- Jun 8, 2016
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SignatureBut Darius was as determined as ever to punish the Athenians. He spent two years in preparations, and then, before he set out for Greece, 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 to own that he was monarch of the sea.
Many 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, as they called Darius, 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, while he who went to Sparta was tossed into a well and told that there he would find the earth and water that his king desired.