- Mar 2014
1.30. Croesus has Solon come to Sardis. Croesus expects Solon to be enthralled by what he sees and thus would tell Croesus that indeed he is the luckiest man of all. However, Solon explains to Croesus that to be the happiest man of all time, he would have to die a happy man since living jeopardizes one's potential to downfall. The story of Cleobis and Biton is then explained to Croesus and how they can be conceived as being the happiest men to ever live. There seems to a moral agenda to the Histories that explains a simple life is a good life. We see this later on how luxury and things that are associated with luxury makes a people soft. It seems the best life to live is a simple good 'ole country life and to work hard.
Hdt. 1.17. Herodotus starts his Histories with the rise of the Lydian empire. Why is that? The people who would have been reading his work would have been Greek. Does he start with them because they are not totally 'barbaric' and actually share some of the same customs. They were sort of an "in-between country" and thus are preparing the Greek readers to cultures which Herodotus will be getting into. That is, he will give a history of the Persians (who believe in a total different political system but are somewhat 'civilized.' Furthermore, he will go into details about the Scythians, the Man-Eaters, and so forth which are groups who are as far from Greek customs as possible. And yet have Greek origin explanations.
Hdt. 1.154. W see the story of Pactyes as an example of how characters in Herodotus are treated and how he is cautious with religious matters. First of all, Pactyes was the Lydian who Cyrus had entrusted with booty taken from Croesus and the Lydians. In short, Herodotus tells us: Pactyes seizes the gold, hides in Kyme to escape his Persian pursuers and then the Kymaeans consult Apollo's oracle at Branchidae in an unmarked, direct-speech narrative, in identical manner from what precedes it. The unique thing here is that the oracle chastises the Kymeans here for even asking about whether or not they should give up the suppliant. Thus a parallel can be seen here and when Herodotus explains a tale about asking the Indians how much money it would it take for them to burn the bodies of their fathers. Some things were just taboo and the mere thought of them meant that you were in trouble with the gods.
- Feb 2014
Croesus found the opportunity to say, “My Athenian guest, we have heard a lot about you because of your wisdom and of your wanderings, how as one who loves learning you have traveled much of the world for the sake of seeing it, so now I desire to ask you who is the most fortunate man you have seen.”
1.30. Croesus asks Solon who the most fortunate man he has seen is, expecting the answer to be "You, Croesus".
Lydians, Phrygians, Mysians, Mariandynians, Chalybes, Paphlagonians, the Thracian Thynians and Bithynians, Carians, Ionians, Dorians, Aeolians, and Pamphylians
1.28. Some of these ethnic designations could probably be associated with regional designations: Lydia, Phrygia, Mysia, Paphlagonia, Thrace, Caria, Ionia, Aeolia, Pamphylia.
Croesus, thinking that he spoke the truth, said: “Would that the gods would put this in the heads of the islanders, to come on horseback against the sons of the Lydians!”
1.27. Croesus replies to Bias/Pittacus, suggesting that the islanders would be at a disadvantage if they were to attack the Lydians, renowned for their cavalry, on horseback.
These were the first whom Croesus attacked; afterwards he made war on the Ionian and Aeolian cities in turn, upon different pretexts
1.26. Croesus attacks the Ionian and Aeolian cities on various pretexts, probably ca. 560-550 BC.
After the death of Alyattes, his son Croesus, then thirty-five years of age, came to the throne
1.26. According to the Landmark Herodotus, this happened ca. 560 BC (p. 16).
He was the second of his family to make an offering to Delphi (after recovering from his illness) of a great silver bowl on a stand of welded iron
1.25. Alyattes also makes a dedication at Delphi, as a thank-offering for recovery from an illness: another precious-metal bowl.
for eleven years
1.18. The chronology is confused, but the Landmark Herodotus suggests 610-598 BC (p. 12).
He took Priene and invaded the country of Miletus
1.15. Ardys, Gyges' son, also makes war on the Milesians.
Gyges sent many offerings to Delphi
1.14. Gyges dedicates golden and silver offerings at Delphi, including six golden bowls.
the Lydians and Milesians ended the war and agreed to be friends and allies
1.22. The Lydians and Milesians end the war and enter into an alliance. One might treat this agreement as the result of personal negotiations between the tyrant of Miletus and the Lydian king.
he heard an account contrary to his expectations
1.22. Alyattes receives the report of the herald he sent to Thrasybulus. The herald, fooled by Thrasybulus' strategem, indicates that the Milesians have plenty of supplies.
offering to make a truce with Thrasybulus and the Milesians
1.21. Alyattes offers to make a truce with the Milesians while he rebuilds the temple that was burned.
Periander son of Cypselus, a close friend of the Thrasybulus who then was sovereign of Miletus, learned what reply the oracle had given to Alyattes, and sent a messenger to tell Thrasybulus
1.20. Periander, tyrant of Corinth, passes on the oracle's response to Alyattes to his fellow tyrant Thrasybulus of Miletus.
But when the messengers came to Delphi, the Pythian priestess would not answer them before they restored the temple of Athena at Assesos in the Milesian territory,
1.19. The Pythia refuses to answer the question about the illness until the Lydians rebuild the temple of Athena at Assesos.
Alyattes fell ill; and, as his sickness lasted longer than it should, he sent to Delphi to inquire of the oracle
1.19. Alyattes, king of Lydia, consults the Delphic oracle about a persistent illness. The Landmark Herodotus suggests that this may have taken place ca. 598 BC (p. 12).
Alyattes, who waged war against Deioces' descendant Cyaxares and the Medes
1.16. Alyattes, king of Lydia, wages ware against the Medes under Cyaxares, probably in the late 7th or early 6th c. BC.
So he took possession of the sovereign power and was confirmed in it by the Delphic oracle
1.13. Gyges consults the Delphic oracle, who confirms him in his kingship but warns that retribution will come in the fifth generation.
he stole out and killed Candaules
1.12. Gyges assassinates Candaules and takes the throne of Lydia, establishing the Mermnad dynasty.
She gave him a dagger and hid him behind the same door
1.12. Candaules' wife arms Gyges and hides him in Candaules' bedroom.
1.11. The wife of Candaules instructs Gyges to kill Candaules in his sleep.
Then he asked: “Since you force me against my will to kill my master, I would like to know how we are to lay our hands on him.”
1.11. Gyges, having failed to persuade Candaules' wife not to force him to make this choice, asks how they will kill Candaules.
When Gyges came, the lady addressed him thus
1.11. The unnamed wife of Candaules, having been seen naked by Gyges, offers him a choice: kill the king and take his place, or be killed himself.
Speaking thus, Gyges resisted: for he was afraid that some evil would come of it for him. But this was Candaules' answer: “Courage, Gyges! Do not be afraid of me, that I say this to test you, or of my wife, that you will have any harm from her.
1.9. Candaules rejects Gyges' advice and overrules his hesitation; the situation moves from a consultation to an order from a superior to an inferior.
“Master,” he said, “what an unsound suggestion, that I should see my mistress naked!
1.8. Gyges responds to Candaules' invitation with a warning not to challenge the natural order of things (don't look at women who aren't your own wife naked).
he praised her beauty beyond measure to Gyges son of Dascylus
1.8. Candaules praises his wife's beauty to his bodyguard Gyges, setting in motion the chain of events that will end in his death.