The Advice of Demaratus to Xerxes. - Themistocles. - Actions off Artemisium. - The Greeks retreat. - The Persians invade Delphi, and are repulsed with great Loss. - The Athenians, unaided by their Allies, abandon Athens, and embark for Salamis. - The irresolute and selfish Policy of the Peloponnesians. - Dexterity and Firmness of Themistocles. - Battle of Salamis. - Andros and Carystus besieged by the Greeks. - Anecdotes of Themistocles. - Honours awarded to him in Sparta. - Xerxes returns to Asia. - Olynthus and Potidaea besieged by Artabazus. - The Athenians return Home. - The Ostracism of Aristides is repealed.
I. After the victory of Thermopylae, Demaratus advised the Persian monarch to despatch a detachment of three hundred vessels to the Laconian coast, and seize the Island of Cythera, of which a Spartan once (foreseeing how easily hereafter that post might be made to command and overawe the Laconian capital) had said, "It were better for Sparta if it were sunk into the sea." The profound experience of Demaratus in the selfish and exclusive policy of his countrymen made him argue that, if this were done, the fears of Sparta for herself would prevent her joining the forces of the rest of Greece, and leave the latter a more easy prey to the invader.
The advice, fortunately for the Greeks, was overruled by Achaemenes.
Meanwhile the Grecian navy, assembled off Artemisium, was agitated by divers councils. Beholding the vast number of barbarian ships now collected at Aphetae, and the whole shores around swarming with hostile troops, the Greeks debated the necessity of retreat.
The fleet was under the command of Eurybiades, the Spartan. For although Athens furnished a force equal to all the rest of the allies together, and might justly, therefore, have pretended to the command, yet the jealousy of the confederates, long accustomed to yield to the claims of Sparta, and unwilling to acknowledge a new superiority in another state, had induced the Athenians readily to forego their claim. And this especially at the instance of Themistocles. "To him," says Plutarch, "Greece not only owes her preservation, but the Athenians in particular the glory of surpassing their enemies in valour and their allies in moderation." But if fortune gave Eurybiades the nominal command, genius forced Themistocles into the actual pre-eminence. That extraordinary man was, above all, adapted to his time; and, suited to its necessities, he commanded its fates. His very fault in the callousness of the moral sentiment, and his unscrupulous regard to expediency, peculiarly aided him in his management of men. He could appeal to the noblest passions - he could wind himself into the most base. Where he could not exalt he corrupted, where he could not persuade he intimidated, where he could not intimidate he bribed. 
When the intention to retreat became generally circulated, the inhabitants of the northern coast of Euboea (off which the Athenian navy rode) entreated Eurybiades at least to give them time to remove their slaves and children from the vengeance of the barbarian. Unsuccessful with him, they next sought Themistocles. For the consideration of thirty talents, the Athenian promised to remain at Artemisium, and risk the event of battle. Possessed of this sum, he won over the sturdy Spartan by the gift of five talents, and to Adimantus the Corinthian, the most obstinate in retreat, he privately sent three . The remainder he kept for his own uses; - distinguished from his compeers in this - that he obtained a much larger share of the gift than they; that they were bribed to be brave, and that he was rewarded for bribing them. The pure-minded statesman of the closet cannot but feel some disdain and some regret to find, blended together, the noblest actions and the paltriest motives. But whether in ancient times or in modern, the web of human affairs is woven from a mingled yarn, and the individuals who save nations are not always those most acceptable to the moralist. The share of Themistocles in this business is not, however, so much to his discredit as to that of the Spartan Eurybiades. We cannot but observe that no system contrary to human nature is strong against actual temptation. The Spartan law interdicted the desire of riches, and the Spartans themselves yielded far more easily to the lust of avarice than the luxurious Athenians. Thus a native of Zelea, a city in Asia Minor, had sought to corrupt the Peloponnesian cities by Persian gold: it was not the Spartans, it was the Athenians, who declared this man infamous, and placed his life out of the pale of the Grecian law. With a noble pride Demosthenes speaks of this decree. "The gold," he, says, "was brought into Peloponnesus, not to Athens. But our ancestors extended their care beyond their own city to the whole of Greece."  An Aristides is formed by the respect paid to integrity, which society tries in vain - a Demaratus, an Eurybiades, and, as we shall see, a Pausanias, by the laws which, affecting to exclude the influence of the passions, render their temptations novel, and their effects irresistible.
II. The Greeks continued at Euboea; and the Persians, eager to engage so inconsiderable an enemy, despatched two hundred chosen vessels, with orders to make a circuitous route beyond Sciathos, and thus, unperceived, to attack the Grecian rear, while on a concerted signal the rest would advance upon the front.