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Herodotus' HISTORY BOOK 7 (POLYMNIA) Complete

Translated by G. Macaulay.

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THE SEVENTH BOOK OF THE HISTORIES, CALLED POLYMNIA

1. Now when the report came to Dareios the son of Hystaspes of the battle which was fought at Marathon, the king, who even before this had been greatly exasperated with the Athenians on account of the attack made upon Sardis, then far more than before displayed indignation, and was far more desirous of making a march against Hellas. Accordingly at once he sent messengers to the various cities and ordered that they should get ready a force, appointing to each people to supply much more than at the former time, and not only ships of war, but also horses and provisions and transport vessels;[1] and when these commands were carried round, all Asia was moved for three years, for all the best men were being enlisted for the expedition against Hellas, and were making preparations. In the fourth year however the Egyptians, who had been reduced to subjection by Cambyses, revolted from the Persians; and then he was even more desirous of marching against both these nations.

2. While Dareios was thus preparing to set out against Egypt and against Athens, there arose a great strife among his sons about the supreme power; and they said that he must not make his expeditions until he had designated one of them to be king, according to the custom of the Persians. For to Dareios already before he became king three sons had been born of his former wife the daughter of Gobryas, and after he became king four other sons of Atossa the daughter of Cyrus: of the first the eldest was Artobazanes, and of those who had been born later, Xerxes. These being not of the same mother were at strife with one another, Artobazanes contending that he was the eldest of all the sons, and that it was a custom maintained by all men that the eldest should have the rule, and Xerxes arguing that he was the son of Atossa the daughter of Cyrus, and that Cyrus was he who had won for the Persians their freedom.

1. {kai ploia}, for transport of horses and also of provisions: however these words are omitted in some of the best MSS.

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