The Project Gutenberg eBook of History of Greece, Volume 04 (of 12)

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Title: History of Greece, Volume 04 (of 12)

Author: George Grote

Release date: October 5, 2019 [eBook #60426]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Henry Flower, Adrian Mastronardi, Ramon Pajares
Box and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images
generously made available by The Internet Archive/American


Transcriber's note

Table of Contents

Book cover

[p. i]






[p. iii]






Different tribes of Illyrians. — Conflicts and contrast of Illyrians with Greeks. — Epidamnus and Apollonia in relation to the Illyrians. — Early Macedonians. — Their original seats. — General view of the country which they occupied — eastward of Pindus and Skardus. — Distribution and tribes of the Macedonians. — Macedonians round Edessa — the leading portion of the nation. — Pierians and Bottiæans — originally placed on the Thermaic gulf, between the Macedonians and the sea. — Pæonians. — Argeian Greeks who established the dynasty of Edessa — Perdikkas. — Talents for command manifested by Greek chieftains over barbaric tribes. — Aggrandizement of the dynasty of Edessa — conquests as far as the Thermaic gulf, as well as over the interior Macedonians. — Friendship between king Amyntas and the Peisistratids.

pages 1-19



Thracians — their numbers and abode. — Many distinct tribes, yet little diversity of character. — Their cruelty, rapacity, and military efficiency. — Thracian worship and character Asiatic. — Early date of the Chalkidic colonies in Thrace. — Methônê the earliest — about 720 B. C. — Several other small settlements on the Chalkidic peninsula and its three projecting headlands. — Chalkidic peninsula — Mount Athos. — Colonies in Pallênê, or the westernmost of the three headlands. — In Sithonia, or the middle headland. — In the headland of Athos — Akanthus, Stageira, etc. — Greek settlements east of the Strymôn in Thrace. — Island of Thasus. — Thracian Chersonesus. — Perinthus, Selymoria, and Byzantium. — Grecian settlements on the Euxine, south of the Danube. — Lemnos and Imbros.




First voyages of the Greeks to Libya. — Foundation of Kyrênê. — Founded by Battus from the island of Thêra. — Colony first settled in the island of Platea — afterwards removed to Kyrênê. — Situation of Kyrênê. — Fertility, produce, and prosperity. — Libyan tribes near Kyrênê. — Extensive dominion of Kyrênê and Barka over the Libyans. — Connection of the Greek colonies with the Nomads of Libya. — Manners of the Libyan Nomads. — Mixture of Greeks and Libyan inhabitants at Kyrênê. — Dynasty of Battus, Arkesilaus, Battus the Second, at Kyrênê — fresh colonists from Greece. — Disputes with the native Libyans. — Arkesilaus the Second, prince of Kyrênê — misfortunes of the city — foundation of Barka. — Battus the Third, a lame man — reform by Demônax, who takes away the supreme power from the Battiads. — New emigration — restoration of the Battiad Arkesilaus the Third. — Oracle limiting the duration of the Battiad dynasty. — Violences at Kyrênê under Arkesilaus the Third. — Arkesilaus sends his submission to Kambysês, king of Persia. — Persian expedition from Egypt against Barka — Pheretimê, mother of Arkesilaus. — Capture of Barka by perfidy — cruelty of Pheretimê. — Battus the Fourth and Arkesilaus the Fourth — final extinction of the dynasty about 460-450 B. C. — Constitution of Demônax not durable.




Want of grouping and unity in the early period of Grecian history. — New causes, tending to favor union, begin after 560 B. C. — no general war between 776 and 560 B. C. known to Thucydidês. — Increasing disposition to religious, intellectual, and social union. — Reciprocal admission of cities to the religious festivals of each other. — Early splendor of the Ionic festival at Delos — its decline. — Olympic games — their celebrity and long continuance. — Their gradual increase — new matches introduced. — Olympic festival — the first which passes from a local to a Pan-Hellenic character. — Pythian games, or festival. — Early state and site of Delphi. — Phocian town of Krissa. — Kirrha, the seaport of Krissa. — Growth of Delphi and Kirrha — decline of Krissa. — Insolence of the Kirrhæans punished by the Amphiktyons. — First Sacred War, in 595 B. C. — Destruction of Kirrha. — Pythian games founded by the Amphiktyons. — Nemean and Isthmian games. — Pan-Hellenic character acquired by all the four festivals — Olympic, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian. — Increased frequentation of the other festivals in most Greek cities. — All other Greek cities, except Sparta, encouraged such visits. — Effect of these festivals upon the Greek mind.




Age and duration of the Greek lyric poetry. — Epical age preceding the lyrical. — Wider range of subjects for poetry — new metres — enlarged musical scale. — Improvement of the harp by Terpander — of the flute by Olympus and others. — Archilochus, Kallinus, Tyrtæus, and Alkman — 670-600 B. C. — New metres superadded to the Hexameter — Elegiac, Iambic, Trochaic. — Archilochus. — Simonidês of Amorgos, Kallinus, Tyrtæus. — Musical and poetical tendencies at Sparta. — Choric training — Alkman, Thalêtas. — Doric dialect employed in the choric compositions. — Arion and Stêsichorus — substitution of the professional in place of the popular chorus. — Distribution of the chorus by Stêsichorus — Strophê — Antistrophê — Epôdus. — Alkæus and Sappho. — Gnomic or moralizing poets. — Solon and Theognis. — Subordination of musical and orchestrical accompaniment to the words and meaning. — Seven Wise Men. — They were the first men who acquired an Hellenic reputation, without poetical genius. — Early manifestation of philosophy — in the form of maxims. — Subsequent growth of dialectics and discussion. — Increase of the habit of writing — commencement of prose compositions. — First beginnings of Grecian art. — Restricted character of early art, from religious associations. — Monumental ornaments in the cities — begin in the sixth century B. C. — Importance of Grecian art as a means of Hellenic union.




Peisistratus and his sons at Athens — B. C. 500-510 — uncertain chronology as to Peisistratus. — State of feeling in Attica at the accession of Peisistratus. — Retirement of Peisistratus, and stratagem whereby he is reinstated. — Quarrel of Peisistratus with the Alkmæônids — his second retirement. — His second and final restoration. — His strong government — mercenaries — purification of Delos. — Mild despotism of Peisistratus. — His sons Hippias and Hipparchus. — Harmodius and Aristogeitôn. — They conspire and kill Hipparchus. B. C. 514. — Strong and lasting sentiment, coupled with great historical mistake, in the Athenian public. — Hippias despot alone — 514-510 B. C. — his cruelty and conscious insecurity. — Connection of Athens with the Thracian Chersonesus and the Asiatic coast of the Hellespont. — First Miltiadês — œkist of the Chersonese. — Second Miltiadês — sent out thither by the Peisistratids. — Proceedings of the exiled Alkmæônids against Hippias. — Conflagration and rebuilding of the Delphian temple. — The Alkmæônids rebuild the temple with magnificence. — Gratitude of the Delphians towards them — they procure from the oracle directions to Sparta, enjoining the expulsion of Hippias. — Spartan expeditions into Attica. — Expulsion of Hippias, and liberation of Athens.




State of Athens after the expulsion of Hippias. — Opposing party-leaders — Kleisthenês — Isagoras. — Democratical revolution headed by Kleisthenês. — Rearrangement and extension of the political franchise. — Suppression of the four old tribes, and formation of ten new tribes, including an increased number of the population. — Imperfect description of this event in Herodotus — its real bearing. — Grounds of opposition to it in ancient Athenian feeling. — Names of the new tribes — their relation to the demes. — Demes belonging to each tribe usually not adjacent to each other. — Arrangements and functions of the deme. — Solonian constitution preserved, with modifications. — Change of military arrangement in the state. — The ten stratêgi, or generals. — The judicial assembly of citizens, or Heliæa, subsequently divided into fractions, each judging separately. — The political assembly, or ekklesia. — Financial arrangements. — Senate of Five Hundred. — Ekklesia, or political assembly. — Kleisthenês the real author of the Athenian democracy. — Judicial attributes of the people — their gradual enlargement. — Three points in Athenian constitutional law, hanging together: — Universal admissibility of citizens to magistracy — choice by lot — reduced functions of the magistrates chosen by lot. — Universal admissibility of citizens to the archonship — not introduced until after the battle of Platæa. — Constitution of Kleisthenês retained the Solonian law of exclusion as to individual office. — Difference between that constitution and the political state of Athens after Periklês. — Senate of Areopagus. — The ostracism. — Weakness of the public force in the Grecian governments. — Past violences of the Athenian nobles. — Necessity of creating a constitutional morality. — Purpose and working of the ostracism. — Securities against its abuse. — Ostracism necessary as a protection to the early democracy — afterwards dispensed with. — Ostracism analogous to the exclusion of a known pretender to the throne in a monarchy. — Effect of the long ascendency of Periklês, in strengthening constitutional morality. — Ostracism in other Grecian cities. — Striking effect of the revolution of Kleisthenês on the minds of the citizens. — Isagoras calls in Kleomenês and the Lacedæmonians against it. — Kleomenês and Isagoras are expelled from Athens. — Recall of Kleisthenês — Athens solicits the alliance of the Persians. — First connection between Athens and Platæa. — Disputes between Platæa and Thebes — decision of Corinth as arbitrator. — Second march of Kleomenês against Athens — desertion of his allies. — First appearance of Sparta as acting head of Peloponnesian allies. — Signal successes of Athens against Bœotians and Chalkidians. — Plantation of Athenian settlers, or klêruchs, in the territory of Chalkis. — Distress of the Thebans — they ask assistance from Ægina. — The Æginetans make war on Athens. — Preparations at Sparta to attack Athens anew — the Spartan allies are summoned, together with Hippias. — First formal convocation at Sparta — advance of Greece towards a political system. — Proceedings of the convocation — animated protest of Corinth against any interference in favor of Hippias — the Spartan allies refuse to interfere. — Aversion to single-headed rule — now predominant[p. vii] in Greece. — Striking development of Athenian energy after the revolution of Kleisthenês — language of Herodotus. — Effect of the idea or theory of democracy in exciting Athenian sentiment. — Patriotism of an Athenian between 500-400 B. C. — combined with an eager spirit of personal military exertion and sacrifice. — Diminution of this active sentiment in the restored democracy after the Thirty Tyrants.




State of Asia before the rise of the Persian monarchy. — Great power and alliances of Crœsus. — Rise of Cyrus — uncertainty of his early history. — Story of Astyagês. — Herodotus and Ktêsias. — Condition of the native Persians at the first rise of Cyrus. — Territory of Iran — between Tigris and Indus. — War between Cyrus and Crœsus. — Crœsus tests the oracles — triumphant reply from Delphi — munificence of Crœsus to the oracle. — Advice given to him by the oracle. — He solicits the alliance of Sparta. — He crosses the Halys and attacks the Persians. — Rapid march of Cyrus to Sardis. — Siege and capture of Sardis. — Crœsus becomes prisoner of Cyrus — how treated. — Remonstrance addressed by Crœsus to the Delphian god. — Successful justification of the oracle. — Fate of Crœsus impressive to the Greek mind. — The Mœræ, or Fates. — State of the Asiatic Greeks after the conquest of Lydia by Cyrus. — They apply in vain to Sparta for aid. — Cyrus quits Sardis — revolt of the Lydians suppressed. — The Persian general Mazarês attacks Ionia — the Lydian Paktyas. — Harpagus succeeds Mazarês — conquest of Ionia by the Persians. — Fate of Phôkæa. — Emigration of the Phôkæans vowed by all, executed only by one half. — Phôkæan colony first at Alalia, then at Elea. — Proposition of Bias for a Pan-Ionic emigration not adopted. — Entire conquest of Asia Minor by the Persians.




Conquests of Cyrus in Asia. — His attack of Babylon. — Difficult approach to Babylon — no resistance made to the invaders. — Cyrus distributes the river Gyndês into many channels. — He takes Babylon, by drawing off for a time the waters of the Euphrates. — Babylon left in undiminished strength and population. — Cyrus attacks the Massagetæ — is defeated and slain. — Extraordinary stimulus to the Persians, from the conquests of Cyrus. — Character of the Persians. — Thirst for foreign conquest among the Persians, for three reigns after Cyrus. — Kambysês succeeds his father Cyrus — his invasion of Egypt. — Death of Amasis, king of Egypt, at the time when the Persian expedition was preparing — his son Psammenitus succeeds. — Conquest of Egypt by Kambysês. — Submission of Kyrênê and Barka to Kambysês — his projects for conquering Libya and Ethiopia disappointed. — Insults of Kambysês to the[p. viii] Egyptian religion. — Madness of Kambysês — he puts to death his younger brother, Smerdis. — Conspiracy of the Magian Patizeithês who sets up his brother as king under the name of Smerdis. — Death of Kambysês. — Reign of the false Smerdis — conspiracy of the seven Persian noblemen against him — he is slain. — Darius succeeds to the throne. — Political bearing of this conspiracy — Smerdis represents Median preponderance, which is again put down by Darius. — Revolt of the Medes — suppressed. — Discontents of the satraps. — Revolt of Babylon. — Reconquered and dismantled by Darius. — Organization of the Persian empire by Darius. — Twenty satrapies with a fixed tribute apportioned to each. — Imposts upon the different satrapies. — Organizing tendency of Darius — first imperial coinage — imperial roads and posts. — Island of Samos — its condition at the accession of Darius. — Polykratês. — Polykratês breaks with Amasis, king of Egypt, and allies himself with Kambysês. — The Samian exiles, expelled by Polykratês, apply to Sparta for aid. — The Lacedæmonians attack Samos, but are repulsed. — Attack on Siphnos by the Samian exiles. — Prosperity of Polykratês. — He is slain by the Persian satrap Orœtês. — Mæandrius, lieutenant of Polykratês in Samos — he desires to establish a free government after the death of Polykratês — conduct of the Samians. — Mæandrius becomes despot. — Contrast between the Athenians and the Samians. — Sylosôn, brother of Polykratês, lands with a Persian army in Samos — his history. — Mæandrius agrees to evacuate the island. — Many Persian officers slain — slaughter of the Samians. — Sylosôn despot at Samos. — Application of Mæandrius to Sparta for aid — refused.




Conquering dispositions of Darius. — Influence of his wife, Atossa. — Dêmokêdês, the Krotoniate surgeon — his adventures — he is carried a slave to Susa. — He cures Darius, who rewards him munificently. — He procures permission by artifice, and through the influence of Atossa, to return to Greece. — Atossa suggests to Darius an expedition against Greece. — Dêmokêdês, with some Persians, is sent to procure information for him. — Voyage of Dêmokêdês along the coast of Greece — he stays at Kroton — fate of his Persian companions. — Consequences which might have been expected to happen if Darius had then undertaken his expedition against Greece. — Darius marches against Scythia. — His naval force formed of Asiatic and insular Greeks. — He directs the Greeks to throw a bridge over the Danube and crosses the river. — He marches into Scythia — narrative of his march impossible and unintelligible, considered as history. — The description of his march is rather to be looked upon as a fancy-picture, illustrative of Scythian warfare. — Poetical grouping of the Scythians and their neighbors by Herodotus. — Strong impression produced upon the imagination of Herodotus by the Scythians. — Orders given by Darius to the Ionians at the bridge over the Danube. — The Ionians are left in guard of the bridge; their conduct when Darius’s return is delayed. — The Ionian despots preserve the bridge and enable Darius to recross the river, as a means of support to their own dominion at home. — Opportunity lost of emancipation from[p. ix] the Persians — Conquest of Thrace by the Persians as far as the river Strymon — Myrkinus near that river given to Histiæus. — Macedonians and Pæonians are conquered by Megabazus. — Insolence of the Persian envoys in Macedonia — they are murdered. — Histiæus founds a prosperous colony at Myrkinus — Darius sends for him into Asia. — Otanês Persian general on the Hellespont — he conquers the Pelasgian population of Lemnos, Imbros, etc. — Lemnos and Imbros captured by the Athenians and Miltiadês.




Darius carries Histiæus to Susa. — Application of the banished Hippias to Artaphernês, satrap of Sardis. — State of the island of Naxos — Naxian exiles solicit aid from Aristagoras of Milêtus. — Expedition against Naxos, undertaken by Aristagoras with the assistance of Artaphernês the satrap. — Its failure, through dispute between Aristagoras and the Persian general, Megabatês. — Alarm of Aristagoras — he determines to revolt against Persia — instigation to the same effect from Histiæus. — Revolt of Aristagoras and the Milesians — the despots in the various cities deposed and seized. — Extension of the revolt throughout Asiatic Greece — Aristagoras goes to solicit aid from Sparta. — Refusal of the Spartans to assist him. — Aristagoras applies to Athens — obtains aid both from Athens and Eretria. — March of Aristagoras up to Sardis with the Athenian and Eretrian allies — burning of the town — retreat and defeat of these Greeks by the Persians. — The Athenians abandon the alliance. — Extension of the revolt to Cyprus and Byzantium. — Phenician fleet called forth by the Persians — Persian and Phenician armament sent against Cyprus — the Ionians send aid thither — victory of the Persians — they reconquer the island. — Successes of the Persians against the revolted coast of Asia Minor. — Aristagoras loses courage and abandons the country. — Appearance of Histiæus, who had obtained leave of departure from Susa. — Histiæus is suspected by Artaphernês — flees to Chios. — He attempts in vain to procure admission into Milêtus — puts himself at the head of a small piratical squadron. — Large Persian force assembled, aided by the Phenician fleet, for the siege of Milêtus. — The allied Grecian fleet mustered at Ladê. — Attempts of the Persians to disunite the allies, by means of the exiled despots. — Want of command and discipline in the Grecian fleet. — Energy of the Phôkæan Dionysius — he is allowed to assume the command. — Discontent of the Grecian crews — they refuse to act under Dionysius. — Contrast of this incapacity of the Ionic crews with the subsequent severe discipline of the Athenian seamen. — Disorder and mistrust grow up in the fleet — treachery of the Samian captains. — Complete victory of the Persian fleet at Ladê — ruin of the Ionic fleet — severe loss of the Chians. — Voluntary exile and adventures of Dionysius. — Siege, capture, and ruin of Milêtus by the Persians. — The Phenician fleet reconquers all the coast-towns and islands. — Narrow escape of Miltiadês from their pursuit. — Cruelties of the Persians after the reconquest. — Movements and death of Histiæus. — Sympathy and terror of the Athenians at the capture of Milêtus — the tragic writer Phrynichus is fined.




Proceedings of the satrap Artaphernês after the reconquest of Ionia — Mardonius comes with an army into Ionia — he puts down the despots in the Greek cities. — He marches into Thrace and Macedonia — his fleet destroyed by a terrible storm near Mount Athos — he returns into Asia. — Island of Thasos — prepares to revolt from the Persians — forced to submit. — Preparations of Darius for invading Greece — he sends heralds round the Grecian towns to demand earth and water — many of them submit. — Ægina among those towns which submitted — state and relations of this island. — Heralds from Darius are put to death, both at Athens and Sparta. — Effects of this act in throwing Sparta into a state of hostility against Persia. — The Athenians appeal to Sparta, in consequence of the medism (or submission to the Persians) of Ægina. — Interference of Sparta — her distinct acquisition and acceptance of the leadership of Greece. — One condition of recognized Spartan leadership was the extreme weakness of Argos at this moment. — Victorious war of Sparta against Argos. — Destruction of the Argeians by Kleomenês, in the grove of the hero Argus. — Kleomenês returns without having attacked the city of Argos. — He is tried — his peculiar mode of defence — acquitted. — Argos unable to interfere with Sparta in the affair of Ægina and in her presidential power. — Kleomenês goes to Ægina to seize the medizing leaders — resistance made to him, at the instigation of his colleague Demaratus. — Demaratus is deposed, and Leotychidês chosen king, by the intrigues of Kleomenês. — Demaratus leaves Sparta and goes to Darius. — Kleomenês and Leotychidês go to Ægina, seize ten hostages, and convey them as prisoners to Athens. — Important effect of this proceeding upon the result of the first Persian invasion of Greece. — Assemblage of the vast Persian armament under Datis at Samos. — He crosses the Ægean — carries the island of Naxos without resistance — respects Delos. — He reaches Eubœa — siege and capture of Eretria. — Datis lands at Marathon. — Existing condition and character of the Athenians. — Miltiadês — his adventures — chosen one of the ten generals in the year in which the Persians landed at Marathon. — Themistoklês and Aristeidês. — Miltiadês, Aristeidês, and perhaps Themistoklês, were now among the ten stratêgi, or generals, in 490 B. C. — The Athenians ask aid from Sparta — delay of the Spartans. — Difference of opinion among the ten Athenian generals — five of them recommend an immediate battle, the other five are adverse to it. — Urgent instances of Miltiadês in favor of an immediate battle — casting-vote of the polemarch determines it. — March of the Athenians to Marathon — the Platæans spontaneously join them there. — Numbers of the armies. — Locality of Marathon. — Battle of Marathon — rapid charge of Miltiadês — defeat of the Persians. — Loss on both sides. — Ulterior plans of the Persians against Athens — party in Attica favorable to them. — Rapid march of Miltiadês back to Athens on the day of the battle. — The Persians abandon the enterprise, and return home. — Athens rescued through the speedy battle brought on by Miltiadês. — Change of Grecian feeling as to the Persians — terror which the latter inspired at the time of the battle of Marathon. — Immense effect of the Marathonian victory on the feelings of the Greeks — especially of the Athenians. — Who were the trai[p. xi]tors that invited the Persians to Athens after the battle — false imputation on the Alkmæônids. — Supernatural belief connected with the battle — commemorations of it. — Return of Datis to Asia — fate of the Eretrian captives. — Glory of Miltiadês — his subsequent conduct — unsuccessful expedition against Paros — bad hurt of Miltiadês. — Disgrace of Miltiadês on his return. — He is fined — dies of his wound — the fine is paid by his son Kimon. — Reflections on the closing adventures of the life of Miltiadês. — Fickleness and ingratitude imputed to the Athenians — how far they deserve the charge. — Usual temper of the Athenian dikasts in estimating previous services. — Tendency of eminent Greeks to be corrupted by success. — In what sense it is apparently true that fickleness was an attribute of the Athenian democracy.




Phalaris despot of Agrigentum. — Thalês. — Ionic philosophers — not a school or succession. — Step in philosophy commenced by Thalês. — Vast problems with scanty means of solution. — One cause of the vein of skepticism which runs through Grecian philosophy. — Thalês — primeval element of water, or the fluid. — Anaximander. — Problem of the One and the Many — the Permanent and the Variable. — Xenophanês — his doctrine the opposite of that of Anaximander. — The Eleatic school, Parmenidês and Zeno, springing from Xenophanês — their dialectics — their great influence on Grecian speculation. — Pherekydês. — History of Pythagoras. — His character and doctrines. — Pythagoras more a missionary and schoolmaster than a politician — his political efficiency exaggerated by later witnesses. — His ethical training — probably not applied to all the members of his order. — Decline and subsequent renovation of the Pythagorean order. — Pythagoras not merely a borrower, but an original and ascendent mind. — He passes from Samos to Kroton. — State of Kroton — oligarchical government — excellent gymnastic training and medical skill. — Rapid and wonderful effects said to have been produced by the exhortations of Pythagoras. — He forms a powerful club, or society, consisting of three hundred men taken from the wealthy classes at Kroton. — Political influence of Pythagoras — was an indirect result of the constitution of the order. — Causes which led to the subversion of the Pythagorean order. — Violences which accompanied its subversion. — The Pythagorean order is reduced to a religious and philosophical sect, in which character it continues. — War between Sybaris and Kroton. — Defeat of the Sybarites, and destruction of their city, partly through the aid of the Spartan prince Dorieus. — Sensation excited in the Hellenic world by the destruction of Sybaris. — Gradual decline of the Greek power in Italy. — Contradictory statements and arguments respecting the presence of Dorieus. — Herodotus does not mention the Pythagoreans, when he alludes to the war between Sybaris and Kroton. — Charondas, lawgiver of Katana, Naxos, Zanklê, Rhegium, etc.


[p. 1]




Northward of the tribes called Epirotic lay those more numerous and widely extended tribes who bore the general name of Illyrians; bounded on the west by the Adriatic, on the east by the mountain-range of Skardus, the northern continuation of Pindus,—and thus covering what is now called Middle and Upper Albania, together with the more northerly mountains of Montenegro, Herzegovina, and Bosnia. Their limits to the north and north-east cannot be assigned, but the Dardani and Autariatæ must have reached to the north-east of Skardus and even east of the Servian plain of Kossovo; while along the Adriatic coast, Skylax extends the race so far northward as to include Dalmatia, treating the Liburnians and Istrians beyond them as not Illyrian: yet Appian and others consider the Liburnians and Istrians as Illyrian, and Herodotus even includes under that name the Eneti, or Veneti, at the extremity of the Adriatic gulf.[1] The Bulini, accord[p. 2]ing to Skylax, were the northernmost Illyrian tribe: the Amantini, immediately northward of the Epirotic Chaonians, were the[p. 3] southernmost. Among the southern Illyrian tribes are to be numbered the Taulantii,—originally the possessors, afterwards the immediate neighbors, of the territory on which Epidamnus was founded. The ancient geographer Hekatæus[2] (about 500[p. 4] B. C.), is sufficiently well acquainted with them to specify their town Sesarêthus: he also named the Chelidonii as their northern, the Encheleis as their southern neighbors; and the Abri also as a tribe nearly adjoining. We hear of the Illyrian Parthini, nearly in the same regions,—of the Dassaretii,[3] near Lake Lychnidus,—of the Penestæ, with a fortified town Uscana, north of the Dassaretii,—of the Ardiæans, the Autariatæ, and the Dardanians, throughout Upper Albania eastward as far as Upper Mœsia, including the range of Skardus itself; so that there were some Illyrian tribes conterminous on the east with Macedonians, and on the south with Macedonians as well as with Pæonians. Strabo even extends some of the Illyrian tribes much farther northward, nearly to the Julian Alps.[4]

With the exception of some portions of what is now called Middle Albania, the territory of these tribes consisted principally of mountain pastures with a certain proportion of fertile valley, but rarely expanding into a plain. The Autariatæ had the reputation of being unwarlike, but the Illyrians generally were poor, rapacious, fierce, and formidable in battle. They shared with the remote Thracian tribes the custom of tattooing[5] their bodies and of offering human sacrifices: moreover, they were always ready to sell their military service for hire, like the modern Al[p. 5]banian Schkipetars, in whom probably their blood yet flows, though with considerable admixture from subsequent emigrations. Of the Illyrian kingdom on the Adriatic coast, with Skodra (Scutari) for its capital city, which became formidable by its reckless piracies in the third century B. C., we hear nothing in the flourishing period of Grecian history. The description of Skylax notices in his day, all along the northern Adriatic, a considerable and standing traffic between the coast and the interior, carried on by Liburnians, Istrians, and the small Grecian insular settlements of Pharus and Issa. But he does not name Skodra, and probably this strong post—together with the Greek town Lissus, founded by Dionysius of Syracuse—was occupied after his time by conquerors from the interior,[6] the predecessors of Agrôn and Gentius,—just as the coast-land of the Thermaic gulf was conquered by inland Macedonians.

Once during the Peloponnesian war, a detachment of hired Illyrians, marching into Macedonia Lynkêstis (seemingly over the pass of Skardus a little east of Lychnidus, or Ochrida), tried the valor of the Spartan Brasidas; and on that occasion—as in the expedition above alluded to of the Epirots against Akarnania—we shall notice the marked superiority of the Grecian character, even in the case of an armament chiefly composed of helots newly enfranchised, over both Macedonians and Illyrians,—we shall see the contrast between brave men acting in concert and obedience to a common authority, and an assailing host of warriors, not less brave individually, but in which every man is his own master,[7] and fights as he pleases. The rapid and impetuous rush of the Illyrians, if the first shock failed of its effect, was succeeded by an equally rapid retreat or flight. We hear nothing afterwards respecting these barbarians until the time of Philip of Macedon, whose vigor and military energy first repressed their incursions, and afterwards partially conquered them. It seems to have been about this period (400-350 B. C.) that the[p. 6] great movement of the Gauls from west to east took place, which brought the Gallic Skordiski and other tribes into the regions between the Danube and the Adriatic sea, and which probably dislodged some of the northern Illyrians so as to drive them upon new enterprises and fresh abodes.

What is now called Middle Albania, the Illyrian territory immediately north of Epirus, is much superior to the latter in productiveness.[8] Though mountainous, it possesses more both of low hill and valley, and ampler as well as more fertile cultivable spaces. Epidamnus and Apollonia formed the seaports of this territory, and the commerce with the southern Illyrians, less barbarous than the northern, was one of the sources[9] of their great prosperity during the first century of their existence,—a prosperity interrupted in the case of the Epidamnians by internal dissensions, which impaired their ascendency over their Illyrian neighbors, and ultimately placed them at variance with their mother-city Korkyra. The commerce between these Greek seaports and the interior tribes, when once the former became strong enough to render violent attack from the latter hopeless, was reciprocally beneficial to both of them. Grecian oil and wine were introduced among these barbarians, whose chiefs at the same time learned to appreciate the woven fabrics,[10] the polished and carved metallic work, the tempered weapons, and the pottery, which issued from Grecian artisans. Moreover, the importation sometimes of salt-fish, and always that of salt itself, was of the greatest importance to these inland residents, especially for such localities as possessed lakes abounding in fish, like that of Lychnidus. We hear of wars between the Autariatæ and the Ardiæi, respecting salt-springs near their boundaries, and also of other tribes whom the privation of salt reduced to the necessity of submitting to[p. 7] the Romans.[11] On the other hand, these tribes possessed two articles of exchange so precious in the eyes of the Greeks, that Polybius reckons them as absolutely indispensable,[12]—cattle and slaves;[p. 8] which latter were doubtless procured from Illyria, often in exchange for salt, as they were from Thrace and from the Euxine and from Aquileia in the Adriatic, through the internal wars of one tribe with another. Silver-mines were worked at Damastium in Illyria. Wax and honey were probably also articles of export, and it is a proof that the natural products of Illyria were carefully sought out, when we find a species of iris peculiar to the country collected and sent to Corinth, where its root was employed to give the special flavor to a celebrated kind of aromatic unguent.[13]

Nor was the intercourse between the Hellenic ports and Illyrians inland exclusively commercial. Grecian exiles also found their way into Illyria, and Grecian mythes became localized there, as may be seen by the tale of Kadmus and Harmonia, from whom the chiefs of the Illyrian Encheleis professed to trace their descent.[14]

The Macedonians of the fourth century B. C. acquired, from the ability and enterprise of two successive kings, a great perfection in Greek military organization without any of the loftier Hellenic qualities. Their career in Greece is purely destructive, extinguishing the free movement of the separate cities, and dis[p. 9]arming the citizen-soldier to make room for the foreign mercenary, whose sword was unhallowed by any feelings of patriotism,—yet totally incompetent to substitute any good system of central or pacific administration. But the Macedonians of the seventh and sixth centuries B. C. are an aggregate only of rude inland tribes, subdivided into distinct petty principalities, and separated from the Greeks by a wider ethnical difference even than the Epirots; since Herodotus, who considers the Epirotic Molossians and Thesprotians as children of Hellen, decidedly thinks the contrary respecting the Macedonians.[15] In the main, however, they seem at this early period analogous to the Epirots in character and civilization. They had some few towns, but were chiefly village residents, extremely brave and pugnacious. The customs of some of their tribes enjoined that the man who had not yet slain an enemy should be distinguished on some occasions by a badge of discredit.[16]

The original seats of the Macedonians were in the regions east of the chain of Skardus (the northerly continuation of Pindus)—north of the chain called the Cambunian mountains, which connects Olympus with Pindus, and which forms the north-western boundary of Thessaly. But they did not reach so far eastward as the Thermaic gulf; apparently not farther eastward than Mount Bermius, or about the longitude of Edessa and Berrhoia. They thus covered the upper portions of the course of the rivers Haliakmôn and Erigôn, before the junction of the latter with the Axius; while the upper course of the Axius, higher than this point of junction, appears to have belonged to Pæonia,—though the boundaries of Macedonia and Pæonia cannot be distinctly marked out at any time.

The large space of country included between the above-mentioned boundaries is in great part mountainous, occupied by lateral ridges, or elevations, which connect themselves with the main line of Skardus. But it also comprises three wide alluvial basins, or plains, which are of great extent and well-adapted to[p. 10] cultivation,—the plain of Tettovo, or Kalkandele (northernmost of the three), which contains the sources and early course of the Axius, or Vardar,—that of Bitolia, coinciding to a great degree with the ancient Pelagonia, wherein the Erigon flows towards the Axius,—and the larger and more undulating basin of Greveno and Anaselitzas, containing the upper Haliakmôn with its confluent streams. This latter region is separated from the basin of Thessaly by a mountainous line of considerable length, but presenting numerous easy passes.[17] Reckoning the basin of Thessaly as a fourth, here are four distinct inclosed plains on the east side of this long range of Skardus and Pindus,—each generally bounded by mountains which rise precipitously to an alpine height, and each leaving only one cleft for drainage by a single river,—the Axius, the Erigôn, the Haliakmôn, and the Peneius respectively. All four, moreover, though of high level above the sea, are yet for the most part of distinguished fertility, especially the plains of Tettovo, of Bitolia, and Thessaly. The fat, rich land to the east of Pindus and Skardus is described as forming a marked contrast with the light calcareous soil of the Albanian plains and valleys on the western side. The basins of Bitolia and of the Haliakmôn, with the mountains around and adjoining, were possessed by the original Macedonians; that of Tettovo, on the north, by a portion of the Pæonians. Among the four, Thessaly is the most spacious; yet the two comprised in the primitive seats of the Macedonians, both of them very considerable in magnitude, formed a territory better calculated to nourish and to generate a considerable population, than the less favored home, and smaller breadth of valley and plain, occupied by Epirots or Illyrians. Abundance of corn easily raised, of pasture for cattle, and of new fertile land open to cultivation, would suffice to increase the numbers of hardy villagers, indifferent to luxury as well as to accumulation, and exempt from that oppressive extortion of rulers which now harasses the same fine regions.[18]

[p. 11]The inhabitants of this primitive Macedonia doubtless differed much in ancient times, as they do now, according as they dwelt on mountain or plain, and in soil and climate more or less kind; but all acknowledged a common ethnical name and nationality, and the tribes were in many cases distinguished from each other, not by having substantive names of their own, but merely by local epithets of Grecian origin. Thus we find Elymiotæ Macedonians, or Macedonians of Elymeia,—Lynkestæ Macedonians, or Macedonians of Lynkus, etc. Orestæ is doubtless an adjunct[p. 12] name of the same character. The inhabitants of the more northerly tracts, called Pelagonia and Deuriopis, were also portions of the Macedonian aggregate, though neighbors of the Pæonians, to whom they bore much affinity: whether the Eordi and Almopians were of Macedonian race, it is more difficult to say. The Macedonian language was different from Illyrian,[19] from Thracian, and seemingly also from Pæonian. It was also different from Greek, yet apparently not more widely distinct than that of the Epirots,—so that the acquisition of Greek was comparatively easy to the chiefs and people, though there were always some Greek letters which they were incapable of pronouncing. And when we follow their history, we shall find in them more of the regular warrior, conquering in order to maintain dominion and tribute, and less of the armed plunderer,—than in the Illyrians, Thracians, or Epirots, by whom it was their misfortune to be surrounded. They approach nearer to the Thessalians,[20] and to the other ungifted members of the Hellenic family.

The large and comparatively productive region covered by the various sections of Macedonians, helps to explain that increase of ascendency which they successively acquired over all their neighbors. It was not, however, until a late period that they became united under one government. At first each section, how many we do not know, had its own prince, or chief. The Elymiots, or inhabitants of Elymeia, the southernmost portion of Macedonia, were thus originally distinct and independent; also the Orestæ, in mountain-seats somewhat north-west of the Ely[p. 13]miots,—the Lynkêstæ and Eordi, who occupied portions of territory on the track of the subsequent Egnatian way, between Lychnidus (Ochrida) and Edessa,—the Pelagonians,[21] with a town of the same name, in the fertile plain of Bitolia,—and the more northerly Deuriopians. And the early political union was usually so loose, that each of these denominations probably includes many petty independencies, small towns, and villages. That section of the Macedonian name who afterwards swallowed up all the rest and became known as The Macedonians, had their original centre at Ægæ, or Edessa,—the lofty, commanding, and picturesque site of the modern Vodhena. And though the residence of the kings was in later times transferred to the marshy Pella, in the maritime plain beneath, yet Edessa was always retained as the regal burial-place, and as the hearth to which the religious continuity of the nation, so much reverenced in ancient times, was attached. This ancient town, which lay on the Roman Egnatian way from Lychnidus to Pella and Thessalonika, formed the pass over the mountain-ridge called Bermius, or that prolongation to the northward of Mount Olympus, through which the Haliakmôn makes its way out into the maritime plain at Verria, by a cleft more precipitous and impracticable than that of the Peneius in the defile of Tempê.

This mountain-chain called Bermius, extending from Olympus considerably to the north of Edessa, formed the original eastern boundary of the Macedonian tribes; who seem at first not to have reached the valley of the Axius in any part of its course, and who certainly did not reach at first to the Thermaic gulf. Between the last-mentioned gulf and the eastern counterforts of Olympus and Bermius there exists a narrow strip of plain land or low hill, which reaches from the mouth of the Peneius to the head of the Thermaic gulf. It there widens into the spacious and fertile plain of Salonichi, comprising the mouths of the Haliakmôn, the Axius, and the Echeidôrus: the river Ludias, which flows from Edessa into the marshes surrounding Pella, and which in antiquity joined the Haliakmôn near its mouth, has now altered its course so as to join the Axius. This narrow strip, between[p. 14] the mouths of the Peneius and the Haliakmôn, was the original abode of the Pierian Thracians, who dwelt close to the foot of Olympus, and among whom the worship of the Muses seems to have been a primitive characteristic; Grecian poetry teems with local allusions and epithets which appear traceable to this early fact, though we are unable to follow it in detail. North of the Pierians, from the mouth of the Haliakmôn to that of the Axius, dwelt the Bottiæans.[22] Beyond the river Axius, at the lower[p. 15] part of its course, began the tribes of the great Thracian race,—Mygdonians, Krestônians, Edônians, Bisaltæ, Sithonians: the Mygdonians seem to have been originally the most powerful, since the country still continued to be called by their name, Mygdonia, even after the Macedonian conquest. These, and various other Thracian tribes, originally occupied most part of the country between the mouth of the Axius and that of the Strymon; together with that memorable three-pronged peninsula which derived from the Grecian colonies its name of Chalkidikê. It will thus appear, if we consider the Bottiæans as well as the Pierians to be Thracians, that the Thracian race extended originally southward as far as the mouth of the Peneius: the Bottiæans professed, indeed, a Kretan origin, but this pretension is not noticed by either Herodotus or Thucydidês. In the time of Skylax,[23] seemingly during the early reign of Philip the son of Amyntas, Macedonia and Thrace were separated by the Strymon.

We have yet to notice the Pæonians, a numerous and much-divided race,—seemingly neither Thracian nor Macedonian nor Illyrian, but professing to be descended from the Teukri of Troy,—who occupied both banks of the Strymon, from the neighborhood of Mount Skomius, in which that river rises, down to the lake near its mouth. Some of their tribes possessed the fertile plain of Siris (now Seres),—the land immediately north of Mount Pangæus,—and even a portion of the space through which Xerxês marched on his route from Akanthus to Therma. Besides this, it appears that the upper parts of the valley of the Axius were also occupied by Pæonian tribes; how far down the river they extended, we are unable to say. We are not to suppose that the whole territory between Axius and Strymon was continuously peopled by them. Continuous population is not the character of the ancient world, and it seems, moreover, that while the land immediately bordering on both rivers is in very[p. 16] many places of the richest quality, the spaces between the two are either mountain or barren low hill,—forming a marked contrast with the rich alluvial basin of the Macedonian river Erigon.[24] The Pæonians, in their north-western tribes, thus bordered upon the Macedonian Pelagonia,—in their northern tribes, upon the Illyrian Dardani and Autariatæ,—in their eastern, southern, and south-eastern tribes, upon the Thracians and Pierians;[25] that is, upon the second seats occupied by the expelled Pierians under Mount Pangæus.

Such was, as far as we can make it out, the position of the Macedonians and their immediate neighbors, in the seventh century B. C. It was first altered by the enterprise and ability of a family of exiled Greeks, who conducted a section of the Macedonian people to those conquests which their descendants, Philip and Alexander the Great, afterwards so marvellously multiplied.

Respecting the primitive ancestry of these two princes, there were different stories, but all concurred in tracing the origin of the family to the Herakleid or Temenid race of Argos. According to one story (which apparently cannot be traced higher than Theopompus), Karanus, brother of the despot Pheidon, had migrated from Argos to Macedonia, and established himself as conqueror at Edessa; according to another tale, which we find in Herodotus, there were three exiles of the Temenid race, Gauanês, Aëropus, and Perdikkas, who fled from Argos to Illyria, from whence they passed into Upper Macedonia, in such[p. 17] poverty as to be compelled to serve the petty king of the town Lebæa in the capacity of shepherds. A remarkable prodigy happening to Perdikkas foreshadows the future eminence of his family, and leads to his dismissal by the king of Lebæa,—from whom he makes his escape with difficulty, by the sudden rise of a river immediately after he had crossed it, so as to become impassable by the horsemen who pursued him. To this river, as to the saviour of the family, solemn sacrifices were still offered by the kings of Macedonia in the time of Herodotus. Perdikkas with his two brothers having thus escaped, established himself near the spot called the Garden of Midas on Mount Bermius, and from the loins of this hardy young shepherd sprang the dynasty of Edessa.[26] This tale bears much more the marks of a genuine local tradition than that of Theopompus. And the origin of the Macedonian family, or Argeadæ, from Argos, appears to have been universally recognized by Grecian inquirers,[27]—so that Alexander the son of Amyntas, the contemporary of the Persian invasion, was admitted by the Hellanodikæ to contend at the Olympic games as a genuine Greek, though his competitors sought to exclude him as a Macedonian.

The talent for command was so much more the attribute of the Greek mind than of any of the neighboring barbarians, that we easily conceive a courageous Argeian adventurer acquiring to himself great ascendency in the local disputes of the Macedonian tribes, and transmitting the chieftainship of one of those tribes to his offspring. The influence acquired by Miltiadês among the Thracians of the Chersonese, and by Phormion among the Akarnanians (who specially requested that, after his death, his son, or some one of his kindred, might be sent from Athens to command them),[28] was very much of this character: we may add the case of Sertorius among the native Iberians. In like manner, the kings of the Macedonian Lynkêstæ professed to be descended from the Bacchiadæ[29] of Corinth; and the neighbor[p. 18]hood of Epidamnus and Apollonia, in both of which doubtless members of that great gens were domiciliated, renders this tale even more plausible than that of an emigration from Argos. The kings of the Epirotic Molossi pretended also to a descent from the heroic Æakid race of Greece. In fact, our means of knowledge do not enable us to discriminate the cases in which these reigning families were originally Greeks, from those in which they were Hellenized natives pretending to Grecian blood.

After the foundation-legend of the Macedonian kingdom, we have nothing but a long blank until the reign of king Amyntas (about 520-500 B. C.), and his son Alexander, (about 480 B. C.) Herodotus gives us five successive kings between the founder Perdikkas and Amyntas,—Perdikkas, Argæus, Philippus, Aëropus, Alketas, Amyntas, and Alexander,—the contemporary and to a certain extent the ally of Xerxês.[30] Though we have no means of establishing any dates in this early series, either of names or of facts, yet we see that the Temenid kings, beginning from a humble origin, extended their dominions successively on all sides. They conquered the Briges,[31]—originally their neighbors on Mount Bermius,—the Eordi, bordering on Edessa to the westward, who were either destroyed or expelled from the country, leaving a small remnant still existing in the time of Thucydidês at Physka between Strymon and Axius,—the Almopians, an inland tribe of unknown site,—and many of the interior Macedonian tribes who had been at first autonomous. Besides these inland conquests, they had made the still more important acquisition of Pieria, the territory which lay between Mount Bermius and the sea, from whence they expelled the original Pierians, who found new seats on the eastern bank of the Strymon between Mount Pangæus and the sea. Amyntas king of Macedon was thus master of a very considerable territory,[p. 19] comprising the coast of the Thermaic gulf as far north as the mouth of the Haliakmôn, and also some other territory on the same gulf from which the Bottiæans had been expelled; but not comprising the coast between the mouths of the Axius and the Haliakmôn, nor even Pella, the subsequent capital, which were still in the hands of the Bottiæans at the period when Xerxês passed through.[32] He possessed also Anthemus, a town and territory in the peninsula of Chalkidikê, and some parts of Mygdonia, the territory east of the mouth of the Axius; but how much, we do not know. We shall find the Macedonians hereafter extending their dominion still farther, during the period between the Persian and Peloponnesian war.

We hear of king Amyntas in friendly connection with the Peisistratid princes at Athens, whose dominion was in part sustained by mercenaries from the Strymon, and this amicable sentiment was continued between his son Alexander and the emancipated Athenians.[33] It is only in the reigns of these two princes that Macedonia begins to be implicated in Grecian affairs: the regal dynasty had become so completely Macedonized, and had so far renounced its Hellenic brotherhood, that the claim of Alexander to run at the Olympic games was contested by his competitors, and he was called upon to prove his lineage before the Hellanodikæ.

[p. 20]


That vast space comprised between the rivers Strymon and Danube, and bounded to the west by the easternmost Illyrian tribes, northward of the Strymon, was occupied by the innumerable subdivisions of the race called Thracians, or Threïcians. They were the most numerous and most terrible race known to Herodotus: could they by possibility act in unison or under one dominion (he says), they would be irresistible. A conjunction thus formidable once seemed impending, during the first years of the Peloponnesian war, under the reign of Sitalkês king of the Odrysæ, who reigned from Abdêra at the mouth of the Nestus to the Euxine, and compressed under his sceptre a large proportion of these ferocious but warlike plunderers; so that the Greeks even down to Thermopylæ trembled at his expected approach. But the abilities of that prince were not found adequate to bring the whole force of Thrace into effective coöperation and aggression against others.

Numerous as the tribes of Thracians were, their customs and character (according to Herodotus) were marked by great uniformity: of the Getæ, the Trausi, and others, he tells us a few particularities. And the large tract over which the race were spread, comprising as it did the whole chain of Mount Hæmus and the still loftier chain of Rhodopê, together with a portion of the mountains Orbêlus and Skomius, was yet partly occupied by level and fertile surface,—such as the great plain of Adrianople, and the land towards the lower course of the rivers Nestus and Hebrus. The Thracians of the plain, though not less warlike, were at least more home-keeping, and less greedy of foreign plunder, than those of the mountains. But the general character of the race presents an aggregate of repulsive features unredeemed by the presence of even the commonest domestic affec[p. 21]tions.[34] The Thracian chief deduced his pedigree from a god called by the Greeks Hermês, to whom he offered up worship apart from the rest of his tribe, sometimes with the acceptable present of a human victim. He tattooed his body,[35] and that of the women belonging to him, as a privilege of honorable descent: he bought his wives from their parents, and sold his children for exportation to the foreign merchant: he held it disgraceful to cultivate the earth, and felt honored only by the acquisitions of war and robbery. The Thracian tribes worshipped deities whom the Greeks assimilate to Arês, Dionysus, and Artemis: the great sanctuary and oracle of their god Dionysus was in one of the loftiest summits of Rhodopê, amidst dense and foggy thickets,—the residence of the fierce and unassailable Satræ. To illustrate the Thracian character, we may turn to a deed perpetrated by the king of the Bisaltæ,—perhaps one out of several chiefs of that extensive Thracian tribe,—whose territory, between Strymon and Axius, lay in the direct march of Xerxês into Greece, and who fled to the desolate heights of Rhodopê, to escape the ignominy of being dragged along amidst the compulsory auxiliaries of the Persian invasion, forbidding his six sons to take any part in it. From recklessness, or curiosity, the sons disobeyed his commands, and accompanied Xerxês into Greece; they returned unhurt by the Greek spear; but the incensed father, when they again came into his presence, caused the eyes of all of them to be put out. Exultation of success manifested itself in the Thracians by increased alacrity in shedding blood; but as warriors, the only occupation which they esteemed, they were not less brave than patient of hardship, and maintained a good front, under their own peculiar array, against forces much superior in all military efficacy.[36] It appears that the Thynians and Bithy[p. 22]nians,[37] on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus, perhaps also the Mysians, were members of this great Thracian race, which was more remotely connected, also, with the Phrygians. And the whole race may be said to present a character more Asiatic than European, especially in those ecstatic and maddening religious rites, which prevailed not less among the Edonian Thracians than in the mountains of Ida and Dindymon of Asia, though with some important differences. The Thracians served to furnish the Greeks with mercenary troops and slaves, and the number of Grecian colonies planted on the coast had the effect of partially softening the tribes in the immediate vicinity, between whose chiefs and the Greek leaders intermarriages were not unfrequent. But the tribes in the interior seem to have retained their savage habits with little mitigation, so that the language in which Tacitus[38] describes them is an apt continuation to that of Herodotus, though coming more than five centuries after.

To note the situation of each one among these many different tribes, in the huge territory of Thrace, which is even now so imperfectly known and badly mapped, would be unnecessary, and, indeed, impracticable. I shall proceed to mention the principal Grecian colonies which were formed in the country, noticing occasionally the particular Thracian tribes with which they came in contact.

The Grecian colonies established on the Thermaic gulf, as well as in the peninsula of Chalkidikê, emanating principally from Chalkis and Eretria, though we do not know their precise epoch, appear to have been of early date, and probably preceded the time when the Macedonians of Edessa extended their conquests to the sea. At that early period, they would find the Pierians still between the Peneius and Haliakmôn,—also a number of petty Thracian tribes throughout the broad part of the Chalkidic peninsula; they would find Pydna a Pierian town, and Therma, Anthemus, Chalastra, etc. Mygdonian.

The most ancient Grecian colony in these regions seems to[p. 23] have been Methônê, founded by the Eretrians in Pieria; nearly at the same time (if we may trust a statement of rather suspicious character, though the date itself is noway improbable) as Korkyra was settled by the Corinthians (about 730-720 B. C.).[39] It was a little to the north of the Pierian town of Pydna, and separated by about ten miles from the Bottiæan town of Alôrus, which lay north of the Haliakmôn.[40] We know very little about Methônê, except that it preserved its autonomy and its Hellenism until the time of Philip of Macedon, who took and destroyed it. But though, when once established, it was strong enough to maintain itself in spite of conquests made all around by the Macedonians of Edessa, we may fairly presume that it could not have been originally planted on Macedonian territory. Nor in point of fact was the situation peculiarly advantageous for Grecian colonists, inasmuch as there were other maritime towns, not Grecian, in its neighborhood,—Pydna, Alôrus, Therma, Chalastra; whereas the point of advantage for a Grecian colony was, to become the exclusive seaport for inland indigenous people.

The colonies, founded by Chalkis and Eretria on all the three projections of the Chalkidic peninsula, were numerous, though for a long time inconsiderable. We do not know how far these projecting headlands were occupied before the arrival of the settlers from Eubœa,—an event which we may probably place at some period earlier than 600 B. C.; for after that period Chalkis and Eretria seem rather on the decline,—and it appears too, that the Chalkidian colonists in Thrace aided their mother-city Chalkis in her war against Eretria, which cannot be much later than 600 B. C., though it may be considerably earlier.

The range of mountains which crosses from the Thermaic to the Strymonic gulf, and forms the northern limit of the Chalkidic peninsula, slopes down towards the southern extremity, so as to leave a considerable tract of fertile land between the Torônaic and the Thermaic gulfs, including the fertile headland called Pallênê,—the westernmost of those three prongs of Chalkidikê which run out into the Ægean. Of the other two prongs, or projections, the easternmost is terminated by the sublime Mount Athos, which rises out of the sea as a precipitous rock six thou[p. 24]sand four hundred feet in height, connected with the mainland by a ridge not more than half the height of the mountain itself, yet still high, rugged, and woody from sea to sea, leaving only little occasional spaces fit to be occupied or cultivated. The intermediate or Sithonian headland is also hilly and woody, though in a less degree,—both less inviting and less productive than Pallênê.[41]

Æneia, near that cape which marks the entrance of the inner Thermaic gulf,—and Potidæa, at the narrow isthmus of Pallênê,—were both founded by Corinth. Between these two towns lay the fertile territory called Krusis, or Krossæa, forming in after-times a part of the domain of Olynthus, but in the sixth century B. C. occupied by petty Thracian townships.[42] Within Pallênê were the towns of Mendê, a colony from Eretria,—Skiônê, which, having no legitimate mother-city traced its origin to Pellenian warriors returning from Troy,—Aphytis, Neapolis, Ægê, Therambôs, and Sanê,[43] either wholly or partly colonies from Eretria. In the Sithonian peninsula were Assa, Pilôrus, Singus, Sartê, Torônê, Galêpsus, Sermylê, and Mekyberna; all or most of these seem to have been of Chalkidic origin. But at the head of the Torônaic gulf (which lies between Sithonia and Pallênê) was placed Olynthus, surrounded by an extensive and fertile plain. Originally a Bottiæan town, Olynthus will be seen at the time of the Persian invasion to pass into the hands of the Chalkidian Greeks,[44] and gradually to incorporate with itself several of the petty neighboring establishments belonging to that race; whereby the Chalkidians acquired that marked preponderance in the peninsula which they retained, even against the efforts of Athens, until the days of Philip of Macedon.

[p. 25]On the scanty spaces, admitted by the mountainous promontory, or ridge, ending in Athos, were planted some Thracian and some Pelasgic settlements of the same inhabitants as those who occupied Lemnos and Imbros; a few Chalkidic citizens being domiciliated with them, and the people speaking both Pelasgic and Hellenic. But near the narrow isthmus which joins this promontory to Thrace, and along the north-western coast of the Strymonic gulf, were Grecian towns of considerable importance,—Sanê, Akanthus, Stageira, and Argilus, all colonies from Andros, which had itself been colonized from Eretria.[45] Akanthus and Stageira are said to have been founded in 654 B. C.

Following the southern coast of Thrace, from the mouth of the river Strymôn towards the east, we may doubt whether, in the year 560 B. C., any considerable independent colonies of Greeks had yet been formed upon it. The Ionic colony of Abdêra, eastward of the mouth of the river Nestus, formed from Teôs in Ionia, is of more recent date, though the Klazomenians[46] had begun an unsuccessful settlement there as early as the year 651 B. C.; while Dikæa—the Chian settlement of Marôneia—and the Lesbian settlement of Ænus at the mouth of the Hebrus, are of unknown date.[47] The important and valuable territory near the mouth of the Strymôn, where, after many ruinous failures,[48] the Athenian colony of Amphipolis afterwards maintained itself, was at the date here mentioned possessed by Edonian Thracians and Pierians: the various Thracian tribes,—Satræ, Edonians, Dersæans, Sapæans, Bistones, Kikones, Pætians, etc.—were in force on the principal part of the tract between Strymôn and Hebrus, even to the sea-coast. It is to be remarked, however, that the island of Thasus, and that of Samothrace, each possessed what in Greek was called a Peræa,[49]—a strip of the adjoining mainland cultivated and defended by means of for[p. 26]tified posts, or small towns: probably, these occupations are of very ancient date, since they seem almost indispensable as a means of support to the islands. For the barren Thasus, especially, merits even at this day the uninviting description applied to it by the poet Archilochus, in the seventh century B. C.,—“an ass’s backbone, overspread with wild wood:”[50] so wholly is it composed of mountain, naked or wooded, and so scanty are the patches of cultivable soil left in it, nearly all close to the sea-shore. This island was originally occupied by the Phenicians, who worked the gold mines in its mountains with a degree of industry which, even in its remains, excited the admiration of Herodotus. How and when it was evacuated by them, we do not know; but the poet Archilochus[51] formed one of a body of Parian colonists who planted themselves on it in the seventh century B. C., and carried on war, not always successful, against the Thracian tribe called Saians: on one occasion, Archilochus found himself compelled to throw away his shield. By their mines and their possessions on the mainland (which contained even richer mines, at Skaptê Hylê, and elsewhere, than those in the island), the Thasian Greeks rose to considerable power and population. And as they seem to have been the only Greeks, until the settlement of the Milesian Histiæus on the Strymôn about 510 B. C., who actively concerned themselves in the mining districts of Thrace opposite to their island, we cannot be sur[p. 27]prised to hear that their clear surplus revenue before the Persian conquest, about 493 B. C., after defraying the charges of their government without any taxation, amounted to the large sum of two hundred talents, sometimes even to three hundred talents, in each year (from forty-six thousand to sixty-six thousand pounds).

On the long peninsula called the Thracian Chersonese there may probably have been small Grecian settlements at an early date, though we do not know at what time either the Milesian settlement of Kardia, on the western side of the isthmus of that peninsula, near the Ægean sea,—or the Æolic colony of Sestus on the Hellespont,—were founded; while the Athenian ascendency in the peninsula begins only with the migration of the first Miltiadês, during the reign of Peisistratus at Athens. The Samian colony of Perinthus, on the northern coast of the Propontis,[52] is spoken of as ancient in date, and the Megarian colonies, Selymbria and Byzantium, belong to the seventh century B. C.: the latter of these two is assigned to the 30th Olympiad (657 B. C.), and its neighbor Chalkêdôn, on the opposite coast, was a few years earlier. The site of Byzantium in the narrow strait of the Bosphorus, with its abundant thunny-fishery,[53] which both employed and nourished a large proportion of the poorer freemen, was alike convenient either for maritime traffic, or for levying contributions on the numerous corn ships which passed from the Euxine into the Ægean; and we are even told that it held a considerable number of the neighboring Bithynian Thracians as tributary Periœki. Such dominion, though probably maintained during the more vigorous period of Grecian city life, became in later times impracticable, and we even find the Byzantines not always competent to the defence of their own small surrounding territory. The place, however, will be found to possess considerable importance during all the period of this history.[54]

The Grecian settlements on the inhospitable south-western coast of the Euxine, south of the Danube, appear never to have[p. 28] attained any consideration: the principal traffic of Greek ships in that sea tended to more northerly ports, on the banks of the Borysthenês and in the Tauric Chersonese. Istria was founded by the Milesians near the southern embouchure of the Danube,—Apollonia and Odêssus on the same coast, more to the south,—all probably between 600-560 B. C. The Megarian or Byzantine colony of Mesambria, seems to have been later than the Ionic revolt; of Kallatis the age is not known. Tomi, north of Kallatis and south of Istria, is renowned as the place of Ovid’s banishment.[55] The picture which he gives of that uninviting spot, which enjoyed but little truce from the neighborhood of the murderous Getæ, explains to us sufficiently why these towns acquired little or no importance.

The islands of Lemnos and Imbros, in the Ægean, were at this early period occupied by Tyrrhenian Pelasgi, were conquered by the Persians about 508 B. C., and seem to have passed into the power of the Athenians at the time when Ionia revolted from the Persians. If the mythical or poetical stories respecting these Tyrrhenian Pelasgi contain any basis of truth, they must have been a race of buccaneers not less rapacious than cruel. At one time, these Pelasgi seem also to have possessed Samothrace, but how or when they were supplanted by Greeks, we find no trustworthy account; the population of Samothrace at the time of the Persian war was Ionic.[56]

[p. 29]


It has been already mentioned, in a former chapter, that Psammetichus king of Egypt, about the middle of the seventh century B. C., first removed those prohibitions which had excluded Grecian commerce from his country. In his reign, Grecian mercenaries were first established in Egypt, and Grecian traders admitted, under certain regulations, into the Nile. The opening of this new market emboldened them to traverse the direct sea which separates Krête from Egypt,—a dangerous voyage with vessels which rarely ventured to lose sight of land,—and seems to have first made them acquainted with the neighboring coast of Libya, between the Nile and the gulf called the Great Syrtis. Hence arose the foundation of the important colony called Kyrênê.

As in the case of most other Grecian colonies, so in that of Kyrênê, both the foundation and the early history are very imperfectly known. The date of the event, as far as can be made out amidst much contradiction of statement, was about 630 B. C.:[57] Thêra was the mother-city, herself a colony from Lacedæmon; and the settlements formed in Libya became no inconsiderable ornaments to the Dorian name in Hellas.

According to the account of a lost historian, Meneklês,[58]—political dissension among the inhabitants of Thêra led to that emigration which founded Kyrênê; and the more ample legendary details which Herodotus collected, partly from Theræan, partly from Kyrenæan informants, are not positively inconsistent with this statement, though they indicate more particularly bad seasons, distress, and over-population. Both of them dwell emphatically on the Delphian oracle as the instigator as well as the[p. 30] director of the first emigrants, whose apprehensions of a dangerous voyage and an unknown country were very difficult to overcome. Both of them affirmed that the original œkist Battus was selected and consecrated to the work by the divine command: both called Battus the son of Polymnêstus, of the mythical breed called Minyæ. But on other points there was complete divergence between the two stories, and the Kyrenæans themselves, whose town was partly peopled by emigrants from Krête, described the mother of Battus as daughter of Etearchus, prince of the Kretan town of Axus.[59] Battus had an impediment in his speech, and it was on his intreating from the Delphian oracle a cure for this infirmity that he received directions to go as “a cattle-breeding œkist to Libya.” The suffering Theræans were directed to assist him, but neither he nor they knew where Libya was, nor could they find any resident in Krête who had ever visited it. Such was the limited reach of Grecian navigation to the south of the Ægean sea, even a century after the foundation of Syracuse. At length, by prolonged inquiry, they discovered a man employed in catching the purple shellfish, named Korôbius,—who said that he had been once forced by stress of weather to the island of Platea, close to the shores of Libya, and on the side not far removed from the western limit of Egypt. Some Theræans being sent along with Korôbius to inspect this island, left him there with a stock of provisions, and returned to Thêra to conduct the emigrants. From the seven districts into which Thêra was divided, emigrants were drafted for the colony, one brother being singled out by lot from the different numerous families. But so long was their return to Platea deferred, that the provisions of Korôbius were exhausted, and he was only saved from starvation by the accidental arrival of a Samian ship, driven by contrary winds out of her course on the voyage to Egypt. Kôlæus, the master of this ship (whose immense profits made by the first voyage to Tartêssus have been noticed in a former chapter), supplied him with provisions for a year,—an act of kindness, which is said to have laid the first foundation of the alliance and good feeling afterwards prevalent between Thêra, Kyrênê, and Samos. At length the expected emigrants reached the island,[p. 31] having found the voyage so perilous and difficult, that they once returned in despair to Thêra, where they were only prevented by force from relanding. The band which accompanied Battus was all conveyed in two pentekonters,—armed ships, with fifty rowers each. Thus humble was the start of the mighty Kyrênê, which, in the days of Herodotus, covered a city-area equal to the entire island of Platea.[60]

That island, however, though near to Libya, and supposed by the colonists to be Libya, was not so in reality: the commands of the oracle had not been literally fulfilled. Accordingly, the settlement carried with it nothing but hardship for the space of two years, and Battus returned with his companions to Delphi, to complain that the promised land had proved a bitter disappointment. The god, through his priestess, returned for answer, “If you, who have never visited the cattle-breeding Libya, know it better than I, who have, I greatly admire your cleverness.” Again the inexorable mandate forced them to return; and this time they planted themselves on the actual continent of Libya, nearly over against the island of Platea, in a district called Aziris, surrounded on both sides by fine woods, and with a running stream adjoining. After six years of residence in this spot, they were persuaded by some of the indigenous Libyans to abandon it, under the promise that they should be conducted to a better situation: and their guides now brought them to the actual site of Kyrênê, saying, “Here, men of Hellas, is the place for you to dwell, for here the sky is perforated.”[61] The road through which they passed had led through the tempting region of Irasa with its fountain Thestê, and their guides took the precaution to carry them through it by night, in order that they might remain ignorant of its beauties.

Such were the preliminary steps, divine and human, which brought Battus and his colonists to Kyrênê. In the time of Herodotus, Irasa was an outlying portion of the eastern territory of this powerful city. But we trace in the story just related an[p. 32] opinion prevalent among his Kyrenæan informants, that Irasa with its fountain Thestê was a more inviting position than Kyrênê with its fountain of Apollo, and ought in prudence to have been originally chosen; out of which opinion, according to the general habit of the Greek mind, an anecdote is engendered and accredited, explaining how the supposed mistake was committed. What may have been the recommendations of Irasa, we are not permitted to know: but descriptions of modern travellers, no less than the subsequent history of Kyrênê, go far to justify the choice actually made. The city was placed at the distance of about ten miles from the sea, having a sheltered port called Apollonia, itself afterwards a considerable town,—it was about twenty miles from the promontory Phykus, which forms the northernmost projection of the African coast, nearly in the longitude of the Peloponnesian Cape Tænarus (Matapan). Kyrênê was situated about eighteen hundred feet above the level of the Mediterranean, of which it commanded a fine view, and from which it was conspicuously visible, on the edge of a range of hills which slope by successive terraces down to the port. The soil immediately around, partly calcareous, partly sandy, is described by Captain Beechey to present a vigorous vegetation and remarkable fertility, though the ancients considered it inferior in this respect both to Barka[62] and Hesperides, and still more inferior to the more westerly region near Kinyps. But the abundant periodical rains, attracted by the lofty heights around, and justifying the expression of the “perforated sky,” were even of greater importance, under an African sun, than extraordinary richness of soil.[63] The maritime regions near Kyrênê and Barka,[p. 33] and Hesperides, produced oil and wine as well as corn, while the extensive district between these towns, composed of alternate mountain, wood, and plain, was eminently suited for pasture and cattle-breeding; and the ports were secure, presenting conveniences for the intercourse of the Greek trader with Northern Africa, such as were not to be found along all the coasts of the Great Syrtis westward of Hesperides. Abundance of applicable land,—great diversity both of climate and of productive season, between the sea-side, the low hill, and the upper mountain, within a small space, so that harvest was continually going on, and fresh produce coming in from the earth, during eight months of the year,—together with the monopoly of the valuable plant called the Silphium, which grew nowhere except in the Kyrenaic region, and the juice of which was extensively demanded throughout Greece and Italy,—led to the rapid growth of Kyrênê, in spite of serious and renewed political troubles. And even now, the immense remains which still mark its desolate site, the evidences of past labor and solicitude at the Fountain of[p. 34] Apollo, and elsewhere, together with the profusion of excavated and ornamented tombs,—attest sufficiently what the grandeur of the place must have been in the days of Herodotus and Pindar. So much did the Kyrenæans pride themselves on the Silphium, found wild in their back country, from the island of Platea on the east to the inner recess of the Great Syrtis westward,—the leaves of which were highly salubrious for cattle, and the stalk for man, while the root furnished the peculiar juice for export,—that they maintained it to have first appeared seven years prior to the arrival of the first Grecian colonists in their city.[64]

But it was not only the properties of the soil which promoted the prosperity of Kyrênê. Isokratês[65] praises the well-chosen site of that colony because it was planted in the midst of indigenous natives apt for subjection, and far distant from any formidable enemies. That the native Libyan tribes were made conducive in an eminent degree to the growth of the Greco-Libyan cities, admits of no doubt; and in reviewing the history of these cities, we must bear in mind that their population was not pure Greek, but more or less mixed, like that of the colonies in Italy, Sicily, or Ionia. Though our information is very imperfect, we see enough to prove that the small force brought over by Battus the Stammerer was enabled first to fraternize with the indigenous Libyans,—next, reinforced by additional colonists and availing themselves of the power of native chiefs, to overawe and subjugate them. Kyrênê—combined with Barka and Hesperides, both of them sprung from her root[66]—exercised over the Libyan tribes between the borders of Egypt and the inner recess of the Great Syrtis, for a space of three degrees of longitude, an ascen[p. 35]dency similar to that which Carthage possessed over the more westerly Libyans near the Lesser Syrtis. Within these Kyrenæan limits, and further westward along the shores of the Great Syrtis, the Libyan tribes were of pastoral habits; westward, beyond the Lake Tritônis and the Lesser Syrtis,[67] they began to be agricultural. Immediately westward of Egypt were the Adyrmachidæ, bordering upon Apis and Marea, the Egyptian frontier towns;[68] they were subject to the Egyptians, and had adopted some of the minute ritual and religious observances which characterized the region of the Nile. Proceeding westward from the Adyrmachidæ were found the Giligammæ, the Asbystæ, the Auschisæ, the Kabales, and the Nasamônes,—the latter of whom occupied the south-eastern corner of the Great Syrtis;—next, the Makæ, Gindânes, Lotophagi, Machlyes, as far as a certain river and lake called Tritôn and Tritônis, which seems to have been near the Lesser Syrtis. These last-mentioned tribes were not dependent either on Kyrênê or on Carthage, at the time of Herodotus, nor probably during the proper period of free Grecian history, (600-300 B. C.) In the third century B. C., the Ptolemaic governors of Kyrênê extended their dominion westward, while Carthage pushed her colonies and castles eastward, so that the two powers embraced between them the whole line of coast between the Greater and Lesser Syrtis, meeting at the spot called the Altars of the Brothers Philæni,—so celebrated for its commemorative legend.[69] But even in the sixth century B. C., Carthage was jealous of the extension of Grecian colonies along this coast, and aided the Libyan Makæ[p. 36] (about 510 B. C.) to expel the Spartan prince Dorieus from his settlement near the river Kinyps. Near that spot was afterwards planted, by Phenician or Carthaginian exiles, the town of Leptis Magna[70] (now Lebida), which does not seem to have existed in the time of Herodotus. Nor does the latter historian notice the Marmaridæ, who appear as the principal Libyan tribe near the west of Egypt, between the age of Skylax and the third century of the Christian era. Some migration or revolution subsequent to the time of Herodotus must have brought this name into predominance.[71]

The interior country, stretching westward from Egypt along the thirtieth and thirty-first parallel of latitude, to the Great Syrtis, and then along the southern shore of that gulf, is to a great degree low and sandy, and quite destitute of trees; yet affording in many parts water, herbage, and a fertile soil.[72] But the[p. 37] maritime region north of this, constituting the projecting bosom of the African coast from the island of Platea (Gulf of Bomba) on the east to Hesperides (Bengazi) on the west, is of a totally different character; covered with mountains of considerable elevation, which reach their highest point near Kyrênê, interspersed with productive plain and valley, broken by frequent ravines which carry off the winter torrents into the sea, and never at any time of the year destitute of water. It is this latter advantage that causes them to be now visited every summer by the Bedouin Arabs, who flock to the inexhaustible Fountain of Apollo and to other parts of the mountainous region from Kyrênê to Hesperides, when their supply of water and herbage fails in the interior:[73] and the same circumstance must have[p. 38] operated in ancient times to hold the nomadic Libyans in a sort of dependence on Kyrênê and Barka. Kyrênê appropriated the maritime portion of the territory of the Libyan Asbystæ;[74] the Auschisæ occupied the region south of Barka, touching the sea near Hesperides,—the Kabales near Teucheira in the territory of Barka. Over the interior spaces these Libyan Nomads, with their cattle and twisted tents, wandered unrestrained, amply fed upon meat and milk,[75] clothed in goatskins, and enjoying better health than any people known to Herodotus. Their breed of horses was excellent, and their chariots or wagons with four horses could perform feats admired even by Greeks: it was to these horses that the princes[76] and magnates of Kyrênê and Barka often owed the success of their chariots in the games of Greece. The Libyan Nasamônes, leaving their cattle near the sea, were in the habit of making an annual journey up the country to the Oasis of Augila, for the purpose of gathering the[p. 39] date-harvest,[77] or of purchasing dates,—a journey which the Bedouin Arabs from Bengazi still make annually, carrying up their wheat and barley, for the same purpose. Each of the Libyan tribes was distinguished by a distinct mode of cutting the hair, and by some peculiarities of religious worship, though generally all worshipped the Sun and the Moon.[78] But in the neighborhood of the Lake Tritônis (seemingly the western extremity of Grecian coasting trade in the time of Herodotus, who knows little beyond, and begins to appeal to Carthaginian authorities), the Grecian deities Poseidôn and Athênê, together with the legend of Jason and the Argonauts, had been localized. There were, moreover, current prophecies announcing that one hundred Hellenic cities were destined one day to be founded round the lake,—and that one city in the island Phla, surrounded by the lake, was to be planted by the Lacedæmonians.[79] These, indeed, were among the many unfulfilled prophecies which from every side cheated the Grecian ear,—proceeding in this case probably from Kyrenæan or Theræan traders, who thought the spot advantageous for settlement, and circulated their own hopes under the form of divine assurances. It was about the year 510 B. C.[80] that some of these Theræans conducted the Spartan prince Dorieus to found a colony in the fertile region of Kinyps, belonging to the Libyan Makæ. But Carthage, interested in preventing the extension of Greek settlements westward, aided the Libyans in driving him out.

The Libyans in the immediate neighborhood of Kyrênê were materially changed by the establishment of that town, and constituted a large part—at first, probably, far the largest part—of its constituent population. Not possessing that fierce tenacity of habits which the Mohammedan religion has impressed upon the Arabs of the present day, they were open to the mingled influence of constraint and seduction applied by Grecian settlers; so that in the time of Herodotus, the Kabales and the Asbystæ[p. 40] of the interior had come to copy Kyrenæan tastes and customs.[81] The Theræan colonists, having obtained not merely the consent but even the guidance of the natives to their occupation of Kyrênê, constituted themselves like privileged Spartan citizens in the midst of Libyan Periœki.[82] They seem to have married Libyan wives, whence Herodotus describes the women of Kyrênê and Barka as following, even in his time, religious observances indigenous and not Hellenic.[83] Even the descendants of the primitive œkist Battus were semi-Libyan. For Herodotus gives us the curious information that Battus was the Libyan word for a king, deducing from it the just inference, that the name Battus was not originally personal to the œkist, but acquired in Libya first as a title,[84]—and that it afterwards passed to his descendants as a proper name. For eight generations the reigning princes were called Battus and Arkesilaus, the Libyan denomination alternating with the Greek, until the family was finally deprived of its power. Moreover, we find the chief of Barka, kinsman of Arkesilaus of Kyrênê bearing the name of Alazir; a name certainly not Hellenic, and probably Libyan.[85] We are, therefore, to conceive the first Theræan colonists as established in their lofty fortified post Kyrênê, in the centre of Libyan Periœki, till then strangers to walls, to arts, and perhaps even to cultivated land. Probably these Periœki were always subject and tributary, in a greater or less degree, though they continued for half a century to retain their own king.

To these rude men the Theræans communicated the elements of Hellenism and civilization, not without receiving themselves much that was non-Hellenic in return; and perhaps the reactionary influence of the Libyan element against the Hellenic might have proved the stronger of the two, had they not been reinforced by new-comers from Greece. After forty years of Battus[p. 41] the œkist (about 630-590 B. C.), and sixteen years of his son Arkesilaus (about 590-574 B. C.), a second Battus[86] succeeded, called Battus the Prosperous, to mark the extraordinary increase of Kyrênê during his presidency. The Kyrenæans under him took pains to invite new settlers from all parts of Greece without distinction,—a circumstance deserving notice in Grecian colonization, which usually manifested a preference for certain races, if it did not positively exclude the rest. To every new-comer was promised a lot of land, and the Delphian priestess strenuously seconded the wishes of the Kyrenæans, proclaiming that “whosoever should reach the place too late for the land-division, would have reason to repent it.” Such promise of new land, as well as the sanction of the oracle, were doubtless made public at all the games and meetings of Greeks, and a large number of new colonists embarked for Kyrênê. The exact number is not mentioned, but we must conceive it to have been very great, when we are told that during the succeeding generation, not less than seven thousand Grecian hoplites of Kyrênê perished by the hands of the revolted Libyans,—yet leaving both the city itself and its neighbor Barka still powerful. The loss of so great a number as seven thousand Grecian hoplites has very few parallels throughout the whole history of Greece. In fact, this second migration, during the government of Battus the Prosperous, which must have taken place between 574-554 B. C., ought to be looked upon as the moment of real and effective colonization for Kyrênê. It was on this occasion, probably, that the port of Apollonia, which afterwards came to equal the city itself in importance, was first occupied and fortified,—for this second swarm of emigrants came by sea direct, while the original colonists had reached Kyrênê by land from the island of Platea through Irasa. The fresh emigrants came from Peloponnesus, Krete, and some other islands of the Ægean.

To furnish so many new lots of land, it was either necessary, or it was deemed expedient, to dispossess many of the Libyan Periœki, who found their situation in other respects also greatly[p. 42] changed for the worse. The Libyan king Adikran, himself among the sufferers, implored aid from Apriês king of Egypt, then in the height of his power; sending to declare himself and his people Egyptian subjects, like their neighbors the Adyrmachidæ. The Egyptian prince, accepting the offer, despatched a large military force of the native soldier-caste, who were constantly in station at the western frontier-town Marea, by the route along shore to attack Kyrênê. They were met at Irasa by the Greeks of Kyrênê, and, being totally ignorant of Grecian arms and tactics, experienced a defeat so complete that few of them reached home.[87] The consequences of this disaster in Egypt, where it caused the transfer of the throne from Apriês to Amasis, have been noticed in a former chapter.

Of course the Libyan Periœki were put down, and the redivision of lands near Kyrênê among the Greek settlers accomplished, to the great increase of the power of the city. And the reign of Battus the Prosperous marks a flourishing era in the town, and a large acquisition of land-dominion, antecedent to years of dissension and distress. The Kyrenæans came into intimate alliance with Amasis king of Egypt, who encouraged Grecian connection in every way, and who even took to wife Ladikê, a woman of the Battiad family at Kyrênê, so that the Libyan Periœki lost all chance of Egyptian aid against the Greeks.[88]

New prospects, however, were opened to them during the reign of Arkesilaus the Second, son of Battus the Prosperous, (about 554-544 B. C.). The behavior of this prince incensed and alienated his own brothers, who raised a revolt against him, seceded with a portion of the citizens, and induced a number of the Libyan Periœki to take part with them. They founded the Greco-Libyan city of Barka, in the territory of the Libyan Auschisæ, about twelve miles from the coast, distant from Kyrênê by sea about seventy miles to the westward. The space between the two, and even beyond Barka, as far as the more westerly Grecian colony called Hesperides, was in the days of Skylax provided with commodious ports for refuge or landing:[89] at what[p. 43] time Hesperides was founded we do not know, but it existed about 510 B. C.[90] Whether Arkesilaus obstructed the foundation of Barka is not certain; but he marched the Kyrenæan forces against those revolted Libyans who had joined it. Unable to resist, the latter fled for refuge to their more easterly brethren near the borders of Egypt, and Arkesilaus pursued them. At length, in a district called Leukôn, the fugitives found an opportunity of attacking him at such prodigious advantage, that they almost destroyed the Kyrenæan army, seven thousand hoplites (as has been before intimated) being left dead on the field. Arkesilaus did not long survive this disaster. He was strangled during sickness by his brother Learchus, who aspired to the throne; but Eryxô, widow of the deceased prince,[91] avenged the crime, by causing Learchus to be assassinated.

That the credit of the Battiad princes was impaired by such a series of disasters and enormities, we can readily believe. But it received a still greater shock from the circumstance, that Battus the Third, son and successor of Arkesilaus, was lame and deformed in his feet. To be governed by a man thus personally disabled, was in the minds of the Kyrenæans an indignity not to be borne, as well as an excuse for preëxisting discontents; and the resolution was taken to send to the Delphian oracle for advice. They were directed by the priestess to invite from Mantineia, a moderator, empowered to close discussions and provide a scheme of government,—the Mantineans selecting Demônax, one of the wisest of their citizens, to solve the same problem which had been committed to Solon at Athens. By his arrangement, the regal prerogative of the Battiad line was terminated, and a republican government established seemingly about 543 B. C.; the dispossessed prince retaining both the[p. 44] landed domains[92] and the various sacerdotal functions which had belonged to his predecessors.

Respecting the government, as newly framed, however, Herodotus unfortunately gives us hardly any particulars. Demônax classified the inhabitants of Kyrênê into three tribes; composed of: 1. Theræans with their Libyan Periœki; 2. Greeks who had come from Peloponnesus and Krete; 3. Such Greeks as had come from all other islands in the Ægean. It appears, too, that a senate was constituted, taken doubtless from these three tribes, and we may presume, in equal proportion. It seems probable that there had been before no constitutional classification, nor political privilege, except what was vested in the Theræans,—that these latter, the descendants of the original colonists were the only persons hitherto known to the constitution,—and that the remaining Greeks, though free landed proprietors and hoplites, were not permitted to act as an integral part of the body politic, nor distributed in tribes at all.[93] The whole powers[p. 45] of government,—up to this time vested in the Battiad princes, subject only to such check, how effective we know not, which the citizens of Theræan origin might be able to interpose,—were now transferred from the prince to the people; that is, to certain individuals or assemblies chosen somehow from among all the citizens. There existed at Kyrênê, as at Thêra and Sparta, a board of Ephors, and a band of three hundred armed police,[94] analogous to those who were called the Hippeis, or Horsemen, at Sparta: whether these were instituted by Demônax, we do not know, nor does the identity of titular office, in different states, afford safe ground for inferring identity of power. This is particularly to be remarked with regard to the Periœki at Kyrênê, who were perhaps more analogous to the Helots than to the Periœki of Sparta. The fact that the Periœki were considered in the new constitution as belonging specially to the Theræan branch of citizens, shows that these latter still continued a privileged order, like the Patricians with their Clients at Rome in relation to the Plebs.

That the rearrangement introduced by Demônax was wise, consonant to the general current of Greek feeling, and calculated to work well, there is good reason to believe: and no discontent within would have subverted it without the aid of extraneous force. Battus the Lame acquiesced in it peaceably during his life; but his widow and his son, Pheretimê and Arkesilaus, raised a revolt after his death, and tried to regain by force the kingly privileges of the family. They were worsted and obliged to flee,—the mother to Cyprus, the son to Samos,—where both employed themselves in procuring foreign arms to invade and conquer Kyrênê. Though Pheretimê could obtain no effective aid from Euelthôn prince of Salamis in Cyprus, her son was more successful in Samos, by inviting new Greek settlers to Kyrênê, under promise of a redistribution of the land. A large[p. 46] body of emigrants joined him on this promise; the period seemingly being favorable to it, since the Ionian cities had not long before become subject to Persia, and were discontented with the yoke. But before he conducted this numerous band against his native city, he thought proper to ask the advice of the Delphian oracle. Success in the undertaking was promised to him, but moderation and mercy after success was emphatically enjoined, on pain of losing his life; and the Battiad race was declared by the god to be destined to rule at Kyrênê for eight generations, but no longer,—as far as four princes named Battus and four named Arkesilaus.[95] “More than such eight generations (said the Pythia), Apollo forbids the Battiads even to aim at.” This oracle was doubtless told to Herodotus by Kyrenæan informants when he visited their city after the final deposition of the Battiad princes, which took place in the person of the fourth Arkesilaus, between 460-450 B. C.; the invasion of Kyrênê by Arkesilaus the Third, sixth prince of the Battiad race, to which the oracle professed to refer, having occurred about 530 B. C. The words placed in the mouth of the priestess doubtless date from the later of these two periods, and afford a specimen of the way in which pretended prophecies are not only made up by antedating after-knowledge, but are also so contrived as to serve a present purpose. For the distinct prohibition of the god, “not even to aim at a longer lineage than eight Battiad princes,” seems plainly intended to deter the partisans of the dethroned family from endeavoring to reinstate them.

Arkesilaus the Third, to whom this prophecy purports to have been addressed, returned with his mother Pheretimê and his army of new colonists to Kyrênê. He was strong enough to carry all before him,—to expel some of his chief opponents and seize upon others, whom he sent to Cyprus to be destroyed; though the vessels were driven out of their course by storms to the peninsula of Knidus, where the inhabitants rescued the prisoners and sent them to Thêra. Other Kyrenæans, opposed to the Battiads, took refuge in a lofty private tower, the property[p. 47] of Aglômachus, wherein Arkesilaus caused them all to be burned, heaping wood around and setting it on fire. But after this career of triumph and revenge, he became conscious that he had departed from the mildness enjoined to him by the oracle, and sought to avoid the punishment which it had threatened by retiring from Kyrênê. At any rate, he departed from Kyrênê to Barka, to the residence of the Barkæan prince, his kinsman Alazir, whose daughter he had married. But he found in Barka some of the unfortunate men who had fled from Kyrênê to escape him: these exiles, aided by a few Barkæans, watched for a suitable moment to assail him in the market-place, and slew him, together with his kinsman the prince Alazir.[96]

The victory of Arkesilaus at Kyrênê, and his assassination at Barka, are doubtless real facts; but they seem to have been compressed together and incorrectly colored, in order to give to the death of the Kyrenæan prince the appearance of a divine judgment. For the reign of Arkesilaus cannot have been very short, since events of the utmost importance occurred within it. The Persians under Kambysês conquered Egypt, and both the Kyrenæan and the Barkæan prince sent to Memphis to make their submission to the conqueror,—offering presents and imposing upon themselves an annual tribute. The presents of the Kyrenæans, five hundred minæ of silver, were considered by Kambysês so contemptibly small, that he took hold of them at once and threw them among his soldiers. And at the moment when Arkesilaus died, Aryandes, the Persian satrap after the death of Kambysês, is found established in Egypt.[97]

During the absence of Arkesilaus at Barka, his mother Pheretimê had acted as regent, taking her place at the discussions in the senate; but when his death took place, and the feeling against the Battiads manifested itself strongly at Barka, she did not feel powerful enough to put it down, and went to Egypt to solicit aid from Aryandes. The satrap, being made to believe that Arkesilaus had met his death in consequence of steady devotion to the Persians, sent a herald to Barka to demand the men who had slain him. The Barkæans assumed the collective[p. 48] responsibility of the act, saying that he had done them injuries both numerous and severe,—a farther proof that his reign cannot have been very short. On receiving this reply, the satrap immediately despatched a powerful Persian armament, land-force as well as sea-force, in fulfilment of the designs of Pheretimê against Barka. They besieged the town for nine months, trying to storm, to batter, and to undermine the walls;[98] but their efforts were vain, and it was taken at last only by an act of the grossest perfidy. Pretending to relinquish the attempt in despair, the Persian general concluded a treaty with the Barkæans, wherein it was stipulated that the latter should continue to pay tribute to the Great King, but that the army should retire without farther hostilities: “I swear it (said the Persian general), and my oath shall hold good, as long as this earth shall keep its place.” But the spot on which the oaths were exchanged had been fraudulently prepared: a ditch had been excavated and covered with hurdles, upon which again a surface of earth had been laid. The Barkæans, confiding in the oath, and overjoyed at their liberation, immediately opened their gates and relaxed their guard; while the Persians, breaking down the hurdles and letting fall the superimposed earth, so that they might comply with the letter of their oath, assaulted the city and took it without difficulty.

Miserable was the fate which Pheretimê had in reserve for these entrapped prisoners. She crucified the chief opponents of herself and her late son around the walls, on which were also affixed the breasts of their wives: then, with the exception of such of the inhabitants as were Battiads, and noway concerned in the death of Arkesilaus, she consigned the rest to slavery in Persia. They were carried away captive into the Persian empire, where Darius assigned to them a village in Baktria as their place of abode, which still bore the name of Barka, even in the days of Herodotus.

During the course of this expedition, it appears, the Persian army advanced as far as Hesperides, and reduced many of the Libyan tribes to subjection: these, together with Kyrênê and[p. 49] Barka, figure among the tributaries and auxiliaries of Xerxês in his expedition against Greece. And when the army returned to Egypt, by order of Aryandês, they were half inclined to seize Kyrênê itself in their way, though the opportunity was missed and the purpose left unaccomplished.[99]

Pheretimê accompanied the retreating army to Egypt, where she died shortly of a loathsome disease, consumed by worms; thus showing, says Herodotus,[100] that “excessive cruelty in revenge brings down upon men the displeasure of the gods.” It will be recollected that in the veins of this savage woman the Libyan blood was intermixed with the Grecian. Political enmity in Greece proper kills, but seldom if ever mutilates or sheds the blood, of women.

We thus leave Kyrênê and Barka again subject to Battiad princes, at the same time that they are tributaries of Persia. Another Battus and another Arkesilaus have to intervene before the glass of this worthless dynasty is run out, between 460-450 B. C. I shall not at present carry the reader’s attention to this last Arkesilaus, who stands honored by two chariot victories in Greece, and two fine odes of Pindar.

The victory of the third Arkesilaus, and the restoration of the Battiads, broke up the equitable constitution established by Demônax. His triple classification into tribes must have been completely remodelled, though we do not know how. For the number of new colonists whom Arkesilaus introduced must have necessitated a fresh distribution of land, and it is extremely doubtful whether the relation of the Theræan class of citizens with their Periœki, as established by Demônax, still continued to subsist. It is necessary to notice this fact, because the arrangements of Demônax are spoken of by some authors as if they formed the permanent constitution of Kyrênê; whereas they cannot have outlived the restoration of the Battiads, nor can they even have been revived after that dynasty was finally expelled, since the number of new citizens and the large change of property, introduced by Arkesilaus the Third, would render them inapplicable to the subsequent city.

[p. 50]


In the preceding chapters I have been under the necessity of presenting to the reader a picture altogether incoherent and destitute of central effect,—to specify briefly each of the two or three hundred towns which agreed in bearing the Hellenic name, and to recount its birth and early life, as far as our evidence goes,—but without being able to point out any action and reaction, exploits or sufferings, prosperity or misfortune, glory or disgrace, common to all. To a great degree, this is a characteristic inseparable from the history of Greece from its beginning to its end, for the only political unity which it ever receives is the melancholy unity of subjection under all-conquering Rome. Nothing short of force will efface in the mind of a free Greek the idea of his city as an autonomous and separate organization; the village is a fraction, but the city is an unit,—and the highest of all political units, not admitting of being consolidated with others into a ten or a hundred, to the sacrifice of its own separate and individual mark. Such is the character of the race, both in their primitive country and in their colonial settlements,—in their early as well as in their late history,—splitting by natural fracture into a multitude of self-administering, indivisible cities. But that which marks the early historical period before Peisistratus, and which impresses upon it an incoherence at once so fatiguing and so irremediable, is, that as yet no causes have arisen to counteract this political isolation. Each city, whether progressive or stationary, prudent or adventurous, turbulent or tranquil, follows out its own thread of existence, having no partnership or common purposes with the rest, and not yet constrained into any active partnership with them by extraneous forces. In like manner, the races which on every side surround the Hellenic world appear distinct and unconnected, not yet taken up into any coöperating mass or system.

[p. 51]Contemporaneously with the accession of Peisistratus, this state of things becomes altered both in and out of Hellas,—the former as a consequence of the latter: for at that time begins the formation of the great Persian empire, which absorbs into itself not only Upper Asia and Asia Minor, but also Phenicia, Egypt, Thrace, Macedonia, and a considerable number of the Grecian cities themselves; and the common danger, threatening the greater states of Greece proper from this vast aggregate, drives them, in spite of great reluctance and jealousy, into active union. Hence arises a new impulse, counterworking the natural tendency to political isolation in the Hellenic cities, and centralizing their proceedings to a certain extent for the two centuries succeeding 560 B. C.; Athens and Sparta both availing themselves of the centralizing tendencies which had grown out of the Persian war. But during the interval between 776-560 B. C., no such tendency can be traced even in commencement, nor any constraining force calculated to bring it about. Even Thucydidês, as we may see by his excellent preface, knew of nothing during these two centuries except separate city-politics and occasional wars between neighbors: the only event, according to him, in which any considerable number of Grecian cities were jointly concerned, was the war between Chalkis and Eretria, the date of which we do not know. In this war, several cities took part as allies; Samos, among others, with Eretria,—Milêtus with Chalkis:[101] how far the alliances of either may have extended, we have no evidence to inform us, but the presumption is that no great number of Grecian cities was comprehended in them. Such as it was, however, this war between Chalkis and Eretria was the nearest approach, and the only approach, to a Pan-Hellenic proceeding which Thucydidês indicates between the Trojan and the Persian wars. Both he and Herodotus present this early period only by way of preface and contrast to that which follows,—when the Pan-Hellenic spirit and tendencies, though never at any time predominant, yet counted for a powerful element in history, and sensibly modified the universal instinct of city-isolation. They tell us little about it, either because they could find no trustworthy[p. 52] informants, or because there was nothing in it to captivate the imagination in the same manner as the Persian or the Peloponnesian wars. From whatever cause their silence arises, it is deeply to be regretted, since the phenomena of the two centuries from 776-560 B. C., though not susceptible of any central grouping, must have presented the most instructive matter for study, had they been preserved. In no period of history have there ever been formed a greater number of new political communities, under such variety of circumstances, personal as well as local. And a few chronicles, however destitute of philosophy, reporting the exact march of some of these colonies from their commencement,—amidst all the difficulties attendant on amalgamation with strange natives, as well as on a fresh distribution of land,—would have added greatly to our knowledge both of Greek character and Greek social existence.

Taking the two centuries now under review, then, it will appear that there is not only no growing political unity among the Grecian states, but a tendency even to the contrary,—to dissemination and mutual estrangement. Not so, however, in regard to the other feelings of unity capable of subsisting between men who acknowledge no common political authority,—sympathies founded on common religion, language, belief of race, legends, tastes and customs, intellectual appetencies, sense of proportion and artistic excellence, recreative enjoyments, etc. On all these points the manifestations of Hellenic unity become more and more pronounced and comprehensive, in spite of increased political dissemination, throughout the same period. The breadth of common sentiment and sympathy between Greek and Greek, together with the conception of multitudinous periodical meetings as an indispensable portion of existence, appears decidedly greater in 560 B. C. than it had been a century before. It was fostered by the increased conviction of the superiority of Greeks as compared with foreigners,—a conviction gradually more and more justified as Grecian art and intellect improved, and as the survey of foreign countries became extended,—as well as by the many new efforts of men of genius in the field of music, poetry, statuary, and architecture, each of whom touched chords of feeling belonging to other Greeks hardly less than to his own peculiar city. At the same time, the[p. 53] life of each peculiar city continues distinct, and even gathers to itself a greater abundance of facts and internal interests. So that during the two centuries now under review there was in the mind of every Greek an increase both of the city-feeling and of the Pan-Hellenic feeling, but on the other hand a decline of the old sentiment of separate race,—Doric, Ionic, Æolic.

I have already, in my former volume, touched upon the many-sided character of the Grecian religion, entering as it did into all the enjoyments and sufferings, the hopes and fears, the affections and antipathies, of the people,—not simply imposing restraints and obligations, but protecting, multiplying, and diversifying all the social pleasures and all the decorations of existence. Each city and even each village had its peculiar religious festivals, wherein the sacrifices to the gods were usually followed by public recreations of one kind or other,—by feasting on the victims, processional marches, singing and dancing, or competition in strong and active exercises. The festival was originally local, but friendship or communion of race was shown by inviting others, non-residents, to partake in its attractions. In the case of a colony and its metropolis, it was a frequent practice that citizens of the metropolis were honored with a privileged seat at the festivals of the colony, or that one of their number was presented with the first taste of the sacrificial victim.[102] Reciprocal frequentation of religious festivals was thus the standing evidence of friendship and fraternity among cities not politically united. That it must have existed to a certain degree from the earliest days, there can be no reasonable doubt; though in Homer and Hesiod we find only the celebration of funeral games, by a chief at his own private expense, in honor of his deceased father or friend,—with all the accompanying recreations, however, of a public festival, and with strangers not only[p. 54] present, but also contending for valuable prizes.[103] Passing to historical Greece during the seventh century B. C., we find evidence of two festivals, even then very considerable, and frequented by Greeks from many different cities and districts,—the festival at Delos, in honor of Apollo, the great place of meeting for Ionians throughout the Ægean,—and the Olympic games. The Homeric Hymn to the Delian Apollo, which must be placed earlier than 600 B. C., dwells with emphasis on the splendor of the Delian festival,—unrivalled throughout Greece, as it would appear, during all the first period of this history, for wealth, finery of attire, and variety of exhibitions as well in poetical genius as in bodily activity,[104]—equalling probably at that time, if not surpassing, the Olympic games. The complete and undiminished grandeur of this Delian Pan-Ionic festival is one of our chief marks of the first period of Grecian history, before the comparative prostration of the Ionic Greeks through the rise of Persia: it was celebrated periodically in every fourth year, to the honor of Apollo and Artemis. It was distinguished from the Olympic games by two circumstances both deserving of notice,—first, by including solemn matches not only of gymnastic, but also of musical and poetical excellence, whereas the latter had no place at Olympia; secondly, by the admission of men, women, and children indiscriminately as spectators, whereas women were formally excluded from the Olympic ceremony.[105] Such exclusion may have depended in part on the inland situation of Olympia, less easily approachable by females than the island of Delos; but even making allowance for this circumstance, both the one distinction and the other mark the rougher character of the Ætolo-Dorians in Peloponnesus. The Delian festival, which greatly dwindled away during the subjection of the Asiatic and insular Greeks to Persia, was revived afterwards by Athens during the period of her empire, when she was seeking in every way to strengthen her central ascendency in the[p. 55] Ægean. But though it continued to be ostentatiously celebrated under her management, it never regained that commanding sanctity and crowded frequentation which we find attested in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo for its earlier period.

Very different was the fate of the Olympic festival,—on the banks of the Alpheius[106] in Peloponnesus, near the old oracular temple of the Olympian Zeus,—which not only grew up uninterruptedly from small beginnings to the maximum of Pan-Hellenic importance, but even preserved its crowds of visitors and its celebrity for many centuries after the extinction of Greek freedom, and only received its final abolition, after more than eleven hundred years of continuance, from the decree of the Christian emperor Theodosius in 394 A. D. I have already recounted, in the preceding volume of this history, the attempt made by Pheidon, despot of Argos, to restore to the Pisatans, or to acquire for himself, the administration of this festival,—an event which proves the importance of the festival in Peloponnesus, even so early as 740 B. C. At that time, and for some years afterwards, it seems to have been frequented chiefly, if not exclusively, by the neighboring inhabitants of central and western Peloponnesus,—Spartans, Messenians, Arkadians, Triphylians, Pisatans, Eleians, and Achæans,[107]—and it forms an important link connecting the Etolo-Eleians, and their privileges as Agonothets to solemnize and preside over it, with Sparta. From the year 720 B. C., we trace positive evidences of the gradual presence of more distant Greeks,—Corinthians, Megarians, Bœotians, Athenians, and even Smyrnæans from Asia.

We observe also another proof of growing importance, in the increased number and variety of matches exhibited to the spectators, and in the substitution of the simple crown of olive, an honorary reward, in place of the more substantial present which the Olympic festival and all other Grecian festivals began by conferring upon the victor. The humble constitution of the Olympic games presented originally nothing more than a match of runners[p. 56] in the measured course called the Stadium: a continuous series of the victorious runners was formally inscribed and preserved by the Eleians, beginning with Korœbus in 776 B. C., and was made to serve by chronological inquirers from the third century B. C. downwards, as a means of measuring the chronological sequence of Grecian events. It was on the occasion of the 7th Olympiad after Korœbus, that Daiklês the Messenian first received for his victory in the stadium no farther recompense than a wreath from the sacred olive-tree near Olympia:[108] the honor of being proclaimed victor was found sufficient, without any pecuniary addition. But until the 14th Olympiad, there was no other match for the spectators to witness beside that of simple runners in the stadium. On that occasion a second race was first introduced, of runners in the double stadium, or up and down the course; in the next, or 15th Olympiad (720 B. C.), a third match, the long course for runners, or several times up and down the stadium. There were thus three races,—the simple stadium, the double stadium, or diaulos, and the long course, or dolichos, all for runners,—which continued without addition until the 18th Olympiad, when the wrestling-match and the complicated pentathlon—including jumping, running, the quoit, the javelin, and wrestling—were both added. A farther novelty appears in the 23rd Olympiad (688 B. C.), the boxing-match; and another, still more important, in the 25th (680 B. C.), the chariot with four full-grown horses. This last-mentioned addition is deserving of special notice, not merely as it diversified the scene by the introduction of horses, but also as it brought in a totally new class of competitors,—rich men and women, who possessed the finest horses and could hire the most skilful drivers, without any personal superiority, or power of bodily display, in themselves.[109] The prodigious[p. 57] exhibition of wealth in which the chariot proprietors indulged, is not only an evidence of growing importance in the Olympic games, but also served materially to increase that importance, and to heighten the interest of spectators. Two farther matches were added in the 33rd Olympiad (648 B. C.),—the pankration, or boxing and wrestling conjoined,[110] with the hand unarmed or divested of that hard leather cestus[111] worn by the pugilist, which rendered the blow of the latter more terrible, but at the same time prevented him from grasping or keeping hold of his adversary,—and the single race-horse. Many other novelties were introduced one after the other, which it is unnecessary fully to enumerate,—the race between men clothed in full panoply, and bearing each his shield,—the different matches between boys, analogous to those between full-grown men, and between colts, of the same nature as between full-grown horses. At the maximum of its attraction the Olympic solemnity occupied five days, but until the 77th Olympiad, all the various matches had been compressed into one,—beginning at daybreak and not always closing before dark.[112] The 77th Olympiad follows immediately after the success[p. 58]ful expulsion of the Persian invaders from Greece, when the Pan-Hellenic feeling had been keenly stimulated by resistance to a common enemy; and we may easily conceive that this was a suitable moment for imparting additional dignity to the chief national festival.

We are thus enabled partially to trace the steps by which, during the two centuries succeeding 776 B. C., the festival of the Olympic Zeus in the Pisatid gradually passed from a local to a national character, and acquired an attractive force capable of bringing together into temporary union the dispersed fragments of Hellas, from Marseilles to Trebizond. In this important function it did not long stand alone. During the sixth century B. C., three other festivals, at first local, became successively nationalized,—the Pythia near Delphi, the Isthmia, near Corinth, the Nemea near Kleônæ, between Sikyôn and Argos.

In regard to the Pythian festival, we find a short notice of the particular incidents and individuals by whom its reconstitution and enlargement were brought about,—a notice the more interesting, inasmuch as these very incidents are themselves a manifestation of something like Pan-Hellenic patriotism, standing almost alone in an age which presents little else in operation except distinct city-interests. At the time when the Homeric Hymn to the Delphinian Apollo was composed (probably in the seventh century B. C.), the Pythian festival had as yet acquired little eminence. The rich and holy temple of Apollo was then purely oracular, established for the purpose of communicating to pious inquirers “the counsels of the immortals.” Multitudes of visitors came to consult it, as well as to sacrifice victims and to deposit costly offerings; but while the god delighted in the sound of the harp as an accompaniment to the singing of pæans, he was by no means anxious to encourage horse-races and chariot-races in the neighborhood,—nay, this psalmist considers that the noise of horses would be “a nuisance,” the drinking of mules a desecration to the sacred fountains, and the ostentation of fine-built chariots objectionable,[113] as tending to divert the attention of spectators away from the great temple and its wealth.

[p. 59]From such inconveniences the god was protected by placing his sanctuary “in the rocky Pytho,”—a rugged and uneven recess, of no great dimensions, embosomed in the southern declivity of Parnassus, and about two thousand feet above the level of the sea, while the topmost Parnassian summits reach a height of near eight thousand feet. The situation was extremely imposing, but unsuited by nature for the congregation of any considerable number of spectators,—altogether impracticable for chariot-races,—and only rendered practicable by later art and outlay for the theatre as well as for the stadium; the original stadium, when first established, was placed in the plain beneath. It furnished little means of subsistence, but the sacrifices and presents of visitors enabled the ministers of the temple to live in abundance,[114] and gathered together by degrees a village around it. Near the sanctuary of Pytho, and about the same altitude, was situated the ancient Phocian town of Krissa, on a projecting spur of Parnassus,—overhung above by the line of rocky precipice called the Phædriades, and itself overhanging below the deep ravine through which flows the river Pleistus. On the other side of this river rises the steep mountain Kirphis, which projects southward into the Corinthian gulf,—the river reaching that gulf through the broad Krissæan or Kirrhæan plain, which stretches westward nearly to the Lokrian town of Amphissa; a plain for the most part fertile and productive, though least so in[p. 60] its eastern part immediately under the Kirphis, where the seaport Kirrha was placed.[115] The temple, the oracle, and the wealth of Pytho, belong to the very earliest periods of Grecian antiquity; but the octennial solemnity in honor of the god included at first no other competition except that of bards, who sang each a pæan with the harp. It has been already mentioned, in my preceding volume, that the Amphiktyonic assembly held one of its half-yearly meetings near the temple of Pytho, the other at Thermopylæ.

In those early times when the Homeric Hymn to Apollo was composed, the town of Krissa appears to have been great and powerful, possessing all the broad plain between Parnassus, Kirphis, and the gulf, to which latter it gave its name,—and possessing also, what was a property not less valuable, the[p. 61] adjoining sanctuary of Pytho itself, which the Hymn identifies with Krissa, not indicating Delphi as a separate place. The Krissæans, doubtless, derived great profits from the number of visitors who came to visit Delphi, both by land and by sea, and Kirrha was originally only the name for their seaport. Gradually, however, the port appears to have grown in importance at the expense of the town, just as Apollonia and Ptolemais came to equal Kyrênê and Barka, and as Plymouth Dock has swelled into Devonport; while at the same time, the sanctuary of Pytho with its administrators expanded into the town of Delphi, and came to claim an independent existence of its own. The original relations between Krissa, Kirrha, and Delphi, were in this manner at length subverted, the first declining and the two latter rising. The Krissæans found themselves dispossessed of the management of the temple, which passed to the Delphians, as well as of the profits arising from the visitors, whose disbursements went to enrich the inhabitants of Kirrha. Krissa was a primitive city of the Phocian name, and could boast of a place as such in the Homeric Catalogue, so that her loss of importance was not likely to be quietly endured. Moreover, in addition to the above facts, already sufficient in themselves as seeds of quarrel, we are told that the Kirrhæans abused their position as masters of the avenue to the temple by sea, and levied exorbitant tolls on the visitors who landed there,—a number constantly increasing from the multiplication of the transmarine colonies, and from the prosperity of those in Italy and Sicily. Besides such offence against the general Grecian public, they had also incurred the enmity of their Phocian neighbors by outrages upon women, Phocian as well as Argeian, who were returning from the temple.[116]

Thus stood the case, apparently, about 595 B. C., when the Amphiktyonic meeting interfered—either prompted by the[p. 62] Phocians, or perhaps on their own spontaneous impulse, out of regard to the temple—to punish the Kirrhæans. After a war of ten years, the first Sacred War in Greece, this object was completely accomplished, by a joint force of Thessalians under Eurylochus, Sikyonians under Kleisthenês, and Athenians under Alkmæon; the Athenian Solon being the person who originated and enforced, in the Amphiktyonic council, the proposition of interference. Kirrha appears to have made a strenuous resistance until its supplies from the sea were intercepted by the naval force of the Sikyonian Kleisthenês; and even after the town was taken, its inhabitants defended themselves for some time on the heights of Kirphis.[117] At length, however, they were thoroughly subdued. Their town was destroyed, or left to subsist merely as a landing-place; and the whole adjoining plain was consecrated to the Delphian god, whose domains thus touched the sea. Under this sentence, pronounced by the religious feeling of Greece, and sanctified by a solemn oath publicly sworn and inscribed at Delphi, the land was condemned to remain untilled and unplanted, without any species of human care, and serving only for the pasturage of cattle. The latter circumstance was convenient to the temple, inasmuch as it furnished abundance of victims for the pilgrims who landed and came to sacrifice,—for without preliminary sacrifice no man could consult the oracle;[118] while the entire prohibition of tillage was the only means of obviating the growth of another troublesome neighbor on the sea-board. The fate of Kirrha in this war is ascertained: that of Krissa is not so clear, nor do we know whether it was destroyed, or left subsisting in a position of inferiority with regard to Delphi. From this time forward, however, the Delphian community appears as substantive and autonomous, exercising in their own right the management of the temple; though we shall find, on more than one occasion, that the Phocians contest this right, and lay claim[p. 63] to the management of it for themselves,[119]—a remnant of that early period when the oracle stood in the domain of the Phocian Krissa. There seems, moreover, to have been a standing antipathy between the Delphians and the Phocians.

The Sacred War just mentioned, emanating from a solemn Amphiktyonic decree, carried on jointly by troops of different states whom we do not know to have ever before coöperated, and directed exclusively towards an object of common interest, is in itself a fact of high importance as manifesting a decided growth of Pan-Hellenic feeling. Sparta is not named as interfering,—a circumstance which seems remarkable when we consider both her power, even as it then stood, and her intimate connection with the Delphian oracle,—while the Athenians appear as the prime movers, through the greatest and best of their citizens: the credit of a large-minded patriotism rests prominently upon them.

But if this Sacred War itself is a proof that the Pan-Hellenic spirit was growing stronger, the positive result in which it ended reinforced that spirit still farther. The spoils of Kirrha were employed by the victorious allies in founding the Pythian games. The octennial festival hitherto celebrated at Delphi in honor of the god, including no other competition except in the harp and the pæan, was expanded into comprehensive games on the model of the Olympic, with matches not only of music, but also of gymnastics and chariots,—celebrated, not at Delphi itself, but on the maritime plain near the ruined Kirrha,—and under the direct superintendence of the Amphiktyons themselves. I have already mentioned that Solon provided large rewards for such Athenians as gained victories in the Olympic and Isthmian games, thereby indicating his sense of the great value of the national games as a means of promoting Hellenic intercommunion. It was the same feeling which instigated the foundation of the new games on the Kirrhæan plain, in commemoration of the vindicated honor of Apollo, and in the territory newly made over to him. They were celebrated in the latter half of summer, or first half of every third Olympic year,—the Amphiktyons being the ostensible agonothets, or administrators, and appointing persons to discharge[p. 64] the duty in their names.[120] At the first Pythian ceremony (in 586 B. C.), valuable rewards were given to the different victors; at the second (582 B. C.), nothing was conferred but wreaths of laurel,—the rapidly attained celebrity of the games being such as to render any farther reward superfluous. The Sikyonian despot Kleisthenês himself, one of the leaders in the conquest of Kirrha, gained the prize at the chariot-race of the second Pythia. We find other great personages in Greece frequently mentioned as competitors, and the games long maintained a dignity second only to the Olympic, over which, indeed, they had some advantages; first, that they were not abused for the purpose of promoting petty jealousies and antipathies of any administering state, as the Olympic games were perverted by the Eleians, on more than one occasion; next, that they comprised music and poetry as well as bodily display. From the circumstances attending their foundation, the Pythian games deserved, even more than the Olympic, the title bestowed on them by Demosthenês,—“The common Agôn of the Greeks.”[121]

[p. 65]The Olympic and Pythian games continued always to be the most venerated solemnities in Greece: yet the Nemea and Isthmia acquired a celebrity not much inferior; the Olympic prize counting for the highest of all.[122] Both the Nemea and the Isthmia were distinguished from the other two festivals by occurring, not once in four years, but once in two years; the former in the second and fourth years of each Olympiad, the latter in the first and third years. To both is assigned, according to Greek custom, an origin connected with the interesting persons and circumstances of Grecian antiquity: but our historical knowledge of both begins with the sixth century B. C. The first historical Nemead is presented as belonging to Olympiad 52 or 53 (572-568 B. C.), a few years subsequent to the Sacred War above mentioned and to the origin of the Pythia. The festival was celebrated in honor of the Nemean Zeus, in the valley of Nemea, between Phlius and Kleônæ,—and originally by the Kleônæans themselves, until, at some period after 460 B. C., the Argeians deprived them of that honor and assumed the honors of administration to themselves.[123] The Nemean games had their Hellanodikæ[124] to superintend, to keep order, and to distribute the prizes, as well as the Olympic. Respecting the Isthmian festival, our first historical information is a little earlier, for it has already been stated[p. 66] that Solon conferred a premium upon every Athenian citizen who gained a prize at that festival as well as at the Olympian,—in or after 594 B. C. It was celebrated by the Corinthians at their isthmus, in honor of Poseidôn; and if we may draw any inference from the legends respecting its foundation, which is ascribed sometimes to Theseus, the Athenians appear to have identified it with the antiquities of their own state.[125]

[p. 67]We thus perceive that the interval between 600-560 B. C. exhibits the first historical manifestation of the Pythia, Isthmia, and Nemea,—the first expansion of all the three from local into Pan-Hellenic festivals. To the Olympic games, for some time the only great centre of union among all the widely dispersed Greeks, are now added three other sacred agônes of the like public, open, national character; constituting visible marks, as well as tutelary bonds, of collective Hellenism, and insuring to every Greek who went to compete in the matches, a safe and inviolate transit even through hostile Hellenic states.[126] These four, all in or near Peloponnesus, and one of which occurred in each year, formed the period, or cycle, of sacred games, and those who had gained prizes at all the four received the enviable designation of periodonikes:[127] the honors paid to Olympic victors on their return to their native city were prodigious, even in the sixth century B. C., and became even more extravagant afterwards. We may remark that in the Olympic games alone, the oldest as well as the most illustrious of the four, the musical and intellectual element was wanting: all the three more recent agônes included crowns for exercises of music and poetry, along with gymnastics, chariots, and horses.

Nor was it only in the distinguishing national stamp set upon these four great festivals that the gradual increase of Hellenic family-feeling exhibited itself, during the course of this earliest period of our history. Pursuant to the same tendencies, religious festivals in all the considerable towns gradually became more and more open and accessible, and attracted guests as well as[p. 68] competitors from beyond the border; the dignity of the state, as well as the honor rendered to the presiding god, being measured by numbers, admiration, and envy, in the frequenting visitors.[128] There is no positive evidence, indeed, of such expansion in the Attic festivals earlier than the reign of Peisistratus, who first added the quadrennial or greater Panathenæa to the ancient annual or lesser Panathenæa; nor can we trace the steps of progress in regard to Thebes, Orchomenus, Thespiæ, Megara, Sikyôn, Pellênê, Ægina, Argos, etc., but we find full reason for believing that such was the general reality. Of the Olympic or Isthmian victors whom Pindar and Simonidês celebrated, many derived a portion of their renown from previous victories acquired at several of these local contests,[129]—victories sometimes so numerous, as to prove how wide-spread the habit of mutual frequentation had become;[130] though we find, even in the third century B. C., treaties of alliance between different cities, in which it is thought necessary to confer this mutual right by express stipulation. Temptation was offered, to the distinguished gymnastic or musical competitors, by prizes of great value; and Timæus even asserted, as a proof of the overweening pride of Kroton and Sybaris, that these cities tried to supplant the preëminence of the[p. 69] Olympic games, by instituting games of their own with the richest prizes, to be celebrated at the same time,[131]—a statement in itself not worthy of credit, but nevertheless illustrating the animated rivalry known to prevail among the Grecian cities in procuring for themselves splendid and crowded games. At the time when the Homeric Hymn to Dêmêtêr was composed, the worship of that goddess seems to have been purely local at Eleusis; but before the Persian war, the festival celebrated by the Athenians every year, in honor of the Eleusinian Dêmêtêr, admitted Greeks of all cities to be initiated, and was attended by vast crowds of them.[132]

It was thus that the simplicity and strict local application of the primitive religious festival, among the greater states in Greece, gradually expanded, on certain great occasions periodically recurring, into an elaborate and regulated series of exhibitions,—not merely admitting, but soliciting the fraternal presence of all Hellenic spectators. In this respect Sparta seems to have formed an exception to the remaining states: her festivals were for herself alone, and her general rudeness towards other Greeks was not materially softened even at the Karneia,[133] or Hyakinthia, or Gymnopædiæ. On the other hand, the Attic Dionysia were gradually exalted, from their original rude spontaneous outburst of village[p. 70] feeling in thankfulness to the god, followed by song, dance, and revelry of various kinds,—into costly and diversified performances, first, by a trained chorus, next, by actors superadded to it;[134] and the dramatic compositions thus produced, as they embodied the perfection of Grecian art, so they were eminently calculated to invite a Pan-Hellenic audience and to encourage the sentiment of Hellenic unity. The dramatic literature of Athens, however, belongs properly to a later period; previous to the year 560 B. C., we see only those commencements of innovation which drew upon Thespis[135] the rebuke of Solon, who himself contributed to impart to the Panathenaic festival a more solemn and attractive character, by checking the license of the rhapsodes, and insuring to those present a full, orderly recital of the Iliad.

The sacred games and festivals, here alluded to as a class, took hold of the Greek mind by so great a variety of feelings,[136] as to counterbalance in a high degree the political disseverance, and to keep alive among their wide-spread cities, in the midst of constant jealousy and frequent quarrel, a feeling of brotherhood and congenial sentiment such as must otherwise have died away. The Theôrs, or sacred envoys, who came to Olympia or Delphi from so many different points, all sacrificed to the same god and at the same altar, witnessed the same sports, and contributed by their donatives to enrich or adorn one respected scene. Nor must we forget that the festival afforded opportunity for a sort[p. 71] of fair, including much traffic amid so large a mass of spectators,[137] and besides the exhibitions of the games themselves, there were recitations and lectures in a spacious council-room for those who chose to listen to them, by poets, rhapsodes, philosophers, and historians,—among which last, the history of Herodotus is said to have been publicly read by its author.[138] Of the wealthy and great men in the various cities, many contended simply for the chariot victories and horse victories. But there were others whose ambition was of a character more strictly personal, and who stripped naked as runners, wrestlers, boxers, or pankratiasts, having gone through the extreme fatigue of a complete previous training. Kylon, whose unfortunate attempt to usurp the sceptre at Athens has been recounted, had gained the prize in the Olympic stadium: Alexander son of Amyntas, the prince of Macedon, had run for it.[139] The great family of the Diagoridæ at Rhodes,[p. 72] who furnished magistrates and generals to their native city, supplied a still greater number of successful boxers and pankratiasts at Olympia, while other instances also occur of generals named by various cities from the lists of successful Olympic gymnasts; and the odes of Pindar, always dearly purchased, attest how many of the great and wealthy were found in that list.[140] The perfect popularity and equality of persons at these great games, is a feature not less remarkable than the exact adherence to predetermined rule, and the self-imposed submission of the immense crowd to a handful of servants armed with sticks,[141] who executed the orders of the Eleian Hellanodikæ. The ground upon which the ceremony took place, and even the territory of the administering state, was protected by a “Truce of God,” during the month of the festival, the commencement of which was formally announced by heralds sent round to the different states. Treaties of peace between different cities were often formally commemorated by pillars there erected, and the general impression of the scene suggested nothing but ideas of peace and brotherhood among Greeks.[142] And I may[p. 73] remark that the impression of the games as belonging to all Greeks, and to none but Greeks, was stronger and clearer during the interval between 600-300 B. C., than it came to be afterwards. For the Macedonian conquests had the effect of diluting and corrupting Hellenism, by spreading an exterior varnish of Hellenic tastes and manners over a wide area of incongruous foreigners, who were incapable of the real elevation of the Hellenic character; so that although in later times the games continued undiminished, both in attraction and in number of visitors, the spirit of Pan-Hellenic communion, which had once animated the scene, was gone forever.


The interval between 776-560 B. C. presents to us a remarkable expansion of Grecian genius in the creation of their elegiac, iambic, lyric, choric, and gnomic poetry, which was diversified in a great many ways and improved by many separate masters. The creators of all these different styles—from Kallinus and Archilochus down to Stesichorus—fall within the two centuries here included; though Pindar and Simonidês, “the proud and high-crested bards,”[143] who carried lyric and choric poetry to the maximum of elaboration consistent with full poetical effect, lived in the succeeding century, and were contemporary with the tragedian Æschylus. The Grecian drama, comic as well as tragic, of the fifth century B. C., combined the lyric and choric song[p. 74] with the living action of iambic dialogue,—thus constituting the last ascending movement in the poetical genius of the race. Reserving this for a future time, and for the history of Athens, to which it more particularly belongs, I now propose to speak only of the poetical movement of the two earlier centuries, wherein Athens had little or no part. So scanty are the remnants, unfortunately, of these earlier poets, that we can offer little except criticisms borrowed at second-hand, and a few general considerations on their workings and tendency.[144]

Archilochus and Kallinus both appear to fall about the middle of the seventh century B. C., and it is with them that the innovations in Grecian poetry commence. Before them, we are told, there existed nothing but the epos, or daktylic hexameter poetry, of which much has been said in my former volume,—being legendary stories or adventures narrated, together with addresses or hymns to the gods. We must recollect, too, that this was not only the whole poetry, but the whole literature of the age: prose composition was altogether unknown, and writing, if beginning to be employed as an aid to a few superior men, was at any rate generally unused, and found no reading public. The voice was the only communicant, and the ear the only recipient, of all those ideas and feelings which productive minds in the community found themselves impelled to pour out; both voice and ear being accustomed to a musical recitation, or chant, apparently something between song and speech, with simple rhythm and a still simpler occasional accompaniment from the primitive four-stringed harp. Such habits and requirements of the voice and ear were, at that time, inseparably associated with the success and popularity of the poet, and contributed doubtless to restrict the range of subjects with which he could deal. The[p. 75] type was to a certain extent consecrated, like the primitive statues of the gods, from which men only ventured to deviate by gradual and almost unconscious innovations. Moreover, in the first half of the seventh century B. C., that genius which had once created an Iliad and an Odyssey was no longer to be found, and the work of hexameter narrative had come to be prosecuted by less gifted persons,—by those Cyclic poets of whom I have spoken in the preceding volumes.

Such, as far as we can make it out amidst very uncertain evidence, was the state of the Greek mind immediately before elegiac and lyric poets appeared; while at the same time its experience was enlarging by the formation of new colonies, and the communion among its various states tended to increase by the freer reciprocity of religious games and festivals. There arose a demand for turning the literature of the age—I use this word as synonymous with the poetry—to new feelings and purposes, and for applying the rich, plastic, and musical language of the old epic, to present passion and circumstance, social as well as individual. Such a tendency had become obvious in Hesiod, even within the range of hexameter verse; but the same causes which led to an enlargement of the subjects of poetry inclined men also to vary the metre.

In regard to this latter point, there is reason to believe that the expansion of Greek music was the immediate determining cause; for it has been already stated that the musical scale and instruments of the Greeks, originally very narrow, were materially enlarged by borrowing from Phrygia and Lydia, and these acquisitions seem to have been first realized about the beginning of the seventh century B. C., through the Lesbian harper Terpander,—the Phrygian (or Greco-Phrygian) flute-player Olympus,—and the Arkadian or Bœotian flute-player Klonas. Terpander made the important advance of exchanging the original four-stringed harp for one of seven strings, embracing the compass of one octave or two Greek tetrachords, and Olympus as well as Klonas taught many new nomes, or tunes, on the flute, to which the Greeks had before been strangers,—probably also the use of a flute of more varied musical compass. Terpander is said to have gained the prize at the first recorded celebration of the Lacedæmonian festival of the Karneia, in 676[p. 76] B. C.: this is one of the best-ascertained points among the obscure chronology of the seventh century; and there seem grounds for assigning Olympus and Klonas to nearly the same period, a little before Archilochus and Kallinus.[145] To Terpander, Olympus, and Klonas, are ascribed the formation of the earliest musical nomes known to the inquiring Greeks of later times: to the first, nomes on the harp; to the two latter, on the flute,—every nome being the general scheme, or basis, of which the airs actually performed constituted so many variations, within certain[p. 77] defined limits.[146] Terpander employed his enlarged instrumental power as a new accompaniment to the Homeric poems, as well as to certain epic proœmia or hymns to the gods of his own composition. But he does not seem to have departed from the hexameter verse and the daktylic rhythm, to which the new accompaniment was probably not quite suitable; and the idea may thus have been suggested of combining the words also according to new rhythmical and metrical laws.

It is certain, at least, that the age (670-600) immediately succeeding Terpander,—comprising Archilochus, Kallinus, Tyrtæus, and Alkman, whose relations of time one to another we have no certain means of determining,[147] though Alkman seems to have been the latest,—presents a remarkable variety both of new metres and of new rhythms, superinduced upon the previ[p. 78]ous daktylic hexameter. The first departure from this latter is found in the elegiac verse, employed seemingly more or less by all the four above-mentioned poets, but chiefly by the first two, and even ascribed by some to the invention of Kallinus. Tyrtæus in his military march-songs employed the anapæstic metre, but in Archilochus as well as in Alkman we find traces of a much larger range of metrical variety,—iambic, trochaic, anapæstic, ionic, etc.,—sometimes even asynartetic or compound metres, anapæstic or daktylic, blended with trochaic or iambic. What we have remaining from Mimnermus, who comes about the close of the preceding four, is elegiac; his contemporaries Alkæus and Sappho, besides employing most of those metres which they found existing, invented each a peculiar stanza of their own, which is familiarly known under a name derived from each. In Solon, the younger contemporary of Mimnermus, we have the elegiac, iambic, and trochaic: in Theognis, yet later, the elegiac only. But both Arion and Stesichorus appear to have been innovators in this department, the former by his improvement in the dithyrambic chorus or circular song and dance in honor of Dionysus,—the latter by his more elaborate choric compositions, containing not only a strophê and antistrophê, but also a third division or epode succeeding them, pronounced by the chorus standing still. Both Anakreon and Ibykus likewise added to the stock of existing metrical varieties. And we thus see that, within the century and a half succeeding Terpander, Greek poetry (or Greek literature, which was then the same thing) became greatly enriched in matter as well as diversified in form.

To a certain extent there seems to have been a real connection between the two: new forms were essential for the expression of new wants and feelings,—though the assertion that elegiac metre is especially adapted for one set of feelings,[148] trochaic for[p. 79] a second, and iambic for a third, if true at all, can only be admitted with great latitude of exception, when we find so many of them employed by the poets for very different subjects,—gay or melancholy, bitter or complaining, earnest or sprightly,—seemingly with little discrimination.

But the adoption of some new metre, different from the perpetual series of hexameters, was required when the poet desired to do something more than recount a long story or fragment of heroic legend,—when he sought to bring himself, his friends, his enemies, his city, his hopes and fears with regard to matters recent or impending, all before the notice of the hearer, and that, too, at once with brevity and animation. The Greek hexameter, like our blank verse, has all its limiting conditions bearing upon each separate line, and presents to the hearer no predetermined resting-place or natural pause beyond.[149] In reference to any long composition, either epic or dramatic, such unrestrained license is found convenient, and the case was similar for Greek epos and drama,—the single-lined iambic trimeter being generally used for the dialogue of tragedy and comedy, just as the daktylic hexameter had been used for the epic. The metrical changes introduced by Archilochus and his contemporaries may be compared to a change from our blank verse to the rhymed couplet and quatrain: the verse was thrown into little systems of two, three, or four lines, with a pause at the end of each; and the halt thus assured to, as well as expected and relished by, the ear, was generally coincident with a close, entire or partial,[p. 80] in the sense, which thus came to be distributed with greater point and effect. The elegiac verse, or common hexameter and pentameter (this second line being an hexameter with the third and sixth thesis,[150] or the last half of the third and sixth foot, suppressed, and a pause left in place of it), as well as the epode (or iambic trimeter followed by an iambic dimeter) and some other binary combinations of verse which we trace among the fragments of Archilochus, are conceived with a view to such increase of effect both on the ear and the mind, not less than to the direct pleasures of novelty and variety.

The iambic metre, built upon the primitive iambus, or coarse and licentious jesting,[151] which formed a part of some Grecian[p. 81] festivals (especially of the festivals of Dêmêtêr as well in Attica as in Paros, the native country of the poet), is only one amongst many new paths struck out by his inventive genius; whose exuberance astonishes us, when we consider that he takes his start from little more than the simple hexameter,[152] in which, too, he was a distinguished composer,—for even of the elegiac verse he is as likely to have been the inventor as Kallinus, just as he was the earliest popular and successful composer of table-songs, or Skolia, though Terpander may have originated some such before him. The entire loss of his poems, excepting some few fragments, enables us to recognize little more than one characteristic,—the intense personality which pervaded them, as well as that coarse, direct, and out-spoken license, which afterwards lent such terrible effect to the old comedy at Athens. His lampoons are said to have driven Lykambês, the father of Neobulê, to hang himself: the latter had been promised to Archilochus in marriage, but that promise was broken, and the poet assailed both father and daughter with every species of calumny.[153] In addition to this disappointment, he was poor, the son of a slave-mother, and an exile from his country, Paros, to the unpromising colony of Thasos. The desultory notices respecting him betray a state of suffering combined with loose conduct which vented itself sometimes in complaint, sometimes in libellous assault; and he was at last slain by some whom his muse had thus exasperated. His extraordinary poetical genius finds but one voice of encomium throughout antiquity. His triumphal song to Hêra[p. 82]klês was still popularly sung by the victors at Olympia, near two centuries after his death, in the days of Pindar; but that majestic and complimentary poet at once denounces the malignity, and attests the retributive suffering, of the great Parian iambist.[154]

Amidst the multifarious veins in which Archilochus displayed his genius, moralizing or gnomic poetry is not wanting, while his contemporary Simonides, of Amorgos, devotes the iambic metre especially to this destination, afterwards followed out by Solon and Theognis. But Kallinus, the earliest celebrated elegiac poet, so far as we can judge from his few fragments, employed the elegiac metre for exhortations of warlike patriotism; and the more ample remains which we possess of Tyrtæus are sermons in the same strain, preaching to the Spartans bravery against the foe, and unanimity as well as obedience to the law at home. They are patriotic effusions, called forth by the circumstances of the time, and sung by single voice, with accompaniment of the flute,[155] to those in whose bosoms the flame of courage was to be kindled. For though what we peruse is in verse, we are still in the tide of real and present life, and we must suppose ourselves rather listening to an orator addressing the citizens when danger or dissension is actually impending. It is only in the hands of Mimnermus that elegiac verse comes to be devoted to soft and amatory subjects. His few fragments present a vein of passive and tender sentiment, illustrated by appropriate matter of legend, such as would be cast into poetry in all ages, and quite different from the rhetoric of Kallinus and Tyrtæus.

The poetical career of Alkman is again distinct from that of any of his above-mentioned contemporaries. Their compositions, besides hymns to the gods, were principally expressions of feeling intended to be sung by individuals, though sometimes also suited for the kômus, or band of festive volunteers, assembled on some occasion of common interest: those of Alkman were principally choric, intended for the song and accompanying dance of[p. 83] the chorus. He was a native of Sardis in Lydia, or at least his family were so; and he appears to have come in early life to Sparta, though his genius and mastery of the Greek language discountenance the story that he was brought over to Sparta as a slave. The most ancient arrangement of music at Sparta, generally ascribed to Terpander,[156] underwent considerable alteration, not only through the elegiac and anapæstic measures of Tyrtæus, but also through the Kretan Thalêtas and the Lydian Alkman. The harp, the instrument of Terpander, was rivalled and in part superseded by the flute or pipe, which had been recently rendered more effective in the hands of Olympus, Klonas, and Polymnêstus, and which gradually became, for compositions intended to raise strong emotion, the favorite instrument of the two,—being employed as accompaniment both to the elegies of Tyrtæus, and to the hyporchemata (songs, or hymns, combined with dancing) of Thalêtas; also, as the stimulus and regulator to the Spartan military march.[157]

These elegies (as has been just remarked) were sung by one person, in the midst of an assembly of listeners, and there were doubtless other compositions intended for the individual voice. But in general such was not the character of music and poetry at Sparta; everything done there, both serious and recreative, was public and collective, so that the chorus and its performances received extraordinary development. It has been already stated, that the chorus usually, with song and dance combined, constituted an important part of divine service throughout all Greece, and was originally a public manifestation of the citizens gener[p. 84]ally,—a large proportion of them being actively engaged in it,[158] and receiving some training for the purpose as an ordinary branch of education. Neither the song nor the dance, under such conditions, could be otherwise than extremely simple. But in process of time, the performance at the chief festivals tended to become more elaborate, and to fall into the hands of persons expressly and professionally trained,—the mass of the citizens gradually ceasing to take active part, and being present merely as spectators. Such was the practice which grew up in most parts of Greece, and especially at Athens, where the dramatic chorus acquired its highest perfection. But the drama never found admission at Sparta, and the peculiarity of Spartan life tended much to keep up the popular chorus on its ancient footing. It formed, in fact, one element in that never-ceasing drill to which the Spartans were subject from their boyhood, and it served a purpose analogous to their military training, in accustoming them to simultaneous and regulated movement,—insomuch that the comparison between the chorus, especially in its Pyrrhic, or war-dances, and the military enomoty, seems to have been often dwelt upon.[159] In the singing of the solemn pæan in honor of Apollo, at the festival of the Hyakinthia, king Agesilaus was under the orders of the chorus-master, and sang in the place allotted to him;[160] while the whole body of Spartans without exception,—the old,[p. 85] the middle-aged, and the youth, the matrons, and the virgins,—were distributed in various choric companies,[161] and trained to harmony both of voice and motion, which was publicly exhibited at the solemnities of the Gymnopædiæ. The word dancing must be understood in a larger sense than that in which it is now employed, and as comprising every variety of rhythmical, accentuated, conspiring movements, or gesticulations, or postures of the body, from the slowest to the quickest;[162] cheironomy, or the decorous and expressive movement of the hands, being especially practised.

We see thus that both at Sparta and in Krête (which approached in respect to publicity of individual life most nearly to Sparta), the choric aptitudes and manifestations occupied a larger space than in any other Grecian city. And as a certain degree of musical and rhythmical variety was essential to meet this want,[163] while music was never taught to Spartan citizens individually,—we farther understand how strangers like Terpander, Polymnêstus, Thalêtas, Tyrtæus, Alkman, etc., were not only received, but acquired great influence at Sparta, in spite of the preponderant spirit of jealous seclusion in the Spartan character. All these masters appear to have been effective in their own special vocation,—the training of the chorus,—to which they imparted new rhythmical action, and for which they composed new music. But Alkman did this, and something more; he possessed the genius of a poet, and his compositions were read afterwards[p. 86] with pleasure by those who could not hear them sung or see them danced. In the little of his poems which remains, we recognize that variety of rhythm and metre for which he was celebrated. In this respect he (together with the Kretan Thalêtas, who is said to have introduced a more vehement style both of music and dance, with the Kretic and Pæonic rhythm, into Sparta[164]) surpassed Archilochus, and prepared the way for the complicated choric movements of Stesichorus and Pindar: some of the fragments, too, manifest that fresh outpouring of individual sentiment and emotion which constitutes so much of the charm of popular poetry. Besides his touching address in old age to the Spartan virgins, over whose song and dance he had been accustomed to preside.—he is not afraid to speak of his hearty appetite, satisfied with simple food and relishing a bowl of warm broth at the winter tropic.[165] And he has attached to the spring an epithet, which comes home to the real feelings of a poor country more than those captivating pictures which abound in verse, ancient as well as modern: he calls it “the season of short fare,”—the crop of the previous year being then nearly consumed, the husbandman is compelled to pinch himself until his new harvest comes[p. 87] in.[166] Those who recollect that in earlier periods of our history, and in all countries where there is little accumulated stock, an exorbitant difference is often experienced in the price of corn before and after the harvest, will feel the justice of Alkman’s description.

Judging from these and from a few other fragments of this poet, Alkman appears to have combined the life and exciting vigor of Archilochus in the song properly so called, sung by himself individually,—with a larger knowledge of musical and rhythmical effect in regard to the choric performance. He composed in the Laconian dialect,—a variety of the Doric with some intermixture of Æolisms. And it was from him, jointly with those other composers who figured at Sparta during the century after Terpander, as well as from the simultaneous development of the choric muse[167] in Argos, Sikyôn, Arcadia, and other parts of Peloponnesus, that the Doric dialect acquired permanent footing in Greece, as the only proper dialect for choric compositions. Continued by Stesichorus and Pindar, this habit passed even to the Attic dramatists, whose choric songs are thus in a great measure Doric, while their dialogue is Attic. At Sparta, as well as in other parts of Peloponnesus,[168] the musical and rhythmical style appears to have been fixed by Alkman and his contemporaries, and to have been tenaciously maintained, for two or three centuries, with little or no innovation; the more so, as the flute-players at Sparta formed an hereditary profession, who followed the routine of their fathers.[169]

[p. 88]Alkman was the last poet who addressed himself to the popular chorus. Both Arion and Stesichorus composed for a body of trained men, with a degree of variety and involution such as could not be attained by a mere fraction of the people. The primitive dithyrambus was a round choric dance and song in honor of Dionysus,[170] common to Naxos, Thebes, and seemingly to many other places, at the Dionysiac festival,—a spontaneous effusion of drunken men in the hour of revelry, wherein the poet Archilochus, “with the thunder of wine full upon his mind,” had often taken the chief part.[171] Its exciting character approached to the worship of the Great Mother in Asia, and stood in contrast with the solemn and stately pæan addressed to Apollo. Arion introduced into it an alteration such as Archilochus had himself brought about in the scurrilous iambus. He converted it into an elaborate composition in honor of the god, sung and danced by a chorus of fifty persons, not only sober, but trained with great strictness; though its rhythm and movements, and its equipment in the character of satyrs, presented more or less an imitation of the primitive license. Born at Methymna in Lesbos, Arion appears as a harper, singer, and composer, much favored by Periander at Corinth, in which city he first “composed, denominated, and taught the dithyramb,” earlier than any one known to Herodotus.[172] He did not, however, remain permanently there, but travelled from city to city, exhibiting at the festivals for money,—especially to Sicilian and Italian Greece, where he acquired large gains. We may here again remark how the poets as well as the festivals served to promote a sentiment of unity among the dispersed Greeks. Such transfer of the dithyramb, from the field[p. 89] of spontaneous nature into the garden of art,[173] constitutes the first stage in the refinement of Dionysiac worship; which will hereafter be found still farther exalted in the form of the Attic drama.

The date of Arion seems about 600 B. C., shortly after Alkman: that of Stesichorus is a few years later. To the latter the Greek chorus owed a high degree of improvement, and in particular the last finished distribution of its performance into the strophê, the antistrophê, and the epôdus: the turn, the return, and the rest,—the rhythm and metre of the song during each strophê corresponded with that during the antistrophê, but was varied during the epôdus, and again varied during the following strophês. Until this time the song had been monostrophic, consisting of nothing more than one uniform stanza, repeated from the beginning to the end of the composition;[174] so that we may easily see how vast was the new complication and difficulty introduced by Stesichorus,—not less for the performers than for the composer, himself at that time the teacher and trainer of performers. Both this poet and his contemporary the flute-player Sakadas of Argos,—who gained the prize at the first three Pythian games founded after the Sacred War,—seem to have surpassed their predecessors in the breadth of subject which they embraced, borrowing from the inexhaustible province of ancient legend, and expanding the choric song into a well-sustained epical narrative.[175] Indeed, these Pythian games opened a new[p. 90] career to musical composers just at the time when Sparta began to be closed against musical novelties.

Alkæus and Sappho, both natives of Lesbos, appear about contemporaries with Arion, B. C. 610-580. Of their once celebrated lyric compositions, scarcely anything remains. But the criticisms which are preserved on both of them place them in strong contrast with Alkman, who lived and composed under the more restrictive atmosphere of Sparta,—and in considerable analogy with the turbulent vehemence of Archilochus,[176] though without his intense private malignity. Both composed for their own local audience, and in their own Lesbian Æolic dialect; not because there was any peculiar fitness in that dialect to express their vein of sentiment, but because it was more familiar to their hearers. Sappho herself boasts of the preëminence of the Lesbian bards;[177] and the celebrity of Terpander, Perikleitas, and Arion, permits us to suppose that there may have been before her many popular bards in the island who did not attain to Hellenic celebrity. Alkæus included in his songs the fiercest bursts of political feeling, the stirring alternations of war and exile, and all the ardent relish of a susceptible man for wine and love.[178] The love-song seems to have formed the principal theme of Sappho, who, however, also composed odes or songs[179] on a great vari[p. 91]ety of other subjects, serious as well as satirical, and is said farther to have first employed the Mixolydian mode in music. It displays the tendency of the age to metrical and rhythmical novelty, that Alkæus and Sappho are said to have each invented the peculiar stanza, well-known under their respective names,—combinations of the dactyl, trochee, and iambus, analogous to the asynartetic verses of Archilochus; they by no means confined themselves, however, to Alkaic and Sapphic metre. Both the one and the other composed hymns to the gods; indeed, this is a theme common to all the lyric and choric poets, whatever may be their peculiarities in other ways. Most of their compositions were songs for the single voice, not for the chorus. The poetry of Alkæus is the more worthy of note, as it is the earliest instance of the employment of the Muse in actual political warfare, and shows the increased hold which that motive was acquiring on the Grecian mind.

The gnomic poets, or moralists in verse, approach by the tone of their sentiments more to the nature of prose. They begin with Simonidês of Amorgos or of Samos, the contemporary of Archilochus: indeed, the latter himself devoted some compositions to the illustrative fable, which had not been unknown even to Hesiod. In the remains of Simonidês of Amorgos we trace nothing relative to the man personally, though he too, like Archilochus, is said to have had an individual enemy, Orodœkidês, whose character was aspersed by his muse.[180] His only[p. 92] considerable poem extant is devoted to a survey of the characters of women, in iambic verse, and by way of comparison with various animals,—the mare, the ass, the bee, etc. It follows out the Hesiodic vein respecting the social and economical mischief usually caused by women, with some few honorable exceptions; but the poet shows a much larger range of observation and illustration, if we compare him with his predecessor Hesiod; moreover, his illustrations come fresh from life and reality. We find in this early iambist the same sympathy with industry and its due rewards which are observable in Hesiod, together with a still more melancholy sense of the uncertainty of human events.

Of Solon and Theognis I have spoken in former chapters. They reproduce in part the moralizing vein of Simonidês, though with a strong admixture of personal feeling and a direct application to passing events. The mixture of political with social morality, which we find in both, marks their more advanced age: Solon bears in this respect the same relation to Simonidês, as his contemporary Alkæus bears to Archilochus. His poems, as far as we can judge by the fragments remaining, appear to have been short occasional effusions,—with the exception of the epic poem respecting the submerged island of Atlantis; which he began towards the close of his life, but never finished. They are elegiac, trimeter iambic, and trochaic tetrameter: in his hands certainly neither of these metres can be said to have any special or separate character. If the poems of Solon are short, those of Theognis are much shorter, and are indeed so much broken (as they stand in our present collection), as to read like separate epigrams or bursts of feeling, which the poet had not taken the trouble to incorporate in any definite scheme or series. They form a singular mixture of maxim and passion,—of general precept with personal affection towards the youth Kyrnus,—which surprises us if tried by the standard of literary composition, but which seems a very genuine manifestation of an impoverished exile’s complaints and restlessness. What remains to us of Phokylidês, another of the gnomic poets nearly contemporary with Solon, is nothing more than a few maxims in verse,—couplets, with the name of the author in several cases embodied in them.

Amidst all the variety of rhythmical and metrical innovations[p. 93] which have been enumerated, the ancient epic continued to be recited by the rhapsodes as before, and some new epical compositions were added to the existing stock: Eugammon of Kyrênê, about the 50th Olympiad, (580 B. C.) appears to be the last of the series. At Athens, especially, both Solon and Peisistratus manifested great solicitude as well for the recitation as for the correct preservation of the Iliad. Perhaps its popularity may have been diminished by the competition of so much lyric and choric poetry, more showy and striking in its accompaniments, as well as more changeful in its rhythmical character. Whatever secondary effect, however, this newer species of poetry may have derived from such helps, its primary effect was produced by real intellectual or poetical excellence,—by the thoughts, sentiment, and expression, not by the accompaniment. For a long time the musical composer and the poet continued generally to be one and the same person; and besides those who have acquired sufficient distinction to reach posterity, we cannot doubt that there were many known only to their own contemporaries. But with all of them the instrument and the melody constituted only the inferior part of that which was known by the name of music,—altogether subordinate to the “thoughts that breathe and words that burn.”[181] Exactness and variety of rhythmical pronunciation gave to the latter their full effect upon a delicate ear; but such pleasure of the ear was ancillary to the emotion of mind arising out of the sense conveyed. Complaints are made by the poets, even so early as 500 B. C., that the accompaniment was becoming too prominent. But it was not until the age of the comic poet Aristophanês, towards the end of the fifth century B. C., that the primitive relation between the instrumental accompaniment and the words was really reversed,—and loud were the complaints to which it gave rise;[182] the performance of[p. 94] the flute or harp then became more elaborate, showy, and overpowering, while the words were so put together as to show off the player’s execution. I notice briefly this subsequent revolution for the purpose of setting forth, by contrast, the truly intellectual character of the original lyric and choric poetry of Greece; and of showing how much the vague sentiment arising from mere musical sound was lost in the more definite emotion, and in the more lasting and reproductive combinations, generated by poetical meaning.

The name and poetry of Solon, and the short maxims, or sayings, of Phokylidês, conduct us to the mention of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. Solon was himself one of the seven, and most if not all of them were poets, or composers in verse.[183] To most of them is ascribed also an abundance of pithy repartees, together with one short saying, or maxim, peculiar to each, serving as a sort of distinctive motto;[184] indeed, the test of an accomplished man about this time was his talent for singing or reciting poetry, and for making smart and ready answers. Respecting this constellation of wise men,—who in the next cen[p. 95]tury of Grecian history, when philosophy came to be a matter of discussion and argumentation, were spoken of with great eulogy,—all the statements are confused, in part even contradictory. Neither the number, nor the names, are given by all authors alike. Dikæarchus numbered ten, Hermippus seventeen: the names of Solon the Athenian, Thalês the Milesian, Pittakus the Mitylenean, and Bias the Prienean, were comprised in all the lists,—and the remaining names as given by Plato[185] were, Kleobulus of Lindus in Rhodes, Myson of Chênæ, and Cheilon of Sparta. By others, however, the names are differently stated: nor can we certainly distribute among them the sayings, or mottoes, upon which in later days the Amphiktyons conferred the honor of inscription in the Delphian temple: Know thyself,—Nothing too much,—Know thy opportunity,—Suretyship is the precursor of ruin. Bias is praised as an excellent judge, and Myson was declared by the Delphian oracle to be the most discreet man among the Greeks, according to the testimony of the satirical poet Hippônax. This is the oldest testimony (540 B. C.) which can be produced in favor of any of the seven; but Kleobulus of Lindus, far from being universally extolled, is pronounced by the poet Simonidês to be a fool.[186] Dikæarchus, however, justly observed, that these seven or ten persons were not wise men, or philosophers, in the sense which those words bore in his day, but persons of practical discernment in reference to man and society,[187]—of the same turn of mind as their con[p. 96]temporary the fabulist Æsop, though not employing the same mode of illustration. Their appearance forms an epoch in Grecian history, inasmuch as they are the first persons who ever acquired an Hellenic reputation grounded on mental competency apart from poetical genius or effect,—a proof that political and social prudence was beginning to be appreciated and admired on its own account. Solon, Pittakus, Bias, and Thalês, were all men of influence—the first two even men of ascendency,[188]—in their respective cities. Kleobulus was despot of Lindus, and Periander (by some numbered among the seven) of Corinth. Thalês stands distinguished as the earliest name in physical philosophy, with which the other contemporary wise men are not said to have meddled; their celebrity rests upon moral, social, and political wisdom exclusively, which came into greater honor as the ethical feeling of the Greeks improved and as their experience became enlarged.

In these celebrated names we have social philosophy in its early and infantine state,—in the shape of homely sayings or admonitions, either supposed to be self-evident, or to rest upon some great authority divine or human, but neither accompanied by reasons nor recognizing any appeal to inquiry and discussion as the proper test of their rectitude. From such unsuspecting acquiescence, the sentiment to which these admonitions owe their force, we are partially liberated even in the poet Simonidês of Keôs, who (as before alluded to) severely criticizes the song of Kleobulus as well as its author. The half-century which followed the age of Simonidês (the interval between about 480-430 B. C.) broke down that sentiment more and more, by familiarizing the public with argumentative controversy in the public assembly, the popular judicature, and even on the dramatic stage. And the increased self-working of the Grecian mind, thus created, manifested itself in Sokratês, who laid open all ethical and social doctrines to the scrutiny of reason, and who first awakened among his countrymen that love of dialectics which never left them,—an analytical interest in the mental process of inquiring out, verifying, proving, and expounding truth. To this capital item of[p. 97] human progress, secured through the Greeks—and through them only—to mankind generally, our attention will be called at a later period of the history; at present, it is only mentioned in contrast with the naked, dogmatical laconism of the Seven Wise Men, and with the simple enforcement of the early poets: a state in which morality has a certain place in the feelings,—but no root, even among the superior minds, in the conscious exercise of reason.

The interval between Archilochus and Solon (660-580 B. C.) seems, as has been remarked in my former volume, to be the period in which writing first came to be applied to Greek poems,—to the Homeric poems among the number; and shortly after the end of that period, commences the era of compositions without metre or prose. The philosopher Pherekydês of Syros, about 550 B. C., is called by some the earliest prose-writer; but no prose-writer for a considerable time afterwards acquired any celebrity,—seemingly none earlier than Hekatæus of Milêtus,[189] about 510-490 B. C.,—prose being a subordinate and ineffective species of composition, not always even perspicuous, but requiring no small practice before the power was acquired of rendering it interesting.[190] Down to the generation preceding Sokratês, the poets continued to be the grand leaders of the Greek mind: until then, nothing was taught to youth except to read, to remember, to recite musically and rhythmically, and to comprehend poetical composition. The comments of preceptors, addressed to their pupils, may probably have become fuller and more instructive, but the text still continued to be epic or lyric poetry. We must recollect also that these poets, so enunciated, were the best masters for acquiring a full command of the complicated accent and rhythm of the Greek language,—essential to an educated man in ancient times, and sure to be detected if not properly acquired. Not to mention the Choliambist Hippônax, who seems to have been possessed with the devil of Archilochus, and in part also with his[p. 98] genius,—Anakreon, Ibykus, Pindar, Bacchylidês, Simonidês, and the dramatists of Athens, continue the line of eminent poets without intermission. After the Persian war, the requirements of public speaking created a class of rhetorical teachers, while the gradual spread of physical philosophy widened the range of instruction: so that prose composition, for speech or for writing, occupied a larger and larger share of the attention of men, and was gradually wrought up to high perfection, such as we see for the first time in Herodotus. But before it became thus improved, and acquired that style which was the condition of wide-spread popularity, we may be sure that it had been silently used as a means of recording information; and that neither the large mass of geographical matter contained in the Periegêsis of Hekatæus, nor the map first prepared by his contemporary, Anaximander, could have been presented to the world, without the previous labors of unpretending prose writers, who set down the mere results of their own experience. The acquisition of prose-writing, commencing as it does about the age of Peisistratus, is not less remarkable as an evidence of past, than as a means of future, progress.

Of that splendid genius in sculpture and architecture, which shone forth in Greece after the Persian invasion, the first lineaments only are discoverable between 600-560 B. C., in Corinth, Ægina, Samos, Chios, Ephesus, etc.,—enough, however, to give evidence of improvement and progress. Glaukus of Chios is said to have discovered the art of welding iron, and Rhœkus, or his son Theodôrus of Samos, the art of casting copper or brass in a mould: both these discoveries, as far as can be made out, appear to date a little before 600 B. C.[191] The primitive memorial,[p. 99] erected in honor of a god, did not even pretend to be an image, but was often nothing more than a pillar, a board, a shapeless stone, a post, etc., fixed so as to mark and consecrate the locality, and receiving from the neighborhood respectful care and decoration, as well as worship. Sometimes there was a real statue, though of the rudest character, carved in wood; and the families of carvers,—who, from father to son, exercised this profession, represented in Attica by the name of Dædalus, and in the Ægina by the name of Smilis,—adhered long, with strict exactness, to the consecrated type of each particular god. Gradually, the wish grew up to change the material, as well as to correct the rudeness, of such primitive idols; sometimes the original wood was retained as the material, but covered in part with ivory or gold,—in other cases, marble or metal was substituted. Dipœnos and Skyllis of Krête acquired renown as workers in marble, about the 50th Olympiad (580 B. C.), and from them downwards a series of names may be traced, more or less distinguished; moreover, it seems about the same period that the earliest temple-offerings, in works of art, properly so called, commence,—the golden statue of Zeus, and the large carved chest, dedicated by the Kypselids of Corinth at Olympia.[192] The pious associations, however, connected with the old type were so strong, that the[p. 100] hand of the artist was greatly restrained in dealing with statues of the gods. It was in statues of men, especially in those of the victors at Olympia and other sacred games, that genuine ideas of beauty were first aimed at and in part attained, from whence they passed afterwards to the statues of the gods. Such statues of the athletes seem to commence somewhere between Olympiad 53-58, (568-548 B. C.).

Nor is it until the same interval of time (between 600-550 B. C.) that we find any traces of these architectural monuments, by which the more important cities in Greece afterwards attracted to themselves so much renown. The two greatest temples in Greece known to Herodotus were, the Artemision at Ephesus, and the Heræon at Samos: the former of these seems to have been commenced, by the Samian Theodorus, about 600 B. C.,—the latter, begun by the Samian Rhœkus, can hardly be traced to any higher antiquity. The first attempts to decorate Athens by such additions proceeded from Peisistratus and his sons, near the same time. As far as we can judge, too, in the absence of all direct evidence, the temples of Pæstum in Italy and Selinus in Sicily seem to fall in this same century. Of painting, during these early centuries, nothing can be affirmed; it never at any time reached the same perfection as sculpture, and we may presume that its years of infancy were at least equally rude.

The immense development of Grecian art subsequently, and the great perfection of Grecian artists, are facts of great importance in the history of the human race. And in regard to the Greeks themselves, they not only acted powerfully on the taste of the people, but were also valuable indirectly as the common boast of Hellenism, and as supplying one bond of fraternal sympathy as well as of mutual pride, among its widely-dispersed sections. It is the paucity and weakness of these bonds which renders the history of Greece, prior to 560 B. C., little better than a series of parallel, but isolated threads, each attached to a separate city; and that increased range of joint Hellenic feeling and action, upon which we shall presently enter, though arising doubtless in great measure from new and common dangers threatening many cities at once,—also springs in part from those other causes which have been enumerated in this chapter[p. 101] as acting on the Grecian mind. It proceeds from the stimulus applied to all the common feelings in religion, art, and recreation,—from the gradual formation of national festivals, appealing in various ways to tastes and sentiments which animated every Hellenic bosom,—from the inspirations of men of genius, poets, musicians, sculptors, architects, who supplied more or less in every Grecian city, education for the youth, training for the chorus, and ornament for the locality,—from the gradual expansion of science, philosophy, and rhetoric, during the coming period of this history, which rendered one city the intellectual capital of Greece, and brought to Isokratês and Plato pupils from the most distant parts of the Grecian world. It was this fund of common tastes, tendencies, and aptitudes, which caused the social atoms of Hellas to gravitate towards each other, and which enabled the Greeks to become something better and greater than an aggregate of petty disunited communities like the Thracians or Phrygians. And the creation of such common, extra-political Hellenism, is the most interesting phenomenon which the historian has to point out in the early period now under our notice. He is called upon to dwell upon it the more forcibly, because the modern reader has generally no idea of national union without political union,—an association foreign to the Greek mind. Strange as it may seem to find a song-writer put forward as an active instrument of union among his fellow-Hellens, it is not the less true, that those poets, whom we have briefly passed in review, by enriching the common language, and by circulating from town to town either in person or in their compositions, contributed to fan the flame of Pan-Hellenic patriotism at a time when there were few circumstances to coöperate with them, and when the causes tending to perpetuate isolation seemed in the ascendant.

[p. 102]


We now arrive at what may be called the second period of Grecian history, beginning with the rule of Peisistratus at Athens and of Crœsus in Lydia.

It has been already stated that Peisistratus made himself despot of Athens in 560 B. C.: he died in 527 B. C., and was succeeded by his son Hippias, who was deposed and expelled in 510 B. C., thus making an entire space of fifty years between the first exaltation of the father and the final expulsion of the son. These chronological points are settled on good evidence: but the thirty-three years covered by the reign of Peisistratus are interrupted by two periods of exile,—one of them lasting not less than ten years,—the other, five years. And the exact place of the years of exile, being nowhere laid down upon authority, has been differently determined by the conjectures of chronologers.[193] Partly from this half-known chronology, partly from a very scanty collection of facts, the history of the half-century now before us can only be given very imperfectly: nor can we wonder at our ignorance, when we find that even among the Athenians themselves, only a century afterwards, statements the most incorrect and contradictory respecting the Peisistratids were in circulation, as Thucydidês distinctly, and somewhat reproachfully, acquaints us.

More than thirty years had now elapsed since the promulgation of the Solonian constitution, whereby the annual senate of Four Hundred had been created, and the public assembly (preceded in its action as well as aided and regulated by this senate) invested with a power of exacting responsibility from the magis[p. 103]trates after their year of office. The seeds of the subsequent democracy had thus been sown, and no doubt the administration of the archons had been practically softened by it; but nothing in the nature of a democratical sentiment had yet been created. A hundred years hence, we shall find that sentiment unanimous and potent among the enterprising masses of Athens and Peiræeus, and shall be called upon to listen to loud complaints of the difficulty of dealing with “that angry, waspish, intractable little old man, Dêmus of Pnyx,”—so Aristophanes[194] calls the Athenian people to their faces, with a freedom which shows that he at least counted on their good temper. But between 560-510 B. C. the people are as passive in respect to political rights and securities as the most strenuous enemy of democracy could desire, and the government is transferred from hand to hand by bargains and cross-changes between two or three powerful men,[195] at the head of partisans who echo their voices, espouse their personal quarrels, and draw the sword at their command. It was this ancient constitution—Athens as it stood before the Athenian democracy—which the Macedonian Antipater professed to restore in 322 B. C., when he caused the majority of the poorer citizens to be excluded altogether from the political franchise.[196]

By the stratagem recounted in a former chapter,[197] Peisistratus[p. 104] had obtained from the public assembly a guard which he had employed to acquire forcible possession of the acropolis. He thus became master of the administration; but he employed his power honorably and well, not disturbing the existing forms farther than was necessary to insure to himself full mastery. Nevertheless, we may see by the verses of Solon[198] (the only contemporary evidence which we possess), that the prevalent sentiment was by no means favorable to his recent proceeding, and that there was in many minds a strong feeling both of terror and aversion, which presently manifested itself in the armed coalition of his two rivals,—Megaklês at the head of the Parali, or inhabitants of the sea-board, and Lykurgus at the head of those in the neighboring plain. As the conjunction of the two formed a force too powerful for Peisistratus to withstand, he was driven into exile, after no long possession of his despotism.

But the time came, how soon we cannot tell, when the two rivals who had expelled him quarrelled, and Megaklês made propositions to Peisistratus, inviting him to resume the sovereignty, promising his own aid, and stipulating that Peisistratus should marry his daughter. The conditions being accepted, a plan was laid between the two new allies for carrying them into effect, by a novel stratagem,—since the simulated wounds and pretence of personal danger were not likely to be played off a second time with success. The two conspirators clothed a stately woman, six feet high, named Phyê, in the panoply and costume of Athênê,—surrounded her with the processional accompaniments belonging to the goddess,—and placed her in a chariot with Peisistratus by her side. In this guise the exiled despot and his adherents approached the city and drove up to the acropolis, preceded by heralds, who cried aloud to the people: “Athenians, receive ye cordially Peisistratus, whom Athênê has honored above all other men, and is now bringing back into her own acropolis.” The people in the city received the reputed goddess with implicit belief and demonstrations of worship, while among the country cantons the report quickly spread[p. 105] that Athênê had appeared in person to restore Peisistratus, who thus found himself, without even a show of resistance, in possession of the acropolis and of the government. His own party, united with that of Megaklês, were powerful enough to maintain him, when he had once acquired possession; and probably all, except the leaders, sincerely believed in the epiphany of the goddess, which came to be divulged as having been a deception, only after Peisistratus and Megaklês had quarrelled.[199]

[p. 106]The daughter of Megaklês, according to agreement, quickly became the wife of Peisistratus, but she bore him no children; and it became known that her husband, having already adult sons by a former marriage, and considering that the Kylonian curse rested upon all the Alkmæônid family, did not intend that she should become a mother.[200] Megaklês was so incensed at this behavior, that he not only renounced his alliance with Peisistratus, but even made his peace with the third party, the adherents of Lykurgus,—and assumed so menacing an attitude, that the despot was obliged to evacuate Attica. He retired to Eretria in Eubœa, where he remained no less than ten years; but a considerable portion of that time was employed in making preparations for a forcible return, and he seems to have exercised, even while in exile, a degree of influence much exceeding that[p. 107] of a private man. He lent valuable aid to Lygdamis of Naxos,[201] in constituting himself despot of that island, and he possessed, we know not how, the means of rendering valuable service to different cities, Thebes in particular. They repaid him by large contributions of money to aid in his reëstablishment: mercenaries were hired from Argos, and the Naxian Lygdamis came himself, both with money and with troops. Thus equipped and aided, Peisistratus landed at Marathon in Attica. How the Athenian government had been conducted during his ten years’ absence, we do not know; but the leaders of it permitted him to remain undisturbed at Marathon, and to assemble his partisans both from the city and from the country: nor was it until he broke up from Marathon and had reached Pallênê on his way to Athens, that they took the field against him. Moreover, their conduct, even when the two armies were near together, must have been either extremely negligent or corrupt; for Peisistratus found means to attack them unprepared, routing their forces almost without resistance. In fact, the proceedings have altogether the air of a concerted betrayal: for the defeated troops, though unpursued, are said to have dispersed and returned to their homes forthwith, in obedience to the proclamation of Peisistratus, who marched on to Athens, and found himself a third time ruler.[202]

On this third successful entry, he took vigorous precautions for rendering his seat permanent. The Alkmæônidæ and their immediate partisans retired into exile; but he seized the children of those who remained, and whose sentiments he suspected, as hostages for the behavior of their parents, and placed them in Naxos, under the care of Lygdamis. Moreover, he provided himself with a powerful body of Thracian mercenaries, paid by taxes levied upon the people:[203] nor did he omit to conciliate the favor of the gods by a purification of the sacred island of Delos:[p. 108] all the dead bodies which had been buried within sight of the temple of Apollo were exhumed and reinterred farther off. At this time the Delian festival,—attended by the Asiatic Ionians and the islanders, and with which Athens was of course peculiarly connected,—must have been beginning to decline from its pristine magnificence; for the subjugation of the continental Ionic cities by Cyrus had been already achieved, and the power of Samos, though increased under the despot Polykratês, seems to have increased at the expense and to the ruin of the smaller Ionic islands. From the same feelings, in part, which led to the purification of Delos,—partly as an act of party revenue,—Peisistratus caused the houses of the Alkmæônids to be levelled with the ground, and the bodies of the deceased members of that family to be disinterred and cast out of the country.[204]

This third and last period of the rule of Peisistratus lasted several years, until his death in 527 B. C.: it is said to have been so mild in its character, that he once even suffered himself to be cited for trial before the Senate of Areopagus; yet as we know that he had to maintain a large body of Thracian mercenaries out of the funds of the people, we shall be inclined to construe this eulogium comparatively rather than positively. Thucydidês affirms that both he and his sons governed in a wise and virtuous spirit, levying from the people only an income-tax of five per cent.[205] This is high praise coming from such an au[p. 109]thority, though it seems that we ought to make some allowance for the circumstance of Thucydidês being connected by descent with the Peisistratid family.[206] The judgment of Herodotus is also very favorable respecting Peisistratus; that of Aristotle favorable, yet qualified,—since he includes these despots among the list of those who undertook public and sacred works with the deliberate view of impoverishing as well as of occupying their subjects. This supposition is countenanced by the prodigious scale upon which the temple of Zeus Olympius at Athens was begun by Peisistratus,—a scale much exceeding either the Parthenôn or the temple of Athênê Polias, both of which were erected in later times, when the means of Athens were decidedly larger,[207] and her disposition to demonstrative piety certainly no way diminished. It was left by him unfinished, nor was it ever completed until the Roman emperor Hadrian undertook the task. Moreover, Peisistratus introduced the greater Panathenaic festival, solemnized every four years, in the third Olympic[p. 110] year: the annual Panathenaic festival, henceforward called the Lesser, was still continued.

I have already noticed, at considerable length, the care which he bestowed in procuring full and correct copies of the Homeric poems, as well as in improving the recitation of them at the Panathenaic festival,—a proceeding for which we owe him much gratitude, but which has been shown to be erroneously interpreted by various critics. He probably also collected the works of other poets,—called by Aulus Gellius,[208] in language not well suited to the sixth century B. C., a library thrown open to the public; and the service which he thus rendered must have been highly valuable at a time when writing and reading were not widely extended. His son Hipparchus followed up the same taste, taking pleasure in the society of the most eminent poets of the day,[209]—Simonidês, Anakreon, and Lasus; not to mention the Athenian mystic Onomakritus, who, though not pretending to the gift of prophecy himself, passed for the proprietor and editor of the various prophecies ascribed to the ancient name of Musæus. The Peisistratids were well versed in these prophecies, and set great value upon them; but Onomakritus, being detected on one occasion in the act of interpolating the prophecies of Musæus, was banished by Hipparchus in consequence.[210] The statues of Hermês, erected by this prince or by his personal friends in various parts of Attica,[211] and inscribed with short moral sentences, are extolled by the author of the Platonic dialogue called Hipparchus, with an exaggeration which approaches to irony; but it is certain that both the sons of Peisistratus, as well as himself, were exact in fulfilling the religious obligations of the state, and ornamented the city in several ways, especially the public fountain Kallirrhoê. They are said to have maintained the preëxisting forms of law and justice, merely taking care always to keep themselves and their adherents in the effective[p. 111] offices of state, and in the full reality of power. They were, moreover, modest and popular in their personal demeanor, and charitable to the poor; yet one striking example occurs of unscrupulous enmity, in their murder of Kimôn, by night, through the agency of hired assassins.[212] There is good reason, however, for believing that the government both of Peisistratus and of his sons was in practice generally mild until after the death of Hipparchus by the hands of Harmodius and Aristogeitôn, after which event the surviving Hippias became alarmed, cruel, and oppressive during his last four years. And the harshness of this concluding period left upon the Athenian mind[213] that profound and imperishable hatred, against the dynasty generally, which Thucydidês attests,—though he labors to show that it was not deserved by Peisistratus, nor at first by Hippias.

Peisistratus left three legitimate sons,—Hippias, Hipparchus, and Thessalus: the general belief at Athens among the contemporaries of Thucydidês was, that Hipparchus was the eldest of the three and had succeeded him; but the historian emphatically pronounces this to be a mistake, and certifies, upon his own responsibility, that Hippias was both eldest son and successor. Such an assurance from him, fortified by certain reasons in themselves not very conclusive, is sufficient ground for our belief,—the more so as Herodotus countenances the same version. But we are surprised at such a degree of historical carelessness in the Athenian public, and seemingly even in Plato,[214] about a matter both interesting and comparatively recent. In order to abate this surprise, and to explain how the name of Hipparchus came to supplant that of Hippias in the popular talk, Thucydidês recounts the memorable story of Harmodius and Aristogeitôn.

Of these two Athenian citizens,[215] both belonging to the ancient[p. 112] gens called Gephyræi, the former was a beautiful youth, attached to the latter by a mutual friendship and devoted intimacy, which Grecian manners did not condemn. Hipparchus made repeated propositions to Harmodius, which were repelled, but which, on becoming known to Aristogeitôn, excited both his jealousy and his fears lest the disappointed suitor should employ force,—fears justified by the proceedings not unusual with Grecian despots,[216] and by the absence of all legal protection against outrage from such a quarter. Under these feelings, he began to look about, in the best way that he could, for some means of putting down the despotism. Meanwhile Hipparchus, though not entertaining any designs of violence, was so incensed at the refusal of Harmodius, that he could not be satisfied without doing something to insult or humiliate him. In order to conceal the motive from which the insult really proceeded, he offered it, not directly to Harmodius, but to his sister. He caused this young maiden to be one day summoned to take her station in a religious procession as one of the kanêphoræ, or basket carriers, according to the practice usual at Athens; but when she arrived at the place where her fellow-maidens were assembled, she was dismissed with scorn as unworthy of so respectable a function, and the summons addressed to her was disavowed.[217] An insult thus publicly offered[p. 113] filled Harmodius with indignation, and still farther exasperated the feelings of Aristogeitôn: both of them, resolving at all hazards to put an end to the despotism, concerted means for aggression with a few select associates. They awaited the festival of the Great Panathenæa, wherein the body of the citizens were accustomed to march up in armed procession, with spear and shield, to the acropolis; this being the only day on which an armed body could come together without suspicion. The conspirators appeared armed like the rest of the citizens, but carrying concealed daggers besides. Harmodius and Aristogeitôn undertook with their own hands to kill the two Peisistratids, while the rest promised to stand forward immediately for their protection against the foreign mercenaries; and though the whole number of persons engaged was small, they counted upon the spontaneous sympathies of the armed bystanders in an effort to regain their liberties, so soon as the blow should once be struck. The day of the festival having arrived, Hippias, with his foreign body-guard around him, was marshalling the armed citizens for procession, in the Kerameikus without the gates, when Harmodius and Aristogeitôn approached with concealed daggers to execute their purpose. On coming near, they were thunderstruck to behold one of their own fellow-conspirators talking familiarly with Hippias, who was of easy access to every man, and they immediately concluded that the plot was betrayed. Expecting to be seized, and wrought up to a state of desperation, they resolved at least not to die without having revenged themselves on Hipparchus, whom they found within the city gates near the chapel called the Leôkorion, and immediately slew him. His attendant guards killed Harmodius on the spot; while Aristogeitôn, rescued for the moment by the surrounding crowd, was[p. 114] afterwards taken, and perished in the tortures applied to make him disclose his accomplices.[218]

The news flew quickly to Hippias in the Kerameikus, who heard it earlier than the armed citizens near him, awaiting his order for the commencement of the procession. With extraordinary self-command, he took advantage of this precious instant of foreknowledge, and advanced towards them,—commanding them to drop their arms for a short time, and assemble on an adjoining ground. They unsuspectingly obeyed, and he immediately directed his guards to take possession of the vacant arms. He was now undisputed master, and enabled to seize the persons of all those citizens whom he mistrusted,—especially all those who had daggers about them, which it was not the practice to carry in the Panathenaic procession.

Such is the memorable narrative of Harmodius and Aristogeitôn, peculiarly valuable inasmuch as it all comes from Thucydidês.[219] To possess great power,—to be above legal restraint,—to inspire extraordinary fear,—is a privilege so much coveted by the giants among mankind, that we may well take notice of those cases in which it brings misfortune even upon themselves. The fear inspired by Hipparchus,—of designs which he did not really entertain, but was likely to entertain, and competent to execute without hindrance,—was here the grand cause of his destruction.

The conspiracy here detailed happened in 514 B. C., during the thirteenth year of the reign of Hippias,—which lasted four years longer, until 510 B. C. And these last four years, in the belief of the Athenian public, counted for his whole reign; nay, many of them made the still greater historical mistake of eliding these last four years altogether, and of supposing that the conspiracy of Harmodius and Aristogeitôn had deposed the Peisistratid gov[p. 115]ernment and liberated Athens. Both poets and philosophers shared this faith, which is distinctly put forth in the beautiful and popular Skolion or song on the subject: the two friends are there celebrated as the authors of liberty at Athens,—“they slew the despot and gave to Athens equal laws.”[220] So inestimable a present was alone sufficient to enshrine in the minds of the subsequent democracy those who had sold their lives to purchase it: and we must farther recollect that the intimate connection between the two, so repugnant to the modern reader, was regarded at Athens with sympathy,—so that the story took hold of the Athenian mind by the vein of romance conjointly with that of patriotism. Harmodius and Aristogeitôn were afterwards commemorated both as the winners and as the protomartyrs of Athenian liberty. Statues were erected in their honor shortly after the final expulsion of the Peisistratids; immunity from taxes and public burdens was granted to the descendants of their families; and the speaker who proposed the abolition of such immunities, at a time when the number had been abusively multiplied, made his only special exception in favor of this respected lineage.[221] And since the name of Hipparchus was universally notorious as the person slain, we discover how it was that he came to be considered by an uncritical public as the predominant member of the Peisistratid family,—the eldest son and successor of Peisistratus,—the reigning despot,—to the comparative neglect of Hippias. The same public probably cherished many[p. 116] other anecdotes,[222] not the less eagerly believed because they could not be authenticated, respecting this eventful period.

Whatever may have been the moderation of Hippias before, indignation at the death of his brother, and fear for his own safety,[223] now induced him to drop it altogether. It is attested both by Thucydidês and Herodotus, and admits of no doubt, that his power was now employed harshly and cruelly,—that he put to death a considerable number of citizens. We find also a statement, noway improbable in itself, and affirmed both in Pausanias and in Plutarch,—inferior authorities, yet still in this case sufficiently credible,—that he caused Leæna, the mistress of Aristogeitôn, to be tortured to death, in order to extort from her a knowledge of the secrets and accomplices of the latter.[224] But as he could not but be sensible that this system of terrorism was full of peril to himself, so he looked out for shelter and support in case of being expelled from Athens; and with this view he sought to connect himself with Darius king of Persia,—a connection full of consequences to be hereafter developed. Æantidês, son of Hippoklus the despot of Lampsakus on the Hellespont, stood high at this time in the favor of the Persian monarch, which induced Hippias to give him his daughter Archedikê in marriage; no small honor to the Lampsakene, in the estimation of Thucydidês.[225] To explain how Hippias came to fix upon this town, however, it is necessary to say a few words on the foreign policy of the Peisistratids.

[p. 117]It has already been mentioned that the Athenians, even so far back as the days of the poet Alkæus, had occupied Sigeium in the Troad, and had there carried on war with the Mityleneans; so that their acquisitions in these regions date much before the time of Peisistratus. Owing probably to this circumstance, an application was made to them in the early part of his reign from the Dolonkian Thracians, inhabitants of the Chersonese on the opposite side of the Hellespont, for aid against their powerful neighbors the Absinthian tribe of Thracians; and opportunity was thus offered for sending out a colony to acquire this valuable peninsula for Athens. Peisistratus willingly entered into the scheme, and Miltiadês son of Kypselus, a noble Athenian, living impatiently under his despotism, was no less pleased to take the lead in executing it: his departure and that of other malcontents as founders of a colony suited the purpose of all parties. According to the narrative of Herodotus,—alike pious and picturesque,—and doubtless circulating as authentic at the annual games which the Chersonesites, even in his time, celebrated to the honor of their œkist,—it is the Delphian god who directs the scheme and singles out the individual. The chiefs of the distressed Dolonkians went to Delphi to crave assistance towards procuring Grecian colonists, and were directed to choose for their œkist the individual who should first show them hospitality on their quitting the temple. They departed and marched all along what was called the Sacred Road, through Phocis and Bœotia to Athens, without receiving a single hospitable invitation; at length they entered Athens, and passed by the house of Miltiadês, while he himself was sitting in front of it. Seeing men whose costume and arms marked them out as strangers, he invited them into his house and treated them kindly: they then apprized him that he was the man fixed upon by the oracle, and abjured him not to refuse his concurrence. After asking for himself personally the opinion of the oracle, and receiving an affirmative answer, he consented; sailing as œkist, at the head of a body of Athenian emigrants, to the Chersonese.[226]

Having reached this peninsula, and having been constituted despot of the mixed Thracian and Athenian population, he lost[p. 118] no time in fortifying the narrow isthmus by a wall reaching all across from Kardia to Paktya, a distance of about four miles and a half; so that the Absinthian invaders were for the time effectually shut out,[227] though the protection was not permanently kept up. He also entered into a war with Lampsakus, on the Asiatic side of the strait, but was unfortunate enough to fall into an ambuscade and become a prisoner. Nothing preserved his life except the immediate interference of Crœsus king of Lydia, coupled with strenuous menaces addressed to the Lampsakenes, who found themselves compelled to release their prisoner; Miltiadês having acquired much favor with this prince, in what manner we are not told. He died childless some time afterwards, while his nephew Stesagoras, who succeeded him, perished by assassination, some time subsequent to the death of Peisistratus at Athens.[228]

The expedition of Miltiadês to the Chersonese must have occurred early after the first usurpation of Peisistratus, since even his imprisonment by the Lampsakenes happened before the ruin of Crœsus, (546 B. C.). But it was not till much later,—probably during the third and most powerful period of Peisistratus,—that the latter undertook his expedition against Sigeium in the Troad. This place appears to have fallen into the hands of the Mityleneans: Peisistratus retook it,[229] and placed there his illegitimate son Hegesistratus as despot. The Mityleneans may[p. 119] have been enfeebled at this time (somewhere between 537-527 B. C.) not only by the strides of Persian conquest on the mainland, but also by the ruinous defeat which they suffered from Polykratês and the Samians.[230] Hegesistratus maintained the place against various hostile attempts, throughout all the reign of Hippias, so that the Athenian possessions in those regions comprehended at this period both the Chersonese and Sigeium.[231] To the former of the two, Hippias sent out Miltiadês, nephew of the first œkist, as governor, after the death of his brother Stesagoras. The new governor found much discontent in the peninsula, but succeeded in subduing it by entrapping and imprisoning the principal men in each town. He farther took into his pay a regiment of five hundred mercenaries, and married Hegesipylê, daughter of the Thracian king Olorus.[232] It appears to have been about 515 B. C. that this second Miltiadês went out to the Chersonese.[233] He seems to have been obliged to quit it for a time, after the Scythian expedition of Darius, in consequence of having incurred the hostility of the Persians; but he was there from the beginning of the Ionic revolt until about 493 B. C., or two or three years before the battle of Marathon, on which occasion we shall find him acting commander of the Athenian army.

Both the Chersonese and Sigeium, though Athenian possessions, were however now tributary and dependent on Persia. And it was to this quarter that Hippias, during his last years of alarm, looked for support in the event of being expelled from Athens: he calculated upon Sigeium as a shelter, and upon Æantidês, as well as Darius, as an ally. Neither the one nor the other failed him.

[p. 120]The same circumstances which alarmed Hippias, and rendered his dominion in Attica at once more oppressive and more odious, tended of course to raise the hopes of his enemies, the Athenian exiles, with the powerful Alkmæônids at their head. Believing the favorable moment to be come, they even ventured upon an invasion of Attica, and occupied a post called Leipsydrion in the mountain range of Parnês, which separates Attica from Bœotia.[234] But their schemes altogether failed: Hippias defeated and drove them out of the country. His dominion now seemed confirmed, for the Lacedæmonians were on terms of intimate friendship with him; and Amyntas king of Macedon, as well as the Thessalians, were his allies. Yet the exiles whom he had beaten in the open field succeeded in an unexpected manœuvre, which, favored by circumstances, proved his ruin.

By an accident which had occurred in the year 548 B. C.,[235] the Delphian temple was set on fire and burnt. To repair this grave loss was an object of solicitude to all Greece; but the outlay required was exceedingly heavy, and it appears to have been long before the money could be collected. The Amphiktyons decreed that one-fourth of the cost should be borne by the Delphians themselves, who found themselves so heavily taxed by this assessment, that they sent envoys throughout all Greece to collect subscriptions in aid, and received, among other donations, from the Greek settlers in Egypt twenty minæ, besides a large present of alum from the Egyptian king Amasis: their munificent benefactor Crœsus fell a victim to the Persians in 546 B. C., so that his treasure was no longer open to them. The total sum required was three hundred talents (equal probably to about one hundred and fifteen thousand pounds sterling),[236]—a prodigious amount to be collected from the[p. 121] dispersed Grecian cities, who acknowledged no common sovereign authority, and among whom the proportion reasonable to ask from each was so difficult to determine with satisfaction to all parties. At length, however, the money was collected, and the Amphiktyons were in a situation to make a contract for the building of the temple. The Alkmæônids, who had been in exile ever since the third and final acquisition of power by Peisistratus, took the contract; and in executing it, they not only performed the work in the best manner, but even went much beyond the terms stipulated; employing Parian marble for the frontage, where the material prescribed to them was coarse stone.[237] As was before remarked in the case of Peisistratus when he was in banishment, we are surprised to find exiles whose property had been confiscated so amply furnished with money,—unless we are to suppose that Kleisthenês the Alkmæônid, grandson of the Sikyonian Kleisthenês,[238] inherited through his mother wealth independent of Attica, and deposited it in the temple of the Samian Hêrê. But the fact is unquestionable, and they gained signal reputation throughout the Hellenic world for their liberal performance of so important an enterprise. That the erection took considerable time, we cannot doubt. It seems to have been finished, as far as[p. 122] we can conjecture, about a year or two after the death of Hipparchus,—512 B. C.,—more than thirty years after the conflagration.

To the Delphians, especially, the rebuilding of their temple on so superior a scale was the most essential of all services, and their gratitude towards the Alkmæônids was proportionally great. Partly through such a feeling, partly through pecuniary presents, Kleisthenês was thus enabled to work the oracle for political purposes, and to call forth the powerful arm of Sparta against Hippias. Whenever any Spartan presented himself to consult the oracle, either on private or public business, the answer of the priestess was always in one strain, “Athens must be liberated.” The constant repetition of this mandate at length extorted from the piety of the Lacedæmonians a reluctant compliance. Reverence for the god overcame their strong feeling of friendship towards the Peisistratids, and Anchimolius son of Aster was despatched by sea to Athens, at the head of a Spartan force to expel them. On landing at Phalêrum, however, he found them already forewarned and prepared, as well as farther strengthened by one thousand horse specially demanded from their allies in Thessaly. Upon the plain of Phalêrum, this latter force was found peculiarly effective, so that the division of Anchimolius was driven back to their ships with great loss and he himself slain.[239] The defeated armament had probably been small, and its repulse only provoked the Lacedæmonians to send a larger, under the command of their king Kleomenês in person, who on this occasion marched into Attica by land. On reaching the plain of Athens, he was assailed by the Thessalian horse, but repelled them in so gallant a style, that they at once rode off and returned to their native country; abandoning their allies with a faithlessness not unfrequent in the Thessalian character. Kleomenês marched on to Athens without farther resistance, and found himself, together with the Alkmæônids and the malcontent Athenians generally, in possession of the town. At that time there was no fortification except around the acropolis, into which Hippias retired with his mercenaries and the citizens most faithful to him; having taken care to provision it well beforehand, so that it[p. 123] was not less secure against famine than against assault. He might have defied the besieging force, which was noway prepared for a long blockade; but, not altogether confiding in his position, he tried to send his children by stealth out of the country; and in this proceeding the children were taken prisoners. To procure their restoration, Hippias consented to all that was demanded of him, and withdrew from Attica to Sigeium in the Troad within the space of five days.

Thus fell the Peisistratid dynasty in 510 B. C., fifty years after the first usurpation of its founder.[240] It was put down through the aid of foreigners,[241] and those foreigners, too, wishing well to it in their hearts, though hostile from a mistaken feeling of divine injunction. Yet both the circumstances of its fall, and the course of events which followed, conspire to show that it possessed few attached friends in the country, and that the expulsion of Hippias was welcomed unanimously by the vast majority of Athenians. His family and chief partisans would accompany him into exile,—probably as a matter of course, without requiring any formal sentence of condemnation; and an altar was erected in the acropolis, with a column hard by, commemorating both the past iniquity of the dethroned dynasty, and the names of all its members.[242]

[p. 126]


With Hippias disappeared the mercenary Thracian garrison, upon which he and his father before him had leaned for defence as well as for enforcement of authority; and Kleomenês with his Lacedæmonian forces retired also, after staying only long enough to establish a personal friendship, productive subsequently of important consequences, between the Spartan king and the Athenian Isagoras. The Athenians were thus left to them[p. 127]selves, without any foreign interference to constrain them in their political arrangements.

It has been mentioned in the preceding chapter, that the Peisistratids had for the most part respected the forms of the Solonian constitution: the nine archons, and the probouleutic or preconsidering Senate of Four Hundred (both annually changed), still continued to subsist, together with occasional meetings of the people,—or rather of such portion of the people as was comprised in the gentes, phratries, and four Ionic tribes. The timocratic classification of Solon (or quadruple scale of income and admeasurement of political franchises according to it) also continued to subsist,—but all within the tether and subservient to the purposes of the ruling family, who always kept one of their number as real master, among the chief administrators, and always retained possession of the acropolis as well as of the mercenary force.

That overawing pressure being now removed by the expulsion of Hippias, the enslaved forms became at once endued with freedom and reality. There appeared again, what Attica had not known for thirty years, declared political parties, and pronounced opposition between two men as leaders,—on one side, Isagoras son of Tisander, a person of illustrious descent,—on the other, Kleisthenês the Alkmæônid, not less illustrious, and possessing at this moment a claim on the gratitude of his countrymen as the most persevering as well as the most effective foe of the dethroned despots. In what manner such opposition was carried on we are not told. It would seem to have been not altogether pacific; but at any rate, Kleisthenês had the worst of it, and in consequence of this defeat, says the historian, “he took into partnership the people, who had been before excluded from everything.”[243] His partnership with the people gave birth to the Athenian democracy: it was a real and important revolution.

The political franchise, or the character of an Athenian citizen, both before and since Solon, had been confined to the primitive[p. 128] four Ionic tribes, each of which was an aggregate of so many close corporations or quasi-families,—the gentes and the phratries. None of the residents in Attica, therefore, except those included in some gens or phratry, had any part in the political franchise. Such non-privileged residents were probably at all times numerous, and became more and more so by means of fresh settlers: moreover, they tended most to multiply in Athens and Peiræus, where emigrants would commonly establish themselves. Kleisthenês broke down the existing wall of privilege, and imparted the political franchise to the excluded mass. But this could not be done by enrolling them in new gentes or phratries, created in addition to the old; for the gentile tie was founded upon old faith and feeling, which, in the existing state of the Greek mind, could not be suddenly conjured up as a bond of union for comparative strangers: it could only be done by disconnecting the franchise altogether from the Ionic tribes as well as from the gentes which constituted them, and by redistributing the population into new tribes with a character and purpose exclusively political. Accordingly, Kleisthenês abolished the four Ionic tribes, and created in their place ten new tribes founded upon a different principle, independent of the gentes and phratries. Each of his new tribes comprised a certain number of demes or cantons, with the enrolled proprietors and residents in each of them. The demes taken altogether included the entire surface of Attica, so that the Kleisthenean constitution admitted to the political franchise all the free native Athenians; and not merely these, but also many Metics, and even some of the superior order of slaves.[244] Putting out of sight the general body of[p. 129] slaves, and regarding only the free inhabitants, it was in point of fact a scheme approaching to universal suffrage, both political and judicial.

The slight and cursory manner in which Herodotus announces this memorable revolution tends to make us overlook its real importance. He dwells chiefly on the alteration in the number and names of the tribes: Kleisthenês, he says, despised the Ionians so much, that he would not tolerate the continuance in Attica of the four tribes which prevailed in the Ionic cities,[245] deriving their names from the four sons of Ion,—just as his grandfather, the Sikyonian Kleisthenês, hating the Dorians, had degraded and nicknamed the three Dorian tribes at Sikyôn. Such is the representation of Herodotus, who seems himself to have entertained some contempt for the Ionians,[246] and therefore to have suspected a similar feeling where it had no real existence. But the scope of Kleisthenês was something far more extensive: he abolished the four ancient tribes, not because they were Ionic, but because they had become incommensurate with the existing condition of the Attic people, and because such abolition procured both for himself and for his political scheme new as well as hearty allies. And indeed, if we study the circumstances of the case, we shall see very obvious reasons to suggest the proceeding. For more than thirty years—an entire generation—the old constitution had been a mere empty formality, working only in subservience to the reigning dynasty, and stripped of all real controlling power. We may be very sure, therefore, that both the Senate of Four Hundred and the popular assembly, divested of that free speech which imparted to them[p. 130] not only all their value but all their charm, had come to be of little public estimation, and were probably attended only by a few partisans; and thus the difference between qualified citizens and men not so qualified,—between members of the four old tribes, and men not members,—became during this period practically effaced. This, in fact, was the only species of good which a Grecian despotism ever seems to have done: it confounded the privileged and the non-privileged under one coercive authority common to both, so that the distinction between the two was not easy to revive when the despotism passed away. As soon as Hippias was expelled, the senate and the public assembly regained their efficiency. But had they been continued on the old footing, including none except members of the four tribes, these tribes would have been reinvested with a privilege which in reality they had so long lost, that its revival would have seemed an odious novelty, and the remaining population would probably not have submitted to it. If, in addition, we consider the political excitement of the moment,—the restoration of one body of men from exile, and the departure of another body into exile,—the outpouring of long-suppressed hatred, partly against these very forms, by the corruption of which the despot had reigned,—we shall see that prudence as well as patriotism dictated the adoption of an enlarged scheme of government. Kleisthenês had learned some wisdom during his long exile; and as he probably continued, for some time after the introduction of his new constitution, to be the chief adviser of his countrymen, we may consider their extraordinary success as a testimony to his prudence and skill not less than to their courage and unanimity.

Nor does it seem unreasonable to give him credit for a more generous forward movement than what is implied in the literal account of Herodotus. Instead of being forced against his will to purchase popular support by proposing this new constitution, Kleisthenês may have proposed it before, during the discussions which immediately followed the retirement of Hippias; so that the rejection of it formed the ground of quarrel—and no other ground is mentioned—between him and Isagoras. The latter doubtless found sufficient support, in the existing senate and public assembly, to prevent it from being carried without an actual appeal to the people, and his opposition to it is not difficult to[p. 131] understand. For, necessary as the change had become, it was not the less a shock to ancient Attic ideas. It radically altered the very idea of a tribe, which now became an aggregation of demes, not of gentes,—of fellow-demots, not of fellow-gentiles; and it thus broke up those associations, religious, social, and political, between the whole and the parts of the old system, which operated powerfully on the mind of every old-fashioned Athenian. The patricians at Rome, who composed the gentes and curiæ,—and the plebs, who had no part in these corporations,—formed for a long time two separate and opposing fractions in the same city, each with its own separate organization. It was only by slow degrees that the plebs gained ground, and the political value of the patrician gens was long maintained alongside of and apart from the plebeian tribe. So too in the Italian and German cities of the Middle Ages, the patrician families refused to part with their own separate political identity, when the guilds grew up by the side of them; even though forced to renounce a portion of their power, they continued to be a separate fraternity, and would not submit to be regimented anew, under an altered category and denomination, along with the traders who had grown into wealth and importance.[247] But the reform of Kleisthenês effected this change all at once, both as to the name and as to the reality. In some cases, indeed, that which had been the name of a gens was retained as the name of a deme, but even then the old gentiles were ranked indiscriminately among the remaining demots; and the Athenian people, politically considered, thus became one homogeneous whole, distributed for convenience into parts, numerical, local, and politically equal. It is, however, to be remembered, that while the four Ionic tribes were abolished, the gentes and phratries which composed them were left untouched, and continued to subsist as family and religious associations, though carrying with them no political privilege.

The ten newly-created tribes, arranged in an established order of precedence, were called,—Erechthêis, Ægêis, Pandiŏnis,[p. 132] Leontis, Akamantis, Œnêis, Kekrŏpis, Hippothoöntis, Æantis, Antiochis; names borrowed chiefly from the respected heroes of Attic legend.[248] This number remained unaltered until the year 305 B. C., when it was increased to twelve by the addition of two new tribes, Antigonias and Demetrias, afterwards designated anew by the names of Ptolemais and Attalis. The mere names of these last two, borrowed from living kings, and not from legendary heroes, betray the change from freedom to subservience at Athens. Each tribe comprised a certain number of demes,—cantons, parishes, or townships,—in Attica. But the total number of these demes is not distinctly ascertained; for though we know that, in the time of Polemô (the third century B. C.), it was one hundred and seventy-four, we cannot be sure that it had always remained the same; and several critics construe the words of Herodotus to imply that Kleisthenês at first recognized exactly one hundred demes, distributed in equal proportion among his ten tribes.[249] But such construction of the words is more than doubtful, while the fact itself is improbable; partly because if the change of number had been so considerable as the difference between one hundred and one hundred and seventy-four, some positive evidence of it would probably be found,—partly because Kleisthenês would, indeed, have a motive to render the amount of citizen population nearly equal, but no motive to render the number of demes equal, in each of the ten tribes. It is well known how great is the force of local habits, and how unalterable are parochial or cantonal boundaries. In the absence of[p. 133] proof to the contrary, therefore, we may reasonably suppose the number and circumscription of the demes, as found or modified by Kleisthenês, to have subsisted afterwards with little alteration, at least until the increase in the number of the tribes.

There is another point, however, which is at once more certain, and more important to notice. The demes which Kleisthenês assigned to each tribe were in no case all adjacent to each other; and therefore the tribe, as a whole, did not correspond with any continuous portion of the territory, nor could it have any peculiar local interest, separate from the entire community. Such systematic avoidance of the factions arising out of neighborhood will appear to have been more especially necessary, when we recollect that the quarrels of the Parali, the Diakrii, the Pediaki, during the preceding century, had all been generated from local feud, though doubtless artfully fomented by individual ambition. Moreover, it was only by this same precaution that the local predominance of the city, and the formation of a city-interest distinct from that of the country, was obviated; which could hardly have failed to arise had the city by itself constituted either one deme or one tribe. Kleisthenês distributed the city (or found it already distributed) into several demes, and those demes among several tribes; while Peiræus and Phalêrum, each constituting a separate deme, were also assigned to different tribes; so that there were no local advantages either to bestow predominance, or to create a struggle for predominance, of one tribe over the rest.[250][p. 134] Each deme had its own local interests to watch over; but the tribe was a mere aggregate of demes for political, military, and religious purposes, with no separate hopes or fears, apart from the whole state. Each tribe had a chapel, sacred rites and festivals, and a common fund for such meetings, in honor of its eponymous hero, administered by members of its own choice;[251] and the statues of all the ten eponymous heroes, fraternal patrons of the democracy, were planted in the most conspicuous part of the agora of Athens. In the future working of the Athenian government, we shall trace no symptom of disquieting local factions,—a capital amendment, compared with the disputes of the preceding century, and traceable, in part, to the absence of border-relations between demes of the same tribe.

The deme now became the primitive constituent element of the commonwealth, both as to persons and as to property. It had its own demarch, its register of enrolled citizens, its collective property, its public meetings and religious ceremonies, its taxes levied and administered by itself. The register of qualified citizens[252] was kept by the demarch, and the inscription of new citizens took place at the assembly of the demots, whose legitimate sons were enrolled on attaining the age of eighteen, and their adopted sons at any time when presented and sworn to by the adopting citizen. The citizenship could only be granted by a public vote of the people, but wealthy non-freemen were enabled sometimes to evade this law and purchase admission upon the register of some poor deme, probably by means of a fictitious adoption. At[p. 135] the meetings of the demots, the register was called over, and it sometimes happened that some names were expunged,—in which case the party thus disfranchised had an appeal to the popular judicature.[253] So great was the local administrative power, however, of these demes, that they are described as the substitute,[254] under the Kleisthenean system, for the naukraries under the Solonian and ante-Solonian. The trittyes and naukraries, though nominally preserved, and the latter (as some affirm) augmented in number from forty-eight to fifty, appear henceforward as of little public importance.

Kleisthenês preserved, but at the same time modified and expanded, all the main features of Solon’s political constitution; the public assembly, or ekklesia,—the preconsidering senate, composed of members from all the tribes,—and the habit of annual election, as well as annual responsibility of magistrates, by and to the ekklesia. The full value must now have been felt of possessing such preëxisting institutions to build upon, at a moment of perplexity and dissension. But the Kleisthenean ekklesia acquired new strength, and almost a new character, from the great increase of the number of citizens qualified to attend it; while the annually-changed senate, instead of being composed of four hundred members taken in equal proportion from each of the old four tribes, was enlarged to five hundred, taken equally from each of the new ten tribes. It now comes before us, under the name of Senate of Five Hundred, as an active and indispensable body throughout the whole Athenian democracy: and the practice now seems to have begun (though the period of commencement cannot be decisively proved), of determining the names of the senators by lot. Both the senate thus constituted, and the public assembly, were far more popular and vigorous than they had been under the original arrangement of Solon.

The new constitution of the tribes, as it led to a change in the annual senate, so it transformed, no less directly, the military[p. 136] arrangements of the state, both as to soldiers and as to officers. The citizens called upon to serve in arms were now marshalled according to tribes,—each tribe having its own taxiarchs as officers for the hoplites, and its own phylarch at the head of the horsemen. Moreover, there were now created for the first time ten strategi, or generals, one from each tribe; and two hipparchs, for the supreme command of the horsemen. Under the prior Athenian constitution it appears that the command of the military force had been vested in the third archon, or polemarch, no strategi then existing; and even after the latter had been created, under the Kleisthenean constitution, the polemarch still retained a joint right of command along with them,—as we are told at the battle of Marathon, where Kallimachus the polemarch not only enjoyed an equal vote in the council of war along with the ten strategi, but even occupied the post of honor on the right wing.[255] The ten generals, annually changed, are thus (like the ten tribes) a fruit of the Kleisthenean constitution, which was at the same time powerfully strengthened and protected by such remodelling of the military force. The functions of the generals becoming more extensive as the democracy advanced, they seem to have acquired gradually not merely the direction of military and naval affairs, but also that of the foreign relations of the city generally,—while the nine archons, including the polemarch, were by degrees lowered down from that full executive and judicial competence which they had once enjoyed, to the simple ministry of police and preparatory justice. Encroached upon by the strategi on one side, they were also restricted in efficiency by the rise of the popular dikasteries or numerous jury-courts, on the other. We may be very sure that these popular dikasteries had not been permitted to meet or to act under the despotism of the Peisistratids, and that the judicial business of the city must then have been conducted partly by the Senate of Areopagus, partly by the archons; perhaps with a nominal responsibility of the latter at the end of their year of office to an acquiescent ekklesia. And if we even assume it to be true, as some writers contend, that the habit of direct popular judicature, over and above this annual trial of responsibility, had been partially introduced by Solon, it must have[p. 137] been discontinued during the long coercion exercised by the supervening dynasty. But the outburst of popular spirit, which lent force to Kleisthenês, doubtless carried the people into direct action as jurors in the aggregate Heliæa, not less than as voters in the ekklesia,—and the change was thus begun which contributed to degrade the archons from their primitive character as judges, into the lower function of preliminary examiners and presidents of a jury. Such convocation of numerous juries, beginning first with the aggregate body of sworn citizens above thirty years of age, and subsequently dividing them into separate bodies or pannels, for trying particular causes, became gradually more frequent and more systematized: until at length, in the time of Periklês, it was made to carry a small pay, and stood out as one of the most prominent features of Athenian life. We cannot particularize the different steps whereby such final development was attained, and the judicial competence of the archon cut down to the mere power of inflicting a small fine; but the first steps of it are found in the revolution of Kleisthenês, and it seems to have been consummated by the reforms of Periklês. Of the function exercised by the nine archons as well as by many other magistrates and official persons at Athens, in convoking a dikastery, or jury-court, bringing on causes for trial,—and presiding over the trial,—a function constituting one of the marks of superior magistracy, and called the Hegemony, or presidency of a dikastery,—I shall speak more at length hereafter. At present, I wish merely to bring to view the increased and increasing sphere of action on which the people entered at the memorable turn of affairs now before us.

The financial affairs of the city underwent at this epoch as complete a change as the military: in fact, the appointment of magistrates and officers by tens, one from each tribe, seems to have become the ordinary practice. A board of ten, called Apodektæ, were invested with the supreme management of the exchequer, dealing with the contractors as to those portions of the revenue which were farmed, receiving all the taxes from the collectors, and disbursing them under competent authority. The first nomination of this board is expressly ascribed to Kleisthenês,[256] as a substitute for certain persons called Kôlakretæ, who[p. 138] had performed the same function before, and who were now retained only for subordinate services. The duties of the apodektæ were afterwards limited to receiving the public income, and paying it over to the ten treasurers of the goddess Athênê, by whom it was kept in the inner chamber of the Parthenon, and disbursed as needed; but this more complicated arrangement cannot be referred to Kleisthenês. From his time forward too, the Senate of Five Hundred steps far beyond its original duty of preparing matters for the discussion of the ekklesia: it embraces, besides, a large circle of administrative and general superintendence, which hardly admits of any definition. Its sittings become constant, with the exception of special holidays, and the year is distributed into ten portions called Prytanies,—the fifty senators of each tribe taking by turns the duty of constant attendance during one prytany, and receiving during that time the title of The Prytanes: the order of precedence among the tribes in these duties was annually determined by lot. In the ordinary Attic year of twelve lunar months, or three hundred and fifty-four days, six of the prytanies contained thirty-five days, four of them contained thirty-six: in the intercalated years of thirteen months, the number of days was thirty-eight and thirty-nine respectively. Moreover, a farther subdivision of the prytany into five periods of seven days each, and of the fifty tribe-senators into five bodies of ten each, was recognized: each body of ten presided in the senate for one period of seven days, drawing lots every day among their number for a new chairman, called Epistatês, to whom during his day of office were confided the keys of the acropolis and the treasury, together with the city seal. The remaining senators, not belonging to the prytanizing tribe, might of course attend if they chose; but the attendance of nine among them, one from each of the remaining nine tribes, was imperatively necessary to constitute a valid meeting, and to insure a constant representation of the collective people.

During those later times known to us through the great orators, the ekklesia, or formal assembly of the citizens, was convoked four times regularly during each prytany, or oftener if necessity required,—usually by the senate, though the stratêgi had also the power of convoking it by their own authority. It was presided over by the prytanes, and questions were put to the[p. 139] vote by their epistatês, or chairman; but the nine representatives of the non-prytanizing tribes were always present as a matter of course, and seem, indeed, in the days of the orators, to have acquired to themselves the direction of it, together with the right of putting questions for the vote,[257]—setting aside wholly or partially the fifty prytanes. When we carry our attention back, however, to the state of the ekklesia, as first organized by Kleisthenês (I have already remarked that expositors of the Athenian constitution are too apt to neglect the distinction of times, and to suppose that what was the practice between 400-330 B. C. had been always the practice), it will appear probable that he provided one regular meeting in each prytany, and no more; giving to the senate and the stratêgi power of convening special meetings if needful, but establishing one ekklesia during each prytany, or ten in the year, as a regular necessity of state. How often the ancient ekklesia had been convoked during the interval between Solon and Peisistratus, we cannot exactly say,—probably but seldom during the year. But under the Peisistratids, its convocation had dwindled down into an inoperative formality; and the reëstablishment of it by Kleisthenês, not merely with plenary determining powers, but also under full notice and preparation of matters beforehand, together with the best securities for orderly procedure, was in itself a revolution impressive to the mind of every Athenian citizen. To render the ekklesia efficient, it was indispensable that its meetings should be both frequent and free. Men thus became trained to the duty both of speakers and hearers, and each man, while he felt that he exercised his share of influence on the decision, identified his own safety and happiness with the vote of the majority, and became familiarized with the notion of a sovereign authority which he neither could nor ought to resist. This is an idea new to the Athenian bosom; and with it came the feelings sanctifying free speech and equal law,—words which no Athenian citizen ever afterwards heard unmoved: together with that sentiment of the entire commonwealth as one and indivisible, which always over[p. 140]ruled, though it did not supplant, the local and cantonal special ties. It is not too much to say that these patriotic and ennobling impulses were a new product in the Athenian mind, to which nothing analogous occurs even in the time of Solon. They were kindled in part doubtless by the strong reaction against the Peisistratids, but still more by the fact that the opposing leader, Kleisthenês, turned that transitory feeling to the best possible account, and gave to it a vigorous perpetuity, as well as a well-defined positive object, by the popular elements conspicuous in his constitution. His name makes less figure in history than we should expect, because he passed for the mere renovator of Solon’s scheme of government after it had been overthrown by Peisistratus. Probably he himself professed this object, since it would facilitate the success of his propositions: and if we confine ourselves to the letter of the case, the fact is in a great measure true, since the annual senate and the ekklesia are both Solonian,—but both of them under his reform were clothed in totally new circumstances, and swelled into gigantic proportions. How vigorous was the burst of Athenian enthusiasm, altering instantaneously the position of Athens among the powers of Greece, we shall hear presently from the lips of Herodotus, and shall find still more unequivocally marked in the facts of his history.

But it was not only the people formally installed in their ekklesia, who received from Kleisthenês the real attributes of sovereignty,—it was by him also that the people were first called into direct action as dikasts, or jurors. I have already remarked, that this custom may be said, in a certain limited sense, to have begun in the time of Solon, since that lawgiver invested the popular assembly with the power of pronouncing the judgment of accountability upon the archons after their year of office. Here, again, the building, afterwards so spacious and stately, was erected on a Solonian foundation, though it was not itself Solonian. That the popular dikasteries, in the elaborate form in which they existed from Periklês downward, were introduced all at once by Kleisthenês, it is impossible to believe; yet the steps by which they were gradually wrought out are not distinctly discoverable. It would rather seem, that at first only the aggregate body of citizens above thirty years of age exercised judicial[p. 141] functions, being specially convoked and sworn to try persons accused of public crimes, and when so employed bearing the name of the heliæa, or heliasts; private offences and disputes between man and man being still determined by individual magistrates in the city, and a considerable judicial power still residing in the Senate of Areopagus. There is reason to believe that this was the state of things established by Kleisthenês, and which afterwards came to be altered by the greater extent of judicial duty gradually accruing to the heliasts, so that it was necessary to subdivide the collective heliæa. According to the subdivision, as practised in the times best known, six thousand citizens above thirty years of age were annually selected by lot out of the whole number, six hundred from each of the ten tribes: five thousand of these citizens were arranged in ten pannels or decuries of five hundred each, the remaining one thousand being reserved to fill up vacancies in case of death or absence among the former. The whole six thousand took a prescribed oath, couched in very striking words, and every man received a ticket inscribed with his own name as well as with a letter designating his decury. When there were causes or crimes ripe for trial, the thesmothets, or six inferior archons, determined by lot, first, which decuries should sit, according to the number wanted,—next, in which court, or under the presidency of what magistrate, the decury B or E should sit, so that it could not be known beforehand in what cause each would be judge. In the number of persons who actually attended and sat, however, there seems to have been much variety, and sometimes two decuries sat together.[258] The arrangement here described, we must recollect, is given to us as belonging to those times when the dikasts received a regular pay, after every day’s sitting; and it can hardly have long con[p. 142]tinued without that condition, which was not realized before the time of Periklês. Each of these decuries sitting in judicature was called The Heliæa,—a name which belongs properly to the collective assembly of the people; this collective assembly having been itself the original judicature. I conceive that the practice of distributing this collective assembly, or heliæa, into sections of jurors for judicial duty, may have begun under one form or another soon after the reform of Kleisthenês, since the direct interference of the people in public affairs tended more and more to increase. But it could only have been matured by degrees into that constant and systematic service which the pay of Periklês called forth at last in completeness. Under the last-mentioned system the judicial competence of the archons was annulled, and the third archon, or polemarch, withdrawn from all military functions. Still, this had not been yet done at the time of the battle of Marathon, in which Kallimachus the polemarch not only commanded along with the stratêgi, but enjoyed a sort of preëminence over them: nor had it been done during the year after the battle of Marathon, in which Aristeidês was archon,—for the magisterial decisions of Aristeidês formed one of the principal foundations of his honorable surname, the Just.[259]

With this question, as to the comparative extent of judicial power vested by Kleisthenês in the popular dikastery and the archons, are in reality connected two others in Athenian constitutional law; relating, first, to the admissibility of all citizens for the post of archon,—next, to the choosing of archons by lot. It is well known that, in the time of Periklês, the archons, and[p. 143] various other individual functionaries, had come to be chosen by lot,—moreover, all citizens were legally admissible, and might give in their names to be drawn for by lot, subject to what was called the dokimasy, or legal examination into their status of citizen, and into various moral and religious qualifications, before they took office; while at the same time the function of the archon had become nothing higher than preliminary examination of parties and witnesses for the dikastery, and presidence over it when afterwards assembled, together with the power of imposing by authority a fine of small amount upon inferior offenders.

Now all these three political arrangements hang essentially together. The great value of the lot, according to Grecian democratical ideas, was that it equalized the chance of office between rich and poor. But so long as the poor citizens were legally inadmissible, choice by lot could have no recommendation either to the rich or to the poor; in fact, it would be less democratical than election by the general mass of citizens, because the poor citizen would under the latter system enjoy an important right of interference by means of his suffrage, though he could not be elected himself.[260] Again, choice by lot could[p. 144] never under any circumstances be applied to those posts where special competence, and a certain measure of attributes possessed only by a few, could not be dispensed with without obvious peril,—nor was it ever applied, throughout the whole history of democratical Athens, to the stratêgi, or generals, who were always elected by show of hands of the assembled citizens. Accordingly, we may regard it as certain that, at the time when the archons first came to be chosen by lot, the superior and responsible duties once attached to that office had been, or were in course of being, detached from it, and transferred either to the popular dikasts or to the ten elected stratêgi: so that there remained to these archons only a routine of police and administration, important indeed to the state, yet such as could be executed by any citizen of average probity, diligence, and capacity. At least there was no obvious absurdity in thinking so; and the dokimasy excluded from the office men of notoriously discreditable life, even after they might have drawn the successful lot. Periklês,[261] though chosen stratêgus, year after year successively, was never archon; and it may even be doubted whether men of first-rate talents and ambition often gave in their names for the office. To those of smaller aspirations[262] it was doubtless a source of importance, but it imposed troublesome labor, gave no pay, and entailed a certain degree of peril upon any archon who might have given offence to pow[p. 145]erful men, when he came to pass through the trial of accountability which followed immediately upon his year of office. There was little to make the office acceptable either to very poor men, or to very rich and ambitious men; and between the middling persons who gave in their names, any one might be taken without great practical mischief, always assuming the two guarantees of the dokimasy before, and accountability after, office. This was the conclusion—in my opinion a mistaken conclusion, and such as would find no favor at present—to which the democrats of Athens were conducted by their strenuous desire to equalize the chances of office for rich and poor. But their sentiment seems to have been satisfied by a partial enforcement of the lot to the choice of some offices,—especially the archons, as the primitive chief magistrates of the state,—without applying it to all, or to the most responsible and difficult. Nor would they have applied it to the archons, if it had been indispensably necessary that these magistrates should retain their original very serious duty of judging disputes and condemning offenders.

I think, therefore, that these three points: 1. The opening of the post of archon to all citizens indiscriminately; 2. The choice of archons by lot; 3. The diminished range of the archon’s duties and responsibilities, through the extension of those belonging to the popular courts of justice on the one hand and to the stratêgi on the other—are all connected together, and must have been simultaneous, or nearly simultaneous, in the time of introduction: the enactment of universal admissibility to office certainly not coming after the other two, and probably coming a little before them.

Now in regard to the eligibility of all Athenians indiscriminately to the office of archon, we find a clear and positive testimony as to the time when it was first introduced. Plutarch tells us[263] that the oligarchical,[264] but high-principled Aristeidês, was himself the proposer of this constitutional change,—shortly after the battle of Platæa, with the consequent expulsion of the Persians from Greece, and the return of the refugee Athenians[p. 146] to their ruined city. Seldom has it happened in the history of mankind, that rich and poor have been so completely equalized as among the population of Athens in that memorable expatriation and heroic struggle. Nor are we at all surprised to hear that the mass of the citizens, coming back with freshly-kindled patriotism as well as with the consciousness that their country had only been recovered by the equal efforts of all, would no longer submit to be legally disqualified from any office of state. It was on this occasion that the constitution was first made really “common” to all, and that the archons, stratêgi, and all functionaries, first began to be chosen from all Athenians without any difference of legal eligibility.[265] No mention is made of the lot, in this important statement of Plutarch, which appears to me every way worthy of credit, and which teaches us that, down to the invasion of Xerxês, not only had the exclusive principle of the Solonian law of qualification continued in force (whereby the first three classes on the census were alone admitted to all individual offices, and the fourth or Thêtic class excluded), but also the archons had hitherto been elected by the citizens,—not taken by lot.

Now for financial purposes, the quadruple census of Solon was retained long after this period, even beyond the Peloponnesian war and the oligarchy of Thirty. But we thus learn that Kleisthenês in his constitution retained it for political purposes also, in part at least: he recognized the exclusion of the great mass of the citizens from all individual offices,—such as the archon, the stratêgus, etc. In his time, probably, no complaints were raised on the subject. His constitution gave to the collective bodies—senate, ekklesia, and heliæa, or dikastery—a degree of power and importance such as they had never before known or imagined: and we may well suppose that the Athenian people of that day had no objection even to the proclaimed system and theory of being exclusively governed by men of wealth and station as individual magistrates,—especially since many of the newly-enfranchised citizens had been previously metics and slaves. Indeed, it is to be added that, even under the full[p. 147] democracy of later Athens, though the people had then become passionately attached to the theory of equal admissibility of all citizens to office, yet, in practice, poor men seldom obtained offices which were elected by the general vote, as will appear more fully in the course of this history.[266]

The choice of the stratêgi remained ever afterwards upon the footing on which Aristeidês thus placed it. But the lot for the choice of archon must have been introduced shortly after his proposition of universal eligibility, and in consequence too of the same tide of democratical feeling,—introduced as a farther corrective, because the poor citizen, though he had become eligible, was nevertheless not elected. And at the same time, I imagine, that elaborate distribution of the Heliæa, or aggregate body of dikasts, or jurors, into separate pannels, or dikasteries, for the decision of judicial matters, was first regularized. It was this change that stole away from the archons so important a part of their previous jurisdiction: it was this change that Periklês more fully consummated by insuring pay to the dikasts. But the present is not the time to enter into the modifications which Athens underwent during the generation after the battle of Platæa. They have been here briefly noticed for the purpose of reasoning back, in the absence of direct evidence, to Athens as it stood in the generation before that memorable battle, after the reform of Kleisthenês. His reform, though highly democratical,[p. 148] stopped short of the mature democracy which prevailed from Periklês to Demosthenês, in three ways especially, among various others; and it is therefore sometimes considered by the later writers as an aristocratical constitution:[267] 1. It still recognized the archons as judges to a considerable extent, and the third archon, or polemarch, as joint military commander along with the stratêgi. 2. It retained them as elected annually by the body of citizens, not as chosen by lot.[268] 3. It still excluded[p. 149] the fourth class of the Solonian census from all individual office, the archonship among the rest. The Solonian law of exclusion, however, though retained in principle, was mitigated in practice thus far,—that whereas Solon had rendered none but members of the highest class on the census (the Pentakosiomedimni) eligible to the archonship, Kleisthenês opened that dignity to all the first three classes, shutting out only the fourth. That he did this may be inferred from the fact that Aristeidês, assuredly not a rich man, became archon.

I am also inclined to believe that the Senate of Five Hundred, as constituted by Kleisthenês, was taken, not by election, but by lot, from the ten tribes,—and that every citizen became eligible to it. Election for this purpose—that is, the privilege of annually electing a batch of fifty senators, all at once, by each tribe—would probably be thought more troublesome than valuable; nor do we hear of separate meetings of each tribe for purposes of election. Moreover, the office of senator was a collective, not an individual office; the shock, therefore, to the feelings of semi-democratized Athens, from the unpleasant idea of a poor man sitting among the fifty prytanes, would be less than if they conceived him as polemarch at the head of the right wing of the army, or as an archon administering justice.

A farther difference between the constitution of Solon and that of Kleisthenês is to be found in the position of the Senate of Areopagus. Under the former, that senate had been the principal body in the state, and he had even enlarged its powers; under the latter, it must have been treated at first as an enemy, and kept down. For as it was composed only of all the past archons, and as, during the preceding thirty years, every archon had been a creature of the Peisistratids, the Areopagites collectively must have been both hostile and odious to Kleisthenês and his partisans,—perhaps a fraction of its members might even retire into exile with Hippias. Its influence must have been[p. 150] sensibly lessened by the change of party, until it came to be gradually filled by fresh archons springing from the bosom of the Kleisthenean constitution. But during this important interval, the new-modelled Senate of Five Hundred, and the popular assembly, stepped into that ascendency which they never afterwards lost. From the time of Kleisthenês forward, the Areopagites cease to be the chief and prominent power in the state: yet they are still considerable; and when the second fill of the democratical tide took place, after the battle of Platæa, they became the focus of that which was then considered as the party of oligarchical resistance. I have already remarked that the archons, during the intermediate time (about 509-477 B. C.), were all elected by the ekklesia, not chosen by lot,—and that the fourth (or poorest and most numerous) class on the census were by law then ineligible; while election at Athens, even when every citizen without exception was an elector and eligible, had a natural tendency to fall upon men of wealth and station. We thus see how it happened that the past archons, when united in the Senate of Areopagus, infused into that body the sympathies, prejudices, and interests of the richer classes. It was this which brought them into conflict with the more democratical party headed by Periklês and Ephialtês, in times when portions of the Kleisthenean constitution had come to be discredited as too much imbued with oligarchy.

One other remarkable institution, distinctly ascribed to Kleisthenês, yet remains to be noticed,—the Ostracism; upon which I have already made some remarks,[269] in touching upon the memorable Solonian proclamation against neutrality in a sedition. It is hardly too much to say that, without this protective process, none of the other institutions would have reached maturity.

By the ostracism, a citizen was banished without special accusation, trial, or defence, for a term of ten years,—subsequently diminished to five. His property was not taken away, nor his reputation tainted; so that the penalty consisted solely in the banishment from his native city to some other Greek city. As to reputation, the ostracism was a compliment rather than otherwise;[270] and so it was vividly felt to be, when, about ninety years[p. 151] after Kleisthenês, the conspiracy between Nikias and Alkibiadês fixed it upon Hyperbolus. The two former had both recommended the taking of an ostracizing vote, each hoping to cause the banishment of the other; but before the day arrived, they accommodated the difference. To fire off the safety-gun of the republic against a person so little dangerous as Hyperbolus, was denounced as the prostitution of a great political ceremony: “it was not against such men as him (said the comic writer, Plato),[271][p. 152] that the oyster-shell (or potsherd) was intended to be used.” The process of ostracism was carried into effect by writing upon a shell, or potsherd, the name of the person whom a citizen thought it prudent for a time to banish; which shell, when deposited in the proper vessel, counted for a vote towards the sentence.

I have already observed that all the governments of the Grecian cities, when we compare them with that idea which a modern reader is apt to conceive of the measure of force belonging to a government, were essentially weak, the good as well as the bad,—the democratical, the oligarchical, and the despotic. The force in the hands of any government, to cope with conspirators or mutineers, was extremely small, with the single exception of a despot surrounded by his mercenary troop; so that no tolerably sustained conspiracy or usurper could be put down except by the direct aid of the people in support of the government; which amounted to a dissolution, for the time, of constitutional authority, and was pregnant with reactionary consequences such as no man could foresee. To prevent powerful men from attempting usurpation was, therefore, of the greatest possible moment; and a despot or an oligarchy might exercise preventive means at pleasure,[272] much sharper than the ostracism, such as the assassination of Kimon, mentioned in my last chapter, as directed by the Peisistratids. At the very least, they might send away any one, from whom they apprehended attack or danger, without incurring even so much as the imputation of severity. But in a democracy, where arbitrary action of the magistrate was the thing of[p. 153] all others most dreaded, and where fixed laws, with trial and defence as preliminaries to punishment, were conceived by the ordinary citizen as the guarantees of his personal security and as the pride of his social condition,—the creation of such an exceptional power presented serious difficulty. If we transport ourselves to the times of Kleisthenês, immediately after the expulsion of the Peisistratids, when the working of the democratical machinery was as yet untried, we shall find this difficulty at its maximum; but we shall also find the necessity of vesting such a power somewhere absolutely imperative. For the great Athenian nobles had yet to learn the lesson of respect for any constitution; their past history had exhibited continual struggles between the armed factions of Megaklês, Lykurgus, and Peisistratus, put down after a time by the superior force and alliances of the latter. And though Kleisthenês, the son of Megaklês, might be firmly disposed to renounce the example of his father, and to act as the faithful citizen of a fixed constitution,—he would know but too well that the sons of his father’s companions and rivals would follow out ambitious purposes without any regard to the limits imposed by law, if ever they acquired sufficient partisans to present a fair prospect of success. Moreover, when any two candidates for power, with such reckless dispositions, came into a bitter personal rivalry, the motives to each of them, arising as well out of fear as out of ambition, to put down his opponent at any cost to the constitution, might well become irresistible, unless some impartial and discerning interference could arrest the strife in time. “If the Athenians were wise (Aristeidês is reported to have said,[273] in the height and peril of his parliamentary struggle with Themistoklês), they would cast both Themistoklês and me into the barathrum.”[274] And whoever[p. 154] reads the sad narrative of the Korkyræan sedition, in the third book of Thucydidês, together with the reflections of the historian upon it,[275] will trace the gradual exasperation of these party feuds, beginning even under democratical forms, until at length they break down the barriers of public as well as of private morality.

Against this chance of internal assailants Kleisthenês had to protect the democratical constitution,—first, by throwing impediments in their way and rendering it difficult for them to procure the requisite support; next, by eliminating them before any violent projects were ripe for execution. To do either the one or the other, it was necessary to provide such a constitution as would not only conciliate the good-will, but kindle the passionate attachment, of the mass of citizens, insomuch that not even any considerable minority should be deliberately inclined to alter it by force. It was necessary to create in the multitude, and through them to force upon the leading ambitious men, that rare and difficult sentiment which we may term a constitutional morality; a paramount reverence for the forms of the constitution, enforcing obedience to the authorities acting under and within those forms, yet combined with the habit of open speech, of action subject only to definite legal control, and unrestrained censure of those very authorities as to all their public acts,—combined too with a perfect confidence in the bosom of every citizen, amidst the bitterness of party contest, that the forms of the constitution will be not less sacred in the eyes of his opponents than in his own. This coexistence of freedom and self-imposed restraint,—of obedience to authority with unmeasured censure of the persons exercising it,—may be found in the aristocracy of England (since about 1688) as well as in the democracy of the American United States: and because we are familiar with it, we are apt to suppose it a natural sentiment; though there seem to be few sentiments more difficult to establish and diffuse among a community, judging by the experience of history. We may see how imperfectly it exists at this day in the Swiss cantons; and the many violences of the first French revolution illustrate, among various other lessons, the fatal effects arising from its absence, even among a people high in the scale of intelligence. Yet the dif[p. 155]fusion of such constitutional morality, not merely among the majority of any community, but throughout the whole, is the indispensable condition of a government at once free and peaceable; since even any powerful and obstinate minority may render the working of free institutions impracticable, without being strong enough to conquer ascendency for themselves. Nothing less than unanimity, or so overwhelming a majority as to be tantamount to unanimity, on the cardinal point of respecting constitutional forms, even by those who do not wholly approve of them, can render the excitement of political passion bloodless, and yet expose all the authorities in the state to the full license of pacific criticism.

At the epoch of Kleisthenês, which by a remarkable coincidence is the same as that of the regifuge at Rome, such constitutional morality, if it existed anywhere else, had certainly no place at Athens; and the first creation of it in any particular society must be esteemed an interesting historical fact. By the spirit of his reforms,—equal, popular, and comprehensive, far beyond the previous experience of Athenians,—he secured the hearty attachment of the body of citizens; but from the first generation of leading men, under the nascent democracy, and with such precedents as they had to look back upon, no self-imposed limits to ambition could be expected: and the problem required was to eliminate beforehand any one about to transgress these limits, so as to escape the necessity of putting him down afterwards, with all that bloodshed and reaction, in the midst of which the free working of the constitution would be suspended at least, if not irrevocably extinguished. To acquire such influence as would render him dangerous under democratical forms, a man must stand in evidence before the public, so as to afford some reasonable means of judging of his character and purposes; and the security which Kleisthenês provided, was, to call in the positive judgment of the citizens respecting his future promise purely and simply, so that they might not remain too long neutral between two formidable political rivals,—pursuant in a certain way to the Solonian proclamation against neutrality in a sedition, as I have already remarked in a former chapter. He incorporated in the constitution itself the principle of privilegium (to employ the Roman phrase, which signifies, not a peculiar[p. 156] favor granted to any one, but a peculiar inconvenience imposed), yet only under circumstances solemn and well defined, with full notice and discussion beforehand, and by the positive secret vote of a large proportion of the citizens. “No law shall be made against any single citizen, without the same being made against all Athenian citizens; unless it shall so seem good to six thousand citizens voting secretly.”[276] Such was that general principle of the constitution, under which the ostracism was a particular case. Before the vote of ostracism could be taken, a case was to be made out in the senate and the public assembly to justify it. In the sixth prytany of the year, these two bodies debated and determined whether the state of the republic was menacing enough to call for such an exceptional measure.[277] If they decided in the affirmative, a day was named, the agora was railed round, with ten entrances left for the citizens of each tribe, and ten separate casks or vessels for depositing the suffrages, which consisted of a shell, or a potsherd, with the name of the person written on it whom each citizen designed to banish. At the end of the day, the number of votes was summed up, and if six thousand votes were found to have been given against any one person, that person was ostracized; if not, the ceremony ended in nothing.[278] Ten days were allowed to him for settling his af[p. 157]fairs, after which he was required to depart from Attica for ten years, but retained his property, and suffered no other penalty.

It was not the maxim at Athens to escape the errors of the people, by calling in the different errors, and the sinister interest besides, of an extra-popular or privileged few; nor was any third course open, since the principles of representative government were not understood, nor indeed conveniently applicable to very small communities. Beyond the judgment of the people—so the Athenians felt—there was no appeal; and their grand study was to surround the delivery of that judgment with the best securities for rectitude and the best preservatives against haste, passion, or private corruption. Whatever measure of good government could not be obtained in that way, could not, in their opinion, be obtained at all. I shall illustrate the Athenian proceedings on this head more fully when I come to speak of the working of their mature democracy: meanwhile, in respect to this grand protection of the nascent democracy,—the vote of ostracism,—it will be found that the securities devised by Kleisthenês, for making the sentence effectual against the really dangerous man, and against no one else, display not less foresight than patriotism. The main object was, to render the voting an expression of deliberate public feeling, as distinguished from mere factious antipathy: the large minimum of votes required, one-fourth of the entire citizen population, went far to insure this effect,—the more so, since each vote, taken as it was in a[p. 158] secret manner, counted unequivocally for the expression of a genuine and independent sentiment, and could neither be coerced nor bought. Then again, Kleisthenês did not permit the process of ostracizing to be opened against any one citizen exclusively. If opened at all, every one without exception was exposed to the sentence; so that the friends of Themistoklês could not invoke it against Aristeidês,[279] nor those of the latter against the former, without exposing their own leader to the same chance of exile. It was not likely to be invoked at all, therefore, until exasperation had proceeded so far as to render both parties insensible to this chance,—the precise index of that growing internecive hostility, which the ostracism prevented from coming to a head. Nor could it even then be ratified, unless a case was shown to convince the more neutral portion of the senate and the ekklesia: moreover, after all, the ekklesia did not itself ostracize, but a future day was named, and the whole body of the citizens were solemnly invited to vote. It was in this way that security was taken not only for making the ostracism effectual in protecting the constitution, but to hinder it from being employed for any other purpose. And we must recollect that it exercised its tutelary influence, not merely on those occasions when it was actually employed, but by the mere knowledge that it might be employed, and by the restraining effect which that knowledge produced on the conduct of the great men. Again, the ostracism, though essentially of an exceptional nature, was yet an exception sanctified and limited by the constitution itself; so that the citizen, in giving his ostracizing vote, did not in any way depart from the constitution or lose his reverence for it. The issue placed before him—“Is there any man whom you think vitally dangerous to the state? if so, whom?”—though vague, was yet raised directly and legally. Had there been no ostracism, it might probably have been raised both indirectly and illegally, on the occasion of some special imputed crime of a suspected political leader, when accused before a court of justice,[p. 159] —a perversion, involving all the mischief of the ostracism, without its protective benefits.

Care was taken to divest the ostracism of all painful consequence except what was inseparable from exile; and this is not one of the least proofs of the wisdom with which it was devised. Most certainly, it never deprived the public of candidates for political influence: and when we consider the small amount of individual evil which it inflicted,—evil too diminished, in the cases of Kimon and Aristeidês, by a reactionary sentiment which augmented their subsequent popularity after return,—two remarks will be quite sufficient to offer in the way of justification. First, it completely produced its intended effect; for the democracy grew up from infancy to manhood without a single attempt to overthrow it by force,[280]—a result, upon which no reflecting contemporary of Kleisthenês could have ventured to calculate. Next, through such tranquil working of the democratical forms, a constitutional morality quite sufficiently complete was produced among the leading Athenians, to enable the people after a certain time to dispense with that exceptional security which the ostracism offered.[281] To the nascent democ[p. 160]racy, it was absolutely indispensable; to the growing yet militant democracy, it was salutary; but the full-grown democracy both could and did stand without it. The ostracism passed upon Hyperbolus, about ninety years after Kleisthenês, was the last occasion of its employment. And even this can hardly be considered as a serious instance: it was a trick concerted between two distinguished Athenians (Nikias and Alkibiadês), to turn to their own political account a process already coming to be antiquated. Nor would such a manœuvre have been possible, if the contemporary Athenian citizens had been penetrated with the same, serious feeling of the value of ostracism as a safeguard of democracy, as had been once entertained by their fathers and grandfathers. Between Kleisthenês and Hyperbolus, we hear of about ten different persons as having been banished by ostracism. First of all, Hipparchus of the deme Cholargus, the son of Charmus, a relative of the recently-expelled Peisistratid despots;[282] then Aristeidês, Themistoklês, Kimon, and Thucydidês son of Melêsias, all of them renowned political leaders; also Alkibiadês and Megaklês (the paternal and maternal grandfathers of the distinguished Alkibiadês), and Kallias, belonging to another eminent family at Athens;[283] lastly, Damôn, the preceptor of Periklês in poetry and music, and eminent for his acquisitions in philosophy.[284] In this last case comes out the vulgar side of humanity, aristocratical as well as democratical; for with both, the process of philosophy and the persons of philosophers are wont to be alike unpopular. Even Kleisthenês himself is said to have been ostracized under his own law, and Xanthippus; but both upon authority too weak to trust.[285] Miltiadês was not ostracized at all, but tried and punished for misconduct in his command.

I should hardly have said so much about this memorable and[p. 161] peculiar institution of Kleisthenês, if the erroneous accusations against the Athenian democracy,—of envy, injustice, and ill-treatment of their superior men, had not been greatly founded upon it, and if such criticisms had not passed from ancient times to modern with little examination. In monarchical governments, a pretender to the throne, numbering a certain amount of supporters, is, as a matter of course, excluded from the country. The duke of Bordeaux cannot now reside in France,—nor could Napoleon after 1815,—nor Charles Edward in England during the last century. No man treats this as any extravagant injustice, yet it is the parallel of the ostracism,—with a stronger case in favor of the latter, inasmuch as the change from one regal dynasty to another does not of necessity overthrow all the collateral institutions and securities of the country. Plutarch has affirmed that the ostracism arose from the envy and jealousy inherent in a democracy,[286] and not from justifiable fears,—an observation often repeated, yet not the less demonstrably untrue. Not merely because ostracism so worked as often to increase the influence of that political leader whose rival it removed,—but still more, because, if the fact had been as Plutarch says, this institution would have continued as long as the democracy; whereas it finished with the banishment of Hyperbolus, at a period when the government was more decisively democratical than it had been in the time of Kleisthenês. It was, in truth, a product altogether of fear and insecurity,[287] on the part both of the democracy and its best friends,—fear perfectly well-grounded, and only appearing needless because the precautions taken prevented attack. So soon as the diffusion of a constitutional morality had placed the mass of the citizens above all serious fear of an aggressive usurper the ostracism was discontinued. And doubtless the feeling, that it might safely be dispensed with, must have been strengthened by the long ascendency of Periklês,—by the spectacle of the great[p. 162]est statesman whom Athens ever produced, acting steadily within the limits of the constitution; as well as by the ill-success of his two opponents, Kimon and Thucydidês,—aided by numerous partisans and by the great comic writers, at a period when comedy was a power in the state such as it has never been before or since,—in their attempts to get him ostracized. They succeeded in fanning up the ordinary antipathy of the citizens towards philosophers, so far as to procure the ostracism of his friend and teacher Damôn: but Periklês himself, to repeat the complaint of his bitter enemy, the comic poet Kratinus,[288] “was out of the reach of the oyster-shell.” If Periklês was not conceived to be dangerous to the constitution, none of his successors were at all likely to be so regarded. Damôn and Hyperbolus were the two last persons ostracized: both of them were cases, and the only cases, of an unequivocal abuse of the institution, because, whatever the grounds of displeasure against them may have been, it is impossible to conceive either of them as menacing to the state,—whereas all the other known sufferers were men of such position and power, that the six or eight thousand citizens who inscribed each name on the shell, or at least a large proportion of them, may well have done so under the most conscientious belief that they were guarding the constitution against real danger. Such a change, in the character of the persons ostracized, plainly evinces that the ostracism had become dissevered from that genuine patriotic prudence which originally rendered it both legitimate and popular. It had served for two generations an inestimable tutelary purpose,—it lived to be twice dishonored,—and then passed, by universal acquiescence, into matter of history.

A process analogous to the ostracism subsisted at Argos,[289] at Syracuse, and in some other Grecian democracies. Aristotle states that it was abused for factious purposes: and at Syracuse,[p. 163] where it was introduced after the expulsion of the Gelonian dynasty, Diodorus affirms that it was so unjustly and profusely applied, as to deter persons of wealth and station from taking any part in public affairs; for which reason it was speedily discontinued. We have no particulars to enable us to appreciate this general statement. But we cannot safely infer that because the ostracism worked on the whole well at Athens, it must necessarily have worked well in other states,—the more so, as we do not know whether it was surrounded with the same precautionary formalities, nor whether it even required the same large minimum of votes to make it effective. This latter guarantee, so valuable in regard to an institution essentially easy to abuse, is not noticed by Diodorus in his brief account of the Petalism,—so the process was denominated at Syracuse.[290]

Such was the first Athenian democracy, engendered as well by the reaction against Hippias and his dynasty as by the memorable partnership, whether spontaneous or compulsory, between Kleisthenês and the unfranchised multitude. It is to be distinguished, both from the mitigated oligarchy established by Solon before, and from the full-grown and symmetrical democracy which prevailed afterwards from the beginning of the Peloponnesian war towards the close of the career of Periklês. It was, indeed, a striking revolution, impressed upon the citizen not less by the sentiments to which it appealed than by the visible change which it made in political and social life. He saw himself marshalled in the ranks of hoplites, alongside of new companions in arms,—he was enrolled in a new register, and his property in a new schedule, in his deme and by his demarch, an officer before unknown,—he found the year distributed afresh, for all legal purposes, into ten parts bearing the name of prytanies, each marked by a solemn and free-spoken ekklesia, at which he had a right to be present,—that ekklesia was convoked and presided by senators called prytanes, members of a senate novel both as to number and distribution,—his political duties were now performed as member of a tribe, designated by a name not before[p. 164] pronounced in common Attic life, connected with one of ten heroes whose statues he now for the first time saw in the agora, and associating him with fellow-tribemen from all parts of Attica. All these and many others were sensible novelties, felt in the daily proceedings of the citizen. But the great novelty of all was, the authentic recognition of the ten new tribes as a sovereign dêmos, or people, apart from all specialties of phratric or gentile origin, with free speech and equal law; retaining no distinction except the four classes of the Solonian property-schedule with their gradations of eligibility. To a considerable proportion of citizens this great novelty was still farther endeared by the fact that it had raised them out of the degraded position of metics and slaves; and to the large majority of all the citizens, it furnished a splendid political idea, profoundly impressive to the Greek mind,—capable of calling forth the most ardent attachment as well as the most devoted sense of active obligation and obedience. We have now to see how their newly-created patriotism manifested itself.

Kleisthenês and his new constitution carried with them so completely the popular favor, that Isagoras had no other way of opposing it except by calling in the interference of Kleomenês and the Lacedæmonians. Kleomenês listened the more readily to this call, as he was reported to have been on an intimate footing with the wife of Isagoras. He prepared to come to Athens; but his first aim was to deprive the democracy of its great leader Kleisthenês, who, as belonging to the Alkmæônid family, was supposed to be tainted with the inherited sin of his great-grandfather Megaklês, the destroyer of the usurper Kylôn. Kleomenês sent a herald to Athens, demanding the expulsion “of the accursed,”—so this family were called by their enemies, and so they continued to be called eighty years afterwards, when the same manœuvre was practised by the Lacedæmonians of that day against Periklês. This requisition had been recommended by Isagoras, and was so well-timed that Kleisthenês, not venturing to disobey it, retired voluntarily, so that Kleomenês, though arriving at Athens only with a small force, found himself master of the city. At the instigation of Isagoras, he sent into exile seven hundred families, selected from the chief partisans of Kleisthenês: his next attempt was to dissolve the new Senate of[p. 165] Five Hundred and place the whole government in the hands of three hundred adherents of the chief whose cause he espoused. But now was seen the spirit infused into the people by their new constitution. At the time of the first usurpation of Peisistratus, the Senate of that day had not only not resisted, but even lent themselves to the scheme. But the new Senate of Kleisthenês resolutely refused to submit to dissolution, and the citizens manifested themselves in a way at once so hostile and so determined, that Kleomenês and Isagoras were altogether baffled. They were compelled to retire into the acropolis and stand upon the defensive; and this symptom of weakness was the signal for a general rising of the Athenians, who besieged the Spartan king on the holy rock. He had evidently come without any expectation of finding, or any means of overpowering, resistance; for at the end of two days his provisions were exhausted, and he was forced to capitulate. He and his Lacedæmonians, as well as Isagoras, were allowed to retire to Sparta; but the Athenians of the party captured along with him were imprisoned, condemned,[291] and executed by the people.

Kleisthenês, with the seven hundred exiled families, was immediately recalled, and his new constitution materially strengthened by this first success. Yet the prospect of renewed Spartan attack was sufficiently serious to induce him to send envoys to Artaphernês, the Persian satrap at Sardis, soliciting the admission of Athens into the Persian alliance: he probably feared the intrigues of the expelled Hippias in the same quarter. Artaphernês, having first informed himself who the Athenians were, and where they dwelt,—replied that, if they chose to send earth and water to the king of Persia, they might be received as allies, but upon no other condition. Such were the feelings of alarm under which the envoys had quitted Athens, that they went the length of promising this unqualified token of submission. But their countrymen, on their return, disavowed them with scorn and indignation.[292]

It was at this time that the first connection began between Athens and the little Bœotian town of Platæa, situated on the[p. 166] northern slope of the range of Kithæron, between that mountain and the river Asôpus,—on the road from Athens to Thebes; and it is upon this first occasion that we become acquainted with the Bœotians and their polities. In one of my preceding volumes,[293] the Bœotian federation has already been briefly described, as composed of some twelve or thirteen autonomous towns under the headship of Thebes, which was, or professed to have been, their mother-city. Platæa had been, so the Thebans affirmed, their latest foundation;[294] it was ill-used by them, and discontented with the alliance. Accordingly, as Kleomenês was on his way back from Athens, the Platæans took the opportunity of addressing themselves to him, craved the protection of Sparta against Thebes, and surrendered their town and territory without reserve. The Spartan king, having no motive to undertake a trust which promised nothing but trouble, advised them to solicit the protection of Athens, as nearer and more accessible for them in case of need. He foresaw that this would embroil the Athenians with Bœotia; and such anticipation was in fact his chief motive for giving the advice, which the Platæans followed. Selecting an occasion of public sacrifice at Athens, they dispatched thither envoys, who sat down as suppliants at the altar, surrendered their town to Athens, and implored protection against Thebes. Such an appeal was not to be resisted, and protection was promised; it was soon needed, for the Thebans invaded the Platæan territory, and an Athenian force marched to defend it. Battle was about to be joined, when the Corinthians interposed with their mediation, which was accepted by both parties. They decided altogether in favor of Platæa, pronouncing that the Thebans had no right to employ force against any seceding member of the Bœotian federation.[295] But the Thebans, finding the decision against them, refused to abide by it, and, attacking the Athenians on their return, sustained a complete defeat: the latter avenged this breach of faith by joining to Platæa the portion of Theban territory south of the Asôpus, and making that river the limit between[p. 167] the two. By such success, however, the Athenians gained nothing, except the enmity of Bœotia,—as Kleomenês had foreseen. Their alliance with Platæa, long continued, and presenting in the course of this history several incidents touching to our sympathies, will be found, if we except one splendid occasion,[296][p. 168] productive only of burden to the one party, yet insufficient as a protection to the other.

Meanwhile Kleomenês had returned to Sparta full of resentment against the Athenians, and resolved on punishing them, as well as on establishing his friend Isagoras as despot over them. Having been taught, however, by humiliating experience, that this was no easy achievement, he would not make the attempt, without having assembled a considerable force; he summoned allies from all the various states of Peloponnesus, yet without venturing to inform them what he was about to undertake. He at the same time concerted measures with the Bœotians, and with the Chalkidians of Eubœa, for a simultaneous invasion of Attica on all sides. It appears that he had greater confidence in their hostile dispositions towards Athens than in those of the Peloponnesians, for he was not afraid to acquaint them with his[p. 169] design,—and probably the Bœotians were incensed with the recent interference of Athens in the affair of Platæa. As soon as these preparations were completed, the two kings of Sparta, Kleomenês and Demaratus, put themselves at the head of the united Peloponnesian force, marched into Attica, and advanced as far as Eleusis on the way to Athens. But when the allies came to know the purpose for which they were to be employed, a spirit of dissatisfaction manifested itself among them. They had no unfriendly sentiment towards Athens; and the Corinthians especially, favorably disposed rather than otherwise towards that city, resolved to proceed no farther, withdrew their contingent from the camp, and returned home. At the same time, king Demaratus, either sharing in the general dissatisfaction, or moved by some grudge against his colleague which had not before manifested itself, renounced the undertaking also. And these two examples, operating upon the preëxisting sentiment of the allies generally, caused the whole camp to break up and return home without striking a blow.[297]

We may here remark that this is the first instance known in which Sparta appears in act as recognized head of an obligatory Peloponnesian alliance,[298] summoning contingents from the cities to be placed under the command of her king. Her headship, previously recognized in theory, passes now into act, but in an unsatisfactory manner, so as to prove the necessity of precaution and concert beforehand,—which will be found not long wanting.

Pursuant to the scheme concerted, the Bœotians and Chalkidians attacked Attica at the same time that Kleomenês entered it. The former seized Œnoê and Hysiæ, the frontier demes of Attica on the side towards Platæa, while the latter assailed the north-eastern frontier, which faces Eubœa. Invaded on three sides, the Athenians were in serious danger, and were compelled to concentrate all their forces at Eleusis against Kleomenês, leaving the Bœotians and Chalkidians unopposed. But the unexpected breaking up of the invading army from Peloponnesus[p. 170] proved their rescue, and enabled them to turn the whole of their attention to the other frontier. They marched into Bœotia to the strait called Euripus, which separates it from Eubœa, intending to prevent the junction of the Bœotians and Chalkidians, and to attack the latter first apart. But the arrival of the Bœotians caused an alteration in their scheme; they attacked the Bœotians first, and gained a victory of the most complete character,—killing a large number, and capturing seven hundred prisoners. On the very same day they crossed over to Eubœa, attacked the Chalkidians, and gained another victory so decisive that it at once terminated the war. Many Chalkidians were taken, as well as Bœotians, and conveyed in chains to Athens, where after a certain detention they were at last ransomed for two minæ per man; and the tenth of the sum thus raised was employed in the fabrication of a chariot and four horses in bronze, which was placed in the acropolis to commemorate the victory. Herodotus saw this trophy when he was at Athens. He saw too, what was a still more speaking trophy, the actual chains in which the prisoners had been fettered, exhibiting in their appearance the damage undergone when the acropolis was burnt by Xerxês: an inscription of four lines described the offerings and recorded the victory out of which they had sprung.[299]

Another consequence of some moment arose out of this victory. The Athenians planted a body of four thousand of their citizens as klêruchs (lot-holders) or settlers upon the lands of the wealthy Chalkidian oligarchy called the Hippobotæ,—proprietors probably in the fertile plain of Lêlantum, between Chalkis and Eretria. This is a system which we shall find hereafter extensively followed out by the Athenians in the days of their power; partly with the view of providing for their poorer citizens,—partly to serve as garrison among a population either hostile or of doubtful fidelity. These Attic klêruchs (I can find no other name by which to speak of them) did not lose their birthright as Athenian citizens: they were not colonists in the Grecian sense, and they are known by a totally different name,—but they corresponded very nearly to the colonies formally planted out on the conquered lands by Rome. The increase of[p. 171] the poorer population was always more or less painfully felt in every Grecian city. For though the aggregate population never seems to have increased very fast, yet the multiplication of children in poor families caused the subdivision of the smaller lots of land, until at last they became insufficient for a maintenance; and the persons thus impoverished found it difficult to obtain subsistence in other ways, more especially as the labor for the richer classes was so much performed by imported slaves. Doubtless some families possessed of landed property became extinct; but this did not at all benefit the smaller and poorer proprietors; for the lands thus rendered vacant passed, not to them, but by inheritance, or bequest, or intermarriage, to other proprietors, for the most part in easy circumstances,—since one opulent family usually intermarried with another. I shall enter more fully at a future opportunity into this question,—the great and serious problem of population, as it affected the Greek communities generally, and as it was dealt with in theory by the powerful minds of Plato and Aristotle. At present it is sufficient to notice that the numerous klêruchies sent out by Athens, of which this to Eubœa was the first, arose in a great measure out of the multiplication of the poorer population, which her extended power was employed in providing for. Her subsequent proceedings with a view to the same object will not be always found so justifiable as this now before us, which grew naturally, according to the ideas of the time, out of her success against the Chalkidians.

The war between Athens, however, and Thebes with her Bœotian allies, still continued, to the great and repeated disadvantage of the latter, until at length the Thebans in despair sent to ask advice of the Delphian oracle, and were directed to “solicit aid from those nearest to them.”[300] “How (they replied) are we to obey? Our nearest neighbors, of Tanagra, Korôneia, and Thespiæ, are now, and have been from the beginning, lending us all the aid in their power.” An ingenious Theban, however, coming to the relief of his perplexed fellow-citizens, dived into the depths of legend and brought up a happy meaning. “Those nearest to us (he said) are the inhabitants of Ægina: for Thêbê (the eponym of Thebes) and Ægina (the eponym of that island)[p. 172] were both sisters, daughters of Asôpus: let us send to crave assistance from the Æginetans.” If his subtle interpretation (founded upon their descent from the same legendary progenitors) did not at once convince all who heard it, at least no one had any better to suggest; and envoys were at once sent to the Æginetans,—who, in reply to a petition founded on legendary claims, sent to the help of the Thebans a reinforcement of legendary, but venerated, auxiliaries,—the Æakid heroes. We are left to suppose that their effigies are here meant. It was in vain, however, that the glory and the supposed presence of the Æakids Telamôn and Pêleus were introduced into the Theban camp. Victory still continued on the side of Athens; and the discouraged Thebans again sent to Ægina, restoring the heroes,[301] and praying for aid of a character more human and positive. Their request was granted, and the Æginetans commenced war against Athens without even the decent preliminary of a herald and declaration.[302]

This remarkable embassy first brings us into acquaintance with the Dorians of Ægina,—oligarchical, wealthy, commercial, and powerful at sea, even in the earliest days; more analogous to Corinth than to any of the other cities called Dorian. The hos[p. 173]tility which they now began without provocation against Athens,—repressed by Sparta at the critical moment of the battle of Marathon,—then again breaking out,—and hushed for a while by the common dangers of the Persian invasion under Xerxês, was appeased only with the conquest of the island about twenty years after that event, and with the expulsion and destruction of its inhabitants some years later. There had been indeed, according to Herodotus,[303] a feud of great antiquity between Athens and Ægina,—of which he gives the account in a singular narrative, blending together religion, politics, exposition of ancient customs, etc.; but at the time when the Thebans solicited aid from Ægina, the latter was at peace with Athens. The Æginetans employed their fleet, powerful for that day, in ravaging Phalêrum and the maritime demes of Attica; nor had the Athenians as yet any fleet to resist them.[304] It is probable that the desired effect was produced, of diverting a portion of the Athenian force from the war against Bœotia, and thus partially relieving Thebes. But the war of Athens against both of them continued for a considerable time, though we have no information respecting its details.

Meanwhile the attention of Athens was called off from these combined enemies by a more menacing cloud, which threatened to burst upon her from the side of Sparta. Kleomenês and his countrymen, full of resentment at the late inglorious desertion of Eleusis, were yet more incensed by the discovery, which appears to have been then recently made, that the injunctions of the Delphian priestess for the expulsion of Hippias from Athens had been fraudulently procured.[305] Moreover, Kleomenês, when shut up in the acropolis of Athens with Isagoras, had found there various prophecies previously treasured up by the Peisistratids, many of which foreshadowed events highly disastrous to Sparta. And while the recent brilliant manifestations of courage, and repeated victories, on the part of Athens, seemed to indicate that such prophecies might perhaps be realized,—Sparta had to reproach herself, that, from the foolish and mischievous conduct[p. 174] of Kleomenês, she had undone the effect of her previous aid against the Peisistratids, and thus lost that return of gratitude which the Athenians would otherwise have testified. Under such impressions, the Spartan authorities took the remarkable step of sending for Hippias from his residence at Sigeium to Peloponnesus, and of summoning deputies from all their allies to meet him at Sparta.

The convocation thus summoned deserves notice as the commencement of a new era in Grecian politics. The previous expedition of Kleomenês against Attica presents to us the first known example of Spartan headship passing from theory into act: that expedition miscarried because the allies, though willing to follow, would not follow blindly, nor be made the instruments of executing purposes repugnant to their feelings. Sparta had now learned the necessity, in order to insure their hearty concurrence, of letting them know what she contemplated, so as to ascertain at least that she had no decided opposition to apprehend. Here, then, is the third stage in the spontaneous movement of Greece towards a systematic conjunction, however imperfect, of its many autonomous units. First we have Spartan headship suggested in theory, from a concourse of circumstances which attract to her the admiration of all Greece,—power, unrivalled training, undisturbed antiquity, etc.: next, the theory passes into act, yet rude and shapeless: lastly, the act becomes clothed with formalities, and preceded by discussion and determination. The first convocation of the allies at Sparta, for the purpose of having a common object submitted to their consideration, may well be regarded as an important event in Grecian political history. The proceedings at the convocation are no less important, as an indication of the way in which the Greeks of that day felt and acted, and must be borne in mind as a contrast with times hereafter to be described.

Hippias having been presented to the assembled allies, the Spartans expressed their sorrow for having dethroned him,—their resentment and alarm at the new-born insolence of Athens,[306] already tasted by her immediate neighbors, and menacing to every state represented in the convocation,—and their anxiety to[p. 175] restore Hippias, not less as a reparation for past wrong, than as a means, through his rule, of keeping Athens low and dependent. But the proposition, though emanating from Sparta, was listened to by the allies with one common sentiment of repugnance. They had no sympathy for Hippias,—no dislike, still less any fear, of Athens,—and a profound detestation of the character of a despot. The spirit which had animated the armed contingents at Eleusis now reappeared among the deputies at Sparta, and the Corinthians again took the initiative. Their deputy Sosiklês protested against the project in the fiercest and most indignant strain: no language can be stronger than that of the long harangue which Herodotus puts into his mouth, wherein the bitter recollections prevalent at Corinth respecting Kypselus and Periander are poured forth. “Surely, heaven and earth are about to change places,—the fish are coming to dwell on dry land, and mankind going to inhabit the sea,—when you, Spartans, propose to subvert the popular governments, and to set up in the cities that wicked and bloody thing called a Despot.[307] First try what it is, for yourselves at Sparta, and then force it upon others if you can: you have not tasted its calamities as we have, and you take very good care to keep it away from yourselves. We adjure you, by the common gods of Hellas,—plant not despots in her cities: if you persist in a scheme so wicked, know that the Corinthians will not second you.”

This animated appeal was received with a shout of approbation and sympathy on the part of the allies. All with one accord united with Sosiklês in adjuring the Lacedæmonians[308] “not to revolutionize any Hellenic city.” No one listened to Hippias when he replied, warning the Corinthians that the time would come, when they, more than any one else, would dread and abhor the Athenian democracy, and wish the Peisistratidæ back again. He knew well, says Herodotus, that this would be, for he was better acquainted with the prophecies than any man. But no one then believed him, and he was forced to take his[p. 176] departure back to Sigeium: the Spartans not venturing to espouse his cause against the determined sentiment of the allies.[309]

That determined sentiment deserves notice, because it marks the present period of the Hellenic mind: fifty years later it will be found materially altered. Aversion to single-headed rule, and bitter recollection of men like Kypselus and Periander, are now the chords which thrill in an assembly of Grecian deputies: the idea of a revolution, implying thereby a great and comprehensive change, of which the party using the word disapproves, consists in substituting a permanent One in place of those periodical magistrates and assemblies which were the common attribute of oligarchy and democracy: the antithesis between these last two is as yet in the background, nor does there prevail either fear of Athens or hatred of the Athenian democracy. But when we turn to the period immediately before the Peloponnesian war, we find the order of precedence between these two sentiments reversed. The anti-monarchical feeling has not perished, but has been overlaid by other and more recent political antipathies,—the antithesis between democracy and oligarchy having become, not indeed the only sentiment, but the uppermost sentiment, in the minds of Grecian politicians generally, and the soul of active party-movement. Moreover, a hatred of the most deadly character has grown up against Athens and her democracy, especially in the grandsons of those very Corinthians who now stand forward as her sympathizing friends. The remarkable change of feeling here mentioned is nowhere so strikingly exhibited as when we contrast the address of the Corinthian Sosiklês, just narrated, with the speech of the Corinthian envoys at Sparta, immediately antecedent to the Peloponnesian war, as given to us in Thucydidês.[310] It will hereafter be fully explained by the intermediate events, by the growth of Athenian power, and by the still more miraculous development of Athenian energy.

Such development, the fruit of the fresh-planted democracy as well as the seed for its sustentation and aggrandizement, continued progressive during the whole period just adverted to. But the first unexpected burst of it, under the Kleisthenean constitution, and after the expulsion of Hippias, is described by[p. 177] Herodotus in terms too emphatic to be omitted. After narrating the successive victories of the Athenians over both Bœotians and Chalkidians, that historian proceeds: “Thus did the Athenians grow in strength. And we may find proof, not merely in this instance but everywhere else, how valuable a thing freedom is: since even the Athenians, while under a despot, were not superior in war to any of their surrounding neighbors, but, so soon as they got rid of their despots, became by far the first of all. These things show that while kept down by one man, they were slack and timid, like men working for a master; but when they were liberated, every single man became eager in exertions for his own benefit.” The same comparison reappears a short time afterwards, where he tells us, that “the Athenians when free, felt themselves a match for Sparta; but while kept down by any man under a despotism, were feeble and apt for submission.”[311]

Stronger expressions cannot be found to depict the rapid improvement wrought in the Athenian people by their new democracy. Of course this did not arise merely from suspension of previous cruelties, or better laws, or better administration. These, indeed, were essential conditions, but the active transforming cause here was, the principle and system of which such amendments formed the detail: the grand and new idea of the sovereign People, composed of free and equal citizens,—or liberty and equality, to use words which so profoundly moved the French nation half a century ago. It was this comprehensive political idea which acted with electric effect upon the Athenians, creating within them a host of sentiments, motives, sympathies, and capacities, to which they had before been strangers. Democracy in Grecian antiquity possessed the privilege,[p. 178] not only of kindling an earnest and unanimous attachment to the constitution in the bosoms of the citizens, but also of creating an energy of public and private action, such as could never be obtained under an oligarchy, where the utmost that could be hoped for was a passive acquiescence and obedience. Mr. Burke has remarked that the mass of the people are generally very indifferent about theories of government; but such indifference—although improvements in the practical working of all governments tend to foster it—is hardly to be expected among any people who exhibit decided mental activity and spirit on other matters; and the reverse was unquestionably true, in the year 500 B. C., among the communities of ancient Greece. Theories of government were there anything but a dead letter: they were connected with emotions of the strongest as well as of the most opposite character. The theory of a permanent ruling One, for example, was universally odious: that of a ruling Few, though acquiesced in, was never positively attractive, unless either where it was associated with the maintenance of peculiar education and habits, as at Sparta, or where it presented itself as the only antithesis to democracy, the latter having by peculiar circumstances become an object of terror. But the theory of democracy was preëminently seductive; creating in the mass of the citizens an intense positive attachment, and disposing them to voluntary action and suffering on its behalf, such as no coercion on the part of other governments could extort. Herodotus,[312] in his comparison of the three sorts of government, puts in the front rank of the advantages of democracy, “its most splendid name and promise,”—its power of enlisting the hearts of the citizens in support of their constitution, and of providing for all a common bond of union and fraternity. This is what even democracy did not always do: but it was what no other government in Greece could do: a reason alone sufficient to stamp it as[p. 179] the best government, and presenting the greatest chance of beneficent results, for a Grecian community. Among the Athenian citizens, certainly, it produced a strength and unanimity of positive political sentiment, such as has rarely been seen in the history of mankind, which excites our surprise and admiration the more when we compare it with the apathy which had preceded,—and which is even implied as the natural state of the public mind in Solon’s famous proclamation against neutrality in a sedition.[313] Because democracy happens to be unpalatable to most modern readers, they have been accustomed to look upon the sentiment here described only in its least honorable manifestations,—in the caricatures of Aristophanês, or in the empty common-places of rhetorical declaimers. But it is not in this way that the force, the earnestness, or the binding value, of democratical sentiment at Athens is to be measured. We must listen to it as it comes from the lips of Periklês,[314] while he is strenuously enforcing upon the people those active duties for which it both implanted the stimulus and supplied the courage; or from the oligarchical Nikias in the harbor of Syracuse, when he is endeavoring to revive the courage of his despairing troops for one last death-struggle, and when he appeals to their democratical patriotism as to the only flame yet alive and burning even in that moment of agony.[315] From the time of Kleisthenês downward, the creation of this new mighty impulse makes an entire revolution in the Athenian character. And if the change still stood out in so prominent a manner before the eyes of Herodotus, much more must it have been felt by the contemporaries among whom it occurred.

The attachment of an Athenian citizen to his democratical constitution comprised two distinct veins of sentiment: first, his rights, protection, and advantages derived from it,—next, his obligations of exertion and sacrifice towards it and with reference[p. 180] to it. Neither of these two veins of sentiment was ever wholly absent; but according as the one or the other was present at different times in varying proportions, the patriotism of the citizen was a very different feeling. That which Herodotus remarks is, the extraordinary efforts of heart and hand which the Athenians suddenly displayed,—the efficacy of the active sentiment throughout the bulk of the citizens; and we shall observe even more memorable evidences of the same phenomenon in tracing down the history from Kleisthenês to the end of the Peloponnesian war: we shall trace a series of events and motives eminently calculated to stimulate that self-imposed labor and discipline which the early democracy had first called forth. But when we advance farther down, from the restoration of the democracy after the Thirty Tyrants to the time of Demosthenês,—I venture upon this brief anticipation, in the conviction that one period of Grecian history can only be thoroughly understood by contrasting it with another,—we shall find a sensible change in Athenian patriotism. The active sentiment of obligation is comparatively inoperative,—the citizen, it is true, has a keen sense of the value of the democracy as protecting him and insuring to him valuable rights, and he is, moreover, willing to perform his ordinary sphere of legal duties towards it; but he looks upon it as a thing established, and capable of maintaining itself in a due measure of foreign ascendency, without any such personal efforts as those which his forefathers cheerfully imposed upon themselves. The orations of Demosthenês contain melancholy proofs of such altered tone of patriotism,—of that languor, paralysis, and waiting for others to act, which preceded the catastrophe of Chæroneia, notwithstanding an unabated attachment to the democracy as a source of protection and good government.[316] That same preternatural activity which the allies of Sparta, at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, both denounced and admired in the Athenians, is noted by the orator as now belonging to their enemy Philip.

[p. 181]Such variations in the scale of national energy pervade history, modern as well as ancient, but in regard to Grecian history, especially, they can never be overlooked. For a certain measure, not only of positive political attachment, but also of active self-devotion, military readiness, and personal effort, was the indispensable condition of maintaining Hellenic autonomy, either in Athens or elsewhere; and became so more than ever when the Macedonians were once organized under an enterprising and semi-Hellenized prince. The democracy was the first creative cause of that astonishing personal and many-sided energy which marked the Athenian character, for a century downward from Kleisthenês. That the same ultra-Hellenic activity did not longer continue, is referable to other causes, which will be hereafter in part explained. No system of government, even supposing it to be very much better and more faultless than the Athenian democracy, can ever pretend to accomplish its legitimate end apart from the personal character of the people, or to supersede the necessity of individual virtue and vigor. During the half-century immediately preceding the battle of Chæroneia, the Athenians had lost that remarkable energy which distinguished them during the first century of their democracy, and had fallen much more nearly to a level with the other Greeks, in common with whom they were obliged to yield to the pressure of a foreign enemy. I here briefly notice their last period of languor, in contrast with the first burst of democratical fervor under Kleisthenês, now opening,—a feeling which will be found, as we proceed, to continue for a longer period than could have been reasonably anticipated, but which was too high-strung to become a perpetual and inherent attribute of any community.

[p. 182]


In the preceding chapter, I have followed the history of Central Greece very nearly down to the point at which the history of the Asiatic Greeks becomes blended with it, and after which the two streams begin to flow to a great degree in the same channel. I now revert to the affairs of the Asiatic Greeks, and of the Asiatic kings as connected with them, at the point in which they were left in my seventeenth chapter.

The concluding facts recounted in that chapter were of sad and serious moment to the Hellenic world. The Ionic and Æolic Greeks on the Asiatic coast had been conquered and made tributary by the Lydian king Crœsus: “down to that time (says Herodotus) all Greeks had been free.” Their conqueror Crœsus, who ascended the throne in 560 B. C., appeared to be at the summit of human prosperity and power in his unassailable capital, and with his countless treasures at Sardis. His dominions comprised nearly the whole of Asia Minor, as far as the river Halys to the east; on the other side of that river began the Median monarchy under his brother-in-law Astyagês, extending eastward to some boundary which we cannot define, but comprising in a south-eastern direction Persis proper, or Farsistan, and separated from the Kissians and Assyrians on the west by the line of Mount Zagros—the present boundary-line between Persia and Turkey. Babylonia, with its wondrous city, between the Euphrates and the Tigris, was occupied by the Assyrians, or Chaldæans, under their king Labynêtus: a territory populous and fertile, partly by nature, partly by prodigies of labor, to a degree which makes us mistrust even an honest eye-witness who describes it afterwards in its decline,—but which was then in its most flourishing condition. The Chaldæan dominion under Labynêtus reached to the borders of Egypt, including, as dependent territories, both Judæa and Phe[p. 183]nicia. In Egypt reigned the native king Amasis, powerful and affluent, sustained in his throne by a large body of Grecian mercenaries, and himself favorably disposed to Grecian commerce and settlement. Both with Labynêtus and with Amasis, Crœsus was on terms of alliance; and as Astyagês was his brother-in-law, the four kings might well be deemed out of the reach of calamity. Yet within the space of thirty years or a little more, the whole of their territories had become embodied in one vast empire, under the son of an adventurer as yet not known even by name.

The rise and fall of Oriental dynasties has been in all times distinguished by the same general features. A brave and adventurous prince, at the head of a population at once poor, warlike, and greedy, acquires dominion,—while his successors, abandoning themselves to sensuality and sloth, probably also to oppressive and irascible dispositions, become in process of time victims to those same qualities in a stranger which had enabled their own father to seize the throne. Cyrus, the great founder of the Persian empire, first the subject and afterwards the dethroner of the Median Astyagês, corresponds to this general description, as far at least as we can pretend to know his history. For in truth, even the conquests of Cyrus, after he became ruler of Media, are very imperfectly known, whilst the facts which preceded his rise up to that sovereignty cannot be said to be known at all: we have to choose between different accounts at variance with each other, and of which the most complete and detailed is stamped with all the character of romance. The Cyropædia of Xenophon is memorable and interesting, considered with reference to the Greek mind, and as a philosophical novel:[317] that it should have been quoted so largely as authority on matters of history, is only one proof among many how easily authors have been satisfied as to the essentials of historical evidence. The narrative given by Herodotus of the relations between Cyrus and Astyagês, agreeing with Xenophon in little more than the fact that it makes Cyrus son of Kambysês and Mandanê, and[p. 184] grandson of Astyagês, goes even beyond the story of Romulus and Remus in respect to tragical incident and contrast. Astyagês, alarmed by a dream, condemns the new-born infant of his daughter Mandanê to be exposed: Harpagus, to whom the order is given, delivers the child to one of the royal herdsmen, who exposes it in the mountains, where it is miraculously suckled by a bitch.[318] Thus preserved, and afterwards brought up as the herdsman’s child, Cyrus manifests great superiority both physical and mental, is chosen king in play by the boys of the village, and in this capacity severely chastises the son of one of the courtiers; for which offence he is carried before Astyagês, who recognizes him for his grandson, but is assured by the Magi that his dream is out, and that he has no farther danger to apprehend from the boy,—and therefore permits him to live. With Harpagus, however, Astyagês is extremely incensed, for not having executed his orders: he causes the son of Harpagus to be slain, and served up to be eaten by his unconscious father at a regal banquet. The father, apprized afterwards of the fact, dissembles his feelings, but conceives a deadly vengeance against Astyagês for this Thyestean meal. He persuades Cyrus, who has been sent back to his father and mother in Persia, to head a revolt[p. 185] of the Persians against the Medes; whilst Astyagês—to fill up the Grecian conception of madness as a precursor to ruin—sends an army against the revolters, commanded by Harpagus himself. Of course the army is defeated,—Astyagês, after a vain resistance, is dethroned,—Cyrus becomes king in his place,—and Harpagus repays the outrage which he has undergone by the bitterest insults.

Such are the heads of a beautiful narrative which is given at some length in Herodotus. It will probably appear to the reader sufficiently romantic, though the historian intimates that he had heard three other narratives different from it, and that all were more full of marvels, as well as in wider circulation, than his own, which he had borrowed from some unusually sober-minded Persian informants.[319] In what points the other three stories departed from it, we do not hear.

To the historian of Halikarnassus, we have to oppose the physician of the neighboring town Knidus,—Ktêsias, who contradicted Herodotus, not without strong terms of censure, on many points, and especially upon that which is the very foundation of the early narrative respecting Cyrus; for he affirmed that Cyrus was noway related to Astyagês.[320] However indignant we may be with Ktêsias, for the disparaging epithets which he presumed to apply to an historian whose work is to us inestimable,—we must nevertheless admit that as surgeon, in actual attendance on king Artaxerxês Mnêmon, and healer of the[p. 186] wound inflicted on that prince at Kunaxa by his brother Cyrus the younger,[321] he had better opportunities even than Herodotus of conversing with sober-minded Persians; and that the discrepancies between the two statements are to be taken as a proof of the prevalence of discordant, yet equally accredited, stories. Herodotus himself was in fact compelled to choose one out of four. So rare and late a plant is historical authenticity.

That Cyrus was the first Persian conqueror, and that the space which he overran covered no less than fifty degrees of longitude, from the coast of Asia Minor to the Oxus and the Indus, are facts quite indisputable; but of the steps by which this was achieved, we know very little. The native Persians, whom he conducted to an empire so immense, were an aggregate of seven agricultural and four nomadic tribes,—all of them rude, hardy, and brave,[322]—dwelling in a mountainous region, clothed in skins, ignorant of wine or fruit, or any of the commonest luxuries of life, and despising the very idea of purchase or sale. Their tribes were very unequal in point of dignity, probably also in respect to numbers and powers, among one another: first in estimation among them stood the Pasargadæ; and the first phratry, or clan, among the Pasargadæ were the Achæmenidæ, to whom Cyrus himself belonged. Whether his relationship to the Median king whom he dethroned was a matter of fact, or a politic fiction, we cannot well determine. But Xenophon, in noticing the spacious deserted cities, Larissa and Mespila,[323] which he saw in his march with the Ten Thousand[p. 187] Greeks on the eastern side of the Tigris, gives us to understand that the conquest of Media by the Persians was reported to him as having been an obstinate and protracted struggle. However this may be, the preponderance of the Persians was at last complete: though the Medes always continued to be the second nation in the empire, after the Persians, properly so called; and by early Greek writers the great enemy in the East is often called “the Mede,[324]” as well as “the Persian.” Ekbatana always continued to be one of the capital cities, and the usual summer residence, of the kings of Persia; Susa on the Choaspês, on the Kissian plain farther southward, and east of the Tigris, being their winter abode.

The vast space of country comprised between the Indus on the east, the Oxus and Caspian sea to the north, the Persian gulf and Indian ocean to the south, and the line of Mount Zagros to the west, appears to have been occupied in these times by a great variety of different tribes and people, but all or most of them belonging to the religion of Zoroaster, and speaking dialects of the Zend language.[325] It was known amongst its inhabitants by the common name of Iran, or Aria: it is, in its central parts at least, a high, cold plateau, totally destitute of wood and scantily supplied with water; much of it, indeed, is a salt and sandy desert, unsusceptible of culture. Parts of it are eminently fertile, where water can be procured and irrigation applied; and scattered masses of tolerably dense population thus grew up. But continuity of cultivation is not practicable, and in ancient times, as at present, a large proportion of the population of Iran seems to have consisted of wandering or nomadic tribes, with their tents and cattle. The rich pastures, and the freshness of the summer climate, in the region of mountain and valley near Ekbatana, are extolled by modern travellers, just as they attracted the Great King in ancient times, during the hot months. The[p. 188] more southerly province called Persis proper (Farsistan) consists also in part of mountain land interspersed with valley and plain, abundantly watered, and ample in pasture, sloping gradually down to low grounds on the sea-coast which are hot and dry. The care bestowed, both by Medes and Persians, on the breeding of their horses, was remarkable.[326] There were doubtless material differences between different parts of the population of this vast plateau of Iran. Yet it seems that, along with their common language and religion, they had also something of a common character, which contrasted with the Indian population east of the Indus, the Assyrians west of Mount Zagros, and the Massagetæ and other Nomads of the Caspian and the sea of Aral,—less brutish, restless, and bloodthirsty, than the latter,—more fierce, contemptuous, and extortionate, and less capable of sustained industry, than the two former. There can be little doubt, at the time of which we are now speaking, when the wealth and cultivation of Assyria were at their maximum, that Iran also was far better peopled than ever it has been since European observers have been able to survey it; especially the north-eastern portion, Baktria and Sogdiana: so that the invasions of the nomads from Turkestan and Tartary, which have been so destructive at various intervals since the Mohammedan conquest, were before that period successfully kept back.

The general analogy among the population of Iran probably enabled the Persian conqueror with comparative ease to extend his empire to the east, after the conquest of Ekbatana, and to become the full heir of the Median kings. And if we may believe Ktêsias, even the distant province of Baktria had been before subject to those kings: it at first resisted Cyrus, but finding that he had become son-in-law of Astyagês as well as master of his person, it speedily acknowledged his authority.[327]

According to the representation of Herodotus, the war between Cyrus and Crœsus of Lydia began shortly after the capture of Astyagês, and before the conquest of Baktria.[328] Crœsus was[p. 189] the assailant, wishing to avenge his brother-in-law, to arrest the growth of the Persian conqueror, and to increase his own dominions: his more prudent councillors in vain represented to him that he had little to gain, and much to lose, by war with a nation alike hardy and poor. He is represented, as just at that time recovering from the affliction arising out of the death of his son. To ask advice of the oracle, before he took any final decision, was a step which no pious king would omit; but in the present perilous question, Crœsus did more,—he took a precaution so extreme, that, if his piety had not been placed beyond all doubt by his extraordinary munificence to the temples, he might have drawn upon himself the suspicion of a guilty skepticism.[329] Before he would send to ask advice respecting the project itself, he resolved to test the credit of some of the chief surrounding oracles,—Delphi, Dôdôna, Branchidæ near Milêtus, Amphiaraus at Thebes, Trophônius at Lebadeia, and Ammôn in Libya. His envoys started from Sardis on the same day, and were all directed on the hundredth day afterwards to ask at the respective oracles how Crœsus was at that precise moment employed. This was a severe trial: of the manner in which it was met by four out of the six oracles consulted, we have no information, and it rather appears that their answers were unsatisfactory. But Amphiaraus maintained his credit undiminished, and Apollo at Delphi, more omniscient than Apollo at Branchidæ, solved the question with such unerring precision, as to afford a strong additional argument against persons who might be disposed to scoff at divination. No sooner had the envoys put the question to the Delphian priestess, on the day named, “What is Crœsus now doing?” than she exclaimed, in the accustomed hexameter verse,[330] “I know the number of grains of sand, and the measures of the sea; I understand the dumb, and I hear the man who speaks not. The smell reaches me of a hard-skinned tortoise boiled in a copper with lamb’s flesh,—copper above and copper below.” Crœsus was[p. 190] awestruck on receiving this reply. It described with the utmost detail that which he had been really doing, insomuch that he accounted the Delphian oracle and that of Amphiaraus the only trustworthy oracles on earth,—following up these feelings with a holocaust of the most munificent character, in order to win the favor of the Delphian god. Three thousand cattle were offered up, and upon a vast sacrificial pile were placed the most splendid purple robes and tunics, together with couches and censers of gold and silver: besides which he sent to Delphi itself the richest presents in gold and silver,—ingots, statues, bowls, jugs, etc., the size and weight of which we read with astonishment; the more so as Herodotus himself saw them a century afterwards at Delphi.[331] Nor was Crœsus altogether unmindful of Amphiaraus, whose answer had been creditable, though less triumphant than that of the Pythian priestess. He sent to Amphiaraus a spear and shield of pure gold, which were afterwards seen at Thebes by Herodotus: this large donative may help the reader to conceive the immensity of those which he sent to Delphi.

The envoys who conveyed these gifts were instructed to ask, at the same time, whether Crœsus should undertake an expedition against the Persians,—and, if so, whether he should prevail on any allies to assist him. In regard to the second question, the answer both of Apollo and Amphiaraus was decisive, recommending him to invite the alliance of the most powerful Greeks. In regard to the first and most momentous question, their answer was as remarkable for circumspection as it had been before for detective sagacity: they told Crœsus that, if he invaded the Persians, he would subvert a mighty monarchy. The blindness of Crœsus interpreted this declaration into an unqualified promise of success. He sent farther presents to the oracle, and again inquired whether his kingdom would be durable. “When a mule shall become king of the Medes (replied the priestess), then must thou run away,—be not ashamed.”[332]

More assured than ever by such an answer, Crœsus sent to Sparta, under the kings Anaxandridês and Aristo, to tender presents and solicit their alliance.[333] His propositions were fa[p. 191]vorably entertained,—the more so, as he had before gratuitously furnished some gold to the Lacedæmonians, for a statue to Apollo. The alliance now formed was altogether general,—no express effort being as yet demanded from them, though it soon came to be. But the incident is to be noted, as marking the first plunge of the leading Grecian state into Asiatic politics; and that too without any of the generous Hellenic sympathy which afterwards induced Athens to send her citizens across the Ægean. Crœsus was the master and tribute-exactor of the Asiatic Greeks, and their contingents seem to have formed part of his army for the expedition now contemplated; which army consisted principally, not of native Lydians, but of foreigners.

The river Halys formed the boundary at this time between the Median and Lydian empires: and Crœsus, marching across that river into the territory of the Syrians or Assyrians of Kappadokia, took the city of Pteria and many of its surrounding dependencies, inflicting damage and destruction upon these distant subjects of Ekbatana. Cyrus lost no time in bringing an army to their defence considerably larger than that of Crœsus, and at the same time tried, though unsuccessfully, to prevail on the Ionians to revolt from him. A bloody battle took place between the two armies, but with indecisive result: and Crœsus, seeing that he could not hope to accomplish more with his forces as they stood, thought it wise to return to his capital, in order to collect a larger army for the next campaign. Immediately on reaching Sardis, he despatched envoys to Labynêtus king of Babylon; to Amasis king of Egypt; to the Lacedæmonians, and to other allies; calling upon all of them to send auxiliaries to Sardis during the course of the fifth coming month. In the mean time, he dismissed all the foreign troops who had followed him into Kappadokia.[334]

Had these allies appeared, the war might perhaps have been prosecuted with success; and on the part of the Lacedæmonians at least, there was no tardiness; for their ships were ready and their troops almost on board, when the unexpected news reached them that Crœsus was already ruined.[335] Cyrus had foreseen and forestalled the defensive plan of his enemy. He pushed on with[p. 192] his army to Sardis without delay, compelling the Lydian prince to give battle with his own unassisted subjects. The open and spacious plain before that town was highly favorable to the Lydian cavalry, which at that time, Herodotus tells us, was superior to the Persian. But Cyrus devised a stratagem whereby this cavalry was rendered unavailable,—placing in front of his line the baggage camels, which the Lydian horses could not endure either to smell or to behold.[336] The horsemen of Crœsus were thus obliged to dismount; nevertheless, they fought bravely on foot, and were not driven into the town till after a sanguinary combat.

Though confined within the walls of his capital, Crœsus had still good reason for hoping to hold out until the arrival of his allies, to whom he sent pressing envoys of acceleration: for Sardis was considered impregnable,—one assault had already been repulsed, and the Persians would have been reduced to the slow process of blockade. But on the fourteenth day of the siege, accident did for the besiegers that which they could not have accomplished either by skill or force. Sardis was situated on an outlying peak of the northern side of Tmôlus; it was well-fortified everywhere except towards the mountain; and on that side, the rock, was so precipitous and inaccessible, that fortifications were thought unnecessary, nor did the inhabitants believe assault to be possible. But Hyrœades, a Persian soldier, having accidentally seen one of the garrison descending this precipitous rock to pick up his helmet, which had rolled down, watched his opportunity, tried to climb up, and found it not impracticable. Others followed his example, the strong-hold was thus seized first, and the whole city was speedily taken by storm.[337]

Cyrus had given especial orders to spare the life of Crœsus, who was accordingly made prisoner. But preparations were made for a solemn and terrible spectacle. The captive king was destined to be burnt in chains, together with fourteen Lydian youths, on a vast pile of wood: and we are even told that the pile was already kindled and the victim beyond the reach of human aid, when Apollo sent a miraculous rain to preserve him.[p. 193] As to the general fact of supernatural interposition, in one way or another, Herodotus and Ktêsias both agree, though they describe differently the particular miracles wrought.[338] It is certain that Crœsus, after some time, was released and well treated by his conqueror, and lived to become the confidential adviser of the latter as well as of his son Kambysês:[339] Ktêsias also acquaints us that a considerable town and territory near Ekbatana, called Barênê, was assigned to him, according to a practice which we shall find not unfrequent with the Persian kings.

The prudent counsel and remarks as to the relations between Persians and Lydians, whereby Crœsus is said by Herodotus to have first earned this favorable treatment, are hardly worth repeating; but the indignant remonstrance sent by Crœsus to the Delphian god is too characteristic to be passed over. He obtained permission from Cyrus to lay upon the holy pavement of the Delphian temple the chains with which he had at first been bound. The Lydian envoys were instructed, after exhibiting to the god these[p. 194] humiliating memorials, to ask whether it was his custom to deceive his benefactors, and whether he was not ashamed to have encouraged the king of Lydia in an enterprise so disastrous? The god, condescending to justify himself by the lips of the priestess, replied: “Not even a god can escape his destiny. Crœsus has suffered for the sin of his fifth ancestor (Gygês), who, conspiring with a woman, slew his master and wrongfully seized the sceptre. Apollo employed all his influence with the Mœræ (Fates) to obtain that this sin might be expiated by the children of Crœsus, and not by Crœsus himself; but the Mœræ would grant nothing more than a postponement of the judgment for three years. Let Crœsus know that Apollo has thus procured for him a reign three years longer than his original destiny,[340] after having tried in vain to rescue him altogether. Moreover, he sent that rain which at the critical moment extinguished the burning pile. Nor has Crœsus any right to complain of the prophecy by which he was encouraged to enter on the war; for when the god told him, that he would subvert a great empire, it was his duty to have again inquired which empire the god meant; and if he neither understood the meaning, nor chose to ask for information, he has himself to blame for the result. Besides, Crœsus neglected the warning given to him, about the acquisition of the Median kingdom by a mule: Cyrus was that mule,—son of a Median mother of royal breed, by a Persian father, at once of different race and of lower position.”

This triumphant justification extorted even from Crœsus himself a full confession, that the sin lay with him, and not with the god.[341] It certainly illustrates, in a remarkable manner, the theological ideas of the time; and it shows us how much, in the mind[p. 195] of Herodotus, the facts of the centuries preceding his own, unrecorded as they were by any contemporary authority, tended to cast themselves into a sort of religious drama; the threads of the historical web being in part put together, in part originally spun, for the purpose of setting forth the religious sentiment and doctrine woven in as a pattern. The Pythian priestess predicts to Gygês that the crime which he had committed in assassinating his master would be expiated by his fifth descendant, though, as Herodotus tells us, no one took any notice of this prophecy until it was at last fulfilled:[342] we see thus that the history of the first Mermnad king is made up after the catastrophe of the last. There was something in the main facts of the history of Crœsus profoundly striking to the Greek mind: a king at the summit of wealth and power,—pious in the extreme, and munificent towards the gods,—the first destroyer of Hellenic liberty in Asia,—then precipitated, at once and on a sudden, into the abyss of ruin. The sin of the first parent helped much towards the solution of this perplexing problem, as well as to exalt the credit of the oracle, when made to assume the shape of an unnoticed prophecy. In the affecting story (discussed in a former chapter[343]) of Solon and Crœsus, the Lydian king is punished with an acute domestic affliction, because he thought himself the happiest of mankind,—the gods not suffering anyone to be arrogant except themselves;[344] and the warning of Solon is made to recur to Crœsus after he has become the prisoner of Cyrus, in the narrative of Herodotus. To the same vein of thought belongs the story, just recounted, of the relations of Crœsus with the Delphian oracle. An account is provided, satisfactory to the religious feelings of the Greeks, how and why he was ruined,—but nothing less than the overruling and omnipotent Mœræ could be invoked to explain so stupendous a result.

It is rarely that these supreme goddesses, or hyper-goddesses—since the gods themselves must submit to them—are brought into such distinct light and action. Usually, they are kept in the dark, or are left to be understood as the unseen stumbling-block[p. 196] in cases of extreme incomprehensibility; and it is difficult clearly to determine (as in the case of some complicated political constitutions) where the Greeks conceived sovereign power to reside, in respect to the government of the world. But here the sovereignty of the Mœræ, and the subordinate agency of the gods, are unequivocally set forth.[345] Yet the gods are still extremely pow[p. 197]erful, because the Mœræ comply with their requests up to a certain point, not thinking it proper to be wholly inexorable; but their compliance is carried no farther than they themselves choose. Nor would they, even in deference to Apollo,[346] alter the original sentence of punishment for the sin of Gygês in the person of his fifth descendant,—a sentence, moreover, which Apollo himself had formally prophesied shortly after the sin was committed; so that, if the Mœræ had listened to his intercession on behalf of Crœsus, his own prophetic credit would have been endangered. Their unalterable resolution has predetermined the ruin of Crœsus, and the grandeur of the event is manifested by the circumstance, that even Apollo himself cannot prevail upon them to alter it, or to grant more than a three years’ respite. The religious element must here be viewed as giving the form—the historical element as giving the matter only, and not the whole matter—of the story; and these two elements will be found conjoined more or less throughout most of the history of Herodotus, though, as we descend to later times, we shall find the historical element in constantly increasing proportion. His conception of history is extremely different from that of Thucydidês, who lays down to himself the true scheme and purpose of the[p. 198] historian, common to him with the philosopher,—to recount and interpret the past, as a rational aid towards the prevision of the future.[347]

The destruction of the Lydian monarchy, and the establishment of the Persians at Sardis—an event pregnant with consequences to Hellas generally—took place in 546 B. C.[348] Sorely did the Ionic Greeks now repent that they had rejected the propositions made to them by Cyrus for revolting from Crœsus,—though at the time when these propositions were made, it would have been highly imprudent to listen to them, since the Lydian power might reasonably be looked upon as the stronger. As soon as Sardis had fallen, they sent envoys to the conqueror, entreating that they might be enrolled as his tributaries, on the footing which they had occupied under Crœsus. The reply was a stern and angry refusal, with the exception of the Milesians, to whom the terms which they asked were granted:[349] why this favorable exception was extended to them, we do not know. The other continental Ionians and Æolians (exclusive of Milêtus, and exclusive also of the insular cities which the Persians had no means of attacking), seized with alarm, began to put themselves[p. 199] in a condition of defence: it seems that the Lydian king had caused their fortifications to be wholly or partially dismantled, for we are told that they now began to erect walls; and the Phôkæans especially devoted to that purpose a present which they had received from the Iberian Arganthônius, king of Tartêssus. Besides thus strengthening their own cities, they thought it advisable to send a joint embassy entreating aid from Sparta; they doubtless were not unapprized that the Spartans had actually equipped an army for the support of Crœsus. Their deputies went to Sparta, where the Phôkæan Pythermus, appointed by the rest to be spokesman, clothing himself in a purple robe,[350] in order to attract the largest audience possible, set forth their pressing need of succor against the impending danger. The Lacedæmonians refused the prayer; nevertheless, they despatched to Phôkæa some commissioners to investigate the state of affairs,—who perhaps, persuaded by the Phôkæans, sent Lakrinês, one of their number, to the conqueror at Sardis, to warn him that he should not lay hands on any city of Hellas,—for the Lacedæmonians would not permit it. “Who are these Lacedæmonians? (inquired Cyrus from some Greeks who stood near him)—how many are there of them, that they venture to send me such a notice?” Having received the answer, wherein it was stated that the Lacedæmonians had a city and a regular market at Sparta, he exclaimed: “I have never yet been afraid of men like these, who have a set place in the middle of their city, where they meet to cheat one another and forswear themselves. If I live, they shall have troubles of their own to talk about, apart from the Ionians.” To buy or sell, appeared to the Persians a contemptible practice; for they carried out consistently, one step farther, the principle upon which even many able Greeks condemned the lending of money on interest; and the speech of Cyrus was intended as a covert reproach of Grecian habits generally.[351]

This blank menace of Lakrinês, an insulting provocation to[p. 200] the enemy rather than a real support to the distressed, was the only benefit which the Ionic Greeks derived from Sparta. They were left to defend themselves as best they could against the conqueror; who presently, however, quitted Sardis to prosecute in person his conquests in the East, leaving the Persian Tabalus with a garrison in the citadel, but consigning both the large treasure captured, and the authority over the Lydian population, to the Lydian Paktyas. As he carried away Crœsus along with him, he probably considered himself sure of the fidelity of those Lydians whom the deposed monarch recommended. But he had not yet arrived at his own capital, when he received the intelligence that Paktyas had revolted, arming the Lydian population, and employing the treasure in his charge to hire fresh troops. On hearing this news, Cyrus addressed himself to Crœsus, according to Herodotus, in terms of much wrath against the Lydians, and even intimated that he should be compelled to sell them all as slaves. Upon which Crœsus, full of alarm for his people, contended strenuously that Paktyas alone was in fault, and deserving of punishment; but he at the same time advised Cyrus to disarm the Lydian population, and to enforce upon them effeminate attire, together with habits of playing on the harp and shopkeeping. “By this process (he said) you will soon see them become women instead of men.”[352] This suggestion is said to have been accepted by Cyrus, and executed by his general Mazarês. The conversation here reported, and the deliberate plan for enervating the Lydian character supposed to be pursued by Cyrus, is evidently an hypothesis imagined by some of the contemporaries or predecessors of Herodotus,—to explain the contrast between the Lydians whom they saw before them, after two or three generations of slavery, and the old irresistible horsemen of whom they heard in fame, at the time when Crœsus was lord from the Halys to the Ægean sea.

To return to Paktyas,—he had commenced his revolt, come down to the sea-coast, and employed the treasures of Sardis in levying a Grecian mercenary force, with which he invested the place and blocked up the governor Tabalus. But he manifested no courage worthy of so dangerous an enterprise; for no sooner[p. 201] had he heard that the Median general Mazarês was approaching at the head of an army dispatched by Cyrus against him, than he disbanded his force and fled to Kymê for protection as a suppliant. Presently, arrived a menacing summons from Mazarês, demanding that he should be given up forthwith, which plunged the Kymæans into profound dismay; for the idea of giving up a suppliant to destruction was shocking to Grecian sentiment. They sent to solicit advice from the holy temple of Apollo, at Branchidæ near Milêtus; and the reply directed, that Paktyas should be surrendered. Nevertheless, so ignominious did such a surrender appear, that Aristodikus and some other Kymæan citizens denounced the messengers as liars, and required that a more trustworthy deputation should be sent to consult the god. Aristodikus himself, forming one of the second body, stated the perplexity to the oracle, and received a repetition of the same answer; whereupon he proceeded to rob the birds’-nests which existed in abundance in and about the temple. A voice from the inner oracular chamber speedily arrested him, exclaiming: “Most impious of men, how darest thou to do such things? Wilt thou snatch my suppliants from the temple itself?” Unabashed by the rebuke, Aristodikus replied: “Master, thus dost thou help suppliants thyself: and dost thou command the Kymæans to give up a suppliant?” “Yes, I do command it[353] (rejoined the god forthwith), in order that the crime may bring destruction upon you the sooner, and that you may not in future come to consult the oracle upon the surrender of suppliants.”

The ingenuity of Aristodikus completely nullified the oracular response, and left the Kymæans in their original perplexity. Not choosing to surrender Paktyas, nor daring to protect him against a besieging army, they sent him away to Mitylênê, whither the envoys of Mazarês followed and demanded him; offering a reward so considerable, that the Kymæans became fearful of trusting them, and again conveyed away the suppliant to Chios, where he took refuge in the temple of Athênê Poliuchus. But here again the pursuers followed, and the Chians were persuaded to drag him from the temple and surrender him, on consideration of receiving the territory of Atarneus (a dis[p. 202]trict on the continent over against the island of Lesbos) as purchase-money. Paktyas was thus seized and sent prisoner to Cyrus, who had given the most express orders for this capture: hence the unusual intensity of the pursuit. But it appears that the territory of Atarneus was considered as having been ignominiously acquired by the Chians; none even of their own citizens would employ any article of its produce for holy or sacrificial purposes.[354]

Mazarês next proceeded to the attack and conquest of the Greeks on the coast; an enterprise which, since he soon died of illness, was completed by his successor Harpagus. The towns assailed successively made a gallant but ineffectual resistance: the Persian general by his numbers drove the defenders within their walls, against which he piled up mounds of earth, so as either to carry the place by storm or to compel surrender. All of them were reduced, one after the other: with all, the terms of subjection were doubtless harder than those which had been imposed upon them by Crœsus, because Cyrus had already refused to grant these terms to them, with the single exception of Milêtus, and because they had since given additional offence by aiding the revolt of Paktyas. The inhabitants of Priênê were sold into slavery: they were the first assailed by Mazarês, and had perhaps been especially forward in the attack made by Paktyas on Sardis.[355]

Among these unfortunate towns, thus changing their master and passing out into a harsher subjection, two deserve especial notice,—Teôs and Phôkæa. The citizens of the former, so soon[p. 203] as the mound around their walls had rendered farther resistance impossible, embarked and emigrated, some to Thrace, where they founded Abdêra,—others to the Cimmerian Bosphorus, where they planted Phanagoria; a portion of them, however, must have remained to take the chances of subjection, since the town appears in after-times still peopled and still Hellenic.[356]

The fate of Phôkæa, similar in the main, is given to us with more striking circumstances of detail, and becomes the more interesting, since the enterprising mariners who inhabited it had been the torch-bearers of Grecian geographical discovery in the west. I have already described their adventurous exploring voyages of former days into the interior of the Adriatic, and along the whole northern and western coasts of the Mediterranean as far as Tartêssus (the region around and adjoining to Cadiz),—together with the favorable reception given to them by old Arganthônius, king of the country, who invited them to emigrate in a body to his kingdom, offering them the choice of any site which they might desire. His invitation was declined, though probably the Phôkæans may have subsequently regretted the refusal; and he then manifested his good-will towards them by a large present to defray the expense of constructing fortifications round their town.[357] The walls, erected in part, by this aid, were[p. 204] both extensive and well built; yet they could not hinder Harpagus from raising his mounds of earth up against them, while he was politic enough at the same time to tempt them with offers of a moderate capitulation; requiring only that they should breach their walls in one place by pulling down one of the towers, and consecrate one building in the interior of the town as a token of subjection. To accept these terms, was to submit themselves to the discretion of the besieger, for there could be no security that they would be observed; and the Phôkæans, while they asked for one day to deliberate upon their reply, entreated that, during that day, Harpagus should withdraw his troops altogether from the walls. With this demand the latter complied, intimating, at the same time, that he saw clearly through the meaning of it. The Phôkæans had determined that the inevitable servitude impending over their town should not be shared by its inhabitants, and they employed their day of grace in preparation for collective exile, putting on ship-board their wives and children as well as their furniture and the movable decorations of their temples. They then set sail for Chios, leaving to the conqueror a deserted town for the occupation of a Persian garrison.[358]

[p. 205]It appears that the fugitives were not very kindly received at Chios; at least, when they made a proposition for purchasing from the Chians the neighboring islands of Œnussæ as a permanent abode, the latter were induced to refuse by apprehensions of commercial rivalry. It was necessary to look farther for a settlement: and Arganthônius their protector, being now dead, Tartêssus was no longer inviting. Twenty years before, however, the colony of Alalia in the island of Corsica had been founded from Phôkæa by the direction of the oracle, and thither the general body of Phôkæans now resolved to repair. Having prepared their ships for this distant voyage, they first sailed back to Phôkæa, surprised the Persian garrison whom Harpagus had left in the town, and slew them: they then sunk in the harbor a great lump of iron, and bound themselves by a solemn and unanimous oath never again to see Phôkæa until that iron should come up to the surface. Nevertheless, in spite of the oath, the voyage of exile had been scarcely begun when more than half of them repented of having so bound themselves,—and became homesick.[359] They broke their vow and returned to Phôkæa. But as Herodotus does not mention any divine judgment as having been consequent on the perjury, we may, perhaps, suspect that some gray-headed citizen, to whom transportation to Corsica might be little less than a sentence of death, both persuaded himself, and certified to his companions, that he had seen the sunken lump of iron raised up and floating for a while buoyant upon the waves. Harpagus must have been induced to pardon the previous slaughter of his Persian garrison, or at least to believe that it had been done by those Phôkæans who still persisted in exile. He wanted tribute-paying subjects, not an empty military post, and the repentant home-seekers were allowed to number themselves among the slaves of the Great King.

Meanwhile the smaller but more resolute half of the Phôkæans executed their voyage to Alalia in Corsica, with their[p. 206] wives and children, in sixty pentekontêrs, or armed ships, and established themselves along with the previous settlers. They remained there for five years,[360] during which time their indiscriminate piracies had become so intolerable (even at that time, piracy committed against a foreign vessel seems to have been both frequent and practised without much disrepute), that both the Tyrrhenian seaports along the Mediterranean coast of Italy, and the Carthaginians, united to put them down. There subsisted particular treaties between these two, for the regulation of the commercial intercourse between Africa and Italy, of which the ancient treaty preserved by Polybius between Rome and Carthage (made in 509 B. C.) may be considered as a specimen.[361] Sixty Carthaginian and as many Tuscan ships attacked the sixty Phôkæan ships near Alalia, and destroyed forty of them, yet not without such severe loss to themselves that the victory was said to be on the side of the latter; who, however, in spite of this Kadmeian victory (so a battle was denominated in which the victors lost more than the vanquished), were compelled to carry back their remaining twenty vessels to Alalia, and to retire with their wives and families, in so far as room could be found for them, to Rhegium. At last, these unhappy exiles found a permanent home by establishing the new settlement of Elea, or Velia, in the gulf of Policastro, on the Italian coast (then called Œnôtrian) southward from Poseidônia, or Pæstum. It is probable that they were here joined by other exiles from Ionia, in particular by the Kolophonian philosopher and poet Xenophanês, from whom what was afterwards called the Eleatic school of philosophy, distinguished both for bold consistency and dialectic acuteness, took its rise. The Phôkæan captives, taken prisoners in the naval combat by Tyrrhenians and Carthaginians, were stoned to death; but a divine judgment overtook the Tyrrhenian town of Agylla, in consequence of this cruelty; and even in the time of Herodotus, a century afterwards, the Agyllæans were still expiating the sin by a periodical solemnity and agon, pursuant to the penalty which the Delphian oracle had imposed upon them.[362]

Such was the fate of the Phôkæan exiles, while their brethren[p. 207] at home remained as subjects of Harpagus, in common with all the other Ionic and Æolic Greeks except Milêtus. For even the insular inhabitants of Lesbos and Chios, though not assailable by sea, since the Persians had no fleet, thought it better to renounce their independence and enrol themselves as Persian subjects,—both of them possessing strips of the mainland which they were unable to protect otherwise. Samos, on the other hand, maintained its independence, and even reached, shortly after this period, under the despotism of Polykratês, a higher degree of power than ever. Perhaps the humiliation of the other maritime Greeks around may have rather favored the ambition of this unscrupulous prince, to whom I shall revert presently. But we may readily conceive that the public solemnities in which the Ionic Greeks intermingled, in place of those gay and richly-decked crowds which the Homeric hymn describes in the preceding century as assembled at Delos, presented scenes of marked despondency: one of their wisest men, indeed, Bias of Priênê, went so far as to propose, at the Pan-Ionic festival, a collective emigration of the entire population of the Ionic towns to the island of Sardinia. Nothing like freedom, he urged, was now open to them in Asia; but in Sardinia, one great Pan-Ionic city might be formed, which would not only be free herself, but mistress of her neighbors. The proposition found no favor; the reason of which is sufficiently evident from the narrative just given respecting the unconquerable local attachment on the part of the Phôkæan majority. But Herodotus bestows upon it the most unqualified commendation, and regrets that it was not acted upon.[363] Had such been the case, the subsequent history of Carthage, Sicily, and even Rome, might have been sensibly altered.

Thus subdued by Harpagus, the Ionic and Æolic Greeks were employed as auxiliaries to him in the conquest of the south-western inhabitants of Asia Minor,—Karians, Kaunians, Lykians, and Doric Greeks of Knidus and Halikarnassus. Of the fate of the latter town, Herodotus tells us nothing, though it was[p. 208] his native place. The inhabitants of Knidus, a place situated on a long outlying tongue of land, at first tried to cut through the narrow isthmus which joined them to the continent, but abandoned the attempt with a facility which Herodotus explains by referring it to a prohibition of the oracle:[364] nor did either the Karians or the Kaunians offer any serious resistance. The Lykians only, in their chief town Xanthus, made a desperate defence. Having in vain tried to repel the assailants in the open field, and finding themselves blocked up in their city, they set fire to it with their own hands; consuming in the flames their women, children, and servants, while the armed citizens marched out and perished to a man in combat with the enemy.[365] Such an act of brave and even ferocious despair is not in the Grecian character. In recounting, however, the languid defence and easy submission of the Greeks of Knidus, it may surprise us to call to mind that they were Dorians and colonists from Sparta. So that the want of steadfast courage, often imputed to Ionic Greeks as compared to Dorian, ought properly to be charged on Asiatic Greeks as compared with European; or rather upon that mixture of indigenous with Hellenic population, which all the Asiatic colonies, in common with most of the other colonies, presented, and which in Halikarnassus was particularly remarkable; for it seems to have been half Karian, half Dorian, and was even governed by a line of Karian despots.

Harpagus and the Persians thus mastered, without any considerable resistance, the western and southern portions of Asia Minor; probably, also, though we have no direct account of it, the entire territory within the Halys which had before been ruled by Crœsus. The tributes of the conquered Greeks were transmitted to Ekbatana instead of to Sardis. While Harpagus was thus employed, Cyrus himself had been making still more extensive conquests in Upper Asia and Assyria, of which I shall speak in the coming chapter.

[p. 209]


In the preceding chapter an account has been given, the best which we can pick out from Herodotus, of the steps by which the Asiatic Greeks became subject to Persia. And if his narrative is meagre, on a matter which vitally concerned not only so many of his brother Greeks, but even his own native city, we can hardly expect that he should tell us much respecting the other conquests of Cyrus. He seems to withhold intentionally various details which had come to his knowledge, and merely intimates in general terms that while Harpagus was engaged on the coast of the Ægean, Cyrus himself assailed and subdued all the nations of Upper Asia, “not omitting any one of them.”[366] He alludes to the Baktrians and the Sakæ,[367] who are also named by Ktêsias as having become subject partly by force, partly by capitulation; but he deems only two of the exploits of Cyrus worthy of special notice,—the conquest of Babylon, and the final expedition against the Massagetæ. In the short abstract which we now possess of the lost work of Ktêsias, no mention appears of the important conquest of Babylon; but his narrative, as far as the abstract enables us to follow it, diverges materially from that of Herodotus, and must have been founded on data altogether different.

“I shall mention (says Herodotus)[368] those conquests which gave Cyrus most trouble, and are most memorable: after he had subdued all the rest of the continent, he attacked the Assyrians.” Those who recollect the description of Babylon and its surrounding territory, as given in a former chapter, will not be surprised to learn that the capture of it gave the Persian aggressor much trouble: their only surprise will be, how it could ever have been[p. 210] taken at all,—or, indeed, how a hostile army could have even reached it. Herodotus informs us that the Babylonian queen Nitôkris—mother of that very Labynêtus who was king when Cyrus attacked the place—had been apprehensive of invasion from the Medes after their capture of Nineveh, and had executed many laborious works near the Euphratês for the purpose of obstructing their approach. Moreover, there existed what was called the wall of Media (probably built by her, but certainly built prior to the Persian conquest), one hundred feet high and twenty feet thick,[369] across the entire space of seventy-five miles which joined the Tigris with one of the canals of the Euphratês. And the canals themselves, as we may see by the march of the Ten Thousand Greeks after the battle of Kunaxa, presented means of defence altogether insuperable by a rude army such as that of the Persians. On the east, the territory of Babylonia was defended by the Tigris, which cannot be forded[p. 211] lower than the ancient Nineveh or the modern Mosul.[370] In addition to these ramparts, natural as well as artificial, to protect the territory,—populous, cultivated, productive, and offering every motive to its inhabitants to resist even the entrance of an enemy,—we are told that the Babylonians were so thoroughly prepared for the inroad of Cyrus that they had accumulated a store of provisions within the city walls for many years.

Strange as it may seem, we must suppose that the king of Babylon, after all the cost and labor spent in providing defences for the territory, voluntarily neglected to avail himself of them, suffered the invader to tread down the fertile Babylonia without resistance, and merely drew out the citizens to oppose him when he arrived under the walls of the city,—if the statement of Herodotus is correct.[371] And we may illustrate this unaccountable omission by that which we know to have happened in the march of the younger Cyrus to Kunaxa against his brother Artaxerxês Mnêmon. The latter had caused to be dug, expressly in preparation for this invasion, a broad and deep ditch, thirty feet wide and eight feet deep, from the wall of Media to the river Euphratês, a distance of twelve parasangs, or forty-live English miles, leaving only a passage of twenty feet broad close alongside of the river. Yet when the invading army arrived at this important pass, they found not a man there to defend it, and all of them marched without resistance through the narrow inlet. Cyrus the younger, who had up to that moment felt assured that his brother would fight, now supposed that he had given up the idea of defending Babylon:[372] instead of which, two days afterwards,[p. 212] Artaxerxês attacked him on an open plain of ground, where there was no advantage of position on either side; though the invaders were taken rather unawares in consequence of their extreme confidence, arising from recent unopposed entrance within the artificial ditch.

This anecdote is the more valuable as an illustration, because all its circumstances are transmitted to us by a discerning eye-witness. And both the two incidents here brought into comparison demonstrate the recklessness, changefulness, and incapacity of calculation, belonging to the Asiatic mind of that day,—as well as the great command of hands possessed by these kings, and their prodigal waste of human labor.[373] We shall see, as we advance in this history, farther evidences of the same attributes, which it is essential to bear in mind, for the purpose of appreciating both Grecian dealing with Asiatics, and the comparative absence of such defects in the Grecian character. Vast walls and deep ditches are an inestimable aid to a brave and well commanded garrison; but they cannot be made entirely to supply the want of bravery and intelligence.

In whatever manner the difficulties of approaching Babylon may have been overcome, the fact that they were overcome by Cyrus is certain. On first setting out for this conquest, he was about to cross the river Gyndês (one of the affluents from the East which joins the Tigris near the modern Bagdad, and along which lay the high road crossing the pass of Mount Zagros from Babylon to Ekbatana), when one of the sacred white horses, which accompanied him, insulted the river[374] so far as to march in and try to cross it by himself. The Gyndês resented this insult, and the horse was drowned: upon which Cyrus swore in his wrath that he would so break the strength of the river as that women in future should pass it without wetting their knees. Accordingly, he employed his entire army, during the whole summer season, in digging three hundred and sixty artificial channels to disseminate the unity of the stream. Such, accord[p. 213]ing to Herodotus, was the incident which postponed for one year the fall of the great Babylon; but in the next spring Cyrus and his army were before the walls, after having defeated and driven in the population who came out to fight. But the walls were artificial mountains (three hundred feet high, seventy-five feet thick, and forming a square of fifteen miles to each side), within which the besieged defied attack, and even blockade, having previously stored up several years’ provision. Through the midst of these walls, however, flowed the Euphratês; and this river, which had been so laboriously trained to serve for protection, trade, and sustenance to the Babylonians, was now made the avenue of their ruin. Having left a detachment of his army at the two points where the Euphratês enters and quits the city, Cyrus retired with the remainder to the higher part of its course, where an ancient Babylonian queen had prepared one of the great lateral reservoirs for carrying off in case of need the superfluity of its water. Near this point Cyrus caused another reservoir and another canal of communication to be dug, by means of which he drew off the water of the Euphrates to such a decree that it became not above the height of a man’s thigh. The period chosen was that of a great Babylonian festival, when the whole population were engaged in amusement and revelry; and the Persian troops left near the town, watching their opportunity, entered from both sides along the bed of the river, and took it by surprise with scarcely any resistance. At no other time, except during a festival, could they have done this, says Herodotus, had the river been ever so low; for both banks throughout the whole length of the town were provided with quays, with continuous walls, and with gates at the end of every street which led down to the river at right angles: so that if the population had not been disqualified by the influences of the moment, they would have caught the assailants in the bed of the river “as a trap,” and overwhelmed them from the walls alongside. Within a square of fifteen miles to each side, we are not surprised to hear that both the extremities were already in the power of the besiegers before the central population heard of it, and while they were yet absorbed in unconscious festivity.[375]

[p. 214]Such is the account given by Herodotus of the circumstances which placed Babylon—the greatest city of western Asia—in the power of the Persians. To what extent the information communicated to him was incorrect, or exaggerated, we cannot now decide; but the way in which the city was treated would lead us to suppose that its acquisition cannot have cost the conqueror either much time or much loss. Cyrus comes into the list as king of Babylon, and the inhabitants with their whole territory become tributary to the Persians, forming the richest satrapy in the empire; but we do not hear that the people were otherwise ill-used, and it is certain that the vast walls and gates were left untouched. This was very different from the way in which the Medes had treated Nineveh, which seems to have been ruined and for a long time absolutely uninhabited, though reoccupied on a reduced scale under the Parthian empire; and very different also from the way in which Babylon itself was treated twenty years afterwards by Darius, when reconquered after a revolt.

[p. 215]The importance of Babylon, marking as it does one of the peculiar forms of civilization belonging to the ancient world in a state of full development, gives an interest even to the half-authenticated stories respecting its capture; but the other exploits ascribed to Cyrus,—his invasion of India, across the desert of Arachosia,[376]—and his attack upon the Massagetæ, nomads ruled by queen Tomyris, and greatly resembling the Scythians, across the mysterious river which Herodotus calls Araxês,—are too little known to be at all dwelt upon. In the latter he is said to have perished, his army being defeated in a bloody battle.[377] He was buried at Pasargadæ, in his native province of Persis proper, where his tomb was honored and watched until the breaking up of the empire,[378] while his memory was held in profound veneration among the Persians.

Of his real exploits, we know little except their results; but in what we read respecting him there seems, though amidst constant fighting, very little cruelty. Xenophon has selected his life as the subject of a moral romance, which for a long time was cited as authentic history, and which even now serves as an authority, expressed or implied, for disputable and even incorrect conclusions. His extraordinary activity and conquests admit of no doubt. He left the Persian empire[379] extending from Sogdiana and the rivers Jaxartês and Indus eastward, to the Hellespont and the Syrian coast westward, and his successors made no permanent addition to it except that of Egypt. Phenicia and Judæa were dependencies of Babylon, at the time when he conquered it, with their princes and grandees in Babylonian captivity. They seem to have yielded to him, and become his tributaries,[380] without difficulty; and the restoration of their captives was con[p. 216]ceded to them. It was from Cyrus that the habits of the Persian kings took commencement, to dwell at Susa in the winter, and Ekbatana during the summer; the primitive territory of Persis, with its two towns of Persepolis and Pasargadæ, being reserved for the burial-place of the kings and the religious sanctuary of the empire. How or when the conquest of Susiana was made, we are not informed; it lay eastward of the Tigris, between Babylonia and Persis proper, and its people, the Kissians, as far as we can discern, were of Assyrian and not of Arian race. The river Choaspês, near Susa, was supposed to furnish the only water fit for the palate of the Great King, and is said to have been carried about with him wherever he went.[381]

While the conquests of Cyrus contributed to assimilate the distinct types of civilization in western Asia,—not by elevating the worse, but by degrading the better,—upon the native Persians themselves they operated as an extraordinary stimulus, provoking alike their pride, ambition, cupidity, and warlike propensities. Not only did the territory of Persis proper pay no tribute to Susa or Ekbatana,—being the only district so exempted between the Jaxartês and the Mediterranean,—but the vast tributes received from the remaining empire were distributed to a great degree among its inhabitants. Empire to them meant,—for the great men, lucrative satrapies, or pachalics, with powers altogether unlimited, pomp inferior only to that of the Great King, and standing armies which they employed at their own discretion, sometimes against each other,[382]—for the common soldiers, drawn from their fields or flocks, constant plunder, abundant maintenance, and an unrestrained license, either in the suite of one of the satraps, or in the large permanent troop which moved from Susa to Ekbatana with the Great King. And if the entire population of Persis proper did not migrate from their abodes to occupy some of those more inviting spots which the immensity of the imperial dominion furnished,—a dominion extending (to use the language of Cyrus the younger, before the battle of Kunaxa)[383] from the region of insupportable heat to[p. 217] that of insupportable cold,—this was only because the early kings discouraged such a movement, in order that the nation might maintain its military hardihood,[384] and be in a situation to furnish undiminished supplies of soldiers.

The self-esteem and arrogance of the Persians was no less remarkable than their avidity for sensual enjoyment. They were fond of wine to excess; their wives and their concubines were both numerous; and they adopted eagerly from foreign nations new fashions of luxury as well as of ornament. Even to novelties in religion, they were not strongly averse; for though they were disciples of Zoroaster, with magi as their priests, and as indispensable companions of their sacrifices, worshipping Sun, Moon, Earth, Fire, etc., and recognizing neither image, temple, nor altar,—yet they had adopted the voluptuous worship of the goddess Mylitta from the Assyrians and Arabians. A numerous male offspring was the Persian’s boast, and his warlike character and consciousness of force were displayed in the education of these youths, who were taught, from five years old to twenty, only three things,—to ride, to shoot with the bow, and to speak the truth.[385] To owe money, or even to buy and sell, was accounted among the Persians disgraceful,—a sentiment which they defended by saying, that both the one and the other imposed the necessity of telling falsehood. To exact tribute from subjects, to receive pay or presents from the king, and to give away without forethought whatever was not immediately wanted, was their mode of dealing with money. Industrious pursuits were left to the conquered, who were fortunate if by paying a fixed contribution, and sending a military contingent when required, they could purchase undisturbed immunity for their remaining concerns.[386] They could not thus purchase safety for the family[p. 218] hearth, since we find instances of noble Grecian maidens torn from their parents for the harem of the satrap.[387]

To a people of this character, whose conceptions of political society went no farther than personal obedience to a chief, a conqueror like Cyrus would communicate the strongest excitement and enthusiasm of which they were capable. He had found them slaves, and made them masters; he was the first and greatest of national benefactors,[388] as well as the most forward of leaders in the field; they followed him from one conquest to another, during the thirty years of his reign, their love of empire growing with the empire itself. And this impulse of aggrandizement continued unabated during the reigns of his three next successors,—Kambysês, Darius, and Xerxês,—until it was at length violently stifled by the humiliating defeats of Platæa and Salamis; after which the Persians became content with defending themselves at home, and playing a secondary game. But at the time when Kambysês son of Cyrus succeeded to his father’s sceptre, Persian spirit was at its highest point, and he was not long in fixing upon a prey both richer and less hazardous than the Massagetæ, at the opposite extremity of the empire. Phenicia and Judæa being already subject to him, he resolved to invade Egypt, then highly flourishing under the long and prosperous reign of Amasis. Not much pretence was needed to color the aggression, and the various stories which Herodotus mentions as causes of the war, are only interesting inasmuch as they imply a vein of Egyptian party feeling,—affirming that the invasion was brought upon Amasis by a daughter of Apriês, and was thus a judgment upon him for having deposed the latter. As to the manner in which she had produced this effect, indeed, the most contradictory stories were circulated.[389]

Kambysês summoned the forces of his empire for this new enterprise, and among them both the Phenicians and the Asiatic[p. 219] Greeks, Æolic as well as Ionic,[390] insular as well as continental,—nearly all the maritime force and skill of the Ægean sea. He was apprized by a Greek deserter from the mercenaries in Egypt, named Phanês, of the difficulties of the march, and the best method of surmounting them; especially the three days of sandy desert, altogether without water, which lay between Egypt and Judæa. By the aid of the neighboring Arabians,—with whom he concluded a treaty, and who were requited for this service with the title of equal allies, free from all tribute,—he was enabled to surmount this serious difficulty, and to reach Pelusium at the eastern mouth of the Nile, where the Ionian and Karian troops in the Egyptian service, as well as the Egyptian military, were assembled to oppose him.[391]

Fortunately for himself, the Egyptian king Amasis had died during the interval of the Persian preparations, a few months before the expedition took place,—after forty-four years of unabated prosperity. His death, at this critical moment, was probably the main cause of the easy conquest which followed; his son Psammenitus succeeding to his crown, but neither to his abilities nor his influence. The result of the invasion was foreshadowed, as usual, by a menacing prodigy,—rain falling at Thebes in Upper Egypt; and was brought about by a single victory, though bravely disputed, at Pelusium,—followed by the capture of Memphis, with the person of king Psammenitus, after a siege of some duration. Kambysês had sent forward a Mitylenæan ship to Memphis, with heralds to summon the city; but the Egyptians, in a paroxysm of fury, rushed out of the walls, destroyed the vessel, and tore the crew into pieces,—a savage proceeding, which drew upon them severe retribution after the capture. Psammenitus, after being at first treated with harshness and insult, was at length released, and even allowed to[p. 220] retain his regal dignity as a dependent of Persia. But being soon detected, or at least believed to be concerned, in raising revolt against the conquerors, he was put to death, and Egypt was placed under a satrap.[392]

There yet lay beyond Egypt territories for Kambysês to conquer,—though Kyrênê and Barka, the Greek colonies near the coast of Libya, placed themselves at once out of the reach of danger by sending to him tribute and submission at Memphis. He projected three new enterprises: one against Carthage, by sea; the other two, by land, against the Ethiopians, far to the southward up the course of the Nile, and against the oracle and oasis of Zeus Ammon, amidst the deserts of Libya. Towards Ethiopia he himself conducted his troops, but was compelled to bring them back without reaching it, since they were on the point of perishing with famine; while the division which he sent against the temple of Ammon is said to have been overwhelmed by a sand-storm in the desert. The expedition against Carthage was given up, for a reason which well deserves to be commemorated. The Phenicians, who formed the most efficient part of his navy, refused to serve against their kinsmen and colonists, pleading the sanctity of mutual oaths as well as the ties both of relationship and traffic.[393] Even the frantic Kambysês was compelled to accept, and perhaps to respect, this honorable refusal, which was not imitated by the Ionic Greeks when Darius and Xerxês demanded the aid of their ships against Athens,—we must add, however, that they were then in a situation much more exposed and helpless than that in which the Phenicians stood before Kambysês.

Among the sacred animals so numerous and so different throughout the various nomes of Egypt, the most venerated of all was the bull Apis. Yet such peculiar conditions were required by the Egyptian religion as to the birth, the age, and the marks of this animal, that, when he died, it was difficult to find a new calf properly qualified to succeed him. Much time was sometimes spent in the search, and when an unexceptionable suc[p. 221]cessor was at last found, the demonstrations of joy in Memphis were extravagant and universal. At the moment when Kambysês returned to Memphis from his Ethiopian expedition, full of humiliation for the result, it so happened that a new Apis was just discovered; and as the population of the city gave vent to their usual festival pomp and delight, he construed it into an intentional insult towards his own recent misfortunes. In vain did the priests and magistrates explain to him the real cause of these popular manifestations; he persisted in his belief, punished some of them with death and others with stripes, and commanded every man seen in holiday attire to be slain. Furthermore,—to carry his outrage against Egyptian feeling to the uttermost pitch,—he sent for the newly-discovered Apis, and plunged his dagger into the side of the animal, who shortly afterwards died of the wound.[394]

After this brutal deed,—calculated to efface in the minds of the Egyptian priests the enormities of Cheops and Chephrên, and doubtless unparalleled in all the twenty-four thousand years of their anterior history,—Kambysês lost every spark of reason which yet remained to him, and the Egyptians found in this visitation a new proof of the avenging interference of their gods. Not only did he commit every variety of studied outrage against the conquered people among whom he was tarrying, as well as their temples and their sepulchres,—but he also dealt his blows against his Persian friends and even his nearest blood-relations. Among these revolting atrocities, one of the greatest deserves peculiar notice, because the fate of the empire was afterwards materially affected by it. His younger brother Smerdis had accompanied him into Egypt, but had been sent back to Susa, because the king became jealous of the admiration which his personal strength and qualities called forth.[395] That jealousy was aggravated into alarm and hatred by a dream, portending dominion and conquest to Smerdis; so that the frantic Kambysês sent to[p. 222] Susa secretly a confidential Persian, Prexaspês, with express orders to get rid of his brother. Prexaspês fulfilled his commission effectively, burying the slain prince with his own hands,[396] and keeping the deed concealed from all except a few of the chiefs at the regal residence.

Among these few chiefs, however, there was one, the Median Patizeithês, belonging to the order of the Magi, who saw in it a convenient stepping-stone for his own personal ambition, and made use of it as a means of covertly supplanting the dynasty of the great Cyrus. Enjoying the full confidence of Kambysês, he had been left by that prince, on departing for Egypt, in the entire management of the palace and treasures, with extensive authority.[397] Moreover, he happened to have a brother extremely resembling in person the deceased Smerdis; and as the open and dangerous madness of Kambysês contributed to alienate from him the minds of the Persians, he resolved to proclaim this brother king in his room, as if it were the younger son of Cyrus succeeding to the disqualified elder. On one important point, the false Smerdis differed from the true. He had lost his ears, which Cyrus himself had caused to be cut off for an offence; but the personal resemblance, after all, was of little importance, since he was seldom or never allowed to show himself to the people.[398] Kambysês, having heard of this revolt in Syria on his return from Egypt, was mounting his horse in haste for the purpose of going to suppress it, when an accident from his sword put an end to his life. Herodotus tells us that, before his death, he summoned the Persians around him, confessed that he had been guilty of putting his brother to death, and apprized them that the reigning Smerdis was only a Median pretender,—conjuring them at the same time not to submit to the disgrace of being ruled by any other than a Persian and an Achæmenid. But if it be true that he ever made known the facts, no one believed him. For Prexaspês, on his part, was compelled by regard to his own safety, to deny that he had imbrued his hands in the blood[p. 223] of a son of Cyrus;[399] and thus the opportune death of Kambysês placed the false Smerdis without opposition at the head of the Persians, who all, or for the most part, believed themselves to be ruled by a genuine son of Cyrus. Kambysês had reigned for seven years and five months.

For seven months did Smerdis reign without opposition, seconded by his brother Patizeithês; and if he manifested his distrust of the haughty Persians around him, by neither inviting them into his palace nor showing himself out of it, he at the same time studiously conciliated the favor of the subject provinces, by remission of tribute and of military service for three years.[400] Such a departure from the Persian principle of government was in itself sufficient to disgust the warlike and rapacious Achæmenids at Susa. But it seems that their suspicions as to his genuine character had never been entirely set at rest, and in the eighth month those suspicions were converted into certainty. According to what seems to have been the Persian usage, he had taken to himself the entire harem of his predecessor, among whose wives was numbered Phædymê, daughter of a distinguished Persian, named Otanês. At the instance of her father, Phædymê undertook the dangerous task of feeling the head of Smerdis while he slept, and thus detected the absence of ears.[401] Otanês, possessed of the decisive information, lost no time in concerting, with five other noble Achæmenids, means for ridding themselves of a king who was at once a Mede, a Magian, and a man without ears;[402] Darius, son of Hystaspês, the satrap of Persis proper, arriving just in time to join the conspiracy as the seventh. How these seven noblemen slew Smerdis in his palace at Susa,—how they subsequently debated among themselves whether they should establish in Persia a monarchy, an oligarchy, or a democracy,—how, after the first of the three had been resolved upon, it was determined that the future king, whichever he might be, should be bound to take his wives only from the families of the seven con[p. 224]spirators,—how Darius became king, from the circumstance of his horse being the first to neigh among those of the conspirators at a given spot, by the stratagem of the groom Œbarês,—how Otanês, standing aside beforehand from this lottery for the throne, reserved for himself as well as for his descendants perfect freedom and exemption from the rule of the future king, whichsoever might draw the prize,—all these incidents may be found recounted by Herodotus with his usual vivacity, but with no small addition of Hellenic ideas as well as of dramatic ornament.

It was thus that the upright tiara, the privileged head-dress of the Persian kings,[403] passed away from the lineage of Cyrus, yet without departing from the great phratry of the Achæmenidæ,—to which Darius and his father Hystaspês, as well as Cyrus, belonged. That important fact is unquestionable, and probably the acts ascribed to the seven conspirators are in the main true, apart from their discussions and intentions. But on this as well as on other occasions, we must guard ourselves against an illusion which the historical manner of Herodotus is apt to create. He presents to us with so much descriptive force the personal narrative,—individual action and speech, with all its accompanying hopes, fears, doubts, and passions,—that our attention is distracted from the political bearing of what is going on; which we are compelled often to gather up from hints in the speeches of performers, or from consequences afterwards indirectly noticed. When we put together all the incidental notices which he lets drop, it will be found that the change of sceptre from Smerdis to Darius was a far larger political event than his direct narrative would seem to announce. Smerdis represents preponderance to the Medes over the Persians, and comparative degradation to the latter; who, by the installation of Darius, are again placed in the ascendent. The Medes and the Magians are in this case identical; for the Magians, though indispensable in the capacity of priests to the Persians, were essentially one of the seven Median[p. 225] tribes.[404] It thus appears that though Smerdis ruled as a son of the great Cyrus, yet he ruled by means of Medes and Magians, depriving the Persians of that supreme privilege and predominance to which they had become accustomed.[405] We see this by what followed immediately after the assassination of Smerdis and his brother in the palace. The seven conspirators, exhibiting the bloody heads of both these victims as an evidence of their deed, instigated the Persians in Susa to a general massacre of the Magians, many of whom were actually slain, and the rest only escaped by flight, concealment, or the hour of night. And the anniversary of this day was celebrated afterwards among the Persians by a solemnity and festival, called the Magophonia; no Magian being ever allowed on that day to appear in public.[406] The descendants of the Seven maintained a privileged name and rank,[407] even down to the extinction of the monarchy by Alexander the Great.

[p. 226]Furthermore, it appears that the authority of Darius was not readily acknowledged throughout the empire, and that an interval of confusion ensued before it became so.[408] The Medes actually revolted, and tried to maintain themselves by force against Darius, who however found means to subdue them: though, when he convoked his troops from the various provinces, he did not receive from the satraps universal obedience. The powerful Orœtês, especially, who had been appointed by Cyrus satrap of Lydia and Ionia, not only sent no troops to the aid of Darius against the Medes,[409] but even took advantage of the disturbed state of the government to put to death his private enemy Mitrobatês satrap of Phrygia, and appropriate that satrapy in addition to his own. Aryandês also, the satrap nominated by Kambysês in Egypt, comported himself as the equal of Darius rather than as his subject.[410] The subject provinces generally, to whom Smerdis had granted remission of tribute and military service for the space of three years, were grateful and attached to his memory, and noway pleased with the new dynasty; moreover, the revolt of the Babylonians, conceived a year or two before it was executed, took its rise from the feelings of this time.[411] But the renewal of the old conflict between the two principal sections of the empire, Medes and Persians, is doubtless the most important feature in this political revolution. The false Smerdis with his brother, both of them Medes and Magians, had revived the Median nationality to a state of supremacy over the Persian, recalling the memory of what it had been under Astyagês; while Darius,—a pure Persian, and not (like the mule Cyrus) half Mede and half Persian,—replaced the Persian nationality in its[p. 227] ascendent condition, though not without the necessity of suppressing by force a rebellion of the Medes.[412]

[p. 228]It has already been observed that the subjugation of the recusant Medes was not the only embarrassment of the first years of[p. 229] Darius. Orœtês, satrap of Phrygia, Lydia, and Ionia, ruling seemingly the entire western coast of Asia Minor,—possessing a large military force and revenue, and surrounded by a body-guard of one thousand native Persians,—maintained a haughty independence. He secretly made away with couriers sent to summon him to Susa, and even wreaked his vengeance upon some of the principal Persians who had privately offended him.[p. 230] Darius, not thinking it prudent to attack him by open force, proposed to the chief Persians at Susa, the dangerous problem of destroying him by stratagem. Thirty among them volunteered to undertake it, and Bagæus, son of Artontês, to whom on drawing lots the task devolved, accomplished it by a manœuvre which might serve as a lesson to the Ottoman government, in its embarrassments with contumacious Pashas. Having proceeded to Sardis, furnished with many different royal ordinances, formally set forth and bearing the seal of Darius,—he was presented to Orœtês in audience, with the public secretary of the satrapy close at hand, and the Persian guards standing around. He presented his ordinances to be read aloud by the secretary, choosing first those which related to matters of no great importance; but when he saw that the guards listened with profound reverence, and that the king’s name and seal imposed upon them irresistibly, he ventured upon the real purport of his perilous mission. An ordinance was handed to the secretary, and read by him aloud, as follows: “Persians, king Darius forbids you to serve any longer as guards to Orœtês.” The obedient guards at once delivered up their spears, when Bagæus caused the final warrant to be read to them: “King Darius commands the Persians in Sardis to kill Orœtês.” The guards drew their swords and killed him on the spot: his large treasure was conveyed to Susa: Darius became undisputed master, and probably Bagæus satrap.[413]

Another devoted adherent, and another yet more memorable piece of cunning, laid prostrate before Darius the mighty walls and gates of the revolted Babylon. The inhabitants of that city had employed themselves assiduously,—both during the lax provincial superintendence of the false Smerdis, and during the period of confusion and conflict which elapsed before Darius became firmly established and obeyed,—in making every preparation both for declaring and sustaining their independence. Having accumulated a large store of provisions and other requisites for a long siege, without previous detection, they at length proclaimed their independence openly. And such was the intensity of their resolution to maintain it, that they had recourse to a proceeding, which, if correctly reported by Herodotus, forms[p. 231] one of the most frightful enormities recorded in his history. To make their provisions last out longer, they strangled all the women in the city, reserving only their mothers, and one woman to each family for the purpose of baking.[414] We cannot but suppose that this has been magnified from a partial into an universal destruction. Yet taking it even with such allowance, it illustrates that ferocious force of will,—and that predominance of strong nationality, combined with antipathy to foreigners, over all the gentler sympathies,—which seems to mark the Semitic nations, and which may be traced so much in the Jewish history of Josephus.

Darius, assembling all the forces in his power, laid siege to the revolted city, but could make no impression upon it, either by force or by stratagem. He tried to repeat the proceeding by which Cyrus had taken it at first; but the besieged were found this time on their guard. The siege had lasted twenty months without the smallest progress, and the Babylonians derided the besiegers from the height of their impregnable walls, when a distinguished Persian nobleman Zopyrus,—son of Megabyzus, who had been one of the seven conspirators against Smerdis,—presented himself one day before Darius in a state of frightful mutilation: his nose and ears were cut off, and his body misused in every way. He had designedly so maimed himself, “thinking it intolerable that Assyrians should thus laugh the Persians to scorn,”[415] in the intention which he presently intimated to Darius, of passing into the town as a deserter, with a view of betraying it,—for which purpose measures were concerted. The Babylonians, seeing a Persian of the highest rank in so calamitous a condition, readily believed his assurance, that he had been thus punished by the king’s order, and that he came over to them as the only means of procuring for himself single vengeance. They intrusted him with the command of a detachment, with which he gained several advantages in different sallies, according to previous concert with Darius, until at length, the confidence of the Babylonians becom[p. 232]ing unbounded, they placed in his hands the care of the principal gates. At the critical moment these gates were thrown open, and the Persians became masters of the city.[416]

Thus was the impregnable Babylon a second time reduced,[417] and Darius took precautions on this occasion to put it out of condition for resisting a third time. He caused the walls and gates to be demolished, and three thousand of the principal citizens to be crucified: the remaining inhabitants were left in the dismantled city, fifty thousand women being levied by assessment upon the neighboring provinces, to supply the place of the women strangled when it first revolted.[418] Zopyrus was ap[p. 233]pointed satrap of the territory for life, with enjoyment of its entire revenues, receiving besides every additional reward which it was in the power of Darius to bestow, and generous assurances from the latter that he would rather have Zopyrus without wounds than the possession of Babylon. I have already intimated in a former chapter that the demolition of the walls here mentioned is not to be regarded as complete and continuous, nor was there any necessity that it should be so. Partial demolition would be quite sufficient to leave the city without defence; and the description given by Herodotus of the state of things as they stood at the time of his visit, proves that portions of the walls yet subsisted. One circumstance is yet to be added in reference to the subsequent condition of Babylon under the Persian empire. The city with the territory belonging to it constituted a satrapy, which not only paid a larger tribute (one thousand Euboic talents of silver) and contributed a much larger amount of provisions in kind for the maintenance of the Persian court, than any other among the twenty satrapies of the empire, but furnished besides an annual supply of five hundred eunuch youths.[419] We may presume that this was intended in part as a punishment for the past revolt, since the like obligation was not imposed upon any other satrapy.

Thus firmly established on the throne, Darius occupied it for thirty-six years, and his reign was one of organization, different from that of his two predecessors; a difference which the Persians well understood and noted, calling Cyrus the father, Kambysês the master, and Darius the retail-trader, or huckster.[420] In[p. 234] the mouth of the Persians this latter epithet must be construed as no insignificant compliment, since it intimates that he was the first to introduce some methodical order into the imperial administration and finances. Under the two former kings there was no definite amount of tribute levied upon the subject provinces: which furnished what were called presents, subject to no fixed limit except such as might be satisfactory to the satrap in each district. But Darius—succeeding as he did to Smerdis, who had rendered himself popular with the provinces by large financial exemptions, and having farther to encounter jealousy and dissatisfaction from Persians, his former equals in rank—probably felt it expedient to relieve the provinces from the burden of undefined exactions. He distributed the whole empire into twenty departments, imposing upon each a fixed annual tax, and a fixed contribution for the maintenance of the court. This must doubtless have been a great improvement, though the limitation of the sum which the Great King at Susa would require, did not at all prevent the satrap in his own province from indefinite requisitions beyond it. The latter was a little king, who acted nearly as he pleased in the internal administration of his province,—subject only to the necessity of sending up the imperial tribute, of keeping off foreign enemies, and of furnishing an adequate military contingent for the foreign enterprises of the Great King. To every satrap was attached a royal secretary, or comptroller, of the revenue,[421] who probably managed the imperial finances in the province, and to whom the court of Susa might perhaps look as a watch upon the satrap himself. It is not to be supposed that the Persian authorities in any province meddled with the details of taxation, or contribution, as they bore upon individuals. The court having fixed the entire sum payable by the satrapy in the aggregate, the satrap or the secre[p. 235]tary apportioned it among the various component districts, towns, or provinces, leaving to the local authorities in each of these latter the task of assessing it upon individual inhabitants. From necessity, therefore, as well as from indolence of temper and political incompetence, the Persians were compelled to respect authorities which they found standing both in town and country, and to leave in their hands a large measure of genuine influence; frequently overruled, indeed, by oppressive interference on the part of the satrap, whenever any of his passions prompted,—but never entirely superseded. In the important towns and stations, Persian garrisons were usually kept, and against the excesses of the military there was probably little or no protection to the subject people. Yet still, the provincial governments were allowed to continue, and often even the petty kings who had governed separate districts during their state of independence prior to the Persian conquest, retained their title and dignity as tributaries to the court of Susa.[422] The empire of the Great King was thus an aggregate of heterogeneous elements, connected together by no tie except that of common fear and subjection,—noway coherent nor self-supporting, nor pervaded by any common system or spirit of nationality. It resembled, in its main political features, the Turkish and Persian empires of the present day,[423] though distinguished materially by the many differences arising out of Mohammedanism and Christianity, and apparently not reaching the same extreme of rapacity, corruption, and cruelty in detail.

Darius distributed the Persian empire into twenty satrapies, each including a certain continuous territory, and one or more nations inhabiting it, the names of which Herodotus sets forth. The amount of tribute payable by each satrapy was determined: payable in gold, according to the Euboic talent, by the Indians in the easternmost satrapy,—in silver, according to the Babylonian, or larger talent, by the remaining nineteen. Herodotus computes the ratio of gold to silver as 13 : 1. From the nineteen satrapies which paid in silver, there was levied annually[p. 236] the sum of seven thousand seven hundred and forty Babylonian talents, equal to something about two million nine hundred and sixty-four thousand pounds sterling: from the Indians, who alone paid in gold, there was received a sum equal (at the rate of 1 : 13) to four thousand six hundred and eighty Euboic talents of silver, or to about one million two hundred and ninety thousand pounds sterling.[424]

To explain how it happened that this one satrapy was charged with a sum equal to two-fifths of the aggregate charge on the[p. 237] other nineteen, Herodotus dwells upon the vast population, the extensive territory, and the abundant produce in gold, among those whom he calls Indians,—the easternmost inhabitants of the earth, since beyond them there was nothing but uninhabitable sand,—reaching, as far as we can make it out, from Baktria southward along the Indus to its mouth, but how far eastward we cannot determine. Darius is said to have undertaken an expedition against them and subdued them: moreover, he is affirmed to have constructed and despatched vessels down the Indus, from the city of Kaspatyri and the territory of the Paktyes, in its upper regions, all the way down to its mouth: then into the Indian ocean, round the peninsula of Arabia, and up the Red Sea to Egypt. The ships were commanded by Skylax,—a Greek of Karyanda on the south-western coast of Asia Minor;[425] who, if this statement be correct, executed a scheme of nautical enterprise not only one hundred and seventy years earlier, but also far more extensive, than the famous voyage of Nearchus, admiral of Alexander the Great,—since the latter only went from the Indus to the Persian gulf. The eastern portions of the Persian empire remained so unknown and unvisited until the Macedonian invasion, that we are unable to criticize these isolated statements of Herodotus. None of the Persian kings subsequent to Darius appear to have visited them, and whether the prodigious sum demandable from them according to the Persian rent-roll was ever regularly levied, may reasonably be doubted. At the same time, we may reasonably believe that the mountains in the northern parts of Persian India—Cabul and Little Thibet—were at that time extremely productive in gold, and that quantities of that metal, such as now appear almost fabulous, may have been often obtained. It appears that the produce of gold in all parts of the earth, as far[p. 238] as hitherto known, is obtained exclusively near the surface; so that a country once rich in that metal may well have been exhausted of its whole supply, and left at a later period without any gold at all.

Of the nineteen silver-paying satrapies, the most heavily imposed was Babylonia, which paid one thousand talents: the next in amount of charge was Egypt, paying seven hundred talents, besides the produce of the fish from the lake of Mœris. The remaining satrapies varied in amount, down as low as one hundred and seventy talents, which was the sum charged on the seventh satrapy (in the enumeration of Herodotus), comprising the Sattagydæ, the Gandarii, the Dodikæ, and the Aparytæ. The Ionians, Æolians, Magnesians on the Mæander, and on Mount Sipylus, Karians, Lykians, Milyans, and Pamphylians,—including the coast of Asia Minor, southward of Kanê, and from thence round the southern promontory to Phasêlis,—were rated as one division, paying four hundred talents. But we may be sure that much more than this was really taken from the people, when we read that Magnesia alone afterwards paid to Themistoklês a revenue of fifty talents annually.[426] The Mysians and Lydians were included, with some others, in another division, and the Hellespontine Greeks in a third, with Phrygians, Bithynians, Paphlagonians, Mariandynians, and Syrians, paying three hundred and sixty talents,—nearly the same as was paid by Syria proper, Phenicia, and Judæa, with the island of Cyprus. Independent of this regular tribute, and the undefined sums extorted over and above it,[427] there were some dependent nations, which, though exempt from tribute, furnished occasional sums called presents; and farther contributions were exacted for the maintenance of the vast suite who always personally attended the king. One entire third of this last burden was borne by Babylonia alone in consequence of its exuberant fertility.[428] It was paid in produce, as indeed the peculiar productions of every part of the empire seem to have been sent up for the regal consumption.

[p. 239]However imperfectly we are now able to follow the geographical distribution of the subject nations as given by Herodotus, it is extremely valuable as the only professed statistics remaining, of the entire Persian empire. The arrangement of satrapies, which he describes, underwent modification in subsequent times; at least it does not harmonize with various statements in the Anabasis of Xenophon, and in other authors who recount Persian affairs belonging to the fourth century B. C. But we find in no other author except Herodotus any entire survey and distribution of the empire. It is, indeed, a new tendency which now manifests itself in the Persian Darius, compared with his predecessors: not simply to conquer, to extort, and to give away,—but to do all this with something like method and system,[429] and to define the obligations of the satraps towards Susa. Another remarkable example of the same tendency is to be found in the fact, that Darius was the first Persian king who coined money: his coin, both in gold and silver, the Daric, was the earliest produce of a Persian mint.[430] The revenue, as brought to Susa in metallic money of various descriptions, was melted down separately, and poured in a fluid state into jars or earthenware vessels; when the metal had cooled and hardened, the jar was broken, leaving a standing solid mass, from which portions were cut off as the oc[p. 240]casion required.[431] And in addition to these administrative, financial, and monetary arrangements, of which Darius was the first originator, we may probably ascribe to him the first introduction of that system of roads, resting-places, and permanent relays of couriers, which connected both Susa and Ekbatana with the distant portions of the empire. Herodotus describes in considerable detail the imperial road from Sardis to Susa, a journey of ninety days, crossing the Halys, the Euphratês, the Tigris, the Greater and Lesser Zab, the Gyndês, and the Choaspês. And we may see by this account that in his time it was kept in excellent order, with convenience for travellers.[432]

It was Darius also who first completed the conquest of the Ionic Greeks by the acquisition of the important island of Samos. That island had maintained its independence, at the time when the Persian general Harpagus effected the conquest of Ionia. It did not yield voluntarily when Chios and Lesbos submitted, and the Persians had no fleet to attack it; nor had the Phenicians yet been taught to round the Triopian cape. Indeed, the depression which overtook the other cities of Ionia, tended rather to the aggrandizement of Samos, under the energetic and unscrupulous despotism of Polykratês. That ambitious Samian, about ten years after the conquest of Sardis by Cyrus (seemingly between 536-532 B. C.), contrived to seize by force or fraud the government of his native island, with the aid of his brothers Pantagnôtus and Sylosôn, and a small band of conspirators.[433] At first, the three brothers shared the supreme power; but presently Polykratês put to death Pantagnôtus, banished Sylosôn, and made himself despot alone. In this station, his ambition, his perfidy, and his good fortune, were alike remarkable. He con[p. 241]quered several of the neighboring islands, and even some towns on the mainland; he carried on successful war against Milêtus; and signally defeated the Lesbian ships which came to assist Milêtus; he got together a force of one hundred armed ships called pentekonters, and one thousand mercenary bowmen,—aspiring to nothing less than the dominion of Ionia, with the islands in the Ægean. Alike terrible to friend and foe by his indiscriminate spirit of aggression, he acquired a naval power which seems at that time to have been the greatest in the Grecian world.[434] He had been in intimate alliance with Amasis, king of Egypt, who, however, ultimately broke with him. Considering his behavior towards allies, such rupture is not at all surprising; but Herodotus ascribes it to the alarm which Amasis conceived at the uninterrupted and superhuman good fortune of Polykratês,—a degree of good fortune sure to draw down ultimately corresponding intensity of suffering from the hands of the envious gods. Indeed, Herodotus,—deeply penetrated with this belief in an ever-present nemesis, which allows no man to be very happy, or long happy, with impunity,—throws it into the form of an epistolary warning from Amasis to Polykratês, advising him to inflict upon himself some seasonable mischief or suffering; in order, if possible, to avert the ultimate judgment,—to let blood in time, so that the plethora of happiness might not end in apoplexy.[435] Pursuant to such counsel, Polykratês threw into the sea a favorite ring, of matchless price and beauty; but unfortunately, in a few days, the ring reappeared in the belly of a fine fish, which a fisherman had sent to him as a present. Amasis now foresaw that the final apoplexy was inevitable, and broke off the alliance with Polykratês without delay,—a well-known story, interesting as evidence of ancient belief, and not less to be noted as showing the power of that belief to beget fictitious details out of real characters, such as I have already touched upon in the history of Solon and Crœsus, and elsewhere.

[p. 242]The facts mentioned by Herodotus rather lead us to believe that it was Polykratês, who, with characteristic faithlessness, broke off his friendship with Amasis;[436] finding it suitable to his policy to cultivate the alliance of Kambysês, when that prince was preparing for his invasion of Egypt. In that invasion, the Ionic subjects of Persia were called upon to serve, and Polykratês, deeming it a good opportunity to rid himself of some Samian malcontents, sent to the Persian king to tender auxiliaries from himself. Kambysês, having eagerly caught at the prospect of aid from the first naval potentate in the Ægean, forty Samian triremes were sent to the Nile, having on board the suspected persons, as well as conveying a secret request to the Persian king that they might never be suffered to return. Either they never went to Egypt, however, or they found means to escape; very contradictory stories had reached Herodotus. But they certainly returned to Samos, attacked Polykratês at home, and were driven off by his superior force without making any impression. Whereupon they repaired to Sparta to entreat assistance.[437]

We may here notice the gradually increasing tendency in the Grecian world to recognize Sparta as something like a head, protector, or referee, in cases either of foreign danger or internal dispute. The earliest authentic instance known to us, of application to Sparta in this character, is that of Crœsus against Cyrus: next, that of the Ionic Greeks against the latter: the instance of the Samians now before us, is the third. The important events connected with, and consequent upon, the expulsion of the Peisistratidæ from Athens, manifesting yet more formally the headship of Sparta, occur fifteen years after the present event; they have been already recounted in a previous chapter, and serve as a farther proof of progress in the same direction. To watch the growth of these new political habits, is essential to a right understanding of Grecian history.

On reaching Sparta, the Samian exiles, borne down with despondency and suffering, entered at large into the particulars of their case. Their long speaking annoyed instead of moving the[p. 243] Spartans, who said, or are made to say: “We have forgotten the first part of the speech, and the last part is unintelligible to us.” Upon which the Samians appeared the next day, simply with an empty wallet, saving: “Our wallet has no meal in it.” “Your wallet is superfluous,” (said the Spartans;) i. e. the words would have been sufficient without it.[438] The aid which they implored was granted.

We are told that both the Lacedæmonians and the Corinthians,—who joined them in the expedition now contemplated,—had separate grounds of quarrel with the Samians,[439] which operated as a more powerful motive than the simple desire to aid the suffering exiles. But it rather seems that the subsequent Greeks generally construed the Lacedæmonian interference against Polykratês as an example of standing Spartan hatred against despots. Indeed, the only facts which we know, to sustain this anti-despotic sentiment for which the Lacedæmonians had credit, are, their proceedings against Polykratês and Hippias; there may have been other analogous cases, but we cannot specify them with certainty. However this may be, a joint Lacedæmonian and Corinthian force accompanied the exiles back to Samos, and assailed Polykratês in the city. They did their best to capture it, for forty days, and were at one time on the point of succeeding, but were finally obliged to retire without any success. “The city would have been taken,” says Herodotus, “if all the Lacedæmonians had acted like Archias and Lykôpas,”—who, pressing closely upon the retreating Samians, were shut within the town-gates, and perished. The historian had heard this exploit in personal conversation with Archias, grandson of the person above mentioned, in the deme Pitana at Sparta,—whose father had been named Samius, and who respected the Samians above any other Greeks, because they had bestowed upon the two brave warriors, slain within their town, an honorable and public funeral.[440] It is rarely that Herodotus thus specifies his informants: had he done so more frequently the value as well as the interest of his history would have been materially increased.

[p. 244]On the retirement of the Lacedæmonian force, the Samian exiles were left destitute; and looking out for some community to plunder, weak as well as rich, they pitched upon the island of Siphnos. The Siphnians of that day were the wealthiest islanders in the Ægean, from the productiveness of their gold and silver mines,—the produce of which was annually distributed among the citizens, reserving a tithe for the Delphian temple.[441] Their treasure-chamber was among the most richly furnished of which that holy place could boast, and they themselves, probably, in these times of early prosperity, were numbered among the most brilliant of the Ionic visitors at the Delian festival. The Samians landing at Siphnos, demanded a contribution, under the name of a loan, of ten talents: which being refused, they proceeded to ravage the island, inflicting upon the inhabitants a severe defeat, and ultimately extorting from them one hundred talents. They next purchased from the inhabitants of Hermionê, in the Argolic peninsula, the neighboring island of Hydrea, famous in modern Greek warfare. But it appears that their plans must have been subsequently changed, for, instead of occupying it, they placed it under the care of the Trœzenians, and repaired themselves to Krete, for the purpose of expelling the Zakynthian settlers at Kydônia. In this they succeeded, and were induced to establish themselves in that place. But after they had remained there five years, the Kretans obtained naval aid from Ægina, whereby the place was recovered, and the Samian intruders finally sold into slavery.[442]

Such was the melancholy end of the enemies of Polykratês: meanwhile, that despot himself was more powerful and prosperous than ever. Samos, under him, was “the first of all cities, Hellenic or barbaric:[443]” and the great works admired by Herodotus in the island,[444]—an aqueduct for the city, tunnelled through a mountain for the length of seven furlongs,—a mole to protect the harbor, two furlongs long and twenty fathoms deep, and the vast temple of Hêrê, may probably have been enlarged and com[p. 245]pleted, if not begun, by him. Aristotle quotes the public works of Polykratês as instances of the profound policy of despots, to occupy as well as to impoverish their subjects.[445] The earliest of all Grecian thalassokrats, or sea-kings,—master of the greatest naval force in the Ægean, as well as of many among its islands,—he displayed his love of letters by friendship to Anakreon, and his piety by consecrating to the Delian Apollo[446] the neighboring island of Rhêneia. But while thus outshining all his contemporaries, victorious over Sparta and Corinth, and projecting farther aggrandizement, he was precipitated on a sudden into the abyss of ruin;[447] and that too, as if to demonstrate unequivocally the agency of the envious gods, not from the revenge of any of his numerous victims, but from the gratuitous malice of a stranger whom he had never wronged and never even seen. The Persian satrap Orœtês, on the neighboring mainland, conceived an implacable hatred against him: no one could tell why,—for he had no design of attacking the island; and the trifling reasons conjecturally assigned, only prove that the real reason, whatever it might be, was unknown. Availing himself of the notorious ambition and cupidity of Polykratês, Orœtês sent to Samos a messenger, pretending that his life was menaced by Kambysês, and that he was anxious to make his escape with his abundant treasures. He proposed to Polykratês a share in this treasure, sufficient to make him master of all Greece, as far as that object could be achieved by money, provided the Samian prince would come over to convey him away. Mæandrius, secretary of Polykratês, was sent over to Magnêsia on the Mæander, to make inquiries; he there saw the satrap with eight large coffers full of gold,—or rather apparently so, being in reality full of stones, with a layer of gold at the top,[448]—tied up ready for departure. The cupidity of Polykratês was not proof against so rich a bait: he crossed over to Magnêsia with a considerable suite, and thus came into the power of Orœtês, in spite of the warnings of his[p. 246] prophets and the agony of his terrified daughter, to whom his approaching fate had been revealed in a dream. The satrap slew him and crucified his body; releasing all the Samians who accompanied him, with an intimation that they ought to thank him for procuring them a free government,—but retaining both the foreigners and the slaves as prisoners.[449] The death of Orœtês himself, which ensued shortly afterwards, has already been described. It is considered by Herodotus as a judgment for his flagitious deed in the case of Polykratês.[450]

At the departure of the latter from Samos, in anticipation of a speedy return, Mæandrius had been left as his lieutenant at Samos; and the unexpected catastrophe of Polykratês filled him with surprise and consternation. Though possessed of the fortresses, the soldiers, and the treasures, which had constituted the machinery of his powerful master, he knew the risk of trying to employ them on his own account. Partly from this apprehension, partly from the genuine political morality which prevailed with more or less force in every Grecian bosom, he resolved to lay down his authority and enfranchise the island. “He wished (says the historian, in a remarkable phrase)[451] to act like the justest of men; but he was not allowed to do so.” His first proceeding was to erect in the suburbs an altar in honor of Zeus Eleutherius, and to inclose a piece of ground as a precinct, which still existed in the time of Herodotus: he next convened an assembly of the Samians. “You know (says he) that the whole power of Polykratês is now in my hands, nor is there anything to hinder me from continuing to rule over you. Nevertheless, what I condemn in another I will not do myself,—and I have always disapproved of Polykratês, and others like him, for seeking to rule over men as good as themselves. Now that Polykratês has come to the end of his destiny, I at once lay down the command, and proclaim among you equal law; reserving to myself as privileges, first, six talents out of the treasures of Polykratês,—next, the hereditary[p. 247] priesthood of Zeus Eleutherius for myself and my descendants forever. To him I have just set apart a sacred precinct, as the God of that freedom which I now hand over to you.”

This reasonable and generous proposition fully justifies the epithet of Herodotus. But very differently was it received by the Samian hearers. One of the chief men among them, Telesarchus, exclaimed, with the applause of the rest, “You rule us, low-born and scoundrel as you are! you are not worthy to rule: don’t think of that, but give us some account of the money which you have been handling.”[452]

Such an unexpected reply caused a total revolution in the mind of Mæandrius. It left him no choice but to maintain dominion at all hazards,—which he accordingly resolved to do. Retiring into the acropolis, under pretence of preparing his money-accounts for examination, he sent for Telesarchus and his chief political enemies, one by one,—intimating that they were open to inspection. As fast as they arrived they were put in chains, while Mæandrius remained in the acropolis, with his soldiers and his treasures, as the avowed successor of Polykratês. And thus the Samians, after a short hour of insane boastfulness, found themselves again enslaved. “It seemed (says Herodotus) that they were not willing to be free.”[453]

We cannot but contrast their conduct on this occasion with that of the Athenians about twelve years afterwards, on the expulsion of Hippias, which has been recounted in a previous chapter. The position of the Samians was far the more favorable of the two, for the quiet and successful working of a free government; for they had the advantage of a voluntary as well as a sincere resignation from the actual despot. Yet the thirst for reactionary investigation prevented them even from taking a reasonable estimate of their own power of enforcing it: they passed at once from extreme subjection to overbearing and ruinous rashness. Whereas the Athenians, under circumstances far less promising, avoided the fatal mistake of sacrificing the pros[p. 248]pects of the future to recollections of the past; showed themselves both anxious to acquire the rights, and willing to perform the obligations, of a free community; listened to wise counsels, maintained unanimous action, and overcame, by heroic efforts, forces very greatly superior. If we compare the reflections of Herodotus on the one case and on the other,[454] we shall be struck with the difference which those reflections imply between the Athenians and the Samians,—a difference partly referable, doubtless, to the pure Hellenism of the former, contrasted with the half-Asiatized Hellenism of the latter,—but also traceable in a great degree to the preliminary lessons of the Solonian constitution, overlaid, but not extinguished, during the despotism of the Peisistratids which followed.

The events which succeeded in Samos are little better than a series of crimes and calamities. The prisoners, whom Mæandrius had detained in the acropolis, were slain during his dangerous illness, by his brother Lykarêtus, under the idea that this would enable him more easily to seize the sceptre. But Mæandrius recovered, and must have continued as despot for a year or two: it was, however, a weak despotism, contested more or less in the island, and very different from the iron hand of Polykratês. In this untoward condition, the Samians were surprised by the arrival of a new claimant for their sceptre and acropolis,—and, what was much more formidable, a Persian army to back him.

Sylosôn, the brother of Polykratês, having taken part originally in his brother’s conspiracy and usurpation, had been at first allowed to share the fruits of it, but quickly found himself banished. In this exile he remained during the whole life of Polykratês, and until the accession of Darius to the Persian throne, which followed about a year after the death of Polykratês. He happened to be at Memphis, in Egypt, during the time when Kambysês was there with his conquering army, and when Darius, then a Persian of little note, was serving among his guards. Sylosôn was walking in the agora of Memphis, wearing a scarlet cloak, to which Darius took a great fancy, and proposed to buy it. A divine inspiration prompted Sylosôn to reply,[455] “I cannot[p. 249] for any price sell it; but I give it you for nothing, if it must be yours.” Darius thanked him, and accepted the cloak; and for some years the donor accused himself of a silly piece of good-nature.[456] But as events came round, Sylosôn at length heard with surprise that the unknown Persian, whom he had presented with the cloak at Memphis, was installed as king in the palace at Susa. He went thither, proclaimed himself as a Greek, as well as benefactor of the new king, and was admitted to the regal presence. Darius had forgotten his person, but perfectly remembered the adventure of the cloak, when it was brought to his mind,—and showed himself forward to requite, on the scale becoming the Great King, former favors, though small, rendered to the simple soldier at Memphis. Gold and silver were tendered to Sylosôn in profusion, but he rejected them,—requesting that the island of Samos might be conquered and handed over to him, without slaughter or enslavement of inhabitants. His request was complied with. Otanês, the originator of the conspiracy against Smerdis, was sent down to the coast of Ionia with an army, carried Sylosôn over to Samos, and landed him unexpectedly on the island.[457]

Mæandrius was in no condition to resist the invasion, nor were the Samians generally disposed to sustain him. He accordingly concluded a convention with Otanês, whereby he agreed to make way for Sylosôn, to evacuate the island, and to admit the Persians at once into the city; retaining possession, however—for such time as might be necessary to embark his property and treasures—of the acropolis, which had a separate landing-place, and even a subterranean passage and secret portal for embarkation,—probably one of the precautionary provisions of Polykratês. Otanês willingly granted these conditions, and himself with his principal officers entered the town, the army being quartered around; while Sylosôn seemed on the point of ascending the seat of his deceased brother without violence or bloodshed. But the Samians were destined to a fate more calamitous. Mæandrius had a brother named Charilaus, violent in his temper, and half a madman, whom he was obliged to keep in confine[p. 250]ment. This man looking out of his chamber-window, saw the Persian officers seated peaceably throughout the town and even under the gates of the acropolis, unguarded, and relying upon the convention: it seems that these were the chief officers, whose rank gave them the privilege of being carried about on their seats.[458] The sight inflamed both his wrath and his insane ambition; he clamored for liberty and admission to his brother, whom he reviled as a coward no less than a tyrant. “Here are you, worthless man, keeping me, your own brother, in a dungeon, though I have done no wrong worthy of bonds; while you do not dare to take your revenge on the Persians, who are casting you out as a houseless exile, and whom it would be so easy to put down. If you are afraid of them, give me your guards; I will make the Persians repent of their coming here, and I will send you safely out of the island forthwith.”[459]

Mæandrius, on the point of quitting Samos forever, had little personal motive to care what became of the population. He had probably never forgiven them for disappointing his honorable intentions after the death of Polykratês, nor was he displeased to hand over to Sylosôn an odious and blood-stained sceptre, which he foresaw would be the only consequence of his brother’s mad project. He therefore sailed away with his treasures, leaving the acropolis to his brother Charilaus; who immediately armed the guards, sallied forth from his fortress, and attacked the unsuspecting Persians. Many of the great officers were slain without resistance before the army could be got together; but at length Otanês collected his troops and drove the assailants back into the acropolis. While he immediately began the siege of that fortress, he also resolved, as Mæandrius had foreseen, to take a signal revenge for the treacherous slaughter of so many of his friends and companions. His army, no less incensed than him[p. 251]self, were directed to fall upon the Samian people and massacre them without discrimination,—man and boy, on ground sacred as well as profane. The bloody order was too faithfully executed, and Samos was handed over to Sylosôn, stripped of its male inhabitants.[460] Of Charilaus and the acropolis we hear no farther, perhaps he and his guards may have escaped by sea. Lykarêtus,[461] the other brother of Mæandrius, must have remained either in the service of Sylosôn or in that of the Persians; for we find him some years afterwards intrusted by the latter with an important command.

Sylosôn was thus finally installed as despot of an island peopled chiefly, if not wholly, with women and children: we may, however, presume, that the deed of blood has been described by the historian as more sweeping than it really was. It seems, nevertheless, to have sat heavily on the conscience of Otanês, who was induced sometime afterwards, by a dream and by a painful disease, to take measures for repeopling the island.[462] From whence the new population came, we are not told: but wholesale translations of inhabitants from one place to another were familiar to the mind of a Persian king or satrap.

Mæandrius, following the example of the previous Samian exiles under Polykratês, went to Sparta and sought aid for the purpose of reëstablishing himself at Samos. But the Lacedæmonians had no disposition to repeat an attempt which had before turned out so unsuccessfully, nor could he seduce king Kleomenês by the display of his treasures and finely-wrought gold plate. The king, however, not without fear that such seductions might win over some of the Spartan leading men, prevailed with the ephors to send Mæandrius away.[463]

Sylosôn seems to have remained undisturbed at Samos, as a tributary of Persia, like the Ionic cities on the continent: some years afterwards we find his son Æakês reigning in the island.[464] Strabo states that it was the harsh rule of Sylosôn which caused the depopulation of the island. But the cause just recounted out of Herodotus is both very different and sufficiently plausible in[p. 252] itself; and as Strabo seems in the main to have derived his account from Herodotus, we may suppose that on this point he has incorrectly remembered his authority.[465]


Darius had now acquired full authority throughout the Persian empire, having put down the refractory satrap Orœtês, as well as the revolted Medes and Babylonians. He had, moreover, completed the conquest of Ionia, by the important addition of Samos; and his dominion thus comprised all Asia Minor, with its neighboring islands. But this was not sufficient for the ambition of a Persian king, next but one in succession to the great Cyrus. The conquering impulse was yet unabated among the Persians, who thought it incumbent upon their king, and whose king thought it incumbent upon himself, to extend the limits of the empire. Though not of the lineage of Cyrus, Darius had taken pains to connect himself with it by marriage; he had married Atossa and Artystonê, daughters of Cyrus,—and Parmys, daughter of Smerdis, the younger son of Cyrus. Atossa had been first the wife of her brother Kambysês; next, of the Magian Smerdis, his successor; and thirdly of Darius, to whom she bore four children.[466] Of those children the eldest was Xerxês, respecting whom more will be said hereafter.

Atossa, mother of the only Persian king who ever set foot in Greece, the Sultana Validi of Persia during the reign of Xerxês, was a person of commanding influence in the reign of her[p. 253] last husband,[467] as well as in that of her son, and filled no inconsiderable space even in Grecian imagination, as we may see both by Æschylus and Herodotus. Had her influence prevailed, the first conquering appetites of Darius would have been directed, not against the steppes of Scythia, but against Attica and Peloponnesus; at least, so Herodotus assures us. The grand object of the latter in his history is to set forth the contentions of Hellas with the barbarians or non-Hellenic world; and with an art truly epical, which manifests itself everywhere to the careful reader of his nine books, he preludes to the real dangers which were averted at Marathon and Platæa, by recounting the first conception of an invasion of Greece by the Persians,—how it originated, and how it was abandoned. For this purpose,—according to his historical style, wherein general facts are set forth as subordinate and explanatory accompaniments to the adventures of particular persons,—he give us the interesting, but romantic, history of the Krotoniate surgeon Dêmokêdês.

Dêmokêdês, son of a citizen of Krotôn named Kalliphôn, had turned his attention in early youth to the study and practice of medicine and surgery (for that age, we can make no difference between the two), and had made considerable progress in it. His youth coincides nearly with the arrival of Pythagoras at Krotôn, (550-520,) where the science of the surgeon, as well as the art of the gymnastic trainer, seem to have been then prosecuted more actively than in any part of Greece. His father Kalliphôn, however, was a man of such severe temper, that the son ran away from him, and resolved to maintain himself by his talents elsewhere. He went to Ægina, and began to practice in his profession; and so rapid was his success, even in his first year,—though very imperfectly equipped with instruments and apparatus,[468]—that the citizens of the island made a contract with him to remain there for one year, at a salary of one talent (about[p. 254] three hundred and eighty-three pounds sterling, an Æginæan talent). The year afterwards he was invited to come to Athens, then under the Peisistratids, at a salary of one hundred minæ, or one and two-thirds of a talent; and in the following year, Polykratês of Samos tempted him by the offer of two talents. With that[p. 255] despot he remained, and accompanied him in his last calamitous visit to the satrap Orœtês: on the murder of Polykratês, being seized among the slaves and foreign attendants, he was left to languish with the rest in imprisonment and neglect. When again, soon after, Orœtês himself was slain, Dêmokêdês was numbered among his slaves and chattels and sent up to Susa.

He had not been long at that capital, when Darius, leaping from his horse in the chase, sprained his foot badly, and was carried home in violent pain. The Egyptian surgeons, supposed to be the first men in their profession,[469] whom he habitually employed, did him no good, but only aggravated his torture; for seven days and nights he had no sleep, and he as well as those around him began to despair. At length, some one who had been at Sardis, accidentally recollected that he had heard of a Greek surgeon among the slaves of Orœtês: search was immediately made, and the miserable slave was brought, in chains as well as in rags,[470] into the presence of the royal sufferer. Being asked whether he understood surgery, he affected ignorance; but Darius, suspecting this to be a mere artifice, ordered out the scourge and the pricking instrument, to overcome it. Dêmokêdês now saw that there was no resource, admitted that he had acquired some little skill, and was called upon to do his utmost in the case before him. He was fortunate enough to succeed perfectly, in alleviating the pain, in procuring sleep for the exhausted patient, and ultimately in restoring the foot to a sound state. Darius, who had abandoned all hopes of such a cure, knew no bounds to his gratitude. As a first reward, he presented him with two sets of chains in solid gold,—a commemoration of the state in which Dêmokêdês had first come before him,—he next sent him into the harem to visit his wives. The conducting eunuchs introduced him as the man who had restored the king to life, and the grateful sultanas each gave to him a saucer full of golden coins called staters;[471] in all so numerous, that the slave Skitôn,[p. 256] who followed him, was enriched by merely picking up the pieces which dropped on the floor. Nor was this all. Darius gave him a splendid house and furniture, made him the companion of his table, and showed him every description of favor. He was about to crucify the Egyptian surgeons who had been so unsuccessful in their attempts to cure him; but Dêmokêdês had the happiness of preserving their lives, as well as of rescuing an unfortunate companion of his imprisonment,—an Eleian prophet, who had followed the fortunes of Polykratês.

But there was one favor which Darius would on no account grant; yet upon this one Dêmokêdês had set his heart,—the liberty of returning to Greece. At length accident, combined with his own surgical skill, enabled him to escape from the splendor of his second detention, as it had before extricated him from the misery of the first. A tumor formed upon the breast of Atossa; at first, she said nothing to any one, but as it became too bad for concealment, she was forced to consult Dêmokêdês. He promised to cure her, but required from her a solemn oath that she would afterwards do for him anything which he should ask,—pledging himself at the same time to ask nothing indecent.[472] The cure was successful, and Atossa was required to repay it by procuring his liberty. He knew that the favor would be refused, even to her, if directly solicited, but he taught her a stratagem for obtaining under false pretences the consent of Darius. She took an early opportunity, Herodotus tells us,[473] in bed, of reminding Darius that the Persians expected from him some positive addition to the power and splendor of the empire; and when Darius, in answer, acquainted her that he contemplated a speedy expedition against the Scythians, she entreated him to postpone it, and to turn his forces first against Greece: “I have[p. 257] heard (she said) about the maidens of Sparta, Athens, Argos, and Corinth, and I want to have some of them as slaves to serve me—(we may conceive the smile of triumph with which the sons of those who had conquered at Platæa and Salamis would hear this part of the history read by Herodotus);—you have near you the best person possible to give information about Greece,—that Greek who cured your foot.” Darius was induced by this request to send some confidential Persians into Greece to procure information, along with Dêmokêdês. Selecting fifteen of them, he ordered them to survey the coasts and cities of Greece, under guidance of Dêmokêdês, but with peremptory orders upon no account to let him escape or to return without him. He next sent for Dêmokêdês himself, explained to him what he wanted, and enjoined him imperatively to return as soon as the business had been completed; he farther desired him to carry away with him all the ample donations which he had already received, as presents to his father and brothers, promising that on his return fresh donations of equal value should make up the loss: lastly, he directed that a storeship, “filled with all manner of good things,” should accompany the voyage. Dêmokêdês undertook the mission with every appearance of sincerity. The better to play his part, he declined to take away what he already possessed at Susa,—saying, that he should like to find his property and furniture again on coming back, and that the storeship alone, with its contents, would be sufficient both for the voyage and for all necessary presents.

Accordingly, he and the fifteen Persian envoys went down to Sidon in Phenicia, where two armed triremes were equipped, with a large storeship in company; and the voyage of survey into Greece was commenced. They visited and examined all the principal places in Greece,—probably beginning with the Asiatic and insular Greeks, crossing to Eubœa, circumnavigating Attica and Peloponnesus, then passing to Korkyra and Italy. They surveyed the coasts and cities, taking memoranda[474] of everything worthy of note which they saw: this Periplûs, if it had been preserved, would have been inestimable, as an account[p. 258] of the actual state of the Grecian world about 518 B. C. As soon as they arrived at Tarentum, Dêmokêdês—now within a short distance of his own home, Krotôn—found an opportunity of executing what he had meditated from the beginning. At his request Aristophilidês, the king of Tarentum, seized the fifteen Persians, and detained them as spies, at the same time taking the rudders from off their ships,—while Dêmokêdês himself made his escape to Krotôn. As soon as he had arrived there, Aristophilidês released the Persians, and suffered them to pursue their voyage: they went on to Krotôn, found Dêmokêdês in the market-place, and laid hands upon him. But his fellow-citizens released him, not without opposition from some who were afraid of provoking the Great King, and in spite of remonstrances, energetic and menacing, from the Persians themselves: indeed, the Krotôniates not only protected the restored exile, but even robbed the Persians of their storeship. The latter, disabled from proceeding farther, as well by this loss as by the secession of Dêmokêdês, commenced their voyage homeward, but unfortunately suffered shipwreck near the Iapygian cape, and became slaves in that neighborhood. A Tarentine exile, named Gillus, ransomed them and carried them up to Susa,—a service for which Darius promised him any recompense that he chose. Restoration to his native city was all that Gillus asked; and that too, not by force, but by the mediation of the Asiatic Greeks of Knidus, who were on terms of intimate alliance with the Tarentines. This generous citizen,—an honorable contrast to Dêmokêdês, who had not scrupled to impel the stream of Persian conquest against his country, in order to procure his own release,—was unfortunately disappointed of his anticipated recompense. For though the Knidians, at the injunction of Darius, employed all their influence at Tarentum to procure a revocation of the sentence of exile, they were unable to succeed, and force was out of the question.[475] The last words addressed by Dêmokêdês at parting to his Persian companions, exhorted them to acquaint Darius that he (Dêmokêdês) was about to marry the daughter of the Krotoniate Milo,—one of the first men in Krotôn, as well as the greatest wrestler of his time. The reputation of Milo was very great with[p. 259] Darius,—probably from the talk of Dêmokêdês himself: moreover, gigantic muscular force could be appreciated by men who had no relish either for Homer or Solon. And thus did this clever and vainglorious Greek, sending back his fifteen Persian companions to disgrace, and perhaps to death, deposit in their parting ears a braggart message, calculated to create for himself a factitious name at Susa. He paid a large sum to Milo as the price of his daughter, for this very purpose.[476]

Thus finishes the history of Dêmokêdês, and of the “first Persians (to use the phrase of Herodotus) who ever came over from Asia into Greece.”[477] It is a history well deserving of attention, even looking only to the liveliness of the incidents, introducing us as they do into the full movement of the ancient world,—incidents which I see no reason for doubting, with a reasonable allowance for the dramatic amplification of the historian. Even at that early date, Greek medical intelligence stands out in a surpassing manner, and Dêmokêdês is the first of those many able Greek surgeons who were seized, carried up to Susa,[478] and there detained for the Great King, his court, and harem.

But his history suggests, in another point of view, far more serious reflections. Like the Milesian Histiæus (of whom I shall speak hereafter,) he cared not what amount of risk he brought upon his country in order to procure his own escape from a splendid detention at Susa. And the influence which he originated and brought to bear was on the point of precipitating upon Greece the whole force of the Persian empire, at a time when Greece was in no condition to resist it. Had the first aggressive[p. 260] expedition of Darius, with his own personal command and fresh appetite for conquest, been directed against Greece instead of against Scythia (between 516-514 B. C.), Grecian independence would have perished almost infallibly. For Athens was then still governed by the Peisistratids; what she was, under them, we have had occasion to notice in a former chapter. She had then no courage for energetic self-defence, and probably Hippias himself, far from offering resistance, would have found it advantageous to accept Persian dominion as a means of strengthening his own rule, like the Ionian despots: moreover, Grecian habit of coöperation was then only just commencing. But fortunately, the Persian invader did not touch the shore of Greece until more than twenty years afterwards, in 490 B. C.; and during that precious interval, the Athenian character had undergone the memorable revolution which has been before described. Their energy and their organization had been alike improved, and their force of resistance had become decupled; moreover, their conduct had so provoked the Persian that resistance was then a matter of necessity with them, and submission on tolerable terms an impossibility. When we come to the grand Persian invasion of Greece, we shall see that Athens was the life and soul of all the opposition offered. We shall see farther, that with all the efforts of Athens, the success of the defence was more than once doubtful; and would have been converted into a very different result, if Xerxês had listened to the best of his own counsellors. But had Darius, at the head of the very same force which he conducted into Scythia, or even an inferior force, landed at Marathon in 514 B. C., instead of sending Datis in 490 B. C.,—he would have found no men like the victors of Marathon to meet him. As far as we can appreciate the probabilities, he would have met with little resistance except from the Spartans singly, who would have maintained their own very defensible territory against all his efforts,—like the Mysians and Pisidians in Asia Minor, or like the Mainots of Laconia in later days; but Hellas generally would have become a Persian satrapy. Fortunately, Darius, while bent on invading some country, had set his mind on the attack of Scythia, alike perilous and unprofitable. His personal ardor was wasted on those unconquerable regions, where he narrowly escaped the disastrous fate of Cyrus,—nor[p. 261] did he ever pay a second visit to the coasts of the Ægean. Yet the amorous influences of Atossa, set at work by Dêmokêdês might well have been sufficiently powerful to induce Darius to assail Greece instead of Scythia,—a choice in favor of which all other recommendations concurred; and the history of free Greece would then probably have stopped at this point, without unrolling any of the glories which followed. So incalculably great has been the influence of Grecian development, during the two centuries between 500-300 B. C., on the destinies of mankind, that we cannot pass without notice a contingency which threatened to arrest that development in the bud. Indeed, it may be remarked that the history of any nation, considered as a sequence of causes and effects, affording applicable knowledge, requires us to study not merely real events, but also imminent contingencies,—events which were on the point of occurring, but yet did not occur. When we read the wailings of Atossa in the Persæ of Æschylus, for the humiliation which her son Xerxês had just undergone in his flight from Greece,[479] we do not easily persuade ourselves to reverse the picture, and to conceive the same Atossa twenty years earlier, numbering as her slaves at Susa the noblest Hêrakleid and Alkmæônid maidens from Greece. Yet the picture would really have been thus reversed,—the wish of Atossa would have been fulfilled, and the wailings would have been heard from enslaved Greek maidens in Persia,—if the mind of Darius had not happened to be preoccupied with a project not less insane even than those of Kambysês against Ethiopia and the Libyan desert. Such at least is the moral of the story of Dêmokêdês.

That insane expedition across the Danube into Scythia comes now to be recounted. It was undertaken by Darius for the purpose of avenging the inroad and devastation of the Scythians in Media and Upper Asia, about a century before. The lust of conquest imparted unusual force to this sentiment of wounded dignity, which in the case of the Scythians could hardly be connected with any expectation of plunder or profit. In spite of the dissuading admonition of his brother Artabanus,[480] Darius[p. 262] summoned the whole force of his empire, army and navy, to the Thracian Bosphorus,—a force not less than seven hundred thousand horse and foot, and six hundred ships, according to Herodotus. On these prodigious numbers we can lay no stress. But it appears that the names of all the various nations composing the host were inscribed on two pillars, erected by order of Darius on the European side of the Bosphorus, and afterwards seen by Herodotus himself in the city of Byzantium,—the inscriptions were bilingual, in Assyrian characters as well as Greek. The Samian architect Mandroklês had been directed to throw a bridge of boats across the Bosphorus, about half-way between Byzantium and the mouth of the Euxine. So peremptory were the Persian kings that their orders for military service should be punctually obeyed, and so impatient were they of the idea of exemptions, that when a Persian father named Œobazus entreated that one of his three sons, all included in the conscription, might be left at home, Darius replied that all three of them[p. 263] should be left at home,—an answer which the unsuspecting father heard with delight. They were indeed all left at home,—for they were all put to death.[481] A proceeding similar to this is ascribed afterwards to Xerxês;[482] whether true or not as matters of fact, both tales illustrate the wrathful displeasure with which the Persian kings were known to receive such petitions for exemption.

The naval force of Darius seems to have consisted entirely of subject Greeks, Asiatic and insular; for the Phenician fleet was not brought into the Ægean until the subsequent Ionic revolt. At this time all or most of the Asiatic Greek cities were under despots, who leaned on the Persian government for support, and who appeared with their respective contingents to take part in the Scythian expedition.[483] Of Ionic Greeks were seen,—Strattis, despot of Chios; Æakês son of Sylosôn, despot of Samos; Laodamas, of Phôkæa; and Histiæus, of Milêtus. From the Æolic towns, Aristagoras of Kymê; from the Hellespontine Greeks, Daphnis of Abydus, Hippoklus of Lampsakus, Hêrophantus of Parium, Metrodôrus of Prokonnêsus, Aristagoras of Kyzikus, and Miltiadês of the Thracian Chersonese. All these are mentioned, and there were probably more. This large fleet, assembled at the Bosphorus, was sent forward into the Euxine to the mouth of the Danube,—with orders to sail up the river two days’ journey, above the point where its channel begins to divide, and to throw a bridge of boats over it; while Darius, having liberally recompensed the architect Mandroklês, crossed the bridge over the Bosphorus, and began his march through Thrace, receiving the submission of various Thracian tribes in his way, and subduing others,—especially the Getæ north of Mount Hæmus, who were compelled to increase still farther the numbers of his vast army.[484] On arriving at the Danube, he found the bridge finished and prepared for his passage by the Ionians: we may remark here, as on so many other occasions, that all operations requiring intelligence are performed for the Persians either by Greeks or by Phenicians,—more usually by the for[p. 264]mer. He crossed this greatest of all earthly rivers,[485]—for so the Danube was imagined to be in the fifth century B. C.,—and directed his march into Scythia.

As far as the point now attained, our narrative runs smoothly and intelligibly: we know that Darius marched his army into Scythia, and that he came back with ignominy and severe loss. But as to all which happened between his crossing and recrossing the Danube, we find nothing approaching to authentic statement,—nothing even which we can set forth as the probable basis of truth on which exaggerating fancy has been at work. All is inexplicable mystery. Ktêsias indeed says that Darius marched for fifteen days into the Scythian territory,—that he then exchanged bows with the king of Scythia, and discovered the Scythian bow to be the largest,—and that, being intimidated by such discovery, he fled back to the bridge by which he had crossed the Danube, and recrossed the river with the loss of one-tenth part of his army,[486] being compelled to break down the bridge before all had passed. The length of march is here the only thing distinctly stated; about the direction nothing is said. But the narrative of Ktêsias, defective as it is, is much less perplexing than that of Herodotus, who conducts the immense host of Darius as it were through fairy-land,—heedless of distance, large intervening rivers, want of all cultivation or supplies, destruction of the country—in so far as it could be destroyed—by the retreating Scythians, etc. He tells us that the Persian army consisted chiefly of foot,—that there were no roads nor agriculture; yet his narrative carries it over about twelve degrees of longitude from the Danube to the country east of the Tanais, across the rivers Tyras[p. 265] (Dniester), Hypanis (Bog), Borysthenês (Dnieper), Hypakyris. Gerrhos, and Tanais.[487] How these rivers could have been passed in the face of enemies by so vast a host, we are left to conjecture, since it was not winter time, to convert them into ice: nor does the historian even allude to them as having been crossed either in the advance or in the retreat. What is not less remarkable is, that in respect to the Greek settlement of Olbia, or Borysthenês, and the agricultural Scythians and Mix-hellenes between the Hypanis and the Borysthenês, across whose country it would seem that this march of Darius must have carried him,—Herodotus does not say anything; though we should have expected that he would have had better means of informing himself about this part of the march than about any other, and though the Persians could hardly have failed to plunder or put in requisition this, the only productive portion of Scythia.

The narrative of Herodotus in regard to the Persian march north of the Ister seems indeed destitute of all the conditions of reality. It is rather an imaginative description, illustrating the desperate and impracticable character of Scythian warfare, and grouping in the same picture, according to that large sweep of the imagination which is admissible in epical treatment, the Scythians, with all their barbarous neighbors from the Carpathian mountains to the river Wolga. The Agathyrsi, the Neuri, the Androphagi, the Melanchlæni, the Budini, the Gelôni, the Sarmatians, and the Tauri,—all of them bordering on that vast quadrangular area of four thousand stadia for each side, called Scythia, as Herodotus conceives it,[488]—are brought into deliberation and action in consequence of the Persian approach. And Herodotus[p. 266] takes that opportunity of communicating valuable particulars respecting the habits and manners of each. The kings of these nations discuss whether Darius is justified in his invasion, and whether it be prudent in them to aid the Scythians. The latter question is decided in the affirmative by the Sarmatians, the Budini, and the Gelôni, all eastward of the Tanais,[489]—in the negative by the rest. The Scythians, removing their wagons with their wives and children out of the way northward, retreat and draw Darius after them from the Danube all across Scythia and Sarmatia to the north-eastern extremity of the territory of the Budini,[490] several days’ journey eastward of the Tanais. Moreover, they destroy the wells and ruin the herbage as much as they can, so that during all this long march, says Herodotus, the Persians “found nothing to damage, inasmuch as the country was barren;” it is therefore not easy to see what they could find to live upon. It is in the territory of the Budini, at this easternmost terminus on the borders of the desert, that the Persians perform the only positive acts which are ascribed to them throughout the whole expedition. They burn the wooden wall before occupied, but now deserted, by the Gelôni, and they build, or begin to build, eight large fortresses near the river Oarus. For what purpose these fortresses could have been intended, Herodotus gives no intimation; but he says that the unfinished work was yet to be seen even in his day.[491]

Having thus been carried all across Scythia and the other territories above mentioned in a north-easterly direction, Darius and his army are next marched back a prodigious distance in a north-westerly direction, through the territories of the Melanchlæni, the Androphagi, and the Neuri, all of whom flee affrighted into[p. 267] the northern desert, having been thus compelled against their will to share in the consequences of the war. The Agathyrsi peremptorily require the Scythians to abstain from drawing the Persians into their territory, on pain of being themselves treated as enemies:[492] the Scythians in consequence respect the boundaries of the Agathyrsi, and direct their retreat in such a manner as to draw the Persians again southward into Scythia. During all this long march backwards and forwards, there are partial skirmishes and combats of horse, but the Scythians steadily refuse any general engagement. And though Darius challenges them formally, by means of a herald, with taunts of cowardice, the Scythian king Idanthyrsus not only refuses battle, but explains and defends his policy, and defies the Persian to come and destroy the tombs of their fathers,—it will then, he adds, be seen whether the Scythians are cowards or not.[493] The difficulties of Darius have by this time become serious, when Idanthyrsus sends to him the menacing presents of a bird, a mouse, a frog, and five arrows: the Persians are obliged to commence a rapid retreat towards the Danube, leaving, in order to check and slacken the Scythian pursuit, the least effective and the sick part of their army encamped, together with the asses which had been brought with them,—animals unknown to the Scythians, and causing great alarm by their braying.[494] However, notwithstanding some delay thus caused, as well as the anxious haste of Darius to reach the Danube, the Scythians, far more rapid in their movements, arrive at the river before him, and open a negotiation with the Ionians left in guard of the bridge, urging them to break it down and leave the Persian king to his fate,—inevitable destruction with his whole army.[495]

[p. 268]Here we reënter the world of reality, at the north bank of the Danube, the place where we before quitted it. All that is reported to have passed in the interval, if tried by the tests of historical matter of fact, can be received as nothing better than a perplexing dream. It only acquires value when we consider it as an illustrative fiction, including, doubtless, some unknown matter of fact, but framed chiefly to exhibit in action those unattackable Nomads, who formed the north-eastern barbarous world of a Greek, and with whose manners Herodotus was profoundly struck. “The Scythians[496] (says he) in regard to one of the greatest of human matters, have struck out a plan cleverer than any that I know. In other respects I do not admire them; but they have contrived this great object, that no invader of their country shall ever escape out of it, or shall ever be able to find out and overtake them, unless they themselves choose. For when men have neither walls nor established cities, but are all house-carriers and horse-bowmen,—living, not from the plough, but from cattle, and having their dwellings on wagons,—how can they be otherwise than unattackable and impracticable to meddle with?” The protracted and unavailing chase ascribed to Darius,—who can neither overtake his game nor use his arms, and who hardly even escapes in safety,—embodies in detail this formidable attribute of the Scythian Nomads. That Darius actually marched into the country, there can be no doubt. Nothing else is certain, except his ignominious retreat out of it to the Danube; for of the many different guesses,[497] by which critics[p. 269] have attempted to cut down the gigantic sketch of Herodotus into a march with definite limits and direction, not one rests upon any positive grounds, or carries the least conviction. We can trace the pervading idea in the mind of the historian, but cannot find out what were his substantive data.

The adventures which took place at the passage of that river, both on the out-march and the home-march, wherein the Ionians are concerned, are far more within the limits of history. Here Herodotus possessed better means of information, and had less of a dominant idea to illustrate. That which passed between Darius and the Ionians on his first crossing is very curious: I have reserved it until the present moment, because it is particularly connected with the incidents which happened on his return.

On reaching the Danube from Thrace, he found the bridge of boats ready, and when the whole army had passed over, he ordered the Ionians to break it down, as well as to follow him in his land-march into Scythia;[498] the ships being left with nothing but the rowers and seamen essential to navigate them homeward.[p. 270] His order was on the point of being executed, when, fortunately for him, the Mitylenæan general Kôês ventured to call in question the prudence of it, having first asked whether it was the pleasure of the Persian king to listen to advice. He urged that the march on which they were proceeding might prove perilous, and retreat possibly unavoidable; because the Scythians, though certain to be defeated if brought to action, might perhaps not suffer themselves to be approached or even discovered. As a precaution against all contingencies, it was prudent to leave the bridge standing and watched by those who had constructed it. Far from being offended at the advice, Darius felt grateful for it, and desired that Kôês would ask him after his return for a suitable reward,—which we shall hereafter find granted. He then altered his resolution, took a cord, and tied sixty knots in it. “Take this cord (said he to the Ionians), untie one of the knots in it each day after my advance from the Danube into Scythia. Remain here and guard the bridge until you shall have untied all the knots; but if by that time I shall not have returned, then depart and sail home.”[499] After such orders he began his march into the interior.

This anecdote is interesting, not only as it discloses the simple expedients for numeration and counting of time then practised, but also as it illustrates the geographical ideas prevalent. Darius did not intend to come back over the Danube, but to march round the Mæotis, and to return into Persia on the eastern side of the Euxine. No other explanation can be given of his orders. At first, confident of success, he orders the bridge to be destroyed forthwith: he will beat the Scythians, march through their country, and reënter Media from the eastern side of the Euxine. When he is reminded that possibly he may not be able to find the Scythians, and may be obliged to retreat, he still continues persuaded that this must happen within sixty days, if it happens at all; and that, should he remain absent more than sixty days, such delay will be a convincing proof that he will take the other road of return instead of repassing the Danube. The reader[p. 271] who looks at a map of the Euxine and its surrounding territories may be startled at so extravagant a conception. But he should recollect that there was no map of the same or nearly the same accuracy before Herodotus, much less before the contemporaries of Darius. The idea of entering Media by the north from Scythia and Sarmatia over the Caucasus, is familiar to Herodotus in his sketch of the early marches of the Scythians and Cimmerians: moreover, he tells us that after the expedition of Darius, there came some Scythian envoys to Sparta, proposing an offensive alliance against Persia, and offering on their part to march across the Phasis into Media from the north,[500] while the Spartans were invited to land on the shores of Asia Minor, and advance across the country to meet them from the west. When we recollect that the Macedonians and their leader, Alexander the Great, having arrived at the river Jaxartês, on the north of Sogdiana, and on the east of the sea of Aral, supposed that they had reached the Tanais, and called the river by that name,[501]—we shall not be astonished at the erroneous estimation of distance implied in the plan conceived by Darius.

The Ionians had already remained in guard of the bridge beyond the sixty days commanded, without hearing anything of the Persian army, when they were surprised by the appearance, not of that army, but of a body of Scythians, who acquainted them that Darius was in full retreat and in the greatest distress, and that his safety with the whole army depended upon that bridge. They endeavored to prevail upon the Ionians, since the sixty days included in their order to remain had now elapsed, to break the bridge and retire; assuring them that, if this were done, the destruction of the Persians was inevitable,—of course, the Ionians themselves would then be free. At first, the latter were favorably disposed towards the proposition, which was warmly espoused by the Athenian Miltiadês, despot, or governor, of the Thracian Chersonese.[502] Had he prevailed, the victor of Marathon[p. 272]—for such we shall hereafter find him—would have thus inflicted a much more vital blow on Persia than even that celebrated action, and would have brought upon Darius the disastrous fate of his predecessor Cyrus. But the Ionian princes, though leaning at first towards his suggestion, were speedily converted by the representations of Histiæus of Milêtus, who reminded them that the maintenance of his own ascendency over the Milesians, and that of each despot in his respective city, was assured by means of Persian support alone,—the feeling of the population being everywhere against them: consequently, the ruin of Darius would be their ruin also. This argument proved conclusive. It was resolved to stay and maintain the bridge, but to pretend compliance with the Scythians, and prevail upon them to depart, by affecting to destroy it. The northern portion of the bridge was accordingly destroyed, for the length of a bow-shot, and the Scythians departed under the persuasion that they had succeeded in depriving their enemies of the means of crossing the river.[503] It appears that they missed the track of the retreating host, which was thus enabled, after the severest privation and suffering, to reach the Danube in safety. Arriving during the darkness of the night, Darius was at first terrified to find the bridge no longer joining the northern bank: an Egyptian herald, of stentorian powers of voice, was ordered to call as loudly as possible the name of Histiæus the Milesian. Answer being speedily made, the bridge was reëstablished, and the Persian army passed over before the Scythians returned to the spot.[504]

There can be no doubt that the Ionians here lost an opportunity eminently favorable, such as never again returned, for emancipating themselves from the Persian dominion. Their despots, by whom the determination was made, especially the Milesian Histiæus, were not induced to preserve the bridge by any honorable reluctance to betray the trust reposed in them, but simply by selfish regard to the maintenance of their own unpopular dominion. And we may remark that the real character of this impelling motive, as well as the deliberation accompanying it, may be assumed as resting upon very good evidence, since we are now arrived within the personal knowledge of the Milesian historian[p. 273] Hekatæus, who took an active part in the Ionic revolt a few years afterwards, and who may, perhaps, have been personally engaged in this expedition. He will be found reviewing with prudence and sobriety the chances of that unfortunate revolt, and distrusting its success from the beginning; while Histiæus of Milêtus will appear on the same occasion as the fomenter of it, in order to procure his release from an honorable detention at Susa, near the person of Darius. The selfishness of this despot having deprived his countrymen of that real and favorable chance of emancipation which the destruction of the bridge would have opened to them, threw them into perilous revolt a few years afterwards against the entire and unembarrassed force of the Persian king and empire.

Extricated from the perils of Scythian warfare, Darius marched southward from the Danube through Thrace to the Hellespont, where he crossed from Sestus into Asia. He left, however, a considerable army in Europe, under the command of Megabazus, to accomplish the conquest of Thrace. Perinthus on the Propontis made a brave resistance,[505] but was at length subdued, and it appears that all the Thracian tribes, and all the Grecian colonies between the Hellespont and the Strymon, were forced to submit, giving earth and water, and becoming subject to tribute.[506] Near the lower Strymon, was the Edonian town of Myrkinus, which Darius ordered to be made over to Histiæus of Milêtus; for both this Milesian, and Kôês of Mitylênê, had been desired by the Persian king to name their own reward for their fidelity to him on the passage over the Danube.[507] Kôês requested that he might be constituted despot of Mitylênê, which was accomplished by Persian authority; but Histiæus solicited that the territory near Myrkinus might be given to him for the foundation of a colony. As soon as the Persian conquests extended thus far, the site in question was presented to Histiæus, who entered actively upon his new scheme. We shall find the territory near Myrkinus eminent hereafter as the site of Amphipolis. It offered great temptation to settlers, as fertile, well wooded, convenient for maritime commerce, and near to auriferous and[p. 274] argentiferous mountains.[508] It seems, however, that the Persian dominion in Thrace was disturbed by an invasion of the Scythians, who, in revenge for the aggression of Darius, overran the country as far as the Thracian Chersonese, and are even said to have sent envoys to Sparta proposing a simultaneous invasion of Persia from different sides, by Spartans and Scythians. The Athenian Miltiadês, who was despot, or governor, of the Chersonese, was forced to quit it for some time, and Herodotus ascribes his retirement to the incursion of these Nomads. But we may be permitted to suspect that the historian has misconceived the real cause of such retirement. Miltiadês could not remain in the Chersonese after he had incurred the deadly enmity of Darius by exhorting the Ionians to destroy the bridge over the Danube.[509]

[p. 275]Nor did the conquests of Megabazus stop at the western bank of the Strymon. He carried his arms across that river, conquer[p. 276]ing the Pæonians, and reducing the Macedonians under Amyntas to tribute. A considerable number of the Pæonians were transported across into Asia, by express order of Darius; whose fancy had been struck by seeing at Sardis a beautiful Pæonian woman carrying a vessel on her head, leading a horse to water, and spinning flax, all at the same time. This woman had been brought over, we are told, by her two brothers, Pigrês and Mantyês, for the express purpose of arresting the attention of the Great King. They hoped by this means to be constituted despots of their countrymen, and we may presume that their scheme succeeded, for such part of the Pæonians as Megabazus could subdue were conveyed across to Asia and planted in some villages in Phrygia. Such violent transportations of inhabitants were in the genius of the Persian government.[510]

From the Pæonian lake Prasias, seven eminent Persians were sent as envoys into Macedonia, to whom Amyntas readily gave the required token of submission, inviting them to a splendid banquet. When exhilarated with wine, they demanded to see the women of the regal family, who, being accordingly introduced, were rudely dealt with by the strangers. At length, the son of Amyntas, Alexander, resented the insult, and exacted for it a signal vengeance. Dismissing the women, under pretence that they should return after a bath, he brought back in their place youths in female attire, armed with daggers: the Persians, proceeding to repeat their caresses, were all put to death. Their retinue and splendid carriages and equipment which they had brought with them disappeared at the same time, without any tidings reaching the Persian army. And when Bubarês, another eminent Persian, was sent into Macedonia to institute researches, Alexander contrived to hush up the proceeding by large bribes, and by giving him his sister Gygæa in marriage.[511]

Meanwhile Megabazus crossed over into Asia, carrying with him the Pæonians from the river Strymon. Having been in[p. 277] those regions, he had become alarmed at the progress of Histiæus with his new city of Myrkinus, and communicated his apprehensions to Darius; who was prevailed upon to send for Histiæus, retaining him about his person, and carrying him to Susa as counsellor and friend, with every mark of honor, but with the secret intention of never letting him revisit Asia Minor. The fears of the Persian general were probably not unreasonable; but this detention of Histiæus at Susa, became in the sequel an important event.[512]

On departing for his capital, Darius nominated his brother Artaphernês satrap of Sardis, and Otanês, general of the forces on the coast, in place of Megabazus. The new general dealt very severely with various towns near the Propontis, on the ground that they had evaded their duty in the late Scythian expedition, and had even harassed the army of Darius in its retreat. He took Byzantium and Chalkêdon, as well as Antandrus in the Troad, and Lampônium; and with the aid of a fleet from Lesbos, he achieved a new conquest,—the islands of Lemnos and Imbros, at that time occupied by a Pelasgic population, seemingly without any Greek inhabitants at all.

These Pelasgi were of cruel and piratical character, if we may judge by the tenor of the legends respecting them; Lemnian misdeeds being cited as a proverbial expression for atrocities.[513] They were distinguished also for ancient worship of Hêphæstus, together with mystic rites in honor of the Kabeiri, and even human sacrifices to their Great Goddess. In their two cities,—Hephæstias on the east of the island, and Myrina on the west,—they held out bravely against Otanês, nor did they[p. 278] submit until they had undergone long and severe hardship. Lykarêtus, brother of that Mæandrius whom we have already noticed as despot of Samos, was named governor of Lemnos; but he soon after died.[514] It is probable that the Pelasgic population of the islands was greatly enfeebled during this struggle, and we even hear that their king Hermon voluntarily emigrated, from fear of Darius.[515]

Lemnos and Imbros thus became Persian possessions, held by a subordinate prince as tributary. A few years afterwards their lot was again changed,—they passed into the hands of Athens, the Pelasgic inhabitants were expelled, and fresh Athenian settlers introduced. They were conquered by Miltiadês from the Thracian Chersonese; from Elæus at the south of that peninsula to Lemnos being within less than one day’s sail with a north wind. The Hephæstieans abandoned their city and evacuated the island with little resistance; but the inhabitants of Myrina stood a siege,[516] and were not expelled without difficulty: both of them found abodes in Thrace, on and near the peninsula of Mount Athos. Both these islands, together with that of Skyros (which was not taken until after the invasion of Xerxês), remained connected with Athens in a manner peculiarly intimate. At the peace of Antalkidas (387 B. C.),—which guaranteed universal autonomy to every Grecian city, great and small,—they were specially reserved, and considered as united with Athens.[517] The property in their soil was held by men who, without losing their Athenian citizenship, became Lemnian kleruchs, and as such were classified apart among the military force of the state; while absence in Lemnos or Imbros seems to have been[p. 279] accepted as an excuse for delay before the courts of justice, so as to escape the penalties of contumacy, or departure from the country.[518] It is probable that a considerable number of poor Athenian citizens were provided with lots of land in these islands, though we have no direct information of the fact, and are even obliged to guess the precise time at which Miltiadês made the conquest. Herodotus, according to his usual manner, connects the conquest with an ancient oracle, and represents it as the retribution for ancient legendary crime committed by certain Pelasgi, who, many centuries before, had been expelled by the Athenians from Attica, and had retired to Lemnos. Full of this legend, he tells us nothing about the proximate causes or circumstances of the conquest, which must probably have been accomplished by the efforts of Athens, jointly with Miltiadês from the Chersonese, daring the period that the Persians were occupied in quelling the Ionic revolt, between 502-494 B. C.,—since it is hardly to be supposed that Miltiadês would have ventured thus to attack a Persian possession during the time that the satraps had their hands free. The acquisition was probably facilitated by the fact, that the Pelasgic population of the islands had been weakened, as well by their former resistance to the Persian Otanês, as by some years passed under the deputy of a Persian satrap.

In mentioning the conquest of Lemnos by the Athenians and[p. 280] Miltiadês, I have anticipated a little on the course of events, because that conquest,—though coinciding in point of time with the Ionic revolt (which will be recounted in the following chapter), and indirectly caused by it, in so far as it occupied the attention of the Persians,—lies entirely apart from the operations of the revolted Ionians. When Miltiadês was driven out of the Chersonese by the Persians, on the suppression of the Ionic revolt, his fame, derived from having subdued Lemnos,[519] contributed both to neutralize the enmity which he had incurred as governor of the Chersonese, and to procure his election as one of the ten generals for the year of the Marathonian combat.


Hitherto, the history of the Asiatic Greeks has flowed in a stream distinct from that of the European Greeks. The present chapter will mark the period of confluence between the two.

At the time when Darius quitted Sardis on his return to Susa, carrying with him the Milesian Histiæus, he left Artaphernês, his brother, as satrap of Sardis, invested with the supreme command of Western Asia Minor. The Grecian cities on the coast, comprehended under his satrapy, appear to have been chiefly governed by native despots in each; and Milêtus especially, in the absence of Histiæus, was ruled by his son-in-law Aristagoras. That city was now in the height of power and prosperity,—in every respect the leading city of Ionia. The return of Darius to Susa may be placed seemingly about 512 B. C., from which time forward the state of things above described continued, without disturbance, for eight or ten years,—“a respite from suffering,” to use the significant phrase of the historian.[520]

[p. 281]It was about the year 506 B. C., that the exiled Athenian despot Hippias, after having been repelled from Sparta by the unanimous refusal of the Lacedæmonian allies to take part in his cause, presented himself from Sigeium as a petitioner to Artaphernês at Sardis. He now, doubtless, found the benefit of the alliance which he had formed for his daughter with the despot Æantidês of Lampsakus, whose favor with Darius would stand him in good stead. He made pressing representations to the satrap, with a view of procuring restoration to Athens, on condition of holding it under Persian dominion; and Artaphernês was prepared, if an opportunity offered, to aid him in his design. So thoroughly had he resolved on espousing actively the cause of Hippias, that when the Athenians despatched envoys to Sardis, to set forth the case of the city against its exiled pretender, he returned to them an answer not merely of denial, but of menace,—bidding them receive Hippias back again, if they looked for safety.[521] Such a reply was equivalent to a declaration of war,[p. 282] and so it was construed at Athens. It leads us to infer that he was even then revolving in his mind an expedition against Attica, in conjunction with Hippias; but, fortunately for the Athenians, other projects and necessities intervened to postpone for several years the execution of the scheme.

Of these new projects, the first was that of conquering the island of Naxos. Here, too, as in the case of Hippias, the instigation arose from Naxian exiles,—a rich oligarchy which had been expelled by a rising of the people. This island, like all the rest of the Cyclades, was as yet independent of the Persians.[522] It was wealthy, prosperous, possessing a large population both of freemen and slaves, and defended as well by armed ships as by a force of eight thousand heavy-armed infantry. The exiles applied for aid to Aristagoras, who saw that he could turn them into instruments of dominion for himself in the island, provided he could induce Artaphernês to embark in the project along with him,—his own force not being adequate by itself. Accordingly, he went to Sardis, and laid his project before the satrap, intimating that as soon as the exiles should land with a powerful support, Naxos would be reduced with little trouble: that the neighboring islands of Paros, Andros, Tênos, and the other Cyclades, could not long hold out after the conquest of Naxos, nor even the large and valuable island of Eubœa. He himself engaged, if a fleet of one hundred ships were granted to him, to accomplish all these conquests for the Great King, and to bear the expenses of the armament besides. Artaphernês warmly entered into the scheme, loaded him with praise, and promised him in the ensuing spring two hundred ships instead of one hundred. A messenger despatched to Susa, having brought back the ready consent of Darius, a large armament was forthwith equipped, under the command of the Persian Megabatês, to be placed at[p. 283] the disposal of Aristagoras,—composed both of Persians and of all the tributaries near the coast.[523]

With this force Aristagoras and the Naxian exiles set sail from Milêtus, giving out that they were going to the Hellespont. On reaching Chios, they waited in its western harbor of Kaukasa for a fair wind to carry them straight across to Naxos. No suspicion was entertained in that island of its real purpose, nor was any preparation made for resistance, and the success of Aristagoras would have been complete, had it not been defeated by an untoward incident ending in dispute. Megabatês, with a solicitude which we are surprised to discern in a Persian general, personally made the tour of his fleet, to see that every ship was under proper watch, and discovered a ship from Myndus (an Asiatic Dorian city near Halikarnassus), left without a single man on board. Incensed at this neglect, he called before him Skylax, the commander of the ship, and ordered him to be put in chains, with his head projecting outwards through one of the apertures for oars in the ship’s side. Skylax was a guest and friend of Aristagoras, who, on hearing of this punishment, interceded with Megabatês for his release; but finding the request refused, took upon him to release the prisoner himself. He even went so far as to treat the remonstrance of Megabatês with disdain, reminding him that, according to the instructions of Artaphernês, he was only second and himself (Aristagoras) first. The pride of Megabatês could not endure such treatment: as soon as night arrived, he sent a private intimation to Naxos of the coming of the fleet, warning the islanders to be on their guard. The warning thus fortunately received was turned by the Naxians to the best account. They carried in their property, laid up stores, and made every preparation for a siege, so that when the fleet, probably delayed by the dispute between its leaders, at length arrived, it was met by a stout resistance, remained on the shore of the island for four months in prosecution of an unavailing siege, and was obliged to retire without accomplishing anything beyond the erection of a fort, as lodgment for the Naxian exiles. After a large cost incurred, not only by the Persians, but also by[p. 284] Aristagoras himself, the unsuccessful armament was brought back to the coast of Ionia.[524]

The failure of this expedition threatened Aristagoras with entire ruin. He had incensed Megabatês, deceived Artaphernês, and incurred an obligation, which he knew not how to discharge, of indemnifying the latter for the costs of the fleet. He began to revolve in his mind the scheme of revolting from Persia, when it so happened that there arrived nearly at the same moment a messenger from his father-in-law, Histiæus, who was detained at the court of Susa, secretly instigating him to this very resolution. Not knowing whom to trust with this dangerous message, Histiæus had caused the head of a faithful slave to be shaved,—branded upon it the words necessary,—and then despatched him, so soon as his hair had grown, to Milêtus, with a verbal intimation to Aristagoras that his head was to be again shaved and examined.[525] Histiæus sought to provoke this perilous rising, simply as a means of procuring his own release from Susa, and in the calculation that Darius would send him down to the coast to reëstablish order. His message, arriving at so critical a moment, determined the faltering resolution of Aristagoras, who convened his principal partisans at Milêtus, and laid before them the formidable project of revolt. All of them approved it, with one remarkable exception,—the historian Hekatæus of Milêtus; who opposed it as altogether ruinous, and contended that the power of Darius was too vast to leave them any prospect of success. When he found direct opposition fruitless, he next insisted upon the necessity of at once seizing the large treasures in the neighboring temple of Apollo, at Branchidæ, for the purpose of carrying on the revolt. By this means alone, he said, could the Milesians, too feeble to carry on the contest with their own force alone, hope to become masters at sea,—while, if they did not take these treasures, the victorious enemy surely would. Neither of these recommendations, both of them indicating sagacity and foresight in the proposer, were listened to. Probably the seizure of the treasures,—though highly useful for the impending struggle, and though[p. 285] in the end they fell into the hands of the enemy, as Hekatæus anticipated,—would have been insupportable to the pious feelings of the people, and would thus have proved more injurious than beneficial:[526] perhaps, indeed, Hekatæus himself may have urged it with the indirect view of stifling the whole project. We may remark that he seems to have urged the question as if Milêtus were to stand alone in the revolt; not anticipating, as indeed no prudent man could then anticipate, that the Ionic cities generally would follow the example.

Aristagoras and his friends resolved forthwith to revolt, and their first step was to conciliate popular favor throughout Asiatic Greece by putting down the despots in all the various cities,—the instruments not less than the supports of Persian ascendency, as Histiæus had well urged at the bridge of the Danube. The opportunity was favorable for striking this blow at once on a considerable scale. The fleet, recently employed at Naxos, had not yet dispersed, but was still assembled at Myus, with many of the despots present at the head of their ships. Iatragoras was despatched from Milêtus, at once to seize as many of them as he could, and to stir up the soldiers to revolt. This decisive proceeding was the first manifesto against Darius. Iatragoras was successful: the fleet went along with him, and many of the despots fell into his hands,—among them Histiæus (a second person so named) of Termera, Oliatus of Mylasa (both Karians),[527] Kôês of Mitylênê, and Aristagoras (also a second person so named) of Kymê. At the same time the Milesian Aristagoras himself, while he formally proclaimed revolt against Darius, and invited the Milesians to follow him, laid down his own authority, and affected to place the government in the hands of the people. Throughout most of the towns of Asiatic Greece, insular and continental, a similar revolution was brought about; the despots were expelled, and the feelings of the citizens were thus warmly interested in the revolt. Such of these despots as fell into the hands of Aristagoras were surrendered into the hands of their former subjects, by whom they were for the most part quietly dismissed, and we shall find them hereafter active auxil[p. 286]iaries to the Persians. To this treatment the only exception mentioned is Kôês, who was stoned to death by the Mitylenæans.[528]

By these first successful steps the Ionic revolt was made to assume an extensive and formidable character; much more so, probably, than the prudent Hekatæus had anticipated as practicable. The naval force of the Persians in the Ægean was at once taken away from them, and passed to their opponents, who were thus completely masters of the sea; and would in fact have remained so, if a second naval force had not been brought up against them from Phenicia,—a proceeding never before resorted to, and perhaps at that time not looked for.

Having exhorted all the revolted towns to name their generals, and to put themselves in a state of defence, Aristagoras crossed the Ægean to obtain assistance from Sparta, then under the government of king Kleomenês; to whom he addressed himself, “holding in his hand a brazen tablet, wherein was engraved the circuit of the entire earth, with the whole sea and all the rivers.” Probably this was the first map or plan which had ever been seen at Sparta, and so profound was the impression which it made, that it was remembered there even in the time of Herodotus.[529] Having emphatically entreated the Spartans to step forth in aid of their Ionic brethren, now engaged in a desperate struggle for freedom,—he proceeded to describe the wealth and[p. 287] abundance (gold, silver, brass, vestments, cattle, and slaves), together with the ineffective weapons and warfare of the Asiatics. The latter, he said, could be at once put down, and the former appropriated, by military training such as that of the Spartans,—whose long spear, brazen helmet and breastplate, and ample shield, enabled them to despise the bow, the short javelin, the light wicker target, the turban and trowsers, of a Persian.[530] He then traced out on his brazen plan the road from Ephesus to Susa, indicating the intervening nations, all of them affording a booty more or less rich; but he magnified especially the vast treasures at Susa: “Instead of fighting your neighbors, he concluded, Argeians, Arcadians, and Messenians, from whom you get hard blows and small reward, why do you not make yourself ruler of all Asia,[531] a prize not less easy than lucrative?” Kleomenês replied to these seductive instigations by desiring him to come for an answer on the third day. When that day arrived, he put to him the simple question, how far it was from Susa to the sea? To which Aristagoras answered, with more frankness than dexterity, that it was a three months’ journey; and he was proceeding to enlarge upon the facilities of the road when Kleomenês interrupted him: “Quit Sparta before sunset, Milesian stranger; you are no friend to the Lacedæmonians, if you want to carry them a three months’ journey from the sea.” In spite of this peremptory mandate, Aristagoras tried a last resource: he took in his hand the bough of supplication, and again went to the house of Kleomenês, who was sitting with his daughter Gorgô, a girl of eight years old. He requested Kleomenês to send away the child, but this was refused, and he was desired to proceed; upon which he began to offer to the Spartan king a bribe for compliance, bidding continually higher and higher from ten talents up to fifty. At length, the little girl suddenly ex[p. 288]claimed, “Father, the stranger will corrupt you, if you do not at once go away.” The exclamation so struck Kleomenês, that he broke up the interview, and Aristagoras forthwith quitted Sparta.[532]

Doubtless Herodotus heard the account of this interview from Lacedæmonian informants. But we may be permitted to doubt, whether any such suggestions were really made, or any such hopes held out, as those which he places in the mouth of Aristagoras,—suggestions and hopes which might well be conceived in 450-440 B. C., after a generation of victories over the Persians, but which have no pertinence in the year 502 B. C. Down even to the battle of Marathon, the name of the Medes was a terror to the Greeks, and the Athenians are highly and justly extolled as the first who dared to look them in the face.[533] To talk about an easy march up to the treasures of Susa and the empire of all Asia, at the time of the Ionic revolt, would have been considered as a proof of insanity. Aristagoras may very probably have represented, that the Spartans were more than a match for Persians in the field; but even thus much would have been considered, in 502 B. C., rather as the sanguine hope of a petitioner than as the estimate of a sober looker-on.

The Milesian chief had made application to Sparta, as the presiding power of Hellas,—a character which we thus find more and more recognized and passing into the habitual feeling of the Greeks. Fifty years previously to this, the Spartans had been flattered by the circumstance, that Crœsus singled them out from all other Greeks to invite as allies: now they accepted such priority as a matter of course.[534]

[p. 289]Rejected at Sparta, Aristagoras proceeded to Athens, now decidedly the second power in Greece. And here he found an easier task, not only as it was the metropolis, or mother-city, of Asiatic Ionia, but also as it had already incurred the pronounced hostility of the Persian satrap, and might look to be attacked as soon as the project came to suit his convenience, under the instigation of Hippias: whereas the Spartans had not only no kindred with Ionia, beyond that of common Hellenism, but were in no hostile relations with Persia, and would have been provoking a new enemy by meddling in the Asiatic war. The promises and representations of Aristagoras were accordingly received with great favor by the Athenians: who, over and above the claims of sympathy, had a powerful interest in sustaining the Ionic revolt as an indirect protection to themselves,—and to whom the abstraction of the Ionic fleet from the Persians afforded a conspicuous and important relief. The Athenians at once resolved to send a fleet of twenty ships, under Melanthius, as an aid to the revolted Ionians,—ships which are styled by Herodotus, “the beginning of the mischiefs between Greeks and barbarians,”—as the ships in which Paris crossed the Ægean had before been called in the Iliad of Homer. Herodotus farther remarks that it seems easier to deceive many men together than one,—since Aristagoras, after having failed with Kleomenês, thus imposed upon the thirty thousand citizens of Athens.[535] But on this remark two comments suggest themselves. First, the circumstances of Athens and Sparta were not the same in regard to the Ionic quarrel,—an observation which Herodotus himself had made a little while before: the Athenians had a material interest in the quarrel, political as well as[p. 290] sympathetic, while the Spartans had none. Secondly, the ultimate result of their interference, as it stood in the time of Herodotus, though purchased by severe intermediate hardship, was one eminently gainful and glorifying, not less to Athens than to Greece.[536]

When Aristagoras returned, he seems to have found the Persians engaged in the siege of Milêtus. The twenty Athenian ships soon crossed the Ægean, and found there five Eretrian ships which had also come to the succor of the Ionians; the Eretrians generously taking this opportunity to repay assistance formerly rendered to them by the Milesians in their ancient war with Chalkis. On the arrival of these allies, Aristagoras organized an expedition from Ephesus up to Sardis, under the command of his brother Charopinus, with others. The ships were left at Korêssus,[537] a mountain and seaport five miles from Ephesus, while the troops marched up under Ephesian guides, first, along the river Kayster, next, across the mountain range of Tmôlus to Sardis. Artaphernês had not troops enough to do more than hold the strong citadel, so that the assailants possessed themselves of the town without opposition. But he immediately recalled his force near Miletus,[538] and summoned Persians and Lydians from all the neighboring districts, thus becoming more than a match for Charopinus; who found himself, moreover, obliged to evacuate Sardis, owing to an accidental conflagration. Most of the houses in that city were built in great part with reeds or straw, and all of them had thatched roofs; hence it happened that a spark touching one of them set the whole city in flame. Obliged to abandon their dwellings by this accident, the population of the town congregated in the market-place,—and as reinforcements were hourly crowding in, the position of the Ionians and Athe[p. 291]nians became precarious: they evacuated the town, took up a position on Mount Tmôlus, and, when night came, made the best of their way to the sea-coast. The troops of Artaphernês pursued, overtook them near Ephesus, and defeated them completely. Eualkidês, the Eretrian general, a man of eminence and a celebrated victor at the solemn games, perished in the action, together with a considerable number of troops. After this unsuccessful commencement, the Athenians betook themselves to their vessels and sailed home, in spite of pressing instances on the part of Aristagoras to induce them to stay. They took no farther part in the struggle;[539] a retirement at once so sudden and so complete, that they must probably have experienced some glaring desertion on the part of their Asiatic allies, similar to that which brought so much danger upon the Spartan general Derkyllidas, in 396 B. C. Unless such was the case, they seem open to censure rather for having too soon withdrawn their aid, than for having originally lent it.[540]

The burning of a place so important as Sardis, however, including the temples of the local goddess Kybêbê, which perished with the remaining buildings, produced a powerful effect on both sides,—encouraging the revolters, as well as incensing the Persians. Aristagoras despatched ships along the coast, northward as far as Byzantium, and southward as far as Cyprus. The Greek cities near the Hellespont and the Propontis were induced, either by force or by inclination, to take part with him: the Karians embraced his cause warmly; even the Kaunians, who had not declared themselves before, joined him as soon as they heard of the capture of Sardis; while the Greeks in Cyprus, with the single exception of the town of Amathûs, at once renounced the authority of Darius, and prepared for a strenuous contest. Onesilus of Salamis, the most considerable city in the island,—finding the population willing, but his brother, the despot Gorgus, reluctant,—shut the latter out of the gates, took the command of the united forces of Salamis and other revolting cities, and[p. 292] laid siege to Amathûs. These towns of Cyprus were then, and seem always afterwards to have continued, under the government of despots; who, however, unlike the despots in Ionia generally, took part along with their subjects in the revolt against Persia.[541]

The rebellion had now assumed a character more serious than ever, and the Persians were compelled to put forth their strongest efforts to subdue it. From the number of different nations comprised in their empire, they were enabled to make use of the antipathies of one against the other; and the old adverse feeling of Phenicians against Greeks was now found extremely serviceable. After a year spent in getting together forces,[542] the Phenician fleet was employed to transport into Cyprus the Persian general Artybius with a Kilikian and Egyptian army,[543]—while the force under Artaphernês at Sardis was so strengthened as to enable him to act at once against all the coast of Asia Minor, from the Propontis to the Triopian promontory. On the other side, the common danger had for the moment brought the Ionians into a state of union foreign to their usual habit, and we hear now, for the first and the last time, of a tolerably efficient Pan-Ionic authority.[544]

Apprized of the coming of Artybius with the Phenician fleet, Onesilus and his Cyprian supporters solicited the aid of the Ionic fleet, which arrived shortly after the disembarkation of the Persian force in the island. Onesilus offered to the Ionians their choice, whether they would fight the Phenicians at sea or the Persians on land. Their natural determination was in favor of the seafight, and they engaged with a degree of courage and unanimity[p. 293] which procured for them a brilliant victory; the Samians being especially distinguished.[545] But the combat on land, carried on at the same time, took a different turn. Onesilus and the Salaminians brought into the field, after the fashion of Orientals rather than of Greeks, a number of scythed chariots, destined to break the enemy’s ranks; while on the other hand the Persian general Artybius was mounted on a horse, trained to rise on his hind legs and strike out with his fore legs against an opponent on foot. In the thick of the fight, Onesilus and his Karian shield-bearer came into personal conflict with this general and his horse; and by previous concert, when the horse so reared as to get his fore legs over the shield of Onesilus, the Karian with a scythe severed the legs from his body, while Onesilus with his own hand slew Artybius. But the personal bravery of the Cypriots was rendered useless by treachery in their own ranks. Stêsênor, despot of Kurium, deserted in the midst of the battle, and even the scythed chariots of Salamis followed his example. The brave Onesilus, thus weakened, perished in the total rout of his army, along with Aristokyprus despot of Soli, on the north coast of the island: this latter being son of that Philokyprus who had been immortalized more than sixty years before, in the poems of Solon. No farther hopes now remained for the revolters, and the victorious Ionian fleet returned home. Salamis relapsed under the sway of its former despot Gorgus, while the remaining cities in Cyprus were successively besieged and taken: not without a resolute defence, however, since Soli alone held out five months.[546]

[p. 294]Meanwhile the principal force of Darius having been assembled at Sardis,—Daurisês, Hymeas, and other generals who had married daughters of the Great King, distributed their efforts against different parts of the western coast. Daurisês attacked the towns near the Hellespont,[547]—Abydus, Perkôtê, Lampsakus, and Pæsus,—which made little resistance. He was then ordered southward into Karia, while Hymeas, who, with another division, had taken Kios on the Propontis, marched down to the Hellespont and completed the conquest of the Troad as well as of the Æolic Greeks in the region of Ida. Artaphernês and Otanês attacked the Ionic and Æolic towns on the coast,—the former taking Klazomenæ,[548] the latter Kymê. There remained Karia, which, with Milêtus in its neighborhood, offered a determined resistance to Daurisês. Forewarned of his approach, the Karians assembled at a spot called the White Pillars, near the confluence of the rivers Mæander and Marsyas. Pixodarus, one of their chiefs, recommended the desperate expedient of fighting with the river at their back, so that all chance of flight might be cut off;[p. 295] but most of the chiefs decided in favor of a contrary policy,[549]—to let the Persians pass the river, in hopes of driving them back into it and thus rendering their defeat total. Victory, however, after a sharp contest, declared in favor of Daurisês, chiefly in consequence of his superior numbers: two thousand Persians, and not less than ten thousand Karians, are said to have perished in the battle. The Karian fugitives, reunited after the flight, in the grove of noble plane-trees consecrated to Zeus Stratius, near Labranda,[550] were deliberating whether they should now submit to the Persians or emigrate forever, when the appearance of a Milesian reinforcement restored their courage. A second battle was fought, and a second time they were defeated, the loss on this occasion falling chiefly on the Milesians.[551] The victorious Persians now proceeded to assault Karian cities, but Herakleidês of Mylasa laid an ambuscade for them with so much skill and good fortune, that their army was nearly destroyed, and Daurisês with other Persian generals perished. This successful effort, following upon two severe defeats, does honor to the constancy of the Karians, upon whom Greek proverbs generally fasten a mean reputation. It saved for the time the Karian towns, which the Persians did not succeed in reducing until after the capture of Milêtus.[552]

On land, the revolters were thus everywhere worsted, though[p. 296] at sea the Ionians still remained masters. But the unwarlike Aristagoras began to despair of success, and to meditate a mean desertion of the companions and countrymen whom he had himself betrayed into danger. Assembling his chief advisers, he represented to them the unpromising state of affairs, and the necessity of securing some place of refuge, in case they were expelled from Milêtus. He then put the question to them, whether the island of Sardinia, or Myrkinus in Thrace, near the Strymon (which Histiæus had begun some time before to fortify, as I have mentioned in the preceding chapter), appeared to them best adapted to the purpose. Among the persons consulted was Hekatæus the historian, who approved neither the one nor the other scheme, but suggested the erection of a fortified post in the neighboring island of Leros; a Milesian colony, wherein a temporary retirement might be sought, should it prove impossible to hold Milêtus, but which permitted an easy return to that city, so soon as opportunity offered.[553] Such an opinion must doubtless have been founded on the assumption, that they would be able to maintain superiority at sea. And it is important to note such confident reliance upon this superiority in the mind of a sagacious man, not given to sanguine hopes, like Hekatæus,—even under circumstances very unprosperous on land. Emigration to Myrkinus, as proposed by Aristagoras, presented no hope of refuge at all; since the Persians, if they regained their authority in Asia Minor, would not fail again to extend it to the Strymon. Nevertheless, the consultation ended by adopting this scheme, since, probably, no Ionians could endure the immeasurable distance of Sardinia as a new home. Aristagoras set sail for Myrkinus, taking with him all who chose to bear him company; but he perished not long after landing, together with nearly all his company, in the siege of a neighboring Thracian town.[554] Though making profession to lay down his supreme authority at the commencement of the revolt, he had still contrived to retain it in great measure; and on departing for Myrkinus, he devolved it on Pythagoras, a citizen in high esteem. It appears however that the Milesians, glad to get rid of a leader who had brought them[p. 297] nothing but mischief,[555] paid little obedience to his successor, and made their government from this period popular in reality as well as in profession. The desertion of Aristagoras, with the citizens whom he carried away, must have seriously damped the spirits of those who remained: nevertheless, it seems that the cause of the Ionic revolters was quite as well conducted without him.

Not long after his departure, another despot—Histiæus of Milêtus, his father-in-law, and jointly with him the fomenter of the revolt—presented himself at the gates of Milêtus for admission. The outbreak of the revolt had enabled him, as he had calculated, to procure leave of departure from Darius. That prince had been thrown into violent indignation by the attack and burning of Sardis, and by the general revolt of Ionia, headed (so the news reached him) by the Milesian Aristagoras, but carried into effect by the active coöperation of the Athenians. “The Athenians (exclaimed Darius), who are they?” On receiving the answer, he asked for his bow, placed an arrow on the string, and shot as high as he could towards the heavens, saying: “Grant me, Zeus, to revenge myself on the Athenians.” He at the same time desired an attendant to remind him thrice every day at dinner: “Master, remember the Athenians;” for as to the Ionians, he felt assured that their hour of retribution would come speedily and easily enough.[556]

This Homeric incident deserves notice as illustrating the epical handling of Herodotus. His theme is, the invasions of Greece by Persia: he has now arrived at the first eruption, in the bosom of Darius, of that passion which impelled the Persian forces towards Marathon and Salamis,—and he marks the beginning of the new phase by act and word both alike significant. It may be compared to the libation and prayer addressed by Achilles in the Iliad to Zeus, at the moment when he is sending forth Patroklus and the Myrmidons to the rescue of the despairing Greeks.

[p. 298]At first, Darius had been inclined to ascribe the movement in Ionia to the secret instigation of Histiæus, whom he called into his presence and questioned. But the latter found means to satisfy him, and even to make out that no such mischief would have occurred, if he, Histiæus, had been at Milêtus instead of being detained at Susa. “Send me down to the spot, he asseverated, and I engage not merely to quell the revolt, and put into your hands the traitor who heads it, but also, not to take off this tunic from my body, before I shall have added to your empire the great island of Sardinia.” An expedition to Sardinia, though never realized, appears to have been among the favorite fancies of the Ionic Greeks of that day.[557] By such boasts and assurances he obtained his liberty, and went down to Sardis, promising to return as soon as he should have accomplished them.[558]

But on reaching Sardis he found the satrap Artaphernês better informed than the Great King at Susa. Though Histiæus, when questioned as to the causes which had brought on the outbreak, affected nothing but ignorance and astonishment, Artaphernês detected his evasions, and said: “I will tell you how the facts stand, Histiæus: it is you that have stitched this shoe, and Aristagoras has put it on.”[559] Such a declaration promised little security to the suspected Milesian who heard it; and accordingly, as soon as night arrived, he took to flight, went down to the coast, and from thence passed over to Chios. Here he found himself seized on the opposite count, as the confidant of Darius and the enemy of Ionia: he was released, however, on proclaiming himself not merely a fugitive escaping from Persian custody, but also as the prime author of the Ionic revolt. And[p. 299] he farther added, in order to increase his popularity, that Darius had contemplated the translation of the Ionian population to Phenicia, as well as that of the Phenician population to Ionia,—to prevent which translation he, Histiæus, had instigated the revolt. This allegation, though nothing better than a pure fabrication, obtained for him the good-will of the Chians, who carried him back to Milêtus. But before he departed, he avenged himself on Artaphernês by despatching to Sardis some false letters, implicating many distinguished Persians in a conspiracy jointly with himself: these letters were so managed as to fall into the hands of the satrap himself, who became full of suspicion, and put to death several of the parties, to the great uneasiness of all around him.[560]

On arriving at Milêtus, Histiæus found Aristagoras no longer present, and the citizens altogether adverse to the return of their old despot. Nevertheless, he tried to force his way by night into the town, but was repulsed and even wounded in the thigh. He returned to Chios, but the Chians refused him the aid of any of their ships: he next passed to Lesbos, from the inhabitants of which island he obtained eight triremes, and employed them to occupy Byzantium, pillaging and detaining the Ionian merchant-ships as they passed into or out of the Euxine.[561] The few remaining piracies of this worthless traitor, mischievous to his countrymen down to the day of his death, hardly deserve our notice, amidst the last struggles and sufferings of the subjugated Ionians, to which we are now hastening.

A vast Persian force, both military and naval, was gradually concentrating itself near Milêtus, against which city Artaphernês had determined to direct his principal efforts. Not only the whole army of Asia Minor, but also the Kilikian and Egyptian troops fresh from the conquest of Cyprus, and even the conquered Cypriots themselves, were brought up as reinforcements; while the entire Phenician fleet, no less than six hundred ships strong, coöperated on the coast.[562] To meet such a land-force in the field, being far beyond the strength of the Ionians, the joint Pan-Ionic council resolved that the Milesians should be left to[p. 300] defend their own fortifications, while the entire force of the confederate cities should be mustered on board the ships. At sea they had as yet no reason to despair, having been victorious over the Phenicians near Cyprus, and having sustained no defeat. The combined Ionic fleet, including the Æolic Lesbians, amounting in all to the number of three hundred and fifty-three ships, was accordingly mustered at Ladê,—then a little island near Milêtus, but now joined on to the coast, by the gradual accumulation of land in the bay at the mouth of the Mæander. Eighty Milesian ships formed the right wing, one hundred Chian ships the centre, and sixty Samian ships the left wing; while the space between the Milesians and the Chians was occupied by twelve ships from Priênê, three from Myus, and seventeen from Teôs,—the space between the Chians and Samians was filled by eight ships from Erythræ, three from Phôkæa, and seventy from Lesbos.[563]

The total armament thus made up was hardly inferior in number to that which, fifteen years afterwards, gained the battle of Salamis against a far larger Persian fleet than the present. Moreover, the courage of the Ionians, on ship-board, was equal to that of their contemporaries on the other side of the Ægean; while in respect of disagreement among the allies, we shall hereafter find the circumstances preceding the battle of Salamis still more menacing than those before the coming battle of Ladê. The chances of success, therefore, were at least equal between the two; and indeed the anticipations of the Persians and Phenicians on the present occasion were full of doubt, so that they thought it necessary to set on foot express means for disuniting the Ionians,—it was fortunate for the Greeks that Xerxês at Salamis could not be made to conceive the prudence of aiming at the same object. There were now in the Persian camp all those various despots whom Aristagoras, at the beginning of the revolt, had driven out of their respective cities. At the instigation of Artaphernês, each of these men despatched secret communications to their citizens in the allied fleet, endeavoring to detach them severally from the general body, by promises of gentle treatment in the event of compliance, and by threats of[p. 301] extreme infliction from the Persians if they persisted in armed efforts. Though these communications were sent to each without the knowledge of the rest, yet the answer from all was one unanimous negative.[564] And the confederates at Ladê seemed more one, in heart and spirit, than the Athenians, Spartans, and Corinthians will hereafter prove to be at Salamis.

But there was one grand difference which turned the scale,—the superior energy and ability of the Athenian leaders at Salamis, coupled with the fact that they were Athenians,—that is, in command of the largest and most important contingent throughout the fleet.

At Ladê, unfortunately, this was quite otherwise: each separate contingent had its own commander, but we hear of no joint commander at all. Nor were the chiefs who came from the larger cities—Milesian, Chian, Samian, or Lesbian—men like Themistoklês, competent and willing to stand forward as self-created leaders, and to usurp for the moment, with the general consent and for the general benefit, a privilege not intended for them. The only man of sufficient energy and forwardness to do this, was the Phôkæan Dionysius,—unfortunately, the captain of the smallest contingent of the fleet, and therefore enjoying the least respect. For Phôkæa, once the daring explorer of the western waters, had so dwindled down since the Persian conquest of Ionia, that she could now furnish no more than three ships; and her ancient maritime spirit survived only in the bosom of her captain. When Dionysius saw the Ionians assembled at Ladê, willing, eager, full of talk and mutual encouragement, but untrained and taking no thought of discipline, or nautical practice, or coöperation in the hour of battle,—he saw the risk which they ran for want of these precautions, and strenuously remonstrated with them: “Our fate hangs on the razor’s edge, men of Ionia: either to be freemen or slaves,—and slaves too, caught after running away. Set yourself at once to work and duty,—you will then have trouble indeed at first, with certain victory and freedom afterwards. But if you persist in this carelessness and disorder, there is no hope for you to escape the king’s revenge for your revolt. Be persuaded and commit yourself to[p. 302] me; and I pledge myself, if the gods only hold an equal balance, that your enemies either will not fight, or will be severely beaten.”[565]

The wisdom of this advice was so apparent, that the Ionians, quitting their comfortable tents on the shore of Ladê and going on board their ships, submitted themselves to the continuous nautical labors and manœuvres imposed upon them by Dionysius. The rowers, and the hoplites on the deck, were exercised in their separate functions, and even when they were not so employed, the ships were kept at anchor, and the crews on board, instead of on shore; so that the work lasted all day long, under a hot summer’s sun. Such labor, new to the Ionian crews, was endured for seven successive days, after which they broke out with one accord into resolute mutiny and refusal: “Which of the gods have we offended, to bring upon ourselves such a retribution as this? madmen as we are, to put ourselves into the hands of this Phôkæan braggart, who has furnished only three ships![566] He has now got us, and is ruining us without remedy: many of us are already sick, many others are sickening; we had better make up our minds to Persian slavery, or any other mischiefs, rather than go on with these present sufferings. Come, we will not obey this man any longer.” And they forthwith refused to execute his orders, resuming their tents on shore, with the enjoyments of shade, rest, and inactive talk, as before.

I have not chosen to divest this instructive scene of the dramatic liveliness with which it is given in Herodotus,—the more so as it has all the air of reality, and as Hekatæus, the historian, was probably present in the island of Ladê, and may have described what he actually saw and heard. When we see the in[p. 303]tolerable hardship which these nautical manœuvres and labors imposed upon the Ionians, though men not unaccustomed to ordinary ship-work,—and when we witness their perfect incapacity to submit themselves to such a discipline, even with extreme danger staring them in the face,—we shall be able to appreciate the severe and unremitting toil whereby the Athenian seaman afterwards purchased that perfection of nautical discipline which characterized him at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war. It will appear, as we proceed with this history, that the full development of the Athenian democracy worked a revolution in Grecian military marine, chiefly by enforcing upon the citizen seaman a strict continuous training, such as was only surpassed by the Lacedæmonian drill on land,—and by thus rendering practicable a species of nautical manœuvring which was unknown even at the time of the battle of Salamis. I shall show this more fully hereafter: at present, I contrast it briefly with the incapacity of the Ionians at Ladê, in order that it may be understood how painful such training really was. The reader of Grecian history is usually taught to associate only ideas of turbulence and anarchy with the Athenian democracy; but the Athenian navy, the child and champion of that democracy, will be found to display an indefatigable labor and obedience nowhere else witnessed in Greece, and of which even the first lessons, as in the case now before us, prove to others so irksome as to outweigh the prospect of extreme and imminent peril. The same impatience of steady toil and discipline, which the Ionians displayed to their own ruin before the battle of Ladê, will be found to characterize them fifty years afterwards as allies of Athens, as I shall have occasion to show when I come to describe the Athenian empire.

Ending in this abrupt and mutinous manner, the judicious suggestions of the Phôkæan leader did more harm than good. Perhaps his manner of dealing may have been unadvisedly rude, but we are surprised to see that no one among the leaders of the larger contingents had the good sense to avail himself of the first readiness of the Ionians, and to employ his superior influence in securing the continuance of a good practice once begun. Not one such superior man did this Ionic revolt throw up. From the day on which the Ionians discarded Dionysius, their camp be[p. 304]came a scene of disunion and mistrust. Some of them grew so reckless and unmanageable, that the better portion despaired of maintaining any orderly battle; and the Samians in particular now repented that they had declined the secret offers made to them by their expelled despot,[567]—Æakês, son of Sylosôn. They sent privately to renew the negotiation, received a fresh promise of the same indulgence, and agreed to desert when the occasion arrived. On the day of battle, when the two fleets were on the point of coming to action, the sixty Samian ships all sailed off, except eleven, whose captains disdained such treachery. Other Ionians followed their example; yet amidst the reciprocal crimination which Herodotus had heard, he finds it difficult to determine who was most to blame, though he names the Lesbians as among the earliest deserters.[568] The hundred ships from Chios, constituting the centre of the fleet—each ship carrying forty chosen soldiers fully armed—formed a brilliant exception to the rest; they fought with the greatest fidelity and resolution, inflicting upon the enemy, and themselves sustaining, heavy loss. Dionysius, the Phôkæan, also behaved in a manner worthy of his previous language,—capturing with his three ships the like number of Phenicians. But these examples of bravery did not compensate the treachery or cowardice of the rest, and the defeat of the Ionians at Ladê was complete as well as irrecoverable. To the faithful Chians, the loss was terrible, both in the battle and after it. For though some of their vessels escaped from the defeat safely to Chios, others were so damaged as to be obliged to run ashore close at hand on the promontory of Mykalê, where the crews quitted them, with the intention of marching northward, through the Ephesian territory, to the continent opposite their own island. We hear with astonishment that, at that critical moment, the Ephesian women were engaged in solemnizing the Thesmophoria,—a festival celebrated at night, in the open air, in some uninhabited portion of the territory, and without the presence of any male person. As the Chian fugitives entered the Ephesian territory by night, their coming being neither known nor anticipated,—it was believed that they were thieves or pirates coming to seize the women, and under this[p. 305] error they were attacked by the Ephesians and slain.[569] It would seem from this incident that the Ephesians had taken no part in the Ionic revolt, nor are they mentioned amidst the various contingents. Nor is anything said either of Kolophon, or Lebedus, or Eræ.[570]

The Phôkæan Dionysius, perceiving that the defeat of Ladê was the ruin of the Ionic cause, and that his native city was again doomed to Persian subjection, did not think it prudent even to return home. Immediately after the battle he set sail, not for Phôkæa, but for the Phenician coast, at this moment stripped of its protecting cruisers. He seized several Phenician merchantmen, out of which considerable profit was obtained: then setting sail for Sicily, he undertook the occupation of a privateer against the Carthaginians and Tyrrhenians, abstaining from injury towards Greeks.[571] Such an employment seems then to have been perfectly admissible. A considerable body of Samians also migrated to Sicily, indignant at the treachery of their admirals in the battle, and yet more indignant at the approaching restoration of their despot Æakês. How these Samian emigrants became established in the Sicilian town of Zanklê,[572] I shall mention as a part of the course of Sicilian events, which will come hereafter.

The victory of Ladê enabled the Persians to attack Milêtus by sea as well as by land; they prosecuted the siege with the utmost vigor, by undermining the walls, and by various engines of attack: in which department their resources seem to have been enlarged since the days of Harpagus. In no long time the city was taken by storm, and miserable was the fate reserved to it. The adult male population was chiefly slain; while such of them as were preserved, together with the women and children, were sent in a body to Susa, to await the orders of Darius,—who assigned to them a residence at Ampê, not far from the mouth of the Tigris. The temple at Branchidæ was burned and pillaged, as Hekatæus had predicted at the beginning of the revolt: the[p. 306] large treasures therein contained must have gone far to defray the costs of the Persian army. The Milesian territory is said to have been altogether denuded of its former inhabitants,—the Persians retaining for themselves the city with the plain adjoining to it, and making over the mountainous portions to the Karians of Pedasa. Some few of the Milesians found a place among the Samian emigrants to Sicily.[573] It is certain, however, that new Grecian inhabitants must have been subsequently admitted into Milêtus; for it appears ever afterwards as a Grecian town, though with diminished power and importance.

The capture of Milêtus, in the sixth year from the commencement of the revolt,[574] carried with it the rapid submission of[p. 307] the neighboring towns in Karia.[575] During the next summer,—the Phenician fleet having wintered at Milêtus,—the Persian forces by sea and land reconquered all the Asiatic Greeks, insular as well as continental. Chios, Lesbos, and Tenedos,—the towns in the Chersonese,—Selymbria and Perinthus in Thrace,—Prokonnêsus and Artakê in the Propontis,—all these towns were taken or sacked by the Persian and Phenician fleet.[576] The inhabitants of Byzantium and Chalkêdôn fled for the most part, without even awaiting its arrival, to Mesembria, and the Athenian Miltiadês only escaped Persian captivity by a rapid flight from his abode in the Chersonese to Athens. His pursuers were[p. 308] indeed so close upon him, that one of his ships, with his son Metiochus on board, fell into their hands. As Miltiadês had been strenuous in urging the destruction of the bridge over the Danube, on the occasion of the Scythian expedition, the Phenicians were particularly anxious to get possession of his person, as the most acceptable of all Greek prisoners to the Persian king; who, however, when Metiochus the son of Miltiadês was brought to Susa, not only did him no harm, but treated him with great kindness, and gave him a Persian wife with a comfortable maintenance.[577]

Far otherwise did the Persian generals deal with the reconquered cities on and near the coast. The threats which had been held out before the battle of Ladê were realized to the full. The most beautiful Greek youths and virgins were picked out, to be distributed among the Persian grandees as eunuchs, or inmates of the harems; the cities with their edifices, sacred as well as profane, were made a prey to the flames; and in the case of the islands, Herodotus even tells us, that a line of Persians was formed from shore to shore, which swept each territory from north to south, and drove the inhabitants out of it.[578] That much of this hard treatment is well founded, there can be no doubt. But it must be exaggerated as to extent of depopulation and destruction, for these islands and cities appear ever afterwards as occupied by a Grecian population, and even as in a tolerable, though reduced, condition. Samos was made an exception to the rest, and completely spared by the Persians, as a reward to its captains for setting the example of desertion at the battle of Ladê; at the same time, Æakês the despot of that island was reinstated in his government.[579] It appears that several other despots were also replaced in their respective cities, though we are not told which.

Amidst the sufferings endured by so many innocent persons, of every age and of both sexes, the fate of Histiæus excites but little sympathy. Having learned, while carrying on his piracies at Byzantium, the surrender of Milêtus, he thought it expedient to sail with his Lesbian vessels to Chios, where admittance was[p. 309] refused to him. But the Chians, weakened as they had been by the late battle, were in little condition to resist, so that he defeated their troops and despoiled the island. During the present break-up of the Asiatic Greeks, there were doubtless many who, like the Phôkæan Dionysius, did not choose to return home to an enslaved city, yet had no fixed plan for a new abode: of these exiles, a considerable number put themselves under the temporary command of Histiæus, and accompanied him to the plunder of Thasos.[580] While besieging that town, he learned the news that the Phenician fleet had quitted Milêtus to attack the remaining Ionic towns; and he left his designs on Thasos unfinished, in order to go and defend Lesbos. But in this latter island the dearth of provisions was such, that he was forced to cross over to the continent to reap the standing corn around Atarneus and in the fertile plain of Mysia near the river Kaïkus. Here he fell in with a considerable Persian force under Harpagus,—was beaten, compelled to flee, and taken prisoner. On his being carried to Sardis, Artaphernês the satrap caused him to be at once crucified: partly, no doubt, from genuine hatred, but partly also under the persuasion that, if he were sent up as a prisoner to Susa, he might again become dangerous,—since Darius would even now spare his life, under an indelible sentiment of gratitude for the maintenance of the bridge over the Danube. The head of Histiæus was embalmed and sent up to Susa, where Darius caused it to be honorably buried, condemning this precipitate execution of a man who had once been his preserver.[581]

We need not wonder that the capture of Milêtus excited the strongest feeling, of mixed sympathy and consternation, among the Athenians. In the succeeding year (so at least we are led to think, though the date cannot be positively determined), it was selected as the subject of a tragedy,—The Capture of Milêtus,—by the dramatic poet Phrynichus; which, when performed, so painfully wrung the feelings of the Athenian audience, that they burst into tears in the theatre, and the poet was condemned to pay a fine of one thousand drachmæ, as “having[p. 310] recalled to them their own misfortunes.”[582] The piece was forbidden to be afterwards acted, and has not come down to us. Some critics have supposed that Herodotus has not correctly assigned the real motive which determined the Athenians to impose this fine.[583] For it is certain that the subjects usually selected for tragedy were portions of heroic legend, and not matters of recent history; so that the Athenians might complain of Phrynichus on the double ground,—for having violated an established canon of propriety, as well as for touching their sensibilities too deeply. Still, I see no reason for doubting that the cause assigned by Herodotus is substantially the true one; but it is very possible that Phrynichus, at an age when tragic poetry had not yet reached its full development, might touch this very tender subject with a rough and offensive hand, before a people who had fair reason to dread the like cruel fate for themselves. Æschylus, in his Persæ, would naturally carry with him the full tide of Athenian sympathy, while dwelling on the victories of Salamis and Platæa. But to interest the audience in Persian success and Grecian suffering, was a task in which much greater poets than Phrynichus would have failed,—and which no judicious poet would have undertaken. The sack of Magdeburg, by Count Tilly, in the Thirty Years’ war, was not likely to be endured as the subject of dramatic representation in any Protestant town of Germany.

[p. 311]


In the preceding chapter, I indicated the point of confluence between the European and Asiatic streams of Grecian history,—the commencement of a decided Persian intention to conquer Attica; manifested first in the form of a threat by Artaphernês the satrap, when he enjoined the Athenians to take back Hippias as the only condition of safety, and afterwards converted into a passion in the bosom of Darius in consequence of the burning of Sardis. From this time forward, therefore, the affairs of Greece and Persia came to be in direct relation one with the other, and capable of being embodied, much more than before, into one continuous narrative.

The reconquest of Ionia being thoroughly completed, Artaphernês proceeded to organize the future government of it, with a degree of prudence and forethought not often visible in Persian proceedings. Convoking deputies from all the different cities, he compelled them to enter into a permanent convention, for the amicable settlement of disputes, so as to prevent all employment of force by any one against the others. Moreover, he caused the territory of each city to be measured by parasangs (each parasang was equal to thirty stadia, or about three miles and a half), and arranged the assessments of tribute according to this measurement, without any material departure, however, from the sums which had been paid before the revolt.[584]

Unfortunately, Herodotus is unusually brief in his allusion to this proceeding, which it would have been highly interesting to be able to comprehend perfectly. We may, however, assume it as certain, that both the population and the territory of many among the Ionic cities, if not of all, were materially altered in consequence of the preceding revolt, and still more in conse[p. 312]quence of the cruelties with which the suppression of the revolt had been accompanied. In regard to Milêtus, Herodotus tells us that the Persians retained for themselves the city with its circumjacent plain, but gave the mountain portion of the Milesian territory to the Karians of Pêdasa.[585] Such a proceeding would naturally call for a fresh measurement and assessment of tribute; and there may have been similar transfers of land elsewhere. I have already observed that the statements which we find in Herodotus, of utter depopulation and destruction falling upon the cities, cannot be credited in their full extent; for these cities are all peopled, and all Hellenic, afterwards. But there can be no doubt that they are partially true, and that the miseries of those days, as stated in the work of Hekatæus, as well as by contemporary informants with whom Herodotus had probably conversed, must have been extreme. New inhabitants would probably be admitted in many of them, to supply the loss sustained; and such infusion of fresh blood would strengthen the necessity for the organization introduced by Artaphernês, in order to determine clearly the obligations due from the cities both to the Persian government and towards each other. Herodotus considers that the arrangement was extremely beneficial to the Ionians, and so it must unquestionably have appeared, coming as it did immediately after so much previous suffering. He farther adds, that the tribute then fixed remained unaltered until his own day,—a statement requiring some comment, which I reserve until the time arrives for describing the condition of the Asiatic Greeks after the repulse of Xerxês from Greece proper.

Meanwhile, the intentions of Darius for the conquest of Greece were now effectively manifested: Mardonius, invested with the supreme command, and at the head of a large force, was sent down in the ensuing spring for the purpose. Having reached Kilikia in the course of the march, he himself got on ship-board and went by sea to Ionia, while his army marched across Asia Minor to the Hellespont. His proceeding in Ionia surprises us, and seems to have appeared surprising as well to Herodotus himself as to his readers. Mardonius deposed the despots throughout the various Greek cities,[586] and left the people of each[p. 313] to govern themselves, subject to the Persian dominion and tribute. This was a complete reversal of the former policy of Persia, and must be ascribed to a new conviction, doubtless wise and well founded, which had recently grown up among the Persian leaders, that on the whole their unpopularity was aggravated, more than their strength was increased, by employing these despots as instruments. The phenomena of the late Ionic revolt were well calculated to teach such a lesson; but we shall not often find the Persians profiting by experience, throughout the course of this history.

Mardonius did not remain long in Ionia, but passed on with his fleet to the Hellespont, where the land-force had already arrived. He transported it across into Europe, and began his march through Thrace; all of which had already been reduced by Megabazus, and does not seem to have participated in the Ionic revolt. The island of Thasus surrendered to the fleet without any resistance, and the land-force was conveyed across the Strymon to the Greek city of Akanthus, on the western coast of the Strymonic gulf. From hence his land-force marched into Macedonia, and subdued a considerable portion of its inhabitants, perhaps some of those not comprised in the dominion of Amyntas, since that prince had before submitted to Megabazus. Meanwhile, he sent his fleet to double the promontory of Mount Athos, and to join the land-force again at the gulf of Therma, with a view of conquering as much of Greece as he could, and even of prosecuting the march as far as Athens and Eretria;[587] so that the expedition afterwards accomplished by Xerxês would[p. 314] have been tried at least by Mardonius, twelve or thirteen years earlier, had not a terrible storm completely disabled the fleet. The sea near Athos was then, and is now, full of peril to navigators. One of the hurricanes, so frequent in its neighborhood, overtook the Persian fleet, destroyed three hundred ships, and drowned or cast ashore not less than twenty thousand men: of those who reached the shore, many died of cold, or were devoured by the wild beasts on that inhospitable tongue of land. This disaster checked altogether the farther progress of Mardonius, who also sustained considerable loss with his land-army, and was himself wounded, in a night attack made upon him by the tribe of Thracians called Brygi. Though strong enough to repel and avenge this attack, and to subdue the Brygi, he was yet in no condition to advance farther. Both the land-force and the fleet were conveyed back to the Hellespont, and from thence across to Asia, with all the shame of failure. Nor was Mardonius again employed by Darius, though we cannot make out that the fault was imputable to him.[588] We shall hear of him again under Xerxês.

The ill-success of Mardonius seems to have inspired the Thasians, so recently subdued, with the idea of revolting. At least, they provoked the suspicion of Darius by making active preparations for defence, building war-ships, and strengthening their fortifications. The Thasians were at this time in great opulence, chiefly from their gold and silver mines, both in their island and in their mainland territory opposite. Their mines at Skaptê Hylê, in Thrace, yielded to them an annual income of eighty talents; and altogether their surplus revenue—after defraying all the expenses of government, so that the inhabitants were entirely untaxed—was two hundred talents (forty-six thousand pounds, if Attic talents; more, if either Euboic or Æginæan). With these large means, they were enabled soon to make preparations which excited notice among their neighbors, many of whom were doubtless jealous of their prosperity, and perhaps inclined to dispute with them possession of the profitable mines[p. 315] of Skaptê Hylê. As in other cases, so in this: the jealousies among subject neighbors often procured revelations to the superior power: the proceedings of the Thasians were made known, and they were forced to raze their fortifications as well as to surrender all their ships to the Persians at Abdêra.[589]

Though dissatisfied with Mardonius, Darius was only the more eagerly bent on his project of conquering Greece, and Hippias was at his side to keep alive his wrath against the Athenians.[590] Orders were despatched to the maritime cities of his empire to equip both ships of war and horse-transports for a renewed attempt. His intentions were probably known in Greece itself by this time, from the recent march of his army to Macedonia; but he thought it advisable to send heralds round to most of the Grecian cities, in order to require from each the formal token of submission,—earth and water; and thus to ascertain what extent of resistance his intended expedition was likely to experience. The answers received were to a high degree favorable. Many of the continental Greeks sent their submission, as well as all those islanders to whom application was made. Among the former, we are probably to reckon the Thebans and Thessalians, though Herodotus does not particularize them. Among the latter, Naxos, Eubœa, and some of the smaller islands, are not included; but Ægina, at that time the first maritime power of Greece, is expressly included.[591]

Nothing marks so clearly the imminent peril in which the liberties of Greece were now placed, and the terror inspired by the Persians after their reconquest of Ionia, as this abasement on the part of the Æginetans, whose commerce with the Asiatic islands and continent doubtless impressed them strongly with the melancholy consequences of unsuccessful resistance to the Great King. But on the present occasion, their conduct was dictated as much by antipathy to Athens as by fear, so that Greece was thus threatened with the intrusion of the Persian arm as ally and arbiter in her internal contests: a contingency which, if it had[p. 316] occurred now in the dispute between Ægina and Athens, would have led to the certain enslavement of Greece,—though when it did occur nearly a century afterwards, towards the close of the Peloponnesian war, and in consequence of the prolonged struggle between Lacedæmon and Athens, Greece had become strong enough in her own force to endure it without the loss of substantial independence. The war between Thebes and Ægina on one side, and Athens on the other,—begun several years before, and growing out of the connection between Athens and Platæa,—had never yet been terminated. The Æginetans had taken part in that war from gratuitous feeling, either of friendship for Thebes, or of enmity to Athens, without any direct ground of quarrel,[592] and they had begun the war even without the formality of notice. Though a period apparently not less than fourteen years (from about 506-492 B. C.) had elapsed since it began, the state of hostility still continued; and we may well conceive that Hippias, the great instigator of Persian attack upon Greece, would not fail to enforce upon all the enemies of Athens the prudence of seconding, or at least of not opposing, the efforts of the Persian to reinstate him in that city. It was partly under this feeling, combined with genuine alarm, that both Thebes and Ægina manifested submissive dispositions towards the heralds of Darius.

Among these heralds, some had gone both to Athens and to Sparta, for the same purpose of demanding earth and water. The reception given to them at both places was angry in the extreme. The Athenians cast the herald into the pit called the barathrum,[593] into which they sometimes precipitated public crimi[p. 317]nals: the Spartans threw the herald who came to them into a well, desiring the unfortunate messenger to take earth and water from thence to the king. The inviolability of heralds was so ancient and undisputed in Greece, from the Homeric times downward, that nothing short of the fiercest excitement could have instigated any Grecian community to such an outrage. But to the Lacedæmonians, now accustomed to regard themselves as the first of all Grecian states, and to be addressed always in the character of superiors, the demand appeared so gross an insult as to banish from their minds for the time all recollection of established obligations. They came subsequently, however, to repent of the act as highly criminal, and to look upon it as the cause of misfortunes which overtook them thirty or forty years afterwards: how they tried at that time to expiate it, I shall hereafter recount.[594]

But if, on the one hand, the wounded dignity of the Spartans hurried them into the commission of this wrong, it was on the other hand of signal use to the general liberties of Greece, by rousing them out of their apathy as to the coming invader, and placing them with regard to him in the same state of inexpiable[p. 318] hostility as Athens and Eretria. We see at once the bonds drawn closer between Athens and Sparta. The Athenians, for the first time, prefer a complaint at Sparta against the Æginetans for having given earth and water to Darius,—accusing them of having done this with views of enmity to Athens, and in order to invade Attica conjointly with the Persian. This they represented “as treason to Hellas,” calling upon Sparta as head of Greece to interfere. And in consequence of their appeal, Kleomenês king of Sparta went over to Ægina, to take measures against the authors of the late proceeding, “for the general benefit of Hellas.”[595]

The proceeding now before us is of very great importance in the progress of Grecian history. It is the first direct and positive historical manifestation of Hellas as an aggregate body, with Sparta as its chief, and obligations of a certain sort on the part of its members, the neglect or violation of which constitutes a species of treason. I have already pointed out several earlier incidents, showing how the Greek political mind, beginning from entire severance of states, became gradually prepared for this idea of a permanent league with mutual obligations and power of enforcement vested in a permanent chief,—an idea never fully carried into practice, but now distinctly manifest and partially operative. First, the great acquired power and territory of Sparta, her military training, her undisturbed political traditions, create an unconscious deference towards her, such as was not felt towards any other state: next, she is seen in the proceedings against Athens, after the expulsion of Hippias, as summoning and conducting to war a cluster of self-obliged Peloponnesian allies, with certain formalities which gave to the alliance an imposing permanence and solemnity: thirdly, her position becomes[p. 319] recognized as first power or president of Greece, both by foreigners who invite alliance (Crœsus), or by Greeks who seek help, such as the Platæans against Thebes, or the Ionians against Persia. But Sparta has not been hitherto found willing to take on herself the performance of this duty of protector-general. She refused the Ionians and the Samian Mæandrius, as well as the Platæans, in spite of their entreaties founded on common Hellenic lineage: the expedition which she undertook against Polykratês of Samos, was founded upon private motives of displeasure, even in the estimation of the Lacedæmonians themselves: moreover, even if all these requests had been granted, she might have seemed to be rather obeying a generous sympathy than performing a duty incumbent upon her as superior. But in the case now before us, of Athens against Ægina, the latter consideration stands distinctly prominent. Athens is not a member of the cluster of Spartan allies, nor does she claim the compassion of Sparta, as defenceless against an overpowering Grecian neighbor. She complains of a Pan-Hellenic obligation as having been contravened by the Æginetans to her detriment and danger, and calls upon Sparta to enforce upon the delinquents respect to these obligations. For the first time in Grecian history, such a call is made; for the first time in Grecian history, it is effectively answered. We may reasonably doubt, whether it would have been thus answered,—considering the tardy, unimpressible, and home-keeping character of the Spartans, with their general insensibility to distant dangers,[596]—if the adventure of the Persian herald had not occurred to gall their pride beyond endurance; to drive them into unpardonable hostility with the Great King; and to cast them into the same boat with Athens for keeping off an enemy who threatened the common liberties of Hellas.

From this time, then, we may consider that there exists a recognized political union of Greece against the Persians,[597]—or at least something as near to a political union as Grecian temper will permit,—with Sparta as its head for the present. To such a preëminence of Sparta, Grecian history had been gradually[p. 320] tending; but the final event which placed it beyond dispute, and which humbled for the time her ancient and only rival—Argos—is now to be noticed.

It was about three or four years before the arrival of these Persian heralds in Greece, and nearly at the time when Milêtus was besieged by the Persian generals, that a war broke out between Sparta and Argos,[598]—on what grounds Herodotus does not inform us. Kleomenês, encouraged by a promise of the oracle that he should take Argos, led the Lacedæmonian troops to the banks of the Erasinus, the border river of the Argeian territory. But the sacrifices, without which no river could be crossed, were so unfavorable, that he altered his course, extorted some vessels from Ægina and Sikyon,[599] and carried his troops by sea to Nauplia, the seaport belonging to Argos, and to the territory of Tiryns. The Argeians having marched their forces down to resist him, the two armies joined battle at Sêpeia, near Tiryns: Kleomenês, by a piece of simplicity on the part of his enemies, which we find it difficult to credit in Herodotus, was enabled to attack them unprepared, and obtained a decisive victory. For the Argeians, it is stated, were so afraid of being overreached by stratagem, in the post which their army occupied over against the enemy, that they listened for the commands proclaimed aloud by the Lacedæmonian herald, and performed with their own army the same order which they thus heard given.[p. 321] This came to the knowledge of Kleomenês, who communicated private notice to his soldiers, that when the herald proclaimed orders to go to dinner, they should not obey, but immediately stand to their arms. We are to presume that the Argeian camp was sufficiently near to that of the Lacedæmonians to enable them to hear the voice of the herald, yet not within sight, from the nature of the ground. Accordingly, so soon as the Argeians heard the herald in the enemy’s camp proclaim the word to go to dinner,[600] they went to dinner themselves; and in this disorderly condition they were easily overthrown by the Spartans. Many of them perished in the field, while the fugitives took refuge in a thick grove consecrated to their eponymous hero Argus. Kleomenês pursued and inclosed them therein; but thinking it safer to employ deceit rather than force, he ascertained from deserters the names of the chief Argeians thus shut up, and then invited them out successively by means of a herald,—pretending that he had received their ransom, and that they were released. As fast as each man came out, he was put to death; the fate of these unhappy sufferers being concealed from their comrades within the grove by the thickness of the foliage, until some one climbing to the top of a tree detected and proclaimed the destruction going on,—after about fifty of the victims had perished. Unable to entice any more of the Argeians from their consecrated refuge, which they still vainly hoped would protect them, Kleomenês set fire to the grove, and burnt it to the ground, insomuch that the persons within it appear to have been destroyed, either by fire or by sword.[601] After the conflagration had begun, he inquired for the first time to whom the grove belonged, and learnt that it belonged to the hero Argus.

Not less than six thousand citizens, the flower and strength of Argos, perished in this disastrous battle and retreat. And so completely was the city prostrated, that Kleomenês might easily have taken it, had he chosen to march thither forthwith and attack it with vigor. If we are to believe later historians whom[p. 322] Pausanias, Polyænus, and Plutarch have copied, he did march thither and attack it, but was repulsed by the valor of the Argeian women; who, in the dearth of warriors occasioned by the recent defeat, took arms along with the slaves, headed by the poetess Telesilla, and gallantly defended the walls.[602] This is probably a mythe, generated by a desire to embody in detail the dictum of the oracle a little before, about “the female conquering the male.”[603] Without meaning to deny that the Argeian women might have been capable of achieving so patriotic a deed, if Kleomenês had actually marched to the attack of their city, we are compelled, by the distinct statement of Herodotus, to affirm that he never did attack it. Immediately after the burning of the sacred grove of Argos, he dismissed the bulk of his army to Sparta, retaining only one thousand choice troops,—with whom he marched up to the Hêræum, or great temple of Hêrê, between Argos and Mykênæ, to offer sacrifice. The priest in attendance forbade him to enter, saying that no stranger was allowed to offer sacrifice in the temple. But Kleomenês had once already forced his way into the sanctuary of Athênê, on the Athenian acropolis, in spite of the priestess and her interdict,—and he now acted still more brutally towards the Argeian priest, for he directed his helots to drag him from the altar and scourge him.[p. 323] Having offered sacrifice, Kleomenês returned with his remaining force to Sparta.[604]

But the army whom he had sent home returned with a full persuasion that Argos might easily have been taken,—that the king alone was to blame for having missed the opportunity. As soon as he himself returned, his enemies—perhaps his colleague Demaratus—brought him to trial before the ephors, on a charge of having been bribed, against which he defended himself as follows: He had invaded the hostile territory on the faith of an assurance from the oracle that he should take Argos; but so soon as he had burnt down the sacred grove of the hero Argus,—without knowing to whom it belonged,—he became at once sensible that this was all that the god meant by taking Argos, and therefore that the divine promise had been fully realized. Accordingly, he did not think himself at liberty to commence any fresh attack, until he had ascertained whether the gods would approve it and would grant him success. It was with this view that he sacrificed in the Hêræum. But though his sacrifice was favorable, he observed that the flame kindled on the altar flashed back from the bosom of the statue of Hêrê, and not from her head. If the flame had flashed from her head, he would have known at once that the gods intended him to take the city by storm;[605] but the flash from her bosom plainly indicated that the[p. 324] topmost success was out of his reach, and that he had already reaped all the glories which they intended for him. We may see that Herodotus, though he refrains from criticizing this story, suspects it to be a fabrication. Not so the Spartan ephors: to them it appeared not less true as a story than triumphant as a defence, insuring to Kleomenês an honorable acquittal.[606]

Though this Spartan king lost the opportunity of taking Argos, his victories already gained had inflicted upon her a blow such as she did not recover for a generation, and put her for a time out of all condition to dispute the primacy of Greece with Lacedæmon. I have already mentioned that both in legend and in earliest history, Argos stands forth as the first power in Greece, with legendary claims to headship, and decidedly above Lacedæmon; who gradually usurps from her, first the reality of superior power, next the recognition of preëminence,—and is now, at the period which we have reached, taking upon herself both the rights and the duties of a presiding state over a body of allies who are bound both to her and to each other. Her title to this honor, however, was never admitted at Argos, and it is very probable that the war just described grew in some way or other out of the increasing presidential power which circumstances were tending to throw into her hands. And the complete temporary prostration of Argos was an essential condition to the quiet acquisition of this power by Sparta. Occurring as it did two or three years before the above-recounted adventure of the heralds, it removed the only rival at that time both willing and able to compete with Sparta,—a rival who might well have prevented any effective union under another chief, though she could no longer have secured any Pan-Hellenic ascendency for herself,—a rival who would have seconded Ægina in her submission to the Persians, and would thus have lamed incurably the defen[p. 325]sive force of Greece. The ships which Kleomenês had obtained from the Æginetans as well as from the Sikyonians, against their own will, for landing his troops at Nauplia, brought upon both these cities the enmity of Argos, which the Sikyonians compromised by paying a sum of money, while the Æginetans refused to do so.[607] And thus the circumstances of the Kleomenic war had the effect not only of enfeebling Argos, but of alienating her from natural allies and supporters, and clearing the ground for undisputed Spartan primacy.

Returning now to the complaint preferred by Athens to the Spartans against the traitorous submission of Ægina to Darius, we find that king Kleomenês passed immediately over to that island for the purpose of inquiry and punishment. He was proceeding to seize and carry away as prisoners several of the leading Æginetans, when Krius and some others among them opposed to him a menacing resistance, telling him that he came without any regular warrant from Sparta and under the influence of Athenian bribes,—that, in order to carry authority, both the Spartan kings ought to come together. It was not of their own accord that the Æginetans ventured to adopt so dangerous a course. Demaratus, the colleague of Kleomenês in the junior or Prokleid line of kings, had suggested to them the step and promised to carry them through it safely.[608] Dissension between the two coördinate kings was no new phenomenon at Sparta; but in the case of Demaratus and Kleomenês, it had broken out some years previously on the occasion of the march against Attica; and Demaratus, hating his colleague more than ever, entered into the present intrigue with the Æginetans with the deliberate purpose of frustrating his intervention. He succeeded, and Kleomenês was compelled to return to Sparta; not without unequivocal menace against Krius and the other Æginetans who had repelled him,[609] and not without a thorough determination to depose Demaratus.

It appears that suspicions had always attached to the legiti[p. 326]macy of Demaratus’s birth. His reputed father Aristo had had no offspring by two successive wives: at last, he became enamored of the wife of his friend Agêtus,—a woman of surpassing beauty,—and entrapped him into an agreement, whereby each solemnly bound himself to surrender anything belonging to him which the other might ask for. That which Agêtus asked from Aristo was at once given: in return, the latter demanded to have the wife of Agêtus, who was thunderstruck at the request, and indignantly complained of having been cheated into a sacrifice of all others the most painful: nevertheless, the oath was peremptory, and he was forced to comply. The birth of Demaratus took place so soon after this change of husbands, that when it was first made known to Aristo, as he sat upon a bench along with the ephors, he counted on his fingers the number of months since his marriage, and exclaimed with an oath, “The child cannot be mine.” He soon, however, retracted his opinion, and acknowledged the child, who grew up without any question being publicly raised as to his birth, and succeeded his father on the throne. But the original words of Aristo had never been forgotten, and private suspicions were still cherished that Demaratus was really the son of his mother’s first husband.[610]

Of these suspicions, Kleomenês now resolved to avail himself, exciting Leotychidês, the next heir in the Prokleid line of kings, to impugn publicly the legitimacy of Demaratus; engaging to second him with all his influence as next in order for the crown, and exacting in return a promise that he would support the intervention against Ægina. Leotychidês was animated not merely by ambition, but also by private enmity against Demaratus, who had disappointed him of his intended bride: he warmly entered into the scheme, arraigned Demaratus as no true Herakleid, and produced evidence to prove the original doubts expressed by Aristo. A serious dispute was thus raised at Sparta, and Kleomenês, espousing the pretensions of Leotychidês, recommended that the question as to the legitimacy of Demaratus should be decided by reference to the Delphian oracle. Through the influence of Kobôn, a powerful native of Delphi, he procured from the Pythian priestess an answer pronouncing[p. 327] that Demaratus was not the son of Aristo.[611] Leotychidês thus became king of the Prokleid line, while Demaratus descended into a private station, and was elected at the ensuing solemnity of the Gymnopædia to an official function. The new king, unable to repress a burst of triumphant spite, sent an attendant to ask him, in the public theatre, how he felt as an officer after having once been a king. Stung with this insult, Demaratus replied that he himself had tried them both, and that Leotychidês might in time come to try them both also: the question, he added, shall bear its fruit,—great evil, or great good, to Sparta. So saying, he covered his face and retired home from the theatre,—offered a solemn farewell sacrifice at the altar of Zeus Herkeios, and solemnly adjured his mother to declare to him who his real father was,—then at once quitted Sparta for Elis, under pretence of going to consult the Delphian oracle.[612]

Demaratus was well known to be a high-spirited and ambitious man,—noted, among other things, as the only Lacedæmonian king down to the time of Herodotus who had ever gained a chariot victory at Olympia; and Kleomenês and Leotychidês became alarmed at the mischief which he might do them in exile. By the law of Sparta, no Herakleid was allowed to establish his residence out of the country, on pain of death: this marks the sentiment of the Lacedæmonians, and Demaratus was not the less likely to give trouble because they had pronounced him illegitimate.[613] Accordingly they sent in pursuit of him, and seized[p. 328] him in the island of Zakynthus. But the Zakynthians would not consent to surrender him, so that he passed unobstructed into Asia, where he presented himself to Darius, and was received with abundant favors and presents.[614] We shall hereafter find him the companion of Xerxês, giving to that monarch advice such as, if it had been acted upon, would have proved the ruin of Grecian independence; to which, however, he would have been even more dangerous, if he had remained at home as king of Sparta.

Meanwhile Kleomenês, having obtained a consentient colleague in Leotychidês, went with him over to Ægina, eager to revenge himself for the affront which had been put upon him. To the requisition and presence of the two kings jointly, the Æginetans did not dare to oppose any resistance. Kleomenês made choice of ten citizens, eminent for wealth, station, and influence, among whom were Krius and another person named Kasambus, the two most powerful men in the island. Conveying them away to Athens, he deposited them as hostages in the hands of the Athenians.[615]

It was in this state that the affairs of Athens and of Greece generally were found by the Persian armament which landed at Marathon, the progress of which we are now about to follow. And the events just recounted were of material importance, considered in their indirect bearing upon the success of that armament. Sparta had now, on the invitation of Athens, assumed to herself for the first time a formal Pan-Hellenic primacy, her ancient rival Argos being too much broken to contest it,—her two kings, at this juncture unanimous, employ their presiding interference in coercing Ægina, and placing Æginetan hostages in the hands of Athens. The Æginetans would not have been unwilling to purchase victory over a neighbor and rival at the cost of submission to Persia, and it was the Spartan interference only which restrained them from assailing Athens conjointly with the Persian invaders; thus leaving the hands of the latter free, and her courage undiminished, for the coming trial.

Meanwhile, a vast Persian force, brought together in consequence of the preparation made during the last two years in[p. 329] every part of the empire, had assembled in the Aleïan plain of Kilikia, near the sea. A fleet of six hundred armed triremes, together with many transports, both of men and horses, was brought hither for their embarkation: the troops were put on board, and sailed along the coast to Samos in Ionia. The Ionic and Æolic Greeks constituted an important part of this armament, and the Athenian exile Hippias was on board as guide and auxiliary in the attack of Attica. The generals were Datis, a Median,[616]—and Artaphernês, son of the satrap of Sardis, so named, and nephew of Darius. We may remark that Datis is the first person of Median lineage who is mentioned as appointed to high command after the accession of Darius, which had been preceded and marked, as I have noticed in a former chapter, by an outbreak of hostile nationality between the Medes and Persians. Their instructions were, generally, to reduce to subjection and tribute all such Greeks as had not already given earth and water. But Darius directed them most particularly to conquer Eretria and Athens, and to bring the inhabitants as slaves into his presence.[617] These orders were literally meant, and probably neither the generals nor the soldiers of this vast armament doubted that they would be literally executed; and that before the end of the year, the wives, or rather the widows, of men like Themistoklês and Aristeidês would be seen among a mournful train of Athenian prisoners, on the road from Sardis to Susa, thus accomplishing the wish expressed by queen Atossa at the instance of Dêmokêdês.

The recent terrific storm near Mount Athos deterred the Persians from following the example of Mardonius, and taking their course by the Hellespont and Thrace. It was resolved to strike straight across the Ægean[618] (the mode of attack which intelligent[p. 330] Greeks like Themistoklês most feared, even after the repulse of Xerxês), from Samos to Eubœa, attacking the intermediate islands in the way. Among those islands was Naxos, which ten years before had stood a long siege, and gallantly repelled the Persian Megabatês with the Milesian Aristagoras. It was one of the main objects of Datis to efface this stain on the Persian arms, and to take a signal revenge on the Naxians.[619] Crossing from Samos to Naxos, he landed his army on the island, which was found an easier prize than he had expected. The terrified citizens, abandoning their town, fled with their families to the highest summits of their mountains; while the Persians, seizing as slaves a few who had been dilatory in flight, burnt the undefended town with its edifices sacred and profane.

Immense, indeed, was the difference in Grecian sentiment towards the Persians, created by the terror-striking reconquest of Ionia, and by the exhibition of a large Phenician fleet in the Ægean. The strength of Naxos was the same now as it had been before the Ionic revolt, and the successful resistance then made might have been supposed likely to nerve the courage of its inhabitants. Yet such is the fear now inspired by a Persian armament, that the eight thousand Naxian hoplites abandon their town and their gods without striking a blow,[620] and think of nothing but personal safety for themselves and their families. A sad augury for Athens and Eretria!

From Naxos, Datis despatched his fleet round the other Cyclades islands, requiring from each, hostages for fidelity and a contingent to increase his army. With the sacred island of Delos, however, he dealt tenderly and respectfully. The Delians had fled before his approach to Tênos, but Datis sent a herald to invite them back again, promised to preserve their persons and property inviolate, and proclaimed that he had received express orders from the Great King to reverence the island in which Apollo and Artemis were born. His acts corresponded with this language; for the fleet was not allowed to touch the island,[p. 331] and he himself, landing with only a few attendants, offered a magnificent sacrifice at the altar. A large portion of his armament consisted of Ionic Greeks, and this pronounced respect to the island of Delos may probably be ascribed to the desire of satisfying their religious feelings; for in their days of early freedom, this island had been the scene of their solemn periodical festivals, as I have already more than once remarked.

Pursuing his course without resistance along the islands, and demanding reinforcements as well as hostages from each, Datis at length touched the southernmost portion of Eubœa,—the town of Karystus and its territory.[621] The Karystians, though at first refusing either to give hostages or to furnish any reinforcements against their friends and neighbors, were speedily compelled to submission by the aggressive devastation of the invaders. This was the first taste of resistance which Datis had yet experienced; and the facility with which it was overcome gave him a promising omen as to his success against Eretria, whither he soon arrived.

The destination of the armament was no secret to the inhabitants of this fated city, among whom consternation, aggravated by intestine differences, was the reigning sentiment. They made application to Athens for aid, which was readily and conveniently afforded to them by means of those four thousand kleruchs, or out-citizens, whom the Athenians had planted sixteen years before in the neighboring territory of Chalkis. Notwithstanding this reinforcement, however, many of them despaired of defending the city, and thought only of seeking shelter on the unassailable summits of the island, as the more numerous and powerful Naxians had already done before them; while another party, treacherously seeking their own profit out of the public calamity, lay in wait for an opportunity of betraying the city to the Persians.[622] Though a public resolution was taken to defend[p. 332] the city, yet so manifest was the absence of that stoutness of heart which could alone avail to save it, that a leading Eretrian named Æschinês was not ashamed to forewarn the four thousand Athenian allies of the coming treason, and urge them to save themselves before it was too late. They followed his advice and passed over to Attica by way of Orôpus; while the Persians disembarked their troops, and even their horses, in expectation that the Eretrians would come out and fight, at Tamynæ and other places in the territory. As the Eretrians did not come out, they proceeded to lay siege to the city, and for some days met with a brave resistance, so that the loss on both sides was considerable. At length two of the leading citizens, Euphorbus and Philagrus, with others, betrayed Eretria to the besiegers; its temples were burnt, and its inhabitants dragged into slavery.[623] It is impossible to credit the exaggerated statement of Plato, which is applied by him to the Persians at Eretria, as it had been before applied by Herodotus to the Persians at Chios and Samos,—that they swept the territory clean of inhabitants by joining hands and forming a line across its whole breadth.[624] Evidently, this is an idea illustrating the possible effects of numbers and ruinous conquest, which has been woven into the tissue of historical statements, like so many other illustrative ideas in the writings of Greek authors. That a large proportion of the inhabitants were carried away as prisoners, there can be no doubt. But the traitors who betrayed the town were spared and rewarded by the[p. 333] Persians,[625] and we see plainly that either some of the inhabitants must have been left or new settlers introduced, when we find the Eretrians reckoned ten years afterwards among the opponents of Xerxês.

Datis had thus accomplished with little or no resistance one of the two express objects commanded by Darius, and his army was elated with the confident hope of soon completing the other. Alter halting a few days at Eretria, and depositing in the neighboring islet of Ægilia the prisoners recently captured, he reëmbarked his army to cross over to Attica, and landed in the memorable bay of Marathon on the eastern coast,—the spot indicated by the despot Hippias, who now landed along with the Persians, twenty years after his expulsion from the government. Forty-seven years had elapsed since he had made as a young man this same passage, from Eretria to Marathon, in conjunction with his father Peisistratus, on the occasion of the second restoration of the latter. On that previous occasion, the force accompanying the father had been immeasurably inferior to that which now seconded the son; yet it had been found amply sufficient to carry him in triumph to Athens, with feeble opposition from citizens alike irresolute and disunited. And the march of Hippias from Marathon to Athens would now have been equally easy, as it was doubtless conceived to be by himself, both in his waking hopes and in the dream which Herodotus mentions,—had not the Athenians whom he found been men radically different from those whom he had left.

To that great renewal of the Athenian character, under the democratical institutions which had subsisted since the dispossession of Hippias, I have already pointed attention in a former chapter. The modifications introduced by Kleisthenês in the constitution had now existed eighteen or nineteen years, without any attempt to overthrow them by violence. The Ten Tribes,[p. 334] each with its constituent demes, had become a part of the established habits of the country, and the citizens had become accustomed to exercise a genuine and self-determined decision in their assemblies, political as well as judicial; while even the senate of Areopagus, renovated by the nine annual archons successively chosen who passed into it after their year of office, had also become identified in feeling with the constitution of Kleisthenês. Individual citizens, doubtless, remained partisans in secret, and perhaps correspondents of Hippias; but the mass of citizens, in every scale of life, could look upon his return with nothing but terror and aversion. With what degree of newly-acquired energy the democratical Athenians could act in defence of their country and institutions, has already been related in a former chapter; though unfortunately we possess few particulars of Athenian history during the decade preceding 490 B. C., nor can we follow in detail the working of the government. The new form, however, which Athenian politics had assumed becomes partially manifest, when we observe the three leaders who stand prominent at this important epoch,—Miltiadês, Themistoklês, and Aristeidês.

The first of the three had returned to Athens, three or four years before the approach of Datis, after six or seven years’ absence in the Chersonesus of Thrace, whither he had been originally sent by Hippias about the year 517-516 B. C., to inherit the property as well as the supremacy of his uncle the œkist Miltiadês. As despot of the Chersonese, and as one of the subjects of Persia, he had been among the Ionians who accompanied Darius to the Danube in his Scythian expedition, and he had been the author of that memorable recommendation which Histiæus and the other despots did not think it their interest to follow,—of destroying the bridge and leaving the Persian king to perish. Subsequently, he had been unable to remain permanently in the Chersonese, for reasons which have before been noticed; yet he seems to have occupied it during the period of the Ionic revolt.[626][p. 335] What part he took in that revolt we do not know. But he availed himself of the period while the Persian satraps were employed in suppressing it, and deprived of the mastery of the sea, to expel, in conjunction with forces from Athens, both the Persian garrison and Pelasgic inhabitants from the islands of Lemnos and Imbros. The extinction of the Ionic revolt threatened him with ruin; so that when the Phenician fleet, in the summer following the capture of Milêtus, made its conquering appearance in the Hellespont, he was forced to escape rapidly to Athens with his immediate friends and property, and with a small squadron of five ships. One of these ships, commanded by his son Metiochus, was actually captured between the Chersonese and Imbros; and the Phenicians were most eager to capture himself,[627]—inasmuch as he was personally odious to Darius from his strenuous recommendation to destroy the bridge over the Danube. On arriving at Athens, after his escape from the Phenician fleet, he was brought to trial before the judicial popular assembly for alleged misgovernment in the Chersonese, or for what Herodotus calls “his despotism” there exercised.[628] Nor is it improbable, that the Athenian citizens settled in that peninsula may have had good reason to complain of him,—the more so as he had carried out with him the maxims of government prevalent at Athens under the Peisistratids, and had in his pay a body of Thracian mercenaries. However, the people at Athens honorably acquitted him, probably in part from the reputation which he had obtained as conqueror of Lemnos;[629] and he was one of the ten annually-elected generals of the republic, during the year of this Persian expedition,—chosen at the beginning of the Attic year, shortly after the summer solstice, at a time when Datis and Hippias had actually sailed, and were known to be approaching.

The character of Miltiadês is one of great bravery and decision,—qualities preëminently useful to his country on the present crisis, and the more useful as he was under the strongest motive[p. 336] to put them forth, from the personal hostility of Darius towards him; but he does not peculiarly belong to the democracy of Kleisthenês, like his younger contemporaries Themistoklês and Aristeidês. The two latter are specimens of a class of men new at Athens since the expulsion of Hippias, and contrasting forcibly with Peisistratus, Lykurgus, and Megaklês, the political leaders of the preceding generation. Themistoklês and Aristeidês, different as they were in disposition, agree in being politicians of the democratical stamp, exercising ascendency by and through the people,—devoting their time to the discharge of public duties, and to the frequent discussions in the political and judicial meetings of the people,—manifesting those combined powers of action, comprehension, and persuasive speech, which gradually accustomed the citizens to look to them as advisers as well as leaders,—but always subject to criticism and accusation from unfriendly rivals, and exercising such rivalry towards each other with an asperity constantly increasing. Instead of Attica, disunited and torn into armed factions, as it had been forty years before,—the Diakrii under one man, and the Parali and Pedieis under others,—we have now Attica one and indivisible; regimented into a body of orderly hearers in the Pnyx, appointing and holding to accountability the magistrates, and open to be addressed by Themistoklês, Aristeidês, or any other citizen who can engage their attention.

Neither Themistoklês nor Aristeidês could boast of a lineage of gods and heroes, like the Æakid Miltiadês:[630] both were of middling station and circumstances. Aristeidês, son of Lysimachus, was on both sides of pure Athenian blood. But the wife of Neoklês, father of Themistoklês, was a foreign woman of Thrace or of Karia: and such an alliance is the less surprising, since Themistoklês must have been born during the dynasty of the Peisistratids, when the status of an Athenian citizen had not yet acquired its political value. There was a marked contrast between these two eminent men,—those points which stood most conspicuous in the one, being comparatively deficient in the other. In the description of Themistoklês, which we have the advantage of finding briefly sketched by Thucydidês, the circumstance[p. 337] most emphatically brought out is, his immense force of spontaneous invention and apprehension, without any previous aid either from teaching or gradual practice. The might of unassisted nature[631] was never so strikingly exhibited as in him: he conceived the complications of a present embarrassment, and divined the chances of a mysterious future, with equal sagacity and equal quickness: the right expedient seemed to flash upon his mind extempore, even in the most perplexing contingencies, without the least necessity for premeditation. Nor was he less distinguished for daring and resource in action. When engaged on any joint affairs, his superior competence marked him out as the leader for others to follow, and no business, however foreign to his experience, ever took him by surprise, or came wholly amiss to him. Such is the remarkable picture which Thucydidês draws of a countryman whose death nearly coincided in time with his own birth: the untutored readiness and universality of Themistoklês probably formed in his mind a contrast to the more elaborate discipline, and careful preliminary study, with which the statesmen of his own day—and Periklês especially, the greatest of them—approached the consideration and discussion of public affairs. Themistoklês had received no teaching from philosophers, sophists, and rhetors, who were the instructors of well-born youth in the days of Thucydidês, and whom Aristophanês, the contemporary of the latter, so unmercifully derides,—treating such instruction as worse than nothing, and extolling, in comparison with it, the unlettered courage, with mere gymnastic accomplishments, of the victors at Marathon.[632][p. 338] There is no evidence in the mind of Thucydidês of any such undue contempt towards his own age. Though the same terms of contrast are tacitly present to his mind, he seems to treat the great capacity of Themistoklês as the more a matter of wonder, since it sprung up without that preliminary cultivation which had gone to the making of Periklês.

The general character given of Plutarch,[633] though many of his anecdotes are both trifling and apocryphal, is quite consistent with the brief sketch just cited from Thucydidês. Themistoklês had an unbounded passion,—not merely for glory, insomuch that the laurels of Miltiadês acquired at Marathon deprived him of rest,—but also for display of every kind. He was eager to vie with men richer than himself in showy exhibition,—one great source, though not the only source, of popularity at Athens,—nor was he at all scrupulous in procuring the means of doing so. Besides being assiduous in attendance at the ekklesia and the dikastery, he knew most of the citizens by name, and was always ready with advice to them in their private affairs. Moreover, he possessed all the tactics of an expert party-man in conciliating political friends and in defeating political enemies; and though he was in the early part of his life sincerely bent upon the upholding and aggrandizement of his country, and was on some most critical occasions of unspeakable value to it,—yet on the whole his morality was as reckless as his intelligence was eminent. He will be found grossly corrupt in the exercise of power, and employing tortuous means, sometimes indeed for ends in themselves honorable and patriotic, but sometimes also merely for enriching himself. He ended a glorious life by years of deep disgrace, with the forfeiture of all Hellenic esteem and brotherhood,—a rich man, an exile, a traitor, and a pensioner of the Great King, pledged to undo his own previous work of liberation accomplished at the victory of Salamis.

Of Aristeidês we possess unfortunately no description from the hand of Thucydidês; yet his character is so simple and consistent, that we may safely accept the brief but unqualified encomium of Herodotus and Plato, expanded as it is in the biog[p. 339]raphy of Plutarch and Cornelius Nepos,[634] however little the details of the latter can be trusted. Aristeidês was inferior to Themistoklês in resource, quickness, flexibility, and power of coping with difficulties; but incomparably superior to him, as well as to other rivals and contemporaries, in integrity, public as well as private; inaccessible to pecuniary temptations, as well as to other seductive influences, and deserving as well as enjoying the highest measure of personal confidence. He is described as the peculiar friend of Kleisthenês, the first founder of the democracy,[635]—as pursuing a straight and single-handed course in political life, with no solicitude for party ties, and with little care either to conciliate friends or to offend enemies,—as unflinching in the exposure of corrupt practices, by whomsoever committed or upheld,—as earning for himself the lofty surname of the Just, not less by his judicial decisions in the capacity of archon, than by his equity in private arbitrations, and even his candor in political dispute,—and as manifesting throughout a long public life, full of tempting opportunities, an uprightness without flaw and beyond all suspicion, recognized equally by his bitter contemporary the poet Timokreon,[636] and by the allies of Athens, upon whom he first assessed the tribute. Few of the leading men in any part of Greece were without some taint on their reputation, deserved or undeserved, in regard to pecuniary probity; but whoever became notoriously recognized as possessing this vital quality, acquired by means of it a firmer hold on the public esteem than even eminent talents could confer. Thucydidês ranks conspicuous probity among the first of the many ascendent qualities possessed by Periklês;[637] and Nikias, equal to him in this respect, though immeasurably inferior in every other, owed to it a still larger proportion of that exaggerated confidence which the Athenian people continued so long to repose in him. The abilities of Aristeidês, though apparently adequate to every occasion on which he was engaged, and only inferior when we compare him with so[p. 340] remarkable a man as Themistoklês, were put in the shade by this incorruptible probity, which procured for him, however, along with the general esteem, no inconsiderable amount of private enmity from jobbers whom he exposed, and even some jealousy from persons who heard it proclaimed with offensive ostentation.

We are told that a rustic and unlettered citizen gave his ostracizing vote, and expressed his dislike against Aristeidês,[638] on the simple ground that he was tired of hearing him always called the Just. Now the purity of the most honorable man will not bear to be so boastfully talked of as if he were the only honorable man in the country: the less it is obtruded, the more deeply and cordially will it be felt: and the story just alluded to, whether true or false, illustrates that natural reaction of feeling, produced by absurd encomiasts, or perhaps by insidious enemies under the mask of encomiasts, who trumpeted forth Aristeidês as The Just man at Attica, so as to wound the legitimate dignity of every one else. Neither indiscreet friends nor artful enemies, however, could rob him of the lasting esteem of his countrymen; which he enjoyed, with intervals of their displeasure, to the end of his life. Though he was ostracized during a part of the period between the battle of Marathon and Salamis,—at a time when the rivalry between him and Themistoklês was so violent that both could not remain at Athens without peril,—yet the dangers of Athens during the invasion of Xerxês brought him back before the ten years of exile were expired. His fortune, originally very moderate, was still farther diminished during the course of his life, so that he died very poor, and the state was obliged to lend aid to his children.

Such were the characters of Themistoklês and Aristeidês, the two earliest leaders thrown up by the Athenian democracy. Half a century before, Themistoklês would have been an active partisan in the faction of the Parali or the Pedieis, while Aristeidês would probably have remained an unnoticed citizen. At the present period of Athenian history, the characters of the soldier, the magistrate, and the orator, were intimately blended together in a citizen who stood forward for eminence, though they tended more and more to divide themselves during the en[p. 341]suing century and a half. Aristeidês and Miltiadês were both elected among the ten generals, each for his respective tribe, in the year of the expedition of Datis across the Ægean, and probably even after that expedition was known to be on its voyage. Moreover, we are led to suspect from a passage in Plutarch, that Themistoklês also was general of his tribe on the same occasion,[639] though this is doubtful; but it is certain that he fought at Marathon. The ten generals had jointly the command of the army, each of them taking his turn to exercise it for a day: in addition to the ten, moreover, the third archon, or polemarch, was considered as eleventh in the military council. The polemarch of this year was Kallimachus of Aphidnæ.[640] Such were the chiefs of the military force, and to a great degree the administrators of foreign affairs, at the time when the four thousand Athenian kleruchs, or settlers planted in Eubœa,—escaping from Eretria, now invested by the Persians,—brought word to their countrymen at home that the fall of that city was impending. It was obvious that the Persian host would proceed from Eretria forthwith against Athens, and a few days afterwards Hippias disembarked them at Marathon, whither the Athenian army marched to meet them.

Of the feeling which now prevailed at Athens we have no details, but doubtless the alarm was hardly inferior to that which had been felt at Eretria: dissenting opinions were heard as to the proper steps to be taken, nor were suspicions of treason wanting. Pheidippidês the courier was sent to Sparta immediately to solicit assistance; and such was his prodigious activity, that he performed this journey of one hundred and fifty miles, on foot, in forty-eight hours.[641] He revealed to the ephors that Eretria was already enslaved, and entreated their assistance to avert the same fate from Athens, the most ancient city in Greece. The Spartan authorities readily promised their aid, but unfortunately it was now the ninth day of the moon: ancient law or custom forbade them to march, in this month at least, during the[p. 342] last quarter before the full moon; but after the full they engaged to march without delay. Five days’ delay at this critical moment might prove the utter ruin of the endangered city; yet the reason assigned seems to have been no pretence on the part of the Spartans. It was mere blind tenacity of ancient habit, which we shall find to abate, though never to disappear, as we advance in their history.[642] Indeed, their delay in marching to rescue Attica from Mardonius, eleven years afterwards, at the imminent hazard of alienating Athens and ruining the Hellenic cause, marks the same selfish dulness. But the reason now given certainly looked very like a pretence, so that the Athenians could indulge no certain assurance that the Spartan troops would start even when the full moon arrived.

In this respect the answer brought by Pheidippidês was mischievous, as it tended to increase that uncertainty and indecision which already prevailed among the ten generals, as to the proper steps for meeting the invaders. Partly, perhaps, in reliance on this expected Spartan help, five out of the ten generals were decidedly averse to an immediate engagement with the Persians; while Miltiadês with the remaining four strenuously urged that not a moment should be lost in bringing the enemy to action, without leaving time to the timid and the treacherous to establish correspondence with Hippias, and to take some active step for paralyzing all united action on the part of the citizens. This most momentous debate, upon which the fate of Athens hung, is represented by Herodotus to have occurred at Marathon, after the army had marched out and taken post there within sight of the Persians; while Cornelius Nepos describes it as having been raised before the army quitted the city,—upon the question, whether it was prudent to meet the enemy at all in the field, or to confine the defence to the city and the sacred rock. Inaccurate as this latter author generally is, his statement seems more probable here than that of Herodotus. For the ten generals would scarcely march out of Athens to Marathon without having previously resolved to fight: moreover, the question between fighting in the field or resisting behind the walls, which had already been raised at Eretria, seems the natural point on which[p. 343] the five mistrustful generals would take their stand. And probably indeed Miltiadês himself, if debarred from immediate action, would have preferred to hold possession of Athens, and prevent any treacherous movement from breaking out there,—rather than to remain inactive on the hills, watching the Persians at Marathon, with the chance of a detachment from their numerous fleet sailing round to Phalêrum, and thus distracting, by a double attack, both the city and the camp.

However this may be, the equal division of opinion among the ten generals, whether manifested at Marathon or at Athens, is certain,—so that Miltiadês had to await the casting-vote of the polemarch Kallimachus. To him he represented emphatically the danger of delay, and the chance of some traitorous intrigue occurring to excite disunion and aggravate the alarms of the citizens. Nothing could prevent such treason from breaking out, with all its terrific consequences of enslavement to the Persians and to Hippias, except a bold, decisive, and immediate attack,—the success of which he (Miltiadês) was prepared to guarantee. Fortunately for Athens, the polemarch embraced the opinion of Miltiadês, and the seditious movements which were preparing did not show themselves until after the battle had been gained. Aristeidês and Themistoklês are both recorded to have seconded Miltiadês warmly in this proposal,—while all the other generals agreed in surrendering to Miltiadês their days of command, so as to make him, as much as they could, the sole leader of the army. It is said that the latter awaited the day of his own regular turn before he fought the battle.[643] Yet considering the eagerness which he displayed to bring on an immediate and decisive action, we cannot suppose that he would have admitted any serious postponement upon such a punctilio.

While the army were mustered on the ground sacred to Heraklês near Marathon, with the Persians and their fleet occupying the plain and shore beneath, and in preparation for immediate action, they were joined by the whole force of the little town of Platæa, consisting of about one thousand hoplites, who had marched directly from their own city to the spot, along the southern range of Kithærôn and passing through Dekeleia. We are[p. 344] not told that they had been invited, and very probably the Athenians had never thought of summoning aid from this unimportant neighbor, in whose behalf they had taken upon themselves a lasting feud with Thebes and the Bœotian league.[644] Their coming on this important occasion seems to have been a spontaneous effort of gratitude which ought not to be the less commended because their interests were really wrapped up in those of Athens,—since if the latter had been conquered, nothing could have saved Platæa from being subdued by the Thebans,—yet many a Grecian town would have disregarded both generous impulse and rational calculation, in the fear of provoking a new and terrific enemy. If we summon up to our imaginations all the circumstances of the case,—which it requires some effort to do, because our authorities come from the subsequent generations, after Greece had ceased to fear the Persians,—we shall be sensible that this volunteer march of the whole Platæan force to Marathon is one of the most affecting incidents of all Grecian history. Upon Athens generally it produced an indelible impression, commemorated ever afterwards in the public prayers of the Athenian herald,[645] and repaid by a grant to the Platæans of the full civil rights—seemingly without the political rights—of Athenian citizens. Upon the Athenians then marshalled at Marathon its effect must have been unspeakably powerful and encouraging, as a proof that they were not altogether isolated from Greece, and as an unexpected countervailing stimulus under circumstances so full of hazard.

Of the two opposing armies at Marathon, we are told that the Athenians were ten thousand hoplites, either including or besides the one thousand who came from Platæa.[646] Nor is this state[p. 345]ment in itself improbable, though it does not come from Herodotus, who is our only really valuable authority on the case, and who mentions no numerical total. Indeed, the number named seems smaller than we should have expected, considering that no less than four thousand kleruchs, or out-settled citizens, had just come over from Eubœa. A sufficient force of citizens must of course have been left behind to defend the city. The numbers of the Persians we cannot be said to know at all, nor is there anything certain except that they were greatly superior to the Greeks. We hear from Herodotus that their armament originally consisted of six hundred ships of war, but we are not told how many separate transports there were; and, moreover, reinforcements had been procured as they came across the Ægean from the islands successively conquered. The aggregate crews on board of all their ships must have been between one hundred and fifty thousand and two hundred thousand men; but what proportion of these were fighting men, or how many actually did fight at Marathon, we have no means of determining.[647] There were a[p. 346] certain proportion of cavalry, and some transports expressly prepared for the conveyance of horses: moreover, Herodotus tells us that Hippias selected the plain of Marathon for a landing place, because it was the most convenient spot in Attica for cavalry movements,—though it is singular, that in the battle the cavalry are not mentioned.

Marathon, situated near to a bay on the eastern coast of Attica, and in a direction E.N.E. from Athens, is divided by the high ridge of Mount Pentelikus from the city, with which it communicated by two roads, one to the north, another to the south of that mountain. Of these two roads, the northern, at once the shortest and the most difficult, is twenty-two miles in length: the southern—longer but more easy, and the only one practicable for chariots—is twenty-six miles in length, or about six and a half hours of computed march. It passed between mounts Pentelikus and Hymettus, through the ancient demes of Gargêttus and Pallênê, and was the road by which Peisistratus and Hippias, when they landed at Marathon forty-seven years before, had marched to Athens. The bay of Marathon, sheltered by a projecting cape from the northward, affords both deep water and a shore convenient for landing; while “its plain (says a careful modern observer[648]) extends in a perfect level along this[p. 347] fine bay, and is in length about six miles, in breadth never less than about one mile and a half. Two marshes bound the extremities of the plain: the southern is not very large, and is almost dry at the conclusion of the great heats; but the northern, which generally covers considerably more than a square mile, offers several parts which are at all seasons impassable. Both, however, leave a broad, firm, sandy beach between them and the sea. The uninterrupted flatness of the plain is hardly relieved by a single tree; and an amphitheatre of rocky hills and rugged mountains separates it from the rest of Attica, over the lower ridges of which some steep and difficult paths communicate with the districts of the interior.”

The position occupied by Miltiadês before the battle, identified as it was to all subsequent Athenians by the sacred grove of Hêraklês near Marathon, was probably on some portion of the high ground above this plain, and Cornelius Nepos tells us that he protected it from the attacks of the Persian cavalry by felled trees obstructing the approach. The Persians occupied a position on the plain; while their fleet was ranged along the beach, and Hippias himself marshalled them for the battle.[649] The native Persians and Sakæ, the best troops in the whole army, were placed in the centre, which they considered as the post of honor,[650][p. 348] and which was occupied by the Persian king himself, when present at a battle. The right wing was so regarded by the Greeks, and the polemarch Kallimachus had the command of it; the hoplites being arranged in the order of their respective tribes from right to left, and at the extreme left stood the Platæans. It was necessary for Miltiadês to present a front equal, or nearly equal, to that of the more numerous Persian host, in order to guard himself from being taken in flank: and with this view he drew up the central tribes, including the Leontis and Antiochis, in shallow files, and occupying a large breadth of ground; while each of the wings was in stronger and deeper order, so as to make his attack efficient on both sides. His whole army consisted of hoplites, with some slaves as unarmed or light-armed attendants, but without either bowmen or cavalry. Nor could the Persians have been very strong in this latter force, seeing that their horses had to be transported across the Ægean. But the elevated position of Miltiadês enabled them to take some measure of the numbers under his command, and the entire absence of cavalry among their enemies could not but confirm the confidence with which a long career of uninterrupted victory had impressed their generals.

At length the sacrifices in the Greek camp were favorable for battle, and Miltiadês, who had everything to gain by coming immediately to close quarters, ordered his army to advance at a running step over the interval of one mile which separated the two armies. This rapid forward movement, accompanied by the war-cry, or pæan, which always animated the charge of the Greek soldier, astounded the Persian army; who construed it as an act of desperate courage, little short of insanity, in a body not only small but destitute of cavalry or archers,—but who, at the same time, felt their conscious superiority sink within them. It[p. 349] seems to have been long remembered also among the Greeks as the peculiar characteristic of the battle of Marathon, and Herodotus tells us that the Athenians were the first Greeks who ever charged at a run.[651] It doubtless operated beneficially in rendering the Persian cavalry and archers comparatively innocuous, but we may reasonably suppose that it also disordered the Athenian ranks, and that when they reached the Persian front, they were both out of breath and unsteady in that line of presented spears and shields which constituted their force. On the two wings, where the files were deep, this disorder produced no mischievous effect: the Persians, after a certain resistance, were overborne and driven back. But in the centre, where the files were shallow, and where, moreover, the native Persians and other choice troops of the army were posted, the breathless and disordered Athenian hoplites found themselves in far greater difficulties. The tribes Leontis and Antiochis, with Themistoklês and Aristeidês among them, were actually defeated, broken, driven back, and pursued by the Persians and Sakæ.[652] Miltiadês[p. 350] seems to have foreseen the possibility of such a check, when he found himself compelled to diminish so materially the depth of his centre: for his wings, having routed the enemies opposed to them, were stayed from pursuit until the centre was extricated, and the Persians and Sakæ put to flight along with the rest. The pursuit then became general, and the Persians were chased to their ships ranged in line along the shore: some of them became involved in the impassable marsh and there perished.[653] The Athenians tried to set the ships on fire, but the defence here was both vigorous and successful,—several of the forward warriors of Athens were slain,—and only seven ships out of the numerous fleet destroyed.[654] This part of the battle terminated to the advantage of the Persians. They repulsed the Athenians from the sea-shore, and secured a safe reëmbarkation; leaving few or no prisoners, but a rich spoil of tents and equipments which had been disembarked and could not be carried away.

Herodotus estimates the number of those who fell on the Persian side in this memorable action at six thousand four hundred men: the number of Athenian dead is accurately known, since all were collected for the last solemn obsequies,—they were one hundred and ninety-two. How many were wounded, we do not hear. The brave Kallimachus the polemarch, and Stesilaus, one of the ten generals, were among the slain; together with Kynegeirus son of Euphorion, who, in laying hold on the poop-staff of one of the vessels, had his hand cut off by an axe,[655] and died of the wound. He was brother of the poet Æschylus, himself present at the fight; to whose imagination this battle at the ships must have emphatically recalled the fifteenth book of the Iliad.[p. 351] Both these Athenian generals are said to have perished in the assault of the ships, apparently the hottest part of the combat. The statement of the Persian loss as given by Herodotus appears moderate and reasonable,[656] but he does not specify any distinguished individuals as having fallen.

But the Persians, though thus defeated and compelled to abandon the position of Marathon, were not yet disposed to relinquish altogether their chances against Attica. Their fleet was observed to take the direction of Cape Sunium,—a portion being sent to take up the Eretrian prisoners and the stores which had been left in the island of Ægilia. At the same time a shield, discernible from its polished surface afar off, was seen held aloft upon some high point of Attica,[657]—perhaps on the summit of Mount Pentelikus, as Colonel Leake supposes with much plausibility. The Athenians doubtless saw it as well as the Persians; and Miltiadês did not fail to put the right interpretation upon it, taken in conjunction with the course of the departing fleet. The shield was a signal put up by partisans in the country, to invite the Persians round to Athens by sea, while the Marathonian army was absent. Miltiadês saw through the plot, and lost not a moment in returning to Athens. On the very day of the battle, the Athenian army marched back with the utmost speed from the precinct of Hêraklês at Marathon to the precinct of the same god at Kynosarges, close to Athens, which they reached before the arrival of the Persian fleet.[658] Datis soon came off the port[p. 352] of Phalêrum, but the partisans of Hippias had been dismayed by the rapid return of the Marathonian army, and he did not therefore find those aids and facilities which he had anticipated for a fresh disembarkation in the immediate neighborhood of Athens. Though too late, however, it seems that he was not much too late: the Marathonian army had only just completed their forced return-march. A little less quickness on the part of Miltiadês in deciphering the treasonable signal and giving the instant order of march,—a little less energy on the part of the Athenian citizens in superadding a fatiguing march to a no less fatiguing combat,—and the Persians, with the partisans of Hippias, might have been found in possession of Athens. As the facts turned out, Datis, finding at Phalêrum no friendly movement to encourage him, but, on the contrary, the unexpected presence of the soldiers who had already vanquished him at Marathon,—made no attempt again to disembark in Attica, and sailed away, after a short delay, to the Cyclades.

Thus was Athens rescued, for this time at least, from a danger not less terrible than imminent. Nothing could have rescued her except that decisive and instantaneous attack which Miltiadês so emphatically urged. The running step on the field of Marathon might cause some disorder in the ranks of the hoplites; but extreme haste in bringing on the combat was the only means of preventing disunion and distraction in the minds of the citizens. Imperfect as the account is which Herodotus gives of this most interesting crisis, we see plainly that the partisans of Hippias had actually organized a conspiracy, and that it only failed by coming a little too late. The bright shield uplifted on Mount Pentelikus, apprizing the Persians that matters were prepared for them at Athens, was intended to have come to their view before any action had taken place at Marathon, and while the Athenian army were yet detained there; so that Datis might have sent a portion of his fleet round to Phalêrum, retaining the[p. 353] rest for combat with the enemy before him. If it had once become known to the Marathonian army that a Persian detachment had landed at Phalêrum,[659]—where there was a good plain for cavalry to act in, prior to the building of the Phalêric wall, as had been seen in the defeat of the Spartan Anchimolius by the Thessalian cavalry, in 510 B. C.,—that it had been joined by timid or treacherous Athenians, and had perhaps even got possession of the city,—their minds would have been so distracted by the double danger, and by fears for their absent wives and children, that they would have been disqualified for any unanimous execution of military orders, and generals as well as soldiers would have become incurably divided in opinion,—perhaps even mistrustful of each other. The citizen-soldier of Greece generally, and especially of Athens, possessed in a high degree both personal bravery and attachment to order and discipline; but his bravery was not of that equal, imperturbable, uninquiring character, which belonged to the battalions of Wellington or Napoleon,—it was fitful, exalted or depressed by casual occurrences, and often more sensitive to dangers absent and unseen, than to enemies immediately in his front. Hence the advantage, so unspeakable in the case before us, and so well appreciated by Miltiadês, of having one undivided Athenian army,—with one hostile army, and only one, to meet in the field. When we come to the battle of Salamis, ten years later, it will be seen that the Greeks of that day enjoyed the same advantage: though the wisest advisers of Xerxês impressed upon him the prudence of dividing his large force, and of sending detachments to assail separate Greek states—which would infallibly produce the effect of breaking up the combined Grecian host, and leaving no central or coöperating force for the defence of Greece generally. Fortunately for the Greeks, the childish insolence of Xerxês led him to despise all such advice, as implying conscious weakness. Not so Datis and Hippias. Sensible of the prudence of distracting the attention of the Athenians by a double attack, they laid a scheme, while the main army was at Marathon, for rallying the partisans of Hippias, with a force to assist them, in the neighborhood of Athens,[p. 354]—and the signal was upheld by these partisans as soon as their measures were taken. But the rapidity of Miltiadês so precipitated the battle, that this signal came too late, and was only given, “when the Persians were already in their ships,”[660] after the Marathonian defeat. Even then it might have proved dangerous, had not the movements of Miltiadês been as rapid after the victory as before it: but if time had been allowed for the Persian movement on Athens before the battle of Marathon had been fought, the triumph of the Athenians might well have been exchanged for a calamitous servitude. To Miltiadês belongs the credit of having comprehended the emergency from the beginning, and overruled the irresolution of his colleagues by his own single-hearted energy. The chances all turned out in his favor,—for the unexpected junction of the Platæans in the very encampment of Marathon must have wrought up the courage of his army to the highest pitch: and not only did he thus escape all the depressing and distracting accidents, but he was fortunate enough to find this extraneous encouragement immediately preceding the battle, from a source on which he could not have calculated.

I have already observed that the phase of Grecian history best known to us, amidst which the great authors from whom we draw our information lived, was one of contempt for the Persians in the field. And it requires some effort of imagination to call back previous feelings after the circumstances have been altogether reversed: perhaps even Æschylus the poet, at the time when he composed his tragedy of the Persæ, to celebrate the disgraceful flight of the invader Xerxês, may have forgotten the emotions with which he and his brother Kynegeirus must have marched out from Athens fifteen years before, on the eve of the battle of Marathon. It must therefore be again mentioned that, down to the time when Datis landed in the bay of Marathon, the tide of Persian success had never yet been interrupted,—and that especially during the ten years immediately preceding, the high-handed and cruel extinction of the Ionic revolt had aggravated to the highest pitch the alarm of the[p. 355] Greeks. To this must be added the successes of Datis himself, and the calamities of Eretria, coming with all the freshness of novelty as an apparent sentence of death to Athens. The extreme effort of courage required in the Athenians, to encounter such invaders, is attested by the division of opinion among the ten generals. Putting all the circumstances together, it is without a parallel in Grecian history, surpassing even the combat of Thermopylæ, as will appear when I come to describe that memorable event. And the admirable conduct of the five dissentient generals, when outvoted by the decision of the polemarch against them, in coöperating heartily for the success of a policy which they deprecated,—proves how much the feelings of a constitutional democracy, and that entire acceptance of the pronounced decision of the majority on which it rests, had worked themselves into the Athenian mind. The combat of Marathon was by no means a very decisive defeat, but it was a defeat,—and the first which the Persians had ever received from Greeks in the field. If the battle of Salamis, ten years afterwards, could be treated by Themistoklês as a hair-breadth escape for Greece, much more is this true of the battle of Marathon;[661] which first afforded reasonable proof, even to discerning and resolute Greeks, that the Persians might be effectually repelled, and the independence of European Greece maintained against them,—a conviction of incalculable value in reference to the formidable trials destined to follow. Upon the Athenians themselves, the first to face in the field successfully the terrific look of a Persian army, the effect of the victory was yet more stirring and profound.[662] It supplied them with resolution for[p. 356] the far greater actual sacrifices which they cheerfully underwent ten years afterwards, at the invasion of Xerxês, without faltering in their Pan-Hellenic fidelity; and it strengthened them at home by swelling the tide of common sentiment and patriotic fraternity in the bosom of every individual citizen. It was the exploit of Athenians alone, but of all Athenians without dissent or exception,—the boast of orators, repeated until it almost degenerated into common-place, though the people seem never to have become weary of allusions to their single-handed victory over a host of forty-six nations.[663] It had been purchased without a drop of intestine bloodshed,—for even the unknown traitors who raised the signal-shield on Mount Pentelikus, took care not to betray themselves by want of apparent sympathy with the triumph: lastly, it was the final guarantee of their democracy, barring all chance of restoration of Hippias for the future. Themistoklês[664] is said to have been robbed of his sleep by the trophies of Miltiadês, and this is cited in proof of his ambitious temperament; but without supposing either jealousy or personal love of glory, the rapid transit from extreme danger to unparalleled triumph might well deprive of rest even the most sober-minded Athenian.

Who it was that raised the treacherous signal-shield to attract the Persians to Athens was never ascertained: very probably, in the full exultation of success, no investigation was made. Of course, however, the public belief would not be satisfied without singling out some persons as the authors of such a treason; and the information received by Herodotus (probably about 450-440 B. C., forty or fifty years after the Marathonian victory) ascribed the deed to the Alkmæônids; nor does he notice any other reported authors, though he rejects the allegation against them upon very sufficient grounds. They were a race religiously[p. 357] tainted, ever since the Kylonian sacrilege, and were therefore convenient persons to brand with the odium of an anonymous crime; while party feud, if it did not originally invent, would at least be active in spreading and certifying such rumors. At the time when Herodotus knew Athens, the political enmity between Periklês son of Xanthippus, and Kimon son of Miltiadês, was at its height: Periklês belonged by his mother’s side to the Alkmæônid race, and we know that such lineage was made subservient to political manœuvres against him by his enemies.[665] Moreover, the enmity between Kimon and Periklês had been inherited by both from their fathers; for we shall find Xanthippus, not long after the battle of Marathon, the prominent accuser of Miltiadês. Though Xanthippus was not an Alkmæônid, his marriage with Agaristê connected himself indirectly, and his son Periklês directly, with that race. And we may trace in this standing political feud a probable origin for the false reports as to the treason of the Alkmæônids, on that great occasion which founded the glory of Miltiadês; for that the reports were false, the intrinsic probabilities of the case, supported by the judgment of Herodotus, afford ample ground for believing.

When the Athenian army made its sudden return-march from Marathon to Athens, Aristeidês with his tribe was left to guard the field and the spoil; but the speedy retirement of Datis from Attica left the Athenians at full liberty to revisit the scene and discharge the last duties to the dead. A tumulus was erected on the spot[666]—such distinction was never conferred by Athens except in this case only—to the one hundred and ninety-two Athenian citizens who had been slain. Their names were inscribed on ten pillars erected at the spot, one for each tribe: there was also a second tumulus for the slain Platæans, a third for the slaves, and a separate funeral monument to Miltiadês himself. Six hundred years after the battle, Pausanias saw the tumulus, and could still read on the pillars the names of the immortalized warriors;[667] and even now a conspicuous tumulus exists about half a mile from the sea-shore, which Colonel Leake believes to[p. 358] be the same.[668] The inhabitants of the deme of Marathon worshipped these slain warriors as heroes, along with their own eponymus, and with Hêraklês.

So splendid a victory had not been achieved, in the belief of the Athenians, without marked supernatural aid. The god Pan had met the courier Pheidippidês on his hasty route from Athens to Sparta, and had told him that he was much hurt that the Athenians had as yet neglected to worship him;[669] in spite of which neglect, however, he promised them effective aid at Marathon. The promise was faithfully executed, and the Athenians repaid it by a temple with annual worship and sacrifice. Moreover, the hero Theseus was seen strenuously assisting in the battle; and an unknown warrior, in rustic garb and armed only with a ploughshare, dealt destruction among the Persian ranks: after the battle he could not be found; and the Athenians, on asking at Delphi who he was, were directed to worship the hero Echetlus.[670] Even in the time of Pausanias, this memorable battle-field was heard to resound every night with the noise of combatants and the snorting of horses. “It is dangerous (observes that pious author) to go to the spot with the express purpose of seeing what is passing; but if a man finds himself there by accident, without having heard anything about the matter, the gods will not be angry with him.” The gods, it seems, could not pardon the inquisitive mortal who deliberately pried into their secrets. Amidst the ornaments with which Athens was decorated during the free working of her democracy, the glories of Marathon of course occupied a conspicuous place. The battle was painted on one of the compartments of the portico called Pœkilê, wherein, amidst several figures of gods and heroes,—Athênê, Hêraklês, Theseus, Echetlus, and the local patron of Marathon,—were seen honored and prominent the polemarch Kallimachus and the general Miltiadês, while the Platæans were distinguished by their Bœotian leather casques.[671] And the sixth of the month Boëdro[p. 359]mion, the anniversary of the battle, was commemorated by an annual ceremony, even down to the time of Plutarch.[672]

[p. 360]Two thousand Spartans, starting from their city, immediately after the full moon, reached the frontier of Attica, on the third[p. 361] day of their march,—a surprising effort, when we consider that the total distance from Sparta to Athens was about one hundred[p. 362] and fifty miles. They did not arrive, however, until the battle had been fought, and the Persians departed; but curiosity led them to the field of Marathon to behold the dead bodies of the Persians, after which they returned home, bestowing well-merited praise on the victors.

Datis and Artaphernês returned across the Ægean with their Eretrian prisoners to Asia; stopping for a short time at the island of Mykonos, where discovery was made of a gilt image of Apollo carried off as booty in a Phenician ship. Datis went himself to restore it to Dêlos, requesting the Delians to carry it back to the Delium, or temple of Apollo, on the eastern coast of Bœotia: the Delians, however, chose to keep the statue until it was reclaimed from them twenty years afterwards by the Thebans. On reaching Asia, the Persian generals conducted their prisoners up to the court of Susa, and into the presence of Darius. Though he had been vehemently incensed against them, yet when he saw them in his power, his wrath abated, and he manifested no desire to kill or harm them. They were planted at a spot called Arderikka, in the Kissian territory, one of the resting-places on the road from Sardis to Susa, and about twenty-six miles distant from the latter place: Herodotus seems himself to have seen their descendants there on his journey between the two capitals,[p. 363] and to have had the satisfaction of talking to them in Greek,—which we may well conceive to have made some impression upon him, at a spot distant by nearly three months’ journey from the coast of Ionia.[673]

Happy would it have been for Miltiadês if he had shared the honorable death of the polemarch Kallimachus,—“animam exhalasset opimam,”—in seeking to fire the ships of the defeated Persians at Marathon. The short sequel of his history will be found in melancholy contrast with the Marathonian heroism.

His reputation had been great before the battle, and after it the admiration and confidence of his countrymen knew no bounds: it appears, indeed, to have reached such a pitch that his head was turned, and he lost both his patriotism and his prudence. He proposed to his countrymen to incur the cost of equipping an armament of seventy ships, with an adequate armed force, and to place it altogether at his discretion; giving them no intimation whither he intended to go, but merely assuring them that, if they would follow him, he would conduct them to a land where gold was abundant, and thus enrich them. Such a promise, from the lips of the recent victor of Marathon, was sufficient, and the armament was granted, no man except Miltiadês knowing what was its destination. He sailed immediately to the island of Paros, laid siege to the town, and sent in a[p. 364] herald to require from the inhabitants a contribution of one hundred talents, on pain of entire destruction. His pretence for this attack was, that the Parians had furnished a trireme to Datis for the Persian fleet at Marathon; but his real motive, so Herodotus assures us,[674] was vindictive animosity against a Parian citizen named Lysagoras, who had exasperated the Persian general Hydarnês against him. The Parians amused him at first with evasions, until they had procured a little delay to repair the defective portions of their wall, after which they set him at defiance; and Miltiadês in vain prosecuted hostilities against them for the space of twenty-six days: he ravaged the island, but his attacks made no impression upon the town.[675] Beginning to despair of success in his military operations, he entered into some negotiation—such at least was the tale of the Parians themselves—with a Parian woman named Timô, priestess or attendant in the temple of Dêmêtêr, near the town-gates. This woman, promising to reveal to him a secret which would place Paros in his power, induced him to visit by night a temple to which no male person was admissible. He leaped the exterior fence, and approached the sanctuary; but on coming near, was seized with a panic terror and ran away, almost out of his senses: on leaping the same fence to get back, he strained or bruised his thigh badly, and became utterly disabled. In this melancholy state he was placed on ship-board; the siege being raised, and the whole armament returning to Athens.

Vehement was the indignation both of the armament and of the remaining Athenians against Miltiadês on his return;[676] and[p. 365] Xanthippus, father of the great Periklês, became the spokesman of this feeling. He impeached Miltiadês before the popular judicature as having been guilty of deceiving the people, and as having deserved the penalty of death. The accused himself, disabled by his injured thigh, which even began to show symptoms of gangrene, was unable to stand, or to say a word in his own defence: he lay on his couch before the assembled judges, while his friends made the best case they could in his behalf. Defence, it appears, there was none; all they could do, was to appeal to his previous services: they reminded the people largely and emphatically of the inestimable exploit of Marathon, coming in addition to his previous conquest of Lemnos. The assembled dikasts, or jurors, showed their sense of these powerful appeals by rejecting the proposition of his accuser to condemn him to death; but they imposed on him the penalty of fifty talents “for his iniquity.”

Cornelius Nepos affirms that these fifty talents represented the expenses incurred by the state in fitting out the armament; but we may more probably believe, looking to the practice of the Athenian dikastery in criminal cases, that fifty talents was the[p. 366] minor penalty actually proposed by the defenders of Miltiadês themselves, as a substitute for the punishment of death. In those penal cases at Athens, where the punishment was not fixed beforehand by the terms of the law, if the person accused was found guilty, it was customary to submit to the jurors, subsequently and separately, the question as to amount of punishment: first, the accuser named the penalty which he thought suitable; next, the accused person was called upon to name an amount of penalty for himself, and the jurors were constrained to take their choice between these two,—no third gradation of penalty being admissible for consideration.[677] Of course, under such circum[p. 367]stances, it was the interest of the accused party to name, even in his own case, some real and serious penalty,—something which the jurors might be likely to deem not wholly inadequate to his crime just proved; for if he proposed some penalty only trifling, he drove them to prefer the heavier sentence recommended by his opponent. Accordingly, in the case of Miltiadês, his friends, desirous of inducing the jurors to refuse their assent to the punishment of death, proposed a fine of fifty talents as the self-assessed penalty of the defendant; and perhaps they may have stated, as an argument in the case, that such a sum would suffice to defray the costs of the expedition. The fine was imposed, but Miltiadês did not live to pay it; his injured limb mortified, and he died, leaving the fine to be paid by his son Kimon.

According to Cornelius Nepos, Diodorus, and Plutarch, he was put in prison, after having been fined, and there died.[678] But[p. 368] Herodotus does not mention this imprisonment, and the fact appears to me improbable: he would hardly have omitted to notice it, had it come to his knowledge. Immediate imprisonment of a person fined by the dikastery, until his fine was paid, was not the natural and ordinary course of Athenian procedure, though there were particular cases in which such aggravation was added. Usually, a certain time was allowed for payment,[679] before absolute execution was resorted to, but the person under sentence became disfranchised and excluded from all political rights, from the very instant of his condemnation as a public debtor, until the fine was paid. Now in the instance of Miltiadês, the lamentable condition of his wounded thigh rendered[p. 369] escape impossible,—so that there would be no special motive for departing from the usual practice, and imprisoning him forthwith: moreover, if he was not imprisoned forthwith, he would not be imprisoned at all, since he cannot have lived many days after his trial.[680] To carry away the suffering general in his couch, incapable of raising himself even to plead for his own life, from the presence of the dikasts to a prison, would not only have been a needless severity, but could hardly have failed to imprint itself on the sympathies and the memory of all the beholders; so that Herodotus would have been likely to hear and mention it, if it had really occurred. I incline to believe therefore that Miltiadês died at home: all accounts concur in stating that he died of the mortal bodily hurt which already disabled him even at the moment of his trial, and that his son Kimon paid the fifty talents after his death. If he could pay them, probably his father could have paid them also. And this is an additional reason for believing that there was no imprisonment,—for nothing but non-payment could have sent him to prison; and to rescue the suffering Miltiadês from being sent thither, would have been the first and strongest desire of all sympathizing friends.

Thus closed the life of the conqueror of Marathon. The last act of it produces an impression so mournful, and even shocking,—his descent from the pinnacle of glory to defeat, mean tampering with a temple-servant, mortal bodily hurt, undefended ignominy, and death under a sentence of heavy fine, is so abrupt and unprepared,—that readers, ancient and modern, have not been satisfied without finding some one to blame for it: we must except Herodotus, our original authority, who recounts the transaction without dropping a single hint of blame against any one. To speak ill of the people, as Machiavel has long ago observed,[681] is a strain in which every one at all times, even under a democratical government, indulges with impunity and without provok[p. 370]ing any opponent to reply; and in this instance, the hard fate of Miltiadês has been imputed to the vices of the Athenians and their democracy,—it has been cited in proof, partly of their fickleness, partly of their ingratitude. But however such blame may serve to lighten the mental sadness arising from a series of painful facts, it will not be found justified if we apply to those facts a reasonable criticism.

What is called the fickleness of the Athenians on this occasion is nothing more than a rapid and decisive change in their estimation of Miltiadês; unbounded admiration passing at once into extreme wrath. To censure them for fickleness is here an abuse of terms; such a change in their opinion was the unavoidable result of his conduct. His behavior in the expedition of Paros was as reprehensible as at Marathon it had been meritorious, and the one succeeded immediately after the other: what else could ensue except an entire revolution in the Athenian feelings? He had employed his prodigious ascendency over their minds to induce them to follow him without knowing whither, in the confidence of an unknown booty: he had exposed their lives and wasted their substance in wreaking a private grudge: in addition to the shame of an unprincipled project, comes the constructive shame of not having succeeded in it. Without doubt, such behavior, coming from a man whom they admired to excess, must have produced a violent and painful revulsion in the feelings of his countrymen. The idea of having lavished praise and confidence upon a person who forthwith turns it to an unworthy purpose, is one of the greatest torments of the human bosom; and we may well understand that the intensity of the subsequent displeasure would be aggravated by this reactionary sentiment, without accusing the Athenians of fickleness. If an officer, whose conduct has been such as to merit the highest encomiums, comes on a sudden to betray his trust, and manifests cowardice or treachery in a new and important undertaking confided to him, are we to treat the general in command as fickle, because his opinion as well as his conduct undergoes an instantaneous revolution,—which will be all the more vehement in proportion to his previous esteem? The question to be determined is, whether there be sufficient ground for such a change; and in the[p. 371] case of Miltiadês, that question must be answered in the affirmative.

In regard to the charge of ingratitude against the Athenians, this last-mentioned point—sufficiency of reason—stands tacitly admitted. It is conceded that Miltiadês deserved punishment for his conduct in reference to the Parian expedition, but it is nevertheless maintained that gratitude for his previous services at Marathon ought to have exempted him from punishment. But the sentiment upon which, after all, this exculpation rests, will not bear to be drawn out and stated in the form of a cogent or justifying reason. For will any one really contend, that a man who has rendered great services to the public, is to receive in return a license of unpunished misconduct for the future? Is the general, who has earned applause by eminent skill and important victories, to be recompensed by being allowed the liberty of betraying his trust afterwards, and exposing his country to peril, without censure or penalty? This is what no one intends to vindicate deliberately; yet a man must be prepared to vindicate it, when he blames the Athenians for ingratitude towards Miltiadês. For if all that be meant is, that gratitude for previous services ought to pass, not as a receipt in full for subsequent crime, but as an extenuating circumstance in the measurement of the penalty, the answer is, that it was so reckoned in the Athenian treatment of Miltiadês.[682] His friends had nothing whatever to urge, against[p. 372] the extreme penalty proposed by his accuser, except these previous services,—which influenced the dikasts sufficiently to induce them to inflict the lighter punishment instead of the heavier. Now the whole amount of punishment inflicted consisted in a fine which certainly was not beyond his reasonable means of paying, or of prevailing upon friends to pay for him, since his son Kimon actually did pay it. And those who blame the Athenians for ingratitude,—unless they are prepared to maintain the doctrine that previous services are to pass as full acquittal for future crime,—have no other ground left except to say that the fine was too high; that instead of being fifty talents, it ought to have been no more than forty, thirty, twenty, or ten talents. Whether they are right in this, I will not take upon me to pronounce. If the amount was named on behalf of the accused party, the dikastery had no legal power of diminishing it; but it is within such narrow limits that the question actually lies, when transferred from the province of sentiment to that of reason. It will be recollected that the death of Miltiadês arose neither from his trial nor his fine, but from the hurt in his thigh.

The charge of ingratitude against the Athenian popular juries really amounts to this,—that, in trying a person accused of present crime or fault, they were apt to confine themselves too strictly and exclusively to the particular matter of charge, either forgetting, or making too little account of, past services which he might have rendered. Whoever imagines that such was the habit of Athenian dikasts, must have studied the orators to very little purpose. Their real defect was the very opposite: they were too much disposed to wander from the special issue before them, and to be affected by appeals to previous services and con[p. 373]duct.[683] That which an accused person at Athens usually strives to produce is, an impression in the minds of the dikasts favorable to his general character and behavior. Of course, he meets the particular allegation of his accuser as well as he can, but he never fails also to remind them emphatically, how well he has performed his general duties of a citizen,—how many times he has served in military expeditions,—how many trierarchies and liturgies he has performed, and performed with splendid efficiency. In fact, the claim of an accused person to acquittal is made to rest too much on his prior services, and too little upon innocence or justifying matter as to the particular indictment. When we come down to the time of the orators, I shall be prepared to show that such indisposition to confine themselves to a special issue was one of the most serious defects of the assembled dikasts at Athens. It is one which we should naturally expect from a body of private, non-professional citizens assembled for the occasion, and which belongs more or less to the system of jury-trial everywhere; but it is the direct reverse of that ingratitude, or habitual insensibility to prior services, for which they have been so often denounced.

The fate of Miltiadês, then, so far from illustrating either the fickleness or the ingratitude of his countrymen, attests their just appreciation of deserts. It also illustrates another moral, of no small importance to the right comprehension of Grecian affairs; it teaches us the painful lesson, how perfectly maddening were the effects of a copious draught of glory on the temperament of an enterprising and ambitious Greek. There can be no doubt,[p. 374] that the rapid transition, in the course of about one week, from Athenian terror before the battle to Athenian exultation after it, must have produced demonstrations towards Miltiadês such as were never paid towards any other man in the whole history of the commonwealth. Such unmeasured admiration unseated his rational judgment, so that his mind became abandoned to the reckless impulses of insolence, and antipathy, and rapacity;—that distempered state, for which (according to Grecian morality) the retributive Nemesis was ever on the watch, and which, in his case, she visited with a judgment startling in its rapidity, as well as terrible in its amount. Had Miltiadês been the same man before the battle of Marathon as he became after it, the battle might probably have turned out a defeat instead of a victory. Dêmosthenês, indeed,[684] in speaking of the wealth and luxury of political leaders in his own time, and the profuse rewards bestowed upon them by the people, pointed in contrast to the house of Miltiadês as being noway more splendid than that of a private man. But though Miltiadês might continue to live in a modest establishment, he received from his countrymen marks of admiration and deference such as were never paid to any citizen before or after him; and, after all, admiration and deference constitute the precious essence of popular reward. No man except Miltiadês ever dared to raise his voice in the Athenian assembly, and say: “Give me a fleet of ships: do not ask what I am going to do with them, but only follow me, and I will enrich you.” Herein we may read the unmeasured confidence which the Athenians placed in their victorious general, and the utter incapacity of a leading Greek to bear it without mental depravation; while we learn from it to draw the melancholy inference, that one result of success was to make the successful leader one of the most dangerous men in the community. We shall presently be called upon to observe the same tendency in the case of the Spartan Pausanias, and even in that of the Athenian Themistoklês. It is, indeed, fortunate that the reckless aspirations of Miltiadês did not take a turn more noxious to Athens than the comparatively unimportant enterprise against Paros. For had he sought to acquire dominion and gratify antipathies against enemies at[p. 375] home, instead of directing his blow against a Parian enemy, the peace and security of his country might have been seriously endangered.

Of the despots who gained power in Greece, a considerable proportion began by popular conduct, and by rendering good service to their fellow-citizens: having first earned public gratitude, they abused it for purposes of their own ambition. There was far greater danger, in a Grecian community, of dangerous excess of gratitude towards a victorious soldier, than of deficiency in that sentiment: hence the person thus exalted acquired a position such that the community found it difficult afterwards to shake him off. Now there is a disposition almost universal among writers and readers to side with an individual, especially an eminent individual, against the multitude; and accordingly those who under such circumstances suspect the probable abuse of an exalted position, are denounced as if they harbored an unworthy jealousy of superior abilities. But the truth is, that the largest analogies of the Grecian character justified that suspicion, and required the community to take precautions against the corrupting effects of their own enthusiasm. There is no feature which more largely pervades the impressible Grecian character, than a liability to be intoxicated and demoralized by success: there was no fault from which so few eminent Greeks were free: there was hardly any danger, against which it was at once so necessary and so difficult for the Grecian governments to take security,—especially the democracies, where the manifestations of enthusiasm were always the loudest. Such is the real explanation of those charges which have been urged against the Grecian democracies, that they came to hate and ill-treat previous benefactors; and the history of Miltiadês illustrates it in a manner no less pointed than painful.

I have already remarked that the fickleness, which has been so largely imputed to the Athenian democracy in their dealings with him, is nothing more than a reasonable change of opinion on the best grounds. Nor can it be said that fickleness was in any case an attribute of the Athenian democracy. It is a well-known fact, that feelings, or opinions, or modes of judging, which have once obtained footing among a large number of people, are more lasting and unchangeable than those which belong only to[p. 376] one or a few; insomuch that the judgments and actions of the many admit of being more clearly understood as to the past, and more certainly predicted as to the future. If we are to predicate any attribute of the multitude, it will rather be that of undue tenacity than undue fickleness; and there will occur nothing in the course of this history to prove that the Athenian people changed their opinions on insufficient grounds more frequently than an unresponsible one or few would have changed.

But there were two circumstances in the working of the Athenian democracy which imparted to it an appearance of greater fickleness, without the reality: First, that the manifestations and changes of opinion were all open, undisguised, and noisy: the people gave utterance to their present impression, whatever it was, with perfect frankness; if their opinions were really changed, they had no shame or scruple in avowing it. Secondly,—and this is a point of capital importance in the working of democracy generally,—the present impression, whatever it might be, was not merely undisguised in its manifestations, but also had a tendency to be exaggerated in its intensity. This arose from their habit of treating public affairs in multitudinous assemblages, the well-known effect of which is, to inflame sentiment in every man’s bosom by mere contact with a sympathizing circle of neighbors. Whatever the sentiment might be,—fear, ambition, cupidity, wrath, compassion, piety, patriotic devotion, etc,[685]—and whether well-founded or ill-founded, it was constantly[p. 377] influenced more or less by such intensifying cause. This is a defect which of course belongs in a certain degree to all exercise of power by numerous bodies, even though they be representative bodies,—especially when the character of the people, instead of being comparatively sedate and slow to move, like the English, is quick, impressible, and fiery, like Greeks or Italians; but it operated far more powerfully on the self-acting Dêmos assembled in the Pnyx. It was in fact the constitutional malady of the democracy, of which the people were themselves perfectly sensible,—as I shall show hereafter from the securities which they tried to provide against it,—but which no securities could ever wholly eradicate. Frequency of public assemblies, far from aggravating the evil, had a tendency to lighten it. The people thus became accustomed to hear and balance many different views as a preliminary to ultimate judgment; they contracted personal interest and esteem for a numerous class of dissentient speakers; and they even acquired a certain practical consciousness of their own liability to error. Moreover, the diffusion of habits of public speaking, by means of the sophists and the rhetors, whom it has been so much the custom to disparage, tended in the same direction,—to break the unity of sentiment among the listening crowd, to multiply separate judgments, and to neutralize the contagion of mere sympathizing impulse. These were important deductions, still farther assisted by the superior taste and intelligence of the Athenian people: but still, the inherent malady remained,—excessive and misleading intensity of present sentiment. It was this which gave such inestimable value to the ascendency of Periklês, as depicted by Thucydidês: his hold on the people was so firm, that he could always speak with effect against excess of the reigning tone of feeling. “When Periklês (says the historian) saw the people in a state of unseasonable and insolent confidence, he spoke so as to cow them into alarm; when again they were in groundless terror, he combated it, and brought them back to confidence.”[686] We shall find Dêmosthenês,[p. 378] with far inferior ascendency, employed in the same honorable task: the Athenian people often stood in need of such correction, but unfortunately did not always find statesmen, at once friendly and commanding, to administer it.

These two attributes, then, belonged to the Athenian democracy; first, their sentiments of every kind were manifested loudly and openly; next, their sentiments tended to a pitch of great present intensity. Of course, therefore, when they changed, the change of sentiment stood prominent, and forced itself upon every one’s notice,—being a transition from one strong sentiment past to another strong sentiment present.[687] And it was because such alterations, when they did take place, stood out so palpably to remark, that the Athenian people have drawn upon themselves the imputation of fickleness: for it is not at all true, I repeat, that changes of sentiment were more frequently produced in them by frivolous or insufficient causes, than changes of sentiment in other governments.


The history of the powerful Grecian cities in Italy and Sicily, between the accession of Peisistratus and the battle of Marathon, is for the most part unknown to us. Phalaris, despot of Agrigentum in Sicily, made for himself an unenviable name during this obscure interval. His reign seems to coincide in time with the earlier part of the rule of Peisistratus (about 560-540 B. C.),[p. 379] and the few and vague statements which we find respecting it,[688] merely show us that it was a period of extortion and cruelty, even beyond the ordinary licence of Grecian despots. The reality of the hollow bull of brass, which Phalaris was accustomed to heat in order to shut up his victims in it and burn them, appears to be better authenticated than the nature of the story would lead us to presume: for it is not only noticed by Pindar, but even the actual instrument of this torture, the brazen bull itself,[689]—which had been taken away from Agrigentum as a trophy by the Carthaginians when they captured the town, was restored by the Romans, on the subjugation of Carthage, to its original domicile. Phalaris is said to have acquired the supreme command, by undertaking the task of building a great temple[690] to Zeus Polieus on the citadel rock; a pretence whereby he was enabled to assemble and arm a number of workmen and devoted partisans, whom he employed, at the festival of the Thesmophoria, to put down the authorities. He afterwards disarmed the citizens by a stratagem, and committed cruelties which rendered him so abhorred, that a sudden rising of the people, headed by Têlemachus (ancestor of the subsequent despot, Thêro), overthrew and[p. 380] slew him. A severe revenge was taken on his partisans after his fall.[691]

During the interval between 540-500 B. C., events of much importance occurred among the Italian Greeks,—especially at Kroton and Sybaris,—events, unhappily, very imperfectly handed down. Between these two periods fall both the war between Sybaris and Kroton, and the career and ascendency of Pythagoras. In connection with this latter name, it will be requisite to say a few words respecting the other Grecian philosophers of the sixth century B. C.

I have, in a former chapter, noticed and characterized those distinguished persons called the Seven Wise Men of Greece, whose celebrity falls in the first half of this century,—men not so much marked by scientific genius as by practical sagacity and foresight in the appreciation of worldly affairs, and enjoying a high degree of political respect from their fellow-citizens. One of them, however, the Milesian Thalês, claims our notice, not only on this ground, but also as the earliest known name in the long line of Greek scientific investigators. His life, nearly contemporary with that of Solon, belongs seemingly to the interval about 640-550 B. C.: the stories mentioned in Herodotus—perhaps borrowed in part from the Milesian Hekatæus—are sufficient to show that his reputation for wisdom, as well as for science, continued to be very great, even a century after his death, among his fellow-citizens. And he marks an important epoch in the progress of the Greek mind, as having been the first man to depart both in letter and spirit from the Hesiodic Theogony, introducing the conception of substances with their transformations and sequences, in place of that string of persons and quasi-human attributes which had animated the old legendary world. He is the father of what is called the Ionic philosophy, which is considered as lasting from his time down to that of Sokratês; and writers, ancient as well as modern, have professed to trace a succession of philosophers, each one the pupil of the preceding, between these two extreme epochs. But the appellation is, in truth, undefined, and even incorrect, since nothing entitled to the name of a school, or sect, or succession,[p. 381]—like that of the Pythagoreans, to be noticed presently,—can be made out. There is, indeed, a certain general analogy in the philosophical vein of Thalês, Hippo, Anaximenês, and Diogenês of Apollonia, whereby they all stand distinguished from Xenophanês of Elea, and his successors, the Eleatic dialecticians, Parmenidês and Zeno; but there are also material differences between their respective doctrines,—no two of them holding the same. And if we look to Anaximander, the person next in order of time to Thalês, as well as to Herakleitus, we find them departing, in a great degree, even from that character which all the rest have in common, though both the one and the other are usually enrolled in the list of Ionic philosophers.

Of the old legendary and polytheistic conception of nature, which Thalês partially discarded, we may remark that it is a state of the human mind in which the problems suggesting themselves to be solved, and the machinery for solving them, bear a fair proportion one to the other. If the problems be vast, indeterminate, confused, and derived rather from the hopes, fears, love, hatred, astonishment, etc., of men, than from any genuine desire of knowledge,—so also does the received belief supply invisible agents in unlimited number, and with every variety of power and inclination. The means of explanation are thus multiplied and diversified as readily as the phenomena to be explained. And though no future events or states can be predicted on trustworthy grounds, in such manner as to stand the scrutiny of subsequent verification,—yet there is little difficulty in rendering a specious and plausible account of matters past, of any and all things alike; especially as, at such a period, matters of fact requiring explanation are neither collated nor preserved with care. And though no event or state, which has not yet occurred, can be predicted, there is little difficulty in rendering a plausible account of everything which has occurred in the past. Cosmogony, and the prior ages of the world, were conceived as a sort of personal history, with intermarriages, filiation, quarrels, and other adventures, of these invisible agents; among whom some one or more were assumed as unbegotten and self-existent,—the latter assumption being a difficulty common to all systems of cosmogony, and from which even this flexible and expansive hypothesis is not exempt.

[p. 382]Now when Thalês disengaged Grecian philosophy from the old mode of explanation, he did not at the same time disengage it from the old problems and matters propounded for inquiry. These he retained, and transmitted to his successors, as vague and vast as they were at first conceived; and so they remained, though with some transformations and modifications, together with many new questions equally insoluble, substantially present to the Greeks throughout their whole history, as the legitimate problems for philosophical investigation. But these problems, adapted only to the old elastic system of polytheistic explanation and omnipresent personal agency, became utterly disproportioned to any impersonal hypotheses such as those of Thalês and the philosophers after him,—whether assumed physical laws, or plausible moral and metaphysical dogmas, open to argumentative attack, and of course requiring the like defence. To treat the visible world as a whole, and inquire when and how it began, as well as into all its past changes,—to discuss the first origin of men, animals, plants, the sun, the stars, etc.,—to assign some comprehensive reason why motion or change in general took place in the universe,—to investigate the destinies of the human race, and to lay down some systematic relation between them and the gods,—all these were topics admitting of being conceived in many different ways, and set forth with eloquent plausibility, but not reducible to any solution either resting on scientific evidence, or commanding steady adherence under a free scrutiny.[692]

At the time when the power of scientific investigation was scanty and helpless, the problems proposed were thus such as to[p. 383] lie out of the reach of science in its largest compass. Gradually, indeed, subjects more special and limited, and upon which experience, or deductions from experience, could be brought to bear, were added to the list of quæsita, and examined with great profit and instruction: but the old problems, with new ones, alike unfathomable, were never eliminated, and always occupied a prominent place in the philosophical world. Now it was this disproportion, between questions to be solved and means of solution, which gave rise to that conspicuous characteristic of Grecian philosophy,—the antagonist force of suspensive skepticism, passing in some minds into a broad negation of the attainability of general truth,—which it nourished from its beginning to its end; commencing as early as Xenophanês, continuing to manifest itself seven centuries afterwards in Ænesidêmus and Sextus Empiricus, and including in the interval between these two extremes some of the most powerful intellects in Greece. The present is not the time for considering these Skeptics, who bear an unpopular name, and have not often been fairly appreciated; the more so, as it often suited the purpose of men, themselves essentially skeptical, like Sokratês and Plato, to denounce professed skepticism with indignation. But it is essential to bring them into notice at the first spring of Grecian philosophy under Thalês, because the circumstances were then laid which so soon afterwards developed them.

Though the celebrity of Thalês in antiquity was great and universal, scarcely any distinct facts were known respecting him: it is certain that he left nothing in writing. Extensive travels in Egypt and Asia are ascribed to him, and as a general fact these travels are doubtless true, since no other means of acquiring knowledge were then open. At a time when the brother of the Lesbian Alkæus was serving in the Babylonian army, we may easily conceive that an inquisitive Milesian would make his way to that wonderful city wherein stood the temple-observatory of the Chaldæan priesthood; nor is it impossible that he may have seen the still greater city of Ninus, or Nineveh, before its capture and destruction by the Medes. How great his reputation was in his lifetime, the admiration expressed by his younger contemporary, Xenophanês, assures us; and Herakleitus, in the next generation, a severe judge of all other[p. 384] philosophers, spoke of him with similar esteem. To him were traced, by the Grecian inquirers of the fourth century B. C., the first beginnings of geometry, astronomy, and physiology in its large and really appropriate sense, the scientific study of nature: for the Greek word denoting nature (φύσις), first comes into comprehensive use about this time (as I have remarked in an earlier chapter),[693] with its derivatives physics and physiology, as distinguished from the theology of the old poets. Little stress can be laid on those elementary propositions in geometry which are specified as discovered, or as first demonstrated, by Thalês,—still less upon the solar eclipse respecting which, according to Herodotus, he determined beforehand the year of occurrence.[694] But the main doctrine of his physiology,—using that word in its larger Greek sense,—is distinctly attested. He stripped Oceanus and Tethys, primeval parents of the gods in the Homeric theogony, of their personality,—and laid down water, or fluid substance, as the single original element from which everything came, and into which everything returned.[695] The doctrine of one eternal element, remaining always the same in its essence, but indefinitely variable in its manifestations to sense, was thus first introduced to the discussion of the Grecian public. We have no means of knowing the reasons by which Thalês supported this opinion, nor could even Aristotle do more than conjecture what they might have been; but one of the statements urged on behalf of it,—that the earth itself rested on water,[696]—we may safely refer to the Milesian himself, for it would hardly have been advanced at a later age. Moreover, Thalês is reported to have held, that everything was living and full of gods; and that the magnet, especially, was a living thing. Thus the gods, as far as we can pretend to follow opinions so very faintly transmitted, are conceived as active powers,[p. 385] and causes of changeful manifestation, attached to the primeval substance:[697] the universe being assimilated to an organized body or system.

Respecting Hippo,—who reproduced the theory of Thalês under a more generalized form of expression, substituting, in place of water, moisture, or something common to air and water,[698]—we do not know whether he belonged to the sixth or the fifth century B. C. But Anaximander, Xenophanês, and Pherekydês belong to the latter half of the sixth century. Anaximander, the son of Praxiadês, was a native of Milêtus,—Xenophanês, a native of Kolophon; the former, among the earliest expositors of doctrine in prose,[699] while the latter committed his opinions to the old medium of verse. Anaximander seems to have taken up the philosophical problem, while he materially altered the hypothesis of his predecessor Thalês. Instead of the primeval fluid of the latter, he supposed a primeval principle, without any actual determining qualities whatever, but including all qualities potentially, and manifesting them in an infinite variety from its continually self-changing nature,—a principle, which was nothing in itself, yet had the capacity of producing any and all manifestations, however contrary to each other,[700]—a primeval something, whose essence[p. 386] it was to be eternally productive of different phenomena,—a sort of mathematical point, which counts for nothing in itself, but is vigorous in generating lines to any extent that may be desired. In this manner, Anaximander professed to give a comprehensive explanation of change in general, or generation, or destruction,—how it happened that one sensible thing began and another ceased to exist,—according to the vague problems which these early inquirers were in the habit of setting to themselves.[701] He avoided that which the first philosophers especially dreaded, the affirmation that generation could take place out of Nothing; yet the primeval Something, which he supposed was only distinguished from nothing by possessing this very power of generation.

In his theory, he passed from the province of physics into that of metaphysics. He first introduced into Grecian philosophy that important word which signifies a beginning or a principle,[702] and first opened that metaphysical discussion, which was carried on in various ways throughout the whole period of Grecian philosophy, as to the one and the many—the continuous and the variable—that which exists eternally, as distinguished from that which comes and passes away in ever-changing manifestations. His physiology, or explanation of nature, thus conducted the mind into a different route from that suggested by the hypothesis of Thalês, which was built upon physical considerations, and was therefore calculated to suggest and stimulate observations of physical phenomena for the purpose of verifying or confuting it,—while the hypothesis of Anaximander admitted only of being[p. 387] discussed dialectically, or by reasonings expressed in general language; reasonings sometimes, indeed, referring to experience for the purpose of illustration, but seldom resting on it, and never looking out for it as a necessary support. The physical explanation of nature, however, once introduced by Thalês, although deserted by Anaximander, was taken up by Anaximenês and others afterwards, and reproduced with many divergences of doctrine,—yet always more or less entangled and perplexed with metaphysical additions, since the two departments were never clearly parted throughout all Grecian philosophy. Of these subsequent physical philosophers I shall speak hereafter: at present, I confine myself to the thinkers of the sixth century B. C., among whom Anaximander stands prominent, not as the follower of Thalês, but as the author of an hypothesis both new and tending in a different direction.

It was not merely as the author of this hypothesis, however, that Anaximander enlarged the Greek mind and roused the powers of thought: we find him also mentioned as distinguished in astronomy and geometry. He is said to have been the first to establish a sun-dial in Greece, to construct a sphere, and to explain the obliquity of the ecliptic;[703] how far such alleged authorship really belongs to him, we cannot be certain,—but there is one step of immense importance which he is clearly affirmed to have made. He was the first to compose a treatise on the geography of the land and sea within his cognizance, and to construct a chart or map founded thereupon,—seemingly a tablet of brass. Such a novelty, wondrous even to the rude and ignorant, was calculated to stimulate powerfully inquisitive minds, and from it may be dated the commencement of Grecian rational geography,—not the least valuable among the contributions of this people to the stock of human knowledge.

Xenophanês of Kolophon, somewhat younger than Anaximander, and nearly contemporary with Pythagoras (seemingly from about 570-480 B. C.), migrated from Kolophon[704] to Zanklê and Katana in Sicily and Elea in Italy, soon after the time when[p. 388] Ionia became subject to the Persians, (540-530 B. C.) He was the founder of what is called the Eleatic school of philosophers,—a real school, since it appears that Parmenidês, Zeno, and Melissus, pursued and developed, in a great degree, the train of speculation which had been begun by Xenophanês,—doubtless with additions and variations of their own, but especially with a dialectic power which belongs to the age of Periklês, and is unknown in the sixth century B. C. He was the author of more than one poem of considerable length, one on the foundation of Kolophon and another on that of Elea; besides his poem on Nature, wherein his philosophical doctrines were set forth.[705] His manner appears to have been controversial and full of asperity towards antagonists; but what is most remarkable is the plain-spoken manner in which he declared himself against the popular religion, and in which he denounced as abominable the descriptions of the gods given by Homer and Hesiod.[706]

He is said to have controverted the doctrines both of Thalês and Pythagoras: this is probable enough; but he seems to have taken his start from the philosophy of Anaximander,—not, however, to adopt it, but to reverse it,—and to set forth an opinion which we may call its contrary. Nature, in the conception of Anaximander, consisted of a Something having no other attribute except the unlimited power of generating and cancelling phenomenal changes: in this doctrine, the something or substratum existed only in and for those changes, and could not be said to exist at all in any other sense: the permanent was thus merged and lost in the variable,—the one in the many. Xenophanês laid down the exact opposite: he conceived Nature as one unchangeable and indivisible whole, spherical, animated, endued with reason, and penetrated by or indeed identical with God: he denied the objective reality of all change, or generation, or destruction, which he seems to have considered as only changes or modifications in the percipient, and perhaps different in one percipient and another. That which exists, he maintained, could not have been generated, nor could it ever be destroyed: there was neither real generation nor real destruction of anything; but that which[p. 389] men took for such, was the change in their own feelings and ideas. He thus recognized the permanent without the variable,[707]—the one without the many. And his treatment of the received religious creed was in harmony with such physical or metaphysical hypothesis; for while he held the whole of Nature to be God, without parts or change, he at the same time pronounced the popular gods to be entities of subjective fancy, imagined by men after their own model: if oxen or lions were to become religious, he added, they would in like manner provide for themselves gods after their respective shapes and characters.[708] This hypothesis, which seemed to set aside altogether the study of the sensible world as a source of knowledge, was expounded briefly, and as it should seem, obscurely and rudely, by Xenophanês; at least we may infer thus much from the slighting epithet applied to him by Aristotle.[709] But his successors, Parmenidês and Zeno, in the succeeding century, expanded it considerably, supported it with extraordinary acuteness of dialectics, and even superadded a second part, in which the phenomena of sense—though considered only as appearances, not partaking in the reality of the one Ens—were yet explained by a new physical hypothesis; so that they will be found to exercise great influence over the speculations both of Plato and Aristotle. We discover in Xenophanês, moreover, a vein of skepticism, and a mournful despair as[p. 390] to the attainability of certain knowledge,[710] which the nature of his philosophy was well calculated to suggest, and in which the sillograph Timon of the third century B. C., who seems to have spoken of Xenophanês better than of most of the other philosophers, powerfully sympathized.

The cosmogony of Pherekydês of Syrus, contemporary of Anaximander and among the teachers of Pythagoras, seems, according to the fragments preserved, a combination of the old legendary fancies with Orphic mysticism,[711] and probably exercised little influence over the subsequent course of Grecian philosophy. By what has been said of Thalês, Anaximander, and Xenophanês, it will be seen that the sixth century B. C. witnessed the opening of several of those roads of intellectual speculation which the later philosophers pursued farther, or at least from which they branched off. Before the year 500 B. C. many interesting questions were thus brought into discussion, which Solon, who died about 558 B. C., had never heard of,—just as he may probably never have seen the map of Anaximander. But neither of these two distinguished men—Anaximander or Xenophanês—was anything more than a speculative inquirer. The third eminent name of this century, of whom I am now about to speak,—Pythagoras, combined in his character disparate elements which require rather a longer development.

Pythagoras was founder of a brotherhood, originally brought together by a religious influence, and with observances approaching to monastic peculiarity,—working in a direction at once religious, political, and scientific, and exercising for some time a real political ascendency,—but afterwards banished from government and state affairs into a sectarian privacy with scientific pursuits, not without, however, still producing some statesmen individually distinguished. Amidst the multitude of false and apocryphal statements which circulated in antiquity respecting this celebrated man, we find a few important facts reasonably attested and deserving credence. He was a native of Samos,[712][p. 391] son of an opulent merchant named Mnêsarchus,—or, according to some of his later and more fervent admirers, of Apollo; born, as far as we can make out, about the 50th Olympiad, or 580 B. C. On the many marvels recounted respecting his youth, it is unnecessary to dwell. Among them may be numbered his wide-reaching travels, said to have been prolonged for nearly thirty years, to visit the Arabians, the Syrians, the Phenicians, the Chaldæans, the Indians, and the Gallic Druids. But there is reason to believe that he really visited Egypt[713]—perhaps also Phenicia—and Babylon, then Chaldæan and independent. At the time when he saw Egypt, between 560-540 B. C., about one century earlier than Herodotus, it was under Amasis, the last of its own kings, with its peculiar native character yet unimpaired by foreign conquest, and only slightly modified by the admission during the preceding century of Grecian mercenary troops and traders. The spectacle of Egyptian habits, the conversation of the priests, and the initiation into various mysteries or secret rites and stories not accessible to the general public, may very naturally have impressed the mind of Pythagoras, and given him that turn for mystic observance, asceticism, and peculiarity of diet and clothing,—which manifested itself from the same cause among several of his contemporaries, but which was not a common phenomenon in the primitive Greek religion. Besides visiting Egypt, Pythagoras is also said to have profited by the teaching of Thalês, of Anaximander, and of Pherekydês of[p. 392] Syros.[714] Amidst the towns of Ionia, he would, moreover, have an opportunity of conversing with many Greek navigators who had visited foreign countries, especially Italy and Sicily. His mind seems to have been acted upon and impelled by this combined stimulus,—partly towards an imaginative and religious vein of speculation, with a life of mystic observance,—partly towards that active exercise, both of mind and body, which the genius of an Hellenic community so naturally tended to suggest.

Of the personal doctrines or opinions of Pythagoras, whom we must distinguish from Philolaus and the subsequent Pythagoreans, we have little certain knowledge, though doubtless the first germ of their geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, etc. must have proceeded from him. But that he believed in the metempsychosis or transmigration of the souls of deceased men into other men, as well as into animals, we know, not only by other evidence, but also by the testimony of his contemporary, the philosopher Xenophanês of Elea. Pythagoras, seeing a dog beaten, and hearing him howl, desired the striker to desist, saying: “It is the soul of a friend of mine, whom I recognized by his voice.” This—together with the general testimony of Hêrakleitus, that Pythagoras was a man of extensive research and acquired instruction, but artful for mischief and destitute of sound judgment—is all that we know about him from contemporaries. Herodotus, two generations afterwards, while he conceives the Pythagoreans as a peculiar religious order, intimates that both Orpheus and Pythagoras had derived the doctrine of the metempsychosis from Egypt, but had pretended to it as their own without acknowledgment.[715]

[p. 393]Pythagoras combines the character of a sophist (a man of large observation, and clever, ascendent, inventive mind,—the original sense of the word Sophist, prior to the polemics of the Platonic school, and the only sense known to Herodotus[716]) with that of an inspired teacher, prophet, and worker of miracles,—approaching to and sometimes even confounded with the gods,—and employing all these gifts to found a new special order of brethren, bound together by religious rites and observances peculiar to themselves. In his prominent vocation, analogous to that of Epimenidês, Orpheus, or Melampus, he appears as the revealer of a mode of life calculated to raise his disciples above the level of mankind, and to recommend them to the favor of the gods; the Pythagorean life, like the Orphic life,[717] being intended[p. 394] as the exclusive prerogative of the brotherhood,—approached only by probation and initiatory ceremonies which were adapted to select enthusiasts rather than to an indiscriminate crowd,—and exacting entire mental devotion to the master.[718] In these lofty pretensions the Agrigentine Empedoklês seems to have greatly copied him, though with some varieties, about half a century afterwards.[719] While Aristotle tells us that the Krotoniates identified Pythagoras with the Hyperborean Apollo, the satirical Timon pronounced him to have been “a juggler of solemn speech, engaged in fishing for men.”[720] This is the same character, looked at from the different points of view of the believer and the unbeliever. There is, however, no reason for regarding Pythagoras as an impostor, because experience seems to show, that while in certain ages it is not difficult for a man to persuade others that he is inspired, it is still less difficult for him to contract the same belief himself.

Looking at the general type of Pythagoras, as conceived by witnesses in and nearest to his own age,—Xenophanês, Hêrakleitus, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Isokratês,[721]—we find in him[p. 395] chiefly the religious missionary and schoolmaster, with little of the politician. His efficiency in the latter character, originally subordinate, first becomes prominent in those glowing fancies which the later Pythagoreans communicated to Aristoxenus and Dikæarchus. The primitive Pythagoras inspired by the gods to reveal a new mode of life,[722]—the Pythagorean life,—and to promise divine favor to a select and docile few, as the recompense of strict ritual obedience, of austere self-control, and of laborious training, bodily as well as mental. To speak with confidence of the details of his training, ethical or scientific, and of the doctrines which he promulgated, is impossible; for neither he himself nor any of his disciples anterior to Philolaus—who was separated from him by about one intervening generation—left any memorials in writing.[723] Numbers and lines, studied[p. 396] partly in their own mutual relations, partly under various symbolizing fancies, presented themselves to him as the primary constituent elements of the universe, and as a sort of magical key to phenomena, physical as well as moral. And these mathematical tendencies in his teaching, expanded by Pythagoreans, his successors, and coinciding partly also, as has been before stated, with the studies of Anaximander and Thalês, acquired more and more development, so as to become one of the most glorious and profitable manifestations of Grecian intellect. Living as Pythagoras did at a time when the stock of experience was scanty, the license of hypothesis unbounded, and the process of deduction without rule or verifying test,—he was thus fortunate enough to strike into that track of geometry and arithmetic, in which, from data of experience few, simple, and obvious, an immense field of deductive and verifiable investigation may be travelled over. We must at the same time remark, however, that in his mind this track, which now seems so straightforward and well defined, was clouded by strange fancies which it is not easy to understand, and from which it was but partially cleared by his successors. Of his spiritual training much is said, though not upon very good authority. We hear of his memorial discipline, his monastic self-scrutiny, his employment of music to soothe disorderly passions,[724] his long novitiate of silence, his knowledge of physiognomy, which enabled him to detect even without trial unworthy subjects, his peculiar diet, and his rigid care for sobriety as well as for bodily vigor. He is also said to have inculcated abstinence from animal food, and this feeling is so naturally connected with the doctrine of the metempsychosis, that we may well believe him to have entertained it, as Empedoklês also did after him.[725] It is certain that there were peculiar[p. 397] observances, and probably a certain measure of self-denial embodied in the Pythagorean life; but on the other hand, it seems equally certain that the members of the order cannot have been all subjected to the same diet, or training, or studies. For Milo the Krotoniate was among them,[726] the strongest man and the unparalleled wrestler of his age,—who cannot possibly have dispensed with animal food and ample diet (even setting aside the tales about his voracious appetite), and is not likely to have bent his attention on speculative study. Probably Pythagoras did not enforce the same bodily or mental discipline on all, or at least knew when to grant dispensations. The order, as it first stood under him, consisted of men different both in temperament and aptitude, but bound together by common religious observances and hopes, common reverence for the master, and mutual attachment as well as pride in each other’s success; and it must thus be distinguished from the Pythagoreans of the fourth century B. C., who had no communion with wrestlers, and comprised only ascetic, studious men, generally recluse, though in some cases rising to political distinction.

The succession of these Pythagoreans, never very numerous, seems to have continued until about 300 B. C., and then nearly died out; being superseded by other schemes of philosophy more suited to cultivated Greeks of the age after Sokratês. But during the time of Cicero, two centuries afterwards, the orientalizing tendency—then beginning to spread over the Grecian and Roman world, and becoming gradually stronger and stronger—caused the Pythagorean philosophy to be again revived. It was revived too, with little or none of its scientific tendencies, but with more than its primitive religious and imaginative fanaticism,[p. 398]—Apollonius of Tyana constituting himself a living copy of Pythagoras. And thus, while the scientific elements developed by the disciples of Pythagoras had become disjoined from all peculiarity of sect, and passed into the general studious world,—the original vein of mystic and ascetic fancy belonging to the master, without any of that practical efficiency of body and mind which had marked his first followers, was taken up anew into the pagan world, along with the disfigured doctrines of Plato. Neo-Pythagorism, passing gradually into Neo-Platonism, outlasted the other more positive and masculine systems of pagan philosophy, as the contemporary and rival of Christianity. A large proportion of the false statements concerning Pythagoras come from these Neo-Pythagoreans, who were not deterred by the want of memorials from illustrating, with ample latitude of fancy, the ideal character of the master.

That an inquisitive man like Pythagoras, at a time when there were hardly any books to study, would visit foreign countries, and converse with all the Grecian philosophical inquirers within his reach, is a matter which we should presume, even if no one attested it; and our witnesses carry us very little beyond this general presumption. What doctrines he borrowed, or from whom, we are unable to discover. But, in fact, his whole life and proceedings bear the stamp of an original mind, and not of a borrower,—a mind impressed both with Hellenic and with non-Hellenic habits and religion, yet capable of combining the two in a manner peculiar to himself; and above all, endued with those talents for religion and personal ascendency over others, which told for much more than the intrinsic merit of his ideas. We are informed that after extensive travels and inquiries he returned to Samos, at the age of about forty: he then found his native island under the despotism of Polykratês, which rendered it an unsuitable place either for free sentiments or for marked individuals. Unable to attract hearers, or found any school or brotherhood, in his native island, he determined to expatriate. And we may presume that at this period (about 535-530 B. C.) the recent subjugation of Ionia by the Persians was not without influence on his determination. The trade between the Asiatic and the Italian Greeks,—and even the intimacy between Milêtus and Knidus on the one side, and Sybaris and Tarentum[p. 399] on the other,—had been great and of long standing, so that there was more than one motive to determine him to the coast of Italy; in which direction also his contemporary Xenophanês, the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy, emigrated, seemingly, about the same time,—from Kolophon to Zanklê, Katana, and Elea.[727]

Kroton and Sybaris were at this time in their fullest prosperity,—among the first and most prosperous cities of the Hellenic name. To the former of the two Pythagoras directed his course. A council of one thousand persons, taken from among the heirs and representatives of the principal proprietors at its first foundation, was here invested with the supreme authority: in what manner the executive offices were filled, we have no information. Besides a great extent of power, and a numerous population, the large mass of whom had no share in the political franchise, Kroton stood at this time distinguished for two things,—the general excellence of the bodily habit of the citizens, attested, in part, by the number of conquerors furnished to the Olympic games,—and the superiority of its physicians, or surgeons.[728] These two points were, in fact, greatly connected with each other. For the therapeutics of the day consisted not so much of active remedies as of careful diet and regimen; while the trainer, who dictated the life of an athlete during his long and fatiguing preparation for an Olympic contest, and the professional superintendent of the youths who frequented the public gymnasia, followed out the same general views, and acted upon the same basis of knowledge, as the physician who prescribed for a[p. 400] state of positive bad health.[729] Of medical education properly so called, especially of anatomy, there was then little or nothing.[p. 401] The physician acquired his knowledge from observation of men sick as well as healthy, and from a careful notice of the way in which the human body was acted upon by surrounding agents and circumstances: and this same knowledge was not less necessary for the trainer; so that the same place which contained the best men in the latter class was also likely to be distinguished in the former. It is not improbable that this celebrity of Kroton may have been one of the reasons which determined Pythagoras to go thither; for among the precepts ascribed to him, precise rules as to diet and bodily regulation occupy a prominent place. The medical or surgical celebrity of Dêmokêdês (son-in-law of the Pythagorean Milo), to whom allusion has been made in a former chapter, is contemporaneous with the presence of Pythagoras at Kroton; and the medical men of Magna Græcia maintained themselves in credit, as rivals of the schools of the Asklepiads at Kôs and Knidus, throughout all the fifth and fourth centuries B. C.

The biographers of Pythagoras tell us that his arrival there, his preaching, and his conduct, produced an effect almost electric upon the minds of the people, with an extensive reform, public as well as private. Political discontent was repressed, incontinence disappeared, luxury became discredited, and the women, hastened to exchange their golden ornaments for the simplest attire. No less than two thousand persons were converted at his first preaching; and so effective were his discourses to the youth, that the Supreme Council of One Thousand invited him into their assembly, solicited his advice, and even offered to constitute him their[p. 402] prytanis, or president, while his wife and daughter were placed at the head of the religious processions of females.[730] Nor was his influence confined to Kroton. Other towns in Italy and Sicily,—Sybaris, Metapontum, Rhêgium, Katana, Himera, etc., all felt the benefit of his exhortations, which extricated some of them even from slavery. Such are the tales of which the biographers of Pythagoras are full.[731] And we see that even the disciples of Aristotle, about the year 300 B. C.,—Aristoxenus, Dikæarchus, Herakleidês of Pontus, etc., are hardly less charged with them than the Neo-Pythagoreans of three or four centuries later: they doubtless heard them from their contemporary Pythagoreans,[732] the last members of a declining sect, among whom[p. 403] the attributes of the primitive founder passed for godlike, but who had no memorials, no historical judgment, and no means of forming a true conception of Kroton as it stood in 530 B. C.[733]

To trace these tales to a true foundation is impossible: but we may entertain reasonable belief that the success of Pythagoras, as a person favored by the gods and patentee of divine secrets, was very great,—that he procured to himself both the reverence of the multitude and the peculiar attachment and obedience of many devoted adherents, chiefly belonging to the wealthy and powerful classes,—that a select body of these adherents, three hundred in number, bound themselves by a sort of vow both to Pythagoras and to each other, and adopted a peculiar diet, ritual, and observances, as a token of union,—though without anything like community of property, which some have ascribed to them. Such a band of men, standing high in the city for wealth and station, and bound together by this intimate tie, came by almost unconscious tendency to mingle political ambition with religious and scientific pursuits. Political clubs with sworn members, under one form or another, were a constant phenomenon in the Grecian cities,[734][p. 404] and the Pythagorean order at its first formation was the most efficient of all clubs; since it presented an intimacy of attachment among its members, as well as a feeling of haughty exclusiveness against the public without, such as no other fraternity could parallel.[735] The devoted attachment of Pythagoreans towards each other is not less emphatically set forth than their contempt for every one else. In fact, these two attributes of the order seem the best ascertained, as well as the most permanent of all: moreover, we may be sure that the peculiar observances of the order passed for exemplary virtues in the eyes of its members, and exalted ambition into a duty, by making them sincerely believe that they were the only persons fit to govern. It is no matter of surprise, then, to learn that the Pythagoreans gradually drew to themselves great ascendency in the government of Kroton. And as similar clubs, not less influential, were formed at Metapontum and other places, so the Pythagorean order spread its net and dictated the course of affairs over a large portion of Magna Græcia. Such ascendency of the Pythagoreans must have procured for the master himself some real, and still more supposed, influence over the march of government at Kroton and elsewhere, of a nature not then possessed by any of his contemporaries throughout Greece.[736] But his influence was probably exercised in the background, through the medium of the brotherhood who reverenced him: for it is hardly conformable to Greek manners that a stranger of his character should guide personally and avowedly the political affairs of any Grecian city.

[p. 405]Nor are we to believe that Pythagoras came originally to Kroton with the express design of creating for himself an ascendent political position,—still less that he came for the purpose of realizing a great preconceived political idea, and transforming Kroton into a model-city of pure Dorism, as has been supposed by some eminent modern authors. Such schemes might indeed be ascribed to him by Pythagoreans of the Platonic age, when large ideas of political amelioration were rife in the minds of speculative men,—by men disposed to forego the authorship of their own opinions, and preferring to accredit them as traditions handed down from a founder who had left no memorials; but it requires better evidence than theirs to make us believe that any real Greek born in 580 B. C. actually conceived such plans. We cannot construe the scheme of Pythagoras as going farther than the formation of a private, select order of brethren, embracing his religious fancies, ethical tone, and germs of scientific idea,—and manifesting adhesion by those observances which Herodotus and Plato call the Pythagorean orgies and mode of life. And his private order became politically powerful, because he was skilful or fortunate enough to enlist a sufficient number of wealthy Krotoniates, possessing individual influence which they strengthened immensely by thus regimenting themselves in intimate union. The Pythagorean orgies or religious ceremonies were not inconsistent with public activity, bodily as well as mental: probably the rich men of the order may have been rendered even more active, by being fortified against the temptations of a life of indulgence. The character of the order as it first stood, different from that to which it was afterwards reduced, was indeed religious and exclusive, but also active and domineering; not despising any of those bodily accomplishments which increased the efficiency of the Grecian citizen, and which so particularly harmonized with the preëxisting tendencies of Kroton.[737] Niebuhr[p. 406] and O. Müller have even supposed that the select Three Hundred Pythagoreans constituted a sort of smaller senate at that[p. 407] city,[738]—an hypothesis no way probable; we may rather conceive them as a powerful private club, exercising ascendency in the interior of the senate, and governing through the medium of the constituted authorities. Nor can we receive without great allowance the assertion of Varro,[739] who, assimilating Pythagoras to Plato, tells us that he confined his instructions on matters of government to chosen disciples, who had gone through a complete training, and had reached the perfection of wisdom and virtue. It seems more probable that the political Pythagoreans were those who were most qualified for action, and least for speculation. And we may reasonably suppose in the general of the order that skill in turning to account the aptitudes of individuals, which two centuries ago was so conspicuous in the Jesuits; to whom, in various ways, the Pythagoreans bear considerable resemblance. All that we can be said to know about their political principles is, that they were exclusive and aristocratical, adverse to the control and interference of the people; a circumstance no way disadvantageous to them, since they coincided in this respect with the existing government of the city,—had not their own conduct brought additional odium on the old aristocracy, and raised up an aggravated democratical opposition, carried to the most deplorable lengths of violence.

All the information which we possess, apocryphal as it is, respecting this memorable club, is derived from its warm admirers; yet even their statements are enough to explain how it came to provoke deadly and extensive enmity. A stranger coming to teach new religious dogmas and observances, with a tincture of science and some new ethical ideas and phrases, though he would obtain some zealous votaries, would also bring upon himself a certain measure of antipathy. Extreme strictness of observances, combined with the art of touching skilfully the springs of religious terror in others, would indeed do much both to fortify and to exalt him. But when it was discovered that science, philosophy, and even the mystic revelations of religion, whatever they were, remained confined to the private talk and practice of[p. 408] the disciples, and were thus thrown into the background, while all that was seen and felt without, was the political predominance of an ambitious fraternity,—we need not wonder that Pythagorism in all its parts became odious to a large portion of the community. Moreover, we find the order represented not merely as constituting a devoted and exclusive political party, but also as manifesting an ostentatious self-conceit throughout their personal demeanor,[740]—refusing the hand of fellowship to all except the brethren, and disgusting especially their own familiar friends and kinsmen. So far as we know Grecian philosophy, this is the only instance in which it was distinctly abused for political and party objects: the early days of the Pythagorean order stand distinguished for such perversion, which, fortunately for the progress of philosophy, never presented itself afterwards in Greece.[741] Even at Athens, however, we shall hereafter see that Sokratês, though standing really aloof from all party intrigue, incurred much of his unpopularity from supposed political conjunction with Kritias and Alkibiadês,[742] to which, indeed, the orator Æschinês[p. 409] distinctly ascribes his condemnation, speaking about sixty years after the event. Had Sokratês been known as the founder of a band holding together intimately for ambitious purposes, the result would have been eminently pernicious to philosophy, and probably much sooner pernicious to himself.

It was this cause which brought about the complete and violent destruction of the Pythagorean order. Their ascendency had provoked such wide-spread discontent, that their enemies became emboldened to employ extreme force against them. Kylon and Ninon—the former of whom is said to have sought admittance into the order, but to have been rejected on account of his bad character—took the lead in pronounced opposition to the Pythagoreans; and the odium which the latter had incurred extended itself farther to the Senate of One Thousand, through the medium of which their ascendency had been exercised. Propositions were made for rendering the government more democratical, and for constituting a new senate, taken by lot from all the people, before which the magistrates should go through their trial of accountability after office; an opportunity being chosen in which the Senate of One Thousand had given signal offence by refusing to divide among the people the recently conquered territory of Sybaris.[743] In spite of the opposition of the Pythagoreans, this change of government was carried through. Ninon and Kylon, their principal enemies, made use of it to exasperate the people still farther against the order, until they provoked actual popular violence against it. The Pythagoreans were attacked when assembled in their meeting-house near the temple of Apollo, or, as some said, in the house of Milo: the building was set on fire, and many of the members perished;[744] none but the younger and more vigorous escaping. Similar disturbances, and the like violent suppression of the order, with destruction of several among the leading citizens, are said to have taken place[p. 410] in other cities of Magna Græcia,—Tarentum, Metapontum, Kaulonia. And we are told that these cities remained for some time in a state of great disquietude and commotion from which they were only rescued by the friendly mediation of the Peloponnesian Achæans, the original founders of Sybaris and Kroton,—assisted, indeed, by mediators from other parts of Greece. The cities were at length pacified, and induced to adopt an amicable congress, with common religious festivals at a temple founded expressly for the purpose, and dedicated to Zeus Homarius.[745]

Thus perished the original Pythagorean order. Respecting Pythagoras himself, there were conflicting accounts; some representing that he was burnt in the temple with his disciples;[746] others, that he had died a short time previously; others again affirmed that he was alive at the time, but absent, and that he died not long afterwards in exile, after forty days of voluntary abstinence from food. His tomb was still shown at Metapontum in the days of Cicero.[747] As an active brotherhood, the Pythago[p. 411]reans never revived; but the dispersed members came together as a sect, for common religious observances and common pursuit of science. They were readmitted, after some interval, into the cities of Magna Græcia,[748] from which they had been originally expelled, but to which the sect is always considered as particularly belonging,—though individual members of it are found besides at Thebes and other cities of Greece. Indeed, some of these later Pythagoreans sometimes even acquired great political influence, as we see in the case of the Tarentine Archytas, the contemporary of Plato.

It has already been stated that the period when Pythagoras arrived at Kroton may be fixed somewhere between B. C. 540-530; and his arrival is said to have occurred at a time of great depression in the minds of the Krotoniates. They had recently been defeated by the united Lokrians and Rhegians, vastly inferior to themselves in number, at the river Sagra; and the humiliation thus brought upon them is said to have rendered them docile to the training of the Samian missionary.[749] As the birth of the Pythagorean order is thus connected with the defeat of the Krotoniates at the Sagra, so its extinction is also connected with their victory over the Sybarites at the river Traeis, or Trionto, about twenty years afterwards.

[p. 412]Of the history of these two great Achæan cities we unfortunately know very little. Though both were powerful, yet down to the period of 510 B. C., Sybaris seems to have been decidedly the greatest: of its dominion as well as of its much-denounced luxury I have spoken in a former chapter.[750] It was at that time that the war broke out between them which ended in the destruction of Sybaris. It is certain that the Sybaritans were aggressors in the war; but by what causes it had been preceded in their own town, or what provocation they had received, we make out very indistinctly. There had been a political revolution at Sybaris, we are told, not long before, in which a popular leader named Têlys had headed a rising against the oligarchical government, and induced the people to banish five hundred of the leading rich men, as well as to confiscate their properties. He had acquired the sovereignty and become despot of Sybaris;[751] and it appears that he, or his rule at Sybaris, was much abhorred at Kroton,—since the Krotoniate Philippus, a man of splendid muscular form and an Olympic victor, was exiled for having engaged himself to marry the daughter of Têlys.[752] According to the narrative given by the later Pythagoreans, those exiles, whom Têlys had driven from Sybaris, took refuge at Kroton, and cast themselves as suppliants on the altars for protection. It may well be, indeed, that they were in part Pythagoreans of Sybaris. A body of powerful exiles, harbored in a town so close at hand, naturally inspired alarm, and Têlys demanded that they should be delivered up, threatening war in case of refusal. This demand excited consternation at Kroton, since the military strength of Sybaris was decidedly superior. The surrender of the exiles was much debated, and almost decreed, by the Krotoniates, until[p. 413] at length the persuasion of Pythagoras himself is said to have determined them to risk any hazard sooner than incur the dishonor of betraying suppliants.

On the demand of the Sybarites being refused, Têlys marched against Kroton, at the head of a force which is reckoned at three hundred thousand men.[753] He marched, too, in defiance of the strongest religious warnings against the enterprise,—for the sacrifices, offered on his behalf by the Iamid prophet Kallias of Elis, were decisively unfavorable, and the prophet himself fled in terror to Kroton.[754] Near the river Traeis, or Trionto, he was met by the forces of Kroton, consisting, we are informed, of one hundred thousand men, and commanded by the great athlete and Pythagorean Milo; who was clothed, we are told, in the costume and armed with the club of Hêraklês. They were farther reinforced, however, by a valuable ally, the Spartan Dorieus, younger brother of king Kleomenês, then coasting along the gulf of Tarentum with a body of colonists, intending to found a settlement in Sicily. A bloody battle was fought, in which the Sybarites were totally worsted, with prodigious slaughter; while the victors, fiercely provoked and giving no quarter, followed up the pursuit so warmly that they took the city, dispersed its inhabitants, and crushed its whole power[755] in the short space of seventy days. The Sybarites fled in great part to Laos and Skidros,[756] their settlements planted on the Mediterranean coast, across the Calabrian peninsula. And so eager were the Krotoniates to render the site of Sybaris untenable, that they turned the course of the river Krathis so as to overwhelm and destroy it: the dry bed in which the river had originally flowed was still visible in the time of Herodotus,[757] who was among the settlers in the town of Thurii, afterwards founded, nearly adjoining.

[p. 414]It appears, however, that the Krotoniates for a long time kept the site of Sybaris deserted, refusing even to allot the territory among the body of their own citizens: from which circumstances, as has been before noticed, the commotion against the Pythagorean order is said to have arisen. They may perhaps have been afraid of the name and recollections of the city; wherein no large or permanent establishment was ever formed, until Thurii was established by Athens about sixty-five years afterwards. Nevertheless, the name of the Sybarites did not perish. Having maintained themselves at Laos, Skidros, and elsewhere, they afterwards formed the privileged Old-citizens among the colonists of Thurii; but misbehaved themselves in that capacity, and were mostly either slain or expelled. Even after that, however, the name of Sybaris still remained on a reduced scale in some portion of the territory. Herodotus recounts what he was told by the Sybarites, and we find subsequent indications of them even as late as Theokritus.

The conquest and destruction of the original Sybaris—perhaps in 510 B. C. the greatest of all Grecian cities—appears to have excited a strong sympathy in the Hellenic world. In Milêtus, especially, with which it had maintained intimate union, the grief was so vehement, that all the Milesians shaved their heads in token of mourning.[758] The event happened just at the time of the expulsion of Hippias from Athens, and must have made a sensible revolution in the relations of the Greek cities on[p. 415] the Italian coast with the rustic population of the interior. The Krotoniates might destroy Sybaris, and disperse its inhabitants, but they could not succeed to its wide dominion over dependent territory; and the extinction of this great aggregate power, stretching across the peninsula from sea to sea, lessened the means of resistance against the Oscan movements from the inland. From this time forward, the cities of Magna Græcia, as well as those of Ionia, tend to decline in consequence, while Athens, on the other hand, becomes both more conspicuous and more powerful. At the invasion of Greece by Xerxês, thirty years after this conquest of Sybaris, Sparta and Athens send to ask for aid both from Sicily and Korkyra,—but not from Magna Græcia.

It is much to be regretted that we do not possess fuller information respecting these important changes among the Greco-Italian cities, but we may remark that even Herodotus,—himself a citizen of Thurii, and dwelling on the spot not more than eighty years after the capture of Sybaris,—evidently found no written memorials to consult; and could obtain from verbal conversation nothing better than statements both meagre and contradictory. The material circumstance, for example, of the aid rendered by the Spartan Dorieus and his colonists, though positively asserted by the Sybarites, was as positively denied by the Krotoniates, who alleged that they had accomplished the conquest by themselves, and with their own unaided forces. There can be little hesitation in crediting the affirmative assertion of the Sybarites, who showed to Herodotus a temple and precinct erected by the Spartan prince in testimony of his share in the victory, on the banks of the dry, deserted channel, out of which the Krathis had been turned, and in honor of the Krathian Athênê.[759] This of itself forms a proof, coupled with the positive assertion of the Sybarites, sufficient for the case. But they produced another indirect argument to confirm it, which deserves notice. Dorieus had attacked Sybaris while he was passing along the coast of Italy to go and found a colony in Sicily, under the express mandate and encouragement of the oracle; and after tarrying awhile at Sybaris, he pursued his journey to the south[p. 416]-western portion of Sicily, where he and nearly all his companions perished in a battle with the Carthaginians and Egestæans,—though the oracle had promised him that he should acquire and occupy permanently the neighboring territory near Mount Eryx. Now the Sybarites deduced from this fatal disaster of Dorieus and his expedition, combined with the favorable promise of the oracle beforehand, a confident proof of the correctness of their own statement that he had fought at Sybaris. For if he had gone straight to the territory marked out by the oracle, they argued, without turning aside for any other object, the prophecy on which his hopes were founded would have been unquestionably realized, and he would have succeeded; but the ruinous disappointment which actually overtook him was at once explained, and the truth of prophecy vindicated, when it was recollected that he had turned aside to help the Krotoniates against Sybaris, and thus set at nought the conditions prescribed to him. Upon this argument, Herodotus tells us, the Sybarites of his day especially insisted.[760] And while we note their pious and literal faith in the communications of an inspired prophet, we must at the same time observe how perfectly that faith supplied the place of historical premises,—how scanty their stock was of such legitimate evidence,—and how little they had yet learned to appreciate its value.

It is to be remarked, that Herodotus, in his brief mention of the fatal war between Sybaris and Kroton, does not make the least allusion to Pythagoras or his brotherhood. The least which we can infer from such silence is, that the part which they played in reference to the war, and their general ascendency in Magna Græcia, was in reality less conspicuous and overruling than the Pythagorean historians set forth. Even making such allowance, however, the absence of all allusion in Herodotus, to the commotions which accompanied the subversion of the Pythagoreans, is a surprising circumstance. Nor can I pass over a perplexing statement in Polybius, which seems to[p. 417] show that he too must have conceived the history of Sybaris in a way different from that in which it is commonly represented. He tells us that after much suffering in Magna Græcia, from the troubles which followed the expulsion of the Pythagoreans, the cities were induced by Achæan mediation to come to an accommodation, and even to establish something like a permanent league, with a common temple and sacrifices. Now the three cities which he specifies as having been the first to do this, are Kroton, Sybaris, and Kaulonia.[761] But according to the sequence of events and the fatal war, just described, between Kroton and Sybaris, the latter city must have been at that time in ruins; little, if at all, inhabited. I cannot but infer from this statement of Polybius, that he followed different authorities respecting the early history of Magna Græcia in the beginning of the fifth century B. C.

Indeed, the early history of these cities gives us little more than a few isolated facts and names. With regard to their legislators, Zaleukus and Charondas, nothing is made out except their existence,—and even that fact some ancient critics contested. Of Zaleukus, whom chronologists place in 664 B. C., I have already spoken; the date of Charondas cannot be assigned, but we may perhaps presume that it was at some time between 600-500 B. C. He was a citizen of middling station, born in the Chalkidic colony of Katana in Sicily,[762] and he framed laws not only for his own city, but for the other Chalkidic cities in Sicily[p. 418] and Italy,—Leontini, Naxos, Zanklê, and Rhêgium. The laws and the solemn preamble ascribed to him by Diodorus and Stobæus, belong to a later day,[763] and we are obliged to content ourselves with collecting the brief hints of Aristotle, who tells us that the laws of Charondas descended to great minuteness of distinction and specification, especially in graduating the fine for offences according to the property of the guilty person fined,[764]—but that there was nothing in his laws strictly original and peculiar, except that he was the first to introduce the solemn indictment against perjured witnesses before justice. The perjured witness, in Grecian ideas, was looked upon as having committed a crime half religious, half civil; and the indictment raised against him, known by a peculiar name, partook of both characters, approaching in some respects to the procedure against a murderer. Such distinct form of indictment against perjured testimony—with its appropriate name,[765] which we shall find maintained at Athens[p. 419] throughout the best-known days of Attic law—was first enacted by Charondas.


[1] Herodot. i, 196; Skylax, c. 19-27; Appian. Illyric. c. 2, 4, 8.

The geography of the countries occupied in ancient times by the Illyrians, Macedonians, Pæonians, Thracians, etc., and now possessed by a great diversity of races, among whom the Turks and Albanians retain the primitive barbarism without mitigation, is still very imperfectly understood; though the researches of Colonel Leake, of Boué, of Grisebach, and others (especially the valuable travels of the latter), have of late thrown much light upon it. How much our knowledge is extended in this direction, may be seen by comparing the map prefixed to Mannert’s Geographie, or to O. Müller’s Dissertation on the Macedonians, with that in Boué’s Travels, but the extreme deficiency of the maps, even as they now stand, is emphatically noticed by Boué himself (see his Critique des Cartes de la Turquie in the fourth volume of his Voyage),—by Paul Joseph Schaffarik, the learned historian of the Sclavonic race, in the preface attached by him to Dr. Joseph Müller’s Topographical Account of Albania,—and by Grisebach, who in his surveys, taken from the summits of the mountains Peristeri and Ljubatrin, found the map differing at every step from the bearings which presented themselves to his eye. It is only since Boué and Grisebach that the idea has been completely dismissed, derived originally from Strabo, of a straight line of mountains (εὐθεῖα γραμμὴ, Strabo, lib. vii, Fragm. 3) running across from the Adriatic to the Euxine, and sending forth other lateral chains in a direction nearly southerly. The mountains of Turkey in Europe, when examined with the stock of geological science which M. Viquesnel (the companion of Boué) and Dr. Grisebach bring to the task, are found to belong to systems very different, and to present evidences of conditions of formation often quite independent of each other.

The thirteenth chapter of Grisebach’s Travels presents the best account which has yet been given of the chain of Skardus and Pindus: he has been the first to prove clearly, that the Ljubatrin, which immediately overhangs the plain of Kossovo at the southern border of Servia and Bosnia, is the north-eastern extremity of a chain of mountains reaching southward to the frontiers of Ætolia, in a direction not very wide of N-S.,—with the single interruption (first brought to view by Colonel Leake) of the Klissoura of Devol,—a complete gap, where the river Devol, rising on the eastern side, crosses the chain and joins the Apsus, or Beratino, on the western,—(it is remarkable that both in the map of Boué and in that annexed to Dr. Joseph Müller’s Topographical Description of Albania, the river Devol is made to join the Genussus, or Skoumi, considerably north of the Apsus, though Colonel Leake’s map gives the correct course.) In Grisebach’s nomenclature Skardus is made to reach from the Ljubatrin as its north-eastern extremity, south-westward and southward as far as the Klissoura of Devol: south of that point Pindus commences, in a continuation, however, of the same axis.

In reference to the seats of the ancient Illyrians and Macedonians Grisebach has made another observation of great importance (vol. ii, p. 121). Between the north-eastern extremity, Mount Ljubatrin, and the Klissoura of Devol, there are in the mighty and continuous chain of Skardus (above seven thousand feet high) only two passes fit for an army to cross: one near the northern extremity of the chain, over which Grisebach himself crossed, from Kalkandele to Prisdren, a very high col, not less than five thousand feet above the level of the sea; the other, considerably to the southward, and lower as well as easier, nearly in the latitude of Lychnidus, or Ochrida. It was over this last pass that the Roman Via Egnatia travelled, and that the modern road from Scutari and Durazzo to Bitolia now travels. With the exception of these two partial depressions, the long mountain-ridge maintains itself undiminished in height, admitting, indeed, paths by which a small company either of travellers or of Albanian robbers from the Dibren, may cross (there is a path of this kind which connects Struga with Ueskioub, mentioned by Dr. Joseph Müller, p. 70, and some others by Boué, vol. iv, p. 546), but nowhere admitting the passage of an army.

To attack the Macedonians, therefore, an Illyrian army would have to go through one or other of these passes, or else to go round the north-eastern pass of Katschanik, beyond the extremity of Ljubatrin. And we shall find that, in point of fact, the military operations recorded between the two nations carry us usually in one or other of these directions. The military proceedings of Brasidas (Thucyd. iv, 124),—of Philip the son of Amyntas king of Macedon (Diodor. xvi, 8),—of Alexander the Great in the first year of his reign (Arrian, i, 5), all bring us to the pass near Lychnidus (compare Livy, xxxii, 9; Plutarch, Flaminin. c. 4); while the Illyrian Dardani and Autariatæ border upon Pæonia, to the north of Pelagonia, and threaten Macedonia from the north-east of the mountain-chain of Skardus. The Autariatæ are not far removed from the Pæonian Agrianes, who dwelt near the sources of the Strymon, and both Autariatæ and Dardani threatened the return march of Alexander from the Danube into Macedonia, after his successful campaign against the Getæ, low down in the course of that great river (Arrian, i, 5). Without being able to determine the precise line of Alexander’s march on this occasion, we may see that these two Illyrian tribes must have come down to attack him from Upper Mœsia, and on the eastern side of the Axius. This, and the fact that the Dardani were the immediate neighbors of the Pæonians, shows us that their seats could not have been far removed from Upper Mœsia (Livy, xlv, 29): the fauces Pelagoniæ (Livy, xxxi, 34) are the pass by which they entered Macedonia from the north. Ptolemy even places the Dardani at Skopiæ (Ueskioub) (iii, 9); his information about these countries seems better than that of Strabo.

[2] Hekatæi Fragm. ed. Klausen, Fr. 66-70; Thucyd. i, 26.

Skylax places the Encheleis north of Epidamnus and of the Taulantii. It may be remarked that Hekatæus seems to have communicated much information respecting the Adriatic: he noticed the city of Adria at the extremity of the Gulf, and the fertility and abundance of the territory around it (Fr. 58: compare Skymnus Chius, 384).

[3] Livy, xliii, 9-18. Mannert (Geograph. der Griech. und Römer, part vii, ch. 9, p. 386, seq.) collects the points and shows how little can be ascertained respecting the localities of these Illyrian tribes.

[4] Strabo, iv, p. 206.

[5] Strabo, vii, p. 315; Arrian, i, 5, 4-11. So impracticable is the territory, and so narrow the means of the inhabitants, in the region called Upper Albania, that most of its resident tribes even now are considered as free, and pay no tribute to the Turkish government: the Pachas cannot extort it without greater expense and difficulty than the sum gained would repay. The same was the case in Epirus, or Lower Albania, previous to the time of Ali Pacha: in Middle Albania, the country does not present the like difficulties, and no such exemptions are allowed (Boué, Voyage en Turquie, vol. iii, p. 192). These free Albanian tribes are in the same condition with regard to the Sultan as the Mysians and Pisidians in Asia Minor with regard to the king of Persia in ancient times (Xenophon, Anab. iii, 2, 23).

[6] Diodor. xv, 13: Polyb. ii, 4.

[7] See the description in Thucydidês (iv, 124-128); especially the exhortation which he puts into the mouth of Brasidas,—αὐτοκράτωρ μάχῃ, contrasted with the orderly array of Greeks.

“Illyriorum velocitas ad excursiones et impetus subitos.”

(Livy, xxxi, 35.)

[8] See Pouqueville, Voyage en Grèce, vol. i, chs. 23 and 24; Grisebach, Reise durch Rumelien und nach Brussa, vol. ii, pp. 138-139; Boué, La Turquie en Europe, Géographie Générale, vol. i, pp. 60-65.

[9] Skymnus Chius, v, 418-425.

[10] Thucydidês mentions the ὑφαντὰ τε καὶ λεῖα, καὶ ἡ ἄλλη κατασκευὴ, which the Greek settlements on the Thracian coast sent up to king Seuthês (ii, 98): similar to the ὑφασμαθ᾽ ἱερὰ, and to the χεριαρᾶν τεκτόνων δαίδαλα, offered as presents to the Delphian god (Eurip. Ion. 1141; Pindar, Pyth. v, 46).

[11] Strabo, vii, p. 317; Appian, Illyric. 17; Aristot. Mirab. Ausc. c. 138. For the extreme importance of the trade in salt, as a bond of connection, see the regulations of the Romans when they divided Macedonia into four provinces, with the distinct view of cutting off all connection between one and the other. All commercium and connubium were forbidden between them: the fourth region, whose capital was Pelagonia (and which included all the primitive or Upper Macedonia, east of the range of Pindus and Skardus), was altogether inland, and it was expressly forbidden to draw its salt from the third region, or the country between the Axius and the Peneius; while on the other hand the Illyrian Dardani, situated northward of Upper Macedonia, received express permission to draw their salt from this third or maritime region of Macedonia: the salt was to be conveyed from the Thermaic gulf along the road of the Axius to Stobi in Pæonia, and was there to be sold at a fixed price.

The inner or fourth region of Macedonia, which included the modern Bitoglia and Lake Castoria, could easily obtain its salt from the Adriatic, by the communication afterwards so well known as the Roman Egnatian way; but the communication of the Dardani with the Adriatic led through a country of the greatest possible difficulty, and it was probably a great convenience to them to receive their supply from the gulf of Therma by the road along the Vardar (Axius) (Livy, xlv, 29). Compare the route of Grisebach from Salonichi to Scutari, in his Reise durch Rumelien, vol. ii.

[12] About the cattle in Illyria, Aristotle, De Mirab. Ausc. c. 128. There is a remarkable passage in Polybius, wherein he treats the importation of slaves as a matter of necessity to Greece (iv, 37). The purchasing of the Thracian slaves in exchange for salt is noticed by Menander.—Θρᾶξ εὐγενὴς εῖ, πρὸς ἄλας ἠγορασμένος: see Proverb. Zenob. ii, 12, and Diogenian, i, 100.

The same trade was carried on in antiquity with the nations on and near Caucasus, from the seaport of Dioskurias at the eastern extremity of the Euxine (Strabo, xi, p. 506). So little have those tribes changed, that the Circassians now carry on much the same trade. Dr. Clarke’s statement carries us back to the ancient world: “The Circassians frequently sell their children to strangers, particularly to the Persians and Turks, and their princes supply the Turkish seraglios with the most beautiful of the prisoners of both sexes whom they take in war. In their commerce with the Tchernomorski Cossacks (north of the river Kuban), the Circassians bring considerable quantities of wood, and the delicious honey of the mountains, sewed up in goats’ hides, with the hair on the outside. These articles they exchange for salt, a commodity found in the neighboring lakes, of a very excellent quality. Salt is more precious than any other kind of wealth to the Circassians, and it constitutes the most acceptable present which can be offered to them. They weave mats of very great beauty, which find a ready market both in Turkey and Russia. They are also ingenious in the art of working silver and other metals, and in the fabrication of guns, pistols, and sabres. Some, which they offered us for sale, we suspected had been procured in Turkey in exchange for slaves. Their bows and arrows are made with inimitable skill, and the arrows being tipped with iron, and otherwise exquisitely wrought, are considered by the Cossacks and Russians as inflicting incurable wounds.” (Clarke’s Travels, vol. i, ch. xvi, p. 378.)

[13] Theophrast. Hist. Plant. iv, 5, 2; ix, 7, 4: Pliny. H. N. xiii, 2; xxi, 19: Strabo, vii, p. 326. Coins of Epidamnus and Apollonia are found not only in Macedonia, but in Thrace and in Italy: the trade of these two cities probably extended across from sea to sea, even before the construction of the Egnatian way; and the Inscription 2056 in the Corpus of Boeckh proclaims the gratitude of Odêssus (Varna) in the Euxine sea towards a citizen of Epidamnus (Barth, Corinthiorum Mercatur. Hist. p. 49; Aristot. Mirab. Auscult. c. 104).

[14] Herodot. v, 61; viii, 137: Strabo, vii, p. 326. Skylax places the λίθοι of Kadmus and Harmonia among the Illyrian Manii, north of the Encheleis (Diodor. xix, 53; Pausan. ix, 5, 3).

[15] Herodot. v, 22.

[16] Aristot. Polit. vii, 2, 6. That the Macedonians were chiefly village residents, appears from Thucyd. ii, 100, iv, 124, though this does not exclude some towns.

[17] Boué, Voyage en Turquie, vol. i, p. 199: “Un bon nombre de cols dirigés du nord au sud, comme pour inviter les habitans de passer d’une de ces provinces dans l’autre.”

[18] For the general physical character of the region, both east and west of Skardus, continued by Pindus, see the valuable charter of Grisebach’s Travels above referred to (Reisen, vol. ii. ch. xiii, pp. 125-130; c. xiv, p. 175; c. xvi, pp. 214-216; c. xvii, pp. 244-245).

Respecting the plains comprised in the ancient Pelagonia, see also the Journal of the younger Pouqueville, in his progress from Travnik in Bosnia to Janina. He remarks, in the two days’ march from Prelepe (Prilip) through Bitolia to Florina, “Dans cette route on parcourt des plaines luxuriantes couvertes de moissons, de vastes prairies remplies de trèfle, des plateaux abondans en pâturages inépuisables, où paissent d’innombrables troupeaux de bœufs, de chèvres, et de menu bétail.... Le blé, le maïs, et les autres grains sont toujours à très bas prix, à cause de la difficulté des débouchés, d’où l’on exporte une grande quantité de laines, de cotons, de peaux d’agneaux, de buffles, et de chevaux, qui passent par le moyen des caravanes en Hongrie.” (Pouqueville, Voyage dans la Grèce, tom. ii, ch. 62, p. 495.)

Again, M. Boué remarks upon this same plain, in his Critique des Cartes de la Turquie, Voyage, vol. iv, p. 483, “La plaine immense de Prilip, de Bitolia, et de Florina, n’est pas représentée (sur les cartes) de manière à ce qu’on ait une idée de son étendue, et surtout de sa largeur.... La plaine de Sarigoul est changée en vallée,” etc. The basin of the Haliakmôn he remarks to be represented equally imperfectly on the maps: compare also his Voyage, i, pp. 211, 299, 300.

I notice the more particularly the large proportion of fertile plain and valley in the ancient Macedonia, because it is often represented (and even by O. Müller, in his Dissertation on the ancient Macedonians, attached to his History of the Dorians) as a cold and rugged land, pursuant to the statement of Livy (xlv, 29), who says, respecting the fourth region of Macedonia as distributed by the Romans, “Frigida hæc omnis, duraque cultu, et aspera plaga est: cultorum quoque ingenia terræ similia habet: ferociores eos et accolæ barbari faciunt, nunc bello exercentes, nunc in pace miscentes ritus suos.”

This is probably true of the mountaineers included in the region, but it is too much generalized.

[19] Polyb. xxviii, 8, 9. This is the most distinct testimony which we possess, and it appears to me to contradict the opinion both of Mannert (Geogr. der Gr. und Röm. vol. vii, p. 492) and of O. Müller (On the Macedonians, sects. 28-36), that the native Macedonians were of Illyrian descent.

[20] The Macedonian military array seems to have been very like that of the Thessalians,—horsemen well-mounted and armed, and maintaining good order (Thucyd. ii, 101): of their infantry, before the time of Philip son of Amyntas, we do not hear much.

“Macedoniam, quæ tantis barbarorum gentibus attingitur, ut semper Macedonicis imperatoribus iidem fines imperii fuerint qui gladiorum atque pilorum.” (Cicero, in Pison. c. xvi.)

[21] Strabo, lib. vii, Fragm. 20, ed. Tafel.

[22] I have followed Herodotus in stating the original series of occupants on the Thermaic gulf, anterior to the Macedonian conquests. Thucydidês introduces the Pæonians between Bottiæans and Mygdonians: he says that the Pæonians possessed “a narrow strip of land on the side of the Axius, down to Pella and the sea,” (ii, 96.) If this were true, it would leave hardly any room for the Bottiæans, whom, nevertheless, Thucydidês recognizes on the coast; for the whole space between the mouths of the two rivers, Axius and Haliakmôn, is inconsiderable; moreover, I cannot but suspect that Thucydidês has been led to believe, by finding in the Iliad that the Pæonian allies of Troy came from the Axius, that there must have been old Pæonian settlements at the mouth of that river, and that he has advanced the inference as if it were a certified fact. The case is analogous to what he says about the Bœotians in his preface (upon which O. Müller has already commented); he stated the emigration of the Bœotians into Bœotia as having taken place after the Trojan war, but saves the historical credit of the Homeric catalogue by adding that there had been a fraction of them in Bœotia before, from whom the contingent which went to Troy was furnished (ἀποδασμός, Thucyd. i, 12).

On this occasion, therefore, having to choose between Herodotus and Thucydidês, I prefer the former. O. Müller (On the Macedonians, sect. 11) would strike out just so much of the assertion of Thucydidês as positively contradicts Herodotus, and retain the rest; he thinks that the Pæonians came down very near to the mouth of the river, but not quite. I confess that this does not satisfy me; the more so as the passage from Livy by which he would support his view will appear, on examination, to refer to Pæonia high up the Axius,—not to a supposed portion of Pæonia near the mouth (Livy, xlv, 29).

Again, I would remark that the original residence of the Pierians between the Peneius and the Haliakmôn rests chiefly upon the authority of Thucydidês: Herodotus knows the Pierians in their seats between Mount Pangæus and the sea, but he gives no intimation that they had before dwelt south of the Haliakmôn; the tract between the Haliakmôn and the Peneius is by him conceived as Lower Macedonia, or Macedonis, reaching to the borders of Thessaly (vii, 127-173). I make this remark in reference to sects. 7-17 of O. Müller’s Dissertation, wherein the conception of Herodotus appears incorrectly apprehended, and some erroneous inferences founded upon it. That this tract was the original Pieria, there is sufficient reason for believing (compare Strabo, vii, Frag. 22, with Tafel’s note, and ix, p. 410; Livy, xliv, 9); but Herodotus notices it only as Macedonia.

[23] Skylax, c. 67. The conquests of Philip extended the boundary beyond the Strymon to the Nestus (Strabo, lib. vii, Fragm. 33, ed. Tafel).

[24] See this contrast noticed in Grisebach, especially in reference to the wide but barren region called the plain of Mustapha, no great distance from the left bank of the Axius (Grisebach, Reisen, v, ii, p. 225; Boué, Voyage, vol. i, p. 168).

For the description of the banks of the Axius (Vardar) and the Strymon, see Boué, Voyage en Turquie, vol. i, pp. 196-199. “La plaine ovale de Seres est un des diamans de la couronne de Byzance,” etc. He remarks how incorrectly the course of the Strymon is depicted on the maps (vol. iv, p. 482).

[25] The expression of Strabo or his Epitomator—τὴν Παιονίαν μέχρι Πελαγονίας καὶ Πιερίας ἐκτετάσθαι,—seems quite exact, though Tafel finds a difficulty in it. See his Note on the Vatican Fragments of the seventh book of Strabo, Fr. 37. The Fragment 40 is expressed much more loosely. Compare Herodot. v, 13-16, vii, 124; Thucyd. ii, 96; Diodor. xx, 19.

[26] Herodot. viii, 137-138.

[27] Herodot. v, 22. Argeadæ, Strabo, lib. vii, Fragm. 20, ed. Tafel, which may probably have been erroneously changed into Ægeadæ (Justin, vii, 1).

[28] Thucyd. iii, 7; Herodot. vi, 34-37: compare the story of Zalmoxis among the Thracians (iv, 94).

[29] Strabo, vii, p. 326.

[30] Herodot. viii, 139. Thucydidês agrees in the number of kings, but does not give the names (ii, 100).

For the divergent lists of the early Macedonian kings, see Mr. Clinton’s Fasti Hellenici, vol. ii, p. 221.

[31] This may be gathered, I think, from Herodot. vii, 73 and viii, 138. The alleged migration of the Briges into Asia, and the change of their name to Phryges, is a statement which I do not venture to repeat as credible.

[32] Herodot. vii, 123. Herodotus recognizes both Bottiæans between the Axius and the Haliakmôn,—and Bottiæans at Olynthus, whom the Macedonians had expelled from the Thermaic gulf,—at the time when Xerxês passed (viii, 127). These two statements seem to me compatible, and both admissible: the former Bottiæans were expelled by the Macedonians subsequently, anterior to the Peloponnesian war.

My view of these facts, therefore, differs somewhat from that of O. Müller (Macedonians, sect. 16).

[33] Herodot. i, 59, v, 94; viii, 136.

[34] Mannert assimilates the civilization of the Thracians to that of the Gauls when Julius Cæsar invaded them,—a great injustice to the latter, in my judgment (Geograph. Gr. und Röm. vol. vii, p. 23).

[35] Cicero, De Officiis, ii, 7. “Barbarum compunctum notis Threiciis.” Plutarch (De Serâ Numin. Vindict. c. 13, p. 558) speaks as if the women only were tattooed, in Thrace: he puts a singular interpretation upon it, as a continuous punishment on the sex for having slain Orpheus.

[36] For the Thracians generally, see Herodot. v, 3-9, vii, 110, viii, 116, ix, 119; Thucyd. ii, 100, vii, 29-30; Xenophon, Anabas. vii, 2, 38, and the seventh book of the Anabasis generally, which describes the relations of Xenophon and the Ten Thousand Greeks with Seuthês the Thracian prince.

[37] Xenoph. Anab. vi, 2, 17; Herodot. vii, 75.

[38] Tacit. Annal. ii, 66; iv, 46.

[39] Plutarch, Quæst. Græc. p. 293.

[40] Skylax, c. 67.

[41] For the description of Chalkidikê, see Grisebach’s Reisen, vol. ii, ch. 10, pp. 6-16, and Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, vol. iii, ch. 24, p. 152.

If we read attentively the description of Chalkidikê as given by Skylax (c. 67), we shall see that he did not conceive it as three-pronged, but as terminating only in the peninsula of Pallênê, with Potidæa at its isthmus.

[42] Herodot. vii, 123; Skymnus Chius, v, 627.

[43] Strabo, x, p. 447; Thucyd. iv, 120-123; Pompon. Mela, ii, 2; Herodot. vii, 123.

[44] Herodot. vii, 122; viii, 127. Stephanus Byz. (v. Παλλήνη) gives us some idea of the mythes of the lost Greek writers, Hegesippus and Theagenês about Pallênê.

[45] Thucyd. iv, 84, 103, 109. See Mr. Clinton’s Fasti Hellenici, ad ann. 654 B. C.

[46] Solinus, x, 10.

[47] Herodot. i, 168; vii, 58-59, 109; Skymnus Chius, v, 675.

[48] Thucyd. i, 100, iv, 102; Herodot. v, 11. Large quantities of corn are now exported from this territory to Constantinople (Leake, North. Gr. vol. iii, ch. 25, p. 172).

[49] Herodot. vii, 108-109; Thucyd. i, 101.


... ἥδε δ᾽ ὥστ᾽ ὄνου ῥαχις

Ἕστηκεν, ὕλης ἀγρίας ἐπιστεφής.

Archiloch. Fragm. 17-18, ed. Schneidewin.

The striking propriety of this description, even after the lapse of two thousand five hundred years, may be seen in the Travels of Grisebach, vol. i. ch. 7, pp. 210-218, and in Prokesch, Denkwürdigkeiten des Orients, Th. 3, p. 612. The view of Thasus from the sea justifies the title Ἠερίη (Œnomaus ap. Euseb. Præpar. Evang. vii, p. 256; Steph. Byz. Θάσσος).

Thasus (now Tasso) contains at present a population of about six thousand Greeks, dispersed in twelve small villages; it exports some good ship-timber, principally fir, of which there is abundance on the island, together with some olive oil and wax; but it cannot grow corn enough even for this small population. No mines either are now, or have been for a long time, in work.

[51] Archiloch. Fragm. 5, ed. Schneidewin; Aristophan. Pac. 1298, with the Scholia; Strabo, x, p. 487, xii, p. 549; Thucyd. iv, 104.

[52] Skymnus Chius, 699-715; Plutarch, Quæst. Græc. c. 57. See M. Raoul Rochette, Histoire des Colonies Grecques chs. xi-xiv, vol. iii, pp. 273-298.

[53] Aristot. Polit. iv, 4, l.

[54] Polyb. iv, 39, Phylarch. Fragm. 10, ed. Didot.

[55] Skymnus Chius, 720-740; Herodot. ii, 33, vi, 33; Strabo, vii, p. 319; Skylax, c. 68; Mannert, Geograph. Gr. Röm. vol. vii, ch. 8, pp. 126-140.

An inscription in Boeckh’s Collection proves the existence of a pentapolis, or union, of five Grecian cities on this coast. Tomi, Kallatis, Mesambria, and Apollônia, are presumed by Blaramberg to have belonged to this union. See Inscript. No. 2056 c.

Syncellus, however (p. 213), places the foundation of Istria considerably earlier, in 651 B. C.

[56] Herodot. viii, 90.

[57] See the discussion of the era of Kyrênê in Thrige, Historia Cyrênês, chs. 22, 23, 24, where the different statements are noticed and compared.

[58] Schol. ad Pindar. Pyth. iv.

[59] Herodot. iv, 150-154.

[60] Herodot. iv, 155.

[61] Herodot. iv, 158. ἐνθαῦτα γὰρ ὁ οὐρανὸς τέτρηται. Compare the jest ascribed to the Byzantian envoys, on occasion of the vaunts of Lysimachus (Plutarch, De Fortunâ Alexandr. Magn. c. 3, p. 338).

[62] Herodot. iv, 198.

[63] See, about the productive powers of Kyrênê and its surrounding region, Herodot. iv, 199; Kallimachus (himself a Kyrenæan), Hymn. ad Apoll. 65, with the note of Spanheim; Pindar, Pyth. iv, with the Scholia passim; Diodor. iii, 49; Arrian, Indica, xliii, 13. Strabo (xvii, p. 837) saw Kyrênê from the sea in sailing by, and was struck with the view: he does not appear to have landed.

The results of modern observation in that country are given in the Viaggio of Della Cella and in the exploring expedition of Captain Beechey; see an interesting summary in the History of the Barbary States, by Dr. Russell (Edinburgh, 1835), ch. v, pp. 160-171. The chapter on this subject (c. 6) in Thrige’s Historia Cyrênês is defective, as the author seems never to have seen the careful and valuable observations of Captain Beechey, and proceeds chiefly on the statements of Della Cella.

I refer briefly to a few among the many interesting notices of Captain Beechey. For the site of the ancient Hesperides (Bengazi), and the “beautiful fertile plain near it, extending to the foot of a long chain of mountains about fourteen miles distant to the south-eastward,”—see Beechey, Expedition, ch. xi, pp. 287-315; “a great many datepalm-trees in the neighborhood,” (ch. xii, pp. 340-345.)

The distance between Bengazi (Hesperides) and Ptolemeta (Ptolemais, the port of Barka) is fifty-seven geographical miles, along a fertile and beautiful plain, stretching from the mountains to the sea. Between these two was situated the ancient Teucheira (ib. ch. xii, p. 347), about thirty-eight miles from Hesperides (p. 349), in a country highly productive wherever it is cultivated (pp. 350-355). Exuberant vegetation exists near the deserted Ptolemeta, or Ptolemais, after the winter rains (p. 364). The circuit of Ptolemais, as measured by the ruins of its walls, was about three and a half English miles (p. 380).

The road from Barka to Kyrênê presents continued marks of ancient chariot-wheels (ch. xiv, p. 406); after passing the plain of Mergê, it becomes hilly and woody, “but on approaching Grenna (Kyrênê) it becomes more clear of wood; the valleys produce fine crops of barley, and the hills excellent pasturage for cattle,” (p. 409.) Luxuriant vegetation after the winter rains in the vicinity of Kyrênê (ch. xv, p. 465).

[64] Theophrast. Hist. Pl. vi, 3, 3; ix, 1, 7; Skylax, c. 107.

[65] Isokratês, Or. v, ad Philipp. p. 84, (p. 107, ed. Bek.) Thêra being a colony of Lacedæmon, and Kyrênê of Thêra, Isokratês speaks of Kyrênê as a colony of Lacedæmon.

[66] Pindar, Pyth. iv, 26. Κυρήνην—ἀστέων ῥίζαν. In the time of Herodotus these three cities may possibly have been spoken of as a Tripolis; but no one before Alexander the Great would have understood the expression Pentapolis, used under the Romans to denote Kyrênê, Apollonia, Ptolemais, Teucheira, and Berenikê, or Hesperides.

Ptolemais, originally the port of Barka, had become autonomous, and of greater importance than the latter.

[67] The accounts respecting the lake called in ancient times Tritônis are, however, very uncertain: see Dr. Shaw’s Travels in Barbary, p. 127. Strabo mentions a lake so called near Hesperides (xvii, p. 836); Pherekydês talks of it as near Irasa (Pherekyd. Fragm. 33 d. ed. Didot).

[68] Eratosthenês, born at Kyrênê and resident at Alexandria, estimated the land-journey between the two at five hundred and twenty-five Roman miles (Pliny, H. N. v, 6).

[69] Sallust, Bell. Jugurth. c. 75; Valerius Maximus, v, 6. Thrige (Histor. Cyr. c. 49) places this division of the Syrtis between Kyrênê and Carthage at some period between 400-330 B. C., anterior to the loss of the independence of Kyrênê; but I cannot think that it was earlier than the Ptolemies: compare Strabo, xvii, p. 836.

[70] The Carthaginian establishment Neapolis is mentioned by Skylax (c. 109), and Strabo states that Leptis was another name for the same place (xvii, p. 835).

[71] Skylax, c. 107; Vopiscus, Vit. Prob. c. 9; Strabo, xvii, p. 838; Pliny, H. N. v, 5. From the Libyan tribe Marmaridæ was derived the name Marmarika, applied to that region.

[72] ταπεινή τε καὶ ψαμμώδης (Herodot. iv, 191); Sallust, Bell. Jugurthin. c. 17.

Captain Beechey points out the mistaken conceptions which have been entertained of this region:—

“It is not only in the works of early writers that we find the nature of the Syrtis misunderstood; for the whole of the space between Mesurata (i. e. the cape which forms the western extremity of the Great Syrtis) and Alexandria is described by Leo Africanus, under the title of Barka, as a wild and desert country, where there is neither water nor land capable of cultivation. He tells us that the most powerful among the Mohammedan invaders possessed themselves of the fertile parts of the coast, leaving the others only the desert for their abode, exposed to all the miseries and privations attendant upon it; for this desert (he continues) is far removed from any habitations, and nothing is produced there whatever. So that if these poor people would have a supply of grain, or of any other articles necessary to their existence, they are obliged to pledge their children to the Sicilians who visit the coast; who, on providing them with these things, carry off the children they have received....

“It appears to be chiefly from Leo Africanus that modern historians have derived their idea of what they term the district and desert of Barka. Yet the whole of the Cyrenaica is comprehended within the limits which they assign to it; and the authority of Herodotus, without citing any other, would be amply sufficient to prove that this tract of country not only was no desert, but was at all times remarkable for its fertility.... The impression left upon our minds, after reading the account of Herodotus, would be much more consistent with the appearance and peculiarities of both, in their actual state, than that which would result from the description of any succeeding writer.... The district of Barka, including all the country between Mesurata and Alexandria, neither is, nor ever was, so destitute and barren as has been represented: the part of it which constitutes the Cyrenaica is capable of the highest degree of cultivation, and many parts of the Syrtis afford excellent pasturage, while some of it is not only adapted to cultivation, but does actually produce good crops of barley and dhurra.” (Captain Beechey, Expedition to Northern Coast of Africa, ch. x, pp. 263, 265, 267, 269: comp. ch. xi, p. 321.)

[73] Justin, xiii, 7. “Amœnitatem loci et fontium ubertatem.” Captain Beechey notices this annual migration of the Bedouin Arabs:—

“Teucheira (on the coast between Hesperides and Barka) abounds in wells of excellent water, which are reserved by the Arabs for their summer consumption, and only resorted to when the more inland supplies are exhausted: at other times it is uninhabited. Many of the excavated tombs are occupied as dwelling-houses by the Arabs during their summer visits to that part of the coast.” (Beechey, Exp. to North. Afric. ch. xii, p. 354.)

And about the wide mountain plain, or table-land of Mergê, the site of the ancient Barka, “The water from the mountains inclosing the plain settles in pools and lakes in different parts of this spacious valley; and affords a constant supply during the summer months, to the Arabs who frequent it.” (ch. xiii, p. 390.) The red earth which Captain Beechey observed in this plain is noticed by Herodotus in regard to Libya (ii, 12). Stephan. Byz. notices also the bricks used in building (v. Βάρκη). Derna, too, to the eastward of Cyrene on the sea-coast, is amply provided with water (ch. xvi, p. 471).

About Kyrênê itself, Captain Beechey states: “During the time, about a fortnight, of our absence from Kyrene, the changes which had taken place in the appearance of the country about it were remarkable. We found the hills on our return covered with Arabs, their camels, flocks, and herds; the scarcity of water in the interior at this time having driven the Bedouins to the mountains, and particularly to Kyrene, where the springs afford at all times an abundant supply. The corn was all cut, and the high grass and luxuriant vegetation, which we had found it so difficult to wade through on former occasions, had been eaten down to the roots by the cattle.” (ch. xviii, pp. 517-520.)

The winter rains are also abundant, between January and March, at Bengazi (the ancient Hesperides): sweet springs of water near the town (ch. xi, pp. 282, 315, 327). About Ptolemeta, or Ptolemais, the port of the ancient Barka, ib. ch. xii, p. 363.

[74] Herodot. iv, 170-171. παραλία σφόδρα εὐδαίμων. Strabo, ii, p. 131. πολυμήλου καὶ πολυκαρποτάτας χθονὸς, Pindar. Pyth. ix, 7.

[75] Herodot. iv, 186, 187, 189, 190. Νομάδες κρεοφάγοι καὶ γαλακτοπόται. Pindar, Pyth. ix, 127, ἱππευταὶ Νομάδες. Pompon. Mela, i, 8.

[76] See the fourth, fifth, and ninth Pythian Odes of Pindar. In the description given by Sophoklês (Electra, 695) of the Pythian contests, in which pretence is made that Orestês has perished, ten contending chariots are supposed, of which two are Libyan, from Barka: of the remaining eight, one only comes from each place named.

[77] Herodot. iv, 172-182. Compare Hornemann’s Travels in Africa, p. 48, and Heeren, Verkehr und Handel der Alten Welt, Th. ii, Abth. 1, Abschnitt vi, p. 226.

[78] Herodot. iv, 175-188.

[79] Herodot. iv, 178, 179, 195, 196.

[80] Herodot. iv, 42.

[81] Herodot. iv, 170. νόμους δὲ τοὺς πλείστους μιμέεσθαι ἐπιτηδεύουσι τοὺς Κυρηναίων.

[82] Herodot. iv, 161. Θηραίων καὶ τῶν περιοίκων, etc.

[83] Herodot. iv, 186-189. Compare, also, the story in Pindar. Pyth. ix, 109-126, about Alexidamus, the ancestor of Telesikratês the Kyrenæan; how the former won, by his swiftness in running, a Libyan maiden, daughter of Antæus of Irasa,—and Kallimachus, Hymn. Apoll. 86.

[84] Herodot. iv, 155.

[85] Herodot. iv, 164.

[86] Respecting the chronology of the Battiad princes, see Boeckh, ad Pindar. Pyth. iv, p. 265, and Thirge, Histor. Cyrenes, p. 127, seq.

[87] Herodot. iv, 159.

[88] Herodot. ii, 180-181.

[89] Herodot. iv, 160; Skylax, c. 107; Hekatæus, Fragm. 300, ed. Klausen.

[90] Herodot. iv, 204.

[91] Herodot. iv, 160. Plutarch (De Virtutibus Mulier. p. 261) and Polyænus (viii, 41) give various details of this stratagem on the part of Eryxô; Learchus being in love with her. Plutarch also states that Learchus maintained himself as despot for some time by the aid of Egyptian troops from Amasis, and committed great cruelties. His story has too much the air of a romance to be transcribed into the text, nor do I know from what authority it is taken.

[92] Herodot. iv, 161. Τῷ βασιλέϊ Βάττῳ τεμένεα ἐξελὼν καὶ ἱρωσύνας, τὰ ἄλλα πάντα τὰ πρότερον εἶχον οἱ βασιλεῖς ἐς μέσον τῷ δήμῳ ἔθηκε.

I construe the word τεμένεα as meaning all the domains, doubtless large, which had belonged to the Battiad princes; contrary to Thrige (Historia Cyrênês, ch. 38, p. 150), who restricts the expression to revenues derived from sacred property. The reference of Wesseling to Hesych.—Βάττου σίλφιον—is of no avail for illustrating this passage.

The supposition of O. Müller, that the preceding king had made himself despotic by means of Egyptian soldiers, appears to me neither probable in itself, nor admissible upon the simple authority of Plutarch’s romantic story, when we take into consideration the silence of Herodotus. Nor is Müller correct in affirming that Demônax “restored the supremacy of the community:” that legislator superseded the old kingly political privileges, and framed a new constitution (see O. Müller, History of Dorians, b. iii, ch. 9. s. 13.)

[93] Both O. Müller (Dor. b. iii, 4, 5), and Thrige (Hist. Cyren. c. 38, p. 148), speak of Demônax as having abolished the old tribes and created new ones. I do not conceive the change in this manner. Demônax did not abolish any tribes, but distributed for the first time the inhabitants into tribes. It is possible indeed that, before his time, the Theræans of Kyrênê may have been divided among themselves into distinct tribes; but the other inhabitants, having emigrated from a great number of different places, had never before been thrown into tribes at all. Some formal enactment or regulation was necessary for this purpose, to define and sanction that religious, social, and political communion, which went to make up the idea of the Tribe. It is not to be assumed, as a matter of course, that there must necessarily have been tribes anterior to Demônax, among a population so miscellaneous in its origin.

[94] Hesychius, Τριακάτιοι; Eustath. ad Hom. Odyss. p. 303; Herakleidês Pontic. De Polit. c. 4.

[95] Herodot. iv, 163. Ἐπὶ μὲν τέσσερας Βάττους, καὶ Ἀρκεσιλέως τέσσερας, διδοῖ ὑμῖν Λοξίης βασιλεύειν Κυρήνης· πλέον μέντοι τούτου οὐδὲ πειρᾶσθαι παραινέει.

[96] Herodot. iv, 163-164.

[97] Herodot. iii, 13; iv, 165-166.

[98] Polyænus (Strateg. vii, 28) gives a narrative in many respects different from this of Herodotus.

[99] Herodot. iv, 203-204.

[100] Herodot. iv, 205.

[101] Thucyd. i, 15.

[102] Thucyd. i, 26. See the tale in Pausanias (v, 25, 1) of the ancient chorus sent annually from Messênê in Sicily across the strait to Rhegium, to a local festival of the Rhegians,—thirty-five boys with a chorus-master and a flute-player: on one unfortunate occasion, all of them perished in crossing. For the Theôry (or solemn religious deputation) periodically sent by the Athenians to Delos, see Plutarch, Nicias, c. 3; Plato, Phædon, c. 1, p. 58. Compare also Strabo, ix, p. 419, on the general subject.

[103] Homer, Iliad, xi, 879, xxiii, 679; Hesiod, Opp. Di. 651.

[104] Homer, Hymn. Apoll. 150; Thucyd. iii, 104.

[105] Pausan. v, 6, 5; Ælian, N. H. x, 1; Thucyd. iii, 104. When Ephesus, and the festival called Ephesia, had become the great place of Ionic meeting, the presence of women was still continued (Dionys. Hal. A. R. iv, 25).

[106] Strabo, viii, p. 353; Pindar, Olymp. viii, 2; Xenophon, Hellen. iv, 7, 2; iii, 2, 22.

[107] See K. F. Hermann, Lehrbuch der Griechischen Staats-Alterthümer, sect. 10.

[108] Dionys. Halikarn. Ant. Rom. i, 71; Phlegon. De Olympiad. p. 140. For an illustration of the stress laid by the Greeks on the purely honorary rewards of Olympia, and on the credit which they took to themselves as competitors, not for money, but for glory, see Herodot. viii, 26. Compare the Scholia on Pindar, Nem. and Isthm. Argument, pp. 425-514, ed. Boeckh.

[109] See the sentiment of Agesilaus, somewhat contemptuous, respecting the chariot-race, as described by Xenophon (Agesilaus, ix, 6); the general feeling of Greece, however, is more in conformity with what Thucydidês (vi, 16) puts into the mouth of Alkibiadês, and Xenophon into that of Simonidês (Xenophon, Hiero, xi, 5). The great respect attached to a family which had gained chariot victories is amply attested: see Herodot. vi, 35, 36, 103, 126,—οἰκίη τεθριπποτρόφος,—and vi, 70, about Demaratus king of Sparta.

[110] Antholog. Palatin. ix, 588; vol. ii. p. 299, Jacobs.

[111] The original Greek word for this covering (which surrounded the middle hand and upper portion of the fingers, leaving both the ends of the fingers and the thumb exposed) was ἱμὰς, the word for a thong, strap, or whip, of leather: the special word μύρμηξ seems to have been afterwards introduced (Hesychius, v. Ἱμάς): see Homer, Iliad, xxiii, 686. Cestus, or Cæstus, is the Latin word (Virg. Æn. v, 404), the Greek word κεστός is an adjective annexed to ἱμὰς—κεστὸν ἱμάντα—πολύκεστος ἱμὰς (Iliad, xiv, 214; iii, 371). See Pausan. viii, 40, 3, for the description of the incident which caused an alteration in this hand-covering at the Nemean games: ultimately, it was still farther hardened by the addition of iron.

[112] Ἀέθλων πεμπαμέρους ἁμίλλαις,—Pindar, Olymp. v, 6: compare Schol. ad Pindar. Olymp. iii, 33.

See the facts respecting the Olympic Agôn collected by Corsini (Dissertationes Agonisticæ, Dissert. i, sects. 8, 9, 10), and still more amply set forth with a valuable commentary, by Krause (Olympia, oder Darstellung der grossen Olympischen Spiele, Wien, 1838, sects. 8-11 especially).

[113] Hom. Hymn. Apoll. 262.

Πημανέει σ᾽ αἰεὶ κτυπὸς ἵππων ὠκειάων,

Ἀρδόμενοί τ᾽ οὐρῆες ἐμῶν ἱερῶν ἀπὸ πηγέων·

Ἔνθα τις ἀνθρώπων βουλήσεται εἰσοράασθαι

Ἅρματά τ᾽ εὐποίητα καὶ ὠκυπόδων κτυπὸν ἵππων,

Ἢ νηόν τε μέγαν καὶ κτήματα πόλλ᾽ ἐνεόντα.

Also v. 288-394. γυάλων ὑπὸ Παρνήσοιο—484. ὑπὸ πτυχὶ Παρνήσοιο—Pindar, Pyth. viii, 90. Πυθῶνος ἐν γυάλοις—Strabo, ix, p. 418. πετρωδὲς χώριον καὶ θεατροειδὲς—Heliodorus, Æthiop. ii, 26: compare Will. Götte, Das Delphische Orakel (Leipzig, 1839), pp. 39-42.

[114] Βωμοί μ᾽ ἔφερβον, οὕπιών τ᾽ ἀεὶ ξένος, says Ion (in Euripidês, Ion. 334) the slave of Apollo, and the verger of his Delphian temple, who waters it from the Kastalian spring, sweeps it with laurel boughs, and keeps off with his bow and arrows the obtrusive birds (Ion, 105, 143, 154). Whoever reads the description of Professor Ulrichs (Reisen und Forschungen in Griechenland, ch. 7, p. 110) will see that the birds—eagles, vultures, and crows—are quite numerous enough to have been exceedingly troublesome. The whole play of Ion conveys a lively idea of the Delphian temple and its scenery, with which Euripidês was doubtless familiar.

[115] There is considerable perplexity respecting Krissa and Kirrha, and it still remains a question among scholars whether the two names denote the same place or different places; the former is the opinion of O. Müller (Orchomenos, p. 495). Strabo distinguishes the two. Pausanias identifies them, conceiving no other town to have ever existed except the seaport (x, 37, 4). Mannert (Geogr. Gr. Röm. viii, p. 148) follows Strabo, and represents them as different.

I consider the latter to be the correct opinion, upon the grounds, and partly, also, on the careful topographical examination of Professor Ulrichs, which affords an excellent account of the whole scenery of Delphi (Reisen und Forschungen in Griechenland, Bremen, 1840, chapters 1, 2, 3). The ruins described by him on the high ground near Kastri, called the Forty Saints, may fairly be considered as the ruins of Krissa; the ruins of Kirrha are on the sea-shore near the mouth of the Pleistus. The plain beneath might without impropriety be called either the Krissæan or the Kirrhæan plain (Herodot. viii, 32; Strabo, ix, p. 419). Though Strabo was right in distinguishing Krissa from Kirrha, and right also in the position of the latter under Kirphis, he conceived incorrectly the situation of Krissa; and his representation that there were two wars,—in the first of which, Kirrha was destroyed by the Krissæans, while in the second, Krissa itself was conquered by the Amphiktyons,—is not confirmed by any other authority.

The mere circumstance that Pindar gives us in three separate passages, Κρίσᾳ, Κρισαῖον, Κρισαίοις (Isth. ii, 26; Pyth. v, 49, vi, 18), and in five other passages, Κίῤῥᾳ, Κίῤῥας, Κίῤῥαθεν (Pyth. iii, 33, vii, 14, viii, 26, x, 24, xi, 20), renders it almost certain that the two names belong to different places, and are not merely two different names for the same place; the poet could not in this case have any metrical reason for varying the denomination, as the metre of the two words is similar.

[116] Athenæus, xiii, p. 560; Æschinês cont. Ktesiphont. c. 36, p. 406; Strabo, ix, p. 418. Of the Akragallidæ, or Kraugallidæ, whom Æschinês mentions along with the Kirrhæans as another impious race who dwelt in the neighborhood of the god,—and who were overthrown along with the Kirrhæans,—we have no farther information. O. Müller’s conjecture would identify them with the Dryopes (Dorians, i, 2, 5, and his Orchomenos, p. 496); Harpokration, v. Κραυγαλλίδαι.

[117] Schol. ad Pindar, Pyth. Introduct.: Schol. ad Pindar, Nem. ix, 2; Plutarch, Solon, c. 11; Pausan. ii, 9, 6. Pausanias (x, 37, 4) and Polyænus (Strateg. iii, 6) relate a stratagem of Solon, or of Eurylochus, to poison the water of the Kirrhæans with hellebore.

[118] Eurip. Ion, 230.

[119] Thucyd. i, 112.

[120] Mr. Clinton thinks that the Pythian games were celebrated in the autumn: M. Boeckh refers the celebration to the spring: Krause agrees with Boeckh. (Clinton, Fast. Hell. vol. ii, p. 200, Appendix; Boeckh, ad Corp. Inscr. No. 1688, p. 813; Krause, Die Pythien, Nemeen und Isthmien, vol. ii, pp. 29-35.)

Mr. Clinton’s opinion appears to me nearly the truth; the real time, as I conceive it, being about the beginning of August, or end of July. Boeckh admits that, with the exception of Thucydidês (v, 1-19), the other authorities go to sustain it; but he relies on Thucydidês to outweigh them. Now the passage of Thucydidês, properly understood, seems to me as much against Boeckh’s view as the rest.

I may remark, as a certain additional reason in the case, that the Isthmia appear to have been celebrated in the third year of each Olympiad, and in the spring (Krause, p. 187). It seems improbable that these two great festivals should have come one immediately after the other, which, nevertheless, must be supposed, if we adopt the opinion of Boeckh and Krause.

The Pythian games would be sometimes a little earlier, sometimes a little later, in consequence of the time of full moon: notice being always sent round by the administrators beforehand of the commencement of the sacred month. See the references in K. F. Hermann, Lehrbuch der gottesdienstl. Alterth. der Griechen, ch. 49, not. 12.—This note has been somewhat modified since my first edition,—see the note vol. vi, ch. liv.

[121] Demosthen. Philipp. iii, p. 119.

[122] Pindar, Nem. x, 28-33.

[123] Strabo, viii, p. 377; Plutarch, Arat. c. 28; Mannert. Geogr. Gr. Röm. pt. viii, p. 650. Compare the second chapter in Krause, Die Pythien, Nemeen und Isthmien, vol. ii. p. 108, seq.

That the Kleônæans continued without interruption to administer the Nemean festival down to Olympiad 80 (460 B. C.), or thereabouts, is the rational inference from Pindar, Nem. x, 42: compare Nem. iv, 17. Eusebius, indeed, states that the Argeians seized the administration for themselves in Olympiad 53, and in order to reconcile this statement with the above passage in Pindar, critics have concluded that the Argeians lost it again, and that the Kleônæans resumed it a little before Olympiad 80. I take a different view, and am disposed to reject the statement of Eusebius altogether; the more so as Pindar’s tenth Nemean ode is addressed to an Argeian citizen named Theiæus. If there had been at that time a standing dispute between Argos and Kleônæ on the subject of the administration of the Nemea, the poet would hardly have introduced the mention of the Nemean prizes gained by the ancestors of Theiæus, under the untoward designation of “prizes received from Kleônæan men.”

[124] See Boeckh, Corp. Inscript. No. 1126.

[125] K. F. Hermann, in his Lehrbuch der Griechischen Staatsalterthümer (ch. 32, not. 7. and ch. 65, not. 3), and again in his more recent work (Lehrbuch der gottesdienstlichen Alterthümer der Griechen, part iii, ch. 49, also not. 6), both highly valuable publications, maintains,—1. That the exaltation of the Isthmian and Nemean games into Pan-Hellenic importance arose directly after and out of the fall of the despots of Corinth and Sikyon. 2. That it was brought about by the paramount influence of the Dorians, especially by Sparta. 3. That the Spartans put down the despots of both these two cities.

The last of these three propositions appears to me untrue in respect to Sikyon,—improbable in respect to Corinth: my reasons for thinking so have been given in a former chapter. And if this be so, the reason for presuming Spartan intervention as to the Isthmian and Nemean games falls to the ground; for there is no other proof of it, nor does Sparta appear to have interested herself in any of the four national festivals except the Olympic, with which she was from an early period peculiarly connected.

Nor can I think that the first of Hermann’s three propositions is at all tenable. No connection whatever can be shown between Sikyon and the Nemean games; and it is the more improbable in this case that the Sikyonians should have been active, inasmuch as they had under Kleisthenês a little before contributed to nationalize the Pythian games: a second interference for a similar purpose ought not to be presumed without some evidence. To prove his point about the Isthmia, Hermann cites only a passage of Solinus (vii, 14), “Hoc spectaculum, per Cypselum tyrannum intermissum, Corinthii Olymp. 49 solemnitati pristinæ reddiderunt.” To render this passage at all credible, we must read Cypselidas instead of Cypselum, which deducts from the value of a witness whose testimony can never under any circumstances be rated high. But granting the alteration, there are two reasons against the assertion of Solinus. One, a positive reason, that Solon offered a large reward to Athenian victors at the Isthmian games: his legislation falls in 594 B. C., ten years before the time when the Isthmia are said by Solinus to have been renewed after a long intermission. The other reason (negative, though to my mind also powerful) is the silence of Herodotus in that long invective which he puts into the mouth of Sosiklês against the Kypselids (v, 92). If Kypselus had really been guilty of so great an insult to the feelings of the people as to suppress their most solemn festival, the fact would hardly have been omitted in the indictment which Sosiklês is made to urge against him. Aristotle, indeed, representing Kypselus as a mild and popular despot, introduces a contrary view of his character, which, if we admitted it, would of itself suffice to negative the supposition that he had suppressed the Isthmia.

[126] Plutarch, Arat. c. 28. καὶ συνεχύθη τότε πρῶτον (by order of Aratus) ἡ δεδομένη τοῖς ἀγωνισταῖς ἀσυλία καὶ ἀσφάλεια, a deadly stain on the character of Aratus.

[127] Festus, v, Perihodos, p. 217, ed. Müller. See the animated protest of the philosopher Xenophanês against the great rewards given to Olympic victors (540-520 B. C.), Xenophan. Fragment. 2, p 357, ed. Bergk.

[128] Thucyd. vi, 16. Alkibiadês says, καὶ ὅσα αὖ ἐν τῇ πόλει χορηγίαις ἢ ἄλλῳ τῳ λαμπρύνομαι, τοῖς μὲν ἀστοῖς φθονεῖται φύσει, πρὸς δὲ τοὺς ξένους καὶ αὐτὴ ἰσχὺς φαίνεται.

The greater Panathenæa are ascribed to Peisistratus by the Scholiast on Aristeidês, vol. iii, p. 323, ed. Dindorf: judging by what immediately precedes, the statement seems to come from Aristotle.

[129] Simonidês, Fragm. 154-158, ed. Bergk; Pindar, Nem. x, 45; Olymp. xiii, 107.

The distinguished athlete Theagenês is affirmed to have gained twelve hundred prizes in these various agônes: according to some, fourteen hundred prizes (Pausan. vi, 11, 2; Plutarch, Præcept. Reip. Ger. c. 15, p. 811).

An athlete named Apollonius arrived too late for the Olympic games, having stayed away too long, from his anxiety to get money at various agônes in Ionia (Pausan. v, 21, 5).

[130] See, particularly, the treaty between the inhabitants of Latus and those of Olûs in Krête, in Boeckh’s Corp. Inscr. No. 2554, wherein this reciprocity is expressly stipulated. Boeckh places this Inscription in the third century B. C.

[131] Timæus, Fragm. 82, ed. Didot. The Krotoniates furnished a great number of victors both to the Olympic and to the Pythian games (Herodot. viii, 47; Pausan. x, 5, 5–x, 7, 3; Krause, Gymnastik und Agonistik der Hellenen, vol. ii, sect. 29, p. 752).

[132] Herodot. viii, 65. καὶ αὐτῶν ὁ βουλόμενος καὶ τῶν ἄλλων Ἑλλήνων μυεῖται.

The exclusion of all competitors, natives of Lampsakus, from the games celebrated in the Chersonesus to the honor of the œkist Miltiadês, is mentioned by Herodotus as something special (Herodot. vi, 38).

[133] See the remarks, upon the Lacedæmonian discouragement of stranger-visitors at their public festivals, put by Thucydidês into the mouth of Periklês (Thucyd. ii, 39).

Lichas the Spartan gained great renown by treating hospitably the strangers who came to the Gymnopædiæ at Sparta (Xenophon, Memorab. i, 2, 61; Plutarch, Kimon, c. 10),—a story which proves that some strangers came to the Spartan festivals, but which also proves that they were not many in number, and that to show them hospitality was a striking distinction from the general character of Spartans.

[134] Aristot. Poetic, c. 3 and 4; Maximus Tyrius. Diss. xxi. p. 215; Plutarch. De Cupidine Divitiarum. c. 8. p. 527: compare the treatise, “Quod non potest suaviter vivi secundum Epicurum.” c. 16. p. 1098. The old oracles quoted by Demosthenês, cont. Meidiam (c. 15. p. 531. and cont. Makartat. p. 1072: see also Buttmann’s note on the former passage), convey the idea of the ancient simple Athenian festival.

[135] Plutarch. Solon, c. 29: see above, chap. xi. vol. iii. p. 195.

[136] The orator Lysias, in a fragment of his lost Panegyrical Oration preserved by Dionysius of Halikarnassus (vol. v. p. 520 R.), describes the influence of the games with great force and simplicity. Hêraklês, the founder of them, ἀγῶνα μὲν σωμάτων ἐποίησε, φιλοτιμίαν δὲ πλούτῳ, γνώμης δ᾽ ἐπίδειξιν ἐν τῷ καλλίστῳ τῆς Ἑλλάδος· ἵνα τούτων ἁπάντων ἕνεκα ἐς τὸ αὐτὸ ἔλθωμεν, τὰ μὲν ὀψόμενοι, τὰ δὲ ἀκουσόμενοι. Ἡγήσατο γὰρ τὸν ἐνθάδε σύλλογον ἀρχὴν γενέσθαι τοῖς Ἕλλησι τῆς πρὸς ἀλλήλους φιλίας.

[137] Cicero, Tusc. Quæst. v, 3. “Mercatum eum, qui haberetur maximo ludorum apparatu totius Græciæ celebritate: nam ut illic alii corporibus exercitatis gloriam et nobilitatem coronæ peterent, alii emendi aut vendendi quæstu et lucro ducerentur,” etc.

Both Velleius Paterculus also (i, 8) and Justin (xiii, 5), call the Olympic festival by the name mercatus.

There were booths all round the Altis, or sacred precinct of Zeus (Schol. Pindar. Olymp. xi, 55), during the time of the games.

Strabo observes with justice, respecting the multitudinous festivals generally—Ἡ πανήγυρις, ἐμπορικόν τι πρᾶγμα (x, p. 486), especially in reference to Delos: see Cicero pro Lege Maniliâ, c. 18: compare Pausanias, x, 32, 9, about the Panegyris and fair at Tithorea in Phokis, and Becker, Chariklês, vol. i, p. 283.

At the Attic festival of the Herakleia, celebrated by the communion called Mesogei, or a certain number of the demes constituting Mesogæa, a regular market-due, or ἀγοραστικὸν, was levied upon those who brought goods to sell (Inscriptiones Atticæ nuper repertæ 12, by E. Curtius, pp. 3-7).

[138] Pausan. vi, 23, 5; Diodor. xiv, 109, xv, 7; Lucian, Quomodo Historia sit conscribenda, c. 42. See Krause, Olympia, sect. 29. pp. 183-186.

[139] Thucyd. i, 120; Herodot. v, 22-71. Eurybatês of Argos (Herodot. vi, 92); Philippus and Phayllus of Kroton (v, 47; viii, 47); Eualkidês of Eretria (v, 102); Hermolykus of Athens (ix, 105).

Pindar (Nem. iv and vi) gives the numerous victories of the Bassidæ and Theandridræ at Ægina: also Melissus the pankratiast and his ancestors the Kleonymidæ of Thebes—τιμάεντες ἀρχᾶθεν πρόξενοί τ᾽ ἐπιχωρίων (Isthm. iii, 25).

Respecting the extreme celebrity of Diagoras and his sons, of the Rhodian gens Eratidæ, Damagêtus, Akusilaus, and Dorieus, see Pindar, Olymp. vii, 16-145, with the Scholia; Thucyd. iii, 11; Pausan. vi, 7, 1-2; Xenophon, Hellenic. i, 5, 19: compare Strabo. xiv, p. 655.

[140] The Latin writers remark it as a peculiarity of Grecian feeling, as distinguished from Roman, that men of great station accounted it an honor to contend in the games: see, as a specimen, Tacitus, Dialogus de Orator. c. 9. “Ac si in Græciâ natus esses, ubi ludicras quoque artes exercere honestum est, ac tibi Nicostrati robur Dii dedissent, non paterer immanes illos et ad pugnam natos lacertos levitate jaculi vanescere.” Again, Cicero, pro Flacco, c. 13, in his sarcastic style: “Quid si etiam occisus est a piratis Adramyttenus, homo nobilis, cujus est fere nobis omnibus nomen auditum, Atinas pugil, Olympionices? hoc est apud Græcos (quoniam de corum gravitate dicimus) prope majus et gloriosius, quam Romæ triumphasse.”

[141] Lichas, one of the chief men of Sparta, and moreover a chariot-victor, received actual chastisement on the ground, from these staff-bearers, for an infringement of the regulations (Thucyd. v, 50).

[142] Thucyd. v, 18-47. and the curious ancient Inscription in Boeckh’s Corpus Inscr. No. 11. p. 28. recording the convention between the Eleians and the inhabitants of the Arcadian town of Heræa.

The comparison of various passages referring to the Olympia, Isthmia, and Nemea (Thucydidês iii, 11; viii, 9-10; v, 49-51; and Xenophon, Hellenic. iv, 7, 2; v, 1, 29) shows that various political business was often discussed at these Games,—that diplomatists made use of the intercourse for the purpose of detecting the secret designs of states whom they suspected, and that the administering state often practised manœuvres in respect to the obligations of truce for the Hieromenia, or Holy Month.

[143] Himerius, Orat. iii, p. 426, Wernsdorf—ἀγέρωχοι καὶ ὑψαυχένες.

[144] For the whole subject of this chapter, the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth chapters of O. Müller’s History of the Literature of Ancient Greece, wherein the lyric poets are handled with greater length than consists with the limits of this work, will be found highly valuable,—chapters abounding in erudition and ingenuity, but not always within the limits of the evidence.

The learned work of Ulrici (Geschichte der Griechischen Poesie—Lyrik) is still more open to the same remark.

[145] These early innovators in Grecian music, rhythm, metre, and poetry, belonging to the seventh century B. C., were very imperfectly known, even to those contemporaries of Plato and Aristotle who tried to get together facts for a consecutive history of music. The treatise of Plutarch, De Musicâ, shows what very contradictory statements he found. He quotes from four different authors,—Herakleidês, Glaukus, Alexander, and Aristoxenus, who by no means agreed in their series of names and facts. The first three of them blend together mythe and history; while even the Anagraphê or inscription at Sikyon, which professed to give a continuous list of such poets and musicians as had contended at the Sikyonian games, began with a large stock of mythical names,—Amphion, Linus, Pierius, etc. (Plutarch, Music. p. 1132.) Some authors, according to Plutarch (p. 1133), made the great chronological mistake of placing Terpander as contemporary with Hippônax; a proof how little of chronological evidence was then accessible.

That Terpander was victor at the Spartan festival of the Karneia, in 676 B. C., may well have been derived by Hellanikus from the Spartan registers: the name of the Lesbian harper Perikleitas, as having gained the same prize at some subsequent period (Plutarch, De Mus. p. 1133), probably rests on the same authority. That Archilochus was rather later than Terpander, and Thalêtas rather later than Archilochus, was the statement of Glaukus (Plutarch, De Mus. p. 1134). Klonas and Polymnêstus are placed later than Terpander; Archilochus later than Klonas: Alkman is said to have mentioned Polymnêstus in one of his songs (pp. 1133-1135). It can hardly be true that Terpander gained four Pythian prizes, if the festival was octennial prior to its reconstitution by the Amphiktyons (p. 1132). Sakadas gained three Pythian prizes after that period, when the festival was quadrennial (p. 1134).

Compare the confused indications in Pollux, iv, 65-66, 78-79. The abstract given by Photius of certain parts of the Chrestomathia of Proclus (published in Gaisford’s edition of Hephæstion, pp. 375-389), is also extremely valuable, in spite of its brevity and obscurity, about the lyric and choric poetry of Greece.

[146] The difference between Νόμος and Μέλος appears in Plutarch, De Musicâ, p. 1132—Καὶ τὸν Τέρπανδρον, κιθαρῳδικῶν ποιητὴν ὄντα νόμων, κατὰ νόμον ἕκαστον τοῖς ἔπεσι τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ καὶ τοῖς Ὁμήρου μέλη περιτιθέντα, ᾅδειν ἐν τοῖς ἀγῶσι· ἀποφῆναι δὲ τοῦτον λέγει ὀνόματα πρῶτον τοῖς κιθαρῳδικοῖς νόμοις.

The nomes were not many in number; they went by special names; and there was a disagreement of opinion as to the persons who had composed them (Plutarch, Music. p. 1133). They were monodic, not choric,—intended to be sung by one person (Aristot. Problem. xix, 15). Herodot. i, 23, about Arion and the Nomus Orthius.

[147] Mr. Clinton (Fasti Hellen. ad ann. 671, 665, 644) appears to me noway satisfactory in his chronological arrangements of the poets of this century. I agree with O. Müller (Hist. of Literat. of Ancient Greece, ch. xii, 9) in thinking that he makes Terpander too recent, and Thalêtas too ancient; I also believe both Kallinus and Alkman to have been more recent than the place which Mr. Clinton assigns to them; the epoch of Tyrtæus will depend upon the date which we assign to the second Messenian war.

How very imperfectly the chronology of the poetical names even of the sixth century B. C.—Sappho, Anakreon, Hippônax—was known even to writers of the beginning of the Ptolemaic age (or shortly after 300 B. C.), we may see by the mistakes noted in Athenæus, xiii, p. 599. Hermesianax of Kolophon, the elegiac poet, represented Anakreon as the lover of Sappho; this might perhaps be not absolutely impossible, if we supposed in Sappho an old age like that of Ninon de l’Enclos; but others (even earlier than Hermesianax, since they are quoted by Chamæleon) represented Anakreon, when in old age, as addressing verses to Sappho, still young. Again, the comic writer Diphilus introduced both Archilochus and Hippônax as the lovers of Sappho.

[148] The Latin poets and the Alexandrine critics seem to have both insisted on the natural mournfulness of the elegiac metre (Ovid, Heroid. xv, 7; Horat. Art. Poet. 75): see also the fanciful explanation given by Didymus in the Etymologicon Magnum, v. Ἔλεγος.

We learn from Hephæstion (c. viii, p. 45, Gaisf.) that the anapæstic march-metre of Tyrtæus was employed by the comic writers also, for a totally different vein of feeling. See the Dissertation of Franck, Callinus, pp. 37-48 (Leips. 1816).

Of the remarks made by O. Müller respecting the metres of these early poets (History of the Literature of Ancient Greece, ch. xi, s. 8-12, etc.; ch. xii, s. 1-2, etc.), many appear to be uncertified and disputable.

For some good remarks on the fallibility of men’s impressions respecting the natural and inherent ἦθος of particular metres, see Adam Smith (Theory of Moral Sentiment, part v, ch. i, p. 329), in the edition of his works by Dugald Stewart.

[149] See the observations in Aristotle (Rhetor. iii, 9) on the λέξις εἰρομένη as compared with λέξις κατεστραμμένη·—λέξις εἰρομένη, ἣ οὐδὲν ἔχει τέλος αὐτὴ καθ᾽ αὑτὴν, ἂν μὴ τὸ πρᾶγμα τὸ λεγόμενον τελειώθη·—κατεστραμμένη δὲ, ἡ ἐν περιόδοις· λέγω δὲ περίοδον, λέξιν ἔχουσαν ἀρχὴν καὶ τελευτὴν αὐτὴν καθ᾽ αὑτὴν καὶ μέγεθος εὐσύνοπτον.

[150] I employ, however unwillingly, the word thesis here (arsis and thesis) in the sense in which it is used by G. Hermann (“Illud tempus, in quo ictus est, arsin; ea tempora, quæ carent ictu, thesin vocamus,” Element. Doctr. Metr. sect. 15), and followed by Boeckh, in his Dissertation on the Metres of Pindar (i, 4), though I agree with Dr. Barham (in the valuable Preface to his edition of Hephæstion, Cambridge, 1843, pp. 5-8) that the opposite sense of the words would be the preferable one, just as it was the original sense in which they were used by the best Greek musical writers: Dr. Barham’s Preface is very instructive on the difficult subject of ancient rhythm generally.

[151] Homer, Hymn. ad Cererem. 202; Hesychius, v. Γεφυρὶς; Herodot. v, 83; Diodor. v, 4. There were various gods at whose festivals scurrility (τωθασμὸς) was a consecrated practice, seemingly different festivals in different places (Aristot. Politic. vii, 15, 8).

The reader will understand better what this consecrated scurrility means by comparing the description of a modern traveller in the kingdom of Naples (Tour through the Southern Provinces of the Kingdom of Naples, by Mr. Keppel Craven, London, 1821, ch. xv, p. 287):—

“I returned to Gerace (the site of the ancient Epizephyrian Lokri) by one of those moonlights which are known only in these latitudes, and which no pen or pencil can portray. My path lay along some cornfields, in which the natives were employed in the last labors of the harvest, and I was not a little surprised to find myself saluted with a volley of opprobrious epithets and abusive language, uttered in the most threatening voice, and accompanied with the most insulting gestures. This extraordinary custom is of the most remote antiquity, and is observed towards all strangers during the harvest and vintage seasons; those who are apprized of it will keep their temper as well as their presence of mind, as the loss of either would only serve as a signal for still louder invectives, and prolong a contest in which success would be as hopeless as undesirable.”

[152] The chief evidence for the rhythmical and metrical changes introduced by Archilochus is to be found in the 28th chapter of Plutarch, De Musicâ, pp. 1140-1141, in words very difficult to understand completely. See Ulrici, Geschichte der Hellenisch. Poesie, vol. ii, p. 381.

The epigram ascribed to Theokritus (No. 18 in Gaisford’s Poetæ Minores) shows that the poet had before him hexameter compositions of Archilochus, as well as lyric:—

ὡς ἐμμελὴς τ᾽ ἔγεντο κἀπιδέξιος

ἐπεά τε ποιεῖν, πρὸς λύραν τ᾽ ἀείδειν

See the article on Archilochus in Welcker’s Kleine Schriften, pp. 71-82, which has the merit of showing that iambic bitterness is far from being the only marked feature in his character and genius.

[153] See Meleager, Epigram. cxix, 3; Horat. Epist. 19, 23, and Epod. vi, 13 with the Scholiast; Ælian. V. H. x, 13.

[154] Pindar, Pyth. ii, 55; Olymp. ix, 1, with the Scholia; Euripid. Hercul. Furens, 583-683. The eighteenth epigram of Theokritus (above alluded to) conveys a striking tribute of admiration to Archilochus: compare Quintilian, x, 1, and Liebel. ad Archilochi Fragmenta, sects. 5, 6, 7.

[155] Athenæus, xiv, p. 630.

[156] Plutarch, De Musicâ, pp. 1134, 1135; Aristotle, De Lacedæmon. Republicâ, Fragm. xi, p. 132, ed. Neumann; Plutarch, De Serâ Numin. Vindict. c. 13, p. 558.

[157] Thucyd. v, 69-70, with the Scholia,—μετὰ τῶν πολεμικῶν νόμων ... Λακεδαιμόνιοι δὲ βραδέως καὶ ὑπὸ αὐλητῶν πολλῶν νόμῳ ἐγκαθεστώτων, οὐ τοῦ θείου χάριν, ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα ὁμαλῶς μετὰ ῥυθμοῦ βαίνοιεν, καὶ μὴ διασπασθείη αὐτοῖς ἡ τάξις.

Cicero, Tuscul. Qu. ii, 16. “Spartiatarum quorum procedit Mora ad tibiam, neque adhibetur ulla sine anapæstis pedibus hortatio.”

The flute was also the instrument appropriated to Kômus, or the excited movement of half-intoxicated revellers (Hesiod. Scut. Hercul. 280; Athenæ. xiv, pp. 617-618).

[158] Plato, Legg. vii, p. 803. θύοντα καὶ ᾅδοντα καὶ ὀρχούμενον, ὥστε τοὺς μὲν θεοὺς ἱλέως αὑτῷ παρασκευάζειν δυνατὸν εἶναι, etc.: compare p. 799; Maximus Tyr. Diss. xxxvii, 4: Aristophan. Ran. 950-975; Athenæus, xiv, p. 626; Polyb. iv, 30; Lucian, De Saltatione, c. 10, 11, 16, 31.

Compare Aristotle (Problem xix, 15) about the primitive character and subsequent change of the chorus; and the last chapter of the eighth book of his Politica: also, a striking passage in Plutarch (De Cupidine Divitiarum, c. 8, p. 527) about the transformation of the Dionysiac festival at Chæroneia from simplicity to costliness.

[159] Athenæus, xiv, p. 628; Suidas, vol. iii, p. 715, ed. Kuster; Plutarch, Instituta Laconica, c. 32,—κωμῳδίας καὶ τραγῳδίας οὐκ ἠκρόωντο, ὅπως μήτε ἐν σπουδῇ, μήτε ἐν παιδίᾳ, ἀκούωσι τῶν ἀντιλεγόντων τοῖς νόμοις,—which exactly corresponds with the ethical view implied in the alleged conversation between Solon and Thespis (Plutarch, Solon, c. 29: see above, ch. xi, vol. ii, p. 195), and with Plato, Legg. vii, p. 817.

[160] Xenophon, Agesilaus ii, 17. οἴκαδε ἀπελθὼν εἰς τὰ Ὑακίνθια, ὅπου ἐτάχθη ὑπὸ τοῦ χοροποιοῦ, τὸν παιᾶνα τῷ θεῷ συνεπετέλει.

[161] Plutarch, Lykurg. c. 14, 16, 21: Athenæus, xiv, pp. 631-632, xv, p. 678; Xenophon, Hellen. vi, 4, 15; De Republic. Lacedæm. ix, 5; Pindar, Hyporchemata, Fragm. 78, ed. Bergk.

Λάκαινα μὲν παρθένων ἀγέλα.

Also, Alkman, Fragm. 13, ed. Bergk; Antigon. Caryst. Hist. Mirab. c. 27.

[162] How extensively pantomimic the ancient orchêsis was, may be seen by the example in Xenophon, Symposion, vii, 5, ix, 3-6, and Plutarch, Symposion, ix, 15, 2: see K. F. Hermann, Lehrbuch der gottesdienstlichen Alterthümer der Griechen, ch. 29.

“Sane ut in religionibus saltaretur, hæc ratio est: quod nullam majores nostri partem corporis esse voluerunt, quæ non sentiret religionem: nam cantus ad animum, saltatio ad mobilitatem corporis pertinet.” (Servius ad Virgil. Eclog. v, 73.)

[163] Aristot. Politic. viii, 4, 6. Οἱ Λάκωνες—οὐ μανθάνοντες ὅμως δύνανται κρίνειν ὀρθῶς, ὥς φασι, τὰ χρηστὰ καὶ τὰ μὴ τῶν μέλων.

[164] Homer. Hymn. Apoll. 340. Οἷοί τε Κρητῶν παιήονες, etc.: see Boeckh. De Metris Pindari, ii, 7, p. 143; Ephorus ap. Strabo, x, p. 480: Plutarch, De Musicâ, p. 1142.

Respecting Thalêtas, and the gradual alterations in the character of music at Sparta. Hoeckh has given much instructive matter (Kreta. vol. iii, pp. 340-377). Respecting Nymphæus of Kydonia, whom Ælian (V. II. xii, 50) puts in juxtaposition with Thalêtas and Terpander, nothing is known.

After what is called the second fashion of music (κατάστασις) had thus been introduced by Thalêtas and his contemporaries.—the first fashion being that of Terpander,—no farther innovations were allowed. The ephors employed violent means to prohibit the intended innovations of Phrynis and Timotheus, after the Persian war: see Plutarch Agis, c. 10.

[165] Alkman. Fragm. 13-17. ed. Bergk, ὁ πάμφαγος Ἀλκμάν: compare Fr. 63. Aristides calls him ὁ τῶν παρθένων ἐπαινέτης καὶ σύμβουλος (Or. xlv, vol. ii, p. 40. Dindorf).

Of the Partneneia of Alkman (songs, hymns, and dances, composed for a chorus of maidens) there were at least two books (Stephanus Byzant. v. Ἐρυσίχη). He was the earliest poet who acquired renown in this species of composition, afterwards much pursued by Pindar, Bacchylidês, and Simonidês of Keôs: see Welcker, Alkman. Fragment. p. 10.

[166] Alkman, Frag. 64, ed. Bergk.

Ὥρας δ᾽ ἐσῆκε τρεῖς, θέρος

Καὶ χεῖμα κ᾽ ὠπώραν τρίταν·

Καὶ τέτρατον τὸ ἦρ, ὅκα

Σάλλει μὲν, ἐσθίειν δ᾽ ἄδαν

Οὐκ ἐστί.

[167] Plutarch, De Musicâ, c. 9, p. 1134. About the dialect of Alkman, see Ahrens, De Dialecto Æolicâ, sects. 2, 4; about his different metres, Welcker, Alkman. Fragm. pp. 10-12.

[168] Plutarch, De Musicâ, c. 32, p. 1142, c. 37, p. 1144; Athenæus, xiv, p. 632. In Krête, also, the popularity of the primitive musical composers was maintained, though along with the innovator Timotheus: see Inscription No. 3053, ap. Boeckh, Corp. Ins.

[169] Herodot. vi, 60. They were probably a γένος with an heroic progenitor, like the heralds, to whom the historian compares them.

[170] Pindar, Fragm. 44, ed. Bergk: Schol. ad Pindar. Olymp. xiii, 25; Proclus, Chrestomathia, c. 12-14. ad calc. Hephæst. Gaisf. p. 382: compare W. M. Schmidt, In Dithyrambum Poetarumque Dithyrambicorum Reliquias, pp. 171-183 (Berlin, 1845).

[171] Archiloch. Fragm. 72, ed. Bergk.

Ὡς Διωνύσου ἄνακτος καλὸν ἐξάρξαι μέλος

Οἶδα διθύραμβον, οἴνῳ ξυγκεραυνωθεὶς φρένας.

The old oracle quoted in Demosthen. cont. Meidiam, about the Dionysia at Athens, enjoins—Διονύσῳ δημοτελῆ ἱερὰ τελεῖν, καὶ κρατῆρα κεράσαι, καὶ χοροὺς ἱστάναι.

[172] Herodot. i, 23; Suidas, v. Ἀρίων; Pindar, Olymp. xiii, 25.

[173] Aristot. Poetic. c. 6, ἐγέννησαν τὴν ποίησιν ἐκ τῶν αὐτοσχεδιασμάτων; again, to the same effect, ibid. c. 9.

[174] Alkman slightly departed from this rule: in one of his compositions of fourteen strophês, the last seven were in a different metre from the first seven (Hephæstion, c. xv, p. 134, Gaisf.; Hermann, Elementa Doctrin. Metricæ, c. xvii, sect. 595). Ἀλκμανικὴ καινοτομία καὶ Στησιχόρειος (Plutarch, De Musicâ, p. 1135).

[175] Pausanias, vi, 14, 4; x, 7, 3. Sakadas, as well as Stesichorus, composed an Ἰλίου πέρσις (Athenæus, xiii, p. 609).

“Stesichorum (observes Quintilian, x, 1) quam sit ingenio validus, materiæ quoque ostendunt, maxima bella et clarissimos canentem duces, et epici carminis onera lyrâ sustinentem. Reddit enim personis in agendo simul loquendoque debitam dignitatem: ac si tenuisset modum, videtur æmulari proximus Homerum potuisse: sed redundat, atque effunditur: quod, ut est reprehendendum, ita copiæ vitium est.”

Simonidês of Keôs (Frag. 19. ed. Bergk) puts Homer and Stesichorus together: see the epigram of Antipater in the Anthologia, t. i, p. 328, ed. Jacobs, and Dio Chrysostom. Or. 55, vol. ii, p. 284, Reisk. Compare Kleine, Stesichori Fragment. pp. 30-34 (Berlin 1828), and O. Müller, History of the Literature of Ancient Greece, ch. xiv, sect. 5.

The musical composers of Argos are affirmed by Herodotus to have been the most renowned in Greece, half a century after Sakadas (Her. iii, 131).

[176] Horat. Epistol. i, 19, 23.

[177] Sappho, Fragm. 93, ed. Bergk. See also Plehn, Lesbiaca, pp. 145-165. Respecting the poetesses, two or three of whom were noted, contemporary with Sappho, see Ulrici, Gesch. der Hellen. Poesie, vol. ii, p. 370.

[178] Dionys. Hal. Ant. Rom. v, 82; Horat. Od. i, 32, ii, 13; Cicero, De Nat. Deor. i, 28; the striking passage in Plutarch, Symposion iii, 1, 3, ap. Bergk. Fragm. 42. In the view of Dionysius, the Æolic dialect of Alkæus and Sappho diminished the value of their compositions: the Æolic accent, analogous to the Latin, and acknowledging scarcely any oxyton words, must have rendered them much less agreeable in recitation or song.

[179] See Plutarch, De Music. p. 1136; Dionys. Hal. de Comp. Verb. c. 23, p. 173, Reisk, and some striking passages of Himerius, in respect to Sappho (i, 4, 16, 19; Maximus Tyrius, Dissert. xxiv, 7-9), and the encomium of the critical Dionysius (De Compos. Verborum, c. 23, p. 173).

The author of the Parian marble adopts, as one of his chronological epochs (Epoch 37), the flight of Sappho, or exile, from Mitylênê to Sicily somewhere between 604-596 B. C. There probably was something remarkable which induced him to single out this event; but we do not know what, nor can we trust the hints suggested by Ovid (Heroid. xv, 51).

Nine books of Sappho’s songs were collected by the later literary Greeks, arranged chiefly according to the metres (C. F. Neue, Sapphonis Fragm. p. 11, Berlin 1827). There were ten books of the songs of Alkæus (Athenæus, xi, p. 481), and both Aristophanês (Grammaticus) and Aristarchus published editions of them. (Hephæstion, c. xv, p. 134, Gaisf.) Dikæarchus wrote a commentary upon his songs (Athenæus, xi, p. 461).

[180] Welcker, Simonidis Amorgini Iambi qui supersunt, p. 9.

[181] Aristophan. Nubes, 536.

Ἀλλ᾽ αὑτῇ καὶ τοῖς ἔπεσιν πιστεύουσ᾽ ἐλήλυθεν.

[182] See Pratinas ap. Athenæum, xiv, p. 617, also p. 636, and the striking fragment of the lost comic poet Pherekratês, in Plutarch, De Musicâ, p. 1141, containing the bitter remonstrance of Music (Μουσικὴ) against the wrong which she had suffered from the dithyrambist Melanippidês: compare also Aristophanês, Nubes, 951-972; Athenæus, xiv, p. 617; Horat. Art. Poetic. 205; and W. M. Schmidt, Diatribê in Dithyrambum, ch. viii, pp. 250-265.

Τὸ σοβαρὸν καὶ περιττὸν—the character of the newer music (Plutarch, Agis, c. 10)—as contrasted with τὸ σεμνὸν καὶ ἀπερίεργον of the old music (Plutarch, De Musicâ, ut sup.): ostentation and affected display, against seriousness and simplicity. It is by no means certain that these reproaches against the more recent music of the Greeks were well founded; we may well be rendered mistrustful of their accuracy when we hear similar remarks and contrasts advanced with regard to the music of our last three centuries. The character of Greek poetry certainly tended to degenerate after Euripidês.

[183] Bias of Priênê composed a poem of two thousand verses, on the condition of Ionia (Diogen. Laërt. i, 85), from which, perhaps, Herodotus may have derived, either directly or indirectly, the judicious advice which he ascribes to that philosopher on the occasion of the first Persian conquest of Ionia (Herod. i, 170).

Not merely Xenophanês the philosopher (Diogen. Laërt. viii, 36, ix, 20), but long after him Parmenidês and Empedoklês, composed in verse.

[184] See the account given by Herodotus (vi, 128-129) of the way in which Kleisthenês of Sikyon tested the comparative education (παίδευσις) of the various suitors who came to woo his daughter,—οἱ δὲ μνήστηρες ἔριν εἶχον ἀμφί τε μουσικῇ καὶ τῷ λεγομένῳ ἐς τὸ μέσον.

[185] Plato, Protagoras, c. 28, p. 343.

[186] Hippônax, Fragm. 77, 34, ed. Bergk—καὶ δικάσσασθαι Βίαντος τοῦ Πριηνέος κρείττων.

... Καὶ Μύσων, ὃν ὡς πολλὼν

Ἀνεῖπεν ἀνδρῶν σωφρονέστατον πάντων.

Simonidês. Fr. 6, ed. Bergk—μωροῦ φωτὸς ἅδε βουλά. Diogen. Laërt. i, 6, 2.

Simonidês treats Pittakus with more respect, though questioning an opinion delivered by him (Fragm. 8, ed. Bergk; Plato, Protagoras, c. 26, p. 339).

[187] Dikæarchus ap. Diogen. Laërt. i. 40. συνετοὺς καὶ νομοθετικοὺς δεινότητα πολιτικὴν καὶ δραστήριον σύνεσιν. Plutarch, Themistoklês, c. 2.

About the story of the tripod, which is said to have gone the round of these Seven Wise Men, see Menage ad Diogen. Laërt. i, 28, p. 17.

[188] Cicero, De Republ. i, 7; Plutarch, in Delph. p. 385; Bernhardy, Grundriss der Griechischen Litteratur, vol. i, sect. 66, not. 3.

[189] Pliny, H. N. vii, 57. Suidas v. Ἑκαταῖος.

[190] H. Ritter (Geschichte der Philosophie, ch. vi, p. 243) has some good remarks on the difficulty and obscurity of the early Greek prose-writers, in reference to the darkness of expression and meaning universally charged upon the philosopher Herakleitus.

[191] See O. Müller, Archäologie der Kunst, sect. 61; Sillig. Catalogus Artificium,—under Theodôrus and Teleklês.

Thiersch (Epochen der Bildenden Kunst, pp. 182-190, 2nd edit.) places Rhœkus near the beginning of the recorded Olympiads; and supposes two artists named Theodôrus, one the grandson of the other; but this seems to me not sustained by any adequate authority (for the loose chronology of Pliny about the Samian school of artists is not more trustworthy than about the Chian school,—compare xxxv, 12, and xxxvi, 3), and, moreover, intrinsically improbable. Herodotus (i, 51) speaks of “the Samian Theodôrus,” and seems to have known only one person so called: Diodôrus (i, 98) and Pausanias (x, 38, 3) give different accounts of Theodôrus, but the positive evidence does not enable us to verify the genealogies either of Thiersch or O. Müller. Herodotus (iv, 152) mentions the Ἡραῖον at Samos in connection with events near Olymp. 37; but this does not prove that the great temple which he himself saw, a century and a half later, had been begun before Olymp. 37, as Thiersch would infer. The statement of O. Müller, that this temple was begun in Olymp. 35, is not authenticated (Arch. der Kunst. sect. 53).

[192] Pausanias tells us distinctly that this chest was dedicated at Olympia by the Kypselids, descendants of Kypselus; and this seems credible enough. But he also tells us that this was the identical chest in which the infant Kypselus had been concealed, believing the story as told in Herodotus (v, 92). In this latter belief I cannot go along with him, nor do I think that there is any evidence for believing the chest to have been of more ancient date than the persons who dedicated it,—in spite of the opinions of O. Müller and Thiersch to the contrary (O. Müller, Archäol. der Kunst, sect. 57; Thiersch, Epochen der Griechischen Kunst, p. 169, 2nd edit.: Pausan. v, 17, 2).

[193] Mr. Fynes Clinton (Fast. Hellen. vol. ii, Appendix, c. 2, p. 201) has stated and discussed the different opinions on the chronology of Peisistratus and his sons.


Ἀγροῖκος ὀργὴν, κυαμοτρὼξ, ἀκράχολος

Δῆμος Πνυκίτης, δύσκολον γερόντιον.

Aristoph. Equit. 41.

I need hardly mention that the Pnyx was the place in which the Athenian public assemblies were held.

[195] Plutarch (De Herodot. Malign. c. 15, p. 858) is angry with Herodotus for imparting so petty and personal a character to the dissensions between the Alkmæônids and Peisistratus; his severe remarks in that treatise, however, tend almost always to strengthen rather than to weaken the credibility of the historian.

[196] Plutarch, Phokion, c. 27, ἀπεκρίνατο φιλίαν ἔσεσθαι τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις καὶ ξυμμαχίαν, ἐκδοῦσι μὲν τοὺς περὶ Δημοσθένην καὶ Ὑπερείδην, πολιτευομένοις δὲ τὴν πάτριον ἀπὸ τιμήματος πολιτείαν, δεξαμένοις δὲ φρουρὰν εἰς τὴν Μουνυχίαν, ἔτι δὲ χρήματα τοῦ πολέμου καὶ ζημίαν προσεκτίσασιν. Compare Diodor. xviii, 18.

Twelve thousand of the poorer citizens were disfranchised by this change (Plutarch, Phokion, c. 28).

[197] See the preceding volume, ch. xi, p. 155.

[198] Solon. Fragm. 10, ed. Bergk.—

Εἰ δὲ πεπόνθατε λυγρὰ δι᾽ ὑμετέρην κακότητα,

Μήτι θεοῖς τούτων μοῖραν ἐπαμφέρετε, etc.

[199] Herodot. i, 60, καὶ ἐν τῷ ἄστεϊ πειθόμενοι τὴν γυναῖκα εἶναι αὐτὴν τὴν θεὸν, προσεύχοντό τε τὴν ἄνθρωπον καὶ ἐδέκοντο τὸν Πεισίστρατον. A later statement (Athenæus, xiii, p. 609) represents Phyê to have become afterwards the wife of Hipparchus.

Of this remarkable story, not the least remarkable part is the criticism with which Herodotus himself accompanies it. He treats it as a proceeding infinitely silly (πρῆγμα εὐηθέστατον, ὡς ἐγὼ εὐρίσκω, μακρῷ); he cannot conceive, how Greeks, so much superior to barbarians,—and even Athenians, the cleverest of all the Greeks,—could have fallen into such a trap. To him the story was told as a deception from the beginning, and he did not perhaps take pains to put himself into the state of feeling of those original spectators who saw the chariot approach, without any warning or preconceived suspicion. But even allowing for this, his criticism brings to our view the alteration and enlargement which had taken place in the Greek mind during the century between Peisistratus and Periklês. Doubtless, neither the latter nor any of his contemporaries could have succeeded in a similar trick.

The fact, and the criticism upon it, now before us are remarkably illustrated by an analogous case recounted in a previous chapter, (vol. ii, p. 421, chap. viii.) Nearly at the same period as this stratagem of Peisistratus, the Lacedæmonians and the Argeians agreed to decide, by a combat of three hundred select champions, the dispute between them as to the territory of Kynuria. The combat actually took place, and the heroism of Othryades, sole Spartan survivor, has been already recounted. In the eleventh year of the Peloponnesian war, shortly after or near upon the period when we may conceive the history of Herodotus to have been finished, the Argeians concluded a treaty with Lacedæmon, and introduced as a clause into it the liberty of reviving their pretensions to Kynuria, and of again deciding the dispute by a combat of select champions. To the Lacedæmonians of that time this appeared extreme folly,—the very proceeding which had been actually resorted to a century before. Here is another case, in which the change in the point of view, and the increased positive tendencies in the Greek mind, are brought to our notice not less forcibly than by the criticism of Herodotus upon Phyê-Athênê.

Istrus (one of the Atthido-graphers of the third century B. C.) and Antiklês published books respecting the personal manifestations or epiphanies of the gods,—Ἀπόλλωνος ἐπιφανεῖαι: see Istri Fragment. 33-37, ed. Didot. If Peisistratus and Megaklês had never quarrelled, their joint stratagem might have continued to pass for a genuine epiphany, and might have been included as such in the work of Istrus. I will add, that the real presence of the gods, at the festivals celebrated in their honor, was an idea continually brought before the minds of the Greeks.

The Athenians fully believed the epiphany of the god Pan to Pheidippidês the courier, on his march to Sparta, a little before the battle of Marathôn (Herodot. vi, 105, καὶ ταῦτα Ἀθηναῖοι πιστεύσαντες εἶναι ἀληθέα), and even Herodotus himself does not controvert it, though he relaxes the positive character of history so far as to add—“as Pheidippidês himself said and recounted publicly to the Athenians.” His informants in this case were doubtless sincere believers; whereas, in the case of Phyê, the story was told to him at first as a fabrication.

At Gela in Sicily, seemingly not long before this restoration of Peisistratus, Têlinês (ancestor of the despot Gelon) had brought back some exiles to Gela, “without any armed force, but merely through the sacred ceremonies and appurtenances of the subterranean goddesses,”—ἔχων οὐδεμίην ἀνδρῶν δύναμιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἱρὰ τουτέων τῶν θεῶν—τούτοισι δ᾽ ὦν πίσυνος ἐὼν, κατήγαγε (Herodot. vii, 153). Herodotus does not tell us the details which he had heard of the manner in which this restoration at Gela was brought about; but his general language intimates, that they were remarkable details, and they might have illustrated the story of Phyê Athênê.

[200] Herodot. i, 61. Peisistratus—ἐμίχθη οἱ οὐ κατὰ νόμον.

[201] About Lygdamis, see Athenæus, viii, p. 348, and his citation from the lost work of Aristotle on the Grecian Πολιτεῖαι; also, Aristot. Politic. v, 5, 1.

[202] Herodot. i, 63.

[203] Herodot. i, 64. ἐπικούροισί τε πολλοῖσι, καὶ χρημάτων συνόδοισι, τῶν μὲν αὐτόθεν, τῶν δὲ ἀπὸ Στρύμονος ποτάμου προσιόντων.

[204] Isokratês, Or. xvi, De Bigis, c. 351.

[205] For the statement of Boeckh, Dr. Arnold, and Dr. Thirlwall, that Peisistratus had levied a tythe or tax of ten per cent., and that his sons reduced it to the half, I find no sufficient warrant: certainly, the spurious letter of Peisistratus to Solon in Diogenes Laërtius (i, 53) ought not to be considered as proving anything. Boeckh, Public Economy of Athens, B. iii, c. 6 (i, 351 German); Dr. Arnold ad Thucyd. vi, 34; Dr. Thirlwall Hist. of Gr. ch. xi, pp. 72-74. Idomeneus (ap. Athenæ. xii, p. 533) considers the sons of Peisistratus to have indulged in pleasures to an extent more costly and oppressive to the people than their father. Nor do I think that there is sufficient authority to sustain the statement of Dr. Thirlwall (p. 68), “He (Peisistratus) possessed lands on the Strymon in Thrace, which yielded a large revenue.” Herodotus (i, 64) tells us that Peisistratus brought mercenary soldiers from the Strymon, but that he levied the money to pay them in Attica—ἐῤῥίζωσε τὴν τυραννίδα ἐπικούροισί τε πολλοῖσι, καὶ χρημάτων συνόδοισι, τῶν μὲν αὐτόθεν, τῶν δὲ ἀπὸ Στρύμονος ποταμοῦ συνιόντων. It is, indeed, possible to construe this passage so as to refer both τῶν μὲν and τῶν δὲ to χρημάτων, which would signify that Peisistratus obtained his funds partly from the river Strymon, and thus serve as basis to the statement of Dr. Thirlwall. But it seems to me that the better way of construing the words is to refer τῶν μὲν to χρημάτων συνόδοισι, and τῶν δὲ to ἐπικούροισι,—treating both of them as genitives absolute. It is highly improbable that he should derive money from the Strymon: it is highly probable that his mercenaries came from thence.

[206] Hermippus (ap. Marcellin. Vit. Thucyd. p. ix,) and the Scholiast on Thucyd. i, 20, affirm that Thucydidês was connected by relationship with the Peisistratidæ. His manner of speaking of them certainly lends countenance to the assertion; not merely as he twice notices their history, once briefly (i, 20) and again at considerable length (vi, 54-59), though it does not lie within the direct compass of his period,—but also as he so emphatically announces his own personal knowledge of their family relations,—Ὅτι δὲ πρεσβύτατος ὢν Ἱππίας ἦρξεν, εἰδὼς μὲν καὶ ἀκοῇ ἀκριβέστερον ἄλλων ἰσχυρίζομαι (vi, 55).

Aristotle (Politic. v, 9, 21) mentions it as a report (φασι) that Peisistratus obeyed the summons to appear before the Areopagus; Plutarch adds that the person who had summoned him did not appear to bring the cause to trial (Vit. Solon, 31), which is not at all surprising: compare Thucyd. vi, 56, 57.

[207] Aristot. Politic, v, 9, 4; Dikæarchus, Vita Græciæ, pp. 140-166, ed. Fuhr; Pausan. i, 18, 8.

[208] Aul. Gell. N. A. vi, 17.

[209] Herodot. vii, 6; Pseudo-Plato, Hipparchus, p. 229.

[210] Herodot. v, 93, VI, 6. Ὀνομάκριτον, χρησμολόγον καὶ διαθέτην τῶν χρησμῶν τῶν Μουσαίου. See Pausan. i, 22, 7. Compare, about the literary tendencies of the Peisistratids, Nitzsch, De Historiâ Homeri, ch. 30, p. 168.

[211] Philochor. Frag. 69, ed. Didot; Plato, Hipparch. p. 230.

[212] Herodot. vi, 38-103; Theopomp. ap. Athenæ. xii, p. 533.

[213] Thucyd. vi, 53; Pseudo-Plato, Hipparch. p. 230; Pausan. i, 23, 1.

[214] Thucyd. i, 20, about the general belief of the Athenian public in his time—Ἀθηναίων γοῦν τὸ πλῆθος οἴονται ὑφ᾽ Ἁρμοδίου καὶ Ἀριστογείτονος Ἵππαρχον τύραννον ὄντα ἀποθανεῖν, καὶ οὐκ ἴσασιν ὅτι Ἱππίας μὲν πρεσβύτατος ὢν ἦρχε τῶν Πεισιστράτου παιδῶν, etc.

The Pseudo-Plato in the dialogue called Hipparchus adopts this belief, and the real Plato in his Symposion (c. 9, p. 182) seems to countenance it.

[215] Herodot. v, 55-58. Harmodius is affirmed by Plutarch to have been of the deme Aphidnæ (Plutarch, Symposiacon, i, 10, p. 628).

It is to be recollected that he died before the introduction of the Ten Tribes, and before the recognition of the demes as political elements in the commonwealth.

[216] For the terrible effects produced by this fear of ὕβρις εἰς τὴν ἡλικίαν, see Plutarch, Kimon, 1; Aristot. Polit. v, 9, 17.

[217] Thucyd. vi, 56. Τὸν δ᾽ οὖν Ἁρμόδιον ἀπαρνηθέντα τὴν πείρασιν, ὥσπερ διενοεῖτο, προυπηλάκισεν· ἀδελφὴν γὰρ αὐτοῦ, κόρην, ἐπαγγείλαντες ἥκειν κανοῦν οἴσουσαν ἐν πομπῇ τινι, ἀπήλασαν, λέγοντες οὐδὲ ἐπαγγεῖλαι ἀρχὴν, διὰ τὸ μὴ ἀξίαν εἶναι.

Dr. Arnold, in his note, supposes that this exclusion of the sister of Harmodius by the Peisistratids may have been founded on the circumstance that she belonged to the gens Gephyræi (Herodot. v, 57); her foreign blood, and her being in certain respects ἄτιμος, disqualified her (he thinks) from ministering to the worship of the gods of Athens.

There is no positive reason to support the conjecture of Dr. Arnold, which seems, moreover, virtually discountenanced by the narrative of Thucydidês, who plainly describes the treatment of this young woman as a deliberate, preconcerted insult. Had there existed any assignable ground of exclusion, such as that which Dr. Arnold supposes, leading to the inference that the Peisistratids could not admit her without violating religious custom, Thucydidês would hardly have neglected to allude to it, for it would have lightened the insult; and indeed, on that supposition, the sending of the original summons might have been made to appear as an accidental mistake. I will add, that Thucydidês, though no way forfeiting his obligations to historical truth, is evidently not disposed to omit anything which can be truly said in favor of the Peisistratids.

[218] Thucyd. vi, 58, οὐ ῥᾳδίως διετέθη: compare Polyæn. i, 22; Diodorus, Fragm. lib. x, p. 62, vol. iv, ed. Wess.; Justin, ii, 9. See, also, a good note of Dr. Thirlwall on the passage, Hist. of Gr. vol. ii, ch. xi, p. 77, 2nd ed. I agree with him, that we may fairly construe the indistinct phrase of Thucydidês by the more precise statements of later authors, who mention the torture.

[219] Thucyd. i, 20, vi, 54-59; Herodot. v, 55, 56, vi, 123; Aristot. Polit. v, 8, 9.

[220] See the words of the song:—

Ὅτι τὸν τύραννον κτανέτην

Ἰσονόμους τ᾽ Αθήνας ἐποιησάτην—

ap. Athenæum, xv, p. 691.

The epigram of the Keian Simonidês, (Fragm. 132, ed. Bergk—ap. Hephæstion. c. 14, p. 26, ed. Gaisf.) implies a similar belief: also, the passages in Plato, Symposion, p. 182, in Aristot. Polit. v, 8, 21, and Arrian, Exped. Alex. iv, 10, 3.

[221] Herodot. vi, 109; Demosthen. adv. Leptin. c. 27, p. 495; cont. Meidiam, c. 47, p. 569; and the oath prescribed in the Psephism of Demophantus, Andokidês, De Mysteriis, p. 13; Pliny, H. N. xxxiv, 4-8; Pausan. i, 8, 5; Plutarch, Aristeidês, 27.

The statues were carried away from Athens by Xerxês, and restored to the Athenians by Alexander after his conquest of Persia (Arrian, Ex. Al. iii, 14, 16; Pliny, H. N. xxxiv, 4-8).

[222] One of these stories may be seen in Justin, ii, 9,—who gives the name of Dioklês to Hipparchus,—“Diocles, alter ex filiis, per vim stupratâ virgine, a fratre puellæ interficitur.”

[223] Ἡ γὰρ δειλία φονικώτατόν ἐστιν ἐν ταῖς τυραννίσιν—observes Plutarch, (Artaxerxês, c. 25).

[224] Pausan. i, 23, 2: Plutarch, De Garrulitate, p. 897; Polyæn. viii, 45; Athenæus, xiii. p. 596.

[225] We can hardly be mistaken in putting this interpretation on the words of Thucydidês—Ἀθηναῖος ὢν, Λαμψακηνῷ ἔδωκε (vi, 59).

Some financial tricks and frauds are ascribed to Hippias by the author of the Pseudo-Aristotelian second book of the Œconomica (ii, 4). I place little reliance on the statements in this treatise respecting persons of early date, such as Kypselus or Hippias; in respect to facts of the subsequent period of Greece, between 450-300 B. C., the author’s means of information will doubtless render him a better witness.

[226] Herodot. vi, 36-37.

[227] Thus the Scythians broke into the Chersonese even during the government of Miltiadês son of Kimôn, nephew of Miltiadês the œkist, about forty years after the wall had been erected (Herodot. vi, 40). Again, Periklês reëstablished the cross-wall, on sending to the Chersonese a fresh band of one thousand Athenian settlers (Plutarch, Periklês, c. 19): lastly, Derkyllidas the Lacedæmonian built it anew, in consequence of loud complaints raised by the inhabitants of their defenceless condition,—about 397 B. C. (Xenophon. Hellen. iii, 2, 8-10). So imperfect, however, did the protection prove, that about half a century afterwards, during the first years of the conquests of Philip of Macedon, an idea was entertained of digging through the isthmus, and converting the peninsula into an island (Demosthenês, Philippic ii, 6, p. 92, and De Haloneso, c. 10, p. 86); an idea, however, never carried into effect.

[228] Herodot. vi, 38, 39.

[229] Herodot. v, 94. I have already said that I conceive this as a different war from that in which the poet Alkæus was engaged.

[230] Herodot. iii, 39.

[231] Herodot. vi, 104, 139, 140.

[232] Herodot. vi, 39-103. Cornelius Nepos, in his Life of Miltiadês, confounds in one biography the adventures of two persons,—Miltiadês son of Kypselus, the œkist,—and Miltiadês son of Kimôn, the victor of Marathon,—the uncle and the nephew.

[233] There is nothing that I know to mark the date except that it was earlier than the death of Hipparchus in 514 B. C., and also earlier than the expedition of Darius against the Scythians, about 516 B. C., in which expedition Miltiadês was engaged: see Mr. Clinton’s Fasti Hellenici, and J. M. Schultz, Beitrag zu genaueren Zeitbestimmungen der Hellen. Geschichten von der 63sten bis zur 72sten Olympiade, p. 165, in the Kieler Philologische Studien 1841.

[234] Herodot. v, 62. The unfortunate struggle at Leipsydrion became afterwards the theme of a popular song (Athenæus, xv, p. 695): see Hesychius, v. Λειψύδριον, and Aristotle, Fragm. Ἀθηναίων Πολιτεία, 37, ed. Neumann.

If it be true that Alkibiadês, grandfather of the celebrated Alkibiadês, took part with Kleisthenês and the Alkmæonid exiles in this struggle (see Isokratês, De Bigis, Or. xvi, p. 351), he must have been a mere youth.

[235] Pausan. x, 5, 5.

[236] Herodot. i, 50, ii, 180. I have taken the three hundred talents of Herodotus as being Æginæan talents, which are to Attic talents in the ratio of 5 : 3. The Inscriptions prove that the accounts of the temple were kept by the Amphiktyons on the Æginæan scale of money: see Corpus Inscrip. Boeckh, No. 1688, and Boeckh, Metrologie, vii, 4.

[237] Herodot. vi, 62. The words of the historian would seem to imply that they only began to think of this scheme of building the temple after the defeat of Leipsydrion, and a year or two before the expulsion of Hippias; a supposition quite inadmissible, since the temple must have taken some years in building.

The loose and prejudiced statement in Philochorus, affirming that the Peisistratids caused the Delphian temple to be burnt, and also that they were at last deposed by the victorious arm of the Alkmæônids (Philochori Fragment. 70, ed. Didot) makes us feel the value of Herodotus and Thucydidês as authorities.

[238] Herodot. vi, 128; Cicero, De Legg. ii, 16. The deposit here mentioned by Cicero, which may very probably have been recorded in an inscription in the temple, must have been made before the time of the Persian conquest of Samos,—indeed, before the death of Polykratês in 522 B. C., after which period the island fell at once into a precarious situation, and very soon afterwards into the greatest calamities.

[239] Herodot. v, 62, 63.

[240] Herodot. v, 64, 65.

[241] Thucyd. vi, 56, 57.

[242] Thucyd. vi, 55. ὡς ὅ τε βωμὸς σημαίνει, καὶ ἡ στήλη περὶ τῆς τῶν τυράννων ἀδικίας, ἡ ἐν τῇ Ἀθηναίων ἀκροπόλει σταθεῖσα.

Dr. Thirlwall, after mentioning the departure of Hippias, proceeds as follows: “After his departure many severe measures were taken against his adherents, who appear to have been for a long time afterwards a formidable party. They were punished or repressed, some by death, others by exile or by the loss of their political privileges. The family of the tyrants was condemned to perpetual banishment, and appears to have been excepted from the most comprehensive decrees of amnesty passed in later times.” (Hist. of Gr. ch. xi, vol. ii, p. 81.)

I cannot but think that Dr. Thirlwall has here been misled by insufficient authority. He refers to the oration of Andokidês de Mysteriis, sects. 106 and 78 (sect. 106 coincides in part with ch. 18, in the ed. of Dobree). An attentive reading of it will show that it is utterly unworthy of credit in regard to matters anterior to the speaker by one generation or more. The orators often permit themselves great license in speaking of past facts, but Andokidês in this chapter passes the bounds even of rhetorical license. First, he states something not bearing the least analogy to the narrative of Herodotus as to the circumstances preceding the expulsion of the Peisistratids, and indeed tacitly setting aside that narrative; next, he actually jumbles together the two capital and distinct exploits of Athens,—the battle of Marathon and the repulse of Xerxês ten years after it. I state this latter charge in the words of Sluiter and Valckenaer, before I consider the former charge: “Verissime ad hæc verba notat Valckenaerius—Confundere videtur Andocidês diversissima; Persica sub Miltiade et Dario et victoriam Marathoniam (v, 14)—quæque evenere sub Themistocle, Xerxis gesta. Hic urbem incendio delevit, non ille (v, 20). Nihil magis manifestum est, quam diversa ab oratore confundi.” (Sluiter, Lection. Andocideæ, p. 147.)

The criticism of these commentators is perfectly borne out by the words of the orator, which are too long to find a place here. But immediately prior to those words he expresses himself as follows, and this is the passage which serves as Dr. Thirlwall’s authority: Οἱ γὰρ πατέρες οἱ ὑμέτεροι, γενομένων τῇ πόλει κακῶν μεγάλων, ὅτε οἱ τύραννοι εἶχον τὴν πόλιν, ὁ δὲ δῆμος ἔφυγε, νικήσαντες μαχόμενοι τοὺς τυράννους ἐπὶ Παλληνίῳ, στρατηγοῦντος Λεωγόρου τοῦ προπάππου τοῦ ἐμοῦ, καὶ Χαρίου οὗ ἐκεῖνος τὴν θυγατέρα εἶχεν ἐξ ἧς ὁ ἡμέτερος ἦν πάππος, κατελθόντες εἰς τὴν πατρίδα τοὺς μὲν ἀπέκτειναν, τῶν δὲ φυγὴν κατέγνωσαν, τοὺς δὲ μένειν ἐν τῇ πόλει ἐάσαντες ἠτίμωσαν.

Both Sluiter (Lect. And. p. 8) and Dr. Thirlwall (Hist. p. 80) refer this alleged victory of Leogoras and the Athenian demus to the action described by Herodotus (v, 64) as having been fought by Kleomenês of Sparta against the Thessalian cavalry. But the two events have not a single circumstance in common, except that each is a victory over the Peisistratidæ or their allies: nor could they well be the same event, described in different terms, seeing that Kleomenês, marching from Sparta to Athens, could not have fought the Thessalians at Pallênê, which lay on the road from Marathon to Athens. Pallênê was the place where Peisistratus, advancing from Marathon to Athens, on occasion of his second restoration, gained his complete victory over the opposing party, and marched on afterwards to Athens without farther resistance (Herodot. i, 63).

If, then, we compare the statement given by Andokidês of the preceding circumstances, whereby the dynasty of the Peisistratids was put down, with that given by Herodotus, we shall see that the two are radically different; we cannot blend them together, but must make our election between them. Not less different are the representations of the two as to the circumstances which immediately ensued on the fall of Hippias: they would scarcely appear to relate to the same event. That “the adherents of the Peisistratidæ were punished or repressed, some by death, others by exile, or by the loss of their political privileges,” which is the assertion of Andokidês and Dr. Thirlwall, is not only not stated by Herodotus, but is highly improbable, if we accept the facts which he does state; for he tells us that Hippias capitulated and agreed to retire while possessing ample means of resistance,—simply from regard to the safety of his children. It is not to be supposed that he would leave his intimate partisans exposed to danger; such of them as felt themselves obnoxious would naturally retire along with him; and if this be what is meant by “many persons condemned to exile,” here is no reason to call it in question. But there is little probability that any one was put to death, and still less probability that any were punished by the loss of their political privileges. Within a year afterwards came the comprehensive constitution of Kleisthenês, to be described in the following chapter, and I consider it eminently unlikely that there were a considerable class of residents in Attica left out of this constitution, under the category of partisans of Peisistratus: indeed, the fact cannot be so, if it be true that the very first person banished under the Kleisthenean ostracism was a person named Hipparchus, a kinsman of Peisistratus (Androtion, Fr. 5, ed. Didot; Harpokration, v. Ἵππαρχος); and this latter circumstance depends upon evidence better than that of Andokidês. That there were a party in Attica attached to the Peisistratids, I do not doubt; but that they were “a powerful party,” (as Dr. Thirlwall imagines,) I see nothing to show; and the extraordinary vigor and unanimity of the Athenian people under the Kleisthenean constitution will go far to prove that such could not have been the case.

I will add another reason to evince how completely Andokidês misconceives the history of Athens between 510-480 B. C. He says that when the Peisistratids were put down, many of their partisans were banished, many others allowed to stay at home with the loss of their political privileges; but that afterwards, when the overwhelming dangers of the Persian invasion supervened, the people passed a vote to restore the exiles and to remove the existing disfranchisements at home. He would thus have us believe that the exiled partisans of the Peisistratids were all restored, and the disfranchised partisans of the Peisistratids all enfranchised, just at the moment of the Persian invasion, and with the view of enabling Athens better to repel that grave danger. This is nothing less than a glaring mistake; for the first Persian invasion was undertaken with the express view of restoring Hippias, and with the presence of Hippias himself at Marathon; while the second Persian invasion was also brought on in part by the instigation of his family. Persons who had remained in exile or in a state of disfranchisement down to that time, in consequence of their attachment to the Peisistratids, could not in common prudence be called into action at the moment of peril, to help in repelling Hippias himself. It is very true that the exiles and the disfranchised were readmitted, shortly before the invasion of Xerxês, and under the then pressing calamities of the state. But these persons were not philo-Peisistratids; they were a number gradually accumulated from the sentences of exile and (atimy or) disfranchisement every year passed at Athens,—for these were punishments applied by the Athenian law to various crimes and public omissions,—the persons so sentenced were not politically disaffected, and their aid would then be of use in defending the state against a foreign enemy.

In regard to “the exception of the family of Peisistratus from the most comprehensive decrees of amnesty passed in later times,” I will also remark that, in the decree of amnesty, there is no mention of them by name, nor any special exception made against them: among a list of various categories excepted, those are named “who have been condemned to death or exile either as murderers or as despots,” (ἢ σφαγεῦσιν ἢ τυράννοις, Andokid. c. 13.) It is by no means certain that the descendants of Peisistratus would be comprised in this exception, which mentions only the person himself condemned; but even if this were otherwise, the exception is a mere continuance of similar words of exception in the old Solonian law, anterior to Peisistratus; and, therefore, affords no indication of particular feeling against the Peisistratids.

Andokidês is a useful authority for the politics of Athens in his own time (between 420-390 B. C.), but in regard to the previous history of Athens between 510-480 B. C., his assertions are so loose, confused, and unscrupulous, that he is a witness of no value. The mere circumstance noted by Valckenaer, that he has confounded together Marathon and Salamis, would be sufficient to show this; but when we add to such genuine ignorance his mention of his two great-grandfathers in prominent and victorious leadership, which it is hardly credible that they could ever have occupied,—when we recollect that the facts which he alleges to have preceded and accompanied the expulsion of the Peisistratids are not only at variance with those stated by Herodotus, but so contrived as to found a factitious analogy for the cause which he is himself pleading,—we shall hardly be able to acquit him of something worse than ignorance in his deposition.

[243] Herodot. v, 66-69 ἑσσούμενος δὲ ὁ Κλεισθένης τὸν δῆμον προσεταιρίζεται—ὡς γὰρ δὴ τὸν Ἀθηναίων δῆμον, πρότερον ἀπωσμένον πάντων, τότε πρὸς τὴν ἑωϋτοῦ μοίρην προσεθήκατο, etc.

[244] Aristot. Polit. iii, 1, 10; vi, 2, 11. Κλεισθένης,—πολλοῖς ἐφυλέτευσε ξένους καὶ δούλους μετοίκους.

Several able critics, and Dr. Thirlwall among the number, consider this passage as affording no sense, and assume some conjectural emendation to be indispensable; though there is no particular emendation which suggests itself as preëminently plausible. Under these circumstances, I rather prefer to make the best of the words as they stand; which, though unusual, seem to me not absolutely inadmissible. The expression ξένος μέτοικος (which is a perfectly good one, as we find in Aristoph. Equit. 347,—εἴπου δικιδίον εἶπας εὖ κατὰ ξένου μετοίκου) may be considered as the correlative to δούλους μετοίκους,—the last word being construed both with δούλους and with ξένους. I apprehend that there always must have been in Attica a certain number of intelligent slaves living apart from their masters (χωρὶς οἰκοῦντες), in a state between slavery and freedom, working partly on condition of a fixed payment to him, partly for themselves, and perhaps continuing to pass nominally as slaves after they had bought their liberty by instalments. Such men would be δοῦλοι μέτοικοι: indeed, there are cases in which δοῦλοι signifies freedmen (Meier, De Gentilitate Atticâ, p. 6): they must have been industrious and pushing men, valuable partisans to a political revolution. See K. F. Hermann, Lehrbuch der Griech. Staats Alterth. ch. 111, not. 15.

[245] Herodot. v, 69. Κλεισθένης,—ὑπεριδὼν Ἴωνας, ἵνα μὴ σφισι αἱ αὐταὶ ἔωσι φυλαὶ καὶ Ἴωσι.

[246] Such a disposition seems evident in Herodot. i, 143.

[247] In illustration of what is here stated, see the account of the modifications of the constitution of Zurich, in Blüntschli, Staats und Rechts Geschichte der Stadt Zurich, book iii. ch. 2, p. 322; also, Kortüm, Entstehungs Geschichte der Freistädtischen Bünde im Mittelalter, ch. 5, pp. 74-75.

[248] Respecting these Eponymous Heroes of the Ten Tribes, and the legends connected with them, see chapter viii of the Ἐπιτάφιος Λόγος, erroneously ascribed to Demosthenês.

[249] Herodot. v, 69. δέκα δὲ καὶ τοὺς δήμους κατένεμε ἐς τὰς φυλάς.

Schömann contends that Kleisthenês established exactly one hundred demes to the ten tribes (De Comitiis Atheniensium, Præf. p. xv and p. 363, and Antiquitat. Jur. Pub. Græc. ch. xxii, p. 260), and K. F. Hermann (Lehrbuch der Griech. Staats Alt. ch. 111) thinks that this is what Herodotus meant to affirm, though he does not believe the fact to have really stood so.

I incline, as the least difficulty in the case, to construe δέκα with φυλὰς and not with δήμους, as Wachsmuth (i, 1, p. 271) and Dieterich (De Clisthene, a treatise cited by K. F. Hermann, but which I have not seen) construe it.

[250] The deme Melitê belonged to the tribe Kekropis; Kollytus, to the tribe Ægêis; Kydathenæon, to the tribe Pandionis; Kerameis or Kerameikus, to the Akamantis; Skambônidæ, to the Leontis.

All these five were demes within the city of Athens, and all belonged to different tribes.

Peiræus belonged to the Hippothoöntis; Phalêrum, to the Æantis; Xypetê, to the Kekropis; Thymætadæ, to the Hippothoöntis. These four demes, adjoining to each other, formed a sort of quadruple local union, for festivals and other purposes, among themselves; though three of them belonged to different tribes.

See the list of the Attic demes, with a careful statement of their localities in so far as ascertained, in Professor Ross, Die Demen von Attika. Halle, 1846. The distribution of the city-demes, and of Peiræus and Phalêrum, among different tribes, appears to me a clear proof of the intention of the original distributors. It shows that they wished from the beginning to make the demes constituting each tribe discontinuous, and that they desired to prevent both the growth of separate tribe-interests and ascendency of one tribe over the rest. It contradicts the belief of those who suppose that the tribe was at first composed of continuous demes, and that the breach of continuity arose from subsequent changes.

Of course there were many cases in which adjoining demes belonged to the same tribe; but not one of the ten tribes was made up altogether of adjoining demes.

[251] See Boeckh, Corp. Inscriptt. Nos. 85, 128, 213, etc.: compare Demosthen. cont. Theokrin. c. 4. p. 1326 R.

[252] We may remark that this register was called by a special name, the Lexiarchic register; while the primitive register of phrators and gentiles always retained, even in the time of the orators, its original name of the common register—Harpokration, v. Κοινὸν γραμματεῖον καὶ ληξιαρχικόν.

[253] See Schömann, Antiq. Jur. P. Græc. ch. xxiv. The oration of Demosthenês against Eubulidês is instructive about these proceedings of the assembled demots: compare Harpokration, v. Διαψήφισις, and Meier, De Bonis Damnatorum, ch. xii, p. 78, etc.

[254] Aristot. Fragment. de Republ., ed. Neumann.—Ἀθην. πολιτ. Fr. 40, p. 88; Schol. ad Aristophan. Ran. 37; Harpokration, v. Δήμαρχος—Ναυκραρικά; Photius, v. Ναυκραρία.

[255] Herodot. vi, 109-111.

[256] Harpokration, v. Ἀποδέκται.

[257] See the valuable treatise of Schömann, De Comitiis, passim; also his Antiq. Jur. Publ. Gr. ch. xxxi; Harpokration, v. Κυρία Ἐκκλησία; Pollux, viii, 95.

[258] See in particular on this subject the treatise of Schömann, De Sortitione Judicum (Gripswald, 1820), and the work of the same author, Antiq. Jur. Publ. Græc. ch. 49-55, p. 264, seqq.; also Heffter, Die Athenäische Gerichtsverfassung, part ii, ch. 2, p. 51, seqq.; Meier and Schömann, Der Attische Prozess, pp. 127-135.

The views of Schömann respecting the sortition of the Athenian jurors have been bitterly attacked, but in no way refuted, by F. V. Fritzsche (De Sortitione Judicum apud Athenienses Conmentatio, Leipsic, 1835).

Two or three of these dikastic tickets, marking the name and the deme of the citizen, and the letter of the decury to which during that particular year he belonged, have been recently dug up near Athens:—

Δ.Διόδωρος     Ε.Δεινίας
 Φρεάῤῥιος      Ἀλαιεύς.

(Boeckh, Corp. Inscrip. Nos. 207-208.)

Fritzsche (p. 73) considers these to be tickets of senators, not of dikasts, contrary to all probability.

For the Heliastic oath, and its remarkable particulars, see Demosthen. cont. Timokrat. p. 746. See also Aristophanês, Plutus, 277 (with the valuable Scholia, though from different hands and not all of equal correctness) and 972; Ekklesiazusæ, 678, seqq.

[259] Plutarch, Arist. 7; Herodot. vi, 109-111.

[260] Aristotle puts these two together; election of magistrates by the mass of the citizens, but only out of persons possessing a high pecuniary qualification; this he ranks as the least democratical democracy, if one may use the phrase (Politic. iii, 6-11), or a mean between democracy and oligarchy,—an ἀριστοκρατία, or πολιτεῖα, in his sense of the word (iv, 7, 3). He puts the employment of the lot as a symptom of decisive and extreme democracy, such as would never tolerate a pecuniary qualification of eligibility.

So again Plato (Legg. iii, p. 692), after remarking that the legislator of Sparta first provided the senate, next the ephors, as a bridle upon the kings, says of the ephors that they were “something nearly approaching to an authority emanating from the lot,”—οἷον ψάλιον ἐνέβαλεν αὐτῇ τὴν τῶν ἐφόρων δύναμιν, ἐγγὺς τῆς κληρωτῆς ἀγαγὼν δυνάμεως.

Upon which passage there are some good remarks in Schömann’s edition of Plutarch’s Lives of Agis and Kleomenês (Comment. ad Ag. c. 8, p. 119). It is to be recollected that the actual mode in which the Spartan ephors were chosen, as I have already stated in my first volume, cannot be clearly made out, and has been much debated by critics:—

“Mihi hæc verba, quum illud quidem manifestum faciant, quod etiam aliunde constat, sorte captos ephoros non esse, tum hoc alterum, quod Hermannus statuit, creationem sortitioni non absimilem fuisse, nequaquam demonstrare videntur. Nimirum nihil aliud nisi prope accedere ephororum magistratus ad cos dicitur, qui sortito capiantur. Sortitis autem magistratibus hoc maxime proprium est, ut promiscue—non ex genere, censu, dignitate—a quolibet capi possint: quamobrem quum ephori quoque fere promiscue fierent ex omni multitudine civium, poterat haud dubie magistratus eorum ἐγγὺς τῆς κληρωτῆς δυνάμεως esse dici, etiamsi αἱρετοὶ essent—h. e. suffragiis creati. Et video Lachmannum quoque, p. 165, not. 1, de Platonis loco similiter judicare.”

The employment of the lot, as Schömann remarks, implies universal admissibility of all citizens to office: though the converse does not hold good,—the latter does not of necessity imply the former. Now, as we know that universal admissibility did not become the law of Athens until after the battle of Platæa, so we may conclude that the employment of the lot had no place before that epoch,—i. e. had no place under the constitution of Kleisthenês.

[261] Plutarch, Periklês, c. 9-16.

[262] See a passage about such characters in Plato, Republic, v, p. 475 B.

[263] Plutarch, Arist. 22.

[264] So at least the supporters of the constitution of Kleisthenês were called by the contemporaries of Periklês.

[265] Plutarch, Arist. ut sup. γράφει ψήφισμα, κοινὴν εἶναι τὴν πολιτείαν, καὶ τοὺς ἄρχοντας ἐξ Ἀθηναίων πάντων αἱρεῖσθαι.

[266] So in the Italian republics of the twelfth and thirteenth century, the nobles long continued to possess the exclusive right of being elected to the consulate and the great offices of state, even after those offices had come to be elected by the people: the habitual misrule and oppression of the nobles gradually put an end to this right, and even created in many towns a resolution positively to exclude them. At Milan, towards the end of the twelfth century, the twelve consuls, with the Podestat, possessed all the powers of government: these consuls were nominated by one hundred electors chosen by and among the people. Sismondi observes: “Cependant le peuple imposa lui-même a ces électeurs, la règle fondamentale de choisir tous les magistrats dans le corps de la noblesse. Ce n’étoit point encore la possession des magistratures que l’on contestoit aux gentilshommes: on demandoit seulement qu’ils fussent les mandataires immédiats de la nation. Mais plus d’une fois, en dépit du droit incontestable des citoyens, les consuls regnant s’attribuèrent l’élection de leurs successeurs.” (Sismondi, Histoire des Républiques Italiennes, chap. xii, vol. ii, p. 240.)

[267] Plutarch, Kimon, c. 15. τὴν ἐπὶ Κλεισθένους ἐγείρειν ἀριστοκρατίαν πειρωμένου: compare Plutarch, Aristeidês, c. 2, and Isokratês, Areopagiticus, Or. vii, p. 143, p. 192, ed. Bek.

[268] Herodotus speaks of Kallimachus the Polemarch, at Marathon, as ὁ τῷ κυάμῳ λαχὼν Πολέμαρχος (vi, 110).

I cannot but think that in this case he transfers to the year 490 B. C. the practice of his own time. The polemarch, at the time of the battle of Marathon, was in a certain sense the first stratêgus; and the stratêgi were never taken by lot, but always chosen by show of hands, even to the end of the democracy. It seems impossible to believe that the stratêgi were elected, and that the polemarch, at the time when his functions were the same as theirs, was chosen by lot.

Herodotus seems to have conceived the choice of magistrates by lot as being of the essence of a democracy (Herodot. iii, 80).

Plutarch also (Periklês, c. 9) seems to have conceived the choice of archons by lot as a very ancient institution of Athens: nevertheless, it results from the first chapter of his life of Aristeidês,—an obscure chapter, in which conflicting authorities are mentioned without being well discriminated,—that Aristeidês was chosen archon by the people,—not drawn by lot: an additional reason for believing this is, that he was archon in the year following the battle of Marathon, at which, he had been one of the ten generals. Idomeneus distinctly affirmed this to be the fact.—οὐ κυαμευτὸν, ἀλλ᾽ ἑλομένων Ἀθηναίων (Plutarch, Arist. c. 1).

Isokratês also (Areopagit. Or. vii, p. 144, p. 195, ed. Bekker) conceived the constitution of Kleisthenês as including all the three points noticed in the text: 1. A high pecuniary qualification of eligibility for individual offices. 2. Election to these offices by all the citizens, and accountability to the same after office. 3. No employment of the lot.—He even contends that this election is more truly democratical than sortition; since the latter process might admit men attached to oligarchy, which would not happen under the former,—ἔπειτα καὶ δημοτικωτέραν ἐνόμιζον ταύτην τὴν κατάστασιν ἢ τὴν διὰ τοῦ λαγχάνειν γιγνομένην· ἐν μὲν γὰρ τῇ κληρώσει τὴν τύχην βραβεύσειν, καὶ πολλάκις λήψεσθαι τὰς ἀρχὰς τοὺς τῆς ὀλιγαρχίας ἐπιθυμοῦντας, etc. This would be a good argument if there were no pecuniary qualification for eligibility,—such pecuniary qualification is a provision which he lays down, but which he does not find it convenient to insist upon emphatically.

I do not here advert to the γραφὴ παρανόμων, the νομοφύλακες, and the sworn νομόθεται,—all of them institutions belonging to the time of Periklês at the earliest; not to that of Kleisthenês.

[269] See above, chap. xi. vol. iii. p. 145.

[270] Aristeidês Rhetor. Orat. xlvi. vol ii. p. 317, ed. Dindorf.

[271] Plutarch (Nikias, c. 11; Alkibiad. c. 13; Aristeid. c. 7): Thucyd. viii, 73. Plato Comicus said, respecting Hyperbolus—

Οὐ γὰρ τοιούτων οὕνεκ᾽ ὄστραχ᾽ ηὑρέθη.

Theophrastus had stated that Phæax, and not Nikias, was the rival of Alkibiadês on this occasion, when Hyperbolus was ostracized; but most authors, says Plutarch, represent Nikias as the person. It is curious that there should be any difference of statement about a fact so notorious, and in the best-known time of Athenian history.

Taylor thinks that the oration which now passes as that of Andokidês against Alkibiadês, is really by Phæax, and was read by Plutarch as the oration of Phæax in an actual contest of ostracism between Phæax, Nikias, and Alkibiadês. He is opposed by Ruhnken and Valckenaer (see Sluiter’s preface to that oration, c. 1, and Ruhnken, Hist. Critic. Oratt. Græcor. p. 135). I cannot agree with either: I cannot think with him, that it is a real oration of Phæax; nor with them, that it is a real oration in any genuine cause of ostracism whatever. It appears to me to have been composed after the ostracism had fallen into desuetude, and when the Athenians had not only become somewhat ashamed of it, but had lost the familiar conception of what it really was. For how otherwise can we explain the fact, that the author of that oration complains that he is about to be ostracized without any secret voting, in which the very essence of the ostracism consisted, and from which its name was borrowed (οὔτε διαψηφισαμένων κρυβδὴν, c. 2)? His oration is framed as if the audience whom he was addressing were about to ostracize one out of the three, by show of hands. But the process of ostracizing included no meeting and haranguing,—nothing but simple deposit of the shells in a cask; as may be seen by the description of the special railing-in of the agora, and by the story (true or false) of the unlettered country-citizen coming into the city to give his vote, and asking Aristeidês, without even knowing his person, to write the name for him on the shell (Plutarch, Aristeid. c. 7). There was, indeed, previous discussion in the senate as well as in the ekklesia, whether a vote of ostracism should be entered upon at all; but the author of the oration to which I allude does not address himself to that question; he assumes that the vote is actually about to be taken, and that one of the three—himself, Nikias, or Alkibiadês—must be ostracized (c. 1). Now, doubtless, in practice, the decision commonly lay between two formidable rivals; but it was not publicly or formally put so before the people: every citizen might write upon the shell such name as he chose. Farther, the open denunciation of the injustice of ostracism as a system (c. 2), proves an age later than the banishment of Hyperbolus. Moreover, the author having begun by remarking that he stands in contest with Nikias as well as with Alkibiadês, says nothing more about Nikias to the end of the speech.

[272] See the discussion of the ostracism in Aristot. Politic. iii, 8, where he recognizes the problem as one common to all governments.

Compare, also, a good Dissertation—J. A. Paradys, De Ostracismo Atheniensium, Lugduni Batavor. 1793; K. F. Hermann, Lehrbuch der Griechischen Staatsalterthümer, ch. 130; and Schömann, Antiq. Jur. Pub. Græc. ch. xxxv, p. 233.

[273] Plutarch, Aristeid. c. 3.

[274] The barathrum was a deep pit, said to have had iron spikes at the bottom, into which criminals condemned to death were sometimes cast. Though probably an ancient Athenian punishment, it seems to have become at the very least extremely rare, if not entirely disused, during the times of Athens historically known to us; but the phrase continued in speech after the practice had become obsolete. The iron spikes depend on the evidence of the Schol. Aristophan. Plutus, 431,—a very doubtful authority, when we read the legend which he blends with his statement.

[275] Thucyd. iii, 70, 81, 82.

[276] Andokidês, De Mysteriis, p. 12, c. 13. Μηδὲ νόμον ἐπ᾽ ἀνδρὶ ἐξεῖναι θεῖναι, ἐὰν μὴ τὸν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ πᾶσιν Ἀθηναίοις· ἐὰν μὴ ἑξακισχιλίοις δόξῃ, κρυβδὴν ψηφιζομένοις. According to the usual looseness in dealing with the name of Solon, this has been called a law of Solon (see Petit. Leg. Att. p. 188), though it certainly cannot be older than Kleisthenês.

“Privilegia ne irroganto,” said the law of the Twelve Tables at Rome (Cicero, Legg. iii, 4-19).

[277] Aristotle and Philochorus, ap. Photium, App. p. 672 and 675, ed. Porson.

It would rather appear by that passage that the ostracism was never formally abrogated; and that even in the later times, to which the description of Aristotle refers, the form was still preserved of putting the question whether the public safety called for an ostracizing vote, long after it had passed both out of use and out of mind.

[278] Philochorus, ut supra; Plutarch, Aristeid. c. 7; Schol. ad Aristophan. Equit. 851; Pollux, viii, 19.

There is a difference of opinion among the authorities, as well as among the expositors, whether the minimum of six thousand applies to the votes given in all, or to the votes given against any one name. I embrace the latter opinion, which is supported by Philochorus, Pollux, and the Schol. on Aristophanês, though Plutarch countenances the former. Boeckh, in his Public Economy of Athens, and Wachsmuth, (i, 1, p. 272) are in favor of Plutarch and the former opinion; Paradys (Dissertat. De Ostr. p. 25), Platner, and Hermann (see K. F. Hermann, Lehrbuch der Gr. Staatsalt. ch. 130, not. 6) support the other, which appears to me the right one.

For the purpose, so unequivocally pronounced, of the general law determining the absolute minimum necessary for a privilegium, would by no means be obtained, if the simple majority of votes, among six thousand voters in all, had been allowed to take effect. A person might then be ostracized with a very small number of votes against him, and without creating any reasonable presumption that he was dangerous to the constitution; which was by no means either the purpose of Kleisthenês, or the well-understood operation of the ostracism, so long as it continued to be a reality.

[279] The practical working of the ostracism presents it as a struggle between two contending leaders, accompanied with chance of banishment to both—Periklês πρὸς τὸν Θουκυδίδην εἰς ἀγῶνα περὶ τοῦ ὀστράκου καταστὰς, καὶ διακινδυνεύσας, ἐκεῖνον μὲν ἐξέβαλε, κατέλυσε δὲ τὴν ἀντιτεταγμένην ἑταιρείαν (Plutarch, Periklês, c. 14; compare Plutarch, Nikias, c. 11).

[280] It is not necessary in this remark to take notice, either of the oligarchy of Four Hundred, or that of Thirty, called the Thirty Tyrants, established during the closing years of the Peloponnesian war, and after the ostracism had been discontinued. Neither of these changes were brought about by the excessive ascendency of any one or few men: both of them grew out of the embarrassments and dangers of Athens in the latter period of her great foreign war.

[281] Aristotle (Polit. iii, 8, 6) seems to recognize the political necessity of the ostracism, as applied even to obvious superiority of wealth, connection, etc. (which he distinguishes pointedly from superiority of merit and character), and upon principles of symmetry only, even apart from dangerous designs on the part of the superior mind. No painter, he observes, will permit a foot, in his picture of a man, to be of disproportionate size with the entire body, though separately taken it may be finely painted; nor will the chorus-master allow any one voice, however beautiful, to predominate beyond a certain proportion over the rest.

His final conclusion is, however, that the legislator ought, if possible, so to construct his constitution, as to have no need of such exceptional remedy; but, if this cannot be done, then the second-best step is to apply the ostracism. Compare also v, 2, 5.

The last century of the free Athenian democracy realized the first of these alternatives.

[282] Plutarch, Nikias, c. 11: Harpokration. v. Ἵππαρχος.

[283] Lysias cont. Alkibiad. A. c. 11, p. 143: Harpokration. v. Ἀλκιβιάδης; Andokidês cont. Alkibiad. c. 11-12, pp. 129, 130: this last oration may afford evidence as to the facts mentioned in it, though I cannot imagine it to be either genuine, or belonging to the time to which it professes to refer, as has been observed in a previous note.

[284] Plutarch, Periklês. c. 4; Plutarch. Aristeid. c. 1.

[285] Ælian, V. H. xiii, 24; Herakleidês, περὶ Πολιτειῶν, c. 1, ed. Köhler.

[286] Plutarch, Themistoklês, 22; Plutarch, Aristeidês, 7, παραμυθία φθόνου καὶ κουφισμός. See the same opinions repeated by Wachsmuth, Hellenische Alterthumskunde, ch. 48, vol. i, p. 272, and by Platner, Prozess and Klagen bey den Attikern, vol. i, p. 386.

[287] Thucyd. viii, 73, διὰ δυνάμεως καὶ ἀξιώματος φόβον.

[288] Kratinus ap. Plutarch, Periklês, 13.

Ὁ σχινοκέφαλος Ζεὺς ὁδὶ προσέρχεται

Περικλέης, τᾠδεῖον ἐπὶ τοῦ κρανíου

Ἔχων, ἐπειδὴ τοὔστρακον παροίχεται.

For the attacks of the comic writers upon Damôn, see Plutarch, Periklês, c. 4.

[289] Aristot. Polit. iii, 8, 4; v, 2, 5.

[290] Diodor. xi, 55-87. This author describes very imperfectly the Athenian ostracism, transferring to it apparently the circumstances of the Syracusan Petalism.

[291] Herodot. v, 70-72; compare Schol. ad Aristophan. Lysistr. 274.

[292] Herodot. v, 73.

[293] See vol. ii, p. 295, part ii, ch. 3.

[294] Thucyd. iii, 61.

[295] Herodot. vi, 108. ἐᾷν Θηβαίους Βοιωτῶν τοὺς μὴ βουλομένους ἐς Βοιωτοὺς τελέειν. This is an important circumstance in regard to Grecian political feeling: I shall advert to it hereafter.

[296] Herodot. vi, 108. Thucydidês (iii, 58), when recounting the capture of Platæa by the Lacedæmonians in the third year of the Peloponnesian war, states that the alliance between Platæa and Athens was then in its 93rd year of date; according to which reckoning it would begin in the year 519 B. C., where Mr. Clinton and other chronologers place it.

I venture to think that the immediate circumstances, as recounted in the text from Herodotus (whether Thucydidês conceived them in the same way, cannot be determined), which brought about the junction of Platæa with Athens, cannot have taken place in 519 B. C., but must have happened after the expulsion of Hippias from Athens in 510 B. C.,—for the following reasons:—

1. No mention is made of Hippias, who yet, if the event had happened in 519 B. C., must have been the person to determine whether the Athenians should assist Platæa or not. The Platæan envoys present themselves at a public sacrifice in the attitude of suppliants, so as to touch the feelings of the Athenian citizens generally: had Hippias been then despot, he would have been the person to be propitiated and to determine for or against assistance.

2. We know no cause which should have brought Kleomenês with a Lacedæmonian force near to Platæa in the year 519 B. C.: we know from the statement of Herodotus (v, 76) that no Lacedæmonian expedition against Attica took place at that time. But in the year to which I have referred the event, Kleomenês is on his march near the spot upon a known and assignable object. From the very tenor of the narrative, it is plain that Kleomenês and his army were not designedly in Bœotia, nor meddling with Bœotian affairs, at the time when the Platæans solicited his aid; he declines to interpose in the matter, pleading the great distance between Sparta and Platæa as a reason.

3. Again, Kleomenês, in advising the Platæans to solicit Athens, does not give the advice through good-will towards them, but through a desire to harass and perplex the Athenians, by entangling them in a quarrel with the Bœotians. At the point of time to which I have referred the incident, this was a very natural desire: he was angry, and perhaps alarmed, at the recent events which had brought about his expulsion from Athens. But what was there to make him conceive such a feeling against Athens during the reign of Hippias? That despot was on terms of the closest intimacy with Sparta: the Peisistratids were (ξείνους—ξεινίους ταμάλιστα—Herod. v, 63, 90, 91) “the particular guests” of the Spartans, who were only induced to take part against Hippias from a reluctant obedience to the oracles procured, one after another, by Kleisthenês. The motive, therefore, assigned by Herodotus, for the advice given by Kleomenês to the Platæans, can have no application to the time when Hippias was still despot.

4. That Herodotus did not conceive the victory gained by the Athenians over Thebes as having taken place before the expulsion of Hippias, is evident from his emphatic contrast between their warlike spirit and success when liberated from the despots, and their timidity or backwardness while under Hippias (Ἀθηναῖοι τυραννευόμενοι μὲν, οὐδαμῶν τῶν σφέας περιοικεόντων ἔσαν τὰ πολέμια ἀμείνους, ἀπαλλαχθέντες δὲ τυράννων, μακρῷ πρῶτοι ἐγένοντο· δηλοῖ ὦν ταῦτα, ὅτι κατεχόμενοι μὲν, ἐθελοκάκεον, etc. v, 78). The man who wrote thus cannot have believed that, in the year 519 B. C., while Hippias was in full sway, the Athenians gained an important victory over the Thebans, cut off a considerable portion of the Theban territory for the purpose of joining it to that of the Platæans, and showed from that time forward their constant superiority over Thebes by protecting her inferior neighbor against her.

These different reasons, taking them altogether, appear to me to show that the first alliance between Athens and Platæa, as Herodotus conceives and describes it, cannot have taken place before the expulsion of Hippias, in 510 B. C.; and induce me to believe, either that Thucydidês was mistaken in the date of that event, or that Herodotus has not correctly described the facts. Not seeing any reason to suspect the description given by the latter, I have departed, though unwillingly, from the date of Thucydidês.

The application of the Platæans to Kleomenês, and his advice grounded thereupon, may be connected more suitably with his first expedition to Athens, after the expulsion of Hippias, than with his second.

[297] Herodot. v, 75.

[298] Compare Kortüm, Zur Geschichte Hellenischer Staats-Verfassungen, p. 35 (Heidelberg, 1821).

I doubt, however, his interpretation of the words in Herodotus (v, 63)—εἴτε ἰδίῳ στόλῳ, εἴτε δημοσίῳ χρησόμενοι.

[299] Herodot. v, 77; Ælian, V. H. vi, 1; Pausan. i, 28, 2.

[300] Herodot. v, 80.

[301] In the expression of Herodotus, the Æakid heroes are really sent from Ægina, and really sent back by the Thebans (v, 80-81)—Οἱ δέ σφι αἰτέουσι ἐπικουρίην τοὺς Αἰακίδας συμπέμπειν ἔφασαν, αὖτις οἱ Θηβαῖοι πέμψαντες, τοὺς μὲν Αἰακίδας σφι ἀπεδίδοσαν, τῶν δὲ ἀνδρῶν ἐδέοντο. Compare again v, 75; viii, 64; and Polyb. vii, 9, 2. θεῶν τῶν συστρατευομένων.

Justin gives a narrative of an analogous application from the Epizephyrian Lokrians to Sparta (xx, 3): “Territi Locrenses ad Spartanos decurrunt: auxilium supplices deprecantur: illi longinquâ militiâ gravati, auxilium a Castore et Polluce petere eos jubent. Neque legati responsum sociæ urbis spreverunt; profectique in proximum templum, facto sacrificio, auxilium deorum implorant. Litatis hostiis, obtentoque, ut rebantur, quod petebant—haud secus læti quam si deos ipsos secum avecturi essent—pulvinaria iis in navi componunt, faustisque profecti ominibus, solatia suis pro auxiliis deportant.” In comparing the expressions of Herodotus with those of Justin, we see that the former believes the direct literal presence and action of the Æakid heroes (“the Thebans sent back the heroes, and asked for men”), while the latter explains away the divine intervention into a mere fancy and feeling on the part of those to whom it is supposed to be accorded. This was the tone of those later authors whom Justin followed: compare also Pausan. iii, 19, 2.

[302] Herodot. v, 81-82.