throw " thee beadlong into the sea.” † At the same time, he ordered his labourers to be whipped, in order to make them carry on the work the faster.

| A traveller, who lived in the time of Francis the First, and who wrote a book in Latin concerning the singular and remarkable things he had seen in his travels, doubts the truth of this fact, and takes notice, that as he passed pear mount Athos, he could perceive no traces or footsteps of the work we have been speaking of.

| Xerxes, as we have already related, advanced towards Sardis. Having left Cappadocia, and passed the river Halys, he came to Cylene, a city of Phrygia, near which is the source of the Mæander. Pythius, a Lydian, had his residence in this city, and next to Xerxes was the most opulent prince of those times. He entertained Xerxes and his whole army with an incredible magnificence, and made him an offer of all his wealth towards defraying the expences of his expedition. Xerxes, surprised and charmed at so generous an offer, had the curiosity to enquire to what sum his riches amounted. Pythius made answer, that having the design of offering them to his service, he had taken an exact account of them, and that the silver he had by him amounted to 2000 g talents, which make 6,000,000 French money; and the gold to 4,000,000 of darics, I wanting 7000, (that is to say, to 40,000,000 of livres, wanting 70,000, reckoning ten livres French money to the daric.) All this money he offered him, telling him, that his revenues were sulficient for the support of his household. Xerxes made him very hearty acknowledgements, entered into a particular friendship with him, and that he might not be outdone in generosity, instead of accepting his offers, obliged him to accept of a present of the 7000 darica, which were wanting to make up his gold to a round sum of 4,000,000.

After such a conduct as this, who would not think that Pythius' ** pe: coliar character and particular virtue had been generosity and a noble contempt of riches ? And yet he was one of the most penurious princes in the

* Plut. de ira cohib. p. 455.
Plut. de anim. trang. p. 470. 1 Bellon. singul. rer. observ. p. 78.
Herod. I. vij. c. 26--29.

About L. 255,000 Sterling.
About L. 1,700,000 Sterling.
** Plutarch calls him Pythis. Plut. de virt. mulier. p. 262.

world, and who, besides his sordid avarice with regard to himself, was extremely cruel and inhuman to his subjects, whom he kept continually employed in hard and fruitless labour, always digging in the gold and silver mines which he had in his territories. When he was absent from home, all his subjects went with tears in their eyes to the princess his wife, laid their complaints before her, and implored her assistance. Commiserating their condition, she made use of a very extraordinary method to work upon her husband, and to give him a clear sense and a kind of palpable demonstration of the folly and injustice of his conduct. On bis return home, she ordered an entertainment to be prepared for bim, very magnificent in appearance, but which, in reality, was no entertainment. All the courses and services were of gold and silver, and the prince, in the midst of all these rich dishes and splendid rarities, could not satisfy his hunger. He easily divined the meaning of this engima, and began to consider, that the end of gold and silver was not merely to be looked upon, but to be employed and made use of; and that to neglect, as he had done, the business of husbandry and the tilling of lands, by employing all his people in digging and working of mines, was the direct way to bring a famine both upon himself and bis country. For the future, therefore, he only reserved a fifth part of his people for the business of mining. Plutarch has preserved this fact in a treatise, wherein he has collected a great many others, to prove the ability and industry of ladies. We have the same disposition of mind designed in fabulous story, in the example of a * prince who reigned in this very country, for whom every thing that he touched was immediately turned into gold, according to the request which he himself had made to the gods, and who by that means was in danger of perishing with hunger.

† The same prince, who had inade such obliging offers to Xerxes, having desired as a favour of him some time afterwards, that out of his five sons who served in his army, he would be pleased to leave him the eldest, in order to be a support and comfort to him in his old age; the king was so enraged at the proposal, though so reasonable in itself, that he caused the eldest son to be killed before the eyes of his father, giving the latter to understand, that it was a favour he spared him and the rest of his children; and then causing the dead body to be cut in two, and one part to be placed on the right, and the other on the left, he made the whole army pass between them, as if he meant to purge and purify it by such a sacrifice. What a monster in nature is a prince of this kind ? How is it possible to have any dependence upon the friendship of the great, or to rely upon their warmest professions and protestations of gratitude and service ?

| From Phrygia Xerxes marched, and arrived at Sardis, where he spent the winter. From hence he sent heralds to all the cities of Greece, except Athens and Lacedæmon, to require them to give him earth and water, which, as we have taken notice before, was the way of exacting and acknowledging submission.

As soon as the spring of the year came on, he left Sardis, and directed his march towards the Hellespont. | Being arrived there, he was desirous to see a naval engagement for his curiosity and diversion. To this end, a throne was erected for him upon an eminence, and, in that situation, seeing all the sea crowded with his vessels, and the land covered with his troops, he at first felt a secret joy diffuse itself through his soul, in surveying with his own eyes the vast extent of his power, and considering himself as the most happy of mortals ; but reflecting soon afterwards, that of so many thousands, in an hundred years time there would not be one living soul remaining, bis joy was turned into grief, and he could not forbear weeping at the uncertainty and instability of human things. He might have found another subject of reflection, which would have more justly merited his tears and affliction, had he turned his thoughts upon himself, and considered the reproaches he deserved for being the instrument of shortening that fatal term to millions of people, whom his cruel ambition was going to sacrifice in an unjust and unnecessary war.

* Midas, king of Phrygia.
† Blerod. I. vijj. c. 38, 59. Sen. de ira. I. iii. c. 17.
Ilerod. l. vii. c. 30-32.

|| Ibid. c. 44 et 46.

Artabanes, who neglected no opportunity of making himself useful to the young prince, and of instilling into him sentiments of goodness for his people, laid hold of this moment, in which he found him touched with a sense of tenderness and humanity, and led him into further reflections upon the miseries with which the lives of most men are attended, and which render them so painful and unhappy, endeavouring at the same time, to make hiin sensible of the duty and obligation of princes, who, not being able to prolong the natural life of their subjects, ought at least to do all that lies in their power to alleviate the pains and allay the bitterness of it.

In the same conversation, Xerxes asked his uncle, if he still persisted in his first opinion, and if he would still advise him not to make war against Greece, supposing he had not seen the vision, which occasioned him to change his sentiments. Artabanes owned he still had his fears; and that he was very uneasy concerning two things. What are those two things ? replied Xerxes. The land and the sea, says Artabanes : the land, because there is no country that can feed and maintain so numerous an army ; the sea, because there are no ports capable of receiving such a multitude of vessels. The king was very sensible of the strength of this reasoning; but, as it was now too late to go back, he made answer, that in great uudertakings men ought not so narrowly to examine all the inconveniences that may attend them ; that if they didl, no signal enterprises would ever be attempted; and that if his predecessors had observed so scrupulous and timorous a rule of policy, the Persian empire would never have attained its present height of greatness and glory.

Artabanes gave the king another piece of very prudent advice, whicle he thought fit to follow no more than he bad done the former. This advice was, not to employ the lonians in his service against the Grecians, from whom they were originally descended, and on which account he ought to suspect their fidelity. Xerxes, however, after these conversations with his uncle, treated bin with great friendship, paid him the highest marks of honour and respect, sent him back to Susa to take the care and administration of the empire upon him during his own absence, and to that end vested him with his whole authority.

* Xerxes, at a vast expence, had caused a bridge of boats to be built upon the sea, for the passage of his forces from Asia into Europe. The space that separates the two continents, formerly called the Hellespont, and now called the Strait of the Dardanelles, or of Gallipoli, is seven stadia in breadth, which is near an English mile. A violent storm rising on a sudden, soon after broke down the bridge. Xerxes hearing this news on his arrival, fell into a transport of passion; and in order to avenge himself of so cruel an affront, commanded two pair of chains to be thrown into the sea, as if he meant to shackle and confine it, and that his men should give

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it three hundred strokes of a whip, and speak to it in this manner: Thou " troublesome and unhappy element, thus does thy master chastise thee for * having atfronted him without reason. Know, that Xerxes will easily find "ineans to pass over thy waters in spite of all thy billows and resistance." The extravagance of this prince did not stop here : but making the undertakers of the work answerable for events, which do not in the least depend upon the power of inan, he ordered all the persons to have their heads struck of that had been charged with the direction and management of that undertaking.

* Xerxes commanded two other bridges to be built, one for the army to pass over, and the other for the baggage and beasts of burden. He appointed workmen more able and expert than the former, who went about it in this manner: they placed 360 vessels across, some of them having three banks of oars, and others 50 oars each, with their sides turned towards the Euxine sea; and on the side that faced the Ægean sea, they put 314. They then cast large anchors into the water on both sides, in order to fix and secure all these vessels against the violence of the winds, and against the current f of the water. On the east side they left three passages or vacant spaces between the vessels, that there might be room for small boats to go and come easily, as there was occasion, to and from the Euxine sea. After this, upon the land on both sides, they drove large piles into the earth, with huge rings fastened to them, to which were tied six vast cables, which went over each of the two bridges; two of which cables were made of hemp, and four of a sort of reeds called Bobro, which were made use of in those times for the making of cordage. Those that were made of hemp must have been of an extraordinary strength and thickness, since every cubit of those cables weighed a talent. The cables, laid over the whole extent of the vessels lengthways, reached from one side to the other of the sea. When this part of the work was finished, quite over the vessels lengthways, and over the cables we have been speaking of, they laid the trunks of trees, cut purposely for that use, and flat boats again over them, fastened and joined together, to serve as a kind of floor or solid bottom : all which they covered over with earth, and added rails or battlements on each side, that the horses and cattle might not be frightened with seeing the sea in their passage.

This was the form of those famous bridges built by Xer


When the whole work was completed, a day was appointed for their passing over; and as soon as the first rays of the sun began to appear, sweet odours of all kinds were abundantly spread over both the bridges, and the way was strewed with myrtle. At the same time, Xerxes poured out libations into the sea, and turning his face towards the sun (the principal object of the Persian worship,) he implored the assistance of that god in the enterprise he had undertaken, and desired the continuance of his protection till he had made the entire conquest of Europe, and had brought it into subjection to his power. This done, he threw the vessel which he used in making his libations, together with a golden cup, and a Persian scymitar, into the sea. The army was seven, days and seven nights in

* Herod. I. vij. c. 53-36.

+ Polybius remarks, that there is a current of water from the lake Mæotis and the Euxine sea into the Ægean sea, occasioned by the rivers which empty themselves into those two seas. Pot. i. iv. p. 307, 308.

| A talent in weight consisted of 80 minæ, that is to say, of 42 pounds of our weight; and the mina consisied of 100 draclims.

passing over these straits ; those who were appointed to conduct the march, lashing the poor soldiers all the while with whips, in order to quicken their speed, according to the custom of that nation, which, properly speaking, was only an huge assemblage of slaves.


THE NUMBER OF XERXES' FORCES, &c. &c. XERXES, * directing his march across the Thracian Chersonesus, arrived at Dor, a city standing at the mouth of the Hebrus in Thrace, where, having encamped bis army, and given orders for his fleet to follow him along the shore, he reviewed them both.

He found the land army, which he had brought out of Asia, consisted of 1,700,000 foot, and of 80,000 horse, which, with 20,000 men that were absolutely necessary at least for conducting and taking care of the carriages and camels, made in all 1,800,000 men. When he had passed the Hellespont, the other nations that subunitted to him, made an addition to his army of 300,000 men, which made all his land forces together amount to 2,100,000 men.

His feet, as it was when it set out from Asia, consisted of 1207 vessels or galleys, all of three banks of gars, and intended for fighting. Each ves. sel carried 200 men, natives of the country that fitted them out, besides 30 more, that were either Persians or Medes, or of the Sacæ, which made in all 277,610 men. The European nations augmented his feet with 120 vessels, each of which carried 200 men, in all 24,000; these added to the other, amount together to 301,610 men.

Besides this feet, which consisted all of large vessels, the small galleys of 35 oars, the transport ships, the vessels that carried the provisions, and that were employed in other uses, amounted to 3000. If we reckon but 80 men in each of these vessels, one with another, that made in the whole 240,000 men.

Thus, when Xerxes arrived at Thermopylæ, his land and sea forces together made up the number of 2,641,610 men, without including servants, eunuchs, women, sutlers, and other people of that sort, who usually follow an army, and of which the number at this time was equal to that of the forces; so that the whole nuinber of souls that followed Xerxes in this expedition, amounted to 5,283, 220. This is the computation which Herodotus makes of them, and in which Plutarch and Isocrates agree with him, ^ Diodorus Siculus, Pliny, Ælian, and others, fall very short of this numher in their calculation ; but their accounts of the matter appear to be less authentic than that of Herodotus, who lived in the same age this expedition was made, and who repeats the inscription, engraved by the order of the Amphyctions upon the monument of those Grecians who were killed at Thermopyla, which expressed that they fought against 3,000,000 of men.

| For the sustenance of all these persons, there must be every day consumed, according to Herodotus' computation, above 110,3:0 medimni of flour (the medimpus was a measure, which according to Budæus, was equivalent to six of our bushels, allowing for every head the quantity of a chenix, which was the daily portion or allowance that masters gave their slaves among the Grecians. We have no account in history of any other

* Herod. I. vii. c. 56–99, et 184–187.

Diod. l. xi. p. 3. Plin. l. xxxiij. c. 10, Ælian. I. xiii. c. 3.
Herod. I. vij. €. 187.

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