Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Herodotus’ “Histories” of the Persian Wars (very liberally ‘translaparaphrased’): Book I sections 69 -70

Wherein, we see Croesus, continuing in his efforts to butter up Greeks, (Spartans in particular) in hopes of taking it to the; Spartan claims to a mugging by Samians (in hopes of stealing a very large bronze bowl); and Samians saying "don't blame us clyde! Your people sold the darn thing!"


Having gained this information, Croesus sent messengers to Sparta, bearing gifts, and seeking alliance. They were under strict instruction as to the language they were to use. Upon arrival they said, “We have been sent by Croesus King of the Lydians and other peoples. He has sent us with this message: ‘Lacedaemonians, the God has advised that I make the Greeks my friends. Yourselves, being pre-eminent among the Greeks, I invite, pursuant to the God’s advice, to form a friendship and alliance, I make this request with no intent to deceive, nor harboring ulterior motive.

The Lacedaemonians, having already learned of the oracle’s advice to Croesus, were quite happy the messengers had come bearing this invitation. They readily entered into the pact and alliance. In fact, they were already somewhat indebted to him. Earlier, they had sent to Sardis, in order to purchase gold which they intended to use in fashioning the statue of Apollo which now stands in Thornax. Croesus made a gift of the gold and would not allow them to pay for it.


For this reason, and because he had approached them before all other Greeks, the Spartans formed the alliance with Croesus. They declared themselves available for service whenever he required. Wishing to make some return for his earlier kindness, they not only offered their services, but intended to make, as a reciprocal gift, presentation of a large brazen bowl, graven round its rim with figures, with a capacity of some twenty-seven hundred gallons. This bowl never arrived at Sardis. Two reasons are given: The Lacedaemonians claim that it was taken as they approached Samos, the Samians having descended upon them in warships. The Samians, on the other hand, insist that it was the Lacedaemonians themselves, who after arriving at Sardis too late, (that is, after Sardis and Croesus himself had been captured), in fact sold the vessel in Samos. They sold to a private individual who then set it up in the temple of Hera. And, it very well could be the case that those who had sold the bowl, upon returning to Sparta fabricated the tale of the Samian theft. Such are the tales that circulate concerning this bowl.

Mysterious plume visible on Martian limb 3-20-12

Spotted by this guy,Wayne Jaeschke, amateur astronomer. The animated gif shows what appears to be a very large anvil shaped plume. Cause? Martians 'vast cool and unsympathetic' heading our way, an impact, or perhaps a collapse of some geologic feature? I doubt it is volcanic. Mars has apparently had no such activity in recent gelogic time.

It doesn't appear to be an artifact of imaging, smudge in the optics, or anything mundane like that.

In any case, interesting, head on over to the site for more discussion.