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* This battle was fought on the fourth day of the month † Bedromion, according to the Athenian manner of reckoning. Soon after, the allies, as a testimony of their gratitude to heaven, caused a statue of Jupiter to be made at their joint and common expence, which they placed in bis temple at Olympia. The names of the several nations of Greece, that were present in the engagement, were engraven on the right side of the pedestal of the statue; the Lacedæmonians first, the Athenians next, and all the rest in order.
| One of the principal citizens of Ægina came and addressed himself to Pausanias, desiring him to avenge the indignity that Mardonius and Xerxes had shown to Leonidas, whose dead body was hung upon a gallows by their order; and urging him to use Mardonius' body after the same manner. As a further motive for doing so, he added, that by thus satisfying the manes of those that were killed at Thermopylæ, he would be sure to immortalize bis own name throughout all Greece, and make his memory precious to the latest posterity. “ Carry thy base counsel elsewhere," replied Pausanias. “Thou must have a very wrong notion of true glory to “ imagine that the way for me to acquire it is to resemble the barbarians. “ If the esteem of the people of Ægina is not to be purchased but by such "a proceeding, I shall be content with preserving that of the Lacedæmo. " nians, only, amongst whom the base and ungenerous pleasure of revenge " is never put in competition with that of showing clemency and modera. - tion to their enemies, and especially after their death. As for the souls of
my departed countrymen, they are sufficiently avenged by the death of " the many thousand Persains slain upon the spot in the last engagement."
| A dispute, which arose between the Athenians and Lacedæmonians, about determining which of the two people should have the prize of valour adjudged to them, as also which of them should have the privilege of erecting a trophy, had like to have sullied all the glory, and embittered the joy of their late victory. They were just on the point of carrying things to the last extremity, and would certainly have decided the difference with their swords, had not Aristides prevailed upon them, by the wisdom of his counsel and reasonings, to refer the determination of the matter to the judgment of the Grecians in general. This proposition being accepted by both parties, and the Greeks being assembled upon the spot to decide the contest, Theogiton of Megara, speaking upon the question, gave it as his opinion, that the prize of valor ought to be adjudged neither to Athens nor to Sparta, but to some other city ; unless they desired to kindle a civil war, of more fatal consequences than that they had just put an end to. After he had finished his speech, Cleocritus of Corinth rose up to speak his sentiinents of the matter : and when he be. gan, no body doubted but he was going to claim that honour for the city of which he was a member and a native ; for Corinth was the chief city of Greece in power and dignity after those of Athens and Sparta. But erery body was agreeably deceived when they found, that all his discourse tended to the praise of the Platæans, and that the conclusion he made from the whole was, that, in order to extinguish so dangerous a contention, they ought to adjudge the prize to them only, against whom neither of the contending parties could have any grounds of anger or jealousy. This discourse and proposal were received with a general applause by the
* A, M. 3523. Ant. J. C. 479. Paus. I. v. p. 532.
|| Plut. in Arist. p. 431.
whole assembly. Aristides immediately assented to it on the part of the Athenians, and Pausanias on the part of the Lacedæmonians.
* All parties being thus agreed, before they began to divide the spoil of the enemy, they put four score talents † aside for the Platæans who laid them out in building a temple to Minerva, in erecting a statue to her honour, and in adorning the temple with curious and valuable paintings, which were still in being in Plutarch's time, that is to say, above 600 years afterwards, and which were then as fresh as if they had lately come out of the hands of the painters. As for the trophy, which had been another article of the dispute, the Lacedæmonians erected one for themselves in particular, and the Athenians another.
The spoil was immense ; in Mardonius' camp they found prodigious sums of money in gold and silver, besides cups, vessels, beds, tables, necklaces, and bracelets of gold and silver, not to be valued or numbered. It is observed by a certain historian,f that these spoils proved fatal to Greece, by becoming the instruments of introducing avarice and luxury among her inhabitants. According to the religious customs of the Grecians before they divided the treasure, they appropriated the tithe, or tenth part of the whole, to the use of the gods: the rest was distributed equally among the cities and nations that had furnished troops; and the chief officers who had distinguished themselves in the field of battle were likewise distinguished in this distribution. They sent a present of a golden tripod to Delphos, in the inscription upon which Pausanias caused these words to be inserted : I“ That he had defeated the barbarians at Platæa, and that in acknowledgment of that victory, he had made this present to Apollo."
This arrogant inscription, wherein he ascribes the honour both of the victory and of the offering to himself only, offended the Lacedæmonian people, who, in order to punish his pride in the very point and place where he thought to exalt himself, as also to do justice to their confederates, caused his name to be rased out, and that of the cities which had contributed to the victory to be put in the stead of it. Too ardent a thirst after glory on this occasion did not give him leave to consider that a man loses nothing by a discreet modesty, which forbears the setting too high a value upon one's own services, and which by screening a man from envy , serves really to enhance his reputation.
Pausanias gave still a further specimen of his Spartan spirit and humour, in two entertainments which he ordered to be prepared a few days after the engagement; one of which was costly and magnificent, in which was served all the variety of delicacies and dainties that used to be served at Mardonius' table ; the other was plain and frugal, after the manner of the Spartans. Then comparing the two entertainments together, and obserying the difference of them to his officers, whom he had invited on purpose, " What a madness," says he, “ was it in Mardonius, who was accustomed “ to such a luxurious diet, to come and attack a people like us, who know “ how to live without all dainties and superfluities, and want nothing of " that kind !"
1 All the Grecians sent to Delphos to consult the oracle concerning the
* Herod. J. ix. c. 79, 80.
Victo Mardonio, castra referta regalis opulentiæ capta, unde primum Græcos, diviso inter se auro Persico, divitiarum luxuria cepit. Justin, I. ii. c. 14.
Cor. Nep. in Pausan. c. 1.
Ipsa dissimulatione famæ famam auxit. Tacit. & Plut. in Arist p. 331, 362.
sacrifice it was proper to offer. The answer they received from the god was, that they should erect an altar to Jupiter Liberator ; but that they should take care not to offer any sacrifice upon it before they had extinguished all the fire in the country, because it had been polluted and profaned by the barbarians ; and that they should come as far as Delphos to fetch pure fire which they were to take from the altar called the Common Altar.
This answer being brought to the Grecians from the oracle, the generals immediately dispersed themselves throughout the whole country, and caused all the fires to he extinguished : and Euchidas, a citizen of Platæa, having taken upon himself to go and fetch the sacred fire with all possible expedition, made the best of his way to Delphos. On his arrival, he purified himself, sprinkled his body with consecrated water, put on a crown of laurel, and then approached the altar, from whence with great reverence, he took the holy fire, and carried it with him to Platæa, where he arrived before the setting of the sun, having travelled 1000 stadia, which make 125 miles English, in one day. As soon as he came back, he saluted his fellow-citizens, delivered the fire to them, fell down at their feet and died in a moment afterwards. His countrymen carried away his body, and buried it in the temple of Diana, surnamed Eucleia, which signifies, “ of "good renown;" and put the following epitaph upon his tomb in the compass of one verse : “ Here lies Euchidas, who went from hence to Delphos, “ and returned back the same day.”
In the next general assembly of Greece, which was held not long after this occurrence, Aristides proposed the following decree that all the cities of Greece, should every year send their respective deputies to Platæa, in order to offer sacrifices to Jupiter Liberator, and to the gods of the city (this assembly was still regularly held in the time of Plutarch ;) that every five years there should be games celebrated there, which should be called the Games of Liberty ; that the several states of Greece together should raise a body of troops, consisting of 10,000 foot and 1000 horse, and should equip a fleet of 100'ships, which should be constantly inaintained for mak. ing war against the barbarians: and that the inhabitants of Platæa, entirely devoted to the service of the gods, should be looked upon as sacred and inviolable, and be concerned in no other function than that of offering prayers and sacrifices for the general preservation and prosperity of Greece.
All these articles being approved of and passed into a law, the citizens of Platæa took upon them to solemnize every year the anniversary festival in honour of those persons that were slain in this battle. The order and manner of performing this sacrifice was as follows: * The 16th day of the month Maimacterion, which answers to our month of December, at the first appearance of day break, they walked in a solemn procession, which was preceded by a trumpet that sounded to battle. Next to the trumpet marched several chariots, filled with crowns and branches of myrtle. AR ter these chariots was led a black boll, behind which marched a company of young persons, carrying pitchers in their hands full of wine and milk. the ordinary effusions offered to the dead, and vials of oil and essence. All these young persons were freemen; for no slave was allowed to have any part in this ceremony, which was instituted for men who had lost their lives for liberty. In the rear of this pomp followed the archon, or chief magis
* Three months after the battle of Platæa was fought. Probably these funeral rites were not at first performed till after the enemy were entirely gone, and ibe country was free.
trate of the Platæans, for whom it was unlawful at any other tiine even so much as to touch iron, or to wear any other garment but a wbite one. But upon this occasion, being clad in purple raiment, having a sword by his side, and holding an urn in his hands, which he took from the place where they kept their public records, he marched quite through the city to the place where the tombs of his memorable countrymen were erected. As soon as he came there, he drew out water with his urn from the fountain, washed with his own hands the little columns that stood by the tombs, rubbed them afterwards with essence, and then killed the bull upon a pile of wood prepared for that purpose. After having offered up certain prayers to the terrestrial * Jupiter and Mercury, he invited those valiant souls deceased to come to their feast, and to partake of their funeral effusions; then taking a cup in his hand, and having filled it with wine, he poured it out on the ground, and said with a loud voice, “ I present this cup to those “ valiant men who died for the liberty of the Grecians." These ceremonies were annually performed even in the time of Plutarch.
† Diodorus adds, that the Athenians in particular embellished the monuments of their citizens who died in the war with the Persians with magnificent ornaments, instituted funeral games to their honour, and appointed a solemn panegyric to be pronounced to the same intent, which in all probability was repeated every year.
The reader will be sensible, without my observing it, how much these solemn testimonies and perpetual demonstrations of honour, esteem, and gratitude for soldiers who had sacrificed their lives in the defence of liberty, conduced to enhance the merit of valor, and of the services they rendered their country and to inspire the spectators with emulation and courage; and how exceeding proper all this was for cultivating and perpetuating a spirit of bravery in the people, and for making their troops victorious and invincible.
The reader, no doubt, will be as much surprised, on the other hand, to see how wonderfully careful and exact these people were in aequitting themselves on all occasions of the duties of religion. The great event which I have just been relating, viz. the battle of Platæa, affords us very remarkable proofs of this particular, in the annual and perpetual sacrifice they instituted to Jupiter Liberator, which was still continued in the time of Plutarch ; in the care they took to consecrate the tenth part of all their spoil to the gods; and in the decree proposed by Aristides to establish a solemn festival for ever, as an anniversary commemoration of that success. It is a delightful thing, methinks, to see pagan and idolatrous nations thus publicly confessing and declaring, that all their expectations centre in the Supreme Being; that they think themselves obliged to ascribe the success of all their undertakings to him; that they look upon him as the author of all their victories and prosperities, as the sovereign ruler and disposer of states and empires, as the source from whence all salutary counsels, wisdom and courage are derived, and as entitled, on all these accounts, to the first and best part of their spoils, and to their perpetual acknowledgements and thanksgiving for such distinguished favours and benefits.
* The terrestrial Jupiter is no other than Pluto : and the same epithet of terrestrial was also given to Mercury, because it was believed to be his office to conduct departed souls to the infernal regions.
+ Lib. xi. p. 26.
THE BATTLE NEAR MYCALE.—THE DEFEAT OF THE PERSIANS. On * the same day the Greeks fought the battle of Platæa, their naval forces obtained a memorable victory in Asia over the remainder of the Persian feet. For whilst that of the Greeks lay at Ægina, under the command of Leotychides, one of the kings of Sparta, and of Xanthippus the Athenian, ambassadors came to those generals from the lonians, to invite them into Asia to deliver the Grecian cities from their subjection to the barbarians. On this invitation they immediately set sail from Asia, and steered their course by Delos; where, when they arrived, other ambassadors arrived from Samos, and brought them intelligence, that the Persian fleet, which had passed the winter at Cumæ, was then at Samos, where it would be an easy matter to defeat and destroy it, earnestly pressing them at the same time not to neglect so favourable an opportunity. The Greeks hereupon sailed away directly for Samos. But the Persians receiving intelligence of their approach, retired to Mycale, a promontory of the continent of Asia, where their land army, consisting of 100,000 men, who were the remainder of those that Xerxes had carried back from Greece the year before, was encamped. Here they drew their vessels ashore, which was a common practice among the ancients, and encompassed them round with a strong rampart. The Grecians followed them to the very place, and with the help of the Ionians, defeated their land army, forced their rampart, and burnt all their vessels.
The battle of Platæa was fought in the morning, and that of Mycale in the afternoon of the same day; and yet all the Greek writers pretend that the victory of Platæa was known at Mycale before the latter engagement was begun, though the whole Ægean sea, which requires several days sailing to cross it, was between those two places. But Diodorus, the Sicilian, explains us this mystery. He tells us, that Leotychides, observing his soldiers to be much dejected for fear their countrymen at Platæa should sink under the numbers of Mardc:us' army, contrived a stratagem to reanimate them; and that, therefore, when he was just upon the point of inaking the first attack, he caused a rumour to be † spread among his troops, that the Persians were defeated at Platæa, though at that time he had no manner of knowledge of the matter.
| Xerxes, hearing the news of these two overthrows, left Sardis with as much haste and hurry as he had done Athens before, after the battle of Salamin, and retired with great precipitation into Persia, in order to put bimself, as far as he possibly could, out of the reach of his victorious enemies. But before he set out, he gave orders that his people should burn and demolish all the temples belonging to the Grecian cities in Asia : which order was so far executed, that not one escaped, except the temple of Diana at Ephesus. He acted in this manner at the instigation of the Magi, who were professed enemies to temples and images. The second Zoroaster had thoroughly instructed him in their religion, and made him a zealous defender of it. Pliny informs us, that Otanes, the head of the Magi, and
* Herod. I. ix. c. 89—105. Diod. l. xi. p. 26–28.
| What we are told of Paulus Æmilius victory over the Macedonians, which was known at Rome the very day it was obtained, without doubt happened in the same manner.
Diod. I xi. p. 28. I Sérab. I. i. p. 634. Cic. I. ii. de Leg. n. 99. Plin. l. XXX. 6. 1.
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