Now the Spartans had no tangible proof
against him—neither his enemies nor the nation—of that
indubitable kind required for the punishment of a member of the royal
family, and at that moment in high office; he being regent for his first cousin King Pleistarchus, Leonidas' son, who
was still a minor.
But by his contempt of the laws and imitation of the barbarians,
he gave grounds for much suspicion of his being discontented with things
established; all the occasions on which he had in any way departed from the regular
customs were passed in review, and it was remembered that he had taken upon
himself to have inscribed on the tripod at Delphi, which was dedicated by
the Hellenes as the first-fruits of the spoil of the Medes, the following
The Mede defeated, great Pausanias raised
This monument, that Phoebus might be praised.
At the time the Lacedaemonians had at once
erased the couplet, and inscribed the names of the cities that had aided in
the overthrow of the barbarian and dedicated the offering.
Yet it was considered that Pausanias had here been guilty of a grave
offence, which, interpreted by the light of the attitude which he had since
assumed, gained a new significance, and seemed to be quite in keeping with
his present schemes.
Besides, they were informed that he was even intriguing with the Helots; and such indeed was the fact, for he promised them freedom and citizenship
if they would join him in insurrection, and would help him to carry out his
plans to the end.
Even now, mistrusting the evidence even of the Helots themselves, the
Ephors would not consent to take any decided step against him; in accordance with their regular custom towards themselves, namely, to be
slow in taking any irrevocable resolve in the matter of a Spartan citizen,
without indisputable proof.
At last, it is said, the person who was going to carry to Artabazus the
last letter for the king, a man of Argilus, once the favorite and most
trusty servant of Pausanias, turned informer.
Alarmed by the reflection that none of the previous messengers had ever
returned, having counterfeited the seal, in order that, if he found himself
mistaken in his surmises, or if Pausanias should ask to make some
correction, he might not be discovered, he undid the letter, and found the
postscript that he had suspected, viz., an order to put him to death.
On being shown the letter the Ephors now felt
Still, they wished to hear Pausanias commit himself with their own ears.
Accordingly the man went by appointment to Taenarus as a suppliant, and
there built himself a hut divided into two by a partition; within which he concealed some of the Ephors and let them hear the whole
For Pausanias came to him and asked him the reason of his suppliant
position; and the man reproached him with the order that he had written concerning
him, and one by one declared all the rest of the circumstances, how he who
had never yet brought him into any danger, while employed as agent between
him and the king, was yet just like the mass of his servants, to be rewarded
Admitting all this, and telling him not to be angry about the matter,
Pausanias gave him the pledge of raising him up from the temple, and begged
him to set off as quickly as possible, and not to hinder the business in
The Ephors listened carefully, and then
departed, taking no action for the moment, but, having at last attained to
certainty, were preparing to arrest him in the city.
It is reported that, as he was about to be arrested in the street, he saw
from the face of one of the Ephors what he was coming for; another, too, made him a secret signal, and betrayed it to him from
Setting off with a run for the temple of the goddess of the Brazen House,
the enclosure of which was near at hand, he succeeded in taking sanctuary
before they took him, and entering into a small chamber, which formed part
of the temple, to avoid being exposed to the weather, lay still there.
The Ephors, for the moment distanced in the pursuit, afterwards took off
the roof of the chamber, and having made sure that he was inside, shut him
in, barricaded the doors, and staying before the place, reduced him by