Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics
THE SANDAL SEWN BY HISTIAEUS
 NOW when Darius heard that Sardis had been destroyed, he sent
for Histiaeus and said to him, "O Histiaeus, I hear that the
man to whom thou hast given thy city has been doing strange
things. He has brought over men from Europe to help the
Ionians whom I shall punish. . . . How can all this seem good
to thee? And without thy counsel how could such a thing be
done? See that thou bring not thyself into blame afresh."
Histiaeus tried not to think of the slave whose head he had
shaved and whom he had sent to Aristagoras, as he told the
king that he had had nothing to do with the revolt in Ionia.
He begged to be allowed to go to help Artaphernes to put
down the rebellion. He would do even more to show his
loyalty; he would seize the rich island of Sardinia to add
to the possessions of the great king.
"Yea, I swear by the gods whom the king worshippeth," he
cried, "that I will not put off the tunic in which I shall
go down to Ionia, before I bring under thy power the mighty
island of Sardinia."
It was not difficult to persuade Darius that Histiaeus was
innocent, for since the Greek had tarried for him at the
bridge of boats the king was ever ready to believe in his
loyalty. So to his great delight, Histiaeus was bidden to
go to Sardis and help Artaphernes to put down the revolt.
But Artaphernes was less easily deceived than the great
king. No sooner had Histiaeus arrived at Sardis than the
Persian accused him of treachery.
 "Why did the Ionians rebel against the king?" he asked the
Greek in a stern voice.
"I cannot tell," answered Histiaeus.
"I have marvelled at
all the things which have happened."
"O Histiaeus," said Artaphernes, "thou hast thus much to do
with these matters. Thou didst sew this sandal and
Aristagoras hath put it on."
Then at length Histiaeus was afraid lest his deceit had been
discovered, and lest he should be punished. So when night
came he stole out of the city and went as speedily as might
be to the sea. From that time he became a sea-robber or
pirate, seizing any vessel from which he could hope to get
booty, whether it belonged to Greek or to barbarian.
After a long time he was take prisoner by the Persians.
Artaphernes ordered that he should be crucified and that his
head should be sent to Darius.
But the great king was displeased that his general had not
sent the Greek to him alive.
"If Histiaeus had been sent away alive to King Darius," says
Herodotus, "he would not, I think, have suffered any harm,
but his trespass would have been forgiven him."
Even as it was, Darius was determined to show what honour
was yet possible to his faithless servant. For he ordered
his slaves to "wash the head and adorn it well, and to bury
it as the head of one who had done much good to himself and
to the Persians."
In 494 B.C., four years after the Athenians had sailed to
the help of the Ionians, the revolt was crushed. Miletus,
where the rebellion had begun, was punished more severely
than the other rebellious cities.