Scroll III. Laconia

{3.1.1} After the figures of Hermes we reach Laconia on the west. According to the tradition of the Lacedaemonians themselves, Lelex, an aboriginal was the first king in this land, after whom his subjects were named Leleges. Lelex had a son Myles, and a younger one Polycaon. Polycaon retired into exile, the place of this retirement and its reason I will set forth elsewhere. On the death of Myles his son Eurotas succeeded to the throne. He led down to the sea by means of a trench the stagnant water on the plain, and when it had flowed away, as what was left formed a river-stream, he named it Eurotas. [1]
{3.1.2} Having no male issue, he left the kingdom to Lacedaemon, whose mother was Taygete, after whom the mountain was named, while according to report his father was none other than Zeus. Lacedaemon was wedded to Sparta, a daughter of Eurotas. When he came to the throne, he first changed the names of the land and its inhabitants, calling them after himself, and next he founded and named after his wife a city, which even down to our own day has been called Sparta.
{3.1.3} Amyclas, too, son of Lacedaemon, wished to leave some memorial behind him, and built a town in Laconia. Hyakinthos, the youngest and most beautiful of his sons, died before his father, and his tomb is in Amyklai below the image of Apollo. On the death of Amyclas the empire came to Aigalus, the eldest of his sons, and afterwards, when Aigalus died, to Cynortas. Cynortas had a son Oibalos.
{3.1.4} He took a wife from Argos, Gorgophone the daughter of Perseus, and begat a son Tyndareus, with whom Hippokoön disputed about the kingship, claiming the throne on the ground of being the eldest. With the end of Icarius and his partisans he had surpassed Tyndareus in power, and forced him to retire in fear; the Lacedaemonians say that he went to Pellana, but a Messenian legend about him is that he fled to Aphareus in Messenia, Aphareus being the son of Perieres and the brother of Tyndareus on his mother's side. The story goes on to say that he settled at Thalamaiin Messenia, and that his children were born to him when he was living there.
{3.1.5} Subsequently Tyndareus was brought back by Hēraklēs and recovered his throne. His sons too became kings, as did Menelaos the son of Atreus and son-in-law of Tyndareus, and Orestes the husband of Hermione the daughter of Menelaos. On the return of the Herakleidai in the reign of Tisamenus, son of Orestes, both districts, Messene and Argos, had kings put over them; Argos had Temenus and Messene Kresphontes. In Lacedaemon, as the sons of Aristodemos were twins, there arose two royal houses; for they say that the Pythian priestess approved.
{3.1.6} Tradition has it that Aristodemos himself died at Delphi before the Dorians returned to the Peloponnesus, but those who glorify his fate assert that he was shot by Apollo for not going to the oracle, having learned from Hēraklēs, who met him before he arrived there, that the Dorians would make this return to the Peloponnesus. But the more correct account is that Aristodemos was murdered by the sons of Pylades and Electra, who were cousins of Tisamenus son of Orestes.
{3.1.7} The names given to the sons of Aristodemos were Prokles and Eurysthenes, and although they were twins they were bitter enemies. Their enmity reached a high pitch, but nevertheless they combined to help Theras, the son of Autesion and the brother of their mother Argeia and their guardian as well, to found a colony. This colony Theras was dispatching to the island that was then called Kalliste, [2] and he hoped that the descendants of Membliarus would of their own accord give up the kingship to him. This as a matter of fact they did,
{3.1.8} taking into account that the lineage of Theras went back to Kadmos himself, while they were only descendants of Membliarus, who was a man of the people whom Kadmos left in the island to be the leader of the settlers. And Theras changed the name of the island, renaming it after himself, and even at the present day the people of Thera every year offer to him as their founder the sacrifices that are given to a hero. Prokles and Eurysthenes were of one mind in their eagerness to serve Theras; but in all else their purposes were always widely different.
{3.1.9} Even if they had agreed together, I should never have ventured to include their descendants in a common list; for they did not altogether coincide in respect of age, so that cousins, cousins' children, and later generations were not born so as to make the steps in one pedigree coincide with those of the other. So I shall give the history of each house by itself separately, instead of combining them both in one narrative.
{3.2.1} Eurysthenes, the elder of the sons of Aristodemos, had, they say, a son Agis, after. whom the lineage of Eurysthenes is called the Agiadae. In his time, when Patreus the son of Preugenes was founding in Achaea a city which even at the present day is called Patraifrom this Patreus, the Lacedaemonians took part in the settlement. They also joined in an expedition oversea to found a colony. Gras the son of Ekhelas the son of Penthilos the son of Orestes was the leader, who was destined to occupy the land between Ionia and Mysia, called at the present day Aeolis; his ancestor Penthilos had even before this seized the island of Lesbos that lies over against this part of the mainland.
{3.2.2} When Ekhestratos, son of Agis, was king at Sparta, the Lacedaemonians removed all the Cynurians of military age, alleging as a reason that freebooters from the Cynurian territory were harrying Argolis, the Argives being their kinsmen, and that the Cynurians themselves openly made forays into the land. The Cynurians are said to be Argives by descent, and tradition has it that their founder was Cynurus, son of Perseus.
{3.2.3} Not many years afterwards Labotas, son of Ekhestratos, became king in Sparta. This Labotas Herodotus, in his history of Croesus, says was in his childhood the ward of Lycurgus (Lykourgos) the lawgiver, but he calls him Leobotes and not Labotas. It was then that the Lacedaemonians first resolved to make war upon the Argives, bringing as charges against them that they were annexing the Cynurian territory which they themselves had captured, and were causing revolts among their subjects the Perioeci (Dwellers around). On this occasion neither of the belligerents, according to the account, achieved anything worthy of mention,
{3.2.4} and the next kings of this house, Doryssus, son of Labotas, and Agesilaos, son of Doryssus, were soon both killed. Lycurgus (Lykourgos) too laid down their laws for the Lacedaemonians in the reign of Artesilaos; some say that he was taught how to do this by the Pythian priestess, others that he introduced Cretan institutions. The Cretans say that these laws of theirs were laid down by Minos, and that Minos was not without divine aid in his deliberations concerning them. Homer too, I think, refers in riddling words to the legislation of Minos in the following verses:
Knossos too, great city, among them, where Minos for nine years
Ruled as king, and enjoyed familiar converse with great Zeus.
Odyssey 19.178
{3.2.5} Of Lycurgus (Lykourgos) I shall make further mention later. Agesilaos had a son Arkhelaos. In his reign the Lacedaemonians took by force of arms Aigys, a city of the Perioeci, and sold the inhabitants into slavery, suspecting them of Arcadian sympathies. Kharilaos, the king of the other house, helped Arkhelaos to destroy Aigys, but the exploits he achieved when leading the Lacedaemonians by himself, these too I shall relate when my narrative comes to treat of those called the Eurypontidai.
{3.2.6} Arkhelaos had a son Teleklos. In his reign the Lacedaemonians conquered in war and reduced Amyklai, Pharis, and Geranthrae, cities of the Perioeci, which were still in the possession of the Achaeans. The inhabitants of Pharis and Geranthrae, panic-stricken at the onslaught of the Dorians, made an agreement to retire from the Peloponnesus under a truce, but those of Amyklai were not driven out at the first assault, but only after a long and stubborn resistance, in which they distinguished themselves by glorious achievements. To this heroism the Dorians bore witness by raising a trophy against the Amyklaians, implying that their success was the most memorable exploit of that time. Not long after this Teleklos was murdered by Messenians in a sanctuary of Artemis. This sanctuary was built on the frontier of Laconia and Messenia, in a place called Limniai(Lakes).
{3.2.7} After the death of Teleklos, Alkamenes his son succeeded to the throne, and the Lacedaemonians sent to Crete Kharmidas the son of Euthys, who was a distinguished Spartan, to put down the civil strife among the Cretans, to persuade them to abandon the weak, inland towns, and to help them to people instead those that were conveniently situated for the coasting voyage. They also laid waste Helos, an Achaean town on the coast, and won a battle against the Argives who came to give aid to the Helots.
{3.3.1} On the death of Alkamenes, Polydoros his son succeeded to the throne, and the Lacedaemonians sent colonies to Croton in Italy and to the people of Lokris [= Lokroi] by the Western headland. The war called the Messenian reached its height in the reign of this king. As to the causes of the war, the Lacedaemonian version differs from the Messenian.
{3.3.2} The accounts given by the belligerents, and the manner in which this war ended, will be set forth later in my narrative. For the present I must state thus much; the chief leader of the Lacedaemonians in the first war against the Messenians was Theopompos the son of Nikandros, a king of the other house. When the war against Messene had been fought to a finish, and Messenia was enslaved to the Lacedaemonians, Polydoros, who had a great reputation at Sparta and was very popular with the masses—for he never did a violent act or said an insulting word to anyone, while as a judge he was both upright and humane—
{3.3.3} his fame having by this time spread throughout Greece, was murdered by Polemarkhos, a member of a distinguished family in Lacedaemon, but, as he showed, a man of an unscrupulous temper. After his death Polydoros received many signal marks of respect from the Lacedaemonians. However, Polemarkhos too has a tomb in Sparta; either he had been considered a good man before this murder, or perhaps his relatives buried him secretly.
{3.3.4} During the reign of Eurycrates, son of Polydoros, the Messenians submitted to be subjects of the Lacedaemonians, neither did any trouble befall from the Argive people. But in the reign of Anaxandros, son of Eurycrates—for destiny was by this time driving the Messenians out of all the Peloponnesus—the Messenians revolted from the Lacedaemonians. For a time they held out by force of arms, but at last they were overcome and retired from the Peloponnesus under a truce. The remnant of them left behind in the land became the slaves of the Lacedaemonians, with the exception of those in the towns on the coast.
{3.3.5} The incidents of the war which the Messenians waged after the revolt from the Lacedaemonians it is not pertinent that I should set forth in the present part of my narrative. Anaxandros had a son Eurycrates, and this second Eurycrates a son Leon. While these two kings were on the throne the Lacedaemonians were generally unsuccessful in the war with Tegea. But in the reign of Anaxandrides, son of Leon, the Lacedaemonians won the war with Tegea in the following manner. A Lacedaemonian, by name Lichas, came to Tegea when there chanced to be a truce between the cities. [3]
{3.3.6} When Lichas arrived the Spartans were seeking the bones of Orestes in accordance with an oracle. Now Lichas inferred that they were buried in a smithy, the reason for this inference being this. Everything that he saw in the smithy he compared with the oracle from Delphi, likening to the winds the bellows, for that they too sent forth a violent blast, the hammer to the “stroke,” the anvil to the “counterstroke” to it, while the iron is naturally a “woe to man,” because already men were using iron in warfare. In the time of those called heroes the god would have called bronze a woe to man.
{3.3.7} Similar to the oracle about the bones of Orestes was the one afterwards given to the Athenians, that they were to bring back Theseus from Scyros to Athens otherwise they could not take Scyros. Now the bones of Theseus were discovered by Kimon the son of Miltiades, who displayed similar sharpness of wit, and shortly afterwards took Scyros.
{3.3.8} I have evidence that in the heroic age weapons were universally of bronze in the verses of Homer [4] about the axe of Peisandros and the arrow of Meriones. My statement is likewise confirmed by the spear of Achilles dedicated in the sanctuary of Athena at Phaselis, and by the sword of Memnon in the temple of Asklepios at Nikomedeia. The point and butt-spike of the spear and the whole of the sword are made of bronze. The truth of these statements I can vouch for.
{3.3.9} Anaxandrides the son of Leon was the only Lacedaemonian to possess at one and the same time two wives and two households. For his first consort, though an excellent wife, had the misfortune to he barren. When the ephors told him to put her away he firmly refused to do so, but made this concession to them, that he would take another wife in addition to her. The fruit of this union was a son, Kleomenes; and the former wife, who up to this time had not conceived, after the birth of Cieomenes bore Dorieus, then Leonidas, and finally Kleombrotos.
{3.3.10} And when Anaxandrides died, the Lacedaemonians, believing Dorieus to be both of a sounder judgment than Kleomenes and a better soldier, much against their will rejected him as their king, and obeyed the laws by giving the throne to the elder claimant Kleomenes.
{3.4.1} Now Dorieus could not bear to stay at Lacedaemon and be subject to his brother, and so he went on a colonizing expedition. As soon as he became king, Kleomenes gathered together an army, both of the Lacedaemonians themselves and of their allies, and invaded Argolis. The Argives came out under arms to meet them, but Kleomenes won the day. Near the battlefield was a grove sacred to Argos, son of Niobe, and on being routed some five thousand of the Argives took refuge therein. Kleomenes was subject to fits of mad excitement, and on this occasion he ordered the Helots to set the grove on fire, and the flames spread all over the grove, which, as it burned, burned up the suppliants with it.
{3.4.2} He also conducted campaigns against Athens, by the first of which he delivered the Athenians from the sons of Peisistratos and won a good report among the Greeks both for himself personally and for the Lacedaemonians; [5] while the second campaign was to please an Athenian, Isagoras, by helping him to establish a tyranny over Athens. [6] When he was disappointed, and the Athenians fought strenuously for their freedom, Kleomenes devastated the country, including, they say, the district called Orgas, which was sacred to the deities in Eleusis. He advanced as far as Aegina, and proceeded to arrest such influential Aeginetans as had shown Persian sympathies, and had persuaded the citizens to give earth and water to king Dareios, son of Hystaspes.
{3.4.3} While Kleomenes was occupied in Aegina, Demaratos, the king of the other house, was slandering him to the Lacedaemonian populace. On his return from Aegina, Kleomenes began to intrigue for the deposition of king Demaratos. He bribed the Pythian prophetess to frame responses about Demaratos according to his instructions, and instigated Leotykhides, a man of royal birth and of the same family as Demaratos, to put in a claim to the throne.
{3.4.4} Leotykhides seized upon the remark that Ariston in his ignorance blurted out when Demaratos was born, denying that he was his child. On the present occasion the Lacedaemonians, according to their wont, referred to the oracle at Delphi the claim against Demaratos, and the prophetess gave them a response which favored the designs of Kleomenes.
{3.4.5} So Demaratos was deposed, not rightfully, but because Kleomenes hated him. Subsequently Kleomenes met his end in a fit of madness for seizing a sword he began to wound himself, and hacked and maimed his body all over. The Argives assert that the manner of his end was a punishment for his treatment of the suppliants of Argos; the Athenians say that it was because he had devastated Orgas; the Delphians put it down to the bribes he gave the Pythian prophetess, persuading her to give lying responses about Demaratos.
{3.4.6} It may well be too that the wrath of heroes and the wrath of gods united together to punish Kleomenes since it is a fact that for a personal wrong Protesilaos, a hero not a bit more illustrious than Argos, punished at Elaeus Artayctes, a Persian; while the Megarians never succeeded in propitiating the deities at Eleusis for having encroached upon the sacred land. As to the tampering with the oracle, we know of nobody, with the exception of Kleomenes, who has had the audacity even to attempt it.
{3.4.7} Kleomenes had no male issue, and the kingdom devolved on Leonidas, son of Anaxandrides and full brother of Dorieus. At this time Xerxes led his host against Greece, and Leonidas with three hundred Lacedaemonians met him at Thermopylae. Now although the Greeks have waged many wars, and so have foreigners among themselves, yet there are but few that have been made more illustrious by the exceptional valor of one man, in the way that Achilles shed luster on the Trojan war and Miltiades on the engagement at Marathon. But in truth the success of Leonidas surpassed, in my opinion, all later as well as all previous achievements.
{3.4.8} For Xerxes, the proudest of all who have reigned over the Medes, or over the Persians who succeeded them, the achiever of such brilliant exploits, was met on his march by Leonidas and the handful of men he led to Thermopylae, [7] and they would have prevented him from even seeing Greece at all, and from ever burning Athens, if the man of Trakhis had not guided the army with Hydarnes by the path that stretches across Oitē, and enabled the enemy to surround the Greeks; so Leonidas was overwhelmed and the foreigners passed along into Greece.
{3.4.9} Pausanias the son of Kleombrotos never became king. For while guardian of Pleistarkhos, the son of Leonidas, who was a child when his father died, he led the Lacedaemonians to Plataea, and afterwards with their fleet to the Hellespont. [8] I cannot praise too highly the way in which Pausanias treated the Coan lady, who was the daughter of a man of distinction among the people of Kos, Hegetorides the son of Antagoras, and the unwilling concubine of a Persian, Pharandates the son of Teaspis.
{3.4.10} When Mardonios fell in the battle of Plataea, and the foreigners were destroyed, Pausanias sent the lady back to Kos, and she took with her the apparel that the Persian had procured for her as well as the rest of her belongings. Pausanias also refused to dishonor the body of Mardonios, as Lampon the Aeginetan advised him to do.
{3.5.1} Shortly after Pleistarkhos the son of Leonidas came to the throne he died, and the kingdom devolved on Pleistoanax, son of the Pausanias who commanded at Plataea. Pleistoanax had a son Pausanias; he was the Pausanias who invaded Attica, ostensibly to oppose Thrasyboulos and the Athenians, but really to establish firmly the despotism of those to whom the government had been entrusted by Lysander. [9] Although he won a battle against the Athenians holding the Peiraens, yet immediately after the battle he resolved to lead his army back home, and not to bring upon Sparta the most disgraceful of reproaches by increasing the despotic power of wicked men.
{3.5.2} When he returned from Athens with only a fruitless battle to his credit, he was brought to trial by his enemies. The court that sat to try a Lacedaemonian king consisted of the senate, “old men” as they were called, twenty eight in number, the members of the ephorate, and in addition the king of the other house. Fourteen senators, along with Agis, the king of the other house, declared that Pausanias was guilty; the rest of the court voted for his acquittal.
{3.5.3} Shortly after this the Lacedaemonians gathered an army against Thebes; the reason for so doing will be given in my account of Agesilaos. On this occasion Lysander came to Phokis, took along with him the entire army of Phokis, and without any further delay entered Boeotia and began assaults upon the wall of Haliartos, the citizens of which refused to revolt from Thebes. Already a band of Thebans and Athenians had secretly entered the city; these came out and offered battle before the wall, and there fell here several Lacedaemonians, including Lysander himself.
{3.5.4} Pausanias was too late for the fight, having been collecting forces from Tegea and Arcadia generally; when he finally reached Boeotia, although he heard of the defeat of the forces with Lysander and of the death of Lysander himself, he nevertheless led his army against Thebes and purposed to take the offensive. Thereupon the Thebans offered battle, and Thrasyboulos was reported to be not far away with the Athenians. He was waiting for the Lacedaemonians to take the offensive, on which his intention was to launch an attack himself against their rear.
{3.5.5} So Pausanias, fearing lest he should be caught between two enemy forces, made a truce with the Thebans and took up for burial those who had fallen under the wall of Haliartos. The Lacedaemonians disapproved of this decision, but the following reason leads me to approve it. Pausanias was well aware that the disasters of the Lacedaemonians always took place when they had been caught between two enemy forces, and the defeats at Thermopylae and on the island of Sphakteria made him afraid lest he himself should prove the occasion of a third misfortune for them.
{3.5.6} But when his fellow citizens charged him with his slowness in this Boeotian campaign, he did not wait to stand his trial, but was received by the people of Tegea as a suppliant of Athena Alea. Now this sanctuary had been respected from early days by all the Peloponnesians, and afforded peculiar safety to its suppliants, as the Lacedaemonians showed in the case of Pausanias and of Leotykhides before him, and the Argives in the case of Khrysis; they never wanted even to ask for these refugees, who were sitting as suppliants in the sanctuary, to be given up.
{3.5.7} When Pausanias fled, his sons Agesipolis and Kleombrotos were still quite boys, and Aristodemos, their nearest relative, was their guardian. This Aristodemos was in command of the Lacedaemonians when they won their success in Corinth.
{3.5.8} When Agesipolis grew up and came to the throne, the first Peloponnesians against whom he waged war were the Argives. When he led his army from the territory of Tegea into that of Argos, the Argives sent a herald to make for them with Agesipolis a certain ancestral truce, which from ancient times had been an established custom between Dorians and Dorians. But Agesipolis did not make the truce with the herald, but advancing with his army proceeded to devastate the land. Then there was an earthquake, but not even so would Agesipolis consent to take away his forces. And yet more than any other Greeks were the Lacedaemonians (in this respect like the Athenians) frightened by signs from the sky [dio-sēmeiai].
{3.5.9} By the time that he was encamping under the wall of Argos, the earthquakes were still occurring, some of the troops had actually been killed by lightning, and some moreover had been driven out of then senses by the thunder. In this circumstance he reluctantly withdrew from Argive territory, and began another campaign, attacking Olynthus. Victorious in the war, having captured most of the cities in Khalkidike, and hoping to capture Olynthus itself, he was suddenly attacked by a disease which ended in his death. [10]
{3.6.1} As Agesipolis died childless, the kingdom devolved upon Kleombrotos, who was general in the battle at Leuktra against the Boeotians. [11] Kleombrotos showed personal bravery, but fell when the battle was only just beginning. In great disasters Providence is peculiarly apt to cut off early the general, just as the Athenians lost Hippocrates the son of Ariphron, who commanded at Delium, and later on Leosthenes in Thessaly. [12]
{3.6.2} Agesipolis, the elder of the sons of Kleombrotos, is not a striking figure in history, and was succeeded by his younger brother Kleomenes. His first son was Akrotatos, his second Kleonymos. Akrotatos did not outlive his father, and when Kleomenes afterwards died, there arose a dispute about the throne between Kleonymos the son of Kleomenes and Areus the son of Akrotatos. So the senators acted as arbitrators, and decided that the dignity was the inheritance of Areus the son of Akrotatos, and not of Kleonymos.
{3.6.3} Deprived of his kingship Kleonymos became violently angry, and the ephors tried to soothe his feelings by bestowing upon him various honors, especially the leadership of the armies, so as to prevent his becoming one day an enemy of Sparta. But at last he committed many hostile acts against his fatherland, and induced Pyrrhos the son of Aiakidēs to invade Laconia.
{3.6.4} While Areus the son of Akrotatos was king in Sparta, Antigonos the son of Demetrios attacked Athens with an army and a fleet. [13] To the help of the Athenians there came the Egyptian expedition with Patroklos, and every available man of the Lacedaemonians with Areus their king at their head.
{3.6.5} Antigonos invested Athens and prevented the Athenian reinforcements from entering the city; so Patroklos dispatched messengers urging Areus and the Lacedaemonians to take the offensive against Antigonos. On their doing so, he would himself, he said, attack the Macedonians in rear; but before such a move it was not fair for Egyptian sailors to attack Macedonians on land. The Lacedaemonians were eager to make the venture, both because of their friendship for Athens and also because they were ambitious to hand down to posterity a famous achievement,
{3.6.6} but as their supplies were exhausted Areus led his army back home, thinking that desperate measures should be reserved for one's own advantage and not risked recklessly for the benefit of others. After they had held out as long as they could, Antigonos made peace with the Athenians, on condition that he brought a garrison into the Museum to be a guard over them. After a time Antigonos himself removed the garrison from Athens of his own accord while Areus begat Akrotatos, and Akrotatos Areus, who died of disease when he was just about eight years old.
{3.6.7} And as the only male representative of the house of Eurysthenes was Leonidas the son of Kleonymos, by this time a very old man, the Lacedaemonians gave him the throne. Leonidas, it so happened, had a bitter opponent in Lysander, a descendant of Lysander the son of Aristokritos. This Lysander won over to his side Leonidas' son-in-law Kleombrotos. After gaining his support he brought various charges against Leonidas, in particular that when a boy he had sworn to his father Kleonymos to ruin Sparta.
{3.6.8} So Leonidas ceased to be king and Kleombrotos came to the throne in his stead. Now if Leonidas had given way to impulse and retired, like Demaratos the son of Ariston, either to the king of Macedonia or to the Egyptian king, he would have profited nothing even by the Spartans changing their minds. But as it was, when the citizens sentenced him to exile, he went to Arcadia, whence not many years later he was recalled by the Lacedaemonians, who made him king again.
{3.6.9} Now how Kleomenes the son of Leonidas performed daring feats of valor, and how after him the Spartans ceased to be ruled by kings, I have already shown in my account of Aratos of Sikyon. My narrative also included the manner of his death in Egypt.
{3.7.1} So of the lineage of Eurysthenes, called the Agiadae, Kleomenes the son of Leonidas was the last king in Sparta. I will now relate what I have heard about the other house. Prokles the son of Aristodemos called his son Sous, whose son Eurypon they say reached such a pitch of renown that this house, hitherto called the Prokleidai, came to be named after him the Eurypontidai.
{3.7.2} The son of Eurypon was Prytanis, in whose reign began the enmity of the Lacedaemonians against the Argives, although even before this quarrel they made war against the Cynurians. During the generations immediately succeeding this, while Eunomos the son of Prytanis and Polydektes the son of Eunomos were on the throne, Sparta continued at peace,
{3.7.3} but Kharillos the son of Polydektes devastated the land of the Argives—for he it was who invaded Argolis—and not many years afterwards, under the leadership of Kharillos, took place the campaign of the Spartans against Tegea, when lured on by a deceptive oracle the Lacedaemonians hoped to capture the city and to annex the Tegean plain from Arcadia.
{3.7.4} After the death of Kharillos, Nikandros his son succeeded to the throne, in whose reign the Messenians murdered, in the sanctuary of the Lady of the Lake, Teleklos the king of the other house. Nikandros also invaded Argolis with an army, and laid waste the greater part of the land. The Asinaeans took part in this action with the Lacedaemonians, and shortly after were punished by the Argives, who inflicted great destruction on their fatherland and drove out the inhabitants.
{3.7.5} About Theopompos, the son of Nikandros, who ascended the throne after him, I shall have more to say later on, when I come to the history of Messenia. While Theopompos was still king in Sparta there also took place the struggle of the Lacedaemonians with the Argives for what is called the Thyreatid district. Theopompos personally took no part in the affair, chiefly because of old age and sorrow, for while he was yet alive Arkhidamos died.
{3.7.6} Nevertheless Arkhidamos did not die childless, but left a son Zeuxidamos, whose son Anaxidamos succeeded to the throne. In his reign the Messenians were expelled from the Peloponnesus, being vanquished for the second time by the Spartans. Anaxidamos begat Arkhidamos, and Arkhidamos begat Agesikles. It was the lot of both of these to pass all their lives in peace, undisturbed by any wars.
{3.7.7} Ariston, son of Agesikles, married a wife who, they say, was the ugliest girl in Sparta, but became the most beautiful of her women, because Helen changed her; seven months only after his marriage with her Ariston had born to him a son, Demaratos. As he was sitting in council with the ephors there came to him a servant with the news that a child was born to him. Ariston, forgetting the lines in the Iliad about the birth of Eurystheus, or else never having understood them at all, declared that because of the number of months the child was not his.
{3.7.8} Afterwards he repented of his words. Demaratos, a king of good repute at Sparta, particularly for his helping Kleomenes to free Athens from the Peisistratidai, [14] became a private citizen through the thoughtlessness of Ariston and the hatred of Kleomenes. He retired to king Dareios in Persia, and they say that his descendants remained in Asia for a long time.
{3.7.9} Leotykhides, on coming to the throne in place of Demaratos, took part with the Athenians and the Athenian general Xanthippos, the son of Ariphron, in the engagement of Mykale, [15] and afterwards undertook a campaign against the Aleuadaiin Thessaly. Although his uninterrupted victories in the fighting might have enabled him to reduce all Thessaly, he accepted bribes from the Aleuadae. [16]
{3.7.10} Or, being brought to trial in Lacedaemon he voluntarily went into exile to Tegea, where he sought sanctuary as a suppliant of Athena Alea. Zeuxidamos, the son of Leotykhides, died of disease while Leotykhides was still alive and before he retired into exile so his son Arkhidamos succeeded to the throne after the departure of Leotykhides for Tegea. This Arkhidamos did terrible damage to the land of the Athenians, invading Attica with an army every year, on each occasion carrying destruction from end to end; he also besieged and took Plataea, which was friendly to Athens. [17]
{3.7.11} Nevertheless he was not eager that war should be declared between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, but to the utmost of his power tried to keep the truce between them unbroken. [18] It was Sthenelaidas, an influential Spartan who was an ephor at the time, who was chiefly responsible for the war. Greece, that still stood firm, was shaken to its foundations by this war, and afterwards, when the structure had given way and was far from sound, was finally overthrown by Philip the son of Amyntas.
{3.8.1} Arkhidamos left sons when he died, of whom Agis was the elder and inherited the throne instead of Agesilaos. Arkhidamos had also a daughter, whose name was Kyniska; she was exceedingly ambitious to succeed at the Olympic games, and was the first woman to breed horses and the first to win an Olympic victory. After Kyniska other women, especially women of Lacedaemon, have won Olympic victories, but none of them was more distinguished for their victories than she.
{3.8.2} The Spartans seem to me to be of all men the least moved by poetry and the praise of poets. For with the exception of the epigram upon Kyniska, of uncertain authorship, and the still earlier one upon Pausanias that Simonides wrote on the tripod dedicated at Delphi, there is no poetic composition to commemorate the doings of the royal houses of the Lacedaemonians.
{3.8.3} In the reign of Agis the son of Arkhidamos the Lacedaemonians had several grievances against the people of Elis, being especially exasperated because they were debarred from the Olympic games and the sanctuary at Olympia. So they dispatched a herald commanding the people of Elis to grant home-rule to Lepreum and to any other of their neighbors [19] that were subject to them. The people of Elis replied that, when they saw the cities free that were neighbors of Sparta, they would without delay set free their own subjects; whereupon the Lacedaemonians under king Agis invaded the territory of Elis.
{3.8.4} On this occasion there occurred an earthquake, and the army retired home after advancing as far as Olympia and the Alpheus but in the next year Agis devastated the country and carried off most of the loot. Xenias, a man of Elis who was a personal friend of Agis and the state-friend [20] of the Lacedaemonians, rose up with the rich citizens against the people but before Agis and his army could come to their aid, Thrasydaeus, who at this time championed the interests of the popular party at Elis, overthrew in battle Xenias and his followers and cast them out of the city.
{3.8.5} When Agis led back his army, he left behind Lysistratos, a Spartan, with a portion of his forces, along with the Eleian refugees, that they might help the Lepreans to ravage the land. In the third year of the war [21] the Lacedaemonians under Agis again prepared to invade the territory of Elis. So Thrasydaeus and the Eleians, reduced to dire extremities, agreed to forgo their supremacy over their neighbors, to dismantle the fortifications of their city, and to allow the Lacedaemonians to sacrifice to the god and to compete in the games at Olympia.
{3.8.6} Agis used also to make continual incursions into Attica, and established the fortified post at Decelea to annoy the Athenians. [22] When the Athenian navy was destroyed at Aigospotamoi, [23] Lysander, the son of Aristokritos, and Agis violated the oaths which the Lacedaemonians as a state had sworn by the gods to the Athenians, and it was on their own initiative, and without the approval of the Spartan state, that they put before their allies the proposal to destroy Athens root and branch.
{3.8.7} Such were the most remarkable military achievements of Agis. The rash remark that Ariston made about Demaratos was also made by Agis about his son Leotykhides; at the suggestion of some evil spirit he said in the hearing of the ephors that he did not believe Leotykhides to be his son. Yet Agis, too, repented afterwards; he was at the time being carried home sick from Arcadia, and when he reached Heraia, he not only called the people to witness that he sincerely believed Leotykhides to be his very own son, but also with prayers and tears charged them to take the tidings to the Lacedaemonians.
{3.8.8} After the death of Agis, Agesilaos tried to keep Leotykhides from the throne, recalling to the minds of the Lacedaemonians what Agis once said about Leotykhides. But the Arcadians from Heraia arrived and bore witness for Leotykhides, stating what they had heard the dying Agis say.
{3.8.9} Yet further fuel for the controversy between Agesilaos and Leotykhides was supplied by the oracle that was delivered at Delphi to this effect:
“Sparta beware! though haughty, pay heed to the warning I give thee.
Never let thy sound limbs give birth to a kingdom that lame is.
Too long then shalt thou lie in the clutches of desperate hardships;
Turmoil of war shall arise, o'erwhelming men in its billows.”
{3.8.10} Leotykhides on this occasion said that these words pointed to Agesilaos, who was lame in one of his feet, while Agesilaos interpreted them as alluding to the illegitimacy of Leotykhides. Although they might have done so, the Lacedaemonians did not refer the disputed point to Delphi; the reason was in my opinion that Lysander, the son of Aristokritos, an active supporter of Agesilaos, would have him king at all costs.
{3.9.1} So Agesilaos, son of Arkhidamos, became king, and the Lacedaemonians resolved to cross with a fleet to Asia in order to put down Artaxerxes, son of Dareios. [24] For they were informed by several of their magistrates, especially by Lysander, that it was not Artaxerxes but Cyrus who had been supplying the pay for the fleet during the war with Athens. Agesilaos, who was appointed to lead the expedition across to Asia and to be in command of the land forces, sent round to all parts of the Peloponnesus, except Argos, and to the Greeks north of the Isthmus, asking for allies.
{3.9.2} Now the Corinthians were most eager to take part in the expedition to Asia, but considering it a bad omen that their temple of Zeus surnamed Olympian had been suddenly burned down, they reluctantly remained behind. The Athenians excused themselves on the ground that their city was returning to its former state of prosperity after the Peloponnesian war and the epidemic of plague, and the news brought by messengers, that Konon, son of Timotheus, had gone up to the Persian king, strongly confirmed them in their policy of inactivity.
{3.9.3} The envoy dispatched to Thebes was Aristomelidas, the father of the mother of Agesilaos, a close friend of the Thebans who, when the wall of Plataea had been taken, had been one of the judges voting that the remnant of the garrison should be put to death. Now the Thebans like the Athenians refused, saying that they would give no help. When Agesilaos had assembled his Lacedaemonian forces and those of the allies, and at the same time the fleet was ready, he went to Aulis to sacrifice to Artemis, because Agamemnon too had propitiated the goddess here before leading the expedition to Troy.
{3.9.4} Agesilaos, then, claimed to be king of a more prosperous city than was Agamemnon, and to be like him overlord of all Greece, and that it would be a more glorious success to conquer Artaxerxes and acquire the riches of Persia than to destroy the empire of Priam. but even as he was sacrificing armed Thebans came upon him, threw dawn from the altar the still burning thighbones of the victims, and drove him from the sanctuary.
{3.9.5} Though vexed that the sacrifice was not completed, Agesilaos nevertheless crossed into Asia and launched an attack against Sardes for Lydia at this period was the most important district of lower Asia, and Sardes, pre-eminent for its wealth and resources, had been assigned as a residence to the satrap of the coast region, just as Susa had been to the king himself.
{3.9.6} A battle was fought on the plain of the Hermos with Tissaphernes, satrap of the parts around Ionia, in which Agesilaos conquered the cavalry of the Persians and the infantry, of which the muster on this occasion had been surpassed only in the expedition of Xerxes and in the earlier ones of Dareios against the Scythians and against Athens. The Lacedaemonians, admiring the energy of Agesilaos, added to his command the control of the fleet. But Agesilaos made his brother-in-law, Peisandros, admiral, and devoted himself to carrying on the war vigorously by land.
{3.9.7} The jealousy of some deity prevented him from bringing his plans to their conclusion. For when Artaxerxes heard of the victories won by Agesilaos, and how, by attending to the task that lay before him, he advanced with his army even further and further, he put Tissaphernes to death in spite of his previous services, and sent down to the sea Tithraustes, a clever schemer who had some grudge against the Lacedaemonians.
{3.9.8} On his arrival at Sardes he at once thought out a plan by which to force the Lacedaemonians to recall their army from Asia. He sent Timocrates, a Rhodian, to Greece with money, instructing him to stir up in Greece a war against the Lacedaemonians. Those who shared in this money are said to have been the Argives Kylon and Sodamas, the Thebans Androkleides, Ismenias and Amphithemis, the Athenians Cephalus and Epicrates, with the Corinthians who had Argive sympathies, Polyanthes and Timolaos.
{3.9.9} But those who first openly started the war were the peoplefrom Amphissa in Lokris. For there happened to be a piece of land the ownership of which was a matter of dispute between the people of Lokris and the people of Phokis. Egged on by Ismenias and his party at Thebes, the people of Lokris cut the ripe wheat in this land and drove off the what they had plundered. The men of Phokis on their side invaded Lokris with all their forces, and laid waste the land.
{3.9.10} So the people of Lokris brought in the Thebans as allies, and devastated Phokis. Going to Lacedaemon the men of Phokis inveighed against the Thebans, and set forth what they had suffered at their hands. The Lacedaemonians determined to make war against Thebes, chief among their grievances being the outrageous way the Thebans behaved towards Agesilaos when he was sacrificing at Aulis.
{3.9.11} The Athenians receiving early intimation of the Lacedaemonians' intentions, sent to Sparta begging them to submit their grievances to a court of arbitration instead of appealing to arms, but the Lacedaemonians dismissed the envoys in anger. The sequel, how the Lacedaemonians set forth and how Lysander died, I have already described in my account of Pausanias. [25]
{3.9.12} And what was called the Corinthian war, which continually became more serious, had its origin in the expedition of the Lacedaemonians into Boeotia. [26] So these circumstances compelled Agesilaos to lead his army back from Asia. Crossing with his fleet from Abydos to Sestos he passed through Thrace as far as Thessaly, where the Thessalians, to please the Thebans, tried to prevent his further progress; there was also an old friendship between them and Athens.
{3.9.13} But Agesilaos put the Thessalian cavalry to flight and passed through Thessaly, and again made his way through Boeotia, winning a victory over Thebes and the allies at Coronea. When the Boeotians were put to flight, certain of them took refuge in the sanctuary of Athena surnamed Itonia. Agesilaos, although suffering from a wound received in the battle, did not sin against the suppliants.
{3.10.1} Not long afterwards the Corinthians in exile for pro-Spartan sympathies held the Isthmian games. The Corinthians in the city made no move at the time, through their fear of Agesilaos but when he marched to Sparta, they too celebrated the Isthmian games along with the Argives. Agesilaos again marched with an army against Corinth, and, as the festival Hyakinthia was at hand, he gave the Amycleans leave to go back home and perform the traditional rites in honor of Apollo and Hyakinthos. This battalion was attacked on the way and annihilated by the Athenians under Iphicrates.
{3.10.2} Agesilaos went also to Aetolia to give assistance to the Aetolians, who were hard pressed in a war with, the Acarnanians; [27] these he compelled to put an end to the war, although they had come very near capturing Calydon and the other towns of the Aetolians. Afterwards he sailed to Egypt, to protect the Egyptians who had revolted from the king of Persia. Agesilaos performed many noteworthy achievements in Egypt, but, being by this time ah old man, he died on the march. then his dead body was brought home, the Lacedaemonians buried it with greater honors than they had given to any other king.
{3.10.3} In the reign of Arkhidamos, son of Agesilaos, the people of Phokis seized the sanctuary at Delphi. [28] To help in a war with Thebes the people of Phokis hired with its wealth independent mercenaries, but they here also aided publicly by the Lacedaemonians and Athenians, the latter calling to mind some old service rendered by the people of Phokis, the former, too, pretending to be friends when their real reason was, I think, hatred of the Thebans. Theopompos, son of Damasistratos, said that Arkhidamos himself had a share of the Delphic money, and further that Deinicha the wife of Arkhidamos, receiving a bribe from the chief men of Phokis, made Arkhidamos more ready to bring them reinforcements.
{3.10.4} To accept sacred money and to help men who had pillaged the most famous of oracles I do not hold praiseworthy, but the following incident does redound to his praise. The men of Phokis were contemplating the cruel course of killing the Delphians of vigorous age, enslaving the women and children, and levelling the city itself to the ground; it was due to the intercession of Arkhidamos that they escaped this fate at the hands of the men of Phokis.
{3.10.5} Arkhidamos afterwards also crossed over into Italy to help the people of Tarentum to wage war against their foreign neighbors. Here he was killed by the foreigners, and his corpse missed burial owing to the anger of Apollo. Agis, the elder son of this Arkhidamos, met his death fighting against Antipatros and the Macedonians, but while the younger son, Eudamidas, was king, the Lacedaemonians enjoyed peace. The history of Agis, son of Eudamidas, and of Eurydamidas, son of Agis, my account of Sikyon has already set forth.
{3.10.6} On the way from the Hermaithe whole of the region is full of oak trees. The name of the district, Scotitas (Dark), is not due to the unbroken woods but to Zeus surnamed Scotitas, and there is a sanctuary of Zeus Scotitas on the left of the road and about ten stadium-lengths from it. If you go back from the sanctuary to the road, advance a little and then turn again to the left, you come to an image of Hēraklēs and a trophy, which I was told Hēraklēs raised after killing Hippokoön and his sons.
{3.10.7} The third branch from the straight road is on the right, and leads to Caryae (Walnut trees) and to the sanctuary of Artemis. For Caryae is a region sacred to Artemis and the nymphs, and here stands in the open an image of Artemis Caryatis. Here every year the Lacedaemonian girls hold chorus-dances, and they have a traditional native dance. On returning, as you go along the highway, you come to the ruins of Sellasia. The people of this city, as I have stated already, were sold into slavery by the Achaeans after they had conquered in battle the Lacedaemonians under their king Kleomenes, the son of Leonidas. [29]
{3.10.8} In Thornax, which you will reach as you go along, is an image of Apollo Pythaeus, made after the style of the one at Amyklai; the fashion of it I will describe when I come to speak of the latter. For in the eyes of the Lacedaemonians the cult of the Amyklaian is the more distinguished, so that they spent on adorning the image in Amyklai even the gold which Croesus the Lydian sent for Apollo Pythaeus. [30]
{3.11.1} Farther on from Thornax is the city, which was originally named Sparta, but in course of time came to be called Lacedaemon as well, a name which till then belonged to the land. To prevent misconception, I added in my account of Attica that I had not mentioned everything in order, but had made a selection of what was most noteworthy. This I will repeat before beginning my account of Sparta; for from the beginning the plan of my work has been to discard the many trivial stories current among the several communities, and to pick out the things most worthy of mention—an excellent rule which I will never violate.
{3.11.2} The Lacedaemonians who live in Sparta have a marketplace worth seeing; the council-chamber of the senate, and the offices of the ephors, of the guardians of the laws, and of those called the Bidiaeans, are all in the marketplace. The senate is the council which has the supreme control of the Lacedaemonian constitution, the other officials form the executive. Both the ephors and the Bidiaeans are five in number; it is customary for the latter to hold competitions for the boys, particularly the one at the place called Platanistas (Plane tree Grove), while the ephors transact the most serious business, one of them giving his name to the year, just as in Athens this privilege belongs to one of those called the Nine Arkhontes.
{3.11.3} The most striking feature in the marketplace is the portico which they call Persian because it was made from spoils taken in the Persian wars. In course of time they have altered it until it is as large and as splendid as it is now. On the pillars are white-marble figures of Persians, including Mardonios, son of Gobryas. There is also a figure of Artemisia, daughter of Lygdamis and queen of Halicarnassus. It is said that this lady voluntarily joined the expedition of Xerxes against Greece and distinguished herself at the naval engagement off Salamis.
{3.11.4} On the marketplace are temples; there is one of Caesar, the first Roman to covet monarchy and the first emperor under the present constitution, and also one to his son Augustus, who put the empire on a firmer footing, and became a more famous and a more powerful man than his father. His name “Augustus” means in Greek sebastos (reverend).
{3.11.5} At the altar of Augustus they show a bronze statue of Agias. This Agias, they say, by divining for Lysander captured the Athenian fleet at Aigospotamoi with the exception of ten ships of war. [31] These made their escape to Cyprus; all the rest the Lacedaemonians captured along with their crews. Agias was a son of Agelokhos, a son of Tisamenus.
{3.11.6} Tisamenus belonged to the lineage of the Iamidai at Elis, and an oracle was given to him that he should win five most famous contests. So he trained for the pentathlon at Olympia, but came away defeated. And yet he was first in two events, beating Hieronymos of Andros in running and in jumping. But when he lost the wrestling bout to this competitor, and so missed the prize, he understood what the oracle meant, that the god granted him to win five contests in war by his divinations.
{3.11.7} The Lacedaemonians, hearing of the oracle the Pythian priestess had given to Tisamenus, persuaded him to migrate from Elis and to be state-diviner at Sparta. And Tisamenus won them five contests in war. [32] The first was at Plataea against the Persians; the second was at Tegea, when the Lacedaemonians had engaged the Tegeans and Argives; the third was at Dipaea, an Arcadian town in Maenalia, when all the Arcadians except the Mantineians were arrayed against them.
{3.11.8} His fourth contest was against the Helots who had rebelled and left the Isthmus for Ithome. [33] Not all the Helots revolted, only the Messenian element, which separated itself off from the old Helots. These events I shall relate presently. On the occasion I mention the Lacedaemonians allowed the rebels to depart under a truce, in accordance with the advice of Tisamenus and of the oracle at Delphi. The last time Tisamenus divined for them was at Tanagra, an engagement taking place with the Argives and Athenians. [34]
{3.11.9} Such I learned was the history of Tisamenus. On their marketplace the Spartans have images of Apollo Pythaeus, of Artemis and of Leto. The whole of this region is called Choros (Dancing), because at the Gymnopaediae, a festival which the Lacedaemonians take more seriously than any other, the boys perform dances in honor of Apollo. Not far from them is a sanctuary of Earth and of Zeus of the Marketplace, another of Athena of the Marketplace and of Poseidon surnamed Securer, and likewise one of Apollo and of Hērā.
{3.11.10} There is also dedicated a colossal statue of the Spartan People. The Lacedaemonians have also a sanctuary of the Fates, by which is the tomb of Orestes, son of Agamemnon. For when the bones of Orestes were brought from Tegea in accordance with an oracle they were buried here. Beside the tomb of Orestes is a statue of Polydoros, son of Alkamenes, a king who rose to such honor that the magistrates seal with his likeness everything that requires sealing.
{3.11.11} There is also Hermes of the Marketplace carrying Dionysus as a child, besides the old Courts of the Ephors, as they are called, in which are the tombs of Epimenides the Cretan and of Aphareus the son of Perieres. As to Epimenides, I think the Lacedaemonian story is more probable than the Argive. Here, where the Fates are, the Lacedaemonians also have a sanctuary of Hestia. There is also Zeus Hospitable and Athena Hospitable.
{3.12.1} As you go from the marketplace by the road they name the Aphetaid Road, you come to the so-called Booneta. [35] But my narrative must first explain why the road has this name.
{3.12.2} It is said that Icarius proposed a foot-race for the wooers of Penelope; that Odysseus won is plain, but they say that the competitors were let go (aphethenai) for the race along the Aphetaid Road. In my opinion, Icarius was imitating Danaos when he held the running-race. For Danaos contrived the following plan to solve the difficulty about his daughters. Nobody would take a wife from among them because of their pollution so Danaos sent round a notice that he would give away his daughters without bride-gifts, and that each suitor could choose the one whose beauty pleased him most. A few men came, among whom he held a foot-race the first comer was allowed to choose before all the others, after him the second, and so on to the last. The daughters that were left had to wait until other suitors arrived and competed in another foot-race.
{3.12.3} On this road the Lacedaemonians have, as I have already said, what is called the Booneta, which once was the house of their king Polydoros. When he died, they bought it from his widow, paying the price in oxen. For at that time there was as yet neither silver nor gold coinage, but they still bartered in the old way with oxen, slaves, and uncoined silver and gold.
{3.12.4} Those who sail to India say that the natives give other merchandise in exchange for Greek cargoes, knowing nothing about coinage, even though they have plenty of gold and of bronze.
On the opposite side of the office of the Bidiaeans is a sanctuary of Athena. Odysseus is said to have set up the image and to have named it Keleuthea (Lady of the Road), when he had beaten the suitors of Penelope in the foot-race. Of Keleuthea he set up sanctuaries, three in number, at some distance from each other.
{3.12.5} Farther along the Aphetaid Road are hero-shrines, of Iops, who is supposed to have been born in the time of Lelex or. Myles, and of Amphiaraos the son of Oikles. The last they think was made by the sons of Tyndareus, for that Amphiaraos was their cousin. There is a hero-shrine of Lelex himself. Not far from these is a precinct of Poseidon of Taenarum, which is the surname given him, and near by an image of Athena, which is said to have been dedicated by the colonists
{3.12.6} who left for Tarentum in Italy. As to the place they call the HeIlenium, it has been stated that those of the Greeks who were preparing to repel Xerxes when he was crossing into Europe deliberated at this place how they should resist. The other story is that those who made the expedition against Troy to please Menelaos deliberated here how they could sail out to Troy and exact satisfaction from Alexander for carrying off Helen.
{3.12.7} Near the Hellenium they point out the tomb of Talthybios. The Achaeans of Aigion too say that a tomb which they show on their marketplace belongs to Talthybios. It was this Talthybios whose wrath at the murder of the heralds, who were sent to Greece by king Dareios to demand earth and water, left its mark upon the whole state of the Lacedaemonians, but in Athens fell upon individuals, the members of the house of one man, Miltiades the son of Kimon. Miltiades was responsible for the death at the hands of the Athenians of those of the heralds who came to Attica.
{3.12.8} The Lacedaemonians have an altar of Apollo Acritas, and a sanctuary, surnamed Gasepton, of Earth. Above it is set up Maleatian Apollo. At the end of the Aphetaid Road, quite close to the wall, are a sanctuary of Dictynna and the royal tombs of those called the Eurypontidai. Beside the Hellenium is a sanctuary of Arsinoe, daughter of Leukippos and sister of the wives of Polydeukes and Castor (Kastor). At the place called the Forts is a temple of Artemis, and a little further on has been built a tomb for the diviners from Elis, called the Iamidai.
{3.12.9} There is also a sanctuary of Maron and of Alpheios. Of the Lacedaemonians who served at Thermopylae they consider that these men distinguished themselves in the fighting more than any save Leonidas himself. The sanctuary of Zeus Tropaean (He who turns to flight) was made by the Dorians, when they had conquered in war the Amyklaians, as well as the other Achaeans, who at that time occupied Laconia. The sanctuary of the Great Mother has paid to it the most extraordinary honors. After it come the hero-shrines of Hippolytus, son of Theseus, and of the Arcadian Aulon, son of Tlesimenes. Some say that Tlesimenes was a brother, others a son of Parthenopaeus, son of Melanion.
{3.12.10} Leading from the marketplace is another road, on which they have built what is called Scias (Canopy), where even at the present day they hold their meetings of the Assembly. This Canopy was made, they say, by Theodoros of Samos, who discovered the melting of iron and the moulding of images from it. [36] Here the Lacedaemonians hung the harp of Timotheus of Miletus, to express their disapproval of his innovation in harping, the addition of four strings to the seven old ones.
{3.12.11} By the Canopy is a circular building, and in it images of Zeus and Aphrodite surnamed Olympian. This, they say, was set up by Epimenides, but their account of him does not agree with that of the Argives, for the Lacedaemonians deny that they ever fought with the Cnossians.
{3.13.1} Hard by is the tomb of Cynortas son of Amyclas, together with the tomb of Castor (Kastor), and over the tomb there has also been made a sanctuary, for they say that it was not before the fortieth year after the fight with Idas and Lynkeus that divine honors were paid to the sons of Tyndareus. By the Canopy is also shown the tomb of Idas and Lynkeus. Now it fits in best with their history to hold that they were buried not here but in Messenia.
{3.13.2} But the disasters of the Messenians, and the length of their exile from the Peloponnesus, even after their return wrapped in darkness much of their ancient history, and their. ignorance makes it easy for any who wish to dispute a claim with them.
Opposite the Olympian Aphrodite the Lacedaemonians have a temple of the Savior Maiden. Some say that it was made by Orpheus the Thracian, others by Abairis when he had come from the Hyperboreans.
{3.13.3} Carneus, whom they surname “of the House,” had honors in Sparta even before the return of the Herakleidai, his seat being in the house of a seer, Crius (Ram) the son of Theokles. The daughter of this Crius was met as she was filling her pitcher by spies of the Dorians, who entered into conversation with her, visited Crius and learned from him how to capture Sparta.
{3.13.4} The cult of Apollo Carneus has been established among all the Dorians ever since Carnus, an Acarnanian by birth, who was a seer of Apollo. When he was killed by Hippotes the son of Phylas, the wrath of Apollo fell upon the camp of the Dorians Hippotes went into banishment because of the bloodguilt, and from this time the custom was established among the Dorians of propitiating the Acarnanian seer. But this Carnus is not the Lacedaemonian Carneus of the House, who was worshipped in the house of Crius the seer while the Achaeans were still in possession of Sparta.
{3.13.5} The poetess Praxilla represents Carneus as the son of Europa, Apollo and Leto being his nurses. There is also another account of the name; in Trojan Ida there grew in a grove of Apollo cornel trees, which the Greeks cut down to make the Wooden Horse. Learning that the god was angry with them they propitiated him with sacrifices and named Apollo Carneus from the cornel tree (craneia), a custom prevalent in the olden time making them transpose the r and the a.
{3.13.6} Not far from Carneus is what is called the image of Aphetaeus. Here they say was the starting-place of the race run by the suitors of Penelope. There is a place having its porticoes in the form of a square, where of old stuff used to be sold to the people. By this is an altar of Zeus Counsellor and of Athena Counsellor, also of the Dioskouroi, likewise surnamed Counsellors.
{3.13.7} Opposite is what is called the Knoll, with a temple of Dionysus of the Knoll, by which is a precinct of the hero who they say guided Dionysus on the way to Sparta. To this hero sacrifices are offered before they are offered to the god by the daughters of Dionysus and the daughters of Leukippos. For the other eleven ladies who are named daughters of Dionysus there is held a foot-race; this custom came to Sparta from Delphi.
{3.13.8} Not far from the Dionysus is a sanctuary of Zeus of Fair Wind, on the right of which is a hero-shrine of Pleuron. The sons of Tyndareus were descended on their mother's side from Pleuron, for Asios in his poem says that Thestios the father of Leda was the son of Agenor the son of Pleuron. Not far from the hero-shrine is a hill, and on the hill a temple of Argive Hērā, set up, they say, by Eurydikē, the daughter of Lacedaemon and the wife of Akrisios the son of Abas. An oracular utterance caused to be built a sanctuary of Hērā Hyperchemia (she whose hand is above) at a time when the Eurotas was flooding a great part of the land.
{3.13.9} An old wooden image they call that of Aphrodite Hērā. A mother is accustomed to sacrifice to the goddess when a daughter is married. On the road to the right of the hill is a statue of Hetoimokles. Both Hetoimokles himself and his father Hipposthenes won Olympic victories for wrestling the two together won eleven, but Hipposthenes succeeded in beating his son by one victory.
{3.14.1} On going westwards from the marketplace is a cenotaph of Brasidas the son of Tellis. [37] Not far from it is the theater, made of white marble and worth seeing. Opposite the theater are two tombs; the first is that of Pausanias, the general at Plataea, the second is that of Leonidas. Every year they deliver speeches over them, and hold a contest in which none may compete except Spartans. The bones of Leonidas were taken by Pausanias from Thermopylae forty years after the battle. There is set up a slab with the names, and their fathers' names, of those who endured the fight at Thermopylae against the Persians.
{3.14.2} There is a place in Sparta called Theomelida. In this part of the city are the tombs of the Agiad kings, and near is what is called the lounge of the Crotani, who form a part of the Pitanatans. Not far from the lounge is a sanctuary of Asklepios, called “in the place of the Agiadae.” Farther on is the tomb of Taenarus, after whom they say the headland was named that juts out into the sea. Here are sanctuaries of Poseidon Hippocurius (Horse-tending) and of Artemis Aiginaia (Goat-goddess?). On returning to the lounge you see a sanctuary of Artemis Issoria. They surname her also Lady of the Lake, though she is not really Artemis hut Britomartis of Crete. I deal with her in my account of Aegina.
{3.14.3} Very near to the tombs which have been built for the Agiadaiyou will see a slab, on which are written the victories in the foot-race won, at Olympia and elsewhere, by Khionis, a Lacedaemonian. [38] The Olympian victories were seven, four in the single-stadium-length race and three in the double-stadium-length race. [39] The race with the shield, that takes place at the end of the contest, was not at that time one of the events. It is said that Khionis also took part in the expedition of Battos of Thera, helped him to found Cyrene and to reduce the neighboring Libyans.
{3.14.4} The sanctuary of Thetis was set up, they say, for the following reason. The Lacedaemonians were making war against the Messenians, who had revolted, and their king Anaxander, having invaded Messenia, took prisoners certain women, and among them Kleo, priestess of Thetis. This Kleo the wife of Anaxandros asked for from her husband, and discovering that she had the wooden image of Thetis, she set up with her a temple for the goddess. This Leandris did because of a vision in a dream,
{3.14.5} but the wooden image of Thetis is guarded in secret. The cult of Demeter Chthonia (of the Lower World) the Lacedaemonians say was handed on to them by Orpheus, but in my opinion it was because of the sanctuary in Hermione [40] that the Lacedaemonians also began to worship Demeter Chthonia. The Spartans have also a sanctuary of Serapis, the newest sanctuary in the city, and one of Zeus surnamed Olympian.
{3.14.6} The Lacedaemonians give the name Running Course to the place where it is the custom for the young men even down to the present day to practice running. As you go to this Course from the tomb of the Agiadae, you see on the left the tomb of Eumedes—this Eumedes was one of the children of Hippokoön—and also an old image of Hēraklēs, to whom sacrifice is paid by the Sphaereis. These are those who are just passing from youth to manhood. In the Course are two gymnastic schools, one being a votive gift of Eurykles, a Spartan. Outside the Course, over against the image of Hēraklēs, there is a house belonging now to a private individual, but in olden times to Menelaos. Farther away from the Course are sanctuaries of the Dioskouroi, of the Graces, of Eileithuia, of Apollo Carneus, and of Artemis Leader.
{3.14.7} The sanctuary of Agnitas has been made on the right of the Course; Agnitas is a surname of Asklepios, because the god had a wooden image of agnus castus. The agnus is a willow like the thorn. Not far from Asklepios stands a trophy, raised, they say, by Polydeukes to celebrate his victory over Lynkeus. This is one of the pieces of evidence that confirm my statement that the sons of Aphareus were not buried in Sparta. At the beginning of the Course are the Dioskouroi Starters, and a little farther on a hero-shrine of Alcon, who they say was a son of Hippokoön.
Beside the shrine of Alcon is a sanctuary of Poseidon, whom they surname “of the House.”
{3.14.8} And there is a place called Platanistas (Plane tree Grove) from the unbroken ring of tall plane trees growing round it. The place itself, where it is customary for the youths to fight, is surrounded by a moat just like an island in the sea; you enter it by bridges. On each of the two bridges stand images; on one side an image of Hēraklēs, on the other a likeness of Lycurgus (Lykourgos). Among the laws Lycurgus (Lykourgos) laid down for the constitution are those regulating the fighting of the youths.
{3.14.9} There are other acts performed by the youths, which I will now describe. Before the fighting they sacrifice in the Phoebaeum, which is outside the city, not far distant from Therapne. Here each company of youths sacrifices a puppy to Enyalios, holding that the most valiant of tame animals is an acceptable victim to the most valiant of the gods. I know of no other Greeks who are accustomed to sacrifice puppies except the people of Kolophon; these too sacrifice a puppy, a black bitch, to the Wayside Goddess. Both the sacrifice of the Kolophonians and that of the youths at Sparta are appointed to take place at night.
{3.14.10} At the sacrifice the youths set trained boars to fight; the company whose boar happens to win generally gains the victory in Plane tree Grove. Such are the performances in the Phoebaeum. A little before the middle of the next day they enter by the bridges into the place I have mentioned. They cast lots during the night to decide by which entrance each band is to go in. In fighting they use their hands, kick with their feet, bite, and gouge out the eyes of their opponents. Man to man they fight in the way I have described, but in the melee they charge violently and push one another into the water.
{3.15.1}At Plane tree Grove there is also a hero-shrine of Kyniska, daughter of Arkhidamos king of the Spartans. She was the first woman to breed horses, and the first to win a chariot-race at Olympia. Behind the portico built by the side of Plane tree Grove are other hero-shrines, of Alcimus, of Enaraephorus, at a little distance away one of Dorceus, and close to it one of Sebrus.
{3.15.2} These are said to be sons of Hippokoön. The fountain near the hero-shrine of Dorceus they call Dorcean after him; the place Sebrium is named after Sebrus. On the right of Sebrium is the tomb of Alcman, the lyric poet, the charm of whose works was not in the least spoilt by the Laconian dialect, which is the least musical of them all.
{3.15.3} There are sanctuaries of Helen and of Hēraklēs; the former is near the tomb of Alcman, the latter is quite close to the wall and contains an armed image of Hēraklēs. The attitude of the image is due, they say, to the fight with Hippokoön and his sons. The enmity of Hēraklēs towards the lineage of Hippokoön is said to have sprung out of their refusing to purify him when he came to Sparta for purifying after the death of Iphitos.
{3.15.4} The following incident, too, helped to begin the feud. Oeonus, a young cousin of Hēraklēs—he was the son of Licymnius the brother of Alcmene—came to Sparta along with Hēraklēs, and went round to view the city. When he came to the house of Hippokoön, a house-dog attacked him. Oeonus happened to throw a stone which knocked over the dog. So the sons of Hippokoön ran out, and dispatched Oeonus with their clubs.
{3.15.5} This made Hēraklēs most bitterly angry with Hippokoön and his sons, and straightway, angry as he was, he set out to give them battle. On this occasion he was wounded, and made good his retreat by stealth but afterwards he made an expedition against Sparta and succeeded in avenging himself on Hippokoön, and also on the sons of Hippokoön for their murder of Oeonus. The tomb of Oeonus is built by the side of the sanctuary of Hēraklēs.
{3.15.6} As you go from the Course towards the east, there is a path on the right, with a sanctuary of Athena called Axiopoinos (Just Requital or Tit for Tat). For when Hēraklēs, in avenging himself on Hippokoön and his sons, had inflicted upon them a just requital for their treatment of his relative, he founded a sanctuary of Athena, and surnamed her Axiopoinos because the ancients used to call vengeance poinai. There is another sanctuary of Athena on another road from the Course. It was dedicated, they say, by Theras son of Autesion son of Tisamenus son of Thersandros, when he was leading a colony to the island now called Thera after him, the name of which in ancient times was Kalliste (Fairest).
{3.15.7} Near is a temple of Hipposthenes, who won so many victories in wrestling. They worship Hipposthenes in accordance with an oracle, paying him honors as to Poseidon. Opposite this temple is an old image of Enyalios in fetters. The idea the Lacedaemonians express by this image is the same as the Athenians express by their Wingless Victory; the former think that Enyalios will never run away from them, being bound in the fetters, while the Athenians think that Victory, having no wings, will always remain where she is.
{3.15.8} In this fashion, and with such a belief have these cities set up the wooden images. In Sparta is a lounge called Painted, and by it hero-shrines of Kadmos the son of Agenor, and of his descendants Oiolykos, son of Theras, and Aigeus, son of Oiolykos. They are said to have been made by Maesis, Laeas and Europas, sons of Hyraeus, son of Aigeus. They made for Amphilokhos too his hero-shrine, because their ancestor Tisamenus had for his mother Demonassa, the sister of Amphilokhos.
{3.15.9} The Lacedaemonians are the only Greeks who surname Hērā Goat-eater, and sacrifice goats to the goddess. They say that Hēraklēs founded the sanctuary and was the first to sacrifice goats, because in his fight against Hippokoön and his children he met with no hindrance from Hērā, although in his other adventures he thought that the goddess opposed him. He sacrificed goats, they say, because he lacked other kinds of victims.
{3.15.10} Not far from the theater is a sanctuary of Poseidon God of Kin, and there are hero-shrines of Kleodaios, son of Hyllos, and of Oibalos. The most famous of their sanctuaries of Asklepios has been built near Boöneta, and on the left is the hero-shrine of Teleklos. I shall mention him again later in my history of Messenia. [41] A little farther on is a small hill, on which is an ancient temple with a wooden image of Aphrodite armed. This is the only temple I know that has an upper storey built upon it.
{3.15.11} It is a sanctuary of Morpho, a surname of Aphrodite, who sits wearing a veil and with fetters on her feet. The story is that the fetters were put on her by Tyndareus, who symbolized by the bonds the faithfulness of wives to their husbands. The other account, that Tyndareus punished the goddess with fetters because he thought that from Aphrodite had come the shame of his daughters, I will not admit for a moment. For it were surely altogether silly to expect to punish the goddess by making a cedar figure and naming it Aphrodite.
{3.16.1} Near is a sanctuary of Hilaeira and of Phoebe. The author of the poem Cypria calls them daughters of Apollo. Their priestesses are young maidens, called, as are also the goddesses, Leukippides (Daughter of Leukippos). [42] One of the images was adorned by a Leucippis who had served the goddesses as a priestess. She gave it a face of modern workmanship instead of the old one; she was forbidden by a dream to adorn the other one as well. Here there his been hung from the roof an egg tied to ribands, and they say that it is the famous egg that legend says Leda brought forth.
{3.16.2} Each year the women weave a tunic for the Apollo at Amyklai, and they call Tunic the chamber in which they do their weaving. Near it is built a house, said to have been occupied originally by the sons of Tyndareus, but afterwards it was acquired by Phormion, a Spartan. To him came the Dioskouroi in the likeness of strangers. They said that they had come from Cyrene, and asked to lodge with him, requesting to have the chamber which had pleased them most when they dwelled among men.
{3.16.3} He replied that they might lodge in any other part of the house they wished, but that they could not have the chamber.
For it so happened that his virgin daughter was living in it. By the next day this maiden and all her girlish apparel had disappeared, and in the room were found images of the Dioskouroi, a table, and silphium upon it.
{3.16.4} Such is the story. As you go from the Tunic in the direction of the gate there is a hero-shrine of Kheilon, who is considered one of the Seven Sages, and also of Athenodoros, one of those who with Dorieus the son of Anaxandrides set out for Sicily. The reason of their setting out was that they held that the Erycine district belonged to the descendants of Hēraklēs and not to the foreigners who held it. The story is that Hēraklēs wrestled with Eryx on these terms: if Hēraklēs won, the land of Eryx was to belong to him but if he were beaten, Eryx was to depart with the cows of Geryon;
{3.16.5} for Hēraklēs at the time was driving these away, and when they swam across to Sicily he too crossed over in search of them near the bent olive tree. The good will [tò eumenes] emanating from the gods [theoi] was more partial to Hēraklēs than it was afterwards to Dorieus the son of Anaxandrides; Hēraklēs killed Eryx, but Dorieus himself and the greater part of his army were destroyed by the Egestaeans.
{3.16.6} The Lacedaemonians have also made a sanctuary for Lycurgus (Lykourgos), who drew up the laws, looking upon him as a god. Behind the temple is the tomb of Eukosmos, the son of Lycurgus (Lykourgos), and by the altar the tomb of Lathria and Anaxandra. Now these were themselves twins, and therefore the sons of Aristodemos, who also were twins likewise, took them to wife; they were daughters of Thersandros son of Agamedidas, king of the people of Kleonai and great-grandson of Ktesippos, son of Hēraklēs. Opposite the temple is the tomb of Theopompos son of Nikandros, and also that of Eurybiades, who commanded the Lacedaemonian warships that fought the Persians at Artemisium and Salamis. Near is what is called the hero-shrine of Astrabacus.
{3.16.7} The place named Limnaeum (Marshy) is sacred to Artemis Orthia (Upright). The wooden image there they say is that which once Orestes and Iphigenia stole out of the Tauric land, and the Lacedaemonians say that it was brought to their land because there also Orestes was king. I think their story more probable than that of the Athenians. For what could have induced Iphigenia to leave the image behind at Brauron? Or why did the Athenians, when they were preparing to abandon their land, fail to include this image in what they put on board their ships?
{3.16.8} And yet, right down to the present day, the fame of the Tauric goddess has remained so high that the Cappadocians dwelling on the Euxine claim that the image is among them, a like claim being made by those Lydians also who have a sanctuary of Artemis Anaeitis. But the Athenians, we are asked to believe, made light of the fact that it was plundered by the Persians. For the image at Brauron was brought to Susa, and afterwards Seleukos gave it to the Syrians of Laodicea, who still possess it.
{3.16.9} I will give other evidence that the Orthia in Lacedaemon is the wooden image from the foreigners. Firstly, Astrabacus and Alopecus, sons of Irbus, son of Amphisthenes, son of Amphikles, son of Agis, when they found the image straightway became insane. Secondly, the Spartan Limnatians, the Cynosurians, and the people of Mesoa and Pitane, while sacrificing to Artemis, fell to quarreling, which led also to bloodshed; many were killed at the altar and the rest died of disease.
{3.16.10} Whereat an oracle was delivered to them, that they should stain the altar with human blood. He used to be sacrificed upon whomsoever the lot fell, but Lycurgus (Lykourgos) changed the custom to a scourging of the boys, and so in this way the altar is stained with human blood. By them stands the priestess, holding the wooden image. Now it is small and light,
{3.16.11} but if ever the scourgers spare the lash because of a boy's beauty or high rank, then at once the priestess finds the image grow so heavy that she can hardly carry it. She lays the blame on the scourgers, and says that it is their fault that she is being weighed down. So the image ever since the sacrifices in the Tauric land keeps its fondness for human blood. They call it not only Orthia, but also Lygodesma (Willow-bound), because it was found in a thicket of willows, and the encircling willow made the image stand upright.
{3.17.1} Not far from the Orthia is a sanctuary of Eileithuia. They say that they built it, and came to worship Eileithuia as a goddess, because of an oracle from Delphi.
The Lacedaemonians have no citadel rising to a conspicuous height like the Kadmeia at Thebes and the Larisa at Argos. There are, however, hills in the city, and the highest of them they call the citadel.
{3.17.2} Here is built a sanctuary of Athena, who is called both City-protecting and Lady of the Bronze House. The building of the sanctuary was begun, they say, by Tyndareus. On his death his children were desirous of making a second attempt to complete the building, and the resources they intended to use were the spoils of Aphidna. They too left it unfinished, and it was many years afterwards that the Lacedaemonians made of bronze both the temple and the image of Athena. The builder was Gitiadas, a native of Sparta, who also composed Dorian lyrics, including a hymn to the goddess. [43]
{3.17.3} On the bronze are made-in-relief many of the labors of Hēraklēs and many of the voluntary exploits he successfully carried out, besides the abduction of the daughters of Leukippos and other achievements of the sons of Tyndareus. There is also Hephaistos releasing his mother from the fetters. The legend about this I have already related in my history of Attica. [44] There are also represented nymphs bestowing upon Perseus, who is starting on his enterprise against Medusa in Libya, a cap and the shoes by which he was to be carried through the air. Also crafted are the birth of Athena, Amphitrite, and Poseidon, the largest figures, and those which I thought the best worth seeing.
{3.17.4} There is here another sanctuary of Athena; her surname is the Worker. As you go to the south portico there is a temple of Zeus surnamed Kosmetas (Orderer), and before it is the tomb of Tyndareus. The west portico has two eagles, and upon them are two Victories. Lysander dedicated them to commemorate both his exploits; the one was off Ephesos, when he conquered Antiokhos, the captain of Alcibiades, and the Athenian warships and the second occurred later, when he destroyed the Athenian fleet at Aigospotamoi.
{3.17.5} On the left of the Lady of the Bronze House they have set up a sanctuary of the Muses, because the Lacedaemonians used to go out to fight, not to the sound of the trumpet, but to the music of the flute and the accompaniment of lyre and harp. Behind the Lady of the Bronze House is a temple of Aphrodite Areia (Warlike). The wooden images are as old as any in Greece.
{3.17.6} On the right of the Lady of the Bronze House has been set up an image of Zeus Most High, the oldest image that is made of bronze. It is not created in one piece. Each of the limbs has been hammered separately; these are fitted together, being prevented from coming apart by nails. They say that the artist was Klearkhos of Rhēgion, who is said by some to have been a pupil of Dipoinos [45] and Skyllis, by others of Daidalos himself. By what is called the Scenoma (Tent) there is a statue of a woman, whom the Lacedaemonians say is Euryleonis. She won a victory at Olympia with a two-horse chariot.
{3.17.7} By the side of the altar of the Lady of the Bronze House stand two statues of Pausanias, the general at Plataea. His history, as it is known, I will not relate. The accurate accounts of my predecessors suffice; I shall content myself with adding to them what I heard from a man of Byzantium. Pausanias was detected in his treachery, and was the only suppliant of the Lady of the Bronze House who failed to win security, solely because he had been unable to wipe away a defilement of bloodshed.
{3.17.8} When he was cruising about the Hellespont with the Lacedaemonian and allied fleets, he fell in love with a Byzantine girl. And straightway at the beginning of night Kleonike —that was the girl's name—was brought by those who had been ordered to do so. But Pausanias was asleep at the time and the noise awoke him. For as she came to him she unintentionally dropped her lighted lamp. And Pausanias, conscious of his treason to Greece, and therefore always nervous and fearful, jumped up then and struck the girl with his sword.
{3.17.9} From this defilement Pausanias could not escape, although he underwent all sorts of purifications and became a suppliant of Zeus Phyxios (God of Flight), and finally went to the wizards at Phigalia in Arcadia but he paid a fitting penalty to Kleonike and to the god. The Lacedaemonians, in fulfillment of a command from Delphi, had the bronze images made and honor the spirit Bountiful, saying that it was this Bountiful that turns aside the wrath that the God of Suppliants shows because of Pausanias.
{3.18.1} Near the statues of Pausanias is an image of Aphrodite Ambologera (Postponer of Old Age), which was set up in accordance with an oracle; there are also images of Sleep and of Death. They think them brothers, in accordance with the verses in the Iliad.
{3.18.2} As you go towards what is called the Alpium is a temple of Athena Ophthalmitis (Goddess of the Eye). They say that Lycurgus (Lykourgos) dedicated it when one of his eyes had been struck out by Alkandros, because the laws he had made happened not to find favor with Alkandros. Having fled to this place he was saved by the Lacedaemonians from losing his remaining eye, and so he made this temple of Athena Ophthalmitis.
{3.18.3} Farther on from here is a sanctuary of Ammon. From the first the Lacedaemonians are known to have used the oracle in Libya more than any other Greeks. It is said also that when Lysander was besieging Aphytis in Pallene Ammon appeared by night and declared that it would be better for him and for Lacedaemon if they ceased from warring against Aphytis. And so Lysander raised the siege, and induced the Lacedaemonians to worship the god still more. The people of Aphytis honor Ammon no less than the Ammonian Libyans.
{3.18.4} The story of Artemis Cnagia is as follows. Cnageus, they say, was a native who joined the Dioskouroi in their expedition against Aphidna. Being taken prisoner in the battle and sold into Crete, he lived as a slave where the Cretans had a sanctuary of Artemis; but in course of time he ran away in the company of the virgin priestess, who took the image with her. It is for this reason that they name Artemis Cnagia.
{3.18.5} But I am of opinion that Cnageus came to Crete in some other way, and not in the manner the Lacedaemonians state; for I do not think there was a battle at Aphidna at all, Theseus being detained among the Thesprotians and the Athenians not being unanimous, their sympathies inclining towards Menestheus. Moreover, even if a fight occurred, nobody would believe that prisoners were taken from the conquerors, especially as the victory was overwhelming, so that Aphidna itself was captured.
{3.18.6} I must now end my criticisms. As you go down to Amyklai from Sparta you come to a river called Tiasa. They hold that Tiasa was a daughter of Eurotas, and by it is a sanctuary of Graces, Phaenna and Cleta, as Alcman calls them in a poem. They believe that Lacedaemon founded the sanctuary for the Graces here, and gave them their names.
{3.18.7} The things worth seeing in Amyklai include a victor in the pentathlon, [46] named Ainetos, on a slab. The story is that he won a victory at Olympia, but died while the garland was being placed on his head. So there is the statue of this man; there are also bronze tripods. The older ones are said to be a tithe of the Messenian war.
{3.18.8} Under the first tripod stood an image of Aphrodite, and under the second an Artemis. The two tripods themselves and the reliefs are the work of Gitiadas [47] . The third was made by Gallon of Aegina, and under it stands an image of the Maiden, daughter of Demeter. Aristandros of Paros and Polycleitus of Argos [48] have statues here; the former a woman with a lyre, supposed to be Sparta, the latter an Aphrodite called “beside the Amyklaian.” These tripods are larger than the others, and were dedicated from the spoils of the victory at Aigospotamoi.
{3.18.9} Bathykles of Magnesia, [49] who made the throne of the Amyklaian, dedicated, on the completion of the throne, Graces and an image of Artemis Leucophryene. Whose pupil this Bathykles was, and who was king of Lacedaemon when he made the throne, I pass over; but I saw the throne and will describe its details.
{3.18.10} It is supported in front, and similarly behind, by two Graces and two Seasons. On the left stand Echidna and Typhos, on the right Tritons. To describe the reliefs one by one in detail would have merely bored my readers; but to be brief and concise (for the greater number of them are not unknown either) Poseidon and Zeus are carrying Taygete, daughter of Atlas, and her sister Alcyone. There are also reliefs of Atlas, the single combat of Hēraklēs and Kyknos, and the battle of the Centaurs at the cave of Pholus.
{3.18.11} I cannot say why Bathykles has represented the so-called Bull of Minos bound, and being led along alive by Theseus. There is also on the throne a band of Phaeacian dancers, and Demodocus singing. Perseus, too, is represented killing Medusa. Passing over the fight of Hēraklēs with the giant Thourios and that of Tyndareus with Eurytos, we have next the abduction of the daughters of Leukippos. Here are Dionysus, too, and Hēraklēs; Hermes is bearing the infant Dionysus to the sky [ouranos], and Athena is taking Hēraklēs to dwell henceforth with the gods.
{3.18.12} There is Peleus handing over Achilles to be reared by Kheiron, who is also said to have been his teacher. There is Cephalus, too, carried off by Day because of his beauty. The gods are bringing gifts to the marriage of Harmonia. There is created also the single combat of Achilles and Memnon , and Hēraklēs avenging himself upon Diomedes the Thracian, and upon Nessus at the river Euenus. Hermes is bringing the goddesses to Alexander to be judged. Adrastos and Tydeus are staying the fight between Amphiaraos and Lycurgus (Lykourgos) the son of Pronax.
{3.18.13} Hērā is gazing at Io, the daughter of Inakhos, who is already a cow, and Athena is running away from Hephaistos, who chases her. Next to these have been created two of the exploits of Hēraklēs—his slaying the hydra, and his bringing up the Hound of Hades. Anaxias and Mnasinous are each seated on horseback, but there is one horse only carrying Megapenthes, the son of Menelaos, and Nikostratos. Bellerophontes is destroying the beast in Lycia, and Hēraklēs is driving off the cows of Geryones.
{3.18.14} At the upper edge of the throne are created, one on each side, the sons of Tyndareus on horses. There are sphinxes under the horses, and beasts running upwards, on the one side a leopard, by Polydeukes a lioness. On the very top of the throne has been created a band of dancers, the Magnesians who helped Bathykles to make the throne.
{3.18.15} Underneath the throne, the inner part away from the Tritons contains the hunting of the Calydonian boar and Hēraklēs killing the children of Aktor. Calais and Zetes are driving the Harpies away from Phineus. Peirithous and Theseus have seized Helen, and Hēraklēs is strangling the lion. Apollo and Artemis are shooting Tityus.
{3.18.16} There is represented the fight between Hēraklēs and Oreios the Centaur, and also that between Theseus and the Bull of Minos. There are also represented the wrestling of Hēraklēs with Akhelōos, the fabled binding of Hērā by Hephaistos, the games Akastos held in honor of his father, and the story of Menelaos and the Egyptian Proteus from the Odyssey. [50] Lastly there is Admetos yoking a boar and a lion to his chariot, and the Trojans are bringing libations to Hector.
{3.19.1} The part of the throne where the god would sit is not continuous; there are several seats, and by the side of each seat is left a wide empty space, the middle, whereon the image stands, being the widest of them.
{3.19.2} I know of nobody who has measured the height of the image, but at a guess one would estimate it to be as much as thirty cubits. It is not the work of Bathykles, being old and uncouth; for though it has face, feet, and hands, the rest resembles a bronze pillar. On its head it has a helmet, in its hands a spear and a bow.
{3.19.3} The pedestal of the statue is fashioned into the shape of an altar and they say that Hyakinthos is buried in it, and at the Hyakinthia, before the sacrifice to Apollo, they devote offerings to Hyakinthos as to a hero into this altar through a bronze door, which is on the left of the altar. On the altar are made-in-relief, here an image of Biris, there Amphitrite and Poseidon. Zeus and Hermes are conversing; near stand Dionysus and Semele, with Ino by her side.
{3.19.4} On the altar are also Demeter, the Maiden, Pluto [Ploutōn], next to them Fates and Seasons, and with them Aphrodite, Athena and Artemis. They are carrying to the sky [ouranos] Hyakinthos and Polyboia, the sister, they say, of Hyakinthos, who died a virgin [parthenos]. Now this statue of Hyakinthos represents him as bearded, but Nikias, [51] son of Nikomedes, has painted him in the very prime of youthful beauty, hinting at the love of Apollo for Hyakinthos of which legend tells.
{3.19.5} Crafted on the altar is also Hēraklēs; he too is being led to the sky [ouranos] by Athena and the other gods. On the altar are also the daughters of Thestios, Muses and Seasons. As for the West Wind, how Apollo unintentionally killed Hyakinthos, and the story of the flower, we must be content with the legends, although perhaps they are not true history.
{3.19.6} Amyklai was laid waste by the Dorians, and since that time has remained a village; I found there a sanctuary and image of Alexandra worth seeing. Alexandra is said by the Amyklaians to be Cassandra, the daughter of Priam. Here is also a statue of Clytaemnestra, together with what is supposed to be the tomb of Agamemnon. The natives worship the Amyklaian god and Dionysus, surnaming the latter, quite correctly I think, Psilax. For psila is Doric for wings, and wine uplifts men and lightens their spirit no less than wings do birds.
Such I found were the things worth mentioning about Amyklai. Another road from the city leads to Therapne,
{3.19.7} and on this road is a wooden image of Athena Alea. Before the Eurotas is crossed, a little above the bank is shown a sanctuary of Zeus Wealthy. Across the river is a temple of Asklepios Cotyleus (of the Hip-joint); it was made by Hēraklēs, who named Asklepios Cotyleus, because he was cured of the wound in the hip-joint that he received in the former fight with Hippokoön and his sons. Of all the objects along this road the oldest is a sanctuary of Ares. This is on the left of the road, and the image is said to have been brought from Kolkhis by the Dioskouroi.
{3.19.8} They surname him Theritas after Thero, who is said to have been the nurse of Ares. Perhaps it was from the people of Kolkhis that they heard the name Theritas, since the Greeks know of no Thero, nurse of Ares. My own belief is that the surname Theritas [52] was not given to Ares because of his nurse, but because when a man meets an enemy in battle he must cast aside all gentleness, as Homer says of Achilles:
“And he is fierce as a lion.”
{3.19.9} The name of Therapne is derived from the daughter of Lelex, and in it is a temple of Menelaos; they say that Menelaos and Helen were buried here. The account of the Rhodians is different. They say that when Menelaos was dead, and Orestes still a wanderer, Helen was driven out by Nikostratos and Megapenthes and came to Rhodes, where she had a friend in Polyxo,
{3.19.10} the wife of Tlepolemos. For Polyxo, they say, was an Argive by descent, and when she was already married to Tlepolemos shared his flight to Rhodes. At the time she was queen of the island, having been left with an orphan boy. They say that this Polyxo desired to avenge the death of Tlepolemos on Helen, now that she had her in her power. So she sent against her when she was bathing handmaidens dressed up as Furies, who seized Helen and hanged her on a tree, and for this reason the Rhodians have a sanctuary of Helen of the Tree.
{3.19.11} A story too I will tell which I know the people of Kroton tell about Helen. The people of Himera too agree with this account. In the Euxine at the mouths of the Ister is an island sacred to Achilles. It is called White Island, and its circumference is twenty stadium-lengths. It is wooded throughout and abounds in animals, wild and tame, while on it is a temple of Achilles with an image of him.
{3.19.12} The first to sail thither legend says was Leonymus of Kroton. For when war had arisen between the people of Kroton and the people of Lokris [= Lokroi] in Italy, the people of Lokris, in virtue of the relationship between them and the Opuntians, called upon Ajax son of Oileus to help them in battle. So Leonymus the general of the people of Kroton attacked his enemy at that point where he heard that Ajax was posted in the front line. Now he was wounded in the breast, and weak with his hurt came to Delphi. When he arrived the Pythian priestess sent Leonynios to White Island, telling him that there Ajax would appear to him and cure his wound.
{3.19.13} In time he was healed and returned from White Island, where, he used to declare, he saw Achilles, as well as Ajax the son of Oileus and Ajax the son of Telamon. With them, he said, were Patroklos and Antilokhos; Helen was wedded to Achilles, and had bidden him sail to Stesichorus at Himera, and announce that the loss of his sight was caused by her wrath.
{3.20.1} Therefore Stesichorus composed his recantation. In Therapne I remember seeing the fountain Messeis. Some of the Lacedaemonians, however, have declared that of old the name Messeis was given, not to the fountain at Therapne, but to the one we call Polydeucea. The fountain Polydeucea and a sanctuary of Polydeukes are on the right of the road to Therapne.
{3.20.2} Not far from Therapne is what is called Phoebaeum, in which is a temple of the Dioskouroi. Here the youths sacrifice to Enyalios. At no great distance from it stands a sanctuary of Poseidon surnamed Earth-embracer. Going on from here in the direction of Taygetos you come to a place called Alesiai(Place of Grinding) they say that Myles (Mill-man) the son of Lelex was the first human being to invent a mill, and that he ground wheat in this Alesiae. Here they have a hero-shrine of Lacedaemon, the son of Taygete.
{3.20.3} Crossing from here a river Phellia, and going past Amyklai along a road leading straight towards the sea, you come to the site of Pharis, which was once a city of Laconia. Turning away from the Phellia to the right is the road that leads to Mount Taygetos. On the plain is a precinct of Zeus Messapeus, who is surnamed, they say, after a man who served the god as his priest. Leaving Taygetos from here you come to the site of the city Bryseae. There still remains here a temple of Dionysus with an image in the open. But the image in the temple women only may see, for women by themselves perform in secret the sacrificial rites.
{3.20.4} Above Bryseairises Taletum, a peak of Taygetos. They call it sacred to Hēlios (the Sun), and among the sacrifices they offer here to Hēlios are horses. I am aware that the Persians also are accustomed to offer the same sacrifice. Not far from Taletum is a place called Euoras, the haunt of wild animals, especially wild goats. In fact all Taygetos is a hunting-ground for these goats and for boars, and it is well stocked with both deer and bears.
{3.20.5} Between Taletum and Euoras is a place they name Therai, where they say Leto from the Peaks of Taygetos ... is a sanctuary of Demeter surnamed Eleusinian. Here according to the Lacedaemonian story Hēraklēs was hidden by Asklepios while he was being healed of a wound. In the sanctuary is a wooden image of Orpheus, a work, they say, of Pelasgians.
{3.20.6} I know also of the following rite which is performed here. By the sea was a city Helos, which Homer too has mentioned in his list of the Lacedaemonians:
“These had their home in Amyklai, and in Helos the town by the seaside.”
It was founded by Helios [Hĕlios not Hēlios], the youngest of the sons of Perseus, and the Dorians afterwards reduced it by siege. Its inhabitants became the first slaves of the Lacedaemonian state, and were the first to be called Helots [heilōtes], as in fact heilōtesthey were.* [53] The slaves afterwards acquired, although they were Dorians of Messenia, also came to be called Helots, just as the entire lineage of people who were called Hellenes [‘Greeks’] were named after the region in Thessaly once called Hellas.
{3.20.7} From this Helos, on stated days, they bring up to the sanctuary of the Eleusinian a wooden image of the Maiden, daughter of Demeter. Fifteen stadium-lengths distant from the sanctuary is Lapithaion, named after Lapithos, a native of the district. So this Lapithaion is on Taygetos, and not far off is Dereium, where is in the open an image of Artemis Dereatis, and beside it is a spring which they name Anonus. About twenty stadium-lengths past Dereum is Harpleia, which extends as far as the plain.
{3.20.8} On the road from Sparta to Arcadia there stands in the open an image of Athena surnamed Pareia, and after it is a sanctuary of Achilles. This it is not customary to open, but all the youths who are going to take part in the contest in Plane tree Grove are accustomed to sacrifice to Achilles before the fight. The Spartans say that the sanctuary was made for them by Prax, a grandson of Pergamos the son of Neoptolemos.
{3.20.9} Further on is what is called the Tomb of Horse. For Tyndareus, having sacrificed a horse here, administered an oath to the suitors of Helen, making them stand upon the pieces of the horse. The oath was to defend Helen and him who might be chosen to marry her if ever they should be wronged. When he had sworn the suitors he buried the horse here. Seven pillars, which are not far from this tomb ... in the ancient manner, I believe, which they say are images of the planets. On the road is a precinct of Cranius surnamed Stemmatias, and a sanctuary of Mysian Artemis.
{3.20.10} The image of Modesty, some thirty stadium-lengths distant from the city, they say was dedicated by Icarius, the following being the reason for making it. When Icarius gave Penelope in marriage to Odysseus, he tried to make Odysseus himself settle in Lacedaemon, but failing in the attempt, he next besought his daughter to remain behind, and when she was setting forth to Ithaca he followed the chariot, begging her to stay.
{3.20.11} Odysseus endured it for a time, but at last he ordered Penelope either to accompany him willingly, or else, if she preferred her father, to go back to Lacedaemon. They say that she made no reply, but covered her face with a veil in reply to the question, so that Icarios, realizing that she wished to depart with Odysseus, let her go, and dedicated an image of Modesty; for Penelope, they say, had reached this point of the road when she veiled herself.
{3.21.1} Twenty stadium-lengths from here the stream of the Eurotas comes very near to the road, and here is the tomb of Ladas, the fastest runner of his day. He was garlanded at Olympia for a victory in the long race, and falling ill, I take it, immediately after the victory he was on his way home; his death took place here, and his tomb is above the highway. His namesake, who also won at Olympia a victory, not in the long race but in the short race, is stated in the Eleian records of Olympic victors to have been a native of Aigion in Achaea.
{3.21.2} Farther On in the direction of Pellana is what is called Kharkoma (Trench); and after it Pellana, which in the olden time was a city. They say that Tyndareus dwelled here when he fled from Sparta before Hippokoön and his sons. Remarkable sights I remember seeing here were a sanctuary of Asklepios and the spring Pellanis. Into it they say a girl fell when she was drawing water, and when she had disappeared the veil on her head reappeared in another spring, Lancia.
{3.21.3} A hundred stadium-lengths away from Pellana is The place called Belemina. It is naturally The best watered region of Laconia, seeing that The river Eurotas passes through it, while it has abundant springs of its own.
{3.21.4} As you go down to the sea towards Gythium you come to a village called Croceae and a quarry. It is not a continuous stretch of rock, but the stones they dig out are shaped like river pebbles; they are hard to work, but when worked sanctuaries of the gods might be adorned with them, while they are especially adapted for beautifying swimming-baths and fountains. Here before the village stands an image of Zeus of Croceae in marble, and the Dioskouroi in bronze are at the quarry.
{3.21.5} After Croceae, turning away to the right from the straight road to Gythium, you will reach a city Aegiae. They say that this is the city which Homer [54] in his poem calls Augeae. Here is a lake called Poseidon's, and by the lake is a temple with an image of the god. They are afraid to take out the fish, saying that a fisherman in these waters turns into the fish called the fisher.
{3.21.6} Gythium is thirty stadium-lengths distant from Aigiai, built by the sea in the territory of the Free Laconians, whom the emperor Augustus freed from the bondage in which they had been to the Lacedaemonians in Sparta. All the Peloponnesus, except the Isthmus of Corinth, is surrounded by sea, but the best shell-fish for the manufacture of purple dye after those of the Phoenician sea are to be found on the coast of Laconia.
{3.21.7} The Free Laconians have eighteen cities; the first as you go down from Aigiai to the sea is Gythium; after it come Teuthrone and Las and Pyrrhikos; on Taenarum are Caenepolis, Oetylus, Leuktra and Thalamae, and in addition Alagoma and Gerenia. On the other side of Clythium by the sea are Asopos, Acriae, Boeae, Larax, Epidaurus Limera, Brasiae, Geronthraiand Marius. These are all that are left to the Free Laconians out of twenty-four cities which once were theirs. All the other cities with which my narrative will deal belong, it must be remembered, to Sparta, and are not independent like those I have already mentioned.
{3.21.8} The people of Cythium say that their city had no human founder, but that Hēraklēs and Apollo, when they were reconciled after their strife for the possession of the tripod, united to found the city. In the marketplace they have images of Apollo and of Hēraklēs, and a Dionysus stands near them. In another part of the city are Carnean Apollo, a sanctuary of Ammon and a bronze image of Asklepios, whose temple is roofless, a spring belonging to the god, a holy sanctuary of Demeter and an image of Poseidon Earth-embracer.
{3.21.9} Him whom the people of Cythium name Old Man, saying that he lives in the sea, I found to be Nereus. They got this name originally from Homer, who says in a part of the Iliad, where Thetis is speaking:
Into the broad expanse, and into the bosom of ocean
Plunge, to behold the old man of the sea and the home of your father.
Iliad 18.140-141
Here is also a gate called the Gate of Castor (Kastor), and on the citadel have been built a temple and image of Athena.
{3.22.1} Just about three stadium-lengths from Gythium is an unfinished stone. Legend has it that when Orestes sat down upon it his madness left him. For this reason the stone was named in the Dorian tongue Zeus Cappotas. Before Gythium lies the island Cranae, and Homer [55] says that when Alexander had carried off Helen he had intercourse with her there for the first time. On the mainland opposite the island is a sanctuary of Aphrodite Migonitis (Union), and the whole place is called Migonium.
{3.22.2} This sanctuary, they say, was made by Alexander. But when Menelaos had taken Ilion and had returned safe home eight years after the sack of Troy, he set up near the sanctuary of Migonitis an image of Thetis and the goddesses Praxidikai (Exacters of Justice). Above Migonium is a mountain called Larysiumi sacred to Dionysus, and at the beginning of spring they hold a festival in honor of Dionysus, and among the things they say about the ritual is that they find here a ripe bunch of grapes.
{3.22.3} Some thirty stadium-lengths beyond Gythium on the left there are on the mainland walls of a place called Trinasus (Three Islands), which was in my opinion a fort and not a city. Its name I think is derived from the islets which lie off the coast here, three in number. About eighty stadium-lengths beyond Trinasus I came to the ruins o Af Helos,
{3.22.4} and some thirty stadium-lengths farther is Acriae, a city on the coast. Well worth seeing here are a temple and marble image of the Mother of the Gods. The people of Acriae say that this is the oldest sanctuary of this goddess in the Peloponnesus, although the Magnesians, who live to the north of Mount Sipylos, have on the rock Koddinos the most ancient of all the images of the Mother of the gods. The Magnesians say that it was made by Broteas the son of Tantalos.
{3.22.5} The people of Acriae once produced an Olympian victor, Nikokles, who at two Olympian festivals carried off five prizes for running. There has been raised to him a monument between the gymnasium and the wall by the harbor.
{3.22.6} A hundred and twenty stadium-lengths inland from Acriae is Geronthrae. It was inhabited before the Herakleidai came to Peloponnesus, but the Dorians of Lacedaemon expelled the Achaean inhabitants and afterwards sent to it settlers of their own; but in my time it belonged to the Free Laconians. On the road from Acriae to Geronthraiis a village called Palaia (Old), and in Geronthraiitself are a temple and grove of Ares.
{3.22.7} Every year they hold a festival in honor of the God, at which women are forbidden to enter the grove. Around the marketplace are their springs of drinking-water. On the citadel is a temple of Apollo with the head of an ivory image. The rest of the image was destroyed by fire along with the former temple.
{3.22.8} Marius is another town of the Free Laconians, distant from Geronthraione hundred stadium-lengths. Here is an ancient sanctuary common to all the gods, and around it is a grove containing springs. In a sanctuary of Artemis also there are springs. In fact Marius has an unsurpassed supply of water. Above the town, and like it in the interior, is a village, Glyppia. From Geronthraito another village, Selinous, is a journey of twenty stadium-lengths.
{3.22.9} These places are inland from Acriae. By the sea is a city Asopos, sixty stadium-lengths distant from Acriae. In it is a temple of the Roman emperors, and about twelve stadium-lengths inland from the city is a sanctuary of Asklepios. They call the god Philolaos, and the bones in the gymnasium, which they worship, are human, although of superhuman size. On the citadel is also a sanctuary of Athena, surnamed Cyparissia (Cypress Goddess). At the foot of the citadel are the ruins of a city called the City of the Paracyparissian [56] Achaeans.
{3.22.10} There is also in this district a sanctuary of Asklepios, about fifty stadium-lengths from Asopos the place where the sanctuary is they name Hyperteleatum. Two hundred stadium-lengths from Asopos there juts out into the sea a headland, which they call Onugnathus (Jaw of an Ass). Here is a sanctuary of Athena, having neither image nor roof. Agamemnon is said to have made it. There is also the tomb of Cinadus, one of the pilots of the ship of Menelaos.
{3.22.11} After the peak there runs into the land the Gulf of Boeae, and the city of Boeae is at the head of the gulf. This was founded by Boeus, one of the Herakleidai, and he is said to have collected inhabitants for it from three cities, Etis, Aphrodisias and Side. Of the ancient cities two are said to have been founded by Aeneas when he was fleeing to Italy and had been driven into this gulf by storms. Etias, they allege, was a daughter of Aeneas. The third city they say was named after Side, daughter of Danaos.
{3.22.12} When the inhabitants of these cities were expelled, they were anxious to know where they ought to settle, and an oracle was given them that Artemis would show them where they were to dwell. When therefore they had gone on shore, and a hare appeared to them, they looked upon the hare as their guide on the way. When it dived into a myrtle tree, they built a city on the site of the myrtle, and down to this day they worship that myrtle tree, and name Artemis Savior.
{3.22.13} In the marketplace of Boeae is a temple of Apollo, and in another part of the town are temples of Asklepios, of Serapis, and of Isis. The ruins of Etis are not more than seven stadium-lengths distant from Boeae. On the way to them there stands on the left a stone image of Hermes. Among the ruins is a not insignificant sanctuary of Asklepios and Hygieia.
{3.23.1} Cythera lies opposite Boeae; to the promontory of Platanistos, the point where the island lies nearest to the mainland, it is a voyage of forty stadium-lengths from a promontory on the mainland called Onugnathus. In Cythera is a port Scandeia on the coast, but the town Cythera is about ten stadium-lengths inland from Scandeia. The sanctuary of Aphrodite the celestial one [Ourania]is most holy, and it is the most ancient of all the sanctuaries of Aphrodite among the Greeks. The goddess herself is represented by an armed image of wood.
{3.23.2} On the voyage from Boeae towards the point of Malea is a harbor called Nymphaeum, with a statue of Poseidon standing, and a cave close to the sea; in it is a spring of sweet water. There is a large population in the district. After doubling the point of Malea and proceeding a hundred stadium-lengths, you reach a place on the coast within the frontier of the Boeatae, which is sacred to Apollo and called Epidelium.
{3.23.3} For the wooden image which is now here, once stood in Delos. Delos was then a Greek market, and seemed to offer security to traders on account of the god; but as the place was unfortified and the inhabitants unarmed, Menophanes, an officer of Mithridates, attacked it with a fleet, to show his contempt for the god, or acting on the orders of Mithridates; for to a man whose object is gain what is sacred is of less account than what is profitable.
{3.23.4} This Menophanes put to death the foreigners residing there and the Delians themselves, and after plundering much property belonging to the traders and all the offerings, and also carrying women and children away as slaves, he razed Delos itself to the ground. As it was being sacked and pillaged, one of the barbarians wantonly flung this image into the sea; but the wave took it and brought it to land here in the country of the Boeatae. For this reason they call the place Epidelium.
{3.23.5} But neither Menophanes nor Mithridates himself escaped the wrath of the god. Menophanes, as he was putting to sea after the sack of Delos was sunk at once by those of the merchants who had escaped; for they lay in wait for him in ships. The god caused Mithridates at a later date to lay hands upon himself, when his empire had been destroyed and he himself was being hunted on all sides by the Romans. There are some who say that he obtained a violent death as a favor at the hands of one of his mercenaries. This was the reward of their impiety.
{3.23.6} The country of the Boeatae is adjoined by Epidaurus Limera, distant some two hundred stadium-lengths from Epidelium. The people say that they are not descended from the Lacedaemonians but from the Epidaurians of the Argolid, and that they touched at this point in Laconia when sailing on public business to Asklepios in Kos. Warned by dreams that appeared to them, they remained and settled here.
{3.23.7} They also say that a snake, which they were bringing from their home in Epidaurus, escaped from the ship, and disappeared into the ground not far from the sea. As a result of the portent of the snake together with the vision in their dreams they resolved to remain and settle here. There are altars to Asklepios where the snake disappeared, with olive trees growing round them.
{3.23.8} About two stadium-lengths to the right is the water of Ino, as it is called, in extent like a small lake, but going deeper into the earth. Into this water they throw cakes of barley meal at the festival of Ino. If good luck is portended to the thrower, the water keeps them under. But if it brings them to the surface, it is judged a bad sign.
{3.23.9} The craters in Aetna have the same feature; for they lower into them objects of gold and silver and also all kinds of victims. If the fire receives and consumes them, they rejoice at the appearance of a good sign, but if it casts up what has been thrown in, they think misfortune will befall the man to whom this happens.
{3.23.10} By the road leading from Boeae to Epidaurus Limera is a sanctuary of Artemis Limnatis (Of the Lake) in the country of the Epidaurians. The city lies on high ground, not far from the sea. Here the sanctuary of Artemis is worth seeing, also that of Asklepios with a standing statue of stone, a temple of Athena on the acropolis, and of Zeus with the title Savior in front of the harbor.
{3.23.11} A promontory called Minoa projects into the sea near [57] the town. The bay has nothing to distinguish it from all the other inlets of the sea in Laconia, but the beach here contains pebbles of prettier form and of all colors.
{3.24.1} A hundred stadium-lengths from Epidaurus is Zarax; though possessing a good harbor, it is the most ruinous of the towns of the Free Laconians, since it was the only town of theirs to be depopulated by Kleonymos the son of Kleomenes, son of Agesipolis. I have told the story of Kleomenes elsewhere. [58] There is nothing in Zarax except a temple of Apollo, with a statue holding a lyre, at the head of the harbor. [59]
{3.24.2} The road from Zarax follows the coast for about a hundred stadium-lengths, and there strikes inland. After an ascent of ten stadium-lengths inland are the ruins of the so-called Cyphanta, among which is a cave sacred to Asklepios; the image is of stone. There is a fountain of cold water springing from the rock, where they say that Atalanta, distressed by thirst when hunting, struck the rock with her spear, so that the water gushed forth.
{3.24.3} Brasiaiis the last town on the coast belonging to the Free Laconians in this direction. It is distant two hundred stadium-lengths by sea from Cyphanta. The inhabitants have a story, found nowhere else in Greece, that Semele, after giving birth to her son by Zeus, was discovered by Kadmos and put with Dionysus into a chest, which was washed up by the waves in their country. Semele, who was no longer alive when found, received a splendid funeral, but they brought up Dionysus.
{3.24.4} For this reason the name of their city, hitherto called Oreiatae, was changed to Brasiaiafter the washing up of the chest to land; so too in our time the common word used of the waves casting things ashore is ekbrazein. The people of Brasiaiadd that Ino in the course of her wanderings came to the country, and agreed to become the nurse of Dionysus. They show the cave where Ino nursed him, and call the plain the garden of Dionysus.
{3.24.5} The temples here are those of Asklepios and of Achilles, in whose honor they hold an annual festival. There is a small promontory at Brasiae, which projects gently into the sea; on it stand bronze figures, not more than a foot high, with caps on their heads. I am not sure whether they consider them to be Dioskouroi or Corybants. They are three in number; a statue of Athena makes a fourth.
{3.24.6} To the right of Gythium is Las, ten stadium-lengths from the sea and forty from Gythium. The site of the present town extends over the ground between the mountains called Ilios, Asia and Cnacadium; formerly it lay on the summit of Mount Asia. Even now there are ruins of the old town, with a statue of Hēraklēs outside the walls, and a trophy for a victory over the Macedonians. These formed a detachment of Philip's army, when he invaded Laconia, but were separated from the main body and were plundering the coastal districts.
{3.24.7} Among the ruins is a temple of Athena named Asia, made, it is said, by Polydeukes and Castor (Kastor) on their return home from Kolkhis; for the people of Kolkhis had a shrine of Athena Asia. I know that the sons of Tyndareus took part in Jason's expedition. As to the people of Kolkhis honoring Athena Asia, I give what I heard from the Lacedaemonians. Near the present town is a spring called Galaco (Milky) from the color of the water, and beside the spring a gymnasium, which contains an ancient statue of Hermes.
{3.24.8} On Mount Ilios is a temple of Dionysus, and of Asklepios at the very summit. On Cnacadium is an Apollo called Karneios.
Some thirty stadium-lengths from the Apollo is a place Hypsoi, within the Spartan frontier. Here is a sanctuary of Asklepios and of Artemis called Daphnaea (of the laurel).
{3.24.9} By the sea is a temple of Artemis Dictynna on a promontory, in whose honor they hold an annual festival. A river Smenus reaches the sea to the left of the promontory; its water is extremely sweet to drink; its sources are in Mount Taygetos, and it passes within five stadium-lengths of the town.
{3.24.10} At a spot called Arainos is the tomb of Las with a statue upon it. The natives say that Las was their founder and was killed by Achilles, and that Achilles put in to their country to ask the hand of Helen of Tyndareus. In point of fact it was Patroklos who killed Las, for it was he who was Helen's suitor. We need not regard it as a proof that Achilles did not ask for Helen because he is not mentioned in the Catalogue of Women as one of her suitors.
{3.24.11} But at the beginning of his poem Homer says that Achilles came to Troy as a favor to the sons of Atreus, [60] and not because he was bound by the oaths which Tyndareus exacted; and in the Games he makes Antilokhos say that Odysseus was a generation older than he, [61] whereas Odysseus, telling Alkinoos of his descent to Hades and other adventures, said that he wished to see Theseus and Peirithous, men of an earlier age. [62] We know that Theseus carried off Helen, so that it is quite impossible that Achilles could have been her suitor.
{3.25.1} Beyond the tomb a river named Scyras enters the sea. Formerly it was without a name, but was so called, because Pyrrhos the son of Achilles put in here when he sailed from Scyros to wed Hermione. Across the river is an ancient shrine … further from an altar of Zeus. Inland, forty stadium-lengths from the river, lies Pyrrhikos, the name of which is said to be derived from Pyrrhos the son of Achilles;
{3.25.2} but according to another account Pyrrhikos was one of the gods called Kouretes. Others say that Silenus came from Malea and settled here. That Silenus was brought up in Malea is clear from these words in an ode of Pindar:
“The mighty one, the dancer, whom the mount of Malea nurtured, husband of Nais, Silenus.”
Pindar Frag. 156 (Schröder)
Not that Pindar said his name was Pyrrhikos; that is a statement of the men of Malea.
{3.25.3} At Pyrrhikos there is a well in the marketplace, considered to be the gift of Silenus. If this were to fail, they would be short of water. The sanctuaries of the gods, that they have in the country, are of Artemis, called Astrateia, because the Amazons stayed their advance (strateia) here, and an Apollo Amazonios. Both gods are represented by wooden images, said to have been dedicated by the women from Thermodon.
{3.25.4} From Pyrrhikos the road comes down to the sea at Teuthrone. The inhabitants declare that their founder was Teuthras, an Athenian. They honor Artemis Issoria most of the Gods, and have a spring Naia. The promontory of Taenarum projects into the sea 150 stadium-lengths from Teuthrone, with the harbors Achilleios and Psamathus. On the promontory is a temple like a cave, with a statue of Poseidon in front of it.
{3.25.5} Some of the Greek poets state that Hēraklēs brought up the hound of Hades here, though there is no road that leads underground through the cave, and it is not easy to believe that the gods possess any underground dwelling where the souls collect. But Hecataeus of Miletus gave a plausible explanation, stating that a terrible serpent lived on Taenarum, and was called the hound of Hades, because any one bitten was bound to die of the poison at once, and it was this snake, he said, that was brought by Hēraklēs to Eurystheus.
{3.25.6} But Homer, who was the first to call the creature brought by Hēraklēs the hound of Hades, [63] did not give it a name or describe it as of manifold form, as he did in the case of the Chimaera. [64] Later poets gave the name Cerberus, and though in other respects they made him resemble a dog, they say that he had three heads. Homer, however, does not imply that he was a dog, the friend of man, any more than if he had called a real serpent the hound of Hades.
{3.25.7} Among other offerings on Taenarum is a bronze statue of Arion the harper on a dolphin. Herodotus has told the story of Arion and the dolphin, as he heard it, in his history of Lydia. [65] I have seen the dolphin at Poroselene that rewards the boy for saving his life. It had been damaged by fishermen and he cured it.I saw this dolphin obeying his call and carrying him whenever he wanted to ride on it.
{3.25.8} There is a spring also on Taenarum but now it possesses nothing marvellous. Formerly, as they say, it showed harbors and ships to those who looked into the water. These sights in the water were brought to an end for good and all by a woman washing dirty clothes in it.
{3.25.9} From the point of Taenarum Caenepolis is distant forty stadium-lengths by sea. Its name also was formerly Taenarum. In it is a hall of Demeter, and a temple of Aphrodite on the shore, with a standing statue of stone. Thirty stadium-lengths distant is Thyrides, a headland of Taenarum, with the ruins of a city Hippola; among them is a sanctuary of Athena Hippolaitis. A little further are the town and harbor of Messa.
{3.25.10} From this harbor it is 150 stadium-lengths to Oetylus. The hero, from whom the city received its name, was an Argive by descent, son of Amphianax, the son of Antimakhos. In Oetylus the sanctuary of Sarapis, and in the marketplace a wooden image of Apollo Karneios are worth seeing.
{3.26.1} From Oetylus to Thalamaithe road is about eighty stadium-lengths long. On it is a sanctuary of Ino and an oracle. They consult the oracle in sleep, and the goddess reveals whatever they wish to learn, in dreams. Bronze statues of Pasiphae and of Hēlios stand in the unroofed part of the sanctuary. It was not possible to see the one within the temple clearly, owing to the garlands, but they say this too is of bronze. Water, sweet to drink, flows from a sacred spring. Pasiphae is a title of the Moon, and is not a local goddess of the people of Thalamae.
{3.26.2} Twenty stadium-lengths from Thalamaiis a place called Pephnus on the coast. In front of it lies a small island no larger than a big rock, also called Pephnus. The people of Thalamaisay that the Dioskouroi were born here. I know that Alcman too says this in a song: but they do not say that they remained to be brought up in Pephnus, but that it was Hermes who took them to Pellana.
{3.26.3} In this little island there are bronze statues of the Dioskouroi, a foot high, in the open air. The sea will not move them, though in winter-time it washes over the rock, which is wonderful. Also the ants here have a whiter color than is usual. The Messenians say that this district was originally theirs, and so they think that the Dioskouroi belong to them rather than to the Lacedaemonians.
{3.26.4} Twenty stadium-lengths from Pephnus is Leuktra. I do not know why the city has this name. If indeed it is derived from Leukippos the son of Perieres, as the Messenians say, it is for this reason, I think, that the inhabitants honor Asklepios most of the gods, supposing him to be the son of Arsinoe the daughter of Leukippos. There is a stone statue of Asklepios, and of Ino in another place.
{3.26.5} Also a temple and statue have been erected to Cassandra the daughter of Priam, called Alexandra by the natives. There are wooden images of Apollo Karneios according to the same custom that prevails among the Lacedaemonians of Sparta. On the acropolis is a sanctuary and image of Athena, and there is a temple and grove of Eros in Leuktra. Water flows through the grove in winter-time, but the leaves which are shaken from the trees by the wind would not be carried away by the water even in flood.
{3.26.6} I record an event which I know to have taken place in my time on the coast of Leuktra. A fire carried by the wind into a wood destroyed most of the trees, and when the place showed bare, a statue of Zeus of Ithome was found to have been dedicated there. The Messenians say that this is evidence that Leuktra was formerly a part of Messenia. But it is possible, if the Lacedaemonians originally lived in Leuktra, that Zeus of Ithome might be worshipped among them.
{3.26.7} Cardamyle, which is mentioned by Homer in the Gifts promised by Agamemnon, [66] is subject to the Lacedaemonians of Sparta, having been separated from Messenia by the emperor Augustus. It is eight stadium-lengths from the sea and sixty from Leuktra. Here not far from the beach is a precinct sacred to the daughters of Nereus. They say that they came up from the sea to this spot to see Pyrrhos the son of Achilles, when he was going to Sparta to wed Hermione. In the town is a sanctuary of Athena, and an Apollo Karneios according to the local Dorian custom.
{3.26.8} A city, called in Homer's poems Enope, [67] with Messenian inhabitants but belonging to the league of the Free Laconians, is called in our time Gerenia. One account states that Nestor was brought up in this city, another that he took refuge here, when Pylos was captured by Hēraklēs.
{3.26.9} Here in Gerenia is a tomb of Makhaon, son of Asklepios, and a holy sanctuary. In his temple men may find cures for diseases. They call the holy spot Rhodos; there is a standing bronze statue of Makhaon, with a garland on his head which the Messenians in the local speech call kiphos. The author of the epic The Little Iliad says that Machaon was killed by Eurypylus, son of Telephus.
{3.26.10} I myself know that to be the reason of the practice at the temple of Asklepios at Pergamon, where they begin their hymns with Telephus but make no reference to Eurypylus, or care to mention his name in the temple at all, as they know that he was the slayer of Makhaon. It is said that the bones of Makhaon were brought home by Nestor, but that Podaleirios, as they were returning after the sack of Troy, was carried out of his course and reached Syrnus on the Carian mainland in safety and settled there.
{3.26.11} In the territory of Gerenia is a mountain, Calathium; on it is a sanctuary of Claea with a cave close beside it; it has a narrow entrance, but contains objects which are worth seeing. Thirty stadium-lengths inland from Gerenia is Alagonia, a town which I have already mentioned in the list of the Free Laconians. Worth seeing here are temples of Dionysus and of Artemis.


[ back ] 1. Eurotas = the fair-flowing.
[ back ] 2. That is, “Fairest.”
[ back ] 3. 560-550 BCE.
[ back ] 4. Iliad 23.611 and following, 650.
[ back ] 5. 510 BCE.
[ back ] 6. 508 BCE.
[ back ] 7. 480 BCE.
[ back ] 8. 479 BCE.
[ back ] 9. 479 BCE.
[ back ] 10. 380 BCE.
[ back ] 11. 371 BCE.
[ back ] 12. 424 BCE.
[ back ] 13. circa 262 BCE.
[ back ] 14. 510 BCE.
[ back ] 15. 479 BCE.
[ back ] 16. 476 BCE.
[ back ] 17. 42 BCE.
[ back ] 18. 432 BCE.
[ back ] 19. The cities of the Perioeci (a word which means “neighbors”), who were personally free men but had had no political rights.
[ back ] 20. Proxenos ; that is, he represented Spartan interests in Elis.
[ back ] 21. 398 BCE.
[ back ] 22. 413 BCE.
[ back ] 23. 405 BCE.
[ back ] 24. 398 BCE.
[ back ] 25. Pausanias 3.5.3 and following.
[ back ] 26. 394-387 BCE.
[ back ] 27. 390 BCE.
[ back ] 28. 356 BCE.
[ back ] 29. 222 BCE.
[ back ] 30. 560-546 BCE.
[ back ] 31. 405 BCE.
[ back ] 32. 479 BCE.
[ back ] 33. 464 BCE.
[ back ] 34. 457 BCE.
[ back ] 35. That is, Office of the Ox-buyer's.
[ back ] 36. floruit circa 540 BCE.
[ back ] 37. died 422 BCE.
[ back ] 38. floruit circa 664 BCE.
[ back ] 39. About 200 and 400 yards. The first was the length of the race-course, one stadion the second was the length of the course and back again.
[ back ] 40. Pausanias 2.35.4-8.
[ back ] 41. Pausanias 4.4.2, and 4.31.3.
[ back ] 42. Pausanias 1.18.1, 3.13.7, 3.17.3.
[ back ] 43. circa 500 BCE.
[ back ] 44. Pausanias 1.20.3.
[ back ] 45. Pausanias 2.15.1 and 2.32.5.
[ back ] 46. Pausanias 1.29.5.
[ back ] 47. circa 500 BCE.
[ back ] 48. circa 440 BCE.
[ back ] 49. circa 550 BCE.
[ back ] 50. Odyssey 4.384 and following.
[ back ] 51. floruit circa 320 BCE.
[ back ] 52. Pausanias connects the name with thēr, a wild beast.
[ back ] 53. The word heilōtes is understood to mean ‘captured persons’—so, ‘slaves’.
[ back ] 54. Iliad 2.583.
[ back ] 55. Iliad 3.445.
[ back ] 56. That is, “who live beside the Cypress Goddess.”
[ back ] 57. Or opposite(with Frazer), if Minoa is to be identified with the modern Monemvasia.
[ back ] 58. In Pausanias 3.6, where he is rightly called the nephew of Agesipolis.
[ back ] 59. Or at the entrance to the harbor. See Annual of the British School at Athens, XV. p. 169.
[ back ] 60. Iliad 1.158.
[ back ] 61. Iliad 23.790.
[ back ] 62. Odyssey 11.630.
[ back ] 63. Iliad 8.368; Odyssey 11.623.
[ back ] 64. Iliad 6.181.
[ back ] 65. Herodotus 1.23.
[ back ] 66. Iliad 9.150, 292.
[ back ] 67. Iliad 9.150, 292.