By 492 B.C. King Darius
put his plan in the hands of Mardonius
who was young at this time and married to one of the Kings daughters.
Once a vast number of ships
were gathered, he hastened to the Hellespont, to meet a large contingent
of land forces. He conveyed his troops across the strait by means
of his vessels, and proceeded through Europe against Eretria and
Athens (the Greeks who were part of
the Ionian revolt).
This was the pretext anyway,
in reality they were going to subjugate as great a number as possible
of the Grecian cities; and this became plain when the Thasians,
who did not even lift a hand in their defence or were part of the
Ionian revolt, were reduced by the sea force.
The land force met up with the
other Persians who were left there from their previous expedition
and headed straight into Macedonia, reducing them to slaves of the
By this time the sea fleet was
trying to go around Mt Athos. But here a violent north wind sprang
up, against the which nothing could contend, and handled a large
number of the ships with much rudeness, shattering them and driving
them aground upon Athos. The number of ships destroyed is reported
to be just under 3,000 with 20,000 men dead. Death came in the form
of drowning to which the Persians did not know how to swim,
there were plenty for the sharks to feed upon, some where dashed
violently against the rocks, others too by the coldness of the sea.
and the land forces were having a hard time too. Somewhere on the border of Macedonia his camp was attacked
during the night by a 'hairy' and otherwise unheard of Thracian tribe, and a vast number of Persians were
slain, Mardonius also
being wounded. They didn't receive the freedom they were after though
as Mardonius reorganised
his army and reduced them to slavery. Still the damage was done,
with the fleet destroyed and the land forces being reduced considerably,
Mardonius and the Persians returned to Asia in disgrace .
returned unsuccessfully from Europe Darius
was as determined as ever to punish the Athenians. He would spend two
years in preparations, before he set out for Greece. But after one year, he
sent heralds to the different states, demanding from each, earth
and water. To give earth to the great king was to acknowledge him
as ruler of their land, to give water was because he was the monarch
of the sea, most prominent of these was the island of Aegina..
of the states were afraid to refuse, and sent the earth and water
which Darius demanded, but among
these was neither Athens nor Sparta.
So indignant were these two
cities that a barbarian, should send such a demand to the free States
of Greece, that they treated his heralds with scant courtesy. The
Athenians flung the messenger who came to their city into a deep
pit (the pit of punishment),
while he who went to Sparta was unceromoniously tossed into a old well.
A Spartan screamed at him 'you can get your earth and water from
down there.' .
now didn't give up hope, offers came back from everywhere, one of
the places was the small island of Aegina, just next to Salamis
about 20 km from Athens. This Athens knew was too near to home,
they sent embassies to Sparta. This pleased Athens to include Sparta
at this time, having a good reason to speak to them for the first
time and hopefully getting past the bad blood between them.
They made a charge to the Spartans
that the island of Aegina now making an offering of earth and water
to Darius made them traitors of
Greece. The king of Sparta, Kleomenes
I took a contingent and made his way to the island. As soon
as he tried to arrest the leaders a number of Aeginetans made resistance.
Crius, a Aeginan verbally abused the king, and ridiculing him by
saying that 'if Sparta did want to arrest the leaders they would
have sent both kings!'
The Spartans decided to leave
and Kleomenes I parting words
were 'Get thy horns tipped with brass with all speed, O Crius, for
though wilt have to struggle with great danger (Crius
meaning ram in Greek).
While in Sparta more trouble
was brewing. The other king of Sparta, Demaratus
was bringing charges on Kleomenes
I. The two kings didn't get along whatsoever, remember also
that Demaratus left
Kleomenes I on the battlefield.
Kleomenes I return, he got
wind of the trouble that Demaratus
was saying about him. Kleomenes
I formulated a plan.
father was told that his wife had had a child and it was a boy,
at first the father, who counted on his fingers said 'the boy cannot
be mine' he said this infront of the Ephors. This he later regretted
and as the boy grew up he knew it was his son. 
I now had the hook. In Sparta he planted doubt about the heir
of the king not really being his son, his own father, the king; had said it himself
and the Ephors heard it.
Things were getting very tense
inside Sparta, to which even Demaratus
had doubts, though his mother denied all wrong doing.
((Click on image to see a list
of Spartan Kings in timeline)).
I organised Cobon who had great weight with the Dephins to buy
off the Pythoness and with a family member of Demaratus,
Leotychides, to remove Demaratus
from office and then the kingship would pass on to the next available
family member, which would be his.
I had only to sit and watch the plan all come to fruition.
Leotychides, publicly made a oath that he wanted to sue Demaratus,
as he wasn't the son of the king. The king had said so himself and
he also produced the witness' who where the Ephors to this.
This caused a hugh uproar in
Sparta, the likes to which had never been seen before. Finally,
it was decided that the question of the heir of the king be taken
to Delphi. Where Kleomenes I
got the response he was after 'that Demartatus was not Ariston's