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´╗┐Title: Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Book IV
Author: Lytton, Edward Bulwer Lytton, Baron
Language: English
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BOOK IV.


FROM THE END OF THE PERSIAN INVASION TO THE DEATH OF CIMON.
B. C. 479--B. C. 449.



CHAPTER I.

Remarks on the Effects of War.--State of Athens.--Interference of
Sparta with respect to the Fortifications of Athens.--Dexterous
Conduct of Themistocles.--The New Harbour of the Piraeus.--Proposition
of the Spartans in the Amphictyonic Council defeated by Themistocles.
--Allied Fleet at Cyprus and Byzantium.--Pausanias.--Alteration in his
Character.--His ambitious Views and Treason.--The Revolt of the
Ionians from the Spartan Command.--Pausanias recalled.--Dorcis
replaces him.--The Athenians rise to the Head of the Ionian League.--
Delos made the Senate and Treasury of the Allies.--Able and prudent
Management of Aristides.--Cimon succeeds to the Command of the Fleet.
--Character of Cimon.--Eion besieged.--Scyros colonized by Atticans.--
Supposed Discovery of the Bones of Theseus.--Declining Power of
Themistocles.--Democratic Change in the Constitution.--Themistocles
ostracised.--Death of Aristides.


I.  It is to the imperishable honour of the French philosophers of the
last century, that, above all the earlier teachers of mankind, they
advocated those profound and permanent interests of the human race
which are inseparably connected with a love of PEACE; that they
stripped the image of WAR of the delusive glory which it took, in the
primitive ages of society, from the passions of savages and the
enthusiasm of poets, and turned our contemplation from the fame of the
individual hero to the wrongs of the butchered millions.  But their
zeal for that HUMANITY, which those free and bold thinkers were the
first to make the vital principle of a philosophical school, led them
into partial and hasty views, too indiscriminately embraced by their
disciples; and, in condemning the evils, they forgot the advantages of
war.  The misfortunes of one generation are often necessary to the
prosperity of another.  The stream of blood fertilizes the earth over
which it flows, and war has been at once the scourge and the civilizer
of the world: sometimes it enlightens the invader, sometimes the
invaded; and forces into sudden and brilliant action the arts and the
virtues that are stimulated by the invention of necessity--matured by
the energy of distress.  What adversity is to individuals, war often
is to nations: uncertain in its consequences, it is true that, with
some, it subdues and crushes, but with others it braces and exalts.
Nor are the greater and more illustrious elements of character in men
or in states ever called prominently forth, without something of that
bitter and sharp experience which hardens the more robust properties
of the mind, which refines the more subtle and sagacious.  Even when
these--the armed revolutions of the world--are most terrible in their
results--destroying the greatness and the liberties of one people--
they serve, sooner or later, to produce a counteracting rise and
progress in the fortunes of another; as the sea here advances, there
recedes, swallowing up the fertilities of this shore to increase the
territories of that; and fulfilling, in its awful and appalling
agency, that mandate of human destinies which ordains all things to be
changed and nothing to be destroyed.  Without the invasion of Persia,
Greece might have left no annals, and the modern world might search in
vain for inspirations from the ancient.

II.  When the deluge of the Persian arms rolled back to its Eastern
bed, and the world was once more comparatively at rest, the continent
of Greece rose visibly and majestically above the rest of the
civilized earth.  Afar in the Latian plains, the infant state of Rome
was silently and obscurely struggling into strength against the
neighbouring and petty states in which the old Etrurian civilization
was rapidly passing to decay.  The genius of Gaul and Germany, yet
unredeemed from barbarism, lay scarce known, save where colonized by
Greeks, in the gloom of its woods and wastes.  The pride of Carthage
had been broken by a signal defeat in Sicily; and Gelo, the able and
astute tyrant of Syracuse, maintained in a Grecian colony the
splendour of the Grecian name.

The ambition of Persia, still the great monarchy of the world, was
permanently checked and crippled; the strength of generations had been
wasted, and the immense extent of the empire only served yet more to
sustain the general peace, from the exhaustion of its forces.  The
defeat of Xerxes paralyzed the East.

Thus Greece was left secure, and at liberty to enjoy the tranquillity
it had acquired, and to direct to the arts of peace the novel and
amazing energies which had been prompted by the dangers and exalted by
the victories of war.

III.  The Athenians, now returned to their city, saw before them the
arduous task of rebuilding its ruins and restoring its wasted lands.
The vicissitudes of the war had produced many silent and internal as
well as exterior changes.  Many great fortunes had been broken; and
the ancient spirit of the aristocracy had received no inconsiderable
shock in the power of new families; the fame of the baseborn and
democratic Themistocles, and the victories which a whole people had
participated, broke up much of the prescriptive and venerable sanctity
attached to ancestral names and to particular families.  This was
salutary to the spirit of enterprise in all classes.  The ambition of
the great was excited to restore, by some active means, their broken
fortunes and decaying influence--the energies of the humbler ranks,
already aroused by their new importance, were stimulated to maintain
and to increase it.  It was the very crisis in which a new direction
might be given to the habits and the character of a whole people; and
to seize all the advantages of that crisis, fate, in Themistocles, had
allotted to Athens a man whose qualities were not only pre-eminently
great in themselves, but peculiarly adapted to the circumstances of
the time.  And, as I have elsewhere remarked, it is indeed the nature
and prerogative of free states to concentrate the popular will into
something of the unity of despotism, by producing, one after another,
a series of representatives of the wants and exigences of the hour--
each leading his generation, but only while he sympathizes with its
will; and either baffling or succeeded by his rivals, not in
proportion as he excels or he is outshone in genius, but as he gives
or ceases to give to the widest range of the legislative power the
most concentrated force of the executive; thus uniting the desires of
the greatest number under the administration of the narrowest possible
control; the constitution popular--the government absolute, but,
responsible.

IV.  In the great events of the late campaign, we have lost sight of
the hero of Salamis [116].  But the Persian war was no sooner ended
than we find Themistocles the most prominent citizen of Athens--a
sufficient proof that his popularity had not yet diminished, and that
his absence from Plataea was owing to no popular caprice or party
triumph.

V.  In the sweeping revenge of Mardonius, even private houses had been
destroyed, excepting those which had served as lodgments for the
Persian nobles [117].  Little of the internal city, less of the
outward walls was spared.  As soon as the barbarians had quitted their
territory, the citizens flocked back with their slaves and families
from the various places of refuge; and the first care was to rebuild
the city.  They were already employed upon this necessary task, when
ambassadors arrived from Sparta, whose vigilant government, ever
jealous of a rival, beheld with no unreasonable alarm the increasing
navy and the growing fame of a people hitherto undeniably inferior to
the power of Lacedaemon.  And the fear that was secretly cherished by
that imperious nation was yet more anxiously nursed by the subordinate
allies [118].  Actuated by their own and the general apprehensions,
the Spartans therefore now requested the Athenians to desist from the
erection of their walls.  Nor was it without a certain grace, and a
plausible excuse, that the government of a city, itself unwalled,
inveighed against the policy of walls for Athens.  The Spartan
ambassadors urged that fortified towns would become strongholds to
the barbarian, should he again invade them; and the walls of Athens
might be no less useful to him than he had found the ramparts of
Thebes.  The Peloponnesus, they asserted, was the legitimate retreat
and the certain resource of all; and, unwilling to appear exclusively
jealous of Athens, they requested the Athenians not only to desist
from their own fortifications, but to join with them in razing every
fortification without the limit of the Peloponnesus.

It required not a genius so penetrating as that of Themistocles to
divine at once the motive of the demand, and the danger of a
peremptory refusal.  He persuaded the Athenians to reply that they
would send ambassadors to debate the affair; and dismissed the
Spartans without further explanation.  Themistocles next recommended
to the senate [119] that he himself might be one of the ambassadors
sent to Sparta, and that those associated with him in the mission (for
it was not the custom of Greece to vest embassies in individuals)
should be detained at Athens until the walls were carried to a height
sufficient, at least, for ordinary defence.  He urged his countrymen
to suspend for this great task the completion of all private edifices
--nay, to spare no building, private or public, from which materials
might be adequately selected.  The whole population, slaves, women,
and children, were to assist in the labour.

VI.  This counsel adopted, he sketched an outline of the conduct he
himself intended to pursue, and departed for Sparta.  His colleagues,
no less important than Aristides, and Abronychus, a distinguished
officer in the late war, were to follow at the time agreed on.

Arrived in the Laconian capital, Themistocles demanded no public
audience, avoided all occasions of opening the questions in dispute,
and screened the policy of delay beneath the excuse that his
colleagues were not yet arrived--that he was incompetent to treat
without their counsel and concurrence--and that doubtless they would
speedily appear in Sparta.

When we consider the shortness of the distance between the states, the
communications the Spartans would receive from the neighbouring
Aeginetans, more jealous than themselves, and the astute and
proverbial sagacity of the Spartan council--it is impossible to
believe that, for so long a period as, with the greatest expedition,
must have elapsed from the departure of Themistocles to the necessary
progress in the fortifications, the ephors could have been ignorant of
the preparations at Athens or the designs of Themistocles.  I fear,
therefore, that we must believe, with Theopompus [120], that
Themistocles, the most expert briber of his time, heightened that
esteem which Thucydides assures us the Spartans bore him, by private
and pecuniary negotiations with the ephors.  At length, however, such
decided and unequivocal intelligence of the progress of the walls
arrived at Sparta, that the ephors could no longer feel or affect
incredulity.

Themistocles met the remonstrances of the Spartans by an appearance of
candour mingled with disdain.  "Why," said he, "give credit to these
idle rumours?  Send to Athens some messengers of your own, in whom you
can confide; let them inspect matters with their own eyes, and report
to you accordingly."

The ephors (not unreluctantly, if the assertion of Theopompus may be
credited) yielded to so plausible a suggestion, and in the mean while
the crafty Athenian despatched a secret messenger to Athens, urging
the government to detain the Spartan ambassadors with as little
semblance of design as possible, and by no means to allow their
departure until the safe return of their own mission to Sparta.  For
it was by no means improbable that, without such hostages, even the
ephors, however powerful and however influenced, might not be enabled,
when the Spartans generally were made acquainted with the deceit
practised upon them, to prevent the arrest of the Athenian delegates.
[121]

At length the walls, continued night and day with incredible zeal and
toil, were sufficiently completed; and disguise, no longer possible,
was no longer useful.  Themistocles demanded the audience he had
hitherto deferred, and boldly avowed that Athens was now so far
fortified as to protect its citizens.  "In future," he added,
haughtily, "when Sparta or our other confederates send ambassadors to
Athens, let them address us as a people well versed in our own
interests and the interests of our common Greece.  When we deserted
Athens for our ships, we required and obtained no Lacedaemonian
succours to support our native valour; in all subsequent measures, to
whom have we shown ourselves inferior, whether in the council or the
field?  At present we have judged it expedient to fortify our city,
rendering it thus more secure for ourselves and our allies.  Nor would
it be possible, with a strength inferior to that of any rival power,
adequately to preserve and equally to adjust the balance of the
liberties of Greece." [122]

Contending for this equality, he argued that either all the cities in
the Lacedaemonian league should be dismantled of their fortresses, or
that it should be conceded, that in erecting fortresses for herself
Athens had rightly acted.

VII.  The profound and passionless policy of Sparta forbade all
outward signs of unavailing and unreasonable resentment.  The
Spartans, therefore, replied with seeming courtesy, that "in their
embassy they had not sought to dictate, but to advise--that their
object was the common good;" and they accompanied their excuses with
professions of friendship for Athens, and panegyrics on the Athenian
valour in the recent war.  But the anger they forbore to show only
rankled the more bitterly within. [123]

The ambassadors of either state returned home; and thus the mingled
firmness and craft of Themistocles, so well suited to the people with
whom he had to deal, preserved his country from the present jealousies
of a yet more deadly and implacable foe than the Persian king, and
laid the foundation of that claim of equality with the most eminent
state of Greece, which he hastened to strengthen and enlarge.

The ardour of the Athenians in their work of fortification had spared
no material which had the recommendation of strength.  The walls
everywhere presented, and long continued to exhibit, an evidence of
the haste in which they were built.  Motley and rough hewn, and
uncouthly piled, they recalled, age after age, to the traveller the
name of the ablest statesman and the most heroic days of Athens.
There, at frequent intervals, would he survey stones wrought in the
rude fashion of former times--ornaments borrowed from the antique
edifices demolished by the Mede--and frieze and column plucked from
dismantled sepulchres; so that even the dead contributed from their
tombs to the defence of Athens.

VIII.  Encouraged by the new popularity and honours which followed the
success of his mission, Themistocles now began to consummate the vast
schemes he had formed, not only for the aggrandizement of his country,
but for the change in the manners of the citizens.  All that is left
to us of this wonderful man proves that, if excelled by others in
austere virtue or in dazzling accomplishment, he stands unrivalled for
the profound and far-sighted nature of his policy.  He seems, unlike
most of his brilliant countrymen, to have been little influenced by
the sallies of impulse or the miserable expediencies of faction--his
schemes denote a mind acting on gigantic systems; and it is
astonishing with what virtuous motives and with what prophetic art he
worked through petty and (individually considered) dishonest means to
grand and permanent results.  He stands out to the gaze of time, the
model of what a great and fortunate statesman should be, so long as
mankind have evil passions as well as lofty virtues, and the state
that he seeks to serve is surrounded by powerful and restless foes,
whom it is necessary to overreach where it is dangerous to offend.

In the year previous to the Persian war, Themistocles had filled the
office of archon [124], and had already in that year planned the
construction of a harbour in the ancient deme of Piraeus [125], for
the convenience of the fleet which Athens had formed.  Late events had
frustrated the continuance of the labour, and Themistocles now
resolved to renew and complete it, probably on a larger and more
elaborate scale.

The port of Phalerun had hitherto been the main harbour of Athens--one
wholly inadequate to the new navy she had acquired; another inlet,
Munychia, was yet more inconvenient.  But equally at hand was the
capacious, though neglected port of Piraeus, so formed by nature as to
permit of a perfect fortification against a hostile fleet.  Of
Piraeus, therefore, Themistocles now designed to construct the most
ample and the most advantageous harbour throughout all Greece.  He
looked upon this task as the foundation of his favourite and most
ambitious project, viz., the securing to Athens the sovereignty of the
sea. [126]

The completion of the port--the increased navy which the construction
of the new harbour would induce--the fame already acquired by Athens
in maritime warfare, encouraging attention to naval discipline and
tactics--proffered a splendid opening to the ambition of a people at
once enterprising and commercial.  Themistocles hoped that the results
of his policy would enable the Athenians to gain over their own
offspring, the Ionian colonies, and by their means to deliver from the
Persian yoke, and permanently attach to the Athenian interest, all the
Asiatic Greeks.  Extending his views, he beheld the various insular
states united to Athens by a vast maritime power, severing themselves
from Lacedaemon, and following the lead of the Attican republic.  He
saw his native city thus supplanting, by a naval force, the long-won
pre-eminence and iron supremacy of Sparta upon land, and so extending
her own empire, while she sapped secretly and judiciously the
authority of the most formidable of her rivals.

IX.  But in the execution of these grand designs Themistocles could
not but anticipate considerable difficulties: first, in the jealousy
of the Spartans; and, secondly, in the popular and long-rooted
prejudices of the Athenians themselves.  Hitherto they had discouraged
maritime affairs, and their more popular leaders had directed
attention to agricultural pursuits.  We may suppose, too, that the
mountaineers, or agricultural party, not the least powerful, would
resist so great advantages to the faction of the coastmen, if
acquainted with all the results which the new policy would produce.
Nor could so experienced a leader of mankind be insensible of those
often not insalutary consequences of a free state in the changing
humours of a wide democracy--their impatience at pecuniary demands--
their quick and sometimes uncharitable apprehensions of the motives of
their advisers.  On all accounts it was necessary, therefore, to act
with as much caution as the task would admit--rendering the design
invidious neither to foreign nor to domestic jealousies.  Themistocles
seemed to have steered his course through every difficulty with his
usual address.  Stripping the account of Diodorus [127] of its
improbable details, it appears credible at least that Themistocles
secured, in the first instance, the co-operation of Xanthippus and
Aristides, the heads of the great parties generally opposed to his
measures, and that he won the democracy to consent that the outline of
his schemes should not be submitted to the popular assembly, but to
the council of Five Hundred.  It is perfectly clear, however, that, as
soon as the plan was carried into active operation, the Athenians
could not, as Diodorus would lead us to suppose, have been kept in
ignorance of its nature; and all of the tale of Diodorus to which we
can lend our belief is, that the people permitted the Five Hundred to
examine the project, and that the popular assembly ratified the
approbation of that senate without inquiring the reasons upon which it
was founded.

X.  The next care of Themistocles was to anticipate the jealousy of
Sparta, and forestall her interference.  According to Diodorus, he
despatched, therefore, ambassadors to Lacedaemon, representing the
advantages of forming a port which might be the common shelter of
Greece should the barbarian renew his incursions; but it is so obvious
that Themistocles could hardly disclose to Sparta the very project he
at first concealed from the Athenians, that while we may allow the
fact that Themistocles treated with the Spartans, we must give him
credit, at least, for more crafty diplomacy than that ascribed to him
by Diodorus [128].  But whatever the pretexts with which he sought to
amuse or beguile the Spartan government, they appear at least to have
been successful.  And the customary indifference of the Spartans
towards maritime affairs was strengthened at this peculiar time by
engrossing anxieties as to the conduct of Pausanias.  Thus
Themistocles, safe alike from foreign and from civil obstacles,
pursued with activity the execution of his schemes.  The Piraeus was
fortified by walls of amazing thickness, so as to admit two carts
abreast.  Within, the entire structure was composed of solid masonry,
hewn square, so that each stone fitted exactly, and was further
strengthened on the outside by cramps of iron.  The walls were never
carried above half the height originally proposed.  But the whole was
so arranged as to form a fortress against assault, too fondly deemed
impregnable, and to be adequately manned by the smallest possible
number of citizens; so that the main force might, in time of danger,
be spared to the fleet.

Thus Themistocles created a sea-fortress more important than the city
itself, conformably to the advice he frequently gave to the Athenians,
that, if hard pressed by land, they should retire to this arsenal, and
rely, against all hostilities, on their naval force. [129]

The new port, which soon bore the ambitious title of the Lower City,
was placed under the directions of Hippodamus, a Milesian, who,
according to Aristotle [130], was the first author who, without any
knowledge of practical affairs, wrote upon the theory of government.
Temples [131], a market-place, even a theatre, distinguished and
enriched the new town.  And the population that filled it were not
long before they contracted and established a character for themselves
different in many traits and attributes from the citizens of the
ancient Athens--more bold, wayward, innovating, and tumultuous.

But if Sparta deemed it prudent, at present, to avoid a direct
assumption of influence over Athens, her scheming councils were no
less bent, though by indirect and plausible means, to the extension of
her own power.  To use the simile applied to one of her own chiefs,
where the lion's skin fell short, she sought to eke it by the fox's.

At the assembly of the Amphictyons, the Lacedaemonian delegates moved
that all those states who had not joined in the anti-Persic
confederacy should be expelled the council.  Under this popular and
patriotic proposition was sagaciously concealed the increase of the
Spartan authority; for had the Thessalians, Argives, and Thebans
(voices ever counter to the Lacedaemonians) been expelled the
assembly, the Lacedaemonian party would have secured the preponderance
of votes, and the absolute dictation of that ancient council. [132]

But Themistocles, who seemed endowed with a Spartan sagacity for the
foiling the Spartan interests, resisted the proposition by arguments
no less popular.  He represented to the delegates that it was unjust
to punish states for the errors of their leaders--that only thirty-one
cities had contributed to the burden of the war, and many of those
inconsiderable--that it was equally dangerous and absurd to exclude
from the general Grecian councils the great proportion of the Grecian
states.

The arguments of Themistocles prevailed, but his success stimulated
yet more sharply against him the rancour of the Lacedaemonians; and,
unable to resist him abroad, they thenceforth resolved to undermine
his authority at home.

XI.  While, his danger invisible, Themistocles was increasing with his
own power that of the state, the allies were bent on new enterprises
and continued retribution.  From Persia, now humbled and exhausted, it
was the moment to wrest the Grecian towns, whether in Europe or in
Asia, over which she yet arrogated dominion--it was resolved,
therefore, to fit out a fleet, to which the Peloponnesus contributed
twenty and Athens thirty vessels.  Aristides presided over the latter;
Pausanias was commander-in-chief; many other of the allies joined the
expedition.  They sailed to Cyprus, and reduced with ease most of the
towns in that island.  Thence proceeding to Byzantium, the main
strength and citadel of Persia upon those coasts, and the link between
her European and Asiatic dominions, they blockaded the town and
ultimately carried it.

But these foreign events, however important in themselves, were
trifling in comparison with a revolution which accompanied them, and
which, in suddenly raising Athens to the supreme command of allied
Greece, may be regarded at once as the author of the coming greatness
--and the subsequent reverses--of that republic.

XII.  The habits of Sparta--austere, stern, unsocial--rendered her
ever more effectual in awing foes than conciliating allies; and the
manners of the soldiery were at this time not in any way redeemed or
counterbalanced by those of the chief.  Since the battle of Plataea a
remarkable change was apparent in Pausanias.  Glory had made him
arrogant, and sudden luxury ostentatious.  He had graven on the golden
tripod, dedicated by the confederates to the Delphic god, an
inscription, claiming exclusively to himself, as the general of the
Grecian army, the conquest of the barbarians--an egotism no less at
variance with the sober pride of Sparta, than it was offensive to the
just vanity of the allies.  The inscription was afterward erased by
the Spartan government, and another, citing only the names of the
confederate cities, and silent as to that of Pausanias, was
substituted in its place.

XIII.  To a man of this arrogance, and of a grasping and already
successful ambition, circumstances now presented great and
irresistible temptation.  Though leader of the Grecian armies, he was
but the uncle and proxy of the young Spartan king--the time must come
when his authority would cease, and the conqueror of the superb
Mardonius sink into the narrow and severe confines of a Spartan
citizen.  Possessed of great talents and many eminent qualities, they
but served the more to discontent him with the limits of their
legitimate sphere and sterility of the Spartan life.  And this
discontent, operating on a temper naturally haughty, evinced itself in
a manner rude, overbearing, and imperious, which the spirit of his
confederates was ill calculated to suffer or forgive.

But we can scarcely agree with the ancient historians in attributing
the ascendency of the Athenians alone, or even chiefly, to the conduct
of Pausanias.  The present expedition was naval, and the greater part
of the confederates at Byzantium were maritime powers.  The superior
fleet and the recent naval glories of the Athenians could not fail to
give them, at this juncture, a moral pre-eminence over the other
allies; and we shall observe that the Ionians, and those who had
lately recovered their freedom from the Persian yoke [133], were
especially desirous to exchange the Spartan for the Athenian command.
Connected with the Athenians by origin--by maritime habits--by a
kindred suavity and grace of temperament--by the constant zeal of the
Athenians for their liberties (which made, indeed, the first cause of
the Persian war)--it was natural that the Ionian Greeks should prefer
the standard of Athens to that of a Doric state; and the proposition
of the Spartans (baffled by the Athenian councils) to yield up the
Ionic settlements to the barbarians, could not but bequeath a lasting
resentment to those proud and polished colonies.

XIV.  Aware of the offence he had given, and disgusted himself alike
with his allies and his country, the Spartan chief became driven by
nature and necessity to a dramatic situation, which a future Schiller
may perhaps render yet more interesting than the treason of the
gorgeous Wallenstein, to whose character that of Pausanias has been
indirectly likened [134].  The capture of Byzantium brought the
Spartan regent into contact with many captured and noble Persians
[135], among whom were some related to Xerxes himself.  With these
conversing, new and dazzling views were opened to his ambition.  He
could not but recall the example of Demaratus, whose exile from the
barren dignities of Sparta had procured him the luxuries and the
splendour of oriental pomp, with the delegated authority of three of
the fairest cities of Aeolia.  Greater in renown than Demaratus, he
was necessarily more aspiring in his views.  Accordingly, he privately
released his more exalted prisoners, pretending they had escaped, and
finally explained whatever messages he had intrusted by them to
Xerxes, in a letter to the king, confided to an Eretrian named
Gongylus, who was versed in the language and the manners of Persia,
and to whom he had already deputed the government of Byzantium.  In
this letter Pausanias offered to assist the king in reducing Sparta
and the rest of Greece to the Persian yoke, demanding, in recompense,
the hand of the king's daughter, with an adequate dowry of possessions
and of power.

XV.  The time had passed when a Persian monarch could deride the
loftiness of a Spartan's pretensions--Xerxes received the
communications with delight, and despatched Artabazus to succeed
Megabates in Phrygia, and to concert with the Spartan upon the means
whereby to execute their joint design [136].  But while Pausanias was
in the full flush of his dazzled and grasping hopes, his fall was at
hand.  Occupied with his new projects, his natural haughtiness
increased daily.  He never accosted the officers of the allies but
with abrupt and overbearing insolence; he insulted the military pride
by sentencing many of the soldiers to corporeal chastisement, or to
stand all day with an iron anchor on their shoulders [137].  He
permitted none to seek water, forage, or litter, until the Spartans
were first supplied--those who attempted it were driven away by rods.
Even Aristides, seeking to remonstrate, was repulsed rudely.  "I am
not at leisure," said the Spartan, with a frown. [138]

Complaints of this treatment were despatched to Sparta, and in the
mean while the confederates, especially the officers of Chios, Samos,
and Lesbos, pressed Aristides to take on himself the general command,
and protect them from the Spartan's insolence.  The Athenian artfully
replied, that he saw the necessity of the proposition, but that it
ought first to be authorized by some action which would render it
impossible to recede from the new arrangement once formed.

The hint was fiercely taken; and a Samian and a Chian officer,
resolving to push matters to the extreme, openly and boldly attacked
the galley of Pausanias himself at the head of the fleet.
Disregarding his angry menaces, now impotent, this assault was
immediately followed up by a public transfer of allegiance; and the
aggressors, quitting the Spartan, arrayed themselves under the
Athenian, banners.  Whatever might have been the consequences of this
insurrection were prevented by the sudden recall of Pausanias.  The
accusations against him had met a ready hearing in Sparta, and that
watchful government had already received intimation of his intrigues
with the Mede.  On his arrival in Sparta, Pausanias was immediately
summoned to trial, convicted in a fine for individual and private
misdemeanours, but acquitted of the principal charge of treason with
the Persians--not so much from the deficiency as from the abundance of
proof [139]; and it was probably prudent to avoid, if possible, the
scandal which the conviction of the general might bring upon the
nation.

The Spartans sent Dorcis, with some colleagues, to replace Pausanias
in the command; but the allies were already too disgusted with the
yoke of that nation to concede it.  And the Athenian ascendency was
hourly confirmed by the talents, the bearing, and the affable and
gracious manners of Aristides.  With him was joined an associate of
high hereditary name and strong natural abilities, whose character it
will shortly become necessary to place in detail before the reader.
This comate was no less a person than Cimon, the son of the great
Miltiades.

XVI.  Dorcis, finding his pretensions successfully rebutted, returned
home; and the Spartans, never prone to foreign enterprise, anxious for
excuses to free themselves from prosecuting further the Persian war,
and fearful that renewed contentions might only render yet more
unpopular the Spartan name, sent forth no fresh claimants to the
command; they affected to yield that honour, with cheerful content, to
the Athenians.  Thus was effected without a blow, and with the
concurrence of her most dreaded rival, that eventful revolution, which
suddenly raised Athens, so secondary a state before the Persian war,
to the supremacy over Greece.  So much, when nations have an equal
glory, can the one be brought to surpass the other (B. C. 477) by the
superior wisdom of individuals.  The victory of Plataea was won
principally by Sparta, then at the head of Greece.  And the general
who subdued the Persians surrendered the results of his victory to the
very ally from whom the sagacious jealousy of his countrymen had
sought most carefully to exclude even the precautions of defence!

XVII.  Aristides, now invested with the command of all the allies,
save those of the Peloponnesus who had returned home, strengthened the
Athenian power by every semblance of moderation.

Hitherto the Grecian confederates had sent their deputies to the
Peloponnesus.  Aristides, instead of naming Athens, which might have
excited new jealousies, proposed the sacred Isle of Delos, a spot
peculiarly appropriate, since it once had been the navel of the Ionian
commerce, as the place of convocation and the common treasury: the
temple was to be the senate house.  A new distribution of the taxes
levied on each state, for the maintenance of the league, was ordained.
The objects of the league were both defensive and offensive; first, to
guard the Aegaean coasts and the Grecian Isles; and, secondly, to
undertake measures for the further weakening of the Persian power.
Aristides was elected arbitrator in the relative proportions of the
general taxation.  In this office, which placed the treasures of
Greece at his disposal, he acted with so disinterested a virtue, that
he did not even incur the suspicion of having enriched himself, and
with so rare a fortune that he contented all the allies.  The total,
raised annually, and with the strictest impartiality, was four hundred
and sixty talents (computed at about one hundred and fifteen thousand
pounds).

Greece resounded with the praises of Aristides; it was afterward
equally loud in reprobation of the avarice of the Athenians.  For with
the appointment of Aristides commenced the institution of officers
styled Hellenotamiae, or treasurers of Greece; they became a permanent
magistracy--they were under the control of the Athenians; and thus
that people were made at once the generals and the treasurers of
Greece.  But the Athenians, unconscious as yet of the power they had
attained--their allies yet more blind--it seemed now, that the more
the latter should confide, the more the former should forbear.  So do
the most important results arise from causes uncontemplated by the
providence of statesmen, and hence do we learn a truth which should
never be forgotten--that that power is ever the most certain of
endurance and extent, the commencement of which is made popular by
moderation.

XVIII.  Thus, upon the decay of the Isthmian Congress, rose into
existence the great Ionian league; and thus was opened to the ambition
of Athens the splendid destiny of the empire of the Grecian seas.  The
pre-eminence of Sparta passed away from her, though invisibly and
without a struggle, and, retiring within herself, she was probably
unaware of the decline of her authority; still seeing her
Peloponnesian allies gathering round her, subordinate and submissive,
and, by refusing assistance, refusing also allegiance to the new queen
of the Ionian league.  His task fulfilled, Aristides probably returned
to Athens, and it was at this time and henceforth that it became his
policy to support the power of Cimon against the authority of
Themistocles [140].  To that eupatrid, joined before with himself, was
now intrusted the command of the Grecian fleet.

To great natural abilities, Cimon added every advantage of birth and
circumstance.  His mother was a daughter of Olorus, a Thracian prince;
his father the great Miltiades.  On the death of the latter, it is
recorded, and popularly believed, that Cimon, unable to pay the fine
to which Miltiades was adjudged, was detained in custody until a
wealthy marriage made by his sister Elpinice, to whom he was tenderly,
and ancient scandal whispered improperly, attached, released him from
confinement, and the brother-in-law paid the debt.  "Thus severe and
harsh," says Nepos, "was his entrance upon manhood." [141]  But it is
very doubtful whether Cimon was ever imprisoned for the state-debt
incurred by his father--and his wealth appears to have been
considerable even before he regained his patrimony in the Chersonese,
or enriched himself with the Persian spoils. [142]

In early youth, like Themistocles, his conduct had been wild and
dissolute [143]; and with his father from a child, he had acquired,
with the experience, something of the license, of camps.  Like
Themistocles also, he was little skilled in the graceful
accomplishments of his countrymen; he cultivated neither the art of
music, nor the brilliancies of Attic conversation; but power and
fortune, which ever soften nature, afterward rendered his habits
intellectual and his tastes refined.  He had not the smooth and artful
affability of Themistocles, but to a certain roughness of manner was
conjoined that hearty and ingenuous frankness which ever conciliates
mankind, especially in free states, and which is yet more popular when
united to rank.  He had distinguished himself highly by his zeal in
the invasion of the Medes, and the desertion of Athens for Salamis;
and his valour in the seafight had confirmed the promise of his
previous ardour.  Nature had gifted him with a handsome countenance
and a majestic stature, recommendations in all, but especially in
popular states--and the son of Miltiades was welcomed, not less by the
people than by the nobles, when he applied for a share in the
administration of the state.  Associated with Aristides, first in the
embassy to Sparta, and subsequently in the expeditions to Cyprus and
Byzantium, he had profited by the friendship and the lessons of that
great man, to whose party he belonged, and who saw in Cimon a less
invidious opponent than himself to the policy or the ambition of
Themistocles.

By the advice of Aristides, Cimon early sought every means to
conciliate the allies, and to pave the way to the undivided command he
afterward obtained.  And it is not improbable that Themistocles might
willingly have ceded to him the lead in a foreign expedition, which
removed from the city so rising and active an opponent.  The
appointment of Cimon promised to propitiate the Spartans, who ever
possessed a certain party in the aristocracy of Athens--who peculiarly
affected Cimon, and whose hardy character and oligarchical policy the
blunt genius and hereditary prejudices of that young noble were well
fitted to admire and to imitate.  Cimon was, in a word, precisely the
man desired by three parties as the antagonist of Themistocles; viz.,
the Spartans, the nobles, and Aristides, himself a host.  All things
conspired to raise the son of Miltiades to an eminence beyond his
years, but not his capacities.

XIX.  Under Cimon the Athenians commenced their command [144], by
marching against a Thracian town called Eion, situated on the banks of
the river Strymon, and now garrisoned by a Persian noble.  The town
was besieged (B. C. 476), and the inhabitants pressed by famine, when
the Persian commandant, collecting his treasure upon a pile of wood,
on which were placed his slaves, women, and children--set fire to the
pile [145].  After this suicide, seemingly not an uncommon mode of
self-slaughter in the East, the garrison surrendered, and its
defenders, as usual in such warfare, were sold for slaves.

From Eion the victorious confederates proceeded to Scyros, a small
island in the Aegean, inhabited by the Dolopians, a tribe addicted to
piratical practices, deservedly obnoxious to the traders of the
Aegean, and who already had attracted the indignation and vengeance of
the Amphictyonic assembly.  The isle occupied, and the pirates
expelled, the territory was colonized by an Attic population.

An ancient tradition had, as we have seen before, honoured the soil of
Scyros with the possession of the bones of the Athenian Theseus--some
years after the conquest of the isle, in the archonship of Aphepsion
[146], or Apsephion, an oracle ordained the Athenians to search for
the remains of their national hero, and the skeleton of a man of great
stature, with a lance of brass and a sword by its side was discovered,
and immediately appropriated to Theseus.  The bones were placed with
great ceremony in the galley of Cimon, who was then probably on a
visit of inspection to the new colony, and transported to Athens.
Games were instituted in honour of this event, at which were exhibited
the contests of the tragic poets; and, in the first of these,
Sophocles is said to have made his earliest appearance, and gained the
prize from Aeschylus (B. C. 469).

XXI.  It is about the period of Cimon's conquest of Eion and Scyros
(B. C. 476) that we must date the declining power of Themistocles.
That remarkable man had already added, both to domestic and to Spartan
enmities, the general displeasure of the allies.  After baffling the
proposition of the Spartans to banish from the Amphictyonic assembly
the states that had not joined in the anti-Persic confederacy, he had
sailed round the isles and extorted money from such as had been guilty
of Medising: the pretext might be just, but the exactions were
unpopularly levied.  Nor is it improbable that the accusations against
him of enriching his own coffers as well as the public treasury had
some foundation.  Profoundly disdaining money save as a means to an
end, he was little scrupulous as to the sources whence he sustained a
power which he yet applied conscientiously to patriotic purposes.
Serving his country first, he also served himself; and honest upon one
grand and systematic principle, he was often dishonest in details.

His natural temper was also ostentatious; like many who have risen
from an origin comparatively humble, he had the vanity to seek to
outshine his superiors in birth--not more by the splendour of genius
than by the magnificence of parade.  At the Olympic games, the
base-born son of Neocles surpassed the pomp of the wealthy and
illustrious Cimon; his table was hospitable, and his own life soft and
luxuriant [147]; his retinue numerous beyond those of his
contemporaries; and he adopted the manners of the noble exactly in
proportion as he courted the favour of the populace.  This habitual
ostentation could not fail to mingle with the political hostilities of
the aristocracy the disdainful jealousies of offended pride; for it is
ever the weakness of the high-born to forgive less easily the being
excelled in genius than the being outshone in state by those of inferior
origin.  The same haughtiness which offended the nobles began also to
displease the people; the superb consciousness of his own merits wounded
the vanity of a nation which scarcely permitted its greatest men to
share the reputation it arrogated to itself.  The frequent calumnies
uttered against him obliged Themistocles to refer to the actions he had
performed; and what it had been illustrious to execute, it became
disgustful to repeat.  "Are you weary," said the great man, bitterly,
"to receive benefits often from the same hand?" [148]  He offended the
national conceit yet more by building, in the neighbourhood of his own
residence, a temple to Diana, under the name of Aristobule, or "Diana of
the best counsel;" thereby appearing to claim to himself the merit of
giving the best counsels.

It is probable, however, that Themistocles would have conquered all
party opposition, and that his high qualities would have more than
counterbalanced his defects in the eyes of the people, if he had still
continued to lead the popular tide.  But the time had come when the
demagogue was outbid by an aristocrat--when the movement he no longer
headed left him behind, and the genius of an individual could no
longer keep pace with the giant strides of an advancing people.

XXII.  The victory at Salamis was followed by a democratic result.
That victory had been obtained by the seamen, who were mostly of the
lowest of the populace--the lowest of the populace began, therefore,
to claim, in political equality, the reward of military service.  And
Aristotle, whose penetrating intellect could not fail to notice the
changes which an event so glorious to Greece produced in Athens, has
adduced a similar instance of change at Syracuse, when the mariners of
that state, having, at a later period, conquered the Athenians,
converted a mixed republic to a pure democracy.  The destruction of
houses and property by Mardonius--the temporary desertion by the
Athenians of their native land--the common danger and the common
glory, had broken down many of the old distinctions, and the spirit of
the nation was already far more democratic than the constitution.
Hitherto, qualifications of property were demanded for the holding of
civil offices.  But after the battle of Plataea, Aristides, the leader
of the aristocratic party, proposed and carried the abolition of such
qualifications, allowing to all citizens, with or without property, a
share in the government, and ordaining that the archons should be
chosen out of the whole body; the form of investigation as to moral
character was still indispensable.  This change, great as it was,
appears, like all aristocratic reforms, to have been a compromise
[149] between concession and demand.  And the prudent Aristides
yielded what was inevitable, to prevent the greater danger of
resistance.  It may be ever remarked, that the people value more a
concession from the aristocratic party than a boon from their own
popular leaders.  The last can never equal, and the first can so
easily exceed, the public expectation.

XXIII.  This decree, uniting the aristocratic with the more democratic
party, gave Aristides and his friends an unequivocal ascendency over
Themistocles, which, however, during the absence of Aristides and
Cimon, and the engrossing excitement of events abroad, was not plainly
visible for some years; and although, on his return to Athens,
Aristides himself prudently forbore taking an active part against his
ancient rival, he yet lent all the influence of his name and
friendship to the now powerful and popular Cimon.  The victories, the
manners, the wealth, the birth of the son of Miltiades were supported
by his talents and his ambition.  It was obvious to himself and to his
party that, were Themistocles removed, Cimon would become the first
citizen of Athens.

XXIV.  Such were the causes that long secretly undermined, that at
length openly stormed, the authority of the hero of Salamis; and at
this juncture we may conclude, that the vices of his character avenged
themselves on the virtues.  His duplicity and spirit of intrigue,
exercised on behalf of his country, it might be supposed, would
hereafter be excited against it.  And the pride, the ambition, the
craft that had saved the people might serve to create a despot.

Themistocles was summoned to the ordeal of the ostracism and condemned
by the majority of suffrages (B. C. 471).  Thus, like Aristides, not
punished for offences, but paying the honourable penalty of rising by
genius to that state of eminence which threatens danger to the
equality of republics.

He departed from Athens, and chose his refuge at Argos, whose hatred
to Sparta, his deadliest foe, promised him the securest protection.

XXV.  Death soon afterward removed Aristides from all competitorship
with Cimon; according to the most probable accounts, he died at
Athens; and at the time of Plutarch his monument was still to be seen
at Phalerum.  His countrymen, who, despite all plausible charges, were
never ungrateful except where their liberties appeared imperilled
(whether rightly or erroneously our documents are too scanty to
prove), erected his monument at the public charge, portioned his three
daughters, and awarded to his son Lysimachus a grant of one hundred
minae of silver, a plantation of one hundred plethra [150] of land,
and a pension of four drachmae a day (double the allowance of an
Athenian ambassador).



CHAPTER II.

Popularity and Policy of Cimon.--Naxos revolts from the Ionian
League.--Is besieged by Cimon.--Conspiracy and Fate of Pausanias.--
Flight and Adventures of Themistocles.--His Death.


I.  The military abilities and early habits of Cimon naturally
conspired with past success to direct his ambition rather to warlike
than to civil distinctions.  But he was not inattentive to the arts
which were necessary in a democratic state to secure and confirm his
power.  Succeeding to one, once so beloved and ever so affable as
Themistocles, he sought carefully to prevent all disadvantageous
contrast.  From the spoils of Byzantium and Sestos he received a vast
addition to his hereditary fortunes.  And by the distribution of his
treasures, he forestalled all envy at their amount.  He threw open his
gardens to the public, whether foreigners or citizens--he maintained a
table to which men of every rank freely resorted, though probably
those only of his own tribe [151]--he was attended by a numerous
train, who were ordered to give mantles to what citizen soever--aged
and ill-clad--they encountered; and to relieve the necessitous by aims
delicately and secretly administered.  By these artful devices he
rendered himself beloved, and concealed the odium of his politics
beneath the mask of his charities.  For while he courted the favour,
he advanced not the wishes, of the people.  He sided with the
aristocratic party, and did not conceal his attachment to the
oligarchy of Sparta.  He sought to content the people with himself, in
order that he might the better prevent discontent with their position.
But it may be doubted whether Cimon did not, far more than any of his
predecessors, increase the dangers of a democracy by vulgarizing its
spirit.  The system of general alms and open tables had the effect
that the abuses of the Poor Laws [152] have had with us.  It
accustomed the native poor to the habits of indolent paupers, and what
at first was charity soon took the aspect of a right.  Hence much of
the lazy turbulence, and much of that licentious spirit of exaction
from the wealthy, that in a succeeding age characterized the mobs of
Athens.  So does that servile generosity, common to an anti-popular
party, when it affects kindness in order to prevent concession,
ultimately operate against its own secret schemes.  And so much less
really dangerous is it to exalt, by constitutional enactments, the
authority of a people, than to pamper, by the electioneering
cajoleries of a selfish ambition, the prejudices which thus settle
into vices, or the momentary exigences thus fixed into permanent
demands.

II.  While the arts or manners of Cimon conciliated the favour, his
integrity won the esteem, of the people.  In Aristides he found the
example, not more of his aristocratic politics than of his lofty
honour.  A deserter from Persia, having arrived at Athens with great
treasure, and being harassed by informers, sought the protection of
Cimon by gifts of money.

"Would you have me," said the Athenian, smiling, "your mercenary or
your friend?"

"My friend!" replied the barbarian.

"Then take back your gifts." [153]

III.  In the mean while the new ascendency of Athens was already
endangered.  The Carystians in the neighbouring isle of Euboea openly
defied her fleet, and many of the confederate states, seeing
themselves delivered from all immediate dread of another invasion of
the Medes, began to cease contributions both to the Athenian navy and
the common treasury.  For a danger not imminent, service became
burdensome and taxation odious.  And already some well-founded
jealousy of the ambition of Athens increased the reluctance to augment
her power.  Naxos was the first island that revolted from the
conditions of the league, and thither Cimon, having reduced the
Carystians, led a fleet numerous and well equipped.

Whatever the secret views of Cimon for the aggrandizement of his
country, he could not but feel himself impelled by his own genius and
the popular expectation not lightly to forego that empire of the sea,
rendered to Athens by the profound policy of Themistocles and the
fortunate prudence of Aristides; and every motive of Grecian, as well
as Athenian, policy justified the subjugation of the revolters--an
evident truth in the science of state policy, but one somewhat hastily
lost sight of by those historians who, in the subsequent and
unlooked-for results, forgot the necessity of the earlier enterprise.
Greece had voluntarily intrusted to Athens the maritime command of the
confederate states.  To her, Greece must consequently look for no
diminution of the national resources committed to her charge; to her,
that the conditions of the league were fulfilled, and the common
safety of Greece ensured.  Commander of the forces, she was answerable
for the deserters.  Nor, although Persia at present remained tranquil
and inert, could the confederates be considered safe from her revenge.
No compact of peace had been procured.  The more than suspected
intrigues of Xerxes with Pausanias were sufficient proofs that the
great king did not yet despair of the conquest of Greece.  And the
peril previously incurred in the want of union among the several
states was a solemn warning not to lose the advantages of that league,
so tardily and so laboriously cemented.  Without great dishonour and
without great imprudence, Athens could not forego the control with
which she had been invested; if it were hers to provide the means, it
was hers to punish the defaulters; and her duty to Greece thus
decorously and justly sustained her ambition for herself.

IV.  And now it is necessary to return to the fortunes of Pausanias,
involving in their fall the ruin of one of far loftier virtues and
more unequivocal renown.  The recall of Pausanias, the fine inflicted
upon him, his narrow escape from a heavier sentence, did not suffice
to draw him, intoxicated as he was with his hopes and passions, from
his bold and perilous intrigues.  It is not improbable that his mind
was already tainted with a certain insanity [154].  And it is a
curious physiological fact, that the unnatural constraints of Sparta,
when acting on strong passions and fervent imaginations, seem, not
unoften, to have produced a species of madness.  An anecdote is
recorded [155], which, though romantic, is not perhaps wholly
fabulous, and which invests with an interest yet more dramatic the
fate of the conqueror of Plataea.

At Byzantium, runs the story, he became passionately enamoured of a
young virgin named Cleonice.  Awed by his power and his sternness, the
parents yielded her to his will.  The modesty of the maiden made her
stipulate that the room might be in total darkness when she stole to
his embraces.  But unhappily, on entering, she stumbled against the
light, and the Spartan, asleep at the time, imagined, in the confusion
of his sudden waking, that the noise was occasioned by one of his
numerous enemies seeking his chamber with the intent to assassinate
him.  Seizing the Persian cimeter [156] that lay beside him, he
plunged it in the breast of the intruder, and the object of his
passion fell dead at his feet.  "From that hour," says the biographer,
"he could rest no more!"  A spectre haunted his nights--the voice of
the murdered girl proclaimed doom to his ear.  It is added, and, if we
extend our belief further, we must attribute the apparition to the
skill of the priests, that, still tortured by the ghost of Cleonice,
he applied to those celebrated necromancers who, at Heraclea [157],
summoned by gloomy spells the manes of the dead, and by their aid
invoked the spirit he sought to appease.  The shade of Cleonice
appeared and told him, "that soon after his return to Sparta he would
be delivered from all his troubles." [158]

Such was the legend repeated, as Plutarch tells us, by many
historians; the deed itself was probable, and conscience, even without
necromancy, might supply the spectre.

V.  Whether or not this story have any foundation in fact, the conduct
of Pausanias seems at least to have partaken of that inconsiderate
recklessness which, in the ancient superstition, preceded the
vengeance of the gods.  After his trial he had returned to Byzantium,
without the consent of the Spartan government.  Driven thence by the
resentment of the Athenians [159], he repaired, not to Sparta, but to
Colonae, in Asia Minor, and in the vicinity of the ancient Troy; and
there he renewed his negotiations with the Persian king.  Acquainted
with his designs, the vigilant ephors despatched to him a herald with
the famous scytale.  This was an instrument peculiar to the Spartans.
To every general or admiral, a long black staff was entrusted; the
magistrates kept another exactly similar.  When they had any
communication to make, they wrote it on a roll of parchment, applied
it to their own staff, fold upon fold--then cutting it off, dismissed
it to the chief.  The characters were so written that they were
confused and unintelligible until fastened to the stick, and thus
could only be construed by the person for whose eye they were
intended, and to whose care the staff was confided.

The communication Pausanias now received was indeed stern and laconic.
"Stay," it said, "behind the herald, and war is proclaimed against you
by the Spartans."

On receiving this solemn order, even the imperious spirit of Pausanias
did not venture to disobey.  Like Venice, whose harsh, tortuous, but
energetic policy her oligarchy in so many respects resembled, Sparta
possessed a moral and mysterious power over the fiercest of her sons.
His fate held him in her grasp, and, confident of acquittal, instead
of flying to Persia, the regent hurried to his doom, assured that by
the help of gold he could baffle any accusation.  His expectations
were so far well-founded, that, although, despite his rank as regent
of the kingdom and guardian of the king, he was thrown into prison by
the ephors, he succeeded, by his intrigues and influence, in procuring
his enlargement: and boldly challenging his accusers, he offered to
submit to trial.

The government, however, was slow to act.  The proud caution of the
Spartans was ever loath to bring scandal on their home by public
proceedings against any freeborn citizen--how much more against the
uncle of their monarch and the hero of their armies!  His power, his
talents, his imperious character awed alike private enmity and public
distrust.  But his haughty disdain of their rigid laws, and his
continued affectation of the barbarian pomp, kept the government
vigilant; and though released from prison, the stern ephors were his
sentinels.  The restless and discontented mind of the expectant
son-in-law of Xerxes could not relinquish its daring schemes.  And the
regent of Sparta entered into a conspiracy, on which it were much to
be desired that our information were more diffuse.

VI.  Perhaps no class of men in ancient times excite a more painful
and profound interest than the helots of Sparta.  Though, as we have
before seen, we must reject all rhetorical exaggerations of the savage
cruelty to which they were subjected, we know, at least, that their
servitude was the hardest imposed by any of the Grecian states upon
their slaves [160], and that the iron soldiery of Sparta were exposed
to constant and imminent peril from their revolts--a proof that the
curse of their bondage had passed beyond the degree which subdues the
spirit to that which arouses, and that neither the habit of years, nor
the swords of the fiercest warriors, nor the spies of the keenest
government of Greece had been able utterly to extirpate from human
hearts that law of nature which, when injury passes an allotted, yet
rarely visible, extreme, converts suffering to resistance.

Scattered in large numbers throughout the rugged territories of
Laconia--separated from the presence, but not the watch, of their
master, these singular serfs never abandoned the hope of liberty.
Often pressed into battle to aid their masters, they acquired the
courage to oppose them.  Fierce, sullen, and vindictive, they were as
droves of wild cattle, left to range at will, till wanted for the
burden or the knife--not difficult to butcher, but impossible to tame.

We have seen that a considerable number of these helots had fought as
light-armed troops at Plataea; and the common danger and the common
glory had united the slaves of the army with the chief.  Entering into
somewhat of the desperate and revengeful ambition that, under a
similar constitution, animated Marino Faliero, Pausanias sought, by
means of the enslaved multitude, to deliver himself from the thraldom
of the oligarchy which held prince and slave alike in subjection.  He
tampered with the helots, and secretly promised them the rights and
liberties of citizens of Sparta, if they would co-operate with his
projects and revolt at his command.

Slaves are never without traitors; and the ephors learned the
premeditated revolution from helots themselves.  Still, slow and wary,
those subtle and haughty magistrates suspended the blow--it was not
without the fullest proof that a royal Spartan was to be condemned on
the word of helots: they continued their vigilance--they obtained the
proof they required.

VII.  Argilius, a Spartan, with whom Pausanias had once formed the
vicious connexion common to the Doric tribes, and who was deep in his
confidence, was intrusted by the regent with letters to Artabazus.
Argilius called to mind that none intrusted with a similar mission had
ever returned.  He broke open the seals and read what his fears
foreboded, that, on his arrival at the satrap's court, the silence of
the messenger was to be purchased by his death.  He carried the packet
to the ephors.  That dark and plotting council were resolved yet more
entirely to entangle their guilty victim, and out of his own mouth to
extract his secret; they therefore ordered Argilius to take refuge as
a suppliant in the sanctuary of the temple of Neptune on Mount
Taenarus.  Within the sacred confines was contrived a cell, which, by
a double partition, admitted some of the ephors, who, there concealed,
might witness all that passed.

Intelligence was soon brought to Pausanias that, instead of proceeding
to Artabazus, his confidant had taken refuge as a suppliant in the
temple of Neptune.  Alarmed and anxious, the regent hastened to the
sanctuary.  Argilius informed him that he had read the letters, and
reproached him bitterly with his treason to himself.  Pausanias,
confounded and overcome by the perils which surrounded him, confessed
his guilt, spoke unreservedly of the contents of the letter, implored
the pardon of Argilius, and promised him safety and wealth if he would
leave the sanctuary and proceed on the mission.

The ephors, from their hiding-place, heard all.

On the departure of Pausanias from the sanctuary, his doom was fixed.
But, among the more public causes of the previous delay of justice, we
must include the friendship of some of the ephors, which Pausanias had
won or purchased.  It was the moment fixed for his arrest.  Pausanias,
in the streets, was alone and on foot.  He beheld the ephors
approaching him.  A signal from one warned him of his danger.  He
turned--he fled.  The temple of Minerva Chalcioecus at hand proffered
a sanctuary--he gained the sacred confines, and entered a small house
hard by the temple.  The ephors--the officers--the crowd pursued; they
surrounded the refuge, from which it was impious to drag the criminal.
Resolved on his death, they removed the roof--blocked up the entrances
(and if we may credit the anecdote, that violating human was
characteristic of Spartan nature, his mother, a crone of great age
[161], suggested the means of punishment, by placing, with her own
hand, a stone at the threshold)--and, setting a guard around, left the
conqueror of Mardonius to die of famine.  When he was at his last
gasp, unwilling to profane the sanctuary by his actual death, they
bore him out into the open air, which he only breathed to expire
[162].  His corpse, which some of the fiercer Spartans at first
intended to cast in the place of burial for malefactors, was afterward
buried in the neighbourhood of the temple.  And thus ended the glory
and the crimes--the grasping ambition and the luxurious ostentation--
of the bold Spartan who first scorned and then imitated the
effeminacies of the Persian he subdued.

VIII.  Amid the documents of which the ephors possessed themselves
after the death of Pausanias was a correspondence with Themistocles,
then residing in the rival and inimical state of Argos.  Yet
vindictive against that hero, the Spartan government despatched
ambassadors to Athens, accusing him of a share in the conspiracy of
Pausanias with the Medes.  It seems that Themistocles did not disavow
a correspondence with Pausanias, nor affect an absolute ignorance of
his schemes; but he firmly denied by letter, his only mode of defence,
all approval and all participation of the latter.  Nor is there any
proof, nor any just ground of suspicion, that he was a party to the
betrayal of Greece.  It was consistent, indeed, with his astute
character, to plot, to manoeuvre, to intrigue, but for great and not
paltry ends.  By possessing himself of the secret, he possessed
himself of the power of Pausanias; and that intelligence might perhaps
have enabled him to frustrate the Spartan's treason in the hour of
actual danger to Greece.  It is possible that, so far as Sparta alone
was concerned, the Athenian felt little repugnance to any revolution
or any peril confined to a state whose councils it had been the object
of his life to baffle, and whose power it was the manifest interest of
his native city to impair.  He might have looked with complacency on
the intrigues which the regent was carrying on against the Spartan
government, and which threatened to shake that Doric constitution to
its centre.  But nothing, either in the witness of history or in the
character or conduct of a man profoundly patriotic, even in his vices,
favours the notion that he connived at the schemes which implicated,
with the Grecian, the Athenian welfare.  Pausanias, far less able, was
probably his tool.  By an insight into his projects, Themistocles
might have calculated on the restoration of his own power.  To weaken
the Spartan influence was to weaken his own enemies at Athens; to
break up the Spartan constitution was to leave Athens herself without
a rival.  And if, from the revolt of the helots, Pausanias should
proceed to an active league with the Persians, Themistocles knew
enough of Athens and of Greece to foresee that it was to the victor of
Salamis and the founder of the Grecian navy that all eyes would be
directed.  Such seem the most probable views which would have been
opened to the exile by the communications of Pausanias.  If so, they
were necessarily too subtle for the crowd to penetrate or understand.
The Athenians heard only the accusations of the Spartans; they saw
only the treason of Pausanias; they learned only that Themistocles had
been the correspondent of the traitor.  Already suspicious of a genius
whose deep and intricate wiles they were seldom able to fathom, and
trembling at the seeming danger they had escaped, it was natural
enough that the Athenians should accede to the demands of the
ambassadors.  An Athenian, joined with a Lacedaemonian troop, was
ordered to seize Themistocles wherever he should be found.  Apprized
of his danger, he hastily quitted the Peloponnesus and took refuge at
Corcyra.  Fear of the vengeance at once of Athens and of Sparta
induced the Corcyreans to deny the shelter he sought, but they
honourably transported him to the opposite continent.  His route was
discovered--his pursuers pressed upon him.  He had entered the country
of Admetus, king of the Molossians, from whose resentment he had
everything to dread.  For he had persuaded the Athenians to reject the
alliance once sought by that monarch, and Admetus had vowed vengeance.

Thus situated, the fugitive formed a resolution which a great mind
only could have conceived, and which presents to us one of the most
touching pictures in ancient history.  He repaired to the palace of
Admetus himself.  The prince was absent.  He addressed his consort,
and, advised by her, took the young child of the royal pair in his
hand, and sat down at the hearth--"THEMISTOCLES THE SUPPLIANT!" [163]
On the return of the prince he told his name, and bade him not wreak
his vengeance on an exile.  "To condemn me now," he said, "would be to
take advantage of distress.  Honour dictates revenge only among equals
upon equal terms.  True that I opposed you once, but on a matter not
of life, but of business or of interest.  Now surrender me to my
persecutors, and you deprive me of the last refuge of life itself."

IX.  Admetus, much affected, bade him rise, and assured him of
protection.  The pursuers arrived; but, faithful to the guest who had
sought his hearth, after a form peculiarly solemn among the
Molossians, Admetus refused to give him up, and despatched him,
guarded, to the sea-town of Pydna, over an arduous and difficult
mountain-road.  The sea-town gained, he took ship, disguised and
unknown to all the passengers, in a trading vessel bound to Ionia.  A
storm arose--the vessel was driven from its course, and impelled right
towards the Athenian fleet, that then under Cimon, his bitterest foe,
lay before the Isle of Naxos (B. C. 466).

Prompt and bold in his expedients, Themistocles took aside the master
of the vessel--discovered himself; threatened, if betrayed, to inform
against the master as one bribed to favour his escape; promised, if
preserved, everlasting gratitude; and urged that the preservation was
possible, if no one during the voyage were permitted, on any pretext,
to quit the vessel.

The master of the vessel was won--kept out at sea a day and a night to
windward of the fleet, and landed Themistocles in safety at Ephesus.

In the mean while the friends of Themistocles had not been inactive in
Athens.  On the supposed discovery of his treason, such of his
property as could fall into the hands of the government was, as usual
in such offences, confiscated to the public use; the amount was
variously estimated at eighty and a hundred talents [164].  But the
greater part of his wealth--some from Athens, some from Argos--was
secretly conveyed to him at Ephesus [165].  One faithful friend
procured the escape of his wife and children from Athens to the court
of Admetus, for which offence of affection, a single historian,
Stesimbrotus (whose statement even the credulous Plutarch questions,
and proves to be contradictory with another assertion of the same
author), has recorded that he was condemned to death by Cimon.  It is
not upon such dubious chronicles that we can suffer so great a stain
on the character of a man singularly humane. [166]

X.  As we have now for ever lost sight of Themistocles on the stage of
Athenian politics, the present is the most fitting opportunity to
conclude the history of his wild and adventurous career.

Persecuted by the Spartans, abandoned by his countrymen, excluded from
the whole of Greece, no refuge remained to the man who had crushed the
power of Persia, save the Persian court.  The generous and
high-spirited policy that characterized the oriental despotism towards
its foes proffered him not only a safe, but a magnificent asylum.  The
Persian monarchs were ever ready to welcome the exiles of Greece, and to
conciliate those whom they had failed to conquer.  It was the fate of
Themistocles to be saved by the enemies of his country.  He had no
alternative.  The very accusation of connivance with the Medes drove him
into their arms.

Under guidance of a Persian, Themistocles traversed the Asiatic
continent; and ere he reached Susa, contrived to have a letter, that
might prepare the way for him, delivered at the Persian court.  His
letter ran somewhat thus, if we may suppose that Thucydides preserved
the import, though he undoubtedly fashioned the style. [167]

"I, Themistocles, who of all the Greeks have inflicted the severest
wounds upon your race, so long as I was called by fate to resist the
invasion of the Persians, now come to you."  (He then urged, on the
other hand, the services he had rendered to Xerxes in his messages
after Salamis, relative to the breaking of the bridges, assuming a
credit to which he was by no means entitled--and insisted that his
generosity demanded a return.) "Able" (he proceeded) "to perform great
services--persecuted by the Greeks for my friendship for you--I am
near at hand.  Grant me only a year's respite, that I may then apprize
you in person of the object of my journey hither."

The bold and confident tone of Themistocles struck the imagination of
the young king (Artaxerxes), and he returned a favourable reply.
Themistocles consumed the year in the perfect acquisition of the
language, and the customs and manners of the country.  He then sought
and obtained an audience. [168]

Able to converse with fluency, and without the medium of an
interpreter, his natural abilities found their level.  He rose to
instant favour.  Never before had a stranger been so honoured.  He was
admitted an easy access to the royal person--instructed in the
learning of the Magi--and when he quitted the court it was to take
possession of the government of three cities--Myus, celebrated for its
provisions; Lampsacus, for its vineyards; and Magnesia, for the
richness of the soil; so that, according to the spirit and phraseology
of oriental taxation, it was not unaptly said that they were awarded
to him for meat, wine, and bread.

XI.  Thus affluent and thus honoured, Themistocles passed at Magnesia
the remainder of his days--the time and method of his death uncertain;
whether cut off by natural disease, or, as is otherwise related [169],
by a fate than which fiction itself could have invented none more
suited to the consummation of his romantic and great career.  It is
said that when afterward Egypt revolted, and that revolt was aided by
the Athenians; when the Grecian navy sailed as far as Cilicia and
Cyprus; and Cimon upheld, without a rival, the new sovereignty of the
seas; when Artaxerxes resolved to oppose the growing power of a state
which, from the defensive, had risen to the offending, power;
Themistocles received a mandate to realize the vague promises he had
given, and to commence his operations against Greece (B. C. 449).
Then (if with Plutarch we accept this version of his fate), neither
resentment against the people he had deemed ungrateful, nor his
present pomp, nor the fear of life, could induce the lord of Magnesia
to dishonour his past achievements [170], and demolish his immortal
trophies.  Anxious only to die worthily--since to live as became him
was no longer possible--he solemnly sacrificed to the gods--took leave
of his friends, and finished his days by poison.

His monument long existed in the forum of Magnesia; but his bones are
said by his own desire to have been borne back privately to Attica,
and have rested in the beloved land that exiled him from her bosom.
And this his last request seems touchingly to prove his loyalty to
Athens, and to proclaim his pardon of her persecution.  Certain it is,
at least, that however honoured in Persia, he never perpetrated one
act against Greece; and that, if sullied by the suspicion of others,
his fame was untarnished by himself.  He died, according to Plutarch,
in his sixty-fifth year, leaving many children, and transmitting his
name to a long posterity, who received from his memory the honours
they could not have acquired for themselves.

XII.  The character of Themistocles has already in these pages
unfolded itself--profound, yet tortuous in policy--vast in conception
--subtle, patient, yet prompt in action; affable in manner, but
boastful, ostentatious, and disdaining to conceal his consciousness of
merit; not brilliant in accomplishment, yet master not more of the
Greek wiles than the Attic wit; sufficiently eloquent, but greater in
deeds than words, and penetrating, by an almost preternatural insight,
at once the characters of men and the sequences of events.
Incomparably the greatest of his own times, and certainly not
surpassed by those who came after him.  Pisistratus, Cimon, Pericles,
Aristides himself, were of noble and privileged birth.  Themistocles
was the first, and, except Demosthenes, the greatest of those who rose
from the ranks of the people, and he drew the people upward in his
rise.  His fame was the creation of his genius only.  "What other man"
(to paraphrase the unusual eloquence of Diodorus) "could in the same
time have placed Greece at the head of nations, Athens at the head of
Greece, himself at the head of Athens?--in the most illustrious age
the most illustrious man.  Conducting to war the citizens of a state
in ruins, he defeated all the arms of Asia.  He alone had the power to
unite the most discordant materials, and to render danger itself
salutary to his designs.  Not more remarkable in war than peace--in
the one he saved the liberties of Greece, in the other he created the
eminence of Athens."

After him, the light of the heroic age seems to glimmer and to fade,
and even Pericles himself appears dwarfed and artificial beside that
masculine and colossal intellect which broke into fragments the might
of Persia, and baffled with a vigorous ease the gloomy sagacity of
Sparta.  The statue of Themistocles, existent six hundred years after
his decease, exhibited to his countrymen an aspect as heroical as his
deeds. [171]

We return to Cimon



CHAPTER III.

Reduction of Naxos.--Actions off Cyprus.--Manners of Cimon.--
Improvements in Athens.--Colony at the Nine Ways.--Siege of Thasos.--
Earthquake in Sparta.--Revolt of Helots, Occupation of Ithome, and
Third Messenian War.--Rise and Character of Pericles.--Prosecution and
Acquittal of Cimon.--The Athenians assist the Spartans at Ithome.--
Thasos Surrenders.--Breach between the Athenians and Spartans.--
Constitutional Innovations at Athens.--Ostracism of Cimon.


I.  At the time in which Naxos refused the stipulated subsidies, and
was, in consequence, besieged by Cimon, that island was one of the
most wealthy and populous of the confederate states.  For some time
the Naxians gallantly resisted the besiegers; but, at length reduced,
they were subjected to heavier conditions than those previously
imposed upon them.  No conqueror contents himself with acquiring the
objects, sometimes frivolous and often just, with which he commences
hostilities.  War inflames the passions, and success the ambition.
Cimon, at first anxious to secure the Grecian, was now led on to
desire the increase of the Athenian power.  The Athenian fleet had
subdued Naxos, and Naxos was rendered subject to Athens.  This was the
first of the free states which the growing republic submitted to her
yoke [172].  The precedent once set, as occasion tempted, the rest
shared a similar fate.

II.  The reduction of Naxos was but the commencement of the victories
of Cimon.  In Asia Minor there were many Grecian cities in which the
Persian ascendency had never yet been shaken.  Along the Carian coast
Cimon conducted his armament, and the terror it inspired sufficed to
engage all the cities, originally Greek, to revolt from Persia; those
garrisoned by Persians he besieged and reduced.  Victorious in Caria,
he passed with equal success into Lycia [173], augmenting his fleet
and forces as he swept along.  But the Persians, not inactive, had now
assembled a considerable force in Pamphylia, and lay encamped on the
banks of the Eurymedon (B. C. 466), whose waters, sufficiently wide,
received their fleet.  The expected re-enforcement of eighty
Phoenician vessels from Cyprus induced the Persians to delay [174]
actual hostilities.  But Cimon, resolved to forestall the anticipated
junction, sailed up the river, and soon forced the barbarian fleet,
already much more numerous than his own, into active engagement.  The
Persians but feebly supported the attack; driven up the river, the
crews deserted the ships, and hastened to join the army arrayed along
the coast.  Of the ships thus deserted, some were destroyed; and two
hundred triremes, taken by Cimon, yet more augmented his armament.
But the Persians, now advanced to the verge of the shore, presented a
long and formidable array, and Cimon, with some anxiety, saw the
danger he incurred in landing troops already much harassed by the late
action, while a considerable proportion of the hostile forces, far
more numerous, were fresh and unfatigued.  The spirit of the men, and
their elation at the late victory, bore down the fears of the general;
yet warm from the late action, he debarked his heavy-armed infantry,
and with loud shouts the Athenians rushed upon the foe.  The contest
was fierce--the slaughter great.  Many of the noblest Athenians fell
in the action.  Victory at length declared in favour of Cimon; the
Persians were put to flight, and the Greeks remained masters of the
battle and the booty--the last considerable.  Thus, on the same day,
the Athenians were victorious on both elements--an unprecedented
glory, which led the rhetorical Plutarch to declare--that Plataea and
Salamis were outshone.  Posterity, more discerning, estimates glory
not by the greatness of the victory alone, but the justice of the
cause.  And even a skirmish won by men struggling for liberty on their
own shores is more honoured than the proudest battle in which the
conquerors are actuated by the desire of vengeance or the lust of
enterprise.

III.  To the trophies of this double victory were soon added those of
a third, obtained over the eighty vessels of the Phoenicians off the
coast of Cyprus.  These signal achievements spread the terror of the
Athenian arms on remote as on Grecian shores.  Without adopting the
exaggerated accounts of injudicious authors as to the number of ships
and prisoners [175], it seems certain, at least, that the amount of
the booty was sufficient, in some degree, to create in Athens a moral
revolution--swelling to a vast extent the fortunes of individuals, and
augmenting the general taste for pomp, for luxury, and for splendour,
which soon afterward rendered Athens the most magnificent of the
Grecian states.

The navy of Persia thus broken, her armies routed, the scene of action
transferred to her own dominions, all designs against Greece were laid
aside.  Retreating, as it were, more to the centre of her vast
domains, she left the Asiatic outskirts to the solitude, rather of
exhaustion than of peace.  "No troops," boasted the later
rhetoricians, "came within a day's journey, on horseback, of the
Grecian seas."  From the Chelidonian isles on the Pamphylian coast, to
those [176] twin rocks at the entrance of the Euxine, between which
the sea, chafed by their rugged base, roars unappeasably through its
mists of foam, no Persian galley was descried.  Whether this was the
cause of defeat or of acknowledged articles of peace, has been
disputed.  But, as will be seen hereafter, of the latter all
historical evidence is wanting.

In a subsequent expedition, Cimon, sailing from Athens with a small
force, wrested the Thracian Chersonese from the Persians--an exploit
which restored to him his own patrimony.

IV.  Cimon was now at the height of his fame and popularity.  His
share of the booty, and the recovery of the Chersonese, rendered him
by far the wealthiest citizen of Athens; and he continued to use his
wealth to cement his power.  His intercourse with other nations, his
familiarity with the oriental polish and magnificence, served to
elevate his manners from their early rudeness, and to give splendour
to his tastes.  If he had spent his youth among the wild soldiers of
Miltiades, the leisure of his maturer years was cultivated by an
intercourse with sages and poets.  His passion for the sex, which even
in its excesses tends to refine and to soften, made his only vice.  He
was the friend of every genius and every art; and, the link between
the lavish ostentation of Themistocles and the intellectual grace of
Pericles, he conducted, as it were, the insensible transition from the
age of warlike glory to that of civil pre-eminence.  He may be said to
have contributed greatly to diffuse that atmosphere of poetry and of
pleasure which even the meanest of the free Athenians afterward
delighted to respire.  He led the citizens more and more from the
recesses of private life; and carried out that social policy commenced
by Pisistratus, according to which all individual habits became merged
into one animated, complex, and excited public.  Thus, himself gay and
convivial, addicted to company, wine, and women, he encouraged shows
and spectacles, and invested them with new magnificence; he
embellished the city with public buildings, and was the first to erect
at Athens those long colonnades--beneath the shade of which, sheltered
from the western suns, that graceful people were accustomed to
assemble and converse.  The Agora, that universal home of the
citizens, was planted by him with the oriental planes; and the groves
of Academe, the immortal haunt of Plato, were his work.  That
celebrated garden, associated with the grateful and bright
remembrances of all which poetry can lend to wisdom, was, before the
time of Cimon, a waste and uncultivated spot.  It was his hand that
intersected it with walks and alleys, and that poured through its
green retreats the ornamental waters so refreshing in those climes,
and not common in the dry Attic soil, which now meandered in living
streams, and now sparkled into fountains.  Besides these works to
embellish, he formed others to fortify the city.  He completed the
citadel, hitherto unguarded on the south side; and it was from the
barbarian spoils deposited in the treasury that the expenses of
founding the Long Walls, afterward completed, were defrayed.

V.  In his conduct towards the allies, the natural urbanity of Cimon
served to conceal a policy deep-laid and grasping.  The other Athenian
generals were stern and punctilious in their demands on the
confederates; they required the allotted number of men, and, in
default of the supply, increased the rigour of their exactions.  Not
so Cimon--from those whom the ordinary avocations of a peaceful life
rendered averse to active service, he willingly accepted a pecuniary
substitute, equivalent to the value of those ships or soldiers they
should have furnished.  These sums, devoted indeed to the general
service, were yet appropriated to the uses of the Athenian navy; thus
the states, hitherto warlike, were artfully suffered to lapse into
peaceful and luxurious pursuits; and the confederates became at once,
under the most lenient pretexts, enfeebled and impoverished by the
very means which strengthened the martial spirit and increased the
fiscal resources of the Athenians.  The tributaries found too late,
when they ventured at revolt, that they had parted with the facilities
of resistance. [177]

In the mean while it was the object of Cimon to sustain the naval
ardour and discipline of the Athenians; while the oar and the sword
fell into disuse with the confederates, he kept the greater part of
the citizens in constant rotation at maritime exercise or enterprise--
until experience and increasing power with one, indolence and gradual
subjection with the other, destroying the ancient equality in arms,
made the Athenians masters and their confederates subjects. [178]

VI.  According to the wise policy of the ancients, the Athenians never
neglected a suitable opportunity to colonize; thus extending their
dominion while they draughted off the excess of their population, as
well as the more enterprising spirits whom adventure tempted or
poverty aroused.  The conquest of Eion had opened to the Athenians a
new prospect of aggrandizement, of which they were now prepared to
seize the advantages.  Not far from Eion, and on the banks of the
Strymon, was a place called the Nine Ways, afterward Amphipolis, and
which, from its locality and maritime conveniences, seemed especially
calculated for the site of a new city.  Thither ten thousand persons,
some confederates, some Athenians, had been sent to establish a
colony.  The views of the Athenians were not, however, in this
enterprise, bounded to its mere legitimate advantages.  About the same
time they carried on a dispute with the Thasians relative to certain
mines and places of trade on the opposite coasts of Thrace.  The
dispute was one of considerable nicety.  The Athenians, having
conquered Eion and the adjacent territory, claimed the possession by
right of conquest.  The Thasians, on the other hand, had anciently
possessed some of the mines and the monopoly of the commerce; they had
joined in the confederacy; and, asserting that the conquest had been
made, if by Athenian arms, for the federal good, they demanded that
the ancient privileges should revert to them.  The Athenian government
was not disposed to surrender a claim which proffered to avarice the
temptation of mines of gold.  The Thasians renounced the confederacy,
and thus gave to the Athenians the very pretext for hostilities which
the weaker state should never permit to the more strong.  While the
colony proceeded to its destination, part of the Athenian fleet, under
Cimon, sailed to Thasos--gained a victory by sea--landed on the
island--and besieged the city.

Meanwhile the new colonizers had become masters of the Nine Ways,
having dislodged the Edonian Thracians, its previous habitants.  But
hostility following hostility, the colonists were eventually utterly
routed and cut off in a pitched battle at Drabescus (B. C. 465), in
Edonia, by the united forces of all the neighbouring Thracians.

VII.  The siege of Thasos still continued, and the besieged took the
precaution to send to Sparta for assistance.  That sullen state had
long viewed with indignation the power of Athens; her younger warriors
clamoured against the inert indifference with which a city, for ages
so inferior to Sparta, had been suffered to gain the ascendency over
Greece.  In vain had Themistocles been removed; the inexhaustible
genius of the people had created a second Themistocles in Cimon.  The
Lacedaemonians, glad of a pretext for quarrel, courteously received
the Thasian ambassadors, and promised to distract the Athenian forces
by an irruption into Attica.  They were actively prepared in
concerting measures for this invasion, when sudden and complicated
afflictions, now to be related, forced them to abandon their designs,
and confine their attention to themselves.

VIII.  An earthquake, unprecedented in its violence, occurred in
Sparta.  In many places throughout Laconia the rocky soil was rent
asunder.  From Mount Taygetus, which overhung the city, and on which
the women of Lacedaemon were wont to hold their bacchanalian orgies,
huge fragments rolled into the suburbs.  The greater portion of the
city was absolutely overthrown; and it is said, probably with
exaggeration, that only five houses wholly escaped the shock.  This
terrible calamity did not cease suddenly as it came; its concussions
were repeated; it buried alike men and treasure: could we credit
Diodorus, no less than twenty thousand persons perished in the shock.
Thus depopulated, empoverished, and distressed, the enemies whom the
cruelty of Sparta nursed within her bosom resolved to seize the moment
to execute their vengeance and consummate her destruction.  Under
Pausanias we have seen before that the helots were already ripe for
revolt.  The death of that fierce conspirator checked, but did not
crush, their designs of freedom.  Now was the moment, when Sparta lay
in ruins--now was the moment to realize their dreams.  From field to
field, from village to village, the news of the earthquake became the
watchword of revolt.  Up rose the helots (B. C. 464)--they armed
themselves, they poured on--a wild, and gathering, and relentless
multitude, resolved to slay by the wrath of man all whom that of
nature had yet spared.  The earthquake that levelled Sparta rent her
chains; nor did the shock create one chasm so dark and wide as that
between the master and the slave.

It is one of the sublimest and most awful spectacles in history--that
city in ruins--the earth still trembling--the grim and dauntless
soldiery collected amid piles of death and ruin; and in such a time,
and such a scene, the multitude sensible, not of danger, but of wrong,
and rising, not to succour, but to revenge: all that should have
disarmed a feebler enmity, giving fire to theirs; the dreadest
calamity their blessing--dismay their hope it was as if the Great
Mother herself had summoned her children to vindicate the long-abused,
the all inalienable heritage derived from her; and the stir of the
angry elements was but the announcement of an armed and solemn union
between nature and the oppressed.

IX.  Fortunately for Sparta, the danger was not altogether unforeseen.
After the confusion and horror of the earthquake, and while the
people, dispersed, were seeking to save their effects, Archidamus,
who, four years before, had succeeded to the throne of Lacedaemon,
ordered the trumpets to sound as to arms.  That wonderful superiority
of man over matter which habit and discipline can effect, and which
was ever so visible among the Spartans, constituted their safety at
that hour.  Forsaking the care of their property, the Spartans seized
their arms, flocked around their king, and drew up in disciplined
array.  In her most imminent crisis, Sparta was thus saved.  The
helots approached, wild, disorderly, and tumultuous; they came intent
only to plunder and to slay; they expected to find scattered and
affrighted foes--they found a formidable army; their tyrants were
still their lords.  They saw, paused, and fled, scattering themselves
over the country--exciting all they met to rebellion, and soon, joined
with the Messenians, kindred to them by blood and ancient
reminiscences of heroic struggles, they seized that same Ithome which
their hereditary Aristodemus had before occupied with unforgotten
valour.  This they fortified; and, occupying also the neighbouring
lands, declared open war upon their lords.  As the Messenians were the
more worthy enemy, so the general insurrection is known by the name of
the Third Messenian War.

X.  While these events occurred in Sparta, Cimon, intrusting to others
the continued siege of Thasos, had returned to Athens [179].  He found
his popularity already shaken, and his power endangered.  The
democratic party had of late regained the influence it had lost on the
exile of Themistocles.  Pericles, son of Xanthippus (the accuser of
Miltiades), had, during the last six years, insensibly risen into
reputation: the house of Miltiades was fated to bow before the race of
Xanthippus, and hereditary opposition ended in the old hereditary
results.  Born of one of the loftiest families of Athens,
distinguished by the fame as the fortunes of his father, who had been
linked with Aristides in command of the Athenian fleet, and in whose
name had been achieved the victory of Mycale, the young Pericles found
betimes an easy opening to his brilliant genius and his high ambition.
He had nothing to contend against but his own advantages.  The beauty
of his countenance, the sweetness of his voice, and the blandness of
his address, reminded the oldest citizens of Pisistratus; and this
resemblance is said to have excited against him a popular jealousy
which he found it difficult to surmount.  His youth was passed
alternately in the camp and in the schools.  He is the first of the
great statesmen of his country who appears to have prepared himself
for action by study; Anaxagoras, Pythoclides, and Damon were his
tutors, and he was early eminent in all the lettered accomplishments
of his time.  By degrees, accustoming the people to his appearance in
public life, he became remarkable for an elaborate and impassioned
eloquence, hitherto unknown.  With his intellectual and meditative
temperament all was science; his ardour in action regulated by long
forethought, his very words by deliberate preparation.  Till his time,
oratory, in its proper sense, as a study and an art, was uncultivated
in Athens.  Pisistratus is said to have been naturally eloquent, and
the vigorous mind of Themistocles imparted at once persuasion and
force to his counsels.  But Pericles, aware of all the advantages to
be gained by words, embellished words with every artifice that his
imagination could suggest.  His speeches were often written
compositions, and the novel dazzle of their diction, and that
consecutive logic which preparation alone can impart to language,
became irresistible to a people that had itself become a Pericles.
Universal civilization, universal poetry, had rendered the audience
susceptible and fastidious; they could appreciate the ornate and
philosophical harangues of Pericles; and, the first to mirror to
themselves the intellectual improvements they had made, the first to
represent the grace and enlightenment, as Themistocles had been the
first to represent the daring and enterprise, of his time, the son of
Xanthippus began already to eclipse that very Cimon whose qualities
prepared the way for him.

XI.  We must not suppose, that in the contests between the
aristocratic and popular parties, the aristocracy were always on one
side.  Such a division is never to be seen in free constitutions.
There is always a sufficient party of the nobles whom conviction,
ambition, or hereditary predilections will place at the head of the
popular movement; and it is by members of the privileged order that
the order itself is weakened.  Athens in this respect, therefore,
resembled England, and as now in the latter state, so then at Athens,
it was often the proudest, the wealthiest, the most high-born of the
aristocrats that gave dignity and success to the progress of
democratic opinion.  There, too, the vehemence of party frequently
rendered politics an hereditary heirloom; intermarriages kept together
men of similar factions; and the memory of those who had been the
martyrs or the heroes of a cause mingled with the creed of their
descendants.  Thus, it was as natural that one of the race of that
Clisthenes who had expelled the Pisistratides, and popularized the
constitution, should embrace the more liberal side, as that a Russell
should follow out in one age the principles for which his ancestor
perished in another.  So do our forefathers become sponsors for
ourselves.  The mother of Pericles was the descendant of Clisthenes;
and though Xanthippus himself was of the same party as Aristides, we
may doubt, by his prosecution of Miltiades as well as by his connexion
with the Alcmaeonids, whether he ever cordially co-operated with the
views and the ambition of Cimon.  However this be, his brilliant son
cast himself at once into the arms of the more popular faction, and
opposed with all his energy the aristocratic predilections of Cimon.
Not yet, however, able to assume the lead to which he aspired (for it
had now become a matter of time as well as intellect to rise), he
ranged himself under Ephialtes, a personage of whom history gives us
too scanty details, although he enjoyed considerable influence,
increased by his avowed jealousy of the Spartans and his own
unimpeachable integrity.

XII.  It is noticeable, that men who become the leaders of the public,
less by the spur of passion than by previous study and conscious
talent--men whom thought and letters prepare for enterprise--are
rarely eager to advance themselves too soon.  Making politics a
science, they are even fastidiously alive to the qualities and the
experience demanded for great success; their very self-esteem renders
them seemingly modest; they rely upon time and upon occasion; and,
pushed forward rather by circumstance than their own exertions, it is
long before their ambition and their resources are fully developed.
Despite all his advantages, the rise of Pericles was gradual.

On the return of Cimon the popular party deemed itself sufficiently
strong to manifest its opposition.  The expedition to Thasos had not
been attended with results so glorious as to satisfy a people pampered
by a series of triumphs.  Cimon was deemed culpable for not having
taken advantage of the access into Macedonia, and added that country
to the Athenian empire.  He was even suspected and accused of
receiving bribes from Alexander, the king of Macedon.  Pericles [180]
is said to have taken at first an active part in this prosecution; but
when the cause came on, whether moved by the instances of Cimon's
sister, or made aware of the injustice of the accusation, he conducted
himself favourably towards the accused.  Cimon himself treated the
charges with a calm disdain; the result was worthy of Athens and
himself.  He was honourably acquitted.

XIII.  Scarce was this impeachment over, when a Spartan ambassador
arrived at Athens to implore her assistance against the helots; the
request produced a vehement discussion.

Ephialtes strongly opposed the proposition to assist a city, sometimes
openly, always heartily, inimical to Athens.  "Much better," he
contended, "to suffer her pride to be humbled, and her powers of
mischief to be impaired."  Ever supporting and supported by the
Lacedaemonian party, whether at home or abroad, Cimon, on the other
hand, maintained the necessity of marching to the relief of Sparta.
"Do not," he said, almost sublimely--and his words are reported to
have produced a considerable impression on that susceptible assembly--
"do not suffer Greece to be mutilated, nor deprive Athens of her
companion!"

The more generous and magnanimous counsel prevailed with a generous
and magnanimous people; and Cimon was sent to the aid of Sparta at the
head of a sufficient force.  It may be observed, as a sign of the
political morality of the time, that the wrongs of the helots appear
to have been forgotten.  But such is the curse of slavery, that it
unfits its victims to be free, except by preparations and degrees.
And civilization, humanity, and social order are often enlisted on the
wrong side, in behalf of the oppressors, from the license and
barbarity natural to the victories of the oppressed.  A conflict
between the negroes and the planters in modern times may not be
unanalogous to that of the helots and Spartans; and it is often a
fatal necessity to extirpate the very men we have maddened, by our own
cruelties, to the savageness of beasts.

It would appear that, during the revolt of the helots and Messenians,
which lasted ten years, the Athenians, under Cimon, marched twice
[181] to the aid of the Spartans.  In the first (B. C. 464) they
probably drove the scattered insurgents into the city of Ithome; in
the second (B. C. 461) they besieged the city.  In the interval Thasos
surrendered (B. C. 463); the inhabitants were compelled to level their
walls, to give up their shipping, to pay the arrear of tribute, to
defray the impost punctually in future, and to resign all claims on
the continent and the mines.

XIV.  Thus did the Athenians establish their footing on the Thracian
continent, and obtain the possession of the golden mines, which they
mistook for wealth.  In the second expedition of the Athenians, the
long-cherished jealousy between themselves and the Spartans could no
longer be smothered.  The former were applied to especially from their
skill in sieges, and their very science galled perhaps the pride of
the martial Spartans.  While, as the true art of war was still so
little understood, that even the Athenians were unable to carry the
town by assault, and compelled to submit to the tedious operations of
a blockade, there was ample leisure for those feuds which the
uncongenial habits and long rivalry of the nations necessarily
produced.  Proud of their Dorian name, the Spartans looked on the
Ionic race of Athens as aliens.  Severe in their oligarchic
discipline, they regarded the Athenian Demus as innovators; and, in
the valour itself of their allies, they detected a daring and restless
energy which, if serviceable now, might easily be rendered dangerous
hereafter.  They even suspected the Athenians of tampering with the
helots--led, it may be, to that distrust by the contrast, which they
were likely to misinterpret, between their own severity and the
Athenian mildness towards the servile part of their several
populations, and also by the existence of a powerful party at Athens,
which had opposed the assistance Cimon afforded.  With their usual
tranquil and wary policy, the Spartan government attempted to conceal
their real fears, and simply alleging they had no further need of
their assistance, dismissed the Athenians.  But that people,
constitutionally irritable, perceiving that, despite this hollow
pretext, the other allies, including the obnoxious Aeginetans, were
retained, received their dismissal as an insult.  Thinking justly that
they had merited a nobler confidence from the Spartans, they gave way
to their first resentment, and disregarding the league existing yet
between themselves and Sparta against the Mede--the form of which had
survived the spirit--they entered into an alliance with the Argives,
hereditary enemies of Sparta, and in that alliance the Aleuads of
Thessaly were included.

XV.  The obtaining of these decrees by the popular party was the
prelude to the fall of Cimon.  The talents of that great man were far
more eminent in war than peace; and despite his real or affected
liberality of demeanour, he wanted either the faculty to suit the
time, or the art to conceal his deficiencies.  Raised to eminence by
Spartan favour, he had ever too boldly and too imprudently espoused
the Spartan cause.  At first, when the Athenians obtained their naval
ascendency--and it was necessary to conciliate Sparta--the partiality
with which Cimon was regarded by that state was his recommendation;
now when, no longer to be conciliated, Sparta was to be dreaded and
opposed, it became his ruin.  It had long been his custom to laud the
Spartans at the expense of the Athenians, and to hold out their
manners as an example to the admiration of his countrymen.  It was a
favourite mode of reproof with him--"The Spartans would not have done
this."  It was even remembered against him that he had called his son
Lacedaemonius.  These predilections had of late rankled in the popular
mind; and now, when the Athenian force had been contumeliously
dismissed, it was impossible to forget that Cimon had obtained the
decree of the relief, and that the mortification which resulted from
it was the effect of his counsels.

Public spirit ran high against the Spartans, and at the head of the
Spartan faction in Athens stood Cimon.

XVI.  But at this time, other events, still more intimately connected
with the Athenian politics, conspired to weaken the authority of this
able general.  Those constitutional reforms, which are in reality
revolutions under a milder name, were now sweeping away the last
wrecks of whatever of the old aristocratic system was still left to
the Athenian commonwealth.

We have seen that the democratic party had increased in power by the
decree of Aristides, which opened all offices to all ranks.  This, as
yet, was productive less of actual than of moral effects.  The liberal
opinions possessed by a part of the aristocracy, and the legitimate
influence which in all countries belongs to property and high descent
(greatest, indeed, where the countries are most free)--secured, as a
general rule, the principal situations in the state to rank and
wealth.  But the moral effect of the decree was to elevate the lower
classes with a sense of their own power and dignity, and every victory
achieved over a foreign foe gave new authority to the people whose
voices elected the leader--whose right arms won the battle.

The constitution previous to Solon was an oligarchy of birth.  Solon
rendered it an aristocracy of property.  Clisthenes widened its basis
from property to population; as we have already seen, it was, in all
probability, Clisthenes also who weakened the more illicit and
oppressive influences of wealth, by establishing the ballot or secret
suffrage instead of the open voting, which was common in the time of
Solon.  It is the necessary constitution of society, that when one
class obtains power, the ancient checks to that power require
remodelling.  The Areopagus was designed by Solon as the aristocratic
balance to the popular assembly.  But in all states in which the
people and the aristocracy are represented, the great blow to the
aristocratic senate is given, less by altering its own constitution
than by infusing new elements of democracy into the popular assembly.
The old boundaries are swept away, not by the levelling of the bank,
but by the swelling of the torrent.  The checks upon democracy ought
to be so far concealed as to be placed in the representation of the
democracy itself; for checks upon its progress from without are but as
fortresses to be stormed; and what, when latent, was the influence of
a friend, when apparent, is the resistance of a foe.

The Areopagus, the constitutional bulwark of the aristocratic party of
Athens, became more and more invidious to the people.  And now, when
Cimon resisted every innovation on that assembly, he only ensured his
own destruction, while he expedited the policy he denounced.
Ephialtes directed all the force of the popular opinion against this
venerable senate; and at length, though not openly assisted by
Pericles [182], who took no prominent part in the contention, that
influential statesman succeeded in crippling its functions and
limiting its authority.

XVII.  I do not propose to plunge the reader into the voluminous and
unprofitable controversy on the exact nature of the innovations of
Ephialtes which has agitated the students of Germany.  It appears to
me most probable that the Areopagus retained the right of adjudging
cases of homicide [183], and little besides of its ancient
constitutional authority, that it lost altogether its most dangerous
power in the indefinite police it had formerly exercised over the
habits and morals of the people, that any control of the finances was
wisely transferred to the popular senate [184], that its irresponsible
character was abolished, and it was henceforth rendered accountable to
the people.  Such alterations were not made without exciting the deep
indignation of the aristocratic faction.

In all state reforms a great and comprehensive mind does not so much
consider whether each reform is just, as what will be the ultimate
ascendency given to particular principles.  Cimon preferred to all
constitutions a limited aristocracy, and his practical experience
regarded every measure in its general tendency towards or against the
system which he honestly advocated.

XVIII.  The struggle between the contending parties and principles had
commenced before Cimon's expedition to Ithome; the mortification
connected with that event, in weakening Cimon, weakened the
aristocracy itself.  Still his fall was not immediate [185], nor did
it take place as a single and isolated event, but as one of the
necessary consequences of the great political change effected by
Ephialtes.  All circumstances, however, conspired to place the son of
Miltiades in a situation which justified the suspicion and jealousy of
the Athenians.  Of all the enemies, how powerful soever, that Athens
could provoke, none were so dangerous as Lacedaemon.

Dark, wily, and implacable, the rugged queen of the Peloponnesus
reared her youth in no other accomplishments than those of stratagem
and slaughter.  Her enmity against Athens was no longer smothered.
Athens had everything to fear, not less from her influence than her
armies.  It was not, indeed, so much from the unsheathed sword as from
the secret councils of Sparta that danger was to be apprehended.  It
cannot be too often remembered, that among a great portion of the
Athenian aristocracy, the Spartan government maintained a considerable
and sympathetic intelligence.  That government ever sought to adapt
and mould all popular constitutions to her own oligarchic model; and
where she could not openly invade, she secretly sought to undermine,
the liberties of her neighbours.  Thus, in addition to all fear from
an enemy in the field, the Athenian democracy were constantly excited
to suspicion against a spy within the city: always struggling with an
aristocratic party, which aimed at regaining the power it had lost,
there was just reason to apprehend that that party would seize any
occasion to encroach upon the popular institutions; every feud with
Sparta consequently seemed to the Athenian people, nor without cause,
to subject to intrigue and conspiracy their civil freedom; and (as
always happens with foreign interference, whether latent or avowed)
exasperated whatever jealousies already existed against those for
whose political interests the interference was exerted.  Bearing this
in mind, we shall see no cause to wonder at the vehement opposition to
which Cimon was now subjected.  We are driven ourselves to search
deeply into the causes which led to his prosecution, as to that of
other eminent men in Athens, from want of clear and precise historical
details.  Plutarch, to whom, in this instance, we are compelled
chiefly to resort, is a most equivocal authority.  Like most
biographers, his care is to exalt his hero, though at the expense of
that hero's countrymen; and though an amiable writer, nor without some
semi-philosophical views in morals, his mind was singularly deficient
in grasp and in comprehension.  He never penetrates the subtle causes
of effects.  He surveys the past, sometimes as a scholar, sometimes as
a taleteller, sometimes even as a poet, but never as a statesman.
Thus, we learn from him little of the true reasons for the ostracism,
either of Aristides, of Themistocles, or of Cimon--points now
intricate, but which might then, alas! have been easily cleared up by
a profound inquirer, to the acquittal alike of themselves and of their
judges.  To the natural deficiencies of Plutarch we must add his party
predilections.  He was opposed to democratic opinions--and that
objection, slight in itself, or it might be urged against many of the
best historians and the wisest thinkers, is rendered weighty in that
he was unable to see, that in all human constitutions perfection is
impossible, that we must take the evil with the good, and that what he
imputes to one form of government is equally attributable to another.
For in what monarchy, what oligarchy, have not great men been
misunderstood, and great merits exposed to envy!

Thus, in the life of Cimon, Plutarch says that it was "on a slight
pretext" [186] that that leader of the Spartan party in Athens was
subjected to the ostracism.  We have seen enough to convince us that,
whatever the pretext, the reasons, at least, were grave and solid--
that they were nothing short of Cimon's unvarying ardour for, and
constant association with, the principles and the government of that
state most inimical to Athens, and the suspicious policy of which was,
in all times--at that time especially--fraught with danger to her
power, her peace, and her institutions.  Could we penetrate farther
into the politics of the period, we might justify the Athenians yet
more.  Without calling into question the integrity and the patriotism
of Cimon, without supposing that he would have entered into any
intrigue against the Athenian independence of foreign powers--a
supposition his subsequent conduct effectually refutes--he might, as a
sincere and warm partisan of the nobles, and a resolute opposer of the
popular party, have sought to restore at home the aristocratic balance
of power, by whatever means his great rank, and influence, and
connexion with the Lacedaemonian party could afford him.  We are told,
at least, that he not only opposed all the advances of the more
liberal party--that he not only stood resolutely by the interests and
dignities of the Areopagus, which had ceased to harmonize with the
more modern institutions, but that he expressly sought to restore
certain prerogatives which that assembly had formally lost during his
foreign expeditions, and that he earnestly endeavoured to bring back
the whole constitution to the more aristocratic government established
by Clisthenes.  It is one thing to preserve, it is another to restore.
A people may be deluded under popular pretexts out of the rights they
have newly acquired, but they never submit to be openly despoiled of
them.  Nor can we call that ingratitude which is but the refusal to
surrender to the merits of an individual the acquisitions of a nation.

All things considered, then, I believe, that if ever ostracism was
justifiable, it was so in the case of Cimon--nay, it was perhaps
absolutely essential to the preservation of the constitution.  His
very honesty made him resolute in his attempts against that
constitution.  His talents, his rank, his fame, his services, only
rendered those attempts more dangerous.

XIX.  Could the reader be induced to view, with an examination equally
dispassionate, the several ostracisms of Aristides and Themistocles,
he might see equal causes of justification, both in the motives and in
the results.  The first was absolutely necessary for the defeat of the
aristocratic party, and the removal of restrictions on those energies
which instantly found the most glorious vents for action; the second
was justified by a similar necessity that produced similar effects.
To impartial eyes a people may be vindicated without traducing those
whom a people are driven to oppose.  In such august and complicated
trials the accuser and defendant may be both innocent.



CHAPTER IV.

War between Megara and Corinth.--Megara and Pegae garrisoned by
Athenians.--Review of Affairs at the Persian Court.--Accession of
Artaxerxes.--Revolt of Egypt under Inarus.--Athenian Expedition to
assist Inarus.--Aegina besieged.--The Corinthians defeated.--Spartan
Conspiracy with the Athenian Oligarchy.--Battle of Tanagra.--Campaign
and Successes of Myronides.--Plot of the Oligarchy against the
Republic.--Recall of Cimon.--Long Walls completed.--Aegina reduced.--
Expedition under Tolmides.--Ithome surrenders.--The Insurgents are
settled at Naupactus.--Disastrous Termination of the Egyptian
Expedition.--The Athenians march into Thessaly to restore Orestes the
Tagus.--Campaign under Pericles.--Truce of five Years with the
Peloponnesians.--Cimon sets sail for Cyprus.--Pretended Treaty of
Peace with Persia.--Death of Cimon.


I.  Cimon, summoned to the ostracism, was sentenced to its appointed
term of banishment--ten years.  By his removal, the situation of
Pericles became suddenly more prominent and marked, and he mingled
with greater confidence and boldness in public affairs.  The vigour of
the new administration was soon manifest.  Megara had hitherto been
faithful to the Lacedaemonian alliance--a dispute relative to the
settlement of frontiers broke out between that state and Corinth.
Although the Corinthian government, liberal and enlightened, was often
opposed to the Spartan oligarchy, it was still essential to the
interest of both those Peloponnesian states to maintain a firm general
alliance, and to keep the Peloponnesian confederacy as a
counterbalance to the restless ambition of the new head of the Ionian
league.  Sparta could not, therefore, have been slow in preferring the
alliance of Corinth to that of Megara.  On the other hand, Megara, now
possessed of a democratic constitution, had long since abandoned the
Dorian character and habits.  The situation of its territories, the
nature of its institutions, alike pointed to Athens as its legitimate
ally.  Thus, when the war broke out between Megara and Corinth, on the
side of the latter appeared Sparta, while Megara naturally sought the
assistance of Athens.  The Athenian government eagerly availed itself
of the occasion to increase the power which Athens was now rapidly
extending over Greece.  If we cast our eyes along the map of Greece,
we shall perceive that the occupation of Megara proffered peculiar
advantages.  It became at once a strong and formidable fortress
against any incursions from the Peloponnesus, while its seaports of
Nisaea and Pegae opened new fields, both of ambition and of commerce,
alike on the Saronic and the Gulf of Corinth.  The Athenians seized
willingly on the alliance thus offered to them, and the Megarians had
the weakness to yield both Megara and Pegae to Athenian garrisons,
while the Athenians fortified their position by long walls that united
Megara with its harbour at Nisaea.

II.  A new and more vast enterprise contributed towards the stability
of the government by draining off its bolder spirits, and diverting
the popular attention from domestic to foreign affairs.

It is necessary to pass before us, in brief review, the vicissitudes
of the Persian court.  In republican Greece, the history of the people
marches side by side with the biography of great men.  In despotic
Persia, all history dies away in the dark recesses and sanguinary
murthers of a palace governed by eunuchs and defended but by slaves.

In the year 465 B. C. the reign of the unfortunate Xerxes drew to its
close.  On his return to Susa, after the disastrous results of the
Persian invasion, he had surrendered himself to the indolent luxury of
a palace.  An able and daring traitor, named Artabanus [187], but who
seems to have been a different personage from that Artabanus whose
sagacity had vainly sought to save the armies of Xerxes from the
expedition to Greece, entered into a conspiracy against the feeble
monarch.  By the connivance of a eunuch, he penetrated at night the
chamber of the king--and the gloomy destinies of Xerxes were
consummated by assassination.  Artabanus sought to throw the guilt
upon Darius, the eldest son of the murdered king; and Artaxerxes, the
younger brother, seems to have connived at a charge which might render
himself the lawful heir to the throne.  Darius accordingly perished by
the same fate as his father.  The extreme youth of Artaxerxes had
induced Artabanus to believe that but a slender and insecure life now
stood between himself and the throne; but the young prince was already
master of the royal art of dissimulation: he watched his opportunity--
and by a counter-revolution Artabanus was sacrificed to the manes of
his victims. [188]

Thus Artaxerxes obtained the undisturbed possession of the Persian
throne (B. C. 464).  The new monarch appears to have derived from
nature a stronger intellect than his father.  But the abuses, so rapid
and rank of growth in Eastern despotisms, which now ate away the
strength of the Persian monarchy, were already, perhaps, past the
possibility of reform.  The enormous extent of the ill-regulated
empire tempted the ambition of chiefs who might have plausibly hoped,
that as the Persian masters had now degenerated to the effeminacy of
the Assyrians they had supplanted, so the enterprise of a second Cyrus
might be crowned by a similar success.

Egypt had been rather overrun by Xerxes than subdued--and the spirit
of its ancient people waited only the occasion of revolt.  A Libyan
prince, of the name of Inarus, whose territories bordered Egypt,
entered that country (B. C. 460), and was hailed by the greater part
of the population as a deliverer.  The recent murder of Xerxes--the
weakness of a new reign, commenced in so sanguinary a manner, appeared
to favour their desire of independence; and the African adventurer
beheld himself at the head of a considerable force.  Having already
secured foreign subsidiaries, Inarus was anxious yet more to
strengthen himself abroad; and more than one ambassador was despatched
to Athens, soliciting her assistance, and proffering, in return, a
share in the government for whose establishment her arms were
solicited: a singular fatality, that the petty colony which, if we
believe tradition, had so many centuries ago settled in the then
obscure corners of Attica, should now be chosen the main auxiliary of
the parent state in her vital struggles for national independence.

III.  In acceding to the propositions of Inarus, Pericles yielded to
considerations wholly contrary to his after policy, which made it a
principal object to confine the energies of Athens within the limits
of Greece.  It is probable that that penetrating and scientific
statesman (if indeed he had yet attained to a position which enabled
him to follow out his own conceptions) saw that every new government
must dazzle either by great enterprises abroad or great changes at
home--and that he preferred the former.  There are few sacrifices that
a wary minister, newly-established, from whom high hopes are
entertained, and who can justify the destruction of a rival party only
by the splendour of its successor--will not hazard rather than incur
the contempt which follows disappointment.  He will do something that
is dangerous rather than do nothing that is brilliant.

Neither the hatred nor the fear of Persia was at an end in Athens; and
to carry war into the heart of her empire was a proposition eagerly
hailed.  The more democratic and turbulent portion of the populace,
viz., the seamen, had already been disposed of in an expedition of two
hundred triremes against Cyprus.  But the distant and magnificent
enterprise of Egypt--the hope of new empire--the lust of undiscovered
treasures--were more alluring than the reduction of Cyprus.  That
island was abandoned, and the fleet, composed both of Athenian and
confederate ships, sailed up the Nile.  Masters of that river, the
Athenians advanced to Memphis, the capital of Lower Egypt.  They
stormed and took two of the divisions of that city; the third, called
the White Castle (occupied by the Medes, the Persians, and such of the
Egyptians as had not joined the revolt), resisted their assault.

IV.  While thus occupied in Egypt, the Athenian arms were equally
employed in Greece.  The whole forces of the commonwealth were in
demand--war on every side.  The alliance with Megara not only created
an enemy in Corinth, but the Peloponnesian confederacy became involved
with the Attic: Lacedaemon herself, yet inert, but menacing; while the
neighbouring Aegina, intent and jealous, prepared for hostilities soon
manifest.

The Athenians forestalled the attack--made a descent on Haliae, in
Argolis--were met by the Corinthians and Epidaurians, and the result
of battle was the victory of the latter.  This defeat the Athenians
speedily retrieved at sea.  Off Cecryphalea, in the Saronic gulf, they
attacked and utterly routed the Peloponnesian fleet.  And now Aegina
openly declared war and joined the hostile league.  An important
battle was fought by these two maritime powers with the confederates
of either side.  The Athenians were victorious--took seventy ships--
and, pushing the advantage they had obtained, landed in Aegina and
besieged her city.  Three hundred heavy-armed Peloponnesians were
despatched to the relief of Aegina; while the Corinthians invaded the
Megarian territory, seized the passes of Geranea, and advanced to
Megara with their allies.  Never was occasion more propitious.  So
large a force in Egypt, so large a force at Aegina--how was it
possible for the Athenians to march to the aid of Megara?  They
appeared limited to the choice either to abandon Megara or to raise
the siege of Aegina: so reasoned the Peloponnesians.  But the
advantage of a constitution widely popular is, that the whole
community become soldiers in time of need.  Myronides, an Athenian of
great military genius, not unassisted by Pericles, whose splendid
qualities now daily developed themselves, was well adapted to give
direction to the enthusiasm of the people.  Not a man was called from
Aegina.  The whole regular force disposed of, there yet remained at
Athens those too aged and those too young for the ordinary service.
Under Myronides, boys and old men marched at once to the assistance of
their Megarian ally.  A battle ensued; both sides retiring, neither
considered itself defeated.  But the Corinthians retreating to
Corinth, the Athenians erected a trophy on the field.  The Corinthian
government received its troops with reproaches, and, after an interval
of twelve days, the latter returned to the scene of contest, and
asserting their claim to the victory, erected a trophy of their own.
During the work the Athenians sallied from Megara, where they had
ensconced themselves, attacked and put to flight the Corinthians; and
a considerable portion of the enemy turning into ground belonging to a
private individual, became entangled in a large pit or ditch, from
which was but one outlet, viz., that by which they had entered.  At
this passage the Athenians stationed their heavy-armed troops, while
the light-armed soldiers surrounded the ditch, and with the missiles
of darts and stones put the enemy to death.  The rest (being the
greater part) of the Corinthian forces effected a safe but
dishonourable retreat.

V.  This victory effected and Megara secured--although Aegina still
held out, and although the fate of the Egyptian expedition was still
unknown--the wonderful activity of the government commenced what even
in times of tranquillity would have been a great and arduous
achievement.  To unite their city with its seaports, they set to work
at the erection of the long walls, which extended from Athens both to
Phalerus and Piraeus.  Under Cimon, preparations already had been made
for the undertaking, and the spoils of Persia now provided the means
for the defence of Athens.

Meanwhile, the Spartans still continued at the siege of Ithome.  We
must not imagine that all the helots had joined in the revolt.  This,
indeed, would be almost to suppose the utter disorganization of the
Spartan state.  The most luxurious subjects of a despotism were never
more utterly impotent in procuring for themselves the necessaries of
life, than were the hardy and abstemious freemen of the Dorian Sparta.
It was dishonour for a Spartan to till the land--to exercise a trade.
He had all the prejudices against any calling but that of arms which
characterized a noble of the middle ages.

As is ever the case in the rebellion of slaves, the rise was not
universal; a sufficient number of these wretched dependants remained
passive and inert to satisfy the ordinary wants of their masters, and
to assist in the rebuilding of the town.  Still the Spartans were
greatly enfeebled, crippled, and embarrassed by the loss of the rest:
and the siege of Ithome sufficed to absorb their attention, and to
make them regard without open hostilities, if with secret enmity, the
operations of the Athenians.  The Spartan alliance formally dissolved
--Megara, with its command of the Peloponnesus seized--the Doric city
of Corinth humbled and defeated--Aegina blockaded; all these--the
Athenian proceedings--the Spartans bore without any formal declaration
of war.

VI.  And now, in the eighth year of the Messenian war, piety succeeded
where pride and revenge had failed, and the Spartans permitted other
objects to divide their attention with the siege of Ithome.  It was
one of the finest characteristics of that singular people, their
veneration for antiquity.  For the little, rocky, and obscure
territory of Doris, whence tradition derived their origin, they felt
the affection and reverence of sons.  A quarrel arising between the
people of this state and the neighbouring Phocians, the latter invaded
Doris, and captured one of its three towns [189].  The Lacedaemonians
marched at once to the assistance of their reputed father-land, with
an army of no less than fifteen hundred heavy-armed Spartans and ten
thousand of their Peloponnesian allies [190], under the command of
Nicomedes, son of Cleombrotus, and guardian of their king Pleistoanax,
still a minor.  They forced the Phocians to abandon the town they had
taken; and having effectually protected Doris by a treaty of peace
between the two nations, prepared to return home.  But in this they
were much perplexed; the pass of Geranea was now occupied by the
Athenians: Megara, too, and Pegae were in their hands.  Should they
pass by sea through the Gulf of Crissa, an Athenian squadron already
occupied that passage.  Either way they were intercepted [191].  Under
all circumstances, they resolved to halt a while in Boeotia, and watch
an opportunity to effect their return.  But with these ostensible
motives for that sojourn assigned by Thucydides, there was another
more deep and latent.  We have had constant occasion to remark how
singularly it was the Spartan policy to plot against the constitution
of free states, and how well-founded was the Athenian jealousy of the
secret interference of the Grecian Venice.

Halting now in Boeotia, Nicomedes entered into a clandestine
communication with certain of the oligarchic party in Athens, the
object of the latter being the overthrow of the existent popular
constitution.  With this object was certainly linked the recall of
Cimon, though there is no reason to believe that great general a party
in the treason.  This conspiracy was one main reason of the halt in
Boeotia.  Another was, probably, the conception of a great and politic
design, glanced at only by historians, but which, if successful, would
have ranked among the masterpieces of Spartan statesmanship.  This
design was--while Athens was to be weakened by internal divisions, and
her national spirit effectually curbed by the creation of an
oligarchy, the tool of Sparta--to erect a new rival to Athens in the
Boeotian Thebes.  It is true that this project was not, according to
Diodorus, openly apparent until after the battle of Tanagra.  But such
a scheme required preparation; and the sojourn of Nicomedes in Boeotia
afforded him the occasion to foresee its possibility and prepare his
plans.  Since the Persian invasion, Thebes had lost her importance,
not only throughout Greece, but throughout Boeotia, her dependant
territory.  Many of the states refused to regard her as their capital,
and the Theban government desired to regain its power.  Promises to
make war upon Athens rendered the Theban power auxiliary to Sparta:
the more Thebes was strengthened, the more Athens was endangered: and
Sparta, ever averse to quitting the Peloponnesus, would thus erect a
barrier to the Athenian arms on the very frontiers of Attica.

VII.  While such were the designs and schemes of Nicomedes, the
conspiracy of the aristocratic party could not be so secret in Athens
but what some rumour, some suspicion, broke abroad.  The people became
alarmed and incensed.  They resolved to anticipate the war; and,
judging Nicomedes cut off from retreat, and embarrassed and confined
in his position, they marched against him with a thousand Argives,
with a band of Thessalian horse, and some other allied troops drawn
principally from Ionia, which, united to the whole force of the armed
population within their walls, amounted, in all, to fourteen thousand
men.

VIII.  It is recorded by Plutarch, that during their march Cimon
appeared, and sought permission to join the army.  This was refused by
the senate of Five Hundred, to whom the petition was referred, not
from any injurious suspicion of Cimon, but from a natural fear that
his presence, instead of inspiring confidence, would create confusion;
and that it might be plausibly represented that he sought less to
resist the Spartans than to introduce them into Athens--a proof how
strong was the impression against him, and how extensive had been the
Spartan intrigues.  Cimon retired, beseeching his friends to vindicate
themselves from the aspersions cast upon them.  Placing the armour of
Cimon--a species of holy standard--in their ranks, a hundred of the
warmest supporters among his tribe advanced to battle conscious of the
trust committed to their charge.

IX.  In the territory of Tanagra a severe engagement took place.  On
that day Pericles himself fought in the thickest part of the battle
(B. C. 457); exposing himself to every danger, as if anxious that the
loss of Cimon should not be missed.  The battle was long, obstinate,
and even: when in the midst of it, the Thessalian cavalry suddenly
deserted to the Spartans.  Despite this treachery, the Athenians, well
supported by the Argives, long maintained their ground with advantage.
But when night separated the armies [192], victory remained with the
Spartans and their allies. [193]

The Athenians were not, however, much disheartened by defeat, nor did
the Spartans profit by their advantage.  Anxious only for escape,
Nicomedes conducted his forces homeward, passed through Megara,
destroying the fruit-trees on his march; and, gaining the pass of
Geranea, which the Athenians had deserted to join the camp at Tanagra,
arrived at Lacedaemon.

Meanwhile the Thebans took advantage of the victory to extend their
authority, agreeably to the project conceived with Sparta.  Thebes now
attempted the reduction of all the cities of Boeotia.  Some submitted,
others opposed.

X.  Aware of the necessity of immediate measures against a neighbour,
brave, persevering, and ambitious, the Athenian government lost no
time in recruiting its broken forces.  Under Myronides, an army,
collected from the allies and dependant states, was convened to
assemble upon a certain day.  Many failed the appointment, and the
general was urged to delay his march till their arrival.  "It is not
the part of a general," said Myronides, sternly, "to await the
pleasure of his soldiers!  By delay I read an omen of the desire of
the loiterers to avoid the enemy.  Better rely upon a few faithful
than on many disaffected."

With a force comparatively small, Myronides commenced his march,
entered Boeotia sixty-two days only after the battle of Tanagra, and,
engaging the Boeotians at Oenophyta, obtained a complete and splendid
victory (B. C. 456).  This battle, though Diodorus could find no
details of the action, was reckoned by Athens among the most glorious
she had ever achieved; preferred by the vain Greeks even to those of
Marathon and Plataea, inasmuch as Greek was opposed to Greek, and not
to the barbarians.  Those who fell on the Athenian side were first
honoured by public burial in the Ceramichus--"As men," says Plato,
"who fought against Grecians for the liberties of Greece."  Myronides
followed up his victory by levelling the walls of Tanagra.  All
Boeotia, except Thebes herself, was brought into the Athenian
alliance--as democracies in the different towns, replacing the
oligarchical governments, gave the moral blow to the Spartan
ascendency.  Thus, in effect, the consequences of the battle almost
deserved the eulogies bestowed upon the victory.  Those consequences
were to revolutionize nearly all the states in Boeotia; and, by
calling up a democracy in each state, Athens at once changed enemies
into allies.

From Boeotia, Myronides marched to Phocis, and, pursuing the same
policy, rooted out the oligarchies, and established popular
governments.  The Locrians of Opus gave a hundred of their wealthiest
citizens as hostages.  Returned to Athens, Myronides was received with
public rejoicings [194], and thus closed a short but brilliant
campaign, which had not only conquered enemies, but had established
everywhere garrisons of friends.

XI.  Although the banishment of Cimon had appeared to complete the
triumph of the popular party in Athens, his opinions were not banished
also.  Athens, like all free states, was ever agitated by the feud of
parties, at once its danger and its strength.  Parties in Athens were,
however, utterly unlike many of those that rent the peace of the
Italian republics; nor are they rightly understood in the vague
declamations of Barthelemi or Mitford; they were not only parties of
names and men--they were also parties of principles--the parties of
restriction and of advance.  And thus the triumph of either was
invariably followed by the triumph of the principle it espoused.
Nobler than the bloody contests of mere faction, we do not see in
Athens the long and sweeping proscriptions, the atrocious massacres
that attended the party-strifes of ancient Rome or of modern Italy.
The ostracism, or the fine, of some obnoxious and eminent partisans,
usually contented the wrath of the victorious politicians.  And in the
advance of a cause the people found the main vent for their passions.
I trust, however, that I shall not be accused of prejudice when I
state as a fact, that the popular party in Athens seems to have been
much more moderate and less unprincipled even in its excesses than its
antagonists.  We never see it, like the Pisistratidae, leagued with
the Persian, nor with Isagoras, betraying Athens to the Spartan.  What
the oligarchic faction did when triumphant, we see hereafter in the
establishment of the Thirty Tyrants.  And compared with their
offences, the ostracism of Aristides, or the fine and banishment of
Cimon, lose all their colours of wrong.

XII.  The discontented advocates for an oligarchy, who had intrigued
with Nicomedes, had been foiled in their object, partly by the conduct
of Cimon in disavowing all connexion with them, partly by the retreat
of Nicomedes himself.  Still their spirit was too fierce to suffer
them to forego their schemes without a struggle, and after the battle
of Tanagra they broke out into open conspiracy against the republic.

The details of this treason are lost to us; it is one of the darkest
passages of Athenian history.  From scattered and solitary references
we can learn, however, that for a time it threatened the democracy
with ruin. [195]

The victory of the Spartans at Tanagra gave strength to the Spartan
party in Athens; it also inspired with fear many of the people; it was
evidently desirable rather to effect a peace with Sparta than to
hazard a war.  Who so likely to effect that peace as the banished
Cimon?  Now was the time to press for his recall.  Either at this
period, or shortly afterward, Ephialtes, his most vehement enemy, was
barbarously murdered--according to Aristotle, a victim to the hatred
of the nobles.

XIII.  Pericles had always conducted his opposition to Cimon with
great dexterity and art; and indeed the aristocratic leaders of
contending parties are rarely so hostile to each other as their
subordinate followers suppose.  In the present strife for the recall
of his rival, amid all the intrigues and conspiracies, the open
violence and the secret machination, which threatened not only the
duration of the government, but the very existence of the republic,
Pericles met the danger by proposing himself the repeal of Cimon's
sentence.

Plutarch, with a childish sentimentality common to him when he means
to be singularly effective, bursts into an exclamation upon the
generosity of this step, and the candour and moderation of those
times, when resentments could be so easily laid aside.  But the
profound and passionless mind of Pericles was above all the weakness
of a melodramatic generosity.  And it cannot be doubted that this
measure was a compromise between the government and the more moderate
and virtuous of the aristocratic party.  Perhaps it was the most
advantageous compromise Pericles was enabled to effect; for by
concession with respect to individuals, we can often prevent
concession as to things.  The recall [196] of the great leader of the
anti-popular faction may have been deemed equivalent to the surrender
of many popular rights.  And had we a deeper insight into the
intrigues of that day and the details of the oligarchic conspiracy, I
suspect we should find that, by recalling Cimon, Pericles saved the
constitution. [197]

XIV.  The first and most popular benefit anticipated from the recall
of the son of Miltiades in a reconciliation between Sparta and Athens,
was not immediately realized further than by an armistice of four
months. [198]

About this time the long walls of the Piraeus were completed (B. C.
455), and shortly afterward Aegina yielded to the arms of the
Athenians (B. C. 455), upon terms which subjected the citizens of that
gallant and adventurous isle (whose achievements and commerce seem no
less a miracle than the greatness of Athens when we survey the limits
of their narrow and rocky domain) to the rival they had long so
fearlessly, nor fruitlessly braved.  The Aeginetans surrendered their
shipping, demolished their walls, and consented to the payment of an
annual tribute.  And so was fulfilled the proverbial command of
Pericles, that Aegina ought not to remain the eyesore of Athens.

XV.  Aegina reduced, the Athenian fleet of fifty galleys, manned by
four thousand men [199], under the command of Tolmides,
circumnavigated the Peloponnesus--the armistice of four months had
expired--and, landing in Laconia, Tolmides burnt Gythium, a dock of
the Lacedaemonians; took Chalcis, a town belonging to Corinth, and,
debarking at Sicyon, engaged and defeated the Sicyonians.  Thence
proceeding to Cephallenia, he mastered the cities of that isle; and
descending at Naupactus, on the Corinthian gulf, wrested it from the
Ozolian Locrians.

In the same year with this expedition, and in the tenth year of the
siege (B. C. 455), Ithome surrendered to Lacedaemon.  The long and
gallant resistance of that town, the precipitous site of which nature
herself had fortified, is one of the most memorable and glorious
events in the Grecian history; and we cannot but regret that the
imperfect morality of those days, which saw glory in the valour of
freemen, rebellion only in that of slaves, should have left us but
frigid and scanty accounts of so obstinate a siege.  To posterity
neither the cause nor the achievements of Marathon or Plataea, seem
the one more holy, the other more heroic, than this long defiance of
Messenians and helots against the prowess of Sparta and the aid of her
allies.  The reader will rejoice to learn that it was on no
dishonourable terms that the city at last surrendered.  Life and free
permission to depart was granted to the besieged, and recorded by a
pillar erected on the banks of the Alpheus [200].  But such of the
helots as had been taken in battle or in the neighbouring territory
were again reduced to slavery--the ringleaders so apprehended alone
executed. [201]

The gallant defenders of Ithome having conditioned to quit for ever
the Peloponnesus, Tolmides invested them with the possession of his
new conquest of Naupactus.  There, under a democratic government,
protected by the power of Athens, they regained their ancient freedom,
and preserved their hereditary name of Messenians--long distinguished
from their neighbours by their peculiar dialect.

XVI.  While thus, near at home, the Athenians had extended their
conquests and cemented their power, the adventurers they had
despatched to the Nile were maintaining their strange settlement with
more obstinacy than success.  At first, the Athenians and their ally,
the Libyan Inarus, had indeed, as we have seen, obtained no
inconsiderable advantage.

Anxious to detach the Athenians from the Egyptian revolt, Artaxerxes
had despatched an ambassador to Sparta, in order to prevail upon that
state to make an excursion into Attica, and so compel the Athenians to
withdraw their troops from Egypt.  The liability of the Spartan
government to corrupt temptation was not unknown to a court which had
received the Spartan fugitives; and the ambassador was charged with
large treasures to bribe those whom he could not otherwise convince.
Nevertheless, the negotiation failed; the government could not be
induced to the alliance with the Persian king.  There was indeed a
certain spirit of honour inherent in that haughty nation which, if not
incompatible with cunning and intrigue, held at least in profound
disdain an alliance with the barbarian, for whatsoever ends.  But, in
fact, the Spartans were then entirely absorbed in the reduction of
Ithome, and the war in Arcady; and it would, further, have been the
height of impolicy in that state, if meditating any designs against
Athens, to assist in the recall of an army which it was its very
interest to maintain employed in distant and perilous expeditions.

The ambassador had the satisfaction indeed of wasting some of his
money, but to no purpose; and he returned without success to Asia.
Artaxerxes then saw the necessity of arousing himself to those active
exertions which the feebleness of an exhausted despotism rendered the
final, not the first resort.  Under Megabyzus an immense army was
collected; traversing Syria and Phoenicia, it arrived in Egypt,
engaged the Egyptian forces in a pitched battle, and obtained a
complete victory.  Thence marching to Memphis, it drove the Greeks
from their siege of the White Castle, till then continued, and shut
them up in Prosopitis, an island in the Nile, around which their ships
lay anchored.  Megabyzus ordered the channel to be drained by dikes,
and the vessels, the main force of the Athenians, were left stranded.
Terrified by this dexterous manoeuvre, as well as by the success of
the Persians, the Egyptians renounced all further resistance; and the
Athenians were deprived at once of their vessels and their allies.
[202]

XVII.  Nothing daunted, and inspired by their disdain no less than by
their valour, the Athenians were yet to the barbarian what the Norman
knights were afterward to the Greeks.  They burnt their vessels that
they might be as useless to the enemy as to themselves, and, exhorting
each other not to dim the glory of their past exploits, shut up still
in the small town of Byblus situated in the isle of Prosopitis,
resolved to defend themselves to the last.

The blockade endured a year and a half, such was the singular
ignorance of the art of sieges in that time.  At length, when the
channel was drained, as I have related, the Persians marched across
the dry bed, and carried the place by a land assault.  So ended this
wild and romantic expedition.  The greater part of the Athenians
perished; a few, however, either forced their way by arms, or, as
Diodorus more probably relates, were permitted by treaty to retire,
out of the Egyptian territory.  Taking the route of Libya, they
arrived at Cyrene, and finally reached Athens.

Inarus, the author of the revolt, was betrayed, and perished on the
cross, and the whole of Egypt once more succumbed to the Persian yoke,
save only that portion called the marshy or fenny parts (under the
dominion of a prince named Amyrtaeus), protected by the nature of the
soil and the proverbial valour of the inhabitants.  Meanwhile a
squadron of fifty vessels, despatched by Athens to the aid of their
countrymen, entered the Mendesian mouth of the Nile too late to
prevent the taking of Byblus.  Here they were surprised and defeated
by the Persian troops and a Phoenician fleet (B. C. 455), and few
survived a slaughter which put the last seal on the disastrous results
of the Egyptian expedition.

At home the Athenians continued, however, their military operations.
Thessaly, like the rest of Greece, had long shaken off the forms of
kingly government, but the spirit of monarchy still survived in a
country where the few were opulent and the multitude enslaved.  The
Thessalian republics, united by an assembly of deputies from the
various towns, elected for their head a species of protector--who
appears to have possessed many of the characteristics of the podesta
of the Italian states.  His nominal station was that of military
command--a station which, in all save the most perfect constitutions,
comprehends also civil authority.  The name of Tagus was given to this
dangerous chief, and his power and attributes so nearly resembled
those of a monarch, that even Thucydides confers on a Tagus the title
of king.  Orestes, one of these princes, had been driven from his
country by a civil revolution.  He fled to Athens, and besought her
assistance to effect his restoration.  That the Athenians should exert
themselves in favour of a man whose rank so nearly resembled the
odious dignity of a monarch, appears a little extraordinary.  But as
the Tagus was often the favourite of the commonalty and the foe of the
aristocratic party, it is possible that, in restoring Orestes, the
Athenians might have seen a new occasion to further the policy so
triumphantly adopted in Boeotia and Phocis--to expel a hostile
oligarchy and establish a friendly democracy [203].  Whatever their
views, they decided to yield to the exile the assistance he demanded,
and under Myronides an army in the following year accompanied Orestes
into Thessaly.  They were aided by the Boeotians and Phocians.
Myronides marched to Pharsalus, a Thessalian city, and mastered the
surrounding country; but the obstinate resistance of the city
promising a more protracted blockade than it was deemed advisable to
await, the Athenians raised the siege without effecting the object of
the expedition.

XVIII.  The possession of Pegae and the new colony of Naupactus [204]
induced the desire of extending the Athenian conquests on the
neighbouring coasts, and the government were naturally anxious to
repair the military honours of Athens--lessened in Egypt, and
certainly not increased in Thessaly.  With a thousand Athenian
soldiers, Pericles himself set out for Pegae.  Thence the fleet, there
anchored, made a descent on Sicyon; Pericles defeated the Sicyonians
in a pitched battle, and besieged the city; but, after some fruitless
assaults, learning that the Spartans were coming to the relief of the
besieged, he quitted the city, and, re-enforced by some Achaeans,
sailed to the opposite side of the continent, crossed over the
Corinthian Bay, besieged the town of Oeniadae in Acarnania (B. C. 454)
(the inhabitants of which Pausanias [205] styles the hereditary
enemies of the Athenians), ravaged the neighbouring country, and bore
away no inconsiderable spoils.  Although he reduced no city, the
successes of Pericles were signal enough to render the campaign
triumphant [206]; and it gratified the national pride and resentment
to have insulted the cities and wasted the lands of the Peloponnesus.

These successes were sufficient to render a peace with Sparta and her
allies advisable for the latter, while they were not sufficiently
decided to tempt the Athenians to prolong irregular and fruitless
hostilities.  Three years were consumed without further aggressions on
either side, and probably in negotiations for peace.  At the end of
that time, the influence and intervention of Cimon obtained a truce of
five years between the Athenians and the Peloponnesians.

XIX.  The truce with the Peloponnesians (B. C. 450) removed the main
obstacle to those more bright and extensive prospects of enterprise
and ambition which the defeat of the Persians had opened to the
Athenians.  In that restless and unpausing energy, which is the
characteristic of an intellectual republic, there seems, as it were, a
kind of destiny: a power impossible to resist urges the state from
action to action, from progress to progress, with a rapidity dangerous
while it dazzles; resembling in this the career of individuals
impelled onward, first to obtain, and thence to preserve, power, and
who cannot struggle against the fate which necessitates them to soar,
until, by the moral gravitation of human things, the point which has
no beyond is attained; and the next effort to rise is but the prelude
of their fall.  In such states Time indeed moves with gigantic
strides; years concentrate what would be the epochs of centuries in
the march of less popular institutions.  The planet of their fortunes
rolls with an equal speed through the cycle of internal civilization
as of foreign glory.  The condition of their brilliant life is the
absence of repose.  The accelerated circulation of the blood
beautifies but consumes, and action itself, exhausting the stores of
youth by its very vigour, becomes a mortal but divine disease.

XX.  When Athens rose to the ascendency of Greece, it was necessary to
the preservation of that sudden and splendid dignity that she should
sustain the naval renown by which it had been mainly acquired.  There
is but one way to sustain reputation, viz., to increase it and the
memory of past glories becomes dim unless it be constantly refreshed
by new.  It must also be borne in mind that the maritime habits of the
people had called a new class into existence in the councils of the
state.  The seamen, the most democratic part of the population, were
now to be conciliated and consulted: it was requisite to keep them in
action, for they were turbulent--in employment, for they were poor:
and thus the domestic policy and the foreign interests of Athens alike
conspired to necessitate the prosecution of maritime enterprise.

XXI.  No longer harassed and impeded by fears of an enemy in the
Peloponnesus, the lively imagination of the people readily turned to
more dazzling and profitable warfare.  The Island of Cyprus had (we
have seen) before attracted the ambition of the mistress of the
Aegaean.  Its possession was highly advantageous, whether for military
or commercial designs, and once subjected, the fleet of the Athenians
might readily retain the dominion.  Divided into nine petty states,
governed, not by republican, but by monarchical institutions, the
forces of the island were distracted, and the whole proffered an easy
as well as glorious conquest; while the attempt took the plausible
shape of deliverance, inasmuch as Persia, despite the former successes
of Cimon, still arrogated the supremacy over the island, and the war
was, in fact, less against Cyprus than against Persia.  Cimon, who
ever affected great and brilliant enterprises, and whose main policy
it was to keep the Athenians from the dangerous borders of the
Peloponnesus, hastened to cement the truce he had formed with the
states of that district, by directing the spirit of enterprise to the
conquest of Cyprus.

Invested with the command of two hundred galleys, he set sail for that
island (B. C. 450) [207].  But designs more vast were associated with
this enterprise.  The objects of the late Egyptian expedition still
tempted, and sixty vessels of the fleet were despatched to Egypt to
the assistance of Amyrtaeus, who, yet unconquered, in the marshy
regions, sustained the revolt against the Persian king.

Artabazus commanded the Persian forces, and with a fleet of three
hundred vessels he ranged himself in sight of Cyprus.  Cimon, however,
landing on the island, succeeded in capturing many of its principal
towns.  Humbled and defeated, it was not the policy of Persia to
continue hostilities with an enemy from whom it had so much to fear
and so little to gain.  It is not, therefore, altogether an improbable
account of the later authorities, that ambassadors with proposals of
peace were formally despatched to Athens.  But we must reject as a
pure fable the assertions that a treaty was finally agreed upon, by
which it was decreed, on the one hand, that the independence of the
Asiatic Greek towns should be acknowledged, and that the Persian
generals should not advance within three days' march of the Grecian
seas; nor should a Persian vessel sail within the limit of Phaselis
and the Cyanean rocks; while, on the other hand, the Athenians were
bound not to enter the territories of Artaxerxes [208].  No such
arrangement was known to Thucydides; no reference is ever made to such
a treaty in subsequent transactions with Persia.  A document,
professing to be a copy of this treaty, was long extant; but it was
undoubtedly the offspring of a weak credulity or an ingenious
invention.  But while negotiations, if ever actually commenced, were
yet pending, Cimon was occupied in the siege of Citium, where famine
conspired with the obstinacy of the besieged to protract the success
of his arms.  It is recorded among the popular legends of the day that
Cimon [209] sent a secret mission to the oracle of Jupiter Ammon.
"Return," was the response to the messengers; "Cimon is with me!"  The
messengers did return to find the son of Miltiades was no more.  He
expired during the blockade of Citium (B. C. 449).  By his orders his
death was concealed, the siege raised, and, still under the magic of
Cimon's name, the Athenians engaging the Phoenicians and Cilicians off
the Cyprian Salamis, obtained signal victories both by land and sea.
Thence, joined by the squadron despatched to Egypt, which, if it did
not share, did not retrieve, the misfortunes of the previous
expedition, they returned home.

The remains of Cimon were interred in Athens, and the splendid
monument consecrated to his name was visible in the time of Plutarch.



CHAPTER V.

Change of Manners in Athens.--Begun under the Pisistratidae.--Effects
of the Persian War, and the intimate Connexion with Ionia.--The
Hetaerae.--The Political Eminence lately acquired by Athens.--The
Transfer of the Treasury from Delos to Athens.--Latent Dangers and
Evils.--First, the Artificial Greatness of Athens not supported by
Natural Strength.--Secondly, her pernicious Reliance on Tribute.--
Thirdly, Deterioration of National Spirit commenced by Cimon in the
Use of Bribes and Public Tables.--Fourthly, Defects in Popular Courts
of Law.--Progress of General Education.--History.--Its Ionian Origin.
--Early Historians.--Acusilaus.--Cadmus.--Eugeon.--Hellanicus.--
Pherecides.--Xanthus.--View of the Life and Writings of Herodotus.--
Progress of Philosophy since Thales.--Philosophers of the Ionian and
Eleatic Schools.--Pythagoras.--His Philosophical Tenets and Political
Influence.--Effect of these Philosophers on Athens.--School of
Political Philosophy continued in Athens from the Time of Solon.--
Anaxagoras.--Archelaus.--Philosophy not a thing apart from the
ordinary Life of the Athenians.


I.  Before we pass to the administration of Pericles--a period so
brilliant in the history not more of Athens than of art--it may not be
unseasonable to take a brief survey of the progress which the
Athenians had already made in civilization and power (B. C. 449).

The comedians and the rhetoricians, when at a later period they boldly
represented to the democracy, in a mixture of satire and of truth, the
more displeasing features of the popular character, delighted to draw
a contrast between the new times and the old.  The generation of men
whom Marathon and Salamis had immortalized were, according to these
praisers of the past, of nobler manners and more majestic virtues than
their degenerate descendants.  "Then," exclaimed Isocrates, "our young
men did not waste their days in the gambling-house, nor with
music-girls, nor in the assemblies, in which whole days are now consumed
then did they shun the Agora, or, if they passed through its haunts,
it was with modest and timorous forbearance--then, to contradict an
elder was a greater offence than nowadays to offend a parent--then,
not even a servant of honest repute would have been seen to eat or
drink within a tavern!"  "In the good old times," says the citizen of
Aristophanes [210], "our youths breasted the snow without a mantle--
their music was masculine and martial--their gymnastic exercises
decorous and chaste.  Thus were trained the heroes of Marathon!"

In such happy days we are informed that mendicancy and even want were
unknown. [211]

It is scarcely necessary to observe, that we must accept these
comparisons between one age and another with considerable caution and
qualification.  We are too much accustomed to such declamations in our
own time not to recognise an ordinary trick of satirists and
declaimers.  As long as a people can bear patiently to hear their own
errors and follies scornfully proclaimed, they have not become
altogether degenerate or corrupt.  Yet still, making every allowance
for rhetorical or poetic exaggeration, it is not more evident than
natural that the luxury of civilization--the fervour of unbridled
competition, in pleasure as in toil--were attended with many changes
of manners and life favourable to art and intellect, but hostile to
the stern hardihood of a former age.

II.  But the change was commenced, not under a democracy, but under a
tyranny--it was consummated, not by the vices, but the virtues of the
nation.  It began with the Pisistratidae [212], who first introduced
into Athens the desire of pleasure and the habits of ostentation, that
refine before they enervate; and that luxury which, as in Athenaeus it
is well and profoundly said, is often the concomitant of freedom, "as
soft couches took their name from Hercules"--made its rapid progress
with the result of the Persian war.  The plunder of Plataea, the
luxuries of Byzantium, were not limited in their effect to the wild
Pausanias.  The decay of old and the rise of new families tended to
give a stimulus to the emulation of wealth--since it is by wealth that
new families seek to eclipse the old.  And even the destruction of
private houses, in the ravages of Mardonius, served to quicken the
career of art.  In rebuilding their mansions, the nobles naturally
availed themselves of the treasures and the appliances of the gorgeous
enemy they had vanquished and despoiled.  Few ever rebuild their
houses on as plain a scale as the old ones.  In the city itself the
residences of the great remained plain and simple; they were mostly
built of plaster and unburnt brick, and we are told that the houses of
Cimon and Pericles were scarcely distinguishable from those of the
other citizens.  But in their villas in Attica, in which the Athenians
took a passionate delight, they exhibited their taste and displayed
their wealth [213].  And the lucrative victories of Cimon, backed by
his own example of ostentation, gave to a vast number of families,
hitherto obscure, at once the power to gratify luxury and the desire
to parade refinement.  Nor was the Eastern example more productive of
emulation than the Ionian.  The Persian war, and the league which
followed it, brought Athens into the closest intercourse with her
graceful but voluptuous colonies.  Miletus fell, but the manners of
Miletus survived her liberties.  That city was renowned for the
peculiar grace and intellectual influence of its women; and it is
evident that there must have been a gradual change of domestic habits
and the formation of a new class of female society in Athens before
Aspasia could have summoned around her the power, and the wisdom, and
the wit of Athens--before an accomplished mistress could have been
even suspected of urging the politic Pericles into war--and, above
all, before an Athenian audience could have assented in delight to
that mighty innovation on their masculine drama--which is visible in
the passionate heroines and the sentimental pathos of Euripides.

But this change was probably not apparent in the Athenian matrons
themselves, who remained for the most part in primitive seclusion; and
though, I think, it will be shown hereafter that modern writers have
greatly exaggerated both the want of mental culture and the degree of
domestic confinement to which the Athenian women [214] were subjected,
yet it is certain, at least, that they did not share the social
freedom or partake the intellectual accomplishments of their lords.
It was the new class of "Female Friends" or "Hetaerae," a phrase ill
translated by the name of "courtesans" (from whom they were
indubitably but not to our notions very intelligibly, distinguished),
that exhibited the rarest union of female blandishment and masculine
culture.  "The wife for our house and honour," implies Demosthenes,
"the Hetaera for our solace and delight."  These extraordinary women,
all foreigners, and mostly Ionian, made the main phenomenon of
Athenian society.  They were the only women with whom an enlightened
Greek could converse as equal to himself in education.  While the law
denied them civil rights, usage lavished upon them at once admiration
and respect.  By stealth, as it were, and in defiance of legislation,
they introduced into the ambitious and restless circles of Athens many
of the effects, pernicious or beneficial, which result from the
influence of educated women upon the manners and pursuits of men.
[215]

III.  The alteration of social habits was not then sudden and
startling (such is never the case in the progress of national
manners), but, commencing with the graces of a polished tyranny,
ripened with the results of glorious but too profitable victories.
Perhaps the time in which the state of transition was most favourably
visible was just prior to the death of Cimon.  It was not then so much
the over-refinement of a new and feebler generation, as the polish and
elegance which wealth, art, and emulation necessarily imparted to the
same brave warriors who exchanged posts with the Spartans at Plataea,
and sent out their children and old men to fight and conquer with
Myronides.

IV.  A rapid glance over the events of the few years commemorated in
the last book of this history will suffice to show the eminence which
Athens had attained over the other states of Greece.  She was the head
of the Ionian League--the mistress of the Grecian seas; with Sparta,
the sole rival that could cope with her armies and arrest her
ambition, she had obtained a peace; Corinth was humbled, Aegina
ruined, Megara had shrunk into her dependency and garrison.  The
states of Boeotia had received their very constitution from the hands
of an Athenian general--the democracies planted by Athens served to
make liberty itself subservient to her will, and involved in her
safety.  She had remedied the sterility of her own soil by securing
the rich pastures of the neighbouring Euboea.  She had added the gold
of Thasos to the silver of Laurion, and established a footing in
Thessaly which was at once a fortress against the Asiatic arms and a
mart for Asiatic commerce.  The fairest lands of the opposite coast--
the most powerful islands of the Grecian seas--contributed to her
treasury, or were almost legally subjected to her revenge.  Her navy
was rapidly increasing in skill, in number, and renown; at home, the
recall of Cimon had conciliated domestic contentions, and the death of
Cimon dispirited for a while the foes to the established constitution.
In all Greece, Myronides was perhaps the ablest general--Pericles (now
rapidly rising to the sole administration of affairs [216]) was
undoubtedly the most highly educated, cautious, and commanding
statesman.

But a single act of successful daring had, more than all else,
contributed to the Athenian power.  Even in the lifetime of Aristides
it had been proposed to transfer the common treasury from Delos to
Athens [217].  The motion failed--perhaps through the virtuous
opposition of Aristides himself.  But when at the siege of Ithome the
feud between the Athenians and Spartans broke out, the fairest pretext
and the most favourable occasion conspired in favour of a measure so
seductive to the national ambition.  Under pretence of saving the
treasury from the hazard of falling a prey to the Spartan rapacity or
need,--it was at once removed to Athens (B. C. 461 or 460) [218]; and
while the enfeebled power of Sparta, fully engrossed by the Messenian
war, forbade all resistance to the transfer from that the most
formidable quarter, the conquests of Naxos and the recent reduction of
Thasos seem to have intimidated the spirit, and for a time even to
have silenced the reproaches, of the tributary states themselves.
Thus, in actual possession of the tribute of her allies, Athens
acquired a new right to its collection and its management; and while
she devoted some of the treasures to the maintenance of her strength,
she began early to uphold the prerogative of appropriating a part to
the enhancement of her splendour. [219]

As this most important measure occurred at the very period when the
power of Cimon was weakened by the humiliating circumstances that
attended his expedition to Ithome, and by the vigorous and popular
measures of the opposition, so there seems every reason to believe
that it was principally advised and effected by Pericles, who appears
shortly afterward presiding over the administration of the finances.
[220]

Though the Athenian commerce had greatly increased, it was still
principally confined to the Thracian coasts and the Black Sea.  The
desire of enterprises, too vast for a state whose power reverses might
suddenly destroy, was not yet indulged to excess; nor had the
turbulent spirits of the Piraeus yet poured in upon the various
barriers of the social state and the political constitution, the
rashness of sailors and the avarice of merchants.  Agriculture, to
which all classes in Athens were addicted, raised a healthful
counteraction to the impetus given to trade.  Nor was it till some
years afterward, when Pericles gathered all the citizens into the
town, and left no safety-valve to the ferment and vices of the Agora,
that the Athenian aristocracy gradually lost all patriotism and
manhood, and an energetic democracy was corrupted into a vehement
though educated mob.  The spirit of faction, it is true, ran high, but
a third party, headed by Myronides and Tolmides, checked the excesses
of either extreme.

V.  Thus, at home and abroad, time and fortune, the concurrence of
events, and the happy accident of great men, not only maintained the
present eminence of Athens, but promised, to ordinary foresight, a
long duration of her glory and her power.  To deeper observers, the
picture might have presented dim but prophetic shadows.  It was clear
that the command Athens had obtained was utterly disproportioned to
her natural resources--that her greatness was altogether artificial,
and rested partly upon moral rather than physical causes, and partly
upon the fears and the weakness of her neighbours.  A steril soil, a
limited territory, a scanty population--all these--the drawbacks and
disadvantages of nature--the wonderful energy and confident daring of
a free state might conceal in prosperity; but the first calamity could
not fail to expose them to jealous and hostile eyes.  The empire
delegated to the Athenians they must naturally desire to retain and to
increase; and there was every reason to forbode that their ambition
would soon exceed their capacities to sustain it.  As the state became
accustomed to its power, it would learn to abuse it.  Increasing
civilization, luxury, and art, brought with them new expenses, and
Athens had already been permitted to indulge with impunity the
dangerous passion of exacting tribute from her neighbours.  Dependance
upon other resources than those of the native population has ever been
a main cause of the destruction of despotisms, and it cannot fail,
sooner or later, to be equally pernicious to the republics that trust
to it.  The resources of taxation, confined to freemen and natives,
are almost incalculable; the resources of tribute, wrung from
foreigners and dependants, are sternly limited and terribly
precarious--they rot away the true spirit of industry in the people
that demand the impost--they implant ineradicable hatred in the states
that concede it.

VI.  Two other causes of great deterioration to the national spirit
were also at work in Athens.  One, as I have before hinted, was the
policy commenced by Cimon, of winning the populace by the bribes and
exhibitions of individual wealth.  The wise Pisistratus had invented
penalties--Cimon offered encouragement--to idleness.  When the poor
are once accustomed to believe they have a right to the generosity of
the rich, the first deadly inroad is made upon the energies of
independence and the sanctity of property.  A yet more pernicious evil
in the social state of the Athenians was radical in their
constitution--it was their courts of justice.  Proceeding upon a
theory that must have seemed specious and plausible to an
inexperienced and infant republic, Solon had laid it down as a
principle of his code, that as all men were interested in the
preservation of law, so all men might exert the privilege of the
plaintiff and accuser.  As society grew more complicated, the door was
thus opened to every species of vexatious charge and frivolous
litigation.  The common informer became a most harassing and powerful
personage, and made one of a fruitful and crowded profession; and in
the very capital of liberty there existed the worst species of
espionage.  But justice was not thereby facilitated.  The informer was
regarded with universal hatred and contempt; and it is easy to
perceive, from  the writings of the great comic poet, that the
sympathies of the Athenian audience were as those of the English
public at this day, enlisted against the man who brought the
inquisition of the law to the hearth of his neighbour.

VII.  Solon committed a yet more fatal and incurable error when he
carried the democratic principle into judicial tribunals.  He
evidently considered that the very strength and life of his
constitution rested in the Heliaea--a court the numbers and nature of
which have been already described.  Perhaps, at a time when the old
oligarchy was yet so formidable, it might have been difficult to
secure justice to the poorer classes while the judges were selected
from the wealthier.  But justice to all classes became a yet more
capricious uncertainty when a court of law resembled a popular
hustings. [221]

If we intrust a wide political suffrage to the people, the people at
least hold no trust for others than themselves and their posterity--
they are not responsible to the public, for they are the public. But
in law, where there are two parties concerned, the plaintiff and
defendant, the judge should not only be incorruptible, but strictly
responsible.  In Athens the people became the judge; and, in offences
punishable by fine, were the very party interested in procuring
condemnation; the numbers of the jury prevented all responsibility,
excused all abuses, and made them susceptible of the same shameless
excesses that characterize self-elected corporations--from which
appeal is idle, and over which public opinion exercises no control.
These numerous, ignorant, and passionate assemblies were liable at all
times to the heats of party, to the eloquence of individuals--to the
whims and caprices, the prejudices, the impatience, and the turbulence
which must ever be the characteristics of a multitude orally
addressed.  It was evident, also, that from service in such a court,
the wealthy, the eminent, and the learned, with other occupation or
amusement, would soon seek to absent themselves.  And the final blow
to the integrity and respectability of the popular judicature was
given at a later period by Pericles, when he instituted a salary, just
sufficient to tempt the poor and to be disdained by the affluent, to
every dicast or juryman in the ten ordinary courts [222].  Legal
science became not the profession of the erudite and the laborious
few, but the livelihood of the ignorant and idle multitude.  The
canvassing--the cajoling--the bribery--that resulted from this, the
most vicious institution of the Athenian democracy--are but too
evident and melancholy tokens of the imperfection of human wisdom.
Life, property, and character were at the hazard of a popular
election.  These evils must have been long in progressive operation;
but perhaps they were scarcely visible till the fatal innovation of
Pericles, and the flagrant excesses that ensued allowed the people
themselves to listen to the branding and terrible satire upon the
popular judicature, which is still preserved to us in the comedy of
Aristophanes.

At the same time, certain critics and historians have widely and
grossly erred in supposing that these courts of "the sovereign
multitude" were partial to the poor and hostile to the rich.  All
testimony proves that the fact was lamentably the reverse.  The
defendant was accustomed to engage the persons of rank or influence
whom he might number as his friends, to appear in court on his behalf.
And property was employed to procure at the bar of justice the
suffrages it could command at a political election.  The greatest vice
of the democratic Heliaea was, that by a fine the wealthy could
purchase pardon--by interest the great could soften law.  But the
chances were against the poor man.  To him litigation was indeed
cheap, but justice dear.  He had much the same inequality to struggle
against in a suit with a powerful antagonist, that he would have had
in contesting with him for an office in the administration.  In all
trials resting on the voice of popular assemblies, it ever has been
and ever will be found, that, caeteris paribus, the aristocrat will
defeat the plebeian.

VIII.  Meanwhile the progress of general education had been great and
remarkable.  Music [223], from the earliest time, was an essential
part of instruction; and it had now become so common an acquirement,
that Aristotle [224] observes, that at the close of the Persian war
there was scarcely a single freeborn Athenian unacquainted with the
flute.  The use of this instrument was afterward discontinued, and
indeed proscribed in the education of freemen, from the notion that it
was not an instrument capable of music sufficiently elevated and
intellectual [225]; yet it was only succeeded by melodies more
effeminate and luxurious.  And Aristophanes enumerates the change from
the old national airs and measures among the worst symptoms of
Athenian degeneracy.  Besides the musician, the tutor of the gymnasium
and the grammarian still made the nominal limit of scholastic
instruction. [226]  But life itself had now become a school.  The
passion for public intercourse and disputation, which the gardens and
the Agora, and exciting events, and free institutions, and the rise of
philosophy, and a serene and lovely climate, made the prevalent
characteristic of the matured Athenian, began to stir within the
young.  And in the mean while the tardy invention of prose literature
worked its natural revolution in intellectual pursuits.

IX.  It has been before observed, that in Greece, as elsewhere, the
first successor of the poet was the philosopher, and that the oral
lecturer preceded the prose writer.  With written prose HISTORY
commenced.  Having found a mode of transmitting that species of
knowledge which could not, like rhythmical tales or sententious
problems, be accurately preserved by the memory alone, it was natural
that a present age should desire to record and transmit the past--
chtaema es aei--an everlasting heirloom to the future.

To a semi-barbarous nation history is little more than poetry.  The
subjects to which it would be naturally devoted are the legends of
religion--the deeds of ancestral demigods--the triumphs of successful
war.  In recording these themes of national interest, the poet is the
first historian.  As philosophy--or rather the spirit of conjecture,
which is the primitive and creative breath of philosophy--becomes
prevalent, the old credulity directs the new research to the
investigation of subjects which the poets have not sufficiently
explained, but which, from their remote and religious antiquity, are
mysteriously attractive to a reverent and inquisitive population, with
whom long descent is yet the most flattering proof of superiority.
Thus genealogies, and accounts of the origin of states and deities,
made the first subjects of history, and inspired the Argive Acusilaus
[227], and, as far as we can plausibly conjecture, the Milesian
Cadmus.

X.  The Dorians--a people who never desired to disturb tradition,
unwilling carefully to investigate, precisely because they
superstitiously venerated, the past, little inquisitive as to the
manners or the chronicles of alien tribes, satisfied, in a word, with
themselves, and incurious as to others--were not a race to whom
history became a want.  Ionia--the subtle, the innovating, the
anxious, and the restless--nurse of the arts, which the mother country
ultimately reared, boasts in Cadmus the Milesian the first writer of
history and of prose [228]; Samos, the birthplace of Pythagoras,
produced Eugeon, placed by Dionysius at the head of the early
historians; and Mitylene claimed Hellanicus, who seems to have formed
a more ambitious design than his predecessors.  He wrote a history of
the ancient kings of the earth, and an account of the founders of the
most celebrated cities in each kingdom [229].  During the early and
crude attempts of these and other writers, stern events contributed to
rear from tedious research and fruitless conjecture the true genius of
history; for it is as a people begin to struggle for rights, to
comprehend political relations, to contend with neighbours abroad, and
to wrestle with obnoxious institutions at home, that they desire to
secure the sanction of antiquity, to trace back to some illustrious
origin the rights they demand, and to stimulate hourly exertions by a
reference to departed fame.  Then do mythologies, and genealogies, and
geographical definitions, and the traditions that concern kings and
heroes, ripen into chronicles that commemorate the convulsions or the
progress of a nation.

During the stormy period which saw the invasion of Xerxes (B. C. 480),
when everything that could shed lustre upon the past incited to
present struggles, flourished Pherecydes.  He is sometimes called of
Leria, which seems his birthplace--sometimes of Athens, where he
resided thirty years, and to which state his history refers.  Although
his work was principally mythological, it opened the way to sound
historical composition, inasmuch as it included references to later
times--to existent struggles--the descent of Miltiades--the Scythian
expedition of Darius.  Subsequently, Xanthus, a Lydian, composed a
work on his own country (B. C. 463), of which some extracts remain,
and from which Herodotus did not disdain to borrow.

XI.  It was nearly a century after the invention of prose and of
historical composition, and with the guides and examples of, many
writers not uncelebrated in their day before his emulation, that
Herodotus first made known to the Grecian public, and, according to
all probable evidence, at the Olympic Games, a portion of that work
which drew forth the tears of Thucydides, and furnishes the
imperishable model of picturesque and faithful narrative.  This
happened in a brilliant period of Athenian history; it was in the same
year as the battle of Oenophyta, when Athens gave laws and
constitutions to Boeotia, and the recall of Cimon established for
herself both liberty and order.  The youth of Herodotus was passed
while the glory of the Persian war yet lingered over Greece, and while
with the ascendency of Athens commenced a new era of civilization.
His genius drew the vital breath from an atmosphere of poetry.  The
desire of wild adventure still existed, and the romantic expedition of
the Athenians into Egypt had served to strengthen the connexion
between the Greeks and that imposing and interesting land.  The rise
of the Greek drama with Aeschylus probably contributed to give effect,
colour, and vigour to the style of Herodotus.  And something almost of
the art of the contemporaneous Sophocles may be traced in the easy
skill of his narratives, and the magic yet tranquil energy of his
descriptions.

XII.  Though Dorian by ancient descent, it was at Halicarnassus, in
Caria, a city of Asia Minor, that Herodotus was born; nor does his
style, nor do his views, indicate that he derived from the origin of
his family any of the Dorian peculiarities.  His parents were
distinguished alike by birth and fortune.  Early in life those
internal commotions, to which all the Grecian towns were subjected,
and which crushed for a time the liberties of his native city, drove
him from Halicarnassus: and, suffering from tyranny, he became
inspired by that enthusiasm for freedom which burns throughout his
immortal work.  During his exile he travelled through Greece, Thrace,
and Macedonia--through Scythia, Asia, and Egypt.  Thus he collected
the materials of his work, which is, in fact, a book of travels
narrated historically.  If we do not reject the story that he read a
portion of his work at the Olympian Games, when Thucydides, one of his
listeners, was yet a boy, and if we suppose the latter to have been
about fifteen, this anecdote is calculated [230] to bear the date of
Olym. 81, B. C. 456, when Herodotus was twenty-eight.

The chief residence of Herodotus was at Samos, until a revolution
broke out in Halicarnassus.  The people conspired against their tyrant
Lygdamis.  Herodotus repaired to his native city, took a prominent
part in the conspiracy, and finally succeeded in restoring the popular
government.  He was not, however, long left to enjoy the liberties he
had assisted to acquire for his fellow-citizens: some intrigue of the
counter-party drove him a second time into exile.  Repairing to
Athens, he read the continuation of his history at the festival of the
Panathenaea (B. C. 446).  It was received with the most rapturous
applause; and we are told that the people solemnly conferred upon the
man who had immortalized their achievements against the Mede the gift
of ten talents.  The disposition of this remarkable man, like that of
all travellers, inclined to enterprise and adventure.  His early
wanderings, his later vicissitudes, seem to have confirmed a
temperament originally restless and inquisitive.  Accordingly, in his
forty-first year, he joined the Athenian emigrators that in the south
of Italy established a colony at Thurium (B. C. 443).

VIII.  At Thurium Herodotus apparently passed the remainder of his
life, though whether his tomb was built there or in Athens is a matter
of dispute.  These particulars of his life, not uninteresting in
themselves, tend greatly to illustrate the character of his writings.
Their charm consists in the earnestness of a man who describes
countries as an eyewitness, and events as one accustomed to
participate in them.  The life, the raciness, the vigour of an
adventurer and a wanderer glow in every page.  He has none of the
refining disquisitions that are born of the closet.  He paints history
rather than descants on it; he throws the colourings of a mind,
unconsciously poetic, over all he describes.  Now a soldier--now a
priest--now a patriot--he is always a poet, if rarely a philosopher.
He narrates like a witness, unlike Thucydides, who sums up like a
judge.  No writer ever made so beautiful an application of
superstitions to truths.  His very credulities have a philosophy of
their own; and modern historians have acted unwisely in disdaining the
occasional repetition even of his fables.  For if his truths record
the events, his fables paint the manners and the opinions of the time;
and the last fill up the history, of which events are only the
skeleton.

To account for his frequent use of dialogue and his dramatic effects
of narrative, we must remember the tribunal to which the work of
Herodotus was subjected.  Every author, unconsciously to himself,
consults the tastes of those he addresses.  No small coterie of
scholars, no scrupulous and critical inquirers, made the ordeal
Herodotus underwent.  His chronicles were not dissertations to be
coldly pondered over and skeptically conned: they were read aloud at
solemn festivals to listening thousands; they were to arrest the
curiosity--to amuse the impatience--to stir the wonder of a lively and
motley crowd.  Thus the historian imbibed naturally the spirit of the
taleteller.  And he was driven to embellish his history with the
romantic legend--the awful superstition--the gossip anecdote--which
yet characterize the stories of the popular and oral fictionist, in
the bazars of the Mussulman, or on the seasands of Sicily.  Still it
has been rightly said that a judicious reader is not easily led astray
by Herodotus in important particulars.  His descriptions of
localities, of manners and customs, are singularly correct; and modern
travellers can yet trace the vestiges of his fidelity.  As the
historian, therefore, was in some measure an orator, so his skill was
to be manifest in the arts which keep alive the attention of an
audience.  Hence Herodotus continually aims at the picturesque; he
gives us the very words of his actors, and narrates the secrets of
impenetrable palaces with as much simplicity and earnestness as if he
had been placed behind the arras. [231]

That it was impossible for the wandering Halicarnassian to know what
Gyges said to Candaules, or Artabanus to Xerxes, has, perhaps, been
too confidently asserted.  Heeren reminds us, that both by Jewish and
Grecian writers there is frequent mention of the scribes or
secretaries who constantly attended the person of the Persian monarch
--on occasion of festivals [232], of public reviews [233], and even in
the tumult of battle; and, with the idolatrous respect in which
despotism was held, noted down the words that fell from the royal lip.
The ingenious German then proceeds to show that this custom was common
to all the Asiatic nations.  Thus were formed the chronicles or
archives of the Persians; and by reference to these minute and
detailed documents, Herodotus was enabled to record conversations and
anecdotes, and preserve to us the memoirs of a court.  And though this
conjecture must be received with caution, and, to many passages
unconnected with Persia or the East, cannot be applied, it is
sufficiently plausible, in some very important parts of the history,
not to be altogether dismissed with contempt.

But it is for another reason that I have occasionally admitted the
dialogues of Herodotus, as well as the superstitious anecdotes current
at the day.  The truth of history consists not only in the relation of
events, but in preserving the character of the people, and depicting
the manners of the time.  Facts, if too nakedly told, may be very
different from truths, in the impression they convey; and the spirit
of Grecian history is lost if we do not feel the Greeks themselves
constantly before us.  Thus when, as in Herodotus, the agents of
events converse, every word reported may not have been spoken; but
what we lose in accuracy of details we more than gain by the fidelity
of the whole.  We acquire a lively and accurate impression of the
general character--of the thoughts, and the manners, and the men of
the age and the land.  It is so also with legends, sparingly used, and
of which the nature is discernible from fact by the most superficial
gaze; we more sensibly feel that it was the Greeks who were engaged at
Marathon when we read of the dream of Hippias or the apparition of
Theseus.  Finally, an historian of Greece will, almost without an
effort, convey to the reader a sense of the mighty change, from an age
of poetical heroes to an age of practical statesmen, if we suffer
Herodotus to be his model in the narrative of the Persian war, and
allow the more profound and less imaginative Thucydides to colour the
pictures of the Peloponnesian.

XIV.  The period now entered upon is also remarkable for the fertile
and rapid development of one branch of intellectual cultivation in
which the Greeks were pre-eminently illustrious.  In history, Rome was
the rival of Greece; in philosophy, Rome was never more than her
credulous and reverend scholar.

We have seen the dawn of philosophy with Thales; Miletus, his
birthplace, bore his immediate successors.  Anaximander, his younger
contemporary [234], is said, with Pherecydes, to have been the first
philosopher who availed himself of the invention of writing.  His
services have not been sufficiently appreciated--like those of most
men who form the first steps in the progress between the originator
and the perfector.  He seems boldly to have differed from his master,
Thales, in the very root of his system.  He rejected the original
element of water or humidity, and supposed the great primary essence
and origin of creation to be in that EVERYTHING or NOTHING which he
called THE INFINITE, and which we might perhaps render as "The Chaos;"
[235] that of this vast element, the parts are changed--the whole
immutable, and all things arise from and return unto that universal
source [236].  He pursued his researches into physics, and attempted
to account for the thunder, the lightning, and the winds.  His
conjectures are usually shrewd and keen; and sometimes, as in his
assertion, "that the moon shone in light borrowed from the sun," may
deserve a higher praise.  Both Anaximander and Pherecydes concurred in
the principles of their doctrines, but the latter seems to have more
distinctly asserted the immortality of the soul. [237]

Anaximenes, also of Miletus, was the friend and follower of
Anaximander (B. C. 548).  He seems, however, to have deserted the
abstract philosophical dogmas of his tutor, and to have resumed the
analogical system commenced by Thales--like that philosopher, he
founded axioms upon observations, bold and acute, but partial and
contracted.  He maintained that air was the primitive element.  In
this theory he united the Zeus, or ether, of Pherecydes, and the
Infinite of Anaximander, for he held the air to be God in itself, and
infinite in its nature.

XV.  While these wild but ingenious speculators conducted the career
of that philosophy called the Ionian, to the later time of the serene
and lofty spiritualism of Anaxagoras, two new schools arose, both
founded by Ionians, but distinguished by separate names--the Eleatic
and the Italic.  The first was founded by Xenophanes of Colophon, in
Elea, a town in western Italy.  Migrating to an alien shore,
colonization seems to have produced in philosophy the same results
which it produced in politics: it emancipated the reason from all
previous prejudice and prescriptive shackles.  Xenophanes was the
first thinker who openly assailed the popular faith (B. C. 538).  He
divested the Great Deity of the human attributes which human vanity,
assimilating God to man, had bestowed upon him.  The divinity of
Xenophanes is that of modern philosophy--eternal, unalterable, and
alone: graven images cannot represent his form.  His attributes are--
ALL HEARING, ALL SIGHT, and ALL THOUGHT.

To the Eleatic school, founded by Xenophanes, belong Parmenides,
Melissus the Samian, Zeno, and Heraclitus of Ephesus.  All these were
thinkers remarkable for courage and subtlety.  The main metaphysical
doctrines of this school approach, in many respects, to those that
have been familiar to modern speculators.  Their predecessors argued,
as the basis of their system, from experience of the outward world,
and the evidence of the senses; the Eleatic school, on the contrary,
commenced their system from the reality of ideas, and thence argued on
the reality of external objects; experience with them was but a show
and an appearance; knowledge was not in things without, but in the
mind; they were the founders of idealism.  With respect to the Deity,
they imagined the whole universe filled with it--God was ALL IN ALL.
Such, though each philosopher varied the system in detail, were the
main metaphysical dogmas of the Eleatic school.  Its masters were
high-wrought, subtle, and religious thinkers; but their doctrines were
based upon a theory that necessarily led to parodox and mysticism; and
finally conduced to the most dangerous of all the ancient sects--that
of the sophists.

We may here observe, that the spirit of poetry long continued to
breathe in the forms of philosophy.  Even Anaximander, and his
immediate followers in the Ionic school, while writing in prose,
appear, from a few fragments left to us, to have had much recourse to
poetical expression, and often convey a dogma by an image; while, in
the Eleatic school, Xenophanes and Parmenides adopted the form itself
of verse, as the medium for communicating their theories; and Zeno,
perhaps from the new example of the drama, first introduced into
philosophical dispute that fashion of dialogue which afterward gave to
the sternest and loftiest thought the animation and life of dramatic
pictures.

XVI.  But even before the Eleatic school arose, the most remarkable
and ambitious of all the earlier reasoners, the arch uniter of actual
politics with enthusiastic reveries--the hero of a thousand legends--a
demigod in his ends and an impostor in his means--Pythagoras of Samos
--conceived and partially executed the vast design of establishing a
speculative wisdom and an occult religion as the keystone of political
institutions.

So mysterious is everything relating to Pythagoras, so mingled with
the grossest fables and the wildest superstitions, that he seems
scarcely to belong to the age of history, or to the advanced and
practical Ionia.  The date of his birth--his very parentage, are
matters of dispute and doubt.  Accounts concur in considering his
father not a native of Samos; and it seems a probable supposition that
he was of Lemnian or Pelasgic origin.  Pythagoras travelled early into
Egypt and the East, and the system most plausibly ascribed to him
betrays something of oriental mystery and priestcraft in its peculiar
doctrines, and much more of those alien elements in its pervading and
general spirit.  The notion of uniting a state with religion is
especially Eastern, and essentially anti-Hellenic.  Returning to
Samos, he is said to have found the able Polycrates in the tyranny of
the government, and to have quitted his birthplace in disgust.  If,
then, he had already conceived his political designs, it is clear that
they could never have been executed under a jealous and acute tyrant;
for, in the first place, radical innovations are never so effectually
opposed as in governments concentrated in the hands of a single man;
and, secondly, the very pith and core of the system of Pythagoras
consisted in the establishment of an oligarchic aristocracy--a
constitution most hated and most persecuted by the Grecian tyrants.
The philosopher migrated into Italy.  He had already, in all
probability, made himself renowned in Greece.  For it was then a
distinction to have travelled into Egypt, the seat of mysterious and
venerated learning; and philosophy, like other novelties, appears to
have passed into fashion even with the multitude.  Not only all the
traditions respecting this extraordinary man, but the certain fact of
the mighty effect that, in his single person, he afterward wrought in
Italy, prove him also to have possessed that nameless art of making a
personal impression upon mankind, and creating individual enthusiasm,
which is necessary to those who obtain a moral command, and are the
founders of sects and institutions.  It is so much in conformity with
the manners of the time and the objects of Pythagoras to believe that
he diligently explored the ancient, religions and political systems of
Greece, from which he had long been a stranger, that we cannot reject
the traditions (however disfigured with fable) that he visited Delos,
and affected to receive instructions from the pious ministrants of
Delphi. [238]

At Olympia, where he could not fail to be received with curiosity and
distinction, the future lawgiver is said to have assumed the title of
philosopher, the first who claimed the name.  For the rest, we must
yield our faith to all probable accounts, both of his own earnest
preparations for his design, and of the high repute he acquired in
Greece, that may tend to lessen the miracle of the success that
awaited him in the cities of the west.

XVII.  Pythagoras (B. C. 540-510) arrived in Italy during the reign of
Tarquinius Superbus, according to the testimony of Cicero and Aulus
Gellius [239], and fixed his residence in Croton, a city in the Bay of
Tarentum, colonized by Greeks of the Achaean tribe [240].  If we may
lend a partial credit to the extravagant fables of later disciples,
endeavouring to extract from florid superaddition some original germe
of simple truth, it would seem that he first appeared in the character
of a teacher of youth [241]; and, as was not unusual in those times,
soon rose from the preceptor to the legislator.  Dissensions in the
city favoured his objects.  The senate (consisting of a thousand
members, doubtless of a different race from the body of the people;
the first the posterity of the settlers, the last the native
population) availed itself of the arrival and influence of an eloquent
and renowned philosopher.  He lent himself to the consolidation of
aristocracies, and was equally inimical to democracy and tyranny.  But
his policy was that of no vulgar ambition; he refused, at least for a
time, ostensible power and office, and was contented with instituting
an organized and formidable society--not wholly dissimilar to that
mighty order founded by Loyola in times comparatively recent.  The
disciples admitted into this society underwent examination and
probation; it was through degrees that they passed into its higher
honours, and were admitted into its deepest secrets.  Religion made
the basis of the fraternity--but religion connected with human ends of
advancement and power.  He selected the three hundred who, at Croton,
formed his order, from the noblest families, and they were professedly
reared to know themselves, that so they might be fitted to command the
world.  It was not long before this society, of which Pythagoras was
the head, appears to have supplanted the ancient senate and obtained
the legislative administration.  In this institution, Pythagoras
stands alone--no other founder of Greek philosophy resembles him.  By
all accounts, he also differed from the other sages of his time in his
estimate of the importance of women.  He is said to have lectured to
and taught them.  His wife was herself a philosopher, and fifteen
disciples of the softer sex rank among the prominent ornaments of his
school.  An order based upon so profound a knowledge of all that can
fascinate or cheat mankind, could not fail to secure a temporary
power.  His influence was unbounded in Croton--it extended to other
Italian cities--it amended or overturned political constitutions; and
had Pythagoras possessed a more coarse and personal ambition, he
might, perhaps, have founded a mighty dynasty, and enriched our social
annals with the results of a new experiment.  But his was the
ambition, not of a hero, but a sage.  He wished rather to establish a
system than to exalt himself; his immediate followers saw not all the
consequences that might be derived from the fraternity he founded: and
the political designs of his gorgeous and august philosophy, only for
a while successful, left behind them but the mummeries of an impotent
freemasonry and the enthusiastic ceremonies of half-witted ascetics.

XVIII.  It was when this power, so mystic and so revolutionary, had,
by the means of branch societies, established itself throughout a
considerable portion of Italy, that a general feeling of alarm and
suspicion broke out against the sage and his sectarians.  The
anti-Pythagorean risings, according to Porphyry, were sufficiently
numerous and active to be remembered for long generations afterward.
Many of the sage's friends are said to have perished, and it is doubtful
whether Pythagoras himself fell a victim to the rage of his enemies, or
died a fugitive among his disciples at Metapontum.  Nor was it until
nearly the whole of Lower Italy was torn by convulsions, and Greece
herself drawn into the contest, as pacificator and arbiter, that the
ferment was allayed--the Pythagorean institutions were abolished, and
the timocratic democracies [242] of the Achaeans rose upon the ruins of
those intellectual but ungenial oligarchies.

XIX.  Pythagoras committed a fatal error when, in his attempt to
revolutionize society, he had recourse to aristocracies for his
agents.  Revolutions, especially those influenced by religion, can
never be worked out but by popular emotions.  It was from this error
of judgment that he enlisted the people against him--for, by the
account of Neanthes, related by Porphyry [243], and, indeed, from all
other testimony, it is clearly evident that to popular, not party
commotion, his fall must be ascribed.  It is no less clear that, after
his death, while his philosophical sect remained, his political code
crumbled away.  The only seeds sown by philosophers, which spring up
into great states, are those that, whether for good or evil, are
planted in the hearts of the many.

XX.  The purely intellectual additions made by Pythagoras to human
wisdom seem to have been vast and permanent.  By probable testimony,
he added largely to mathematical science; and his discoveries in
arithmetic, astronomy, music, and geometry, constitute an era in the
history of the mind.  His metaphysical and moral speculations are not
to be separated from the additions or corruptions of his disciples.
But we must at least suppose that Pythagoras established the main
proposition of the occult properties of NUMBERS, which were held to be
the principles of all things.  According to this theory, unity is the
abstract principle of all perfection, and the ten elementary numbers
contain the elements of the perfect system of nature.  By numbers the
origin and the substance of all things could be explained [244].
Numbers make the mystery of earth and heaven--of the gods themselves.
And this part of his system, which long continued to fool mankind, was
a sort of monstrous junction between arithmetic and magic--the most
certain of sciences with the most fantastic of chimeras.  The
Pythagoreans supposed the sun, or central fire, to be the seat of
Jupiter and the principle of life.  The stars were divine.  Men, and
even animals, were held to have within them a portion of the celestial
nature.  The soul, emanating from the celestial fire [245]--can
combine with any form of matter, and is compelled to pass through
various bodies.  Adopting the Egyptian doctrine of transmigration, the
Pythagoreans coupled it with the notion of future punishment or
reward.

Much of the doctrinal morality of Pythagoras is admirable; but it is
vitiated by the ceremonial quackery connected with it.  Humanity to
all things--gentleness--friendship--love--and, above all the rest,
SELF-COMMAND--form the principal recommendations of his mild and
patriarchal ethics.  But, perhaps, from his desire to establish a
political fraternity--perhaps from his doubt of the capacity of
mankind to embrace Truth unadorned, enamoured only of her own beauty--
these doctrines were united with an austere and frivolous ascetism.
And virtue was but to be attained by graduating through the secret and
rigid ceremonies of academical imposture.  His disciples soon pushed
the dogmas of their master into an extravagance at once dangerous and
grotesque; and what the sage designed but for symbols of a truth were
cultivated to the prejudice of the truth itself.  The influence of
Pythagoras became corrupt and pernicious in proportion as the original
tenets became more and more adulterated or obscure, and served, in
succeeding ages, to invest with the sanctity of a great name the most
visionary chimeras and the most mischievous wanderings of perverted
speculation.  But, looking to the man himself--his discoveries--his
designs--his genius--his marvellous accomplishments--we cannot but
consider him as one of the most astonishing persons the world ever
produced; and, if in part a mountebank and an impostor, no one,
perhaps, ever deluded others with motives more pure--from an ambition
more disinterested and benevolent.

XXI.  Upon the Athenians the effect of these various philosophers was
already marked and influential.  From the time of Solon there had
existed in Athens a kind of school of political philosophy [246].  But
it was not a school of refining dogmas or systematic ethics; it was
too much connected with daily and practical life to foster to any
great extent the abstract contemplations and recondite theories of
metaphysical discoveries.  Mnesiphilus, the most eminent of these
immediate successors of Solon, was the instructor of Themistocles, the
very antipodes of rhetoricians and refiners.  But now a new age of
philosophy was at hand.  Already the Eleatic sages, Zeno and
Parmenides, had travelled to Athens, and there proclaimed their
doctrines, and Zeno numbered among his listeners and disciples the
youthful Pericles.  But a far more sensible influence was exercised by
Anaxagoras of the Ionian school.  For thirty years, viz., from B. C.
480 to B. C. 450, during that eventful and stirring period intervening
between the battle of Thermopylae and the commencement of the five
years' truce with Sparta, followed by the death of Cimon (B. C. 449),
this eminent and most accomplished reasoner resided in Athens [247].
His doctrines were those most cherished by Pericles, who ranked the
philosopher among his intimate friends.  After an absence of some
years, he again returned to Athens; and we shall then find him
subjected to a prosecution in which religious prejudice was stimulated
by party feud.  More addicted to physics than to metaphysical
research, he alarmed the national superstition by explaining on
physical principles the formation even of the celestial bodies.
According to him, the sun itself--that centre of divine perfection
with the Pythagoreans--was ejected from the earth and heated into fire
by rapid motion.  He maintained that the proper study of man was the
contemplation of nature and the heavens [248]: and he refined the
Author of the universe into an intellectual principle (Nous), which
went to the root of the material causes mostly favoured by his
predecessors and contemporaries.  He admitted the existence of matter,
but INTELLIGENCE was the animating and prevailing principle, creating
symmetry from chaos, imposing limit and law on all things, and
inspiring life, and sensation, and perception.  His predecessors in
the Ionian school, who left the universe full of gods, had not openly
attacked the popular mythology.  But the assertion of One
Intelligence, and the reduction of all else to material and physical
causes, could not but have breathed a spirit wholly inimical to the
numerous and active deities of Hellenic worship.  Party feeling
against his friend and patron Pericles ultimately drew the general
suspicion into a focus; and Anaxagoras was compelled to quit Athens,
and passed the remainder of his days at Lampsacus.  But his influence
survived his exile.  His pupil Archelaus was the first _native
Athenian_ who taught philosophy at Athens (B. C. 450), and from him we
date the foundation of those brilliant and imperishable schools which
secured to Athens an intellectual empire long after her political
independence had died away [249].  Archelaus himself (as was the usual
custom of the earlier sages) departed widely from the tenets of his
master.  He supposed that two discordant principles, fire and water,
had, by their operation, drawn all things from chaos into order, and
his metaphysics were those of unalloyed materialism.  At this period,
too, or a little later, began slowly to arise in Athens the sect of
the Sophists, concerning whom so much has been written and so little
is known.  But as the effects of their lessons were not for some time
widely apparent, it will be more in the order of this history to defer
to a later era an examination of the doctrines of that perverted but
not wholly pernicious school.

XXII.  Enough has been now said to convey to the reader a general
notion of the prodigious rise which, in the most serene of
intellectual departments, had been made in Greece, from the appearance
of Solon to the lectures of Archelaus, who was the master of Socrates.
With the Athenians philosophy was not a thing apart from the
occupations of life and the events of history--it was not the monopoly
of a few studious minds, but was cultivated as a fashion by the young
and the well-born, the statesman, the poet, the man of pleasure, the
votary of ambition [250].  It was inseparably interwoven with their
manners, their pursuits, their glory, their decay.  The history of
Athens includes in itself the history of the human mind.  Science and
art--erudition and genius--all conspired--no less than the trophies of
Miltiades, the ambition of Alcibiades--the jealousy of Sparta--to the
causes of the rise and fall of Athens.  And even that satire on
themselves, to which, in the immortal lampoons of Aristophanes, the
Athenian populace listened, exhibits a people whom, whatever their
errors, the world never can see again--with whom philosophy was a
pastime--with whom the Agora itself was an academe--whose coarsest
exhibitions of buffoonery and caricature sparkle with a wit, or expand
into a poetry, which attest the cultivation of the audience no less
than the genius of the author; a people, in a word, whom the stagirite
unconsciously individualized when he laid down a general proposition,
which nowhere else can be received as a truism--that the common people
are the most exquisite judges of whatever in art is graceful,
harmonious, or sublime.





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+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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