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LEIGH AND SOTHEBY; J. WALKER; R. LEA; J. NUNN;
J. CUTHELL; LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, & BROWN;
I am not able to specify what number of men each nation supplied, as no one has recorded it. The whole amount of the land forces was seventeen hundred thousand 57. Their mode of ascer
57 Seventeen hundred thousand. ]-I remain still in doubt, says Richardson, whether any such expedition was ever undertaken by the paramount sovereign of Persia. guised in name by some Greek corruption, Xerxes may possibly have been a feudatory prince or viceroy of the western districts; and that an invasion of Greece may have possibly taken place under this prince, I shall readily believe, but upon a scale I must also believe infinitely narrower than the least exaggerated description of the Greek bistorians.
In Herodotus the reputed followers of Xerxes amount to 5,283,220. Isocrates, in his Panathenaicos, estimates the land VOL. IV.
taining the number was this: they drew up in one place a body of ten thousand men; making these
army m round numbers at 5,000,000. And with them Plutarch in general agrees; but such myriads appeared to Diodorus, Pliny, Ælian, and other later writers, so much stretched beyond all beliet, that they at once cut off about four-fifths, to bring them within the line of possibility. Yet what is ihis, but a singular and very unauthorized liberty in one of the most consequential points of the expedition? What circumstance in the whole narration is more explicit in Ilerodotus, or by its frequent repetition, not in figures, but in words at length, seems less liable to the mistake of copiers? &c.-See Richardson.
C'pon this subject, Larcher, who probably had never seen Richardson's book, writes as follows:
This immense army astonishes the imagination, but still is not incredible. All the people dependant on l'ersia were slaves; they were compelled to march, without distinction of birth or profession. Extreme youth or advanced age were probably the only reasons which excused them from bearing arms. The only reasonable objection to be made to this recital of Herodotus is that which Voltaire has omitted to make-where were provisions to be had for so numerous an army? But Herodotus bus anticipated this objection: “We have with us,” says Xorses, abundance of provi. sions, and all the nations among which we shall come, not being shepherds, but husbandmen, we shall find corn in their country, which we shall appropriate to our own use."
Subsequent writers have, it is true, differed from Herodotus, and diminished the number of the army of Xerxes; but Herodotus, who was in some measure a cotemporary, and who recited his history to Greeks assembled at Olympia, where were many who fouglit at Salainis and Platea, is more deserving of credit than later historians.
The trutb perhaps way lie betwixt the two different opinions of Richardson and Larcher. It is not likely, as there were many exiles from Greece at the court of Persia, that
stand together as compactly as possible, they drew a circle round them. Dismissing these, they enclosed the circle with a wall breast high; into this they introduced another and another ten thousand, till they thus obtained the precise number of the whole. They afterwards ranged each nation apart.
LXI. The nations who composed the army were these. I speak of the * Persians first, who
Xerxes should be ignorant of the numbers and resources of Greece. To lead there so many millions seems at first sight not only unnecessary but preposterous. Admitting that so vast an army had marched against Greece, no one of common sense would have thought of making an attack by the way of Thermopylæ, where the passage must have been so tedious, and any resistance, as so few in proportion could possibly be brought to act, might be made almost on equal terms : whilst, on the contrary, to make a descent, they had the whole range of coast before them. With respect to provisions, the difficulty appears still greater, and almost insurmountable. I recur therefore to what I have before intimated; and believe, in contradiction to Richardson, that the expedition actually took place; but I cannot think, with Larcher, that the numbers recorded by Herodotus are consistent with probability.-T.
* Rennel says, that the Persians may be compared, in respect to the rest of the army of Xerxes, with the Europeans in a British army in India, composed chiefly of sepoys and native troops.
In reviewing the arguments on both sides since the first edition, there appears to me more good sense in the above short remark of Rennel,than in all that Richardson and Larcher have written on the subject. The former is indeed absurd enough ; he disbelieves Herodotus, yet seems inclined to credit the Persian poets, hence his dreams about the dignity of the Persian