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1306

XERXES.

any ascertained data ; and when we learn from Thucydides that he found it impossible to find out the exact numbers of the small armies of Greeks who fought at Mantineia, we shall not be ashamed to avow our inability to count the Asiatic multi­tudes at Doriscus." (Hist, of Greece, vol. v. p. 46, foil.)

After the review of Doriscus Xerxes continued his march through Thrace in three divisions, and along three different lines of road. The tribes through which he marched had to furnish a day's meal for the immense host, and for this purpose had made preparations many months beforehand. The cost of feeding such a multitude brought many of the cities of Thrace to the brink of ruin : the city of Thasos alone, on account of their possessions on the main land, expended no less a sum for this pur­pose than 400 talents. On reaching Acanthus, near the isthmus of Athos, Xerxes left his fleet, which received orders to sail through the canal that had been dug across the isthmus, to double the two peninsulas of Sithonia and Pallene, and await his arrival at Therrne, afterwards called Thessalo-nica (now Saloniki), a little to the east of the mouth of the river Axius. After joining his fleet at Therme, Xerxes marched through Mygdonia and Bottiaeis, as far as the mouth of the Haliacmon. Hitherto his march had been through territory sub­ject to the Persian empire, and he now entered Macedonia, the monarch of which reverently ten­dered his submission, and undertook to conduct him further.

The Greeks had originally intended to defend the defile of Tempe, the northernmost entrance of Greece, and they sent thither a force of 10,000 men, in accordance with the urgent desires of the Thessalians. But upon arriving there the Greeks found that it would be impossible to hold the pass, as the Persians could land troops in their rear, and there was another pass across the mountains east of Tempe, by which the Persians could enter Thes-saly. The Greeks therefore returned to the isth­mus about the same time as Xerxes crossed the Hellespont. Their retreat was followed by the submission of the whole of Thessaly to Xerxes, who accordingly met with no opposition till he reached Thermopylae. Here the Greeks resolved to make a stand. This pass was in one important respect better adapted for defence than that of Tempe, for the mainland was here separated from the island of Euboea only by a narrow strait, so that by defend­ing the strait with their fleet the Persians could not land troops in their rear on the mainland. Accordingly, while Leonidas, king of Sparta, con­ducted a land force to Thermopylae, his colleague Eurybiades sailed with the combined Greek fleet to the north of Euboea, and took up his position on the northern coast, which faced Magnesia, and which was called Artemisium from the temple of Artemis belonging to the town of Histiaea.

The remainder of the history of the invasion of Xerxes is so fully related in other articles in this vork [themistocles ; eurybiades ; leonidas ; aristeides ; mardonius], that it is only neces­sary in this place to give a very brief enumeration of the subsequent events. Xerxes arrived in safety with his land forces before Thermopylae, but his fleet was overtaken by a violent storm and hurri­cane off the coast of Sepias in Magnesia, by which at least four hundred ships of war were destroyed, as well as an immense number of transports. The

XERXES.

Greeks, who had in a panic deserted Artemisium and sailed to Chalcis in Euboea, thus leaving Xerxes at full liberty to communicate with his fleet, now took courage, and sailed back to their former position at Artemisium. On their arrival they found the Persian fleet, which had recovered from the effects of the storm, drawn up on the opposite coast in the neighbourhood of Aphetae. Meantime Xerxes had attempted to force his way through the pass of Thermopylae, but his troops were repulsed again and again by Leonidas and his gallant band. At last a Malian, of the name of Ephialtes, showed the Persians a pass over the mountains of Oeta, and thus enabled them to fall on the rear of the Greeks. Leonidas and his Spartans disdained to fly, and were all slain after performing miracles of valour [leonidas]. On the same days on which Leonidas was fighting with the land forces of Xerxes, the Greek ships at Artemisium attacked the Persian fleet. In the first battle, which was not fought till late in the day, the Greeks had the advantage, and in the fol­lowing night the Persian ships suffered still more from a violent storm, which blew right upon the shore at Aphetae. The same storm completely destroyed a squadron of the Persian fleet, which had been sent to sail round Euboea in order to cut off the retreat of the Greeks. The Persian ships at Aphetae had been too much damaged to renew the fight on the following day, but the day after they again sailed out and offered battle to the Greeks. The contest lasted the whole day, and both sides fought with the greatest courage. Al­though the Greeks at the close still maintained their position, and had destroyed a great number of the enemy's ships, yet their own loss was con­siderable, and half the Athenian ships was dis­abled. Under these circumstances the Greek com­manders saw that it was impossible to remain at Artemisium any longer, and their resolution to re­treat was quickened by the disastrous intelligence that Xerxes was master of the pass at Thermo­pylae. Upon this they forthwith abandoned Arte­misium and retired to Salamis, opposite the south­western coast of Attica.

The Peloponnesians had resolved to retire within the peninsula, and to build a wall across the isth­mus. It was now too late to send an army into Boeotia, and Attica thus lay exposed to the full vengeance of the invader. The fleet had been ordered to assemble at Troezen in order to co-ope­rate with the land forces for the protection of the Peloponnesus, and Eurybiades had only remained at Salamis at the earnest entreaty of the Athenians, in order to assist them in the transport of their families. They had no time to lose. Themistocles urged them at once to remove the women, children, and infirm persons to Salamis, Aegina, and Troe­zen, and within six days the whole population with few exceptions left the country. The greater num­ber were conveyed to Troezen, where they were received most hospitably, and maintained at the public expense. Meantime Xerxes had entered Phocis, which he laid waste with fire and sword. At Panopeus he sent a detachment of his army to plunder Delphi, while he himself marched into Boeotia with the main body of his forces. All the people of Boeotia submitted to him with the excep­tion of the inhabitants of Thespiae and Plataea, which were deserted by their citizens, and were both burnt bv Xerxes. Thus he reached Athens

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