Besides this quite specific redirection of national wealth towards building up the fleet, our sources also ascribe to Themistokles the farsightedness to see the need of resolving the bickering and factionalism with which the Greek states were rife in the latter part of the decade between 490 and 480; only a unified effort would have any chance of succeeding against the expected invasion. Although Herodotos (whose portrayal of Themistokles is rather negative and carping) does not often name him in connection with this effort, the narrative in Books 7 and 8 makes clear that it required continuing, patient and sometimes ingenious efforts by the Athenians to bring about this essential unity (an exception to this unwillingness to give credit explicitly to Themistokles is Herodotos' report that it was his more
ENTRY INTO PUBLIC LIFE
(Them. 7.3-4, trans. Perrin) Themistokles was proverbial for a quality the Greeks called dolos, a tricki-
ness bordering on deceit. Herodotos delights in noting instances of this aspect of Themistokles' behaviout, so much so that his account is overdrawn and suffers distortion. We thus read in Herodotos' pages (on what evidence is not made clear) that Themistokles was bribed by the Euboians and in turn bribed the Spartan Eurybiades to remain at Artemision (8.4-5). He caused to be inscribed on the cliffs near Artemision messages intended to secure defection by the Ionian contingents, or at least their discreditation in Xerxes' eyes (8.22),1 and of course, he sent the famous messages to Xerxes from Salamis, both before (8.76) and after the battle (8.110). Certainly the trick by which the Persian fleet was so disastrously lured into the straits at Salamis is given prominence in the messenger's account in The Persians, where Aischylos comes as close to naming Themistokles as the conventions of the tragic stage allowed:
The one that started the whole disaster, lady, was Some Curse or Evil Spirit which appeared from somewhere. For a man, a Greek, arrived from the Athenian camp And spoke to your son Xerxes words to this effect ...