09 January 2010

Cool Passage from the Histories #1

From Herodotus' Histories, 1.150:

This is how the Aeolians lost Smyrna. The people of Smyrna took in and sheltered some Ionian men who had been defeated in factional strife and exiled from Colophon, their home city. Once they were admitted into the city, the Colophonian exiles watched and waited until one day the people of Smyrna went outside the city walls to hold a festival in honor of Dionysos. Then the Colophonians shut and locked the gates and took possession of the city. When all the Aeolians rushed there to help the Smyrnians recover their city, the two sides reached an understanding whereby the Ionians agreed to return to the Smyrnians all of their movable goods in the city, and the Aeolians agreed to abandon the site of Smyrna itself. The Smyrnians carried out their part of the bargain, and the eleven Aeolian cities distributed the former Aeolians of Smyrna among themselves and made them citizens.

Kind of like the Trojan Horse scheme in reverse. Never trust an Ionian from Asia Minor!

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