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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

BOOKS: The Landmark Herodotus

Book Three 3.11.525

The Persians marched across the desert and took up their position near the Egyptians in preparation for meeting them in battle.  At that point, the Greek and Carian [Caria is present day Turkey] mercenaries of the Egyptian King, who resented Phanes leading a foreign army into Egypt, schemed to punish him in the following way.  They took the sons of Phanes, whom he had left behind in Egypt, into the camp, and after placing a wine bowl between the two armies, they led each of the sons up to it in full view of their father and cut each of the boy's throats in turn, they added wine and water to the blood, and then each of the mercenaries drank from the bowl.  Thus fortified, they went forth into battle in which the fighting became quite fierce, so that a large number of men fell on both sides, but finally the Egyptians were routed. 
Boy, oh Boy! 

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POETRY: Osip Mandelstam