F Heritage History | Story of the Greeks by Helene Guerber
Contents 
Front Matter Early Inhabitants of Greece The Deluge of Ogyges Founding of Important Cities Story of Deucalion Daedalus and Icarus The Adventures of Jason Theseus Visits the Labyrinth The Terrible Prophecy The Sphinx's Riddle Death of Oedipus The Brothers' Quarrel The Taking of Thebes The Childhood of Paris Muster of the Troops Sacrifice of Iphigenia The Wrath of Achilles Death of Hector and Achilles The Burning of Troy Heroic Death of Codrus The Blind Poet The Rise of Sparta The Spartan Training The Brave Spartan Boy Public Tables in Sparta Laws of Lycurgus The Messenian War The Music of Tyrtaeus Aristomenes' Escape The Olympic Games Milo of Croton The Jealous Athlete The Girls' Games The Bloody Laws of Draco The Laws of Solon The First Plays The Tyrant Pisistratus The Tyrant's Insult Death of the Conspirators Hippias Driven out of Athens The Great King Hippias Visits Darius Destruction of the Persian Host Advance of the Second Host The Battle of Marathon Miltiades' Disgrace Aristides the Just Two Noble Spartan Youths The Great Army Preparations for Defense Leonidas at Thermopylae Death of Leonidas The Burning of Athens Battles of Salamis and Plataea The Rebuilding of Athens Death of Pausanias Cimon Improves Athens The Earthquake The Age of Pericles Teachings of Anaxagoras Peloponnesian War Begins Death of Pericles The Philosopher Socrates Socrates' Favorite Pupil Youth of Alcibiades Greek Colonies in Italy Alcibiades in Disgrace Death of Alcibiades Overthrow of Thirty Tyrants Accusation of Socrates Death of Socrates The Defeat of Cyrus Retreat of the Ten Thousand Agesilaus in Asia A Strange Interview The Peace of Antalcidas The Theban Friends Thebes Free Once More The Battle of Leuctra Death of Pelopidas The Battle of Mantinea The Tyrant of Syracuse Damon and Pythias The Sword of Damocles Dion and Dionysius Civil War in Syracuse Death of Dion Philip of Macedon Philip Begins His Conquests The Orator Demosthenes Philip Masters Greece Birth of Alexander The Steed Bucephalus Alexander as King Alexander and Diogenes Alexander's Beginning The Gordian Knot Alexander's Royal Captives Alexander at Jerusalem The African Desert Death of Darius Defeat of Porus Return to Babylon Death of Alexander Division of the Realm Death of Demosthenes Last of the Athenians The Colossus of Rhodes The Battle of Ipsus Demetrius and the Athenians The Achaean League Division in Sparta Death of Agis War of the Two Leagues The Last of the Greeks Greece a Roman Province

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber




Hippias Visits Darius

Hippias was led by one of the officers of the king's household past all the guards, who respectfully made way for him, and was brought into the most magnificent dwelling he had ever seen. All the walls were covered with silken hangings of the richest dyes, and the furniture sparkled with gold and precious stones.

After passing through many rooms, where he saw richly dressed courtiers, and guards with jeweled weapons, Hippias was finally brought into a great audience chamber, at one end of which hung a heavy curtain of royal purple.

Here all the courtiers knelt, bending over to touch the floor with their foreheads, in token of homage to The Great King. The officer now bade Hippias do likewise; and when the Athenian raised his head, after reluctantly going through this performance, he saw that the curtain had been quietly pulled aside.

On a beautiful throne of ivory and gold, all overshadowed by a golden vine bearing clusters of jeweled grapes, sat the Persian king. He was clad in superbly embroidered robes, wore a diamond crown or tiara, held a scepter of pure gold, and was surrounded by his officers, who were almost as richly dressed as he.

As the Athenians were plain people, Hippias had never seen such a sight before, and stared at the garments, which were far handsomer than those which the Greek gods were given to wear.

Invited to speak freely and make his errand known, Hippias now told Darius that he had come to ask his aid against the revolted Athenians. Darius listened politely to all he had to say, and then sent him away, graciously promising to think the matter over, and giving orders that Hippias should be royally entertained in the mean while.

Among Darius' numerous slaves, most of whom were captives of war, there was a learned Greek doctor called Democedes. This man, hoping soon to recover his freedom by paying a sum of money, was very careful to hide his name, and not tell any one how much he knew.

It happened, however, that the king hurt his foot; and after the Persian doctors had all tried vainly to cure him, he sent for Democedes, saying that he would put him to death if he did not speedily help him.

Thus forced to use his knowledge, Democedes did all he could for the king, and treated the wound so skillfully that the monarch was soon cured. The king who had found out from the other captives that the man was a doctor, now named him court physician, and even had him attend his wives.

One of these women was Atossa, the favorite queen; and when she became ill, Democedes was fortunate enough to save her life. The king was so delighted with this cure, that he bade Democedes to choose any reward he pleased except his freedom.

Democedes, after a few moments' thought, asked permission to visit his native land once more; and Darius let him go under the escort of fifteen officers, who had orders not to lose sight of the doctor for a moment, to bring him back by force if necessary, and to spy out the land.

In spite of the constant watching of these fifteen men, Democedes managed to escape while they were in Greece, and hid so well that they were never able to find him. They were therefore obliged to go home without him; and as soon as they arrived in Persia, they reported to Darius all they had done on the way.

The Great King questioned them very closely about all they had seen; and his curiosity was so excited by what they told him, that he made up his mind to conquer Greece and add it to his kingdom.

He therefore sent for Hippias again, told him that he was ready to help him, and gave orders to collect one of the largest armies that had ever been seen. With this army he hoped not only to take the whole country, but also to get back the runaway doctor, Democedes, who in the mean while was living peacefully in Greece, where he had married the daughter of the famous strong man, Milo of Croton.