For learning. For inspiration. Or just for fun.
Xerxes Scourges the Hellespont : The Persian King felt that a lord of his majesty should not have to take any nonsense from an overgrown river.
Xerxes Scourges the Hellespont

From ‘The Histories’ Book VII.33.1 by Herodotus, translated by A. D. Godley.

In 483 BC, the Persian King Xerxes (r. 486-465 BC) rallied himself for a second attempted conquest of Greece after the disappointment of Marathon. He planned his route meticulously, throwing two bridges across the Hellespont, the narrow stretch of water between the mainland of Asia Minor and the Gallipoli peninsula in what is now Turkey.

A map of Greece and Asia Minor, showing the location of Xerxes’s bridge over the Hellespont.

MEANWHILE, his men were bridging the Hellespont from Asia to Europe. But no sooner had the strait been bridged than a great storm swept down, breaking and scattering everything.

When Xerxes heard of this, he was very angry and commanded that the Hellespont be whipped with three hundred lashes, and a pair of fetters be thrown into the sea.

I have even heard that he sent branders with them to brand the Hellespont.

He commanded them while they whipped to utter words outlandish and presumptuous, “Bitter water, our master thus punishes you, because you did him wrong though he had done you none.

“Xerxes the king will pass over you, whether you want it or not; in accordance with justice no one offers you sacrifice, for you are a turbid and briny river.”

He commanded that the sea receive these punishments and that the overseers of the bridge over the Hellespont be beheaded.

From ‘The Histories’Book VII.33.1 by Herodotus, translated by A. D. Godley.

For a sharply contrasting tale from English history, see Turning the Tide.

More like this

Classical History (25) Greek History (25) History (405)

Picture: © Jorge Láscar, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0. View original
This jetty pokes out into the Hellespont, looking east towards the Gallipoli peninsula on the left (in Europe) and the mainland of Turkey on the right (in Asia). It was at that narrow point in the distance that Xerxes attempted to build his pontoon bridges.

Amazon Books

Featured Music

Letters Game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: Letters Game Games with Words

Numbers Game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

Selected Stories
By
Elfric of Eynsham
Elfric, Abbot of Eynsham in the reign of Æthelred the Unready, reflects on two appearances of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
The chapel of Bede’s monastery in Sunderland was full of the colours and sounds of the far-off Mediterranean world.
Music by
Thomas Erskine, Earl of Kellie
An 18th century bon viveur and virtuoso violinist, Thomas Erskine is currently being ‘rediscovered’ by the classical music industry.
Music by Charles Avison
(1709-1770)
The most important English-born composer of Handel’s day, known for his tuneful music and very busy diary.
By Thomas Hood
(1799-1845)
Humorist Thomas Hood obviously didn’t like to see the nights drawing in
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)
Parted from his beloved Julia, Proteus follows his friend Valentine to Milan, where he meets the bewitching Silvia.