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Headword: *ce/rchs
Adler number: xi,54
Translated headword: Xerxes
Vetting Status: high
King of [the] Persians. This man, when his father Darius was dying and said "Remember Marathon,", mounted an expedition against Greece and first sent heralds requesting earth and water. And so the Athenians proclaimed the banishment of the envoys from the city, and they drove out the man who had advised listening to them, along with his wife and children; but the Spartans threw them into a well and threw earth onto them. When the god became angry,[1] they grew sick; when the oracle of the god told them to give satisfaction to Xerxes because of the heralds, Boulis and Sperchis[2] went voluntarily to the Persians to give satisfaction. In astonishment, he released them alive, and the disease stopped. Of infantry he deployed tens of thousands of Egyptians and Phoenicians and Cypriots. When he was in Sardis there was a solar eclipse. He kept ten thousand chosen men, whom he called the Immortals.[3] He also dug through Athos, a mountain of Macedonia. He also bridged the Hellespont between Sestos and Abydos; and when part had been destroyed by a storm, he lowered fetters into the sea and flogged the water. When some Greek grain-bearing ships were brought to him, he released them, saying it was slaves' food.[4] When he caught spies, he showed them his whole force and released them.
Look [further] in the 'Darics' [entry].[5]
Greek Original:
*ce/rchs, *persw=n basileu/s. ou(=tos tou= patro\s *darei/ou teleutw=ntos kai\ me/mnhso *maraqw=nos ei)po/ntos, e)pi\ th\n *(ella/da e)stra/teuse kai\ prw=ton kh/rukas e)/pemyen ai)tou=ntas gh=n kai\ u(/dwr. *)aqhnai=oi me\n ou)=n tou\s pre/sbeis e)cekh/rucan e)k th=s po/lews, kai\ to\n u(pakou/ein sumbouleu/santa kate/leusan kai\ gunai=ka kai\ pai=das: *lakedaimo/nioi de\ ei)s fre/ar e)mbalo/ntes gh=n e)pe/balon. mhni/santos de\ tou= qeou= e)no/shsan: xrh/santos de\ tou= qeou= di/kas dou=nai *ce/rch| u(pe\r tw=n khru/kwn, *bou=lis kai\ *spe/rxis au)qai/retoi e)s *pe/rsas a)nh=lqon dw/sontes di/kas. o( de\ qauma/sas a)fh=ke zw=ntas, kai\ h( no/sos e)pau/sato. o( de\ pezou= me\n muria/das tw=n *ai)gu/ptou te kai\ *foini/kwn kai\ *kupri/wn e)stratope/deuen. e)n *sa/rdei de\ genome/nw| o( h(/lios e)ce/lipen. ei)=xe de\ e)pile/ktous muri/ous, ou(\s *)aqana/tous e)ka/lei. diw/ruce de\ kai\ to\n *)/aqw, *makedoniko\n o)/ros. e)/zeuce kai\ to\n *(ellh/sponton metacu\ *shstou= kai\ *)abu/dou: dialuqe/ntos de\ u(po\ xeimw=nos me/rous, pe/das te ei)s th\n qa/lassan kaqh=ke kai\ e)masti/gou to\ u(/dwr. prosenexqeisw=n de\ au)tw=| kai\ sitagwgw=n nhw=n *(ellhni/dwn, a)fh=ke, trofh\n ei)=nai dou/lwn ei)pw/n. katasko/pous de\ labw/n, dei/cas th\n du/namin a(/pasan a)fh=ke. zh/tei e)n tw=| *dareikou/s.
A potted biography of Xerxes (on whom see generally OCD4 s.v. Xerxes I); from an unidentifiable, late source deriving ultimately from the last three books of Herodotus.
[1] Herodotus identifies this "god" as the hero Talthybios, herald of Agamemnon in Homer and protector of his kind. (But the god of the oracle in the next sentence is Apollo.)
[2] So here and elsewhere in the Suda (beta 442, sigma 924); variants found elsewhere include Sperches and Spertis; but in Herodotus 7.133-7 the name is (Ionic) Sperthies, i.e. Sperthias or (conventionally) Sperchias.
[3] cf. alpha 707.
[4] The grain in question was evidently barley, not wheat.
[5] delta 72.
Keywords: biography; children; ethics; food; geography; historiography; history; medicine; military affairs; religion; science and technology; women
Translated by: James L. P. Butrica ✝ on 15 February 2000@12:32:45.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 6 August 2001@10:28:56.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 16 November 2005@08:31:56.
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics; raised status) on 30 August 2007@06:45:52.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 19 June 2013@03:34:58.
David Whitehead on 5 August 2014@06:09:38.


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