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tocles of being one of his associates, and offered a proof thereof; and that Themistocles, not choosing to stand a trial, fled, first to Corcyra, afterwards to the king of the Molossi, and last of all to Ephesus, where, he tells us, Themistocles wrote a petition to the king of Persia, (whom Thucydides expressly calls Artaxerxes,) and who, as he says, began his reign a very little before that time; and consequently the above accusation against Themistocles, and the greatest part of the time which he spent in his flight, appears to have happened in the eleventh and last year of Xerxes's reign, and the first year of the reign of Artaxerxes.
“ Petavius was of opinion, that, after this period, Xerxes reigned for several years jointly with his son Artaxerxes. But, though it must be allowed that sometimes the Babylonian and Persian kings did admit their sons into an equal share of the government with themselves, yet this seems only to have been the case, when the father had been the first king of his family, or when, through the infirmities of old age, they found themselves incapable to conduct the affairs of government without a partner.
Thus Nabopolassar, in his old age, admitted his son Nebuchadnezzar to the throne, before his death ; and also Darius, in the decline of life, admitted his son Xerxes to the same honour, that the succession in their posterity might continue without opposition, especially as the fathers themselves had been the first kings of their families. But, since the succession had been established in the person of Xerxes, there appears to have been no reason for suspecting that it would be questioned with respect to his son Artaxerxes; and it is evident that Xerxes was not old in the eleventh year of his reign, as he was born after his father ascended the throne. The learned Petavius (as I formerly observed) is of opinion that the flight of Themistocles happened in the twelfth year of Xerxes's reign; and that he might reconcile the history of Thucydides with the annals of Diodorus, (who makes Xerxes to have reigned only one year with his father, and twenty without a partner,) he supposes that Artaxerxes had been raised to the throne by his father several years before his father's death.
“ It is indeed universally agreed that Xerxes was advanced by his father Darius to an equal share of the government with himself; but the time when this happened is not certain ; and this is not much to be wondered at, since it is generally acknowledged, that the first Grecian histories were written in the reign of Darius, and consequently, these
being composed in an age only emerging from ignorance and fable, must have been very imperfect.
It is rather more probable, as Darius was much advanced in life before his Scythian expedition, that, prior to his entering upon it, he raised his son Xerxes to the throne, that he might maintain the government during his absence, and that, whatever calamities might befal him in that dangerous war, at such a distance from his dominions, he might secure the regal power to his descendants. His Scythian expedition was finished some time before the battle of Marathon, which was fought five years before the death of Darius, according to Herodotus ; we may therefore suppose, for the above reasons, that Xerxes began to reign nine years before bis father's death, and these added to his twelve years' reign without a partner will make his whole reign to have been twenty-one years, which (supposing them to have been marked in the public registers of the empire) might have occasioned the mistake of Diodorus. But, whatever there may be in this, yet, as Diodorus lived four hundred years after Thucydides, we ought, in all reason, to prefer the authority of the last-mentioned writer, who, as Cornelius Nepos observes, lived the nearest to Themistocles of all those who have wrote the history of these times, and was also of the same city. And it is very observable he not only declares that, after Themistocles fled to Ephesus, he sent a petition to Artaxerxes ; but, in that petition he claimed the merit of signal services which he had done to Xerxes after his defeat at Salamis, without making any appeal to Xerxes himself, which he certainly would have done if Xerxes had been alive, and possessed of an equal share of the government with his son. I know, that the annals of the Athenian Archons, in the Oxford marbles, and those of others, make a much longer time from the defeat of Xerxes to the flight of Themistocles ; but, as they have been found incorrect in several instances, even by their greatest admirers, so none of these authors can be ranked with Thucydides either in respect of accuracy or antiquity.
“ That_Xerxes reigned only eleven years, and that the flight of Themistocles happened, mostly, in the first year of Artaxerxes, will also be confirmed by the following observations:
56 1st. As it is clear from the above, that the battle of Platea was fought in the seventh year of Xerxes, so Thucydides relates, that, after this defeat of the Medes at Platea, and afterwards in a sea-fight at Mycale, the Athenians (whose city had been destroyed before the battle, and who
had betaken themselves to their ships) proceeded to the siege of Sestos ; and, having taken that city, they passed the winter there; and that next summer they left the Hellespont, and, having brought with them their household furniture and goods, which they had conveyed to the neighbouring islands, when they were obliged to leave the city, they began a-new to rebuild their houses ; and by the instigation, and under the conduct of Themistocles, in opposition to the remonstrances of the Spartans, to rebuild the walls of Athens, and to enlarge and fortify their naval harbour at the Pyræum; which (although Thucydides says they were not long in finishing them) must have taken up probably more than two years.
This brings us to the tenth year of Xerxes's reign, when, we observed formerly, Pausanias was deprived of the command of the allied fleet, and it was given to the Athenians.
“ 2dly. Thucydides relates, that the command of the fleet being given by the confederates to the Athenians, in order that they might prosecute the war more successfully against the Persians, they enacted, with the consent of their allies, that a tax should be paid by them; and Plutarch affirms, that Themistocles was employed to levy these taxes, and that he used force and great severity in executing that office. This, it would appear, happened in the tenth year of the reign of Xerxes,
3dly. Plutarch further observes, that the great power which Themistocles had acquired, and the great severity which he had used, provoked the jealousy of his countrymen and the ill-will of their allies to such a degree, that he was banished Athens, which must have happened a little before Pausanias was brought a second time to trial by the Spartans. And as it appears from Thucydides, that this trial of Pausanias continued a long time, we must conceive that it took up the greatest part, if not the whole, of the eleventh year of the reign of Xerxes. Thucydides also affirms that, immediately after the trial and death of Pausanias, Themistocles was accused by the Lacedemonians, and that he saved himself from their persecutions by a long and dangerous flight.
“ The latter part of the above computation is confirmed by what Thucydides observes, (Lib.i. Sect.xcvi.xcviii.) that after the Athenians had received from their confederates proper supplies for the equipment and maintenance of their fleets and armies (which happened, according to the above, in the tenth year of Xerxes), the only two naval expeditions of any
consequence, in which they were engaged before the flight of Themistocles, were that against the Carystians in Eubea, whom, after several engagements, they brought to terms, and that against Naxos, in which they were employed when Themistocles was making his escape to Ephesus. The first of these expeditions must have occupied them during the eleventh year of Xerxes's reign ; especially if we consider, that, immediately before this expedition, they had been engaged in plundering the island of Scyros, transporting the inhabitants, and in planting it with a colony of their own people. And Thucydides relates, that, when Themistocles, in his voyage to Ephesus, came in sight of the Athenian camp in the island of Naxos, he was greatly terrified, lest he should have fallen into their hands. Now, since it is evi. dent that, at this time, the Athenians and their confederates had not conquered that small island of Naxos, (which was at no great distance from them,) we must conceive that it was either in the spring, or early in the summer, that Themistocles sailed by their fleet, and that he arrived at Ephesus some time before the end of the month
of August, or the first day of the month Thoth ; and as Thucydides affirms that Themistocles, upon his arrival at Ephesus, sent a letter to the king of Persia ; so he expressly calls this prince Artaxerxes, who, he says, was the son of Xerxes, and had newly begun to reign. His words are, vewsı Bao IAEUOVTO. Lib. i. Sect. cxxxvii.
“ From all these things put together, it is most probable, that Themistocles sent his letter before the month Thoth; and consequently, that Artaxerxes had begun his reign some time before that period. Now, as it is well known that the Chaldean and Egyptian astronomers counted the reigns of their kings from the month Thoth ; and that when any prince began his reign, although it had been only a few days before that month began, yet these were accounted by them as the first year of his reign, and that when the month Thoth was commenced, it was reckoned by them as the beginning of the second year of his reign; so we have reason to conclude, from every view of the above-mentioned facts, that Xerxes reigned only eleven complete years, and that, according to the chronology of the Egyptians and Chaldeans, the most part of that time which was taken up by Themistocles in flying from place to place, to avoid the persecutions of his enemies, is not to be referred to the last year of the reign of Xerxes, but to the first year of the reign of his son Artaxerxes.'
Additional Arguments in Support of the Opinion that Xerxes
reigned only Eleven Years, and not Twenty-one.
To what Mr. Taylor has advanced in support of his opinion that Xerxes reigned only eleven years, and against Artaxerxes having been associated in the empire with him during the ten last years of his reign, according to Petavius, I would add,
First, that it appears from the history of Persia, at the death of Xerxes, who was assassinated by Artabanus, that Artaxerxes was at that time but a youth ; so that if he had been associated with his father in the empire ten years before his death, he must have been a mere child; and yet, according to Thucydides, it was to Artaxerxes, and not to Xerxes, that Themistocles was introduced, at the very beginning of those ten years.
Secondly, Artaxerxes was only the third son of Xerxes, so that if any of the sons had been made associate in the empire along with the father, there is no reason to think that the preference would have been given to him, rather than to one of his elder brothers, and especially to Darius, who was the eldest. But, indeed, no ancient historian makes the least mention of any of the sons of Xerxes having been associated with him in the empire.
Thirdly, we find nothing said concerning Xerxes, from the time of his return from the Grecian expedition to the time of his death. Or, if his name be mentioned, it is only as the king of Persia, by later historians, who took it for granted that he was then upon the throne.
Fourthly, the opinion that Xerxes reigned only eleven years, and not twenty-one, and yet that no addition is to be made to the reign of Artaxerxes on that account, appears to me to be favoured by the computation of the eclipses of the sun which are said to have happened in the course of
Herodotus says, that in the beginning of the spring, (and TW cap.,) when Xerxes was sailing from Sardis, where he had wintered on his expedition into Greece, the sun, leaving his place in the heavens, became invisible, (ačavns syeveto,) when there were no clouds, and the sky was perfectly serene ;