Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

manu tenuit, nec prius dimisit, quàm (manum) amitteret: tùm quoque amputatâ dextrâ, navem sinistra comprehendit; quam et ipsam cùm amisisset, ad postremùm morsu navem detinuit. Tantam in eo virtutem fuisse, ut non tot cædibus fatigatus, non duabus manibus amissis victus; truncus ad postremum, et veluti rabida fera dentibus dimicaverit. Ducenta millia Persæ eo prælio, sive naufragio, amisêre. Cecidit et Hippias tyrannus Atheniensis, autor et concitor ejus belli, diis patriæ ultoribus pœnas repetentibus.

NARRATION VI.

The battle of Thermopylæ,1 A. C. 480. (Anc. Hist. Justin, book 2.)

DARIUS, provoked at the defeat of his army, prẻpares to invade Greece with all the forces of Asia, when his projects are stopped by death. Xerxes his son, and heir of his resentment, undertakes to execute them. After five years preparation, he advances at the head of an immense army, and arrives at the straits of Thermopylæ.

1 Thermopyla. A defile at the foot of Mount Eta, which separates Thessaly from Phocis. It is now called Bocca di Lupo. Thermopyla signifies hot places, so named because there were hot springs in that place. This defile is at most 25 feet wide.

Cùm Leonida rex Spartanorum cum quatuor millibus militum angustias Thermopylarum occupasset, Xerxes contemptu paucitatis, eos pugnam capessere jubet, quorum cognati Marathoniâ pugnâ interfecti fuerant; qui dùm ulcisci suos quærunt, principium cladis fuêre: succedente deinde inutili turbâ, major cædes editur. Triduo ibi cum dolore et indignatione Persarum dimicatum: quartâ die, quum nunciatum esset Leonidæ, à xx millibus hostium summum cacumen teneri, tunc hortatur socios, recedant, et se ad meliora patriæ tempora reservent: sibi cum Spartanis fortunam experiendam; plura se patriæ quâm vitæ debere: cæteros ad præsidia Græciæ servandos. Audito regis imperio discessere cæteri, soli Lacedæmonii remanserunt. Initio hujus belli sciscitantibus Delphis oracula responsum fuerat, aut regi Spartanorum, aut urbi cadendum. Et idcirco rex Leonida, cùm in bellum proficisceretur, ita suos firmaverat, ut ire se parato ad moriendum animo scirent. Angustias propterea occupaverat, ut cum paucis aut majore gloriâ vinceret, aut minore damno reipublicæ caderet. Dimissis igitur sociis, hortatur Spartanos; Meminerint, qualitercumque præliantibus cadendum esse; caverent, ne fortiùs mansisse, quàm dimicasse videantur: nec expectandum ut ab hoste circumvenirentur, sed dùm nox occasionem daret, securis et lætis superveniendum: nusquam victores honestiùs,

quàm in castris hostium perituros. Nihil erat difficile persuadere persuasis mori: statim arma capiunt; et sexcenti viri castra quingentorum millium irrumpunt; statimque regis prætorium petunt, aut cum illo, aut si ipsi oppressi essent, in ipsius potissimum sede morituri. Tumultus totis castris oritur. Spartani, posteaquàm regem non inveniunt, per omnia castra victores vagantur, cædunt, sternuntque omnia: ut qui sciant se pugnare non spe victoriæ, sed in mortis ultionem. Prælium à principio noctis in majorem partem diei tractum. Ad postremum non victi, sed vincendo fatigati, inter ingentes stratorum hostium catervas occiderunt. Xerxes duobus vulneribus terrestri prælio acceptis, experiri maris fortunam statuit.

NARRATION VII.

The flight of Xerxes, A. C. 480..

(Anc. Hist. Justin, book 2.)

XERXES after having lost 20,000 men at Thermopylæ continues his rout, and penetrates into Attica. Themistocles, seeing that Athens was not in a state

1

of defence, counsels the inhabitants to leave the city and take refuge in vessels. The first naval combat, near Artemisium, taught the Greeks that they could cope with the enemy, notwithstanding the superiority of their forces. The victory of Salamis, owing in great part to the courage and ability of Themistocles, shewed that an excellent general alone, is almost equal to an army.

Adventante igitur Xerxe, consulentibus. Delphis oraculum responsum fuerat; salutem muris ligneis tuerentur. Themistocles navi um præsidium demonstratum ratus, persuadet omnibus, patriam municipes esse, non monia; civitatemque non in ædificiis, sed in civibus. positam; meliùs itaque salutem navibus, quàm urbi commissuros; hujus sententiæ etiam Deum auctorem esse. Probato consilio, conjuges liberosque cum pretiosissimis rebus, abditis in ́sulis, relictâ urbe, demandant: ipsi naves armati conscendunt. Exemplum Atheniensium et aliæ urbes imitatæ. Itaque cùm adunata omnis sociorum classis, et intenta in bellum navale esset, angustiasque Salaminii1 freti, ne circumveniri à multitudine posset, occupâssent; dissensio inter civitatum principes oritur: qui cùm deserto bello ad sua tuenda dilabi vellent, timens Themistocles, ne discessu

1 Salaminii Freti. The straits of Salamis, at present of Colouri, a small island in the Gulph of Egina, upon the coast of Lavidia, near the island of Egina.

[ocr errors]

sociorum vires minuerentur, per servum fidum Xerxi nunciat, uno in loco eum contractam Græciam capere facillimè posse; quòd si civitates quæ jam abire vellent, dissipentur, majore labore ei singulas consectandas. Hoc dolo impellit regem signum pugnæ dare. Græci quoque adventu hostium occupati prælium collatis viribus capessunt. Intereà rèx, velut spectator pugnæ, cum parte navium in littore remanet. Artemisia autem regina Halicarnassi1, quæ in auxilium Xerxi venerat, inter primos duces bellum acerrimè ciebat: quippe ut in viro muliebrem timorem, ita in muliere virilem audaciam cerneres. Cùm anceps prælium esset, Iones juxta præceptum Themistoclis, pugnæ se paulatim subtrahere cœperunt, quorum defectio animos cæterorum fregit. Itaque circumspicientes fugam pelluntur Persæ, et mox prælio victi, in fugam vertuntur. In quâ trepidatione multæ captæ naves, multæ mersæ; plures tamen non minùs sævitiam re

1 Halicarnassus, a city of Asia Minor, to the south-west of a small peninsula, which extends towards the island of Cos (Stanchio). It was the residence of the kings of Caria, ornamented with a superb tomb, which queen Artemisia caused to be erected for her husband's mausoleum. The historians Herodotus and Denys belonged to this city. It is entirely ruined. Some give the name of Boudroun to its remains.

C

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »