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BOOK THE SIXTH.
PERSIANS AND GRECIANS.
The history of Xerxes, intermixed with that of the
XERXES's reign lasted but twelve reign lasted but twelve years, but XERXES. abounds with great events.
SECT. I. Xerxes, after having reduced Egypt, makes preparations for carrying the war into Greece. He holds a council. The wise discourse of Artabanes. War is resolved upon.
'XERXES having ascended the throne, employed A.M. the first year of his reign in carrying on the prepa- 3519. rations begun by his father, for the reduction of Ant. J. C. Egypt. He also confirmed to the Jews at Jerusalem all the privileges granted them by his father, and particularly that which assigned them the tribute of Samaria, for the supplying of them with victims for the temple of God.
In the second year of his reign he marched against the Egyptians, and having reduced and sub
a Herod. 1. vii. c. 5. Joseph. Antiq. 1. xi. c. 5.
1. vii. c. 7.
Ant. J.C. 484.
Xerxes. dued those rebels, he made the yoke of their subjec tion more heavy; then giving the government of that province to his brother Achemenes, he returned about the latter end of the year to Susa.
Herodotus, the famous historian, was born this same year at Halicarnassus in Caria. For he was fifty-three years old when the Peloponnesian war first began.
dXerxes, puffed up with his success against the Egyptians, determined to make war against the Grecians. (He did not intend, he said, to buy the figs of Attica, which were very excellent, any longer, because he would eat no more of them till he was master of the country.) But before he engaged in an enterprize of that importance, he thought proper to assemble his council, and take the advice of all the greatest and most illustrious persons of his court. He laid before them the design he had of making war against Greece, and acquainted them with his motives; which were, the desire of imitating the example of his predecessors, who had all of them distinguished their names and reigns by noble enterprizes; the obligation he was under to revenge the insolence of the Athenians, who had presumed to fall upon Sardis, and reduce it to ashes; the necessity he was under, to avenge the disgrace his country had received at the battle of Marathon; and the prospect of the great advantages that might be reaped from this war, which would be attended with the conquest of Europe, the most rich and fertile country in the universe. He added farther, that this war had been resolved on by his father Darius, and he meant only to follow and execute his intentions; he concluded with promising ample rewards to those who should distinguish themselves by their valour in the expedition.
Mardonius, the same person that had been so unsuccessful in Darius's reign, grown neither wiser,
Aul: Gel. 1. xv. c. 23. d Herod. 1. vii. c. 8.-18. Plut. in Apoph. p. 173.