Xerxes

(2 syl.). A Greek way of writing the Persian Ksathra or Kshatra, a royal title assumed by Isfundear, son of Gushtasp, darawesh. (See Darius.)

When Xerxes invaded Greece he constructed a pontoon bridge across the Dardanelles, which, being swept away by the force of the waves, so enraged the Persian despot that be “inflicted three hundred lashes on the rebellious sea, and cast chains of iron across it.” This story is probably a Greek myth, founded on the peculiar construction of Xerxes' second bridge, which consisted of three hundred boats, lashed by iron chains to two ships serving as supporters. As for the scourging, without doubt it was given to the engineers and not to the waves.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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