The Project Gutenberg eBook of History of Greece, Volume 11 (of 12)

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Title: History of Greece, Volume 11 (of 12)

Author: George Grote

Release date: February 21, 2020 [eBook #61469]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Henry Fower, 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]


This History has already occupied a far larger space than I at first intended or anticipated.

Nevertheless, to bring it to the term marked out in my original preface—the close of the generation contemporary with Alexander, on whose reign we are about to enter—one more Volume will yet be required.

That Volume will include a review of Plato and Aristotle, so far as the limits of a general history permit. Plato, indeed, belonging to the period already described, is partially noticed in the present Volume; at an epoch of his life when, as counsellor of Dionysius II., he exercised positive action on the destinies of Syracuse. But I thought it more convenient to reserve the appreciation of his philosophical character and influence, until I could present him in juxtaposition with his pupil Aristotle, whose maturity falls within the[p. iv] generation now opening. These two distinguished thinkers will be found to throw light reciprocally upon each other, in their points both of contrast and similarity.

G. G.

London, April 15, 1853.

[p. v]






Frequent occurrence of pestilence among the Carthaginians, not extending to the Greeks in Sicily. — Mutiny among the mercenaries of Dionysius — Aristoteles their commander is sent away to Sparta. — Difficulties of Dionysius arising from his mercenaries — heavy burden of paying them. — Dionysius reëstablishes Messênê with new inhabitants. — Conquests of Dionysius in the interior of Sicily. — Alarm at Rhegium — Dionysius attacks the Sikel town of Tauromenium — desperate defence of the Sikels — Dionysius is repulsed and nearly slain. — Agrigentum declares against Dionysius — reäppearance of the Carthaginian army under Magon. — Expedition of Dionysius against Rhegium — he fails in surprising the town — he concludes a truce for one year. — Magon again takes the field at Agyrium — is repulsed by Dionysius — truce concluded. — Dionysius again attacks Tauromenium — captures it, drives out the Sikels, and plants new inhabitants. — Plans of Dionysius against the Greek cities in Southern Italy — great pressure upon these cities from the Samnites and Lucanians of the interior. — Alliance contracted among the Italiot Greeks, for defence both against the Lucanians and against Dionysius — Dionysius allies himself with the Lucanians. — Dionysius attacks Rhegium — the Rhegines save the Krotoniate fleet — fleet of Dionysius ruined by a storm. — Defeat of the inhabitants of Thurii by the Lucanians — Leptines with the fleet of Dionysius off Läus — his conduct towards the survivors. — Fresh expedition of Dionysius against the Italiot Greeks — his powerful armament — he besieges Kaulonia. — United army of the Italiot Greeks advances to relieve the place — their advanced guard is defeated, and Helôris the general slain. — The whole army is defeated and captured by Dionysius. — Generous lenity of Dionysius towards the prisoners. — Dionysius besieges Rhegium — he grants to them peace on severe terms. — He captures Kaulonia and Hip[p. vi]ponium — inhabitants transported to Syracuse — territory made over to Lokri. — Artifices of Dionysius to impoverish and disarm the Rhegines. — He besieges Rhegium — desperate defence of the town under the general Phyton — Surrender of the place from famine, after a blockade of eleven months. — Cruel treatment of Phyton by Dionysius. — Strong sympathy excited by the fate of Phyton. — Rhegium dismantled — all the territory of the southern Calabrian peninsula united to Lokri. — Peace of Antalkidas — ascendent position of Sparta and of Dionysius — Kroton conquered by Dionysius — Splendid robe taken from the temple of Hêrê. — Schemes of Dionysius for transmarine colonies and conquests, in Epirus and Illyria. — Dionysius plunders the coast of Latium and Etruria, and the rich temple of Agylla. — Immense power of Dionysius — his poetical compositions. — Olympic festival of 384 B. C., the first after the peace of Antalkidas — Dionysius sends thither a splendid legation — also chariots to run — and poetical compositions to be recited. — Feelings of the crowd at the festival — Dikon of Kaulonia. — Harangue of Lysias at the festival against Dionysius, in reference to the political state of the Grecian world, and the sufferings of the enslaved Sicilians. — Hatred of the past, and fear of the future conquests of Dionysius, both prevalent. — Lysias exhorts his hearers to destroy the tents of the Syracusan legation at Olympia, as an act of retribution against Dionysius. — Explosion of antipathy against the poems of Dionysius recited at Olympia — insults heaped upon his name and person. — Excessive grief, wrath, and remorse, of Dionysius on hearing of this manifestation against him — his suspicions and cruelties. — Marked and singular character of the manifestation against Dionysius. — Plato visits Syracuse — is harshly treated by Dionysius — acquires great influence over Dion. — New constructions and improvements by Dionysius at Syracuse. — Intention of Dionysius to renew the war with Carthage. — War with Carthage — Victory of Dionysius over the Carthaginian army under Magon. — Second battle with the Carthaginians at Kronium, in which Dionysius is defeated with terrible loss. — He concludes peace with Carthage, on terms very unfavorable to himself: all the territory west of the river Halykus is surrendered to Carthage: he covenants to pay tribute to Carthage. — Affairs of Southern Italy: wall across the Calabrian peninsula projected, but not executed. — Relations of Dionysius with Central Greece. — New war undertaken by Dionysius against Carthage. He is at first successful, but is ultimately defeated near Lilybæum, and forced to return home. — Dionysius gains the prize of tragedy at the Lenæan festival at Athens. His joy at the news. He dies of fever soon afterwards. — Character of Dionysius.




Family left by Dionysius at his death. — Dion — his connection with the Dionysian family. — Personal character of Dion. — Plato, Dion, and the Pythagorean philosophers. — Extraordinary influence of Plato upon Dion. — Dion learns to hate the Dionysian despotism — he conceives large political and reformatory views. — Alteration of habits in Dion[p. vii] — he brings Plato into communication with Dionysius. — Dion maintains the good opinion and confidence of Dionysius, until the death of the latter — his visits to Peloponnesus. — Death of the elder Dionysius — divergences of interest between the two lines of family. — The younger Dionysius succeeds his father — his character. — Conduct of Dion — he submits to the younger Dionysius — gives him frank and wholesome advice. — Dion acquires great influence and estimation from Dionysius. — Recall of Philistus from exile. — Dion tries to work upon the mind of Dionysius towards a freer political government and mental improvement. — His earnest exhortations produced considerable effect, inspiring Dionysius with a strong desire to see and converse with Plato. — Invitation sent to Plato, both by Dion and by Dionysius. — Hesitation of Plato — he reluctantly consents to visit Syracuse. — Plato visits Syracuse — unbounded deference and admiration manifested towards him at first by Dionysius — Fear and hatred felt by Philistus and other courtiers. — Injudicious manner in which Plato dealt with Dionysius. — Strenuous exhortations addressed by Plato and Dion to Dionysius, to reform himself. — Plato damps the inclination of Dionysius towards Political good. — If Plato had tried to impel Dionysius towards a good practical use of his power, Dionysius might at that time have obeyed him with the aid of Dion. — Difficulties which they would have encountered in trying to realize beneficent projects. — Intrigues by Philistus and others to set Dionysius against Plato and Dion. — Relations between Dionysius and Dion — natural foundation for jealousy on the part of Dionysius. — Dionysius loses his inclinations towards political improvements — comes to hate Dion. — Banishment of Dion from Syracuse to Italy. — Dionysius retains Plato in the acropolis, but treats him well, and tries to conciliate his esteem. — He dismisses Plato — then recalls him — second visit of Plato to Syracuse — his dissatisfaction — Dionysius refuses to recall Dion. — Dionysius confiscates the property of Dion — mortification of Plato, who with difficulty obtains leave to depart from Syracuse. — Resolution of Dion to avenge himself on Dionysius, and to force his way back to Syracuse by arms. — Plato rejoins Dion in Peloponnesus — exasperation of Dion — Dionysius gives his sister Aretê, the wife of Dion, in marriage to Timokrates. — Means of auxiliaries of Dion — Plato — the Academy — Alkimenes. Dion musters his force at Zakynthus. — Small force of Dion against the prodigious power of Dionysius. Resolution of Dion to conquer or perish. — Circumstances which told against Dionysius — discontent at Syracuse. — Herakleides exiled from Syracuse — he projects an attack upon Dionysius, at the same time as Dion. — Weakness of character — dissolute and drunken habits — of Dionysius himself. — Alarm of the soldiers of Dion at Zakynthus, when first informed that they were going against Dionysius. — Eclipse of the moon — religious disquietude of the soldiers — they are reassured by the prophet Miltas — fortunate voyage from Zakynthus to Sicily. — Dion lands at Herakleia — he learns that Dionysius with a large fleet has just quitted Syracuse for Italy. — March of Dion from Herakleia to Syracuse. — Dion crosses the river Anapus, and approaches the gates of Syracuse. — Mistake of Timokrates, left as governor of Syracuse in the absence of Dionysius. — General rising of the Syracusans to welcome and assist Dion. Timokrates is obliged to evacuate the city, leaving Ortygia and Epipolæ garrisoned. — Entry of Dion into Achradina — joy of the citizens — he proclaims liberty. — Dion presents himself at the Pentapyla in front of Ortygia — challenges the garrison of Ortygia to come out and fight — is chosen general by the Syracusans, with his brother Megakles. — Dion captures Epipolæ and Euryalus. He erects a cross-wall from sea to sea, to block[p. viii] up Ortygia. — Return of Dionysius to Syracuse. He tries to negotiate with Dion and the Syracusans — deceives them by fallacious propositions. — Sudden sally made by Dionysius to surprise the blockading wall — great bravery, efforts, and danger of Dion — he at length repulses the attack and recovers the wall. — Ortygia is again blocked up by land — efforts of Dionysius with his fleet — arrival of Herakleides from Peloponnesus with a fleet to coöperate against Dionysius. — Arrival of Philistus with his fleet to the aid of Dionysius. Battle in the Great Harbor between the fleet of Philistus and that of the Syracusans — Philistus is defeated and slain. — Intrigues of Dionysius against Dion in Syracuse. — Relationship of Dion to the Dionysian dynasty — suspicions entertained against him by the Syracusans — his haughty manners. Rivalry of Herakleides. — Herakleides is named admiral. Dion causes him to be deposed, and then moves himself for his re-appointment. — Intrigues and calumnies raised against Dion in Syracuse, by the management of Dionysius. — Mistrust of Dion by the Syracusans, mainly in consequence of his relationship to the Dionysian family. Calumnies of Sôsis. — Farther propositions of Dionysius. He goes away from Ortygia to Italy, leaving his son Apollokrates in command of the garrison. — Increased dissension between Dion and Herakleides — Dion is deposed and his soldiers deprived of the pay due to them — new generals are named. — Dion is forced to retreat from Syracuse — bad conduct of the new generals and of the people towards his soldiers. — Dion reaches Leontini — the Leontines stand by him against the Syracusans — arrival of Nypsius with a reinforcement to the Dionysian garrison in Ortygia. — Advantage gained by Herakleides and the Syracusans over Nypsius as he came into Ortygia — extravagant confidence in Syracuse — Nypsius sallies from Ortygia, and forces his way into Neapolis and Achradina. — Danger and distress of the Syracusans — they send to Leontini to invoke the aid of Dion. — Assembly at Leontini — pathetic address of Dion. — Reluctance of Herakleides to let Dion into Syracuse — renewed assault from Nypsius — unanimous prayers now sent to invite Dion. — Entrance of Dion into Syracuse — he draws up his troops on Epipolæ. Frightful condition of the city. — Dion drives back Nypsius and his troops into Ortygia — he extinguishes the flames, and preserves Syracuse. — Universal gratitude on the part of the Syracusans, towards Dion. Herakleides and Theodotes throw themselves upon his mercy. — Dion pardons Herakleides — his exposition of motives. — Remarkable features in this act of Dion. — Dion re-establishes the blockade of Ortygia, and ransoms the captives taken. — Dion is named general on land, at the motion of Herakleides, who is continued in his command of the fleet. — Attempt to supersede Dion through Gæsylus the Spartan — good conduct of Gæsylus. — Surrender of Ortygia by Apollokrates to Dion. — Entry of Dion into Ortygia — restoration of his wife — speedy death of his son. — Conduct of Dion in the hour of triumph. — Suspicions previously entertained respecting Dion — that he was aiming at the despotism for himself — confirmed by his present conduct. — He retains his dictatorial power, with the fortress and garrison of Ortygia — he grants no freedom to Syracuse. — Intention of Dion to constitute himself king, with a Lykurgean scheme of government and discipline. — Mistake of Dion as to his position. — Dion takes no step to realise any measure of popular liberty. — Opposition raised against Dion by Herakleides — impatience of the Syracusans to see the demolition of the Dionysian strongholds and funeral monument. — Dion causes Herakleides to be privately slain. — Increased oppressions of Dion — hatred entertained against him in Syracuse. — Disquietude and irritability of Dion on ac[p. ix]count of his unpopularity. — Conspiracy of Kallippus against him — artifices and perjury. — Kallippus causes Dion to be assassinated. — Life, sentiments, and altered position, of Dion.




Position and prospects of Kallippus, after the assassination of Dion. — He continues master of Syracuse more than a year. His misrule. Return of Hipparinus son of Dionysius to Syracuse. Expulsion of Kallippus. — Miserable condition of Syracuse and Sicily, as described by Plato. — Plato’s recommendations fruitless — state of Syracuse grows worse. Dionysius returns to Ortygia, expelling Hipparinus. — Drunken habits of the Dionysian princes. — Lokri — dependency and residence of the younger Dionysius. — Sufferings of the Italiot Greeks from the Lucanians and Bruttians of the interior. — Dionysius at Lokri — his unpopularity and outrageous misrule — cruel retaliation of the Lokrians upon his female relatives. — Distress of the Syracusans — fresh danger from Carthage. They invoke the aid of Hiketas — in concert with Hiketas, they send to entreat aid from Corinth. Secret alliance of Hiketas with the Carthaginians — he conspires to defeat the application to Corinth. — Application from Syracuse favorably received by the Corinthians — vote passed to grant aid. — Difficulty in finding a Corinthian leader — most of the leading citizens decline — Timoleon is proposed and chosen. — Antecedent life and character of Timoleon. — His conduct towards his brother Timophanes, whose life he saves in battle. — Timophanes makes himself despot, and commits gross oppression — Timoleon with two companions puts him to death. — Beneficial effects of the act upon Corinth — sentiment towards Timoleon. — Bitter reproach of Timoleon by his mother. — Intense mental distress of Timoleon. He shuts himself up and retires from public life. — Different judgments of modern and ancient minds on the act of Timoleon. Comments of Plutarch. — Timoleon is appointed commander to Syracuse — he accepts the command — admonition of Telekleides. — Preparations made by Timoleon — his scanty means — he engages some of the Phokian mercenaries. — Bad promise of the expedition — second message from Hiketas, withdrawing himself from the Corinthian alliance, and desiring that no troops might be sent to Sicily. — Timoleon sets out for Sicily with a small squadron — favorable omens from the gods. — Timoleon arrives at Rhegium — is prevented from reaching Sicily by a Carthaginian fleet of superior force — insidious message from Hiketas. — Stratagem of Timoleon to get across to Sicily, in collusion with the Rhegines. — Public meeting in Rhegium — Timoleon and the Carthaginians both present at it — long speeches, during which Timoleon steals away, contriving to send his fleet over to Sicily. — Timoleon at Tauromenium in Sicily — formidable strength of his enemies — despots in Sicily — despondency in Syracuse. — Success of Timoleon at Adranum. He surprises and defeats the troops of Hiketas, superior in number. — Improved position and alliances of Timoleon — he marches up to the walls of Syracuse. — Position of Dionysius in Ortygia — he resolves to surrender that fortress to Timoleon, stipulating for safe conveyance and shelter at Corinth. — Timoleon sends troops to occupy Ortygia, receiving Dionysius into his[p. x] camp. — Timoleon sends news of his success to Corinth, with Dionysius himself in a trireme. — Great effect produced at Corinth — confidence of the citizens — reinforcement sent to Timoleon. — Sight of the fallen Dionysius at Corinth — impression made upon the Greeks — numerous visitors to see him. Conversation with Aristoxenus. — Immense advantage derived by Timoleon from the possession of Ortygia — numerous stores found in it. — Large Carthaginian army under Magon arrives to aid in attacking Ortygia. Defeated by Neon, during the absence of Magon and Hiketas. Neon acquires Achradina, and joins it by a line of wall to Ortygia. — Return of Magon and Hiketas to Syracuse — increased difficulty of their proceedings, since the victory of Neon. — Return of Timoleon to Syracuse — fortunate march and arrival of the Corinthian reinforcement. — Messênê declares in favor of Timoleon. — He establishes his camp near Syracuse. — Magon distrusts Hiketas and his position at Syracuse — he suddenly withdraws his army and fleet, leaving Syracuse altogether. — Timoleon masters Epipolæ and the whole city of Syracuse — Hiketas is obliged to escape to Leontini. — Languid defence made by the troops of Hiketas. — Great effect produced by the news that Timoleon was master of Syracuse. — Extraordinary admiration felt towards Timoleon — especially for the distinguished favor shown to him by the gods. — Timoleon ascribes all his success to the gods. — Temptations of Timoleon in the hour of success — easy possibility of making himself despot of Syracuse. — Timoleon invited the Syracusans to demolish the Dionysian stronghold in Ortygia. — He erects courts of justice on the site. — Desolate condition of Syracuse and other cities in Sicily. Recall of exiles. Application on the part of Timoleon and the Syracusans to Corinth. — Commissioners sent from Corinth to Syracuse — they revive the laws and democracy enacted by Dioklês — but with various changes and additions. — Poverty at Syracuse — necessity for inviting new colonists. — Large body of new colonists assembled at Corinth for Sicily. — Influx of new colonists into Sicily from all quarters. — Relief to the poverty of Syracuse. — Successes of Timoleon against Hiketas, Leptines, and other despots in Sicily — Hiketas invites the Carthaginians again to invade Sicily. — The Carthaginians land in Sicily with a vast army, including a large proportion of native troops. — Timoleon marches from Syracuse against the Carthaginians — mutiny of a portion of his mercenaries under Thrasius — Timoleon marches into the Carthaginian province — omen about the parsley. — He encounters the Carthaginian army while passing the Krimêsus. War chariots in their front — Timoleon orders his cavalry to charge. — Strenuous battle between the infantry of Timoleon and the native Carthaginian infantry. Terrible storm — complete victory of Timoleon. — Severe loss of the Carthaginians in the battle, especially of their native troops. Booty collected by the soldiers of Timoleon. — Discouragement and terror among the defeated army as well as at Carthage itself. — Great increase of glory to Timoleon — favor of the gods shown to him in the battle. — Timoleon returns to Syracuse — he dismisses Thrasius and the mercenaries who had deserted him — he sends them out of Sicily — their fate. — Success of Timoleon against Hiketas and Mamerkus. — Victory gained by Timoleon over Hiketas, at the river Damurias. — Timoleon attacks Hiketas and Leontini. The place (with Hiketas in person) is surrendered to Timoleon by the garrison. Hiketas and his family are put to death. — Timoleon gains a victory over Mamerkus — he concludes peace with the Carthaginians. — Timoleon conquers and takes prisoners Mamerkus and Hippon. Mamerkus is condemned by the Syracusan public assembly. — Timoleon puts down[p. xi] all the despots in Sicily. — Timoleon lays down his power at Syracuse. — Gratitude and reward to him by the Syracusans. — Great influence of Timoleon, even after he had laid down his power. — Immigration of new Greek settlers into Sicily, to Gela, Agrigentum, Kamarina, etc. — Value and importance of the moral ascendency enjoyed by Timoleon, in regulating these new settlements. — Numerous difficulties which he would be called upon to adjust. — Residence of Timoleon at Syracuse — chapel to the goddess Automatia. — Arrival of the blind Timoleon in the public assembly of Syracuse during matters of grave and critical discussion. — Manner in which Timoleon bore contradiction in the public assembly — his earnest anxiety to ensure freedom of speech against himself. — Uncorrupted moderation and public spirit of Timoleon. — Xenophontic ideal — command over willing free men — qualities, positive as well as negative, of Timoleon. — Freedom and comfort diffused throughout all Sicily for twenty-four years, until the despotism of Agathokles. — Death and obsequies of Timoleon. — Proclamation at his funeral — monument to his honor. — Contrast of Dion and Timoleon.




Central Greece resumed. — State of Central Greece in 360-359 B. C. — Degradation of Sparta. — Megalopolis — Messênê — their fear of Sparta — no central action in Peloponnesus. — Corinth, Sikyon, etc. — Comparatively good condition of Athens. — Power of Thebes. — Extinction of the free cities of Bœotia by the Thebans — repugnant to Grecian feeling. — Thessaly — despots of Pheræ. — Alexander of Pheræ — his cruelties — his assassination. — Tisiphonus despot of Pheræ — loss of power in the Pheræan dynasty. — Macedon — reign and death of Perdikkas. — Philip as a youth at Thebes — ideas there acquired — foundation laid of his future military ability. — Condition of Philip at the death of Perdikkas. — Embarrassments and dangers with which he had to contend. — Macedonian government. — Proceedings of Philip against his numerous enemies. His success — Thracians — Athenians. — He evacuates Amphipolis. He defeats Argæus and the Athenians — his mild treatment of Athenian prisoners. — Philip makes peace with Athens — renounces his claim to Amphipolis. — Victories of Philip over the Pæonians and Illyrians. — Amphipolis evacuated by Philip — the Athenians neglect it. — State of Eubœa — the Thebans foment revolt and attack the island — victorious efforts of Athens. — Surrender of the Chersonese to Athens. — Social War — Chios, Kos, Rhodes, and Byzantium revolt from Athens. — Causes of the Social War — conduct of the Athenians. — Synod at Athens. — Athens acts more for her own separate interests, and less for that of her allies — her armaments on service — badly paid mercenaries — their extortions. — The four cities declare themselves independent of Athens — interference of the Karian Mausôlus. — Great force of the revolters — armament despatched by Athens against Chios — repulse of the Athenians, and death of Chabrias. — Farther armaments of Athens — Iphikrates, Timotheus, and Chares — unsuccessful operations in the Hellespont, and quarrel between the generals. — Iphikrates and Timotheus are accused by Chares at Athens[p. xii] — Iphikrates is acquitted, Timotheus is fined and retires from Athens. — Arrogance and unpopularity of Timotheus, attested by his friend Isokrates. — Exile of Timotheus — his death soon afterwards. — Iphikrates no more employed — great loss to Athens in these two generals. — Expedition of Chares — Athens makes peace with her revolted allies, recognizing their full autonomy. — End of the Social War — great loss of power to Athens. — Renewed action of Philip. He lays siege to Amphipolis. — The Amphipolitans send to ask assistance from Athens — manœuvres of Philip to induce Athens not to interfere. — The Athenians determine not to assist Amphipolis — their motives — importance of this resolution. — Capture of Amphipolis by Philip, through the treason of a party in the town. — Importance of Amphipolis to Philip — disappointment of the Athenians at his breach of promise. — Philip amuses the Athenians with false assurances — he induces them to reject advances from the Olynthians — proposed exchange of Pydna for Amphipolis. — Philip acts in a hostile manner against Athens — he conquers Pydna and Potidæa — gives Potidæa to the Olynthians — remissness of the Athenians. — Increase of the power of Philip — he founds Philippi, opens gold mines near Mount Pangæus, and derives large revenues from them. — Marriage of Philip with Olympias — birth of Alexander the Great.




Causes of the Sacred War — the Amphiktyonic assembly. — Political complaint brought before the assembly, first by Thebes against Sparta. — Next, by Thebes against the Phokians. The Phokians are condemned and heavily fined. — The assembly pass a vote consecrating the Phokian territory to Apollo. — Resolution of the Phokians to resist — Philomelus their leader. — Question of right raised as to the presidency of the temple — old right of the Phokians against that of the Delphians and the Amphiktyons. — Active measures taken by Philomelus. He goes to Sparta — obtains aid from king Archidamus. He seizes Delphi — defeats the Lokrians. — Philomelus fortifies the temple — levies numerous mercenaries — tries to conciliate Grecian sentiment. The Grecian world divided. — Philomelus tries to retain the prophetic agency — conduct of the Pythia. — Battles of Philomelus against the Lokrians — his success. — Exertions of the Thebans to raise a confederacy against the Phokians. — Danger of the Phokians — they take part of the treasures of the temple, in order to pay a mercenary force. — Numerous mercenaries employed by the Phokians — violence and ferocity of the war — defeat and death of Philomelus. — Onomarchus general of the Phokians — he renews the war — his power by means of the mercenaries. — Violent measures of Onomarchus — he employs the treasures of the temple to scatter bribes through the various cities. — Successes of Onomarchus — he advances as far as Thermopylæ — he invades Bœotia — is repulsed by the Thebans. — The Thebans send a force under Pammenes to assist Artabazus in Asia Minor. — Conquest of Sestos by Chares and the Athenians. — Intrigues of Kersobleptes against Athens — he is compelled to cede to her his portion of the[p. xiii] Chersonese — Athenian settlers sent thither, as well as to Samos. — Activity and constant progress of Philip — he conquers Methônê — remissness of Athens. — Philip marches into Thessaly against the despots of Pheræ. — Great power of Onomarchus and the Phokians — plans of Athens and Sparta — the Spartans contemplate hostilities against Megalopolis. — First appearance of Demosthenes as a public adviser in the Athenian assembly. — Parentage and early youth of Demosthenes — wealth of his father — dishonesty of his guardians. — Youth of Demosthenes — sickly and feeble constitution — want of physical education and bodily vigor. — Training of Demosthenes for a speaker — his instructors — Isæus — Plato — his devoted study of Thucydides. — Indefatigable efforts of Demosthenes to surmount his natural defects as a speaker. — Value set by Demosthenes upon action in oratory. His mind and thoughts — how formed. — He becomes first known as a logographer or composer of speeches for litigants. — Phokion — his antithesis and rivalry with Demosthenes — his character and position — his bravery and integrity. — Lasting hold acquired by his integrity on the public of Athens. — Number of times that he was elected general. — His manner of speaking — effective brevity — contempt of oratory. — His frankness — his contempt of the Athenian people — his imperturbability — his repulsive manners. — Phokion and Eubulus the leaders of the peace-party, which represented the strongly predominant sentiment at Athens. — Influence of Phokion mischievous during the reign of Philip — at that time Athens might have prevailed over Macedonia. — Change in the military spirit of Greece since the Peloponnesian war. Decline of the citizen soldiership: increased spread of mercenary troops. Contrast between the Periklean and the Demosthenic citizen. — Decline of military readiness also among the Peloponnesian allies of Sparta. — Multiplication of mercenary soldiers — its mischievous consequences — necessity of providing emigration. — Deterioration of the Grecian military force occurred at the same time with the great development of the Macedonian force. — Rudeness and poverty of the Macedonians — excellent material for soldiers — organizing genius of Philip. — First parliamentary harangue of Demosthenes — on the Symmories — alarm felt about Persia. — Positive recommendations in the speech — mature thought and sagacity which they imply. — His proposed preparation and scheme for extending the basis of the Symmories. — Spirit of the Demosthenic exhortations — always impressing the necessity of personal effort and sacrifice as conditions of success. — Affairs of Peloponnesus — projects of Sparta against Megalopolis — her attempt to obtain coöperation from Athens. — Views and recommendations of Demosthenes — he advises that Athens shall uphold Messênê and Megalopolis. — Philip in Thessaly — he attacks Lykophron of Pheræ, who calls in Onomarchus and the Phokians — Onomarchus defeats Philip. — Successes of Onomarchus in Bœotia — maximum of the Phokian power. — Philip repairs his forces and marches again into Thessaly — his complete victory over the Phokians — Onomarchus is slain. — Philip conquers Pheræ and Pagasæ — becomes master of all Thessaly — expulsion of Lykophron. — Philip invades Thermopylæ — the Athenians send a force thither and arrest his progress. Their alarm at this juncture, and unusual rapidity of movement. — Phayllus takes the command of the Phokians — third spoliation of the temple — revived strength of the Phokians — malversation of the leaders. — War in Peloponnesus — the Spartans attack Megalopolis — interference of Thebes. — Hostilities with indecisive result — peace concluded — autonomy of Megalopolis again recognized. — Ill success of the Phokians in Bœotia — death of Phayllus, who is succeeded by Phalækus. — The Thebans obtain money from the Persian[p. xiv] king. — Increased power and formidable attitude of Philip. Alarm which he now begins to inspire throughout the Grecian world. — Philip acquires a considerable navy — importance of the Gulf of Pagasæ to him — his flying squadrons annoy the Athenian commerce and coast. — Philip carries on war in Thrace — his intrigues among the Thracian princes. — He besieges Heræon Teichos: alarm at Athens: a decree is passed to send out a fleet: Philip falls sick: the fleet is not sent. — Popularity of the mercenary general Charidemus — vote in his favor proposed by Aristokrates — speech composed by Demosthenes against it. — Languor of the Athenians — the principal peace-leaders, Eubulus, Phokion, etc., propose nothing energetic against Philip — Demosthenes undertakes the duty. — First Philippic of Demosthenes, 352-351 B. C. — remarks and recommendations of the first Philippic. Severe comments on the past apathy of the people. — He insists on the necessity that citizens shall serve in person, and proposes the formation of an acting fleet and armament. — His financial propositions. — Mischiefs of the past negligence and want of preparation — harm done by the mercenary unpaid armaments, serving without citizens. — Characteristics of the first Philippic — prudent advice and early warnings of Demosthenes. — Advice of Demosthenes not carried into effect: no serious measures adopted by Athens. — Opponents of Demosthenes at Athens — speakers in the pay of Philip — alarm about the Persian king still continues.




Change of sentiments at Olynthus — the Olynthians afraid of Philip — they make peace with Athens. — Unfriendly feelings of Philip towards Olynthus — ripening into war in 350 B. C. — Fugitive half-brothers of Philip obtain shelter at Olynthus. — Intrigues of Philip in Olynthus — his means of corruption and of fomenting intestine discord. — Conquest and destruction of the Olynthian confederate towns by Philip, between 350-347 B. C. terrible phenomena. — Philip attacks the Olynthians and Chalkidians — beginning of the Olynthian war, 350 B. C. — The Olynthians conclude alliance with Athens. — The Athenians contract alliance with Olynthus — earliest Olynthiac speech of Demosthenes. — The Second Olynthiac is the earliest — its tone and tenor. — Disposition to magnify the practical effect of the speeches of Demosthenes — his true position — he is an opposition speaker. — Philip continues to press the Olynthian confederacy — increasing danger of Olynthus — fresh applications to Athens. — Demosthenes delivers another Olynthiac oration — that which stands First, in the printed order. Its tenor. — Just appreciation of the situation by Demosthenes. He approaches the question of the Theôric Fund. — Assistance sent by Athens to Olynthus. Partial success against Philip. — Partial and exaggerated confidence at Athens. The Athenians lose sight of the danger of Olynthus. Third Olynthiac of Demosthenes. — Tenor and substance of the third Olynthiac. — Courage of Demosthenes in combating the prevalent sentiment. — Revolt of Eubœa from Athens. — Intrigues of Philip in Eubœa. — Plutarch of Eretria asks aid from Athens. Aid is sent to him under Phokion, though Demosthenes dissuades it — Treachery of Plutarch — danger of Phokion and the Athenians in Eu[p. xv]bœa — victory of Phokion at Tamynæ. — Dionysiac festival at Athens in March, 349 B. C. — Insult offered to Demosthenes by Meidias. — Reproaches against Demosthenes for having been absent from the battle of Tamynæ — he goes over on service to Eubœa as a hoplite — he is named senator for 349-348 B. C. — Hostilities in Eubœa, during 349-348 B. C. — Great efforts of Athens in 349 B. C. for the support of Olynthus and the maintenance of Eubœa at the same time. — Financial embarrassments of Athens. Motion of Apollodorus about the Theôric Fund. The assembly appropriate the surplus of revenue to military purposes. — Apollodorus is indicted and fined. — The diversion of the Theôric Fund proves the great anxiety of the moment at Athens. — Three expeditions sent by Athens to Chalkidikê in 349-348 B. C. according to Philochorus. — Final success of Philip — capture of the Chalkidic towns and of Olynthus. — Sale of the Olynthian prisoners — ruin of the Greek cities in Chalkidikê. — Cost incurred by Athens in the Olynthian war. — Theôric Fund — not appropriated to war purposes until a little before the battle of Chæroneia. — Views respecting the Theôric Fund. — It was the general Fund of Athens for religious festivals and worship — distributions were one part of it — character of the ancient religious festivals. — No other branch of the Athenian peace-establishment was impoverished or sacrificed to the Theôric expenditure. — The annual surplus might have been accumulated as a war-fund — how far Athens is blamable for not having done so. — Attempt of the Athenian property-classes to get clear of direct taxation by taking from the Theôric Fund. — Conflict of these two feelings at Athens. Demosthenes tries to mediate between them — calls for sacrifices from all, especially personal military service. — Appendix.




Sufferings of the Olynthians and Chalkidians — triumph and festival of Philip. — Effect produced at Athens by the capture of Olynthus — especially by the number of Athenian captives taken in it. — Energetic language of Eubulus and Æschines against Philip. — Increased importance of Æschines. — Æschines as envoy of Athens in Arcadia. — Increasing despondency and desire for peace at Athens. — Indirect overtures for peace between Athens and Philip, even before the fall of Olynthus — the Eubœans — Phrynon, etc. — First proposition of Philokrates — granting permission to Philip to send envoys to Athens. — Effect produced upon the minds of the Athenians by their numerous captive citizens taken by Philip at Olynthus. — Mission of the actor Aristodemus from the Athenians to Philip on the subject of the captives. Favorable dispositions reported from Philip. — Course of the Sacred War — gradual decline and impoverishment of the Phokians. Dissensions among themselves. — Party opposed to Phalækus in Phokis — Phalækus is deposed — he continues to hold Thermopylæ with the mercenaries. — The Thebans invoke the aid of Philip to put down the Phokians. — Alarm among the Phokians — one of the Phokian parties invites the Athenians to occupy Thermopylæ — Phalækus repels them. — Increased embar[p. xvi]rassment at Athens — uncertainty about Phalækus and the pass of Thermopylæ. — The defence of Greece now turned on Thermopylæ — importance of that pass both to Philip and to Athens. — Motion of Philokrates in the Athenian assembly — to send envoys to Philip for peace. — Ten Athenian envoys sent — Demosthenes and Æschines among them. — Journey of the envoys to Pella. — Statements of Æschines about the conduct of Demosthenes — arrangements of the envoys for speaking before Philip. — Harangue addressed by Æschines to Philip about Amphipolis. Failure of Demosthenes in his speech. — Answer of Philip — return of the envoys. — Review of Æschines and his conduct, as stated by himself. — Philip offers peace on the terms of uti possidetis — report made by the Athenian envoys on their return. — Proceedings in the Athenian assembly after the return of the envoys — motions of Demosthenes. — Arrival of the Macedonian envoys at Athens — days fixed for discussing the peace. — Resolution taken by the synod of allies at Athens. — Assemblies held to discuss the peace, in presence of the Macedonian envoys. — Philokrates moves to conclude peace and alliance with Philip. He proposes to exclude the Phokians specially. — Part taken by Æschines and Demosthenes — in reference to this motion. Contradictions between them. — Æschines supported the motion of Philokrates altogether — Demosthenes supported it also, except as to the exclusion of the Phokians — language of Eubulus. — Motion of Philokrates carried in the assembly, for peace and alliance with Philip. — Assembly to provide ratification and swearing of the treaty. — Question, Who were to be received as allies of Athens? — about the Phokians and Kersobleptes. — The envoy of Kersobleptes is admitted, both by the Athenian assembly and by the Macedonian envoys. — The Macedonian envoys formally refuse to admit the Phokians. — Difficulty of Philokrates and Æschines. Their false assurances about the secret good intentions of Philip towards the Phokians. — The Phokians are tacitly excluded — the Athenians and their allies swear to the peace without them. — Ruinous mistake — false step of Athens in abandoning the Phokians — Demosthenes did not protest against it at the time. — The oaths are taken before Antipater, leaving out the Phokians. — Second embassy from Athens to Philip. — Demosthenes urges the envoys to go immediately to Thrace in order to administer the oath to Philip — they refuse — their delay on the journey and at Pella. — Philip completes his conquest of Thrace during the interval. — Embassies from many Grecian states at Pella. — Consultations and dissensions among the Ten Athenian envoys — views taken by Æschines of the ambassadorial duties. — The envoys address Philip — harangue of Æschines. — Position of Demosthenes in this second embassy. — March of Philip to Thermopylæ — he masks his purposes, holding out delusive hopes to the Phokians. Intrigues to gain his favor. — The envoys administer the oaths to Philip at Pheræ, the last thing before their departure. They return to Athens. — Plans of Philip on Thermopylæ — corrupt connivance of the Athenian envoys — letter from Philip which they brought back to Athens. — Æschines and the envoys proclaim the Phokians to be excluded from the oaths with Philip — protest of Demosthenes in the Senate, on arriving at Athens, against the behavior of his colleagues — vote of the Senate approving his protest. — Public assembly at Athens — successful address made to it by Æschines — his false assurances to the people. — The Athenian people believe the promises of Philokrates and Æschines — protest of Demosthenes not listened to. — Letter of Philip favorably received by the assembly — motion of Philokrates carried, decreeing peace and alliance with him forever. Resolution to compel the Phokians to give up Delphi.[p. xvii] — Letters of Philip to the Athenians, inviting them to send forces to join him at Thermopylæ — policy of these letters — the Athenians do nothing. — Phokian envoys heard these debates at Athens — position of Phalækus at Thermopylæ. — Dependence of the Phokians upon Athenian aid to hold Thermopylæ. — News received at Thermopylæ of the determination of Athens against the Phokians. — Phalækus surrenders Thermopylæ under convention to Philip. He withdraws all his forces. — All the towns in Phokis surrender at discretion to Philip, who declares his full concurrence with the Thebans. — Third embassy sent by the Athenians to Philip — the envoys return without seeing him, on hearing of the Phokian convention. — Alarm and displeasure at Athens — motion of Kallisthenes for putting the city in a good state of defence — Æschines and other Athenian envoys visit Philip in Phokis — triumphant celebration of Philip’s success. — Fair professions of Philip to the Athenians, after his conquest of Thermopylæ: language of his partisans at Athens. — The Amphiktyonic assembly is convoked anew. Rigorous sentence against the Phokians. They are excluded from the assembly, and Philip is admitted in their place. — Ruin and wretchedness of the Phokians. — Irresistible ascendency of Philip. He is named by the Amphiktyons presiding celebrator of the Pythian festival of 346 B. C. — Great change effected by this peace in Grecian political relations. Demosthenes and Æschines — proof of dishonesty and fraud in Æschines, even from his own admissions. — This disgraceful peace was brought upon Athens by the corruption of her own envoys. — Impeachment and condemnation of Philokrates. — Miserable death of all concerned in the spoliation of the Delphian temple.




Position of Philip after the conclusion of the Sacred War. — Sentiments of Demosthenes — he recommends acquiescence in the peace, and recognition of the new Amphiktyonic dignity of Philip. — Sentiments of Isokrates — his letter to Philip — his abnegation of free Hellenism. — Position of the Persian king Ochus — his measures against revolters in Phenicia and Egypt. — Reconquest of Phenicia by Ochus — perfidy of the Sidonian prince Tennes. — Reconquest of Egypt by the Persian force under Mentor and Bagoas. — Power of Mentor as Persian viceroy of the Asiatic coast — he seizes Hermeias of Atarneus. — Peace between Philip and the Athenians, continued without formal renunciation from 346-340 B. C. — Movements and intrigues of Philip everywhere throughout Greece. — Disunion of the Grecian world — no Grecian city recognized as leader. — Vigilance and renewed warnings of Demosthenes against Philip. — Mission of Python to Athens by Philip — amendments proposed in the recent peace — fruitless discussions upon them. — Dispute about Halonnesus. — The Athenians refuse to accept cession of Halonnesus as a favor, claiming restitution of it as their right. — Halonnesus taken and retaken — reprisals between Philip and the Athenians. — Movements of the philippizing factions at Megara — at Oreus — at Eretria. — Philip in Thrace[p. xviii] — disputes about the Bosphorus and Hellespont — Diopeithes commander for Athens in the Chersonese. Philip takes part with the Kardians against Athens. Hostile collisions and complaints against Diopeithes. — Accusations against Diopeithes at Athens by the philippizing orators — Demosthenes defends him — speech on the Chersonese, and third Philippic. — Increased influence of Demosthenes at Athens — Athenian expedition sent, upon his motion, to Eubœa — Oreus and Eretria are liberated, and Eubœa is detached from Philip. — Mission of Demosthenes to the Chersonese and Byzantium — his important services in detaching the Byzantines from Philip, and bringing them into alliance with Athens. — Philip commences the siege of Perinthus — he marches through the Chersonesus — declaration of war by Athens against him. — Manifesto of Philip, declaring war against Athens — Complaints of Philip against the Athenians — his policy towards Athens — his lecture on the advantages of peace. — Open war between Philip and the Athenians. — Siege of Perinthus by Philip. His numerous engines for siege — great scale of operations. Obstinacy of the defence. The town is relieved by the Byzantines, and by Grecian mercenaries from the Persian satraps. — Philip attacks Byzantium — danger of the place — it is relieved by the fleets of Athens, Chios, Rhodes, etc. Success of the Athenian fleet in the Propontis under Phokion. Philip abandons the sieges both of Perinthus and Byzantium. — Votes of thanks from Byzantium and the Chersonesus to Athens for her aid — honors and compliments to Demosthenes. — Philip withdraws from Byzantium, concludes peace with the Byzantines, Chians, and others, and attacks the Scythians. He is defeated by the Triballi, and wounded, on his return. — Important reform effected by Demosthenes in the administration of the Athenian marine. — Abuses which had crept into the trierarchy — unfair apportionment of the burthen — undue exemption which the rich administrators had acquired for themselves. — Individual hardship, and bad public consequences, occasioned by these inequalities. — Opposition offered by the rich citizens and by Æschines to the proposed reform of Demosthenes — difficulties which he had to overcome. — His new reform distributes the burthen of trierarchy equitably. — Its complete success. Improved efficiency of the naval armaments under it. — New Sacred War commences in Greece. — Kirrha and its plain near Delphi consecrated to Apollo, in the first Sacred War under Solon. — Necessity of a port at Kirrha, for the convenience of visitors to Delphi. Kirrha grows up again, and comes into the occupation of the Lokrians of Amphissa. — Relations between the Lokrians of Amphissa and Delphi — they had stood forward earnestly in the former Sacred War to defend Delphi against the Phokians. — Amphiktyonic meeting at Delphi — February, 339 B. C. Æschines one of the legates from Athens. — Language of an Amphissian speaker among the Amphiktyons against Athens — new dedication of an old Athenian donative in the temple. — Speech of Æschines in the Amphiktyonic assembly. — Passion and tumult excited by his speech. — Violent resolution adopted by the Amphiktyons. — The Amphiktyons with the Delphian multitude march down to destroy Kirrha — interference of the Amphissians to rescue their property. They drive off the Amphiktyons. — Farther resolution taken by the Amphiktyons to hold a future special meeting and take measures for punishing the Lokrians. — Unjust violence of the Amphiktyons — public mischief done by Æschines. — Effect of the proceeding of Æschines at Athens. Opposition of Demosthenes at first fruitless. — Change of feeling at Athens — the Athenians resolve to take no part in the Amphiktyonic proceedings against Amphissa. — Special meeting of the Amphiktyons at Thermopylæ, held without Athens. Vote passed to levy a force[p. xix] for punishing Amphissa. Kottyphus president. The Amphiktyons invoke the intervention of Philip. — Motives which dictated the vote — dependence of most of the Amphiktyonic voters upon Philip — Philip accepts the command — marches southward through Thermopylæ. — Philip enters Phokis. — He suddenly occupies, and begins to re-fortify Elateia. — He sends an embassy to Thebes, announcing his intention to attack Attica, and asking either aid, or a free passage for his own army. — Unfriendly relations subsisting between Athens and Thebes. Hopes of Philip that Thebes would act in concert with him against Athens. — Great alarm at Athens, when the news arrived that Philip was fortifying Elateia. — Athenian public assembly held — general anxiety and silence — no one will speak but Demosthenes. — Advice of Demosthenes to despatch an embassy immediately to Thebes, and to offer alliance on the most liberal terms. — The advice of Demosthenes is adopted — he is despatched with other envoys to Thebes. — Divided state of feeling at Thebes — influence of the philippizing party — effect produced by the Macedonian envoys. — Efficient and successful oratory of Demosthenes — he persuades the Thebans to contract alliance with Athens against Philip. — The Athenian army marches by invitation to Thebes — cordial coöperation of the Thebans and Athenians. — Vigorous resolutions taken at Athens — continuance of the new docks suspended — the Theôric Fund is devoted to military purposes. — Disappointment of Philip — he remains in Phokis, and writes to his Peloponnesian allies to come and join him against Amphissa. — War of the Athenians and Thebans against Philip in Phokis — they gain some advantages over him — honors paid to Demosthenes at Athens. — The Athenians and Thebans reconstitute the Phokians and their towns. — War against Philip in Phokis — great influence of Demosthenes — auxiliaries which he procured. — Increased efforts of Philip in Phokis. — Successes of Philip — he defeats a large body of mercenary troops — he takes Amphissa. — No eminent general on the side of the Greeks — Demosthenes keeps up the spirits of the allies, and holds them together. — Battle of Chæroneia — complete victory of Philip. — Macedonian phalanx — its long pikes — superior in front charge to the Grecian hoplites. — Excellent organization of the Macedonian army by Philip — different sorts of force combined. — loss at the battle of Chæroneia. — Distress and alarm at Athens on the news of the defeat. — Resolutions taken at Athens for energetic defence. Respect and confidence shown to Demosthenes. — Effect produced upon some of the islanders in the Ægean by the defeat — conduct of the Rhodians. — Conduct of Philip after the victory — harshness towards Thebes — greater lenity to Athens. — Conduct of Æschines — Demades is sent as envoy to Philip. — Peace of Demades, concluded between Philip and the Athenians. The Athenians are compelled to recognize him as chief of the Hellenic world. — Remarks of Polybius on the Demadean peace — means of resistance still possessed by Athens. — Honorary votes passed at Athens to Philip. — Impeachment brought against Demosthenes at Athens — the Athenians stand by him. — Expedition of Philip into Peloponnesus. He invades Laconia. — Congress held at Corinth. Philip is chosen chief of the Greeks against Persia. — Mortification to Athenian feelings — degraded position of Athens and of Greece. No genuine feeling in Greece now, towards war against Persia. — Preparations of Philip for the invasion of Persia. — Philip repudiates Olympias at the instance of his recently married wife, Kleopatra — resentment of Olympias and Alexander — dissension at Court. — Great festival in Macedonia — celebrating the birth of a son to Philip by Kleopatra, and the marriage of his daughter with Alexander of Epirus. — Pausanias — out[p. xx]rage inflicted upon him — his resentment against Philip, encouraged by the partisans of Olympias and Alexander. — Assassination of Philip by Pausanias, who is slain by the guards. — Accomplices of Pausanias. — Alexander the great is declared king — first notice given to him by the Lynkestian Alexander, one of the conspirators — Attalus and queen Kleopatra, with her infant son, are put to death. — Satisfaction manifested by Olympias at the death of Philip. — Character of Philip.


[p. 1]



In my preceding volume, I have described the first eleven years of the reign of Dionysius called the Elder, as despot at Syracuse, down to his first great war against the Carthaginians; which war ended by a sudden turn of fortune in his favor, at a time when he was hard pressed and actually besieged. The victorious Carthaginian army before Syracuse was utterly ruined by a terrible pestilence, followed by ignominious treason on the part of its commander Imilkon.

Within the space of less than thirty years, we read of four distinct epidemic distempers,[1] each of frightful severity, as having afflicted Carthage and her armies in Sicily, without touching either Syracuse or the Sicilian Greeks. Such epidemics were the most irresistible of all enemies to the Carthaginians, and the most effective allies to Dionysius. The second and third,—conspicuous among the many fortunate events of his life,—occurred at the exact juncture necessary for rescuing him from a tide of superiori[p. 2]ty in the Carthaginian arms, which seemed in a fair way to overwhelm him completely. Upon what physical conditions the frequent repetition of such a calamity depended, together with the remarkable fact that it was confined to Carthage and her armies,—we know partially in respect to the third of the four cases, but not at all in regard to the others.

The flight of Imilkon with his Carthaginians from Syracuse left Dionysius and the Syracusans in the full swing of triumph. The conquests made by Imilkon were altogether lost, and the Carthaginian dominion in Sicily was now cut down to that restricted space in the western corner of the island, which it had occupied prior to the invasion of Hannibal in 409 B. C. So prodigious a success probably enabled Dionysius to put down the opposition recently manifested among the Syracusans to the continuance of his rule. We are told that he was greatly embarrassed by his mercenaries; who, having been for some time without pay, manifested such angry discontent as to threaten his downfall. Dionysius seized the person of their commander, the Spartan Aristoteles: upon which the soldiers mutined and flocked in arms around his residence, demanding in fierce terms both the liberty of their commander and the payment of their arrears. Of these demands, Dionysius eluded the first by saying that he would send away Aristoteles to Sparta, to be tried and dealt with among his own countrymen: as to the second, he pacified the soldiers by assigning to them, in exchange for their pay, the town and territory of Leontini. Willingly accepting this rich bribe, the most fertile soil of the island, the mercenaries quitted Syracuse to the number of ten thousand, to take up their residence in the newly assigned town; while Dionysius hired new mercenaries in their place. To these (including perhaps the Iberians or Spaniards who had recently passed from the Carthaginian service into his) and to the slaves whom he had liberated, he intrusted the maintenance of his dominion.[2]

These few facts, which are all that we hear, enable us to see that the relations between Dionysius and the mercenaries by whose means he ruled Syracuse, were troubled and difficult to[p. 3] manage. But they do not explain to us the full cause of such discord. We know that a short time before, Dionysius had rid himself of one thousand obnoxious mercenaries by treacherously betraying them to death in a battle with the Carthaginians. Moreover, he would hardly have seized the person of Aristoteles, and sent him away for trial, if the latter had done nothing more than demand pay really due to his soldiers. It seems probable that the discontent of the mercenaries rested upon deeper causes, perhaps connected with that movement in the Syracusan mind against Dionysius, manifested openly in the invective of Theodorus. We should have been glad also to know how Dionysius proposed to pay the new mercenaries, if he had no means of paying the old. The cost of maintaining his standing army, upon whomsoever it fell, must have been burdensome in the extreme. What became of the previous residents and proprietors at Leontini, who must have been dispossessed when this much-coveted site was transferred to the mercenaries? On all these points we are unfortunately left in ignorance.

Dionysius now set forth towards the north of Sicily to reëstablish Messênê; while those other Sicilians, who had been expelled from their abodes by the Carthaginians, got together and returned. In reconstituting Messênê after its demolition by Imilkon, he obtained the means of planting there a population altogether in his interests, suitable to the aggressive designs which he was already contemplating against Rhegium and the other Italian Greeks. He established in it one thousand Lokrians,—four thousand persons from another city the name of which we cannot certainly make out,[3]—and six hundred of the Peloponnesian Messenians. These latter had been expelled by Sparta from Zakynthus and[p. 4] Naupaktus at the close of the Peloponnesian war, and had taken service in Sicily with Dionysius. Even here, the hatred of Sparta followed them. Her remonstrances against his project of establishing them in a city of consideration bearing their own ancient name, obliged him to withdraw them: upon which he planted them on a portion of the Abakene territory on the northern coast. They gave to their new city the name of Tyndaris, admitted many new residents, and conducted their affairs so prudently, as presently to attain a total of five thousand citizens.[4] Neither here, nor at Messênê, do we find any mention made of the reëstablishment of those inhabitants who had fled when Imilkon took Messênê, and who formed nearly all the previous population of the city, for very few are mentioned as having been slain. It seems doubtful whether Dionysius readmitted them, when he reconstituted Messênê. Renewing with care the fortifications of the city, which had been demolished by Imilkon, he placed in it some of his mercenaries as garrison.[5]

Dionysius next undertook several expeditions against the Sikels in the interior of the island, who had joined Imilkon in his recent attack upon Syracuse. He conquered several of their towns, and established alliances with two of their most powerful princes, at Agyrium and Kentoripæ. Enna and Kephalœdium were also betrayed to him, as well as the Carthaginian dependency of Solûs. By these proceedings, which appear to have occupied some time, he acquired powerful ascendency in the central and north-east parts of the island, while his garrison at Messênê; ensured to him the command of the strait between Sicily and Italy.[6]

His acquisition of this important fortified position was well understood to imply ulterior designs against Rhegium and the other Grecian cities in the south of Italy, among whom accordingly a lively alarm prevailed. The numerous exiles whom he had expelled, not merely from Syracuse, but also from Naxus, Katana, and the other conquered towns, having no longer any assured[p. 5] shelter in Sicily, had been forced to cross over into Italy, where they were favorably received both at Kroton and at Rhegium.[7] One of these exiles, Helôris, once the intimate friend of Dionysius, was even appointed general of the forces of Rhegium; forces at that time not only powerful on land, but sustained by a fleet of seventy or eighty triremes.[8] Under his command, a Rhegine force crossed the strait for the purpose partly of besieging Messênê, partly of establishing the Naxian and Katanean exiles at Mylæ on the northern coast of the island, not far from Messênê. Neither scheme succeeded: Helôris was repulsed from Messênê with loss, while the new settlers at Mylæ were speedily expelled. The command of the strait was thus fully maintained to Dionysius; who, on the point of undertaking an aggressive expedition over to Italy, was delayed only by the necessity of capturing the newly established Sikel town on the hill of Taurus—or Tauromenium. The Sikels defended this position, in itself high and strong, with unexpected valor and obstinacy. It was the spot on which the primitive Grecian colonists who first came to Sicily, had originally landed, and from whence, therefore, the successive Hellenic encroachments upon the pre-established Sikel population, had taken their commencement. This fact, well known to both parties, rendered the capture on one side as much a point of honor, as the preservation on the other. Dionysius spent months in the siege, even throughout midwinter, while the snow covered this hill-top. He made reiterated assaults, which were always repulsed. At last, on one moonless winter night, he found means to scramble over some almost inaccessible crags to a portion of the town less defended, and to effect a lodgment in one of the two fortified portions into which it was divided. Having taken the first part, he immediately proceeded to attack the second. But the Sikels, resisting with desperate valor, repulsed him, and compelled the storming party to flee in disorder, amidst the darkness of night, and over the most difficult ground. Six hundred of them were slain on the spot, and scarcely any escaped without throwing away their arms. Even Dionysius himself, being overthrown by the thrust[p. 6] of a spear on his cuirass, was with difficulty picked up and carried off alive; all his arms, except the cuirass, being left behind. He was obliged to raise the siege, and was long in recovering from his wound: the rather as his eyes also had suffered considerably from the snow.[9]

So manifest a reverse, before a town comparatively insignificant, lowered his military reputation, and encouraged his enemies throughout the island. The Agrigentines and others, throwing off their dependence upon him, proclaimed themselves autonomous; banishing those leaders among them who upheld his interest.[10] Many of the Sikels also, elate with the success of their countrymen at Tauromenium, declared openly against him; joining the Carthaginian general Magon, who now, for the first time since the disaster before Syracuse, again exhibited the force of Carthage in the field.

Since the disaster before Syracuse, Magon had remained tranquil in the western or Carthaginian corner of the island, recruiting the strength and courage of his countrymen, and taking unusual pains to conciliate the attachment of the dependent native towns. Reinforced in part by the exiles expelled by Dionysius, he was now in a condition to assume the aggressive, and to espouse the cause of the Sikels after their successful defence of Tauromenium. He even ventured to overrun and ravage the Messenian territory; but Dionysius, being now recovered from his wound, marched against him, defeated him in a battle near Abakæna, and forced him again to retire westward, until fresh troops were sent to him from Carthage.[11]

[p. 7]

Without pursuing Magon, Dionysius returned to Syracuse, from whence he presently set forth to execute his projects against Rhegium, with a fleet of one hundred ships of war. So skilfully did he arrange or mask his movements, that he arrived at night at the gates and under the walls of Rhegium, without the least suspicion on the part of the citizens. Applying combustibles to set fire to the gate (as he had once done successfully at the gate of Achradina),[12] he at the same time planted his ladders against the walls, and attempted an escalade. Surprised and in small numbers, the citizens began their defence; but the attack was making progress, had not the general Helôris, instead of trying to extinguish the flames, bethought himself of encouraging them by heaping on dry faggots and other matters. The conflagration became so violent, that even the assailants themselves were kept off until time was given for the citizens to mount the walls in force; and the city was saved from capture by burning a portion of it. Disappointed in his hopes, Dionysius was obliged to content himself with ravaging the neighboring territory; after which, he concluded a truce of one year with the Rhegines, and then returned to Syracuse.[13]

This step was probably determined by news of the movements of Magon, who was in the field anew with a mercenary force reckoned at eighty thousand men—Libyan, Sardinian, and Italian—obtained from Carthage, where hope of Sicilian success was again reviving. Magon directed his march through the Sikel population in the centre of the island, receiving the adhesion of many of their various townships. Agyrium, however, the largest and most important of all, resisted him as an enemy. Agyris, the despot of the place, who had conquered much of the neighboring territory, and had enriched himself by the murder of several opulent proprietors, maintained strict alliance with Dionysius. The latter speedily came to his aid, with a force stated at twenty thousand men, Syracusans and mercenaries. Admitted into the city, and co-operating with Agyris, who furnished abundant supplies, he soon reduced the Carthaginians to great straits. Magon was encamped near the river Chrysas, between Agyrium[p. 8] and Morgantinê; in an enemy’s country, harassed by natives who perfectly knew the ground, and who cut off in detail all his parties sent out to obtain provisions. The Syracusans, indeed, disliking or mistrusting such tardy methods, impatiently demanded leave to make a vigorous attack; and when Dionysius refused, affirming that with a little patience the enemy must be speedily starved out, they left the camp and returned home. Alarmed at their desertion, he forthwith issued a requisition for a large number of slaves to supply their places. But at this very juncture, there arrived a proposition from the Carthaginians to be allowed to make peace and retire; which Dionysius granted, on condition that they should abandon to him the Sikels and their territory—especially Tauromenium. Upon these terms peace was accordingly concluded, and Magon again returned to Carthage.[14]

Relieved from these enemies, Dionysius was enabled to restore those slaves, whom he had levied under the recent requisition, to their masters. Having established his dominion fully among the Sikels, he again marched against Tauromenium, which on this occasion was unable to resist him. The Sikels, who had so valiantly defended it, were driven out, to make room for new inhabitants, chosen from among the mercenaries of Dionysius.[15]

Thus master both of Messênê and Tauromenium, the two most important maritime posts on the Italian side of Sicily, Dionysius prepared to execute his ulterior schemes against the Greeks in the south of Italy. These still powerful, though once far more powerful, cities, were now suffering under a cause of decline common to all the Hellenic colonies on the coast of the continent. The indigenous population of the interior had been reinforced, or enslaved, by more warlike emigrants from behind, who now pressed upon the maritime Grecian cities with encroachment difficult to resist.

It was the Samnites, a branch of the hardy Sabellian race, mountaineers from the central portion of the Apennine range, who had been recently spreading themselves abroad as formidable assailants. About 420 B. C., they had established themselves in Capua and the fertile plains of Campania, expelling or dispos[p. 9]sessing the previous Tuscan proprietors. From thence, about 416 B. C., they reduced the neighboring city of Cumæ, the most ancient western colony of the Hellenic race.[16] The neighboring Grecian establishments of Neapolis and Dikæarchia seem also to have come, like Cumæ, under tribute and dominion to the Campanian Samnites, and thus became partially dis-hellenised.[17] These Campanians, of Samnite race, have been frequently mentioned in the two preceding chapters, as employed on mercenary service both in the armies of the Carthaginians, and in those of Dionysius.[18] But the great migration of this warlike race was farther to the south-east, down the line of the Apennines towards the Tarentine Gulf and the Sicilian strait. Under the name of Lucanians, they established a formidable power in these regions, subjugating the Œnotrian population there settled.[19] The Luca[p. 10]nian power seems to have begun and to have gradually increased from about 430 B. C. At its maximum (about 380-360 B. C.), it comprehended most part of the inland territory, and considerable portions of the coast, especially the southern coast,—bounded by an imaginary line drawn from Metapontum on the Tarentine Gulf, across the breadth of Italy to Poseidonia or Pæstum, near the mouth of the river Silaris, on the Tyrrhenian or Lower sea. It was about 356 B. C., that the rural serfs, called Bruttians,[20] rebelled against the Lucanians, and robbed them of the southern part of this territory; establishing an independent dominion in the inland portion of what is now called the Farther Calabria—extending from a boundary line drawn across Italy between Thurii and Läus, down to near the Sicilian strait. About 332 B. C., commenced the occasional intervention of the Epirotic kings from the one side, and the persevering efforts of Rome from the other, which, after long and valiant struggles, left Samnites, Lucanians, Bruttians, all Roman subjects.

At the period which we have now reached, these Lucanians,[p. 11] having conquered the Greek cities of Poseidonia (or Pæstum) and Läus, with much of the territory lying between the Gulfs of Poseidonia and Tarentum, severely harassed the inhabitants of Thurii, and alarmed all the neighboring Greek cities down to Rhegium. So serious was the alarm of these cities, that several of them contracted an intimate defensive alliance, strengthening for the occasion that feeble synodical band, and sense of Italiot communion,[21] the form and trace of which seems to have subsisted without the reality, even under marked enmity between particular cities. The conditions of the newly-contracted alliance were most stringent; not only binding each city to assist at the first summons any other city invaded by the Lucanians, but also pronouncing, that if this obligation were neglected, the generals of the disobedient city should be condemned to death.[22] However, at this time the Italiot Greeks were not less afraid of Dionysius and his aggressive enterprises from the south, than of the Lucanians from the north; and their defensive alliance was intended against both. To Dionysius, on the contrary, the invasion of the Lucanians from landward was a fortunate incident for the success of his own schemes. Their concurrent designs against the same enemies, speedily led to the formation of a distinct alliance between the two.[23] Among the allies of Dionysius, too, we must number the Epizephyrian Lokrians; who not only did not join the Italiot confederacy, but espoused his cause against it with ardor. The enmity of the Lokrians against their neighbors, the Rhegines, was ancient and bitter; exceeded only by that of Dionysius, who never forgave the refusal of the Rhegines to permit him to marry a wife out of their city, and was always grateful to the Lokrians for having granted to him the privilege which their neighbors had refused.

Wishing as yet, if possible, to avoid provoking the other members of the Italiot confederacy, Dionysius still professed to be revenging himself exclusively upon Rhegium; against which he[p. 12] conducted a powerful force from Syracuse. Twenty thousand foot, one thousand horse, and one hundred and twenty ships of war, are mentioned as the total of his armament. Disembarking near Lokri, he marched across the lower part of the peninsula in a westerly direction, ravaged with fire and sword the Rhegian territory, and then encamped near the strait on the northern side of Rhegium. His fleet followed coastwise round Cape Zephyrium to the same point. While he was pressing the siege, the members of the Italiot synod despatched from Kroton a fleet of sixty sail, to assist in the defence. Their ships, having rounded Cape Zephyrium, were nearing Rhegium from the south, when Dionysius himself approached to attack them, with fifty ships detached from his force. Though inferior in number, his fleet was probably superior in respect to size and equipment; so that the Krotoniate captains, not daring to hazard a battle, ran their ships ashore. Dionysius here attacked them, and would have towed off all the ships (without their crews) as prizes, had not the scene of action lain so near to Rhegium, that the whole force of the city could come forth in reinforcement, while his own army was on the opposite side of the town. The numbers and courage of the Rhegines baffled his efforts, rescued the ships, and hauled them all up upon the shore in safety. Obliged to retire without success, Dionysius was farther overtaken by a terrific storm, which exposed his fleet to the utmost danger. Seven of his ships were driven ashore; their crews, fifteen hundred in number, being either drowned, or falling into the hands of the Rhegines. The rest, after great danger and difficulty, either rejoined the main fleet or got into the harbor of Messênê; where Dionysius himself in his quinquereme also found refuge, but only at midnight, and after imminent risk for several hours. Disheartened by this misfortune as well as by the approach of winter, he withdrew his forces for the present, and returned to Syracuse.[24]

A part of his fleet, however, under Leptines, was despatched northward along the south-western coast of Italy to the Gulf of Elea, to coöperate with the Lucanians; who from that coast and from inland were invading the inhabitants of Thurii on the Ta[p. 13]rentine Gulf. Thurii was the successor, though with far inferior power, of the ancient Sybaris; whose dominion had once stretched across from sea to sea, comprehending the town of Läus, now a Lucanian possession.[25] Immediately on the appearance of the Lucanians, the Thurians had despatched an urgent message to their allies, who were making all haste to arrive, pursuant to covenant. But before such junction could possibly take place, the Thurians, confiding in their own native force of fourteen thousand foot, and one thousand horse, marched against the enemy single-handed. The Lucanian invaders retreated, pursued by the Thurians, who followed them even into that mountainous region of the Appenines which stretches between the two seas, and which presents the most formidable danger and difficulty for all military operations.[26] They assailed successfully a fortified post or village of the Lucanians, which fell into their hands with a rich plunder. By such partial advantage they were so elated, that they ventured to cross over all the mountain passes even to the neighborhood of the southern sea, with the intention of attacking the flourishing town of Läus[27]—once the dependency of their Sybaritan predecessors. But the Lucanians, having allured them into these impracticable paths, closed upon them behind with greatly increased numbers, forbade all retreat, and shut them up in a plain surrounded with high and precipitous cliffs. Attacked in this plain by numbers double their own, the unfortunate Thurians underwent one of the most bloody defeats recorded in Grecian history. Out of their fourteen thousand men, ten thousand were slain, under merciless order from the Lucanians to give no quarter. The remainder contrived to flee to a hill near the sea-shore, from whence they saw a fleet of ships of war coasting along at no great distance.[p. 14] Distracted with terror, they were led to fancy, or to hope, that these were the ships expected from Rhegium to their aid; though the Rhegines would naturally send their ships, when demanded, to Thurii, on the Tarentine Gulf, not to the Lower sea near Läus. Under this impression, one thousand of them swam off from the shore to seek protection on shipboard. But they found themselves, unfortunately, on board the fleet of Leptines, brother and admiral of Dionysius, come for the express purpose of aiding the Lucanians. With a generosity not less unexpected than honorable, this officer saved their lives, and also, as it would appear, the lives of all the other defenceless survivors; persuading or constraining the Lucanians to release them, on receiving one mina of silver per man.[28]

This act of Hellenic sympathy restored three or four thousand citizens on ransom to Thurii, instead of leaving them to be massacred or sold by the barbarous Lucanians, and procured the warmest esteem for Leptines personally among the Thurians and other Italiot Greeks. But it incurred the strong displeasure of Dionysius, who now proclaimed openly his project of subjugating these Greeks, and was anxious to encourage the Lucanians as indispensable allies. Accordingly he dismissed Leptines, and named as admiral his other brother Thearides. He then proceeded to conduct a fresh expedition; no longer intended against Rhegium alone, but against all the Italiot Greeks. He departed from Syracuse with a powerful force—twenty thousand foot and three thousand horse, with which, he marched by land in five days to Messênê; his fleet under Thearides accompanying him—forty ships of war, and three hundred transports with provisions. Having first successfully surprised and captured near the Lipari isles a Rhegian squadron of ten ships, the crews of which he constituted prisoners at Messênê, he transported his army across the strait into Italy, and laid siege to Kaulonia—on the eastern coast of the peninsula, and conterminous with the northern border of his allies the Lokrians. He attacked this place vigorously, with the best siege machines which his arsenal furnished.

The Italiot Greeks, on the other hand, mustered their united[p. 15] force to relieve it. Their chief centre of action was Kroton where most of the Syracusan exiles, the most forward of all champions in the cause, were now assembled. One of these exiles, Helôris (who had before been named general by the Rhegines), was intrusted with the command of the collective army; an arrangement neutralizing all local jealousies. Under the cordial sentiment prevailing, an army was mustered at Kroton, estimated at twenty-five thousand foot and two thousand horse; by what cities furnished, or in what proportion, we are unable to say.[29] At the head of these troops, Helôris marched southward from Kroton to the river Elleporus not far from Kaulonia; where Dionysius, raising the siege, met him.[30] He was about four miles and a half from the Krotoniate army, when he learnt from his scouts that Helôris with a chosen regiment of five hundred men (perhaps Syracusan exiles like himself), was considerably in advance of the main body. Moving rapidly forward in the night, Dionysius surprised this advanced guard at break of day, completely isolated from the rest. Helôris, while he despatched instant messages to accelerate the coming up of the main body, defended himself with his small band against overwhelming superiority of numbers. But the odds were too great. After an heroic resistance, he was slain, and his companions nearly all cut to pieces, before the main body, though they came up at full speed, could arrive.

The hurried pace of the Italiot army, however, though it did not suffice to save the general, was of fatal efficacy in deranging their own soldierlike army. Confused and disheartened by finding that Helôris was slain, which left them without a general to direct the battle or restore order, the Italiots fought for some time against Dionysius, but were at length defeated with severe loss. They effected their retreat from the field of battle to a neighboring eminence, very difficult to attack, yet destitute of water and provisions. Here Dionysius blocked them up, without attempting an attack, but keeping the strictest guard round the hill during the whole remaining day and the ensuing night. The heat of the next day, with total want of water, so subdued their courage, that[p. 16] they sent to Dionysius a herald with propositions, entreating to be allowed to depart on a stipulated ransom. But the terms were peremptorily refused; they were ordered to lay down their arms, and surrender at discretion. Against this terrible requisition they stood out yet awhile, until the increasing pressure of physical exhaustion and suffering drove them to surrender, about the eighth hour of the day.[31]

More than ten thousand disarmed Greeks descended from the hill and defiled before Dionysius, who numbered the companies as they passed with a stick. As his savage temper was well known, they expected nothing short of the harshest sentence. So much the greater was their astonishment and delight, when they found themselves treated not merely with lenity, but with generosity.[32] Dionysius released them all without even exacting a ransom; and concluded a treaty with most of the cities to which they belonged, leaving their autonomy undisturbed. He received the warmest thanks, accompanied by votes of golden wreaths, from the prisoners as well as from the cities; while among the general public of Greece, the act was hailed as forming the prominent glory of his political life.[33] Such admiration was well deserved, looking to the laws of war then prevalent.

With the Krotoniates and other Italiot Greeks (except Rhegium and Lokri) Dionysius had had no marked previous relations and therefore had not contracted any strong personal sentiment either of antipathy or favor. With Rhegium and Lokri, the case was different. To the Lokrians he was strongly attached: against the Rhegines his animosity was bitter and implacable, manifesting itself in a more conspicuous manner by contrast with his recent dismissal of the Krotoniate prisoners; a proceeding which had been probably dictated, in great part, by his anxiety to have his hands free for the attack of isolated Rhegium. After having finished the arrangements consequent upon his victory, he marched against that city, and prepared to besiege it. The citizens, feel[p. 17]ing themselves without hope of succor, and intimidated by the disaster of their Italiot allies, sent out heralds to beg for moderate terms, and imploring him to abstain from extreme or unmeasured rigor.[34] For a moment, Dionysius seemed to comply with their request. He granted them peace, on condition that they should surrender all their ships of war, seventy in number—that they should pay to him three hundred talents in money—and that they should place in his hands one hundred hostages. All these demands were strictly complied with; upon which Dionysius withdrew his army, and agreed to spare the city.[35]

His next proceeding was, to attack Kaulonia and Hipponium; two cities which seem between them to have occupied the whole breadth of the Calabrian peninsula, immediately north of Rhegium and Lokri; Kaulonia on the eastern coast, Hipponium on or near the western. Both these cities he besieged, took, and destroyed: probably neither of them, in the hopeless circumstances of the case, made any strenuous resistance. He then caused the inhabitants of both of them, such at least as did not make their escape, to be transported to Syracuse, where he domiciliated them as citizens, allowing them five years of exemption from taxes.[36] To be a citizen of Syracuse meant at this moment, to be a subject of his despotism, and nothing more: how he made room for these new citizens, or furnished them with lands and houses, we are unfortunately not informed. But the territory of both these towns, evacuated by its free inhabitants (though probably not by its slaves, or serfs), was handed over to the Lokrians and annexed to their city. That favored city, which had accepted his offer of marriage, was thus immensely enriched both in lands and in collective property. Here again it would have been interesting to hear what measures were taken to appropriate or distribute the new lands; but our informant is silent.

Dionysius had thus accumulated into Syracuse, not only all Sicily[37] (to use the language of Plato), but even no inconsiderable portion of Italy. Such wholesale changes of domicile and prop[p. 18]erty must probably have occupied some months; during which time the army of Dionysius seems never to have quitted the Calabrian peninsula, though he himself may probably have gone for a time in person to Syracuse. It was soon seen that the depopulation of Hipponium and Kaulonia was intended only as a prelude to the ruin of Rhegium. Upon this Dionysius had resolved. The recent covenant into which he had entered with the Rhegines, was only a fraudulent device for the purpose of entrapping them into a surrender of their navy, in order that he might afterwards attack them at greater advantage. Marching his army to the Italian shore of the strait, near Rhegium, he affected to busy himself in preparations for crossing to Sicily. In the mean time, he sent a friendly message to the Rhegines, requesting them to supply him for a short time with provisions, under assurance that what they furnished should speedily be replaced from Syracuse. It was his purpose, if they refused, to resent it as an insult, and attack them; if they consented, to consume their provisions, without performing his engagement to replace the quantity consumed; and then to make his attack after all, when their means of holding out had been diminished. At first the Rhegines complied willingly, furnishing abundant supplies. But the consumption continued, and the departure of the army was deferred—first on pretence of the illness of Dionysius, next on other grounds—so that they at length detected the trick, and declined to furnish any more. Dionysius now threw off the mask, gave back to them their hundred hostages, and laid siege to the town in form.[38]

Regretting too late that they had suffered themselves to be defrauded of their means of defence, the Rhegines nevertheless prepared to hold out with all the energy of despair. Phyton was chosen commander, the whole population was armed, and all the line of wall carefully watched. Dionysius made vigorous assaults, employing all the resources of his battering machinery to effect a breach. But he was repelled at all points obstinately, and with much loss on both sides: several of his machines were also burnt or destroyed by opportune sallies of the besieged. In one of the[p. 19] assaults, Dionysius himself was seriously wounded by a spear thrust in the groin, from which he was long in recovering. He was at length obliged to convert the siege into a blockade, and to rely upon famine alone for subduing these valiant citizens. For eleven months did the Rhegines hold out, against the pressure of want gradually increasing, and at last terminating in the agony and destruction of famine. We are told that a medimnus of wheat came to be sold for the enormous price of five minæ; at the rate of about £14 sterling per bushel: every horse and every beast of burthen was consumed: at length hides were boiled and eaten, and even the grass on parts of the wall. Many perished from absolute hunger, while the survivors lost all strength and energy. In this intolerable condition, they were constrained, at the end of near eleven months, to surrender at discretion.

So numerous were these victims of famine, that Dionysius, on entering Rhegium, found heaps of unburied corpses, besides six thousand citizens in the last stage of emaciation. All these captives were sent to Syracuse, where those who could provide a mina (about £3 17s.) were allowed to ransom themselves, while the rest were sold as slaves. After such a period of suffering, the number of those who retained the means of ransom was probably very small. But the Rhegine general, Phyton, was detained with all his kindred, and reserved for a different fate. First, his son was drowned, by order of Dionysius: next, Phyton himself was chained to one of the loftiest siege-machines, as a spectacle to the whole army. While he was thus exhibited to scorn, a messenger was sent to apprise him, that Dionysius had just caused his son to be drowned. “He is more fortunate than his father by one day,” was the reply of Phyton. After a certain time, the sufferer was taken down from his pillory, and led round the city, with attendants scourging and insulting him at every step; while a herald proclaimed aloud, “Behold the man who persuaded the Rhegines to war, thus signally punished by Dionysius!” Phyton, enduring all these torments with heroic courage and dignified silence, was provoked to exclaim in reply to the herald, that the punishment was inflicted because he had refused to betray the city to Dionysius, who would himself soon be overtaken by the divine vengeance. At length the prolonged outrages, combined with the noble demeanor and high reputation of the victim, excited com[p. 20]passion even among the soldiers of Dionysius himself. Their murmurs became so pronounced, that he began to apprehend an open mutiny for the purpose of rescuing Phyton. Under this fear he gave orders that the torments should be discontinued, and that Phyton with his entire kindred should be drowned.[39]

The prophetic persuasion under which this unhappy man perished, that divine vengeance would soon overtake his destroyer, was noway borne out by the subsequent reality. The power and prosperity of Dionysius underwent abatement by his war with the Carthaginians in 383 B. C., yet remained very considerable even to his dying day. And the misfortunes which fell thickly upon his son the younger Dionysius, more than thirty years afterwards, though they doubtless received a religious interpretation from contemporary critics, were probably ascribed to acts more recent than the barbarities inflicted on Phyton. But these barbarities, if not avenged, were at least laid to heart with profound sympathy by the contemporary world, and even commemorated with tenderness and pathos by poets. While Dionysius was composing tragedies (of which more presently) in hopes of applause in Greece, he was himself furnishing real matter of history, not less tragical than the sufferings of those legendary heroes and heroines to which he (in common with other poets) resorted for a subject. Among the many acts of cruelty, more or less aggravated, which it is the melancholy duty of an historian of Greece to recount, there are few so revolting as the death of the Rhegine general; who was not a subject, nor a conspirator, nor a rebel, but an enemy in open warfare—of whom the worst that even Dionysius himself could say, was, that he had persuaded his countrymen into the war. And even this could not be said truly;[p. 21] since the antipathy of the Rhegines towards Dionysius was of old standing, traceable to his enslavement of Naxos and Katana, if not to causes yet earlier—though the statement of Phyton may very probably be true, that Dionysius had tried to bribe him to betray Rhegium (as the generals of Naxos and Katana had been bribed to betray their respective cities), and was incensed beyond measure at finding the proposition repelled. The Hellenic war-practice was in itself sufficiently cruel. Both Athenians and Lacedæmonians put to death prisoners of war by wholesale, after the capture of Melos, after the battle of Ægospotami, and elsewhere. But to make death worse than death by a deliberate and protracted tissue of tortures and indignities, is not Hellenic; it is Carthaginian and Asiatic. Dionysius had shown himself better than a Greek when he released without ransom the Krotoniate prisoners captured at the battle of Kaulonia; but he became far worse than a Greek, and worse even than his own mercenaries, when he heaped aggravated suffering, beyond the simple death-warrant, on the heads of Phyton and his kindred.

Dionysius caused the city of Rhegium to be destroyed[40] or dismantled. Probably he made over the lands to Lokri, like those of Kaulonia and Hipponium. The free Rhegine citizens had all been transported to Syracuse for sale; and those who were fortunate enough to save their liberty by providing the stipulated ransom, would not be allowed to come back to their native soil. If Dionysius was so zealous in enriching the Lokrians, as to transfer to them two other neighboring town-domains, against the inhabitants of which he had no peculiar hatred—much more would he be disposed to make the like transfer of the Rhegine territory, whereby he would gratify at once his antipathy to the one state and his partiality to the other. It is true that Rhegium did not permanently continue incorporated with Lokri; but neither did Kaulonia nor Hipponium. The maintenance of all the three transfers depended on the ascendency of Dionysius and his dynasty; but for the time immediately succeeding the capture of Rhegium, the Lokrians became masters of the Rhegine territory as well as of the two other townships, and thus possessed all the[p. 22] Calabrian peninsula south of the Gulf of Squillace. To the Italiot Greeks generally, these victories of Dionysius were fatally ruinous, because the political union formed among them, for the purpose of resisting the pressure of the Lucanians from the interior, was overthrown, leaving each city to its own weakness and isolation.[41]

The year 387, in which Rhegium surrendered, was also distinguished for two other memorable events; the general peace in Central Greece under the dictation of Persia and Sparta, commonly called the peace of Antalkidas; and the capture of Rome by the Gauls.[42]

The two great ascendant powers in the Grecian world were now, Sparta in Peloponnesus, and Dionysius in Sicily; each respectively fortified by alliance with the other. I have already in a former chapter[43] described the position of Sparta after the peace of Antalkidas; how greatly she gained by making herself the champion of that Persian rescript—and how she purchased, by surrendering the Asiatic Greeks to Artaxerxes, an empire on land equal to that which she had enjoyed before the defeat of Knidus, though without recovering the maritime empire fortified by that defeat.

To this great imperial state, Dionysius in the west formed a suitable counterpart. His recent victories in Southern Italy had already raised his power to a magnitude transcending all the far-famed recollections of Gelon; but he now still farther extended it by sending an expedition against Kroton. This city, the largest in Magna Græcia, fell under his power; and he succeeded in capturing, by surprise or bribery, even its strong citadel; on a rock overhanging the sea.[44] He seems also to have advanced yet far[p. 23]ther with his fleet to attack Thurii; which city owed its preservation solely to the violence of the north winds. He plundered the temple of Hêrê near Cape Lakinium, in the domain of Kroton. Among the ornaments of this temple was one of pre-eminent beauty and celebrity, which at the periodical festivals was exhibited to admiring spectators: a robe wrought with the greatest skill, and decorated in the most costly manner, the votive offering of a Sybarite named Alkimenes. Dionysius sold this robe to the Carthaginians. It long remained as one of the permanent religious ornaments of their city, being probably dedicated to the honor of those Hellenic Deities recently introduced for worship; whom (as I have before stated) the Carthaginians were about this time peculiarly anxious to propitiate, in hopes of averting or alleviating the frightful pestilences wherewith they had been so often smitten. They purchased the robe from Dionysius at the prodigious price of one hundred and twenty talents, or about £27,600 sterling.[45] Incredible as this sum may appear, we must recollect that the honor done to the new gods would be mainly estimated according to the magnitude of the sum laid out. As the Carthaginians would probably think no price too great to transfer an unrivalled vestment from the wardrobe of the Lakinian Hêrê to the newly-established temple and worship of Dêmêtêr and Persephonê in their city—so we may be sure that the loss of such an ornament, and the spoliation of the holy place, would deeply humiliate the Krotoniates, and with them the crowd of Italiot Greeks who frequented the Lakinian festivals.

Thus master of the important city of Kroton, with a citadel near the sea capable of being held by a separate garrison, Dionysius divested the inhabitants of their southern possession of Skylletium, which he made over to aggrandize yet farther the town of Lokri.[46] Whether he pushed his conquests farther along the Tarentine Gulf so as to acquire the like hold on Thurii or Metapontum, we cannot say. But both of them must have been overawed by the rapid extension and near approach of his power;[p. 24] especially Thurii, not yet recovered from her disastrous defeat by the Lucanians.

Profiting by his maritime command of the Gulf, Dionysius was enabled to enlarge his ambitious views even to distant ultramarine enterprises. To escape from his long arm, Syracusan exiles were obliged to flee to a greater distance, and one of their divisions either founded, or was admitted into, the city of Ancona, high up the Adriatic Gulf.[47] On the other side of that Gulf, in vicinity and alliance with the Illyrian tribes, Dionysius on his part sent a fleet, and established more than one settlement. To these schemes he was prompted by a dispossessed prince of the Epirotic Molossians, named Alketas, who, residing at Syracuse as an exile, had gained his confidence. He founded the town of Lissus (now Alessio) on the Illyrian coast, considerably north of Epidamnus; and he assisted the Parians in their plantation of two Grecian settlements, in sites still farther northward up the Adriatic Gulf—the islands of Issa and Pharos. His admiral at Lissus defeated the neighboring Illyrian coast-boats, which harassed these newly-settled Parians; but with the Illyrian tribes near to Lissus, he maintained an intimate alliance, and even furnished a large number of them with Grecian panoplies. It is affirmed to have been the purpose of Dionysius and Alketas to employ these warlike barbarians, first in invading Epirus and restoring Alketas to his Molossian principality; next in pillaging the wealthy temple of Delphi—a scheme far-reaching, yet not impracticable, and capable of being seconded by a Syracusan fleet, if circumstances favored its execution. The invasion of Epirus was accomplished, and the Molossians were defeated in a bloody battle, wherein fifteen thousand of them are said to have been slain. But the ulterior projects against Delphi were arrested by the intervention of Sparta, who sent a force to the spot and prevented all further march southward.[48] Alketas however seems to have remained prince of a portion of Epirus, in the territory nearly opposite to[p. 25] Korkyra; where we have already recognized him, in a former chapter, as having become the dependent of Jason of Pheræ in Thessaly.

Another enterprise undertaken by Dionysius about this time was a maritime expedition along the coasts of Latium, Etruria, and Corsica; partly under color of repressing the piracies committed from their maritime cities; but partly also, for the purpose of pillaging the rich and holy temple of Leukothea, at Agylla or its seaport Pyrgi. In this he succeeded, stripping it of money and precious ornaments to the amount of one thousand talents. The Agyllæans came forth to defend their temple, but were completely worsted, and lost so much both in plunder and in prisoners, that Dionysius, after returning to Syracuse and selling the prisoners, obtained an additional profit of five hundred talents.[49]

Such was the military celebrity now attained by Dionysius,[50] that the Gauls from Northern Italy, who had recently sacked Rome, sent to proffer their alliance and aid. He accepted the proposition; from whence perhaps the Gallic mercenaries whom we afterwards find in his service as mercenaries, may take their date. His long arms now reached from Lissus on one side to Agylla on the other. Master of most of Sicily and much of Southern Italy, as well as of the most powerful standing army in Greece—the unscrupulous plunderer of the holiest temples everywhere[51]—he inspired much terror and dislike throughout Central Greece. He was the more vulnerable to this sentiment, as he was not only a triumphant prince, but also a tragic poet; competitor, as such, for that applause and admiration which no force can extort. Since none of his tragedies have been preserved, we can form no judgment of our own respecting them. Yet when we learn that he had stood[p. 26] second or third, and that one of his compositions gained even the first prize at the Lenæan festival at Athens,[52] in 368-367 B. C.—the favorable judgment of an Athenian audience affords good reason for presuming that his poetical talents were considerable.

During the years immediately succeeding 387 B. C., however, Dionysius the poet was not likely to receive an impartial hearing anywhere. For while on the one hand his own circle would applaud every word—on the other hand, a large proportion of independent Greeks would be biassed against what they heard by their fear and hatred of the author. If we believed the anecdotes recounted by Diodorus, we should conclude not merely that the tragedies were contemptible compositions, but that the irritability of Dionysius in regard to criticism was exaggerated even to silly weakness. The dithyrambic poet Philoxenus, a resident or visitor at Syracuse, after hearing one of these tragedies privately recited, was asked his opinion. He gave an unfavorable opinion, for which he was sent to prison:[53] on the next day the intercession of friends procured his release, and he contrived afterwards, by delicate wit and double-meaning phrases, to express an inoffensive sentiment without openly compromising truth. At the Olympic festival of 388 B. C., Dionysius had sent some of his compositions to Olympia, together with the best actors and chorists to recite them. But so contemptible were the poems (we are told), that in spite of every advantage of recitation, they were disgracefully hissed and ridiculed; moreover the actors in coming back to Syracuse were shipwrecked, and the crew of the ship ascribed all the suffering of their voyage to the badness of the poems entrusted to them. The flatterers of Dionysius, however (it is said), still continued to extol his genius, and to assure him that his ultimate success as a poet, though for a time interrupted by envy, was infallible; which Dionysius believed, and continued to compose tragedies without being disheartened.[54]

Amidst such malicious jests, circulated by witty men at the expense of the princely poet, we may trace some important matter[p. 27] of fact. Perhaps in the year 388 B. C., but certainly in the year 384 B. C. (both of them Olympic years), Dionysius sent tragedies to be recited, and chariots to run, before the crowd assembled in festival at Olympia. The year 387 B. C. was a memorable year both in Central Greece and in Sicily. In the former, it was signalized by the momentous peace of Antalkidas, which terminated a general war of eight years’ standing: in the latter, it marked the close of the Italian campaign of Dionysius, with the defeat and humiliation of Kroton and the other Italiot Greeks, and subversion of three Grecian cities,—Hipponium, Kaulonia, and Rhegium—the fate of the Rhegines having been characterized by incidents most pathetic and impressive. The first Olympic festival which occurred after 387 B. C. was accordingly a distinguished epoch. The two festivals immediately preceding (those of 392 B. C. and 388 B. C.) having been celebrated in the midst of a general war, had not been visited by a large proportion of the Hellenic body; so that the next ensuing festival, the 99th Olympiad in 384 B. C., was stamped with a peculiar character (like the 90th Olympiad[55] in 420 B. C.) as bringing together in religious fraternity those who had long been separated.[56] To every ambitious Greek (as to Alkibiades in 420 B. C.) it was an object of unusual ambition to make individual figure at such a festival. To Dionysius, the temptation was peculiarly seductive, since he was triumphant over all neighboring enemies—at the pinnacle of his power—and disengaged from all war requiring his own personal command. Accordingly he sent thither his Theôre, or solemn legation for sacrifice, decked in the richest garments, furnished with abundant gold and silver plate, and provided with splendid tents to serve for their lodging on the sacred ground of Olympia. He farther sent several chariots-and-four to contend in the regular chariot races: and lastly, he also sent reciters and chorists, skilful as well as highly trained, to exhibit his own poetical compositions before such as were willing to hear them. We[p. 28] must remember that poetical recitation was not included in the formal programme of the festival.

All this prodigious outfit, under the superintendence of Thearides, brother of Dionysius, was exhibited with dazzling effect before the Olympic crowd. No name stood so prominently and ostentatiously before them as that of the despot of Syracuse. Every man, even from the most distant regions of Greece, was stimulated to inquire into his past exploits and character. There were probably many persons present, peculiarly forward in answering such inquiries—the numerous sufferers, from Italian and Sicilian Greece, whom his conquests had thrown into exile; and their answers would be of a nature to raise the strongest antipathy against Dionysius. Besides the numerous depopulations and mutations of inhabitants which he had occasioned in Sicily, we have already seen that he had, within the last three years, extinguished three free Grecian communities—Rhegium, Kaulonia, Hipponium; transporting all the inhabitants of the two latter to Syracuse. In the case of Kaulonia, an accidental circumstance occurred to impress its recent extinction vividly upon the spectators. The runner who gained the great prize in the stadium, in 384 B. C., was Dikon, a native of Kaulonia. He was a man preëminently swift of foot, celebrated as having gained previous victories in the stadium, and always proclaimed (pursuant to custom) along with the title of his native city—“Dikon the Kauloniate.” To hear this well-known runner now proclaimed as “Dikon the Syracusan,”[57] gave[p. 29] painful publicity to the fact, that the free community of Kaulonia no longer existed,—and to the absorptions of Grecian freedom effected by Dionysius.

In following the history of affairs in Central Greece, I have already dwelt upon the strong sentiment excited among Grecian patriots by the peace of Antalkidas, wherein Sparta made herself the ostentatious champion and enforcer of a Persian rescript, purchased by surrendering the Asiatic Greeks to the Great King. It was natural that this emotion should manifest itself at the next ensuing Olympic festival in 384 B. C., wherein not only Spartans, Athenians, Thebans, and Corinthians, but also Asiatic and Sicilian Greeks, were reunited after a long separation. The emotion found an eloquent spokesman in the orator Lysias. Descended from Syracusan ancestors, and once a citizen of Thurii,[58] Lysias had peculiar grounds for sympathy with the Sicilian and Italian Greeks. He delivered a public harangue upon the actual state of political affairs, in which he dwelt upon the mournful present and upon the serious dangers of the future. “The Grecian world (he said) is burning away at both extremities. Our eastern brethren have passed into slavery under the Great King, our western under the despotism of Dionysius.[59] These two are the great potentates, both in naval force and in money, the real instruments of dominion:[60] if both of them combine, they will extinguish what remains of freedom in Greece. They have been allowed to consummate all this ruin unopposed, because of the past dissensions among the leading Gre[p. 30]cian cities; but it is now high time that these cities should unite cordially to oppose farther ruin. How can Sparta, our legitimate president, sit still while the Hellenic world is on fire and consuming? The misfortunes of our ruined brethren ought to be to us as our own. Let us not lie idle, waiting until Artaxerxes and Dionysius attack us with their united force: let us check their insolence at once, while it is yet in our power.”[61]

Unfortunately we possess but a scanty fragment of this emphatic harangue (a panegyrical harangue, in the ancient sense of the word) delivered at Olympia by Lysias. But we see the alarming picture of the time which he labored to impress: Hellas already enslaved, both in the east and in the west, by the two greatest potentates of the age,[62] Artaxerxes and Dionysius—and now threatened in her centre by their combined efforts. To feel the full probability of so gloomy an anticipation, we must recollect that only in the preceding year Dionysius, already master of Sicily and of a considerable fraction of Italian Greece, had stretched his naval force across to Illyria, armed a host of Illyrian barbarians, and sent them southward under Alketas against the Molossians, with the view of ultimately proceeding farther and pillaging the Delphian temple. The Lacedæmonians had been obliged to send a force to arrest their progress.[63] No wonder then that Lysias should depict the despot of Syracuse as meditating ulterior projects against Central Greece; and as an object not only of hatred for what he had done, but of terror for what he was about to do, in conjunction with the other great enemy from the east.[64]

[p. 31]Of these two enemies, one (the Persian King) was out of reach. But the second—Dionysius—though not present in person, stood forth by his envoys and appurtenances conspicuous even to ostentation, beyond any man on the ground. His Theôry or solemn legation outshone every other by the splendor of its tents and decorations: his chariots to run in the races were magnificent: his horses were of rare excellence, bred from the Venetian stock, imported out of the innermost depths of the Adriatic Gulf:[65] his poems, recited by the best artists in Greece, solicited applause—by excellent delivery and fine choric equipments, if not by superior intrinsic merit. Now the antipathy against Dionysius was not only aggravated by all this display, contrasted with the wretchedness of impoverished exiles whom he had dispossessed—but was also furnished with something to strike at and vent itself upon. Of such opportunity for present action against a visible object, Lysias did not fail to avail himself. While he vehemently preached a crusade to dethrone Dionysius and liberate Sicily, he at the same time pointed to the gold and purple tent before them, rich and proud above all its fellows, which lodged the brother of the despot with his Syracusan legation. He exhorted his hearers to put forth at once an avenging hand, in partial retribution for the sufferings of free Greece, by plundering the tent which insulted them by its showy decorations. He adjured them to interfere and prevent the envoys of this impious despot from sacrificing or entering their chariots in the lists, or taking any part in the holy Pan-hellenic festival.[66]

[p. 32]We cannot doubt that a large proportion of the spectators on the plain of Olympia felt with greater or less intensity the generous Pan-hellenic patriotism and indignation to which Lysias gave utterance. To what extent his hearers acted upon the unbecoming violence of his practical recommendations—how far they actually laid hands on the tents, or tried to hinder the Syracusans from sacrificing, or impeded the bringing out of their chariots for the race—we are unable to say. We are told that some ventured to plunder the tents:[67] how much was effected we do not hear. It is certain that the superintending Eleian authorities would interfere most strenuously to check any such attempt at desecrating the festival, and to protect the Syracusan envoys in their tents, their regular sacrifice, and their chariot-running. And it is farther certain, as far as our account goes, that the Syracusan chariots actually did run on the lists; because they were, though by various accidents, disgracefully unsuccessful, or overturned and broken in pieces.[68]

To any one however who reflects on the Olympic festival, with all its solemnity and its competition for honors of various kinds, it will appear that the mere manifestation of so violent an antipathy, even though restrained from breaking out into act, would be sufficiently galling to the Syracusan envoys. But the case would be far worse, when the poems of Dionysius came to be recited. These were volunteer manifestations, delivered (like the harangue of Lysias) before such persons as chose to come and hear; not comprised in the regular solemnity, nor therefore under any peculiar protection by the Eleian authorities. Dionysius stood forward of his own accord to put himself upon his trial as a poet before the auditors. Here therefore the antipathy against the despot might be manifested by the most unreserved explosions. And[p. 33] when we are told that the badness of the poems[69] caused them to be received with opprobrious ridicule, in spite of the excellence of the recitation, it is easy to see that the hatred intended for the person of Dionysius was discharged upon his verses. Of course the hissers and hooters would make it clearly understood what they really meant, and would indulge in the full license of heaping curses upon his name and acts. Neither the best reciters of Greece, nor the best poems even of Sophokles or Pindar, could have any chance against such predetermined antipathy. And the whole scene would end in the keenest disappointment and humiliation, inflicted upon the Syracusan envoys as well as upon the actors; being the only channel through which the retributive chastisement of Hellas could be made to reach the author.

Though not present in person at Olympia, the despot felt the chastisement in his inmost soul. The mere narrative of what had passed plunged him into an agony of sorrow, which for some time seemed to grow worse by brooding on the scene, and at length drove him nearly mad. He was smitten with intolerable consciousness of the profound hatred borne towards him, even throughout a large portion of the distant and independent Hellenic world. He fancied that this hatred was shared by all around him, and suspected every one as plotting against his life. To such an excess of cruelty did this morbid excitement carry him, that he seized several of his best friends, under false accusations, or surmises, and caused them to be slain.[70] Even his brother Leptinês, and his ancient partisan Philistus, men who had devoted their lives first to his exaltation, and afterwards to his service, did not escape. Having given umbrage to him by an intermarriage between their families made without his privity, both were banished from Syracuse, and retired to Thurii in Italy, where they received that shelter and welcome which Leptinês had pecu[p. 34]liarly merited by his conduct in the Lucanian war. The exile of Leptinês did not last longer than (apparently) about a year, after which Dionysius relented, recalled him, and gave him his daughter in marriage. But Philistus remained in banishment more than sixteen years; not returning to Syracuse until after the death of Dionysius the elder, and the accession of Dionysius the younger.[71]

Such was the memorable scene at the Olympic festival of 384 B. C., together with its effect upon the mind of Dionysius. Diodorus, while noticing all the facts, has cast an air of ridicule over them by recognizing nothing except the vexation of Dionysius, at the ill success of his poem, as the cause of his mental suffering; and by referring to the years 388 B. C. and 386 B. C., that which properly belongs to 384 B. C.[72] Now it is improbable, in the first[p. 35] place, that the poem of Dionysius,—himself a man of ability and having every opportunity of profiting by good critics whom he[p. 36] had purposely assembled around him[73]—should have been so ridiculously bad as to disgust an impartial audience: next, it is still more improbable that a simple poetical failure, though doubtless mortifying to him, should work with such fearful effect as to plunge him into anguish and madness. To unnerve thus violently a person like Dionysius—deeply stained with the great crimes of unscrupulous ambition, but remarkably exempt from infirmities—some more powerful cause is required; and that cause stands out conspicuously, when we conceive the full circumstances of the Olympic festival of 384 B. C. He had accumulated for this occasion all the means of showing himself off, like Krœsus in his interview with Solon, as the most prosperous and powerful man[p. 37] in the Hellenic world;[74] means beyond the reach of any contemporary, and surpassing even Hiero or Thero of former days, whose praises in the odes of Pindar he probably had in his mind. He counted, probably with good reason, that his splendid legation, chariots, and outfit of acting and recitation for the poems, would surpass everything else seen on the holy plain; and he fully expected such reward as the public were always glad to bestow on rich men who exhausted their purses in the recognized vein of Hellenic pious ostentation. In this high wrought state of expectation, what does Dionysius hear, by his messengers returning from the festival? That their mission had proved a total failure, and even worse than a failure; that the display had called forth none of the usual admiration, not because there were rivals on the ground equal or superior, but simply because it came from him; that its very magnificence had operated to render the explosion of antipathy against him louder and more violent; that his tents in the sacred ground had been actually assailed, and that access to sacrifice, as well as to the matches, had been secured to him only by the interposition of authority. We learn indeed that his chariots failed in the field by unlucky accidents; but in the existing temper of the crowd, these very accidents would be seized as occasions for derisory cheering against him. To this we must add explosions of hatred, yet more furious, elicited by his poems, putting the reciters to utter shame. At the moment when Dionysius expected to hear the account of an unparalleled triumph, he is thus informed, not merely of disappointment, but of insults to himself, direct and personal, the most poignant ever offered by Greeks to a Greek, amidst the holiest and most frequented ceremony of the Hellenic world.[75] Never in any other case do we[p. 38] read of public antipathy, against an individual, being carried to the pitch of desecrating by violence the majesty of the Olympic festival.

Here then were the real and sufficient causes—not the mere ill-success of his poem—which penetrated the soul of Dionysius, driving him into anguish and temporary madness. Though he had silenced the Vox Populi at Syracuse, not all his mercenaries, ships, and forts in Ortygia, could save him from feeling its force, when thus emphatically poured forth against him by the free-spoken crowd at Olympia.

It was apparently shortly after the peace of 387 B. C., that Dionysius received at Syracuse the visit of the philosopher Plato.[76] The latter—having come to Sicily on a voyage of inquiry and curiosity, especially to see Mount Ætna—was introduced by his friends, the philosophers of Tarentum, to Dion, then a young man, resident at Syracuse, and brother of Aristomachê, the wife of Dionysius. Of Plato and Dion I shall speak more elsewhere: here I notice the philosopher only as illustrating the history and character of Dionysius. Dion, having been profoundly impressed with the conversation of Plato, prevailed upon Dionysius to invite and talk with him also. Plato discoursed eloquently upon justice and virtue, enforcing his doctrine that wicked men were inevitably miserable—that true happiness belonged only to the[p. 39] virtuous—and that despots could not lay claim to the merit of courage.[77] This meagre abstract does not at all enable us to follow the philosopher’s argument. But it is plain that he set forth his general views on social and political subjects with as much freedom and dignity of speech before Dionysius as before any simple citizen; and we are farther told, that the by-standers were greatly captivated by his manner and language. Not so the despot himself. After one or two repetitions of the like discourse, he became not merely averse to the doctrine, but hostile to the person, of Plato. According to the statement of Diodorus, he caused the philosopher to be seized, taken down to the Syracusan slave-market, and there put up for sale as a slave at the price of twenty minæ; which his friends subscribed to pay, and thus released him. According to Plutarch, Plato himself was anxious to depart, and was put by Dion aboard a trireme which was about to convey home the Lacedæmonian envoy Pollis. But Dionysius secretly entreated Pollis to cause him to be slain on the voyage—or at least to sell him as a slave. Plato was accordingly landed at Ægina, and there sold. He was purchased, or repurchased, by Annikeris of Kyrênê, and sent back to Athens. This latter is the more probable story of the two; but it seems to be a certain fact that Plato was really sold, and became for a moment a slave.[78]

That Dionysius should listen to the discourse of Plato with repugnance, not less decided than that which the Emperor Napoleon was wont to show towards ideologists—was an event naturally to be expected. But that, not satisfied with dismissing the philosopher, he should seek to kill, maltreat, or disgrace him, illustrates forcibly the vindictive and irritable elements of his character, and shows how little he was likely to respect the lives of those who stood in his way as political opponents.

Dionysius was at the same time occupied with new constructions, military, civil, and religious, at Syracuse. He enlarged the fortifications of the city by adding a new line of wall, extending along the southern cliff of Epipolæ, from Euryalus to the suburb called Neapolis; which suburb was now, it would appear, sur[p. 40]rounded by a separate wall of its own—or perhaps may have been so surrounded a few years earlier, though we know that it was unfortified and open during the attack of Imilkon in 396 B. C.[79] At the time, probably, the fort at the Euryalus was enlarged and completed to the point of grandeur which its present remains indicate. The whole slope of Epipolæ became thus bordered and protected by fortifications, from its base at Achradina to its apex at Euryalus. And Syracuse now comprised five separately fortified portions,—Epipolæ, Neapolis, Tychê, Achradina, and Ortygia; each portion having its own fortification, though the four first were included within the same outer walls. Syracuse thus became the largest fortified city in all Greece; larger even than Athens in its then existing state, though not so large as Athens had been during the Peloponnesian war, while the Phaleric wall was yet standing.

Besides these extensive fortifications, Dionysius also enlarged the docks and arsenals so as to provide accommodation for two hundred men of war. He constructed spacious gymnasia on the banks of the river Anapus, without the city walls; and he further decorated the city with various new temples in honor of different gods.[80]

Such costly novelties added grandeur as well as security to Syracuse, and conferred imposing celebrity on the despot himself. They were dictated by the same aspirations as had prompted his ostentatious legation to Olympia in 384 B. C.; a legation of which the result had been so untoward and intolerable to his feelings. They were intended to console, and doubtless did in part console,[p. 41] the Syracusan people for the loss of their freedom. And they were further designed to serve as fuller preparations for the war against Carthage, which he was now bent upon renewing. He was obliged to look about for a pretext, since the Carthaginians had given him no just cause. But this, though an aggression, was a Pan-hellenic aggression,[81] calculated to win for him the sympathies of all Greeks, philosophers as well as the multitude. And as the war was begun in the year immediately succeeding the insult cast upon him at Olympia, we may ascribe it in part to a wish to perform exploits such as might rescue his name from the like opprobrium in future.

The sum of fifteen hundred talents, recently pillaged from the temple at Agylla,[82] enabled Dionysius to fit out a large army for his projected war. Entering into intrigues with some of the disaffected dependencies of Carthage in Sicily, he encouraged them to revolt, and received them into his alliance. The Carthaginians sent envoys to remonstrate, but could obtain no redress; upon which they on their side prepared for war, accumulated a large force of hired foreign mercenaries under Magon, and contracted alliance with some of the Italiot Greeks hostile to Dionysius. Both parties distributed their forces so as to act partly in Sicily, partly in the adjoining peninsula of Italy; but the great stress of war fell on Sicily, where Dionysius and Magon both commanded in person. After several combats partial and indecisive, a general battle was joined at a place called Kabala. The contest was murderous, and the bravery great on both sides; but at length Dionysius gained a complete victory. Magon himself and ten thousand men of his army were slain; five thousand were made prisoners; while the remainder were driven to retreat to a neighboring eminence, strong, but destitute of water. They were forced to send envoys entreating peace; which Dionysius consented to grant, but only on condition that every Carthaginian should be immediately withdrawn from all the cities in the island, and that he should be reimbursed for the costs of the war.[83]

[p. 42]The Carthaginian generals affected to accept the terms offered, but stated (what was probably the truth), that they could not pledge themselves for the execution of such terms, without assent from the authorities at home. They solicited a truce of a few days, to enable them to send thither for instructions. Persuaded that they could not escape, Dionysius granted their request. Accounting the emancipation of Sicily from the Punic yoke to be already a fact accomplished, he triumphantly exalted himself on a pedestal higher even than that of Gelon. But this very confidence threw him off his guard and proved ruinous to him; as it happened frequently in Grecian military proceedings. The defeated Carthaginian army gradually recovered their spirits. In place of the slain general Magon, who was buried with magnificence, his son was named commander; a youth of extraordinary energy and ability, who so contrived to reassure and reorganize his troops, that when the truce expired, he was ready for a second battle. Probably the Syracusans were taken by surprise and not fully prepared. At least the fortune of Dionysius had fled. In this second action, fought at a spot called Kronium, he underwent a terrible and ruinous defeat. His brother Leptinês, who commanded on one wing, was slain gallantly fighting; those around him were defeated; while Dionysius himself, with his select troops on the other wing, had at first some advantage, but was at length beaten and driven back. The whole army fled in disorder to the camp, pursued with merciless vehemence by the Carthaginians, who, incensed by their previous defeat, neither gave quarter nor took prisoners. Fourteen thousand dead bodies, of the defeated Syracusan army, are said to have been picked up for burial; the rest were only preserved by night and by the shelter of their camp.[84]

Such was the signal victory—the salvation of the army, perhaps even of Carthage herself—gained at Kronium by the youthful son of Magon. Immediately after it, he retired to Panormus. His army probably had been too much enfeebled by the former defeat to undertake farther offensive operations; moreover he himself had as yet no regular appointment as general. The Carthaginian authorities too had the prudence to seize this favorable[p. 43] moment for making peace, and sent to Dionysius envoys with full powers. But Dionysius only obtained peace by large concessions; giving up to Carthage Selinus with its territory, as well as half the Agrigentine territory—all that lay to the west of the river Halykus; and farther covenanting to pay to Carthage the sum of one thousand talents.[85] To these unfavorable conditions Dionysius was constrained to subscribe; after having but a few days before required the Carthaginians to evacuate all Sicily, and pay the costs of the war. As it seems doubtful whether Dionysius would have so large a sum ready to pay down at once, we may reasonably presume that he would undertake to liquidate it by annual instalments. And we thus find confirmation of the memorable statement of Plato, that Dionysius became tributary to the Carthaginians.[86]

Such are the painful gaps in Grecian history as it is transmitted to us, that we hear scarcely anything about Dionysius for thirteen years after the peace of 383-382 B. C. It seems that the Carthaginians (in 379 B. C.) sent an armament to the southern portion of Italy for the purpose of reëstablishing the town of Hipponium and its inhabitants.[87] But their attention appears to have been withdrawn from this enterprise by the recurrence of previous misfortunes—fearful pestilence, and revolt of their Libyan dependencies, which seriously threatened the safety of their city. Again, Dionysius also, during one of these years, undertook some operations, of which a faint echo reaches us, in this same Italian peninsula (now Calabria Ultra). He projected a line of wall across the narrowest portion or isthmus of the peninsula, from the Gulf of Skylletium to that of Hipponium, so as to separate the territory of Lokri from the northern portion of Italy, and secure it completely to his own control. Professedly the wall was destined to repel the incursions of the Lucanians; but in reality (we[p. 44] are told) Dionysius wished to cut off the connection between Lokri and the other Greeks in the Tarentine Gulf. These latter are said to have interposed from without, and prevented the execution of the scheme; but its natural difficulties would be in themselves no small impediment, nor are we sure that the wall was even begun.[88]

During this interval, momentous events (recounted in my previous chapters) had occurred in Central Greece. In 382 B. C., the Spartans made themselves by fraud masters of Thebes, and placed a permanent garrison in the Kadmeia. In 380 B. C., they put down the Olynthian confederacy, thus attaining the maximum of their power. But in 379 B. C., there occurred the revolution at Thebes achieved by the conspiracy of Pelopidas, who expelled the Lacedæmonians from the Kadmeia. Involved in a burdensome war against Thebes and Athens, together with other allies the Lacedæmonians gradually lost ground, and had become much reduced before the peace of 371 B. C., which left them to contend with Thebes alone. Then came the fatal battle of Leuktra which prostrated their military ascendency altogether. These incidents have been already related at large in former chapters. Two years before the battle of Leuktra, Dionysius sent to the aid of the Lacedæmonians at Korkyra a squadron of ten ships, all of which were captured by Iphikrates; about three years after the battle, when the Thebans and their allies were pressing Sparta in Peloponnesus, he twice sent thither a military force of Gauls and Iberians to reinforce her army. But his troops neither stayed long, nor rendered any very conspicuous service.[89]

In this year we hear of a fresh attack by Dionysius against the Carthaginians. Observing that they had been lately much enfeebled by pestilence and by mutiny of their African subjects, he thought the opportunity favorable for trying to recover what the peace of 383 B. C., had obliged him to relinquish. A false pretence being readily found, he invaded the Carthaginian possessions in the west of Sicily with a large land force of thirty thou[p. 45]sand foot, and three thousand horse; together with a fleet of three hundred sail, and store ships in proportion. After ravaging much of the open territory of the Carthaginians, he succeeded in mastering Selinus, Entella, and Eryx—and then laid siege to Lilybæum. This town, close to the western cape of Sicily,[90] appears to have arisen as a substitute for the neighboring town of Motyê (of which we hear little more since its capture by Dionysius in 396 B. C.), and to have become the principal Carthaginian station. He began to attack it by active siege and battering machines. But it was so numerously garrisoned, and so well defended, that he was forced to raise the siege and confine himself to blockade. His fleet kept the harbor guarded, so as to intercept supplies from Africa. Not long afterwards, however, he received intelligence that a fire had taken place in the port of Carthage whereby all her ships had been burnt. Being thus led to conceive that there was no longer any apprehension of naval attack from Carthage, he withdrew his fleet from continuous watch off Lilybæum; keeping one hundred and thirty men-of-war near at hand, in the harbor of Eryx, and sending the remainder home to Syracuse. Of this incautious proceeding the Carthaginians took speedy advantage. The conflagration in their port had been much overstated. There still remained to them two hundred ships of war, which, after being equipped in silence, sailed across in the night to Eryx. Appearing suddenly in the harbor, they attacked the Syracusan fleet completely by surprise; and succeeded, without serious resistance, in capturing and towing off nearly all of them. After so capital an advantage, Lilybæum became open to reinforcement and supplies by sea, so that Dionysius no longer thought it worth while to prosecute the blockade. On the approach of winter, both parties resumed the position which they had occupied before the recent movement.[91]

The despot had thus gained nothing by again taking up arms, nor were the Sicilian dependencies of the Carthaginians at all cut down below that which they acquired by the treaty of 383 B. C. But he received (about January or February 367 B. C.) news of a different species of success, which gave him hardly less satisfaction than a victory by land or sea. In the Lenæan festival of[p. 46] Athens, one of his tragedies had been rewarded with the first prize. A chorist who had been employed in the performance—eager to convey the first intelligence of this success to Syracuse and to obtain the recompense which would naturally await the messenger—hastened from Athens to Corinth, found a vessel just starting for Syracuse, and reached Syracuse by a straight course with the advantage of favorable winds. He was the first to communicate the news, and received the full reward of his diligence. Dionysius was overjoyed at the distinction conferred upon him; for though on former occasions he had obtained the second or third place in the Athenian competitions, he had never before been adjudged worthy of the first prize. Offering sacrifice to the gods for the good news, he invited his friends to a splendid banquet, wherein he indulged in an unusual measure of conviviality. But the joyous excitement, coupled with the effects of the wine, brought on an attack of fever, of which he shortly afterwards died, after a reign of thirty-eight years.[92]

Thirty-eight years, of a career so full of effort, adventure, and danger, as that of Dionysius, must have left a constitution sufficiently exhausted to give way easily before acute disease. Throughout this long period he had never spared himself. He was a man of restless energy and activity, bodily as well as mental; always personally at the head of his troops in war—keeping a vigilant eye and a decisive hand upon all the details of his government at home—yet employing spare time (which Philip of Macedon was surprised that he could find[93]) in composing tragedies of his own, to compete for prizes fairly adjudged. His personal bravery was conspicuous, and he was twice severely wounded in leading his soldiers to assault. His effective skill as an ambitious politician—his military resource as a commander—and the long-sighted care with which he provided implements of offence as well as of defence before undertaking war,—are remarkable features in his character. The Roman Scipio Africanus was wont to single out Dionysius and Agathokles (the history of the latter begins about fifty years after the death of the former), both of them despots of Syracuse, as the two Greeks of greatest ability for action known to him—men who combined, in the most[p. 47] memorable degree, daring with sagacity.[94] This criticism, coming from an excellent judge, is borne out by the biography of both, so far as it comes to our knowledge. No other Greek can be pointed out, who, starting from a position humble and unpromising, raised himself to so lofty a pinnacle of dominion at home, achieved such striking military exploits abroad, and preserved his grandeur unimpaired throughout the whole of a long life. Dionysius boasted that he bequeathed to his son an empire fastened by adamantine chains;[95] so powerful was his mercenary force—so firm his position in Ortygia—so completely had the Syracusans been broken into subjection. There cannot be a better test of vigor and ability than the unexampled success with which Dionysius and Agathokles played the game of the despot, and to a certain extent that of the conqueror. Of the two, Dionysius was the most favored by fortune. Both indeed profited by one auxiliary accident, which distinguished Syracuse from other Grecian cities; the local speciality of Ortygia. That islet seemed expressly made to be garrisoned as a separate fortress,—apart from, as well as against, the rest of Syracuse,—having full command of the harbor, docks, naval force, and naval approach. But Dionysius had, besides, several peculiar interventions of the gods in his favor, sometimes at the most critical moments: such was the interpretation put by his enemies (and doubtless by his friends also) upon those repeated pestilences which smote the Carthaginian armies with a force far more deadly than the spear of the Syracusan hoplite. On four or five distinct occasions, during the life of Dionysius, we read of this unseen foe as destroying the Carthaginians both in Sicily and in Africa, but leaving the Syracusans untouched. Twice did it arrest the progress of Imilkon, when in the full career of victory; once, after the capture of Gela and Kamarina—a second time, when, after his great naval victory off Katana, he had brought his numerous host under the walls of Syracuse, and was actually master of the open suburb of Achradina. On both these occasions the pestilence made a complete revolution in the face of the[p. 48] war; exalting Dionysius from impending ruin, to assured safety in the one, and to unmeasured triumph in the other. We are bound to allow for this good fortune (the like of which never befel Agathokles), when we contemplate the long prosperity of Dionysius[96], and when we adopt, as in justice we must, the panegyric of Scipio Africanus.

The preceding chapter has detailed the means whereby Dionysius attained his prize, and kept it: those employed by Agathokles—analogous in spirit but of still darker coloring in the details—will appear hereafter. That Hermokrates—who had filled with credit the highest offices in the state and whom men had acquired the habit of following—should aspire to become despot, was no unusual phenomenon in Grecian politics; but that Dionysius should aim at mounting the same ladder, seemed absurd or even insane—to use the phrase of Isokrates.[97] If, then, in spite of such disadvantage he succeeded in fastening round his countrymen, accustomed to a free constitution as their birth-right, those “adamantine chains” which they were well known to abhor—we may be sure that his plan of proceeding must have been dexterously chosen, and prosecuted with consummate perseverance and audacity; but we may be also sure that it was nefarious in the extreme. The machinery of fraud whereby the people were to be cheated into a temporary submission, as a prelude to the machinery of force whereby such submission was to be perpetuated against their consent—was the stock in trade of Grecian usurpers. But seldom does it appear prefaced by more impudent calumnies, or worked out with a larger measure of violence and spoliation, than in the case of Dionysius. He was indeed powerfully seconded at the outset by the danger of Syracuse from the Carthaginian arms. But his scheme of usurpation, far from diminishing such danger, tended materially to increase it, by disuniting the city at so critical a moment. Dionysius achieved nothing in his first enterprise for the relief of Gela and Kamarina.[p. 49] He was forced to retire with as much disgrace as those previous generals whom he had so bitterly vituperated; and apparently even with greater disgrace—since there are strong grounds for believing that he entered into traitorous collusion with the Carthaginians. The salvation of Syracuse, at that moment of peril, arose not from the energy or ability of Dionysius, but from the opportune epidemic which disabled Imilkon in the midst of a victorious career.

Dionysius had not only talents to organize, and boldness to make good, a despotism more formidable than anything known to contemporary Greeks, but also systematic prudence to keep it unimpaired for thirty-eight years. He maintained carefully those two precautions which Thucydides specifies as the causes of permanence to the Athenian Hippias, under similar circumstances—intimidation over the citizens, and careful organization, with liberal pay among his mercenaries.[98] He was temperate in indulgencies; never led by any of his appetites into the commission of violence.[99] This abstinence contributed materially to prolong his life, since many a Grecian despot perished through desperate feelings of individual vengeance provoked by his outrages. With Dionysius, all other appetites were merged in the love of dominion, at home and abroad; and of money as a means of dominion. To the service of this master-passion all his energies were devoted, together with those vast military resources which an unscrupulous ability served both to accumulate and to recruit. How his treasury was supplied, with the large exigencies continually[p. 50] pressing upon it, we are but little informed. We know however that his exactions from the Syracusans were exorbitant;[100] that he did not hesitate to strip the holiest temples; and that he left behind him a great reputation for ingenious tricks in extracting money from his subjects.[101] Besides the large garrison of foreign mercenaries by whom his orders were enforced, he maintained a regular body of spies, seemingly of both sexes, disseminated among the body of the citizens.[102] The vast quarry-prison of Syracuse was his work.[103] Both the vague general picture, and the fragmentary details which come before us, of his conduct towards the Syracusans, present to us nothing but an oppressive and extortionate tyrant, by whose fiat numberless victims perished; more than ten thousand according to the general language of Plutarch.[104] He enriched largely his younger brothers and auxiliaries; among which latter, Hipparinus stood prominent, thus recovering a fortune equal to or larger than that which his profligacy had dissipated.[105] But we hear also of acts of Dionysius, indicating a jealous and cruel temper, even towards near relatives. And it appears certain that he trusted no one, not even them;[106] that though in the[p. 51] field he was a perfectly brave man, yet his suspicion and timorous anxiety as to every one who approached his person, were carried to the most tormenting excess, and extended even to his wives, his brothers, his daughters. Afraid to admit any one with a razor near to his face, he is said to have singed his own beard with a burning coal. Both his brother and his son were searched for concealed weapons, and even forced to change their clothes in the presence of his guards, before they were permitted to see him. An officer of the guards named Marsyas, having dreamt that he was assassinating Dionysius, was put to death for this dream, as proving that his waking thoughts must have been dwelling upon such a project. And it has already been mentioned that Dionysius put to death the mother of one of his wives, on suspicion that she had by incantations brought about the barrenness of the other—as well as the sons of a Lokrian citizen named Aristeides, who had refused, with indignant expressions, to grant to him his daughter in marriage.[107]

Such were the conditions of existence—perpetual mistrust, danger even from the nearest kindred, enmity both to and from every dignified freeman, and reliance only on armed barbarians or liberated slaves—which beset almost every Grecian despot, and from which the greatest despot of his age enjoyed no exemption. Though philosophers emphatically insisted that such a man must be miserable,[108] yet Dionysius himself, as well as the great mass of admiring spectators, would probably feel that the necessities of his position were more than compensated by its awe-striking grandeur, and by the full satisfaction of ambitious dreams, subject indeed to poignant suffering when wounded in the tender point, and when reaping insult in place of admiration, at the memorable Olympic festival of 384 B. C., above-described. But the[p. 52] Syracusans, over whom he ruled, enjoyed no such compensation for that which they suffered from his tax-gatherers—from his garrison of Gauls, Iberians, and Campanians, in Ortygia—from his spies—his prison—and his executioners.

Nor did Syracuse suffer alone. The reign of the elder Dionysius was desolating for the Hellenic population generally, both of Sicily and Italy. Syracuse became a great fortress, with vast military power in the hands of its governor, “whose policy[109] it was to pack all Sicily into it;” while the remaining free Hellenic communities were degraded, enslaved, and half depopulated. On this topic, the mournful testimonies already cited from Lysias and Isokrates, are borne out by the letters of the eye-witness Plato. In his advice, given to the son and successor of Dionysius, Plato emphatically presses upon him two points: first, as to the Syracusans, to transform his inherited oppressive despotism into the rule of a king, governing gently and by fixed laws; next, to reconstitute and repeople, under free constitutions, the other Hellenic communities in Sicily, which at his accession had become nearly barbarised and half deserted.[110] The elder Dionysius had imported[p. 53] into Sicily large bodies of mercenaries, by means of whom he had gained his conquests, and for whom he had provided settlements at the cost of the subdued Hellenic cities. In Naxos, Katana, Leontini, and Messênê, the previous residents had been dispossessed and others substituted, out of Gallic and Iberian mercenaries. Communities thus transformed, with their former free citizens degraded into dependence or exile, not only ceased to be purely Hellenic, but also became far less populous and flourishing. In like manner Dionysius had suppressed, and absorbed into Syracuse and Lokri, the once autonomous Grecian communities of Rhegium, Hipponium, and Kaulonia, on the Italian side of the strait. In the inland regions of Italy, he had allied himself with the barbarous Lucanians; who, even without his aid, were gaining ground and pressing hard upon the Italiot Greeks on the coast.

If we examine the results of the warfare carried on by Dionysius against the Carthaginians, from the commencement to the end of his career, we shall observe, that he began by losing Gela and Kamarina, and that the peace by which he was enabled to preserve Syracuse itself, arose, not from any success of his own, but from the pestilence which ruined his enemies; to say nothing about traitorous collusion with them, which I have already remarked to have been the probable price of their guarantee to his dominion. His war against the Carthaginians in 397 B. C., was undertaken with much vigor, recovered Gela, Kamarina, Agrigentum, and Selinus, and promised the most decisive success. But presently again the tide of fortune turned against him. He sustained capital defeats, and owed the safety of Syracuse, a second time, to nothing but the terrific pestilence which destroyed the army of Imilkon. A third time, in 383 B. C., Dionysius gratui[p. 54]tously renewed the war against Carthage. After brilliant success at first, he was again totally defeated, and forced to cede to Carthage all the territory west of the river Halykus, besides paying a tribute. So that the exact difference between the Sicilian territory of Carthage—as it stood at the beginning of his command and at the end of his reign—amounts to this: that at the earlier period it reached to the river Himera—at the later period only to the river Halykus. The intermediate space between the two comprehends Agrigentum with the greater part of its territory; which represents therefore the extent of Hellenic soil rescued by Dionysius from Carthaginian dominion.


The Elder Dionysius, at the moment of his death, boasted of having left his dominion “fastened by chains of adamant;” that is, sustained by a large body of mercenaries,[111] well trained and well paid—by impregnable fortifications on the islet of Ortygia—by four hundred ships of war—by immense magazines of arms and military stores—and by established intimidation over the minds of the Syracusans. These were really “chains of adamant”—so long as there was a man like Dionysius to keep them in hand. But he left no successor competent to the task; nor indeed an unobstructed succession. He had issue by two wives, whom he had married both at the same time, as has been already mentioned. By the Lokrian wife, Doris, he had his eldest son named Dionysius, and two others; by the Syracusan wife[p. 55] Aristomachê, daughter of Hipparinus, he had two sons, Hipparinus and Nysæus—and two daughters, Sophrosynê and Aretê.[112] Dionysius the younger can hardly have been less than twenty-five years old at the death of his father and namesake. Hipparinus, the eldest son by the other wife, was considerably younger. Aristomachê his mother had long remained childless; a fact which the elder Dionysius ascribed to incantations wrought by the mother of the Lokrian wife, and punished by putting to death the supposed sorceress.[113]

The offspring of Aristomachê, though the younger brood of the two, derived considerable advantage from the presence and countenance of her brother Dion. Hipparinus, father of Dion and Aristomachê, had been the principal abettor of the elder Dionysius in his original usurpation, in order to retrieve his own fortune,[114] ruined by profligate expenditure. So completely had that object been accomplished, that his son Dion was now among the richest men in Syracuse,[115] possessing property estimated at above one hundred talents (about £23,000). Dion was, besides, son-in-law to the elder Dionysius, who had given his daughter Sophrosynê in marriage to his son (by a different mother) the younger Diony[p. 56]sius; and his daughter Aretê, first to his brother Thearides—next, on the death of Thearides, to Dion. As brother of Aristomachê, Dion was thus brother-in-law to the elder Dionysius, and uncle both to Aretê his own wife and to Sophrosynê the wife of the younger Dionysius; as husband of Aretê, he was son-in-law to the elder Dionysius, and brother-in-law (as well as uncle) to the wife of the younger. Marriages between near relatives (excluding any such connection between uterine brother and sister) were usual in Greek manners. We cannot doubt that the despot accounted the harmony likely to be produced by such ties between the members of his two families and Dion, among the “adamantine chains” which held fast his dominion.

Apart from wealth and high position, the personal character of Dion was in itself marked and prominent. He was of an energetic temper, great bravery, and very considerable mental capacities. Though his nature was haughty and disdainful towards individuals, yet as to political communion, his ambition was by no means purely self-seeking and egoistic, like that of the elder Dionysius. Animated with vehement love of power, he was at the same time penetrated with that sense of regulated polity, and submission of individual will to fixed laws, which floated in the atmosphere of Grecian talk and literature, and stood so high in Grecian morality. He was moreover capable of acting with enthusiasm, and braving every hazard in prosecution of his own convictions.

Born about the year 408 B. C.,[116] Dion was twenty-one years of age in 378 B. C., when the elder Dionysius, having dismantled Rhegium and subdued Kroton, attained the maximum of his dominion, as master of the Sicilian and Italian Greeks. Standing high in the favor of his brother-in-law Dionysius, Dion doubtless took part in the wars whereby this large dominion had been acquired; as well as in the life of indulgence and luxury which prevailed generally among wealthy Greeks in Sicily and Italy, and which to the Athenian Plato appeared alike surprising and[p. 57] repulsive.[117] That great philosopher visited Italy and Sicily about 387 B. C., as has been already mentioned. He was in acquaintance and fellowship with the school of philosophers called Pythagoreans; the remnant of that Pythagorean brotherhood, who had once exercised so powerful a political influence over the cities of those regions—and who still enjoyed considerable reputation, even after complete political downfall, through individual ability and rank of the members, combined with habits of recluse study, mysticism, and attachment among themselves. With these Pythagoreans Dion also, a young man of open mind and ardent aspirations, was naturally thrown into communication by the proceedings of the elder Dionysius in Italy.[118] Through them he came into intercourse with Plato, whose conversation made an epoch in his life.

The mystic turn of imagination, the sententious brevity, and the mathematical researches of the Pythagoreans, produced doubtless an imposing effect upon Dion; just as Lysis, a member of that brotherhood, had acquired the attachment and influenced the sentiments of Epaminondas at Thebes. But Plato’s power of working upon the minds of young men was far more impressive and irresistible. He possessed a large range of practical experience, a mastery of political and social topics, and a charm of eloquence, to which the Pythagoreans were strangers. The stirring effect of the Sokratic talk, as well as of the democratical atmos[p. 58]phere in which Plato had been brought up, had developed all the communicative aptitude of his mind; and great as that aptitude appears in his remaining dialogues, there is ground for believing that it was far greater in his conversation; greater perhaps in 387 B. C., when he was still mainly the Sokratic Plato—than it became in later days, after he had imbibed to a certain extent the mysticism of these Pythagoreans.[119] Brought up as Dion had been at the court of Dionysius—accustomed to see around him only slavish deference and luxurious enjoyment—unused to open speech or large philosophical discussion—he found in Plato a new man exhibited, and a new world opened before him.

The conception of a free community—with correlative rights and duties belonging to every citizen, determined by laws and protected or enforced by power emanating from the collective entity called the City—stood in the foreground of ordinary Grecian morality—reigned spontaneously in the bosoms of every Grecian festival crowd—and had been partially imbibed by Dion, though not from his own personal experience, yet from teachers, sophists, and poets. This conception, essential and fundamental with philosophers as well as with the vulgar, was not merely set forth by Plato with commanding powers of speech, but also exalted with improvements and refinements into an ideal perfection. Above all, it was based upon a strict, even an abstemious and ascetic, canon, as to individual enjoyment; and upon a careful training both of mind and body, qualifying each man for the due performance of his duties as a citizen; a subject which Plato (as we see by his dialogues) did not simply propound with the direct enforcement of a preacher, but touched with the quickening and pungent effect, and reinforced with the copious practical illustrations, of Sokratic dialogue.

As the stimulus from the teacher was here put forth with consummate efficacy, so the predisposition of the learner enabled it to take full effect. Dion became an altered man both in public sentiment and in individual behavior. He recollected that twenty years before, his country Syracuse had been as free as Athens. He learnt to abhor the iniquity of the despotism by which her liberty had been overthrown, and by which subsequently the lib[p. 59]erties of so many other Greeks in Italy and Sicily had been trodden down also. He was made to remark, that Sicily had been half-barbarized through the foreign mercenaries imported as the despot’s instruments. He conceived the sublime idea or dream of rectifying all this accumulation of wrong and suffering. It was his wish first to cleanse Syracuse from the blot of slavery, and to clothe her anew in the brightness and dignity of freedom; yet not with the view of restoring the popular government as it had stood prior to the usurpation, but of establishing an improved constitutional policy, originated by himself, with laws which should not only secure individual rights, but also educate and moralize the citizens.[120] The function which he imagined to himself, and which the conversation of Plato suggested, was not that of a despot like Dionysius, but that of a despotic legislator like Lykurgus,[121] taking advantage of a momentary omnipotence, conferred upon him by grateful citizens in a state of public confusion, to originate a good system; which, when once put in motion, would keep itself alive by fashioning the minds of the citizens to its own intrinsic excellence. After having thus both liberated and reformed Syracuse, Dion promised to himself that he would employ Syracusan force, not in annihilating, but in recreating, other free Hellenic communities throughout the island; expelling from thence all the barbarians—both the imported mercenaries and the Carthaginians.

Such were the hopes and projects which arose in the mind of the youthful Dion as he listened to Plato; hopes pregnant with future results which neither of them contemplated—and not unworthy of being compared with those enthusiastic aspirations[p. 60] which the young Spartan kings Agis and Kleomenes imbibed, a century afterwards, in part from the conversation of the philosopher Sphærus.[122] Never before had Plato met with a pupil who so quickly apprehended, so profoundly meditated, or so passionately laid to heart, his lessons.[123] Inflamed with his newly communicated impulse towards philosophy, as the supreme guide and directress of virtuous conduct, Dion altered his habits of life; exchanging the splendor and luxury of a Sicilian rich man for the simple fare and regulated application becoming a votary of the Academy. In this course he persisted without faltering throughout all his residence at the court of Dionysius, in spite of the unpopularity contracted among his immediate companions. His enthusiasm even led him to believe, that the despot himself, unable to resist that persuasive tongue by which he had been himself converted, might be gently brought round into an employment of his mighty force for beneficent and reformatory purposes. Accordingly Dion, inviting Plato to Syracuse, procured for him an interview with Dionysius. How miserably the speculation failed, has been recounted in my last chapter. Instead of acquiring a new convert, the philosopher was fortunate in rescuing his own person, and in making good his returning footsteps out of that lion’s den, into which the improvident enthusiasm of his young friend had inveigled him.

The harsh treatment of Plato by Dionysius was a painful, though salutary, warning to Dion. Without sacrificing either his own convictions, or the philosophical regularity of life which he had thought fit to adopt—he saw that patience was imperatively necessary, and he so conducted himself as to maintain unabated the favor and confidence of Dionysius. Such a policy would[p. 61] probably be recommended to him even by Plato, in prospect of a better future. But it would be strenuously urged by the Pythagoreans of Southern Italy; among whom was Archytas, distinguished not only as a mathematician and friend of Plato, but also as the chief political magistrate of Tarentum. To these men, who dwelt all within the reach,[124] if not under the dominion, of this formidable Syracusan despot, it would be an unspeakable advantage to have a friend like Dion near him, possessing his confidence, and serving as a shield to them against his displeasure or interference. Dion so far surmounted his own unbending nature as to conduct himself towards Dionysius with skill and prudence. He was employed by the despot in several important affairs, especially in embassies to Carthage, which he fulfilled well, especially with conspicuous credit for eloquence; and also in the execution of various cruel orders, which his humanity secretly mitigated.[125] After the death of Thearides, Dionysius gave to Dion in marriage the widow Aretê (his daughter), and continued until the last to treat him with favor, accepting from him a freedom of censure such as he would tolerate from no other adviser.

During the many years which elapsed before the despot died, we cannot doubt that Dion found opportunities of visiting Peloponnesus and Athens, for the great festivals and other purposes. He would thus keep up his friendship and philosophical communication with Plato. Being as he was minister and relative, and perhaps successor presumptive, of the most powerful prince in Greece, he would enjoy everywhere great importance, which would be enhanced by his philosophy and eloquence. The Spartans, at that time the allies of Dionysius, conferred upon Dion the rare honor of a vote of citizenship;[126] and he received testimonies[p. 62] of respect from other cities also. Such honors tended to exalt his reputation at Syracuse; while the visits to Athens and the cities of Central Greece enlarged his knowledge both of politicians and philosophers.

At length occurred the death of the elder Dionysius, occasioned by an unexpected attack of fever, after a few days’ illness. He had made no special announcement about his succession. Accordingly, as soon as the physicians pronounced him to be in imminent danger, a competition arose between his two families: on the one hand Dionysius the younger, his son by the Lokrian wife Doris; on the other, his wife Aristomachê and her brother Dion, representing her children Hipparinus and Nysæus, then very young. Dion, wishing to obtain for these two youths either a partnership in the future power, or some other beneficial provision, solicited leave to approach the bedside of the sick man. But the physicians refused to grant his request without apprising the younger Dionysius; who, being resolved to prevent it, directed a soporific portion to be administered to his father, from the effects of which the latter never awoke so as to be able to see any one.[127] The interview with Dion being thus frustrated, and the father dying without giving any directions, Dionysius the younger succeeded as eldest son, without opposition. He was presented to that which was called an assembly of the Syracusan people,[128] and delivered some conciliatory phrases, requesting them to continue to him that good-will which they had so long shown to his father.[p. 63] Consent and acclamation were of course not wanting, to the new master of the troops, treasures, magazines, and fortifications in Ortygia; those “adamantine chains” which were well known to dispense with the necessity of any real popular good-will.

Dionysius II. (or the younger), then about twenty-five years of age, was a young man of considerable natural capacity, and of quick and lively impulses;[129] but weak and vain in his character, given to transitory caprices, and eager in his appetite for praise without being capable of any industrious or resolute efforts to earn it. As yet he was wholly unpractised in serious business of any kind. He had neither seen military service nor mingled in the discussion of political measures; having been studiously kept back from both, by the extreme jealousy of his father. His life had been passed in the palace or acropolis of Ortygia, amidst all the indulgences and luxuries belonging to a princely station, diversified with amateur carpenter’s work and turnery. However, the tastes of the father introduced among the guests at the palace a certain number of poets, reciters, musicians, etc., so that the younger Dionysius had contracted a relish for poetical literature, which opened his mind to generous sentiments, and large conceptions of excellence, more than any portion of his very confined experience. To philosophy, to instructive conversation, to the exercise of reason, he was a stranger.[130] But the very feebleness and indecision of his character presented him as impressible, perhaps improvable, by a strong will and influence brought to bear upon him from that quarter, at least as well as from any other.

Such was the novice who suddenly stept into the place of the most energetic and powerful despot of the Grecian world. Dion—being as he was of mature age, known service and experience, and full enjoyment of the confidence of the elder Dionysius,—might have probably raised material opposition to the younger. But he attempted no such thing. He acknowledged and supported[p. 64] the young prince with cordial sincerity, dropping altogether those views, whatever they were, on behalf of the children of Aristomachê, which had induced him to solicit the last interview with the sick man. While exerting himself to strengthen and facilitate the march of the government, he tried to gain influence and ascendency over the mind of the young Dionysius. At the first meeting of council which took place after the accession, Dion stood conspicuous not less for his earnest adhesion than for his dignified language and intelligent advice. The remaining councillors—accustomed, under the self-determining despot who had just quitted the scene, to the simple function of hearing, applauding, and obeying, his directions—exhausted themselves in phrases and compliments, waiting to catch the tone of the young prince before they ventured to pronounce any decided opinion. But Dion, to whose freedom of speech even the elder Dionysius had partially submitted, disdained all such tampering, entered at once into a full review of the actual situation, and suggested the positive measures proper to be adopted. We cannot doubt that, in the transmission of an authority which had rested so much on the individual spirit of the former possessor, there were many precautions to be taken, especially in regard to the mercenary troops both at Syracuse and in the outlying dependencies. All these necessities of the moment Dion set forth, together with suitable advice. But the most serious of all the difficulties arose out of the war with Carthage still subsisting, which it was foreseen that the Carthaginians were likely to press more vigorously, calculating on the ill-assured tenure and inexperienced management of the new prince. This difficulty Dion took upon himself. If the council should think it wise to make peace, he engaged to go to Carthage and negotiate peace—a task in which he had been more than once employed under the elder Dionysius. If, on the other hand, it were resolved to prosecute the war, he advised that imposing forces should be at once put in equipment, promising to furnish, out of his own large property, a sum sufficient for the outfit of fifty triremes.[131]

The young Dionysius was not only profoundly impressed with the superior wisdom and suggestive resource of Dion, but also[p. 65] grateful for his generous offer of pecuniary as well as personal support.[132] In all probability Dion actually carried the offer into effect, for to a man of his disposition, money had little value except as a means of extending influence and acquiring reputation. The war with Carthage seems to have lasted at least throughout the next year,[133] and to have been terminated not long afterwards. But it never assumed those perilous proportions which had been contemplated by the council as probable. As a mere contingency, however, it was sufficient to inspire Dionysius with alarm, combined with the other exigencies of his new situation. At first he was painfully conscious of his own inexperience; anxious about hazards which he now saw for the first time, and not merely open to advice, but eager and thankful for suggestions, from any quarter where he could place confidence. Dion, identified by ancient connection as well as by marriage with the Dionysian family—trusted, more than any one else, by the old despot, and surrounded with that accessory dignity which ascetic strictness of life usually confers in excess—presented every title to such confidence. And when he was found not only the most trustworthy, but the most frank and fearless, of councillors, Dionysius gladly yielded both to the measures which he advised and to the impulses which he inspired.

Such was the political atmosphere of Syracuse during the period immediately succeeding the new accession, while the splendid obsequies in honor of the departed Dionysius were being solemnized; coupled with a funeral pile so elaborate as to confer celebrity on Timæus the constructor—and commemorated by ar[p. 66]chitectural monuments, too grand to be permanent,[134] immediately outside of Ortygia, near the Regal Gates leading to that citadel. Among the popular measures, natural at the commencement of a new reign, the historian Philistus was recalled from exile.[135] He had been one of the oldest and most attached partisans of the elder Dionysius; by whom, however, he had at last been banished, and never afterwards forgiven. His recall now seemed to promise a new and valuable assistant to the younger, whom it also presented as softening the rigorous proceedings of his father. In this respect, it would harmonize with the views of Dion, though Philistus afterwards became his great opponent.

Dion was now both the prime minister, and the confidential monitor, of the young Dionysius. He upheld the march of the government with undiminished energy, and was of greater political importance than Dionysius himself. But success in this[p. 67] object was not the end for which Dion labored. He neither wished to serve a despot, nor to become a despot himself. The moment was favorable for resuming that project which he had formerly imbibed from Plato, and which, in spite of contemptuous disparagement by his former master, had ever since clung to him as the dream of his heart and life. To make Syracuse a free city, under a government, not of will, but of good laws, with himself as lawgiver in substance, if not in name—to enfranchise and replant the semi-barbarised Hellenic cities in Sicily—and to expel the Carthaginians—were schemes to which he now again devoted himself with unabated enthusiasm. But he did not look to any other means of achieving them than the consent and initiative of Dionysius himself. The man who had been sanguine enough to think of working upon the iron soul of the father, was not likely to despair of shaping anew the more malleable metal of which the son was composed. Accordingly, while lending to Dionysius his best service as minister, he also took up the Platonic profession, and tried to persuade him to reform both himself and his government. He endeavored to awaken in him a relish for a better and nobler private conduct than that which prevailed among the luxurious companions around him. He dwelt with enthusiasm on the scientific and soul-stirring conversation of Plato; specimens[136] of which he either read aloud or repeated, exalting the hearer not only to a higher intellectual range, but also to the full majesty of mind requisite for ruling others with honor and improvement. He pointed out the unrivalled glory which Dionysius would acquire in the eyes of Greece, by consenting to employ his vast power, not as a despot working on the fears of subjects, but as a king enforcing temperance and justice, by his own paternal example as well as by good laws. He tried to show that Dionysius, after having liberated Syracuse, and enrolled himself as a king limited and responsible amidst grateful citizens, would have far more real force against the barbarians than at present.[137]

Such were the new convictions which Dion tried to work into the mind of the young Dionysius, as a living faith and sentiment.[p. 68] Penetrated as he was with the Platonic idea—that nothing could be done for the improvement and happiness of mankind,[138] until philosophy and ruling power came together in the same hands; but everything, if the two did so come together—he thought that he saw before him a chance of realizing the conjunction, in the case of the greatest among all Hellenic potentates. He already beheld in fancy his native country and fellow citizens liberated, moralized, ennobled, and conducted to happiness, without murder or persecution,[139] simply by the well-meaning and instructed employment of power already organized. If accident had thrown the despotism into the hands of Dion himself, at this period of his life, the Grecian world would probably have seen an experiment tried, as memorable and generous as any event recorded in its history: what would have been its result, we cannot say. But it was enough to fire his inmost soul, to see himself separated from the experiment only by the necessity of persuading an impressible young man over whom he had much influence; and for himself he was quite satisfied with the humbler position of nominal minister, but real originator and chief, in so noble an enterprise.[140] His persuasive powers, strengthened as they were by intense earnestness as well as by his imposing station and practical capacity, actually wrought a great effect upon Dionysius. The young man appeared animated with a strong desire of self-improvement, and of qualifying himself for such a use of the powers of government as Dion depicted. He gave proof of the sincerity of his feeling by expressing eagerness to see and converse with Plato, to whom he sent several personal messages, warmly requesting him to visit Syracuse.[141]

[p. 69]This was precisely the first step which Dion had been laboring to bring about. He well knew, and had personally felt, the wonderful magic of Plato’s conversation when addressed to young men. To bring Plato to Syracuse, and to pour his eloquent language into the predisposed ears of Dionysius, appeared like realizing the conjunction of philosophy and power. Accordingly he sent to Athens, along with the invitation from Dionysius, the most pressing and emphatic entreaties from himself. He represented the immense prize to be won—nothing less than the means of directing the action of an organized power, extending over all the Greeks of Italy and Sicily—provided only the mind of Dionysius could be thoroughly gained over. This (he said) was already half done; not only Dionysius himself, but also his youthful half brothers of the other line, had been impressed with earnest mental aspirations, and longed to drink at the pure fountain of true philosophy. Everything presaged complete success, such as would render them hearty and active proselytes, if Plato would only come forthwith—before hostile influences could have time to corrupt them—and devote to the task his unrivalled art of penetrating the youthful mind. These hostile influences were indeed at work, and with great activity; if victorious, they would not only defeat the project of Dion, but might even provoke his expulsion, or threaten his life. Could Plato, by declining the invitation, leave his devoted champion and apostle to fight so great a battle, alone and unassisted? What could Plato say for himself afterwards, if by declining to come, he not only let slip the greatest prospective victory which had ever been opened to philosophy, but also permitted the corruption of Dionysius and the ruin of Dion?[142]

Such appeals, in themselves emphatic and touching, reached Athens reinforced by solicitations, hardly less strenuous, from Archytas of Tarentum and the other Pythagorean philosophers in the south of Italy; to whose personal well-being, over and above the interests of philosophy, the character of the future Syracusan government was of capital importance. Plato was deeply agitated and embarrassed. He was now sixty-one years of age. He enjoyed preëminent estimation, in the grove of Aka[p. 70]dêmus near Athens, amidst admiring hearers from all parts of Greece. The Athenian democracy, if it accorded to him no influence on public affairs, neither molested him nor dimmed his intellectual glory. The proposed voyage to Syracuse carried him out of his enviable position into a new field of hazard and speculation; brilliant indeed and flattering, beyond anything which had ever been approached by philosophy, if it succeeded; but fraught with disgrace, and even with danger to all concerned, if it failed. Plato had already seen the elder Dionysius surrounded by his walls and mercenaries in Ortygia, and had learnt by cruel experience the painful consequences of propounding philosophy to an intractable hearer, whose displeasure passed so readily into act. The sight of contemporary despots nearer home, such as Euphron of Sikyon and Alexander of Pheræ, was by no means reassuring; nor could he reasonably stake his person and reputation on the chance, that the younger Dionysius might prove a glorious exception to the general rule. To outweigh such scruples, he had indeed the positive and respectful invitation of Dionysius himself; which however would have passed for a transitory, though vehement caprice on the part of a young prince, had it not been backed by the strong assurances of a mature man and valued friend like Dion. To these assurances, and to the shame which would be incurred by leaving Dion to fight the battle and incur the danger alone, Plato sacrificed his own grounds for hesitation. He went to Syracuse, less with the hope of succeeding in the intended conversion of Dionysius, than from the fear of hearing both himself and his philosophy taunted with confessed impotence—as fit only for the discussions of the school, shrinking from all application to practice, betraying the interest of his Pythagorean friends, and basely deserting that devoted champion who had half opened the door to him for triumphant admission.[143]

Such is the account which the philosopher gives of his own[p. 71] state of mind in going to Syracuse. At the same time, he intimates that his motives were differently interpreted by others.[144] And as the account which we possess was written fifteen years after the event—when Dion had perished, when the Syracusan enterprise had realized nothing like what was expected, and when Plato looked back upon it with the utmost grief and aversion,[145] which must have poisoned the last three or four years of his life—we may fairly suspect that he partially transfers back to 367 B. C. the feelings of 352 B. C.; and that at the earlier period, he went to Syracuse not merely because he was ashamed to decline, but because he really flattered himself with some hopes of success.

However desponding he may have been before, he could hardly fail to conceive hopes from the warmth of his first reception. One of the royal carriages met him at his landing, and conveyed him to his lodging. Dionysius offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the gods for his safe arrival. The banquets at the acropolis became distinguished for their plainness and sobriety. Never had Dionysius been seen so gentle in answering suitors or transacting public business. He began immediately to take lessons in geometry from Plato. Every one around him, of course, was suddenly smitten with a taste for geometry;[146] so that the floors were all spread with sand, and nothing was to be seen except triangles and other figures inscribed upon it, with expositors and a listening crowd around them. To those who had been inmates of the acropolis, under the reign of the former despot, this change was surprising enough. But their surprise was converted into alarm, when, at a periodical sacrifice just then offered, Dionysius himself arrested the herald in pronouncing the customary prayer to the gods—“That the despotism might long remain unshaken.” “Stop! (said Dionysius to the herald) imprecate no such curse upon us!”[147] To the ears of Philistus, and the old politicians,[p. 72] these words portended nothing less than revolution to the dynasty, and ruin to Syracusan power. A single Athenian sophist (they exclaimed), with no other force than his tongue and his reputation, had achieved the conquest of Syracuse; an attempt in which thousands of his countrymen had miserably perished half a century before.[148] Ineffably were they disgusted to see Dionysius abdicate in favor of Plato, and exchange the care of his vast force and dominion for geometrical problems and discussions on the summum bonum.

For a moment Plato seemed to be despot of Syracuse; so that the noble objects for which Dion had labored were apparently within his reach, either wholly or in part. And as far as we can judge, they really were to a great degree within his reach—had this situation, so interesting and so fraught with consequences to the people of Sicily, been properly turned to account. With all reverence for the greatest philosopher of antiquity, we are forced to confess that upon his own showing, he not only failed to turn the situation to account, but contributed even to spoil it by an unseasonable rigor. To admire philosophy in its distinguished teachers, is one thing; to learn and appropriate it, is another stage, rarer and more difficult, requiring assiduous labor, and no common endowments; while that which Plato calls “the philosophical life,”[149] or practical predominance of a well-trained intellect and well-chosen ethical purposes, combined with the minimum of[p. 73] personal appetite—is a third stage, higher and rarer still. Now Dionysius had reached the first stage only. He had contracted a warm and profound admiration for Plato. He had imbibed this feeling from the exhortations of Dion; and we shall see by his subsequent conduct that it was really a feeling both sincere and durable. But he admired Plato without having either inclination or talent to ascend higher, and to acquire what Plato called philosophy. Now it was an unexpected good fortune, and highly creditable to the persevering enthusiasm of Dion, that Dionysius should have been wound up so far as to admire Plato, to invoke his presence, and to instal him as a sort of spiritual power by the side of the temporal. Thus much was more than could have been expected; but to demand more, and to insist that Dionysius should go to school and work through a course of mental regeneration—was a purpose hardly possible to attain, and positively mischievous if it failed. Unfortunately, it was exactly this error which Plato, and Dion in deference to Plato, seem to have committed. Instead of taking advantage of the existing ardor of Dionysius to instigate him at once into active political measures beneficial to the people of Syracuse and Sicily, with the full force of an authority which, at that moment, would have been irresistible—instead of heartening him up against groundless fears or difficulties of execution, and seeing that full honor was done to him for all the good which he really accomplished, meditated, or adopted—Plato postponed all these as matters for which his royal pupil was not yet ripe. He and Dion began to deal with Dionysius as a confessor treats his penitent; to probe the interior man[150]—to expose him to his own unworthiness—to show that[p. 74] his life, his training, his companions, had all been vicious—to insist upon repentance and amendment upon these points, before he could receive absolution, and be permitted to enter upon active political life—to tell him that he must reform himself, and become a rational and temperate man, before he was fit to enter seriously on the task of governing others.

Such was the language which Plato and Dion held to Dionysius. They well knew indeed that they were treading on delicate ground—that while irritating a spirited horse in the sensitive part, they had no security against his kicks.[151] Accordingly, they resorted to many circumlocutory and equivocal expressions, so as to soften the offence given. But the effect was not the less produced, of disgusting Dionysius with his velleities towards political good. Not only did Plato decline entering upon political recommendations of his own, but he damped, instead of enforcing, the positive good resolutions which Dion had already succeeded in infusing. Dionysius announced freely, in the presence of Plato, his wish and intention to transform his despotism at Syracuse into a limited kingship, and to replant the dis-hellenised cities in Sicily. These were the two grand points to which Dion had been laboring so generously to bring him, and which he had invoked Plato for the express purpose of seconding. Yet what does Plato say when this momentous announcement is made? Instead of bestowing any praise or encouragement, he drily remarks to Dionysius,—“First go through your schooling, and then do all these things; otherwise leave them undone.”[152] Dionysius after[p. 75]wards complained, and with good show of reason (when Dion was in exile, menacing attack upon Syracuse, under the favorable sympathies of Plato), that the great philosopher had actually deterred him (Dionysius) from executing the same capital improvements which he was now encouraging Dion to accomplish by an armed invasion. Plato was keenly sensitive to this reproach afterwards; but even his own exculpation proves it to have been in the main not undeserved.

Plutarch observes that Plato felt a proud consciousness of philosophical dignity in disdaining respect to persons, and in refusing to the defects of Dionysius any greater measure of indulgence than he would have shown to an ordinary pupil of the Academy.[153] If we allow him credit for a sentiment in itself honorable, it can only be at the expense of his fitness for dealing with practical life; by admitting (to quote a remarkable phrase from one of his own dialogues) that “he tried to deal with individual men without knowing those rules of art or practice which bear on human affairs.[154]” Dionysius was not a common pupil, nor could Plato reasonably expect the like unmeasured docility from one for whose ear so many hostile influences were competing. Nor were Plato and Dionysius the only parties concerned. There was, besides, in the first place, Dion, whose whole position was at stake—next, and of yet greater moment, the relief of the people of Syracuse and Sicily. For them, and on their behalf, Dion had been laboring with such zeal, that he had inspired[p. 76] Dionysius with readiness to execute the two best resolves which the situation admitted; resolves not only pregnant with benefit to the people, but also insuring the position of Dion—since if Dionysius had once entered upon this course of policy, Dion would have been essential to him as an auxiliary and man of execution.

It is by no means certain, indeed, that such schemes could have been successfully realized, even with full sincerity on the part of Dionysius, and the energy of Dion besides. With all governments, to do evil is easy—to effect beneficial change, difficult; and with a Grecian despot, this was true in a peculiar manner. Those great mercenary forces and other instruments, which had been strong as adamant for the oppressive rule of the elder Dionysius would have been found hardly manageable, perhaps even obstructive, if his son had tried to employ them for more liberal purposes. But still the experiment would have been tried, with a fair chance of success—if only Plato, during his short-lived spiritual authority at Syracuse, had measured more accurately the practical influence which a philosopher might reasonably hope to exercise over Dionysius. I make these remarks upon him with sincere regret; but I am much mistaken if he did not afterwards hear them in more poignant language from the banished Dion, upon whom the consequences of the mistake mainly fell.

Speedily did the atmosphere at Syracuse become overclouded. The conservative party—friends of the old despotism, with the veteran Philistus at their head—played their game far better than that of the reformers was played by Plato, or by Dion since the arrival of Plato. Philistus saw that Dion, as the man of strong patriotic impulses and of energetic execution, was the real enemy to be aimed at. He left no effort untried to calumniate Dion, and to set Dionysius against him. Whispers and misrepresentations from a thousand different quarters beset the ear of Dionysius, alarming him with the idea that Dion was usurping to himself the real authority in Syracuse, with the view of ultimately handing it over to the children of Aristomachê, and of reigning in their name. Plato had been brought thither (it was said) as an agent in the conspiracy, for the purpose of winning over Dionysius into idle speculations, enervating his active vigor, and ultimately setting him aside; in order that all serious political agen[p. 77]cy might fall into the hands of Dion.[155] These hostile intrigues were no secret to Plato himself, who, even shortly after his arrival, began to see evidence of their poisonous activity. He tried sincerely to counterwork them;[156] but unfortunately the language which he himself addressed to Dionysius was exactly such as to give them the best chance of success. When Dionysius recounted to Philistus or other courtiers, how Plato and Dion had humiliated him in his own eyes, and told him that he was unworthy to govern until he had undergone a thorough purification—he would be exhorted to resent it as presumption and insult; and would be assured that it could only arise from a design to dispossess him of his authority, in favor of Dion, or perhaps of the children of Aristomachê with Dion as regent.

It must not be forgotten that there was a real foundation for jealousy on the part of Dionysius towards Dion; who was not merely superior to him in age, in dignity, and in ability, but also personally haughty in his bearing, and rigid in his habits, while Dionysius relished conviviality and enjoyments. At first, this jealousy was prevented from breaking out—partly by the consciousness of Dionysius that he needed some one to lean upon—partly by what seems to have been great self-command on the part of Dion, and great care to carry with him the real mind and good will of Dionysius. Even from the beginning, the enemies of Dion were doubtless not sparing in their calumnies, to alienate Dionysius from him; and the wonder only is, how, in spite of such intrigues and in spite of the natural causes of jealousy, Dion could have implanted his political aspirations, and maintained his friendly influence over Dionysius until the arrival of Plato. After that event, the natural causes of antipathy tended to manifest themselves more and more powerfully, while the counteracting circumstances all disappeared.

[p. 78]Three important months thus passed away, during which those precious public inclinations, which Plato found instilled by Dion into the bosom of Dionysius, and which he might have fanned into life and action—to liberalize the government of Syracuse, and to restore the other free Grecian cities—disappeared never to return. In place of them, Dionysius imbibed an antipathy, more and more rancorous, against the friend and relative with whom these sentiments had originated. The charges against Dion, of conspiracy and dangerous designs, circulated by Philistus and his cabal, became more audacious than ever. At length in the fourth month, Dionysius resolved to get rid of him.

The proceedings of Dion being watched, a letter was detected which he had written to the Carthaginian commanders in Sicily (with whom the war still subsisted, though seemingly not in great activity), inviting them, if they sent any proposition for peace to Syracuse, to send it through him, as he would take care that it should be properly discussed. I have already stated, that even in the reign of the elder Dionysius, Dion had been the person to whom the negotiations with Carthage were habitually intrusted. Such a letter from him, as far as we make out from the general description, implied nothing like a treasonable purpose. But Dionysius, after taking counsel with Philistus, resolved to make use of it as a final pretext. Inviting Dion into the acropolis, under color of seeking to heal their growing differences,—and beginning to enter into an amicable conversation,—he conducted him unsuspectingly down to the adjacent harbor, where lay moored, close in shore, a boat with the rowers aboard, ready for starting. Dionysius then produced the intercepted letter, handed it to Dion, and accused him to his face of treason. The latter protested against the imputation, and eagerly sought to reply. But Dionysius stopped him from proceeding, insisted on his going aboard the boat, and ordered the rowers to carry him off forthwith to Italy.[157]

[p. 79]

This abrupt and ignominious expulsion, of so great a person as Dion, caused as much consternation among his numerous friends, as triumph to Philistus and the partisans of the despotism. All consummation of the liberal projects conceived by Dion was now out of the question; not less from the incompetency of Dionysius to execute them alone, than from his indisposition to any such attempt. Aristomachê the sister, and Aretê the wife, of Dion (the latter half-sister of Dionysius himself), gave vent to their sorrow and indignation; while the political associates of Dion, and Plato beyond all others, trembled for their own personal safety. Among the mercenary soldiers, the name of Plato was particularly odious. Many persons instigated Dionysius to kill him, and rumors even gained footing that he had been killed, as the author of the whole confusion.[158] But the despot, having sent away the person whom he most hated and feared, was not disposed to do harm to any one else. While he calmed the anxieties of Aretê by affirming that the departure of her husband was not to be regarded as an exile, but only as a temporary separation, to allow time for abating the animosity which prevailed—he at the same time ordered two triremes to be fitted out, for sending to Dion his slaves and valuable property, and everything necessary to personal dignity as well as to his comfort. Towards Plato—who was naturally agitated in the extreme, thinking only of the readiest means to escape from so dangerous a situation—his manifestations were yet more remarkable. He soothed the philosopher’s apprehensions—entreated him to remain, in a manner gentle indeed but admitting no denial—and conveyed him at once into his own residence the acropolis, under color of doing him honor. From hence there was no possibility of escaping, and Plato remained there for some time. Dionysius treated him well, communicated with him freely and intimately, and proclaimed everywhere that they were on the best terms of friendship. What is yet more curious—he displayed the greatest anxiety to obtain the esteem and approbation of the sage, and to occupy a place in his mind higher than that[p. 80] accorded to Dion; shrinking nevertheless from philosophy, or the Platonic treatment and training, under the impression that there was a purpose to ensnare and paralyze him, under the auspices of Dion.[159] This is a strange account, given by Plato himself; but it reads like a real picture of a vain and weak prince, admiring the philosopher—coquetting with him, as it were—and anxious to captivate his approbation, so far as it could be done without submitting to the genuine Platonic discipline.

During this long and irksome detention, which probably made him fully sensible of the comparative comforts of Athenian liberty, Plato obtained from Dionysius one practical benefit. He prevailed upon him to establish friendly and hospitable relations with Archytas and the Tarentines, which to these latter was a real increase of security and convenience.[160] But in the point which he strove most earnestly to accomplish, he failed. Dionysius resisted all entreaties for the recall of Dion. Finding himself at length occupied with a war (whether the war with Carthage previously mentioned, or some other, we do not know), he consented to let Plato depart; agreeing to send for him again as soon as peace and leisure should return, and promising to recall Dion at the same time; upon which covenant, Plato, on his side, agreed to come back. After a certain interval, peace arrived, and Dionysius re-invited Plato; yet without recalling Dion—whom he required still to wait another year. But Plato, appealing to the terms of the covenant, refused to go without Dion. To himself personally, in spite of the celebrity which his known influence with Dionysius tended to confer, the voyage was nothing less than repugnant, for he had had sufficient experience of Syracuse and its despotism. Nor would he even listen to the request of Dion himself; who, partly in the view of promoting his own future restoration, earnestly exhorted him to go. Dionysius besieged Plato with solicitations to come,[161] promising that all which he might insist upon in favor of Dion should be granted, and putting in motion a second time Archytas and the Tarentines to prevail upon him. These men, through their companion and friend Archedemus, who came to Athens in a Syracusan trireme, assured Plato that Dionysius[p. 81] was now ardent in the study of philosophy, and had even made considerable progress in it. By their earnest entreaties, coupled with those of Dion, Plato was at length induced to go to Syracuse. He was received, as before, with signal tokens of honor. He was complimented with the privilege, enjoyed by no one else, of approaching the despot without having his person searched; and was affectionately welcomed by the female relatives of Dion. Yet this visit, prolonged much beyond what he himself wished, proved nothing but a second splendid captivity, as the companion of Dionysius in the acropolis at Ortygia.[162]

Dionysius the philosopher obtained abundance of flatterers—as his father Dionysius the poet had obtained before him—and was even emboldened to proclaim himself as the son of Apollo.[163] It is possible that even an impuissant embrace of philosophy, on the part of so great a potentate, may have tended to exalt the reputation of philosophers in the contemporary world. Otherwise the dabblings of Dionysius would have merited no attention; though he seems to have been really a man of some literary talent[164]—retaining to the end a sincere admiration of Plato, and jealously pettish because he could not prevail upon Plato to admire him. But the second visit of Plato to him at Syracuse—very different from his first—presented no chance of benefit to the people of Syracuse, and only deserves notice as it bore upon the destiny of Dion. Here, unfortunately Plato could accomplish nothing; though his zeal on behalf of his friend was unwearied. Dionysius broke all his promises of kind dealing, became more rancorous in his hatred, impatient of the respect which Dion enjoyed even as an exile, and fearful of the revenge which he might one day be able to exact.

When expelled from Syracuse, Dion had gone to Peloponnesus and Athens, where he had continued for some years to receive regular remittances of his property. But at length, even while[p. 82] Plato was residing at Syracuse, Dionysius thought fit to withhold one half of the property, on pretence of reserving it for Dion’s son. Presently he took steps yet more violent, threw off all disguise, sold the whole of Dion’s property, and appropriated or distributed among his friends the large proceeds, not less than one hundred talents.[165] Plato, who had the mortification to hear this intelligence while in the palace of Dionysius, was full of grief and displeasure. He implored permission to depart. But though the mind of Dionysius had now been thoroughly set against him by the multiplied insinuations of the calumniators,[166] it was not without difficulty and tiresome solicitations that he obtained permission; chiefly through the vehement remonstrances of Archytas and his companions, who represented to the despot that they had brought him to Syracuse, and that they were responsible for his safe return. The mercenaries of Dionysius were indeed so ill-disposed to Plato, that considerable precautions were required to bring him away in safety.[167]

It was in the spring of 360 B. C. that the philosopher appears to have returned to Peloponnesus from this, his second visit to the younger Dionysius, and third visit to Syracuse. At the Olympic festival of that year, he met Dion, to whom he recounted the recent proceedings of Dionysius.[168] Incensed at the seizure of the property, and hopeless of any permission to return, Dion was now meditating enforcement of his restoration at the point of the sword. But there occurred yet another insult on the part of Dionysius, which infused a more deadly exasperation into the quarrel. Aretê, wife of Dion and half-sister of Dionysius, had continued to reside at Syracuse ever since the exile of her husband. She formed a link between the two, the continuance of which Dionysius could no longer tolerate, in his present hatred towards Dion.[p. 83] Accordingly he took upon him to pronounce her divorced, and to remarry her, in spite of her own decided repugnance, with one of his friends named Timokrates.[169] To this he added another cruel injury, by intentionally corrupting and brutalizing Dion’s eldest son, a youth just reaching puberty.

Outraged thus in all the tenderest points, Dion took up with passionate resolution the design of avenging himself on Dionysius, and of emancipating Syracuse from despotism into liberty. During the greater part of his exile he had resided at Athens, in the house of his friend Kallippus, enjoying the society of Speusippus and other philosophers of the Academy, and the teaching of Plato himself when returned from Syracuse. Well supplied with money, and strict as to his own personal wants, he was able largely to indulge his liberal spirit towards many persons, and among the rest towards Plato, whom he assisted towards the expense of a choric exhibition at Athens.[170] Dion also visited Sparta and various other cities; enjoying a high reputation, and doing himself credit everywhere; a fact not unknown to Dionysius, and aggravating his displeasure. Yet Dion was long not without hope that that displeasure would mitigate, so as to allow of his return to Syracuse on friendly terms. Nor did he cherish any purposes of hostility, until the last proceedings with respect to his property and his wife at once cut off all hope and awakened vindictive sentiments.[171] He began therefore to lay a train for attacking Dionysius and enfranchising Syracuse by arms, invoking the countenance of Plato; who gave his approbation, yet not without mournful reserves; saying that he was now seventy years of age—that though he admitted the just wrongs of Dion and the bad conduct of Dionysius, armed conflict was nevertheless repugnant to his feelings, and he could anticipate little good from it—that he[p. 84] had labored long in vain to reconcile the two exasperated kinsmen, and could not now labor for any opposite end.[172]

But though Plato was lukewarm, his friends and pupils at the Academy cordially sympathized with Dion. Speusippus especially, the intimate friend and relative, having accompanied Plato to Syracuse, had communicated much with the population in the city, and gave encouraging reports of their readiness to aid Dion, even if he came with ever so small a force against Dionysius. Kallippus, with Eudemus (the friend of Aristotle), Timonides, and Miltas—all three members of the society at the Academy, and the last a prophet also—lent him aid and embarked in his enterprise. There were a numerous body of exiles from Syracuse, not less than one thousand altogether; with most of whom Dion opened communication, inviting their fellowship. He at the same time hired mercenary soldiers in small bands, keeping his measures as secret as he could.[173] Alkimenes, one of the leading Achæans in Peloponnesus, was warm in the cause (probably from sympathy with the Achæan colony Kroton, then under the dependence of Dionysius), conferring upon it additional dignity by his name and presence. A considerable quantity of spare arms, of every description, was got together, in order to supply new unarmed partisans on reaching Sicily. With all these aids Dion found himself in the island of Zakynthus, a little after Midsummer 357 B. C.; mustering eight hundred soldiers of tried experience and bravery, who had been directed to come thither silently and in small parties, without being informed whither they were going. A little squadron was prepared, of no more than five merchantmen, two of them vessels of thirty oars, with victuals adequate to the direct passage across the sea from Zakynthus to Syracuse; since the ordinary passage, across from Korkyra and[p. 85] along the Tarentine Gulf was impracticable, in the face of the maritime power of Dionysius.[174]

Such was the contemptible force with which Dion ventured to attack the greatest of all Grecian potentates in his own stronghold and island. Dionysius had now reigned as despot at Syracuse between ten and eleven years. Inferior as he personally was to his father, it does not seem that the Syracusan power had yet materially declined in his hands. We know little about the political facts of his reign; but the veteran Philistus, his chief adviser and officer, appears to have kept together the larger part of the great means bequeathed by the elder Dionysius. The disparity of force, therefore, between the assailant and the party assailed, was altogether extravagant. To Dion, personally, indeed, such disparity was a matter of indifference. To a man of his enthusiastic temperament, so great was the heroism and sublimity of the enterprise,—combining liberation of his country from a despot, with revenge for gross outrages to himself,—that he was satisfied if he could only land in Sicily with no matter how small a force, accounting it honor enough to perish in such a cause.[175] Such was the emphatic language of Dion, reported to us by Aristotle; who (being then among the pupils of Plato) may probably have heard it with his own ears. To impartial contemporary spectators, like Demosthenes, the attempt seemed hopeless.[176]

But the intelligent men of the Academy who accompanied Dion, would not have thrown their lives away in contemplation of a glorious martyrdom; nor were either they or he ignorant, that there existed circumstances, not striking the eye of the ordinary spectator, which materially weakened the great apparent security of Dionysius.

First, there was the pronounced and almost unanimous discontent of the people of Syracuse. Though prohibited from all public manifestations, they had been greatly agitated by the original project of Dion to grant liberty to the city—by the inclinations even of Dionysius himself towards the same end, so soon un[p. 86]happily extinguished—by the dissembling language of Dionysius, the great position of Dion’s wife and sister, and the second coming of Plato, all of which favored the hope that Dion might be amicably recalled. At length such chance disappeared, when his property was confiscated and his wife re-married to another. But as his energetic character was well known, the Syracusans now both confidently expected, and ardently wished, that he would return by force, and help them to put down one who was alike his enemy and theirs. Speusippus, having accompanied Plato to Syracuse and mingled much with the people, brought back decisive testimonies of their disaffection towards Dionysius, and of their eager longing for relief by the hands of Dion. It would be sufficient (they said) if he even came alone; they would flock around him, and arm him at once with an adequate force.[177]

There were doubtless many other messages of similar tenor sent to Peloponnesus; and one Syracusan exile, Herakleides, was in himself a considerable force. Though a friend of Dion,[178] he had continued high in the service of Dionysius, until the second visit of Plato. At that time he was disgraced, and obliged to save his life by flight, on account of a mutiny among the mercenary troops, or rather of the veteran soldiers among them, whose pay Dionysius had cut down. The men so curtailed rose in arms, demanding continuance of the old pay; and when Dionysius shut the gates of the acropolis, refusing attention to their requisitions, they raised the furious barbaric pæan or war shout, and rushed up to scale the walls.[179] Terrible were the voices of these Gauls, Iberians, and Campanians, in the ears of Plato, who knew himself to be the object of their hatred, and who happened to be then in the garden of the acropolis. But Dionysius, no less terrified than Plato, appeased the mutiny, by conceding all that was asked, and even more. The blame of this misadventure was thrown[p. 87] upon Herakleides, towards whom Dionysius conducted himself with mingled injustice and treachery—according to the judgment both of Plato and of all around him.[180] As an exile, he brought word that Dionysius could not even rely upon the mercenary troops, whom he treated with a parsimony the more revolting as they contrasted it with the munificence of his father.[181] Herakleides was eager to coöperate in putting down the despotism at Syracuse. But he waited to equip a squadron of triremes, and was not ready so soon as Dion; perhaps intentionally, as the jealousy between the two soon broke out.[182]

The second source of weakness to Dionysius lay in his own character and habits. The commanding energy of the father, far from being of service to the son, had been combined with a jealousy which intentionally kept him down, and cramped his growth. He had always been weak, petty, destitute of courage or foresight, and unfit for a position like that which his father had acquired and maintained. His personal incompetency was recognized by all, and would probably have manifested itself even more conspicuously, had he not found a minister of so much ability, and so much devotion to the dynasty, as Philistus. But in addition to such known incompetency, he had contracted recently habits which inspired every one around him with contempt. He was perpetually intoxicated and plunged in dissipation. To put down such a chief, even though surrounded by walls, soldiers, and armed ships, appeared to Dion and his confidential companions an enterprise noway impracticable.[183]

Nevertheless, these causes of weakness were known only to close observers; while the great military force of Syracuse was obvious to the eyes of every one. When the soldiers, mustered by Dion at Zakynthus, were first informed that they were destined to strike straight across the sea against Syracuse, they shrank from the proposition as an act of insanity. They complained of their[p. 88] leaders for not having before told them what was projected; just as the Ten Thousand Greeks in the army of Cyrus, on reaching Tarsus, complained of Klearchus for having kept back the fact that they were marching against the Great King. It required all the eloquence of Dion, with his advanced age,[184] his dignified presence, and the quantity of gold and silver plate in his possession, to remove their apprehensions. How widely these apprehensions were felt, is shown by the circumstance, that out of one thousand Syracusan exiles, only twenty-five or thirty dared to join him.[185]

After a magnificent sacrifice to Apollo, and an ample banquet to the soldiers in the stadium at Zakynthus, Dion gave orders for embarkation in the ensuing morning. On that very night the moon was eclipsed. We have already seen what disastrous consequences turned upon the occurrence of this same phænomenon fifty-six years before, when Nikias was about to conduct the defeated Athenian fleet away from the harbor of Syracuse.[186] Under the existing apprehensions of Dion’s band, the eclipse might well have induced them to renounce the enterprise; and so it probably would, under a general like Nikias. But Dion had learnt astronomy; and what was of not less consequence, Miltas, the prophet of the expedition, besides his gift of prophecy, had received instruction in the Academy also. When the affrighted soldiers inquired what new resolution was to be adopted in consequence of so grave a sign from the gods, Miltas arose and assured them that they had mistaken the import of the sign, which promised them good fortune and victory. By the eclipse of the moon, the gods intimated that something very brilliant was about to be darkened over: now there was nothing in Greece so brilliant as the despotism of Dionysius at Syracuse; it was Dionysius who was about to suffer eclipse, to be brought on by the victory of Dion.[187] Reassured by such consoling words the soldiers got on board. They had good reason at first to believe that the favor of the gods waited upon them, for a gentle and steady Etesian breeze carried them across midsea without accident or suffering, in twelve days,[p. 89] from Zakynthus to Cape Pachynus, the south-eastern corner of Sicily and nearest to Syracuse. The pilot Protus, who had steered the course so as exactly to hit the cape, urgently recommended immediate disembarkation, without going farther along the south-western coast of the island; since stormy weather was commencing, which might hinder the fleet from keeping near the shore. But Dion was afraid of landing so near to the main force of the enemy. Accordingly, the squadron proceeded onward, but were driven by a violent wind away from Sicily towards the coast of Africa, narrowly escaping shipwreck. It was not without considerable hardship and danger that they got back to Sicily, after five days; touching the island at Herakleia Minoa westward of Agrigentum, within the Carthaginian supremacy. The Carthaginian governor of Minoa, Synalus (perhaps a Greek in the service of Carthage), was a personal acquaintance of Dion, and received him with all possible kindness; though knowing nothing beforehand of his approach, and at first resisting his landing through ignorance.

Thus was Dion, after ten years of exile, once more on Sicilian ground. The favorable predictions of Miltas had been completely realized. But even that prophet could hardly have been prepared for the wonderful tidings now heard, which ensured the success of the expedition. Dionysius had recently sailed from Syracuse to Italy, with a fleet of eighty triremes.[188] What induced him to commit so capital a mistake, we cannot make out; for Philistus was already with a fleet in the Gulf of Tarentum, waiting to intercept Dion, and supposing that the invading squadron would naturally sail along the coast of Italy to Syracuse, according to the practice almost universal in that day.[189] Philistus did not commit the same mistake as Nikias had made in reference to Gylippus,[190]—that of despising Dion because of the smallness of his force. He watched in the usual waters, and was only disappointed because Dion, venturing on the bold and unusual straight course, was greatly favored by wind and weather. But while Philistus watched the coast of Italy, it was natural that Dionysius himself should keep guard with his main force at Syracuse. The[p. 90] despot was fully aware of the disaffection which reigned in the town, and of the hopes excited by Dion’s project; which was generally well known, though no one could tell how or at what moment the deliverer might be expected. Suspicious now to a greater degree than ever, Dionysius had caused a fresh search to be made in the city for arms, and had taken away all that he could find.[191] We may be sure too that his regiment of habitual spies were more on the alert than ever, and that unusual rigor was the order of the day. Yet, at this critical juncture, he thought proper to quit Syracuse with a very large portion of his force, leaving the command to Timokrates, the husband of Dion’s late wife; and at this same critical juncture Dion arrived at Minoa.

Nothing could exceed the joy of the Dionian soldiers on hearing of the departure of Dionysius, which left Syracuse open and easy of access. Eager to avail themselves of the favorable instant, they called upon their leader to march thither without delay, repudiating even that measure of rest which he recommended after the fatigues of the voyage. Accordingly, Dion, after a short refreshment provided by Synalus—with whom he deposited his spare arms, to be transmitted to him when required—set forward on his march towards Syracuse. On entering the Agrigentine territory, he was joined by two hundred horsemen near Eknomon.[192] Farther on, while passing through Gela and Kamarina, many inhabitants of these towns, together with some neighboring Sikans and Sikels, swelled his band. Lastly, when he approached the Syracusan border, a considerable proportion of the rural population came to him also, though without arms; making the reinforcements which joined him altogether about five thousand men.[193] Having armed these volunteers in the best manner he could, Dion continued his progress as far as Akræ, where he made a short evening halt. From thence, receiving good news from Syracuse, he recommenced his march during the latter half of the night, hastening forward to the passage over the river[p. 91] Anapus; which he had the good fortune to occupy without any opposition, before daybreak.

Dion was now within no more than a mile and a quarter of the walls of Syracuse. The rising sun disclosed his army to the view of the Syracusan population, who were doubtless impatiently watching for him. He was seen offering sacrifice to the river Anapus, and putting up a solemn prayer to the god Helios, then just showing himself above the horizon. He wore the wreath habitual with those who were thus employed; while his soldiers, animated by the confident encouragement of the prophets, had taken wreaths also.[194] Elate and enthusiastic, they passed the Anapus (seemingly at the bridge which formed part of the Helorine way), advanced at a running pace across the low plain which divided the southern cliff of Epipolæ from the Great Harbor, and approached the gates of the quarter of Syracuse called Neapolis—the Temenitid Gates, near the chapel of Apollo Temenites.[195] Dion was at their head, in resplendent armor, with a body-guard near him composed of one hundred of his Peloponnesians. His brother Megaklês was on one side of him, his friend the Athenian Kallippus on the other; all three, and a large proportion of the soldiers also, still crowned with their sacri[p. 92]ficial wreaths, as if marching in a joyous festival procession, with victory already assured.[196]

As yet Dion had not met with the smallest resistance. Timokrates (left at Syracuse with the large mercenary force as vicegerent), while he sent an express to apprise Dionysius, kept his chief hold on the two military positions or horns of the city; the island of Ortygia at one extremity, and Epipolæ with Euryalus on the other. It has already been mentioned that Epipolæ was a triangle slope, with walls bordering both the northern and southern cliffs, and forming an angle on the western apex, where stood the strong fort of Euryalus. Between Ortygia and Epipolæ lay the populous quarters of Syracuse, wherein the great body of citizens resided. As the disaffection of the Syracusans was well known, Timokrates thought it unsafe to go out of the city, and meet Dion on the road, for fear of revolt within. But he perhaps might have occupied the important bridge over the Anapus, had not a report reached him that Dion was directing his attack first against Leontini. Many of the Campanian mercenaries under the command of Timokrates, having properties in Leontini, immediately quitted Epipolæ to go thither and defend them.[197] This rumor—false, and perhaps intentionally spread by the invaders—not only carried off much of the garrison elsewhere, but also misled Timokrates; insomuch that Dion was allowed to make his night march, to reach the Anapus, and to find it unoccupied.

It was too late for Timokrates to resist, when the rising sun had once exhibited the army of Dion crossing the Anapus. The effect produced upon the Syracusans in the populous quarters was electric. They rose like one man to welcome their deliverer, and to put down the dynasty which had hung about their necks for forty-eight years. Such of the mercenaries of Dionysius as were in these central portions of the city were forced to seek shelter in Epipolæ, while his police and spies were pursued and seized, to undergo the full terrors of a popular vengeance.[198] Far from being able to go forth against Dion, Timokrates could not[p. 93] even curb the internal insurrection. So thoroughly was he intimidated by the reports of his terrified police, and by the violent and unanimous burst of wrath among a people whom every Dionysian partisan had long been accustomed to treat as disarmed slaves—that he did not think himself safe even in Epipolæ. But he could not find means of getting to Ortygia, since the intermediate city was in the hands of his enemies, while Dion and his troops were crossing the low plain between Epipolæ and the Great Harbor. It only remained for him therefore to evacuate Syracuse altogether, and to escape from Epipolæ either by the northern or the western side. To justify his hasty flight, he spread the most terrific reports respecting the army of Dion, and thus contributed still farther to paralyze the discouraged partisans of Dionysius.[199]

Already had Dion reached the Temenitid gate, where the principal citizens, clothed in their best attire, and the multitude pouring forth loud and joyous acclamations, were assembled to meet him. Halting at the gate, he caused his trumpet to sound, and entreated silence; after which he formally proclaimed, that he and his brother Megakles were come for the purpose of putting down the Dionysian despotism, and of giving liberty both to the Syracusans and the other Sicilian Greeks. The acclamations redoubled as he and his soldiers entered the city, first through Neapolis, next by the ascent up to Achradina; the main street of which (broad, continuous, and straight, as was rare in a Grecian city[200]) was decorated as on a day of jubilee, with victims under sacrifice to the gods, tables, and bowls of wine ready prepared for festival. As Dion advanced at the head of his soldiers through a lane formed in the midst of this crowd, from each side wreaths were cast upon him as upon an Olympic victor, and grateful prayers addressed to him, as it were to a god.[201] Every house was a scene[p. 94] of clamorous joy, in which men and women, freemen and slaves, took part alike; the outburst of feelings long compressed and relieved from the past despotism with its inquisitorial police and garrison.

It was not yet time for Dion to yield to these pleasing but passive impulses. Having infused courage into his soldiers as well as into the citizens by his triumphant procession through Achradina, he descended to the level ground in front of Ortygia. That strong hold was still occupied by the Dionysian garrison, whom he thus challenged to come forth and fight. But the flight of Timokrates had left them without orders, while the imposing demonstration and unanimous rising of the people in Achradina—which they must partly have witnessed from their walls, and partly learnt through fugitive spies and partisans—struck them with discouragement and terror; so that they were in no disposition to quit the shelter of their fortifications. Their backwardness was hailed as a confession of inferiority by the insurgent citizens, whom Dion now addressed as an assembly of freemen. Hard by, in front of the acropolis with its Pentapyla or five gates, there stood a lofty and magnificent sun-dial, erected by the elder Dionysius. Mounting on the top of this edifice, with the muniments of the despot on the one side and the now liberated Achradina on the other, Dion addressed[202] an animated harangue to the Syracu[p. 95]sans around, exhorting them to strenuous efforts in defence of their newly acquired rights and liberties, and inviting them to elect generals for the command, in order to accomplish the total expulsion of the Dionysian garrison. The Syracusans, with unanimous acclamations, named Dion and his brother Megakles generals with full powers. But both the brothers insisted that colleagues should be elected along with them. Accordingly twenty other persons were chosen besides, ten of them being from that small band of Syracusan exiles who had joined at Zakynthus.

Such was the entry of Dion into Syracuse, on the third day[203] after his landing in Sicily; and such the first public act of renewed Syracusan freedom; the first after that fatal vote which, forty-eight years before, had elected the elder Dionysius general plenipotentiary, and placed in his hands the sword of state, without foresight of the consequences. In the hands of Dion, that sword was vigorously employed against the common enemy. He immediately attacked Epipolæ; and such was the consternation of the garrison left in it by the fugitive Timokrates, that they allowed him to acquire possession of it, together with the strong fort of Euryalus, which a little courage and devotion might long have defended. This acquisition, made suddenly in the tide of success on one side and discouragement on the other, was of supreme importance, and went far to determine the ultimate contest. It not only reduced the partisans of Dionysius within the limits of Ortygia, but also enabled Dion to set free many state prisoners,[204] who became ardent partisans of the revolution. Following up his success, he lost no time in taking measures against Ortygia. To shut it up completely on the land-side, he commenced[p. 96] the erection of a wall of blockade, reaching from the Great Harbor at one extremity, to the sea on the eastern side of the Portus Lakkius, at the other.[205] He at the same time provided arms as well as he could for the citizens, sending for those spare arms which he had deposited with Synalus at Minoa. It does not appear that the garrison of Ortygia made any sally to impede him; so that in the course of seven days, he had not only received his arms from Synalus, but had completed, in a rough way, all or most of the blockading cross-wall.[206]

At the end of these seven days, but not before (having been prevented by accident from receiving the express sent to him), Dionysius returned with his fleet to Ortygia.[207] Fatally indeed was his position changed. The islet was the only portion of the city which he possessed, and that too was shut up on the land-side by a blockading wall nearly completed. All the rest of the city was occupied by bitter enemies instead of by subjects. Leontini also, and probably many of his other dependencies out of Syracuse, had taken the opportunity of revolting.[208] Even with the large fleet which he had brought home, Dionysius did not think himself strong enough to face his enemies in the field, but resorted to stratagem. He first tried to open a private intrigue with Dion; who, however, refused to receive any separate propositions, and desired him to address them publicly to the freemen, citizens of Syracuse. Accordingly, he sent envoys tendering to the Syracusans what in the present day would be called a constitution. He demanded only moderate taxation, and moderate fulfilments of military service, subject to their own vote of consent. But the Syracusans laughed the offer to scorn, and Dion returned in their name the peremptory reply,—that no proposition from Dionysius[p. 97] could be received, short of total abdication; adding in his own name, that he would himself, on the score of kindred, procure for Dionysius, if he did abdicate, both security and other reasonable concessions. These terms Dionysius affected to approve, desiring that envoys might be sent to him in Ortygia to settle the details. Both Dion and the Syracusans eagerly caught at his offer, without for a moment questioning his sincerity. Some of the most eminent Syracusans, approved by Dion, were despatched as envoys to Dionysius. A general confidence prevailed, that the retirement of the despot was now assured; and the soldiers and citizens employed against him, full of joy and mutual congratulations, became negligent of their guard on the cross-wall of blockade; many of them even retiring to their houses in the city.

This was what Dionysius expected. Contriving to prolong the discussion, so as to detain the envoys in Ortygia all night, he ordered at daybreak a sudden sally of all his soldiers, whom he had previously stimulated both by wine and by immense promises in case of victory.[209] The sally was well-timed and at first completely successful. One half of Dion’s soldiers were encamped to guard the cross-wall (the other half being quartered in Achradina), together with a force of Syracusan citizens. But so little were they prepared for hostilities, that the assailants, rushing out with shouts and at a run, carried the wall at the first onset, slew the sentinels, and proceeded to demolish the wall (which was probably a rough and hasty structure) as well as to charge the troops on the outside of it. The Syracusans, surprised and terrified, fled with little or no resistance. Their flight partially disordered the stouter Dionian soldiers, who resisted bravely, but without having had time to form their regular array. Never was Dion more illustrious, both as an officer and as a soldier. He exerted himself to the utmost to form the troops, and to marshal them in ranks essential to the effective fighting of the Grecian hoplite. But his orders were unheard in the clamor, or disregarded in the confusion: his troops lost courage, the assailants gained ground, and the day seemed evidently going against him.[p. 98] Seeing that there was no other resource, he put himself at the head of his best and most attached soldiers, and threw himself, though now an elderly man, into the thickest of the fray. The struggle was the more violent, as it took place in a narrow space between the new blockading wall on one side, and the outer wall of Neapolis on the other. Both the armor and the person of Dion being conspicuous, he was known to enemies as well as friends, and the battle around him was among the most obstinate in Grecian history.[210] Darts rattled against both his shield and his helmet, while his shield was also pierced through by several spears which were kept from his body only by the breastplate. At length he was wounded through the right arm or hand, thrown on the ground, and in imminent danger of being made prisoner. But this forwardness on his part so stimulated the courage of his own troops, that they both rescued him, and made redoubled efforts against the enemy. Having named Timonides commander in his place, Dion with his disabled hand mounted on horseback, rode into Achradina, and led forth to the battle that portion of his troops which were there in garrison. These men, fresh and good soldiers, restored the battle. The Syracusans came back to the field, all joined in strenuous conflict, and the Dionysian assailants were at length again driven within the walls of Ortygia. The loss on both sides was severe; that of Dionysius eight hundred men; all of whom he caused to be picked up from the field (under a truce granted on his request by Dion), and buried with magnificent obsequies, as a means of popularizing himself with the survivors.[211]

When we consider how doubtful the issue of this battle had proved, it seems evident that had Timokrates maintained himself in Epipolæ, so as to enable Dionysius to remain master of Epipolæ as well as of Ortygia, the success of Dion’s whole enterprise in Syracuse would have been seriously endangered.

[p. 99]Great was the joy excited at Syracuse by the victory. The Syracusan people testified their gratitude to the Dionian soldiers by voting a golden wreath to the value of one hundred minæ; while these soldiers, charmed with the prowess of their general, voted a golden wreath to him. Dion immediately began the re-establishment of the damaged cross-wall, which he repaired, completed, and put under effective guard for the future.[212] Dionysius no longer tried to impede it by armed attack. But as he was still superior at sea, he transported parties across the harbor to ravage the country for provisions, and despatched vessels to bring in stores also by sea. His superiority at sea was presently lessened by the arrival of Herakleides from Peloponnesus,[213] with twenty triremes, three smaller vessels, and fifteen hundred soldiers. The Syracusans, now beginning to show themselves actively on shipboard, got together a tolerable naval force. All the docks and wharfs lay concentrated in and around Ortygia, within the grasp of Dionysius, who was master of the naval force belonging to the city. But it would seem that the crews of some of the ships (who were mostly native Syracusans,[214] with an intermixture of Athenians, doubtless of democratical sentiments) must have deserted from the despot to the people, carrying over their ships, since we presently find the Syracusans with a fleet of sixty triremes,[215] which they could hardly have acquired otherwise.

Dionysius was shortly afterwards reinforced by Philistus, who brought to Ortygia, not only his fleet from the Tarentine Gulf, but also a considerable regiment of cavalry. With these latter, and some other troops besides, Philistus undertook an expedition against the revolted Leontini. But though he made his way into[p. 100] the town by night, he was presently expelled by the defenders, seconded by reinforcements from Syracuse.[216]

To keep Ortygia provisioned, however, it was yet more indispensable for Philistus to maintain his superiority at sea against the growing naval power of the Syracusans, now commanded by Herakleides.[217] After several partial engagements, a final battle, desperate and decisive, at length took place between the two admirals. Both fleets were sixty triremes strong. At first Philistus, brave and forward, appeared likely to be victorious. But presently the fortune of the day turned against him. His ship was run ashore, and himself with most part of his fleet, overpowered by the enemy. To escape captivity, he stabbed himself. The wound however was not mortal; so that he fell alive, being now about seventy-eight years of age, into the hands of his enemies,—who stripped him naked, insulted him brutally, and at length cut off his head, after which they dragged his body by the leg through the streets of Syracuse.[218] Revolting as this treatment is, we must recollect that it was less horrible than that which the elder Dionysius had inflicted on the Rhegine general Phyton.

The last hopes of the Dionysian dynasty perished with Philistus, the ablest and most faithful of its servants. He had been an actor in its first day of usurpation—its eighteenth Brumaire: his timely, though miserable death, saved him from sharing in its last day of exile—its St. Helena.

Even after the previous victory of Dion, Dionysius had lost all chance of overcoming the Syracusans by force. But he had now farther lost, through the victory of Herakleides, his superiority at sea, and therefore his power even of maintaining himself permanently in Ortygia. The triumph of Dion seemed assured, and his enemy humbled in the dust. But though thus disarmed, Dionysius was still formidable by his means of raising intrigue and dissension in Syracuse. His ancient antipathy against Dion became more vehement than ever. Obliged to forego empire himself—yet resolved at any rate that Dion should be ruined[p. 101] along with him—he set on foot a tissue of base manœuvres availing himself of the fears and jealousies of the Syracusans, the rivalry of Herakleides, the defects of Dion, and what was more important than all—the relationship of Dion to the Dionysian dynasty.

Dion had displayed devoted courage, and merited the signal gratitude of the Syracusans. But he had been nursed in the despotism, of which his father had been one of the chief founders; he was attached by every tie of relationship to Dionysius, with whom his sister, his former wife, and his children, were still dwelling in the acropolis. The circumstances therefore were such as to suggest to the Syracusans apprehensions, noway unreasonable, that some private bargain might be made by Dion with the acropolis, and that the eminent services which he had just rendered might only be made the stepping-stone to a fresh despotism in his person. Such suspicions received much countenance from the infirmities of Dion, who combined, with a masculine and magnanimous character, manners so haughty as to be painfully felt even by his own companions. The friendly letters from Syracuse, written to Plato or to others at Athens (possibly those from Timonides to Speusippus) shortly after the victory, contained much complaint of the repulsive demeanor of Dion; which defect the philosopher exhorted his friend to amend.[219] All those, whom Dion’s arrogance offended, were confirmed in their suspicion of his despotic designs, and induced to turn for protection to his rival Herakleides. This latter—formerly general in the service of Dionysius, from whose displeasure he had only saved his life by flight—had been unable or unwilling to coöperate with Dion in his expedition from Zakynthus, but had since brought to the aid of the Syracusans a considerable force, including several armed ships. Though not present at the first entry into Syracuse, nor arriving until Ortygia had already been placed under blockade, Herakleides was esteemed the equal of Dion in abilities and in military efficiency; while with regard to ulterior designs, he had[p. 102] the prodigious advantage of being free from connection with the despotism and of raising no mistrust. Moreover his manners were not only popular, but according to Plutarch,[220] more than popular—smooth, insidious, and dexterous in criminatory speech, for the ruin of rivals and for his own exaltation.

As the contest presently came to be carried on rather at sea than on land, the equipment of a fleet became indispensable; so that Herakleides, who had brought the greatest number of triremes, naturally rose in importance. Shortly after his arrival, the Syracusan assembly passed a vote to appoint him admiral. But Dion, who seems only to have heard of this vote after it had passed, protested against it as derogating from the full powers which the Syracusans had by their former vote conferred upon himself. Accordingly the people, though with reluctance, cancelled their vote, and deposed Herakleides. Having then gently rebuked Herakleides for raising discord at a season when the common enemy was still dangerous, Dion convened another assembly; wherein he proposed, from himself, the appointment of Herakleides as admiral, with a guard equal to his own.[221] The right of nomination thus assumed displeased the Syracusans, humiliated Herakleides, and exasperated his partisans as well as the fleet which he commanded. It gave him power—together with provocation to employ that power for the ruin of Dion; who thus laid himself doubly open to genuine mistrust from some, and to intentional calumny from others.

It is necessary to understand this situation, in order to appreciate the means afforded to Dionysius for personal intrigue directed against Dion. Though the vast majority of Syracusans were[p. 103] hostile to Dionysius, yet there were among them many individuals connected with those serving under him in Ortygia, and capable of being put in motion to promote his views. Shortly after the complete defeat of his sally, he renewed his solicitations for peace; to which Dion returned the peremptory answer, that no peace could be concluded until Dionysius abdicated and retired. Next, Dionysius sent out heralds from Ortygia with letters addressed to Dion from his female relatives. All these letters were full of complaints of the misery endured by these poor women; together with prayers that he would relax in his hostility. To avert suspicion, Dion caused the letters to be opened and read publicly before the Syracusan assembly; but their tenor was such, that suspicion, whether expressed or not, unavoidably arose, as to the effect on Dion’s sympathies. One letter there was, bearing on its superscription the words “Hipparinus (the son of Dion) to his father.” At first many persons present refused to take cognizance of a communication so strictly private; but Dion insisted, and the letter was publicly read. It proved to come, not from the youthful Hipparinus, but from Dionysius himself, and was insidiously worded for the purpose of discrediting Dion in the minds of the Syracusans. It began by reminding him of the long service which he had rendered to the despotism. It implored him not to bury that great power, as well as his own relatives, in one common ruin, for the sake of a people who would turn round and sting him, so soon as he had given them freedom. It offered, on the part of Dionysius himself, immediate retirement, provided Dion would consent to take his place. But it threatened, if Dion refused, the sharpest tortures against his female relatives and his son.[222]

This letter, well-turned as a composition for its own purpose, was met by indignant refusal and protestation on the part of Dion. Without doubt his refusal would be received with cheers by the assembly; but the letter did not the less instil its intended poison into their minds. Plutarch displays[223] (in my judgment) no great knowledge of human nature, when he complains of the Syracusans for suffering the letter to impress them with suspicions of Dion, instead of admiring his magnanimous resistance to such touching appeals. It was precisely the magnanimity required for[p. 104] the situation, which made them mistrustful. Who could assure them that such a feeling, to the requisite pitch, was to be found in the bosom of Dion? or who could foretel which, among painfully conflicting sentiments, would determine his conduct? The position of Dion forbade the possibility of his obtaining full confidence. Moreover his enemies, not content with inflaming the real causes of mistrust, fabricated gross falsehoods against him as well as against the mercenaries under his command. A Syracusan named Sôsis, brother to one of the guards of Dionysius, made a violent speech in the Syracusan assembly, warning his countrymen to beware of Dion, lest they should find themselves saddled with a strict and sober despot in place of one who was always intoxicated. On the next day Sôsis appeared in the Assembly with a wound on the head, which he said that some of the soldiers of Dion had inflicted upon him in revenge for his speech. Many persons present, believing the story, warmly espoused his cause; while Dion had great difficulty in repelling the allegation, and in obtaining time for the investigation of its truth. On inquiry, it was discovered that the wound was a superficial cut inflicted by Sôsis himself with a razor, and that the whole tale was an infamous calumny which he had been bribed to propagate.[224] In this particular instance, it was found practicable to convict the delinquent of shameless falsehood. But there were numerous other attacks and perversions less tangible, generated by the same hostile interests and tending towards the same end. Every day the suspicion and unfriendly sentiment of the Syracusans, towards Dion and his soldiers, became more imbittered.

The naval victory gained by Herakleides and the Syracusan fleet over Philistus, exalting both the spirit of the Syracusans and the glory of the admiral, still further lowered the influence of Dion. The belief gained ground that even without him and his soldiers, the Syracusans could defend themselves, and gain possession of Ortygia. It was now that the defeated Dionysius sent from thence a fresh embassy to Dion, offering to surrender to him the place with its garrison, magazine of arms, and treasure equivalent to five months’ full pay—on condition of being allowed to retire to Italy, and enjoy the revenues of a large and productive[p. 105] portion (called Gyarta) of the Syracusan territory. Dion again refused to reply, desiring him to address the Syracusan public yet advising them to accept the terms.[225] Under the existing mistrust towards Dion, this advice was interpreted as concealing an intended collusion between him and Dionysius. Herakleides promised, that if the war were prosecuted, he would keep Ortygia blocked up until it was surrendered at discretion with all in it as prisoners. But in spite of his promise, Dionysius contrived to elude his vigilance and sail off to Lokri in Italy, with many companions and much property, leaving Ortygia in command of his eldest son Apollokrates.

Though the blockade was immediately resumed and rendered stricter than before, yet this escape of the despot brought considerable discredit on Herakleides. Probably the Dionian partisans were not sparing in their reproach. To create for himself fresh popularity, Herakleides warmly espoused the proposition of a citizen named Hippo, for a fresh division of landed property; a proposition, which, considering the sweeping alteration of landed property made by the Dionysian dynasty, we may well conceive to have been recommended upon specious grounds of retributive justice, as well as upon the necessity of providing for poor citizens. Dion opposed the motion strenuously, but was outvoted. Other suggestions also, yet more repugnant to him, and even pointed directly against him, were adopted. Lastly, Herakleides, enlarging upon his insupportable arrogance, prevailed upon the people to decree that new generals should be appointed, and that the pay due to the Dionian soldiers, now forming a large arrear, should not be liquidated out of the public purse.[226]

It was towards midsummer that Dion was thus divested of his command, about nine months after his arrival at Syracuse.[227] Twenty-five new generals were named, of whom Herakleides was one.

The measure, scandalously ungrateful and unjust, whereby the soldiers were deprived of the pay due to them, was dictated by pure antipathy against Dion: for it does not seem to have been[p. 106] applied to those soldiers who had come with Herakleides; moreover the new generals sent private messages to the Dionian soldiers, inviting them to desert their leader and join the Syracusans, in which case the grant of citizenship was promised to them.[228] Had the soldiers complied, it is obvious, that either the pay due, or some equivalent, must have been assigned to satisfy them. But one and all of them scorned the invitation, adhering to Dion with unshaken fidelity. The purpose of Herakleides was, to expel him alone. This however was prevented by the temper of the soldiers; who, indignant at the treacherous ingratitude of the Syracusans, instigated Dion to take a legitimate revenge upon them, and demanded only to be led to the assault. Refusing to employ force, Dion calmed their excitement, and put himself at their head to conduct them out of the city; not without remonstrances addressed to the generals and the people of Syracuse upon their proceedings, imprudent as well as wicked, while the enemy were still masters of Ortygia. Nevertheless, the new generals, chosen as the most violent enemies of Dion, not only turned a deaf ear to his appeal, but inflamed the antipathies of the people, and spurred them on to attack the soldiers on their march out of Syracuse. Their attack, though repeated more than once, was vigorously repulsed by the soldiers—excellent troops, three thousand in number; while Dion, anxious to ensure their safety, and to avoid bloodshed on both sides, confined himself strictly to the defensive. He forbade all pursuit, giving up the prisoners without ransom as well as the bodies of the slain for burial.[229]

In this guise Dion arrived at Leontini, where he found the warmest sympathy towards himself, with indignant disgust at the behavior of the Syracusans. Allied with the newly-enfranchised Syracuse against the Dionysian dynasty, the Leontines not only received the soldiers of Dion into their citizenship, and voted to them a positive remuneration, but sent an embassy to Syracuse insisting that justice should be done to them. The Syracusans, on their side, sent envoys to Leontini, to accuse Dion before an assembly of all the allies there convoked. Who these allies were, our defective information does not enable us to say. Their sen[p. 107]tence went in favor of Dion and against the Syracusans; who nevertheless stood out obstinately, refusing all justice or reparation,[230] and fancying themselves competent to reduce Ortygia without Dion’s assistance—since the provisions therein were exhausted, and the garrison was already suffering from famine. Despairing of reinforcement, Apollokrates had already resolved to send envoys and propose a capitulation, when Nypsius, a Neapolitan officer, despatched by Dionysius from Lokri, had the good fortune to reach Ortygia at the head of a reinforcing fleet, convoying numerous transports with an abundant stock of provisions. There was now no farther talk of surrender. The garrison of Ortygia was reinforced to ten thousand mercenary troops of considerable merit, and well provisioned for some time.[231]

The Syracusan admirals, either from carelessness or ill-fortune, had not been able to prevent the entry of Nypsius. But they made a sudden attack upon him while his fleet were in the harbor, and while the crews, thinking themselves safe from an enemy, were interchanging salutations or aiding to disembark the stores. This attack was well-timed and successful. Several of the triremes of Nypsius were ruined—others were towed off as prizes, while the victory, gained by Herakleides without Dion, provoked extravagant joy throughout Syracuse. In the belief that Ortygia could not longer hold out, the citizens, the soldiers, and even the generals, gave loose to mad revelry and intoxication, continued into the ensuing night. Nypsius, an able officer, watched his opportunity, and made a vigorous night-sally. His troops, issuing forth in good order, planted their scaling-ladders, mounted the blockading wall, and slew the sleeping or drunken sentinels without any resistance. Master of this important work, Nypsius employed a part of his men to pull it down, while he pushed the rest forward against the city. At daybreak the affrighted Syracusans saw themselves vigorously attacked even in their own stronghold, when neither generals nor citizens were at all prepared to resist. The troops of Nypsius first forced their way into Neapolis, which lay the nearest to the wall of Ortygia; next into Tycha, the other fortified suburb. Over these they ranged[p. 108] victorious, vanquishing all the detached parties of Syracusans which could be opposed to them. The streets became a scene of bloodshed—the houses of plunder; for as Dionysius had now given up the idea of again permanently ruling at Syracuse, his troops thought of little else except satiating the revenge of their master and their own rapacity. The soldiers of Nypsius stripped the private dwellings in the town, taking away not only the property, but also the women and children, as booty into Ortygia. At last (it appears) they got also into Achradina, the largest and most populous portion of Syracuse. Here the same scene of pillage, destruction, and bloodshed, was continued throughout the whole day, and on a still larger scale; with just enough resistance to pique the fury of the victors, without restraining their progress.

It soon became evident to Herakleides and his colleagues, as well as to the general body of citizens, that there was no hope of safety except in invoking the aid of Dion and his soldiers from Leontini. Yet the appeal to one whom they not only hated and feared, but had ignominiously maltreated, was something so intolerable, that for a long time no one would speak out to propose what every man had in his mind. At length some of the allies present, less concerned in the political parties of the city, ventured to broach the proposition, which ran from man to man, and was adopted under a press of mingled and opposite emotions. Accordingly two officers of the allies, and five Syracusan horsemen set off at full speed to Leontini, to implore the instant presence of Dion. Reaching the place towards evening, they encountered Dion himself immediately on dismounting, and described to him the miserable scenes now going on at Syracuse. Their tears and distress brought around them a crowd of hearers, Leontines as well as Peloponnesians; and a general assembly was speedily convened, before which Dion exhorted them to tell their story. They described, in the tone of men whose all was at stake, the actual sufferings and the impending total ruin of the city; entreating oblivion for their past misdeeds, which were already but too cruelly expiated.

Their discourse, profoundly touching to the audience, was heard in silence. Every one waited for Dion to begin, and to determine the fate of Syracuse. He rose to speak; but for a time tears[p. 109] checked his utterance, while his soldiers around cheered him with encouraging sympathy. At length he found voice to say, “I have convened you, Peloponnesians and allies, to deliberate about your own conduct. For me, deliberation would be a disgrace, while Syracuse is in the hands of the destroyer. If I cannot save my country, I shall go and bury myself in its flaming ruins. For you, if, in spite of what has happened, you still choose to assist us, misguided and unhappy Syracusans, we shall owe it to you that we still continue a city. But if, in disdainful sense of wrong endured, you shall leave us to our fate, I here thank you for all your past valor and attachment to me, praying that the gods may reward you for it. Remember Dion, as one who neither deserted you when you were wronged, nor his own fellow-citizens when they were in misery.”

This address, so replete with pathos and dignity, went home to the hearts of the audience, filling them with passionate emotion and eagerness to follow him. Universal shouts called upon him to put himself at their head instantly and march to Syracuse; while the envoys present fell upon his neck, invoking blessings both upon him and upon the soldiers. As soon as the excitement had subsided, Dion gave orders that every man should take his evening meal forthwith, and return in arms to the spot, prepared for a night-march to Syracuse.

By daybreak, Dion and his band were within a few miles of the northern wall of Epipolæ. Messengers from Syracuse here met him, inducing him to slacken his march and proceed with caution. Herakleides and the other generals had sent a message forbidding his nearer approach, with notice that the gates would be closed against him; yet at the same time, counter-messages arrived from many eminent citizens, entreating him to persevere, and promising him both admittance and support. Nypsius, having permitted his troops to pillage and destroy in Syracuse throughout the preceding day, had thought it prudent to withdraw them back into Ortygia for the night. His retreat raised the courage of Herakleides and his colleagues; who, fancying that the attack was now over, repented of the invitation which they had permitted to be sent to Dion. Under this impression they despatched to him the second message of exclusion; keeping guard at the gate in the northern wall to make their threat good.[p. 110] But the events of the next morning speedily undeceived them. Nypsius renewed his attack with greater ferocity than before, completed the demolition of the wall of blockade before Ortygia, and let loose his soldiers with merciless hand throughout all the streets of Syracuse. There was on this day less of pillage, but more of wholesale slaughter. Men, women, and children perished indiscriminately, and nothing was thought of by these barbarians except to make Syracuse a heap of ruins and dead bodies. To accelerate the process, and to forestall Dion’s arrival, which they fully expected—they set fire to the city in several places, with torches and fire-bearing arrows. The miserable inhabitants knew not where to flee, to escape the flames within their houses, or the sword without. The streets were strewed with corpses, while the fire gained ground perpetually, threatening to spread over the greater part of the city. Under such terrible circumstances, neither Herakleides, himself wounded, nor the other generals, could hold out any longer against the admission of Dion; to whom even the brother and uncle of Herakleides were sent, with pressing entreaties to accelerate his march, since the smallest delay would occasion ruin to Syracuse.[232]

Dion was about seven miles from the gates when these last cries of distress reached him. Immediately hurrying forward his soldiers, whose ardor was not inferior to his own, at a running pace, he reached speedily the gates called Hexapyla, in the northern wall of Epipolæ. When once within these gates, he halted in an interior area called the Hekatompedon.[233] His light-armed were sent forward at once to arrest the destroying enemy, while he kept back the hoplites until he could form them into separate columns under proper captains, along with the citizens who crowded round him with demonstrations of great reverence. He distributed them so as to enter the interior portion of Syracuse, and attack the troops of Nypsius, on several points at once.[234] Being now within the exterior fortification formed by the wall of Epipolæ,[p. 111] there lay before him the tripartite interior city—Tycha, Neapolis, Achradina. Each of these parts had its separate fortification; between Tycha and Neapolis lay an unfortified space, but each of them joined on to Achradina, the western wall of which formed their eastern wall. It is probable that these interior fortifications had been partially neglected since the construction of the outer walls along Epipolæ, which comprised them all within, and formed the principal defence against a foreign enemy. Moreover the troops of Nypsius, having been masters of the three towns, and roving as destroyers around them, for several hours, had doubtless broken down the gates and in other ways weakened the defences. The scene was frightful, and the ways everywhere impeded by flame and smoke, by falling houses and fragments, and by the numbers who lay massacred around. It was amidst such horrors that Dion and his soldiers found themselves—while penetrating in different divisions at once into Neapolis, Tycha, and Achradina.

His task would probably have been difficult, had Nypsius been able to control the troops under his command, in themselves brave and good. But these troops had been for some hours dispersed throughout the streets, satiating their licentious and murderous passions, and destroying a town which Dionysius now no longer expected to retain. Recalling as many soldiers as he could from this brutal disorder, Nypsius marshalled them along the interior fortification, occupying the entrances and exposed points where Dion would seek to penetrate into the city.[235] The battle was thus not continuous, but fought between detached parties at separate openings, often very narrow, and on ground sometimes difficult to surmount, amidst the conflagration blazing everywhere around.[236] Disorganized by pillage, the troops of Nypsius could[p. 112] oppose no long resistance to the forward advance of Dion, with soldiers full of ardor and with the Syracusans around him stimulated by despair. Nypsius was overpowered, compelled to abandon his line of defence, and to retreat with his troops into Ortygia, which the greater number of them reached in safety. Dion and his victorious troops, after having forced the entrance into the city, did not attempt to pursue them. The first and most pressing necessity was to extinguish the flames; but no inconsiderable number of the soldiers of Nypsius were found dispersed through the streets and houses, and slain while actually carrying off plunder on their shoulders. Long after the town was cleared of enemies, however, all hands within it were employed in stopping the conflagration; a task in which they hardly succeeded, even by unremitting efforts throughout the day and the following night.[237]

On the morrow Syracuse was another city; disfigured by the desolating trace of flame and of the hostile soldiery, yet still refreshed in the hearts of its citizens, who felt that they had escaped much worse; and above all, penetrated by a renewed political spirit, and a deep sense of repentant gratitude towards Dion. All those generals, who had been chosen at the last election from their intense opposition to him, fled forthwith; except Herakleides and Theodotes. These two men were his most violent and dangerous enemies; yet it appears that they knew his character better than their colleagues, and therefore did not hesitate to throw themselves upon his mercy. They surrendered, confessed their guilt, and implored his forgiveness. His magnanimity (they said) would derive a new lustre, if he now rose superior to his just resentment over misguided rivals, who stood before him humbled and ashamed of their former opposition, entreating him to deal with them better than they had dealt with him.

If Dion had put their request to the vote, it would have been refused by a large majority. His soldiers, recently defrauded of their pay, were yet burning with indignation against the authors of such an injustice. His friends, reminding him of the bitter and unscrupulous attacks which he as well as they had experienced from Herakleides, exhorted him to purge the city of one who abused the popular forms to purposes hardly less mischievous than[p. 113] despotism itself. The life of Herakleides now hung upon a thread. Without pronouncing any decided opinion, Dion had only to maintain an equivocal silence, and suffer the popular sentiment to manifest itself in a verdict invoked by one party, expected even by the opposite. The more was every one astonished when he took upon himself the responsibility of pardoning Herakleides; adding, by way of explanation and satisfaction[238] to his disappointed friends—

“Other generals have gone through most of their training with a view to arms and war. My long training in the Academy has been devoted to aid me in conquering anger, envy, and all malignant jealousies. To show that I have profited by such lessons, it is not enough that I do my duty towards my friends and towards honest men. The true test is, if, after being wronged, I show myself placable and gentle towards the wrong-doer. My wish is to prove myself superior to Herakleides more in goodness and justice, than in power and intelligence. Successes in war, even when achieved single-handed, are half owing to fortune. If Herakleides has been treacherous and wicked through envy, it is not for Dion to dishonor a virtuous life in obedience to angry sentiment. Nor is human wickedness, great as it often is, ever pushed to such an excess of stubborn brutality, as not to be amended by gentle and gracious treatment, from steady benefactors.”[239]

We may reasonably accept this as something near the genuine speech of Dion, reported by his companion Timonides, and thus passing into the biography of Plutarch. It lends a peculiar interest, as an exposition of motives, to the act which it accompanies. The sincerity of the exposition admits of no doubt, for all the ordinary motives of the case counselled an opposite conduct; and had Dion been in like manner at the feet of his rival, his life would assuredly not have been spared. He took pride (with a sentiment something like that of Kallikratidas[240] on liberating the prisoners taken at Methymna) in realizing by conspicuous act the lofty morality which he had imbibed from the Academy; the rather, as the case presented every temptation to depart from it[p. 114] Persuading himself that he could by an illustrious example put to shame and soften the mutual cruelties so frequent in Grecian party-warfare, and regarding the amnesty towards Herakleides as a proper sequel to the generous impulse which had led him to march from Leontini to Syracuse,—he probably gloried in both, more than in the victory itself. We shall presently have the pain of discovering that his anticipations were totally disappointed. And we may be sure that at the time, the judgment passed on his proceeding towards Herakleides was very different from what it now receives. Among his friends and soldiers, the generosity of the act would be forgotten in its imprudence. Among his enemies, it would excite surprise, perhaps admiration—yet few of them would be conciliated or converted into friends. In the bosom of Herakleides himself, the mere fact of owing his life to Dion would be a new and intolerable humiliation, which the Erinnys within would goad him on to avenge. Dion would be warned, by the criticism of his friends, as well as by the instinct of his soldiers, that in yielding to a magnanimous sentiment, he overlooked the reasonable consequences; and that Herakleides continuing at Syracuse would only be more dangerous both to him and them, than he had been before. Without taking his life, Dion might have required him to depart from Syracuse; which sentence, having regard to the practice of the time, would have been accounted generosity.

It was Dion’s next business to renew the wall of blockade constructed against Ortygia, and partially destroyed in the late sally of Nypsius. Every Syracusan citizen was directed to cut a stake, and deposit it near the spot; after which, during the ensuing night, the soldiers planted a stockade so as to restore the broken parts of the line. Protection being thus ensured to the city against Nypsius and his garrison, Dion proceeded to bury the numerous dead who had been slain in the sally, and to ransom the captives, no less than two thousand in number, who had been carried off into Ortygia.[241] A trophy, with sacrifice to the gods for the victory, was not forgotten.[242]

A public assembly was now held to elect new generals in place of those who had fled. Here a motion was made by Herakleides[p. 115] himself, that Dion should be chosen general with full powers both by land and sea. The motion was received with great favor by the principal citizens; but the poorer men were attached to Herakleides, especially the seamen; who preferred serving under his command, and loudly required that he should be named admiral, along with Dion as general on land. Forced to acquiesce in this nomination, Dion contented himself with insisting and obtaining, that the resolution, which had been previously adopted for redistributing lands and houses, should be rescinded.[243]

The position of affairs at Syracuse was now pregnant with mischief and quarrel. On land, Dion enjoyed a dictatorial authority;—at sea, Herakleides, his enemy not less than ever, was admiral, by separate and independent nomination. The undefined authority of Dion—exercised by one self-willed, though magnanimous, in spirit, and extremely repulsive in manner—was sure to become odious after the feelings arising out of the recent rescue had worn off; and abundant opening would thus be made for the opposition of Herakleides, often on just grounds. That officer indeed was little disposed to wait for just pretences. Conducting the Syracusan fleet to Messênê in order to carry on war against Dionysius at Lokri, he not only tried to raise the seamen in arms against Dion, by charging him with despotic designs, but even entered into a secret treaty with the common enemy Dionysius; through the intervention of the Spartan Pharax, who commanded the Dionysian troops. His intrigues being discovered, a violent opposition was raised against them by the leading Syracusan citizens. It would seem (as far as we can make out from the scanty information of Plutarch) that the military operations were frustrated, and that the armament was forced to return to Syracuse. Here again the quarrel was renewed—the seamen apparently standing with Herakleides, the principal citizens with Dion—and carried so far, that the city suffered not only from disturbance, but even from irregular supply of provisions.[244] Among the mortifications of Dion, not the least was that which he experienced from his own friends or soldiers, who reminded him of their warnings[p. 116] and predictions when he consented to spare Herakleides. Meanwhile Dionysius had sent into Sicily a body of troops under Pharax, who were encamped at Neapolis in the Agrigentine territory. In what scheme of operations this movement forms a part, we cannot make out; for Plutarch tells us nothing except what bears immediately on the quarrel between Dion and Herakleides. To attack Pharax, the forces of Syracuse were brought out; the fleet under Herakleides, the soldiers on land under Dion. The latter, though he thought it imprudent to fight, was constrained to hazard a battle by the insinuations of Herakleides and the clamor of the seamen; who accused him of intentionally eking out the war for the purpose of prolonging his own dictatorship. Dion accordingly attacked Pharax, but was repulsed. Yet the repulse was not a serious defeat, so that he was preparing to renew the attack, when he was apprised that Herakleides with the fleet had departed and were returning at their best speed to Syracuse; with the intention of seizing the city, and barring out Dion with his troops. Nothing but a rapid and decisive movement could defeat this scheme. Leaving the camp immediately with his best horsemen, Dion rode back to Syracuse as fast as possible; completing a distance of seven hundred stadia (about eighty-two miles) in a very short time, and forestalling the arrival of Herakleides.[245]

Thus disappointed and exposed, Herakleides found means to direct another manœuvre against Dion, through the medium of a Spartan named Gæsylus; who had been sent by the Spartans, informed of the dissensions in Syracuse, to offer himself (like Gylippus) for the command. Herakleides eagerly took advantage of the arrival of this officer; pressing the Syracusans to accept a Spartan as their commander-in-chief. But Dion replied that there were plenty of native Syracusans qualified for command; moreover, if a Spartan was required, he was himself a Spartan, by public grant. Gæsylus, having ascertained the state of affairs, had the virtue and prudence not merely to desist from his own pretensions, but also to employ his best efforts in reconciling Dion and Herakleides. Sensible that the wrong had been on the side of the latter, Gæsylus constrained him to bind himself by the strongest oaths to better conduct in future. He engaged[p. 117] his own guarantee for the observance of the covenant; but the better to ensure such observance, the greater part of the Syracusan fleet (the chief instrument of Herakleides) was disbanded, leaving only enough to keep Ortygia under blockade.[246]

The capture of that islet and fortress, now more strictly watched than ever, was approaching. What had become of Pharax, or why he did not advance, after the retreat of Dion, to harass the Syracusans and succor Ortygia—we know not. But no succor arrived; provisions grew scarce; and the garrison became so discontented, that Apollokrates the son of Dionysius could not hold out any longer. Accordingly, he capitulated with Dion; handing over to him Ortygia with its fort, arms, magazines and everything contained in it—except what he could carry away in five triremes. Aboard of these vessels, he placed his mother, his sisters, his immediate friends, and his chief valuables, leaving everything else behind for Dion and the Syracusans, who crowded to the beach in multitudes to see him depart. To them the moment was one of lively joy, and mutual self-congratulation—promising to commence a new era of freedom.[247]

On entering Ortygia, Dion saw for the first time after a separation of about twelve years, his sister Aristomachê, his wife Aretê, and family. The interview was one of the tenderest emotion and tears of delight to all. Aretê, having been made against her own consent the wife of Timokratês, was at first afraid to approach Dion. But he received and embraced her with unabated affection.[248] He conducted both her and his son away from the Dionysian acropolis, in which they had been living since his absence, into his own house; having himself resolved not to dwell in the acropolis, but to leave it as a public fort or edifice belonging to Syracuse. However, this renewal of his domestic happiness was shortly afterwards imbittered by the death of his son; who having imbibed from Dionysius drunken and dissolute habits, fell from the roof of the house, in a fit of intoxication or frenzy, and perished.[249]

Dion was now at the pinnacle of power as well as of glory. With means altogether disproportionate, he had achieved the ex[p. 118]pulsion of the greatest despot in Greece, even from an impregnable stronghold. He had combated danger and difficulty with conspicuous resolution, and had displayed almost chivalrous magnanimity. Had he “breathed out his soul”[250] at the instant of triumphant entry in Ortygia, the Academy would have been glorified by a pupil of first-rate and unsullied merit. But that cup of prosperity, which poisoned so many other eminent Greeks, had now the fatal effect of exaggerating all the worst of Dion’s qualities, and damping all the best.

Plutarch indeed boasts, and we may perfectly believe, that he maintained the simplicity of his table, his raiment, and his habits of life, completely unchanged—now that he had become master of Syracuse, and an object of admiration to all Greece. In this respect, Plato and the Academy had reason to be proud of their pupil.[251] But the public mistakes, now to be recounted, were not the less mischievous to his countrymen as well as to himself.

From the first moment of his entry into Syracuse from Peloponnesus, Dion had been suspected and accused of aiming at the expulsion of Dionysius, only in order to transfer the despotism to himself. His haughty and repulsive manners, raising against him personal antipathies everywhere, were cited as confirming the charge. Even at moments when Dion was laboring for the genuine good of the Syracusans, this suspicion had always more or less crossed his path; robbing him of well-merited gratitude—and at the same time discrediting his opponents, and the people of Syracuse, as guilty of mean jealousy towards a benefactor.

The time had now come when Dion was obliged to act in such a manner as either to confirm, or to belie, such unfavorable auguries. Unfortunately both his words and his deeds confirmed them in the strongest manner. The proud and repulsive external demeanor, for which he had always been notorious, was rather[p. 119] aggravated than softened. He took pride in showing, more plainly than ever, that he despised everything which looked like courting popularity.[252]

If the words and manner of Dion were thus significant, both what he did, and what he left undone, was more significant still. Of that great boon of freedom, which he had so loudly promised to the Syracusans, and which he had directed his herald to proclaim on first entering their walls, he conferred absolutely nothing. He retained his dictatorial power unabated, and his military force certainly without reduction, if not actually reinforced; for as Apollokrates did not convey away with him the soldiers in Ortygia, we may reasonably presume that a part of them at least remained to embrace the service of Dion. He preserved the acropolis and fortifications of Ortygia just as they were, only garrisoned by troops obeying his command instead of that of Dionysius. His victory made itself felt in abundant presents to his own friends and soldiers;[253] but to the people of Syracuse, it produced nothing better than a change of masters.

It was not indeed the plan of Dion to constitute a permanent despotism. He intended to establish himself king, but to grant to the Syracusans what in modern times would be called a constitution. Having imbibed from Plato and the Academy as well as from his own convictions and tastes, aversion to a pure democracy, he had resolved to introduce a Lacedæmonian scheme of mixed government, combining king, aristocracy, and people, under certain provisions and limitations. Of this general tenor are the recommendations addressed both to him, and to the Syracusans after his death, by Plato; who however seems to contemplate, along with the political scheme, a Lykurgean reform of manners and practice. To aid in framing and realizing his scheme, Dion sent to Corinth to invite counsellors and auxiliaries; for Corinth was suitable to his views, not simply as mother city of Syracuse, but also as a city thoroughly oligarchical.[254]

[p. 120]

That these intentions on the part of Dion were sincere, we need not question. They had been originally conceived without any views of acquiring the first place for himself, during the life of the elder Dionysius, and were substantially the same as those which he had exhorted the younger Dionysius to realize, immediately after the death of the father. They are the same as he had intended to further by calling in Plato,—with what success, has been already recounted. But Dion made the fatal mistake of not remarking, that the state of things, both as to himself and as to Syracuse, was totally altered during the interval between 367 B. C. and 354 B. C. If at the former period, when the Dionysian dynasty was at the zenith of power, and Syracuse completely prostrated, the younger Dionysius could have been persuaded spontaneously and without contest or constraint to merge his own despotism in a more liberal system, even dictated by himself—it is certain that such a free, though moderate concession, would at first have provoked unbounded gratitude, and would have had a chance (though that is more doubtful) of giving long-continued satisfaction. But the situation was totally different in 354 B. C., when Dion, after the expulsion of Apollokrates, had become master in Ortygia; and it was his mistake that he still insisted on applying the old plans when they had become not merely unsuitable, but mischievous. Dion was not in the position of an established despot, who consents to renounce, for the public good, powers which every one knows he can retain, if he chooses; nor were the Syracusans any longer passive, prostrate, and hopeless. They had received a solemn promise of liberty, and had been thereby inflamed into vehement action, by Dion himself; who had been armed by them with delegated powers, for the special purpose of putting down Dionysius. That under these circumstances Dion, instead of laying down his trust, should constitute himself king—even limited king—and determine how much liberty he would consent to allot to the Syracusans who had appointed him—this was a proceeding which they could not but resent as a flagrant usurpation, and which he could only hope to maintain by force.

The real conduct of Dion, however, was worse even than this. He manifested no visible evidence of realizing even that fraction of popular liberty which had entered into his original scheme.[p. 121] What exact promises he made, we do not know. But he maintained his own power, the military force, and the despotic fortifications, provisionally undiminished. And who could tell how long he intended to maintain them? That he really had in his mind purposes such as Plato[255] gives him credit for, I believe to be true. But he took no practical step towards them. He had resolved to accomplish them, not through persuasion of the Syracusans, but through his own power. This was the excuse which he probably made to himself, and which pushed him down that inclined plane from whence there was afterwards no escape.

It was not likely that Dion’s conduct would pass without a protest. That protest came loudest from Herakleides; who, so long as Dion had been acting in the real service of Syracuse, had opposed him in a culpable and traitorous manner—and who now again found himself in opposition to Dion, when opposition had become the side of patriotism as well as of danger. Invited by Dion to attend the council, he declined, saying that he was now nothing more than a private citizen, and would attend the public assembly along with the rest; a hint which implied, plainly as well as reasonably, that Dion also ought to lay down his power, now that the common enemy was put down.[256] The surrender of Ortygia had produced strong excitement among the Syracusans. They were impatient to demolish the dangerous stronghold erected in that islet by the elder Dionysius; they both hoped and expected, moreover, to see the destruction of that splendid funeral monument which his son had built in his honor, and the urn with its ashes cast out. Now of these two measures, the first was one of pressing and undeniable necessity, which Dion ought to have consummated without a moment’s delay; the second was compliance with a popular antipathy at that time natural, which would have served as an evidence that the old despotism stood condemned. Yet Dion did neither. It was Herakleides who censured him, and moved for the demolition of the Dionysian Bastile; thus having the glory of attaching his name to the measure eagerly performed by Timoleon eleven years afterwards, the moment that he found himself master of Syracuse. Not only Dion[p. 122] did not originate the overthrow of this dangerous stronghold, but when Herakleides proposed it, he resisted him and prevented it from being done.[257] We shall find the same den serving for successive despots—preserved by Dion for them as well as for himself, and only removed by the real liberator Timoleon.

Herakleides gained extraordinary popularity among the Syracusans by his courageous and patriotic conduct. But Dion saw plainly that he could not, consistently with his own designs, permit such free opposition any longer. Many of his adherents, looking upon Herakleides as one who ought not to have been spared on the previous occasion, were ready to put him to death at any moment; being restrained only by a special prohibition which Dion now thought it time to remove. Accordingly, with his privity, they made their way into the house of Herakleides, and slew him.[258]

This dark deed abolished all remaining hope of obtaining Syracusan freedom from the hands of Dion, and stamped him as the mere successor of the Dionysian despotism. It was in vain that he attended the obsequies of Herakleides with his full military force, excusing his well-known crime to the people, on the plea, that Syracuse could never be at peace while two such rivals were both in active political life. Under the circumstances of the case, the remark was an insulting derision; though it might have been advanced with pertinence as a reason for sending Herakleides away, at the moment when he before spared him. Dion had now conferred upon his rival the melancholy honor of dying as a martyr to Syracusan freedom; and in that light he was bitterly mourned by the people. No man after this murder could think himself secure. Having once employed the soldiers as executioners of his own political antipathies, Dion proceeded to lend himself more and more to their exigencies. He provided for them pay and largesses, great in amount, first at the cost of his opponents in the city, next at that of his friends, until at length discon[p. 123]tent became universal. Among the general body of the citizens, Dion became detested as a tyrant, and the more detested because he had presented himself as a liberator; while the soldiers also were in great part disaffected to him.[259]

The spies and police of the Dionysian dynasty not having been yet reëstablished, there was ample liberty at least of speech and censure; so that Dion was soon furnished with full indications of the sentiment entertained towards him. He became disquieted and irritable at this change of public feeling;[260] angry with the people, yet at the same time ashamed of himself. The murder of Herakleides sat heavy on his soul. The same man whom he had spared before when in the wrong, he had now slain when in the right. The maxims of the Academy which had imparted to him so much self-satisfaction in the former act, could hardly fail to occasion a proportionate sickness of self-reproach in the latter. Dion was not a mere power-seeker, nor prepared for all that endless apparatus of mistrustful precaution, indispensable to a Grecian despot. When told that his life was in danger, he replied that he would rather perish at once by the hands of the first assassin, than live in perpetual diffidence, towards friends as well as enemies.[261]

One thus too good for a despot, and yet unfit for a popular leader, could not remain long in the precarious position occupied by Dion. His intimate friend, the Athenian Kallippus, seeing that the man who could destroy him would become popular with the Syracusans as well as with a large portion of the soldiery, formed a conspiracy accordingly. He stood high in the confidence of Dion, had been his companion during his exile at Athens, had accompanied him to Sicily, and entered Syracuse by his side. But Plato, anxious for the credit of the Academy, is careful to inform us, that this inauspicious friendship arose, not[p. 124] out of fellowship in philosophy, but out of common hospitalities, and especially common initiation in the Eleusinian mysteries.[262] Brave and forward in battle, Kallippus enjoyed much credit with the soldiery. He was conveniently placed for tampering with them, and by a crafty stratagem, he even insured the unconscious connivance of Dion himself. Having learnt that plots were formed against his life, Dion talked about them to Kallippus, who offered himself to undertake the part of spy, and by simulated partnership to detect as well as to betray the conspirators. Under this confidence, Kallippus had full licence for carrying on his intrigues unimpeded, since Dion disregarded the many warnings which reached him.[263] Among the rumors raised out of Dion’s new position, and industriously circulated by Kallippus—one was, that he was about to call back Apollokrates, son of Dionysius, as his partner and successor to the despotism—as a substitute for the youthful son who had recently perished. By these and other reports, Dion became more and more discredited, while Kallippus secretly organized a wider circle of adherents. His plot however did not escape the penetration of Aristomachê and Aretê; who having, first addressed unavailing hints to Dion, at last took upon them to question Kallippus himself. The latter not only denied the charge, but even confirmed his denial, at their instance, by one of the most solemn and terrific oaths recognized in Grecian religion; going into the sacred grove of Demeter and Persephonê, touching the purple robe of the goddess, and taking in his hand a lighted torch.[264]

Inquiry being thus eluded, there came on presently the day of the Koreia:—the festival of these very Two goddesses in whose name and presence Kallippus had forsworn. This was the day which he had fixed for execution. The strong points of defence[p. 125] in Syracuse were confided beforehand to his principal adherents while his brother Philostrates[265] kept a trireme manned in the harbor ready for flight in case the scheme should miscarry. While Dion, taking no part in the festival, remained at home, Kallippus caused his house to be surrounded by confidential soldiers, and then sent into it a select company of Zakynthians, unarmed, as if for the purpose of addressing Dion on business. These men, young and of distinguished muscular strength, being admitted into the house, put aside or intimidated the slaves, none of whom manifested any zeal or attachment. They then made their way up to Dion’s apartment, and attempted to throw him down and strangle him. So strenuously did he resist, however, that they found it impossible to kill him without arms; which they were perplexed how to procure, being afraid to open the doors, lest aid might be introduced against them. At length one of their number descended to a back-door, and procured from a Syracusan without, named Lykon, a short sword; of the Laconian sort, and of peculiar workmanship. With this weapon they put Dion to death.[266] They then seized Aristomachê and Aretê, the sister and wife of Dion. These unfortunate women were cast into prison, where they were long detained, and where the latter was delivered of a posthumous son.

Thus perished Dion, having lived only about a year after his expulsion of the Dionysian dynasty from Syracuse—but a year too long for his own fame. Notwithstanding the events of those last months, there is no doubt that he was a man essentially differing from the class of Grecian despots: a man, not of aspirations purely personal, nor thirsting merely for multitudes of submissive subjects and a victorious army—but with large public-minded purposes attached as coördinate to his own ambitious views. He wished to perpetuate his name as the founder of a polity, cast in something of the general features of Sparta; which, while it did[p. 126] not shock Hellenic instincts, should reach farther than political institutions generally aim to do, so as to remodel the sentiments and habits of the citizens, on principles suited to philosophers like Plato. Brought up as Dion was from childhood at the court of the elder Dionysius, unused to that established legality, free speech, and habit of active citizenship, from whence a large portion of Hellenic virtue flowed—the wonder is how he acquired so much public conviction and true magnanimity of soul—not how he missed acquiring more. The influence of Plato during his youth stamped his mature character; but that influence (as Plato himself tells us) found a rare predisposition in the pupil. Still, Dion had no experience of the working of a free and popular government. The atmosphere in which his youth was passed was that of an energetic despotism; while the aspiration which he imbibed from Plato was, to restrain and regularize that despotism, and to administer to the people a certain dose of political liberty, yet reserving to himself the task of settling how much was good for them, and the power of preventing them from acquiring more.

How this project—the natural growth of Dion’s mind, for which his tastes and capacities were suited—was violently thrust aside through the alienated feelings of the younger Dionysius—has been already recounted. The position of Dion was now completely altered. He became a banished, ill-used man, stung with contemptuous antipathy against Dionysius, and eager to put down his despotism over Syracuse. Here were new motives apparently falling in with the old project. But the conditions of the problem had altogether changed. Dion could not overthrow Dionysius without “taking the Syracusan people into partnership” (to use the phrase of Herodotus[267] respecting the Athenian Kleisthenes)—without promising them full freedom, as an inducement for their hearty coöperation—without giving them arms, and awakening in them the stirring impulses of Grecian citizenship, all the more violent because they had been so long trodden down.[268] With these new allies he knew not how to deal. He had[p. 127] no experience of a free and jealous popular mind in persuasion, he was utterly unpractised: his manners were haughty and displeasing. Moreover, his kindred with the Dionysian family exposed him to antipathy from two different quarters. Like the Duke of Orleans (Égalité) at the end of 1792, in the first French Revolution—he was hated both by the royalists, because, though related to the reigning dynasty, he had taken an active part against it—and by sincere democrats, because they suspected him of a design to put himself in its place. To Dion, such coalition of antipathies was a serious hindrance; presenting a strong basis of support for all his rivals, especially for the unscrupulous Herakleides. The bad treatment which he underwent both from the Syracusans and from Herakleides, during the time when the officers of Dionysius still remained masters in Ortygia, has been already related. Dion however behaved, though not always with prudence, yet with so much generous energy against the common enemy, that he put down his rival, and maintained his ascendency unshaken, until the surrender of Ortygia.

That surrender brought his power to a maximum. It was the turning-point and crisis of his life. A splendid opportunity was now opened, of earning for himself fame and gratitude. He might have attached his name to an act as sublime and impressive as any in Grecian history, which, in an evil hour, he left to be performed in after days by Timoleon—the razing of the Dionysian stronghold, and the erection of courts of justice on its site. He might have taken the lead in organizing, under the discussion and consent of the people, a good and free government, which, more or less exempt from defect as it might have been, would at least have satisfied them, and would have spared Syracuse those ten years of suffering which intervened until Timoleon came to make the possibility a fact. Dion might have done all that Timoleon did—and might have done it more easily, since he was less embarrassed both by the other towns in Sicily and by the Carthaginians. Unfortunately he still thought himself strong enough to resume his original project. In spite of the spirit, kindled partly by himself, among the Syracusans—in spite of the repugnance, already unequivocally manifested, on the mere suspicion of his despotic designs—he fancied himself competent to treat the Syracusans as a tame and passive herd; to carve out for them just[p. 128] as much liberty as he thought right, and to require them to be satisfied with it; nay, even worse, to defer giving them any liberty at all, on the plea, or pretence, of full consultation with advisers of his own choice.

Through this deplorable mistake, alike mischievous to Syracuse and to himself, Dion made his government one of pure force. He placed himself in a groove wherein he was fatally condemned to move on from bad to worse, without possibility of amendment. He had already made a martyr of Herakleides, and he would have been compelled to make other martyrs besides, had his life continued. It is fortunate for his reputation that his career was arrested so early, before he had become bad enough to forfeit that sympathy and esteem with which the philosopher Plato still mourns his death, appeasing his own disappointment by throwing the blame of Dion’s failure on every one but Dion himself.


The assassination of Dion, as recounted in my last chapter, appears to have been skilfully planned and executed for the purpose of its contriver, the Athenian Kallippus. Succeeding at once to the command of the soldiers, among whom he had before been very popular,—and to the mastery of Ortygia,—he was practically supreme at Syracuse. We read in Cornelius Nepos, that after the assassination of Dion there was deep public sorrow, and a strong reaction in his favor, testified by splendid obsequies attended by the mass of the population.[269] But this statement is difficult to believe; not merely because Kallippus long remained undisturbed master, but because he also threw into prison the fe[p. 129]male relatives of Dion—his sister Aristomachê and his pregnant wife Aretê, avenging by such act of malignity the false oath which he had so lately been compelled to take, in order to satisfy their suspicions.[270] Aretê was delivered of a son in the prison. It would seem that these unhappy women were kept in confinement during all the time, more than a year, that Kallippus remained master. On his being deposed, they were released; when a Syracusan named Hiketas, a friend of the deceased Dion, affected to take them under his protection. After a short period of kind treatment, he put them on board a vessel to be sent to Peloponnesus, but caused them to be slain on the voyage, and their bodies to be sunk in the sea. To this cruel deed he is said to have been instigated by the enemies of Dion; and the act shows but too plainly how implacable those enemies were.[271]

How Kallippus maintained himself in Syracuse—by what support, or violences, or promises—and against what difficulties he had to contend—we are not permitted to know. He seems at first to have made promises of restoring liberty; and we are even told, that he addressed a public letter to his country, the city of Athens;[272] wherein he doubtless laid claim to the honors of tyrannicide; representing himself as the liberator of Syracuse. How this was received by the Athenian assembly, we are not informed. But to Plato and the frequenters of the Academy, the news of Dion’s death occasioned the most profound sorrow, as may still be read in the philosopher’s letters.

Kallippus maintained himself for a year in full splendor and dominion. Discontents had then grown up; and the friends of Dion—or perhaps the enemies of Kallippus assuming that name—showed themselves with force in Syracuse. However, Kallippus defeated them, and forced them to take refuge in Leontini;[273] of which town we presently find Hiketas despot. Encouraged probably by this success, Kallippus committed many enormities, and made himself so odious,[274] that the expelled Dionysian family be[p. 130]gan to conceive hopes of recovering their dominion. He had gone forth from Syracuse on an expedition against Katana; of which absence Hipparinus took advantage to effect his entry into Syracuse, at the head of a force sufficient, combined with popular discontent, to shut him out of the city. Kallippus speedily returned, but was defeated by Hipparinus, and compelled to content himself with the unprofitable exchange of Katana in place of Syracuse.[275]

Hipparinus and Nysæus were the two sons of Dionysius the elder, by Aristomachê, and were therefore nephews of Dion. Though Hipparinus probably became master of Ortygia, the strongest portion of Syracuse, yet it would appear that in the other portions of Syracuse there were opposing parties who contested his rule; first, the partisans of Dionysius the younger, and of his family—next, the mass who desired to get rid of both the families, and to establish a free popular constitution. Such is the state of facts which we gather from the letters of Plato.[276] But we are too destitute of memorials to make out anything distinct respecting the condition of Syracuse or of Sicily between 353 B. C. and 344 B. C.—from the death of Dion to the invitation sent to Corinth, which brought about the mission of Timoleon. We are assured generally that it was a period of intolerable conflicts, disorders, and suffering; that even the temples and tombs were neglected;[277] that the people were everywhere trampled down by despots and foreign mercenaries; that the despots were frequently overthrown by violence or treachery, yet only to be succeeded by others as bad or worse; that the multiplication of foreign soldiers, seldom regularly paid, spread pillage and violence everywhere.[278] The philosopher Plato—in a letter written about a year or more after the death of Dion (seemingly after the expulsion of Kallippus) and addressed to the surviving relatives and friends of the latter—draws a lamentable picture of the state both of Syracuse and Sicily. He goes so far as to say, that under the distraction[p. 131] and desolation which prevailed, the Hellenic race and language were likely to perish in the island, and give place to the Punic or Oscan.[279] He adjures the contending parties at Syracuse to avert this miserable issue by coming to a compromise, and by constituting a moderate and popular government,—yet with some rights reserved to the ruling families, among whom he desires to see a fraternal partnership established, tripartite in its character; including Dionysius the younger (now at Lokri)—Hipparinus son of the elder Dionysius—and the son of Dion. On the absolute necessity of such compromise and concord, to preserve both people and despots from one common ruin, Plato delivers the most pathetic admonitions. He recommends a triple coördinate kingship, passing by hereditary transmission in the families of the three persons just named; and including the presidency of religious ceremonies with an ample measure of dignity and veneration, but very little active political power. Advising that impartial arbitrators, respected by all, should be invoked to settle terms for the compromise, he earnestly implores each of the combatants to acquiesce peaceably in their adjudication.[280]

To Plato,—who saw before him the line double of Spartan kings, the only hereditary kings in Greece,—the proposition of three coördinate kingly families did not appear at all impracticable; nor indeed was it so, considering the small extent of political power allotted to them. But amidst the angry passions which then raged, and the mass of evil which had been done and suffered on all sides, it was not likely that any pacific arbitrator, of whatever position or character, would find a hearing, or would be enabled to effect any such salutary adjustment as had emanated from the Mantinean Dêmônax at Kyrênê—between the discontented Kyreneans and the dynasty of the Battiad princes.[281] Plato’s recommendation passed unheeded. He died in 348-347 B. C., without seeing any mitigation of those Sicilian calamities which[p. 132] saddened the last years of his long life. On the contrary, the condition of Syracuse grew worse instead of better. The younger Dionysius contrived to effect his return, expelling Hipparinus and Nysæus from Ortygia, and establishing himself there again as master. As he had a long train of past humiliation to avenge, his rule was of that oppressive character which the ancient proverb recognized as belonging to kings restored from exile.[282]

Of all these princes descended from the elder Dionysius, not one inherited the sobriety and temperance which had contributed so much to his success. All of them are said to have been of drunken and dissolute habits[283]—Dionysius the younger, and his son Apollokrates, as well as Hipparinus and Nysæus. Hipparinus was assassinated while in a fit of intoxication; so that Nysæus became the representative of this family, until he was expelled from Ortygia by the return of the younger Dionysius.

That prince, since his first expulsion from Syracuse, had chiefly resided at Lokri in Italy, of which city his mother Doris was a native. It has already been stated that the elder Dionysius had augmented and nursed up Lokri by every means in his power, as an appurtenance of his own dominion at Syracuse. He had added to its territory all the southernmost peninsula of Italy (comprehended within a line drawn from the Gulf of Terina to that of Skylletium), once belonging to Rhegium, Kaulonia, and Hipponium. But though the power of Lokri was thus increased, it had ceased to be a free city, being converted into a dependency of the Dionysian family.[284] As such, it became the residence of the second Dionysius, when he could no longer maintain himself in Syracuse. We know little of what he did; though we are told that he revived a portion of the dismantled city of Rhegium under the name of Phœbia.[285] Rhegium itself reappears shortly afterwards as a community under its own name, and was probably reconstituted at the complete downfall of the second Dionysius.

[p. 133]The season between 356-346 B. C., was one of great pressure and suffering for all the Italiot Greeks, arising from the increased power of the inland Lucanians and Bruttians. These Bruttians, who occupied the southernmost Calabria, were a fraction detached from the general body of Lucanians and self-emancipated; having consisted chiefly of indigenous rural serfs in the mountain communities, who threw off the sway of their Lucanian masters, and formed an independent aggregate for themselves. These men, especially in the energetic effort which marked their early independence, were formidable enemies of the Greeks on the coast, from Tarentum to the Sicilian strait; and more than a match even for the Spartans and Epirots invited over by the Greeks as auxiliaries.

It appears that the second Dionysius, when he retired to Lokri after the first loss of his power at Syracuse, soon found his rule unacceptable and his person unpopular. He maintained himself, seemingly from the beginning, by means of two distinct citadels in the town, with a standing army under the command of the Spartan Pharax, a man of profligacy and violence.[286] The conduct of Dionysius became at last so odious, that nothing short of extreme force could keep down the resentment of the citizens. We read that he was in the habit of practising the most licentious outrage towards the marriageable maidens of good family in Lokri. The detestation thus raised against him was repressed by his superior force—not, we may be sure, without numerous cruelties perpetrated against individual persons who stood on their defence—until the moment arrived when he and his son Apollokrates effected their second return to Ortygia. To ensure so important an acquisition, Dionysius diminished his military force at Lokri, where he at the same time left his wife, his two daughters, and his youthful son. But after his departure, the Lokrians rose in insurrection, overpowered the reduced garrison, and took[p. 134] captive these unfortunate members of his family. Upon their guiltless heads fell all the terrors of retaliation for the enormities of the despot. It was in vain that both Dionysius himself, and the Tarentines[287] supplicated permission to redeem the captives at the highest ransom. In vain was Lokri besieged, and its territory desolated. The Lokrians could neither be seduced by bribes, nor deterred by threats, from satiating the full extremity of vindictive fury. After multiplied cruelties and brutalities, the wife and family of Dionysius were at length relieved from farther suffering by being strangled.[288] With this revolting tragedy terminated the inauspicious marital connection begun between the elder Dionysius and the oligarchy of Lokri.

By the manner in which Dionysius exercised his power at Lokri, we may judge how he would behave at Syracuse. The Syracusans endured more evil than ever, without knowing where to look for help. Hiketas the Syracusan (once the friend of Dion, ultimately the murderer of the slain Dion’s widow and sister), had now established himself as despot at Leontini. To him they turned as an auxiliary, hoping thus to obtain force sufficient for the expulsion of Dionysius. Hiketas gladly accepted the proposition, with full purpose of reaping the reward of such expulsion, when achieved, for himself. Moreover, a formidable cloud was now gathering from the side of Carthage. What causes had rendered Carthage inactive for the last few years, while Sicily was so weak and disunited—we do not know; but she had now become once more aggressive, extending her alliances among the despots of the island, and pouring in a large force and fleet, so as to menace the independence both of Sicily and of Southern Italy.[289] The appearance of this new enemy drove the Syracusans to despair, and left them no hope of safety except in assistance from Corinth. To that city they sent a pathetic and urgent appeal, setting forth both the actual suffering and the approaching peril[p. 135] from without. And such indeed was the peril, that even to a calm observer, it might well seem as if the mournful prophecy of Plato was on the point of receiving fulfilment—Hellenism as well as freedom becoming extinct on the island.

To the invocation of Corinthian aid, Hiketas was a party; yet an unwilling party. He had made up his mind that for his purpose, it was better to join the Carthaginians, with whom he had already opened negotiations—and to employ their forces, first in expelling Dionysius, next in ruling Syracuse for himself. But these were schemes not to be yet divulged: accordingly, Hiketas affected to concur in the pressing entreaty sent by the Syracusans to Corinth, intending from the beginning to frustrate its success.[290] He expected indeed that the Corinthians would themselves decline compliance: for the enterprise proposed to them was full of difficulty; they had neither injury to avenge, nor profit to expect; while the force of sympathy, doubtless not inconsiderable, with a suffering colony, would probably be neutralized by the unsettled and degraded condition into which all Central Greece was now rapidly sinking, under the ambitious strides of Philip of Macedon.

The Syracusan envoys reached Corinth at a favorable moment. But it is melancholy to advert to the aggregate diminution of Grecian power, as compared with the time when (seventy years before) their forefathers had sent thither to solicit aid against the besieging armament of Athens; a time when Athens, Sparta, and Syracuse herself, were all in exuberant vigor as well as unimpaired freedom. However, the Corinthians happened at this juncture to have their hands as well as their minds tolerably free, so that the voice of genuine affliction, transmitted from the most esteemed of all their colonies, was heard with favor and sympathy. A decree was passed, heartily and unanimously, to grant the aid solicited.[291]

The next step was to choose a leader. But a leader was not easily found. The enterprise presented little temptation, with danger and difficulty abundant as well as certain. The hopeless discord of Syracuse for years past, was well known to all the leading Corinthian politicians or generals. Of all or most of these, the names were successively put up by the archons; but all[p. 136] with one accord declined. At length, while the archons hesitated whom to fix upon, an unknown voice in the crowd pronounced the name of Timoleon, son of Timodemus. The mover seemed prompted by divine inspiration;[292] so little obvious was the choice, and so preëminently excellent did it prove. Timoleon was named—without difficulty, and without much intention of doing him honor—to a post which all the other leading men declined.

Some points must be here noticed in the previous history of this remarkable man. He belonged to an illustrious family in Corinth, and was now of mature age—perhaps about fifty. He was distinguished no less for his courage than for the gentleness of his disposition. Little moved either by personal vanity or by ambition, he was devoted in his patriotism, and unreserved in his hatred of despots as well as of traitors.[293] The government of Corinth was, and always had been, oligarchical; but it was a regular, constitutional, oligarchy; while the Corinthian antipathy against despots was of old standing[294]—hardly less strong than that of democratical Athens. As a soldier in the ranks of Corinthian hoplites, the bravery of Timoleon, and his submission to discipline, were alike remarkable.

These points of his character stood out the more forcibly from contrast with his elder brother Timophanes; who possessed the soldierlike merits of bravery and energetic enterprise, but combined with them an unprincipled ambition, and an unscrupulous prosecution of selfish advancement at all cost to others. The military qualities of Timophanes, however, gained for him so much popularity, that he was placed high as an officer in the Corinthian service. Timoleon, animated with a full measure of brotherly attachment, not only tried to screen his defects as well as to set off his merits, but also incurred the greatest perils for the purpose of saving his life. In a battle against the Argeians and Kleonæans, Timophanes was commanding the cavalry, when his horse, being wounded, threw him on the ground, very near[p. 137] to the enemy. The remaining horsemen fled, leaving their commander to what seemed certain destruction; but Timoleon, who was serving among the hoplites, rushed singly forth from the ranks with his utmost speed, and covered Timophanes with his shield, when the enemy were just about to pierce him. He made head single-handed against them, warding off numerous spears and darts, and successfully protected his fallen brother until succor arrived; though at the cost of several wounds to himself.[295]

This act of generous devotion raised great admiration towards Timoleon. But it also procured sympathy for Timophanes, who less deserved it. The Corinthians had recently incurred great risk of seeing their city fall into the hands of their Athenian allies, who had laid a plan to seize it, but were disappointed through timely notice given at Corinth.[296] To arm the people being regarded as dangerous to the existing oligarchy,[297] it was judged expedient to equip a standing force of four hundred paid foreign soldiers, and establish them as a permanent garrison in the strong and lofty citadel. The command of this garrison, with the mastery of the fort, was intrusted to Timophanes. A worse choice could not have been made. The new commander—seconded not only by his regiment and his strong position, but also by some violent partisans whom he took into his pay and armed, among the poorer citizens—speedily stood forth as despot, taking the whole government into his own hands. He seized numbers of the chief citizens, probably all the members of the oligarchical councils who resisted his orders, and put them to death without even form of trial.[298] Now, when it was too late, the Corin[p. 138]thians repented of the mistaken vote which had raised up a new Periander among them. But to Timoleon, the crimes of his brother occasioned an agony of shame and sorrow. He first went up to the acropolis[299] to remonstrate with him; conjuring him emphatically, by the most sacred motives public as well as private, to renounce his disastrous projects. Timophanes repudiated the appeal with contempt. Timoleon had now to choose between his brother and his country. Again he went to the acropolis, accompanied by Æschylus, brother of the wife of Timophanes—by the prophet Orthagoras, his intimate friend—perhaps also by another friend named Telekleides. Admitted into the presence of Timophanes, they renewed their prayers and supplications; urging him even yet to recede from his tyrannical courses. But all their pleading was without effect. Timophanes first laughed them to scorn; presently, he became exasperated, and would hear no more. Finding words unavailing, they now drew their swords and put him to death. Timoleon lent no hand in the deed, but stood a little way off, with his face hidden, and in a flood of tears.[300]

With the life of Timophanes passed away the despotism which had already begun its crushing influence upon the Corinthians. The mercenary force was either dismissed, or placed in safe hands; the acropolis became again part of a free city; the Corinthian constitution was revived as before. In what manner this change was accomplished, or with what measure of violence it was accompanied, we are left in ignorance; for[p. 139] Plutarch tells us hardly anything except what personally concerns Timoleon. We learn however that the expressions of joy among the citizens, at the death of Timophanes and the restoration of the constitution, were vehement and universal. So strongly did this tide of sentiment run, as to carry along with it, in appearance, even those who really regretted the departed despotism. Afraid to say what they really felt about the deed, these men gave only the more abundant utterance to their hatred of the doer. Though it was good that Timophanes should be killed (they said), yet that he should be killed by his brother, and his brother-in-law, was a deed which tainted both the actors with inexpiable guilt and abomination. The majority of the Corinthian public, however, as well as the most distinguished citizens, took a view completely opposite. They expressed the warmest admiration as well for the doer as for the deed. They extolled the combination of warm family affection with devoted magnanimity and patriotism, each in its right place and properly balanced, which marked the conduct of Timoleon. He had displayed his fraternal affection by encountering the greatest perils in the battle, in order to preserve the life of Timophanes. But when that brother, instead of an innocent citizen, became the worst enemy of Corinth, Timoleon had then obeyed the imperative call of patriotism, to the disregard not less of his own comfort and interest than of fraternal affection.[301]

Such was the decided verdict pronounced by the majority—a majority as well in value as in number—respecting the behavior of Timoleon. In his mind, however, the general strain of encomium was not sufficient to drown, or even to compensate, the language of reproach, in itself so much more pungent, which emanated from the minority. Among that minority too was found one person whose single voice told with profound impression—his mother Demaristê, mother also of the slain Timophanes. Demaristê not only thought of her murdered son with the keenest maternal sorrow, but felt intense horror and execration for the authors of the deed. She imprecated curses on the head of Timoleon, refused even to see him again, and shut her doors against his visits, in spite of earnest supplications.

There wanted nothing more to render Timoleon thoroughly[p. 140] miserable, amidst the almost universal gratitude of Corinth. Of his strong fraternal affection for Timophanes, his previous conduct leaves no doubt. Such affection had to be overcome before he accompanied his tyrannicidal friends to the acropolis, and doubtless flowed back with extreme bitterness upon his soul, after the deed was done. But when to this internal source of distress, was added the sight of persons who shrank from contact with him as a fratricide, together with the sting of the maternal Erinnys—he became agonized even to distraction. Life was odious to him; he refused for some time all food, and determined to starve himself to death. Nothing but the pressing solicitude of friends prevented him from executing the resolve. But no consoling voice could impart to him spirit for the duties of public life. He fled the city and the haunts of men, buried himself in solitude amidst his fields in the country, and refrained from seeing or speaking to any one. For several years he thus hid himself like a self-condemned criminal; and even when time had somewhat mitigated the intensity of his anguish, he still shunned every prominent position, performing nothing more than his indispensable duties as a citizen. An interval of twenty years[302] had now elapsed from the death of Timophanes, to the arrival of the Syracusan application for aid. During all this time, Timoleon, in spite of the sympathy and willingness of admiring fellow-citizens, had never once chosen to undertake any important command or office. At length the vox Dei is heard, unexpectedly, amidst the crowd; dispelling the tormenting nightmare which had so long oppressed his soul, and restoring him to healthy and honorable action.

There is no doubt that the conduct of Timoleon and Æschylus in killing Timophanes was in the highest degree tutelary to Corinth. The despot had already imbrued his hands in the blood of his countrymen, and would have been condemned, by fatal necessity, to go on from bad to worse, multiplying the number of victims, as a condition of preserving his own power. To say that the deed ought not to have been done by near relatives, was tantamount to saying, that it ought not to have been done at all; for none but near relatives could have obtained that easy access which enabled them to effect it. And even Timoleon and Æschy[p. 141]lus could not make the attempt without the greatest hazard to themselves. Nothing was more likely than that the death of Timophanes would be avenged on the spot; nor are we told how they escaped such vengeance from the soldiers at hand. It has been already stated that the contemporary sentiment towards Timoleon was divided between admiration of the heroic patriot, and abhorrence of the fratricide; yet with a large preponderance on the side of admiration, especially in the highest and best minds. In modern times the preponderance would be in the opposite scale. The sentiment of duty towards family covers a larger proportion of the field of morality, as compared with obligations towards country, than it did in ancient times; while that intense antipathy against a despot who overtops and overrides the laws, regarding him as the worst of criminals—which stood in the foreground of the ancient virtuous feeling—has now disappeared. Usurpation of the supreme authority is regarded generally among the European public as a crime, only where it displaces an established king already in possession; where there is no king, the successful usurper finds sympathy rather than censure: and few readers would have been displeased with Timoleon, had he even seconded his brother’s attempt. But in the view of Timoleon and of his age generally, even neutrality appeared in the light of treason to his country, when no other man but him could rescue her from the despot. This sentiment is strikingly embodied in the comments of Plutarch; who admires the fraternal tyrannicide, as an act of sublime patriotism, and only complains that the internal emotions of Timoleon were not on a level with the sublimity of the act; that the great mental suffering which he endured afterwards, argued an unworthy weakness of character; that the conviction of imperative patriotic duty, having been once deliberately adopted, ought to have steeled him against scruples, and preserved him from that after-shame and repentance which spoiled half the glory of an heroic act. The antithesis, between Plutarch and the modern European point of view, is here pointed; though I think his criticism unwarranted. There is no reason to presume that Timoleon ever felt ashamed and repentant for having killed his brother. Placed in the mournful condition of a man agitated by conflicting sentiments, and obeying that which he deemed to carry the most sacred obligation, he of necessity suf[p. 142]fered from the violation of the other. Probably the reflection that he had himself saved the life of Timophanes, only that the latter might destroy the liberties of his country—contributed materially to his ultimate resolution; a resolution, in which Æschylus, another near relative, took even a larger share than he.

It was in this state of mind that Timoleon was called upon to take the command of the auxiliaries for Syracuse. As soon as the vote had passed, Telekleides addressed to him a few words, emphatically exhorting him to strain every nerve, and to show what he was worth—with this remarkable point in conclusion—“If you now come off with success and glory, we shall pass for having slain a despot; if you fail, we shall be held as fratricides.”[303]

He immediately commenced his preparation of ships and soldiers. But the Corinthians, though they had resolved on the expedition, were not prepared either to vote any considerable subsidy, or to serve in large numbers as volunteers. The means of Timoleon were so extremely limited, that he was unable to equip more than seven triremes, to which the Korkyræans (animated by common sympathy for Syracuse, as of old in the time of the despot Hippokrates[304]) added two more, and the Leukadians one. Nor could he muster more than one thousand soldiers, reinforced afterwards on the voyage to twelve hundred. A few of the principal Corinthians—Eukleides, Telemachus and Neon, among them—accompanied him. But the soldiers seem to have been chiefly miscellaneous mercenaries,—some of whom had served under the Phokians in the Sacred war (recently brought to a close), and had incurred so much odium as partners in the spolia[p. 143]tion of the Delphian temple, that they were glad to take foreign service anywhere.[305]

Some enthusiasm was indeed required to determine volunteers in an enterprise of which the formidable difficulties, and the doubtful reward, were obvious from the beginning. But even before the preparations were completed, news came which seemed to render it all but hopeless. Hiketas sent a second mission, retracting all that he said in the first, and desiring that no expedition might be sent from Corinth. Not having received Corinthian aid in time (he said), he had been compelled to enter into alliance with the Carthaginians, who would not permit any Corinthian soldiers to set foot in Sicily. This communication, greatly exasperating the Corinthians against Hiketas, rendered them more hearty in votes to put him down. Yet their zeal for active service, far from being increased, was probably even abated by the aggravation of obstacles thus revealed. If Timoleon even reached Sicily, he would find numberless enemies, without a single friend of importance:—for without Hiketas, the Syracusan people were almost helpless. But it now seemed impossible that Timoleon with his small force could ever touch the Sicilian shore, in the face of a numerous and active Carthaginian fleet.[306]

While human circumstances thus seemed hostile, the gods held out to Timoleon the most favorable signs and omens. Not only did he receive an encouraging answer at Delphi, but while he was actually in the temple, a fillet with intertwined wreaths and symbols of victory fell from one of the statues upon his head. The priestesses of Persephonê learnt from the goddess in a dream, that she was about to sail with Timoleon for Sicily, her own favorite island. Accordingly he caused a new special trireme to be fitted out, sacred to the Two goddesses (Dêmêtêr and Persephonê) who were about to accompany him. And when, after leaving Korkyra, the squadron struck across for a night voyage to the Italian coast, this sacred trireme was seen illumined by a blaze of light from heaven; while a burning torch on high, similar to that[p. 144] which was usually carried in the Eleusinian mysteries, ran along with the ship and guided the pilot to the proper landing place at Metapontum. Such manifestations of divine presence and encouragement, properly certified and commented upon by the prophets, rendered the voyage one of universal hopefulness to the armament.[307]

These hopes, however, were sadly damped, when after disregarding a formal notice from a Carthaginian man-of-war, they sailed down the coast of Italy and at last reached Rhegium. This city, having been before partially revived under the name of Phœbia, by the younger Dionysius, appears now as reconstituted under its old name and with its full former autonomy, since the overthrow of his rule at Lokri and in Italy generally. Twenty Carthaginian triremes, double the force of Timoleon, were found at Rhegium awaiting his arrival—with envoys from Hiketas aboard. These envoys came with what they pretended to be good news. “Hiketas had recently gained a capital victory over Dionysius, whom he had expelled from most part of Syracuse, and was now blocking up in Ortygia; with hopes of soon starving him out, by the aid of a Carthaginian fleet. The common enemy being thus at the end of his resources, the war could not be prolonged. Hiketas therefore trusted that Timoleon would send back to Corinth his fleet and troops, now become superfluous. If Timoleon would do this, he (Hiketas) would be delighted to see him personally at Syracuse, and would gladly consult him in the resettlement of that unhappy city. But he could not admit the Corinthian armament into the island; moreover, even had he been willing, the Carthaginians peremptorily forbade it, and were prepared, in case of need, to repel it with their superior naval force now in the strait.”[308]

The game which Hiketas was playing with the Carthaginians now stood plainly revealed, to the vehement indignation of the armament. Instead of being their friend, or even neutral, he was nothing less than a pronounced enemy, emancipating Syracuse from Dionysius only to divide it between himself and the Carthaginians. Yet with all the ardor of the armament, it was im[p. 145]possible to cross the strait in opposition to an enemy’s fleet of double force. Accordingly Timoleon resorted to a stratagem, in which the leaders and people of Rhegium, eagerly sympathizing with his projects of Sicilian emancipation, coöperated. In an interview with the envoys of Hiketas as well as with the Carthaginian commanders, he affected to accept the conditions prescribed by Hiketas; admitting at once that it was useless to stand out. But he at the same time reminded them, that he had been intrusted with the command of the armament for Sicilian purposes,—and that he should be a disgraced man, if he now conducted it back without touching the island; except under the pressure of some necessity not merely real, but demonstrable to all and attested by unexceptionable witnesses. He therefore desired them to appear, along with him, before the public assembly of Rhegium, a neutral city and common friend of both parties. They would then publicly repeat the communication which they had already made to him, and they would enter into formal engagement for the good treatment of the Syracusans, as soon as Dionysius should be expelled. Such proceeding would make the people of Rhegium witnesses on both points. They would testify on his (Timoleon’s) behalf, when he came to defend himself at Corinth, that he had turned his back only before invincible necessity, and that he had exacted everything in his power in the way of guarantee for Syracuse; they would testify also on behalf of the Syracusans, in case the guarantee now given should be hereafter evaded.[309]

Neither the envoys of Hiketas, nor the Carthaginian commanders, had any motive to decline what seemed to them an unmeaning ceremony. Both of them accordingly attended, along with Timoleon, before the public assembly of Rhegium formally convened. The gates of the city were closed (a practice usual during the time of a public assembly): the Carthaginian men-of-war lay as usual near at hand, but in no state for immediate movement, and perhaps with many of the crews ashore; since all chance of hostility seemed to be past. What had been already communicated to Timoleon from Hiketas and the Carthaginians, was now repeated in formal deposition before the assembly; the envoys of Hiketas probably going into the case more at length, with certain[p. 146] flourishes of speech prompted by their own vanity. Timoleon stood by as an attentive listener; but before he could rise to reply, various Rhegine speakers came forward with comments or questions, which called up the envoys again. A long time was thus insensibly wasted, Timoleon often trying to get an opportunity to speak, but being always apparently constrained to give way to some obtrusive Rhegine. During this long time, however, his triremes in the harbor were not idle. One by one, with as little noise as possible, they quitted their anchorage and rowed out to sea, directing their course towards Sicily. The Carthaginian fleet, though seeing this proceeding, neither knew what it meant, nor had any directions to prevent it. At length the other Grecian triremes were all afloat and in progress; that of Timoleon alone remaining in the harbor. Intimation being secretly given to him as he sat in the assembly, he slipped away from the crowd, his friends concealing his escape—and got aboard immediately. His absence was not discovered at first, the debate continuing as if he were still present, and intentionally prolonged by the Rhegine speakers. At length the truth could no longer be kept back. The envoys and the Carthaginians found out that the assembly and the debate were mere stratagems, and that their real enemy had disappeared. But they found it out too late. Timoleon with his triremes was already on the voyage to Tauromenium in Sicily, where all arrived safe and without opposition. Overreached and humiliated, his enemies left the assembly in vehement wrath against the Rhegines, who reminded them that Carthaginians ought to be the last to complain of deception in others.[310]

The well-managed stratagem, whereby Timoleon had overcome a difficulty to all appearance insurmountable, exalted both his own fame and the spirits of his soldiers. They were now safe in Sicily, at Tauromenium, a recent settlement near the site of the ancient Naxos: receiving hearty welcome from Andromachus, the leading citizen of the place—whose influence was so mildly exercised, and gave such complete satisfaction, that it continued through and after the reform of Timoleon, when the citizens might certainly have swept it away if they had desired. Andromachus, having been forward in inviting Timoleon to come, now prepared[p. 147] to coöperate with him, and returned a spirited reply to the menaces sent over from Rhegium by the Carthaginians, after they had vainly pursued the Corinthian squadron to Tauromenium.

But Andromachus and Tauromenium were but petty auxiliaries compared with the enemies against whom Timoleon had to contend; enemies now more formidable than ever. For Hiketas, incensed with the stratagem practised at Rhegium, and apprehensive of interruption to the blockade which he was carrying on against Ortygia, sent for an additional squadron of Carthaginian men-of-war to Syracuse; the harbor of which place was presently completely beset.[311] A large Carthaginian land force was also acting under Hanno in the western regions of the island, with considerable success against the Campanians of Entella and others.[312] The Sicilian towns had their native despots, Mamerkus at Katana—Leptines at Apollonia[313]—Nikodemus at Kentoripa—Apolloniades at Agyrium[314]—from whom Timoleon could expect no aid, except in so far as they might feel predominant fear of the Carthaginians. And the Syracusans, even when they heard of his arrival at Tauromenium, scarcely ventured to indulge hopes of serious relief from such a handful of men, against the formidable array of Hiketas and the Carthaginians under their walls. Moreover, what guarantee had they that Timoleon would turn out better than Dion, Kallippus, and others before him? seductive promisers of emancipation, who, if they succeeded, forgot the words by which they had won men’s hearts, and thought only of appropriating to themselves the sceptre of the previous despot, perhaps even aggravating all that was bad in his rule? Such was the question asked by many a suffering citizen of Syracuse, amidst that despair and sickness of heart which made the name of an armed liberator sound only like a new deceiver and a new scourge.[315]

It was by acts alone that Timoleon could refute such well-grounded suspicions. But at first, no one believed in him; nor could he escape the baneful effects of that mistrust which his predecessors had everywhere inspired. The messengers whom he[p. 148] sent round were so coldly received, that he seemed likely to find no allies beyond the walls of Tauromenium.

At length one invitation, of great importance, reached him—from the town of Adranum, about forty miles inland from Tauromenium; a native Sikel town, seemingly in part hellenized, inconsiderable in size, but venerated as sacred to the god Adranus, whose worship was diffused throughout all Sicily. The Adranites being politically divided, at the same time that one party sent the invitation to Timoleon, the other despatched a similar message to Hiketas. Either at Syracuse or Leontini, Hiketas was nearer to Adranum than Timoleon at Tauromenium; and lost no time in marching thither, with five thousand troops, to occupy so important a place. He arrived there in the evening, found no enemy, and established his camp without the walls, believing himself already master of the place. Timoleon, with his inferior numbers, knew that he had no chance of success except in surprise. Accordingly, on setting out from Tauromenium, he made no great progress the first day, in order that no report of his approach might reach Adranum; but on the next morning he marched with the greatest possible effort, taking the shortest, yet most rugged paths. On arriving within about three miles of Adranum, he was informed that the troops from Syracuse, having just finished their march, had encamped near the town, not aware of any enemy near. His officers were anxious that the men should be refreshed after their very fatiguing march, before they ventured to attack an army four times superior in number. But Timoleon earnestly protested against any such delay, entreating them to follow him at once against the enemy, as the only chance of finding them unprepared. To encourage them, he at once took up his shield and marched at their head, carrying it on his arm (the shield of the general was habitually carried for him by an orderly), in spite of the fatiguing march, which he had himself performed on foot as well as they. The soldiers obeyed, and the effort was crowned by complete success. The troops of Hiketas, unarmed and at their suppers, were taken so completely by surprise, that in spite of their superior number, they fled with scarce any resistance. From the rapidity of their flight, three hundred of them only were slain, But six hundred were made prisoners, and the whole camp, in[p. 149]cluding its appurtenances, was taken, with scarcely the loss of a man. Hiketas escaped with the rest to Syracuse.[316]

This victory, so rapidly and skilfully won—and the acquisition of Adranum which followed it—produced the strongest sensation throughout Sicily. It counted even for more than a victory; it was a declaration of the gods in favor of Timoleon. The inhabitants of the holy town, opening their gates and approaching him with awe-stricken reverence, recounted the visible manifestations of the god Adranus in his favor. At the moment when the battle was commencing, they had seen the portals of their temple spontaneously burst open, and the god brandishing his spear, with profuse perspiration on his face.[317] Such facts,—verified and attested in a place of peculiar sanctity, and circulated from thence throughout the neighboring communities,—contributed hardly less than the victory to exalt the glory of Timoleon. He received offers of alliance from Tyndaris and several other towns, as well as from Mamerkus despot of Katana, one of the most warlike and powerful princes in the island.[318] So numerous were the reinforcements thus acquired, and so much was his confidence enhanced by recent success, that he now ventured to march even under the walls of Syracuse, and defy Hiketas; who did not think it prudent to hazard a second engagement with the victor of Adranum.[319]

[p. 150]Hiketas was still master of all Syracuse—except Ortygia, against which he had constructed lines of blockade, in conjunction with the Carthaginian fleet occupying the harbor. Timoleon was in no condition to attack the place, and would have been obliged speedily to retire, as his enemies did not choose to come out. But it was soon seen that the manifestations of the Two goddesses, and of the god Adranus, in his favor, were neither barren nor delusive. A real boon was now thrown into his lap, such as neither skill nor valor could have won. Dionysius, blocked up in Ortygia with a scanty supply of provisions, saw from his walls the approaching army of Timoleon, and heard of the victory of Adranum. He had already begun to despair of his own position of Ortygia;[320] where indeed he might perhaps hold out by bold effort and steady endurance, but without any reasonable chance of again becoming master of Syracuse; a chance which Timoleon and the Corinthian intervention cut off more decidedly than ever. Dionysius was a man not only without the energetic character and personal ascendency of his father, which might have made head against such difficulties—but indolent and drunken in his habits, not relishing a sceptre when it could only be maintained by hard fighting, nor stubborn enough to stand out to the last merely as a cause of war.[321] Under these dispositions, the arrival of Timoleon both suggested to him the idea, and furnished him with the means, of making his resignation subservient to the purchase of a safe asylum and comfortable future maintenance: for to a Grecian despot, with the odium of past severities accumulated upon his head, abnegation of power was hardly ever possible, consistent with personal security.[322] But Dionysius felt assured that he might trust to the guarantee of Timoleon and the Corinthians for shel[p. 151]ter and protection at Corinth, with as much property as he could carry away with him; since he had the means of purchasing such guarantee by the surrender of Ortygia—a treasure of inestimable worth. Accordingly he resolved to propose a capitulation, and sent envoys to Timoleon for the purpose.

There was little difficulty in arranging terms. Dionysius stipulated only for a safe transit with his movable property to Corinth, and for an undisturbed residence in that city; tendering in exchange the unconditional surrender of Ortygia with all its garrison, arms, and magazines. The convention was concluded forthwith, and three Corinthian officers—Telemachus, Eukleides and Neon—were sent in with four hundred men to take charge of the place. Their entrance was accomplished safely, though they were obliged to elude the blockade by stealing in at several times, and in small companies. Making over to them the possession of Ortygia with the command of its garrison, Dionysius passed, with some money and a small number of companions, into the camp of Timoleon; who conveyed him away, leaving at the same time the neighborhood of Syracuse.[323]

Conceive the position and feelings of Dionysius, a prisoner in the camp of Timoleon, traversing that island over which his father as well as himself had reigned all-powerful, and knowing himself to be the object of either hatred or contempt to every one,—except so far as the immense boon which he had conferred, by surrendering Ortygia, purchased for him an indulgent forbearance! He was doubtless eager for immediate departure to Corinth, while Timoleon was no less anxious to send him thither, as the living evidence of triumph accomplished. Although not fifty days[324] had yet elapsed, since Timoleon’s landing in Sicily, he was enabled already to announce a decisive victory, a great confederacy grouped around him, and the possession of the inexpugnable position of Ortygia, with a garrison equal in number to his own army; the despatches being accompanied by the presence of that[p. 152] very despot, bearing the terrific name of Dionysius, against whom the expedition had been chiefly aimed! Timoleon sent a special trireme[325] to Corinth, carrying Dionysius, and communicating important events, together with the convention which guaranteed to the dethroned ruler an undisturbed residence in that city.

The impression produced at Corinth by the arrival of this trireme and its passengers was powerful beyond all parallel. Astonishment and admiration were universal; for the expedition of Timoleon had started as a desperate venture, in which scarce one among the leading Corinthians had been disposed to embark; nor had any man conceived the possibility of success so rapid as well as so complete. But the victorious prospect in Sicily, with service under the fortunate general, was now the general passion of the citizens. A reinforcement of two thousand hoplites and two hundred cavalry was immediately voted and equipped.[326]

If the triumph excited wonder and joy, the person of Dionysius himself appealed no less powerfully to other feelings. A fallen despot was a sight denied to Grecian eyes; whoever aspired to despotism, put his all to hazard, forfeiting his chance of retiring to a private station. By a remarkable concurrence of cir[p. 153]cumstances, the exception to this rule was presented just where it was least likely to take place; in the case of the most formidable and odious despotism which had ever overridden the Grecian world. For nearly half a century prior to the expedition of Dion against Syracuse, every one had been accustomed to pronounce the name of Dionysius with a mixture of fear and hatred—the sentiment of prostration before irresistible force. How much difficulty Dion himself found, in overcoming this impression in the minds of his own soldiers, has been already related. Though dissipated by the success of Dion, the antecedent alarm became again revived, when Dionysius recovered his possession of Ortygia, and when the Syracusans made pathetic appeal to Corinth for aid against him. Now, on a sudden, the representative of this extinct greatness, himself bearing the awful name of Dionysius, enters Corinth under a convention, suing only for the humble domicile and unpretending security of a private citizen.[327] The Greek mind was keenly sensitive to such contrasts, which entered largely into every man’s views of human affairs, and were reproduced in a thousand forms by writers and speakers. The affluence of visitors—who crowded to gaze upon and speak to Dionysius, not merely from Corinth, but from other cities of Greece—was immense; some in simple curiosity, others with compassion, a few even with insulting derision. The anecdotes which are recounted seem intended to convey a degrading impression of this last period of his career. But even the common offices of life—the purchase of unguents and condiments at the tavern[328]—the nicety of criticism displayed respecting robes and furniture[329]—looked degrading when performed by the ex-despot of Syracuse. His habit of drinking largely, already contracted, was not likely to become amended in these days of mortification;[p. 154] yet on the whole his conduct seems to have had more dignity than could have been expected. His literary tastes, manifested during the time of his intercourse with Plato, are implied even in the anecdotes intended to disparage him. Thus he is said to have opened a school for teaching boys to read, and to have instructed the public singers in the art of singing or reciting poetry.[330] His name served to subsequent writers, both Greek and Roman,—as those of Crœsus, Polykrates, and Xerxes, serve to Herodotus—for an instance to point a moral on the mutability of human events. Yet the anecdotes recorded about him can rarely be verified, nor can we distinguish real matters of fact from those suitable and impressive myths which so pregnant a situation was sure to bring forth.

Among those who visited him at Corinth was Aristoxenus of Tarentum: for the Tarentine leaders, first introduced by Plato, had maintained their correspondence with Dionysius even after his first expulsion from Syracuse to Lokri, and had vainly endeavored to preserve his unfortunate wife and daughters from the retributive vengeance of the Lokrians. During the palmy days of Dionysius, his envoy Polyarchus had been sent on a mission to Tarentum, where he came into conversation with the chief magistrate Archytas. This conversation Aristoxenus had recorded in writing; probably from the personal testimony of Archytas, whose biography he composed. Polyarchus dwelt upon wealth, power, and sensual enjoyments, as the sole objects worth living for; pronouncing those who possessed them in large masses, as the only beings deserving admiration. At the summit of all stood the Persian King, whom Polyarchus extolled as the most enviable and admirable of mortals. “Next to the Persian King (said he),[p. 155] though with a very long interval, comes our despot of Syracuse.”[331] What had become of Polyarchus, we do not know; but Aristoxenus lived to see the envied Dionysius under the altered phase of his life at Corinth, and probably to witness the ruin of the Persian Kings also. On being asked, what had been the cause of his displeasure against Plato, Dionysius replied, in language widely differing from that of his former envoy Polyarchus, that amidst the many evils which surrounded a despot, none was so mischievous as the unwillingness of his so-called friends to tell him the truth. Such false friends had poisoned the good feeling between him and Plato.[332] This anecdote bears greater mark of being genuine, than others which we read more witty and pungent. The Cynic philosopher Diogenes treated Dionysius with haughty scorn for submitting to live in a private station after having enjoyed so overruling an ascendency. Such was more or less the sentiment of every visitor who saw him; but the matter to be lamented is, that he had not been in a private station from the beginning. He was by nature unfit to tread, even with profit to himself, the perilous and thorny path of a Grecian despot.

The reinforcements decreed by the Corinthians, though equipped without delay and forwarded to Thurii in Italy, were prevented from proceeding farther on shipboard by the Carthaginian squadron at the strait, and were condemned to wait for a favorable opportunity.[333] But the greatest of all reinforcements to Timoleon was, the acquisition of Ortygia. It contained not merely a garrison of two thousand soldiers—who passed (probably much to their own satisfaction) from the declining cause of Dionysius to the victorious banner of Timoleon—but also every species of military stores. There were horses, engines for siege and batte[p. 156]ry, missiles of every sort, and above all, shields and spears to the amazing number of seventy thousand—if Plutarch’s statement is exact.[334] Having dismissed Dionysius, Timoleon organized a service of small craft from Katana to convey provisions by sea to Ortygia, eluding the Carthaginian guard squadron. He found means to do this with tolerable success,[335] availing himself of winds or bad weather, when the ships of war could not obstruct the entrance of the lesser harbor. Meanwhile he himself returned to Adranum, a post convenient for watching both Leontini and Syracuse. Here two assassins, bribed by Hiketas, were on the point of taking his life, while sacrificing at a festival; and were only prevented by an accident so remarkable, that every one recognized the visible intervention of the gods to protect him.[336]

Meanwhile Hiketas, being resolved to acquire possession of Ortygia, invoked the aid of the full Carthaginian force under Magon. The great harbor of Syracuse was presently occupied by an overwhelming fleet of one hundred and fifty Carthaginian ships of war, while a land force, said to consist of sixty thousand men, came also to join Hiketas, and were quartered by him within the walls of Syracuse. Never before had any Carthaginian troops got footing within those walls. Syracusan liberty, perhaps Syracusan Hellenism, now appeared extinct. Even Ortygia, in spite of the bravery of its garrison under the Corinthian Neon, seemed not long tenable, against repeated attack and battery of the walls, combined with strict blockade to keep out supplies by sea. Still, however, though the garrison was distressed, some small craft with provisions from Katana contrived to slip in; a fact, which induced Hiketas and Magon to form the plan of attacking that town, thinking themselves strong enough to accomplish this by a part of their force, without discontinuing the siege of Ortygia. Accordingly they sailed forth from the harbor, and marched from the city of Syracuse, with the best part of their armament, to attack Katana, leaving Ortygia still under blockade. But the commanders left behind were so negligent in their watch, that Neon soon saw from the walls of Ortygia the opportunity of attacking them with advantage. Making a sudden and vigor[p. 157]ous sally, he fell upon the blockading army unawares, routed them at all points with serious loss, and pressed his pursuit so warmly, that he got possession of Achradina, expelling them from that important section of the city. The provisions and money, acquired herein at a critical moment, rendered this victory important. But what gave it the chief value was, the possession of Achradina which Neon immediately caused to be joined on to Ortygia by a new line of fortifications, and thus held the two in combination.[337] Ortygia had been before (as I have already remarked) completely distinct from Achradina. It is probable that the population of Achradina, delighted to be liberated from the Carthaginians, lent zealous aid to Neon both in the defence of their own walls, and in the construction of the new connecting lines towards Ortygia; for which the numerous intervening tombs would supply materials.

This gallant exploit of Neon permanently changed the position of the combatants at Syracuse. A horseman started instantly to convey the bad news to Hiketas and Magon near Katana. Both of them returned forthwith; but they returned only to occupy half of the city—Tycha, Neapolis, and Epipolæ. It became extremely difficult to prosecute a successful siege or blockade of Ortygia and Achradina united: besides that Neon had now obtained abundant supplies for the moment.

Meanwhile Timoleon too was approaching, reinforced by the new Corinthian division; who, having been at first detained at Thurii, and becoming sick of delay, had made their way inland, across the Bruttian territory, to Rhegium. They were fortunate enough to find the strait unguarded; for the Carthaginian admiral Hanno—having seen their ships laid up at Thurii, and not anticipating their advance by land—had first returned with his squad[p. 158]ron to the Strait of Messina, and next, hoping by a stratagem to frighten the garrison of Ortygia into surrender, had sailed to the harbor of Syracuse with his triremes decorated as if after a victory. His seamen with wreaths round their heads, shouted as they passed into the harbor under the walls of Ortygia, that the Corinthian squadron approaching the strait had been all captured, and exhibited as proofs of the victory certain Grecian shields hung up aboard. By this silly fabrication, Hanno probably produced a serious dismay among the garrison of Ortygia. But he purchased such temporary satisfaction at the cost of leaving the strait unguarded, and allowing the Corinthian division to cross unopposed from Italy into Sicily. On reaching Rhegium, they not only found the strait free, but also a complete and sudden calm, succeeding upon several days of stormy weather. Embarking immediately on such ferry boats and fishing craft as they could find, and swimming their horses alongside by the bridle, they reached the Sicilian coast without loss or difficulty.[338]

Thus did the gods again show their favor towards Timoleon by an unusual combination of circumstances, and by smiting the enemy with blindness. So much did the tide of success run along with him, that the important town of Messênê declared itself among his allies, admitting the new Corinthian soldiers immediately on their landing. With little delay, they proceeded forward to join Timoleon; who thought himself strong enough, notwithstanding that even with this reinforcement he could only command four thousand men, to march up to the vicinity of Syracuse, and there to confront the immeasurably superior force of his enemies.[339] He appears to have encamped near the Olympieion, and the bridge over the river Anapus.

Though Timoleon was sure of the coöperation of Neon and the Corinthian garrison in Ortygia and Achradina, yet he was separated from them by the numerous force of Hiketas and Magon, who occupied Epipolæ, Neapolis, and Tycha, together with the low ground between Epipolæ and the Great Harbor; while the large Carthaginian fleet filled the Harbor itself. On a reasonable calculation, Timoleon seemed to have little chance of success. But suspicion had already begun in the mind of Magon, sowing[p. 159] the seeds of disunion between him and Hiketas. The alliance between Carthaginians and Greeks was one unnatural to both parties, and liable to be crossed, at every mischance, by mutual distrust, growing out of antipathy which each party felt in itself and knew to subsist in the other. The unfortunate scheme of marching to Katana, with the capital victory gained by Neon in consequence of that absence, made Magon believe that Hiketas was betraying him. Such apprehensions were strengthened, when he saw in his front the army of Timoleon, posted on the river Anapus—and when he felt that he was in a Greek city generally disaffected to him, while Neon was at his rear in Ortygia and Achradina. Under such circumstances, Magon conceived the whole safety of his Carthaginians as depending on the zealous and faithful coöperation of Hiketas, in whom he had now ceased to confide. And his mistrust, once suggested, was aggravated by the friendly communication which he saw going on between the soldiers of Timoleon and those of Hiketas. These soldiers, all Greeks and mercenaries fighting for a country not their own, encountered each other, on the field of battle, like enemies,—but conversed in a pacific and amicable way, during intervals, in their respective camps. Both were now engaged, without disturbing each other, in catching eels amidst the marshy and watery ground between Epipolæ and the Anapus. Interchanging remarks freely, they were admiring the splendor and magnitude of Syracuse with its great maritime convenience,—when one of Timoleon’s soldiers observed to the opposite party—“And this magnificent city, you, Greeks as you are, are striving to barbarise, planting these Carthaginian cut-throats nearer to us than they now are; though our first anxiety ought to be, to keep them as far off as possible from Greece. Do you really suppose that they have brought up this host from the Atlantic and the pillars of Herakles, all for the sake of Hiketas and his rule? Why, if Hiketas took measure of affairs like a true ruler, he would not thus turn out his brethren, and bring in an enemy to his country; he would ensure to himself an honorable sway, by coming to an understanding with the Corinthians and Timoleon.” Such was the colloquy passing between the soldiers of Timoleon and those of Hiketas, and speedily made known to the Carthaginians. Having made apparently strong impression on those to whom it was addressed, it justified alarm[p. 160] in Magon; who was led to believe that he could no longer trust his Sicilian allies. Without any delay, he put all his troops aboard the fleet, and in spite of the most strenuous remonstrances from Hiketas sailed away to Africa.[340]

On the next day, when Timoleon approached to the attack, he was amazed to find the Carthaginian army and fleet withdrawn. His soldiers, scarcely believing their eyes, laughed to scorn the cowardice of Magon. Still however Hiketas determined to defend Syracuse with his own troops, in spite of the severe blow inflicted by Magon’s desertion. That desertion had laid open both the Harbor, and the lower ground near the Harbor; so that Timoleon was enabled to come into direct communication with his garrison in Ortygia and Achradina, and to lay plans for a triple simultaneous onset. He himself undertook to attack the southern front of Epipolæ towards the river Anapus, where the city was strongest; the Corinthian Isias was instructed to make a vigorous assault from Achradina, or the eastern side; while Deinarchus and Demaretus, the generals who had conducted the recent reinforcement from Corinth, were ordered to attack the northern wall of Epipolæ, or the Hexapylon;[341] they were probably sent round from Ortygia, by sea, to land at Trogilus. Hiketas, holding as he did the aggregate consisting of Epipolæ, Tycha, and Neapolis, was assailed on three sides at once. He had a most defensible position, which a good commander, with brave and faithful troops, might have maintained against forces more numerous than those of Timoleon. Yet in spite of such advantages, no effective resistance was made, nor even attempted. Timoleon not only took the place, but took it without the loss of a single man, killed or wounded. Hiketas and his followers fled to Leontini.[342]

[p. 161]The desertion of Magon explains of course a great deal of discouragement among the soldiers of Hiketas. But when we read the astonishing facility of the capture, it is evident that there must have been something more than discouragement. The soldiers on defence were really unwilling to use their arms for the purpose of repelling Timoleon, and keeping up the dominion of Hiketas in Syracuse. When we find this sentiment so powerfully manifested, we cannot but discern that the aversion of these men to serve, in what they looked upon as a Carthaginian cause, threw into the hands of Timoleon an easy victory, and that the mistrustful retreat of Magon was not so absurd and cowardly as Plutarch represents.[343]

The Grecian public, however, not minutely scrutinizing preliminary events, heard the easy capture as a fact, and heard it with unbounded enthusiasm. From Sicily and Italy the news rapidly spread to Corinth and other parts of Greece. Everywhere the sentiment was the same; astonishment and admiration, not merely at the magnitude of the conquest, but also at the ease and rapidity with which it had been achieved. The arrival of the captive Dionysius at Corinth had been in itself a most impressive event. But now the Corinthians learnt the disappearance of the large Carthaginian host and the total capture of Syracuse, without the loss of a man; and that too before they were even assured that their second reinforcement, which they knew to have been blocked up at Thurii, had been able to touch the Sicilian shore.

Such transcendent novelties excited even in Greece, and much more in Sicily itself, a sentiment towards Timoleon such as hardly any Greek had ever yet drawn to himself. His bravery, his skilful plans, his quickness of movement, were indeed deservedly admired. But in this respect, others had equalled him before; and we may remark that even the Corinthian Neon, in his capture of Achradina, had rivalled anything performed by his superior officer. But that which stood without like or second in Timoleon—that which set a peculiar stamp upon all his meritorious qualities—was, his superhuman good fortune; or—what in the[p. 162] eyes of most Greeks was the same thing in other words—the unbounded favor with which the gods had cherished both his person and his enterprise. Though greatly praised as a brave and able man, Timoleon was still more affectionately hailed as an enviable man.[344] “Never had the gods been so manifest in their dispensations of kindness towards any mortal.[345]” The issue, which Telekleides had announced as being upon trial when Timoleon was named, now stood triumphantly determined. After the capture of Syracuse, we may be sure that no one ever denounced Timoleon as a fratricide;—every one extolled him as a tyrannicide. The great exploits of other eminent men, such as Agesilaus and Epaminondas, had been achieved at the cost of hardship, severe fighting, wounds and death to those concerned, etc., all of which counted as so many deductions from the perfect mental satisfaction of the spectator. Like an oration or poem smelling of the lamp, they bore too clearly the marks of preliminary toil and fatigue. But Timoleon, as the immortal gods descending to combat on the plain of Troy, accomplished splendid feats,—overthrew what seemed insuperable obstacles—by a mere first appearance, and without an effort. He exhibited to view a magnificent result, executed with all that apparent facility belonging as a privilege to the inspirations of first-rate genius.[346] Such a spectacle of virtue and good fortune combined—glorious consummation with graceful facility—was new to the Grecian world.

[p. 163]For all that he had done, Timoleon took little credit to himself. In the despatch which announced to the Corinthians his Veni, Vidi, Vici, as well as in his discourses at Syracuse, he ascribed the whole achievement to fortune or to the gods, whom he thanked for having inscribed his name as nominal mover of their decree for liberating Sicily.[347] We need not doubt that he firmly believed himself to be a favored instrument of the divine will, and that he was even more astonished than others at the way in which locked gates flew open before him. But even if he had not believed it himself, there was great prudence in putting this coloring on the facts; not simply because he thereby deadened the attacks of envy, but because, under the pretence of modesty, he really exalted himself much higher. He purchased for himself a greater hold on men’s minds towards his future achievements, as the beloved of the gods, than he would ever have possessed as only a highly endowed mortal. And though what he had already done was prodigious, there still remained much undone; new difficulties, not the same in kind, yet hardly less in magnitude, to be combated.

It was not only new difficulties, but also new temptations, which Timoleon had to combat. Now began for him that moment of trial, fatal to so many Greeks before him. Proof was to be shown, whether he could swallow, without intoxication or perversion, the cup of success administered to him in such overflowing fulness. He was now complete master of Syracuse; master of it too with the fortifications of Ortygia yet standing,—with all the gloomy means of despotic compression, material and moral, yet remaining in his hand. In respect of personal admiration and prestige of success, he stood greatly above Dion, and yet more above the elder Dionysius in the early part of his career. To set up for himself as despot at Syracuse, burying in oblivion all that he had said or promised before, was a step natural and feasible; not indeed without peril or difficulty, but carrying with it chances of success equal to those of other nascent despotisms, and more than sufficient to tempt a leading Greek politician of average morality. Probably most people in Sicily actually expected that he would avail himself of his unparalleled position[p. 164] to stand forth as a new Dionysius. Many friends and partisans would strenuously recommend it. They would even deride him as an idiot (as Solon had been called in his time[348]) for not taking the boon which the gods set before him, and for not hauling up the net when the fish were already caught in it. There would not be wanting other advisers to insinuate the like recommendation under the pretence of patriotic disinterestedness, and regard for the people whom he had come to liberate. The Syracusans (it would be contended), unfit for a free constitution, must be supplied with liberty in small doses, of which Timoleon was the best judge: their best interests require that Timoleon should keep in his hands the anti-popular power with little present diminution, in order to restrain their follies, and ensure to them benefits which they would miss if left to their own free determination.

Considerations of this latter character had doubtless greatly weighed with Dion in the hour of his victory, over and above mere naked ambition, so as to plunge him into that fatal misjudgment and misconduct out of which he never recovered. But the lesson deducible from the last sad months of Dion’s career was not lost upon Timoleon. He was found proof, not merely against seductions within his own bosom, but against provocations or plausibilities from without. Neither for self-regarding purposes, nor for beneficent purposes, would he be persuaded to grasp and perpetuate the anti-popular power. The moment of trial was that in which the genuine heroism and rectitude of judgment united in his character, first shone forth with its full brightness.

Master as he now was of all Syracuse, with its fivefold aggregate, Ortygia, Achradina, Tycha, Neapolis, and Epipolæ—he determined to strike down at once that great monument of servitude which the elder Dionysius had imposed upon his fellow citizens. Without a moment’s delay, he laid his hand to the work. He invited by proclamation every Syracusan who chose, to come with iron instruments, and coöperate with him in demolishing the[p. 165] separate stronghold, fortification, and residence, constructed by the elder Dionysius in Ortygia; as well as the splendid funeral monument erected to the memory of that despot by his son and successor.[349] This was the first public act executed in Syracuse by his order; the first manifestation of the restored sovereignty of the people; the first outpouring of sentiment, at once free, hearty, and unanimous, among men trodden down by half a century of servitude; the first fraternizing coöperation of Timoleon and his soldiers with them, for the purpose of converting the promise of liberation into an assured fact. That the actual work of demolition was executed by the hands and crowbars of the Syracusans themselves, rendered the whole proceeding an impressive compact between them and Timoleon. It cleared away all mistake, all possibility of suspicion, as to his future designs. It showed that he had not merely forsworn despotism for himself, but that he was bent on rendering it impossible for any one else, when he began by overthrowing what was not only the conspicuous memento, but also the most potent instrument, of the past despots. It achieved the inestimable good of inspiring at once confidence in his future proceedings, and disposing the Syracusans to listen voluntarily to his advice. And it was beneficial, not merely in smoothing the way to farther measures of pacific reconstruction, but also in discharging the reactionary antipathies of the Syracusans, inevitable after so long an oppression, upon unconscious stones; and thus leaving less of it to be wreaked on the heads of political rivals, compromised in the former proceedings.

This important act of demolition was farther made subservient to a work of new construction, not less significant of the spirit in which Timoleon had determined to proceed. Having cleared[p. 166] away the obnoxious fortress, he erected upon the same site, and probably with the same materials, courts for future judicature. The most striking symbol and instrument of popular government thus met the eye as a local substitute for that of the past despotism.

Deep was the gratitude of the Syracusans for these proceedings—the first fruits of Timoleon’s established ascendency. And if we regard the intrinsic importance of the act itself—the manner in which an emphatic meaning was made to tell as well upon the Syracusan eye as upon the Syracusan mind—the proof evinced not merely of disinterested patriotism, but also of prudence in estimating the necessities of the actual situation—lastly, the foundation thus laid for accomplishing farther good—if we take all these matters together, we shall feel that Timoleon’s demolition of the Dionysian Bastile, and erection in its place of a building for the administration of justice, was among the most impressive phenomena in Grecian history.

The work which remained to be done was indeed such as to require the best spirit, energy and discretion, both on his part and on that of the Syracusans. Through long oppression and suffering, the city was so impoverished and desolate, that the market-place (if we were to believe what must be an exaggeration of Plutarch) served as pasture for horses, and as a place of soft repose for the grooms who attended them. Other cities of Sicily exhibited the like evidence of decay, desertion, and poverty. The manifestations of city life had almost ceased in Sicily. Men were afraid to come into the city, which they left to the despot and his mercenaries, retiring themselves to live on their fields and farms, and shrinking from all acts of citizenship. Even the fields were but half cultivated, so as to produce nothing beyond bare subsistence. It was the first anxiety of Timoleon to revive the once haughty spirit of Syracuse out of this depth of insecurity and abasement; to which revival no act could be more conducive than his first proceedings in Ortygia. His next step was to bring together, by invitations and proclamations everywhere circulated, those exiles who had been expelled, or forced to seek refuge elsewhere, during the recent oppression. Many of these, who had found shelter in various parts of Sicily and Italy, obeyed his sum[p. 167]mons with glad readiness.[350] But there were others, who had fled to Greece or the Ægean islands, and were out of the hearing of any proclamations from Timoleon. To reach persons thus remote, recourse was had, by him and by the Syracusans conjointly, to Corinthian intervention. The Syracusans felt so keenly how much was required to be done for the secure reorganization of their city as a free community, that they eagerly concurred with Timoleon in entreating the Corinthians to undertake, a second time, the honorable task of founders of Syracuse.[351]

Two esteemed citizens, Kephalus and Dionysius, were sent from Corinth to coöperate with Timoleon and the Syracusans, in constituting the community anew, on a free and popular basis, and in preparing an amended legislation.[352] These commissioners adopted, for their main text and theme, the democratical constitution and laws as established by Dioklês about seventy years before, which the usurpation of Dionysius had subverted when they were not more than seven years old. Kephalus professed to do nothing more than revive the laws of Dioklês, with such comments, modifications, and adaptations, as the change of times and circumstances had rendered necessary.[353] In the laws respecting inheritance and property, he is said to have made no change at all; but unfortunately we are left without any information what were the laws of Dioklês, or how they were now modified. It is certain, however, that the political constitution of Dioklês was a democracy, and that the constitution as now reëstablished was democratical also.[354] Beyond this general fact we can assert nothing.

Though a free popular constitution, however, was absolutely indispensable, and a good constitution a great boon—it was not the only pressing necessity for Syracuse. There was required, no less an importation of new citizens; and not merely of poor men bringing with them their arms and their industry, but also of persons in affluent or easy circumstances, competent to purchase lands and houses. Besides much land ruined or gone out of cultivation, the general poverty of the residents was extreme; while at the[p. 168] same time the public exigencies were considerable, since it was essential, among other things, to provide pay for those very soldiers of Timoleon to whom they owed their liberation. The extent of poverty was painfully attested by the fact that they were constrained to sell those public statues which formed the ornaments of Syracuse and its temples; a cruel wound to the sentiments of every Grecian community. From this compulsory auction, however, they excepted by special vote the statue of Gelon, in testimony of gratitude for his capital victory at Himera over the Carthaginians.[355]

For the renovation of a community thus destitute, new funds as well as new men were wanted; and the Corinthians exerted themselves actively to procure both. Their first proclamation was indeed addressed specially to Syracusan exiles, whom they invited to resume their residence at Syracuse as free and autonomous citizens under a just allotment of lands. They caused such proclamation to be publicly made at all the Pan-hellenic and local festivals; prefaced by a certified assurance that the Corinthians had already overthrown both the despotism and the despot—a fact which the notorious presence of Dionysius himself at Corinth contributed to spread more widely than any formal announcement. They farther engaged, if the exiles would muster at Corinth, to provide transports, convoy, and leaders, to Syracuse, free of all cost. The number of exiles, who profited by the invitation and came to Corinth, though not inconsiderable, was still hardly strong enough to enter upon the proposed Sicilian renovation. They themselves therefore entreated the Corinthians to invite additional colonists from other Grecian cities. It was usually not difficult to find persons disposed to embark in a new settlement, if founded under promising circumstances, and effected under the positive management of a powerful presiding city.[356] There were many opulent persons anxious to exchange the condition of metics in an old city for that of full citizens in a new one. Hence the more general proclamation now issued by the Corinthians attracted[p. 169] numerous applicants, and a large force of colonists was presently assembled at Corinth; an aggregate of ten thousand persons, including the Syracusan exiles.[357]

When conveyed to Syracuse, by the fleet and under the formal sanction of the Corinthian government, these colonists found a still larger number there assembled, partly Syracusan exiles, yet principally emigrants from the different cities of Sicily and Italy. The Italian Greeks, at this time hard pressed by the constantly augmenting force of the Lucanians and Bruttians, were becoming so unable to defend themselves without foreign aid, that several were probably disposed to seek other homes. The invitation of Timoleon counted even more than that of the Corinthians as an allurement to new comers—from the unbounded admiration and confidence which he now inspired; more especially as he was actually present at Syracuse. Accordingly, the total of immigrants from all quarters (restored exiles as well as others) to Syracuse in its renovated freedom was not less than sixty thousand.[358]

Nothing can be more mortifying than to find ourselves without information as to the manner in which Timoleon and Kephalus dealt with this large influx. Such a state of things, as it produces many new embarrassments and conflicting interests, so it calls for a degree of resource and original judgment which furnishes good measure of the capacity of all persons concerned, rendering the juncture particularly interesting and instructive. Unfortunately we are not permitted to know the details. The land of Syracuse is said to have been distributed, and the houses to have been sold for one thousand talents—the large sum of 230,000l. A right of preëmption was allowed to the Syracusan exiles for[p. 170] repurchasing the houses formerly their own. As the houses were sold, and that too for a considerable price—so we may presume that the lands were sold also, and that the incoming settlers did not receive their lots gratuitously. But how they were sold, or how much of the territory was sold, we are left in ignorance. It is certain, however, that the effect of the new immigration was not only to renew the force and population of Syracuse, but also to furnish relief to the extreme poverty of the antecedent residents. A great deal of new money must thus have been brought in.[359]

Such important changes doubtless occupied a considerable time, though we are not enabled to arrange them in months or years. In the meantime Timoleon continued to act in such a manner as to retain, and even to strengthen, the confidence and attachment of the Syracusans. He employed his forces actively in putting down and expelling the remaining despots throughout the island. He first attacked Hiketas, his old enemy, at Leontini; and compelled him to capitulate, on condition of demolishing the fortified citadel, abdicating his rule, and living as a private citizen in the town. Leptines, despot of Apollonia and of several other neighboring townships, was also constrained to submit, and to embrace the offer of a transport to Corinth.[360]

It appears that the submission of Hiketas was merely a feint, to obtain time for strengthening himself by urging the Carthaginians to try another invasion of Sicily.[361] They were the more dis[p. 171]posed to this step as Timoleon, anxious to relieve the Syracusans, sent his soldiers under the Corinthian Deinarchus to find pay and plunder for themselves in the Carthaginian possessions near the western corner of Sicily. This invasion, while it abundantly supplied the wants of the soldiers, encouraged Entella and several other towns to revolt from Carthage. The indignation among the Carthaginians had been violent, when Magon returned after suddenly abandoning the harbor of Syracuse to Timoleon. Unable to make his defence satisfactory, Magon only escaped a worse death by suicide, after which his dead body was crucified by public order. And the Carthaginians now resolved on a fresh effort, to repair their honor as well as to defend their territory.[362]

The effort was made on a vast scale, and with long previous preparations. An army said to consist of seventy thousand men, under Hasdrubal and Hamilkar, was disembarked at Lilybæum, on the western corner of the island; besides which there was a fleet of two hundred triremes, and one thousand attendant vessels carrying provisions, warlike stores, engines for sieges, war-chariots with four horses, etc.[363] But the most conspicuous proof of earnest effort, over and above numbers and expense, was furnished by the presence of no less than ten thousand native infantry from Carthage; men clothed with panoplies costly, complete, and far heavier than ordinary—carrying white shields and wearing elaborate breastplates besides. These men brought to the campaign ample private baggage; splendid goblets and other articles of gold and silver, such as beseemed the rich families of that rich city. The élite of the division—twenty-five hundred in number, or one-fourth part—formed what was called the Sacred Band of Carthage.[364] It has been already stated, that in general, the Carthaginians caused their military service to be performed by hired foreigners, with few of their own citizens. Hence this army stood[p. 172] particularly distinguished, and appeared the more formidable on their landing; carrying panic, by the mere report, all over Sicily not excepting even Syracuse. The Corinthian troops ravaging the Carthaginian province were obliged to retreat in haste, and sent to Timoleon for reinforcement.

The miscellaneous body of immigrants recently domiciliated at Syracuse, employed in the cares inseparable from new settlement, had not come prepared to face so terrible a foe. Though Timoleon used every effort to stimulate their courage, and though his exhortations met with full apparent response, yet such was the panic prevailing, that comparatively few would follow him to the field. He could assemble no greater total than twelve thousand men; including about three thousand Syracusan citizens—the paid force which he had round him at Syracuse—that other paid force under Deinarchus, who had been just compelled by the invaders to evacuate the Carthaginian province—and finally such allies as would join.[365] His cavalry was about one thousand in number. Nevertheless, in spite of so great an inferiority, Timoleon determined to advance and meet the enemy in their own province, before they should have carried ravage over the territory of Syracuse and her allies. But when he approached near to the border, within the territory of Agrigentum, the alarm and mistrust of his army threatened to arrest his farther progress. An officer among his mercenaries, named Thrasius, took advantage of the prevailing feeling to raise a mutiny against him, persuading the soldiers that Timoleon was madly hurrying them on to certain ruin, against an enemy six times superior in number, and in a hostile country eight days’ march from Syracuse; so that there would be neither salvation for them in case of reverse, nor inter[p. 173]ment if they were slain. Their pay being considerably in arrear Thrasius urged them to return to Syracuse for the purpose of extorting the money, instead of following a commander, who could not or would not requite them, upon such desperate service. Such was the success and plausibility of these recommendations, under the actual discouragement, that they could hardly be counterworked by all the efforts of Timoleon. Nor was there ever any conjuncture in which his influence, derived as well from unbounded personal esteem as from belief in his favor with the gods, was so near failing. As it was, though he succeeded in heartening up and retaining the large body of his army, yet Thrasius, with one thousand of the mercenaries, insisted upon returning, and actually did return, to Syracuse. Moreover Timoleon was obliged to send an order along with them to the authorities at home, that these men must immediately, and at all cost, receive their arrears of pay. The wonder is, that he succeeded in his efforts to retain the rest, after insuring to the mutineers a lot which seemed so much safer and more enviable. Thrasius, a brave man, having engaged in the service of the Phokians Philomêlus and Onomarchus, had been concerned in the pillage of the Delphian temple, which drew upon him the aversion of the Grecian world.[366] How many of the one thousand seceding soldiers, who now followed him to Syracuse, had been partners in the same sacrilegious act, we cannot tell. But it is certain that they were men who had taken service with Timoleon in hopes of a period, not merely of fighting, but also of lucrative license, such as his generous regard for the settled inhabitants would not permit.

Having succeeded in keeping up the spirits of his remaining army, and affecting to treat the departure of so many cowards as a positive advantage, Timoleon marched on westward into the Carthaginian province, until he approached within a short distance of the river Krimêsus, a stream which rises in the mountainous region south of Panormus (Palermo), runs nearly southward, and falls into the sea near Selinus. Some mules, carrying loads of parsley, met him on the road; a fact which called forth again the half-suppressed alarm of the soldiers, since parsley was habitually[p. 174] employed for the wreaths deposited on tombstones. But Timoleon, taking a handful of it and weaving a wreath for his own head, exclaimed, “This is our Corinthian symbol of victory: it is the sacred herb with which we decorate our victors at the Isthmian festival. It comes to us here spontaneously, as an earnest of our approaching success.” Insisting emphatically on this theme, and crowning himself as well as his officers with the parsley, he rekindled the spirits of the army, and conducted them forward to the top of the eminence, immediately above the course of the Krimêsus.[367]

It was just at that moment that the Carthaginian army were passing the river, on their march to meet him. The confused noise and clatter of their approach were plainly heard; though the mist of a May morning,[368] overhanging the valley, still concealed from the eye the army crossing. Presently the mist ascended from the lower ground to the hill tops around, leaving the river and the Carthaginians beneath in conspicuous view. Formidable was the aspect which they presented. The war-chariots-and-four,[369] which formed their front, had already crossed the river, and appear to have been halting a little way in advance. Next to them followed the native Carthaginians, ten thousand chosen hoplites with white shields, who had also in part crossed and were still crossing; while the main body of the host, the foreign mercenaries, were pressing behind in a disorderly mass to get to the bank, which appears to have been in part rugged. Seeing how favorable was the moment for attacking them, while thus disarrayed and bisected by the river, Timoleon, after a short exhorta[p. 175]tion, gave orders immediately to charge down the hill.[370] His Sicilian allies, with some mercenaries intermingled, were on the two wings; while he himself, with the Syracusans and the best of the mercenaries, occupied the centre. Demaretus with his cavalry was ordered to assail the Carthaginians first, before they could form regularly. But the chariots in their front, protecting the greater part of the line, left him only the power of getting at them partially through the vacant intervals. Timoleon, soon perceiving that his cavalry accomplished little, recalled them and ordered them to charge on the flanks, while he himself, with all the force of his infantry, undertook to attack in front. Accordingly, seizing his shield from the attendant, he marched forward in advance, calling aloud to the infantry around to be of good cheer and follow. Never had his voice been heard so predominant and heart-stirring; the effect of it was powerfully felt on the spirits of all around, who even believed that they heard a god speaking along with him.[371] Reëchoing his shout emphatically, they marched forward to the charge with the utmost alacrity—in compact order, and under the sound of trumpets.

The infantry were probably able to evade or break through the bulwark of interposed chariots with greater ease than the cavalry, though Plutarch does not tell us how this was done. Timoleon and his soldiers then came into close and furious contest with the chosen Carthaginian infantry, who resisted with a courage worthy of their reputation. Their vast shields, iron breastplates, and brazen helmets (forming altogether armor heavier than was worn usually even by Grecian hoplites), enabled them to repel the spear-thrusts of the Grecian assailants, who were compelled to take to their swords, and thus to procure themselves admission within the line of Carthaginian spears, so as to break their ranks. Such use of swords is what we rarely read of in a Grecian battle.[p. 176] Though the contest was bravely maintained by the Carthaginians, yet they were too much loaded with armor to admit of anything but fighting in a dense mass. They were already losing their front rank warriors, the picked men of the whole, and beginning to fight at a disadvantage—when the gods, yet farther befriending Timoleon, set the seal to their discomfiture by an intervention manifest and terrific.[372] A storm of the most violent character began. The hill-tops were shrouded in complete darkness; the wind blew a hurricane; rain and hail poured abundantly, with all the awful accompaniments of thunder and lightning. To the Greeks, this storm was of little inconvenience, because it came in their backs. But to the Carthaginians, pelting as it did directly in their faces, it occasioned both great suffering, and soul-subduing alarm. The rain and hail beat, and the lightning flashed, in their faces, so that they could not see to deal with hostile combatants: the noise of the wind, and of hail rattling against their armor, prevented the orders of their officers from being heard: the folds of their voluminous military tunics were surcharged with rain-water, so as to embarrass their movements: the ground presently became so muddy that they could not keep their footing; and when they once slipped, the weight of their equipment forbade all recovery. The Greeks, comparatively free from inconvenience, and encouraged by the evident disablement of their enemies, pressed them with redoubled energy. At length, when the four hundred front rank men of the Carthaginians had perished by a brave death in their places, the rest of the White-shields turned their backs and sought relief in flight. But flight, too, was all but impossible. They encountered their own troops in the rear advancing up, and trying to cross the Krimêsus; which river itself was becoming every minute fuller and more turbid, through the violent rain. The attempt to recross was one of such unspeakable confusion, that numbers perished in the torrent. Dispersing in total rout, the whole Carthaginian army thought only of escape, leaving their camp and baggage a prey to the victors, who pursued them across the river and over the hills on the other side, inflicting prodigious slaughter. In this pursuit the cavalry of[p. 177] Timoleon, not very effective during the battle, rendered excellent service; pressing the fugitive Carthaginians one over another in mass, and driving them, overloaded with their armor, into mud and water, from whence they could not get clear.[373]

No victory in Grecian history was ever more complete than that of Timoleon at the Krimêsus. Ten thousand Carthaginians are said to have been slain, and fifteen thousand made prisoners. Upon these numbers no stress is to be laid; but it is certain that the total of both must have been very great. Of the war-chariots, many were broken during the action, and all that remained, two hundred in number, fell into the hands of the victors. But that which rendered the loss most serious, and most painfully felt at Carthage, was, that it fell chiefly upon the native Carthaginian troops, and much less upon the foreign mercenaries. It is even said that the Sacred Battalion of Carthage, comprising twenty-five hundred soldiers belonging to the most considerable families in Carthage, were all slain to a man; a statement, doubtless, exaggerated, yet implying a fearful real destruction. Many of these soldiers purchased safe escape by throwing away their ornamented shields and costly breastplates, which the victors picked up in great numbers—one thousand breastplates, and not less than ten thousand shields. Altogether, the spoil collected was immense—in arms, in baggage, and in gold and silver from the plundered camp; occupying the Greeks so long in the work of pursuit and capture, that they did not find time to erect their trophy until the third day after the battle. Timoleon left the chief part of the plunder,[374] as well as most part of the prisoners, in the hands of the individual captors, who enriched themselves amply by the day’s work. Yet there still remained a large total for the public Syracusan chest; five thousand prisoners, and a miscellaneous spoil of armor and precious articles, piled up in imposing magnificence around the general’s tent.

The Carthaginian fugitives did not rest until they reached Lilybæum. And even there, such was their discouragement—so profound their conviction that the wrath of the gods was upon them—that they could scarcely be induced to go on shipboard[p. 178] for the purpose of returning to Carthage; persuaded as they were that if once caught out at sea, the gods in their present displeasure would never let them reach land.[375] At Carthage itself also, the sorrow and depression was unparalleled: sorrow private as well as public, from the loss of so great a number of principal citizens. It was even feared that the victorious Timoleon would instantly cross the sea and attack Carthage on her own soil. Immediate efforts were however made to furnish a fresh army for Sicily, composed of foreign mercenaries with few or no native citizens. Giskon, the son of Hanno, who passed for their most energetic citizen, was[p. 179] recalled from exile, and directed to get together this new armament.

The subduing impression of the wrath of the gods, under which the Carthaginians labored, arose from the fact that their defeat had been owing not less to the terrific storm, than to the arms of Timoleon. Conversely, in regard to Timoleon himself, the very same fact produced an impression of awe-striking wonder and envy. If there were any sceptics who doubted before either the reality of special interventions by the gods, or the marked kindness which determined the gods to send such interventions to the service of Timoleon—the victory of the Krimêsus must have convinced them. The storm alike violent and opportune, coming at the back of the Greeks and in the faces of the Carthaginians, was a manifestation of divine favor scarcely less conspicuous than those vouchsafed to Diomedes or Æneas in the Iliad.[376] And the sentiment thus raised towards Timoleon—or, rather previously raised, and now yet farther confirmed—became blended with that genuine admiration which he had richly earned by his rapid and well-conducted movements, as well as by a force of character striking enough to uphold, under the most critical circumstances, the courage of a desponding army. His victory at the Krimêsus, like his victory at Adranum, was gained mainly by that extreme speed in advance, which brought him upon an unprepared enemy at a vulnerable moment. And the news of it which he despatched at once to Corinth,—accompanied with a cargo of showy Carthaginian shields to decorate the Corinthian temples,—diffused throughout Central Greece both joy for the event and increased honor to his name, commemorated by the inscription attached—“The Corinthians and the general Timoleon, after lib[p. 180]erating the Sicilian Greeks from the Carthaginians, have dedicated these shields as offerings of gratitude to the gods.”[377]

Leaving most of his paid troops to carry on war in the Carthaginian province, Timoleon conducted his Syracusans home. His first proceeding was, at once to dismiss Thrasius with the one thousand paid soldiers who had deserted him before the battle. He commanded them to quit Sicily, allowing them only twenty-four hours to depart from Syracuse itself. Probably under the circumstances, they were not less anxious to go away than he was to dismiss them. But they went away only to destruction; for having crossed the Strait of Messina and taken possession of a maritime site in Italy on the Southern sea, the Bruttians of the inland entrapped them by professions of simulated friendship, and slew them all.[378]

Timoleon had now to deal with two Grecian enemies—Hiketas and Mamerkus—the despots of Leontini and Katana. By the extraordinary rapidity of his movements, he had crushed the great invading host of Carthage, before it came into coöperation with these two allies. Both now wrote in terror to Carthage, soliciting a new armament, as indispensable for their security not less than for the Carthaginian interest in the island; Timoleon being the common enemy of both. Presently Giskon son of Hanno, having been recalled on purpose out of banishment, arrived from Carthage with a considerable force—seventy triremes, and a body of Grecian mercenaries. It was rare for the Carthaginians to employ Grecian mercenaries; but the battle of Krimêsus is said to have persuaded them that there were no soldiers to be compared to Greeks. The force of Giskon was apparently distributed partly in the Carthaginian province at the western angle of the island—partly in the neighborhood of Mylæ and Messênê on the north-east, where Mamerkus joined him with the troops of Katana. Messênê appears to have recently fallen under the power of a despot named Hippon, who acted as their ally. To both points Timoleon despatched a portion of his mercenary force, without going himself in command; on both, his troops at first experienced partial defeats; two divisions of them, one com[p. 181]prising four hundred men, being cut to pieces. But such partial reverses were, in the religious appreciation of the time, proofs more conspicuous than ever of the peculiar favor shown by the gods towards Timoleon. For the soldiers thus slain had been concerned in the pillage of the Delphian temple, and were therefore marked out for the divine wrath; but the gods suspended the sentence during the time when the soldiers were serving under Timoleon in person, in order that he might not be the sufferer; and executed it now in his absence, when execution would occasion the least possible inconvenience to him.[379]

Mamerkus and Hiketas, however, not adopting this interpretation of their recent successes against Timoleon, were full of hope and confidence. The former dedicated the shields of the slain mercenaries to the gods, with an inscription of insolent triumph: the latter—taking advantage of the absence of Timoleon, who had made an expedition against a place not far off called Kalauria—undertook an inroad into the Syracusan territory. Not content with inflicting great damage and carrying off an ample booty, Hiketas, in returning home, insulted Timoleon and the small force along with him by passing immediately under the walls of Kalauria. Suffering him to pass by, Timoleon pursued, though his force consisted only of cavalry and light troops, with few or no hoplites. He found Hiketas posted on the farther side of the Damurias; a river with rugged banks and a ford of considerable difficulty. Yet notwithstanding this good defensive position, the troops of Timoleon were so impatient to attack, and each of his cavalry officers was so anxious to be first in the charge, that he was obliged to decide the priority by lot. The attack was then valiantly made, and the troops of Hiketas completely defeated. One thousand of them were slain in the action, while the remainder only escaped by flight and throwing away of their shields.[380]

[p. 182]

It was now the turn of Timoleon to attack Hiketas in his own domain of Leontini. Here his usual good fortune followed him. The soldiers in garrison—either discontented with the behavior of Hiketas at the battle of the Damurias, or awe-struck with that divine favor which waited on Timoleon—mutinied and surrendered the place into his hands; and not merely the place, but also Hiketas himself in chains, with his son Eupolemus, and his general Euthymus, a man of singular bravery as well as a victorious athlete at the games. All three were put to death; Hiketas and his son as despots and traitors; and Euthymus, chiefly in consequence of insulting sarcasms against the Corinthians, publicly uttered at Leontini. The wife and daughters of Hiketas were conveyed as prisoners to Syracuse, where they were condemned to death by public vote of the Syracusan assembly. This vote was passed in express revenge for the previous crime of Hiketas, in putting to death the widow, sister, and son, of Dion. Though Timoleon might probably have saved the unfortunate women by a strong exertion of influence, he did not interfere. The general feeling of the people accounted this cruel, but special, retaliation right under the circumstances; and Timoleon, as he could not have convinced them of the contrary, so he did not think it right to urge them to put their feeling aside as a simple satisfaction to him. Yet the act leaves a deserved stain upon a reputation such as his.[381] The women were treated on both sides as adjective beings, through whose lives revenge was to be taken against a political enemy.

Next came the turn of Mamerkus, who had assembled near Katana a considerable force, strengthened by a body of Carthaginian allies under Giskon. He was attacked and defeated by Timoleon near the river Abolus, with a loss of two thousand men, many of them belonging to the Carthaginian division. We know nothing but the simple fact of this battle; which probably made serious impression upon the Carthaginians, since they speedily afterwards sent earnest propositions for peace, deserting their Sicilian allies. Peace was accordingly concluded; on terms however which left the Carthaginian dominion in Sicily much the same as it had been at the end of the reign of the elder Dionysius, as well[p. 183] as at the landing of Dion in Sicily.[382] The line of separation was fixed at the river Halykus, or Lykus, which flows into the southern sea near Herakleia Minoa, and formed the western boundary of the territory of Agrigentum. All westward of the Halykus was recognized as Carthaginian: but it was stipulated that if any Greeks within that territory desired to emigrate and become inmates of Syracuse, they should be allowed freely to come with their families and their property. It was farther covenanted that all the territory eastward of the Halykus should be considered not only as Greek, but as free Greek, distributed among so many free cities, and exempt from despots. And the Carthaginians formally covenanted that they would neither aid, nor adopt as ally, any Grecian despot in Sicily.[383] In the first treaty concluded by the elder Dionysius with the Carthaginians, it had been stipulated by an express article that the Syracusans should be subject to him.[384] Here is one of the many contrasts between Dionysius and Timoleon.

Having thus relieved himself from his most formidable enemy, Timoleon put a speedy end to the war in other parts of the island. Mamerkus in fact despaired of farther defence without foreign aid. He crossed over with a squadron into Italy to ask for the introduction of a Lucanian army into Sicily;[385] which he might perhaps have obtained, since that warlike nation were now very powerful—had not his own seamen abandoned him, and carried back their vessels to Katana, surrendering both the city and themselves to Timoleon. The same thing, and even more, had been done a little before by the troops of Hiketas at Leontini, who had even delivered up Hiketas himself as prisoner; so powerful, seemingly, was the ascendency exercised by the name of Timoleon, with the[p. 184] prestige of his perpetual success. Mamerkus could now find no refuge except at Messênê, where he was welcomed by the despot Hippon. But Timoleon speedily came thither with a force ample enough to besiege Messênê by land and by sea. After a certain length of resistance,[386] the town was surrendered to him, while Hippon tried to make his escape secretly on shipboard. But he was captured and brought back into the midst of the Messenian population, who, under a sentiment of bitter hatred and vengeance, planted him in the midst of the crowded theatre and there put him to death with insult, summoning all the boys from school into the theatre to witness what was considered an elevating scene. Mamerkus, without attempting to escape, surrendered himself prisoner to Timoleon; only stipulating that his fate should be determined by the Syracusan assembly after a fair hearing, but that Timoleon himself should say nothing to his disfavor. He was accordingly brought to Syracuse, and placed on his trial before the assembled people, whom he addressed in an elaborate discourse; probably skilfully composed, since he is said to have possessed considerable talent as a poet.[387] But no eloquence could surmount the rooted aversion entertained by the Syracusans for his person and character. Being heard with murmurs, and seeing that he had no chance of obtaining a favorable verdict, he suddenly threw aside his garment and rushed with violent despair against one of the stone seats, head foremost, in hopes of giving himself a fatal blow. But not succeeding in this attempted suicide, he was led out of the theatre and executed like a robber.[388]

Timoleon had now nearly accomplished his confirmed purpose of extirpating every despotism in Sicily. There remained yet Nikodemus as despot at Kentoripa, and Apolloniades at Agyrium. Both of these he speedily dethroned or expelled, restoring the two cities to the condition of free communities. He also expelled from the town of Ætna those Campanian mercenaries who had been planted there by the elder Dionysius.[389] In this way did he proceed until there remained only free communities, without a single despot, in the Grecian portion of Sicily.

Of the details of his proceedings our scanty information per[p. 185]mits us to say but little. But the great purpose with which he had started from Corinth was now achieved. After having put down all the other despotisms in Sicily, there remained for him but one farther triumph—the noblest and rarest of all—to lay down his own. This he performed without any delay, immediately on returning to Syracuse from his military proceedings. Congratulating the Syracusans on the triumphant consummation already attained, he entreated them to dispense with his farther services as sole commander; the rather as his eyesight was now failing.[390] It is probable enough that this demand was at first refused, and that he was warmly requested to retain his functions; but if such was the fact, he did not the less persist, and the people, willing or not, acceded. We ought farther to note, that not only did he resign his generalship, but he resigned it at once and immediately, after the complete execution of his proclaimed purpose, to emancipate the Sicilian Greeks from foreign enemies as well as from despot-enemies; just as, on first acquiring possession of Syracuse, he had begun his authoritative career, without a moment’s delay, by ordering the demolition of the Dionysian stronghold, and the construction of a court of justice in its place.[391] By this instantaneous proceeding he forestalled the growth of that suspicion which delay would assuredly have raised, and for which the free communities of Greece had in general such ample reason. And it is not the least of his many merits, that while conscious of good intentions himself, he had also the good sense to see that others could not look into his bosom; that all their presumptions, except what were created by his own conduct, would be derived from men worse than him—and therefore unfavorable. Hence it was necessary for him to be prompt and forward, even to a sort of ostentation, in exhibiting the amplest positive proof of his real purposes, so as to stifle beforehand the growth of suspicion.

He was now a private citizen of Syracuse, having neither paid soldiers under his command nor any other public function. As a[p. 186] reward for his splendid services, the Syracusans voted to him a house in the city, and a landed property among the best in the neighborhood. Here he fixed his residence, sending for his wife and family to Corinth.[392]

Yet though Timoleon had renounced every species of official authority, and all means of constraint, his influence as an adviser over the judgment, feelings and actions, not only of Syracusans, but of Sicilians generally, was as great as ever; perhaps greater—because the fact of his spontaneous resignation gave him one title more to confidence. Rarely is it allowed to mortal man, to establish so transcendent a claim to confidence and esteem as Timoleon now presented; upon so many different grounds, and with so little of alloy or abatement. To possess a counsellor whom every one reverenced, without suspicions or fears of any kind—who had not only given conspicuous proofs of uncommon energy combined with skilful management, but enjoyed besides, in a peculiar degree, the favor of the gods—was a benefit unspeakably precious to the Sicilians at this juncture. For it was now the time when not merely Syracuse, but other cities of Sicily also, were aiming to strengthen their reconstituted free communities by a fresh supply of citizens from abroad. During the sixty years which had elapsed since the first formidable invasion wherein the Carthaginian Hannibal had conquered Selinus, there had been a series of causes all tending to cripple and diminish, and none to renovate, the Grecian population of Sicily. The Carthaginian attacks, the successful despotism of the first Dionysius, and the disturbed reign of the second,—all contributed to the same result. About the year 352-351 B. C., Plato (as has been already mentioned) expresses his fear of an extinction of Hellenism in Sicily giving place before Phenician or Campanian force.[393] And what was a sad possibility, even in 352-351 B. C.—had become nearer to a probability in 344 B. C., before Timoleon landed, in the then miserable condition of the island.

His unparalleled success and matchless personal behavior combined with the active countenance of Corinth without—had completely turned the tide. In the belief of all Greeks, Sicily[p. 187] was now a land restored to Hellenism and freedom, but requiring new colonists as well to partake, as to guard, these capital privileges. The example of colonization, under the auspices of Corinth, had been set at Syracuse, and was speedily followed elsewhere, especially at Agrigentum, Gela, and Kamarina. All these three cities had suffered cruelly during those formidable Carthaginian invasions which immediately preceded the despotism of Dionysius at Syracuse. They had had no opportunity, during the continuance of the Dionysian dynasty, even to make up what they had then lost; far less to acquire accessions from without. At the same time, all three (especially Agrigentum) recollected their former scale of opulence and power, as it had stood prior to 407 B. C. It was with eagerness therefore that they availed themselves of the new life and security imparted to Sicily by the career of Timoleon to replenish their exhausted numbers; by recalling those whom former suffering had driven away, and by inviting fresh colonists besides. Megellus and Pheristus, citizens of Elea on the southern coast of Italy (which was probably at this time distressed by the pressure of Lucanians from the interior), conducted a colony to Agrigentum: Gorgus, from Keos, went with another band to Gela: in both cases, a proportion of expatriated citizens returned among them. Kamarina, too, and Agyrium received large accessions of inhabitants. The inhabitants of Leontini are said to have removed their habitations to Syracuse; a statement difficult to understand, and probably only partially true, as the city and its name still continued to exist.[394]

Unfortunately the proceedings of Timoleon come before us (through Diodorus and Plutarch) in a manner so vague and confused, that we can rarely trace the sequence or assign the date of particular facts.[395] But about the general circumstances, with their character and bearing, there is no room either for mistake or[p. 188] doubt. That which rhetors and sophists like Lysias had preached in their panegyrical harangues[396]—that for which Plato sighed, in the epistles of his old age—commending it, after Dion’s death, to the surviving partisans of Dion, as having been the unexecuted purpose of their departed leader—the renewal of freedom and Hellenism throughout the island—was now made a reality under the auspices of Timoleon. The houses, the temples, the walls, were rescued from decay; the lands from comparative barrenness. For it was not merely his personal reputation and achievements which constituted the main allurement to new colonists, but also his superintending advice which regulated their destination when they arrived. Without the least power of constraint, or even official dignity, he was consulted as a sort of general Œkist or Patron-Founder, by the affectionate regard of the settlers in every part of Sicily. The distribution or sale of lands, the modification required in existing laws and customs, the new political constitutions, etc., were all submitted to his review. No settlement gave satisfaction, except such as he had pronounced or approved; none which he had approved was contested.[397]

In the situation in which Sicily was now placed, it is clear that numberless matters of doubt and difficulty would inevitably arise; that the claims and interests of pre-existing residents, returning exiles and new immigrants, would often be conflicting; that the rites and customs of different fractions composing the new whole, might have to be modified for the sake of mutual harmony; that the settlers, coming from oligarchies as well as democracies might bring with them different ideas as to the proper features of a political constitution; that the apportionment or sale of lands,[p. 189] and the adjustment of old debts, presented but too many chances of angry dispute; that there were, in fact, a thousand novelties in the situation, which could not be determined either by precedent, or by any peremptory rule, but must be left to the equity of a supreme arbitrator. Here then the advantages were unspeakable of having a man like Timoleon to appeal to; a man not only really without sinister bias, but recognized by every one as being so; a man whom every one loved, trusted, and was grieved to offend; a man who sought not to impose his own will upon free communities, but addressed them as freemen, building only upon their reason and sentiments, and carrying out in all his recommendations of detail those instincts of free speech, universal vote, and equal laws, which formed the germ of political obligation in the minds of Greeks generally. It would have been gratifying to know how Timoleon settled the many new and difficult questions which must have been submitted to him as referee. There is no situation in human society so valuable to study, as that in which routine is of necessity broken through, and the constructive faculties called into active exertion. Nor was there ever perhaps throughout Grecian history, a simultaneous colonization, and simultaneous recasting of political institutions, more extensive than that which now took place in Sicily. Unfortunately we are permitted to know only the general fact, without either the charm or the instruction which would have been presented by the details. Timoleon was, in Sicily, that which Epaminondas had been at the foundation of Messênê and Megalopolis, though with far greater power: and we have to deplore the like ignorance respecting the detail proceedings of both these great men.

But though the sphere of Timoleon’s activity was coextensive with Sicily, his residence, his citizenship, and his peculiar interests and duties were at Syracuse. That city, like most of the other Sicilian towns, had been born anew, with a numerous body of settlers and altered political institutions. I have already mentioned that Kephalus and others, invited from Corinth by express vote of the Syracusans, had reëstablished the democratical institution of Dioklês, with suitable modifications. The new era of liberty was marked by the establishment of a new sacred office, that of Amphipolus or Attendant Priest of Zeus Olympius; an office changed annually, appointed by lot (doubtless under some condi[p. 190]tions of qualification which are not made known to us,[398]) and intended, like the Archon Eponymus at Athens, as the recognized name to distinguish each Syracusan year. In this work of constitutional reform, as well as in all the labors and adjustments connected with the new settlers, Timoleon took a prominent part. But so soon as the new constitution was consummated and set at work, he declined undertaking any specific duties or exercising any powers under it. Enjoying the highest measure of public esteem, and loaded with honorary and grateful votes from the people, he had the wisdom as well as the virtue to prefer living as a private citizen; a resolution doubtless promoted by his increasing failure of eyesight, which presently became total blindness.[399] He dwelt in the house assigned to him by public vote of the people, which he had consecrated to the Holy God, and within which he had set apart a chapel to the goddess Automatia,—the goddess under whose auspices blessings and glory came as it were of themselves.[400] To this goddess he offered sacrifice, as the great and constant patroness who had accompanied him from Corinth through all his proceedings in Sicily.

By refusing the official prominence tendered to him, and by keeping away from the details of public life, Timoleon escaped the jealousy sure to attend upon influence so prodigious as his. But in truth, for all great and important matters, this very modesty increased instead of diminishing his real ascendency. Here as elsewhere, the goddess Automatia worked for him, and brought to him docile listeners without his own seeking. Though the Syracusans transacted their ordinary business through others, yet when any matter of serious difficulty occurred, the presence of Timoleon was specially invoked in the discussion. During the later months of his life, when he had become blind, his arrival in the[p. 191] assembly was a solemn scene. Having been brought in his car drawn by mules across the market-place to the door of the theatre wherein the assembly was held, attendants then led or drew the car into the theatre amidst the assembled people, who testified their affection by the warmest shouts and congratulations. As soon as he had returned their welcome, and silence was restored, the discussion to which he had been invited took place, Timoleon sitting on his car and listening. Having heard the matter thus debated, he delivered his own opinion, which was usually ratified at once by the show of hands of the assembly. He then took leave of the people and retired, the attendants again leading the car out of the theatre, and the same cheers of attachment accompanying his departure; while the assembly proceeded with its other and more ordinary business.[401]

Such is the impressive and picturesque description given (doubtless by Athanis or some other eye-witness[402]) of the relations between the Syracusan people and the blind Timoleon, after his power had been abdicated, and when there remained to him nothing except his character and moral ascendency. It is easy to see that the solemnities of interposition, here recounted, must have been reserved for those cases in which the assembly had been disturbed by some unusual violence or collision of parties. For such critical junctures, where numbers were perhaps nearly balanced, and where the disappointment of an angry minority threatened to beget some permanent feud, the benefit was inestimable, of an umpire whom both parties revered, and before whom neither thought it a dishonor to yield. Keeping aloof from the details and embarrassments of daily political life, and preserving himself (like the Salaminian trireme, to use a phrase which Plutarch applies to Perikles at Athens) for occasions at once momentous and difficult, Timoleon filled up a gap occasionally dangerous to all free societies; but which even at Athens had always remained a gap, because there was no Athenian at once actually worthy, and known to be worthy, to fill it. We may even wonder how he continued worthy, when the intense popular sentiment in[p. 192] his favor tended so strongly to turn his head, and when no contradiction or censure against him was tolerated.

Two persons, Laphystius and Demænetus, called by the obnoxious names of sycophants and demagogues, were bold enough to try the experiment. The former required him to give bail in a lawsuit; the latter, in a public discourse, censured various parts of his military campaigns. The public indignation against both these men was vehement; yet there can be little doubt that Laphystius applied to Timoleon a legal process applicable universally to every citizen: what may have been the pertinence of the censures of Demænetus, we are unable to say. However, Timoleon availed himself of the well-meant impatience of the people to protect him either from legal process or from censure, only to administer to them a serious and valuable lesson. Protesting against all interruption to the legal process of Laphystius, he proclaimed emphatically that this was the precise purpose for which he had so long labored, and combated—in order that every Syracusan citizen might be enabled to appeal to the laws and exercise freely his legal rights. And while he thought it unnecessary to rebut in detail the objections taken against his previous generalship, he publicly declared his gratitude to the gods, for having granted his prayer that he might witness all Syracusans in possession of full liberty of speech.[403]

We obtain little from the biographers of Timoleon, except a few incidents, striking, impressive, and somewhat theatrical, like those just recounted. But what is really important is, the tone and temper which these incidents reveal, both in Timoleon and in the Syracusan people. To see him unperverted by a career of superhuman success, retaining the same hearty convictions with which he had started from Corinth; renouncing power, the most ardent of all aspirations with a Greek politician, and descending to a private station, in spite of every external inducement to the contrary; resisting the temptation to impose his own will upon the people, and respecting their free speech and public vote in a manner which made it imperatively necessary for every one else to follow his example; foregoing command, and contenting himself with advice when his opinion was asked—all this[p. 193] presents a model of genuine and intelligent public spirit, such as is associated with few other names except that of Timoleon. That the Syracusan people should have yielded to such conduct and obedience not merely voluntary, but heartfelt and almost reverential, is no matter of wonder. And we may be quite sure that the opinion of Timoleon, tranquilly and unostentatiously consulted, was the guiding star which they followed on most points of moment or difficulty; over and above those of exceptional cases of aggravated dissent where he was called in with such imposing ceremony as an umpire. On the value of such an oracle close at hand it is needless to insist; especially in a city which for the last half century had known nothing but the dominion of force, and amidst a new miscellaneous aggregate composed of Greek settlers from many different quarters.

Timoleon now enjoyed, as he had amply earned, what Xenophon calls “that good, not human, but divine—command over willing men—given manifestly to persons of genuine and highly trained temperance of character.[404]” In him the condition indicated by Xenophon was found completely realized—temperance in the largest and most comprehensive sense of the word—not simply sobriety and continence (which had belonged to the elder Dionysius also), but an absence of that fatal thirst for coercive power at all price, which in Greece was the fruitful parent of the greater crimes and enormities.

Timoleon lived to see his great work of Sicilian enfranchisement consummated, to carry it through all its incipient difficulties, and to see it prosperously moving on. Not Syracuse alone, but the other Grecian cities in the island also, enjoyed under their revived free institutions a state of security, comfort, and affluence, to which they had been long strangers. The lands became again industriously tilled; the fertile soil yielded anew abundant exports; the temples were restored from their previous decay, and adorned with the votive offerings of pious munificence.[405] The same[p. 194] state of prosperous and active freedom, which had followed on the expulsion of the Gelonian dynasty a hundred and twenty years before, and lasted about fifty years, without either despots within or invaders from without—was now again made prevalent throughout Sicily under the auspices of Timoleon. It did not indeed last so long. It was broken up in the year 316 B. C., twenty-four years after the battle of the Krimêsus, by the despot Agathokles, whose father was among the immigrants to Syracuse under the settlement of Timoleon. But the interval of security and freedom with which Sicily was blessed between these two epochs, she owed to the generous patriotism and intelligent counsel of Timoleon. There are few other names among the Grecian annals, with which we can connect so large an amount of predetermined and beneficent result.

Endeared to the Syracusans as a common father and benefactor,[406] and exhibited as their hero to all visitors from Greece, he passed the remainder of his life amidst the fulness of affectionate honor. Unfortunately for the Syracusans, that remainder was but too short; for he died of an illness apparently slight, in the year 337-336 B. C.—three or four years after the battle of the Krimêsus. Profound and unfeigned was the sorrow which his death excited, universally, throughout Sicily. Not merely the Syracusans, but crowds from all other parts of the island, attended to do honor to his funeral, which was splendidly celebrated at the public cost. Some of the chosen youths of the city carried the bier whereon his body was deposited: a countless procession of men and women followed, in their festival attire, crowned with wreaths, and mingling with their tears admiration and envy for their departed liberator. The procession was made to pass over that ground which presented the most honorable memento of Timoleon; where the demolished Dionysian stronghold had once reared its head, and where the court of justice was now placed, at the entrance of Ortygia. At length it reached the Nekropolis, between Ortygia and Achradina, where a massive funeral pile[p. 195] had been prepared. As soon as the bier had been placed on this pile, and fire was about to be applied, the herald Demetrius, distinguished for the powers of his voice, proclaimed with loud announcement as follows:—

“The Syracusan people solemnize, at the cost of two hundred minæ, the funeral of this man, the Corinthian Timoleon, son of Timodemus. They have passed a vote to honor him for all future time with festival matches in music, horse and chariot race, and gymnastics,—because, after having put down the despots, subdued the foreign enemy, and re-colonized the greatest among the ruined cities, he restored to the Sicilian Greeks their constitution and laws.”

A sepulchral monument, seemingly with this inscription recorded on it, was erected to the memory of Timoleon in the agora of Syracuse. To this monument other buildings were presently annexed; porticos, for the assembling of persons in business or conversation—and palæstræ, for the exercises of youths. The aggregate of buildings all taken together was called the Timoleontion.[407]

When we reflect that the fatal battle of Chæroneia had taken place the year before Timoleon’s decease, and that his native city Corinth as well as all her neighbors were sinking deeper and deeper into the degradation of subject towns of Macedonia, we shall not regret, for his sake, that a timely death relieved him from so mournful a spectacle. It was owing to him that the Sicilian Greeks were rescued, for nearly one generation, from the like fate. He had the rare glory of maintaining to the end, and executing to the full, the promise of liberation with which he had gone forth from Corinth. His early years had been years of acute suffering—and that, too, incurred in the cause of freedom—arising out of the death of his brother; his later period, manifesting the like sense of duty under happier auspices, had richly repaid him, by successes overpassing all reasonable expectation, and by the ample flow of gratitude and attachment poured forth to him amidst the liberated Sicilians. His character appears most noble, and most instructive, if we contrast him with Dion. Timoleon had been brought up as the citizen of a free, though oligar[p. 196]chical community in Greece, surrounded by other free communities, and amidst universal hatred of despots. The politicians whom he had learnt to esteem were men trained in this school, maintaining a qualified ascendency against more or less of open competition from rivals, and obliged to look for the means of carrying their views apart from simple dictation. Moreover, the person whom Timoleon had selected for his peculiar model, was Epaminondas, the noblest model that Greece afforded.[408] It was to this example that Timoleon owed in part his energetic patriotism combined with freedom from personal ambition—his gentleness of political antipathy—and the perfect habits of conciliatory and popular dealing—which he manifested amidst so many new and trying scenes to the end of his career.

Now the education of Dion (as I have recounted in the preceding chapter) had been something totally different. He was the member of a despotic family, and had learnt his experience under the energetic, but perfectly self-willed, march of the elder Dionysius. Of the temper or exigencies of a community of freemen, he had never learnt to take account. Plunged in this corrupting atmosphere, he had nevertheless imbibed generous and public-spirited aspirations: he had come to hold in abhorrence a government of will, and to look for glory in contributing to replace it by a qualified freedom and a government of laws. But the source from whence he drank was, the Academy and its illustrious teacher Plato; not from practical life, nor from the best practical politicians like Epaminondas. Accordingly, he had imbibed at the same time the idea, that though despotism was a bad thing, government thoroughly popular was a bad thing also; that, in other words, as soon as he had put down the despotism, it lay with him to determine how much liberty he would allow, or what laws he would sanction, for the community; that instead of a despot, he was to become a despotic lawgiver.

Here then lay the main difference between the two conquerors[p. 197] of Dionysius. The mournful letters written by Plato after the death of Dion contrast strikingly with the enviable end of Timoleon, and with the grateful inscription of the Syracusans on his tomb.


My last preceding chapters have followed the history of the Sicilian Greeks through long years of despotism, suffering, and impoverishment, into a period of renovated freedom and comparative happiness, accomplished under the beneficent auspices of Timoleon, between 344-336 B. C. It will now be proper to resume the thread of events in Central Greece, at the point where they were left at the close of the preceding volume—the accession of Philip of Macedon in 360-359 B. C. The death of Philip took place in 336 B. C.; and the closing years of his life will bring before us the last struggles of full Hellenic freedom; a result standing in mournful contrast with the achievements of the contemporary liberator Timoleon in Sicily.

No such struggles could have appeared within the limits of possibility, even to the most far-sighted politician either of Greece or of Macedon—at the time when Philip mounted the throne. Among the hopes and fears of most Grecian cities, Macedonia then passed wholly unnoticed; in Athens, Olynthus, Thasus, Thessaly, and a few others, it formed an item not without moment, yet by no means of first-rate magnitude.

The Hellenic world was now in a state different from anything which had been seen since the repulse of Xerxes in 480-479 B. C. The defeat and degradation of Sparta had set free the inland states from the only presiding city whom they had ever learned to look up to. Her imperial ascendency, long possessed and grievously abused, had been put down by the successes of Epaminon[p. 198]das and the Thebans. She was no longer the head of a numerous body of subordinate allies, sending deputies to her periodical synods—submitting their external politics to her influence—placing their military contingents under command of her officers (xenagi)—and even administering their internal government through oligarchies devoted to her purposes, with the reinforcement, wherever needed, of a Spartan harmost and garrison. She no longer found on her northern frontier a number of detached Arcadian villages, each separately manageable under leaders devoted to her, and furnishing her with hardy soldiers; nor had she the friendly city of Tegea, tied to her by a long-standing philo-Laconian oligarchy and tradition. Under the strong revolution of feeling which followed on the defeat of the Spartans at Leuktra, the small Arcadian communities, encouraged and guided by Epaminondas, had consolidated themselves into the great fortified city of Megalopolis, now the centre of a Pan-Arcadian confederacy, with a synod (called the Ten thousand) frequently assembled there to decide upon matters of interest and policy common to the various sections of the Arcadian name. Tegea too had undergone a political revolution; so that these two cities, conterminous with each other and forming together the northern frontier of Sparta, converted her Arcadian neighbors from valuable instruments into formidable enemies.

But this loss of foreign auxiliary force and dignity was not the worst which Sparta had suffered. On her north-western frontier (conterminous also with Megalopolis) stood the newly-constituted city of Messênê, representing an amputation of nearly one-half of Spartan territory and substance. The western and more fertile half of Laconia had been severed from Sparta, and was divided between Messênê and various other independent cities; being tilled chiefly by those who had once been Periœki and Helots of Sparta.

In the phase of Grecian history on which we are now about to enter—when the collective Hellenic world, for the first time since the invasion of Xerxes, was about to be thrown upon its defence against a foreign enemy from Macedonia—this altered position of Sparta was a circumstance of grave moment. Not only were the Peloponnesians disunited, and deprived of their common chief; but Megalopolis and Messênê, knowing the intense hostili[p. 199]ty of Sparta against them—and her great superiority of force even reduced as she was, to all that they could muster—lived in perpetual dread of her attack. Their neighbors the Argeians, standing enemies of Sparta, were well-disposed to protect them; but such aid was insufficient for their defence, without extra-Peloponnesian alliance. Accordingly we shall find them leaning upon the support either of Thebes or of Athens, whichever could be had; and ultimately even welcoming the arms of Philip of Macedon, as protector against the inexpiable hostility of Sparta. Elis—placed in the same situation with reference to Triphylia, as Sparta with reference to Messênê—complained that the Triphylians, whom she looked upon as subjects, had been admitted as freemen into the Arcadian federation. We shall find Sparta endeavoring to engage Elis in political combinations, intended to ensure, to both, the recovery of lost dominion.[409] Of these combinations more will be said hereafter; at present I merely notice the general fact that the degradation of Sparta, combined with her perpetually menaced aggression against Messênê and Arcadia, disorganized Peloponnesus, and destroyed its powers of Pan-hellenic defence against the new foreign enemy now slowly arising.

The once powerful Peloponnesian system was in fact completely broken up. Corinth, Sikyon, Phlius, Trœzen, and Epidaurus, valuable as secondary states and as allies of Sparta, were now detached from all political combination, aiming only to keep clear, each for itself, of all share in collision between Sparta and Thebes.[410] It would appear also that Corinth had recently been oppressed and disturbed by the temporary despotism of Timophanes, described in my last chapter; though the date of that event cannot be precisely made out.

But the grand and preponderating forces of Hellas now resided, for the first time in our history, without, and not within, Peloponnesus; at Athens and Thebes. Both these cities were in full vigor and efficiency. Athens had a numerous fleet, a flourishing commerce, a considerable body of maritime and insular allies,[p. 200] sending deputies to her synod and contributing to a common fund for the maintenance of the joint security. She was by far the greatest maritime power of Greece. I have recounted in my last preceding volume, how her general Timotheus had acquired for her the important island of Samos, together with Pydna, Methônê, and Potidæa, in the Thermaic Gulf; how he failed (as Iphikrates had failed before him) in more than one attempt upon Amphipolis; how he planted Athenian conquest and settlers in the Thracian Chersonese, which territory, after having been attacked and endangered by the Thracian prince Kotys, was regained by the continued efforts of Athens in the year 358 B. C. Athens had sustained no considerable loss, during the struggles which ended in the pacification after the battle of Mantinea; and her condition appears on the whole to have been better than it had ever been since her disasters at the close of the Peloponnesian war.

The power of Thebes also was imposing and formidable. She had indeed lost many of those Peloponnesian allies who formed the overwhelming array of Epaminondas when he first invaded Laconia, under the fresh anti-Spartan impulse immediately succeeding the battle of Leuktra. She retained only Argos, together with Tegea, Megalopolis, and Messênê. The last three added little to her strength, and needed her watchful support; a price which Epaminondas had been perfectly willing to pay for the establishment of a strong frontier against Sparta. But the body of extra Peloponnesian allies grouped round Thebes was still considerable:[411] the Phokians and Lokrians, the Malians, the Herakleots, most of the Thessalians, and most (if not all) of the inhabitants of Eubœa; perhaps also the Akarnanians. The Phokians were indeed reluctant allies, disposed to circumscribe their obligations within the narrowest limits of mutual defence in case of invasion and we shall presently find the relations between the two becom[p. 201]ing positively hostile. Besides these allies, the Thebans possessed the valuable position of Oropus, on the north-eastern frontier of Attica; a town which had been wrested from Athens six years before, to the profound mortification of the Athenians.

But ever and above allies without Bœotia, Thebes had prodigiously increased the power of her city within Bœotia. She had appropriated to herself the territories of Platæa and Thespiæ on her southern frontier, and of Koroneia and Orchomenus near upon her northern; by conquest and partial expulsion of their prior inhabitants. How and when these acquisitions had been brought about, has been explained in my preceding volume:[412] here I merely recall the fact, to appreciate the position of Thebes in 359 B. C.—that these four towns, having been in 372 B. C. autonomous—joined with her only by the definite obligations of the Bœotian confederacy—and partly even in actual hostility against her—had now lost their autonomy with their free citizens, and had become absorbed into her property and sovereignty. The domain of Thebes thus extended across Bœotia from the frontiers of Phokis[413] on the north-west to the frontiers of Attica on the south.

The new position thus acquired by Thebes in Bœotia, purchased at the cost of extinguishing three or four autonomous cities, is a fact of much moment in reference to the period now before us; not simply because it swelled the power and pride of the Thebans themselves; but also because it raised a strong body of unfavorable sentiment against them in the Hellenic mind. Just at the time when the Spartans had lost nearly one-half of Laconia, the Thebans had annexed to their own city one-third of the free Bœotian territory. The revival of free Messenian citizenship, after a suspended existence of more than two centuries, had recently been welcomed with universal satisfaction. How much would that same feeling be shocked when Thebes extinguished, for her own aggrandizement, four autonomous communities, all of her own Bœotian kindred—one of these communities too being Orchomenus, respected both for its antiquity and its traditionary[p. 202] legends! Little pains was taken to canvass the circumstances of the case, and to inquire whether Thebes had exceeded the measure of rigor warranted by the war-code of the time. In the patriotic and national conceptions of every Greek, Hellas consisted of an aggregate of autonomous, fraternal, city-communities. The extinction of any one of these was like the amputation of a limb from the organized body. Repugnance towards Thebes, arising out of these proceedings, affected strongly the public opinion of the time, and manifests itself especially in the language of Athenian orators, exaggerated by mortification on account of the loss of Oropus.[414]

The great body of Thessalians, as well as the Magnetes and the Phthiot Achæans, were among those subject to the ascendency of Thebes. Even the powerful and cruel despot, Alexander of Pheræ, was numbered in this catalogue.[415] The cities of fertile Thessaly, possessed by powerful oligarchies with numerous dependent serfs, were generally a prey to intestine conflict and municipal rivalry with each other; disorderly as well as faithless.[416] The Aleuadæ, chiefs at Larissa—and the Skopadæ, at Krannon—had been once the ascendent families in the country. But in the hands of Lykophron and the energetic Jason, Pheræ had been exalted to the first rank. Under Jason as tagus (federal general), the whole force of Thessaly was united, together with a large number of circumjacent tributaries, Macedonian, Epirotic, Dolopian, etc., and a well-organized standing army of mercen[p. 203]aries besides. He could muster eight thousand cavalry, twenty thousand hoplites, and peltasts or light infantry in numbers far more considerable.[417] A military power of such magnitude, in the hands of one alike able and aspiring, raised universal alarm, and would doubtless have been employed in some great scheme of conquest, either within or without Greece, had not Jason been suddenly cut off by assassination in 370 B. C., in the year succeeding the battle of Leuktra.[418] His brothers Polyphron and Polydorus succeeded to his position as tagus, but not to his abilities or influence. The latter a brutal tyrant, put to death the former, and was in his turn slain, after a short interval, by a successor yet worse, his nephew Alexander, who lived and retained power at Pheræ, for about ten years (368-358 B. C.).

During a portion of that time Alexander contended with success against the Thebans, and maintained his ascendency in Thessaly. But before the battle of Mantineia in 362 B. C., he had been reduced into the condition of a dependent ally of Thebes, and had furnished a contingent to the army which marched under Epaminondas into Peloponnesus. During the year 362-361 B. C., he even turned his hostilities against Athens, the enemy of Thebes; carrying on a naval war against her, not without partial success, and damage to her commerce.[419] And as the foreign ascendency of Thebes everywhere was probably impaired by the death of her great leader Epaminondas, Alexander of Pheræ recovered strength; continuing to be the greatest potentate in Thessaly, as well as the most sanguinary tyrant, until the time of his death in the beginning of 359 B. C.[420] He then perished, in the vigor of age[p. 204] and in the fulness of power. Against oppressed subjects or neighbors he could take security by means of mercenary guards; but he was slain by the contrivance of his wife Thêbê and the act of her brothers:—a memorable illustration of the general position laid down by Xenophon, that the Grecian despot could calculate neither on security nor on affection anywhere, and that his most dangerous enemies were to be found among his own household or kindred.[421] The brutal life of Alexander, and the cruelty of his proceedings, had inspired his wife with mingled hatred and fear. Moreover she had learnt from words dropped in a fit of intoxication, that he was intending to put to death her brothers Tisiphonus, Pytholaus, and Lykophron—and along with them herself; partly because she was childless, and he had formed the design of re-marrying with the widow of the late despot Jason, who resided at Thebes. Accordingly Thêbê, apprising her brothers of their peril, concerted with them the means of assassinating Alexander. The bed-chamber which she shared with him was in an upper story, accessible only by a removable staircase or ladder; at the foot of which there lay every night a fierce mastiff in chains, and a Thracian soldier tattooed after the fashion of his country. The whole house moreover was regularly occupied by a company of guards; and it is even said that the wardrobe and closets of Thêbê were searched every evening for concealed weapons. These numerous precautions of mistrust, however, were baffled by her artifice. She concealed her brothers during all the day in a safe adjacent hiding-place. At night Alexander, coming to bed intoxicated, soon fell fast asleep; upon which Thêbê stole out of the room—directed the dog to be removed from the foot of the stairs, under pretence that the despot wished to enjoy undisturbed repose—and then called her armed brothers. After spreading wool upon the stairs, in order that their tread might be noiseless,[p. 205] she went again up into the bed-room, and brought away the sword of Alexander, which always hung near him. Notwithstanding this encouragement, however, the three young men, still trembling at the magnitude of the risk, hesitated to mount the stair; nor could they be prevailed upon to do so, except by her distinct threat, that if they flinched, she would awaken Alexander and expose them. At length they mounted, and entered the bed-chamber, wherein a lamp was burning; while Thêbê, having opened the door for them, again closed it, and posted herself to hold the bar. The brothers then approached the bed: one seized the sleeping despot by the feet, another by the hair of his head, and the third with a sword thrust him through.[422]

After successfully and securely consummating this deed, popular on account of the odious character of the slain despot, Thêbê contrived to win over the mercenary troops, and to insure the sceptre to herself and her eldest brother Tisiphonus. After this change, it would appear that the power of the new princes was not so great as that of Alexander had been, so that additional elements of weakness and discord were introduced into Thessaly. This is to be noted as one of the material circumstances paving the way for Philip of Macedon to acquire ascendency in Greece—as will hereafter appear.

It was in the year 360-359 B. C., that Perdikkas, elder brother and predecessor of Philip on the throne of Macedonia, was slain, in the flower of his age. He perished, according to one account, in a bloody battle with the Illyrians, wherein four thousand Macedonians fell also; according to another statement, by the hands of assassins and the treacherous subornation of his mother Eurydikê.[423] Of the exploits of Perdikkas during the five years of his reign we know little. He had assisted the Athenian general Timotheus in war against the Olynthian confederacy, and in[p. 206] the capture of Pydna, Potidæa, Torônê, and other neighboring places; while on the other hand he had opposed the Athenians in their attempt against Amphipolis, securing that important place by a Macedonian garrison, both against them and for himself. He was engaged in serious conflicts with the Illyrians.[424] It appears too that he was not without some literary inclinations—was an admirer of intellectual men, and in correspondence with Plato at Athens. Distinguished philosophers or sophists, like Plato and Isokrates, enjoyed renown, combined with a certain measure of influence, throughout the whole range of the Grecian world. Forty years before, Archelaus king of Macedonia had shown favor to Plato,[425] then a young man, as well as to his master Sokrates. Amyntas, the father both of Perdikkas and of Philip, had throughout his reign cultivated the friendship of leading Athenians, especially Iphikrates and Timotheus; the former of whom he had even adopted as his son; Aristotle, afterwards so eminent as a philosopher (son of Nikomachus the confidential physician of Amyntas[426]), had been for some time studying at Athens as a pupil of Plato; moreover Perdikkas during his reign had resident with him a friend of the philosopher—Euphræus of Oreus. Perdikkas lent himself much to the guidance of Euphræus, who directed him in the choice of his associates, and permitted none to be his guests except persons of studious habits; thus exciting much disgust among the military Macedonians.[427] It is a signal testimony to the reputation of Plato, that we find his advice courted, at one and the same time, by Dionysius the younger at Syracuse, and by Perdikkas in Macedonia.

On the suggestion of Plato, conveyed through Euphræus, Per[p. 207]dikkas was induced to bestow upon his own brother Philip a portion of territory or an appanage in Macedonia. In 368 B. C. (during the reign of Alexander elder brother of Perdikkas and Philip), Pelopidas had reduced Macedonia to partial submission and had taken hostages for its fidelity; among which hostages was the youthful Philip, then about fifteen years of age. In this character Philip remained about two or three years at Thebes.[428] How or when he left that city, we cannot clearly make out. He seems to have returned to Macedonia after the murder of Alexander by Ptolemy Alorites; probably without opposition from the Thebans, since his value as a hostage was then diminished. The fact that he was confided (together with his brother Perdikkas) by his mother Eurydikê to the protection of the Athenian general Iphikrates, then on the coast of Macedonia—has been recounted in a previous chapter. How Philip fared during the regency of[p. 208] Ptolemy Alorites in Macedonia, we do not know; we might ever suspect that he would return back to Thebes as a safer residence. But when his brother Perdikkas, having slain Ptolemy Alorites, became king, Philip resided in Macedonia, and even obtained from Perdikkas (as already stated), through the persuasion of Plato, a separate district to govern as subordinate. Here he remained until the death of Perdikkas in 360-359 B. C.; organizing a separate military force of his own (like Derdas in 382 B. C., when the Lacedæmonians made war upon Olynthus;[429]) and probably serving at its head in the wars carried on by his brother.

The time passed by Philip at Thebes, however, from fifteen to eighteen years of age, was an event of much importance in determining his future character.[430] Though detained at Thebes, Philip was treated with courtesy and respect. He resided with Pammenes, one of the principal citizens; he probably enjoyed good literary and rhetorical teaching, since as a speaker, in after life, he possessed considerable talent;[431] and he may also have received some instruction in philosophy, though he never subsequently manifested any taste for it, and though the assertion of his having been taught by Pythagoreans merits little credence. But the lesson, most indelible of all, which he imbibed at Thebes, was derived from the society and from the living example of men like Epaminondas and Pelopidas. These were leading citizens, manifesting those qualities which insured for them the steady admiration of a free community—and of a Theban community, more given to action than to speech; moreover they were both of them distinguished military leaders—one of them the ablest organizer[p. 209] and the most scientific tactician of his day. The spectacle of the Theban military force, excellent both as cavalry and as infantry under the training of such a man as Epaminondas, was eminently suggestive to a young Macedonian prince; and became still more efficacious when combined with the personal conversation of the victor of Leuktra—the first man whom Philip learnt to admire, and whom he strove to imitate in his military career.[432] His mind was early stored with the most advanced strategic ideas of the day, and thrown into the track of reflection, comparison, and invention, on the art of war.

When transferred from Thebes to the subordinate government of a district in Macedonia under his elder brother Perdikkas, Philip organized a military force; and in so doing had the opportunity of applying to practice, though at first on a limited scale, the lessons learnt from the illustrious Thebans. He was thus at the head of troops belonging to and organized by himself—when the unexpected death of Perdikkas opened to him the prospect of succeeding to the throne. But it was a prospect full of doubt and hazard. Perdikkas had left an infant son; there existed, moreover, three princes, Archelaus, Aridæus, and Menelaus,[433] sons of Amyntas by another wife or mistress Gygæa, and therefore half-brothers of Perdikkas and Philip: there were also two other pretenders to the crown—Pausanias (who had before aspired to the throne after the death of Amyntas), seconded by a Thracian prince—and Argæus, aided by the Athenians. To these dangers was to be added, attack from the neighboring barbaric nations, Illyrians, Pæonians, and Thracians—always ready[434] to assail and plunder Macedonia at every moment of intestine weak[p. 210]ness. It would appear that Perdikkas, shortly before his death, had sustained a severe defeat, with the loss of four thousand men, from the Illyrians: his death followed, either from a wound then received, or by the machinations of his mother Eurydikê. Perhaps both the wound in battle and the assassination, may be real facts.[435]

Philip at first assumed the government of the country as guardian of his young nephew Amyntas the son of Perdikkas. But the difficulties of the conjuncture were so formidable, that the Macedonians around constrained him to assume the crown.[436] Of his three half-brothers he put to death one, and was only prevented from killing the other two by their flight into exile; we shall find them hereafter at Olynthus. They had either found, or were thought likely to find, a party in Macedonia to sustain their pretensions to the crown.[437]

The succession to the throne in Macedonia, though descending in a particular family, was open to frequent and bloody dispute between the individual members of that family, and usually fell to the most daring and unscrupulous among them. None but an energetic man, indeed, could well maintain himself there, especially under the circumstances of Philip’s accession. The Macedonian monarchy has been called a limited monarchy; and in a large sense of the word, this proposition is true. But what the limitations were, or how they were made operative, we do not know. That there were some ancient forms and customs, which the king habitually respected, we cannot doubt;[438] as there probably were also among the Illyrian tribes, the Epirots, and others of the neighboring warlike nations. A general assembly was occasionally convened, for the purpose of consenting to some important proposition, or trying some conspicuous accused person. But[p. 211] though such ceremonies were recognized and sometimes occurred, the occasions were rare in which they interposed any serious constitutional check upon the regal authority.[439] The facts of Macedonian history, as far as they come before us, exhibit the kings acting on their own feelings and carrying out their own schemes—consulting whom they please and when they please—subject only to the necessity of not offending too violently the sentiments of that military population whom they commanded. Philip and Alexander, combining regal station with personal ability and unexampled success, were more powerful than any of their predecessors. Each of them required extraordinary efforts from their soldiers, whom they were therefore obliged to keep in willing obe[p. 212]dience and attachment; just as Jason of Pheræ had done before with his standing army of mercenaries.[440] During the reign of Alexander the army manifests itself as the only power by his side to which even he is constrained occasionally to bow; after his death, its power becomes for a time still more ascendent. But so far as the history of Macedonia is known to us, I perceive no evidence of coördinate political bodies, or standing apparatus (either aristocratical or popular) to check the power of the king—such as to justify in any way the comparison drawn by a modern historian between the Macedonian and English constitutions.

The first proceeding of Philip, in dealing with his numerous enemies, was to buy off the Thracians by seasonable presents and promises; so that the competition of Pausanias for the throne became no longer dangerous. There remained as assailants the Athenians with Argæus from seaward, and the Illyrians from landward.

But Philip showed dexterity and energy sufficient to make head against all. While he hastened to reorganize the force of the country, to extend the application of those improved military arrangements which he had already been attempting in his own province, and to encourage his friends and soldiers by collective harangues,[441] in a style and spirit such as the Macedonians had never before heard from regal lips—he contrived to fence off the attack of the Athenians until a more convenient moment.

He knew that the possession of Amphipolis was the great purpose for which they had been carrying on war against Macedonia for some years, and for which they now espoused the cause of Argæus. Accordingly he professed his readiness at once to give up to them this important place, withdrawing the Macedonian garrison whereby Perdikkas had held it against them, and leaving the town to its own citizens. This act was probably construed by the Athenians as tantamount to an actual cession; for even if Amphipolis should still hold out against them, they doubted not of their power to reduce it when unaided. Philip farther despatched letters to Athens, expressing an anxious desire to be received into her alliance, on the same friendly terms as his father[p. 213] Amyntas before him.[442] These proceedings seem to have had the effect of making the Athenians lukewarm in the cause of Argæus. For Mantias the Athenian admiral, though he conveyed that prince by sea to Methônê, yet stayed in the seaport himself, while Argæus marched inland—with some returning exiles, a body of mercenaries, and a few Athenian volunteers—to Ægæ or Edessa;[443] hoping to procure admission into that ancient capital of the Macedonian kings. But the inhabitants refused to receive him; and in his march back, to Methônê, he was attacked and completely defeated by Philip. His fugitive troops found shelter on a neighboring eminence, but were speedily obliged to surrender. Philip suffered the greater part of them to depart on terms, requiring only that Argæus and the Macedonian exiles should be delivered up to him. He treated the Athenian citizens with especial courtesy, preserved to them all their property, and sent them home full of gratitude, with conciliatory messages to the people of Athens. The exiles, Argæus among them, having become his prisoners, were probably put to death.[444]

The prudent lenity exhibited by Philip towards the Athenian prisoners, combined with his evacuation of Amphipolis, produced the most favorable effect upon the temper of the Athenian public, and disposed them to accept his pacific offers. Peace was accordingly concluded. Philip renounced all claim to Amphipolis, acknowledging that town as a possession rightfully belonging to Athens.[445] By such renunciation he really abandoned no rightful possession; for Amphipolis had never belonged to the Macedonian kings; nor had any Macedonian soldiers ever entered it until three or four years before, when the citizens had invoked aid from Perdikkas to share in the defence against Athens. But the Athenians appeared to have gained the chief prize for which they had been so long struggling. They congratulated themselves in the hope, probably set forth with confidence by the speakers who supported the peace, that the Amphipolitans alone would never think of resisting the acknowledged claims of Athens.

[p. 214]

Philip was thus relieved from enemies on the coast, and had his hands free to deal with the Illyrians and Pæonians of the interior. He marched into the territory of the Pæonians (seemingly along the upper course of the river Axius), whom he found weakened by the recent death of their king Agis. He defeated their troops, and reduced them to submit to Macedonian supremacy. From thence he proceeded to attack the Illyrians—a more serious and formidable undertaking. The names Illyrians, Pæonians, Thracians, etc., did not designate any united national masses, but were applied to a great number of kindred tribes or clans, each distinct, separately governed, and having its particular name and customs. The Illyrian and Pæonian tribes occupied a wide space of territory to the north and north-west of Macedonia, over the modern Bosnia nearly to the Julian Alps and the river Save. But during the middle of the fourth century before Christ, it seems that a large immigration of Gallic tribes from the westward was taking place, invading the territory of the more northerly Illyrians and Pæonians, circumscribing their occupancy and security, and driving them farther southward; sometimes impelling them to find subsistence and plunder by invasions of Macedonia or by maritime piracies against Grecian commerce in the Adriatic.[446] The Illyrians had become more dangerous neighbors to Macedonia than they were in the time of Thucydides; and it seems that a recent coalition of their warriors, for purposes of invasion and plunder, was now in the zenith of its force. It was under a chief named Bardylis, who had raised himself to command from the humble occupation of a charcoal burner; a man renowned for his bravery, but yet more renowned for dealings rigidly just towards his soldiers, especially in the distribution of plunder.[447] Bardylis and his Illyrians had possessed themselves of a considerable portion of Western Macedonia (west of Mount Bermius),[p. 215] occupying for the most part the towns, villages, and plains,[448] and restricting the native Macedonians to the defensible, yet barren hills. Philip marched to attack them, at the head of a force which he had now contrived to increase to the number of ten thousand foot and six hundred horse. The numbers of Bardylis were about equal; yet on hearing of Philip’s approach, he sent a proposition tendering peace, on the condition that each party should retain what it actually possessed. His proposition being rejected, the two armies speedily met. Philip had collected around him on the right wing his chosen Macedonian troops, with whom he made his most vigorous onset: manœuvring at the same time with a body of cavalry so as to attack the left flank of the Illyrians. The battle, contested with the utmost obstinacy on both sides, was for some time undecided; nor could the king of Macedon break the oblong square into which his enemies had formed themselves. But at length his cavalry were enabled to charge them so effectively in flank and rear, that victory declared in his favor. The Illyrians fled, were vigorously pursued with the loss of seven thousand men, and never again rallied. Bardylis presently sued for peace, and consented to purchase it by renouncing all his conquests in Macedonia; while Philip pushed his victory so strenuously, as to reduce to subjection all the tribes eastward of Lake Lychnidus.[449]

These operations against the inland neighbors of Macedonia must have occupied a year or two. During that interval, Philip left Amphipolis to itself, having withdrawn from it the Macedonian garrison as a means of conciliating the Athenians. We might have expected that they would forthwith have availed themselves of the opening and taken active measures for regaining[p. 216] Amphipolis. They knew the value of that city: they considered it as of right theirs; they had long been anxious for its repossession, and had even besieged it five years before, though seemingly only with a mercenary force, which was repelled mainly by the aid of Philip’s predecessor Perdikkas. Amphipolis was not likely to surrender to them voluntarily; but when thrown upon its own resources, it might perhaps have been assailed with success. Yet they remained without making any attempt on the region at the mouth of the river Strymon. We must recollect (as has been narrated in my last preceding volume[450]), that during 359 B. C., and the first part of 358 B. C., they were carrying on operations in the Thracian Chersonese, against Charidemus and Kersobleptes, with small success and disgraceful embarrassment. These vexatious operations in the Chersonese—in which peninsula many Athenians were interested as private proprietors, besides the public claims of the city—may perhaps have absorbed wholly the attention of Athens, so as to induce her to postpone the acquisition of Amphipolis until they were concluded; a conclusion which did not arrive (as we shall presently see) until immediately before she became plunged in the dangerous crisis of the Social War. I know no better explanation of the singular circumstance, that Athens, though so anxious, both before and after, for the possession of Amphipolis, made no attempt to acquire it during more than a year after its evacuation by Philip; unless indeed we are to rank this opportunity among the many which she lost (according to Demosthenes[451]) from pure negligence; little suspecting how speedily such opportunity would disappear.

In 358 B. C., an opening was afforded to the Athenians for regaining their influence in Eubœa; and for this island, so near their own shores, they struck a more vigorous blow than for the distant possessions of Amphipolis. At the revival of the maritime confederacy under Athens (immediately after 378 B. C.), most of the cities in Eubœa had joined it voluntarily; but after the battle of Leuktra (in 371 B. C.), the island passed under Theban suprema[p. 217]cy. Accordingly Eubœans from all the cities served in the army of Epaminondas, both in his first and his last expedition into Peloponnesus (369-362 B. C.).[452] Moreover, Orôpus, the frontier town of Attica and Bœotia—immediately opposite to Eubœa, having been wrested from Athens[453] in 366 B. C. by a body of exiles crossing the strait from Eretria, through the management of the Eretrian despot Themison—had been placed in the keeping of the Thebans, with whom it still remained. But in the year 358 B. C., discontent began in the Eubœan cities, from what cause we know not, against the supremacy of Thebes; whereupon a powerful Theban force was sent into the island to keep them down. A severe contest ensued, in which if Thebes had succeeded, Chalkis and Eretria might possibly have shared the fate of Orchomenus.[454] These cities sent urgent messages entreating aid from the Athenians, who were powerfully moved by the apprehension of seeing their hated neighbor Thebes reinforced by so large an acquisition close to their borders. The public assembly, already disposed to sympathize with the petitioners, was kindled into enthusiasm by the abrupt and emphatic appeal of Timotheus son of Konon.[455] “How! Athenians (said he), when you have the Thebans actually in the island, are you still here debating what is to be done, or how you shall deal with the case? Will you not fill the sea[p. 218] with triremes? Will you not start up at once, hasten down to Peiræus, and haul the triremes down to the water?” This animated apostrophe, reported and doubtless heard by Demosthenes himself, was cordially responded to by the people. The force of Athens, military as well as naval, was equipped with an eagerness, and sent forth with a celerity, seldom paralleled. Such was the general enthusiasm, that the costly office of trierarchy was for the first time undertaken by volunteers, instead of awaiting the more tardy process of singling out those rich men whose turn it was to serve, with the chance of still farther delay from the legal process called Antidosis or Exchange of property,[456] instituted by any one of the persons so chosen who might think himself hardly used by the requisition. Demosthenes himself was among the volunteer trierarchs; he and a person named Philinus being co-trierarchs of the same ship. We are told that in three or in five days the Athenian fleet and army, under the command of Timotheus,[457] were landed in full force on Eubœa; and that in the course of thirty days the Thebans were so completely worsted, as to be forced to[p. 219] evacuate it under capitulation. A body of mercenaries under Chares contributed to the Athenian success. Yet it seems not clear that the success was so easy and rapid as the orators are fond of asserting.[458] However, their boast, often afterwards repeated, is so far well-founded, that Athens fully accomplished her object, rescued the Eubœans from Thebes, and received the testimonial of their gratitude in the form of a golden wreath dedicated in the Athenian acropolis.[459] The Eubœan cities, while acknowledged as autonomous, continued at the same time to be enrolled as members of the Athenian confederacy, sending deputies to the synod at Athens; towards the general purposes of which they paid an annual tribute, assessed at five talents each for Oreus (or Histiæa) and Eretria.[460]

On the conclusion of this Eubœan enterprise, Chares with his mercenaries was sent forward to the Chersonese, where he at length extorted from Charidemus and Kersobleptes the evacuation of that peninsula and its cession to Athens, after a long train of dilatory manœuvres and bad faith on their part. I have in my last preceding volume, described these events, remarking at the same time that Athens attained at this moment the maximum of her renewed foreign power and second confederacy, which had begun in 378 B. C.[461] But this period of exaltation was very short. It was speedily overthrown by two important events—the Social war and the conquests of Philip in Thrace.

The Athenian confederacy, recently strengthened by the rescue of Eubœa, numbered among its members a large proportion of the islands in the Ægean as well as the Grecian seaports in Thrace.[p. 220] The list included the islands Lesbos, Chios, Samos (this last now partially occupied by a body of Athenian Kleruchs or settlers), Kos and Rhodes; together with the important city of Byzantium. It was shortly after the recent success in Eubœa, that Chios, Kos, Rhodes, and Byzantium revolted from Athens by concert, raising a serious war against her, known by the name of the Social War.

Respecting the proximate causes of this outbreak, we find, unfortunately, little information. There was now, and had always been since 378 B. C., a synod of deputies from all the confederate cities habitually assembling at Athens; such as had not subsisted under the first Athenian empire in its full maturity. How far the Synod worked efficiently, we do not know. At least it must have afforded to the allies, if aggrieved, a full opportunity of making their complaints heard; and of criticising the application of the common fund, to which each of them contributed. But I have remarked in the preceding volume, that the Athenian confederacy, which had begun (378 B. C.) in a generous and equal spirit of common maritime defence,[462] had gradually become perverted, since the humiliation of the great enemy Sparta at Leuktra, towards purposes and interests more exclusively Athenian. Athens had been conquering the island of Samos—Pydna, Potidæa, and Methônê, on the coast of Macedonia and Thrace—and the Thracian Chersonese; all of them acquisitions made for herself alone, without any advantage to the confederate synod—and made, too, in great part, to become the private property of her own citizens as kleruchs, in direct breach of her public resolution, passed in 378 B. C., not to permit any appropriation of lands by Athenian citizens out of Attica.

In proportion as Athens came to act more for her own separate aggrandizement, and less for interests common to the whole confederacy, the adherence of the larger confederate states grew more and more reluctant. But what contributed yet farther to detach them from Athens, was, the behavior of her armaments on service, consisting in great proportion of mercenaries, scantily and irregularly paid; whose disorderly and rapacious exaction, especially[p. 221] at the cost of the confederates of Athens, are characterized in strong terms by all the contemporary orators—Demosthenes, Æschines, Isokrates, etc. The commander, having no means of paying his soldiers, was often compelled to obey their predatory impulses, and conduct them to the easiest place from whence money could be obtained; indeed, some of the commanders, especially Chares, were themselves not less ready than their soldiers to profit by such depredations.[463] Hence the armaments sent out by Athens sometimes saw little of the enemy whom they were sent to combat, preferring the easier and more lucrative proceeding of levying contributions from friends, and of plundering the trading-vessels met with at sea. Nor was it practicable for Athens to prevent such misconduct, when her own citizens refused to serve personally, and when she employed foreigners, hired for the occasion, but seldom regularly paid.[464] The suffering, alarm, and alienation arising from hence among the confederates, was not less mischievous than discreditable to Athens. We cannot doubt that complaints in abundance were raised in the confederate synod; but they must have been unavailing, since the abuse continued until the period shortly preceding the battle of Chæroneia.

Amidst such apparent dispositions on the part of Athens to[p. 222] neglect the interests of the confederacy for purposes of her own and to tolerate or encourage the continued positive depredations of unpaid armaments—discontent naturally grew up, manifesting itself most powerfully among some of the larger dependencies near the Asiatic coast. The islands of Chios, Kos, and Rhodes, together with the important city of Byzantium on the Thracian Bosphorus, took counsel together, and declared themselves detached from Athens and her confederacy. According to the spirit of the convention, sworn at Sparta, immediately before the battle of Leuktra, and of the subsequent alliance, sworn at Athens, a few months afterwards[465]—obligatory and indefeasible confederacies stood generally condemned among the Greeks, so that these islands were justified in simply seceding when they thought fit. But their secession, which probably Athens would, under all circumstances, have resisted, was proclaimed in a hostile manner, accompanied with accusations of treacherous purposes on her part against them. It was moreover fomented by the intrigues, as well as aided by the arms, of the Karian prince Mausôlus.[466] Since the peace of Antalkidas, the whole Asiatic coast had been under the unresisted dominion either of satraps or subordinate princes dependent upon Persia, who were watching for opportunities of extending their conquests in the neighboring islands. Mausôlus appears to have occupied both Rhodes and Kos; provoking in the former island a revolution which placed it under an oligarchy, not only devoted to him, but farther sustained by the presence of a considerable force of his mercenary troops.[467] The government of Chios appears to have been always oligarchical; which fact was one ground for want of sympathy between the Chians and Athens. Lastly, the Byzantines had also a special ground for discontent; since they assumed the privilege of detaining and taxing the corn-ships[p. 223] from the Euxine in their passage through the Bosphorus[468]—while Athens, as chief of the insular confederacy, claimed that right for herself, and at any rate protested against the use of such power by any other city for its own separate profit.

This revolt, the beginning of what is termed the Social War, was a formidable shock to the foreign ascendency of Athens. Among all her confederates, Chios was the largest and most powerful, the entire island being under one single government. Old men, like Plato and Isokrates, might perhaps recollect the affright occasioned at Athens fifty-four years before (B. C. 412) by the news of the former revolt of Chios,[469] shortly after the great disaster before Syracuse. And probably the alarm was not much less, when the Athenians were now apprised of the quadruple defection among their confederates near the Asiatic coast. The joint armament of all four was mustered at Chios, whither Mausôlus also sent a reinforcement. The Athenians equipped a fleet with land-forces on board, to attack the island; and on this critical occasion we may presume that their citizens would overcome the reluctance to serve in person. Chabrias was placed in command of the fleet, Chares of the land-force; the latter was disembarked on the island, and a joint attack upon the town of Chios, by sea and land at the same moment, was concerted. When Chares marched up to the walls, the Chians and their allies felt strong enough to come forth and hazard a battle, with no decisive result; while Chabrias at the same time attempted with the fleet to force his way into the harbor. But the precautions for defence had been effectively taken, and the Chian seamen were resolute. Chabrias, leading the attack with his characteristic impetuosity, became entangled among the enemy’s vessels, was attacked on all sides, and fell gallantly fighting. The other Athenian ships either were not forward in following him, or could make no impression. Their attack completely failed, and the fleet was obliged to retire, with little loss apparently, except that of the brave admiral. Chares with his[p. 224] land-force having been again taken aboard, the Athenians forthwith sailed away from Chios.[470]

This repulse at Chios was a serious misfortune to Athens. Such was the dearth of military men and the decline of the military spirit, in that city, that the loss of a warlike citizen, daring as a soldier and tried as a commander, like Chabrias, was never afterwards repaired. To the Chians and their allies, on the other hand, the event was highly encouraging. They were enabled, not merely to maintain their revolt, but even to obtain fresh support, and to draw into the like defection other allies of Athens,—among them, seemingly, Sestos, and other cities on the Hellespont. For some months they appear to have remained masters of the sea, with a fleet of one hundred triremes, disembarking and inflicting devastation on the Athenian islands of Lemnos, Imbros, Samos, and elsewhere, so as to collect a sum for defraying their expenses. They were even strong enough to press the town of Samos, by close siege, until at length the Athenians, not without delay and difficulty, got together a fleet of one hundred and twenty triremes, under the joint command of Chares, Iphikrates with his son Menestheus, and Timotheus. Notwithstanding that Samos was under siege, the Athenian admirals thought it prudent to direct their first efforts to the reduction of Byzantium; probably from the paramount importance of keeping open the two straits between the Euxine and the Ægean, in order that the corn-ships, out of the former, might come through in safety.[471] To protect Byzantium, the Chians and their allies raised the siege of Samos,[p. 225] and sailed forthwith to the Hellespont, in which narrow strait both fleets were collected,—as the Athenians and Lacedæmonians had been during the closing years of the Peloponnesian war. A plan of naval action had been concerted by the three Athenian commanders, and was on the point of taking place, when there supervened a sudden storm, which in the judgment both of Iphikrates and Timotheus, rendered it rash and perilous to persist in the execution. They therefore held off, while Chares, judging differently, called upon the trierachs and seamen to follow him, and rushed into the fight without his colleagues. He was defeated, or at least was obliged to retire without accomplishing anything. But so incensed was he against his two colleagues, that he wrote a despatch to Athens accusing them of corruption and culpable backwardness against the enemy.[472]

[p. 226]The three joint admirals were thus placed not merely in opposition, but in bitter conflict, among themselves. At the trial of accountability, undergone by all of them not long afterwards at Athens, Chares stood forward as the formal accuser of his two colleagues, who in their turn also accused him. He was seconded in his attack by Aristophon, one of the most practised orators of the day. Both of them charged Iphikrates and Timotheus with having received bribes from the Chians and Rhodians,[473] and betrayed their trust; by deserting Chares at the critical moment when it had been determined beforehand to fight, and when an important success might have been gained.

How the justice of the case stood, we cannot decide. The characters of Iphikrates and Timotheus raise strong presumption that they were in the right and their accuser in the wrong. Yet it must be recollected that the Athenian public, (and probably every other public,—ancient or modern,—Roman, English, or French), would naturally sympathize with the forward and daring admiral, who led the way into action, fearing neither the storm nor the enemy, and calling upon his colleagues to follow. Iphikrates and Timotheus doubtless insisted upon the rashness of his proceedings, and set forth the violence of the gale. But this again would be denied by Chares, and would stand as a point where the evidence was contradictory; captains and seamen being produced as witnesses on both sides, and the fleet being probably divided into two opposing parties. The feelings of the Athenian Dikasts might naturally be, that Iphikrates and Timotheus ought never to have let their colleague go into action unassisted, even though they disapproved of the proceeding. Iphikrates defended himself partly by impeaching the behavior of Chares, partly by bitter retort upon his other accuser Aristophon. “Would you (he asked), betray the fleet for money?” “No,” was the reply. “Well, then,[p. 227] you, Aristophon, would not betray the fleet; shall I, Iphikrates do so?”[474]

The issue of this important cause was, that Iphikrates was acquitted, while Timotheus was found guilty and condemned to the large fine of one hundred talents. Upon what causes such difference of sentence turned, we make out imperfectly. And it appears that Iphikrates, far from exonerating himself by throwing blame on Timotheus, emphatically assumed the responsibility of the whole proceeding; while his son, Menestheus tendered an accurate account within his own knowledge, of all the funds received and disbursed by the army.[475]

The cause assigned by Isokrates, the personal friend of Timotheus, is, the extreme unpopularity of the latter in the city. Though as a general and on foreign service, Timotheus conducted himself not only with scrupulous justice to every one, but with rare forbearance towards the maritime allies whom other generals vexed and plundered,—yet at home his demeanor was intolerably arrogant and offensive, especially towards the leading speakers who took part in public affairs. While recognized as a man of ability and as a general who had rendered valuable service, he had thus incurred personal unpopularity and made numerous enemies; chiefly among those most able to do him harm. Isokrates tells us that he had himself frequently remonstrated with Timotheus (as Plato admonished Dion), on this serious fault, which overclouded his real ability, caused him to be totally misunderstood, and laid up against him a fund of popular dislike sure to take melancholy effect on some suitable occasion. Timotheus (according to Isokrates), though admitting the justice of the reproof, was unable to conquer his own natural disposition.[476] If such[p. 228] was the bearing of this eminent man, as described by his intimate friend, we may judge how it would incense unfriendly politicians and even indifferent persons who knew him only from his obvious exterior. Iphikrates, though by nature a proud man, was more discreet and conciliatory in his demeanor, and more alive to the mischief of political odium.[477] Moreover, he seems to have been an effective speaker[478] in public, and his popularity among the military men in Athens was so marked, that on this very trial many of them manifested their sympathy by appearing in arms near the Dikastery.[479] Under these circumstances, we may easily understand that Chares and Aristophon might find it convenient to press their charge more pointedly against Timotheus than against Iphikrates; and that the Dikastery, while condemning the former, may have been less convinced of the guilt of the latter, and better satisfied in every way to acquit him.[480]

[p. 229]A fine of one hundred talents is said to have been imposed upon Timotheus, the largest fine (according to Isokrates), ever imposed at Athens. Upon his condemnation he retired to Chalkis, where he died three years afterwards, in 354 B. C. In the year succeeding his death, his memory was still very unpopular; yet it appears that the fine was remitted to his family, and that his son Konon was allowed to compromise the demand by a disbursement of the smaller sum of ten talents for the repairs of the city walls. It seems evident that Timotheus by his retirement evaded[p. 230] payment of the full fine; so that his son Konon appears after him as one of the richest citizens in Athens.[481]

The loss of such a citizen as Timotheus was a fresh misfortune to her. He had conducted her armies with signal success, maintained the honor of her name throughout the eastern and western seas, and greatly extended the list of her foreign allies. She had recently lost Chabrias in battle; a second general, Timotheus, was now taken from her; and the third, Iphikrates, though acquitted at the last trial, seems, as far as we can make out, never to have been subsequently employed on military command. These three were the last eminent military citizens at Athens; for Phokion, though brave and deserving, was not to be compared with either of them. On the other hand, Chares, a man of great personal courage, but of no other merit, was now in the full swing of reputation. The recent judicial feud between the three Athenian admirals had been doubly injurious to Athens, first as discrediting Iphikrates and Timotheus, next as exalting Chares, to whom the sole command was now confided.

In the succeeding year, 356 B. C., Chares conducted another powerful fleet to attack the revolted allies. Being however not furnished with adequate funds from home to pay his troops, chiefly foreign mercenaries, he thought it expedient, on his own responsibility, to accept an offer from Artabazus (satrap of Daskylium and the region south of the Propontis), then in revolt against the Persian king.[482] Chares joined Artabazus with his own army,[p. 231] reinforced by additional bodies of mercenaries recently disbanded by the Persian satraps. With this entire force he gave battle to the king’s troops under the command of Tithraustes, and gained a splendid victory; upon which Artabazus remunerated him so liberally, as to place the whole Athenian army in temporary affluence. The Athenians at home were at first much displeased with their general, for violating his instructions, and withdrawing his army from its prescribed and legitimate task. The news of his victory, however, and of the lucrative recompense following it, somewhat mollified them. But presently they learned that the Persian king, indignant at such a gratuitous aggression on their part, was equipping a large fleet to second the operations of their enemies. Intimidated by the prospect of Persian attack, they became anxious to conclude a peace with the revolted allies; who, on their part, were not less anxious to terminate the war. Embassies being exchanged, and negotiations opened, in the ensuing year (355 B. C., the third of the war), a peace was sworn, whereby the Athenians recognized the complete autonomy, and severance from their confederacy, of the revolted cities, Chios, Rhodes, Kos, and Byzantium.[483]

Such was the termination of the Social War, which fatally impaired the power, and lowered the dignity, of Athens. Imper[p. 232]fectly as we know the events, it seems clear that her efforts to meet this formidable revolt were feeble and inadequate; evincing a sad downfall of energy since the year 412 B. C., when she had contended with transcendent vigor against similar and even greater calamities, only a year after her irreparable disaster before Syracuse. Inglorious as the result of the Social War was, it had nevertheless been costly, and left Athens poor. The annual revenues of her confederacy were greatly lessened by the secession of so many important cities, and her public treasury was exhausted. It is just at this time that the activity of Demosthenes as a public adviser begins. In a speech delivered this year (355 B. C.), he notes the poverty of the treasury; and refers back to it in discourses of after time as a fact but too notorious.[484]

But the misfortunes arising to Athens from the Social War did not come alone. It had the farther effect of rendering her less competent for defence against the early aggressions of Philip of Macedon.

That prince, during the first year of his accession (359 B. C.), had sought to conciliate Athens by various measures, but especially by withdrawing his garrison from Amphipolis, while he was establishing his military strength in the interior against the Illyrians and Pæonians. He had employed in this manner a period apparently somewhat less than two years; and employed it with such success, as to humble his enemies in the interior, and get together a force competent for aggressive operations against the cities on the coast. During this interval, Amphipolis remained a free and independent city; formally renounced by Philip, and not assailed by the Athenians. Why they let slip this favorable opportunity of again enforcing by arms pretensions on which they laid so much stress—I have before partially (though not very satisfactorily) explained. Philip was not the man to let them enjoy the opportunity longer than he could help, or to defer the moment of active operations as they did. Towards the close of 358 B. C., finding his hands free from impediments in the interior, he forthwith commenced the siege of Amphipolis. The inhabitants are said to have been unfavorably disposed towards him, and to[p. 233] have given him many causes for war.[485] It is not easy to understand what these causes could have been, seeing that so short a time before, the town had been garrisoned by Macedonians invoked as protectors against Athens; nor were the inhabitants in any condition to act aggressively against Philip.

Having in vain summoned Amphipolis to surrender, Philip commenced a strenuous siege, assailing the walls with battering-rams and other military engines. The weak points of the fortification must have been well known to him, from his own soldiers who had been recently in garrison. The inhabitants defended themselves with vigor; but such was now the change of circumstances, that they were forced to solicit their ancient enemy Athens for aid against the Macedonian prince. Their envoys Hierax and Stratokles, reaching Athens shortly after the successful close of the Athenian expedition to Eubœa, presented themselves before the public assembly, urgently inviting the Athenians to come forthwith and occupy Amphipolis, as the only chance of rescue from Macedonian dominion.[486] We are not certain whether the Social War had yet broken out; if it had, Athens would be too much pressed with anxieties arising out of so formidable a revolt, to have means disposable even for the tempting recovery of the long-lost Amphipolis. But at any rate Philip had foreseen and counterworked the prayers of the Amphipolitans. He sent a courteous letter to the Athenians, acquainting them that he was besieging the town, yet recognizing it as belonging of right to them, and promising to restore it to them when he should have succeeded in the capture.[487]

[p. 234]Much of the future history of Greece turned upon the manner in which Athens dealt with these two conflicting messages. The situation of Amphipolis, commanding the passage over the Strymon, was not only all-important—as shutting up Macedonia to the eastward and as opening the gold regions around Mount Pangæus—but was also easily defensible by the Athenians from seaward, if once acquired. Had they been clear-sighted in the appreciation of chances, and vigilant in respect to future defence, they might now have acquired this important place, and might have held it against the utmost efforts of Philip. But that fatal inaction which had become their general besetting sin, was on the present occasion encouraged by some plausible, yet delusive, pleas. The news of the danger of the Amphipolitans would be not unwelcome at Athens—where strong aversion was entertained towards them, as refractory occupants of a territory not their own, and as having occasioned repeated loss and humiliation to the Athenian arms. Nor could the Athenians at once shift their point of view, so as to contemplate the question on the ground of policy alone, and to recognize these old enemies as persons whose interests had now come into harmony with their own. On the other hand, the present temper of the Athenians towards Philip was highly favorable. Not only had they made peace with him during the preceding year, but they also felt that he had treated them well both in evacuating Amphipolis and in dismissing honorably their citizens who had been taken prisoners in the army of his competitor Argæus.[488] Hence they were predisposed to credit his positive assurance, that he only wished to take the place in order to expel a troublesome population who had wronged and annoyed him, and that he would readily hand it over to its rightful owners the Athenians. To grant the application of the Amphipolitans for aid, would thus appear, at Athens, to be courting a new war and breaking with a valuable friend, in order to protect an odious enemy, and to secure an acquisition which would at all events come to them, even if they remained still, through the cession of Philip. It is necessary to dwell upon the motives which deter[p. 235]mined Athens on this occasion to refrain from interference; since there were probably few of her resolutions which she afterwards more bitterly regretted. The letter of assurance from Philip was received and trusted; the envoys from Amphipolis were dismissed with a refusal.

Deprived of all hope of aid from Athens, the Amphipolitans still held out as long as they could. But a party in the town entered into correspondence with Philip to betray it, and the defence thus gradually became feebler. At length he made a breach in the walls, sufficient, with the aid of partisans within, to carry the city by assault, not without a brave resistance from those who still remained faithful. All the citizens unfriendly to him were expelled or fled, the rest were treated with lenity; but we are told that little favor was shown by Philip towards those who had helped in the betrayal.[489]

Amphipolis was to Philip an acquisition of unspeakable importance, not less for defence than for offence. It was not only the most convenient maritime station in Thrace, but it also threw open to him all the country east of the Strymon, and especially the gold region near Mount Pangæus. He established himself firmly in his new position, which continued from henceforward one of the bulwarks of Macedonia, until the conquest of that kingdom by the Romans. He took no steps to fulfil his promise of handing over the place to the Athenians, who doubtless sent embassies to demand it. The Social War, indeed, which just now broke out, absorbed all their care and all their forces, so that they were unable, amidst their disastrous reverses at Chios and elsewhere, to take energetic measures in reference to Philip and Amphipolis. Nevertheless he still did not peremptorily refuse the surrender, but continued to amuse the Athenians with delusive hopes, suggested through his partisans, paid or voluntary, in the public assembly.

It was the more necessary for him to postpone any open breach[p. 236] with Athens, because the Olynthians had conceived serious alarm from his conquest of Amphipolis, and had sent to negotiate a treaty of amity and alliance with the Athenians. Such an alliance, had it been concluded, would have impeded the farther schemes of Philip. But his partisans at Athens procured the dismissal of the Olynthian envoys, by renewed assurances that the Macedonian prince was still the friend of Athens, and still disposed to cede Amphipolis as her legitimate possession. They represented, however, that he had good ground for complaining that Athens continued to retain Pydna, an ancient Macedonian seaport.[490] Accordingly they proposed to open negotiations with him for the exchange of Pydna against Amphipolis. But as the Pydnæans were known to be adverse to the transfer, secrecy was indispensable in the preliminary proceedings, so that Antiphon and Charidemus, the two envoys named, took their instructions from the Senate and made their reports only to the Senate. The public assembly being informed that negotiations, unavoidably secret, were proceeding, to ensure the acquisition of Amphipolis—was persuaded to repel the advances of Olynthus, as well as to look upon Philip still as a friend.[491]

The proffered alliance of the Olynthians was thus rejected, as the entreaty of the Amphipolitans for aid had previously been. Athens had good reason to repent of both. The secret negotiation brought her no nearer to the possession of Amphipolis. It ended in nothing, or in worse than nothing, as it amused her with delusive expectations, while Philip opened a treaty with the Olynthians, irritated, of course, by their recent repulse at Athens. As yet he had maintained pacific relations with the Athenians, even while holding Amphipolis contrary to his engagement. But he now altered his policy, and contracted alliance with the Olynthians; whose friendship he purchased not only by ceding to them the district of Anthemus (lying between Olynthus and Therma, and disputed by the Olynthians with former Macedonian kings), but also by[p. 237] conquering and handing over to them the important Athenian possession of Potidæa.[492] We know no particulars of these important transactions. Our scanty authorities merely inform us, that during the first two years (358-356 B. C.), while Athens was absorbed by her disastrous Social War, Philip began to act as her avowed enemy. He conquered from her not only Pydna and other places for himself, but also Potidæa for the Olynthians. We are told that Pydna was betrayed to Philip by a party of traitors in the town;[493] and he probably availed himself of the secret propositions made by Athens respecting the exchange of Pydna for Amphipolis, to exasperate the Pydnæans against her bad faith; since they would have good ground for resenting the project of transferring them underhand, contrary to their own inclination. Pydna was the first place besieged and captured. Several of its inhabitants, on the ground of prior offence towards Macedonia,[494] are said to have been slain, while even those who had betrayed the town were contemptuously treated. The siege lasted long enough to transmit news to Athens, and to receive aid, had the Athenians acted with proper celerity in despatching forces. But either the pressure of the Social War—or the impatience of personal service as well as of pecuniary payment—or both causes operating together—made them behindhand with the exigency. Several Athenian citizens were taken in Pydna and sold into slavery, some being ransomed by Demosthenes out of his own funds; yet[p. 238] we cannot make out clearly that any relief at all was sent from Athens.[495] If any was sent, it came too late.

Equal tardiness was shown in the relief sent to Potidæa[496]—though the siege, carried on jointly by Philip and the Olynthians, was both long and costly[497]—and though there were a body of Athenian settlers (Kleruchs) resident there, whom the capture of the place expelled from their houses and properties.[498] Even for the rescue of these fellow-citizens, it does not appear that any native Athenians would undertake the burden of personal service; the relieving force despatched seems to have consisted of a general with mercenary foreigners; who, as no pay was provided for them, postponed the enterprise on which they were sent to the temptation of plundering elsewhere for their own profit.[499] It was[p. 239] thus that Philip, without any express declaration of war, commenced a series of hostile measures against Athens, and deprived her of several valuable maritime possessions on the coast of Macedonia and Thrace, besides his breach of faith respecting the cession of Amphipolis.[500] After her losses from the Social War, and her disappointment about Amphipolis, she was yet farther mortified by seeing Pydna pass into his hands, and Potidæa (the most important possession in Thrace next to Amphipolis) into those of Olynthus. Her impoverished settlers returned home, doubtless with bitter complaint against the aggression, but also with just vexation against the tardiness of their countrymen in sending relief.

These two years had been so employed by Philip as to advance prodigiously his power and ascendency. He had deprived Athens of her hold upon the Thermaic gulf, in which she now seems only to have retained the town of Methônê, instead of the series of ports round the gulf acquired for her by Timotheus.[501] He had conciliated the good-will of the Olynthians by his cession of Anthemus and Potidæa; the latter place, from its commanding situation on the isthmus of Pallenê, giving them the mastery of that peninsula,[502] and ensuring (what to Philip was of great importance) their enmity with Athens. He not only improved the maritime conveniences of Amphipolis, but also extended his acquisitions into the auriferous regions of Mount Pangæus eastward of the Strymon. He possessed himself of that productive country immediately facing the island of Thasos; where both Thasians and Athenians had once contended for the rights of mining, and[p. 240] from whence, apparently, both had extracted valuable produce. In the interior of this region he founded a new city called Philippi, enlarged from a previous town called Krenides, recently founded by the Thasians; and he took such effective measures for increasing the metallic works in the neighborhood, that they presently yielded to him a large revenue; according to Diodorus, not less than one thousand talents per annum.[503] He caused a new gold coin to be struck, bearing a name derived from his own. The fresh source of wealth thus opened was of the greatest moment to him, as furnishing means to meet the constantly increasing expense of his military force. He had full employment to keep his soldiers in training: for the nations of the interior—Illyrians, Pæonians, and Thracians—humbled but not subdued, rose again in arms, and tried again jointly to reclaim their independence. The army of Philip—under his general Parmenio, of whom we now hear for the first time—defeated them, and again reduced them to submission.[504]

It was during this interval too that Philip married Olympias, daughter of Neoptolemus prince of the Molossi,[505] and descended from the ancient Molossian kings, who boasted of an heroic Æakid genealogy. Philip had seen her at the religious mysteries in the island of Samothrace, where both were initiated at the same time. In violence of temper—in jealous, cruel, and vindictive disposition—she forms almost a parallel to the Persian queens Amestris and Parysatis. The Epirotic women, as well as the Thracian, were much given to the Bacchanalian religious rites, celebrated with fierce ecstasy amid the mountain solitudes in honor of Dionysius.[506] To this species of religious excitement Olympias was peculiarly susceptible. She is said to have been fond of tame snakes playing around her, and to have indulged in ceremonies of magic and incantation.[507] Her temper and character be[p. 241]came, after no long time, repulsive and even alarming to Philip. But in the year 356 B. C. she bore to him a son, afterwards renowned as Alexander the Great. It was in the summer of this year, not long after the taking of Potidæa, that Philip received nearly at the same time, three messages with good news—the birth of his son; the defeat of the Illyrians by Parmenio; and the success of one of his running horses at the Olympic games.[508]


It has been recounted in the preceding chapter, how Philip, during the continuance of the Social War, aggrandized himself in Macedonia and Thrace at the expense of Athens, by the acquisition of Amphipolis, Pydna, and Potidæa—the two last actually taken from her, the first captured only under false assurances held out to her while he was besieging it: how he had farther strengthened himself by enlisting Olynthus both as an ally of his own, and as an enemy of the Athenians. He had thus begun the war against Athens, usually spoken of as the war about Amphipolis, which lasted without any formal peace for twelve years. The resistance opposed by Athens to these his first aggressions had been faint and ineffective—partly owing to embarrassments. But the Social War had not yet terminated, when new embarrassments and complications, of a far more formidable nature, sprang up elsewhere—known by the name of the Sacred War, rending the very entrails of the Hellenic world, and profitable only to the indefatigable aggressor in Macedonia.

The Amphiktyonic assembly, which we shall now find exalted into an inauspicious notoriety, was an Hellenic institution ancient[p. 242] and venerable, but rarely invested with practical efficiency. Though political by occasion, it was religious in its main purpose, associated with the worship of Apollo at Delphi and of Dêmêtêr at Thermopylæ. Its assemblies were held twice annually—in spring at Delphi, in autumn at Thermopylæ; while in every fourth year it presided at the celebration of the great Pythian festival near Delphi, or appointed persons to preside in its name. It consisted of deputies called Hieromnemones and Pylagoræ, sent by the twelve ancient nations or fractions of the Hellenic name, who were recognized as its constituent body: Thessalians, Bœotians, Dorians, Ionians, Perrhæbians, Magnêtes, Lokrians, Œtæans or Ænianes, Achæans, Malians, Phokians, Dolopes. These were the twelve nations, sole partners in the Amphiktyonic sacred rites and meetings: each nation, small and great alike, having two votes in the decision and no more; and each city, small and great alike, contributing equally to make up the two votes of that nation to which it belonged. Thus Sparta counted only as one of the various communities forming the Dorian nation: Athens, in like manner in the Ionian, not superior in rank to Erythræ or Priênê.[509]

That during the preceding century, the Amphiktyonic assembly had meddled rarely, and had never meddled to any important purpose, in the political affairs of Greece—is proved by the fact that it is not once mentioned either in the history of Thucydides, or in the Hellenica of Xenophon. But after the humiliation of Sparta at Leuktra, this great religious convocation of the Hellenic world, after long torpor, began to meet for the despatch of business. Unfortunately its manifestations of activity were for the most part abusive and mischievous. Probably not long after the battle of Leuktra, though we do not know the precise year—the Thebans exhibited before the Amphiktyons an accusation against Sparta, for having treacherously seized the Kadmeia (the citadel of Thebes) in a period of profound peace. Sentence of condemnation was pronounced against her,[510] together with a fine of five hundred talents, doubled after a certain interval of non-payment.[p. 243] The act here put in accusation was indisputably a gross political wrong; and a pretence, though a very slight pretence, for bringing political wrong under cognizance of the Amphiktyons, might be found in the tenor of the old oath taken by each included city.[511] Still, every one knew that for generations past, the assembly had taken no actual cognizance of political wrong; so that both trial and sentence were alike glaring departures from understood Grecian custom—proving only the humiliation of Sparta and the insolence of Thebes. The Spartans of course did not submit to pay, nor were there any means of enforcement against them. No practical effect followed therefore, except (probably) the exclusion of Sparta from the Amphiktyonic assembly—as well as from the Delphian temple and the Pythian games. Indirectly, however, the example was most pernicious, as demonstrating that the authority of a Pan-hellenic convocation, venerable from its religious antiquity; could be abused to satisfy the political antipathies of a single leading state.

In the year 357 B. C., a second attempt was made by Thebes to employ the authority of the Amphiktyonic assembly as a means of crushing her neighbors the Phokians. The latter had been, from old time, border-enemies of the Thebans, Lokrians, and Thessalians. Until the battle of Leuktra, they had fought as allies of Sparta against Thebes, but had submitted to Thebes after that battle, and had continued to be her allies, though less and less cordial, until the battle of Mantinea and the death of Epaminondas.[512] Since that time, the old antipathy appears to have been rekindled, especially on the part of Thebes. Irritated against the Phokians probably as having broken off from a sworn alliance, she determined to raise against them an accusation in the Amphiktyonic assembly. As to the substantive ground of accusation, we find different statements. According to one witness, they were accused of having cultivated some portion of the Kirrhæan plain, consecrated from of old to Apollo; according to another, they[p. 244] were charged with an aggressive invasion of Bœotia; while, according to a third, the war was caused by their having carried off Theano, a married Theban woman. Pausanias confesses that he cannot distinctly make out what was the allegation against them.[513] Assisted by the antipathy of the Thessalians and Lokrians, not less vehement than her own, Thebes had no difficulty in obtaining sentence of condemnation against the Phokians. A fine was imposed upon them; of what amount we are not told, but so heavy as to be far beyond their means of payment.

It was thus that the Thebans, who had never been able to attach to themselves a powerful confederacy such as that which formerly held its meetings at Sparta, supplied the deficiency by abusing their ascendency in the Amphiktyonic assembly to procure vengeance upon political enemies. A certain time was allowed for liquidating the fine, which the Phokians had neither means nor inclination to do. Complaint of the fact was then made at the next meeting of the Amphiktyons, when a decisive resolution was adopted, and engraven along with the rest on a column in the Delphian temple, to expropriate the recusant Phokians, and consecrate all their territory to Apollo—as Kirrha with its fertile plain had been treated two centuries before. It became necessary, at the same time, for the maintenance of consistency and equal dealing, to revive the mention of the previous fine still remaining unpaid by the Lacedæmonians; against whom it was proposed to pass a vote of something like excommunication.

Such impending dangers, likely to be soon realized under the instigation of Thebes, excited a resolute spirit of resistance among the Phokians. A wealthy and leading citizen of the Phokian town Ledon, named Philomelus son of Theotimus, stood forward as the head of this sentiment, setting himself energetically to organize means for the preservation of Phokian liberty as well as property.[p. 245] Among his assembled countrymen, he protested against the gross injustice of the recent sentence, amercing them in an enormous sum exceeding their means; when the strip of land, where they were alleged to have trespassed on the property of the god, was at best narrow and insignificant. Nothing was left, now, to avert from them utter ruin, except a bold front and an obstinate resistance, which he (Philomelus) would pledge himself to conduct with success, if they would intrust him with full powers. The Phokians (he contended) were the original and legitimate administrators of the Delphian temple—a privilege of which they had been wrongfully dispossessed by the Amphiktyonic assembly and the Delphians. “Let us reply to our enemies (he urged) by re-asserting our lost rights and seizing the temple; we shall obtain support and countenance from many Grecian states, whose interest is the same as our own, to resist the unjust decrees of the Amphiktyons.[514] Our enemies the Thebans (he added) are plotting the seizure of the temple for themselves, through the corrupt connivance of an Amphiktyonic majority: let us anticipate and prevent their injustice.”[515]

[p. 246]Here a new question was raised, respecting the right of presidency over the most venerated sanctuary in Greece; a question fraught with ruin to the peace of the Hellenic world. The claim of the Phokians was not a mere fiction, but founded on an ancient reality, and doubtless believed by themselves to be just. Delphi and its inhabitants were originally a portion of the Phokian name. In the Homeric Catalogue, which Philomelus emphatically cited, it stands enumerated among the Phokians commanded by Schedius and Epistrophus, under the name of the “rocky Pytho,”—a name still applied to it by Herodotus.[516] The Delphians had acquired sufficient force to sever themselves from their Phokian brethren—to stand out as a community by themselves—and to assume the lucrative privilege of administering the temple as their own peculiar. Their severance had been first brought about, and their pretensions as administrators espoused by Sparta,[517] upon whose powerful interest they mainly depended. But the Phokians had never ceased to press their claim, and so far was the dispute from being settled against them, even in 450 B. C., that they then had in their hands the actual administration. The Spartans despatched an army for the express purpose of taking it away from them and transferring it to the Delphians; but very shortly afterwards, when the Spartan forces had retired, the Athenians marched thither, and dispossessed the Delphians,[518] restoring the temple to the Phokians. This contest went by the name of the Sacred War. At that time the Athenians were masters of most parts of Bœotia, as well as of Megara and Pegæ; and had they continued so, the Phokians would probably have been sustained in their administration of the holy place; the rights of the Delphians on one side, against those of the Phokians on the other, being then obviously dependent on the comparative strength of Athens and Sparta. But presently evil days came upon Athens, so that she lost all her inland possessions north of Attica, and could no longer uphold her allies in Phokis. The Phokians now in fact passed into allies of Sparta, and were forced to relinquish their[p. 247] temple-management to the Delphians; who were confirmed in it by a formal article of the peace of Nikias in 421 B. C.,[519] and retained it without question, under the recognized Hellenic supremacy of Sparta, down to the battle of Leuktra. Even then, too, it continued undisturbed; since Thebes was nowise inclined to favor the claim of her enemies the Phokians, but was on the contrary glad to be assisted in crushing them by their rivals the Delphians, who, as managers of the temple, could materially contribute to a severe sentence of the Amphiktyonic assembly.

We see thus that the claim now advanced by Philomelus was not fictitious, but genuine, and felt by himself as well as by other Phokians to be the recovery of an ancient privilege, lost only through superior force.[520] His views being heartily embraced by his countrymen, he was nominated general with full powers. It was his first measure to go to Sparta, upon whose aid he counted, in consequence of the heavy fine which still stood imposed upon her by the Amphiktyonic sentence. He explained his views privately to king Archidamus, engaging, if the Phokians should become masters of the temple, to erase the sentence and fine from the column of record. Archidamus did not dare to promise him public countenance or support; the rather, as Sparta had always been the chief supporter of the Delphian presidency (as against the Phokian) over the temple. But in secret he warmly encouraged the scheme; furnishing a sum of fifteen talents, besides a few mercenary soldiers, towards its execution. With this aid Philomelus returned home, provided an equal sum of fifteen talents from his own purse, and collected a body of peltasts, Phokians as well as strangers. He then executed his design against Delphi, attacking suddenly both the town and the temple, and capturing them, as it would appear, with little opposition. To the alarmed Delphians, generally, he promised security and good treatment; but he put to death the members of the Gens (or Clan) called Thrakidæ, and seized their property: these men constituted one among several holy Gentes, leading conductors of the political[p. 248] and religious agency of the place.[521] It is probable, that when thus suddenly assailed, they had sent to solicit aid from their neighbors, the Lokrians of Amphissa; for Philomelus was scarcely in possession of Delphi, when these latter marched up to the rescue. He defeated them however with serious loss, and compelled them to return home.

Thus completely successful in his first attempt, Philomelus lost no time in announcing solemnly and formally his real purpose. He proclaimed that he had come only to resume for the Phokians their ancient rights as administrators; that the treasures of the temple should be safe and respected as before; that no impiety or illegality of any kind should be tolerated; and that the temple and its oracle would be opened, as heretofore, for visitors, sacrificers, and inquirers. At the same time, well aware that his Lokrian enemies at Amphissa were very near, he erected a wall to protect the town and temple, which appears to have been hitherto undefended,—especially its western side. He further increased his levies of troops. While the Phokians, inspirited with this first advantage, obeyed his call in considerable numbers, he also attracted new mercenaries from abroad by the offer of higher pay. He was presently at the head of five thousand men, strong enough to hold a difficult post like Delphi against all immediate attack. But being still anxious to appease Grecian sentiment and avert hostility, he despatched envoys to all the principal states,—not merely to Sparta and Athens, but also to his enemy Thebes. His envoys were instructed to offer solemn assurances, that the Phokians had taken Delphi simply to reclaim their paternal right of[p. 249] presidency, against past wrongful usurpation; that they were prepared to give any security required by the Hellenic body, for strict preservation of the valuables in the temple, and to exhibit and verify all, by weight and number, before examiners; that conscious of their own rectitude of purpose, they did not hesitate to entreat positive support against their enemies, or at any rate, neutrality.[522] The answers sent to Philomelus were not all of the same tenor. On this memorable event, the sentiments of the Grecian world were painfully divided. While Athens, Sparta, the Peloponnesian Achæans and some other states in Peloponnesus, recognized the possession of the Phokians, and agreed to assist them in retaining it,—the Thebans and Thessalians de[p. 250]clared strenuously against them, supported by all the states north of Bœotia, Lokrians, Dorians, Ænianes, Phthiot-Achæans, Magnêtes, Perrhæbians, Athamânes, and Dolopes. Several of these last were dependents of the Thessalians, and followed their example; many of them moreover belonging to the Amphiktyonic constituency, must have taken part in the votes of condemnation just rescinded by the Phokians.

We may clearly see that it was not at first the intention of Philomelus or his Phokian comrades to lay hands on the property of the Delphian temple; and Philomelus, while taking pains to set himself right in the eyes of Greece, tried to keep the prophetic agency of the temple in its ordinary working, so as to meet the exigencies of sacrificers and inquirers as before. He required the Pythian priestess to mount the tripod, submit herself to the prophetic inspiration, and pronounce the word thus put into her mouth, as usual. But the priestess,—chosen by the Delphians, and probably herself a member of one among the sacred Delphian Gentes,—obstinately refused to obey him; especially as the first question which he addressed concerned his own usurpation, and his chances of success against enemies. On his injunctions, that she should prophesy according to the traditional rites,—she replied that these rites were precisely what he had just overthrown; upon which he laid hold of her, and attempted to place her on the tripod by force. Subdued and frightened for her own personal safety, the priestess exclaimed involuntarily, that he might do what he chose. Philomelus gladly took this as an answer, favorable to his purpose. He caused it to be put in writing and proclaimed, as an oracle from the god, sanctioning and licensing his designs. He convened a special meeting of his partisans and the Delphians generally, wherein appeal was made to this encouraging answer, as warranting full confidence with reference to the impending war. So it was construed by all around, and confirmatory evidence was derived from farther signs and omens occurring at the moment.[523] It is probable, however, that Philomelus took care for the future to name a new priestess, more favorable to his interest, and disposed to deliver oracular answers under the new administrators in the same manner as under the old.

[p. 251]

Though so large a portion of the Grecian name had thus declared war against the Phokians, yet none at first appear to have made hostile movements, except the Lokrians, with whom Philomelus was fully competent to deal. He found himself strong enough to overrun and plunder their territory, engaging in some indecisive skirmishes. At first the Lokrians would not even give up the bodies of his slain soldiers for burial, alleging that sacrilegious men were condemned by the general custom of Greece to be cast out without sepulture. Nor did they desist from their refusal until he threatened retaliation towards the bodies of their own slain.[524] So bitter was the exasperation arising out of this deplorable war throughout the Hellenic world! Even against the Lokrians alone, however, Philomelus soon found himself in want of money, for the payment of his soldiers,—native Phokians as well as mercenary strangers. Accordingly, while he still adhered to his pledge to respect the temple property, he did not think himself precluded from levying a forced contribution on the properties of his enemies, the wealthy Delphian citizens; and his arms were soon crowned with a brilliant success against the Lokrians, in a battle fought near the Rocks called Phædriades; a craggy and difficult locality so close to Delphi, that the Lokrians must evidently have been the aggressors, marching up with a view to relieve the town. They were defeated with great loss, both in slain and in prisoners; several of them only escaping the spear of the enemy by casting themselves to certain death down the precipitous cliffs.[525]

This victory, while imparting courage to the Phokians, proved the signal for fresh exertions among their numerous enemies. The loud complaints of the defeated Lokrians raised universal sympathy; and the Thebans, now pressed by fear, as well as animated by hatred, of the Phokians, put themselves at the head of the movement. Sending round envoys to the Thessalians and the other Amphiktyonic states, they invoked aid and urged the necessity of mustering a common force,—“to assist the god,”—to vindicate the judicial dignity of the Amphiktyonic assembly,—and to put down the sacrilegious Phokians.[526] It appears that a[p. 252] special meeting of the assembly itself was convened; probably at Thermopylæ, since Delphi was in possession of the enemy. Decided resolutions were here taken to form an Amphiktyonic army of execution; accompanied by severe sentences of fine and other punishments, against the Phokian leaders, by name Philomelus and Onomarchus,—perhaps brothers, but at least joint commanders, together with others.[527]

The perils of the Phokians now became imminent. Their own unaided strength was nowise sufficient to resist the confederacy about to arm in defence of the Amphiktyonic assembly;[528] nor does it appear that either Athens or Sparta had as yet given them anything more than promises and encouragement. Their only chance of effective resistance lay in the levy of a large mercenary force; for which purpose neither their own funds, nor any farther aid derivable from private confiscation, could be made adequate. There remained no other resource except to employ the treasures and valuables in the Delphian temple, upon which accordingly Philomelus now laid hands. He did so, however, as his previous conduct evinced, with sincere reluctance, probably with various professions at first of borrowing only a given sum, destined to meet the actual emergency, and intended to be repaid as soon as safety should be provided for.[529] But whatever may have been[p. 253] his intentions at the outset, all such reserves or limits, or obligations to repay, were speedily forgotten in practice. When the feeling which protected the fund was broken through, it was as easy to take much as little, and the claimants became more numerous and importunate; besides which the exigencies of the war never ceased, and the implacable repugnance raised by the spoliation amidst half of the Grecian world, left to the Phokians no security except under the protection of a continued mercenary force.[530] Nor were Philomelus and his successors satisfied without also enriching their friends and adorning their wives or favorites.

Availing himself of the large resources of the temple, Philomelus raised the pay of his troops to a sum half as large again as before, and issued proclamations inviting new levies at the same rate. Through such tempting offers he was speedily enabled to muster a force, horse and foot together, said to amount to 10,000[p. 254] men; chiefly, as we are told, men of peculiarly wicked and reckless character, since no pious Greek would enlist in such a service. With these he attacked the Lokrians, who were however now assisted by the Thebans from one side, and by the Thessalians with their circumjacent allies from the other. Philomelus gained successive advantages against both of them, and conceived increased hopes from a reinforcement of 1500 Achæans who came to him from Peloponnesus. The war assumed a peculiarly ferocious character; for the Thebans,[531] confident in their superior force and chance of success, even though the Delphian treasure was employed against them, began by putting to death all their prisoners, as sacrilegious men standing condemned by the Amphiktyonic assembly. This so exasperated the troops of Philomelus, that they constrained him to retaliate upon the Bœotian prisoners. For some time such rigorous inflictions were continued on both sides, until at length the Thebans felt compelled to desist, and Philomelus followed their example. The war lasted a while with indecisive results, the Thebans and their allies being greatly superior in number. But presently Philomelus incautiously exposed himself to attack in an unfavorable position, near the town of Neon, amidst embarrassing woods and rocks. He was here defeated with severe loss, and his army dispersed; himself receiving several wounds, and fighting with desperate bravery, until farther resistance became impossible. He then tried to escape, but found himself driven to the brink of a precipice, where he could only avoid the tortures of captivity by leaping down and perishing. The remnant of his vanquished army was rallied at some distance by Onomarchus.[532]

The Thebans and their allies, instead of pressing the important victory recently gained over Philomelus, seem to have supposed that the Phokians would now disperse or submit of their own accord, and accordingly returned home. Their remissness gave time[p. 255] to Onomarchus to reorganize his dispirited countrymen. Convening at Delphi a general assembly of Phokians and allies, he strenuously exhorted them to persevere in the projects, and avenge the death, of their late general. He found, however, no inconsiderable amount of opposition; for many of the Phokians—noway prepared for the struggle in which they now found themselves embarked, and themselves ashamed of the spoliation of the temple—were anxious by some accommodation to put themselves again within the pale of Hellenic religious sentiment. Onomarchus doubtless replied, and with too good reason, that peace was unattainable upon any terms short of absolute ruin; and that there was no course open except to maintain their ground as they stood, by renewed efforts of force. But even if the necessities of the case had been less imperative, he would have been able to overbear all opposition of his own countrymen through the numerous mercenary strangers, now in Phokis and present at the assembly under the name of allies.[533] In fact, so irresistible was his ascendency by means of this large paid force under his command, that both Demosthenes and Æschines[534] denominate him (as well as his predecessor and his successor) not general, but despot, of the Phokians. The soldiers were not less anxious than Onomarchus to prosecute the war, and to employ the yet unexhausted wealth of the temple in every way conducive to ultimate success. In this sense the assembly decreed, naming Onomarchus general with full powers for carrying the decree into effect.

His energetic measures presently retrieved the Phokian cause. Employing the temple-funds still more profusely than Philomelus, he invited fresh soldiers from all quarters, and found himself, after some time, at the head of a larger army than before. The temple exhibited many donatives, not only of gold and silver, but also of brass and iron. While Onomarchus melted the precious metals and coined them into money, he at the same time turned[p. 256] the brass and iron into arms;[535] so that he was enabled to equip both his own soldiers disarmed in the recent defeat, and a class of volunteers poorer than the ordinary self-armed mercenaries. Besides paying soldiers, he scattered everywhere presents or bribes to gain influential partisans in the cities favorable to his cause; probably Athens and Sparta first of all. We are told that the Spartan king Archidamus, with his wife Deïnicha, were among the recipients; indeed the same corrupt participation was imputed, by the statement of the hostile-minded Messenians,[536] to the Spartan ephors and senate. Even among enemies, Onomarchus employed his gold with effect, contriving thus to gain or neutralize a portion of the Thessalians; among them the powerful despots of Pheræ, whom we afterwards find allied to him. Thus was the great Delphian treasure turned to account in every way; and the unscrupulous Phokian despot strengthened his hands yet farther, by seizing such of his fellow-countrymen as had been prominent in opposition to his views, putting them to death, and confiscating their property.[537]

Through such combination of profuse allurement, corruption, and violence, the tide began to turn again in favor of the Phokians. Onomarchus found himself shortly at the head of a formidable army, which he marched forth from Delphi, and subdued successively the Lokrians of Amphissa, the Epiknemidian Lokrians, and the neighboring territory of Doris. He carried his conquests even as far as the vicinity of Thermopylæ; capturing Thronium, one of the towns which commanded that important pass, and reducing its inhabitants to slavery. It is probable that he also took Nikæa and Alpônus—two other valuable positions near Thermopylæ, which we know to have been in the power of the Phokians until[p. 257] the moment immediately preceding their ruin—since we find him henceforward master of Thermopylæ, and speedily opening his communications with Thessaly.[538] Besides this extension of dominion to the north and east of Phokis, Onomarchus also invaded Bœotia. The Thebans, now deprived of their northern allies, did not at first meet him in the field, so that he was enabled to capture Orchomenus. But when he proceeded to attack Chæroneia, they made an effective effort to relieve the place. They brought out their forces, and defeated him, in an action not very decisive, yet sufficient to constrain him to retire into Phokis.

Probably the Thebans were at this time much pressed, and prevented from acting effectively against the Phokians, by want of money. We know at least that in the midst of the Phokian war they hired out a force of 5000 hoplites commanded by Pammenes, to Artabazus the revolted Phrygian satrap. Here Pammenes with his soldiers acquired some renown, gaining two important victories over the Persians.[539] The Thebans, it would seem, having no fleet and no maritime dependencies, were less afraid of giving offence to the Great King than Athens had been, when she interdicted Chares from aiding Artabazus, and acquiesced in the unfavorable pacification which terminated the Social War. How long Pammenes and the Thebans remained in Asia, we are not informed. But in spite of the victories gained by them, Artabazus was not[p. 258] long able to maintain himself against the Persian arms. Three years afterwards, we hear of him and his brother-in-law Memnon as expelled from Asia, and as exiles residing with Philip of Macedon.[540]

While Pammenes was serving under Artabazus, the Athenian general Chares recaptured Sestos in the Hellespont, which appears to have revolted from Athens during the Social War. He treated the captive Sestians with rigor; putting to death the men of military age, and selling the remainder as slaves.[541] This was an important acquisition for Athens, as a condition of security in the Chersonese as well as of preponderance in the Hellespont.

Alarmed at the successes of Chares in the Hellespont, the Thracian prince Kersobleptes now entered on an intrigue with Pammenes in Asia, and with Philip of Macedon (who was on the coast of Thrace, attacking Abdêra and Maroneia), for the purpose of checking the progress of the Athenian arms. Philip appears to have made a forward movement, and to have menaced the possessions of Athens in the Chersonese; but his access thither was forbidden by Amadokus, another prince of Thrace, master of the intermediate territory, as well as by the presence of Chares with his fleet off the Thracian coast.[542] Apollonides of Kardia was the agent of Kersobleptes; who however finding his schemes abortive, and intimidated by the presence of Chares, came to terms with Athens, and surrendered to her the portion of the Chersonese which still remained to him, with the exception of Kardia. The Athenians sent to the Chersonese a farther detachment of Kleruchs or out-settlers, for whom considerable room must have been made as well by the depopulation of Sestos, as by the recent cession from Kersobleptes.[543] It was in the ensuing year (352 B. C.)[p. 259] that the Athenians also despatched a fresh batch of 2000 citizens as settlers to Samos, in addition to those who had been sent thither thirteen years before.[544]

The mention of Philip as attacking Maroneia and menacing the Thracian Chersonese, shows the indefatigable activity of that prince and the steady enlargement of his power. In 358 B. C., he had taken Amphipolis; before 355 B. C., he had captured Pydna and Potidæa, founded the new town of Philippi, and opened for himself the resource of the adjoining auriferous region; he had established relations with Thessaly, assisting the great family of the Aleuadæ at Larissa in their struggle against Lykophron and Peitholaus, the despots of Pheræ:[545] he had farther again chastised the interior tribes bordering on Macedonia, Thra[p. 260]cians. Pæonians, and Illyrians, who were never long at rest, and who had combined to regain their independence.[546] It appears to have been in 354-353 B. C., that he attacked Methônê, the last remaining possession of Athens on the Macedonian coast. Situated on the Thermaic Gulf, Methônê was doubtless a convenient station for Athenian privateers to intercept trading vessels, not merely to and from Macedonian ports, but also from Olynthus and Potidæa; so that the Olynthians, then in alliance with Philip against Athens, would be glad to see it pass into his power, and may perhaps have lent him their aid. He pressed the siege of the place with his usual vigor, employing all the engines and means of assault then known; while the besieged on their side were not less resolute in the defence. They repelled his attacks for so long a time, that news of the danger of the place reached Athens, and ample time was afforded for sending relief, had the Athenians been ready and vigorous in their movement. But unfortunately they had not even now learnt experience from the loss of Pydna and Potidæa. Either the Etesian winds usual in summer, or the storms of winter, both which circumstances were taken into account by Philip in adjusting the season of his enterprises[547]—or (which is more probable) the aversion of the Athenian respectable citizens to personal service on shipboard, and their slackness even in pecuniary payment—caused so much delay in preparations, that the expedition sent out did not reach Methônê until too late.[548] The Methonæans, having gallantly held out until all their means were exhausted, were at length compelled to surrender. Diodorus tells us that Philip granted terms so far lenient as to allow them to depart with the clothes on their backs.[549] But this can[p. 261] hardly be accurate, since we know that there were Athenian citizens among them sold as slaves, some of whom were ransomed by Demosthenes with his own money.[550]

Being now master of the last port possessed by Athens in the Thermaic Gulf—an acquisition of great importance, which had never before[551] belonged to the Macedonian kings—Philip was enabled to extend his military operations to the neighborhood of the Thracian Chersonese on the one side, and to that of Thermopylæ on the other. How he threatened the Chersonese, has been already related; and his campaign in Thessaly was yet more important. That country was, as usual, torn by intestine disputes. Lykophron the despot of Pheræ possessed the greatest sway; while the Aleuadæ of Larissa, too weak to contend against him with their own forces, invited assistance from Philip; who entered Thessaly with a powerful army. Such a reinforcement so completely altered the balance of Thessalian power, that Lykophron in his turn was compelled to entreat aid from Onomarchus and the Phokians.

So strong were the Phokians now, that they were more than a match for the Thebans with their other hostile neighbors, and had means to spare for combating Philip in Thessaly. As their force[p. 262] consisted of a large body of mercenaries, whom they were constrained for security to retain in pay—to keep them employed beyond the border was a point not undesirable. Hence they readily entered upon the Thessalian campaign. At this moment they counted, in the comparative assessment of Hellenic forces, as an item of first-rate magnitude. They were hailed both by Athenians and Spartans as the natural enemy and counterpoise of Thebes, alike odious to both. While the Phokians maintained their actual power, Athens could manage her foreign policy abroad, and Sparta her designs in Peloponnesus, with diminished apprehensions of being counterworked by Thebes. Both Athens and Sparta had at first supported the Phokians against unjust persecution by Thebes and abuse of Amphiktyonic jurisdiction, before the spoliation of the Delphian temple was consummated or even anticipated. And though, when that spoliation actually occurred, it was doubtless viewed with reprobation among Athenians, accustomed to unlimited freedom of public discussion—as well as at Sparta, in so far as it became known amidst the habitual secrecy of public affairs—nevertheless political interests so far prevailed, that the Phokians (perhaps in part by aid of bribery) were still countenanced, though not much assisted, as useful rivals to Thebes.[552] To restrain “the Leuktric insolence of the Thebans,”[553] and to see the Bœotian towns Orchomenus, Thespiæ, Platæa, restored to their pristine autonomy, was an object of paramount desire with each of the two ancient heads of Greece. So far both Athens and Sparta felt in unison. But Sparta cherished a farther hope—in which Athens by no means concurred—to avail herself of the embarrassments of Thebes for the purpose of breaking up[p. 263] Megalopolis and Messênê, and recovering her former Peloponnesian dominion. These two new Peloponnesian cities, erected by Epaminondas on the frontier of Laconia, had been hitherto upheld against Sparta by the certainty of Theban interference if they were menaced. But so little did Thebes seem in a condition to interfere, while Onomarchus and the Phokians were triumphant in 353-352 B. C., that the Megalopolitans despatched envoys to Athens to entreat protection and alliance, while the Spartans on their side sent to oppose the petition.

It is on occasion of the political debates in Athens during the years 354 and 353 B. C., that we first have before us the Athenian Demosthenes, as adviser of his countrymen in the public assembly. His first discourse of public advice was delivered in 354-353 B. C., on an alarm of approaching war with Persia; his second, in 353-352 B. C., was intended to point out the policy proper for Athens in dealing with the Spartan and Megalopolitan envoys.

A few words must here be said about this eminent man, who forms the principal ornament of the declining Hellenic world. He was about twenty-seven years old; being born, according to what seems the most probable among contradictory accounts, in 382-381 B. C.[554] His father, named also Demosthenes, was a citizen of considerable property, and of a character so unimpeachable that even Æschines says nothing against him; his mother[p. 264] Kleobulê was one of the two daughters and coheiresses of a citizen named Gylon,[555] an Athenian exile, who, having become rich[p. 265] as a proprietor of land and exporter of corn in Bosphorus, sent his two daughters to Athens; where, possessing handsome dowries, they married two Athenian citizens—Demochares and the elder Demosthenes. The latter was a man of considerable wealth, and carried on two distinct manufactories; one of swords or knives, employing thirty-two slaves—the other, of couches or beds, employing twenty. In the new schedule of citizens and of taxable property, introduced in the archonship of Nausinikus (378 B. C.), the elder Demosthenes was enrolled among the richest class, the leaders of Symmories. But he died about 375 B. C., leaving his son Demosthenes seven years old, with a younger daughter about five years of age. The boy and his large paternal property were confided to the care of three guardians named under his father’s will. These guardians—though the father, in hopes of ensuring their fidelity, had bequeathed to them considerable legacies, away from his own son, and though all of them were rich men as well as family connections and friends—administered the property with such negligence and dishonesty, that only a sum comparatively small was left, when they came to render account to their ward. At the age of sixteen years complete, Demosthenes attained his civil majority, and became entitled by the Athenian law to the administration of his own property. During his minority, his guardians had continued to enrol him among the wealthiest class (as his father had ranked before), and to pay the increased rate of direct taxation chargeable upon that class; but the real sum handed over to him by his guardians was too small to justify such a position. Though his father had died worth fourteen talents,—which would be diminished by the sums bequeathed as legacies, but ought to have been increased in greater proportion by the interest on the property for the ten years of minority, had it been properly administered—the sum paid to young Demosthenes on his majority was less than two talents, while the guardians not only gave in dishonest accounts, but professed not to be able to produce the father’s will. After repeated complaints and remonstrances, he brought a judicial action against one of them—Aphobus, and obtained a verdict carrying damages to the amount of ten talents. Payment however was still evaded by the debtor. Five speeches remain delivered by Demosthenes, three against Aphobus, two against Onêtor, brother-in-law of Aphobus. At the date[p. 266] of the latest oration, Demosthenes had still received nothing; nor do we know how much he ultimately realized, though it would seem that the difficulties thrown in his way were such as to compel him to forego the greater part of the claim. Nor is it certain whether he ever brought the actions, of which he speaks as intended, against the other two guardians Demophon and Therippides.[556]

Demosthenes received during his youth the ordinary grammatical and rhetorical education of a wealthy Athenian. Even as a boy, he is said to have manifested extraordinary appetite and interest for rhetorical exercise. By earnest entreaty, he prevailed on his tutors to conduct him to hear Kallistratus, one of the ablest speakers in Athens, delivering an harangue in the Dikastery on the matter of Oropus.[557] This harangue, producing a profound impression upon Demosthenes, stimulated his fondness for rhetorical studies. Still more was the passion excited, when on attaining his majority, he found himself cheated of most of his paternal property, and constrained to claim his rights by a suit at law against his guardians. Being obliged, according to Athenian prac[p. 267]tice, to plead his own cause personally, he was made to feel keenly the helpless condition of an incompetent speaker, and the necessity of acquiring oratorical power, not simply as an instrument of ambition, but even as a means of individual defence and safety.[558] It appears also that he was, from childhood, of sickly constitution and feeble muscular frame; so that partly from his own disinclination, partly from the solicitude of his mother, he took little part either as boy or youth in the exercises of the palæstra. His delicate clothing, and somewhat effeminate habits, procured for him as a boy the nickname of Batalus, which remained attached to him most part of his life, and which his enemies tried to connect with degrading imputations.[559] Such comparative bodily disability probably contributed to incite his thirst for mental and rhetorical acquisitions, as the only road to celebrity open. But it at the same time disqualified him from appropriating to himself the full range of a comprehensive Grecian education, as conceived by Plato, Isokrates, and Aristotle; an education applying alike to thought, word, and action—combining bodily strength, endurance, and fearlessness, with an enlarged[p. 268] mental capacity and a power of making it felt by speech. The disproportion between the physical energy, and the mental force, of Demosthenes, beginning in childhood, is recorded and lamented in the inscription placed on his statue after his death.[560]

As a youth of eighteen years of age, Demosthenes found himself with a known and good family position at Athens, being ranked in the class of richest citizens and liable to the performance of liturgies and trierarchy as his father had been before him;[561] yet with a real fortune very inadequate to the outlay expected from him—embarrassed by a legal proceeding against guardians wealthy as well as unscrupulous—and an object of dislike and annoyance from other wealthy men, such as Meidias and his brother Thrasylochus,[562] friends of those guardians. His family position gave him a good introduction to public affairs, for which he proceeded to train himself carefully; first as a writer of speeches for others, next as a speaker in his own person. Plato and Isokrates were both at this moment in full celebrity, visited at Athens by pupils from every part of Greece; Isæus also, who had studied under Isokrates, was in great reputation as a composer of judicial harangues for plaintiffs or defendants in civil causes. Demosthenes put himself under the teaching of Isæus (who is said to have assisted him in composing the speeches against his guardians), and also profited largely by the discourse of Plato, of Isokrates, and others. As an ardent aspirant he would seek instruction from most of the best sources, theoretical as well as[p. 269] practical—writers as well as lecturers.[563] But besides living teachers, there was one of the past generation who contributed largely to his improvement. He studied Thucydides with indefatigable labor and attention; according to one account, he copied the whole history eight times over with his own hand; according to another, he learnt it all by heart, so as to be able to rewrite it from memory when the manuscript was accidentally destroyed. Without minutely criticising these details, we ascertain at least that Thucydides was the object of his peculiar study and imitation. How much the composition of Demosthenes was fashioned by the reading of Thucydides—reproducing the daring, majestic and impressive phraseology, yet without the overstrained brevity and involutions of that great historian—and contriving to blend with it a perspicuity and grace not inferior to Lysias—may be seen illustrated in the elaborate criticism of the rhetor Dionysius.[564]

While thus striking out for himself a bold and original style, Demosthenes had still greater difficulties to overcome in regard to the external requisites of an orator. He was not endowed by nature, like Æschines, with a magnificent voice; nor, like Demades, with a ready flow of vehement improvisation. His thoughts required to be put together by careful preparation; his voice was bad and even lisping—his breath short—his gesticulation ungraceful; moreover he was overawed and embarrassed by the manifestations of the multitude. Such an accumulation of natural impediments were at least equal to those of which Isokrates complains, as having debarred him all his life from addressing the public assembly, and restrained him to a select audience of friends or pupils. The energy and success with which Demosthenes overcame his defects, in such manner as to satisfy a critical assembly like the Athenian, is one of the most memorable circumstances in the general history of self-education. Repeated humiliation and repulse only spurred him on to fresh solitary efforts for improvement. He corrected his defective elocution by speaking with pebbles in his mouth; he prepared himself to overcome[p. 270] the noise of the assembly by declaiming in stormy weather on the sea-shore of Phalerum; he opened his lungs by running, and extended his powers of holding breath by pronouncing sentences in marching up-hill; he sometimes passed two or three months without interruption in a subterranean chamber, practising night and day either in composition or declamation, and shaving one half of his head in order to disqualify himself from going abroad. After several trials without success before the assembly, his courage was on the point of giving way, when Eunomus and other old citizens reassured him by comparing the matter of his speeches to those of Perikles, and exhorting him to persevere a little longer in the correction of his external defects. On another occasion, he was pouring forth his disappointment to Satyrus the actor, who undertook to explain to him the cause, desiring him to repeat in his own way a speech out of Sophokles, which he (Satyrus) proceeded to repeat after him, with suitable accent and delivery. Demosthenes, profoundly struck with the difference, began anew the task of self-improvement; probably taking constant lessons from good models. In his unremitting private practice, he devoted himself especially to acquiring a graceful action, keeping watch on all his movements while declaiming before a tall looking-glass.[565] After pertinacious efforts for several years, he was rewarded at length with complete success. His delivery became full of decision and vehemence, highly popular with the general body of the assembly; though some critics censured his modulation as artificial and out of nature, and savoring of low stage-effect; while others, in the same spirit, condemned his speeches as over-labored and smelling of the lamp.[566]

[p. 271]So great was the importance assigned by Demosthenes himself to these external means of effect, that he is said to have pronounced “Action” to be the first, second, and third requisite for an orator. If we grant this estimate to be correct, with reference to actual hearers, we must recollect that his speeches are, (not less truly than the history of Thucydides), “an everlasting possession rather than a display for momentary effect.” Even among his contemporaries, the effect of the speeches, when read apart from the speaker, was very powerful. There were some who thought that their full excellence could only be thus appreciated;[567] while to the after-world, who know them only by reading, they have been and still are the objects of an admiration reaching its highest pitch in the enthusiastic sentiment of the fastidious rhetor Dionysius.[568] The action of Demosthenes,—consummate as it doubtless was, and highly as he may himself have prized an accomplishment so laboriously[p. 272] earned,—produced its effect only in conjunction with the matter of Demosthenes; his thoughts, sentiments, words, and above all, his sagacity in appreciating and advising on the actual situation. His political wisdom, and his lofty patriotic idéal, are in truth quite as remarkable as his oratory. By what training he attained either the one or the other of these qualities, we are unfortunately not permitted to know. Our informants have little interest in him except as a speaker; they tell us neither what he learned, nor from whom, nor by what companions, or party-associates, his political point of view was formed. But we shall hardly err in supposing that his attentive meditation of Thucydides supplied him, not merely with force and majesty of expression, but also with that conception of Athens in her foretime which he is perpetually impressing on his countrymen,—Athens at the commencement of the Peloponnesian war, in days of exuberant energy, and under the advice of her noblest statesman.

In other respects, we are left in ignorance as to the mental history of Demosthenes. Before he acquired reputation as a public adviser, he was already known as a logographer, or composer of discourses to be delivered either by speakers in the public assembly or by litigants in the Dikastery; for which compositions he was paid, according to usual practice at Athens. He had also pleaded in person before the Dikastery; in support of an accusation preferred by others against a law, proposed by Leptines, for abrogating votes of immunity passed by the city in favor of individuals, and restraining such grants in future. Nothing can be more remarkable, in this speech against Leptines, than the intensity with which the young speaker enforces the necessity of strict and faithful adherence to engagements on the part of the people, in spite of great occasional inconvenience in so doing. It would appear that he was in habitual association with some wealthy youths,—among others, with Apollodorus son of the wealthy banker, Pasion, whom he undertook to instruct in the art of speaking. This we learn from the denunciations of his rival, Æschines;[569] who accuses him of having thus made his way into various wealthy families,—especially where there was an orphan youth and a widowed mother,—using unworthy artifices to defraud and[p. 273] ruin them. How much truth there may be in such imputations, we cannot tell. But Æschines was not unwarranted in applying to his rival the obnoxious appellations of logographer and sophist; appellations all the more disparaging, because Demosthenes belonged to a trierarchic family, of the highest class in point of wealth.[570]

It will be proper here to notice another contemporary adviser, who stands in marked antithesis and rivalry to Demosthenes. Phokion was a citizen of small means, son of a pestle-maker. Born about the year 402 B. C., he was about twenty years older than Demosthenes. At what precise time his political importance commenced, we do not know; but he lived to the great age of eighty-four, and was a conspicuous man throughout the last half-century of his life. He becomes known first as a military officer, having served in subordinate command under Chabrias, to whom he was greatly attached, at the battle of Naxos in 376 B. C. He was a man of thorough personal bravery, and considerable talents for command; of hardy and enduring temperament, insensible to cold or fatigue; strictly simple in his habits, and above all, superior to every kind of personal corruption. His abstinence from plunder and peculation, when on naval expeditions, formed an honorable contrast with other Athenian admirals, and procured for him much esteem on the part of the maritime allies. Hence, probably, his surname of Phokion the Good.[571]

I have already remarked how deep and strong was the hold acquired on the Athenian people, by any public man who once established for himself a character above suspicion on the score of personal corruption. Among Athenian politicians, but too many were not innocent on this point; moreover, even when a[p. 274] man was really innocent, there were often circumstances in his life which rendered more or less of doubt admissible against him; thus Demosthenes,—being known not only as a person of somewhat costly habits, but also as frequenting wealthy houses, and receiving money for speeches composed or rhetoric communicated,—was sure to be accused, justly or unjustly, by his enemies, of having cheated rich clients, and would never obtain unquestioned credit for a high pecuniary independence, even in regard to the public affairs; although he certainly was not corrupt, nor generally believed to be corrupt,—at least during the period which this volume embraces, down to the death of Philip.[572] But Phokion would receive neither money nor gifts from any one,—was notoriously and obviously poor,—went barefoot and without an upper garment even in very cold weather,—had only one female slave to attend on his wife; while he had enjoyed commands sufficient to enrich him if he had chosen. His personal incorruptibility thus stood forth prominently to the public eye; and combined as it was with bravery and fair generalship, procured for him testimonies of confidence greater than those accorded even to Perikles. He was elected no less than forty-five times to the annual office of Stratêgus or General of the city,—that is, one of the Board of Ten so denominated, the greatest executive function at Athens,—and elected too, without having ever on any occasion solicited the office, or even been present at the choice.[573] In all Athenian[p. 275] history, we read of no similar multiplication of distinct appointments and honors to the same individual.

According to the picture of Athens and her democracy, as usually presented by historians, we are taught to believe that the only road open to honors or political influence, was, by a seductive address, and by courting the people with fine speeches, unworthy flattery, or unmeasured promises. Those who take this view of the Athenian character, will find it difficult to explain the career of Phokion. He was no orator,—from disdain rather than incompetence.[574] Besides receiving a good education, he had profited by the conversation of Plato, as well as of Xenokrates, in the Academy;[575] and we are not surprised that in their school he contracted a contempt for popular oratory, as well as a love for brief, concentrated, pungent reply. Once, when about to speak in public, he was observed to be particularly absorbed in thought. “You seem meditative, Phokion,” said a friend. “Ay, by Zeus,” was the reply; “I am meditating whether I cannot in some way abridge the speech which I am just about to address to the Athenians.” He knew so well, however, on what points to strike, that his telling brevity, strengthened by the weight of character and position, cut through the fine oratory of Demosthenes more effectively than any counter-oratory from men like Æschines. Demosthenes himself greatly feared Phokion as an opponent, and was heard to observe, on seeing him rise to speak, “Here comes the cleaver of my harangues.”[576] Polyeuktus,—himself an orator and a friend of Demosthenes,—drew a distinction highly complimentary to Phokion, by saying, that “Demosthenes was the finest orator, but Phokion the most formidable in speech.”[577] In public policy, in means of political effect, and in personal character,—Phokion was the direct antithesis of Demosthenes; whose warlike eloquence, unwarlike disposition, paid speech-writing, and delicate habits of life, he doubtless alike despised.

As Phokion had in his nature little of the professed orator, so[p. 276] he had still less of the flatterer. He affected and sustained the character of a blunt soldier, who speaks out his full mind without suppression or ornament, careless whether it be acceptable to hearers or not.[578] His estimate of his countrymen was thoroughly and undisguisedly contemptuous. This is manifest in his whole proceedings; and appears especially in the memorable remark ascribed to him, on an occasion when something that he had said in the public assembly met with peculiar applause. Turning round to a friend, he asked, “Have I not, unconsciously, said something bad?” His manners, moreover, were surly and repulsive, though his disposition is said to have been kind. He had learnt, in the Academy, a sort of Spartan self-suppression and rigor of life.[579] No one ever saw him either laughing, or weeping, or bathing in the public baths.

If, then, Phokion attained the unparalleled honor of being chosen forty-five times general, we may be sure that there were other means of reaching it besides the arts of oratory and demagogy. We may indeed ask with surprise, how it was possible for him to attain it, in the face of so many repulsive circumstances, by the mere force of bravery and honesty; especially as he never performed any supereminent service,[580] though on various occasions he conducted himself with credit and ability. The answer to this question may be found in the fact that Phokion, though not a flatterer of the people, went decidedly along with the capital weakness of the people. While despising their judgment, he manifested no greater foresight, as to the public interests and security of Athens, than they did. The Athenian people had doubtless many infirmities and committed many errors; but the worst error of all, during the interval between 360-336 B. C., was their unconquerable repugnance to the efforts, personal and pecuniary, required for prosecuting a hearty war against Philip. Of this aversion to a[p. 277] strenuous foreign policy, Phokion made himself the champion;[581] addressing, in his own vein, sarcastic taunts against those who called for action against Philip, as if they were mere brawlers and cowards, watching for opportunities to enrich themselves at the public expense. Eubulus the orator was among the leading statesmen who formed what may be called the peace-party at Athens, and who continually resisted or discouraged energetic warlike efforts, striving to keep out of sight the idea of Philip as a dangerous enemy. Of this peace-party, there were doubtless some who acted corruptly, in the direct pay of Philip. But many others of them, without any taint of personal corruption, espoused the same policy merely because they found it easier, for the time, to administer the city under peace than under war—because war was burdensome and disagreeable, to themselves as well as to their fellow-citizens—and because they either did not, or would not, look forward to the consequences of inaction. Now it was a great advantage to this peace-party, who wanted a military leader as partner to their civil and rhetorical leaders, to strengthen themselves by a colleague like Phokion; a man not only of unsuspected probity, but peculiarly disinterested in advising peace, since his importance would have been exalted by war.[582] Moreover most of the eminent military leaders had now come to love only the license of war, and to disdain the details of the war-office at home; while Phokion,[583] and he almost alone among them, was content to stay at Athens, and keep up that combination of civil with military efficiency which had been, formerly, habitual. Hence he was sustained, by the peace-party and by the aversion to warlike effort prevalent among the public, in a sort of perpetuity of the strategic functions, without any solicitation or care for personal popularity on his own part.

The influence of Phokion as a public adviser, during the period embraced in this volume, down to the battle of Chæroneia, was eminently mischievous to Athens: all the more mischievous, partly (like that of Nikias) from the respectability of his personal[p. 278] qualities—partly because he espoused and sanctioned the most dangerous infirmity of the Athenian mind. His biographers mislead our judgment by pointing our attention chiefly to the last twenty years of his long life, after the battle of Chæroneia. At that time, when the victorious military force of Macedonia had been fully organized, and that of Greece comparatively prostrated, it might be argued plausibly (I do not say decisively, even then) that submission to Macedonia had become a fatal necessity; and that attempts to resist could only end by converting bad into worse. But the peace-policy of Phokion—which might be called prudence after the accession of Alexander—was ruinously imprudent as well as dishonorable during the reign of Philip. The odds were all against Philip in his early years; they shifted and became more and more in his favor, only because his game was played well, and that of his opponents badly. The superiority of force was at first so much on the side of Athens, that if she had been willing to employ it, she might have made sure of keeping Philip at least within the limits of Macedonia. All depended upon her will; upon the question, whether her citizens were prepared in their own minds to incur the expense and fatigue of a vigorous foreign policy—whether they would handle their pikes, open their purses, and forego the comforts of home, for the maintenance of Grecian and Athenian liberty against a growing, but not as yet irresistible destroyer. To such a sacrifice the Athenians could not bring themselves to submit; and in consequence of that reluctance, they were driven in the end to a much graver and more irreparable sacrifice—the loss of liberty, dignity, and security. Now it was precisely at such a moment, and when such a question was pending, that the influence of the peace-loving Phokion was most ruinous. His anxiety that the citizens should be buried at home in their own sepulchres—his despair, mingled with contempt, of his countrymen and their refined habits—his hatred of the orators who might profit by an increased war-expenditure[584]—all contributed to make him discourage public effort, and await passively the preponderance of the Macedonian arms; thus playing the game of Philip, and siding, though himself incorruptible, with the orators in Philip’s pay.

[p. 279]

The love of peace, either in a community or in an individual, usually commands sympathy without farther inquiry, though there are times of growing danger from without, in which the adviser of peace is the worst guide that can be followed. Since the Peloponnesian war, a revolution had been silently going on in Greece, whereby the duties of soldiership had passed to a great degree from citizen militia into the hands of paid mercenaries. The resident citizens generally had become averse to the burden of military service; while on the other hand the miscellaneous aggregate of Greeks willing to carry arms anywhere and looking merely for pay, had greatly augmented. Very differently had the case once stood. The Athenian citizen of 432 B. C.—by concurrent testimony of the eulogist Perikles and of the unfriendly Corinthians—was ever ready to brave the danger, fatigue, and privation, of foreign expeditions, for the glory of Athens. “He accounted it holidaywork to do duty in her service (it is an enemy who speaks[585]); he wasted his body for her as though it had been the body of another.” Embracing with passion the idea of imperial Athens, he knew that she could only be upheld by the energetic efforts of her individual citizens, and that the talk in her public[p. 280] assemblies, though useful as a preliminary to action, was mischievous if allowed as a substitute for action.[586] Such was the Periklean Athenian of 431 B. C. But this energy had been crushed in the disasters closing the Peloponnesian war, and had never again revived. The Demosthenic Athenian of 360 B. C. had as it were grown old. Pugnacity, Pan-hellenic championship, and the love of enterprise, had died within him. He was a quiet, home-keeping, refined citizen, attached to the democratic constitution, and executing with cheerful pride his ordinary city-duties under it; but immersed in industrial or professional pursuits, in domestic comforts, in the impressive manifestations of the public religion, in the atmosphere of discussion and thought, intellectual as well as political. To renounce all this for foreign and continued military service, he considered as a hardship not to be endured, except under the pressure of danger near and immediate. Precautionary exigencies against distant perils, however real, could not be brought home to his feelings; even to pay others for serving in his place, was a duty which he could scarcely be induced to perform.

Not merely in Athens, but also among the Peloponnesian allies of Sparta, the resident citizens had contracted the like indisposition to military service. In the year 431 B. C., these Peloponnesians (here too we have the concurrent testimony of Perikles and Archidamus[587]) had been forward for service with their persons, and only backward when asked for money. In 383 B. C., Sparta found them so reluctant to join her standard, especially for operations beyond sea, that she was forced to admit into her confederacy the principle of pecuniary commutation;[588] just as Athens had done (about 460-450 B. C.) with the unwarlike islanders enrolled in her confederacy of Delos.[589]

[p. 281]Amidst this increasing indisposition to citizen military service, the floating, miscellaneous bands who made soldiership a livelihood under any one who would pay them, increased in number from year to year. In 402-401 B. C., when the Cyreian army (the Ten Thousand Greeks) were levied, it had been found difficult to bring so many together; large premiums were given to the chiefs or enlisting agents; the recruits consisted, in great part, of settled men tempted by lucrative promises away from their homes.[590] But active men ready for paid foreign service were perpetually multiplying, from poverty, exile, or love of enterprise[591]; they were put under constant training and greatly improved, by Iphikrates and others, as peltasts or light infantry to serve in conjunction with the citizen force of hoplites. Jason of Pheræ brought together a greater and better trained mercenary force than had ever been seen since the Cyreians in their upward march[592]; the Phokians also in the Sacred War, having command over the Delphian treasures, surrounded themselves with a formidable array of mercenary soldiers. There arose (as in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in modern Europe) Condottieri like Charidemus and others—generals having mercenary bands under their command, and hiring themselves out to any prince or potentate who would employ and pay them. Of these armed rovers—poor, brave, desperate, and held by no civic ties—Isokrates makes repeated complaint, as one of the most serious misfortunes of Greece.[593][p. 282] Such wanderers, indeed, usually formed the natural emigrants in new colonial enterprises. But it so happened that few Hellenic colonies were formed during the interval between 400-350 B. C.; in fact, the space open to Hellenic colonization was becoming more circumscribed by the peace of Antalkidas—by the despotism of Dionysius—and by the increase of Lucanians, Bruttians, and the inland powers generally. Isokrates, while extolling the great service formerly rendered to the Hellenic world by Athens, in setting on foot the Ionic emigration, and thus providing new homes for so many unsettled Greeks—insists on the absolute necessity of similar means of emigration in his own day. He urges on Philip to put himself at the head of an Hellenic conquest of Asia Minor, and thus to acquire territory which might furnish settlement to the multitudes of homeless, roving, exiles, who lived by the sword, and disturbed the peace of Greece.[594]

This decline of the citizen militia, and growing aversion to personal service, or military exercises—together with the contemporaneous increase of the professional soldiery unmoved by civic obligations—is one of the capital facts of the Demosthenic age. Though not peculiar to Athens, it strikes us more forcibly at Athens, where the spirit of self-imposed individual effort had once been so high wrought—but where also the charm and stim[p. 283]ulus[595] of peaceful existence was most diversified, and the activity of industrial pursuit most continuous. It was a fatal severance of the active force of society from political freedom and intelligence breaking up that many-sided combination, of cultivated thought with vigorous deed, which formed the Hellenic idéal—and throwing the defence of Greece upon armed men looking up only to their general or their paymaster. But what made it irreparably fatal, was that just at this moment the Grecian world was thrown upon its defence against Macedonia led by a young prince of indefatigable enterprise; who had imbibed, and was capable even of improving, the best ideas of military organization[596] started by Epaminondas and Iphikrates. Philip (as described by his enemy Demosthenes) possessed all that forward and unconquerable love of action which the Athenians had manifested in 431 B. C., as we know from enemies as well as from friends; while the Macedonian population also retained, amidst rudeness and poverty, that military aptitude and readiness which had dwindled away within the walls of the Grecian cities.

Though as yet neither disciplined nor formidable, they were an excellent raw material for soldiers, in the hands of an organizing genius like Philip. They were still (as their predecessors had been in the time of the first Perdikkas,[597] when the king’s wife baked cakes with her own hand on the hearth), mountain shepherds ill-clothed and ill-housed—eating and drinking from wooden platters and cups—destitute to a great degree, not mere[p. 284]ly of cities, but of fixed residences.[598] The men of substance were armed with breastplates and made good cavalry; but the infantry were a rabble destitute of order,[599] armed with wicker shields and rusty swords, and contending at disadvantage, though constantly kept on the alert, to repel the inroads of their Illyrian or Thracian neighbors. Among some Macedonian tribes, the man who had never slain an enemy was marked by a degrading badge.[600] These were the men whom Philip on becoming king found under his rule; not good soldiers, but excellent recruits to be formed into soldiers. Poverty, endurance, and bodies inured to toil, were the natural attributes, well appreciated by ancient politicians, of a military population destined to make conquests. Such had been the native Persians, at their first outburst under Cyrus the Great; such were even the Greeks at the invasion of Xerxes, when the Spartan King Demaratus reckoned poverty both as an inmate of Greece, and as a guarantee of Grecian courage.[601]

[p. 285]Now it was against these rude Macedonians, to whom camp-life presented chances of plunder without any sacrifice, that the industrious and refined Athenian citizen had to go forth and fight, renouncing his trade, family, and festivals; a task the more severe, as the perpetual aggressions and systematized warfare of his new enemies could only be countervailed by an equal continuity of effort on his part. For such personal devotion, combined with the anxieties of preventive vigilance, the Athenians of the Periklean age would have been prepared, but those of the Demosthenic age were not; though their whole freedom and security were in the end found to be at stake.

Without this brief sketch of the great military change in Greece since the Peloponnesian war—the decline of the citizen force and the increase of mercenaries—the reader would scarcely understand either the proceedings of Athens in reference to Philip, or the career of Demosthenes on which we are now about to enter.

Having by assiduous labor acquired for himself these high powers both of speech and of composition, Demosthenes stood forward in 354 B. C. to devote them to the service of the public. His first address to the assembly is not less interesting, objectively, as a memorial of the actual Hellenic political world in that year—than subjectively, as an evidence of his own manner of appreciating its exigencies.[602] At that moment, the predominant apprehension at Athens arose from reports respecting the Great King, who was said to be contemplating measures of hostility against Greece, and against Athens in particular, in consequence of the aid recently lent by the Athenian general Chares to the revolted Persian satrap Artabazus. By this apprehension—which had already, in part, determined the Athenians (a year before) to make[p. 286] peace with their revolted insular allies, and close the Social War—the public mind still continued agitated. A Persian armament of three hundred sail, with a large force of Grecian mercenaries—and an invasion of Greece—was talked of as probable.[603] It appears that Mausôlus, prince or satrap of Karia, who had been the principal agent in inflaming the Social War, still prosecuted hostilities against the islands even after the peace, announcing that he acted in execution of the king’s designs; so that the Athenians sent envoys to remonstrate with him.[604] The Persians seem also to have been collecting inland forces, which were employed some years afterwards in reconquering Egypt, but of which the destination was not at this moment declared. Hence the alarm now prevalent at Athens. It is material to note—as a mark in the tide of events—that few persons as yet entertained apprehensions about Philip of Macedon, though that prince was augmenting steadily his military force as well as his conquests. Nay, Philip afterwards asserted that during this alarm of Persian invasion, he was himself one of the parties invited to assist in the defence of Greece.[605]

Though the Macedonian power had not yet become obviously formidable, we trace in the present speech of Demosthenes that same Pan-hellenic patriotism which afterwards rendered him so strenuous in blowing the trumpet against Philip. The obligation incumbent upon all Greeks, but upon Athens especially, on account of her traditions and her station, to uphold Hellenic liberty against the foreigner at all cost, is insisted on with an emphasis and dignity worthy of Perikles.[606] But while Demosthenes thus impresses upon his countrymen noble and Pan-hellenic purposes, he does not rest content with eloquent declamation, or negative[p. 287] criticism on the past. His recommendations as to means are positive and explicit; implying an attentive survey and a sagacious appreciation of the surrounding circumstances. While keeping before his countrymen a favorable view of their position, he never promises them success except on condition of earnest and persevering individual efforts, with arms and with money: and he exhausts all his invention in the unpopular task of shaming them, by direct reproach as well as by oblique insinuation, out of that aversion to personal military service, which, for the misfortune of Athens, had become a confirmed habit. Such positive and practical character as to means, always contemplating the full exigencies of a given situation—combined with the constant presentation of Athens as the pledged champion of Grecian freedom, and with appeals to Athenian foretime, not as a patrimony to rest upon, but as an example to imitate—constitute the imperishable charm of these harangues of Demosthenes, not less memorable than their excellence as rhetorical compositions. In the latter merit, indeed, his rival Æschines is less inferior to him than in the former.

In no one of the speeches of Demosthenes is the spirit of practical wisdom more predominant than in this his earliest known discourse to the public assembly—on the Symmories—delivered by a young man of twenty-seven years of age, who could have had little other teaching except from the decried classes of sophists, rhetors, and actors. While proclaiming the king of Persia as the common and dangerous enemy of the Grecian name, he contends that no evidence of impending Persian attack had yet transpired, sufficiently obvious and glaring to warrant Athens in sending round[607] to invoke a general league of Greeks, as previous speakers had suggested. He deprecates on the one hand any step calculated to provoke the Persian king or bring on a war—and on the other hand, any premature appeal to the Greeks for combination, before they themselves were impressed with a feeling of common danger. Nothing but such common terror could bring about union among the different Hellenic cities; nothing else could silence those standing jealousies and antipathies, which rendered intestine war so frequent, and would probably enable the[p. 288] Persian king to purchase several Greeks for his own allies against the rest.

“Let us neither be immoderately afraid of the Great King, nor on the other hand be ourselves the first to begin the war and wrong him—as well on our own account as from the bad feeling and mistrust prevalent among the Greeks around us. If indeed we, with the full and unanimous force of Greece, could attack him unassisted, I should have held that even wrong, done towards him, was no wrong at all. But since this is impossible, I contend that we must take care not to give the king a pretence for enforcing claims of right on behalf of the other Greeks. While we remain quiet, he cannot do any such thing without being mistrusted; but if we have been the first to begin war, he will naturally seem to mean sincere friendship to the others, on account of their aversion to us. Do not, therefore, expose to light the sad distempers of the Hellenic world, by calling together its members when you will not persuade them, and by going to war when you will have no adequate force; but keep the peace, confiding in yourselves, and making full preparation.”[608]

It is this necessity of making preparation, which constitutes the special purpose of Demosthenes in his harangue. He produces an elaborate plan, matured by careful reflection,[609] for improving and extending the classification by Symmories; proposing a more convenient and systematic distribution of the leading[p. 289] citizens as well as of the total financial and nautical means—such as to ensure both the ready equipment of armed force whenever required, and a fair apportionment both of effort and of expense among the citizens. Into the details of this plan of economical reform, which are explained with the precision of an administrator and not with the vagueness of a rhetor, I do not here enter; especially as we do not know that it was actually adopted. But the spirit in which it was proposed deserves all attention, as proclaiming, even at this early day, the home-truth which the orator reiterates in so many subsequent harangues. “In the preparation which I propose to you, Athenians (he says), the first and most important point is, that your minds shall be so set, as that each man individually will be willing and forward in doing his duty. For you see plainly, that of all those matters on which you have determined collectively, and on which each man individually has looked upon the duty of execution as devolving upon himself—not one has ever slipped through your hands; while, on the contrary, whenever, after determination has been taken, you have stood looking at one another, no man intending to do anything himself, but every one throwing the burthen of action upon his neighbor—nothing has ever succeeded. Assuming you, therefore, to be thus disposed and wound up to the proper pitch, I recommend,”[610] etc.

This is the true Demosthenic vein of exhortation, running with unabated force through the Philippics and Olynthiacs, and striving to revive that conjunction—of which Perikles had boasted as an established fact in the Athenian character[611]—energetic individual action following upon full public debate and collective resolution. How often here, and elsewhere, does the orator denounce[p. 290] the uselessness of voters in the public assembly, even after such votes had been passed—if the citizens individually hung back, and shrunk from the fatigue or the pecuniary burthen indispensable for execution! Demus in the Pnyx (to use, in an altered sense, an Aristophanic comparison)[612] still remained Pan-hellenic and patriotic, when Demus at home had come to think that the city would march safely by itself without any sacrifice on his part, and that he was at liberty to become absorbed in his property, family, religion, and recreations. And so Athens might really have proceeded, in her enjoyment of liberty, wealth, refinement, and individual security—could the Grecian world have been guaranteed against the formidable Macedonian enemy from without.

It was in the ensuing year, when the alarm respecting Persia had worn off, that the Athenians were called on to discuss the conflicting applications of Sparta and of Megalopolis. The success of the Phokians appeared to be such as to prevent Thebes, especially while her troops, under Pammenes, were absent in Asia, from interfering in Peloponnesus for the protection of Megalopolis. There were even at Athens politicians who confidently predicted the approaching humiliation of Thebes,[613] together with the emancipation and reconstitution of those Bœotian towns which she now held in dependence—Orchomenus, Thespiæ, and Platæa; predictions cordially welcomed by the Miso-Theban sentiment at Athens. To the Spartans, the moment appeared favorable for breaking up Megalopolis and recovering Messênê; in which scheme they hoped to interest not only Athens, but also Elis, Phlius, and some other Peloponnesian states. To Athens they offered aid for the recovery of Orôpus, now and for about twelve years past in the hands of the Thebans; to Elis and Phlius they also tendered assistance for regaining respectively Triphylia and the[p. 291] Trikaranum, from the Arcadians and Argeians.[614] This political combination was warmly espoused by a considerable party at Athens; being recommended not less by aversion to Thebes than by the anxious desire for repossessing the border town of Orôpus. But it was combated by others, and by Demosthenes among the number, who could not be tempted by any bait to acquiesce in the reconstitution of Lacedæmonian power as it had stood before the battle of Leuktra. In the Athenian assembly, the discussion was animated and even angry; the envoys from Megalopolis, as well as those from Sparta on the other side, finding strenuous partisans.[615]

Demosthenes strikes a course professedly middle between the two, yet really in favor of defending Megalopolis against Spartan reconquest. We remark in this oration (as in the oration De Symmoriis, a year before) that there is no allusion to Philip; a point to be noticed as evidence of the gradual changes in the Demosthenic point of view. All the arguments urged turn upon Hellenic and Athenian interests, without reference to the likelihood of hostilities from without. In fact, Demosthenes lays down as a position not to be disputed by any one, that for the interest of Athens, both Sparta and Thebes ought to be weak; neither of them in condition to disturb her security;[616]—a position, unfortunately, but too well recognized among all the leading Grecian states in their reciprocal dealings with each other, rendering the Pan-hellenic aggregate comparatively defenceless against Philip or any skilful aggressor from without. While, however, affirming a general maxim, in itself questionable and perilous, Demosthenes deduces from it nothing but judicious consequences. In regard to Sparta, he insists only on keeping her in statu quo, and maintaining inviolate against her the independence of Megalopolis and Messênê. He will not be prevailed upon to surrender to her these two cities, even by the seductive prospect of assistance to Athens in recovering Orôpus, and in reviving the autonomy of[p. 292] the Bœotian cities. At that moment the prevalent disposition among the Athenian public was antipathy against Thebes, combined with a certain sympathy in favor of Sparta, whom they had aided at the battle of Mantineia against the Megalopolitans.[617] Though himself sharing this sentiment,[618] Demosthenes will not suffer his countrymen to be misled by it. He recommends that Athens shall herself take up the Theban policy in regard to Megalopolis and Messênê, so as to protect these two cities against Sparta; the rather, as by such a proceeding the Thebans will be excluded from Peloponnesus, and their general influence narrowed. He even goes so far as to say, that if Sparta should succeed in reconquering Megalopolis and Messênê, Athens must again become the ally of the Thebans to restrain her farther aggrandizement.[619]

As far as we make out from imperfect information, it seems that the views of Demosthenes did not prevail, and that the Athenians declined to undertake the protection of Megalopolis against Sparta; since we presently find the Thebans continuing to afford that protection, as they had done before. The aggressive schemes of Sparta appear to have been broached at the moment when the Phokians under Onomarchus were so decidedly superior to Thebes as to place that city in some embarrassment. But the superiority of the Phokians was soon lessened by their collision with a more formidable enemy—Philip of Macedon.

That prince had been already partially interfering in Thessalian affairs,[620] at the instigation of Eudikus and Simus, chiefs of the Aleuadæ of Larissa, against Lykophron the despot of Pheræ. But his recent acquisition of Methônê left him more at liberty to extend his conquests southward, and to bring a larger force to bear on the dissensions of Thessaly. In that country, the great cities were,[621] as usual, contending for supremacy, and holding in subjection the smaller by means of garrisons; while Lykophron of Pheræ[p. 293] was exerting himself to regain that ascendency over the whole, which had once been possessed by Jason and Alexander. Philip now marched into the country and attacked him so vigorously as to constrain him to invoke aid from the Phokians. Onomarchus, at that time victorious over the Thebans and master as far as Thermopylæ, was interested in checking the farther progress of Philip southward and extending his own ascendency. He sent into Thessaly a force of seven thousand men, under his brother Phayllus, to sustain Lykophron. But Phayllus failed altogether; being defeated and driven out of Thessaly by Philip, so that Lykophron of Pheræ was in greater danger than ever. Upon this, Onomarchus went himself thither with the full force of Phokians and foreign mercenaries. An obstinate, and seemingly a protracted contest now took place, in the course of which he was at first decidedly victorious. He defeated Philip in two battles, with such severe loss that the Macedonian army was withdrawn from Thessaly, while Lykophron with his Phokian allies remained masters of the country.[622]

This great success of the Phokian arms was followed up by farther victory in Bœotia. Onomarchus renewed his invasion of that territory, defeated the Thebans in battle, and made himself master of Koroneia, in addition to Orchomenus, which he held before.[623] It would seem that the Thebans were at this time deprived of much of their force, which was serving in Asia under Artabazus, and which, perhaps from these very reverses, they presently recalled. The Phokians, on the other hand, were at the height of their power. At this juncture falls, probably, the aggressive combination of the Spartans against Megalopolis, and the debate, before noticed, in the Athenian assembly.

Philip was for some time in embarrassment from his defeats in Thessaly. His soldiers, discouraged and even mutinous, would hardly consent to remain under his standard. By great pains, and animated exhortation, he at last succeeded in reanimating them. After a certain interval for restoration and reinforcement, he advanced with a fresh army into Thessaly, and resumed his operations against Lykophron; who was obliged again to solicit aid from Onomarchus, and to promise that all Thessaly should hence[p. 294]forward be held under his dependence. Onomarchus accordingly joined him in Thessaly with a large army, said to consist of twenty thousand foot and five hundred cavalry. But he found on this occasion, within the country, more obstinate resistance than before; for the cruel dynasty of Pheræ had probably abused their previous victory by aggravated violence and rapacity, so as to throw into the arms of their enemy a multitude of exiles. On Philip’s coming into Thessaly with a new army, the Thessalians embraced his cause so warmly, that he soon found himself at the head of an army of twenty thousand foot and three thousand horse. Onomarchus met him in the field, somewhere near the southern coast of Thessaly; not diffident of success, as well from his recent victories, as from the neighborhood of an Athenian fleet under Chares, coöperating with him. Here a battle was joined, and obstinately contested between the two armies, nearly equal in numbers of infantry. Philip exalted the courage of his soldiers by decorating them with laurel wreaths,[624] as crusaders in the service of the god against the despoilers of the Delphian temple; while the Thessalians also, forming the best cavalry in Greece and fighting with earnest valor, gave decisive advantage to his cause. The defeat of the forces of Onomarchus and Lykophron was complete. Six thousand of them are said to have been slain, and three thousand to have been taken prisoners; the remainder escaped either by flight, or by throwing away their arms, and swimming off to the Athenian ships. Onomarchus himself perished. According to one account, he was slain by his own mercenaries, provoked by his cowardice: according to another account, he was drowned—being carried into the sea by an unruly horse, and trying to escape to the ships. Philip caused his dead body to be crucified, and drowned all the prisoners as men guilty of sacrilege.[625]

[p. 295]This victory procured for Philip great renown as the avenger of the Delphian god—and became an important step in his career of aggrandizement. It not only terminated the power of the Phokians north of Thermopylæ, but also finally crushed the powerful dynasty of Pheræ in Thessaly. Philip laid siege to that city, upon which Lykophron and Peitholaus, surrounded by an adverse population and unable to make any long defence, capitulated, and surrendered it to him; retiring with their mercenaries, two thousand in number, into Phokis.[626] Having obtained possession of Pheræ and proclaimed it a free city, Philip proceeded to besiege the neighboring town of Pagasæ, the most valuable maritime station in Thessaly. How long Pagasæ resisted, we do not know; but long enough to send intimation to Athens, with entreaties for succor. The Athenians, alarmed at the successive conquests of Philip, were well-disposed to keep this important post out of his hands, which their naval power fully enabled them to do. But here again (as in the previous examples of Pydna, Potidæa, and Methônê), the aversion to personal service among the citizens individually—and the impediments as to apportionment of duty or cost, whenever actual outgoing was called for—produced the untoward result, that though an expedition was voted and despatched, it did not arrive in time.[627] Pagasæ surrendered[p. 296] and came into the power of Philip; who fortified and garrisoned it for himself, thus becoming master of the Pagasæan gulf, the great maritime inlet of Thessaly.

Philip was probably occupied for a certain time in making good his dominion over Thessaly. But as soon as sufficient precautions had been taken for this purpose, he sought to push his advantage over the Phokians by invading them in their own territory. He marched to Thermopylæ, still proclaiming as his aim the liberation of the Delphian temple and the punishment of its sacrilegious robbers; while he at the same time conciliated the favor of the Thessalians by promising to restore to them the Pylæa, or half-yearly Amphiktyonic festival at Thermopylæ, which the Phokians had discontinued.[628] The Phokians, though masters of this almost inexpugnable pass, seemed to have been so much disheartened by their recent defeat, and the death of Onomarchus, that they felt unable to maintain it long. The news of such a danger, transmitted to Athens, excited extraordinary agitation. The importance of defending Thermopylæ—and of prohibiting the victorious king of Macedon from coming to coöperate with the Thebans on the southern side of it,[629] not merely against the Phokians, but probably also against Attica—were so powerfully felt, that the usual hesitations and delay of the Athenians in respect to military expeditions were overcome. Chiefly from this cause—but partly also, we may suppose, from the vexatious disappointment recently incurred in the attempt to relieve Pagasæ—an Athenian armament under Nausikles (not less than five thousand foot and four hundred horse, according to Diodorus[630]) was fitted out with not less vigor and celerity than had been displayed against the Thebans in Eubœa, seven years before. Athenian citizens shook off their lethargy, and promptly volunteered. They reached Thermopylæ in good time, placing the pass in such a condition of defence that Philip did not attack it at all. Often afterwards does[p. 297] Demosthenes,[631] in combating the general remissness of his countrymen when military exigencies arose, remind them of this unwonted act of energetic movement, crowned with complete effect. With little or no loss, the Athenians succeeded in guarding both themselves and their allies against a very menacing contingency, simply by the promptitude of their action. The cost of the armament altogether was more than two hundred talents; and from the stress which Demosthenes lays on that portion of the expense which was defrayed by the soldiers privately and individually,[632] we may gather that these soldiers (as in the Sicilian expedition under Nikias[633]) were in considerable proportion opulent citizens. Among a portion of the Grecian public, however, the Athenians incurred obloquy as accomplices in the Phokian sacrilege, and enemies of the Delphian god.[634]

But though Philip was thus kept out of Southern Greece, and the Phokians enabled to reorganize themselves against Thebes, yet in Thessaly and without the straits of Thermopylæ, Macedonian ascendency was henceforward an uncontested fact. Before we follow his subsequent proceedings, however, it will be convenient to turn to events both in Phokis and in Peloponnesus.

In the depressed condition of the Phokians after the defeat of Onomarchus, they obtained reinforcement not only from Athens, but also from Sparta (one thousand men), and from the Peloponnesian Achæans (two thousand men[635]). Phayllus, the successor[p. 298] (by some called brother) of Onomarchus, put himself again in a condition of defence. He had recourse a third time to that yet unexhausted store—the Delphian treasures and valuables. He despoiled the temple to a greater extent than Philomelus, and not less than Onomarchus; incurring aggravated odium from the fact, that he could not now supply himself without laying hands on offerings of conspicuous magnificence and antiquity, which his two predecessors had spared. It was thus that the splendid golden donatives of the Lydian king Krœsus were now melted down and turned into money; one hundred and seventeen bricks or ingots of gold, most of them weighing two talents each; three hundred and sixty golden goblets, together with a female statue three cubits high, and a lion, of the same metal—said to have weighed in the aggregate thirty talents.[636] The abstraction of such ornaments, striking and venerable in the eyes of the numerous visitors of the temple, was doubtless deeply felt among the Grecian public. And the indignation was aggravated by the fact that beautiful youths or women, favorites of Onomarchus or Phayllus, received some of the most precious gifts, and wore the most noted ornaments, which had decorated the temple—even the necklaces of Helen and Eriphylê. One woman, a flute-player named Bromias, not only received from Phayllus a silver cup and a golden wreath (the former dedicated in the temple by the Phokæans, the latter by the Peparethians), but was also introduced by him, in his capacity of superintendent of the Pythian festival, to contend for the prize in playing the sacred Hymn. As the competitors for such prize had always been men, the assembled crowd so loudly resented the novelty, that Bromias was obliged to withdraw.[637] Moreover profuse largesses, and flagrant malversation, became more notorious than ever.[638] The Phokian leaders displayed with[p. 299] ostentation their newly-acquired wealth, and either imported for the first time bought slaves, or at least greatly multiplied the pre-existing number. It had before been the practice in Phokis, we are told, for the wealthy men to be served by the poor youthful freemen of the country; and complaints arose among the latter class that their daily bread was thus taken away.[639]

Notwithstanding the indignation excited by these proceedings not only throughout Greece, but even in Phokis itself,—Phayllus carried his point of levying a fresh army of mercenaries, and of purchasing new alliances among the smaller cities. Both Athens and Sparta profited more or less by the distribution; though the cost of the Athenian expedition to Thermopylæ, which rescued the Phokians from destruction, seems clearly to have been paid by the Athenians themselves.[640] Phayllus carried on war for some time against both the Bœotians and Lokrians. He is represented by Diodorus to have lost several battles. But it is certain that the general result was not unfavorable to him; that he kept possession of Orchomenus in Bœotia; and that his power remained without substantial diminution.[641]

The stress of war seems, for the time, to have been transferred to Peloponnesus, whither a portion both of the Phokian and Theban troops went to coöperate. The Lacedæmonians had at length opened their campaign against Megalopolis, of which I have[p. 300] already spoken as having been debated before the Athenian public assembly. Their plan seems to have been formed some months before, when Onomarchus was at the maximum of his power, and when Thebes was supposed to be in danger; but it was not executed until after his defeat and death, when the Phokians, depressed for the time, were rescued only by the prompt interference of Athens,—and when the Thebans had their hands comparatively free. Moreover, the Theban division which had been sent into Asia under Pammenes a year or two before, to assist Artabazus, may now be presumed to have returned; especially as we know that no very long time afterwards, Artabazus appears as completely defeated by the Persian troops,—expelled from Asia, and constrained to take refuge, together with his brother-in-law Memnon, under the protection of Philip.[642] The Megalopolitans had sent envoys to entreat aid from Athens, under the apprehension that Thebes would not be in a condition to assist them. It may be doubted whether Athens would have granted their prayer, in spite of the advice of Demosthenes,—but the Thebans had now again become strong enough to uphold with their own force their natural allies in Peloponnesus.

Accordingly, when the Lacedæmonian army under king Archidamus invaded the Megalopolitan territory, a competent force was soon brought together to oppose them; furnished partly by the Argeians,—who had been engaged during the preceding year in a border warfare with Sparta, and had experienced a partial defeat at Orneæ,[643]—partly by the Sikyonians and Messenians, who came in full muster. Besides this, the forces on both sides from Bœotia and Phokis were transferred to Peloponnesus. The Thebans sent four thousand foot, and five hundred horse, under Kephision, to the aid of Megalopolis; while the Spartans not only recalled their own troops from Phokis, but also procured three thousand of the mercenaries in the service of Phayllus, and one hundred and fifty Thessalian horse from Likophron, the expelled despot of Pheræ. Archidamus received his reinforcements, and got together his aggregate forces earlier than the enemy. He advanced first into Arcadia, where he posted himself near Mantinea, thus cutting off the Argeians from Megalopolis; he next invaded[p. 301] the territory of Argos, attacked Orneæ, and defeated the Argeians in a partial action. Presently the Thebans arrived, and effected a junction with their Argeian and Arcadian allies. The united force was greatly superior in number to the Lacedæmonians; but such superiority was counterbalanced by the bad discipline of the Thebans, who had sadly declined on this point during the interval of ten years since the death of Epaminondas. A battle ensued, partially advantageous to the Lacedæmonians; while the Argeians and Arcadians chose to go home to their neighboring cities. The Lacedæmonians also, having ravaged a portion of Arcadia, and stormed the Arcadian town of Helissus, presently recrossed their own frontier and returned to Sparta. They left, however, a division in Arcadia under Anaxander, who, engaging with the Thebans near Telphusa, was worsted with great loss and made prisoner. In two other battles, also, the Thebans were successively victorious; in a third, they were vanquished by the Lacedæmonians. With such balanced and undecided success was the war carried on until, at length, the Lacedæmonians proposed and concluded peace with Megalopolis. Either formally, or by implication, they were forced to recognize the autonomy of that city; thus abandoning, for the time at least, their aggressive purposes, which Demosthenes had combated and sought to frustrate before the Athenian assembly. The Thebans on their side returned home, having accomplished their object of protecting Megalopolis and Messênê; and we may presume that the Phokian allies of Sparta were sent home also.[644]

The war between the Bœotians and Phokians had doubtless slackened during this episode in Peloponnesus; but it still went on in a series of partial actions, on the river Kephissus, at Koroneia, at Abæ in Phokis, and near the Lokrian town of Naryx. For the most part, the Phokians are said to have been worsted; and their commander, Phayllus, presently died of a painful disease,—the suitable punishment (in the point of view of a Grecian historian[645]) for his sacrilegious deeds. He left as his successor Phalækus, a young man, son of Onomarchus, under the guardianship and advice of an experienced friend named Mnaseas. But Mnaseas was soon surprised at night, defeated, and slain, by the Thebans[p. 302] while Phalækus, left to his own resources, was defeated in two battles near Chæroneia, and was unable to hinder his enemies from ravaging a large part of the Phokian territory.[646]

We know the successive incidents of this ten years’ Sacred War only from the meagre annals of Diodorus,—whose warm sympathy in favor of the religious side of the question seems to betray him into exaggeration of the victories of the Thebans, or at least into some omission of counterbalancing reverses. For in spite of these successive victories, the Phokians were noway put down, but remained in possession of the Bœotian town of Orchomenus; moreover, the Thebans became so tired out and impoverished by the war, that they confined themselves presently to desultory incursions and skirmishes.[647] Their losses fell wholly upon their own citizens and their own funds; while the Phokians fought with foreign mercenaries and with the treasures of the temple.[648] The increasing poverty of the Thebans even induced them to send an embassy to the Persian king, entreating pecuniary aid; which drew from him a present of three hundred talents. As he was at this time organizing a fresh expedition on an immense scale, for the reconquest of Phenicia and Egypt, after more than one preceding failure, he required Grecian soldiers as much as the Greeks required his money. Hence we shall see presently that the Thebans were able to send him an equivalent.

In the war just recounted on the Laconian and Arcadian frontier, the Athenians had taken no part. Their struggle with Philip had been becoming from month to month more serious and embarrassing. By occupying in time the defensible pass of Thermopylæ, they had indeed prevented him both from crushing the Phokians and from meddling with the Southern states of Greece. But the final battle wherein he had defeated Onomarchus, had materially increased both his power and his military reputation. The numbers on both sides were very great; the result was de[p. 303]cisive, and ruinous to the vanquished; moreover, we cannot doubt that the Macedonian phalanx, with the other military improvements and manœuvres which Philip had been gradually organizing since his accession, was now exhibited in formidable efficiency. The King of Macedon had become the ascendent soldier and potentate, hanging on the skirts of the Grecian world, exciting fears or hopes, or both at once, in every city throughout its limits. In the first Philippic of Demosthenes, and in his oration against Aristokrates, (delivered between midsummer 352 B. C. and midsummer 351 B. C.), we discern evident marks of the terrors which Philip had come to inspire, within a year after his repulse from Thermopylæ, to reflecting Grecian politicians. “It is impossible for Athens (says the orator[649]) to provide any land-force competent to contend in the field against that of Philip.”

The reputation of his generalship and his indefatigable activity was already everywhere felt; as well as that of the officers and soldiers, partly native Macedonians, partly chosen Greeks, whom he had assembled round him,[650]—especially the lochages or front-rank men of the phalanx and the hypaspistæ. Moreover, the excellent cavalry of Thessaly became embodied from henceforward as an element in the Macedonian army; since Philip had acquired unbounded ascendency in that country, from his expulsion of the Pheræan despots and their auxiliaries the Phokians. The philo-Macedonian party in the Thessalian cities had constituted him federal chief (or in some sort Tagus) of the country, not only enrolling their cavalry in his armies, but also placing at his disposal the customs and market-dues, which formed a standing common fund for supporting the Thessalian collective administration.[651] The financial means of Philip, for payment of his foreign troops,[p. 304] and prosecution of his military enterprises, were thus materially increased.

But besides his irresistible land-force, Philip had now become master of no inconsiderable naval power also. During the early years of the war, though he had taken not only Amphipolis, but also all the Athenian possessions on the Macedonian coast, yet the exports from his territory had been interrupted by the naval force of Athens, so as to lessen seriously the produce of his export duties.[652] But he had now contrived to get together a sufficient number of armed ships and privateers, if not to ward off such damage from himself, at least to retaliate it upon Athens. Her navy, indeed, was still incomparably superior, but the languor and remissness of her citizens refused to bring it out with efficiency; while Philip had opened for himself a new avenue to maritime power by his acquisition of Pheræ and Pagasæ, and by establishing his ascendency over the Magnêtes and their territory, round the eastern border of the Pagasæan Gulf. That gulf (now known by the name of Volo), is still the great inlet and outlet for Thessalian trade; the eastern coast of Thessaly, along the line of Mount Pelion, being craggy and harborless.[653] The naval force belonging to Pheræ and its seaport Pagasæ, was very considerable, and had been so even from the times of the despots, Jason and Alexander;[654] at one moment painfully felt even by Athens. All these ships now passed into the service of Philip, together with the dues on export and import levied round the Pagasæan Gulf; the command of which he farther secured by erecting suitable fortifications on the Magnesian shore, and by placing a garrison in Pagasæ.[655] Such additional naval means, combined[p. 305] with what he already possessed at Amphipolis and elsewhere, made him speedily annoying, if not formidable, to Athens, even at sea. His triremes showed themselves everywhere, probably in small and rapidly moving squadrons. He levied large contributions on the insular allies of Athens, and paid the costs of war greatly out of the capture of merchant vessels in the Ægean. His squadrons made incursions on the Athenian islands of Lemnos and Imbros, carrying off several Athenian citizens as prisoners. They even stretched southward as far as Geræstus, the southern promontory of Eubœa, where they not only fell in with and captured a lucrative squadron of corn-ships, but also insulted the coast of Attica itself in the opposite bay of Marathon, towing off as a prize one of the sacred triremes.[656] Such was the mischief[p. 306] successfully inflicted by the flying squadrons of Philip, though Athens had probably a considerable number of cruisers at sea, and certainly a far superior number of ships at home in Peiræus. Her commerce, and even her coasts, were disturbed and endangered; her insular allies suffered yet more. Eubœa especially, the nearest and most important of all her allies, separated only by a narrow strait from the Pagasæan Gulf and the southern coast of Phthiotis, was now within the immediate reach not only of Philip’s marauding vessels, but also of his political intrigues.

It was thus that the war against Philip turned more and more to the disgrace and disadvantage of the Athenians. Though they had begun it in the hope of punishing him for his duplicity in appropriating Amphipolis, they had been themselves the losers by the capture of Pydna, Potidæa, Methônê, etc.; and they were now thrown upon the defensive, without security for their maritime allies, their commerce, or their coasts.[657] The intelligence of these various losses and insults endured at sea, in spite of indisputable maritime preponderance, called forth at Athens acrimonious complaints against the generals of the state, and exaggerated outbursts of enmity against Philip.[658] That prince, having spent a few months, after his repulse from Thermopylæ, in Thessaly, and having so far established his ascendency over that country that he could leave the completion of the task to his officers, pushed with his characteristic activity into Thrace. He there took part in the disputes between various native princes, expelling some, confirming or installing others, and extending his own dominion at the cost of all.[659] Among these princes were probably Kersobleptes, and Amadokus; for Philip carried his aggressions to the immediate neighborhood of the Thracian Chersonese.

In November, 352 B. C., intelligence reached Athens, that he[p. 307] was in Thrace besieging Heræon Teichos; a place so near to the Chersonese,[660] that the Athenian possessions and colonists in that peninsula were threatened with considerable danger. So great was the alarm and excitement caused by this news, that a vote was immediately passed in the public assembly to equip a fleet of forty triremes,—to man it with Athenian citizens, all persons up to the age of forty-five being made liable to serve on the expedition,—and to raise sixty talents by a direct property tax. At first active steps were taken to accelerate the armament. But before the difficulties of detail could be surmounted,—before it could be determined, amidst the general aversion to personal service, what citizens should go abroad, and how the burthen of trierarchy should be distributed,—fresh messengers arrived from the Chersonese, reporting first that Philip had fallen sick, next that he was actually dead.[661] The last-mentioned report proved false; but the sickness of Philip was an actual fact, and seems to have been severe enough to cause a temporary suspension of his military operations. Though the opportunity became thus only the more[p. 308] favorable for attacking Philip, yet the Athenians, no longer spurred on by the fear of farther immediate danger, relapsed into their former languor, and renounced or postponed their intended armament. After passing the whole ensuing summer in inaction, they could only be prevailed upon, in the month of September 351, to despatch to Thrace a feeble force under the mercenary chief Charidemus; ten triremes, without any soldiers aboard, and with no more than five talents in money.[662]

At this time Charidemus was at the height of his popularity. It was supposed that he could raise and maintain a mercenary band by his own ingenuity and valor. His friends confidently averred, before the Athenian assembly, that he was the only man capable of putting down Philip, and conquering Amphipolis.[663] One of these partisans, Aristokrates, even went so far as to propose that a vote should be passed ensuring inviolability to his person, and enacting that any one who killed him should be seized wherever found in the territory of Athens or her allies. This proposition was attacked judicially by an accuser named Euthykles, who borrowed a memorable discourse from the pen of Demosthenes.

It was thus that the real sickness, and reported death, of Philip which ought to have operated as a stimulus to the Athenians by exposing to them their enemy during a moment of peculiar weakness, proved rather an opiate exaggerating their chronic lethargy, and cheating them into a belief that no farther efforts were needed. That belief appears to have been proclaimed by the leading, best-known, and senior speakers, those who gave the tone to the public assembly, and who were principally relied upon for advice. These men,—probably Eubulus at their head, and Phokion, so constantly named as general, along with him,—either did not feel, or could not bring themselves to proclaim, the painful necessity of personal military service and increased taxation. Though repeated debates took place on the insults offered to Athens in her maritime dignity, and on the sufferings of those[p. 309] allies to whom she owed protection,—combined with accusations against the generals, and complaints of the inefficiency of such mercenary foreigners as Athens took into commission but never paid,—still, the recognized public advisers shrank from appeal to the dormant patriotism or personal endurance of the citizens. The serious, but indispensable, duty which they thus omitted, was performed for them by a younger competitor, far beneath them in established footing and influence,—Demosthenes, now about thirty years old,—in an harangue, known as the first Philippic.

We have already had before us this aspiring man, as a public adviser in the assembly. In his first parliamentary harangue two years before,[664] he had begun to inculcate on his countrymen the[p. 310] general lesson of energy and self-reliance, and to remind them of that which the comfort, activity, and peaceful refinement of Athenian life, had a constant tendency to put out of sight:—That the City, as a whole, could not maintain her security and dignity against enemies, unless each citizen individually, besides his home-duties, were prepared to take his fair share, readily and without evasion, of the hardship and cost of personal service abroad.[665] But he had then been called upon to deal (in his discourse De Symmoriis) only with the contingency of Persian hostilities—possible indeed, yet neither near nor declared; he now renews the same exhortation under more pressing exigencies. He has to protect interests already suffering, and to repel dishonorable insults, becoming from month to month more frequent, from an indefatigable enemy. Successive assemblies have been occupied with complaints from sufferers, amidst a sentiment of unwonted chagrin and helplessness among the public—yet with no material comfort from the leading and established speakers; who content themselves with inveighing against the negligence of the mercenaries—taken into service by Athens but never paid—and with threatening to impeach the generals. The assembly, wearied by repetition of topics promising no improvement for the future, is convoked, probably to hear some farther instance of damage committed by the Macedonian cruisers, when Demosthenes, breaking through the common formalities of precedence, rises first to address them.

It had once been the practice at Athens, that the herald formally proclaimed, when a public assembly was opened—“Who among the citizens above fifty years old wishes to speak? and after them, which of the other citizens in his turn?”[666] Though this old proclamation had fallen into disuse, the habit still remained, that speakers of advanced age and experience rose first after the debate had been opened by the presiding magistrates. But the relations of Athens with Philip had been so often discussed, that all these men had already delivered their sentiments and exhausted[p. 311] their recommendations. “Had their recommendations been good, you need not have been now debating the same topic over again”[667]—says Demosthenes, as an apology for standing forward out of his turn to produce his own views.

His views indeed were so new, so independent of party-sympathies or antipathies, and so plain-spoken in comments on the past as well as in demands for the future—that they would hardly have been proposed except by a speaker instinct with the ideal of the Periklean foretime, familiar to him from his study of Thucydides. In explicit language, Demosthenes throws the blame of the public misfortunes, not simply on the past advisers and generals of the people, but also on the people themselves.[668] It is from this proclaimed fact that he starts, as his main ground of hope for future improvement. Athens contended formerly with honor against the Lacedæmonians; and now also, she will exchange disgrace for victory in her war against Philip, if her citizens individually will shake off their past inertness and negligence, each of them henceforward becoming ready to undertake his full share of personal duty in the common cause. Athens had undergone enough humiliation, and more than enough, to teach her this lesson. She might learn it farther from her enemy Philip himself, who had raised himself from small beginnings, and heaped losses as well as shame upon her, mainly by his own personal energy, perseverance, and ability; while the Athenian citizens had been hitherto so backward as individuals, and so unprepared as a public, that even if a lucky turn of fortune were to hand over to them Amphipolis, they would be in no condition to[p. 312] seize it.[669] Should the rumor prove true, that this Philip were dead, they would soon make for themselves another Philip equally troublesome.

After thus severely commenting on the past apathy of the citizens, and insisting upon a change of disposition as indispensable, Demosthenes proceeds to specify the particular acts whereby such change ought to be manifested. He entreats them not to be startled by the novelty of his plan, but to hear him patiently to the end. It is the result of his own meditations; other citizens may have better to propose; if they have, he shall not be found to stand in their way. What is past, cannot be helped; nor is extemporaneous speech the best way of providing remedies for a difficult future.[670]

He advises first, that a fleet of fifty triremes shall be immediately put in readiness; that the citizens shall firmly resolve to serve in person on board, whenever the occasion may require, and that triremes and other vessels shall be specially fitted out for half of the horsemen of the city, who shall serve personally also. This force is to be kept ready to sail at a moment’s notice, and to meet Philip in any of his sudden out-marches—to Chersonesus, to Thermopylæ, to Olynthus, etc.[671]

Secondly, that a farther permanent force shall be set on foot immediately, to take the aggressive, and carry on active continuous warfare against Philip, by harassing him in various points of his own country. Two thousand infantry, and two hundred horse, will be sufficient; but it is essential that one-fourth part—five hundred of the former and fifty of the latter—shall be citizens of Athens. The remainder are to be foreign mercenaries; ten[p. 313] swift sailing war triremes are also to be provided to protect the transports against the naval force of Philip. The citizens are to serve by relays, relieving each other; every one for a time fixed beforehand, yet none for a very long time.[672] The orator then proceeds to calculate the cost of such a standing force for one year. He assigns to each seaman, and to each foot soldier, ten drachmæ per month, or two oboli per day; to each horseman, thirty drachmæ per month, or one drachma (six oboli) per day. No difference is made between the Athenian citizen and the foreigner. The sum here assigned is not full pay, but simply the cost of each man’s maintenance. At the same time, Demosthenes pledges himself, that if thus much be furnished by the state, the remainder of a full pay (or as much again) will be made up by what the soldiers will themselves acquire in the war; and that too, without wrong done to allies or neutral Greeks. The total annual cost thus incurred will be ninety-two talents (= about £22,000.) He does not give any estimate of the probable cost of his other armament, of fifty triremes; which are to be equipped and ready at a moment’s notice for emergencies, but not sent out on permanent service.

His next task is, to provide ways and means for meeting such additional cost of ninety-two talents. Here he produces and reads to the assembly, a special financial scheme, drawn up in writing. Not being actually embodied in the speech, the scheme has been unfortunately lost; though its contents would help us materially to appreciate the views of Demosthenes.[673] It must have been more or less complicated in its details; not a simple proposition for an eisphora or property-tax, which would have been announced in a sentence of the orator’s speech.

Assuming the money, the ships, and the armament for permanent service, to be provided, Demosthenes proposes that a formal law be passed, making such permanent service peremptory; the general in command being held responsible for the efficient employment of the force.[674] The islands, the maritime allies, and the commerce of the Ægean would then become secure; while the[p. 314] profits of Philip from his captures at sea would be arrested.[675] The quarters of the armament might be established, during winter or bad weather, in Skiathos, Thasos, Lemnos, or other adjoining islands, from whence they could act at all times against Philip on his own coast; while from Athens it was difficult to arrive thither either during the prevalence of the Etesian winds or during winter—the seasons usually selected by Philip for his aggressions.[676]

The aggregate means of Athens (Demosthenes affirmed) in men, money, ships, hoplites, horsemen, were greater than could be found anywhere else. But hitherto they had never been properly employed. The Athenians, like awkward pugilists, waited for Philip to strike, and then put up their hand to follow his blow. They never sought to look him in the face—nor to be ready with a good defensive system beforehand—nor to anticipate him in offensive operations.[677] While their religious festivals, the Panathenaic, Dionysiac, and others, were not only celebrated with costly splendor, but prearranged with the most careful pains, so that nothing was ever wanting in detail at the moment of execution—their military force was left without organization or predetermined system. Whenever any new encroachment of Philip was made known, nothing was found ready to meet it; fresh decrees were to be voted, modified, and put in execution, for each special occasion; the time for action was wasted in preparation, and before a force could be placed on shipboard, the moment for execution had passed.[678] This practice of waiting for Philip to act offensively,[p. 315] and then sending aid to the point attacked, was ruinous; the war must be carried on by a standing force put in motion beforehand.[679]

To provide and pay such a standing force, is one of the main points in the project of Demosthenes. The absolute necessity that it shall consist, in large proportion at least, of citizens, is another. To this latter point he reverts again and again, insisting that the foreign mercenaries—sent out to make their pay where or how they could, and unaccompanied by Athenian citizens—were at best useless and untrustworthy. They did more mischief to friends and allies, who were terrified at the very tidings of their approach—than to the enemy.[680] The general, unprovided with funds to pay them, was compelled to follow them wheresoever they chose to go, disregarding his orders received from the city. To try him afterwards for that which he could not help, was unprofitable disgrace. But if the troops were regularly paid; if, besides, a considerable proportion of them were Athenian citizens, themselves interested in success, and inspectors of all that was done; then the general would be found willing and able to attack the enemy with vigor—and might be held to a rigorous accountability, if he did not. Such was the only way in which the formidable and ever-growing force of their enemy Philip could be successfully combated. As matters now stood, the inefficiency of Athenian operations was so ridiculous, that men might be tempted to doubt whether Athens was really in earnest. Her chief military[p. 316] officers—her ten generals, ten taxiarchs, ten phylarchs, and two hipparchs, annually chosen—were busied only in the affairs of the city and in the showy religious processions. They left the real business of war to a foreign general named Menelaus.[681] Such a system was disgraceful. The honor of Athens ought to be maintained by her own citizens, both as generals and as soldiers.

Such are the principal features in the discourse called the First Philippic; the earliest public harangue delivered by Demosthenes to the Athenian assembly, in reference to the war with Philip. It is not merely a splendid piece of oratory, emphatic and forcible in its appeal to the emotions; bringing the audience by many different roads, to the main conviction which the orator seeks to impress; profoundly animated with genuine Pan-hellenic patriotism, and with the dignity of that free Grecian world now threatened by a monarch from without. It has other merits besides, not less important in themselves, and lying more immediately within the scope of the historian. We find Demosthenes, yet only thirty years old—young in political life—and thirteen years before the battle of Chæroneia—taking accurate measure of the political relations between Athens and Philip; examining those relations during the past, pointing out how they had become every year more unfavorable, and foretelling the dangerous contingencies of the future, unless better precautions were taken; exposing with courageous frankness not only the past mismanagement of public men, but also those defective dispositions of the people themselves wherein such management had its root; lastly, after fault found, adventuring on his own responsibility to propose specific measures of correction, and urging upon reluctant citizens a painful imposition of personal hardship as well as of taxation. We shall find him insisting on the same obligation, irksome alike to the leading politicians and to the people,[682] throughout all the Olynthiacs and[p. 317] Philippics. We note his warnings given at this early day, when timely prevention would have been easily practicable; and his superiority to elder politicians like Eubulus and Phokion, in prudent appreciation, in foresight, and in courage of speaking out unpalatable truths. More than twenty years after this period, when Athens had lost the game and was in her phase of humiliation, Demosthenes (in repelling the charges of those who imputed her misfortune to his bad advice) measures the real extent to which a political statesman is properly responsible. The first of all things is—“To see events in their beginnings—to discern tendencies beforehand, and proclaim them beforehand to others—to abridge as much as possible the rubs, impediments, jealousies, and tardy movements, inseparable from the march of a free city—and to infuse among the citizens harmony, friendly feelings, and zeal for the performance of their duties.”[683] The first Philippic is alone sufficient to prove, how justly Demosthenes lays claim to the merit of having “seen events in their beginnings” and given timely warning to his countrymen. It will also go to show, along with other proofs hereafter to be seen, that he was not less honest and judicious in his attempts to fulfil the remaining portion of the statesman’s duty—that of working up his countrymen to unanimous and resolute enterprise; to the pitch requisite not merely for speaking and voting, but for acting and suffering, against the public enemy.

We know neither the actual course, nor the concluding vote, of this debate, wherein Demosthenes took a part so unexpectedly prominent. But we know that neither of the two positive measures which he recommends was carried into effect. The working armament was not sent out, nor was the home-force, destined to be held in reserve for instant movement in case of emergency,[p. 318] ever got ready. It was not until the following month of September (the oration being delivered some time in the first half of 351 B. C.), that any actual force was sent against Philip; and even then nothing more was done than to send the mercenary chief Charidemus to the Chersonese, with ten triremes, and five talents in money, but no soldiers.[684] Nor is there any probability that Demosthenes even obtained a favorable vote of the assembly; though strong votes against Philip were often passed without being ever put in execution afterwards.[685]

Demosthenes was doubtless opposed by those senior statesmen whose duty it would have been to come forward themselves with the same propositions assuming the necessity to be undeniable. But what ground was taken in opposing him, we do not know. There existed at that time in Athens a certain party or section who undervalued Philip as an enemy not really formidable—far less formidable than the Persian king.[686] The reports of Persian force and preparation, prevalent two years before when Demosthenes delivered his harangue on the Symmories, seem still to have continued, and may partly explain the inaction again Philip. Such reports would be magnified, or fabricated, by another Athenian party much more dangerous; in communication with, and probably paid by, Philip himself. To this party Demosthenes makes his earliest allusion in the first Philippic,[687] and reverts to them on many occasions afterwards. We may be very certain that there were Athenian citizens serving as Philip’s secret agents, though we cannot assign their names. It would be not less his interest[p. 319] to purchase such auxiliaries, than to employ paid spies in his operations of war:[688] while the prevalent political antipathies at Athens, coupled with the laxity of public morality in individuals, would render it perfectly practicable to obtain suitable instruments. That not only at Athens, but also at Amphipolis, Potidæa, Olynthus and elsewhere, Philip achieved his successes, partly by purchasing corrupt partisans among the leaders of his enemies—is an assertion so intrinsically probable, that we may readily believe it, though advanced chiefly by unfriendly witnesses. Such corruption alone, indeed, would not have availed him, but it was eminently useful when combined with well-employed force and military genius.


If even in Athens, at the date of the first Philippic of Demosthenes, the uneasiness about Philip was considerable, much more serious had it become among his neighbors the Olynthians. He had gained them over, four years before, by transferring to them the territory of Anthemus—and the still more important town of Potidæa, captured by his own arms from Athens. Grateful for these cessions, they had become his allies in his war with Athens, whom they hated on every ground. But a material change had since taken place. Since the loss of Methônê, Athens, expelled from the coast of Thrace and Macedonia, had ceased to be a hostile neighbor, or to inspire alarm to the Olynthians; while the immense increase in the power of Philip, combined with his ability and ambition alike manifest, had overlaid their gratitude for the past by a sentiment of fear for the future. It was but too[p. 320] clear that a prince who stretched his encroaching arms in all directions—to Thermopylæ, to Illyria, and to Thrace—would not long suffer the fertile peninsula between the Thermaic and Strymonic gulfs to remain occupied by free Grecian communities. Accordingly, it seems that after the great victory of Philip in Thessaly over the Phokians (in the first half of 352 B. C.), the Olynthians manifested their uneasiness by seceding from alliance with him against Athens. They concluded peace with that city, and manifested such friendly sentiments that an alliance began to be thought possible. This peace seems to have been concluded before November 352 B. C.[689]

Here was an important change of policy on the part of the Olynthians. Though they probably intended it, not as a measure of hostility against Philip, but simply as a precaution to ensure to themselves recourse elsewhere in case of becoming exposed to his attack, it was not likely that he would either draw or recognize any such distinction. He would probably consider that by the cession of Potidæa, he had purchased their coöperation against Athens, and would treat their secession as at least making an end to all amicable relations.

A few months afterwards (at the date of the first Philippic[690]) we find that he, or his soldiers, had attacked, and made sudden excursions into their territory, close adjoining to his own.

In this state of partial hostility, yet without proclaimed or vigorous war, matters seem to have remained throughout the year 351 B. C. Philip was engaged during that year in his Thracian expedition, where he fell sick, so that aggressive enterprise was[p. 321] for the time suspended. Meanwhile the Athenians seem to have proposed to Olynthus a scheme of decided alliance against Philip.[691] But the Olynthians had too much to fear from him, to become themselves the aggressors. They still probably hoped that he might find sufficient enemies and occupation elsewhere, among Thracians, Illyrians, Pæonians, Arymbas and the Epirots, and Athenians;[692] at any rate, they would not be the first to provoke a contest. This state of reciprocal mistrust[693] continued for several months, until at length Philip began serious operations against them; not very long after his recovery from the sickness in Thrace, and seemingly towards the middle of 350 B. C.;[694] a little before the beginning of Olympiad 107, 3.

It was probably during the continuance of such semi-hostile relations that two half-brothers of Philip, sons of his father Amyntas by another mother, sought and obtained shelter at Olynthus. They came as his enemies; for he had put to death already one of their brothers, and they themselves only escaped the same fate by flight. Whether they had committed any positive act to pro[p. 322]voke his wrath, we are not informed; but such tragedies were not unfrequent in the Macedonian regal family. While Olynthus was friendly and grateful to Philip, these exiles would not have resorted thither; but they were now favorably received, and may perhaps have held out hopes that in case of war they could raise a Macedonian party against Philip. To that prince, the reception of his fugitive enemies served as a plausible pretence for war—which he doubtless would under all circumstances have prosecuted—against Olynthus; and it seems to have been so put forward in his public declarations.[695]

But Philip, in accomplishing his conquests, knew well how to blend the influences of deceit and seduction with those of arms, and to divide or corrupt those whom he intended to subdue. To such insidious approaches Olynthus was in many ways open. The power of that city consisted, in great part, in her position as chief of a numerous confederacy, including a large proportion, though probably not all, of the Grecian cities in the peninsula of Chalkidikê. Among the different members of such a confederacy, there was more or less of dissentient interest or sentiment, which accidental circumstances might inflame so as to induce a wish for separation. In each city moreover, and in Olynthus itself, there were ambitious citizens competing for power, and not scrupulous as to the means whereby it was to be acquired or retained. In each of them, Philip could open intrigues, and enlist partisans; in some, he would probably receive invitations to do so; for the greatness of his exploits, while it inspired alarm in some quarters, raised hopes among disappointed and jealous minorities. If, through such predisposing circumstances, he either made or found partisans and traitors in the distant cities of Peloponnesus, much more was this practicable for him in the neighboring peninsula of Chalkidikê. Olynthus and the other cities were nearly all conterminous with the Macedonian territory, some probably with boundaries not clearly settled. Perdikkas II. had given to the Olynthians[p. 323] (at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war[696]) a portion of his territory near the Lake Bolbê: Philip himself had given to them the district of Anthemus. Possessed of so much neighboring land, he had the means, with little loss to himself, of materially favoring or enriching such individual citizens, of Olynthus or other cities, as chose to promote his designs. Besides direct bribes, where that mode of proceeding was most effective, he could grant the right of gratuitous pasture to the flocks and herds of one, and furnish abundant supplies of timber to another. Master as he now was of Amphipolis and Philippi, he could at pleasure open or close to them the speculations of the gold mines of Mount Pangæus, for which they had always hankered.[697] If his privateers harassed even the powerful Athens, and the islands under her protection, much more vexatious would they be to his neighbors in the Chalkidic peninsula, which they as it were encircled, from the Thermaic Gulf on one side to the Strymonic Gulf on the other. Lastly, we cannot doubt that some individuals in these cities had found it profitable to take service, civil or military, under Philip, which would supply him with correspondents and adherents among their friends and relatives.

It will thus be easily seen, that with reference to Olynthus and her confederate cities, Philip had at his command means of private benefit and annoyance to such an extent, as would ensure to him the coöperation of a venal and traitorous minority in each; such minority of course blending its proceedings, and concealing its purposes, among the standing political feuds of the place. These means however were only preliminary to the direct use of the sword. His seductions and presents commenced the work, but his excellent generalship and soldiers—the phalanx, the hypaspistæ, and the cavalry, all now brought into admirable training during the ten years of his reign—completed it.

Though Demosthenes in one passage goes so far as to say that Philip rated his established influence so high as to expect to incorporate the Chalkidic confederacy in his empire without serious difficulty and without even real war[698]—there is ground for be[p. 324]lieving that he encountered strenuous resistance, avenged by unmeasured rigors after the victory. The two years and a half between Midsummer 350 B. C., and the commencement of 347 B. C. (the two last years of Olympiad 107 and the nine first months of Olympiad 108), were productive of phænomena more terror-striking than anything in the recent annals of Greece. No less than thirty-two free Grecian cities in Chalkidikê were taken and destroyed, the inhabitants being reduced to slavery, by Philip. Among them was Olynthus, one of the most powerful, flourishing, and energetic members of the Hellenic brotherhood; Apollonia, whose inhabitants would now repent the untoward obstinacy of their fathers (thirty-two years before) in repudiating a generous and equal confederacy with Olynthus, and invoking Spartan aid to revive the falling power of Philip’s father, Amyntas; and Stageira, the birth-place of Aristotle. The destruction of thirty-two free Hellenic communities in two years by a foreign prince, was a calamity the like of which had never occurred since the suppression of the Ionic revolt and the invasion of Xerxes. I have already recounted in a previous chapter[699] the manifestation of wrath at the festival of the ninety-ninth Olympiad (394 B. C.) against the envoys of the elder Dionysius of Syracuse, who had captured and subverted five or six free Hellenic communities in Italy and Sicily. Far more vehement would be the sentiment of awe and terror, after the Olynthian war, against the Macedonian destroyer of thirty-two Chalkidic cities. We shall find this plainly indicated in the phænomena immediately succeeding. We shall see Athens terrified into a peace alike dishonorable and improvident, which even Demosthenes does not venture to oppose; we shall see Æschines passing out of a free spoken Athenian citizen into a servile worshipper, if not a paid agent, of Philip: we shall observe Isokrates, once the champion of Pan-hellenic freedom and integrity, ostentatiously proclaiming Philip as the master and arbiter of Greece, while persuading him at the same time to use his power well for the purpose of conquer[p. 325]ing Persia. These were terrible times; suitably illustrated in their cruel details by the gangs of enslaved Chalkidic Greeks of both sexes, seen passing even into Peloponnesus[700] as the property of new grantees who extolled the munificence of the donor Philip; and suitably ushered in by awful celestial signs, showers of fire and blood falling from the heavens to the earth, in testimony of the wrath of the gods.[701]

While, however, we make out with tolerable clearness the general result of Philip’s Olynthian war, and the terror which it struck into the Grecian mind—we are not only left without information as to its details, but are even perplexed by its chronology. I have already remarked, that though the Olynthians had contracted such suspicions of Philip, even before the beginning of[p. 326] 351 B. C., as to induce them to make peace with his enemy Athens—they had nevertheless, declined the overtures of Athens for a closer alliance, not wishing to bring upon themselves decided hostility from so powerful a neighbor, until his aggressions should become such as to leave them no choice. We have no precise information as to Philip’s movements after his operations in Thrace and his sickness in 351 B. C. But we know that it was not in his nature to remain inactive; that he was incessantly pushing his conquests; and that no conquest could be so important to him as that of Olynthus and the Chalkidic peninsula. Accordingly, we are not surprised to find, that the Olynthian and Chalkidian confederates became the object of his direct hostility in 350 B. C. He raised pretences for attack against one or other of these cities separately; avoiding to deal with the confederacy as a whole, and disclaiming, by special envoys,[702] all purposes injurious to Olynthus.

Probably the philippizing party in that city may have dwelt upon this disclaimer as satisfactory, and given as many false assurances about the purposes of Philip, as we shall find Æschines hereafter uttering at Athens. But the general body of citizens were not so deceived. Feeling that the time had come when it was prudent to close with the previous Athenian overtures, they sent envoys to Athens to propose alliance and invite coöperation against Philip. Their first propositions were doubtless not couched in the language of urgency and distress. They were not as yet in any actual danger; their power was great in reality, and estimated at its full value abroad; moreover, as prudent diplomatists, they would naturally overstate their own dignity and the magnitude of what they were offering. Of course they would ask for Athenian aid to be sent to Chalkidikê—since it was there that the war was being carried on; but they would ask for aid in order to act energetically against the common enemy, and repress[p. 327] the growth of his power—not to avert immediate danger menacing Olynthus.

There needed no discussion to induce the Athenians to accept this alliance. It was what they had long been seeking, and they willingly closed with the proposition. Of course they also promised—what indeed was almost involved in the acceptance—to send a force to coöperate against Philip in Chalkidikê. On this first recognition of Olynthus as an ally—or perhaps shortly afterwards, but before circumstances had at all changed—Demosthenes delivered his earliest Olynthiac harangue. Of the three memorable compositions so denominated, the earliest is, in my judgment, that which stands second in the edited order. Their true chronological order has long been, and still is, matter of controversy; the best conclusion which I can form, is that the first and the second are erroneously placed, but that the third is really the latest;[703] all of them being delivered during the six or seven last months of 350 B. C.

In this his earliest advocacy (the speech which stands printed as the second Olynthiac), Demosthenes insists upon the advantageous contingency which has just turned up for Athens, through the blessing of the gods, in the spontaneous tender of so valuable an ally. He recommends that aid be despatched to the new ally; the most prompt and effective aid will please him the best. But this recommendation is contained in a single sentence, in the middle of the speech; it is neither repeated a second time, nor emphatically insisted upon, nor enlarged by specification of quantity or quality of aid to be sent. No allusion is made to necessities or danger of Olynthus, nor to the chance that Philip might conquer the town; still less to ulterior contingencies, that Philip, if he did conquer it, might carry the seat of war from his own coasts to those of Attica. On the contrary, Demosthenes adverts to the power of the Olynthians—to the situation of their territory, close on Philip’s flanks—to their fixed resolution that they will never again enter into amity or compromise with him—as evidences how[p. 328] valuable their alliance will prove to Athens; enabling her to prosecute with improved success the war against Philip, and to retrieve the disgraceful losses brought upon her by previous remissness. The main purpose of the orator is to inflame his countrymen into more hearty and vigorous efforts for the prosecution of this general war; while to furnish aid to the Olynthians, is only a secondary purpose, and a part of the larger scheme. “I shall not (says the orator) expatiate on the formidable power of Philip as an argument to urge you to the performance of your public duty. That would be too much both of compliment to him and of disparagement to you. I should, indeed, myself have thought him truly formidable, if he had achieved his present eminence by means consistent with justice. But he has aggrandized himself, partly through your negligence and improvidence, partly by treacherous means—by taking into pay corrupt partisans at Athens, and by cheating successively Olynthians, Thessalians, and all his other allies. These allies, having now detected his treachery, are deserting him; without them, his power will crumble away. Moreover, the Macedonians themselves have no sympathy with his personal ambition; they are fatigued with the labor imposed upon them by his endless military movements, and impoverished by the closing of their ports through the war. His vaunted officers are men of worthless and dissolute habits; his personal companions are thieves, vile ministers of amusement, outcasts from our cities. His past good fortune imparts to all this real weakness a fallacious air of strength; and doubtless his good fortune has been very great. But the fortune of Athens, and her title to the benevolent aid of the gods is still greater—if only you, Athenians, will do your duty. Yet here you are, sitting still, doing nothing. The sluggard cannot even command his friends to work for him—much less the gods. I do not wonder, that Philip, always in the field, always in movement, doing everything for himself, never letting slip an opportunity—prevails over you who merely talk, inquire, and vote, without action. Nay—the contrary would be wonderful—if under such circumstances, he had not been the conqueror. But what I do wonder at is, that you Athenians—who in former days contended for Pan-hellenic freedom against the Lacedæmonians—who, scorning unjust aggrandizement for yourselves, fought in person and lavished your sub[p. 329]stance to protect the rights of other Greeks—that you now shrink from personal service and payment of money for the defence of your own possessions. You, who have so often rescued others, can now sit still after having lost so much of your own! I wonder you do not look back to that conduct of yours which has brought your affairs into this state of ruin, and ask yourselves how they can ever mend, while such conduct remains unchanged. It was much easier at first to preserve what we once had, than to recover it now that it is lost; we have nothing now left to lose—we have everything to recover. This must be done by ourselves, and at once; we must furnish money, we must serve in person by turns; we must give our generals means to do their work well, and then exact from them a severe account afterwards—which we cannot do so long as we ourselves will neither pay nor serve. We must correct that abuse which has grown up, whereby particular symmories in the state combine to exempt themselves from burdensome duties, and to cast them all unjustly upon others. We must not only come forward vigorously and heartily, with person and with money, but each man must embrace faithfully his fair share of patriotic obligation.”

Such are the main points of the earliest discourse delivered by Demosthenes on the subject of Olynthus. In the mind of modern readers, as in that of the rhetor Dionysius,[704] there is an unconscious tendency to imagine that these memorable pleadings must have worked persuasion, and to magnify the efficiency of their author as an historical and directing person. But there are no facts to bear out such an impression. Demosthenes was still comparatively a young man—thirty-one years of age; admired indeed for his speeches and his compositions written to be spoken by others;[705] but as yet not enjoying much practical influence. It[p. 330] is moreover certain—to his honor—that he described and measured foreign dangers before they were recognized by ordinary politicians; that he advised a course, energetic and salutary indeed, but painful for the people to act upon, and disagreeable for recognized leaders to propose; that these leaders, such as Eubulus and others, were accordingly adverse to him. The tone of Demosthenes in these speeches is that of one who feels that he is contending against heavy odds—combating an habitual and deep-seated reluctance. He is an earnest remonstrant—an opposition speaker—contributing to raise up gradually a body of public sentiment and conviction which ultimately may pass into act. His rival Eubulus is the ministerial spokesman, whom the majority, both rich and poor, followed; a man not at all corrupt (so far as we know), but of simple conservative routine, evading all painful necessities and extraordinary precautions; conciliating the rich by resisting a property-tax, and the general body of citizens by refusing to meddle with the Theôric expenditure.

The Athenians did not follow the counsel of Demosthenes. They accepted the Olynthian alliance, but took no active step to coöperate with Olynthus in the war against Philip.[706] Such unhappily was their usual habit. The habit of Philip was the opposite. We need no witness to satisfy us, that he would not slacken in his attack—and that in the course of a month or two, he would master more than one of the Chalkidic cities, perhaps defeating the Olynthian forces also. The Olynthians would discover that they had gained nothing by their new allies; while the[p. 331] philippizing party among themselves would take advantage of the remissness of Athens to depreciate her promises as worthless or insincere, and to press for accommodation with the enemy.[707] Complaints would presently reach Athens, brought by fresh envoys from the Olynthians, and probably also from the Chalkidians, who were the greatest sufferers by Philip’s arms. They would naturally justify this renewed application by expatiating on the victorious progress of Philip; they would now call for aid more urgently, and might even glance at the possibility of Philip’s conquest of Chalkidikê. It was in this advanced stage of the proceedings that Demosthenes again exerted himself in the cause, delivering that speech which stands first in the printed order of the Olynthiacs.

Here we have, not a Philippic, but a true Olynthiac. Olynthus is no longer part and parcel of a larger theme, upon the whole of which Demosthenes intends to discourse; but stands out as the prominent feature and specialty of his pleading. It is now pronounced to be in danger and in pressing need of succor; moreover its preservation is strenuously pressed upon the Athenians, as essential to their own safety. While it stands with its confederacy around it, the Athenians can fight Philip on his own coast; if it falls, there is nothing to prevent him from transferring the war into Attica, and assailing them on their own soil.[708] Demosthenes is wound up to a higher pitch of emphasis, complaining of the lukewarmness of his countrymen on a crisis which calls aloud for instant action.[709] He again urges that a vote be at once passed to assist Olynthus, and two armaments despatched as quickly as possible; one to preserve to Olynthus her confederate cities—the other, to make a diversion by simultaneous attack on Philip at[p. 332] home. Without such two-fold aid (he says) the cities cannot be preserved.[710] Advice of aid generally he had already given, though less emphatically, in his previous harangue; but he now superadds a new suggestion—that Athenian envoys shall be sent thither, not merely to announce the coming of the force, but also to remain at Olynthus and watch over the course of events. For he is afraid, that unless such immediate encouragement be sent, Philip may, even without the tedious process of a siege, frighten or cajole the Olynthian confederacy into submission; partly by reminding them that Athens had done nothing for them, and by denouncing her as a treacherous and worthless ally.[711] Philip would be glad to entrap them into some plausible capitulation; and though they knew that they could have no security for his keeping the terms of it afterwards, still he might succeed, if Athens remained idle. Now, if ever, was the time for Athenians to come forward and do their duty without default; to serve in person and submit to the necessary amount of direct taxation. They had no longer the smallest pretence for continued inaction; the very conjuncture which they had so long desired, had turned up of itself—war between Olynthus and Philip, and that too upon grounds special to Olynthus—not at the instigation of Athens.[712] The Olynthian alliance had been thrown in the way of Athens by the peculiar goodness of the gods, to enable her to repair her numerous past errors and short-comings. She ought to look well and deal rightly with these last remaining opportunities, in order to wipe off the shame of the past; but if she now let slip Olynthus and suffer Philip to conquer it, there was nothing else to hinder him from marching whithersoever he chose. His ambition was so insatiable, his activity so incessant, that, assuming Athens to persist in her careless inaction, he would carry the war forward[p. 333] from Thrace into Attica—of which the ruinous consequences were but too clear.[713]

“I maintain (continued the orator) that you ought to lend aid at the present crisis in two ways; by preserving for the Olynthians their confederated cities, through a body of troops sent out for that express purpose—and by employing at the same time other troops and other triremes to act aggressively against Philip’s own coast. If you neglect either of these measures, I fear that the expedition will fail. As to the pecuniary provision, you have already more money than any other city, available for purposes of war; if you will pay that money to soldiers on service, no need exists for farther provision—if not, then need exists; but above all things, money must be found. What then! I shall be asked—are you moving that the Theôric fund shall be devoted to war purposes? Not I, by Zeus. I merely express my conviction, that soldiers must be equipped, and that receipt of public money, and performance of public service, ought to go hand in hand; but your practice is to take the public money, without any such condition, for the festivals. Accordingly, nothing remains except that all should directly contribute; much, if much is wanted—little, if little will suffice. Money must be had; without it, not a single essential step can be taken. There are moreover different ways and means suggested by others. Choose any one of these which you think advantageous; and lay a vigorous grasp on events while the opportunity still lasts.”[714]

It was thus that Demosthenes addressed his countrymen some time after the Olynthians had been received as allies, but before any auxiliary force had been either sent to them or even positively decreed—yet when such postponement of action had inspired them with mistrust, threatening to throw them, even without resistance, into the hands of Philip and their own philippizing party. We observe in Demosthenes the same sagacious appreciation, both of the present and the future, as we have already remarked[p. 334] in the first Philippic—foresight of the terrible consequences of this Olynthian war, while as yet distant and unobserved by others. We perceive the same good sense and courage in invoking the right remedies; though his propositions of personal military service, direct taxation, or the diversion of the Theôric fund—were all of them the most unpopular which could be made. The last of the three, indeed, he does not embody in a substantive motion; nor could he move it without positive illegality, which would have rendered him liable to the indictment called Graphê Paranomon. But he approaches it near enough to raise in the public mind the question as it really stood—that money must be had; that there were only two ways of getting it—direct taxation, and appropriation of the festival fund; and that the latter of these ought to be restored as well as the former. We shall find this question about the Theôric Fund coming forward again more than once, and shall have presently to notice it more at large.

At some time after this new harangue of Demosthenes—how long after it, or how far in consequence of it, we cannot say—the Athenians commissioned and sent a body of foreign mercenaries to the aid of the Olynthians and Chalkidians. The outfit and transport of these troops was in part defrayed by voluntary subscriptions from rich Athenian citizens. But no Athenian citizen-soldiers were sent; nor was any money assigned for the pay of the mercenaries. The expedition appears to have been sent towards the autumn of 350 B. C., as far as we can pretend to affirm anything respecting the obscure chronology of this period.[715] It[p. 335] presently gained some victory over Philip or Philip’s generals, and was enabled to transmit good news to Athens, which excited much exultation there, and led the people to fancy that they were in a fair way of taking revenge on Philip for past miscarriages. According to some speakers, not only were the Olynthians beyond all reach of danger, but Philip was in a fair way of being punished and humbled. It is indeed possible that the success may really have been something considerable, such as to check Philip’s progress for the time. Though victorious on the whole, he must have experienced partial and temporary reverses, otherwise he would have concluded the war before the early spring of 347 B. C. Whether this success coincided with that of the Athenian general Chares over Philip’s general Adæus,[716] we cannot say.

But Demosthenes had sagacity enough to perceive, and frankness to proclaim, that it was a success noway decisive of the war[p. 336] generally; worse than nothing, if it induced the Athenians to fancy that they had carried their point.

To correct the delusive fancy, that enough had been done—to combat that chronic malady under which the Athenians so readily found encouragement and excuses for inaction—to revive in them the conviction, that they had contracted a debt, yet unpaid, towards their Olynthian allies and towards their own ultimate security—is the scope of Demosthenes in his third Olynthiac harangue; third in the printed order, and third also, according to my judgment, in order of time; delivered towards the close of the year 350 B. C.[717] Like Perikles, he was not less watchful to abate extravagant and unseasonable illusions of triumph in his countrymen, than to raise their spirits in moments of undue alarm and despondency.[718]

[p. 337]“The talk which I hear about punishing Philip (says Demosthenes, in substance) is founded on a false basis. The real facts of the case teach us a very different lesson.[719] They bid us look well to our own security, that we be not ourselves the sufferers, and that we preserve our allies. There was indeed a time—and that too within my remembrance not long ago—when we might have held our own and punished Philip besides; but now, our first care must be to preserve our own allies. After we have made this sure, then it will be time to think of punishing others. The present juncture calls for anxious deliberation. Do not again commit the same error as you committed three years ago. When Philip was besieging Heræum in Thrace, you passed an energetic decree to send an expedition against him: presently came reports that he was sick, and that he was dead: this good news made you fancy that the expedition was unnecessary, and you let it drop. If you had executed promptly what you resolved, Philip would have been put down then, and would have given you no further trouble.[720]

“Those matters indeed are past, and cannot be mended. But I advert to them now, because the present war-crisis is very similar, and I trust you will not make the like mistake again. If you do not send aid to Olynthus with all your force and means, you will play Philip’s game for him now, exactly as you did then. You have been long anxious and working to get the Olynthians into war with Philip. This has now happened: what choice remains, except to aid them heartily and vigorously? You will be covered with shame, if you do not. But this is not all. Your own security at home requires it of you also; for there is nothing to hinder Philip, if he conquers Olynthus, from invading Attica. The Phokians are exhausted in funds—and the Thebans are your enemies.

[p. 338]“All this is superfluous, I shall be told. We have already resolved unanimously to succor Olynthus, and we will succor it. We only want you to tell us how. You will be surprised, perhaps, at my answer. Appoint Nomothetæ at once.[721] Do not submit to them any propositions for new laws, for you have laws enough already—but only repeal such of the existing laws as are hurtful at the present juncture—I mean, those which regard the Theôric fund (I speak out thus plainly), and some which bear on the citizens in military service. By the former, you hand over money, which ought to go to soldiers on service, in Theôric distribution among those who stay at home. By the latter, you let off without penalty those who evade service, and discourage those who wish to do their duty. When you have repealed these mischievous laws, and rendered it safe to proclaim salutary truths, then expect some one to come forward with a formal motion such as you all know to be required. But until you do this, expect not that any one will make these indispensable propositions on your behalf, with the certainty of ruin at your hands. You will find no such man; especially as he would only incur unjust punishment for himself, without any benefit to the city—while his punishment would make it yet more formidable to speak out upon that subject in future, than it is even now. Moreover, the same men who proposed these laws should also take upon them to propose the repeal; for it is not right that these men should continue to enjoy a popularity which is working mischief to the whole city, while the unpopularity of a reform beneficial to us all, falls on the head of the reforming mover. But while you retain this prohibition, you can neither tolerate that any one among you shall be powerful enough to infringe a law with impunity—nor expect that any one will be fool enough to run with his eyes open into punishment.”

I lament that my space confines me to this brief and meagre abstract of one of the most splendid harangues ever delivered—the third Olynthiac of Demosthenes. The partial advantage gained over Philip being prodigiously over-rated, the Athenians seemed to fancy that they had done enough, and were receding from their resolution to assist Olynthus energetically. As on so many[p. 339] other occasions, so on this—Demosthenes undertook to combat a prevalent sentiment which he deemed unfounded and unseasonable. With what courage, wisdom, and dexterity—so superior to the insulting sarcasms of Phokion—does he execute this self-imposed duty, well knowing its unpopularity!

Whether any movement was made by the Athenians in consequence of the third Olynthiac of Demosthenes, we cannot determine. We have no ground for believing the affirmative; while we are certain that the specific measure which he recommended—the sending of an armament of citizens personally serving—was not at that time (before the end of 350 B. C.) carried into effect. At or before the commencement of 349 B. C., the foreign relations of Athens began to be disturbed by another supervening embarrassment—the revolt of Eubœa.

After the successful expedition of 358 B. C., whereby the Athenians had expelled the Thebans from Eubœa, that island remained for some years in undisturbed connection with Athens. Chalkis, Eretria, and Oreus, its three principal cities, sent each a member to the synod of allies holding session at Athens, and paid their annual quota (seemingly five talents each) to the confederate fund.[722] During the third quarter of 352 B. C., Menestratus the despot or principal citizen of Eretria is cited as a particularly devoted friend of Athens.[723] But this state of things changed shortly after Philip conquered Thessaly and made himself master of the Pagasæan Gulf (in 353 and the first half of 352 B. C.). His power was then established immediately over against Oreus and the northern coast of Eubœa, with which island his means of communication became easy and frequent. Before the date of the first Philippic of Demosthenes (seemingly towards the summer of 351 B. C.) Philip had opened correspondences in Eubœa, and had despatched thither various letters, some of which the orator reads in the course of that speech to the Athenian assembly. The actual words of the letters are not given; but from the criticism of the orator himself, we discern that they were highly offensive to Athenian feel[p. 340]ings; instigating the Eubœans probably to sever themselves from Athens, with offers of Macedonian aid towards that object.[724] Philip’s naval warfare also brought his cruisers to Geræstus in Eubœa, where they captured several Athenian corn-ships;[725] insulting even the opposite coast of Attica at Marathon, so as to lower the reputation of Athens among her allies. Accordingly, in each of the Eubœan cities, parties were soon formed aiming at the acquisition of dominion through the support of Philip; while for the same purpose detachments of mercenaries could also be procured across the western Eubœan strait, out of the large numbers now under arms in Phokis.

About the beginning of 349 B. C.—while the war of Philip, unknown to us in its details, against the Olynthians and Chalkidians, was still going on, with more or less of help from mercenaries sent by Athens—hostilities, probably raised by the intrigues of Philip, broke out at Eretria in Eubœa. An Eretrian named Plutarch (we do not know what had become of Menestratus), with a certain number of soldiers at his disposal, but opposed by enemies yet more powerful, professed to represent Athenian interests in his city, and sent to Athens to ask for aid. Demosthenes, suspecting this man to be a traitor, dissuaded compliance with the application.[726] But Plutarch had powerful friends at Athens, seemingly among the party of Eubulus; one of whom, Meidias, a violent personal enemy of Demosthenes, while advocating the grant of aid, tried even to get up a charge against Demosthenes, of having himself fomented these troubles in Eubœa against the reputed philo-Athenian Plutarch.[727] The Athenian assembly determined to despatch a force under Phokion; who accordingly crossed into the island, somewhat before the time of the festival Anthesteria (February) with a body of hoplites.[728] The cost of[p. 341] fitting out triremes for this transport, was in part defrayed by voluntary contributions from rich Athenians; several of whom, Nikêratus, Euktêmon, Euthydemus, contributed each the outfit of one vessel.[729] A certain proportion of the horsemen of the city were sent also; yet the entire force was not very large, as it was supposed that the partisans there to be found would make up the deficiency.

This hope however turned out fallacious. After an apparently friendly reception and a certain stay at or near Eretria, Phokion found himself betrayed. Kallias, an ambitious leader of Chalkis, collected as much Eubœan force as he could, declared openly against Athens, and called in Macedonian aid (probably from Philip’s commanders in the neighboring Pagasæan Gulf); while his brother Taurosthenes hired a detachment of mercenaries out of Phokis.[730] The anti-Athenian force thus became more formidable than Phokion could fairly cope with; while the support yielded to him in the island was less than he expected. Crossing the eminence named Kotylæum, he took a position near the town and hippodrome of Tamynæ, on high ground bordered by a ravine; Plutarch still professing friendship, and encamping with his mercenaries along with him. Phokion’s position was strong; yet the Athenians were outnumbered and beleaguered so as to occasion great alarm.[731] Many of the slack and disorderly soldiers deserted; a loss which Phokion affected to despise—though he at the same time sent to Athens to make known his difficulties and press for reinforcement. Meanwhile he kept on the defensive in his camp, which the enemy marched up to attack. Disregarding his order, and acting with a deliberate treason which was accounted[p. 342] at Athens unparalleled—Plutarch advanced forward out of the camp to meet them; but presently fled, drawing along with his flight the Athenian horse, who had also advanced in some disorder. Phokion with the infantry was now in the greatest danger. The enemy, attacking vigorously, were plucking up the palisade, and on the point of forcing his camp. But his measures were so well taken, and his hoplites behaved with so much intrepidity and steadiness in this trying emergency, that he repelled the assailants with loss, and gained a complete victory. Thallus and Kineas distinguished themselves by his side; Kleophanes also was conspicuous in partially rallying the broken horsemen; while Æschines the orator, serving among the hoplites, was complimented for his bravery, and sent to Athens to carry the first news of the victory.[732] Phokion pursued his success, expelled Plutarch from Eretria, and captured a strong fort called Zaretra, near the narrowest part of the island. He released all his Greek captives, fearing that the Athenians, incensed at the recent treachery, should resolve upon treating them with extreme harshness.[733] Kallias seems to have left the island and found shelter with Philip.[734]

[p. 343]The news brought by Æschines (before the Dionysiac festival) of the victory of Tamynæ, relieved the Athenians from great anxiety. On the former despatch from Phokion, the Senate had resolved to send to Eubœa another armament, including the remaining half of the cavalry, a reinforcement of hoplites, and a fresh squadron of triremes. But the victory enabled them to dispense[735] with any immediate reinforcement, and to celebrate the Dionysiac festival with cheerfulness. The festival was on this year of more than usual notoriety. Demosthenes, serving in it as chorêgus for his tribe the Pandionis, was brutally insulted, in the theatre and amid the full pomp of the ceremony, by his enemy the wealthy Meidias; who, besides other outrages, struck him several times with his fist on the head. The insult was the more poignant, because Meidias at this time held the high office of Hipparch, or one of the commanders of the horse. It was the practice at Athens to convene a public assembly immediately after the Dionysiac festival, for the special purpose of receiving notifications and hearing complaints about matters which had occurred at the festival itself. At this special assembly Demosthenes preferred a complaint against Meidias for the unwarrantable outrage offered, and found warm sympathy among the people, who passed a unanimous vote of censure. This procedure (called Probolê), did not by itself carry any punishment, but served as a sort of præjudicium, or finding of a true bill; enabling Demosthenes to quote the public as a witness to the main fact of insult, and encouraging him to pursue Meidias before the regular tribunals; which he did a few months afterwards, but was induced to accept from Meidias the self-imposed fine of thirty minæ before the final passing of sentence by the Dikasts.[736]

[p. 344]From the despatches of Phokion, the treason of Plutarch of Eretria had become manifest; so that Demosthenes gained credit for his previous remarks on the impolicy of granting the armament; while the friends of Plutarch—Hegesilaus and others of the party of Eubulus—incurred displeasure; and some, as it appears, were afterwards tried.[737] But he was reproached by his enemies for having been absent from the battle of Tamynæ; and a citizen named Euktêmon, at the instigation of Meidias, threatened an indictment against him for desertion of his post. Whether Demosthenes had actually gone over to Eubœa as a hoplite in the army of Phokion, and obtained leave of absence to come back for the Dionysia—or whether he did not go at all—we are unable to say. In either case, his duties as chorêgus for this year furnished a conclusive excuse; so that Euktêmon, though he formally hung up before the statues of the Eponymous Heroes public proclamation of his intended indictment, never thought fit to take even the first step for bringing it to actual trial, and incurred legal disgrace for such non-performance of his engagement.[738] Nevertheless the opprobrious and undeserved epithet of deserter was ever afterwards applied to Demosthenes by Æschines and his other enemies; and Meidias even heaped the like vituperation upon most of those who took part in that assembly[739] wherein the Probolê or vote of censure against him had been passed. Not long after the Dionysiac festival, however, it was found necessary to send fresh troops, both horsemen and hoplites, to Eubœa; probably to relieve either some or all of those already serving there.[p. 345] Demosthenes on this occasion put on his armor and served as a hoplite in the island. Meidias also went to Argura in Eubœa, as commander of the horsemen: yet, when the horsemen were summoned to join the Athenian army, he did not join along with them, but remained as trierarch of a trireme the outfit of which he had himself defrayed.[740] How long the army stayed in Eubœa, we do not know. It appears that Demosthenes had returned to Athens by the time when the annual Senate was chosen in the last month of the Attic year (Skirrophorion—June); having probably by that time been relieved. He was named (by the lot) among the Five Hundred Senators for the coming Attic year (beginning Midsummer 349 B. C. = Olymp. 107, 4);[741] his old enemy Meidias in vain impugning his qualification as he passed through the Dokimasy or preliminary examination previous to entering office.

What the Athenian army did farther in Eubœa, we cannot make out. Phokion was recalled—we do not know when—and replaced by a general named Molossus; who is said to have managed the war very unsuccessfully, and even to have been made prisoner himself by the enemy.[742] The hostile parties in the island, sided by Philip, were not subdued, nor was it until the summer of 348 B. C. that they applied for peace. Even then, it appears, none was concluded, so that the Eubœans remained unfriendly to Athens until the peace with Philip in 346 B. C.

But while the Athenians were thus tasked for the maintenance of Eubœa, they found it necessary to undertake more effective measures for the relief of Olynthus, and they thus had upon their hands at the same time the burthen of two wars. We know that they had to provide force for both Eubœa and Olynthus at once;[743][p. 346] and that the occasion which called for these simultaneous efforts was one of stringent urgency. The Olynthian requisition and communications made themselves so strongly felt, as to induce Athens to do, what Demosthenes in his three Olynthiacs had vainly insisted on during the preceding summer and autumn—to send thither a force of native Athenians, in the first half of 349 B. C. Of the horsemen who had gone from Athens to Eubœa, under Meidias, to serve under Phokion, either all, or a part, crossed by sea from Eubœa to Olynthus, during that half-year.[744] Meidias did not cross with them, but came back as trierarch in his trireme to Athens. Now the Athenian horsemen were not merely citizens, but citizens of wealth and consequence; moreover the[p. 347] transport of them by sea was troublesome as well as costly. The sending of such troops implies a strenuous effort and sense of urgency on the part of Athens. We may farther conclude that a more numerous body of hoplites were sent along with the horsemen at the same time; for horsemen would hardly under any circumstances be sent across sea alone; moreover Olynthus stood most in need of auxiliary hoplites, since her native force consisted chiefly of horsemen and peltasts.[745]

The evidence derived from the speech against Neæra being thus corroborated by the still better evidence of the speech against Meidias, we are made certain of the important fact, that the first half of the year 349 B. C. was one in which Athens was driven to great public exertions—even to armaments of native citizens—for the support of Olynthus as well as for the maintenance of Eubœa. What the Athenians achieved, indeed, or helped to achieve, by these expeditions to Olynthus—or how long they stayed there—we have no information. But we may reasonably presume—though Philip during this year 349 B. C., probably conquered a certain number of the thirty-two Chalkidic towns—that the allied forces, Olynthian, Chalkidic and Athenian, contended against him with no inconsiderable effect, and threw back his conquest of Chalkidikê into the following year. After a summer’s campaign in that peninsula, the Athenian citizens would probably come home. We learn that the Olynthians made prisoner a Macedonian of rank named Derdas, with other Macedonians attached to him.[746]

So extraordinary a military effort, however, made by the Athenians in the first half of 349 B. C.—to recover Eubœa and to protect Olynthus at once—naturally placed them in a state of financial embarrassment. Of this, one proof is to be found in the fact, that for some time there was not sufficient money to pay the Dikasteries, which accordingly sat little; so that few causes were tried for some time—for how long we do not know.[747]

[p. 348]

To meet in part the pecuniary wants of the moment, a courageous effort was made by the senator Apollodorus. He moved a decree in the Senate, that it should be submitted to the vote of the public assembly, whether the surplus of revenue, over and above the ordinary and permanent peace establishment of the city, should be paid to the Theôric Fund for the various religious festivals—or should be devoted to the pay, outfit, and transport of soldiers for the actual war. The Senate approved the motion of Apollodorus, and adopted a (probouleuma) preliminary resolution authorizing him to submit it to the public assembly. Under such authority, Apollodorus made the motion in the assembly, where also he was fully successful. The assembly (without a single dissentient voice, we are told) passed a decree enjoining that the surplus of revenue should under the actual pressure of war be devoted to the pay and other wants of soldiers. Notwithstanding such unanimity, however, a citizen named Stephanus impeached both the decree and its mover on the score of illegality, under the Graphê Paranomon. Apollodorus was brought before the Dikastery, and there found guilty; mainly (according to his friend and relative the prosecutor of Neæra) through suborned witnesses and false allegations foreign to the substance of the impeachment. When the verdict of guilty had been pronounced, Stephanus as accuser assessed the measure of punishment at the large fine of fifteen talents, refusing to listen to any supplications from the friends of Apollodorus, when they entreated him to name a lower sum. The Dikasts however, more lenient than Stephanus, were satisfied to adopt the measure of fine assessed by Apollodorus upon himself—one talent—which he actually paid.[748]

There can hardly be a stronger evidence both of the urgency and poverty of the moment, than the fact, that both Senate and people passed this decree of Apollodorus. That fact there is no room for doubting. But the additional statement—that there was not a single dissentient, and that every one, both at the time and afterwards, always pronounced the motion to have been an excellent one[749]—is probably an exaggeration. For it is not to be[p. 349] imagined that the powerful party, who habitually resisted the diversion of money from the Theôric Fund to war purposes, should have been wholly silent or actually concurrent on this occasion, though they may have been outvoted. The motion of Apollodorus was one which could not be made without distinctly breaking the law, and rendering the mover liable to those penal consequences which afterwards actually fell upon him. Now, that even a majority, both of senate and assembly, should have overleaped this illegality, is a proof sufficiently remarkable how strongly the crisis pressed upon their minds.

The expedition of Athenian citizens, sent to Olynthus before Midsummer 349 B. C., would probably return after a campaign of two or three months, and after having rendered some service against the Macedonian army. The warlike operations of Philip against the Chalkidians and Olynthians were noway relaxed. He pressed the Chalkidians more and more closely throughout all the ensuing eighteen months (from Midsummer 349 B. C. to the early spring of 347 B. C.). During the year Olymp. 407, 4, if the citation from Philochorus[750] is to be trusted, the Athenians despatched to their aid three expeditions; one, at the request of the Olynthians, who sent envoys to pray for it—consisting of two thousand peltasts under Chares, in thirty ships partly manned by Athenian seamen. A second under Charidemus, at the earnest entreaty of the suffering Chalkidians; consisting of eighteen triremes, four thousand peltasts and one hundred and fifty horsemen. Charidemus, in conjunction with the Olynthians, marched over Bottiæa and the peninsula of Pallênê, laying waste the country; whether he achieved any important success, we do not know. Respecting both Chares and Charidemus, the anecdotes descending to us are of insolence, extortion, and amorous indulgences, rather than of military exploits.[751] It is clear that neither the one nor the other achieved anything effectual against Philip, whose arms and corruption made terrible progress in Chalkidikê. So grievously did[p. 350] the strength of the Olynthians fail, that they transmitted a last and most urgent appeal to Athens; imploring the Athenians not to abandon them to ruin, but to send them a force of citizens in addition to the mercenaries already there. The Athenians complied, despatching thither seventeen triremes, two thousand hoplites, and three hundred horsemen, all under the command of Chares.

To make out anything of the successive steps of this important war is impossible; but we discern that during this latter portion of the Olynthian war, the efforts made by Athens were considerable. Demosthenes (in a speech six years afterwards) affirms that the Athenians had sent to the aid of Olynthus four thousand citizens, ten thousand mercenaries, and fifty triremes.[752] He represents the Chalkidic cities as having been betrayed successively to Philip by corrupt and traitorous citizens. That the conquest was achieved greatly by the aid of corruption, we cannot doubt; but the orator’s language carries no accurate information. Mekyberna and Torônê are said to have been among the towns betrayed without resistance.[753] After Philip had captured the thirty-two Chalkidic cities, he marched against Olynthus itself, with its confederate neighbors,—the Thracian Methônê and Apollonia. In forcing the passage of the river Sardon, he encountered such resistance that his troops were at first repulsed; and he was himself obliged to seek safety by swimming back across the river. He was moreover wounded in the eye by an Olynthian archer, named Aster, and lost the sight of that eye completely, notwithstanding the skill of his Greek surgeon, Kritobulus.[754] On arriving within forty furlongs of Olynthus, he sent to the inhabitants a peremptory summons, intimating that either they must evacuate the city, or he must leave Macedonia.[755] Rejecting this notice, they determined to defend their town to the last. A considerable portion of the last Athenian citizen-armament was still[p. 351] in the town to aid in the defence;[756] so that the Olynthians might reasonably calculate that Athens would strain every nerve to guard her own citizens against captivity. But their hopes were disappointed. How long the siege lasted,—or whether there was time for Athens to send farther reinforcement, we cannot say. The Olynthians are said to have repulsed several assaults of Philip with loss; but according to Demosthenes, the philippizing party, headed by the venal Euthykrates and Lasthenes, brought about the banishment of their chief opponent Apollonides, nullified all measures for energetic defence, and treasonably surrendered the city. Two defeats were sustained near its walls, and one of the generals of this party, having five hundred cavalry under his command, betrayed them designedly into the hands of the invader.[757] Olynthus, with all its inhabitants and property, at length fell into the hands of Philip. His mastery of the Chalkidic peninsula thus became complete towards the end of winter, 348-347 B. C.

Miserable was the ruin which fell upon this flourishing peninsula. The persons of the Olynthians,—men, women and children,—were sold into slavery. The wealth of the city gave to Philip the means of recompensing his soldiers for the toils of the war; the city itself he is said to have destroyed, together with Apollonia, Methônê, Stageira, etc.,—in all, thirty-two Chalkidic cities. Demosthenes, speaking about five years afterwards, says that they were so thoroughly and cruelly ruined as to leave their very sites scarcely discernible.[758] Making every allowance for exaggeration, we may fairly believe that they were dismantled, and bereft of all citizen proprietors; that the buildings and visible marks of Hellenic city-life were broken up or left to decay; that the remaining houses, as well as the villages around, were tenanted by dependent cultivators or slaves,—now working for the benefit of new Macedonian proprietors, in great part nonresident, and probably of favored Grecian grantees also.[759] Though[p. 352] various Greeks thus received their recompense for services rendered to Philip, yet Demosthenes affirms that Euthykrates and Lasthenes, the traitors who had sold Olynthus, were not among the number; or at least that, not long afterwards, they were dismissed with dishonor and contempt.[760]

In this Olynthian war,—ruinous to the Chalkidic Greeks, terrific to all other Greeks, and doubling the power of Philip,—Athens too must have incurred a serious amount of expense. We find it stated loosely, that in her entire war against Philip,—from the time of his capture of Amphipolis in 358-357 B. C. down to the peace of 346 B. C. or shortly afterwards,—she had expended not less than fifteen hundred talents.[761] On these computations no great stress is to be laid; but we may well believe that her outlay was considerable. In spite of all reluctance, she was obliged to do something; what she did was both too little, and too intermittent,—done behind time so as to produce no satisfactory result; but nevertheless, the aggregate cost, in a series of years, was a large one. During the latter portion of the Olynthian war, as far as we can judge, she really seems to have made efforts, though she had done little in the beginning. We may presume that the cost must have been defrayed, in part at least, by a direct property-tax; for the condemnation of Apollodorus put an end to the proposition of taking from the Theôric Fund.[762] Means[p. 353] may also have been found of economizing from the other expenses of the state.

Though the appropriation of the Theôric Fund to other purposes continued to be thus interdicted to any formal motion, yet, in the way of suggestion and insinuation it was from time to time glanced at by Demosthenes, and others;—and whenever money was wanted for war, the question whether it should be taken from this source or from direct property-tax, was indirectly revived. The appropriation of the Theôric Fund, however, remained unchanged until the very eve of the battle of Chæroneia. Just before that Dies Iræ, when Philip was actually fortifying Elateia, the fund was made applicable to war-purposes; the views of Demosthenes were realized,—twelve years after he had begun to enforce them.

This question about the Theôric expenditure is rarely presented by modern authors in the real way that it affected the Athenian mind. It has been sometimes treated as a sort of almsgiving to the poor,—and sometimes as an expenditure by the Athenians upon their pleasures. Neither the one nor the other gives a full or correct view of the case; each only brings out a part of the truth.

Doubtless, the Athenian democracy cared much for the pleasures of the citizens. It provided for them the largest amount of refined and imaginative pleasures ever tasted by any community known to history; pleasures essentially social and multitudinous, attaching the citizens to each other, rich and poor, by the strong tie of community of enjoyment.

But pleasure, though an usual accessory, was not the primary idea or predominant purpose of the Theôric expenditure. That expenditure was essentially religious in its character, incurred only for various festivals, and devoted exclusively to the honor of the gods. The ancient religion, not simply at Athens, but throughout Greece and the contemporary world,—very different in this[p. 354] respect from the modern,—included within itself and its manifestations nearly the whole range of social pleasures.[763] Now the Theôric Fund was essentially the Church-Fund at Athens; that upon which were charged all the expenses incurred by the state in the festivals and the worship of the gods. The Diobely, or distribution of two oboli to each present citizen, was one part of this expenditure; given in order to ensure that every citizen should have the opportunity of attending the festival, and doing honor to the god; never given to any one who was out of Attica because, of course, he could not attend;[764] but given to all alike within the country, rich or poor.[765] It was essential to that universal communion which formed a prominent feature of the festival, not less in regard to the god, than in regard to the city;[766] but it was only one portion of the total disbursements covered by the Theôric Fund. To this general religious fund it was provided by law that the surplus of ordinary revenue should be paid over, after all the cost of the peace establishment had been defrayed. There was no appropriation more thoroughly coming home to the[p. 355] common sentiment, more conducive as a binding force to the unity of the city, or more productive of satisfaction to each individual citizen.

We neither know the amount of the Theôric Fund, nor of the distributions connected with it. We cannot, therefore, say what proportion it formed of the whole peace-expenditure,—itself unknown also. But we cannot doubt that it was large. To be sparing of expenditure in manifestations for the honor of the gods, was accounted the reverse of virtue by Greeks generally; and the Athenians especially, whose eyes were every day contemplating the glories of their acropolis, would learn a different lesson,—moreover, magnificent religious display was believed to conciliate the protection and favor of the gods.[767] We may affirm, however, upon the strongest presumptions, that this religious expenditure did not absorb any funds required for the other branches of a peace-establishment. Neither naval, nor military, nor administrative exigencies, were starved in order to augment the Theôric surplus. Eubulus was distinguished for his excellent keeping of the docks and arsenals, and for his care in replacing the decayed triremes by new ones. And after all the wants of a well-mounted peace-establishment were satisfied, no Athenian had scruple in appropriating what remained under the conspiring impulses of piety, pleasure and social brotherhood.

It is true that the Athenians might have laid up that surplus annually in the acropolis, to form an accumulating war-fund. Such provision had been made half a century before, under the full energy and imperial power of Athens, when she had a larger revenue, with numerous tribute-paying allies, and when Perikles presided over her councils. It might have been better if she had done something of the same kind in the age after the Peloponnesian war. Perhaps, if men like Perikles, or even like Demosthenes, had enjoyed marked ascendency, she would have been advised and prevailed on to continue such a precaution. But before we can measure the extent of improvidence with which[p. 356] Athens is here fairly chargeable, we ought to know what was the sum thus expended on the festivals. What amount of money could have been stored up for the contingency of war, even if all the festivals and all the distributions had been suppressed? How far would it have been possible, in any other case than that of obvious present necessity, to carry economy into the festival-expenditure,—truly denominated by Demades the cement of the political system,[768]—without impairing in the bosom of each individual that sentiment of communion, religious, social and patriotic, which made the Athenians a City, and not a simple multiplication of units? These are points on which we ought to have information, before we can fairly graduate our censure upon Athens for not converting her Theôric Fund into an accumulated capital to meet the contingency of war. We ought also to ask, as matter for impartial comparison, how many governments, ancient or modern, have ever thought it requisite to lay up during peace a stock of money available for war?

The Athenian peace-establishment maintained more ships of war, larger docks, and better-stored arsenals, than any city in Greece, besides expending forty talents annually upon the Horsemen of the state, and doubtless something farther (though we know not how much) upon the other descriptions of military force. All this, let it be observed, and the Theôric expenditure besides, was defrayed without direct taxation, which was reserved for the extraordinary cost incident to a state of war, and was held to be sufficient to meet it, without any accumulated war-fund. When the war against Philip became serious, the proprietary classes at Athens, those included in the schedule of assessment, were called upon to defray the expense by a direct tax, from which they had been quite free in time of peace. They tried to evade this burthen by requiring that the festival-fund should be appropriated instead;[769] thus menacing what was dearest to the feelings[p. 357] of the majority of the citizens. The ground which they took was the same in principle, as if the proprietors in France or Belgium claimed to exempt themselves from direct taxation for the cost of a war, by first taking either all or half of the annual sum voted out of the budget for the maintenance of religion.[770] We may judge how strong a feeling would be raised among the Athenian public generally, by the proposal of impoverishing the festival expenditure in order to save a property-tax. Doubtless, after the proprietary class had borne a certain burthen of direct taxation, their complaints would become legitimate. The cost of the festivals could not be kept up undiminished, under severe and continued pressure of war. As a second and subsidiary resource, it would become essential to apply the whole or a part of the fund in alleviation of the burthens of the war. But even if all had been so applied, the fund could not have been large enough to dispense with the necessity of a property-tax besides.

We see this conflict of interests,—between direct taxation on one side, and the festival-fund on the other as a means of paying for war,—running through the Demosthenic orations, and especially marked in the fourth Philippic.[771] Unhappily, the conflict served as an excuse to both parties for throwing the blame on each other, and starving the war; as well as for giving effect to the repugnance, shared by both rich and poor, against personal military service abroad. Demosthenes sides with neither, tries to mediate between them, and calls for patriotic sacrifice from both alike. Having before him an active and living enemy, with the liberties of Greece as well as of Athens at stake,—he urges every species of sacrifice at once—personal service, direct-tax[p. 358] payments, abnegation of the festivals. Sometimes the one demand stands most prominent, sometimes the other; but oftenest of all, comes his appeal for personal service. Under such military necessities, in fact the Theôric expenditure became mischievous, not merely because it absorbed the public money, but also because it chained the citizens to their home and disinclined them to active service abroad. The great charm and body of sentiment connected with the festival, essentially connected as it was with presence in Attica, operated as a bane; at an exigency when one-third or one-fourth of the citizens ought to have been doing hard duty as soldiers on the coasts of Macedonia or Thrace, against an enemy who never slept. Unfortunately for the Athenians, they could not be convinced, by all the patriotic eloquence of Demosthenes, that the festivals which fed their piety and brightened their home-existence during peace, were unmaintainable during such a war, and must be renounced for a time, if the liberty and security of Athens were to be preserved. The same want of energy which made them shrink from the hardship of personal service, also rendered them indisposed to so great a sacrifice as that of their festivals; nor indeed would it have availed them to spare all the cost of their festivals, had their remissness as soldiers still continued. Nothing less could have saved them, than simultaneous compliance with all the three requisitions urged by Demosthenes in 350 B. C.; which compliance ultimately came, but came too late, in 339-338 B. C.



Respecting the true chronological order of these three harangues, dissentient opinions have been transmitted from ancient times, and still continue among modern critics.

Dionysius of Halikarnassus cites the three speeches by their initial[p. 359] words, but places them in a different chronological order from that in which they stand edited. He gives the second as being first in the series; the third, as second; and the first, as third.

It will be understood that I always speak of and describe these speeches by the order in which they stand edited; though, as far as I can judge, that order is not the true one.

Edited Order I. II. III.
Order of Dionysius II. III. I.

The greater number of modern critics defend the edited order; the main arguments for which have been ably stated in a dissertation published by Petrenz in 1833. Dindorf, in his edition of Demosthenes, places this Dissertation in front of his notes to the Olynthiacs; affirming that it is conclusive, and sets the question at rest. Böhnecke also, (Forschungen, p. 151), treats the question as no longer open to doubt.

On the other hand, Flathe (Geschichte Makedoniens, p. 183-187) expresses himself with equal confidence in favor of the order stated by Dionysius. A much higher authority, Dr. Thirlwall, agrees in the same opinion; though with less confidence, and with a juster appreciation of our inadequate means for settling the question. See the Appendix iii. to the 5th volume of his History of Greece, p. 512.

Though I have not come to the same conclusion as Dr. Thirlwall, I agree with him, that unqualified confidence, in any conclusion as to the order of these harangues, is unsuitable and not warranted by the amount of evidence. We have nothing to proceed upon except the internal evidence of the speeches, taken in conjunction with the contemporaneous history; of which we know little or nothing from information in detail.

On the best judgment that I can form, I cannot adopt wholly either the edited order or that of Dionysius, though agreeing in part with both. I concur with Dionysius and Dr. Thirlwall in placing the second Olynthiac first of the three. I concur with the edited order in placing the third last. I observe, in Dr. Thirlwall’s Appendix, that this arrangement has been vindicated in a Dissertation by Stueve. I have not seen this Dissertation; and my own conclusion was deduced (even before I knew that it had ever been advocated elsewhere) only from an attentive study of the speeches.

Edited Order   I. II. III.
Order of Dionysius   II. III. I.
Order of Stueve   II. I. III.
(which I think the most probable)

To consider, first, the proper place of the second Olynthiac (I mean that which stands second in the edited order).

The most remarkable characteristic of this oration is, that scarcely anything is said in it about Olynthus. It is, in fact, a Philippic rather than an Olynthiac. This characteristic is not merely admitted, but strong[p. 360]ly put forward, by Petrenz, p. 11:—“Quid! quod ipsorum Olynthiorum hac quidem in causâ tantum uno loco facta mentio est—ut uno illo versiculo sublato, vix ex ipsâ oratione, quâ in causâ esset habita, certis rationibus evinci posset.” How are we to explain the absence of all reference to Olynthus? According to Petrenz, it is because the orator had already, in his former harangue, said all that could be necessary in respect to the wants of Olynthus, and the necessity of upholding that city even for the safety of Athens; he might now therefore calculate that his first discourse remained impressed on his countrymen, and that all that was required was, to combat the extraordinary fear of Philip which hindered them from giving effect to a resolution already taken to assist the Olynthians.

In this hypothesis I am unable to acquiesce. It may appear natural to a reader of Demosthenes, who passes from the first printed discourse to the second without any intervening time to forget what he has just read. But it will hardly fit the case of a real speaker in busy Athens. Neither Demosthenes in the fluctuating Athenian assembly—nor even any orator in the more fixed English Parliament or American Congress—could be rash enough to calculate that a discourse delivered some time before had remained engraven on the minds of his audience. If Demosthenes had previously addressed the Athenians with so strong a conviction of the distress of Olynthus, and of the motives for Athens to assist Olynthus, as is embodied in the first discourse—if his speech, however well received, was not acted upon, so that in the course of a certain time he had to address them again for the same purpose—I cannot believe that he would allude to Olynthus only once by the by, and that he would merely dilate upon the general chances and conditions of the war between Athens and Philip. However well calculated the second Olynthiac may be “ad concitandos exacerbandosque civium animos” (to use the words of Petrenz), it is not peculiarly calculated to procure aid to Olynthus. If the orator had failed to procure such aid by a discourse like the first Olynthiac, he would never resort to a discourse like the second Olynthiac to make good the deficiency; would repeat anew, and more impressively than before, the danger of Olynthus, and the danger to Athens herself if she suffered Olynthus to fall. This would be the way to accomplish his object, and at the same time to combat the fear of Philip in the minds of the Athenians.

According to my view of the subject, the omission (or mere single passing notice) of Olynthus clearly shows that the wants of that city, and the urgency of assisting it, were not the main drift of Demosthenes in the second Olynthiac. His main drift is, to encourage and stimulate his countrymen in their general war against Philip; taking in, thankfully, the new ally Olynthus, whom they have just acquired—but taking her only as a valuable auxiliary (ἐν προσθήκης μέρει), to coöperate with Athens against Philip as well as to receive aid from Athens[p. 361]—not presenting her either as peculiarly needing succor, or as likely, if allowed to perish, to expose the vitals of Athens.

Now a speech of this character is what I cannot satisfactorily explain, as following after the totally different spirit of the first Olynthiac; but it is natural and explicable, if we suppose it to precede the first Olynthiac. Olynthus does not approach Athens at first in formâ pauperis, as if she were in danger and requiring aid against an overwhelming enemy. She presents herself as an equal, offering to coöperate against a common enemy, and tendering an alliance which the Athenians had hitherto sought in vain. She will, of course, want aid,—but she can give coöperation of equal value. Demosthenes advises to assist her; this comes of course, when her alliance is accepted:—but he dwells more forcibly upon the value of what she will give to the Athenians, in the way of coöperation against Philip. Nay, it is remarkable that the territorial vicinity of Olynthus to Philip is exhibited, not as a peril to her which the Athenians must assist her in averting, but as a godsend to enable them the better to attack Philip in conjunction with her. Moreover Olynthus is represented, not as apprehending any danger from Philip’s arms, but as having recently discovered how dangerous it is to be in alliance with him. Let us thank the gods (says Demosthenes at the opening of the second Olynthiac)—τὸ τοὺς πολεμήσοντας Φιλίππῳ γεγενῆσθαι καὶ χώραν ὅμορον καὶ δύναμίν τινα κεκτημένους, καὶ τὸ μέγιστον ἁπάντων, τὴν ὑπὲρ τοῦ πολέμου γνώμην τοιαύτην ἔχοντας, ὥστε τὰς πρὸς ἐκεῖνον διαλλαγὰς, πρῶτον μὲν ἀπίστους, εἶτα τῆς ἑαυτῶν πατρίδος νομίζειν ἀνάστασιν εἶναι, δαιμονίᾳ τινι καὶ θείᾳ παντάπασιν ἔοικεν εὐεργεσίᾳ (p. 18).

The general tenor of the second Olynthiac is in harmony with this opening. Demosthenes looks forward to a vigorous aggressive war carried on by Athens and Olynthus jointly against Philip, and he enters at large into the general chances of such war, noticing the vulnerable as well as odious points of Philip, and striving (as Petrenz justly remarks) to “excite and exasperate the minds of the citizens.”

Such is the first bright promise of the Olynthian alliance with Athens. But Athens, as usual, makes no exertions; leaving the Olynthians and Chalkidians to contend against Philip by themselves. It is presently found that he gains advantages over them; bad news comes from Thrace, and probably complaining envoys to announce them. It is then that Demosthenes delivers his first Olynthiac, so much more urgent in its tone respecting Olynthus. The main topic is now—“Protect the Olynthians; save their confederate cities; think what will happen if they are ruined; there is nothing to hinder Philip, in that case, from marching into Attica.” The views of Demosthenes have changed from the offensive to the defensive.

I cannot but think, therefore, that all the internal evidence of the Olynthiacs indicates the second as prior in point of time both to the[p. 362] first and to the third. Stueve (as cited by Dr. Thirlwall) mentions another reason tending to the same conclusion. Nothing is said in the second Olynthiac about meddling with the Theôric Fund; whereas in the first, that subject is distinctly adverted to—and in the third, forcibly and repeatedly pressed, though with sufficient artifice to save the illegality. This is difficult to explain, assuming the second to be posterior to the first; but noway difficult, if we suppose the second to be the earliest of the three, and to be delivered with the purpose which I have pointed out.

On the other hand, this manner of handling the Theôric Fund in the third oration, as compared with the first, is one strong reason for believing (as Petrenz justly contends) that the third is posterior to the first—and not prior, as Dionysius places it.

As to the third Olynthiac, its drift and purpose appear to me correctly stated in the argument prefixed by Libanius. It was delivered after Athens had sent some succor to Olynthus; whereas, both the first and the second were spoken before anything at all had yet been done. I think there is good ground for following Libanius (as Petrenz and others do) in his statement that the third oration recognizes Athens as having done something, which the two first do not; though Dr. Thirlwall (p. 509) agrees with Jacobs in doubting such a distinction. The successes of mercenaries, reported at Athens (p. 38), must surely have been successes of mercenaries commissioned by her; and the triumphant hopes, noticed by Demosthenes as actually prevalent, are most naturally explained by supposing such news to have arrived. Demosthenes says no more than he can help about the success actually gained, because he thinks it of no serious importance. He wishes to set before the people, as a corrective to the undue confidence prevalent, that all the real danger yet remained to be dealt with.

Though Athens had done something, she had done little—sent no citizens—provided no pay. This Demosthenes urges her to do without delay, and dwells upon the Theôric Fund as one means of obtaining money along with personal service. Dr. Thirlwall indeed argues that the first Olynthiac is more urgent than the third, in setting forth the crisis; from whence he infers that it is posterior in time. His argument is partly founded upon a sentence near the beginning of the first Olynthiac, wherein the safety of Athens herself is mentioned as involved—τῶν πραγμάτων ὑμῖν αὐτοῖς ἀντιληπτέον ἐστὶν, εἴπερ ὑπὲρ σωτηρίας αὑτῶν φροντίζετε: upon which I may remark, that the reading αὑτῶν is not universally admitted. Dindorf, in his edition, reads αὐτῶν, referring it to πραγμάτων: and stating in his note that αὐτῶν is the reading of the vulgate, first changed by Reiske into αὑτῶν on the authority of the Codex Bavaricus. But even if we grant that the first Olynthiac depicts the crisis as more dangerous and urgent than the third, we cannot infer that the first is posterior[p. 363] to the third. The third was delivered immediately after news received of success near Olynthus; Olynthian affairs did really prosper for the moment and to a certain extent—though the amount of prosperity was greatly exaggerated by the public. Demosthenes sets himself to combat this exaggeration; he passes as lightly as he can over the recent good news, but he cannot avoid allowing something for them, and throwing the danger of Olynthus a little back into more distant contingency. At the same time he states it in the strongest manner, both section 2 and sections 9, 10.

Without being insensible, therefore, to the fallibility of all opinions founded upon such imperfect evidence, I think that the true chronological order of the Olynthiacs is that proposed by Stueve, II. I. III. With Dionysius I agree so far as to put the second first; and with the common order, in putting the third last.

[p. 364]


It was during the early spring of 347 B. C., as far as we can make out, that Olynthus, after having previously seen the thirty Chalkidic cities conquered, underwent herself the like fate from the arms of Philip. Exile and poverty became the lot of such Olynthians and Chalkidians as could make their escape; while the greater number of both sexes were sold into slavery. A few painful traces present themselves of the diversities of suffering which befel these unhappy victims. Atrestidas, an Arcadian who had probably served in the Macedonian army, received from Philip a grant of thirty Olynthian slaves, chiefly women and children, who were seen following him in a string as he travelled homeward through the Grecian cities. Many young Olynthian women were bought for the purpose of having their persons turned to account by their new proprietors. Of these purchasers, one, an Athenian citizen who had exposed his new purchase at Athens, was tried and condemned for the proceeding by the Dikastery.[772] Other anecdotes come before us, inaccurate probably as to names and details,[773] yet illustrating the general hardships brought upon this once free Chalkidic population. Meanwhile the victor Philip was at the maximum of his glory. In commemoration of his conquests, he celebrated a splendid festival to the Olympian Zeus in[p. 365] Macedonia, with unbounded hospitality, and prizes of every sort, for matches and exhibitions, both gymnastic and poetical. His donations were munificent, as well to the Grecian and Macedonian officers who had served him, as to the eminent poets or actors who pleased his taste. Satyrus the comic actor, refusing all presents for himself, asked and obtained from him the release of two young women taken in Olynthus, daughters of his friend the Pydnæan Apollophanes, who had been one of the persons concerned in the death of Philip’s elder brother Alexander. Satyrus announced his intention not only of ensuring freedom to these young women, but likewise of providing portions for them and giving them out in marriage.[774] Philip also found at Olynthus his two exile half-brothers, who had served as pretexts for the war—and put both of them to death.[775]

It has already been stated that Athens had sent to Olynthus more than one considerable reinforcement, especially during the last year of the war. Though we are ignorant what these expeditions achieved, or even how much was their exact force, we find reason to suspect that they were employed by Chares and other generals to no good purpose. The opponents of Chares accused him, as well as Deiares and other mercenary chiefs, of having wasted the naval and military strength of the city in idle enterprises or rapacious extortions upon the traders of the Ægean. They summed up 1500 talents and 150 triremes thus lost to Athens, besides wide-spread odium incurred among the islanders by the unjust contributions levied upon them to enrich the general.[776] In addition to this disgraceful ill-success, came now the fearful ruin in Olynthus and Chalkidikê, and the great aggrandizement of their enemy Philip. The loss of Olynthus, with the miserable captivity of its population, would have been sufficient of themselves to excite powerful sentiment among the Athenians. But there was a farther circumstance which came yet more home to their feelings. Many of their own citizens were serving in Olynthus as an auxiliary garrison, and had now become captives along with the rest.[777] No such calamity as this had befallen Athens for a cen[p. 366]tury past, since the defeat of Tolmides at Koroneia in Bœotia. The whole Athenian people, and especially the relations of the captives, were full of agitation and anxiety, increased by alarming news from other quarters. The conquest threatened the security of all the Athenian possessions in Lemnos, Imbros, and the Chersonese. This last peninsula, especially, was altogether unprotected against Philip, who was even reported to be on his march thither; insomuch that the Athenian settlers within it began to forsake their properties and transfer their families to Athens. Amidst the grief and apprehension which disturbed the Athenian mind, many special assemblies were held to discuss suitable remedies. What was done, we are not exactly informed. But it seems that no one knew where the general Chares, with his armament, was; so that it became necessary even for his friends in the assembly to echo the strong expressions of displeasure among the people, and to send a light vessel immediately in search of him.[778]

The gravity of the crisis forced even Eubulus and others among the statesmen hitherto languid in the war, to hold a more energetic language than before against Philip. Denouncing him now as the common enemy of Greece,[779] they proposed missions into Peloponnesus and elsewhere for the purpose of animating the Grecian states into confederacy against him. Æschines assisted strenuously in procuring the adoption of this proposition, and was himself named as one of the envoys into Peloponnesus.[780]

This able orator, immortalized as the rival of Demosthenes, has come before us hitherto only as a soldier in various Athenian expeditions—to Phlius in Peloponnesus (368)—to the battle of Mantineia (362)—and to Eubœa under Phokion (349 B. C.); in which last he had earned the favorable notice of the general, and had been sent to Athens with the news of the victory at Tamynæ. Æschines was about six years older than Demosthenes, but born in a much humbler and poorer station. His father Atromêtus taught to boys the elements of letters; his mother[p. 367] Glaukothea made a living by presiding over certain religious assemblies and rites of initiation, intended chiefly for poor communicants; the boy Æschines assisting both one and the other in a mental capacity. Such at least is the statement which comes to us, enriched with various degrading details, on the doubtful authority of his rival Demosthenes;[781] who also affirms, what we may accept as generally true, that Æschines had passed his early manhood partly as an actor, partly as a scribe or reader to the official boards. For both functions he possessed some natural advantages—an athletic frame, a powerful voice, a ready flow of unpremeditated speech. After some years passed as scribe, in which he made himself useful to Eubulus and others, he was chosen public scribe to the assembly—acquired familiarity with the administrative and parliamentary business of the city—and thus elevated himself by degrees to influence as a speaker. In rhetorical power, he seems to have been surpassed only by Demosthenes.[782]

As envoy of Athens despatched under the motion of Eubulus, Æschines proceeded into Peloponnesus in the spring of 347; others being sent at the same time to other Grecian cities. Among other places, he visited Megalopolis, where he was heard before the Arcadian collective assembly called the Ten Thousand. He addressed them in a strain of animated exhortation, adjuring them to combine with Athens for the defence of the liberties of Greece against Philip, and inveighing strenuously against those traitors who, in Arcadia as well as in other parts of Greece, sold themselves to the aggressor and paralyzed all resistance. He encountered however much opposition from a speaker named Hieronymus, who espoused the interest of Philip in the assembly: and though he professed to bring back some flattering hopes, it is certain that neither in Arcadia, nor elsewhere in Peloponnesus, was his influence of any real efficacy.[783] The strongest feeling among[p. 368] the Arcadians was fear and dislike of Sparta, which rendered them in the main indifferent, if not favorable, to the Macedonian successes. In returning from Arcadia to Athens, Æschines met the Arcadian Atrestidas, with the unhappy troop of Olynthian slaves following; a sight which so deeply affected the Athenian orator, that he dwelt upon it afterwards in his speech before the assembly, with indignant sympathy; deploring the sad effects of Grecian dissension, and the ruin produced by Philip’s combined employment of arms and corruption.

Æschines returned probably about the middle of the summer of 347 B. C. Other envoys, sent to more distant cities, remained out longer; some indeed even until the ensuing winter. Though it appears that some envoys from other cities were induced in return to visit Athens, yet no sincere or hearty coöperation against Philip could be obtained in any part of Greece. While Philip, in the fulness of triumph, was celebrating his magnificent Olympic festival in Macedonia, the Athenians were disheartened by finding that they could expect little support from independent Greeks, and were left to act only with their own narrow synod of allies. Hence Eubulus and Æschines became earnest partisans of peace, and Demosthenes also seems to have been driven by the general despondency into a willingness to negotiate. The two orators, though they afterwards became bitter rivals, were at this juncture not very discordant in sentiment. On the other hand, the philippizing speakers at Athens held a bolder tone than ever. As Philip found his ports greatly blocked up by the Athenian cruisers, he was likely to profit by his existing ascendency for the purpose of strengthening his naval equipments. Now there was no place so abundantly supplied as Athens, with marine stores and muniments for armed ships. Probably there were agents or speculators taking measures to supply Philip with these articles, and it was against them that a decree of the assembly was now directed, adopted on the motion of a senator named Timarchus—to punish with death all who should export from Athens to Philip either arms or stores for ships of war.[784] This severe decree, how[p. 369]ever, was passed at the same time that the disposition towards peace, if peace were attainable, was on the increase at Athens.

Some months before the capture of Olynthus, ideas of peace had already been started, partly through the indirect overtures of Philip himself. During the summer of 348 B. C., the Eubœans had tried to negotiate an accommodation with Athens; the contest in Eubœa, though we know no particulars of it, having never wholly ceased for the last year and a half. Nor does it appear that any peace was even now concluded; for Eubœa is spoken of as under the dependence of Philip during the ensuing year.[785] The Eubœan envoys, however, intimated that Philip had desired them to communicate from him a wish to finish the war and conclude peace with Athens.[786] Though Philip had at this time conquered the larger portion of Chalkidikê, and was proceeding successfully[p. 370] against the remainder, it was still his interest to detach Athens from the war, if he could. Her manner of carrying on war was indeed faint and slack; yet she did him much harm at sea, and she was the only city competent to organize an extensive Grecian confederacy against him; which, though it had not yet been brought about, was at least a possible contingency under her presidency.

An Athenian of influence named Phrynon had been captured by Philip’s cruisers, during the truce of the Olympic festival in 348 B. C.: after a certain detention, he procured from home the required ransom and obtained his release. On returning to Athens, he had sufficient credit to prevail on the public assembly to send another citizen along with him, as public envoy from the city to Philip; in order to aid him in getting back his ransom, which he alleged to have been wrongfully demanded from one captured during the holy truce. Though this seems a strange proceeding during mid-war,[787] yet the Athenian people took up the case with sympathy; Ktesiphon was named envoy, and went with Phrynon to Philip, whom they must have found engaged in the war against Olynthus. Being received in the most courteous manner, they not only obtained restitution of the ransom, but were completely won over by Philip. With his usual good policy, he had seized the opportunity of gaining (we may properly say, of bribing, since the restoration of ransom was substantially a bribe) two powerful Athenian citizens, whom he now sent back to Athens as his pronounced partisans.

[p. 371]

Phrynon and Ktesiphon, on their return, expatiated warmly on the generosity of Philip, and reported much about his flattering expressions towards Athens, and his reluctance to continue the war against her. The public assembly being favorably disposed, a citizen named Philokrates, who now comes before us for the first time, proposed a decree, granting to Philip leave to send a herald and envoys, if he chose, to treat for peace; which was what Philip was anxious to do, according to the allegation of Ktesiphon. The decree was passed unanimously in the assembly, but the mover Philokrates was impeached some time afterwards before the Dikastery, as for an illegal proposition, by a citizen named Lykinus. On the cause coming to trial, the Dikastery pronounced an acquittal so triumphant, that Lykinus did not even obtain the fifth part of the suffrages. Philokrates being so sick as to be unable to do justice to his own case, Demosthenes stood forward as his supporter, and made a long speech in his favor.[788]

The motion of Philokrates determined nothing positive, and only made an opening; of which, however, it did not suit Philip’s purpose to avail himself. But we see that ideas of peace had been thrown out by some persons at Athens, even during the last months of the Olynthian war, and while a body of Athenian citizens were actually assisting Olynthus against the besieging force[p. 372] of Philip. Presently arrived the terrible news of the fall of Olynthus, and of the captivity of the Athenian citizens in garrison there. While this great alarm (as has been already stated) gave birth to new missions for anti-Macedonian alliances, it enlisted on the side of peace all the friends of those captives whose lives were now in Philip’s hands. The sorrow thus directly inflicted on many private families, together with the force of individual sympathy widely diffused among the citizens, operated powerfully upon the decisions of the public assembly. A century before, the Athenians had relinquished all their acquisitions in Bœotia, in order to recover their captives taken in the defeat of Tolmides at Koroneia; and during the Peloponnesian war, the policy of the Spartans had been chiefly guided for three or four years by the anxiety to ensure the restoration of the captives of Sphakteria. Moreover, several Athenians of personal consequence were taken at Olynthus; among them, Eukratus and Iatrokles. Shortly after the news arrived, the relatives of these two men, presenting themselves before the assembly in the solemn guise of suppliants, deposited an olive branch on the altar hard by, and entreated that care might be had for the safety of their captive kinsmen.[789] This appeal, echoed as it would be by the cries of so many other citizens in the like distress, called forth unanimous sympathy in the assembly. Both Philokrates and Demosthenes spoke in favor of it; Demosthenes probably, as having been a strenuous advocate of the war, was the more anxious to shew that he was keenly alive to so much individual suffering. It was resolved to open indirect negotiations with Philip for the release of the captives,[p. 373] through some of the great tragic and comic actors; who, travelling in the exercise of their profession to every city in Greece, were everywhere regarded in some sort as privileged persons. One of these, Neoptolemus,[790] had already availed himself of his favored profession and liberty of transit to assist in Philip’s intrigues and correspondences at Athens; another, Aristodemus, was also in good esteem with Philip; both were probably going to Macedonia to take part in the splendid Olympic festival there preparing. They were charged to make application, and take the best steps in their power, for the safety or release of the captives.[791]

It would appear that these actors were by no means expeditious in the performance of their mission. They probably spent some time in their professional avocations in Macedonia; and Aristodemus, not being a responsible envoy, delayed some time even after his return, before he made any report. That his mission had not been wholly fruitless, however, became presently evident from the arrival of the captive Iatrokles, whom Philip had released without ransom. The Senate then summoned Aristodemus before them, inviting him to make a general report of his proceedings, which he did; first before the Senate,—next, before the public assembly. He affirmed that Philip had entertained his propositions kindly, and that he was in the best dispositions towards Athens; desirous not only to be at peace with her, but even to be admitted as her ally. Demosthenes, then a senator, moved a vote of thanks and a wreath to Aristodemus.[792]

This report, as far as we can make out, appears to have been made about September or October 347 B. C.; Æschines, and the[p. 374] other roving commissioners sent out by Athens to raise up anti-Macedonian combinations, had returned with nothing but disheartening announcement of refusal or lukewarmness. And there occurred also about the same time in Phokis and Thermopylæ, other events of grave augury to Athens, showing that the Sacred War and the contest between the Phokians and Thebans was turning,—as all events had turned for the last ten years,—to the farther aggrandizement of Philip.

During the preceding two years, the Phokians, now under the command of Phalækus, in place of Phayllus, had maintained their position against Thebes; had kept possession of the Bœotian towns, Orchomenus, Koroneia, and Korsia, and were still masters of Alpônus, Thronium, and Nikæa, as well as of the important pass of Thermopylæ adjoining.[793] But though on the whole successful in regard to Thebes, they had fallen into dissension among themselves. The mercenary force, necessary to their defence, could only be maintained by continued appropriation of the Delphian treasures; an appropriation becoming from year to year both less lucrative and more odious. By successive spoliation of gold and silver ornaments, the temple is said to have been stripped of ten thousand talents (about two million three hundred thousand pounds), all its available wealth; so that the Phokian leaders were now reduced to dig for an unauthenticated treasure, supposed (on the faith of a verse in the Iliad, as well as on other grounds of surmise), to lie concealed beneath its stone floor. Their search, however, was not only unsuccessful, but arrested, as we are told, by violent earthquakes, significant of the anger of Apollo.[794]

As the Delphian treasure became less and less, so the means of Phalækus to pay troops and maintain ascendency declined. While the foreign mercenaries relaxed in their obedience, his opponents in Phokis manifested increased animosity against his continued sacrilege. So greatly did these opponents increase in power, that they deposed Phalækus, elected Deinokrates with two others in his place, and instituted a strict inquiry into the antecedent ap[p. 375]propriation of the Delphian treasure. Gross peculation was found to have been committed for the profit of individual leaders, especially one named Philon; who, on being seized and put to the torture, disclosed the names of several accomplices. These men were tried, compelled to refund, and ultimately put to death.[795] Phalækus however still retained his ascendency over the mercenaries, about eight thousand in number, so as to hold Thermopylæ and the places adjacent, and even presently to be re-appointed general.[796]

Such intestine dispute, combined with the gradual exhaustion of the temple-funds, sensibly diminished the power of the Phokians. Yet they still remained too strong for their enemies the Thebans; who, deprived of Orchomenus and Koroneia, impoverished by military efforts of nine years, and unable to terminate the contest by their own force, resolved to invoke foreign aid. An opportunity might perhaps have been obtained for closing the war by some compromise, if it had been possible now to bring about an accommodation between Thebes and Athens; which some of the philo-Theban orators, (Demosthenes seemingly among them), attempted, under the prevalent uneasiness about Philip.[797] But the adverse sentiments in both cities, especially in Thebes, were found invincible; and the Thebans, little anticipating consequences, determined to invoke the ruinous intervention of the conqueror of Olynthus. The Thessalians, already valuable allies of Philip, joined them in soliciting him to crush the Phokians, and to restore the ancient Thessalian privilege of the Pylæa, (or regular yearly Amphiktyonic meeting at Thermopylæ), which the Phokians had suppressed during the last ten years. This joint prayer for intervention was preferred in the name of the Delphian god, investing Philip with the august character of champion[p. 376] of the Amphiktyonic assembly, to rescue the Delphian temple from its sacrilegious plunderers.

The King of Macedon, with his past conquests and his well-known spirit of aggressive enterprise, was now a sort of present deity, ready to lend force to all the selfish ambition, or blind fear and antipathy, prevalent among the discontented fractions of the Hellenic world. While his intrigues had procured numerous partisans even in the centre of Peloponnesus,—as Æschines, on return from his mission, had denounced, not having yet himself enlisted in the number,—he was now furnished with a pious pretence, and invited by powerful cities, to penetrate into the heart of Greece, within its last line of common defence, Thermopylæ.

The application of the Thebans to Philip excited much alarm in Phokis. A Macedonian army under Parmenio did actually enter Thessaly,—where we find them, three months later, besieging Halus.[798] Reports seem to have been spread, about September 347 B. C., that the Macedonians were about to march to Thermopylæ; upon which the Phokians took alarm, and sent envoys to Athens as well as to Sparta, entreating aid to enable them to hold the pass, and offering to deliver up the three important towns near it,—Alpônus, Thronium, and Nikæa. So much were the Athenians alarmed by the message, that they not only ordered Proxenus, their general at Oreus, to take immediate possession of the pass, but also passed a decree to equip fifty triremes, and to send forth their military citizens under thirty years of age, with an energy like that displayed when they checked Philip before at the same place. But it appears that the application had been made by the party in Phokis opposed to Phalækus. So vehemently did that chief resent the proceeding, that he threw the Phokian envoys into prison on their return; refusing to admit either Proxenus or Archidamus into possession of Thermopylæ, and even dismissing without recognition the Athenian heralds, who came in their regular rounds to proclaim the solemn truce of the Eleusinian mysteries.[799] This proceeding on the part of Phalækus was[p. 377] dictated seemingly by jealousy of Athens and Sparta, and by fear that they would support the party opposed to him in Phokis. It could not have originated (as Æschines alleges) in superior confidence and liking towards Philip; for if Phalækus had entertained such sentiments, he might have admitted the Macedonian troops at once; which he did not do until ten months later, under the greatest pressure of circumstances.

Such insulting repudiation of the aid tendered by Proxenus at Thermopylæ, combined with the distracted state of parties in Phokis, menaced Athens with a new embarrassment. Though Phalækus still held the pass, his conduct had been such as to raise doubts whether he might not treat separately with Philip. Here was another circumstance operating on Athens,—besides the refusal of coöperation from other Greeks and the danger of her captives at Olynthus,—to dishearten her in the prosecution of the war, and to strengthen the case of those who advocated peace. It was a circumstance the more weighty, because it really involved the question of safety or exposure to her own territory, through the opening of the pass of Thermopylæ. It was here that she was now under the necessity of keeping watch; being thrown on the defensive for her own security at home,—not, as before, stretching out a long arm for the protection of distant possessions such as the Chersonese, or distant allies such as the Olynthians. So speedily had the predictions of Demosthenes been realized, that if the Athenians refused to carry on strenuous war against Philip on his coast, they would bring upon themselves the graver evil of having to resist him on or near their own frontier.

[p. 378]The maintenance of freedom in the Hellenic world against the extra-Hellenic invader, now turned once more upon the pass of Thermopylæ; as it had turned one hundred and thirty-three years before, during the onward march of the Persian Xerxes.

To Philip, that pass was of incalculable importance. It was his only road into Greece; it could not be forced by any land-army; while at sea the Athenian fleet was stronger than his. In spite of the general remissness of Athens in warlike undertakings, she had now twice manifested her readiness for a vigorous effort to maintain Thermopylæ against him. To become master of the position, it was necessary that he should disarm Athens by concluding peace,—keep her in ignorance or delusion as to his real purposes,—prevent her from conceiving alarm or sending aid to Thermopylæ,—and then overawe or buy off the isolated Phokians. How ably and cunningly his diplomacy was managed for this purpose, will presently appear.[800]

[p. 379]

On the other hand, to Athens, to Sparta, and to the general cause of Pan-hellenic independence, it was of capital moment that Philip should be kept on the outside of Thermopylæ. And here Athens had more at stake than the rest; since not merely her influence abroad, but the safety of her own city and territory against invasion, was involved in the question. The Thebans had already invited the presence of Philip, himself always ready even without invitation, to come within the pass; it was the first interest, as well as the first duty, of Athens, to counterwork them, and to keep him out. With tolerable prudence, her guarantee of the past might have been made effective; but we shall find her measures ending only in shame and disappointment, through the flagrant improvidence, and apparent corruption, of her own negotiators.

The increasing discouragement as to war, and yearning for peace, which prevailed at Athens during the summer and autumn of 347 B. C., has been already described. We may be sure that the friends of the captives taken at Olynthus would be importunate in demanding peace, because there was no other way of procuring their release; since Philip did not choose to exchange them for money, reserving them as an item in political negotiation. At length, about the month of November, the public assembly decreed that envoys should be sent to Philip to ascertain on what conditions peace could be made; ten Athenian envoys, and one from the synod of confederate allies, sitting at Athens. The mover of the decree was Philokrates, the same who had moved the previous decree permitting Philip to send envoys if he chose. Of this permission Philip had not availed himself, in spite of all that the philippizers at Athens had alleged about his anxiety for peace and alliance with the city. It suited his purpose to have[p. 380] the negotiations carried on in Macedonia, where he could act better upon the individual negotiators of Athens.

The decree having been passed in the assembly, ten envoys were chosen: Philokrates, Demosthenes, Æschines, Ktesiphon, Phrynon, Iatroklês, Derkyllus, Kimon, Nausiklês, and Aristodemus the actor. Aglaokreon of Tenedos was selected to accompany them, as representative of the allied synod. Of these envoys, Ktesiphon, Phrynon, and Iatroklês, had already been gained over as partisans by Philip while in Macedonia; moreover, Aristodemus was a person to whom, in his histrionic profession, the favor of Philip was more valuable than the interests of Athens. Æschines was proposed by Nausiklês; Demosthenes, by Philokrates the mover.[801] Though Demosthenes had been before so earnest in advocating vigorous prosecution of the war, it does not appear that he was now adverse to the opening of negotiations. Had he been ever so adverse, he would probably have failed in obtaining even a hearing, in the existing temper of the public mind. He thought indeed that Athens inflicted so much damage on her enemy by ruining the Macedonian maritime commerce, that she was not under the necessity of submitting to peace on bad or humiliating terms.[802] But still he did not oppose the overtures, nor did his opposition begin until afterwards, when he saw the turn which the negotiations were taking. Nor, on the other hand, was Æschines as yet suspected of a leaning towards Philip. Both he and Demosthenes obeyed, at this moment, the impulse of opinion generally prevalent at Athens. Their subsequent discordant views and bitter rivalry grew out of the embassy itself; out of its result and the behavior of Æschines.

The eleven envoys were appointed to visit Philip, not with any power of concluding peace, but simply to discuss with him and ascertain on what terms peace could be had. So much is certain; though we do not possess the original decree under which they were nominated. Having sent before them a herald to obtain a safe-conduct from Philip, they left Athens about December 347 B. C., and proceeded by sea to Oreus, on the northern coast of Eu[p. 381]bœa, where they expected to meet the returning herald. Finding that he had not yet come back, they crossed the strait at once, without waiting for him, into the Pagasæan Gulf, where Parmenio with a Macedonian army was then besieging Halus. To him they notified their arrival, and received permission to pass on, first to Pagasæ, next to Larissa. Here they met their own returning herald, under whose safeguard they pursued their journey to Pella.[803]

Our information respecting this (first) embassy proceeds almost wholly from Æschines. He tells us that Demosthenes was, from the very day of setting out, intolerably troublesome both to him and to his brother envoys; malignant, faithless, and watching for such matters as might be turned against them in the way of accusation afterwards; lastly, boastful even to absurd excess, of his own powers of eloquence. In Greece, it was the usual habit to transact diplomatic business, like other political matters, publicly before the governing number—the council, if the constitution happened to be oligarchical—the general assembly, if democratical. Pursuant to this habit, the envoys were called upon to appear before Philip in his full pomp and state, and there address to him formal harangues (either by one or more of their number as they chose), setting forth the case of Athens; after which Philip would deliver his reply in the like publicity, either with his own lips or by those of a chosen minister. The Athenian envoys resolved among themselves, that when introduced, each of them should address Philip, in the order of seniority; Demosthenes being the youngest of the Ten, and Æschines next above him. Accordingly, when summoned before Philip, Ktesiphon, the oldest envoy, began with a short address; the other seven followed with equal brevity, while the stress of the business was left to Æschines and Demosthenes.[804]

Æschines recounts in abridgment to the Athenians, with much satisfaction, his own elaborate harangue, establishing the right of Athens to Amphipolis, the wrong done by Philip in taking it and holding it against her, and his paramount obligation to make res[p. 382]titution—but touching upon no other subject whatever.[805] He then proceeds to state—probably with yet greater satisfaction—that Demosthenes, who followed next, becoming terrified and confused, utterly broke down, forgot his prepared speech, and was obliged to stop short, in spite of courteous encouragements from Philip.[806] Gross failure, after full preparation, on the part of the greatest orator of ancient or modern times, appears at first hearing so incredible, that we are disposed to treat it as a pure fabrication of his opponent. Yet I incline to believe that the fact was substantially as Æschines states it; and that Demosthenes was partially divested of his oratorical powers by finding himself not only speaking before the enemy whom he had so bitterly denounced, but surrounded by all the evidences of Macedonian power, and doubtless exposed to unequivocal marks of well-earned hatred, from those Macedonians who took less pains than Philip to disguise their real feelings.[807]

Having dismissed the envoys after their harangues, and taken a short time for consideration, Philip recalled them into his presence. He then delivered his reply with his own lips, combating especially the arguments of Æschines, and according to that orator, with such pertinence and presence of mind, as to excite the admiration of all the envoys, Demosthenes among the rest. What Philip said, we do not learn from Æschines; who expatiates only on the shuffling, artifice, and false pretences of Demosthenes, to conceal his failure as an orator, and to put himself on a point of advantage above his colleagues. Of these personalities it is impossible to say how much is true; and even were they true, they are scarcely matter of general history.

It was about the beginning of March when the envoys returned to Athens. Some were completely fascinated by the hospitable treatment and engaging manners of Philip,[808] especially when en[p. 383]tertaining them at the banquet: with others, he had come to an understanding at once more intimate and more corrupt. They brought back a letter from Philip, which was read both in the Senate and the assembly; while Demosthenes, senator of that year, not only praised them all in the Senate, but also became himself the mover of a resolution that they should be crowned with a wreath of honor, and invited to dine next day in the prytaneium.[809]

We have hardly any means of appreciating the real proceedings of this embassy, or the matters treated in discussion with Philip. Æschines tells us nothing, except the formalities of the interview, and the speeches about Amphipolis. But we shall at any rate do him no injustice, if we judge him upon his own account; which, if it does not represent what he actually did, represents what he wished to be thought to have done. His own account certainly shows a strange misconception of the actual situation of affairs. In order to justify himself for being desirous of peace, he lays considerable stress on the losing game which Athens had been playing during the war, and on the probability of yet farther loss if she persisted. He completes the cheerless picture by adding—what was doubtless but too familiar to his Athenian audience—that Philip on his side, marching from one success to another, had raised the Macedonian kingdom to an elevation truly formidable, by the recent extinction of Olynthus. Yet under this state of comparative force between the two contending parties, Æschines presents himself before Philip with a demand of exorbitant magnitude,—for the cession of Amphipolis. He says not a word about anything else. He delivers an eloquent harangue to convince Philip of the incontestible right of Athens to Amphipolis, and to[p. 384] prove to him that he was in the wrong for taking and keeping it. He affects to think, that by this process he should induce Philip to part with a town, the most capital and unparalleled position in all his dominions; which he had now possessed for twelve years, and which placed him in communication with his new foundation Philippi and the auriferous region around it. The arguments of Æschines would have been much to the purpose, in an action tried between two litigants before an impartial Dikastery at Athens. But here were two belligerent parties, in a given ratio of strength and position as to the future, debating terms of peace. That an envoy on the part of Athens, the losing party, should now stand forward to demand from a victorious enemy the very place which formed the original cause of the war, and which had become far more valuable to Philip than when he first took it—was a pretension altogether preposterous. When Æschines reproduces his eloquent speech reclaiming Amphipolis, as having been the principal necessity and most honorable achievement of his diplomatic mission, he only shows how little qualified he was to render real service to Athens in that capacity—to say nothing as yet about corruption. The Athenian people, extremely retentive of past convictions, had it deeply impressed on their minds that Amphipolis was theirs by right; and probably the first envoys to Macedonia,—Aristodemus, Neoptolemus, Ktesiphon, Phrynon,[810] etc.—had been so cajoled by the courteous phrases, deceptions, and presents of Philip, that they represented him on their return as not unwilling to purchase friendship with Athens by the restoration of Amphipolis. To this delusive expectation in the Athenian mind Æschines addressed himself, when he took credit for his earnest pleading before Philip on behalf of Athenian right to the place, as if it were the sole purpose of his mission.[811] We shall see him[p. 385] throughout, in his character of envoy, not only fostering the actual delusions of the public at Athens, but even circulating gross fictions and impostures of his own, respecting the proceedings and purposes of Philip.

It was on or about the first day of the month Elaphebolion[812] (March) when the envoys reached Athens on returning from the court of Philip. They brought a letter from him couched in the most friendly terms; expressing great anxiety not only to be at peace with Athens, but also to become her ally; stating moreover that he was prepared to render her valuable service, and that he would have specified more particularly what the service would be, if he could have felt certain that he should be received as her ally.[813] But in spite of such amenities of language, affording an occasion for his partisans in the assembly, Æschines, Philokrates, Ktesiphon, Phrynon, Iatroklês and others, to expatiate upon his excellent dispositions, Philip would grant no better terms of peace than that each party should retain what they already possessed. Pursuant to this general principle, the Chersonesus was assured to Athens, of which Æschines appears to have made some boast.[814] Moreover, at the moment when the envoys were quitting Pella to return home, Philip was also leaving it at the head of his army on an expedition against Kersobleptes in Thrace. He gave a special pledge to the envoys that he would not attack the Chersonese, until the Athenians should have had an opportu[p. 386]nity of debating,—accepting or rejecting the propositions of peace. His envoys, Antipater and Parmenio, received orders to visit Athens with little delay; and a Macedonian herald accompanied the Athenian envoys on their return.[815]

Having ascertained on what terms peace could be had, the envoys were competent to advise the Athenian people, and prepare them for a definite conclusion, as soon as this Macedonian mission should arrive. They first gave an account of their proceedings to the public assembly. Ktesiphon, the oldest, who spake first, expatiated on the graceful presence and manners of Philip, as well as upon the charm of his company in wine-drinking.[816] Æschines dwelt upon his powerful and pertinent oratory; after which he recounted the principal occurrences of the journey, and the debate with Philip, intimating that in the previous understanding of the envoys among themselves, the duty of speaking about Amphipolis had been confided to Demosthenes, in case any point should have been omitted by the previous speakers. Demosthenes then made his own statement, in language (according to Æschines) censorious and even insulting towards his colleagues; especially affirming that Æschines, in his vanity, chose to preoccupy all the best points in his own speech, leaving none open for any one else.[817] Demosthenes next proceeded to move[p. 387] various decrees; one, to greet by libation the herald who had accompanied them from Philip,—and the Macedonian envoys who were expected; another, providing that the prytanes should convene a special assembly on the eighth day of Elaphebolion, (a day sacred to Æsculapius, on which generally no public business was ever transacted), in order that if the envoys from Macedonia had then arrived, the people might discuss without delay their political relations with Philip; a third, to commend the behavior of the Athenian envoys (his colleagues and himself), and to invite them to dinner in the prytaneium. Demosthenes farther moved in the Senate, that when Philip’s envoys came, they should be accommodated with seats of honor at the Dionysiac festival.[818]

Presently, these Macedonian envoys, Antipater, Parmenio and Eurylochus, arrived; yet not early enough to allow the full debate to take place on the assembly of the eighth of Elaphebolion. Accordingly (as it would seem, in that very assembly), Demosthenes proposed and carried a fresh decree, fixing two later days for the special assemblies to discuss peace and alliance with Macedonia. The days named were the eighteenth and nineteenth days of the current month Elaphebolion (March); immediately after the Dionysiac festival, and the assembly in the temple of Dionysius which followed upon it.[819] At the same time Demosthenes showed great personal civility to the Macedonian envoys, inviting them to a splendid entertainment, and not only conducting them to their place of honor at the Dionysiac festival, but also providing for them comfortable seats and cushions.[820]

Besides the public assembly held by the Athenians themselves,[p. 388] to receive report from their ten envoys returned out of Macedonia, the synod of Athenian confederates was also assembled to hear the report of Aglaokreon, who had gone as their representative along with the Ten. This synod agreed to a resolution, important in reference to the approaching debate in the Athenian assembly, yet unfortunately nowhere given to us entire, but only in partial and indirect notice from the two rival orators. It has been already mentioned that since the capture of Olynthus, the Athenians had sent forth envoys throughout a large portion of Greece, urging the various cities to unite with them either in conjoint war against Philip, or in conjoint peace to obtain some mutual guarantee against his farther encroachments. Of these missions, the greater number had altogether failed, demonstrating the hopelessness of the Athenian project. But some had been so far successful, that deputies, more or fewer, were actually present in Athens, pursuant to the invitation; while a certain number were still absent and expected to return,—the same individuals having perhaps been sent to different places at some distance from each other. The resolution of the synod (noway binding upon the Athenian people, but merely recommendatory), was adapted to this state of affairs, and to the dispositions recently manifested at Athens towards conjoint action with other Greeks against Philip. The synod advised, that immediately on the return of the envoys still absent on mission (when probably all such Greeks, as were willing even to talk over the proposition, would send their deputies also), the Athenian prytanes should convene two public assemblies, according to the laws, for the purpose of debating and deciding the question of peace. Whatever decision might be here taken, the synod adopted it beforehand as their own. They farther recommended that an article should be annexed, reserving an interval of three months for any Grecian city not a party to the peace, to declare its adhesion, to inscribe its name on the column of record, and to be included under the same conditions as the rest. Apparently this resolution of the synod was adopted before the arrival of the Macedonian deputies in Athens, and before the last-mentioned decree proposed by Demosthenes in the public assembly; which decree, fixing two days, (the 18th and 19th of Elaphebolion), for decision of the question of peace and[p. 389] alliance with Philip, coincided in part with the resolution of the synod.[821]

[p. 390]

Accordingly, after the great Dionysiac festival, these two prescribed assemblies were held,—on the 18th and 19th of Elaphebolion. The three ambassadors from Philip, Parmenio, Antipater, and Eurylochus were present, both at the festival and the assemblies.[822] The general question of the relations between Athens and Philip being here submitted for discussion, the resolution of the confederate synod was at the same time communicated. Of this resolution the most significant article was, that the synod accepted beforehand the decree of the Athenian assembly, whatever that might be; the other articles were recommendations, doubtless heard with respect, and constituting a theme for speakers to insist on, yet carrying no positive authority. But in the pleadings of the two rival orators some years afterwards, (from which alone we know the facts), the entire resolution of the synod appears invested with a factitious importance; because each of them had an interest in professing to have supported it,—each accuses the other of having opposed it; both wished to disconnect themselves from Philokrates, then a disgraced exile, and from the peace moved by him, which had become discredited. It was Philokrates who stood forward in the assembly as the prominent mover of peace and alliance with Philip. His motion did not embrace either of the recommendations of the synod, respecting[p. 391] absent envoys, and interval to be left for adhesions from other Greeks; nor did he confine himself, as the synod had done, to the proposition of peace with Philip. He proposed that not only peace, but alliance, should be concluded between the Athenians and Philip; who had expressed by letter his great anxiety both for one and for the other. He included in his proposition, Philip with all his allies, on one side,—and Athens, with all her allies, on the other; making special exception, however, of two among the allies of Athens, the Phokians, and the town of Halus near the Pagasæan Gulf, recently under siege by Parmenio.[823]

What part Æschines and Demosthenes took in reference to this motion, it is not easy to determine. In their speeches, delivered three years afterwards, both denounce Philokrates; each accuses the other of having supported him; each affirms himself to have advocated the recommendations of the synod. The contradictions between the two, and between Æschines in his earlier and Æschines in his later speech, are here very glaring. Thus, Demosthenes accuses his rival of having, on the 18th of the month or on the first of the two assemblies, delivered a speech strongly opposed to Philokrates;[824] but of having changed his politics during the night and spoken on the 19th in support of the latter, so warmly as to convert the hearers when they were predisposed the other way. Æschines altogether denies such sudden change of opinion; alleging that he made but one speech, and that in favor of the recommendation of the synod; and averring moreover that to speak on the second assembly-day was impossible, since that day was exclusively consecrated to putting questions and voting, so that no oratory was allowed.[825] Yet Æschines, though in his earlier harangue (De Fals. Leg.) he insists so strenuously on this impossibility of speaking on the 19th,—in his later harangue (against Ktesiphon) accuses Demosthenes of having spoken at great length on that very day, the 19th, and of having[p. 392] thereby altered the temper of the assembly.[826]

In spite, however, of the discredit thus thrown by Æschines upon his own denial, I do not believe the sudden change of speech in the assembly, ascribed to him by Demosthenes. It is too unexplained, and in itself too improbable, to be credited on the mere assertion of a rival. But I think it certain that neither he, nor Demosthenes, can have advocated the recommendations of the synod, though both profess to have done so,—if we are to believe the statement of Æschines (we have no statement from Demosthenes), as to the tenor of those recommendations. For the synod (according to Æschines) had recommended to await the return of the absent envoys before the question of peace was debated. Now this proposition was impracticable under the circumstances; since it amounted to nothing less than an indefinite postponement of the question. But the Macedonian envoys, Antipater and Parmenio, were now in Athens, and actually present in the assembly; having come, by special invitation, for the purpose either of concluding peace or of breaking off the negotiation; and Philip had agreed (as Æschines[827] himself states), to refrain from all attack on the Chersonese, while the Athenians were debating about peace. Under these conditions, it was imperatively necessary to give some decisive and immediate answer to the Macedonian envoys. To tell them—“We can say nothing positive at present; you must wait until our absent envoys return, and until we ascertain how many Greeks we can get into our alliance,” would have been not only in itself preposterous, but would have been construed by able men like Antipater and Parmenio as a mere dilatory manœuvre for breaking off the peace altogether. Neither Demosthenes nor Æschines can have really supported such a proposition, whatever both may pretend three years afterwards. For at that time of the actual discussion, not only Æschines himself, but the general public of Athens were strongly anxious for peace; while Demosthenes, though less anxious, was favorable to it.[828] Neither[p. 393] of them were at all disposed to frustrate the negotiations by insidious delay; nor, if they had been so disposed, would the Athenian public have tolerated the attempt.

On the best conclusion which I can form, Demosthenes supported the motion of Philokrates (enacting both peace and alliance with Philip), except only that special clause which excluded both the Phokians and the town of Halus, and which was ulti[p. 394]mately negatived by the assembly.[829] That Æschines supported the same motion entire, and in a still more unqualified manner, we may infer from his remarkable admission in the oration against Timarchus[830] (delivered in the year after the peace, and three years before his own trial), wherein he acknowledges himself as joint author of the peace along with Philokrates, and avows his hearty approbation of the conduct and language of Philip, even after the ruin of the Phokians. Eubulus, the friend and partisan of Æschines, told the Athenians[831] the plain alternative: “You must either march forthwith to Peiræus, serve on shipboard, pay direct taxes, and convert the Theôric Fund to military purposes,—or else you must vote the terms of peace moved by Philokrates.” Our inference respecting the conduct of Æschines is strengthened by what is here affirmed respecting Eubulus. Demosthenes had been vainly urging upon his countrymen, for the last five years, at a time when Philip was less formidable, the real adoption of these energetic measures; Eubulus, his opponent, now holds them out in terrorem, as an irksome and intolerable necessity, constraining the people to vote for the terms of peace proposed. And however painful it might be to acquiesce in the statu quo, which recognized[p. 395] Philip as master of Amphipolis and of so many other possessions once belonging to Athens,—I do not believe that even Demosthenes, at the time when the peace was actually under debate, would put the conclusion of it to hazard, by denouncing the shame of such unavoidable cession, though he professes three years afterwards to have vehemently opposed it.[832]

I suspect therefore that the terms of peace proposed by Philokrates met with unqualified support from one of our two rival orators, and with only partial opposition, to one special clause, from the other. However this may be, the proposition passed, with no other modification (so far as we know) except the omission of that clause which specially excepted Halus and the Phokians. Philokrates provided, that all the possessions actually in the hands of each of the belligerent parties, should remain to each, without disturbance from the other;[833] that on these principles, there should be both peace and alliance between Athens with all her allies on the one side, and Philip with all his allies on the other. These were the only parties included in the treaty. Nothing was said about other Greeks, not allies either of Philip or of Athens.[834] Nor was any special mention made about Kersobleptes.[835]

Such was the decree of peace and alliance, enacted on the second of the two assembly-days,—the nineteenth of the month Elaphebolion. Of course, without the fault of any one, it was all to the advantage of Philip. He was in the superior position; and it sanctioned his retention of all his conquests. For Athens, the inferior party, the benefit to be expected was, that she would[p. 396] prevent these conquests from being yet farther multiplied, and protect herself against being driven from bad to worse.

But it presently appeared that even thus much was not realized. On the twenty-fifth day of the same month[836] (six days after the previous assembly), a fresh assembly was held, for the purpose of providing ratification by solemn oath for the treaty which had been just decreed. It was now moved and enacted, that the same ten citizens, who had been before accredited to Philip, should again be sent to Macedonia for the purpose of receiving the oaths from him and from his allies.[837] Next, it was resolved that the Athenians, together with the deputies of their allies then present in Athens, should take the oath forthwith, in the presence of Philip’s envoys.

But now arose the critical question, Who were to be included as allies of Athens? Were the Phokians and Kersobleptes to be included? The one and the other represented those two capital positions,[838] Thermopylæ and the Hellespont, which Philip was[p. 397] sure to covet, and which it most behooved Athens to ensure against him. The assembly, by its recent vote, had struck out the special exclusion of the Phokians proposed by Philokrates, thus by implication admitting them as allies along with the rest. They were in truth allies of old standing and valuable; they had probably envoys present in Athens, but no deputies sitting in the synod. Nor had Kersobleptes any such deputy in that body; but a citizen of Lampsakus, named Kritobulus, claimed on this occasion to act for him, and to take the oaths in his name.

As to the manner of dealing with Kersobleptes, Æschines tells us two stories (one in the earlier oration, the other in the later) quite different from each other; and agreeing only in this—that in both Demosthenes is described as one of the presiding magistrates of the public assembly, as having done all that he could to prevent the envoy of Kersobleptes from being admitted to take the oaths as an ally of Athens. Amidst such discrepancies, to state in detail what passed is impossible. But it seems clear,—both from Æschines (in his earliest speech) and Demosthenes,—first, that the envoy from Kersobleptes, not having a seat in the confederate synod, but presenting himself and claiming to be sworn as an ally of Athens, found his claim disputed; secondly, that upon this dispute arising, the question was submitted to the vote of the public assembly, who decided that Kersobleptes was an ally, and should be admitted to take the oath as such.[839]

Antipater and Parmenio, on the part of Philip, did not refuse[p. 398] to recognize Kersobleptes as an ally of Athens, and to receive his oath. But in regard to the Phokians, they announced a determination distinctly opposite. They gave notice, at or after the assembly of the 25th Elaphebolion, that Philip positively refused to admit the Phokians as parties to the convention.

This determination, formally announced by Antipater at Athens, must probably have been made known by Philip himself to Philokrates and Æschines, when on mission in Macedonia. Hence Philokrates, in his motion about the terms of peace, had proposed that the Phokians and Halus should be specially excluded (as I have already related). Now, however, when the Athenian assembly, by expressly repudiating such exclusion, had determined that the Phokians should be received as parties, while the envoys of Philip were not less express in rejecting them,—the leaders of the peace, Æschines and Philokrates, were in great embarrassment. They had no other way of surmounting the difficulty, except by holding out mendacious promises, and unauthorized assurances of future intention in the name of Philip. Accordingly, they confidently announced that the King of Macedon, though precluded by his relations with the Thebans and Thessalians (necessary to him while he remained at war with Athens), from openly receiving the Phokians as allies, was nevertheless in his heart decidedly adverse to the Thebans; and that, if his hands were once set free by concluding peace with Athens, he would interfere in the quarrel just in the manner that the Athenians would desire; that he would uphold the Phokians, put down the insolence of Thebes, and even break up the integrity of the city; restoring also the autonomy of Thespiæ, Platæa and the other Bœotian towns, now in Theban dependence. The general assurances,—previously circulated by Aristodemus, Ktesiphon, and others,—of Philip’s anxiety to win favorable opinions from the Athenians, were now still farther magnified into a supposed community of antipathy against Thebes; and even into a disposition to compensate Athens for the loss of Amphipolis, by making her complete mistress of Eubœa as well as by recovering for her Orôpus.

By such glowing fabrications and falsehoods, confidently asseverated, Philokrates, Æschines, and the other partisans of Philip present, completely deluded the assembly; and induced them, not[p. 399] indeed to decree the special exclusion of the Phokians, as Philokrates had at first proposed,—but to swear the convention with Antipater and Parmenio without the Phokians.[840] These latter were thus shut out in fact, though by the general words of the peace, Athens had recognized their right to be included. Their deputies were probably present, claimed to be admitted, and were refused by Antipater, without any peremptory protest on the part of Athens.

This tissue, not of mere exaggerations, but of impudent and monstrous falsehood, respecting the purposes of Philip,—will be seen to continue until he had carried his point of penetrating within the pass of Thermopylæ, and even afterwards. We can hardly wonder that the people believed it, when proclaimed and guaranteed to them by Philokrates, Æschines, and the other envoys, who had been sent into Macedonia for the express purpose of examining on the spot and reporting, and whose assurance was[p. 400] the natural authority for the people to rely upon. In this case, the deceptions found easier credence and welcome because they were in complete harmony with the wishes and hopes of Athens, and with the prevalent thirst for peace. To betray allies like the Phokians appeared of little consequence, when once it became a settled conviction that the Phokians themselves would be no losers by it. But this plea, though sufficient as a tolerable excuse for the Athenian people, will not serve for a statesman like Demosthenes; who, on this occasion (as far as we can make out even from his own language), did not enter any emphatic protest against the tacit omission of the Phokians, though he had opposed the clause (in the motion of Philokrates) which formally omitted them by name. Three months afterwards, when the ruin of the isolated Phokians was about to be consummated as a fact, we shall find Demosthenes earnest in warning and denunciation; but there is reason to presume that his opposition[841] was at best only faint, when the positive refusal of Antipater was first proclaimed against that acquiescence on the part of Athens, whereby the Phokians were really surrendered to Philip. Yet in truth this was the great diplomatic turning-point, from whence the sin of Athens, against duty to allies as well as against her own security, took its rise. It was a false step of serious magnitude, difficult, if not impossible, to retrieve afterwards. Probably the temper of the Athenians, then eager for peace, trembling for the lives of their captives, and prepossessed with the positive assurances of Æschines and Philokrates,—would have heard with repugnance any[p. 401] strong protest against abandoning the Phokians, which threatened to send Antipater home in disgust and intercept the coming peace,—the more so as Demosthenes, if he called in question the assurances of Æschines as to the projects of Philip, would have no positive facts to produce in refuting them, and would be constrained to take the ground of mere scepticism and negation;[842] of which a public, charmed with hopeful auguries and already disarmed through the mere comfortable anticipations of peace, would be very impatient. Nevertheless, we might have expected from a statesman like Demosthenes, that he would have begun his energetic opposition to the disastrous treaty of 346 B. C., at that moment when the most disastrous and disgraceful portion of it,—the abandonment of the Phokians,—was first shuffled in.

After the assembly of the 25th Elaphebolion, Antipater administered the oaths of peace and alliance to Athens and to all her other allies (seemingly including the envoy of Kersobleptes) in the Board-room of the Generals.[843] It now became the duty of the ten Athenian envoys, with one more from the confederate synod,—the same persons who had been employed in the first embassy,—to go and receive the oaths from Philip. Let us see how this duty was performed.

The decree of the assembly, under which these envoys held their trust, was large and comprehensive. They were to receive an oath, of amity and alliance with Athens and her allies, from Philip as well as from the chief magistrate in each city allied with him. They were forbidden (by a curious restriction) to hold any[p. 402] intercourse singly and individually with Philip;[844] but they were farther enjoined, by a comprehensive general clause, “to do anything else which might be within their power for the advantage of Athens.”—“It was our duty as prudent envoys (says Æschines to the Athenian people) to take a right measure of the whole state of affairs, as they concerned either you or Philip.”[845] Upon these rational views of the duties of the envoys, however, Æschines unfortunately did not act. It was Demosthenes who acted upon them, and who insisted, immediately after the departure of Antipater and Parmenio, on going straight to the place where Philip actually was; in order that they might administer the oath to him with as little delay as possible. It was not only certain that the King of Macedon, the most active of living men, would push his conquests up to the last moment; but it was farther known to Æschines and the envoys, that he had left Pella to make war against Kersobleptes in Thrace, at the time when they returned from their first embassy.[846] Moreover, on the day of, or the day after, the public assembly last described (that is, on the 25th or 26th of the month Elaphebolion), a despatch had reached Athens from Chares, the Athenian commander at the Hellespont, intimating that Philip had gained important advantages in Thrace, had taken the important place called the Sacred Mountain, and deprived Kersobleptes of great part of his kingdom.[847] Such successive conquests on the part of Philip strengthened the reasons for despatch on the part of the envoys, and for going straight to Thrace to arrest his progress. As the peace concluded was based[p. 403] on the uti possidetis, dating from the day on which the Macedonian envoys had administered the oaths at Athens,—Philip was bound to restore all conquests made after that day. But it did not escape Demosthenes, that this was an obligation which Philip was likely to evade; and which the Athenian people, bent as they were on peace, were very unlikely to enforce.[848] The more quickly the envoys reached him, the fewer would be the places in dispute, the sooner would he be reduced to inaction,—or at least, if he still continued to act, the more speedily would his insincerity be exposed.

Impressed with this necessity for an immediate interview with Philip, Demosthenes urged his colleagues to set out at once. But they resisted his remonstrances, and chose to remain at Athens; which, we may remark, was probably in a state of rejoicing and festivity in consequence of the recent peace. So reckless was their procrastination and reluctance to depart, that on the 3d of the month Munychion (April—nine days after the solemnity of oath-taking before Antipater and Parmenio) Demosthenes made complaint and moved a resolution in the Senate, peremptorily ordering them to begin their journey forthwith, and enjoining Proxenus the Athenian commander at Oreus in Eubœa, to transport them without delay to the place where Philip was, wherever that might be.[849] But though the envoys were forced to leave Athens and repair to Oreus, nothing was gained in respect to the main object; for they, as well as Proxenus, took upon them to disobey the express order of the Senate, and never went to find Philip. After a certain stay at Oreus, they moved forward by leisurely journeys to Macedonia; where they remained inactive at Pella until the[p. 404] return of Philip from Thrace, fifty days after they had left Athens.[850]

Had the envoys done their duty as Demosthenes recommended, they might have reached the camp of Philip in Thrace within five or six days after the conclusion of the peace at Athens; had they been even content to obey the express orders of the Senate, they might have reached it within the same interval after the 3d of Munychion; so that from pure neglect, or deliberate collusion, on their part, Philip was allowed more than a month to prosecute his conquests in Thrace, after the Athenians on their side had sworn to peace. During this interval, he captured Doriskus with several other Thracian towns; some of them garrisoned by Athenian soldiers; and completely reduced Kersobleptes, whose son he brought back as prisoner and hostage.[851] The manner in which these envoys, employed in an important mission at the public expense, wasted six weeks of a critical juncture in doing nothing—and that too in defiance of an express order from the Senate—confirms the supposition before stated, and would even of itself raise a strong presumption, that the leaders among them were lending themselves corruptly to the schemes of Philip.

The protests and remonstrances addressed by Demosthenes to his colleagues, became warmer and more unmeasured as the delay was prolonged.[852] His colleagues doubtless grew angry on their side, so that the harmony of the embassy was overthrown. Æschines affirms that none of the other envoys would associate with Demosthenes, either in the road or at the resting-places.[853]

Pella was now the centre of hope, fear, and intrigue, for the[p. 405] entire Grecian world. Ambassadors were already there from Thebes, Sparta, Eubœa, and Phokis; moreover a large Macedonian army was assembled around, ready for immediate action.

At length the Athenian envoys, after so long a delay of their own making, found themselves in the presence of Philip. And we should have expected that they would forthwith perform their special commission by administering the oaths. But they still went on postponing this ceremony, and saying nothing about the obligation incumbent on him, to restore all the places captured since the day of taking the oaths to Antipater at Athens;[854] places, which had now indeed become so numerous, through waste of time on the part of the envoys themselves, that Philip was not likely to yield the point even if demanded. In a conference held with his colleagues, Æschines—assuming credit to himself for a view larger than that taken by them, of the ambassadorial duties—treated the administration of the oath as merely secondary; he insisted on the propriety of addressing Philip on the subject of the intended expedition to Thermopylæ (which he was on the point of undertaking, as was plain from the large force mustered near Pella), and exhorting him to employ it so as to humble Thebes and reconstitute the Bœotian cities. The envoys (he said) ought not to be afraid of braving any ill-will that might be manifested by the Thebans. Demosthenes (according to the statement of Æschines) opposed this recommendation—insisting that the envoys ought not to mingle in disputes belonging to other parts of Greece, but to confine themselves to their special mission—and declared that he should take no notice of Philip’s march to Thermopylæ.[855] At length, after much discussion, it was agreed among the envoys, that each of them, when called before Philip, should say what he thought fit, and that the youngest should speak first.

[p. 406]According to this rule, Demosthenes was first heard, and delivered a speech (if we are to believe Æschines) not only leaving out all useful comment upon the actual situation, but so spiteful towards his colleagues, and so full of extravagant flattery to Philip, as to put the hearers to shame.[856] The turn now came to Æschines, who repeats in abridgment his own long oration delivered to Philip. We can reason upon it with some confidence, in our estimate of Æschines, though we cannot trust his reports about Demosthenes. Æschines addressed himself exclusively to the subject of Philip’s intended expedition to Thermopylæ. He exhorted Philip to settle the controversy, pending with respect to the Amphiktyons and the Delphian temple, by peaceful arbitration and not by arms. But if armed interference was inevitable, Philip ought carefully to inform himself of the ancient and holy bond whereby the Amphiktyonic synod was held together. That synod consisted of twelve different nations or sections of the Hellenic name, each including many cities small as well as great; each holding two votes and no more; each binding itself by an impressive oath, to uphold and protect every other Amphiktyonic city. Under this venerable sanction, the Bœotian cities, being Amphiktyonic like the rest, were entitled to protection against the Thebans their destroyers. The purpose of Philip’s expedition, to restore the Amphiktyonic council, was (Æschines admitted) holy and just.[857] He ought to carry it through in the same spirit; punishing the individuals originally concerned in the seizure of the Delphian temple, but not the cities to which they belonged, provided those cities were willing to give up the wrong-doers. But if Philip should go beyond this point, and confirm the unjust dominion of Thebes over the other Bœotian towns, he would do wrong on his own side, add to the number of his enemies, and reap no gratitude from those whom he favored.[858]

Demosthenes, in his comments upon this second embassy,[p. 407] touches little on what either Æschines or himself said to Philip. He professes to have gone on the second embassy with much reluctance, having detected the treacherous purposes of Æschines and Philokrates. Nay, he would have positively refused to go (he tells us) had he not bound himself by a promise made during the first embassy, to some of the poor Athenian prisoners in Macedonia, to provide for them the means of release. He dwells much upon his disbursements for their ransom during the second embassy, and his efforts to obtain the consent of Philip.[859] This (he says) was all that lay in his power to do, as an individual; in regard to the collective proceedings of the embassy, he was constantly outvoted. He affirms that he detected the foul play of Æschines and the rest with Philip; that he had written a despatch to send home for the purpose of exposing it; that his colleagues not only prevented him from forwarding it, but sent another despatch of their own with false information.[860] Then, he had resolved to come home personally, for the same purpose, sooner than his colleagues, and had actually hired a merchant-vessel—but was hindered by Philip from sailing out of Macedonia.[861]

The general description here given by Demosthenes, of his own conduct during the second embassy, is probably true. Indeed, it coincided substantially with the statement of Æschines, who complains of him as in a state of constant and vexatious opposition to his colleagues. We must recollect that Demosthenes had no means of knowing what the particular projects of Philip really were. This was a secret to every one except Philip himself, with his confidential agents or partisans. Whatever Demosthenes might suspect, he had no public evidence by which to impress his suspicions upon others, or to countervail confident assertions on the favorable side transmitted home by his colleagues.

The army of Philip was now ready, and he was on the point[p. 408] of marching southward towards Thessaly and Thermopylæ. That pass was still held by the Phokians, with a body of Lacedæmonian auxiliaries;[862] a force quite sufficient to maintain it against Philip’s open attack, and likely to be strengthened by Athens from seaward, if the Athenians came to penetrate his real purposes. It was therefore essential to Philip to keep alive a certain belief in the minds of others, that he was marching southward with intentions favorable to the Phokians,—though not to proclaim it in any such authentic manner as to alienate his actual allies the Thebans and Thessalians. And the Athenian envoys were his most useful agents in circulating the imposture.

Some of the Macedonian officers round Philip gave explicit assurance, that the purpose of his march was to conquer Thebes, and reconstitute the Bœotian cities. So far, indeed, was this deception carried, that (according to Æschines) the Theban envoys in Macedonia, and the Thebans themselves, became seriously alarmed.[863] The movements of Philip were now the pivot on which Grecian affairs turned, and Pella the scene wherein the greatest cities in Greece were bidding for his favor. While the Thebans and Thessalians were calling upon him to proclaim himself openly Amphiktyonic champion against the Phokians,—the Phokian envoys,[864] together with those from Sparta and Athens,[p. 409] were endeavoring to enlist him in their cause against Thebes. Wishing to isolate the Phokians from such support, Philip made many tempting promises to the Lacedæmonian envoys; who, on their side, came to open quarrel, and indulged in open menace, against those of Thebes.[865] Such was the disgraceful auction, wherein these once great states, in prosecution of their mutual antipathies, bartered away to a foreign prince the dignity of the Hellenic name and the independence of the Hellenic world;[866] following the example set by Sparta in her applications to the Great King, during the latter years of the Peloponnesian war, and at the peace of Antalkidas. Amidst such a crowd of humble petitioners and expectants, all trembling to offend him,—with the aid too of Æschines, Philokrates, and the other Athenian envoys who consented to play his game,—Philip had little difficulty in keeping alive the hopes of all, and preventing the formation of any common force or decisive resolution to resist him.[867]

After completing his march southward through Thessaly, he reached Pheræ near the Pagasæan Gulf, at the head of a powerful army of Macedonians and allies. The Phokian envoys accompanied his march, and were treated, if not as friends, at least in such manner as to make it appear doubtful whether Philip was going to attack the Phokians or the Thebans.[868] It was at Pheræ[p. 410] that the Athenian envoys at length administered the oath both to Philip and to his allies.[869] This was done the last thing before they returned to Athens; which city they reached on the 13th of the month Skirrophorion;[870] after an absence of seventy days, comprising all the intervening month Thargelion, and the remnant (from the third day) of the month Munychion. They accepted, as representatives of the allied cities, all whom Philip sent to them; though Demosthenes remarks that their instructions directed them to administer the oath to the chief magistrate in each city respectively.[871] And among the cities whom they admitted to take the oath as Philip’s allies, was comprised Kardia, on the borders of the Thracian Chersonese. The Athenians considered Kardia as within the limits of the Chersonese, and therefore as belonging to them.[872]

It was thus that the envoys postponed both the execution of their special mission, and their return, until the last moment, when Philip was within three days’ march of Thermopylæ. That they so postponed it, in corrupt connivance with him, is the allegation of Demosthenes, sustained by all the probabilities of the case. Philip was anxious to come upon Thermopylæ by surprise,[873] and[p. 411] to leave as little time as possible either to the Phokians or to Athens for organizing defence. The oath, which ought to have been administered in Thrace,—but at any rate at Pella—was not taken until Philip had got as near as possible to the important pass; nor had the envoys visited one single city among his allies in execution of their mandate. And as Æschines was well aware that this would provoke inquiry, he took the precaution of bringing with him a letter from Philip to the Athenian people, couched in the most friendly terms; wherein Philip took upon himself any blame which might fall upon the envoys, affirming that they themselves had been anxious to go and visit the allied cities, but that he had detained them in order that they might assist him in accommodating the difference between the cities of Halus and Pharsalus. This letter, affording farther presumption of the connivance between the envoys and Philip, was besides founded on a false pretence; for Halus was (either at that very time or shortly afterwards) conquered by his arms, given up to the Pharsalians, and its population sold or expelled.[874]

In administering the oaths at Pheræ to Philip and his allies, Æschines and the majority of the Athenian envoys had formally and publicly pronounced the Phokians to be excluded and out of the treaty, and had said nothing about Kersobleptes. This was, if not a departure from their mandate, at least a step beyond it; for the Athenian people had expressly rejected the same exclusion when proposed by Philokrates at Athens; though when the Macedonian envoy declared that he could not admit the Phokians, the Athenians had consented to swear the treaty without them.[p. 412] Probably Philip and his allies would not consent to take the oath, to Athens and her allies, without an express declaration that the Phokians were out of the pale.[875] But though Philokrates and Æschines thus openly repudiated the Phokians, they still persisted in affirming that the intentions of Philip towards that people were highly favorable. They affirmed this probably to the Phokians themselves, as an excuse for having pronounced the special exclusion; they repeated it loudly and emphatically at Athens, immediately on their return. It was then that Demosthenes also, after having been outvoted and silenced during the mission, obtained an opportunity for making his own protest public. Being among the senators of that year, he made his report to the Senate forthwith, seemingly on the day, or the day next but one, after his arrival, before a large audience of private citizens standing by to witness so important a proceeding. He recounted all the proceedings of the embassy,—recalling the hopes and promises under which Æschines and others had persuaded the Athenians to agree to the peace,—arraigning these envoys as fabricators, in collusion with Philip, of falsehoods and delusive assurances,—and accusing them of having already by their unwarrantable delays betrayed Kersobleptes to ruin. Demosthenes at the same time made known to the Senate the near approach and rapid march of Philip; entreating them to interpose even now at the eleventh hour, for the purpose of preventing what yet remained, the Phokians and Thermopylæ, from being given up under the like treacherous fallacies.[876] A fleet of fifty triremes had been voted, and were ready at a moment’s notice to be employed on sudden occasion.[877] The majority of the Senate went decidedly along with Demosthenes, and passed a resolution[878] in that sense to be sub[p. 413]mitted to the public assembly. So adverse was this resolution to the envoys, that it neither commended them nor invited them to dinner in the prytaneium; an insult (according to Demosthenes) without any former precedent.

On the 16th of the month Skirrophorion, three days after the return of the envoys, the first public assembly was held: where, according to usual form, the resolution just passed by the Senate ought to have been discussed. But it was not even read to the assembly; for immediately on the opening of business (so Demosthenes tells us), Æschines rose and proceeded to address the people, who were naturally impatient to hear him before any one else, speaking as he did in the name of his colleagues generally.[879] He said nothing either about the recent statements of Demosthenes before the Senate, or the senatorial resolution following, or even the past history of the embassy—but passed at once to the actual state of affairs, and the coming future. He acquainted the people that Philip, having sworn the oaths at Pheræ, had by this time reached Thermopylæ with his army. “But he comes there (said Æschines) as the friend and ally of Athens, the protector of the Phokians, the restorer of the enslaved Bœotian cities, and the enemy of Thebes alone. We your envoys have satisfied him that the Thebans are the real wrong-doers, not only in their oppression towards the Bœotian cities, but also in regard to the spoliation of the temple, which they had conspired to perpetrate earlier than the Phokians. I (Æschines) exposed in an emphatic speech before Philip the iniquities of the Thebans, for which proceeding they have set a price on my life. You Athenians will hear, in two or three days, without any trouble of your[p. 414] own, that Philip is vigorously prosecuting the siege of Thebes. You will find that he will capture and break up that city—that he will exact from the Thebans compensation for the treasure ravished from Delphi—and that he will restore the subjugated communities of Platæa and Thespiæ. Nay more—you will hear of benefits still more direct, which we have determined Philip to confer upon you, but which it would not be prudent as yet to particularize. Eubœa will be restored to you as a compensation for Amphipolis: the Eubœans have already expressed the greatest alarm at the confidential relations between Athens and Philip, and the probability of his ceding to you their island. There are other matters too, on which I do not wish to speak out fully, because I have false friends even among my own colleagues.” These last ambiguous allusions were generally understood, and proclaimed by the persons round the orator, to refer to Oropus, the ancient possession of Athens, now in the hands of Thebes.[880] Such glowing promises, of benefits to come, were probably crowned by the announcement, more worthy of credit, that Philip had engaged to send back all the Athenian prisoners by the coming Panathenaic festival,[881] which fell during the next month Hekatombæon.

[p. 415]The first impression of the Athenians, on hearing Æschines, was that of surprise, alarm, and displeasure, at the unforeseen vicinity of Philip;[882] which left no time for deliberation, and scarcely the minimum of time for instant precautionary occupation of Thermopylæ, if such a step were deemed necessary. But the sequel of the speech—proclaiming to them the speedy accomplishment of such favorable results, together with the gratification of their antipathy against Thebes—effaced this sentiment, and filled them with agreeable prospects. It was in vain that Demosthenes rose to reply, arraigned the assurances as fallacious, and tried to bring forward the same statement as had already prevailed with the Senate. The people refused to hear him; Philokrates with the other friends of Æschines hooted him off; and the majority were so full of the satisfactory prospect opened to them, that all mistrust or impeachment of its truth appeared spiteful and vexatious.[883] It is to be remembered that these were the same promises previously made to them by Philokrates and others, nearly three months before, when the peace with Philip was first voted. The immediate accomplishment of them was now again promised on the same authority—by envoys who had communicated a second time with Philip, and thus had farther means of information—so that the comfortable anticipation previously raised was confirmed and strengthened. No one thought of the danger of admitting Philip within Thermopylæ, when the purpose of his coming was understood to be, the protection of the Phokians, and the punishment of the hated Thebans. Demosthenes was scarcely allowed even to make a protest, or to disclaim responsibility as to the result. Æschines triumphantly assumed the responsibility to himself; while Philokrates amused the people by saying: “No wonder, Athenians, that Demosthenes and I should[p. 416] not think alike; he is an ungenial water-drinker; I am fond of wine.”[884]

It was during this temper of the assembly that the letter of Philip, brought by the envoys, was produced and read. His abundant expressions of regard, and promises of future benefit, to Athens, were warmly applauded; while, prepossessed as the hearers were, none of them discerned, nor was any speaker permitted to point out, that these expressions were thoroughly vague and general, and that not a word was said about the Thebans or the Phokians.[885] Philokrates next proposed a decree, extolling Philip for his just and beneficent promises—providing that the peace and alliance with him should be extended, not merely to the existing Athenians, but also to their posterity—and enacting that if the Phokians should still refuse to yield possession of the Delphian temple to the Amphiktyons, the people of Athens would compel them to do so by armed intervention.[886]

During the few days immediately succeeding the return of the envoys to Athens (on the 13th of Skirrophorion), Philip wrote two successive letters, inviting the Athenian troops to join him forthwith at Thermopylæ.[887] Probably these were sent at the moment when Phalækus, the Phokian leader at that pass, an[p. 417]swered his first summons by a negative reply.[888] The two letters must have been despatched one immediately after the other, betraying considerable anxiety on the part of Philip; which it is not difficult to understand. He could not be at first certain what effect would be produced by his unforeseen arrival at Thermopylæ on the public mind at Athens. In spite of all the persuasions of Æschines and Philokrates, the Athenians might conceive so much alarm as to obstruct his admission within that important barrier; while Phalækus and the Phokians—having a powerful mercenary force, competent, even unaided, to a resistance of some length—were sure to attempt resistance, if any hope of aid were held out to them from Athens. Moreover it would be difficult for Philip to carry on prolonged military operations in the neighborhood, from the want of provisions; the lands having been unsown through the continued antecedent war, and the Athenian triremes being at hand to intercept his supplies by sea.[889] Hence it was important to him to keep the Athenians in illusion and quiescence for the moment; to which purpose his letters were well adapted, in whichever way they were taken. If the Athenians came to Thermopylæ, they would come as his allies—not as allies of the Phokians. Not only would they be in the midst of his superior force and therefore as it were hostages;[890] but they would be removed from contact with the Phokians, and would bring to bear upon the latter an additional force of intimidation. If, on the contrary, the Athenians determined not to come, they would at any rate interpret his desire for their presence as a proof that he contemplated no purposes at variance with their wishes and interests; and would trust the assurances, given by Æschines and his other partisans at Athens, that he secretly meant well towards the Phokians. This last alternative was what Philip both desired and anticipated. He wished only to deprive the Phokians of all chance of aid from Athens, and to be left to deal with them himself.[p. 418] His letters served to blind the Athenian public, but his partisans took care not to move the assembly[891] to a direct compliance with their invitation. Indeed the proposal of such an expedition (besides the standing dislike of the citizens towards military service) would have been singularly repulsive, seeing that the Athenians would have had to appear, ostensibly at least, in arms against their Phokian allies. The conditional menace of the Athenian assembly against the Phokians (in case of refusal to surrender the temple to the Amphiktyons), decreed on the motion of Philokrates, was in itself sufficiently harsh, against allies of ten years’ standing; and was tantamount at least to a declaration that Athens would not interfere on their behalf—which was all that Philip wanted.

Among the hearers of these debates at Athens, were deputies from these very Phokians, whose fate now hung in suspense. It has already been stated that during the preceding September, while the Phokians were torn by intestine dissensions, Phalækus, the chief of the mercenaries, had repudiated aid (invited by his Phokian opponents), both from Athens and Sparta;[892] feeling strong enough to hold Thermopylæ by his own force. During the intervening months, however, both his strength and his pride had declined. Though he still occupied Thermopylæ with eight thousand or ten thousand mercenaries, and still retained superiority over Thebes, with possession of Orchomenus, Koroneia, and other places taken from the Thebans,[893]—yet his financial resources had become so insufficient for a numerous force, and the soldiers had grown so disorderly from want of regular pay,[894] that he thought it prudent to invite aid from Sparta during the spring,—while Athens was deserting the Phokians to make terms with Philip. Archidamus accordingly came to Thermopylæ with one[p. 419] thousand Lacedæmonian auxiliaries.[895] The defensive force thus assembled was amply sufficient against Philip by land; but that important pass could not be held without the coöperation of a superior fleet at sea.[896] Now the Phokians had powerful enemies even within the pass—the Thebans; and there was no obstacle, except the Athenian fleet under Proxenus at Oreus,[897] to prevent Philip from landing troops in the rear of Thermopylæ, joining the Thebans, and making himself master of Phokis from the side towards Bœotia.

To the safety of the Phokians, therefore, the continued maritime protection of Athens was indispensable; and they doubtless watched with trembling anxiety the deceitful phases of Athenian diplomacy during the winter and spring of 347-346 B. C. Their deputies must have been present at Athens when the treaty was concluded and sworn in March 346 B. C. Though compelled to endure not only the refusal of Antipater excluding them from the oath, but also the consent of their Athenian allies, tacitly acted upon without being formally announced, to take the oath without them,—they nevertheless heard the assurances, confidently addressed by Philokrates and Æschines to the people, that this refusal was a mere feint to deceive the Thessalians and Thebans,—that Philip would stand forward as the protector of the Phokians, and that all his real hostile purposes were directed against Thebes. How the Phokians interpreted such tortuous and contradictory policy, we are not told. But their fate hung upon the determination of Athens; and during the time when the Ten[p. 420] Athenian envoys were negotiating or intriguing with Philip at Pella, Phokian envoys were there also, trying to establish some understanding with Philip, through Lacedæmonian and Athenian support. Both Philip and Æschines probably amused them with favorable promises. And though, when the oaths were at last administered to Philip at Pheræ, the Phokians were formally pronounced to be excluded,—still the fair words of Æschines, and his assurances of Philip’s good intentions towards them, were not discontinued.

While Philip marched straight from Pheræ to Thermopylæ,—and while the Athenian envoys returned to Athens,—Phokian deputies visited Athens also, to learn the last determination of the Athenian people, upon which their own destiny turned. Though Philip, on reaching the neighborhood of Thermopylæ, summoned the Phokian leader, Phalækus to surrender the pass, and offered him terms,—Phalækus would make no reply until his deputies returned to Athens.[898] These deputies, present at the public assembly of the 16th Skirrophorion, heard the same fallacious assurances as before respecting Philip’s designs, repeated by Philokrates and Æschines with unabated impudence, and still accepted by the people. But they also heard, in the very same assembly, the decree proposed by Philokrates and adopted, that unless the Phokians restored the Delphian temple forthwith to the Amphiktyons, the Athenian people would compel them to do so by armed force. If the Phokians still cherished hopes, this conditional declaration of war, from a city which still continued by name to be their ally, opened their eyes, and satisfied them that no hope was left except to make the best terms they could with Philip.[899] To defend[p. 421] Thermopylæ successfully without Athens, much more against Athens, was impracticable.

Leaving Athens after the assembly of the 16th Skirrophorion, the Phokian deputies carried back the tidings of what had passed to Phalækus, whom they reached at Nikæa, near Thermopylæ, about the 20th of the same month.[900] Three days afterwards, Phalækus, with his powerful army of eight thousand or ten thousand mercenary infantry and one thousand cavalry, had concluded a convention with Philip. The Lacedæmonian auxiliaries, perceiving the insincere policy of Athens, and the certain ruin of the Phokians, had gone away a little before.[901] It was stipulated in the convention that Phalækus should evacuate the territory, and retire wherever else he pleased, with his entire mercenary force and with all such Phokians as chose to accompany him. The remaining natives threw themselves upon the mercy of the conqueror.

All the towns in Phokis, twenty-two in number, together with the pass of Thermopylæ, were placed in the hands of Philip; all surrendering at discretion; all without resistance. The moment Philip was thus master of the country, he joined his forces with those of the Thebans, and proclaimed his purpose of acting thoroughly upon their policy; of transferring to them a considerable portion of Phokis; of restoring to them Orchomenus, Korsiæ, and Koroneia, Bœotian towns which the Phokians had taken from them; and of keeping the rest of Bœotia in their dependence, just as he found it.[902]

[p. 422]

In the meantime, the Athenians, after having passed the decree above mentioned, re-appointed (in the very same assembly of the 16th Skirrophorion, June), the same ten envoys to carry intelligence of it to Philip, and to be witnesses of the accomplishment of the splendid promises made in his name. But Demosthenes immediately swore off, and refused to serve; while Æschines, though he did not swear off, was nevertheless so much indisposed, as to be unable to go. This at least is his own statement; though Demosthenes affirms that the illness was a mere concerted pretence, in order that Æschines might remain at home to counterwork any reaction of public feeling at Athens, likely to arise on the arrival of the bad news, which Æschines knew to be at hand, from Phokis.[903] Others having been chosen in place of Æschines and Demosthenes,[904] the ten envoys set out, and proceeded as far as Chalkis in Eubœa. It was there that they learned the fatal intelligence from the main land on the other side of the Eubœan strait. On the 23d of Skirrophorion, Phalækus and all the Phokian towns had surrendered; Philip was master of Thermopylæ, had joined his forces with the Thebans, and proclaimed an unqualified philo-Theban policy; on the 27th of Skirrophorion, Derkyllus, one of the envoys, arrived in haste back at Athens, having stopped short in his mission on hearing the facts.

[p. 423]At the moment when he arrived, the people were holding an assembly in the Peiræus, on matters connected with the docks and arsenal; and to this assembly, actually sitting, Derkyllus made his unexpected report.[905] The shock to the public of Athens was prodigious. Not only were all their splendid anticipations of anti-Theban policy from Philip (hitherto believed and welcomed by the people on the positive assurances of Philokrates and Æschines) now dashed to the ground—not only were the Athenians smitten with the consciousness that they had been overreached by Philip, that they had played into the hands of their enemies the Thebans, and that they had betrayed their allies the Phokians to ruin—but they felt also that they had yielded up Thermopylæ, the defence at once of Attica and of Greece, and that the road to Athens lay open to their worst enemies the Thebans, now aided by Macedonian force. Under this pressure of surprise, sorrow, and terror, the Athenians, on the motion of Kallisthenes, passed these votes:—To put the Peiræus, as well as the fortresses throughout Attica, in immediate defence—To bring within these walls, for safety, all the women and children, and all the movable property, now spread abroad in Attica—To celebrate the approaching festival of the Herakleia, not in the country, as was usual, but in the interior of Athens.[906]

Such were the significant votes, the like of which had not been passed at Athens since the Peloponnesian war, attesting the terrible reaction of feeling occasioned at Athens by the disastrous[p. 424] news from Phokis. Æschines had now recovered from his indisposition; or (if we are to believe Demosthenes) found it convenient to lay aside the pretence. He set out as self-appointed envoy, without any new nomination by the people—probably with such of the Ten as were favorable to his views—to Philip and to the joint Macedonian and Theban army in Phokis. And what is yet more remarkable, he took his journey thither through Thebes itself;[907] though his speeches and his policy had been for months past (according to his own statement) violently anti-Theban;[908] and though he had affirmed (this, however, rests upon the testimony of his rival) that the Thebans had set a price upon his head. Having joined Philip, Æschines took part in the festive sacrifices and solemn pæans celebrated by the Macedonians, Thebans and Thessalians,[909] in commemoration and thanksgiving for their easy, though long-deferred, triumph over the Phokians, and for the conclusion of the Ten-Years Sacred War.

Shortly after Philip had become master of Thermopylæ and Phokis, he communicated his success in a letter to the Athenians. His letter betokened a full consciousness of the fear and repugnance which his recent unexpected proceedings had excited at Athens:[910] but in other respects, it was conciliatory and even seductive; expressing great regard for them as his sworn allies, and promising again that they should reap solid fruits from the alliance. It allayed that keen apprehension of Macedonian and Theban attack, which had induced the Athenians recently to sanction the precautionary measures proposed by Kallisthenes. In his subsequent communications also with Athens, Philip found his[p. 425] advantage in continuing to profess the same friendship and to intersperse similar promises;[911] which, when enlarged upon by his partisans in the assembly, contributed to please the Athenians and to lull them into repose, thus enabling him to carry on without opposition real measures of an insidious or hostile character. Even shortly after Philip’s passage of Thermopylæ, when he was in full coöperation with the Thebans and Thessalians, Æschines boldly justified him by the assertion, that these Thebans and Thessalians had been too strong for him, and had constrained him against his will to act on their policy, both to the ruin of the Phokians and to the offence of Athens.[912] And we cannot doubt that the restoration of the prisoners taken at Olynthus, which must soon have occurred, diffused a lively satisfaction at Athens, and tended for the time to countervail the mortifying public results of her recent policy.

Master as he now was of Phokis, at the head of an irresistible force of Macedonians and Thebans, Philip restored the Delphian temple to its inhabitants, and convoked anew the Amphiktyonic assembly, which had not met since the seizure of the temple by Philomelus. The Amphiktyons reassembled under feelings of vindictive antipathy against the Phokians, and of unqualified devotion to Philip. Their first vote was to dispossess the Phokians of their place in the assembly as one of the twelve ancient Amphiktyonic races, and to confer upon Philip the place and two votes (each of the twelve races had two votes) thus left vacant. All the rights to which the Phokians laid claim over the Delphian temple were formally cancelled. All the towns in Phokis, twenty-two in number, were dismantled and broken up into villages. Abæ alone was spared; being preserved by its ancient and oracular temple of[p. 426] Apollo, and by the fact that its inhabitants had taken no part in the spoliation of Delphi.[913] No village was allowed to contain more than fifty houses, nor to be nearer to another than a minimum distance of one furlong. Under such restriction, the Phokians were still allowed to possess and cultivate their territory, with the exception of a certain portion of the frontier transferred to the Thebans;[914] but they were required to pay to the Delphian temple an annual tribute of fifty talents, until the wealth taken away should have been made good. The horses of the Phokians were directed to be sold; their arms were to be cast down the precipices of Parnassus, or burnt. Such Phokians as had participated individually in the spoliation, were proclaimed accursed, and rendered liable to arrest wherever they were found.[915]

By the same Amphiktyonic assembly, farther, the Lacedæmonians, as having been allies of the Phokians, were dispossessed of their franchise, that is, of their right to concur in the Amphiktyonic suffrage of the Dorian nation. This vote probably emanated from the political antipathies of the Argeians and Messenians.[916]

The sentence, rigorous as it is, pronounced by the Amphiktyons against the Phokians, was merciful as compared with some of the propositions made in the assembly. The Œtæans went so far as to propose, that all the Phokians of military age should be cast down the precipice; and Æschines takes credit to himself for having induced the assembly to hear their defence, and thereby preserved their lives.[917] But though the terms of the sentence may have been thus softened, we may be sure that the execution of it by Thebans, Thessalians, and other foreigners quartered on the country,—all bitter enemies of the Phokian name, and giving vent to their antipathies under the mask of pious indignation[p. 427] against sacrilege,—went far beyond the literal terms in active cruelty. That the Phokians were stripped and slain[918]—that children were torn from their parents, wives from their husbands, and the images of the gods from their temples,—that Philip took for himself the lion’s share of the plunder and movable property,—all these are facts naturally to be expected, as incidental to the violent measure of breaking up the cities and scattering the inhabitants. Of those, however, who had taken known part in the spoliation of the temple, the greater number went into exile with Phalækus; and not they alone, but even all such of the moderate and meritorious citizens as could find means to emigrate.[919] Many of them obtained shelter at Athens. The poorer Phokians remained at home by necessity. But such was the destruction inflicted by the conquerors, that even two or three years afterwards, when Demosthenes and other Athenian envoys passed through the country in their way to the Amphiktyonic meeting at Delphi, they saw nothing but evidences of misery; old men, women and little children, without adults,—ruined houses, impoverished villages, half-cultivated fields.[920] Well might Demosthenes say that events more terrific and momentous had never occurred in the[p. 428] Grecian world, either in his own time or in that of his predecessors.[921]

It was but two years since the conquest and ruin of Olynthus, and of thirty-two Chalkidic Grecian cities besides, had spread abroad everywhere the terror and majesty of Philip’s name. But he was now exalted to a still higher pinnacle by the destruction of the Phokians, the capture of Thermopylæ, and the sight of a permanent Macedonian garrison, occupying from henceforward Nikæa and other places commanding the pass.[922] He was extolled as restorer of the Amphiktyonic assembly, and as avenging champion of the Delphian god, against the sacrilegious Phokians. That he should have acquired possession of an unassailable pass, dismissed the formidable force of Phalækus, and become master of twenty-two Phokian cites, all without striking a blow,—was accounted the most wonderful of all his exploits. It strengthened more than ever the prestige of his constant good fortune. Having been now, by the vote of the Amphiktyons, invested with the right of Amphiktyonic suffrage previously exercised by the Phokians, he acquired a new Hellenic rank, with increased facilities for encroachment and predominance in Hellenic affairs. Moreover, in the month of August 346 B. C., about two months after the surrender of Phokis to Philip, the season recurring for celebrating the great Pythian festival, after the usual interval of four years, the Amphiktyons conferred upon Philip the signal honor of nominating him president to celebrate this festival, in conjunction with the Thebans and Thessalians;[923] an honorary preëminence,[p. 429] which ranked among the loftiest aspirations of ambitious Grecian despots, and which Jason, of Pheræ, had prepared to appropriate for himself twenty-four years before, at the moment when he was assassinated.[924] It was in vain that the Athenians, mortified and indignant at the unexpected prostration of their hopes and the utter ruin of their allies, refused to send deputies to the Amphiktyons,—affected even to disregard the assembly as irregular,—and refrained from despatching their sacred legation as usual, to sacrifice at the Pythian festival.[925] The Amphiktyonic vote did not the less pass; without the concurrence, indeed, either of Athens or of Sparta, yet with the hearty support not only of Thebans and Thessalians, but also of Argeians, Messenians, Arcadians, and all those who counted upon Philip as a probable auxiliary against their dangerous Spartan neighbor.[926] And when envoys from Philip and from the Thessalians arrived at Athens, notifying that he had been invested with the Amphiktyonic suffrage, and inviting the concurrence of Athens in his reception,—prudential considerations obliged the Athenians, though against their feelings, to pass a vote of concurrence. Even Demosthenes was afraid to break the recent peace, however inglorious,—and to draw upon Athens a general Amphiktyonic war, headed by the King of Macedon.[927]

Here then was a momentous political change doubly fatal to[p. 430] the Hellenic world; first, in the new position of Philip both as master of the keys of Greece and as recognized Amphiktyonic leader, with means of direct access and influence even on the inmost cities of Peloponnesus; next, in the lowered banner, and uncovered frontier, of Athens, disgraced by the betrayal both of her Phokian allies and of the general safety of Greece,—and recompensed only in so far as she regained her captives.

How came the Athenians to sanction a peace at once dishonorable and ruinous, yielding to Philip that important pass, the common rampart of Attica and of Southern Greece, which he could never have carried in war at the point of the sword? Doubtless, the explanation of this proceeding is to be found, partly in the general state of the Athenian mind; repugnance to military cost and effort,—sickness and shame at their past war with Philip,—alarm from the prodigious success of his arms,—and pressing anxiety to recover the captives taken at Olynthus. But the feelings here noticed, powerful as they were, would not have ended in such a peace, had they not been seconded by the deliberate dishonesty of Æschines and a majority of his colleagues; who deceived their countrymen with a tissue of false assurances as to the purposes of Philip, and delayed their proceedings on the second embassy in such a manner that he was actually at Thermopylæ before the real danger of the pass was known at Athens.

Making all just allowance for mistrust of Demosthenes as a witness, there appears in the admissions of Æschines himself sufficient evidence of corruption. His reply to Demosthenes, though successfully meeting some collateral aggravations, seldom touches, and never repels, the main articles of impeachment against himself. The dilatory measures of the second embassy,—the postponement of the oath-taking until Philip was within three days’ march of Thermopylæ,—the keeping back of information about the danger of that pass, until the Athenians were left without leisure for deliberating on the conjuncture,—all these grave charges remain without denial or justification. The refusal to depart at once on the second embassy, and to go straight to Philip in Thrace for the protection of Kersobleptes, is indeed explained, but in a manner which makes the case rather worse than better. And the gravest matter of all—the false assurances given to the Athenian[p. 431] public respecting Philip’s purposes,—are plainly admitted by Æschines.[928]

In regard to these public assurances given by Æschines about Philip’s intentions, corrupt mendacity appears to me the only supposition admissible. There is nothing, even in his own account, to explain how he came to be beguiled into such flagrant misjudgment; while the hypothesis of honest error is yet farther refuted by his own subsequent conduct. “If (argues Demosthenes), Æschines had been sincerely misled by Philip, so as to pledge his own veracity and character to the truth of positive assurances given publicly before his countrymen, respecting Philip’s designs,—then on finding that the result belied him, and that he had fatally misled those whom he undertook to guide, he would be smitten with compunction, and would in particular abominate the name of Philip as one who had disgraced him and made him an unconscious instrument of treachery. But the fact has been totally otherwise; immediately after the peace, Æschines visited Philip to share his triumph, and has been ever since his avowed partisan and advocate.”[929] Such conduct is inconsistent with the supposition of honest mistake, and goes to prove,—what the proceedings of the second embassy all bear out,—that Æschines was the hired agent of Philip for deliberately deceiving his countrymen with gross falsehood. Even as reported by himself, the language of Æschines betokens his ready surrender of Grecian freedom, and his recognition of Philip as a master; for he gives not only his consent, but his approbation, to the entry of Philip within Thermopylæ,[930] only exhorting him, when he comes there, to[p. 432] act against Thebes and in defence of the Bœotian cities. This, in an Athenian envoy, argues a blindness little short of treason. The irreparable misfortune, both for Athens and for free Greece generally, was to bring Philip within Thermopylæ, with power sufficient to put down Thebes and reconstitute Bœotia,—even if it could have been made sure that such would be the first employment of his power. The same negotiator, who had begun his mission by the preposterous flourish of calling upon Philip to give up Amphipolis, ended by treacherously handing over to him a new conquest which he could not otherwise have acquired. Thermopylæ, betrayed once before by Ephialtes the Malian to Xerxes, was now betrayed a second time by the Athenian envoys to an extra-Hellenic power yet more formidable.

The ruinous peace of 346 B. C. was thus brought upon Athens not simply by mistaken impulses of her own, but also by the corruption of Æschines and the major part of her envoys. Demosthenes had certainly no hand in the result. He stood in decided opposition to the majority of the envoys; a fact manifest as well from his own assurances, as from the complaints vented against him, as a colleague insupportably troublesome, by Æschines. Demosthenes affirms, too, that after fruitless opposition to the policy of the majority, he tried to make known their misconduct to his countrymen at home both by personal return, and by letter; and that in both cases his attempts were frustrated. Whether he did[p. 433] all that he could towards this object, cannot be determined; but we find no proof of any short-coming. The only point upon which Demosthenes appears open to censure, is, on his omission to protest emphatically during the debates of the month Elaphebolion at Athens, when the Phokians were first practically excluded from the treaty. I discover no other fault established on probable grounds against him, amidst the multifarious accusations, chiefly personal and foreign to the main issue, preferred by his opponent.

Respecting Philokrates—the actual mover, in the Athenian assembly, of all the important resolutions tending to bring about this peace—we learn that being impeached by Hyperides[931] not long afterwards, he retired from Athens without standing trial, and was condemned in his absence. Both he and Æschines (so Demosthenes asserts) had received from Philip bribes and grants out of the spoils of Olynthus; and Philokrates, especially, displayed his newly-acquired wealth at Athens with impudent ostentation.[932] These are allegations in themselves probable, though coming from a political rival. The peace, having disappointed every one’s hopes, came speedily to be regarded with shame and regret, of which Philokrates bore the brunt as its chief author. Both Æschines and Demosthenes sought to cast upon each other the imputation of confederacy with Philokrates.

The pious feeling of Diodorus leads him to describe, with peculiar seriousness, the divine judgments which fell on all those concerned in despoiling the Delphian temple. Phalækus, with his mercenaries out of Phokis, retired first into Peloponnesus; from thence seeking to cross to Tarentum, he was forced back when actually on shipboard by a mutiny of his soldiers, and passed into Krete. Here he took service with the inhabitants of Knossus against those of Lyktus. Over the latter he gained a victory, and their city was only rescued from him by the unexpected arrival of the Spartan king Archidamus. That prince, recently the auxiliary of Phalækus in Phokis, was now on his way across the sea towards Tarentum; near which city he was slain a few years afterwards. Phalækus, repulsed from Lyktus, next laid siege to Kydonia, and was bringing up engines to batter the walls,[p. 434] when a storm of thunder and lightning arose, so violent, that his engines “were burnt by the divine fire,”[933] and he himself with several soldiers perished in trying to extinguish the flames. His remaining army passed into Peloponnesus, where they embraced the cause of some Eleian exiles against the government of Elis; but were vanquished, compelled to surrender, and either sold into slavery or put to death.[934] Even the wives of the Phokian leaders, who had adorned themselves with some of the sacred donatives out of the Delphian Temple, were visited with the like extremity of suffering. And while the gods dealt thus rigorously with the authors of the sacrilege, they exhibited favor no less manifest towards their champion Philip, whom they exalted more and more towards the pinnacle of honor and dominion.[935]


I have described in my last chapter the conclusion of the Sacred War, and the reëstablishment of the Amphiktyonic assembly by Philip; together with the dishonorable peace of 346 B. C., whereby Athens, after a war, feeble in management and inglorious in result, was betrayed by the treachery of her own envoys into the abandonment of the pass of Thermopylæ;—a new sacrifice, not required by her actual position, and more fatal to her future security than any of the previous losses. This important pass, the key of Greece, had now come into possession[p. 435] of Philip, who occupied it, together with the Phokian territory, by a permanent garrison of his own troops.[936] The Amphiktyonic assembly had become an instrument for his exaltation. Both Thebans and Thessalians were devoted to his interest; rejoicing in the ruin of their common enemies the Phokians, without reflecting on the more formidable power now established on their frontiers. Though the power of Thebes had been positively increased by regaining Orchomenus and Koroneia, yet, comparatively speaking, the new position of Philip brought upon her, as well as upon Athens and the rest of Greece, a degradation and extraneous mastery such as had never before been endured.[937]

This new position of Philip, as champion of the Amphiktyonic assembly, and within the line of common Grecian defence, was profoundly felt by Demosthenes. A short time after the surrender of Thermopylæ, when the Thessalian and Macedonian envoys had arrived at Athens, announcing the recent determination of the Amphiktyons to confer upon Philip the place in that assembly from whence the Phokians had been just expelled, concurrence of Athens in this vote was invited; but the Athenians, mortified and exasperated at the recent turn of events, were hardly disposed to acquiesce. Here we find Demosthenes taking the cautious side, and strongly advising compliance. He insists upon the necessity of refraining from any measure calculated to break the existing peace, however deplorable may have been its conditions; and of giving no pretence to the Amphiktyons for voting conjoint war against Athens, to be executed by Philip.[938] These recommendations, prudent under the circumstances, prove that Demosthenes, though dissatisfied with the peace, was anxious to keep it now that it was made; and that if he afterwards came to renew his exhortations to war, this was owing to new encroachments and more menacing attitude on the part of Philip.

We have other evidences, besides the Demosthenic speech just cited, to attest the effect of Philip’s new position on the Grecian mind. Shortly after the peace, and before the breaking up of the[p. 436] Phokian towns into villages had been fully carried into detail—Isokrates published his letter addressed to Philip—the Oratio ad Philippum. The purpose of this letter is, to invite Philip to reconcile the four great cities of Greece—Sparta, Athens, Thebes, and Argos; to put himself at the head of their united force, as well as of Greece generally; and to invade Asia, for the purpose of overthrowing the Persian empire, of liberating the Asiatic Greeks, and of providing new homes for the unsettled wanderers in Greece. The remarkable point here is, that Isokrates puts the Hellenic world under subordination and pupilage to Philip, renouncing all idea of it as a self-sustaining and self-regulating system. He extols Philip’s exploits, good fortune, and power, above all historical parallels—treats him unequivocally as the chief of Greece—and only exhorts him to make as good use of his power, as his ancestor Herakles had made in early times.[939] He recommends him, by impartial and conciliatory behavior towards all, to acquire for himself the same devoted esteem among the Greeks as that which now prevailed among his own Macedonian officers—or as that which existed among the Lacedæmonians towards the Spartan kings.[940] Great and melancholy indeed is the change which had come over the old age of Isokrates, since he published the Panegyrical Oration (380 B. C.—thirty-four years before) wherein he invokes a united Pan-hellenic expedition against Asia, under the joint guidance of the two Hellenic chiefs by land and sea—Sparta and Athens; and wherein he indignantly denounces Sparta for having, at the peace of Antalkidas, introduced for her own purposes a Persian rescript to impose laws on the Grecian world. The prostration of Grecian dignity, serious as it was, involved in the peace of Antalkidas, was far less disgraceful than that recommended by Isokrates towards Philip—himself indeed personally of Hellenic parentage, but a Macedonian or barbarian (as Demosthenes[941] terms him)[p. 437] by power and position. As Æschines, when employed in embassy from Athens to Philip, thought that his principal duty consisted in trying to persuade him by eloquence to restore Amphipolis to Athens, and put down Thebes—so Isokrates relies upon his skilful pen to dispose the new chief to a good use of imperial power—to make him protector of Greece, and conquerer of Asia. If copious and elegant flattery could work such a miracle, Isokrates might hope for success. But it is painful to note the increasing subservience, on the part of estimable Athenian freemen like Isokrates, to a foreign potentate; and the declining sentiment of Hellenic independence and dignity, conspicuous after the peace of 346 B. C. in reference to Philip.

From Isokrates as well as from Demosthenes, we thus obtain evidence of the imposing and intimidating effect of Philip’s name in Greece after the peace of 346 B. C. Ochus, the Persian king, was at this time embarrassed by unsubdued revolt among his subjects; which Isokrates urges as one motive for Philip to attack him. Not only Egypt, but also Phenicia and Cyprus, were in revolt against the Persian king. One expedition (if not two) on a large scale, undertaken by him for the purpose of reconquering Egypt, had been disgracefully repulsed, in consequence of the ability of the generals (Diophantus an Athenian and Lamius a Spartan) who commanded the Grecian mercenaries in the service of the Egyptian prince Nektanebus.[942] About the time of the peace of 346 B. C. in Greece, however, Ochus appears to have renewed with better success his attack on Cyprus, Phenicia, and Egypt. To reconquer Cyprus, he put in requisition the force of the Karian prince Idrieus (brother and successor of Mausolus and Artemisia), at this time not only the most powerful prince in Asia Minor, but also master of the Grecian islands Chios, Kos, and Rhodes, probably by means of an internal oligarchy in each, who ruled in his interest and through his soldiers.[943] Idrieus sent[p. 438] to Cyprus a force of forty triremes and eight thousand mercenary troops, under the command of the Athenian Phokion and of Evagoras, an exiled member of the dynasty reigning at Salamis in the island. After a long siege of Salamis itself, which was held against the Persian king by Protagoras, probably another member of the same dynasty—and after extensive operations throughout the rest of this rich island, affording copious plunder to the soldiers, so as to attract numerous volunteers from the mainland—all Cyprus was again brought under the Persian authority.[944]

The Phenicians had revolted from Ochus at the same time as the Cypriots, and in concert with Nektanebus prince of Egypt, from whom they received a reinforcement of four thousand Greek mercenaries under Mentor the Rhodian. Of the three great Phenician cities, Sidon, Tyre, and Aradus—each a separate political community, but administering their common affairs at a joint town called Tripolis, composed of three separate walled circuits, a furlong apart from each other—Sidon was at once the oldest, the richest, and the greatest sufferer from Persian oppression. Hence the Sidonian population, with their prince Tennes, stood foremost in the revolt against Ochus, employing their great wealth in hiring soldiers, preparing arms, and accumulating every means of defence. In the first outbreak they expelled the Persian garrison, seized and punished some of the principal officers, and destroyed the adjoining palace and park reserved for the satrap or king. Having farther defeated the neighboring satraps of Kilikia and Syria, they strengthened the defences of the city by triple ditches, heightened walls, and a fleet of one hundred triremes and quinqueremes. Incensed at these proceedings, Ochus[p. 439] marched with an immense force from Babylon. But his means of corruption served him better than his arms. The Sidonian prince Tennes, in combination with Mentor, entered into private bargain with him, betrayed to him first one hundred of the principal citizens, and next placed the Persian army in possession of the city-walls. Ochus, having slain the hundred citizens surrendered to him, together with five hundred more who came to him with boughs of supplication, intimated his purpose of taking signal revenge on the Sidonians generally; who took the desperate resolution, first of burning their fleet that no one might escape—next, of shutting themselves up with their families, and setting fire each man to his own house. In this deplorable conflagration forty thousand persons are said to have perished; and such was the wealth destroyed, that the privilege of searching the ruins was purchased for a large sum of money. Instead of rewarding the traitor Tennes, Ochus concluded the tragedy by putting him to death.[945]

Flushed with this unexpected success, Ochus marched with an immense force against Egypt. He had in his army ten thousand Greeks; six thousand by requisition from the Greek cities in Asia Minor; three thousand by request from Argos; and one thousand from Thebes.[946] To Athens and Sparta, he had sent a like request, but had received from both a courteous refusal. His army, Greek and Asiatic, the largest which Persia had sent forth for many years, was distributed into three divisions, each commanded by one Greek and one Persian general; one of the three divisions was confided to Mentor and the eunuch Bagoas, the two ablest servants of the Persian king. The Egyptian prince Nektanebus, having been long aware of the impending attack, had also assembled a numerous force: no less than twenty thousand mercenary Greeks, with a far larger body of Egyptians and Libyans. He had also taken special care to put the eastern branch of the Nile, with the fortress of Pelusium at its mouth, in a full state of defence. But these ample means of defence were rendered unavailing, partly by his own unskilfulness and incompetence, partly by the ability and cunning of Mentor and Bagoas.[p. 440] Nektanebus was obliged to retire into Ethiopia; all Egypt fell, with little resistance, into the hands of the Persians; the fortified places capitulated—the temples were pillaged, with an immense booty to the victors—and even the sacred archives of the temples were carried off, to be afterwards resold to the priests for an additional sum of money. The wealthy territory of Egypt again became a Persian province, under the satrap Pherendates; while Ochus returned to Babylon, with a large increase both of dominion and of reputation. The Greek mercenaries were dismissed to return home, with an ample harvest both of pay and plunder.[947] They constituted in fact the principal element of force on both sides; some Greeks enabled the Persian king to subdue revolters,[948] while others lent their strength to the revolters against him.

By this reconquest of Phenicia and Egypt, Ochus relieved himself from that contempt into which he had fallen through the failure of his former expedition,[949] and even exalted the Persian empire[p. 441] in force and credit to a point nearly as high as it had ever occupied before. The Rhodian Mentor, and the Persian Bagoas, both of whom had distinguished themselves in the Egyptian campaign, became from this time among his most effective officers. Bagoas accompanied Ochus into the interior provinces, retaining his full confidence; while Mentor, rewarded with a sum of 100 talents, and loaded with Egyptian plunder, was invested with the satrapy of the Asiatic seaboard.[950] He here got together a considerable body of Greek mercenaries, with whom he rendered signal service to the Persian king. Though the whole coast was understood to belong to the Persian empire, yet there were many separate strong towns and positions, held by chiefs who had their own military force; neither paying tribute nor obeying orders. Among these chiefs, one of the most conspicuous was Hermeias, who resided in the stronghold of Atarneus (on the mainland opposite to Lesbos), but had in pay many troops and kept garrisons in many neighboring places. Though partially disabled by accidental injury in childhood,[951] Hermeias was a man of singular energy and ability, and had conquered for himself this dominion. But what has contributed most to his celebrity, is, that he was the attached friend and admirer of Aristotle; who passed three years with him at Atarneus, after the death of Plato in 348-347 B. C.—and who has commemorated his merits in a noble ode. By treachery and false promises, Mentor seduced Hermeias into an interview, seized his person, and employed his signet-ring to send counterfeit orders whereby he became master of Atarneus and all the remaining places held by Hermeias. Thus, by successful perfidy, Mentor reduced the most vigorous of the independent chiefs on the Asiatic coast; after which, by successive conquests of the same kind, he at length brought the whole coast effectively under Persian dominion.[952]

[p. 442]The peace between Philip and the Athenians lasted without any formal renunciation on either side for more than six years; from March 346 B. C. to beyond Midsummer 340 B. C. But though never formally renounced during that interval, it became gradually more and more violated in practice by both parties. To furnish a consecutive history of the events of these few years, is beyond our power. We have nothing to guide us but a few orations of Demosthenes;[953] which, while conveying a lively idea of the feeling of the time, touch, by way of allusion, and as materials for reasoning, upon some few facts; yet hardly enabling us to string together those facts into an historical series. A brief[p. 443] sketch of the general tendencies of this period is all that we can venture upon.

Philip was the great aggressor of the age. The movement everywhere, in or near Greece, began with him, and with those parties in the various cities, who acted on his instigation and looked up to him for support. We hear of his direct intervention, or of the effects of his exciting suggestions, everywhere; in Peloponnesus, at Ambrakia and Leukas, in Eubœa, and in Thrace. The inhabitants of Megalopolis, Messênê, and Argos, were soliciting his presence in Peloponnesus, and his active coöperation against Sparta. Philip intimated a purpose of going there himself, and sent in the mean time soldiers and money, with a formal injunction to Sparta that she must renounce all pretension to Messênê.[954] He established a footing in Elis,[955] by furnishing troops to an oligarchical faction, and enabling them to become masters of the government, after a violent revolution. Connected probably with this intervention in Elis, was his capture of the three Eleian colonies, Pandosia, Bucheta, and Elateia, on the coast of the Epirotic Kassopia, near the Gulf of Ambrakia. He made over these three towns to his brother-in-law Alexander, whom he exalted to be prince of the Epirotic Molossians[956]—deposing the reigning prince Arrhybas. He farther attacked the two principal Grecian cities in that region, Ambrakia and Leukas; but here he appears to have failed.[957] Detachments of his troops showed themselves near Megara and Eretria, to the aid of philippizing parties in these cities and to the serious alarm of the Athenians. Philip established more firmly his dominion over Thessaly, distributing the country into four divisions, and planting a garrison in Pheræ, the city[p. 444] most disaffected to him.[958] We also read, that he again overran and subdued the Illyrian, Dardanian, and Pæonian tribes on his northern and western boundary; capturing many of their towns, and bringing back much spoil; and that he defeated the Thracian prince Kersobleptes, to the great satisfaction of the Greek cities on and near the Hellespont.[959] He is said farther to have redistributed the population of Macedonia, transferring inhabitants from one town to another according as he desired to favor or discourage residence—to the great misery and suffering of the families so removed.[960]

Such was the exuberant activity of Philip, felt everywhere from the coasts of the Propontis to those of the Ionian sea and the Corinthian Gulf. Every year his power increased; while the cities of the Grecian world remained passive, uncombined, and without recognizing any one of their own number as leader. The philippizing factions were everywhere rising in arms or conspiring to seize the governments for their own account under Philip’s auspices; while those who clung to free and popular Hellenism were discouraged and thrown on the defensive.[961]

It was Philip’s policy to avoid or postpone any breach of peace with Athens; the only power under whom Grecian combination against him was practicable. But a politician like Demosthenes foresaw clearly enough the coming absorption of the Grecian world, Athens included, into the dominion of Macedonia, unless some means could be found of reviving among its members a spirit of vigorous and united defence. In or before the year 344 B. C., we find this orator again coming forward in the Athenian assembly, persuading his countrymen to send a mission into Pelopon[p. 445]nesus, and going himself among the envoys.[962] He addressed both to the Messenians and Argeians emphatic remonstrances on their devotion to Philip; reminding them that from excessive fear and antipathy towards Sparta, they were betraying to him their own freedom, as well as that of all their Hellenic brethren.[963] Though heard with approbation, he does not flatter himself with having worked any practical change in their views.[964] But it appears that envoys reached Athens (in 344-343 B. C.), to whom some answer was required, and it is in suggesting that answer that Demosthenes delivers his second Philippic. He denounces Philip anew, as an aggressor stretching his power on every side, violating the peace with Athens, and preparing ruin for the Grecian world.[965] Without advising immediate war, he calls on the Athenians to keep watch and ward, and to organize defensive alliance among the Greeks generally.

The activity of Athens, unfortunately, was shown in nothing but words; to set off against the vigorous deeds of Philip. But they were words of Demosthenes, the force of which was felt by Philip’s partisans in Greece, and occasioned such annoyance to Philip himself that he sent to Athens more than once envoys and letters of remonstrance. His envoy, an eloquent Byzantine named Python,[966] addressed the Athenian assembly with much[p. 446] success, complaining of the calumnies of the orators against Philip—asserting emphatically that Philip was animated with the best sentiments towards Athens, and desired only to have an opportunity of rendering service to her—and offering to review and amend the terms of the late peace. Such general assurances of friendship, given with eloquence and emphasis, produced considerable effect in the Athenian assembly, as they had done from the mouth of Æschines during the discussions on the peace. The proposal of Python was taken up by the Athenians, and two amendments were proposed. 1. Instead of the existing words of the peace—“that each party should have what they actually had”—it was moved to substitute this phrase—“That each party should have their own.”[967] 2. That not merely the allies of Athens and of Philip, but also all the other Greeks, should be included in the peace; That all of them should remain free and autonomous; That if any of them were attacked, the parties to the treaty on both sides would lend them armed assistance forthwith. 3. That Philip should be required to make restitution of those places, Doriskus, Serreium, etc., which he had captured from Kersobleptes after the day when peace was sworn at Athens.

The first amendment appears to have been moved by a citizen named Hegesippus, a strenuous anti-philippizing politician, supporting the same views as Demosthenes. Python, with the other envoys of Philip, present in the assembly, either accepted these amendments, or at least did not protest against them. He partook of the public hospitality of the city as upon an understanding mutually settled.[968] Hegesippus with other Athenians was sent to Macedonia to procure the ratification of Philip; who admitted the justice of the second amendment, offered arbitration respecting the third, but refused to ratify the first—disavowing both the general proposition, and the subsequent acceptance of his envoys at[p. 447] Athens.[969] Moreover he displayed great harshness in the reception of Hegesippus and his colleagues; banishing from Macedonia the Athenian poet Xenokleides, for having shown hospitality towards them.[970] The original treaty, therefore, remained unaltered.

Hegesippus and his colleagues had gone to Macedonia, not simply to present for Philip’s acceptance the two amendments just indicated, but also to demand from him the restoration of the little island of Halonnesus (near Skiathos), which he had taken since the peace. Philip denied that the island belonged to the Athenians, or that they had any right to make such a demand; affirming that he had taken it, not from them, but from a pirate named Sostratus, who was endangering the navigation of the neighboring sea—and that it now belonged to him. If the Athenians disputed this, he offered to submit the question to arbitration; to restore the island to Athens, should the arbitrators decide against him—or to give it to her, even should they decide in his favor.[971]

Since we know that Philip treated Hegesippus and the other envoys with peculiar harshness, it is probable that the diplomatic argument between them, about Halonnesus as well as about other matters, was conducted with angry feeling on both sides. Hence an island, in itself small and insignificant, became the subject of[p. 448] prolonged altercation for two or three years. When Hegesippus and Demosthenes maintained that Philip had wronged the Athenians about Halonnesus, and that it could only be received from him in restitution of rightful Athenian ownership, not as a gift proprio motu—Æschines and others treated the question with derision, as a controversy about syllables.[972] “Philip (they said) offers to give us Halonnesus. Let us take it, and set the question at rest. What need to care whether he gives it to us, or gives it back to us?” The comic writers made various jests on the same verbal distinction, as though it were a mere silly subtlety. But though party-orators and wits might here find a point to turn or a sarcasm to place, it is certain that well-conducted diplomacy, modern as well as ancient, has been always careful to note the distinction as important. The question here had no reference to capture during war, but during peace. No modern diplomatist will accept restitution of what has been unlawfully taken, if he is called upon to recognize it as gratuitous cession from the captor. The plea of Philip—that he had taken the island, not from Athens, but from the pirate Sostratus—was not a valid excuse, assuming that the island really belonged to Athens. If Sostratus had committed piratical damage, Philip ought to have applied to Athens for redress, which he evidently did not do. It was only in case of redress being refused, that he could be entitled to right himself by force; and even then, it may be doubted whether his taking of the island could give him any right to it against Athens. The Athenians refused his proposition of arbitration; partly because they were satisfied of their own right to the island—partly because they were jealous of admitting Philip to any recognized right of interference with their insular ascendency.[973]

Halonnesus remained under garrison by Philip, forming one among many topics of angry communication by letters and by envoys, between him and Athens—until at length (seemingly about 341 B. C.) the inhabitants of the neighboring island of Peparêthus retook it and carried off his garrison. Upon this proceeding, Philip addressed several remonstrances, both to the Peparethians and to the Athenians. Obtaining no redress, he attacked Peparêthus[p. 449] and took severe revenge upon the inhabitants. The Athenians then ordered their admiral to make reprisals upon him, so that the war, though not yet actually declared, was approaching nearer and nearer towards renewal.[974]

But it was not only in Halonnesus that Athens found herself beset by Philip and the philippizing factions. Even her own frontier on the side towards Bœotia now required constant watching, since the Thebans had been relieved from their Phokian enemies; so that she was obliged to keep garrisons of hoplites at Drymus and Panaktum.[975] In Megara an insurgent party under Perilaus had laid plans for seizing the city through the aid of a body of Philip’s troops, which could easily be sent from the Macedonian army now occupying Phokis, by sea to Pegæ, the Megarian post on the Krissæan Gulf. Apprized of this conspiracy, the Megarian government solicited aid from Athens. Phokion, conducting the Athenian hoplites to Megara with the utmost celerity, assured the safety of the city, and at the same time reëstablished the Long Walls to Nisæa, so as to render it always accessible to Athenians by sea.[976] In Eubœa, the cities of Oreus and Eretria fell into the hands of the philippizing leaders, and became hostile to Athens. In Oreus, the greater part of the citizens were persuaded to second the views of Philip’s chief adherent, Philistides; who prevailed on them to silence the remonstrances, and imprison the person, of the opposing leader Euphræus, as a disturber of the public peace. Philistides then, watching his opportunity, procured the introduction of a body of Macedonian troops, by means of whom he assured to himself the rule of the city as Philip’s instrument; while Euphræus, agonized with grief and alarm, slew himself in prison.[p. 450] At Eretria, Kleitarchus with others carried on the like conspiracy. Having expelled their principal opponents, and refused admission to Athenian envoys, they procured a thousand Macedonian troops under Hipponikus; they thus mastered Eretria itself, and destroyed the fortified seaport called Porthmus, in order to break the easy communication with Athens. Oreus and Eretria are represented by Demosthenes as suffering miserable oppression under these two despots, Philistides and Kleitarchus.[977] On the other hand, Chalkis, the chief city in Eubœa, appears to have been still free, and leaning to Athens rather than to Philip, under the predominant influence of a leading citizen named Kallias.

At this time, it appears, Philip was personally occupied with operations in Thrace; where he passed at least eleven months and probably more,[978] leaving the management of affairs in Eubœa to his commanders in Phokis and Thessaly. He was now seemingly preparing his schemes for mastering the important outlets from the Euxine into the Ægean—the Bosphorus and Hellespont—and the Greek cities on those coasts. Upon these straits depended the main supply of imported corn for Athens and a large part of the Grecian world; and hence the great value of the Athenian possession of the Chersonese.

Respecting this peninsula, angry disputes now arose. To protect her settlers there established, Athens had sent Diopeithes with a body of mercenaries—unprovided with pay, however, and left to levy contributions where they could; while Philip had taken under his protection and garrisoned Kardia—a city situated within the peninsula near its isthmus, but ill-disposed to Athens, asserting independence, and admitted at the peace of 346 B. C., by Æschines and the Athenian envoys, as an ally of Philip to take part in the peace-oaths.[979] In conjunction with the Kardians,[p. 451] Philip had appropriated and distributed lands which the Athenian settlers affirmed to be theirs; and when they complained, he insisted that they should deal with Kardia as an independent city, by reference to arbitration.[980] This they refused, though their envoy Æschines had recognized Kardia as an independent ally of Philip when the peace was sworn.

Here was a state of conflicting pretensions, out of which hostilities were sure to grow. The Macedonian troops overran the Chersonese, while Diopeithes on his side made excursions out of the peninsula, invading portions of Thrace subject to Philip; who sent letters of remonstrance to Athens.[981] While thus complaining at Athens, Philip was at the same time pushing his conquests in Thrace against the Thracian princes Kersobleptes, Teres, and Sitalkes,[982] upon whom the honorary grant of Athenian citizenship had been conferred.

The complaints of Philip, and the speeches of his partisans at Athens, raised a strong feeling against Diopeithes at Athens, so that the people seemed disposed to recall and punish him. It is against this step that Demosthenes protests in his speech on the Chersonese. Both that speech, and his third Philippic were delivered in 341-340 B. C.; seemingly in the last half of 341 B. C. In both, he resumes that energetic and uncompromising tone of hostility towards Philip, which had characterized the first Philippic and the Olynthiacs. He calls upon his countrymen not only to sustain Diopeithes, but also to renew the war vigorously against Philip in every other way. Philip (he says), while pretending in words to keep the peace, had long ago broken it by his acts, and by aggressions in numberless quarters. If Athens chose to imitate him by keeping the peace in name, let her do so; but at any rate, let her imitate him also by prosecuting a strenuous war in reality.[983] Chersonesus, the ancient possession of Athens, could be protected only by encouraging and reinforcing Diopeithes; Byzantium also was sure to become the next object of Philip’s attack, and ought to be preserved, as essential to the interests of[p. 452] Athens, though hitherto the Byzantines had been disaffected towards her. But even these interests, important as they were, must be viewed only as parts of a still more important whole. The Hellenic world altogether was in imminent danger;[984] overridden by Philip’s prodigious military force; torn in pieces by local factions leaning upon his support; and sinking every day into degradation more irrecoverable. There was no hope of rescue for the Hellenic name except from the energetic and well-directed military action of Athens. She must stand forth in all her might and resolution; her citizens must serve in person, pay direct taxes readily, and forego for the time their festival-fund; when they had thus shown themselves ready to bear the real pinch and hardship of the contest, then let them send round envoys to invoke the aid of other Greeks against the common enemy.[985]

Such, in its general tone, is the striking harangue known as the third Philippic. It appears that the Athenians were now coming round more into harmony with Demosthenes than they had ever been before. They perceived,—what the orator had long ago pointed out,—that Philip went on pushing from one acquisition to another, and became only the more dangerous in proportion as others were quiescent. They were really alarmed for the safety of the two important positions of the Hellespont and Bosphorus. From this time to the battle of Chæroneia, the positive influence of Demosthenes in determining the proceedings of his countrymen, becomes very considerable. He had already been employed several times as envoy,—to Peloponnesus (344-343 B. C.), to Ambrakia, Leukas, Korkyra, the Illyrians, and Thessaly. He now moved, first a mission of envoys to Eubœa, where a plan of operations was probably concerted with Kallias and the Chalkidians,—and subsequently, the despatch of a military force to the same island, against Oreus and Eretria.[986] This expedition, commanded by Phokion, was successful. Oreus and Eretria were liberated; Kleitarchus and Philistides, with the Macedonian troops, were expelled from the island, though both in vain tried to propitiate Athens.[987] Kallias, also, with the Chalkidians of Eubœa, and the Megarians, contributed as auxiliaries to this success.[988][p. 453] On his proposition, supported by Demosthenes, the attendance and tribute from deputies of the Euboic cities to the synod at Athens, were renounced; and in place of it was constituted an Euboic synod, sitting at Chalkis; independent of, yet allied with, Athens.[989] In this Euboic synod Kallias was the leading man; forward both as a partisan of Athens and as an enemy of Philip. He pushed his attack beyond the limits of Eubœa to the Gulf of Pagasæ, from whence probably came the Macedonian troops who had formed the garrison of Oreus under Philistides. He here captured several of the towns allied with or garrisoned by Philip; together with various Macedonian vessels, the crews of which he sold as slaves. For these successes the Athenians awarded to him a public vote of thanks.[990] He also employed himself (during the autumn and winter of 341-340 B. C.) in travelling as missionary throughout Peloponnesus, to organize a confederacy against Philip. In that mission he strenuously urged the cities to send deputies to a congress at Athens, in the ensuing month Anthesterion (February), 340 B. C. But though he made flattering announcement at Athens of concurrence and support promised to him, the projected congress came to nothing.[991]

While the important success in Eubœa relieved Athens from anxiety on that side, Demosthenes was sent as envoy to the Chersonese and to Byzantium. He would doubtless encourage Diopeithes, and may perhaps have carried to him some reinforcements. But his services were principally useful at Byzantium.[p. 454] That city had long been badly disposed towards Athens,—from recollections of the Social War, and from jealousy about the dues on corn-ships passing the Bosphorus; moreover, it had been for some time in alliance with Philip; who was now exerting all his efforts to prevail on the Byzantines to join him in active warfare against Athens. So effectively did Demosthenes employ his eloquence, at Byzantium, that he frustrated this purpose, overcame the unfriendly sentiment of the citizens, and brought them to see how much it concerned both their interest and their safety to combine with Athens in resisting the farther preponderance of Philip. The Byzantines, together with their allies and neighbors the Perinthians, contracted alliance with Athens. Demosthenes takes just pride in having achieved for his countrymen this success as a statesman and diplomatist, in spite of adverse probabilities. Had Philip been able to obtain the active coöperation of Byzantium and Perinthus, he would have become master of the corn-supply, and probably of the Hellespont also, so that war in those regions would have become almost impracticable for Athens.[992]

As this unexpected revolution in the policy of Byzantium was eminently advantageous to Athens, so it was proportionally mortifying to Philip; who resented it so much, that he shortly afterwards commenced the siege of Perinthus by land and sea,[993] a little before midsummer 340 B. C. He brought up his fleet through the Hellespont into the Propontis, and protected it in its passage, against the attack of the Athenians in the Chersonese,[994] by causing his land-force to traverse and lay waste that peninsula. This was a violation of Athenian territory, adding one more to the already[p. 455] accumulated causes of war. At the same time, it appears that he now let loose his cruisers against the Athenian merchantmen, many of which he captured and appropriated. These captures, together with the incursions on the Chersonese, served as last additional provocations, working up the minds of the Athenians to a positive declaration of war.[995] Shortly after midsummer 340 B. C., at the beginning of the archonship of Theophrastus, they passed a formal decree[996] to remove the column on which the peace of 346 B. C. stood recorded, and to renew the war openly and explicitly against Philip. It seems probable that this was done while Demosthenes was still absent on his mission at the Hellespont and Bosphorus; for he expressly states that none of the decrees immediately bringing on hostilities were moved by him, but all of them by other citizens;[997] a statement which we may reasonably[p. 456] believe, since he would be rather proud than ashamed of such an initiative.

About the same time, as it would appear, Philip on his side, addressed a manifesto and declaration of war to the Athenians. In this paper he enumerated many wrongs done by them to him, and still remaining unredressed in spite of formal remonstrance; for which wrongs he announced his intention of taking a just revenge by open hostilities.[998] He adverted to the seizure, on Macedonian soil, of Nikias his herald carrying despatches; the Athenians (he alleged) had detained this herald as prisoner for ten months and had read the despatches publicly in their assembly. He complained that Athens had encouraged the inhabitants of Thasos, in harboring triremes from Byzantium and privateers from other quarters, to the annoyance of Macedonian commerce. He dwelt on the aggressive proceedings of Diopeithes in Thrace, and of Kallias in the Gulf of Pagasæ. He denounced the application made by Athens to the Persians for aid against him, as a departure from Hellenic patriotism, and from the Athenian maxims of aforetime. He alluded to the unbecoming intervention of Athens in defence of the Thracian princes Teres and Kersobleptes, neither of them among the sworn partners in the peace, against him; to the protection conferred by Athens on the inhabitants of Peparethus, whom he had punished for hostilities against his garrison in Halonnesus; to the danger incurred by his[p. 457] fleet in sailing up the Hellespont, from the hostilities of the Athenian settlers in the Chersonese, who had coöperated with his enemies the Byzantines, and had rendered it necessary for him to guard the ships by marching a land-force through the Chersonese. He vindicated his own proceedings in aiding his allies the inhabitants of Kardia, complaining that the Athenians had refused to submit their differences with that city to an equitable arbitration. He repelled the Athenian pretensions of right to Amphipolis, asserting his own better right to the place, on all grounds. He insisted especially on the offensive behavior of the Athenians, in refusing, when he had sent envoys conjointly with all his allies, to “conclude a just convention on behalf of the Greeks generally”—“Had you acceded to this proposition (he said), you might have placed out of danger all those who really suspected my purposes, or you might have exposed me publicly as the most worthless of men. It was to the interest of your people to accede, but not to the interest of your orators. To them—as those affirm who know your government best—peace is war, and war, peace; for they always make money at the expense of your generals, either as accusers or as defenders; moreover by reviling in the public assembly your leading citizens at home, and other men of eminence abroad, they acquire with the multitude credit for popular dispositions. It would be easy for me, by the most trifling presents, to silence their invectives and make them trumpet my praises. But I should be ashamed of appearing to purchase your good-will from them.[999]

It is of little moment to verify or appreciate the particular complaints here set forth, even if we had adequate information for the purpose. Under the feeling which had prevailed during the last two years between the Athenians and Philip, we cannot doubt that many detached acts of a hostile character had been committed on their side as well as on his. Philip’s allegation—that he had repeatedly proposed to them amicable adjustment of differences—whether true or not, is little to the purpose. It was greatly to his interest to keep Athens at peace and tranquil, while he established his ascendency everywhere else, and accumu[p. 458]lated a power for ultimate employment such as she would be unable to resist. The Athenians had at length been made to feel, that farther acquiescence in these proceedings would only ensure to them the amount of favor tendered by Polyphemus to Odysseus—that they should be devoured last. But the lecture which he thinks fit to administer both to them and to their popular orators, is little better than insulting derision. It is strange to read encomiums on peace—as if it were indisputably advantageous to the Athenian public, and as if recommendations of war originated only with venal and calumnious orators for their own profit—pronounced by the greatest aggressor and conqueror of his age, whose whole life was passed in war and in the elaborate organization of great military force; and addressed to a people whose leading infirmity then was, an aversion almost unconquerable to the personal hardships and pecuniary sacrifices of effective war. This passage of the manifesto may probably be intended as a theme for Æschines and the other philippizing partisans in the Athenian assembly.

War was now an avowed fact on both sides. At the instigation of Demosthenes and others, the Athenians decreed to equip a naval force, which was sent under Chares to the Hellespont and Propontis.

Meanwhile Philip brought up to the siege of Perinthus an army of thirty thousand men, and a stock of engines and projectiles such as had never before been seen.[1000] His attack on this place was remarkable not only for great bravery and perseverance on both sides, but also for the extended scale of the military operations.[1001] Perinthus was strong and defensible; situated on a[p. 459] promontory terminating in abrupt cliffs southward towards the Propontis, unassailable from seaward, but sloping, though with a steep declivity towards the land, with which it was joined by an isthmus of not more than a furlong in breadth. Across this isthmus stretched the outer wall, behind which were seen the houses of the town, lofty, strongly built, and rising one above the other in terraces up the ascent of the promontory. Philip pressed the place with repeated assaults on the outer wall; battering it with rams, undermining it by sap, and rolling up movable towers said to be one hundred and twenty feet in height (higher even than the towers of the Perinthian wall), so as to chase away the defenders by missiles, and to attempt an assault by boarding-planks hand to hand. The Perinthians, defending themselves with energetic valor, repelled him for a long time from the outer wall. At length the besieging engines, with the reiterated attacks of Macedonian soldiers animated by Philip’s promises, overpowered this wall, and drove them back into the town. It was found, however, that the town itself supplied a new defensible position to its citizens. The lower range of houses, united by strong barricades across the streets, enabled the Perinthians still to hold out. In spite of all their efforts, however, the town would have shared the fate of Olynthus, had they not been sustained by effective foreign aid. Not only did their Byzantine kinsmen exhaust themselves to furnish every sort of assistance by sea, but also the Athenian fleet, and Persian satraps on the Asiatic side of the Propontis, coöperated. A body of Grecian mercenaries under Apollodorus, sent across from Asia by the Phrygian satrap Arsites, together with ample supplies of stores by sea, placed Perinthus in condition to defy the besiegers.[1002]

After a siege which can hardly have lasted less than three months, Philip found all his efforts against Perinthus baffled. He then changed his plan, withdrew a portion of his forces, and suddenly appeared before Byzantium. The walls were strong, but inadequately manned and prepared; much of the Byzantine force being in service at Perinthus. Among several vigorous attacks, Philip contrived to effect a surprise on a dark and stormy[p. 460] night, which was very near succeeding. The Byzantines defended themselves bravely, and even defeated his fleet; but they too were rescued chiefly by foreign aid. The Athenians—now acting under the inspirations of Demosthenes, who exhorted them to bury in a generous oblivion all their past grounds of offence against Byzantium—sent a still more powerful fleet to the rescue, under the vigorous guidance of Phokion[1003] instead of the loose and rapacious Chares. Moreover the danger of Byzantium called forth strenuous efforts from the chief islanders of the Ægean—Chians, Rhodians, Koans, etc., to whom it was highly important that Philip should not become master of the great passage for imported corn into the Grecian seas. The large combined fleet thus assembled was fully sufficient to protect Byzantium.[1004] Compelled to abandon the siege of that city as well as of Perinthus, Philip was farther baffled in an attack on the Chersonese. Phokion not only maintained against him the full security of the Propontis and its adjoining straits, but also gained various advantages over him both by land and sea.[1005]

These operations probably occupied the last six months of 340 B. C. They constituted the most important success gained by Athens, and the most serious reverse experienced by Philip, since the commencement of war between them. Coming as they did immediately after the liberation of Eubœa in the previous year, they materially improved the position of Athens against Philip. Phokion and his fleet not only saved the citizens of Byzantium from all the misery of a capture by Macedonian soldiers, but[p. 461] checked privateering, and protected the trade-ships so efficaciously, that corn became unusually abundant and cheap both at Athens and throughout Greece:[1006] and Demosthenes, as statesman and diplomatist, enjoyed the credit of having converted Eubœa into a friendly and covering neighbor for Athens, instead of being a shelter for Philip’s marauding cruisers—as well as of bringing round Byzantium from the Macedonian alliance to that of Athens, and thus preventing both the Hellespont and the corn-trade from passing into Philip’s hands.[1007] The warmest votes of thanks, together with wreaths in token of gratitude, were decreed to Athens by the public assemblies of Byzantium, Perinthus, and the various towns of the Chersonese;[1008] while the Athenian public assembly also decreed and publicly proclaimed a similar vote of thanks and admiration to Demosthenes. The decree, moved by Aristonikus, was so unanimously popular at the time, that neither Æschines nor any of the other enemies of Demosthenes thought it safe to impeach the mover.[1009]

In the recent military operations, on so large a scale, against Byzantium and Perinthus, Philip had found himself in conflict not merely with Athens, but also with Chians, Rhodians and others; an unusually large muster of confederate Greeks. To break up this confederacy, he found it convenient to propose peace, and to abandon his designs against Byzantium and Perinthus—the point on which the alarm of the confederates chiefly turned. By withdrawing his forces from the Propontis, he was enabled to con[p. 462]clude peace with the Byzantines and most of the maritime Greeks who had joined in relieving them. The combination against him was thus dissolved, though with Athens[1010] and her more intimate allies his naval war still continued. While he multiplied cruisers and privateers to make up by prizes his heavy outlay during the late sieges, he undertook with his land-force an enterprize, during the spring of 339 B. C., against the Scythian king Atheas; whose country, between Mount Hæmus and the Danube, he invaded with success, bringing away as spoil a multitude of youthful slaves of both sexes, as well as cattle. On his return however across Mount Hæmus, he was attacked on a sudden by the Thracian tribe Triballi, and sustained a defeat; losing all his accompanying captives, and being badly wounded through the thigh.[1011] This expedition and its consequences occupied Philip during the spring and summer of 339 B. C.

Meanwhile the naval war of Athens against Philip was more effectively carried on, and her marine better organized, than ever it had been before. This was chiefly owing to an important reform proposed and carried by Demosthenes, immediately on the declaration of war against Philip in the summer of 340 B. C. En[p. 463]joying as he did, now after long public experience, the increased confidence of his fellow-citizens, and being named superintendent of the navy,[1012] he employed his influence not only in procuring energetic interference both as to Eubœa and Byzantium, but also in correcting deep-seated abuses which nullified the efficiency of the Athenian marine department.

The law of Periander (adopted in 357 B. C.) had distributed the burthen of the trierarchy among the twelve hundred richest citizens on the taxable property-schedule, arranged in twenty fractions called Symmories, of sixty persons each. Among these men, the three hundred richest, standing distinguished, as leaders of the Symmories, were invested with the direction and enforcement of all that concerned their collective agency and duties. The purpose of this law had been to transfer the cost of trierarchy—a sum of about forty, fifty or sixty minæ for each trireme, defraying more or less of the outfit—which had originally been borne by a single rich man as his turn came round, and afterwards by two rich men in conjunction—to a partnership more or less numerous, consisting of five, six, or even fifteen or sixteen members of the same symmory. The number of such partners varied according to the number of triremes required by the state to be fitted out in any one year. If only few triremes were required, sixteen contributors might be allotted to defray collectively the trierarchic cost of each: if on the other hand many triremes were needed, a less number of partners, perhaps no more than five or six, could be allotted to each—since the total number of citizens whose turn it was to be assessed in that particular year was fixed. The assessment upon each partner was of course heavier, in proportion as the number of partners assigned to a trireme was smaller. Each member of the partnership, whether it consisted of five, of six, or of sixteen, contributed in equal proportion towards the cost.[1013] The richer members of the partnership thus paid no[p. 464] greater sum than the poorer; and sometimes even evaded any payment of their own, by contracting with some one to discharge the duties of the post, on condition of a total sum not greater than that which they had themselves collected from these poorer members.

According to Demosthenes, the poorer members of these trierarchic symmories were sometimes pressed down almost to ruin by the sums demanded; so that they complained bitterly, and even planted themselves in the characteristic attitude of suppliants at Munychia or elsewhere in the city. When their liabilities to the state were not furnished in time, they became subject to imprisonment by the officers superintending the outfit of the armament In addition to such private hardship, there arose great public mischief from the money not being at once forthcoming; the armament being delayed in its departure, and forced to leave Peiræus either in bad condition or without its full numbers. Hence arose in great part, the ill-success of Athens in her maritime enterprises against Philip, before the peace of 346 B. C.[1014]

[p. 465]

The same influences, which had led originally to the introduction of such abuses, stood opposed to the orator in his attempted amendment. The body of Three Hundred, the richest men in the state—the leader or richest individual in each symmory, with those who stood second or third in order of wealth—employed every effort to throw out the proposition, and tendered large bribes to Demosthenes (if we may credit his assertion) as inducements for dropping it. He was impeached moreover under the Graphê Paranomon, as mover of an unconstitutional or illegal decree. It required no small share of firmness and public spirit, combined with approved eloquence and an established name, to enable Demosthenes to contend against these mighty enemies.

His new law caused the charge of trierarchy to be levied upon all the members of the symmories, or upon all above a certain minimum of property, in proportion to their rated property; but it seems, if we rightly make out, to have somewhat heightened the minimum, so that the aggregate number of persons chargeable was diminished.[1015] Every citizen rated at ten talents was assessed singly for the charge of trierarchy belonging to one trireme; if rated at twenty talents, for the trierarchy of two; at thirty talents, for the trierarchy of three; if above thirty talents, for that of three triremes and a service boat—which was held to be the maximum payable by any single individual. Citizens rated at less than ten talents, were grouped together into ratings of ten talents in the aggregate, in order to bear collectively the trierarchy of one of a trireme; the contributions furnished by[p. 466] each person in the group being proportional to the sum for which he stood rated. This new proposition, while materially relieving the poorer citizens, made large addition to the assessments of the rich. A man rated at twenty talents, who had before been chargeable for only the sixteenth part of the expense of one trierarchy, along with partners much poorer than himself but equally assessed—now became chargeable with the entire expense of two trierarchies. All persons liable were assessed in fair proportion to the sum for which they stood rated in the schedule. When the impeachment against Demosthenes came to be tried before the Dikastery, he was acquitted by more than four-fifths of the Dikasts; so that the accuser was compelled to pay the established fine. And so animated was the temper of the public at that moment, in favor of vigorous measures for prosecuting the war just declared, that they went heartily along with him, and adopted the main features of his trierarchic reform. The resistance from the rich, however, though insufficient to throw out the measure, constrained him to modify it more than once, during the progress of the discussion;[1016] partly in consequence of the opposition of Æschines, whom he accuses of having been hired by the rich for the purpose.[1017] It is deeply to be regretted that the speeches of both[p. 467] of them—especially those of Demosthenes, which must have been numerous—have not been preserved.

Thus were the trierarchic symmories distributed and assessed anew upon each man in the ratio of his wealth, and therefore most largely upon the Three Hundred richest.[1018] How long the law remained unchanged, we do not know. But it was found to work admirably well; and Demosthenes boasts that during the entire war (that is, from the renewal of the war about August 340 B. C., to the battle of Chæroneia in August 338 B. C.) all the trierarchs named under the law were ready in time without complaint or suffering; while the ships, well-equipped and exempt from the previous causes of delay, were found prompt and effective for all exigencies. Not one was either left behind, or lost at sea, throughout these two years.[1019]

Probably the first fruits of the Demosthenic reform in Athenian naval administration, was, the fleet equipped under Phokion, which acted so successfully at and near Byzantium. The operations of Athenians at sea, though not known in detail, appear to have been better conducted and more prosperous in their general effect than they had ever been since the Social War. But there arose now a grave and melancholy dispute in the interior of Greece, which threw her upon her defence by land. This new disturbing cause was nothing less than another Sacred War, declared by the Amphiktyonic assembly against the Lokrians of Amphissa. Kindled chiefly by the Athenian Æschines, it more than compensated Philip for his repulse at Byzantium and his[p. 468] defeat by the Triballi; bringing, like the former Sacred War, aggrandizement to him alone, and ruin to Grecian liberty.

I have recounted, in the fourth volume of this work,[1020] the first Sacred War recorded in Grecian history (590-580 B. C.), about two centuries before the birth of Æschines and Demosthenes. That war had been undertaken by the Amphiktyonic Greeks to punish, and ended by destroying, the flourishing seaport of Kirrha, situated near the mouth of the river Pleistus, on the coast of the fertile plain stretching from the southern declivity of Delphi to the sea. Kirrha was originally the port of Delphi; and of the ancient Phokian town of Krissa, to which Delphi was once an annexed sanctuary.[1021] But in process of time Kirrha increased at the expense of both; through profits accumulated from the innumerable visitors by sea who landed there as the nearest access to the temple. The prosperous Kirrhæans, inspiring jealousy at Delphi and Krissa, were accused of extortion in the tolls levied from visitors, as well as of other guilty or offensive proceedings. An Amphiktyonic war, wherein the Athenian Solon stood prominently forward, being declared against them, Kirrha was taken and destroyed. Its fertile plain was consecrated to the Delphian god, under an oath taken by all the Amphiktyonic members, with solemn pledges and formidable imprecations against all disturbers. The entire space between the temple and the sea now became, as the oracle had required, sacred property of the god; that is, incapable of being tilled, planted, or occupied in any permanent way, by man, and devoted only to spontaneous herbage with pasturing animals.

But though the Delphians thus procured the extirpation of their troublesome neighbors at Kirrha, it was indispensable that on or near the same spot there should exist a town and port, for the accommodation of the guests who came from all quarters to Delphi; the more so, as such persons, not merely visitors, but also traders with goods to sell, now came in greater multitudes than ever, from the increased attractions imparted out of the rich[p. 469] spoils of Kirrha itself, to the Pythian festival. How this want was at first supplied, while the remembrance of the oath was yet fresh, we are not informed. But in process of time Kirrha became reoccupied and refortified by the western neighbors of Delphi—the Lokrians of Amphissa—on whose borders it stood, and for whom probably it served as a port not less than for Delphi. These new occupants received the guests coming to the temple, enriched themselves by the accompanying profit and took into cultivation a certain portion of the plain around the town.[1022]

At what period the occupation by the Lokrians had its origin, we are unable to say. So much however we make out—not merely from Demosthenes, but even from Æschines—that in their time it was an ancient and established occupation—not a recent intrusion or novelty. The town was fortified; the space immediately adjacent being tilled and claimed by the Lokrians as their own.[1023] This indeed was a departure from the oath, sworn by Solon with his Amphiktyonic contemporaries, to consecrate Kirrha and its lands to the Delphian god. But if that oath had been literally carried out, the god himself, and the Delphians among whom he dwelt, would have been the principal losers; because the want of a convenient port would have been a serious discouragement, if not a positive