|The Story of Greece|
|by Mary Macgregor|
| Stories from the history of ancient Greece beginning with mythical and legendary stories of gods and heroes and ending with the conquests of Alexander the Great. Gives short accounts of battles and sieges, and of the men who made Greece a great nation. Ages 10-14 |
DARIUS REWARDS HISTIAEUS
 MEANWHILE a band of Scythians had reached the banks of the Danube.
The Ionians had already loosed some of the boats on the
farther side, that the enemy might think that the bridge was
useless. And they, seeing this, and thinking that it would
be impossible for Darius to cross the river, turned back to
But that same night, after a terrible march, the great king
reached the river unnoticed by the Scythians. He saw at
once that there were no boats on his side of the river. Had
the Ionians gone home and left him to fall into the hands of
Then he bade one of his men who was noted for the strength
of his voice to call aloud for Histiaeus of Miletus. No
sooner was this done than an answering shout was heard, and
Histiaeus sent in haste to restore the bridge of boats.
When the boats were secure, Darius with his weary army
crossed to the other side, and was greeted with every token
of loyalty by the Greeks.
The king was grateful to Histiaeus when he heard that it was
he who had persuaded the other tyrants to await his return,
after the sixty days had passed, and he bade him ask for
whatever he wished.
Now the tyrant longed to build a strong city far from the
control of the Persian power. So he asked for land in the
country called Thrace, which stretches north of Macedon to
the river Danube, and Darius granted his request.
But Megabazus, the general of the great king, did not
Histiaeus, and when he came to Sardis, where the king's
court was, he said to Darius, "O king, what hast thou done?
Thou hast given to a Greek who is wise and crafty a city in
Thrace, where there is much timber for building ships and
blades for oars, and mines of silver, and round it there are
many people, both Greek and barbarian, who will take him for
a chief and do his will by night and by day. See then that
he make not war against thee in time to come."
Darius feared lest Megabazus was right, and he determined to
send for Histiaeus and keep him at his own court. Yet as
Megabazus might have made a mistake, the message the king
sent to the Greek was a kind one.
"O Histiaeus," said the king, "I have pondered it well, and
I find none who is better minded to me and to my kingdom
than thou art. This I know, for I have learnt it, not by
words but in deed. And now I purpose to do great things.
Come therefore to me in any wise, that I may entrust them to
These words pleased Histiaeus. It seemed to him that the
great king was treating him even as one of his counsellors.
But when he reached the king's court and was told what the
commands of Darius were, he was not so well content.
"O Histiaeus," said the king, "there is nothing more
precious than a wise and kind friend, and I knew that this
thou art to me. So now thou must leave Miletus and the new
city which thou has built, and come with me to my court at
The Greek found it hard to hide his anger and
disappointment. Rather would he be tyrant at Miletus, or
ruler in his new city, than a favoured courtier at Susa.
Aristagoras, the brother-in-law of Histiaeus, was now made
tyrant of Miletus, while Darius appointed his own brother
Artaphernes to be ruler of Sardis.
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