Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens — 1.1882-1883

Seite: 244
Lizenz: Creative Commons - Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen Nutzung / Bestellung
1 cm


ment" [i.e. until Aristides came).1 Is it credible that Aristides
should thus dwell so strongly on the swarm of ships between Sala-
mis and Aegina as his chief proof that the Greeks were wholly shut
in, if a large Persian fleet had already pushed in between Salamis and
the Attic coast and was actually lying less than a mile distant from
the town ? It seems to me that the expressions of Aristides, as well
as those of Herodotus and Plutarch, plainly refer to a blockade of
both outlets of the bay of Salamis, so that the escape of the Greeks
was completely cut off on the north as well as on the south; and to
the stationing of ships at other points around Salamis where escape
might be attempted. They also refer to the landing of troops on
Psyttaleia and perhaps on some smaller islands. But they cannot
reasonably be made to imply anything like filling the straits of Sala-
mis themselves with Persian ships.

3. Aeschylus, Herodotus, and Plutarch concur in the statement
that Xerxes landed a body of Persians on Psyttaleia because he
thought that this island would be a central point in the sea-fight.2
This certainly implies that he expected to meet the Greek fleet at the
southern outlet of the straits, by which he thought it would attempt
to escape. If he had formed his plan to pen the whole Greek fleet
into the bay of Salamis by stretching his own ships through the straits
beyond Aegaleos, he must have expected that the battle would be
fought within the bay ; and nothing short of a successful breaking of
his blockade by the Greeks could have made Psyttaleia the scene of a
serious contest. Aeschylus and Herodotus3 agree that the Persians
on the island were to save Persians and slaughter Greeks who might
be driven ashore there in the battle. Herodotus speaks of the proba-
bility of both men and wrecks being brought there, since the island
lay directly in the line of the expected battle.4 Plutarch says expressly
that about Psyttaleia appears to have been the scene of the greatest
struggle and the hardest fighting.3 Does not all this show that Xerxes

1 Ibid. : ai Bap^apiKal rpiripets vvKTcop ai/axd^crai koL TrepiffaAovacti t6u Te iropov
ii> icvkKw ical ras vr\crovs Ka.TtLXov> ov^evbs TrpoetSoTOS ttjv KVKKuaiu rjKtv 6 'Api-

(7T6i'8t)S, k.t.K.

2 Aesch. Pen. 441-464; Herod. VIII. 76, 95 ; Plut. Arist. 9.

3 Aesch. Pen. 450-453; Herod. VIII. 76.

4 Ibid. : 4i> yap dr/ iropco tt)s vav/max'^cis Trjs p.e\Kov(jr)s eaeaOai eiceiTO r\ vrjoos,

0 Plut. Arist. 9 : 6 yap ■KXelffros coOta/ubs twv v€a>v Kal rrjs p.<ixrls r^> Kaprepi-
ts.toc eoiKe Trepl rbv t6vqv ckzIvov ytveadai.
loading ...