I am Alexander the Macedonian

 
 
 
 

The History of Herodotus
 
44. After the inquiry about the oracles and the exhortation given by Mardonios night came on and the guards were set: and when night was far advanced, and it seemed that there was quiet everywhere in the camps, and that the men were in their deepest sleep, then Alexander the son of Amyntas, commander and king of the Macedonians, rode his horse up to the guard-posts of the Athenians and requested that he might have speech with their generals. So while the greater number of the guards stayed at their posts, some ran to the generals, and when they reached them they said that a man had come riding on a horse out of the camp of the Medes, who discovered nothing further, but only named the generals and said that he desired to have speech with them.
 
 
 
 
 
44. [1] μετὰ δὲ τὴν ἐπειρώτησιν τῶν χρησμῶν καὶ παραίνεσιν τὴν ἐκ Μαρδονίου νύξ τε ἐγίνετο καὶ ἐς φυλακὰς ἐτάσσοντο. ὡς δὲ πρόσω τῆς νυκτὸς προελήλατο καὶ ἡσυχίη ἐδόκεε εἶναι ἀνὰ τὰ στρατόπεδα καὶ μάλιστα οἱ ἄνθρωποι εἶναι ἐν ὕπνῳ, τηνικαῦτα προσελάσας ἵππῳ πρὸς τὰς φυλακὰς τὰς Ἀθηναίων Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Ἀμύντεω, στρατηγός τε ἐὼν καὶ βασιλεὺς Μακεδόνων, ἐδίζητο τοῖσι στρατηγοῖσι ἐς λόγους ἐλθεῖν. [2] τῶν δὲ φυλάκων οἱ μὲν πλεῦνες παρέμενον, οἳ δ᾽ ἔθεον ἐπὶ τοὺς στρατηγούς, ἐλθόντες δὲ ἔλεγον ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἥκοι ἐπ᾽ ἵππου ἐκ τοῦ στρατοπέδου τοῦ Μήδων, ὃς ἄλλο μὲν οὐδὲν παραγυμνοῖ ἔπος, στρατηγοὺς δὲ ὀνομάζων ἐθέλειν φησὶ ἐς λόγους ἐλθεῖν.

 

45. Having heard this, forthwith they accompanied the men to the guard-posts, and when they had arrived there, Alexander thus spoke to them: “Athenians, I lay up these words of mine as a trust to you, charging you to keep them secret and tell them to no one except only to Pausanias, lest ye bring me to ruin: for I should not utter them if I did not care greatly for the general safety of Hellas, seeing that I am a Hellene myself by original descent and I should not wish to see Hellas enslaved instead of free. I say then that Mardonios and his army cannot get the offerings to be according to their mind, for otherwise ye would long ago have fought. Now however he has resolved to let the offerings alone and to bring on a battle at dawn of day; for, as I conjecture, he fears lest ye should assemble in greater numbers. Therefore prepare yourselves; and if after all Mardonios should put off the battle and not bring it on, stay where ye are and hold out patiently; for they have provisions only for a few days remaining. And if this way shall have its issue according to your mind, then each one of you ought to remember me also concerning liberation, since I have done for the sake of the Hellenes so hazardous a deed by reason of my zeal for you, desiring to show you the design of Mardonios, in order that the Barbarians may not fall upon you when ye are not as yet expecting them: and I am Alexander the Macedonian.” Thus having spoken he rode away back to the camp and to his own position.   45. [1] οἳ δὲ ἐπεὶ ταῦτα ἤκουσαν, αὐτίκα εἵποντο ἐς τὰς φυλακάς· ἀπικομένοισι δὲ ἔλεγε Ἀλέξανδρος τάδε. «ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, παραθήκην ὑμῖν τὰ ἔπεα τάδε τίθεμαι, ἀπόρρητα ποιεύμενος πρὸς μηδένα λέγειν ὑμέας ἄλλον ἢ Παυσανίην, μή με καὶ διαφθείρητε· οὐ γὰρ ἂν ἔλεγον, εἰ μὴ μεγάλως ἐκηδόμην συναπάσης τῆς Ἑλλάδος. [2] αὐτός τε γὰρ Ἕλλην γένος εἰμὶ τὠρχαῖον καὶ ἀντ᾽ ἐλευθέρης δεδουλωμένην οὐκ ἂν ἐθέλοιμι ὁρᾶν τὴν Ἑλλάδα. λέγω δὲ ὦν ὅτι Μαρδονίῳ τε καὶ τῇ στρατιῇ τὰ σφάγια οὐ δύναται καταθύμια γενέσθαι· πάλαι γὰρ ἂν ἐμάχεσθε. νῦν δέ οἱ δέδοκται τὰ μὲν σφάγια ἐᾶν χαίρειν, ἅμ᾽ ἡμέρῃ δὲ διαφωσκούσῃ συμβολὴν ποιέεσθαι· καταρρώδηκε γὰρ μὴ πλεῦνες συλλεχθῆτε, ὡς ἐγὼ εἰκάζω. πρὸς ταῦτα ἑτοιμάζεσθε. ἢν δὲ ἄρα ὑπερβάληται τὴν συμβολὴν Μαρδόνιος καὶ μὴ ποιέηται, λιπαρέετε μένοντες· ὀλιγέων γάρ σφι ἡμερέων λείπεται σιτία. [3] ἢν δὲ ὑμῖν ὁ πόλεμος ὅδε κατὰ νόον τελευτήσῃ, μνησθῆναι τινὰ χρὴ καὶ ἐμεῦ ἐλευθερώσιος πέρι, ὃς Ἑλλήνων εἵνεκα οὕτω ἔργον παράβολον ἔργασμαι ὑπὸ προθυμίης, ἐθέλων ὑμῖν δηλῶσαι τὴν διάνοιαν τὴν Μαρδονίου, ἵνα μὴ ἐπιπέσωσι ὑμῖν ἐξαίφνης οἱ βάρβαροι μὴ προσδεκομένοισί κω. εἰμὶ δὲ Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μακεδών.» ὃ μὲν ταῦτα εἴπας ἀπήλαυνε ὀπίσω ἐς τὸ στρατόπεδον καὶ τὴν ἑωυτοῦ τάξιν.  
46. Then the generals of the Athenians came to the right wing and told Pausanias that which they had heard from Alexander. Upon this saying he being struck with fear of the Persians spoke as follows: “Since then at dawn the battle comes on, it is right that ye, Athenians, should take your stand opposite to the Persians, and we opposite to the Bœotians and those Hellenes who are now posted against you; and for this reason, namely because ye are acquainted with the Medes and with their manner of fighting, having fought with them at Marathon, whereas we have had no experience of these men and are without knowledge of them; for not one of the Spartans has made trial of the Medes in fight, but of the Bœotians and Thessalians we have had experience. It is right therefore that ye should take up your arms and come to this wing of the army, and that we should go to the left wing.” In answer to this the Athenians spoke as follows: “To ourselves also long ago at the very first, when we saw that the Persians were being ranged opposite to you, it occurred to us to say these very things, which ye now bring forward before we have uttered them; but we feared lest these words might not be pleasing to you. Since however ye yourselves have made mention of this, know that your words have caused us pleasure, and that we are ready to do this which ye say.”
 
The History of Herodotus

parallel English/Greek
English translation: G. C. Macaulay, (pub. Macmillan, London and NY) [1890]
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
46. [1] οἱ δὲ στρατηγοὶ τῶν Ἀθηναίων ἐλθόντες ἐπὶ τὸ δεξιὸν κέρας ἔλεγον Παυσανίῃ τά περ ἤκουσαν Ἀλεξάνδρου. ὁ δὲ τούτῳ τῷ λόγῳ καταρρωδήσας τοὺς Πέρσας ἔλεγε τάδε. [2] «ἐπεὶ τοίνυν ἐς ἠῶ ἡ συμβολὴ γίνεται, ὑμέας μὲν χρεόν ἐστι τοὺς Ἀθηναίους στῆναι κατὰ τοὺς Πέρσας, ἡμέας δὲ κατὰ τοὺς Βοιωτούς τε καὶ τοὺς κατ᾽ ὑμέας τεταγμένους Ἑλλήνων, τῶνδε εἵνεκα· ὑμεῖς ἐπίστασθε τοὺς Μήδους καὶ τὴν μάχην αὐτῶν ἐν Μαραθῶνι μαχεσάμενοι, ἡμεῖς δὲ ἄπειροί τε εἰμὲν καὶ ἀδαέες τούτων τῶν ἀνδρῶν· Σπαρτιητέων γὰρ οὐδεὶς πεπείρηται Μήδων· ἡμεῖς δὲ Βοιωτῶν καὶ Θεσσαλῶν ἔμπειροι εἰμέν. [3] ἀλλ᾽ ἀναλαβόντας τὰ ὅπλα χρεόν ἐστι ἰέναι ὑμέας ἐς τόδε τὸ κέρας, ἡμέας δὲ ἐς τὸ εὐώνυμον.» πρὸς δὲ ταῦτα εἶπαν οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι τάδε. «καὶ αὐτοῖσι ἡμῖν πάλαι ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς, ἐπείτε εἴδομεν κατ᾽ ὑμέας τασσομένους τοὺς Πέρσας, ἐν νόῳ ἐγένετο εἰπεῖν ταῦτα τά περ ὑμεῖς φθάντες προφέρετε· ἀλλὰ ἀρρωδέομεν μὴ ὑμῖν οὐκ ἡδέες γένωνται οἱ λόγοι. ἐπεὶ δ᾽ ὦν αὐτοὶ ἐμνήσθητε, καὶ ἡδομένοισι ἡμῖν οἱ λόγοι γεγόνασι καὶ ἕτοιμοι εἰμὲν ποιέειν ταῦτα.»
 

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Comments
Nick Nikolas says:

Ὁ ἄνθρωπος εἶναι ἀπὸ τὴν φὺσιν του μυθοπλὰστης καὶ ὁ Ἡρὼδοτος εὐκολὸπιστος.