Herodotus Book 5: Terpsichore
17. So then those of the Paionians who had been conquered were being brought to Asia: and Megabazos meanwhile, after he had conquered the Paionians, sent as envoys to Macedonia seven Persians, who after himself were the men of most repute in the army. These were being sent to Amyntas to demand of him earth and water for Dareios the king. Now from lake Prasias there is a very short way into Macedonia; for first, quite close to the lake, there is the mine from which after this time there came in regularly a talent of silver every day to Alexander; and after the mine, when you have passed over the mountain called Dysoron, you are in Macedonia.
17.  Παιόνων μὲν δὴ οἱ χειρωθέντες ἤγοντο ἐς τὴν Ἀσίην. Μεγάβαζος δὲ ὡς ἐχειρώσατο τοὺς Παίονας, πέμπει ἀγγέλους ἐς Μακεδονίην ἄνδρας ἑπτὰ Πέρσας, οἳ μετ᾽ αὐτὸν ἐκεῖνον ἦσαν δοκιμώτατοι ἐν τῷ στρατοπέδῳ· ἐπέμποντο δὲ οὗτοι παρὰ Ἀμύντην αἰτήσοντες γῆν τε καὶ ὕδωρ Δαρείῳ βασιλέι.  ἔστι δὲ ἐκ τῆς Πρασιάδος λίμνης σύντομος κάρτα ἐς τὴν Μακεδονίην· πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ ἔχεται τῆς λίμνης τὸ μέταλλον ἐξ οὗ ὕστερον τούτων τάλαντον ἀργυρίου Ἀλεξάνδρῳ ἡμέρης ἑκάστης ἐφοίτα, μετὰ δὲ τὸ μέταλλον Δύσωρον καλεόμενον ὄρος ὑπερβάντα εἶναι ἐν Μακεδονίην.
18. These Persians then, who had been sent to Amyntas, having arrived came into the presence of Amyntas and proceeded to demand earth and water for king Dareios. This he was willing to give, and also he invited them to be his guests; and he prepared a magnificent dinner and received the Persians with friendly hospitality. Then when dinner was over, the Persians while drinking pledges to one another said thus: "Macedonian guest-friend, it is the custom among us Persians, when we set forth a great dinner, then to bring in also our concubines and lawful wives to sit beside us. Do thou then, since thou didst readily receive us and dost now entertain us magnificently as thy guests, and since thou art willing to give to king Dareios earth and water, consent to follow our custom." To this Amyntas replied: "Persians, among us the custom is not so, but that men should be separate from women. Since however ye being our masters make this request in addition, this also shall be given you." Having so said Amyntas proceeded to send for the women; and when they came being summoned, they sat down in order opposite to the Persians. Then the Persians, seeing women of comely form, spoke to Amyntas and said that this which had been done was by no means well devised; for it was better that the women should not come at all, than that they should come and should not seat themselves by their side, but sit opposite and be a pain to their eyes. So Amyntas being compelled bade them sit by the side of the Persians; and when the women obeyed, forthwith the Persians, being much intoxicated, began to touch their breasts, and some no doubt also tried to kiss them.
18.  οἱ ὦν Πέρσαι οἱ πεμφθέντες οὗτοι παρὰ τὸν Ἀμύντην ὡς ἀπίκοντο, αἴτεον ἐλθόντες ἐς ὄψιν τὴν Ἀμύντεω Δαρείῳ βασιλέι γῆν τε καὶ ὕδωρ. ὁ δὲ ταῦτά τε ἐδίδου καὶ σφεας ἐπὶ ξείνια καλέει, παρασκευασάμενος δὲ δεῖπνον μεγαλοπρεπὲς ἐδέκετο τοὺς Πέρσας φιλοφρόνως.  ὡς δὲ ἀπὸ δείπνου ἐγένοντο, διαπίνοντες εἶπαν οἱ Πέρσαι τάδε. «ξεῖνε Μακεδών, ἡμῖν νόμος ἐστὶ τοῖσι Πέρσῃσι, ἐπεὰν δεῖπνον προτιθώμεθα μέγα, τότε καὶ τὰς παλλακὰς καὶ τὰς κουριδίας γυναῖκας ἐσάγεσθαι παρέδρους. σύ νυν, ἐπεί περ προθύμως μὲν ἐδέξαο μεγάλως δὲ ξεινίζεις, διδοῖς δὲ βασιλέι Δαρείῳ γῆν τε καὶ ὕδωρ, ἕπεο νόμῳ τῷ ἡμετέρῳ.»  εἶπε πρὸς ταῦτα Ἀμύντης «ὦ Πέρσαι, νόμος μὲν ἡμῖν γε ἐστὶ οὐκ οὗτος, ἀλλὰ κεχωρίσθαι ἄνδρας γυναικῶν· ἐπείτε δὲ ὑμεῖς ἐόντες δεσπόται προσχρηίζετε τούτων, παρέσται ὑμῖν καὶ ταῦτα.» εἴπας τοσαῦτα ὁ Ἀμύντης μετεπέμπετο τὰς γυναῖκας· αἳ δ᾽ ἐπείτε καλεόμεναι ἦλθον, ἐπεξῆς ἀντίαι ἵζοντο τοῖσι Πέρσῃσι.  ἐνθαῦτα οἱ Πέρσαι ἰδόμενοι γυναῖκας εὐμόρφους ἔλεγον πρὸς Ἀμύντην φάμενοι τὸ ποιηθὲν τοῦτο οὐδὲν εἶναι σοφόν· κρέσσον γὰρ εἶναι ἀρχῆθεν μὴ ἐλθεῖν τὰς γυναῖκας ἢ ἐλθούσας καὶ μὴ παριζομένας ἀντίας ἵζεσθαι ἀλγηδόνας σφίσι ὀφθαλμῶν.  ἀναγκαζόμενος δὲ ὁ Ἀμύντης ἐκέλευε παρίζειν· πειθομενέων δὲ τῶν γυναικῶν αὐτίκα οἱ Πέρσαι μαστῶν τε ἅπτοντο οἷα πλεόνως οἰνωμένοι, καί κού τις καὶ φιλέειν ἐπειρᾶτο.
19. Amyntas seeing this kept quiet, notwithstanding that he felt anger, because he excessively feared the Persians; but Alexander the son of Amyntas, who was present and saw this, being young and without experience of calamity was not able to endure any longer; but being impatient of it he said to Amyntas: "My father, do thou grant that which thy age demands, and go away to rest, nor persevere longer in the drinking; but I will remain here and give to our guests all that is convenient." On this Amyntas, understanding that Alexander was intending to do some violence, said: "My son, I think that I understand thy words, as the heat of anger moves thee, namely that thou desirest to send me away and then do some deed of violence: therefore I ask of thee not to do violence to these men, that it may not be our ruin, but endure to see that which is being done: as to my departure, however, in that I will do as thou sayest."
19.  Ἀμύντης μὲν δὴ ταῦτα ὁρέων ἀτρέμας εἶχε, καίπερ δυσφορέων, οἷα ὑπερδειμαίνων τοὺς Πέρσας· Ἀλέξανδρος δὲ ὁ Ἀμύντεω παρεών τε καὶ ὁρέων ταῦτα, ἅτε νέος τε ἐὼν καὶ κακῶν ἀπαθής, οὐδαμῶς ἔτι κατέχειν οἷος τε ἦν, ὥστε δὲ βαρέως φέρων εἶπε πρὸς Ἀμύντην τάδε. «ὦ πάτερ, σὺ μὲν εἶκε τῇ ἡλικίῃ ἀπιών τε ἀναπαύεο, μηδὲ λιπάρεε τῇ πόσι· ἐγὼ δὲ προσμένων αὐτοῦ τῇδε πάντα τὰ ἐπιτήδεα παρέξω τοῖσι ξείνοισι.»  πρὸς ταῦτα συνιεὶς Ἀμύντης ὅτι νεώτερα πρήγματα πρήσσειν μέλλοι ὁ Ἀλέξανδρος, λέγει «ὦ παῖ, σχεδὸν γάρ σευ ἀνακαιομένου συνίημι τοὺς λόγους, ὅτι ἐθέλεις ἐμὲ ἐκπέμψας ποιέειν τι νεώτερον· ἐγὼ ὦν σευ χρηίζω μηδὲν νεοχμῶσαι κατ᾽ ἄνδρας τούτους, ἵνα μὴ ἐξεργάσῃ ἡμέας, ἀλλὰ ἀνέχευ ὁρέων τὰ ποιεύμενα· ἀμφὶ δὲ ἀπόδῳ τῇ ἐμῇ πείσομαί τοι.»
20. When Amyntas after having made of him this request had departed, Alexander said to the Persians: "With these women ye have perfect freedom, guests, to have commerce with all, if ye so desire, or with as many of them as ye will. About this matter ye shall be they who give the word; but now, since already the hour is approaching for you to go to bed and I see that ye have well drunk, let these women go away, if so it is pleasing to you, to bathe themselves; and when they have bathed, then receive them back into your company." Having so said, since the Persians readily agreed, he dismissed the women, when they had gone out, to the women's chambers; and Alexander himself equipped men equal in number to the women and smooth-faced, in the dress of the women, and giving them daggers he led them into the banqueting-room; and as he led them in, he said thus to the Persians: "Persians, it seems to me that ye have been entertained with a feast to which nothing was wanting; for other things, as many as we had, and moreover such as we were able to find out and furnish, are all supplied to you, and there is this especially besides, which is the chief thing of all, that is, we give you freely in addition our mothers and our sisters, in order that ye may perceive fully that ye are honoured by us with that treatment which ye deserve, and also in order that ye may report to the king who sent you that a man of Hellas, ruler under him of the Macedonians, entertained you well at board and bed." Having thus said Alexander caused a Macedonian man in the guise of a woman to sit by each Persian, and they, when the Persians attempted to lay hands on them, slew them.
20.  ὡς δὲ ὁ Ἀμύντης χρηίσας τούτων οἰχώκεε, λέγει ὁ Ἀλέξανδρος πρὸς τοὺς Πέρσας «γυναικῶν τουτέων, ὦ ξεῖνοι, ἔστι ὑμῖν πολλὴ εὐπετείη, καὶ εἰ πάσῃσι βούλεσθε μίσγεσθαι καὶ ὁκόσῃσι ὦν αὐτέων.  τούτου μὲν πέρι αὐτοὶ ἀποσημανέετε· νῦν δέ, σχεδὸν γὰρ ἤδη τῆς κοίτης ὥρη προσέρχεται ὑμῖν καὶ καλῶς ἔχοντας ὑμέας ὁρῶ μέθης, γυναῖκας ταύτας, εἰ ὑμῖν φίλον ἐστί, ἄπετε λούσασθαι, λουσαμένας δὲ ὀπίσω προσδέκεσθε.»  εἴπας ταῦτα, συνέπαινοι γὰρ ἦσαν οἱ Πέρσαι, γυναῖκας μὲν ἐξελθούσας ἀπέπεμπε ἐς τὴν γυναικηίην, αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ Ἀλέξανδρος ἴσους τῇσι γυναιξὶ ἀριθμὸν ἄνδρας λειογενείους τῇ τῶν γυναικῶν ἐσθῆτι σκευάσας καὶ ἐγχειρίδια δοὺς ἦγε ἔσω, παράγων δὲ τούτους ἔλεγε τοῖσι Πέρσῃσι τάδε.  «ὦ Πέρσαι, οἴκατε πανδαισίῃ τελέῃ ἱστιῆσθαι· τά τε γὰρ ἄλλα ὅσα εἴχομεν, καὶ πρὸς τὰ οἷά τε ἦν ἐξευρόντας παρέχειν, πάντα ὑμῖν πάρεστι, καὶ δὴ καὶ τόδε τὸ πάντων μέγιστον, τάς τε ἑωυτῶν μητέρας καὶ τὰς ἀδελφεὰς ἐπιδαψιλευόμεθα ὑμῖν, ὡς παντελέως μάθητε τιμώμενοι πρὸς ἡμέων τῶν περ ἐστὲ ἄξιοι, πρὸς δὲ καὶ βασιλέι τῷ πέμψαντι ἀπαγγείλητε ὡς ἀνὴρ Ἕλλην Μακεδόνων ὕπαρχος εὖ ὑμέας ἐδέξατο καὶ τραπέζῃ καὶ κοίτῃ.»  ταῦτα εἴπας ὁ Ἀλέξανδρος παρίζει Πέρσῃ ἀνδρὶ ἄνδρα Μακεδόνα ὡς γυναῖκα τῷ λόγῳ· οἳ δέ, ἐπείτε σφέων οἱ Πέρσαι ψαύειν ἐπειρῶντο, διεργάζοντο αὐτούς.
21. So these perished by this fate, both they themselves and their company of servants; for there came with them carriages and servants and all the usual pomp of equipage, and this was all made away with at the same time as they. Afterwards in no long time a great search was made by the Persians for these men, and Alexander stopped them with cunning by giving large sums of money and his own sister, whose name was Gygaia; --by giving, I say, these things to Bubares a Persian, commander of those who were searching for the men who had been killed, Alexander stopped their search.
21.  καὶ οὗτοι μὲν τούτῳ τῷ μόρῳ διεφθάρησαν, καὶ αὐτοὶ καὶ ἡ θεραπηίη αὐτῶν· εἵπετο γὰρ δή σφι καὶ ὀχήματα καὶ θεράποντες καὶ ἡ πᾶσα πολλὴ παρασκευή· πάντα δὴ ταῦτα ἅμα πᾶσι ἐκείνοισι ἠφάνιστο.  μετὰ δὲ χρόνῳ οὐ πολλῷ ὕστερον ζήτησις τῶν ἀνδρῶν τούτων μεγάλη ἐκ τῶν Περσέων ἐγίνετο, καί σφεας Ἀλέξανδρος κατέλαβε σοφίῃ, χρήματά τε δοὺς πολλὰ καὶ τὴν ἑωυτοῦ ἀδελφεὴν τῇ οὔνομα ἦν Γυγαίη· δοὺς δὲ ταῦτα κατέλαβε ὁ Ἀλέξανδρος Βουβάρῃ ἀνδρὶ Πέρσῃ, τῶν διζημένων τοὺς ἀπολομένους τῷ στρατηγῷ. ὁ μέν νυν τῶν Περσέων τούτων θάνατος οὕτω καταλαμφθεὶς ἐσιγήθη.
22. Thus the death of these Persians was kept concealed. And that these descendants of Perdiccas are Hellenes, as they themselves say, I happen to know myself, and not only so, but I will prove in the succeeding history that they are Hellenes. Moreover the Hellanodicai, who manage the games at Olympia, decided that they were so: for when Alexander wished to contend in the games and had descended for this purpose into the arena, the Hellenes who were to run against him tried to exclude him, saying that the contest was not for Barbarians to contend in but for Hellenes: since however Alexander proved that he was of Argos, he was judged to be a Hellene, and when he entered the contest of the foot-race his lot came out with that of the first.
22.  Ἕλληνας δὲ εἶναι τούτους τοὺς ἀπὸ Περδίκκεω γεγονότας, κατά περ αὐτοὶ λέγουσι, αὐτός τε οὕτω τυγχάνω ἐπιστάμενος καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐν τοῖσι ὄπισθε λόγοισι ἀποδέξω ὡς εἰσὶ Ἕλληνες, πρὸς δὲ καὶ οἱ τὸν ἐν Ὀλυμπίῃ διέποντες ἀγῶνα Ἑλληνοδίκαι οὕτω ἔγνωσαν εἶναι.  Ἀλεξάνδρου γὰρ ἀεθλεύειν ἑλομένου καὶ καταβάντος ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸ τοῦτο, οἱ ἀντιθευσόμενοι Ἑλλήνων ἐξεῖργόν μιν, φάμενοι οὐ βαρβάρων ἀγωνιστέων εἶναι τὸν ἀγῶνα ἀλλὰ Ἑλλήνων· Ἀλέξανδρος δὲ ἐπειδὴ ἀπέδεξε ὡς εἴη Ἀργεῖος, ἐκρίθη τε εἶναι Ἕλλην καὶ ἀγωνιζόμενος στάδιον συνεξέπιπτε τῷ πρώτῳ. ταῦτα μέν νυν οὕτω κῃ ἐγένετο.