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extend not only to human affairs, but to the state of the human body. Travellers have observed, that in the countries of the east it is customary to prefer the time of the new moon to begin a journey. And to this there appears to be reference made in Scripture. Thus Solomon puts into the mouth of the adulterous wife these words:

"The goodman is not at home, He is gone a long journey:

He hath taken a bag of money with him, And will come home at the day appointed."

Prov. vii. 19, 20.


Or, in other words, at "the new moon." ence is also made to this observance, 1 Sam. xx. 24, where Saul is represented as sitting down to meat, or to a feast, when the new moon was come. It was under the influence of this superstition that the Lacedæmonians deferred sending their promised aid to the Athenians. After the moon, however, had passed the full, they sent a body of 2000 men, which arrived only to offer them their congratulations on the victory. Happily, this superstition is now exploded by the more satisfactory deductions of a sound philosophy. It has been reasonably urged, that as the most accurate and subtile barometers are not affected by the various positions of the moon, it is very unlikely that the human body should be within the sphere of its influence.

The lesson conveyed in these disasters was lost upon Darius. His revenge was, indeed, still more excited against the Athenians, and he resolved to head another armament in person, which put all Asia in a ferment for three years. But his designs were frustrated. In the year B.C. 487, the Egyptians revolted, which caused him to delay his expedition, that he might increase his preparations against both nations; and two years after, as he was upon the point of carrying his plans into execution, he died, after having reigned thirty-six years.

During the last six years of his reign, Darius, according to oriental writers, was engaged also in reforming the corruptions that had crept into the national religion, by the progress of the Sabian superstition and adoration of fire, and of the other elements of nature; and by the prevalence of the notion of the two principles, the good and evil, which are referred to in Isaiah's prophecies respecting Cyrus, who acknowledged Jehovah as "the God," Ezra i. 1-3. According to Mohammed Mustapha, Darius was assisted in his salutary work by Hystaspes, then master of the magi in succession to the prophet Daniel, who held that high office from B.C. 569 to B.C. 534; and who, from his rank and residence at Susa, the capital, from the time of Belshazzar, (Dan. viii. 2,) must have been well known to Hystaspes, and probably to Darius himself.

The chief associate of Hystaspes and Darius, says Dr. Hales, was the younger Zerdusht, or second Zoroaster, who is represented by the Arabian and Persian historians as a native of the province of Aderbijan, and a disciple of one of the Jewish prophets, either Elijah, Jeremiah, or Ozeir, Ezra. The real prophet was Daniel.

The design of the reform was to bring back the religion of Persia to its primitive purity, in the days of Abraham and of the Pischdadian

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kings; to revive the supremacy of the God of heaven over Ahriman, the evil principle; and to teach a future judgment, in which the apparent mixture of good and evil in this life, designed in the state of probation to promote God's glory, should be redressed in the next, by the reward of the good in heaven, and the punishment of the wicked in hell; all which articles appear to have been derived from some superior teacher to the magi, to have been, in fact, collected from. the sacred writings, or the oral instructions of Daniel himself.

Instead of the former mode of keeping the sacred fire in caves, and on mountains in the open air, where it was liable to be extinguished, Darius built fire temples throughout his dominions, as at Jerusalem. His principal fire temple, called Azur Gushtasp, was erected at Balch, the capital of the province of Bactria.* After the death of Zerdusht, in the fifth year of his reformation, Darius assumed the office of archimagus himself, but died the following year. Hence the succeeding kings of Persia were always initiated into the sacerdotal order of the magi before their inauguration, as related in the section on the polity of Persia.

Next to Cyrus, says Dr. Hales, Darius was the greatest prince of this dynasty. If Cyrus founded, Darius Hystaspes unquestionably established the empire. His political wisdom and moderation, his system of laws and finance, and his reform of the national religion, were all admirable; and his attention to maritime discoveries and commerce distinguished him from all the other kings of Persia. His greatness, however, was sullied by the indulgence of those evil principles, ambition and revenge, which brought ruin not only on his enemies, but on his own subjects. Notwithstanding, he was endowed with many excellent qualities; and his wisdom, justice, and in many instances, clemency, are much commended by the ancients. His greatest honour is, that he was appointed by the Almighty to complete the work begun by Cyrus, namely, the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land.

Before his death, Darius appointed Xerxes, his eldest son by Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus, to succeed him, in preference to Artobazanes, his eldest son by his first wife, the daughter of Gobryas; because the former was born when his father was king, but the latter when he was only in a private station. It is probable that the influence Atossa had over the mind of Darius decided the choice.


Xerxes having ascended the throne, employed the first year of his reign in carrying on the preparations begun by Darius for the reduction of Egypt.

In the same year, the Samaritans wrote to

* Balch is situated on the river Dehash, the Bactrius of Curtius, Pliny, and Strabo, and the Zariaspis of Ptolemy. By different writers it is called Zariaspa, Balk, Balakh, and Bilahj. It is considered to be the oldest city in the world, and is hence denominated Omool Belad, "The mother of cities." Elphinstone says it is now reduced to comparative insignificance.

him, (Ahasuerus,*) in accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, Ezra iv. 6; but notwithstanding this opposition, he confirmed to that people all the privileges granted them by his father, especially the grant of the Samaritan tribute, for carrying on the building of the temple, and the support of the temple worship and sacrifices.

In the second year of his reign, B. C. 484, Xerxes marched against the Egyptians, and having defeated and subdued them, he made the yoke of their subjection more grievous: then giving the government of that province to his brother Achæmenes, he returned to Susa.

The poet Eschylus, in his tragedy of the Persians, represents Xerxes as following his predecessor's plan of conquest. Atossa, the mother of Xerxes, is introduced as addressing the ghost of her husband Darius thus:

"This from too frequent converse with bad men,

The impetuous Xerxes learned: these caught his ear
With thy great deeds, as winning for thy sons
Vast riches with thy conquering spear: whilst he,
Timorous and slothful, never, save in sport,
Lifted his lance, nor added to the wealth
Won by his noble fathers. This reproach,
Oft by bad men repeated, urged his soul

To attempt this war, and lead his troops to Greece."

Accordingly, the reduction of Egypt was only preparatory to his grand expedition against Greece. Plutarch represents him as boasting that it was not his intention to have the figs of Attica, which were excellent, bought for him any longer, and that he would eat no more till he was master of the country. Before, however, Xerxes engaged in this important enterprise, he assembled his council, in order to obtain the advice of the most illustrious persons of his court. He laid before them the design he had in view, and acquainted them with his motives, which were, the desire of imitating his predecessors; the obligation he was under to revenge the burning of Sardis; the necessity of recovering their lost honours; and the prospect of the advantages that might be reaped from this war, which would be attended with the conquest of all Europe. He added further, that this war had been resolved on by his father Darius, and consequently that he was only completing his designs; he concluded by promising large rewards to those who should distinguish themselves in the expedition.

It is probable that the poet had the speech of Xerxes in his mind when he wrote the following lines, which he makes Mardonius utter on entering Athens:

"Is this the city whose presumption dar'd
Invade the lord of Asia? sternly said
Mardonius entering. Whither now are fled
The audacious train, whose firebrands Sardis felt!
Where'er you lurk, Athenians, if in sight,
Soon shall you view your citadel in flames;
Or if retreated to a distant land,
No distant land of refuge shall you find
Against avenging Xerxes."-GLOVER.

Mardonius, the same who had been so unsuccessful in the reign of Darius, grown neither

• The reader must remember that this is a title, and not a proper name. Dr. Hales says that this title is applied to Xerxes, Ezra iv. 6; to Artaxerxes Longimanus, Esther i. 1; and to Astyages, the father of Cyaxares, or of Darius the Mede, Dan. ix. 1.


wiser nor less ambitious by his ill success, and anxious to obtain the command of the army, not only approved of the determination of Xerxes, but extolled him above all his predecessors, and endeavoured to show the necessity of avenging the dishonour done to the Persian name. rest of the council, perceiving that this flattering speech was well received by Xerxes, remained for some time silent, fearful of opposing the will of the monarch. At length Artabanus, the king's uncle, who was venerable both for his age and prudence, deriving confidence from his relationship, addressing Xerxes, used all his endeavours to divert him from his present resolution, and at the same time reproached Mardonius with want of sincerity, and showed how much he was to blame for desiring rashly to engage the Persians in a war which nothing but his own ambition and self-interest could tempt him to advise.

The ear of Xerxes was open to flattery, but deaf to wholesome advice. Although Artabanus delivered his sentiments in a respectful manner, and with great sincerity, Xerxes was indignant at the liberty, and assured him that if he were not his uncle, he should have suffered for his presumption. Tacitus has well observed, that it is the misfortune of princes spoiled by flattery to look upon every thing as austere that is sincere and ingenuous, and to disregard all counsel delivered with a generous and disinterested freedom. They do not consider that even an honest man durst not tell them all he thinks, nor discover the whole truth; and that what they stand most in need of is a sincere and faithful friend. A prince ought to think himself happy if in his whole reign he finds one who ventures to speak honestly, for he is the most necessary and rare instrument there is nothing so agreeable to nature, or so of government. Cicero justly remarks, that convenient to our affairs, whether in prosperity or adversity, as true friendship; and who is so sincere a friend as he who imparts good advice in an hour of difficulty?

"Take sound advice proceeding from a heart Sincerely yours, and free from fraudful art."-)


But, alas! advice is seldom welcome, and those who want it the most like it the least, as in the case of Xerxes. The reason may be, that the acknowledgment of our weakness and another's advice. Whence the pride of human nature better sense are implied in the act of taking stifles the voice of conviction, and makes us turn a deaf ear to the charmer, charm he never so wisely.

According to Herodotus, when the ebullitions of his rage were over, Xerxes repented of his conduct towards Artabanus, and sent for him to acknowledge his fault, and express his intention of foregoing the war upon Greece, which gave the nobles great joy. After this, the same author relates a romantic account of a vision, which changed their opinion, and made even Artabanus himself become a sanguine and zealous promoter of the war.

The greatness of the preparations was in proportion to the grandeur of the scheme. Nothing was omitted which could contribute to the success of the undertaking. Xerxes entered into a confederacy with the Carthaginians, who were at

that time the most potent people of the west, and made an agreement with them that, while the Persians invaded Greece, they should fall upon the Greek colonies in Sicily and Italy, that thereby they might be diverted from rendering each other assistance. The Carthaginians appointed Hamilcar general, who not only raised what forces he could in Africa, but with the money sent him by Xerxes hired mercenaries in Spain, Gaul, and Italy; so that it is said his army consisted of 300,000 men, and a proportionate number of ships, in order to execute the projects and stipulations of the league. See the History of the Carthaginians.

In the beginning of the fifth year, after war had been determined on, Xerxes began his march from Susa, the metropolis, with his mighty army. The time of his departure, says Dr. Hales, is critically determined by an eclipse of the sun, visible at Susa about eight in the morning, April 19, B. C. 481. Herodotus represents this eclipse as total; "for the sun disappeared in a cloudless and clear sky, and day became night;" but it appears from Dr. Brinkley's computation that it was somewhat less than a half eclipse. This was sufficient to excite observation, and create alarm at Susa, especially at the moment of their departure, and might easily have been magnified into total, by tradition, at a time when eclipses were considered portentous, and the cause known but to few of the learned. Xerxes was alarmed at the incident, and consulted the magi upon what it might portend. The magi affirmed that God prognosticated to the Greeks the failure of their states, saying that the sun was the prognosticator of the Greeks, but the moon of the Persians. With this futile and lying exposition Xerxes was satisfied, and proceeded on his march. From Susa Xerxes marched to Sardis, which was the place appointed for the general rendezvous of all his land forces, while his navy advanced along the coasts of Asia Minor towards the Hellespont.

It was on his way thither, at Celænæ,* Pythius,

This city was situated in Phrygia Major, on the road from Susa to Sardis. It was a city of great note in the days of the Lydian and Phrygian kings, and during the time of the Persian empire. It is now in ruins, and modern geographers are much divided in opinion respecting its ancient site. It is noted in the march of the younger Cyrus, and a description of its site has been given in the Anabasis of Xenophon. It was the usual residence of the Persian satrap, and was adorned with a palace, probably erected by Xerxes, as well as with other establishments, and a park of such extent, as not only to afford room for

a noble Lydian, who was considered the richest of mankind after Xerxes, entertained the Persian army with great magnificence, for which he was ill rewarded, as related on page 35 of this his| tory.

As soon as the spring of the year arrived, B.C. 480, Xerxes left Sardis, and directed his march towards the Hellespont. Being arrived at Abydos, he wished to witness a naval combat. 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 felt a secret joy diffuse itself through his soul, considering that he was the most powerful and the most happy of mortals. Reflecting, however, soon afterwards, that out of so many thousands, in a hundred years' time there would not be one living on the earth, his joy was turned into grief, and he could not forbear weeping at the uncertainty and instability of human things.

-As down

The' immeasurable ranks his sight was lost, A momentary gloom o'ercast his mind; While this reflection fill'd his eye with tears: That, soon as time a hundred years had told, Not one among those millions should survive! Whence, to obscure thy pride, arose that cloud? Was it, that once humanity could touch A tyrant's breast? Or, rather, did thy soul Repine, O Xerxes, at the bitter thought, That all thy power was mortal?"-GLOVER. Xerxes might have found another subject of reflection, which would have more justly merited his tears and affliction, had he turned his thoughts upon himself. He might have considered the reproaches he deserved for being the instrument of shortening that fatal term to millions of people, whom he was going to sacrifice as victims to his cruel ambition.

Artabanus, who neglected no opportunity of making himself useful to the young prince, and of instilling into him sentiments of goodness, took advantage of this moment of the workings of nature, and led him into farther 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 him sensible of the duty and obligation of princes to alleviate the sorrows of mankind.

In the same conversation, Xerxes asked Artabanus if he would still advise him not to make war upon Greece; and, for the moment, he himself appears to have been staggered at his mighty

great hunts of wild animals, but to permit an army of project. Artabanus replied, that the land and

12,000 men to encamp within its precincts. Through the middle of this park, says Xenophon, runs the river Mæander, but the head of it rises in the palace: it runs also through the city of Celænæ. A similar description is given of this river, also, by Quintius Curtius, in his life of Alexander the Great. The confluence of these two streams would naturally be below the city. In after ages, Celænæ was abandoned for a new city built by Antiochus Soter, son of Seleucus, which was surrounded by the streams of the Marsyas, Obrima, and Orga, which empty themselves into the Mæander. This city was called Apamea Kibotis.

According to Rennel, the modern Sanduk¡y occupies the site of the ancient Celænæ. This place is actually situated on one of the sources of the Mæander, now Meinder, which was generally allowed to have its principal source at Celænæ, and the branch is formed by some fine springs which flow from the foot of a ridge of lofty hills, as is reported of that city. Pliny calls the hill Sigria, and it lies sixty English miles direct north-east of Colosse,

the sea still gave him great uneasiness: the land, because there is no country, said he, that can feed and maintain so numerous an army; and the sea, because there are no ports capable of

about the same distance south of Cotyæum, and 116 east of Sardis. Mariert, a German geographer, supposed Ophium Kara Hissar, which is twenty-two geographical miles north-east of Sandukly, to answer the site of the ancient Celænæ; and Dr. Pococke regarded Askkly as its site; but both these opinions are evidently erroneous. Neither the Marsius nor the Mæander exist at Ophium Kara Hissar, and Askkly is too far down the latter river to answer to the description. Kinneir thinks that Celænæ stood seven miles, south of Kara Hissar, where there is a village embosomed in wood, said to be erected on the site of an ancient town, not far from one of the sources of the Mæander; so difficult is it to identify this ancient city of renown.


receiving such a multitude of vessels. These objections, however, were overruled by Xerxes, and ambition again prevailing, the momentary irresolution was succeeded by a fixed determination to go forward.

Xerxes commanded a bridge of boats to be laid over the Hellespont, for the transmission of his forces from Asia into Europe; which was a work of more ostentation than use, since Alexander, and afterwards the Ottomans, passed the same straits, in after ages, with less parade, and vastly greater effect. The space that separates the two continents, formerly called the Hellespont, now the Dardanelles, is seven stadia in breadth, or nearly one English mile. A violent storm arose on a sudden, and broke down the bridge first erected; and Xerxes appointed more experienced architects to build two others in its room, one for the army, and the other for the beasts of burden and the baggage. Major Rennel has ingeniously explained the construction of these two bridges, and shown the angle which they formed with each other, the one to resist the strong current from the Propontis, the other to withstand the strong winds in the Ægean Sea, each protecting the other.

Herodotus relates a story concerning the conduct of Xerxes on the occasion of the failure of the first bridge, the import of which is, that he threw two pair of chains into the sea, as if he meant to shackle and confine it, and that he ordered 300 strokes to be given it, by way of chastisement. Now, water among the Persians was held to be one of the symbols of Divine nature, and this story may, therefore, be accounted fabulous; for Xerxes would not have acted so directly opposite to the tenets of his religion. The perforation of Mount Athos, and the circumstance of sending a letter to it, threatening to throw it into the sea, may also justly be doubted. Xerxes was not one of the wisest of princes, but he certainly was no idiot; and these actions could only have been committed by a madman. They do not accord, moreover, with the anecdote that Xerxes, after having reviewed his army at Abydos, burst into tears upon reflecting on their short term of life.

When the second bridge was completed, a day was appointed for the commencement of their passage over. Accordingly, as soon as the first rays of the sun appeared, sweet odours of various kinds were spread over 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 his enterprize: this done, he threw the vessel he had used in making his libations, together with a golden cup and a Persian scimitar, into the sea. His army was seven days and seven nights in passing these straits. It was an immense host, but there were few real soldiers among them.

Xerxes spent a month at Doriscus, in Thrace, near the mouth of the Hebrus, in reviewing and numbering his army and fleet.* From thence

Herodotus states, that the number of the followers of Xerxes was 5,283,220. Isocrates estimates the land army, in round numbers, at 5,000,000. Plutarch agrees with these statements; but Diodorus, Pliny, Elian, and other

he marched southwards with his army in three divisions, attended by his fleet, through Thrace and Macedonia, several cities of which entertained him hospitably. Herodotus says, that the Thracians expended 400 talents of silver on a single banquet; and that a witty citizen told the Abderites, "they should bless Heaven that Xerxes did not require two repasts in the day, or they would be ruined."

Herodotus gives a minute account of the different amount of the various nations that constituted this army. Besides the generals of every nation, who commanded the troops of their respective country, the land army was under the command of six Persian generals, namely, Mardonius, Trintæhmes, Masistes, Smerdones, Gergis, and Megabyzus. The 10,000 Persians, called the Immortal Band, were commanded by Hydarnes. The cavalry had, also, its particular commanders. Rennel observes, 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 seapoys and native troops.

Xerxes having ranged and numbered his armament, was desirous of reviewing the whole. Mounted in his car, he examined each nation in turn, to all of whom he proposed questions, the replies to which were noted down by his secretaries. The procession of Xerxes in his car through the ranks of his army, is well described by Glover, in his "Leonidas :" "The monarch will'd, and suddenly he heard

His trampling horses. High on silver wheels
The ivory car, with azure sapphires shone,
Cerulean beryls, and the jasper green,
The emerald, the ruby's glowing blush,
The flaming topaz, with its golden beam,
The pearl, the' empurpled amethyst, and all
The various gems which India's mines afford
To deck the pomp of kings. In burnish'd gold
A sculptured eagle from behind display'd
His stately neck, and o'er the royal head
Outstretch'd his dazzling wings. Eight generous steeds,
Which on the famed Nisan plain were nursed,
In wintry Media, drew the radiant car.

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• At the signal, bound
The attentive steeds: the chariot flies; behind
Ten thousand horse in thunder sweep the field;
Down to the sea-beat margin, on a plain
Of vast expansion, in battalia wait
The eastern bands. To these the' imperial wheels,
By princes followed in a hundred cars,
Proceed. The queen of Caria,t and her son,
With Hyperanthes rode. The king's approach
Swift through the wide arrangement is proclaim'd.
He now draws nigh. The' innumerable host
Roll back by nations, and admit their lord
With all his satraps. As from crystal domes,
Built underneath an arch of pendent seas,
When that stern power whose trident rules the floods,
With each cerulean deity ascends,

Throned in his pearly chariot, all the deep
Divides its bosom to the' emerging god,
So Xerxes rode between the Asian world
On either side receding."

changing his chariot for a Sidonian vessel, re

After viewing the land forces, Xerxes, ex

writers of a later date, conceive that such statements are

beyond the bounds of belief, and reduce the numbers to

about one-fifth, which would still leave a mighty army, compared with the handful of soldiers Greece could oppose to such a force. The latter statement is more consistent with probability, and with the narrative of the results of the invasion, which the attentive reader will observe.

Justin observes of this woman: "Artemisia, queen of Halicarnassus, who joined her forces with those of

viewed his fleet in a similar manner, passing betwixt the prows of the ships and the shore. Elated at the prospect before him, when he had reviewed his forces, Xerxes asked Demaratus, an exiled king of Sparta, who had taken refuge at the Persian court,* whether he thought the Grecians would venture to oppose his progress through their country. After being assured by Xerxes that he wished him to speak his thoughts freely and sincerely, Demaratus replied to the effect, that, bound by their laws to defend their country, they would conquer or die.


Spread on Eurota's banks,
Amid a circling of soft rising hills,
The patient Sparta stood; the sober, hard,
And man-subduing city, which no shape
Of pain could conquer, nor of pleasure charm.
Lycurgus there built, on the solid base

Of equal life, so well a tempered state,

Where mix'd each government in each just poise,
Each power so checking, and supporting each,
That firm for ages and unmoved it stood,
The fort of Greece, without one giddy hour,
One shock of faction, or of party rage:

For, drained the springs of wealth, Corruption there
Lay withered at the root. Thrice happy land,
Had not neglected art with weedy vice
Confounded sunk: but if Athenian arts
Loved not the soil, yet then the calm abode

Of wisdom, virtue, philosophic ease,

Of manly sense, and wit, in frugal phrase,
Confined and press'd into laconic force;

There, too, by rooting thence still treacherous self,
The public and the private grew the same:
The children of the nursling, public all,
And at its table fed. For that they toil'd,
For that they lived entire, and ev'n for that

The tender mother urged her son to die."-THOMSON.

This is a just description of the people against whom Xerxes was leading his hosts; and though he laughed at the reply of Demaratus, he soon found that the battle is not always accorded to the strong, and that

"Thrice is he arm'd that hath his quarrel just." The first information of this formidable invasion of Greece was given to the Lacedæmonians by Demaratus himself, whose patriotism prevailed over his private wrongs. By an ingenious stratagem, he carved an account of the king's determination on two tablets of wood, and then covered the writing with wax, so that they appeared to be blank tablets. When these were delivered at Sparta, they puzzled the people exceedingly, till Gorgo, the wife of Leonidas, sagaciously removed the wax, when the alarming

truth was revealed. The Lacedæmonians circulated the intelligence throughout the country.

Xerxes proceeded through Achaia and Thessaly, and without meeting any opposers, reached the famous and important straits of Thermopyla, the key of Greece, while the Carnian and Olympic games were celebrating.

At this time, a furious Hellespontine wind, blowing from E.N.E., raised such a hurricane as

Xerxes, appeared amongst the forwardest commanders in the hottest engagements. And as on the man's side there was an effeminate cowardice, on the woman's was observed a masculine courage." Herodotus speaks to the same effect, and adds, that there was not one who gave such good advice and counsel to Xerxes; but he was not prudent enough to profit by it.

* Demaratus was a favourite of Xerxes, because he suggested his plea to the crown in preference to his elder brother, on the grounds before recorded.

destroyed and sunk 400 ships of war, besides an immense number of transports and provision vessels, at the promontory of Sepias. From this station they therefore removed to Apheta, further southward. The Grecian fleet, of 300 ships, assembled in their neighbourhood, at Artemisium, the northern promontory of the island of Euboea, to oppose their passage southward.

The Greeks were not inactive whilst the enemy was approaching. They sent to Gelon, the tyrant of Syracuse, and to the isles of Corcyra and Crete, to desire succour from them, and to form a league against the common enemy. Gelon was prevented from joining them through his ambitious views; the inhabitants of Corcyra deceived them; and the people of Crete, having consulted the Delphic oracle, refused to enter into the league.

Added to these disappointments, was the defection of many other cities of Greece, of whom Xerxes had demanded by his heralds earth and water. Fear so wrought upon them generally, that none but the Lacedæmonians and Athenians, and the people of Thespia, and Platea, remained to combat the enemy. These were resolved to conquer or die; and the first thing they did in this emergency was to put an end to all discords and intestine divisions. Accordingly, peace was concluded between the Athenians and the people of Ægina, who at this period were at war. This was a great point gained; for their attention thereby was left undiverted from the coming danger, and they were abled to direct the whole force of their genius object of their deliberations; and the result to prevent its realization. This was the one shows how wisely they acted.


The principal points of their deliberations were the choice of commanders, and at what place they should meet the Persians, in order to dispute their entrance into Greece. The Athenians chose Themistocles, and the Spartans conferred the supreme command of their forces The situaupon Leonidas, one of their kings. tion they adopted for the conflict was the straits of Thermopylæ.


The appellation, Thermopylæ, means Pass of the Hot Springs." On the north is an extensive bog, or fen, through which a narrow paved causeway offers the only approach to Greece. It is bordered on either side by a deep and impracticable morass, and it is further bounded by the sea towards the east, and the precipices of Mount Eta to the west. Here is situated the Turkish dervene, or barrier, upon a small narrow stone bridge, marking the most important point of the whole passage. It is still occupied by sentinels, as in ancient times, and is, therefore, even at the present time, considered as the pylæ of the southern provinces. The Thermæ, or hot springs, are at a short distance from the bridge, a little further on to the north. Their principal issue is from two mouths at the foot of the limestone precipices of Eta, on the left of the causeway which here passes close under the mountain, and at this part of it scarcely admits two horsemen abreast of each other. The most critical part is at the hot springs, or at the bridge where the Turkish dervene is placed. At the former, the traveller has

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